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Old 07-03-2012   #1
Mystic
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Default May/June 2012 Voting

Welcome to the May/June 2012 SRB2 Official Level Design Contest voting topic! In this contest we have six single player, two match, and two capture the flag entries.

To vote, play a few games of each stage in a division in the intended gametype for judging, and give each map in the division a vote from 0 to 10, no decimals and with 5 as average. You can not vote on your own map, but if you vote on the rest of the stages in a division the lowest score on your map for that division will be dropped. For votes to count, the voter must vote on every map in a division (excluding their own entry if they have one). Votes where the voter obviously did not play the level in its intended gametype, or where the voter did not play the multiplayer maps with other real players will be discarded. Please be as unbiased as possible for the author or the look of the map. It's all about how good the map plays, nothing else. For reference, the scale is as follows:

10 - Epic
9 - Awesome
8 - Great
7 - Good
6 - Decent
5 - Average
4 - Mediocre
3 - Bad
2 - Awful
1 - Horrendous
0 - Unplayable

Although it's not required for votes to count, it's very helpful to make comments about what you liked and didn't like about the map, so the author can improve his skill for future attempts. If your votes are dramatically different from the rest and you don't describe why, you may be asked to justify your reasoning.

Judging will end July 18, 2012 at 7 PM local time in the eastern time zone of the United States. Like the entry deadline, this counts the United States's daylight savings time between March and November. Votes submitted after this time by the forum timestamp will NOT be counted in the average, so if you want to be counted, don't vote at the last minute. After the deadline, the scores will be then averaged, and the person with the highest score in each division is the winner.

The entries are as follows:

Single Player:
Industrial Valley Zone Act 1 by Zipper
Azure Temple Zone by Mystic & Prime 2.0
Sonic's Schoolhouse by Boinciel
Frozen Hillside Zone Act 2 by Blade
Chemical Facility Zone Act 2 by CoatRack
Lightless Labyrinth Zone by ShadowHog

Match:
Green Match Zone by Root
Marble Zone by CoatRack

Capture the Flag:
Glades of Serenity by Scizor300
Fungus Forest by RedEnchilada

As a note, do NOT load multiple single player entries in a row. Especially in this contest, the various stages have significant SOC work which will conflict if multiple stages are loaded at once. Make sure to quit the game before loading the next stage.

Prime 2.0 was involved in helping both Boinciel and ShadowHog with their SOCs, as well.
Attached Files
File Type: zip scr_contest-mayjun12.zip (21.58 MB, 2268 views)
File Type: zip mf_contest-mayjun12.zip (436.2 KB, 888 views)

Last edited by Mystic; 07-03-2012 at 11:44 PM.
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Old 07-03-2012   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mystic View Post
As a note, do NOT load multiple single player entries in a row. Especially in this contest, the various stages have significant SOC work which will conflict if multiple stages are loaded at once. Make sure to quit the game before loading the next stage.
As an addendum to this, Azure Temple will not work properly with character wads using SOC'd abilities. Not that you could vote based on playthroughs using character wads anyways, but I still felt the need to give a heads up about this.
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Old 07-03-2012   #3
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Looks like this is going to be an interesting OLDC. Anyways, downloading maps now...
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Old 07-03-2012   #4
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Single Player:
Industrial Valley Zone Act 1 by Zipper - 3/10
For starters, your music choice sucks and your decorating style is as lackluster as 1.09.4 maps were. Disregarding those, however, the map is unfun in a lot of places. Taking the left path from the first split, I come across a chunk of metal that, when stepped on, triggers insta-kill acid to rise in a manner that makes it impossible to see until it hits you. When the paths come together, there's a fake platform that crumbles away over a pit, which is a HORRIBLE IDEA AND YOU SHOULD NEVER DO IT. Taking the left split again takes us into a confusing room with slime waterslides that run into inescapable crevasses. A path that isn't immediately apparent can sometimes be used to good effect as the central gimmick of a map, but definitely not when it's used in this manner. When the paths merge again, the bustable block that has to be spun through leads straight out into a death pit with no warning. The rest of the level was quite mediocre, with no real standout areas to speak of.

Azure Temple Zone by Mystic & Prime 2.0 - 8/10
I'm going to forever associate this with Super Meat Boy, because the style of level design (at least, on the action path) is highly reminiscent of it. Specifically, it's the kind that infuriates you until you pass it once, and then becomes amazing fun. The puzzles were also nice, even if they're seriously not as bad as I've seen people say. But UGH, those fire gauntlets. Prime, I am going to kill you in your sleep.

Sonic's Schoolhouse by Boinciel - 4/10
It... has its charm, I guess? It definitely made me laugh, so I suppose it served its intended purpose. It's even funnier in netgames, though; particularly getting crushed by math by Prime. :(

Frozen Hillside Zone Act 2 by Blade - 6/10
There's certainly nothing wrong with the level, and speedrunning it's hella fun, but it doesn't have the same charm the first act did. There were a lot of hallways that did little other than add length, and the enemies weren't used as well as they were in the first act. The area in the ice palace with the buttons was fun, though.

Chemical Facility Zone Act 2 by CoatRack - 5/10
This map alternates between really fun and really tedious. Most of the orange gel gimmicks were pretty fun to bounce around on, while the blue gel gimmicks seemed useless. (You got the colors mixed up if you were trying to reference Portal 2, by the way.) Meanwhile, the timer room is way too strict and relies on proper timing to match the moving platform at the very beginning of it, leading to frustration. Stupid gimmicks such as that dragged the map down for me. By the way, that secret had charm. The small bit of level design it had showcased a good use of the orange gel gimmick, and I would have loved to see more. But cut down on the explosion objects in there, will you?

Lightless Labyrinth Zone by ShadowHog - 3/10
A maze of a level that drags on way too long and is only harmed by its main gimmick. I didn't even see most of the buttons until I had run by them three times, and the last of the crushers were impossible to time to the point that I just god-modded through them. Then the boss at the end, right when I was getting sick of the map. The music also really didn't work with the theme, and honestly started to grate on the ears after a while.

Match:
Green Match Zone by Root - 2/10
Yeah this was shit, sorry. There were only two weapon rings, the actual rings were way too sparse, and don't use opaque water over death pits.

