I can definitely say this is somewhat of an improvement over its predecessor, yet while that may be the case, it's still far from what it could be.
First and foremost, I can safely say, the hack is presented much better than before; it's presented quite well I'd even say. You have proper cutscenes (they could use some more life but whatever), HDMAs, ASM, and generally some well thought out details such as how the music changes between each world, despite sharing the same submap. Unlike before, I definitely feel like the author had more fun designing this one.
That said, there are numerous issues throughout, many which have carried over from the last hack.
Once again, the hack is plagued with empty sections that provide little to no challenge for the player such as this
just to name a few examples and while this may not be nearly as prominent in this hack, it's still an issue that should be addressed While level design is a bit better this time around, and I can see that the author has attempted to make the level design less linear, I still feel that a lot of the time I am uninterested in what I am playing. The first half of Spiny Riverside was pretty good I daresay; however it lost it for me when the lakitu section came, and the the player just has to sprint with little to know opposition. This lakitu is not a threat; it's a joke. Even in world 1, it should be a bit more menacing.
this isn't my idea of fun lol
Once again, it could do with some more polishing here and there. Mainly for me, it's little graphical quirks that bug me a little, such as how this note block does not have a bounce sprite
or how hitting this message block makes the HDMA vanish.
I can excuse instances like this though; we all make mistakes. There was another case, I dunno if it's just me, but in the Lemmy Koopa fight, I found it very odd how you couldn't jump on him, yet you could stand on his balls
(ouch) and throw them at him. This seemed inconsistent with the other bosses, but oh well.
Something the author definitely improved upon was the graphics, which is saying something, because I feel they were pretty decently done in the predecessor. I actually found this hack very pleasant to look at for the most part, especially with the inclusion of HDMAs this time around. Once again, they worked mostly with vanilla assets, with ExGFX put in there when necessary. That said, there were still some bad choices here and there - firstly, don't even bother
using DKC graphics with SMW's graphics. It really felt odd when they were just thrown in there from nowhere. Along with that, sometimes, backgrounds like this
were badly chosen, mainly because of their palettes. Although I'm not stupid, it can still be confusing sometimes.
The music was also well chosen once again, with a few exceptions (airship) and I feel it was better than last time. Some nicely done ports were in there, along with many songs I recognised and enjoyed.
But that's that; in conclusion, I'd say the improvement is definitely there, but it's still not the best hack to represent this community. Once again, I'll have to give this a rejection
, but hey! It's getting there.