infinality's Ratings and Reviews
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V E R T I C A L I T Y by Tundain [SM Exploration], rated by infinality on Apr 30, 2024 (Star Star Star Star Star )
No completion stats.
I haven't finished it yet but I'm about 80% through.

Criticisms: Some mini-bosses can be cheesed, and some main ones are a bit too easy, except the first one. I agree with some of the criticisms of the music. It's... strange, in a non-helpful way. I was a bit put off at first with the teleporters and considered quitting but I'm glad I pushed through. They are annoying but doable especially once you get a certain item.

Accolades: As hacks go, this is quite impressive, with new items, abilities and menu customizations. The vertical nature of it is about as well done as you could do with SM. There are some really "neat" and unique things in here that I haven't seen before, and the puzzles to get items are fun and make getting them seem more valuable.

Most of the shinesparking required hardly qualifies as "vanilla". I would easily call this a "veteran" hack. Of course, most people playing this are intimately familiar with SM, so whatever I guess. I'd love seeing more hacks from Tundain!
Super Metroid: Subversion by TestRunner and AmoebaOfDoom [SM Exploration], rated by infinality on Oct 15, 2022 (Star Star Star Star Star )
No completion stats.
Every time a new good hack comes out, people are like "OmG ThIs Is THe BeSt ONe EvER!" That said, I enjoyed playing this one, and approached 100% collection. The new features are nice, and I liked the special weapon (shhh!). Having new music is also a plus, and some of the tracks were well done, but some were so-so. (I commend the effort to attempt new music though.) As some others have said, there are "rocky" parts that make it harder to zip through areas once you are powered up, and I'd prefer more connection of areas at that point. With those criticisms I still give this 5 stars due to the scope, features, and creativity.
Ancient Chozo by Albert V. [SM Vanilla+], rated by infinality on Dec 23, 2020 (Star Star Star Star Star )
83% in 5:28
High-quality assets and fun areas. Having the basic vanilla map made it easier to guess spots to check for secrets. I liked the early plasma beam.
V I T A L I T Y by Digital_Mantra [SM Exploration], rated by infinality on Nov 17, 2020 (Star Star Star Star Star )
No completion stats.
I'm enthralled and engrossed in this hack. I've been playing SM and hacks since the 90s, and while I don't consider myself an expert, I "know some maneuvers" - Han Solo.

I'm roughly halfway through. At first, it was pretty difficult because you are given so little, but allowed to explore so much area. The teasing of future items is good, and I enjoy it. There is a lot of remembering back to parts you were at when you saw super missiles or power bombs required, and you need to remember that going into the game, because you will probably be going back and forth a bit. That irritates some people, but it's the kind of thing I actually enjoy.

It's puzzling sometimes, but usually it's because you haven't gone back to explore something you saw before. I like that it takes a while to build up at first because you start so weak and it helps you learn new techniques (that I already know, but it's good refresher).

This is a high quality hack that deserves some respect for the time and thought that went into it. Great Job!
Hyper Metroid by RealRed [SM Exploration], rated by infinality on Mar 30, 2017 (Star Star Star Star Star )
No completion stats.
I created an account, just so that I could rate a few of the hacks. This is clearly a 5-star worthy hack. It was interesting and unique throughout, and I love the changes that Project Base provided, particularly the easier infinite bombing and space jump resuming.
Super Zero Mission by SBniconico [SM Exploration], rated by infinality on Mar 30, 2017 (Star Star Star Star Star )
No completion stats.
Compared to other SM players, I'm probably in the mid-range of skill level, so there were parts of this hack that were extremely difficult, and I absolutely used savestates! As the game went on, I also started peeking at maps that people had posted, which were helpful for parts that I couldn't figure out.

Aside from my own abilities, I loved the large map, and the thoughtful, meticulous design. I wish all hacks were done with this level of quality!
Lost World by TROM [SM Exploration], rated by infinality on Dec 08, 2020 (Star Star Star Star Star )
109% in 24:13
I was looking for a long exploration hack and this one hit the spot. I'm about 95% through but trying to find all items (there are a lot). I've played 20 or so exploration hacks and would consider myself a veteran but not an expert. I agree with another reviewer that this should be classified as "veteran" and not "vanilla". This game is relatively hard and I would not expect a casual player to be able to deal with this hack.

The levels are well-thought through for gameplay early and later in the game and TROM clearly spent a long time creating this. Before you find super missiles, it's pretty overwhelming because there is so much area to cover, and hard to remember spots where you can progress once you get a new item. So there is a lot of covering the same areas many times looking for something you might have missed.
I sequence-broke and got supers the "wrong" way, and used IBJ quite a bit to maybe get to spots I wasn't supposed to be at yet, which could have added to the confusion.

There were several times I thought I was soft-locked or stuck for various reasons, but there is usually a way out if you search long enough. One complaint is that there were some spots where it was unclear to me if I'm "supposed" to use an advanced technique or if I'm sequence-breaking by doing it. Draygon is a good example of this, and you might understand once you are there. Another complaint is that it is easy to miss charge beam in the mountains, as someone else mentioned. You can still get past a "certain boss" if you find a beam weapon first, even if you don't have enough missiles.

There is no way I would have attempted this without savestates, as there are some very specific, tricky mechanics at some points that will be annoying time-wasters if you don't execute them consistently. Lots of various techniques are required if you want to get everything, especially Tidal Beam. I learned how to execute one that I've never been able to do before when trying to get that one. Thank you savestates!

I recommend this hack if you are into exploration and are OK doing or learning some harder techniques.
Super Mochtroid by P0ZN0 [M1 Vanilla+], rated by infinality on Nov 25, 2020 (Star Star Star Star Star )
No completion stats.
The new Samus sprites are a huge improvement! These should be used in every Metroid hack. I also agree with the other reviewer that downward shooting (and diagonal?) would be great additions. Also, it seems like the hitboxes are still the original size. Any possibility of getting that increased to match the sprites?

For what it's worth, I tried applying this with Wall Jump patch:

Applying them in either order breaks it unfortunately, but this would be a great one to integrate too!
Phazon Hack by A_red_monk_called_Key [SM Exploration], rated by infinality on Mar 30, 2017 (Star Star Star Star Star )
No completion stats.
This hack gets a gold star for being unique. It has a different feel than most of the other ones. I played through half of it before I realized I wasn't on the most recent version, and converting over the latest one was... interesting. But at least the map fills out now and remembers the rooms you've been in.