MetroidPeter's Ratings and Reviews
SM Redesign: Axeil Edition by Drewseph [SM Exploration], rated by MetroidPeter on May 03, 2015 (Star Star Star Star Star )
100% in 19:55
People generally say that Super Metroid is the greatest Metroid game of all time, that it strikes the right chords and that it gets everything about what makes Metroid what it is right. I don't really agree with those statements as when I first played SM, I thought it had a few problems. The isolated atmosphere didn't quite match what I wanted coming from Metroid Fusion and Metroid Prime, as I had felt it was kind of short and easy. It was also a bit rough around the edges and had some early installment weirdness...

Now if this was Super Metroid, I'd be far more inclined to agree with those statements.

Not only does Redesign Axeil succeed and excel in what the original Redesign set out to achieve, but it surpasses the original game in so many unique ways that I struggled to put the game down once I picked it up! The new environments do a much better job of giving you a massive world to explore than the original SM could ever even dream of doing! And the revised physics engine is so silky smooth that I never want to play a Super Metroid rom hack without it ever again; it's that good! I also liked how you filled that empty space on the HUD with the 3 bomb icons, nice touch.

Now for the real meat of this review...

Pros: things I liked... OH SO MUCH!!

-The new physics engine. I wish every SM rom hack had it! It's super tight and easy to get used to!
-HUD tweaks. This includes the above mentioned bomb icons, and the map. Speaking of which...
-The new map interface. You have no idea how helpful those connections on the new map are for telling me where rooms are connected. That's a big gripe I had with the original SM and Redesign, frequently I'd go to a room where I thought a door connected it to another, and it wasn't. And DAT HINT SYSTEM, getting lost was also a problem I had with both games. *shoots both problems like they were Metroids* Not anymore.
-Item fanfare is less common. In the original SM, the get item fanfare played every single time you picked up an item, and it got annoying really fast. Thank god for it not playing whenever you get expansions anymore. Now when it plays, it actually felt like fanfare and wasn't annoying anymore.
-Suit palette edits. I like how the Varia Suit's orange and green visor stand out from one another more, it looks super cool, and... my god the Gravity Suit...! It's HEAVENLY!! It's not PINK anymore like in the original SM (I looked it up, it was indeed pink) and the turquoise blue visor makes it look like the Gravity Suit from Metroid Prime, and that's my FAVORITE appearance of the suit in all games ever!! Thank you!!
-Difficulty. This hack succeeds in delivering in that isolated atmosphere not just in its level design, but in its challenge as well: this rom hack is hard! But meaningfully so, Zebes is not a welcoming place (or at least, not anymore) and it definitely shows. While the big Sidehoppers in Brinstar and Norfair are the scariest things alive, the planet isn't necessarily throwing everything it has at you immediately, it feels more like your diving headfirst into this hostile world, something Metroid Prime did so incredibly right for me.
-Fear and dread factor. SM's wrecked ship (which isn't in this rom hack for some reason) was the closest the game got to being scary, but Redesign Axeil definitely did a pretty good job of keeping me on my toes. Not quite as much as Metroid Fusion, but I was always on the lookout for tough enemies and hoping I wouldn't have a nasty run in with something that would eat my face. The Lost Caverns (I loved that puzzle BTW) definitely set up that feeling of dread, that something was watching you. I just wish they were bigger, and maybe a little less Lost Woods maze stuff... but it is still one of my favorite moments of the hack.
-The Space Pirate forces. This game does them oh so much justice, they actually served as decent enemies to fight, and were not to be laughed at like in the original SM. Giving them a similar toughness to their Prime, Fusion, and Other M appearances, again a big positive for me. And I totally dig them appearing in Tourian a lot more, definitely illustrates their connection with Mother Brain a lot. Speaking of Tourian...
-The endgame. Holy crap the endgame is fantastic! See my post regarding it for more details.

