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Recent Movie Reviews

8 Movie Reviews

Reasonable first submission

First things first - Congratulations on your first flash! It takes a lot of balls to jump into flash like this, but, of course first pieces are never perfect.

Here's the reviewer's dilemma: review a masterpiece flash, and you're just going to be nitpicking. Review a beginner flash, and you'll just be pointing out the obvious. Shoot me, but I'll be pointing out the obvious - but I'll be doing more of a bread and butter review; going through all the different elements of the flash.

Artwork - Alright, the art IS there. But the art is something I'd expect from a beginner flash: you've used other tools to represent things you want because of your lack of skill in some areas. I'm talking about the entire opening scene (minus potplant) along with the clock/alarm and the backgrounds. As you develop your art style and skill, you should be trying to expand yourself to more than just characters (more on them in a sec), and attempt to draw the scenery yourself so that you have a consistent art style.

- Character Art: There's potential here. At least these were drawn by you, and not using preset flash shapes and effects. But you can tell a beginner flash from anything else by the use of the classic flash brushes and fill bucket colours. A quick shading never hurt anyone (so long as it's not with gradient effect XD).

Animation - Same with artwork: you've used tools apart from your own skill to be able to represent what you've wanted to: morph effects, transition effects (I'm no animator, I don't know the technical terms). But I know that so long as you keep working on frame-by-frame, or by using these tools to achieve smoother results, you'll soon find ways to better animate the stuff you need to.

Music/Sound - Some very good choices in music! The opening music really set the mood. But, some of the later music was awkwardly tacked on, and didn't feel like it was adding anything to the piece. On a side note, the sound effects were appropriate, if anything.

Story/Concept - Sure, this is a rushed story, I understand that. But you'll have to be working on how to better represent and integrate the story or concept in the piece. I don't really know how you can do this, but the audience should be able to draw the concept straight from the piece itself, without needing to consult a tacked on conclusion. The roles of both characters were instantly created in the opening moments, and these characters fitted their moulds straight to the end, so was the "conclusion" really necessary?

Overall:
Artwork (1/2) - Expand your style: From character art to more complexity, and from static backgrounds to what you use with your characters.

Animation (1/2) - I can't say anything, but keep working, and try to stay away from flash's default effects.

Music (1/2) - Okay, I was just a bit nitpicky there, but I can just hear the difference between well integrated music and tacked on music. Music selection should be a rigorous task.

Story/Concept (0/2) - Whether you develop a story or a concept, the underlying message should come through the piece, rather than a coda.

With one extra point for a first flash... 4/10
Hey, shoot me. Take on board what I've said, and you can only get better from here.

Wavingkitties responds:

Hey thanks, this really helps me out. I shall keep this in mind when making my new animations. I shall rush it less and make up a good story. Also, I'll use more frame-by-frame drawing, instead of motion tweens. [that's the term, hehe.] The music was indeed pretty hard, gotta work on that some more...

Better luck next time

First and foremost, congratulations on having a crack at flash, it takes real balls to have a shot but let's be honest, the quality of this flash is rather horrible. Here's some pointers for next time.

My Criticisms:
Artwork - It's simplistic, but not in a good way. Firstly, the figure's head is extremely disproportionate; giant eyes, square pupils, awkward mouth but the pièce de résistance of this array must be the chunks of head lost between hairs. If you had paid more attention, this mistake would've been fixed quickly. However, it looks like you can actually draw to some degree; the figure's torso looks perfectly fine to me apart from the lack of shading concerning the hoodie. The laziness you have shown comes through in every single other aspect of this flash as follows.

Animation - This is crucial to any flash movie, and any animator should take due care in this area. Animating the eyes and mouth only doesn't help your already lackluster art. Also, I did not like the single viewpoint, it convoluted the story.

Story - From what I made out the story follows the interrogation of a murderer who is very childlike in character and cannot comprehend the current situation, infuriating the interrogator. It looks great in words like those, but it was not executed in the best possible manner. Only through the sound could I tell the interrogator was leaving, because there was no other viewpoint to see him actually walk away, which on your part is plain lazy and without animation to tell the story, only the sound could.

