ARGH THIRD TIME HOPE THERE AREN'T ANY ERRORS LEFT D:
That aside, this is my SMW hack. It has almost none of SMW's GFX left in it. Chocolate and his brother Vanilla must trek across a series of islands in an attempt to find a way home.
fixme: custom music causes break in accurate emulators
Level design is mixed in my eyes: there are some levels that feel a little bit the same with a lot of slope-sliding that provided protection against a lot of enemies, but there's always something else to do too. Dragon Coins are often fun to hunt down: the hack's difficulty and lack of extra lives give incentive to go for them. The castles are solidly designed and have inverse aesthetic themes, which I found cool. I think the desert was probably the most underdeveloped level and I don't remember anything there except for the quicksand. Despite the random inconsistencies in quality, it was mostly a positive experience.
My issues I've seen with the levels are sometimes the bottom row of tiles is used and since this hack at the time of review only worked on ZSNES, that ground was invisible. There are also some bits of wonkiness with the Map16 in the desert amidst the mess of hills since some walls that didn't look solid acted as such, and the character's interaction with the steep slope and land shoulder which makes you "stop" at the top kind of threw me off right in front of a pitfall in one level. I also did not like how Magikoopa got stuck in the walls a lot in Monotone Mansion.
Overworld progression is wacky: you never know where the hack is going to lead you next. Most hacks predictably have the next branch come off of the level you just beat but in this hack, sometimes when you beat a level, the path to the next level will branch off of a different level. It really gives flavor to the "Insane Islands."
The graphics are soft, colorful, simple, and cute. It really is its own brand. I feel like the black outlined tiles don't really belong with everything else yet at the same time, that kind of definition makes things more distinguishable. There are some places where, like, if you have a green shell sitting in front of a bush, it's not so easy to see. Sometimes the style makes the spiked enemies in the castle hard to distinguish as such.
At the end of the demo, there's a museum that shows you all the graphics in the game in a safe spot.
Recommended for people who want a Mario hack that looks and feels more like an indie game with inspiration from Mario.