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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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Hurry up. I gotta make sure this isn't problematic.

My Mode 0 guide.

My Discord server. It has a lot of archived ASM stuff, so check that out!

She's not obligated to take your request, let alone do it fast. Don't do that again.
It's just an expression, man. I'm not forcing her, I'll wait till she does it. Don't worry.

My Mode 0 guide.

My Discord server. It has a lot of archived ASM stuff, so check that out!

Thanks for the review!

Originally posted by snoruntpyro
I don't really like the coin guide right after the yoshi jump, though. Earlier in the level you had a coin guide waving back and forth and there was no lava in the pit and here it looks like the same thing except not, and if you don't veer to the right you'll die :|.

Added more coins to the right.

The skull raft room is also pretty good, though I feel like it could have done a lot more. There's a key and keyhole at the end of the room and I feel like the secret exit would feel a lot more interesting and worthwhile if the skull raft section just had more to it.

I think I'm gonna scrap the secret exit entirely.

I'm also not sure how I feel about having to use the vine grab and spin grab glitches? I personally don't mind it but I'm kinda afraid someone won't know about those glitches and get stuck :s.

I feel that those glitches are pretty common knowledge, so I don't see a problem with using them. (Though you can now bring the baby Yoshi up without the vine grab glitch.)

The first four enemies you have to eat are fine, but then you get to the moving coin obstacle. I really, really don't like the coin guide obstacle. It feels incredibly precise and extremely frustrating to actually eat the coin. There's very little room for error as you only get 3 tiles of leeway. Trying to duck helps, but then you run the risk of not being able to land on yoshi and dropping him into the lava. I'd recommend scrapping this obstacle entirely, tbh. It's just not fun.

I'm afraid you made the obstacle way harder than I intended. You're supposed to eat the coin before the Hothead so the baby Yoshi will grow up with solid ground to land on. Perhaps I could make this more obvious?

You use the yoshi to get a cape and stuff. You can bypass the cape filter if you're precise enough btw, add a tile or two more of munchers.


For some reason on one playthrough when I failed the p switch run the coins didn't reappear, and that was frustrating. I also feel like the springboard jump to the first platform could be made less tight, especially given that there's a lotus there.

Added some blue dot platforms to fix these issues.

The final setup could also be made more intuitive - my first instinct was to throw the springboard next to the key, but you actually needed it for the pit afterwards - and since there's no reset door, that forces a death :|.

I'm working on making some changes to it. I'll be sure to add a reset door.

Also there's weird cutoff in the background for the second half, lol. There's like a black void in it near the start.

I struggled with it for a while, but now it's fixed.
@JeanOlivera: That palette is like 100x better, ty <3. Also I think the level name is fine lol.

@allowiscious: I updated your level's review in the original post.

(I also updated MM102/Renhoek if anyone is interested for some reason)

Design and Execution: 8/50
Design Creativity and Aesthetic Creativity: 20/30
Aesthetics and Polish: 12/20
Overall: 40/100
Oh. Uuuhh...errrr.....yeah. This level has some good ideas, but they're...reeallly marred by the actual level design. It's...not great. Or fun. I think my biggest problem is the architecture, really. It tends to...sprawl all over the place and mislead you and there's just a bunch of dirt everywhere, and it makes it hard to see where you're supposed to go. There's just a lot of unneccesary STUFF placed everywhere. The star obstacle near the end is a big offender of this. I immediately got confused upon entering the level where to go and realized that one of the supposed paths just lead to a 1 up :S.

I'm also really not a fan of those semi-transparent tunnels. While neat on a technical level, it becomes incredibly hard to tell what actually is a wall inside the tunnels, and it doesn't help that all of them actually end up being really cramped with lots of grinders and hotheads (but you don't know this ahead of time :S). The eater block setups w/ the brown platforms are neat, but due to how the level is designed there's a lot of...stuff going on everywhere, and especially after the midpoint you don't really have time to see everything that's going on before you're doomed to failure. The second half especially just needs some serious cleanup to make it easier to parse what you have to do.

