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[FAN JUDGE] ECS' Fan Judging Experience!

2 more coming!

Koopa Kaboose by Mogu94



Design: 30/60

This is a great themed level!
It has a nice theme that was executed pretty well!
It does try for a risky design, being an auto-scroll level, and this can make it feel pretty slow overall, though it has it's fun bits.

The level uses a large variety of enemies, but most of them weren't used in interesting ways. All sprites were used pretty much as basic obstacles that appear in our way. The only ones i really liked were the Pipe Lakitus, those were placed pretty strategically, and the terrain around them made them a good challenging obstacle!
As for other sprites, i feel like you could have tried to explore them more, experiment with their properties and come up with more interesting obstacles using them.

As for the design of the level itself, it's mostly good, pretty simple, but good. It manages to capture the feel of a train pretty well!
However, since it is an auto-scroll level, it doesn't feel too engaging, instead flowing very slowly, so i think a bit of variety could make it more interesting!
You could experiment with different sized train cars, some being more claustrophobic, having little space to move, while others being taller (as big as the screen height) and having 2 floors for example. The taller ones could have their exit being on top, so the player would need to climb some platforms inside the car to reach it (while racing the auto-scroll).
Also, these train cars feel too similar, most of them are either completely empty, or have a 3-tile high stair leading to a higher platform. I think you could have used more objects and make their insides different. Something that would be fitting would be Ghost House crates of varied sizes, maybe you could use some platforms and walls as well. Make a few twists and turns so the player has to race the auto-scroll instead of having to wait for it, this would help with the flow of the level!

Also, there could have been more exploring bits, the Yoshi Coins were nice, but they feel too similar, you could have tried different setups for them. One that comes to my mind would be a platform with a Pokey on top, set in a way so the Pokey falls and blocks the coin if the player takes too long. Or maybe have a segment where we go above the train car, and then have to go through an opening in the top of the car to get back inside.

Creativity: 13/30

This level has a very interesting and creative theme! And aesthetic creativity counted quite a lot here! The theme is really well executed visually!
As for gameplay however, it doesn't stand out much, there wasn't any particularly interesting gameplay idea, so the level feels pretty much like a regular auto-scrolling platform level.
It also has no memorable setups, the design feels pretty basic and doesn't explore much the idea of the theme. The use of sprites is also pretty basic and doesn't try anything interesting, pretty much only using them as basic obstacles. The only interesting ones were Pipe Lakitus.

Aesthetics: 8/10

Aesthetics is the category this level shines!
The theme is very creative and has been really well executed! The graphics work really well, the tileset mix has been put to great use and were combined really well to make the level's ambience!
The layering was also perfectly used to simulate Mario being inside the train! It contributes a lot to the theme!
And the use of BG and FG scrolling to create the illusion that the train is moving was really well done!
Also, the palettes work pretty well!
And the music is great, and very fitting to the level's theme!
As for a few aesthetic issues:
I personally found the Transluscent Blocks used as windows pretty weird, i don't know if there would be a better replacement though.
Also, the Yoshi Coins look weird without their signature glowing animation.
And last, the BG disappears during the victory walk, as for this one, i was looking at Blind Devil's Fan-Judging thread, and his solution for it is perfect! Make another sublevel with a station platform!

Total: 51/100

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Turrim Caelo by Stiviboy



Design: 49/60

Oh my! This level is incredible!
The design is so good! It's extremely fun to play! The flow is excellent and it is very engaging in it's entirety!

It's design makes a great use of the level's dimensions, and Lunar Magic 3.0's increased height, utilizing it to it's full potential!
I also love the way it reuses places we've been previously, but going through it in a new way with the line-guided platforms to reach new areas!

Your use of line-guides and On/Off Switches is superb! Rarely have i seen a level using these objects in such a great way as it's been used here! There were a lot of interesting line-guided formations, and the use of the Switches to progress in each segment is really cool! My favorite is the line-guided segment in the 2nd half, where the line-guided platrform starts on the top of the level, then goes down and around, passing through the platforms we've previously been, then progressing to the right! That was incredible!

Also, your use of sprites is great! There weren't that many segments focused on emenies, but all of them feel well placed, the Pitchin' Chucks being specifically interesting!
Also, i like the way you sped up the Line-Guided Platforms when going through big horizontal areas! It was pretty clever!

There was only 1 segment that i didn't fully enjoy, the one right before the Midway Gate! It feels specifically tough due to how hard the On/Off Switch is to reach! Also, the Clappin' Chick down there just feels annoying! It can hit you when the platform reaches it's lowest position, knocking you off the platform without a way to get back to it!

Also, i feel the very last line-guided segment could've been a bit more interesting! The one before that is my favorite setup in the entire level! But that one is very short and really simple! I think you could have tried to extend it a bit, maybe using the On/Off Switch one more time, or making it go around a few platforms like in the previous segment!

The survival section is pretty cool! Though it might feel a bit too long. It takes about 30 SMW seconds to complete, but the challenge presented in it is the same the whole time, which can make it feel a bit repetitive. You could maybe try to make it progressively harder, by having other sprites fall as the time passes! (Grinders would be a good example)

Creativity: 24/30

There's tons of creativity on display in this!
The use of Line-guides was especially unique! I have rarely seen such a good and unique use of Line-guides in a SMW level! Every Line-guided setup feels incredibly unique!
Also, the use of Pitchin' Chucks hidden inside walls was extremely clever!
The survival section at the end is also very interesting!
And of course, the aesthetic creativity shown here is also incredible!
The graphics were put to great use to set the level's theme, and the enemy reskins were pretty clever!

Aesthetics: 10/10

This level is just gorgeous!
The aesthetics were just so well done! The tileset mix is incredible, and it has been used perfectly to create the level's ambience! The FG tiles are incredible! And every piece of decoration has been put to great use, perfectly complimenting the level's visuals!
The BGs look great! Simple but beautiful! And i especially like the contrast between day and night from the first to the second half!
The enemy reskins are also really well done, and in fact i don't even recognize some of the tiles used for them! My favorites were the Ninjis and the Diggin' Chuck Rocks! (FLOATING MUNCH... erm... BOUNCING MUNCHERS! xD)
The palettes are beautiful! And they really set a nice atmosphere to the level!
And the use of ExAnimations is great! They were really well executed, and make the level feel alive!
Also, the music is awesome! And it's really fitting to the level!
My only complaints about aesthetics are:
The Larry heads on Chucks feel a bit out of place, and they appear floating when the chuck gets hit. Also, the reskin used for Shell-less Koopas and Bob-Ombs, they have the same graphics, but are different enemies, i'd like to have something to differentiate them, other than just palettes. And last, the "Survive!" text flashes in a weird way when we beat the level.

Total: 83/100 (Favorited!)
My Youtube Channel
Thanks so much for super-detailed feedback! Since I'm vety unecperienced(it's the 3rd level L've ever made.), especially in making detialed setsups, so these are very helpful for me! I'll try to fix the issues.

Originally posted by ECS.98
What i expected from this room was to have to enter a pipe and change the room's state pretty often, not go through 10 screens of normal platforming to only then find a pipe...


The main reason of this is because of secondary exits limit. I used too many secondary exits in reverse room and we can use up to 24 secondary exits in rule, so I could use only 4 pipes to move other side. moreover 2 out of 4 was used to explain gimmick, there was only two pipes to use. This forced me to change my plan puzzle-ish into platforming. I'm sad about it. So I tried to use conveyor-sprite interaction with platforming(inspired by StrikeForcer's VLDCX entry), but sadly it seems not excuted well...
500 second limit also gives me big pressure.(This was also reason for simplifying main room and dark room.)

Originally posted by ECS.98
maybe have the blocks unlock a Spring you need to use, for example.


This is very cool idea! But sadly It'll be ricky bevause I found that player can bring spring from reverse room... I'll try to find another setups to use!

Originally posted by ECS.98
Also, there are a few sprite limit issues near the end of the room, sometimes sprites don't spawn.


I found that grinders disapear regardless of the number of sprite. Sadly I can't find the reason why it disapears...


Again, thanks very much for this review!!





Is these setups will be okay?
Originally posted by Kusrry
Thanks so much for super-detailed feedback! Since I'm vety unecperienced(it's the 3rd level L've ever made.), especially in making detialed setsups, so these are very helpful for me! I'll try to fix the issues.


Wow, 3rd level!? This is a great level for someone new to hacking! Good job on it!
I'm glad the feedback has been helpful!

Originally posted by Kusrry
Originally posted by ECS.98
What i expected from this room was to have to enter a pipe and change the room's state pretty often, not go through 10 screens of normal platforming to only then find a pipe...


The main reason of this is because of secondary exits limit. I used too many secondary exits in reverse room and we can use up to 24 secondary exits in rule, so I could use only 4 pipes to move other side. moreover 2 out of 4 was used to explain gimmick, there was only two pipes to use. This forced me to change my plan puzzle-ish into platforming. I'm sad about it. So I tried to use conveyor-sprite interaction with platforming(inspired by StrikeForcer's VLDCX entry), but sadly it seems not excuted well...
500 second limit also gives me big pressure.(This was also reason for simplifying main room and dark room.)

