Welcome to Cover Art! A section of the site where we look at a retro video game’s box cover art and briefly discuss it’s gameplay and legacy.
Super Mario Kart was both developed and published by Nintendo for the SNES. Directed by Super Mario World & Pilot Wings staff, it was released for the US in 1993.
Easily one of, if not the best racing game for the Super Nintendo, Super Mario Kart pits your favorite Mario characters against each other in crazy races. Super Mario Kart was notable for it’s blend of cartoon styling and early 3D graphics utilizing the SNES’ Mode 7 graphics effect. It also allowed players to use power ups which ranged from weapons to speed boosts inside various familiar and new race courses. Since then it’s continued through a series of sequels on various Nintendo consoles, except the Wii U (cheap shot, I know).
There have been several rumors over the last decade pertaining to a true sequel to Nintendo Gamecube exclusive Eternal Darkness: Sanity’s Requiem, but with the current sad state of the original developers, Canadian based Silicon Knights, most of these rumors have been dismissed, and none have had any real evidence emerge to solidify them as more than just rumors. That all changes today with the announcement of a “spiritual successor” to Eternal Darkness, in the form of a crowd funded new title called Shadow of the Eternals being developed by Precursor Games. While the details of the game are still very vague, with the website counting down to a full reveal slated for this upcoming Monday, we were able to get a glimpse of the teaser trailer. We’ll be honest and say we’ve never even heard of Precursor Games prior to today, and unfortunately not a lot of information is to be found about them online either, but the teaser trailer does strictly stated that this game is coming from “THE CREATORS OF ETERNAL DARKNESS,” and that’s nothing but good news. In fact IGN has confirmed through Twitter that Dennis Dyack, head honcho of Silicon Knights will be directly involved in this project.
For those not in the know, Eternal Darkness: Sanity’s Requiem was originally released on the GCN in 2002 as a Nintendo published title. In fact it was the first M rated title to be published by the Big N themselves, and ended up with an average aggregate score of 92/100 on Metacritic. Eternal Darkness was really a unique, and admittedly very creepy, experience. It is a third person survival horror/action game in which the modern day main character, Alexandra Roivas, is investigating the mysterious death of her grandfather in a “mansion filled with secrets,” of all places. The game is unique is multiple ways, first of which is that the bulk of the gameplay takes place in “the past” with you constantly playing as different historical characters while reconstructing the story The Tome of Eternal Darkness, and some kind of battle between “The Ancients,” which are basically occult like deities. Some examples of some the characters you will play as progressing through the story include a Roman Centurion, a Cambodian slave girl, a Persian Swordsman, an American colonial era doctor, and even a Canadian Firefighter in the first American/Iraqi War. As side from the unique settings and characters, hat really set Eternal Darkness: Sanity’s Requiem apart was the unique ”Insanity Meter,” basically you started with a full amount of sanity but as you progress through the game the bar depletes. Being seen by enemies or getting injured both slowly deplete you sanity meter, while pulling of finishing moves will allow you to refill the bar. The catch here is that the lower the bar becomes the more “INSANE” you character will become. This unique gameplay twist was utilized very well in Eternal Darkness, and Silicon Knights with Nintendo‘s input really pushed the boundaries if what could be excepted from games at the time. As the playable character becomes more and more insane the game takes twists that are wholly unexpected, and the fourth wall between the video game and the real life player is truly blurred. As an example, I remember one night back in the early 2000s playing this game, with a fairly low sanity meter, and when I went to save the screen went dark and prompted an error stating that the game save had been deleted, something that will unease any gamer’s stomach out after pouring hours on end into a fairly difficult game, and after a few seconds of hanging there and freaking out in error limbo the game simply returned to normal. Other examples include walking your character through a door to find that the room on the other side is completely upside down, or that the door you walked through lead you back to exact spot in which you entered it, sometimes your characters head will randomly fall of, or sometimes your controls would have a mind of their own. While I could sit here for hours on end spouting out more and more examples of ways in which Eternal Darkness really added a sense of Insanity to the player, I fully understand that the concept of the game of something that must be experienced in order to really grasp the immersion it provides.
Whether Shadow of the Eternals is going to use those same gameplay concepts or not is not known at this time, but coming from the standpoint of someone who played and enjoyed the original, I don’t see how Shadow of the Eternals could succeed without those elements.
As of now no release dates or platforms have been announced, but we know for sure this one is not being published by Nintendo, which basically leaves all the options on the table. Though you can erst assured that we will be updating you as this project progresses along, because it is something we are very much so looking forward to hearing more about.
More information has been revealed via NeoGaf from a cache of the Precursor Games website via Google. Check out what was found below…
When Detective Paul Becker is called to one of the bloodiest gang massacres in Louisiana state history, only two survivors remain from a brutal conflict between two rival cults. As Becker begins his interrogations of the suspects, their combined recollections will uncover the truth about the ‘Ancients’.
