Super Metroid: Ascent
Release date: May 27, 2019
Author: Benox50
Download: Version 1.12 Unheadered (32278 downloads)
Genre: Exploration [?]
Game: SM
Difficulty: Veteran [?]
Average runtime: 6:29
Average collection: 80%
Read Me: [None]
Forum Thread: Ascent forum thread
Rating: Star Star Star Star Star
  • Top Hacks 2019: Best Aesthetics, Most Creative Gameplay, Best Exploration, Best Overall
Unleash the colors !!!

Ascent is a full hack of super metroid.
More super metroid with same gameplay but whole new level design, new visuals and even some new mechanics. It has approximately the same amount of rooms as original game but bigger rooms and the difficulty is harder than original but not too much. The hack gameplay focus on puzzles, exploration and challenges. The focus on puzzles is stronger than most hacks. However there is multiple ways to advance or solve a problem. This is my first real attempt at hacking, there could be some weird moments of me trying stuff :D, but nothing will be out of place assets or ideas. Metroid for me is a huge alien underground isolated maze and this is what it will be about.

The main idea of this hack is like multiple small hacks put into one with a connected progression and world. So its more levels based. (multiple zones)
With map portions closing behind you at the end of the zone.
You will see where it ends on the map ingame.
Start at the abyss of the planet and ascend your way up to the surface.
Read the "README.txt" for more important info if you need !

Will you be able to defeat the black parasites and reach the extraction point ? find out in ascent
Screenshot Screenshot Screenshot Screenshot Screenshot Screenshot Screenshot Screenshot
Ratings and Reviews
By MetroidNerd#9001 on May 28, 2019 (Star Star Star Star Star )
77% in 6:00
This is one of the, if not the best hack I have ever played. For one, every room looks amazing. No part of the hack was hard to look at, and some rooms boast simply beautiful tiling and effects. Though the locking of previous areas may seem offputting, each area is so big that going back won't even cross your mind. Luckily, each area has its own completion percentage, so you can know if you completed an area before moving on. The custom music used in this hack also works very well in the areas it is used, only serving to deepen immersion into the hack. The changes to the upgrades are also refreshing and well implemented, but I won't give away too much. Overall, this is a hack that everybody should play, and everyone should be able to take something out of this hack to use in their own hacks.
By Digital_Mantra on May 28, 2019 (Star Star Star Star Star )
No completion stats.
If you could only recommend 3 hacks to a new player, this would be one of them.
Showcasing the best use of FX1 to date, Ascent pushes the boundaries of how aesthetically versatile this game truly is. It's colorful, it's beautiful, it's psychedelic.. and it's fun. It's really fun.
Every time I replayed it I was inadvertently taking different routes, progressing with a different item order. I can't fault the hack for closing off zones either, because you have an item % counter per each zone. It's always your decision to 100% it before a point of no return. When you play this it's important to just stop and take it all in, there's some details in the level design and parallax scrolling that will blow your mind if you're familiar with hacking Super Metroid.
5/5 Orbs, S-Tier. Well done Benox50.
By Syphon on May 28, 2019 (Star Star Star Star Star )
98% in 6:30
Ascent is a masterpiece and the best Metroid hack I have ever played. I enjoyed it so much that I wanted to go for 100% straight away but missed one or two items in the last area that I couldn't find even after searching for a while. Maybe next time.

Anyway, level design, aesthetic, challenging but not too difficult puzzles, exploration. It does all of those right. I also loved all the new features/mechanics that were implemented.

Do yourself a favor and play this hack. It's a blast.
By MetroidMst on May 28, 2019 (Star Star Star Star Star )
83% in 4:34
This is the currently my favorite hack. It's large, full of colors and wacky stuff, and the gameplay is just about perfect. For those like me, who like exploration based hacks and exploration based challenge, this will make you very happy.

There are a couple of minor drawbacks, though one is personal preference and another is due to the story telling in the gameplay. The story element I found somewhat annoying is enemies can be a bit of a damage sponge sometimes, though I also rarely used Missiles to be fair. The second is there are a lot of reserve tanks.

There are also a couple of unique gimmicks the hack does well. They are best left to be discovered by the player, but it changes the way you approach the hack and makes it, like Benox states, multiple hacks in one. It's done really well and makes for some nice organic breaks between exploration segments. It also helps the player not get super lost, despite being a massive hack.

Overall though, this is a definite recommend. It sets the bar for visuals, and credit to Benox for sticking with the tried and true formulas, instead going way out in some instances and making a work of art.
By Sapphron on May 28, 2019 (Star Star Star Star Star )
100% in 6:50
Low% is accounted for in this hack, which earns it a big thumbs-up in my book.
The room names are very unique
Door unlock system and warp stations for each zone
Good item progression
Lots of puzzles that make you think

Play this.
By Hubert0987 on May 28, 2019 (Star Star Star Star Star )
67% in 4:05
By Jefe962 on May 29, 2019 (Star Star Star Star Star )
63% in 4:42
Spoilers ahead!

I like this hack a lot. It's definitely a good hack. Benox has made the rooms to a very high standard, and the puzzles really get the player thinking. The idea of 3 separate areas is a unique experience. The effects in some of the rooms had me completely immersed.

However, I felt often frustrated by the layout of the some of the areas. I felt as if the hack was slightly too open in general (that might be a personal nitpick). I must've been round the second area at least 5 times in total to find what I needed. I wasn't sure what the intended route was either, because I felt like I was breaking the sequence to obtain particular items.
Some enemies in the final area made me quite upset, especially the shield bangs (and the final boss was a little weird, but I can understand).

These issues aren't enough to put me off the hack, however. I ended up finding every item and this eased some of my troubles (eventually).

Give this hack a try, and you'll probably enjoy it!
By Metroid3D on Jun 01, 2019 (Star Star Star Star Star )
67% in 6:44
Wow! Wow! Wow! Hands down one of the best SM hacks I've ever played.

The segmentation into three zones is wonderful and ensures you're never too far away from your current objective. There's no "Do I need to use this new item back in the first area in the one corner of the map I missed" and the items/rooms have a really neat flow to them. The warp rooms are cool for getting around quickly but aren't super necessary. Not being able to go back for items is a bit of a bummer, but I never felt under-powered despite not going out of my way for a high %.

Room names are really charming! They've been done before in hacks but combined with the level design makes this hack feel a little bit like SM meets VVVVVV at times.

The new mechanics were super cool and a good way to mix up gameplay, while not feeling too out there. Room design was great as well, good use of effects and foreground/background tiles. There's lots of great little opportunities to get certain items earlier than intended.

