idk im just gonna type shit take what i say however you want. i probably won't dissect every level to a t, but i will just talk about stuff i noticed or whatever. will also be updated kinda whenever, prolly every few days with a bunch of levels rather than every day with one or so. also i totally didnt steal this format from glitchmr i know what im doing im good
celestialseraph - Frigid Fort
Design and Execution: 5/50 Design Creativity and Aesthetic Creativity: 10/30 Aesthetics and Polish: 12/20 Overall: 26/100
man this is just all kinds of not fun. there's nothing inherently wrong with making hard levels, but when you combine really precise quick jumps with ice physics and then refuse to give the player any sort of powerups, it becomes a really miserable experience. the first jump already told me what kind of level i was going to play, and it was unrelenting in its annoyance. i don't understand why people make levels like this for a VLDC. did you use states to play thru this? rewind? or did you not consider that this kind of hard level is just not fun whatsoever to play. the first powerup is about this far in the level, and yeah. Yeah.
the second half of the level with layer 2 water is a hell of a lot more fun to play, and is also hilariously easier compared to its first half. hilariously, your boss room doesn't have ice physics. i was surprised you showed some restraint lol. the graphics are okay, kinda boring but not totally awful.
i'd rework the first half because frankly it's not that fun, but at the very least just add some more powerups, man. add one at the beginning, add one at the midpoint, and at least the level becomes a bit more fun. as it stands right now though, i could see it being green orb'd solely because the first half is so tedious and unforgiving. if you wanna make a hard level, at least take into consideration how much ice physics make already tricky things much more tricky.
Christian07 - Rhino's Bubbles
Design and Execution: 41/50 Design Creativity and Aesthetic Creativity: 24/30 Aesthetics and Polish: 15/20 Overall: 80/100
first thing i noticed was the ugly sky gradient in the first half (not the one that's pictured, which is later in the level & nicer). a smooth transition into an orangey-brown isn't impossible to make, but consider using some more colors to create a more fluid and pretty look. that's a minor nitpick tho, frankly. the palettes and ground is pretty, and i loved the introduction of the sprites interacting with ur bubbles gimmick with that first paragoomba who kinda jumped into heaven and back again at the beginning. however, right after that is just a gauntlet of sprites one after another who offer no challenge no reason to really be there - they're just placed haphazardly to fill blank space. dino rhinos are hard to use well, and often here i find they just ran off of edges before i even got to them.
latter sections of the first half were a lot more interesting with your setups. however, the falling platforms with jumping dino rhinos, while not a bad idea, did seem out of place in its difficulty and... well, dickishness. maybe that would fit better later in the level as the difficulty progresses a tad. the second half is a lot more interesting than the first half, and actually becomes really fun. a lot of neat setups and the introduction of the rotating platforms as both helpful and a nuisance to the player in conjunction with the rhinos and water bubbles is all really well done. the level just takes a bit to get there. it's a solid level with a few kinks that, most importantly, is pretty fun.
Falconpunch - Starlight Symphony
Design and Execution: 35/50 Design Creativity and Aesthetic Creativity: 16/30 Aesthetics and Polish: 17/20 Overall: 68/100
this levels bg is really pretty. i really love the layer 3 background. the foreground aesthetics are alright, nothing much to say about them. this level does cautiously walk the line of being a simple romp, though. just some platforms, some jumping, it'd be decent in a normal hack, but as a level in a contest it struggles to really stand out.
i thought the way to get the midpoint was cute though. i liked the reoccurance of the shooting pipes, i feel they're criminally underused. i'm not sure what was up with the holes in the pipes though. are they supposed to be like.. holes on a recorder? coz i think there's gotta be better ways to express that.
the secret exit, while looking nice, really added nothing to the level. there wasn't much there that wasn't already expressed through your main level. if anything, it just felt like filler. either give it a purpose or remove it tbh would be my advice.
