Technomagus's Ratings and Reviews
SM Redesign: Axeil Edition by Drewseph [SM Exploration], rated by Technomagus on May 29, 2015 (Star Star Star Star Star )
57% in 8:45
I want to like this hack. I really do. I used to look at the original Redesign with rose-tinted glasses because it was the first hack I ever played nearly 10 years ago and had some really awesome ideas.

Then I replayed it about a year ago. Man, I was an idiot back then.

So I kept hearing about how "Axeil Edition" would fix all the problems Redesign had, better gameplay, improved physics, rebalanced difficulty, the whole works. I was skeptical at first, but then I finally got my hands on version 1.0.

I was floored. Already, Axeil was better than anything Redesign could hopt to be. It felt and controlled better. Sure, Walljumping was still restricted to certain walls, and had that Fusion-style launch that made 1-wall jumping nearly impossible, but it still felt right.

Then I started to look more closely at it. Morph speed was slower than the original, which was already an intolerable crawl. The underwater Crateria Depths segment for Gravity Suit was not only expanded, but made unskippable. The forced Hell Run was removed, but as a result, many E-Tanks were moved around and made more difficult to find. Whatever, at least Maridia's sandfalls were mostly fixed. I can actually escape sandtraps now!

Then Tourian. I got there on 1.0, made it past one Metroid room, then "NOPE"ed after the second. To say it was difficult was an understatement. It was downright Impossible. Then 1.4 came along. The Metroids were toned down significantly, and were actually beatable now! At least, until you entered the sandy "feeding pit". When the best strategy against Metroids is to "stay in one spot and lay normal bombs until you lose 6+ tanks to energy drain," just so that you can have a hope of briefly freezing them? Let's not forget that Screw Attack is completely useless, after making the player perform an extensive, randomized, timer puzzle for it; it's completely invalidated in this final area. Add in some instant-death pit traps if the player isn't careful, and you have one single area bringing down the entire hack.

If I were to tell people about this hack, I can only recommend them to stay away. Or if they're insistent, to play until they reach Tourian, and then stop. Only pain and suffering lies ahead. So much promise and so many good ideas completely wasted on bad design choices.