The level also doesn't really feel tested, because some of the setups can be outright broken or are laughably skippable. The brown platform setup right before the midpoint you can easily skip entirely by just jumping off the edge of the platform when it barely pokes out past the wall. The star obstacle, too, is breakable in that the magikoopa magic has an insanely high chance to despawn as soon as you go in the tunnel so you don't even have to get the star. Then there's setups in the level that are just freakin annoying to actually do - the first brown platform requires you to either inch on to the last few pixels of the platform or make an extremely annoying and precise jump around munchers to get past it, and if you want the DC you have to loop back around and do it again. The grinder section after the first few conveyors also have a tendency of surprise attacking you, and I feel like 5 grinders and 2 hotheads miight be a bit too much in terms of enemies :|

The final line guide part is a big trainwreck IMO. The amount of line guides, grinders and hotheads onscreen when you first enter the tunnel is very overwhelming and hard to parse, and the star obstacle itself is completely breakable, as I mentioned earlier. The grinder ride up through the ground is annoying, because you have to just position yourself in the precise center of the platform. And THEN at the end there's this complete garbage grinder that comes out of literally nowhere and will PROBABLY kill you. Trying to actually dodge it is a nightmare, thanks to the low ceiling, small width of the platform and the bowser statues directly above your head.

So, uh. Yeah. There's good ideas, and some of the setups like the dry bones one at the start are pretty cool, but the way this level is built it just becomes seriously hard to parse everything. Couple that with some annoying level design in general and you have...this. Also the BG really bugs me, sometimes it looks a bit too solid. I think the palette could be darkened a bit if that's possible.

Design and Execution: 34/50
Design Creativity and Aesthetic Creativity: 14/30
Aesthetics and Polish: 17/20
Overall: 65/100
Pretty nice level overall! The usage of rotating platforms, bullet bills, and eeries is really good here and it makes for a solid and fun level. However, I don't really think the rocks or digging chucks were very threatening at all, lol. I feel like most of the time you could just breeze right past them before they could dig up a rock. The only time I think rocks were used that well were like, right at the start, and the one setup in the secret exit path with them. Speaking of the secret exit, I'm not sure if I'm a fan of it? After the main path had some well-designed setups with well-placed eeries I'm not sure how to feel about the level just throwing in a generator and not really doing that many interesting things in the path itself. It felt like it relied on the RNG generator for difficulty rather than cleverly placed enemies.

Other than that, this level is pretty good and fun. The bonus room is really funny imo, it's such a silly use of the water glitch and I love it. But yeah. Good level overall! Also I like how despite never playing any Crash Bandicoot games I can still tell that this is Crash Bandicoot music because it sounds like it would come from that game :V

Mirann & Hinalyte
Design and Execution: 37/50
Design Creativity and Aesthetic Creativity: 17/30
Aesthetics and Polish: 20/20
Overall: 74/100
Wow a darkness gimmick that isn't total garbage??? Though tbf I don't think it gets THAT much use out of aesthetic touches but I do like the whole dynamic between it and the on/off layer 2. But yeah! This level is actually pretty cool, and I love the aesthetic - the music is probably like my fav in the whole contest so far, lol. The use of the rocks is very good, and I love how they're combined with chucks, the rotating platforms, and especially on/off layer 2 slopes, it's suuuper clever.

The mini dragon coin rooms are cool, too, and I like how you did fire/water themed ones. They still feel unique without making the level feel unfocused, too, so that's cool. The swooper placements are also very good for the most part too, I'm glad cuz swooper placements in this contest have been like my #1 pet peeve :S. Some of the level design kinda irks me though. I'm not really a fan of how the growing pipes are used outside of the secret exit room, because a lot of the times it just feels like they rise up and make you wait for them to come down while nothing else is going on. I also kinda feel like the buzzy beetle placements are pointless sometimes but w/e it allows me to just dick around with shelljumps :S.

