Ok, I gave this one a try. First off, I'm not sure a couple of koopa jumps justify taking away the entire second tier of powerups. Are those koopa jumps necessary? Couldn't you replace them with line-guided grinders or a different kind of setup altogether? While I suppose it makes sense for there to be a security lockdown, if this level is going to remove powerups, then every level in World 8 will have to do the same for consistency- I mean, if a regular blimp level takes away fire flowers, then Norveg's high-security fortress would have to go a step higher by not even having mushrooms. Personally, I find your justification tenuous at best. Remember, this level's part of a larger picture.
Also, though you were generous with mushrooms, I find myself making use of most of them. Does that mean you included the right number of powerups, or does it mean some of your obstacles go a bit far? I'll ultimately leave that for you to decide, but I wouldn't treat the issue lightly, as a few particular setups that I'll mention here I found to be a bit much.
Another thing: I don't mind repositioning myself on a chain/net here or there, but when I spend most of the level doing that- especially as Big Mario- it grates on my nerves a little. You could stand to lower some spike pits so that they're not directly underneath the chains, for example. Then players don't have to worry about grabbing the chains too low, which means the low ceilings won't force them to reposition themselves on the chains before the next jump.
Now, about the side room in BA. There's nothing hard about creating a wall of grinders, but making something reasonable to pass without taking damage is quite a different matter. Do you really think people are going to wait and figure this out, let alone make it through successfully? That many grinders is just too much to keep track of, I feel. It doesn't help that you line the floor and ceiling with spikes! Isn't that extra layer of security unnecessary? Don't the grinders provide challenge enough? I suppose you could keep the starting spikes on the floor if you want to force players to jump into the formation, but if it were me, I would remove either all of the spikes or a combination of spikes and grinders. Alternately, you could make it so getting hit just resets the room, but I have a feeling that would be too nonsequitirish. Bottom line: I think people are going to see this and just tank through it or die trying, and I don't think smwcoin challenges should go that far.
1: The cement blocks right next to the thwomp and the downward
-pointing coins do NOT imply (to me) that I have to spinbounce on the thwomp to proceed. Also, do you have to block players' progress if they're quick with the p-quarter? I understand the coins would turn into turn block platforms; so what? It doesn't change what players fundamentally have to do to cross that gap, right? Anyway, perhaps you should lower the first set of floor apikes a bit and orient the coins in an upward direction so it's more clear what's necessary. You can extend the cement block down a bit to compensate, but if it were me, those p-question blocks wouldn't be there.
2: The first time I got here, I didn't know what to do for a second. Then I noticed the turn block bridge, jumped on, and had to wait because of the spike ceiling. On the next screen, I had to wait for the other bridge to go through a full cycle before continuing. Isn't that a bit too much waiting for just two screens? I would at least change the first bridge so that it's either horizontal-only (preferred) or not obfuscated.
5-9, top: For me, this p-quarter run was horrendous, and made even worse as Big Mario by the constant chain repositioning I had to do in order to avoid hitting the low ceilings too early (and thus fall onto the spikes). Perhaps if the p-quarters gave you a bit more time it wouldn't be such a problem, but I doubt many players will clear this the first time around unless they tank through. Honestly, is this branch even necessary? I thought the lower path was much more interesting *shrug*
A-B, bottom: While I discovered how to make it through unscathed after a few tries (mind you, a few tries = replaying other sections of the level over and over again as well), the horizontal thwomp doesn't give players much time to analyze the situation, and the vertical thwomps demand a lot of precision. Remember what I said about having a lot of mushrooms but using most of them? You're kind of setting players up (read: encouraging them) to repeatedly tank through your obstacles out of aggravation. What would I do here? Why not give players a ditch or two to avoid the horizontal thwomp, and raise the first vertical thwomp a tile?
5: Do you think you could shift the gap in the ceiling here a tile to the left, or raise the right ceiling a tile, or something equivalent? I'm always afraid I'll accidentally jump into it en route to the next net, and personally I don't think I should have to deal with that after successfully clearing the grinders (which is what the gap is for).
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