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It'sa me, Kaizo Mario!

MCBanjoMike

Sudden chomper
(He/him)
The spirit is willing to kaizo, but the flesh is weak. After a few months of keeping SMW on the back burner, I'm starting to get the urge to play a bit more. Unfortunately, I got a super bad cold last week that has now turned into a sort of light bronchitis, so there hasn't been a ton of energy for, you know, anything. But I went back and finished Cruisy, which was generally fun and pleasantly weird. The gimmicks in the last two levels weren't too bad, but they both slow the pace of the game down and it was a little strange to have them back to back. Anyway, glad to play some more Lush oddities.

Apparently there's a new version of Sure Shot that includes B-sides?? Curious to see what that means in practice.
 

lincolnic

can stop, will stop
(he/him)
Apparently there's a new version of Sure Shot that includes B-sides?? Curious to see what that means in practice.
Oh dang, I was just thinking about how it's been too long since I had a new hack to play. Guess I know what I'm gonna do next! ...as soon as I can put God of War down.
 

lincolnic

can stop, will stop
(he/him)
I played through the deluxe version of Sure Shot today. There are three "b-sides", but only one of them is a brand new level. The first is an extended version of Atomic Clock (where you have to jump on the switch at 9 seconds instead of 5), then there's a slightly tougher version of the level Sure Shot, which was fun. The last level is new and combines a bunch of gimmicks from previous levels (mainly boost blocks, shells, and sticky ceilings). It was definitely challenging! Playing through the original hack again took me a bit over an hour, and the new levels combined took around 45 minutes. Most of that was spent on the last level. To be honest, I'm not sure if the new additions are must plays in the way that the original hack was, but it's still nice to have a couple of new levels from Margot and Maddy to run through.

2Kaizo2Learn also finally came out today, so I'll probably check that out soon too.
 

MCBanjoMike

Sudden chomper
(He/him)
Went ahead and finished Baby Kaizo World 2 over the weekend. It was decent, but I've been on a streak of pretty fun hacks lately (Sure Shot, Shellax, Gambol, Halo 14 Side A, Cruisy, Everything is Not All Right) and this one didn't impress me quite to the same extent. If nothing else, that final boss definitely brought it down a couple points, geez.

Haven't picked up Liquid Metal again since the first time I played it and I'm maybe just about ready to tackle Mostly Harmless again, depending on how things go this week.

(I've also been playing a bunch of shmups on my MiSTer this week, including Battle Garegga, and that has me considering a return to Let's Give Up and/or its DLC at some point...)
 

lincolnic

can stop, will stop
(he/him)
Haven't picked up Liquid Metal again since the first time I played it and I'm maybe just about ready to tackle Mostly Harmless again, depending on how things go this week.
Do it! Do both.

So I played through 2Learn2Kaizo over the long weekend, and it's...okay, but not perfect. A lot of my issues stem from the fact that for a tutorial hack, it doesn't always explain what it's trying to teach. For example, in the level about holding down while swimming, the explanatory message box just says "Hold down and swim. Congratulations!" But I think it should actually explain that holding down and swimming makes you swim with as little vertical movement as possible. If your goal is to teach the player, then teach them. This is something I pointed out to BRHL while it was in playtesting, but he didn't take my feedback into account.

There are also some setups that are shockingly tight, and some things that I just don't think belong in a beginner hack (required yumps, Yoshi shell jumps, etc). I guess you can argue that since there's an open overworld you don't  have to do those things if you don't want to, but I feel like they were just arbitrarily thrown in for the hell of it. I think I've been required to do a Yoshi shell jump in maybe two other hacks, and one of those was in slow motion!

So yeah, I dunno. It's good to have another tutorial hack, but I don't think it's the direct replacement for Learn 2 Kaizo some people wanted it to be. (I still don't get all the L2K hate anyway.) If I had to rate it, I'd say 3.5/5.
 

MCBanjoMike

Sudden chomper
(He/him)
I literally think the only change L2K needs is to open up the overworld, otherwise I think it works perfectly as a playable encyclopedia of kaizo tricks. But some people took it as a hack that they needed to beat before playing anything else (which is on them), and I can see how that would be a bad time. Anyway, I don't think I'll be playing 2Kaizo2Learn any time soon, because as teaching tools go, Panga's Kaizo Kindergarten seems a lot more detailed and interesting. Ironically, that hack is far too hard for true beginners, but it might be worth returning to now that I have some kaizo experience. I saw drkrdnk playing it the other day and it definitely will teach you a lot about the inner workings of SMW.
 

FelixSH

(He/Him)
I tried to play Learn 2 Kaizo again, but I gave up relatively soon. I think it's the way Mario controls. After playing Celeste, he feels really slippery, with all the momentum he builds up when moving. Not saying this is bad or anything, I just wanted to know if you guys had this experience too, and came around to it? Or did you like the way Mario controls from the start? I'd like to get into Kaizo, but due to not getting along with the controls makes this a big hurdle.

To be clear, I don't have a problem with Marios controls in general. I always enjoyed SMW (and these games in general), but it seems like I only do as long as it isn't too demanding, regarding precision (maybe that's why I always gravitate to items like the tail and the cape, instead of the fireflower, as they give me more movement control).
 

