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a hick's crapo level reviews (Done) And level analysis (also done tho I may revisit)
Forum Index - Sunken Ghost Ship - Old Contests & Events - Morton's Empire - a hick's crapo level reviews (Done) And level analysis (also done tho I may revisit)
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Right, right, right. So because of a really weird thing that happened the other day, I've been sentenced to a lifetime of Morton's Empire testing and level reviewing, and approving and rejecting levels. ... And making my own, of course, because that's a fun thing to do. Luckily for me, this won't even last a lifetime, and I'm only really doing this for the heck of it, and my feeling of obligation to this hack.

Considering that these levels have to be accepted by the committee before I'm even able to review them, none of these will be "redone" (oh rlly). I'm only suggesting changes, and providing my opinion of the level. We'll discuss here and on IRC what the true outcome is, and what whoever must do, (mostly me :)) and blahblahblah. In addition, one world three levels (sometimes) will be reviewed per post. This is to prevent clutter, so that we can actually find where I put these crapo level reviews. Feel free to say something about any of them if you agree or disagree, or both, or just feel like saying something. I mean, I can't actually stop you from posting in this thread, I just wanted to say something about replies :P I will review my own levels, but those won't be as opinionated as others.

Frequently, I'll say things like "insert words here should probably be modified". I'll change these things myself, eventually, once I get done with all of the reviews.

Anyhow, I shall introduce my first reviews:

World One
1-1, Castle Escape by Erik557 and a hick

This level is your typical first level, in such that it introduces the difficulty starting point of the game, the theme of the game during the first world, and tries to give a general good impression of the hack at first glance. However, unlike most beginning levels, it's a castle based level, with lava and the like.

While this doesn't change much, it allows for a new sort of take on "first level style bruh", and instead of having simple setups that are fun but very easy and, well, simple, this level has many complicated secrets, and most of the layouts are meant more for experienced players, even if it is perfectly possible and (hopefully) fun for beginners.

(Self-Notifier) This is the only real issue that I have with the level, and this goes on the "little nitpick" list. If you choose to spinjump over the thwomp, and you have a powerup, you can't get through. You can avoid losing the powerup pretty easily, but it's just a lot of hassle for not enough.

These parts were really fun :)

This is a very difficult to obtain 3-up moon, and if you can get 3 lives out of this without first losing 3 while trying to get it, then wow. It's mostly meant as a "yay I did cool thing", and there isn't really any reason to attempt getting it, except to prove your skills to yourself, if that's fun to you. It's also quite secretive in HOW you get it, so have fun with that one :P

This level is one of my favorites in the hack, mostly because of how well it fulfills its role :D
1-2, Bowling Calamity by Erik557

This level is your neighborhood bowling alley rare bowling ball based level, the only one in the hack, and the only one I've ever seen. It provides nothing as far as variety goes, but that doesn't really matter, as it figures out a way to be entertaining anyway; which negates the negativity of the monotonous layout entirely.

I found this level to be kind of a "trolly" level, and I had a lot of good laughs with it. On the other hand, I found it very annoying, and
is mostly to blame for this.

BOWLING BALL MECHANICS. They aren't used very often, but in plenty of situations, they're both difficult to deal with, and fair but annoying. This often isn't the case with most annoying things, but this level is the perfect example of it being this way.
Changing this:

to something a tad easier. This section was arrrrrghhhh, and way too difficult, simply because of the sensitive respawning of the bowling ball. Some things in this hack are very hard and fun at the same time, like (I'd expect from kaizo:hard and not from normal:hard :P) it should be, and not like this.

I feel like most of the issues in the level come from really jerkish placements of the jumping flame, which jumps up and memes you into oblivion.

Despite everything I just said, I actually liked this level a good bit. The bats provide good synergy with the rest of the level, and the bowling balls were often placed in locations which were laughable, (or at least I found so :P) for some reason. I'll be recommending an amount of small changes, but I doubt any of them will be super noticeable.

Heey look at mee, I'm where I shouldn't be :P
1-3, Red-Hot Swim by Erik557

I love reviewing your levels, I can actually find things to say about them besides "boring but it was kind of fun as in not terrible"

This level is very interesting, if not only for one simple reason.


Okay, it isn't too impressive looking at it in a screenshot, but chances are that if you're reading this, you know what this looks like in-game. I'll try to find a gif of the level in action.
The music adds to the feeling of the level, it just makes the level feel very nice, and this is one of my favorite fire based level as far as aesthetics go.

In the second part of the level, you have lava ceilings and floors to deal with; parts of the level, which includes all of the lava, rise and fall in a pattern, which I'd find very pleasing to play through, if it wasn't for a few irritating spots.

Here, the lava ceiling will probably come down to eat you if you jump, and if you wait for it to go back down, it'll still be quite annoying to get to the other platform without getting killed by one thing or another. Some places just need a spot to stand while the lava is raised, and that's about it. This is just an example, I'll recommend other changes over IRC, ones much less general, and more specific.

I really liked this level, it's one of my favorites in the hack as of the ones that have been finished so far.

Anyhow, this level cools so look! I mean, looks so cool.

1/3 of World One is complete, 2/3 in the next post. :D
this will be short because it was eaten the first time and <MercuryPenny> still buthurd :^)
1-4, Hell-Fire Volcano by OmegaYoshi

This level is a standard lava level, with.. lava. It doesn't really stick out, but it's decent nonetheless. The ground doesn't look much like fiery rock, it looks more like mud, fresh waste, or chocolate. I prefer the 3rd one, but it's probably the less likely :P This'll be changed.

