Review: Ant Forest
Let me just rename the folder to "Ant Forest", because I already have 75 folders called "level" and it's slowly going on my nerves.
Alright so, I've seen better, but I've also certainly seen worse levels around. What kind of upsets me is that you took your time to import custom ant graphics, as well as the tileset, but close to NOTHING else, while some additional graphics could've upped the atmosphere by a ton. Especially the cave and underwater area felt incredibly clashy since you mixed airship, ghost house, smw forest bgo and SMB3 castle statues with little reason other than "eh this looks like something that could look decent here". I found many elements to look out of place and it destroyed the atmosphere for me. But I'll get back to destroying stuff later on. First, take a look at this:
These two npcs have no reason to be where they are. Let alone the statue being in this level at all
. This is the Ant Forest
, not the Koopa Kliffs
Speaking of enemies... You used a large variety of them. Oh, was I overwhelmed with all the enemies you were throwing around. Let me just list them, to give the readers who didn't play this level a better idea:
Blooper, Nipper, Ant, Buzzy Beetle, Cheep Cheep, Venus Fire Trap, Volcano Lotus, Grinder, Bullet Bill, Bowser Statue, Piranha Plant, Giant Piranha Plant, SMB3 Koopa, SMW Koopa, Spike Top, SMW Cheep Cheep, SMB3 Crab
Considering this is a rather short level with not even a midpoint, oh boy. I'm certain you can remove enemies like the Bowser Statue and Bullet Bill entirely, while unifying SMB3 and SMW enemies to either style, instead of keeping both. Enemies like crabs can be replaced with ants to lay more emphasis on the level name, as currently they're a bit overshadowed by everything else.
I'm going to make a smooth transition from enemies to placement; and oh boy....
.... how you DID place stuff everywhere. I found the areas to be surprisingly hazardous, be it nippers or fire coming your way from an area you least expected, be it ants dropping down the hill, or be it ten spike tops constantly limiting your movement. This isn't to say that you completely overshot stuff in the NPC placement department, it's probably just a side effect from cramping such a huge enemy variety into the level. I'm sure removing some enemy types will make the level easier to traverse and fix these issues I'm having with the placement (except for the spike tops. They're annoying).
BUT WAIT! What about coin placement? Well... I really don't want to talk about it. Just play other people's levels and look how they place their coins, please. If you (reader, not creator) play this level you'll see what I mean, but I refuse to go into detail here because explaining the basics of coin placement could take a while.
After all that I was impressed that both bgo and block placement were really nice. You did a good job conveying the atmosphere of a forest (ignoring random airship pieces and random water puddles everywhere, as well as the clashy caverns) and the flora is just enough to make it look good, and not too much, not making it look cramped. Nice job on this part. I feel like ?-Blocks and powerups could've been a bit more spread throughout the level, rather than majorly in the first half, though.
Here's one thing you should fix though, regarding block placement:
You have to count on stupid players like me randomly running up there to test if there's something, and, after trying to get out for a minute, I came to the conclusion that this slope you placed is evil and won't permit players to get back into the level.
There's also this fence automatically making you slide upwards. I know this bug, but don't know what causes it or how to fix it, so if anyone knows, please let me know.
BLATANTLY COPYING IMNBH4L'S STYLE BECAUSE I BARELY POINTED OUT GOOD STUFF BECAUSE I SEE NO POINT IN DOING SO
-Nice forest atmosphere, considering the resources. Could've been made better by choosing a more unified graphical style and sticking more to the forest theme.
-Sections look different and each call on a different gameplay style, big variety, big pro for this level.
-Relaxing length, perfect for a short level without a checkpoint.
-This is the most atrocious coin placement I've ever seen.
-Enemy variety overload. You should lay more emphasis on the ants. Maybe change the spike top sprite to ants?
-Atmosphere is nice, but there's a lot of room for improvement by adding simple custom graphics. I'm specifically referring to the underground section.
-Second half lacks powerups and coins, compared to the first one.
Considering the HUGE improvement this could get, a score of 4/10
seems appropriate to me. I see huge potential with this level, which is easily overshadowed by its current flaws.