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Old 09-01-2014   #21
Larztard
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Honestly, I was really not that thrilled when it came to this OLDC but I still had tons of fun playing through some levels despite some of them being awful. Here are my votes and reviews.

Single Player Division
Spoiler: Reviews
Koopa Garrison Zone by Fawfulfan
This level has amazing visuals and I enjoyed it start to finish despite some lag issues (which was easily reduced when I turned my screen resolution down). When I was playing it I swear I thought I was playing Super Mario 3D Land/World because the environment and lighting is something that I would see from the game. I have a slight feeling that Jay did the Bowser flag however...

Cloud Convoy Zone by toaster
I did find myself playing this level over and over again until the point that I thought everything in real life was moving to the left. No joke. But seriously, this level is fun for what it is despite some control issue. If I was to make this level better, I would make the platforms near the middle of the level much more wider because I got screwed over so many times by missing the platform each time.

Quickman by Zipper
This actually surprised me at first. I was expecting a port of Quickman's stage from Mega Man 2 but this is way better. Mega Man felt like he should of when playing a Mega Man game and I personally enjoyed it. I applaud the effort that was put into the making of this wad.

Autumn Valley Zone by Root
This level is not that good. It's really short and it lacks any rings, checkpoints, or even enemies for that matter. Also the sky box is an eyestrain due to the water scrolling to the right and all the textures are not that good in my opinion. If you wanted to use autumn textures, you could have used this.

Phantom Gadget by CoatRack
I always love your maps Coat and I was really looking forward to this map in particular but alas, there seems to be a lot of stuff missing that you wanted to add in but didn't make the cut due to time restraints. The enemies and theme were really freakin' clever but my complaints for this map are the lighting issues and the ear rape that is the new turrets that you put in. Seriously, I had to mute my sound because of them. Hopefully the full version comes out another day and everyone can see Phantom Gadget on what it was supposed to be. Next time if people give you grief about wanting to submit a level that is unfinished, tell them that it'll be finished when it's finished.

Shadow Castle Zone by Yacker & MudkipYeah!
Even though the design and visuals were lacking, I still had fun playing through this level with Speedwagon. The Sonic Heroes gimmicks were cool and I'm surprised that I haven't seen a level that has actually done the invisible path throughout my three years of being on here. Also Boogie Boogie is my one weakness.

Gravity Garden Zone by EvilEnternity3000
Man was this level fun! I love the visuals and the main gimmick that was presented in this level. It works really well and you are not punished for any mistakes made for using the gimmick incorrectly. The music is also very good as well and catchy as hell. I personally can't wait what you have up your sleeves for your next submission.


Multiplayer Division
Spoiler: Reviews
Match
Fountain Hills Zone by blahblahbal
I genuinely enjoyed this level as a whole. Nothing too crazy was happening except for the fountains but that's about it. Some weapon panels were hard to find though but other than that, it was a pretty decent level (which is good in my book). Keep up the work.

Volcanic Cliffs Zone by BlasterGuy
Everything that you had done in this level is completely wrong. I don't know how a Match level is made personally but the monitors were not randomized therefore making powerups such as an Attraction Shield or even the Armageddon Shield really common, the weapon panels were place in really awkward spots, and the overall design of the level is dreadful. You have literally no where to go.

Collapsing Cavern Zone by Fawfulfan
This level is too boring in my opinion with it's flat level design and overall blandness. The gimmick of the level is I admit, a good idea. It just feels like it wasn't executed correctly. It almost felt forced in my opinion.

CTF
Canceled Flight Zone by Fawfulfan
It's amazing that this level was made without any custom content whatsoever. I remember my one friend freaking out on how much work you had put into this lol. But seriously, while I like the theme and all, it just feels flawed. I was hoping to actually go into the planes and hideout in there while my friends fight to the death but to my disappointment, I could not enter in the planes. The level also felt too big for my tastes and from my personal experience in a netgame just last night, it was hard trying to find other players. Plus one thing I should note is that the flag might be unobtainable sometimes because it is in the floor. Don't know why that happens.

Snowy Fortress Zone by BlasterGuy
The level design is really linear and there are no points of interests whatsoever in the level making it really boring to play and uninteresting. Also the rings are really scarce.



FINAL RESULTS
Spoiler: Single Player Division as of 9/1/14
1st. Cloud Convoy Zone
2nd. Gravity Garden Zone
3rd. Koopa Garrision Zone
4th. Quickman
5th. Phantom Gadget
6th. Shadow Castle Zone
7th. Autumn Valley Zone


Spoiler: Mutiplayer Division as of 9/1/14
Match
1st. Fountain Hills Zone
2nd. Collapsing Cavern Zone
3rd. Volcanic Cliffs Zone

CTF
1st. Canceled Flight Zone
2nd. Snowy Fortress Zone
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Last edited by Larztard; 09-01-2014 at 06:49 PM. Reason: Added Mutiplayer Votes.
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Old 09-01-2014   #22
Zipper
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I won't be able to vote for the next five days sadly, even though I'm excited about giving reviews for this particular OLDC.

also did you all find the secret boss yet
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Old 09-01-2014   #23
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Koopa Garrison Zone > Phantom Gadget Zone > Gravity Garden Zone > Cloud Convoy Zone > Shadow Castle Zone > Autumn Valley Zone > Quickman

Sadly no reviews this time, since I'm going on a three-week vacation today.
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Old 09-01-2014   #24
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OKay, so most levels are amazing (Still not done testing) but there is ONE problem with all of them. They are laggy as hell!
Tough, here are the rankings for the SP division.

Koopa Garrison > Phantom Gadget > Shadow Castle > Gravity Garden > Cloud Convoy > Autumn Valley > QuickMan

Reviews...

Koopa Garrison, 8/10
The level was AWESOME, seriously, I had fun playing this. The skybox is beautiful, even tough my review wouldn't have changed if it wasn't there. My only problems were probably the "?" Block that popped out a Gargoyle, as I thought I had to WALK on the switch, and also the Twhomp killing you if you hit his sides while he's going up, and the level sometimes lagging hardly ><. Nothing else to say, I'm waiting for another thing from you!