Sound/Voice - I'm pretty sure that the murderer figure is a male, so why does "his" voice sound like that of a 5 year old girl? Being a guy yourself, you could have done both voices yourself. Also, the low quality of sound, mixed with the very high voice of your sister (I'm assuming that it's your sister) heavily convoluted the story as I could not hear much of her lines. And on top of all that, the microphone created irregularities in the sound, between the segments of speech, there was an eerie silence - a lack of the crinkly noise created by the microphone. Uniformity of sound would've helped. A further note, when working with microphones, don't hit them against anything or fumble around with them, it picks up those noises which were probably not necessary to the story.

Overall
Your pride probably got the better of you here: "it is my flash, so I don't give a shit what people think, I had fun". If, perchance, these words, or similar, passed your mind before submitting, it really wouldn't have hurt to critique your own flash and fix it up before submitting it to the public. Also, don't forget that practice makes perfect; keep at improving each of these factors individually and eventually you may create something spectacular.

bloodclots99 responds:

Ok, listen, i understand what your saying, and i looked at your account saying you want to do reviews, but honestly, that was a bit harsh on my part considering this is the first flash animation ive actually really tried on. No this was not laziness. have you ever thought that my pov was actually intentional? no? you seem to be blaming all the problems on me, like the face which was intentional, the disproportion was part of his character, and my sister asked if she could help, cause im a nice person. My animation was not "awful". I dont think you should criticize others videos if you dont even have your own. And you said my Lackluster art? so im a terrible artist now because i decided not to animate anything else? this animation was based upon the sound, you werent supposed to see the interrogator. Your reviews are too strict, and your standards are too high, if you want to review, then you have to have done something better, but i dont see anything good about your animations, yet you dont have any.

Violence doesn't necessarily solve everything

I have never been a fan of using random, senseless violence to enhance the humor of a movie.

The Good:
Comedic factor - Honestly, I found the flash hilarious UNTIL the explosion. Here's a thought, show some other people this flash unmodified. Then cut out the explosion and show the same people. I believe that using words is much more useful to induce humor. However, I do understand that this flash is Madness themed, so perhaps senseless violence is a necessary addition.

My Criticisms:
"Animator's laziness" - I could quickly and easily spot where you first started being a tad more lazy in your animation: by the time PC begins to lean back, his feet stop moving but he still is able to move. Also, an obvious point is your declaration of laziness at the end of the flash. Actually giving PC all of his footsteps and animating an explosion would have greatly enhance the effect of the flash.

Miscellaneous:
I've noticed that you also have pause/play buttons. For a flash this short, they really are not necessary.

Overall
If it wasn't for your apparent lazy attitude towards this flash, it could have been a much more enjoyable experience. I hope you take my criticism on board.

Recent Game Reviews

14 Game Reviews

Some of NG's Finest - Still, room for improvement

This must be the finest flash reincarnation of an RPG I've seen for a long time, and it's so obvious to see all of the influences from the RPG world: gameplay from FF, dungeon theme from Summon Night, loot system from Borderlands, and the story. Yeah about that story...

I won't spend too long on what's great about the game, that won't lead to any improvment. And it's mighty obvious as well:
Beautiful aesthetics - graphics, animation, art style
Great Sounds - Music, and SFX
Perfectly Emulated Gameplay - Combat, Skill/Class System

First, however, let's tackle this story issue head on. This is a grindy game, no denying that. FF was grindy as well. The difference between these two games? FF made the player grind to get to the next story point. The story was a reward for the grinding alongside the character's development (both plot and skill). Overall, there's no point in having a grindy game with a grindy story with it, and three repetitive stories (counting sidequests) in a game of this calibre is inexcusable.

Next, let's tackle gameplay issues, the biggest being the skill/class system and how that hinders the character development.

