Review Information
Game Reviewed Mario Returns to the Lost Levels, by Shadow
Review Author Vitiman
Created Jun 27 2020, 6:52 AM

General Commentary and Game Overview
This appears to be one of the more crudely put-together fangames from the pre-Game Maker era. Given that the installer has a date of September 5th, 2001... this would put it squarely at the apex of a lot of now-cliche Clickteam conventions.

Oh, what this little game tries to do. I'll tell you what it does now: annoying alter my computer's screen resolution whenever I play it. Yeah, screw off with that. I don't need that. Blegh.
Pros + Nothing is offensively borked/unplayable
+ The atrocious pixel aspect ratios are actually kind of funny
+ It sure is... playable
Cons - Absolutely wonky tile placement
- The engine might be serviceable but it's definitely unpolished
- Holy dang, those graphics
- Stuff that is straight-up stolen from South Park Super Mario Bros. 2, a contemporary fangame to this one
- Depressingly mediocre
2 / 10
This game aims to mimic the usual Mario formula, something that has been long established as not really doable in The Games Factory with much ease (or arguably... at all). You've got block hitting, Goomba jumping, and even some very basic and bizarre Koopa Troopa shell kicking in action here, and it all works... sometimes. Most of the time. Okay, so it barely functions and if you really put this game through the wringer it would not survive. But that's not the point!

Point is, it all works. Breaking a game on purpose can be fun, but it isn't a real testament to how the game endures regular old gameplay. Well, I for one was not going to test that! This thing wouldn't work in my Windows 95 emulation, and it borked my Windows 10 display settings. Not cool, Mario Returns to the Lost Levels. Not. Cool.

It's nothing offensively bad. Just aggressively average.
1 / 10
My god, wah hah hah, these graphics man... these graphics. This is something beyond terrible. This is bad even by the strange standard set by other amateur Clickteam games of the time! It's just... I mean look at that?! Can you see the screenshot on the game's page? Yeah, so you don't have to picture a thing, because it's right there. That's all you need to know. It's pretty awful.

But see, it's kind of so awful... that it's magical. It's actually really funny how bad it looks! In a way, anywho. I know, a bit backwards to think, but trust me on this one. It was almost worth it to play and experience the horrors. I hate it, but in a loving way. Embrace me with your garbage, video game. Embrace me and let me feel your warmth...!

Also, the Koopa Troopas and clouds are taken from South Park Super Mario Bros. 2 (which came out the same year this game did), and are probably being used without permission. So they're probably stolen. Food for thought.
4 / 10
Bland. Same boring MIDI choices, same sound rips from we've all heard a million times. I refuse to write out more than two full sentences for this, so there's your quota.
Final Words
2 / 10
This isn't the worst fangame I've ever played - it was certainly playable enough that you could probably finish it if you cared enough to - but that's just the thing... you probably won't. I sure as hell didn't. The graphics amused me for a bit but that's about it.

Hard pass.

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