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Old 08-31-2007   #1
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Default Official Level Design Contest Voting: July-August 2007

Welcome to the July-August 2007 contest voting. Mystic is away currently, so I'm taking over the contest this time.

The voting works as follows: Play a few games of the stage in question, in the intended gametype for judging, and give the map a vote from 0 to 10, no decimals. You can not vote on your own map. 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 player will be discarded. To encourage voting, if you are an author and you judge all of the competitor's maps, the lowest score on your map will be dropped. 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.

Although it's not necessary, 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.

Judging will end September 8th at midnight GMT (September 7th, 7:00 PM EST). The scores will be then averaged, and the person with the highest score is the winner.

The maps follow:

Single Player Zip - 1,088 KB

Single Player:
Sandstone Gorge by .hack
Dimensional Zone by simsmagic
Nuclear Sunset Zone, Act 2 by BlueZero4

Match/CTF/Circuit Contest Level Pack - 280 KB

Match:
MAPA1 - Cobalt Falls Zone by Camo_Man
MAPA2 - Space Dock Zone by DarkWarrior
MAPA3 - Hazard Plant by Senku
MAPA4 - Treetop Caverns by Senku and Spazzo

Capture the Flag:
MAPA5 - Lush Falls Zone by Com
MAPA6 - Meadow Plains Zone by DarkWarrior

Circuit:
MAPA7 - Volcanic Circuit Zone by Cheese
MAPA8 - Darkmatter Freeway Zone by CZ64

Please make sure to play the levels in the intended gametype, and above all, have fun judging!

EDIT: Links changed because my host sucks.
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Old 08-31-2007   #2
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Better get the votes started, 'cause this week goes by fast.
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Old 08-31-2007   #3
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I still bet 95% of the entries were sent to Mystics e-mail...
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Old 08-31-2007   #4
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Question: is it normal for the zips to take over 20 minutes to download over a broadband connection?
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Old 08-31-2007   #5
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FF's host just sucks.
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Old 08-31-2007   #6
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Well, about 50 people are downloading. I'm not surprised.
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Old 09-01-2007   #7
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I was going to have a map for the CTF part, but it came down to hurrying it and not testing it and having it turn out crappy or spending the time to make it right.
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Old 09-01-2007   #8
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Voting Time!

Ok, thoughts on the maps

Sandstone Gorge

Best level eva!!!

NA/10

Dimensionalzone

Ok, if this is your first map, then not bad. However, not good either.

Let's start from the beginning.

1)If your map supports coop, then put more than a single player start in. They can be right next to each other, but put them in

2)Enemies without rings at the beginning...not good. In fact, there are no rings until the first warp.

3)Forcing you to roll through the beginning of the level is probabally not the best idea. This is SRB2, not sonic spinball. Creating hallways that someone can walk through would be a better idea.

4)Put a window in the room with the super rings. The wall texture for outside is also ugly. Make it look like a sky, please.

5)Make some kind of indicator that gravity is about to change when you have to jump through deep space.

6)overuse of enemies in general. It's not fun to be chased by 50 jetty-syns while trying to jump to the top of a pyramid.

7)the level is quite short. If you added more on, it could be good. But as it is, no.

8)Some textures are out of place. The top of the first pyramid, for example, shouldn't be the GFZ floor. Also, add some more scenery.

SO, the overall rating is

Mechanics: 1/3

Creativeness: 1/3

Fun: 1/4

Total 3/10

Nuclear Sunset act 2


When I played this map, the first thing I thought was...wow. This is huge.

anyway, down to business.

1)Textures. I really did not get the point of egg boxes on the beach, or the AGZ tiles on the beach. I did like the parts of the level when you went through the factory, but some parts did not make sense.

2)The yellow spring part. Ok, bouncing on a few yellow springs is fun, but if it takes over 5 seconds, it's not cool. I counted 30 seconds with knux, so try to fix that if possible.

3)Upside down? I spent forever trying to figure out what the heck was up with the flowers on the ceiling. Seing as how this is not a distorted reality level, those have no real place here.

4)length. This level is huge. A little too long for my taste, but that's just me.

