Man, it's amazing to see my music used in high-quality animations like these. I'll leave a review for this because it's a highly creative and well-made animation with a few flaws here and there!
First of all, the creativity factor is pretty high. I mean, you've got some generic stuff that's kind of expected given the music you were working with (fighting large fire-breathing animals when the music becomes dangerous, for example) but then there are very creative elements including certain timings with the music (like when the quest notice is promptly shown to the adventurer) and a wonderfully-executed ending (which, by the way, is *PRECISELY* how I envisioned the an animated ending for that song to be) followed by some modest and fitting credits.
What I also love here is the art style, especially those backgrounds! You don't blow up the backgrounds with a tonne of detail and definition but you have great blends of different colours which surprisingly fit beautifully with the more defined and cartoon-like character designs! The backgrounds give a very artistic flair to the animation which I love.
The only issue to me lies within the animation work itself. You've got some cool animation like the pixie things sprinting at 0:55, the animation at 1:01 and the cape at the end. Then, as others have said, there are some agonisingly slow parts such as the chase between the animal and the adventurer, which didn't feel nearly as tense and fast-paced as it should've been. Some animation is also a bit sketchy and seemingly rushed. I'm sure this is all because of time constraints since given more time I expect someone with your animation skills to have much smoother animation, but it is a bit of a downfall in this.
Anyway, honestly I'm honoured to have my track used in this animation. Thanks for using it, and best of luck in the competition!
Beautiful work, man. It's so refreshing to see this kind of quality on Newgrounds and I'm absolutely elated that it uses my music too. There are a few flashes out there that are kinda low-quality that use my music but occasionally a fantastic one like this uses it and it makes me feel incredibly warm and fuzzy inside. I'm truly honoured!
What I'm most impressed with would be your character design. Even in The Guardian, it's impossible not to appreciate the fluid character gestures and excellent character design. Everything's nailed; the hair, the clothes, the facial features, all of it. The character looked exactly like what I'd imagine if I thought of a curious young cartoon explorer.
The animation in general is very solid, and the art works quite well. I do have a few issues here though; while your characters are fantastic, your backgrounds create as much of an atmosphere. You nail the shading but the backgrounds seem to be there just to give insight on where the character is, without offering that much detail and intricacy. It'd be a great idea to get a dedicated artist to work on some backgrounds for your work so that you can focus more on delivering your smooth animation and awesome character design.
The story isn't that direct and leaves a lot of questions to be answered. This is significantly less eventful than The Guardian, making the sequel a lot more anticipated. While you've done a great job of delivering a subtle story that leaves the viewer wanting more, I would've liked some more stuff happening!
But honestly, your story is very well delivered. So far I'm gathering that young people passing by are chosen to turn into some entity with a distinguishable colour and extraordinary powers, each one with his/her own little sub-story. I love how subtly you imply that there are more of them, by making those beacons light the skies. It's all well-thought out and with more plot-building you could end up with a very solid story.
And man, you synced it so well with the music! I might be biased over here of course but you were extremely creative at making a whole interpretive animation out of some music. Certain parts in this, and even in The Guardian, go so well with the music that they end up giving you goosebumps, which is one of the best things about this series.
Overall, I absolutely love what you've done here. My advice? Keep it up; keep building the plot and either focus more on giving detail to the backgrounds or get someone else to help you with it. Again, I'm ecstatic and grateful that you used my music and I am TOTALLY interested in providing more music for your future animations like scoring an animation so you won't have to time it with the music yourself, if you're up for it. Up to you!
While the graphics and animation in this are an obvious let down, I was really impressed with this submission, probably because of its high-quality and surprisingly catchy audio. Maybe it's just because I'm an audio person myself, I don't know, but I for one enjoyed the flash quite a bit. Nice job!
The graphics weren't too good. Sure, it's the style of the clock crew, but considering a high level of humour and great audio, I think that all this needs is better graphics. It's why I gave you a 9 and not a 10, to be honest. Animation was also a bit rough or bland at times, which is another bummer. Still, what the heck, I suppose they weren't horrible, and everything else in the submission was great.
I usually dedicate this paragraph to a storyline (or gameplay if it's a game), but since this has virtually no storyline, I suppose I'll comment on the humour, and I must say that I was impressed. The flash in general was really random, but had some stuff that made me laugh out loud, such as the 0 being added at the end of some prices, some ridiculously high prices here and there, etc... Humour's definitely a highlight of the submission.
