This feels like a story with a lot of potential to grow. I enjoy the art style and the animation looks very fluid, never stiff or inhuman. The music adds a lot, without ever being distracting, which I appreciate.
I think that if you keep working on this as a series, people (including me) are really going to enjoy it.
Thanks dude! I'll definitely keep working on this. :)
This isn't bad for your first animation (on this site at least), and I like the creativity behind the abilities of the various stick figures you've created. However, there are a few things you should work on. For one, this absolutely needs sound effects. You'd be surprised at how much adding a punch sound can increase the perceived power of the impact on the various hits. I also don't really like how the music just plays over top the whole time, maybe if you cut it out during the sections where the bracket is shown it would be better. Another problem is that all the action happens in a small white rectangle with no surroundings or scenery, where the edges are finite. Try creating a larger room for the stick figures to fight in, with platforms and whatnot, and then move the camera to where the action is.
I'm not an animator, so I can't tell you how to do all this. You're going to have to figure it out on your own through a lot of trial and error. You do have one amazing resource in the tutorials animator Hyun has created, and I highly recommend looking him up on Youtube and learning everything you can from him. This is a good start; if you stick with it you could really make something amazing.
Thank you for your tips! However I notify you very late... By now I have a Youtube channel "DezeAnanas" where I upload my animations. Could you tell me if I improved?
This is beautiful, and I would love to see it as a feature length film. Bravo, truly.
Overall, it's not a bad first attempt at making a game.
Things I liked:
Solid sprite work. The jump and dash work well enough and are satisfying to use. I like the animation and sound effect for the sword.
Things I disliked:
The player needs to be able to run and swing at the same time, otherwise combat is annoying and frustrating. If you had more time, I would make a new sprite for the enemies instead of just palette swapping the main character sprite. No offense, but the title music kind of hurt my ears. The stage music was alright, but a little repetitive. I would consider adding to the song, maybe make it a little longer.
You've gotten a lot of good criticism and most of the stuff I was going to talk about has already been said.
I feel like this game has a lot of potential and parts of it are genuinely fun to play. However, issues with the game's "feel" are what drag it down.
The fact that the character slides a little bit before stopping is incredibly frustrating during precise platforming. It wouldn't be so bad, but the level design mandates perfectly timed jumps onto 1 tile wide platforms, and it's nothing but frustrating to try to do that when you slide off the edge every time.
I like the mechanic where you catch on ledges, but I might consider making it automatic. I got used to having to press a button to grab the edge, but it's kind of a convention for that to happen automatically regardless of player input.
The hook is really difficult to use and requires near perfect timing. Irritating, but maybe that's what you were going for.
I might just be missing the tutorial statue that tells you how the upwards blowing wind works, but it took me forever to figure out that you had to hold jump to keep floating upwards. I lost nearly twenty lives just trying to get through those jumps.
I get it if you're looking to make a challenging game, and I respect that. I enjoy games that offer up a player a more "hardcore" difficulty level. However, if a game is difficult because the controls get in the way, that's just infuriating to the player and not remotely fun.
All this being said, I can tell there's been a lot of work, time, and polish put into this game. It really does seem like a worthwhile project, and I think that with a few tweaks it could be an incredible game. Great pixel art, great music and sound design, even great level design to boot. Just a few control fixes and things here and there can vastly improve this game.
(Also, I disagree with some of my fellow commenters, I kinda like that the axe takes some time to swing. It feels heavy and satisfying to use, and it force me to actually think about what I'm going to do in advance. I think it would be even better if it were possible to hold down the button to hold your attack, and have it swing on release)
A pretty fun little platformer with cute art and pretty solid programming. One little nitpick I have is the way the lizard controls on the ground; he seems to speed up the longer you hold down the key, which for this game isn't a choice I like since it leads to either a) the player not being able to move quickly right off the bat or b) the player ending up moving way too fast when they're trying to stick a tricky landing after flying from some distance away. This could be fixed by having a run key, or by just making it so that the player has the same movement speed at all times.
Sound and music would add a lot to this game. But overall it's fun enough that I played it all the way through, and with a few minor tweaks and some more level sets it could be something really great.
If you're looking for someone to help you out with music, just PM me.
Hey, I also have a song called Night Sky! Two very different interpretations on that theme haha.
Anyway, this is really excellent work.
I love the opening, the bellkit (or maybe glockenspiel?) sound really conjures the image of stars to my mind.
The main theme, which is first played on piano is very compelling!
I really like the toms around 0:30, I usually find that kind of thing to be a little melodramatic, but it works perfectly in this piece. Way to pull that off.
