Fan Made Tagged Articles RSS Feed | Fan Made RSS Feed on en Launch Media Network Super Mario Odyssey Fanworks Are Already Blowing Us Away Wed, 08 Nov 2017 15:09:49 -0500 KatherineZell

As Nintendo continues to release consistently top-rated Mario games, the fandom for Mario only grows. Within that fandom are a lot of artists creating wonderful content. Take the gorgeous header image for this article; that was created by DeviantArt user VegaColors. The Odyssey is such a wonderful ship, and that blue sky makes me want to fly right into Tumblr user p1aceho1der's recreation of the Sand Kingdom:

Sand Kingdom

After this, maybe I'll run into arkestar's Pauline in New Donk City.


Or discover Pauline has saved Princess Peach already, bringing this alternate ending by DeviantArt's theskywaker to fruition.

Peach And Pauline

Pauline sure is somebody's 1-Up girl.

Speaking of Pauline, New Donk City and Frank Sinatra inspired this wonderful piece by Manguinha, also on DeviantArt.

Mario Odyssey in the New Donk City

Mario holding Cappy instead of a cigarette is nice and kid-friendly. Cappy is just all around great, and this version of that nearly iconic picture of Mario with Cappy floating above him is probably one of the cutest things I've seen. 

super mario odyssey

That was by DeviantArt user Rainmaker113, who has a whole folder dedicated to adorable Mario photos.

Speaking of adorable, look at this Cappy and Tiara by Diana-del-Barrio.

super mario Odyssey - cappy and tiara

Unfortunately, those are not for sale from her. Although Cappy can easily be found on ThinkGeek and other websites, but not Tiara. It kind of makes me want to cry that a little bit of googling does not turn up a Tiara for sale.

Wedding Princess Peach

Though if I looked like Enmanuelart20's version of Peach crying when I cried, I would cry all the time. But I don't, so I might instead want to just become really tough and never cry. Maybe like Darksilvania's Mariosaurus Rex.

Mariosaurus Rex

Or Bowser by omegalife, also DeviantArt.

Pimp Koopa - Mario Odyssey

Now that we're on the topic of bad guys, here's Harriet, one of the Broodals (Bowser's wedding planners), by risenshiner from Tumblr:


Those Broodals do their best to keep Mario away from Bowser and Peach, so at least Bowser can happily get married, but I think Tumblr's beetlebaine does a much better job than the Broodals at putting the giant Koopa and beautiful Princess together:

Bowser & Peach

HonoluluJoe on DeviantArt (lukevalentineart on Tumblr) also does a good job putting those two together in the alternate ending way:


But I think most of us just want this sort of ending by windpriest from Tumblr:

Mario and Peach

Thank you, artists! All us non-artists look forward to seeing more and more of your wonderful work!

What do you think of these? Have you seen great fan art inspired by Super Mario Odyssey? Let us know in the comments!

Waiting for the Metroid 2 Remake? Try AM2R. Mon, 31 Jul 2017 07:00:01 -0400 Will Dowell

Metroid Samus Returns, a remake of Metroid 2: Return of Samus, is coming to the 3DS this September. Considered the black sheep of the Metroid series, the original Game Boy release aged poorly due to the technological limitations of the handheld. With a new remake on the way, fans are excited to explore the world of SR-388 once again.

For those who can't wait for some Metroid action, there is a fantastic fan game already available for you. AM2R, which stands for Another Metroid 2 Remake, recreates Metroid 2: Return Of Samus with Super Metroid style gameplay.

While the overall objective of AM2R is the same as the original -- kill all of the Metroids -- the difference in quality is astounding. Samus controls fluidly and has multi-directional shooting that makes combat satisfying and clean. Navigation has improved with a tighter jump and the ability to navigate tight ledges. Most importantly, AM2R has a detailed map, allowing the player to track exploration throughout Planet SR-388. All of this was lacking to some degree in the original release. 

In addition to better navigation, many small inconveniences have been ironed out in this remake. For example, save points now restore health and ammunition, removing the need to grind or backtrack to regain items. Additionally, weapons stack, allowing you to gather weapons without the fear you lost an important item.

These new abilities and advantages are put to the test with the increased danger of the Metroids. In the original release, the Metroids barely put up a fight and were boring, but now they're dangerous and challenging. AM2R forces players to think on their feet and master the controls. Admittedly, some fights may feel unfair due to the low amount of invincibility frames, but those frustrations are overshadowed by the engagement seen in these fights.

Metroids are not the only dangerous foes in this remake. Powerful new bosses have been scattered throughout the world, testing the player's mastery over Samus' abilities. To handle these fights, players must use all of their weapons and items, including future series staples such as Super Missiles and Power Bombs.

However, what turns this from a fun remake into a must-play is the overhauled world. While AM2R continues the linearity of Metroid 2, each individual area feels interconnected and satisfying to explore. While the original made backtracking a chore with indistinguishable environments, AM2R makes each part of its world distinct and recognizable. This exploration is further enhanced with all new areas that utilize Samus's new arsenal. These added environments allow returning players to become lost in a once familiar alien world.

While the original's pea green world was impressive for its time, AM2R blows it out of the water with visuals that rival Nintendo's best. Every screen conveys the alien atmosphere that made Metroid so interesting to explore. AM2R understands how to update a game's art style while still providing the core engagement.

And the best part is that it's all free. There are some glitches here and there, but fans have continued to patch the game. While Nintendo has taken down the original source, it is still possible to download the game off of other websites. Not only is AM2R a great fan game, but it rivals the games it sought to imitate. Metroid Samus Returns will have to work hard to compete against this fantastic remake.

Super Mario Odyssey's Theme is Great, But These Mario Covers are Better Mon, 03 Jul 2017 19:00:01 -0400 Michael Dellapi


Super Mario Bros. 3: Overworld 1 Acapella

Smooth McGroove

Smooth McGroove has over 1.8 million subscribers on YouTube for his acapella covers, thanks to his magnificent vocals and equally magnificent facial hair. His cover of this Super Mario 3 tune provides the same sensation of hearing the iconic theme for the first time, while still feeling totally fresh. The high-pitched vocals and swingy beat create an immediate earworm, and may very well be some of Mr. McGroove's best work. 




All of these covers are successful because they don't stop at just mimicking the original soundtrack from classic Mario games. Instead, they move beyond the point of imitation and reflect something about the people that make them. From island beats to metal tracks, each cover also underscores just how influential the Mario series continues to be for a number of inspired musicians.


What are some of your fan-made Mario song covers? Let us know down in the comments! 


Super Mario Bros Meets Metal


331Erock is easily one of the most famous guitarists on YouTube, and this Super Mario Bros cover serves as a reminder of why. He's known for completely adapting songs from TV, film, and games alike into intense masterpieces.


Over the course of this particular cover, 331Erock plays themes from all across the first level of the NES title and is able to make it completely his own. Killer guitar solos and heavy riffs somehow never feel out of place as the musician creates something that nearly rivals the original in terms of its distinctiveness. 


Super Mario Athlete's Rag Air Platform

Tom Brier

Tom Brier performs this classic tune from Super Mario World while seeing the sheet music for the first time -- and executes it perfectly. He even gives it a stronger sense of ragtime style, probably from never hearing the original song before. However, this combination allows for an equally interesting cover to come about.


At the end of the cover, Tom Brier goes on to perform the song even faster with equal ease. "Piece of cake."


Super Mario Sunshine: Delfino Plaza


Super Mario Sunshine has an audio-visual style unlike any of the other Mario games -- and the cover above shows exactly why the GameCube classic stands out. Many of the instruments used are never featured in other titles simply because they are so emblematic of the game's island theme.


User SquidPhysics plays each instrument in this cover, and captures the holistically joyous tone of the game with each strum of his ukulele. 


Mario 64: Dire Dire Docks

VGM Acoustic

Dire Dire Docks is among the most relaxing levels in all of Mario 64 -- at least on an auditory level. Tom Winters capitalizes on the soothing tones of the game perfectly, playing all of the instruments that are used throughout the score using just an acoustic guitar. The result is positively beautiful.


It's practically a lullaby for those familiar with the Nintendo 64 title. 


The new theme for Super Mario Odyssey is nothing short of stellar, embracing a musical styling that has never been explored by a Mario game before. The most evident change in style is the fact that this theme has vocals -- and incredible ones at that. The theme feels perfectly at home in any Broadway musical, reflecting the game's New York inspirations.