The audio was also superb. It was good quality, and even though the whole thing was in Japanese (it is Japanese... right? Man I fail at languages) I still enjoyed the audio. It was catchy and fit extremely well with the submission. Voice acting was good too (or at least the tones in the voice *sounded* good anyway, I can't be too sure since it's in another language). Thank goodness you had subtitles :D.
Anyway, all in all, this is very good. I enjoyed the flash from beginning to end, and if you could work on the graphics and/or animation, this would be perfect in my eyes. Keep up the great work! :).
-Review Request Club-
Not much to say which hasn't already been said...
This review's going to be a little short because I don't have much to point which hasn't been stated already, but here goes...
So, all in all this is a pretty helpful tutorial. I love how you made everything seem so easy with step-by-step instructions and a picture on each slide to illustrate how the lightning bolt is supposed to look. I'm not seeing any grammatical errors either, and the colour scheme of white on black was good. The audio was fitting although overused :P. Great work.
Now for the minor errors. Like the guys below me pointed out, the song doesn't loop which is quite odd considering there's a volume bar at the top right corner if you move your mouse over it. The Next and Previous buttons are on the wrong sides too, as SCTE3 said, but this isn't much of an issue. I would've preferred it if you made the volume slider match with the black/white colour scheme though.
If you want me to go into an incredibly unnecessary amount of detail, I'll point out two very very minor flaws - firstly, Step 1 and 4's first letter isn't capital whereas the rest are, and secondly, the first line of the third paragraph of Step 1 (Draw a random...) is slightly indented for some reason.
That's about it. Good work overall!
I was trying to beat sixflab's score, and after a few tries I got to, guess what score. 8321. Argh... I'm beating that score, regardless of how long it takes me.
Now, enough of my whining. I enjoy competition too much. The game itself is very good. It's a perfect example of when such a simple game and concept become so complicated, hard, and best of all, fun. I really enjoyed playing this game, good job on it! Also, please add a high scores system, lol :3.
The graphics look great. Simple but effective. I really liked the graphics of the menu screen, and overall, even for simple graphics, I liked the smooth and colourful look of the game. Moreover, the background was excellent and provided a cool effect while playing the game which made the game look cooler and still not distract the one playing the game, so nice job there. I really don't think you can do anything to improve the graphics. Animation at times was laggy, even when quality was lowest, and at other times was fine, although I suppose that's just my computer acting up again. I suppose there isn't anything wrong with the animation, good job there too!
Now for the gameplay. I have to admit that for such a simple concept, the gameplay was great, the game itself was well programmed without any glitches (as far as I know) and there was a noticeable increase in difficulty as the score went higher and higher. The different objects/spheres in the screen all did something different and there was a large variety of different types of spheres (I went up to that annoying blue one that keeps following you). These small things make me want to play the game again and again, although there are still some things that need a bit of work...
Firstly, it's the rate of difficulty. As sixflab said, in the early stages of the game, avoiding the stuff thrown at you was child's play. I almost stopped playing because it started to get a bit boring, but for the sake of curiousity I kept on going and then I noticed that the game was actually getting harder. I think it should either start out harder or become harder at a faster rate, because the user can easily get bored playing this and not realise that it's about to get much harder.
On a related note, I think the difficulty should be proportional to the time you've taken playing, not your score, i.e., the longer you play, the harder the game, not the higher your score, the harder the game. I've noticed that when I get a small sphere which gives me a score boost, a big bunch of new random spheres appear on the screen, indicating that the difficulty gets harder depending on how high your score is. Why do I want it depending on how long the user has been playing? Because if the user's doing really well and gets loads of score-boosting spheres in a short time, the game still inevitably gets harder, whereas if the game gets harder depending on how long you played, the user can get as many score-boosting spheres as he wants without worrying about any sudden increases in difficulty. Haha, I doubt you understood what I mean, I suck at explaining...
A pause menu would also work well here. You could pause and see how many sphere types you've unlocked (so if for example you get to the yellow spheres, it becomes 'unlocked' in the pause menu where you can see what it does which makes it different from the other spheres), and pausing is useful when the user just needs a break, or possibly wants to change the song since you can't change the song when playing.
Additionally, I think a small tutorial would work well here. At first I didn't know I had to avoid *all* the spheres, and tried to grab the green ones while dodging the red ones, and I obviously lost. Same with the yellow sphere; I thought it was some sort of awesome powerup or something, but I lost when I touched it too. Speaking of that, powerups, as the other reviewers said, would really work well in this :).
