Coming back around for Round Two!
We're taking a look at Heart of the Flip-side from Trindall, a four-course meal of old-school, batter-fried LBP1 goodness. Come see the greatness of LBP1-era logic, and waffleking23 completely missing the plot.
Looking back as a creator, LBP1 levels were really something. I think the fascinating part about LBP1-era levels was that visuals were merely secondary, while innovation is what really shines. However, making a level that excels in both gameplay and visuals was definitely no easy feat, and were levels I often looked up to for inspiration. Ironically, I never actually made anything (besides a crummy R1 race) within that era, but I'll get into that later.
Since we're on the topic of LBP1-era levels, I'd like to share a few of my personal favorites that remain fresh in my memory today. Keep in mind, I may be putting these on a high pedestal, but you know how nostalgia is:
Maxed Out by Qugz
This was an insane mess that somehow worked out in the end. It sacrificed a solid theme and visual flare to make way for logic/physics setpieces that would absolutely blow your mind, doubly so if you were knowledgeable with LBP1 logic. But I guess the creator wasn't satisfied with just one installment, because there are actually three full Maxed Out levels with crazy contraptions.
Distress in Ocean by YAMAME3(?)
I'm sure I'm not the only one who considers this level to be a legend. This level had a fun setting, a solid design, and a whole lot of heart. It continues to remain as one of my all-time favorite "underwater" levels despite not actually having functional water in it because how creative the level utilized its sea creatures. I really liked how the winch swings had fish stickers plastered on them, or how you would use the Zs of a giant sleeping crab to ascend to a higher platform (then you get to ride that giant sleeping crab), or how the squids are propelled by rockets, and who could forget that glorious chase sequence against that shark (and the retaliation afterwards)?
And it gets better. This is one of those rare cases where making the level copyable is a good thing, because now I get to look at all the ground work behind it (and I recommend you do the same, it's fascinating stuff). By the way, I put a question mark next to this creator's name since I'm unsure whether or not this is the original creator (though judging from the stats, I'd like to think it is).
Carp [JPN] by o-tera
Carp is probably my favorite o-tera level with Ruins of the Roller as a close second. The level is incredibly simplistic in both gameplay and visuals, but is a very fun experience for beginners like me back in the day. It's also a very good learning experience for new creators when it comes to platformers since it tackles the basics so well. Even now I would recommend playing through this level as reference to any player looking to make their own platformers.
(Note: This was originally an LBP1 level, though it seems like it was updated in LBP2)
That took a while to get through. I probably have more levels to gush over but this should be a good selection for now. Now that I'm re-reading this post, it looks like I'm trashing on the LBP2/3 era. But I don't think that at all, in fact, it was thanks to the improvements made in these titles that I was able to make what I wanted (fun fact: I made my very first platformer in LBP2, even Lockstitch reviewed it!). 2 and 3 were able to fulfill my needs for a sort of perfect balance between gameplay and visuals, which was something I could never really achieve in the LBP1 era.
Oh, I never really touched upon the level in this episode that much, did I?