See Level | 95/100
What a really awesome and unique concept! A level where you have to go through all 4 seasons has been done a couple times before, but unlike those levels, in this level the challenges/puzzles are actually build around the concept. It's really clever how you have to go another season so that the environment changes in a way that allows you to continue, a good and clever example of this is the water (or lack of in the summer) and how it's frozen in the winter, allowing you to jump on top of the hill.
Scenery was simple but it did its job. It would be a little better if there was more, but I understand there's not the right scenery tiles available for all seasons. But something I need to mention, is that that tree tiling is really clever :p
My only problem with this level is that it gets a little repetitive after a while. The level is mostly flat, I'd love to have seen some more mountain-like area's with something like waterfalls where you could swim up in the spring season, but in the winter it would be blocking your way because it's frozen. What I mean is that the concept offered in this level is really creative, but I feel like it hasn't been used to its full potential. Then again, this level is huge, so I'll not be too harsh on that point since I can understand this level must have been already quite a challenge to make!
08/19/17 at 8:36 AM
See Level | 96/100
This level feels like your typical Cryptic Mario level but with some unique elements added to it. First, let's get the obvious out of the way and yes, it's the fact that the tiling is once again really fantastic! Who knew power-up mushrooms on top of red mushrooms that are within brown tiling with red flowers everywhere around it would fit so well together? You've mastered tileset mixing by a long shot!
The theme of the level also isn't your usual theme, which is a plus as it makes this level stand out more from others. The level may give off a relaxing feel thanks to its theme and music, but once you go past guardian Koopa who has no idea what he's doing as he got himself stuck between 4 tiles and can never escape, that is when the level really starts and every enemy dodging can become quite a challenge. The backtracking in this level is also an unique take, as for the most part it's entirely up to the player in what order they can press the palace switches. Nice!
My only complaint with this level is that some area's are just way too cramped, the challenges in these area's become a little too difficult compared to the rest of the level (yes, I know this is a very popular line now :p) which causes difficulty imbalance. When I told you about the levels being cramped, I didn't say they should be even more cramped :[
08/12/17 at 7:24 PM
See Level | 100/100
What an awesome level is this! Not only saying that because it is a tribute, but this level also managed to make some fantastic use of Jungle Edition, because this level uses its tilesets in a very creative way!
You definitely captured my usual style very well. In fact, this level has some vary similar traits as the first level of Mario's Jungle Journey (which is actually my first LP level), which also had waterfalls alongside with trees and the Find-all-four-palace-switch challenges. :p Coincidence or not, it is a sign of a great ability to imitate another one's style.
Let's have a paragraph about tiling, because I've got lots of (definitely positive) things to say.
First, I like how some of the trees have more tree tiling inside of them, giving them a more realistic 3D look (I assume that's the intention, if not, it looks great nonetheless).
The combination of grass and the brown cobblestone tilesets also was an excellent choice. I didn't actually know they'd work so well together! I was surprised nobody below brought that up, so it's my job to do that now. Really, the tilesets work so well together with the background that's also made of green and brown.
Scenery is simple but effective, there's not too much and not too less. There's not much to talk about scenery, it just does its job very well in this level. I love how some scenery is occasionaly placed inside the tiling as well, as it makes the jungle look more realistic. One thing worth mentioning that's scenery related are the jumps at 3900x 0y. I just love how vines were used there to make them look like they're keeping the blocks in the air :P
Now let's talk gameplay, and this level definitely has a lot of varied gameplay (backtracking, autoscroll, etc) yet even with that much variation, the level never suddenly felt different thanks to similar challenges used in all the different gameplay elements (which is a positive). For example, in the backtracking section there's waterfall challenges, but in the autoscroll sections (which is a completely different gameplay style), there's also waterfall challenges but instead used in completely new ways, which prevents the level from going off-track. I hope anything I said here made sense since it's difficult to explain, but in my opinion this is what a level should be if it has different gameplay challenges.