But as good as this new theme is, there are some other iterations that give it a serious run for its money. There are a number of Mario covers by fans that rival this masterpiece -- and in the next few slides, we're rounding up some of the best.

5 Times Nintendo Has Stopped Fan Projects Tue, 27 Jun 2017 13:00:58 -0400 eleccross


Lots of fans have tried to create something great with Nintendo's IPs, and many of them have succeeded in some capacity. But nothing gold can stay, and more often than not the Big N has stepped in to protect its brand -- even from the fans who love it most. But if we're being honest, it's probably just because Nintendo wants to protect the franchises it has worked so hard to cultivate, and ensure that those franchises can grow and change in the future to please old fans and bring in new ones. 




What Nintendo fan projects have been your favorites over the years? Are there any currently underway that you're hoping doesn't catch a C&D from this iconic company? Let me know down in the comments!


Zeldamotion: A Link To The Past (2015)


Okay, so Nintendo didn't exactly put a stop to this particular project. But its fan base certainly did.


Zeldamotion was an animated YouTube series set to make The Legend of Zelda: A Link To The Past into a full on animated adventure. Originally a motion comic, it was meant to be based off of the manga adaption by Akira Himekawa.


The project got a lot of attention -- so much so that it landed big names like Vic Mignogna (the voice of Edward Elric from Fullmetal Alchemist). Its creators launched a Kickstarter, though they claimed they would go through with making it even without the funds from a crowdfunding campaign -- though the extra funds would help the project go faster.


But before it could be fully realized, the project was cancelled. Nintendo never took any actions against the creators or the project itself. But according to the official statement about its cancellation, Zeldamotion was brought to an end out of respect for the developer and because a fraction of the company's fans had a very negative reaction to it all. 


The team, now called Aeipathy Industries, is currently working on an original visual novel called Rook. It looks to have an interesting style to it that could set it apart from other visual novels.


FullScreenMario (2013)


FullScreenMario is a fan made recreation of Super Mario Bros 1 in HTML5. The game's creator, Josh Goldberg, originally took the project upon himself in order to improve his programming skills. Not only is the game a complete recreation of the original Super Mario Bros, it also contains a level editor and a random level generator. So the possibilities were endless.


But on November 1 of 2013, just a year after Goldberg began building the game, it was taken down due after he received DMCA notices on the official website.


Two years later Nintendo released Mario Maker -- a game that allows you to make and share your very own Mario levels. Goldberg was more than a little suspicious, but he held no ill will. He was just glad that Nintendo finally capitalized on such a simple concept.



The Legend of Zelda: The Hero of Time (2009)


The Hero of Time was a fan movie released in 2009. Based on the synopsis from the official website, the movie was probably an adaption of Ocarina of Time. It got a 4.7/10 on IMDB, which is about what you'd expect for a fan film.


The project started production in August 2004, and made its world premiere on June 6, 2009 in Atlanta -- with several other screenings in New York City, Los Angeles, Germany, and Washington. It was also released digitally on Daily Motion in December of that year.


Soon after that, Nintendo found out about the film and demanded that it be taken down. But eventually the creators and the Big N came to an agreement that they'd allow the movie to run until the end of the year before pulling it.


Another Metroid 2 Remake (2016)


Another Metroid 2 Remake (or AM2R for short) is a fan-made remake of the original Metroid 2: Return of Samus for Game Boy. The project was built from the ground up in Game Maker, and apparently would've played a lot like Metroid Zero Mission.


But unfortunately, just a few weeks after the download was put up for the full game on August 6th, 2016 Nintendo filed a take down request. The creator, DoctorM64, complied with their request and removed all download links, then stopped development entirely.


After Nintendo's E3 presentation this year, it's obvious why the fan project was taken down. A few people online have been enraged by the reveal of Metroid 2: Samus Returns after AM2R's cancellation last year, but the developer himself is excited for it.



Pokemon Uranium (2016)


Pokemon Uranium was a fan made Pokemon game. Following its release on August 6th of last year, it received 1.5 million downloads before it was taken down a week later.


The game takes place in a new region called Tandor region. In it were 150 new Pokemon, unique to Uranium, as well as a new Pokemon type -- the Nuclear type. Some places in the game leaked radiation, which could mutate your Pokemon. Pokemon that got mutated gained the Nuclear typing and became harder to control. It was definitely a mechanic you wouldn't see in a main series Pokemon game.


The game wasn't taken down because of cease & desist orders directly from the developers, but as a precautionary measure after lawyers began hitting the download links with take down notices. But the game is still out there being worked on -- and according to the developers, it's "more alive than ever".



A company like Nintendo, which has been around for a very long time and produced multiple beloved franchises, is obviously going to inspire its fans. And Nintendo's fan base spreads far and wide. They've worked on all sorts of custom projects, from fan art to fan fiction. But some true fanatics with a lot of time and serious resources have gone even bigger and created large scale fan projects. 


Fan projects have run the gamut of Nintendo's IPs, from Mario to Pokemon. And while most of them have been pretty impressive, Nintendo doesn't seem to appreciate them. In fact, the Big N has become sort of notorious for shutting these sorts of projects down -- like they did with these next five fandom-driven endeavors.

9 Amazing Pieces of Overwatch Fan Art You Can Buy For Your Battle Station Wed, 17 May 2017 06:00:01 -0400 Jerline Justo


Dad 76 on Duty!

By riadoodles

Remember how much we love the "Dad 76" headcanon that took over social media after Overwatch was first released? Well, let's bring it back to with this piece by riadoodles. She shows her love for the craze by creating this piece, where the ex-agent is calling Reaper for help while holding his kids, D.Va and McCree.


Because of her simplistic yet adorable style, this rendition of Dad76 is sure to give Overwatch fans a smile. Fans can purchase this on her Redbubble store as either a poster or a phone case.




There you have it! From College D.Va to Dad 76, these nine fan made prints will bring a sense of personality and sweet Overwatch flair to your room.


So get out there heroes! Build up your battle station into something amazing.


The Badass Talons

By Alex Chow

If you love the Talons, this print is just for you. Alex Chow uses her digital art skills in this piece to create a paint-wash style that outlines each Talon's features. With its coldish color scheme, he takes these villains and turns them into badass characters to satisfy every Talon fan.


This piece is available at Chow's Etsy store, where you'll also find pieces that features other Overwatch heroes like Mei and McCree. 


Reinhardt Wants You!

By AstroBunny

Need a push to win a match? Astrobunny replaces Uncle Sam with the indestructible Reinhardt to produce this piece, giving Overwatch players the motivation that they need to stick with the payload.


The overall design is both funny and provoking for any gamer who's tired of preaching the gospel of staying on the payload. Fans can purchase this print at Astrobunny's Redbubble store, along with other designs and prints from other video games and pop culture references.


"Sorry, Hanzo!" - From Overwatch Ladies

By Rob Porter

Some Overwatch fans just have that one Hero that they cannot stand -- and for Rob Porter, it's Hanzo.  But instead of purging his dislike through gameplay, he uses it artistically by showing off the Overwatch ladies as they take down Hanzo.


Porter also mentions that this piece is inspired by a Capcom freelance artist named Bengus, whose style he somewhat imitated in order to create this amazing piece. If you want to buy this for yourself, you can purchase it at his Inprnt store.


Down Time with D.Va.

By Gloria Diianni

If fans could get a glimpse of D.Va's room, Gloria Diianni imagines it would be like this -- decked out with posters of other Heroes' symbols, a South Korea flag, and the famous K-pop band 2NE1 on her walls. Diianni's pastel color schemes and angled art style makes this fan art pleasing to any D.Va's fans.


Fans can purchase this print on her Inprnt store, as well as another piece that showcases Jinx from League of Legends. For more artwork by Dilanni, you can check out her blog.


Which Class Are You?

By Joan Chung

Sometimes, fans just want a complete showcase of all the awesome Overwatch heroes. And using an edgy traditional Japanese art style, Joan Chung has produced a complete set of each Overwatch class tier -- offense, defense, tank, and support.


Each piece shows off the characters' battle stance and personality in a uniform way. Free, loose lines and bright color streaks make this collection unique and eye-catching.


This collection can be purchased individually or as a whole set on her Etsy store, where she also creates artbooks and acrylic charms from TV and anime shows. 


A Widow's Kiss 

By adrawer4ever

Widowmaker may be a deadly sniper, but adrawer4ever's art piece brings out a softer side of this hero with a bubbly yet detailed art style. The teal and pinkish background creates a nightlife mood -- and with eyes like that Widowmaker fans can only adore and admire her.


