World 2 Western Sands 1: First of all, I will state that this music again doesn't sound very good. I know it's the Donut Plains music from SMK, but it seems like a sound channel is missing, so it sounds quite dull. That can be forgiven if the level itself is designed well. Sadly, I can't say that it is. It's absolutely playable, but it gets repetitve FAST. Some things literally are copy pasted from the section before. It's not very fun to be honest. The secret exit is also too much of an open door. Last but not least, the Blockhoppers look exactly the same as regular blocks, while that isn't the case in SMB3. No points awarded. Western Sands 2: This is one of the weakest levels in this hack. It's repetitve, has a horribly OP enemy in the Sphinx, is unconcentrated, spikes in difficulty real fast and the secret exit is laughably easy to find. No points awarded. SCP-409 Fortress: After a few mediocre levels, this one is a nice suprise. The gimmick is a nice way to replace lava, even if it is quite questionable how crystals can kill Mario. The Layer 2 gets utilised well here, and Boom Boom works as intended. Point awarded. Lakitu's Oil Fields: This level is flat. And dull. And there's a major oversight in the first half where you can shoot Lakitu with a fireball and then just ride his cloud towards the end of the section. No points awarded. Power Plant City: Some kickin' music going on here. Anyway, The first half is more than decent and doesn't have any flaws, but also nothing that REALLY sets it apart from the rest. The autoscroll part is a little underwhelming though, especially since the Layer 3 Smashers are really quite broken. It's nothing major, but I would avoid using them in locations with blocks above the ground. Half a point awarded. #2 Power Bomber: The gimmick is nice and the 'open' places in the level are too, but the smaller rooms gave me a lot of headaches. It's very unfair to not give a hint where the platforms are, except if i'm missing something. This gives a lot of cheap deaths, especially when you can't remember the pattern. Zapper is a weak Mouser clone that doesn't even get stronger over time. This level has a lot of missed oppertunities overall. No points awarded.
Overall, this world is really dissapointing. The levels look like they could've been really fun if they were executed well, but only a few levels did nail that, such as the fortress and less or more Power Plant City. Too bad.
So from now on, i'm going in blind. The previous levels I did were just some catching up.
World 3 Underwater River: There's not much to say about this level. It's a standard run-off-the-mill underwater level. It's not bad but also not spectacular. Repeating the same enemy patterns gets dull after a while too, and I would suggest removing some of the duo's with a space between them. Half a point awarded. Strange House: This is a very decent and enjoyable level. It's maybe a tiny bit too difficult and the Strechtes seem to pop up really randomly and thus you may get some unfair hits. It's not too bad but I would reccomend removing a few of them, especially the ones in close proximity of each other. Otherwise, props for the good design. Point awarded. Morinda Forest 1: It's starting to get a trend to only have enemies appear once. It's not worth docking points for anymore, but try to use them more wisely when improving the hack further. I may be wrong since i'm now playing in blindly, so I will wait on judging that untill later. For the rest, this is solid if unsuprising level.
The secret exit is hidden in just the right way too.Point awarded. Morinda Forest 2: This level is one hell of a missed oppurtunity to be fun and inspiring. The largest problem with this (very long) level is the difficulty. I have been doing this savestateless up towards this moment, but i'm tempted to use them because the game over sends you a few levels back. It's horribly frustrating to get through this and die on the next level anyway. This level belongs in something like the final world a lot more. All those enemies spitting objects and themselves at you so much that it is barely avoidable is weak level design too. The Fighter Flies do work, but letting fireballs through them when shot seems very unnatural and feeds on the torment that this level is. Lastly, the sheer length makes this level really exhausting too. Strangely, the difficulty seems to drop in the second half where it was supposed to be harder. That part of the level does not exactly suck, so at least you got that going. If this all was toned down, I think this level could've been very acceptable. Unfortunatly, this level misses that by a long shot. No points awarded. Kirakira Fortress: This level is a huge relief. The ideas are executed nicely, the design feels very much like the original SMW and the difficulty is only slightly awkward at times. Boom-Boom is a little too easy compared to the rest though, but that is only a minor error. Point awarded.
Sadly, this is where I am going to stop at the moment. I will continue this relatively soon, but this has been quite exhausting to get through. Watch this post, because this one will be edited in later on instead of making a whole new post. So far, the design is impressive and the levels are of good quality, but the difficulty can spike in unfair manner sometimes, especially in Morinda Forest 2.
EDIT 10/06/2017: IMPORTANT: I accidentally lost my save by pressing the load state option. I will redownload the hack and play through the new version, and once I have caught up, I will continue. I will most likely test another hack at the moment because this is starting to get a little tiring. Sorry for the inconvinience.
I found a bug on the latest beta of this hack where if you hit the message block in the Red Switch Palace, it takes you back to the map with the Red Switch being activated!
Awesome use of the "Pokey Means Business" music for the Red Switch Palace by the way!