Mario's Vanilla Journey - akacesfan
Started by reviewing a few levels, then started to only review a few levels that were worth noting a few things.
A nice beginning. I would say try interact with the environment more if you are going to do so later on in the sequence. Right now, Mario just walks blindly then all of a sudden he picks up a shell and starts going backwards and even grabs a one up. That all happens towards the second half of the sequence, which nobody would really watch. Try to spice it up a bit more. Otherwise, it's fine.
The ol' bush cutoff bug happens here. I haven't hacked in a while so I don't remember how to fix it or what the problem is originally. Just note that it's there. Not a removal reason.
This is a pretty fun level. Nothing much to say about it, since it's a pretty good opening level to a hack. If I were to say one thing, it's a tiny bit short, but that's probably just me, since I don't know how long the other levels in this hack are in comparison. I would also say that power-ups are a tiny bit too plentiful in this level. Maybe remove one powerup block.
This level was very bland, to put it straight. Nothing stood out in this level. It was extremely short, I felt. Shorter than the first, and it was pretty linear too. I do like how you had to take one path specifically for all the dragon coins, though. That was a pretty nice touch.
I would say that this level was the best so far (though, I've only played 2 levels). I can see why it was used as the intro screen. Overall, the music set the pace of the level, and made it just enjoyable to play. The secret exit wasn't too hard to find, nor was it very simple, as the player would have to go out of their way to grab a shell.
This level was a lot longer than the others, and I feel it is a pretty big spike in difficulty compared to the levels right before. Try to tone down the use of enemies in this just a bit, as the difficulty curve is just a tad too high at the moment. The levels up to now were very easy. Also, after this level, the music seems to cut out on the overworld. Sounds still play, so no removal reason yet (it would definitely be bad if the game crashed).
I would suggest adding some blue blocks in the water segment to make it go by a bit faster. It definitely felt more dragged out than it had to, personally. I did like your secret exit. If the player wanted to collect the dragon coins, they would have to waste the P-switch and go around for a second time.
I would suggest moving everything up one block and then adding note blocks under the brown block platform. This makes it so that the level is more of a bonus rather than a wrong-step-and-you-die bonus.
#1 Island Castle
It wasn't a bad level, though, there were too many segments. I felt you wanted to have the player experience everything, but in order to make levels fun, you need to have a specific gimmick throughout the level. It went from normal level, to scrolling, to climbing, and back to scrolling. It could have been executed better.
During the scrolling section, I would say that you should make the player have to be more patient, because I could easily run through everything, as the platforms stopped right above the lava for some of them. Barely any platforms went under the surface.
Another minor nitpick I have is that there is a downwards moving escalator on screen 04 of Sublevel 39. It is the only escalator block in the entire level, and it just struck me as awkward. Overall, this level could use improvements to be more organized, but it wasn't so bad that the hack should be removed.
It struck me as weird that this level mainly was above ground, yet the tile is in the ocean. Not a big deal. Just something I'd like to point out.
Sort of the same thing as #1 Castle. The torpedo ted section felt forced and it didn't add anything but annoyance since Torpedo teds are hard to navigate around mostly. It was also short.
For the rest of the level, the ball and chain was a bit tricky to navigate around, and the entire level basically was based around them. It was definitely a spike in difficulty, but not too big.
There is a mushroom before the midway point. Generally this isn't needed, as if the player is small, they'd become big with the midway point. If the player wants both mushrooms, they would get the midway point first, then the mushroom, which is why it should be put after if you do do this. If the player has a fire flower, they would not need the mushroom. I would suggest removing the mushroom. Other than that, it was a pretty fun level.
#2 Coastal Castle
Fun level. Definitely an improvement from #1, as it sort of stuck with a gimmick. No super-harsh level changes. Also, why does the teleport pipe after the level lead to an island where we then have to go into the cave? Shouldn't it have just led straight to the cave? Us players are quite lazy, you know.
I'd definitely suggest having the message block that teaches the player to scroll the screen in this level. This is because it's possible to kill the chuck and manage to screw yourself until you scroll the screen right to the next chuck at the beginning.
Another thing I'd like to say about this level is that the secret exit is a bit demanding. To get the key, you need to make a semi-difficult jump, because football height varies. Then, you need to be big for the next pipe. Maybe simplify it somehow. Definitely don't get rid of the turn blocks, because then the pipe may be hard to find. Maybe make use of the chucks and have them break the blocks for you to run through.
Maybe instead of outright giving the solution to the secret exit, make the player figure it out themselves. For example, remove the message block, then add coins under the first set of invisible note blocks. That way it's more of a secret, as secret exits should be.
The saws can be killed if you slide. When they are killed, they appear as glitched. Try to avoid having saws go on areas with slopes, or apply some sort of fix so this doesn't happen.
