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CSTSF 2016 Modding Competition Showcase & Voting Thread

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Jul 27, 2016 at 1:42 AM
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Jul 27, 2016 at 9:49 AM
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Oh Jesus, this MODCON sure has sparked a lot of drama.
First between me and TLink, then BLink and SoD. And now SuperJaws and SlightlySpirit. Everything will be fine in the end, I'm sure.
It would seem that the constant bickering about people disliking other people's mods will never end! Haha, nobody is safe.

OK, so to everybody who didn't figure it out already: I made Σο ψου Χαμε. And it's "So You Came," I can't believe nobody got that. Although, for future reference, the title should be pronounced Eo (Simmilar to "Yo" or "E. O.") You Karé.
Everyone keeps praising it for being the "longest mod" submitted for the contest, ironically I worried people would hate the mod because I felt it was too short.

And yes, this was my vote:
Anonymous vote (the person who wanted to submit it anonymously had a good reason to, so I've allowed it):
1. Precious Thoughts
2. Metronari
3. Σο ψου Χαμε
4. Critter TD
5. STARZZ
6. Killjoy
7. H4CK3R.STORY
8. hey
9. One Eye'd Story
10. Lara
11. Pierce Feverdream
12. The Final Level
13. Autopilot
14. Valastos
15. Cave Story - Live and Uncut!
16. catfall
17. Cave Story - What To Do When Modding
18. The Water Challenge!
19. rave story 3

In addition, would anyone be in favor of moving the end of the voting period to the end of the month? It shouldn't make a huge difference either way, but having it be the end of the month would be easier to remember, and we have a lot of mods this time around, so a few extra days might be nice to have.
  • I really liked Precious Thoughts, and it doesn't overstay it's welcome. Although half of the weapons really disinterested me, and the boss was pretty bullshit I quite liked all the gameplay. The story doesn't really mean much to me, and I'm never really missing anything by not quite paying full attention to it.
  • Metronari was fun, I liked it's art style. And honestly, I think it's longer than Σο ψου Χαμε.
  • Critter TD has some amazing ASM, although I would expect nothing less from the great Thomas Xin.
  • STARZZ is pretty short, but fun none the less. The only real thing I dislike about it is the janky controls during the Rainbow Critter's second form.
  • I dunno why I like Killjoy so much... it's all about killing and the RNG is cool, maybe that's why?
  • I don't get why everybody likes HACKER STORY. It's concept is awesome, and the assembly is pretty good... but I never found myself having a particularly good time with this one.
  • hey(2)--again-- has a cool concept, but lacks fun gameplay. And it ends without telling you that it ends properly. It just gives you the vanilla credits sequence... I honestly thought it was a bug until I heard someone say the mod ends with you jumping off a cliff.
  • One Eye'd Story is... eh, alright.
  • Lara is OK, but lacks polish and originality in many areas.
  • Loved the story in PF, even though it was poorly executed. However the distinct lack of gameplay bugs me.
  • The Final Level has too much story that I don't care about at the start. The gameplay is fine, but there's not enough of it.
  • Autopilot is fine, but there's no gameplay (bar the bonuses) and it's way too short.
  • I don't get Valastos, I got stuck in the castle-like area. There's no hope for me ever liking this one because it's too unpolished, or understanding it because it's so confusing.
  • Eww. CS - L&U! is just Cave Story except everyone wants to kill themselves. It was pretty funny at first, but it doesn't have any differences in gameplay.
  • catfall is ... snore.
  • CS - WTDWM's lack of polish makes me sick. On purpose or not it's still awful.
  • The Water Challenge! It's boring and I can't be arsed to get past the first section.
  • rave story 3... oh jesus. There's no gameplay. No polish. All the characters are arseholes except for the tall guy with glasses, and hope I never have to look at this mod again.
pretty sure notepad doesn't support greek characters, so oops
Well fuck Notepad. Notepad++ FTW.


this sign keeps refreshing the message when i stand in front of it
Yes, of course it does.
that save function is also probably a good way to softlock yourself
Depends.


i really like the tiling of your caverns
That sounds very sarcastic.


whoa, a mod that finally makes these things solid
nice
Just you wait for N.E.T. Story, then!


why is there such a long pause between the previous map and this one
Because the audio fades out.

i died and restarted immediately at the start of the map where i saved
however, the music hasn't triggered again
I honestly thought I fixed that.


but what if i do
Then you can get a Life Capsule early... and that's it.

i know i shouldn't be here yet
but like
these things have way too much health even though i have a level 3 snake
You're not really supposed to be in the area, and the enemies are supposed to be virtually impossible to deal with using the Fire Spit.

also forgot to mention that critters being upside down is pretty neat
Thanks?

