View Full Version : Bridget's review of Cyber City Part 1

12-21-2009, 10:09 AM
Level name: Cyber City Part 1

PSN: awasad

Well, I knew it would have to happen at some point.

I'd gotten lucky up till now, but.... here it is, the level that will be my first truly harsh review.

Now, I dont like to be harsh. I try to be optimistic, and when it comes to these levels, I like to look for the positives. Level making isnt easy, even in the user-friendly world of LittleBigPlanet. Levels dont have to be pretty for me to like them. They dont have to contain amazing contraptions or a cool story. They dont have to be full of challenge, spike filled mazes, or exciting battles.

They do, however, have to have decent level design, and show at least some effort.

Unfortunately, this level simply does not do this.

You can tell there's a problem the instant you enter this level. The entrance gate is sorta propped up on a piece of the background scenery; you'll pop out, fall through this bit, and land on the ground. And I mean the actual ground, as in, goes with the background. While there's nothing wrong with making actual use of the actual bottom of the level area, I've so far found that it's often a bad sign; I cant remember the last decent level that actually did this.

So you fall down.... to the GROUND.... and are immediately greeted by your guide to the city, who appears to be a rectangle on wheels with a face. Complete with really obvious indestructible brain. He comes towards you, telling you stuff.... bouncing back and forth all the while, using only the brain's basic AI to move.... and then you set off to the right, to the city.

....however, if you get more than slightly ahead of your guide, he'll lose interest and just sit there, and you need him to open one of the "doors" up ahead, so you must walk there rather slowly.

Once past the doors, you'll find the sign that marks the entrance to the.... uh.... city.

Unfortunately, "city" is a very loose term here. The majority of this level is entirely composed of the red and blue VR materials from the MGS pack.... undoubtedly the "cyber" bit that the title refers to.

That's all it really is.... the blue background, and the red blocks and platforms that you can jump on. Everything is rectangular here.... no slopes or anything. Just rectangles and squares. And even then, some of them look oddly irregular, like they werent made right.

So, you go forward.... going up a random staircase, jumping from generic block to generic block, and you come to a group of enemies. Unfortunately, these appear to be slightly modified version of a foe that was found in one of the Collector's stages in the main game. The one with the two arms that rise up to protect the brain. They look slightly different, and now they jump for some reason, but they're basically the same thing.

But here again, we come to what seems to be a basic lack of effort. These enemies.... are basically pointless, and pose absolutely no threat. For one thing, the platform they are on is two planes wide. The enemies themselves, take up only one plane. So, to pass them, you need only walk behind or in front of them. Or you can get behind or in front and simply jump straight up, killing them without any threat to you at all. Not to mention, the brain's radius, as with the guide, is set really low.... the enemies will simply stand there till you get really close.

They dont seem to have any true purpose, and seem that they were just thrown in there so that there would BE enemies in the stage. And this sort of design keeps up the whole way.

Go a bit further, fly up with a jetpack, and you come to some blue fabric balls on pistons. The balls very clearly have grab switches on them. This might seem like somewhat sloppy design... to leave the switches visible... but it gets worse. The switches DONT DO ANYTHING. The pistons that the balls are on move by themselves.... grabbing doesnt actually DO anything whatsoever. But it gets even worse than that! This is only the first set of balls that you come to. A bit further in, you'll come to some that are not on pistons, but are instead on elastic. .....yet it'll be the same balls, complete with grab switch. On ELASTIC. Which cant even BE switched. The same ball was simply copied, over and over. Not that the ORIGINAL ball seemed to have a need for the switch, since NONE of them are connected to anything.

Keep this up for awhile, open another door with another blue key, and you come to an even more generic hazard, burning bricks. And then some electric bricks. A couple of the jumps require that you do the "burn bounce" to get over them, but that's about the extent of creativity in this level.

This keeps up for awhile, and then you come near the end. The blue background abruptly stops.... and you can see the basic stage background behind that.... and you come to a platform that has a brain under it for some reason. This area just reeks of "boss", and sure enough, something starts firing missiles, and then.... the platform just pops, and you're dropped down to the ground again. Was there supposed to be a boss here, which just messed up? Or is it actually SUPPOSED to do that? I seriously cannot tell at this point, and honestly, I dont think it matters too much.

On the ground, you'll find your guide again, and the scoreboard. And that's it. That's the whole stage.

Again, I hate to be harsh, but.... there's just so much wrong with this level, and very little done right. But lets just get to the scoring here....

Gameplay: 2/10

Some basic jumping and swinging challenges, but.... even that part just isnt very well done. Extremely generic obstacles and pointless, threatless enemies abound, and this just keeps up through the entire stage.

Graphics/sound: 1/10

No graphics here. Just the MGS VR materials. That's about it. And enemies almost directly copied from the main game. And the music? Well.... does it even matter what track it was?

Pacing/length: 5/10

All I can say about it.... is it's short. Unfortunately, this is a good thing.

Challenge: 1/10

The only part you may, perhaps, possibly have a death on is the generic danger blocks. Other than that.... basic jumps and enemies that cant hurt you unless you're really stupid, well, there's not much to worry about here.

Overall: 2/10

Im sorry, but there just isnt much good at all that I can say about this level. There seems to be just no real effort put into this. Mistakes galore, no graphics, enemies that barely even DO anything, and an entire level just made mostly of generic bricks, with occaisional pointless jetpacks. There's little to love here, and certainly, not too much reason to take a trip to the Cyber City.

This is your guide to the Cyber City ahead. Right about here, you can see that there might be some problems coming up...

These are the foes that will plague you during the course of the level. The ONLY foes. And I really have no idea just HOW that one got stuck on the left of this platform like that. I really dont, and maybe it's best not to know...

Despite the switches on those fabric balls, grabbing them has no effect...they'll move up and down entirely on their own.