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[ACCEPTED] Mario vs. Bowser and Mighty No. 9 - by Roberto zampari

Link to submission.

I was genuinely surprised by the great quality of this hack! I really had a lot of fun playing the levels. The game had a great variety of level themes and elements, but maybe a bit "clunky" regarding the order of these themes (sometimes random future levels between grasslands, though I understand this had to do something with the game's plot). Overall, I'm pretty much satisfied with the hack.

About the levels: most of them are simple, designed to be straight forward, but I liked that aspect. The first and maybe even the second world reminded me of NSMB(W), so the original Mario-ish level design feeling was definitely there. Then your affection towards the Megaman games started to show up (and there's nothing wrong with that), as more and more levels started to look like Megaman levels. These are kind of "blocky" compared to the earlier ones, but they still were enjoyable, thanks to the great variety of enemies and little gimmicks you used. There were very few two levels which were alike.
I thought the difficulty curve of the game was pretty great too, though there are a few "gaps" where the difficulty suddenly got higher than the average (especially in those "EM Wave" levels). But it's not that bad actually. Perhaps the order of bosses could've been made better: some bosses in later worlds were far easier than earlier ones.

Graphics, custom music is totally fine. One little nitpick I had about music is that I think one of the boss themes sounds awful compared to the other songs (e.g. when you fight Iggy (or Larry?) in the very first castle).

Another smaller problem in the hack is grammar and spelling... yeah, I know it can be hard for foreign hackers (like it was for me too), but bad grammar can be a big letdown in a game. Not all of the text boxes, but most of them had some smaller error. I highly recommend you to get a beta tester/spell checker guy who will fix your errors.
For example:

Here, it should be "You're the best player ever!".

Other smaller problems:

Unfortunately, you made the typical "infinite lives with Bullet Bills" trick possible here. #ab{:S}

I didn't expect this rope to be a part of the decoration. #ab{x_x}

So, overall, I found the hack very nice, though it has some little errors here and there. I wouldn't necessarily vote for removal just because of these, though. I'm rather leaning towards approving it, it's clearly visible that you put a lot of effort in making the hack. I'm curious what other reviewers will say.


Mirann-edit: Link to review for the updated version of the hack:
the graphics is much creative and map final and sixth map a bomberman stage is cool.

This hack is enjoyable.
A bosses like a crystal king is much cool.#smw{:peace:}

I accepted this hack.#smw{:TUP:}
My Ports
Whew, this took more than a day to complete~
I must say, the amount of variety in this hack mesmerized me: you put in it lots of efforts, added lots of sprites, set lots of graphics. Although, it felt a little...weird. Maybe it's just me, but I wasn't able to define a style for this hack: for example, you used realistic BGs with cartoonish FG in the pyramid level, if I recall correctly, and yep, the ovreall didn't look this good to me. Said this, I'm going to review as always.
I can see your level design sure improved a lot: most of the levels were fun to play, interesting concepts, nice gimmicks and very fun overall. There are some levels here and there that were flat (like the first level where you showed the elite koopas), but overall, nice job.
The aesthetics...well, pretty much what I said earlier. The graphics on their own are nice; the thing that I disliked is the overall, the FG + BG + Sprite style. You used Megaman mixed with NSMB mixed with Sonic mixed with *insert random game name here*...from my point of view, this looked very unprofessional, like you didn't care much about the graphic style and, instead, inserted everything you could. In conclusion, I disliked the use of GFX, but that's more personal than other, since I believe you worked hard to insert all this custom GFX.
Other issues are very minor, the most bothering one may be the grammar, which is pretty bad. Having someone proofread it wouldn't be a bad idea.
After everything I said, I think that, overall, you worked really hard to make this hack, so I'll vote for accepting it. Although, I'm still for the opinion that the GFX choosing is one of the worst I've seen.
As for the difficult, I'd say normal.

+1 - Hadron
Looking back at what Roberto has made in the past, I can definitely say that this hack is an improvement.

I have to let people know that I have actually tested this hack and I have suggested some improvements to Roberto and I must say that everything is quite good. The level design seems to be a big improvement overall as I can say the levels were genuinely enjoyable for the most part. The hack features many interesting concepts for the level design and most of the levels in this hack have a unique and distinct gimmick for each of them. The level design itself is quite well made as the structures of the levels were well thought out as far as I can see. It is actually quite hard to describe a lot of the level design without referencing the custom things in this hack so I will proceed to describe them here as well. The use of sprites to complete a level seems to be pretty interesting for the most part as it ties in with the structure of the levels and that I thought is what kept this hack afloat. Otherwise, I could see it collapsing. The sprite usage is also quite good and the way it is used is fine. I must say though I cannot exactly say everything is consistent though between certain levels and that is what I think needs to be improved in this hack. There are some exploitable areas as well and some levels towards the end of the hack can be a little misleading in design. Still, it would be a mistake to deny that this hack is better than Roberto's previous work in SMW hacking but I would like you to take my advice with the consistency and design issues.

There are other things to talk about as well such as the fact that the aesthetics isn't entirely the best used in this hack. Clearly you seem to be inspired by a lot of graphics but they need to be used appropriately as it can cause clashes in a hack. The combined graphics aren't really the best used in this hack either though they did not turn me off completely. I would have at least separated the graphics and made sure they were not combined in a single level but a much better solution would be to slowly change the style throughout the levels as sudden changes would make the consistency in this hack look horrible. This even applies to the overworld. The overworld itself is pretty well designed however and there seems to be a mild usage of other custom elements. There are glitches from time to time but I cannot say they break the game completely so there are no big issues in that particular area. The bosses are interesting to say the least and I can definitely notice an increase of Megaman inspired themes later in the hack. Not a bad thing but this links back to the fact that there are odd graphic combinations. Please think of better combinations in the future.