Cyphermur9t - Hydromagmatic Fort
Design and Execution: 41/50 Design Creativity and Aesthetic Creativity: 24/30 Aesthetics and Polish: 17/20 Overall: 82/100
instantly come the matterhorn comparisons, but i think it's kinda unfair to write off a whole gimmick coz of a pre-existing level. at first i was concerned with no reset door for the koopa / turn block segment, but then i realized it was just for a dragon coin, so it's not an issue. the first half breezes by, and while very fun, i do struggle with how memorable the actual segments are.
the second half reminds me a lot of the second half of Frigid Fort, although actually a bit trickier than that execution is. im not sure why you put a tile above the powerup block in the second layer 2 half, as it makes getting a fire flower kind of annoying. the level has a consistent difficulty, although i had one issue later in this room with your podobos: frankly, podobos on layer 2 moving lava suck. they just jump out of nowhere. i'd consider just replacing the podobos entirely with something else during that section.
that aside, the level is pretty strong and pretty fun. also wow i didn't even notice my first two scores were identical to rhino's bubbles. funny how two different looking levels that both play with water end up being of similar quality.
divemissile - TOGETHER WE RIDE
Design and Execution: 3/50 Design Creativity and Aesthetic Creativity: 9/30 Aesthetics and Polish: 4/20 Overall: 16/100
man to put it bluntly this level is a mess. it's a fun idea, but the sprite interaction with a static layer 2 on autoscroll just makes it so nothing sticks to this raft. mario slides off if i don't move with it, mushrooms i hit on layer 2 spill out of the blocks to the left, and hotheads get stuck on the layer 2 and get messed up and confused. and then the level entirely loses its focus once it throws me into a castle where i can skip 99% of the obstacles by simply walking over the rooms you built.
conceptually your level makes sense. it's a siege against a castle, so you start at the siege, you get to the castle, and then fight the boss. but the first half is a mess and the second half is short and inconsequential. i can freeze the game if i get a feather in the first half high enough in the screen, too. consider jumping on #vldc or asking playtesters to try your stuff to shape this into something better.
morsel - SNAKES AND LADDERS
Design and Execution: 40/50 Design Creativity and Aesthetic Creativity: 26/30 Aesthetics and Polish: 8/20 Overall: 74/100
a creative as hell level bogged down by it's incessant difficulty. there's a lot of really neat ideas going on here, i love the use of 1f0 and how you have it working with the sumo bros lightning. the introduction of the waiting for vine gimmick in the second half is also really cool. however, man, the thing about your levels is there's so little breathing room. i can see a lot of people giving up on this because of the preciseness it demands from the player. it's a decent length, it actually offers powerups decently enough allowing you to take some hits here and there, but it's just a lick harder than it should be.
honestly, if this were toned down a bit i could see it placing really high. well... and if you worked on the aesthetics a tad. the yoshi snake bridge was hideous and the palettes were far from pleasing. frankly were the yoshi snake blocks just regular brown blocks it would've been a lot better lol.
i agree that the layer 2 stuff is kinda finicky, but i'm not sure how to fix it. i'll look up a guide or something to see what i can do. the castle part is dull, but i wanted the focus to be the siege itself, and the castle was just a little extra. i'll definitely remove that huge skip though, and make it more involved.
Thanks for the review! I agree my level was on the "safeish" side, but it's mainly 'cause A: I couldn't think of anything too mind-blowing, and B: I figured if I went with something too unusual, I'd overdo things.
The "holed pipes" are meant to represent wind instruments, aka flutes, Clarinets, and the yellow slanted pipes being Trumpets or Tubas. And how exactly can I make the secret exit "have a purpose"?
Come help save Super Mario World Central Production 2 here!
And how exactly can I make the secret exit "have a purpose"?
I don't particularly agree that your secret exit is purposeless, but really, there's multiple ways to do a secret exit. it's important to not just put a secret exit just because you can.
In the original smw, there were a lot of secret exits like yours, where a random pipe led to an area with a key, but Nintendo did that because of the expansive overworld and exploration aspects of the game. The secret exit was included so that you could unlock the secret level. So it was fine for Nintendo to just put a random pipe that led somewhere, or a secret goal after pressing a particular switch palace. Nintendo's secret exits didn't need to be interesting.
However, since this is a contest, we don't see the expansive ow and exploration, juse your level, so the point of a secret exit is to provide an additional exploration based secret in the level, or to create a second path (like some levels do). I think just randomly putting it in a pipe isn't a bad move, but the secret exit path should offer a unique and fun twist on the original level. For example, in Frozenquills level, the secret exit is towards the beginning yet challenging, and offered a unique twist on his main gimmick. In your case, maybe the secret exit could revolve around various puzzles with the shooting pipe, which would be awesome (and the shooting pipe is so criminally underused), or you could base it around the springboards or some other sprite you didn't use in the main level, while still keeping the same, flow and design style, as the regular level.
hey ceramicmike1995 back again its time for, some judging. from a fan.
