Here's a classic, 10 years old at the time of review. The levels are of short to moderate length, and the difficulty curve is stable. It stays mostly within the normal realm, but treads on the side of hard in the final world.
Design style is very traditional: there are very few puzzles, and maybe two or so that would require you to carry items and it's usually the secret exit ones where P-switches are tempting to use in one area but seal you off from the important one. You have to look for clues in the scenery for the secret exits. By "Strange Forrest", a few level design patterns seem to have recurred enough that they've grown tiresome, but the hack snaps out of that in the next world. Most of the levels don't have gimmicks, and aesthetics are what you more easily tell levels apart with, but the pacing in each level is usually excellent - some areas are a blast to try to speedrun.
ASM is used sparingly: some blocks are added and a few hex edits are done to enhance enemies in some way.
Graphics - custom, ripped and user-submitted - are present and well-assembled although the mix creates some inconsistency from level to level which makes this hack feel less of an authentic-seeming Mario game than it could be.
This hack has personality and a bit of edge to it: Bowser sports shades with a "don't give a fuck" attitude. His world and his Koopalings' domains are sometimes littered with death: you'll see Toads impaled on pikes that wiggle, dead stabbed Pikachus, and what looks like seas of intestines. On the opposite end of the spectrum, there's a secret hentai palace fairly early in the game with 16-bit loli, yuri, and catgirls. How dare he not pander to my fetish. -50 DKP for that.
The hack is functional in accurate emulators, but it's not without problems:
- Start + Select is completely broken and will cause an unfixable freeze
- Neverending bonus game in Snow Secret 2
- VRAM glitches in Mushroom Lagoon 4
- Slowdown in some enemy-heavy levels
- Grinder death frame is bugged when sliding down a hill
- Sometimes I can jump into blocks while big and die/disappear at the same time
- Music note block instant kill glitch also happens due to being placed against a wall
- In one such case in Mushroom Lagoon 3, I had a glitchy shrinking frame going from Fire Luigi to small while swimming in the goo, but it's hard to replicate. (Said level also seems to have a long load time when entering the cave.)
- A few areas where it's possible to get stuck, including one keyhole area, and one area you can enter with a Fire Flower, drop down, and still get hit by a falling enemy, thus losing your power and making you stuck