The sequel to NSMW1 The 12 Magic Orbs, this hack features 16 different worlds and 90+ unique levels filled with challenge and secrets. The hack uses a lot of ASM like custom sprites, blocks, uberASM effects and other stuff like that. Aesthetically it has a choconilla style with most of the graphics being from the original SMW with some new custom graphics.
July 15th Update:
-Fixed some issues pointed out in the comments
In level 9-3, before fighting the giant boo to unlock the secret exit, I have to get a yoshi and get the wings, which will make the yoshi fly to the sky and enter the boss battle. But when the battle begins the yoshi's gone, and Mario falls and dies. I'm using version 1.31
Well, on contrary to some opinions I liked this sequel a LOT better then the first one.
I had played it until 13-5 and I'm going to finish it once I have some free time to spare, but here is my opinion of this hack so far, in comparison to the first:
The first hack had custom powerups that changed and added variety to the gameplay and some really neat ideas and vldc graphics which I liked a lot, but the level design had some serious flaws that really turned me off like unfair obstacle placement(enemies falling from the sky, unpredictable obstacles etc), enemy spam and baseball chuck/volcano/hammer bro abuse.
Those issues made me only finish the first hack once(with savestates btw) and I never touched it again.
But this sequel sure looks more simplistic since it lacks the extra powerups, but I really liked the level design here, to begin its MUCH MORE FAIR, the game starts easy so the player can learn the basics and the new gameplay mechanics and start to slowly ramps up the dificulty until world 9, where the challenge really begins.
I liked the soundtrack and the ambiance much more too, and some of the new level ideas introduced here like the On/Off switch that changes when you are with Yoshi, the fire bros melting the ground in the icy forest, invisible YI walls, the train level etc.
There's only 5 things that really annoyed me so far.
- Some levels with puzzles based on objects/enemies to proceed lacks reset doors, so if you mess up or lose the item you need you are screwed and have to kill yourself, this isn't good game design, the level 13-2 where the fire flower is needed to beat is the worst level to me so far because of that, since you instantly lose the flower if you collect the flower before the water gets lower.
- Azure Alcatar Puzzle really put me off, its too much to keep track at the same time and the game crashed on me twice there(at least it have a reset door) , so I just gave up and this locked me out of world 8(I think).
-This enemy caused some really unfair and unpredictable deaths to me when it blows, more especially in the bridge level section with a rope after the checkpoint and balloon bonanza where you have to jump off a ballon and make an invisible pixel perfect jump to not be blown and die, this is the one of the 3 levels so far where I used a save state to pass.
- Please dont make me use a magikoopa to pass again.
This is the 2nd level where I used a save state because alongside the magikoopa its way toooo long and you must do everything again if you die, the 3rd level where I used a save state was in the ghost house just before this level because its a very long level toobut i dont have any issues with this one other than that.
-This dont really annoyed me but, there's a bug where if you get a game over you will have 99 lives when you continue, but it didnt bothered me that much since lives are meaningless anyway, but its still good to have it fixed.
With all this, I still liked a LOT this hack.
The graphics are amazing, the soundtrack is amazing, the level design is not mindblowing, but its still amazing.
So, its a 4/5 stars to me.
Obs: I played the version before the updates, I will download the update later, so if the updates fixed the problems I mentioned then I consider this hack an easy 5/5 stars.
EDIT:The striked problem was reduced a bit on the updates, but would be cool to see the others fixed too.
Well, thanks for the feedback, i know this isn't going to change your overall opinion on the hack but i updated it to fix some of the main issues you mentioned like:
-Added more time to 6-6 and 16-3
-Added reset doors to 7-3's secret room and 13-5
-Changed the palette of the water in 9-6 to make it easier to distinguish from the toxic water
-Changed some platforms in 12-4
-Removed a few ice bros in 13-3
-Fixed the blind jump in 14-1
-The coins in 14-5 are instant kill blocks rather than lava blocks
-Fixed the sky part of 14-6
-Fixed the p-switch bug in 16-1
-Added a mid-point to 16-5 so the secret exit isn't as difficult as it was before, so you don't need to grab the cape in the fishin' boo section anymore.
