ZeroSuitSammy's Ratings and Reviews
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Junkoid by P. Yoshi, Mindflower [M1 Exploration], rated by ZeroSuitSammy on Jun 23, 2023 (Star Star Star Star Star )
% in 3:00
Gameplay's great, every area's available from the start, but you'll quickly learn that only the intended path will equip you enough to progress. The music itself is great but it really suffers on that NES sound chip. Items are appropriately spaced, so it never feels like you're missing something you need. The game's not hard, it's actually pretty easy if you're careful, all the way up until the final boss. There's a reason he's the product of Junko's nightmares: The platform you shoot him from is also a ring spawner, plus you can't even reach his hitbox from it. Fighting off the three instantly respawning rings, plus the boss's own projectile without any ground to stand on (you have to jump or freeze a ring at just the right height to hit his weak point) totally sucks. Even NEStroid didn't have anything that bad. Everything else was great though. That's why it still gets 5/5.
Super Metroid: Black Plague by JamieWebb16 [SM Quick Play], rated by ZeroSuitSammy on May 03, 2021 (Star Star Star Star Star )
No completion stats.
Black Plague was a really cool hack. It was dark, eerie, and kinda quiet. You truly felt the solitude aspect of Metroid in this hack. I also liked the palette changes in the game itself, the color changes before the game starts (the menu), and the game over text having a bit of the artist's (what I assume to be) humor. There were too many spikes and grapple wall jumps, and Phantoon was too difficult for me. I probably could've beat him eventually, but, call me a casual, no one really has all day. I could've gone full gamer mode devoted the next hour to trying to beat him, but it wouldn't be a quick play anymore, now would it?

Anyway, nice hack. It IS interesting, I DO wish more (-_-)
And while I didn't finish it myself, I definitely recommend you give it a shot.
Mintroid by Golden Warrior [MZM Quick Play], rated by ZeroSuitSammy on Sep 24, 2020 (Star Star Star Star Star )
85% in 0:30
This hack is the top Zero Mission Quick Play for a reason. I'll say as much as I can without spoiling it for you.
The theming in this hack has the life and personality that all fan-made projects should have. It is lighthearted and humorous--perfect for such short, sweet hack. It even comes with a surprise on the map screen. Collect items. That's all I'll say. It's the best way to get the most out of this hack. Also, the mint tint? Genius. What's the one thing Metroid could use more of? Bright, cool colors (as opposed to its usual dark theme and warm colors). Hit the nail on the head with this one. The enemies are all easy and that includes the bosses (except Ridley. Ridley was average once you have about 20 missiles.) Recommend playing on Menthol.
Best short Zero Mission hack. Takes less than half an hour. Wonderful.
Metroid - Rogue Dawn by Grimlock, Optomon, snarfblam [M1 Exploration], rated by ZeroSuitSammy on Sep 14, 2020 (Star Star Star Star Star )
52% in 3:47
(I love that it tells you your completion stats post-credits. Convenient:)
You start up the hack and the first thing you notice: everything's different. Metroid title, Metroid physics, Metroid items, and the namesake themselves, but NOT Metroid. You don't even play as Samus. Instead, you play as Dawn Aran, a character with no resemblance to our usual main character or even knowledge of her existence (the same goes both ways). In fact, Rogue Dawn ends where the first one begins and not a moment earlier. Samus and Ridley both appear in the story, but neither in game. This really is a whole different experience; and that's it for similarities.

Differences: Too many to count. This one takes place outside, inside, dark atmosphere, light atmosphere, Pirate Ship (yours), Federation Ship (enemy), jungle, ruins, surface, caverns, Bone Yard, Metroid Hive, all of these areas are beautifully done in a way that reminds you going in that you don't know this place and as you make your way out, you feel like a native to the terrain. That's just covering how each area looks. The music's...indescribably beautiful. Every moment of this game is tense, which is the perfect feeling for a Metroid game, and yet you'll find times and areas in which you can relax and enjoy the area around you. This IS Zebes, but a part you've never seen before.

