May/June 2011 Voting

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Maybe out of retirement?
And here are my reviews. Single player only, because as usual, I probably won't catch a netgame.

Greenflower Sunset Zone by Fawfulfan - 7/10
I playtested this a lot for you around a month ago or so. So obviously, all my major qualms with it are already fixed (although I'm not sure if there even were any) and you know my general assessment of your level already. The platforming, although generic, is solid, and lots of secret items and a few small gimmicks keep the map fresh. It just so happened that we could both agree on which rooms are awesome and which ones are padding, so I don't think I need to go into much detail. You achieved the goal you set out to do, and I hope you learned a thing or two about multi-leveled path layouts, architecture and visual design along the way. Also, BZ4 seemed to love some parts of this level, and that alone should make you proud. I have a feeling you'll find that Tortured Planet has gone as far as it can soon.

Flower Cave Zone by Miles Knuckle Power - 2/10
I hate giving out scores for maps like this. Like with your previous single player creation, I'm puzzled why you actually submitted it. If you're too lazy to make a full-flegded map for the SP division, nobody forces you to half-ass something. The single room was pretty ugly and low-detailed (although it could have been much worse) and most of the hiding spots were either out in the open or hidden in nonsensical places. The pool with the falling rocks was especially annoying.

Sparkling Icecap Zone by Thompson - 10/10
EDIT: You know what? Screw this. You get a 10 anyway. Ignore the babbling about "almost perfect" below. It's not perfect, but I don't care. Oh, and since you're fixing this up after the contest, be sure to read what Mystic said about consistency.

I'm terribly sorry. I can't give this a 10. It's almost there, but a few rather major problems keep me from giving this a perfect score even if it otherwise blew me away. However, rest assured that none of these problems were lag-related. I played this level in 1680x1050 resolution, and I did get slight lag in places, but these were generally low-action spots. And if the lag had been heavier, I'd have lowered my resolution. Really, I don't see lag being a problem for anyone unless your machine is so shitty that it can't run this level on 640x480, in which case you can't really blame the map. That doesn't mean I'd say no to framerate fixes though.

Your problems were of a different nature. The first is intuitiveness. For me, figuring out one of your more complicated puzzles on my own is enough by itself, but other players become annoyed if they can't figure out what's going on in ample time. You tried to solve this problem with Cut-Away Views, but it's not entirely gone yet. There are two rooms that can still be very hard to understand, and those are the centerpiece of the puzzle path (with the stalactites) and the snowflake room. Others might also add the room with the two gargoyles, but I found that one easy enough.

The stalactite room is problematic for numerous reasons. It's easy enough to figure out that I need to trigger the falling stalactites after I've seen the Cut-Away View, but neither is it really obvious that I can use them as stepping stones nor does the exit they lead to stand out clearly. That problem could be solved through effective texturing. Draw attention to what's important with colors that stand out and make everything else take a backseat. The platform that I need to jump on to use the stepping stones for example should stand out among the others. Whatever parts of the room aren't as important should be in the background and inobtrusively textured. At first, I thought the frozen fountains were the actual path because the platform for the stepping stones connects to it. Separate these two elements and let the fountains stay in the background.

But the real problem comes afterwards. The small climb to the button is too cramped and has an unnecessary path split midway through. One direction leads to the button, the other back into the main room. To progress, players need to go to the button first, so presenting them with a path choice at this point is confusing. Why would you give the player a choice if there's no real choice to make? I know that there are rings that lead the player to the button, but it still confused me at first because I thought the other path might lead to a secret or something. You can imagine how annoyed I was to find myself back in the main room. Please revamp that section so that the path split is gone and I return to the main room after pressing the button.

It's also not entirely obvious where I should go after the button is pressed. The Cut-Away View shows a section of the map that the player has never seen before unless he looked for it on purpose. My first reaction after seeing it was: "Ah, so it activates a fountain. But where on earth is that fountain supposed to be located?" That outside section needs to be more visible beforehand. Ideally, you would force the player to go through it before pressing the button so that he discovers the broken fountain. Essentially, this whole room and everything that belongs to it need some revamping to be more intuitive. It's one of the major frustration sources in your map.

The other source of frustration is the snowflake room. You tried to fix it by adding the arrow, but wouldn't it be more elegant to hide the other exit until the lava starts to rise and then draw immediate attention to it (by putting it right in front of the player's nose, for example)? Apart from the initial confusion over which path to take, I think most people simply didn't have enough time to find the right way and figure out how to get there in the given time. Instead, they hesitated and went back up where they came from. Make the escape path much more obvious and maybe consider making the lava solid instead of fake slime. At least that would lead to less deaths for players who can't figure it out quickly enough.

The second problem is tediousness. It becomes obvious whenever platforming rooms become so complex that falling down becomes a terrible punishment because you have to repeat a large part of the map. The issue is most pressing in the centerpiece of the platforming path (with the snowflake bridges or whatever those were) and to a lesser extent, the room with the rope pulleys and the room with the two gargoyles. Unfortunately, I don't have much of an idea how to fix these. The third problem (arguably the smallest) is formula. I've been climbing to the tops of rooms, pressing buttons and putting gargoyles in convenient places for three maps of yours now. the centerpiece of the platforming path for example feels very similar to the room where you open the door in Clockwork Grove. Don't overdo these kinds of things or they'll become stale.