In the left image, the coins are too high up to reach without turning around and charging up speed, which you don't need to do to reach the other side of the cliff anyway. This'll be changed, but it will barely be noticeable.

In the right image, the lava stops at the wall, yet you can run into the lava from the side. This is easily fixed by making the wall not walk-through.


Despite this level being pretty average, it's still a fun level. This is a prime example of "just because its not unique doesn't make it bad", as it still manages to be a good level in its own right.
1-5, Boiling Mountain by Erik557

This level is another standard lava level, except this time, the palette actually makes sense. We have overblown in-yo-face aesthetics, like Erik is so well known for, and this is a plus for this level. The gameplay is pretty smooth, except for a few parts where you have to koopajump over lava.

The volcano lotus are very difficult to avoid getting hit by, although still fun to deal with. They can be annoying at times, but only if you're super impatient, I suppose. Like I mentioned before, the koopajumping interferes with the flow a bit, and makes you unable to yolojump from the higher areas. This isn't really a problem, it just makes you pay more attention.

This is the first level of the bunch that I've reviewed that I don't think I'll suggest any changes to. That doesn't mean I think the level is perfect, I just can't find anything that I think should be modified :P
1-6, Magma Grounds by Centipede

This level was very enjoyable. It uses a lot of things that aren't seen very often, and also uses things that are seen often. The palette is great and fits almost perfectly with the theme of the level, and is very easy on the eyes.

The rocks can be hard to avoid at times, but spinjumping off of them often provides an easy boost to the next section.

Normally I'd suggest changing this, because it's really annoying but the level gives you a powerup right after it, so it's fine :D

If you manage to get up here by way of the rope at the beginning of the section, you're screwed. This'll be changed, by making an easy exit that out of it. Of course, you're unlikely to ever get up there anyway, because you have to jump as high as is possible with top running speed, which isn't your first thought when you see the screen.

This levels flaws are far overshadowed by its strong points, (Or at least, I feel so!) and like I mentioned before, I really enjoyed this level.

2/3 of World One is completed, 3/3 in the next post. :D

The next one will be longer-winded, I was just at a loss as to what to say because I used all of my reviewing powers on the first version of this post, the one that got eaten :( (it's really all my fault because I forgot to wait 24 hours before posting again)
here we go once again
1-7, Plutonic Chasm by Cascade

This level is an ATYPICAL lava level (heh), and has pink walls. Uh, the pink walls should be changed , but not too far off of their original. This is only to keep consistency, nothing else, really. The level has quite a few blind jumps, which doesn't sit well in my book, and the screeching ear-busting music doesn't help at all. Otherwise, the level was decent.

... I couldn't see that from before the jump, change, most likely
Above that section, the piranhas jump out or shoot fire (more often so) when you're blindly falling, and that will be changed as well.

Why would you go in a pipe with a piranha in it? This is just a nitpick, but it will be changed.

I can't find much to say about the later parts of the level, since they're just generic platforming and P-Switch run, but there are blind jumps there as well.
1-8, Lava Flow Factory by GbreezeSunset

Unfortunately, I have nothing to show for this. Gbreeze hasn't shown us the full (or he hasn't finished the) level, so I can't actually review it. From screenshots, however, it looks like classic Gbreeze fun!
1-9, The Bone Zone by Medic

And a medic you'll need, if you play the second part of this level blind without a power-up. This level is very fun, even if the first part is actually pretty boring. I don't know if it's just my love of difficulty, or what, but I really like the second part of the level.

So, the first thing you see when you start the level is:

The first thing you think, is: 'WHERE IS THE GROUND?!'
This isn't a huge problem, but it will be modified.

I can't really say much bad about this level, and nothing really to joke about, since Erik fixed the glitch that I was so hysteric over in this level.

Oh man, that's fun. The wall on the left is coming towards you, and the wall on the right is also coming towards, you, at a very high speed. It is possible to dodge, it's just tricky :P

This power-up is a bit irritating to get, but that isn't enough of a problem to change it.
World One complete! World 2 starts in the next episode post.
I don't see the issue. You literally start inside the lighter-coloured blocks, it should be obvious that they are the background. Secondly, you are given a powerup and a reserve powerup and a midpoint before the second half.
I appreciate the time you're putting into the reviews. I'll see what I can do regarding to the changes you'ce suggested in my levels, they don't seem really hard to apply.
@Medic No, I understood that the castle tiles in the background were the background, but you don't start inside of the bones. The bones are the same color as what you're standing on at the beginning of the level, which is a problem in my eyes, because that makes me think that the bones of the same color will be stand-on-able. It'll be changed to where you do start inside of the bones, which should clear it up. Also, I don't see where I said that the power-ups given were not enough. I don't quite understand how you got the idea that I thought that :P You could be referring to the placement of the first power-up that makes you have to wait for one or two cycles of the cement block to get it, but like I said, I don't think that's much of a problem at all. I just said that because it makes me wait pointlessly, which is slightly aggravating. Or, you could be referring to the semi-joke I made at the beginning of my review, in which I was just referring to my challenge that I had previously made to myself to go through the second section without power-ups.

