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Old 07-01-2008   #1
FuriousFox
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Default Official Level Design Contest Voting: May/June 2008

Welcome to the May/June 2008 contest voting. We have 7 Multiplayer maps and 6 Single Player maps 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 players 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 July 8th at midnight GMT (July 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 Level Pack

Single Player:
Elemental Mansion Zone, Act 1 by SonicMaster
Arid Oasis Zone by Hyperknux
Limestone Ruin Zone by Chaos
Techno Meadows Zone by gaiamegu64@yahoo.com
Limestone Lake Zone by Zanyhead
Magma Core Zone by Blade T. Hedgehog

Match/CTF/Circuit Contest Level Pack

Match:
MAPA1 - Grittzy Gultch Zone by Chrome the hedgehog
MAPA2 - Hyrule Temple by N.Cenz
MAPA3 - Plumber's Tower Zone by SonicMaster

Capture the Flag:
MAPA4 - Jagged Valley Zone by Roy
MAPA5 - Scorching Ice Floe Zone by Oogaland

Circuit:
MAPA6 - Backwards Race Zone by SonicMaster
MAPA7 - Cosmic Caves Zone by Simsmagic


Please make sure to play the levels in the intended gametype, and above all, have fun judging!
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Old 07-01-2008   #2
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Woo! It's up! I hope this will be good....
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Old 07-01-2008   #3
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Dibs on first reply. (EDIT: AAAAARGGH)

Also, FF, I'm pretty sure bots visit this site; you may want to put a spam filter on that email address just in case.
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Old 07-01-2008   #4
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Too late. Fantastic.
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Old 07-01-2008   #5
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Somehow, I've got a good feeling about this one. ^_^

Not that I bothered to enter, or anything. But I'll vote this time anyway.
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Old 07-01-2008   #6
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Why is it that we keep getting small amounts of entries in multiplayer? Nice to see that Oogaland entered a map. Wasn't expecting that. And our Race division is once again just me and Simsmagic. I had, like, three other race maps as well, but the new rule stopped me from entering them.

It's quite ironic that a permbanned member entered a level, too.

Can't enter a netgame, but let me share what I think of Cosmic Caves so far by playing it by myself:

Guess, will not be a counted rating: 1/10
What you have here is a completely bland, flat, no-skill thokfest. The visuals looked really neat, but that was the only good thing about the map. I managed to accidentally skip Star Posts; that's a problem. The whole speed pad thing was a bad idea, as it turned the stage from thokfest into just putting the controller down for a few seconds.
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Old 07-01-2008   #7
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I was going to enter a match map this competition, but I didn't have enough time to work out the final kinks. I'll be submitting entries in every category, though, for the next one.

Maybe you should work on some different modes this time, SonicMaster, and broaden your wadding palette. You would also be able to touch new ground in styles other than NiGHTS and Single Player, because my lurking shows this is mainly what you enter in. It could also be the mentality of the worth of making a map. So many people today are working on mods rather than maps, that making single maps seems useless unless they're in some sort of pack. Look at Releases - Levels, for example.
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Old 07-01-2008   #8
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I really expected the match division to be a lot larger this time around. Oh well.
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Old 07-01-2008   #9
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Quick question. Does Limestone Lake Zone actually have an Exit Sector? I can't find one in-game or in SRB2DB.
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Old 07-01-2008   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SRB2WikiSonicMaster
Quick question. Does Limestone Lake Zone actually have an Exit Sector? I can't find one in-game or in SRB2DB.
Yes, it does. I managed to find one.
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Old 07-01-2008   #12
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Wow, two maps starting with "Limestone".

And yes, there is an exit sector.
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Old 07-01-2008   #13
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Review post

Single Player:
Elemental Mansion Zone, Act 1 by SonicMaster 9/10
Waow! I really liked all the easter eggs you placed around the level. One even gave me the impression that you really liked Daimondus CTF. The invisable floor in the air area caught me off guard for a bit, and I'm still wondering how to do that camera mod bit.

Co-op part of level, It took every one on the game I was playing over an hour to find all the secrets in the level. we spent most the time looking for the buttons and we eventually figured out the path that had them. We also discovered that the lava area caused lag.

Arid Oasis Zone by Hyperknux DISQUALLIFIED/10 (See the link in Karuno's post)
a 2d Mario mode level that takes place in the desert and breaks rule.

Limestone Ruin Zone by Chaos ILLEAGAL/10 (See this topic)
spike balls and shallow water don't make for a good combo on a water slide area.

