nodever2's Ratings and Reviews
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Super Metroid: Subversion by TestRunner and AmoebaOfDoom [SM Exploration], rated by nodever2 on Sep 30, 2022 (Star Star Star Star Star )
69% in 6:40
Did most of my playthrough on 1.1, switched to 1.2 after Draygon.

Overall, this is an incredibly polished and large-scale new Metroid experience with many new additions to the game, and it's highly recommended that you try it. The hack contains a fully custom soundtrack, several new tilesets, new items, new enemies, various code changes all over the place, and more. It's fresh and memorable and mostly flows pretty well. The custom events were a treat as well, and I am really glad to see more hacks including events that change the world over time as you play. It's something I value a lot.

Bugs were few and far between - the only significant one I can recall was a crash after beating Draygon which is apparently rare. It didn't happen after a re-fight, and as far as Draygon fights go this one wasn't too hard so it wasn't too bad of an inconvenience.

The only complaints I can really make about this hack are the world navigation and sometimes obtuse boss solutions. For world navigation, my main complaint is with the way some of the central areas connect with each other. For some strange reason, the Wrecked Ship area is disjointed into two separate halves, an upper and a lower half, and you cannot travel between them for much of the game. Before you find the somewhat well hidden fast travel area which has entrances that aren't unlocked until pretty late in the adventure, the only way to cross through Wrecked Ship is to go to the lower part which involves traveling through a roundabout path with a morph maze. This irritated me after having done it several times.

As for the bosses, while I liked that they did different things with them and most of them were successful, I think some of these boss solutions are obtuse enough that some players might have a hard time figuring them out on their own. I personally feel like the hack is too reliant and expectant on players reading the logbook to figure out solutions to these types of things in the hack instead of the solution being more intuitive in gameplay. I am glad the logbook is here, and this would be a far bigger problem without it, but sometimes it felt like it was used as a crutch. In particular, there is like no way I would have figured out Ridley on my own, since (SPOILERS - skip the rest of this paragraph to avoid) he's in an ice area which discourages you from wearing the suit you need to use on him, plus I had never even known that sparks gave you hyper beam because up to this point the hack had only encouraged me to do so with the lasers and never taught me about the sparks.

Regardless, I am very glad to see this hack trying new and creative ideas, and I don't think that these slight hitches are anything gamebreaking. In fact, I think pretty much anyone going into this hack will have a good experience. The fact that this hack goes above and beyond and provides difficulty options, challenges, and more is the icing on the cake. There are so many cool/interesting changes to the game it's hard to cover them all in one review. This is definitely one of the top hacks that I have ever played, and the developers of this hack deserve a lot of commendations for their hard work, especially since they also gave us a great editor to boot. Much respect.
Polarity by Oi27, Moehr [SM Exploration], rated by nodever2 on Sep 10, 2022 (Star Star Star Star Star )
34% in 1:09
[Watch Video]  
Review is for contest version, max% is 53%.

Polarity absolutely nails its atmosphere. The eerie music combined with the mostly black and white aesthetic (which makes the colored elements pop even more) is such a unique experience, and when coupled with a fun world to explore and a few interesting new mechanics, was surely a surprise hit for me.
SM Redesign: Axeil Edition by Drewseph [SM Exploration], rated by nodever2 on May 04, 2022 (Star Star Star Star Star )
60% in 12:02
[Watch Video]  
Click the icon next to my game percentage to watch my playthrough video.

295.98 Km traveled
38,404 Energy lost
3,614 Enemies killed
21,365 Shots fired
2,388 Doors traversed

Played v1.6 ("final" 03/18/2021).

This hack is really good. If you like getting lost in a massive (much larger than SM) Metroid world with many cool and well designed puzzles and custom mechanics, you should try this. I would consider this a must-play today with how impactful Redesign has been to the SM hacking community and with how refined this hack has become over the years.

Quick warning though, while the newest version makes things a lot more accessible, it's still a hard hack. The difficulty is just much more fair now. I highly recommend checking out the readme if you ever feel stuck, it gives many tips and explains most major changes to the game compared to vanilla. Also, most bosses have a secret weakness, so try all your weapons on them if you're having trouble.

I love how the hack opens up once you get through early to mid brinstar. Definitely give the hack a chance to slowly open up, it might feel really slow at first but the payoff of how much the world opens up is worth it.

I have not played the original version of Redesign, but most of the things in this hack that I have been told have been added since then are good features. Drew believes this is the definitive version of his work and I am inclined to agree based on what I have heard, seen, and observed in my time here.