This print is available at adrawer4ever's Inprnt store for fans to purchase. You can also check out more of his artwork on Instagram.


Eating With the Shimada Brothers 

By mstrmagnolia

Instead of watching these Shimada brothers fight, fans love to see these two heroes act like siblings. Mstrmagnolia brings their relationship to life by producing this piece with the brothers eating a traditional Japanese meal.


Because this artist has captured Hanzo and Genji both in detail and personality, Overwatch fans can only smile as they look at this artwork. This piece can be purchased at mstrmagnolia's Inprnt store, where he also creates artwork for other games like Final Fantasy XV and Metal Gear Solid.  


Defend the Payload!

By Tom Furber

Time for some action! This Overwatch piece features Winston, Mei, D.Va, Pharah, Mercy, and Widowmaker, all defending the payload against the opposing team. With Tom Furbur's comic book art style, fans can definitely feel the action pop out.


Gamers can purchase this print at Furber's Inprnt store and check out his other work, which features Marvel superheroes and other video games, like Dishonored 2 and Mass Effect


Angelic Mercy

By ox-miruku from Animus Rhythm Illustration

The savior of Overwatch  is looking as majestic as ever in this beautiful illustration. Ox-miruku, an artist from Animus Rhythm Illustration, created this Mercy art piece, showing off this support Hero's grace and beauty with the dark reddish background and a guardian-like pose. 


Fans can purchase this illustration their Etsy store, which also features more merchandise from anime shows and other games, like Fire Emblem Awakening and Final Fantasy.


Hey Overwatch fans -- are you moving into a college dorm, but don't have decorations to fill your space? Feel like your gaming den is lacking that little bit of personality it needs? Sounds like you should pick up some awesome fan-made art from your favorite arena shooter to spruce up your space.


These pieces of artwork provide a sense of style and uniqueness that can satisfy your needs and make any room look awesome. These artists are flaunting their love for Overwatch, and fans can purchase these pieces on sites like Etsy, Redbubble, and Inprnt to share in that passion for colorful gunplay. 

If You're a Fan of Knights of the Old Republic, You Should Be Excited for the Apeiron Mod Fri, 05 May 2017 08:00:01 -0400 Nick Lee

Complete with new assets for a reboot, Poem Studios has been in the process of recreating Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic in a remaster called Apeiron. The 2003 game of the year is still a favorite among Star Wars gamers and those who want to relive the trials of Bastila, Malak, and Revan with new content, worlds, missions, items, and companions.

The development of the game can be divided into two main areas, recapturing the original magic of Knights of the Old Republic and also taking new liberties with the classic. So when thinking about KOTOR, true fans should be excited for what Apeiron is doing for the vanilla version of the game.

Apeiron Honors the Original KOTOR

True to the original game, Poem Studios is planning on providing all the original content and more within Apeiron. This, of course, includes KOTOR's original missions, story, and characters. In order to play Apeiron, gamers will need a copy of the original game since the original music and audio files are being used in the mod.

And Poem is making some great progress, with the latest update to the mod being released only weeks ago.

What's Actually New in Apeiron?

Poem Studios has promised that the Apeiron mod for Knights of the Old Republic will include "added content, new worlds, missions, HUD, inventory, items, and companions."

Developed with Unreal Engine 4 version 4.15, along with several other programs for textures, animations, and assets, the project is set to add future developers, but currently, fans can volunteer as the project continues to grow.

Unfortunately, there's been no mention of how the studio plans to write stories for new missions nor are there any voice actors associated with the project yet. The mod is set to be one of the few created only for fans while incorporating them as well, but hasn't illuminated how this will be done.

Why Believe The Hype?

Gamers who loved the original KOTOR should be excited for the mod as it adds to the EU demand fans have longed for, while also extending the original favorite. While adored, vanilla KOTOR has definitely suffered in the graphics department, so updated graphics and assets will make the game feel far more real than any Star Wars game on the market right now.

Even when compared to the spiritual successor of the KOTOR franchise, Star Wars: The Old Republic, the game still had better reactions with both its story and original characters.

Further, the failings of SWTOR can finally be answered by this impressive reworking. Though the mod has been in development for over a year, gamers should keep a watchful eye on the numerous dev streams and images that keep popping up for the mod. While only glimpses, these images and live streams show us the massive attention to detail and from-the-ground-up work that is being done to recreate the game fans have so long adored.


Poem Studios, in conjunction with fans of KOTOR, are creating a dream come true for the original Knights of the Old Republic franchise, one that never got its long-awaited third installment. Fans need to keep a watchful eye by following along the journey toward this mod as it recaptures the great fun and beauty of the original, while adding something new along the way. 

15 Fan-Made Overwatch Skins that Blizzard Needs to Make Immediately Mon, 17 Apr 2017 12:00:02 -0400 Jerline Justo


15. Monster Hunter McCree

By Red-Sinistra

The Overwatch fans may saw this skin around the internet, but fans desperately want this skin in the game, especially for the Halloween event. Red-Sinistara turn this cowboy into a vampire, werewolf, and demon killing machine with his gun, crossbow, and stakes.


What are you favorite fan-made skin? Let's us know in the comments!


14. Los Muertos Sombra

By NorseChowder

What if Sombra stayed with the Los Muertos organization? Well, NorseChowder gives Sombra a new edgy skin with a mohawk hairstyle as well as the markings of skull and bones.  With a interesting backstory, this skin definitely should be available to Overwatch fans.


13. Solider 1778

By Sylvain Decaux

Going back into history, Decaux takes this soldier into the American Revolution with a long blue and red coat and a wooden gun with golden markings on the side. This artist mixes both history and future, creating this skin!


12. Botanist Symmetra

By Disteal 

Instead of working with high advance technology, why not create and control plants? Inspired by another fan-made skin, Disteal gives Symmetra this organic look with deadly turret plants and flower teleporters.


11. Hellspawn Reaper 

By FonteArt

This skin takes Reaper original look into a new level with more fear and dread by how it includes devil horns and spiky red armor. FonteArt even adds flames at the end of his Reaper's coat, adding on the hellish concept.


10. Magician Genji

By Tauxy

ALAKAZAM! Tauxy turns this samurai hero into a magician with a cane as a weapon and cards as shurikens. With this new skin, fans would have a magical time, playing as Genji during battle.


9. Krumpus Junkrat

By coconutmilkyway

Sticking with the winter wonderland season, coconutmilkyway shares this Krumpus skin concept on Tumblr, bringing out the mischievous and scary side of Junkrat. The concept comes with bell bombs and sharp thorns and teeth, adding to the horror of the Christmas season!


8. Snow Angel Mercy

By Peter Burroughs

Mercy may be the guardian of Overwatch, but to Burroughs, she is the snow angel of winter. Referencing winter European fashion, this artist shows off Mercy winter fashion with hooded coat, sharp ice wings, and healing lantern.


7. D.Va: Dragon Skin

By botslim

Botslim takes D.Va's cute and bright color skin into a 180 degree turn with this dragon skin, bringing an edgy and dark side. The color scheme and sharp edges of D.Va's robot makes fans want to play as D.Va to see how this skin turns out in a match.


6. Fantasy Widowmaker

By generalthunderbat

If you change an online multiplayer first person shooter game into a fantasy RPG, you would get this skin. Generalthunderbat shares this concept, replacing on Widowmaker's sniper gun into an old-fashion bow and arrow.


5. Vintage Tank Zarya

By Christian Schob

With this skin concept, Zarya turns into a fearless badass that no player wants to mess with. The leather shoulder patch and the cross scar on the forehead would amaze any fan!


4. Faerie Zenyatta

By Faebelina

Faebelina created a complete set for a fairy type skin for each Overwatch character, but this skin for Zenyatta stands out the most. Instead of the metal body, this artist replace Zenyatta's metal body with a wooden one and a leafy beard, pulling of the forest fairy look!


3. Crusader Reinhardt

by Paxilon

If Blizzard ever does an medieval themed event, this should be Reinhardt's skin, for sure! With the large battle ax, the white cape, and red crosses, Paxilon's skin appeals to any medieval fanatic.


2. Cyborg Hanzo

By effektdmentality

What would happen if Hanzo turned into a half man and cyborg hero instead of Genji? Effektdmentality brings it to life with an bow as an arm and energy arrows. With a skin like this, who wouldn't want to see Cyborg Hanzo in action?