Phantom Gadget, 7/10
This was hard to decide between this one and the first one. First off, this was one of the only level that didn't lag like hell. I liked the grimmicks and the badniks. Tough, the player can easyly be killed in the first platforming section while going up, I mean I knocked by the "flames" while going up and killed by the sharp by attemping a new try. You should manage to remove the sharp. Nothing else to say.

Shadow Castle, 6/10
This one was really good! I thought this would be a boring platforming level at my first look, but I really liked it! Tough, the white emblem were too easy as I thought this was the normal path. By speaking of it, the Sonic Heroes grimmick (Invisible path with flames) was really interresting, you should've used it in more parts of the level.

Gravity Garden, 6/10
You may ask why in the hell I've put this one behind the one I mentionned before? Here are the reasons:
Firstly, the level was a little confusing, I had problems finding my way after the first or second checkpoint, don't remember, also, the level was horribly laggy in a lot of parts.

Cloud Convoy, 5/10
Well, I was impressed by the previews, but I didn't really liked it. Firstly, my huge problem was the "perception" problem. I had exactly no ideas on where I was going to land (and I guess this will be the problem with TopDown) Plus, the whole level was lagging. And also the: "THE LEVEL WAS DESIGNED TO BE PLAYED IN SOFTWARE, USE OGL AT UR OWN RISK" during all the level too...

Autumn Valley, 4/10
Well, this was pretty, but a little too short. I know 2D levels are hard to be created, because of the level being linear, you have to involve some platforming and alternative path, which takes time and make the level even shorter. Other than that, I really liked those cartoon graphics in the Skybox, and in the whole level in fact. Tough, the cave section was ugly, you just used the wall texture for the font, you could've make some holes in the wall etc to decorate.

Quickman, 3/10
Okay, so... I firstly thought it will be in first position when I launched the level but finally... No, just no.
To kill those grey enemies, you have to get close to them and lose HP, this was frustrating in platforming section, and those green enemies too. There are also spikes coming out of nowhere, and the laser walls that traps you so you have to suicide. I didn't even finished the level because of how frustrating it was.

OffTopic: Sadly, I didn't send my level to the OLDC because 2.1.11 broken the poly objects and this level would've be blamed if I sent it to this contest, so gotta wait for platying it...
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Old 09-01-2014   #25
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Originally Posted by SpiritCrusher View Post
Sadly no reviews this time, since I'm going on a three-week vacation today.
Nooooo I was looking forward to the bimonthly SpiritCrusher rant. Oh well...
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Old 09-01-2014   #26
Katwover
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My first time voting, so huzzah for that.

Single Player only:

Gravity Garden - EvilEternity3000 {7/7}
Cloud Convoy - toaster {6/7}
Koopa Garrison - Fawfulfan {5/7}
Quickman - Zipper {4/7}
Phantom Gadget - CoatRack {3/7}
Shadow Castle - Yacker & MudkipYeah! {2/7}
Autumn Valley - Root {1/7}

Spoiler: my rants

Cloud Convoy - toaster
The Homing Attack is a godsend for this stage, since I would've had a harder time trying to perspective my way across the platforms, even with the drop-shadow. The visuals are great eye-candy for a sky/flying fortress theme (it's Wing Fortress, what else could I say), and the boss is... actually not too difficult with no annoying attacks. Eventually, I found myself just slightly swerving myself up and down and all around, avoiding his fireballs, and hitting him at the right time. The sky's the limit with the ideas for Eggman, I suppose.

Quickman - Zipper

I would be lying if I said I didn't mind Megaman cheapness, even if I only played MM2 on my 3DS, but I wouldn't be lying if I said this is a thorough SRB2 recreation at a Megaman stage. I was wondering what the name of the zone was about, and I was pleasantly surprised, to say the least. I can't say I had a great time with this stage though, and it may be because of my lacking skills at Megaman... err, Megaman 2 specifically. There has been one too many times where knockback has sent me falling into insta-kill spikes/a bottomless pit/other enemies, and that gets annoying, but when has it never? Jumping on platforms can become pixel-perfect at times, especially the jump-over-spikes section after running past the multiple LAZORS [cue shoop da whoop] Also, I swear Megaman sometimes got more airborne speed after each consecutive jump. Megaman feels like he controls as he should, shoots like he should, although I feel he could be a tad faster. I haven't beaten Quickman as of yet, but he doesn't look too difficult... mind dropping health... quickly... um. But seriously, this wad makes me even more excited for D00D's Paper Mario stuff, and I'm expecting more non-Sonic characters with their own visuals and level design to come in the future, and I hope they all do well. This Megaman stage, though- rocks. Man.

ugh

OK, that joke was terrible. why would i think of that

Autumn Valley - Root

Short, and not much else. Were you going for a simplistic, "surreal," look? You did a good job if you were going for that, since I see no point in using these textures, being so full in only one color. You should practice more in level design concepts, Root, but I'm not saying this is outright bad, or perfect, by any means.

Gravity Garden - EvilEnternity3000

Where could I begin negatively... I really can't! This level is nothing short of GORGEOUS, I'll say the least. The gravity hoop gimmick it legitimately FUN, and at those points where it's required for progression, it makes you think for a second on how you can do it. I like that design, I really do. There wasn't a hint of the level becoming annoying ANYWHERE, like if I made a mistake, I just screwed up for a second, and I will go on my merry way. The level was the right length, too, even if it felt like a cakewalk. This isn't exactly a "Super" or "Hyper" level, by any means, if it were to be an unlockable level in the main game, but this is sure to go quite high on the final tally, if not the first.

Koopa Garrison - Fawfulfan

Despite going on for about a minute longer than it should, I feel, I liked this stage. The skybox is well done, the lighting makes you feel you're in a Mario level, and nothing was ballsy-hard. However, I didn't think this level was that exciting, either, to be perfectly frank. I would like this stage more if it, y'know, was more of a challenge? Can't really say on what's necessary to improve on this stage after that, so there's that, I guess.

Phantom Gadget - CoatRack

Nothing too mind-blowing here, but it's well thought-out challenge that I can get down with. The detail with the badniks is a nice touch, haunted theme and all. The turret sound got absolutely ear-grading since it went on for a while, though; maybe that's my fault on keeping the volume at 100%. Despite that, though (and probably because I just woke up at this point, so I can't really say much else), the stage is tricky, a nice mix of two different themes, and won't pull my hair out.

entirely

Shadow Castle - Yacker & MudkipYeah!

