This is the first review since the reopening of FGN that APIM Group, Inc. has written, so let's not waste any time. Mad, Mad Mario is a Game Boy-styled game by Power Productions, available for the 3DS's Nintendo eShop. Is it good? We'll see.
According to the eShop description, Mario's last 1-Up Mushroom has been stolen by Bowser, and chases him through five levels while meeting enemies and items.
...that's it. That's our story. The article shows nothing else than this line explained in two sentences. Storyline-wise, at least. It's even short for an eShop description.
While it is quite a simple storyline that might work, there are some flaws. First of all, why would Mario be mad at this, if he was mad in the first place. Mario has saved Peach's #ss from Bowser's clutches for tons of years, so why would he be mad (or very mad) when Bowser steals his last extra life? He could collect 100 coins to get an extra life, or get another 1-Up Mushroom if he wants to. Was he even mad in the first place? He should be, else the game title doesn't live up with its name. But it isn't mentioned anywhere that he was mad, so he might as well not be. Second, why would Bowser do something petty like stealing a Mushroom from your nemesis? Mind you, Bowser has tried kidnapping the princess many times, turned Toads into bricks once, was about to conquer the universe twice. Stole all the Mini Stars in the nightsky, made Mario's friends small, stole some Star Rods... then he steals a 1-Up Mushroom for his own goods. In the creator'd defesne, however, Bowser did his worst to Mario's friends simply because he wasn't invited for a vacation, but that's more like making a mountain out of a molehill, rather than doing some kind of thing that is nothing compared to some of his eviler schemes.
Speaking of molehill-to-mountain making, this is exactly what Mario is doing (if I assume that he was indeed mad). Mario wouldn't do that. It would be rather something for Wario to do. You know what, replace Mario with Wario, Bowser with Captain Syrup, and the Mushroom with a big sack of Coins, and you got a perfect storyline for a Wario game.
Gameplay & Presentation
As told before, Mario chases Bowser through five levels. I'm not sure if the player can make Mario run, or if the game already does for him, but one thing is for sure, the player can make Mario jump. Simple. Mario also should avoid enemies and can pick up items to gain powers, like in previous games. The Super Mushroom makes him bigger, the Fire Flower lets him shoot fireballs, and the Super Star makes him invincible. You know that stuff.
The Gameplay section also notes that players can play in "Black and White" mode and "Color" mode.
...what's the difference, except for the appearance?
Seriously, there is no description about what the two modes exactly are. They don't explain if one is harder or not, they don't explain if the levels have differences, the article doesn't explain anything. The only thing I'm certain about the two modes, is that one is grayscaled and the other in full color. And if those are the only differences, why is it in "Gameplay"? And why is it in the game anyway? To reintroduce nostalgia and to mess with the 8-bit system respectively?
Now let's dive into the enemies. There are yet only four known. The first is not the Goomba, but the Goombo from Super Mario Land. No idea why he's in it instead of his more popular cousin. Now we get to the two Koopas. The red and Green ones. Now these two entries are weird. First, their pictures show oddly-colored pictured that apparently are Koopa characters rather than entire species. Here's an entire section of normal Koopa pictures, and the creator uses exactly these two weird ones that aren't even shown in the gallery. Second. their only descriptions are "Will walk off of ledge." and "Will not walk off of ledge.", for green and red respectively. Okay, but none of them explains that Mario can stomp on them so they can hide in their shell, which can be kicked around, just like in the games. The Goombo's description is more detailed, although not much either: "Can be stomped on. Only hurts Mario when hit from side."
But here's the weirdest part, you know who the fourth enemy is?
No I'm not kidding, check it out yourself! Luigi is an enemy. Why? Why, would Luigi antagonize Mario? He's his brother, his friend, and now he's on the bad guy's side? That makes no sense at all! Anyway, he copies Mario's movements, but jumps higher, and only appears in the last level.
...can't you just replace him with a Cosmic Clone?
Lastly, I want to talk about the Color screenshot before we move to the next section. To say the obvious, it's exactly the same as the Black and White screenshot, except in color. However, there are too much colors to be 8-bit and too less shading to be 16-bit. Not all the colors are right, either. The ground is in B&W mode dark while in same mode, the sky is light. This is vice versa in Color mode. While the colors are kinda right, the sky manages to be darker than the ground. The sky is even darker than the sky in B&W mode. The ground is lighter in Color mode, too. The weirdest part is that the ground and Bowser have different shades of gray in B&W mode, but hold exactly the same color in Color mode. And the thing that breaks the 8-Bit law is that the colors don't fit in an 8-Bit game, and that Bowser and Mario hold too much colors. An 8-Bit sprite can have three colors per frame (black and white included), but Mario has like six, while Bowser has four.
There's nothing else to talk about than how the article is styled. The article is simple and the grammar isn't bad. There are just a few things that gives bad points. They're just minor things.
First, the screenshots in the Gameplay section are both framed in a thumbnail and placed on the right, which messes up the table in the Enemies section, having the table right under the two pictures, but the section right next to the first, creating a giant gap of empty space. I'd suggest putting them in a gallery instead.
Next, the tables have pure blue and pure red background colors. The former one makes it a little harder to read the black text. I'd suggest to use a lighter blue and lighter red, or make both tables white.
Lastly, the pictures in the tables are in thumbnails. In tables, they shouldn't be in thumbnails. Just replace the thumb thing with a 200px thing. Also, some pictures show smaller duplicates. Just search high and low on the wiki before actually uploading it.
...What do you mean, this section makes no sense? I say it does, because the better an article is styled, the more interesting it looks for the people to read it.
The story has some flaws and might fit better for a Wario game, the game may or may not live up to its name. Luigi somehow turned into a foe, and instead of a Goomba, we got Goombo. The two Koopas' colors are weird and have less detail, as I feared. But the gameplay is not too shabby, if not cliché. So I'll give a mediocre rating, which actually doesn't mean I like this to play.
Three out of five.
...Just make a better game next time, okay?