Gameplay: smooth and effective. That's not to say that NONE of Metroid's typical nonsense isn't sprinkled in here- acid that's hard to get out of, enemies hurting you in door transitions, respawning with minimal health (that's why we have savestates), you know how it goes -but when you hit, you hit. When you get hit, you got hit, there's no question. This game isn't glitchy or guess-y. Everything's clear to you when you walk into a new area. Bombable blocks are distinguished from the others (most of the time) and the most fundamental abilities, movement abilities, are in the first area you go to. Speaking of areas, guys, there's a map, already filled in, even shows where items are (except e-tanks and missile tanks). There're even printable maps in the game's files -the standard map and a version with names and color- that you can use as a physical copy or from your photos app in another window. Seriously, everything about this hack is superior to Metroid and makes you forget it's an NES Metroid hack at all.

Personal gripes:
The first areas (surface and caverns) are kind of dull, but stick with it. It gets much better once you get all three of their items and get out of there.
Bosses were too easy until the final boss. That one's still a serious pain. The difficulty of Metroid Rogue Dawn is lower than the original until that point.
Maybe it's just me, but I'm not a fan of the "power suit." Much prefer the zero suit.
There are areas that have vertical loops (you go to the bottom of one part of the map and appear at the top of the same part or a completely different one [and the same the other way]). It's a real "Lost Woods" approach that leaves you unsure if you've taken a shortcut or got sent further from where you're supposed to be. Also, some rooms that you can transition between aren't connected. All of these navigation issues are especially present in the Chozo Jungle and Chozo Ruins, or the left side of the map.
Finally, after defeating one of the bosses, you encounter two Federation people possessing an energy tank, but ask that you leave it because it's the only way to power their distress beam. Doing this rewards you in no way, just so you know.

So this game has some similarities and many differences to the original. Rogue Dawn unquestionably outshines Metroid, along with any other hack of it up to this point, in every conceivable way. I had a few unpleasant things to say about it, but it's a videogame. Of course, it isn't perfect...