This is an awesome game, I have to admit. The only problem with it is that it can get a bit boring at the beginning. Still, keep up the great work! :D
Thanks for the great review man. Your suggestions on the rate of difficulty increase are especially nice. That was one of the things that gave us the most trouble in getting right.
The pause idea is also great, and basing the increase in difficulty on time instead of score also makes a lot of sense (no worries, I understood what you were trying to say just fine).
All in all, you guys gave a lot of very helpful reviews, I love the RRC ;)
You gotta love the classics...
...This is a nice game, and I didn't get bored playing it. I haven't played any other Kees' Adventures, but what the heck, at least I have a good first impression with this game :D. Good job on this one; there's room for improvement but this is way above the NG standard and is enjoyable ^^.
Animation wasn't extraordinary, although I suppose that's expected in an 8-bit type game like this. Maybe this lacks some more animation, such as at the concert: everyone was standing still and not moving, which made the concert look boring. Give it some more animation to make it more lively and give the flash a more dramatic ending. As for the graphics, I really like them. They were not too complicated, but did the job well, and the characters were drawn excellently. My only complaint with the graphics would be how you drew the hand at the end. It looks weird and unnatural. Other than that, superb graphics.
The concept isn't too good unfortunately. It started off with a good start, but the whole 'normal life, date with a girl to a concert' where you happen to find someone who tells you the 'fate in the world rests in your hands' (I don't know how many times I heard that line before :P) is quite unoriginal and an overused concept. However, the gameplay overall is impressive. You had a decent amount of options such as pause, volume control and a mute option too, plus the game was well-made, with signs next to every building telling you what it is, a wide variety of different characters and some funny conversations.
The gameplay still isn't flawless though. The first and most obvious defect is that, as Roger said, it's so easy. Basically, for the whole game, you have to get random items from random people and give the random items to some other random person... randomly xD... What I'm trying to say is, allow your character to do stuff with his items, such as combine them to get a new item you might need, and allow your character to use items on certain things in the game to progress, instead of just give items to people. Also, add some puzzles; make this more mind-challenging. It will definitely provide much more satisfaction once the game is complete. Finally, make the items harder to find, like for example, you might find an item in the trashbin or in some drawer, instead of finding them lying on the ground or by asking people.
One thing that might make the game harder (other than hiding items in different places and adding some sort of ability to combine items to get a new item/use items on other things in the game) would be to make the places bigger. For example, when they lost the tickets, the place they were in was tiny, with a minimal amount of characters. You just had to ask certain characters what they want, find what they want, they give you another item, you give it to another character, etc... and this is all really easy in a really tiny place. Make the place a bit bigger, maybe even add some characters which give you misleading information or say something useless, because as far as I know, every character contributed to helping you out except Patrick who shouts out "Trollforce!" all the time.
Some other small things which would be cool would be stuff like you being given a choice to answer in a certain way to people. Instead of letting your character do all the talking, you can occasionally choose what to say to the other characters. Also, something really small but helpful would be if you already have a certain item which a character wants. He still says 'can you find it for me?' when you already have it, so make it that if you already have it, they say something like 'Oh, there it is! You're one step ahead of me! Thanks!' instead of you having to talk to them immediately after to give them the item.
The audio was alright. It lacks sound effects, but the music was nice and catchy. Still, it wasn't really anything too special. It sounded pretty plain if you get what I mean. Maybe you can also add different songs.
So overall, nice work, this is a fun game! Keep it up.
Thank you very much! You have written quite an impressive review, I'll be sure to use your advice for the next episode!
This is an NGADM Round 5 Review
You, sirs, have been rocking this contest since the start. Every round you had an extremely memorable, distinguishable track, and each one was so well-produced, well-executed, and well-written. This was, above all, an incredibly well-deserved first place.
What I respect the most about this track would be the scale of it all. Once again we've got four talented vocalists in here, and on top of that there's actually a lot of detail and variation that can be found in elements of the mix like the guitar and vocals. In addition to that, you have a tried-and-true song structure, climactic ending, and emotionally uplifting melody, which makes this a VERY fulfilling and satisfactory listening experience. Production-wise, this is also no slacker! I much prefer how you mixed the vocals here than in your previous track, and everything is clear and pronounced. Some specific things I loved about this would be the thick vocal harmonies, dreamy texture on the guitar, 2:53's rhythmic change, and of course the beautiful lead vocal performance.
