Cosmic's Ratings and Reviews
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Junkoid by P. Yoshi, Mindflower [M1 Exploration], rated by Cosmic on May 19, 2024 (Star Star Star Star Star )
% in 1:52
Any%: 01:52:00

Obtained all majors, 499 HP, 105 Balls, Unknown %

This hack blew me away. The difficulty is tame, the jank is mitigated, the graphics are immaculate and the soundtrack is sublime. I barely used the map at all, that did result in me getting lost a little bit... But when being lost means seeing cool sights, and hearing cool tunes, it's easy to excuse. The puzzles and secrets were perfect, they feel so natural and are easy to spot with a keen eye and pattern recognition.

I got slightly stressed out with how long it took to get a certain major item... While spending most of my playthru being teased with spots everywhere I could use it, once I finally did get it. But I actually kinda liked this.

Labyrinth and Heart were really gross and made me uncomfortable, Definitely my favorite areas in the hack.

This is my favorite song in the OST: https://youtu.be/vaOr1qqePL8?list=PLxTaaUuIOm_c3qdT3kHRwe31hevNPgzVq

P. Yoshi, Mindflower, you really outdid yourselves. Phenomenal work.

Finished.
Recommended.

P.S.: I share ZeroSuitSammy's sentiment about the final fight- annoying, but not annoying enough to hurt the hack for me
Metroid: Return to Zebes by alexman25 [MZM Exploration], rated by Cosmic on Sep 27, 2023 (Star Star Star Star Star )
95% in 4:49
Hands down the best Zero Mission hack of all time. Alexman's attention to detail is only maybe matched by jasinchen's. The physics are insane. The level design is mostly good (though I don't like how linear the factory feels). Room states are used HEAVILY. My only regret is my stubbornness to wait until hacks have "finished" in order to play them. Every single major revision to RTZ could honestly be considered a different hack entirely. This hack made me feel like a kid playing Zero Mission for the first time again in a way that no other hack has.

I played 2.5.3 and at this point alex accidentally left a tweak in to keep the zero suit segment. The result of this was something that felt pretty disturbing. I gobbled it up faster than a burger and fries. Absolutely loved it. Everything about this hack is just so goddamn perfect. Most of what's been achieved here has been without any ASM at ALL. This hack is the result of years upon years of refining one's craft. If you want a poster child for zero mission hacks, this is it. Just remember that this isn't a remake of super. If you really want to be in that kinda sorta mindset, it's like "super metroid but in an alternate universe so it's not the same."

Finished.

Recommended.
Metroid: Desolation by jasinchen [MZM Exploration], rated by Cosmic on Mar 20, 2023 (Star Star Star Star Star )
89% in 6:39
[Watch Video]  
089% in 06:39:53
100% in 08:53:07

100% is all major items, 9 E tanks, 150 missiles, 40 supers, 30 power bombs.

IMO, this is Top Hack 2023. It looks amazing, sounds amazing, plays amazing, and has a lot of unexpected twists and turns.




+ The world is huge, possibly on par with if not even bigger than Spooky 2. But just being bigger doesn't always mean better -- to that I say there are no rooms that feel particularly empty or pointless. Every room has a purpose.

+ The scenery is lush and makes the world feel alive. Backgrounds pulsate, plants sway, critters flap and swim about, liquids falls into pools and sand pours into piles. Airborne enemies stay above water. I can't stress enough how pretty this is.

+ In terms of sound, it has wonderful music, which you might recognize from other games.

+ Desolation manages to combine gameplay aspects of SM, ZM, Fusion, AM2R, even some popular hacks like Redesign Axeil Edition and Super Zero Mission!

+ I really don't want to spoil much about the unexpected twists and turns... But let's just say there are a lot of them and it made me feel like a kid again playing Metroid for the first time. I had no idea what was going to happen next, but I knew I was up to the challenge.

+ The puzzles in this hack are the best I've seen so far in a ZM Hack. They're not bullsh!t, they just require more brainpower than carpeting everything in missiles and bombs. Sometimes they span multiple rooms, or they are partially obscured by the HUD. Despite this, if you have a careful eye, they always have "gives" to let you know something is there. It's amazing stuff.




I've said a lot of praise, let's talk about some faults.




~ There are a few spots that feel like you can't reach them yet, but you can and it's actually on intended path. This hack was carefully crafted to not require walljumping or IBJ to complete; if you feel you need these, you don't. You're exactly where you need to be. Press onward!