This hack has established quite a reputation in this community for some of the questionable design choices that used to be featured in the game, such as instantly killing the player when going out of bounds, having overly difficult Tourian, brutally fast death when entering acid, and more. However, many of these have been tweaked, redesigned, and improved over the many revisions of Axeil that have come out since 2015. The OOB instant death is entirely removed, Tourian and the feeding pits were very manageable with the information in the readme combined with many nerfs to the Metroids, acid has been nerfed, etc. As I said before, I believe the game's difficulty is generally in a very fair place right now.

This hack has many other features which are awesome and help navigate the world, including a robust hint system on the map (which I loved very much when doing the chozo guardian hunt), a well-implemented fast travel system, a way to manually scroll the camera up or down which I used more often than I thought I would, a checkpoint system for the escape sequence which is really helpful, and surely more smaller things that I am neglecting to mention.

With all of that being said, there are a few things I don't really like about this hack very much, even though I understand why they were implemented. Specifically, several of the physics changes didn't feel like they opened up new movement options, just making existing ones that I already knew how to do harder/different, requiring relearning things. Spin jumping never felt like something I could do with precision even by the end of the game due to the new momentum mechanics. I did like the morph/unmorph momentum preservation, but otherwise morph ball felt too slippery and having to press a brake button was annoying, I'd rather invert it and hold a button if I ever want to slide around so much since that feels less commonly useful. I don't like the heavy use of morph lock so much, especially since IBJ is possible anyway. Only being able to walljump off of specific tiles also just feels way less freeing than being able to walljump off of any wall which we are used to from vanilla (especially since you have to find an item to earn being able to WJ in this). I also missed crumble jumping, even if that would break puzzles, I'd rather the puzzles have been designed around crumble jumping instead if possible.

Lava, especially when it was rising upward filling a room, was probably my #1 source of death in this game. It feels really punishing to take more damage the farther you fall into it on top of moving slower, especially with how much this hack likes making you platform above lava. At many points in the game, falling into lava is a death sentence in practicality without gravity suit, especially if you don't already know where to go to get out of the lava.

There are some physics stuff that I really do love though, speedboosting/shinesparking has been improved a lot, allowing for chain sparking (!) and the controls for shinesparking are so much more intuitive than vanilla SM's borderline nonsensical approach to it. I also really loved Screw Attack, having it be a midair dash item was really fun and added more strategy to it, and it was a great reward for solving that puzzle.

Unlike some others, I also didn't mind purple doors. There were a solid amount of them but they kinda felt like it made ammo management more interesting in the late game when you'd normally never run out.

I thought Tourian in its current state was quite cool. Figuring out how to open all the gates was a fun puzzle and prevented fighting Metroids many times from becoming monotonous. It made Tourian feel much more like a stronghold that you must dismantle to get through. With that being said, it takes a very long time, so you may want to take a break before entering the area, lol. It definitely does not conform to what expectations you may have of most Metroid Tourian areas being short and quick.

oh also EPBC optional challenge is a thing which is quite cool if you're into that.

You gotta at least try it. So much custom code, such a huge and fleshed out world. Such an important part of Metconst history. And loads of polish. If it's not your cup of tea, that's fine, but for those who can get past the physics there is certainly a lot to like here.
Metroid - Rogue Dawn by Grimlock, Optomon, snarfblam [M1 Exploration], rated by nodever2 on Apr 22, 2020 (Star Star Star Star Star )
23% in 0:28
Makes you forget you're playing NEStroid in the best way.
The new mechanics are integrated really well, and the world looks great. The addition of a map is very nice, and the game auto saves every time you enter a new area.
All of the custom graphics are beautiful and atmospheric, as with the custom music.
The world is crafted with love, and you can tell - there are little secrets everywhere, and you can really break this hack open and play it many different ways once you know what you're doing.
From what I've seen, probably the best NEStroid hack we have at the moment. I'd recommend it.
Super Metroid: Ascent by Benox50 [SM Exploration], rated by nodever2 on Jul 07, 2019 (Star Star Star Star Star )
58% in 6:26
This hack is great.
There's not much I can say that hasn't already been said, but what I'll say is that this hack is pretty large without overstaying its welcome. It does exactly what it needs to do; the content that is here is all high quality and well-polished. My favorite thing about this hack is that every single room looks really good and unique; the tiling is very intricate and the backgrounds look great. Benox did so much more with layer 3 than I've ever seen, and his use of flexglows combines with that to build a really fresh world. I also really like the focus on puzzles, which were well-designed and the harder ones weren't required to beat the game but still rewarded you with extra goodies. Awesome!

This was a truly inspiring hack to play. I can't say that enough. Everyone should at least try this. There's so much else to mention that give this hack even more charm, the biggest of which for me is the room names. I thought those were really cool and gave this hack a lot of character. I'll leave the rest for you to discover when you play this.
Metroid: Spooky Mission by Magconst [MZM Exploration], rated by nodever2 on Mar 17, 2018 (Star Star Star Star Star )
91% in 1:50
EDIT (Oct 2020): The more time goes by, the less I feel like the issues I mentioned below bother me. This is still the best ZM hack I've played, and I editing my review to 5 orbs. I think everyone should play this, it's really fun.

