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[Fan Judge] pyros bad review thread of badness (closed, gl everyone!!)
Forum Index - Sunken Ghost Ship - Old Contests & Events - The 10th Annual Vanilla Level Design Contest - [Fan Judge] pyros bad review thread of badness (closed, gl everyone!!)
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This review thread is now closed due to the deadline F A S T A P P R O A C H I N G. GL everyone in the main contest!!!! <3

96 - idol
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9 - WhoNeedsAUsername


Hi! You may know me as that one MaGL3 judge. I wanted to do this for a bit because I found Frost's thread from last year super entertaining and helpful, and I kind of wanted to copy that thread so I could just play all the levels and give feedback and hopefully make some levels better idk....? Since GlitchMr beat me to making a review thread I kinda hesitated to make mine but eventually he pressured me into making this ;-;. I also wanted to make this thread because after my trainwreck of MaGL3 judging I kinda want to practice more judging, get better at scoring and writing comments, and kind of 'redeem' the MaGL3 judging? idk.

Be warned that these scores are very subject to change, as I'll get a better idea of the rubric the more levels I play. I also kind of say kind of a lot so please dont judge me ;-; without further ado, hereee's some reviews i guess!!!

Design and Execution: 38/50
Design Creativity and Aesthetic Creativity: 15/30
Aesthetics and Polish: 14/20
Overall: 67/100
Nice, simple level. It's pretty much pure platforming - there's no fancy gimmicks or anything, it's just some nice setups with the rotating and moving platforms and that's basically it. The beginning is kind of slow, and some of the enemy placements don't really make any sense (namely, the fire pirahna at the beginning which basically can never hit you), but later in the level the setups get much better, with some well-designed setups with lotuses and such. I think really the one issue I have with the later part of the level is the second lotus - you can hug the right side of the screen and dodge the lotus completely while just waiting for the autoscroll to move. The rest of the level is pretty good, though it's nothing super interesting or anything. It's a nice, simple level overall, and I think its simplicity helps it a lot. I kinda wish there was more of it, but honestly what's here is fine.

Design and Execution: 27/50
Design Creativity and Aesthetic Creativity: 18/30
Aesthetics and Polish: 10/20
Overall: 55/100
Hmmm. This level is kind of conflicting. I honestly find the first half incredibly dull - the palettes are really desaturated and there are very few interesting setups. I think the only one I kind of like is the one with the ninji jumping on to the 1F0 so you have to jump under it. Otherwise, it's just kind of the most basic possible uses of 1F0, and it feels veeerry similar to Moon Temple from VLDC9 (by the same person wowie). It's pretty easy in comparison to the rest of the level as well. Then you get to the second half, which I have...mixed feelings about. On one hand, the setups are much more interesting, and I like the sliding thwimp setups quite a lot, but on the other hand, the second half feels much longer than the first half and it has issues conveying what you're supposed to do. The jumps under yellow pipes off sliding brown platforms feel pretty dumb and precise, and the third sliding platform ride basically gives you no indication whatsoever that you have to spinjump on the thwomp. The run with the moving platforms give no indication that you're just supposed to keep going and run as fast as possible to be able to land on the brown platform. The brown platform setups also feel obnoxiously precise as well, especially since dying means you have to redo a bunch of the second half with all the thwimp sliding setups and such. The brown platform sliding over 1F0 just in general feels way too trial and error-y and not that fun. This level is honestly pretty conflicting to me because some of the 2nd half is honestly great but other setups are just ranging from very dull to obnoxious. Also, that unmoving 'sun' bothers me, especially because it goes in front of the mountain.

Wind Fish
Design and Execution: 19/50
Design Creativity and Aesthetic Creativity: 10/30
Aesthetics and Polish: 15/20
Overall: 44/100
"Bowel Relaxation". That's a level title that definitely makes a good first impression ;p. I'm not really sure what this level has to do with bowels tho. It has sewer water, I guess? The whole level is kind of dull. It has an invisible coin block gimmick, but it's used in a very barebones way and the level rarely does anything interesting with it. Swooper placements don't really work because they tend to just swoop down and go below Mario instead of a place where you actually have to dodge them. The Koopa and Goomba placements aren't threatening. And then the level just throws in a DC secret exit for no reason, which kind of lead to just unnecessarily padding out the time I spent on the level just trying to hunt the DCs down. The DCs were probably the best part of the level, though, because some of them (namely the 2nd one) are hidden pretty cleverly and I like the little bonus room where you have to jump on the swoopers. Once you get all the DCs it kinda just makes a door appear and ends the level on a tacked-on P-Switch run that is also a random reference to this guy's VLDC9 level. Overall, it's kind of a meh level that doesn't really go anywhere.