The background strings sound really good at around 0:30. I'm curious how you got such a quick attack, I often have trouble with that since string samples tend to have a longer attack, making them harder to use rhythmically.
I'm not sure what that lead string instrument is, but it's really interesting. Kinda makes me think of Legend of Korra.
I really like the ambient section that starts around 0:50, you manage to create a lot of depth with the pad synths there. However, and this is just a personal thing, I might have made it just a bit more melodically active. If you're looking to extend this piece, this would be a good place to add a secondary theme. But honestly, that's just a minor nitpick, so feel free to completely disregard it.
The arps around 1:20 are quite nice, I almost wish they were just a tad louder so you could hear them through the pad.
At around 1:30 the hi-hat gets just a little too prominent for my taste. I would recommend that for this buildup section you back off the volume on the drum samples and add a little reverb (or increase it if you're already using it).
I absolutely love the variation on the theme at 1:34. Superbly done! One thing I'm noticing is that the volume kind of fluctuates in a weird way during this section. This might be a mixing problem, especially if you're using a limiter. It's most prominent around 1:41.
The little coda on bellkit at the end was a really nice touch.
All in all, this is a truly great piece. It perfectly captures the adjective "epic", and I mean that in the most literal sense of the word. Great job!
If you're interested, I could record that piano opening on a real piano for you to give it a more natural feel.
Hey, would you look at that, chance has it that I'm reviewing one of your tracks again. Let's do it.
Right off the bat, I can tell this will be a piece with a good sense of atmosphere. I really like whatever the sample with a ton of reverb is.
0:04-0:24 I love how skillfully you manage multiple different instruments, lines, and textures simultaneously, without any one becoming more "important".
The moment leading into 0:24 is a very clear signifier of a new idea, but it also manages to be quite subtle. Well done. Also, I love the lead you use at 0:24, it's a very cool sound.
The way that the arpeggiated chords and the melody interact is really beautiful. The texture of the piece is never boring or one note.
0:48 I'm digging the pad sweeps you used here.
1:00 Is that a tempo change I just heard? Nice and subtle.
1:07 The clap-like sound you used here works really well.
1:18 The build-up at 1:18 is pretty good, but it feels just a tiny bit typical, what with the noise sweep and the basic edm snare at 1:15. Perhaps it could be a little better matched with the rest of the song (really minor nitpick, I'm just trying to find something useful to point out so I'm not just gushing the whole time haha).
1:19 I really love the compound meter feel here. The lead is right in the sweet spot of not being too grating, but also managing to stand out and convey the melody over the rest of the song.
1:37 The chord change here is unexpected, but that's something I tend to really like, so kudos to you on that. I would try to get all smart and describe it with music theory, but my keyboard's still at a performance space.
1:43 Another really nice transition. Well done.
1:50 I always love to hear the dorian mode. I really like this section and I wish you would've spent a little more time exploring it. But that's not really a criticism, I respect your choice as an artist here. Also, I'm typically not that crazy about the type of midi piano sample you used here, but you totally made it work within the context, so good job!
1:56 Nice chromaticism.
2:00 In a song full of nice transitions, this moment is a little jarring and unexpected.
2:05 I like the energy in this section, but it's all coming across as a little much. My ear isn't really sure what it's supposed to be listening for. What I do like about this section is that it's in an odd time signature (5/4 I think), which is a cool choice that not many producers would have the gall to make.
2:24 Good transition around this spot. Also, I'm a fan of the groove you shifted into here.
2:30-2:35 I like this idea, but it's kind of short lived. I would say it's a satisfying conclusion to the section proceeding it, but that's immediately upended by 2:36.
It's an odd choice. Very out there. The following section builds up a lot of tension. My ear doesn't really say "Hell yeah!", but it's an interesting idea and one I would say a lot of people wouldn't think to explore.
2:57 Another (albeit slightly less) jarring transition. Again, it's not super pleasing, but music (and art) isn't always supposed to please. I will say though that this section doesn't really fit into the rest of the song very well at all. I understand that the point of this song was experimenting with a bunch of contrasting ideas, but up until this point everything kind of made sense together, even if it was all very different. This section kind of throws a monkey into the wrench works (I think I got that one right, haha).
3:18 This transition is alright, and I like the idea that it segues into. You did a fantastic job using samples and different textures to create atmosphere here.
3:42 I like the idea of a return to your original idea, but I don't feel like it was set up all that well.
3:51 Interesting chord progression here. I like it.
Transition around 4:00 is quite well done.
4:20 The setup was good, but the actual transition itself left me surprised again, and not in a good way.
