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the weekly grunge: reviews by nirvana

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#1
nirvana

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hello all,

i've decided to create a review thread and am inviting anyone who has a level they would like to submit for constructive feedback to post their requests here. the only thing i ask is that it's a level for which i've never left feedback.

unlike some review threads, i am not going to rate a level through numerical or symbolic means (for instance stars, or percentages via category and overall grade). i'm not even going to say whether i've hearted a level. after playing this game for over two years, hearts mean different things to different people. i know people who heart levels on general enjoyment, others who heart only those levels that are truly memorable to them.

what i aim to do with my reviews is attempt to give my overall experience of each level and it's up to each individual to decide for themselves whether to play it or not. hopefully, if you're like me, you won't let any opinion sway you either way whether to play a level. what i do hope for is that these reviews will spark some discussion on levels being reviewed. for instance, whether as the creator or a player, if you disagree with any of my opinions, feel free to jump into the discussion, or point out aspects of a level i might have missed. most of all i hope that people will just have fun in this thread.

for my part, i will do my best to give reviews on at least a weekly basis, hopefully more, if the demand is there, offering specifics as to what i liked and what i didn't in areas applicable to each individual level, whether story, gameplay, level design, movie, etc. it's my goal to give fair, thorough reviews and all criticisms given are meant to be helpful. as i mentioned, if you have differing opinions, i welcome opposing viewpoints. i also reserve the right to review levels whose creators might not be members of this forum, but because the playing experience might be a unique one, i may feel compelled to comment.

so, if any of the above interests you, don't be shy and post your level. the weekly grunge thread is now open.
  • MichealNubs, leloDeextuppy, Noir Vasily and 57 others like this

#2
nirvana

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LEVEL / LBP.ME LINK / LINK TO REVIEW



The Shadow of Your Smile by EnochRoot

http://lbp.me/v/ckgj4-

http://www.littlebig...9855#post239855



The Great White North by CrustiestNewt (Pluribus)

http://lbp.me/v/cprkf2

http://www.littlebig...0511#post240511



Tank Commander: a top down shooter by shade_seeker (karpethead)

http://lbp.me/v/cn8hww

http://www.littlebig...1119#post241119



Introduction by SpikeStarkey

http://lbp.me/v/9exk08

http://www.littlebig...1494#post241494



TiltWorks by Deurklink1

http://lbp.me/v/c5b7kx

http://www.littlebig...207#entry458207



Space Police: Landfills of Mars by THeEGG

http://lbp.me/v/c4gb4p



Tumbledown Avenue by Omier

http://lbp.me/v/dg9q36

http://www.littlebig..._60#entry459344



Conan the Barbarian by THE_HOG_FLU

http://lbp.me/v/fpvw34



Metal Gear Sackboy Unraveling Stitches Acts 1 and 2 by forevertuesday

http://lbp.me/v/ct90qb

http://lbp.me/v/dd6tdf



Critters by Arklon

http://lbp.me/v/9v-5sj


Introducing Clay by Rasumii

http://http://lbp.me/v/tcr77j


Edited by nirvana, 12 October 2012 - 04:02 PM.
level/link update


#3
EnochRoot

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Wow talk about an offer too good to resist!!!
I would like to submit my new level The Shadow of Your Smile
http://lbp.me/v/ckgj4-

Enochrootsignature.png
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#4
nirvana

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yaaaaaaay!

i just *knew* you'd be the first to take the offer. lol! such a brave soul. ;) thanks enoch.

looks like you will be my inaugural creator! your level is queued.

#5
EnochRoot

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yaaaaaaay!

i just *knew* you'd be the first to take the offer. lol! such a brave soul. ;) thanks enoch.

looks like you will be my inaugural creator! your level is queued.


I feel sooo special! Just like Draden when he was voted Prom Queen!

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#6
R0T_IN

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ohh yay my fav reviewer
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#7
Liquid_Blood_

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Oo, oo!!! Do MINE! Me, me, me!!!!

the only thing i ask is that it's a level for which i've never left feedback.

Oh wait.... :Sadder: ..nevermind. :P

Let me instead offer my sincere gratitude for the wonderfully detailed feedback you have left for me in times past! <3 Everyone else here will be very fortunate to get the same quality treatment.

#8
THE_HOG_FLU

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Yayyyy! I reckon I'll ask for a review from you once Conan is completed.

#9
nirvana

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Yayyyy! I reckon I'll ask for a review from you once Conan is completed.


i was hoping to hear from you, jerry. i heard about your upcoming conan level last week and can't wait to play it. :)

#10
THE_HOG_FLU

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i was hoping to hear from you, jerry. i heard about your upcoming conan level last week and can't wait to play it. :)

Yeah, and it's going to have a "demon's souls" feel to it even.

#11
GG-76-

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It will be a great review thread.

Hey Creators! If you want a detailled and serious review of someone who understand what "play, create, share" mean, this thread is the perfect place to submit your new levels.

When you read nirvana's reviews, you read reviews of a passionated player.


Be sure that my future levels will be in this thread :)

EDIT: Can we submit some awesome levels that we don't are the creator ?
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#12
nirvana

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It will be a great review thread.

Hey Creators! If you want a detailled and serious review of someone who understand what "play, create, share" mean, this thread is the perfect place to submit your new levels.

