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In a land where overweight plumbers assault turtles and dinosaurs with radishes...

Super Doki Doki World Review by Killer Wolf

An adventure in a far away kingdom of dreams where you fight your way through undead fish, flying turtles, ninja starfish, lava pits, bomb throwing mice and egg spitting dinosaurs all while consuming a steady diet of magic mushrooms, flowers, and leaves? Sounds like a job for Hunter S. Thompson, but since he isn’t around right now, I guess I’ll fill in.

I’ve been looking forward to this release for a long time. I’m old enough for Super Mario Brothers to qualify as one of my earliest video gaming experiences. The videogame landscape, and my taste in general, has changed a lot in the last twenty years. Would puppeteering a portly plumber through a preponderance of platforming challenges hold the same appeal it had for me as a youth? More frighteningly, would I discover that not touching a Mario game since, oh about the time of Super Mario World, would have caused all my finely honed Mario muscles to atrophy almost completely?

The answer to both questions is a resounding “Hell yes!” This has to be the most fun I’ve had, while feeling like a complete spaz, in recent memory.

Gameplay: 4 out of 5

+ The levels are extremely well constructed.

- however… some feel fairly short compared to Super Mario World

+ You are usually given the power-up you need to proceed.

- …due to the challenge level of some maps, holding on to that powerup long enough for it to do you any good is another story entirely.

- The controls feel a little floaty at first, but this has to do more with SMBX than Doki Doki World

+ Once you get used to the SMBX feel, the controls smooth out a lot.

- I noticed a bug where I was able to fly over the first block of Shady Shady Keep, but immediately got stuck and had to quit the level.

+ The absence of a timer gives you that much needed time to figure out a safe path through five screens full of Bullet Bill.

Innovation: 3 out of 5

+ It is a lot of fun to pelt traditional Mario World enemies with radishes, onions, and green pumpkins.

- Beyond the above, and outside a couple of boss enemies, the Doki Doki element is minimal. I was expecting something similar to all the worlds from SMB2, but with a SMB3/SMW style over-world map. A lot of the time, it just felt like I was playing SMW maps with a few places to pull up a radish or a POW box.

+ I was very excited to see the way Shady Shady Keep made use of doors. One of the things I was looking for from this game was the “go through a door and get to the backstage part of the level”…

- unfortunately it was only used as a gimmick, and ultimately distracts from the way to get into the castle.

- before figuring out I needed to drop in the water and go in the pipe, (which admittedly makes sense from a plumber’s perspective) I spent most of the morning going through the level, trying different combinations of doors, believing that if I went through them in the right order, that last one would lead to the castle’s interior!

- the story is entirely forgettable. I was just playing, and I can’t remember it…

+ but it is a Mario game, so I wasn’t expecting a digital recreation of War & Peace.

Music & Sound FX: 4 out of 5

+ Almost every track reminded me of playing Super Mario games as a kid.

- I did experience some scrambled tracks, but I believe that has to do with my audio codecs more than anything else. If someone has the same issues I do, though, it would subtract from their experience.

Graphics: 4 out of 5

+ Almost everything looks the way you would expect.

+ Mario seems to be in fine SMB3 form, which is great in my book.

+ The enemies from different games mix together nicely…

- with the exception of the Penguin(?) boss that breaks through the floor. It really clashed with the rest of the game’s art style.

+ It was nice to see the Doki Doki elements integrated into a standard Mario experience so well!

Re-playability: 3 out of 5

+ There are four characters available

- I didn’t see any real incentive to replay the game with everyone else…

- due to the difficulty of some sections, you might not care to anyway…

- There do not seem to be any secret stages…

Overall: 3.8 out of 5 stars

The more mathematically inclined among you might notice a discrepancy between the score I came up with and the one I posted. When I was filling in the score box for this review, I noticed that it took a 4 star rating to equal "good." This is a good game/pack of levels and it deserves to be labeled that way, even if there are a couple minor issues that knock it down a peg or two in my book.

The levels are well designed and provide a solid challenge. Some of them are timed out just perfectly to be maddening. You just finish a complicated series of jumps and run to build up steam for the next, only to smack into a well timed fireball or other aerial hazard.

There were moments where this game made me want to stare into a mirror and rip my face off, Poltergeist style, but at the same time it kept me coming back because it is just that well made.

If you've ever enjoyed a Mario game, download this and start playing it.

Hey, what are you waiting for?


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Thanks for the review! And yeah, I agree that we underused some of the SMB2 mechanics. Part of that is SMBX and part of that is our design choice. It's probably 70 percent SMW and 30 percent SMB2.

Edit: by any chance did you have any favorite levels?
I am Moana of Motunui. You killed my father. Prepare to die!
I sense that you had a love/hate relationship with level 3-6 Shady Shady Keep
I sense that you had a love/hate relationship with level 3-6 Shady Shady Keep

Killer Wolf, was that the last level you played? I notice it's the most commented-on level.
No, I made my way through it eventually, it was just the one that stuck with me the most after playing. I think I spent more lives on it than the rest of the levels combined! (Slight exaggeration)
Haha, yes it's a toughie due to its length and numerous challenges.
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