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[REJECTED] Mario's 2 Ways 2 Victory by Najeraldo
Forum Index - Sunken Ghost Ship - Forum Graveyard - Featured Hacks - [REJECTED] Mario's 2 Ways 2 Victory by Najeraldo
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Submission Link

I... can't believe I had to play this one again, lol. I played it back in 2016 and thought it was nice, but let's see how it holds up now that I changed my views in level design.
It's a hack whose principal "gimmick" is the fact that you can take separate paths all the way in the OW, kind of like SMW did with the star road. It's something you don't really see in hacks nowadays, most hacks don't really involve secret exits in the way this hack does. It's good, to say the least.

But the levels I feel are a totally different story.

Most levels don't go out of using the standard enemies as means of obstacles: bullet bills, chucks of all varieties, koopas, munchers, monty moles, piranha plants... Munchers are probably the most used obstacle, and it's weird to find a level without them. We have them in different varieties: normal, instakill, dead, reskins of other blocks... the instakill ones are generally used to add more challenges to some levels, and while challenge isn't bad, I personally think it shouldn't just be go doing precise plataforming while avoiding one-hit-kill blocks. Some levels feel really uninspired because of this: generally all of the ones that involve going around on vines while avoiding parakoopas and munchers, or having to wait for a spiny to be able to cross. The level usually never try a new gimmick other than just getting to the goal; altough there's a level where you have to hop on dead munchers while avoiding the live ones, or other where you had to get P-Switches with a lakitu cloud in order to progress. Other than that, standard platforming action. Some thing I concede to this hack is the usage of Yoshi, it's usage is consistent and for some secrets you'll need it. Not something you see in hacks, either.
The difficuly is usually a fair challenge. I think that the curve is kind of screwed however; the secret path in world 1 has a really ridiculous spike in comparison to some levels in world 3 for example. I think the main problem with the hack becoming gradually easy is that you can farm lives pretty easily later on, on Vine Muncher Wall and other levels. One-tile jumps are really common too, especially on the latter levels.

The aesthetics don't go more far than custom palettes. Most look decent, however some really need some look. Bright BGs or weirdly colored FGs - it's still unpleasant to look at.

Now for some issues that caught my attention or other things:
- Forced hit here.
- You can go up the first mushroom in Muncher Vine Wall and get stuck. 1, 2.
- Does this keyhole need to be on this position? It can be hard to reach for some.
- I legit didn't know this was supposed to be a door. The indication is pretty poor.
- This reznor keeps stuck on the air.
- You can skip the second part of the Red Switch Palace, simply by swimming on the 'lava'.
- If I spinjump a bullet bill on Ludwig's fight, this happens.
- How was I supposed to know this was going to kill me? In the original Mario world, the launcher doesn't kill you.

Overall, while it's a hack that might've been great for the period it came out, I feel like this isn't really worthy of the featuring status. I'm leading for a reject, but how about you?
Deadline: February 11th (you can ask for an extension if you wish.)
If I could describe my feelings about this hack in one picture, it'd be this one:

I'll start with the concept behind the hack. Simply put, it doesn't really work. The whole point of having both an easy and a hard path is to attract players that play both, but instead this hack has super hard and very hard paths. There needs to be a meaningful difference in difficulty between the two paths in order to make this concept work, and this hack doesn't pull it off.

There are a number of problems with this hack that would keep it from being featured:

- In most levels, the difficulty is not derived from creative obstacle and sprite placement but rather spamming of sprites and munchers. It makes platforming tedious rather than fun. Take the screenshot above, for example. Be it Bullet Bills, Monty Moles, Ball 'n' Chains, whatever, the main sprite used in the level is spammed everywhere. This can prevent important sprites from spawning; a timed platform in Icy Cliff failed to spawn and I was forced to die and start over.
- Aside from a few select sprites, this hack rarely ventures into the Tileset Specific Sprites menu. There are very few levels that don't feature Chucks. Towards the end of the hack, it honestly gets to the point where levels become indistinguishable from one another other than the tileset used (this is the mountain mole level, this is the cave mole level, etc.)
- A few of the secret exits are hidden in a way that people can't possibly find without just stumbling upon them or just looking them up in Lunar Magic. Specifically, for the secret exits for Frost Bridge and Icy Cliffs you have to fall into unmarked pits, no hints given. And the secret exit for Mounty's Plateau is hidden behind a door placed in the dirt that just looks like dirt.
- There are several little bugs and glitches here and there that should have been caught; that suggests poor testing. In addition to the list in Erik's post above, you can get Yoshi into Bowser's Castle, one of the vertical sections in that castle has a background that doesn't wrap vertically and also doesn't scroll, and the instant death blocks hurt instead of kill you if you touch the corners.
- There are NO collectibles. No moons, no Yoshi coins, hardly any regular coins, no question blocks except for the occasional powerup, no turn blocks at all except for what is strictly needed for the level design. I think I saw two 1-ups??? You typically can't explore the levels past the only path given and even if you can there's no reason to because you will find nothing. Once you get all the exits in a level you have no reason to ever play that level again.
- I hate everything about the death blocks.

Getting through all 85 exits was a slog. This is an easy reject from me.
The reviews have spoken then - rejected!
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Forum Index - Sunken Ghost Ship - Forum Graveyard - Featured Hacks - [REJECTED] Mario's 2 Ways 2 Victory by Najeraldo

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