Zhs2's Ratings and Reviews
SM - Cryogenesis by Onnyks [SM Exploration], rated by Zhs2 on Jan 13, 2022 (Star Star Star Star Star )
76% in 3:05
You don't know how cool it is for various assembly patches to be showcased in a hack until you play the full-fledged hack that actually showcases them. Allow me to say first that the new item is the most satisfying way to kill those spiked Maridia floor hiders, hands down. Beyond that, this hack does very interesting things with transitions from foreground to background and rooms within rooms. The screenshots don't showcase the rooms with the hands, but this is the hack you come to for the rooms with the creatively tiled hands (among other things). My only complaint about this hack is that Hotlands seemed like a more intuitive and user-friendly experience than this one, but this hack is by no means evil - just extremely damaging at certain parts, and a little obscure in the case of finding grapple beam. Recommend you definitely give this winner of the contest it was in a try today.
Super Metroid: Hotlands by MetroidNerd#9001 [SM Exploration], rated by Zhs2 on Dec 31, 2021 (Star Star Star Star Star )
59% in 1:19
Good short-ish gimmick hack. The limited number of upgrades you find were always useful, and the optional ones make some things easier but some other things harder in return. The room based bosses were simple but not frustrating. The single vanilla boss was balanced to match the limited resources of the hack. The creator definitely put Super Metroid's existing resources to good use. I don't know what other hacks were in the contest but I bet this hack definitely deserved placing in the top three. Also, my sister had to tell me the music was stolen from Undertale.
V I T A L I T Y by Digital_Mantra [SM Exploration], rated by Zhs2 on Oct 17, 2020 (Star Star Star Star Star )
56% in 5:02
4 years well spent, but I wouldn't necessarily trust DMan with the phrase "hack made for noobs". There is much in the way to pick up that has been made very not obvious, and some items are even less obvious in this final release than during the playtesting phase. Always be wary of secret passages, especially near locked doors, and do know there's a way to escape Ridley's volcano if you don't have enough items to beat him. That being said, it's not a difficult hack at all. Searching every nook and cranny you can find goes a long way toward rounding out your ability to survive. Absolutely worth more than one playthrough.
Hyper Metroid by RealRed [SM Exploration], rated by Zhs2 on Apr 21, 2015 (Star Star Star Star Star )
No completion stats.
I'm biased because I like RealRed's hacks, but here goes: this hack is one of the most fun least difficulty hacks I've ever played. Fuck Oxide and vanilla, vanilla especially because there are items hidden in stupid places in that hack.
Oxide by Cyclamen32 [SM Exploration], rated by Zhs2 on Apr 01, 2015 (Star Star Star Star Star )
No completion stats.
Oxide looks like your average Super Metroid. But wait! Look at all of these missiles you just got! Wow, you're going to have a lot of fun trying to run out of those! No kidding! The only downside to this hack is a bit of backtracking, but I had too much fun spending missiles to care.
Super Duper Metroid by Metaquarius, Daltone [SM Exploration], rated by Zhs2 on Dec 11, 2021 (Star Star Star Star Star )
86% in 6:08
This hack is... alright. I wouldn't say it's actually super duper, maybe just super. This is because of heavy similarity with Vitality, in the granularity of exploration you must apply in order to acquire what veterans of Super Metroid these days consider "optional", the biggest offender in this case being beams. Expansions not so much but I'm not amused by the concept of half e-tanks, even if it does lend to seeing them all over the place.

I can't in good faith give this hack five stars because the non-linearity lends to a rocky start of your first playthrough, your efforts to plumb Duper's Zebes surrounded on all sides by threatening sidehoppers, heatruns, and water - it will be just as frustrating as mine for the first couple of hours, guaranteed. Underwater suitless is in fact required for the "intended" sequence of major items, but the moment you find Gravity Suit the hack is promptly blown wide open for the taking, making most threats rather unthreatening. Only one problem: you still have to find it, and you're not going to have a good time without Charge Beam, also just about as stupidly hidden within the muck of a "broken lamp" passage a room prior.

Beyond all that, if you're an elite player I understand this hack offers more options for replayability than your typical SM hack, so props for that too.
