Official Review of HalloBoo
Design and Atmosphere: 0.25/10 (70% of final score)
This level is just plain unfair. There is enemy spam, unreasonably difficult obstacles, and very few coins or power-ups. There are two ckeckpoints in the level that at least give you a mushroom, but otherwise nothing. The water section also has a major flaw--there's no water physics. This means that all of the NPCs fall away, and after Mario finds the fake finish and instead gets a power-up, he can't get back up. Going back to the beginning of the level, the skull raft has one skull. This is completely unfair with the amount of challenges you provide the player with from Podobos and Blargs to Eeries and projectiles. The severe lack of power-ups makes the first section of the level theoretically possible, but a herculean task to complete. The ghost house took unfair to another level. Enemy spam and precision jumping made this section terribly difficult and resulted in a highly frustrating experience. Getting to the high pipe at the end of the section is almost impossible, as you have to slowly lure a boo to get there. Then you're rewarded with an incredibly unfun section of invisible blocks, in which you have to figure out by trial and error where the hidden pits and walls are. This was a horrid reward for the first two sections. Then, if you manage to get out of that section you find a second checkpoint and then have some fun precision boot flying to the finish. The alternate finish is downright brutal. You fall out of the sky onto a layer of spikes surrounded by boos. Unless you managed to keep Super Mario from the checkpoint you are totally done for, as you have about two seconds of invincibility to get to the key and bring it to the keyhole. There was also cutoff at the beginning of the level, as you utilized overworld slopes. (Some minor cutoff also appeared in later parts of the level.) There were a sprinkling of BGOs, however the level really lacked them in the ghosthouse. The level was also very linear and the ghost house section un-ghosthouse-like. It just needed a bit more substance, more blocks, BGOs, etc. The level also had no interesting gimmicks or ideas. Overall it desperately needs power-ups and coins throughout and is nine sections of utter hell with its unattractive enemy spam and unfair gameplay; the water physics also really should be fixed so that the player doesn't have to commit suicide, if they hadn't already.
Graphics and Music: 2.5/10 (30% of final score)
This level utilized a few custom graphics, mostly as extensions of the vanilla woods tileset. The level still had cutoff (as I mentioned above) and had some grass in the ghost house.
This level used all vanilla music but still got it wrong. The SMW boss music did not fit the level in sections 1 and 5, and neither did the sky music in section 9. Section 6 has no music at all...
Overall: 0.925/10 (Trash Can)
- enemy spam is not fun
- points of no return and critical errors (such as lack of water physics)
- not nearly enough power-ups
- some minor cutoff
- completely unfun gameplay
- incorrect/unfitting music choices in multiple sections
- undeveloped atmosphere and rare use of BGOs