- There is a rough patch in progression where after you get power bombs you're stuck for a while. The intended path forward is probably going to be made more obvious in updates though.

- There are also some really tight spark puzzles but they're like super zero mission where those are only needed for 100%.

- Occasionally some points of no return make themselves known, forcing you to take really long paths to go back around, or map tiles that "describe" a room as a hallway, but once you enter said hallway it's only traversible in one direction.




That's about it though really, and even these nails are being hammered out as we speak.




I've beat the hack, but I'm not done yet. There's still more to do!
HIGHLY Recommended.
Metroid: Odyssey of Aran Demo by Caldw3ll [MZM Incomplete], rated by Cosmic on Jan 19, 2023 (Star Star Star Star Star )
49% in 1:40
[Watch Video]  
Max % for this hack seems to be 49%. If you need help, check my attached imgur gallery.

Despite being incomplete, this hack is a sleeper hit.

The first thing that caught my attention in this hack is the opening cinematic's modified music and custom text. This was really nice to see and something we've yet to see done in other hacks. Most either skip this cinematic or don't touch it.

Compared to other hacks this one also makes an attempt at a story and it's something I enjoy. From the opening cinematic to the intro text to samus' journal when she collects major items, you get the sneaking suspicion that this is more than just a training exercise, playing detective to figure out what happened and what is going on.

The level design was really interesting and combined with speedkeep made for some tricky but fun puzzles. A bunch of the rooms have or at least borrow from vanilla room layouts, which similar to lost chozo can give you some interesting deja vu moments. Seeing the raised platforms over lava thinking you're about to get hi-jump but it expands into a much bigger cavern, that sort of thing. I quite like this actually.

Speaking of speedkeep, in general, there are a lot of really neat-o custom code tricks up its sleeve, like all forms of weaponry revealing destructible blocks, ability toggling, and tractor beam (though this is the ye olde one that isnt very fast). Believe me, some features may seem pointless at first but you're guaranteed to use them at least once. Just remember that they exist!! Most especially, remember that with keep speed, you can keep charging up speedbooster if you change directions by spinjumping.

As others have stated you do not get the morph ball for a very, VERY long time. But you really don't need it until later.

The hack calls itself a demo and one of the items tells you the demo is over, but by that point there is still much to discover and collect, and you can infact beat it.

There is some level design jank but it is nothing too particularly offensive. There are some bad or nonexistent scrolls here and there that reveal parts of rooms you aren't supposed to see, some missing sections of rock or breaks in the everpresent maroon outline.

This hack used the patch that nerfs plasma beam but it carries the side effect of breaking some bosses like Charge worm and [REDACTED], so that can also feel a little jank.

Overall though, like I said, there's nothing here that makes this hack particularly frustrating or a no-go. I enjoyed it quite a lot, and if you have enough patience to hold out on Morph Ball, I think you will too.

Sorry I didn't get to this hack sooner, Caldw3ll. You did a great job! Can't wait to see what you do next!

Finished.
Recommended.
Edit the opening cinematic more, ZM hackers!! :v
Metroid: Lost Chozo by jasinchen [MZM Exploration], rated by Cosmic on Jul 30, 2022 (Star Star Star Star Star )
88% in 6:27
[Watch Video]  
This hack has *constantly* subverted my expectations. The start is a bit rough, it's fairly easy to get lost because of how sprawling it is, but persistence is key, and the hack gains more traction with each major upgrade you find. Progression is spaced out but also quite open ended which builds up anticipation for what you will find next. Puzzles will push both the game's mechanics and your own skill to the test. You start with the Zero Suit, something that few if any other hacks do, and it's actually really fun!! The hack is chalk full of custom music which, along with the level design, does an excellent job establishing the atmosphere of each area while also making exploration feel pretty laid back. There's even a bit of environmental storytelling here and there. Bosses you may know pretty well have been recontextualized to be more engaging.

I have a couple suggestions/minor nitpicks that could in my opinion make this hack even better:
- Save and map stations could use the theme of the area they are in, rather than their own. This makes them feel like they actually belong to that area specifically and it adds to the immersion since the music isn't being interrupted.

Finished.
Recommended.
Spooky Mission 2: The Nightmare Before Christmas by Spooky Team [MZM Exploration], rated by Cosmic on Nov 03, 2021 (Star Star Star Star Star )
93% in 6:06
Spooky 2 is one of the best ZM hacks to date. Spooky team went all-out here, not a single punch was pulled.

I didn't like 1.0 very much but patch 1.2a has fixed a lot of the issues that I had with the game previously, and I also noticed things that I didn't before.