Most importantly, despite this being a really long hack it DOES NOT FEEL IT'S LENGTH.

Probably the best hack currently released as of now. Go play it.
By albert v. on Jun 01, 2019 (Star Star Star Star Star )
68% in 9:40
This Hack is a good example of how New hacks should be, i really enjoyed exploring around and finding so many new areas, really good choice on music and graphics, specially for the underwater zone, this areas really impresseds me as no other hack, that background music and deep blue tiling makes it be the best of all areas, i gotta said it's the best underwater area I've seen on Super metroid hack, the palettes were really good, also many custom enemies makes the areas so interesting as for many New mechanics.

Congratulations benox!
By mccad on Jun 03, 2019 (Star Star Star Star Star )
No completion stats.
I wrote a long detailed review but my internet killed it :(

Seriously though, easily the best hack I've ever played. Download it right now.
By OhCwap on Jun 09, 2019 (Star Star Star Star Star )
100% in 4:44
God tier hack!

3/4 of animals saved
By jamablues on Jun 09, 2019 (Star Star Star Star Star )
80% in 6:30
WOW... just wow.... so much amazingness. You win the internet!!! Can't wait to play this again!!!
By Ri2nOneRok on Jun 12, 2019 (Star Star Star Star Star )
95% in 7:00
Large hack and seems discouraging to have to complete it all. But as you play the levels, you feel the sense of vague linearity to the game which keeps me hooked as I continue to play the entire hack, and you dont need to look back. It is well designed might I add. Certain rooms have cryptic puzzles but not impossible. Physics have slightly changed and none are bad or annoying.

Once you obtain speed booster, it is important to master the maneuverability its new moves. Take some time to practice it before moving forward. Some hacks leave you questioning if you have unexpectedly broken sequence of the game.
In SM Ascent, if it feels like you are not in the right level due to near death, it is most likely that you must finish mining for special items. As long as you explore moderately, you will be fine. The enemy armor is more realistic than the OG. I appreciate that missiles are more damaging as they should be as opposed to beams having a higher damage priority in the original game. A pet peeve of mine is why Samus has such an advantage against enemies with her killshots as well metroids being too easy to kill (like what is the point of even creating metroids?). This game corrects that serves justice to the enemies that were once easy to kill. This helps prove Samus is the true galactic warrior.

Aesthetically, each world is well done. The theme for Ascent can be visually enjoyed in certain areas. The gradual ascension towards each realm is very satisfying play-through wise. The soundtrack is well done and I find myself commending the music as I play through the hack. The last level concept is re worked to avoid redundant final bosses in hacks so as you are near the end of the game play, it still keeps the players interest focused. And if you ask me it is brilliant.

The game is addicting, but it is not very easy. I feel you must be able to have a certain higher level of skill set to play this game. (not god level or anything, but enough) Some of the puzzles are not easy and I gave up near the end on the last few. Also there seems to be more than way to obtain an item, or to get through a certain necessary path (more than needed in my opinion, maybe to appeal to different skill levels). I feel like I over explored in some instances, and some item puzzles were pretty darn tricky so be ready. A game like this you can easily tell a lot of attention to detail was a priority. It is amazing how large of a scale it was executed in.
tldr - without a doubt... an playable, visual, and audible masterpiece of hack.
By Nemesis on Jun 19, 2019 (Star Star Star Star Star )
88% in 9:55
Wow this game was fun!!! I highly recommend!

The first zone looks a bit eh. The second one looks better but it's hard to see things at sometimes.

I'm not a fan of the haze on the bottom of the screen that fades up and follows you.

After like 7 bomb bounces you can't bounce anymore and automatically fall :(

Some items are hard to get, but maybe I just didn't know the right trick to get them since I don't know many of the tricks.

The third zone starts off beautiful and then turns into an action packed super mario 3 world 8 boat level! Talk about a ride! I've never been so excited while playing Metroid!

Cool mechanics in the game and some cool ideas. I highly recommend!
By vexbanearamori on Jun 24, 2019 (Star Star Star Star Star )
No completion stats.
Didn't even finish this hack and i can give it 5/5.

it certainly feels like a new metroid game all the same. not a hack. and thats the best thing. Everything looks like metroid as well. and it plays like metroid. albeit a little weirdly...

The reason i didnt complete it is well. SNESx9 crashed when my monitor shut off randomly losing ALL of my progress. as it corrupted the save. and i was a good 75% through it too.

but the hacks so good. ima say fuck it and just play it again...would recommend.
By SnakeLancer on Jun 30, 2019 (Star Star Star Star Star )
60% in 4:40
AWESOME!! Realy well done my dude, I remember when I used to play the demo like 2 years ago, so much has changed! I said that over and over again on my stream, this hack feels soo Metroid Fusion-esque which threw me completely off, I love Fusion! When I saw rooms changing that you were previously in I was instantly thinking of Fusion so nice job in capturing that atmosphere :)))
By Oi27 on Jul 02, 2019 (Star Star Star Star Star )
77% in 5:11
Great hack, great puzzles. Favorite one was limited PB radius, it was pretty clever.
By nodever2 on Jul 07, 2019 (Star Star Star Star Star )
58% in 6:26
This hack is great.
There's not much I can say that hasn't already been said, but what I'll say is that this hack is pretty large without overstaying its welcome. It does exactly what it needs to do; the content that is here is all high quality and well-polished. My favorite thing about this hack is that every single room looks really good and unique; the tiling is very intricate and the backgrounds look great. Benox did so much more with layer 3 than I've ever seen, and his use of flexglows combines with that to build a really fresh world. I also really like the focus on puzzles, which were well-designed and the harder ones weren't required to beat the game but still rewarded you with extra goodies. Awesome!

This was a truly inspiring hack to play. I can't say that enough. Everyone should at least try this. There's so much else to mention that give this hack even more charm, the biggest of which for me is the room names. I thought those were really cool and gave this hack a lot of character. I'll leave the rest for you to discover when you play this.
By ExplorationFanatic on Jul 16, 2019 (Star Star Star Star Star )
73% in 5:27
This was one of my first hacks so I had to spend some time in the vanilla game to get good at some tricks before playing it. There's a handful of places where that helped quite a bit and even allowed for what I guess you could call sequence breaks.

The thing that I enjoyed most about this hack is how open it was from beginning to end with with minimal item progression needed to really go out and check other areas at least partially. Some of the music is definitely questionable but isn't necessarily bad. There's a small handful of tiling errors that prevent certain tricks from being used but the game is overall incredibly well done. The ability to explore and the map design are the two best things about this hack.