1. Clock Work Tracer

By profs-artblog

English top hat, Big Ben clock design, and fancy trench coat--these elements are definitely fitting for Tracer. Profs-artblog's details like the golden embroidery on her chest and old-fashion gun pulls this whole skin together. It surprises me that Blizzard didn’t include this skin in the game -- not yet, anyway.


The Overwatch community has grown tremendously since the game was released. Fans feel so immersed in the game -- and relate to its characters so well --  that they created their own artwork to show their appreciation.


These fan artists make their own ideas and inspirations come to life and share them with the Overwatch, community. While creating new characters to awesome comics, fans imagine and create their own skin concepts for their favorite Overwatch characters.


Here are some of the best fan-made skins that should be part of Overwatch!

These Video Game Artists Make Your Fandom Game Look Weak Thu, 08 Dec 2016 03:00:02 -0500 Clayton Reisbeck


I think it's safe to say that I have an unhealthy addiction to just about all things Undertale, and I think the biggest thing fueling that addiction is covers of the amazing music from the game, RichaadEB and the work he does on his YouTube channel.


RichaadEB has made a series of metal covers of the big themes from Undertale, and they are earcandy.


If you've been looking to get down on some damn good metal covers of really good video game music, look no further than the Determination album that RichaadEB did with an artist called Ace Waters. Do yourself a favor and check out his YouTube channel. And if you like what you hear, go pick up his album on his Bandcamp page.

Crochet Otaku

I think one of my favorite things to come out of the internet in recent years is Etsy. There's something special about getting something hand-crafted by someone that shares the same love that you do for something. Crochet Otaku is one of those people.


Currently, her Etsy page doesn't have anything for sale but some of the work she has done in the past can be viewed. I never knew that I wanted a crocheted Slowpoke Tail, but now I know that I want a crocheted Slowpoke Tail.

Pokemon Uranium

By now, I'm sure everybody has heard of this game. If you haven't, Pokemon Uranium is a fan-made Pokemon game for PC using the same engine that the GameBoy Advance versions of the original games. Sadly, you can't get ahold of it anymore as Nintendo shut down the game and all official download links. But, if you were lucky enough to get ahold of the game before it was shut down, you'd know that this may be one of the best Pokemon titles you've ever played.


I think the biggest place where Pokemon Uranium succeeds is the fact that it feels like a real Pokemon game. Everything about it feels familiar to the Pokemon series. The battle system remains the same, the exploration that we know and love from the original series is still here, everything that we know and love from that original series can be found in this game while adding some new features to make it feel fresh.


Some of these new additions are new Pokemon types (such as the nuclear type) and blending of types for some completely new Pokemon that the developers created specifically for the game (such as a water/electric type). There are some of the Pokemon that we have already seen in previous iterations of the game but, these new Pokemon are fun to play with and feel like they belong in the world of Pokemon.


While playing the game, I could feel the love of the original series that was poured into the game. This project was truly something special and it's sad that more people won't get to enjoy it.


I was actually introduced to this artist by my girlfriend when she bought a print of the piece you see above back from a convention. I have a soft spot for Undertale fan art, so I immediately fell in love with the piece. After looking up the rest of their work, I happen to adore NightMargin's style.

I think part of what draws me to their work is that it seems that indie games are their focus. Besides a lot of pieces based on Undertale, they have a lot of art based on Hyper Light Drifter, which I found to be absolutely fantastic.

If you want to check out more of NightMargin's work you can check out their Deviant Art page.

Materia Collective

I'm a firm believer that music charms the soul and when we're talking about some of the best fan-made music, Materia Collective should be something you all should know about. Materia Collective is a group of musicians that come together to make video game inspired music. Whether it's covers of the original music or remixes, these folks know what they're doing. They also have a wide range of musicians making music for them. I've heard everything from full orchestral arrangements to metal covers and even electronic pieces.


Now let me tell you that I am a little biased as one of my favorite people in the world happens to be a musician with the Materia Collective. But outside of that, they are still a phenomenal group of musicians that you all should be aware of. If you want to hear more of what they have to offer, go check out their Bandcamp page.


Fan art has become quite the business in the gaming world. Everywhere you look, new artists are always popping up with some type of great work. Just scrolling through a game's Reddit page is almost guaranteed to net you some good looking fan art.

But what about the ones who rise above the rest to go from zero to hero? This list is here to show off just a selection of different artists that make your fandom game look weak.

Five Overwatch Characters That Don’t Exist, But Definitely Should Wed, 02 Nov 2016 08:00:41 -0400 Timothy J. Ralston (TehMadCatter)

If you've played Overwatch, you know it comes with a decent cast of colorful characters. While most of the heroes are just down right perfect, some seem to lack the power that some of the other heroes have, making them less viable options as go-to gunners. Regardless, every in-game character is unique in their own way, bringing different weapons and different abilities to the table to suit basically any play style.

But even so, Overwatch feels like it could use more heroes to join the fight. And for several months now, Blizzard has been teasing fans with a single new hero -- the hacker Sombra. Although fans are getting a little tired of the painfully long lead-up to this hero's release, they're still hoping that she'll be just the first of many other new faces to come. 

Perhaps we'll see more darker characters like Reaper and Black Widow, or perhaps we'll finally get a well balanced healer. (Don’t get me wrong, Healers are great and all, but they're either difficult to use properly, or are so easy to use that it’s painful.)

But we don't know right now what's coming after the Sombra release. So we're taking a look at five fan-made (and otherwise imagined) heroes who aren't currently on the Overwatch roster, but should be. 

5. Rivet

One thing that isn’t common among characters is a melee hero -- someone like Reinhardt with his giant war hammer. And while some think that a melee character could be a bad idea (with some guns blazing towards you), there is one fan-made character that really stuck out.

Rivet was created by ArtStation user Rafael Zanchetin when he was recreating a character he had made with the same name, while also giving a detailed sketch of all of her abilities and moves (My favorite one is called John Cena, when Rivet blinds enemies in smoke).

The reasons why Rivet (or someone like her) should join the Overwatch team are endless. She seems like a fun character to play as and with, she looks like she could really take on someone in a fight, and her weapon and ability design is fantastic.

Plus, she would make a great addition in the Talons.

4. Mackenzie

Medieval characters are fun to play as in almost any game. Wielding a sword, axe, or hammer compared to a weapon that fires bullets has an almost cleaner feeling. So even though we already have one medieval style hero, it just doesn't feel like enough.

Mackenzie, created by Mikhail Mishkin, is a warrior who uses an old-fashioned jousting spear against his foes, with abilities that could make him just as powerful as Reinhardt. To have Mackenzie in the game as an Offense, or even a Tank, would make him a pretty powerful hero.

3. Ota-Kun

D.Va is one of the most antagonizing characters, with her ultimate being able to wipe an entire team, no matter how much health you have. Hana (Commander of the Mech) also has the ability to delete bullets as they are fired at her, and has thrusters that sends her mech flying towards players.

Ota-Kun, a character I thought of long ago, would be a part of Hana’s team long ago when she was still playing eSports -- her second in command if the competition ever came to that. He would be a support character who puts up a shield around the players to heal them, while deflecting bullets off the walls of the shield and causing them to ricochet towards enemy players.

Ota-Kun’s name was just a play on the word “Otaku”, which he used as his username during the competitions. He became great friends with Hana until he was kicked off of the team for cheating. Giving D.Va an old friend-turned-enemy would expand the lore just a bit, and would give players a real reason to feel sorry for her and pity her. Plus, that cinematic trailer would look beautiful.

2. Twinfox

Tracer is possibly one of the most frustrating characters to play against, and just as difficult to use if you don’t know what you’re doing. It seems only a handful of heroes can actually face Tracer head on and manage to beat her.

Twinfox, created by Andrey Ivanov on ArtStation, is a hero who seems as if she could be a rival to Tracer, and even possibly a well-made challenger against Tracer. Twinfox could clone herself as a decoy, but during her ultimate, can clone two more copies to wipe out an entire team.

Twinfox could be more powerful compared to Tracer, and could be someone that players would want to play as to finally take out Tracer with ease.

1. Kid/Doomfist

Now this one is a stretch. Back when Overwatch had its first cinematic trailer, we were introduced to two young boys going to an Overwatch exhibit. One thing that really stuck out to me was that we never saw these two brothers again in anything. Nor had we even learned their names.