Super Stivboy
Design and Execution: 20/50
Design Creativity and Aesthetic Creativity: 12/30
Aesthetics and Polish: 7/20
Overall: 39/100
How did Night of Semiramis get so low- ok I'll stop. In all seriousness...uuuhhhh... Uuuh, yeah. This level's pretty bad. It already gives a great first impression by having eye-searing pink palettes, and it goes downhill from there. The level for some reason really loves to lable literally everything that's placed, with words like "COINS", "JUMP", "MIDWAY", and "HURT" strewn everywhere for no reason. The sprite replacements are dumb and at some points legitimately hinder the gameplay - I got completely caught offguard by the fake thwomp, and of course it's the only one in the level. The level places sprites randomly, never really sticking to a central gameplay theme and focusing more on its wacky sprite replacements and extremely bright palettes. The level even adds neon in the 2nd and 4th sections, and it looks really bad because everything is just absurdly bright. The flashing trio platforms look pretty neat though. The fourth section is pretty dumb too, since it adds autoscroll for no reason and focuses more on presenting a disorienting perspective rather than actually giving quality gameplay. It's literally designed extremely lazily, it resorts to bland muncher jumps and bullet generators. Obstacles spread throughout the level are sometimes nonsensical and pose no threat - one that sticks out to me is the random turn block magikoopa magic setup labeled "TRIPLE". There's no reason for the magic to be there. You just hit the blocks and all die. You could literally remove the magic and the gameplay would be the same. There's also some random pointless pswitch in the 3rd room?? Unless there's some obtuse pswitch door I didn't find. I only found four of the DCs. The one thing I can give this level really is that some of the aesthetic IDEAS are neat. The sun looks pretty cool, and I honestly found it adorable how you put the Japanese temporary text that's overridden with regular animations in the ground. The perspective stuff in the autoscroll section is a pretty good idea, it's just coupled with pretty bad gameplay. And as I said earlier, I kinda like the neon trio platform. Overall I like the ideas present, but the gameplay is just so random and not thought through that it's just not a good level.

Will do some more tomorrow. Feedback on the comments and such is appreciated! <3
Thanks for the review! I think I'll add a message saying "Don't run under the bats!" That way they'll be more threatening. #tb{:p}
Layout by Erik557
You don't know the meaning of V A P O R W A V E

EDIT: Sorry about that, i was disrespectful.
Finished Hacks

In progress

Snorunt just gave you a detailed break down of your level and that's all you have to say?
Furthermore, vaporwave was crafted as an almost parody of 80's consumerist culture and marketing graphics. Your level contains none of these elements.
Oh man whoever stickied this thx!!!! I'm kinda flattered honestly lol~

Gamma V
Design and Execution: 15/50
Design Creativity and Aesthetic Creativity: 10/30
Aesthetics and Polish: 16/20
Overall: 41/100
I do like the idea of a beach filled with shells and the whole level being based around koopas, but unfortunately this whole level is an easy, dull romp. It looks fine aesthetically, though I do question the choice to insert shells into the ground randomly, but the level design leaves much to be desired. The level only uses koopas in extremely basic ways, and none of the obstacles are diffiuclt bar the two or three times where you get surprise attacked by a kicker koopa. So my experience was mostly just wandering through the level wondering if anything was going to happen and then occasionally getting hit by a bullshit kicker koopa. The secret exit is probably the best part about the level, but only because that's the only part of the level that actually requires you to kind of think at all. Nothing else really stands out, and the level just in general never does anything with its koopa gimmick. I also had trouble telling which shells were blocks and which were sprites - I realize there's a palette difference but it's incredibly subtle, and I feel like it'd be much easier to differentiate them if the blocks were all consistently not the first frame of the shell sprite. But uh, yeah, overall it's a dull rompy level with a random aesthetic gimmick basically thrown on to it.

Design and Execution: 4/50
Design Creativity and Aesthetic Creativity: 2/30
Aesthetics and Polish: 5/20
Overall: 11/100
Well, if you really did try to make a bad and short level, you did it! It's literally some empty screens with koopas, then random turn block wall, then some random banzais, chucks and hammer bros. and then oh look the goal post. I found the dragon coins completely by accident and they're complete bullshit (they're above the screen?!?!!??!). Uuuh. I guess that's it? This honestly feels like a joke submission. I guess I had fun in the level but that was mostly due to me replaying it and discovering the turn block wall was made out of those feather bounce blocks, so I just spawned a ton of feathers and glitched out Yoshi by bringing in the one from my first playthrough. But uh, yeah, I guess this level exists????

Design and Execution: 10/50
Design Creativity and Aesthetic Creativity: 7/30
Aesthetics and Polish: 15/20
Overall: 32/100
This level is kind of a complete trainwreck. Aesthetics were very obviously the first priority here and while I do like them, the level design suffers a LOT because of it. The sections are very short and haphazardly designed, with typically only one of any sprite used in the whole level. It seems like the creator just picked a sprite set and just randomly placed down what they could find in the sprite window and called it a day. Due to the short sections, the level feels incredibly unfocused and ends up being just a string of easy setups that just isn't all that fun to play. The level even just resorts to random muncher jumps when it couldn't really think of anything else to do. And on top of the main level being pretty poor, there's a random secret exit tacked on in it - after the midpoint you literally just make an easy jump to a door and the key is right there. It's completely pointless and just adds extra playtime to the level for no reason. Overall, it's really not a good level, and I'd highly suggest to make the level a lot more focused and have just a few long sections instead of a bunch of unfocused, messy short ones.