!!SPOILERS AHEAD!!

+ It's chalk full of custom music!

+ New bosses and enemies!

+ The puzzles can be pretty genious at times, testing the player's knowledge of Zero Mission mechanics!

+ From minimal tiling errors to speak of, to use of an animated tileset in Boneyard, to a dedicated warp zone, a lot of care was taken in building the world of Spooky 2.

+ This hack taught me about some really cool engine tricks, like BG0 shenanigans with Chozodian save stations and room transitions, and stop enemy block weirdness. Very cool!



Additionally, with the patches, many of the issues I had have been fixed:

+ Enemy placement has improved

+ Tiling has been much improved

+ Serris is less annoying

+ Music isn't switching as much anymore

+ Setpieces like the flame gate in express are more obvious now

+ The flames are much more obvious, using the animated map icons from vanilla

+ Late game shortcuts are put in more obvious locations (like the screw blocks near the first warp zone in Pumpkin have been moved so they aren't covered by HUD)

+ A secret ballspark puzzle in boneyard was made more obvious and easy to perform

+ Enemies like Arachnus were made vulnerable to screw and speed, making for some fun shinesparking at the end



There's still a few nitpicks I have with the hack but they are design choices of Spooky Team more than anything else. Namely:

- I wish this hack had mid-air ballsparking. (without the hi-jump check) This would allow players to obtain items from ballspark puzzles without the need for spring ball, while still being a challenge.

- I feel there are too many dead-ends in this hack. This often made exploration feel slow and clumsy. I'd open the map, plan a route where I want to go, and then have to re-route as I realized there are dead ends. Areas where I struggled with this in particular include the Spider Nest and Glacier. IMO, these ought to at least be bypassable with screw or power bombs.

- With how huge this hack is, the 3x3 minimap no longer seems to cut it. Without frequent use of the world map, I'm often losing my way, even when I pre-plan where to go. Maybe one day we will get a 5x3 minimap?

- The placement of missile and super missile door caps felt often arbitrary. Some areas would have them before abilities, where others kind of just had them to...have...them...?



Finished.
Recommended.
Metroid II EJRTQ Colorization 1.3 by Quantam [M2 Improvement], rated by Cosmic on Jul 19, 2021 (Star Star Star Star Star )
91% in 2:45
This hack got me to fall in love with Metroid 2.
There may still not be a map, but colors make it easier to notice landmarks so it's not nearly as difficult to navigate SR388.
This hack is even compatible with real hardware (GBC and onward I think)

Finished.
Recommended.
V I T A L I T Y by Digital_Mantra [SM Exploration], rated by Cosmic on Nov 25, 2020 (Star Star Star Star Star )
90% in 8:35
Take what I say with a grain of salt because this is the only DMan hack that I have completed, and I usually don't play Super Metroid hacks.

Despite using mostly vanilla assets, Digital Mantra has forged a world that is incredibly detailed, immersive, and unique. Samus is not on Zebes this time, she is on Auriga. There are an incredibly limited number of hacks that don't feel like you're still just on Zebes. I won't go into detail here, but actions that the player takes tend to have an effect on the environment which makes Auriga feel alive. Auriga is vast, equal to if not bigger than Zebes. Because of this, it is also quite a long hack compared to others. Of course, there is also plenty of sequence breaking you can do. I do have some minor gripes with the level design however. There are many such occasions where you will find something that you believe is in the foreground (i.e. a solid object) but actually lies in the background, or vice versa. This can hurt or even end up killing you. That may be intentional however. Also there is at least one area that has a lot of rooms layering over each other, which ends up being incredibly confusing and hard to navigate. Tchornobog is the biggest offender of this, I'm sure you will discover why when you play through.

The difficulty of this hack is slightly harder than Super Metroid, but only by so much. Not a single advanced technique is required to complete this hack. (i.e. short-charging, IBJ) You really don't even need to walljump anywhere. What makes it harder than vanilla is the scarcity of resources. There are energy and ammo recharge stations, but expansions tend to be few and far between. This problem comes to a head when you fight Ridley, but fortunately there is an escape shortcut if you feel you aren't equipped to defeat him just yet. To me, this was the hardest part of the hack, as I absolutely had enough gear to take him on, but I continued to absolutely melt when fighting him. Why? Because of screw attack and respin. Screw attack resets your invulnerability frames (i-frames) and respin lets you start spinjumping at any time in the air. I would get combo'd by running into his tail, trying to space jump away, and run into his tail again. This gave me an opportunity to learn how to properly fight SM Ridley, instead of just spamming my weapons and tanking hits.