5)Generic. The beach theme has been used over and over and over and over and (*everyone smacks .hack*)..you get the idea. However, you had a unique twist to it, so this is excuseable.

6)Oh, and put some multiplayer starts in if it supports coop.

Time for voting:

Creativity: 2/3

Mechanics: 3/3

Fun: 3/4

overall = 8/10

I was very impressed with the maps in the contest, I will be happy if I get a 5 / 10 for my map... Good job to bz4, and to simsmagic, you're off to a good start, but spend longer on your levels before release.

I will vote on the contest maps when I play them with other people.

peace out
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Old 09-01-2007   #9
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SP votes nao. Might do moar later, I dunno.


Sandstone Gorge by .hack - 5/10
First path, the one you had to platform for:
Erm, the platforms. They were a bit small, and I had to slow down to actually get on the platforms. Some of them were just the wrong distance, so I thought I could thok and still land on them, when I couldn't.

Moving on, the little WHOOSH thingies. Err, no idea how they worked, but it wasn't exactly perfect. I only landed using the first one about 1 out of every 5 times. When I didn't, I landed in the quick sand and had to go ALL the way back. >>

And, erm, basketball. BASKETBALL. It's a nice concept, but it takes a while to figure out you're supposed to get it in the net. Even worse, you have to make a swish or else you bounce off and fall in the quicksand. And then you have to, you know, go back to the begggining and hop on the tiny platform and try again, while avoiding the crawla commander that intends to suck your blood.

Then, some obscure door opens while you're fishing yourself out of the quicksand AGAIN. >> Then, some random pole. Oh joy. After godding, noclipping, and devmoding, I figured out I was supposed to jump on the pillars, and look for the pillar that raised next. Oh joy.

Second path, the one that's staring you in the face:
After resisting the urge to go top route, I stumbled upon plat forms Just your average platforms, a bit bigger than the platforms to get up top. What irked me about this area wasn't the platforms, but rather the fact that you had to use some platform off to the side in order to move on. :/

And then, uh, pyramind. Nice idea, though it wasn't exactly executed well. The path on the side of the pyramid was rather skinny, not to mention a bit bland. Additionally, there was no iddication that the spring was RIGHT THERE, meaning you'd miss it if you didn't know what you were looking for it. Perhaps you could raise a tiny ledge and change the textures?

And, uh, the scrolling platforms. They were rather, erm, old. I've had enough converyors in my life time, including but not limited to NSZ1. Also, the WHOOSH wasn't really needed, because you could just thok over. And if you fall, quick sand. Go ALL THE WAY BACK TOTHE BEGINNING and do it all over again. Not to mention your movement in quicksand in hindered. Hindered.

And then, platforms. Sinking platforms. It wouldn't be so bad, except quicksand. After this level, I hate quicksand. :/


Dimensional Zone by simsmagic - 2/10
Starting off the level, meh. There's what looks like you came out of a teleport. Not necesarrily a bad thing, though. What I do have gripes with is how utterly plain the level is. I mena, come on, if you must use the generic hallway design, at least put some stuff in it. Computer screens? Pipes?

Afterwards, morphball tunnel. These pretty much fail in SRB2, due to the fact that there's no good way to control where you're going when inside, much less see anything. Just no.

Coming out of the space station (It would've been nice if it was a tad easier to know that you had to actually make that jump, btw), there were more generic hallways. It would've been nice if there were rings out here, placed in a line. Also, it would've been nice if the springs in the GFZ part of the level were out in the open. You do that sort of thing with secrets, kthx.

And erm, the DSZ pyramids look nice and all, but I really wish they weren't sitting there in the middle of the road begining you to go up them, thus breaking flow. The last two hurdles didn't work too well; the snow one was, like, screaming "I HATE SONIC USERS" with all it's might as you fell into the pit on the side after you thoked. The small platforms over the pit? Well, you had to slow down to stay on them. Of course, those who don't will find themselves falling onto a pit that doesn't kill you, without any springs to get up either. :/

....and we finish the level with more steps. More freaking flowbreaking steps. >>


Nuclear Sunset Zone, Act 2 by BlueZero4 - X_X

<Kroze> A VOTE FOR NSZ2 IS A VOTE FOR TERRORISIM!
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Old 09-01-2007   #10
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Sandstone Gorge - 8/10

This was pretty good, I liked it. Only real complaint was the popup turret that shot bomb rings. But it was pretty good besides that.

