I'm halfway through the winter world right now, so I can't give a full review or proper appraisal of the hack yet. However, I think I've played enough to confidently say that this is certainly a masterpiece.
I normally play hacks of the hard and kaizo variety, but I also greatly enjoy playing easier hacks as well if the design holds weight. Fortunately, I think that this hack has some of the most interesting and well crafted easy-difficulty levels I've played. While I'm not always keen on exploration, I think that the explorative elements were handled pretty well in the hack: as you explore, you will encounter setups or mini-challenges that are enjoyable in their own right, which makes the exploration much more interesting than just checking out nooks and crannies for coins and whatnot. My favorite levels were the super fun, classic romp levels that didn't have much exploration, but were just good ole classic run and jump fun. These levels were executed spectacularly. I especially enjoyed 2-1, the absolutely adorable gimmick and fantastic level design were paired super well together to make for a really fun level. Other highlights for me so far were 1-2, 2-3, 2-5, 2-7, and 3-5. This isn't really a complaint, moreso an observation, but I noticed that there were a few levels that suddenly trended into more linear, almost quickie world-esque setups. These most notably occurred in 2-2 and 4-2. It's not a bad thing, but I found it a bit odd. My only real design "complaint" is that I felt like the pumpkin's hitboxes were too large in 3-6 and that they sometimes blended into the background. But it's nothing major. Otherwise, really awesome job with the design.
Regarding graphics, I really can't add anything that hasn't already been said. The graphics deserve all of the countless praise they have already received, and then some. The fact that each foreground, background, and sprite graphic was created from scratch by you is nothing short of insane. The hack is very beautiful and you should be extremely proud of the work you've done here. The fact that some of the screens in the outside areas of the water levels are (as far as I know) only used once is amazing and shows how much work went into each little detail.
The music is also wonderful. It's almost like looking into a time capsule, since there are a few porters that aren't actively porting anymore. Really enjoyed getting to hear so many new songs.
Throughout the hack, there are little sprinkles of personal touches and attention to detail that really illuminate how much passion went into this project. Even if I hadn't known it had taken 9 years to make, it would certainly be apparent that this was a massive labor of love and commitment just from playing it. And I'm sure it's a great relief to finally be done as well. Looking forward to finishing the rest of the hack in the coming days, and congrats on such a huge release!
Again, thank you so much for all the nice comments! I'm happy it met people's expectations.
I've been watching a lot streams of it these past few days, and while by now it's finally sunk in that this hack is done, after seeing it in so many people's hands now I kind of forgot that I'm the one who made it. I'm exaggerating of course, just saying it's interesting how it feels to put stuff out there.
I put up a new version today where I fixed the most glaring issues I've seen people have (at least those that were easy to fix), as well as some minor visual screwups I noticed. Not worth redownloading if you've already 100%'d it, but worth noting that minor changes have been made (details in the readme).
Man, these progress reports have been the star show in most C3s. It's hard to think that it's finally done done. After experiencing it firsthand it did not disappoint, and it's great to have a very accessible, non-kaizo hack with this much love and effort put into it. The parallax has not been mentioned enough; the tricks on display here are retail quality, and they give the entire world a vibrant depth.
You're a huge inspiration, and I hope that whatever you do beyond this can have the same amount of creative energy that went into this!
Currently working on Æther: The Infinite Library!
I had a fun time playing through the hack! Some level design things that stood out to me: the bonus room in the hay bale level, which was quite clever; the secret exit of the thin ice level; the winter castle. The bosses were also fair and enjoyable!
The graphics are really something else. Great job with drawing literally everything-- the atmosphere it gives off is amazing.
My favorite music is the one that plays in cave levels.
I do wish it was a little easier to get lives (I ended up farming lives in the first castle), just to see what happens on 99 lives
I'm currently unable to play the hack for various reasons, but from what I've seen and what I've heard, this might be a true standout hack among every SMW hack out there. Those 9 years of work really show just from seeing the craftsmanship on display.
Phenomenal work, and probably one of the better hack releases in recent times.
I've played through the first two worlds and it's clear that you poured a lot of love into this.
Congratulations on finishing your hack! People will have a lot of fun with it for years to come :>
User: Hinalyte / ID: 1553 ~ loading kotori.css
I've been a fan of this hack ever since seeing it being worked on slowly in progress. Over our years of barely any contact, I believe I used to call this "that hack with pretty graphics" back when it didn't have a name. Time really flies.
I'm really impressed by how you managed to keep working on this and now it's finally released. As a bonus, judging from just the trailer alone, I'm absolutely loving the aesthetic consistency of this hack; it really shows how much dedication has been put from making this. Really impressed with the overall presentation of this hack, congratulations!
This is going to be one of the few hacks that I'll be looking forward to play! When the opportunity presents, I might make a review.
It's good to see this hack finally released!
I've been following your work on it for a while now (although not nearly as much as the full 9 years you worked on this), and every new progress report was a delight to see the quality of what you had to show. It's really clear you poured your heart and soul into this project, and seeing it being completed is a great moment!
Unfortunately i won't get to play it before C3 ends, but i still wanted to write some words to congratulate you on having gone through years of work to release it!
I'll be sure to make a review on it when i play.My Youtube Channel