Also, this hack was tested, it just was tested by people who aren't very experienced with smw hacking. But i will admit, the later worlds (14-16) were pretty rushed because of C3.
The hack was fun for me to play, however, there's always something that I didn't like from the hack, the first few worlds are amazing and flawless, however, from World 4, things were starting to go downhill.
4-1's secret exit required Yoshi, and you aren't supposed to lose him in the entire track, otherwise the secret exit would be unbeatable as you're killed by Munchers or lost your Yoshi on the way to the secret exit.
World 5's boss (Reznor's 1st fight), when you defeat the last Reznor, make sure you don't fall to the muncher pit below, or you die right after beating the level
World 6-6's Switch exit, a maze of blocks with Yoshi, it takes so many tries to figure out which is the right path, I played it on the beta, and the first time I managed to beat it, I had around 100 seconds left
World 7-3, given the strict amount of time to beat this level (250), the secret exit is just hell, yet again another Yoshi is required (and you start with a baby Yoshi), as you have to keep him alive while he eats the green blocks and make sure you don't lose him, and also, do it quickly, as you don't have that much time to finish the exit
World 8-2's Switch exit is a Kaizo-like one, literally, you have to take your baby Yoshi right before the Fire Flower/Mushroom block is hidden, if you take them out first, then the switch exit becomes unbeatable, as you require a big Yoshi to take out that blue P-Switch to unlock the door leading to the switch, not to mention trying to take him through big gaps with only flying "? Blocks" and make sure the Star powerup doesn't run out while trying to go through those Munchers
9-3's secret exit is yet again another annoying thing, a Big Boo battle to be exact, however, you go to the battle with a Flying Yoshi, so you shouldn't get hit by the Boos while battling the Big Boo, otherwise, you lose a life and have to try it again trying to find that purple door
9-6 had a very difficult point, different colors for the water, and the spaces were so small that more than once I ended up dying instantly for just slightly touching that water right ahead the "unpoisoned water"
10-3 started to make the game annoying as that cloud enemy was literally a trouble maker, and lost more than once just because of him
11-4's secret exit was yet another annoying one, with that snake blocks going so damn fast, one slight hiccup can ruin your attempt to make it, not to mention those annoying enemies that were introduced earlier that make you blow back at the speed of light, Fire Flower is required so you can kill them before they blow you
12-4 is alike a Mental Control level, with gravity reversed, it was a nightmare and hell trying to not fall on those lava pits
13-2 is one of the worst levels in the hack, as you lose your Fire Flower as soon as you enter that cold water, however, as you avoid the Ice Bros. It's really hard to go past them, and not mentioning that hellish secret exits, because if you get hit by one of those Ice Balls, as it's perfectly synced to get hit by another one, you're basically dead, as you can't move anymore, so let the time run out and try again, it really sucks
World 14 is easily the hardest world in the entire hack, as some abstract levels are Kaizo-like while trying to make some insane jumps and nightmare-ish actions. 14-1 and 14-2 were such examples, however, 14-5 is EASILY THE HARDEST LEVEL IN THE ENTIRE HACK, coins are lava, 3 exits, and you have to find the correct one to keep going or you go back to 14-1 and 14-2, in fact, there was an underwater maze of lava coins I was never able to get through, it was so damn hard.
World 15 is actually the real final world as World 16 only serves as a bonus, and yet again, a disappointing final boss (like the first game), however, it is my favorite world
On 16-3, only 250 seconds to beat it? You reach the exit with only about 40 seconds on the timer left (Assuming you don't die in the entire run)
16-5's secret exit was also a nightmare to get, you have to get across a big lava pit while carrying a P-Switch to make some blocks disappear and get that key to unlock the last level
I would give this hack a 4/5 because it was very innovating to make a hack 16-worlds long, however, due to the very hard difficulty of many secret exits, god... However, it was fun too
I have gotten the 119 exits this hack offers. Being completely honest, and as blunt as one can be without exceeding themselves, this hack is bad. It's one of the worst game experiences I had to put through. It rivals Super Mario Infinity. But there's no point in saying this if I don't go through why.