alexandrite - GHASTLY LABORATORY
Design and Execution: 29/50 Design Creativity and Aesthetic Creativity: 16/30 Aesthetics and Polish: 12/20 Overall: 59/100
the saws in the first sublevel don't really add much? they're more of an annoyance than a genuinely interesting obstacle. that aside, the rest of the first room is done well, and i do like this roundabout way of getting the key to the next room. i'm not entirely sold on having to die at the midpoint though lol. most of the boo rings were fairly easy to time, but the third one was a lot more annoying where i felt forced to take a hit.
the atmosphere is nice enough, nothing out of the ordinary but nothing distracting. however, this level was awfully short and frankly didn't present a whole lot. it's a bit unfocused too, no central theme and no real point? the interaction with the boo circles and the on / off layer 2 was cool, but not much else was done with it or took advantage of it to any large degree. plus, the dirt in the end area is kinda ugly. i'd change it to something less vibrant or change the dots inside the dirt to something better.
better than just a straight romp, though.
brickartsteven - TOWER OF BRASS
Design and Execution: 23/50 Design Creativity and Aesthetic Creativity: 14/30 Aesthetics and Polish: 6/20 Overall: 43/100
instantly i noticed how empty the background felt (not pictured here). is that supposed to be a planet in the background? it can definitely be executed more. take advantage of tileset mixing and merging if you wanna create a really good looking planet or something. the idea for your tower is cute, but the execution is less-so. the windows are fairly ugly (and ridden with cutoff! oh no!).
i was surprised however to find that you did actually have some creative ideas throughout this level. particularly i kinda liked the yellow koopas that fling their bodies at you while on the vines (reminds me somewhat gameplay-wise of worldpeace's level this time around), and the second disco koopa area with the hotheads and maces. however, i was less of a fan of the line guide sections, feeling that they had a lot less creative things going on. also that secret exit was Not Fun. thankfully it's early on, but having to drag a koopa shell up to it when you don't provide one normally (meaning i have to steal one from a yellow koopa) and then climb up a rope where if i'm not extra careful i could lose it from a koopa flinging its body at me is all kinds of Yikes.
ultimately you do have some fun ideas though, i'd encourage you to fix up the graphics a tad and change things here and there to make your level better.
FrozenQuills - Swiss Steamworks
Design and Execution: 46/50 Design Creativity and Aesthetic Creativity: 27/30 Aesthetics and Polish: 20/20 Overall: 93/100
the reasoning for your levels gimmick is silly, but there's nothing wrong with that. this level is pretty as hell though, probably the best looking level i've seen in forever in vanilla. there are very few major complaints i have with this: i personally found the springboard bits a lot trickier than anything else in this level (despite how both of them are in non-lethal environments), but the springboard to the p-switch and the rebounding trampoline i had trouble with lol.
i also felt a lot of the bat walls didn't really have much of a purpose, this is another example where worldpeace's level utilized them much better. the footballs were very cleverly used in this environment, instead of being random hellish obstacles they seemed very mechanical and predictable.
there's honestly not much to say coz i reckon this has an incredible chance at best world anyways. the secret exit was fun too, tho personally i would've done a tad more with the room since it's a tad samey.
turbofa - NOCTURNAL HEIGHTS
Design and Execution: 18/50 Design Creativity and Aesthetic Creativity: 14/30 Aesthetics and Polish: 15/20 Overall: 47/100
turbofa, huh? i'm an antifa, so i'm guessing we have much in common.
a level that frankly just kind of exists. it's a simple romp with not a whole lot going on. i could see it in like, an average romhack. the background is a bit bare, and the repeating moon in the sky is a bit silly lol. the chuck in the second half did not throw baseballs at me when came out of the pipe in the eating block segment: this might be due to sprite issues or something. set the sprite memory to 10.
worldpeace - Cerulean Cave
Design and Execution: 50/50 Design Creativity and Aesthetic Creativity: 29/30 Aesthetics and Polish: 18/20 Overall: 97/100
Yeah. first time i played this, i thought it was a bit weaker than your vldc8 entry. replaying it again now that you submitted it with a few fixes and going through everything a second time, this is my favorite level i've played so far, and probably will for this contest.
everything here serves a purpose: the bubble gimmick is utilized very well here, walls of bats and fishes and even the bowser bowling balls are used expertly. it just all has a purpose and it's very visible playing this how much thought went into enemy placement and how mario moves and everything aaaaaa.
aesthetics are very nice, i love the music and the torches set a brilliant tone. earlier complaints i had about the level (such as some parts in the layer 2 smash area) were addressed, and this finished product is all kinds of great. now if only you'd fix those cutoff vines......... ;)
anyway whats up you hacks its me again, ceramicmike1995. my patreon donors got me to my next tier so now i can post more hastily written and not revised reviews so here they are
SkywinDragoon - You are still in...