Marble Zone by CoatRack - 7/10
The map was a bit on the big side, and the crushers made getting around the place hard, but the rest of the design was great. I particularly liked the Knuckles balance.

Capture the Flag:
Glades of Serenity by Scizor300 - 5/10
The map was way too big for the eight-player netgame we were in; people were impossible to find. Pretty good otherwise, though it was nothing outstanding. (also cutei mraks)

Fungus Forest by RedEnchilada - sexy crawlas
wow why did I even bother submitting this. Haha, it's so bad looking at it right now.

Also I find it kinda funny that Sciz's map has a pony reference and mine doesn't. (I swear I would've if I hadn't lost motivation to keep working on the map. Count yourselves lucky?)
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Old 07-03-2012   #5
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SINGLE PLAYER
Industrial Valley Zone Act 1 by Zipper - 6/10
- Seems a bit drawn out for its good
- Instakill Slime is the devil's work
- Not really that much detail
- A good amount of the FOFs don't have death pits under them

Azure Temple Zone by Mystic & Prime 2.0 - 8/10
- Too short
- Puzzle route at the end is too easy compared to the other
- Bubble Buzzes over death pits are the bane of my existence
- It provides a tough challenge and is a solid map.

Sonic's Schoolhouse by Boinciel - 5/10
- glorious but the extremely short length kills it

Frozen Hillside Zone Act 2 by Blade - 5/10
- Not particularly spectacular, but not bad either.
- It's a good map, but it lacks what made the first so good.

Chemical Facility Zone Act 2 by CoatRack - 6/10
- The visuals are nice and the level design seems solid enough.
- However, there are times where the enemy placement and gravity flip gimmick are downright cheap
- Creeper's kind of buggy but works okay
- Remove the death pit after the first conveyor belt once you've been flipped, it's too hard to see and someone can easily thok into it.

Lightless Labyrinth Zone by ShadowHog - 7/10
- The gimmick is incredibly interesting, but a few of the rooms were a tad too drawn out. Otherwise, the map is pretty good.
- mother of god that boss


MATCH
Green Match Zone by Root - 1/10
Well, at least it works.

Marble Zone by CoatRack - 8/10
Pretty fun, not really much else to say except why no tunes 129? :(

CAPTURE THE FLAG
Glades of Serenity by Scizor300 - hi there
whee

Fungus Forest by RedEnchilada - 6/10
It's a decent map, but it's also a bit flat and the item placement's a bit iffy.
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Old 07-04-2012   #6
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Single Player
Industrial Valley Zone By Zipper - 8/10
I like the style you chose and it fits very well, and i also like the idea of getting to the top before the acid reaches it first.

Azure Temple Zone by Mystic & Prime 2.0 - 10/10
Nice level design, badinks in a bubble and you get air from them. But there are some parts that require Tails or knuckles for it.

Sonic's Schoolhouse by Boinciel - 10/10
It's something new, and i like it. Guess this shows how the real game would be if i played it.

Frozen Hillside Zone Act 2 by Blade - 9/10
This is good for a ice level, but i keep getting hit by the snowman robots, and for all of you bronys he used winter wrap up as the level's music.

Chemical Facility Zone Act 2 by CoatRack - 8/10
It's a good map, and i also like the custom soc badniks.

Lightless Labyrinth Zone by ShadowHog - 10/10
Another original idea, it took me awhile to find the exit, Keep up the good work.
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Old 07-04-2012   #7
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Industrial Valley Zone Act 1 by Zipper - 3/10
The first room with the sudden acid rise from nowhere is very cheap and impossible to see coming. The red springs aren't positioned correctly so you have to floor the down key to stop from careening into the acid, and that only works if the camera's in a good enough mood to face ahead of you. The next room isn't much better with a platform that crumbles on touch for no reason. The rest of the map is really boring and what is the deal with that tube room that just sends you in circles endlessly until you decide to give up and backtrack?

Azure Temple Zone by Mystic & Prime 2.0 - 9/10
Challenging without crossing the line into cheap. Not much wrong with it other than that the bubblebuzzes are slightly buggy and the puzzle path doesn't give you any hints that the gargoyle flames can pass through lit switches, which makes the third puzzle very frustrating. However, said third puzzle is very fun once you actually know how to do it. In other news, the colormap makes it almost impossible to tell you added a custom shield in.

Sonic's Schoolhouse by Boinciel - 4/10
no comment

Frozen Hillside Zone Act 2 by Blade - 6/10

The heavy snow gimmick is a bit overdone, and it's not really clear you have to break the ice to move on until I broke it by accident. I liked everything in the ice palace section though, shame it didn't last long.

Chemical Facility Zone Act 2 by CoatRack - 7/10
Tone down the turrets, please. Especially at the jump up the waterfall near the end, which is hard enough to figure out without the turrets harassing you. The chemical gimmicks are hit and miss, though I liked pretty much everything involving the bouncy orange chemical. The reverse gravity also feels a bit out of place, and the camera has a few issues in those sections. The map in general though is solid and has enough gimmick variety to not be boring.

Lightless Labyrinth Zone by ShadowHog - 1/10
Uh.. to put it nicely, I really don't care for this at all. It drags on way too long, it's overly tedious, the spotlights look really weird, the path tends to be almost impossible to find, anything with the fire guys past the first encounter with them is a massive chore that usually had me noclipping through the door because it was just sooo boring. Seriously, this entire map is just a glorified maze made more frustrating by the inability to see the walls. Even worse are the invisible pitfalls and crushers which you cannot properly judge the size of. You get one point for the boss, but I was really tempted to give this a 0.

Match

Green Match Zone by Root - 0/10
This is unplayable because of the sheer lack of rings and maze-like structure. You didn't place all the weapon panels (not like there's ammo to shoot them with) and there's opaque non-colormapped water hiding death pits.

Marble Zone by CoatRack - 8/10

I wouldn't mind seeing this as a vanilla map. It's very pretty. I'm not a fan of the rail panel being under a really slow crusher. It's a bit too hard to find the way out of the lava pit in that one outdoor section.

CTF

Glades of Serenity by Scizor300 - 6/10
It's way too easy to hide here. No, I don't mean camping, I mean "where the hell is the flag carrier" and such. Also, the upper route is pretty boring. It's just a flat path and tends to be easy mode for the flag carrier.

