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[REMOVED] "Super Mario World's Secret of the Lands!" by mario and luigi

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File Name: super mario world - the secret of the lands!
Submitted: 2014.02.02 ~ 18:18:54 by mario and luigi
Claimed: 2014.02.03 ~ 17:09:55 by Counterfeit
Rating: Spaghetti
Authors: mario and luigi
Demo: No
Length: 46 exit(s)
Difficulty: Normal
Description: well, here it is; the full version of super mario world - the secret of the lands!.

story: there are secret islands near the corner of dinosaur land. only one person knows the secret of the lands and that is princess peach herself. bowser wants to know the secret, so he kidnapped and has captured princess peach and make her tell him the secret.

toad: mario, you cannot let that happen, you must rescue her!

this hack contains a custom music version and a no custom music version, has custom palettes, and some hdma.

38 levels; 46 exits.

The title screen demonstrates a new level. The menu text cuts through the author's name. The intro level's background palette creates problems where the hills overlap, using wrong colors. I noticed nothing wrong with the text.

Abandoned House is Yoshi's House with some changed palettes and a new message. The boss music doesn't seem to fit at all.

Rex's House is more box-happy than I am trigger-happy. It's an easy level and makes a comfortable introduction. There are no complicated concepts and enemy usage is kept really basic. I noticed six dragon coins, and the main background color being murkier than the end point of the HDMA gradient, so the end of the level looks kind of strange on zoom out.

Happy Grasslands uses many of the same enemies as before, but adds in more emphasis on Koopa usage. Banzai Bills are used quite well. There's that same pattern of coins halfway through the level where you take a giant leap down from a high platform, which I don't like seeing again so soon.

Chargin' Chuck Cave not only introduces everyone's favorite football hero, but uses a large variety of Chucks indeed. You start outside and have a lot of space before entering the cave. It starts interesting but devolves into lots of ? block formations between two slopes with Chucks everywhere in the middle. The level is kept short.

Sunset Athletics reminded me how much I hate flying fish. I swam under the bridge so I could keep a steady pace and avoid them all.

Haunted Ghost House is kind of a redundant name, no? Anyways, slow people could get trapped in that section in the beginning with the Dragon Coin. I didn't like the background palette of the second room. Puzzles were reasonable, and I liked the music for the Big Boo boss fight even though the port's volumes were really inaccurate.

Iggy's Lava Castle has less of an emphasis on lava than I thought it would. The level design doesn't pop, but it's decently challenging. It's a shame though that all the Dragon Coins were in the first room, as they could've been used in the second room to spice things up -- the Bullet Bill shooters are all really non-intrusive.

Ice Cream Mountains has flying fish again asdfdfghsfd - it didn't do much to feel like its own level after the first two levels demonstrated this type of level design already.

The Cave of Ghosts had sprite tile memory problems which resulted in my death because there was an invisible Boo Block above a pit which pushed me down into it. :| There should also be some space between the ? blocks and the wall at the end of the level in the middle slot where Big Boo is, else you're forced to take a hit. I did like the beginning of this level since it required some creative use of Spin Jump to clear a lava pit, but after that, the level seemed to lose direction.

Deserted Desert was incredibly easy and felt a lot like the first level of the game -- like Ice Cream Mountains, there was nothing executed here to make it feel different - the Spinies and Bob-Ombs could've been utilized to achieve something fresh, but the terrain is more of the same.

Boo's Playground was bland. The difference between the two doors at the end was really minor; the first one had less ammo to use against the Big Boo.

Morton's Garden had a lot of variation in platform height, but felt really repetitive since it only made use of munchers on top of vines and Dry Bones. Morton's boss room has grey lava with a line of red at the bottom.

A Cloudy Day has a really high goal post, causing the HDMA zoom out to mess up at the end. Nothing stood out about the design - it was kind of cluttered with Dinos, and we already have another flying fish generator. :(

Red Hot Cave was a very easy level. Other than the Podoboos jumping out, the lava really felt like it was shoved in for aesthetics. The Blargg I saw was inoffensive. The level felt like most of the others, liberal in ? block distribution and full of Chucks.

