If I had recorded myself playing through this, you'd get tired of hearing "this is so cool!!". This hack is just exactly up my alley, very well designed and I had a great time with pretty much every level with maybe one exception. I'm glad you decided to put this out, it was a really nice surprise. I'm very, very excited to see it finished!
I made two general notes and some assorted notes as I played each level. I hope they're of use to you:
- I think it's weird that the dragon coin counter is always visible. It would be fine if it was in the top left corner, but it is in a weird spot to be always visible in my opinion.
- Make sure to adjust the volume of the tracks to be consistent (this is a thing you can leave for last though). I didn't notice any glaringly bad instances of songs that need to be adjusted except for the first level, where the song is very quiet.
- In level 2, I got the midpoint before I went to the sublevel in which there is a dragon coin. I think making that sublevel more intuitively accessible before the midpoint would be better, because I would have to redo the sublevel everytime I died to get the dragon coin again, and it's a pretty long one.
- In the very end of level 3, I noticed there's a grinder I could've made follow me to the end. Was there a point to it? I think it would be a nifty way to hide a secret, like a moon (I didn't do it, I just noticed it was possible)
- In level 5, the tomato grinders are using the wrong SFX. This is a thing I learned recently that AMK remaps the grinder sound somewhere else to not clash with the jump sounds this much, and it breaks any custom sprite that uses that sound unless you don't change it. It's worth looking into it.
- In level 4, what do you think about removing the random turnaround timer in the fast pokeys? I think it doesn't add to them and makes a few sections a bit unfair, but it's not so bad.
- In level 6, after dragon coin 2, the 5 fish don't always spawn in sync. I'm not sure if that section is always possible depending on how they spawn but I made it fine.
- The second half of level 6 is the only part of the hack I did not bothre finishing. I did not enjoy handling the blue fish, it's kinda janky in how it doesn't carry you horizontally, and some jumps seem to require weird p-speed preservation which I wasn't so happy about.
- I only played one of the exits in level 9. I think the secret exit is fine in the context of a real hack? Although it's kinda eh that it forces to play the entire first half and the harder part of the second half twice with no substantial changes.
- In level 10, I would add a reset door here
, cause it's very likely that you'll get here without an item in your hands and be unable to do anything other than die or just try to make a weird spinjump from that ghost trail until you run out of powerups.
- Also on level 10 second half, I kept a shell until the end. I think it would be cool if I was rewarded for it (with a moon, maybe?)
- Shoutouts to the music choice in level 11. Earthbound <3
- In level 12, right after the midpoint, I'm not sure how to make it through that first saw? It was pretty much a glorified powerup filter for me.