View Full Version : SA reviews "Zombie Onslaught"

Shining Aquas
09-28-2009, 12:35 AM
Okay, everything above the dotted line is stuff I'm typing before having played the level, or even doing any research.

Based on the title of the level I'm thinking survival challenge. I'm almost certain of that, or possibly a score challenge with the Paintinator. Maybe both. I also predict it is either based on Left4Dead, or based on any of the Dawn of the Dead movies. Alrighty then, let's see...

...well, at least I was right about the survival challenge, even if none of it is L4D based. Although, maybe it should've tried copying elements and stuff from L4D simply because there's about as much depth and content to this level as there is white on the Batmobile.

You start off next to a Kidpix construction barn with a color scheme originating from a kid with crayons and a coloring book and are warned that moving too far away from the barn will result in your untimely demise. Your only option is to enter the barn, jump up the staircase, and be immediately equipped with the paint gun (of course) and must fight to the death against an endless hoard of aliens. Yes, I said aliens, specifically not zombies, because anyone that honestly thinks these contraptions of Bright GREEN are zombies and not plant-people or mutants or aliens or something that is actually Bright Green clearly has a lot more to worry about in this world than an alien invasion

Anyways, enough about the design flaws, how does Alien Onslaught actually hold up as a survival level? To be frank, it holds up about as well as any corporate skyscraper would if it were constructed with Polystyrene. Hoist yourself up on the ledge and prepare to be assaulted by an ever increasing rate of aliens. You'll notice them coming towards the barn in a sluggish fashion and will be forced to aim at this hit box right above its shoulders. Because of this, shooting any other part of the alien, no matter how intensively, is akin to shooting a grizzly bear with a slingshot and a small pebble at a far off distance, and I consider that fair in analogy because every once in forever you'll target the softy in between the legs and watch as the bear lurches in eternal agony without actually dying. To make this a bit more clear for anyone who can't analyze simile properly, if I shoot the alien at just the right angle and with enough bullets and somehow manage to avoid hitting the cranium entirely, I can make the alien fall over and remain stuck on its back thus impeding further progress on his green eyed buddies.

As far as what makes the level increasingly difficult, there's 2 factors. First off, there's the obvious ingredient: Add more aliens and stir until ready. While this seems like a simple enough premise and does have the ability to add difficulty well, it runs into a couple serious problems being that A) Aliens never travel any faster and will under any circumstance continue to travel like paint dries, and B) All aliens come from only one direction, which is to say the front. Because of this it wouldn't really matter how many aliens you produce since all you need to do is find a sweet spot when aiming, don't move, and proceed to mash R1 until your index finger falls off. Luckily, the creator understood that this mentality would make the stage inexplicably easy, so he installed little devices to make aliens appear on the back and front layers as well, adding a small bit of challenge to the game.....sort of. Yes, you will actually need to cover all 3 layers by yourself (as there is no proper way to play this level outside of a single sackboy), but the sweet spot mentality still holds and the only remaining challenge exists in switching layers quickly enough to keep up. Somehow, it becomes surprisingly challenging over time and may have the tendency to easily overrun you in a matter of minute (singular), so the stage gives you 3 "bombs" that can be activated by shooting a low hanging cloud in the sky. At least, I'd like to say you have 3 escape bombs, but that's not even close to the case here as the "bomb-aliens" button is really more of a "give up" button. It believes the solution to your problem is to carpet bomb the entire landscape with missiles. Not bombs, missiles, easily one of the least accurate forms of large scale bombing in LBP. True, it does exactly what it sets out to do and much more, but it's that "much more" that becomes a real problem. If you were trying to save 3 people trapped in a building surrounded by wolves......with explosives, the ideal format is to find something powerful enough to kill each "pack" of wolves but accurate and contained enough to avoid collateral damage to the house and in such keeping the insiders save. Ham_Salad's method seems to be to fire 4 highly explosive missiles right outside the house for a guaranteed death of all aliens, hoping that after the barrage the house would be left standing...only to find a mess of rubble and what looks like the remains of undercooked Soylent Green (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soylent_Green).

I personally never got that far in this survival challenge partly due to playing it at 1:30 AM but mostly due to getting somewhat overwhelmed at a point and resorting to the "bomb-out" cloud, which 5 out of 6 times is what killed me. Overall, I think the stage is fairly bland, not amazingly compelling, and for a survival challenge doesn't really take good enough advantage of its "threat". Perhaps if the barn were significantly smaller, and zombies were attacking from both sides then the level would provide a decent threat.

Final Score: 4.5 / 10
Zombies that look like aliens, very linear and not sporadic enough, and doesn't do much with its topic or content. Also, carpet bombing needs fixing, preferably by dropping actual bombs instead of missiles.

On a side note, Zendikar (http://www.wizards.com/Magic/Magazine/Article.aspx?x=mtg/daily/twtw/57) pre-release was lots of fun this weekend.

09-28-2009, 08:10 AM
Wow looks like ur reviews are very detailed... any chance of reviewing my level: Whichever Way the Wind Blows series? Or maybe just one of the three levels?

Shining Aquas
10-03-2009, 04:50 PM
I went ahead and added it, but for future reference I prefer requests to go in the main thread (http://www.lbpcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?t=5869).