But it's the closest you're gonna get. Five out of five, fully recommend. Play Rogue Dawn.
Metroid Incursion by Grimlock [M1 Exploration], rated by ZeroSuitSammy on Sep 13, 2020 (Star Star Star Star Star )
No completion stats.
Looks nothing like a Metroid world and that's what I love so much about it. See the second picture above? That's "Brinstar." Outdoors, under a well-lit night sky. Norfair's a sewer-looking area, Ridley's Lair looks like a military storage area with tanks and rockets, Kraid's Lair being the only area resembling that of an "alien planet" and Tourian the only one resembling it's vanilla counterpart.
This game is easier than the base game as well. It has a few "hurt yourself on purpose to progress" areas, but health is not hard to obtain, as energy and missile drops are very common. Speaking of items/pickups, there's no shortage of missiles or energy tanks. Not at the beginning, not at the end. Nothing is hard to find, as this hack is very linear, as the map shows you everything with little to no hidden rooms not shown on it. I used savestates, not because I had to, just for convenience.
What bothered me, however, was that right before entering Tourian, there's another ice beam and another energy tank, neither of which add to you if you already have the ice beam or the other 6 e-tanks. The e-tanks thing is strange because why is it there if you can't use it? The others are almost impossible to miss so it's not like you couldn't find them. The ice beam thing makes sense if you had the wave beam and not the ice beam, but where was the wave beam? The ice beam is a necessity to get more than 10 minutes in, but the wave beam can successfully evade you the entire game, which sucks if you were playing the Plus edition and were really looking forward to that wavy ice beam as much as I was.
Now I know I started with "what bothered me" and proceeded to type half a paragraph, but really, it's two things: there's an extra energy tank that only helps you if you don't already have six, and I couldn't find the wave beam. That's all. Neither devalue the hack in any way, they're just a few personal things. Still finished it, still great. Good for a solid 1.5 - 3 hours of fun. Oh, Mother Brain is just as much of a pain as in the base game. Those red rings, they're the real final boss.
Great game, far superior to the original, so if you like that, you'll like this.
Highly recommend.
Super Metroid Ruin by personitis [SM Quick Play], rated by ZeroSuitSammy on May 01, 2021 (Star Star Star Star Star )
% in 1:00
Fun hack. Interesting energy bar. You can't take many hits at all, but if you kill enemies quickly or narrowly escape contact with them, you won't have to. The grapple swinging was cool, but there was more than I enjoyed having to go through. Still, this hack stuck to what it wanted to do, rather than spreading itself too thin. It committed, and that fortunately kept it from being mediocre. This truly is a good hack.
High difficulty, especially the bosses. Ridley was so difficult for me, I honestly didn't finish it. In Super Metroid, there were plenty of energy tanks on Zebes and each one allowed you to take multiple hits. In this one, you don't get entire tanks of 100 hit points, you get single, individual hit points, and not 100 of them. When I faced him, I had five hits, five missiles, the charge beam, and the grapple beam to my name, and that's most of the items. Ridiculously underprepared. The difficulty curve on a graph between the enemies you've fought until you got to him and Ridley himself is literally a spike. That's how drastic the difference in your capability to handle yourself becomes. Some people can pull that off (not sure how, but they do it). I could not.
My opinion remains the same. It's very difficult, health is rare, enemies and spikes are not, and there is one save station between your ship and Ridley (not on the map, but throughout the game). While it is difficult, it never feels cheap. Items are rarely (if ever) hidden, you simply need to conquer a major health struggle to acquire them. What ticks me off about so many hacks is when they hide the necessary path to progression behind one tile in a large room with no visual cue. It's Metroid's "bomb every tile" mentality that makes me want to start the countdown and blow the planet up myself. Fortunately, the hack suffers from no such detriment. So my opinion is unchanged: This truly is a good hack.
Not finished.
Completion time is approximate to when I encountered Ridley and stopped.
Wet Winter by Crys [SM Quick Play], rated by ZeroSuitSammy on Apr 29, 2021 (Star Star Star Star Star )
11% in 0:14
"Hmm. What if Super Metroid was bright, beautiful, took place in Alaska and Florida at the same time, and only 10-15 minutes long?" If that just so HAPPENS to be what you're thinking, this hack will not disappoint :D
Expect a couple missile tanks, a super missile tank, a power bomb tank, morph ball, bombs, the plasma beam, charge beam, gravity suit, space jump, and two energy tanks. That's not to say that's all there is, that's just all you really need to have a short, smooth experience. That's all I got and I completed this hack with only 11% item collection in under 15 minutes. I beat two bosses back to back (literally the next room), saw the ice beam but couldn't get it, so I went to save in my ship but then I took off and the planet exploded...
Good game. Recommend.
Stargazer by Ing-ing [MZM Quick Play], rated by ZeroSuitSammy on Sep 24, 2020 (Star Star Star Star Star )
100% in 0:59
Read the other reviews if you want to know what the game looks and sounds like. My opinion, beautiful, but I'm here to talk about what the others didn't discuss very much of: the gameplay. It's fun, and it's frustrating. It's easy, and it's hard. It's fun until it's hard, and it's hard until you figure out the thing you didn't know before, and then it's easy again, which is basically how every Metroid game works, so overall, it's a good Metroid game.
Now let's talk progression. This game isn't a sequence-breaker. To get the screw attack, you have to complete a speed-booster puzzle, and a tedious one at that. So to get the screw attack, you need the speed booster; to get the speed booster, you need the power bombs, to get the power bombs, you need the space jump; to get the space jump, you need the super missiles; to get the super missiles, you need the hi jump, which you get by defeating Ridley. You can have no more than 15 missiles before you face him, but this was taken into account and the boss is quite easy as long as you make sure all your missiles hit. So as you can see, you have a bit of a checklist ahead of you. You might decide, "Well maybe I don't NEED the screw attack," but then have fun getting into Tourian through the screw attack blocks. Also, you don't need the ice beam, but if you want it, you have to outrun two Metroids in the room before the beam, and kill about five of them in the room after. There are almost no stable platforms in that room, almost all are treadmills. You cannot leave without killing the Metroids, so don't try to get past them without killing them. They are faster than you, drain your HP at unreasonable speeds, break out of ice in two seconds, recover from bombs immediately, and latch back onto you just as quickly. Kill them. Seriously. Do the same with any tough enemies you face in the beginning as well. Do not try to pass them, just kill them; then move forward. There's only one power bomb tank so don't go looking for an alternate way to get them. Oh, and the room with Mother Brain also has two treadmills. These are the only two platforms... It's actually pretty fun, not gonna lie. The escape has a boss... That is not fun. Didn't finish it 'cause of course I was low on health after Mother Brain so I died to its first attack. I'm not fighting Mother Brain again. That's dumb.
It all sounds hard, but really it's a game with a few easy enemies here and there, a few tricky platforming sections, and a mildly confusing puzzle to unravel. Of course, along with the easy and the tricky, there're the major inconveniences ahead of you. The puzzle really is only mildly confusing, and maybe not even that. It's not complex, it's just hard. It's not hard to figure out, but it takes a lot of tries to pull off. Come to think of it, it's the same with the enemies and the platforming. It'll all take a few tries to pull of, but it IS all possible, which ties back to my overall philosophy on Metroid games (see the last sentence of the first paragraph).
Good game, it really is. It'll eat a good chunk of your time, too. I recommend it to you if (and only if) you consider yourself an experienced Metroid player. The difficulty is not vanilla. It's veteran. Have fun.
DOOMtroid by Jefe962 [MZM Quick Play], rated by ZeroSuitSammy on Sep 15, 2020 (Star Star Star Star Star )
14% in 0:39
Doesn't do anything spectacular. Three bosses, maybe half of her normal upgrades and abilities, and some sprite work. Good to hold you over for about half an hour if you're looking for a short Zero Mission hack with a layout you're not familiar with.
Legend of the Beast - Prologue by statik [SM Unknown], rated by ZeroSuitSammy on May 04, 2021 (Star Star Star Star Star )
No completion stats.
It's one of the better, fuller hacks I've encountered in a while, but while it's good overall, almost every area comes with some pretty serious flaws, especially after that first elevator downward, and the second one up into Norfair. The road to the speed booster was a let down, but then the first time you're supposed to use it is a nightmare to time. You have to nail it from the exact start tile to the exact end tile. It's ridiculous. Aside from that, it looks cool, I liked the missile names and the number of items available to collect, however there were no bombs. Like, normal morph ball bombs. I hope I just missed them, but I got the spring ball and power bombs, so I never found a need for standard bombs anyway. Also, no save stations, and even though I saved at my ship, it'll never let me return there after a game over, it just crashes, so use save states. No matter the hack, I will always preach the use of save states. You're not a cheater just because you don't want to start from the beginning again. Another thing that bothered me a lot was that you can't pause, which means you can't examine Samus's equipment or THE MAP. YOU CAN'T. CHECK. THE MAP. That was the worst part of it all. Anyway, like I said, good hack, has potential. Some major fixes, and it could become one of the best Super Metroid hacks of all time. I genuinely believe that.

