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[REMOVED] "Mario and Luigi in search of Stars Portals" - Guilherme F Santos
Forum Index - Valley of Bowser - Moderation Questions - Hacks - [REMOVED] "Mario and Luigi in search of Stars Portals" - Guilherme F Santos
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Name:Mario and Luigi in search of Stars Portals
Submitted by:Guilherme F Santos
Author(s):Guilherme F Santos
Length:6 exit(s)
Demo:Yes
Description:Mario and Luigi will have to find the portals stars to find the hideout of Bowser and save the Peach.

*The hack has offensive words or simbols.

Good hack, although it's not impressive, I realise the effort you put in it, you're probably still new to hacking as I've noticed some common flaws in hacks nowadays.

Level design in general was mostly okay. I don't have much to say about it besides I've noticed that some of the levels in your hack have many repetitive areas which were a little tedious to pass through, as well the slightly excessive use of the P-Switch to make most of the cave areas passable. A small complain about difficulty, but for some reason I dislike how the very first level already has venuses fire traps that already spit two fireballs instead of just one, like in SMB3, as it's a little unfair when you're in tight places with them near. You also left in your levels areas with low ceiling where Big Mario can get stuck and die [1] [2] [3] as shown in the examples. Lastly in this topic, I really had a hard time distinguishing what was solid and what wasn't.

The huge spikes in "Beach Fortress" look a little ugly. "A shortcut" is a weird level [1] [2] which you may want to take another look on. The aesthetics in "Beach Cave" are a little eye-tiring for me, due to the background having similar colors as the foreground I can't say this level had really pleasant graphics. This same level also had this weird venus placement.

Difficulty would be Normal.


+1'd users:
- Wakana-chan
- Clemasterable
- Jack-kun
- Koopster
fast review ftw /me highfives Mirann
I must say I'm a little ambivalent on this one: there are both good and bad aspects. Let's review and, hopefully, I'll figure out a final decision.

The level design is more or less good: the thing is that you used P-Switch gimmicks mostly...I'm not saying it's bad; actually I liked how you used it, but at a certain point it became boring. You should vary the gimmicks you use, this is the first advice I can give you. Another point I'd like to mention is that some sections are repetitive: it's not like they're similar...they're identical. This is another thing that makes your hack boring: the player wants to see new things, new gimmicks and new scenarios; doing a copy paste of a certain section is just a no. A last thing about the level design is the difficulty curve, and my only complaint would be the first level: if you don't consider the first level, the hack has a nice difficulty curve I must say; the thing is that the first level kinda clashes with the other ones, because it's very easy, while the other ones are more or less challengy. Either change the first level a bit or remove it totally (I'd suggest the first option anyway). Ah, and be sure to check the other levels as well...some parts got into the frustrating.

The aesthetics is bad: most of the palettes look silly and weird; while I like how you combined the custom GFX used, the colors are something you really need to fix here, because it makes the atmosphere look unpleasantly and weird. Also, I spotted some cutoff here and there; at this point I suggest you to revise levels in terms of aesthetics as well.

Misc issues, well...first of all, I found massive slowdown in certain parts, due to the enormous amount of sprites: if you really want to use them all, give the SA-1 patch a try, otherwise decrease the number of them on screen. Another issue I found is about the black box created on the OW when you have to choose if you want to save or not...and, yeah, it gets all glitched out. I have no idea what causes it, but if you can fix it it would be nice, since it's not this nice to see. A last thing, from a more personal point of view, is the hack's lenght: this is only a 6 exits one...and I dont feel like this has enough work to have a place in the hacks section.

The difficulty is normal I think: this hack was, as said before, challengy enough to make this difficulty fit, even if sometimes it was frustrating.

I'm sorry, but I'm more on rejecting this hack: fix the issues mentioned, add more levels and be sure to test the whole hack before submitting it on the central.
Welp, that's the least amount of fun I've had in a while.
This hack has a huge obsession with P-Switch runs, 1-wide platform jumps and tight full of sprites corridors. The level design is really abysmal and borderline unfair is some places.

