Autumn 2020 votes and feedback

GrayAngel

Member
---SINGLE PLAYER---

First, I've noticed an overall increase in quality this time around. Even the ones at the bottom of the list were fun to play. Very good work, everyone.

S TIER

1. Fatal Factory Zone by Kuba11

  • Pros: Very nice visual design. Seems like you took inspiration from Sonic Adventure 1 and 2, especially the latter so I like. It very much feels as if you took a level from SA2 and recreated it in SRB2. Easily one of my favorite levels. Very creative.

  • Cons: Is it possible to slow down those...things you grab onto that carry you forward? They move you so fast. There's one part where the floors move, and can crush you against the cieling. I got stuck here, and didn't know what to do. I finally figured it out by hugging the walls, and one of the walls turned out not to be a wall. Maybe I'm just stupid, but I could not tell the path was there.



2. Pagoda Park by Rogerregorroger

  • Pros: I was looking forward to this one. Everything looks handmade, apart from the Badniks. Nice easter eggs for players who like to explore. Music transitions when changing areas. Your levels are instantly recognizeable with your style.

  • Neutral: I thought this was going to be a shorter version of the level you released recently, but this doesn't even seem to anything to do with that other level.

  • Cons: Stairs no work?
    srb20013.png

    Herc_is_Disappointed.gif


3. Shadow of Aztlán Zone by akirahedgehog

  • Pros: Sequel to Shadow of Atlantis? I liked that level. It's interesting to see a story thread connecting the two levels. Cool new objects and enemies, like the horses, monks, and arcade machines. Creepy atmosphere. No idea what's going on, but I'm fascinated.

  • Neutral:
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  • Cons: Bit weird that we can hear lightning, but the sky looks clear. Enemies don't seem to do much.



4. Emerald Aether Zone by Krabs

  • Pros: Nice open areas, with smooth slopes and design that makes good use of the game's physics. It feels like playing Tony Hawk's Proskater. One of the good ones, that is. I cannot express how impressed I am. It reminds me of the Sonic Utopia demo, which is just a fun playground, but this functions better as an actual level.

  • Cons: Waterfalls lack colormaps. The complex open areas are actually a little bit overwhelming at first. A bit short if you just go for the goal.



5. Knothole Coast by Apollyon

  • Pros: Very nice. Overall, has a pleasant visual style, and level design is interesting. Secrets reward exploration, and are hidden in clever ways. I noticed you gave the level the flickes from 3D Blast / Flickies Island. Nice detail.

  • Neutral: Did you make that music? Sounds like a remix of GF1's theme.

  • Cons: The music seems really quiet to me. You really don't need to draw an arrow with the rings when there's only one place to go. lol. There's only one type of Badnik. I'd recommend adding more for variety. The 2D section was nice, but too short. Leaves me wanting more. Which is better than the alternative, of course.



6. Foliage Furnace Zone by Kanna/Kwiin

  • Pros: Visually appealing. I appreciate the alternate paths. Challenging, but not unfairly so. Usually. lol

  • Neutral: Where is this music from? It reminds me of a theme from the OVA. I like it. This level is definitely a lot more challenging than your last submission.

  • Cons: The little lip at the end of the first halfpipe or whatever you call it is a little hard to get up. The rotating platforms move too fast, IMO. It's really hard to land on them and not slip off. Not a bad level, but I honestly found your last submission more enjoyable.


A TIER

7. Galactic Facility Zone by Mondongo

  • Pros: Very vibrant and colorful. Really appreciate the character exclusive paths. The low gravity mechanic is cool. Level design is complex and interesting.

  • Cons: Easy to get lost sometimes. Not enough checkpoints.



8. Hakuryu Dojo by Zaxel

  • Pros: Oo! Nice original artwork. I really appreciate it when levels use custom resources like that, and the artwork of Sonic, Knuckles, and others doing martial arts really works. The new enemies are nice too. I think I recognize your style from the previous OLDC. I didn't hate your previous level, but I consider this one an improvement.

  • Neutral: I appreciate that you went through the trouble of making your own boss, but I dread fighting it on repeat playthroughs. I got an error message, but it didn't seem to affect gameplay to my knowledge. I don't know what it means, but I took a screen shot of it.
    srb20011.png
  • Cons: The custom enemies are rather small, and they make no noise at all, making them easy to miss as they sneak up on you.

    Was a bit disappointed that the entrances to the men's and women's changing rooms didn't lead anywhere, but no big deal. I saw others try to walk into them on stream as well, though. lol

    I recommend having the button at the end of the maze teleport you to the door that it opens. Otherwise, it's confusing.

    I got lost here for a while. I figured it out, but going backwards to find another path was confusing. I thought the level broke, since the path was a dead end.
    srb20012.png
    The water in the test of water section is missing a color map.



9. Alabaster Fountain Zone by BronsoKip

  • Pros: Masterful level design. I love the part where you work your way up, roll under a platform, and get bounced backwards to skip across the water and land inside a pillar with a hole in it to the next section.

  • Neutral: The atmosphere here is very calming, and I can't decide if that's a good thing or a bad thing. I feel very relaxed as I'm evading these deadly traps. lol

  • Cons: The waterfalls do weird things. One flows to the side. I don't think they're animating right. I hate to say it, but it does feel a little Aerial Gardeny near the end, with the small platforms over the bottomless pit. I'm not sure how you're supposed to get past this part without flight or climbing to fall back on.