I really liked your level, I feel like either special brain effort was put into it, or you just had a really cool idea at the time and were able to nicely execute it :D

@erik Thanks :D You're the one who forced suggested for me to do it in the first place, haha. I appreciate the time you put into the levels and the rest of M.E. :)
(and that goes for anyone/everyone else, too, obviously)
thank you kind sir
2-1, Munchy Desert, by Centipede

Centipede is one hell of a (mostly in the vanilla difficulty genre) level designer. I must come out and state this now, because I'll forget to include my feelings on that if I put it in later :P This level is extremely entertaining, no matter how uninteresting the level is in entirety. The level itself is, well, a munchy desert full of munchers, no stacked ones, though, :(

Fortunately, he ACTUALLY MANAGED TO PLACE THEM WELL! (:O how does do)

There are a lot of close calls that consist of a rugby dude running toward you at the same time as a mole, but they're all fairly non-obstructive, assuming you have the reflex to dodge them. If you don't, though, the level doesn't punish you for damage boosting.

I have no real complaints with this level. This was actually the first level that I saw when joining the collab, so it also has a special place to me, although it didn't before I started these reviews. I didn't pay it much attention back then, but this level really sits high in my eyes now. Also, no changes are to be made to this one, unless someone else has a suggestion for it. :D :D :D
2-2, Through the Sandy Valley by Veck

This level is what you'd expect from a desert level, except with the added feature of also being a cliff/mountain type level. (or at least, I think) Cliff/mountain levels are, generally, subjectively more aesthetically pleasing than most other levels. This holds true here.

Oh yes, and did I mention that I like mountains? And desert mountains? And the looks of mountains?

[Insert a blind jumps logo here and epic version of MacDoinalds tune]
"I'm lovin' it." Okay, I'm exaggerating, but this jump will be changed. (I hope)

There is a high path, but it's just one of those irritating "get rich quick" schemes. I mean, the path isn't irritating, I just mean to say that it gives many coins (and a 1up) :D

This level was what should be average in this hack, and I believe is. "Average" in this hack is pretty dang good then, I just noticed :O
2-3, Cobrat Dunes by Mirann and Erik557

First, off, this level is GORGEOUS. The way the sprite palettes are changed to go along with the background is just beautiful. This is a rare sight, because SMW generally doesn't mesh well with realism. This time, however, something clicked. What is up with these desert levels, they're all great!

What exactly is a Cobrat? I'm not entirely sure, but I think the snake-thing (rats?) enemies that shoot fire are named such.

Hmm, doesn't look much like a rat.

This level keeps consistent with the first one; the cacti harm you.
This is a good thing, to keep consistent with expressing my opinions.

Apparently, american football turtles really like Morton Coins.

I haven't much to complain about this level, except for...

... This annoys me greatly, and the pipe after it will be altered to be two way, and a mushroom put on one side of it. Some other method may be used, I don't know |-O Just, no. I wish people wouldn't do things like this, it just drains.

Other than that, though, the level was excellent. Like I said, very little to complain about. The level flows smoothly, but it still manages to be difficult. :D
This has no effect on reviews or anything, but actually, I typically don't like the desert worlds. The odd thing, though, is that so far this is my favorite part of M.E.; the desert world. The ice world is normally my favorite, which is what I find cool. (heh heh heh heh get it)

What will I review next? find out next time on MORTON BALL Z
After you review my other level (3-1, Warriors Thicket) I'm willing to go back and tweak my levels. I think Plutonic Chasm is pretty solid, though I would fix the blind jumps. I'm not sure why the exit pipe having a piranha is an issue, though; the player enters and exits pipes containing piranhas in other hacks and Mario games, and they shouldn't be confused about where to go since it's the only pipe on screen.

Warriors Thicket, however, needs a design overhaul, imo. The Hammer Bros. and Koopa placement is an issue and I think the level design, overall, could be improved.

So, after you review 3-1 and if Erik agrees, I'll rework my levels.


Originally posted by Cascade
So, after you review 3-1 and if Erik agrees, I'll rework my levels.

Sure, feel free to go ahead and do it. There's also Merc's reciew thread which IMO has some valuable feedback too.

Originally posted by aHick
I haven't much to complain about this level, except for...

... This annoys me greatly, and the pipe after it will be altered to be two way, and a mushroom put on one side of it. Some other method may be used, I don't know |-O Just, no. I wish people wouldn't do things like this, it just drains.

I don't understand what you want me to change. Maybe I'm being dumb but perhaps you could be a lot more specific?
@Cascade: Sweet. I personally think that 1-7 would be pretty solidly fun after some tweaking. 3-1 as well, but it might be a decent time before I review that. I'll try to get there as soon as possible :O
It just looks weird to me to be going in a pipe with a man eating plant in it, it isn't really a problem at all :P

@Erik: I think I overreacted a bit, but what I mean is that you're screwed out of the Morton Coin if you don't have a power-up, and it is very hard to keep a power till that section. I had to suicide to get the coin when I played through it, and about 4 times at that. Maybe I just really like damage boosting ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ It'd be better if you made the pipe that's after it 2 way, and put a mushroom on the other side of it. I don't know how else you'd deal with this, but eh. I'm probably the only person on the earth who has a problem with this.
its me again
2-4, Dark Desert Night by GD

I like this level, if not only because green cacti are apparently inferior to yellow. (Racist level is racist) I think a previous level mixed green & yellow together, but not quite in the same contrast as this. I mean, heck, green cacti don't even affect your status. That also means that this level is inconsistent with others, but that's about as far as its problems go. There is one other outstanding issues, which will be shown below.

Yes, inconsistency. We get it.

I love blind jumps. Change so that the ground is higher up at the end of the jump, creating the ability for you to see it before the jump/just add a coin trail.