Quote:
Originally Posted by FuriousFox
2. The map may not have been publicly released before. In other words, if you have released the level on the Addons section or on the forums, you may not enter it. However, if itís unreleased, that is just as good as being completely new, and is a legal entry. Basically, don't fix up an old map and enter it, make something new.
Seroiusly! If you need beta testers don't post a download link in a topic on the fourm. Ask for people to PM you instead. Last contest was bad enough with one rule breaking level, but now it's getting worse with 2 in this one.

Techno Meadows Zone by gaiamegu64 3/10
Suffers from Roboegg syndrome with a touch of afalls.

Limestone Lake Zone by Zanyhead 4/10
Ugh. Cheap shots? Do Not Want! I did like the use of RKA music, but I'll be giving you a 4.

Magma Core Zone by Blade T. Hedgehog 7/10
Well now this level was one I had some fun in. I did manage to meet SB at one of the points where the paths cross eachother right as soon as he got there.

Match:
MAPA1 - Grittzy Gultch Zone by Chrome the hedgehog
MAPA2 - Hyrule Temple by N.Cenz
MAPA3 - Plumber's Tower Zone by SonicMaster 6/10

Capture the Flag:
MAPA4 - Jagged Valley Zone by Roy
MAPA5 - Scorching Ice Floe Zone by Oogaland

Circuit:
MAPA6 - Backwards Race Zone by SonicMaster
MAPA7 - Cosmic Caves Zone by Simsmagic
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Old 07-01-2008   #14
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Jagged Valley 2/10

Meh, nothing much, a very small square with bases soo close you can shoot each other. Cramped, not much space to move, nothing more really needs to be said.

Scorching Ice Floe Zone 5/10

I like the idea of having two different themes for the bases, but it was way too big to work correctly for CTF. The big water pit did not have enough springs, I wasted a lot of time looking for a spring, and before I could find one, I lost the flag. The platfroms to the middle are a little hard to single jump with Tails and Knuckles because of the fact that they move slower than sonic.

More tomarrow, its late.
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Old 07-01-2008   #15
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I'm pissed off that I type in this all over.

1. Arid Oasis by HyperKnux. 5/10

Pretty good 2D level but I dont like the part where you have to thok over large areas where you can easily fall into a pit area.

Haven't I already played this level before you entered this to the contest?

2. Elemental Mansion by SonicMaster 8/10

I enoyed this level, has nice level design and linedef actions but it was too easy. I actually beated this on my first try.

3. Limestone Lake by Zanyhead 3/10

What were you thinking, this level dosen't even has an exit + too many enemies, especially surrounding the checkpoint where they can easily hit you after you lose a life.

4. Limestone Lake by Chaos 5/10

You dont have to add ambience sounds where you not close to water. I had a nightmare underwater where the crushers are; it was too cramped.
The worst part of this level was the wind on the starpost. I started off there losing a life to a crawla. Enemies shouldnt be near starposts or at the beginning of the level anyway.

5. Magma Core by Blade T. Hedgehog 6/10

Ow, this level would have a better score but I got stuck on the part where the lava was rising and when I got to the wood part there was no way to go. I think you forgot to place a spring there where the 5 vertical rings are.

6. Techno Meadow by gaiamegu64@yahoo.com 4/10

Next time, edit your username so we can know who you are.

The level was okay but wasnt basic enough. Never place a starpost in the opposite direction of where you have to get to the goal. I also faced that problem in Red Volcano. Never make the springs deaf where you move the improper direction. I hate controlling the player just to get to another platform.

I enjoyed you guys levels and next time I hope you do better in the next one.

I'm gonna give it what I got next time becuase im going to enter the next one.
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Old 07-01-2008   #16
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Right, SP review time.

#1) Elemental Mansion - SonicMaster
9/10

I've given you the review before, and I'll just say that the extension on the second exit really was a great thing.

#2) Arid Oasis - Hyperknux
5/10

2D mode sucks, and rarely is good to play. Here, at least, you made something mildly entertaining with it. It's also rather scenic.

#3) Limestone Ruin - Chaos
2/10

Ok, seriously. Big maps aren't always good maps. This map also, I believe, extends beyond the 32k x 32k BLOCKMAP limitation. Enemy placement is horrendous, and the level itself is just so dull that I quit playing after a while.