Two minor design qualms come to mind: One would be in the centerpiece of the platforming path. At one point, where both sub-paths rejoin, you enter a very cramped and narrow cave. Maybe there wasn't any space left because of the level architecture, but if you can, make it spacier. Also, there still are too many enemies in some places, especially the bigger rooms. My advice would be to leave more complex rooms without any enemies at all and only use them in the smaller parts in-between. Otherwise, they can make an already frustrating section hell for some. And maybe I need to say it again: You don't need Crawlas, especially not now that you added Minuses. I know you're a fan of variety, but unlike the other two enemies, Crawlas aren't as much an actual threat here as they are filler items. They don't add anything to the level and especially the red variety feels pretty out of place visually.

But now all I did was complain. Let me dedicate a small paragraph to express how much I love this map. You really made the theme of the map come alive through the use of all the complex ice melting and freezing gimmicks, most of which weren't only fun to play through, but they made sense physically and were awesome eye candy. The freezing river and the huge snowflake especially caught my eye. But there was so much more: The spindash-to-lower blocks and the endless snow slide from Ice Cap Zone, the claustrophobic chase at the end, the penguin enemies that at one point actually perform endless sliding loops etc etc etc. I could go on for ages, but you know what I want to say. This map is awesome. And it's almost perfect. Almost, for now.

Frozen Hillside Zone Act 1 by Blade - 10/10
Mystic summed it up perfectly. The way you used the thick snow is a textbook example of how one should build up a gimmick across the course of the level. I can't get over how cleverly designed the section with the two cliffs is. It forces the player to think about the mechanics of the snow in such a way that afterwards you can be sure he understood it. Then you go on to make slightly more complex stuff with it (with hopefully more complex stuff following in act 2). I also got over my dislike for the recolored Sapphire Falls textures. They look pretty awesome actually. And so does Scizor's custom texture, even if the style doesn't quite fit in with the rest. A perfect map.

And I know that this discussion is over, but let me clarify what I think BlueZero4 meant when he said "this map is perfect, and that's bad". What he meant was that you were so focused on doing everything right by the book that you didn't pour your soul into it like Thompson did (and BlueZero4 always does). I don't think that's pretentious, I just so happen to think that Frozen Hillside has a lot of soul poured into it. It's just not as deliberately "artsy" as other maps.

Stronghold Forest Zone Act 1 by KO.T.E - 7/10
Just like Frozen Hillside and Sparkling Icecap are polar opposites, this is the opposite of Greenflower Sunset. That one was all platforming, no gimmicks, this one is all gimmicks, no platforming. Of course, I'm exaggerating a bit: This map has some platforming and Fawfulfan's map has a few gimmicks. But the balance is off in both cases. Your map is still good as your score reflects, because the gimmicks are usually entertaining and the level is solidly built. But I still feel there are too many flat corridors and too few instances where you actually need to jump. Granted, it was worse in the beta version you gave me. I like how you now need to jump over the big fence instead of swinging, for example. You also added a few more sections that require actual platforming, although most of them are pretty uninspired (and eased off by springs). Still, it could be more.

Still, that's not my only issue. The real problem is what Mystic said. Introduce your gimmicks. The bouncy floors are both located on optional paths, so depending on which path you took, your first encounter with them might be over the oil pit. And that section is pretty hardcore. Even if you took the upper path at the beginning, the gimmick isn't really introduced properly. What you should is add a small and easy section with bouncy floors at the beginning of the level before the path splits. Make it really easy, with no hazardous penalty for failure and most importantly no double-net construction that bounces you back down if you go too far. That should help introduce the gimmick.

There are a few other minor problems. Firstly, the cannonball shooters never hit me. In fact, I don't think they can even reach me when I'm next to the button. You might want to rework that section so your gimmick doesn't go to waste. The way the paths rejoin at the end is not optimal. Depending on your angle, you might confuse the ending of the other path for another route. Lastly, your custom enemy has too many annoying sound effects and probably a too large seeing distance. Make it only charge when you're really near to it.

Otherwise, a nice map. Just introduce your gimmicks better and try to force the player to jump a bit more often and it will be great. When I compare this to the first incarnation of this zone, you've really come a long way in making the locations of your map memorable. And the gimmicks are just simply better in general.

White Mountain Zone by Kuba11 - 0/10
I've seen some people commend you on the nice details. Apparently any random formation of tiny rocks with different clashing colors counts as "nice details" among some. Well, I think it looks awful. In other news, this level is awfully cramped and/or hard to navigate because of all the lava falls and tiny platforms, has no ideas aside from lava everywhere and button pressing, has an out-of-place static rope hang that doesn't even look like one, and doesn't have an exit. Unplayable is unplayable, therefore you get a 0, disqualified or not. With a working exit, I would have given this a 2 or a 3 because it was functional and had a good amount of secrets. I appreciate your effort, which is must certainly noticeable, but you more or less produced a train wreck.