This being one of my first hacks from the site has really set the bar for expectations
By Nefertenia on Aug 25, 2019 (Star Star Star Star Star )
No completion stats.
Sir, you just delivered a masterpiece of romhack <3 absolutly my new fav hack.
A hell load of love into small details, beautifull use of eyecandy and more then just a few clever puzzles.
Keep up the good work!
By MykelLinden on Aug 26, 2019 (Star Star Star Star Star )
No completion stats.
Having gotten just over halfway through Zone 3, I am absolutely in love with this ROM hack. I truly believe that it surpasses vanilla Super Metroid in a good deal of ways, from its incredible use of foreground/background imagery to its incredible sense of exploration (plus the fact much of this exploration is optional) to the incredibly complex and extremely well-thought out puzzles that protect many of these optional collectibles. I also love how the rooms are named, many of them offering hints at what to expect in that room. I'm also a huge fan of how the Shinespark was redesigned and integrated into several very complex sequences throughout the game (not to mention the addition of the Shinespark E Damage Reduction collectibles).
Lastly, I also love the antigravity moments with the Morph Ball that allow you to tackle the room you're in from another perspective.

All in all, I would have to say that this ROM hack of Super Metroid is truly one of the pinnacles of achievement in hacking, and I truly hope (as I feel) that this hack becomes one of the primary benchmarks for SM hackers for years to come, for Super Metroid: Ascent is one of those hacks SM hackers should aspire to reach the depth, complexity, and enjoyment of.
By Rossolon on Sep 05, 2019 (Star Star Star Star Star )
No completion stats.
unique hack and im interested in the whole progression mechanic you have going. i ask for your blessing for this to be a foundation for one of my hacks of the story of calvin series i will only use the progression mechanic but the rooms will be all made by me all you have to do is tell me how to change the room names cuz im gonna make the hack im using for take place on a space pirate flagship with ridley as the main boss of the third zone. will you give me your blessing. i wont start on it until you do
By WowFamDesu on Sep 16, 2019 (Star Star Star Star Star )
54% in 5:45
Fantastic level design, progression, puzzles, challenges, world design, and absolutely visually stunning rooms. 10/10 great hack!
By jdlyga on Oct 30, 2019 (Star Star Star Star Star )
63% in 7:00
I just finished this hack, and I made an account just to tell you all how beautiful and amazing it is. It's humongous, very pretty, and there's so much depth.

Samus is at the very bottom of a multi-layered planet split into 3 giant areas. Each area has multiple sub-areas with different music and tilesets. After you explore each subarea and collect powerups, there's a boss at the end. And after, a frenzied escape sequence! After that area is engulfed in a huge blast, you move up into the next area further towards the surface into Area 2. And the process repeats with Area 3 until you finish the game.

There is a lot of custom music in this game, some of which you might've heard before if you've played Super Metroid Arcade or other hacks. The graphics are done amazingly well and as a whole, it feels like a totally new game instead of simply a rearranged Super Metroid.

There's a couple new upgrades in this hack, some of which you might remember from Metroid Prime. The way the upgrades are handed out is pretty interesting. You gain a certain beam upgrade surprisingly early. There's also antigravity mechanics, and a very different "floaty" shinespark that leads to all sorts of different puzzles.

I've played a fair amount of Super Metroid hacks. Some of which I've gotten frustrated with due to getting lost or being unfairly hard. But this game is designed quite fairly, and doesn't hammer you over the head with insane difficulty. This game is definitely harder than Super Metroid. But not dramatically so. You're in good shape if you know how to wall jump reliably, and can pull off a shinespark in restricted space.

But try it, see if you like it. I did.
By hayen on Nov 15, 2019 (Star Star Star Star Star )
83% in 3:39
By Grayfox82 on Jan 05, 2020 (Star Star Star Star Star )
87% in 8:57
Un hack muy disfrutable con todo lo que nos da esta versiĆ³n de SM. Me sorprendiĆ³ poder visitar areas previamente destruidas en zonas inaccesibles al inicio. Rejugable y entretenido. Quiero ir por el 100% ahora!
By alexman25 on Jan 16, 2020 (Star Star Star Star Star )
No completion stats.
Five orbs well deserved.
By kojakt on Mar 18, 2020 (Star Star Star Star Star )
80% in 9:30
Quite possibly the best hack I've played. In every way in which I could grade a hack, whether it be graphics, level design, mechanics, physics, new features, clarity, accessibility, facilitation of players of all different skill levels, and all the other ways you could imagine that I'm not mentioning here, this hack doesn't just succeed, it excels! With so many design choices to be made when creating a hack, it's almost unbelievable that nearly every aspect feels like the absolute best choice was made. It really is that good.

Any criticisms I could make about Ascent would be either personal preference or bias, or of certain elements simply being well above average whereas most elements of the hack set a standard of being exceptional. (Basically like someone giving you a Rolls Royce and you complaining about the interior trim color.)

I give Ascent the best compliment I could ever give a hack, which is that playing it for the first time reminded me of playing Super Metroid for the first time all those years ago. That same feeling of not wanting to stop, even for 5 minutes, intrigued by the wonder of what was coming next. If it were to somehow be exposed to a vast audience of typical everyday gamers, I believe it would be a hit game. I truly believe this hack sets a new standard and will spur future innovations to greater heights.

PLAY THIS HACK, PLAIN AND SIMPLE. Even if you've never played Super Metroid before. You'll be happy you did.

By RT-55J on Apr 16, 2020 (Star Star Star Star Star )
81% in 6:30
Very engrossing.
By Freyhia on Apr 24, 2020 (Star Star Star Star Star )
88% in 7:50
A summum in exploration! All zones are directly very opened, And the graphics will make you feels like you never go twice in the same room. Also this is good this hack created a new boss, innovation is good.
But the massive escape disappointed me a bit.
By croissant bug on Apr 24, 2020 (Star Star Star Star Star )
No completion stats.
By DARK_DOOM on Apr 26, 2020 (Star Star Star Star Star )
96% in 11:42
This is as good as the original but with bigger rooms, bigger challenges and a lot of new and cool ideas. I spent quite a few time looking for the next item and exploring the wild environement with a feeling that I am totally lost :-)
Thanks a lot for this hack !!
By Zhs2 on May 13, 2020 (Star Star Star Star Star )
86% in 5:08
I'm gonna be that guy and not rate this hack 5 stars. Why? Sit down for a minute and I'll tell you why points of no return are a stressful gimmick holding back an otherwise fantastic hack.

Area 1 was fine, I know what I missed and it was just a little bit annoying that I couldn't go back and get it because lava had risen in the first room and now those missiles aren't collectable without just a wee bit of searing pain to the E-tanks. This was just the starting point for the frustration, however.