Design and Execution: 42/50
Design Creativity and Aesthetic Creativity: 24/30
Aesthetics and Polish: 18/20
Overall: 84/100
This level is super nice! It's probably one of the best usages of Blaargs I've seen - you rarely see Blaargs used outside dull Skull Raft rides, let alone vertical shafts and stuff like P-Switch runs. The whole level feels very fast paced, but mostly fair because the Blaargs always give you a warning where you're there. The Blaargs are placed well most of the time and make you have to do fun curvy jumps to dodge them. And the fast-paced segments with the sinking rocks are pretty fun too. It's a really well designed level for the most part - there are some setups I'm not a huge fan of, though. In the second half, there's one podoboo on this screen that caught me off guard and killed me a couple times - it's not really well telegraphed and it's difficult to react to and dodge in the first place because you're most likely trying to not get dunked into lava by the rock platforms. The other one that bothers me is the double parakoopa jump right before the goal post - if the player pauses to get the dragon coin or something, chances are that the parakoopas have already flown outside of the jumping range and you'll just get killed right before the goal post because you didn't predict that you had to keep running and you can't recover since it's all sinking platforms. But other than those two setups, the level is very well designed. I'm a huge fan of those Blaarg shafts, and I'm not really sure why - they just strike me as really clever and a nice way to use Blaargs. The secret exit is pretty great, too - it's well telegraphed where it is but it's not super obvious, and the room itself is interesting because it takes the level's main gimmick and adds a new twist to it (swimming through water clouds). It's just as well designed as the main path, and some of the setups are legit pretty difficult. Overall it's just a super nice level!!

Design and Execution: 28/50
Design Creativity and Aesthetic Creativity: 16/30
Aesthetics and Polish: 12/20
Overall: 56/100
Ooof. An otherwise good level, soured by one thing. The first and third rooms' design range from average to great depending on what's involved - I really like the setups for the first two dragon coins in particular. The big boo fight is pretty nice, though it's nothing super innovative or anything. Then there's the second room. The room is designed pretty well, except for the fact that half the sprites in the room have a habit of not spawning at all. And since it's a vertical level and there's lots of one-way ropes around, it becomes impossible to try and scroll them back onscreen. Since most of the sprites in that section (dolphins and wall springboards), this forces you to kill yourself. Yeah. And it's a shame too, because I like the design, especially how you can get some rewards for knowing about the statue activation glitch, though I do feel like the reward for doing two setups is a bit overkill (a dragon coin, a moon, and a pointless secret exit. ok). The whole level has the same theme of using bowser statues, though I feel like the level also feels a bit unfocused because it tends to jump around with which sprites it uses for each obstacle; but it's not really a huge issue. It's a solid level outside of the spawning glitch, and if that's fixed I'm willing to bump this up around like 7-10 points. Also that is an INCREDIBLY weird remix. Also, I got stuck here.

Design and Execution: 37/50
Design Creativity and Aesthetic Creativity: 17/30
Aesthetics and Polish: 16/20
Overall: 70/100
Pretty nice and simple level that uses 1F0! Some of the setups are pretty basic, but there are also some that I really like, namely some of the ones involved to get dragon coins. I really like the one where you have to spawn the bouncing chuck and bounce on it as it's flying by - it's honestly super clever. Though in general I think that this level's biggest flaw is that most of its setups with 1F0 have just been done already - everyone's seen basic koopa hopping/rock spinjumping setups with it, everyone's seen the fast rope ride with it, etcetra etcetra. It ends up being a cute level that is mostly made up of simple setups that have been done before with a few pretty clever setups. Coincidentally, most of the setups I consider clever involve chucks ;p. My fav is probably the one right at the end with the triple bouncing chucks, it's kind of awesome. I also really like the aesthetics? They're really nice and simple and the kirby music is <3. Overall, a cute and fun level, but I don't think that it's anything super innovative or anything.
Been pretty busy for these past few days but I squeezed in some reviews tonight.

Design and Execution: 16/50
Design Creativity and Aesthetic Creativity: 10/30
Aesthetics and Polish: 15/20
Overall: 41/100
Quite a unique aesthetic. That's really the only thing that stands out to me in this level, though. It's a kind of dull, 'there' autoscroller. A difficulty curve definitely exists, but it goes from "extremely incredibly easy" to "very easy". The setups are extremely basic, which is especially surprising here because Grinders are a sprite you can very easily get a ton of mileage out of, but here they're really only used a few times and all in basic straight lines. And for a level called 'Net So Fast', it really doesn't make that much use of the nets - there's only a few sets of them, the flipping panels seem to have just been put there out of obligation, and the climbing koopas are barely a threat. Most of the setups and enemies aren't really a threat, in fact, mostly because it's a slow autoscroller that gives you plenty of Fire Flowers, allowing you to melt anything as soon as it comes onscreen. I'd suggest making the level more difficult - I WOULD suggest making it faster scrolling but considering it's called 'Net So Fast' I think that'd be kind of defeating the purpose ;p. Right now, the level has potential, and a unique aesthetic to go along with it, but it doesn't really bring strong gameplay to the table.