Waterway Ruin Zone Act 1 by Chrome - 6/10
Please, please, please pay closer attention to the contest rules, it's really unfortunate to have your map disqualified for something like this. I guarantee you it would have made for some serious competition in your division. This review will be pretty long, because your map possesses an unfortunate combination of attributes: It's fairly long, complex and flawed. At first I wanted to trash this level and give it a 3, but then I played it a few more times, found all the paths, discovered that some things I blamed you for were actually my fault, and grew to love the architecture. The score I wanted to give you gradually increased until I explored everything and it stopped at 6. That's as far as I'm willing to go, because the flaws that made me hate it at first are still there. I'll do this review room-by-room style so I can make sure I don't miss anything of importance. Your map is brought down by numerous small flaws instead a few big ones, so behold the massive wall of text ahead.

The first room looks like the ending of that one zone you made a while back, right? Is this supposed to be part of a level pack? Anyway, I have a problem with this room and the one that follows after the follow-the-lights staircase: Where are the power-up items? Especially the second room has these pillars in it that could be well used for a power-up or something. It's a pity if you design a room like this and then don't give the player any reason to explore it. The next room (which I think is very clever by the way) has a path split, so let's concentrate on the path that you reach by jumping over the taps first.

The next room with the moving cylinders has a good idea, but there are some problems in the execution. First off, there are no rings after the Star Post. Can you imagine how frustrating it is if you die, respawn there and die to the shots of the next Snailer available? Please put a few rings there. The other problem here is that the moving cylinders aren't synchronized in any way, so you might have to wait a while until they're in such a position that you can jump across. That's pretty boring. Adjust their movements so that I can jump across at any time. Another thing that bugged me was how the water in the broken tube doesn't have a current. As long as it isn't so fast that you can't get to the shield anymore, I see no problem with applying one.

Speaking of tubes: I know that tubes are narrow, but at least after the point where I fall down for the first time, you should widen the whole thing a bit so I can navigate easier. After the tube and after I hop over the broken cylinder, I need to do an unexpected left turn to enter the next room. Could you put some rings there to make it more obvious please? Then, after the rising and falling platforms, another tube. This time it has even more tight turns and even a stupid branch in the middle of it that only confuses players. Please, make these things wider or at least straightforward. In fact, the whole fan section that follows afterward is too cramped as well. Not to mention that the first fan doesn't work. Also, the part with the fan tubes with crushers is pretty annoying and tedious. It's not much of a challenge as long as you stay on the edges. Cut this section out. Also, please cut out the unexpected death pit in the fan room. I don't have any more complaints until the point where the paths rejoin (even if the gimmicks in this section are pretty old and tired), so let's go back to the beginning...

...and fall into the current. We're now back at the outside, and I'm immediately puzzled that despite there being a building to the left of the room, I don't see any traces of it. Wouldn't it look nicer if I could see the building from there, maybe with some windows or a gallery or other nice architecture? Anyway, after this room and another follow-the-lights corridor (with another unexpected turn at the end), we get to the absolute worst part of this level. This is the path I took at first and that gave me a bad impression. The room is terrible because the dark floors that were previously safe are now bottomless pits. He's right. Remove this room without afterthought.

Then, path split. I'll do the one that you enter below the broken cylinder tube first. Why are there two exits to the room below the net if they're functionally identical. It only serves to make the current tunnel look weird. After that, the second really really terrible room in this map: The one with the crushers that seemingly come from nowhere. Either scrap this whole section completely or do the following: 1. Make the whole underwater passage much less cramped. 2. Don't put quite as many fish. 3. Make the crushers move continuously and without pause. 4. Make sure the player can easily see the crushers AT ALL TIMES. If you can't achieve that, scrap this section.

The other path. Ugh again. Remember when Mystic said "Then there are crushing platforms with no warning, and those same crushing platforms lead out of the room. "? Just now, while writing this review, did I notice that he meant this part. On my first playthrough I was stuck here exactly because I jumped off the last crumbling platform immediately for fear of being crushed. After that, I was trapped. Again, scrap this room without afterthought. The paths come together in an unfortunate way, making it unclear where I should go next. The best fix would probably be to put the Star Post in the darker corridor.

Oh no, not another dark corridor that suddenly turns into a death pit. maybe this idea is salvageable if you make the pit sections not quite as dark as the safe corridors so you can actually see the death pits. And now we're back to zero again, because this path now rejoins with the other major one. Let me clarify something right there. The other path would have gotten you a 7. This path (with both branches) would have gotten you a 3. Together, it's a 5, and I'm willing to give one more point for the competent beginning and ending sections.

Not that they're really anything special. The "crumbling floor in a water tube" gimmick doesn't make much logical sense, but at least the final jump is pretty interesting. Then there's another broken water tube and I always enjoy these. So there, take your 6 and be grateful. ;) If you fix up some things, cut some of the really awful shit and replace it with good new content, I could easily see this rise as high as an 8. If you can think of some really good new gimmicks for the obligatory replacement rooms and maybe try to make some sections a little less sparse-looking, maybe even higher.

