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Review Information
Game Reviewed Super Mario Epic 2, by Jeff Silvers
Review Author Vitiman
Created Mar 9 2019, 11:19 AM

General Commentary and Game Overview
I consider MFGG to be split, mostly, into two distinctive eras: the Clickteam era, filled with fangames made largely in Clickteam products such as The Games Factory or Multimedia Fusion and experimental and quirky in nature - and the Game Maker era, filled with fangames made largely in the Game Maker franchise of products, with most of the fangames of this time being produced in Game Maker 6 onward.

Generally speaking, when the second era began is up to the person talking about it. Some consensus holds that it was probably around 2006, coincidentally when the main site software saw its current (still?!) form take shape and become the de facto way to experience MFGG. Some people cite 2005 as the year instead, pointing towards Blue Twilight DX being featured on G4's Attack of the Show and MFGG getting (incorrectly) name dropped.

In any case, there was a noticeable divide as the years went by and it became clear the MFGG that started it all was now a different beast, for better or worse.

To me personally, it is this fangame - this very one that I'm reviewing right now - that may just be the swan song of the original era. Many may point to Toad Strikes Back, and that's a fantastic fangame! But frankly, it's a bit unfair - Thunder Dragon kept using Clickteam well into his latest fangame (which was a sequel to that one, Toadette Strikes) and even used it with his most popular fangame, Psycho Waluigi. But more importantly, it was finished AFTER the transition to Game Maker was already evident and prominent.

Super Mario Epic 2 came out near the tail-end of the Clickteam years, when they were on the way out. It showcases a competency and even polish not found in its contemporaries, while still having some of the same flaws/characteristics. It's one of my favourite fangames, and I sincerely hold it in my heart as the one that pushed me to finally make my own fangames and join this community, many many years ago.

So please, just let this old Vitiman reminisce positively for once. Some incoming nostalgia for you youngins might teach you to not be so quick to judge the past, anywho!
 
Pros Fantastic level design
Exceptional handling for a game made using the default platform movement
Highly varied levels
Fun times with only two major power ups!
A mixture of classic Mario and SMB2 action
A guaranteed blast to play if you like any of the major 2D Mario games
 
Cons Ace Coin placement can be a bit obtuse and out of the way
The reward for collecting all of them is underwhelming
Backtracking is a pain because of the fixed camera
Enemy collision isn't always perfect
 
Impressions
Gameplay
9 / 10
Aye aye aye, where do I begin? Super Mario Epic 2 may just very well be the first Mario fangame on MFGG to get shockingly close to how an actual Mario game feels! Now, usually I've been known around these parts to chastise this - claiming it's unoriginal and not as interesting as the quirkier, more bizarre fangames. I still uphold this view! Let it be known, I still believe in that all too well.

And see, that's the wonderful thing about this fangame: while it has that to it, as time has gone by, it's also shown just how much of a fangame it still is. It has a lot of characteristics of a classic Clickteam fangame, right down to the movement engine just being a tweaked-enough default platform movement so as to not be nearly as grating to the player. You won't find yourself slipping and sliding all over the place here, it's largely stable. Hardly revolutionary, but quite the achievement!

Super Mario Epic 2 is just... it's just FUN! It's just straight up fun. There's no bones about it, this game is an homage to the at-the-time contemporary Mario Advance games, from having a hodge-podge of SMW, SMB2, SMB3, even Yoshi's Island objects and enemies all in one game, to even using the low fidelity recordings of Mario's voice telling us that a mushroom is, indeed, just what he needed. It's all oh-so very much lifted straight from those lovely GBA ports, which... happened to be something I grew up on heavily! I had a GBA all throughout elementary school, and I had all the Mario Advance games and then some. I recall bringing it to school in first grade and getting a mark next to my name for daring to play Super Mario World in class. Well I'm really sorry, Mrs. Meade, but who's gonna go through Chocolate Island if I don't?!?!

Maybe this game brings back more than just memories of playing a well made Mario fangame, heh. It's a real testament to how much love was put into this fangame that it can charm back memories of those old GBA remakes, which are now dangerously close to pushing the big 2-0 in a few years, making them almost as antiquated as the very games they are remaking! In much the same way, Super Mario Epic 2 turns 15 this year, which is... astonishing, to say the least. I can't believe it's been that long already...

