Review Information
Game Reviewed Super Mario Pandemonium 3 (DEMO 1), by td
Review Author Vitiman
Created Jul 13 2021, 11:13 AM

General Commentary and Game Overview
We've seen this song-and-dance before. Super Luigi Country 2, Super Paper Mario World, Taco Wario: Neo Grande Battles (that last one especially, yeesh, what a terrible game). Freakin' newbies coming in here and thinking they can just recapture the magic of old fangames, some of them even having the audacity, the sheer NERVE to make sequels to beloved classics like... like they own the place!

Well guess what, td? You think you can come in here, boasting your initials which so happen to be that of our cherished founder like it's nothing, and steal the show with your brilliant display of old fangame-ery combined with an absolutely lavish engine?

Your worst critic is here. I know a thing or two about old fangames, son. I'm not gonna let you off easily.

Because this is probably the best fangame demo I've ever played in my life.

I'm being serious.
Pros - You have successfully engineered the charm of something ridiculous and retro as Mario Goddamn Pandemonium and gave it a new coat of paint that's an actual new coat of paint and not a new paint-job altogether
- Fantastic programming. Nothing broke. No default platform engine here
- The over-the-top action/violence lends itself well to this kind of gameplay. Love it. Keep it. Exaggerate it MORE.
- God bless you for keeping Ninja's sprite alive.
- Everything about this is brilliant.
Cons - It's one level and a boss fight. I want more. I demand more.
- The dash pit could be telegraphed a bit better, I think.
- I hope the levels get increasingly more ridiculous and less monotonous in the final. For a first level, this was totally fine, I just expect things to get more interesting in the finished game is all.
10 / 10
Sweet Jesus, credit where credit is due: you took Mario Pandemonium, one of the most notoriously difficult (for all the wrong reasons) fangames to grace this stupid website and you put that crap on the MAP. You damn saint. You're a genius. Everything you did here was wonderful. The ridiculous hammer moves, how the fire flower doesn't just make you shoot stupid balls, it's all genius. God, I hope the final game has like... even more powerups. I want something extra dumb and pointless like Metal Thunder Mario where he just zaps everything repeatedly. You put that in the final game and I'll declare this the only game on MFGG that matters. Yes, even over my beloved Super Mario Epic 2 or Toad Strikes Back. Make me proud, son.

So... what does this game (for real) have to offer to someone who isn't totally enamored with old school fangames such as myself? Well, a lot actually! It's a fun action platformer, it's great to play, the engine is silky smooth, and it's silly, over-the-top fun. What more do you want? I could go on, really.

In fact, I will: the boss fight is with Mecha Sonic. And this dude went all-in on programming him. Made him an exaggerated take on his AI from the actual S3K fight. That's dedication, man. It felt like I was fighting the real deal. De-di-cation. Brilliance. Mwah. I love it so much.

Make more of this.
9 / 10
There really isn't much to complain about here. I think this is a fine example of good clash. Nothing looks too out of place. Things are pieced together from multiple sources... and yet, it looks fun? Like a FANgame? Yeah, forgot that's what these were. The essence of this whole hobby is a tribute, some of us forget that sometimes. Nothing wrong with reaching for the stars... but if I want Super Mario Plus Plus, I'll just wait for Nintendo to make it. The best fangames are the crazy and wild ones.

You using the Ninja sprite is obviously because that's what was used in the SMP games... however, I'll commend you for STICKING to it. You had every opportunity to try something else out, but you knew that wouldn't be authentic. You knew that'd miss the point. You knew.

The parallax lightning background is marvelous, by the way. If this is made in Clickteam just like the original game(s), then I wanna take a moment to commend you for all the little effects and transitions you pulled off. They're not brain-dead simple to do even in Clickteam Fusion, they take some elbow grease and a dedication to perfectionism. Putting all of that level of effort into a sequel to some dumb hobby game is... kind of insane! In an admirable way. But still insane.

Never become sane, friend. Join insanity with the rest of us.
8 / 10
I'm giving this a high score not so much because the MIDIs are mind-blowingly amazing - they're pretty great choices, don't get me wrong - but the fact that he went out of his way to get them to play without freezing the application. I suspect he's using DirectShow to pull that off, since the MIDIs are external files. Am I right in that assumption? That's of course assuming this is all Clickteam like I think it is. If I'm right, I'd love to know. Otherwise, tell me your dark secrets.

Great stuff. Doesn't bog it down one bit.
Final Words
9 / 10
A brilliant and lavishly crafted tribute to a bygone era of fangaming that - perhaps with the persistence of fellows like td here - may one day come back into style. Or not. Even so, we'll have these one-off titles to cherish. Gorgeously programmed, hilariously violent, and just a joy to play through

...even if it's just for one short level. Seriously, I'm looking forward to finishing the final game. Don't disappoint me, man. Even if it takes a while, drop that final game. Or at least another demo sometime! I'm eagerly awaiting...!

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