Very fun, not to mention innovative, Zero Mission hack! I played the very first version that was uploaded to the Main Site for this review (version 1.2 I think?) and really enjoyed most of this experience.

There are lots of little funny and quirky moments, and the creators went all-out; everything is changed here, and it's pretty sweet. There is also a very significant degree of non-linearity, too, especially after you get Plasma (at which point you can basically kill anything).

You may be surprised at how content-rich this hack is for a contest entry, featuring four full areas (even though the last one is a bit short) and a hub area to tie it all together. Custom ASM is sprinkled in at certain places, like the charge tractor beam (a very welcome addition). The music in this hack is very good too, and it doesn't feel like unnatural music to be playing Metroid with. There are also many custom tilesets, including the exquisite choice of including a Wario Land tileset to compliment it all.

The only real complaint I have is this hack's difficulty. It feels too hard before you get plasma, but too easy afterwards. I think I would have preferred a different beam progression, possibly with more intermediate beams before plasma.

An extension of this issue I had was with the boss progression. As far as I can tell, unless you take a very specific path, you can't beat the game without first having to beat a boss that feels unnecessarily difficult. I mean, you could go to Hell, a relatively easy area which would normally make a lot of sense to go to first, but this area has a boss at the end which I felt unequipped to beat, and had to leave, explore ANOTHER whole area, and then come back and finally beat it, since I couldn't beat this boss after a lot of tries with the gear I had.
Alternatively, you could go to Mansion first, but then you encounter a miniboss which is very difficult and long.. and I can imagine how much more frustrating it would be to do that without Varia (which you get in Hell). Either way, it's kind of annoying. If you want to avoid this problem, I'd suggest going to Mansion first, then getting your first Super Missile expansion (if I recall correctly it's before that miniboss, if I'm not recalling correctly then.. good luck), and then leaving Mansion and going to Hell.

Luckily, after I got past these two issues, I had quite a fun time. Even though I obliterated everything using plasma, at least I wasn't tediously stuck on a boss. Exploring the world was really fun, and the world design complimented the hack. Nothing felt unfair to find, either. (There was a mapping error in Hell, but this has already been pointed out on Discord). There were a good variety of locales to look at, and it never felt like a drag again.

Taken as a whole, this is definitely the best ZM hack I've ever seen. I would recommend this hack. Also, the readme is beautiful. Good job guys!
Super Metroid: Y-Faster by Metaquarius [SM Speedrun/Race], rated by nodever2 on Apr 22, 2020 (Star Star Star Star Star )
35% in 0:33
Completed this on my second attempt.
This was really fun! Really well made and I had a lot of fun, more than most others that I played.

I died to the timer once, but it wasn't that bad honestly, after I had explored for an hour I knew the layout of some of the areas a lot better and it was kind of an opportunity to go fast even on your first session of the hack.

Loved the bosses, the music, the level design. The only real thing preventing this from being 5 orbs is some bugs that I encountered, but they weren't even that major for the most part. 1 crash and some minor map things.
B2-TW by Grime [SM Quick Play], rated by nodever2 on Feb 04, 2018 (Star Star Star Star Star )
10% in 0:07
Really cool idea, with good execution to boot. Fun challenges/puzzles with the morph ball, coupled with good visuals, led to a fun experience that I'd recommend.

I kept dying at the speed booster part while trying to figure everything out, but that was the only issue I had.

The boss was very creative as well, that put a smile on my face.
Deep Freeze by Cpt.Glitch [MZM Quick Play], rated by nodever2 on Feb 04, 2018 (Star Star Star Star Star )
61% in 0:32
A short but very fun hack. Just beat this today. There were lots of nice goodies in every nook and cranny which made exploring everywhere feel fun and rewarding.

It seems as if there is a considerable degree of non-linearity, as I beat the hack without fighting Kraid or Ridley at all. Might have to go back in and look around more, as other reviewers (and the screenshot) are suggesting that they are both in the hack. It also seems as if there are a lot of other items that I missed as well.

I'd definitely recommend you check this out. It's fun, not too hard, very good looking, and creative. Quality control is also good, I didn't notice a single tiling error or anything.
Stardust by Tyjet66 [SM Quick Play], rated by nodever2 on Jan 21, 2018 (Star Star Star Star Star )
81% in 0:02
This was quite a fun experience, but at the same time the world, in the early game, felt like it wasn't designed to be smoothly played. I'd find one item and then have to look around the whole map to find the next.