The first half (the Palace Switch backtrack) was a nice way to start the level thanks to its fun exploration-based/open-world elements, as it lets the player known and get used to the level (like the waterfalls) before getting into the true action I'll get to in a little bit. The Palace Switch placement was pretty clever, I gotta give a shoutout to that yellow Switch placement as using a Football (while it technically isn't football but this review doesn't exist to anger americans) Chuck isn't a concept that's used often, and using it to reach one of the 4 switches was an excellent idea. The fish placement in the waterfall felt just right as well. Just mentioning that as it may have been a hard time finding the right spots for the fish in the waterfalls while developing this level.
Now let's talk about the real deal. Of course, if you're going to imitate my style, you need to put some cool autoscroll in your level. And man, this level definitely delivered that... Twice! Both A3 and A5 are put to absolutely excellent use. So let's get into that.
The A3 section was... well, obviously pretty great if you've read above sentence - It puts the Thwomp stones to good use, and the challenges build around them are IMO pretty flawless, like how you had to wait at 2500x for the Thwomp stones to go off-screen and then jump to prevent getting hit. It's also clever how it didn't start at the beginning of the area, but when you've already made progress through it, which causes the autoscroll to open up new challenges in an area you've already explored.
Seeing A5 being finally used after a so long was also actually quite a surprise, as it's one of SMF2's more unexplored elements. It is relatively difficult to build challenges around A5 because of it's timing (and it involves lots of testing), but despite that this section had some nice obstacles making use of A5's possibilities, especially in the waterfalls.
TL;DR a pretty darn well-made autoscroll filled beautiful level. There was one flaw mentioned below about the tiling at one place, but TBH I just can't see why that's an issue to rate down for. Tho, that's just an opinion, so it's not that much of a deal. Put this 100/100 on your trophy desk, even if it wasn't a tribute this would get a 100 because it's so great (see review). Thank you for this great level!
08/03/17 at 6:10 PM
I'm gonna start of this review with a very familiar, overused line when I review your levels, but once again, you've created a visually stunning level! Who knew sand (well, technically it's cave tiling but it does its job as sand tiling) and boxes would fit so well together? Top it all of with the inclusion of brick blocks within the tiling, and it's a never-done before combination of tilesets that create a whole new creative and beautiful way of tiling. And the scenery... there's actually more scenery than background in most cases! :p
As far as gameplay goes, it's a very typical Cryptic Mario level. Great backtracking in the first and final half, and to prevent the backtrack challengs getting repetitive, there's a little autoscroll in the middle of the level to keep challenges varied.
I didn't have an issue with the level being cramped, tho as I said before, it would be nice to change things up a little and create a more open-world, exploration based level where there's more freedom of space. If every Cryptic Mario level is cramped, then it'll feel like you're constantly boxed in. Which isn't a problem now, but it should be prevented until it does.
08/03/17 at 12:10 PM
See Level | 97/100
This level... just... dang! It's so well designed. While it may use the same gimmicks found in Gravity Play, the challenges build around the gimmick were different enough in this level to set it apart. Every second of the level was just a blast to play. I died a million times, but didn't lose any interest in completing the level. Now that's a sign of fantastic challenge design!
As challenges are the main highlight of the level, I'll go through each section individually in this review.
First, the first area, that focuses on backtracking while making your way through insta-kill blocks with the help of low-gravity. The great usage of keys is also worth mentioning, and I've actually never seen a challenge with the key like at X:900 Y:0! That was awesome! Not much else to say about this section, other than that it is a nice way to start the level.
And then the second area, which is very familiar, as I've used that gimmick in a level before. Even with the exact same blocks :P however, there are some really cool new challenges build around it here. Nice! Also, that star coin in this section is just plain mean :L I heard there was some controversy around the over usage of Boo Clocks, but I didn't have a problem with it as it makes the challenge more tense.
Then there's the final section, which is pretty much dark Dark Matter 2 and Gravity Play combined to create the final ultimate nerve-wracking challenges just before the boss fight.
Sure, maybe the boss fight was a little on the easy side compared to the rest of the level, but at the same time it makes sense as it's the first boss in the entire series.
My only real problem with this level is that the scenery gets way too repetitive after a while. I'll give the last section a pass because it uses autoscroll, but in the first area's some scenery diversity would be nice to see, such as pillars or some of the scenery in the galaxy before this one would fit as well. There's not a lack of scenery, it's just that the same scenery tiles are used over and over again.
07/30/17 at 7:28 AM