Oh, right, i didn't even think of the Secondary Exit limit!
Well, in that case, i'd say you could try balancing out the length of the segments. Increase the spacing of the first 3 pipes, while reducing the spacing from the 3rd to 4th pipe.
Also, since you can only work with 4 pipes, i think the 1st one is good enough to explain the gimmick, you could try using the 2nd one with more interesting setups. You could also try reworking the 4th pipe, to make that segment shorter.
Also, the use of conveyors is pretty clever! I really liked the little segment where you have to kill a Chuck's Rock with a Throw Block. And i think you can certainly use that idea as a co-gimmick to the room!
With that said, i still think a few segments (such as the ones i showed in the review) feel a bit filler, you could try to experiment more with conveyors and see if you can come up with more interesting setups!

Originally posted by Kusrry
Originally posted by ECS.98
maybe have the blocks unlock a Spring you need to use, for example.


This is very cool idea! But sadly It'll be ricky bevause I found that player can bring spring from reverse room... I'll try to find another setups to use!

Originally posted by ECS.98
Also, there are a few sprite limit issues near the end of the room, sometimes sprites don't spawn.


I found that grinders disapear regardless of the number of sprite. Sadly I can't find the reason why it disapears...

Oh, right, i see how it could be cheesed with the use of the Spring. Well, that was an example, maybe you could use other items, such as a P-switch instead.
Also, yea, i've seen the Grinders disappear a few times, but i wasn't only reffering to them. After coming through the segment with Thwimps and Light Switch Blocks(which are sprites), sometimes the Chuck Rocks and Spinies disappear too. It isn't a big issue, but it's just something i noticed.

Originally posted by Kusrry
Again, thanks very much for this review!!





Is these setups will be okay?

You're welcome! I'm glad my review was helpful!
As for these setups, they look pretty good!
The one with the Hammer Bros blocks is even better than i had imagined when i suggested it!

As for the one with the P-Switch, i don't know if that will be the best place to use it (the segment with 3 pipes is already pretty interesting as it is, i think the P-Switch would work better on a simpler segment), but it's nice the way it is!
But wouldn't it be possible for the player to get trapped in the rope if he jumps too high? (Also, i'd recommend removing the Spiny near the Bubble Goomba, remember what i said about them being annoying)

This is looking promising, and i look forward to see more of the changes you'll make!

Also, if you need any further help with more changes you make before releasing your level, feel free to PM me! (just so we get this post-review discussion outside of this thread, so it can stay focused on Fan-Judging)
My Youtube Channel
Ok... i have nothing to say here xD

Blue Dabadi Dabadu by Turbofa



Design: 25/60

A very challenging level!
While i really like challenging levels, i recognize this one is too hard for a VLDC! It doesn't go into Kaizo territory, but it's around Very Hard difficulty!
Another aggravating thing about it is the length, it's pretty long for it's difficulty! Which can be really frustrating! I'd strongly recommend you try making it a bit shorter, or at least put a 1-UP Checkpoint when we reach the 3rd area.

Putting difficulty aside, it is a quite fun level! And i did enjoy playing a few of it's segments! It's very engaging, and the gameplay is very action packed!

The design around Layer 2 Smashing commands is quite good! It's interesting, and has been used quite nicely to keep the action going, with many of the segments making a good use of the Layer 2 Smashing timing! I like how the 2nd area, which has slower smashing, has longer smashing segments, while the areas with faster smashing have quick ones!

The use of sprites is limited exclusively to Spinies and Lakitus, and they have been used quite nicely in a few segments to pose a threat! And having them not interact with Layer 2 was particularly clever, so they can move independently of Layer 2 position.
However, i feel pretty often they have been kinda overused, while in some places they're placed strategically, in many others it seems like they got simply spammed to be annoying! Most notably in the 3rd area!
Also very notable is the Cloud Lakitu, which gets really annoying throughout the level, especially when used with other Lakitus and Spinies! That guy's RNG nature is really frustrating! And i've been sniped by him way more times than i'd like to admit! (In fact, this guy alone killed me more than every Layer 2 smasher in the level combined!)

Also, i liked the little bits of exploration for Yoshi Coins, all of them require some extra effort to get which really makes them feel rewarding! The one thing i didn't like is the 1-UP that requires Big Mario right before the Midway, mainly because this level is a nightmare to play as Big Mario!

A pretty noticeable issue with this level is the difficulty curve, which is a bit all over the place.
The first area starts okay, and gets gradually harder when progressing, however, in the end of that area there's a huge difficulty spike in the fast smashing part! The jumps there are very tight! Most notably this jump, where we jump between 2 fast smashing pipes; the 2 jumps using this setup, due to the fast action required, as well as how low the upside-down pipes are placed and this last jump, which is really tight and close to impossible with Big Mario!
Then in the second area it's a lot easier, the smashing pipes move very slowly, and give a lot of time to progress. Most of the difficulty on this one comes from the Lakitu, which, as i said, can get really annoying!
Then the 3rd area feels like it should be the hardest, but it really isn't. It is a fast smashing segment with pretty tight jumps, but they still don't feel as tight as the ones in the 1st area. Also, the use of Spinies is particularly spammy here, especially when paired with the Lakitu, and i really think they don't add much to the design, other than being very annoying and getting in the way all the time!

Also, something i noticed is a lot of segments feel pretty claustrophobic, and are unfairly tight when playing as Big Mario. This first Yoshi Coin is an example, the Spiny there is particularly dangerous in that tight space. Also, this whole segment here requires some really low and careful jumps. Also, these sets of jumps i mentioned earlier, the first one is easy to bop your head on the pipe, and the other, as said before, is close to impossible with Big Mario (which is particularly unfair because the 1-UP after that jump requires Big Mario)

This level is a pretty risky move, as i said, i particularly like challenging levels, but i still feel this level is too hard for a VLDC!
It seems to have some very nice design ideas, and pretty cool setups using Layer 2 smashing, but it seems to be mainly focused on difficulty. I'd recommend to be careful with the difficulty spikes and enemy spam, and give a bit more leeway for the player in some segments, and this level could be a lot more enjoyable!

Creativity: 14/30

The idea of the level is pretty cool! I like the use of Layer 2 Smashing Commands, it uses a nice variety of them that give a different feel in each area. Also, having sprites not interact with Layer 2 was particularly clever, and allows for some nice action segments.
This level has some pretty interesting setups! I especially like the rush against the pipes in the 2nd area, as well as the quick platform climbing in the 3rd area! The one with Falling Platforms and fast crushing in the 1st area is also pretty cool!
Also, the placement of some Lakitus was pretty clever, the Pipe Lakitus were used pretty strategically throughout most of the level!
The only problem is i feel it sometimes focused more on difficulty than actually creativity...

Aesthetics: 5/10

Well, the name defines the aesthetics pretty well. It's blue! xD
And, even though there's a lot of blue in it, it doesn't look bad!
The palettes are quite nice! The blue palettes look good, as well as the BG!
Also, i like the little decorations used, and it's especially nice how you used different tiles to mark the places where the pipes smash!

Total: 44/100

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Sunset Land by JLippe



Design: 36/60

A pretty nice simple platforming level!
It has a very basic design, with a standard straight-forward platforming, but it's pretty well made, and pretty fun to play!

The platforming in this level is quite interesting, despite being very straight-forward, it isn't flat, and has some variations in the use of the terrain that makes the gameplay nice and engaging at times!
It's a pretty easy level. It does have a difficulty curve, but it stays mostly on the easy side.

The use of sprites is pretty fine! Most of them are used in a very traditional way, pretty much like simple vanilla SMW.
It does lack a bit of focus with the sprites, it uses many different sprites, and never really tries to design much around any of them.
Also, it doesn't have any interesting setups with sprites, they are only used in very traditional ways as simple obstacles, and none of them really stands out at all.

I do like the little exploration bits for Yoshi Coins, those are actually pretty interesting! They aren't really that hard or well hidden, but given the easy difficulty of the level, they feel pretty balanced!

I didn't find any really noticeable issues with the level. It's pretty polished gameplay-wise. The only thing i could mention is Monty Moles take too long to pop out of their holes.

Creativity: 8/30

Well, the level is a traditional platforming level, so it doesn't really try too heavily with creativity.
It doesn't really have any setups that stand out in it's design, nor in the use of enemies.
It does have a few interesting exploration bits with Yoshi Coins. And there's a bit of aesthetic creativity shown in the theme as well.

Aesthetics: 6/10

The level looks pretty nice!
It doesn't try too much with graphics, though the decorations used are quite good!
The palettes are really good! They do a great job setting the theme of the level! I just feel like the second half doesn't fit that much with the theme of the first half (mainly due to the BG)
The music is vanila as well, but it does fit the level!

Total: 50/100
My Youtube Channel
Finally getting into the 2nd page of the Submissions Thread!

Bounce and Climb by RetroKoopa7170



Design: 26/60

A simple and pretty fun level!
This level has quite a nice design, it's a bit of an Athletic themed level, it flows well and can be quite engaging! Also, it's pretty good for a first level! Good job!