Reimagined by SavageWizzrobe [SM Exploration], rated by Zhs2 on Dec 02, 2021 (Star Star Star Star Star )
71% in 6:21
While DMantra hasn't officially reviewed this hack, the most apt description I can think to give it is in his words: "I was fine with its whateverness, it was just more Super Metroid to spend my night on." And you know what? That's exactly what it is. Moreso is it like Redesign minus Drewseph, but at its core it is another Zebes from another timeline to explore and uncover. It is correctly labelled "Veteran" difficulty, as there are many scenarios where walljumping is required and many, many expansions are hidden off of map squares you will need to search thoroughly to enter, but it is by no means challenging, nor is it frustrating to progress through the major item chain. Filling out the map in complete pink is enough to uncover roughly 70% of the items, and that's all you need to beat the game. No bosses seem altered for difficulty. It really was just more Super Metroid to spend my night on, and that's exactly what it aims to be. Definitely recommend a playthrough if you're good at the original game.
Searching for Items by Terimakasih [SM Exploration], rated by Zhs2 on Apr 02, 2015 (Star Star Star Star Star )
No completion stats.
This hack makes you feel good about yourself in the worst way possible, e.g. being as good as the hack author in terms of finding items - because they aren't hidden or hidden creatively, at all. If you want a short, easy romp, play this hack.
Phazon Hack by A_red_monk_called_Key [SM Exploration], rated by Zhs2 on Apr 02, 2015 (Star Star Star Star Star )
No completion stats.
You thought Revolution EX was bad about needing to shoot enemies repeatedly until they die? This hack is going to knock you into next week, buddy. Still, it's not bad at all - the graphics are stylish (and obviously Photoshopped), the progression chain is clear-cut, and there's fun to be had even if you have to expend all of your ammo to have it! Definitely a good hack for veteran players.
Ice Metal Uninstall by Crys [SM Exploration], rated by Zhs2 on Apr 01, 2015 (Star Star Star Star Star )
No completion stats.
I liked this hack a lot. It wasn't too difficult to find items, and it didn't railroad you; that might be good in some people's books, some bad, but to me I didn't find it too much of a problem since I don't remember a point where I was dropped on a boss without sufficient gear to kill it - not everyone will have the same experience thanks to how open-ended this hack is, and I think the forum thread proves that. Still, four item balls from me.
Ancient Chozo by Albert V. [SM Vanilla+], rated by Zhs2 on Jan 13, 2022 (Star Star Star Star Star )
94% in 3:08
Review based on the 2020 version of Ancient Chozo, aka patch version 1.1.5. When I went into this hack I was expecting cool things solely based on the praise of other proficient hackers, and it was just a little more than disappointing once I walked through the first few rooms and realized it was literally just Super Metroid with ZM and Hyper graphics. That's not to say it isn't pretty. Albert V really put a lot of time and effort into retiling every room he could get his hands on, and overall his work ultimately culminated in what feels like a remix of Zebes - where you still know how to find (almost) every item it has to offer and yet still incorporates enough new rooms that it isn't all exactly the same. I'd give this hack a good four stars if it wasn't for a spontaneous decision at the very end to incorporate X-Ray into the escape, which doesn't freeze the timer and you will be wasting many precious seconds trying to figure out how to exit the third damn room on your way out. Overall a pretty good halfhack, though the fact that it's a halfhack would be that much less of a letdown if this hack was actually just what a typical all frills Project Base patch made Super Metroid look like. Just saiyan.
Super Metroid Biohazard by Mentlegen, SMILEuser96 [SM Speedrun/Race], rated by Zhs2 on Dec 31, 2021 (Star Star Star Star Star )
60% in 2:32
Soy tier "every patch from project base without actually being project base" "all CRE stolen from Hyper" "player graphics stolen from Opposition" hack. 70% of it is CRE hell and the developer ENCOURAGES you to stay in CRE hell by placing just about every major upgrade save beams, bombs, hj, space jump, and screw attack in CRE hell. The other 30% of it is not visually appealing either, attempts to be more than SM yet still fall flat at escaping sameness. There are also lots of blank room segments that appear past scrolls the dev didn't bother to fill in, likely because he didn't expect the camera to scroll that far. One door in Phytor Ruins when entered from the left takes you to a higher door on exit. Overall not a very difficult hack and okay on fun factor, but it definitely needed polish. And the music is kinda catchy, but nothing special.
