Elminster's Ratings and Reviews
Hyper Metroid by RealRed [SM Exploration], rated by Elminster on Apr 19, 2015 (Star Star Star Star Star )
82% in 6:04
Amazing from start to finish. Difficulty and open-endedness are very well balanced and felt true to the original, which I find very uncommon in a hack. I loved the way the fetch quest was done and how some parts of it even helped you out outside of Tourian. The gates were hidden well enough to make you work for them a little, but not so well that you had to x-ray everywhere to find them. Some were revealed on the map and some weren't, but during my search at the end of the game, I always had a decent idea where one might be. I also don't remember finding anything where x-ray was really needed, the hints were enough to let me know something was there that needed to be searched. I x-rayed a lot of places that seemed ever so slightly suspicious and never found anything in these spots, so I figured it isn't your style to hide stuff without a decent hint. I could be wrong since I didn't go for 100%, but as for major items and required stuff they were hidden very well and never in a frustrating way. Ammo system was really neat and solved a couple of the problems that plague Super Metroid: the "*yawn* another missile" and the "I need a power bomb and nothing around here will fucking drop one".

I was expecting this to be a pretty good hack, and what I got was an amazing hack. Most of the areas looked really nice, and I'm glad to finally see a hack with an escape that spans most of the submaps. I've been wanting to see something like that for a while, definitely wanted to put it in a hack myself someday. Also Tourian was really fun to play through despite being fairly predictable (kill a bunch of metroids lol). I really liked the room with the super slow shutter because it was like a survival mode type thing, even though that far in the game it's extremely trivial, it's something I've never come across before in a hack. Also splazma is sexy. Nice to see it put to good use finally. Also nice to finally see an awesome full hack made on top of Project Base. I respect PB but personally don't care for it a whole lot because it feels like Super Metroid easy mode, and I'm not a huge fan of the palettes, but a new hack being designed around it, without a vanilla version to constantly compare to, makes the changes complement the game a lot more and helps me see more potential in PB.
Eris by Digital_Mantra [SM Exploration], rated by Elminster on Apr 19, 2015 (Star Star Star Star Star )
No completion stats.
This hack has an amazing atmosphere, with a backstory and remnants of the Chozo civilization that leave you wondering just what happened, enticing you to reach the depths of the planet and find out. I loved how sacred and dangerous the final area felt. Definitely worth a play. The enemies are no joke, so beware.
Super Metroid: Redesign by Drewseph [SM Exploration], rated by Elminster on Apr 19, 2015 (Star Star Star Star Star )
No completion stats.
The hack that got everyone into hacking. Insane amounts of custom code for an old hack, the largest planet yet, intense challenges that provide a rewarding feeling of conquest, and lots and lots of secret items and shortcuts to be found. The physics make a few things more difficult than they need to be, but at the same time makes a whole new experience out of playing Super Metroid. You will end up making good use of every item, right up until the end. And the escape is something to behold, that will have your heart pounding at every turn. The hack does a very good job of eliciting emotions from the player, and that is why I like it so much.

People hate on Tourian a lot. I don't think it's that hard. Learn how to detach Metroids and you'll be fine.
SM Redesign: Axeil Edition by Drewseph [SM Exploration], rated by Elminster on Apr 19, 2015 (Star Star Star Star Star )
70% in 12:14
A refreshing remake of a classic hack, with improved physics, automated/streamlined mechanics for improved accessibility, an optional hint system, rebalanced enemy damage, neat features like area nameplates, and new secrets and puzzles. Even if you know where to go from playing Redesign, or just from using the hint system, it manages to feel like a whole new game. It even has extra stats at the ending under your percentage.

