benox50's Ratings and Reviews
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Super Junkoid by P. Yoshi [SM Exploration], rated by benox50 on Aug 25, 2023 (Star Star Star Star Star )
100% in 6:36
My first 100% in Metroid, havent even 100% vanilla I think :')
We could say this is a total convertion mod, well it is visually,
good surprise how it was not only unique in graphic, but also in gameplay and context,
I dont like writing grocery list goods and bads, but I started taking notes while playing,
Those are small and I dont think they detract from this masterpiece

-Horror and some visuals are adult but doesnt go overboard
-The total conversion graphically is simply a thing of beauty and this is what I want from a metroid hack, its exploring a new world that is unique, its nailed there even if its not metroid
-Various combat arenas are really good to pace the exploration heavy gameplay
-Contextuals environments and the grounded proping are really refreshing instead of just caves and alien plants of most vanilla tilesets
-Locals are also really moody and the custom spriteworks is well made
-Nice different statues for the specific item, love those kind of things
-UI is amazing, not too far from SM and simple to read
-Thank you for having the story telling in environments, reading is for items description etc., it really made an already immersive experience even more strong
-Good use of SM engine effects and layering ideas
-Really nice differences of gameplay of the two different forms of Junko
-Thanks for limiting the number of times I must press select to reach the last HUD icon ;)
-Really few lag is really appreciated

Less good:
-All ceiling slopes broken
-Some rooms have beautifull BG and others have no BG at all
-Some area like Idol area feel less worked on than Outskirts which looked so so GUD
-Pedestral save hard to know, need to read readme to know
-HP recovery at save should be instant like in Subversion or Prime
-Music in Blood Bethel doesnt fit at all the horror mood of the place
-Wave Bangle should have more uses through the game
-Bit redondant having the hyper beam and magic be the exact same thing, but its only at the end
-The game focus alot on exploration and combat areas but not much on rooms challenges to make use of your abilities, but I really really love the exploration in this, its not hard and well telegraphed so it solves mostly the "bomb this random wall" for completitionists. I still think its good to have a hack focusing on exploration and delivering a world that you really really want to explore

It interestingly has not much in common with Metroid, but it is insanly good,
overall this was a wonderful experience and might be my favorite,
I didnt mind the backtracking or getting boored, cause as said above, the world was so interesting to explore and unique to the author vision, the game is also the right size to properly finish and deliver its superb experience
Super Metroid: Subversion by TestRunner and AmoebaOfDoom [SM Exploration], rated by benox50 on Sep 05, 2022 (Star Star Star Star Star )
60% in 6:00
The most ambitious hack Iv played yet, its as if vanilla SM received quite a lot of new content, with less but some new visuals and mood. Every aspects of SM have been edited from custom music to engine changes and some are lovely small details. It also respect the Metroid lore which some may adore. My favorite additions were the cinematic ones and the world changes, some of the world changes are phenomenal. Lot of new items were added to fill-up the big hack size and also replace what they did with the vanilla ammo. Many many new ways to trigger gates, some really Dread like mechanics, not so much gameplay additions to samus. Some minor bugs but generally really polished and great.

Though I was close to give lower score, because of the progression design and level design, however the amount of amazing stuff that are actually well made is so staggering that X-Fusion can pull up his pants.
Said issues I had with the hack and my path, similar to older hacks a bit. There was lot of missing the progression path. The worst was when planing a path in advance to get blocked by a random gate, far dead ends, one of them traversing 3 areas linearly back n forth, the minor items were either accessible or blocked by the power being off. For the flow, many rooms are small n crampy with many single solid blocks. The map, while being amazing (omg that mini-map !!!), also wont tell sometimes some info like its a one way or a wall or gates and the general entrance to the ice area is weirdly accessible from the side instead of the map it is in. You can use the logbook and read text that will help you, this time being ingame instead of on the web, but I wanted to check how the level design stands on its own, How it tells you that ice can break the fusion thingies. The logbook itself is really well made and crazy for being on snes.
Some of the progression path was near the new item which was good, missable but well placed.
I didn't like the croc fight either, because you either need to read text or you are forced to shinespark without tutorial which is the only dent in accessibility, I like the idea but not the execution, also croc going through the floor I though it was glitched.
I also didn't like the complicated laser puzzle, it wasn't fully trial and error but the rooms back n forth was unnecessary, also the way the room was made you needed the item from that puzzle to make the back n forth faster, wait what? @-@
Rest are minor issues, a hack with such highs made me saw the lows more.

