Originally posted by AnybodyAgrees
SNN, this is the final version to place in the ROM.
No, it's not. Once we testers are satisfied with your level, we
suggest to S.N.N. that it's ready for insertion. Not you. Would you kindly...not do that again.
Your level is named "POW Path," but it's only a 'path' in the metaphorical sense because most of the level takes place on girders (not so nitpicky when you look at the next sentence). Also, you really don't make much use of P-whatever shenanigans here, certainly not anything novel enough to justify its inclusion after the SMWCP debacles. Yeah, there's a short trek to a very obvious "bonus" area, a short backtrack around the goal roulette, a small hop, skip, and jump to an On/Off switch, and an inexcusably long return journey for a smwcoin, but all of these seem tangential
, NOT central
, to the level design. If this level has a theme, I really couldn't tell you what it is. There's just nothing exciting about the ways you use the p-whatevers. We've seen all of that before, and recently, too. You have to learn how to look at old things in new ways if you want to make this kind of level. Ask around, find levels that use p-stuff well, brainstorm more ideas, do something
You're not making good use of Firephoenix's tileset, to be blunt. I'll tell you again, look at Firephoenix's level. He arranges the girders such that they suggest a construction environment. Many of them follow the contours of the ground, make use of diagonal supports, have cantilevered platforms, vary in height, length, and shape, are generally pleasing to look at, and have a certain level of complexity/detail without going overboard. In contrast, your level looks like a repetitive set of airborne girders placed in a row. Many of the tiles are just long and straight, continuing off into the distance...not very exciting at all.
Well, let's just go to a screen-by-screen analysis so I can be more specific.
00-01: Eh, surrounding the P-quarter and the question block with stuff looks kind of odd to me. Besides, the formations are pretty clumsy to navigate around, and it feels almost like a narrow passageway going under them- not really the effect you want in an early grassland/girder stage. I suppose the goomba/sliding koopa combo is ok, but somehow it feels like a weak start.
02-06: I'm not against alternate paths, but this top part is basically a long, straight girder with a couple of enemies on top for supposed justification.
The bottom path has pretty much no enemies, and moreover contains a jump of debatable tastefulness. This isn't gym class: you don't really need to test Mario's jump length to the fullest so early in the game. I question the use of one-tile-wide blocks, too, and in general there are quite a few places to fall here, but the enemies aren't very threatening at all, so what kind of difficulty are you aiming for exactly? I'm getting mixed messages.
The amount of backtracking required for that smwcoin is utterly ridiculous, and the bonus room location is painfully obvious (this isn't the first level of the game).
Bonus Room 1: Pretty much the same comments as two paragraphs above, and the area is very spacey. The location of the 1up is fine, but it would be nice if you could use the spring without hitting the right edge of the girder beneath the pipe. Also, the entrance is a little strange, maybe because it's so high up. I know you want to show that Mario's falling, but it helps to have something there as a frame of reference.
06-07: Mario has misleading hitboxes when running on walls, and besides, having to wait for the parakoopas to come back down is pretty annoying.
07-08: This is kind of a blind drop, and players have to process that there's a shell-kicking koopa there and
potentially dodge a bullet bill as well. You don't know whether players are going to drop down or jump forward here, so it doesn't seem very fitting for where the level is in the game.
09-0A: Well, I liked how you hid the 3up moon (which, by the way, does NOT need a sublevel of its own), but other than that, this section is pretty boring for me. You could have a much more involved mini-puzzle here or something, but nope, all you do is hit a switch in the same way we've already gotten used to and move on. Your designs can't exist in a vacuum, you know? You have to go beyond what you've already seen other levels do with p-stuff, even if it's just a variation on a theme. This usage is too basic; it lacks depth.
0D-0E: I have no idea why this vertical girder is here. Since you can reach it by bouncing on that parakoopa, you could
move the platform next to the goal roulette higher and put a smwcoin there, if you're so inclined.
0E-10: I've seen this used in SMWCP too (Pun intended
. Take that, parentheticals of solidarity!), and eh, I don't think it adds much, but again, that might also be because everything is so flat
. You're seemingly rushing the design and trying to avoid thinking about the architecture, but architecture is quite germane to good level design, and you have to think about it. Oh, and generally I think it's a better idea not to leave a patch of empty space at the end there, unless for some reason you want
players to think that maybe there's something there if they just jump a litt- oh fiddlesticks.
Essentially, like I said before, there's even less going on here than Firephoenix's stage...and considering his is the first level of the game, that's definitely not good. Personally I think the entire stage needs to be redesigned, maybe not from scratch, but you really need to modify everything. The architecture falls flat, the sprites are too sparse, and the mechanics too bland.
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