Dimensional Zone - N/A

I made this level, because I thought it would be an interesting mix. Apparently not. I might make an Act 2, with it being longer and more unique.

Nuclear Sunset Act 2 - 7/10

I liked this level, still hate jumping puzzles... It took me about 5 minutes to finish this, but that doesn't change anything, let's see, I liked the wave effect, quite a few enemies... Hmm, I don't think I have anymore comments on it...
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Old 09-01-2007   #11
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I'll withhold voting on CTF until I can actually get a good game in. After four 1v1 games, I've memorized the layout and still have yet to see what gameplay would be like for larger games.

Singleplayer:

Sandstone Gorge: 7/10 Good, but not enough normal platforming.

Very interesting premise, I must say I enjoyed the three minutes of game time in this level more than ten minutes spent elsewhere. A little bland, but the gameplay is actually fun. It could have used some plain good-to-honest platforming in between the gimmicks but still ok.

Hoops: I gotta know how you pulled these off, they were really fun to use.

Basketball: Never would have thought of that. I'd have preferred battle Jetty-syns than bouncy pillars... (uhhh.... or maybe I wouldn't have)

The pyramid was quite boring, since the ledges were too narrow and it got old real fast.

Gameplay: 7/10 Good

Visuals: 3/10 Poor

Creativity: 9/10 Excellent

Replay: 3/10 Poor

Overall: 7/10 Good, but not enough normal platforming. (not an average)

Nuclear Sunset 2: 7/10 Good, but somewhat boring.

A major improvement over the last release. It is refreshingly more linear than the first, but one can still get lost due to crawlas not facing a certain way and whatnot. Out of six deaths, three were cheap deaths associated to finding out too late that the bridge didn't span the gap, and jumping too soon. The others were carelessness tbh.

A really easy level with a whole bunch of themes strewn together with no interesting gimmicks. In the former level I judged, there were too many gimmicks crammed together while here there is hardly one. The theme variation was distracting and unnecessary. I didn't mind the cliff/beach theme you had going, but the others strewn within it just broke the graphical flow. However, the visuals were excellent with lots of special effects and many interesting decorations.

The part I least enjoyed, however, was taking my fingers off the keyboard and watching for about 30-60 seconds while Sonic jumped from spring to spring.

Overall I would argue that this level was so much about flow that it wasn't very fun.

Gameplay: 6/10 Mediocre

Visuals: 8/10 Great

Creativity: 4/10 Negligible

Replay: 6/10 Good

Overall: 7/10 Good, but somewhat boring. (not an average)

Dimensional Zone: 3/10 Poor, but a good level for a beginning designer. Mixed themes are too overused though.

An interesting premise, but actually quite overused. To be honest, my first level experiment was something like this. It wasn't too bad, but each area was pretty much the same: run through a hallway attacked by baddies and over pits.

Gameplay: 3/10 Poor

Visuals: 3/10 Poor

Creativity: 3/10 Poor

Replay: 0/10 Needs work...

Overall: 3/10 Poor, but a good level for a beginning designer. Mixed themes are too overused though. (not an average)
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Old 09-01-2007   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JEV3
A really easy level with a whole bunch of themes strewn together with no interesting gimmicks. In the former level I judged, there were too many gimmicks crammed together while here there is hardly one.
YYAAAAAAAARRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!1

In short, go find yourself a button. :/

Quote:
Originally Posted by simsmagic
.....still hate jumping puzzles...
Erm, what? Jumping puzzles? Where?
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Old 09-01-2007   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JEV3
A really easy level with a whole bunch of themes strewn together with no interesting gimmicks. In the former level I judged, there were too many gimmicks crammed together while here there is hardly one.
Uhh yeah, you didn't play through the whole level. There's a bunch of buttons in the level that will completely change the way the map works. It takes about a half hour to find 'em all..
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Old 09-01-2007   #14
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SP

Ok... guess I should get started.

