bad things of this hack:
-spinjump on 1-1 but no in other levels exept peach's castle #2
-half 16 half 8 bit graphics on mario
-horrible koopa shell graphics
-some empty backgrounds
-bad palletes for castles (in overworld)
-bad palletes for castle and backgrounds (of in-game castles)
-mario looks fatter when swims
I have never heard of this Super Mario Bros. Special, but if this hack was intended to be a remake, well there were several places where it could have improved upon.
First off, the graphics. I'm just going to say I do not like that Mario sprite; half of it looks 16-bit, but the other half looks 8-bit. It's very weird, and don't even get me started on swimming animation--I swear Mario seems to get fatter when he's underwater!
Foregrounds and backgrounds could've used some work as well. Most of the foreground looks like SMB1 (from Super Mario All-Stars), but then you have the bricks and question blocks from SMB3. Cloud tiles have very weird palettes. Outdoor backgrounds dont scroll, the underwater background is too empty, and the castle uses an SMW background.
Sprites also suffe from style clashing--too much to really go into. There was also one instance of spriteset mismatch in World 8-3 which caused the Hammer Bros. to have a glitched animation frame.
Regarding the ASM, the author did make the edits to mimic some aspects of SMB1 such as koopas staying in shells, no carrying, no spinjump, and of course, no moving the screen left. A couple sprites were even incorporated like the Blooper, Hammer Bro. and Firebar. Unfortunately, a few things were missing to complete the experience; for example the scale platforms in this hack are really just the falling grey platform. I'm also puzzled as to why barrels, Sidestepper crabs and Fight Flies were also included in this hack.
Music in this hack uses the SMAS SMB1 ports, with SMB3 map music for the overworld. These particular ports will break and mess up on accurate emulators.
Gameplay-wise... it does feel a lot like SMB1, with a bit of Lost Levels influence sprinkled in. Unlike Lost Levels, the game is a lot easier; no poison mushrooms, no backwards warp zones (or any warp zones for that matter), and no winds or anything like that. Granted, this wasn't meant to be Lost Levels to begin with.
While I have no problem with easy stuff, the hack kind of stays in that easy comfort zone for too long. Any increase in difficulty is pretty small up until the seventh world, and there are a couple really mean spots such as World 8-2 where if you do not have a fire flower, good luck trying to get past all those Hammer Bros..
Overall I found it to be a pretty meh hack. It has the look and feel of SMB1, but it was missing the soul, if you know what I mean.