Link to submission.
Warning! Review may contain spoilers.
And here I replayed one of the hacks which I played trough the most back to when I was very new to SMW Hacking. Felt very good from one side. On another, not really.
What this hack is made of? Well, if you're into hacks with a deep storyline ala D4C, then you must play this. A totally new adventure sets Mario and his friends into a new island, where a festival is going on, as well as bad things that Mario must help to solve. Not going to spoil too much but the story is so well made
and damn I didn't remember it was so depressing at the end aaaaa ;_;
Another aspect that kept me playing this over and over, despite finishing it, is the replay value, which thanks to the incredible amount of secrets to find and stuff to do in the festival, makes it one of the highest I've ever seen. Not only this, but a good amount of levels also have "side quests", cards to collect and secret places. It's never boring to explore.
The boring aspect, though, explodes when it's about level design, which in this hack is really on low levels. I particularly hate the way each last level in every world was made. Pretty much the following: go back and forth many times, babysitting items and activating switches while going trough on the same level. Pratical example in the last level of the mountain world: you have to go trough the water sublevel at least 3 times
in order to continue (2 of them for taking a P-Switch and one for taking the path of the fake 3-up moon). It just felt neverending. I'd rather see new sublevels instead of focusing the whole level on the same screens over and over again.
As for the rest of the levels, they are most of the times pretty flat, ala SMW's first worlds, sometimes with a particular gimmick (on/off blocks, hammer powerup) that doesn't really help much due to its basic use. So yeah, saying in advance: if you look for very good design, this isn't for you. Not saying that everything is bad though eh! I just made an average.
Last thing I'd like to mention before ending the review is that in some cases, some overworld paths could screw up. In my case, "Flamethrower Grotto" doesn't make the player progress after clearing it. Good thing that the previous level's secret exit allowed me to. This was a pretty common mistake in legacy hacks for some reason.
Overall, looking at my review, I'd be more lenient for a rejection.
Golden Yoshi, if you're looking this review, I have a suggestion for you: I'd personally love to see a remastered version of this hack, with better levels and visuals. The story is great and it's a pity that the rest of the hack isn't as good. I'm sure you got much better at designing, so... why don't you give a remastered version a try?
Deadline: 10th April