Design and Execution: 25/50 Design Creativity and Aesthetic Creativity: 27/30 Aesthetics and Polish: 15/20 Overall: 67/100
oh this is a really cute and creative level! it's short, it doesn't bring much to the table for gameplay, but i really dig the idea of it all. the enemies are a bit randomly placed, and i would work on making more fluid and interesting enemy placements. also, cut the secret exit or make it have more substance: it's just one of those secret exits that serve no purpose. make it a cave ow, the star ow, or something else, or just cut it and have your cute lil graphic thing be the real end of the level (although i did like what you did with the goal posts). or, i'd look into cutting the autoscroll and making it twice as long (with a second half that takes advantage of another ow), & then work on the secret exit n shit. it's a good idea, though.
also what an ominous level name.
Sixcorby - Faux Water
Design and Execution: 26/50 Design Creativity and Aesthetic Creativity: 18/30 Aesthetics and Polish: 11/20 Overall: 55/100
sprite water physics is the gimmick this year, with a few different levels utilizing the glitch. each one creates a different environment, though, so at least it's somewhat unique.
i just didn't have much fun with this level, though. a lot of it was annoying to me, which i guess is a side effect of the glitch. primarily, the cheep cheeps not being spinjumpable and the cheep cheeps in bubbles being pretty much instant hits if you pop them, combined with the numerous spikes and other deals made this not that fun. the jumping on platforms to lower them is annoying with how long it can take sometimes, and the entire last half i thought barely took advantage of your levels gimmick besides the occasional boulder.
in terms of faux water, i found the secret exit more enjoyable than the actual path of the level, yet even that was tedious with its gimmick having me do the entire area over again, which would normally be not that big of a deal but i found it to be just long enough where it was lol. maybe this'll be my biased outlier judging, but man.
rockythetigre - Chuckmania
Design and Execution: 17/50 Design Creativity and Aesthetic Creativity: 22/30 Aesthetics and Polish: 9/20 Overall: 48/100
well, it's not very pretty to start off with. i would be wary with the fast autoscroll bit though, dying while entering the pipe due to autoscrolling at that speed is kinda bullshit. this level also has a really unfocused first half before it truly settles into it's rather interesting but poorly executed gimmick.
the dolphins were fairly well done, but they seemed more like an afterthought and the fast autoscroll was just filler to the main part of your level.
the eating blocks being used as some form of chasing block was really clever, but the pathway to avoid them was kind of boring and there were a few places you could softlockthe game (considering the level has no timer). it was a bit of a visual mess, too. those were some powerful square mushrooms, tho.
WhiteYoshiEgg - On The Bayou
Design and Execution: 39/50 Design Creativity and Aesthetic Creativity: 22/30 Aesthetics and Polish: 17/20 Overall: 78/100
it's pretty odd how i can swim in front of the tree trucks in the water. i know it's extra work, but if you have trees in the water i'd at least exanimate the water overtop of them and have them go behind it. i also didn't really like what you chose to top off your trees.
this level was pretty fun, but still felt perhaps a bit... safe? like it wasn't that far from a regular romp. it's definitely well designed, and if your hack you're working on is at this level of quality i'm sure it'll be a good hack, but for a contest entry to really stand out i'm just not getting that extra bit of something to really capture me. the latter half has a lot more interesting setups with the munchers & moving platforms, though.
snoruntpyro - Swiss Ruins
Design and Execution: 48/50 Design Creativity and Aesthetic Creativity: 29/30 Aesthetics and Polish: 13/20 Overall: 90/100
i still think the pillars are a bit too light to be passthroughable (is that even a word?). there's a ton of clever setups here, although i'm not a fan of the crouch-sliding i need to do to get through some of your passages.
you can really tell how much time you spent trying each segment of this, though. it's pretty tricky, a bit lengthy, but with two midpoints and a collection of interesting ideas, i didn't find myself getting bored of any particular area. the only thing in this level that sort of annoyed me (besides ur dumb cutoff with vines growing thru lava....... smh) was the bonus rooms for dragon coins. with the latter ones that required hitting invisible coin blocks very quickly, there were quite a few times where i'd slightly overshoot a jump or hurry too quick i'd just fall through the holes in the floor and die. a lot of that is on me as a player, but i'd also maybe recommend giving a tiny bit more wiggle room (particularly in the dragon coin room with the two invisible blocks in front of the pipe). also, in that same room, the invisible block to reach the platform was kind of annoying to hit. those nitpicks aside,
this is a really fun level tho and i hope the judges see that too.