In Area 2 I found myself having mapped out the entire thing, no rooms missing on a Danidub map, yet no motivation to search every corner just to fulfill a meter that said 86.7% because I could not remember a single tank I had either missed or needed to come back to with more equipment and neither did a loop back around reveal a single thing. This was the point where I put the hack down and said, nope, I'm not even going to try to put up with that for Area 3, which is probably even larger and has even less obvious items to collect in the weirdest spots.

Normally, if I had the freedom to explore as I pleased, I don't think I would have felt that pressure. It not only dampens reasons to explore and find all the items, but beats reason over the head with a "LOL YOU BETTER DO WELL IN THE PREVIOUS AREA OR YOU'LL NOT BE HIGHLY-EQUIPPED FOR THE NEXT..." If I was assured that at some point I could go back and rectify mistakes this hack wouldn't be such a bummer to me. Nice room memes tho! Three stars for putting more than an ounce of effort into an otherwise tedious game.

Edit: Finally up and beat this hack from start to finish. The speedbooster is fun if you gather enough e reducers to make it fun. The boss rush at the end is also fun and silly. Still not changing my opinion on points of no return, though.
By obcd on Jul 06, 2020 (Star Star Star Star Star )
No completion stats.
definitely a masterpiece , and the music is awesome
By Kremit44 on Jul 31, 2020 (Star Star Star Star Star )
95% in 6:04
This hack is outstanding save for one issue. The massive size of each zone makes getting 100% in each zone too tedious IMO. I think the ability to return to each area would have been very welcome, as to make backtracking and secret hunting a little more fun and carefree, as opposed to searching all over for the one/two items missing before proceeding. After exploring subsequent areas I believe going back to previous ones, now enhanced, would not have felt so time consuming and possibly even refreshing. However it's an interesting and unique concept and given the vast amount of more traditional experiences I find it hard to be overly critical given just how exceptional this game is in every way. I loved the shinespark mechanic, the puzzles/challenges, graphics, music, and the overall presentation. Thanks to the creator and all who helped bring such a wonderful game to life, I certainly appreciated it.
By DramaticMarquinh0svi on Oct 04, 2020 (Star Star Star Star Star )
100% in 4:15
Old review(4th October 2020):

Amazing hack,3 escapes,a custom boss,some improvements,but so tedious,and has way too many hard tricks,and getting to area 3 and never coming back sucks,i wanted to go back to get all the items i missed,but i can't.4/5

New review(21th february 2021):

It is a amazing hack,it has 3 escapes,it improves a lot of stuff,it consists on 3 areas that are fun to explore,getting the items,power ups,and exploring every where,even tho 100% is easier because many paths are shown on the map,some hidden items are so hard to find,and most of the hard items are on area 3,the bosses have a "health bar" that shows how much health they have left,at the end,there is 3 bosses to fight barely any pause,and the last is a custom boss,thats very cool,the escape sequences are not hard,i think area 2 is the hardest,because you have to go to dangerous areas to get the "Varia suit" of the hack,this rom hack is the best rom hack i played,and it truly deserves a 5/5.
By BlackMage on Nov 17, 2020 (Star Star Star Star Star )
100% in 7:21
Nothing much to say that hasn't been said before, except: I love Boost Ball, what an amazing Item. Instantly accelerates you, can be cancelled out of while allowing you to keep your speed, gives you absurd underwater mobility AND allows you to clip through the floor. What more can you want out of an item?

To clip with Boost Ball: Activate it, immediately re-press dash, then quickly tap up to unmorph and while still sliding, tap, but don't hold, the direction you're facing. You'll stand up and immediately clip into the floor. On flat surfaces, you'll only be pushed one tile down. Doing it on slopes can push you 3+ tiles down, softlocking you. I don't think this trick has many practical applications, but it's fun to mess around with!
By Insomnia Speed on Nov 27, 2020 (Star Star Star Star Star )
98% in 10:31
9.5/10 hack

very interesting hack

love those puzzles

animals saved

highly recommend
By thedopefish on Dec 23, 2020 (Star Star Star Star Star )
71% in 4:51
[Watch Video]  
Cool hack. A pretty original concept, with some fun new mechanics. Custom music, custom items, custom blocks, custom graphics. A few elaborate (but optional) puzzles. Lots of GIANT rooms, but you can move through them quickly thanks to boostball and the super-buffed speed booster.

I feel like I did a ton of stuff in an unintended manner. Possibly related, I spent a whole lot of time in areas 1 and 2 exploring everywhere except where the major progression items were hidden. And then I reached area 3, and pretty much unintentionally made a beeline straight down the critical path, to the end. Escape timer is extremely generous--I had over 3 minutes left when I finished.

I did get stuck in walls/floors and softlocked a couple of times, but I played on v1.0 and I believe those spots were fixed in later patches.
By brized on Jan 29, 2021 (Star Star Star Star Star )
No completion stats.
Not a fan of requiring repeat bomb jumping in a few parts, but otherwise no complaints.
The readme has a lot of good info; check it out before you play.
Lots of new mechanics that are either intuitive, explained in the manual, or taught through level design.

Overall one of the all-time best SM romhacks.
By Kandier on Feb 03, 2021 (Star Star Star Star Star )
71% in 0:00
Difficult but correct!, I only didn't like that you can't go back to previous zones, rooms with water, some room elements that hide your view & parts with Grappling Beam... but, definitely is one of the best hacks, the mechanic with the Shrinespark is entertaining & funny!, & finally... I could see Spazer & Plasma Beam together!, that's was great!, thank you Benox50, this hack is highly recommended!
By DeviousB on Mar 05, 2021 (Star Star Star Star Star )
No completion stats.
By shaktool7 on Apr 17, 2021 (Star Star Star Star Star )
74% in 6:52
Nothing to criticise much in this, It's ambitious but not over the top at most times.
By therealsusan on May 06, 2021 (Star Star Star Star Star )
70% in 6:00
My second playthrough a couple months later I did it in 4.5h with 65%

The first time I spent waaayyyy too much time figuring out that puzzle where the rippers break the blocks (you know the one)

The damage/heal zones are pretty cool (the main reason I'm giving 5* instead of 4*)... But I found in my second playthrough I was MORE hesitant to go into the heated rooms in favor of searching around more and getting more prepared...

Anyway, it's definitely a top notch hack.
By WompaStompa on May 11, 2021 (Star Star Star Star Star )
99% in 9:10
Played version 1.12, would recommend at least trying.

Most of the puzzles were fun.
Graphics and music were neat.
I enjoyed new Shinespark.
Seeing boss health was nifty.

