I enjoyed the animation. Solid fluidity in the motion, the voice of Layton was spot on.
However, I have two major complaints. point one is that of the oft-before mentioned parallax, which moved about 2-3 times as fast as it should have in comparison to the rest of the characters, and gave a poor sense of motion throughout. Seriously, if the background moved only half as far as it did it would have been amazingly well done. It was perfect in the beginning, and right on the words "Now Luke..." All the rest of the time, the camera looked like it was being swung around by a caffiene addled monkey having a seizure. the second complaint is that of the relationship between the hair of the lady, and her eyes. Her face looked crowded by the desire you displayed of showing both in full, and to top that, they didn't follow the same rules that Luke's eyes+hair did.
Complaints over, I think everything else was nailed wonderfully. You didn't draw the characters off model once, even when whirling around Layton's side, or the rubber hose effects of limbs, or when dragging massive motion blur. The sound was balanced in a way I could only describe as Glorious. Luke's voice could have used a bit more work, and perhaps a little more time hearing the actual character's voice, but, all in all, Lip syncing was perfect, the slap and musical stabs were timed wonderfully, and the still shots and moving shots balanced the animation well, despite an overactive parallax. \
I've only recently discovered you, and in going through many of the music videos, I've come to the conclusion that not only is this my favorite, if I ever pull together a stage performance of some kind, I'm a have to sing this. With your permission of course. I've just sat and listened to it and watched it to the point where I can recite it without trying. Awesomely done.
Yay - thanks !
I'm sure I would give you permission, as long as it was recorded and I could live the joy.
It was pretty well done, and I like how the animation is fairly "Flat", in keeping with the comics, but doesn't lie flat on the screen like a collage-style animation would.
This was an interesting diversion. Nice selection of images, interesting mechanics, I was spurred on by not only the desire to complete the game just to see all the images, but also to see what novelties continued to show up puzzle after puzzle. There was no true challenge to the game, so I never felt disheartened, but on the same token, you were careful not to throw some moon logic in, or asinine arbitrary infeasibly hard puzzle from left field.
True, some levels were less 'puzzle' than toy, like the one where it was essentially 52-pickup, but, where other game makers would have made it feel boring or a chore, just the act of sliding things into place, through a multitude of filters, made the experience feel whole. It also felt like you were trying to push the envelope and re-define what a generic jigsaw puzzle could be in the electronic era.
Now, unfortunately, I come to the sad part. Why I docked you half a star. Honestly, it came from the music and the level completion animations. The gameplay was intriguing enough, and the visuals stunning enough that the music fell to the background, and it was simple and repetitive enough that it began falling on my ears in the same way that a 20-second loop would. The solving animations were a pine cone in a fruit salad. A player would complete a puzzle, flexing their brains a little, and after making an image whole and beautiful again, they would be greeted sharply with a staticky jumble, which, at first, was a jarring shock, and by the end, was just the most unsatisfying 'Level complete' notifications ever.
Still, for all I harped on about those two things, that's still only caused me to dock half a star between them. The game is still amazing, and a real treat to play through. Thank you for bringing this to us, and I hope to see more submissions by you.
Thanks a lot, for so detailed review!
I really appreciate it!
And will do my best to make nice next works.
The game had some very good concepts and moments of fun. Although many puzzles are the same things I've seen other places. Listen, I know it's hard to come up with some decent puzzles when you're working with a simple platformer, but there's only so many times I can find 'mashing keyboard buttons to get the button that solves the puzzle.' enjoyable, even when it's not telegraphed. "yell for help" was entertaining, but not really engaging.
The 'graphics messed up' levels were some amount of challenge, trying to remember where platforms were in the second run, and the blocks appearing did add some nice flavor, but... having the blocks that prevent you from winning ran completely counter to the mechanics. The character floated and slid far to much for the precision that a couple of the levels demanded.
The other sticking point for me was that there were a couple of times that the game and incentives ran counter to each other. A difficult platformer is an experience of learning through failure. Level 29 comes to mind. Difficult platforming segment, but with penalty for failure. Things like level 40, it's hard, for me at least, to move the mouse at the same speed as the character in any game. not to mention level 26 being impossible when the game is muted.
BUT, enough being down, let's get positive. I wouldn't give you a rating of 4.5 if you gave me shit for a game. The music, the aesthetic, the game itself all felt good and was a treat to play. Finishing every level felt great when the announcer looked excited and the audience cheered. Level 42 was by far my favorite, because it actually called for some brainbending attentiveness I've not run across in a long time. Delicious difficulty.
And I've seen a lot of people get down on the final boss, Don't dare listen to 'em. As far as boss battles, this was awesome. The boss moved and continued to function throughout each stage in a consistent, clear manner, and there was absolutely nothing by way of Random Number Generation going on. RNG kills a game's enjoyability. Figuring out each stage and slipping in right at the weakpoint and anticipating the movement of each part there felt amazing as a player when a hit was landed.
That and the sheer cuteness of each character, from the backs of heads populating the audience, to the energetic announcer, to the number of cute and funny hats the contestants wore throughout. I played it through a third time during the course of writing this review, and still found myself smiling even though the challenge had left with nary a backward glance.
The puzzles were mostly cliche'd keyboard and mouse manipulation, things done many times before, with a few exceptions that shone brightly in the mire. The movement as floaty and slippery, and sometimes that got in the way. The audience mechanic kind of felt an insult to injury when dying, and there would be a definite boon to having a few more rounds of beta testing. The last couple of levels were astounding, and the whole game aesthetic was a marvel to behold. A truly enjoyable game, and id did not overstay its welcome.
<<PROSPECTIVE PLAYERS, READ ME>>
Game is good, game is fun and novel, and a trip to be had. Stop reading, give it a spin. Great fun, You'll be glad you did. Only read more when you have given it a shot.
Okay, Great concept, Great Idea. But the issue is, There's no ramp.
Sure, foes get incrimentally tougher with each battle, and more come out with each battle, and new types with each battle... But there's no... RAMP.
Okay, what I mean is... The battles don't get tougher over time. No new units every five seconds, or more tightly woven ranks. I had some issues with the spearmen, but... Who didn't? My problem is that I had NO issues with swordsmen and staffmen.
The killer for me was that the boss got WIPED too easily. He had low health, considering I had, what, 7 tries to kill it? Heck, My Swords/Staffmen never lost once, so when bossman showed up, I led with Spears just for a laugh.
IMAGINE MY SURPRISE WHEN THE SPEARMEN WHUPPED HIM IN THE FIRST ATTEMPT. My weakest unit, by far, and I cream the final army. It took three minutes, but I took no damage, and destroyed him. He needed to get tougher to beat over time, and quickly. His power needed to ramp so hard that Mt. Everest looks like an afternoon hike. Game was too easy for the challenge it COULD have presented.
It's a good song.
I do enjoy it, and I want to take a quick study of your works now. But for now, it's going to sit on my favorites list, and I will get back to you soon. Expect to hear from me in the near future.
But that's all it is. Heck, it's even got a default instrument riff in there (points against) that only speaks strength.
For a song that has 'Layers' in the title, there aren't very many layers to the song, or even the melody itself. two or three noticeable ones, at most.
It's a simple tonal pattern through most of it. But it's catchy, which is what I assume you were going for.
Your drums tend to be a little harsh, overall. I've noticed this in other songs as well, they need a little reverb and some softening. That, and to switch up the pattern they play sometimes. this three tap Snare-Snare-Kick gets old quickly, and could do with some freshening.
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