The platforming in it is mostly simple, it has a few interesting segments, especially the exploration bits for the Yoshi Coins and the 3-UP moon!

It does have a nice use of the theme, and it keeps the design focus mostly well. However, i still feel the use of the theme isn't well explored, especially when it comes to 'Bounce'.

The bouncing mechanic in the level isn't really well explored, it's almost exclusively used in the form of Note Blocks in the platforms, which feels pretty repetitive, and pretty much 90% of them aren't really needed at all, only a few of these Note Blocks are actually required to bounce to a higher place that can't be reached by a normal jump.
You could have done a lot more with a mechanic as interesting as Bounce, not only with the use of Note Blocks (which could have been used better, such as making big jumps that can't be normally done), but you could also use Springs (maybe have a segment where you have to find a Spring to reach a high ledge), Spring Platforms, bouncing on enemies (such as what has been done for the 3-UP Moon, which was pretty interesting) or even bouncing by spin-jumping on enemies.
There's a lot that could have been done to add variety to it!

As for Climbing, it was used in more interesting ways than bouncing, i really like the setups with Vine formations that we have to climb to cross some gaps, or reach higher areas! However, i also feel like you could have done more with it!
You could have used a few Blocks with Vines inside, for example, having to hit the block to release the Vine, and having an incomplete Vine formation that would require some extra Vines to be completed (hope that was clear enough). You could also have a segment where we have to climb carrying an item. Also, maybe use some Climbing Nets, using Net Koopas as obstacles (and it would fit the sprites used in the level!). These are just a few ideas, and i'm sure you can come up with some interesting segments if you experiment with the gimmicks!

Also, this level seems to have a few filler segments. Most notably the segments where we just jump over Munchers, those feel uninteresting and out of place.

The use of sprites was very simple, the enemies used were only Koopas, and the level doesn't really seem to have a focus on enemies. With that said, i did like the use of ParaKoopas as obstacles in the bouncing segments, and i feel like you could have used more of them, so they feel more dangerous. You could also use some between the vines, so we'd have to be careful while climbing as well.

Right now the level feels a bit long, but that's mostly due to it's repetitive nature, i feel it could really be improved by having more setups that could stand out more, using the gimmicks in more varied ways.

Creativity: 12/30

The gimmicks used in this level are quite interesting, despite being basic SMW mechanics, they have a lot of potential, and people can always come up with nice setups with them.
However, i feel like this level didn't try to explore this potential too much, especially in regards to Bouncing, most setups were pretty simple, and didn't really stand out.
There are a few i particularly like, such as the ParaKoopa bounce to reach the 3-UP Moon, and the Vine formations we have to climb throughout the level!
Also, there's a bit of aesthetic creativity on display here, i like the way the platforms are set up!

Aesthetics: 6/10

It's pretty much full Vanilla, the level doesn't really try to change anything in graphics or in palettes.
But it is well polished visually!
Also, i'm really a fan of the complex pipe and log formations used in the FG, those look really good!
As for the song, it's also vanilla, but i'd say the 'Athletic Theme' would fit this level better.
Also, as a few minor aesthetic issues, the Vines have 'vine cutoff', as they have no end on the bottom. There's also a minor cutoff in the log platform that has a Mushroom in the first screen.

Total: 44/100

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Frozen Grasslands by Yoshi9429



Design: 17/60

This level has some nice ideas, but i don't really have many good things to say about it...
Note that i'll try my best to not be harsh, and i'm sorry if i do, but i just have a lot of complaints about things i disliked in this level!

It seems well designed in some segments, and there are some pretty clever setups. Also, it's pretty engaging and has a nice flow!
However, i also felt most of it was pretty frustrating. It's strange because, when you look at it's design, it doesn't seem like it's trying to be hard, but when you play it, it feels very unforgiving!
Another factor that affects this is the length, this level is really long! It took me about 350 seconds to play it from start to finish in a moderately optimized way! (after going through it a few times and knowing the layout quite well)
This combination of length and difficulty can make it very frustrating to play!

The level has some nice design ideas, and the gimmick is quite interesting! The platforming has a pretty varied use of the terrain, which makes it engaging!
However, it also feels like it doesn't have much of a focus on design. It tries a lot of different ideas with platforming, and in the end they don't seem to fit well together.
The constant use of slopes along with ice physics felt particularly annoying! It's really easy to lose control of Mario's movement when these 2 are combined! It's especially annoying how the slopes often lead directly into Munchers! And how there are a lot of enemies around them! It can be pretty overwhelming!

I like the use of terrain and level height, and the climbing segments feel pretty good too! I feel the level could be better if it focused a bit more on those!
Also, the use of the gimmick to make the level play differently is pretty clever!
However, having to replay the whole level in the second half felt too exagerated! While many segments play pretty differently, it's still the same level, so a lot of the second half feels like filler segments. Not to mention this makes the level very long!
I would've liked this level more if we had to change between day and night more often, but each segment was shorter, that way the level would flow better, and you'd have the opportunity to make more puzzles, and use the changing blocks to alter the level's design more often as well.

Also, i really didn't like the use of sprites at all!
It feels like your main focus with the sprites was to make them annoying for the player!
I especially disliked:
- The Shell Kickers, they were mostly used as a surprise element, which is really unfair and makes for some very frustrating deaths (and it's especially annoying when they are used along with slopes and Wall Triangles!) I'd say there isn't a single Shell Kicker in this level that doesn't feel annoying and unecessary!
- The Bullet Bills. They are very unpredictable with their shooting timer, and the projectile is fast! They always keeps the player on their toes when they see one. And the ones in this level are used in particularly annoying segments, where it's either an end of jump surprise element, or they're covering some already dangerous segments, making them even more annoying!
- The Boo Rings. Those have to be used very carefully, as often they're used just to make the player wait, which is exactly what happens in this level! All of them feel just like a waiting game, and some even make us wait on a slope, which is particularly annoying, especially this one!
- The Bowser Statues. While those weren't exactly bad, it's just that there are already a lot of projectile shooting sprites in this level, so this just makes it worse! Also, they become particularly annoying in the second half, as we have to play the level in reverse (from right to left), so the Bowser Flames will usually stay in the screen for a very long time! (unless we stop and wait for the flames to despawn)

Also, there are some noticeable blind jumps in the second half of the level! I know we've already been through that segment before, but it wouldn't hurt to use coin guides for these jumps, as i haven't really memorized the whole level layout to know where to land!

Creativity: 12/30

The level has a pretty interesting gimmick, having the exclamation blocks change when changing sublevels is pretty cool, and always nice to see!
However, that seems to be it for the gimmick, as it doesn't really have much of a focus. There are some interesting segments that change quite nicely from day to night, but none that really stands out.
Also, there were no interesting setups with enemies at all.
The aesthetic creativity counts here a bit, the change from day to night is pretty nice!

Aesthetics: 6/10

The level looks pretty good!
The tileset mix and decorations are nice, and have been used pretty well!
The palettes are also pretty good! And fit the level well!
The songs used are pretty good, and also fit the theme of the level well.
As for aesthetic issues, there are just some minor issues such as the color of the lava splash.
One thing i think could be improved is the difference between day and night, you could have done more than just changing Back Area Color. Darkening the FG palettes would be a nice change, for example.

Total: 35/100
My Youtube Channel
Will you perhaps try my King Of The Mountain level? I held nothing back on it with rules still in tact.
100% Orange Juice Playthrough:
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLf1kPWkjcurtA3xPP3TybfqSiEn1AcX2A

VLDC9 Playthrough:
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLf1kPWkjcurtiP5de_-e6q0hSVrY37RB-.


I'd appreciate it if you could try my levle
Thank you for doing this, you're helping everybody so much with your reviews. I would really appreciate it if you could play my level >.<
Next reviews coming!
Also, note this post has 3 reviews instead of 2, because i also re-reviewed Blizzard Buffalo's entry!

As for the requests, i'll be taking them next!

Metallic Metropolis by PokerFace



Design: 56/60

Oh... my... god! This level is a masterpiece!
This was an absolute blast to play! It is just so incredibly well done! The flow is incredible, and it's very engaging throughout the whole level!
We can clearly see the amount of effort put into every little detail!

Every section in this level is incredibly interesting, and the design is superb! Each room brings fresh ideas to the table, and combines them with an incredible design and mind-blowing visuals!
And the way every idea is integrated into the level is fantastic!
All the different areas and gimmicks blend together so well! It makes the level's flow so natural!

I love the amount of attention to detail that went into this level!
The level always makes sure to show the player how everything works, and always gives time for the player to analyse and react to everything!
A few examples i could mention:
- In the beggining, when enemies fall into the reskined lava to show it's deadly.
- The enemies in the water in many places, to show it's safe.
- The numerous coin guides to guide the player to safety.
- Putting the player directly into the Switch that activates the sinking Layer 2 in the bottom path.
And many other examples, it always has a way to teach the player everything seen in the level in a safe environment before actually utilizing it!
It's clear that everything in this level has a purpose, perfectly complimenting the overall design of the level!

