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Old 01-02-2009   #41
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Kuja, I have edited my post, but not my rating. There are no resource-heavy programs being used other than srb2win.exe. The framerate really is that bad. JUST THAT LEVEL.
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Old 01-02-2009   #42
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:SonicMaster:, you can't honestly downgrade a level's vote because your PC can't handle it well. That's effectively saying "my PC sucks, I don't care about this map so I'll ignore everything about it since I can't run it well, 0/10". Personally, I'd hope that you either not vote on the map, or vote on what you can.
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Old 01-02-2009   #43
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Recommended Spec (640x400):

Intel or AMD 700mhz or better*
64mb RAM
50mb free disk space (2mb free during play)
DirectX 3 or better compliant video (180 megapixels/sec or better for OpenGL)
DirectSound compatible sound card

Yes, this is 640x400 software. According to SRB2.org, the machine I have tested it on is perfectly acceptable. Therefore, it is perfectly acceptable to rate a level low because of the framerate in this case.

Also, OpenGL is unsupported. Kthxbye.
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Old 01-02-2009   #44
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In general I knock a few points for horrid framerate, but a zero should be reserved for maps that are completely unplayable under all circumstances or have absolutely no redeeming value. Two stages that come to mind as deserving of a zero are The Shining River and DimenGlabSpecial from previous contests. Try lowering your resolution or switching renderers to see if that helps.
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Old 01-02-2009   #45
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Ah, Henry Clay has spoken. =D Your suggestion has satisfied me. I will install SRB2 on the family computer for this map. The net rating shall be either 1/2 or 2/3 of my gross rating.
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Old 01-02-2009   #46
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I edited my post and added my review for elven peak and all the multiplayer maps. I'd say this was a fantastic SP contest.
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Old 01-02-2009   #47
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Furry Fox's Volcano Zone: 3/10
First of all, it's not a good a idea to force the player to use Tails. He's really, really, slow. And because of that it felt to me like the race just dragged on and on. The level is just very ugly. Almost no scenery, just big empty space. I expected more from you.
It was an experiment. I was trying to make Tails actually worth using in Race. I found it very hard to actually find a spot for scenery, so I just basically left it pretty much devoid of it. And 2:30 across a total of four laps isn't dragging on forever. Isn't anyone doing Spindash + Fly?

----
Oh, wow. It's a VERY close race between Blown Fuse and Aquatic Labyrinth. Blown Fuse is at 8.50, while Aquatic Labyrinth is at 8.67. Actually, both positions would qualify for top 5.
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Old 01-02-2009   #48
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my level shouldve had more but in the end there was a lot of crap i had to remove, like the emblems and the other 1000 sectors i had.
And oh yes senku sorry about that, i forgot to remove them. but why didnt you reply to the 3 pms i sent you asking permisison?
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Old 01-02-2009   #49
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What a great turnout! The amount of SP levels this time around is quite amazing, I never thought it would outnumber the other sections this greatly. And there's a large ratio of good to bad maps, which is even better.

Anyway, all these maps have been played in OpenGL, usually with Sonic. Prepare for some godawfully long reviews.

Single Player

Elven Peaks Zone by Chrome - 6/10

As far as map layout and aesthetics is concerned, this appeals. But it feels... unchallenging. Even with deathpits, this isn't really much of an engaging map and lacks any real sense of difficulty. Also, your goal sector doesn't seem to function 100%; the first time I played this, I apparently went past it without touching it and was stuck floating on the ceiling by an apparent wind sector.

Adventure Island Zone by fawfulfan - 5/10

I suppose I'm alone in this thought, but the map's somewhat puzzle-oriented gameplay feels fresh, and the way themes progress through the map is quite very cool. However, while I see the use of SA mode in the map, the analog camera mode seems more obstructive compared to the idea of giving a new viewpoint. Cramped sections paired with an uncooperative camera make for an unenjoyable experience. Thankfully, analog isn't required. Even with what I see to be some great visuals, this map does have its own aesthetic quirks even in OpenGL (poorly chosen thok barrier floor, overly thick water colormap).

Aesthetically and in terms of gameplay, this map is unique, but overshadowed by its various flaws. It does have a fair bit of replay value (I honestly had no problem with the buttons), and it sticks out from the rest of contest with its different gameplay, which I think is commendable.

Sand Valley by Nathan Speed - 5/10

2D mode sucks, blah blah blah. First and foremost, why are there so many teleporters?! I mean, I'm not talking about all of them; for the second part of the level, it makes sense, but it seemed to me that the first few sections could have easily been joined together. Makin' me dizzy, man.

Second, your choice of death pits is slightly questionable. For the first pond of water that the player crosses over, falling into it leads to instant death. Yet, I look at the pond in the background, and there's clearly visible ground. More contradictably, the next pond not only has solid ground, but is also covered in springs so that the player can easily get out.

