I played the level and I like it a lot. The only part I struggled a little bit was on the elevator at the beggining of the water section. It took me a while to know what I had to do there and I don't really know why. Anyways, well done.
I like the NICE, please include it in whichever one you choose to submit.
Well, this one is definitely more hard and more creative. It is indeed more risky... I think you should incorporate some of the more interesting parts into the easier version, but as a whole, the hard version was really hard. I really like the bounce section with the kicking football man, for example, and parts of the last autoscroller were really cool. Some parts were way too hard, and it was annoying to die from rip van fish following you or jumping chucks that came out of nowhere. Besides those, none of the jumps were all that hard in my opinion, but I also love kaizo so I like stuff like that. Most people will probably think it's too hard.
I didn't think the first water section in the easy version level was boring, it's just that the autoscroller water version in the easy version is less interesting than the other rooms. They're all fantastically well designed, but, the level is made up of a bunch of sections basically, and you want the very last section to finish strong. It was still well designed, just not as interesting as the other sections. Now, that might be bias against autoscrollers, but it didn't have as many insane setups as the others. If that makes sense? I would incorporate some of the best setups of the hard version into the easier version, with more mushrooms to mitigate difficulty maybe?
The hard version is definitely super creative, but some parts were just way too insane, specifically the torpedo ted dodging and timing your football jumps to squeeze in between cheep cheeps, as well as that last springboard jump, which should at least have ground to stand on so you can try that jump over and over, because it's near impossible to get on the first try unless you understand that the glitched mechanics of the level affect all thrown sprites.
First of all, this level was GREAT and I loved every minute of it. I also gotta clarify that I don't know how the other version was supposed to be, but I thought everything flowed nicely from beginning to end. My only problem may be, like Gbreeze pointed out, that the spring board part (rebound sign) was hella hard to pull off. Also, I believe the secret exit was a lot easier than the rest of the level, though that's minor.
There were two errors that I found. Mainly, you can screw up in the last sublevel by killing all the bats if you don't know what they are for; luckily thanks to the fact I completed the secret exit first I deduced I had to do the same here and keep them alive as long as possible. I'd suggest placing Mario's path in such a way that they can't kill the bats during the first 5 seconds.
That should be it. This level WOW'd me in general and was an amazing experience! Even though I'm not that good of a player I honestly didn't find it so hard, let alone frustrating, so this was really fun for me.
ooh also, forgot to mention, this level has a secret exit done right. Pretty tough to find but not impossible, towards the beginning, and introduces an interesting take on the same gimmick as the rest of the level, with a unique twist.
E: also I'm a terrible judge of difficulty in the hard to kaizo-light range, so if others (like MaxodeX) think the harder version isn't too hard, I would keep it, because it's honestly more creative (besides the springboard part of course, which needs to be changed).
[http://bin.smwcentral.net/u/21502/FrozenQuillsVLDCX-V1.2.zip]I'm letting the fan judges have a hand at this for now[/url]
I basically took the safe version and made it a bit more engaging/creative (and in the process discovered something very unusual with underwater footballs)
Loved the level, FrozenQuills! The level was really fun, I enjoyed seeing all the new uses of sprites with that water-physics glitch, and the secret exit was tough, but enjoyable, too! My one gripe is the final segment for the normal exit- it's designed with the player being close to the right edge in mind, but most people who don't know the design yet will hang back to the left, making it tougher to reach the platforms they need in time before being crushed. May want to consider redesigning it slightly with that in mind!
-------------------- <Adam> I feel like smwc is a prostitute now, because we put up a porn ad for money