Design and Execution: 5/50
Design Creativity and Aesthetic Creativity: 9/30
Aesthetics and Polish: 15/20
Overall: 29/100
I couldn't beat this. I got stuck at the part with the Yoshi block. I have no idea what to do. And uumm, yeah, this level is really bad. Normal exit is an obvious decoy throwaway thing so I don't really have anything to say about it. The secret exit, though...The level tells you you're already not in for a good time when the level starts with you waiting 25 SMW seconds for a Wiggler to walk all the way across a platform and back just so you can make one jump. Every time you die. Then you have some really easy jumps and then the Yoshi block and I got stuck there. There's no way to get the kicker koopa to kick the red shell as far as I know and trying to get the kicker koopa to slide across the gap to the right so you can jump on it is incredibly and obnoxiously inconsistent and probably impossible. I'm honestly completely confused because I previewed the rest of the level and there are setups you can beat without touching the ground but others that are just straight up impossible? Unless you have to do Wiggler RNG wrangling and if that's the case then please delete this level and replace it with something actually good thanks. I'm pretty sure using a blue shell to fly over the level is the intended solution but I have no idea how to even get Yoshi out of the block? I'm legit completely stuck and I can't even figure it out with rewinds. It also doesn't help that I've seen this gimmick before done much better with much more creative setups. The level is a combination of incredibly boring and incredibly confusing and I just do not want to play it.

Roberto zampari
Design and Execution: 28/50
Design Creativity and Aesthetic Creativity: 12/30
Aesthetics and Polish: 12/20
Overall: 52/100
nice secret exit tbh (fix ur message box pls thx). In all seriousness though, I like the general ideas present here (throw blocks with monty moles, lots of sparkies, the moving platform setups) but I really don't feel like they were used very well. All the setups just kinda feel like introductory stuff, with the exception of the sparkies which kind of get used but not really. There's a bunch of stuff here, like the math platforms, rexes, etc that could be removed and replaced with extensions of these good ideas. The ideas and potential is THERE, it's just not expanded on as much as I think it could. As it stands, though, it's just 'okay', which, again, I'm kinda sad about because some of the sparky setups are pretty good. I also kind of question the inclusion of a random Roy fight at the end but w/e. I also don't think the disco light adds that much to the second half and it could probably be removed - it just really makes you stop and lean in on the screen and it doesn't really add much of a challenge.

pyro, my friend, please use some line breaks in these here reviews!

Switch: SW-2766-9108-9399Twitter: @Vine_STYouTube: that ivy guy
Cheers for the review. Like others have who have reviewed my level it's safe to say your hit the nail on the head.

Thanks :')
hey kdeee your filename for your bps is too long for my computer to allow me to do anything with it lmao

Originally posted by Ivy
pyro, my friend, please use some line breaks in these here reviews!

is it that big of an issue '^'

Design and Execution: 18/50
Design Creativity and Aesthetic Creativity: 7/30
Aesthetics and Polish: 13/20
Overall: 38/100
A cute janky first timer level - I was kind of sad to see it end so quickly, because there's inklings of good ideas in here. There are a few setups I like, mostly the ones involving Lotuses, but the majority of the level is just kind of sprites being there. There's also the Sumo Bro/Pitchin Chuck combo setup, which is actually pretty interesting to figure out and get through unscathed, but then I noticed you can literally just jump over it. The rest of the level is just really a first timer level. And like I said earlier, it ends really quickly - I out loud said "wait what" when I saw the goal post because I spent like a minute playing it. I wish there was more of this, though! Don't be afraid to create more difficult setups like the Sumo Bro/Chuck one - I can see potential here, but it's really not realized. Honestly, I don't really have much else to say - the ideas are here, but it just ends so quickly and there's kind of a lack of gameplay that left me with a sort of sad feeling?? lol. It's a start tho!!! <3

Design and Execution: 36/50
Design Creativity and Aesthetic Creativity: 15/30
Aesthetics and Polish: 16/20
Overall: 67/100
Pretty cool level. I can tell you definitely drew inspiration from a few VLDC9 levels, namely Matterhorn, and a bit of Unsettling Bastion with the Pokey resprites. The ideas in the level are really nice, and I really like the layer 2 sections - they're a pretty good usage of it, though I do have an issue with that in that the Podoboos kind of work weirdly with the Layer 2 lava. Since the lava is moving but the Podoboos' positions after they go invisible aren't, it lead to a surprise attack by a Podoboo (to be specific, the third one) that happened because it appeared way higher than I expected it to. I have probably two other issues - first, the first dragon coin is kind of dumb. I went up there to check but it's not up against the wall and fairly high up so I didn't realize it was up there until I checked Lunar Magic. The other issue I have is probably the part in the first half where the platform falls off and you have to spinjump on a Pokey - I feel like the line guide track there could just be a tile or two longer to give the player a little more reaction time. I also sorta feel like the positions of the Podoboos could be marked more? But it's not really a huge issue or anything. Other than that, it's a pretty good level, though I kinda feel like the gimmick of water and lava could have been used more but imo the length is fine as is. Very solid.