Like I was saying to midimachine in his review, finding issues in these tracks was a huge problem for me, even after over a dozen listens to each. I eventually settled on complaining about the fact that this is... I dunno, safe? If I had to compare this to the other tracks you've submitted to the contest, it's decidedly more straightforward, with a cookie-cutter pop structure, standard uplifting key change at the end, and mostly simple composition. I hardly care because of how WELL you executed everything, though. This is me nitpicking a track which I consider among the best that this year's contest has to offer.
Truly brilliant work to you all, not just for this track but for the five excellent tracks you've graced our ears with. Congrats on being the first team in NGADM history to land first place, and thanks for the wonderful music!
Step, my man. It has been quite a journey, and we're super ecstatic to have even made it this far let alone take the win! I agree with you that (generally) the composition aspect is more simple than some other stuff we've done (I mean, we didn't use 3 key signatures and 5 time signatures like Vanquish the Night, haha). But we put probably an equal amount of time into it. Josh actually mixed this on his studio monitors this time (he had been using slightly above average computer/laptop speakers for the previous rounds since his studio is no longer in his home). Thanks for all the work you put into this Step! (even putting LunacyEcho's track up on the front page instead of yours, :P I see what you did there)
It has been an honor!
Hot damn, this is one of my favourite tracks of the whole contest. You played it pretty safe by going back to your track that had the most success this year - your Round 3 track - and making something in a similar style, but this time I think you nailed it even further. That melody is brilliant, and I cannot overstate this. It's catchy, it's memorable, it's fun, and it has a super nice modulation to the aeolian mode at the end of it. Synths/sounds are, once again, impeccable. The sawtooth synths you used for the lead sound are especially good. Again, the vibrato and pitch bending you put on them just quadrupled their enjoyment factor. Sick reverse kick at 1:40 too!
I listened to this track and bassfiddlejones/joshgawaldo's track at least 15 times each, and finding issues in both of them was a nightmare. I mean really, the only thing I can point out is that the ending is abrupt and lame. And that bloody air horn, man. Was so tempted to dock a point for it. It gave me the fright of my life the first time I heard it with headphones on, while walking to uni. I nearly mlg360noscope'd my underwear.
Honestly, this is beyond fantastic. My favourite track from you this contest, although you've been keeping a VERY strong pace throughout. The final matchup could've gone either way. So yeah, thanks a million for taking part, posting such awesome music, and providing many donks and ":v" faces. Congrats on the second place!
it's been real. and hey, thanks for judging!
This is NGADM Round 4 Review.
It's a shame that we never quite heard a proper collaboration between you two, but both of you have individually created some truly spectacular pieces, with this being no exception. The composition in this is nothing short of breathtaking. You took an era/style and captured it so beautifully, with suitable instrumentation, tasteful harmonies, gorgeous melodies, smooth flow, and a thoughtful and sensible compositional structure to boot. As always, your samples and usage thereof is flawless. The portamento on those strings is expressive and fitting. Oh, and I just wanted to highlight 1:07 in this track, which is one of my favourite parts. The transition leading to it was brilliant, and the texture you create with the gentle harp noodling in the background is wonderful. When you highlight the melody at 1:28 with those warm strings I got chills. Really, this is excellent stuff.
Sorry to repeat what others have said but yeah, the only reason I docked 0.3 would be production value. It's not bad by any means, but I agree completely with MetalRenard that the frontal strings were a bit too dry. There's also some weird glitchy stuff going on with the note release now and again, but I know you're aware of that and didn't lower my score for that.
It's a breathtaking cinematic piece that truly pays respect to the 70s Hollywood era. Incredible work on this. In other circumstances this would be an easy matchup winner, but unfortunately your opponents churned out one beast of a track too, which is why this just about didn't make the cut. Still, it was great having both of you around for the contest.
Alright, I think it's about time I pay my respects to this excellent artwork. You make THIS in a few days for a competition? Pure brilliance. I think the other one is more aesthetically pleasing but this one feels more atmospheric and fits more with the track I've made for the contest myself, so I'll leave this one a review!
Right, first off, the colours are so tastefully chosen. You managed to nail such a beautiful contrast between the brown of the landscape and the pale blue of the dome that truly highlights the fact that the humans are outsiders to this planet. The sky looks gorgeous by the way.
