Recent Movie Reviews

Legends of the Starborn E1 Legends of the Starborn E1

Rated 5 / 5 stars

Huge fan of the establishing shot backgrounds. They're not super detailed, but they have this nice aesthetic somewhre in between a story book and that surreal overly saturated image that comes to mind when reading a book that describes fantasy lands. This rings true both for the forest and the large stone building.

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BenjaminPang responds:

The backgrounds have been drawn by two friends of mine, Lilla and Nikolay. I will tell them about this comment, thank you!

Purgatory Dreams - Tape One Purgatory Dreams - Tape One

Rated 2 / 5 stars

I really wish I could rate this 5, but I really can't.
Most things that make up this animation are superb, but with just one thing being out of place the entire experience is ruined. I'm not lowering my score by half just because of this one big flaw I see, rather because of how easy it could have been fixed(granted that fix would've needed to be implemented at the writing stage), because of the missed potential.

THE GOOD: Over-all presentation was superb. The art, throwbacks to popular media, voice effects, everything build up quite the uncanny imagery that I couldn't take my eyes away from and the rough audio that ressonates too strongly not to bring to life an emotion or two. Aside from that glass crack effect, everything in this department was top-notch.

THE BAD: Tiff. Oh,Gods, Tiff was terrible. It ruined the entire experience for me, made me keep looking at that 10 min timeline, that I usually see as a Godsent when it comes to NG content, but now I just wanted it to be over with, the only thing keeping me from switching to another tab being the moments when she shuts up.

-Firstly the VA work sounds very out of place, not sure if that's a fault of the actress, the director or if she was actually intended to sound like that. This would've worked so much better if she had no voiced lines. The only good moments of Tiff communicating something was when that communciation was non-verbal, the way she moves when she's on-screen, her decissions, her actions, etc. I understood so much more about her thought process by seeing her make decissions, the way she moves the cursor, the determination, the fright; than I did when I heard her talk.
Honestly there was a lot of dissonance between the way Tiff spoke and the visuals. The most striking example of this is the Panic meter. That was the moment when I decided I just couldn't suspend my disbelief for this.

-Secondly, the writing. Tiff's lines are terrible and completely ruin any of the many possible moods this animation could have created. I'm not sure if she was supposed to come off as strong or mouthy or what, and I can't pinpoint the mistakes that were made in building up her character, because I'm unsure of the mood the short was going for. It's really hard to tell. Pixel art and an uncanny setting are elements that lie in juxtaposition. YOu never know what atmosphere that's supposed to be. In order to find that out, there has to be a third element to look at. Usually, the characters in the story. But Tiff being the only relevant character makes that hard. I can't tell if she's supposed to be like that, or if the performance was done poorly and that leaves everything regarding the story's feel up in the air.

I really wanted to like this so bad, but I just couldn't. It's the same way I wanted to like SAO, but all the bajillion budget visuals and sound can't make up for such an infect story. This case is a bit different. In this case I could excuse the atmosphere if it wasn't well-executed, but the intentions were good. But I can't tell if this was the way it was intended to come out or not.

Clockworkpixel responds:

theres intended to be a disconnect between momments, tiff acting cocky and a few joking parts so that when the scares came it all the more harder but with doing that way, it hits and it misses.

i tried making this without a script, kinda story board as i go along to see where the story took me. this worked well for pacing but it not so much with dialog.

i believe piper gave a great performance and if i have to place blam on that disconnect it'd be my pixel art. i should of made sprites more expressive but it would of leas to a longer delay and at some point you have to say "this is done" and move on.

i'm proud of what i've done here even with it's flaws. with the things i've noticed and you've pointed out i know what to improve in the future and i can only hope you enjoy tape two more if you're willing to give it another shot when the time comes? :)

Pmation: "Gold Fashioned" Pmation: "Gold Fashioned"

Rated 4.5 / 5 stars

Are any of you guys exCartoonNetwork employees? The over-all smoothness, line weight and exagerations are all incredibly reminiscent of shows from CN's golden age.

If that is the truth, would you consider doing some short tutorials to share some tricks of the trade that you find lacking in the online animation communitie's content?

Hope you can find the time to respond.
Keep up the good work!

Recent Game Reviews

Goat in The Cave Goat in The Cave

Rated 4 / 5 stars

Got to lvl 22.

This was a pretty basic 2d platformer.
If you're a fan of such, then you must have heard of the indie hits: Super Meat Boy, Escape Goat 1 and 2 and VVVVVV. This game feels like an amalgamation of the core mechanics behind those other platformers.

It's very small in scope, having only the most basic of dangerous 2d platformer mechanics, and as you'd expect it lacks polish, with a stark contrast between the styles of your player character, the background, foreground and objects that move.

This is Newgrounds, if you expected anything else in those categories, throw some money the dev's way so he can polish it and release a complete product on steam.