Design and Execution: 44/50
Design Creativity and Aesthetic Creativity: 27/30
Aesthetics and Polish: 15/20
Overall: 86/100
SWISS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Oooh man this level is cool. It has a ton of cool setups based off the wall springboard glitch, and I'm glad someone made a level for this contest that just expands so much more on the gimmick than Aperture Laboratory did. There's just so many setups I really love in this level, especially the one with the koopa shell in the cave area. And the mushroom scale one for the dragon coin. And the whole room with the boo cloud. Aaaaahhhh it's so good ;w;. The gimmick is just used sooo well and I love it. I have a few nitpicks and suggestions, though. Nitpicky thing in the first section, you probably shouldn't put the first shell behind shrubbery ;p. This really isn't an issue at all, it's just kind of a thing that bugs me. Second thing, the setup with the eater block and the Pitchin' Chuck feels kind of pointless. I get the idea that you have to manouver around the baseballs while looping, but as it stands you can sort of just hang out in the center and just loop past all the baseballs. I'd probably add like another pitchin chuck or something, just to make it more threatening. Also I feel like the drop for the dragon coin in the boo cloud room could have like a tile or so more leeway because right now it seems pretty difficult to drop in the hole, loop around, and dodge both the boo cloud and squeeze in in time so you don't get crushed by the muncher wall. Besides that, though, this level is SUPER good, and one of my favorites I've played so far. It just uses its gimmick sooo well. Aaah gushing <3 <3 <3

Design and Execution: 8/50
Design Creativity and Aesthetic Creativity: 5/30
Aesthetics and Polish: 3/20
Overall: 16/100
This is a really weird starts out fine, a typical SMW castle level, but there are some setups that remind me of other SMW levels quite a lot, namely the kicker koopa setup right at the beginning which seems taken straight out of Vanilla Dome 4. Then the midpoint appears about 4 screens in, then you go to the second half which is literally an edit of Bowser's Back Door with every single sprite except the disco ball removed and autoscroll added. The entire section is completely devoid of sprites. The actual architecture of the room is also edited to just be completely empty. Then there's just a pipe and the level goal. And then the secret exit...which, uh...okay. You have to get the moon, then go over the level and fly to some random goal post that's way far out past the first half. It's entirely random and serves no purpose whatsoever. Also there are only 4 Dragon Coins. It's a really baffling level that's incredibly short and just does stuff that I really don't understand. Like, what?? :chuckmagnetface:

Design and Execution: 20/50
Design Creativity and Aesthetic Creativity: 14/30
Aesthetics and Polish: 10/20
Overall: 44/100
nnngg that rogueport sewers port bleeeh its not very good lmao................and uuh, yeah. This level has some issues. Aesthetics stick out because it's a pretty big issue being able to actually tell what's solid and what's not, namely the pipes, and for some reason in the second half there's these boxes with the same palette as solid boxes from the first half but now they're behind fences so they're suddenly not solid? I really think a good amount of the BG elements could be darkened, right now it's pretty confusing. In terms of level The first room, the underground one, it just really consists of waiting for monty moles to pop out of the ground so you don't get hit by them. Second room is probably my favorite, mostly because it actually feels like a kind of challenge since the rip van fishes are all after you thanks to a whistling chuck. Third room is just kinda there, there's some random usage of sparkies that isn't really threatening, a random ambush by a pitchin chuck after a wall triangle, and a special guest appearence by 1F0 that doesn't really get much use. And also for some reason by the punting chuck + 1F0 setup, there's some water in the pit where the rightmost tiles of it aren't actually water but the leftmost tiles are?? There's also a bonus room in the first room with one of the dagadons which is completely glitched out graphically. So uuh, yeah. It's a very eh level. I'm not sure if I really like it.
only two today since the second level killed me

Design and Execution: 43/50
Design Creativity and Aesthetic Creativity: 30/30
Aesthetics and Polish: 17/20
Overall: 90/100
Man, this is such a cool level. Really neat usage of the eater blocks and Sumo Bros. lightning in the first half, and the second half is amazing. I think really my one major issue with this level would be that the first half of the level kind of feels like it has issues telling you what you have to do the first time you play it? With the later setups I found myself just getting hit and dying pretty quickly after getting to new stuff just not knowing what to expect. But I'm not sure how much of this was just me playing badly, because after a try or two I got it and got to the midpoint just fine. And on a replay through it, I could get through the setups fine too. So, I'm not really sure what I'd suggest to improve it? Maybe add a few coin guides or something, idk. Second half is reeally cool though, that behavior with the Sumo Bros. lightning is incredibly weird and it's used in really neat ways, and the setups with the growing vines are very well designed. And the resprites are kind of adorable, I love the smol marios replacing the growing vines it's great <3. It's not something that's really in your face with its greatness, but it's just a level that's designed incredibly well and displays some very weird vanilla behaviors. Fantastic job!!

