Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Kato's Level Review - The Flip Side by Megaextremist

I played The Flip Side a while back on the flip side of me playing Dragon's Dogma. So.. about 2,687 years ago? Anyway, it's been a while, but I find that doesn't matter because this level is still freshly ingrained in my long-term memory. And it won't leave. The Flip Side is an exercise in Point of View alteration where the action takes place upside down. From your inverted perspective up becomes down, left becomes right, and hard becomes merciless. And I'm not kidding there.

It's hard for me to offer my opinion to the public at large because from what I gather, it's divided roughly between people who simply want to enjoy calming, easy experiences, and those who want extreme challenges. I've never shirked my contempt, for example, for platformers requiring any sort of ceiling-grab sections. Swinging I express no qualms since it's a basic application of physics, but whenever I reach a ceiling grab I sigh my weary little heart and try again. And again. And again.

The good thing about the Flip Side is that it's memorable. The bad thing is that it's memorable from repetition. Honestly, I hate it when my review basically boil down to me whining about difficulty, but it's not even that on its own. Due to the inverted perspective, you end up having to do some very awkward things with your controller, and human hands were not meant for some of the solutions I came up with. The perspective change is not optional either, and honestly I think I would have preferred the ability to have a right-side-up view at least for a few practice runs. The hardest part apparently is a jetpack portion where a friendly NPC advises you that the level can be completed without it. I didn't even get a chance to read all the things had to say because I'd died before having the opportunity. The gist I gathered was "If you find this next part too hard-" Dead. It was like a sad joke. And the punchline was I didn't even get to try it!

Graphically and musically speaking, it's all very solid. The designs are all AAA stuff with abundant stickers and decor. I liked a lot of the chaos actually with misshapen boxes, odd vertical rises, and everything looking like a Rube-Goldberg machine made out of crayons, paint, cardboard, and the souls of orphan children. I felt the visual theme consistent in its inconsistency for as little as that makes sense. It's the sort of place where the phrase 'Banana Shark on Rollerskates' could be used without irony, though I can't recall if any occurred.

I'd recommend The Flip Side if you enjoy those super-hard types of levels that test your patience at embracing futility. You will enjoy the ride if you can grasp the gimmick. I thought maybe that was my problem overall; not being able to think upside down, or perhaps just on the flip side of the box, but based on several segments I'm sure it would still be challenging without it. However, at my last test I did find a few 'holes' that had me fall through to the backstage area. I wouldn't call it a perfect level, but perfection is subjective. Try it out at least, but don't sweat it if you can't finish. (Though I did finish. Somehow.)


Navigation – Layout intentionally confusing. Several times I thought I was lost, but I wasn't actually.

Visual – Chaotic but not too much so. Visuals were good, being craft-like and appropriate to the spirit of LBP.

Sound – Honestly the music grated on me after a while, but I was playing at this level for over an hour, and dying every few moments, so I may be biased in that respect.

Gadgetry – Gadgetry is tight, but there's one long-launch section midway through that doesn't account well enough for players flailing and thinking they've broken something.

Glitches - A few holes, but they may be patched by now.

Story – N/A

Notes – I could justify the trek if you'd let me drop a nuclear explosive on something afterwards.

Saturday, 31 August 2013

Perfect 10 with SpaceMonkey187

I am sitting here , awake far to early as usual on a Saturday morning . Still, this lack of sleep does give me the opportunity to do something I've wanted to do for a little while now . A new , and hopefully regular feature here on Hidden Moon.

Perfect 10

The idea is simple : To get creators to produce a list of 10 levels . The theme could be anything . Their favourite levels ever , their top 10 space themed levels , a selection of the best multi-player levels about , The top 10 underplayed hidden gems . Whatever takes their fancy !

To kick things off I'm going to pick a theme that is close to my heart . Silhouette. I can hear you all falling off your chairs as we speak . lol . For me , silhouette levels produce some of the most powerful imagery in all of LBP . Below you will find my perfect 10 Silhouette levels , arranged into some sort of order and featuring some of the biggest names in the community . This is just my top 10 . If you disagree with me that's great . I am hoping this feature will produce debate and give plays to some great levels . So if you think I've got it wrong leave a comment below or contact us on Twitter .

Okay , before we get started I just need to point out that it doesn't seem right to include any of my own work in this list , so you won't find any of it here .