Also, this level has a ton of non-linearity! I love the way it encourages exploration! It has a lot of different areas, with every path being equally interesting and fun!
I liked the effort put into every Yoshi Coin! All of them feel very interesting! And it's especially nice how it's possible to get them all on both paths!
Also, after reading other reviews, i was a little worried about length, but i didn't really find length being an issue, i can safely clear it in 300 seconds after knowing it's design. Each section has just the right length to be interesting and memorable, without making the level excessively long!

The use of sprites is really well done! There are so many interesting and really clever setups using sprites! Some of them are used in pretty simple ways, but even those are very interesting because they really compliment the level's deisgn! There's certainly a lot of thought put into placing every single sprite!

I had to put a lot of effort into actually finding any issues in this level xD
But i do have a few little suggestions:
- The puzzle for the 3rd Yoshi Coin could use a reset door, just so we don't need to restart the level if we mess up.
- This Thwimp feels a bit out of place, since it's the only thing that moves and hurts Mario there.
- This jump feels a bit tight, it takes a while to have the Sparkys align so we can jump up there.

Well, hats off to you! You've created a masterpiece!

Creativity: 27/30

There's a ton of creativity in this level! The aesthetic creativity is just superb! The theme is incredible, and the execution is flawless!
There are so many clever ideas, and everything has been used so well! Also, the enemy reskins were particularly cool, the Grinders turning into electric orbs was brilliant!

It also has a ton of creativity in it's design! Each segment has a defined focus and brings some nice ideas! I especially liked the Layer 2 sinking and crushing segments!
There are also a lot of clever setups! The puzzle for the 3rd Yoshi Coin is pretty cool! And i love the little "Garbage Dispenser" setup with sprites falling in the 'lava'! It reminds me of Flame Mamooth's stage in MMX!

Aesthetics: 20/10 (Ok, it's 10/10 xD)

Oh my... this level is absolutely gorgeous! I can't even find words to express how impressed i am with this level's aesthetics!!
This is hands down the most beautiful/visually impressive Vanilla level i've ever seen!
It's just mind-blowing what you have done with this level's visuals! You totally just drew an entirely new tileset of a completely new theme to SMW! It's unbeliavable!
The tiles have been given an entirely new meaning, and you managed to draw many new objects so well that it feels like they're naturally in the game!
The palettes are incredible! They perfectly compliment the graphics and theme of the level!
The Backgrounds are incredibly cool! They are just so well made! The indoors Backgrounds are amazing! My favorite is the BG in the bossfight room, it's mind-blowing how beautiful that BG is!
The use of ExAnimation is awesome! They make the level really feel alive!
Also, i really love the attention to detail to make everything work, one thing that called my attention is how the lava splashes look like junk when something falls on it! Really clever!
And last, the songs are really cool! And they fit the level's atmosphere really well!
Well, i literally can't find the slightest of issues with aesthetics, this is just flawless! Good job PokerFace!

Total: 93/100 (Favorited!)

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Easiest Judgement by Crysack



Design: 4/60

Uh... this level is just... really random.
I don't want to sound rude with this, but i'm not even sure if this is actually a serious entry, the randomness on the design, the message box, the "I hope i win" text, it shows signs of a joke entry.
Well, whatever the case, i won't take my review less seriously because of this, and if it's actually a legit entry, i'll provide some feedback to the creator!
Note that i won't really be saying many good things about this level, so sorry in advance for being quite harsh.

Well, as i said, the design is really random, it's all over the place, and doesn't have any focus at all! There are all kinds of design and gameplay mixed together, wall-running, flying, vine climbing, and flat platforming. But none of these are really developed at all.

The level doesn't try to do anything interesting at all. The design is very flat, and pretty boring, the obstacles are so simple that they could barely be called obstacles, and they're also very random.
Also, the level is very short, and doesn't try to be engaging at all.
Though i gotta say, the Yoshi Coins are actually considerably good, especially when compared to the overall quality of the level!

The use of sprites is almost non-existent, there's just one sprite here and there, placed very randomly, and the only one that seems to have a purpose is the Chargin' Chuck, the setup with him is probably the only interesting thing in the level.

The difficulty curve is also pretty much non-existent. The level is mostly very easy, though it has a few unfair parts.

Also, it's pretty obvious that this level was inspired by Undertale, the music, message box and palettes make it clear. But, other than these, there's nothing at all in the design that shows any sort of inspiration.

As for my suggestions of what could be changed... Well, pretty much the entire level.
First of all, you should get an idea of what you want to focus your design on, there are a lot of mixed gameplay mechanics here, and they don't really work together now. So getting a base idea for the design would be the first step.
Then you start to come up with setups using these base design ideas, try to come up with interesting setups, experimenting with different ways you can use the base idea. Also do some testing to see if it's working and if it's fun to play.
Playing some levels, even just vanilla SMW, would help with getting an idea of how a SMW level should play, and how you could base your design.

Creativity: 3/30

Well, there's really not much i can say here, the level doesn't have any interesting gimmick or idea at all. And there aren't really any setups that are minimally interesting.
The only thing i'd say i liked, again, is the placement of some Yoshi Coins.

Aesthetics: 1/10

Well. there isn't much effort put into aesthetics, the level is very empty, it's pretty much just Cement Block spam and random bad palettes.
The yellow palettes used in the BG are really hard on the eyes! And most other custom palettes like the blue used in lava, Feathers and Goombas, or the yellow in the FG just don't really work well.
Other than that, it's really just Vanilla aesthetics, but nothing used in any good or interesting way.
The only thing i like is the song, which is a really cool one!

Total: 8/100

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Ambrose Asylum by Blizzard Buffalo [Updated]



Design: 39/60

Well, i can really see this level has improved a lot!
Also, thank you so much for taking into account all the feedback you received!
There's a lot of things that i want to cover, so i'll just steal Mad Lad's idea real quick here and use LM screens to specify the setups xD

I see this level has improved a lot while still maintaining the good aspects i commented on my review! The new gameplay changes made it flow even better! The use of the terrain is just as good as before!
Also, there are some new and interesting setups that work pretty well too!

The level is still pretty challenging, but now it's a lot more fair and enjoyable to play! You did a good job with the changes on the difficulty spike segments! However, i feel a few segments are a bit empty now, which makes them feel slow compared to the general action packed flow of the level, i'll specify those below!

Now to comment on a bit more detail on specific segments:
- First area -
00 - The level starts pretty well, with some action going, but enough time for the player to react! I also like how you prevented the Grinder from going to the right when respawning!
06 - This is the only setup that i didn't like! I don't get why you changed it, the old one was so much better! This one feels pretty overwhelming, and a bit confusing, since now all line guided sprites are desynced!
07 - I like this change! It now makes the Grinders more dangerous! (as before we could literally just wait for them to roll away)
0A-0D - This segment plays kinda similar to the old one, it's still pretty cool! And i like how you moved the block in the beggining!
But still, i feel like the falling Grinders are still very unpredictable! Even if they're visible, we can't clearly see where they're gonna fall! I recommend using coin guides to show where the player has to be in order to avoid incoming hazards.
Also, you could have used a few more setups with Net Koopas, to make the enemies more varied, as right now we can literally pass that whole part by staying on the very bottom of the rope (since the Saws and Grinders only hit us when on the top)
0F-12 - These segments play pretty well, i see they have been changed quite a bit, and i think they've maintained the same quality as before! Though i'd say having a few more sprites would be nice, specifically on screens 11 and 12!
13-14 - I like these! They're a lot more fair now! And it's nice that you've fixed the difficulty spike here!
- Second area -
02-03 - Nice, these play a lot more fair now!
04-06 - I feel these screens became a little bit empty now, they could use a few more enemies, such as a few Dry Bones in the platforms around the Thwomps. Screen 06 could have some Grinders too (Seems there's a lot of place for some line guides there), would make those jumps a bit more challenging!
07 - This is already a lot better than the old Spike setup! But i feel it could have more sprites, specifically on the ground area.
0A - This segment now plays a lot better! Thank you for listening to me about the Bullet Bills! Also, i like how you added a Bullet Bill in the lava segment, so we aren't forced to spin jump on the Bowser Flames!
0E - I like that you removed the shell kicker! The Rainbow Shell plays a lot more fair! (never thought i'd say this in my life xD)
But i still think it's hard to see what's coming below. I think you could make it a gradual fall with the platforms, instead of having a big hole in the middle that falls directly to the bottom.

Well, i see this level has been improved quite a lot! The gameplay is now more enjoyable and the difficulty is more fair!

Creativity: 19/30

There weren't any huge changes in terms of creativity since last time, but this level does have a few more interesting setups!
It seems you put more thought into the placement of a few sprites, as well as how the setups play, which makes them very interesting! There aren't any setups that particularly stand out that i haven't commented on my old review, but i like what you did on screen 07 of the first half!
Also, the aesthetic creativity got a little boost as well! You came up with some pretty nice ideas!