Bugs/Glitches:
Slightly by ocean:
Platforms disappearing because of the amount of sprites on the screen.
Occasional lag due to the same reason
Beach Cave:
Lag at the end because of the pointless turtles.
A shortcut:
The level is one screen too large.
OW:
Save prompts are messed up
Events are messed up
Music breaks after beating Beach Fortress
IL criticism
Rocky Beach:
The beginning is super claustrophobic. Open it up a bit OR don't start the level there. Pointless invisi-blocks stairs required to get the mid-point. The "bonus" level takes you back to the beginning for no reason other than to piss the player off. Long swimming section is boring and uninteresting and the overall level design is flat and boring.
Beach Fortress:
Big Mario Discrimination because the roof is way too low. Again, claustrophobia. Long P-Switch run that gets annoying when Podoboos enter the mix. Getting the mid-point and dying breaks the Mega-Spikes.
Beach Pipes:
The part with the Digging Chuck and the Bullet Bills is very unfair. The underground section is made pointless by the fact that dying after the midpoint brings you to the top of the level, you should put a roof there. The underground section is quite pretty ,though, I'll admit.
Beach Cave:
Another boring P-Switch run level.
Slightly by ocean:
Level design is really poor here and the platform run is made unfair by the random saws, random bullet bills and occasional platforms disappearing.
Iggy's Castle Beach:
Return of claustrophobic corridors with annoying sprites and more P-Switch runs. The mid-point brings you back to the beginning of the interior which is really frustrating.
Suggestions
Make everything less claustrophobic
Reduce the number of sprites
Make the levels interesting to look at
Correct the grammar issues:
Intro message
Slightly by ocean -> Slightly by the Ocean
Iggy's Castle Beach -> Iggy's Beach Castle
etc.

Verdict: Reject. It's just not fun to play
Difficulty: Hard*. Not challenging hard but rather sloppy level-design hard.
Tested using SNES9x with Save-States ( my patience has limits)
This hack was... not too great. ^^'
There is honestly a lot that can be improved on. For one, you've got quite some cutoffs [1][2][3] (to name just a few) most of which accuring because you put stuff next to pipes. Vanilla SMW pipes don't take up all the space, thus leaving a little cutoff to look through when you place cutoff creating tile next to them.

There are also a bunch of weird palette choices [1][2][3]
I'm open to talk about #1 being not ugly but "creative". Though the bullet bill shooters and the pipe in #2 and #3 really just don't look great.

So much just for the appearance of the levels, now for the gameplay itself. It's not to thrilling. The levels are somewhat short and unfortunatly have repeative patterns in them, like jumping from used-block to used-block while dodging flying fish, or from one 3 block wide platform to another while dodging thwomps (or megaspikes).
You should avoid repeating things... or at least not right after another.
The difficulty is also a thing. Mouser can be a very tricky boss to deal with, but if not placed on a platform from which he can rain his bombs on you, you can just stand there and wait for him to kill himself. (No really, I just stood there and held fastforward)
[screen]

Than there is "A shortcut" I can't really make sense of that level. For one, you seem to be using the switch palace settings (in #lm{gfxby}). Even is you change the graphics using the super bypass (#lm{sgfxby}) the "physics" of a switch palace still apply, which causes random used blocks to appear with a "wrong" sound playing when hitting questionmark blocks. Putting the switch palace thing aside, I can't seem to find any way to continue the level either. Sure, there is that hidden path, that is revieled by the vine eating away one of the munchers, but if I go in there, I'm just in some place where I can only leave to the site and nothing else (or so it seems?).



So yeah, it's nice to see you use custom graphics and sprites, but those alone won't make a good hack. You need the ascetics, that is to say, level that are both appealing in looks and gameplay. While the gameplay part works to some extand, we've still got to work on both ^^'
Verdict: Rejection
Difficulty: Normal

--------------------
Anime statistic on MyAnimeList:
400 animes completed ✓
6000 episodes completed ✓
100 Days completed ✓
... what even am I doing with my life?
The level design is bad.look the screenshots of all the mistakes I could find:

cutoffs:










bad colors:
















slow down:









block abuse:










hidden sprites:






not make the pipes that lead mario to the beginning of level, in my opinion it is very annoying to have to play the stage again:





suggestions

see this video to get a sense of what I'm talking link
and fix this bugs mentioned above
this hack been rejected
.


sorry my bad english
Well, I decided to go for reviewing each level separatedly, so this is gonna be a bit long (also, italics is for emphasis).


The title screen of this hack shows some neat level being played on. The background looks kinda messy, and the color of the "Portals Stars" looks a bit weird too.
By the way, why is the title of the hack inverted? ?_?