Globally this hack is not only good but also accessible to newcomers, and it stands on its own
as something complete. All the lore, the info you need to finish and also to even replay the hack are all inside the game.
V I T A L I T Y by Digital_Mantra [SM Exploration], rated by benox50 on Oct 18, 2020 (Star Star Star Star Star )
66% in 6:22
Another 6 to that % and I would have been golden,

This is now my favorite hack, its like my Eris 2, more modern and
well made level design wise. The palettes are also better than Eris, but even if they looked broken they still looked good in Eris. The level art is as good if not better than the author previous entries, my favorite part being the use of layer 2 transparency to detail overlay over everything and animate tiles in unique various organic ways probably no snes games and maybe even no games has done. Dman hacks scratches one of the most important itche for metroid and its the alien story telling esthetic exploration. Vitality does that part better than the OG and others Dman hacks by being what it is but a culmination of all the learning and practice of the author with the medium, resulting into the said above with a more fun and smooth progression. There is use of circular navigation and one way that become two ways once a side is walked through. With all that good flow you still crawl through unique intricacies of level art that are waiting to be discovered. The tiles arent just decorating a world, they are the world. My only grip is that the map is still vanilla barebone and doesnt represent too well the area in a sense you need to repeat some navigation around structures many times to know it well. Where instead the map could have told you better that this wall here has an opening so you can pierce farther than the snes tiny res and foresee a path before executing. but I mean thats vanilla map right, but I still feel the complexity here would need a more complex and even changing map. There is also some art overgrowing over the level design hurting the reading of it as many hacks do, but this is way better than in his past projects. For some reason I was more than half way with 2 E-tanks and it was too intense, I feel I got a bad seed but I also felt a lack of proper easy to find/grab e-tank. However the hack aint particularly hard with the proper gears. Im still not sure to recommend as a first first hack for a beginner to play even if for me vitality is now the best hack of SM. This is the first hack to solve the msg box layer 3 temporary removal with a new way of doing things and it has some changes for the better, respin is love respin is life. Behind its more serious tone and alot of big eyes moments, Vitality also made me smile :). I remember talking to my friend about a proper last metroid game going all out with the story and it looks like we just got it.

Metcons definitly did what Nintendont
Hyper Metroid by RealRed [SM Exploration], rated by benox50 on Feb 02, 2020 (Star Star Star Star Star )
No completion stats.
Cant go wrong with that one,
it doesnt try too much to explore outside of the beaten path; keep the areas we know and stay close to SM default gameplay elements apart from Project Base.
But what it offers is top quality and top tier polished, enough to see your reflection on it.
Its not only amazing to see in speedruns but also great for casual plays,
the huge non linearity adds replay value and possibilities.
I think anyone should look at this hack if they want to make one.

Ofc there is some bads, biggest of which is the lag in tourian, probably the most intense lag iv seen. You can also get stuck in some spots for a long time (first Super, PB..), because of the openess. However, choosing the open Metroidvania approach is not bad, dont listen to the ones saying its bad, just look at Hollow Knight being one and its praised. Its a different ruleset that must be respected to make it works and getting them all right is hard.

I like PB (Project Base) physic because it stays super metroid but better in most ways.
The visuals of this hack are really good. Not too arte and weird...
but the color wheel contrast, levels of brightness, clarity, tiling...
all of those aspects and rules are respected to near perfection.
Gonna surely give some of those credits to PB, Im one of those that love the colors choices in PB,
it uses all of the color range, its great and vibrant. Not as muddy and dark as OG SM, but when the changes are great I just embrace them.
Ancient Chozo by Albert V. [SM Vanilla+], rated by benox50 on Feb 01, 2020 (Star Star Star Star Star )
No completion stats.
Ver. 1.1.0
Best looking hack yet you got there and just for that you get 3 stars already. It was also really fun but when the map let me play more how I wanted. I like how you resprited some SM enemies and used them in ways that was really fiting in the environment. Having gameplay elements that stand out enough so player can read them is good. Additionally having them fit in the environment too is something Im having an hard time with and you did a good job there.

Its an half hack but it doesnt feel like that at all since so much details were added,+ 1. Thats a big plus because I personnally prefere a full new map layout.