When you read nirvana's reviews, you read reviews of a passionated player.


Be sure that my future levels will be in this thread :)

EDIT: Can we submit some awesome levels that we don't are the creator ?


thank you for your support, gg... :)

and the answer to your question is yes... if you have a level in mind whose creator isn't a member of this forum, i'd be happy to play and give my thoughts on his/her level. i am always curious to know what kinds of levels creators whom i know and respect are playing, especially players from countries outside the u.s. what with all the levels out there it is so hard to keep up on my own.

#13
Pluribus

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Although I know you have my level queued already: lbp.me link

#14
nirvana

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thanks pluribus!

your link has been added. expect a review posted here by the end of the week. i'll leave a message on your visitors' board once completed.

#15
nirvana

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The Shadow of Your Smile

it seems rather appropriate that this level is mostly in silhouette, since the theme is heartbreak. the silhouette is metaphorically a dark hole a man has fallen into after experiencing a terrible, unexpected loss.

after spawning and bathed in a bright light tinged with a rainbow, the world quickly falls into shadows. i don't think it's accidental that the path immediately slopes downward, because the journey is a descent into memories. that is all the man has left after his loss. memories that are both sweet and bitter, often laced with regret.

the shadows, the shades of vibrant cobalt blue, the somber, pensive music, all of it contributes to the deeply contemplative, vaguely dangerous melancholy this level embues. blue is synonymous with sadness. there is a definite sense of danger throughout this journey presented in the gameplay. saturated blue mist laces hazards. the splatters of blue are very striking against the near darkness. at certain points, the ground slopes downward at such an angle that you can easily lose control and run into spikes. there is a sense of having to resign oneself to keep going down, digging deeper into memories, in hopes of piecing together something quite damaged. but the acute angles are reminders that remembering can be a painful endeavor. but with each hazard conquered, you are rewarded with brilliant flashbacks that are both painful, but somehow necessary to remember, and also ones so sweet that they allow some light to pass through the darkness.

throughout this journey, you grab at hearts that appear here and there, the act itself becomes poignant and symbolic. they often appear where there is no danger, where there is calm. single-mindedly jumping up, waiting to catch each and every one that materializes felt to me, like a gradual return to innocence.

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the only thing that disrupts the dark silhouette are scenes containing memories. they give substance and balance to the somber well-written narrative and are often filled with light, which acts as a counterweight to the silhouette portion. one realizes how truly dark the world he is in when he has something to compare it to. and at the same time the light is a reminder of what motivates each step forward through the dark landscape.

but it is within the context of this strange, almost alien world of beautiful shadows that the heartbreak transforms from the story of one man's loss, to something more universal. the fact that the level is entitled, "The Shadow of Your Smile" only draws the player into the story, the use of "Your" instead of "Her" giving the story a sense of all-inclusiveness. the story isn't merely a story of one man trying to mend his heart, it becomes a story that belongs to every heart that has ever been hurt and lost.

yes, this level is filled with sadness, but odd as it may sound there is a strange beauty in the pain.

some of my favorite images:

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after playing the level several times, caught up in the atmosphere and the elegiac music, i thought i was beginning to see hearts where there were none. this picture doesn't depict the blue haze as accurately as in-game, but how i saw it was the arch being the left part of the heart, the blue mist the right side of the heart.

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The Shadow of Your Smile is a wonderful example of storytelling, gameplay, and design working seamlessly together. it's almost like cinematic gameplay. you become part of the story and the gameplay not only moves the plot but depicts the metaphoric struggle of the journey through despair.

after playing this level, like a beloved book, there is something here that lingers long after having read the last word.

Edited by nirvana, 17 July 2012 - 09:39 PM.


#16
irresistible

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Very kind thing to do I hope many people take a look at this to get some insights on their levels.
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#17
kaiju_kid

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Great in-depth review of Enoch's level Nirv. Alway's interesting to hear a perspective from someone who "get's it", or more specifically what the creator was trying to envoke from the player.

#18
R0T_IN

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You are my fav petson in lbp Nirvana your reviews are the besy this thread needs a sticky IMO there is no other reviewet out there on your level thank you for your great service
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#19
nirvana

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@kaiju and r0t_in thanks very much for your kind words. they are very encouraging to hear.

please feel free to submit your own levels for review... kaiju, i think you published a couple of new ones recently, and r0t, i know you're working on that final level of the goonies. ;)

@pluribus, your review will be posted soon. i was having issues with my ps3, but should have it up in a couple of days tops.

#20
Karpethead (Shade_seeker)

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Hey there nirvana:)

I'm a little confused??? Why review people's levels in this thread, rather than on the thread for the level? I assume you are offering this wonderful thread so that levels that might not have a thread, will receive a glorious and in depth review for it here? ...if that's the case, why shoul you spend so much time writing such beautiful, well thought out reviews, if the person youare reviewing for can't even be bothers to write a thread for their level?
I was really really hoping you would play my 'tank commander' level (Brian said he woul try and get you to play it two player with him), but I didn't ask you politely to do so on this thread as I don't think a review on here would gain the same attention as it would on my thread I created for the level.

....just my thoughts....would live to hear yours on my level :)
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