Sandstone Gorge by .hack 7/10

The quicksand pulls you under too fast, a challage I say. Normaly I like a challaging level but this one is... meh.

Also is that the music from SPZ2 from S3&K?

Plus the basketball hoop I couldn't figure out something outta it, am I suppose to go in the hoop?

Also I did see some REDWALL near the exit that you must spring up too where the turrent fires a ring bomb at you.

This is... good I guess?


Dimensional Zone by simsmagic 3/10

Each teleport takes you to a diffent part of the level, and each time the textures and stuff chanage, which is... good?

However not even a single ring at the start. = BAD

Plus you placed SKY textures and you could of used a real sky, not by placing the sky textures.

Rolling in the tunnels, this remind sme of metroid prime in the morph ball, but sitll I really think you shouldn't made a mini maze outta it, I got lost a few times there.

So, you got some work to do...


Nuclear Sunset Zone, Act 2 by BlueZero4 10/10

Wow... just, wow... this is the best I have ever seen. Over 1000+ sectors. (Yes, I took a look at it in DB.)

The buttons change the level, which is good.

Plus that *thing* I found was... *bricked*

This map is good for all I say.


Ok, I rated the SP maps, now to rate the Match/CTF/Race ones.

Match/CTF/Race

Here goes nothing...

Cobalt Falls Zone by Camo_Man 6/10

Its a bit... ok, but you have the color maps in the water set to at very dark blue, and I cannot even see in this dark blue color map.

I really don't know what to say, really. I'm no expart.


Space Dock Zone by DarkWarrior 7/10

Somehow I really enjoyed this map, and the rail ring on the top was a nice touch, but try making the pathways outside the middle an bit more wider, I kept getting shot most of the time on there.


Hazard Plant by Senku 8/10

This was was really good, I enjoyed it very much, but sometmes I feel like I'm an open target on the platforms...


Treetop Caverns by Senku and Spazzo 5/10

My god... I would've of gave it a better rating but this map ills software because the area where the water brings you up makes my screen go wonky, plus it sigsev's around the middle.

Also, near the water, I found a few HOM, however in OpenGL, none appear.

Plus, why is there springs and rings in the the very deep water? As soon as you touch the blackness, you die.


Lush Falls Zone by Com 9/10

Lets just say I enjoyed this map, but I was thinking that the CTF bases were suppose to match each other, not sure...

Plus in software mode, I think some of the textures peel off and show HOM, or a texture that like pops up outta nowhere.


Meadow Plains Zone by DarkWarrior 8/10

Very nice map, however the frame rate slows down while at one of the bases and looking at the other base.


Volcanic Circuit Zone by Cheese 4/10

I feel that the crumbling rocks would be a bit unfair since not everyone uses sonic to get pass them or by falling into the lava.

Plus in software mode, the lava falling and in the lava turns out to be a very dark red color map, it blinds me a bit, and at first I was thinking there was REDWALL here and there.


Darkmatter Freeway Zone by CZ64 7/10

NiGHTs race map right? Its alright I guess, I don't really know what to say here, honestly.


There, all done I think.
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Old 09-01-2007   #15
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For some odd reason, when I add the match-ctf-race wad ingame, I get a checksum mismatch. Now, onto buisness.

Voting time.


Single Player:
Sandstone Gorge by .hack - Hum, the "woosh squares" (for lack of a better name) were a good idea, the part with the rising platforms had a few texture problems on OGL mode. 9/10
Dimensional Zone by simsmagic - First off, the blue teleports should not have a sector tag 972, which kills race mode right there. You could have expanded on your ever-changing themes, however. 5/10
Nuclear Sunset Zone, Act 2 by BlueZero4 Wow, this one blew my mind, one thing though, the c-kicks have to go. D: 10/10