Jadeflower Zone Act 3 by blahblahbal - 3/10
You finally got a sense of scale. That's a big success. You also got a sense of visual design, as apparent in the grass-themed path (the lava path is pretty bare-boned though). You also got a sense of flow, even though you overdid it to the point where I don't even need to jump anymore. What you lack is enough ideas to actually make a map. Many parts appear empty, probably because you couldn't think of anything to put there. In fact, the whole level feels like you didn't have much of a clue what you wanted to put in it. You should probably stick with Match levels for a little while longer, because there you can put your sense of scale, flow and visual design to good use without needing so many gameplay ideas. Unless you suddenly become a fountain of inspiration, your single player levels will remain solidly crafted bores. However, what you can learn from this map is: a. less (or at least shorter) empty corridors; b. give all parts of your map the same visual care; c. Don't put exit signs in abrupt places; d. give your lava lava damage.​

What an awesome single player division this time! Two masterpieces plus two pretty cool maps make up for the dreck that was last contest.
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Alright, I'm gonna vote on Single Player and that only as I don't really like multiplayer. Here goes:

Sparkling Icecap Zone: 10/10
I'm so glad I decided to judge in the order that the files extracted (alphabetical order, s_ comes before sc_) because I got to play this map first. This has to be the most epic map I've ever played in SRB2, and I in't find it the least bit laggy or confusing. It all made perfect sense, really. Great visuals, amazing music, awesome penguins, great FOF snowflake, I love the lava run... I think this should replace BMZ, especially if you're gonna fix up the little things. I'll post more at a later time, don't wanna take up to much space.

White Mountain Zone: N/A (would've been 6/10 if not disqualified)
I know this was disqualified, but I'll put some comments anyway. The level scenery was great, but it felt really cramped. Other than that, well done.

Flower Cave Zone: 2/10
...what? I gameover'd the first time because I couldn't find the rings. And that custom enemy is very overpowered. The level was bland and boring, other than that.

Jadeflower Zone: 4/10
I started this level; it wasn't all that exciting, but I thought that maybe it would get better as I went on... I liked the music and some of the small factors, but then it was over in 29 seconds. I felt deprived :-(

Frozen Hillside Zone: 8/10
I liked this level, too. I guess I just like ice levels :-P Anyway, the sector scenery was good, and so was the way the snow was executed. However, the paths were a bit confusing at times. But, as with SIZ, good penguins and snowmen.

Greenflower Sunset Zone: 7/10
Overall, this was a good level, but it definitively had the wrong music choice. Also, the beginning was rather bland. However, as the level progressed, it got much better, with many generic but well-executed gimmicks.

Stronghold Fortress Zone: 7/10
As with GSZ, this level started kinda eh but soon got better. The inside of your forts, as well, were designed very well. However, your enemy was way overpowered, as there should be more time between charges. Overall, though, a very solid level.

Waterway Ruins Zone: N/A (would've been 6/10 if not disqualified)
Ya, I'll comment on this anyway. The level was great, I wish it hadn't been disqualified. However, a few things really bugged me, like the lack of light in the beginning, the glitch where if you jump and hit the fan you get stuck in some glitch room with no exit, and that some of the jumps were just too long. Overall, the scenery and gimmicks were great, though, making this a rather solid release.

I'm very happy with the contest ths month, I think we had some great stuff. Good luck to all next month's contestants!
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Maybe out of retirement?
(would've been 6/10 if not disqualified)
Just as a small note to you and everybody who crossed out or took back their ratings for the disqualified maps: You don't need to do that; you can still rate them as usual. They just have no chance of winning.

Mr. Mystery

EDIT: After further review I decided to change my CTF votes in the last hour.

== MATCH ==

Ponies Suck Zone by Fawfulfan - 6/10
- It's ugly and it's a spam bonanza but it has something the competition does not: fun. Cheers for the snark and a decent layout too, and shooting crap down on people from the upper level is great times.
- This is going to be a fun one to explain on the wiki...

Flux Satellite Zone by 742mph - 2/10
- One pity point for the amusement of gravflipping in the outdoor area, and having the forethought to actually insert an anti-stuck player failsafe (space countdown)
- Need I really explain why everything else in the map sucks?

Southern Sands Zone by akb778 - 3/10
- Just a scattershot mess. No area here seems to placed with any rhyme or reason to it, like you copy-pasted random sectors together to assemble this (would perhaps explain that giant HOM). The sniper's box at the top was sort of clever though
- I love how you practically can't see rings until you're right on top of them thanks to the textures

Aries City Zone by EternallyAries Red X - 0/10 (DSQ)
- Ok, i'll grant you that this is all quite decorative, and could be fun with a huge amount of players, but in addition to being so ornate it's hard to find/shoot people (and it lags a lot), hangout maps do not have a place in the OLDC. They just don't. Go ask Kratzean how Two House Forest worked out.
- At any rate, you didn't even bother to un-hangout the gametype, so enjoy your goose egg

Frozen Tundra Zone by Chaos Zero 64 - 3/10
- 30 minutes to make this, you say? Looks and plays rather like it. We need less of these kinds of entries, kthx
- Having to aim for a single red spring that just barely gives you enough boost to reach its' destination is probably not such a good idea to use more than once in a map

== CTF ==

Because I don't have the time to get long winded about those maps, I am (for now at least) declining to say much about Scizor's and Spherallic's maps. I've mostly made my gripes with both of those stages clear on IRC anyway.

Majestic Grove Zone by Scizor300 - 4/10
- I'd like to mention for the record that the giant wall in the middle was my idea B)
- Much too long, dull ground level, practically requires 10 people in the server to work.
- Last minute addendum: Ok, after playing it again in Scizor's server, there's no "practically" about it. You either get 10 people in here or forceskin Sonic. Tails and Knux have next to no advantages in here to speak of, whereas Sonic can probably cross the whole map in half the time without the flag. I thought the wall might help to curb this thokfest problem, but it is clearly not too effective. Chasing people I cannot catch around such a massive map is not my idea of a fun time. All I can realistically accomplish with Knux (without being any good at rail) is try to camp. I'm sorry but I really do not care for this place.

