Hotel Mario Review(Philips CDi)








Introduction
Hotel Mario is a puzzle game developed by Fantasy Factory and published by Philips Interactive Media and Nintendo for the CD-i on December 31, 1994. The primary character of the game is Mario, who must find Princess Toadstool by going through seven Koopa hotels in the Mushroom Kingdom. Every hotel is divided into multiple stages, and the objective is to close all doors on each stage. Defeating a Koopaling on the hotel's final stage takes the player to the following building.After Nintendo decided not to have Philips create an add-on for the Super Nintendo, Nintendo gave Philips the permission to use five Nintendo characters for their games in the CD-i. The games were given little time to be developed and little funding, and Nintendo only gave cursory input. The games resulting from the license were widely criticized, with Hotel Mario being regarded as one of the worst Mario-centered games, due to the animation of the shutting doors, the unresponsive controls, and especially known for the cutscenes that used full motion video. The CD-i was considered a commercial failure and the games became very valuable due to their extreme rarity.

Gameplay
A stage in the first hotel.Controlling Mario, or his brother Luigi in two-player mode, the player has to complete all stages of the seven hotels in the game. The first six hotels contain 10 stages, and the last contains 15 stages. Progressing from one stage to the next requires the player to shut every door without exceeding a time limit. The purpose of closing the doors to progress is not explained.Elevators, which operate differently depending on the hotel, enable the player to go between the five floors of the stage. The faster a stage is cleared, the more points will be given to the player. Every stage has its own title screen via which the game can be saved. The screens are also used to enter previously played hotel stages and the map of the Mushroom Kingdom, which allows the player to access any visited hotel.
While trying to close the doors, the player must avoid certain hazards. Mario will lose a life if he touches an enemy, runs out of time, runs off the edge of the floor he is on, or if all the doors are open. Enemies in the game are mostly regular Mario series creatures, such as Goombas, Koopas, Boos, and their variations. The opponent on the last stage of each hotel is one of the Koopalings, who use different methods to attack Mario.
In his normal state, Mario can tolerate one hit from an enemy and defeat most of the foes with a stomp. By opening doors the player can find power-ups which grant different abilities. A Super Mushroom transforms Mario into Super Mario, with glowing overalls and the strength to withstand two enemy hits. If the player finds another mushroom while Mario is in the Super Mario form, the item turns into a Fire Flower. When grabbing it, Mario becomes Fire Mario and can throw fireballs to eliminate enemies.A 1-up mushroom known as "Extra Mario Mushroom" or "Toad" can only be found by Fire Mario. Another way to earn an extra life is collecting 30 coins.The player can also obtain a Star Man, which makes Mario temporarily able to knock any enemy off the screen by simply touching them.

Development
In May 1991, following an unsuccessful attempt with Sony to develop a CD-ROM-based add-on for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System, Nintendo signed a deal with Philips to develop the aforementioned add-on.However, witnessing the failure of the Mega-CD, Nintendo no longer considered the add-on profitable anymore, and the project was scrapped entirely.As part of dissolving the deal, Nintendo gave Philips the license to use five of their characters, including Mario, Luigi, and Peach, to be featured in their games for their console called the "CD-i". Philips used the characters to create games for the CD-i, with Nintendo taking no part in their development except to give input on the look of the characters.Apart from Hotel Mario, the Mario characters were intended to be used in Super Mario's Wacky Worlds, but the game was cancelled with only some prototype versions being programmed.While Wacky Worlds was planned as a CD-i adaptation of the side-scrolling platformer Super Mario World, Hotel Mario was made into a puzzle game in which stage areas were restricted to a single screen.Unlike the CD-i games from the The Legend of Zelda series, the game was not developed by a third-party company, but by Philips' development team Fantasy Factory.Several full motion video cut scenes were animated for Hotel Mario. The cinematics depict Mario and Luigi as they advance to the next hotel, discussing with each other and giving hints to the player such as: "If you need instructions on how to get through the hotels, check out the enclosed instruction book!" The voices of the Mario Brothers were provided by Marc Graue, with Jocelyn Benford doing the voice-over for Princess Toadstool. On top of the FMV capabilities of the CD-i, Hotel Mario made use of the system’s internal clock by displaying messages that vary by date.
The backgrounds of the hotel stages were designed by freelance artist Trici Venola.Having seen Hotel Mario's initial version—which Venola called "mechanical" and "visually no fun"—she and art director Jeff Zoern decided to use elements from Disney and J. R. R. Tolkien to enhance the game's visual style. Illustrations of the stages were composed of several blocks, each of which featured one detail. The first item Venola created for all hotels was the door.Every building took one week to complete and was designed in accordance with a specific theme. For instance, a gothic design was used for Bowser's hotel.

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