192 health on the white ghost things
w h y
Because they're trivial to kill once you use the correct weapon.


those things blend in WAY too well
They blend in well? Really?! Awesome.

sometimes i run into invisible walls for no reason
Except it's not for no reason.
usually near people with dialogue or screen transitions
It's to stop you from going past H/V triggers certain without running their events. And in one case to stop you from passing spikes.

ok what the actual fuck was that boss after getting the upside-down Fireball
The "Stalker." I nicknamed it that during the development because it stalks you, and I never got a better name for it. It's supposed to be beatable on your second try.


bad slope
No.


oh
so it's literally grasstown
Yeah. I'm not pretending that it's something else. I changed none of the graphics, the design and characters are prettymuch the same except that the roof is now the ceiling-floor.

these purple things have ENTIRELY too much health
Level up the Sharp Shooter.

and wow this Sharp Shooter is ENTIRELY too overpowered at level 2/3
It's not really a bad thing. It's designed to make your journey out of nwotssarG more comfortable, and the final boss fight a total joke.


that's a pretty lazy way to guide the player tbh
Yeah, if I had more time I might have figured out a better way to guide them. But I believe it's better than just leaving them clueless as to where to go.

how could this laser machine gun be any more OP than the Sharp Shooter
Well, the Laser Machine Gun is good on every level; whereas the Sharp Shooter


oh, it's this meme again
Meme?


well that's an odd background
Is it?
My own answers are in bold.
 
Jul 27, 2016 at 11:25 AM
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Yeah, I have refrained from replying to any of these posts because I was afraid it would start another argument.
But what I wanted to state was that some of the votes weren't really justified by good reasons, for example, Spirit voted CTD down because he disliked Tower Defense games in general, without any respect to the content of my actual mod.
 
Jul 27, 2016 at 2:09 PM
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Yeah, I have refrained from replying to any of these posts because I was afraid it would start another argument.
But what I wanted to state was that some of the votes weren't really justified by good reasons, for example, Spirit voted CTD down because he disliked Tower Defense games in general, without any respect to the content of my actual mod.
i don't think you realize that the votes are meant to be what the voter thinks of the mods
everyone has some level of bias in their votes and that was some of mine
honestly, other people have voted other mods down because they didnt like one thing or another and we've either accepted it or bitterly argued about it for a probably-too-long amount of time
i mean just look at zxin's post
Zxin said:
The Final Level has too much story that I don't care about at the start.
the ultimate bias
 
Jul 27, 2016 at 2:26 PM
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It would seem that the constant bickering about people disliking other people's mods will never end! Haha, nobody is safe.
Yeah I agree, I really dislike the amount of cynicism and bitterness in the discussions so far. Would it hurt to have just a touch of civility, for both the reviewers and mod makers?

Yeah, I have refrained from replying to any of these posts because I was afraid it would start another argument.
But what I wanted to state was that some of the votes weren't really justified by good reasons, for example, Spirit voted CTD down because he disliked Tower Defense games in general, without any respect to the content of my actual mod.
So instead of refraining like you said, you're going to take a jab at spirit's preference? This is his review, and his thoughts seem totally justified. Even if he didn't enjoy it just because it was Tower Defense, that's his preference. Heck, I would probably rank CTD higher just because I do enjoy Tower Defense games more than others. And that's okay, because you're supposed to rank them based on how much you like them.
 
Jul 27, 2016 at 3:10 PM
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Yeah I agree, I really dislike the amount of cynicism and bitterness in the discussions so far. Would it hurt to have just a touch of civility, for both the reviewers and mod makers?


So instead of refraining like you said, you're going to take a jab at spirit's preference? This is his review, and his thoughts seem totally justified. Even if he didn't enjoy it just because it was Tower Defense, that's his preference. Heck, I would probably rank CTD higher just because I do enjoy Tower Defense games more than others. And that's okay, because you're supposed to rank them based on how much you like them.
I mean, at least he avoided calling Spirit out on the blatant insult towards him in her mod. He could've gotten ridiculously angry or defensive over that but he didn't. So kudos to Thomas Xin for being the only person here so far who was able to actually take not only criticism (for the most part) on the chin but also direct insults.
 
Last edited:
Jul 27, 2016 at 3:35 PM
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We don't need more of this discussion right now

What we do need are more votes from people like @Ralren @Polar✪ @Omen267901 and other people who (I think) were intending to but haven't yet
 
Jul 27, 2016 at 4:58 PM
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-reply to my notes on So You Came-
My own answers are in bold.[/spoiler]
I might as well answer with my own bold. Your answers are in italics.

pretty sure notepad doesn't support greek characters, so oops
Well fuck Notepad. Notepad++ FTW.
i don't know what that is but it's probably for NERDS


this sign keeps refreshing the message when i stand in front of it
Yes, of course it does.
I was mentioning it because it constantly flashing was rather odd.

that save function is also probably a good way to softlock yourself
Depends.
Given the feedback given by other people and various bugs witnessed during streams, it seems like I was correct.


i really like the tiling of your caverns
That sounds very sarcastic.
That was actually a genuine compliment. The tiling in this first cavern really wasn't all that bad. Not everything I say is laced with sarcasm.


whoa, a mod that finally makes these things solid
nice
Just you wait for N.E.T. Story, then!
when's net story


why is there such a long pause between the previous map and this one
Because the audio fades out.
You probably could have just made it cut out immediately. It would have been a more sudden transition, sure, but it also wouldn't have been overly long.

i died and restarted immediately at the start of the map where i saved
however, the music hasn't triggered again
I honestly thought I fixed that.
well oops


but what if i do
Then you can get a Life Capsule early... and that's it.
I wish there was a bigger reward than not getting two-shot by the Stalker, honestly.

i know i shouldn't be here yet
but like
these things have way too much health even though i have a level 3 snake
You're not really supposed to be in the area, and the enemies are supposed to be virtually impossible to deal with using the Fire Spit.
There are better ways to block progression aside from giving everything loads of health.

also forgot to mention that critters being upside down is pretty neat
Thanks?
no problem??