After some thinking I will give the 5 if we round up and it deserves it, I also recommended it many times to people so its in the top for sure. The main cons still are the full damage spikes at the start and some others tiles were spikes even if they didnt look different enough from others. There was too much vanilla doors that were just blocked in this that shouldnt be and made possible shortcuts not possible for a long time. Some other annoyances that were mentioned already. But 1.1.5 cleans-up alot.
Seriously this is probably one of the best half hack yet if not the best.
Maybe best looking snes game tbh, looks even as if the hack cheated his way to the sega saturn visually, its crazy good. I recommend, mostly for people that wants SM but more modern with the Project Base and with the addition of those beautiful tiles.

This version was also even before Albert knew how to repoint tilesets properly, just thinking of that makes me moist.
Super Metroid CRE 3 by Tundain [SM Spoof], rated by benox50 on May 27, 2023 (Star Star Star Star Star )
64% in 0:42
This one interested me and it was worth the play

Simply for the asm alone this is a must check, I didnt care for the visuals, I just know the theme is respected and its a spoof, I wrote to the author my critique
SM Redesign: Axeil Edition by Drewseph [SM Exploration], rated by benox50 on Aug 12, 2022 (Star Star Star Star Star )
68% in 0:00
This is an interesting case, Im not a fan of the physic because its like having a straitjacket and the snes screen is too small for falling that fast. Some SM mechanics dont work well with altered gravity like grapple because they were designed with the vanilla physic, however...
the dev did tremendous work to mold most of SM around the new physic and its vision. This is one of the rare hack where the dev not only added custom stuff, but also alot of core systems edits to make the game better, most of the time. An exemple is how the map center on samus when you pause, so much passion into small details, I love it.
Its like a really vanilla feel while also pumping hundreds of custom code to make it fresh,
the only hack of this kind... for the moment.

Most of the design decisions is based on the prime games.
The more limited gameplay forces you into a specific progression, but there is still ways to alter it. Another personal downer is the forced quest to unlock the last area, again based on the based prime games, but that aspect isnt based at all in prime1 and even worse in 2, the reason being that it forces you to spend more time in the same areas again, which you already did before when exploring for items.