Lets get started !

10 - Silhouette of Elements by JustinArt 

Lets kick things off with a MASSIVE level from JustinArt . Silhouette of Elements features 4 stages ( Earth / Wind / Fire and Water ) . Each stage also features different platforming gameplay . The boss ( Pictured below ) is visually very striking . The shear size of this project guaranties it's place in this top 10 .

9 - The Sun Planet by Unexpector

Next up we have The Sun Planet by Unexpector . Combining two of my favorite things , A space themed silhouette level was always going to be a hit in my book . Slow paced and beautiful , let this wonderful level take you to a far off world .

8 - Inspirations by MuddledMuppet

This is one of my all time favorite projects. not strictly a 100% silhouette film , but it does feature enough elements to make the list . The first time I watched this I was blown away . It showed me that LBP was much more than just platforming . It was expression , and it could be art . Muddled Muppet talks from the heart about his inspirations , his children . I found it very moving . My one great regret is that I was not involved in this group project .

7 - Shady Functions by Luos_83

Shady Functions by Luos_83 coming in at number 7 . Luos_83 was always one of LBP's best visuals creators , seemingly able to turn his hand to many different styles , his silhouette effort was no exception . Shady Functions features top gameplay and visuals , plus a cool little paradox . What's not to like ?

6 - AbstraPhilis 3 by ZedCOcoZza (LBPV)

The first of two entries by the incredible ZedCOcoZza . Zed has been blazing a trail of silhouette levels over on LBPV . It has been a long time since I have been inspired so much by a single creator . AbstraPhilis 3 taught me that there was a different way to creating . Levels could be lighter on gameplay but still keep the players attention . All 3 of the AbstraPhilis series are worth checking out but only one could make the list and I went with part 3. .

5 - The Other Side by CompherMC (LBPV)

Is there a more imitated game on LBP other than Limbo ? Probably not . Hundreds of creators have drawn inspiration from Limbo and tried their hand at a silhouette level ,  me included . Where many have tried , few have succeeded to the same standard as CompherMC . The Other Side is a masterpiece . Where as the visuals have arguably been bettered , the gameplay has not . It is also one of two entries in this list that has a point in the level that has completely surprised me . A moment that cries out for a rewind button . . .

4 - Shadows of Salem by Pirmaut

I was lucky enough to have been given a sneak peek at this level while it was being made . I had joined Pirmaut one Saturday morning and convinced him to give me a little peek at the silhouette level he had been working on . Shortly after entering he got kicked out for some reason , bad internet connection perhaps ? I was suddenly left alone in this creepy landscape full of horrific imagery ! (eek O_O) I remember thinking that the quality of Pirmaut's silhouette work was of the chart and so much better than mine . I realized I had to up my game . I owe this level a lot for giving me the inspiration to do that .

3 - PurgatorY by  ZedCOcoZza (LBPV)

Top 3 time and ZedCOcoZza's second entry . In my humble opinion this is Zed's best work to date . PurgatorY is packed with atmosphere and the level of detail in the visuals is off the chart . This level alone proves why he is my favorite creator and one of LBP's best . PurgatorY can be summed up by two words . . . LEVEL ENVY !

2 - Flint by DaaMonkey (LBPV)

Flint by DaaMonkey narrowly misses out on the number 1 spot . I am a massive fan of this level . It was amazing before it got the professional make over , now it is even better . Everything from the intro to the cunning puzzles scream professional . Flint could easily be a stand alone indi game . In the end that is probably the highest compliment I can give it , because how many LBP levels could you genuinely say that about ?

1 - At World's End by DrunkenFist_Lee

Finally , in at number one I've chosen At Worlds End by DrunkenFist_Lee . No surprise really was it . lol. I've said it before and I'll say it again , At Worlds End is the bench mark that ALL silhouette levels must be measured against . A true masterpiece from start to finish .

Honorable Mentions :

Spot Light (2D) by Necococoron (LBPV)

So there you have it . Trying to narrow down all the great silhouette levels to just 10 , and then to put that 10 into some sort of order was very tough . I know that there are a load of quality levels that have been missed out . I could have probably picked 50 but Perfect 50 doesn't have the same ring to it does it now . Apologies to anyone left out . it was just a bit of fun .

If you would like to submit your Perfect 10 leave a comment below or make contact on Twitter . 