Some areas were really laggy, especially Croc.
Boss rush was OK.
Final boss. This would go in CONS, but I get that actually programming something new is not trivial at all, so I'm not gonna be a huge jerk about it.

Being permanently locked out of 100% items because no backtracking zones is really annoying, especially when you didn't learn about the per zone item completion tracker until the second zone.
Enemies felt like damage sponges, especially after breaking some of the gates, until I collected all beams and damage increase items.
Hidden items, but there's no X-Ray (or at least I didn't find it) and you don't get PBs until the final zone.
Screw Attack is unsatisfying to use.
Too much Grapple beam.
Finite Bomb jumps.
No VAR beam.
By Pixel_Tiger on May 24, 2021 (Star Star Star Star Star )
No completion stats.
Very nice and exploration friendly hack with good graphics and nice music. Recommended!!!
By LetsPlayNintendoITA on May 27, 2021 (Star Star Star Star Star )
100% in 6:45
[Watch Video]  
One of the best hacks I've seen. So full of fun stuff, many new ideas, every map feels fresh and has many stuff that even a player new to speedrun-y stuff can do.
My fav area? Zone 2.
But every room, from the smallest to the largest, is never dull.
Puzzles? lots of them and all clever.
When you get to the solution for them your head click on it and it's never frustrating.
One of the coolest thing? I was going through a room in zone 3 and... didn't even realize that I learned how to Quick Charge... I saw the bumps on the floor and said "is there some puzzle that involves this?". I tried running on the corridor using the dash button in time with them and boom. Learned it. And now can't go back to normal ever even on vanilla hacks.
The coolest thing about Speedbooster? The unique ability to... MOVE in it. It slowed it down, sure, but the ability to move while using it, and the puzzle involving it were amazing.
And I loved all the various ways to solve a puzzle or to traverse an area by unlocking new abilities or items, or not having them, you always could find a way to move around regardless.
One of the best games I played.
By MrOrangePony on Aug 10, 2021 (Star Star Star Star Star )
87% in 7:52
[Watch Video]  
This is the best rom hack I actually ever played, unfortunately I havent played too many rom hacks but.... wow! This is seriously an experience any one can pick up on if you are kinda a new player... the only sucky part is not being able to back after the zone, BUT it WAS in the read me file, so that is sort of my fault haha! I dont want to spoil anything but seriously.... check this hack out, it is definitely worth your while and very unique....
By Contendo on Aug 19, 2021 (Star Star Star Star Star )
68% in 7:23
I hate to think that I rated this 4 orbs once
By ocesse on Aug 20, 2021 (Star Star Star Star Star )
100% in 7:20
Coming from Return of Justin, Ascent is like a rainbow in a picnic.

I like that each room is unique and colorful, with its names that sometimes is an ingenious way to give you clues and I also like that the puzzles have different ways of being solved, even if you think enough you can do sequence break, although of course, because the game is divided into 3 areas, what you can advance is only limited to the same area.
Although I do not like the black fog in some rooms that covers the bottom of the screen, it is not a factor that demerit in the least the excellent work that the creator of this game has done.
In short, a fairly large game with good puzzles that make you think to find the solution, new game techniques, quite colorful and use of FX, it has been a fascinating experience and different from any other hack I have played.
I recommend that you also play it and enjoy it !!
By Kriken Empire on Oct 07, 2021 (Star Star Star Star Star )
No completion stats.
This hack is worth all the praise it's received. It's not perfect, the flaws levied against it are warranted. There can be anxiety about missing items permanently, navigation can be a pain if you don't find the critical items quickly, and while it's definitely not the hardest Metroid hack (even under the "veteran" tag), I think it generally requires prior knowledge of several tricks like shinespark and walljump at least. Definitely missing a beam or other weapon permanently can influence how hard the game is.

When I say this is one of the top Super Metroid hacks I don't mean it's like Super Metroid, but it's because Ascent actually feels more like its own Metroidvania-type game separate from Metroid itself. It's more like Axiom Verge or something. It's tone is also different, giving off a lot more levity but with rare moments of being extremely dark.

If you want to get into playing Metroid hacks, I recommend this one because it's a strong showcase of what you can expect from hacks but at their best and most ambitious.
By KaptenR on Oct 21, 2021 (Star Star Star Star Star )
90% in 6:30
[Watch Video]  
This was an amazing hack!
Top Level design!
Some new interesting mechanics, refreshing.
Colorful and clear environments!
Just the perfect challenging, not too easy, but not crazy hard either.
Some nice puzzles too.
Everything I love about Super Metroid this hack got!

I give it 5/5. Definitely play this one!
By SpookerK on Nov 07, 2021 (Star Star Star Star Star )
84% in 6:04
By awesomeark11811 on Jul 21, 2022 (Star Star Star Star Star )
No completion stats.
By Exister on Oct 22, 2022 (Star Star Star Star Star )
No completion stats.
This is without a doubt one of the best hacks of all time, with it coming close behind VITALITY as number 2. It has tight and engaging level design with clever gorgeous visuals, vast and expansive areas that have well thought out progression, and best of all is the sheer variety in gameplay between rooms due to clever usage of vanilla and asm mechanics. If you haven't already played it, play it asap.
By vsf3000 on Nov 15, 2022 (Star Star Star Star Star )
% in 4:13
just incredible. probably the greatest hack of all time (to date), as it set so many high standards.

most of what i see people calling "flaws" about it, id say are more a matter of personal preference than actual flaws. its probably the least flawed hack ive played, and showcases a whole new world of SM hacking that can be attained (subversion being a perfect example of that). it makes me excited about the potential of future hacks, as well as what benox50 may do in the future, since this was his first real hack.

