Review Information
Game Reviewed Mario's Mansion 3, by FanGuy
Review Author Vitiman
Created Jun 26 2020, 9:41 AM

General Commentary and Game Overview
How about a little deja vu for you? Yes yes, I'm aware I already took a look at this game fairly recently... except it wasn't so recently! That review is coming up on 8 years old now (this September, to be precise), making it nearly a decade old. That's quite a long time, and long enough for me to wince a bit reading it and how largely vapid and un-descriptive it is. I couldn't have tried less at explaining the nuances of this demo or its history or... really anything.

Okay, so first thing's first: FanGuy. He hasn't been on MFGG in a long, long time now. The last comment he left on the main site appears to be in 2007, and I'm unfortunately unable to find much of any record of his presence on the forums (old or new), so we'll just have to go with that being a rough ballpark estimate of his time on here.

This demo was released right at the very beginning of 2003, and as far as I'm aware he never released any other material for the game since. As such, Mario's Mansion 3 is (as you will notice with the clarification on the game's page) a scrapped fangame... never to be finished. It's been almost 20 years since this demo first dropped, so it's a safe bet it's long been abandoned by its creator. In the past, some people such as Yoshiman have offered to contact FanGuy on my behalf to ask for permission in regards to finishing this game myself/continuing it in some form or another, but even he was unable to reach out to him.

With that said, this and the Perfect Collection remake demo thing are the last things related to Mario's Mansion that we ever got. Was it all worthwhile? Let's continue to find out!
Pros + More or less as charming as the first two games
+ Everything here is solid and works as well as you'd expect
+ Great, colorful graphics that are pleasing to the eyes
+ Good (if generic) music choices
Cons - Not a whole lot to do in this demo, as one might expect
- Humor/writing isn't quite up to par with the first two
- It's a little too easy for what's already here; given that the second game was notoriously harder than the first, this may be a "Return of the Jedi" situation of FanGuy trying to scale back after backlash against a sequel for being too different
- Story takes quite a random and inconclusive turn after everything was more or less wrapped up in 2
- ...and of course, having never been finished, we'll never see what he had planned for it anyway
7 / 10
In my initial review for this demo, I said "Not much I can say here...", but I think that couldn't be further from the truth! While the main gameplay appears to be the same as the first two games, there's more than meets the eye in MM3, even with what little's on display in this brief demo.

First of all, an interesting little goomba mechanic is present in the first/Mario stage, where hammering down a goomba and waiting on top of it will catapult you up in the air, and for something no-doubt cobbled together in The Games Factory, it works remarkably well! You can duck while waiting for the jump and you can get stuck in the air for as long as you want, but I find this far more an "amusing" glitch than an "annoying" one, so it's all good.

The second/FanGuy stage also features a new mechanic in the form of a timer gimmick. You see, FanGuy winds up in a dimension where most Shy Guys appear to be alive, and he's given a chance to (temporarily) be alive as well! Unfortunately, this temporary spell wears off rather quickly, and he has to keep standing around bags of powder to make it last throughout the level. Basically, it's a "fuel station" gimmick, but it's not implemented very weirdly or frustratingly, so it gets a pass from me.

Finally, the two boss fights are fun and not especially difficult, so while they veer a bit too close to "forgettable", they're also meant to be pretty early on in a theoretical full game. I can't imagine them being anything harder for fear that it would alienate first-time players, and given that Mario's Mansion 3 was getting a pretty warm reception when this demo came out, I would say that was a good choice to make.

What else can you say? It's just two stages and two fights, a couple cutscenes thrown in for good measure. The writing isn't as fun or cute as the first two, but FanGuy was probably getting older and probably still finding his way with creative stuffs! I'll cut him some slack on the writing department given that he was clearly trying to flaunt his graphical prowess in this installment, which brings me to...
8 / 10
Ahh yes, the graphics! Yes, they appear to be mostly the same as the first two games, but there is a lot more originality on board here, particularly that really snazzy title screen! FanGuy is truly a talented artist - I stumbled upon his old dA account while searching for any other accounts he may have had to reach out to him, and though it also looked abandoned for a long time, I did happen to see a lot of the art he made and it was honestly really great! I hope wherever FanGuy is now and what he's up to, it's hopefully being able to show off how great of a visual artist he is.

It's good stuff, truly good stuff.
8 / 10
I thought the music choices here were just fine... a lot of more outward picks in this one compared to the last, but that's hardly a bad thing. Took me forever to realize that the boss battle music with the Koopa Kid was from Mario Tennis on the N64 of all things, so that was a cool discovery to make! Other than that, it all fits well, it's all the same SFX as the first two, I really don't have much to add here.
Final Words
6 / 10
There truly could have been a classic to come from the foundation FanGuy laid out for this game. Unfortunately, his disappearance many years ago puts a nail in the coffin for this (presumably final) iteration of the Mario's Mansion games to see the light of day in a finished form. My own attempt to finish it was arguably in vain, but it was an attempt out of love.

Beyond that, what we do have here is proof that the game could have been a lot more accessible than the two before it - but it also could have been a bit less charming in the process. My earlier score of a 7/10 (see below) from 2012 might have been a tad too generous when taking everything into consideration, so I'm going to knock it down a digit and tell you that while I had a good time playing through this after so long, it's a short little scrapped thing and beyond showing potential, it really won't leave you feeling like you played something worthwhile either.

No comments have been left.
Pages: | Last Unread