Design and Execution: 5/50
Design Creativity and Aesthetic Creativity: 30/30
Aesthetics and Polish: 12/20
Overall: 47/100
Hoo boy this level is hot garbage! Really says a lot about the level when the level starts with gratuitous disco shell jumping and you are required to do it absolutely nowhere else. The gimmick is barely introduced at all, and you're just thrust into the action and WILL get killed or stuck if you haven't played Sky at the Weird. Enemies are constantly placed to get in your way and in general just be incredibly obnoxious. Ninjis are splattered everywhere for no reason, there's a horrendous amount of Bullet Bills everywhere (which is an issue because Bullet Bills are the worst enemies in the engine), and there's just so much garbage thrown everywhere and absolutely no guidance on what to do that you just get killed constantly over and over and over. I got to the midpoint with both DCs legit after like an hour but I quickly gave up on the second half because it proved to be even worse. The level attempts to help you out with coin guides, but not only are the markers incredibly inconsistent - sometimes you need to jump as soon as you touch the coins, and others just as you exit the collection - there are just setups that are straight up unmarked. Namely, the one before the midpoint, which baffled me for quite a while since there were no coin guides to help me out and the swing platforms are very finicky and weird with their physics. The difficulty curve jumps everywhere, with it rising in the first half, ultimately climaxing at a horrendous few setups right after the midpoint, then weirdly spiking everywhere with setups in the second half that are much better at introducing the swings than anything in the first half (the setups where the only thing you have to do is just position yourself as it swings down). The second half also becomes incredibly obnoxious with the setups and leaves basically no room for error for anything, and the setup right after the midpoint is extremely tedious to do with grabbing the springboard with the EXACT right amount of swing momentum so the playtime just keeps piling and piling up. There are also a few setups that just have weird additions to them that make them very annoying - one that jumps to mind is the setup with the double bullet bill cannons and the spiny on 1F0 in the first half. The spiny is very annoying and it's already hard enough to deal with the bullets and getting the right momentum for the platform so you can clip through the ceiling. The setup before the midpoint, as I mentioned earlier, is also very frustrating, s there are basically no coin guides, there's like 3 spinies around that seem to act as red herrings, and on the first time I got to the setup I had no idea what to do so I just stayed on the brown platform and got slammed into the muncher ceiling because I didn't even realize it was there. The setup after the midpoint is ALSO very annoying, since you have to deal with not only getting the right momentum but also Pokies hounding you and having to make tough muncher jumps between platforms. It's ridiculously finicky and I reeally don't like it. I can't really speak for the rest of the second half, since I was so tired and just savescummed through it, but it seemed bafflingly easier than everything before it, except for the very last setup where I got ambushed by the bullet cannons and spent a while just trying to survive that setup since bullet bills are garbage enemies and are extremely frustrating to work around. The idea with the swing platforms is clever, but the level needs some serious work and serious toning down for it to be truly great.
I'm not really sure what to say. I'm pretty terrible at playing SMW, but I really didn't think the level was all that difficult. I was actually worried that it was a bit too easy.

I'm just... baffled, because like, I don't know what people are actually doing when they're playing the level. Can you record yourself playing one of the screens you had the most difficulty with or something so I can see what the problem is? I just don't even know what's going on. :/
jesus fuck make some PARAGRAPHS
Originally posted by Delta
I'm not really sure what to say. I'm pretty terrible at playing SMW, but I really didn't think the level was all that difficult. I was actually worried that it was a bit too easy.

I'm just... baffled, because like, I don't know what people are actually doing when they're playing the level. Can you record yourself playing one of the screens you had the most difficulty with or something so I can see what the problem is? I just don't even know what's going on. :/

For what it's worth, you still have like 6 weeks to gather advice and edit/re-submit your entry. I would pay close attention to these stickied feedback threads and fix up as much as you can, even if you don't necessarily get video footage of someone playing your level. We're often the worst judge of our own work, and it's not uncommon to think that a concept is much easier or better designed than it really is.
Originally posted by Delta

Can you record yourself playing one of the screens you had the most difficulty with or something so I can see what the problem is? I just don't even know what's going on. :/

Tried to record a thing. Hopefully this gives some better insight!
I'm so hyped to play morsel's level tbh

edit: played it, it's incredible and amazing and hilarious. Also a lot easier than swiss hotel
Oooookay I think I see what the main issue is. You're supposed to spin jump on the spiny egg while the platform is in motion, and then get back onto the platform after it's raised into the correct position. That's partially my fault for not communicating it well; I just assumed it was obvious that was what was intended. It's also why the coin guides are the way they are - they were placed with the way I had played the level in mind. (As disheartening as it is to see someone struggle with it so much, it was kind of amusing seeing you try to maneuver the platform around like that.)

