Reviewed on request.
Didn't people make these levels a lot 2-3 years ago? I wonder why people stopped making them, there's still a lot of stuff one can explore by tricking the player with colour.
Anyways, this level started out nice! You eased the player into the level's main gimmick by showing him some things he might encounter further down the road: hidden items, hidden enemies or part of your path being completely obstructed. The main athletic tools are introduced here, too: SMW, SMB1 and SMB3 platforms can all be found and the way they're handled is explained. Short point of critique on that: The bullet sound for the SMB1 plaforms seems unnatural. Try setting them to "warp" generation.
The level's bonus star was hidden in a clever place and felt like a good reward for paying attention to your surroundings. Unfortunately, the bonus section plays no music. I wonder how that got through testing.
It seems to be a common theme by now that there's always something incredibly major which I dislike about the second half of a level which I review. This one is no exception. Instead of working off its foundation of sneaky obstacles combined with platforms, springboards and other common obstacles, the level takes a turn and discards the idea of having semi-hidden obstacles and focuses solely on platforming, springboard-babysitting and, new in the mix, blue koopas and lakitus.
I personally would have preferred if you took the vision obstruction to its maximum, with maybe things like moving shadows which sometimes block your vision, volcano lotuses completely hidden at the top of the screen (whose bullets you can see after they bypass a certain thereshold) and a more varied assortment of platform rides.
Because apart from being just a more difficult version of the first half (thanks to lakitu, the blue koopas and some dangerous spiny placement), the second half almost entirely repeats sections from the first half. To say something positive about it, though: The platform lines which cut off when hitting a tree were pretty cool. It's the direction which the 2nd half should've steered into more drastically.
Now, I will say that most of the difficulty I had with the second half could easily be fixed by providing a hidden mushroom, much like the one in the first half. There were two spots which always cost me a hit and having enough HP to just tank them would have taken about a dozen deaths off my counter. The two parts of the level I'm talking about are these:
To be honest, I think the level could have done without Lakitu and blue koopas, and just thrived off mixing and matching elements it previously introducted. I feel like if you wanted to introduce Lakitu, you should have done so right from the start of the second half. Having him as a "last rush" kind of element just makes him feel like filler.
Before jumping to the end of the review I want to address some other issues which I found:
Using galoombas, I killed a mega-mole here. Jumping on the ledge to the right requires a bullet jump using a cannon further to the right.
Messing up the alignment of these koopas is incredibly easy. You either have to rush through the level (going against what it's trying to tell you with the obstructions and highspeed koopa shells) or wait a full circle, which is not fun.
This can happen. I don't know how and if it can be fixed, but I'm sure there is at least a workaround.
So yeah. LOTS of undiscovered potential and some decisions in the second half which I personally did not like. The first half did start out very nicely, though. I'd even say that you can technically just view the first half as its own level, because, to be fair.. I did feel like I was pretty close to the end of the level just before I found the midpoint.
Score given to the first half:
Score given to the second half:
Score given to the level as a whole (including how the halves play into each other, build off each other and supplement each other (which they kinda don't))
I'd definitely like to see something done to the second half. It doesn't live up to the quality of the first half, feels disconnected and makes the level just feel repetitive as a whole.
Moved to Average.