Review Information
Game Reviewed Paper Mario 3D Land, by DJ Coco
Review Author Cruise Elroy
Created Sep 15 2015, 12:32 AM

General Commentary and Game Overview
I'm just going to get this out of the way as soon as possible: This game is alright, but the poor thing's been crippled by bad design choices that I feel like could've been fixed.

[This has been reuploaded due to a bug.]

I certainly didn't go into this game with high expectations. After all, 3D fangames have never been completed on MFGG before, and you don't see a 3D fangame all that often. Completing a 3D fangame is an achievement in it of itself, but it's ultimately been met with some bad design choices that should have been taken better care of.

That said, how does the game hold up to itself?
Pros +It's-a-3D!
+Mostly smooth controls that are customizable
+The graphics
Cons -The graphics
-Lacks a story
-Pretty bad camera positions
-Hard, maybe even unfair at the beginning (it only gets worse from there)
4 / 10
I do know that 3D fangames are still in a learning phase, but this, unfortunately, is the most lacking area in the game. Let's begin with the camera. You know, the thing you use to actually see.

In most 3D Mario games, the camera is zoomed out far enough to give you a lot of room to see what's coming. But with this game, you pretty much have the equivalent of a widescreen Gameboy to dodge what's coming your way. I found myself running to the right only to be greeted by 3 fireballs headed my way, which gave me little time, if any, to react to them and get out of the way. I also felt like the camera could have been looking down on the playfield a little more to compensate the difficulty a bit.

Also, I can't say I was a huge fan of the camera controls themselves. You have the option of making the camera focus to the left or right depending on which button you held. This would have been helpful in some areas, but I didn't like the idea of holding down a button to see what was coming up. I rarely used this function.

And now, onto the biggest problem with the gameplay: the difficulty. The level design isn't the greatest (there are waaay too many pits in 1-1), and the camera doesn't help with that either. A lot of the time it feels like there's just stuff flying everywhere at you. You do have a life bar, but healing items are pretty scarce, you start the levels with half of your max health, and it usually takes 3 hits for you to be down for the count. That, and it also feels like a lot of the baddies are a lot tougher than they need to be. Seriously, a Goomba can deal more damage than Mario. A GOOMBA. It also felt just weird that a Goomba takes more than one stomp to kill. All the enemies stay on their respective platforms and hone in on Mario.

Oh, but the fun doesn't stop there. 1-2 has a lot of spinning cylinders with spikes and tight corridors. The camera doesn't hide the walls until you get close enough, making it easy for anything from behind there to hit you. The camera also seems to follow you in all fields, but by the time it catches up to you if you're walking forward, you may have fallen down into a pit.

I also had this game crash on me a few times. A few of them were only caused once for no reason, but 2-3 was pretty much unplayable on my end.

I do have some positives to bring to the table, however. Mario plays pretty fluently, the powerups are fun to use (even though you might not keep them for long), and, while the camera was horrid for the World 2 boss, I did have fun pummeling the bosses. I also liked the concept of collecting items that temporarily increase your attack/defense power.

In essence: it's average, but a lot of the problems had somewhat easy solutions. So yeah, the gameplay gets a 4 out of 10.
7 / 10
So then, this game has two graphic styles: you got PM64 styled sprites for Mario, baddies, items, and you have HUD elements and level textures that look like they come from TTYD. They all look very good on their own, but it's a different story when they come together. PM64 graphics are a lot darker and less detailed than the TTYD graphics, which are a bit more vibrant and crisp. Oddly, it clashes yet fits together at the same time, but try to stick to one style if possible.
9 / 10
The music is all taken from the Paper Mario series and Super Mario 3D Land/World. Some sound effects used were questionable (such as when you get a 1-UP the "item sprouting from a block" sound plays), but there aren't many issues with the sounds otherwise.
4 / 10
You could try and go back to collect all the Green Stars (even though I don't know what they're for), but with the punishing level design, rare crashes and other oddities, one playthrough might be enough for some.
Final Words
6 / 10
It's mediocre at worst and okay at best. Just a few changes is all it could take to make this game excellent.

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