Hmm, what should I say about this one? Well, I'll be honest, but before I start, my apologies if this may sound harsh or hurtful at any point. And I hate being like the first one to downrate this. But whatever.
When I looked at this hack, I expected it to be something like some of your past works were. To no surprise, I was proven right. The whole thing is pretty basic - which's not a problem for me per se - , but, just like your older hacks, it's full of issues. The three main problems with it are that:
> Levels drag on for too long. When you expect to be almost done with the level... you find a midway point. You're just halfway done after, like, 15 minutes playing the same level, over and over due to deaths... and many of these caused by another big problem...
> Unfairness. Levels such as Hornet Hole, Rainbow Ride, Diamond Mine, and various others have one or more sections where the player can't react properly. Rainbow Ride, specially, has two notablequick-react jumps and silent Bullet Bills in very unorthodox moments. One little mistake, and you're dead. It doesn't matter if the player dies before or after the midpoint - either way, they have to go through more 15 minutes trouble, over and over. What's more, in this fire level, I totally didn't expect hopping flames to come from lava at my face, and in this level, I could never make it through this section without taking a hit when big. Lastly, after an hour trying to beat the final level the regular way, I was forced to savestate in the boss battle because I got too frustrated to repeat the level on and on and backtrack to get more lives.
> Item babysitting. This is very, very recurrent from your other hacks, and here it's not different. The player will often run into sections where a springboard is needed to proceed, and the process of picking it up and backtrack is very tiresome, not to mention the possibilities of human error which can lead into the loss of said item by launching it into an unreachable place such as a high ledge. The player is forced to redo the process either by simply repeating the path, dying, or resetting the game.
> Wrong song plays in Rainbow Ride sublevel when I start playing from the midway point.
Now for other topics (ASM, GFX, music, etc.). Yet again, compared to your previous projects, stuff is pretty generic. Uninspired ripoff level names, themes, worlds and most time gimmicks (le on/off almost everywhere), a "predictable" soundtrack, graphical clash occurrences, extremely, extremely dull bosses, and an uninspired storyline. It doesn't even try to be engaging. And the ending is anticlimatic and - sorry for that word - crappy. On another note about custom tilesets, your drawings may not be top-tier, but they're good for most part. The real problem is the clashes (fog I'm looking at ya).
Of course, there are more good stuff. You know, we can't live just with bad news, right? So, some things I really liked was the exploration encouragement to find stuff like presents/artifacts and so on, even though they don't add that much replay value due to the length of the levels. I also liked how some gimmicks were executed in a few places like Crawling Vermin did with the fog and spiderwebs.
To finish this review, I don't know how your time constrains work and for that reason the following opinion may or may not be valid, but taking in account how most hackers usually take less than 2 years to get a project done with all testing and overall polishing included, this hack frustrated me. It felt like proper testing wasn't done at all, and surprisingly enough, it looks like a rushed product. For that reason, I gave it a 2/5. I'd have given just one, in fact, but I'm considering a bit of the effort you put into this, despite all the flaws. Anyway, this could have been a LOT better.
Interesting fun hack, worth your efforts (rated 4/5).
As kaitri said, are the jewels on the main map supposed to stay clear?
Also, switch palace are short levels? No "full" levels with collectibles/puzzles like your previous hacks?
Nice Boss, a hovering bowser that shoots kind of bubbles...
While this hack is nice and fun its different from your previous ones, in that its no "mushroom-only" hack.
Also me is missing the "Get the <insert-color-here> jewel in this Castle. Beat the boss to get it." message :p
Und die Overworld Karte war im Vorgänger besser, die hier is zu düster :p
readme with "solutions" is a great idea. if i have to do a level 5 times and still dont find the secret exit, i tend to use lunar magic, or in this case a read me. love it.
a bit sad that the gems on the overworld dont "fill in" when you collected said gem.
biggest complaint is the level length. im almost done with world 3 so far, secret exits usually not too far into the stage so thats fine, but stages themself are veeeery long. too long.
a bit dissapointed that you need all 4 switch palaces. they do nothing but make it able to clear the first room of the last level. meh :/
the hack is beautiful but some parts are repetitive.
"oh there are 2 pipes and a door? 99% sure you have to enter a small room where you have to turn on/off blocks to continue" feels like this happens every 2 levels. levels being so long makes them also a bit exhausting. i wouldnt replay the hack. i'd give 3/5 but the effort put into it still makes it 4/5.
i have to say i dont understand the actual 4,9* rating at all.
i remember a very similar hack that also had the same easy puzzle every 2-3 levels and this hack was like 3,4 or so.
ps: what did you do with the green yellow and red plattforms? jumping on them is super weird. you have momentum and depending on them going up/down you jump higher/barely at all.
So far I've played a few levels and honestly... its pretty darn good. I also love how you got rid of the time counter. I personally like to take my time when exploring levels and I dislike it when I run out of time. Just for that I will give you 5 stars.