I'm not sure how to feel on this one. The visuals honestly needed some work, sometimes rings are mushed together in places, and what was the point of the 2D section? I can't even think of one good reason why that's there. Nice Heroes references, by the way. The only thing exciting about this stage is the music, actually. Nothing was too eye-catching or, like I said, visually interesting. It felt like I played 1.09, a less-visually-advanced version. The anti-gravity was thought-out apart from the other ideas in this stage, but nothing exciting. A decent 1.09 stage I'd say, but not a great 2.1 stage.
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Old 09-01-2014   #27
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Single Player division:

Cloud Convoy
Gravity Garden
Quickman
Koopa Garrison
Phantom Gadget
Shadow Castle
Autumn Valley

WIP Reviews below. (Votes are also not final)

Spoiler: Reviews
Cloud Convoy Zone, by toaster
This level came out rather well IMO. The visuals and general concept is good, the level itself and the gameplay makes a good stab at trying to make it all work, though there are things to improve on here.

To start with, the controls are a little slippery and hard to use. This makes it really easy to fall off platforms and so is a little bothersome. Granted that it's hard to make controls perfect, but there you go. Secondly, it's not fun being stuck in a place where you can't see the player; the most guilty place I can think of right now is the little room with the truck and emblem, I'm not sure what's going on there and that's hardly a good thing considering you die when you leave the screen. =V Thirdly, it's impossible to figure out when you're lined up with those platforms that sink when you land on them, could have at least made some markings on the upper platforms to make it more obvious. Fourthly, those turtles are really annoying to deal with using the homing attack, especially when the underside flame is apparently harmful (ow). Not sure what can be done to improve the enemy. And otherwise, things like the tall red lights which open doors on touch are annoyingly tricky to actually aim yourself onto to actually touch them. This might be linked to the controls issue though.

One other overarching issue is that the level is just a touch laggy all the way through up until the boss area. Apparently it's not the skybox's fault, must be from the moving camera script? Not impossible-to-play lag, but still annoying.

On the bright side, the boss itself is undoubtably well-executed and probably is the best part of the level altogether. I like how there's one main way to harm eggman, but also two minor attacks with more difficult weak points. And also how the fire makes it obvious that he's harmful. The pinch phase attack also works well too, good twist there. Probably the best custom boss I've seen in a while now! The hidden shortcuts in a few places in the first half were also well-done (wish there had been more for the pre-boss plane, but oh well).

Overall this level is really cool and I look forward to seeing more levels from you in future. =)

Gravity Garden Zone, by EvilEnternity3000
I'll be honest, I was expecting a lot more for our first finished level using the old SP Collab level concepts, even if it's great that it exists at all. Don't get me wrong, this is still a decent level - you've got multiple routes, good scenery and visuals, a hidden Knuckles route, and custom turrets that flip you to the other gravity (which makes for an interesting way to split paths etc, they're used quite well here).

There are some points where the level gets confusing though, I'll go over some of the areas that strike me as having this problem most...

The first path split - I don't know how it took me forever to discover that path on the lower ground, but I guess it did. Instead I kept on trying to access the upper path in normal gravity ...which going through is sort of weird, since it's not the intended gravity to go through it in I guess? And then you get a bit lost, this room with a random water block in the middle seems a little disorganised and not sure what it's doing. Granted that you have to take into account two gravities at once here, but it could probably have been done better.

Meanwhile, the area with the blue and red arrows on the ground sorely confused me for ages - no-one would think straight away this is a Sonic-Knux path split of all things (as I discovered myself long after), not when there happens to be the usual blue and red hoops in the same. Instead they just confused me regarding what to do with the hoops, like I was supposed to move in some sort of pattern or something - like jumping into the blue hoop one direction and moving to a red hoop afterwards by moving in another direction. That's really unfortunate, and clearly this wasn't the intended meaning of them now I know otherwise. You could probably convey the path split better with the conveniently existing No Sonic/Tails/Knux sign textures, and/or perhaps making the wall Knuckles busts look more cracked or breakable or whatever.

There are some places where it's possible to get stuck, as I've already mentioned in 'fun: to restate, the room where water is found on the ceiling, and a zoomtube entrance is guarded by Snailers - flip to the gravity of the water and Sonic can't escape here. One for Knuckles is back-tracking through Sonic's route instead of his own (to the blue+red arrow room) and ending up in reverse-gravity on the ceiling with no way to get out - he cannot climb the walls, and the single red hoop down there is too high for him to reach.

The fact you actually used the awesome gravity hoops gimmick planned for Gravity Garden Zone is great ...but did you have to seperate it into hoops only sending you either direction? Even so they weren't used badly at all, though you can't help wondering if they were used to their full potential. For that matter, I caught someone else on 'fun saying you can complete the level without ever touching a hoop - that might be true of Tails, but what of Sonic and Knuckles?

The ending of the level itself ...comes as a bit of a disappointment. Anti-climatic considering the hype of this level. =V Makes the level feel unfinished with the placement of the exit there. I don't know if that means it is unfinished, or whether it's a sign of the level being rushed to be entered in the OLDC. But it didn't come out well either way.

Nevermind my personal hype letdown though, this is still a decent level anyway. Also being the first finished SP level I've seen from you this is rather good. You clearly know what you're doing here, though there's still room for improvement!

Quickman, by Zipper
This one seems to be a mixed bag among some of the other reviewers. I also smell some bias against re-creations of other game series for SRB2, and bias depending on whether one has played Megaman or not anyway. Whatever, I personally feel this is a decent level at the least.

In terms of technical achivement with Lua, this is completely awesome. You've almost perfectly pulled off the illusion that this isn't even SRB2 we're playing anymore. Megaman-style health and damaging, Megaman-style enemies and bosses, Megaman-style attacking, Megaman-style powerups and everything! (While I *did* help you a bit with most of this, the credit really goes to you for wanting to do all this in the first place and actually managing to do some fab Lua scripting.)

As with all daring levels of this kind (and even those that aren't) there are still flaws with this level. The enemies themselves are typically hard to avoid being attacked by; most of the blame goes to the Mets (aka Metool or Mettaur, or just "that helmet enemy") as they refuse to be attackable or anything until you basically make yourself within a suicidal distance in front of it resulting in you being hurt and thenafter raging at how this level is stupid etc etc. Even the Mets from the original games themselves weren't THIS sneaky.

