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View Full Version : SA reviews "Little Dead Space"



Shining Aquas
05-20-2010, 06:05 AM
I dislike horror games.
Heck, I dislike the horror genre.

It's not really a fear issue (though admittedly, I'm also not big on possibly drinking nightmare fuel), but it's a matter of there being no appeal for me. Put a bunch of characters in a situation in which some unworldly killing spirit/masked murderer/demonic creature singularly pick off the characters one at a time in a "shock-fest" in which the last 1-2 character(s) left alive are usually the only characters that didn't act like completely ******-bags for the entire adventure. If there are 2 characters left alive, they are also sexually attracted to each other mostly through the adrenaline of the events they just lived through. Roll credits, and I'm disappointed. What's the point?
Well, while I'm not big on the horror genre unless it's very "adventure" based and interesting to explore. It's for those reasons that I thoroughly enjoyed Bioshock, exploring an underwater city shrouded with much mystery while encountering a horror that was essentially based around the fatal flaws of mankind.

Needless to say, there's very little I like about Dead Space, where you get to explore an abandoned space station that was attacked and destroyed by the most normal and boring entity that space can destroy with: Aliens. It's also not much of a survival horror since the atmosphere doesn't really suck you in too much and enemies really only jump out of dead people's bodies thus taking away all the surprise. Yet, despite my qualms with Dead Space I am actually very enthralled about this incredibly well built and well paced LBP stage based around the early parts of the original game. So let's take a look.


http://www.majhost.com/gallery/Phantasystarhero/LBP/a_photo1.jpg
Oh my god, he's putting images in his reviews...and they're tiny as hell

Little Dead Space is an excellent level constructed by DarknessBear and was designed entirely with atmosphere in mind. Quite literally, the ENTIRE LEVEL is driven with it's atmosphere, going for awesome and effective scenery as well as appropriate and sensible music. LDS is only a level I can describe as an experience.

The level starts with a spiffy intro scene to set up the story. You are Is"sack" Clarke and you are on a ship heading to an abandoned space station that sent a distress call. Things are going fine until your ship runs into an asteroid field and just barely manages to land the blasted ship into the spacestation docks. Convenient.
Well, out of the scrap heap into the furnace as you jump right into creepsville.

After traveling down some bloodstained empty corridors, you will encounter the rest of your troupe, whom all the have the advantage of having guns while you have the amazing ability to be kept in with stitches. While you are running the stations diagnositcs test, the power goes out, as suddenly your soldier friends are being destroyed by a GIANT SPACE ALIEN!!!:frightened:
Your friends tell you to run...so you run. Down some simple obstacles along the way, you will reach the elevator at the end. The elevator is fairly innocent at first (even playing some peppy elevator music) but very quickly spirals out of control as the alien from earlier breaks in and attempts to eat you. Think fast.
After dropping down the elevator chute, you stumble upon what looks like an imitation Dr. Jeckyl's laboratory. Canisters with random body parts are on display, and one of them is even flailing around. Beyond that lies a zero gravity zone, which while being very simply built I must say is also very very fun. After some floating around, you will run into some random aliens...that aren't really threatening and are easily killed but still get in your way so stomp em dead. Pushing on ahead leads you to a tram rail. After that...the level ends with a "to be continued" speech.


http://www.majhost.com/gallery/Phantasystarhero/LBP/a_photo6.jpg
Fluffy, the animal that ONLY LOVES!

So unfortunately, the level is absurdly short. I mean REALLY short, like beatable in 5-10 minutes short. I suppose I have to say that while a lot of the level's visuals and atmosphere are very well done, they do have the problem of being not impacting enough to keep it's audience in awe. It's like watching a magician come on stage to set his hat on fire and making it explode into a bloom of tulips out of each pop out bunnies that shoot firecrackers out of their ears before the whole act vanishes in a plume of smoke. I know the trick sounds amazing, but let's assume the trick lasts for about 8 seconds and then the magician never comes back; how exactly are you supposed to react? I mean the level is built really nicely and has some absolutely perfect imagery, none of which is especially complicated but all of which is very effective, but the impact of the whole show fades into the background without leaving enough of a mark.


http://www.majhost.com/gallery/Phantasystarhero/LBP/a_photor.jpg
Poor guy never even had a chance

To be honest, the level doesn't even really have much of a "level" aspect to it. There's a grand total of three timed jumps, two enemies, and one easily solved puzzle, and the rest of the level is basically a series of quick time events without the actual quick time. At the end of it all, the level has to rely entirely on atmosphere and unfortunately it just isn't enough to win the day.


http://www.majhost.com/gallery/Phantasystarhero/LBP/a_photo3.jpg
I consider it pretty bad when this is the most challenging section of the level

Final Score: 7.0 / 10
Score may seem high given those last two paragraphs, but I cannot deny that playing the level is fun. In fact, for someone like me who really enjoys taking it slow and really absorbing the images in front of me, it becomes a better experience. Just enjoy the level for what it is, and it is certainly simple and fun.

On a side note, I like this new picture system, but I don't think I want more than 4 in any review.

jjmusicman
05-20-2010, 07:50 AM
I agree with you, but for its time, it was an impressive level.

figuer39
05-20-2010, 11:04 AM
Boy, you're a good reviewer! I need someone like you to review my level.

BTW, the offer I made to you is still standing. :D

Shining Aquas
05-20-2010, 05:44 PM
Boy, you're a good reviewer! I need someone like you to review my level.

BTW, the offer I made to you is still standing. :D

I already replied in the same thread to the "offer".
Your level was added to the list, and I'd be fine with you reviewing any level I've published.

figuer39
05-21-2010, 05:16 PM
Oh, right.

Fine, I will review one of your levels once you review my level. Don't expect my review to be as well-written as yours, though. :S