Beautiful and charming.
I was scouring the portal after having not been too active for a week or so and when I saw a flash with a score of four and a half I felt compelled to view it and see what the incredible score was about. What surprised me was that after viewing the flash I actually felt like it deserved that incredibly high score, unlike many other Flashes in the top flight that are great, but very few of such a great quality. You mention in the description that you have been working on this project for a year and a half, and looking at how much attention was obviously paid to the every detail, macro and micro, I certainly believe that wholeheartedly.
Of course, the first thing to look out for in an animation is exactly that - the quality of art and animation. Right from the outset the art inside the house and the static art as a whole seems nearly pristine, with detail shown everywhere it fits. I liked the fact that a lot of objects seemed to glow slightly in the moon's effulgence that was especially apparent in the early scenes as the character traversed the streets at night. On a partially related note, the coloured luminance of the comets against other objects such as trees was very well done, and the fact that you put thought into every aspect of the animation - I know the lighting of things like the comets and such are a focal point, but nonetheless the amount of thought you seemed to put into them certainly impressed me and I don't think could have been done much better.
In terms of character animation, Jazza's work was high-tier, albeit not quite on a par with the background images and such. At no point did I notice the smooth quality of the animation dropping and the design of the primary character was pretty adorable - especially with the huge eyes and subtle smile that seemed to always be there - although the fact that it was that, always there, got a little bit on my nerves and a bit more variation wouldn't go amiss, in my opinion. The same goes for the alien, whom despite taking a rather different character, with a more sinister feel to him. After seeing him waiting outside the woods I was fairly confident that he'd follow the child in and I ended up worrying in that sense, but after that didn't happen I certainly was confused as to what'd happen - his re-emergence in time to steal the bike wasn't what I expected. Considering he managed to simply get into a hot air balloon and continue on his way right after, I think that putting him in the animation seemed a bit unnecessary, foreshadowing a problem that, when it finally comes, is circumvented immediately, calling into place whether that foreshadowing was really necessary or adds very much.
When you say that this was originally intended simply as a music video then I certainly do agree with you. As the song progressed, as did the storyline in a similar manner, even if it's more abstract than detailed and clear animation at every turn the audio seemed to be fitting, with beautiful piano lines that seemed to be in perfect harmony with every other part of the flash. I think that if I heard it separate from the flash I'd still absolutely love this flash, as it conveys some strong emotions, but I don't think it'd find regular listening without the magic that it being used in such great unison with the rest of this video, which cannot be done if I'm just listening to it in the background, as I usually do with music.
The main shortcoming, I feel, is simply that the plot and such isn't too interesting. Yes, everything about the flash is technically incredible and very charming indeed, but at the end of a day it wasn't too interesting. I definitely like the idea of what I believe to be the dream of a child whom wishes for a particular toy for Christmas, incorporating the likeness of that toy into the dream, but while as a concept it's not bad in terms of being gripping and entertaining it doesn't quite fit the rest of the flash. I agree that music videos usually aren't intended to simply be interesting, but with flashes of this quality I must nitpick.
I give 9.5/10 and 5/5.
Sexual-Lobster at his best.
I go into this review as unbiased as I can, considering I'm a pretty big fan of your previous animations after having watched every one of your flashes on NG and knowing the lyrics to this and the other two Fernando songs by heart. Just bare that in mind. I believe that I've managed to stop myself from coming across as an arselicking fan. :3
As it has been for the past few years, the animation is fluid and smooth, with no moments where I really got the impression that a certain movement was rushed or such. The art style is more of the same, arguably unoriginal, however animating these same characters in a completely different style would be a negative in two regards; firstly as people would not react positively to any sort of change and secondly because your experience in this particular art direction surpasses that of any other and allows you to create your best animations and artwork.
One element of the animation present in all of the song flashes (but not others) is that it's very clear that many of the animations (such as Fernando's hipswaying) are completely identical to the last and overall there seems to be movieclips repeating everywhere. Due to their timing with the music, this had a rhythmic feel and can also be seen as a positive, although perhaps toning down on it slightly would be a good idea. Admittedly, Randy's dance towards the end which was clearly contained within an MC gave me a good laugh.
I believe that the inclusion of a storyline into this was a positive, for songs simply revolving around references to previous submissions that many of the new viewers will not latch onto can be less memorable than those with stories like these, even if it's a pretty thin one. I think the return of Hernando is a positive, for he is a great character too. Putting Todd McGovern as someone whom Fernando doesn't seem to be too keen of seems rather odd, as the last time I recall him being in a flash of yours it was in the crabs episode right at the start of your animation endeavours, where he appears to be as close to Fernando as gopher producers can be.
