Unreal Engine 4 Is Showing Gamers What High-Powered Nostalgia Looks Like

Mario, Link, Sonic and the old Pokémon gang in 4K

The eternal fires of nostalgia have been burning a little brighter these past few weeks, fueled by videos from modders rebooting the classics on video game development suite Unreal Engine 4. Pokémon, Mario, Link and Sonic all received demo videos, where the fan favorites ran, hopped, and fire-breathed through gorgeous, dynamic landscapes made possible by Unreal's ever-evolving tools.

Earlier this year, Unreal Engine 4 was made free to the public, barring upon release that Unreal receives a 5 percent royalty. Now, we're beginning to see the tinkerers and modders throw their hats into the development ring, cooking up hyperrealistic versions of classic video games.

Pokémon’s original three starters, Charmander, Squirtle and Bulbasaur are seen back together; we get to follow Charmander around as he explores a sparse forest and desperately attempts to use Ember on some deer.

Modder CryZENx shows everyone’s favorite 8-bit plumber, Mario, taking a ride in a through space and explore dark, Skyrim-esque caves, while Sonic the Hedgehog sprints through grassy plains.

The Legend of Zelda even gets the royal treatment, as we see Link reunited with the Great Deku Tree.

These teasers are system-intensive, though, so don't expect to be cranking them out on your laptop anytime soon. By the specs shown in the videos, this level of rendering almost maxes top of the line hardware, like an overclocked EVGA GTX 980 video card and i7 4790K processor.

Unreal Engine 4 can also develop for virtual reality, and this week HammerheadVR Studios released a fan trailer for a Star Wars VR game. The company says that the trailer was completed in two weeks with only two designers.

The design suite isn't just for modders and small developers, though. Big titles like EVE: Valkyrie and Street Figher V are being developed on the platform, and huge franchises like Mass Effect and Borderlands were built using Unreal Engine 3.

None of the games mentioned here are slated to be made, though, so we'll just have to rely on the nostalgia from Kingdom Hearts 3 (made on Unreal Engine 4) until the studios finally come around.