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The answer is in the stars!

Opening Statement
So this an old smbx episode, from way back in 2011 and one of the first few episodes nin8halos ever made. Since this game was never reviewed before I decided to delve back into it and give it a go and finally give it a review. My standard structure for reviewing SMBX games is to separate each point into different categories. WORLD MAP, LEVEL DESIGN (which also includes graphics)Let's begin.


WORLD MAP
This game has no world map, instead its a huge hub area where you access levels through the doors. It's great for what it serves, but is a little too big and a little inconvenient for the player to have to navigate, whats worse is that you can die on the hub area, and each time you die you get sent right back to the beginning of the hub area, I should also state that once you exit and save, and come back later you would also be right back at the beginning of the hub area.

Grant it this a thing of every SMBX game with a hub area, but what makes it worse here is that since the hub area is so big and inconvenient to navigate, you have to make your way all the way back to the level you last left off at. And being able to die on the way there isn't much of a help neither. It looks cool, but way too inconvenient for players.


LEVELS
Levels are average at best, they look nice and play decently well, but in a lot of cases there's nothing really special about some of them that make them really stand out from other SMBX games. Levels such as Pyramid Puzzles have long sections with nothing but enemies that serve no purpose but to to make the level seem like its populated. And levels like Brickroad Bounce are a little too big, empty and generally painful to even look at, I should also mention that same level also caused massive slowdown. You didn't have to put coins in every yellow brick buddy!

Another thing I noticed is that the game is really stingy with power ups which is fine and all, but making a lot of them mushrooms instead of fire flowers or leafs seems like a dick move. Maybe it's personal preference, but I always prefer putting other power-ups beside plain mushrooms in the blocks, mostly because if a player makes it to another power-up and has managed to keep a hold of their last one, they get rewarded for their efforts.

But one big kicker, and this really makes the game tedious to play, its that every level has 3 stars! I don't mind SMBX games with lots of stars to collect, and 3 stars really isn't that many, but, lets go over how this is so tedious.

Each star is a Super Mario bros 3 star, which if you didn't know ends the level upon picking it up, this isn't the biggest problem, collecting 1 star, exiting the level only to have to go back in and traverse the level yet again (replay sections over and over might I add) Just to do the same thing yet again for a 3rd time in a row is the problem here. Personally if you're going to make a game like this, at least make those 2 extra stars the SMW stars that way you don't have to exit the level every time.

Some levels also have bosses, and they're not that great, but honestly bosses aren't my main focus, there decent, but boring and pathetically easy, except the final boss which proves to be a slight challenge. They serve their purpose.

I do enjoy a fair amount of levels, though despite how tedious some can be.

however you if you plan on giving this game a go I highly recommend only collecting what you need to beat it, going for 100% is a long and boring process. That extra final boss for getting all the stars isn't worth it.


OVERALL THOUGHTS AND OPINIONS
Al in all, the game isn't bad, just tedious in areas. It looks good, plays well,(except for one level with a lot of slowdown, seriously how was that a good idea to you?) Personally like I stated above, if you didn't make every star a smb3 star, and would have made the hub area a little smaller and more convenient, this game would have really shined, its dated for lack of a better term, its an old game made at the time SMBX was still new for everyone, and I do have to say the effort put into this episode is pretty good for the time, that's the main sentence to describe it, "for the time it was great". I do recommend giving it a go, it's not bad at all, its still a pretty solid episode, hell if anything this is one of the better old SMBX games I've played, just don't go into it with the hopes of completing it 100% Unless you like pulling out hair an having a bad time.


SCORE
3 stars out of 5


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