I was originally going to play both of those levels but I was tired out of my mind playing Ancient Bridge in Disguise, so that is the only one I'm going to review. I might come to the other one later, we'll see how it goes.
Ancient Bridge in Disguise
Boy, where do I start!? Ok, level design. Under normal circumstances, the level design would be ok at best. This level has plenty of moments where first-time players would be unable to avoid taking damage, namely the Football Chucking Chuck and the place with the Boomerang Bro and the Hammer Bro. There shouldn't be much going for this level. But these aren't normal circumstances I'm afraid, this level uses wind mechanics! Yay! Look, I'm not going to say that wind mechanics are bad, but they are hard to work around, and especially these ones since for some reason not only do they slow the player instead of pushing them (most of the time), but they also slow down falling for some physics-law defying reason.
This brings another issue. When the wind actually affects the player its jump height is also manipulated because ... why? I get that moving slower makes the jump height lower, but that's why the level makes the running speed slower in the first place right? Adjusting the player height is another hazard in its own class seeing as 70% of the jumps are barely possible with both the wind AND jump height adjustment.
For some reason, there is also a total of 3 Twisters in the entirety of this level, which is a shame because they could've been used for some really unique obstacles. Like keeping track with the Twisters moving from one end of a section to another, where losing it means falling to a pit.
Then there's the boss. We have the epidemy of originality: Mouser. This boss is just as overplayed as SMB3 Bowser, if not more. And this setup drives it home too, seeing as the only two strategies the player can take are to either jump to the Mouser and filter all of its bombs right then and there to hit it or to casually wait for the bombs to come your way in the rotating platform because waiting is a fun game.
To finish let's talk about the ending cutscene, which is funny. In fact, the entire dialogue provided by Toad is funny, and so is the scream at the end. There's just one problem. Requiring the player to stand in the middle column puts him/her in an unnecessarily precarious predicament seeing as not knowing when the dialogue stops if the player were to jump from one of the columns to that one when the dialogue stops the wind will continue to move the player shoving it off the column and towards death. Experiencing this myself I can say it without a shadow of a doubt, it was frustrating.
Design: 15 / 30 [If I can say something is that the level stayed consistently annoying. There was also a lot of missed potential.]
Aesthetics: 20 / 20 [Clearly the area where this level performed best. No complaints here.]
Gameplay: 16 / 40 [Both the mechanics, the tight jumps, and the first-time player-killing scenarios really play against this level.]
Originality: 6 / 10 [Wind is a mechanic that while used plenty, the way it was implemented here was quite unique. Just remember that taking from the player usually doesn't bode well for the playing experience.]
Overall: 57 / 100
Honestly, I'm more disappointed than angry at this point. Because in hindsight this level had plenty of potential making the final result all the sadder. But hey, if there's something I can't take away from this level is that it tried to do something, it wanted to be something. It just happened to fall a little flat, but there are worst ways this level could've gone. I'll keep a tab on this thread and see where you go from here.
Last edited by Fuyu
on Sat Apr 17, 2021 8:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.