MCBanjoMike

Sudden chomper
(He/him)
If I’m being honest, SMW has been my gold standard for “great platforming controls” for a really long time - and that was BEFORE I learned about the variable falling speed. But obviously, not everyone is going to enjoy the physics to that extent and it’s understandable if you need some time to adapt. SMW has the advantage of having an enormous library of hacks available, spanning a very large range of difficulty, so if you’re interested in getting over the hump we can probably help you choose some good hacks (and not necessary kaizo hacks, either!). But the game is what it is, so you’ll either have to eventually learn to love the physics or else move on to something else.

My recommendation would be to either pick a non-kaizo hack to start - Stick Mice in My Head and Of Jumps and Platforms are often cited as good places to start - or else pick some of the easiest kaizo hacks and see if you like them more than Learn2Kaizo. L2K is a very useful text, but it’s not exactly a really fun GAME. Quickie World 2, Love Yourself or Cute Kaizo are hacks that are approachable for a novice and a lot more fun to actually, you know, play. It’s possible that having a more enjoyable game on hand will motivate you to stick with it, at which point you’ll start getting used to the controls. Or maybe not!

Worst case scenario, you can go back to Celeste and try some of the really excellent looking custom maps. I’d do that myself if I didn’t have the opposite problem: I’m so invested in the nuance of SMW that I’m hesitant to learn another platformer to the same level of depth.
 

lincolnic

can stop, will stop
(he/him)
I tried to play Learn 2 Kaizo again, but I gave up relatively soon. I think it's the way Mario controls. After playing Celeste, he feels really slippery, with all the momentum he builds up when moving. Not saying this is bad or anything, I just wanted to know if you guys had this experience too, and came around to it? Or did you like the way Mario controls from the start? I'd like to get into Kaizo, but due to not getting along with the controls makes this a big hurdle.

To be clear, I don't have a problem with Marios controls in general. I always enjoyed SMW (and these games in general), but it seems like I only do as long as it isn't too demanding, regarding precision (maybe that's why I always gravitate to items like the tail and the cape, instead of the fireflower, as they give me more movement control).
Honestly, I've been playing SMW for so long -- 30 years, give or take -- that the physics and controls were already pretty deeply ingrained for me before I started playing kaizo. But learning to manage your momentum is absolutely part of the process, and (if you decide to keep going) once you feel more comfortable with that a lot of the game will open up for you. And like Mike said, you could definitely start with a non-kaizo hack and try to ease in that way. A Plumber for All Seasons is one that I think is pretty universally loved. You could try replaying vanilla Super Mario World just to get comfortable with controlling Mario too!

In other kaizo news, I played (almost all of) new hack Hammer Time today. Unfortunately, the version I played that made it through moderation was actually broken. Two levels didn't have save prompts, so after I got through three levels of the special world (and had two or three to go before rolling credits), I reset to check my exit count and found myself back before the any% castle, missing 4-5 exits worth of progress. I didn't love it enough to repeat five levels, so that's where the hack ended for me.

In other other kaizo news, I saw Halo 14 Side B in the waiting section tonight. Looking forward to that!
 

FelixSH

(He/Him)
Trying some harder but not kaizo-level hacks is a good idea. I'll try some of your suggestions, and see how it goes. Trying out some custom levels from Celeste sounds interesting too, though. I'll let you know how it goes (I guess feedback for Celeste levels might not be too misplaced here?)

Thanks for the suggestions.
 

lincolnic

can stop, will stop
(he/him)
I played through Lush's new hack Day at the Races this afternoon and had a really great time. The premise is 35 short Nightmare Cafe-style sections (not single rooms), each with a 20 second timer. The hack is suggested to be played as a two-player race and I can definitely see that being a ton of fun, but even playing it solo was a blast. I needed a hack like that!

If any of you end up playing it and want to have an asynchronous race, my clear time was around 35 minutes. Let me know how you do!

I guess feedback for Celeste levels might not be too misplaced here?
I kinda feel like Celeste stuff should probably go in its own thread, but we'll all be happy to help you with any SMW hacks, kaizo or not.
 

MCBanjoMike

Sudden chomper
(He/him)
My remote desktop connection went down today, so I decided to take a break and give Dolphins at Dusk another shot. Cleared it in like 5 minutes, go figure!
 

lincolnic

can stop, will stop
(he/him)
Your brain put it all together while you slept! Nice job.

I had a pretty good kaizo day too. This morning I saw drkrdnk playing Quickie 2, which made me want to play Quickie 2, and for the sake of curiosity I threw on a timer to do it. Cleared 100% in exactly 34 minutes, which is pretty decent for someone who isn't a speedrunner! I actually could've had ~30 minutes, but I lost a huge amount of time in the first half of Mega Scottage. Oh well. QW2 still rules, now and forever.

Then, after having the idea to run back Mostly Harmless last night, I decided to boot that up again. Got through the first four exits (on the green path, because I'm not a coward) in an hour and 40 minutes! I doubt I can keep that pace up, but it felt pretty good to get through four levels in less time than it took me to dive bomb that stupid mole the first time I played it. I very nearly died after getting the final jump off the mole this time - I was holding right and spinning to get the turn blocks going, but somehow I only activated the top turn block and Mario got stuck in the one-tile space. I had to turn around and damage boost on the Munchers to get small again, do a precision jump into the gap, and then jump out of the one-tile over the rest of the Munchers to get to the goal tape (all before the block stopped spinning). Harrowing, but hilarious.

Next up is the cloud level, who knows how long it'll take to relearn all that stuff.
 
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