The overworld is a bit linear, but it does its job. There's a perspective issue in the big mountain to the left of the beach. The top area looks pretty bland, and so do the top areas of the mountains, but I assume it's all still a WIP. The beach is alright, but you could add a little bit more of decoration to it.


Rocky Beach begins with a lot of venus fire traps and water - a pretty tough beginning for a first level if you ask me. o_o I quickly noticed the cutoff the vertical pipes cause on the horizontal one. The "waterfall" also looks honestly bad, and since this is a chocolate hack, you could've easily make it look like an actual waterfall.
The level itself is really short; the midway point isn't far from the beginning. I don't like it that the bonus takes me back to the beginning of the level, but otherwise, it was a rather creative bonus room, except that it takes way too long to be cleared. Beyond the midway, there's a jumping fish section and a bit of land with some badly miscolored bullet bill shooters - watch out for aesthetics.


Beach Fortress was a very annoying level; it was pretty tight to begin with - way too low ceiling - which only helped to increase the extreme and unfair difficulty. I got stuck in that first part once because the P-switch time ran out before the spiky - and miscolored - things went up. That section with falling platforms and thwimps was also really annoying; the way the thwimps jump makes that part really tough to go through without getting hit by them.
I suggest a redesign here, to be honest.


Beach Pipe begins with more of those lazy waterfalls. The blue pipes in the top of the first screen are as miscolored as the bullet shooters in the first level (I assume that's the same palette actually). Aesthetics may not be the main thing you should focus on, but it's still important to make your hack look at least decent. Also, this level was extremely annoying because of this specific part:



1. I couldn't see those rocks coming;
2. Once the chuck starts throwing balls, I simply have no time to go up without getting hit; the only way to get past there was to scroll the camera left.

Afterwards, I have to take a key and use it as a block to enter a pipe. Just for professionality, you could use ExGFX and replace the key graphics with something else, since it's not meant to be used as a key in that part.
The cave that pipe takes me to has some really weird colors, and once again I must use a P-switch to get past it. It'd be kind of annoying if I accidentally dropped the pipe on lava... Always add reset pipes or doors when there's a fair chance the player can screw up a section and get stuck. This happened a few times other than here in this hack.


Beach Cave is a cave (duh) with the same set of graphics as the cave on the previous level, and the same set of odd colors, too. And it's another P-switch based level... It's all about hitting a P-switch and running. It's really short, too. That big load of koopas in the end causes some extreme slowdown.


A Shortcut is uh... A bonus level? I personally think those should be secret, but this is your hack, so you get to decide. It's a, well, weird level too... :P



This weird "used" block spawning up probably happens because you're using the Switch Palace tileset (check it on #lm{gfxby} there).



Also it seems like you ended the level in the middle of a screen? Press F1 in LM and finish it in the end of a screen instead... Uh, did you not notice that? o_o


Slightly by Ocean (the word is "slighty" btw) starts with some random question block formations. Hooray for those invisible blocks down in the pits so the player won't get stuck. \o/ The problems in this level begin in that muncher area. The enormous amount of enemies in there made this section slow down to death. It also made some platforms often disappear, which really isn't cool. I'm also not a fan of the chainsaws and the bullets falling out of nowhere. Don't abuse sprites; not only for avoiding slowdown, but also for the sake of fairness.


Iggy's Castle Beach is the castle of this world. In the first area, it's pretty much impossible to distinguish solid blocks from unsolid blocks, which was kind of annoying. The second area has some oddly colored cement blocks and lava; that section mostly consists of straightforward running, and again, P-switches. I really think that you've used this P-switch gimmick way too many times for a single world.
This is also the last level in this demo.


~

To be fair, I think this hack needs a lot more work before it can be accepted. While the level design isn't too bad, it's often way too cluttered by enemies to the point it becomes unfair. The P-switch gimmick was also pretty overused throughout your levels and it became kind of repetitive.
Also, I recommend you to work more on aesthetics. Sure, you should focus on level design and all of that, but as I said before, it doesn't mean you should despise them completely. Work on making your hack look a bit better, and along with a better level design, it will be a great one.


Right now rejecting. Difficulty is definitely a "Hard", but it may change depending on what you'll do with your levels.
Good luck, too! #smw{:peace:}

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Avatar by Magi!
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Forum Index - Valley of Bowser - Moderation Questions - Hacks - [REMOVED] "Mario and Luigi in search of Stars Portals" - Guilherme F Santos

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