There's a story here too, and oh my god it really is something else...So be sure not to skip map stations! Fret not however, these stations are intentionally designed not to give much away. You will not spoil your expedition through Auriga by collecting these map stations. In fact, the way the map works is also fairly different from vanilla. Dots now only indicate major items... Expansions are truly hidden. Despite having no indication on the map, it's not all that hard to tell that something might be a secret item. Knowing where it is tends to just be half the battle, however. Even if you have the powerup to get it, you may need to do some snooping around to find a path to it. I'm a big fan of this because it builds anticipation and makes you use your head a little more than just "break block and grab item."

Back to that story though... Not a whole lot is said. Most of it is still given through subtext. Some things are so subtle, you may miss them unless you take a break and come back later! The ending was totally unexpected and it's something that will stick with you even after you complete the hack.

Overall, despite its minor grievances, this is still definitely the best hack to date. This will be my new #1 recommendation for people looking to try Metroid romhacks. I've got to wonder though... Will this be DMan's final or best work? Or might something else be around the corner?
METROID: CROCOMIRE's LAST STAND by Roebloz [MZM Exploration], rated by Cosmic on Sep 27, 2023 (Star Star Star Star Star )
94% in 4:22
Phenomenal hack. This will go down in history as one of the first hacks to feature custom samus graphics. It's like an amalgamation of super, fusion and zm distilled into one game and in a good way. Only gripes I have are fairly minor. some stucks. Some graphical problems like Samus and her weapons not being lined up with these new sprites. There's no fantastical setpieces, but the level design is 99.99999% competent and it just feels fun to play. I wouldn't consider croco's last stand a masterpiece, but it's definitely an instant classic in my opinion. Just don't go to the aqua area through the power bomb entrance and you'll be okay.

Finished.

Recommended.
Super Metroid - Revamp by The Brothers Crafters [MZM Exploration], rated by Cosmic on Jul 29, 2022 (Star Star Star Star Star )
87% in 2:17
[Watch Video]  
Compared to the original SM GBA edition I liked this a lot more. A lot of the smaller issues are fixed like making noob bridge a little challenge again, and the custom music is excellent as well. Vertical doors are OUT, replaced with horizontal doors and some changes in routing. The world is more interconnected than vanilla SM with a couple extra connections and the main route is also a little different in that you get ice beam before you fight spospo.

There's still a couple minor nitpicks like a broken crocomire or the music not always looping but for the most part it's a much more polished version of SM GBA.

All in all a great hack, if you're looking to experience what SM would be like with GBAtroid engine, or you just want to play a good MZM hack, this is the hack for you!

Finished.
Recommended.
Metroid - Rogue Dawn by Grimlock, Optomon, snarfblam [M1 Exploration], rated by Cosmic on May 27, 2022 (Star Star Star Star Star )
63% in 3:53
[Watch Video]  
As someone who doesn't like NEStroid normally, I really enjoyed this hack. I will admit I have picked up and set down this hack multiple times because the first 2 areas' similar appearance turned me off, getting myself lost and thinking every area was going to look the same. Fortunately I kept going and from there things really picked up! The custom music and graphics were beautiful, and the new abilities, enemies, puzzles and mechanics left me in awe! It still suffers from NESisms like poor performance but you can take care of that by using an emulator that can disable the sprite limit and overclock the PPU. The map is also fairly difficult to read but it's better to have one than none at all so I can't complain much. That may have even been intentional. The difficulty is higher than that of NEStroid, but with modern touches the playing field is more even.

Finished.
Recommended.
Ice Metal Uninstall by Crys [SM Exploration], rated by Cosmic on May 03, 2022 (Star Star Star Star Star )
No completion stats.
Came for the quirky ship and HUD graphics, stayed for the gameplay. I believe that early on it's pretty easy to get lost/stuck. However, as you shoot and bomb all the things you will eventually find where to go next, and from there it only picks up steam. I admit it's been a hot minute since I've played this hack, maybe it's time to play again.

Finished.
Recommended.
Metroid: Extraction by Conner, Exister, Raygun [MZM Quick Play], rated by Cosmic on Mar 06, 2022 (Star Star Star Star Star )
100% in 0:47
A fun bite-size hack that serves as an eye-opener for custom code not yet seen in other hacks.

Finished.
Recommended!
Zero Fall (Alpha) by Passarbye [MZM Incomplete], rated by Cosmic on May 30, 2024 (Star Star Star Star Star )
9% in 0:05
It has THE VIBES.

