Review Information
Game Reviewed Super Mario World The Shadow Queen Returns, by Toad64
Review Author Tech
Created Sep 10 2019, 6:03 AM

General Commentary and Game Overview
SMW The Shadow Queen Returns is a rom hack that feels like a completed demo... for the wrong reasons. You play as Mario, where you have to jump over and stomp on your traditional koopas and goombas (along with a few other enemies) through basic designed levels to get to the end of the demo... which has no reference to the hack title, Shadow Queen, who so far hasn't returned to this uneventful & uninteresting world. The description says it's made like SMW, but this looks more of a SMB3 hack.
 
Pros - Basic HUD that is displayed at the bottom of the levels looks good and works well
- Controls are simple
- Use of raccoon leaf power-up, instead of cape power-up
 
Cons - Basic, but boring level design
- Inconsistent use of sprites
- Mismatching custom music with most levels
- Next to no challenge offered at any stage of the demo
- "New Bosses" are not infact new at all
 
Impressions
Gameplay
3 / 10
This hack doesn't provide any real challenge in the level design. It feels basic, and easy to get to the goal tape at the end of each level. The controls are the same as in SMW, easy to use. The bosses are not new, they are all characters you've seen before, and they are basic, and easy to defeat. It doesn't feel incomplete, for a demo, but it's far from feeling polished.
 
Graphics
3 / 10
A combination of custom, SMW, and SMB3 sprites are used and in most levels it doesn't work too well. It doesn't look visually appealing, but at the same time, it isn't an eyesore. What really doesn't look good, are the sprites for the small Mario, and Yoshi. A lot of the levels had too much going on, and felt obscure and random. You've heard of the saying "less is more"; it definitely applies with the combination of sprites used in this hack. The HUD looks simple but good looking, one of the best graphics looking part of it all.
 
Sound
5 / 10
Some levels contained different/custom background music, which worked better than using SMW/SMB3 background music. If different music was used in levels that were mismatching, it would have made the hack feel more polished. It's a matter of using the right music for the right level, and this hack doesn't exactly show that.
 
Final Words
3 / 10
A basic and boring demo that offers no real challenge or replay value. There are a lot better hacks out there, but not a lot worse than this.

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