Match:
MAPA1 - Cobalt Falls Zone by Camo_Man - I found this to be a tad plain, enjoyable though. 7/10
MAPA2 - Space Dock Zone by DarkWarrior - This one was good, well balanced and fun. 8/10
MAPA3 - Hazard Plant by Senku - Okay, this map was WAY to big. It has a nice layout, however. 6/10
MAPA4 - Treetop Caverns by Senku and Spazzo - Wow, this map was really...unique. The water pits were interesting, but buggy. 9/10

Capture the Flag:
MAPA5 - Lush Falls Zone by Com - Ah, very nice. The Nothing else to say. 9/10
MAPA6 - Meadow Plains Zone by DarkWarrior - Now, this one of the few very good CTF maps. No flaws whatsoever. 10/10

Circuit:
Volcanic Circuit Zone by Cheese - Okay, first of all, this was way to much like Red Volcano zone, the flashing walls, the lava falls,the falling platforms. However, it was enjoyable. 8/10
Darkmatter Freeway Zone by CZ64 - Eh, I've never liked the NiGHTS maps this one was kinda bland anyway, just space and asteroids. 6/10
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Old 09-01-2007   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sb
Nuclear Sunset Zone, Act 2 by BlueZero4
C-kicks have to go. D:
Erm, yeah. Sorry, but I have no idea what's causing it. There's a lot of stuff in the level, any one thing may be causing it. I haven't gotten able to run a controlled series of tests on it, so I can't do anything about it at the time being.
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Old 09-01-2007   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Penopat
I sucks at teh voting.
0 is the worst piece of crap ever to grace the forums, 5 is average, 10 cannot be improved upon.

Match:

MAPA1 - Cobalt Falls Zone by Camo_Man - 3/10
There's not really much to talk about with this map. Thing placement is horrible, the design is rather dull and boring, and the inclusion of bomb-rail was completely over the top. 90% of the players just stayed in the little room, instead of going through the entire level. The item box inside of the room was tedious to get, especially when there's a ton going on in there. You really need to make this map a bit more interesting.

MAPA2 - Space Dock Zone by DarkWarrior - 4/10
This map is as if Nimbus Ruins and Midnight Abyss had a good time, and forgot to wear a condom. Oh, and they were related to begin with.
Awkward analogy aside, tedious ring placement and thin platforms makes for a bad experience overall. The upper section took forever to get to, and wasn't really worth it in the end. Otherwise, it's not as bad as some of the other maps.

MAPA3 - Hazard Plant by Senku - 3/10
This map screams "HOMING ABUSE".
This map had some potential, but It's ruined by the absolutely outrageous size. The upper sections were absolutely void of any life whatsoever and the underwater area was rather empty and boring. I did like the slime raising in the middle room, however, although I could never figure out what triggered it.

MAPA4 - Treetop Caverns by Senku and Spazzo - RAWR/Spazzo
Yeah, the map needs vertical compression, badly. I should have changed the texture on the spin-to-operate elevators as well. Those objects you see on the pit were caused by bitsets failing (curse you, 4096 limit!), and I accidentally forgot to remove them.

Capture the Flag:

MAPA5 - Lush Falls Zone by Com - 6/10
Best map in the pack, but unfortunately that isn't saying a lot.
The layout was actually rather interesting, and it was one of those rare occasions where an asymmetrical map works. However, rings were very, very scarce, a major problem in 10 player netgames. Otherwise, pretty decent.

MAPA6 - Meadow Plains Zone by DarkWarrior - 4/10
Man, this map just felt slow, in netgames. The layout was interesting, I'll give you that much. However, you have got to pull the rings from the sides of the staircases. You've also got to add a few more spots for the flag runner to go to, as our team won this map 1-0. What the heck were with those fountains, anyways? 0_o

Circuit:


MAPA7 - Volcanic Circuit Zone by Cheese - 4/10
If this isn't an utter ripoff of RVZ, then I don't know what is. It was a bit too difficult for circuit style play, as I ended up the only guy alive by the start of the second lap. After a while, it all starts to look the same. Wait. Jump past magma. Wait. Jump past magma. By the third lap, it just becomes dull and lifeless. Give this map a bit more variety, and then we can talk.