One's gotta give credit where it's due. The hack looks very good, great even. I can't pinpoint a single level where I don't like the looks and atmosphere. Unlike its predecessor, the aesthetic identity is unique to the hack and it doesn't wear through the VLDC-influenced sleeves that the first game in the series does - well, not that much. The overworlds are amazing; the geometry is well crafted, colors and details are pleasant, and the terrain is diverse. The world variety is surprising given there's 16 worlds - though I have my qualms with the abstract world which I'll elaborate below. And I gotta give respect for finishing a hack of this magnitude.
But the hack fails in the most important factors: the level design. The fun the player has. And the testing.
Now I have to admit that the hack starts decent enough. The first like, 5 worlds are decent enough to play through. The design isn't memorable; it's average at best. 4-4 is probably my favorite level in the hack. 15-3 is also good.
But the bar that the hack sets isn't high, and considering this, there's gonna be moments which are lower than it. And they come rolling right in.
- 2-5 in particular stands out as the beginning of the tone the hack will set in future worlds. It's frustrating Puntin' Chuck abuse. In cramped spaces. And the boss is the SMB2 crab except it has a lot of hitpoints. It's surprising how this level is in this world. It's an oddity in its difficulty when compared to the rest of the world. Inconsistency is only the name of the game in another level, 12-6. One of the easiest levels of the hack is that far in.
I could go over every minutia I have per level, but if I do I'll write the Bible. I'll put what stands out.
- The boss in 4-6 sucks. Period.
- 6-5 has the worst usage of a Thwomp boss I can recall. Having to babysit the Thwomp around a "maze" while giant Podoboos are spammed. And then back, when you get the key.
- 6-6 features an annoying ON/OFF + Yoshi Snake Block path that you gotta figure out in the first try or else you'll run out of time.
- The purple doors are among the brighter moments of the hack. Many imply a more challenging path to unlock a secret code. They're good. But, there are exceptions. The one in 7-3 is the best example. You have to babysit and keep your Yoshi alive, but the level is an unforgiving spam of projectiles and Pitchin' Chucks. And there's no reset door if you lose him! Fantastic.
- 9-6 has this horrible, horrible gimmick where water is poison. But, water is also not poison! How do you tell? With colors which are barely differentiable. 12. But the worst part, is the fucking cheap shot in the goal point sublevel. An area which should be safe has a fucking seahorse that you don't expect when your first instinct is to jump towards the goal. The level barely gives time to be beaten, and this sublevel changes the rules by having the water with the seahorse not be translucent. This is the stuff I expect to see in a kaizo hack and not mind. But here it's outright terrible. So is this level.
- This hack loves small gaps. 12.
- What it also loves is drag some sprites to the ground. Levels introduce a bunch of sprites instead of focusing in using a few in creative ways. And some are really, really used a lot. The bomb throwing mole, Puntin' Chucks, Piranha or Venus plants, every Bro which spams projectiles... among others.
- 11-2 introduces the worst. Enemy. In the hack. This damn cloud makes you clip through the walls more often than not. Or it sends you flying away at the speed of sound towards another enemy.
- Speaking of funny and definitely fair enemies. The Amazin' Ice Bro is the epitome of a terribly designed enemy. Since the trajectory of the iceballs never changes, once you're hit by one, you're gonna be stunned in place and thus always gonna get hit. So, if this enemy hurts you it's pretty much instant kill.
- 12-4 has one of the more frustrating platforming sections. One tile jumps while in reversed gravity which btw doesn't have correct player<->sprite interaction.
- 13-2's gimmick is HORRIBLE. I get water is cold, but why should I lose my fire flower when in it? While avoiding Ice Bros. in water which are unkillable? With an air meter, nonetheless.
- In 13-5 you're expected to survive with a red Yoshi with a blue shell and fire to these blocks. Problem is, there's no reset doors, the climb isn't particularly easy, and the clipping in Yoshi's fireballs means sometimes the blocks don't break.
