That was a fairly fun hack, and I could notice the good amount of creativity factor in it. It's one of the Kaizo hacks that can be done without savestates and doesn't overstay its welcome, so I'd definitely recommend it even to those who aren't used to playing Kaizo hacks. I'm also digging the aesthetics choosen for this hack (I especially dig the custom music).
If I had to point out whatever nitpicks I have, they would mostly refer to smaller breaks such as how you can trigger the rope glitch at levels like Mario on Ice, but on this particular case, it only affects the first section after all. Not that it's a big problem, y'know.
I'm considering on featuring this hack given the pros it has. What about you?
You have until January 19th to post your reviews.
Each level has great palettes and nice aesthetics (music ), and there's always a fancy ASM gimmick that spices things up. My major issue with this hack is that some levels get boring, especially without savestates.
The main gimmick of most of the levels are punctuated by precision jumps that are not creative. This is even present in the second level. Also, the trope with killing the player at the end of a level is done way too much, along with other tricks that might be funny the first time but wear off (falling fish, offscreen bullets, etc.)
Some of the levels are really fun and quite creative, like Starlight Switches, Shapeshifting, or Blackout Bay in my opinion. But there's a few levels that just destroy the experience, usually autoscrollers. Skull Raft Rapids takes about 3 minutes to complete, and I'd say about 2 of those minutes is just waiting for the next obstacle to appear or doing very basic jumps. Clouds and Balloons is also quite long, and every death is due to not knowing that some ambushing bullet will fire at you. Other levels use too much RNG obstacles (footballs, discos) and have random precise sections that are not creative.
So, I don't feel like this hack is top notch in design or creativity. Reject. However, I would support the feature of Banzai Mario World 2, as that has some creative stuff. Gbreezesunset's more recent works are far better.
note: I just took like 19 screenshots of the game as examples of cheap difficulty, I'll upload them soon. You'll find WAY less of this in Banzai Mario World 2. I really hope that thing gets finished. On Discord, I've seen him come online every once in a while, and sometimes it will say he's playing snes9x, and then it will change to nothing. I think that's a sign of him making levels for Banzai Mario World 2, even if he's inactive here. *crosses fingers*
note 2: YAY, GBREEZE IS BACK! I think it's clear that his Banzai Mario World 2 is multitudes better than this hack. Here are some examples of level design that he probably isn't that proud of:
I will make every attempt to feature Banzai Mario World 2, but this hack is seriously just not a good example of what kaizo is supposed to be in my opinion. Boring autoscrollers that are over 3 minutes long. Going under footballs all day. Dealing with disco shells that kill Mario arbitrarily. Falling fish and other falling objects that kill any blind player at the end of every level. etc.
Ah, the hack that brought me back into dem kaizos. You might argue that I have a special bias against it because of that, but I mean I nominated it for a reason: it's a good, enjoyable experience.
Yeah, there are some design flaws. The thing that comes to mind as most annoying are either some awfully precise jumps or the fish that catch you offguard and kill you. But looking past them, it's actually a pretty well designed hack. Moreso than what looks give; each level has a gimmick, be it vanilla or using ASM. It's well used through every level and kept consistent; not overwhelming, but not spontaneous. It's a blast to play through it and while it has some minor flaws (aside from the ones I mentioned, it comes to mind the first shell in Shapeshifting which didn't originally spawn; I'm not sure why). There is rarely a level which is so frustrating; Mario on Ice is the only that comes to mind right now, and it IS frustrating merely because of the ice physics which are terrible in the original game.
Getting a game over isn't a flaw here; the game, I think, autosaves, and there are 3-Up moons scattered all around the hack, all requiring thought or skill to get them.
The looks are usually saturated palettes, which to be fair are not really pretty or wow-worthy, however there are also some which are pretty lively. The decor is not abused in a way that it distracts from the level, it's actually made good. The music choices all feel correct and fitting; most tracks are familiar and pretty recognizable, but it's not really a problem.
