Indie game news, reviews, previews and everything else concerning indie game development.

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Freeware Game Pick – ‘Mega Man: Day In The Limelight 2′ Released

Summer is clearly the season for NES Nostalgia, considering the re-surfacing of Helena the 3rd yesterday. We had a look Mega Man: Day In The Limelight 2 back when it was an unfinished Beta, but the ambitious Mega Man fangame is now complete and free for all. As the title suggests, it’s time for Mega Man himself to stand aside and let the other Robot Masters save the world for once.

Day In The Limelight 2 is an interesting remix of the classic Mega Man formula. The folks over at Fusion Fangaming (the crew responsible for the sprawling Mushroom Kingdom Fusion, among others) have reverse-engineered pretty much everything from the first few games in the classic Capcom franchise, stripping out all the sprites, movement physics and quirky little gameplay elements and glued them back together in entirely the wrong order. That’s the point, though, as it’s a playful reversal of the formula, and an enjoyable game in its own right.

The whole thing feels right – the sound, the music, the controls, the way the Robot Masters move – it all feels completely authentic, right down to that tiny shuffle-step that happens before you start to run. The one thing that really breaks from convention is the level design, which is a little more playful and creative in its nature. An attack on Gemini Man’s stage has you constantly hounded by mirror images of him, and it doesn’t help that the assigned hero of the day is Bubble Man, who waddles awkwardly across the land and doesn’t really shine until you dive into a pool of water.

Each level is cleverly built around the strengths and weaknesses of the character in play, too. Rather than structure the stages around the generalized and expanding skill-set of Mega Man himself, there’s a lot more focus here. The lumbering (I’m so sorry) Wood Man has a stage full of laser turrets which can be blocked with his trademark Leaf Shield, or even clogged with thrown leaves. It’s not nearly as glamorous as shooting stuff with lasers, but it’s more creative. It’s amusing to think that Mega Man himself would be stumped on any of the challenges requiring him to shoot diagonally or upwards.

Of course, being a Mega Man fan-game, this one is hard. It’s full-on NES difficulty as you remember it. Most obstacles can be conquered through a little patience and observation, but there’s not much chance of you breezing through any stage on your first run through. There are fortunately plenty of extra lives and generous checkpoints, but nothing is going to save a careless player from the Game Over screen if you keep missing a jump over a bottomless pit or a row of instantly lethal spikes. At least there’s a full save system underneath the early NES-era aesthetics.

You can grab MM: Day in The Limelight 2 from the Fusion Fangaming forum, as well as the first Day in The Limelight, which is still an entertaining piece of gaming in its own right. An interesting additional quirk is that, for the most part, DITL2 has you playing as the bosses you defeated in DITL1. Both games were developed in Game Maker, and are for Windows PCs only. The first weighs in at around 7mb, and the sequel a slightly inflated 11.

Source: The Indie Game Magazine – Freeware Game Pick – ‘Mega Man: Day In The Limelight 2′ Released


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Mod Spotlight – Ultima 5 & 6 Remakes for Dungeon Siege

Old news? Perhaps, but these two projects are one of the better kept secrets of the modding world. The Ultima series are classics for a reason – a long-running franchise of very forward-thinking roleplaying games that ran all the way through the 80s up until the end of the 90s, sadly ending on a sour note due to extensive publisher meddling. The one key weakness of the games is their age. While the combat engines are solid and the settings and stories excellent, the technology lets them down, which is why these two full-length remakes are worthy of your attention.


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Freeware Game Pick – Rework The Dead: Evil

This is a freeware game that I’ve been meaning to mention for a while. It’s not very polished or professional, nor does it have anywhere near universal appeal, but after stumbling upon it during a random trawl of GameJolt I found myself enjoying it the whole way through in a B-movie sorta way. RTD: Evil is a horror-themed platform shooter inspired very heavily by Abuse, with standard FPS controls letting you run, jump and shoot freely on a 2D plane. It’s also based on a particularly terribly drawn furry splatter-horror webcomic. If you haven’t run screaming for the hills, hit the break for the trailer, accompanied by some of the shockingly cool soundtrack.


