This is SMW Central's second completed collaboration hack based off of the 2014 Vanilla Level Design Contest (VLDC.) It contains 86 levels which you can play in any order you wish - all of them are open from the start.
Note that the hack autosaves after each completed level, and "marks off" levels as you beat them with an "M" icon. Good things come to those who are completionists...
When I started playing I noticed how broken the difficulty curve is. There are some easy levels but there are a lot of hard levels randomly mixed in with eachother. Although it's probably not the intention to play the levels in order, it's would've been nice if the harder levels could have been put at the end of the worlds.
Graphics wise it's really nice and really dull. Because so many people made levels, there is no set style. This said however, not every level that looks dull or nice is easy or good so don't expect the most beautiful levels to be the best.
Aahhh, the awesome music used in this hack. I can't describe how much I loved it. Made it worth playing through the end. The only issue is that some themes were used way to often, resulting in them getting slightly annoying to listen to. On the opposite side, there are also many themes that are only used once or twice. At any rate, I really liked all the remixes of the classic SMW tunes, it felt really good listening to these remixes while playing.
The overworld has been nicely done. It's really full and you can practicly get anywhere on the map. The only issue is the level placemen. Like I stated before, the easy and the hard are randomly mixed in. Not bad but not good either.
In overall this hack was decently fun. I do not recommand first time hackers though, as it can be really though or even unfair at times. You can barely complete it without savestates. This said however, I do think everyone should give it a try, since it may or may not contain levels you love. It can give you a good image what to expect in certain people's hacks too.
It was great. Getting an "M" on every level is a bit tedious at first, but it grows on you and you start to have fun.
This isn't a normal hack so it deserves an abnormal review. S.N.N's ability to make it all fit together and work was top notch; I especially liked the way you marked which levels you beat. The overworld was great, the music was great...but once you get to the entries, it gets a few chips of quality knocked off.
A lot of the entries were trying too hard. Twilight Lakeside is the over-exaggeration of this fact - and look where it landed, second to last place. Some pushed SMW to its limits; others just went for pure level design and nothing else. Length and difficulty are the problems that seem to run rampant throughout this hack and many others. A lot of people don't know where to stop and keep going. When you push all of that aside - and that's easy to do, considering a few entries - and get to the core of it, this was extremely creative and so were a good 30% of the levels.
Excellent. Not actually something I'd recommend to everyone, but definitely to someone experienced with video games.
I have to admit that I was slightly disappointed with this at first- when I heard that the entries for the vanilla contest were going to be made into a hack, I thought it would be more than a collection of levels. However, in retrospect, there's really not more that it could have been.
Despite that, this was shockingly good. Although there were a few real stinkers here and there- and some of them managed to escape getting thrown in the worst world- for a contest, the overall quality was unusually high. My guess is that people tried a lot harder knowing that their entries would be made into this hack, and that many more people would end up playing them.
Overall, I enjoyed playing this immensely. I do have a few qualms that prevent me from giving it a perfect score: the overall level length was way too long, a common problem with collabs that I've noticed, and I feel like the ratings were definitely a bit off for some of the entries. Not a whole lot of them, though. As some others have mentioned, the average ratings would be a lot more accurate with 3 or more judges in the future. Finally, I felt that the cave world was definitely a bit lower quality than the rest of the "normal" worlds, and that the abstract world was a little subpar too, albeit to a lesser extent. Still, these complaints aside, this was solid and well above average.
I was happily surprised to see that the community had managed to cobble together so many great levels for this hack and I was amazed by the work put into this by SNN to combine the two ROMs into a single hack.
There's a couple of levels that might be worth skipping if they don't fit your taste, but if you don't want the secret password you don't have to play these levels anyway.
Overall it's one of my favorite hacks on the site.
PS. the level theme "Abstract" is the best song in the entire hack.