Shadow of the Ancients is a sequel to the critically acclaimed Eternal Darkness: Sanity’s Reqiuem. Featuring an ensemble cast of heroes and villains, the game will span over 2500 years of history throughout Egypt, England, Hungary, and the United States. Players will question the perception of reality as they try to balance the mechanics of combat, magick, and sanity events to progress through the adventure.
Shadow of the Ancients will take players on a memorable journey throughout time; weaving historical fact with disturbing fiction to create an experience unlike any other.
How long is each episode? Each episode will be approximately 2-4 hours of gameplay.
When do you plan to release? Q3 2014.
What platforms will Shadow of the Ancients be on? We will be focusing on the PC and Wii U platforms. Other platforms may be added in the future.
Why no Kickstarter Campaign? We would love to do a Kickstarter, but currently Kickstarter is only open to companies that are in the US or UK. We hope that we can work with Kickstarter in the future to make this option a reality.
However, by integrating the community into the development of the game, we can centralize our site with our crowdfunding system to manage this properly. Upon pledging on our site, you will be granted a Forum Ribbon to our Official Development Forums, where you can share your ideas and feedback about the creation of the game. It does not matter whether you sign up for the forums before, or after pledging – our database will recognize you.
Shadow of the Ancients will be an episodic series, and to complete the first episode and continue production on future episodes, we need approximately 1.1 million dollars. Any money raised beyond this will contribute to future episodes, additional characters, in-game perks, and additional platforms. The more money that we raise, the more we will deliver based on what our fans want.
BOUND SUPPORTER LE ($50) includes the following: Everything from Sane Supporter; Shadow of the Ancients Season 1 (Episode 1-12, two free episodes); Access to ‘Edward’s Secret Study’.
Receive the entire first season of Shadow of the Ancients (twelve episodes). Each episode features at least one playable character, access to a variety of new play mechanics, historically accurate weapons, locations and new magick.
Since this is a cached version of the developer’s site, these details could be wrong and premature. However, if they are true, this tells us quite a bit about Shadow of the Eternals. Particularly that it will be for Wii U & PC with a release date some time late in 2013.
In yet another shining example of why fan communities are awesome, The Exploding Rabbit has announced their next project: Super Mario Crossover 3.0. It crosses the paths of various NES classics like Super Mario Bros, Metroid, Legend of Zelda, Blaster Master and Castlevania in one giant Super Mario style game. This goes beyond just being a simple hack, rather it’s a full game epic with brand new power ups and gameplay.
Check out the preview trailer for Super Mario Crossover 3…
Super Mario Crossover 3 will feature characters from various NES games and it’s levels are being modeled after Super Mario Bros. Special as explained by Jay Pavlina, owner of Exploding Rabbit…
“Finally, we’re going to have more levels. We decided to take the levels from an obscure Mario game called Super Mario Bros. Special. It is a pretty weird game that even has some new items and enemies. Playing the game is an absolute nightmare because it’s on an old Japanese computer and it has many technical limitations. Now that it’s playable in SMBC, it can finally be enjoyed like other Mario games.”
You can play the previous version SMC on the Exploding Rabbit website. It’s quite fun and impressive how each game’s various elements were incorporated. Super Mario Crossover 3 looks to be even more ambitious.
Coming up this year is a tactical RPG for the 3DS, Project X Zone, however in Japan it came out back in October of 2012. This game, which is being published by Namco Bandai Games, will feature characters from three major video game publishers… Capcom, Sega, and of course Namco Bandai. It also seems to have anime styled cut scenes. Project X Zone is a follow up to Namco x Capcom (2005), and it will be featuring over 200 characters. These characters include, but aren’t limited to..
Ryu, Ken, and Chun-Li from Street Fighter (Capcom)
X and Zero from Mega Man X (Capcom)
Jin and Xiaoyu from Tekken (Namco Bandai)
Kite and BlackRose from .hack (Namco Bandai)
Akira and Pai-Chan from Virtua Fighter (Sega)
Ulala from Space Channel 5 (Sega)
Project X Zone sounds pretty epic, but I have two questions.
WHY IS THIS COMING OUT ONLY ON 3DS?
WHY ISN’T THIS A FIGHTING GAME?
I mean seriously what the hell. When I heard about this I expected a fighter, now I can’t say I dislike RPG or the tactical sub genre either… But seriously. You had a chance to make a bad ass fighting game and didn’t. Then, you go and throw it on the 3DS, but I honestly look forward to this. Also, I noticed that this game hasn’t really gotten any press in the U.S., which is pretty bad for the sales point of games. Either way, I’m looking forward to Project X Zone. I’m excited to see characters like Arthur (Ghosts’n Goblins), Frank West (Dead Rising), and Hsien-Ko (Darkstalkers) in a new game, yay for crossovers.Project X Zone has a set release date in North America for June 25, 2013.