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Review Information
Game Reviewed Paper Mario: Great Star Offensive, by SEVA
Review Author SEVA
Created Jul 6 2013, 10:45 PM

General Commentary and Game Overview
As I got so much criticism on this game, I'd like to be brave and submit a review myself. This will point out all of the things that I KNOW are wrong with the game, and hopefully calm down that discussion in the comments.
Pros +Polished battle system
+Nice soundtrack
+Some creativity
+Reusing underused characters and enemies
+Nice start and end of chapter sequences
Cons -Both overworld and battles are very bland
-Too small a selection of everything
-Weak and badly developed story
-Clashing graphics
4 / 10
Although the game's design clearly lacks consideration, at least the program is fairly polished. The only glitches I know of are the possibility of getting stuck on a certain spring and the weird effect produced when the player tries to press left and right at the same time.

The overworld system is fairly faithful to the first official PM game, or as much as you can get if you reduce it to 2D. Although Mario's speed is slower and his jump is lower than platformer fans would like, you have to remember that those were properties of Mario's movement in Paper Mario as well. On the other hand, some problem solutions leave rather choppy-looking side effects, like the jolt when jumping up to a high ledge, or the confusing invincibility pattern after fleeing from a battle. The lack of a first strike possibility is also regrettable.

The design of the game's areas, while not ugly, is overly linear and lacking in gimmicks and puzzles, leading to walking around becoming painfully repetitive at times, especially if most enemies have been defeated and most items have been collected. The contents of question blocks could indeed use more variety.

The battle system is rather polished for what it is, but has little originality. There are no helpers, and Mario's own arsenal of moves is much more limited than in any of the official games, especially if the player chooses not to invest in badges. In addition to this, the five compulsory special moves are more powerful and useful than anything provided by badges, making most badge moves obsolete and furthering the repetitiveness of battles. As with most things in this game, the selection of items and badges themselves are severely cut down.

It is true that no two enemies in the game are exactly the same functionally. However, while the official games achieve this with varied special abilities, resistances, defenses, status effects, invulnerability to various things, etc., this game does it simply with stats. There are exactly three patterns of attack for enemies - jump, smash and projectile. Only the projectile type has potential for variety, but even this is destroyed by the fact that the majority of projectiles behave in exactly the same way anyway. Also, very few enemies have more than two different attacks, and none at all have more than three. This all considered, battles against three of the same kind of enemy, of which there are quite a few, can get VERY boring, VERY quickly, and boss battles are not much of a relief, either.

The game does have a little bit of storyline, but it feels like it's in scraps, doesn't really belong together, was hardly thought through (if at all) and just thrown together for completeness' sake. This is most likely due to the disjointed way in which the game was developed. Even so, the story is nothing to be engaged by, and truly just feels like a placeholder. And the episode with getting the key from Shroomlock seems simple enough, but in practice is just plain annoying.
6 / 10
The pride of the game are the few sprites custom-made especially for use in it. However, like I said, there are only a few of those, and therefore they had to be thrown in with a whole lot of different styles to fill all the gaps. Of course, many sprites were edited to make them fit together better, but many also were not. This explains why the graphics are mostly reasonably pleasant to look at, but nothing is worthy of amazement. Also adding to this is a distinct lack of special effects.
7 / 10
The sound is the single most praise-worthy thing about this game, but that isn't really saying much. I could write an entire essay on the benefits of MIDIs in comparison to other music formats, but let's not get into that now. Let's just say that some of the music still clashes like the graphics do, and the sound effects, while mostly being those nice, recogniseable samples from SMRPG, PM and SPM, don't show a great deal of freshness and originality, and certainly don't induce a 'wow'.
2 / 10
The game tries many times to be memorable, but simply... fails. And even if someone does find one of the few cutscenes amusing and worth watching again, the painfully linear stages and ridiculously lackluster, dragged-out battles are enough to deter anyone.
Final Words
5 / 10
For the me from two or three years ago, which should be the real author of this game, this would seem like magic. But I've gained enough experience since then to see that this is almost a wasted effort.

behind Jul 10 2013, 4:55 PM
We can....review our own games? o.o
Double Agent Luigifan Jul 11 2013, 9:57 PM
The thought of someone reviewing their own game is absolutely hilarious.
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