View Full Version : SA reviews "Hibachi Dojo"

Shining Aquas
02-07-2009, 07:04 PM
Well, I've been gone for about a week now, school hits hard but that's life I guess. Doesn't mean I forgot about my volunteer job around here. So, first up on the queue list was Hibachi Dojo, a level created by Gondito where about 20-30% of the actual level content was actually made by him, and the rest was provided by the loving and caring Media Molecule.

HB is a level designed in the same style as the Islands levels from the story, and most specifically tries to combine the first and second levels together (specifically Endurance Dojo and Sensei's Lost Castle). It starts off on one of those high platforms from ED, then proceeds along a slide into what looks incredibly similar to the entrance of SLC. Jump through a few "thwomp" style platforms and arrive at a randomly placed Daruma and due to a lack of original names just goes by "Daru". He welcomes you into the Chef's Dojo and also tells you to be wary of the chef, probably to signify that the chef is evil or something. You meet the chef in a few minutes to see that he/she (I couldn't tell honestly) looks like a cross between a wooden child's doll and satan's ***. Anyway, the chef tells you to get out of the dojo because.....well I guess he just hates visitors or something. After getting launched through a lofty piece of ceiling, you end up on the upper story of the building. You have to solve a very simple puzzle to get through the wall and find yourself having to jump over a miniature fire pit with little fire rock shooters at the bottom ALA Terrible Oni's Volcano. If you happen to not like these kinds of platforming games, just stop playing the level because there's a bunch more of them later on that have more BS deaths than Contra III on Hard mode. Next you need to jump up platform by grabbing onto Daru's brother, who happens to look exactly like him and is just sitting on the platform. This platform may have been designed innocently, but there is a huge problem I feel the need to address here:

In the off chance that you decide to bring little daruma with you, and then you die on the next couple of platforms, you are officially stuck and have to restart the level. Basically, you have a platform that is operated by a piece that isn't even attached to that platform, and this creates within itself a major problem because if for any reason the little piece doesn't stay with the platform then the level will require redos, which generally aren't fun. I'm not saying you have to change your level, but I think it is definitely something to be aware of.

Moving on, you jump across some more fire spewers, go across a few ceiling grab platforms, start swinging across more stuff, yadda yadda, you make it to the fan platforms. Everyone remembers these things from the story levels, they were lots of fun and in their own ways were respectively challenging due to their swiveling. Apparently Gondito didn't think that was interesting enough so he threw some MORE FIRE SHOOTERS. Anywhere else on the level, and I wouldn't care, but on the platforms that move this is just plain silly, especially since a lot of times the fire rocks just kind of sit on the platforms and cover the whole thing so that when you think you've made a safe jump, and when you correctly jump the ravine, you are punished for it. Call me crazy but that just seems a little too cruel.

You run into the crazy chef again who apparently said he hates visitors (who called it) and needs to attand to his students. Daru wishes you the best as you prepare to "face the chef", as the chef is ready to give you a "Hibachi Grilled Death". I don't take cooking classes, and I may not know much about epic threats/monologues, but I'm pretty sure that "Hibachi Grilled Death" strikes about as much fear into people as newborn puppies.

You must now fight the chef (honestly, I would've just left him alone). A lone sushi (I know just go with it) tries to tell you how to defeat the chef, apparently you must grab all the daruma platforms. They are all pretty easy to reach and if you decide to be smart and not touch the sushi piece, the boss won't even bother retaliating (might want to fix this man). Then the chef complains about losing his knives, which in all honesty I don't fully understand (did he lose his hands, or is he just too lazy to pick his knives back up?). Afterwards, you go past the chef and appear outside the dojo, and hit the ending. Wait, what? That was it? No conclusion? No "Hey, you beat the boss, congratulations" line? Wow, that's kind of lame, but whatever.

I suppose if you asked me to describe the level in one word I'd have to beat you with my keyboard and explain how reviews are done in paragraphs not single words, but ultimately I suppose I'd call it "cute". Because the author decided to make the entire thing using mostly story pieces, it manages to draw in a lot of the story levels' charm, and manages to be something that anybody of any age could enjoy. Granted, because you restricted yourself to recreating old ground the whole experience felt kind of stale, but at the very least it seems like something I could show my mum and she'd probably enjoy it. But if I was to show this game to the newbs of the world, I'd probably choose to show them the standard story levels over this simply because the story levels are just generally more well built.

Final Score:
5.5 / 10 (RESCORED)
It's cute, but bland. It's easy, but it's also frustrating at times (not hard, just annoying). It's incredibly short, but it's long enough to give you a bit of a good time. It's not horribly original, but it's also fairly well put together. Overall, it can't decide whether or not it wants to be good or bad so it just ends up falling somewhere around the middle. Kind of like a spork, and ultimately just as interesting.

On a side note, I went to bed every night this week at 12:30 am and woke up around 6:30 in the morning. I'm tirrrrrrrreeeeeeeeddddddddd.

02-08-2009, 12:25 AM
Well thanks for the review.:)

I'm glad i finally have a good opinion on the level. and someone who finally points out its faults. I have been meaning to fix the boss for a while. But have had little time with lbp.

Anyways, thanks for reviewing my level. I know what to work on if I make another level anytime soon.