Pinci - Subway Madness
Design and Execution: 17/50 Design Creativity and Aesthetic Creativity: 9/30 Aesthetics and Polish: 10/20 Overall: 36/100
the first thing i'm greeted to is white noise and an invisible wall. not a great start. well, actually, i dig the noise, but i doubt it was what you were going for nor is it something i can give you many positive points for. did you insert it with addmusick? is it an outdated track? when i enter the next room there's actual proper music, although i don't think it sounds very good. it has a weird fuzzy sound to it, as if it was recorded with a cheap microphone.
i'm not a big fan of the autoscroll layer 2 gimmicks, as it causes mario to constantly push to the left. i guess it's kind of realistic, but when you're also throwing so many things at the player and heavily guard all the powerups, it becomes annoying quick. also, the secret exit is unnecessary. it adds nothing to the level other than making you have to do the entire slow autoscroll opening twice completely. i'd get rid of it.
the second half of the level goes completely downhill. it loses all focus and instead becomes just a mess of baseball chucks and volcano lotuses, plus the end of it also introduces pokey replacements that are just three goombas stacked on top of each other. why couldn't you use just normal pokeys? i can jump on normal goombas, so having goombas be a sprite replacement for something i cannot jump on is a bad decision. at least the bg is pretty.
Roykirbs - Hotdog Aerials
Design and Execution: 39/50 Design Creativity and Aesthetic Creativity: 24/30 Aesthetics and Polish: 6/20 Overall: 69/100
the song is hilarious unfitting. it's a great track, but it does not fit here. the visuals in here are kind of a clusterfuck, i guess the excuse is it's abstract? sure there are hotdogs, but why is there floating diamonds? and layer 3 stars? and random crates? poor looking floating algae?
however, this level is actually pretty fun. you had a very clear gimmick here with the fuzzys, and even replaced all the other sprite graphics with fuzzys. it's very unique and i haven't seen anyone else do that in this contest . i had a lot of fun spinjumping off of the fuzzys & the rocks, and your use of 1f0 here is pretty creative.
this is another level though where honestly i'd either sack the secret exit or have it earlier in the level. there's a bit of precision with what's needed to be done in the yoshi room, so dying in it and having to start from the midpoint again is annoying as hell. the main thing i'd work on is the secret exit & the levels aesthetics - it's just a bit distracting right now to see what the hell's going on (&, frankly, is just kind of ugly).
MasterSkodwarde - Roy's Airship
Design and Execution: 27/50 Design Creativity and Aesthetic Creativity: 22/30 Aesthetics and Polish: 13/20 Overall: 62/100
at first, seeing the rexes and banzai bills along with the classic hills bg, i worried this was just going to be a level 105 edit. i was pleasantly surprised with your creative choices though, utilizing bob-ombs and the rarely used mecha-koopas & bowling balls.
the first section really did not add much to the level i felt, and i would honestly just start it on the airship. some of your aesthetic choices did not make sense, like these sideways cannons that shot out from their top, or the honestly confusing interior bg. your message boxes are also all empty in the level. the autoscroll in the airship area was fairly well done, but there was one part in particular that felt really odd. i'd suggest building something interesting around this point because this is kind of silly. in the airship area, the midpoint bar is discolored, & there's a dragon coin next to it that feels like it was an afterthought compared to the positions of the other coins.
using the same tiles in the foreground and background is rarely good, and your interior is confusing as hell to distinguish that at first. i'd suggest changing the wood in the background to some other wood block, possibly something from one of the ghost house tilesets (fg, bg, or the water one). the bowling balls just floating is kind of silly, and the thwimps disguised as bob-ombs is not a great choice since i can jump on bob-ombs but not on these other bouncing ones. the spikes in the nets are also not great, and i don't see what the function of the thwimps on tile 1f0 near the conveyor belt was for.
the pipe that leads to the secret night sky area is discolored, and the aforementioned area it leads to also doesn't have the prettiest colored background. the pokey that's just 4 goombas with a spike on top is kinda funky, but i think it's funny enough to keep anyway. the p-balloon segment is silly, it's only use is for a 1-up and it allows me to bypass most of your ground obstacles if i choose not to go for the 1-up. overall, the substance is here, there's just a lot of kinks to work out before you get a truly good level.