If you like vanilla SM mood and want a challenge, but doesnt care about physic changes, then you should give this a spin. Play this and not the OG Redesign
So Little Garden by MetroidMst [SM Exploration], rated by benox50 on Oct 20, 2020 (Star Star Star Star Star )
No completion stats.
The lag is outstanding x)
Project Base 0.8.1 by begrimed [SM Improvement], rated by benox50 on Oct 20, 2020 (Star Star Star Star Star )
No completion stats.
So this is for the current version, its great at what it does, I really like some of the added gameplay. I think imo it offers a better speedrun than vanilla and I really want to see this more and more in speedruns instead of vanilla because its just that good to watch. I dont understand how you can say it has bad physics when the positives in the list is way longer than the bads. However I dont like some of the changes to how super metroid should feel since this is like a remaster. I wont mention all, but stuff like the ceres escape and how bosses "cutscenes" have been speed-up to a point that it breaks the anticipation and rythm. It also makes the overall game easier probably to make it even faster, however I dont think super metroid needed to be more easier.
Rotation by SMILEuser96 [SM Spoof], rated by benox50 on Oct 18, 2020 (Star Star Star Star Star )
No completion stats.
Super Metroid: Advent by Shadow96 [SM Quick Play], rated by benox50 on Oct 18, 2020 (Star Star Star Star Star )
No completion stats.
Super Metroid: Pit of 100 Trials by MetroidNerd#9001 [SM Challenge], rated by benox50 on Oct 18, 2020 (Star Star Star Star Star )
No completion stats.
Fun concept done well, the combat in SM aint is strong point. This hack got some nice encounters with various samus abilities put to good use, but I think it could have went another extra mile.
SMContention by SMILEuser96 [SM Spoof], rated by benox50 on Oct 18, 2020 (Star Star Star Star Star )
No completion stats.
awww yeaa... duuuude... look at the sky duuude, it has unicorns in it
Super Metroid Nature by Jefe962 [SM Exploration], rated by benox50 on Oct 18, 2020 (Star Star Star Star Star )
No completion stats.
A good place to start your hack journey
Temple of the Winds by Moehr and Albert V. [SM Exploration], rated by benox50 on Jul 04, 2020 (Star Star Star Star Star )
68% in 2:44
Handsome piece of art, really unique, immersive and full of surprises. Does some new things never seen before in SM. Thumbs-up to Moehr for trying something really different than what we are used to, pushing the custom far and its all original. And thumbs-up to Albert V. for destroying the limits of the snes visually once again. Its hard and some rooms contain big frustration and not the good kind of difficulty, but its an experience worth discovering!
Super Metroid: Darkholme Hospital by Cloud12 [SM Quick Play], rated by benox50 on Feb 01, 2020 (Star Star Star Star Star )
No completion stats.
I really like this author for his global hack concepts ideas and they are actually well executed. A mysterious derelic hospital that gets worse as you go deeper, this is so good as a concept for metroid I just love it. The big down is that everything felt repetitive visually and enemies variety is quite low. This was probably because he needed to pick the right SM content/assets to fit with the hack mindset.
Super Metroid Contamination by Lioran, Aran;Jaeger [SM Challenge], rated by benox50 on Feb 01, 2020 (Star Star Star Star Star )
No completion stats.
I like the concept but not my cup of tea, inaccessible generally, is for a specific target audience. Puzzles are more like glitches than puzzles, even knowing what to do I couldnt do it and it wasnt really fun. But thats also the point of this hack is to show all those obscures glitches exploits and it does a really good job at it. The hack knows how to block other ways to advance well and concentrate on the player knowing each specific SM glitches. At the end you will know more on SM which is super usefull information for both players and hackers. Tiling is servable, nothing fancy.
The other hack similar to this, Containment Chamber, I was able to advance more. I would recommend that other one first.
Ice Metal Uninstall by Crys [SM Exploration], rated by benox50 on Feb 01, 2020 (Star Star Star Star Star )
No completion stats.
I was excited for that one, first one I played where actual custom graphic were used, like new graphic made by the author, kudos to you.
A full hack that old with custom visuals and custom layout and custom items, man this was good.
I liked mostly everything exept that I needed to watch a walkthrough to know where to go because finding that one spot in such an open world map
wasnt really fun.
Never understood why the metal is uninstall though.
Super Zero Mission by SBniconico [SM Exploration], rated by benox50 on Feb 01, 2020 (Star Star Star Star Star )
No completion stats.
First hack I played and I was amazed by how much you can do with the SM modding scene. I didnt even know there was an editor back then, though it was black magic. (pants became hard once I knew)
Really liked to play SZM with SM physics and that it was an original map and all, felt like a new full expansion to SM.
This hack does so much stuff and is so old thats its pretty crazy.
However there is alot of wrong design choices, mostly making things as hard as possible.
I felt that some parts needed save states and thats bad.
Digital Cube by Cloud12 [SM Challenge], rated by benox50 on Feb 01, 2020 (Star Star Star Star Star )
No completion stats.
Sadly you will need to use savestates to enjoy that one because of the concept, but apart from that its an amazing concept.
Really original, well based on cube movie (Im one that actually watched the movie and enjoyed it mostly for the concept again).
Still really unique hack, concept is well executed, every rooms feel like a mystery to uncover, you feel traped, lost and toyed around by unknown forces.
I really love that you set rules like the doors color and each rooms beeing a 1x1, really unique hack.
Eris by Digital_Mantra [SM Exploration], rated by benox50 on Feb 01, 2020 (Star Star Star Star Star )
No completion stats.
Eris was the second hack I played after SZM and it really struck me, so much that even to this day it stayed in my top favorite.
I also critique it as the time when it came out and when I played it because this is a really old hack.

Firstly, the thing I love the most with Eris is the level art and how Dman used vanilla tiles in all sort of way as a medium
to paint artistic rooms. Its amazing that its all vanilla and also how he used the tiles to tell a story in the backgrounds of rooms.
Talking of backgrounds, most hacks do backgrounds as a second though, but Eris really push custom backgrounds tiling to a new level.
Eris really does painting with the tiles and not just ground and structures, exploring this alien world and taking the time to
look around was really satisfying. This hack is also really impressive technically even if it dont use custom code that much. However it uses
all of the engine existing features and FXs in new ways to create art. Which thus lead to great atmosphere, exploration and rooms.

Secondly, for the bads we have the fact that the complex level art makes it so its really hard to differentiate the background from the foreground.
Sometimes elements from the FG and BG has even the same color palette which is bad design. Its also not for casual but its less hard than cliffhanger.
Sometimes the path forward can be a bit too hard to find.

