Voting + Reviews - SP 2021


Mid-tier Pixel Artist
hello gamers :threat:

Anyways you already know what this is gonna be, so let's get right into the reviews.

Every entry was played through with Sonic + Tails.
Flight was rarely used unless I found myself stuck.

Also using a ranking system based off the modern games cause lmao
S = Perfection (rarely given)
A = Quality
B = Decency
C = Mediocrity
D = Trainwreck (if you get this rank, your level design skills needs some work)


MAPS1 - Drenched Dam Zone
Clear Time: 1'12"65
Rank: D
A metal sonic race level hasn't really been tackled before, and it's nice that you are one of the first, buuuuuuut.....

This level is too cramped; There's too little space to run and build up speed, and the challenges you provide do nothing but build frustration within said claustrophobic spaces.

Minimum track width in Kart is 768mu, this is done to not only make the courses driveable, but to give the drivers space and room to go fast. BRZ1 got this right also by making the track itself very wide and using obstacles that (for the most part) don't stop your movement or flow.

Maybe take some lessons from kart level design before you try another thing like this, if you do so, the race stage will emerge 1000x better.

MAPS2 - Koopa Kastle Zone
Clear Time: 3'49"42
Rank: C
Damn, you used to make levels more open and varied than this, what happened?

It's not horrific, but there's quite a few problems with it.

I don't overly linear stages, but this one is too bland and repetitive. Not enough interesting stuff happening to justify multiple playthroughs.
On top of that, what's with you and your insistence on using old, outdated versions of badniks? The old pointy sucks, the new one still sucks, but it's much better due to the fact that it can't hover into you and stay there for a long period of time, increasing annoyance tenfold.

Not much to say on the Mario Maker 2 level, other than you're probably a madlad for including cross-game bs like this :wow:.

You can do better than this, go re-study skytop a/or magmor and figure out why they're so good, induce that sense of open-ness with your levels again.

MAPS3 - Emerald Glade Zone, Act 1
Clear Time: 2'34"77
Rank: D
I don't even know what to say about this level other than the fact that uhhhhhhhhhhhh

okay so uh, level design and making a map is a lot more than just making a box and putting a bunch of stuff in it.
You need to have, uhhhhhhh, actual design to the map.

Look at GFZ2, there's a main path that stretches through the level, as well as side-paths, sub-paths, and secrets.
There's verticality, landscapes, things to collect, stuff to run through, it's a lot more dense and packed than what you have here.

My suggestion is to aim lower and do a linear level; On top of that, read this guide on how to do general level design before you try your hand at it again.

Also, I'm not gonna sugarcoat it, your level is gonna be *torn to shreds*, in fact, it probably has been already, just don't get discouraged and try again and again and never give up, if you do that, as well as take and learn from criticism, you will probably make a good level one day, I promise.

MAPS4 - Abyss Caverns Zone
Clear Time: 1'36"20
Rank: B
For something that's rushed, this isn't a bad one. Decent flow, good speed, more than one pathway; Good job!
Not much to say about it either, other than it needs to have more level design stuff within it; Try and start earlier so you don't have to rush stuff mm'kay?

MAPS5 - Falcon Emissary Zone
Clear Time: 6'30"91
Rank: C
This map is a few short tweaks from greatness as it hits all the right spots except.....

- There's entirely too much enemies, should you stop for a second, it becomes annoying to shake them off.
- Some areas could use better directioning/visual cues; I can't list any examples, but I did get lost in this zone on at least one occasion.
- The high gravity area is a mess. Not only does *it* need better visual cues to tell the player that they are essentially crippled, but if you're gonna do a section like this, *don't* put enemies in that are not only clearly faster than me, but are designed to be destroyed by hitting them from the top without getting hit, which is an impossibility.

MAPS6 - Bombastic Beach Zone
Clear Time: 1'12"22
Rank: B
A short one. Nothing too terrible, although it's a bit small and needs to have bigger areas. Not much to say otherwise; It's okay.

MAPS7 - Music Mash Zone, Act 1
Clear Time: 6'09"31
Rank: C
You're *finally* getting the hang of things! Just a few problems.

Textures are an eyesore, and making just about *every* texture animated isn't helping.
You don't need to be an artist but, here are some tips for you.
Have a color scheme; don't pick colors at random.
Likewise, don't use every color under the sun, study basic color theory!
As a rule of thumb, bigger walls require bigger textures.
Having every texture animated makes things look overly busy, not everything needs to be brimming with detail; empty space (when used right) can convey a lot!
On top of that, textures made out of basic patterns can get very repetitive, very quickly. Try branching out with patterns, or create a bunch of similar looking (but not the same!) textures and mix & match between the two during mapping (APZs visuals was built off of both principles).

Challenges are hit and miss, the ones that hit are fine, but the others are still awkwardly designed.
Keep in mind when making a level, you are not designing for you, you are designing for the average player.
Remember to playtest your stage with others as well; You can DM me or anyone and ask them to help playtest your stage.
It will do a lot in terms of improving the quality of your stage.