Independent of the original Redesign, I feel like there are a few too many gates, mazes, and obstacles to getting around that weren't there before, and you lose the ability to jump from crumble blocks which can be frustrating at times. But I like the physics and mechanics changes, and they can help out players that may have quit playing the original Redesign, or not enjoyed it. I gave this a lower rating because I still prefer the original world the way it was. Still worth checking out though.
Phazon Hack by A_red_monk_called_Key [SM Exploration], rated by Elminster on Apr 19, 2015 (Star Star Star Star Star )
No completion stats.
I enjoyed my time with this hack. The complete graphical overhaul kept me interested, and I wanted to keep playing more and more just to see what was done with the next areas, bosses, and items. It does have issues with lack of direction at times, and some enemies take too many shots to kill and break the flow. The final area is a bit too long, and the ending has some potential but is anti-climactic. The promise of a lot of new custom things is what made it worth playing for me.
Oxide by Cyclamen32 [SM Exploration], rated by Elminster on Apr 19, 2015 (Star Star Star Star Star )
No completion stats.
Oxide is a really fun play, with very unusual item progression, boss placement, and music and resulting sound effects. Blasting everything with missiles was a lot of fun. Items were pretty easy to find without feeling like the game was throwing them at you. Some areas felt too linear, some later rooms too plain and too many rooms where you needed to kill every enemy. Overall fun experience though. If you still haven't gotten your fill of pumping enemies with missiles, try fighting Mother Brain's last phase without using hyper beam.
Legacy by Banana Oyaji [SM Exploration], rated by Elminster on Apr 19, 2015 (Star Star Star Star Star )
No completion stats.
The oldest hack worth playing. If you want to rediscover Super Metroid and feel like you're playing it again for the first time, this is the hack to do it with. It's very good for what it tries to be, but don't expect anything new or fancy. Only complaints I really have are that the level design is a bit blocky, and there is a little less potential for sequence breaking.
Ice Metal Uninstall by Crys [SM Exploration], rated by Elminster on Apr 19, 2015 (Star Star Star Star Star )
No completion stats.
This had a lot of interesting graphics and ideas. Solid and enjoyable, but not one of my favorites. The hack was too open-ended for my liking and I spent too much time wandering aimlessly without feeling like I was accomplishing anything. It was too difficult to find beams, and once I did find them they were extremely weak. Charge beam was also much later than I would've liked. The difficulty is not too hard, that and the underwater physics make exploring pretty easy, although a bug with the map stations coloring in unexplored areas made it confusing at times. I did like how certain items could be obtained in multiple places, but this also confused me a bit when I found some rooms with empty-handed Chozo statues. I also liked the inclusion of lore in the map stations.

This is not a bad hack by any means, it just wasn't really my thing. I would say give it a try for yourself, it's geared toward a particular play style, but very accessible, and you may end up loving it.
Stardust by Tyjet66 [SM Quick Play], rated by Elminster on Apr 19, 2015 (Star Star Star Star Star )
No completion stats.
I found this hack really underwhelming. A shortened, watered-down, easier take on the original game. Some of the palettes were nice, but I found too many of the rooms to be reminiscent of the original game, and the ones that weren't were uninteresting. Most of the save station icons on the map are not actually save stations, and there is something later in the hack that looks like a save station but is not, which was very annoying to find at low energy. Items are too abundantly easy to find, and one expansion can be found early in a very odd place; not sure if that was intended or an oversight, but it creates an unpolished feel. The escape felt discontinuous and the player can easily be led in the completely wrong direction with too little time allotted.

I don't recommend it, but the hack is easy and short, so you have little to lose if you choose to play it. I will say the room Ice is in is really neat.
Limit by Sin [SM Unknown], rated by Elminster on Apr 19, 2015 (Star Star Star Star Star )
No completion stats.
This is an old Japanese challenge hack, so don't expect anything else from it. It has some pretty interesting rooms and ideas, but mostly the hack is just unnecessarily frustrating. It has save stations, but they are poorly placed, and not near areas you're likely to have trouble in, and the movement from area to area doesn't flow well.

One item can be permanently missed if you go the wrong way, and going the right way forces you into a difficult gauntlet. At the end of the gauntlet, you have one chance to pull off a trick to get it, and if you miss it you cannot go back. This area also requires use of an obscure, unstable glitch to leave, and the glitch will not work if your last elevator ride was going up, so your save file can easily be permanently stuck here as well. Unfortunately you will suffer greatly without the item, but getting it is an even bigger ordeal.

The hack has an interesting gimmick in that at one point, you are forced to choose between getting your first super missile or your first power bomb. Which one you choose determines which route you will take throughout the middle of the hack. One of the few things I liked about it. Unfortunately the author did not compensate for this properly, and the maximum item collection rate is 99%, which really sucks considering the effort require for the missable item I mentioned earlier.

The speed booster escape and ending of the escape are really cool, but there isn't much to enjoy aside from that. The hack is littered with bad design choices, even for a challenge hack. Not worth a playthrough unless you really want the challenge.