Fungus Forest by RedEnchilada - 5/10
The river here has the same problems as the upper path in Sciz's map, except it also provides some great hiding spots. The rest of the map is fairly meh, and I didn't find the layout terribly interesting.

Last edited by Katmint; 09-22-2013 at 05:46 AM.
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Old 07-04-2012   #8
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Single Player:

Industrial Valley Zone Act 1, by Zipper - 5/10

Most of this level feels really cheap with the insta-kill green slime, random falling platforms, among other things. However, I do like some of the ideas you have going on here. But the cheapness... It really does outweigh the good parts a bit. Good map layout though, and overall, it's a pretty decent map.

Azure Temple Zone,
by Mystic & Prime 2.0 - 8/10

For a water level, this really is impressive. It's really tough but very satisfying. Awesome level design, nice visuals... Also love the idea of the buzzes hiding bubbles, though they are a bit annoying - don't kill the ones that are hovering over pits.

Sonic's Schoolhouse, by Boinciel - 5/10

Man, this map looks so good, and, though I never played the original game, I actually enjoyed playing the map! So why did it have to end so soon?

Frozen Hillside Zone Act 2,
by Blade - 7/10

What can I say? It's a typical Blade map, in typical Blade style... The indoor sections were amazing and the custom enemies were alright. One thing that does get annoying after a while is the snow gimmick. Other than that, it's a very solid map.

Chemical Facility Zone Act 2,
by CoatRack - 7/10

Okay, there's waaaayyy too many turrets in this map. That and the reverse gravity part feels out of place. Camera gets stuck in these parts, too. Outside of that, the level's very solid and interesting enough not to be boring.

Also I thought I saw a few Creepers in the map...

Lightless Labyrinth Zone,
by Shadow Hog - 6/10

Maybe I was a little too harsh in my initial review of this map... To be fair, it does have one hell of a gimmick, though it can get kinda annoying sometimes. Once you find out where to go and what to do, this map gets way better. The only thing about the crushers is that the final crusher section was pretty hard to get the timing down; eventually I wound up objectplacing through that section. Otherwise, the level's got a good design for what it is. The rooms where you have to kill every enemy get tedious after a while, though. Then there's the boss - probably the best thing about this map. I didn't even expect there to be a boss in the first place, and man, fighting it is really fun.

Oh, and Prime - not entirely sure what I was referring to with pits exactly, though I do remember one section with pits (or pit) that teleported you back to the start of the section...

Match:

Green Match Zone Act 1, by Root - 1/10

I'll be blatant here - this map is absolute shit. First off, there isn't even a full assortment of weapon panels! Also, there's hardly any rings in the stage. Like your previous foray into the OLDC, City Match, this map is kinda mazelike (though not to the extent that City Match was - IIRC you can get lost frequently in that map). And why, oh why, did you use opaque water over a death pit?! I suggest you stop making levels for a while, read Level Design 101 on the wiki (link in Mystic's post), and look at the official rotation of match maps to see how you can improve.

Marble Zone, by CoatRack - 7/10

Now this is really nice. It's bad that you can't use custom music for MP maps, because the Marble Zone music would compliment this map big time. The crushers are a bit awkward though; otherwise it's a really fun, solid map.

CTF:

Glades of Serenity, by Scizor300 - 5/10

It's good, but the layout's kinda confusing to navigate. Otherwise nothing too spectacular.

Fungus Forest Zone, by RedEnchilada - 6/10

Suffers from similar problems as Glades of Serenity, although I don't think the layout here is as bad as Glades.
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Last edited by akb778; 07-17-2012 at 03:18 PM. Reason: Finishing up MP reviews...
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Old 07-04-2012   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by akb778 View Post
You can't see pits..., crushers
What pits? Lightless Labyrinth has no deathpits, and marks jumping areas with rings arranged in arcs; for that matter, there is no viewing angle where the crushers are not silhouetted by the shafts of light, so you can always see them... though exactly where they are can be confusing before you figure out that the light shafts are safe spots, to be fair.
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Old 07-04-2012   #10
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Heres my reviews:
Single Player:Industrial Valley Zone by Zipper: 5/10, way too hard, i got as far as the cave after the slime room and then fell on that platform that crumbles without even standing on it and got game over.

I'll post more later, im tired.

Also guys, about my stage, are you actually supposed to put all the weapon rings in? also, i prefer using opaque water, deal with it.
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Old 07-04-2012   #11
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Root, the problem isn't just the use of opaque water. (Though translucent water makes infinitely more sense.) The problem is using it to cover a death pit, with no other warning.

And yes, match/CTF maps are supposed to have one of every weapon spawn (or two in CTF maps, in most cases) with ammo to match.
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Old 07-04-2012   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Root View Post
also, i prefer using opaque water, deal with it.
"deal with it" really isn't a good response if everyone hates it.
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Old 07-04-2012   #13
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Industrial Valley Zone Act 1 by Zipper - 5/10
This is kinda the definition of average. There are parts of the level that are fun, but overall there are a lot of cheap deaths and basically everything instantly kills you. Annoying green slime, death pits, and silly things like platforms that crumble for no reason. A notable annoyance is that the springs frequently don't point in the direction you're intended to go. Also, the waterslide slime is so cheap and impossible to get out of you might as well just use a pit.

Azure Temple Zone by Mystic & Prime 2.0 - N/A
I'm looking forward to seeing how people take this level, as it's very non-standard and brutally difficult.

Sonic's Schoolhouse by Boinciel - 3/10
So the joke is cute and amusing, but having never played the original the humor is lost on me, and all I'm left with is a boring, mediocre stage with nothing of interest.

Frozen Hillside Zone Act 2 by Blade - 7/10
This is a lot worse than the first act, but it's not for a lack of trying. The ice palace areas are neat but don't work out too well, because the mechanics of this stage work best in the large, open air, which there's just a lot less of in this act. The large, open room with the first path split is by far the best part of the stage. The later areas are just far more linear than anything in the first level, with far less to do and see. Try opening things up a bit, because exploration just isn't worth it in this level.