But with the flaws now pointed out, I have to say, what this game does well, it does incredibly well.

Despite the weird overall composition, important objects pop-out, so there's never any issue with reading what's going in the game. You know when something can be touched, you know when something is a threa and you know when something is moving and how it moves.

The animation is also perfect. No jaggy movements, consistent velocity and direction for objects, No visible seams in the paralaxing. Everything is fine in this department. The goat really reminds me of Escape goat in the way it animates. And out of all the divergent artsyles in this game, I like the goat's the most, I wish the entire game was done like that. The high contrast makes it an easy object to follow with your eyes and the coloured glowing outline reminds me of Nihiliumbra.

Music is, as advertised, pretty fucking relaxing and it really fits a cave setting.

Deaths are quick and to the point as they are in meatboy. You can fail quick and get right back into the race. No exasperating respawn times. They're also punctuated with a satisfying blood explosion.
On the subject of deaths, they are very fair. I cannot commend the dev enough when it comes to how well he made the hazards. You can immediately tell what is dangerous. Spikes only kill you if you really touch them. I've even seen AAA games that do that dumb bullshit where the very sharp spike has a rectangular collider and instant death. Luckily none of that nonsense in this game. You can almost lick the spike without a worry.

I guess the lack of bs also comes from the controls being very responsive, the great jump arc and the generous ammount of control you have in the air.

Progress-wise the game has a good difficulty curve, with the challenge ramping up pretty well, always having safespots to analize the situation from and new gimmicks never overstaying their welcome.
Sadly, I haven't found any way to improve your characters abilities. In this regard, the game lies more in the meatboy school of platforming, where your core abilities are all you get and the challenge is always timing and reflex based, never a puzzle.
There are a few odd desgind decissions here and there with new challenges being introduced at the end of the level, but with these one screen levels I can't complain much. You die and you learn.

I would like to complain a bit about level design. It's mostly pretty solid, but ti does have some oversights. Some hazards, like certain falling spikes are skipable. At first I assumed they were a trap for those who overshoot jumps, but you can get out of the way of those skipable spikes anyway so it holds back the game since levels have a single correct path and these deviations are pointless. Also some levels are impossible to run through. Sometimes you just hav to stop, trigger a spike, fall back and wait. Same with waiting for platforms. While these by themselves aren't terribly bad bits of level, the waiting isn't that long, this design clashes with the core mechanics of the game which very closely ressemble meatboy. While I like to stop and weigh my options, it's a game with a single correct path and fast-paced mechanics, so they waiting bits and non-respawning falling spikes clash hard with the rest.

In conclusion, my only real complaints about this game are that it's a bit too derrivative of super meat boy in its core mechanics and escape goat in its main character design and movements. Some small level design decissions are a bit misguided as well.

If you were seeking a straight-forward, incredibly well-built and free difficulut but fair 2d platformer and can put up with some hobbyist level visuals I cannot reccomend this enough.

Kudos to the maker of this.

P.S. A small complaint I have about well-made games on NG. WHY THE BLOODY HELL CAN"T I SEE HOW MANY LEVELS THERE ARE IN TOTAL. So many games I good gave up on, not knowing I had to power through just a few more stages. More devs need to include a damn world map or complete from the start level-select screen.

Math Booster Math Booster

Rated 3.5 / 5 stars

J/K doesn't work. Using latest Firefox.

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The Sword and the Fox The Sword and the Fox

Rated 4.5 / 5 stars

Not my type of game, but I must admit I was sold on the visuals alone. The pixel art is stunning. The backgrounds really suck you in.

The character portraits are also charming, but the difference between their cartoony style and the environments is a bit off-putting. Both of these two visual elements are great on their own-the character portraits are packed with personality- they just don't come together all that well.

The music gets me in a great mood, but there was this issue when it would cut off abruptly, I'm assuming it can be easily fixed in another version.

The writing was fun, sometimes the character portraits made weird faces during dialogue, but nothing major enough to make me lose that sense of immersion.

All in all a really fun project that captured me and got me trying something I wouldn't touch otherwise.

Please keep making awesome stuff, I fell in love with your pixel art.

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Recent Art Reviews

Bulma Bulma

Rated 5 / 5 stars

Your style reminds me a lot of SpeedoSausage

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Bendy & the Ink Machine Bendy & the Ink Machine

Rated 5 / 5 stars

I couldn't tell this is fanart. This piece could just as well be an official promo image.

Wonderful work!

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AntonOxenuk responds:

Thank you very much! If theMeatly wanted me to work with him I'd gladly do so.

Wandering Merchant Wandering Merchant

Rated 5 / 5 stars

You have such a consistent style, it makes me wonder. Do you think characters like this would work in a videogame? I can definetely picture a 3d scene where all the characters are low-poly and have a hand-painted treebark texture. Have you ever considered building something like that?

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