I have tested most of your hack now. I played everything without savesates and I want to say I'm impressed - your hack manages to maintain a very high quality of challenge and visuals through most of the levels. I also have some constructive criticism on things I noticed during my playthrough:
- MOCHA MOUNTAIN 3 has some cutoff on a few bushes. Nothing major, but it ought to be fixed. Other than that it's a really good level. Looks good, sounds good, plays well.
- #5 ROY'S CASTLE has a pretty overwhelming BG. I'm mostly talking about the puffs of smoke constantly appearing. I'd implore you to have the smoke puffs wait one entire cycle before appearing again. I can't speak for everyone but personally I found the level overwhelming to look at with everything going on. Also the boss is not hurt by spin jumps, which is pretty weird as those are usually stronger than regular jumps.
- PEPPERMINT PEAK 1 has SMB3 plants that work well for the most part. One issue I found is that they can't be killed by shells. I found it by picking up a koopa shell and jumping into it - expecting it to die - which just hurt me instead. If you can't make them die to shells I'd recommend replacing the koopas with rex or something else to hide the bug by removing shells from the level.
- #6 LEMMY'S CASTLE has a bit of an unfair sucker punch right before the boss. You have to jump up to the platform with the boss door and when you do you are greeted by a thwomp you can't see until it hits you. I'd say move the thwomp a few tiles right and you're good.
- CREAMPUFF CLOUDS 3 really stands out as a bad level in a great world. The sloped clouds interact like blocks instead of actual slopes as they do in other levels. The blue mushroom platforms bounce you really high but leave the camera behind. This becomes very clear when you bounce on a mushroom and then a note block. This level needs to be fixed.
- CREAMPUFF SECRET is almost perfect. The only bad thing is the very unfitting music. Just use the same song as CREAMPUFF CLOUDS 5 - it's much better.
- NEOTAME NETHERS 1 suffers from the same problem as PEPPERMINT PEAK 1. There are a lot of custom sprites that don't die to shells even though they should, notably the custom thwomps and thwimps. This is a pretty common occurrence in the hack, honestly. It's especially bad here as there are a lot of koopas and no indication of which enemies can be killed by their shells. There really needs to be a fix for this.
- #7 LARRY'S CASTLE is mostly good and a bit unique. One problem I found is the cannons. They will act like regular bullet bill shooters and fire projectiles in the wrong direction which looks really weird. They are clearly pointing left but will still shoot right.
- NEOTAME NETHERS 2 and 3 have these obnoxiously slow fire pillars. Oh man the fire pillars. They're mostly fine in earlier levels, but here they are just a nuisance as you often have to just wait for them to subside. I say have them shrink a bit faster, but that's not all. Sometimes they will randomly hurt you even if you aren't even close to them. You need get someone to debug them. Also there are the red classic piranha plants. In all Mario games ever they will not appear if you stand close to their pipe, but not here. If you stand on top of their pipes they will still come out and hurt you. Put a message box warning the player about this and you're good. Also Yoshi will look garbled if there are any fireballs on-screen. You need to restrict him.
- NEOTAME FORTRESS has a really really good remix of Fear Factory. Like, really good. It's a pretty good stage, but I'd say the same about the smoke puffs on this one as Castle #5. The second half of the level is really bad though. The BG doesn't scroll (why?) and the smashers are awfully implemented. Just remove them, the level is better off that way. The main problem is that there's no way to tell where some of the smashers are going to appear so it feels like you're just randomly killed for no reason. The smashers' hitbox also doesn't match their on-screen size. It looks like you'd be able to stand of the edge of them but you can't. I'd expect this is pretty hard for you to test as you know where they are, but for players it's a nightmare. It's a really unfair end to an otherwise good stage.
- AIRSHIP ARMADA has sideways fire pillars that face the wrong direction. That is, the flat sided of the fire tile is what comes out first.
- BOWSER'S BACK DOOR is what I've played of the final level so far. It has the same problem as NEOTAME FORTRESS: non-indicated smashers. This is pretty easy to fix on this stage though; just put cracked tiles below them or something. Bowser is pretty underwhelming (why does he die in only two hits?) but at least he's better than the other bosses.
Overall weak points of the hack:
- COCONUT COAST. The BG you're using does not work with FG water. Think of the perspective. I can see what you were going for, but it really doesn't work. The levels that don't use FG water, though, look great. COCONUT COAST 5 stands out as a really good level in a mediocre world. I must credit you for only having 2 underwater levels though. Also the music is pretty good in this world.
- Custom sprites that should die to shells but don't. Examples are the SMB3 plants in PEPPERMINT PEAK 1 and the custom thwomps in NEOTAME NETHERS 1. Either remove the shells or fix the sprites, otherwise players will be unfairly punished for trying to kill them with shells.
- Fire pillars. I HATE THE FIRE PILLARS. They are slow, obnoxious and will randomly hurt you even if you don't touch them. There's little indication that they won't hurt you when they aren't out. When they are in lava you can't tell where they are going to appear. Also they are really ugly. They need more animation frames.
Overall strong points of the hack:
- Most of JELLY JUNGLE. Nice palettes, fitting music. I do wonder why it's called JELLY JUNGLE though. There's not a whole lot of jelly. To me levels 3 and 5 stand out as the best. Also the OW music for this world fits really well.
- Oh by Miyamoto's balls CREAMPUFF CLOUDS. It's by far the best world you made and there are very few things I'd change about it. The first level is good and serves as decent introduction to the world, and then everything just keeps getting better. CREAMPUFF CLOUDS 2 is the best level in the entire hack, and CREAMPUFF CLOUDS 5 isn't far behind. Everything about those two is pretty much perfect. The palettes, the music, the architecture. The ghost house is brilliant as well.
Overall I really liked the hack. I'd rate it something like 7/10 - a score that could easily be pumped up to an 8 or 9 with a bit of effort put into fixing a few issues. I plan to play through 100% of the hack soon and I'll post more feedback then.
We’re looking for level designers to work on Extra Mario World