Secondly, remove the moon. Moons should be used as rewards, yes, but not rewards for doing hard work. Original moons were found by luck. The player clearly knew that there was land beyond the saws he could spin jump off of. If you do remove the moon, be sure to make the spin jump part before the final dragon coin a bit easier, since it is three for a single coin. This could potentially be a removal reason, however, I'll let it go, considering the levels are pretty good so far.
Also, finishing this level confirmed that the music on the overworld cuts out after the reznor battles.
Glitched note block tiles. It is very easy to fix. This is definitely better than the yellow switch palace, though, since you cannot die in this.
#3 Cavern Castle
Completely blank level. Died immediately. Maybe add an End of Demo message or stop the player from being able to go in.
Overall, this hack is relatively normal. It's definitely just as simple as Super Mario World. The atmosphere throughout felt pretty good. Though, the first two levels were pretty short compared to the rest. I would definitely say to try focus less on aesthetics and try to focus on better level design. A few of the levels were pretty reminiscent of the original SMW, like Clammy Cave had the P-switch things, and Tropical Trek had Donut Plains 1 elements. All the levels felt pretty simple. They were linear, and had very little challenge. Even the ghost house level was straightforward, pretty much. I just entered doors that I felt I should have entered. All the doors that were invisible and blocks that appeared led to the ending, which isn't always what you want to do.
The hack was extremely easy, this was due to the excess amount of power-ups. Tone it down a lot, because it will still be relatively easy with the lesser amount of power-ups.
Really, don't worry about the castle. It's not a removal reason, nor is fixing a single thing grounds for restarting the entire process (not that it was restarted in the first place). Everything for your hack is going to be posted in this thread.
I'm going to try a new form of reviewing where I don't go through all the levels and point out everything that could be better because that just takes a while for me. I'll write on stuff I feel needs mentioning-- shit you know what, I'm too used to reviewing each level. I'm just going to do that.
Intro and Yoshi's house
I find it a bit weird how the intro uses (broken) English, yet Yoshi's house message box uses Spanish (I think). Not a removal reason. Just know that it's inconsistent. Not everyone is multilingual with those two languages specifically.
Dragon Island 1
This level is very flat, and occasionally, the sprites would not spawn. It looked like at one point that I would be screwed and not able to continue because a dolphin wasn't there, but then I realized it just didn't spawn, so I scrolled back and there it was.
The layer 3 water also seems like it should rise and fall, but it doesn't. I say this because there is a cheep cheep that falls out of the block at the beginning. Also, I felt the cheep cheep spawner was an example of lazy level design. There are a lot of ways to make a level fun and exciting, but a cheep cheep generator is not one of those ways. Especially in the first level.
Finally, why was it all misty at the end of the level? Did you just happen to use that sublevel and not change settings? Overall, I'm a bit iffy on this level. It doesn't seem that great so far.
Dragon Island 2
Autoscrolling level was very slow. Sure, it was hard to sit there and fast forward, but I still managed to do that. It was slow to the point it was boring. Sitting and dodging bullets can only be so exciting for a moment. At a point, it just gets very annoying.
I have to hand it to you though, that secret exit was quite clever. Though, the part after going under was annoying because the player had to do yet even more dodging. (Also the 3up moon wasn't needed, and should just be replaced with a 1up or something, but I feel that's the least of your troubles).
Brown Switch Palace
Huge problem. If you beat the palace, the switch inside disappears. Have the destruction sequence go on the overworld setting for the tile, otherwise the player can enter the Switch Palace again and be trapped until time runs out.
Dragon Island 3
This level was actually quite enjoyable. Even though it was flat at some parts, the rest of the level made up for that. I'd suggest turning the time down a bit, because the score countdown at the end of the level doesn't end.
Dragon Island 4
Gotta say, this level was pretty fun too. Though, I did keep Yoshi for a majority of it. I don't know if this level would have been as fun without Yoshi, because there were a lot of munchers in one segment.
Dragon Hill Top
That level was pretty fun too. I would suggest making things look better by using ledge and ground blocks rather than cement blocks, but it was still very fun to play. I can't remember much about this level because I just tabbed out for a few minutes after typing the first sentence, so I'm going to end it here.
Dragon Island 5
The water part of this level was the only boring part for me, but that's probably because I hate water levels. I did like the ceiling smasher segment. I was playing and questioning the coins at the top, and then when it fell I was like, "holy shit".
This level felt like blatant edits of the original SMW castles. I haven't played the original SMW a lot myself, so I don't know for sure. But I definitely know that the brown block snake and the magikoopa stuff was basically from another castle.
Although this hack isn't too bad, there are little quirks that drive it over the edge. See Brown Switch Palace and Bowser Fortress.
I mean, is League of Legends a game for assholes or what?
I believe it's that the player is wasting basically 30 minutes of their time to play a game, and they definitely want to win. I don't know how it works in LoL, but in a MOBA that I play called Smite, you get more in-game currency and masteries for winning than losing, that's why winning is more valuable in such cases.
Those types of players are the types that blame their teammates for everything.