Didn't finish.
Do recommend.
Super Metroid: Rulers Of Ruin by jk16bit-palmy- [SM Quick Play], rated by ZeroSuitSammy on May 03, 2021 (Star Star Star Star Star )
57% in 0:31
Rulers of Ruin was a weird experience for me. The following is a walkthrough for most of the game. You can still experience it for yourself, but you'll know what's going to happen, not that there are any twists or surprises.

At first, it was fun. It looked cool, you got items quickly, fought Crocomire just a few minutes after starting, everything was great. Then you finished the fight with Crocomire and everything just started wrapping itself up really quickly. You beat him and get the Speed Booster at the right end of that room (don't leave without it). Then you go back to the central hallway, proceed left, fight Ridley (which was really easy. All you have to do is stand on the platform on the left wall and shoot super missiles at him. You'll get hit maybe three times max. before he goes down.), use the Speed Booster to get through that large room beyond Ridley's, get the power bombs at the right end of that hallway, fight Phantoon if you want to (but I fell through the floor so I skipped the whole fight), then use the power bombs to get through the door above the hall. You'll walk right to get to the next room, but then the planet explodes and you fly away, mission completed. WHAT. When? How? Why? I get it's supposed to be a short hack, but undoubtedly, it was rushed. It could've been great if not for that sudden excuse of an ending.

It also felt like items were just there. You didn't actually need any of them except the morph ball, bombs, grapple beam, and speed booster. You only need the power bombs for the final ten seconds of the game (which is right after you get them). The rest can make it easier, but they won't be necessary for progression. The only enemies you'd want additional firepower for are the bosses and maybe the space pirates, but it doesn't matter what you use. You could clear the game without the wave beam, gravity suit, or a single missile if you get the charge beam at the very beginning.