10. Gate Garden Zone by Ruberjig

  • Pros: New enemy types are nice. Level design is complex, and shows you definitely know your way around Zone Builder. Multiple paths for different characters gives this level good replayability.

  • Neutral: It's a good thing I gave this level a second go, because it didn't leave a good first impression. But on repeat playthroughs, it's MUCH more enjoyable, since I understand what is going on. I played it with Sonic & Tails, and without Tails, I wouldn't have known how to progress at some parts. But I played it again as Knuckles, and I realized that rock was breakable. Didn't think to try that as Sonic. It seems to be a reference to something, but I don't know what, so it's just going over my head.

  • Cons: I don't know what the crystals or wing things are for. A number appears when you collect crystals, but it doesn't seem to add to your score.



11. Overgrown Heights Zone act 2 by InferNOr

  • Pros: I really like the atmosphere here. Level design is nice and dynamic, with plenty of variety.

  • Cons: The level lacks a sense of direction, starting from the very beginning, where I couldn't even tell which way was forward. Foliage blocks the player's view of the red spring that is required to progress. This act shares a similar problem as its predecessor, with springs that don't take the player where they're supposed to. The flow of the level just leaves me feeling like I'm fighting against the level design.



B TIER

12. Square City Zone by Riolucariolu

  • Pros: Short and sweet.

  • Neutral: This level feels like it was developed with Circuit in mind. Like, there's a few things to explore off the path, but the player is mostly railroaded. I would recommend making the level loops at the end, so you can use it for the Circuit game type.

  • Cons: I would recommend adding some signs near sudden bottomless pits as warning to the player.



13. Dark Marsh by Vixuzen

  • Pros: Level design is cool and unique. Nice use of bouncy floors.

  • Cons: The sluge is insta-kill? Bruh. I knew it was dangerous, but I thought I would just take damage. Spamming enemies, especially ones that can snipe you from a mile away, does not make for a fun experience. Especially when you've got an instant death pit combined with tight platforming. There is a place where red Crawlas block your way up to a platform you reach from a spring. I had no choice but to tank a hit and use invincibility frames to get up. On my second playthrough, I couldn't finish it, it was giving me so much rage.



C TIER

14. Aquatic Port by WasifBoomz

  • Pros: Interesting mechanics. Definite improvement since the last level.

  • Neutral: The way the walls, floors, and ceilings look like water is psychedelic and cool, but it does cause eye strain after a while. I could see something like this working, if executed a little better.

  • Cons: I'm not against puzzles in Sonic games, but I don't think the solutions were as apparent as you thought they were. They seem less like logic puzzles and more like hitting buttons randomly until it hopefully works. At the part where you spring through a yellow platform to make it fall, allowing you to continue via the path underneath, it's too easy to get stuck. There's nothing to hint to the player that they're supposed to jump down, and if they wait for the platform to respawn, it won't fall a second time, getting them stuck until they drown.



15. Azlant Ruin Zone by Gambit

  • Pros: The design of the level is visually appealing, and varied. Shows you put a lot of work into it. The text bubbles explaining the mechanics are interesting. I haven't seen that done before. The forced camera perspectives give it a cinematic look, which is pretty fancy. Metal Sonic boss? That's pretty cool. Most just use the GF3 boss, if anything.
  • Neutral: I actually think this level has solid ideas. It just feels unfinished.
  • Cons: I know you're well aware of the issue with the camera, since EVERYONE complained about it, so I won't dwell on it.

    The opening section is really easy to mess up, since Sonic doesn't actually go to the right when you press that direction. You have to press forward to move right, which is a bit counterintuitive.

    In the first underwater section, there's a large piece of rubble sitting at an angle. This looked to me like a ramp, but using it as one didn't lead anywhere. In fact, there was an invisible wall blocking the way. This could have been a spot for a hidden emblem.

    I'm one of the seemingly few people who enjoys a good water level, but I kinda figured you had a hidden bubble shield near the start, because the platforming bits after are kind of unpleasant when you don't have it and have to worry about running out of air.

    I got hardlocked after missing the springs after a jump. I couldn't even jump off the little platform and die.
    srb20009.png
    There are some places where the water colormap isn't applied. Specifically in the hallways in the left path.

    Why is this here? It doesn't seem to lead anywhere.
    srb20010.png
    There's an autorun section that confuses the hell out of me. I had a moon jump for some reason, and I don't know why the game is forcing me forward. At the end, I just see the skybox, so I think I missed something and I backtrack. I use the moon jump to get to the platforms, but nothing is there. I get pushed to the skybox, and it teleports me. I don't know what I was expecting, but it wasn't that.



---CIRCUIT---

I noticed a pattern with these levels. They both seem heavily biased towards Amy, with her high jump and spring boost giving her significant advantages.

1. Electric Avenue Zone by Joe Mewstard

  • Pros: Very colorful.

  • Cons: Hazards are hard to see. I think the yellow springs near the beginning are meant as a shortcut for Amy, but there's nothing to indicate this to the player, so it's a bit of an unfair trap for everyone else. Platforms with item boxes are too small. They essentially punish the player for grabbing the items.

2. Caldron Cavern Zone by JABSphere94

  • Pros: Very cool and layered level design.

  • Cons: This level is very disorienting on the first go. It's surprising that the green water isn't an instant kill. It's actually more punishing this way in circuit, because you have to find your way out before you can get back into the race.
 
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