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Sunday, 16 May 2010

Unlicensed Mario Joys.

Think you can reach that star? Think again

Finally we've got our fingers out to give you Super Mario 4 for the Gameboy, the review.  There are plenty of things in life to make you frown, such as Westlife in concert, a season dedicated to Cilla Black and on a game, unlicensed version.  Check out Chrono Trigger for the NES for what must be the worst of all pirate ports.

Thankfully Mario 4 is not that bad.

We first got this from a bootsale on a multi cart with Sailormoon, Bomberman GB 3 and an isometric puzzler from Kemco called Snoopy: Hajimete no Otsukai.  (Snoopys opening tasks, thanks to JDict for the translation.) and we found it to be a badly designed and massively unfair game and to be honest our view on this has mellowed as we played it out. 

The game plays sort of like Mario as we know it, there are mushrooms, coins, and starmen, they just don't work like they do in regular Mario.  Mario starts out full sized (no little Mario here unless he takes a hit) and has the odd, but useful ability to throw mushrooms around.  His main enemies are of course Chameleons and Scorpions (I'm sure you'll know what Mario games they are from :)) with the odd goomba to distract him from all the chameleons.  He has the feather cap from Marioland 2 to help him fly and it also fires feathers which is useful.  Yoshi appears as a disembodied head to pick up, this will make you invincible for a short time, it also makes you shoot fireballs too. Coins will give you an extra life but only when you collect 30 of them instead of 100.   Starmen are merely there to stop you dying needlessly by absorbing hits from the enemies.  They are nigh on invaluable from the first stage onward thanks to stupid level design, so get all you can (unless its in that image up top then its out of reach). 

Ah yes level design, one stage each, often split into several areas,  and no checkpoints - if you die there, then you are sent back to the beginning of the stage.  Level 2 is a nightmare of bad level design, bad enemy placement and dumb luck. 

                                          For Example. The ladders here are broken into three pieces so you have to jump
                                         between each part to stand a chance of making it to the top.
This part is especially mean spirited, the Penguin you see here doesn't move from the top of the ladder meaning that even if you are Big Mario (and you'll need to be to even reach that thanks to more shoddy level design work), you won't be for long, and to make it through you'll need to grab a lot of stars in stage 1 to even stand a chance of making it through. 

Stage 3 isn't bad, it has goombas in fork lifts and we haven't made it through yet, but it still is tricky.
Bosses are at the end of each stage, Level one sees your one and only Koopa Troopa, a kind of bubble blowing turtle, who is a push over, level 2 has a weird Sonic alike that when hit reverts to a Bullet Bill. 
Overall If we complete it well give it a solid 52%

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