#4) Techno Meadows - gaiamegu64@yahoo.com
2/10

Basically the polar opposite of Limestone Ruin. Everything is so absurdly cramped, it's ridiculous. This is also obviously your first map.

#5) Limestone Lake - Zanyhead
3/10

There is some real potential here, but it's also washed away by so many issues. It's really hard to tell which way you're supposed to go. I got lost just about every other turn I made. I also only found the exit goal by sheer luck. There are way, way too many enemies as well. Challenge comes from level design as much as it does enemies, and you're relying on enemies way too much for a challenge.

#6) Magma Core - Blade T. Hedgehog
7/10

This was fun, really fun. The textures were a bit on the dull side, though, and the music really isn't all that suited for the level. That said, I love some of the ideas and execution here, though the falling rocks should probably go. There are also some issues with some of the obstacles being a bit too obtrusive. But overall, this was good.
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Old 07-01-2008   #17
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Elemental Mansion Zone, Act 1-6/10

Amazing attention to detail, first off. You definitely demanded my attention with all the different themes that I was seeing throughout the stage. The stage layout was great, and the flow wasn't bad, either. Choosing between two branching paths made for a different playing experience every time you played. Reminded me a little too much of FFZ/NSZ, but I won't dock you points for that. It has a pretty face and all, but it all felt a bit generic, strangely(run through here, let this carry you away, jump on this platform, etc.) There was lots of nooks and crannies to explore, but nothing to find once you got there(with the exception of one, lol). Nothing terribly life-threatening about the obstacles, but impressive use of linedef executors. Just a bit too much run/jump/run/jump. Might I suggest a little bit more...well...involvement with the stage, I guess? A very solid level overall, though.

Arid Oasis Zone-?/10

Two things. One, illegal entry. Two, I don't really play a lot of Mario maps, so I can't really judge this accurately.

Limestone Ruin Zone-6/10

Just your friendly, neighborhood water/temple stage. This one didn't leave much of an impact on me. It was all kind of boring, to tell the truth. The spikeballs are very hard to see in some parts of the stage, and it's stupidly difficult to avoid them when you're being pulled away by the water current at an unbelievable speed. There were currents. Lots and lots of currents. And pits with those currents. I know it's a water/temple stage, but a little variety in obstacles could go a long way. Not bad, but not great, either.

Techno Meadows Zone 2/10

ಠ_ಠ
Words fail me. At least it has...well, it's a working level.

Limestone Lake 6/10

Lol, Rocket Knight Adventures. This is actually a semi-decent level. It's easy on the eyes. Although the level is short-ish and the enemies are piled everywhere, there were many paths to choose from, and there was a fair bit to explore for being such a small level. I would suggest that you tone down on the enemies, and work on expanding the stage a bit.

Magma Core Zone-9/10

Wha...Fun? In my Sonic game? Seriously, I had a blast playing this. The hazards, the traps/gimmicks, and the overall flow made for a great playing experience. It's challenging-but-not-too-challenging difficulty of the stage was very much appreciated. I honestly can't find anything that you did wrong in here, other than the extra life room at the end is borked if the lava rises. Also, loop your music? All in all, attractive, fast-paced, and eventful-everything I enjoyed from the old Sonic games.
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Old 07-01-2008   #18
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Single Player Votes:
Elemental Mansion Zone Act 1, Are you/your mind?
I can't vote on this level; I made it! I had...a little too much free time on my hands, if you know what I mean. I already have started working on Act 2. Good luck trying to unlock the big secret of the level! It's done by finding all four buttons. I put NoReload = 1 in the map header so finding them won't frustrate you.

Arid Oasis Zone, 0/10
Ahh, another rule-breaking level. Had it not been a rule breaking level, my vote would be 6/10. It's quite good for a 2D zone in SRB2. You figured out the trick, and that was to urge me to go slowly through the level. While that isnít really Sonicky, it felt like the stage flowed anyway. You do have spots that are cheap deaths the first time, but they werenít that annoying simply because you impressed me with the proper 2D mode execution. You have some issues with texturing at places. Unfortunately, this level has hardly any replay value, and thatís because of your gimmick: 2D mode. Still, I liked it. Yeah, there's a reason why Mystic says not to make 2D maps.

Limestone Lake Zone, 3/10 (TENTATIVE)
Never did see the Exit Sector yet. If I feel like coming back to this map, I may change my vote. But I don't exactly want to play this map again.

