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[REMOVED] bowser's kingdom by mario and luigi
Forum Index - Valley of Bowser - Moderation Questions - Hacks - [REMOVED] bowser's kingdom by mario and luigi
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NAME: bowser's kingdom
AUTHOR: mario and luigi
DESCRIPTION:
just a 5-level (6-exit) hack that i made out of boredom.

story: mario has moved to a new island, but bowser has attacked and invaded the island not so far from dinosaur land, and bowser has conquered it (with the princess taken in the process). now, mario must go on a short, but difficult quest to save her and the island.

ps: my first hack with exgfx! credit goes to the following users:

1. Gamma V
2. GOP1994GOP
3. Daizo Dee Von
4. StanTheMackiar

hope you guys like the short, but sweet hack!

problems, issues, or glitches? let me know via moderation!



A nice little hack overall. Not entirely without problems, but not all that bad either. I'd say the main problem is the first level: it is by far the longest and hardest in the entire hack, and not in a particularly good way, either. There are much better ways to add difficulty than Bullet Bill spam, a fish generator and an almost complete lack of powerups. The secret exit in the second level being found by jumping down a random unmarked pit isn't really all that fun either.

Less important things, but ones you might want to look into nonetheless:

General:
  • Some level names are properly capitalized, and others are not. The hack name in your submission isn't either, for that matter. Proper capitalization, while not strictly necessary, helps add that little bit of professionalism to your hack.
  • There are a couple of places where a level starts with a side pipe exit rather than a normal door one, which makes you unable to move for a bit when the level starts. Not all too serious, but slightly annoying nonetheless.

Intro:
  • If you're feeling adventurous and hold left after being fired out of the pipe, you get stuck on the lower level and have to scroll the screen to trigger the message. Not a particularly major thing, but it sort of breaks the flow a bit before it even gets started. If you don't mind using external tools just for something like this, I'd recommend just disabling controls entirely here. Or you could just add a slope so you can get up the hill normally.
  • Also, there's a glitched tile below said pipe. You might want to fix that.

Yoshi's place:
  • Really common mistake: you forgot to change the message that shows up when you hit the message box while riding Yoshi.
  • That bright yellow chimney really stands out against the otherwise subdued palette.

The Path to Bowser:
  • The placements of the first two kicking Koopas are really rather mean: both of them are placed right after you land from a jump, and in both cases, there is another Koopa in front of you blocking you from just running below the shell. I got hit by both of them in my first attempt, and in neither case it felt like there's much I could have done about it short of knowing that they would be there in advance.
  • That dangerous-to-trigger vine block leading to a Dragon Coin is wholly unneccessary: you can just jump off the block itself instead.
  • There's one bullet shooter just after the midpoint that is missing its cannon and is just firing out of thin air.
  • In that same area (next to the rotating platform): you're definitely overestimating the importance of that multiple coin block. I died four times trying to get to it, and was thoroughly underwhelmed with my reward once I finally did manage to hit it.
  • I think this level might have had an extra dragon coin? Just bringing it up in case it wasn't intentional.
  • Three different cartoony grassland tilesets, one semi-realistic cave tileset, and the NSMB cloud tileset: this level is all over the place in terms of graphics. ExGFX is fun, but there is such a thing as overdoing it; the NSMB graphics in particular look really out of place. Your other levels are much better in this aspect.

The giant mountains:
  • A couple of instances of sprite memory problems here: the first Sumo Bro consistently fails to spawn his first lightning bolt, and my first time through one of the cement block boxes was conspicuously empty.
  • You can use the springboard to go over the world in the first room and fall down a cutoff pit at the end.
  • The cave room is really kind of dull; Bob-Ombs and pipe Lakitus really aren't the most threatening of enemies without help.
  • I was slightly saddened that I had to leave the Yoshi I brought from the first level behind in the cave, due to the door exit.
  • No matter what you call it, throwing a shell to a Koopa to hit one of two blocks is most definitely not a puzzle, but rather kind of pointless. I'd suggest coming up with something more interesting for this room.
  • For some reason, there's a castle destruction noise on the overworld after beating the secret exit?