a must play.
By RX-78-2 on Nov 18, 2022 (Star Star Star Star Star )
100% in 2:51
like everyone else had stated, this hack is AMAZING in every possible way . there's not really anything bad that can be said about this hack.. it's one of the best hacks on MetConst and one of my personal favorites next to Darkholme Hospital and Ancient Chozo.. what I really like about the hack is how there's a slowdown feature when running or using the speed booster, the puzzles weren't too hard or too difficult, and I love howaestheticc is is visually, like some rooms are bright and some areas are dark and some are not too bright or too dark. and then there's the level design and progression which is another reason why this is a good to play if you're looking for hacks to play. the difficulty isn't too high or too low so anyone should be able to play this, I also love the inclusion of weapon/e-spark tanks, the healing/damaging mists, and even the boss fights are easy, or challenging, depending on your play style, especially crocomire since the fight is made much easier due to hyper beam blocks being available to use. I also love how the bosses and mini bosses have a HP timer thing that helps you out if you ever wonder how much HP the boss or mini boss has left.. only problem I have is that going for 100% is tedious due to the fact that once you leave each zone, there's no way to go back if you missed any items or upgrades.. but other than that, this is a GREAT hack. 10/10 would recommend
By Zincoshine on Dec 28, 2022 (Star Star Star Star Star )
87% in 7:03
This is the highest rated hack on metroidconstruction for a reason. It's almost a totally different game that is nearly twice the length of the original and better than most metroidvanias on steam. However, this is also categorized as a veteran campaign for a reason. While it is technically possible to complete the hack without using advanced techniques (or glitches as I used to call them), you will need those techniques to make your life easier, particularly with getting the spazer which is found in zone two but hidden very well. You're advised to play this hack when you've played nearly all the other hacks you've taken an interest in playing so that you'll have the skill necessary to complete it.
By Thirteen1355 on Feb 16, 2023 (Star Star Star Star Star )
72% in 7:59
The concept of this hack is simple, yet quite different from what you'd expect from Metroid: Make your way upwards through three Zones, eventually reaching the surface of the planet. Once you enter the next Zone, the one you just left is no longer accessible. This adds a sense of linearity to this world that's unseen in most Metroid experiences.

This concept is executed well for the most part. Firstly, the Zones themselves are very open and feel large, yet it's easy to navigate your way through them when you're still passing through for the first time. Secondly, even though a Zone is permanently locked off once you're done with it, this is indicated well enough for a player to know when they can no longer return. Item percentage is shown per Zone, so players can stick around with an area until they've reached the percentage they wish to reach.

Rooms are very, very colorful. Visually, this can look beautiful or just average. Thematically, this often feels all over the place. That's a criticism I have with the rooms in general. There's no sense of in-universe purpose to them. This makes it feel like you're playing a Mario game at times. There's random arrows all over the place. Sometimes there is a bunch of lines that's completely out of place with the rest of the visual design of the rooms. The room names don't help either. They're often references to some inside joke, rather than fleshing out the meaning of rooms within the world of Metroid. Sometimes they provide hints. These can be useful for solving the puzzles within the corresponding rooms. This is handy, but not very engaging on an immersive level.

And that's another thing. Many rooms in this hack feature puzzles. A cool thing about these is that puzzles often make use of all new gameplay mechanics. Sometimes, the puzzles are well-executed. At other times, it's either really hard to tell what you need to do, or the execution involves actions that average players are not playing a Metroid game for. As implied before, the puzzles do not correspond to in-universe context or reason. Random blocks are plastered all over, to make the puzzles work. This works for gameplay, but not for immersion. There's little visual consistency accompanying the rooms or their puzzles. Again, this makes it feel very "game-y," more like a Mario than a Metroid game.

Finally, balancing feels very out of whack. Sometimes, a boss dies in three hits. Other times, it takes you 20 minutes to beat one. The level of your strength depends on certain pickups. The power and spread of these pickups are somehow not as well-balanced as in, say, Subversion. Finally, your mileage can vary completely based on which abilities you picked up and which ones you missed. Problem is, you don't always know whether you permanently got locked out of getting an ability you like.

Small issues that add to the frustration are things like not having an idea of what to do in a room, and dying because you simply ran out of time to figure it out, or a puzzle being in the way of quickly getting through a room when you want to get somewhere. To be fair, when I reached the end of this hack, I wanted it to end. It tried my patience and despite the obvious effort that went into making puzzles varied, clever, and unique, it just wasn't enough to make up for the lack of cohesion and the idea of exploring a thought-out world. It makes me wonder if this hack should be in the "exploration" category in the first place, but that's not for me to judge.

I also encountered a crash when transitioning between rooms in Zone 3. Luckily, I had saved shortly beforehand, but it doesn't leave a great impression.
By H A M on Feb 16, 2023 (Star Star Star Star Star )
No completion stats.
One of the four hacks at the time of writing this review (one made by me) that has Barf Kraid.
By Viktor_Kadic on Feb 22, 2023 (Star Star Star Star Star )
78% in 9:00
Really nice hack, the world layout and level design is amazing, some of the puzzles are genius and some were too complex for my tiny brain. The shinespark mechanics are super fun, the UI looks great, the bosses are easy which is a win in my book as i prefer the exploration in these hacks. The few things bringing this one down is how frustrating a lot of the rooms are, and how you cant really go back once you progress past an area. it would have been cool to have more than one section where you return to somewhere you couldnt reach before in an earlier area. Recommended if you're good at SM and know some basic advanced tech (tight walljumps, bomb jumping).
By Sickwood on Mar 07, 2023 (Star Star Star Star Star )
No completion stats.
I'm glad I'm just now giving Ascent it's due after having time to reflect on its greatness and consider it against some other recent big releases. Ascent to me is still the best hack ever made. It's uniqueness alone is still unmatched. Zone 1 is a nice intro and lays the foundation to how the hack flows and by far the easiest zone for exploration and being able to 100%. Right from the start you notice custom enemies that permeate the whole hack and immediately think of the insane effort that went into this masterpiece. Zone 2 ramps up the complexity and puzzles, and introduces some massive rooms with lots going on in them, and the health recovery/danger patches were employed and placed brilliantly. The tiles and color textures in Zone 2 combined with the visual affects in some of the toxic rooms is just mind blowing and like nothing I've seen before in any SNES game. Zone 2 is also where the new ASM mechanics really start to impress. I typically don't prefer PB based games, but Ascent does a great job of not making the PB mechanics invasive and that combined with boost ball and the speed changes, to me is the best use of PB yet. I never get bored bouncing around Zone 2 taking in jaw dropping visuals. Zone 3 picks right back up on the visual presentation and the Maridia-esque area never looked better. It was nice that boost ball ignores water physics and makes for some very entertaining movement and shortcuts in that area before suit upgrade. Zone 3 also introduces the first theme dichotomy in the hack with lush vibrant water rooms below and Hell's kitchen above that makes Hyper Metroid's lower norfair look like Disney Land. Deep dark rooms with deadly everything is the signature of upper Zone 3 along with a crescendo in puzzle implementation. I always dread this area, not because of the difficulty, but because it signifies the end is near. The final sequence is just insane with custom everything and just a great departure from the usual Tourian experience. I bet Ascent will still be at the top of the search list on the main site 5 years from now, and for good reason. Let's hope Benox drops another hack one day.
By MarioFanGamer on Apr 27, 2023 (Star Star Star Star Star )
No completion stats.
I haven't played that many Super Metroid hacks but this is definitively my favourite one, having only few real flaws.

