When Mario and Luigi recieve a strange invitation to an isolated group of islands called Sea Spot, they accept - and find themselves trapped in a sinister conspiracy involving Bowser, Sea Spot's natives, and a mysterious object known to our heroes only as the Wand. As they explore the archipelago, our heroes struggle to uncover the truth behind the plot surrounding Sea Spot's strange islands...
- music crashes accurate emulators;
- broken teleport in Bandaged Island level renders it unbeatable.
In resume, this hack lacks empathy towards the player, has too many levels that overstay their welcome (I'm esp. looking at you, levels with locked doors), feels repetitive both design and aesthetics-wise and somehow feels poorly tested and polished due to constant difficulty spikes, specific design issues, badly placed secret exits, and also the fact that Bandaged Island can't even be beaten due to a silly block mistake: used some other blocks instead of the teleport ones. This could've been easily noticed and fixed if the hack was actually decently tested.
Aesthetically, this hack is... well, ugly. Not only it clashes a lot (too many overly simplish GFX along with too many overly realistic ones) and has eye-searing palettes, but the color choices were awful too. I was constantly seeing GFX that would actually look decent if they weren't using vanilla and/or weird custom palettes. There were also times that the FG lacked contrast with the BG.
Most part of the music consisted of crappy old ports (it IS a 2006~2008 hack after all). They're all cringeworthy to listen to, but I'll cut some slack here since the porting department was awfully weak back then.
One thing that I found being actually nice was the OW's tile arrangement: I could see some thought and effort put on level placement. Unfortunately, the OW's overall graphical design and paletting aren't among the best.
Some level-specific issues (again, adding to those Wakana mentioned):
- Bowser's Secret: I don't really know how to enter the pipe to get to the natives without getting hurt by the munchers (timed hurt blocks). Actually, these munchers were a constant nuisance in every level they were used. They're too fast paced and their hitboxes are too player-unfriendly.
- Bandaged Island: why forcing death to exit the level, when you could've used a side exit? Putting a 1-UP mushroom is NOT a good excuse, as the player will still lose powerups.
Overall a hack with too many flaws to be actually enjoyed. The worst part is that it has a whopping 113 exits (not counting Bandaged Island for obvious reasons). I definitely don't recommend this one.
This isn't something you have fun with. This is an instrument for tortures. I'm dropping it, since I have no clue about some of the secret exits. I can't peek in rom, since it's protected and Recover Lunar Magic won't unlock it. I'm still going to briefly review it.
This hack has everything bad you could do with a rom basically: broken sections, unfair segments, annoying item babysitting, infinite backtracking, incredibly huge levels with no midway points, frustrating parts, eye-soaring palettes and clashy graphics. It's those kind of hacks you don't forget, but not because it's incredibly good, but because of the total opposite. I particularly got annoyed by the puzzle levels, since they ALL imply the same silly trick to be solved (aka make a bridge with blocks, pick P-Switch, press, clear section and repeat).
Some relevant issues I found in the 2/3 of hack I managed to play:
-Music breaks accurate emulators;
-"ocean outback 3 crashes emulator if you go offscreen in first sublevel;
-"merry meadows 3" has an empty message box;
-in "dark dephts" you can get stuck in a part of the water level.
Dropped. I'm very sorry, I tried very hard and got very depressed over this. Hopefully, you'll be doing better than me.