Mario comes to PS3!

Yesterday, we showed you a shit ton of game references in 3D Dot Game Heroes, and those were just the load screens. Yet, we couldn’t help but notice that the game sort of shied away from overt, first-party Nintendo call outs. Could've been a wise move. After all, the game borrows heavily from the Zelda series, and thus probably already skating on thin ice with Nintendo’s defense team... Whatever, that's where we get to step in - legality be damned!

Above: WATCH NOW, before the lawyers make us take it down!

Yes, 3D Dot Game Heroes has a custom character editor where you can assemble a playable piece of copyright infringement all your own, pixel by glorious pixel. We set out to infuse the game with iconic characters from gaming history, and as you’ll find below, the results are quite mixed. While the character editor comes with templates and is by no means difficult to use, there’s no copy/paste or flip functionality, so it can be incredibly laborious. Either way, take a look at our creations below, and we’ll do our best to pass along what we've learned.



What we learned:
Most 8-bit sprites exist in complete defiance of the 3rd dimension. Go ahead stand like Mario for a second…. hurts, doesn’t it?! So, as much as we wanted to see Mario go all 3D, anything other than a flat recreation of the old-school sprite was completely unrecognizable. After a couple of hours of fiddling with every option, all of a sudden we completely understood every design decision behind Paper Mario.

Above: This must be that other castle!

Also, note that short Mario was the only pixel perfect version we could fit into the character creator. We were hell bent on making Donkey Kong using an in-game gorilla template, but we then found that an accurate version was over twice the size of our allotted space!



What we learned:
CIRCLES ARE HARD! And since you’re limited to a specific, even number of pixels, attempting anything circular requires a little bit of preplanning, and often times… math *shudder*. Oh yeah, we also accidentally built him backwards. And we sort of cheated in the video up there. We had to play it in reverse just so it didn’t look like Pac-Man was trying to eat stuff with his ass.

Above: Not Blinkey


Black Mage (Final Fantasy)

What we learned:
The character editor has a tiny arrow you may not see at the bottom of your workspace. This marks which way your character will face. As in, FOREVER! Yeah… we didn’t see that. And once you create your character, there is no way to pivot or turn him around. You simply have to start over from scratch, or crab walking through the game with your custom character.

Above: Black Mage, just hangin' with his dogz


Companion Cube (Portal)

What we learned:
After the frustration of creating two backwards characters, we figured Portal’s cube fatale would be a failproof transition into rudimentary 3D. We were right, and wrong. Once we finished the first of six sides, we stood back to marvel at our handy work, pat ourselves on the back, and high five anybody within earshot... Of course, we discovered you cannot copy/paste pixel patterns within a template. You can copy entire frames of character animation, but we had to custom create all six of the Companion Cube’s identical sides individually... by hand... which is stupid! Either way, it's probably the best of all our custom characters.

Above: This cube cuts like a knife

Unfortunately, that was all we had time for. Got a character you'd like to see made in 3D Dot Game Heroes? Let us know in the comments and maybe we’ll make it for you.

Apr 20, 2010

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