The first spiny egg you encounter in the level is basically just there to show that you can spin jump on them, but I think it's too far away from the screens where it starts being relevant for the player to reasonably connect the dots.

Also, it's probably worth noting that there are three coins in the last screen, at the left side of the platform under the disco shell, which lets you reliably sneak past it. I probably should have changed the coin palette more, to make it stand out, because that's not something someone should be able to miss. I did try to make things visible without clashing with the aesthetics of the level too much, but I guess it wasn't enough.

Here's a video of me playing the level, in case you're curious. I didn't use savestates or rewinds while playing it. It's a slightly older version of the level than the one I submitted - some of the sprite positions in the video are even worse than they are in the final version. But the gist of the level is basically the same.

Thank you for taking the time to record a video response. I'm really, really sorry that you had to go through all that; it was never my intention for someone to have such a bad experience because of something I created, and I wouldn't have submitted the level if I'd known how difficult it was for other people to play.

I'm not sure if I'm going to resubmit the level. I feel like a lot of the ideas I had for it involved things that I can't expect the player to reasonably intuit on their first try. I think if I end up entering the contest I'll probably do something different and more straightforward. I still have time to brainstorm ideas, at least. Making this level just took a lot out of me.

(and thanks for apologizing for the harshness of the review, by the way. I wasn't going to mention it because I didn't want anyone to think I was opposed to receiving criticism or anything, but it did sting reading that)

Originally posted by snoruntpyro

is it that big of an issue '^'

apparently I'm not the only one lmao
Originally posted by lolyoshi
jesus fuck make some PARAGRAPHS

Switch: SW-2766-9108-9399Twitter: @Vine_STYouTube: that ivy guy
i survived bitch

Design and Execution: 17/50
Design Creativity and Aesthetic Creativity: 12/30
Aesthetics and Polish: 20/20
Overall: 49/100
cool aesthetics bro. not so cool everything else.

This level is a bizarre mix of incredibly boring and incredibly frustrating. Every single non-line-guided enemy is barely a threat at all, and you can frequently bypass them before they can do any harm to you. I only ever got hit if the Puntin' Chucks on rare occasions got a football off and got hit because footballs are RNG bullshit. Other than that, enemies are just plopped down everywhere, with plenty of parakoopas just there to fill up space and can be easily killed by just spinjumping on them. Most of the design is completely nonsensical, with the whole array of dynamic platforms being here except only getting used once or twice. They're not used to provide a challenge by working against you or anything, they're just there there. There's literally sometimes rotating platforms that just lead into nothingness, and enemies getting used in tandem with the platforms is extremely rare, which just leaves the impression that again, the platforms were just used to fill up space.

And on the incredibly frustrating side, there's the like one "gimmick" of the level, the rope parts! Not only has this gimmick been done about 60 thousand times before and also done much better, the rope sections are incredibly frustrating. The main issue is that the coin guides literally lie to you, because there are multiple instances where there are coins that just lead straight into line guides and fuzzies, and then there are also coins that attempt to guide you to safe zones. This becomes a big problem because the obstacles in the line guide sections come fast and it's hard to even react to the bullshit that happens. There's also just random surprise traps, like right at the end where a sudden wall of saws comes at you and there is absolutely no indication you have to jump down to the rope below you.

And on top of THAT there's a host of blind jumps too. The jumping down to the rope part is one, and there's one part at the beginning for the first dragon coin where you just have to guess there's a line guide platform hanging around below everything that leads you to the dragon coin. There's also a few pipe cannons that are incredibly stressful to actually enter, because if you hold the wrong buttons you can get randomly screwed over or shot into enemies. The first one is the biggest offender, because if you fly through the set of Parakoopas you'll get immediately shot into the Paragoomba if you don't react instantly, and if you hold a different input than the intended way then you can get a dragon coin. Which basically means that if you're not psychic you miss a dragon coin and have to replay the level. And then the SECREEET EXIT. Haaaaaaaaa.

Did you know that secret exits have an extremely high chance to ruin levels? Yeah that's what happened here. There is absolutely no indication that there's a pipe below a bridge next to the midpoint. You have to do a literal blind jump down to a MOVING platform and just hope you land on it to get to the pipe. It's basically a luck based mission. It's really weird too because the secret exit room is by far the most challenging and good part of the level and also fits the name 'Starlight Symphony' way more than the dull main path :/. It actually has some okay saw setups, though the level design issues still persist in that there's fire pumpkin plants that just shoot their fireballs off into the abyss before you can even get to them and pose no threat, and the Punting Chucks are still annoying because the whole sprite is just annoying in general.

