Link to the submission
I remember playing a demo of this hack quite a bit. It was one of the most played back then, mainly due to being the most popular hack with the "Yoshi player" patch, which kinda recalls Yoshi's Island... without the annoying baby Mario.
Since the demo, the hack got a lot of custom stuff in it. By stuff, I litterally mean everything: gimmicks, level ideas, graphics, music, design shenanigans, and an enormous amount of custom asm, which makes it a very unique hack. Everything is very well made; the thing I liked more are probably the message boxes and the author's humour at making so many funny jokes on everything. This isn't something that everyone pulls out well today, and this hack nails it pretty well!
While the bright side of the hack looks "oh so good, instant feature", let's now analyze the bad part of the hack: the freaking difficulty.
I'm very insecure about what I'm going to state next; all those positive votes (33 votes -> 4,7/5) make me very nervous about it, but what's coming from is just my opinion: from the point of view of how difficulty is handled, this hack is awful. I'm not joking if I say this reminds me of the way levelengine thinks "hard hacks" work; and obviously, I wouldn't define myself an awful player, nor a god-tier one. I played many hacks in my life (remind you, over 300 mnmnmnm~), but I rarely got in hacks with such "OMG GOING ALL OUT" difficulty.
This is not fun for my tastes. The savestates spam starts right on world 2, levels are pretty lengthy overall, there is a LOT of stuff going on from start to midway point / midway point to end of level (obviously I mean sprites, obstacles, level ideas/gimmicks, and so on), and this means that if you die before taking the midway point (something that's really easy to accomplish, seriously), you'll have to redo the whole level again!
Why getting yourself killed hard is easy in this hack? I'd probably blame the following mostly:
- Energy coins are too rare. If I recall correctly, the old demo worked so that even normal coins would refill your health: I think 5 normal coins gave you +1HP. I also think the SM64 hp system was used. That was a very good way of handling HP (forgive me if I'm confusing with another hack here!), but yeah... the health system in this version isn't "organized" well. For example, there are places where you can get 4 green coins (not even a full HP point, since each hit takes away 5 HP points), that are so hard to pass that you'll probably die by trying to just get past it. Considering how long the overall level is, you'll probably ignore these paths and that such coins exist in this hack. Again, they exist, but they're too rare in my opinion.
- Sloppy controls, mainly the flutter jump: you see, when you jump and keep the button held, you normally flutter. Keeping the button pressed while jumping also grants you a much better boost than the one you get if you just press and relase the button. The thing is that the flutter jump doesn't work when you jump off enemies, or vines, or any non-solid elements.
In order to make it work, in these cases, you have to double press the jump button, which compared to just holding it, makes stuff very annoying to deal with. I should be more worried about how to make the flutter jump succesfully rather than looking at the ambience and enemies around me. That's not very pleasing.
I said "controls", but the only other thing that bugs me (other than the flutter jump) is the fact that ducking stops you completely, even if you're walking. This is minor though, and it's understandable, since you probably didn't want players be able to slide. Yet, it wasn't a very comfy thing to add. I'm aware that I could've get accustomed with it by playing the hack more, but again, overall difficulty doesn't make a good work at welcoming you, and I believe the tutorial level isn't enough. If I was you, I'd probably have made atleast 2 worlds that put the player at ease with the new controls.
- Knock-back. I hope I don't have to explain why this is an issue. Gotta love all dem huge pits with enemies that hit you and make you fall down and die, even if you had all the HP possible.
- Overall design, of course. Sometimes, it gets so challengy and asks you so much that it's very hard to keep up. Here too, I don't think I have to spend extra words if you played the hack.
That's my point. Again, the second part of this review makes me so unsure about it. Thus I'm hoping that lots of users will review this and give their point of view. Remember: a featured hack is something that users see as something that handles everything in the best way possible. Featuring this, means that people will be more motivated in making awfully hard hacks.
From my side, it's a reject
. Let me know your opinion.
Deadline: 27 November