Aesthetics: 8/10

I see you've improved a lot on the aesthetics!
I really like the new decorations you've added! And they certainly look a lot better than before! The dark pillars and the window decorations on the ground look cool! Also, the lamps look a lot better now that both parts glow!
As for everything else, it stays mostly the same, the song is pretty cool, and the palettes look great!
The only thing that looks weird is the lava having 2 different palettes.

Total: 66/100
My Youtube Channel
Hey, Can you give review(feedbacks) about my stage?
(Although, I'm not expect high score due to high difficulty in nature... but anyway! :))
Ok, first 2 requests are here!
Also featuring my biggest review yet, i really got carried away with it! In fact, i decided to collapse a few sections to make it fit the page better! (Good luck for reading it xD)
Also, as always, i'm sorry if i might sound harsh in a few reviews. Please don't get discouraged by it, i just really focus on pointing out the issues in detail when i don't particularly enjoy a level, as these are the kind of levels i feel i can help the most by giving detailed feedback!

The other 2 requests are coming next!

King of the Mountain by MarkVD100



Design: 13/60

This level has some pretty cool ideas, however, the execution is really lacking! There are many noticeable issues with the design, and those affect mainly the fun factor. This level quickly becomes very frustrating! As usual, i’m sorry if i end up being harsh with any of my comments, but i didn’t really enjoy playing this level!

First, i think i could say the things i liked in it.
The ideas are nice! The gimmick with the On/Off Switch and the Switch Blocks is pretty clever! I see you were trying to simulate the custom On/Off Blocks there, and this could actually lead to some pretty interesting setups! But, since the blocks are still solid when invisible, some care should be taken when designing around those, as to avoid a few issues (I’ll come to these later)
Also, the platforming in it is kinda cool! I like the use of the terrain! It’s pretty varied, there’s a nice use of the level’s dimensions, and the platforming can be quite engaging!
I also liked the little bits of variation in gimmick/theme, there are platforming focused sections, as well as some puzzle oriented ones. These could add some variety to the level, though right now the execution isn’t really that good, and the different areas don’t really fit each other.

Now for what i don’t like… well, i’ll go through each section separately, since they are pretty different, and i have a lot to say.











Also, this level is very long! And the length certainly adds to the frustration!
It took me around 330 seconds to complete in a pretty optimized way! (Knowing the solution to everything and playing through it mostly well). It isn’t exactly close to the 500 seconds rule at all, but it does feel like dragging for too long.

Oh, i noticed this level has a few sprite limit issues, there are a lot of segments where there are too many sprites on screen, and some don’t spawn. The VLDC 11 Base Rom uses the SA-1 Patch, which means you can increase the sprite limit to 20. Just do this:
Originally posted by FPzero
Also, since we're using SA-1, remember to set the sprite header in #lm{sprhead} to 0x08 so that you can use the More Sprites Patch, which increases maximum sprites on screen to 20




Creativity: 12/30

As said, this level has some pretty cool ideas! The use of Switch Blocks with On/Off Switches is pretty interesting! It might be a bit risky, but it’s certainly a clever idea!
I also like the little puzzling bits, the puzzle aspect of these segments is pretty good! There’s a nice use for each item.
However, in terms of actual design, it lacks on interesting setups with these ideas, and in the end this hurts the creativity score a bit.

Aesthetics: 5/10

This level seems to have a lot of focus on aesthetics!
It has really done a lot with these, including in the overworld, title screen and side levels, which unfortunately aren’t considered in the judging.
As for the level itself, i have mixed feelings for it, each segment feels pretty different.
The outside area looks pretty cool! I like the graphics used here! The use of Orange Platform graphics work pretty well! Also, it’s well decorated, and the palettes are nice!
As for the cave sections, i didn’t like it much. The FG graphics look a bit weird, especially because you mixed Vanilla slope graphics with your ‘custom made’ ones. Also, the FG and Cement Blocks palettes look weird.
The last area looks pretty good too! The graphics are nice, the BG is simple, but works well! And the palettes do a nice job setting a night theme to this room!
As for the enemy reskins, i like the little Shelless Koopas! The Blue one looks like it has a mask! However, the same can’t be said about the Koopas with Shells and the Chucks, the heads look really weird on those! As for the Mole Goombas, i’m kinda neutral, though i do like the fact that you used the Exploding Blocks to simulate them popping out of the ground! That’s clever! Oh, and the Chucks’ Footballs look really weird! I don’t know what those are supposed to be, but they don’t really seem to work…
Also, the songs used were pretty cool! And they fit the theme well! I especially like the one used in the last room!
As for aesthetic issues, other than what has been said already, there are also some noticeable cutoffs in some places, like pipes connecting to the FG in the cave segment, the area around the Midway Gate, the top of the BG in the Layer 2 segment, and some of the dirt tiles in the last area.

Total: 30/100

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Temple of Fish Gods by Sancles



Design: 41/60

A pretty nicely designed level! It’s pretty fun to play!
It has a nice theme, and is very engaging overall! It also flows pretty nicely, despite having a different pace on each half.

The overall focus on Spin-Jumping as a gimmick makes for a lot of cool setups! And it makes the level flow well with quite some action going on!

It has a pretty nice platforming, the first half is pretty linear, but the use of obstacles and spin-jumping made it very interesting! Also, the second half has a pretty nice use of line-guided platforms!

The use of sprites is great! The level has a lot of focus on sprites due to the spin-jumping mechanic used as the main gimmick, so it has a lot of clever setups! I especially liked the ones where the Rip Van Fishes are slowly floating down, and you have to catch them midair! Despite being an instance of “Spin-jumping on a falling enemy”, this one feels very fair, as Rip Van Fishes fall very slowly! These setups actually feel a bit underused, as it seems you quickly went towards only using Rip Van Fishes already placed in the ground, so i’d like to see more instances of these midair setups!
The second half with the line-guided platforms also has a lot of interesting setups! It expands on the level’s main gimmick of spin-jumping while still adding more to it with line guides!
Also, i like the use of coin guides throughout the whole level!

This level is also pretty challenging! Personally, i really enjoyed it!
I feel the difficulty is mostly fair, except for a few segments that could be improved.
The main issue i found with difficulty are the segments where we have to repeatedly spin jump on a single Rip Van Fish while waiting for it to accelerate. And there are a lot of these segments! (4 in total, being the 4th the only one i found reasonable, as it’s short, and it’s pretty late in the level)
Not only these setups feel slow because of how long Rip Van Fishes take to accelerate, but we have to do many consecutive bounces on a small sprite, which might be pretty hard for some people (I’m used to this because i play a lot of kaizo, but i remember how hard setups like this were when i started!). I’d recommend just making it so, instead of repeatedly bouncing on a single Rip Van Fish, we have to transfer between different fishes! Would make it flow a lot better!
A similar issue happens on segments where we have to jump multiple times on the same Grinder (mainly this one), especially because i always found Grinder hitboxes particularly misleading!

As for a few more issues:
- This block is particularly annoying! It’s really hard to distinguish because of how well it blends with the pillar, so it can get in our way when we jump. Additionally, staying on it puts us directly in the path of the Blurp-Eeries coming, while if the block wasn’t there, this would be a safe spot to stay!
- The line-guided platforms in the second half are too well aligned! It makes it pretty hard to jump from the upper platform to the lower one when they’re almost in the same horizontal position! I’d say you could make it so the lower one stays a bit further behind, so it’s easier to fall onto it!
- The ‘Mario only blocks’ used in the ceiling in this little segment are pretty janky! When the line-guided platform goes off the line-guide into the ceiling, it pushes Mario through the blocks, instantly killing him! This is a pretty unforgiving death! And also pretty unnecessary! You could have just used a normal ceiling there instead of these blocks, because when a platform pushes Mario towards the ceiling, he just falls through it!
- Another problem with the line-guided platforms being aligned is this intersection. Basically, in this segment we are supposed to stay on the horizontal moving platform, but the vertical moving one comes from below, and just ‘steals’ Mario from the other platform! (as seen in the screenshot) And when that happens it’s certain death!
The only way to avoid this is to stay on the far left of the horizontal platform! I’d really recommend you change the platforms paths so they don’t cross the intersection at the same time!
- This Porcu-Puffer is the thing i hate the most in this entire level! It’s placed in such an annoying and unfair way! And it’s even worse because this segment contains a power-up! We’d expect a safe environment when the level offers us a power-up!
This guy’s movement is really hard to avoid, as he follows the camera when we try to dodge him! And the combination of him and the 5 Blurp-Eeries coming in our way makes this segment almost a forced hit! (Also, I watched your video on this level, and the way you play it seems really unintuitive! You deliberately let the line-guided platform fall to spin jump in the Porcu-Puffer! That’s not the way i believe most people will approach this segment!)
I’d recommend just getting rid of this guy, as he isn’t really doing anything there other than being annoying! (Sorry if I sound a bit harsh here, but I just really didn’t like this guy!)

This is a pretty interesting and challenging level and is pretty well designed! It just has a few noticeable issues, but it’s still a great experience!