192 health on the white ghost things
w h y
Because they're trivial to kill once you use the correct weapon.
See above. Tying your progression around increasingly overpowered weapons isn't really the most ideal way to go about it. What if I really, really like the Snake and hate the upside-down Fireball?


those things blend in WAY too well
They blend in well? Really?! Awesome.
It startled me the first time, but afterwards got increasingly annoying.

sometimes i run into invisible walls for no reason
Except it's not for no reason.
usually near people with dialogue or screen transitions
It's to stop you from going past H/V triggers certain without running their events. And in one case to stop you from passing spikes.
I guess it's somewhat forgivable if it's your only way to keep people from breaking things with your auto-inspect gimmick, but using it to prevent the player from bypassing those spikes is a little sloppy, no?

ok what the actual fuck was that boss after getting the upside-down Fireball
The "Stalker." I nicknamed it that during the development because it stalks you, and I never got a better name for it. It's supposed to be beatable on your second try.
Designing a boss around the player dying at least once is very questionable design. Especially when that boss normally two-shots you and instantly kills you if you progress too far into its arena.


bad slope
No.
It actually is, though. If you jump up through the tip of the slopes, you glitch through to the top of the slope where the player is currently shown. Trust me, when I say it’s a bad slope, it’s a bad slope.


oh
so it's literally grasstown
Yeah. I'm not pretending that it's something else. I changed none of the graphics, the design and characters are prettymuch the same except that the roof is now the ceiling-floor.
ok

these purple things have ENTIRELY too much health
Level up the Sharp Shooter.
It’s hard to do that when everything in the next area has over 100 HP at least and the Sharp Shooter is a dinky Bubbler at level 1. It’s even harder considering that one of the enemies is a reskin of the skeleton from Sand Zone that throws bones at you, only this time it has unholy amounts of health.

and wow this Sharp Shooter is ENTIRELY too overpowered at level 2/3
It's not really a bad thing. It's designed to make your journey out of nwotssarG more comfortable, and the final boss fight a total joke.
balancing your mod around a single weapon is questionable design etc. etc.


that's a pretty lazy way to guide the player tbh
Yeah, if I had more time I might have figured out a better way to guide them. But I believe it's better than just leaving them clueless as to where to go.
It could have been a lot better, but at least it worked.

how could this laser machine gun be any more OP than the Sharp Shooter
Well, the Laser Machine Gun is good on every level; whereas the Sharp Shooter
Whereas the Sharp Shooter what?
Is too overpowered despite not being the final weapon you get?
Also the Laser Machine Gun is essentially a regular Machine Gun with 10 shots at level 1. I wouldn’t necessarily call it good.



oh, it's this meme again
Meme?
ye olde “drain the player of all weapon energy before a Hell-esque level” meme


well that's an odd background
Is it?
It’s a white brick wall in the middle of a cave and it doesn’t match the style of said cave in any way other than being white, so uh, yes?

Also, please don't blow this drama thing out of proportion.
 
Last edited:
Jul 27, 2016 at 10:46 PM
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Jul 28, 2016 at 7:39 AM
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Yeah I agree, I really dislike the amount of cynicism and bitterness in the discussions so far. Would it hurt to have just a touch of civility, for both the reviewers and mod makers?


So instead of refraining like you said, you're going to take a jab at spirit's preference? This is his review, and his thoughts seem totally justified. Even if he didn't enjoy it just because it was Tower Defense, that's his preference. Heck, I would probably rank CTD higher just because I do enjoy Tower Defense games more than others. And that's okay, because you're supposed to rank them based on how much you like them.
I'm not talking about his review, I'm talking about what he said to me on the discord. Well, I'm not trying to start an argument, I'm just giving an example.
 
Jul 28, 2016 at 1:51 PM
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I'm not talking about his review, I'm talking about what he said to me on the discord. Well, I'm not trying to start an argument, I'm just giving an example.
whatever do you mean?
i don't recall taking any personal jabs at you via discord, and if i did i probably thought it was all in good spirits and not just for the sake of being a dick
and the personal jab at you in rave bar was unintentional, as i've explained in discord, to you, actually

 
Jul 28, 2016 at 7:01 PM
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whatever do you mean?
i don't recall taking any personal jabs at you via discord, and if i did i probably thought it was all in good spirits and not just for the sake of being a dick
and the personal jab at you in rave bar was unintentional, as i've explained in discord, to you, actually

What that conversation looks like is you trying to dig yourself out of a hole.

EDIT:

Sort of like me the other day...
 
Jul 28, 2016 at 7:23 PM
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What that conversation looks like is you trying to dig yourself out of a hole.
no, it's me clarifying a misunderstanding

but whatever! i grow weary of this drama and conversation!!
 
Jul 29, 2016 at 5:01 PM
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I should vote or something. Votes are mainly based on creativity and design. If your mod is ranked low that doesn't necessarily mean I didn't like it.

