View Full Version : SA reviews "Factory of Mystery, Part 1: Where Am I?

Shining Aquas
01-27-2009, 05:16 PM
In my second set of levels to review, I somehow pictured myself going through more levels that actively use the Paintinator powerup, and while The Azure Palace and Temple of Sun and Moon don't have any of that stuff (which given the general age of those levels is to be expected), I was pleased to find that the first user submitted level for the second set makes fair use of the glop shooting gun. It's really unfortunate that the rest of the level is fairly lacking outside of that.

FoM starts you off in a square room full of boxes after having the teleporter tell you that while trying to take you to another level accidentally sent you to this other random location in time and space. I'm afraid there was not even a grain of rubble left after this momentous breaking of the game's 4th wall. I have to admit the author had an initial idea here that was clever and a great way to start the level off, especially with how witty the remark finds itself to be. Anyways, after appearing in the room, you might find that there is no way out except for a vent at the top right corner of the screen. Hopefully your wit will lead you to topple the boxes on the left side and climb out the vent. After going down the road, you get launched into a set of turning gears and need to continue jumping on them until a switch is eventually trigger the saving sponge to help you. Go up a bit more, cross a set of "thwomp" blocks, and arrive at the first Paintinator. It gives you the ultra obvious "hit the switch puzzle", which isn't amazing in itself, but going down the next elevator is a little different. Using the Paintinator to shoot down the score bubbles for extra points was a clever move on the author's part, and I'm glad it's something I haven't seen taken advantage of yet. He tehn goes to flaunt his little discovery by using the paintinator in the next room as a catalyst for momentum, in the case of having to shoot down the sponge platform before being allowed to progress.

Everything after that, however, is pretty much a downhill slope. I enjoyed seeing the spinning plasma wheel, I've been through plenty of old fashioned Mario and definitely enjoy it, but the next part with the jetpack and the spinning plasma shooters was a different story. I tried it a few times but the combination of white bullets and a shiny background just didn't mix together well. I recommend changing the bullets to a color other than white. The thing about that little platforming trap that I hated though, is that you can easily beat it just by flying like a moron straight up and getting lucky. The next part is mostly just jumping from sponge block to sponge block while dodging endless barrages of green plasma shots. Overall, it's fairly challenging and although it was a little annoying to deal with it was still a very challenging experience. Afterwards, you have a race section across a conveyor belt. Here's where your sweet paint shooting skills come in handy, as most of the enemies (or in this case, obviously poorly made objects with plasma emitters attached to them and paint switches) can be sniped from a great distance. After a while, the level is done. Short huh?

You way be wondering about the looks of the stage, and the answer to that is pretty simple. Imagine Fallout 3, now add a couple of neon lights here and there. I ended up finding the background and general design kind of like a find a plain tortilla with no added contents, stale and tasteless. I'm pretty sure aer0blue mentioned that "the design looked more like a warehouse than a factory", and I actually agree with him but maybe not for the same reasons. Honestly I don't think the two look very different from a LittleBigPlanet perspective, so long as everything is covered in industrial metal it whould give off the vibe, but it really feels more like a storage container because there are very few factory aspects to it. No products being produced in the background, very few conveyor belts, and not enough mechanical pieces to it. In fact, most of it was just security drones and more security drones with arcing turrets. Forget factory, I got lost in a top secret army bunker.

Overall, the level certainly has it's moments of glory, but the overall experience is somewhat bland. Maybe the sequels are better, it's hard to say, but for a first of five I didn't find it very gripping.

Final Score:
5.5 / 10
Army Bunker of Mystery is generally a lackluster level. Yeah, it has some pretty innovative use of the paintinator, and some difficult puzzles here and there, but the level is stiill very much a pariah.

On a side note, Sushi and Carl's Jr. don't mix too well.

01-27-2009, 05:28 PM
On a side note, Sushi and Carl's Jr. don't mix too well.

God, I'm so hungry that this sounds really good. T_T

01-27-2009, 05:58 PM
The thing about that little platforming trap that I hated though, is that you can easily beat it just by flying like a moron straight up and getting lucky.


Haha. Nice review there, SA. You know, it's very interesting to see what things it is you take notice of compared to me. Like NinjaMicWZ said, it seems like I look at things more in a "Creator's" point of view. Good to see text reviews such as this one as they can go more in-depth. YouTube has a 10-min limit. -.- Anyway, as before, good review.

Shining Aquas
01-27-2009, 06:56 PM
God, I'm so hungry that this sounds really good. T_T

Actually, what I meant was trying to eat both at the same time. That's generally nasty.

Eating them one after the other however creates what my friend Brian and I called an "epic lunch"