Creativity: 21/30

This level has a pretty interesting gimmick! While spin jumping is one of the most basic SMW mechanics, it also makes for a very interesting gimmick that has pretty much unlimited potential! It can really make for a lot of interesting setups, which is clearly shown here!
Also, the use of Rip Van Fishes is particularly interesting because of the way they behave on land! And you came up with a lot of interesting setups with those! (I just feel like you focused a bit too much on the repeated spin jump setups)
And the second half adds another great idea to the table, the line-guided platforms, and it integrates that idea pretty well to the gimmicks already shown in the previous section!
Aesthetics creativity also count here! The theme is pretty nice and has a nice execution! The visuals are great, and i like the Eerie reskins!

Aesthetics: 9/10

Beautiful level! It really shows a lot of effort has been put into aesthetics!
I really like the tileset mix you did! You put those Ghost House tiles to great use! It really does a great job in making a temple ambient!
Also love the decorations used! The pillars, the platforms, the line guide ends, the little plants and bushes here and there, and of course, the fish statues, look awesome!
The palettes are beautiful! They’re really pleasing and work really well together!
I also really like the BG! It looks really good, and fits the level well!
Also, the song is great! It’s pretty calm and really fits the theme!
I didn’t really find any big aesthetic issues, but, being a bit nitpicky:
I personally didn’t like the half-buried fish graphics in the first half. I’m usually neutral about half-buried tiles, but this one felt a bit weird, as it’s an enemy instead of a block.
Also, the Layer 3 in the Goal screen acts weirdly, it doesn’t scroll, and the fishes persist during the goal walk, I think you could remove Layer 3 on that screen.

Total: 71/100
My Youtube Channel
I wish I could just put a ceiling but the platforms end up spazzing out on the ceiling blocks if I do so I had to do that if I wanted the level to function properly at all
The execution is the best I can do especially for the span of 2-3 weeks. Besides, I already considered that as an idea for over a year now and it executed perfectly for me. It's probably not your taste then. There were a few things I did intentionally for convenience, challenge difficulty, prevent level breaking. If if the player was playing more slower than how I expected and gets lower scored, then it can't be trustworthy, it shouldn't be frustrating. Get good then! It's not even that hard! Should be better than 11! Considering the effort, it's not even that bad! I'm saying this with vigorous determination! Why can't there be more trustworthy or more expert on Mario fan judges?

Yeah, the difficulty for my level isn't really fit for beginner players and you were probably dilly-dallying and strolled too slow. A casual stroller should at least reach max of 75-100 SMW seconds according to how I tested it outside my normal style.

If most people don't like it, I would be like "WHAT?!" if that's the case, I blame the right elbow bone break+cast incident I got the day before my birthday or I'm just that incapable even with max confidence.

(Maybe I should put a readme.txt regarding to not go too slow because that's the player's fault, not the level.)

EDIT: BTW, about the Jumping Piranha Plant behavior, that must be a bug with the base ROM. SomeGuy712x encountered it as well and he mentioned that they don't do that in vanilla. And the P-Switch dying thing, that's just a fluke that I only encountered once. I just don't find the lower scored to be justified because of stuff like that.

For the #lm{sprhead}, I could've sworn it was 00, because No Sprite Tile Limits on SA-1 and couldn't figured why it wasn't spawning/working for the life of me.

I understand the execution of making a custom vanilla boss is definitely hard as heck. It took me like 50 attempts to finally get the final setup. With the enemies in that boss area, you react WAY slower than you should be for a non-beginner. You should at least react better than ME which I rewind because I'm a bad player vs. supposed-challenging level. That actually makes me salty and bothers my accuracy OCD that it doesn't turn out the way I imagined and feel like going to time machine.

But I don't discredit you completely. There were actually a few things like I forgotten to remove the reset pipe door after the silver POW muncher thing. or should've thought of something else other than a Kaizo puzzle.

Edit 2: About two pipes leading to the same area. That was the 1-UP checkpoint pipe and I somehow accidentally made it exit-able. Whoops, I fixed it now.
100% Orange Juice Playthrough:
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLf1kPWkjcurtA3xPP3TybfqSiEn1AcX2A

VLDC9 Playthrough:
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLf1kPWkjcurtiP5de_-e6q0hSVrY37RB-.


Originally posted by Sancles
I wish I could just put a ceiling but the platforms end up spazzing out on the ceiling blocks if I do so I had to do that if I wanted the level to function properly at all

Oh right. I see what you mean.
I opened your level in LM real quick to test the ceiling (hope you don't mind) and i see what happens.
But after looking how that is set up, i thought of something:
Couldn't you just use 2 platforms there? Like, you use the ceiling normally, and the first platform despawns off the top of the screen. Then you use a second platform on that same line guide so the level continues. Since there's no vertical scroll in the level, the player wouldn't even see it's not the same platform that's coming down.

Originally posted by MarkVD100
Lots of comments i'll go through below

Hey, calm down man! As i said, i'm sorry if i was a bit harsh on the review. I try to write in detail when i don't particularly enjoy a level as i think that's the best way i can help the creator know what i didn't like and what he could fix.

Originally posted by MarkVD100
The execution is the best I can do especially for the span of 2-3 weeks. [...]
[...] or I'm just that incapable even with max confidence.

Yea, i know it can be hard to receive criticism like this after you've put some effort into your level. But as i said, don't get discouraged by it! Don't say you're incapable of doing better, i believe you can still improve a lot! I don't want you to feel bad because of this review...

Originally posted by MarkVD100
It's probably not your taste then. There were a few things I did intentionally for convenience, challenge difficulty, prevent level breaking.

Well, i don't know exactly what wouldn't 'be my taste'. It seems to be a pretty normal platforming/puzzle hybrid level.
I just pointed out what i didn't like in the level in a detailed way to make sure you'd be aware of the issues i found.

Originally posted by MarkVD100
If the player was playing more slower than how I expected and gets lower scored, then it can't be trustworthy, it shouldn't be frustrating. [..]
Yeah, the difficulty for my level isn't really fit for beginner players and you were probably dilly-dallying and strolled too slow. A casual stroller should at least reach max of 75-100 SMW seconds according to how I tested it outside my normal style.

Well, you're putting a lot of emphasis into the fact that "the player is too slow". It seems like if you need to expect the player to be fast or die, that is an indicator that the level is probably too long.
Also, i don't really recommend using yourself as a parameter, you created this level, you know everything about it, so of course you'll play it faster than other people, and you'll know how to play it. That's why we usually need other people to test our levels, so we can have a different point of view, from someone who doesn't know the level, and can find issues we don't see because we're used to knowing the solution.
Also, i'm not really a begginer, and if i was 'dilly-dalling' too much, i was just playing the level at my own pace, and i don't want to feel pressed to rush it. If you expect the player to play the level at a certain pace and not 'dilly-dally' too much, then you shouldn't really have made the level with a lot of exploration and puzzle elements, as those add a lot of non-linearity and give different possibilities to the player, which naturally takes longer to play. Since it was made the way it is, you can't just blame the player for not being fast enough.

Originally posted by MarkVD100
Get good then! It's not even that hard! Should be better than 11! Considering the effort, it's not even that bad! I'm saying this with vigorous determination! Why can't there be more trustworthy or more expert on Mario fan judges?

Well, i don't think my skills as a player are really a matter here, but i'm not really a begginer, and i don't think "get good" is the best advice you can give for someone who's testing your level.
I can clearly see you've put a lot of effort into this level, and that's exactly why i don't want it to be a bad experience because of some issues, i wrote everything i didn't like in detail so you could polish it and make all this effort worth it!
I'm sorry, but i can't give a higher score just because you aren't happy with the current score. That's my opinion on this level right now, the fun factor counts quite heavily here, and the issues really brought the score down. As i said, you have some nice platforming and great ideas here, so with some polishing i'm sure your score could raise quite a lot!
I too would love to see more Fan-Judges in this contest! It's really fun to be a Fan-Judge and it can really help people who are participating in the contest! I'd also love to see other people's opinions on the levels i judge, i quite often look at other judges' threads, and i've seen every review they made so far!

Originally posted by MarkVD100
(Maybe I should put a readme.txt regarding to not go too slow because that's the player's fault, not the level.)

Honestly, this is just a sign that your level has an issue with length, if you need to put a readme telling the player to go fast.
And i don't really think it's a good move to blame the player on this, the contest has a time limit, and the player should be comfortable playing in that time limit. Of course, i understand that a level with exploration and puzzle elements naturally takes longer to play, and i can't really blame you for that matter, as it's expected for the player to time out on a first playthrough due to that. But the player shouldn't feel pressed to rush through your level because you expect them to.

Originally posted by MarkVD100
EDIT: BTW, about the Jumping Piranha Plant behavior, that must be a bug with the base ROM. SomeGuy712x encountered it as well and he mentioned that they don't do that in vanilla. And the P-Switch dying thing, that's just a fluke that I only encountered once. I just don't find the lower scored to be justified because of stuff like that.