The spike floors and ceilings, as to be expected in all Megaman games, are instant kill lethal. Unfortunately, it's not exactly obvious where the ceiling spikes are in particular, mostly due to their garbled textures making them look like harmless texturing.

Also as others may have noticed by now, the appearances of the flats are completely messed up. To repeat to the others besides the level's creator, as it turned out this is due to a mis-typing of the graphics used for them, resulting in SRB2 doing it wrong. Oh well, at least this doesn't affect gameplay at all; considering it's also a 2D mode level you're rather lucky they're the thing you see least of during the level too. =P

I can understand how difficult it would be to have proper sideways quickman-style death lasers (that would involve polyobject mastery). The vertical ones you went for instead were pulled off quite well, with one notable exception: during the middle room with multiple lasers, you did NOT need that random warning sound that sounds just like another incoming laser - that's stupid and misleading, as you probably realise by now.

Getting to the boss is one thing, but actually beating the boss is another beast altogether. Apparently the quickman boss you have here is supposedly easy compared to the source material, but it's still awesome you pulled off a megaman-style boss nevertheless. A simple but challenging attack pattern that requires you to be constantly on the ball to beat the boss around. That's all good... the one flaw at the end is that defeating the boss itself spawns a ...rabbit? Congrats, you just destroyed the mega-man illusion of the whole level. Ouch. =(

Spoiler: Review of secretz
I'm not a touhou person, so I can't really get the joke here. Nevertheless, you made a cool and even more challenging extra boss as a bonus. How on earth did you pull off the rainbow laser? =O Shame this boss also explodes into a rabbit like the normal boss, why on earth are you doing this??


Like with Evil's GGZ, your level here clearly shows you are capable of great things... but you need to work on improving things there and there. Don't give up mapping forever like you constantly seem to imply, please! =(

Koopa Garrison, by Fawfulfan
No matter how thorough I play this level, no matter how many goodies and routes I can find, I ...can't find this level to be *fun* somehow. Seriously.

It could be the constant lag provided by the heavy-duty skybox filled with lava and floating ships made of loads of FOFs complete with cannonball launchers firing at innocent castles. It could be the gloomy and grim atmosphere of the level itself, and/or its music (which is slowly turning me off the more I hear it). It could be the fact you're bombarded with cannonballs half the time throughout the whole place, serving as an annoying hazard from which you have to hide under ? blocks to protect yourself frequently!

Okay maybe I'm being dismissive of the good points of this level... yet again you pulled off an actually passable Mario mode level - it has a noticably similar feel to your other Mario mode level, Pipe Towers Zone, but in a darker fashion. The gimmick use is fair: thomps doubling as lifts to progress, usage of flame jets both normal and spinning, your signature use of ? blocks to hide everything from coins to springs and so on.

There are some questionable design choices as well, mind. For starters, why use trapgoyles instead of gargoyles in ? blocks, for the various things they're used for? That just makes using them more annoying and risky than already is so in the level. One trapgoyle in particular I could find no obvious secret or anything to push it to, to the point where I resorted to cheating it to one place to find it wasn't *the* place. Ugh. And then there's the matter of you hiding Metal Sonic in one of your ? blocks, of all things. Bosses can't get out of ? blocks didn't you know? Not that we'd really want something unfitting for the level like that here anyway.

As stated already I couldn't find the level that fun or enjoyable - finding the exit was actually quite a relief here after the endless slog that is Koopa Garrison. You can definitely make good levels, Fawfulfan, but remember to put in the fun factor next time. Don't just throw in gimmicks and ideas and repeat them, make the level have that special oomf to make it actually enjoyable!

Phantom Gadget, by CoatRack
The first thing I notice on loading SRB2 is that the title screen shows "Amateur Stage Design Trials". Considering the general output of that one contest from last year sans a few, this *should* have warned me about the intended nature of this level beforehand. Yet it didn't, and I kind of regret that posthumou-ur, in retrospect.

First thing I notice is the texturing. While it's great that my Starlight Zone textures are being used at last (yay) now I see it in action that one small-squares texture you use tiled all over actually looks quite ugly here, might be the lighting? Also whee, my binary code textures for a digital zone being used too. Must be having a field day with my textures it looks like.

Then it all turns sour; you deliberately make the whole level from there-on up to near the ending set in COMPLETE DARKNESS. From what you've said on 'fun it was the "better" of two evils, but it just makes gameplay infuriating and prevents the level from being fun when you haven't much clue where you are at the same time. Especially not when there's a tentacle monster of a minus edit lurking down there. ...just, why?

The enemies in general are a mixed bag, the general theme was clearly Sonic CD bad-futured (and/or spookied) SRB2 badniks: the sharp edit sending shockwaves is a cool touch, but the jetty-syns (both kinds) are relatively harmless since they do nothing unless you look away - might be spooky on paper, but a pathetic excuse for an enemies in practice, as well as being rather annoying. The tentacle minus I can only think of as a terrible creation which should be banished to it's demon dimension as far as I'm concerned. The turret edit is ear murdering, there is nothing that can jusify the torture hearing that thing fire at you is.

The run-to-open-the-door gimmick is actually quite cool, probably the best feature in the map. Unfortunately the darkness of the level annoyingly ruins the fun of trying to get to the door. The watery quicksand is weird but at least it's not harmful or anything. Though I notice the outsides of the first pool of it seem to be affected too, for some reason.

Among other things the darkness gets in the way of are crumbling platforms - as soon as you fall off them you have to start over. When you first play this you have no idea where to jump to because of the darkness, which is really stupid. This combined with the suddenly discovery that one set leads to a rising platform which you can't see very well either is really aggrivating, especially when during a quick run to the door at the same time. Bad combo.

At least things lighten up at the end ...but then we find a mess of things there too. Minuses down on the hazard floors (redundant), shockwave sharps in the way of progress (not good either), the terrible turrets annoying you with their horrible noisy firing (aaaaaaa), and topped with a conveyor belt to help make you fall into the hazard floor and start it all over again if you're not careful. Not fun.