The old red button:
  • A mostly empty corridor with the occasional Mechakoopa is not really interesting or threatening enough to make a slow autoscroll fun.
  • Given the above, do you think any player would not take the clearly marked bonus pipe and end the level early?
  • You can jump over the ceiling in this level too, which is especially bad in the autoscroll room since you'll eventually get stuck at the end.

Bowser's Arsenal:
  • This level was actually pretty neat! Maybe there's a slight overreliance on bone-throwing Dry Bones, but otherwise I liked it.
  • The fact that you can't enter the boss door if you're standing in the middle of it can easily result in a cheap hit due to the dangers surrounding it.

Bowser's Castle:
  • ...is there any particular reason why rather than putting the star block where Mario can hit it, you placed it on the ground and provided a shell and a reset door right next to it? The result would be pretty much exactly the same in both cases, but the reset door (especially coupled with the "this is a reset door" message block next to it) is excellent at breaking any kind of immersion the player might have.
  • The garden part isn't really very interesting. Rexes, much like Bob-Ombs, are pretty much completely unthreatening on their own, so a room that consists mostly of a ton of them spread around on big platforms isn't particularly likely to get the player's attention.



VERDICT: Leaning towards rejection for this one, but if you just fixed up the first level a bit and made the secret exit of the second level findable without having to jump into all the pits in the level (and maybe looked into some of the other things I mentioned too), I think this could definitely be fit to be accepted.
DIFFICULTY: Other than the first level being overly long and annoying, I'd say this fits squarely into the Normal difficulty slot.



+1'd:
- Wakana
- Everest
- JackTheSpades
- MercuryPenny

--------------------
My YouTube channel
Get the official ASMT resource pack here!

That's a pretty nice hack. I though it was a short hack, but each level you made is pretty long, and I really liked this. Going to review as always.
The level design is good enough: even if most of the gimmicks you used coinsist in avoiding bullet bills, the general design was acceptable. I noticed, in particular, that some shooters were placed in wrong spots (like in the mushroom section of the first level). Speaking of the first level, as YCZ said, it's the most difficult level of the hack, and this makes the difficult curve pretty weird. Make it easier, maybe reducing its lenght, and it'll be okay.
The aesthetics was good in general, though I find the custom FGs + vanilla BGs a bit clashy. I would have appreciated if you used custom BGs as well, but it's not anything big, it's just a personal opinion. If you want to keep the vanilla BGs, I'd suggest to fix certain palettes that could look much better.
Not big misc issues, except the already mentioned wrong placement of some shooters. Also, the very first pipe secondary exit in the first level makes Mario die if he's small, because you placed it in a pipe where a piranha plant jumps from it. Be sure to fix these.
The difficult, from my point of view, is normal: each level is easy enough, although the lenght boosts the difficult up.
Overall, I think I would accept the hack, but, as Everest says, I'd like to see an update of it.
That first level.

I must say that this hack felt both the same and different from your other hacks and this is generally due to the use of custom graphics in this hack but the level design itself also had a impact in distinguishing your hack from the other hacks you have created. Beginning with the level design in this hack, they seemed to be longer than average especially the first level. I believe the first level should have been pushed further into the hack as it would have been more appropriate difficulty wise. That aside, I must say that you better avoid creating areas that have a lot of sprites placed into one area as that is annoying and increases the difficulty unnecessarily as it adds a difficulty spike there. The first level is the main perpetrator of this but other levels have these difficulty spikes at certain points albeit to a lesser extent. The other levels in the hack are genuinely enjoyable and I am quite pleased with them overall although you may have some repetition in certain areas (more towards the end). Repetition here takes its form mostly in sprites (especially in the final level) so that is something you would want to avoid. Overall, pretty good but I suggest avoiding difficulty sprites and repetition at this point.

The aesthetics seem to be mostly pleasing to the eye and I am glad you have retained your palette creativity despite the use of custom graphics in this hack. The custom graphics seemed fine to me though not exactly consistent. At least most do not clash with each other (that NSMB section does however in contrast with the other levels). Good job on them overall and I really loved the giant tilesets. They do give me some creative ideas of my own and I would actually say that is genuinely a good thing as inspiring others gives an indication that this hack is a good type of hack. That being said, there is one issue that is really bugging me and that is the fact that I can get stuck if I decide to go left towards. Add a slope at the very least. Also you might want to fix a glitch there with the slanted pipe by blocking it off and removing that glitched tile below it. On a final note, I would have preferred this hack to have custom backgrounds but the vanilla ones are fine for the most part.