Despite that, the map was actually quite neat in its unique visuals. However, I frequently got lost (mostly near the end), and throughout the entire map, I could not get up to full speed. There is a noticeable amount of platforming; thatís good; but most of the platforming was a bit too small, slowing the level down. Certain spots in the map were too dark, and the damaging water was a pain to get out of. The Detons were pointless as well. And after 9 minutes, I gave up trying to find the end of the level.

Limestone Ruins Zone, 2/10
When I opened up the stage to hear Deep Sea Zone Act 1 and the framerate immediately drop, it reminded me of my submission. Despite the framerate being lower than normal, it was 100% acceptable; it didn't hurt the level enough to make me drop even a half a point. I do realize that you, Chaos, are quite the Undersea Palace Zone fan. I would suggest that you please not use colormaps as dense as the ones in that zone. Your death pits completely blend in. I was prepared the second time, and I STILL FELL IN, because of how perfectly camouflaged it was. When I spawned at one Star Post, I was immediately dragged through the current into a Crawla, resulting in me losing a life. Not fair.

I succumbed to later playing this map almost entirely through GOD mode, simply because it is just too frustrating otherwise. Death pits frequently come up out of nowhere, especially because of the colormap, and the one place with water on the side for scenery was dumb, as it was also a death pit. >_< Places that were not deadly, were very bland, both visually and gameplay-wise. Oh, and the waterslide gimmick with the spikeballs. Please fix. There are hardly any Rings in that area, making it...well, quite deadly.

This level overrides the blockmap limitation in the X axis by about 2000 fracunits and in the Y axis by about 3000 fracunits; please fix. As such, there was an area with broken collision detection with enemies. I...don't want to come back to this map.

Techno Meadows Zone, 1/10
Definitely has the beginner's touch, which was actually quite amusing in this case. This suffers from extreme flatness; too many dead ends; dull, open spaces; needlessly cramped hallways; no usage of GFZGRASS + Lower Unpegged; and a pointless ambush of Crawla Commanders at the beginning. Visuals weren't very good, but they could have been much worse.

You aren't getting docked for this, but explain why you have your control sectors so far away from the level that it almost overruns the blockmap limitation.

Magma Core Zone, 7/10
I really liked everything here, except the dang spin-to-rise platforms thing. It's way too hard to jump from one platform to the other as Sonic. I also didn't like the way the stage ended. The lava rising at the Exit Sector caused me to get hurt for no reason. Still, the gimmicks here were great, and the level isn't as anti-Sonic as it used to be when I was beta testing this. The lava rising gimmicks finally add to the level rather than take away from it. I apologize that my suggestion to make the spin-to-rise platforms did not help. Also, thank you very much for making it obvious which door the second button opened.

Whee.
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Old 07-01-2008   #19
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The easiest way to vote on players levels is play srb2 and get on the MB at the same time in that way you will save time.
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Old 07-01-2008   #20
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Unless I decide to join/host a netgame in the near future, I will not rate multiplayer maps. Coincidentally enough, though, I seem to have rated nearly half of the maps anyway. Well, whatever.

Single Player

Elemental Mansion Zone: Act 1 - 9/10
To call this a mansion is an extreme understatement. While graphically bland in spots, the size and complexity of this map makes it surprising that I never got lost and inadvertently backtracked. This map not only contains several familiar SRB2 elements, but a multitude of gimmicks and an innumerable amount of secrets and easter eggs for the player to look for. Every playthrough brings newer discoveries, and playing the map with all three characters proves equally enjoyable. I am personally impressed by the dynamic nature of some of the map's level design as well as gimmicks that I have yet to see in many (or any) maps. A few touchups could possibly be done here or there (I think I spotted a missing texture, but there's no way I'd be able to find it again), but otherwise, this map is quite stellar.

Arid Oasis Zone - 6/10

Uncertain about this zone's status of qualification in the contest, but I'll post my review nevertheless.

This, oxymoronically enough, lives up to its name; it's a desert, but there's plants and other scenery all around the place. Seems like just the thing that would fit in a 2D Mario level such as this, and it looks quite gorgeous. As for actual gameplay, the level is appealing on the first run-through, but while it contains a couple bonus rooms, it otherwise has no alternative paths, so, paired with the fact that this level is short, the lack of replay value this map has creates no lasting effect on the player in terms of gameplay experience. This map could have been compatible with ShufflarB2, but sadly, it isn't, so this map is forcefully cursed by SRB2's default shoddy 2D system. In the map's defense, however, this map is otherwise very nice. It's a lot more eye candy than many of the other 2D maps I've seen (give or a take a sliver of OpenGL redwall), and gimmicks such as the background Jettysyn gunners make this enjoyable to play at least once or twice and memorable for ten minutes.