From top (#1) to bottom (#19)

  1. Hacker story
    Very well done overall. The only issues are that random encounters are FAR too frequent, some of the balrog ones are kinda unfair, and the puzzle on floor 2 is culturally biased.
  2. Critter TD
    Very well done, very unique idea. Does get kinda boring due to no real progression, but beautifully executed for what it is.
  3. Precious thoughts
    This is an extremely well-made mod, the reason it isn't higher is because it's just another cave story mod. The press puzzles were kinda stupid too, and you probably should have made it evident boosting up would get you more distance than boosting sideways.
  4. Final level
    Very well made mod with one glaring issue in the fact that the final boss eats your i-frames. Also, you should never fleeenstone people FYI (JK ILY)
  5. Autopilot
    Auto levels are cool, and the secret is nice too.
  6. Metronari
    Well made mod with a cool (but slightly confusing) color scheme. Not higher due to being just a CS mod (also the music gets annoying fast)
  7. Starz
    While the first part is really cool and all I didn't like the boss. Controls were FAR too floaty, and the only difficulty comes from that.
  8. cat gay
    Amazing art and music, as i expect from safu, but nonexistent plot, very high artificial difficulty, and a gimmick that either works well or shits all over you. alsosafustopendingyourmodswithgiantdeathpitsplz
  9. catfall
    Cool concept, but the execution is lacking. Also, the game runs at like 2 FPS outside of the minigame.
  10. Killjoy
    Too short, and kinda buggy, but a cool idea.
  11. Lara
    The color palette was a nice attempt, but came across grating. Good to see you improving it in the discord btw.
  12. Pierce feverdream
    I'd like to see where you take this, but as of now it's a relatively simple mod with a really creepy scene.
  13. Live and uncut
    Whilst this was funny as hell and obviously had a decent amount of work put into it with the voice acting, it's literally just cave story.
  14. One-eye story
    Cool concept, badly executed due to a couple softlocks, bad sloping that causes you to get stuck or pop around, and ok gameplay flow.
  15. Σο ψου Χαμε
    Just gonna paste my review from earlier here.:This mod is not the best in my opinion. For one the use of debug save only and the auto-interact is pretty stupid. It's cool at first but just gets annoying, especially when trying to read text, because it refreshes every 3 seconds. The first area is ok, other than the moving blocks area. For one there's a very awkward pause and music shift at the start, and the actual section can be pretty BS unless you've taken the time to grind your weapon up to at least level 2. For no explicable reason the enemies here do a lot more damage and have a lot more HP than the previous ones, even though they look identical. The weird green area is kind of eye-searing, especially in the tiny window you're forced to play in because of debug save. The enemies also look exactly like the environment, which is not ok.

    The boss here. Oh boy. Really don't like this boss. It's a cool concept but badly executed. The boss kills you in 2 hits, which is insane. It's also a very confusing boss. It's easy once you get the pattern but I actually had to go to the Discord for this one after spending about 20 minutes dying over and over because the game gives you no clue as to what the pattern is.

    The upside-down grasstown area is, once again, a really cool concept but badly executed. Stuff here has WAY too much HP, even for the llaberiF. The music is cool, it's just the grasstown theme with the notes flipped vertically, but it wasn't "cleaned". Vertically flipping songs tends to leave them with spots where they just turn into audio garbage due to the way the pitch shifts. In this instance it causes some parts of the song to have a very high pitched ringing noise that is painful to the ears. Also, the power critters are glitchy as hell. Sometimes they just spaz out and bounce around randomly, leaving it very possible to just get instagibbed and have literally nothing you can do about it.

    The factory area is nice, but it has two serious flaws, and one minor one. Minor flaw: Music here is garbage. Sorry, but it is. Half of it sounds like badly compressed fart noises to me. Major flaws: The weapon you get here makes a serious ear rape noise if it runs out of ammo at level 3. I legit thought something on my computer crashed when it made that sound. Flaw 2: If you leave the area after killing one of the enemies and come back, the game deletes all the others because it thinks you've killed them all, leading to a pointless area. Also, there's a spot where you can get stuck in a block due to improper slope use.

    The hell area is where the quality goes from ok to shit. It stops being "unique" and starts just being another overly generic hell area that is absurdly difficult and extremely unforgiving for no real reason. I stopped playing here, but supposedly the final boss after this is really bad too.
  16. Rave bar
    just a talk to people mod full of inside jokes and not-stolen maps. The jokes are nice but not much to it.
  17. What to do when modding
    You tried. Good concept that wasn't executed the best.
  18. Valastos
    Ow my eyes. Level design is blah, the folder has 5 executables with absolutely no signs to which is correct, the temple is literal enemy spam, and the text is near unreadable. Not to mention the softlock chest, and the abrupt not-ending
  19. The water challenge
    Challenge levels aren't unique. This one would be more unique if it wasn't horribly executed.
 
Jul 29, 2016 at 5:35 PM
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speaking of the h4ck3r.story puzzle with the directions, i was never taught any of those mini-sentences and i was still able to figure out what to do. it's not that difficult when you think a bit
 
Jul 29, 2016 at 6:02 PM
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Even though my vote will not count towards the total score, I did want to rank them anyway and post my thoughts on them. Regardless of where your mod ended up on my list, I want to say thank you very much for contributing to the contest! Whether you made a super impressive technical mod that surpasses all others, or are in dead last, you helped make the contest a success. So thank you very much. I appreciate it!