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Freeware Game Pick – Return Of The Triad

Ludicrous Gibs! If you were a PC gamer through the early 90s, that phrase should put a big dumb grin on your face. It was the text message that popped up to accompany an enemy exploding violently into a cartoonish cloud of meat (often containing 3+ eyeballs per human, oddly) in Apogee Software’s Wolfenstein-esque Rise Of The Triad, and also the first common usage of the term to describe such splatteriffic delights. A couple of months ago, a pair of dedicated fans (El Zee and 5HFifty) released Return of The Triad, a standalone update/remake of the game, based on the ZDoom engine.


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Freeware Game Pick – Zelda Classic

It’s been 25 years since Nintendo launched their second grand flagship franchise; a free-roaming action adventure about an elf in a floppy green hat and his quest to collect a triangle and stab a pig. The Legend of Zelda series has earned countless fans through the past quarter-century. While many are celebrating this grand anniversary with the latest Wii entry in the franchise, us Windows/Mac/Linux folks can look back and remember how it all began, and wonder what might have been if they’d expanded directly on the original NES release.


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Phoenix Online Reveals, Kickstarts Episodic Crime Thriller Cognition

Phoenix Online, the same team responsible for the King’s Quest fan project The Silver Lining, has revealed their ambitious adventure game Cognition: An Erica Reed Thriller. An original episodic crime thriller title full of suspense and science fiction alike.

The game features protagonist Erica Reed, an FBI agent who in the process of hunting down the serial killer who murdered her brother develops the ability of post-cognition. She must now use this power in tracking down a new killer who’s appears to be leaving clues aimed at Erica herself.


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Freeware Game Multipick – Nintendo Community Fangame Convention Roundup

 

Blink and you’ll miss it – you stop paying attention to fangames for just a couple of days, and a whole community convention is held behind your back! The Nintendo Community Fangame Convention this year saw a whole raft of great freeware games released. While you can see the whole list of entrants on the NCFC site, here’s a few choice highlights, encompassing both complete titles and demos. There’s some really impressive games on show here, well worth your bandwidth and time:


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Mari0 Brings Portal/Portal 2 Mechanics to Mushroom Kingdom

This looks all sorts of fun. Super Mario Bros. invaded by gameplay elements from both Portal and Portal 2. We’re talking about the mustached plummer with a portal gun here. Sound good enough on paper?

Wait until you see it in practice.

Maurice Guégan and Sašo Smolej, the two-man team currently developing the gamer’s wet dream into a playable reality, have been cranking up media as of late to keep everyone drooling. Presumably on the cash readied to pass along to these guys if/when they decide to accept it from all of us in exchange for getting to play what they’re showing off.

From the screenshot above, you can surmise co-op multiplayer will be in the mix on top of having the entire Portal puzzle-game spirit built into the original Mushroom Kingdom (all from scratch mind you.) Not just two players either, the dev claims it’ll support local multiplayer up to the number of joysticks you can plug-in to your computer. What a gem this hybrid of two classics could turn out to be.

No release date as of yet, but we’ll be keeping a keen eye on this one. The latest test footage video shows off lasers and a bit of fun you can pull of with an Aperture Science Portable Quantum Tunneling Device against an unfortunate Koopa Troopa and a handful of hapless Goombas:

[Stabyourself.net (we at DIYGamer do not advise or condone doing that) via GameSetWatch]


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Browser Game Pick – Ruff N’ Tumble Mashup

The Amiga was a system that largely passed me by as a kid, but thanks to the marvels of emulation, I’ve come to learn that the system played host to more than a few great games. One particular fan-favourite was Renegade Software’s Ruff N’ Tumble, a particularly earnest and straightforward run n’ gun platform shooter. It was so loved, that a bunch of dedicated fans over at video-archive site Recorded Amiga Games have remade it in Flash under the title Ruff N’ Tumble Mashup, and it’s rather brill.


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Going Deeper Underground – Terraria Unveiled

Every cloud has a silver lining. Recently, it was announced that Nintendo had hit the fantastic Mario fan-game, Super Mario Bros X, with a cease-and-desist order. This would normally take the wind out of a man’s sails, but SMBX creator Andrew ‘Redigit’ Spinks just took it as an opportunity to reveal to the world the secret project he’s been working on these past few months: Terraria.