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Game Reviewed Super Mario Carnage, by hugobros
Review Author Black Squirrel
Created Jul 15 2010, 8:38 PM

General Commentary and Game Overview
Mario's trapped in a world without colour! Better bring out the guns and start shooting people, because that's what heroes do. A small run-and-gun platformer built in Multimedia Fusion 2, Super Mario Carnage only grabbed my attention because an online version exists.
 
Pros + Well... it's a game!
 
Cons - Default platform movement
- Practically colourless
- Forced full screen resolution
- A bit mediocre in the graphics department
- A musical score that lasts all of ten seconds
 
Impressions
Gameplay
2 / 10
What we have here, is a blast from the past, and there's both good and bad points to be made about that. It's great to see something not made in Game Maker for a change, but it also stands as a prime example as to why many users made the switch.

It's been a long, long time since someone submitted a game to MFGG that uses the platform engine that ships with clickteam products. Now, in 2006 when the likes of Multimedia Fusion 2 was released, some of the many flaws with the "platform movement" option were finally addressed. These problems, dating back to the middle of the 1990s, included "sticky" walking, dodgy collision and various other little flaws. Anyone who has worked with a clickteam product for a reasonable period of time will know exactly how this engine acts in times of trouble.

But in the early 2000s, it was the most common form of movement when it came to clickteam platformers. Despite its flaws, people insisted on using it, mostly because the skills and expectations weren't there for developers to come up with their own types of movement. When we get to about 2002/2003, the term "Static Engine" starts to make its way into conversation, and would involve a static active object being manipluated by manually programmed key presses. So rather than assuming the player would go right when the right arrow key held down, the game would add x amount of pixels to the movement and you would configure this as you see fit, rather than have TGF/MMF do all the work (which it would do badly).

This was the standard for many years. All top clickteam fangames use static engines for platformers (though newer ones mess around with things like Lua). Super Mario Carnage... doesn't, and that's where the problems begin.

MMF2 fixed up the platform movement, but not to the point where it could match a good static engine. The stupid collision was patched... but lets be honest here, it shouldn't have been stupid in the first place, and it took at least 11 years to sort out the problem. Though Super Mario Carnage is fully playable, any clickteam veterans such as myself will notice this straight away, and deduct points due to a lack of effort in producing a new engine. It's the difference between two or three clicks, and two or three hours of work.

And when you consider MMF2 is significantly more powerful than previous Clickteam tools, it becomes a bit... unacceptable.

But aside from that, Mario can jump about and shoot at things with his limited supply of ammo. You have to kill everything on the level, and then leave on the right hand side of the playfield. Some blocks can be shot, while others just explode for the hell of it. There's only one life, so screwups mean you have to start from the beginning.

Mario can no longer jump on enemies, but he has gained a life counter. Back in the day this was also common, because people didn't quite understand how to make things "rebound" when hit.

In short, though perfectly acceptable gameplay for something built ten years ago, it really can't compete with even the most simple of games made today. Perhaps it's because the free natured Game Maker's equivalent to a game made on the cheap is naturally better than one of clickteam's attempts, but I personally just stand by the opinion that more effort is needed here. It does get a point for nostalgic value though... even if it wasn't intended.
 
Graphics
2 / 10
Grey gradients, recolours and quick objects made most likely within the built-in graphics editors mean that Super Mario Carnage isn't all that great to look at either.

There's an option to remove the blood, and thus removing some of the only colour to actually grace the game. With the exception of the Wii's MadWorld, I've never encountered a "violent" video game that's so... basic in terms of graphics. Really does remind me of the things I used to knock up in TGF... except.. well... I used to do that for a laugh, not to then submit online and expect professional critique.

Also a relic of earlier days is the screen resolution. 320x200 comes from the old DOS standards from the mid 1980s. It was a logical windowed resolution for 1995 as full screen would only be about 640x480 pixels in size. In fact, I don't mind this resolution even today, BUT NOT IN FULL SCREEN MODE.

It's 2010. I have before me a monitor whose native resolution is 1920x1080. Aside from the fact 320x200 is not a 16:9 ratio, every pixel on screen is FIVE times the intended size. It's also an LCD screen, and so compared to the CRT sets of yesteryear (which again were the target market in 1995), each one of these poorly resized pixels is crystal clear. There's no native filtering to make things look more acceptable. It's poorly resized, and ugly as a result.

Some people like that, and that's fine, but I like the option to choose, and this game has none. Thankfully the online version doesn't stretch itself across my screen, so that one was fine, if a tiny bit slower.
 
Sound
2 / 10
Super Mario Carnage pulls out all the stops to bring you a... music track that lasts a few seconds... and then repeats... endlessly. The fact it's not a MIDI at least goes to prove this game wasn't built a decade ago, but the replacement is hardly stunning.

The sound effects are passable though. But you wouldn't ever sell a game for having PASSABLE SOUND EFFECTS.
 
Replay
2 / 10
So why would you ever play Super Mario Carnage again? Well you'll be forced to if you ever die, but other than that... no you probably won't be picking this one out again. Still, it reminded me of the old days so if you have some strange urge to revisit the past and this was your only way of doing so... well yeah.
 
Final Words
2 / 10
It's ten years too late, but if you're a clickteam platform movement fan this'll be right up your street.

Comments
TheGreenGuy Jul 15 2010, 9:07 PM
I wonder how harsh the reviews will be in 50 years...
 
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