Karatekid5 - Stageshow Shuffle
Design and Execution: 26/50 Design Creativity and Aesthetic Creativity: 23/30 Aesthetics and Polish: 15/20 Overall: 64/100
your first piranha plant is in a position where it shoots out and enters the tiles above it. i'm not sure if this is intentional or not, but it doesn't look very good. the blue colored ghost house platforms are also pretty ugly, i'd darken their lines. the buzzy beetle / spiny substitute for the pokeys also don't look very good, primarily because they don't turn around so when they're approaching you from the right they still face to the left. i also wasn't big on a lot of your design choices, such as the falling spikes being hard to notice with the amount of colors and objects on the screen, plus the coin jumps that often times i'd get hit by wandering shelless koopas who i couldn't have possibly seen.
parts of this level reminded me of stadium of planets, where you had some nice graphics but much of the gameplay was just heading right. there were some other areas with nice multiple paths, though. i thought the shelless koopa spam wasn't terribly fun or well done, either.
allowiscous - NEO REZTOPIA TOWER
Design and Execution: 37/50 Design Creativity and Aesthetic Creativity: 21/30 Aesthetics and Polish: 18/20 Overall: 76/100
i thought i wouldn't mind the fg tiles you used, but actually starting this level the sheer amount of them in combination with your complex (and impressive) layer 2 and layer 3 was way too much i thought. the tileset you used for the ceilings was really nice, but it was just a bit of a visual overload to work with.
the first set of saws on floor 20 are annoying as hell to deal with, and i think should be lowered down a block or two. this is very pit of 100 trials-esque, which i think is a nice change of pace. however, much of it really is just the same setups. you have grinders, platforms, and in the second half you introduce bubbles. just room after room of virtually the same challenge spelled out in a slightly different manner. plus, the majority of the bubble segments can be dealt with simply by waiting for them to pop, kind of just making it a waiting game. in a normal level i wouldn't have minded your setups, but it felt tedious entering room after room of kinda the same thing.
floor 50 was a nice change of pace, and i kind of wish you either had some more interesting floors like that or had multiple floors be your gimmick and had interesting and different setups on each floor to deal with. as it stands right now though, it's kind of boring. also your tile for 45 is solid, while the other ones aren't. i'm guessing this is an oversight.
Grugi - Deja Vu-lley
Design and Execution: 34/50 Design Creativity and Aesthetic Creativity: 22/30 Aesthetics and Polish: 16/20 Overall: 72/100
before i go into this, this level's gimmick is being based on previous smw levels slightly, but doing other things with them. i am not wholly familiar with the original smw. i've played it through maybe once or twice? i don't have the nostalgia for it nor the memory to recognize a lot of the callbacks in this level, so i just tried to review it as honest as possible. i may say some dumb things but whatever. anyways:
the palettes are pretty, and the gimmick is rather interesting. i had worried with your concept it would be too close to the originals to really warrant anything serious, but i thought the first half of your level followed this concept fairly well. the line guide section was okay, but i thought the last part with how quick you're going made it hard to see the chainsaws in front of you, especially when they turn in the direction you immediately feel inclined to turn. felt kind of cheap. i was not a fan of the second half. the castle segment was the funnest part, but it felt the least deja vu-ey. it had a lot of interesting segments with net tiles and walls of turn blocks but honestly very little of it reminded me of the original smw.
following that is a short tubular section which frankly is not fun considering no matter your powerup status it's pretty much a one hit kill. controlling p-mario is already a chore, so when dying in this section means you have to start the castle section over every single time, it loses it's charm really quickly. there's a reason tubular was it's own level.
i thought the path to the secret exit / springboard for the two 1-ups was very clever, but then was disappointed when instead i was treated to a kinda boring water section. i was hoping you'd play around with one of the layer 2 autoscroll stages, or something a bit more exciting to play than just... water and chucks. maybe there's a bit of charm from this level i cannot get due to not having nostalgia for smw, but with the nature of your gimmick i felt there is so much more you could've done that you didn't.
and the entire last half i thought barely took advantage of your levels gimmick besides the occasional boulder.
i get what you're saying here. i've been wanting to completely redo that last room because i didn't feel like it brought anything new or remotely interesting to the table. depends on if i can think of anything to make.
combined with the numerous spikes and other deals made this not that fun.
were there any parts in particular that bugged you? i'm not sure what to take from this review if your major gripe was simply you didn't think it was fun all around.
the first thing i'm greeted to is white noise and an invisible wall. not a great start. well, actually, i dig the noise, but i doubt it was what you were going for nor is it something i can give you many positive points for. did you insert it with addmusick? is it an outdated track?
pretty sure it's the train arriving at the station ya dingdong
@sixcorby: i'm sorry i didn't get back to you earlier. i had stuff come up. if you still need feedback and want me to play your v.2 and shit, let me know.
