By Tibe

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If any player in the world knows Super Mario, things are probably a little different about Spinmaster. This one is a Data East platform game, released in 1993 on the Neo Geo. At the same time Super Mario All Stars came on the Super Famicom, a compilation of the three Super Mario Bros games previously released on NES. This is completed by the 'Lost Levels': this latter packs all the unpublished stages of the first episode. Nintendo didn't only compiled, since each title has been redesigned and improved for 16-bit standards. However, the Neo Geo title is not starting disadvantaged: host on a system far more powerful than the Super Famicom, it can count on a higher realization than Super Mario All Stars' one. However, the 'arcade' format is not proper to create very long platform games. Yet to see the number of megabytes that weigh our two rivals, it's not obvious at first glance: Spinmaster weighs 90 Mb against 16 Mb for Nintendo's plumber. Neo Geo Kult's versus are sometimes full of surprises and twists... So this time, what will happen in this Spinmaster VS Super Mario All Stars?

GRAPHICS

Spinmaster unsurprisingly wins the graphics round! Despite using a resolution of 304x216 - while most Neo Geo games run in 320x224 -we discover a particularly successful style. Perfectly using a palette of 256 colors, Data East's game combines simplicity with relief and aesthetics. Characters and backgrounds are remarkable, not to mention the Bosses, as cute as spectacular. Of course, the Super Famicom can't compete effectively: it's still not ridiculous, with a colorful and varied graphic style. Special mention to the sets of Super Mario Bros. 3, probably the best of all. Anyway, it's still a good notch below Spinmaster, with fewer colors, less relief, smaller sprites and more simplistic Bosses.

SPINMASTER........................ 86%

 SUPER MARIO ALL STARS... 72% 

ANIMATION

Again, the supremacy of the most powerful 16-bit of its generation sounds the charge! Large and numerous sprites on screen, sustained action, dazzling effects, huge Bosses, fluid and decomposed animations... What more to ask for? It's a little Las Vegas in there, besides the slowdowns are nonexistent. Super Mario All Stars is more modest, without committing any fault. Nothing impressive, no big enemies, no crowds of sprites on screen, no bluffing animations... but this is still flawless. One more point for Spinmaster, which dominates once again his rival outrageously.

SPINMASTER........................ 84%

 SUPER MARIO ALL STARS... 75% 

SOUND

The Data East game offers a soundtrack that fits nicely the style of Spinmaster. Simple, childlike, funny... but very good. The sampling is remarkable and will not disappoint the regulars of the Neo Geo. Super Mario All Stars takes back the themes of the original games, remastered for the Super Famicom... but let's be honest: the quality is quite poor. We've heard much better on the machine, with games such as F-Zero or even Axelay. A priori, the programmers wanted to keep room for the graphics, that might use a lot of space, as we shall see ...

SPINMASTER........................ 76%

 SUPER MARIO ALL STARS.. 61% 

REPLAY VALUE

Super Mario with four games on the same cartridge, might pack graphics that probably occupy 80% of rom space! Player can choose at the beginning between these legendary titles: Super Mario Bros., Super Mario Bros. 2, Super Mario Bros. 3, and Lost Levels. Each one offers a different approach to platform gaming, including some 'adventure' for the third installment. Everything that made the reputation of Mario games is there: the hidden bonuses, secret passages ... and the impressive life of these games! Consider this: on average, forty minutes to clear for Super Mario Bros., a good hour for the second, over three hours for the third one ... and another hour to finish the Lost Levels. Here we are with a total of almost six hours of gaming for this cartridge, and more! Expect to spend triple or quadruple, if you don't already know by heart these titles. Moreover, players will come back willingly. This is also the case for Spinmaster... but it differs for one thing: the game is cleared within twenty-five minutes! The fact that it's an arcade game certainly doesn't allow a lenght of several hours, but still... It's really short! Let's not make further insult to injury, the Data East game is logically crashed in this chapter by Nintendo's hit.

SPINMASTER........................ 59%

 SUPER MARIO ALL STARS.. 99% 

GAMEPLAY

If the action is more intense in Spinmasters, accuracy and timing are more than appropriate in the Mario games. The Data East soft uses three buttons: A for attack, B jump, C for the Special. Holding A charges a powerful attack (two levels of power). You can also perform a slide with down+AB, and it's of course possible to kill enemies by jumping on their heads - like in Mario. The range of weapons available is large, it goes from the basic Yo-Yo to the boxing gloves, through the ice picks, fireballs or shurikens. Funny detail, the attack with C changes depending on the weapon used. Two, the action is even more fun and cooperation allows to go further in the game, while having a great time. Mario has a completely different approach of gameplay. On the one hand, the hero is much smaller, even in its 'Super' version. Suddenly, the playing area and the opportunities are greater. The action is less intensive than in Spinmaster but calls for skill, timing and accuracy. The jumps are sometimes not obvious and enemies know how to be aggressive for some. The difficulty is not extreme, that's right: but the length of games will appeal to a certain regularity from the players if they want to overcome! In Mario, A is used to run faster (hold) or shoot projectiles, while B controls the jump. Our plumber can turn into different forms by retrieving items: growing in size or gaining the ability to launch fireballs, or even fly. Levels are sometimes labyrinthian and the different games are hell addictive. Simplicity is the strength of the Mario games, and the time shows how these foundations were solid. Still a fantastic pleasure to play, almost twenty years later.

SPINMASTER........................ 88%

 SUPER MARIO ALL STARS.. 97% 

CONCLUSION

Data East's Spinmaster stands as an excellent platform game, having as only flaw its limited life. Difficult in this case to deal with Super Mario All Stars, the best reference of all times! The Neo Geo game dominates obviously head and shoulders on the realization, but Nintendo made the difference with the replay value and life (twelve times its competitor!) and the steel-tempered gameplay of its Mario games.

SPINMASTER

81%


SUPER MARIO ALL STARS

96% 


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