Also note that my mod reviews are way more based on my personal preference/bias than objectivity. I do try to make some critical points, but I'm not gonna rate a mod high if it was creative but I didn't enjoy it. So please keep that in mind before yelling at me :<

Critter TD: Not only a wild concept (Tower Defense in Cave Story), but also well-executed for the most part! I do enjoy this type of game, and the fact that I've never seen a TD/Platformer hybrid makes this one of the more creative entries. There is a slight learning curve due to how it's set up, but it becomes a rather fluid and easy-to-control game once you understand how it works. Experimenting with towers is loads of fun, and the amount of maps means there's a ton of content to play. It'll take quite a while to finish all the maps, but the repetition is mitigated by the variety in the layout of the maps. Actually, this is only true on the surface, because one tower strategy quickly becomes dominant once you've experimented enough. In previous versions this was spamming the Spur tower, but in the current version it seems that a combination of the Super Missile towers and Spur towers is the most effective to strategy to use across all maps. Most other combinations seem to result in death sooner, which is a negative. Each map should have a unique combination of towers that is most effective depending on the layout, rather than the optimal strategy placing a couple of Polar Star and Fireball towers and eventually covering the map in Super Missile/Spur towers. Having the powerful towers behind breakable blocks is a creative solution, but this doesn't entirely solve the problem (it only solves it for the early rounds). With all that said, if you can balance the game according to everyone's recommendations, I think this can be one of the best Cave Story mods out there, and a solid game in general.

The music seems to mostly consist of the Cave Story soundtrack (even though I remember there being a fairly catchy theme for the stages in a previous version), which can get very tiring to listen to. Ideally, a mod like this would need songs with more longevity that are easy on the ears. In addition, the sound effects are extremely jarring. Making it to the later rounds with all of the guns blasting at the same time is not only an assault on the eyes, but on the ears as well. That's definitely gotta be changed, because otherwise it's utterly intolerable. Because of both these sound issues, I've been playing this game with my own music in the background.

The bonus level was a neat little distraction too. The critter controls exactly how you'd expect it to, and it was fun to play from the opponent's perspective. It does suck that a lot of the hits from the towers are guaranteed, though. I feel like you should be able to finish the whole thing without taking damage if you're good enough, but that's not the case right now.

Overall, a great mod worth playing. In the current version, I'd say it lacks enough weapon strategy to warrant a full playthrough, but I strongly feel that this can be improved upon with minor, yet smart tweaks.

The Final Level: A fun short story with a mostly entertaining gameplay experience. All the characters had enjoyable personalities, and seeing their interactions was a laugh. The cutscenes/story stuff are handled rather well from a technical standpoint, too. The actual gameplay was only slightly less enjoyable (QUICK LASERS BAD), but consisted of a slightly more unique range of enemies than I'm used to seeing. This goes for the weapons you get too, which I found fun to use even though they're basically just vanilla weapons. The final bosses was also a good time. Even though the first form is just a reused fight, it was made more interesting with the weapons you were given. And the final final boss was really great except for the i-frames resetting! Fortunately it wasn't too hard despite that issue, or else I would have been a lot of critical of it. The graphics definitely did the job, but the aesthetics in the level itself felt a little lacking. The music was awesome too (I'll never get tired of Catastrophe). Overall, a great experience all throughout, barring the trial-and-error portions.

STARZZ: This is a really cool, flashy showcase of hacks. The duration of the mod was as short as it needed to be and the balance was spot-on. Destroying enemies at a fast pace and then having an epic and humorous boss battle is just a good ol' time. The only major downside to this is that it's really only worth playing once due to the novelty. The rest are nitpicks: the star's collision being somewhat funky if you watch it bounce a bit, slightly shoddy tiling, and bad grammar at the end. But again, those are only nitpicks, and the experience as a whole makes up for it.

Precious Thoughts: Intriguing story and brilliant level design. This mod really goes to show that, with only minimal hacks and well thought out level design, anybody can create a great Cave Story mod. The booster modification combined with the clever platforming challenges and smart enemy placement was the highlight of the mod. The story was a bit wordy at times for my taste, but I was mostly able to follow along and enjoy what it had to offer. The "memories" of past mods was a neat sight as well, even if I didn't understand a lot of them. The graphics got the job done, but it would have been nice if there was some original music to compliment the experience. Overall, an experience that was solid all throughout and was successful mostly due its good design.

H4CK3R.STORY
: I would say this is the most technically impressive mod in recent memory, let alone the contest. Having a dungeon crawler with Cave Story platforming/combat elements is actually an entertaining hybrid. The choice between three different chatacters was smart, but I feel like it would have been better if you could choose which character you want at the beginning of each stage. Honestly, even though I couldn't be more impressed by the level of knowledge that went into making this, the archaic style of gameplay and banal puzzles work against this mod. The best part about this mod was the "random encounters," but those quickly wore thin due to their lack of diversity and perhaps too frequent appearance. I dunno. I felt like at some times the encounter rate was just right, but other times it jumped and I was getting an encounter every other step I took. The "grab x item to progress by using at location y" puzzles were bog standard, and the more unique puzzles (e.g. the first part of level 2) were unstimulating. Perhaps the puzzles would have been a good time to make the game more hacking oriented since the only other time when it comes up is the story? Speaking of the story, I was kinda hype at the end because of the uncanny prompts and long suspenseful hallways, but nothing really happened lol.

