MetroidNerd@9001's Ratings and Reviews
Project Base 0.7.3 by begrimed [SM Improvement], rated by MetroidNerd@9001 on Jan 15, 2018 (Star Star Star Star Star )
101% in 1:54
I don't think that there is anything I can say that hasn't already been said. This hack is amazing, and has paved the way for even more amazing hacks like Hyper Metroid. It's so speedrunnable. I just don't get why the maximum completion % is 101.
Hyper Metroid by RealRed [SM Exploration], rated by MetroidNerd@9001 on Jan 02, 2018 (Star Star Star Star Star )
84% in 5:22
I started this hack and simply could not put it down until 1:00 AM. The whole hack was so nonlinear, It gave me so much to do. This is the first hack I have ever played that I haven't felt like I'm simply trudging through whatever perils the creator wants you to go through. The hack has as much polish as the original Super Metroid, and it looks amazing. I liked the shared ammo system. Finding Power Bombs was a bit of a hassle, but I ceiling climbed to get Super Missiles on my first try. I wish there was a sequence break like that for Power Bombs too.
There were only a few times near the end where I found myself looking at a guide of some sort to find things, and even then, it was just Draygon and Plasma Beam. The difficulty seemed to flow very well, and I was rewarded many times for exploring difficult areas. (Mostly by an extremely tough Kraid, but I got Space Jump from it.) The physics changes felt good, and everything flowed really well. I loved the addition of respin, running in Morph Ball, chain Shinesparking, and continuous momentum whilst running. (I've never played Project Base by the way.)
Either way, this is by far the best hack I've ever played. If you like Super Metroid, play this hack.
Super Metroid Arcade : Endless mode by Lioran, Tewtal [SM Quick Play], rated by MetroidNerd@9001 on Dec 12, 2017 (Star Star Star Star Star )
No completion stats.
I hate Scisers and Puyos. I love everything else about this hack, but I hate Scisers and Puyos.
Super Metroid: Z-Factor by Metaquarius [SM Exploration], rated by MetroidNerd@9001 on Mar 16, 2018 (Star Star Star Star Star )
72% in 8:05
This hack kind of hits a middle ground for me. The level design here is spot on and the rooms look amazing; however, the way you navigate this hack is so convoluted that it takes so long to figure out where to go. The beginning is rather interesting, but the excitement of this hack slowly wanes into tedium to no end. My biggest gripe with this hack is the persistence of the one-way passages. The map is so restrictive in where you can go and when, and most of the major upgrades are behind hard to find paths that take a while to find.

This hack also feels very linear. One item leads to another, and the only sequence breaks I know of involve gate glitches or the Super Secret Room, the latter of which I did. I had heard of the tedium of the Wrecked Ship, so I decided to so the SSR. Using a map and savestates it wasn't too bad, but I can only imagine trying to do it blind with neither of those two things. This brings me to my main complaint: Zaridia. This area is so convoluted and restrictive that a map is almost required to get to Draygon.

In general, the level design of some of these rooms later in the hack feels downright mean. Maybe it's my fault because I decided to go through Lower Norfair before getting Space Jump, (Which is only one hex-edit away from being possible) and I had a bad time. After beating Ridley, I went through the maze that is Zaridia, then backtracked all the way around the world to get to the back of the Wrecked Ship. This would have been more tolerable if there were more ways to navigate through the world in faster ways as you progress.

Despite all those gripes, Tourian was amazing. Everything Meta did with the FX to create this final area is perfect. The escape is pretty brutal though; you HAVE to know where to go or else you will die. There are also a few mean rooms in the escape, (If you've beaten this hack, you know what I mean) but it's pretty fun once you get it down.

Don't get me wrong, I want to like this hack, but there are so many annoying things about playing this hack that I found myself frustrated going through so many places. If you think you're up to the challenge, by all means, play this hack. Don't say I didn't warn you.

Original Score: 3 Chozo Orbs

Edit after my second playthrough:

This hack was much more enjoyable on a second playthrough, and I can more so see why so many people like it. The beginning and Tourian are still great, and I like the custom graphics, but I still found the middle part of the hack becoming dull after a while. Some rooms still feel a bit annoying in design, while paths feel arbitrarily linear. There are lots of circles to loop, and most of them end up with one-way passages that don't stay open after you've used them, causing you to have to make the same loop again later. There are also still a few tiling errors that should be fixed, but I think for the most part it's fine.

Ending Stats on second playthrough:
Time: 7:22
Items: 89%
Ancient Chozo by Albert V. [SM Vanilla+], rated by MetroidNerd@9001 on Feb 03, 2018 (Star Star Star Star Star )
83% in 2:31
So... I have a lot of mixed feelings about this hack.

First off, this is a half hack done right. I am so happy that people like this hack, and it gives me hope that my hack will be well-received too. This hack sets the precedent that there can be good half hacks.

Second off, The graphics are great. It is very appealing to the eye and the use of project base physics flow very well with it. This whole hack looks amazing. I love the Chozo statues all over the place; it really nails down the theme of the hack. Some of the room designs are great.

Third off, I liked hearing the lower Maridia theme in a different key, and with different instruments, but the changes to the upper Maridia theme seemed very minor. Either way, I like the touches made to it, and Maridia overall looks beautiful.

