Well, I really like the environmental design, but I'm not sure I had as much fun with the levels as I'd hoped. I think part of it might be that they overfocus on one or two enemy types at a time, so the pacing is too deliberate, with too many minor variations on obstacles. Judging from the other comments here, though, it looks like people are enjoying them, so it's probably just me ^_^;
Still, I guess I'll share some observations/suggestions/feelings:
--Detection radius of sandworms is probably more important than how visible they are
--Not obvious that you need to hit the head to kill sandworms, and the veggies are nigh-useless against pokeys since they only remove one segment; it's arguably simpler to just ignore the veggies
--2, 7: I guess it's just me, but I hate waiting for pokeys.
--9, C: These two sandworms are the easiest to jump over because you have the high ground, yet the first one you encounter is level with you (read: odd difficulty progression?)
--6: Well, the coins do suggest you can go up, but what if players decide to go right first? Going to the upper left also seems like a dead-end, unless I'm missing something.
--A, top: This mushroom struck me as odd, considering it forces players to jump down for a quick detour despite that there are question blocks above.
--B: Not too fond of this, if only because the camera doesn't give you a ton of time to react.
--A, middle: I accidentally got hit by this sandworm mid-jump, fell down, and the star fell from the item box down the middle of the wall, making it unobtainable >_<
--Desolate intro + Lengthy transitional area = What happens if people die before the midpoint?
--8: Pair of stars = Nigh-screwed if stunned
--C-E: This is honestly kind of frustrating to do as Big Mario. The auto-fire makes it hard to hit anything above ground level with precision, plus you need to create bigger gaps. Also, you can't stand right next to the wall or you'll shoot past it.
--A lot of things have the same dark grey coloring, making it a bit tough at first to remember what's solid and what's not
--2, 3-4, 5-6, bottom: Probably just me, but I hate these "trough gymnastics" types of obstacles in SMW. Plus, it seems like Big Mario Discrimination.
--2: So, if players just happen to choose the left path, they're punished with a harder obstacle...?
--5: Nitpicky, but what if players don't reach the switch in time?
--6-7: Since these shooters have no graphical representation, you have to devote extra attention to their current angle of rotation, which I don't personally like. Also, why send players back to the stage entrance (as opposed to the on/off wall)?
--7: Hold on...you're not seriously asking me to wait out a p-switch here, are you? I must be missing something...
--There's a pretty long time between shocks, so whenever you reach a safe spot, you have two choices: wait things out for a while or risk getting killed. It's especially noticeable at screen 5, since that area gives you pretty much no leeway.
--5-A: Speaking of this section, it's basically the same obstacle five times in a row, even if the platforms get narrower as you go.
--C: Frustrating, for me. The first time around, the camera doesn't go low enough, so you have to be really careful where you jump, yet you need to find a safe spot quickly. My first time, I reached the right end, doubled back, and found a safe spot, but the hopping flame spawned right on top of it (really?), so I couldn't get to it in time. If you rush to the on/off switch the flames can still reach you, leaving you without safe spots; I guess I could
try rushing ahead, but after screens 5-A, I'm reluctant to risk it.
--E: If you don't notice this wall in time (and how should I, having to deal with grinders), you're pretty much screwed.
--Overall, this area was frustrating enough that I still haven't finished it, though it seems I've come close.
--Some hammers disappear behind the foliage, giving you little time to react when they accelerate downward and appear suddenly. Apart from that, this stage seems like the most innocuous of the bunch so far.
| Youtube (Alt)