Chemical Facility Zone Act 2 by CoatRack - 6/10
It's a lot better than it was, but that magic element of "fun" is still missing from a lot of the level. The reverse gravity sections are boring, and the enemies, while interesting for a bit, start to grate by the end of the level. The best parts of the stage are when you use the bouncy liquid, and while the slippery liquid is a neat idea, it pales in comparison and ends up being used for really awful things, like physics puzzles where you exploit the water physics in SRB2.

Lightless Labyrinth Zone by ShadowHog - 8/10
Wow. There are parts of this that are absolutely awesome and parts that are absolutely atrocious. The awesome wins out, but there are a few things that direly need fixing. First off, that triple crusher either needs to go or needs to be made a lot slower so it's visually clear when the gap is. Second, the gimmick of dousing the fire enemies is neat once, but the instant I'm forced to lure multiples of them across multiple rooms I am no longer having fun. These sections RUIN an otherwise enjoyable experience. I LOVE the usage of polyobject platforms in both places you use them, and the boss is exceptional and a ton of fun. I especially love the little touch in how everything returns to normal after beating the boss. I do understand that the level is an EWJ reference, but I really think that atmospheric music would have done this a world of good, as being in confined, dark areas just doesn't fit with a bouncy, happy vibe. Unlike your past experiments, this one is a winner that just needs some refinement to be truly epic.

Green Match Zone by Root - 1/10
I request that you actually play a game of match before you insist on continuing to create stages for it. This has all of the same problems as your previous work and is still almost unplayable. The pit under the opaque water stands out as awful, but the general lack of rings and weapons also ruins this level. Please read Level Design 101 from the Wiki, play some actual games of match, and look at the official stages to see how they differ from your level.

Marble Zone by CoatRack - 8/10
This is quite great, although a bit cramped in areas. I do wish you made that spring outside that leads to the upper area easier to hit at speed, though, as right now you basically have to dead stop and that makes you stupidly vulnerable if you're playing as Sonic. I really like how the rail is under a piston, but the pistons in that hallway should honestly be a little bigger because they're no threat at all.

Glades of Serenity by Scizor300 - 8/10
This was a lot better than I was expecting. The bases are open yet defensive, and the alternate route at the top was great. The problem is more that the middle room in the stage kills the flow so completely an utterly. The streams in this stage are horribly punishing to fall into, and it was not enjoyable whenever I did.

Fungus Forest by RedEnchilada - 7/10
I really don't like the base layout in this stage, and the jump up next to the Scatter is downright infuriating in any kind of lag, but otherwise this was a very effective stage. The base just needs a few places to hide, the actual ability to get some team rings, and the ability to defend the flag. The bottom route is also a bit hard to notice, as I didn't even see it until the second game. Perhaps move the tree so it's easier to see.
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Old 07-04-2012   #14
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Here are some reviews... I'm a bad Tails player, and I was only able to play two or three levels online. I will also use my personal details system (Gameplay /5 ; Visual /3 ; Fun, pleasure /2) since I like it and it gives an overall opinion on the two main level design points.

Single Player (Done !)
Spoiler:
Before talking about anything on the participants' work, I would like to say that we have a really, high quality 1 Player contest. Every map contains a lot of work and a lot of time to have such a success, without exceptions. I saw an important use of SOCS in some levels, and, these modifications were well applied and pretty interesting, the badniks SOCS were pretty originals, some other were... quite funny...
On the other hand, I saw some levels with awesome ideas ; about the building, or simply about gadgets and other cool stuff. This 1 Player section had exploited SRB2 at different points. The question I always asked to myself, is just : How you guys can do...that. I don't get it... it sounds almost impossible to me...

Let's start with Frozen Hillside Zone Act 2 by Blade : 7 / 10
Gameplay 3 / 5
Visual 3 / 3
Fun, pleasure 1 / 2
The next act of Frozen Hillside Zone keeps a "second act" shape, highly noticeable since the first second of the level. It also has some variations, I don't remember of any temple and rising snow (into the temple) in act 1. Still, the level isn't a hard challenge, we've got mechanical ones for that, your work sounds to a relaxing stage.
The platforms are slightly elaborated, I saw some snow currents, some ice block to break, like Ice Cap Zone's, some large ice platforms to break, and fields of snow slowing down the player... I don't think I need more complex stuff for a snowy level, it sounds "frozen".
About badniks, now that I noticed that, the Ice Cap penguin seems to work, but the snowman which throws hailstones... it has some aiming problems, hasn't it ? I stood still at 1 meter and 3 meter of it, and hitting me seems hard for it.
The platform patterns sounds great, anyway as long as I don't fall in snow. But, I think I didn't see enough ice-on-water, that idea where a plate of ice was used on the lake, like parts of an iceberg. Maybe was it because you wanted to have less water and more solid temples ?

I looked at the level with Tails' general view, by flying. I confirm that it is pure and relaxing. Also, it looks like to a mountain, from an aerial view...

I actually haven't a lot of important things to talk about, the overall stage is rather simple (I mean, the platforms of the outside.), but sweet. So, good job Blade.

Then, I continue with Chemical Facility Zone Act 2 by CoatRack : 8 / 10
Gameplay 4 / 5
Visual 2 / 3
Fun, pleasure 2 / 2
A demo ? I finished this level, while my first try, in around seven minutes... but, it's okay if it isn't finished, if the rest is supposed to be as successful as what I have played now, there are no problems at all~
So, the first thing I take care of, like in every levels, the music, in that case, Mechanical Resonance (you forgot to loop it, unfortunately), but does it fits with the Sonic Generations version of Chemical Plant ?
To talk about the Facility, or rather about the Chemical side first, I thought first that the orange liquid was lava. Actually, after testing, I guess they're chemical solutions, but they don't hurt... and also, there was that part, with blue chemical bullets rising. The orange solution covering the entire room was just standing like a big square near to that place with chemical bullets, if you see where is this... the last little detail is that waterfall, situated rather at the end, outside, near to two purple and one blue waterfalls. Its root is orange, but the waterfall is black (or hasn't Colormap) ~ that's just some little inconsistencies.
About the factory... well, you still have in mind some good challenges ! (You seem to like using timed actions, don't you ? Like pushing that green button and rising quickly the two doors at the top.) But yes, since you used the pretty good gauntlet of the toxic water rising, it's maybe better to don't use it two times in a row. Actually, it sounds more to an act 2 challenge. I don't remember of gravity in the first act, and there is more gravity in ERZ2 than ERZ1, so it should work.
Oh and yes, I noticed how you placed (especially at the beggining), badniks, lasers and other hurting things like traps.
I know what you wanted to do with the combination of the glue and the slime turret, but on my side, that combo didn't worked at all. I don't know about other, maybe was I lucky. But it's still a good spirit of initiative to dig in the gameplay like that.
About the decoration, or rather about the overall style, I find it... a little less complete than the first act, it's like if you were more bored of this mechanical theme, just a little. I think there aren't all the details you added everywhere on the first part of the zone.
In conclusion, this act of Chemical Facility seems to derive to some other side of the mechanical side, or should I say, to a ERZ-themed style. But of course, it still honor its name.


