Review Information
Game Reviewed Super Mario Bros x 3 Demo, by Liberal-Luigi
Review Author Vitiman
Created Jul 17 2021, 6:03 AM

General Commentary and Game Overview
This game checks off all of three of the 'Old Fangame Intrigue' boxes for me:

1.) It's made in The Games Factory in 2004 (talk about a dinosaur program by that point)

2.) It was left unfinished, quite blatantly so as a matter of fact!

3.) It utilizes a very unique, underutilized aesthetic, even by today's standards: NES SMB2

So of course, I had to play it. But what the game left me was... a sense of wanting more? And perhaps, astonishment that it handled so decently for what it was. Unfortunately, it isn't much at all. You can beat this entire demo in about 5 minutes. Not kidding. No exaggerating. I spent more time reading the "Story" section on the title screen than actually running through what this wee little demo has to offer.

Why was it scrapped? When were the SMB3 and YI elements going to be implemented? Why was Luigi a Liberal?!

Come find out with me, dear reader:
Pros + Weaponizes the default platform movement of Click past to make something halfway competent
+ Love the aesthetic
+ A snifit powerup is still a very creative idea for a Mario fangame. Maybe someone else should work with that, hm?
+ I'm a sucker for any old fangame with something like, ohhh say... ridiculous time travel plot
Cons - Levels are barren with the same exact enemy on repeat
- The demo ends abruptly, without warning, in the middle of a stage
- Some of the music is godawful, even by bad MIDI standards
- The whole experience was like 5 minutes long; truly life-changing
4 / 10
I can't say a ton here. This is one of those fangame reviews of mine that'll be rather short, and that's due to the unfortunate reality that there isn't a lot to this game! Not really anything to speak of, I'm afraid. It's competent! Using the default platform movement, that's impressive. But it does this by playing it safe and not taking any risks, which arguably means that it isn't remarkable in the slightest.

There's a cool snifit powerup (again, a freebie idea right there for the taking, if anyone wants it!), but it's really just an excuse to give Mario a generic pea shooter powerup, not really anything else. Mario can actually jump on enemies, and it's programmed fairly well. So there's that, at least?

The demo ended by going all the way back - without warning - to stage 1 in the middle of... I think it was stage 3? So it wasn't very long at all. Each stage is just a long stretch of nothing, with some enemies and level formations and that's about it. It was so empty and dull... sheesh. I would have preferred if it tried to do something daring, frankly! Anything to break the monotony.

Overall, not a lot's happening here.
6 / 10
A rare sight for pre-2006: almost no graphical clash to speak of! At least... uh, in the main game itself. It's all consistently SMB2 8-bit. Hey, not a bad idea for a fangame aesthetic. Maybe I'll have to try that one out myself one day? Who knows. Ehh, nah. I like making things really clashy and strange. It's just too much fun!

The backgrounds were rather boring, though. So that's why this isn't a 7. Or maybe it's just all a bit dull, I don't know.
3 / 10
Some of the MIDIs are all right. But that title screen music is borderline cacophonous, and then that LEVEL START jingle... jesus, what was that? Deliberate dissonance? It was super annoying, and you heard it repeatedly. Awful, the stuff of bad MIDI nightmares. Trust me: don't go seek it out for yourself, it's not worth listening to. Just obnoxious trash that lingers on for more seconds than it ever should.

I can't recall much in the way of SFX, it all seemed to be rather generic. Probably all from that one pack that always got used. Man, that pack is very nostalgic to me.
Final Words
3 / 10
A very intriguing premise for a fangame that unfortunately is extremely undercooked and was left unfinished at such a state that you could sit down, play this for a solid 4-5 minutes, and finish it. A fairly empty and plain fangame surrounding an actually neat/quirky idea. Not really worth playing, but a bit of a curiosity nonetheless.

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