I'm normally not a fan of dark areas with disco lights, because some sprites don't appear correctly when they aren't in the light, which doesn't make sense in my mind; you're viewing the situation from the camera, which doesn't have the same function as eyes. (Mario doesn't fit well with realistic ideas, so...) I digress. The point I make with this, is that this is an exception to my feeling of dark levels. This area is quite visually pleasing, and is my favourite part of the level.

Anyhow, this level was a decent level, nothing awful, nothing superb. It was fun, indeed. Like I said, I think the cave part is beautiful.
2-5, Cacti Canyon by Yoshiatom

If you want to see my main opinion on what to do, skip to the bottom.

Oof, I've been feeling badly about reviewing this one for a while.
It isn't a bad level in concept, but in execution, this is an absolutely dragging level. To be blunt, I do not like it. But, that doesn't mean I won't respect the (imo) creative ideas :D I'm going to try to be short with each problem I see, because hoo boy if im not im gon be here all night

To start off,

This is one of the many problems, and while it is pretty large, it also amplifies all of the other problems by quite a bit, but not all of the problems are even affected by this one! What a mess... Hopefully can be fixed.

The jump that results in this fall should be changed to not be such a blind one. I always hold to the inside assuming that doing so shouldn't hurt anything, and is possibly more safe, but in this case that logic is ineffective. Alternatively, you could remove the first cactus, making the player safe to do what I did.

What obsession does everyone have with blind jumps!?!? There should be either a) a coin trail leading to the far edge or

b) Retirement of Mr. Lakitu

This isn't a huge problem, it's just tricky and not really fun to get through, but is it cleverly (and annoyingly) made to screw you over when you try to jump. I would suggest either removing the ceiling cacti, or removing the koopas.

Block off that pit, so people won't jump to their death when they need to go in the pipe. Put a coin trail in the middle, and remove the cactus on the edge of the bottom.

Hmm, a P-Switch.

@Midway "Aaaaagh, it's only half over"

Wait, HOW was I supposed to know that it was intended to press the P-Switch before jumping down there? I tried dropping it down and P-Switch jumping a whole one time, then figured out what to do. (honestly, I didn't think you would put that in, I just wanted to see how funny it would look and the consequences of going faster)

Change the pipe to be easier to get up to, put a coin trail down to the bottom of the pit, remove the cacti at the bottom of the pit, and change the P-Coin blocks accordingly.

What a pretty spacer. Thanks, but I think this should be removed, and the exit pipe be put on the right of the screen (where you fall to), and the section with now nothing in it removed.

Now, here is the point where I introduce savestate spam into the level. I mean, I feel justified in doing so when something like this level gets too tedious. It isn't justified in the same way as doing so with Kaizo hacks; don't misunderstand my reasons.


i can't take it any more






The Morton Coin can be made more possible (and not absurdly difficult if you don't die 6 times first or damage boost which you've probably already done considering the part before it) by removing the pointless barrier that blocks your escape from the bottom.

The part with two baseball turtles and 2 bullet bill generators is impossible to go through with a power-up without tanking a hit, or doing some badass cloud shenanigans that I don't care to explain how awkward they are to do without killing yourself immediately afterwards due to losing your cloud.

The part with muncher spam and hammer spam looks like a really sloppy attempt at kaizo, which turns out to be both more annoying and possibly just as difficult, while overall being hella more unfair and less fun. Actually, that about sums up this whole level.

Overall, just REMAKE this section.

As to the level in its entirety; if you (Yoshiatom or me or Erik557) don't want to deal with the mess that this level is right now, I'd just completely redo this level. No use in trying to salvage it; no matter how good of an idea it might've used at any point. If I'm given charge over redesigning this level, that is exactly what I will do; though, hopefully I won't be, because 1) I'm bad with desert palettes 2) I'm tired of making desert levels 3) I feel like Yoshiatom should be able to make something better, I mean I honestly and truthfully think that you (Y.A.) should be able to make something better. I think of you as a good level designer, and one who tries to go beyond limits with his ideas and make them into something astounding. (In this case, you succeeded, but turned me insane and made my intellectual processes fatigued from trying to not sound like an asshole while reviewing this level. (I think I failed anyway :())

I'll continue tomorrow; putting this reviewing episode post on hold until tomorrow when my brain rejuvenates and it isn't so late.
2-6, Footballl Caverns by a hick

This level was probably more fun to make than it was to play, but I enjoy it regardless, which I suppose is what sets my standards (wow very ambiguous standards) when it comes to making levels. If it weren't for the desert atmosphere and background, this level would've just as easily fit into the first world. Almost all screens are centralized around rugby turtles, that throw the ovular U.S. footballs, that annoy you to no end if you aren't careful, or haven't picked up one of the many, many powerups that are placed. This level has so many for the reason that the bouncing footballs are, for lack of better term, "trippign on acid". (thx merc) (random.)

I'm going to ask the E man and see what he thinks about me changing this up a bit, but I'd like to make this M. Coin less risky to get; if you knock out the bouncing football with the buzzy beetle shell, you can't get the M. Coin. (you can, but who wants to do trick glitches with slowdown required on a normal hack, when you could just jump in the lava and restart)

This rainbow shell loves to come out of nowhere and snipe you, and it's entirely possible to dodge it before it hits you even if you don't know that it's there, (afaik, because when I was playing it through for review, I forgot that it existed) it still is probably going to hit you. I'm probably going to change it to come out earlier, or later, but either way, I'm going to change it.

For lack of better reason other than "I don't like it", I'm going to change these to only 2 instead of three, or something of that order. This might actually NOT get changed, but I'll see about that later on; I might have to consult with my fellows on this one as well.

