As I mentioned before
, I want to extend my apologies for initially thumbing this up but not actually getting the chance to play it until now. Had a really fun time with this one as well! I played through all of the new content the mod had to offer. This means All Story Missions
with the Hover Car
, and then all Monster Cards
post-game - I did not bother with the Black & White Beast
until post-game, and didn't extensively play around with the missions using any other vehicles. I also didn't bother with any of the Wasp Cameras, as all of them appear to be unchanged from vanilla Level 6? Please correct me if I'm wrong, however:
kRoLLiK and several others have touched on this aspect of the mod before me, but I really enjoy the vintage silent film aesthetic to the mod! A fair amount of care went into the sound design as a whole to sell the illusion of it being a silent film. From the goofy little FMVs, the filter over the gameplay, and the music. These three things alone kinda remind me of how Rayman Arena/M had a gag cheat code that aimed to do the same thing:
Spoiler: The only decent footage of the mode in action that I'm aware of?
It very much feels like a 'less is more' deal, in a funny way. Given the small time frame to develop the mod, I think this was a smart and clever decision to have less assets to retroactively modify to an extensive degree. It has the benefit of being unique too since it's something I don't believe has ever been seen in a publicly released mod as well, so it definitely gives it a unique identity. There's some other pretty fun recontextualizing in the mod itself, like the Electrons
or Missions being treated as film scenes. I really ended up liking those touches! The ending credits being touched up to match a B-Film credit roll was adorable too.
The plot setup is also really entertaining. I appreciate the concept of using Professor Frink as the mod's primary protagonist since there are a fair amount of possibilities with the 'nutty scientist' persona he offers. The premise of Frink bringing something that isn't alive to life feels as if it takes some cues from the 'Frinkenstein'
segment from Treehouse of Horror XIV
. However, similarities end there, and the mod creates it's own plot and pre-established lore for the characters. This also isn't exactly an entirely uncommon thing for Treehouse of Horror segments, either! I appreciate the direction this went in knowing you had previously created Attack of the 50 Ft. Eyesores
, as I believe the different directions give both mods a neat 'horror' feel that isn't specifically tied to Halloween. There's some decently funny humor in the mod too that showed it wasn't taking itself too
seriously. The small fourth wall break with Frink not being able to fix the monster's arms on such short notice got a decent chuckle out of me. After regaining my composure and recovering the laptop I threw across the room, I also had a good laugh out of The Honey Monster's card description.
The mission design was also pretty fun, and I honestly think might be my favorite of the one Level campaign mods you've released thus far? Objective variety is pretty good and never really completely retreads the exact same concept. You've even your got your solemnly seen 'destroy before X reaches Y' objective! They're all divided up pretty evenly. No one mission feels like it goes on for a bit too long for my tastes, or has an out of place objective. There's a nice even split between 'building the monster' and 'attacking the monster' missions, with two missions revolving around both (obviously not counting the filler Mission 0). It results in never feeling like one part of the story overshadows another. I think my favorite mission of the bunch was probably Curse of the Monster
or The Monster Returns
. The former has a pretty great stage involving saving the injured sea crew. While I initially failed it as I was a bit overwhelmed and overthought on how to use my vehicle to round up the crew quicker, I found the stage provided a fun challenge with a lot of engaging little platforming opportunities the vanilla game's mission design doesn't go into. The Monster Returns
has Van Helsing acting as the 'final boss' for the mod (which was a fun change of pace since I was anticipating the creature itself to be the final boss), and the concept of 'luring' the monster with the item bait is actually kinda cute. My only real criticism with the latter is that the organs the monster drops seem to have slightly unforgiving trigger radiuses, so it's a bit easy to accidentally miss them while chasing the monster. There also appears to be a lack of a 'RESET_TO_HERE();', so failing/restarting the mission results in the 'get in to your vehicle' stage briefly awkwardly appearing. The segment is short enough however that it's not a huge deal, but I'm unsure if you'd even have any interest in updating it (especially since I know you have your hands full!).
The 'increasingly destroyed Springfield' was also another highlight. I was actually anticipating that these aesthetics would simply only be active throughout the missions, but continue to persist throughout the entire Level depending on what pre-mission you're on. It actively caught me off-guard to see the broken Ambulances blocking the stairway shortcut and having to plan around that once that effect permanently sets in.
Overall, a really fun time! The silent film approach makes this a joy to play with audio enabled, there's some fun custom aesthetics sprinkled throughout the Level, and the missions are pretty enjoyable without feeling as if they drag on for too long. A lot of it feels like a pretty natural evolution and improvement over your previous work with Eyesores, such as the concept of fighting a 'boss character' or a 'boss' that isn't a traditional 'vehicle' I think most are accustomed to. It's lovely seeing a 'horror' themed hack that isn't specifically entirely Halloween-themed. Good job all around!
Out of curiosity, was the Monster that Frink builds an entirely custom model built from scratch? It almost gives some slight Monsters Inc. vibes to me for some odd reason, but I wasn't entirely sure and I couldn't find anything in the mod that explains the origins of it. If it's entirely custom, it's really cute!