Difficulty: Generally speaking, the difficulty is Normal.

I am conflicted about accepting this hack as there is that into screen glitch and since you can get stuck there, it puts a huge question mark on accepting the hack. While I could say submit an update, I usually reserve that for cases where the hack is functional but could use some improvement and has a chance of being updated. I guess I would go with rejection simply because of that glitch. Fix it and it should be acceptable but I would like to see some of the suggestions mentioned for the design in this hack to be implemented as well if you decide to update the hack.
Is this an older hack of yours? For I kinda feel like I've seen better. Ok, starting off:

M&L's how to make a ROMhack:
If each level isn't made up out of at least 4 different segments, you ain't doing it right.

^ at least that's how it feels to me. What's so bad about just making a one-level level? Do they all have to be so long and be build up out of like 4-7 sublevels, each almost long enought to be a level on their own? I actually kinda lost track while in the first level, uppon beating it, I was like "The Hell, this was still only the first level o.O".
While on that topic, you're going through a lot of graphics style changes in that first level. Not so sure about the others, maybe I didn't notice, but in the first one it's quite eye-striking. I think, as long as you don't go to a different domain like surface - underground, you should stay with the graphics you started with.
There is also this minor problem in the first level where I can fall through a ledge uppong running it up [screen]. I don't think I need to explain to you that that's not too good a thing to happen, now do I >:3

In that level with the giant graphics, it's possible, using the springboard, to get over the boarder of the level and results in cutoff and possible death (if you're stupid)

Another thing that kinda throws me off, is that you can get stuck in some places in your hack. Granted, I didn't spend much time on checking, on some of them, you might just be able to pull it off, but still. Not that 2 of the screens were taken after (Accidantly) killing a supporting sprite.
[1][2][3]

Also, for some reason, you have the dubbug mode enabled on your ROM. That measn, in any level I can just press start-select and the level will be cleared. You might want to turn that off (unless you had it intended)

Lastly, (should actually been first) please change your intro screen. If you go to the left after being shot from the pipe, you are presented witch glitchy pipe and messy looking graphics [screen], plus the fact that you're stuck forever



Verdict: Rejected. Being able to get stuck so many times and the fact that other fact I mentioned above kinda keep me from wanting to accept this.
Difficulty: While I still think the levels are unnecessary long, the levels themslefs are not that difficult, so the final difficulty would be slightly harder than normal.

--------------------
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... what even am I doing with my life?
Originally posted by JackTheSpades
Is this an older hack of yours?

Nope. This is pretty recent as evidenced by all of the screenshots in General SMW Hacking Help and Works in Progress.
why the very first level is long and difficult is the reason being that that level is the path to bowser's lands. by the next levels, the player is already in bowser's lands, so the levels are shorter, if that makes sense.

i'll fix the pipe issue in the intro-screen as well. thanks Jack, Everest, Wakana, and yoshicookiezeus.

--------------------
Currently: Starting college!
Originally posted by mario and luigi
why the very first level is long and difficult is the reason being that that level is the path to bowser's lands. by the next levels, the player is already in bowser's lands, so the levels are shorter, if that makes sense.

It still doesn't work very well from a game design standpoint, though. Maybe you could just split the level into two?

--------------------
My YouTube channel
Get the official ASMT resource pack here!

Well, that was actually pretty fun.

Starting with some of the ideas, I think that they all were interesting. The first level seemed to be "cram as many gimmicks as possible into one level", which really kinda weighed down on the quality of this hack. The second level could have giant enemies as well, but it was nice. The red switch, as most have said so far, could be made a bit less trial and error. You marked a secret in level one with deco, why not do it here? The red switch being a level may not be a "new" thing, but I think it worked well.