+ Pretty
+ Nice use of effects

- Incomplete.
- Samus moving slower but having her regular animation speed is a little ugly (but we didn't know how to change that back then)

if you want more of THE VIBES i recommend making these tweaks:

run animation
0x8248300 : 02 -> 02
0x8248310 : 02 -> 03
0x8248320 : 02 -> 02
0x8248330 : 02 -> 03
0x8248340 : 02 -> 02
0x8248350 : 02 -> 03
0x8248360 : 02 -> 02
0x8248370 : 02 -> 03
0x8248380 : 02 -> 02
0x8248390 : 02 -> 03
(basically, change every other row to 3)

spin animation
0x824FE64 : 02 -> 02
0x824FE74 : 01 -> 02
0x824FE84 : 02 -> 02
0x824FE94 : 01 -> 02
0x824FEA4 : 02 -> 02
0x824FEB4 : 01 -> 02
0x824FEC4 : 02 -> 02
0x824FED4 : 01 -> 02
(basically, set them all to 0x2)

Finished.
Recommended.
Metroid SR387 by OneOf99 and NathanTech [MZM Exploration], rated by Cosmic on May 29, 2024 (Star Star Star Star Star )
76% in 1:19
[Watch Video]  
+ Looks good
+ Serious setting
+ Unique boss fights
+ Fun Metroid Prime references
+ Charge Tractor beam and starting with items is appreciated
+ Numerous rooms made memorable by setpieces or unique design
+ Restricted Lab's music is corrupted and it sounds really cool

- Tiling errors
- Enemies are kinda spongey
- The route to Kraid is kind of tedious
- Music in the first area is a bit grating
- Exploration is a little boring (Understandably so, since this was a contest hack made very early on in the authors' hacking careers)

This hack shows its age, but it wouldn't take much more to make it a certified classic.

Finished.
Recommended.
Combat Improvement Hack by Amso71 [MZM Improvement], rated by Cosmic on Mar 12, 2023 (Star Star Star Star Star )
39% in 1:09
[Watch Video]  
[v1.1]

's 'aight.

To preface this, I took intended route (kraid first) and ended the game with all majors, 6 e tanks and 95 missiles. I skipped super missiles and power bombs for spice.

To put it simply, it doesn't feel like a whole lot was changed.

+ Boss HP is increased which made Kraid, Ridley, and Mecha more fun. Mua's buffed HP made him overstay his welcome a bit, though that may possibly be my fault due to running out of ammo and underutilising charge beam.
+ Halving super missile damage is an unexpected but good idea for balance considering how fast they shoot.
+ R shot is always good.
~ Charge beam damage is also increased but with all enemies dying in less than 3 hits anyway it didn't feel very impactful outside of the Mecha fight where I ran out of missiles.
~ I really liked the addition of raygun's flare asm without the Fusion beams, though it feels far weaker compared to Fusion's due to dealing less damage and missing the satisfying impact effects fusion has.
- Upping power bomb damage to 50 is an unnoticeable change due to how already easy it is to kill enemies and the enemies it would be useful on not being weak to them. Nintendo really did power bombs dirty in this game...

Some suggestions:
• In addition to increasing damage and HP values, also look into manipulating enemy AI themselves to be more aggressive. For example, changing Ridley's damage before aggro threshold, or skipping certain difficulty or item collection checks to make bosses like Kraid and Mecha harder.
• Add hard mode to the default difficulty select, so you don't need to unlock it first by beating the game.
• Increase the damage of charge flare itself.
• Add the power bomb weakness to more enemies.
• Consider manipulating weapon cooldowns and on-screen projectile limits for further balancing.
• Buff the damage of bombs and maybe nerf the damage of un-charged beams.
• Get rid of the "free charity varia suit" to make end game slightly more difficult for people who skip it.
• Make mother brain weak to charge beam (but not un-charged beam) if possible.
• Add ability toggling in status screen.

Overall, I'd say this hack is worth a shot if you miss Fusion's R-shot and C-flare, or you find the game too easy, but you may not be satisfied enough to play it again.

Finished.
Recommended.
Super Metroid - GBA Edition by The Brothers Crafters [MZM Exploration], rated by Cosmic on May 07, 2022 (Star Star Star Star Star )
91% in 2:28
[Watch Video]  
UPDATE: SUPER METROID GBA EDITION HAS BEEN SUPERCEDED BY SM REVAMP: https://metroidconstruction.com/hack.php?id=709

Animals Saved.