Onto the miscellaneous points. Music was very good. I always got excited when the beginning of that encounter theme played. The humor, when it showed up, was enjoyable and did get a few chuckles out of me. The graphics aren't as bad as they could have been, but obviously with this type of game everything kinda looks the same which makes it hard to find your way around. Finally, I managed to softlock myself somehow!! I was in the encounter room that had the fireflies (I believe this was a level 2 encounter), and once I defeated all the enemies, the encounter didn't end.

Overall, a super impressive technical feat, but a less impressive gameplay experience.

RAVE BAR: Yes, this mod's placement is entirely because its humor is geared towards me and like 4 or 5 other people, so this is the one placement/review that is wholly fueled by my bias. The main focus seems to be the interactions between the characters, and the jokes they tell are spot-on. As someone who understands all of the humor, it had me in stitches the whole time. It's an amalgamation of all the good times our group has had, so it feels special to me in that regard. The errors in scripting were actually humorous to me and didn't detract from the experience. And of course, safu tunes always seem to enhance the experience. In total, this short mod is a great time, with nothing but laughs and enjoyable references.

One Eye Story: An enjoyable mod with an interesting graphical perspective and a cute story. It actually has quite a number of problems, but fortunately the upsides help mask the many scripting errors and graphical oddities. The uniqueness of playing from a cat's perspective with the items scaled accordingly (even if not entirely accurate) had me enthralled. It was fun exploring the house and talking to all of the people within it, and fighting enemies like the cockroaches was delightful (even though the design of the terrain was uninspired). It would have been nice to see more of the enemies redesigned, like the Grasstown enemies, and the boss fight with the jelly felt out-of-place. Overall, it had the right balance of novelty, exploration, and length to keep me engaged and having a good time despite its multitude of errors.

cat gay: A classic safu-style mod. Killer presentation as usual, with graphics and music that most mods only dream of having. The main gameplay gimmick was questionable, however. The cat bullets started off really neat with their satisfying presence and power, but they end up being cumbersome to control. I feel like the levels weren't designed well around being able to use this cat weapon effectively. Most of the time it was easier to just camp in a corner and fidget slightly to direct the bullets to kill the enemies (which was tedious), or to just use the double jump to maneuver around the enemies. With the bullets being so big and zooming around the screen all the time, it's difficult to tell what's going on sometimes, which leads to running into enemies/projectiles that I couldn't tell apart. The mod feels rushed, too. Some of the enemies have new graphics, while others haven't been modified from vanilla Cave Story. And the ending, obviously, if it even counts as one. Regardless, this was a cool proof-of-concept that was sometimes fun to play, but mostly just pleasant to look at and listen to.

Cave Story - Live and Uncut!: This is Cave Story with vulgar voice acting, and it's executed well. The lowbrow and distasteful new dialogue is a treat, and honestly right up my alley. Something that a lot of people won't notice is how well the audio mixing is done. It's a nice detail that definitely enhances the mood. So what's this mod's fatal flaw? Well obviously, it's just Cave Story. Unless you go out of your way to drastically alter each and every aspect of the vanilla game (like Safusaka's "pizza" mod), a "Cave Story but not" mod is always going to be a chore to play through in some regards. I do like the inclusion of a 60FPS version, but as the others have pointed out, the audio has syncing issues. Overall, this was a mod that kept my attention, despite it being just Cave Story, due to its style of humor.

Valastos: Buggy and unfinished, but somewhat promising design choices. Going into the chest at the beginning obviously leads to nothing besides resetting the game, entering areas can sometimes result in that glitch text noise, and it's hard to tell where the game ends, which are all negatives. In addition, the castle area with the homing fire was kinda annoying to deal with because of the sheer quantity of enemies chasing me. This was mitigated by the fire only dealing 1 damage, but still. I was actually quite fond of how the first area played out, however. Multiple paths that you can switch between, an idea somewhat reminiscent of the layout of Sonic levels. The enemy placement wasn't on the same level as, let's say, Precious Thoughts, but the platforming was invigorating enough to make the enemy fights interesting. In addition, while the graphics weren't super polished, they were nice to look at and certainly a welcome change to the vanilla tiles. Same goes for the music, which was actually mostly good. Overall, while buggy and unfinished, I did find myself enjoying the levels a bit, and the new graphics and music enhanced my experience.

Metronari: A story-less adventure that has a unique graphical style and somewhat of a nonlinear element to progression. The combat doesn't get interesting towards the second half unfortunately, because it's mostly just critter fighting with a Polar Star variant (which has been done ad nauseam). When I got to the stuff like the Fire Whirrs in the wall, the water suspended in the air, and the different guns, I was able to enjoy it a little more. The Polar Star weapon actually becomes a lot more interesting to use once you get the Ranger due to the increased difficulty in the terrain/enemy placement, so you have to quickly decide which one would be better for each scenario. The switch gun would have been way better if it had any function outside of that one switch you use it on. I feel it's definitely a missed opportunity for creating more complex and invigorating puzzles. Speaking of puzzles, I feel like this mod would have come out better if they were utilized more. In its current state, it's mostly running 'n' gunning with some variation in which path you choose, but puzzles seem like they would be a natural fit for the style of game you were going for (I mean heck, you even have Zelda music lol).