MAPA8 - Darkmatter Freeway Zone by CZ64 - 4/10
This makes Slumber Circuit look like it pulls punches. It seemed to be very easy to fall off of the track (which I don't blame you for at all, it's not your fault). Otherwise, it's just a really bland and boring map. As FF said someplace, I was just holding down 2 buttons for 5 minutes, peered over to see what was on TV, looked back, and I was still going. You've got to make this a little bit more interesting.


Wow. What a dismal turnout.
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Old 09-01-2007   #18
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Single Player:
Sandstone Gorge by .hack - 6/10
This is a rather enjoyable level. Unfortunatly, some of the areas were open and empty.
Dimensional Zone by simsmagic - 2/10
The themes in the level switched too quickly, stopping me from enjoying the environments.
Nuclear Sunset Zone, Act 2 by BlueZero4 - 10/10
SIEG HEIL!
Originally, when I played one of the first private betas, I thought that Nuclear Sunset Zone, Act 2 had lost the 'magic' that Act one had. Now, when comparing this version to the earlier private beta you see vast improvments, and keeping the 'magic' that Act one had. This map is epic, even more epic than Act one, and it makes me forward to your new maps.


Match:
MAPA1 - Cobalt Falls Zone by Camo_Man - N/A
N/A
MAPA2 - Space Dock Zone by DarkWarrior - 7/10
Rather fun level to play in, although the deathpits proved to be a little bit annoying when missing jumps onto the rising platform. Overall the design was excellent.
MAPA3 - Hazard Plant by Senku - 7/10
The design of the map was pretty good, I just felt that the homing rings dragged this map down a little.
MAPA4 - Treetop Caverns by Senku and Spazzo - 4/10
The very small size turned me off from the start. After I started to play a little more, I realised the the bridges were crumbling blocks, next time maybe you should try making only some of the bridge fall. Now, my biggest problem with this map is the awful pit of water at the bottom that launched you back up to the top. If you are someone like me who was expecting a deathpit at the bottom, you wouldn't be prepared to navigate yourself onto the solid ground.


Capture the Flag:
MAPA5 - Lush Falls Zone by Com - 8/10
To start, the map looks great, but not just that, it plays great. The upper and lower areas that the player could take were very enjoyable to use. I can't really say anything else about this map.
MAPA6 - Meadow Plains Zone by DarkWarrior - 7/10
This level had great object placement. It was a little short from base to base, but that proved for some very enjoyable battles.


Circuit:
MAPA7 - Volcanic Circuit Zone by Cheese - 4/10
The lack of rings made for easy death by lava, other than the the design was pretty good. Although, I would've prefered less crumbling FOFs.
MAPA8 - Darkmatter Freeway Zone by CZ64 - 6/10
Rather nice concept, but I'm not a huge fan of NiGHTS mode race.

EDIT: Typos fixed
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Old 09-01-2007   #19
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Played through NSZ2 again looking for the buttons, and they make a world of difference. (no kidding!)

New Score: 8/10

I welcome the change in difficulty with each button. With the multiple exits, it seems that you are going for a style in non-linearity that ShtH boasted. However the first button being at the end, and having no apparent change anywhere didn't really make me want to look around the first time through. I also still don't like the constantly changing graphical theme.

Therefore I have to change my vote in all fairness. Secrets are something I can't say 'no' to.

Gameplay: 6/10 Same

Visuals: 9/10 Leaving room for Digi and SomeGuy ;-)

Creativity: 8/10 Hidden :-P

Replay: 8/10 Good

Overall: 8/10

The Secrets really helped, but it still seemed boring. Make the theme consistent, and it would be a great Zone 1 for a mod at some point.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BlueZero4
YYAAAAAAAARRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!1
Uhh... Was the yelling necessary, it gave me a start! ;-)
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Old 09-01-2007   #20
BlueZero4
 
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The first button actually DID do something, though I doubt anyone cares what. >>

And as far as theme goes, you'll just have to accept the fact that it's Nuclear Sunset. Personally, I think the multiple themes are charming, because the transitions actually make sense. For instance, the abandoned factory gives way to the rock after some erosion.
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