@allowiscous: personally, yes, although i would ask around with others and stuff. i could just be the odd one out.
@masterskodwarde: the judges will not be playing your level with zsnes. just keep that in mind.
anyway enough of that SHIT. this was an... interesting batch of levels.
2dareduck - Vanilla Dome 4
Design and Execution: /50 Design Creativity and Aesthetic Creativity: /30 Aesthetics and Polish: /20 Overall: DQ/100
well, this isn't the vanilla dome 4 i'm familiar with most. i'd consider changing the name to something unique. or not, honestly.
it's pretty atrocious looking, though. the palettes are all kinds of gross. i can beat the level instantly by entering the door at the beginning... was this a test door or something you forgot to remove? the second dragon coin is really cheap, requiring the yellow switch palace (which you don't provide, making it impossible to get unless i'm expected to go into level 105 and get to the yellow switch palace normally). the duck line guide thing was weird as hell, and if i was on the left platform it felt like i was forced to take a hit there.
the vertical layer 2 falling section is clever, but it's not designed very well. i feel like i'm expected to know exactly where to be first time when there is little to suggest this (aside from a few coin setups in some areas). plus, if i die in this area, i have to redo everything. and then, to top everything off, when i finish this section i get thrown into a bonus room, effectively softlocking the game.
yeah. was this playtested?
Dan & Wakana - Nightmares Temple
Design and Execution: 25/50 Design Creativity and Aesthetic Creativity: 24/30 Aesthetics and Polish: 10/20 Overall: 59/100
"Nightmares"? this is kind of an awkward level name. i mean, this is the plural use of nightmares, but it just doesn't sound right. it'd be better if you just went with "Temple of Nightmares" or "Nightmares' Temple".
i think having the koopas be fishbones is really misleading as one's first instinct when they see a koopa is to jump on it. i guess you could argue it's a ~ghost koopa~, but it's still a bad choice imo. bridge building is a hard thing to make fun. this does not make bridge building fun. the introduction to building this bridge is tedious at best, and then, well.. we come to the second bridge building segment. i can bypass the bridge entirely, which kind of confused me. so i built it, went overtop to get the turn block and it was... coins. what's the point of this even? the entire beginning section seems to just be filler.
alas, we enter. man, i am not a fan of the palettes in here. well, when i can see them, anyway. having the light boxes be question blocks is kind of a weird choice. i'd have them be something more unique. the left thwomp in the skull raft section is in an annoying place, as it clips high enough into the ground so as to hit you when it rises all the way up. there's also a part to the right that looks like it might lead to something with how you have the bg torches. it leads to death.
i went for the secret exit first. the eating snake part was okay, but there was a part here where i could get stuck if i fell to the right (sorry, it's kind of a bad picture). it also was kind of boring, with a lot of waiting along with the autoscroll. the enemies being primarily bowser statues was pretty easy to deal with as well, as they are stationary and pose no threat if you stand on top of or behind them. i'd look into having more of the jumping ones, or something else at least. the key room was.... man, i don't know if it was serious or not but it did feel really cheesy. you even got that silent hill song there and everything. but it was whatever, it was short and then it was over.
the second half is the most creative part of this level. unfortunately, things that require using L + R to move layer 2 can be tricky, especially since mario can often clip into walls and die. it's pretty sloppy, and i'd almost consider removing all instances of that. the final part of the level was, again, cheesy as hell. maybe that's what you were going for, but man idk. also, covering up the timer isn't the smartest option. i can die of time out in the final area despite not knowing how many seconds i have left on the clock. this is a minor concern given how short the ending area is, but it is still kinda weird.