Now it's great that there are so many skills available, and that the skills generally differ from character to character, but when broken down, all the classes are the same (except for healer). It's like, when you sat down and put pen to paper, you said, "each class will have: a basic special attack, a more advanced special, a single de/buff, a group de/buff, a single status attack, a group status attack, and a couple of devastating attacks to round them off". And that's how I viewed every class: as generally the same thing, and overall "meh". They're all the same thing, but with different animations, status effects etc. And of course, there's breaks from this mould. Like comparing Fighter Tristam to Rogue Kaeli: Tristam doesn't get any status or group attack spells. This sort of variance adds to defining characters, in the sense that all the characters must serve some special role in the party, but at the same time it detracts from the characters, since they all end up as pretty much the same thing by the end-game due to the level cap which forces taking up multiple classes. An idea on how to fix this problem would be to actually reward players for taking multiple classes. Like, skills for having AP allocated in both Fighter and Mage class.

And another point: redundant classes and skills. Sure, it's nice having, say, Phoebe as a dedicated healer. That was my plan from the get-go. However, her role as healer quickly diminished: no where in the early game did I really feel like the healer could truly do more than just potions. And with the pure abundance of money in this game, potions were NEVER a problem to obtain. And in the few cases where I felt a healer was needed (say, a devastating attack on all of my characters at once which would've needed a group heal), my healer had too low magic skill to realy help out - I knew the healer was redundant, but balanced strength and magic stats so that they were actually useful in combat. And in the off chance they were needed, I was punished for trying to make my characters all-round useful. This situational usefulness extends to pretty much many of the status effects of the game as well. Most of the time, the enemies I'd use status effects on were actually immune to them! Of course, there were exceptions, but it was so much easier whittling away bosses with just spells and attacks. One way to make these skills and classes more useful, is to simply up the ante on the effects. Poison is too slow to do lasting damage: make it stronger so I'm FORCED to heal the poisoned. The game's combat is too fast paced for slow de/buffs: make them truly noticeable and scary enough that I'd WANT to dispell them. And other ideas along this line.

I'm sure I had more I wanted to say, but my character limit is on the fritz here.
Overall: Amazing effort. I'm giving a ten, ignoring the gripes and issues just because this is simply truly a spectacular piece of work.

Lan14n responds:

Thanks. Story was a last minute thing I did lol. I decided to make it a joke, since there is no way I'm going to pull off a serious one. I am no writer, and English is one of my worst subjects.

Beautiful game with amazing potential.

Here's the deal: I've finished one level, gave up on the second and now I'm stuck in an infinite load loop, and this is where I'll be writing this review from. This game has absolutely so much going for it, from concept to gameplay, but there are just so many nit-picky things that make it a horrid experience - I want to keep playing, but I am completely incapable of doing so.

First things first: 100kb game? Sure! This'll load in no time. Five minutes later...
My computer's pretty high end, but far from the best, and this is plain odd. Little did I realise that there were other little people running around, and there must've been some internet thingo going on behind my back. Well hey, I'm not a partically social-networky guy - I just wanna play this on my own. Give us an option to play on our own, without this server this, initialise that nonsense. Alright, I'm no programmer, but anything to reduce the load times would be great.

Graphics: Absolutely stunning. Especially how they work so well with the core gameplay...

Gameplay: Decided to integrate graphics into here as well. Really thorough character creation. Loved the opening "Who are you?" - really set the tone for the piece. The char creation really let me connect with my character, I truly felt the choice I made (hey, I only got through one level), and how it related to me. I see how this would work so well on a social networking platform like facebook, but it needs to be better modified for a platform like newgrounds instead of just a "go to our site for more content". Removing content for a newgrounds release does not make a game newgrounds appropriate.

Platforming Aspect - Intuitive stuff. First, I noticed the crazy shadow/lighting effect, but after I realised how it worked into gameplay, I thought it was simply amazing. Congratulations, you've taken something we all know and love, added a little something, and made it better. Also, on lighting (or more specifically lightning), the effect used on the characters was truly terrifying - a real mood setter. One last thing on the platforming, there are very obvious platforming barriers - places where you know you're not meant to go. You've cut these off with block colour in some places, but with environmental walls in others, and the block colour barriers are so out of place with the rest of the art style.