Following Industrial Valley Zone Act 1 by Zipper : 4 / 10
Gameplay 2 / 5
Visual 1 / 3
Fun, pleasure 1 / 2
This one is actually quite simple, and, to me, looks to a fusion of Techno Hill Zone and the toxic and rainy level of Mystic Realm, I don't remember its name. It is unfortunately in lack of homogeneity, this means some areas are in lack of industry (the wide plains at the beggining have not enough metallic stuff - nitric solutions sound more to "toxic" than "industry"), and vice-versa, some areas are in lack of valley, especially around the middle/end, when the stage only takes place in the factory. The ideas 'Industry' and 'Valley' should work more together.
For example, the beggining is some rising platforms (without forgetting the classical crawlas), quite simple for the moment. There are maybe some long metallic passes, one in the cave and one in the sky (with a secret : an extra life. That was well done), as well as some toxic puddles, but they're in a quite low amount. Of course, the area with the rising nitric solution was great to introduce to the mechanical side, but the red spring (the 2nd group of springs, I think) throw the player too much far away, so I had to intensely slow down when they propulsed me. Just a small detail~
Later, on the factory, jumping on the rising circular platforms was a pretty rushed idea, whereas you were able to think to something better, remember also that the player is underwater underslime, allowing smoother moves, this may leads you to a better idea than just jumping over a black pit.
There was that part with a broken pipe that you tried to use as a mecha/Valley area. But, and I'll derive to the style, why is the ceiling of the solution inside the pipe (and in some other areas too) blue, and the body pink ?
In overall, the only things which were able to add some decoration were the mechanical pipes, and maybe some particular valley platform structures.
I already heard that music somewhere... what was its name ? It kinds of help your level to mix the valley and industrial theme, actually~

Next is Sonic's Schoolhouse by Boinciel : 8 / 10
Have some special scale about this special one.
Amount of work : 4 / 5
Kind and taste of the joke 2 / 3
Care 2 / 2
Why yes, 80% of the maximal note. Since it's a joke level, I used some parallel criterions, but they actually look to gameplay, visual and fun. It's a joke level (it doesn't follow the level design rules, and want to represent something instead of displaying a level), but this doesn't mean it's a rushed piece of junk, far away from, the player isn't supposed to play a stage but to "watch and enjoy what the author did there". Let's skip to your work then, Boinciel ;
I knew Sonic's Schoolhouse, I haven't played it, but I heard of it, and reproducing it with Sonic's replies and all the childish stuff was pretty funny to see. You haven't worked in minutes to extract all the sprites from the original software (included all the posters I noticed at the walls) and making the level by programming the triggers, so we can say it's a worked joke. I wished I could have a longer "Sonic adventure" like he says, but let's count the steps...*jump on the blocks, the 4 answers, getting 10 and 20 rings with Robotnik in the garden, and then 3 rooms of mathematics...* well, that's still 4 funny games I should try again later. Sonic's Schoolhouse is so childish ‎^__^"

Lightless Labyrinth Zone by ShadowHog : 6 / 10
Gameplay 3 / 5
Visual 3 / 3
Fun, pleasure 0 / 2
Here the three A representing my reactions, in order : Affraid, Amused, Angry.
At the beggining, I immediatly felt in love with the dark ambiance like I do with deep levels. Then, lights turned off, and it looked scary until the piano music started (do you mind telling me what is this music's name ? I really like it.) Everything worked perfectly for some minutes. But, the first time I played your level just traumatized me, explaining why didn't I take any pleasure. I was on running everywhere since thirty minutes to find the issue, the exit, and since I swallowed every rings used as arrows, it was kind of hard to find a way. I thought that the arrows were traps, so I followed the other way they were aiming at. It's not my fault, when I see a mystical level like this one, I always doubt on some things. I usually like weird and confusing enigmas like this one, but most of the time, I solve them...
So, the best souvenir of your level was without any doubts, these white lights. Is it really a lightless labyrinth, by the way ? Since I saw a lot of lights~ Also, by searching my way, I learnt by heart every light position.
Let's analyse, then. The main idea is to dive the level into a controlled darkness and by spreading lights like guide. I won't say things are copied and pasted randomly, because they are organized to provide a particular challenge. The main idea got suddenly broken with the apparition of the terrifying monster coming out from the ... glass. That boss was without any doubts, the most classy SOC of your level, between the flying black and red spirits, I loved how it looked more to a dangerous flying "possessed burning fire" spirit than a simple monster. That because, once more, of the darkness. But I also noticed the use of polyobjects, I remember that room with a lot of invisible flying platforms in every sense. It was kind of magical, but also scary.
In conclusion, I'll remember of that weird level and of its continuous annoying piano music... it was really challenging !~