Not sure how this hack will stand years later, but that first experience definitly resonated with joy. The goods overwhelm the bads for me.
I love the weird and this gave me the weird I wanted and even some that I didnt know I wanted.
Super Metroid Arcade : Endless mode by Lioran, Tewtal [SM Quick Play], rated by benox50 on Dec 12, 2017 (Star Star Star Star Star )
No completion stats.
Taking the door randomizer and making it great.
The achievements and mother brain as a normal boss are the best parts.
Thing is that the vanilla rooms arent the best suited for this, I think having custom flexibles rooms would make it better or just more rooms to vary.
Wibrarne by Taco [SM Challenge], rated by benox50 on Jan 28, 2023 (Star Star Star Star Star )
4% in 0:15
Original Nice challenge hack with efforts in it, its too small and not complete enough for me to give more in the grand scheme of every hacks.
Also the boss aint bad, if the player had means to survive more, that boss is like the best custom boss mechanicly; It has multiple phases with telegraphed attacks, color coded attacks, hell yes!!, in a way that most are avoidable which is something I cant say for most SM bosses.
But since the player has no chance, the boss simply cant shine.
Super Hauntroid by Scyzer [SM Quick Play], rated by benox50 on Oct 20, 2020 (Star Star Star Star Star )
No completion stats.
Super Metroid: Black Plague by JamieWebb16 [SM Quick Play], rated by benox50 on Oct 18, 2020 (Star Star Star Star Star )
No completion stats.
My internet killed my review :d
Cliffhanger by Digital_Mantra [SM Challenge], rated by benox50 on Oct 18, 2020 (Star Star Star Star Star )
No completion stats.
Super Metroid: Arrival by Jefe962 [SM Exploration], rated by benox50 on Oct 18, 2020 (Star Star Star Star Star )
No completion stats.
Fun and fast to traverse, not alot of bottlenecks in this one where others hacks can have an hard time with, good for going fast, sweet and short, nice visuals/tiling in general. But blind play was meh for exploration, rooms/hack felt really empty and booring. Reason being not alot of personality nor key elements that you can remember per rooms, not alot of unknown surprises or new or challenges, and I dare say a general feel of lazyness in all the efforts, which lead to repetition
and not alot going on while doing the many back and forth between items. Im hard but I feel it had the potential, is close, just need that extra juice.
Oxide by Cyclamen32 [SM Exploration], rated by benox50 on Oct 18, 2020 (Star Star Star Star Star )
No completion stats.
Fun lil one to squeeze inbetween two Playthroughs, but doesnt offer much and has many repetitive kill enemies doors.
Final Stand by Moderndayzero [SM Challenge], rated by benox50 on Feb 01, 2020 (Star Star Star Star Star )
No completion stats.
Love the colors here, black and neon lime green is a combination of love. But man this is hard, really hard. The difficulty transform this small hack into a long one.
didnt know what to do at the end too, was stuck and this was litterally the end, good idea badly executed.
Phazon Hack by A_red_monk_called_Key [SM Exploration], rated by benox50 on Feb 01, 2020 (Star Star Star Star Star )
No completion stats.
For 0.3 (spoilers)
Too bad this hack wasnt that fun, I would give a 4 if the enemies were less tanky and that the map was better designed.
It really feel like few planing was done for the whole map layout and how progression go, getting lost but for too long need to use a guided playthrough. I was young, I was bad, didnt understood where the dots were, but I still think it got too big of an explorable map.
I only remember liking the event where the volcano awake, that was really memorable and the blue phazon cavern at the end.
Those were high points, rest is really forgettable though. Too big and empty, quantity over quality, cant kill even the basic enemies fast enough, missiles felt useless which are even "supers" in this and that doesn't resonate with joy.
I mostly forgot, this uses full custom graphic, its crazy on that level, I approve of the effort. However after seeing Albert and Ted custom graphics and other great pixel art modifications, this still looks like my first fangame graphic in some parts, it looks okay. Where everything metal looks like plastic and flat in a way that doesnt use the full colors range. Also alot of random filler patterns and photoshop bevels shaded squares that makes it looks worse than SM vanilla. Caverns look better, but some spots too dark to see samus proper though.
But man its all custom, all, and still decent looking, not great but decent. Also custom graphic for bosses and the bigs ones too yo!
Super Metroid Clocktoberfest by Aran;Jaeger, moehr [SM Exploration], rated by benox50 on Oct 20, 2020 (Star Star Star Star Star )
No completion stats.
Normally id ask "Dude, I want some of your stuff, I want to see the world in
Tetrachromacy" but here it made me blind before even asking
So Little Time by MetroidMst [SM Spoof], rated by benox50 on Feb 01, 2020 (Star Star Star Star Star )
No completion stats.
Playing it at night with no light was one hell of an experience, for the better or for the worse.