The Good: The concept is wonderfully unique and something that I'm glad was done. The platforming physics are pretty solid, and the sprites have a consistently retro feel to them. The medals also provide a pretty good incentive to keep playing.
The Bad: The pixel art was very inconsistent and not really exceptional in quality. If at all possible, that might be something to outsource. There were a multitude of typos and grammatical errors throughout the game's dialogue which significantly hurt its otherwise professional appearance, so watch for those in the future. The story was kind of quintessentially "bad fanfic"-y, but it sounds like that wasn't much of the focus of the project. Also, Nightmare. Yes, I get that it was supposed to be extremely difficult because "that's what nightmares are like"--but just because death is supposed to be permanent doesn't mean you only get one attempt at Super Mario Bros.
All in all, though, Level Up! is still a pretty strong game that will probably keep bringing me back to play until I get that last damned medal. A great distraction for fans of freeroaming and/or platforming... and of course grinding maniacs. My score: 3.5 stars. The sequel looks like a very different game, but I look forward to it nonetheless.
The good: The concept is fairly unique, and the graphics are wonderfully detailed. The general physics seem to be pretty solid, too--no glitches or anomalies that I could find.
The bad: It's about half puzzle, half chance... this isn't really a game where one can think along the lines of, "What do they want me to do here," but rather, one where you have to think, "What can I do with this." Which could be a good or bad thing, depending on the individual, I suppose. There are a lot of levels where you have to get a particular cut just right or otherwise just fumble around in order to get where you want to go. The solutions are very nonlinear and often based on timing and chance, which is why it takes away from the puzzle aspect of the game. Also, the game has no Quality setting, which--with graphics like these--can become a huge problem for people with low-end machines.
Still, it's clear that a lot of effort was put into this game, and the novelty is fun. I found it a little repetitive after a while, but it's definitely worth giving the game a try to see if it floats your boat. I'll give it a 3.5, due to the quality setting issue.
I've never been a fan of the tower defense genre, but somehow I've always found this game to be incredibly addictive. It has enough depth to keep me playing, with all the different effects to collect and take advantage of... but it's not unnecessarily complicated or impossibly difficult. Definitely a good timekiller; I recall losing hours to it the first time I played.
This is one of those submissions where I really can't point out a lot of exceptionally good features, nor significantly bad ones. It's just a very well-rounded game in all aspects. Great for casual and more intense gamers alike--5 stars.
In concept, it's definitely interesting, and a fitting sequel to the original Karoshi. Levels are still creative and unique (though some are more gags than puzzles)... the biggest difference is the physics. The game is noticably less smooth and responsive than the first game was. I assume a different engine was used. Karoshi slides around a lot more, jumps are occasionally delayed, and occasionally he would be forced to continue moving left or right after the arrow key was released--during general gameplay, not just in the levels where that was the gimmick.
It's still a fun game to play, and I recommend it to fans of the original. The gameplay just suffered a bit. On the bright side, this version has a quality setting (which the first did not), so that's deserving of some bonus points. Overall, I'll give it 4 points. A great game and a great sequel--it's just not quite as great as it could have been.
I notice the gun is gone in this version. I can't help but wonder if that's due to the questionable logic of him having one in the first game (but never using it) when the goal was to kill yourself. =P
So simple, and yet so inventive. I'm sure there are plenty of people (myself included) smacking themselves for not doing this in Game Maker first. Controls are smooth and responsive, level gimmicks are all clever but manageable... and though the final boss was more a matter of luck than skill, it was still very creative.
Two flaws: First, no quality control. This always costs points from me in Flash games. I can't imagine there are many people out there with machines bad enough that this game would become unplayable, but it never hurts to have that feature just in case. Second, on level "3" (the mouse one), I discovered that I can't move my mouse while Karoshi is jumping. I don't know if this is a problem with my computer, the game, or my browser, as I don't recall having this problem when I played the game on my old computer. Still, it was a problem when I was playing that particular level.
All in all, the game is a very fun (and pretty funny) timekiller, great for platforming fans. It runs very smoothly and has a lot of extremely inventive levels--I recommend it for the whole family, except maybe Grandma. 4.5 stars, due to the quality issue.
An interesting puzzle game, and (in my opinion) one of Newgrounds' best. Very well-constructed, and the levels are all of a workable difficulty without taking the creative aspect away from the player. Addictive, too.
My only complain is the lack of a Quality setting. This is something that I don't think should ever be removed from a Flash game. I remember on my old tower computer, this game was unplayable because the framerate would completely fall to pieces due to the machine's performance--if not for that one oversight, the game would be an easy five stars.
Still, I highly recommend this game to anyone who enjoys puzzle and/or physics games. It's damn near the top of the line in both categories.
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