Finally, Azure Temple Zone by Mystic & Prime 2.0 : 9 / 10
Gameplay 4 / 5
Visual 3 / 3
Fun, pleasure 2 / 2
(Between fans, we know that phantasm is impossible (or almost). On the Touhou scale, this level should be between Hard and Lunatic, what do you think of it ? But, of course, it couldn't make a good subtitle, kero kero-)
I'll start quickly on the bad things of that stage so I can go to what I loved.
It's too bad that the frameskip is low... there are so many things in this subterranean ? The message about typing some commands barely worked on my side... but since I was with Tails, I didn't have so much troubles. It's a little narrow, but I'm sure that was used for the difficulty.
My main reason for loving this level is its difficulty, and what is nice of you is that you took care to set the lives to 15. I'm sure that with 3 lives, it would be too much difficult, and marks should low dramatically about an impossible aquatic stage. And to continue on that, this is a true 100% underwater level. The temple, lost into deep waters, is muffled by the ocean, and so it sounds visually and emotionally to these old ruins, lost ... under the sea. Gargoyles impose strategical and smooth moves, forcing to dodge, like... in some danmakus. The bubbled mines-badniks are helpful, but you eventually used them as traps... when the bubble is breathed, Sonic falls at the vertical. And at the bottom, there's a pit... nice strategy~ There are also a lot of evil strategies like this one done by gargoyles.
There was also this part with air currents, a clearly area which needed some agility that I haven't. All this organization displays a high quality challenge for players, but only about mastering a character's moves underwater. But it's still a great training.
I don't think there are problems about your style of decoration, the game itself seems to be puzzled with the marine beauty of the temple, and this deep, abyssal, intense feeling of profundity dive the player into a totally submarine attraction. Playing through this tricky maze is a true quest. :3



Match (Done !)
Spoiler:

Green Match Zone 1 by Root : 2 / 10
Gameplay 0 / 5
Visual 1 / 3
Fun, pleasure 1 / 2
I'm sorry Root, but the things have to be said, this is really a simple and disorganized mini-level.
I just can't give any points about the gameplay... the stage doesn't follow the basic building rules (don't make too much narrow places -not too wide too-, have an organization and a succession of ideas through the different rooms, have some good sense when placing the rings...). Most of the time, rings are used in lines of 3/5, and why not 10, and, if you want, are supposed to 'rush' the player to the direction the line is aiming. But if there is something really unprofessional about their placement, it's to throwing them anywhere, for room filling or other unvalid reasons. Rings are nice people. Place them like some straights of lines, use the purple things type ('rings paterns') to give the player some when he uses a spring, and eventually, use circles of rings, but this is more for Match or CTF. I promise that rings will reward you if you place them properly, by improving how your level looks. In CTF and Match, a rule says that the 6 special weapons must be present. In your level, there are only the scatter and the automatic, breaking that rule. You must have all the weapon pannels. Also, make sure to add them the same 'Floating effect' as the rings have.
About sectors... well, this can takes time... for example, try to keep a consistency with your stage's universe (the death pit water was the best example of inconsistency)... I can't say everything here, so... the things you can do to improve your organization and building skills is to FIRST, play some well-built levels (the original SRB2 levels, why not Tortured Planet... there are a lot of good designers, just look to what they wanted to do in their work, watch for the room composition, I think it's one of your biggest L. Design problem), and THEN, study the rules of the SRB2 Level Design construction, Mystic gave the link above my post.
Building skills take more time for some people to get, but if you keep believing that you can do better, because you DO have the skills to make better maps, you'll improve and make better maps. It's just that your talent didn't blossomed yet. But please, you should really learn some things about other's maps and about the rules...~

Marble Zone by CoatRack : 8 / 10
Gameplay 4 / 5
Visual 3 / 3
Fun, pleasure 1 / 2
I don't think that saying it's a reference from some older game is useful... I was expecting to some lava and grass fields, destroyed ruins, and some spiky chains, but I never thought about... these moving glasses !~
Also, I heard of tunes 129, which seemed to be better... I don't agree. CoatRack's aim was, in my opinion, turning Marble Zone to a next generation, he took some freedoms about the building organization, but there are still all the great winks to Sonic 1. A wide song like the one he chose fits correctly with ruins.
So, the stage is a kind of temple, it looks to a Mega Man 8-bit Deathmatch stage... since we have also an outside part. Your level shows all the faces of the old Marble Zone. Now, to talk about the SRB2 shape :
The level is supposed to be dangerous, and it is, I got a great view of "danger" by jumping from the bounce ring platform. The ruins are characterized by stairs, columns, and why not, holes (blasts ?) in some walls, like in the shield's, so I think the sector level is great, it seems to be pretty well respected.
I didn't paid attention to rings, that means they're organized. About weapon pannels, however, maybe the bounce ring is at a wrong place...
I don't know Sonics' opinion about that, but I love these aerial structures. Finally someone who take cares of other characters. Tails can finally have his own speedway from the top. It's really a positive thing that I rarely find.

I talked a lot about the amazingness of the overall view of the level in my firsts sentences, so you know the music : detailed, traditionnal, pretty-good looking... lights effects also add a much better atmosphere into the ruined temple. It was really sweet visiting and playing through the field.


Capture the flag (Done !)
Spoiler:

Glades of Serenity by Scizor300 : I'll go with 7 / 10
Gameplay 3 / 5
Visual 3 / 3
Fun, pleasure 1 / 2

Let's start with the thing I disliked, and I also found that on another post, the main path is obviously too long and ambushed. Jumps become also harder in the rail ring room, with water gaps, turning the flag possessor's running going slower. Next time, I'll be sure to use the pass in the trees, at the top, like Mystic. This pass is sooo much easier and, adding to that, has some shields. Glad to see that climbing the small mountain, after taking the flag, in direction of this tree pass, isn't so easy. (Just a small detail I noticed, there are 3 emerald spawn points pretty close to each other in that top pass)

As well as the rings and weapon pannels, situated at their good position to use them, I won't go deeper on the visuals looking great. Majestic Grove Zone, as well as another pretty looking treeway level you made for an older contest, were actually with the same touch of style as this one, and I always liked these tropicals details. I can see that you like adding some humans' construction in your forests, don't you ? :3

The online game I had with you wasn't bad, but I felt that feeling of "just running between the bases, on a kind of 'track'".

Oh, and I love the level's name, by the way.