Now I'm going to come onto the audio, firstly the music. When I first opened the flash I had not yet read in the description that the music track is a modified form of Space Duck's background music, and I didn't even notice despite that being one of my favourite tracks on the Newgrounds audio portal. This version wasn't quite so relaxing, but instead was more fitting for this particular flash, giving the urge to pulsate my hips and get thrusting in time with the music. I'm not sure which version I prefer, but they're both great despite being better for very different moods.
The voice acting I personally found convincing and I cannot really fault it. Todd's voice sounded rather more nasal than I previously remember, although my recollections are vague and cloudy, so I cannot remember his exact voice in the past. Hernando's voice especially stood out to me as an example of fine voice-acting, perhaps as his accent gives more opportunity than the other characters' other than Fernando, whom talks in a bit of a whisper, covering his accent up a lot.
My least favourite section was that which was devoid of all speaking/singing parts, simply because when I'm running through the song in my head that section doesn't stick in as well as the rest for that reason. This is me seriously nitpicking, though.
To conclude, I think that once again you have outdone yourself once again and created a memorable song to go along with your recent few and displays great humour, skill in animation and musical talents. I'm very impressed.
9/10. 5/5. A catchy song coupled with great quality art and animation that just happens to have hilarious lyrics to top the whole thing off.
holy crap dude, what a beast of a review
One word: Samey.
With the characteristic art style and such, this is clear to be a movie in the 'awesome' series right from the outset. As you hear the humour, it's even more clear to be a movie in the 'awesome' series. As the voice acting begins, it becomes yet clearer that it's a movie in the 'awesome' series. Do you see where I'm going here?
Just about nothing in the flash seems original. Although you're a great author, it feels like rather than going out and doing something new you seem to be rehashing the whole awesome thing because it's guaranteed to get positive reception and a lot of views. After all this time, however, it just feels like you're dropping all the old jokes and such onto a different game each time and jiggling it around a bit until it fits.
The actual animation itself was pretty smooth at most moments, with a few moments where it dipped into choppier bits, however it's still far better than the majority of animations I see. The background art, I actually really liked, it was pretty pleasant and definitely gave me a feeling of Pokemon, perhaps due to the tree shape looking a lot like the impassables from the game itself drawn in flash.
Although it's a staple of the series, the high-pitched and slightly squeaky style of voice acting I simply found to be annoying. Sure, it was fitting with the atmosphere, but it just becomes irritating after a while. When Ash wasn't speaking, and it was just the Pokemon, it wasn't so bad, but nor was it particularly good.
One of the main quips I have overall is how long the final joke is carried on for. I assume you were going for the whole 'comically timed injury that causes a character to voice pain for a longer period of time than expected' thing, however I just don't think that it worked out too well. Overall it gave the impression that you had little over material to work off of, and thus to pad out the whole thing that single joke was just stretched for as long as you possibly could.
Overall, I just got the feeling that this was created not because you felt inspired and compelled to produce some new content, but you felt like you needed to create something in order to keep fans happy and decided to play it safe by not creating anything new and putting pretty little thought. The production quality isn't bad, but in terms of entertaining somebody whom has seen the majority of your other flashes over the years, this isn't particularly great.
I like it, but this premise isn't too original.
The first thing that struck me upon opening this game was that the character artwork didn't seem too impressive, however looking around the fill for the scenery definitely gave me good vibes, with a nice calming look and later on little subtle details like small pairs of eyes in the walls and such that I believe gave a nice ambience to the visuals. One thing regarding them that I wasn't too keen on was the absolute lack of player animation. I know as a blob kind of thing, it's pretty difficult to make an animation, but the fact that there's just nothing wasn't good for my first impressions. It struck me that you're likely a programmer and that animation may not be your forte, and if so then perhaps collaborating with one of the countless great artists this site has to offer could be a good idea. You're certainly not half bad with stationary art, however, so this may not be a fair conclusion to come to.
It sounds slightly odd, but one qualm I have with the flash is that the UI feels a bit too... 'floaty' for my preferences. I have no suggestions as to how you could improve this, but it's something I noticed and now I'm not quite able to put properly into words. There's a lot of transparency going on and the buttons don't, to me, feel like buttons. I won't elaborate further on this as my thoughts are jumbled as to how to put it across properly, but make sense of this if you will and I will be thankful.
