The final version of Sicari Remastered (bar any bugfixes I may do)
Premise: Thousands of years ago, there was a war between the Gods of creation. Due to its effect on the mortal plane, the Gods were forced to punish themselves - to prevent such a thing from happening again. As such, they were all but cut off from the mortal world, with little to no influence, leading humanity to lose their faith.
However, one group survived the thousands of years that passed after the war - the Sanguis vampire family. Their goal across those millennia was to undo the binding that their patron deity, Niscura was under. They wanted the Goddess of Dimensions and Shadow to be free again...
...and they succeeded.
there's a bit of sensitive content here and there in the hack so do keep that in mind when playing
I also suggest you don't play this in Zsnes. Though the hack works in it, you will encounter a bunch of graphical oddities such as layer 3 derping in some levels.
Alright, while I may not really give many reviews on hacks or even play hacks anymore, I must say, this hack definitely caught my attention, for a good reason. Wanna know what it is?
THIS HACK JUST HAS EVERYTHING I WANT IN A HACK, OH MY FUCKING GOD THIS IS GREAT AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA
*ahem* Back to what I actually want to say...
This hack, well, there's not much to say about it that hasn't been said before; it's got a great and fairly intricate storyline, really creative graphics and characters, great gameplay (especially like K-16's playstyle, since I'm pretty much a sucker for Megaman gameplay; kinda wished there were more characters with different playstyles and didn't just have Sicari (A.K.A Mario)'s style of gameplay tho), and pretty fitting music (there's even some unreleased ports too like Izuna's Flying Battery port and Slash Man's MM7-styled Sheep Man port; I guess I'll assume you got the source MML files through PM or some other means of contact? kinda wished you used at least one of my ports tho D:) so yep, all around solid hack. 5/5
I'm new on this board but just wanted to drop and comment to say how incredible this SMW hack is! Thanks so much for the amazing work on this!! I look forward to more SMW hacks from you and sequels to this also!
Despite some of its rough edges, this is mainly a very well designed diamond of the SMW ROM hacking scene. Preparing an in-depth review. Would rate this hack a solid 4.9 out of 5 if I could. Great work! Never enjoyed an hack that much like this one.
Honestly the most impressive hack I have ever played, and I can't believe it runs on console. The extra levels after the main game were especially fun. Thanks for all of the hard work and the amazing artwork!
It's been years since I played the original Sicari and, oh boy, that was a lot of fun to play originally. Hearing that there was gonna be a remake, I had to check out the first two demos. Now we have the final version.
- Gameplay -
Unlike the original, you can play as two characters, Sicari & K-16, each of them having their unique control scheme. Sicari plays exactly like Mario with the max speed, spin jump, and swim ability. K-16 plays more like... Mega Man, I would say. She can shoot plasma bullets (as it says in the game) and if you gain the power item (fire flower with different gfx), you can charge up your blaster and shoot a mega plasma bullet that will zoom past your enemies. The difficulty is just about right for the most part, starting from easy and going to the hardest. I did have trouble completing the first level of the sixth world, which is my only problem, but I think it's just that I don't have enough skill.
- Story -
A well-written story and better than the original. Although I still wish there was a little bit more of a backstory to all of the characters other than Sicari. I wouldn't want to spoil the story to those who haven't even played the original or this.
- Music -
Something I shouldn't really judge, but it can get on my nerves. I wish there was a bigger library of songs, instead of having many of them be reused over and over again. But there were tracks that have not been uploaded onto SMWCentral. There's an amazing Flying Battery Sampled Remix for the "Death is Above" stage. There were a good amount of songs in this romhack, but I wish there were more since "Pastel Wind" was reused just about four times.
- What makes this rom special? -
There were many tweaks and touches made to the game, such as the sound effects, visual effects, and even boss battles. These boss battles are completely original and not ones you grab from the sprites page here and change the graphics.
These boss fights got hard so on, but that's just telling you that this game isn't f**king around with you. These are probably the best boss fights I have seen in any SMW romhack, by far. Even the player graphics for Sicari got changed up in some of the levels.
All of the graphics are original and took a lot of hard work into drawing these graphics. All the sprites, tiles, and even the backgrounds look stunning and make the setting of the level have a specific tone to it.
- Things to be aware of -
* There is some cursing and some blood and would not recommend it to those who find these things displeasing.
* Layer 3 Graphics did glitch in a couple of levels when I was playing this rom on ZSNES. If I were you, I would do the latest version of SNES9X or the SNES9X core for those using Retroarch.
* I don't know about you, but I highly recommend playing this with a controller. I know a lot of you probably play these games with a keyboard and that's fine, but since you got two characters with two different styles of gameplay and a controller is great for such thing.
- Overall -
This is an amazing romhack that I recommend to all players.
- Lovable characters.
- Amazing Soundtrack (Flying Battery especially)
- All-new graphics.
- Well-written story.
- Made-from-scratch bosses.
- A good difficulty for the game.
Eevee spent a lot of time on this project and deserves a lot of our thanks and such. I do hope she can possibly make a remake of "K-16 - The Story of Steel".
* Changeable characters from the later hacks of the series.
* Improved graphics.
* Most levels are pretty fun.
* The secret levels expand on gameplay ideas from the previous level.
* Removal of knock back damage from the original hack.
* Interesting music choices
* Compatibility with accurate emulators.
* There are quite a few levels that rely on generators for artificial difficultly.
* The custom bosses look interesting visually, but aren't fun to fight.
* The Game Over screen has a really long jingle. This increases the wait time before the player can resume playing.