In short, it may not be the best Kaizo hack out there, but if anything, that was not the original intention of the author; it was to create a hack which was enjoyable to both Kaizo enthusiasts, and real-time speedrunners and just players who want to get introduced to Kaizo. It's mixed with ASM gimmicks which prove that not only should Kaizo hacks be made out of vanilla gimmicks, and aesthetics which also demonstrate that Kaizo hacks can be good. It inspired me to get back to playing these kinds of hacks, and I actually thought of starting one as a result of it.
It's pretty clear what my verdict is. Feature is the best option, a really good Kaizo hack that deserves a shot.
Banzai Mario World 2
oh my god i remembered that it was a thing and also that gbreeze is inactive wow im pretty sad now
Kaizo hacks aren't my thing, but Banzai Mario World claimed it was designed for "players of all skill levels" so I decided to give it a shot (advertising works!). I'm not that great at playing SMW hacks, so I figured I'd get some ways in and get too frustrated to continue. Keep in mind that I'm judging this hack based on the "for all players" claim since I'm not really a kaizo player.
Long story short, the hack description is spot on. There are some out of place precise jumps and plenty of end of level traps (though they're all obvious and easy to get around), but ignoring that the hack is well designed with a good difficulty curve suitable for anyone with a decent grasp of SMW mechanics.
Banzai takes a page from some of our most popular hacks and uses a unique asm gimmick in almost every level. For a hack designed to be playable as a first kaizo hack, this is an excellent way to go about it as it keeps the player's attention longer. Gbreeze managed to keep the gimmicks varied despite being almost half of a full hack's length, and every level was fun to play. Bonus points for not requiring knowledge of a lot of glitches to complete. Graphics (palettes really) are so-so, but the music selection is pretty nice.
Now for the negatives. Most prominent are the gotcha moments (fish, surprise bullet bills, floor dropping out from under you). I don't know how typical this kind of design is in modern kaizo hacks, but for a hack of this nature, these gotcha moments detract from the experience and just don't fit. Gbreeze uses icy physics as a crutch in the special world to add cheap difficulty. And the spin jump blocks in particular are used too often.
Overall, Banzai Mario World does a great job at what it tries to do: make a generally less popular subsection of SMW hacks more accessible to players. If you've never played a kaizo hack before, I recommend you play this. This gets a feature from me.
Banzai Mario World does a fantastic job at introducing players to Kaizo hacks. It's not as hard as most hacks of the same style, and things like precision jumps and the usual Kaizo traps (level end trickery being a great example, early on at least) are toned down significantly to make it more beginner-friendly.
Most levels are focused on a simple ASM gimmick, e.g. giving Mario the ability to double jump. It's a fairly common design strategy, and surprisingly hard to do well, but the hack manages to develop it fairly well throughout. There's enough variety that it doesn't get boring from the start to end, and the overall length is perfect for a hack like this too. The difficulty curve is also handled fairly well, with no levels being particularly unfair, and huge difficulty spikes being avoided (with a few exceptions, such as the fast skull raft level).
Obstacles are nicely designed, but there are a few flaws. Noticeably, the hack relies too much on tougher enemies (disco shells, Volcano Lotuses, Chucks, etc.) to make it interesting at certain points. Some other traps are also overdone, the surprise Cheep Cheeps and Bullet Bills in particular. A few levels also suffer a bit from Muncher abuse - it works, but at times working a bit more on enemy placement would be a better alternative.
The hack is also fairly linear overall, without many secrets to be discovered. There are a few things that help with the replay value, though, such as the moons hidden in each level. The secret exits, while not particularly well-hidden, are handled fairly well too - the alternate pathways are usually fun to go through, and offer a nice challenge.
Overall I'd say feature. Despite having some flaws, Banzai Mario World manages to be accessible to less experienced players, and is a great choice for a first Kaizo hack.