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Review by  Joe Stegner
Reviewed on 2004-11-22
Attention span: 9/10 ...it's MARIO! (+level editor)
Controls: 8/10 Better but jumping is still awkward
Implementation: 9/10 Nearly identical to NES version
Overall: 9/10 Friends will beg you to play it.

Ah, the Mario saga continues with yet another version of that classic, Super Mario 86 .95. You'd think Nintendo would've sued by now...oh well, on with the review:

This one is a great improvement on the older version. It is probably the best 86 version of Mario right now. Features like fireballs, going down pipes, and some nice controls give this game a nice edge. There are a few downsides, though.

he grayscale adds a nice touch to the game (I like the 8-level grayscale picture at the beginning), but at times it slows the game down. When there's more than one thing moving on the screen, you'll sometimes notice the scrolling move slower. The jumping has gotten a lot better but it still seems a little awkward for me.

The game still isn't finished, so I can understand there not being star men for invincibility or extra life mushrooms. It does, however, have most of the basics of the original Super Mario Bros., so not much is to be missed. The level editor adds quite a nice touch to the game, but it requires a lot of memory to make a level it seems (I had 12001 bytes and it said "error memory" when I tried to create a level). Still, it's better than playing the same levels over and over like in the older version. My favorite thing to do with the level editor is to make a level made up of a huge pit and let my friends play it so they die. :P

This will probably be a keeper on your calculator.

Review by  Kirk Meyer
Reviewed on 2004-11-02
Attention span: 7/10 External levels would help.
Controls: 6/10 The jumping is terrible!
Implementation: 10/10 Greyscale, fireballs, and more.
Overall: 8/10 With a few additions, a great game.

Super Mario 86 has the distinction of being the first ever grayscale scroller on a Z80-based calculator. This above all else makes for noticeably better gameplay. The game also supports fireballs and pipes, features not implemented in other 86 versions of Mario. The game is implemented fairly well and has won our Program of the Month award.

The program is not without flaws, however. Perhaps the most noticeable is that the jumping is extremely erratic, sometimes making it difficult to navigate. Additionally, external level sets are not yet supported. This greatly diminishes the game's appeal after a long period of time. But overall, with just a little work, the game will enter the upper tier of games for the TI-86.

Review by  Morgan Davies
Reviewed on 2004-04-06
I have to admit this program is very well done. Next to the 68k version, I would have to say that this is the closest to the original as you can get for a calculator game. It is the only z80 Mario version to include grayscale, tunnels, both running and normal Mario speed and fireballs. In addition it has all the features found in any Mario including: multiple enemies (including Bowser), power-ups, background imagery, side scrolling "elevators", coins, stars and much more.

Like its predecessors, Super Mario 86 v.095 includes an on-calc level editor, which is very easy to use as well, despite the lack of levels made for it compared to other Mario games.

For the most part, the gameplay is good. It is kind of hard to "run" because you have to hold down multiple keys to do so, however I blame that on the awkward shape of the calculator, but he could have used the [Clear] key specifically for running instead of having to use both [right,left] and [Alpha]. Or something like that. The problem comes when you have to run and jump at the same time. ItÂ’s very awkward to do so, and I even have big hands.

The other complaint I have is the jumping. No matter how short of time you hold down the jump button you will always go the same height. I have seen other versions of Mario regulate the height of Mario by the time the jump button was held down. This would be very helpful and add to the possible variations of gameplay.

Besides those two little things, the program itself is very good. I haven't seen any bugs or anything. It is a bit large, but with grayscale you have to expect as much. I can't say that it is my favorite version of Mario, but it is definitely worth the download. However, like I said, there are a limited number of levels made for it, so that might cause you to get bored a bit faster, unless you make your own and upload them :-)

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