They don’t make games like they used to. That’s partly because we don’t play games on oscilloscopes like we used to, and the programming wouldn’t work. But what if they made today’s games yesterday? Or about thirty years ago. No, not one of those time paradox conundrums, but a demake:
Developed by ex-Microsoft exec and original Xbox man Ed Fries, Halo 2600 is basically Halo: Combat Evolved reinvented as – yes, you guessed it! – an Atari 2600 title. Unlike most demakes, however, Halo 2600 is a proper, real Atari 2600 game, officially released on cartridge in 2010. For those of you who don’t have an Atari 2600 in the back of the garage somewhere, there’s also a free downloadable ROM and a browser-based version of the game.
Fallout: New Vegas
Combining both old school NES JRPG sensibilities and education, this Fallout demake was released by Bethesda as part of the Fallout: New Vegas marketing in Japan, and served as a sort of primer for Western-style RPGs. In the game, the player wanders around the Nevada wasteland and learns about how things work. It’s all in foreign, obviously, but you’ve got to be impressed by the tremendous amount of effort put into it, anyway.
Team Fortress Arcade
It’s Team Fortress 2… but it’s also a side-scrolling action shmup, just like you remember them from 1992. Team Fortress Arcade was developed by Eric Ruth, who has a bit of a thing for demakes – his curriculum vitae also includes 8-bit versions of Halo, Left 4 Dead, and DJ Hero, free to download and love forever.
My copy of Borderlands 2 just dropped onto my desk, but since I’m supposed to be working, I’ll be playing this Borderlands demake until 5 o’ clock instead. It’s in my browser, so technically it counts as work, right? Exactly.
Deity of Hostility
This God of War demake is so retro, it doesn’t even have graphics. Instead, it’s a text adventure, and I’m sure everybody will agree that typing “attack” requires way more skill than QTEs. Ergo, this game is totally hardcore.
BONUS! Super Gear of War XD Advance Alpha III
It probably violates just about every copyright law in the book, but I created the sprites for this Gears of War JRPG, so I’m totally adding this one in. The game was developed by a friend of mine, Gareth “Gazza_N” Wilcock for a local community contest. I don’t remember if it won, so it probably didn’t. CLEARLY IT WAS JUST UNDERRATED. Download it and help make it the cult hit it was meant to be.