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Old 03-10-2020   #12
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Despite some things that could be improved, or slightly edited, this is by far by favorite level pack we've got so far.

The levels are a bit long, but in my experience never truly dragged on, as I was also trying to find the emerald tokens which are very, very well hidden. The first I could find was in Hydrocity, and I was quite proud of finding it. Not only the tokens, but a few extra goodies were placed in very good spots that you could easily miss.

The level design is very nice, if a little simple sometimes.

Spoiler: Detailed Opinions Ahead
Quiet South Island was a great start, with some platforming I couldn't cheese with Metal Sonic's Hover (A reocurring trend with some level packs). I absolutely loved how the zone transitions from day to night as you carry through it, a very cute detail - much like the fact that you start the next act in roughly the same place you ended the last one (Something that's also repeated in the other stages).

Hydrocity, while a very good recreation in my eyes, feels a bit cramped sometimes - as if you were trying to make a 2D level but forgot to actually transition into 2D mode. Nevertheless, this zone had very well hidden secrets that I loved finding all on my own - I still believe there are places to be explored!

Volcano Base was super cool. The transition from the natural volcano into an eggman base felt really natural and very well executed! The Metal boss fight was pretty cool, mainly due to the ring being a circle instead of a square, meaning I had to actually concentrate on Metal bouncing around unexpectedly to avoid being hit. Probably my favorite zone.

Hoo boy, Hell Fortress. While it does live up to its name, I do think the difficulty is just right, except for a few lil things like that one crusher in the """"""safe"""""" breathing room in-between space countdowns. I barely avoided it because I was going fast, but I think that'd be so frustrating to die on. In Act 1 I had an issue where if you tried abusing invincibility frames and spindashing into the zoomtubes while hitting an eggman monitor, you'd get hit inside the zoomtube and be softlocked, forcing a retry. I don't see the need to put eggman monitors in there when you need to get past by breaking it, making the softlock incredibly easy to trigger.
As for Act 2, the traps and obstacles were very difficult, but I found it a very welcome and fair challenge (Except for the near-instant red crushers, it's a good thing I was playing as someone with a spindash).

Finally, the Brak boss was a very welcome challenge. The arena itself looks daunting and very threatening, I loved it. The gimmick of him teleporting you into these challenge rooms is neat, but I do have my gripes with each.
  • First Room has Crawla Commanders. Personally I think they're incredibly hard to fight against because of their spazztic behavior. Sometimes they charge at you, sometimes they stay at a fixed distance which is nearly impossible to close in, and sometimes they barely move. After the first hit they tend to avoid you, and in a pit-filled room they scream cheap deaths.
  • Second Room is nice, though I think blue springs would function better. I kept hitting the ceiling while traversing it and found it a bit too easy. Keep the last yellow springs, of course, but I think blue springs would make for a slightly harder version of the room.
  • Third Room's JettySyns are outright annoying. If you're playing as either Fang or Amy it's basically mandatory for you to destroy the bots before trying the platforming section, otherwise you're bound to get hit mid-air with almost no way to defend yourself. I think removing the JettySyns and maybe make the lava slowly rise would make this third section far less annoying.
And my final issue with it was the sudden space countdown. It's a very cool idea, don't get me wrong, but it's not very well conveyed that defeating Brak isn't what stops the countdown, and that you instead need to flee before the timer runs out. I died because of this and had to restart the whole fight. I'd make the countdown start after Brak is defeated, so the player knows they need to flee.

The special stages being in 2D is a neat idea, if a little frustrating sometimes. I actually failed the third one because I kept bouncing around. Also, as I touched on before, the tokens are very well hidden, to the point that I only managed to grab 3 emeralds by the end of it. There's also a zone blocked off for now, that I'm guessing will unlock after I get the 7.

All in all, it was an absolute blast to play, and I would play it again no doubt. Custom Save would be very appreciated though.
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Last edited by DrStephen; 03-10-2020 at 05:27 PM.
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