nodever2's Ratings and Reviews
Metroid: Spooky Mission by Magconst [MZM Exploration], rated by nodever2 on Mar 17, 2018 (Star Star Star Star Star )
91% in 1:50
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!
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 32:22
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 2:54
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.)
Super Metroid: Bluestar by MetroidNerd#9001 [SM Quick Play], rated by nodever2 on Jun 07, 2019 (Star Star Star Star Star )
90% in 23:48
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.