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Review Information
Game Reviewed Super Mario Bros. Dimensions 2 (Alpha Demo), by LangtonLion64
Review Author RandomClam
Created Mar 8 2017, 8:19 AM

General Commentary and Game Overview
SMB Dimensions 2 is a platformer fangame that has Mario hopping between dimensions (here meaning between two different versions of a level) using his Boo friend Polter. In this demo there isn't a storyline to explain all this, but presumably the first game in the series explains the dimension hopping.

The fangame is structured like Super Mario 64, where Mario enters a level multiple times to collect "Energy Drops" along different pathways each time. He will almost always need to hop through dimensions at some point, although the standard Mario fare is here involving platforming and powerups (including three powerups specifically for this game).

I played the first two missions in the first two levels for this review. The description says there are six missions so either I missed those or it's a typo.
 
Pros + Graphics are pleasing
+ Solid Mario Gameplay
+ Great Sounds and Music
 
Cons - Dimension Hopping is underutilised
 
Impressions
Gameplay
8 / 10
Mario controls fluidly and there's plenty of platforming, sliding and enemy-bouncing in this game. The game's main draw is the ability to switch dimensions in a level, where Mario jumps to a second version of the level and vice versa in order to progress. This is a really cool idea and something I haven't seen in a fangame, but the mechanic needs to be used more.

Throughout this demo, you'll have to switch dimensions a couple of times. This could be to get past a wall, or to get a key in one side of the level to open a lock in the alternate side. There's a lot of potential for this to create interesting puzzles and fun levels. However, here in the first two levels the puzzles simply follow a process of switching dimensions, walking a little ways, then switching back. The Keys that are needed for locked gates are never too far from the gate itself either. Since these are apparently the first couple of levels in the game, hopefully the later ones will be more of a challenge in this regard.

That being said, the game isn't exactly easy. There's enough thoughtful level design and enemy placement to give somewhat of a challenge. There are also Star Coins to collect in each level (like in NSMB). There are three unique powerups to use as well, although only one of them is actually present as part of a mission. These powerups are actually fun to use, although the Thorn powerup is a little strange and you might have to get used to it. These powerups could offer a way to design some unique missions based around them, as seen in the second mission of the second level.

The gameplay is solid and fun and the unique powerups and mechanics set this fangame apart from the rest.

(Note: I consider gameplay to be 8.5/10)
 
Graphics
9 / 10
The game is presented well and the graphics are a pleasing mix from various sources, including some apparent fan customs. Nothing really clashes with anything else in a noticeable way.

The two levels vary greatly due to the graphics used in each level. It's far too easy to use the same tilesets and backgrounds over and over for slightly different levels. I have faith that each level will be different enough once we see more of them. What's great to see is the multiple layers of parallax scrolling in the backgrounds, giving the game a more professional look.

The one complaint I have is some of the sprites. Thorn Mario doesn't seem very natural looking and sometimes lasers will spawn away from whatever fired them. A sprite for Thorn Luigi looks completely different color wise from the rest of them. These are minor nitpicks and overall Langton has done a great job with the look of this game.
 
Sound
10 / 10
I must say, the sound direction in this game is amazing.

Presumably the tunes are from Mario and other Nintendo games. All of the BGM's are high quality. I heard the hubworld theme (which is from SMB3) and was thinking I'd hear the typical Mario music from any fangame. Instead in the levels themselves I was greeted by some pleasing jazz tunes. Furthermore, the alternate dimension in each level plays a similar but more surreal sounding tune than the original one, effectively giving each level two themes. The Orange Overgrow music is a highlight for me.

The music also transitions seamlessly between dimensions, and in the hubworld itself you can hear the level theme echo when getting close to each portal (like in Sonic Generations). It's one thing to have good music for a fangame; it's another to present the music well.

The sound effects are of course Mario sounds. Although I don't expect anything different in terms of effects. The ones chosen thankfully fit the tone of the game and aren't obnoxious.
 
Replay
1 / 10
As this is a demo, replay won't affect the final score in this review.

That being said, there's plenty to offer in terms of replay. Hopefully with the additions of Star Coins there will be some unlockable tied to those, and the levels will take advantage of the mechanics to have you as the player wanting to see the variations in each level.

Luigi is playable along with an apparent third character in the final game. This can make the game even more replayable depending on how the characters are executed. The demo was fun enough that I found myself not wanting to stop the game early.
 
Final Words
9 / 10
A wonderful fangame that starts off strong with this demo. Keep an eye on this one as it has potential to win an MFGG award.

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