Rushed, no challenge, but finished and do recommend.
Superblood by KT JDDD & PHOSPHOTiDYL [SM Exploration], rated by ZeroSuitSammy on Apr 29, 2021 (Star Star Star Star Star )
No completion stats.
Fun, enjoyable hack. Didn't change anything about the physics and was still very fun to play. It was also nice to look at. The graphical and sprite changes were definitely welcome. It still kept Super Metroid's general theme. HOWEVER, I personally have one major gripe with this hack. I ran into not one, but TWO softlocks. That's two too many. Basically, if you don't have the Ice Beam when you get to Norfair, you're not getting out. And if you don't find the Speed Booster before you enter the Power Bomb block floor on the far left of Brinstar, you're not getting out. It sucks because with Metroid, you could always pass your hidden key to progression and never notice it. You spend hours and hours (like I did) trying to find your way to progress, but unless you use every part of your arsenal on every block in the game (ceiling, wall, or floor), you may otherwise never find it. There's nothing wrong with hiding things and forcing the player to look for them, but hiding things too obscurely will completely discourage the player when he/she gets stuck, and they may drop the game and never pick it back up again. And since this is a hack made by a fan, not a game studio, you can't count on it to be properly play-tested by enough people to work out softlocks in every conceivable path, which is very bad for an exploration game where you're supposed to do exactly that: explore every path.
Long story short, I got stuck in Norfair without the Ice Beam, and therefore no way to defeat the blue space pirates, and no way to open the door on the bottom right. If you open the door on the right end of the hall, there's a room of spike pillars awaiting you that you can't conquer without the Space Jump. My last in-game save was in Norfair, as was my last savestate. So I start all over again. This time I PB the floor on the left side of Brinstar. I get to the spot where the animals are trying to teach me how to shinespark. Guess who doesn't have the Speed Booster? And like with Norfair, if you don't have the right item going in, you won't be able to leave. Couldn't find the Ice Beam, couldn't find the Speed Booster, couldn't find a guide online (because the only person who played it on YouTube suffered from the same Brinstar softlock), couldn't beat the game.
Oh, and there were a lot of midair morphs that were almost too difficult to do. They're so close to the ground that there's almost no time to pull them off. Those got annoying.
It was fun while it lasted, but in short,
Did not finish.
Tallon IV Tours: Chozo Ruins Rumble by dewhi100 [SM Quick Play], rated by ZeroSuitSammy on Apr 29, 2021 (Star Star Star Star Star )
93% in 1:06
[Watch Video]  
It was enjoyable to a degree. At first, you got to look at the statues and the palette and reminisce on your time playing Prime, but then you got kind of sick and tired of everything being the same bland color. You'd enjoy the challenge of pulling off certain stunts and you can remember playing through similar sections in first-person 3D, but then you get sick and tired of having to do the same quick-time morph transformations to get missile tanks. Looking at the map, it seemed to be a relatively compact world that just ended up feeling too big. There was some falling by accident and having to climb back up, but that wasn't so bad. It was searching for those missile blocks and and the blue blocks to activate switches that got repetitive since they were usually pretty far away from each other and the switches always reset themselves when you enter the room again, so you'll have to redo the "puzzle" from the start.

Then there were the enemies. There were too few in the areas you needed them the most, so you'd usually end up having to go to one spot in the middle of the map to find an infinite enemy spawner. Imagine if there was ONE spot in Brinstar you could go to refill your energy.
That polluted water DRAINED your energy. This is very apparent during two of the boss fights, one of which being the bomb guardian, who backs you up to the left side of the room and swipes the platform out from under you, dropping you into the polluted acid water. Then your only resort is one of the two or three pillars shooting fire from their tops. You can dodge the flames by standing on the edge of the pillar, but if you do, defeat him quickly because if he hits you, it's back to residual acid damage for you, with some added flame damage if you're (un)lucky. Most boss battles that take up the entire stage, like Kraid, leave you with a platform to stand on at the far end of the room, without leaving you completely impervious to enemy attacks, and you can get in closer by choice to get more hits in at the risk of taking more hits as well. However, in this battle, they take that from you, forcing you to take damage. This isn't your fault as the player, it's just a poor design choice.

