WowFamDesu's Ratings and Reviews
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Super Metroid: Ascent by Benox50 [SM Exploration], rated 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!
Metroid: Takeover by Spedimus [MZM Exploration], rated by WowFamDesu on Mar 13, 2019 (Star Star Star Star Star )
94% in 2:49
This is probably the most conflicting hack I have ever played. The level design was amazing at times, and then downright frustrating at other times. I spent a lot of time grinding for power bombs as sometimes you will get locked in an area where power bombs are required to progress but there are no refill stations.

For anyone reading, while walljumping and bombjumping are not technically required to beat the hack, they are required if you don't want to softlock yourself. Shinesparking is absolutely required to beat the hack. I really enjoyed the tricks required to reach some of the expansion packs in the game, they were intuitive and made me (a speedrunner) struggle to reach them. They were extremely rewarding and by far my favorite part about the game. There were some parts in the game where I struggled to figure out what to do next (during ridley i gave up and opened up mage to see where I was supposed to go because the next step was pretty out there)

The map/world is by far the largest that ZM hacks have to offer. IMO this made in-area-pacing pretty good, it wasn't like you were just running into item after item, you actually had to look for items and it felt extremely rewarding when you did find one. To add to that, it was like whole sections of the map opened up when you found an item, which was incredible. In a way it felt like each area had "tiers" that open up when you found an item.

However, because of the "tiers" and how the map worked, the backtracking was extremely painful. If there were interconnected sections running throughout the map to make backtracking easier, I certainly didn't find them. The fact that the route from norfair to kraid in brinstar is basically a big line and the least fun of all the areas to traverse through definitely did not help. Maybe its just how I played the hack the first time around, but I spent a lot of time backtracking to see what exactly i had opened up in each area. I would have to play it again or open it in mage to see if they exist, but the game could really benefit from more connecting passages.

There were a few graphical bugs, like the sprite for mecha ridley was all messed up, and some platforms we'rent displaying correctly (actually not sure if that was intentional or not), but nothing too major or gamebreaking. The gameboy soundchip could clearly not handle the music at times, but I don't necessarily think that's Spedimus' fault.

Because of the size, it really feels like a full-on metroid game rather than just a hack, which I think is the first ZM hack that has made me feel this way. Despite the issues I touched upon, I really enjoyed it and would say it is absolutely worth playing through. It might even get me to make a 100% route for it.