The King of Hrothgara is an adventure map where you play a youth who had become talented with a sword and gained prestige so that you are given a chance to prove yourself through challenges and take the place of the belated King of Hrothgara. The map send you out and back from a central hub to the various testing locations spread around it. You gather the keys that unlock the prompts for further tasks. The map is very smoothly structured, and is a fun playthrough.
This map is young at the time of this writing and doesn't quite have its glossy finish yet. Bug list: The map title in Minecraft world select is "world," one of the signs has incorrect your/you're usage, at least 1 door has exposed wiring to open it, the first key altar has decorative ditches to either side that the player could get trapped in pretty easily, the parkour ravine checkpoint system allows for skipping most of that challenge, the sign saying the wall is weak where there is clay comes after the first place you need to break through the clay which means the only way to see that hint is to figure out the puzzle already, the houses in the dock down set on fire at random intervals, the burn the wool puzzle doesn't immediately burn out completely making the burning process take a fair amount of time and most of the flint and steel, and the locked path to the castle should really be able to open from the other side to make a checkpoint. Most of these are just bugs that can be ironed out pretty easily. As far as functional problems inherent to the map itself, my only big issue is with the "their lives or yours" room, because if you choose the villagers you actually do just lose the map permanently and that seems wrong. Everything else was enjoyable puzzles of appropriate difficulty. I especially enjoyed the ship destroying part.
The forest was beautiful, the snowy mountaintop was a nice touch, the ships were convincing, the castle was impressive. Dissappointingly, the least attractive area was the actual testing area you start in. The hub building is a bit plain, a bit cramped, and a bit unattractive. Everything else was very nice. I need to say though, that when you recommend the texture pack for the map, you don't mention the use of a patch to make it work, so I played with the water constantly reminding me to google the patch to make it look right.
The map did a nice job of addressing all the picky plot questions I had. Why does nobody oppose this appointment of King? That had somewhat of an answer. Why is a person leaving journals in the testing chamber that say he's going to report things to the king? Also sort of answered. But every answer brings new questions, and the map literally ends on more unanswered questions than it began with. What started as a simple "prove yourself to be king" story ended with an unexplained cultist rebellion movement, a facility of unexplained higher technology than the rest of the world, and an antagonist that is almost completely unexplained. The map does less to make it's own plot than it does to set up cliffhangers, and it's hard to hang on a cliffhanger when the story hasn't made you interested in the plot yet. Also, the 6 set trials works, and the plot driven trials works, but it's an internal conflict when the seemingly well-established testing process interacts exactly with supposedly sudden shocking events. It would have worked better with a distinct seperation between the way the "planned" trials worked and the "helping people with current issues" worked.
A medieval-themed hub/trial based adventure map. No big distinguishing factors, though I must re-state that I did really like the ship destruction. It makes me wanna play a completely pyro themed map.
Overall Score: 20 and
Would I recommend it?
- Not actively, but I clearly expect a sequel.
Alright, might as well most my set. I'm looking for some feedback on what I consider to be my crappy incarnation of my first map (though it's possible you'll disagree), and then some feedback on the first Paladin's Quest map:
Levi's Nightmare is essentially a survival-horror game. You are guided through the aftermath of a terrible disease that obliterates the population of the local towns and leaves nothing but empty houses and hoardes of zombies behind. It's a fantastically dark map and visually made to match the horror feel of the story.
There are only really 2 challenges in the map. The primary challenge is to follow the story to find out what happened without getting murdered by zombies. The secondary challenge was to collect gold ingots to represent your score. The creator gives a hint that travelling at night is dangerous (it is; there seem to be zombie spawners hidden just underground EVERYWHERE outside) but you may see things better at night. This is true, you need to wander outside at night to find all the ingots, and admittedly I wasn't trying too hard to get all of them (got 27/50, and I think that's still pretty good. Some of them are outrageously hidden). So if you're going for 100%, this won't make a huge difference for you, but I think putting beds in was a mistake. The horror aspect really cuts out when you can just take a nap in the loft and eliminate all the zombies. I don't think it would be too offensive, and I think it would add to the suspense, if the player trying to hide inside had to wait out the whole night to the sounds of zombies. Sleeping away the danger is much less fun than my second night in the map spent on a two high ledge like this
So I chop one point off for being able to avoid all the danger in a horror map and one point for the interactivity of the map being sort of limited (explore a wooden house, avoid zombies, explore another wooden house, avoid some more zombies). The map did go off without any real glitches.
The map is very dark to match its very dark feel. There is just enough visual variety to fit the setting of a pair of small towns. On the note of the towns, they were enjoyably large enough to support the hypothetical populations, meaning this map was not one that had the Pokemon 100 NPCs, 10 beds effect. The text files did start to feel repetitive, I didn't like leaving the game that often, but the content of each was unique and had it's own story to tell. The texture pack worked very well with the map. I once again just need to comment that being able to sleep away the night in the local loft kills not just the challenge of the map but also the atmosphere.
I'm sure you can tell that I really liked the flavor here. I want to comment on how it's the magical land of Journalia, where one person in every household must keep a journal until the day they die, but that would be unfair of me. I have not held any other map story to that kind of scrutiny, and the fact that I'm treating it almost more like literature than an adventure map speaks volumes about the story quality.