Out of the audio the menu theme, although barely audible due to how quiet it is, and very short, was my favourite piece. It gives a sense of tension and makes it feel as if an important event is brewing and coming nearer and nearer. The in-game music is definitely very different in that it's far more energetic and I think this fits the lighter side of the game eluded to in the character art and such, as opposed to the darker feeling the background art gave me, which reminded me of the third instalment in the DooM series somewhat in the darker sci-fi sort of area.
This clash of two different themes: the vivacious one given off by the in-game theme and character artwork against the slightly creepier and tenser atmosphere of the backgrounds and menu theme, to me detracts slightly from the overall experience. It feels rather mismatched and muddled, where at any given moment you're receiving both of them at the same time.
The concept of a platformer that swaps gravity around has been around for a while, with my own first experience being the Shift games, which I wasn't ever particularly fond of, although they were rather fun. Since then, I have seen it done over and over again. I think that you carried it off pretty well, although as I said, the fact that it has been done to death in the past reduces the score for unoriginality.
Last but not least, I'm going to come onto the gameplay. The first thing that struck me was the left and right movement feeling rather bloated and sluggish, and sure, perhaps that fits the whole space theme of the game, but I believe that slightly speedier movement would be an asset. As I previously mentioned, the idea of a gravity-switching platformer has been done often in the past, however one thing that I haven't noticed in other people's flashes (not to say it doesn't exist)is the ability to swap in the air, which was present in this. This is what I believe causes this submission to stand out slightly from the rest, albeit not much. In my experience with it, it allowed for more tactics and some levels were even based on getting the balance of each one in mid-air perfect, which definitely took advantage of it.
Overall, I did quite enjoy playing this, although admittedly it didn't captivate my interest for too long, possibly as I've played so many similar games. I really liked the soundtrack, however at any given moment the audio and art direction for particular objects seemed to be giving conflicting ambience out. The movement was slightly sluggish, but I can look past that.
7/10. 3/5. I definitely enjoyed playing this, and hope that you expand on this formula further in future.
Wow, thanks for the long and detailed review. I can't take credit for the graphics as I didn't make it. I did collaborate with an artist but he doesn't have an newgrounds account as far as I know so that's why I'm alone in there :). You can however check the credits page in the game to see info about all the people who were involved.
I set out to create a fun platformer, and originality was something I was willing to sacrifice. I've spend too much time thinking about original concepts and not getting anywhere because it's hard to come up with something original and fun :). I hope people enjoy the game despite it not being that original.
Thanks for your thoughts and I'm glad you enjoyed it.
Hilarious but tedious.
I ended up on this flash in the search for medals and ended up with a far different experience than I expected. I first began the game after having read very little believing that it'd be pretty self-explanatory, and although it likely was I ended up initially pretty confused. At first I simply wasn't looking around for the van and ended up just waltzing around with a pair of little'uns at my feet, rather confused. After seeing the initials (which made me laugh, 'jail bait' and 'Justin Bieber' both fitting them), I finally worked it out and began to play properly.
Generally the controls and movement feel pretty clunky and sluggish. At first I barely noticed that I was moving simply due to the slow speed, and that was the main issue I found throughout. Even with speed upgrades (I ended up with either three or four at the end), it just seemed uncontrollably slow and I didn't notice the difference particularly at all.
The whole premise I found very funny. I recall a while ago reading a false news article (likely via The Onion), about Bieber being a middle-aged man in a mask and such, and this seems to be pretty similar, albeit with natural ageing substituting the coverup. Although very disturbing, the idea of him dragging such innocent little girls into the back of his van admittedly gave me a good laugh and left you open for some good gameplay mechanics.
Quite possibly the highlight of the whole thing were the sounds you make as you reach the van. They were crude and beg the question of 'what were you thinking?', however each time I heard it once again I had a slight chuckle to myself - which says a lot about my sense of humour, but hey. Otherwise in the audio department it was all positive, too, with fitting (albeit not outstanding) music going along throughout the whole ride.
Although simplistic, I really liked the general direction you went for the art. The large-head-small-body thing is something that I am rather fond of in games like this and it complemented everything else relatively well. There was also good variation in characters, and although sometimes I'd see identical characters it rarely happened in the same level until I got to the point where the street is essentially a huge clusterfuck with more people (and more police D:) spawning. Everything looked nice and clean (which cannot be said for the humour ;D).
In conclusion, I liked just about everything about this flash other than the most important thing: the gameplay. Although fine, the overall clunkiness, slow movement speed and the lack of variation that seemed to come around as I continued to play just came together to make the whole thing feel tedious, despite otherwise being a humorous and polished piece of work.
6/10, 3/5. I'd say for you to keep on creating great flashes, however I see you submitted one just yesterday.
An incredibly atmospheric game.
