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Review Information
Game Reviewed Super Mario Prism, by Hello
Review Author CM30
Created Mar 17 2019, 9:49 PM

General Commentary and Game Overview
At first glance, Super Mario Prism seems like a very promising game. With some nice 3D Land/World esque visuals and a 3D collectathon type level structure, it's a million miles away from the hordes of clones Hello made in the past, one that could seemingly be an almost official quality title.

Then you actually try to play the thing, and realise very quickly how appearances can be deceiving...
 
Pros Generally, the game's character models look nice enough. Mario, the Goombas and the landscape in general could fit in a relatively modern game.
It's not a typical hello clone, in so much that it's a 3D platformer rather than a 2D one.
With the Sprixie Kingdom being the main focus, it's a tad more original than it could have been.
 
Cons Mario's physics are god awful. He slides around like he's on ice, jumps all over the place at seemingly random, doesn't have any real sense of momentum and seriously struggles to make use of moves like the Sideflip and Long Jump.
Object physics are about as bad. Pushing boxes is hell.
Level design is a mixture of thoroughly boring and ridiculously unsuited for this engine.
 
Impressions
Gameplay
-1 / 10
Look, I'll be honest here. It doesn't work, period.

And a large part of that is because Mario controls like a three wheeled van being driven across an icy pond (insert random Only Fools and Horses joke here). As a result, he flies all across the stage whenever he jumps, struggles to wall kick unless you're really precise with the button timing and has roughly half the level of traction Luigi has in many of his appearances.

This would already be terrible enough as it is, except (like many bad fan game creators), Hello completely failed to design his game around the obvious limitations of the engine. As a result, you're asked to control Mario not through a flat, fairly easy level like Bob-omb Battlefield, but through a few filled with precision platforming, awkward jumps and moving objects, all of which Mario's moveset is decidably not capable of handling with any form of ease.

In turn, this is made even worse by the fact that the object physics are just as bad as Mario's. Trees can't be climbed, and act like platforms for the exactly five people in the world who can land on top of them. Moving platforms have weird momentum physics, and will often fling you into the distance if you're not careful, and the box pushing...

Oh boy, that's its own kettle of fish. Pushing boxes isn't fun in the best of games, and pushing boxes here is like trying to push a tiny cardboard box around with an 18 wheeler; a bloody nightmare. This thing will never go anywhere near where you want it to go, it'll get stuck on walls, change angle at a time and sometimes fall off the stage altogether. In that case, better die and start over, since you ain't getting another box.

And well, don't even get me started on the camera. That has exactly four or so angles, and a few different heights it can be at for each one. This means you'll constantly be fighting against it at all times, and will often struggle to get a good angle for the precision platforming section you'll be battling against. It's like Hello took the worst elements of Super Mario Galaxy 2 and Super Mario 3D World's cameras, then applied them to a 3D collectathon with level design they were woefully unsuited for. Awful all round.

It's a train wreck, and it's an example of how bad game design only makes a bad engine all the more tolerable.
 
Graphics
6 / 10
On the bright side, the graphics do look decent enough. Mario's model is nice to look at, and the ones for the enemies and environment seem good too.

What isn't good on the other hand is how they animate. That's because the animations are really slow compared to the model's actual movements, so Mario seems to be sliding around whenever he moves rather than walking naturally. It's awful offputting, and kinda uncanny valley like to be honest with you.

Still, it's the best part of this sorry package, so I've got to give some credit there.
 
Sound
2 / 10
As expected from a Hello game, Mario has various voice clips that play in various situations, and they get old fast. Especially that 'whoah!' type dying sound, which you'll be hearing an awful lot given the number of bottomless pits scattered around and the awkward platforming you'll be doing around them.

And music wise? Well, it's not much to speak of there either. It's a bunch of redone versions of the Super Mario Land ending theme with nicer samples, none of which truly fit the levels they play in and all of which get very old very quickly.

It's bad, but I guess it could be worse.
 
Replay
2 / 10
Well, it has 6 or so missions per stage, and four levels to play through. So there's some content there to unlock, and it can mostly be done in any order too.

However, given the poor controls and mechanics in play here, it's extremely unlikely you'll be getting anywhere near the end of this game, especially given the wealth of better options out there (like say, Super Mario Odyssey on Switch).

Don't bother with this one.
 
Final Words
2 / 10
Overall, Super Mario Prism is a visually decent game made intolerable by a badly designed, broken engine. Avoid it at all costs, and stick to 3D platformers made by people who know what the hell they're doing.

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