The level design itself is open, much more than any Metroid game, really. This is achieved not just the obvious way with wall jumps where you'd otherwise need High or Space Jump but also alternative paths like some kind of gimmick room (and there are many cool rooms thereof) and obviously separate abilities (they also aren't as blatant as the secret paths in Zero Mission, for example). But the separation into zones also limits the choices the player can make which prevents one from getting overwhelmed playing this, not to mention the hack also nudges you to go into a certain direction sometimes if you need an important item (it also makes second playthroughs more interesting such as what I did or the 100% run).
A side effect is that this hack limits the Metroidvania aspect, though, given the limitation of backtracking here (outside of one technical instance which is where the hack got the most Metroidvania here). Most notably, the ammo weapons are associated with a each Zone so no green gates in Lush Green, for example.
In addition, this whole hack puts a twist to the Metroid series since normally, you go from top to bottom, not bottom to top as implied by the name (Metroid Dread doesn't because it's younger than this hack). Fittingly, you start from one of the lowest (albeit, as a room noted, not THE lowest) points in the game.

Being a Project Base hack, you can see that it plays a bit different to the vanilla game, though the physics are still fairly close the original, not to mention there are various QoL features like respin and keeping momentum when landing. Similarily, some abilities were changed from vanilla Super Metroid. The beams, for example, are fairly different in many aspects while also staying largely the same (the only exception is Charge, that one is unchanged). The biggest difference, however, is Speed Booster or rather, its Shinespark which is slower but also controllable (note that you can't move directly downwards with it, though) which results in unique Shinespark puzzles.
In addition, there are separate collectibles for weapon damage and Shinespark drain which further expands the Super Metroid experience with new stuff as well as new features like heal and hurt blocks and even a new ability (even if that one has been in use in many other hacks but alas, a lot of this hack use 3rd party resources, really).

As typical for many Super Metroid hacks, the planet is kind of like Zebes but also not really. The results finding the same enemies on both planets (though there are unique wall crawler sprites) including most the bosses (though it's interesting how some Super Metroid bosses are implemented here), being visited by the Chozo as evident with their statues you can find (and likewise you can find all powerups there as well) as well as the obligatory animals.
This is true of the individual zones as well like how Zone 1 incoorperates aspects of Crateria, Norfair, Green Brinstar and Ceres, though it also includes crystal caves which isn't a native Zebes biome and not all aspects (e.g. Norfair exists in both Zone 1 and Zone 2) and the tilesets themselves also aren't used like in Zebes. In addition, there also are unique tilesets like how Zone 2 features Ogrundel, an area which has no Zebes equivalent whatsoever. Likewise, certain Super Metroid biomes don't really exist in this hack either or are very downplayed in their characteristics.

Even aesthetically, this is a fairly awesome looking hacks. It makes heavy use of HDMA gradients which were used a couple times in the vanilla game (e.g. Ceres, Bomb Torizo) but not to an extend as with this hack (there also are fairly unique ideas like the alarm in the final escape sequence). In addition, there also is a lot of tileset mixing, even tilesets of separate regions (e.g. Red Brinstar with Norfair foreground) unlike, say, Redesign which mostly uses tilesets mixing in the sense of using two subtilesets (e.g. Green Brinstar and Pink Brinstar) in the same room but keeping the rest separate, not to mention the well chosen palette choice. There also are custom (i.e. not found in the vanilla game) tilesets like the aforementioned Ogrundel region as well Hyper Metroid's Tourian tileset, the latter of which is quite a fitting choice.
Special mention goes to the backgrounds in this hack, being part of the layer 2 data and not just a simple static (i.e. repeating) background which results in many details but most notably, some separate rooms are interlaced like how the shaft between the two Toxic Lab halves is seen in the background of Big Purp (at least I think it is Big Purp).
Musically, this is using Metaquirius's music pack, more specifically the remixes with different samples/instrumentation as known from Y-Faster as well as kottpower ports (which are well used here, actually) and they're quite a good choice here as well (in particular, the Zone 3 music fits much better here than what kottpower has intended them to be). There is only one music choice which is a bit questionable, though said one is from neither group.
As an aside, I feel like the Varia Suit (replacing the Power Suit here) should have been given its famous shoulders from the get go instead of this hacks Varia Suit.

You can also see aspects of Fusion with the parasites whom you're fighting against, the way the rooms change pretty dramatically and quickly (both by parasites but also external factors) and the gates (both the locked doors and key gates).
Many infected enemies are just palette swaps of existing enemies but with different stats, though other enemies turn into stronger versions like Rippers become Jet Rippers when infected. Some enemies only exist infected, though, but they're mostly found in Zone 3 (incidentally, it's the most infected region in the game). The gimmick here is that they change colours, turning black with a shade of either red, green, yellow, blue, silver or none which incidentally matches up with the colourisation of weapons and their weakness (e.g. red enemies are weak to Missiles) which is an interesting choice and also encourages the player to swap between each weapon (though admittingly, some Grapple AIs could have been changed to render certain enemies invulnerable to it).
I personally feel like they have the biggest impact in Zones 1 and 3 since they're introduced very sudden in Zone 1 (and also prepares you for them) whereas Zone 3 has got the You Know What I Mean. Zone 2 has neither, though it makes it by having a fairly unique region (both in this hack as well as altogether) showing of the effects of something else.

One thing what's pretty interesting is how many secrets are openly marked on the map. Basically, this hack makes secret rooms pretty obvious in the sense that the map shows there is more to a room than one might think only few ones requires trial and error like in the official games, mostly located in Zone 3 where you have access to the Power Bombs with block revealing capabilities like in the GBA games onwards (a side effect is that X-Ray doesn't exist in this hack). It makes sense, as mentioned above, you can't backtrack in this hack once you clear a zone.

My favourite aspect of this hack are the various optional puzzles for item pickups. After Super Metroid, many item pickups are locked behind some puzzle, though while they tend to be Shinespark puzzles in the mainline, Ascent's puzzles feel more like they're part of the Metroid Prime series (which have the best puzzles in the series, for that matter, hence my love of these puzzles).