The DC placements are probably the thing in this level that I don't like the most. The placements in the first half are fine, but I don't like the ones in the second half. Idk why, but I can just never sniff out any DCs on Layer 2 no matter how many hints are given :P. The pipe on layer 2 mainly is kinda BS because it hides behind the crystals and the coin hint is pretty vague IMO. Maybe instead of having the pipe itself be on layer 2 have a barrier blocking it be on layer 2 or something. The secret exit room is pretty good, though it almost feels a bit too short.

Overall, a very solid level, but I think some of the design prevents it from being really good. Also it kinda annoys me that the dumb 'random grass level with the goal' trope is back from VLDC9 :s. Oh and btw the music is really good did I mention that yet?? It's sooooo good aaaaaaaaaaaaaaa. Oh and I got stuck here so probably you want to fix that, lol

Design and Execution: 20/50
Design Creativity and Aesthetic Creativity: 10/30
Aesthetics and Polish: 14/20
Overall: 44/100
This level is...unfocused. Like, really unfocused. It doesn't really stick to any central idea and just sort of throws down sprites. You've got mechakoopas, on/off line guides, bowser's bowling balls, nets, autoscroll, fuzzies, bullet generator, the list goes on. It doesn't really make for a coherent experience at all. It doesn't help that I don't think any of these are used in particularly new ways, either. The bowling balls especially can be used in awesome ways (see: worldpeace's level) but here they don't even slam down, move slowly across the screen, and are easily avoidable.

Throughout the level enemy placement feels completely random. There are many enemies that you can easily dodge, and the second half is so empty that you can just literally walk over like every cannon. There's even a freakin mechakoopa that spawns and then immediately walks off the ledge. There's easy to dodge generators, paragoombas and parabombs that don't even reach the ground before you're gone, enemies in random ditches, the list goes on. It doesn't make for an engaging level, ESPECIALLY when the first half is an incredibly slow and dull autoscroller.

The theme is unfocused, too. You have a grassland section, then an airship section (which looks REALLY pretty btw, except for that dumb sky gradient), and then the inside section. It feels like the quality gets worse with each theme. The inside section especially feels incredibly empty. There's also a split path in the inside section which is then a night airship w/ the bowling balls that I mentioned earlier. None of the sections, really, are particularly fun or creative. I guess the fight with Roy is nice to see, though, because you like, never see vanilla boss fights in VLDC, even big boo.

Overall the level a mess. It's...okay, I guess? It's not UNFUN or anything, but it feels very incoherent and not well put together. Oh also your message box says your level has a secret exit, but I can't find one in LM, sooo...
I'll see what we can do about the growing pipes and buzzy beetle placement before the deadline. I already have in mind something that will possibly make the secrets from the second half not so difficult to spot as well. Glad everything else seems good to go though, and also thanks a lot for the detailed review!

@music: I know right
Aaaand here we go. Decided to play random levels that I saw/heard things about/wanted to play.

Design and Execution: 14/50
Design Creativity and Aesthetic Creativity: 5/30
Aesthetics and Polish: 0/20
Overall: 19/100
W-why would you do this? I legitimately can't tell if this is supposed to be a troll level or not. Because The aesthetics make this literally unplayable. It's like Flash Back, except somehow even worse. Literally everything is just constantly flashing and disappearing and it becomes completely impossible to tell what's even going on. Munchers disappear and you run in to them. Coin guides disappear and you have no idea where to go. The first two rooms would be perfectly fine without this gimmick (but not great), but while playing this for the first time I had serious trouble even parsing a level was there in the first place. Case in point: when first playing the level, I didn't even realize I had hit a midpoint due to it being invisible when I hit it.