Mystical Heights Zone by Metal Fighter - 5/10
- This looks slick and screams potential, but is held back (severely) by the layout
- I'm not sure what I don't like about the bases. Maybe the fact that Sonic can only get in through the front door, while Tails and Knux can go in through the windows (which is cute but seems a slightly lame weakness)
- The treetops cannot be used as another route by Sonic, Knux, or the flag carrier. This is disappointing, especially for the flag carrier who doesn't have a lot of options for escaping, other than risky spindash antics on those floating islands or braving the bottleneck in the middle
- As Mystic said the middle area is very generic, and woe be you if you wind up surrounded in there by the enemy
- The flag doesn't return under certain FOFs
- Last minute addendum: Ok, figured out why I hate the bases: it's perhaps too easy for the enemy to rush a base and not get shot, due to the terrain. The map has also a tendency to lag hard, and the middle area is a crapshoot to fight in. Those side areas in the middle are almost useless.

Frozen Pass Zone by Kuba11 - 6/10
- While the bases are cramped and begging to be flooded with bounce rings, the map is a good size and is suprisingly fun. The translucent FOFs are a nice touch
- The little holes with the grenade ring need to go. You can just sit in there and spam grenades so that anyone who comes in after you is garaunteed to fall on them. Not cool.
- Maybe one alternate path around the middle area is in order
- Those steps are awfully steep yet you can run right up most of them, so when you come to a step that you have to jump up over instead, it's jarring
- Last minute addendum: Maybe I overrated this just a tad. This map also seems to have thokfest problems, although at least not to a crippling extent for Tails and Knux. The hidey hole in the bases isn't a very good idea.

Sylvan Shrines Zone by Spherallic - 5/10
- Very pretty, but an utter coin-flip crapshoot of chokepoints. Not fun unless you do nothing but camp.
- Last minute addendum: Suprisingly, in a server with less people, this is enjoyable. Now, this does not make the map any less highly problematic (one route to almost everything and those bases need to GTFO), but I suppose I find that preferable to the opposite scenario.


Croissant Mountain by D00D64 - 7/10
- This is a lot more fun of a map than you are giving it credit for. Just needs fine tuning... the retarded checkpoints, for starters
- The pillars at the start should probably be scrapped and replaced with something less lame, as those seem to catch me out with Knux sometimes
- Ok, um. You have two arrows in the water pointing people who fall toward a not very helpful direction, and even when they find their way back to the path it causes them to miss a checkpoint in the process. What?
- The blue springs hidden in the water after checkpoint 2 do not have enough power to launch anyone besides Sonic across that gap
- The string of spikeballs in the underground need to be replaced with a more interesting obstacle that doesn't rely on just catching people out when they don't see them

Frozen Hall Zone by Metal Fighter - 6/10
- It's fun, but this might have been a 7 if not for "first come, first served" falling platform hopping over a deathpit, which...well go try to play RVZ1 in race. Also, rounding a corner and careening gung-ho into a deadly hole in the ground with little warning, um, sucks
- Rings alone do not serve as a very effective warning of sharp corners coming up, since they don't respawn
- I liked the shortcuts, but refer to what Mystic said about making them too apparent/easy
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Probably Responsible
Reviews in or something. I dunno. I originally didn't want to do this due to how underwhelming the turnout for MP was, but figured "Oh I played these, so why not"

Ponies Suck Its a Horse Zone - 3/10

One giant spamfest. It becomes a huge clusterfuck in the middle room, especially since you can grab grenade above the hole in the ceiling and just lob shit in there. The textures also serously need work, as it all looks the same (and ugly). Also, HI REDWALL.

Flux Satellite WHAT HAS SCIENCE DONE Zone - 1/10

An ok concept with horrendous execution. Symetrical, ugly, difficult to navigate, easy to get stuck, and unless you're spamming Bomb and Rail (assuming you can FIND them), its just a nightmare. At this point, I'm thinking reverse gravity and multiplayer just dont mix.

Southern Sands I Dont Know A Cave From A Hole In The Ground Zone - 2/10

HI HOM. Incredibly flat, devoid of much, and with almost no cover makes this a rail map. Unless you go into that underground hole with tons of Bounce Ring ammo beforehand. Then you just camp under there. On the surface or underground, unless you have either of those weapons, you simply arn't safe.

Frozen Tundra About 20 Sectors Zone - 3/10

Random monitors, additional pannels, difficult to use springs, probably 2x bigger than it has any right to be, inanely vertical, blech texturing... Yeah, this is without a doubt a rush job. I had more fun on this than two of the other maps here, but that might have been the random monitors (which we really shouldn't encourage).


Not reviewing because my last memory of them is hazy at best (Aside from Sciz's map being WAY TOO FUCKING BIG), and its hard to do a replay of them.