The graphics were an alright stylistic choice, but since the aesthetics are nearly indistinguishable it can be easy to get lost. It would have helped if there were landmarks, or if there were more developed graphics in general. The Zelda song was well made, but it is really short and repetitive, which is not good considering it plays throughout the entire mod (and the mod is a decent length).

Overall, an alright mod that's held back mostly because of its simplicity and lack of interesting combat/progression until the later portions.

Killjoy: Good idea, barebones execution. The pistol is really powerful past level 1, and level 1 itself has good enough range for the enemies to not be of concern. Collectible guns are cool, but the mod isn't long enough for them to make an impact (and the Pistol is powerful enough as it is). The enemies themselves mostly consist of your standard critter variety, which gets old pretty fast. The main gimmick, the randomly selected rooms, would have been more successful if implemented in a larger scale. Not only that, but the design feels mostly uninspired (except the Polar room, of course). The room where the critters jump right on top of you with no warning is straight up bad. The chests were a neat idea, but they aren't useful due to the limited scope of the mod. And the real kicker, as I'm sure you know already, is the length. This is the type of concept that gets increasingly more interesting to play as the scope increases, but at this point in time it's extremely minimal.

The graphics are also not much. I couldn't really tell ya if you would've been better off using regular Cave Story graphics because I'm so indifferent on them. However, the music was enjoyable :)
My first sentence of this review just about sums up my experience. Not enough stuff in the game to make the experience interesting at all, making a game with random rooms surprisingly linear.

Pierce Feverdream: Short, and didn't make a whole lot of sense to me. I feel like to grasp any of this, I needed to have played your other mod first. The new graphics are quite rough around the edges, there were many spelling/grammar errors, and the tiling is uninspired. I won't comment on the new music (because I made it), but I will say it was fitting for the situations it was used in. To be honest, I kinda admire your desire to tell such a strange story. It's hard to say whether or not I enjoyed it given its brevity and lack of cohesion (although that may be due to me not playing your other mod, as mentioned before), but it was intriguing nonetheless.

Lara: The Gameboy color palette and the story seem to be the main focus of this mod. The former didn't do the mod any favors, honestly. It was hard to look at all throughout, making the mod more difficult to play than it needed to be. The story hasn't been fleshed out yet due to the briefness of the mod, and so it wasn't able to carry the mod by itself. The gameplay is disappointingly standard for a Cave Story mod, with your typical "get Polar Star and defeat critters" scenario (but hey, at least it wasn't First Cave critters/bats and the platforming was somewhat interesting). In addition, a lot of my concerns stem with the very poor scripting and tiling. The tiling goes hand in hand with the graphical style sometimes (like how it's sometimes difficult to tell what a certain tile is), but sometimes it's just sloppy placement (like a lone slope, which you can go through from the bottom). The scripting has a myriad of minor problems that add up: The weird fade in/out after the characters speak in the intro, the lack of skipflags, facepic inconsistencies, etc.

While the music wasn't great, I would say it was better to have over vanilla Cave Story music. Also, the rain effect was a nice touch. Overall, I feel like the palette and the gameplay issues really held this back, but if given a good polish it could start showing more potential.

Cave Story - What To Do When Modding: Extremely brief, has the entire original Cave Story(??), and feels really rushed. However, when a mod can make me laugh, it becomes infinitely more tolerable. For as short as it was, I did get some enjoyment out of it. The giant line-hole in the ground of Start Point cracked me up because I knew what it was gonna lead up to, and I always appreciate a good Polar/Rave Story joke. Regardless, I do mirror the other's sentiments in that you shouldn't be giving straight-faced modding/game design advice when you yourself have a clearly rushed and thrown-together product.

Autopilot: Good tiling, smartly coordinated, and makes great use of vanilla boss fights. So why am I ranking this so low, then? This is a concept that is very tired and overdone to me, so it was a chore to watch. Sure, you don't see it that often, but once you've seen it done once, you've seen them all (this includes other games). In addition, this is very similar (too similar in my opinion) to last year's contest entry, Don't Let Go. You may argue that having to press no buttons makes it different from holding left, but it hardly does in terms of what you get out of it. For the sake of comparison, I booted up Don't Let Go again to see how it held up compared to this mod. I actually feel that the tricks incorporated into it outdo the visuals found in Autopilot. And in case you're curious, I did rank Don't Let Go fairly low too because it's hardly any less novel.

With that out of the way, let me comment more on the boss fights. The Balrog fight having itself play out was kinda interesting, but I was more satisfied with the Ballos fight. The balance was very well done, having different weapons giving you a specific item and health upgrade. In addition, the mobility/power option was really cool too. I lost the first time because I chose the 2.0 over the Super Missile Launcher, and I thought to myself "oh I could totally do it this time if I pick better firepower this time." And that's a good thing, because it could have been really easy to make me bored with a mostly vanilla Ballos fight.

In summation, it's a mod with good coordination and has fun boss fights, but the main gimmick is way too novel and overdone for my tastes.