Surprisingly competent translation of Super Metroid into ZM, made by two brothers in only a few months that somehow beat a team of 6+ people working on & off for years to the punch. I like that rather than 1:1 copying SM into ZM, they used vanilla ZM enemies, mechanics and graphics wherever they could. In places where they ran out of ideas, they made shortcuts. For example, X-Ray is now a shortcut from red to blue brinstar which lets you clean it up and more quickly return to Crateria. Nice change IMO.

I don't like
-the physics are hot garbage. you move so fast horizontally you're basically fumbling all the time especially moving up vertical shafts.
-samus' ship looks like complete trash... it has a completely different (and worse) art style, pillow shaded, dithered, way too many colors, super "busy," and it's lost all its animations presumably due to its new shape.
-sequence breaks for the most part no longer feel possible. you can only go the intended route. which diminishes replayability significantly.
-noob bridge misses the point because there is no run button
-"lower norfair peek" misses the point because you don't see the entrance to ridley; you just see the other side of a lava pit
-the brinstar hijump gate misses the point because using the left ledge no longer works; you just jump up to the mouth
-room before "grapple beam" is quite obscure as to how to continue; I had to ballspark from the ledge just barely on top of the lava
-lava seahorses appear to be shooting their beaks at you
-drop rates for enemies is still vanilla zm's (bad)
-messed up enemy graphics being in the same room as items (room before wave beam)
-navy blue filler remaining the same brightness during a room transition
-pirates doing hella damage (50 damage projectiles)
-acid hazards felt incredibly inconsistent; some rooms that should have had the strong yellow acid in SM had weak ZM acid; other ones got it right using ZM green acid.
-while special care was taken to apply zm tilesets to sm rooms, no care was taken at all with the music. ZM brinstar is still what you hear in red/green brinstar. You still hear ZM norfair in norfair and ZM ridley in lower norfair.
-super missile tanks being +4 instead of +5. I think power bombs were also short what they should be. This is a problem because it forces you to farm for a super missile to get spazer beam or break open the refill at the bottom of red tower.
-artificially requiring hi-jump by inconsistently using no-grip blocks in spots the brothers clearly don't want you to go
-mini worldmap in the pause screen has some residual vanilla graphics that clash with the new graphics, rendering it unreadable
-purple + green flames from ridley and kraid show up in the wrong place on the map
-pipe enemies in pb section of green brinstar activate regardless of height/whether they are on screen or not
-power bombs bypass "wave gates"
-landing site respawning bomb blocks
-rooms with space pirates in them are super laggy (probably spazer beam's fault more than anything)
-I did not like being disrespectfully pestered all the time to fix the asm for this hack. They had no clue what they were doing on this end, and vented their frustrations at me.
-Maridia was frankly annoying to explore though I suppose that's a given. Like the metroid 2 ponds you fall through near the final area, but cranked up to an entire area.

it gives me ideas for future hacks:
- using bugs to drain the player of energy during a shinespark

All in all this hack was fun enough to play through but has many little gripes and frustrations holding it back from being truly great. If you are curious, go ahead, there is still fun to be had, and ideas to form for more ZM hacks. But it's DEFINITELY not a replacement for the original game. It feels more like a mediocre port.

Finished.
Recommended.
Metroid: Oil Spill by Spedimus [MF Exploration], rated by Cosmic on Apr 13, 2022 (Star Star Star Star Star )
37% in 1:30
[v1.5] While Oil Spill is certainly the best Fusion hack currently, that doesn't say much when the other Fusion hacks are kaizo. The hack still has a couple of frustrations.

What it does right:
- No ADAM/Forced linear progression
- Boss rooms almost always have a way out if you're underequipped or missing abilities.
- Level design is for the most part quite good. It doesn't just feel like a bunch of random pit and missile blocks or kaizo bullshit hidden paths and doors like other fusion hacks.
- 2 bosses in one room and the SA-X chases were pretty damn neat.

What it does wrong:
- Save and recharge rooms are rare. REALLY rare. Not even near boss rooms that lock you in.
- While vanilla fusion is too linear, this hack goes in the complete opposite direction where it is too non-linear. I only got an upgrade to my missiles and unlocked doors when I completed the main quest. I never fought ridley, nettori or box 1/2. I never got bombs or power bombs.
- Enemies are bullshit. Their stats are unchanged from vanilla and their placement is cheeky to say the least. Space pirates that do 70 damage to you and take 5 missiles to kill... Sidehoppers still immune to beams that can box you in and stunlock you... And the only compensation is still either 10 energy or 2 missile drops... Unless you're a masochist, this isn't okay.
- Environmental hazards (the oil) does absolutely ludicrous damage. Like... straight up 1 damage per frame. Combined with bullshit enemies and no avenue of regen above, you can get softlocked saving at low energy then falling into oil.
- Level design is cheeky at times. Like ledge grabs dipping the tips of your feet into oil causing you massive damage.