Monday, 15 July 2013

KATO's Level Reviews - Fantasy Adventure

Fantasy Adventure
Link: http://lbp.me/v/ssweyv

For those who don’t know me, I have a very unfortunate mental infection; I play the Sims 3 a lot. A LOT. It’s not a game it’s a disease. A disease where you pay Dr. EA to get even sicker with their ridiculous transactions. And yet despite me knowing it’s a bad thing, a TERIBLE THING, every time they release a new town, or a cow plant, I always find myself plonking around with Sims 3 to test the new kit.

There is a reason I’m starting a review talking about my bad habits. It’s because the best thing about Sims, if you’re a person like me, it’s that it lets you create stories about people’s lives. And I am nothing if not a storyteller. So as I started Fantasy Adventure, I fell victim to creating a story of my own, and vanished from the word processor for longer than I intended. So! Fantasy Adventure then.

I think there are two terms which best describe Fantasy Adventure, and I again want you to know that I prefer reviews to be honest. These two words are ‘Enjoyable’ and ‘Inconsistent’. Out of the seven levels there were parts that were cleverly arranged, fun, and looked very nice, and parts that did not. There were cutscenes with action and clever programming, and scenes where everybody just stood in one place with the camera zoomed way far out so you really didn’t know what was going on. I felt that this trend continued on a downhill slide throughout the level series as by I reached the Final Boss, I felt that you, as a creator, were getting tired of it all. I mean let’s face it, after Level 2 in the forest, there’s really not much beyond that quite as keen.

Don’t mistake my words as harsh though. There is that first word “enjoyable”, and there is quite a lot to enjoy here. You’ve got a pretty funny story that combines both LBP tongue-in-cheek references and fantasy adventures. There are things I think can be improved, yes, but that’s all levels. I do send my appreciation out to you for creating a continuous story I can follow, and for having good navigation.

That said, here are my biggest complaints. One, checkpoints. Double or infinite please. And more of them. One after every big obstacle. Several of the levels towards the end, starting with the desert, the platforming got a little hard and I had to repeat the level every time trying to bypass the obstacles. I’m not saying they were impossible, but as they say practice makes perfect, and unless they’re as easy as LBP1 obstacles (They’re not) you need at least a double at every turn. If there’s one thing I’ve found players not liking it’s re-treading after dying. If there’s not a checkpoint past the slew of electrified ceiling grabs, and they have to repeat the same obstacle again and again, then there’s no sense of forward progress. You lose that momentum, you lose the interest.

My second biggest complaint is the design. Some of the design work is great. (See the forest.) Some of it is disappointing. (See the final boss.) This goes back to that inconsistency though. But I can’t rightly judge this in that though, and I’ll tell you why.

When I play Fantasy Adventure, what I see is potential. Without wanting to toot my own horn, it’s exactly how I feel playing my original Crystal Crisis 1 levels. With Fantasy Adventure you can see there’s been a lot of work involved, a lot of feeling around in the dark, a lot of testing the waters, and a lot of learning how to do things. I don’t think it’s bad. It’s actually quite good! But it’s around the middle point of good, and there’s plenty of room for improvement. My suggestion is to be proud of what you’ve done, consider making a Fantasy Adventure 2, and then after that go back and play FA1 and see for yourself. You’ll find the best way to learn is to try, and by the time you go back later you’ll probably see your own good ideas, bad ideas, and anything else. So don’t be disheartened. I give FA a recommendation.


Navigation – Only a few points where the paths were unclear, but I enjoyed the free roam of the second level the most. A lack of checkpoints, and an unforgiving checkpoint system coupled with some difficult obstacles in the later acts makes it a bit hard on the player.

Visual – Good visual design, but I felt the sets were too big. (I do that too. XD) You can accomplish a lot by tightening up the landscape. Less distance to walk is not going to ruin it.

Sound – Music worked, with some unusual but effective choices.

Gadgetry – Fun but simple gadgetry. Most impressive was the leading sequence of events with cutscenes which was neat.

Glitches - No major glitches I noticed.

Story – Story was good. A little bit ‘generic fantasy’ but the title alone tells you that.

Notes – In Edenia Griever flew away on a box. I was elated to see it return in the next level once, and disappointed it was never seen again. D: Griever X Box = OTP. THEIR LOVE IS PURE!!!!