Σο ψου Χαμε: A mod with many unique design changes that help it distance itself from Cave Story that I feel are a detriment rather than an improvement. A "save anywhere" feature even though the game recommends where you save, and an auto interact feature that feels awkward and is difficult to adjust to are the two main gimmicks. Noxid perfectly describes the inherent flaws in using the save system rather well in his post, but another big problem also includes the lack of ability to play fullscreen (which strains my eyes because I have to play in windowed). The interaction system works well for items, like the Fireball and Booster, but is cumbersome for stuff like talking with NPCs and entering rooms. In terms of gameplay, it fluctuates between "hey this is kinda cool and new" and "this is unique but really irritating to have to deal with," with the overall experience leaning much more towards the latter. The cave area is mostly fine, mostly standard stuff and nothing unreasonable to deal with. The green area has a lot of issues, ranging from the camouflaged enemies getting a few cheap hits in on you to the frustrating boss that doesn't seem to make a whole lot of sense. The boss can take a while to beat, even with patience, max level weapons, and the save anywhere feature. Upside down Grasstown is neat in concept, but boring in execution. The narrow corridor of enemies to fight in the beginning consists of sitting back and blasting until you've cleared enough room to walk forward a little bit and continue blasting. More strategy is involved in getting the life capsule of the area, which was a lot more invigorating fortunately. The area where you get the upgraded Booster is trivialized by the Sharpshooter and a glitch where you can make all the enemies disappear by exploiting the save system. The Sharpshooter is fun to use, but it makes the other weapons useless, which is a shame because the reverse Fireball is good. The final area... do I even need to comment on it? It was way too hard in the test version and it's still pretty hard as it currently is. I have yet to finish it, even given my multiple playthroughs.

The graphics are a mixed bag. I dislike the tilesets because they're too simplistic and not pleasant to look at, but I am actually fond of how the backgrounds are done. The music is not great. The cave theme is the only one that managed to grow on me, and the others are either mediocre or hurt to listen to (Grasstown specifically).

Overall, not a fun mod to play through. It has some interesting ideas but they do not work well because of the nature of the game, and I found the level design to encourage strategies to progress that made the game hard to enjoy.

The Water Challenge!: Normally I enjoy these types of wind/water type challenges, but obviously this wasn't thought out very well. Instead of a well-coordinated, fluid set of movement challenges, it's a cumbersome, "fight the physics" set of challenges. Everything seems to work, but the tiling is gross and the intentional use of glitch slopes in such a way you used it makes me sad. Fortunately, you did include a save point (even though it was at the end, which was an easy section), and it was rather short.

catfall: All this mod really did was make me want to play Hullet Bell, a superior (although still mediocre by shmup standards) mod done in a similar fashion. It was very mindless. Was the objective just to mash the shoot button as much as possible? Because that feels like the most efficient way to finish the game. It feels very unpolished, with no sound effects in the actual shooting part, and jarring stage transitions. Also I don't get why the lobby area has such slow movement. The music was alright (however, the credits theme was somewhat questionable), the music player was neat for like a minute, and I did actually get a kick out of the credits. Overall, it feels unfinished and was not fun to play.
also: AACBHIWO is my id lol?
  1. Critter TD
  2. The Final Level
  3. STARZZ
  4. Precious Thoughts
  5. H4CK3R.STORY
  6. RAVE BAR
  7. One Eye Story
  8. cat gay
  9. Cave Story - Live and Uncut!
  10. Valastos
  11. Metronari
  12. Killjoy
  13. Pierce Feverdream
  14. Lara
  15. Cave Story - What To Do When Modding
  16. Autopilot
  17. Σο ψου Χαμε
  18. The Water Challenge!
  19. catfall
 
Jul 29, 2016 at 6:09 PM
Perfectionist
CS Beta Content Discord Admin
CSE Discord Moderator
"Bleep, Bloop, Bleep, Bloop"
Join Date: Dec 26, 2014
Location: the back of their own hand.
Posts: 1516
Age: 119
Sorry you all thought my mod was so disgracefully bad...
 
Jul 29, 2016 at 7:15 PM
Professional Whatever
"Life begins and ends with Nu."
Join Date: Jan 13, 2011
Location: Lasagna
Posts: 4489
Take it as feedback for future mods, because that's what it is. I've been hit hard by criticism in mod contests as well.
 
Jul 29, 2016 at 7:37 PM
Perfectionist
CS Beta Content Discord Admin
CSE Discord Moderator
"Bleep, Bloop, Bleep, Bloop"
Join Date: Dec 26, 2014
Location: the back of their own hand.
Posts: 1516
Age: 119
Take it as feedback for future mods, because that's what it is. I've been hit hard by criticism in mod contests as well.
-your execution of ideas is bad
-your music makes me want to kill myself
-you actually expect me to play trough this garbage to vote
-my eyes are bleeding
-this boss fight is terrible
yes doors I see now. this amazing feedback is all I need to make the perfect mod. all this amazing, entertaining criticism really makes me want to go andhang myselfmake an mazing mod that will bowl a way the CSTSFs and all its uscer base
 
Jul 29, 2016 at 7:45 PM
Professional Whatever
"Life begins and ends with Nu."
Join Date: Jan 13, 2011
Location: Lasagna
Posts: 4489
Can't help you if you decide to bitch about it instead of trying to improve.
 
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