All in all I think it has the potential to be good but it has a lot of room for improvement.

Finished.
Recommended if you're looking specifically for a Fusion hack. Otherwise, wait for updates.
Super Metroid CRE by Tundain [SM Quick Play], rated by Cosmic on Apr 03, 2022 (Star Star Star Star Star )
72% in 0:30
A fun spoof hack that doesn't overstay its welcome.

Everything is made of CRE -- common tiles shared from every room in SM - Things like doors, gates, breakable blocks. Enemies and even the map are shaped like CRE.

It's good, but not fantastic. I have some gripes:
- The Trippers before bomb torizo are often clipped through due to ceiling slopes above them.
- Shutters are often clipped through by taking damage from viola and geemers.
- Room before speedbooster has Rio that can creep up into the top right corner of the room. This makes them difficult to kill when you have projectiles that despawn offscreen.

Finished.
Recommended.
Metroid Volonus by Alex S [MZM Quick Play], rated by Cosmic on Oct 15, 2023 (Star Star Star Star Star )
90% in 0:43
[Watch Video]  
Volonus is a lesson of what NOT to do when making a hack, how NOT to handle constructive criticism, and how NOT to take YOUR criticism too far.

It's infamous for how it got a lot of things wrong -- as if the author had a checklist for what NOT to do in a hack and ticked the boxes one-by-one.

There's
- Map Errors
- Tiling Errors
- Collision Errors & Inconsistencies
- Mandatory Heat Run
- Mandatory Suitless Underwater
- Items are too easy to get most of the time, and cryptic at other times.
- Issues with HUD graphics
- Treats players like this was their introduction to MZM
- Softlocks
- Issues that require reloading the ROM to fix


The issues with this hack attracted a lot of criticism from people which was mostly constructive, but not handled well by the author. To put the blame entirely on the author wouldn't be fair though - There were critics who definitely did go too far and insulted the hack and/or the author.

With that out of the way, Yes there's a lot wrong with it but it is still a somewhat enjoyable "junk food" hack that you can beat in less than an hour. There's way worse out there.


Finished.
Recommended to new ZM hackers as an educational tool, and players new to ZM hacks.
Metroid Fusion Repalette by MollyAncalime, Doc 4non & JKMaxx [MF Improvement], rated by Cosmic on Oct 14, 2022 (Star Star Star Star Star )
72% in 2:57
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The title of this hack is incredibly misleading and is the main reason for many of the gripes I have with this hack. There are honestly so many issues I have with this that it would take me at least an hour to put them all down into words. I'll try to keep it short.

For a hack whose primary intention is to change the palettes, there sure is a lot more unnecessary changes than there needed to be. There are changes in text, graphics, and even mechanics that really had no purpose being there.

Why allow players to SWJ and IBJ if it doesn't get them anywhere? If you have to add path blockages in to force people into the intended path? the SWJ patch actually makes arachnus a little harder because you now have to jump extend to get past the flames.

Why was the level design changed? Admittedly, I did like the pit block in the first SA-X encounter, but aside from that the rest of the design changes felt shoehorned to cut off sequence breaking (as said above) or to make edgier gorier rooms in sector 6 that are the metroid hack equivalent of using breaking benjamin's blow me away in a halo mod. I know what the intent was and I'm sorry. I still just found this to be really cringe.

The same goes for the text changes. The nods to the prime series and other m were nice, but the character of both Samus and ADAM were compromised by incredibly cheesy, edgy, convoluted dialogue that doesn't match how they spoke in vanilla. In some cases, these dialogues/monologues are longer than vanilla's, because reasons.. Seriously though, when has Samus ever said "Cowed?" This is just really bad fanfiction territory that makes no effort in adhering to the source material. These edits also tend to come with a lot of jank, like textboxes in dialogues not clearing before ADAM or Samus respond to each other, or setting music that immediately gets taken back away, or corrupted graphics in place of text or randomly on the screen.