Super Metroid: HISHE by Scyzer [SM Unknown], rated by Zhs2 on May 13, 2020 (Star Star Star Star Star )
No completion stats.
A gimmick, but an excellent gimmick.
Super Metroid: Ascent by Benox50 [SM Exploration], rated by Zhs2 on May 13, 2020 (Star Star Star Star Star )
No completion stats.
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.
Super Metroid: Z-Factor by Metaquarius [SM Exploration], rated by Zhs2 on Apr 02, 2015 (Star Star Star Star Star )
No completion stats.
I'm bringing down the rating on this one. Know why? It's not the god-like hack some people might tell you it is. It has the open-ended exploration of Ice Metal, but not the assurance of mind that you won't get dropped into a stupid situation at any door you deign to enter. It has a cut-out sequence of progression, but good luck trying to find your way forward at certain points in the game - more than likely you'll find yourself lost in a sea of hallways and dead-ends that contain nasty slip-ups capable of sending you back ten, twenty minutes of progress, or more on a death. I'm fairly sure I reached all the way to Gravity, personally, but I'm still not sure if I actually completed the hack in its entirety; that's a testament to the far-reaching complexity only the hack's author seems to understand. It was still an effort on his part, though, and something to be explored if you have both the time and the patience!
Super Metroid: Redesign by Drewseph [SM Exploration], rated by Zhs2 on Apr 01, 2015 (Star Star Star Star Star )
No completion stats.
It's the granddaddy of major hacks, alright. The physics fight you, there are great places to get stuck X-Ray won't help you out of, and Sidehoppers will try to shank you with impunity. Still, it's worth checking out as a solid release and a experience you will likely never forget - good and bad. Watch out for Metroids!
Super Metroid Revolution EX by RealRed [SM Exploration], rated by Zhs2 on Apr 01, 2015 (Star Star Star Star Star )
No completion stats.
Pretty good, if you don't mind spending the time shooting Space Pirates repeatedly with separate beams. (As in, completely separate - Ice, Wave, Spazer, etc. alone. Configured the normal way through the pause screen.) Fairly solid work otherwise.
SM:Decision by JoshShoeWah [SM Exploration], rated by Zhs2 on Jan 13, 2022 (Star Star Star Star Star )
86% in 2:12
Is this really the standard of quality we think is okay for Super Metroid in 2018? *Ahem* Besides the obvious misgivings like the author having zero idea of how to make any landscape look less than solid and noob design decisions abound, this hack really doesn't stand out as anything special, at all. It's not overly difficult, it can catch you up with a few bad design quirks here and there but overall it's completely playable and it kind of saddens me that that's the best thing I can say about it. Ugly suits and the not-well-thought gimmick that gives the hack its name just shove it so far into mediocre it hurts, like imagine choosing spring ball over grapple or screw attack over plasma. Crocomire's fight was about the most interesting highlight, no hack I've ever seen before has put blocks behind him to add to the things to do in that fight, but the fair few sparks of brilliance this hack has to share are easily overshadowed by dumb choices like the short charge wall that seemed inserted into Tourian just for the sake of being annoying. By the way, you can stand on the wires above the arena in Draygon's fight and he'll just swoop below you without a care in the world. Overall a meh hack that gives you the impression you played it for longer than the hacker worked on it.
Lost World by TROM [SM Exploration], rated by Zhs2 on Nov 25, 2021 (Star Star Star Star Star )
101% in 15:39
In 2015, one man had a vision. This man's name was TROM, and by the sweat of his baguette he set out to craft the Super Metroid hack to conquer all. Soon had he created a massive gauntlet of exploration, buffered and extended by tides of liquid movement not yet known to Super Metroid fans. TROM had created the perfect hack, known as... Lost Underwater.

No, no, wait, that's not right. Let me start again. In 2015, one man had a vision. This man's name was TROM, and by the might of his white flag he set out to craft the Super Metroid hack to conquer all. Soon had he created an undertaking of proportions that fankind might be pressed not to see again, one where room after room connects in such circular fashion that one can't help but run them for items with new major equipment again and again. TROM had created the perfect hack, known as... Loop World.