Peaceful Forest had a nice atmosphere with great music and palettes. The flames are the new thing here, but I feel like more could've been done with them, such as having them guard higher-elevation platforms or narrow areas. A few of them were effective, guarding blocks to their left. I don't like how at the beginning of the level, you can drown if you don't start swimming within the first two seconds.

Colorful Fortress's music has a bad loop and bad percussion. The design itself still feels like much of the rest of the hack, except there is also a lot of slowdown due to too many Podoboos on screen at one point. The shading in the second room's background is awfully weird, being a saturated orange while the rest is a light brown. Chucks are getting really old by now, being used roughly the same each time and in such bulk.

Dried-up Cave is another level that seems to have more potential than is actually utilized. The music goes really well with the Monty Mole enemy, and I wish there was more layering to really take advantage of it.

Aqua Ghost House has an area next to the 3up moon where it's easy to get stuck if a player thinks that there might be something else hidden by trying to run over those crates - that should be sealed off. The level mostly feels like "Boo's Playground", but the one thing that set it apart was the use of the Boo Room Generator in a swimming section. I thought that was a neat idea.

Calm River was fairly boring. There were little path deviations for Dragon Coins, but the level design, generally, was just fish spam. I saw no elaborate thought here.

Scary Forest does nothing I haven't seen before several times in this hack. There are too many ghost levels; Big Boo always guards dual rows of blocks. There are always levels with those slanted, skinny platforms. There are always upside-down L-shaped coin patterns where you jump down to lower ground halfway through the level.

Lemmy's Fort of Fun was actually fun. I enjoyed the muncher run, although you should probably put a jump-through rope above it in case you're unable to get out before the turn blocks stop turning.

Special Mansion was this hack's Top Secret Area -- not much to say about it.

Watermelon Hills was aesthetically different, but design-wise, more of the same.

Piranha Plant Pipes seemed to be more about Rexes and Banzai Bills for the first half of the level, and when it got into its namesake, it turned out to be very repetitive. The level was ridiculously dark-looking, but the music was about as happy and upbeat as it gets. There's something really wrong with this picture...

To the ghost house must lead to a ghost house. Oh boy, I thought I was done with ghost levels. This level stood out due to the auto-scrolling segments. There felt like there was a sense of progression because the first auto-scroll was slow, and the second one was medium. The second one has big blind spot where you'd have to stay up on a box until the last second in order to see ground, only to find out it's safe to just drop down.

Fiery Ghost House has some pretty bad sprite tile memory problems all over the place. I find myself vanishing at least once in every room, and I can't see myself at all in the boss room. This is extremely bad. Have you tried No More Sprite Tile Limits?

Bowser's Castle has a spot where you are forced to take a hit in the swimming room -- no amount of camera manipulation can make the wall of fish pass by harmlessly so you have only one tile in the middle of five to squeeze through. There's also not enough time in this level; I got to the boss with only 39 seconds left.

Let's take Star Road and see where we go.

#1 An Arctic Hill has some HDMA funkiness with the message block and the keyhole. The level itself was short and simple, and like the original Star World levels, the "regular exit" leads you nowhere.

#2 Depression seems largely like a rerun of Calm River. The underwater music note blocks were interesting, and a great place to hide a secret.

#3 Ghostly Presence uses pretty much the same idea as the first Star World level: you need to be big and use Spin Jump to get the key. Other than that, it felt like the umpteen other ghost levels in this hack.

#4 Puzzly Patterns was really easy - just enter the pipe further away from the P-switch. Not much to say about the level, aside from the fact that I expected far more of a puzzle.

#5 Ludwig's Hideout... I found the ? blocks pretty quickly, and the level is kept short with powerups provided to beat the boss with.

Quick Run! was a rather intense level, seeing as you have a time limit of 113. The design itself wasn't immaculate, but the fact that you had to rush through it was refreshing.

Which Pipe's Right? has a lot of slowdown in the blue forest-background room where the Banzai Bill is. It's a cute concept and doesn't get overly annoying because it only brings you back to the start of the room if you guess wrong rather than the start of the whole level.

Psychedelic Exp. has one really annoying part where munchers are placed right next to where a P-balloon spawns, so unless you are prepared to grab a P-balloon beforehand, you can't progress. Other than that, the level seemed to have decent ideas behind it... it just didn't really capture too much of a psychedelic feeling outside of having one room with strange palettes and there being some mirage items.

