This review is going to mostly focus on Iclyn, who is the character I prefer to play in this pack.
She is my absolute favorite character (alongside Elfilin) in all of SRB2 to play as. I appreciate the ice skating gimmick, I like having to be careful about what angle I skate at, and I really enjoy the ping-ponging around off walls with Twistdash. I'm a sucker for limited movement schemes, and she fulfills that niche while conveniently being able to opt out with the "take skates off" toggle.
Obviously, that's something you'll hit a lot because this character is extremely allergic to narrow/cramped level design, which really isn't your fault. I just wish there was some way to navigate tighter levels without flat out just turning off skate mode. I don't have any suggestions though!
The reason I gave this three stars and not four or five is because everything I love about this character and her palette of abilities is **extremely** marred by the Slipslide.
"Double jump to attempt to surf on ice for a few seconds before you inevitably screw up!"
I'm sorry, what? Inevitably screw up? I get the vibe that you intentionally wanted to make it a bad ability for character lore reasons? That's cute, but please don't, I want to have fun LOL.
The problem with Slipslide is simple, but very impactful: It applies instathrust at the beginning AND at the end of the key hold. Why? Even if you had wanted to punish the player for overextending for some reason, why do you punish them for NOT overextending and letting go early?
The reason this is so bad is because being able to gain a bit of extra height in SRB2 is valuable for cresting the edge of platforms and areas that were slightly too high to make. This is just a reality of SRB2 you can't get around unless you add a ledge grab: It's not always easy to tell if you can make it onto a platform, and it sucks to be punished for falling slightly too short.
Slipslide means when I try to use the aerial ability (a sensible thing to do) to gain a modicum of height to land safely on a platform, I am griefed by a nonconsentual autothok the moment I let go of the key. Alternatively, if I'm not outright killed for trying to use the height-giving move to give height, it's only because I held back as hard as I could.
The easy solution would be to add a ledgegrab (ledgegrabs are super based). The harder but more unique solution would be to add a ledgegrab (surprise, everyone should have a ledgegrab. Give Milne one too) AND make Slipslide better.
Here's the improvements I suggest for Slipslide:
- If the move MUST be punished for being held too long, only put the player into "wipeout" if they truly hold the move for too long. Otherwise, just let them go normally.
- If the move MUST give momentum (something which Iclyn seems to have plenty of grounded options for), only apply it on either the first frame, or alternatively on wipeout. Not both. But it would be better imo if it just did not give momentum, because you can easily get momentum from skating effectively. Slipslide is a move I want to use to extend my airtime and make nuanced movement, not to get speed I probably already had.
This would make her a lot more controllable, and would let the player use the ability for the use cases you *usually* use abilities for. Right now, I feel like I'm coping constantly as I force the move to perform in a niche it's not effective for.
All in all, love this character, want to love all of it (she's so cute, too, I didn't mention that!) Slipslide is really bad, everything else is pretty good.
I think a conversation about "should you need to double tap to start performing skate strokes in a particular direction so you don't misinput when trying to move normally at slow speeds?" would be worthwhile, but it's small fry compared to Slipside issues.
I want to play Iclyn even more than I already do, and some polish would do her a lot of good.
Milne's new item grab sprites look weird from the front (the arms look like they are in front of the head, but the back view says the opposite. and the side view more so agrees with the back view) you may need to fix that up.
extra_1: for some reason I want Iclyn's redesign to be a 180 to Milne's. by being more pastel and rounded (not edgy, but maybe a little edge couldn't hurt)
extra_2: I thought Milne and Iclyn were a lesbian couple. if this conflicts with their cannon, then uh... whoops? It was one of the first things that came to mind to the extent where I wanted to make wholesome fanart of the two (think like non-cannon whisper and tangle) I just think it's cute.
extra_3: welp, got that off my chest, now I can fuss over the arm inconsistencies again.
a beautiful mod for the characters, the design was changed well, it became much better than the old one and the mechanics were changed to the good side. I wish the creator to continue in the same spirit.
I came looking to play as Milne after seeing a portleg of an earlier version on youtube and boy is the official version an improvement! Add this pack to the mods that say "Accept no low quality portlegs!"
Both characters take some getting use to, but after that they're really fun.
That was one unexpected update on Milne, i didn't even know that she's got an update, i was searching for something to review, when i ended up stubling across your profile, i ended up being surprised that Milne got an Update, like i thought she wasn't updated, but she did, i'm so glad i found it, just amazing on how she finally got a better throwing animation, not to mention the addition of a Dagger is just pretty nice, everything in this update just gave Milne a coat of paint that was unexpected, and it's awesome.
I've been having a ton of fun playing Milne and Iclyn in CTF, and their abilities bring a refreshing spin to the map rotation with the way their movement styles modify standard gameplay. Their sprites look great. Milne feels very snappy to control, and I can't help but use Iclyn in ice stages. I wish the fall after her ice surfing were more forgiving, but it's canonical so I can't complain there, lmao.
Overall, nice work!!! Though I'm going to be honest and say I don't really know for sure how to pronounce their names. Sorry!!