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Sorry, Mario, but your Princess is in another game!

SUPER DESMO BROTHERS - Strangeluv

I suppose the only real thing I can review in a Super Mario Bros. X game is the level design, as most of us the other work (characters, physics, basic gameplay strategies) have already been covered by the engine. As I read, this project was based on the community game "Super RMN Bros", which, I admit, did not finish. I also had not played any Mario platformers in a while, which did prove a bit difficult at first, but thankfully, the game started off the player with some easy levels to get a grip on the learning curve.



Another thing to note about this game is that you can play as four characters: Mario, Luigi, Toad and Peach. I only really played with Mario and, for a little while, Toad. I didn't bother with the others much, as it seems the levels did not cater to using certain characters. There is a level where one must kick a shell FORWARD in order to advance, but Toad can only LIFT the shell over his head and throw it, making this very difficult. I think that level would have been impossible to complete with Toad - so your best bet is to stick with Mario.

However, I did feel much more comfortable with Toad's three-heart meter than Mario being downgraded from Fire Mario to Small Mario in one hit.

Before I forget, one thing I appreciated that I must point out is the abundance of extra lives in some of the levels. Just kick a shell and CLICK CLICK CLACK CLACK CLACK CLUCK CLUCK 1UP 2UP 5UP 1UP 2UP 2UP 5UP. Nice! I like to hear that sound! While dying in the regular levels was no problem, I found it very frustrating how easy it was to die in the Overworld, especially during the last few "worlds", which got VERY ridiculous with their obstacles, such as lining the entire room with lava! (I really don't want to go into that right now...) This wouldn't be a problem if you just started at the beginning of the said "world" but if you die in these spots, you have to start from the BEGINNING of the Overworld! No checkpoints whatsoever! This could be improved by making the 'trek' to some of the later levels not so long... or just adding in some blasted checkpoints!

The story is the same. Mario has to save Princess Peach from Bowser. Sure, Desmo could have changed this around a little, but that's the classic story and it's enough for me. The power-ups are... the power-ups: Fire Flower, Super Mushroom, Hammer Suit, to name some. The sounds are also very recognizable, as is the music - a mishmash of mostly Super Mario Bros 3, Super Mario World, Super Mario RPG and even some from New Super Mario Bros Wii. And the graphics come from almost every 2D Mario platformer. I would have appreciated more graphical consistency in some of the individual levels, though, as opposed to finding three different types of Goombas on one level. Some of the levels used the Mario visuals to achieve a nice aesthetic, while some just looked like one put three Mario games in a blender.

Now, the level design? I went in expecting some to be good and some to be bad. And, well, that's what I got. Some of them had some very interesting ideas, such as:



You cruise around in Bowser's flying cauldron and press Z to fire bullet bills at enemies. Sort of like a Mario shmup, eh? Too bad this part was so short. There was also a very nice level called "Familiar Road", comprised of near-remakes of the opening levels of Super Mario World, Super Mario Bros 3 and Super Mario Bros. It made you notice what this engine was capable of accomplishing.

And then, well, there was...



What the shit? And when you die there, you have to restart the entire level! Now that's some bullshit! I don't mind hard Mario levels but holy mother of Games, gimme a checkpoint in some of those stages! Still these were nowhere as bad as dying in that dreaded World 8 Map level. There were also some levels that were just too brief and some that obviously had not been playtested enough, especially coming down to the end.

And speaking of the end... I don't mean to spoil, but the princess offs you in the end. Not really sure what the creator was thinking when he did that. Maybe thought it would give the player a chuckle? The creator should have been more respectful to the player for finishing his game by giving him a better ending. Even the NES Ghostbusters ending text would have been better than that ending:


^ Better ending.

But, all in all, I had fun with most of the levels, even the retarded ones. There is obviously a lot of room for improvement and revision and there definitely could be a better ending, but this game was alright. I didn't curse at the screen too much (except that last "world" room) and it was a decent way to spend a couple of freetime hours.

Posts

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TFT
WHOA wow wow. two tails? that is a sexy idea...
368
lol, yeah that second screenshot looks pretty ridiculous. i can see the value in this for practicing platformer design, but the mixed graphics just urks me.
I'll say it again: This game was created by five people, so some of the levels may seem strange. (Some where their very first try at the program; such as the third screenshot) In Super Desmo Bros. 2 I hope to produce more clean and balanced levels.
reminds me of kaizo mario a little. i'll have to check this out as i am a sucker for mario gameplay

oh and if you want to rage at mixed graphics check out the second reality project 2. i'm really having fun with it despite it ripping from the first sonic the hedgehog and various other sources. there's a level in which you have to outrun a giant saw i'm pretty sure was ripped from the home improvement licensed game
Based on the screenshots alone. I don't need to play this game.
author=undefined
Based on the screenshots alone. I don't need to play this game.

That's unfair. Those are the exceptions, not the average. There are many good levels, just a few bad ones.
author=undefined
Based on the screenshots alone. I don't need to play this game.


Come on now; that's not fair. Only 7% of the levels are like that! (See List of Levels)
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