I couldn't find much that I consider faulty in this level, although I don't think it's anything superb. I can't really rate it as compared to the other ones, because I can't really get a good opinion out of this; I did make it, after all. There actually is very little that I feel that I need to change in this level, despite how many times that I used the orange highlight. All of the changes are pretty small.
World Two is at 2/3s; we'll finish it next time.
Hello! I've been kinda absent from this project recently, so I didn't see your reviews until now. I like the concept of this! With some of these levels having been made before there was a subforum created for Morton's Empire, this is a nice way of giving those levels feedback.

I noticed you reviewed my level, "Through the Sandy Valley", a week or so back. I'm glad you found it aesthetically pleasing! While I'm not exactly a good level designer (and I'm probably quite rusty, since this level was actually the most recent one of mine), I did try to at least make it look good, you know? Sorry about the blind jump, though. I played through it multiple times to make sure everything ran nice, but I guess that little issue just slipped my mind.... Either way, good job on the reviews so far!
@Veck: Thanks, I always have to put at least 25 minutes or more into each level's review, so that I can get the complexity that I need without having the over-intricacy that often happens along with such complexity. :D
2-7, Desert Ambience by a hick

A bit of a generic level, but I think it's still a bit different than the rest of them, so I think it does have its place in the hack, like every other level I've reviewed. Desert Ambience is- Well, it would be "ambient", but somebody thought that it was a good idea to change almost every level's song in the desert to "Under the Fake". The other M.E. co-owner who did reviews also didn't appreciate this much, but it's all good, because there's good reason in the music screw up. ... Or at least, I thought there was, because all of the music in the desert seemed to be either unfitting, or lacking in what we wanted. To regurgitate the reason that I was given,

Originally posted by IRC
<Erik557> because under the fake under the fake arabic coffee under the fake arabic coffee

Anyhow, on with actually talking about the level.

I'm of the opinion that the foreground's palette isn't quite up to snuff with the rest of the hack. I'll probably either attempt to make a better one, or hound a better one out of Erik. The palette will be changed, one way or another. I'll also be adding some cacti and/or bones, because the level is otherwise fairly barren without decoration besides cement blocks in the ground.

Now, in the second part of the level, the ground starts to move with Layer 2 rising and falling. Like the palette of the general foreground, this will also be changed. You know, I might turn this level into a silhouette level, if everyone agrees, but I don't entirely agree with doing so myself.

I may be changing this section so that you don't have to wait so long for the platform to go down, for you to get out earlier to prevent boring waits. Something of that sort, I'm not entirely sure at the moment.

Well, that's just awkward. I don't think it's really any cause for concern, though, I can just make the ground after the goal post look different.

I feel like this level doesn't really require too many changes, just a bit of fine tuning like many of the other levels also do. ... The one after does, as well!
2-8, Sanding Down by Lazy

This level was a bit of a mixed basket. Well, to be more accurate as to what I am about to talk about, it's a bit like how there was a third BG: Dark Alliance game announced, and then it got canceled. (Old news is old, but that isn't the point.) I enjoyed this level the first time around, and then I played it again without savestates, and suddenly everything felt really inconsiderate, and very irratating. I enjoyed the puzzle feel, because puzzle levels are my type of thing. However, a few of the puzzles were easily breakable if you knew your SMW physics well, and some of them didn't seem to work as intended, or were just pointlessly annoying in entirety. Some parts of the level, however, I felt were much better than the others; which I suppose is why I called it a "mixed basket" in the first place.

So, when you start the level, it gives you a Koopa with its shell. You need to carry it to a vine block in order to get a Morton Coin. However, if you were too lazy to carry the shell just in case you needed it, like me, because I stopped using ProtonROMhack logic long ago. People used to send really bad SMW hacks to a certain person whose name was played off of in that fake term that I used, so the player had to assume that he needed to take everything with him, because he might need some of it. (some of them were pretty good, though) I mean, when you're playing through a Kaizo hack, and you see an innocent turtle in a really hard to get location that there's really no reason to get, then it's safe to assume of that being your hint that you need to use it for something. Generally, that's how it goes. However, this one was just there. I didn't really capture it in a screenshot, but you're pretty much screwed for this Morton Coin if you have a Fire Flower with you when you get to the level. (Unless you ditch it, that is.) Also, if you don't get the mushroom before you get the shell, the shell might be killed on the bubble. This isn't really a problem with the level, though, it's just what could happen because if user error; again, not a problem. However, the rest is very problematic. This Morton Coin will be changed to be slightly less bogus to collect. (Moving the Koopa, etc)

It isn't exactly glass clear what to do to get this Morton Coin, so I think that the ceiling should be raised so that it'll be a tad easier to actually do the thing that you need to do when you figure out what to do. (I did it out on the first try, but that's because I'm used to being careful with disco shells, it's instinctive :P)

I'm a fan of hidden 1-ups, I most definitely am.

So here, you're supposed to avoid mushrooms. It gives you so many mushrooms that you're supposed to figure out that you need to not collect them, but when you see one mushroom without the others that the level throws at you, it isn't advertised, and you collect it; which makes you have to redo the section. This could be solved by putting a message block at the beginning of the section that says something along the lines of "Don't eat the mushroom!" Alternatively, you could just do nothing. I don't see this as a huge problem, but I feel like the level would be done justice with a message block in this area that tells you what to do.

There's no queue that it's now safe to eat the mushroom, but it is implied that since you went the door, you can now eat the mushroom. I'd personally have this changed so that you immediately get a mushroom forcibly upon emerging on the other side of the door. Also, if that happens, the bubbles that are in front of you probably could be something different.

