I was recently contacted by Mikeystar45 on YouTube, who told me about a fan game he’d been working on for over four years. He’d only recently released the first major public demo, but he seemed really proud of it and asked me to play through it and do a live-stream or video of the game if I had the time.
His game is called Super Mario World: All-Star Edition, and despite the name, it feels more closely related to, say, Super Mario Bros. 3 or the New Super Mario Bros. games than its initial namesake would imply. The story draws on the mythology of Star Haven, and the story is very well-done and shines through. There’s a focus on good storytelling that I really like about this game.
However, it’s the actual gameplay that really stands out. The game is challenging – I had difficulty with the first area even on the “Intermediate” setting (which I take to be “normal” mode). Maybe it was just my rusty skills, but I still feel like the difficulty is turned up, obviously showing that the game is designed by a person who wants to challenge others. The mechanic of collecting special coins throughout the stages is present, and the overworld is sprawling. There’s a wide variety of power-ups (including some that are unique to the game) and interesting areas to explore. You can visit Toad Town and Peach’s Castle to pick up special items, interact with NPCs, and much more. All-in-all, the game gives you the feeling of actually getting a peek into Mario’s world.
The game isn’t without its bugs though. In fact, the video included with this post (taken from a stream done on the evening of December 2-3, 2014) ends with a bug that sends Mario falling through the floor to his death (and eliciting a bit of anger from me). I also had trouble getting the game to save via the menu, though I’m unsure if I was just doing something wrong or if the save feature wasn’t working yet for manual saving (the save prompt seemed to work fine when completing certain levels).
If you’d like to try the game out, you can find the demo right here in his video notes.