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[REJECTED] Mario's Journey Through Time & Space by Ice Man
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This journey through time and space was a simple ride but very enjoyable filled with pleasant scenery and varied landscapes. As enjoyable as this ride was there was a lot of minor criticisms that I have that left the game in a sub-par state in my opinion.

The good:
The graphics in this hack are phenomenal and just look fantastic and are used very well building good levels that fit their worlds properly. The music choice is well put together with songs that fit the surroundings and nothing seems out of place. The inclusion of a hit point system is a nice touch and something you don't see to frequently coupled with instant death by spikes just makes you play a bit more carefully which is a good thing.

Now the bad:
The inclusion of the wall jump felt like it was shoehorned in later on with world 5 taking advantage of it but world 2 was completely lacking in the ability to wall jump. The hit boxes on most of the sprites are off and you tend to get hurt when you jump on them or even sometimes when you just stand under them, this is a very unfortunate as it takes away from the immersion and just causes frustration. The worlds are extremely short usually taking less than 10 minutes to beat every level even when you don't rush through them, this isn't fully a bad thing but it cuts down on the enjoyment somewhat. And for one last critique this whole game feels like a tech demo with fancy sprites and graphics but no solid theme and everything feels disjointed and just an amalgamation of ideas mashed together.

This game is very fun and worth playing but I do not feel like it's worth a feature.

My vote [REJECT]

Deadline: November 30th

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Mario's Journey through Time and Space. A ROM hack I am familiar with, especially after watching Ninja Boy's play through of it, and, well, it really felt like it was pulling a Brutal Mario in a sense. Of which, it had really cool gimmicks like the reflecting waters in the third stage, but was really lacking in terms of actually using that gimmick to it's full potential. The level length is the main reason for this. Levels are extremely short in length, most only taking to about 45 seconds to a minute. Because of this the gimmicks feel like they are just... there, and nothing else. A perfect example of this is the wall jump which Ninja Boy had previously pointed out. It was just shoehorned in certain levels with zero explanation which levels have the ability and which levels don't. Heck, you might not even know you have the wall jump at all without seeing obstacles that require the wall jump that are few and far between. A message box could've been nice you know...

The soundtrack is very nice with most of the pieces fitting the worlds quite well. The pieces themselves are also very nice as well. I'm at least glad the author chose pieces that are well enough on their own, and the fit the levels and themes.
The graphics are also very nice as well. They are well varied yet stick to the theme of each world, though I do find the SMB3 Mario not to fit in very well with the sprites and level themes. The over world graphics, while nice to look at, again don't fit well with the overall style of the hack. They seem more realistic than cartoony with their details in the landscape and decorations. I also like the inclusion of an HP system, and the explosion death, and instant-death spikes were a nice throw back to Mega Man and I appreciate that.

Overall, I feel this hack is pulling a Brutal Mario almost with impressive gimmicks that are hurt by the hack's poor level length. The game also don't do a good job telling you which levels have the wall jump, and which ones don't. The soundtrack is nice with each theme fitting the level themselves and overall being well composed. The graphics are also very nice though I do feel like some graphics don't fit well with the overall style of the game.

While I do appreciate the gimmicks, graphics, and music, the level
design ultimately worsened the experience. I would go with a REJECT.
Well, at the graphic site this hack is good.

But the gameplay is decent, not more, really.

The hitbox problem + anoying knockback after getting hit is not really fun, combined with the boring and flat level design most of the time.

The gimmicks are not a gameplay changer, not at all.

And the boss fights... jump on him or not? THAT'S the question.

Imo this is a really bad hack, definitly a REJECT.
Ah, this game. I remember reviewing it a while back, and I wasn't particularly keen on it back then either.

It's got some neat custom enemies and gimmicks, and it's very solid as far as aesthetics are concerned (probably because 99% of the graphics here are from Jelly Boy 2 on the SNES), but the level design is just really forgettable all round.

I mean, not only are they super short (to the point they make Super Mario Bros 3's levels look packed full of content by comparison), but they're all usually insanely linear (with few secrets or side paths) and are filled with enemy placements which are just there to fill space rather than challenge the player.

Add how there's literally zero replay value (there are no secret exits at all from what I remember, and Yoshi Coins don't exist), the bosses are just stock battles with no difficulty curve to them (seriously, they seem to be placed in the castles at complete random) and the difficulty level here is usually nil, and you've got a game which basically acts as a very fancy tech demo but not much else.

Which is kind of a pattern with this author and his associates. Toad's World was basically a tech demo too, and the Panic in the Mushroom Kingdom games that was inspired by were much the same.

Either way, I'd REJECT this. Games should be featured based on their game design, not just how they look and sound.

For gaming news and Wario discussions, check out Gaming Reinvented and Wario Forums respectively.

As for Mario's Nightmare Quest? Well, it's currently on Fusion Gameworks, ROM or the GCN at the moment.
Rejected it is.
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