Amazing felt like a weird combination of "Outrageous" and a non-slippery "Awesome" but it falls flat because it goes nowhere. There's a bit of slowdown where the Lakitu in the pipe in the first room is.

Koopa Gardens seems more like Piranha Plant Gardens. There was one nearly pixel-perfect jump, two tiles wide, with a low pipe, that stuck out like a sore thumb in this level challenge-wise, but the multitude of lives that could be gotten with the star felt like a reasonable trade-off.

Bullet Bill Hop was pretty fun, although the second room contributed nothing whatsoever to the concept.

Bowser's Lair has a bonus room with a giant slice of cutoff on the right side. The spike columns in the third room blend in too much with the background.

The only submap that stood out to me was the forest submap. A few maps were really flat, such as the second map and the Star World map, and the Valley of Bowser map had palette issues around the hills when the lightning struck.

Overall, I feel like this game doesn't have many well-developed ideas. A lot of the level design is samey to me, especially with the fact that there were so many ghost levels. The upside is the aesthetic side of the hack: most of the palettes give the original SMW graphics a fresh coat of paint, and the new music works without crashes. Sometimes, the music will have a little static at the beginning because the echo buffer didn't get the time needed to clear. For the most part, there were no technical problems, except that sprite tile memory problem in "Fiery Ghost House" which is incredibly crippling considering it's an important level.


List of +1 users:
Fierce Deity Manuz OW Hacker

Just look above you...
If it's something that can be stopped, then just try to stop it!
Note that I played the custom music version.

So I finally got around to finishing the hack and I must say that my feelings about it are mixed overall. First of all, I am going to talk about the level design. To be honest, most of it felt quite repetitive and I many of the levels felt like repeats. Not all of them but quite a lot of them did. Specifically, it is simply jump over each ledge and ground tile until you reach the end. I found quite a few worrying factors as well. Examples of those include Mario starting in places where you have little time to react. That is not a good example. The only variation I could see was between worlds and even that was slight. I would call the design merely acceptable. Variation is important in a hack and as such you do not want to make players bored of your hack. There are some good levels but most of your levels need more variation.

On the aesthetics, I must say you did some pretty good palettes in certain areas. However, in some levels, the transition and smoothness between colors are not so great . I would suggest improving them and practicing with making good palettes. Smoothness is the key as you do not want to have a large sudden transition between colors and the brightness of them. If you are unsure whether people would like them, post in this thread and the community can evaluate and take a look at your palettes. On other aspects, I felt like you spammed decoration in the grassland areas of the hack. Try and reduce the decoration as it can feel sloppy when playing it. There was minor cutoff in some places such as tile corners but nothing too major. The HDMA is fine for me.

Other aspects I will talk about include the overworld, glitches and the custom music. On the topic of the overworld, I did like some submaps but most of them felt squarish and the palettes on them did not look smooth for the most part. I would suggest varying the paths as to not make them solely straight and making the islands less squarish. As for glitches, there were not many present but the ones that were felt quite significant. Disappearing boos were quite annoying in the level The Cave of Ghosts so I would suggest fixing them please as they are quite noticeable. The custom music was fine but it felt annoying in some areas and I did not really enjoy them in those levels. In Abandoned House, you seemed to have set the music to the SMW boss music which does not quite fit.

Personally I am leaning towards rejection. Serious work needs to be done if the hack is to improve in the end. There were some good aspects but they are overshadowed by the bad ones. This hack needs to be polished before I can get down to specifics. Good luck on improving the hack!

(+1 -Cou)

I reviewed the demo of this hack some time ago, and now with the complete version, I have to say: everything is almost the same.

Let's start with the level design: Although there were one or two levels really fun and wisely designed, I felt that your level design is a bit too repetitive and bland. Almost all of your levels involve dodging and jumping the same enemies again and again. And where you could make better use of the gimmicks you planned (like in #4 Puzzly Patterns), you did the level so short that I thought the gimmick was kinda wasted.