Fungus Forest by RedEnchilada : 6 / 10
Gameplay 3 / 5
Visual 2 / 3
Fun, pleasure 1 / 2

This level is actually a good area to fight, but maybe more made for Sonic. (The water passes are quite embarassing for Tails and Knuckles....) I think it needs more 10-rings boxes in some zones, I almost never see them in "casual" areas (let's say, inside the beige texture rooms), whereas there are 50 rings (3 boxes + 21 rings) in that beige room that we can see from the scatter pannel ;
By talking about weapons, let's see... Scatter, okey. Bomb and grenade, perfect position for counterattack or defending the base. Bounce ring, well, it's true that there are some walls in this wide room, so let's say OK. Rail, I think its position doesn't bother masters of rail, but begginers should have some troubles around here. Automatic however, well, is through a secret pass... original, original. I'm neutral about its position.
Sectors aren't complex, but at least, I don't have to complain about. There are just water passes slowing down which are a trouble.

The forest looks... pretty fungus. I mean, I just love how you gave that feeling of "forest closed to the sky", improving the mushrooms' loneliness and making them sound a little toxic. But, what about making some mushroom platforms ? Did you have that idea ? Only using a texture is quite lazy... and also, some wide areas, like the one around the rail ring pannel, need more platform decoration. Look for Scizor300's map's floors and walls. You can find some good ideas for a tropical/forest here.

I just hated when I was into the water passes, that's all. The rest is fine.
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Last edited by Internet Explorer; 07-10-2012 at 08:45 AM. Reason: Single player votes added !
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Old 07-04-2012   #15
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Industrial Valley Zone Act 1 by Zipper 3/10

Some of the ideas present later on in the stage are nice, but some of the execution feels pretty bad and on top of that the rooms feel very bland. What I really like is how the pistons are used differently from the room that precedes them, the idea works pretty well; what I disliked how the second set were implemented, getting the timing down on how to jump on them gets a bit annoying due to how fast they move and it also seemed like the section they were in could have been made a bit longer to exhibit a more enjoyable. Will finish the details later.


Azure Temple Zone by Mystic & Prime 2.0 9/10

This by far gives any player that experience a lot of difficulty with Labyrinth Zone a GOOD run for its money. I like the high difficulty. I have to be honest, I was not able to complete this level and probably will not be able to because I am going to be too busy to do so, but I had a lot of fun with this level when I did get a chance to play it.

One thing to note though the gargoyle segments are well thought out and honestly makes this level a real winner to me since they add a lot of difficulty in their various types of placements, but one thing that did not seem all that fair was the updraft room. The updraft room felt moreover to a chore than a challenge compared to the rest of the map. I like how the level gives you difficulty to when you play as Sonic, Tails, or Knuckles in its own way, it makes it worth it replaying the stage as different characters each time.

Sonic's Schoolhouse by Boinciel 5/10

Sonic's Schoolhouse? As an actual level that is good? I never would have expected to see that. Although it is solidly built, the downside is how short it is. This probably could have had more content added to it.

Frozen Hillside Zone Act 2 by Blade 7/10

Definitely an improvement over Act 1 in my opinion. The top path was okay but it still did not seem like it had that much going for it compared to the lower path in the beginning besides having more branching paths. My favorite part of the level were the indoor parts, I kind of wished there was more of those part in this act because they were fun and they looked like they had potential for other ideas to be brought in as well.

Chemical Facility Zone Act 2 by CoatRack 6/10

This level is one of the most visually impressive of this contest, but it has issues that hold back from being as enjoyable as it could be.
One of the most prominent problems are the slime turrets. Although the idea of having them is nice, getting sniped by them is not pleasant, especially if you have no indication when you are about to be fired at. Another major annoyance was how many of the mouse enemies were placed The mouse enemies can easily get a cheap hit when you just land on a foothold from bouncing off of springs or the orange slime due to their quick and erratic movement. The Creeper-bot was a nice idea for an enemy, but it seems like it would fit better with a level referencing Minecraft more than it would fit in this type of level.

The first path split was pretty easy to miss at first if you do not spot the row of rings and one contributor to this is worry about getting shot at by the turret, but then again that may just be me. The top path is more enjoyable than the other path, but there are still moments where it gets aggravating. The green mice enemy can be really annoying with its shooting you out of nowhere as soon as you turn the corner and in some cases when you are platforming with its quick and accurate goo shot, a suggestion would be to make it shoot in a low arc so that there is at least a bit more of a fairer chance to avoid the attack in areas where you can unexpectedly get messed over badly.

The only gravity parts I liked on the other path is the one orange slime, I thought that it was pretty fun to get through. The other gravity parts were decent, it just seem like they did not fit as well as the one with the orange slime.

Personally I did not have much of a problem with how the second path split was executed, although a little longer time before the machinery deactivates would be a welcomed change.

The slippery water sections seemed like a nice concept if it was implemented better than it was in this level, possibly as part of a longer end section for the level, but I do not get why that chemical tank (correct me if I got that one wrong) with the purple slime has a bottomless pit in it, platforming on it is annoying to do in the section with the turrets shooting at you and when it has small edges to stand on. Trying to jump up the waterfalls to progress was a pain, especially in that last room of one path where the turrets are firing at you. There was not much of a indicator that you had to stand on the outside of the waterfall then jump into to it to go up higher.

This act has really neat ideas, but in my opinions how the ideas were used could have been executed better and so could the way the enemies were implemented in the level.

Lightless Labyrinth Zone by ShadowHog 9/10

Fumbling in the Dark, Sonic style.

This level starts out a lot of fun because its main gimmick is trying to find your way in the dark with only the lights and rings guiding you in the right direction. The enemies worked really well with this level and the music itself was a nice touch since it summed up the type of time I was having with the level at first.

One thing that was an annoyance besides how long the level can carry on is how the crushers were nearly impossible to figure out at first. The first ones did not have much indication of where were the safe spots and soon after where do you find the second set of crushers without thinking that you may get crushed unexpectedly, the second one became okay as soon as you figured out that the row of rings are where the safe spots are, and the third set was the most aggravating of all them, there was no way of telling how to get through at first because of how it looks like the crushers start out low which makes it seem like they are coming down on you too quickly.

One last thing, holy smokes, that boss. I did not even expect the boss and it was a lot of fun to fight. It gets more intense when it leaves you with no rings or a shield if you were not used to a fight like it.


Multiplayer

Match:

Green Match Zone by Root 1/10

This level was very bland and pretty flat overall. The outside area was lacking and having a pool of water that has a death pit in it is unfitting while not adding anything to the level itself on top of that. The cavern area was one part of the level that felt like it could have been expanded upon, perhaps as a type of segment that leads you to another part of the level or an open area that is less flat. I also notice that not all of the weapons are present in this level.