Croissant Mountain I Stopped Giving A Shit 3 Days In Zone

>Work on map for 3 days
>Get bored with it
>Submit it next month anyway
The idea of the map was to balence the three characters. The first platforms were there purely to stop the Mindless First Thok and give Tails/Knux a head start for a change. Though, that may have worked TOO effectively... As for checkpoints, all I had to help with testing was SpiritCrusher, so neither of us probably noticed the checkpoint placement (which was there to Tails couldn't be too op by spinflying straight into the hole). And the teleport was ment to be silent, but it was around that time I stopped giving a shit, and I probably wont update this map anytime soon either.

Frozen Hall Ice Water Is Still Bullshit Zone - 4/10

I couldn't TELL you how many times I was killed by ice water because someone swiped the rings before I did. In addition to that, the pool shortcut makes the other shortcut pretty pointless. Also, why is the waterfall pool NOT ice water if it looks the same as the ice water? Otherwise, not much to say about it.

I doubt I'll do CTF or SP. CTF because of the lack of players for a replay, and SP because I'm frankly just not interested in playing it.
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Kim the Fox!!!

What am I doing here?
Well, seems like it's my turn now. Let's start it.

Single Player Rotation

Greenflower Sunset Mystic Realm Copycat Zone by Fawfulfan - 6/10 - Decent

It looks like a mix of Sunshine Atoll + Jade Coast + Tempest Valley + The first hub of Tortured Archives. Honestly, there was no fun in it. What attracts me towards the stages are the gimmicks, but yours weren't THAT fun. The texturing seems good, although the hazards aren't... well... hazardous. There's your 6.

Flower Cave Simply Impossible Zone by Miles Knuckles Power - 4/10 - Mediocre

And again we come over this. A flat one-room Emerald Hunt in which I died before touching the floor and sacrificed myself to get a shard on a top of a waterfall which seems impossible to get, constrasting with another laying on a rock, with Buzzes with changed sprites and awful music. Please, Miles, didn't you hear my advices?

Sparkling Icecap My Little Tundra: Gargoyles Are Magic Zone by Thompson - 8/10 - Great

Well, Thompson, you kinda disappointed me. After playing Twilight Isles and Clockwork Grove, what do we have? When I was playing this, I thought with myself "I just can't believe it's Thompson's". It just not seemed yours. That's because I felt the lack of interesting gimmicks. The lag was kinda noticeable (I've spent about 30 minutes trying to get out of a little cave, my computer lagged like hell). The hazards are ridiculously cheap and the way to trigger some gimmicks looked awful. I simply had no idea in how to get the gargoyle out of the top of that geyser, which seemed impossible with all that lag. However, the lava sequence was a genious touch, althought it looked like that running part was completely INESCAPABLE with Sonic. The music was good, a nice, calm remix of S3&K's Ice Cap, I liked it. After all, despite all the flaws, You still have your magic touch. Keep making good maps.

Frozen Hillside Cute Icy Zone by Blade - 10/10 - Epic

I have no reasons to complain. Please gimme a second act of this COMPLETELY CUTE MAP!

Stronghold Forest Meh Zone by KOTE - 5/10 - Average

You're slightly losing your creativity, KOTE. As running along the level, I noticed the Heavy Crawla - It's goddamn fast. How can possibly a HEAVY enemy dash towards the player EVEN FASTER THAN A DETON? It just makes no freaking sense. The texturing is nice, but the stage was boring, and I never liked Castle Eggman Act 1's music. You should really try again.

Jadeflower Zone WTF LAVA by blahblahbal - 4/10 - Mediocre

LAVA Although the music is good and LAVA the landscape is nice, LAVA there's something I need to say:

No hazards
No gimmicks
No fun


White Brokeback Mountain Zone by Kuba11 - Disqualified

Oh no, no, no, no, no, no, TIS COMPLETELY WRONG! How could you forget the exit sector. You made me waste time spinning in circles looking for a non-existent exit. Looks like... um... I SPOKE THUSLY Act 1.

Waterway Ruin Tidal Tempest Mid-Future by Chrome - Disqualified

You guaranteed me a little fun by giving me Tidal Tempest back - Pity you've wasted all your map to put a ridiculous pit under that pipe, so I couldn't simply run to it. Also, I could not use Tails, because your map was MAP04. I never review a stage using Sonic like this one. Nice try.


Well, I'm think I'll vote on the rest later. See you soon ;)
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Kim the Fox!!!

What am I doing here?
It just reminded me of it. While flying to get to the higher cliffs, I suddenly remembered that hub map in Tortured Archives. About Sunshine Atoll, I've noticed that the platforming was familiar - SAZ.


>WTB lamp oil
Here are my remarkably grumpy votes, hurriedly finished at the last minute.