Second, the OW design: I will comment only the submaps you did, as I designed two submaps for you. But I have to say, the difference in our works is visible; I'm not saying you're a bad OW designer, but you could improve a bit. Most of your OWs looked a bit square-ish and some palettes weren't that fancy, except for Star Road's palette. And, like I told you a few times, you could improve your paths, too. Add more variantion to Mario's movements in the OW, or it'll be boring, even though the OW is well designed. Uh, and your lest event in special world cut off part of the fortress blue 'terrain'. About this part, I will repeat something I told you earlier: practice makes perfect, don't forget.

Third, the bugs: There were a noticeable amount of bugs, some of them minor, but some of them quite annoying. Let's start with your title screen: You put some text in the area reserved for the menu, which caused a bit of cut-off. Second: When I started a new game, because you forgot to put Mario's initial position in the correct place, I started in Star Road. I passed the normal exit of the first level, and it took me to an unrevealed star road tile in Bowser's world map. I entered it just to see I was stuck in a level (a copy of the original Donut Plains 1, with a different palette - I guess it's level 16). Third: There were some instances of missing sprite tiles and huge slowdown. About the first bug, I bet you put the No More Sprite Tile Limits patch, but forgot to set sprite header to 10 in some levels (especially in the ones you were prone to spawn Big Boos wildly). And the last one: I saw in one of your levels that you put a jumping piranha plant a bit too left. As the result, it didn't enter its pipe correctly.

Fourth, the music: I played the custom music version, and I have to say, your music choice was nice. But there were some levels that the music wasn't so pleasant, but this is minor, as I understand music is a very difficult thing to get a good score.

Fifth, and for last, overall: Although there were some good instances of design, and some levels that were fun, in the majority this hack had some flaws that are quite noticeable. Sadly, my veredict is: rejection. I think, though, that some more work in some areas can change this conclusion. I wish you good luck, mario and luigi, as I see that you're a good hacker.

(+1 -Cou)

Dream team (feed them, please):

Yeah, kinda mixed feeling about this one...
So first of all, I gotta say you improved from the last time I played this (demo) and you seem to have taken most advices to heart so kudos for that.

You still seem to have your unrequited love for big boos it seems though. Just for the record. Not every ghost house needs to end in a big boo boss fight and the number of big boos used in a normal level could be reduced as well. For example, in the level Fiary Ghost House once one of the big boo is onscreen all the other sprites are so scared, they just disappear. This also happened in another level with the boo-rings:

Unfortunatly, you have LOTS of issues with big boos such as slowdown, sprite memorie issues and one boss fight where Mario was invisible for the whole fight. If big boo weren't bugging out too, I would have belive this to be the gimmik too :P

Another problem would be that you have two levels (to my count) where you can get stuck behind turn blocks. I seem to have forgotten their names sorry. But I do remember that one of them had a star behind it, so that you could get over the munchers. I had two problems with this segment. The first time, I fried the turtles and collected the coins before relizing I absolutly needed that star, the second time I got stuck in there due to the blocks stopping turning.

As for the level design. I found it a little repeative over the last levels. Though just a little not a major problem in my eyes. What struck me more were the colors. Like, you seem to be good in recoloring some levels, but there are also segments were you just overdo it.

As for your overworld, I like all of them but the second one. It looks really plain and boring compared to the others. And speaking of OW, you might also want to fix the graphical issue with the lightning in bowsers valley:

You can just make some ExGFX for those hills with transparent corners. So should be an easy fix. The forest OW was also kinda weird in making it look like there was an exit in Special Mansion which leads to the castle, but I could find anything.

On a more minor note, for the levels you had a HDMA gradient in, did you put the code in LevelMain or LevelInit? It looks like you put them into main, because they only appear after the level is fully loaded. You really should stick them into INIT, as it will make them appear from the beginning, and while your at it, apply Ice Man's HDMA fix patch, which prevents the HDMA from staying when you warp to another level (via pipe, door, w/e)

I'm also gonna go with rejecting this one.
Mainly for the big boos, secondly for the places you can stuck in.
And the colors are just the icing on the cake. I wouldn't really mind if you leave them, but while you're at it, you could try and making some of them less extreme. Like, if you wanna have a darker level, just mess with the screen brightness in LevelInitASM.

(+1 -Cou)
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