Retro gaming, four of a kind: top level editing games inc. Rayman Gold, Doom and more

Posted on 17 September 2015
By James Brookfield
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Since it’s release, Mario Maker has received critical acclaim due to allowing players to create their own stages inspired from the Super Mario series. Many have praised the game’s user interface and level editing tools.

Although creation tools are nothing new in video games, some titles greatly utilise this ability. Four of a Kind will detail four retro games that either focus creation tools and or enabled players to edit levels.

1. Tenchu: Birth of the Stealth Assassins (Playstation)

The first Tenchu game featured in a previous Four of a Kind due to providing one of the best stealth experiences. Tenchu 2 is equally as good, in terms of stealth mechanics, however the game includes a Mission Editor mode. This function enables players to create their own levels to play through.

The mode is substantial including; terrain and character mode. Terrain mode allows the mission to take place in more than ten environments and the construction of; buildings, walls, floors, exterior decorating and plant life. Once completed players can then select several characters types to evade.

The interface is easy to understand however a negative of the mode is each stage fills a memory card block meaning a limited amount of stages.

2. Micro Machines: Turbo Tournament ’96 (Sega Mega Drive)

Micro Machines: Turbo Tournament ’96 is an updated version of Micro Machines 2, released only in Pal regions, including new tracks and the track construction kit previously only available on the MS-DOS version. The kit allows players to design their own tracks to race on either solo with friends.

Users can select various floor types (grass, wood, tile) and background for their miniature drivers to races. Obstacles and markings, to increase difficulty, can also be placed onto the track for instance; oil, paint, nails, peas, puddles, bricks and drink cans. Tracks can be further edited to include; jumps, bridges and drops.

Finally weather conditions can be altered to further affect the terrain and gameplay experience. Essentially track construction kit is good feature to the game and promotes user creativity to a large degree.

3. Doom (PC)

Following its release in 1993 Doom became one of the most significant and influential titles in the video game industry for both first-person shooters and in-game mods. The latter is due to WAD, abbreviation of Where’s All the Data?, which are default format of package files hidden within game files that allows players to created their own enviroments without making any modifications to the engine.

WADs are highly extensive packages containing; levels, graphics, sprites, sound effects, music and other game data. Users can be as creative as possible and many creations can range from small levels to complete campaigns. These can then be uploaded onto shared, dedicated communities for other players to experience.

Doom’s extensive editing features has resulted in the game being perceived as a cultural icon with many content creations being inspired by film, television and other such mediums.

4. Counter-Strike (PC)

Most critics consider Counter-Strike as the benchmark for both in-game editing and first-person shooters. This is even more interesting due the game being originally conceived as a mod for Valve’s Half-Life. A basic facet of editing is evident in customisation of available weaponry and accessories at the beginning of every match, now deemed as a staple for first-person multiplayer shooters, with currency being earned after the end of each round.

The level editing aspect of the game is comprehensive as Counter-Strike encourages players to create their own environments and maps as well as allowing the user to install or even create their own custom skins, HUDs, spray graphics, sprites, and sound effects.

That concludes Four of a Kind’s examination of retro level-editors. As always feel free to leave a comment regarding the list or any games omitted that you feel have better editing tools.

Honourable mentions: Stunts (PC), Rayman Gold (PC), Re-Volt (Playstation, Nintendo 64, Dreamcast), TimeSplitters 2 (Playstation 2, Xbox, Gamecube), Duke Nukem 3D (PC) and TrackMania series