The older brother from the trailer, “Kid”, would be amazing to have as a hero, since you could make his backstory heartbreaking. Perhaps his younger brother was lost during a battle in their hometown, causing “Kid” to break back into the exhibit to take Doomfist's gauntlet and fixing it to use himself, becoming the hero his little brother looked up to.

These are just a few of the potential characters that we think would make great additions to the Overwatch team. What other heroes would you like to see make an appearance in the future? Let me know in the comments!

Pirates Online: Dead Games Tell No Tales Sat, 29 Oct 2016 06:57:49 -0400 Capt. Eliza Creststeel

Some players don't take defeat easily. And neither do some pirates apparently.

Originally announced by Disney Interactive in 2005, Pirates of the Caribbean Online was planned to release in 2006 to coincide with the second and third Pirates movies. The MMORPG was set in-between the films, likely being made to help maintain fan buzz as well as be a part of Disney's Online Theme Park.

Players portrayed customizable pirate characters and interacted with NPC characters from the films. The game included a single-player story with cinematic cut scenes, player vs. environment and player vs. player action, sailing, plundering and numerous mini-games.

However, due to multiple delays it didn't open until October 31st of 2007.

Despite the setbacks, a dated graphics engine, some starting bugs and what appeared to be a somewhat unfinished product, Pirates Online was fairly well-received by players and critics.

It won the Game Industry News' Online Game of the Year and a Parent's Choice Foundation Award.

But, long times between updates and fixes, a notably short single-player story, growing problems with player hacks and what was perceived as limited customer support meant more and more pirates hung up their cutlasses.

Those that stayed until the bitter end, however stood loyal before the mast, ever hopeful to what waited beyond the horizon. There were even petitions to try and persuade Disney to let the voyage continue.

Out of the Mouse House

Disney Interactive had created a series of MMO games including the original ToonTown (2003), Pixie Hollow (2008) and World of Cars (2010). However, on September 19th, 2013 - all of them were closed for good. Disney had made the corporate decision to get out of ALL in-house game development. Opting instead to license their properties to other companies.

This greatly reduced their financial risk and obligations while still generating income due to their popular products. 

But, some fans of ToonTown didn't take it lying down and resurrected the game on their own private servers; the most popular being the free-to-play ToonTown Rewritten.

You can read more details about their efforts in this 2014 Bloomberg article, "Disney's Defunct Toontown Remade by Unsanctioned Teen."

Attempts have also been made to bring back the popular Pixie Hollow. And Disney games are not alone. Sure, many games have seen their share of fan-made mods and hacks but quite a few titles have been re-born because dedicated players did not want to see them go.

Notable among them is Black Mesa, the Half-Life hi-res reboot, Thief's Dark Mod and fan favorite GoldenEye Source; which took the original James Bond first-person shooter and built it into a Half-Life engine.

In the three year interim since Pirates of the Caribbean Online closed, several groups have tried to resurrect their own beloved game. Now, two such groups, The Legend of Pirates Online and Pirates Online Retribution seem to have come the closest.

All Hands on Deck!

The process of bringing a dead game back to life has numerous struggles; the coding and programming being just one facet.

Your GameSkinny pirate amazon had a chance to interact with the Legend of Pirates Online and Pirates Online Retribution teams about what's it taken so far. They took some time out to field questions and give feedback.

Eliza Creststeel: To start off, what are your team member's background in game development?

Pirates Online Retribution (POR): "We don't want to disclose too many details for the sake of protecting the identities of some of our staff members. That said, myself, and the co-founder are both Business CIS students at prestigious universities. Two of our developers are MIT students, and the others (as mentioned previously) do not wish to disclose this information."

The Legend of Pirates Online (TLOPO): "Assuming you are asking the experience of all individuals on our staff that are working to create the game, I will start there. Several team members have a solid background in graphics and animation, either because of school, work, or just a hobby. Others have a background in customer support for the same reasons. Many team members enjoy writing and have been added to our Storyline Developer team. The developers all come from all kinds of technological backgrounds. Many of them have a dying passion for Computer Software and/or Hardware and have a natural niche for programming."

EC: Are there any potential legal or copyright issues?

TLOPO: "There is because we have not contacted Disney for permission to copy their game. However, we are doing the best we can to not step on Disney's toes, such as making the gameplay completely free of charge so that we don't profit off of their idea."

POR: "[No.] In fact, Disney encourages emulation projects as it keeps their fan-base in the loop without costing them a penny. Furthermore, two of the original developers for ToonTown have actually joined ToonTown Rewritten.

We hope that in the future, we will be able to convince some of the original POTCO devs to join POR!"

*NOTE: The consensus among groups recreating Disney's MMOs is that as long as their projects are non-profit, the company would not pursue any legal recourse to cease and desist. So far, this has held true.

EC: What are the struggles working on your own time and money?

POR: "It's very challenging at times balancing and managing expectations since this is completely non-profit. We work as hard as we can, whenever we can."

TLOPO: "We have a few members of the team that have volunteered to pay for the expenses. Those members have faithfully been doing so, and have stated that they will long term... Pretty much every member of the staff has to work around school, or work, or family obligations, or a combination of those. Where one staff member is lacking because of these priorities, another will step in and help out."

EC: What did it take for the team to obtain the materials Disney created?

POR: "We had to de-compile the original Pirates Online client. All of the server code was written from scratch, and the vast majority of the client had to be completely reverse-engineered."

TLOPO: "Much of it was obtained thru the files that were downloaded onto one's computer when installing POTCO. This is known as the "client side" of the code. All of the "server side" was written from scratch by our developer team."

EC: Pirates Online was not a huge financial success, but the player base is very loyal, how do you balance satisfying the original players?

TLOPO: "By recreating the game just as POTCO had it. However, in some areas we are making improvements. For example, we are fixing bugs and glitches that Disney never got around to fixing. Also, we are putting a lot of hours into customer support to make sure that the community's questions and emails are answered truthfully in a timely manner."

POR: "We immediately made the game available to everyone without any restrictions. We have already implemented several brand new features that did not exist in POTCO such as factions, dual cutlasses, boarding axes, Jolly Roger Island, and Davy Jones."

EC: Your games will be Free-To-Play, do your teams have any thoughts about developing an original commercial product down the road?

POR: "POR will always be free-to-play. We are currently working on a second project called PO2 (Pirates Online 2) which will be a revitalized version of POTCO made on a newer gaming engine. However, this game will also be free-to-play."

TLOPO: "No. This game is Disney's idea, not ours."

EC: Are there elements in the original game you cannot bring back?

TLOPO: "Some things may take a lot more hours and effort to bring about, but they will be in TLOPO."

POR: "We won't be able to restore your old pirates that you had on POTCO since we do not have access to Disney's Astron or mySQL databases. However, everything other than that will be in POR!"

EC: Also, older versions of Pirates had different versions of islands as well as other elements. Was there anything in the previous versions the team wanted to bring back or might?

POR: "Yes. We intend to bring these back. We intend to have some servers designated for the old islands, and some for the new islands."

TLOPO: "Those are always a possibility. Our goal is to make TLOPO as smooth, and lag-free, and fast as possible. When Disney at some point had two different ways of, say, creating a building, we will most likely choose the one that fits the goal mentioned above."

EC: Will you be able to complete things like The Kraken, which never saw live play? Or Jolly's Island, etc.

TLOPO: "Right now, we are primarily concentrating on creating TLOPO to be just like POTCO was when it closed. [We're adding a new] island containing its very own storyline, new enemies, etc. I am unable to provide more details on it at this time."

POR: "Yes. We intend to implement these things within a few months."

EC: What parts of the original did the team members love most?

POR: "SvS, PvP, Guilds, Sailing, Looting."

TLOPO: "PvP, SvS, quests, looting, and being on the leader boards."

EC: Any parts you didn't like about the original?

TLOPO: "Ha ha, pretty much only those features that are difficult to create code-wise. The team enjoys POTCO as it was just like any other fan, otherwise they wouldn't be here sacrificing their time and money."

POR: "The gaming engine (Panda 3D) is extremely outdated and somewhat obsolete, which makes it hard to find people willing to want to work on the project."

EC: What other games do you team members play?

POR: "ToonTown Rewritten, Elder Scrolls Online, Total War series, etc."

TLOPO: "Quite a few. Star Wars: The Old Republic, World of Warcraft, Lord of the Rings Online, Minecraft, etc."

Give Us That Horizon

Legends of Pirates Online and Pirates Online Retribution were not the only teams trying to recreate their favorite game. Other groups made similar efforts. But, it appears that TLOPO and POR may have made the most progress and continue to move forward.

