Mods and ROM hacks are a fun part of gaming. Users, usually out of love and passion, create interesting, fun, and sometimes just plain weird and hilarious additions to their favourite games. The idea does really add to games. So, here is a little list of a couple of mods and ROM hacks that I really like. The ones I’m talking about here are some of the favourites of the ones I’m aware of.

 

The Bunny Bomber (Unreal Tournament)

I played a lot the original Unreal Tournament back in the day and it really my introduction to the concept of modding. The UMOD installer system really made it easy to install mods for the game.  A mod that really love from back then is the Bunny Bomber, a weapon mod that’s extremely fun. It replaced the Flak Cannon (a signature weapon of the Unreal series) with a gun that shoots rabbits out of it. Imagine the killer rabbit from Monty Python and the Holy Grail and make it explosive – that is pretty much how it works. The rabbits fire out of the gun until they hit someone or explode on their own. Also if someone is their limited field of vision they will home in on them and attack. Matches are great with the rabbits bouncing around screeching killing people, and things get manic when there are a large number of them around. The Bunny Bomber still holds up and I would like to see something similar newer games.

Unreal tournament Bunny bomber screenshot

Unreal tournament Bunny bomber screenshot

Streets of Rage Except Everyone Makes That Weird Tim Allen Noise When They Die

There’s not much more I can say about this one, and yes that is the actual name. This ROM hack of Streets of Rage 2 changes the sound files for the death of characters and enemies with an odd sound that Tim Allen used to make.  I think it’s the same noise that played at the end of the titles for Home Improvement. It’s just funny to hear that noise coming from all the characters, even the females have the pitch increased on it.

Video from the creator’s (Adrock4) Youtube channel

 

The Strangelove (Unreal Tournament)

Another Unreal Tournament weapon mod, but still a great idea. In UT, there is weapon called the Redeemer. It is a miniature nuke launcher that decimates everyone in the blast. The truly unique thing about it is the secondary fire. It allowed the player to control the rocket as it flies and direct it to a target. The Strangelove makes a big change to the nature of the Redeemer; you can now fly on the rocket. You have full control over it and pressing secondary fire again allows a player to jump off. It also requires fuel so it is possible to crash when you run out. Players can use the Yellow Jacket (a replacement for the Enforcer, the game’s regular pistol) to shoot down rockets. Shooting the Yellow Jacket whilst flying on a rocket is possible as well.  Flying around taking out people on the ground and aerial dogfights a fun part of this mod (especially using the Strangelove Arena option).

Unreal tournament Strangelove screenshot

Unreal tournament Strangelove screenshot

Streets of Rage 2: Puyo Wars

This hack replaced all the character and enemy sprites with characters from Puyo Puyo. If you’re not that familiar, Puyo Puyo is a puzzle game series with a unique cast of characters. Its localised versions started being tied to other franchises with Dr. Robotnik’s Mean Bean Machine and Kirby’s Ghost Trap. The localised game in the series is Puyo Pop Fever, which keeps the original characters. Anyway, this ROM hack is a really good job. The characters animate really well and mostly don’t have those awkward missing animations that a lot character replacement hacks can have. It functions really well and has massive character roster to choose from.

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Streets of Rage Puyo Wars screenshot

Miku the Diva in Sonic the Hedgehog

This is one of the better character replacements for Sonic games. The Hatsune Miku sprite for this one is based on a costume design for the 20th anniversary of Sonic the Hedgehog used in Project Diva 2nd. It plays much like the original Sonic the Hedgehog, although with the inclusion of the Spin Dash from later games. Besides the change in character sprites the level assets have been recoloured to fit the themes of the new stage names (all named after different Vocaloid songs). There are also some slight changes to the level design as well. I like this one over many Sonic character changes because Miku behaves like a Sonic character. In a lot of character replacements the characters are slower and can’t attack in the same way. This often creates issues with the level design which usually remains unchanged from the original game. None of this is present here and this is much better for it.

Miku in Sonic Screenshot

Miku in Sonic screenshot

Macho Man Randy Savage and Thomas the Tank Engine (Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim and Fallout 4)

I couldn’t write an article about mods without mentioning these two, could I? These are two of the most famous changes to these games. In Skyrim, changing all the dragons’ skins to look like the late Macho Man Randy Savage is a sight to behold. A giant, flying wrestler swooping down to attack with his signature cry of “OH YEAH!” It’s hard not to love it. With Thomas the Tank Engine appearing in Fallout 4 on the other hand, that is something a bit more surreal. The internet has an odd obsession with the cherished character and this mod is very much the culmination of it. The Vertibirds, Deathclaws, and Liberty Prime get replaced with the really useful engine. I have to admit it’s pretty scary. The way they approach is as the end up gliding along the ground is biggest part of it.

Video from Ross Mahon’s Youtube channel

Video from the Pastaspace Youtube channel

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