4:46 I think I mentioned this in the other review, but I like how you take ideas we've heard before and spice them up a bit when you revisit them later. It's a good habit/practice to get into, really helps set you apart from copy paste DJs creating monotonous music.
Around 4:56 to the end is just gorgeous. I love the effects you used on the piano samples. The tempo change feels meaningful and adds a lot to the emotion of this section.
I hope I wasn't too harsh with a few of those critiques. For the most part, this is a really nice piece that showcases your skills very well. There are a few areas that could possibly use improvement, but most of it is interpretation stuff, which can get kind of subjective. All in all, this is a work that you should be proud of.
This type of episodic piece could be called a rhapsody.
Hey! Thanks for the really long, detailed review! Let's see...
The EDM snare you mention at 1:15 is actually the same sound as the clap sound earlier that you said you liked, with the snare frequencies removed. All of the drums in that particular section come straight from a drum loop. Typical? Maybe.
The chord change at 1:37 exists in the original, and so does the 1:56 chromaticism.
The section at 2:00 is a climax, and I was never good at writing climaxes :P Of all the transitions I attempted to write, the ones going into these sections prove the most lackluster. The section is actually in two bars of 6/4 alternating with two bars of 4/4 - no 5/4 here ;)
The idea from 2:30-2:35 is meant to be a slight nod to a lighter theme that gets immediately usurped by darkness. This has an in-game symbolic significance that you're not aware of (because duh, haven't played). Not a problem, of course. Just thought I'd mention the intent there.
The transition at 2:57 - that's funny, because before I published the track I actually wrote in a sound that eases the transition a lot more, but that sound somehow didn't end up in the final render. So... sad transition :( This really dark section at 2:57 with the weird whole-tone harmonics comes straight from a section in the original piece.
3:51 is just the same section pitched up 3 semitones.
I had lots of fun writing 4:56 to the end! Glad you liked that!
Once again, thanks a ton for the review! Criticism and all is definitely appreciated! :D
This isn't awful, and there are a few things you have going for you:
-Good musical ideas.
-Managing a lot of different layers, which shows scope and creativity.
Here are some things you could work on:
-Mixing your drums so that they don't get completely drowned out. I'm not saying turn them up so they make the listeners' ears bleed, just give them a little more punch. I'd leave the kick alone, maybe turn it up a little, but I can't hear the snare or high hat AT ALL when the synths come in.
-The strings at the beginning kind of throw off the rhythm. This is because string samples typically have a fairly long attack, which means that it takes a while to get into the "meat" of the sound. Strings are typically used the way you would use a pad, making them difficult to use rhythmically. One workaround is to move the samples or midi notes back a few fractions of a second so they line up better sound-wise. The strings could also be a little louder.
-The bass sound you used is really cool, but like the drums it needs to be mixed better. If you have it, I'd recommend using an eq of some kind and taking out all the frequencies you don't need (especially the high ones). That way you can turn it up without destroying the entire song in the process.
-I'm throwing a compliment out here, I really like that you use a counter-line at 0:22. It's a cool thing to do. However, I'm straining my ears to hear it. You had the right instinct to turn up the melody, but I want to hear that counter-line too. Your goal when mixing is to have everything be heard pretty much equally, with nothing sticking out or difficult to hear.
-At 0:42 the lead is too loud and everything else is too quiet.
-There are more issues like this sprinkled throughout, but I don't really have the desire to point them all out and I'm sure you wouldn't want me to :). I don't use FL studio, but they put out a really good how-to on mixing and mastering, you might give it a read. Search "FL Studio Mixing Advice" to find it.
-Just a general note here, it kind of sounds like you're using presets on your synths. This isn't a "bad" thing to do, per se, in fact I do it quite frequently, but if you're not careful your music can start to sound a little... generic. This reminds me of a lot of hard techno from the early 2000's, which isn't a bad sound to emulate, but I think you should try to put your own spin on it. The beautiful thing about synthesizers is that you can create almost any type of sound imaginable with them, so don't limit yourself. Keep exploring, keep finding your own voice, and you'll see yourself taking huge leaps into fascinating new territories!
I hope that you keep creating music, keep learning, and continue to improve. I have no doubt that you can do it.
If you have any questions or need further explanation on any of these points, feel free to PM me.
Most reviews you get on here won't be this long and nitpick-y, so don't let this scare you off! Newgrounds is a great community where you can and will learn a lot. I highly recommend that you use the "review for review" thread to get reviews while you're first starting out, otherwise you might find your stuff getting ignored.
These artworks are amazing. Truly blows me away.
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