There should be something to show that falling down will just reset the level, and you could probably use the "redo" sign here under the coin to show that you could fall just like it was done later in the level. However, that negates the purpose of the coin. It is possible to get the coin without falling, but very difficult. I'd rather just leave it the way it is.

Hmm, something has clearly gone wrong. :O
If you get to this part of the level and the spiny just happens to be at the right point, it won't be blown up by the Bob-ombs. That isn't much of a problem though, because unless you stomped them, you can just go back and get something to kill it with. And in the case that you, for some reason, did spinjump the bubbled enemies, you can just jump in the pit to restart.

Hmm, Lazy, you certainly live up to your name! This can be changed by ways that I'll discuss more on IRC, but the general idea is that you don't need a powerup to get to the Morton Coin, and the coin is put in a spot that is still slightly difficult to get to. I'd suggest putting a pipe there that'd link you to a different sublevel or a different part of the same sublevel, with a room with a puzzle of sorts, or challenge that would allow you to access the coin that way. If you can't tell, I get highly annoyed when I needed to have a powerup for a coin. It's just pointlessly aggravating. People always say "but the original game did it", and it sure did. However, that doesn't make the coin's placement "good" just because the original game did something similar. The original game's design wasn't exactly stellar compared to our standards, really, so I'd prefer if we didn't have something like this in the hack. In some cases, I think this would be fine, but I won't bother explaining the qualifications. Besides that, this is a puzzle level, not an action level!

Who needs to actually do what you're supposed to, when you can just slide through the filter? In this case, what you do is counter with a filter to prevent someone from bypassing the filter behind this filter. (Filter 4x) This bypassing is fixed by putting a speed filter in front of the power filter. You make it so that only small people can get to the power filter without sliding, which means that big people have to slide in order to get to the power filter; which slows them down, making them unable to bypass the second filter.

Overall, I thought this level was actually quite nice. I enjoyed it for the most part, and while I did say a lot about what I thought should be changed, that doesn't mean I don't think that you (the creator in this case) did an outstanding job designing the level, and coming up with ideas for all of the puzzles. Keep it up, is all I can say, I always look forward to playing your levels whenever I find one of yours. You're highly respected by me as a level designer, I'll just say that. (And again, like plenty other levels, all of the changes were rather small ones, no matter how many.)
We'll continue here next time, folks, I don't have enough time at the moment to review the last level of W2; It'll be done later, and edited in place of this message, like last time.
Originally posted by a hick

So here, you're supposed to avoid mushrooms. It gives you so many mushrooms that you're supposed to figure out that you need to not collect them, but when you see one mushroom without the others that the level throws at you, it isn't advertised, and you collect it; which makes you have to redo the section. This could be solved by putting a message block at the beginning of the section that says something along the lines of "Don't eat the mushroom!" Alternatively, you could just do nothing. I don't see this as a huge problem, but I feel like the level would be done justice with a message block in this area that tells you what to do.

Putting a message box is completely pointless since the end part does a good job of simply saying "you needed to small btw". The section is very short for this to be a problem (even if you pointed this out near the end of the paragrahh). People may find it more clever than it having be explained to you like a child.
Ow wow I barely even remember this level (it's kinda ugly in retrospect lol).
I agree with most of your points. Dragon coins that require powerups are dumb and not something I would pull nowadays. I would suggest replacing the turn blocks with throw blocks; the challenge would remain roughly the same but without the powerup requirement.
I disagree with you on the first dragon coin. Sure it's easy to mess up on the first try, but it's not like I intended for the player to get all the dragon coins on their first try. And if this is the only one they missed, they can just reenter, get it and start+select out since the game saves coins individually.
As for the mushroom section, what yoshi said. I like that little "a-ha" moment when you reach the doors and realize what you were supposed to do. Also, I don't think that part after that needs to be changed. I'd say it's safe to assume that you can get mushrooms again as they're not really placed like obstraces anymore.
And yeah the filter thing needs to be fixed. Just extend the muncher tunnel, speed blocks are a little awkward imo. I noticed the filter for the third dragon coin is broken as well. Remove the first noteblock&bubble and add more munchers (having to bubblejump twice is kinda harsh anyway).
Oh and the ground at the start of level 48 needs to be lowered by one tile since you can just break the turnblocks and skip the goomba throwing.

And one more thing, why are the cement blocks square? Looks hella ugly. I would like the normal ones (at least in my levels).
@lolyoshi You're pretty much restating what I implied, either that, or I didn't imply it heavily enough. :P I planned to go with whatever Lazy thought about that. So yeah, I do agree with you as shown.

@Lazy I agree with most of what you don't agree with me on, and whatever, and the left, and the right, and yes. Okay, whoever changes it can make these changes; I'll just make sure to refer them to both my post here about the level and your post. :) (Unless it's me changing the level, then I'll just know, or you, then you'll just know)
Due to request, it's time to take a detour in the reviews! Right after, though, we'll go back to normal.
4-6, That's the Trash Can by Lazy (because lazy's name isn't really capable of being rainbowed by itself)

This level is rather creative, rather fun, and also rather hilarious in a "haha you needed a powerup I'll just give you one right after yuo needed one but you can't get it cause autoscroll" way. It is a rather rare sight among ice levels for them to also be autoscrolling levels, and for them to also be castle levels while doing so. This doesn't make the level any better, but it certainly doesn't make it any worse; the point is, the entire gimmick of the level is based on the level being such.

There are objects on layer 2 that move differently than the layer 1 when faced with scrolling, and the level is rather odd in the respect, although not odd in a bad way.