In fact, players can try Pirates Online Retribution's open Alpha right now. Legends just opened their Beta test. You can find more information on either game at their websites and forum pages:

And if you were a Toontown fan, check out Toontown Rewritten

Do you have a favorite game you would like to see rebooted? Did you play the original Pirates Online? Are you awaiting it's return?

5 Fan-Made Projects that Remind Us Why the Dark Souls Community Is So Amazing Wed, 19 Oct 2016 06:00:01 -0400 Seth Zulinski


We're down to the last few logs to throw on the bonfire, Souls and Soulsettes. With Ashes of Ariandel releasing on October 25th, and only one announced DLC for Dark Souls 3 slated after could be dark times ahead for the Souls community. (But in the meantime, why not try some awesome DS3 builds?)


I believe we can make it through, though. Perseverance is what we do. It's who we are. Going on in the face of adversity is what this series has trained us for, what it has been about, since Day 1. We can survive -- with a little Jolly Cooperation. 


With a community this massive and creative, we're sure we missed something though. So throw down a sign, and be sure to let us know some of your favorite things to have come from the Souls community. 


The Players


Lastly, one of the best things to ever emerge from the Dark Souls community is...well, the community. The dataminers, the lore finders, the blind/speed/challenge runners. The players themselves banding together against FROMSoftware's constant attempts to render us all Hollow -- and banding together to fix the problems FROM hasn't. 


As we went over in our breakdown on Dark Souls 3's DLC Ashes of Ariandel Arena sneak peek (courtesy of Souls streamers), one of the problems that many Invaders, and Aldrich Faithful, and Watchdogs of Farron and even some Blue Sentinels and Darkmoon Blades found in DS3 was the staggering rate of "ganking".


You zone into Anor Londo, see every monster conspicuously deceased, and manage to catch a glimpse of the Host of Embers waving as two of his friends beat you into the ground with Dragon's Teeth. 


Enter the Bloodshades. They're a player-made, player-run "Covenant" built for one solitary purpose -- to make gankers pay the price. With their own uniform, naming conventions, build-guides, and even a covenant Discord channel, the Bloodshades were made by the Parry King himself, Peeve, but staffed by us. 


Whether you embrace the edge or suffer some cringe at the thought, a unit that massive sprung up nearly overnight -- and it's all thanks to us. The players. The community itself. Where FROMSoft failed us (at least until the release of the Arena, hopefully), we prevailed.


All it took was a little Quiet Resolve. 


The Lorebrarians


Despite some recent controversy regarding his content source, it's hard to argue that VaatiVidya isn't a colossal contributor to the content of the Souls community. 


Bits of runs, constant speculation, trailer analysis, and deep dives into the lore of the Dark Souls series -- from blatant guessing to the well researched Prepare to Cry installments -- Vaati has it all when it comes to the lore.


All this has landed Vaati as one of the top names in figuring out what, exactly, has been going on in Lordran, Drangleic, and Lothric while we're busy running about being a murderball of Weapon Arts and magic.


The silky, smooth-jazz tones and warm velvet of Vaati's voice don't hurt, either -- though even those fall a little short of how good the SOULSONGs (a collaborative series between independent musicians and Vaati himself) are. 


The Runners


Of course, if fancifully exploring the deep world of the Dark Souls series isn't quite what you came to watch, the Runners have you covered. 


If it's the blistering fast pace set by the Speedrunning community members like Nemz38, Distortion2 (both of whom have completed Dark Souls 3 in a little over a half an hour as of writing) and LobosJr, some of the timesaves and game-breaking exploits these players manage to find and utilize in an effort to shave every millisecond are almost as impressive as that time you managed to parry your first Black Knight swing.


Of course, if you're looking for a methodical approach, you can always check out Challenge Runners like The EdgeLords -- a collection of some of the most invincible runners around that pride themselves on having completed many Souls games without taking even a single hit.


While not as blazingly fast as the speedrun community, the Challenge runners are just as tense . Every move, every step that the likes of The_Happy_Hobb and Squillakilla take...each one spells the instant end of hours of work if so much as a stray rat attack lands. 


Whether you want to see exactly how fast you can crush a Souls game, or how Dark a run can get with no armor, no shield, no bow, no magic, no death, no rolling, and no leveling...the Runners have done it. Twice. Blindfolded. With a Guitar Hero controller. 


The Explorers


It's hard to touch on just how awe-inspiring the community can be without what may be the real cornerstone behind the Dark Souls' success as a series -- the runs. Most notably, there's blind runs from people that are going to get brutally ReDeaded over. And over. And over. 


While there's at least a handful of really thoughtful, appreciable approaches to the "Dark Souls blind run" library, few are as engaging as the (now pseudolegendary) (mis)adventures of a Let's Player known only as Kay. 


Set against the grim murderfest that used to be considered accessible only to some form of grizzled gaming elite, what started as a joke from her boyfriend turned into a full-on fanbase that watched Kay out-think and outsmart her way through the Souls series so well that she wound up in You Died -- a book exploring both the world of Dark Souls and the community surrounding it. 


Though she's currently on assumed hiatus mid-way through Dark Souls 3, you check out Kay's channel to find all of her intelligent commentary and in-depth exploration, with more than enough content to keep you watching until Ashes of Ariandel drops near the end of October. 


The Creators


Content creator ThePruld may not be Dark Souls specific, but his Italian YouTube channel has certainly put in more than its fair share of work when it comes to world of Lordran. Whether it's the heartwrenching yet motivating "We are the Souls" video backed by Christina Perri's "I Believe", or the comically absurd "When you go Dark Souls with your best mates", ThePruld has managed to make himself a place in the Souls community that slips just enough feels in between the insane misadventures of Lautrec, Solaire, Oscar, and friends to make it all worthwhile. 


If you check out ThePruld's channel, be advised -- there is a little language and content which may be unsuitable for younger souls. 


If there's one thing we've learned from the fearsome Dark Souls series, it's that sometimes things are just better together. With the first Dark Souls 3 DLC Ashes of Ariandel coming up fast, and what may be the final time we Link the First Flame (or, y'know, walk away and leave the world in perpetual Darkness) on the horizon, we've decided to take a moment to look back at not only the series itself, but the very best part about it -- the community. 


Sure, it's hard to top the first time you ever stood victorious over Ornstein and Smough, finally snuffed the last embers of the Fume Knight, or stood toe-to-toe with the very Soul of Cinder. But some wins don't come with an 'Heir of Fire Destroyed' message. Some wins come from jolly cooperation -- from the community itself. Some wins are just existing and creating in these Dark times...


...and we're here with 5 of the best things to ever come out of the Dark Souls community.    


Warning: Amazing things ahead. 

Submissions For Undertale Fan Art Book To Close On Sunday Mon, 10 Oct 2016 11:32:48 -0400 MitchBroYo

Gaming charity Gamers for Good is set to close submissions for their latest charity fan art book on Sunday, October 16th. The book, based on artwork from Undertale, will feature user-submitted fan art and other custom-created content.

The project has the backing of Undertale creator Toby Fox, whose game has already helped inspire many gamers around the world suffering from depression. Gamers for Good's project hopes to similarly remove the 'META' barriers from our culture to get people thinking differently about mental health issues.

“As someone who has dealt with depression and anxiety for most of my life, I know the struggles and the isolation that can come with mental health conditions. With such a personal connection to this issue, I wanted to find a way to find a way to start a public conversation people could join in and not feel so alone. Gamers for Good Presents: UnderTale is that answer we were looking for.”

-- Liz Cooper, President of Gamers for Good

Submissions for the competition have been open for a few months, but the latest update reveals the closing date. A Kickstarter campaign for the publication will then commence on October 18th.

Proceeds from the book will be donated to three organizations: Anxiety Gaming, Take This, and Child's Play.

If you're a budding artist, keen musician, or just have a kick-ass cosplay outfit you want to show off, then you can get involved by submitting your content at the Gamers for Good website. But with less than a week to go, you'd better be quick.

Re:Load and Loverwatch: A New Generation of Fan-made Overwatch Dating Games Wed, 21 Sep 2016 05:39:22 -0400 Stephanie Tang

Mei is bae, D.Va is forever, and the world is one step closer to having that as a reality. I'm not even talking about the SFM wizards behind your favorite porn clips.

As much as Overwatch is all about the combat, a series of story shorts and a number of sources of background story are out there if you're really down to know more. Have your characters' pre-game voice line interactions piqued your interest? Why is Tracer so used to the sight of another copy of herself? Why are Winston and Reaper so feisty with one another? Just how hard can D.Va fangirl if she really puts her mind to it? 

