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[REJECTED] New Super Mario World 1: The Twelve Magic Orbs by G.D.
Forum Index - Sunken Ghost Ship - Forum Graveyard - Featured Hacks - [REJECTED] New Super Mario World 1: The Twelve Magic Orbs by G.D.
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Link to submission.

Well... this is quite an huge amount of work. 12 worlds, each level has the neverending-kind of design, making this one of those few hacks that would take a lifetime to 100%. For this reason, I kept playing till I reached a solid opinion I have of it (stopped at mid world 5 then used a 100% .srm to see some of the later levels).

What's the good aspects of this hack? Pretty much the attention in the details in every level, particularly on the graphics and on the atmosphere. Some of the vanilla assets were smartly combined (99% of them coming from vldc8-vldc9) and made this hack's visuals memorable to go trough.
I already mentioned another aspect which shouldn't be underestimated, which is the size of the hack: again, 112 exits is quite an huge number to pull off in a hack, so bonus points for that. We rarely see such lengthy hacks nowadays.

The bad aspects then? Well, I anticipated the kind of design this hack tends to have: it's pretty much similar to hacks like this, where you extend the level until death, making the level heavy to go trough. You generally have to find a balance between "omg too cramped with enemies aaaaa" and "omg too long too flat when will this end", and I feel like this hack is a bit too close to the latter, except that the enemy placement is good enough to not make it boring. Maybe it'd be better if most of the levels were cutted by 1/3 of their length?

This aside, there are also technical issues. The most annoying one is the flickering that happens... way too often in the whole hack imo. I don't asm enough to be sure, but I believe it's NMI issues? You probably filled your hack with so much stuff to process for each single level that the rom gives up and suffers by flickering like crazy in some levels (the flicker in the space levels in particular was so annoying). It's understandable though: I've seen powerups, map16 tiles that appear when a certain amount of events is passed, the smb3 statusbar, cluster generators, hdma, blocks that do map16 manipolation (like those that fall on spikes and make them walkable), and other stuff that I probably missed.
Like the last moderator also pointed out, the hack is poorly tested, as in, there are quite some parts that can be skippable (read: space levels, I can skip whole sections by jumping high enough), and some other misc issues (i.e. the sun in 2-2 not appearing anymore once you enter a secondary exit pipe, or the fact that you can slidekill enemies here).
Lastly, sometimes the difficulty was pulled way too harder in a few spots, like in 12-S (which is understandable but ffs) or like in w3 castle (in the vertical section mostly: you have to hurry because the toxic sea goes pretty fast; all the sprites that come at you, together with this fast sea coming, are unbearable; you went too wild for a world 3 castle), or the level 4-2 (the wind generator is an awful choice for this particular level setting; the level is easy without the generator, but since you're pushed by the wind, it's like x40 times harder).

I'd overall go more with a rejection. I know that this is some huge work due to the length, but if you consider the amount of levels and the possibility that each could have its issues... well, clearly not a feature. It's a good hack, but it's not feature-quality in my opinion.

Deadline: 30th April
The hack is decent overall, but I can't say it's very unique to deserve a feature, mainly because these kind of hacks (long, mostly rompy, VLDC-inspired, traditional and less ExGFX) are pretty common nowadays. It plays well in most levels, and you can feel its creativity in various aspects, though there are a few flaws that are frustrating. For example, the ExAnimated hurt block flames in levels like the burning forest one can hurt the player in a frame where there's no flame appearing at all, making it awfully hard to time the player's moves. Plus, the last Bowser fight was also a bit buggy. I defeated Bowser and he had even disappeared, but even so, I took a hit from him and died. Had to restart the whole level as there was no midpoint as well. And such errors ruined my experience pretty hard that I almost gave up, and I began to use savestates. Also, the story is generic and so is the postgame (just a single, very long, very hard level with no midpoint at all), as well as pretty common music which you might have heard in various other hacks.

If design and overall polishing were the only aspects I'd consider for a feature, I'd vote for it. But since I look for stuff that's more unique and differentiated in every single aspect, by having more author-made resources such as exclusive music, ASM, GFX and whatnot, more engaging storyline and being memorable in absolutely every aspects, it's a rejection. Good hack, but it's not a jewel.

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Forum Index - Sunken Ghost Ship - Forum Graveyard - Featured Hacks - [REJECTED] New Super Mario World 1: The Twelve Magic Orbs by G.D.

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