This was made much worse by the fact that I didn't know where to go at a certain point and checked every single room that I had access to like twice - turns out, there are three super missile blocks that are very easy to miss in the floor of one room which are the only way to enter a huge part of the hack. I spent a very large chunk this time here - at least an hour - just looking for those stupid blocks.

As a result of this, I had ended up beating Phantoon before going into the Norfair area at all, which I feel like was probably not intentional. However, it was extremely fun to go through early Norfair with gravity suit and wave beam and just destroy everything :)

Anyway, after I found those super missile blocks, the hack actually became like 10 times better. That was my favorite part of the hack, and after that there wasn't really a huge problem with knowing where to go. The ice beam room was AWESOME, but I wish the idea had been used more to it's full potential.

As a whole, well done. It's a bit rough around the edges, but if you give this hack some time, it redeems itself in my opinion once you get past a certain point. I'd recommend it.

(also there's almost no save stations, which is bad. Savestates are pretty much mandatory unless you like replaying extremely long sections upon death.)
Save Room - Darkness Returns by Crys [SM Quick Play], rated by nodever2 on Aug 10, 2019 (Star Star Star Star Star )
37% in 0:33
More or less a showcase for a really cool concept where the whole world changes about halfway through. The concept is really cool, though the hack itself is quite linear and doesn't offer much more than said showcase. The boss palettes/sprites were cool too though.
Metroid 2: Metroid Purge by Liam Najor [M2 Quick Play], rated by nodever2 on Jul 09, 2019 (Star Star Star Star Star )
No completion stats.
This hack has issues, but it's honestly really cool and has a lot of novelty for being the first exploration M2 hack. It was essentially put together in a rush for a contest, and that honestly really shows in the repetitive tiling and bugs galore, but I do think it's worth playing. It's been really cool to see Liam pioneering Metroid 2 hacking, and I believe that this is the beginning of a new hacking scene. I'm excited to see when Liam has the opportunity to make more polished hacks, because this shows me how much potential Metroid 2 has.
Super Metroid: Bluestar by MetroidNerd#9001 [SM Quick Play], rated by nodever2 on Jun 07, 2019 (Star Star Star Star Star )
90% in 0:23
This hack was a fun little vanilla experience that is not too difficult and is well designed. It's very nice to have hacks that you can pick up and just enjoy for a little bit. The main drawback to this hack, in my opinion, is that there is extremely little exploration - the hack linear in every sense of the word. Doors lock behind you and you go through rooms in a specific order, and most items are pretty obvious (though some are more interesting to find). Not much else was changed from vanilla either (except level design, of course). The enemy and area palettes were quite nice for the most part… I can't really fault it for having an excessive amount of blue, given the theme of the contest it was entered into, but I can say that the amount of blue started to get to me at times. The pre-kraid room was really cool looking palette-wise though, and I liked it a lot.
The hack was almost entirely devoid of any sort of technical issues whatsoever from what I could see, which is great. Honestly, the only real problem with this hack is the linearity, and it's the main reason I give it 3 orbs; if that doesn't bother you, then you'll probably love the 30 or so minutes you'll spend in Bluestar.
Legacy by Banana Oyaji [SM Exploration], rated by nodever2 on Apr 22, 2020 (Star Star Star Star Star )
No completion stats.
Very good for it's time. As a piece of history, I'm glad we have it.
But would I recommend anyone play this now? Not really, unless you've already played many of the other great hacks on here. There are a lot of little things in the level design that frustrate me that add up quickly, and it in my opinion doesn't do enough new things to justify that frustration. (Not that I'd blame the hack for it, again there just wasn't the resources nor the years of hack design iteration that we have now in hindsight, and again I respect the hack for what it did with the resources it had, it's just that nowadays you could make better use of your time, I think).
Super Metroid: Magma by BoostGuardian [SM Unknown], rated by nodever2 on Aug 03, 2019 (Star Star Star Star Star )
28% in 1:31
For a halfhack, it's actually not terrible overall. My favorite thing about this is the tiling, as most of it actually looks pretty good.
However, it also has many problems. It is a halfhack and the layout of the world is extremely similar to vanilla. There is TONS of suitless underwater; the first like 20 minutes is pretty much all underwater. Also, there are physics changes which feel really frustrating; your jump is much shorter, and you cannot IBJ. The world design has some big flaws, the worst one being where you have to go across the entire world after getting super missiles to get grapple and then go back across the world again so you can use the grapple to unlock a room that is like 3 rooms away from supers. That was frustrating. Also, some tiles are inconsistent whether they are solid or not which creates some moments where you might miss a required path, so watch out for that. Tourian was also completely vanilla which sucks.

However, the design of individual rooms was mostly not bad and it was fun to explore during the times where you had a sense of direction.
Drugtroid by TheDruggedMetroid [M1 Speedrun/Race], rated by nodever2 on Nov 07, 2019 (Star Star Star Star Star )
No completion stats.