General Commentary and Game Overview
Well, I guess this isn't that terrible for someone's first 3D game, but oh man. I would've expected something so much better than Hello...
||+ Nice looking textures, models and lighting
+ The level design isn't horrible at the start of World 1.
+ I also kinda like how World 3 looks.
||- The level design is pretty bad in the rest of the game.
- The controls are TERRIBLE. They pretty much ruin the entire game.
- The default keyboard mapping is kind of awkward.
- It feels very unpolished. There are several visual effects and such missing, and the UI and such are all very bland.
- The collisions are kind of weird too, especially with trees, enemies and switches.
- The camera also sucks and makes certain sections a pain to play.
- Certain things in the game feel like they are in slow motion.
- The environments look really bland, save for that one world I mentioned.
- The music is... disappointing.
1 / 10
Let's start with the most obvious flaw of the game, and the hardest to explain one, the controls.
And they are... terrible. It's probably one of the worst controlling 3D platformers I've ever played in my entire life. Again, it's hard to explain so I'm not going to go into detail. If you're curious about it just go and play the game for 5 minutes, you'll see. It's just terrible, and that's all you gotta know. And to make it worse, that's playing with a controller. It's possible to play the game with a keyboard too but the mapping is so awkward that I didn't even bother.
The second biggest flaw of the game is the broken collisions. Like sometimes you jump into Goombas and you get hurt, sometimes you wanna press switches but fail, sometimes you wanna jump on trees and you just... can't. It's amazing how messed up the collisions are. Oh yeah, you can't climb trees, you jump on them. And again it only works like 30% of the time.
Another thing is that a lot of the things in this game feel... slow. The jumping feels slow, the goombas feel slow, ground pounding feels especially slow. Again, it's weird. It's like parts of the game are in slow motion despite the game running at 60fps on my PC.
Then there's the level design. At first, it appears to be alright, like the first world isn't all that badly designed. Sure there's an overreliance on wall jumping, a lot of the platforming challenges feel very simple, and yeah it lacks memorable segments, but it's nothing offensive. It's kind of like 3D Land / 3D World level design, with blocky landscape and such, but it has a more open structure similar to Mario 64. I guess some slopes etc would make it nicer, but hey, it actually works.
Or so it seems. The real problems start with individual missions. Like in the very first mission, you go through the level and reach a mountain. You're supposed to climb by jumping on donut blocks. But guess what? The camera is TERRIBLE in this game, so you're constantly trying to get a good angle. Combine that with the terrible controls and it becomes a nightmare. I still haven't gotten that star, it's borderline impossible. AND IT'S THE FIRST MISSION. Now thankfully there's a second star that's much easier, and the level design kind of guides you to that one when you first start the game, so it's only the first star in name only.
Another mission in the first world, a switch and box puzzle. You press switches to open doors and move a box around to press different switches. Sounds decent right? WRONG. You can't just push the box normally, no no no. Instead, you walk into the box and the physics engine pushes it for you. It's like, imagine you're trying to push a giant empty box that's made out of styrofoam, except you have no arms and you're on the moon. That's what it feels like.
But it gets worse. First of all, if you push the box into a wall there's no way for you to pull it back, you have to jump off a pit and try again. And doing that is as easy as walking into the box because it's placed right next to a wall. There are also a lot of instances of pushing the box and it falling to a pit, just because you couldn't see where you pushed the box. Good camera.
Oh yeah, you have to ground pound on certain switches too, except if you aren't right on the center it fails and sometimes you even get launched into the pit thanks to bad physics. It's hard to explain but it happened to me twice. And since this is all near a pit it's also super easy to accidentally fall while trying to walk around. It's like every single flaw of this game came together to make this the most painful experience ever. It's still better than the first mission, but not by that much.
The purple coin mission is also just as bad. There are tons of purple coins, but there's no hud indicator that keeps track of how many you have collected, they are all placed on the most tedious locations possible, and worst of all if you die you start over. AMAZING.
Then there's World 2... You first go through a linear path with moving platforms, then you get a choice between towers, all of them also featuring very basic wall jump or moving platform based platforming sections. It throws away everything I liked about the first world and amplifies all of its issues. It's boring, it's not well designed and it's not fun to play. It even recycles sections from one of the missions in the first world. The 3rd world isn't that much better too, I'd go into detail but you all get my point, it gets pretty bad.
I can't say anything for the last 4th world tho. I haven't got there yet, and I don't think I ever will. I don't expect it to be any better, so I'm not going to torture myself any further.
Oh and I almost forgot to mention, there's a hub world too! But it's so basic that Hello might as well added a menu to choose the levels. It's supposed to be a training ground to test the controls I guess, but when you start the level entrance is right in front of you. There's nothing that encourages you to experiment with the controls so all that ends up being pointless.
4 / 10
|It's kind of a mixed bag.
First of all, the game is 3D, which is a bonus on its own because it helps the game to stand out among countless 2D games. The overall lighting seems pretty nice too, as well as shadows and some of the textures. Mario's walking animation is also pretty good compared to other 3D Mario fangames.
The rest of Mario's animations tho... As I mentioned in the gameplay section some of the animations feel very slow, which affects the game feel as a whole.
The environments are also not that great. I mean I kinda like how World 1 and 3 look but... it's like... it feels like something is missing and I can't really say what. For some reason, they just look very bland, especially World 1. But then there's World 2, which straight up looks bad. It's just some brown platforms floating on the sky. It's boring. Same for the secret areas, they are just some white platforms with a sky on the background.
The game is also very unpolished. Like it seems like a lot of the eyecandy is just missing for no reason. Like when you stomp a goomba it just disappears. No smoke, so fading, it just disappears. There are also no smoke effects for walking, or anything like that. It makes the game feel unfinished in a way.
The interface feels unpolished as well. There are no animations in the menus, and they are in general very flat and unappealing. Hello's games used to have very nice menus, presentation and such so I don't know what happened here.
One last thing that bothers me a lot is, well, it's the NPCs. They have these huge dialogue boxes that are really really annoying. They appear when you get close to them and they constantly get in your way. And despite all this, they are still hard to read. Good job lol
3 / 10
|Okay so, in the past I was a fan of Hello's music choices for his fangames. They were, you know, nice.
Here, they aren't.
I think what Hello here trying to do was to have a general main theme. You know, kinda like SMW and SM64. And he chose Mario Land's credits theme for that. The problem is that a lot of the tracks in the game are different instrumentations of the exact same melody. And they aren't even very good. There are some different songs but they also don't sound good. Again, I don't really know what happened here but I'm really disappointed.
The sound effects are uhh, very generic but they get the job done. Mario doesn't say "Hohoo just what I needed!" so that's a huge plus I guess.
2 / 10
|It has the structure from Super Mario 64 so you can return to previous worlds to get the stars you haven't gotten before.
The game sucks tho so no one would want to do that lol
||Terrible controls, repetitive level design, bad camera... All these issues make Super Mario Prism a huge pain to play.
Definitely not something I would've expected from Hello.