Before I play this, I have something to clarify:
Praesidium wrote:I have accepted the challenge of your honored level judge, Imaynotbehere4long. In saying that first levels are always generic, boring, and uninspired, he left behind a challenge: Make a level designed as the first level of a game that's neither generic, boring, nor uninspired.
1) Holy crap, I'm honored? Yay!
2) I never said that all first levels are generic and boring; I said that all first levels that have been posted in the levels section as stand-alone levels that I've played
are generic and boring. I, too, hope that you can prove me wrong because I've more than gotten sick of those kind of levels, and I hope that you inspire others to do the same.
Okay, I've played the level, and my verdict is: I am both impressed and disappointed.
The level certainly has plenty of good ideas and quite a bit going on in it, but there are also a few things in the level that don't really work out. The Hammer Bro. on the sizable with the lone ? block under it is something I haven't seen before and I quite liked it. However, the Hammer Bros. that were stuck in holes in the ground just seemed kinda pointless. I know that people often put NPCs in unreachable areas like that for decoration, but Hammer Bros. don't really lend themselves well as decoration since they're programmed to throw hammers at the player, and the hammer-throwing-sound-effect plays each time. I recommend lowering the ground so that their hammers can actually harm the player. Also, the line riders didn't really add anything to the level. I thought that they were foreshadowing a mandatory line-rider part, but no, they were practically there just for decoration. Although there are a couple that have Nippers under them (which is another neat idea), their only purpose is to collect a few coins that would normally be out of reach, and it can be annoying if the line-rider is off-screened before the coins can be collected (I'm mainly referring to the second one). Also, there's no indication that there's an invisible block containing a Kuribo's shoe in-game. I recommend adding about three coins around it as an indication. Finally, I know that you know that the checkpoint is too far into the level, but you know what a simple solution to this is? Add more stuff to the level.
Looking back, I'm still a bit surprised at how short the level is, even though I know you only made it in about three hours. If you leave the midpoint where it is and add more stuff to the end of level to balance it (and maybe add a clever secret or two), this would
be a Pretty Good level.
-Nippers under line-riders helped add variety.
-Hammer Bro. + sizable + lone ? block = unique.
-Graphic choices aren't terrible.
-Music choice oddly works well with a grassland type level
-Hammer Bros. in pointless areas means the player can't shut them up (at least make them somewhat of a hazard).
-The line-riders are practically pointless, and the second one is easily off-screened (just make the track shorter).
-Imbalanced midpoint and relatively short level (both of these can be solved by adding a bit more to the end).
-The Kuribo's Shoe isn't indicated or even that useful in the level. Maybe you could have a line-rider go across spikes, but have a secret that can only be reached if the player finds and keeps the Kuribo's Shoe.
In conclusion: this is certainly a noble effort, but as much as I wanted to like this level, it just didn't quite make it; a bit more variety and length wouldn't hurt. Although you met your goal of making a level that isn't too boring or generic, it still has its flaws, and that's the second type of level I come across often: Pretty Good levels brought down by their flaws. I'd say this deserves a 5.5/10.