Ponies Suck Zone by awfulfan
2/10 - Awful
Why would you say last OLDC that joke maps are stupid, and shouldn't be done, and then this time turn around and do one yourself?
But to the level itself. The first thing that occurs to me is "Oh boy, another of Fawfulfan's trademark texturing jobs!" Seriously, I don't know what you are smoking when you do the texturing, but your choices are horrible. From the seizure inducing hallways with that weird vertical line texture, to the room with rock walls, it absolutely astounds me. Oh, and I guess I should mention the REDWALL sky, too?
Gameplay-wise, the level isn't horrid, but it leaves a lot to be desired. For one, it seemed like wherever I ran, I'd end up smashing into a dead end, and getting pelted from behind by enemies following. The second story has something that can be said for it, it was a creative idea, that reminds me a bit of the Luigi's Mansion MarioKart stage, from Double Dash. Too bad it is very boring up there, and covered with the not very attractive blue concrete texture.
And finally, there is your artwork. What on earth is that thing in the middle? It looks like an anorexic horse! If this is all you can do, I definitely have you beat in the sector art department next contest.
"Confiscated Pony Chow"
What I have to ask, is why on earth would a box say "STOLEN FOOD" on it? Would the thief really be that silly as to brand that on his goods? It might have actually made me laugh if it said something slightly funny, like "Constipated Pony Chow" on it, but as it is, it doesn't make any sense to me. Obviously, all this was meant as a shot to all us pony lovers, but couldn't you have used a bit more wit in your jokes?
All I can say is, you're lucky you made Greenflower Sunset Zone, because if it weren't for that, I'd think your level making skills were beginning to fade. :p

Flux Satellite Zone by 742mph

3/10 - Bad
First thing I have to say: AWESOME idea. I was pretty wowed by the whole idea when I picked up on it. The funny thing is, it took me a little while to do so. I started in first person, of course, and the first thing I did was jump. Since the ceiling and floor are exactly the same, I didn't even realize what had happened when the camera flipped. When I caught on, I was pretty impressed, but the levels glaring faults made it pretty much un-enjoyable. For example, the ring placement. It totally sucks, because each and every ring takes too much effort to get. You never have hardly any ammo to fire with, because it's hard to gather any. Also, like many people have said, the map is painfully symmetrical. One thing I loved about it though, was that it really felt like you were in space. I guess it was the fact that you could go in any direction, and instead of hitting an obnoxious death pit, you just started to die in a space countdown. Keep up the good imagination, just refine your skills a lot, and I think you'll do fine.

Southern Sands Zone by akb778

2/10 - Awful
What is this I don't even... Did you even have any vision for this map as you made it? It's like you just made a stage for the heck of it, arbitrarily smacking down some huge sectors, slopping ACZ paint on it, making a few pitiful attempts at sector based scenery, and calling it a day. Nice HOM there, too.

Aries City Zone by EternallyAries Red X
0/10 - Unplayable
Right here is where I would go off on the silliness of thinking a RP map belonged in the OLDC at all, but lucky for you, I talked to you about it on my server the other day. Instead, I'll just laugh about it, and eagerly anticipate your real stage next OLDC.

Frozen Tundra Zone by Chaos Zero 64
3/10 - Bad
I don't know what you have against running, but you must recognize that it is a key gameplay element of Sonic Robo Blast 2. Do not let your prejudices against runners bind you down, and stop you from making a map that is fun to play.

Capture the Flag:

Majestic Grove Zone by Scizor300

10/10 - Epic
I played through this stage twice, and the first time I wasn't too impressed. I was in a bad bit of C-Lag, and the only thing that stuck out to me was how hard it was to use the springs to get anywhere. The second time I played through it, I was awed. I had a good connection this time, (being the host) so I was able to enjoy it to it's fullest. And what I see here, is that you've made something beautiful. I've noticed in a lot of your other levels, that you have a big thirst for the wide open, a kind of area that makes the player feel free. In maps such as Quick Cliffs and that other level of yours, with the white cliffs, you weren't able to pull it off so successfully, and you ended up just making maps that seemed cheap, and suffered a lot of problems from SRB2's engine. In this one, however, you've managed to accomplish that expansive feeling while keeping the level polished. I'm gonna guess you spent a lot more time on this one than on the other ones. [Actually, coming back at this comment later, I realize there were some visual glitches, but I guess I never stumbled upon them.]
The first thing that I realized when I looked at the stage thoroughly, was that in every way, it is incredibly great to look at. The textures are soft, expressive choices, that are appealing to the eye, and they don't get ugly at long distances. That alone is much more than can be said for almost every other level in the multiplayer pack. The multiple path variation is great too, and I love the way you used the vertical space in your map, taking another dimension of gameplay there. I found it absolutely exhilerating to run across the top bridges, boosted by the ample speed shoes. This was probably one of the first times when I would see a speed shoes box, and actually think "Yay! Just what I needed!" For that matter, the SRM's everywhere, although a mistake I'm sure, weren't an unhappy one. A few of the others agreed with me on this: The abundance of them made them a bit more than the rare treat that you lose fast, and instead seemed to make the way the game played out even more interesting. Another bonus was the huge bases. Instead of the normal problem that pervades most CTF or match maps, where there is stuff to get stuck on EVERYWHERE, there was plenty of room to maneuver around and pull some fancy tricks. In fact, at one point there was enough room for a full fledged raid on the red base, where all the players duked it out in somewhat close quarters. Annoying protrusions are one thing that seriously brings down the gameplay value in a lot of current maps, and I was relieved to see that your map didn't suffer from this. Overall, epic map, and I'm not exaggerating my enjoyment of it when I give it a 10.

Oh, while I'm at it, people complained about it being too long. Being probably the only person who somewhat enjoyed Angle Forest last contest, I don't really understand this complaint. Are people overly spoiled by easy as pie levels like Lime Forest? What does it matter if it is actually hard to make it back to the base alive? Just down the point limit if you really need to, and it's all good. In my opinion, capturing the flag should take more skill than just speeding through enemy fire, and be more of a test of the ability of the player to outrun, or stay out of enemy sights, while putting platforming skills to use. I guess a lot of people won't agree with me, but I think it's more a matter of opinion than absolute.