If you're the kind of person who's into ferreting out the answers to these kinds of questions, a little more story and little less Competitive may be just the ticket... and playing a part of it just the icing on the cake.

(Or you could just be in it to romance Daddy 76. No judgment.)

Don't worry. You are not alone.

In fact, the enthusiasm with which the Internet community has embraced this entertaining mix of "for the lulz" sentiment and genuine interest has been nothing short of astonishing. This isn't just one project; there are two fully-fleshed out Overwatch dating sims that have already been launched or are close to launching, and a handful more still in their concept stages. 

This isn't just a case of the trope-y basement-dwelling mouth breather giving the D.Va gremlin a run for her money, drooling over the chance to sex up bikini-clad Widowmakers. As inevitable as the unavoidable shipping wars (are you more a Soldier/Mercy or a Widow/Tracer kinda person?), fans are just drawn to the idea of a more interactive way of getting to know their favorite Overwatch characters. 

And it doesn't get more interactive than deviating storylines. 

Take Re:Load: An Overwatch Dating Game.

It's one of the more talked-about fan-made games that you can currently play through for free. A labor of love and the pet project of a single college student (don't sue them), Re:Load uses official Blizzard assets for its visuals but has concocted a long (and yeah, kinda cheesy) story with a myriad of different ways it can end.

While many of them lead to a rather cheeky kind of romance or sweet, sweet friendship, none of the endings (over 40 different ones in total!) include anything NSFW. Good if you're streaming your adventures on Twitch, maybe not so great if you were looking for something to stick in the spank bank. 

If you ever found yourself randomly teleported into the middle of the original Overwatch base with no explanation, finding a surly Soldier 76 who can fly a very fast jet to the middle of Japan just to have you hang out with his ol' buddy Hanzo may not necessarily be the most logical start of your grand adventure... but it'd be damned entertaining if it were true. 

And that's just what Re:Load is out to give you. 


Meanwhile the (multiple) devs behind the extremely polished-looking Loverwatch are taking their time and also taking the job a lot more seriously. They've got the hefty job of making the story work, and work right.

Set in the golden years of Overwatch, where everything is happy and fluffy bunnies, they also want to be able to keep all the cast together... and canonically, poor D.Va would just be left out of the action stuck in time as a five-year-old. You don't want five-year-old D.Va, do you?

Moreover, where Re:Load runs in a more straight-forward visual novel style, relying solely on click-through text options, Loverwatch tosses in a little more "game" into the mix. As they say: 

The line between visual novel and dating sim can sometimes be a little blurry, but dating sims usually include stats or stat management. If you have an attraction meter or some sort of visible relationship variable which increases or decreases based on player decisions (which Loverwatch does) it can be considered a dating sim. :) 

Which is excellent. There's no talk about who copied who or which did what better and who thought of this-that first. The collective internet has come up with the idea that this could be a hell of a lot of fun, and have the potential to be hilariously funny, and a bunch of people have actually gone and done something about it just for the benefit of everyone else and so far, both projects have managed to rock it.

Here's hoping Blizzard doesn't try to spoil the party any time soon!

Check out this Sick Overwatch Rap by Dan Bull Fri, 01 Jul 2016 11:41:18 -0400 HaruOfTime

Here's Dan Bull's latest rap about the game Overwatch and its 21 playable heroes.

The chorus is mesmerizing, and Dan's rhythm, flow, and rhymes are on point. The music's smooth synth, beat, and drum kick combined with Dan's powerful voice come together to make an all around epic song. According to his Facebook, Dan believes that this is his "best song for ages."

The chorus is sang by Iain Mannix, Veela, and Miracle of Sound. The instrumental was made by Custom Phase and Neal Acree. The video was made by Adam Townsley. The thumbnail art of D.Va is by Kuvshinov-Ilya.

Dan is a British rapper and vlogger and is well known of his video game raps. Dan also does vlogs and raps about the internet and politics. Check out Dan Bull's YouTube channel for more amazing music with sweet music videos. He makes new gaming raps every week. His songs can also be found on iTunes and Spotify.

5 Awesome Pokemon Fan Games to Play While Waiting for Pokemon Sun and Moon Wed, 15 Jun 2016 05:19:21 -0400 HaruOfTime


5. Pokemon Island


Pokemon Island takes a different and refreshing course of adventure by staying away from the old collect "8 gym badges then fight the Elite Four" formula. Instead, the game encourages players to explore the island and capture Pokemon.


There still is a challenge area called the Colosseum, where players can battle five rounds of trainers to earn ranks. As players increase in rank, they will unlock more areas to explore and other services.



The game is completed and has plenty of features, such as 649 Pokemon to catch, a variety of characters to choose to play as, minigames, and more.


You can check out Pokemon Island on PokeCommunity forums.


4. Pokemon Infernal Red and Natural Green


Pokemon Infernal Red and Natural Green (IRNG) are a fanmade remakes of FireRed and LeafGreen (FRLG) that uses the graphic style of Black and White.



IRNG includes many features that weren't in the original FRLG games, such as mega evolutions and fairy-type Pokemon. It even has new story arcs, making it a new experience and adventure from the original FRLG games.


The game is still in its demo stages of development, with more planned features to be added soon.


Check the game out on GameJolt.


3. Pokemon Reborn


Pokemon Reborn is a gen 3 styled fan game that takes place in Reborn City, a once bustling city that is now rampant with crime and disasters. The city is run down, damaged by disaster, poverty, and pollution. 


The game is extremely difficult. You can't just grind your Pokemon to beat the bosses since there are level caps, and over-leveling your Pokemon will cause them to stop obeying.


There are plenty of unique features, such as "field effects," which will change the effects of certain moves, and even empower or decrease the damage of other moves. The developers are also planning on adding 721 Pokemon to the game, and plus some other extra features.


It's an excellent challenge for players who feel that the regular Pokemon games aren't challenging enough.


This game's story was made for a more mature audience. It touches on a lot of dark subjects, such as death and suicide. The bad guys, Team Meteor, are also terrorists that constantly destroy the city and take the lives of others.


While this game is also still in development, there's still over 20 hours of play time in its current release.


Check out Pokemon Reborn on their website.


2. Pokemon Sage


Pokemon Sage is a fan game that is made by 4chan's /vp/ board and uses the graphics style of the 4th gen Pokemon games.


pokemon sage battle screenshot


Pokemon Sage takes place in the Urobos region, which is based on South and Central America.


The game has over 200 custom Pokemon, plus the ability to let your Pokemon walk with you outside of its Pokeball. However, there are no plans to include fairy type Pokemon or mega evolutions.


While the game may be far from done, there is a playable demo, which can be found on the game's wiki.


1. Pokemon Solar Light and Lunar Dark


If you can't wait for Pokemon Sun and Moon, why not play Pokemon Solar Light and Lunar Dark? It's close enough!


Solar Light and Lunar Dark is a fan game that uses uses the same graphics style as Pokemon Black and White.


The game's setting takes place in a new region called Rikoto, and features an impressive number of 368 custom Pokemon.




Although the game is still in development, you can find the playable demo on the Pokemon Solar Light and Lunar Dark forums.


Can't wait for Pokemon Sun and Moon? Need something to scratch that Pokemon itch, but don't want to pick up one of the older main series games?


Well you should try out some of these amazing Pokemon fan games instead! We've compiled a list of some of the best fan-made Pokemon games around. Just please note that some of these games may not be fully complete yet, but they still are fun!


(Note: The gorgeous fan art above is drawn by Arkeis-Pokemon on DeviantArt.)

Nintendo hits creators of Zelda30Tribute with copyright claim Sat, 09 Apr 2016 05:19:14 -0400 StratGamer48

In Febrary 21, 1986, Nintendo released the first Legend of Zelda game in Japan and a few weeks ago, we celebrated its 30th anniversary. A few days ago -- on April 4th -- Zelda fans Scott and Mike published their fan made game Zelda30Tribute online. Their intentions were mainly let fans relive the original Legend of Zelda experience and celebrate the anniversary. However, Nintendo had asked them to remove their content, deeming it copyright infringement. 

The creators complied, but have stated that they still have Zelda30Tribute's codes which they will upload to Github -- a source code management site that allows programmers to share their work with others. This way, players can still check out the tribute.

Zelda30Tribute got half million of plays in a few days but they still respected the request of Nintendo.