Yea, i realize now that the Jumping Piranha Plant isn't an issue with your level specifically. I found that same behavior when testing Tweyxx's level, and then i went to some of the levels i reviewed earlier, and this issue is also present (i just got lucky with not finding it before). I do remember having it happen in Green Jerry's level, but since i played a lot of levels with Piranha Plants and didn't stumble upon this, i thought it was level specific.
Well, as for the P-Switch issue, i did say it was a weird issue, but it's still an issue and should be fixed! And even if you only encountered it once, other people are bound to encounter it 'once' as well. I got 'lucky' to find it, and then i did some testing to try finding it's cause, and be sure to mention it in the review.
And the lower socre is justified because of the whole combination of issues i found and mentioned, including some that are a lot more problematic than these minor ones you mentioned. Again, the issues weight down the score a lot, as they affect mainly the fun factor...

Originally posted by MarkVD100
I understand the execution of making a custom vanilla boss is definitely hard as heck. It took me like 50 attempts to finally get the final setup.

Yes, i can totally understand that! In fact, i did say it was a really cool idea, as i've never seen someone make such a boss!
However, when it doesn't work out, i do have to mention it, as again, i don't want all your effort to be wasted.

Originally posted by MarkVD100
With the enemies in that boss area, you react WAY slower than you should be for a non-beginner. You should at least react better than ME which I rewind because I'm a bad player vs. supposed-challenging level. That actually makes me salty and bothers my accuracy OCD that it doesn't turn out the way I imagined and feel like going to time machine.

Again, my skills as a player shouldn't really be a matter here. I'm not really a begginer, and it still doesn't make that segment less frustrating! As i said, Puntin' Chucks are one of the most annoying enemies in SMW, and their projectile is random. There's a clear distinction between "hard" and "unfair", and you should be careful with that.
Also, you're just contradicting yourself now. First, you told me to "get good" because your level "isn't even that hard". Now you say you're a bad player and that you play using rewinds. If you actually need to use rewinds to beat your own level, that's a sign there's a big problem with your level, and you shouldn't be blaming the player.
I'd really advise you to not use savestates or rewinds when testing your levels, as that way you don't get a feel for the difficulty or for most of the issues in your level. It's easy to play when you just undo all your mistakes.
I played this level completely savestate-less, and all the issues i found and wrote down are things that affected my experience multiple times, because every mistake was actually counting as a mistake for me!

Originally posted by MarkVD100
But I don't discredit you completely. There were actually a few things like I forgotten to remove the reset pipe door after the silver POW muncher thing. or should've thought of something else other than a Kaizo puzzle.

Thank you, i guess.
Well, as i said, i just pointed out all the issues i found in a lot of detail, to make sure that i'd warn you of them all. Now it's your decision whether you take my advice to improve your level or just 'discredit' my review and keep it the way you like.

Originally posted by MarkVD100
Edit 2: About two pipes leading to the same area. That was the 1-UP checkpoint pipe and I somehow accidentally made it exit-able. Whoops, I fixed it now.

Oh, that actually makes sense now. Yea, it was weird to have two exit-enabled pipes there. I'd still recommend you just make the 1-UP checkpoint takes us directly to the last room, as it'd be more convenient, especially since that pipe puts us in a sinking platform over lava.

Well, i think that's about it. I did my part with revieweing your level, now it's up to you whether you take my advice or not, it's your level after all. Again, i'm sorry if i sounded harsh, it was never my intention to be rude or to make you feel bad with my review. I just wanted to be sure i'd point out the issues i found while playing, as they really affected the experience for me.
I wish you the best, good luck in the contest!
My Youtube Channel
Calmer now.
But it's harder for me to notice/tell due to how bad I am at playing!, and I don't feel like wasting time! (Use it to cheat in time) I just assumed I'm too sloppy against hard sections. This salt is my accuracy OCD and this impatient sickness (Plus autism) I have and really feel like my efforts hasn't gone like I expected to be. Like say, what if Mario Expert gets through these sections fine, but not me. I don't know how to figure that logic out. This is the reason why I started to lose motivation to working on SMW Hacks in the first place. I don't work on it daily due to how over-the-place my schedule is on computer. I can't seem to make it between "too easy" and "too hard." My brain sucks at doing "between" things, especially timing in Geometry Dash! You guys probably have better brain than me on that stuff, how am I suppose to think that many things at once like that about designing at level, and I'm also the one who's literally afraid of making mistakes.

About needing an enemy or max running jump thing, there's a springboard you probably missed.

About the final part, it's suppose to be the hardest part of the level, but the parts before aren't suppose to be THAT hard.
100% Orange Juice Playthrough:
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLf1kPWkjcurtA3xPP3TybfqSiEn1AcX2A

VLDC9 Playthrough:
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLf1kPWkjcurtiP5de_-e6q0hSVrY37RB-.


Hey guys, as for the reviews, sorry it's taken a bit longer than normal, i was a bit busy, but they're almost ready (finishing Athletic Synergy), i'll just have to wait 4 hours to post them after this post because SMWC double posting rules xD


I'll be doing yours in the next post! (after i post the 2 i have currently)


Originally posted by MarkVD100
Calmer now.

Ok, i'm glad to see you're calm now!

Originally posted by MarkVD100
But it's harder for me to notice/tell due to how bad I am at playing! [...]
I just assumed I'm too sloppy against hard sections.[...]
Like say, what if Mario Expert gets through these sections fine, but not me. I don't know how to figure that logic out. [...]
I can't seem to make it between "too easy" and "too hard." My brain sucks at doing "between" things, especially timing in Geometry Dash! You guys probably have better brain than me on that stuff, how am I suppose to think that many things at once like that about designing at level, and I'm also the one who's literally afraid of making mistakes.

Ok, i see you have some problems with telling whether your level plays nicely or not. Don't worry! It's in fact harder to figure out this stuff when you're testing your own level!

Don't be afraid to make mistakes, it's through mistakes that we learn the most! I can totally understand how you feel, and in fact i have this feeling a lot as well! But we gotta learn to get over it!

That's why you should ask other people to test your level, and listen to their feedback. I played through your level, and made this list of all the issues i found while playing exactly to help you with that!
If you don't know how to tell these kinds of issues, you can start by taking a look at my review.

Some of those issues are quite quick to fix, and would already make the level more enjoyable overall.
A few examples would be removing the Shell Kickers in the first area, moving the Munchers in the hole in the start of the second area (so they don't hurt Mario when falling there), rising the ceiling in a few claustrophobic segments in the second area (make sure to always leave at least a 3 tile high area so we can at least jump when playing as Big Mario), changing the act as of ground ledge tiles in the cave areas from 130 to 100 (you just need to change them in Map16 and they'll work for all tiles in the level) or adding a Reset Pipe to the last area.

Then you can take some time working on the other issues that require more work to fix.
Such as rethinking some of the enemies' placement so they aren't raining from the top of the screen (One thing i think would help a lot here is replacing Puntin' Chucks with Pitchin' Chucks, as the latter have a more predictable shoting pattern, and their projectiles don't bounce all over the place), reworking the Kaizo-like segment before the Star Run area (I'd say you could just remove the Lakitu and Munchers, and use that space to extend the Star Run, since the Star Run itself is a great idea, and feels too short right now) and rethinking the Layer 2 moving segment (Again, i don't think that plays nicely, i'd recommend you try to design it with one On/Off Switch at a time, clearly requiring the player to hit them all while progressing)

Originally posted by MarkVD100
[...] and I don't feel like wasting time! (Use it to cheat in time)

Yes, it's totally fine to use rewinds to save some time while you're designing and testing your level! I do that a lot as well!
However, what i meant is that you should always play through your whole level from start to finish without savestates or rewinds before releasing it, just to be sure that it is beatable, and doesn't turn out to be frustrating or annoying (which is something you might miss when you use savestates)

Originally posted by MarkVD100
[...] and really feel like my efforts hasn't gone like I expected to be. This is the reason why I started to lose motivation to working on SMW Hacks in the first place.

Hey man, don't worry that much about it! Not everything goes as we expect the first time, but you still have time to work on it! As i said, i know you put a lot of effort into your level, and it wasn't my intention to make you feel bad, i just pointed out these issues so you could be aware and fix them, exactly so your efforts wouldn't be wasted!
I know it can be hard to keep your motivation, i have this problem as well. I always expect a lot from myself, and i have really high standards for my own work. I never release something until i'm completely satisfied with it, and it can kill my motivation when it doesn't go as i wanted. This is something that still affects me a lot!
But something i learned with time is giving up is never the solution! You just have to keep trying! When something doesn't go as expected, try to change it, and see if it's better! Asking other people what they think also helps a lot, as many times other people's point of view can give us new ideas and make us think in different ways!
This is what you have to do, keep trying, as when we stop trying this problem just gets worse...

Originally posted by MarkVD100
About needing an enemy or max running jump thing, there's a springboard you probably missed.

About the final part, it's suppose to be the hardest part of the level, but the parts before aren't suppose to be THAT hard.

Well, i don't remember seeing a Spring there, but it doesn't really seems like something that needs a Spring, as i said, we can reach it by simply having P-speed, or bouncing on an enemy.