Cons: Things I disliked, of which there aren't many, and none of which really hurt the rom hack.

-Lost Caverns is too small. I really would've liked it if the Lost Caverns were an area as small as the Wrecked Ship, and have the Lost Woods puzzle at the end. I really liked how spooky it was, and its smallness left me wanting more. Also the part of the start up map that never gets filled in annoys me.
-No version # display. There's no way to tell which version of the game you're playing upon start up. Would be nice if it displayed on the corner or somewhere on the title screen.
-Some minor bugs. Bugs are annoying, aside from the rare occasions where they aren't, but there aren't any good bad bugs that I've found. Just the bad ones. Oh well, I guess that's what patches are for.

So, do I recommend it? Oh yeah, I recommend it to SO many people! This rom hack reinvents and redefines the game to the point where it feels brand new again! I like this in the sense where the "Super" in the title is finally rightfully earned. Definitely one of the best rom hacks I've ever played!
Hyper Metroid by RealRed [SM Exploration], rated by MetroidPeter on Jun 24, 2015 (Star Star Star Star Star )
100% in 7:46
So many people saying this was their favorite hack and that nothing could ever top it. I think I'll play evil's advocate and say otherwise.

Hyper Metroid had some good ideas, ideas I really liked:

-Project Base physics. Never want to play a Super Metroid hack without them. (except for Redesign)
-New Morph Ball sprite. Is that the one from Smash Bros Brawl? Noice.
-New Screw Attack Sprite. Likely to make up for Grime screwing the palette up in Project Base? Regardless, looks great.
-Cool area layouts. Though I do wonder how the hell all of Brinstar could be above Crateria when it's supposed to be the surface...?
-New map sprites. Connections shown, 'nuff said.
-Steady difficulty curve. Always good to provide a nice incline of challenge, I didn't die too often... but there was one boss, which I'll get to later.
-New palettes and enemies. Though I do have a few gripes with the new palettes. The new enemies though, *JonTron air kiss* byoutful. (No homo.)
-The escape was indeed amazing. It's just a shame the same can't be said for the rest of Tourian.

And there were some really bad ideas, really stupid ideas that should never show themselves in public.

-No sense of direction. OK, I get it, hand holding and being treated like you can't figure stuff out is bad... Being left to die on your own on a hostile alien planet without any direction or hints as to where to go is worse. I got to Gold Torizo early and was absolutely ass raped by him. Aside from that...
-The Bosses. Unlike the rest of the game, the bosses are pretty schizophrenic about how hard they wanna be. Spore spawn? Easy as pie. Phantoon, FML.
-Item direction. You get Space Jump a little too early as it completely removes most of the platforming challenge early. And don't even get me started on the Speed Booster...
-Too many warm colors. So many reds, oranges, greens, and the blues didn't really help, giving the colors a "washed out" feel. It's good to use a balance of warm and cool colors to make your world feel more real.
-Tourian. "Oh Tourian was great! It was super nice and it had good appearance and good challenge and this and-" NO. Just, no!! OK, got that out of my system. Now where was I? Tourian was way more frustrating and boring than it was actually challenging. Rinkas were a huge pain with their high re-spawn rate and Metroids (RED METROIDS TAKING MORE THAN 5 MISSILES WHAT IS THIS BLASPHEMY?!) were way too slow to be much of a threat. And the layout wasn't really that impressive to me, it just felt kind of dull. Also, beam shoot-able Zebetites: stupidity.
-Draygon. Seriously, fuck this boss. I had to get all of the possible items before I beat this guy with only 8 health left! The fact you can't destroy the wall turrets only makes it worse!

Now that I've finished this hack I have to say that while I enjoyed it, it's not exactly the best hack I've ever played. I would recommend it though.

PS: One big problem I found after I played the game. "She was successful, and happily married, soon to start a family with her husband, Adam Aran." Samus is sterile, as in, can't bear children. Please do your research next time.