Before starting, thanks a lot Erik! I remember following this hack when it was a wip and having a blast playing a (very) early demo, but, due to me being inactive for a LONG period of time, Oh Hell No changing his name to Fornaxus, me forgetting the hack's name and not being intelligent enough to look into the username change list (lmao) I didn't get the chance to play the full version until finding this thread, and after doing so twice
I've gotta say it was a very fun experience! So I decided to take this chance and write my first "serious" review on the site.
Also, Dan I hope you don't mind me stealing your review format
The hack's strongest point. Even if most levels don't have mind blowing gimmicks or overall "original" ideas they still are very fun to play through, and most importantly, this level design quality is constant
. The fact that a traditional hack has 50+ well designed levels
(unlike others coughTSRPRsoughsough) makes it worth enough of getting a feature imho.
+Levels don't drag too long and have nicely placed midway points (with the exception of that unnecesarily long "additional" level)
+Even if as I said above most levels are nothing out of the normal, their design and gimmicks are varied enough to always keep the player entertained
+The few auto scrolling levels are actually fun to play
+Enemy placement is fair and sometimes even clever (with the exception of one specific level, see below)
+Dragon coins and secret exits are fairly placed/hidden
+In most levels there is a fair amount of power ups, no more and no less than needed, and they are quite well placed too (with the exception of the additional level)
-The special world is not worth getting. Levels are nice, yes, but both visual and level design wise they are no much better than the regular levels. Giving the player a chance to save is probably the best they do.
-Some moons are way too east to get
, while some 1ups are way too hard to get thus not woth it.
-In the final world, you have to beat 7 levels in a row before you get the chance to save
, and considering these are the harder levels of the hack and of course not all players (aka me) tend to farm lives which translates into having to play this with 5 starting lives is overkill
-This specific level almost killed the fun for me.
Combining balloon mario's sloppy control with venus fire plants, podoboos, low ceiling and lava is just not fair
-Minor nitpick: This.
We smwhackers know those "frozen" sprites are actually munchers thus spinjumping on them would hurt mario, but I don't know how obvius would this be for a non-smwhacker.
Uhh... I can neither make nor properly judge OWs so I'll skip this. But if I have to say something... It's okay I guess?
There are a few levels which I personally found to be quite memorable, the first one that comes to mind is Hazelnut Forest 3 thanks to that "mirrored path" gimmick. See, I don't know if Fornaxus was the first one to come up with this idea nor how many hacks have used it (I haven't played that many hacks sorry), but even so I personally liked the concept and the way it was executed.
Aside from that, this hack has a rather unique (but not necessarily good) plot. There's no princess to rescue this time around and bowser's no more the main antagonist.
And finally the bosses were very unique and (sometimes) fun to "fight". I'm not gonna complain about the bosses considering that I should be thankful that there ARE bosses to begin with.
The hack's difficulty curve is quite nice. As usual, it starts easy and gets slowly harder as you progress through the game, tho I have to point out the huge
difficulty jump from world 8 to 9(final), mainly due to the reasons listed above.
The hack's weakest point imo. Visuals wise, this hack has no personality whatsoever, it's just a huge mixture of various tilesets. Also, I disagree with Erik in this:
Are you sure?
There is fortunately no clashing in a level,
First let me state something: I'm not a bugtester. I didn't play this hack while looking for bugs.
All the bugs listed below were found during two normal playthroughs.
>I happened to release Y here and... I'm stuck
>Some levels have bad initial screen positioning.
I might've missed some, but I don't remember any besides the ones I screencapped, sorry.
>I fell here the very first time
>This hammer bro gets stuck if he falls here,
and for god-knows-what reason he doesn't throw any hammers unless he jumps
>No image for this one but ironically it's the biggest bug
: In the additional level, the door who is supposed to send you back to the midway in case you die after taking it sends you to the world 3 boss fight
. I see no need to say why this is the hack's biggest issue.
Personally I'd vote for feature, mainly because I really enjoy traditional hacks like this, but seeing both the issues mentioned above and the quality standards for featured hacks I say REJECT
Alternatively, you could FEATURE[ON HOLD]
it and add a fixme tag to it, but hey that's up to the mods so idk.