After looking at the small filesize I didn't think possible that you could fit such a great game in that small space. The main thing I believe you should be congratulated for is how well you capture the eerie atmosphere. The dark and gloomy graphical style combines with the high pitched music - it came together perfectly, and the props (such as nails and spiderwebs) added further how hostile and dangerous the game world appears.
The platforming itself is a little on the awkward side, especially while changing directions, although arguably this stopped the pace from getting a bit too much and detracting from the heavy and slightly lumbering feel - perhaps making your ragdoll of a character (quite literally) feel less vulnerable and unable to function than otherwise. After getting used to it, things started to feel a bit more natural, however getting stuck when climbing as you get to a piece of wood above, as you do right at the start, harmed the flow slightly, even if simply jumping could get you out of that position. One of the most important things with platformers is to conserve your player's movement so that you stop as little as possible - but that's just me nitpicking.
One thing that may have been minor but I really liked the idea of was the use of a keyhole as the medium through which to progress. As it is something not usually used directly in order to travel, it gave a feeling of escape to the game - like you were not progressing through a set path but instead making your way through the only way you can find. Perhaps that's unintended, but I certainly noticed it and liked the idea a lot.
As previously mentioned, I loved the art style and really do think that it went well with the rest of it. The choice of a ragdoll, a weak and pathetic inanimate object helped blend the idea of you being exactly that, and no more. As you traversed through the world which seemed to have no pleasantries - the closest thing to a helper being the webs of spiders whom have even left themselves everything just seems so bleak. The fact that you used sewing related objects throughout, fitting with your character, was a nice touch too.
The audio was what I believe really brought this from being a good game to one of the strongest games atmospherically I have seen in a long time. Although extremely repetitive, it had that high pitched, almost squeaky quality that I associate with horror immediately. I think that although the aforementioned repetition did start to get on my nerves a little bit further on, it felt a little bit... insane... shall I say, running again and again until it really started getting to me and perhaps making me feel slightly like Seam would - although perhaps that's extreme exaggeration.
Overall, a great game with some of most attention paid to getting the feel perfect I have seem in a long time. Well done to your entire team - this is definitely amongst the top few Flashes that I have came across in my time, as you can see from the fact that I bothered to actually write a review for it.
4/5 - 9/10
You truly captured the emotion well in this.
I first listened to this a while back and, quite frankly, I wasn't expecting much. As soon as the music started I felt like I had been absorbed into another world. It had a strong mystical feel and emanated a unique emotion. The literature that was given in the author comments was really well written and it fitted the song perfectly, so that added to the experience. This clearly shows that you are a magnificent audio artist of whom worked hard. I'd have expected you to win the MAC08 contest, I preferred this to the winning entry by far.q
5/5 and first vote.
A nice song, strong beats work well throughout.
Well created. A strong beat which worked well throughout the submission. I applaud you for these.
Strong bassline. Very electronic
Powerful electronics, they carried the song well. Some of the best bass I've heard on an audio submission
Sorry for short review, I'm new to audio reviewing.
It's not quite a pigeon
But by God, is it awesome. :D You obviously have mad skillz, pumping out something like this out of memory. Drawing by pixel can be extremely time-consuming and often turn out an end product that you don't think was worth the time, but no matter how long you spent on this I'd say that it was easily worth it. I'm shit at any type of art, so I'm probably not the best critic, but all I have to say is well done. :3
Heavy Weapons Guise? In my portal?
I've got to say that this is an amazing little piece of artwork. Something that immediately stood out is how well drawn the HWG's minigun is. You've got all the chromatic metal effects just perfect - especially on the barrels themselves. It's also extremely obvious that you have the unique ability to draw bodies without them looking as coarse and awkward as fuck. That sounds like something that most people have the ability to achieve, although more often than not when I see a piece of art that focuses on any animal - particularly human - the limb and neck placement and shape looks completely fucking maladroit. I also think that the way you've changed some of the features from the TF2 HWG rendition. A good example of this is how the RED logo that sits upon his should has been modified into Angry Faic, theming the whole piece towards a more Newgrounds-relevant area.
I'm not an amazing critic of artwork at any rate, so excuse me for the shit review. Even if my views on reviewing conflicts with those who dismiss all critique as bullshit simply because whoever it's coming from does not have any experience in that area to the point that I think they should all be rounded up and shot I've got to say that I should dabble more in art, just to get an experience of what it's like to have created something half-decent in it.
(By God, reading through this now makes me realize that I've most likely swallowed a thesaurus in my sleep recently)
newgrounds.com — Your #1 online entertainment & artist community! All your base are belong to us.