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Old 11-01-2009   #34
MascaraSnake
aka SpiritCrusher
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Gothic Gardens Zone by VX501 - 3/10
Actually, for a beginner's map, this has surprisingly interesting gameplay. It's really not as bad as some of you make it out be. However, it looks quite horrible. Green slime + CEZ textures = the worst combination you can have. Really, this map reminds me of how ugly CEZ (both versions) actually is.
As you said, the button gimmick, the 2D part and the cramped hallways at the beginning are already being dealt with. The most important thing you have to fix is the visuals. Make it look like a actual GARDEN. Remove the green slime. Put in some scenery. Don't overuse brick textures. Another problem is the incredible amount of unnecessary emenies. Your map has almost all enemies that are avaible. Concentrate on a few types of enemies and throw the rest out. Put them in places where the are a threat to the player and just put no enemies in if you don't need to.
In terms of gameplay, remove the sets of springs. Jumping from one spring to another over a death pit is quite boring (and if there are as many enemies as in this level, even dangerous). Try to have some more creative gimmicks like the one with the cannonballs. Speaking of the cannonball gimmick: The fact that you can simply avoid it by jumping down ruins the point of it. Why deal with something that can hurt you if you can take the easy way out? Also, try to make the intervals in which the cannonballs are shot a bit faster. As it is now, the player can easily dodge them.
All in all, a pretty solid map for a beginner, however, there's still a lot to fix.

Graceful Coast Zone by D00D64 - 2/10
I posted a long, long rant about how bad this level is, but then I got logged off and my changed weren't saved. So here the whole story in a nutshell:
Too many enemies (and too many different ones), you can't see what's ahead of you and get hit constantly, platforming is frustrating, you can't see the spikeballs in the water, the boss can be skipped and is annoying anyway. The visuals are quite nice, but that doesn't save your map from being an utter mess. Worse that Gothic Gardens.

Refurbished Gadgetry Zone by SonicMaster - 7/10
This is quite possibly the most stupid name I've ever heard, but that doesn't affect your score in any way. First, congratulations for being the only not to have 20 different enemies in your level. You chose to have none at all, which suits your level quite well.
But now to the actual map: The gimmick of having one path on the floor and one of the ceiling is very unique. This does make your level quite linear, but fortunately it is long enough, so that's no problem. But as stated before, the execution is not always that nice, or even unique. A constant problem is that your rooms tend to be very large, but also very empty. There are often large chuncks of floor with nothing in it, especially in the beginning. Also, the textures look randomly chosen and clash quite often. This makes your map somewhat ugly in some places, but mostly, it's fine. Regarding the actual gameplay, you had some really nice ideas (the row of crushers in the second room, the secret path with gravity switches, the room with changing lighting, crossing spiked platforms while invincible, jumping through a moving wall of lasers etc.) but also some really bad ones (the annoying string of blue springs in the lava room and that rotating unpredictable laser). The absolute worst however was that narrow passage. Really, WHAT WERE YOU THINKING?
All in all, most of it was quite unique and challenging, but a few gimmicks (mostly on the upside-down path) were really stupid. Also, I didn't like the music but that's not your fault.

Magma Core Zone Act 2 by Blade - 8/10
Easily the best map in the pack. Not only did it look very appealing, it also had some interesting gameplay. Falling rocks, flamethrowers, the rope pulley section, rising lava, custom enemies... For the whole level you always kept me on my toes. Still, it flowed nicely. The idea to have a ERZ-textured base inside the volcano was pulled off very smoothly as the textures fit each other. It didn't feel unnatural at all to have space base textures in a RVZ-themed level. However, there were way too many types of enemies in the level. As far as I can recall, there were Jetty-syns, Minuses, Snailers, Egg Guards, Sharps and Pop-up turrets. I'd suggest that you focused on a smaller selection of enemies. As it is now, the enemy placement feels pretty random. Also, you have too much enemies in there in general. I'd suggest to remove the Jetty-syns (apart from the custom one), the Egg Guards and the Sharps as they don't fit the theme.

Last edited by MascaraSnake; 11-01-2009 at 01:03 PM.
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