4. Another Metroid 2 Remake
Status: Still in Production, Updates Frequently
Metroid II: Return of Samus is the forgotten, less successful child in this franchise family, as it didn't have the groundbreaking classic touch of the first Metroid game, nor the Earth-shattering special effects of the infinitely more popular Super Metroid. Enter DoctorM64, an amateur code writer from Argentina who's apparently made himself a hobby out of showing up Nintendo at their own game with Another Metroid 2 Remake. Since finishing his Metroid: Confrontation tech demo without a hitch, DoctorM64 has been hard at work wrapping up his professional-looking Metroid 2 remake.
We have to admit, the new color graphics look a heck of a lot better than the olive green Game Boy glow that we remember from 1991.
The Real Return of Samus
We don't know if it's the fact that this guy lives out in Argentina, but DoctorM64 is still free and clear of legal action from Nintendo. In fact, they've apparently left Metroid II to collect dust in their Game Boy vault for the last 18 years. That's good for us, though, since DoctorM64's running up on a two-year anniversary's worth of work for this remake. It's a good thing, too. At this point, he's probably going to finish the AM2R Project way before a "Cease and Desist" finds its way to Buenos Aires.
3. Mega Man 2.5D
Status: Concept Completed, 2009, 2 Videos
What's the only thing that could make Mega Man 2 more difficult than the NES days? Simple: Add another dimension to the gameplay. That's exactly the genius idea that Sweden's Peter Sjostrand had, as he created an entire working demo of MM2, Mega Man 2.5D, with an extra layer of three-dimensional beef. Not just stopping at this mad scientist's dream come true, Sjostrand even threw in co-operative play with Proto Man, something that has yet to be done in any 8-bit style Mega Man game yet. Sadly, he's not crafting a complete downloadable game yet, but it looks like he probably has the tools for it.
"It started out with me and a friend going to the mall to pick up an Xbox 360 for his sister," Sjostrand recalled in an e-mail to GamePro. "While I was waiting for my friend I sat down in the kids' corner and started playing with some Legos. I tried to use the pieces of Lego to create various characters from some of my favourite games such as Mega Man and Mario. The results were pretty horrible, but I was suprised how much fun it was. Later, when I got back home, I started up the 3D software Maya where I used a similar approach, using cubes to create the characters. I eventually ended up with the Mega Man sprite. After I had done that, I thought it would be fun to try and create some more objects. One thing lead to another, and eventually I ended up with the fully animated videos that you've seen."
"Mega Man has always been one of my favourite franchises, so that made it all the more fun to try and see how I could build on it. Although the project started out as nothing but an animated concept, since having made the videos I have come in contact with people who would like to help me realize the concept and make it into an actual playable game. So, we're currently working hard to try and get something playable done for all Mega Man fans to enjoy."
Mega Busting in 2.5D
Right now, rumor has it that Sjostrand's working on converting more levels from Mega Man 3 to make into co-op versions for MM 2.5D. Let's hope his impressive skills find their way to a complete Mega Man project. Cross your fingers, fans.
2. Left 4 Dead
Status: Still in Production
On the original Left 4 Dead, the zombies chase you so fast that your graphics card can start wheezing like an old man reading a Playboy. If that strikes a little bit too much fear into your bones, Eric Ruth Games has a more "retro" solution for your zombie killing needs. Citing his inspiration and respect for Valve, Ruth (a.k.a. PixelForce) is hard at work building a full, free downloadable game for PC gamers, based entirely on the original Left 4 Dead. That means every character, all five types of infected undead, and even the full scope of maps, levels, and campaigns will be present in the final build.
Sadly, four-player gameplay isn't possible. Hey, it's based on NES technology. Supporting two players on that thing was almost all it took to freeze the cartridge.
Left 4 8-Bit
Hopefully, Valve's professed "love of community creations" keeps a "Cease and Desist" letter out of the mail, and PixelForce can finish its first game. And don't think this will be the only NES project from Eric Ruth Games, either. According to a recent interview, Left 4 Dead is the first demake in what could be a long line of modern-era-games-turned-retro projects.
Personally, we're pulling for a Resident Evil, Kingdom Hearts or Borderlands remake.