The RR Report 1: Midwinter and mice and all things nice.

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Right then, welcome one and all to the first monthly RR report taking a look at this month in remakes, old things and the like brought to you by little me.

Bit Nippy

First out the gate is something I’m *very* excited about and that’s an official remake of Midwinter brought to you by Chris Wild and team, previously responsible for the great remake of Lords Of Midnight and soon, Doomdark’s Revenge. I’ve known for a while that Chris was planning this and trying to get a team together to make it happen so I’m really glad to see this as a thing that’s actually really happening.

Midwinter is one of those games where if handled correctly a remake can make it become everything it could have/should have been (delete as applicable) first time round. One of those rare cases of if only machines had as much grunt as the author (in this case the much missed Mike Singleton) had ambition. So yeah, looking forward to seeing this progress.

You can keep up to date on the Midwinter dev blog and I’ve embedded all the assets that have been dropped into the wild below. There will, as you’d expect in 2014, be a Kickstarter coming soon to raise some funds up for it.

Incidentally, Dan who’s handling the writing for New-Midwinter is also responsible for the lovely Speccy Nation which is well worth a read if you haven’t already taken a gander over it. It’s dead cheap too.

They Sold A Crillion

hitblockdeluxe3

Georg’s Hitblock, a remake of the old C64 game Crillion is one of those games that seems to have been hanging around remakes for a very long time but without the love and attention I’ve always felt it deserved.

With that in mind, it’s nice to see that Georg has taken a break from bending C64’s to his will and spent some time putting together Hitblock Deluxe, a spanking new updated version of the game with lots and lots of things. I’ve not had chance to duck in and take a look yet but it’s on the list and something I’m really looking forward to ducking into.

Balls Are Cool

fezballFezball! A remake of Jezball, sadly without an actual fez but whatevs, we can’t have everything. I also can’t work out how on Earth you make portrait screenshots fit onto this blog either so we’re all a bit at sea sometimes.

Moving swiftly along…

For the small fee of a measly 50-odd-pence you can grab yourself a copy of this lovely little remake and play it on the go.

Do grab it here, it’s very nice. With thanks to Chris for tweeting at me.

Ooohyaaarrr

aqua03

I’m still waiting for the red weed to emit itself from that tiny little box by the television but in the meantime, there’s been a lot of OUYA activity from RR-ites. I’ll cover a few more next month but for now the ever lovely and esteemed Ian Price has dropped his latest retro styled game on there in the shape of Aquaventure.

Which is really, really good.

I’ve got nothing but love for Ian’s chunky pixels (seriously, they’re my favourite chunky pixels) so if you’ve got an OUYA, show it some love. Here’s the OUYALYTICS page and here’s the download queue link thingy.

Make Videogames

The weekend of the 11th sees the Naked Twine Jam taking place. Anyone who’s followed my words for a number of years will know I have a lot of time and respect for both what Twine is (gloriously easy to pick up hypertext tool) and what it’s achieved in terms of bringing people into writing videogames (it has brought lots of new voices into games).

Due to its free and accessible nature it’s the one thing that convinced my good lady wife that she could make a game and well, I never thought that would happen.

If you’ve ever had a little story that you wanted to tell via the medium of videogames or if you’ve ever just hankered after making a little something just because, Twine is a really good place to start and the Naked Twine Jam is a beautiful low pressure way to go about that.

Take a look at Anna’s tutorial if you’re looking for an in and I look forward to playing what you come up with.

Little Mouse

In other commercial remake news I’ve been playing a fair bit of the Sega remake of Castle Of Illusion this past week after grabbing it cheap in the Steam sale and man, isn’t that a pretty thing indeed?

I think my favourite part was where I realised that I might have stumbled into the tree boss as he was on the tree toilet judging by the look on his face. No, really, take a look at this…

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Totally on the tree-bog.

Sadly unlike the original where the game and the graphics seemed to compliment each other, the remake seems more like a game in service to its art. A lot of changes come across as though they’re there because it makes the game looks more actual-cartoon or a bit more like Trine 2 if you squint.

The boss fights, which were never the strong point of Castle Of Illusion anyway, are now fairly grit-your-teeth-through worthy and after the third or fourth totally bored attempt at the Jack In The Box fight (it wasn’t hard, just boring and my attention kept wandering off) I was fair ready to knife whoever wrote “make boss fights a bit worse” on the design document.

Still, it’s clearly had a lot of love invested in it and it’s definitely worth a look at all the same if it’s going cheap and it is exceptionally pretty indeed.

Imogenius

SaulC from the forums is looking to get in touch with Michael St Aubyn, the chap behind BBC Micro and Ovine remade Imogen to get permission for a C64 port. If anyone’s got any clues as to whereabouts or ways to get in touch, give Saul a nod on the forums either in this topic or via PM, he’d love to hear from you.

TxK

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TxK is Tempest. You will play it like Tempest. Except well, it’s not really Tempest, it’s not even Tempest 2000 it’s TxK if anyone asks.

It is, of course, the latest thing that will be dropping from Llamasoft very soon for the PSVita and I’ve had my hands on a few beta builds to date and I can promise everyone that if you’ve been pining for Jeff to revisit Tempest without the forward-to-the-future and sorry-about-your-eyes of Space Giraffe, this is the game you’ve been waiting for. It does some amazing, amazing things with the webs that both feel really natural and boggle at exactly the same time.

No word on a release date or price yet but I can tell you that it is bloody amazing. Here’s some pics I took a month or so back for you to admire.

Until Next Time…

That’s a wrap for this month. We’ll be back again in February, hopefully with a little less leaning on the commercial side and also kicking off our “old game of the month” feature that we’re all just trying to suss out how to sort and things.

We’ll end with what will become a usual reminder.

If you’d like to have your game featured in our monthly round up or if you’ve meandered past a remake on your travels, let me know about it! You can drop a link in our forum or mail me direct at oddbob@blueyonder.co.uk *or* tell me about it on Twitter. I’m @retroremakes over there, you can’t miss me, big hairy dude with the swears.

The forum is and will be your best bet and it’s a small place full of very pleasant people so do pop by and say hello. Also, please don’t join the forum or mail or tweet to tell me about your crowdfunding campaign because you’ll just be wasting your time, sorry.

And the obligatory reminder that Retro Remakes sets me back a small fortune each month and donations to help ease the costs are more than welcome. There’s a donate button in the sidebar to the left and I’ll always be grateful if and when someone clicks it.

Right, cheers. Until next time…