Kraid was the worst of all. Who in their right mind would think killing themselves is the way to kill the enemy? I'm sure it was supposed to be an interesting surprise for players to figure out how to defeat him, however not everyone's going to think to do this. What you're supposed to do is shoot his eyes to back him up and, when the water level drops, roll under and bomb hit feet. Of course, usually, his feet would be submerged in acid so you wouldn't even see them anyway, so it was never something you'd even think to do. Touch any other part of his body and it'll deal damage to you, but his feet, oh no, that's his literal Achilles's heel. You can just roll up in there until the water comes back, but if you haven't lost much health, you can really just tank it and bomb him until he dies. This sounds like a great alternate strategy to defeat him faster, right? But that's not an alternate way to beat him, it's the ONLY way to beat him. To quote dewhi100, the creator, "I made it so that you can only hurt Kraid with his belly, with bombs." Now, you'd think that if he doesn't take damage any other way, you'd eventually figure this out. There's a tunnel at the bottom that's only accessible by morph ball. Sounds like good game design to me. What's not good game design is when you try to defeat him the normal way, by shooting charged shots or missiles into his mouth, and he flashes as if taking damage, despite not actually taking any damage. At first, I thought he was just given way too much health, but it would eventually whittle down and he'd be defeated, but the fight dragged on and on. So I looked it up on YouTube and found the creator's own playthrough of his hack, something all creators should have online, a runthrough of their hack to prove that it's beatable and to show anyone who's stuck how to get unstuck. This is where I got that quote from. I watched him do the same thing I'd been trying to do for the last 15 minutes in under 60 seconds...

Then you get the Varia suit, go into the lava area, beat a pair of those annoying jumping space pirates, the ones who served as Ridley's "royal guard" in Super Metroid, and gearing up for the final boss, it just takes you to a room you'd already been to before.
That's it. Show's over, you've completed your tour. No ship getaway, no finale of any kind, there's just nothing left to do. This hack is labeled as a Quick Play which does live up to its name, but that implies that it can be "completed," otherwise it would logically be labeled "Incomplete." Definitely leaves the wrong impression.
I don't know; it was fun at first, but everything it tried to do overstayed its welcome at one point or another. It does have the potential to be something special, but it still has a lot of cleaning up to do.
"Finished" (as much as you can "finish" this hack).
Can't say I'd recommend it as it is now.
Video is the creator's playthrough.
Snowglobe by Scyzer [SM Quick Play], rated by ZeroSuitSammy on May 03, 2021 (Star Star Star Star Star )
No completion stats.
"Woooo!" isn't an accurate description of this hack and while it is short, it's 100% a spoof, don't even try and hide it. I walked into this expecting a short Metroid game, but this is just one of Santa's little helpers collecting his hats in Samus's power suit, that's all.

False advertising aside, for what this hack actually is, it's not terrible I guess. It's cute, but it's not exactly a fun experience to play or even to listen to ('cause the 8-bit Frosty the Snowman track on constant repeat gets very old very fast). It's really not even that nice to look at. "What if SM took place on a cold planet with trees, caves, snow, and ice?" Oh okay, so you put trees in Phendrana, here's your medal. Look, call me the Grinch or whatever, but this really isn't impressive. The gameplay concept is that you use your powerups and abilities acquired throughout the short map to get the 8 Santa hats. That's it. Notice how your health is at zero? It's because you'll never need it. It's all movement based skills and tricks to collect 8 key items throughout the map, but it isn't in any way interesting or exciting (so again, "Woooo!" doesn't fit). I guess this is meant to be a way to take a load off and play a nice, peaceful little minigame, but I didn't see it as such. I saw it as an intrusion on what Metroid is: exploration and survival in a hostile environment where the fate of the world, or even the galaxy, depends on the success of your mission. If you wanted peaceful, why'd you come to Metroid?

Couldn't be bothered to finish, but
Would recommend...

you play a game from a different series.
Super Metroid: Magaluf by Jordan5 [SM Quick Play], rated by ZeroSuitSammy on Apr 27, 2021 (Star Star Star Star Star )
72% in 0:50
I don't know what's wrong with everybody else who reviewed this hack. It's like we played two completely different games. Allow me to give you an actual review (critique, I'll be honest) of Super Metroid Magaluf. I put it into chapters. It's long and detailed, but that's how you know you can trust it.

