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Old 05-08-2009   #26
There and back again~
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I'll post more in depth reviews later if I have time. For now I'm just going to post first impressions and comments.

Beach Factory Zone 1
  • 4/10 - The map is playable at least, but the layout felt extremely awkward. I expected the beach to play a much larger role in this zone, but instead I got turned around by a button.
Water Leaf Zone
  • 5/10 - The map was actually quite enjoyable save for a few flaws. What stood out the most was the music choices and the day/night switch, which were both quite top notch. The gameplay was rather standard most of the way through however, and the map seemed of average quality.
Dusty Desert Zone
  • 4/10 - The music was decent and the sky fit the level quite nicely, but the texture direction was very inconsistent. I liked the concept of using red for walls and yellow for floors but you apparently abandoned that organization after the first room. The bright colors also made it impossible to point out the quicksand or tell whether you'll sink or be swept away. Furthermore there were several rather unfair jumps which were not altogether obvious.
Frost Mountain Zone 2
  • 5/10 - This map represents what I've come to expect from you, both good and bad. The layout is quite good and I must stress that after seeing dozens of XMAS levels, the visuals for this level were a breath of fresh air. Unfortunately things felt rather small.
Vibrant Vendetta Zone
  • 9/10 - Wow Sonicmaster.... I went into this map expecting to be vastly disappointed. You had quite a few interesting gimmicks and the visuals were very well done. Most importantly however, it played very well. The feel of the level is one I haven't experienced since Gelespious Mountain, Dandjr Palace, or Metal Flower... Very hellish. And I mean that quite literally, the level brought to mind Dante's Inferno.
Floating Gardens Zone
  • 5/10 - The theme is vastly overdone, and you didn't add anything new to the formula in terms of visuals or gameplay. Most of the path was a wide flat expanse, and I found myself thokking through the level as if it were a circuit map.
Aqua Caves Zone
  • 7/10 - Not one of your better maps, but still quite well done. Aside from my everlasting grudge against those rock textures, the real issue here was that the pits felt a bit unfair in places. Most notably were the trap floors, which were bearable above water but under water you are slower to reach solid ground and the fishies are more likely to hit you. I loved the new enemies, but they seemed a bit too fast. And yes, that textures is definately an ACZ ripoff... but its a good ripoff... it meshed with the level quite well.
Poloy Forest Zone
  • 3/10 - This is definately more playable than some of your previous entries, but some things just felt strange. First of all, the visuals were unimpressive, and while the lava was an interesting convention, it didn't really make things more interesting. The harmful water seemed illogical, but that was only a minor issue. The level lacked direction and I found myself taking the same cramped passageway multiple times, and I still don't know how I found my way through. Please stop trying to emulate Game Gear levels...
Darkvile Castle Zone
  • 5/10 - This map was playable, and not too cramped, but the visual details were uninteresting and forgettable. What wasn't forgettable was the excessive buttons which felt tedious and weren't really enough to offer any decent challenge.
Mill Citadel Zone
  • 8/10 - My only gripe here is the music choice, which really did not fit the theme by a longshot. The theme however was very creative and the flour made for an interesting dynamic. Overall I ended the level wishing there was more... alternate paths were few and the level itself seemed quite short.
Eggmansion Zone
  • 8/10 - Probably my favorite use of the CEZ theme yet, the visuals were interesting without getting in the way, the difficulty seemed fair for the level type, and the music really heightened the experience.

Definitely one of the better contests I've played. Good show guys, but please give use some MP maps next time. This is your last chance to design a 1.09.4 match map for the contest.
"A man who's a dreamer and never takes leave, who thinks of a world that is just make believe
Will never know passion, will never know pain, who sits by the window will one day see rain..."

~The Greatest Adventure: Ballad of the Hobbit
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