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Old 05-01-2011   #4
Fawfulfan
The Tortured Planet guy
 
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SINGLE PLAYER:
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Lakeside Hill Zone, by Dails - 2/10
Okay, rush job much? The scenery is filled with ugly squares, the level texturing is bland, the stage is waaaaaay too small, and the enemies seem randomly placed. Did you just make this for the sake of adding an extra Single Player level? Because I'm afraid I must disagree with Charybdizs's comment on IRC: there's no point in making a level that you know is crap for the sole purpose of adding another entry to the contest. You're really not adding anything if it's not fun to play.

Outerspace Threat Zone, by Miles Knuckle Power - 1/10
Since when does one cheaply SOC'd boss in one ugly-as-hell room equal a contest entry? I'd rather play Glaber's special stages, to be honest. In fact, even Grassy Cliffs demonstrated more effort than this (although I will admit that you did at least take the time to do a proper nodesbuild).

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MATCH:
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Forst Rush Zon Zone, by Scizor300 - 2/10
I don't care whether it's a joke map or not - symmetry sucks. Gameplay was kind of interesting, but nowhere near enough to save the level.

Sandstorm Zone, by Dails - 4/10
First of all, that name is a total misnomer. Where's the sandstorm? I see the sand, but it looks quite calm and undisturbed. Anyway, if it's a rush job you probably already know this, but the theme is ugly as hell and a lot of design choices don't make sense. But gameplay is actually not terrible; parts of the layout do manage to give the level some kind of flow. But I really don't appreciate having to spring or climb to the top of those gray brick towers do collect whatever might be on top of them.

Zero Effort Flower Zone Act 12, by D00D64 - 1/10
When I first saw this level I thought, "Wow, for a joke level it looks surprisingly good." I probably got this first impression because the landscape contours in a way that looks convincingly natural, rather than a bunch of hideous squares (have I mentioned how much I hate squares of grass and rock?). But then I actually got around to trying this level in a netgame, and it plays by far the worst of all the Match stages. The level is cramped and overly vertical to the point of being totally disruptive. I really don't care for falling into a death pit a dozen times over the course of a game; I was often way too busy with precision jumping to pay any attention to my opponents. Match is by far the worst-suited gametype for excessive death pits - remember that any player who is killed by an in-level hazard during Match loses 50 points, and this gets seriously annoying when it happens all the time, because it punishes less skilled players far more harshly than good players (if you've ever seen me in Match, you know how much I suck).

AccursedDonut.wad, by Charybdizs - 5/10
And what do you know? The only joke level that is actually funny. Granted, the level suffers from some serious flaws--it is way too big, way too open, riddled with HOMs, and it is tremendously tedious to get back up onto the massive sugary treats if you end up in the lake. But I still had some major-league fun with this level. The theme is executed perfectly, and I particularly love how the giant mints function as trampolines (the Bouncy Sector effect really needs to get used more often in SRB2; it has a lot of unrealized potential). I know I'm not the first person to point this out, but if this idea was refined and used for a CTF stage it could be epic.

Egg Hanger Zone, by KO.T.E. and Spherallic - 9/10

Whoa, the only legitimate Match map in the contest took me completely by surprise. The level is top-notch, both in layout and visuals. Plus, I LOL'd at the fully functional Egg Capsule. My only complaint is that the intermittent laser never actually turns off; it just becomes wafer thin, so you can still see it. It would be MUCH cooler if it actually vanished with the help of some Set Floor Height and Set Ceiling Height linedefs. Also, not to be a smartass, but the word is "hangar" if you're talking about the thing that houses aircraft, and "hanger" if you're talking about the thing that shirts dangle from.

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CAPTURE THE FLAG:
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Frozen Destruction Zone, by Scizor300 - 3/10
Distinctly meh. The layout is reasonably solid, but there's nothing really interesting about it, especially considering that the center of the field is perfectly flat. You could have at least varied the heights of those paths. I would have given you 4/10, but it's completely impossible to capture the flag with Knuckles (when he's holding a flag, he can't make the jumps required to reach the flag platform), so I docked you a point.

Angle Forest Zone, by Katmint - 1/10
Oh wow, this map is terrific, because clearly the recipe for an epic CTF map is to create only one path, make it as long and twisty as possible, and throw in some cheap death pits, amirite? Seriously though, how the hell is anyone supposed to capture the flag? I can barely travel from base to base, let alone do it with a flag in tow, dodging opponents all the while.

Mossy Mushroom Zone, by RedEchidna - 7/10

Now this is more like it. The level is pleasant enough just to look at, and there are tons of interconnected, multileveled paths between the bases - precisely the formula for epic chaos. However, I wish you hadn't hidden the flags behind the platforms; that's pretty awkward design. Now if you had placed the flags on TOP of the platforms, in plain view, that would have tied in perfectly with the setup of the level, and probably bought you an extra point or two from me.

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CIRCUIT:
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Lost Feelings Island, by Internet Explorer - 8/10
This was deeply out of left field, coming from you. When between now and Wood Asleep Zone did you suddenly make such a dramatic leap in skill? All your previous creations were loaded with gimmicks so gratuitously distracting and all-consuming that they detracted from your level, but not here. It's still full of the quirky, inventive elements we've come to expect from you, but there are two major differences between the gimmicks here and the gimmicks in all your previous levels. First of all, they didn't break flow, which is a particular relief because flow matters far more in Circuit than in any other gametype. And second of all, it didn't feel so much as though you were creating rooms for the sole purpose of containing the gimmicks; most of the rooms were interesting in and of themselves. The only thing I can complain about is that the level is far longer than most Circuit stages, but I don't care that much because most of the content added something to the level. After playing this, I have no doubt that you have what it takes to make a superb Single Player level in a subsequent contest - in many ways, it should be easier than what you did here.

Burned Mystic Desert Zone, by Miles Knuckle Power - 3/10
It seems pretty clear to me that you learned absolutely nothing from your previous creation. Don't be misled by the fact that you won the previous contest; that was just because you had so little competition. That level was lousy, and this level is not an improvement. In fact, it suffers from almost exactly the same flaws as the last one: the same wide, open spaces with dull scenery, the same lack of truly interesting obstacles, and the same tiny hole in the wall that forces you to stop and readjust your position, culminating in the same hideous zoom tube that rapes the camera angle. Please, just don't do anything that you did in this map ever again.
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Last edited by Fawfulfan; 05-15-2011 at 10:29 AM.
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