Wednesday, October 27, 2004

A few Super Mario clones | Morrowind Mods I like

Welcome back to the ultimate Modblog gaming site. Today, you’ve all asked me, but here I go with the latest Super Mario Freeware on the Internet today. Of course, the ultimate Super Mario game didn’t appear on PC by chance…but I can say if found itself on my PC. My favorite is still emulating Super Mario 64. That’s right, it’s far better than any of these 2D clones. However, second place can be pretty difficult to judge. There are so many versions.

Here are some clones I found:

Super Mario Forever 2.16 – I know the name is kind of stupid, but it’s based on the SNES upgrade in Super Mario All Stars of Super Mario 3. The only thing is it’s easily the best freeware game with Mario in it. I beat it and it’s easily the better freeware ones you can download. Polish developers made this game. The levels get more interesting as the game progresses. I recommend this game.

Graphics 10/10 (excellent)
Gameplay 9/10 (uses near perfect platform mechanics)
Sound 10/10 (he got the best Mario fan-made remixes on the net and put it in the game)
Original 6/10 (not too original, but it’s a Mario game)
Download Size 18 MB (very large for a game staring Mario)
Super Mario Forever 2.16

Super Mario XP 1.3 – I’ve known this one for about a year now. It’s a brilliant mix of Mario, mushroom world and Castlevania. For one, mushroom world never looked so dark. The graphics are rendered after SMB1 for NES. This is the only mature Mario of the bunch. Craving a Mario game with blood? You got it. Mario explodes when he dies – literally. Score 8.0/10

Graphics 6/10 (great)
Gameplay 8/10 (above average)
Sound 9/10 (great Mario remixes)
Original 6/10 (not too original, but it’s a Mario game)
Download Size 5 MB (great size for the features)
Super Mario XP

Super Mario Worlds – basically a new game based on Super Mario All Stars graphics. It’s okay, but I like Super Mario Forever much more.

Graphics 8.5/10 (great)
Gameplay 8/10 (above average)
Sound 9/10 (great Mario remixes)
Original 6/10 (not too original, but it’s a Mario game)
Download Size 5 MB (great size for the features)

Super Mario Kamek's Revenge 2.6 – a playable, but slow version of any Super Mario game. This game is probably not worth your time. I find it funny that this game is so bad after version 2.6. Haha!

Graphics 5/10 (just bad)
Gameplay 7/10 (has potential)
Sound 8/10 (has potential)
Original 6/10 (not too original, but it’s a Mario game)
Download Size 1.5 MB (tiny)

South Park Mario Enhanced 1.0 – Probably the oldest of all the freeware games. South Park Mario replaces Mario with Kenny, a South Park character, but everything else from Super Mario Bros. stays the same. Worst of all - it’s shareware! You’re better off finding a NES emulator and playing the rom. First version came out in 1999.
South Park Mario Enhanced 1.0 Download page

South Park Mario 2 – Sequel to South Park Mario. This version has Kenny star in Super Mario Bros 2. Unlike the original, Kenny is the only playable character. Super Mario Bros 2 was okay, I just didn’t like it as much as the original.

South Park Mario 2 Download page

If Mario doesn’t excite you, I advise you to check out the new fan based improvements for the forgotten RPG, Morrowind. I’m impressed at the new face models. It looks like this designer succeeded in making faces that look a lot better with lower polygon count than the original ones. Morrowind Facial Improvements. The surprise is with all the upgrades, Morrowind may look as pretty as Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion coming out next year. Khalazza Productions has a great update texture zip file. It updates all the existing textures in the game except for characters.

I am going to re-install Morrowind and apply all upgrades I downloaded within the last 2 years tonight. True, Morrowind is a slightly out-dated RPG, but it still looks halfway decent on my computer. I like to mug people at night and be a thief. I don’t like to kill people because than I will have the local vendetta after me for the rest of the game. I even played with cheat codes, because I enjoy being invincible. I do play mortal once in a while….after my characters HP level is 200. I got to a point where half the time I played an assassin wanted to kill me. I think there is a faq on Gamefaqs.com that tells gamers how to make your character extremely intelligent, high charisma, high wisdom and 5 bonus skills at the start of the game.

[One day later] I installed Morrowind and the expansion, Tribunal. The game is huge and really does support better graphics than the Xbox version, Morrowind Game of the Year Edition. Since I wanted to see how far I get without cheating, I just pick knight and pick any old symbol. I save my game once in town. Then I try to hit someone with a dagger and see if I could swim away. The guard’s sword had “knockback” and that kept me from going anywhere. Three hits with that thing and I was died. I can not get anywhere without a good sword. I must get to the trading city of Balmona so I can join a guild. Balmona is the best city in the game. It is best to keep off the trail and stay clear of enemies. I join the fighter’s guild there and do some quests. The last one I barely survived in. You’d have to play the game to know what I’m talking about here. I’m kind of melee guy. No magic, no intelligence, just a sword and willpower to be brave (and pretty stupid at times) Now I could get armor, but I’m already died if I don’t have a long sword. So I am saving up for that. Putting all my money towards it. The money cheat is temping but I will not cheap this time. The world looks pretty. The faces are ugly by today’s standards, but I’ve improved it by downloading all the plugins containing improved faces from that website listed above. It really does the trick. At home I was looking for the texture service pack that Khalazza Productions made. I have the outdated 2.1 version somewhere on my November 2003 data CD. It crashed last time so I’ll have to scan the file for viruses if I do find it. It really does upgrade the textures. Most game developers are finding out that textures matter much more than polygons. If you go to that first link two paragraphs above, you can see how the artist reduced polygons in the face while vastly improving the textures. Morrowind has a prettier graphics engine than Neverwinter Nights and also Morrowind is both a 3rd person and first person RPG and I like first person view. TAB alternates between the views. Unfortunately, I can’t get the game to recognize the new face models I added to the directory. My guess is that the files only support the retail version of Morrowind. The Tribunal installation patches Morrowind to version 1.3.

I’ll post a new entry in 4 more days after I think of something cool. Until then - I’ll frag in UT2004. C-ya. Birthday’s on Monday! It’s going to be interesting what gifts I get. I’m hoping for a new iPod or cd player for my truck or maybe more memory so I can upgrade that backup PC to 1GB!

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