This is the first hack that I'm really committing myself to. It includes custom sprites and blocks, ExGFX, a custom overworld, and some other things that I'm too lazy to list right now.
This is basically the story of Mario heading out on another adventure to defeat Bowser and rescue the princess. But, as the story presses on, he wonders to himself if all of this work to rescue the princess is really necessary if she is just going to be snatched away again.
If you come across any errors/glitches while playing the game, make sure to tell me. There shouldn't be any, but who knows, I might've missed a small thing or 2.
fixme: custom music breaks hack on accurate emulators
This hack has very entertaining level design in my opinion. Item-related puzzles are kept to minimal "babysitting" while still adding a flair of either thought or energy to the level, depending on the context. It delivers quality action, and hides exits in cool ways, such as putting them beyond a wide pit you'd have to jump on a bullet to cross. Iggy's Castle is full of appealing gimmicks, and the auto-scrolling Sky Ride is short and sweet. Yellow Switch is a nod to the fun free-fall of Sunken Ghost Ship, with powerups and foes falling with you through the coins until you reach the bottom.
However, there's one thing that kills this hack badly for me: Haunted House. This level is AGGRAVATING because there are numerous spots where you can't react quickly enough to prevent damage, and even an area you are able to get stuck and forced to die without foresight of the problem area. Eerie generators should not be used at the start of the level when you are on the lower left side of the screen because one will spawn right next to you within a second of the level beginning. Coin curves need to be more gradual, and the distance between spike floors should be greater - it's almost impossible not to touch spikes in this room without seeing its layout in advance. It also recycles the concept of bouncing on bullets too soon since the level before it just used it for a secret exit, and this one requires more precision. It's a proportionately too-hard level for this hack, and all for the wrong reasons.
Not counting that level, the hack averages out to about normal difficulty. ItsShinyTime needs to come back and finish this hack.