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Old 07-01-2011   #26
There and back again~
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Flower Cave Zone by Miles Knuckle Power - 2/10

It was just a large empty room with very little to see. I spent a while running around trying to find out where that last piece was before I realized it was behind a wall that was supposed to be breakable despite no cue being given.

Jadeflower Zone Act 3 by blahblahbal - 4/10

This level didn't feel very fleshed out and it was over in the blink of an eye. The theme didn't seem to make sense, when it was GFZ one moment and then the next moment I was running through lava. I don't remember there really being anything notable here.

Sparkling Icecap by Thompson - 5/10

There were a lot of things about this level that I loved, freezing the river was a great moment, the Aquaria mix of Ice Cap was lovely (until the music stopped working for me) and I loved some of the set pieces included, as well as the endless penguin slides. However, several things made me absolutely insane. I only figured out that I could spin to break the ice because of an IRC conversation.
I have a large display, so the smallest aspect-correct resolution I can play without booting SRB2 up with a command line is 960x600. As a result, the sparkles caused a lot of lag, and because of that some of the platforming that should have been easy resulted in restarting large stretches of the level. It took me ten minutes to get to the top of that one area and I was kinda annoyed when I found out just what was there. Harmful water in an ice level still bugs me.
Naturally, I messed up on the rope hang, but at the end of that I went to go after the ledge only to bump into an ice thing which fortunately broke, unfortunately stopping me dead so that I could fall on a crawla and drop to my death. The enemies tended to cluster and in some areas going over the pillars was kinda cramped, the camera got stuck sometimes when breaking the ice.
That big room at the end was extremely annoying. I went the wrong way seeing that it still took me the same direction as the arrow, and then got hurt because I couldn't spin-jump-break the ice. The first time I made it to the top I didn't realize the lava was rising. I wasn't on the stalactite when it fell so I simply jumped back down to sink in the liquid lava. The second time the exact same thing happened because I couldn't aim on the yellow spring. The third time I was on the stalactite but after hitting the yellow spring I had nowhere to go so I died again. The fourth time (I was using setlives a lot because I didn't want to repeat the level) I didn't fall with the stalactite and then backtracked, but the level rose too fast and it beat me to the bridge. The final time I managed to backtrack fast enough, only to cry foul when the thing said "move forward" and I wasn't going fast enough. Turns out I'd missed the speedpad. I didn't really like that you had to tell me to move forward either.
You had some great things going here, but there's a ton of serious issues that made the level a painful experience when it could have been so much more enjoyable.

Waterway Ruin Zone Act 1 by Chrome - 6/10 (Disqualified)

I actually enjoyed the aesthetics of this level a lot. I also felt that it played very well. I could tell that one of the dark rooms had platforming areas and pits because I could see the edges but it might have been more fair to put something down there to catch the player. Overall, the level would probably do much better to get rid of some of the pits. I liked seeing the snailers get some attention. Is that Tidal Tempest?

Greenflower Sunset Zone by Fawfulfan
- 7/10

I quite enjoyed this level. The use of the GHZ decorations (yay, the tiki doesn't look as horrific as I thought it did) and the use of the seaweed complimented the visual aesthetic of it very well. I don't like the name, using names from SRB2 stages is not very original especially when you could have chosen something that reflects the mountain-oriented platforming here. Also the music doesn't fit either. Some of the platforming areas still could be a little bit more fleshed out though. I'm not asking for gimmicks, I think the community is a little too fixated on the flashy things nowadays. I just want to see a little more done with some of the areas, especially the opening room which is basically just a transition into the springs.

Stronghold Forest Zone Act 1 by KO.T.E - 8/10

Its CEZ1! I enjoyed the basic platforming and the theme of the level. The badniks were also very cool, but I think there should be quite a delay between charges for the tank because the noise and constant charging got extremely frustrating.
Also the bouncing gimmick needs to be reworked having that at the top makes it extremely difficult to get through without a lot of trial and error which in the one room is very punishing. Its very difficult to get out of the mud, and when one of them falls down it leaves few alternatives to cross.

Frozen Hillside Zone Act 1 by Blade - 10/10

The badniks chosen complimented the platforming, the visuals both old and new were handled very well, the Diamond Dust-esque snow rivers were a lot of fun, and the gimmick was simple and yet so rewarding. The level was just a joy to play. I wanted to play it over and over again.
The second time I finished it just as the song finished, it felt good. With that said, I recommend you place a loop point in that thing, as the thirty seconds of silence is kinda awkward. Other than that, this level is perfect.
"A man who's a dreamer and never takes leave, who thinks of a world that is just make believe
Will never know passion, will never know pain, who sits by the window will one day see rain..."

~The Greatest Adventure: Ballad of the Hobbit
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