So what about the actual game stuff? Let me give you a run-down: You're Mario. You can do all the Mario things. You can also pick up veggies if you want. Knock down the "?" clouds from Yoshi's Island with them and get goodies. Also, you're liable to find Fire Flowers and even Hammer Suits to use at your leisure. Your mission is to get to Wart's Castle, stop him from using his evil Dream Machine to make everyone have bad dreams, and save the day once again!

It's all very wonderful and fun to play, and very quite addicting too! In a way that only a Mario game can be, I suppose. I've certainly had no trouble 100%-ing this game again recently, even though it was a bit of a challenge! Some Ace Coins require you have both a Hammer Suit and Fire Flower at your disposal, which does require having them ready from previous level visits, but it's not the worst thing in the world. Thanks to the item reserve lifted straight out of SMW, this is all very much possible to do.

Your reward for getting all of the Ace Coins is akin to the Top Secret Area (also from SMW), so it's not a terrible incentive to get them all. It's just an extra room to snag all the game's goodies in whenever you want them, that's about it. But still, the reward of getting them all is in much a way a reward all on its own! So there's that...!

Overall, this game is a pure treat to play, 15 years later.
 
Graphics
8 / 10
There is some graphic clash going on here in the technical sense, but as with most things (in my humble opinion) it well and truly works. Most graphics are lifted from SMW, but some are from SMB3, Yoshi's Island, even SMB2 at parts! There are even some edits and customs to try and fit things more into this weird Mushroom Kingdom that Mr. Silvers has crafted. It all works out very wonderfully, and I challenge someone to tell me that the graphic clash in this game is severe enough to hinder enjoyment.
 
Sound
8 / 10
I'm so happy, 'cause today I found my friends! They're in my head...

Jeff Silvers makes it no secret that he's a big fan of a certain Seattle band. I'm all apologies for being coy with it, but we shouldn't breed contempt over such an in-bloom concept as using popular song MIDIs in the early 2000s - it was hardly something only he was doing! Nevermind the fact that many would argue this gives the game undeniable charm all to its own, I also happen to scoff at the idea that it's corny in any way. Feel free to come as you are, but I think the early '90s grunge MIDIs are quite good fun! Hardly something in the way, if you ask me.

Beyond that, the MIDIs are your typical Mario MIDIs from the time. They work well enough, but they are a bit cliche now. Oh well, what can you do?
 
Replay
10 / 10
Few fangames find themselves to be so playable and fun, and with this game having the side-quest of getting all the Ace Coins (as simple of a task as that may be in most levels), this one will have you coming for more and more as time goes by. Indeed, Super Mario Epic 2 is a game that, 15 years later, has got me grabbing out my 8bitdo controller to give it a proper spin with a D-Pad and face buttons after relying for so long on my trusty old keyboard to play it.
 
Final Words
10 / 10
Super Mario Epic 2 is a game that is both the beginning and the end of MFGG's humble beginnings. It showcased what fangaming could be, but also what it was about to stop being. It's one of my favourite fangames of all time, and I can safely say after replaying through a large chunk of it for this review (and managing a 100% finally), that it was well worth the adventure. Fangaming was just In Utero at this point in time, and now I feel like it may just be well too Bleached... but no matter how you perceive fangaming nowadays, one cannot deny Jeff Silvers of the tribute to Super Mario he crafted that left a huge impact on how a lot of us make fangames - even now. Please, download this game, see where it all began. It may not be the most absolutely over-polished game on this site, but I guarantee you with all of my heart that the character and charm and competence it has more than makes up for it.

Comments
VinnyVideo Mar 10 2019, 10:24 PM
An excellent review for an excellent game! Super Mario Epic 2 was one of the first fangames I ever played, and I found it to be a very enjoyable experience. It's not perfect, but it had fun, creative gameplay and a lot of good ideas that are executed well.

Super Mario Epic 2 raised the bar for fangames of its era, and it's still a little bit epic!

Also, in the not-extremely-likely event that ol' Cap'n Jeff sees this, I hope things are going well matey.
 
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