Creating birthday episodes has kind of become a tradition of the 2k1x series, and here we are back again. This episode is a gift to snoruntpyro for her birthday and also contains traces of christmas because of the current season.
I need to give a big thanks to the people who helped me work on this, because without you guys creating this in, what, 8 weeks (?) just wouldn't have been doable and the end result would've been much, much less fun.
The rest of the team:
I don't want to give away too much of the game beforehand, so instead of an extensive trailer I have but a humble screenshot for you:
I can't think of a sassy answer including the fact that you were supposed to make a level and now you're sarcastically saying that it's okay instead of beautiful and really good. How dare you, you are a hypocrite and you deserve to stop.
Also I made half a level I don't deserve being credited.
Wow, what a journey. Where should I start? This episode was really cool, characters were really funny and there was actually a sense of progress going through each individual level, plot elements were linked nicely, although rather virally, like anyone would expect. It's a shame it was really short, but considering how long it took you guys to make it I'm actually surprised how much was done, the dedication shines in this one.
If this episode managed to do something that was to stay fresh, never throughout the entirety of my playthrough have I been bored nor that a level existed for the sake of existing. Each gimmick stands out from the rest in a manner such that if I would talk about "this level that had this gimmick" people would be able to recognize which is that. I also believe that the fact that it didn't have that many levels helped greatly, as having to come up with gimmicks for each level would not only be dreadfully challenging but hard to accomplish as well. That, however, doesn't seem to have been the case given the amount of existing levels. These are assumptions, though I believe worth taking note of.
For as much as I liked this episode, there were some gameplay hair-ripping moments that almost made me quit the game and call it a day. At first, I thought of pointing out each flaw towards each level designer, but that doesn't fit my style of reviewing, not that any of you would know, so I'll skip the latter. There is one issue that applies to almost all levels, and that is the fact that checkpoints are scarce. While this might not seem so bad at first, on later levels it becomes a pain in the ass to play certain levels.
The first two levels were fun to traverse, and while the first one seems fun to play and flawless at first sight, the second level had a flaw I feel I must report. There's one area of the level where you take a pipe to the upper part of the section, hit a flip switch, if it may be called that way, and had to jump on platforms to reach the top ... or bottom part of the section, depending if the section was flipped at that point. The jump wasn't just tricky, but if you were to fall on the pipe you would literally be stuck and forced to suicide, which could have been easily fixed with proper switch block placement.
Moving on to the third level, which I believe was the one with the most prominent issues the episode has. It is sad because I think the concept was cool, it was just poorly executed. Not that the code is faulty, but that gameplay-wise, that level was a nightmare to play. To start off, at the end of the vertical section there are these platforms that are, in my honest opinion, extremely difficult to traverse due to each thwomp over each platform. I ignore if it has been done yet, until then, to me that area of the level is impossible to go through without taking a hit. Let's say you manage to do this, however, and get to the next vertical section; this time an autoscroll section of hell. This is without a doubt the worse part in the entire episode, and probably the second most worked on too, which is another thing to be sad about. The player has literally no room for error, you either get it right in one go or you fail, and the thwomp-stomping is at fault for this. If you miss one simple and innocent jump, there's an 80% (random number but applicable) chance you'll die and have to try all over again. Getting every single coin in this area feels like an impossible feat if a feat at all.
Next up is the beach level. This level had a very cool concept which for some reason hasn't been thought of until this very moment, and that is a day/night gimmick. The way it was applied was really cool, and would have been one of my favorites if it wasn't for the fact that this level dragged the hell up. It is by far the longest level in the entire episode, longer than the evil cellar. And due to the aforementioned scarcity of checkpoints chances are people are going to spend most of their time playing this level than the rest of the episode itself. One last complaint with this level is that there are some areas on the level that I swear it is impossible to avoid being hit (e.g: where you have the 2x2 bricks stacked up and you have to break every single one of them before reaching MECHDRAGON777).
And now we have the headquarters level, which to me is one of the coolest levels in the episode, and I'm also happy to say that one of the best-designed levels in the episode. I literally have nothing bad to say about this one, it was fun to play, the wind gimmick, reminiscent of many other levels from other games was well implemented and while challenging fair enough for every single death and hit a fault for the player.
And last, but most certainly not least, the evil basement, the last level. This was a really cool level and everyone who has played this episode until the very end knows why, the epic bosses. As per usual, Enjl succeeds at surprising us with his original bosses. I wish this level would be lacking in issues, though. Because, while small, it definitely has one, and that is one specific jump prior to reaching the sanctum, the one where you need to jump on the blocks you only see after being hit with the steam(?) and jumping on the flying knight. This jump right here is a tough one due to the blocks on the ceiling that immediately puts halt to your movement and leads to a both tragic and unsurprising death. Besides that, however, this is my favorite level in the entire episode. The bosses were challenging but fair, the ending was rewarding.
I don't know if this episode had custom music, as in music composed specifically for this episode, but if that's the case, I have to say it turned out pretty good. No complaints here, loved every piece, for as unmemorable as it was because, to be honest, I don't remember any of the tracks, but that's probably because I played it in one sitting within two hours.
/**WARNING! EVERYTHING IN HERE IS JUST A MEANS OF TELLING MY REACTIONS TO CERTAIN ASPECTS OF THE EPISODE, AND THUS, ARE BIAS. THIS HAS BEEN YOUR WARNING.**\
Ok so ... a million subs ... that's ... huh. It feels weird, but you gave me a laugh like no other with that Enjl, to that I applaud. This episode was really cool, I loved it, and I'm happy for snoruntpyro for having such good friends to even make this awesome episode within merely 8 weeks. I salute you and hope to see more of your and your teammates' work.
This review sure took a hell of a long time to write :/
Well I really enjoyed that, especially the final boss. (I had a feeling it was him all along). The levels were all very gimmicky and interesting and it had a great comedic edge to it too. Also liked my little part in it; thanks for that
Hmm... this seems really interesting! I loved Spring Festival and Summer Takeover (Yeah, those ones are the only ones I've finished so far), so I should probably give this a shot, although I really want to play the series in chronological order, so I'm going to tackle the other episodes first
This episode honestly felt like a completely different game with all of the tactics used to make the game feel more life like. It's a short(ish) episode but the plot and the way the plot advances into the overworld makes everything better. Nothing is too hard to figure out and the infinite lives is a nice touch. However, the only thing I truly disliked about the entire episode as a whole are the tedious jumps in just about every area after the first level. The bosses and level gimmicks along with the extremely well-picked choice of music more than make up for that though! I truly enjoyed playing it (':
So, I've beaten the episode, and I have to say that I enjoyed it quite a lot! As usual for the 2k1x series, it's chock full of fun levels, spot on music choices, and funny forum jokes. But one of the best things about this Episode was the sense of progression. You see, previous 2k1x episodes were like "Oh here's a linear hub/worldmap with lots of levels in a straight line that have nothing to do with eachother at all now go beat them in order!" but this episode is different in it provides an actual reason to go to the levels, being the story which I won't spoil, rather than just entering doors to get stars or something like that so you can progress to the next level. It actually felt like I was progressing in the story rather than just progressing deeper and deeper into the hub, and I like that! The hub was huge and non-linear, and it actually felt like the levels were connected to each other thanks to the story and all the different ways you acessed them. Definetly hope future games in the series continue with this trend. One little dissapointing thing is that I'm not in it there's no postgame or anything like that, which would've been really cool, and I hope it gets added later in the future! Also, some levels have kinda unfair moments like Intuition said, But otherwise, this might even be my favorite entry in the series, and I definetly hope for more 2k1x episodes in 2017!