So as soon as you leave the cave you start in, you begin slowly taking damage like it's Metroid Prime 2 all over again. One could argue this is to convey to the player that you are in a hostile environment and the tension is high, as would fit the theme of most Metroid games, especially Prime 2. However, that's not what this hack is going for at all. Look at that second picture. Does that look like a hostile, tense environment to you? Because that's where you'll be as your energy slowly drains from under you. What's really supposed to happen is you'll go through the game trying to get out of these areas and get back into caves or underwater (I'll get into that liquid nightmare in a bit) as quickly as you can so you'll be safe from the outside environment and then when you finally acquire the "Suncream," (which spellcheck is telling me is not a word) you can bask in the glow of the bright blue sky without having to worry for your health. But this is short lived. It happens only at the end of the game when you've beaten both bosses and are ready to go back to your ship. This makes sense because that was the point of her mission, to acquire "Suncream," so ideally, she'd just get it and leave, but it's not a figurative objective, it's a tangible upgrade. Essentially, it's a new suit that makes you invulnerable to the atmosphere, like the varia suit. The thing is that you don't get to enjoy the benefits of having this upgrade for more than 20 seconds because that's how much time you'll spend outside on your way to your ship. Also it doesn't change the color of her skin at all, it changes the color of her bathing suit, which, I didn't know was how sunscree- forgive me -"Suncream" worked.

The End of the World:
Anyway, you cross from one cave to another, through an overhead door, and suddenly there's an alarm and the world starts shaking?! The world starts a countdown to self-destruct while your ship is in view? Oh man, well I guess the countdown must be very low or something's gonna get in my way so I better hurr- oh. There is no countdown. I can just casually stand around until I feel like mustering up the strength in my quads to jump onto the ship and leave... Was that supposed to be climactic or intense? What triggered it anyway? It wasn't taking the Suncream because that was in a completely different area and nothing happened. So, what happened? Couldn't think of a good way to end the adventure? In other Metroid games, the idea was that the player accomplished his/her objective and it was time to go. Something triggered the destruction of the planet, be it a boss, like Ridley in Super Metroid, or the death of the final boss, like Mother Brain or Emperor Ing. However, in Magaluf, nothing triggered it, it just happened, just because.

Just Drown Already:
Now that we've gotten what goes on outside of the caves out of the way- wait a minute. That's right...Liquid! Metroid games have always known how to handle water in a way that makes it NOT unbearable. I'll go into more detail on the poor item placement and poor pacing in a bit, but part of that resulted in shoving all the pain from grapple beam swinging and water movement into ONE. ROOM. And a large one, at that. This large outdoor area is made of three things: a broken grapple ceiling, a seafloor, and annoying platforms, all bundled nicely in the toxic environment, still slowly killing you whenever you're not underwater, just in case you forgot. The ceiling is broken up into grapple block sections. Some are fairly sized, about six blocks. Some of them are not, about 2 blocks. You can't see far in front of you and your grapple beam can't reach very far either, so if you reach for a grapple block or try to land on a platform AND MISS, that sucks. Have fun trudging through the water at a turtle's speed all the way back to the left end of the room and climbing all the way back up to the top to try it again. And again. This is where I spent most of my time until I memorized the grapple block and platform layout. Good luck.

