Retro remakes are to videogames, what cover versions are to classic songs.
Sometimes they can take you on an interesting tangent to the orginal. Sometimes they can add things that were sorely lacking. And sometimes – they’re just crap.
The best website I’ve found for retro remakes is RetroRemakes dot com. The main focus is the forums (rather than the news page) where you’ll find lots of very helpful people, and a few bods who are a little bit obsessed with Dr Who.
Once every 2 years(ish) the people behind RR decide to hold a Remakes competition. There are a variety of categories to enter, and always some VERY cool prizes to win. And when I say cool, I mean “lustworthy gaming hardware”.
RetroRemakes 2008 Compo has just finished, and the downloads are ready to be played, whilst the judges do their bit. There’s around 50 entries, and I thought I’d show you a dozen entries caught my eye. (NB: I haven’t played any yet… watch out for my “entries to watch” in coming weeks…)
(NB: The download link follows the previews, at the bottom of this post)
Entries that made me laugh
One of the categories in this years compo that really got me excited was “mashups”. I love my music mashups, and had high hopes for the RR equivalent. This game = Gauntlet mashed with Bomberman. Drop bombs to kill dozens of ghosts? Yes please.
Best. Game plot. Ever.
“We all know that Pauline was kidnapped by Donkey Kong and then saved by Mario. While Mario is busy guarding the big ape Pauline goes out to kill some rats.”
Entries that will attract attention
Last compo, Minion turned some heads with his excellent remake of the original Star Wars coinop. Now he’s back with a remake of the sequel. Expect this entry to attract a LOT of downloads.
Another entry likely to be causing serious bandwidth use – is this one. Plenty of gamers who’ve never played a remake before, will be curious to see how this plays.
Entries I can’t wait to sink my teeth into
I loved/hated (depending on how many times I was dying) the original C64 game. Even though I’m not sure of the “look” of this remake, I’m hoping the gameplay is a bit “friendlier” this time around.
I’m a massive fan of Taito’s “cute-em-ups” like Bubble Bobble & New Zealand Story. So an unofficial sequel to the latter, gets me all excited.
Games by the Gurus
These guys are veterans of the retro-remaking scene, and Smila’s love for the C64 is well documented. This is going to look amazing, but will it be more playable than Mark Rosten’s 2002 Blitz Basic remake?
Carnivac is a very talented pixel artist. He’s very skilled at creating graphics that perfectly match the “look” of each 8 bit computer/console. Now, we get to see how they play.
Games that have me Intrigued
Another C64 classic, but remade in 3D. Will it be “good” like the 2001 Activision Battlezone remake? Or a bit like Worms 3D? We’ll see…
Well, this is the one entry, where if you think the gameplay’s crap – it’s all YOUR fault. Will be quite interesting to see how easy to use/playable this is.
Games from left field
Wow. Imagine the tie-in game, if Casablanca had been released in 1990. Can’t wait to see how this plays. And I *love* the title screen. Class.
And from the same author, comes this one. Erm. OK. Well, if it was good enough for me to listen to, as I terrorised Vice City, then it must deserve it’s own game. I think.
So, where can I download excellent-looking remakes like those?
EDIT: Unfortunately, the RR site was hacked recently, so their download page is gone.
BUT – I’ve collated all the “off site author links” I could find, and put them all in one convenient page here.
So – which entries caught your eye?
Love to hear about ’em in the comments.