In the ASDT contest you probably would have won first place because of a lot of reasons, but here the level just doesn't quite stand up to the others despite some elements of it being of good quality. It's Eggmansion Zone Act 2 all over again, stop it with the over-spooky theming levels. =/

Shadow Castle, by Yacker and MudkipYeah!
While this level is at least less annoying than either Koopa Garrison or Phantom Gadget, this level just can't decide what it's doing at all. It also feels like a 1.09.4-era map, but with a few 2.0 things tacked on. Is it one of those maps ripping off 1.09.4 CEZ like the good ol' days? Or some sort of non-scary Hang Castle/Mystic Mansion themed level? I can't tell at all.

One thing that you both apparently couldn't make up your minds on was what the black pits actually did - in one place they were lethal, in another they were teleports, in another they were lethal again... consistency is something this level lacks here.

The concept of pressing these mysterious buttons to change your gravity and otherwise change the setting is cool, though it feels rather forced - if it wasn't cheap silent teleporting nor sudden level design changes, maybe it could instead be optional which gravity you ran through the level, like Gravity Garden Zone does with the hoops! Also, one instance of the buttons doesn't seem to do anything when pressed, is this meant to happen?

There's not really anywhere apparent to be explored here most of the time, except for the opening outside section perhaps. The rest of the map seems to be anti-exploration however; I tried to climb up to get above a platform in one area as Knuckles and I was instead murdered near the top. I also notice a distinct lack of routes except in the last "void" segment.

Despite the uninvitingness to explore, the emblem hints imply a secret somewhere, but it seems impossible to find any?? Then again, most the other emblems were practically in plain sight, so it's probably a more obvious location than I'm expecting I guess.

The level is decent at best, but really quite lacking in a lot of things. Would be a good idea to refer to other peoples' maps (like Gravity Garden Zone from here) for the way to build a standard SRB2 map for 2.1, because this doesn't feel quite up-to-date in all honesty. Oh well, better luck next time?

Autumn Valley, by Root
You know, I can't recall you making a better level than this for Single Player; I reckon this is possibly your one of your best works! ...At least, compared to your own stuff it's good, anyway. To the SP division it sadly doesn't live up to the standards set by the others such as Cloud Convoy and Gravity Garden. Though at least you tried with the visuals I guess. They look ...unique, I guess. Cartoony? I'm not sure what you're going for here.

Okay, flattering time's over. This level is rather short and very simplistic. Not a bad thing, but it's also a 2D mode level which rather limits what you can do. Putting conveyor belts to move your y-position is a little risky, and honestly they don't do much for nor fit the level itself anyway. Might as well avoid the conveyors altogether.

The level thereon after the route split is entirely linear disappointingly, given that the route split is apparantly the *only* one to be found. It's assumed by nature I guess that the death pits are death pits ...but when I double checked to meke sure they were death pits, yes they were indeed death pits! No surprise there, hurrah. And then we have the exit already.

There's nothing really interesting to be found in the level besides a single route split, a monitor out-of-the-way with the upper one, and the visuals of the level itself. It feels like you did okay with the start of the level, but then copped out when it came to the lower route and after the path split. I'm sure this level has the vaguest of potential of being good, but it's severely lacking in quality to be frank.

Two last things to say though: Root, do you have any idea why your level crashes on the second loading? That is really peculiar. Second, directed at certain others around here, the GFZ remix is actually included in vanilla SRB2 - i.e. it's not Root's own work. The custom textures are his, on the other hand. (At least, I think so?)
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Old 09-01-2014   #28
BlasterGuy
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Here's my vote on the list of levels:

Single Player Levels:
-Koopa Garrison Zone
-Gravity Garden Zone
-Phantom Gadget Zone
-Cloud Convoy Zone
-Shadow Castle Zone
-Autumn Valley Zone
-Quickman

Match Levels:
-Volcanic Cliffs Zone (my own level)
-Collapsing Cavern Zone
-Fountain Hills Zone

Capture the Flag Levels:
-Snowy Fortress Zone (also my own level)
-Canceled Flight Zone

That was my vote on the levels.
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Old 09-01-2014   #29
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Here's the rating for the SP division :

Gravity Garden > Koopa Garrison > Cloud Convoy Zone > Phantom Gadget > Quickman > Shadow Castle Zone > Autumn Valley Zone


I'll try to post reviews later.

Votes to be modified.
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Old 09-01-2014   #30
Hyperknux
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Single Player Division

1st Place: Gravity Garden Zone
2nd Place: Koopa Garrison Zone
3rd Place: Phantom Gadget Zone
4th Place: Cloud Convoy Zone
5th Place: Autumn Valley Zone
6th Place: Quickman
7th Place: Shadow Castle Zone

Level Reviews:

Cloud Convoy Zone:

The idea of this kind of level is nice, but I feel where the camera's
set far away from the character combined with the small platforms, it is a real pain in the ass to make precise jumps on certain platforming sections which did frustrate me when I played this. I suggest bringing the camera a little closer so that players can get a better perspective where to land during platforming jumps and widen the platforms as well.

Quickman:

Not what I was quite expecting, but I gave it a shot. I found that platforming and attacking enemies were frustrating because Megaman's movement was quite stiff and the fact that it involved being incredibly close to the edge to kill an enemy or to make a leap of faith. The lasers and the spikes really irritated me and I just couldn't finish the stage. The idea and the scripts were nice, but the execution wasn't that great.

Autumn Valley Zone:

The remix is probably my favorite part of this stage. I like how the drum beats are combined with the main music for GFZ act 1 and it's catchy. The biggest gripe I have though is the textures that you are using are incredibly blinding. I also think that it would of been better to recolour or edit the leaf textures for the trees, so that they look like the leaves themselves are turning a goldish red colour and should be crumbling. I know it sounds like a nitpick, but that's the true nature of autumn and getting aesthetics in a level right is just as important as the design itself. Your death pits need to be more visible as there are some pretty cheap pits which are very well camouflaged by the floors and it's textures and some of the paths seem very bland and cramped. Try widening them and give them some life. I do like the variety of paths which add a few playthroughs for exploration purposes, which for 2D levels especially, is very important.