Thirdly, you know how you use that conveyor sector before the turrets? I thokked before it finished moving me to where I was supposed to be, and I got stuck in one place while turrets tried to shoot at me. Needs more foolproof transitions.

Lastly, but certainly not least, your level design is linear. This is the mistake I see in almost all 2D levels, and if people really want to make 2D mode worth playing, the least they could do is implement replay value.

Is your level okay? Yeah, I think so. Has a good sense of flow for a 2D map, and pretty nice visuals. But the room for improvement here is incredible.

Green Hill Zone by Koni - 6/10

I liked the use of your custom enemy. It was nothing out of the ordinary, but it had the right balance of difficulty, and it really helped the variety of enemies in this map. Your use of other enemies was also quite nice, especially the robo fish at the beginning. While I didn't find this map annoying or boring of any sort, it still felt ridiculously shortlived because of the linearity of the level design. Once you reach the goal sign, that's it. There's no paths you haven't explored, no secrets to be uncovered. This could easily have been resolved by replacing the bottomless pits with aqua-terrestrial level design and would have increased the replay value greatly.

Blown Fuse Zone by SonicMaster - 7/10

This is pretty cool. Actually, the best 2D map I've played yet. By no means perfect, but it's definitely a good map. The theme and the music (though the melody instrument was a bit overdone) are both pretty groovy (but it would have been nice if you could have looppointed the tune); in the aesthetics department, I really have nothing to complain about.

The balance of flow and platforming is spot-on, as I never had to worry about following into a pit just because 2D's camera sucks; if there's dangers I need to jump over, the level will stop me first so that I know what's going on, and that's what 2D maps really need when it comes to 1.09.4. I was concerned at first that you didn't seem to use enemies a whole lot, but I never had to worry, because the difficulty was in the hazards of the level design, so this maintained a challenge.

One thing that bothered me was that the level design sort of left more to be desired. You used the spindash platform tutorial, and after that one segment, I never had to spindash on a platform again. It seems like you could devote that whole part of the level to that gimmick, but it was just thrown away. There also seemed to be absolutely no secrets whatsoever, which was disappointing, since that's one of things I look forward to in your maps.

In any case, I really think anyone who plans to make 2D maps should use this map as a source of level design tips for it. Its level design has multiple paths, it makes up for the camera's faults by stopping the player when the player needs to be stopped, it shows how well aesthetics can be executed in a 2D map, and it uses gimmicks and hazards other than enemies to make the level interesting. All of those things make this a good map.

End of Year NiGHTS by Glaber - 3/10

"Year of NiGHTS". I don't understand why this had to be a whole project that had some sort of proper title, because many of the NiGHTS maps really weren't all that good to begin with, nor did I think anyone cared. And this finale doesn't really have me all that impressed either.

For starters, the graphics are really, really low-scale. It's just bare. So, you've got a custom clock texture and a few motobugs laying around. There's like a few sectors and that's it. You need to make it more like a city and less like some debug testing map. You should have made it more alive -- more festive! Throw in a few toads and thing number -1's in there. Dazzling lights. Anything! NiGHTS mode was made for aesthetics. Your map doesn't have any of it; it's lifeless.

And what about that black floor looming at the bottom of the map? Is that supposed to be a pit? For starters, if it was supposed to be a pit (and it should have been, too; give the map some challenge!) you could have layered it with some light sectors that caused a gradient into the darkness. And if I get stuck in the lower portion of the pit as Sonic, I can't get out; the green shooter things don't even reach up to the other sector! Really lame.

Probably even worse, the level is short. You go through both mares in a total of two minutes, tops. Then it's over. You added absolutely nothing else to level that could possibly be explored or looked at. So your tracks lacked any technical flaws and flowed fairly smoothly. Paired with the music (unlooppointed, by the way), that's its only good point.

Did you have much motivation for this map? It's almost as if you didn't even want to make the map and just wanted to complete the map just so the year could be called the "Year of NiGHTS". I know you can do better than this.

Hydro Plant Zone by verifiaman - 2/10

Ahh!! It's like you go one step forward and two steps back! Good gravy, where do I even begin with this?

Well, I guess first off, I should state the level design gradually goes from subpar to nutty. It's fair at first, but then there's some graphic glitches that cause walls to look shorter than they actually are, which is bad, because some walls are somewhat high and there are already out-of-place invisible barriers all throughout the level.

One thing I started hearing more and more and more was this inexplicably loud crusher noise coming from out of nowhere and following me almost everywhere I go. This is bad, because it's annoying, and a lot of the time throughout the level I end up having no idea where the hell I'm supposed to go, meaning I have to listen to the sound even more.