I don't need to go into more detail on how well the story and map reflected and complemented one another, because it really was a very enveloping experience... until the end. I honestly did not like the use of the nether here for three reasons. SPOILERS 1) The idea of a zombie virus spreading from research into capturing souls was very nice, and then somehow trying to transition that into building portals seemed like you were trying too hard to wedge the nether in. 2) The portal construction testing chamber just incidentally broke the 4th wall, and that clashed heavily with the rest of the map. 3) I don't like that you can jump out of hell, die, and get back to the real world. I think an inescapable bedrock prison would be a more appropriate and functional hell for Levi.
Anyways, that's just me being picky, and I'm sure there are others who loved the use of the nether and would hate my idea.
I have not seen a map work in horror like this before. The atmosphere is very nice and very original. The zombie swarming method, while being a bit obvious method, has not been used for this purpose to this extent, I believe. It made the dramatized night/day mechanic a very unique experience. What a horrible night to have a curse...
Overall Score: 26/30 and
Would I recommend it?
- Yes. It's a great, dark experience.
The map Levels has recently undergone a major update. This is not a full review, just commentary on the changes.
The lava maze was replaced with a large amount of new and good content. There were some bugs in the new puzzles, but that's to be expected of fresh content. The wood bridge over lava is sort of luck dependant, so the stacks to build with could probably be a little larger to make it more consistent. The testificate that you punch should trigger the redstone permanently since it continually tries to jump back up off the pressure plate. The parkour is still mountains more difficult than the enderpearl maze, though both have been greatly improved upon. Overall, the content of the beginning has improved up to the quality at the end.
The frogger game in the version I played is broken and has 2 minecarts on a couple tracks and none on others. I'll just assume these bugs will get ironed out and give the map back a function point. +1 FUNCTION
The area that was added in looks very clean, so form was improved as well.
The ending was made to mesh a bit more with the starting premise. There's a clear improvement here as well. I don't know if it's enough to gain points, but qualitatively I can say the map works better in every way.
New Overall Score: 20/30 and
Would I recommend it?
- Definitely more than before the overhaul. The map is much improved.
Parkour Thief non-surprisingly is a parkour map. (Go figure!) While in my reviews I will use the term "parkour" frequently as the accepted term for jumping puzzles, I will admit right now that I am squarely in the camp of people who are annoyed that the Minecraft community decided to rename "platforming" puzzles after decades as the accepted terminology. It'd be like renaming "fighting" games something like "MMA" games. Or it's like when kids go out and play "manhunt" in the woods because to them it sounds cooler than "cops and robbers" even though the rules are the same. Anyway, parkour thief earns its parkour label because the theme is really parkour. You are a thief that is climbing through ceilings, scaling walls, and leaping off of rooftops to get a stolen diamond back to your boss. It takes you through various cityscapes moving through and over every building around to complete the task.
The map worked very nicely. Nothing it it was too hard and little was too easy. There were even some parts where, despite parkour being the only challenge, it made you think to solve the room in a "hole-in-the-wall" sort of way ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hole_in_the_Wall_(U.S._game_show) ). I didn't like the timed jumping. It was very fast-paced, and I got there during rain, so the lag ate my jumping skills away. Not to mention, they were in a tunnel supposedly dug with a sppon, I don't see why there would be pistons there anyway. When I got to the last city, I was not as sure as I had been the rest of the time with where I was supposed to go; I knew where to start, but after that it became unclear and I just explored any building I could get in until I eventually (and quite suddenly) found the right way to go. And the testificates opening and closing iron doors freely can mess things up, like letting you in doors you shouldn't be able to get in or closing checkpoints you've already opened. On the positive side, the jumping puzzles that were the real function of the map were intricate, well-balanced, often original, and very fun to play.
As a neutral comment, I just want you to know that by a certain point, I was slaughtering every living thing in the map on sight for annoying me while I was jumping. (including the blue sheep and the dog.)
The urban areas are very nicely built and have some nice details. Almost everything is built in a specifically stylized way, and every city has it's own decorative theme. The addition of record players gave the map a more enjoyable atmosphere. The story maps were a bit plain, but they did their job. The choice of texture pack seemed a little bit arbitrary though. Overall, it was a pleasant place to spend an hour or two in minecraft.
The flavor of the map, a thief moving through cities with a stolen jewel, fits very nicely with the challenge, jumping through buildings. What I don't like is the lack of reason for the rediculous routes taken. I think the map would be better made if instead of telling the player where to start the jumping puzzles and guiding them to the finish, you could tell the player the objective and let them reverse engineer a way to meet the goal. It makes more sense to have a thief know where they're going to end up and have to figure out how to get there than it does to put them at the start of a guided jumping chain and say go. I've already addressed the moving platforms in the tunnel that don't really make sense. Mostly, the map doesn't really try and get the player involved in the process of stealing and escaping, and rather focuses entirely on having the player involved in the parkour through the cities, and that misses most of half the flavor of the map. It's very parkour and not so much thief.
There have been other maps that try to push the setting into jumping puzzles and make "parkour" into real parkour, so it's not super unique for that, but I do think this map does that pretty nicely and is overall its own experience in the world of custom maps.
Overall Score: 21 and
Would I recommend it?
- I know this is not the highest percentage of Minecrafters, but I'd recommend this map just to people who like parkour.