- The abstract world is the epitome of looks over level design. If you can even call it abstract, because no levels in this world are remotely tolerable, and the aesthetics yell more "lol random" that actual abstracticism (that latter complaint goes to any abstract world in general.)
- How am I meant to respond to this? Having floating munchers that don't align and ugly colored rexhead footballs isn't abstract.
- Amazing jump. 12. This level, 14-1, really sucks...
- ...but 14-5 tops it. Easily. This level's gimmick of nothing-is-what-it-seems is HORRIBLE. Clearly untested, the lava coins rarely kill you due to lava tiles properties as water. This level triggered PTSD on me that made me afraid of touching any question blocks in other levels. It wasn't thought for big Mario. 3 exits which are hard to find; I only lucked out in finding the purple door because of a glitch in the revealing layer code. You can also skip areas. I started using savestates from here.
- The final boss sucks ass.
- The way to introduce the secret code is the most backwards imaginable. Why not install some ASM that detects when you passed the purple doors? Anything but having to run finding doors with the matching number combination and a time limit, really.
- 16-1 has a terrible sub-area with a screen scrolling pipe maze and Venus traps which spam fireballs. As well as the proof this wasn't tested, with the P-switch not disappearing when Mario goes in a pipe.
- The secret exit of 16-5 is the worst I have had to find in any hack ever. This is kaizo-tier. The rundown: you jump over a Fishin' Boo to go and get the cape in a hidden area; then you have to backtrack and complete the level without losing it. It's a marathon of boos, spiders, and conveyors. Have fun! You then use the cape in a sublevel to find a P-switch, and survive all of the sublevel again without being hit. This is easily the worst level in the entire hack, with or without secret exit; that was just icing on the cake.
This hack stops being fun - if you even had it to begin with - at world 7. It's a spiral of frustrating level design choices and enemy spam to spice the difficulty from there. The game is slow even with FastROM. There are areas which crash the game in random occasions. Some others have obvious skips, or cutoffs. Please get a tester.
Overall? Not fun. It stops at the eye candy. I wouldn't recommend this hack. 2/5
oh damn. played a medium amount of levels myself and watched a good amount of levels getting played on youtube. just give your hack a nice look, nice music and make bland levels with nothing special about them and you have this hack. because i only saw a good chunck of what this has to offer and i dont saw everything (maybe a miracle happens and the design gets better in the second half), i will give no rating.
it's pretty sad, because the first one was so much better, i loved that hack. and now we have this linear thingy that's really just nothing special from what i've seen so far.
still not a bad hack at all, still playable and fun for an amount of time im sure, but with a hacker as talented as the guy making the first one, making just a backstep now is just something that makes me very sad.
here a small example why i think the level design in this one is much worse than in the first one (yes, i randomly picked a level): https://youtu.be/i2FvgUTuO7M?t=4658 look at this level layout. you walk over bland plattforms, no real up and downs. fish, boomerang bro, para koopa, dinosaur, fish, fish, boomerang bro. no enemy here is used in a clever way, the ground itself had no hard to avoid pits (it's world 4 i think, why making it so easy to just walk through when this hack is tagged 'hard'. yes, there's water, but maybe place a big yum yum fish then to give the player a reason to not fall down), second half then you jump over some plattforms in water with more fishes and boomerang bros. i'm not saying that's 'bad' level design, but while the first new super mario world tried to spice things up and gave me cool challanges, this one just lacks almost completly in that aspect.
This hack has a random tendency to crash in the vertical sublevel of 10-1 (level number 160). Sometimes it happens, sometimes it doesn't.
Overall though this hack is poorly tested. I'll write a proper review and rate it when I finish.
The secret code 6 first digit is wrong, it should be 4, not 1, luckily I save stated to get through this and I note all of the code. Anyway, it is the best hack I've played so far although a little hard.
OH MY... 16 WORLDS??
With many ASM and graphical thing??
On my feelings, this seems to be something that wants to be the DEFINITIVE NON KAIZO HACK, the true sequel of SMW.
OUTSTANDING, we need more developer like you there^^
Congratulations, 5 stars are a MUST