Now, there are new enemies and sprites introduced to the level, and I'm a fighter when it comes to CPUs. I'll enthusiastically take on a hundred jettysyns when everyone else would run away, just as long as it wasn't a boring fight. And I'm a first-person mouse user and strafer, so I'm no pushover to CPU opponents. But these enemies... well, I'll tell you about them.

First off, we have some skimmers and turrets which I bopped and dodged respectively with no problem. Then there were these new enemies that dropped slime on the ground, which I thought was cool, but I jumped over them before they even produced any chemicals. But there's this one annoying part where there's a white deton that I can't see because it blends in with the level. "Well, surely if it was far enough away, you would have seen it and evaded it, right?" Yeah, normally, except there's this death pit in the middle of the road that I also have to dodge. To make matters worse, I'm listening to the crushers inside my head screaming at me, so OF COURSE I'm not going to think about it!

But then, later on the level, it gets worse. There are a whole bunch of deaths pits, and by the time I'm past them, I'm at one life. Red jettysyns attack me. I'm ready to engage in a battle with them, but they shoot turret fire instead of normal fire. Easy to dodge if they didn't do it every time I got close to them! The only way I could possibly attack them was by having them attack me first, which I simply couldn't afford, so I just ran away; there really should only have been a couple in the map, but it seems like there are nearly ten. Besides, the crusher noises are still freaking me out, so the first thing I want to do is complete the level as soon as possible.

But I get a game over. So, I have to go through that whole thing again in order to finish the level! Aaahhhh!!!

I tried to give this level a subpar rating, I honestly did. But the farther I progressed, the worse it got. Your skill seems to be improving, but some of these bugs and flaws are just too terrible for me to even try to enjoy the level.

Sunset Strand Zone, Act 1 by Azure Hawk - 5/10

Um, holy crap, first off, what happened to Jade Coast Zone's music? That's just... weird.

As for the level itself, it's actually pretty good, I don't have much qualm with the layout. It's really, really short, though. I guess you were aiming for a beginning level or something.

Aquatic Labyrinth Zone, Act 1 by Kuja - 8/10

This was a lot of fun. What I most liked about this map was that it kept me alert and on my feet but never resorted to cheap death tricks. This is probably the hardest map in the contest, and challenge is totally up my alley.

The reason why this didn't get a 9 is because of a few slight issues. The music seems a tad loud and scratchy in some places (not too big a problem, nice music anyway). The bubbles are a bit hard to see, because they seem to blend in with some of the textures; this resulted in a couple deaths on my part, because I couldn't find any bubbles before drowning. There are also some framerate issues on a couple parts of the level, but this is nor frequent nor obstructive. Even so, if you fixed those things, then you got yourself an awesome level.

Great work! I hope to see more from you.

Forever Forest Zone, Act 2 by BlueZero4 - 7/10

Great layout, great atmosphere, great everything. But... why aren't there any enemies in the map? I mean, maybe this is because I never played FF1, but I don't understand why there isn't any form of challenge in the map whatsoever. If you had at least thrown stuff into hard mode, I certainly would have enjoyed this more.

Death Egg Zone, Act 2 by Blade T. Hedgehog - 8/10

Another excellent map. And just like Kuja's, it's damn hard! I originally started playing this as Sonic, but I switched to Tails after a couple games over. :P

This has great use of gimmicks, and it really kept the map interesting. One bug I noticed was... *shudder* ... the really loud crusher noises out of nowhere. This only lasted for about fifteen seconds, but it was still annoying. Also, the exit leads to an invalid map. In other words, sigsegv.

Otherwise, great map. I liked the private beta I was handed, and I certainly like the final version.

Greenery Pass Zone by Knockout the Echidna - 7/10

A good map, but amazingly short.... Easy, nice aesthetics, plenty of stuff to explore. Not entirely noteworthy.

Match

MAPA1 - Tainted Rainbow Zone by SonicMaster - 7/10

"Zenkusa" comes to mind. Did you intentionally name it after that midi? ;)

At any rate, this was pretty cool. The gimmicks in this map were interesting, especially the pointdraining liquid. I had fun in it, but for some reason, it didn't quite stick out in my mind much.

MAPA2 - Spring Peak Zone by HyperKnux - 7/10

Yet another fun map. Just a little overboard with the bottomless pits, but otherwise, very enjoyable.

MAPA3 - Elemental Arena by Nathan Speed - 6/10

A good map, but the teleports need to be better executed. A player can easily ambush someone who just goes through a teleport.

MAPA4 - Water Plant Zone by Ezer.Arch - 8/10

Yet another fun map. I think I enjoyed this the most. It's a tad big, but the runway of FOFs around the center map make for some awesome chase scenes (and I like shooting rings backwards at people).