Lastly, I feel like the finale is a bit of a letdown if only because of fast everything there and how unserious it is when compared to the rest of the hack (with exception of the VVVVVV-esque room names) is fairly serious and wouldn't be out of place of an official Metroid game and likewise also feels very anti-climatic with exception of the escape which is one of the major criticisms I have with this hack.
By neen on Jul 02, 2023 (Star Star Star Star Star )
79% in 6:39
very gorgeously colorful rooms. big fan of the pink and purple. good puzzles, good new mechanics. kinda got stuck near the end because i didn't realize where the unlock for the last gate was, but that's mostly my fault (linked gates could probably be labelled like the linked doors). also this hack has a great sense of humor which is fun

[78.9%, site rounds]
By sbelmont85 on Oct 02, 2023 (Star Star Star Star Star )
72% in 8:23
This is so far the the best graphics improvements and atmosphere I've seen. It's on par with VITALITY's atmosphere, but adds a lot of new graphics, backgrounds, new alien feel to the different areas. More difficult than original super metroid, but not punishing. I had to learn mochball consistently for a couple of places and consistent on my GG glitch but not too difficult, the new shine spark techniques took a bit to learn also. All of the new concepts were amazing like toxin areas. New game play was really cool with the area progression. If not the most one of the most 100% completely polished hacks all around. No area felt like it was put together as a last minuet or burnt out effort such as super zero mission chozo ruins.
By Onnyks on Oct 06, 2023 (Star Star Star Star Star )
84% in 6:06
Ascent was an impressively good time. Three things really stood out from other hack experiences.

First the design of the whole game was a fresh take on Metroid, kind of like 3 independent open-world adventures played back-to-back, almost episodic. The areas were very large but not obnoxiously so, with interesting room ideas absolutely everywhere. There were obviously some gates in the way, we are playing Metroid after all, but so many of them in this hack felt suggestive rather than mandatory. Often times you'll find yourself behind a blockade you noticed earlier and wonder how else this might have all played out, what other routes there were. I can think of very few other hacks with this much freedom that don't simply make you feel lost.

Second there is the art, which was enormously detailed and creative in a less conventional way. My best description of most rooms would be high-fidelity chaos, an exotic array of tiles blended in a way that doesn't offend the senses. Such a style could easily have become confusing, but the palettes were doing such heavy lifting in keeping things cohesive that it read very well. The whole feeling of the planet was incredibly alien and imaginative, a vibrant playground, reality be damned.

Last and most impressive to me were the huge number of creative puzzles to be solved. Almost no items were simple pixel-hunts, this hack takes the abilities you get and makes you use them in so many unique ways to earn rewards that if puzzle-hack was a category I would put it there over exploration. Speed booster felt like it got the most attention, and given the changes to it that's very reasonable, but BTS manipulation, enemy mechanics, room names, you name it and there's something in the hack to test your knowledge.
By NateTheGameK on Nov 19, 2023 (Star Star Star Star Star )
54% in 5:00
Really great hack. Aesthetics are impeccable, the level design is great (encouraging collecting weapon upgrades with the strong enemies is another cool addition imo), and aside from some rooms being laggy (such as croc and final boss, which by the way great job coding that dude), the overall experience is really great. Shinespark mechanics were confusing for me, but don't take long to learn.

10/10, play this.
By Kirarin on Dec 30, 2023 (Star Star Star Star Star )
78% in 4:17
Impressive art throughout the hack, physics and pacing were smooth, great to control Samus in this hack. First zone is perfect, had a lot of fun with it. Anywhere I could go there was an upgrade. The zone was well connected. In general, puzzles of the hack deserve praise, too.

I didn't enjoy most of the color scheme, especially starting Zone 2. Sometimes it felt like a fever dream, others I thought the hack lacked a bit of identity, being a mesh up of different rooms and ideas. The coloring got my head scratching for minutes in zone 2, where I thought doors were all locked by Power Bombs but were just locked by regular missiles.

Most of those are just stylist choices and nitpicks, so I won't bash the hack for this. However, playing it it got less fun and I thought it dropped a bit in quality starting Zone 2. Getting upgrades was more required, but the world didn't felt as rewarding as the previous zone. Most puzzles there won't stick with you for long after you best the game.

The level design being open was awesome for the first zone, but for the second zone onwards didn't felt as rewarding to explore. Also, the hack had quite emphasis on shinesparking, but getting SB upgrades was a bit tedious and the puzzles, for the most part, weren't as interesting. I had more fun and thought that hacks like Super Zero Mission, Super Duper and to an lesser extend, Hyper and Cliffhanger Redux did the speed booster gimmick better.

This is a very good romhack, but I still think navigation and hoarding upgrades starting the second and third zone weren't as fun. I applaud the dedication to craft the hack, still. Recommended.
By ironrusty on Mar 01, 2024 (Star Star Star Star Star )
No completion stats.
One of the greats! The art, ambience, route, and special tech make Ascent a unique and memorable experience.
By VirtueAvatar on Jun 15, 2024 (Star Star Star Star Star )
76% in 7:12
3.5 orbs. I'm kind of surprised this hack gets as much praise as it does given its notable flaws. While it wasn't bad, towards the end of the hack I kept having this feeling like I just wanted it to be over.

I think part of that was due to one very big flaw - I never found Space Jump until after I finished the game and watched a video of someone else playing it, only to find it was in a spot that I thought I'd find a missile pack or something, so I didn't bother going over to collect it. But it's a major item. Yes I finished the game without it, but the final escape was not trivial, and the final boss was so gruelling (despite quite an epic opening for it) that I really did not want to have to kill it again.

There was a lot of non-linearity throughout the hack, but as I never needed to go back to a previous zone, it felt like it made the zone I was traversing through - after never having been through it before - just more convoluted to get through. Weirdly I preferred going back through to older familiar zones to find new areas rather than just room after room I didn't recognise. It felt less like metroidvania and more like a generic platformer.

A very pretty platformer with cool room names, but even when I found a major item, it was a bit of a stress fest to think of the one spot I saw forever ago where I could use it. The new items were okay but also kind of invisible.

I did like the use of the new shinespark, but there was at least one puzzle (in zone 3, which requires a morphed shinespark into a new room's ceiling) where it was made very tricky to use at a moment's notice. Lots of areas where I was scratching my head and wasn't super satisfied when I solved it - it just felt like it was frustrating. Many many many speed boosts I had to perform were done with a quick charge (the easy speedrunning trick), and I felt like there often wasn't enough room for a standard speed boost.

Getting out of the wave beam room was kind of interesting, but I was stuck in there for a while and its solution was a bit blink-and-you'll-miss-it. This kind of feeling kept up for many puzzles in the hack.

In the water areas were difficult to tell between foreground walls and background, and this never got any easier. There's patches of areas with floating lava/heal gas or something just all around the place which I never liked at all.

This kind of level design felt like amateur hour, which is surprising because most of the rest of the world really was built pretty well. There were flaws with the romhack but it was still very playable, and I think a later version could have fixed every single one of its problems - many of which would just have to be a reduction in difficulty.

And making major items not quite such a distantly optional pickup.
By h4O9hRveaf on Jun 17, 2024 (Star Star Star Star Star )
No completion stats.

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