Puzzle (Boss) Game - Hey, it's something I haven't seen yet. Felt a bit tacked on, but at the same time added a vit of variety. I'm impartial towards the puzzle game.

Philosophical aspect - Why is video game morality always two sided? Good/Bad, Paragon/Renegade, and in this case (the one case I came across) Yes/No. Sure, you've just thrown a question right at my face. BOOM. I could probably have dug up a quiz on self discovery questions anywhere on the net, so why in a game? Sure, I enjoy the fact that there are questions to answer about yourself, but I feel as if it should have been integrated more into the gameplay instead of being tacked on as it was. It might just be me, but I would rather be faced with a situation rather than a question, and you've just presented a question.

Difficulty - Alright, shoot me. I might not be the brightest bulb in the box, but the second level of world 1: (rectangular boulder falling down a valley with a blockage at the end). I noticed the clue, but I didn't quite get it. Sure, maybe this game is not meant to be easy, but it is meant to clue in the player enough so that they can piece the already learned gameplay elements to solve problems, and I din't feel that. If there is some crazy trick to solve it, I didn't get it, and if it's simple, I didn't solve it. So bleh.

Overall: Game won't load anymore :( I know I really would've enjoyed it if it didn't bug out on me like that. Great art, solid gameplay, amazing atmosphere. You put a lot of work into this one.

Final Say: A solid art game, but without all the wank.

PS - sorry if this review is all over the place, I haven't reviewed in months. lol 55 characters remaing XD

Gold. Absolutely gold.

Hell, I know I don't give out easy 10s in my reviews, and this surely isn't a masterpiece in terms of being a game. My understanding of an art game is a series of interconnected elements that create an interactive experience, much like how meaning from art can be derived from its use of colour, line or symbolism etc, a the central concepts and ideas hidden in a game are brought out by such elements like game mechanics, visuals, music and so forth.

So even though this piece parodies art games, it IS the perfect representation of an art game... in my perspective of course. And this is from someone who might have given a higher rating to an art game than it deserved only a few hours ago.

You've manipulated all of the worst things I've come across in art games: unnecessary pixel graphics (with the obligatory 8-bit music), really wanky quotes, and especially the times where an art "game" just isn't any fun where I absolutely KNOW I'm being brainwashed to think differently through interactive means. However, I know that the experience derived from this game isn't solely based around solid game elements, rather I'm sure everyone who comes across this flash is only here because of the lovingly crafted title, and further enticed by the pretentiously hilarious author comment.

Right even before the game loads, the audience knows outright that this is a giant kick in the balls to art games, and even though the game did get a little boring at times (yes, the signing papers "minigame"), I honestly KNEW that was there simply to bore us, like what else could be more boring than signing papers? If you take two artworks: one with a red rectangle that supposedly represents oppression, which sells for a million dollars, and another of a red circle satirizing the absurdity rectangle, I honestly believe that the red circle should be worth more.

Now I could go on about the hidden meanings of every gameplay element or I could just let all the readers know that they should absolutely play this to the end to get to the text dump rant and then start really redefining what an art game ought to be.

So thank you, Mr Arty McArtson, for making a great game with a great statement and I sure do hope to see actual art games, but of this caliber, from you in the future.

Recent Art Reviews

1 Art Review

A flawless depiction of childhood and authority

Well, judging this art by its merits, I'm going to have to say it's a job well done. I believe that there is actually a distinction between "badly-drawn kiddy-art", which is utter crap, and "professionally-drawn kiddy-art" which is often a flawless representation of childhood.

Just to get a little more analytical, I see the subject matter of this artwork as a child's different perspective on Thanksgiving, which is not deemed "correct" by oppressive authority (much like in an all-controlling communist state) but represents the truth of Thanksgiving (to the best of my knowledge, since I'm Australian and know little of Thanksgiving). It shows authority's need to assimilate everyone into the same mindset and to disregard truth.

Now, art is subjective, and there is no way to assign a "number" or "grade" to creativity or people's ideas, as represented in the artwork, so you get a 10, just for kicks.

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