CTF

MAPA5 - Autumn Breeze Zone by SonicMaster - 8/10

The flag room was sheer brilliance. I spent a good deal of time there just shooting at the guys at the other side. I felt it was a bit abusive, though; Prime got a fire shield and started making fire trails along the teleporters, so I couldn't do anything about it for a good while.

MAPA6 - Desert Ruins Zone by HyperKnux - 6/10

You goofed up the flag. If someone touches their own flag, it'll release an army of "the flag has been returned" messages all over the place. The map layout itself is pretty complex; I enjoyed venturing around in it.

Circuit

MAPA7 - Furry Fox's Volcano Zone by SonicMaster - 5/10

A nice concept, but strictly average. Nice not to have a thok contest, but there doesn't seem to be any real redeeming factor to this map. Also, you may want to consider increasing the size of the checkpoints.

MAPA8 - Assembly Line Zone by JJames19119 - 6/10

Just a little above average. I like the choice given to either spindash or thok, but it's not really an interesting course.




So, yeah. Those are my reviews. I had a lot of fun playing most of these maps, and I'm quite amazed at how great a turnout this was. Great job, guys.
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Old 01-02-2009   #50
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I sure wish my map could've been this time, even if it wouldv'e paled in comparison to these reviews.*** =(
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Old 01-02-2009   #51
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Blue warrior, thanks for your input. Your good points on my level essentially tell me that you saw the level the way I intended it to be seen...too bad it's largely unpopular as a result of its glaring flaws.
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Old 01-02-2009   #52
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blue Warrior
The flag room was sheer brilliance.
Didn't Mystic use that comment on Mercury Sea Zone? >=D

As far as my Match level, it was named after Zenkusa's piece.
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Old 01-02-2009   #53
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Quote:
Originally Posted by :SonicMaster:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blue Warrior
The flag room was sheer brilliance.
Didn't Mystic use that comment on Mercury Sea Zone? >=D
Hm, I thought it sounded familiar. o_o

Quote:
As far as my Match level, it was named after Zenkusa's piece.
Thought so. I didn't expect people to remember that tune; I think that was made around 2006, and swordbolt.com went down a long time ago.
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Old 01-02-2009   #54
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blue Warrior
There also seemed to be absolutely no secrets whatsoever, which was disappointing, since that's one of things I look forward to in your maps.
Laziness... I actually had an idea for an Easter Egg. Perhaps I could rerelease BFZ to the Releases section with more secrets.
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Old 01-02-2009   #55
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the crusher soundsfor my level were annoying.but i didnt know how to get rid of them.
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Old 01-02-2009   #56
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Man, so many SP entries, I better get started.

Aquatic Labyrinth by Kuja- 9/10

I adored this level, the puzzle gimmiks were a really nice change from the generic platforming we get, and some of the hidding secrets required a bit of thinking if I wanted to reach it, which is just great. One thing I really bugged me was the lack of bubbles when needed, more times than not I would get to the end of a water area, go up a spring, and drown because of a misplaced bubble patch, please add more, I had a lot of deaths that could have been avoided. At times my laptop did struggle to handle all of the things that were in this level, but it didn't severly hinder me.

Blown Fuse by :SonicMaster:- 9/10

I liked this level just as much Aquatic Labyrinth, a lot to see while I'm running at full speed, and platforming that was challenging, but not unfair, the platforms were the perfect size for a 2D level. Some of the crushers, lazers, and moving platforms were a little too fast for me to enjoy so I couldn't quite give this a perfect score. The final area was also a total let down from everything else that I saw, too.

Hydro Plant by verifiaman- 2/10

I can see improvement over your other levels, but I couldn't complete this one, it was just too confusing for me to enjoy, and ther isn't much else I have to say.

Forever Forest 2 by BlueZero4- 6/10

The level is pretty, but there is absolutely nothing to do in it. I found a few interesting areas where a good suprize of enemies could have made this better. On top of that, through all of my exploring, I never found anything as a reward, barely any monitors, no interesting challenge, and no enemies. The music was nice, but it contrasted with the level since there was nothing to suprize or spook me. This could have beens so much better too.

I'll post more reveiws later.
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Old 01-02-2009   #57
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Wow, Chrome, I didn't think you'd like my level all that much.
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Old 01-02-2009   #58
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blue Warrior
... swordbolt.com went down a long time ago.
He had his own website? Any idea if his files still circulate the internet? (Other than the one's on vgmusic.com)
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Old 01-02-2009   #59
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I know he still hangs around VGMusic, but I'm not sure if his files are still on the internet. I have a hell of a lot of them on my hard drive, though.
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Old 01-02-2009   #60
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I've updated my voting post:
http://www.srb2.org/mb/viewtopic.php?p=303935#303935
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