No, that's still not right. Let me try this one more time. In 2015, one man had a vision. This man's name was TROM, and from the squeeze of his Muslim refugees did he produce the Super Metroid hack to conquer all. Soon he had created an epic tale of Samus' adventures in gainingly and progressively more frustrating fashion, building and toiling more and more upon annoying tricks and air fool x-ray that might turn away a fan of lesser mettle. TROM had created the perfect hack, known as... Lost Cause.

Alright, I could keep coming up with nicknames for this hack all night, but serious time. Metaquarius' review is absolutely right. This hack is not for the faint of time, and be prepared to look up somebody else's youtube playthrough to advance at points in this hack, especially for major item locations - the hack makes NO attempt to guide the player from one to the next, and which loop you need to go through next is a shot in the dark at least four times. I might not have completed it if I weren't streaming it for the boys and laughing at their snide commentary all the way through the hack. TROM put his soul into level design and (subpar but at least consistent) graphical quality but that's all this hack has going for it, the rest of it reeks of amateur hacking 101. I might have given it three orbs if I didn't have to crystal flash for Ridley and my friends didn't have to walk me through the NECESSARY super short charge needed to open Hilly Swamp's yellow gate. No advanced techniques needed my butt. Oh, and don't get me started on the gates. I studied Palmy Risen's hack map to beeline to each one after I got plasma because the hack was just tedious after being starved of super missiles for so long. This hack is best summed up as one man's brain TROMma and all Super Metroid players' easily avoided descent into tedium and anger.
AN.T.I [ANother Terrible Idea] by TriAsUnit [SM Quick Play], rated by Zhs2 on Nov 17, 2021 (Star Star Star Star Star )
88% in 0:42
Gave this hack (the one labelled 0.5.1.1) a fair handshake to see if it stacks up for 2015 Quickplay but I cannot find the super missiles and thus cannot complete. Not gonna waste any more time on this hack.

UPDATE: I lied. If it weren't for the GRACIOUS inclusion of the 100% video on Aran;Jaeger's review, I would not have completed this. I'll give it one more orb for being able to complete the hack, but the hidden route to super missiles... Seriously? There are at least ten walls that look like the secret passage to them and I'm supposed to pick out that one? That's one terrible hack design idea. The other terrible idea is the gimmick of including the accel charge patch, which makes charging your beam super slow. Save that for a larger, more drawn out hack instead of this quick idea jotted out in SMILE.
'Roidz by DemickXII [M1 Improvement], rated by Zhs2 on May 13, 2020 (Star Star Star Star Star )
No completion stats.
Okay, this graphical hack actually looks pretty damn cool. Still, it's not a level design hack.
Super Metroid: Dependence by Black Telomeres [SM Exploration], rated by Zhs2 on May 08, 2015 (Star Star Star Star Star )
87% in 5:27
I wanted to say this hack was kind of cool and did some neat things, but... it didn't. It's an old grandpappy decade-charged fart of a hack made of terrible tiling and even more terrible design decisions. It's alright if you love rooms with like 8/5000 tiles made of shot blocks that you need to shoot to proceed and fun grappling sequences, I guess. In summary, Black Telomeres would get fired really quickly if he was a building architect.
Super Zero Mission by SBniconico [SM Exploration], rated by Zhs2 on Apr 02, 2015 (Star Star Star Star Star )
No completion stats.
You think it might be like the official Nintendo release of Zero Mission, but you quickly find yourself very, very wrong. Still, even for the difficulties in playing, there are a few good moments to it. Complete this only if you hate yourself.
Airy by Cyclamen32 [SM Exploration], rated by Zhs2 on Apr 01, 2015 (Star Star Star Star Star )
No completion stats.
Not as good as its big brother Oxide. This one took more effort to complete and didn't feel that great.
Super Metroid: Pantheon by squishy_ichigo [SM Exploration], rated by Zhs2 on Apr 01, 2015 (Star Star Star Star Star )
No completion stats.
ORANGE AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA
Metroid + Saving by snarfblam [M1 Improvement], rated by Zhs2 on Apr 01, 2015 (Star Star Star Star Star )
No completion stats.
The best assembly hack ever made, hands down... But it's not a level design hack.
So Little Time by MetroidMst [SM Spoof], rated by Zhs2 on Apr 01, 2015 (Star Star Star Star Star )
No completion stats.
Shit. Avoid.