When I first started thinking about what Custom Levels could mean within the THPS World I envisioned that people would come up with some really crazy, but extrememly cool ideas for how they could make unique things into levels that you could skate on. Now that we have multiple custom levels to choose from in the THUGPro world, my thoughts have definitely become reality and we're seeing some really cool and interesting concepts for Custom Levels! This Tetris themed level is based off the classic game of Tetris and utilizes the various pieces that you use in that game, many, mid-flight and floating in the air just like in a real game of Tetris. Major Props to Xelker for this concept for a level: what a great idea!
The review team for this Custom Level review consisted of myself, GoFundYourself, hMFg Biz, and Deff KRam. The overall consensus for this unique level was that it is a great concept, quite surprisingly enjoyable to play, but definitely not without some challenges in the stability, lighting, texturing, and more.
As will now be the standard for all Custom Level Reviews: we played all games that we could in rapid-fire succession after free skating and getting a feel for the level for a few minutes. Scoring based games: Trick Attack, Score Challenge, Combo Mambo, and Elimiskate are enjoyable here, whoring lines are non-existent, this one is definitely better suited to improv. We could not play graffiti as nothing is taggable in this level. Upon trying to play King of The Hill the game completely crashed and had to be restarted. The assumption here is that there isn't a KOTH spawn point. Once again players of the level be warned: if you try to play KOTH it will crash THUGPro and you will have to re-load the game. Slap was pretty fun, especially after zero, the level is compact so you can really rack up the slap points if you keep that combo alive. Scavenger Hunt was OK- smaller levels like this make it tough to hide your coins very well. Firefight was tough as, without a main scoring line, everyone ended up at various heights and the game drug on a bit long. We did not attempt Capture the Flag for fear it would crash the game and our suspicions were there would not have been flag placements regardless. Overall this level plays the best for improv based scoring games, the rest of the games that are playable are OK. Very disappointing to not be able to play KOTH here as I suspect it would be very fun.
Review scoring breakdown and thoughts:
Gameplay: 6.5/10 - see the remarks above for details on each game. Bottom line: scoring based games do well here, but KOTH, CTF, and Graff are missing and sorely missed. This would be much higher if those games were playable.
Traditional THPS Elements: 6.75/10 - there are quarter pipes, boxes, walls; lips work well on the quarter pipes; spine transfers are working well; all ledges can be grinded and tricked on. Because some of the ledges weren't stable and you could wallride into the walls on occasion this scored a bit lower. But, this is a completely non-THPS concept that was really creatively ported into this engine!
Fun Factor: 7.25/10 - For being a smaller and more compact level that felt more like a Create-A-Park in size than a full-blown THPS level, this one is really quite fun to play. Interesting lines and transfers abound on this level, making exploration interesting and fun.
Lighting and Textures: 3.5/10 - when I first entered this level my thoughts was "Ouch! My eyes!!" It is very bright- so much so that I changed the time of day to Night just to help with the brightness. The intensity of the colors could be toned down quite a bit. The textures are extrememly blurry and the entire team felt like the resolution on them could be improved considerably. Based on the bright lighting and blurry textures: many of the elements in the level were hard to see and determine you could trick on them at first. This thing is just a little too bright, and very blurry on the textures.
Stability: 5.25/10 - Most of this level is stable, but there are quite a few places that are glitchy. I fell into walls while doing wallrides on a couple of occasions. Some edges spit you out of a grind on occasion for no reason. The floating objects in the sky allowed you to hang off the lower edges of them and some of those didn't have textures on the bottoms of them. It certainly is still a VERY playable level, but it could be gone back through and some of the problem areas addressed and then this would be a 10.
Overall this is a great idea for a Custom Level. It's exactly the type of thing that I had hoped would be created in this new era of creations for THPS. The level is fun to play and offers some fun times on many games. It needs improvement on lighting and textures and a few areas could be reviewed for increased stability. I really do wish that KOTH, Graff and CTF were playable here- that would send this score MUCH higher than it is. The overall score on this one is somewhat deceiving: I'd recommend anyone download this and give it a try- it is definitely worth your time for some fun imrov.