This part can be a bit annoying if you get caught paying more attention to where you are than whats at the edge of the screen. I'd personally just say move the cement blocks and the skeletons and the dragon coin backwards a bit, so that there's more space in between your platforming in between spikes section and the coin. However, the section isn't too hard the second time around, since you know where that the springboard is coming up. I'll just leave it up to you (Lazy) as to what to do about this part, because I don't have a solid opinion.

This dry-bones almost always just makes his way over to the edge of the spikes, and jumps off. Most of the time you'll have a power-up because of the dragon coin that needed a powerup due to a filter, but in case the person doesn't, this should be changed to where the dry bones doesn't jump off. (I think the problem is that it's too low, and gets stuck in the wall to squidgy its way out)

In the previous paragraph I talked about a powerup filter being in the level, which should also be changed. To what, I don't know, maybe makes a throw block cluster of some sort so that you have to pick up and get rid of enough of them before the screen scoots you along.

It's quite annoying when the ground moves you into a spike, or moves the spike into you, or makes you clip into a cement block. This section could be replaced/changed with/to something else, but hopefully not kept the same; it feels a bit unpolished. Maybe, the layer 2 ground could be kept, and there could be jumps needed to get around the the moving objects, or layer 1 ground could happen, or etc. A lot of things could replace this section that I think would be more enjoyable.

ayy Lmao

This level was very entertaining, and the music helped to add to it. There weren't many parts I found "bad", and for all the good parts, they made up for it. The only thing else I have to say in ways of importance is that I think the color palette should be less like the standard SMW ice-like palette.
A very fun level.

Off of the detour, now.
2-9, Abandoned Crypt by AlwaysANoob

A rather fun level we have here, for the last level of the desert World Two. It has a lot of airship like platforming, and a lot of... crypt like scenery. I'll talk more about what I think on that later. The level has bullet bills placed in adequate positions and grates that don't annoy the brains out of me. (+1 on that) What's more, there's a dark room with a light that actually adds to the gameplay!

I somehow think that if the player has made it this far in the hack, they'll have already figured that out, or remembered that doing so helps, or have already known that since long before they started playing the hack. I'd suggest removing that message box, and replacing it with a coin turn block or just an empty turn block, because it would look nice :D

Heh, I got a chuckle out of this one. Probably unnecessary, but it pays to be cautious, so I'd just leave it there if I were the editor.

Now THIS is how you use a powerup filter in a normal (hard) difficulty level! I'm proud of you, rookie! (... not really rookie, but a play on your name :))

A section that gives me an airship vibe. The most of the level, excluding the scenery, completely passes the message that you're over a deep pit of some sort. This would be easily convertible into an airship level, but since this is supposed to be a desert world, and the progress of the W2 boss is unknown, I'm not sure whether it's a good idea or not. I'll leave it up to AlwaysANoob, and I might do some experiments to see whether it'd be good as an airship level or not.

I couldn't find too much to say about this level, but from what there is, I found good things to say about it. Not much I can say in the ways of "this sucks", also not much in the way of "wow this be awesome!", but there is definitely a good quality level to be had with this one.
World Two complete! The jungle shall be entered next post.
Alright thanks a lot! I replayed this one recently and pretty much came to the same conclusions as you. Gonna revise the level design along with changing some other things I'm unhappy with (level name, music choice).
Originally posted by a hick
the color palette should be less like the standard SMW ice-like palette.

What's wrong with the original palettes.
I don't mind if someone like Erik just removes the message box himself. After all, it's very pointless for me to resubmit my level with just one small change that can be done in less than a minute - I give my permission for it to be changed, basically.

Of course, if you'd rather I did it then I will, of course.

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Current Project: Vanilla Rendezvous, my project. Click here to see the C3 thread.

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right, so reviews

@Lazy I guess nothing is really wrong with the vanilla palettes :P
3-1, Warriors Thicket by Cascade

A fairly irritating level. Most of the level was impossible to enjoy or even think about the force behind it, (how the trick that wasn't a trick worked) due to the eye searing palette, and the ear busting music. I can see why you were so eager to rework this one, Cascade :P With some fixing up, though, it should be a pretty good level, if my insight is correct!

For some reason, on most of the large stems (mostly) at the beginning, there is an invisible tile that stops you, and causes you to screw up various things. This could obviously be changed easily, considering ones in the same situation later on in the level don't have this tile of useless screwoverness.

You can get stuck here. Nothing else of note to say except fix would be nice :)

This leads you to think that there is land below the coins, when there is only really a one block wide log. This isn't really a problem if you stick strictly to the trail, but it's still confusing. Change that, please.

You can jump off the plant to get to the higher ground without doing the koopa jumping at all. Change if you like, but you don't need to, because the whole thing is just as hard either way.

The next few sections are nigh on imposssible with a fire flower. You can make the jump without the shell, but I'd rather not. For the second section, you can do a shell jump much more easily than avoid the koopa then jump off of his head when he comes around.Change those to falling platforms.

This guy is an asshole and I'd much rather him just not be there, or be a falling platform, or something like that.

It doesn't look like it, but this is a blind jump. The camera doesn't pan down far enough when you're above. Change so that the ground is lower down, or you won't die when you jump down. ... Or put a coin trail

Doing the previous jumps help you get to here... which just contained a bunch of coins before I cleaned them out. Maybe a M. Coin could be put up here. I think one could be easily substituted.

Also, on top of the worrllld!