This Became A Game About Checking Rooms:
Okay, now that we're out of the woods, or out of the sun, I should say, we can get into- not the worst part (that was definitely the water area) -but the most disappointing part of this hack. This hack features poor item placement and poor pacing which go hand-in-hand to make my disappointment immeasurable and my day ruined. These go together because, similar to the grapple-water section or a drunk couple, things were just shoved together. It seems there were just too many things Jordan5 wanted to have in the world without enough world to have them in. The best example of this is right after a save point, where you'll meet a series of doors. The first set is a set of two along the right wall. Then, a little later, a set of three on the floor. If you pick the right doors, they'll take you on a path to fight Botwoon. However, you'll be killed and sent back to the last save station because you tried to fight him without any suit, beam, or energy upgrades. Then you'll meet that first pair of doors again. Pick the other one this time. You know what you'll find? An energy tank. Your first one, most likely. But wait, for some reason, in this game, each one counts for two (like I said, just shoved together. That's why there are only two or three collectible in the entire game). This means that if you passed this door, you missed not one, but TWO energy tanks, which, unless you manage to somehow avoid him the entire fight, you almost definitely will not survive without. But you still have no suit upgrades and you won't have any until you acquire the Suncream at the end. You also have no beam upgrades... What do you think are beyond the other two doors in that set of three I mentioned earlier? Literally nothing but the wave beam and the charge beam. No path beyond, just the beams. You're SUPPOSED to go fight Botwoon, but if you'd like, and this is completely optional by the way, so don't feel obligated to do so, you COULD go out of your way to acquire your only chances of surviving...I mean, if you want, I guess. Is this what we're passing off as exploration now? Not exploring a cool area, overcoming a challenge, or deciphering a puzzle to get an optional item that'll make the game more enjoyable, no, choosing the correct sequence of doors by chance to hopefully get to the barren, empty rooms housing required items? Whose bad idea of a joke is this? Oh, and you know what defeating him yields? A cute little super missile tank. That would be pretty good since super missiles are required for progression...if it was your first one...and it isn't...because the path to get this far required that you pass a green door, which require super missiles to open... Do you get it now? And that's not the only offence either.

Samus Doesn't Need Suncream to go Swimming:
Since you can't see very far ahead of you in that great, big grapple-water area, you'll try to get across using the platforms, but the ones you can actually reach without the grapple beam lead to nowhere. They're just there to catch you if you fall off the upper platforms which are only reachable if you swing from the grapple blocks with the grapple beam (not that those tiny platforms will catch you if you fall anyway, and even if they do, they'll hold you for less than a second before falling themselves. Expect to go for a swim and a climb if you ever fall.) If you find yourself in this area without the grapple beam, turn around. Go get it. You won't be getting anywhere without it. And this won't be your only time backtracking, so get comfortable with it.

"You Used Me and Threw Me Away When You Were Done:"
There's also this beyond stupid area that requires you to use the morph ball to access. There's a hole along the way. If you fall, you have to go back around and try again. It's not a steep drop, but you cannot get back up that way, no matter how many times you try to jump or bomb your way back up. You know why? Because there's more gravity in that one miniscule area to keep you from getting up, almost like an invisible wall. The gap is too large to roll over at any speed, and the ceiling comes down low enough so it practically scrapes your morph ball. Your only hope, and this isn't optional, you have to do this, is to put a bomb maybe a millimeter from the edge, move a millimeter closer, and time your movement just perfectly so you'll move just when the bomb goes off and it'll launch you to the other side. It's the only way. I tried everything else. Beyond this area is a single item. Then you turn right around and forget the whole ordeal ever happened. I thought, "there's no way it's that complicated. Maybe I just need the spring ball." But I couldn't find it because it was in the stupidest place imaginable: the foot of the statue holding the bomb upgrade (another example of things just being shoved together). Then I came back and tried to use it, but like I said, the ceiling is so low, you won't get any height to go anywhere. I thought, "maybe you're supposed to fall in and use the spring ball to jump back out. I tried bomb jumping, but maybe my timing was just bad." But even the spring ball wouldn't get me high enough, but only in that area. It maintains its normal vertical range everywhere else. Just. That. Area. Of course, that is the ONLY area you would need to traverse vertically with the morph ball. Might as well not even have the spring ball. So it's an item with stupidly obscure placement and next to no actual use. Wonderful. And the only difference between the spring ball and the speed booster is that the speed booster isn't found in a stupidly obscure location...still equally useless, as it's acquired at the end of the game. What a delight.

Look, I didn't wake up thinking "I can't wait to trash someone's Metroid hack." I really wanted to get through the annoying parts so I could enjoy the hack for what it was. But the annoying parts ARE what it was. The annoying parts ARE the hack. Whether I was cursing item placement in a cave, trying to drown underwater, or being burned alive without that "Suncream" outside, I just wanted it to be over. It's not a bad game, it just fails at Hmm. I guess it is a bad game. Well, this critique comes from a place of love: love for Metroid and love for the work of dedicated fans willing to put their time and effort into making a Metroid of their own. I hope this gives you an idea of what to expect from this hack, and I hope it gives you, Jordan5, a solid blueprint, should you try to reconstruct your hack or make a new one... No hard feelings.