Difficulty: Normal overall when everything balances out.

I would lean towards accepting it though I must say that the graphic combinations aren't the best and if you are turned off by them, this hack isn't for you.

+1 - Hadron
Alllrighty, after almost a whol week, it seems nobody has objections against approving the hack, so... approved!
I spent most of today recording a Let's Play of this hack, and I too am quite surprised at the overall quality and creativity of it. Unfortunately, the Crystal King battle can easily become unwinnable due to a bug with the sprite. He seems to like getting stuck in phases where he stops throwing the Crystal Bits that are needed to beat him. This should either be fixed or the boss should be replaced with something less buggy. I know this has already been accepted, but Roberto needs to be aware of this rather serious bug.
Quintesson Judge: Silence, or you will be held in contempt of this court!
Hot Rod: I have nothing but contempt for this court!
- Transformers the Movie (1986)
Permanent link to IPS

Hack Submission's description
This is my previous hack, but with some changes in that version:

-OW Mario and Tiles were redrawn/replaced with SMB3 style.
-Added flying enemies in "Reach to the tower", since the bullet bills while climbing give infinite 1-ups.
-Changed the "The Ice King" with "Penguin Curtyard". It was planned that this stage contains a Crystal King boss, but due to the bug that the boss have, made it impossible and unwinnable. I made this level without this boss. Thanks to Gamma V and Virus610 for report this.

Submission Notes
Dear Moderators, i improved some things in this hack.

> Bad grammar and spelling. Still there are a few messages with errors as I'll assume you've forgot of those few.
> This counter cutoffs the item box.
* The graphical consistency was really annoying - generally I wouldn't mind it but I really have to point out that some graphics choices you've made, mainly the ones for the submaps of W6 and W8 were really eye-tiring.

> Difficulty and length of the hack were reasonable, haven't had unfair spots while playing it.
> Fun to play, different from what I've expected of the hack, this one wasn't boring to play and was well done.
> Good level design overall. The hack has shown your improvement in level design, even though it's not perfect I can say it was enjoyable at my end.

In short, it's a nice hack overall. I expected it to be unprofessional at some points I thought you generally didn't have experience with, so I can say the hack has shown how much your hacking skills improved! It was kinda fun to play even though hacks of your style aren't of my taste, I didn't get bored while moderating it and I can see you've put much effort on the hack. Considering I don't like at all hacks of your style as mentioned before, I still will say the hack was fun to play, so congratulations for the hard work with the hack.

I'll say the hack should be accepted, even though this is an update of the already accepted version.
Difficulty should remain as Normal. Everything seemed balanced in the hack.

Keep improving.

+1'd users:
- Everest
- Wakana-chan
The result of an updated version? Find out below.

I must say that while there are some changes in the aspects mentioned, there isn't a major change overall. There are some notable changes such as the overworld and other areas mentioned in the description however it is probably best to go over the entire hack again to reflect the new realities of this long hack. The levels are quite an improvement from Roberto's past work and I am quite impressed with them overall. They each seem to have their own gimmick which I can tell where the idea came from though there are areas that do not contain such unique gimmicks. The hack's design does seem to change as I progress through it and that may be due to other elements influencing it (i.e. the graphics and the use of gimmicks around them). The bosses seem to be fairly interesting as well and I glad you fixed up that one boss you found. I guess I have no need to state anything else or it just becomes repetitive and anyone can refer to my original review for further information.

The graphics in this hack seem nice though pretty inconsistent although I must say that this inconsistency in mainly featured in the later world and while it was not the worst I have seen, it could have still been improved being an update. That said, I cannot say that the bad consistency will make the hack go down the drain but it is something that must be noted. I see that you now have a SMB3 styled overworld graphics for the overworld graphics and I cannot say that they are bad as I quite like SMB3's overworld graphics. You might need to remember that graphical consistency still matters between sections of the overworld and the levels of the hack. Moving onto glitches, I can say that there were not many to be honest and the major ones seem to have disappeared. I am guessing that the sprite usage played a role in this which is impressive. There are some grammatical and spelling errors but they do not really interfere with the hack so I will let that slide. The item box seems to have a tile in it which does not really look the best to be honest but I will let it go as it is not major.

Difficulty: Normal like last time due to the level design.

I have not changed my verdict so I will still go with accepting this. Good job here. Remember that this hack is not for people who hate the lack of graphical consistency. More details can be found in my original review.
Played the new version, and I don't really see any big least, most of the things in this one kept the same.
The strong point in this hack is level design, which is well structured and well diversified. As pointed out from the previous review, lots of work has been put into this, and I'm really happy that you improved from this aspect. Nothing much to add, I guess.
Still a subjective judgement of the aesthetics from me, but, even if I noticed a few edits, I dislike the mixing of custom GFX. A similar discourse can be done here with the level design: you sure put a lot of work in searching, choosing, ripping custom graphics, but from my point of view, the mixing is inconsistent. I wish you could "redo" most of the chooses you applied, but I guess you won't. Plus, this is a subjective judgement, so nothing big, maybe. As Everest said in his first review, if you're turned off by the graphical mixes, this hack isn't for you.
The difficult level is normal like I stated in my previous review, since I don't sense any level design edits.
Not a big change overall, even so I think I'd accept this hack, for the effort you put in it.