Let me start this review with a backstory of mine.
The first time I knew about this project was years ago, when I wasn't that active on SMWC. And despite never having played the old Sicari and K-16 hacks, I just judged it as a "meh, another remake, I don't like remakes so I'll pass"... until I actually gave a chance because I realized my point doesn't really stand any value - even less considering that I didn't know anything about the author's works. So yep I'm sorry for that.
Now, the actual review. I had a wonderful time playing this hack, and it's been a long while since the last time this happened. It's beautifully done. Special honorary mentions for the original story and custom graphics. I know how hard it is to draw tilesets, sprites, and player graphics. And holy cow... the author did it, more than once! Because there are more than one custom characters! And all graphics are top-notch, don't clash at all, and can serve as a source of inspiration for other artists out there.
I liked a lot the level design overall despite a few times I went full of rage. I'd only complain about a few places having hard to dodge enemies, or precise sections in which you make a mistake and die. However, they were all possible to do with a little bit of patience and extra effort, meaning that even though I was mad, I wasn't frustrated, because the whole game content was great.
Music was something that I expected to hear in the game. Songs are great overall, but it irked me sometimes when the pitch of sound effects was affected, for example, as well as the songs themselves being kinda popular. And me imagining how even greater this hack would be with a completely custom soundtrack, of course, because I always do so. Anyway, yeah, no one knows everything in the world so I can't simply demand stuff from anyone. Summing up - songs are great, fitting, so props for picking good choices.
And now the ASM. Aside from the boss battle I designed, all the effects, little touches, and other boss fights were pulled off amazingly. I've only had trouble with the mage one because projectiles are fast and hard to dodge due to bad timing most of the times. Other than that, the player having a health counter really helped in this aspect so the player can overcome challenges easily with the multiple hits benefit.
During the whole gameplay, I ve found just two small issues which I reported directly to Eevee and they aren't really relevant to this review because these will get fixed, so I'll just finish this review saying once again that I had a blast with this. And that this is the best example of what people can achieve when putting love, real effort and dedication when it comes to SMW hacking. Congratulations for this project, Eevee! It's a 5/5 from me, and that's the first time I rate a hack with that score!
I'm not too good at reviewing hacks but I can give some thoughts at least!
The levels are all pretty linear, which is personally my thing, so I didn't mind. Definitely a turnoff for those that like big open levels with multiple pathways and lots of secrets to find and explore for. The game has a good difficulty curve until around the middle of world 3, where I felt like the precise jumps started to ramp up - I don't mean stuff like trying to land in a spot between two munchers (which is not here thankfully), but instead I noticed a lot of single tile jumps over bottomless pits, which was especially apparent in the final world. One jump in particular was really annoying and stuck out to me: it was jumping onto a platform that falls after you touch it. Jump on it from one side, and get to the other side AND jump from the now-falling platform to safety on the right. This took me many tries and it could just be me being bad, someone like lolyoshi could probably do that jump while on a morning stroll through the park...
One other thing I have to say is the bosses. I enjoy the fact that they're custom made and not shameless graphical swaps of dahnamics bosses, which I admit I'm guilty of doing myself. But a few of them stuck out for the wrong reasons to me, and they were the wizard and Niscura. The main problem was the projectiles. They have patterns, they're not completely random, but often they're asking too much of the player in terms of reaction time. This especially holds true for the wizard, whose magical blue laser ball things got extremely frustrating after a while, and I just gave up and started spamming savestates... even then it still took some time. Niscura has relatively the same problem, and the area you're able to move around in is rather compact. There are open spaces at the top-left and top-right, but they're blocked off to the player, I guess to either make the fight harder or allowing that would mess with the sprite somehow? Niscura also has a kind of shield that lowers after a few seconds of dodging her attacks. I get why it's there, so players can't spam hits and finish in 20 seconds, but man, trying not to lose my powerup while dodging the attacks during her shield phases was almost as annoying as the wizard guy's.
All that said, this is a great game that offers some variety with the three playable characters, and linear but enjoyable levels. I'm glad I liked this after years of watching it progress.
where to start? I guess i should mention some flaws first:
- The hack has several parts, where the emulator slows down, because of sprite-overload. This is nothing game-breaking, but it can be quite annoying at some parts, especially when you are just jumping over a pit and then the game speed suddenly slows down and fastens again.
- Sometimes the graphics "hurt" themselves. For examples some question blocks are red, but for the frames you hit them they are blue, before they turn red again. You´ve told me you cannot change that, but it´s still something, that makes the hack a little bit less perfect. Also some weird Layer-3-interactions when you insert a key in a keyhole, though you´ve tried to circumvent this in many cases.
- After i´ve played 68 exits within a few hours i´ve noticed that many Levels have these S-constructions where you walk forth, then back and then forth again, so you can continue. They are usually just minor parts of the levels, so they don´t influence the gameplay too much, but it´s something that stood out to me, so i thought i should mention it, so you can improve on this for your next hack.
- The placements of some powerups are questionable. Why do you give me a heart-container of the end of a stage, if i start the next level full live either way? Well, it´s nothing game-breaking either, but sometimes quite nonsensical.
Apart from that, there´s not much wrong with this hack. Is has a good difficulty-curve, some well hidden, sweet secrets and plays decently. Hm, i think i should mention the phenomenal graphics the author drew all himself but who the f*** cares about aesthetics.
Even if the minor flaws (especially the slowdowns) are sometimes a bitter taste, i think i still can fully recommend playing this hack.