Zexis's Ratings and Reviews
Hyper Metroid by RealRed [SM Exploration], rated by Zexis on Aug 05, 2017 (Star Star Star Star Star )
85% in 10:37
Hyper Metroid is an amazing hack and any fan of Super Metroid owes it to themselves to play it.

Built on Project Base, PB's changes are well welcome and make for a much more enjoyable, fluid, and faster experience. The only thing I struggled with, for some reason, was getting a shinespark charge, which I've never had difficulty with in any other 2D Metroid. Wall Jumps, Space Jump, and actual Shinesparking all feel much better, in addition to other things.

Onto Hyper Metroid itself: it's a wonderful revisit of Zebes. The palette swaps make for a visually refreshing experience, and each area has been redesigned and redone. The Wrecked Ship and Maridia in particular look much better, although I still hate Maridia.

The exploration is top notch. Most if not all upgrades I found felt very fair. Some of the original Super secrets felt ridiculous to find, but Hyper has hints all over the place if you pay attention to the tiles and your surroundings. XRay visor became more of a luxury than a necessity. I did get lost a few times though, and I think that's partly my fault for trying to sequence break so much.

The ammo system is smart and I hope Nintendo uses it in future games. Managing one pool of ammo and weighing the benefits of power:cost is much more fun and simple compared to missile, super missile, and power bomb munitions.

The gate system is an interesting goal and highly reminiscent of Metroid 2 IMO.

The sequence breaking you've come to know and love is still present, very much so. This hack helped me learn some new tricks, as a relative newcomer to skilled Metroid, letting me do things like grab Super Missiles early. I was saddened by the game becoming more linear in the latter half, but that was mostly a necessity as I coming to lack needed upgrades that weren't possible to sequence break.

All of the original Super Metroid bosses are present, but slightly tweaked and overall more difficult. I was able to reach Golden Torizo pretty early - even though I know I didn't need to fight him yet, I did anyways for the challenge and was very satisfied when I finally beat him by "gittin gud" instead of coming back later with a ton of energy and missile spamming.

The escape sequence was super intense and I can't believe I did it on my first try.

The difficulty does indeed feel well balanced, although I would rate this as overall slightly more difficult than vanilla Super - but not by too much. If I didn't have screw attack for Draygon, I don't know what I would have done ;)

Overall this was a wonderful experience and I wish more hacks were like it, and built on Project Base as well. Outside of a few small complaints, I give this hack a grade of 'A'.
So Little Garden by MetroidMst [SM Exploration], rated by Zexis on Aug 31, 2017 (Star Star Star Star Star )
62% in 1:35
Unique and frustrating.

GOOD:
- custom music. I don't think any of it is from Metroid, it's pretty funny. Dire Dire Docks is beautiful as always
- custom tileset for a strange mish-mash of metal and forest
- the area and item names are fun and sometimes straight up memes
- final boss gimmick is a strong nod to Prime 3
- lots of secrets, many I'm sure I missed
- new mechanics, like the rocket ball's climb and frozen enemies breaking blocks is really cool
- custom HUD is neat
- so much Shaktool

BAD:
- map bug. Make a save state after you use a save station and reload that when you die if you don't want to "cheat" - playing normally will break your map
- Dire Dire Docks wears on you after awhile, as does the tileset
- Spaghetti-O spam to the point of lagging the game gets REAL OLD REAL FAST
- too much grapple for how slow it is
- a lot of vertical level design with wall jump removed makes the map slow and at times frustrating to navigate
- some of the bosses are just too tanky and too spammy, missiles go from powerful tool to fart cannon

Conclusion: SLG has a lot of unique and fun features that make it worth playing, but expect some heavy frustration the further you go.
Deep Freeze by Cpt.Glitch [MZM Quick Play], rated by Zexis on Aug 26, 2017 (Star Star Star Star Star )
100% in 80:10
A short and sweet icy romp built on Zero Mission. As Captain Glitch's big debut and under contest time restrictions, it would probably be tightened up today with a kinder schedule. You've little to lose by opening up Deep Freeze, so go try it out.

Plus SHAKTOOL
Temporus by Grime [SM Unknown], rated by Zexis on Aug 17, 2017 (Star Star Star Star Star )
30% in 1:36
This hack is WEIRD. Don't expect items to be in obvious places because they often are very much not. The map isn't very big, but demands great patience to find the necessary items to progress. Sometimes you have to push forward when you think you shouldn't. The morph ball is insane while the beam and missiles are flimsy in comparison. Some original enemy designs.

I really think the creator could have been a little more fair, but this hack is at least worth booting up, even if you eventually rage quit.
Oxide by Cyclamen32 [SM Exploration], rated by Zexis on Aug 09, 2017 (Star Star Star Star Star )
No completion stats.
I did not enjoy Oxide. From these reviews, I was expecting a fun, goofy hack to spend the evening. Instead I got repetitive rooms, too many gray doors requiring enemy clearing, strange design decisions and overall a lack of fun. I quit during the escape sequence when I found a gray door at the end of a large room where I learned I had to backtrack and kill several enemies, already low on time. It was the last straw.

There is some charm and 'silliness' to be had, like the exorbitant missiles, but it's not enough to make up for the rest of the hack's shortcomings, and I wouldn't really recommend this to others.