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Review Information
Game Reviewed Super Mario Lost World 2, by Neosalen
Review Author Vitiman
Created Feb 28 2017, 6:15 PM

General Commentary and Game Overview
Every now and again, a game comes around and presents ideas and concepts so visionary that it's difficult to fathom them being original to begin with. Something so oddball and yet... put together with a lot of effort (for the time) and creativity. It's difficult to ignore these games, because they make up a good chunk of what is considered "above the bar" or "the best of the best", but sometimes these games have flaws that prevent them from achieving that level of notoriety.

Should they be discounted altogether in hindsight? Or should we look behind the engine and see the game beneath it? Let's find out~
Pros Tons of unique concepts, seemingly endless
Presentation is superb for pre-2003
Open world map system
Absolutely divine music choices
Additive particle effects... in THE GAMES FACTORY
Cons Extensive borrowing from WL4
Engine is buggy and often the cause of dying
Maximum 2 HP system ala classic Mario... in a game where that simply doesn't work
Very barren level design
5 / 10
I do not think Super Mario Lost World 2 is an uninteresting game. I do not think it is a charmless game or an unoriginal game. I think it's quite the opposite of all of those things! You find yourself in strange worlds using elemental mushrooms to conjure up the powers of floating leaves or sharp flames, all while trying to make off with as many gemstone collectables as you can.

Unfortunately, the engine severely hinders the enjoyment for this one. It's not QUITE the worst TGF default platform movement execution out there, but it's certainly up there. For starters, it somehow manages to have a combination of zero traction and too much. For those of you not up to speed on what I mean by that, when a platform movement engine has zero traction, you're constantly slipping around and finding it difficult to naturally lose the speed you've built up, often causing you to slide into everything possible. Too much traction is stopping on a dime as soon as you let go of the button.

So how can they both co-exist? Well... when you're running, you have zero traction, but as SOON as you jump and then land, your speed resets immediately. It's ridiculously jarring, and it makes it difficult to on enemies or make precise platform problem-solving.

Aside from that, the level design is on the lower end of "classic fangame levels", ranging from randomly placed blocks and platforms with a few collectable boxes and some enemies, typically in weirdly formed packs. It can get boring quickly, so it's not really the type of level design that draws you in.

Above all else, Super Mario Lost World 2 is not a BORING game by any stretch of imagination, but the engine certainly works against it, among other flaws.
4 / 10
Super Mario World's main Mario sprite is used here pretty much unaltered (save for some palette changes when you get power-ups), clashing against a non-stop barrage of WL4 graphics. Surprisingly, it doesn't look too bad, but it gets old after seeing the thirteenth or fourteenth WL4 sprite in a row.

Aside from that, the game manages to have additive particle effects. If that wasn't clear already from merely saying it, this is impossible to do in stock TGF. They must have used some sort of hacked together extension to pull it off. Colour me impressed! It hasn't aged super well because the CGI-esque particle effects don't mesh very well with the pixel art of everything else, but it adds a unique charm to the game that most didn't have at the time. Overall, I like it!
7 / 10
The music is probably the shining gem in this, being MIDIs from various games but very seldom used ones, ESPECIALLY for a Mario fangame. It really adds an air to the game that I think adds to the uniqueness and creativity. I couldn't exactly pinpoint where the songs came from, but I'm sure if I went out of my way I could - nonetheless, a very solid soundtrack that raises the overall experience without a doubt.

The SFX are alright, just your typical poorly ripped official Mario sounds, along with a handful of stock ones that aren't cliche at the very least, so they won't take you out of the experience.
5 / 10
Honestly? Crappy engine aside, I really want to finish this one day. Maybe it's my own insanity, maybe the game's charm is just that strong, but... I want to play it again, and endure the engine's stop-and-go nature for as long as I need to so I can successfully put this game behind me. I really want to see what the hell all this weird imagery is about and what the "Lost World" even entails.

I don't think many people could say the same thing, so I'm not rating this one too high. Nonetheless, if you're anything like me, then you might just let curiosity get the best of you and try to beat it anyways. I don't think the game has a save feature unfortunately, but it didn't seem like a very expansive game if the map is anything to go by, so who knows if it's really necessary?
Final Words
6 / 10
A fangame that, unlike many of its time, tried to go above and beyond and establish a sort of uniqueness and grace that no other games had tried before. However, even though it's undeniably creative and charming, Super Mario Lost World 2 lacks in a stable engine and often leaves you dying for unfair reasons.

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