And on top of the horrific aesthetics, the last room and the secret exit are completely awful. I like the section with the pitching chucks at the end, but I seriously question to have...literally unmarked falling enemies on the platform ride...and the secret exit requires ridiculous foresight that no one would ever figure out. The secret exit room, while cool in concept, is made complete garbage by the fact that the autoscroll is so fast that you have no time to react to anything and the coin guides that ATTEMPT to help you are invisible half the time. The key itself is absolutely ridiculous to grab and I hate it. And there's even dickish reset pipes placed at the end if you hold down too long!!

Like, you almost have to TRY to make something this bad?? I'm really sorry, but on the other hand I'm not so sure because I almost feel like this is a troll level?? I have serious issues trying to find anything redeeming in this because seriously, the aesthetics make it literally unplayable.

Design and Execution: 0/50
Design Creativity and Aesthetic Creativity: 13/30
Aesthetics and Polish: 0/20
Overall: 13/100

Waddle Derp
Design and Execution: 28/50
Design Creativity and Aesthetic Creativity: 17/30
Aesthetics and Polish: 10/20
Overall: 55/100
Well this is...unique. The introduction to your gimmick is complete shit, because it basically guarentees you're going to get killed not knowing what was going on :|. Giving a powerup before the gimmick introduction would probably be the easiest solution, but not the best one. I can't really think of anything else to improve it though. Besides that, this level was fun and cute, though the gameplay felt a bit monotonous after a while. I think that's partially because you can't really do much with this exact gimmick. I feel like the level needed like, more variation on the block gimmick itself rather than variations of finding the pattern for it to be really good.

Don't get me wrong, I do really like how this level does all the different ways of seeing the patterns, but it just feels like it gets old after a while. You get used to the gimmick and it's just a matter of 'am I paying attention'. Tbh once I understood the gimmick the only times I got hit were when the fake ? blocks were placed in awkward places and as such I screwed up a jump and got hit. I like what the level does with hiding its patterns, I really like the setups with the wall triangles and the falling platforms, but I just feel like the gimmick could have kept going and gotten increasingly more absurd. It's a good level overall, but I think it could have been so much better IMO.

Agent Q
Design and Execution: 46/50
Design Creativity and Aesthetic Creativity: 25/30
Aesthetics and Polish: 20/20
Overall: 91/100
This is an awesome level! I really like the general design of the whole thing and it showed off some reactions I legitimately didn't know could happen - the ghost house hole + net combos were really cool. The entire thing is very solidly built, and I love the Bowser's Bowling Ball autoscrollers. They're super fun and well made and serve as a very well-done combination of all the gimmicks shown in the level so far. The secret exit is also really clever too (?!?!?!) - the level gives you a good hint for it and what you have to actually do is really neat.

The first secret exit room is probably the weakest part of the level imo, since it doesn't really make use of the level's gimmicks besides conveyor belts. What IS here is still pretty cool though - I don't think I've actually ever seen golden bowser statues on conveyor belts - it just feels emptier and less developed than the rest. The final survival section with the key is very cool though. And honestly, I think that sums up the whole level - it's a very, very well-designed level that shows off some super neat interactions and uses them well.

I think probably my only complaints are that some of the jumps in the final autoscroller, namely the first one onto the bowling ball, could probably be given more leeway, and that the midpoint feels a bit lopsided. I think it's because of the second half having two autoscrollers, making the first half seem pretty short in comparison. I'd recommend putting like, a 1 up checkpoint right before the final autoscroller or something. Besides that, though, this level is an incredibly strong and cool entry, and it will most likely rank very well. Not to mention the aesthetics are fantastic, too, and I adore how you used the breaking block enemies (?) to create a smashing effect when the bowling ball comes down - it's suuuper clever.

Design and Execution: 32/50
Design Creativity and Aesthetic Creativity: 13/30
Aesthetics and Polish: 20/20
Overall: 65/100
Oof. This kinda...dropped off. Pretty badly. This level has an INCREDIBLY strong start - the aesthetics are top-notch, and the special autoscroll section is incredibly well-done. I love your usage of Diggin' Chuck rocks, and all the enemies feel threatening but not unfair. The Pitchin' Chuck resprite is really cute too. It really feels like the first half of a really good level. However, it's just the first half.

