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Mint Chocolate by dashlet

File Name: Mint Chocolate
Submitted: by dashlet
Authors: dashlet
Demo: No
Hall of Fame: No
Length: 5 exit(s)
Type: Standard: Hard
Description: 5 levels with simple gimmicks and a mysterious atmosphere. Mostly vanilla in nature although there are some asm, gfx and music tweaks.

If you're up to a short adventure through a rather chill yet challenging set of SMW levels, than maybe this its for you.

Special thanks to:

- ScubaSaul for porting a Secret of Evermore song i requested

- Alex and Insanit for playtesting previous version
Tags: abstract, asm, atmospheric, custom backrounds, custom music, gimmicks, hard, short hack, vanilla
Thank you for the opportunity to moderate Mint Chocoate. Overall, this was a fun hack and definitely rewarded exploration. However, there are a few minor things that need correcting before acceptance, and a few larger things that should be considered as well.

While you indicated no concern with the exit counter being off, that is a feature that our users rely on. Please correct the file so that saves are consistent. The easiest way to do this, especially with your generally open overworld, is to ensure an event after each level clear. Note this will increase your exit count to 6. You might find use in watching this tutorial to learn more about overworld events, but many users would be happy to help you with questions in this regard.

One other design issue was that this hack has a LOT of blind jumps. While I understand this may be part of the intended exploration, it felt frustrating when certain pits are required to fall in, with others leading to death, with little differentiation. One thought might be to consider removing lives, which at least reduces the value of each life lost.

Another main concern I had was regarding the difficulty as submitted. This hack breaks a few notable concerns of standard hacks, notably:
Standard hacks should give players a chance to react §
Hacks submitted to any of the above categories should not overwhelmingly use sudden damage from unpredictable events in levels, otherwise known as "Kaizo traps". Obstacles should be reasonably designed for players to read and react to in order to complete, but they can still be quite challenging as the Very Hard category shows.

You violate this in multiple places, but most notably in “Another World”, where you have a koopa kick a shell with little time to react, and a second sliding koopa later that also offers no time for reaction.

Standard Hacks should not require technical knowledge §
Obstacles that require technical knowledge of the base game to clear should be avoided in standard levels. An excessive amount of this is in a submission to the Easy, Normal or Hard categories may result in rejection (especially in the lower difficulties) or being moved to or additionally categorized as Kaizo.

This is my bigger concern- you exploit a number of technical aspects, including the 4 turning block rule and a required shell jump for Yoshi coins. While I understand that they are bonus content, including these kinds of technical aspects as an expected part of gameplay, in my mind, would require a cross-listing in kaizo.

In general, aspects of the level design feel “kaizoy” to me as well, notably in level 3, “weird frog”, which requires many precise spin jumps without rest. At a minimum, this would place this hack in standard: very hard in my estimation.

One other small note, I thought that getting all yoshi coins would unlock Yoshi. I'm not sure there is a good way to avoid this, but the blank block tiles probably didn't help.

Thank you the chance to moderate this hack! Upon fixing the overworld, this hack is ready for resubmission, but I would also be sure to address the difficulty in your update as well.