The execution, well, it was okay. Not bad, not great either. As I said before, you put too many gimmicks in the first level, so you could split it in two and use the space between levels 1 and 2 for that split. The second level was a bit less crazy, and I enjoyed it (except for the secret exit, you may want to fix that). The star run was a little random, though. The switch was pretty cool, if a bit short, unless I missed out on a lot by taking the high road. Make it feel more like a bonus level, though. The two castles were designed nicely, but in that one section with the three ball n' chains in one screen was a little much. That, and for a split second I could see some sprite memory errors. EDIT: Forgot to mention, the bosses could use some editing since Reznor is incredibly easy. Try making the bridge start collapsing immediately using hex editing or the disassembly. As for bowser, no idea.

Not sure what that spring in level two was for though.

All in all, it's a good hack and I would accept it, but it could use some polishing. Good luck with your future endeavors!
This hack is pretty good on the whole despite some bugs that I most watch

-The path to bowser
a slope is not configured correctly suddenly I fall is I'm dying



Then always in the first level the camera does not


Still in the first level of yoshi disappears and later a platform bug
because the sprite memory is incorrect



Otherwise the foregrounds of the level was quite nice and the constrution was good also


-The giant mountain

Remove the brother sumo because with a trampoline or a key cause some pretty weird effects


I really liked this level, the level design is pretty good despite the location of the sprites sometimes a little unfair that remains playable

-The old red button

Then when we unlock the exit secret that at this level you hear a foteresse exploding


Good this level was a little shorter that the first two but it remains cool despite the passage in bugue a little black

-Bowser's Arsenal

So it is here that the dificulty starts coming, at the beginning I found the hidden block containing a, 1 - UP was a bit sadistic and some passage was a little boring
otherwise the rest little still go

-Bowser Castle

Frankly, I'm a little disappointed at that level because it is a bit too short
I would have liked that the level is longer but otherwise good rest level and the level design, despite the fact that before the bowser I found unnecessary kamek

-So as I said the hack is quite good on the whole despite some unpleasant bugs that cause the bad points about the hack
Also, something that you are not obliged to do this would be to put music customs, it would better on your hack.
I also saw that you made the effort to put parts yoshi in your hack that I rather liked
Otherwise the level design and construction was rather good

Dificulty: Normal there was not much difficulty in my opinion

Verdict: Despite some bugs I accept this hack too I hope you will correct the bugs that I could tell you.
Layout by Koopster
For a really quick hack, I must say that I really enjoyed this. The levels are very well focused in their theme and the fun factor is present. If I compare this to your first hacks you definitely have improved. The biggest problems are very minor, so I think this can easily become fully acceptable. #smw{:peace:}

I'm going to begin agreeing with the others about the first level. Well, it doesn't feel like a first level at all... It was fine around the first half, but then I found it was very long, and the bullet bill shooter spam made it really tough. It's harder than the next levels, which makes the difficulty curve pretty awkward (this comes from someone who doesn't really mind weird difficulty curves most of the time). If I were you, I'd take the bullet bill and jumping fish sections to separate levels a bit further in the hack. After all, I think having 7 levels would be nicer than only 5, which sounds a bit too few, even if the hack doesn't feel like it was way too short to be acceptable.

In the second level, I found that secret pipe in a hole really unfairly hidden. Hiding things like that is asking for the player to try falling in every hole looking for something, and most of the time the player will die. If you made the blue coins at least barely visible from the ground then that would be fine.
Still in the second level in the key room, I can just hit the question block with the key if I run, making that shell mini-puzzle pointless. :<

Otherwise I didn't really find any specific errors in any of the levels.

Also, you made some nice choices for you first experience with ExGFX! The only thing I didn't like were the NSMB graphics. I felt they clashed a bit with the rest of the graphics, but well, that could be just me.

I'm not going to say reject, but rather, "waiting for an update before accept". You know, there's still a few minor things to be fixed (including that intro level thing that I honestly didn't notice o_o) that while are very minor, beat the fairness of the experience of playing this hack. But overall, very good job, M&L!

(Oh yeah and "normal" should suit for difficulty I guess. Almost forgot again dd)
Well, it's been a week, there seems to be a slight majority for not accepting the current version, and there doesn't seem to be any immediate updates coming; thus, the final verdict will be rejection for this one.

--------------------
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Get the official ASMT resource pack here!

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