Now for the less good things.

This hack feels forcibly linear. Despite recent versions of the hack removing some doors to open up the world a bit more, I still felt like I was being pushed onto a set path at points, especially in Lower Norfair and Maridia. Lots of locked doors, and power bomb doors blocking your way for a very long time until you get access to them. Upper Maridia especially felt like it was pushing me in circles over and over again with all the locked doors and Chozo orbs.

Why are there spikes everywhere? The spikes may blend into the scenery, but they are everywhere. I'll just be space jumping around and I'll just randomly slam my face and/or my foot into spikes and have to spin jump recover to get going again. They also pollute a few floors, making even the project base speed booster useless against them.

There are also several difficulty spikes in this hack. Mostly the Ancient Chozo boss and the Gold Torizo. The how of defeating the Ancient Chozo is very ambiguous; I found myself spamming shots into its eye for ten minutes, only to realize that it's not what I am supposed to do, and the enemy respawns anyway. Plus, the eye deals far too much damage.

Finally, the escape. I like the idea of having X-Ray in the escape, but don't make it completely missable. I don't know if I was the only one, but I forgot that X-Ray was in the escape, during the escape, and as such, I ran straight past it, and the door locked behind me. I was now trapped in the escape room, without X-Ray, with rising acid, and without saving right before Mother Brain due to the locked door that would prevent me from going back to get more things. This escape really likes plunging you into acid. You know that there is too much acid when I made it out of the escape with 3 energy and 9 seconds remaining.

I'm sorry that I keep writing essays for these reviews. I just feel the need to express my thoughts on the hack. This was a great hacked, but those few points bogged it down a bit. I still recommend it and therefore give it a 4/5. This was written in Version 1.0.9, so some things may be changed in later versions, but I'm not sure. If I play it again in a later version, I will rewrite this review.
SMContest by SMILEuser96 [SM Quick Play], rated by MetroidNerd@9001 on Nov 11, 2017 (Star Star Star Star Star )
11% in 30:38
This was quite a neat hack. One of my favorite touches was that the first room of the game explodes when you leave it and is demolished if you re-enter it. The concept was fun with the Remote Bombs. I think they have the potential to be in a larger hack. My main gripe was the fact that the unused enemies would kill you in one hit if you had not collected the well-hidden energy tank. The boss was fun too, but it was still somewhat hard to figure out what you were supposed to do. The puzzle before it was neat, and the end was a surprise. (But I won't spoil it for newcomers)
Super Metroid: Redesign by Drewseph [SM Exploration], rated by MetroidNerd@9001 on Nov 19, 2017 (Star Star Star Star Star )
78% in 11:07
I'm going to go aside from my rant from earlier. This hack... I don't fully know how to describe it. The physics changes catch you off guard, and they make platforming very awkward. The hack itself is well built, many rooms are fun to go through, but often times the physics ruin the experience. That isn't the only gripe I have though. This hack is overly linear, and progression is incredibly slow. Some rooms catch you completely off guard with either enemies or the environment. This will lead to many deaths, often times far from the last save point.
By the way, 95% of save points are not marked on the map, making them sometimes hard to find and/or remember the location of. The only save station that is marked on the map is the last save station in the game.
Wall jumping is incredibly clunky and it seems inconsistent which platforms will and won't let you wall jump, and sometimes it seems very arbitrary. There are many places where, if you fall, you have to go in another circle to get back to where you were, but if you could wall jump, it would save lots of time. It seems this hack doesn't like you going fast at all. Power bombs do not destroy shot blocks, forcing you to take more time to slowly bomb your way through them.
Many paths are also very punishing when you fail. Often times with a lava or acid pit that you cannot escape, leading to even more death. This is specially compounded by the lack of save stations, which are incredibly sparce.
Another problem lies with the puzzles required to get items. These puzzles are punishing and cruel in many ways. Crumble blocks force you to do them again, and the rewards are very small, often in the form of 2 missiles. Many rooms also annoyingly require the wall jump, but it's physics are so hard to work with that falling is almost guaranteed. Morph lock is awful and is used in the stupidest of ways.
Tourian actually wasn't too bad, once I figured out the Drewtroids. I actually had fun with it. My main problem was the escape. You know an escape has overstayed its welcome when the screen flashing starts to hurt your eyes. The kill rooms with rising lava and acid were also annoying, as well as the unnecessary addition of Metroids.
I should probably stop ranting and conclude that this hack is well built in most places, but if it had vanilla physics, it would actually be pretty good. By the way, come in armed with a full map, and save states.
Super Metroid: Even Less Ambitious by dewhi100 [SM Quick Play], rated by MetroidNerd@9001 on Nov 11, 2017 (Star Star Star Star Star )
100% in 0:18
I liked the concept of this hack very much, but the way everything was hidden was frustrating. (I know that's the point, but you catch my drift) The fact that you have to trek back to the ship if you miss a shot with a temple key get's annoying quite quickly. I frequently found myself completely lost, resorting to turning off layer 2 to figure out what I was supposed to do. I did however like the boss only being weak to the temple keys, and the convenient save right before it. (Just don't die during the escape.) Again, I liked the concept, but the execution could have been better.