This is not the first time Nintendo have accused their fans of copyright infringement. In 2013, Nintendo had filed a "mass claim" against YouTuber's whose videos included clips of their games. This kind of activity can have a negative impact on marketing and public relations for Nintendo as it upsets the fans. 

Undertale's soundtrack has an official jazz remix Sun, 07 Feb 2016 14:36:24 -0500 Jessa Rittenhouse

Indie favorite Undertale just got a jazz remix of its official soundtrack, and it's available for download on Bandcamp. It will also soon be available at other online retail sites.

Remixed and performed by YouTuber insaneintherainmusic, the album is titled Live at Grillby's, and features album art by Dark Darren. Also featured is a guest appearance by Australian video game-themed jazz band The Consouls. 

While the album is fan-made, it has the approval and licensing of the game's creator, Toby Fox, making this an official release.

If the album isn't enough, you can also view videos of the songs' remixes on insaneintherainmusic's YouTube channel -- where he includes links to his sheet music so you can learn to play the remixes yourself.

Have you ever created a piece of art or music to celebrate your favorite game? How do you feel about monetizing fan-made art and music? What other sorts of remixes of the Undertale soundtrack would you like to hear? Share your thoughts in the comments.

Fallout: New Vegas multiplayer mod in development Wed, 27 Jan 2016 16:38:09 -0500 Lad Johnson

Fallout: New Vegas will soon support multiplayer through a fan-made mod. New Vegas: Multiplayer will bring friends (or even foes) into the Wasteland with you. The project is still in an early state, but fans can expect more content in the coming months.

Pause the player, not the game

This ambitious mod has several key differences from the original game. A few of Fallout's key features have been removed/downgraded. Using the Pip-Boy will no longer pause the entire game world. Rather than the game pausing every few seconds while you check stats or change weapons, players accessing Pip-Boy menus will become impervious to all damage. Closing the menu should resume normal function.

More concerning is the use of VATS being completely shut off -- no more slow-motion high damage attacks. Finding a way to install VATS in the game’s final version is being discussed. For now, the feature just doesn’t match with a multiplayer game. Imagine if every raider also had VATS.

This won’t just be Fallout: New Vegas with friends

Regardless, the mod is still promising. The developers are working to give all players an equal amount of influence. The decisions of one player can affect everyone. Killing or pick-pocketing an NPC will have lasting effects for story progression -- you can fail a quest you never started. The developers went on Reddit to discuss this:

The way it works currently is that quests are clientside, they still take place in the world but one player in a location will synchronise entities/NPCs to other players around them. This means that if you entered an area where a quest NPC should be, and someone has previously killed them in the cell (whilst someone is currently in it with you), then you will fail the quest on entry.

Most fans are still lost in the tizzy that was last year’s Fallout 4. This isn’t such a bad way to breathe life into a six-year-old game. Some players will be able to experience the fun sooner than others. Signups for a beta test are available on the developer's official website.

Are you excited for a multiplayer Fallout? Happy to return to New Vegas? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Teaser for The Legend of Zelda: Rising Darkness fan-made movie released Thu, 19 Nov 2015 18:01:56 -0500 Gabriella Graham

With the promises of the first official trailer on the horizon, the team behind fan-made movie The Legend of Zelda: Rising Darkness released a teaser for their ambitious project two weeks ago. The teaser aims to catch viewer's attention and spark their curiosity while the cast wraps up filming.

Watch the video above for ominous narration, brief character shots, genre-appropriate scenery, and fun title graphics. Once you're all caught up, I'll fill you in on the details you've been missing out on.

Start setting expectations. It's healthy, I promise.

Production on this project began back in 2012, but writer, director, and actor Nathan T. Rosseau released an update via the project's YouTube channel Zeldapower924 last month. He announced that filming would be completed by Christmas this year. He hopes to release the full film in 2016, with a handful of new trailers hitting the interwebs in the meantime. The teaser acts as a prelude to all the fandom movie magic.

The Legend of Zelda: Rising Darkness will feature an original script. Fresh characters join traditional stars of the franchise in this adaptation. A game-inspired soundtrack will set the film's mood, so keep your ears tuned for familiar chords.

A dark tale

Given the teaser's heavy tone, it does appear that Rosseau pursued the darker side of Nintendo's The Legend of Zelda series. As revealed in some behind-the-scenes work on the Zeldapower924 YouTube channel, action definitely has its place in Link's fan-adventure as well.

The official website describes the plot of the film:

"A young farm boy named Link sets out for Hyrule Castle with his childhood friend Faronu to request military assistance from Hyrule's army to help guard his village against the increasing monster attacks. However, when he arrives, he learns of the important part he has to play in the demise of the dark lord and the restoration of light to Hyrule. Link, Faronu, and the princess' hand maiden Impa set out on a journey that will take them across vast deserts, through dark forests, and even to different worlds to stop the Dark Lord Ganondorf's terrible reign over Hyrule."

Whether or not the locations will carry the same names, the short video and story summary both appear to nod at the Gerudo Desert and the series' love of forests, allowing viewers to place themselves with familiar landmarks in mind while awaiting more concrete information. 

Cast & Characters

The project's website and Facebook page contain plenty of photos and information. Since I've already got you here, however, I'm gonna feed you some of those details right now. Read on for a list of the cast and characters, both original and traditional.


Actor: Nathan T. Rosseau


Actress: Sarah Hurley


Actor: Owen Hale


Actress: Helaine Hall 


Actor: Matthew Crory


Actress: Maggie Nelson


Actor: Somerset Young


Actor: Justin Haase


Actor: Rudy the horse

* Let the record show that Rosseau technically hasn't confirmed the horse's name, only that Rudy joined the cast. 


If this information hasn't completely sated your curiosity, be sure to check out all the project's official pages. If you missed the links throughout the article, here they are again:

  • Zeldapower924
  • Official Website ZeldaRisingDarkness
  • Facebook
  • Twitter

Following any of those sources promises updates on the film. Rosseau even provides links to other fan-made The Legend of Zelda projects, including Oblivion Rising and Forsaken Fire

How do you feel about fan productions driven by video game series? Quite a few official video game films are already scripted and in the works, but it doesn't seem like Nintendo's jumped on that band wagon just yet. These films may be as close as we get to a full-fledged The Legend of Zelda movie for a while. Thoughts? Concerns? Musings? Share below!

Link and Sora duke it out in ScrewAttack video Tue, 03 Nov 2015 20:38:58 -0500 Gabriella Graham

A YouTube channel took two heroes from separate franchises and tossed them together in a battle of epic (and short-lived) proportions. ScrewAttack threw Legend of Zelda's Link against Kingdom Hearts' Sora earlier this week on November 2nd in an addition to their "One Minute Melee" series.

ScrewAttack often jumps in to settle inevitable "who would win?" debates. This is done through two different web series: "Death Battle" and "One Minute Melee." In a Death Battle video, opponents each give their all to the brawl after grueling research by the series' creators. One Minute Melee ditches research in pursuit of pure whimsy. The new video follows this path of minimal prep-work.

The video opens on Link effortlessly downing Goofy and Donald as Sora comes out of unconsciousness. Despite the lack of research, the very nature of the opening presents a fantastic nod to Kingdom Hearts and the sleepy-headed Sora who awakens to trouble or "sleeps" through a mess of it on more than one occasion. The boy desperately needs healthier sleep patterns (Chain of Memories and Dream Drop Distance, anyone?). Sora's wakefulness marks the beginning of battle.

The fan-made video pays tribute to Legend of Zelda via the setting, as the entire sequence takes place in the Gerudo Valley. While Death Battle would feature far more of the characters' specialties, the One Minute Melee gets the job done with plenty of familiar sound cues from both characters and at least a few signature moves. The end of the match comes shortly after Link's finishing blow, for example, complete with final leap. Sora even accesses his Limit Form from Kingdom Hearts II: Final Mix after classic Kingdom Hearts game mechanics pop up on screen.

A bit of research (just a little!) might have saved Link the embarrassment of yielding his sword in the wrong hand; the hero fights right-handed for the duration of the video. The nerd shame is real.

This video isn't the first on ScrewAttack's channel to star our beloved green-clad hero. Three years ago, Link squared off against Cloud in a ten minute Death Battle that gained more than 8 million views total. Link faired more successfully then, largely thanks to his additional weapons and items.

What do you think of the video's conclusion? What would change in a Death Battle version? Discuss without a time limit in the comments below.