The second half is just...bad. I get the feeling that it was rushed. It's not nearly as well designed or fun as the second half, and doesn't showcase anything new or creative. It also barely pulls anything from the first half at all. All the second half really boils down to is a bunch of moles on flat ground and the occasional chuck. The dragon coin placements aren't very good here, either. I never found the 4th and the 5th DC is just dumb. It's not fun at all to have to wait for that orange platform to get alllll the way to the other side, especially when it's offscreen 70% of the time. In the end you basically have to do a literal blind jump down to it. And even then I think it's actually literally impossible to get out.

It's a shame, too, because the first half is genuinely really good as a first half and I feel like had this level been complete (?) it would have been great. It's not hyper innovative or anything but it's just very solidly designed. Also, I'm not really sure how to feel about that secret exit, lol. On one hand, it's genuinely funny and clever, but on the other hand, I had to look into LM to see it :S. Also the music is great <3 and those waluigi crates are cute lol.

Design and Execution: 35/50
Design Creativity and Aesthetic Creativity: 22/30
Aesthetics and Polish: 19/20
Overall: 76/100
A very solid level overall, though the first half is too slow for my tastes IMO. I really wish the carrot platform was just faster in general because I feel like it'd make the first half just so much better. The rest of the level is very good, though. The second half is a really good use of the Layer 3 smasher, and the boss is pretty cool and clever. I like how the Ninjis + Ghost House holes were used throughout - the interaction feels a lot more explored and threatening than Unsettling Bastion.

Honestly I really like how the second half is designed in general. It's really fast paced and there's some very clever obstacles, especially the parts with the Ninji hopping. The first half just really bothers me tho, lol. It's just so weird how half the time you can continue just fine without the carrot platform and then sometimes it randomly just requires it. It really bugs me tho idk?? Also, this is totally breakable, so you don't need to do the intended timing obstacle.

It's a solid level overall, but the first half just seems sooo slow imo, lol. I'm probably like the only one bothered by this so I wouldn't think about it too much. The rest is really neat and I like it. The aesthetics are kind of amazing btw, I'm a huge fan of those DC resprites. There's one thing that bugs me though, the turn block bridges have the same sprites as the passthrough platforms, and that bugs me. This actually got me killed at one point because I jumped down to get a DC and got caught under the bridge thinking it was passthrough and I died :S. It's still a solid level overall though besides this stuff.

This'll be my last review post. I'm probably gonna be heading to bed in an hour or so and when I wake up the deadline will be up. So yeah. I'll most likely be adjusting my scores throughout the week to just make them more accurate to my actual opinions.

Overall I'm really looking forward to this contest and its results. There's a lot of really strong entries this time around (idol, Agent Q, Hobz, Aeon, S.N.N., Enjl, Superwario1999, ft029 (WHO NEEDS TO FINISH THEIR FUCKIN LEVELLL)) especially compared to VLDC9, and I haven't even played all the levels. Doing this thread was fun!! Ty everyone <3

If anyone is curious about my overall (non-adjusted) scores for everyone, I'll be posting them in the OP shortly.
Mmm... To be honest, Pyro, yes, my second half was rushed. And I only switched to moles because people kept saying I was doing nothing special with the rocks in the first half, they wanted to see me do something different.

and now I'm completely out of time to do anything actually good! OH WELL. I tried!

<Adam> I feel like smwc is a prostitute now, because we put up a porn ad for money
Thanks for the feedback.
It,s really late asking but could you go over my level it would mean a lot if you did. hope you,d find it good. {^V^}
Sorry, but the thread title implies that she is no longer reviewing anymore levels. So I doubt she will be taking requests either.
Layout by Erik557
probably very unlikely but would be very cool to see. would have been nice for pyro to answer instead but that's it I guess.
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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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