Guiga - UNFORESEEN CONSEQ. 1
Design and Execution: 14/50 Design Creativity and Aesthetic Creativity: 16/30 Aesthetics and Polish: 10/20 Overall: 40/100
the lava is too close a color to the bg that it's kind of hard to notice. i'd make it darker or more saturated or something. some of the jumps here are rather uncomfortably tight, primarily ones that involve spinjumping on maces when there are spikes and lava everywhere. the one to get the fire flower with the mace, boo, and dry bones with spikes comes to mind. the vine jumps over spikes with torpedo teds shortly afterwards give the player little room to move or deal with anything. i can also sit in this 1x1 lava, since the top block of lava doesnt actually kill mario. the pathway to the skull raft in the second room felt like filler, with easily avoidable it's easily avoidable maces. i'd just start the player near the raft honestly. your vines have cutoff, and the last vine jump to the midpoint is pretty difficult. i'd lower it by a block or so.
despite the midpoint coming in later, if i die i get sent back to the middle of the first room where, well, i'll let this gif speak for itself. if i do react quick enough, i get to have the joy of replaying 11 screens worth of level before i can get back to the midpoint bar again. yeah. Yeah.
my thoughts on the second half of your level:
this area is so hilariously boring and empty compared to the cramped first half of your level. there is just nothing of substance in this part. consider using more lava slopes and enemies and platforming areas or something. the following area has a little bit more going on, but i also die after hitting an invisible coin block and plunging into the lava (this coin block leads to the secret exit, but i'd consider not even having one in this level as it stands rn). the last part with the mace and spikes is poorly timed, where if i'm on the raft i basically need to take a hit.
honestly, the aesthetic of the secret area is better than your normal area. the darker colors, the song, i'd have it for the entire level lol. feeding yoshi was okay, but kind of boring. also, coz you have your level on a submap, yoshi vomits out a layer 3 message box which then kills your layer 3 fog. you had something going on in the first half of your level, even if i think it's incredibly cramped in places and has really difficult jumps in parts. but the part after the midpoint is so so empty that it's really boring. i think the entire second half needs to be reworked from the ground up, honestly.
SilverSwallow- Dark Data Tower
Design and Execution: 15/50 Design Creativity and Aesthetic Creativity: 18/30 Aesthetics and Polish: 12/20 Overall: 45/100
this level was not a pleasant experience to play with how little it was clear what you needed to do. you were just thrown into a building with footballs and jumping koopas that were annoying to hit and a bunch of doors, most of which you couldn't enter but some you could (with all the doors looking virtually the same). the tileset was okay, but the palettes were a bit ugly and it was very unclear / confusing what was tile 130 and what was tile 100 and what was tile 25.
after finally finding the set of doors that actually makes forward progress (although i did find the 3-up moon room, which had this which i thought was weird), i found everything to look a lot better. it kind of looked x-nauts fortress-y. although i instantly ran into this fucking abomination. that's by far the weirdest replacement i've seen for a bony beetle. the red lasers as prisons was really clever, although using red lasers as hurt blocks in other areas became confusing again. change the color of one of them, or get rid of the kill blocks entirely.
the platform under the level was pretty neat at first, but it was a bit long and there was no gameplay at all. i wasn't sure what the hell those bullets were but they hit me as i had no warning whatsoever. as you introduce the chucks hidden in these machines that shoot out baseballs and the rocks falling from the ceiling, the level becomes a lot more creative. it just takes a while to get here, and is ultimately pretty boring.
the green rings in the vertical section do not look like they should hurt. make them red. i get the concept of this level, you have a story going on here that's evident through the gameplay, but honestly the only interesting part was the inside of the actual tower itself. i would cut everything before and after and just make a level using that tileset, elaborating on the baseball chucks, the rocks, and other interesting mechanics. i don't know where the secret exit is. if i were a real judge i would stress over finding it, but man i'm just a fan judge. i'm done with playing this confusing level.
Prizm - Missing Cleft
Design and Execution: 32/50 Design Creativity and Aesthetic Creativity: 12/30 Aesthetics and Polish: 14/20 Overall: 58/100
the outlines for the note blocks are very hard to see. the choice of having all the dragon coins be discovered by the same means became very tedious as i had to go on a scavenger hunt to barely see these outline note blocks against the same color sky. the gameplay is alright, it'd work as a nice romp. it's a pretty level, but the background is a bit too close to the foreground for my liking. i feel like there's honestly not a ton to say about it. it's hilariously short, kind of mindless, and just kind of average. the song also has a pause in it at one point that's just long enough to sound kinda awkward.
I completely agree with every single statement you made about my level. Thank you for playing such awful entry and yet writing a constructive review. I'll try to step up my game and make it a little better before the deadline!