The authors of the hack also seem to completely miss the point of ADAM's flavor text, either not using it when they should or using the wrong color which again, makes it come across as amateur's work. For example on a Main Deck dialogue, they put X Parasite in red text.
The main 2 text colors adam will use are yellow, and purple. Yellow is a highlight of key information so players know what's important as they read and/or skim through. Purple text is used to indicate locations. Sector 5 (ARC), SR388, Habitation Deck, etc. The only times that ADAM will use other colors is when mentioning the green and blue X parasites, and the level door locks.

Admittedly, I also did like that this hack tried out some unused or unterutilized enemies, and even weakened some infamous enemies like Yakuza, but this didn't really feel necessary and in some cases was quite jank, like all the Skrees just before the Lv1 security computer just kind of going all over the place in that room.

There's a lot of broken stuff too, probably the result of image-importing tilesets. For example, unlocked hatches often won't animate properly, and their transitions are screwed up. Minimap tiles appear to have been edited in some way because when opening the map screen there are these weird black dots on many of the tiles. The animation for obtaining Varia suit is messed up. There's a tileset in sector 6 that's a pixel shorter than it should be which leads to floating doors. For some reason Wide Beam was renamed to Spazer for what I can only guess is continuity's sake...? But the color of it is still purple and its behavior is different from spazer beam in SM so this is another nonsensical choice IMO.

Lastly, the palettes. I saved these for last because I do have at least some good things to say about them. While I don't agree with all the color choices made, Sector 6 and the depths of Sector 4 looked phenominal. Unfortunately, it feels half-baked in that there are still many occasions where maroon outlines still exist (they're now especially more obvious since in 99% of cases they've been changed to better fit the rest of the tileset instead), destroyed hatches in sector 2 still look like they've been petrified rather than destroyed, and some areas just look like straight up downgrades. Looking at you cave background in sector 1 that's just been desaturated into big brown blobs. There are also many spots where the color of "filler" tiles still have their weird coloration, like all main deck elevator rooms having this light brown filler instead of the pitch black that you see as you descend into a sector. Enemies like the blobs covering the ventilation shafts in SRX no longer having palettes that line up with the rest of the rooms' tileset. The animated palettes for charging beams were half-done, some of them looking pretty good and others like plasma with varia suit being almost concerning for people with epilepsy. I also personally did not like how much white there was. I prefer the look of the vanilla main deck with its warm lobby look. Definitely has more personality than generic white and blue sci-fi area #2891437. Making the Blue X white was also quite silly if you ask me.

I really do not think that this hack should be in the Improvement category. It's more of a Vanilla+ hack, like playing Metroid Fusion if a hacker had recreated it from scratch with just their memory. I'll give credit where it's due but I really don't like most of the changes here.

Finished.
Do Not Recommend.
Retroid GBA Edition by powerwindows/buns [MZM Vanilla+], rated by Cosmic on Jul 31, 2022 (Star Star Star Star Star )
No completion stats.
Yee Yee Ass
- mediocre tiling. (-1 orb)
- poor and far too numerous enemy placement. (-1 orb)
- bad scrolls. (-1 orb)
- broken transitions. (-1 orb)
- volonus-esque door placement. (-1 orb)
+ it's clear effort was put into this hack. (+1 orb)

Did Not Finish.
Do Not Recommend.
Metroid Dread - The Reawakening: Remastered Edition TURBO by mccad [SM Spoof], rated by Cosmic on May 03, 2022 (Star Star Star Star Star )
No completion stats.
I can say with confidence that this is definitely one of the moments in my life
Sigma++ by Silver_Skree [SM Incomplete], rated by Cosmic on May 03, 2022 (Star Star Star Star Star )
14% in 2:00
Was a fun hack that recontextualized boss fights until everything did fuck-you damage, had fuck-you health, the acid in crocomire's room moved up and down, and the final area had a point of no return. Also nowhere NEAR a ten minute hack as the average runtime implies. People have no idea how to properly punch in their IGT.

Did not finish.
Do not Recommend.
420 spike landing site cre edit insta death barf kraid grapple clip hack by H A M [SM Spoof], rated by Cosmic on May 14, 2022 (Star Star Star Star Star )
5% in 0:04
Finished.
Not Recommended.
Metroid II EJRTQ Colorization 1.3 Beta by Quantam [M2 Improvement], rated by Cosmic on Oct 06, 2020 (Star Star Star Star Star )
No completion stats.
This is a good hack! However, this is a listing of the BETA version and not the full release. You can find the full release here: https://metroidconstruction.com/hack.php?id=400

For that reason, I do not recommend this version of the hack.