Gravity Garden Zone:

I can see a lot of love and effort went into this and this shows how new themes and ideas should be implemented in a game like this, I had a real blast playing this level and this is the best single player level I have seen in 3 years. The enemies which can flip your gravity is a neat concept and could be used for future level designs as well as the hoops. The only reasons it doesn't get a perfect 10 is because, Christ did it lag in some places.
I think it's something you need to look into and sort out and certain platforming areas such as the tree room at the start with Sonic can be tricky. I really hope to see a 3 act zone of this in the future, or even this theme added into vanilla srb2 because it is a unique theme which I really commend.

Shadow Castle Zone:

Whilst you do know the basics of mapping, this feels like a rather early build of a level instead of a final concept. There is hardly any scenery and most of the level consists of just large bland rooms which don't really offer much in variety. Look at some of the official levels for scenery ideas and gimmicks which would suit a theme like this one. Castle Eggman is ideal for this.
Personally I would restart from scratch, but keep at it as it is the growing steps of becoming better at mapping.

Phantom Gadget Zone:

I like the theme, it had that feeling of nerves going into different rooms and avoiding different enemies trying to catch you off guard
but I felt this was rushed a bit. Some of the platforming can be tricky to pull of at times (mainly the crumbling platforms) and with the amount of shit flying everywhere from enemy attacks, this causes quite a bit of lag. The darker rooms could have a bit more light to make navigation in certain areas such as the dark crate room a lot easier. But otherwise, not bad attempt.

Koopa Garrison Zone:

Out of all your maps Fawful, I personally think this is your better one of the lot. The skybox looks nice and I think it's one of
the more fleshed out Mario stages I've seen. The biggest problem I see however is due to the amount of stuff crammed in the level, it
lags a crap-ton, which is not fun on stages which involve precise platforming and movement.


Now onto the Multiplayer division, starting with Match stages:

1st Place: Fountain Hills Zone
2nd Place: Collapsing Cavern Zone
3rd Place: Volcanic Cliffs Zone

Level Reviews:

Fountain Hills Zone:

I can see since your very first map, you have improved quite a bit, but the one thing I always find with your maps
is the aesthetics. That grass texture is very bright and being used consistently in large areas can make it sharp on the eyes. Try experimenting with other shades of grass to make it stand out more, and scenery really needs to be added as well. I would also suggest lowering the sectors on the hilly areas as Knuckles players may find it difficult to time jumps correctly
and there is nothing else frustrating than chasing a target or being chased, only to be stopped by a sector which can be annoying to pass.

Volcanic Cliffs Zone:

Bland and very bare. There is hardly any areas to explore or to even fightin because of the big lava pool surrounding the level and it
seems the ring weapons are placed in some areas which looks a bit out of place.Te amount of normal rings is scarce, which is a huge flaw in any multiplayer stage. I would scrap this and start from scratch. Make a few practice levels first before submitting one.

Collapsing Cavern Zone:

The whole idea of transforming a level sounds cool, the level suffers from the fact that it relies on having a gimmick or a few gimmicks to make it stand out,
and it's being a large flat and open space with lack of different areas to explore and battle in. If the level was expanded upon then this would be a lot better than how it is now. The good things are that there are plenty of rings though which is important and the amount of weapon rings and their placements are balanced well. The different use of textures and lighting make it look nice too.

CTF Stages:

1st Place: Cancelled Flight Zone
2nd Place: Snowy Fortress Zone

Level Reviews

Cancelled Flight Zone:

This level receives an average score due to the emptiness of the map itself despite the actual theme. Also due to the lack of alternate paths and the fact that the level itself is actually quite small, it just wears off very quickly.
With the insane amount of space there is outside, you could of easily used that to make an alternate path or a different area eventually leading to the base. Personally I think this would of been better as an idea for a Single Player stage, not a multiplayer level.

Snowy Fortress Zone:

A linear and empty map with no alternate paths, no exploration areas, and just a short walk to the base and back, with a water pit in the middle.
Nothing really else to say about it.
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Old 09-01-2014   #31
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Just a note Hyperknux, we changed the voting system a few years back if you didn't notice. Re-read the first post to see how it works.
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Old 09-01-2014   #32
Hyperknux
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Monster Iestyn View Post
Just a note Hyperknux, we changed the voting system a few years back if you didn't notice. Re-read the first post to see how it works.
Considering the fact this is the first one I've reviewed in 3 - 4 years, nope not a clue. Though I think it's sorted now.
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Old 09-01-2014   #33
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SP REVIEW
Spoiler:

Koopa Garrison Zone > Gravity Gardens Zone > Cloud Convoy Zone > Shadow Castle Zone > Phantom Gadget > Quickman Zone > Autumn Valley Zone

Koopa Garrison Zone by Fawfulfan - 10/10
God this was amazing. Aesthetics were top notch and the gameplay kept me on my toes the entire time. I love playing levels like these were I keep thinking "What's going to happen next?" Dang Fawfulfan, I thought your Tortured Planet was high on visual. This level blows that entire levelpack away. You've improved so much.

Gravity Gardens Zone by EvilEntternity3000 - 9/10
To be honest, I had a very VERY hard time deciding which one would be rank 1 for me. This level is so freaking creative. The enemies and those gravity hoops were executed so well. I also like how you made vines instead of using those CEZ chains for that swing part.

Cloud Convoy Zone by toaster - 8/10
Oh boy the things Lua can do is simply amazing. This idea was executed so well. However, the level felt tedious with the enemy placement. For example, I would do a homing attack on the green flying turtle but then lose all momentum and get hurt because of the red turtle's missile. Platforming was also difficult at times. My shadow would disappear and never reappear. It felt like a game of chance a lot. Sonic running on the plane was also silly though that's probably not fixable. This level is also very brutal for the players who miss the platforming. And by brutal, I mean; I can't get out of this ship because I missed the floating platform which is already gone from the screen making me literally WAIT for my death. Few seconds later after I die, the camera scrolls a bit to show a checkpoint. I flipped my shit.

Shadow Castle Zone by Yacker & MudkipYeah! - 5/10
And now quality drops. Visual wise anyways. This level was pretty fun to play though actually. Some of the gimmicks that it did were really fun(albiet a ripoff from hangcastle/mysticmansion). The one thing that really nailed this level down to on the low side is it's 1094 vibe. It felt like and looked like a level from 1094. The walls and textures were all bland. The castle was SUPER bland. Lots of times where there were just linear halls with just one texture. Could had been much better.

