dstruthers's Ratings and Reviews
Hyper Metroid by RealRed [SM Exploration], rated by dstruthers on Apr 27, 2015 (Star Star Star Star Star )
87% in 12:14
Hyper Metroid is the first SM ROM hack that I have played through to completion (though I am familiar with several others), and I found it thoroughly entertaining, even though I had some mild frustrations along the way. Since I have not played Project Base, I was worried in the beginning that the altered physics might spoil the hack for me, but I found them easy to adapt to, and it didn’t take me long to see how the Zebes of Hyper Metroid was aptly designed around these particular physics. The new physics combined with the overhauled graphics made this game feel very fresh to me, thus setting it apart from most other ROM hacks of this game. I loved the reimagined Wrecked Ship and Maridia particularly. The escape at the end was another high point, as many others have said. Here are specific pros and cons, in my opinion:

* I enjoyed how open-ended the game felt. I wasn’t trying to sequence break, but I did, for example, pick up Gravity before Varia just because I decided to mockball into Maridia and do some exploring there before entering the Wrecked Ship. In the end, it looks like I did defeat the major bosses in the “intended” order of this hack, but I wasn’t even sure about that until I started reading posts on this thread after I completed the game.
* Visually, I loved Wrecked Ship and Maridia. I thought the design of the Wrecked Ship was altogether better than that of vanilla SM, which is not a praise I would give lightly.
* I loved rooms that required using the non-hostile creatures to assist in getting through the room.
* I am not a big fan of the Tourian gates approach to SM ROM hacks, but in spite of that, I felt that feature was implemented well in this hack.
* Mini-Phantoon and mini-Crocomire were wonderful additions.
* The escape at the end was incredibly well designed. Such a satisfying end to an awesome ROM hack!

* By far my top criticism is that the map does not display unopened doors that lead into rooms which are not initially visible on the map. In many cases these are gray doors that I saw, couldn’t pass through, and then forgot about. This resulted in me wasting way too much time re-exploring all the rooms I had visited before, searching for new doors that I could open. Because of this, it took me absolutely forever to get power bombs, and made it harder to find gate 10 at the end than it needed to be (I think this also caused me to miss early Screw Attack, which would have been fun to pick up). It would be awesome if this could be addressed in some way for the 1.1 release.
* Ridley managed to get himself stuck in his platform on my second attempt at him. I know that this can occur in vanilla SM, but given how rare it is, I would guess that something about this hack may make it more common? Something to look into, I suppose.
* I recall noticing at times that the X-Ray Scope did not reveal destructable blocks. I’m not sure whether this was intended or not, but I found it a bit annoying, and this left me wondering how much time I spent pointlessly X-Raying walls (I used X-Ray more than I probably would because it is given so early in the game that it gave me the impression that it is meant to be used throughout the game).
* There are Speed Booster corridors that looked to me like they were designed for shinesparks which change direction mid-spark. If that is true, I actually couldn’t figure out how to do such a shinespark (I feel like I’m probably missing something obvious). At least once, I made it through one of these areas by means of short charging. I thought it was fun to try to charge up shinesparks in super short distances in this hack, but it wouldn’t be fun for less experienced players.
* Changing the default controls to those that the hack author prefers was a pointlessly egocentric modification. I won't belabor this, but they should be changed back to default controls in future versions.

All in all, I thought this was a really excellent ROM hack, and everyone who was involved in its creation deserves massive congratulations! My criticisms above really amount to nit-picky stuff, and if those issues could be addressed with some polishing for v1.1, this will be a truly incredible hack. Well done!