Finally I can present the next three reviews to you. These took me a very long time to finish once again (sorry about that!).
I hope I can pick up the pace to be able to post a lot more reviews before the submission time ends.
While the level is fun to play it isn't particularly memorable and comes with various issues that brought your design score down by quite a bit. First of I found the level to be a little too long. After knowing how to play it I still finish with only about 50 seconds left when I attempt to collect all yoshi coins.
Other than that the level has unfortunately two bigger issues recurring multiple times throughout the level:
1. You need to watch out for blind jumps. Especially in the first section quite a few of them are unavoidable and can easily lead to death. Examples include the section in which you have to bring the p-switch (see here
) and the way to the second yoshi coin in which the coins at the top are very misleading.
2. The second bigger problem is the at times very questionable and random enemy placement. Reasons for that are for example enemies that cannot hurt you at all (example given in my comments on the cave section) or only rarely because they for example fall of the platform. What's worse though are the enemies that fall from the sky at random leaving you no time to react. This especially accurres in the first section.
Overall I think this section is ok but suffers the most from the previously mentioned errors out of all sections. I liked the non-linearity (climb the mountain to get the item you have to use at the bottom the section) and exploration bits. Not sure if it's intended but you can skip a part of the level by using the boost of the paragoomba in screen 16 instead of having to grab the springboard. Also if you lose your items (p-switch, springboard) there is no way to reset the level you might wanna add in a reset door for that.
Other than the yoshi coin placements I didn't find this section all to interesting. The third one requires you to do some simple but fun koopa jumps to get it. For the fourth one you have to climb the cloud tree to the top which would be pretty fun if it wasn't for the unnecessary diagonal bullet generator. Also your way down after getting the yoshi coin is full of blind jumps. Also that might just be me being dumb but I struggled for a bit to find the exit of the section. Sure the green coin gives a decent hint but since the route for the yoshi coin is actually easier to get to and find I thought that would be your usual path to the exit.
A mostly decent but also forgettable section that gets really crowded in the end (three chucks on one screen is way too much). In comparison it feels really short, I would have like to see more of it. Some of the sprite placements should be changed like the bats on the skull ride that are unable to hit you.
You make great use of the new Lunar Magic 3.0 features and offer some neat bits to explore. Especially the yoshi-coins were always a treat to hunt down. Other than that I'm unfortunately having a hard time finding aspects in which the level stands out as it lacks unique and clever setups that stick with you. Memorable sections often come down to interesting sprite placement. My biggest recommendation is therefore to rework the sprite placements (along with removing the blind jumps) as that would not only make your level more fair but could also make it all the more memorable.
The first section has a very neat background. I really enjoy the decoration as well but at times it feels a bit too much (especially the berries).
Section two looks mostly decent but some of the cloud platforms are cutoff and I don't know if there is an easy way for you to fix it. Big ups for the idea of the sky trees though.
The third section offers some quite unusual decorations for a cave level. The grass works really well in my opion but I don't really like the monty holes and berries and would have prefered the usual lava palette instead.
This level offers some super clever setups however quite a few section are very tight or tedious to play. A problem that goes hand in hand with it is the difficulty that is all over the
place. For the most part I'd say it's medium and very fair. Some of the jumps however I still can't beat damageless after attempting them multiple times.
00-01: The very first dolphin jump is already super tight and not a nice way to welcome players. I'd suggest to build up the difficulty throughout the level instead of having one of the trickiest sections at the very beginning. The second dolphin jump is way more fitting but it's easier to just ignore the dolphin instead and just jump over the spike on your own (not sure if intended).
02: The piranha plant fire can go behind the trees which could lead to unfair hits.
03: I like the way the urchin were used here, very clever.
04: This section has one spike (marked in red) that is way to difficult to avoid (screenshot
05-06: These screens feel quite empty in comparison if you don't go for the bonus route.
07-08: Both dolphin setups are fair, fun to play and offer multiple ways of getting past these sections. I like that!
09-0A: Now we finally get to the section I've been wanting to talk about all along. This section took me incredible long to figure out as I didn't think it was safe to stand on the dolphins. And now that I know on how to do get past the section it's still very hard to pull of as there is very little room for error.
The rest of the room is much easier and not all too memorable, the bowser statue was used interestingly though.
It's a super short section that I like quite a lot. The jumps are quite difficult to do but all very much doable on your fist try. Thumbs up!
One of the very first setups in this section contains my biggest issue with the level. I'm talking about this jump here (screenshot
). It's a very minor aspect that has a massive impact in my opinion. If you look closely at the screenshot you can see that I'm currently falling. This happens on every cycle when the platform reaches it's highest spot. You fall for a very short time in which you're unable to jump and that is exaclty where my problem lies. You're expected to jump to the other platform on a very short time frame when the platform is at the top position. Most of the times I try jumping I end up just running off the platform. To beat the section I wait for about 5 or 6 cycle to get a chance to safely make this jump and even then I still don't get it very often. Please note that this might be a very personal issue that only I'm having as I didn't have anywhere as much trouble with any of the other sections. The rest of the level has some great platforming going on that I had tons of fun with.
The fist half offers tons of clever ideas and setups. I especailly dig that you decided to use dolphins as they are rarely used (creatively / outside of bonus rooms). While their setups are often the most difficult ones of the entire level, I can't deny that the setups are very clever. Also I enjoyed that you put a lot of effort into hiding 1-ups to encourage exploration. The second half offers tons of creative sections as well with the moving platforms with the neat idea of having the line guides be invincible.
The level has a beautiful atmosphere supported be fitting music and unusual palettes (low (first half) or very high saturation (second half)). I also love how much effort an thought you put into the decorations. This would easily be a 9/10 if it wasn't for the spikes that are way to hard to see. Every thread should be clearly so I'd advice against hiding them in the ground or behind decoration.
First of I'm sorry but I'll skip giving a rating for this one. It's pretty clear that your level goes way above the normal difficult scale of a VLDC level. It is to be expected that not all VLDC judges are casual kaizo players and could therefore struggle a lot with this level savestateless or even with savestates (maybe even to the point where they will give up).
What kind of put me off was that the start of the level gives off a very different impression as it's quite easy to play. And it was only at the first very tight required fish jump that I realised that this level is actually very challenging. About two screens later (see screenshot) was were I gave up my savestateless attempt as I didn't know how to progress and I didn't expect the solution to be that difficult to pull off!.
I did play through the level once though with savestates. For a kaizo level I'd say it's alright. Threre are some very nice ideas in there but the overall repetitiveness of some setups (constant fish-hopping) and lack of proper timing (e.g. fish-hopping requires you to stop at multiple times ruining the flow of these section) especially in the second half. To name some of the interesting ideas: I enjoyed the gimmick of the very last section. You also put in a lot of effort to hide yoshi coin and other bonuses.
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