Phantom Gadget Zone by Coatrack - 4/10
Originally I placed this as the number 1 on my list because you were Coatrack and based off of past experiences (Eggmansion), you know how to put style in the spook. but then I played the level. The aesthetics were top notch as usual, except I can't see them. I literally had to open the map up in DB to see what it looked like because -100 brightness won't help me. The brightness issue also gave me a hard time knowing where the heck I was going. I just keep randomly running into walls(idkwhati'mhitting??). When I finally get the right platform (after hours of thokking around in a pitch black room) I fall off because of the freaking turrets. UUUGHHHHHHHHHHHH. I'm probably being a bit too harsh though (probably biased too since you're one of my favorite mappers). Especially with all the pressure on you and how you had to go to camp, cutting off more time for you to work on this.

Quickman Zone by Zipper - 2/10
Another Lua crazed level. This is an amazing Lua...but that's it really. The level design was so eck and the enemies were so freaking hard to kill, they might as well be named Jasper. One thing about this submission that lacked what Cloud Convoy had was an instruction manual. I had to slam all of the keys on my keyboard to figure out what is what. Even then, the controls were still stupid. Especially because you can only shoot forward. It was so hard for me to kill most of the enemies. Those black mole things were ridiculous. Seriously, is there some kind of shoot down button? The boss was annoying too. Overall, could had been much MUCH better. Cool Lua though. We get megaman. yay.

Autumn Valley Zone by Root - 0/10
Oh hey look! It's a game appealing to the 8bit era of gaming! Look! Ugly textures with 1-2 shades! Bland and crappy level design! Nostalgia kicks in. I r8 8/8 m8 gr8.
.
..
In all seriousness, what the hell. I would had said that it would've been better, but thinking about it carefully, this is irredeemable. Might as well start from scratch. Not much there to begin with.


Overall. A lot of interesting levels. However a good amount of them disappointing me.

Last edited by Speedwagon; 09-01-2014 at 04:48 PM.
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Old 09-01-2014   #34
Legendary Emerald
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Quote:
Originally Posted by "Lat'" View Post
Koopa Garrison > Phantom Gadget > Shadow Castle > Gravity Garden > Cloud Convoy > Autumn Valley > QuickMan
... Well shit, I'm gonna sound like a copycat now with my list. XD

Singleplayer:
Koopa Garrison > Phantom Gadget > Shadow Castle > Gravity Garden > Cloud Convoy > Autumn Valley > Quick Man

Spoiler:

Koopa Garrison
+ Great length
+ Multiple paths & secrets
+ Really feels like a Mario level
- Too many stage hazards
- Lava can lag just a tad

Phantom Gadget Zone
+ Spooky Scary
+ Unique enemies
+ Great blue slime mechanic
- Final segment feels cheap
- Obviously unfinished

Shadow Castle
+ Old school charm
+ Awesome music
+ Nice variety of gimmicks
- Linear
- Empty feeling
- What's with that 2D section?

Gravity Garden

+ Pretty
+ Unique
- Surprisingly linear despite central gimmick
- Gravity switching feels forced into the level
- Minor lag spikes throughout
- Music seems to break and become glitched halfway through the track; possibly intentional, definitely annoying.
- Just not fun

Cloud Convoy
+ Technically impressive
+ Good music choice
+ Homing attack makes it easy to hit enemies
- Perspective makes platforming a chore
- Biplane just can't keep up most of the time
- No reason not to just stay at the bottom of the screen when fighting the boss
- Just not fun

Autumn Valley
+ Better than the SRB1 maps
+ Easy to complete
- Custom assets aren't that great
- 2D has never felt right or controlled well in SRB2
- Just not fun

Quickman
+ Technically impressive
+ Controls mostly like an actual Mega Man title
- If this is Quick Man's stage, why is it modeled after Gemini Man's?
- Mega Man moves forward a pixel or two in his shooting animation
- Leaps of faith everywhere due to the camera following you
- Looks worse than an actual 8-bit Mega Man game
- Cheap difficulty
- Just not fun

Last edited by Legendary Emerald; 09-01-2014 at 05:50 PM.
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Old 09-01-2014   #35
toaster
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Singleplayer only.

Cloud Convoy > Quickman > Gravity Garden > Phantom Gadget > Koopa Garrison > Autumn Valley > Shadow Castle

Spoiler:
Cloud Convoy- NaN/10
I expected Cloud Convoy to be polarising. A lot of effort went into this map to make this experiment not play shit. Did I succeed? Based upon the comments, it seems it's a lot better than it would have been, but still pretty bad. Let this map be a warning to the Kart Krew- sidescrolling topdownesque platforming is terrible in software.

Quickman- 9/10
Zipper did a good. The only critique I'd have is that Megaman accelerates instead of moving at a fixed speed, which causes suffering and awkwardness occasionally, and the choice of Quickman as boss/map combo is definitely not a good one for somebody who's new to playing Megaman (which is where I'd suspect most of your low rankings come from). Ultimately, though, I relished this, and enjoyed playing over again and again and again. I can't find the secret boss you mentioned to me once, though.

Gravity Garden- 8/10
There's a lot of good stuff in here, and the map is beautiful, but... it's like Seraphic Skylands. There's fun gimmicks here and there, and then... long empty nothings. Actually, no. That's a bad comparison- Gravity Garden doesn't have the shear breadth to be comparable to Seraphic Skylands. Even with this, though, I'm still ranking you third. Let's just say there's a tendancy for easy, beautiful grass levels set above a certain alititude to get high ranks in the contest.



Phantom Gadget- 6/10
This map is all theme and no substance. The ambiance, while beautiful at first, became infuriating in areas without that goop and I ended up having to turn up the brightness to progress in the map at all. I'm not asking for glowing arrows, but please tell me I'm not unreasonable to expect at least SOME guidance to tell me where to go, especially if you're going to make a section with falling platforms absolutely pitch black. The last room was horrible- laser-turrets that don't take that long to recharge shooting at you while you're climing falling platforms... it's horrifically frustrating. I'm not even sure that you rushing this (as I've heard) is the core of your problems- there's some design decisions that make this map terrible to play. Augh, but it's so beautiful... I'm sorry I have to rank you this low.