There truly is a sense of majesty from that dome which one would expect from a beautiful nature landscape and not from a man-made structure. One of my favourite things about this artwork is that shine you put on the dome's surface. What an excellent idea. I'd assume it's coming from the sun but whatever the case you cleverly gave it a colder shine rather than the warm light rays I'd imagine coming from the sun, which fits flawlessly.
AND THE RESOLUTION, SWEET JESUS. This is MASSIVE. It looks great no matter how far you zoom in, making it such a great desktop background (literally the only reason why I don't have it as a desktop background myself is the fact that I pretty much exclusively use music-related desktop backgrounds). The amount of work and detail you put into it really shines through.
Despite all that detail and blend of colours, you still manage to keep it looking incredibly artistic and inspiring, rather than being too realistic. Now, this might be hard to explain, but I love how the somehow two-dimensional overviews of the barren rocks and flora sort of separate the picture into different and visibly-separated layers of depth; in this sense it reminds me a bit of Okami's art style, although not as exaggerated as Okami's (if you played the game you might know what I mean). I also like how when you zoom in you can actually recognise the brush strokes, giving this art piece a unique artistic flair over some super-realistic computer-generated interpretation of a hostile planet.
Overall, you've set out with a goal to inspire the contestants and your approach to this goal is stellar. At least, it definitely inspired me, and I'm pretty sure the track Echo and I collaborated on for this contest wouldn't have been nearly as good if it wasn't for such a great art submission being the foundation of it. Perhaps this review ended up being too bloated with praise but at this point I don't really care, you've certainly done the contest justice!
Thank you so much for your kind words, my friend! I really appreciate it ^_^
Is that it?
There definitely isn't much to see over here. Apologies if this review ends up being too harsh but I wasn't impressed.
Probably the best thing about this would be that the proportions were alright. The way you drew it did give a sense of 3D and in that aspect I think you did a good enough job.
Having said that, there's so little content to see over here that I couldn't give a higher score. It's a room with a door. That's all it is. No textures on the walls, no shading, no details such as lights, switches, wall decay, or even a character or two to spice things up. I can understand that perhaps you just made this to exercise your skills in proportion and 3D, but as an Art submission this barely holds a finger to other stuff on the Art Portal.
There are some technical issues too. Some of the lines are too long and indicate that you rushed it, the door isn't exactly in the middle, there's more wall showing on one side opening than on the other, one opening is wider than the other, and there are unexplained white lines at the top and bottom of the picture.
Moreover, the quality is poor - I can see JPEG compression artifacts quite clearly around the edges of the room and the door. I know these may just sound like unnecessary nitpicks, but they all indicate that you rushed this, and rushing rarely yields good results.
There are some bigger problems too. The picture is far too bland and simple. As I already said, there are no intricacies or details that I want to see in an Art submission. Additionally, you drew the side openings wrongly. At the bottom of each opening there's a vertical line which shouldn't be there. There should be one horizontal line like at the top.
In general there certainly isn't much to this submission. Not only does this lack in content, but the content that is already there isn't drawn too well either. 3D proportion was alright, but other than that I can't really find any other good aspects of this submission.
Distant explosion or nearby glowing yellow tree?
Here's another pretty bad picture. Harsh review incoming. D:
Right then, the main problems with this are similar to the main problems of the other Art submission of yours which I reviewed, 'Nice job, Ross Fenton!'. It doesn't seem to have much work and dedication put into it. There are still no ears, the fingers of each hand were probably rushed, there isn't any decent background, one leg looks far too wide, the left arm looks almost twice as long as the right one, the explosion's glow isn't reflecting on the sunglasses and the explosion looks ridiculously fake.
First thing I would fix is that explosion. If you didn't write 'Boom' in it and didn't mention anything about an explosion in the title/Author's Comments then I probably wouldn't have guessed it was one. I'm sure drawing explosions won't be easy but you could've put a bit more work to it. Also, Fenton seems to be leaning on something, and the explosion's glow is drawn in front of it. It doesn't make the explosion look that distant now, does it?
But hey, on the bright side the shading was an improvement and Fenton's pose looks quite natural, so good work over there. This picture is a bit more interesting to see than the other one, too.
Overall, it's a bit of an improvement from the other one, but it still requires a lot more work before I can call it good.
lol, yeah I know. Anyway, thanks for reviewing. :)
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