View Full Version : SA reviews "Jack McSetback and the Spiky Stone of Doom"

Shining Aquas
06-02-2009, 02:37 AM
Jack McSetback and the Spiky Stone of Doom is a level created by Wyth probably in an attempt to prove that levels don't really need overly complex story elements so long as your game mechanics are good enough to blind the audience, an attempt that in my opinion was certainly full of merit. True, the level's storyline is pretty much composed of "Let's be Indiana Jones for a day and rob an old heirloom that belongs not to us and almost die in the process of getting it", but at the very least the whole stage is designed in such a way that going through the temple and trying to escape is ultimately full of just as many laughs and giggles as it is oohs and aahs.

Jack McTurner and the Terrible Temple of Valor is mostly a successful stage just due to the general flow of things. It's incredibly easy to tell what platforms connect to the next and the way the direction was managed makes me wonder if the author ever worked for Macintosh. Seriously, the use of objects and space is absolutely perfect, and nothing feels especially wasted creating a beautiful symmetry of clockwork calligraphy that even steampunk prissies would consider more than adequate.

John McDonald and the Raging Ruins of Catastrophe is also good in the sense that although the level isn't all that long, it still leaves you with a feeling of satisfaction by the end of it, like going through a maze that spans all around just 1 piece of 8.5x11 paper in a marvelous fashion. I think part of the reason for this returns back to an earlier point I mentioned regarding the perfect allocation of space, and because the level has been fit together more carefully than a defragmented computer it can get a lot done with very little room.

Now, that isn't to say that Jim McDouglas and the Infinite Paradox of Pain is without flaw. The level although being well detailed seemed just a little too much like the Temple stages from the game's story levels, and even the opening of the level is an exact replica of the first Temple level anyway. Factoring both the opening and the initial trap at the beginning of the temple being taken right out of an Indiana Jones movie, I am left to ponder just how many ideas in this level are truly original?

Overall, Jake McKenzie and the Crazy Castle of Ire is a well devised, well organized, and well constructed level that I can recommend simply for the mechanics if nothing else. It certainly doesn't look bland, but it's not terribly original either so really the entire level falls entirely on its own mechanics, which happen to be superb.

Final Score:
8.0 / 10
Fun, well paced, and built by quite the architect. It's a shame he passed his archaeology classes by looking at his neighbors' test sheets.

On a side note, this level cannot be adequately beating without equipping your sackboy with a cowboy hat and a bullwhip.

06-02-2009, 12:00 PM
lol @ all the Jack spins... nice review style.

06-02-2009, 01:19 PM
Hmmm.... you didn't play "Fred McThatDidntWorkWell and the Pointy Pebble of Destiny" did you?

Story - Even though it's a simple premise, it is no less complex a plot than most levels.... and in fact, most Hollywood blockbuster movies.

Although I respect your review, I definately disagree with a few points.

Originality - obviously, this level is a spoof on Indiana Jones... so in that sense, it isn't supposed to be original. Of course, it's a REALLY old level and was one of the first well-made Indiana Jones-type levels. From a "fun" standpoint, this level is incredibly original in that he uses physics instead of the normally used "pistons and bolts" to throw you up in the air and create the effects, which gives it a much more oganic feel than virtually any other level I've ever played (and to use these kinds of physics and get consistant results is no small task). This, to me, makes the level incredibly original and fun.

Shining Aquas
06-03-2009, 12:05 PM

Well, I had no idea how old the level was, and despite the age that it carries it's still a decent level, and I never said it was especially bad.

Also, yes, I did actually play Jarvis McSqueal and the Penultimate Reiteration of Cartography. I'm not so shallow a reviewer that I go around "trollin" on levels I haven't played.
That would just be silly.

06-08-2009, 11:35 PM
I thought it was really good, but for a 5 star level it was pretty overrated... It's a really old level, which is why it got that score.

06-15-2009, 12:04 PM
Hey falla's :). I've not been here for quite a time and I see you've been missing me ;). I've been really busy and thus away from LBP for some time.

Anyway, thanks for the review, I enjoyed the read and it made me curious on how much the quality of the community levels has improved. It really strikes me that it is thought of as some kind of ancient level and overrated like some '60s rockstar :D.

There is a sequel you know? Way less overrated (I think it's better than the first but never got such fame). It would be great if you wrote something up about that one :P