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View Full Version : Bridget's Review of: Assignment: Housework



Bridget
05-17-2009, 10:53 AM
Level name: Assignment: Housework

PSN: brnxblze



Well now here's yet another one I didnt expect.

Here we have something a bit different from your usual platforming level, or survival challenge, or vehicle stage.


The premise here is exactly what it sounds like: Get home, clean up, do chores, organize stuff, and go to the store to get foodstuffs.

Doesnt sound too exciting, does it?

What it actually is though, is a series of small, object based puzzles and simple jumping challenges.

In each room of the house, there is a door preventing you from entering the next room until you complete your task in that room. Nicely, if you're unsure as to just what to do, grabbing the door will shift the camera, which gives you a hint on what you need to do. Complete the task, whatever it is, and the door vanishes, points drop from the cieling, and you can move on to the next well-rendered room.

The different little puzzles are quite simple, but fun. As are the little jumping bits. Some of the ways you go about these puzzles are quite interesting, I thought, but I wont go into that here, so as not to spoil it for anyone that hasnt played the level yet.

Once you're done with the housework, you then get in your car, and make the shortest drive ever (usually vehicle sections in LBP levels are pointlessly long) over to the grocery store.

There, you're given a list of items you need to get off of the high shelves, and into your shopping cart. It should be noted that Sackboy's way of pushing the cart is hilarious. The handlebar is too high for him, really, but he grabs on anyway and hangs from it, and then somehow pushes the cart anyway by running in the air at it. I thought that was pretty funny. Also, most of the items you need to get are quite recognizable, though very slightly altered so they have different names.

Getting that part done is simple enough, though oddly, the main room of the store is strangely bland, as compared to the house and the 2 street areas. I found that to be rather odd. That one bit almost seems a little rushed. A minor complaint though.

Get all the required items to the checkout counter, take your bag back to the car, and you can drive home and head into your basement for your reward, which is.... what else? A big comfy chair to sit in while you play your PS3, of course!


Lets go to the points here:


Gameplay: 8/10

Simple, but sticks to it's original idea, and doesnt waver. The puzzles are easy, most things are simplistic, but the execution of them is very good, and keeps you from ever getting bored of it. Each new room is a treat, and it never feels stale.

Graphics/sound: 9/10

Geez, another really pretty level! I note, specifically, the particularly well done use of both textures and stickers.... this can be seen throughout the entire level. ...except maybe that one bit of the store, which is strangely.... flat. And brown. Even all the little objects you can push around are very detailed, often with a well-made sticker taken from the Eye camera. Aside from that one room, very pleasant to look at all the way through.

Challenge: 2/10 (smaller number isnt bad, just means easier!)

There's no real challenge here. It's a set of puzzles, not a set of deathtraps. This being said, I put it at 2 instead of 1, because I managed to die on a candle.

Pacing/length: 8/10

This part was just fine, all the way through. Dragging the shopping bag back to the car was mildly tedious, but that's it. And you'd have to walk back there ANYWAY, so..... And the length overall, in my opinion, was just right. A little hard to score this one on a puzzle level, but still, there it is, lol.


Overall: 8/10

Another very pretty level, with gameplay to match. While Im not a big fan of "puzzle" levels, or that type, I still had a good time here. And it's just such a treat to look at.... such great use of texture, color, and stickers, even photos. A level that takes a tedious concept such as chores and cleaning, and makes it into something that, well, isnt tedious anymore, haha.