Kato's Level Reviews - The Happening World

Kalawishis's The Happening World (Funny Film) (By Kalawisis)
by Kalawishis (and Kalawisis who apparently did all the work.)
Link: http://lbp.me/v/me118c

I should've taken pictures, but I didn't. I guess I'm fired. *explodes*. I am no stranger to internet lingo. I know LOL means laugh out loud, ROFL is rolling on floor laughing, and TROLOLOL means there's lol's with trolling involved. I'm not certain of the origin of the Troll, only that I believe it comes from the word CONtrol, or possibly PAtrol. I'm not sure. I do know that the iconic Trollface originated from somebody poorly copying an image from Mighty Mouse. The modern internet age is a time of Lolcats, Roflopes, Memes, and Trollfaces, but then there's the lower key, more intelligent variety with dry wit and classical treatments. It brings back memories of Fawlty Towers, and Black Adder, and other good british comedies.

The Happening World teeters on the edge of both, never quite falling in with either crowd. It's presented as sort of a Monty Python meets Encyclopedia Dramatica crossover, only set in a LBP world. The skits flow nicely into each other, with non-sensical situations being a highlight. Watching this, it's easy to find favorite parts, or select favorite skits. Some I felt were really good and triddle dee dee, while others just sort of meh'd on by. The film had a particularly strong opening, which cut itself short very quickly, and got quite a few laughs out of me. It was the unexpected event which made the scene, as is the case with much of the skits.

Obviously from the description, some scenes are 13+. In fact most of them are. In fact quite a few of them have questionable content, so It's not a film for everyone. I personally am not offended by anything in it, as I'm casual enough to shrug at most things. I take the Avenue Q approach to life; aware that it sucks, but you can still get by. However, not everyone shares that philosophy to that should be kept in mind. In particular the Obama in Venice segment, while hilarious, is most likely going to upset some folks.

There's not much else I can offer. As this is a movie I can't really comment on controls or navigation. The stories are funny, with some fun lines and quirky humor. I would recommend it, but not to everyone.


Navigation – N/A

Visual – Cute designs. Characters were easily distinguishable, as were the different set locations. I didn't get that the lady was in an outhouse at first, but this is due to a trim on the wood material.

Sound – Music worked. It was a bit uncanny for the button to have voice acting out of nowhere. I think it would be best to make it all-or-nothing. Either get voice acting for everyone, or no one. Personally I found no complaint with the default voices. They all seemed to fit. Lol @ Obama in Venice. Oh-bama....

Gadgetry – Good sackbot acting. The movements were nice and fluid and the events were well timed.

Glitches - N/A

Story – The Board of Directors scene was my favorite. The biggest jerks often make the best comedy in my book. WHICH COULD BE WHY YASSEN WAS MY FAVORITE SACDROID CHARACTER. XD

Notes – In the Happening World 2 you need to make of of TV reporters. XD

New Levels

Time for another bunch of awesome levels for you all to check out .

If you have played any of these levels why not post a comment in the box below . 

Tuesday, 25 June 2013

New Levels

Another batch of new and underplayed levels to check out.

You ' ll need a friend to complete this little platformer .
Do you have what it takes to help Luos the Lion ?

Another 2 player co op . This Puzzle / Platformer features to parallel worlds.

This atmospheric trailer will leave you wanting to know more , 
just as any good trailer should .

This ingenious platformer is full thrills and spills , 
and will keep you on your toes at all times .

Beautiful visuals , relaxing music plus some cool platforming . 
What more could you want .

A silhouette film with a message . 

A fast placed platformer . 

Some of the best visuals you will see anywhere in LBP .

( Unfortunately , no images have been uploaded from this level ) 

Don't let that put you off though , This level is definitely worth checking out .

Sunday, 23 June 2013

New Levels

It ' s time for another batch of new levels to check out . 

A Musical showcase extraordinaire . This Hub links to all seven of 
Festerd's music galleries . Surely one not to be missed . 

You find yourself in an old abandoned factory . Hopefully with a little help from a friend you can find your way back out .

Use your trusty creatinator to navigate your way through this tricky platformer .

The bomb factory are now recruiting and you need that job. Before it is yours though , You just have one small task to carry out , simple , right ...

A custom costume level inspired by Game of Thrones , Prince of Persia and Ni no Kuni .