Mystical Heights Zone by Metal Fighter

6/10 - Decent
Wow... You had quite a dream when you made this map! It really is beautiful, and it merits a lot of appreciation from me just for that. The first time I played it, I was quite moved as I picked my way over the clouds, onto lone garden platforms. Yet, despite that, there is something about this map that makes me not want to play it, I wish I could go into more detail on what I don't like about it, but for some reason I can't figure out what it is.

White Pass Zone by Kuba11

6/10 - Decent
One of the first ice CTF levels I've seen in a while that I actually somewhat like. It was a very unique set up I thought, even thought the bases probably could have standed to have been twice as far apart as they are now. Not much specific to say about this map, except that I found it annoying to keep crashing into steps at high speeds. Oh, and it was too fun to grab a few bounce rings and spam the base, which is entirely flat, and vulnerable to it.

Sylvan Shrines Zone by Spherallic
7/10 - Good
Certainly a pretty map, and my favorite after Majestic Grove, but it suffers from a lot of MAJOR flaws. For one, the level lags for a lot of us, and that alone makes it really hard to dodge the many annoying obstacles. And again, these obstacles, it seems like they're everywhere, right in the way. I try to get anywhere, and BAM, I crash into a protruding fountain rim, or a stone step, or whatever the heck is there to get in my way. A few other things I have wrong with it also, but I won't bother going into them because the other people already mentioned them.
I did love the theme of the level, though, I thought it was very well executed. My favorite part of the stage was the floating platforms. Once I realized I could get on them, I was really excited, but sadly,my excitement went away once I realized it was too laggy for sniping.


Croissant Mountain Zone by D00D64
8/10 - Great
Talk about [Insert Cool Word Here] Zone.
A lot of people didn't like this for various reasons, but I have to say it was one of my favorites. I tested it for you a while ago, though, and I should have reported any of the flaws I found to you. But I didn't. :/
One of the things I LOVED about this stage, was that it reminded me of a Sonic R stage. I'm not sure what about it did, but nevertheless, the feeling was there, and I soaked it all in.
3 major flaws with it though:
Major character imbalance. It' REALLY easy to completely dominate with Tails or Knuckles.
Silly spikeballs, that are completely inappropriate for the theme of the level, and a cheap shot at stopping the player.
Small checkpoint sectors are too easy to miss.
With a little refining, this could actually be one awesome race map.
Of course, perhaps the reason it was my favorite was because I got 1st place against about 15 others? :D
Oh, and nice ":3" face off hidden on the cliffs.

Frozen Hall Zone by Metal Fighter
7/10 - Good
Everything I would have to say about this map is summed up in other peoples stuff. Either that, or I'm just getting lazy and don't want to write an more.


The Tortured Planet guy
I didn't say all joke maps are stupid (or rather, if I did, that's not what I meant). I just don't think they should be used to flood a contest to keep turnout high.

And need I say it again? The REDWALL is a mistake.


The Tortured Planet guy
I'm well aware of that. I just feel uncomfortable with people acting as though it was intentional. I want those points docked because I was too stupid to double-check my level header, not because I was too tasteless to realize how bad a REDWALL sky looked.


>WTB lamp oil
I didn't say all joke maps are stupid (or rather, if I did, that's not what I meant). I just don't think they should be used to flood a contest to keep turnout high.

Okay, understandable. I thought your reasoning was because they bring the contest average down.

And need I say it again? The REDWALL is a mistake.

I was aware of that. It's still ugly though. :D


Maybe out of retirement?
Okay, understandable. I thought your reasoning was because they bring the contest average down.
Seeing as his map will probably win the Match division, he kinda managed to disprove that point. Also, this wasn't the type of joke map that's intentionally bad. It just happened to be a total spamfest.


>WTB lamp oil
Seeing as his map will probably win the Match division, he kinda managed to disprove that point. Also, this wasn't the type of joke map that's intentionally bad. It just happened to be a total spamfest.

It only won because there was no serious competition. And even still, he obviously didn't spend as much time on it as he would have a serious map, so it still brings the average down, if you know what I mean. Not that it really matters, though.



Croissant Mountain Zone - 6/10
This was pretty, but hard to navigate, and was quite difficult for sure, I'm sure players with some c-lag will have deep trouble in this stage.

Frozen Hall Zone - 7/10
This was also very pretty, and very detailed as well, but also equally difficult. The only edge it has over its only competitor is that it flows nicer.

I doubt I'll do CTF or SP. CTF because of the lack of players for a replay, and SP because I'm frankly just not interested in playing it.

You honestly should, it's actually really good this month. :P
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The Tortured Planet guy
It only won because there was no serious competition. And even still, he obviously didn't spend as much time on it as he would have a serious map, so it still brings the average down, if you know what I mean. Not that it really matters, though.
Not to get technical, but if it wins, it will by definition have been the highest-rated map in the contest, which means that it will have brought the average up. It's simple statistics.

But yeah, I'm not gonna defend this map too fiercely. It is indeed highly flawed, largely due to insufficient testing. I think Greenflower Sunset is far and away a better level, but of course it never stood a chance against the masterpieces made by Thompson, Blade, and KO.T.E.
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