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[Roughly 15 Fresh] 038 - Complications

#1
Alright, back for another installment over here.

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This week we're taking a look at

[url=https://lbp.me/v/qvrked4]Toast Overdose - Happy_Chappy

Gradia 2: The Forgotten Islands - faceofgame
Garden Realm! - ola2020
Sackbots Don't Swim - Major_Maximus
Beautiful Forest - CodemanPSX

It's a weird run of levels this go around, and one of them really rubbed me the wrong way (maybe that's more on me, than on the level, i don't know). Still, give them a look and see what you think.

Behind the curtain stuff: So, i really ended up liking this hub more than it probably deserved. The only problem is, it's referencing a level that no longer exists, which kind of leaves it as an in-joke that only the maybe 14people who played it will get. i probably should have gone with something different, but sometimes when you get an idea, you just have to run with it.
So, in the interest of illumination, a bit of (real-world) backstory. The last level i made in LBP1 was (quite similar to Castle of Forgotten Toys we looked at in LBsP - 017) a kid's playroom. There were different "worlds" arranged on a series of tables; a city with cars, and a simple logic puzzle; a castle tower with disappearing blocks you had to climb Mega Man-style, that kind of thing. The final boss of the level was the chap we see in today's episode. Anyways, for reasons i can't remember now, i took the level down. It wasn't a particularly bad level (nor, mind you, was it particularly good). Maybe i was thinking of updating it in LBP2, and never got around to it. For whatever reason, since i never backed it up externally, it disappeared when my PS3 went to the clearing at the end of the trail. Our hub's ruler looks the same, and is roughly as goofy; though now he's got elbows, so that's a step up.

Side stuff, but i think we may have our team for the LBP1 plat, i'm going to send a few messages around and see if i can't get folks on the same time-table, but i'm thinking tomorrow or the day after, depending on how everyone's schedules look. Related to LBP1, i just finished up the Story mode again yesterday, and started up LBP2. It feels like sackthing is a lot floatier in the first game, and everything looks almost shockingly sharp. The only way i can think to put it is LBP2 and 3 look like games, 1 looks like something recorded with a particularly nice video camera. It's fairly disconcerting.

So...i guess that's the that, this go around. i hope all of you are well, and, as always, appreciate all the support. Have a great day now!
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Want to watch a foolish gaijin butcher monsters and the Japanese language at the same time? Well, now, you can!
 
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#2
Beep beep boop, it's the Tuesday Takeaway!

Toast Overdose - Happy_Chappy
i had a good enough time with this one. It's still over-short, and it could play to the theme more strongly; but it's fun, and the environment is solidly presented (if kind of, to make a joke, factory-standard). One thing i noticed this go around, you can see the end half of the level from the first Checkpoint, which is something i always like (we see a really solid example of this with Chronos's Voltaic Ruination). So, i got the idea maybe we could sequence break right through to the end (which is always funny). Well, you can get over to the right, but you'll be in the wrong layer, so it's right to the floor with you. However, if you play around down there with the Boost Boots, you can trigger the lighting change. So, now, if you pop yourself, you can play the level in the dark from the beginning, and the lighted materials and objects look pretty cool.

Gradia 2: The Forgotten Islands - faceofgame
Yeah, the level select page says it was inspired by Laputa, and it...doesn't really work. The environment is too static for starters. Miyazaki is nuts for incidental movement, fiddly details, and selling environments and settings (it's one of the reasons there's so much eating in his movies). The gameplay is fairly basic, as well, and the grab-able platforms can really screw things up. That was what was knocking my Boost Boots off, it seems. Whenever i got caught grabbing a platform, they'd disappear (which is the opposite problem we had with Bottom of the Beast, from Doomymood; though i have the feeling it wasn't intended this time).

Garden Realm! - ola2020
So, as i mentioned in passing in LBsP - 018, i've been playing lots of LBP2 recently. Just wrapped up the Story Mode, and now i'm looping though Acing the levels (there aren't all that many for me to get, and the Negativitron's Ace is out of the way). It's touching to see that the levels are still getting played, and consistently so. Sure, only double digits for players, but i'm glad there're some legs on the game still. It is, purely from a game perspective, so much better than LBP3. Now, on the other hand, not having Tweakable materials, or the Dephysicalize tool...yeah, i know you can use Grav-tweakers, but still...those are such good tools to have right at hand. i guess what i'm saying is, there's not an awful to say about Garden Realm!, it is a level that exists, and it's not actively unfun. The spotlights are way too bright, though.

Sackbots Don't Swim - Major_Maximus
i don't think i consciously noticed the lack of point bubbles my first time through, but once KG pointed it out, it was kind of hard to miss. Amusingly, that was something that really stood out in a few levels in next week's show, so maybe my brain was doing background processing. This one's another precision challenger, and though not the hardest we've seen, it can get a bit frustrating. Having those platforms up just a touch longer would have cut into that (though, maybe it would've been a bit too easy?). It's got LBP2 written all over it, as well, though i think Major_Maximus uses more than the three base layers towards the end of the level.

Beautiful Forest [JPN] - CodemanPSX
There's not really a lot to go with here. It's still a joke level, and the joke is stale and flat; and that just leaves you with a level that feels grindingly long (even though, in clock-time, it really isn't). The funny thing here is Codeman shows some flashes of decent level design and presentation skill (far more, in fact, than he does in his other levels). Some of the effects are nice enough, and the drop into the background section at the end was kind of cool (and i really should've PiP'ed it). i think he could've made something pretty good if he'd set himself to it, instead of making this bitter-feeling thing.

So that's the that. Not a great set of levels, by any means; but fun enough in the main. i can see where a little polish here and there would make a lot of difference.

Behind the curtain stuff: So, i think i'm going to start recording levels before i record the hub from now on. i've had to do that on a few occasions, and it's not something i really like. However, if it'll prevent something coming up like we dealt with in the last LBsP, that'll be worth it i suppose. i've got the hub for episode 40 basically done, just cameras and dialogue to do (granted, i'm cheating a bit with this one, but it's something i've had in the back of my mind to do for a bit now). My wife's back in town, but she'll be working the next few days, so it should be not too difficult to get back on my regular schedule. i swear, long stretches of time off, without some plan filling them really does my sense of time in. i don't necessarily want to go back to work, but it does give a shape to life.

It's pretty weird to think, but once we wrap up Episode 40, we'll be in the back 1/4th of the season. Time for me to start putting serious thought into what comes next.

As always, thanks for the support and feedback folks! Y'all have a great day!
[Image: drawsig.php?creator=waffle_king23&bg=52&f=18&l=6]
Want to watch a foolish gaijin butcher monsters and the Japanese language at the same time? Well, now, you can!
 
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#3
Sounds like a good choice of nice levels.
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#4
Yeah, i had a pretty good time with them. None of them are perfect, but i couldn't say they're not worth looking at at all. Well, maybe the last one, but that's probably just me.
[Image: drawsig.php?creator=waffle_king23&bg=52&f=18&l=6]
Want to watch a foolish gaijin butcher monsters and the Japanese language at the same time? Well, now, you can!
 
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