[SMBX 2.0] Star Chasing

Share your completed SMBX episodes or play and discuss others.
acrowdofpeople
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[SMBX 2.0] Star Chasing

Postby acrowdofpeople » Sat Jul 09, 2022 4:02 am

This episode's about Bowser stealing some stars and running off. You're tasked with retrieving them all. Good luck!
This episode's real short, probably less than 25 levels.

EDIT: Did a minor update.
EDIT: Did an update based on what I've seen so far of Halibabica's LP. There's a few situations I've seen that, while I was willing to accept them for myself, I see for being ridiculous, along with a few softlocks that needed to be fixed.
EDIT: Did numerous small fixes based on Halibabica's Let's Play, so hopefully everything works correctly now.

Download

Pictures:
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EDIT: There will no doubt be bugs and glitches. Please let me know when you encounter them so I can try to fix them.
EDIT: Forgot to mention that this is for SMBX2 beta 4 and won't work on earlier versions
Last edited by acrowdofpeople on Tue Apr 16, 2024 9:26 pm, edited 5 times in total.

MarioFan171
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Re: Star Chasing

Postby MarioFan171 » Sat Jul 09, 2022 4:09 am

Does it have Custom GFX?

deice
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Re: Star Chasing

Postby deice » Sat Jul 09, 2022 7:52 am

MarioFan171 wrote:
Sat Jul 09, 2022 4:09 am
Does it have Custom GFX?
the screenshots clearly show that it does? the hammer bro and mario statues as well as the teal brick stairs are not vanilla graphics.

acrowdofpeople
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Re: Star Chasing

Postby acrowdofpeople » Sat Jul 09, 2022 2:28 pm

MarioFan171 wrote:
Sat Jul 09, 2022 4:09 am
Does it have Custom GFX?
Yes

Chanceux2
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Re: Star Chasing

Postby Chanceux2 » Sat Jul 09, 2022 5:30 pm

This might just be a nitpick but it kinda bothers me how the Super Mario World, and Super Mario Bros. blocks are mixed together, it doesn't feel right. Other than that, looking good so far

halibabica
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Star Chasing Review

Postby halibabica » Sat Jun 01, 2024 1:56 pm

If you would like me to LP/review a level or episode you made, feel free to ask! My queue accepts all takers, so long as it is your own project.

Full Let’s Play

Star Chasing is an oddball episode where Bowser’s causing trouble again and you look for stars to stop him, only to stumble into strange circumstances involving time travel and the abyss at the bottom of the world. While there are some interesting ideas that go into it, the presentation and composition leave much to be desired.

Let’s Talk About Assets!

There’s not much in the way of custom stuff outside of music choices. You’ll find restyled NPCs in a few levels, but it mostly works with defaults available in SMBX. The episode is more about its world than anything else, so the pieces used to build it take a backseat along with most other facets.

Let’s Talk About Writing!

There isn’t much. The introduction serves as an excuse to go adventuring and there’s no real structure to the story. Some stages involve more text, but typically feel isolated from each other. The general plot is that you’re tracking down Bowser in his latest power grab, but the nature of it isn’t quite defined and it doesn’t really go anywhere productive for either side.

Since world-building is this episode’s most prominent feature, I suppose I should address it here. Things in this episode don’t work quite like they do in regular Mario games. Falling down a cliff isn’t the death of you, but rather drops you into the abyss, a dark and empty place that serves as a sort of hub to other locations and time periods. Each stage has a past and present version along with the world map itself. Castles and other structures are complete at one time and being built at another. Natural locations show their age in different ways, usually going between desolation and prosperity.

It's a neat concept, but the game doesn’t capitalize on it very well. The stages feel empty and bland. Their designs are simplistic and incoherent. It varies somewhat by place, but there’s a general sense of a rough draft in need of fleshing out. It seems like the concepts are all they have and they’ve been built upon just enough to be playable.

It’s still interesting to see, just not nearly as compelling of an experience as it could be. There’s a lot of untapped potential languishing in barren spaces and overtaken by misplaced weirdness. Like, it’s fine for things in Mario to be weird; that’s the franchise’s whole schtick, but it usually has some sense of internal consistency, and that’s noticeably absent in this episode.

Let’s Talk About Design!

This is normally the area that needs the most attention in a review, but like the story and assets, it feels like a secondary concern here and the episode definitely suffers for it. You won’t find much of traditional design within the levels. They’re built out of Mario tiles, but they don’t have that Mario vibe.

From what I understand, this is a bit of a compilation for the author, bringing several formerly-unrelated stages together into one thing. That explains the inconsistency, but even taken individually, these stages have a myriad of issues that are sometimes unique to them. Overarching problems were largely covered in the previous section: emptiness, incoherency, lack of detail, etc. Some stages feel like they’re composed of only what’s strictly necessary, leaving them bereft of the things that help bring Mario stages to life.

Often, the stages feel experimental in nature; like they were built around an idea to see if it could work, but not taken far enough to make the most of it. For example, there’s a Metroidvania-style stage where you gradually gain power-ups to make progress and move between time periods through potion doors. But there’s only one ‘lock’ for each ‘key,’ the stage takes up a lot of space it doesn’t fill with much, and the sequence is so basic that the only challenge is navigating between locks with little to oppose you.

There are more individual examples I could go over, but I think I’ve made my point. What this episode wants for most is substance, and it’s absent in every area that isn’t the core idea each time.

Let’s Wrap This Up…

Unfortunately, this episode is missing too much where it counts for me to be able to recommend it. There are plenty of curiosities within it that are intriguing to see, but they don’t come together well as a package and what they have in novelty is offset by what they lack in other areas. While I’m confident it could be whipped into something more worthwhile, it would take a lot of work to get there as every aspect is in need of closer examination and more development.

2/5

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Maybe Toad belongs down here.


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