Limestone Ruin Zone: Act 1 - 6/10

A DSZ-themed map, which shouldn't be confused with Limestone Lake Zone. They are two very different zones, as I've experienced.

I was amused to be greeted by two bouncing gargoyles in the background at the beginning of the level. Personally, I felt the level design was pretty solid. There are plenty of paths that branch out from the main ones, and it's still particularly easy to know where you're supposed to go. There are a few creative gimmicks that work pretty well in this map, such as the line of turrets/skims, as well as the waterfall path. After playing twice, though, the zone doesn't seem to stick out in my mind much. The rest of the map is fairly generic, and suffers from the unexpected bottomless pit syndrome in certain places. Then there's the fact that in specific places, I hear a whole bunch of skims dropping bombs when I'm nowhere near them. Creepy.

Techno Meadows Zone - 2/10

Techno Hill Zone was better off wearing a condom when screwing Greenflower Zone. Its bastard child, Techno Meadows, suffers from a severely unfavorable mixture of differently themed textures, awkward grass edges on one side and none on the other, and various AFALLs in certain pits. Not to mention one wall that seems to be scrolling extremely fast for whatever reason in a... erm, "factory" part of the level. Even if Techno Meadows was graphically fine, it still suffers from an overall flat nature, along with randomly placed bottomless pits and pits of water/slime, in which the liquid is usually to-the-frac-unit equal height to the ground. At times, there are either no enemies whatsoever, or a pack of Crawla Commanders that produce such a tense battle that all I have to do is hold the spindash button for thirty seconds to defeat them. Near the end, there are also diagonal-upwards red springs that should propel you over a large bottomless pit... but unless you steer your self, you hit a wall and die. I realize there was... well, a miniscule amount of effort that was put into the level, so I gave it one more point above the minimum.

Limestone Lake Zone - 4/10

Limestone Lake Zone takes place on a riverbed as well as a cave that... apparently contains toxic water? Technically, the map contains no errors, but there are several issues contained within the wad itself. The first thing I noticed was the custom music, which... sounded strangely pleasing at first. As time went on, the tune just became more and more annoying to listen to. There are also far too many plants in the center of the platforms that it ends up blinding my view of enemies and, in first person mode, terrain. The map appears to have some nonlinearity, but the way some paths just kind of bridge randomly makes it extremely easy to get lost, especially if the player is peacefully cruising in the air as Tails -- as a matter of fact, the level is actually quite short, but if you get lost, this level may take you about three or four minutes to get through. For reasons unknown, every here and there will be a random brown rock texture within an extremely shallow cave that I thought could be spindashed through, or a railroad that blacks into nothingness but might be a secret area; attempting to explore such sights of interest leads no results. This map is nearly featureless with the exception of a few shield monitors, and those aren't hard to find.

Magma Core Zone - 6/10

This zone is mostly set at a volcanic theme, though there are industrial elements that are fairly noticeable throughout the zone -- suitably, the custom music in this map is Lava Reef Zone: Act 1; it would seem more professional (and take up less filesize), however, if it were looppointed. This map is set at a pretty medium difficulty, leaning toward hard. This is also emphasized through the use of thing type difficulty settings -- in hard mode, you'll notice this immediately when you come across the turret near the beginning of the level. The level does make nice use of gimmicks such as continuously falling rocks as well as lava falls, but Sonic is fatefully crippled at the second or third checkpoint (my memory fails me), as one path contains an area that a character must ascend, which Sonic can't seem to do very well. Taking the alternative path activates rising lava. However, Sonic is once again cornered with his inability to fly, and Sonic succumbs to the lava every time he attempts the path. This unfair disadvantage Sonic has makes it seemingly impossible for him to complete the level. Tails and Knuckles, on the other hand, can easily succeed where Sonic struggled. The rest of the map has no real problems, but people who play as Sonic will be left clueless on how it's possible to advance on that one part, which alone leaves a point to be docked from this zone's score. The map also utilizes branching paths, but it's occasionally unclear on where to go next because of this, leading to some accidental backtracking.

EDIT: After realizing those were spindash platforms that Sonic got stuck on, I've decided to give the map one more point. Just to be sure to make it clear that spindashing elevates the platforms next time. ;)
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