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View Full Version : Bridget's Review of: LBPG Lunar Explorer



Bridget
05-28-2009, 10:34 AM
Level name: LBPG Lunar Explorer

PSN: doubletimewa



Well, after a few days of not being able to play this much, Im back for more reviews.

And what a surprise I get, for the first game I review this week!


Now, this one is a vehicle level. As I believe I've stated before, I tend to be very suspicious of any level that has too much vehicle use. PARTICULARLY a level that is ENTIRELY vehicles. Oftentimes, it screams of bad design, particularly since vehicle "races" in this tend to be basically like pre-scripted scenes that you just watch. Usually not very exciting at all, and often times the things can get stuck or something.

But this.... THIS is something different. In my opinion, this one is something special. Certainly something I havent seen done before in LBP.


When you start out, a talking sponge (?) explains to you the usage of the vehicle that you'll be piloting, yes, piloting, throughout the stage. The opening scene looks a little bland.... but there's more to this than it immediately seems.

The vehicle in this case is a spaceship. You have alot of control over this one. You enter the ship from behind, and once you're in, grabbing with R1 controls the thruster at the bottom of the ship. Trying to move left/right while in the ship (wether you're using R1 or not), causes the thing to tilt. Combining these two simple controls allows you a good deal of control over the ship.

For anyone that is a fan of retro games, if you remember an old NES game by Rare, with the name of "Solar Jetman", the way you pilot the ship in this level, well, it made me think of that game instantly. Which is a good thing.

And it's much the same idea here. In order to reach the end of the race, you must navigate this ship through a labyrinthine maze of a rocky moonscape, complete with aliens and assorted funny looking things in the background.

I personally thought that the simple graphics style in this one worked out perfectly for this overall theme, particularly when coupled with the choice of music tracks. It's not an explosion of little details, like the Chicken level was, but it looks quite nice in it's own way.

And the level itself is fairly well designed, for the purpose it serves. Most players wont have seen a vehicle like this before, and wont be used to such a way of controlling one, so a rather simple design like the one in this stage will work perfectly for that. Yet there's still enough careful maneuvering and such to be done here.

As with the Chicken level from the same developer, a theme and playstyle is chosen, and used steadily throughout the entirity of the level. And here, it works pretty well. You wont be doing any platforming or baddie stomping here. This is entirely a test of navigation and careful control of the ship, in order to reach the end.


Fortunately, the ship itself controls just fine once you get the hang of it. It might seem sorta wobbly at first, but it just takes some getting used to in order to control it smoothly. And most of the time, if it's wobbling alot, it's cause you just hit a wall, so it's your own fault, lol.


Lets go to the scoring:


Gameplay: 8/10

A simple concept, yet unique, and one that I personally think works out quite well. It's not often I see a level author try something new like this. The concept is sound, the ship controls well, and the level is finely designed for the way this level plays. Very well done.


Graphics/sound: 7/10

I liked the way this level looked, and I liked the selection of music to go along with it. I thought it all quite fitting indeed. That being said, some players might think it a bit bland. But that's their problem, I say, lol.

Challenge: 5/10 (lower number isnt bad, just easier)

The ship is easy to get used to, but good luck getting it through the maze quickly! It takes some skill to maneuver the thing properly. Finally, a vehicle "race" that takes actual skill to score well at. Prepare to hit walls alot the first time, lol.

Pacing/length: 8/10

No problems here. To me, this never stopped being interesting at any point in the level. And I think the length is just about right for this.


Overall: 8/10

This level wont be for everyone, but I think many will like it if they give it a try. It's unique, and that's saying something.... there arent many creators that are really willing to try something new, as opposed to just following old ideas. It controls well, it looks nice, it takes some skill to complete in good time... and what's more, I think it's just fun. This one was a pleasant surprise for me.

It bugs me that the level has a tag of "Boring" on it. Because I think it deserves the opposite. I tagged it "Brilliant", and hearted it, and that's my honest opinion. I can only hope I see more unique creations like this. Kudos to the author for doing this one.




http://img.villagephotos.com/p/2009-5/1340144/Lunar1.JPG

The explanation you get, for your task here, seems like stuff you've heard before... but you might find that that ship over there is more entertaining than it looks.



http://img.villagephotos.com/p/2009-5/1340144/Lunar2.JPG

Cross through the path between the rocky walls as quickly as you can, to reach the end gate. But be wary of how close you get to the walls, or....


http://img.villagephotos.com/p/2009-5/1340144/Lunar3.JPG

....this might happen. With other vehicles, you'd likely have to restart the level here. But with this one, having Sackboy jump a few times is usually enough to get the ship flying again.

doubletime
05-28-2009, 07:47 PM
Thanks yet again. You rock =D