Meant to post a comment after your last post about how I thought it was interesting and kinda cool you were doing non-SMW. Honestly, due to that, I never would've even have seen it. If not for me creeping through other people's post history. So that's probably why there's little comment. Glad I put this thread on my watch-list at the very least. Looking forward to seeing what you ended up with!
I died in
a lot of places...and spawned in the ground for an eternal softlock... Never played the original but this has been enjoyable level design so far. I appreciated that first jump. There's a few tight jumps in 1-3 which feel like a crazy difficulty spike given the relative ease of the rest of the first few levels (spiky area with 2 donuts and a crab). Unfortunately I've had to reset about every other death so I probably won't be investing too much more time into this. It's kinda frustrating when your x5 lives is pretty much x1.... maybe I'll savestate it...
Was that Nessie at the end?!?!
I'd have to say I wouldn't play it without savetates.
Too many random softlocks and the boss at the end is unfair.
It actually took me like 20 attempts at 25% speed to beat it (and I'm fairly good at bullet hell). For bullet hell you have to have one thing you can rely on. It doesn't even matter what it is (you being faster, a certain bullet pattern, being able to destroy projectiles, etc.). Unfortunately the collision on those bullets means you can't always destroy them in under 5 hits. They also either change direction towards Mario or continue on a superball-like path, but you can't count on either to happen. And they can sometimes get split in the middle and do both and you're screwed, there's literally nothing you can do since they move at the same speed as you (but teleport to where they would be next when they split, so move faster when you destroy them).
On the plus side I just watched a playthrough of SML to give a fair comparison... and you're level design is a looooot less claustrophobic than the original's. I disliked the headbonk jumps but it seems the original was a lot more cluttered so I'll take those few headbonkers.
There's seems to be a lot more stars as well. Usually sneakily hidden or in spots that make you question if it's worth going for it. Not sure if that's a pro or a con on the stars, but it's interesting at the very least.
Probably the most unfair thing in the game though isn't the boss, that at least can be chalked up to difficulty... The worst was the blind-invisible-jump-inside-a-wall-with-a-turtle. You essentially need a superball to even begin
to detect where the platforms are. And even knowing where they are it's a running headbonk jump.
The custom enemies are pretty cool.
The levels are fun to play, they're more difficult the slower you move because of how it effects your jump height and distance. But if you're moving at a high speed it's easier. Almost plays like Sonic in the aspect of encouraging you to move quickly. (That said I did get kaizo'd by invisible 1UP blocks at high speed... kinda a sour taste since they're probably there to help and not hurt me