Even if you're not into the slower "puzzle" levels, I'd still say this one is worth a look.



http://img.villagephotos.com/p/2009-5/1340144/Housework1.JPG

The master bedroom of your house. You've even got a bunk bed!


http://img.villagephotos.com/p/2009-5/1340144/Housework2.JPG

See, doesnt it look a bit odd, the way he pushes that cart around? I think some physical laws are being broken, or shattered, even.


http://img.villagephotos.com/p/2009-5/1340144/Housework3.JPG

And here it is, your reward for beating the level. A nice sit down in front of your PS3. And note! I've beaten the author's score by exactly 5 points! Yes, that IS why I took this picture.

brnxblze
05-17-2009, 05:05 PM
Thanks a lot for the review, Bridget! I've been thinking of ways to make the supermarket match the rest of the level in quality but I'm not sure what I should do. What would you recommend? Either I make advertisements advertising some funny foods (not sure if you noticed the Not Pockets & the Aunt Yomama pancakes :P) or I make different shelves of food that don't mess with the gameplay. I'm so glad you liked the level, most people say its too long or that the supermarket part was very boring. Thanks again for your in-depth review!

Bridget
05-19-2009, 01:00 PM
Thanks a lot for the review, Bridget! I've been thinking of ways to make the supermarket match the rest of the level in quality but I'm not sure what I should do. What would you recommend? Either I make advertisements advertising some funny foods (not sure if you noticed the Not Pockets & the Aunt Yomama pancakes :P) or I make different shelves of food that don't mess with the gameplay. I'm so glad you liked the level, most people say its too long or that the supermarket part was very boring. Thanks again for your in-depth review!

Sprucing up the back wall could indeed help. Use the thin layer to stick up a few ads or sale signs or something. Anything is better than just the flat, dull brown. Particularly when the rest of the stage is so vibrant.

Other than that, hmm..... the main problem as I see it is that the section seems so empty. As far as gameplay goes, in keeping with the theme of the level, that section is just fine, but it sure dont LOOK right. Supermarkets are generallly fulla STUFF. Instead, it looks like, one really high shelf way up near the cieling for some reason, and no other sheves.

In other words, the house really looks like.... well, a house, with all the proper rooms, and the proper contents in the rooms, but the supermarket doesnt look like one at all.


My best suggestion: You dont necessarily NEED that stairway looking thing in the back plane, I think. If you take that out, you could use the back plane for like, more shelving and other stuff.... which would be good scenery.... but then also use that "scenery" to add to the jumping bits. It'd just be a replacement for that stair thingie, but the overall concept could remain the same. Just, if you should do this and put other things on the shelf, perhaps make sure that only the main "things" have full labels and such on them, and thus stand out real nice so the player has an easier time noticing them.


That's the best idea I have for now. If you should do something to change that part of the level, let me know, and I'll alter this review accordingly!

brnxblze
05-19-2009, 02:21 PM
That's a pretty nice idea. I'll see what I do.

Hmm, now that I think about it, I dont have to use the stairs the whole time. I can do the platforming bit like you said for the first item, use the stairs for the next item (im going to make it look better with "controls" like they should have) and the rest the stairs arent needed. That should satisfy the people that said its too repetitive and then i will see what else i could do to make it look as nice as the rest of the level. Thanks again for your help!

brnxblze
05-19-2009, 11:15 PM
Okay, made some changes:

I made the ice triangle that's in the freezer go up and down when the cart is not in place just in case you forget some food.
I changed the stairs to something better (I hope it's better). You only have to use it for the second item. For the first item I made it so you have to move some boxes and climb on top of a soda machine.

Those are the only things I got to change today. I'll try to change some more things tomorrow.

Edit: Here are some pics of the changes.

Picture of the first item, you have to move the boxes so you can get on the soda machine. This is my attempt at making the supermarket part less repetitive.
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3585/3547440672_fd001ac6f5_m.jpg

Up close picture of the soda machine.
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3299/3547440676_a421522b84_m.jpg

Pictures of the new stairs.
http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2431/3547440678_6ee4e201df_m.jpg

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3549/3547440680_a1b5974f87_m.jpg
Left switch opens the stairs, right switch moves them.

Bridget
05-20-2009, 11:59 AM
That's already starting to look better than it did.

Particularly the stair thing. Alot better than that simplistic one that was there before.

Soda machine is neat too, heh.