Also, *please* look into the flow of a stage; If I start moving, the level design should not abruptly stop me, and if it must, it has to be a gradual slowdown.

MAPS8 - Zaxel's Thunder Yard
"Clear" Time: 5'29"54
Rank: B
fuck you zaxel

jokes aside.....

You did it! You made a good level!~

Open design, alternative paths, good flow and interesting easy-to-understand gimmicks, an optional challenge that causes you to approach the stage differently, This is great!
It's not perfect tho. A lot of enemies blend into the surroundings, resulting in a bunch of unfair "surprise motherfucker" hits.
Some multi hit enemies are also broken lmfoa.
Also the troll exit, while funny, is really uncalled for. I doubt you predicted that the final oldc pk3 will have infinite lives, but I doubt a game over would be better.
Your stage also overstays its welcome a bit.
Here's an example on how long a stage should probably be: Your typical Sonic stage lasts 2 - 3 minutes; 5 minutes is considered long, and anything past that is overkill.
The above is pretty much what's keeping me from giving it an A rank. You can do better!

MAPS9 - Teal Tundra Zone
Clear Time: 2'24"11
Rank: B

Nothing horrific here, just a level that is a bit big and empty.
Nothing wrong otherwise, in fact if you're using metal sonic or modern sonic or anything with a dash mode, this level is can actually get pretty fun!

MAPSA - Lava Temple Zone
Clear Time: 8'19"31
Rank: C

There are two paths in this stage.
The bottom one is horiffic.
I like the gimmick, but there's entirely too little directioning or visual cues to guide the player.
A lot of the challenges down there are meandering at best and frustrating at worst, it made me resent this stage on my first playthrough.

The top path however, have some challenges that are actually okay, with some of them being pretty creative and inventive; It's nothing amazing, but there's a valiant effort here to make things fun.
Try focusing on what you have on the top path instead of the bottom path, and *add visual cues; guide the player with your invisible hand.*

MAPSB - Ante-Station Zone
Clear Time: 6'94"20
Rank: funny
m a n

As the first axis2D level made in a long time, I hope people enjoy it, and I also hope this reinvigorates interest in Axis2D again.

MAPSC - Blizzard Bastion Zone
Clear Time: 4'05"45
Rank: D

yeah this isn't great.

The challenges here are awkward as hell to go through.

It reminds me a lot of Egg Rock now that I think about it, about how you rapid-fire different types of challenges and other stuff without introducing the player to them first.

What I mean by that is that; It's general game design law to introduce challenges in a safety net and gradually upping the difficulty of said challenges until the last one acts as a test of what you know.

You have potential, but you need to do a bit more research about how to do challenging levels before you try again.

Also, I've noticed you tried to have a global colormap by tagging every sector with it.
Here's a tip: Putting tag 65535 on a linedef has said linedef apply to every sector in the map to save you a bunch of trouble.

MAPSD - Mercury Mine Zone
Clear Time: 3'42"14
Rank: A

I love this zone. It's pretty straightforward, but it has damn good flow, a unique gimmick that simple and easy-to-understand, and, well, there's not much wrong I can find with it.

Other than the textures; They're too repetitive and have some pretty jarring color choices that go too hard on the saturation, without much depth or 3d-ness.
It could also use more stuff in it, some of the waterfall related challenges could be a bit more lenient, but other than those two points, Good Job!~

MAPSE - Fort Sunset Zone
Clear Time: 3'20"68
Rank: D


A small map. The goal is to collect 500 medals. The medals respawn after being collected.

How do you beat this map? You walk in circles. Repeatedly. The custom enemies pose no threat and getting hit by them increases the spent meandering here.

I did eventually find out this is supposed to be a special stage, but even the mp special stages don't make you walk in circles ad nauseum (2 or 3 times at the most!) :<.

MAPSF - Ridge Rapids Zone
Clear Time: 1'55"62
Rank: A

Yes, this is good.

Lots of verticality, it's pretty open, good flow, unique character-specific paths, I like it.

Not much I can find wrong with it, it may be a little small, but I can overlook that; Good job!~

MAPSG - Hollow Hill Zone, Act 1
Clear Time: 3'52"60
Rank: A

God these visuals are a t r e a t to the eyes.

And the level design fares incredibly well.
This is a damn fun stage that has a lot going for it, except some parts are kinda empty.

In fact the only thing holding it back is the fact that there are plenty of wide open areas that could've been used for some exploration, but instead end up being empty and sad.

Well, this was made in a week, and it was so close to perfection~
Stellar job!~

Now for the ranking of maps.

1. Ante-Station Zone (MY MAP)
2. Mercury Mine Zone
3. Hollow Hill Zone
4. Ridge Rapids Zone
5. Zaxel's Thunder Yard
6. Teal Tundra Zone
7. Abyss Caverns Zone
8. Bombastic Beach Zone
9. Falcon Emissary Zone
10. Lava Temple Zone
11. Music Mash Zone
12. Blizzard Bastion Zone
13. Koopa Kastle Zone
14. Fort Sunset Zone
15. Drenched Dam Zone
16. Emerald Glade Zone
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