The level also has some incredibly bizarre decisions outside of gameplay. For some random reason a single dragon coin gets its own sublevel with completely different graphics and the abstract theme everyone is sick of? And there's literally just the dagadon and two kamikaze koopas that literally can't hit you? Also those weird pipes with black squares on them...? I don't really know what they're supposed to be? And also random THANK YOU at the end of the secret exit, because yeah that has some point and totally made Neon Castle better?

I will give this level credit in that it does look really good, and it's very polished, but considering the design flaws I feel like the aesthetics are just used as a cover up and a distraction from the pretty bad design. The level makes so many just...stupid mistakes. Blind jumps, platforms leading into just coins (which are not a reward or gratifying to get, no matter what level it is :T), bullshit secret exit. It's just a bleh level.

Design and Execution: 20/50
Design Creativity and Aesthetic Creativity: 21/30
Aesthetics and Polish: 17/20
Overall: 58/100
Man, I love the concept of this level so much, and I love seeing all these original SMW levels mixed together. There's YI1, Y12, Iggy's Castle, Donut Plains 4, Cheese Bridge Area, Cookie Mountain, Chocolate Fortress, Valley of Bowser 2, Valley of Bowser 4, Mondo, the title screen and fucking Tubular. Those were all the ones I detected, lol. But.....uugh. I want to love this level but it has quite a few design issues that drag it down quite a lot. I'll just go section by section.

The grass section is pretty good, though I do think it relies a bit too much on enemy spam for its difficulty rather than legitimate challenges. Egregious examples are the hill with 3 charging chucks in a line and the part with a hill, 3 rexes and a sliding koopa. They just seem to overwhelm the player a bit rather than make them stop and think and deal with the challenges at hand. The rope section is pretty nice, and I like the usage of 1F0 to spice up the original Cheese Bridge, but I think the saws just come at you a tad too fast. You move pretty slow on the rope but the saws go pretty fast thanks to 1F0 so especially at the end it becomes pretty difficult to react to the saws before you get smashed in the face. I know there's coin guides, but they can only do so much. The third dragon coin is also a bit too hard to get, because you have to react to saws coming at you very quickly and barely squeeze through them, then grab the dragon coin and very quickly move upwards before you get hit by a saw. The whole section just needs more leniency, I think. Moving some of the saws back a few tiles.

Then the midpoint. The intro to the castle is really cute. The castle itself is probably my favorite part of the level, because there's cool setups using the backwards net quirk and it just feels the most well-designed. The one part that really irked me was the part right before the door with the quadruple penicls and two falling spikes. I'm not sure if I like the position of the left falling spike because since the tunnel is pretty wide the player's attention probably won't be drawn to the falling spike and as a result they get hit and have no time to react. This happened to me a couple times. And then the last section, hnnnggggg. The Tubular section just really leaves NO room for error. I wasn't even able to get to actual land before the balloon's time ran out, I had to do some acrobatics with jumping on parakoopas to even make it. I think the best way to improve this section would to be maybe remove a lotus at the start and extend the grass you can land on at the end up to the second-to-last lotus. The section just killed me a lot because it doesn't really have any breathing room and as such I had to redo the (pretty long) castle section a bunch of times. The rest of the section is fine, though I feel like the whole level could end on a higher note. Like, a recreation of Funky or something. Right now it just feels like it ends.

Then the secret exit. I really hate the secret exit. It's complete bullshit. My eyes were never drawn to the hint in the corner, and even then I would definitely have not thought to come to that spot while behind the nets. I reeeally hate how it's hidden. I think a much better way of hiding it would be to make it clear that there's a path there and use light switch blocks rather than the invisible solid blocks, but make it so the player has to do some weird and difficult movements backwards through the section to be able to clear the barrier. The actual cave room itself is mostly fine, though the end is a huge dick move. You basically hid the key through two layers of bullshit hidden nooks. The hole in the ceiling is definitely more telegraphed than the hole in the wall in the castle, but the average player will probably just jump up there and not land on anything and just move on, not think they need to bring a springboard. And then there's people like me who just ignored the hole and entered the pipe at the end which takes you back to the main path. Like, why is that pipe even there??? It only serves to just hide the already stupidly hidden secret exit behind even more garbage. I'd say to remove the pipe and put a coin trail up through the hole, but leave everything else as is. Then the player would search around and realize they have to use the springboard cuz there's nothing else to really work with.

So yeah. The level is close to being really good - it just needs some tweaking to make it not as frustrating. I still really like the concept, though, and I do genuinely really like the castle section. Also those palettes are some Good Shit.
Originally posted by snoruntpyro
Also those weird pipes with black squares on them...? I don't really know what they're supposed to be?
they're the finger holes on a flute or recorder or something. i thought it was pretty obvious, but judging by all the responses to them i guess they aren't.
most okayest
Originally posted by snoruntpyro
i survived bitch

welcome back misha
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