Koopa Garrison- 6/10
Suffering. The best praise I can give it is there's a cohesive theme and it's better than Tortured Planet, but it feels like this time I'm the one being tortured. With the lag, the cannonballs-and-fire-turrets-whilst-platforming, and a level that was 9:42 on my first playthrough, I can honestly say this was the only map I've played this contest that I actively wanted to end sooner than it did. I'm glad I played it a second time, though, because I found a path that was mostly indoors and enjoyed it a lot more. It was still cramped, unforgiving and visually overwhelming, but there's some very solid base gameplay in here.

Autumn Valley- 4/10
Not bad, but not good either. Just... very, very "straight line zone" syndrome- which I suppose is a consequence of 2D mode, but yeah. The textures were nice, though, and made me think of Sonic Colours.

Shadow Castle- 1.09.4/10
This map had incredibly unfitting rock music and CEZ textures in an infinitely black void. The flame paths in the sky were fun, but everything about this screams low quality Hang Castle ripoff.
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Old 09-01-2014   #36
Iceman404
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Quote:
Originally Posted by toaster View Post
Let this map be a warning to the Kart Krew- sidescrolling topdownesque platforming is terrible in software.
Well to be fair, from my experience Cloudy Convoy feels and plays almost nothing like Top Down in terms of mechanics, physics, and controls. And the depth issues could've been fixed by learning work arounds and adapting to it(something we're more than used to by now).


Gravity Garden > Cloudy Convoy > Quickman > Koopa Garrison > Phantom Gadget > Shadow Castle > Autumn Valley

Spoiler:

I'll possibly post my reviews here in a while from now, but all I have now is this random blind run of Gravity Garden w/ Chrome.


EDIT: Huh, I can see shadows now. Dunno how that happened. Probably had a wrong revision some way somehow. THE GODS OF CRUCIAL EVIDENCE HAVE SOUGHT SPITE AGAINST ME WHAT THE FUCK
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Old 09-01-2014   #37
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I had just finished up my Mutiplayer Division votes and reviews. Any contenders that would like to check it out, be my guest.
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Old 09-01-2014   #38
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My votes:
Gravity Garden > Koopa Garrison > Phantom Gadget > Cloud Convoy > Quickman > Shadow Castle > Autumn Valley

Spoiler: Reviews
Gravity Garden:
Looks wonderful and plays simply with the gravity gimmicks it has, even though you can screw up your jumps you're never heavily punished for it.
May be slightly too long and complicated if it's intended to be a first level.
The glass in the level is almost invisible, I'd recommend raising the opacity a bit so it's visible enough that you can see it on first glance. I like the idea of it being pretty transparent, but it's too transparent in the level.

Koopa Garrison:
A good mario stage with some exploration and hazards. Isn't too difficult.
At one point the lava looked like it wasn't there so I jumped into it thinking I would land on bricks.

Phantom Gadget:
A lot of nicely thought of badniks, but I heavily dislike the reskinned minus' still because you can't see them from the lightlevel. The turrets are major annoyances gameplay wise AND audibly. I know you were unfortunately unable to finish though.

Cloud Convoy:
Very awkward movement, jumping is very uncontrollable with the controls. the enemies are frustrating with the level's working and their hitboxes seem strangely small. The boss was okay, but I wish you would've put a platform under the plane so you could recollect your lost rings. I placed this lower than Phantom Gadget, because when I looked back at it, the gameplay in general was worse with the controls, and the boss was quite repetitive.

Quickman:
I was constantly frustrated by this level because of game overing 3 times before the boss, and being sent back to the start, then game overing again at the boss and giving up. If you're going to make something frustrating like this you should give the player infinite lives and more checkpoints, trial and error is very unfun in this level. There's also a few unescapeable situations caused by those instant kill lasers which you can see in my video when it has uploaded. Unfortunately, if anything, this level has shown me I don't want to play a Megaman game.

Shadow Castle:
A simple level, very 1.09.4-esque which unfortunately drags it down now. Some texture variation would have gone a long way. I liked the way you used teleports ala Hang Castle and Mystic Mansion.

Autumn Valley:
Very simple, not much to do and looks quite ugly honestly. I can see you definitely tried with custom textures though. You just need more practice.


I'm also uploading my first playthrough of each map for the creators, you can see them as they're uploaded in the spoiler below:
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Old 09-01-2014   #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Legendary Emerald View Post
Quickman
- If this is Quick Man's stage, why is it modeled after Gemini Man's?
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Old 09-01-2014   #40
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My single player votes:
Autumn Valley > Cloud Convoy > Gravity Garden > Shadow Castle > Quickman > Koopa Garrison > Phantom Gadget
Spoiler:

Autumn Valley - N/A
This is my map. It is based on a level from a game I am making, and even takes some of the layout from it.
Cloud Convoy - 8/10
I enjoyed this map alot. But, there are some problems:
1.Seeing where you are going to land in a jump is VERY hard.
2.There are way too many of those turtles.
and 3.The boss is WAY too hard. It is made worse by the fact that there aren't that many rings in the arena. I got to the pinch phase and then game over'd.
Shadow Castle - 5/10
Its an enjoyable map, but as people have said, it feels 1.09.4-ish. Also, Yacker, You SHOULD PROBABLY FIXTHIS

More reviews coming soon.


CTF votes:
Canceled Flight > Snowy Fortress
Spoiler:

Canceled Flight - 11/10
I really like the attention to detail in this.
Snowy Fortress - 2/10
Did you make this in 10 minutes? Its bad. I do like how the outside section looks, though.


Match votes:
Fountain Hills > Collapsing Cavern > Volcanic Cliffs
Spoiler:

Fountain Hills - 5/10
I like this map, but there are some problems:
1.I recall seeing an HOM somewhere in the map, it might be too open.
2.There should be more detail.
and 3.The fountains should have concrete around them, instead of just being water on top of grass.
Collapsing Cavern - 5/10
As someone said, the map is too flat. I like the earthquakes that occur, though.
Volcanic Cliffs - 3/10
Its...empty. Some of the platforms don't give you much room to move, and the thin but really tall platforms look odd.

Last edited by Root; 09-02-2014 at 02:03 AM.
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