The best thing I would advise is to look at some of the Match levels that were well received and either keep on working on expanding it and fix the problems that were brought if you think it is worth the time or move onto making another level if that is the best choice.

Marble Zone by CoatRack 8/10

I like how you turned one of the zones that I like in the classics into a very enjoyable match map. At first I could not find all of the weapons and sometimes getting blocked by a cylinder when you are about to pass through a hallway puts you in a bad situation if someone is chasing you with a better weapon but the level was still built really well and a lot of fun.

Capture the Flag:

Glades of Serenity by Scizor300 7/10

It is a lot of fun to play in and has a creative design, but it kind of took a while for everyone to find the way to the other base at first.

Fungus Forest by RedEnchilada 8/10

This level was fun to play through as well. The level looks really nice. The paths all were all useful for whenever someone wants to try to quick route to the other team's base without running into too many opponents and I found myself enjoying this map a lot.

Last edited by Daywalker; 07-18-2012 at 10:23 PM.
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Old 07-04-2012   #16
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Azure Temple's Mystic Temple
has been activated.

Next stage has been changed to
Zim's Base Zone.

(I'll post a proper review once I've played through all the routes.)

(God damn you and your nuke puzzles.)

Last edited by Fred; 07-04-2012 at 07:25 PM.
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Old 07-04-2012   #17
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I only went for the CTF maps, as SRB2 Match is so far from my capabilities, it's not even funny.

Glades of Serenity by Scizor300 - 5/10

I'll be honest, the layout felt a bit awkward. I felt confused dashing around and trying to find the enemy base. It seems like you've set the flag up with a sort of base, like it's 2fort or something in TFC. It's not a terrible thing, as it does give a chance for the teams to better defend, but it becomes an issue when they start camping. Holy crap, is that annoying.

The aesthetics are nice, but it's something of an issue for me. Calm and peaceful music tends of offset me a little, especially for a fast-paced game of CTF. In fact, I'd missed some emeralds several times before I became aware that there's basically only one type of flower used in this map, nay, the game itself. Even then, I was still missing one because it had the exact same color as the flowers.

It at least has enough flat ground to keep a pace. That fact that you're playing a game and being shot at also helps a little.

As Red stated, it's a bit large for the standard 4v4, and Mystic covered my opinion on those freaking streams.

It's an okay map, but it's still not up to snuff.


Fungus Forest by RedEnchilada - 7/10

Okay, call it bias, but I really enjoy this level for the amount of effort you put into the water areas. Albeit, a bit of a kneejerk when you fall into the river and just barely missing reach to the land again, but it's nice.

The textures didn't quite scream "fungus" to me, but what do I know, I'm only in Biology II.

The layout is flat enough to keep good pace, and the mounds helped pretty well in keeping over the enemy, and in fact, helped out in getting up to the higher path, which might be a bit too flat.

The hanging platforms kinda freaked me out, until I realized I can just run through all the pits and then thok into the little cave.

My escapism helped me find some decent little routes in and around the base, so I've found 4 ways in, 3 ways out, the one in being from the cave. This does feel like a bit of a threat to the enemy. So many ways to tackle the base, so little challenge. I'd suggest a few mounds in the bases, just tall enough to get caught on.

All in all, a nice little map. Still some kinks, but it's done pretty well.
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Old 07-04-2012   #18
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Single Player Votes

Spoiler:

Industrial Valley Zone Act 1 by me : ducks/tinyducks

Oh hey I contributed in saving the OLDC yay me.
The music is "Machine Area" from Kirby's Return to Dreamland, if people wonder.

Azure Temple Zone by Mystic & Prime 2.0 : 8/10

Okay I'm going to be honest : No matter how rage inducingly difficult this was, it somehow also managed to be fun. All the hard platforming and the puzzles, were introduced and executed very well all the way through, and they were still fair, no matter how hard they were. The only problems I had were how small and clustered the map was, and how rewards were insane to get to. Even torture should have standards. :/

Sonic's Schoolhouse by Boinciel : 6/10

Never played Sonic's Schoolhouse, but I'm just going to assume this level is an accurate representation of what it is. Amusing. All the blocks, all the numbers, Sonic's guidance through the level all felt very entertaining....in a weird, silly kind of way. I don't know how to explain it. the gimmicks all had great replay value though.

Frozen Hillside Zone Act 2 by Blade : 7/10

Not much to say about this one. I pretty much have the same feelings as I did for Act 1, maybe slightly worse. This one felt blander and more straightforward, but nevertheless still good. The ice palace definitely shone with its interesting gimmick.

Chemical Facility Zone Act 2 by CoatRack : 8/10

I don't get all the hate for this. It was fine. Exploitation of water physics was definitely something I was looking for, as I always felt that uderwater physics didn't get as much interest, unlike what the classics did. Gel usage was nice, though you could have done so much more. Aside from that, the plus sides are the same as Act 1.The downsides are that turrets are everywhere. Every platform, every challenge, every everything. They pretty much ruined 15% of the map.
also the conveyors and the annoying music but eeeeh

Lightless Labyrinth Zone by ShadowHog : 6/10

Hello, what's this? no seriously what is this I can't see anything

In all seriousness though, this one felt very enjoyable for the first half. Follow the conveniently placed lights, destroy ghosts, destroy fire ghosts, all in the dark. The second half KILLED me with its enemy abuses and cheap crushers however. Really annoying, really tiresome. In the dark, it's best if some things are left easy.
The boss is nice, it's "original" and worth playing.
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Last edited by Zipper; 07-06-2012 at 02:16 PM.
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Old 07-04-2012   #19
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So just to make sure, there's no trick to it, right? There's just the one nuke in the level and you need to pick your poison and somehow get it all the way to the end.
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Old 07-04-2012   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Neo Chaotikal View Post
So just to make sure, there's no trick to it, right? There's just the one nuke in the level and you need to pick your poison and somehow get it all the way to the end.
There's two nukes actually, but they're within 1500 fracunits or so of each other so it doesn't particularly matter. No tricks, you just have to make it through the rest of the stage without getting hit.
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