Yea, i also notice the last part was intended to be the hardest. About the earlier segments, part of the difficulty really came form the issues i mentioned, so just fixng them would probably balance the difficulty a bit already!
My Youtube Channel
Would you be up for testing my level one last time? I made some changes, primarily around the number of sprites. You may find that it's a little less bullet hellish.
                                                                                                                  
                              
For the Pitchin' Chuck suggestion, I can't do that. It will cause a contradiction to the idea, because it's suppose to be exclusively for the king.
100% Orange Juice Playthrough:
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLf1kPWkjcurtA3xPP3TybfqSiEn1AcX2A

VLDC9 Playthrough:
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLf1kPWkjcurtiP5de_-e6q0hSVrY37RB-.


Ok, thanks to the previous posts, i can post the reviews now. yay!
Athletic Synergy was quite long as well, and again, sorry if i sound quite harsh, it's never my intention to be rude with my review, and reviews that focus on pointing issues are made that way to help the creator know what could be fixed. I do these kinds of reviews on levels i particularly don't like as i think that's the way i can help the most!

Originally posted by Plasmodium00
Would you be up for testing my level one last time? I made some changes, primarily around the number of sprites. You may find that it's a little less bullet hellish.

Hey! You're LethalBrownies right? I saw you changed your name.
Anyways, i think you might've confused the Fan-Judging threads, as i actually didn't review your level yet xD
Though i was in fact looking forward to playing it! I don't know if you've seen one of my previous reviews where i said i like water levels, so yours called my attention!
I'll sure be glad to review it!

Originally posted by MarkVD100
For the Pitchin' Chuck suggestion, I can't do that. It will cause a contradiction to the idea, because it's suppose to be exclusively for the king.

Well, that was just a suggestion. You could try to find other sprites if that's the case, as in fact, i think there are many sprites that would work better than Puntin' Chucks.

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Ok, now, for the reviews! Yay!

Altair by Tweyxx



Design: 36/60

Pretty nice platforming level!
I like the way it’s designed! It has a nice flow and the platforming is pretty good! It’s also pretty engaging!

It’s a quite challenging level! I really like its tight platforming! The difficulty curve flows pretty nicely! It starts in a pretty straight forward way with some tight platforming, and then evolves into a taller non-linear level!

I like the use of the terrain in this level, it’s quite varied, and makes the gameplay pretty engaging! Especially in the second half, where it becomes less linear and makes a better use of the level’s vertical dimensions!
I also love the exploration bits, there are a lot of hidden 1-UPs, power-ups and stuff that makes exploration pretty rewarding!

The use of sprites is pretty great! They make it quite engaging, and it’s nice the way the level uses them to progress! The first half is mostly quite simple, though i like the use of Dolphins! But it’s on the second half where it really takes off! Love the use of Line-guided Platforms and Hammer Bros’ Flying Platforms to progress in it!

As for a few issues:
- The most notable one for me are the ‘hidden’ spikes. I really don’t like the way you used graphics and decorations with spikes. The buried spikes on slopes are pretty hard to see! This one on the ceiling is specifically threatening! Also, spikes like these that have priority decorations over them are quite hidden!
Dangerous tiles should be clearly visible!
- The first half has a nice visual style, but everything just blends in too well. Most notably, the Bowser Statue Flames are sometimes hard to see.
- There are a few segments that are pretty claustrophobic, and can be hard to go through as Big Mario. A few notable ones are this jump, this jump (depending on the Dolphins’ position it can be very tight) and this one. Also, here, the ceiling is too low, so we get pushed through the Dolphin!
- Also, we can go over the ceiling here!

Overall a nice and challenging level! The theme is great and nicely executed! It only has a few issues that could be improved.

Creativity: 18/30

There’s a nice amount of creativity shown in this level! It doesn’t have any particular gameplay gimmick, but there are a lot of clever and interesting design setups!
I especially liked the way you used Line-guided Platforms with their line guides invisible! It made for some really nice movement patterns for them! Also, the use of Hammer Bros’ Flying Platforms is great! The use of Dolphins is also pretty nice!
Also, there’s a good amount of aesthetic creativity! The theme is pretty nice, and it’s nicely executed!

Aesthetics: 8/10

This level looks really good! It has a nice aesthetic theme and has been nicely executed!
I like the graphics used! The tileset mix was pretty well done! The different tilesets work nicely together! The decorations are pretty good overall! Though a few segments might feel a bit ‘over-decorated’, with all the different stuff used.
The palettes are beautiful! I love the way everything works together! Though the first segment feels a bit too brown. I’d say you could have used a bit more color variation, like the other segments, which feel a lot better.
The Backgrounds look pretty good! I especially liked how the cloud background moves!
The songs are really good! They’re very calm and really fit the level!
I haven’t really found any aesthetic issues, other than the ones that affect gameplay and have already been mentioned in the Design category. There are just a few decoration choices that i’m not much a fan of, like different platform graphics used together in the same platform, the most notable being this one.

Total: 62/100

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Athletic Synergy by Crm0622



Kaizo Warning: This level really crosses the line into Kaizo territory! It’s very unforgiving and really doesn’t seem like the kind of level that could be beaten savestate-less by most people. This isn’t really the kind of difficulty that’s fit for a VLDC.

Design: 8/60

Well, this level is just full Kaizo.
It really focuses a lot on difficulty, and as i said, this kind of difficulty isn’t really fit for a VLDC. As for the design itself, even being someone who is into Kaizo, i didn’t like it that much. There’s a line between “Difficult” and “Unfair” that seems to be crossed quite a lot here! As always, sorry in advance for being quite harsh with a few of my comments, i just feel like focusing on the issues is the best i can do when i don’t particularly like a level.

Leaving difficulty aside, it has a few nice design ideas. I like the overall idea of bouncing on fishes and stuff. The last segment also has a pretty cool idea with keeping Diagonal Pipe momentum. But the execution… well, it’s Kaizo, so pretty much everything i could say about the design would end up turning into “It’s way too hard”.

So, because of that, i’ll be focusing my review a bit more as if i was actually reviewing a Kaizo level. That is, i won’t be specifically commenting on the difficulty as a whole, but i’ll be pointing out issues, unfair segments, frustrating segments and difficulty spikes. These comments will be mostly destined to making this a less frustrating and unfair level overall, possibly turning it into a more enjoyable Kaizo. Keep in mind though, i don’t think you could do much for it to fit into the contest without reworking the whole level, as, just like i initially said, Kaizos don’t really fit into a VLDC.

Well, first thing i could mention is this level has some pretty noticeable issues overall.
- Most notably the use of invisible blocks can be really annoying! Even in a Kaizo level, care should be taken with invisible blocks! It could really help if you made their graphics outlined.
I’ll be pointing the most problematic ones when i go through each specific section.
- Also, the timings of a few enemies feel particularly tight and weird, it’s like they’re badly placed on purpose to take you off! Again, i’ll be coming to the most problematic ones later.
- The falling rocks throughout the level are really annoying! And some of them can really get in our way during a jump! Having a coin indicator doesn‘t really help much, as they don’t indicate when the rock is gonna fall. I’d say to just entirely remove those, as they’re highly unnecessary (I know falling enemies are commonly used in Kaizo hacks, but only once or twice per level!)
- The fact that the level has no Checkpoint really just adds to the frustration! It makes this level pretty much impossible to play savestate-less! It’s a really bad choice to not put a Checkpoint in your level, especially with a level as long as this! Even in Kaizo hacking it’s common sense to use Checkpoints!
I’d recommend you use the rooms with Message Boxes as Checkpoint rooms, being the first a normal Checkpoint and the second a 1-UP Checkpoint.







I think that’s it for this level. As i said, i took this review as if i was actually reviewing a Kaizo level, so these are the issues i found from a Kaizo perspective. If you fix them, it’ll certainly make this level a more enjoyable Kaizo experience, but i don’t think there’s much that can be done about the contest itself, as, again, a VLDC isn’t the kind of contest you’d enter a Kaizo level. (This explains why the design score is so low)
Also, of course i used rewinds for this level! As that’s basically the only way it can be played.
As i’m into Kaizo, i put quite some effort into playing it savestate-less at first, and i reached as far as the section with the Fish Generators in the first area. If this level had checkpoints, i would actually try to beat it savestate-less! But right now, it’s just not possible…

Creativity: 12/30

This level has some creativity to show! The thing that stood out the most for me was the last segment where you have to keep the Diagonal Pipe’s momentum, that’s a really nice idea!
Being a kaizo level, it certainly differs quite a bit from the setups we see in other entries, though it’s not that much unique in terms of Kaizo design.
But it does have some pretty interesting setups with the bouncing on Fishes and Spike Balls!

Aesthetics: 6/10

This level looks pretty good!
I like the tileset mix you used! The graphics were used quite well, i like the way you make the platforms, the decorations you used, and the use of Skinny Pipes!
The palettes work quite well! I’m not exactly a fan of the orange used in the first area, but i don’t dislike it as well.
The BGs look pretty good! I really like the Star BG used in the second and third sections!
And the music is quite nice as well!

Total: 26/100
My Youtube Channel