This section has a bunch of guys that come out of trees and kill you whether you see them or not. I'd just redo this section. It's quite irritating to not be able to see the enemies most of the time, not to mention unfair.

Over all, I'd suggest redoing the entire level, but it's up to you. The level is salvageable, in my opinion. I suppose the level wouldn't be too bad if you did stuff with what I suggested.
3-2, Leafy Lakitus by MercuryPenny

A level that gives you a cape and is so transformative and unique in its design that it lets you fly over the whole level with it, just like every plains level in the original SMW that gave you a feather. Luckily, though, it has been removed. While the level is better without the cape, (I'm glad Erik removed that before I got around to reviewing this) it's still a mess for the most part. I love invisible spinies too, merc. The music doesn't really fit the jungle world at all, although the level does kind of make a "forest canopy" feeling at some points.

Most of the level's gameplay problems occur within the gimmick of "can't see because of the trees". The level isn't creative with its blocking of your view by way of plants, either, they're just kind of there. Because of this, I'm able and will keep the review short and concise.

First thing is first, though; there's garbage at the top of the screen, and I think Erik knows why this happens, and merc too. (I don't though ¯\_(°_O)_/¯ assuming there's a decently easy fix for this? The other levels don't seem to have this garbage)

Sometimes, when you jump in this hole with the coin above it, there will already be a spiny in there. Spinjumping can prevent this, but it doesn't help most of the time, because it'll just walk into you afterwards depending on how you land, if one's already been thrown. Once more, just an awful byproduct of the "leafy lakitus" gimmick.

You can't see yourself when you're on the ground for the majority of the second section, because of the trees. This makes it very easy for you to fall in a pit or get hit by a spiny while attempting to figure out if there's a pit in front of you. I'd say "take this part out", but it's the whole entire gimmick of the level. The level has far more problems with this gimmick than just in that screenshot. I'd say redo at least the second section, and maybe the first one as far as aesthetics and empty spaces that do nothing go.

The level isn't too problematic if you take out the not looking like a jungle level at all, and the aggravating leafy lakitus. I suppose if the level is redone to not use such an outrageously irritating gimmick, then it should also use a different name :P So, revamp the graphics and make them fit with the world theme, and make the level not anything related to invisible spinies :D After the second section and (probably) all of the aesthetics have been redone, this shouldn't be too bad at all.
3-3, Fuzzy Treepass by Centipede

A very fun level, but also fairly annoying in the sense that it probably wouldn't have been if the player had been the one who made the level. Another thing, is how repetitively irritating the music is. The song barely fits the jungle, and it doesn't fit this manic and irate stage that has you dodging baseballs and turtles left and right while trying not to fall prey to the blind jump(s). The palette looks rather good, though, and looks like the vanilla grass palette except that it gives a rainforest vibe, and looks "moist", or at least I think it does. Either way, the colors fit the world theme very nicely. While I do see the level as kind of problematic, I think most of what I see as a "problem" in this level are just a bunch of really in-depth nitpicks. For instance-

The vines here don't have tips that make any sense; all of them look like they've had the ends cut off, and unless that's exactly what you want to convey with this, then it could probably get a change. The level doesn't really give any explanation for why these vines are cut off in such a way, either, so it'd probably be easier just to put tips on them instead of replace enemies and have little pincher beetles and things like that. :P

The pit where the koopa is is a bit confusing, and because you can't see what's down there, you jump to check, and die. Also, the tree trunk that you can't walk through that meshes with the tree trunk that you can always gets me trapped up against it, so removing it and making it walkthroughable could be done, considering that getting the the coin any other way requires prior knowledge of the level (blind jump after the pitching chuck), and the reason that you'd suicide in the koopa section in the first place.

So b) Either remove the blind jump after the Pitching Chuck, or c) remove the wall that prevents you from getting to the coins, and often traps you.

However, considering that it's the blind jump that causes everything that I have a problem with entirely in this section, removing it and putting a coin trail to safe land from there makes all of my paragraph on what to change obsolete, so I suggest that being done. Which is a good thing.

I don't quite know what to do about this, but all of the footballs stay in one section when thrown, and because of their random pattern, makes avoiding them nigh on impossible. Potentially, the football dude could be replaced with a pitchin chuck, and a ninji going at the bottom, or something like that. If you run in really quickly and get under the chuck, then he doesn't get a chance to maul you, but that requires prior knowledge of the level.

I would say "it's boring to have to play the part of the level over again, make it so that you can get back up from there but still have it be kinda secret", but you actually can get back up there, like I didn't do in the screenshot, because I utilized rewinds instead, just for time. When playing this through a second time (from the midway) I brought the red shell down with me (like a sensible person! imagine that), and used it to jump back up to the higher level from there. I think you can just run and jump to that ledge, like the one after it, but I was too lazy to do that :P Shelljumping is more fun anyway

Overall, a highly enjoyable level, as long as the music is changed to be something less mind-numbingly annoying. I had to change the music for my brain to be fair about how the level was set up. Most of what I suggested is pretty small, the level didn't have nearly as many problems as I thought it did, once I was able to analyze it more heavily.
Next time, 3-4 and more!
Originally posted by a hick
(blind jump after the pitching chuck)

I assumed that the horizontal parakoopa would be enough of a hint that there was land below, but if it isn't then I'll change it. Agree with the rest of the issues though so I'll make sure to fix them too.
Blame Erik for the unfitting music though he is the one that suggested it :).

Also thanks a lot to you (and merc) for these reviews since they're helping a lot in getting this hack closer and closer to being done.


My hacks: Justice for Mario / Unnamed Kaizo Hack
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