Recent Movie Reviews

Elf in the woods (loop) Elf in the woods (loop)

Rated 3.5 / 5 stars

Rich with potential.

I like it, but I expected more, that's my honest opinion. There's tons of potential hidden within this simple loop, all you need to do is tap into it.

I'll outline a pro and balance each with a con, and try not to write too much of a textwall :P

Firstly, excellent choice of music. James Horner is one of the best composers of strong evocative music, especially that of the movie Braveheart, which was a fantastic masterpiece filled with emotion. This particular piece is called "For The Love Of A Princess" for those who want to know, featuring the prominent movie theme at the beginning, immediately recognisable.

However, there is one danger to using effective music, and that is when your animation doesn't meet its standard. It creates an unconscious tension within the viewer because what their eyes see don't match what their ears hear. Your animation unfortunately to me, didn't have that balance. However, that only means you have so much more to excel in. Take that music as a criteria for which your animation should meet!

That's not to say you're nowhere near, because I like your graphical art. Animators are strong in their own different areas, and I think you've developed your graphical aspect quite well. The blends, shading and shadows all merge into that serene atmosphere you've created. I reckon there's a slight disproportion with the elf's body, the thighs area against the upper body, or it could just be me.

The animation is what I believe needs the most work. When I say there's potential, I mean there's lack of movement. The eye is capable of capturing even the tiniest of motions, and as animators it's our job to suffice the eye with as much candy in as short a space of time as possible, but not so overwhelming it becomes unrealistic, only enough to be lifelike.

I'm envisioning sporadic twitching of the grass, leaves rustling, swirling as a billow of wind flows through the forest, her locks of hair swaying in reply, chest slowly rising and falling in time with her breathing, eyelids blinking every so often, her eyes gazing at the tiny fish circling in the depths of the pond, the occasional mayfly flitting to a rest on a frond in the foreground, the delicate bounce of the leaf in response, before the insect launches itself into the air again. It's all about detail in animation that captures and captivates the viewer into its world. With a loop especially, you have to contain a lot more intricacy to compensate for the still camera perspective.

And what you've done with the perpetual swaying of the leg and the rippling of water is what indicates potential, you've opened the portal to a world of visual imagery, you just need to keep pulling on that string till it all comes out!

Anyway Rob, I'm sure you've improved since this submission, but I hope my words will also influence others! Keep up the good work mate.

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Thief: Rent's Due Thief: Rent's Due

Rated 4.5 / 5 stars


You've put a lot of work into this Paul, and it's definitely paid off Garrett's rent. The cinematography was very well done, good use of different angles and focussing on the small things. I liked the receding cam view from the gem being locked up, and your alternation between multiple camera perspectives, something which takes skill in animation.

Really nice intro. I love it when animators intertextualise. Nice and simple plot, good build up, complication wasn't overly original but altogether tightly packaged.

Your background art was pretty damn decent. I noticed some cut corners like the pillars looking very two dimensional even though they were arranged three dimensionally, and flat doors, but hey barely anyone notices. Nice fyre ;D

You've really paid attention to the detail of light and colour, showing it on the stick figures themselves, the shadow of Garrett as he's climbing up the rope, changing the environment lighting when he puts out the fire, showing the light from opening door onto the guy sleeping, it really stood out to me. Really emphasises the environment of the scene.

And your audio. Wow. I have to say, it's one of the best I've seen so far. The first time Garrett spoke, I thought it was part of the music, it sounded that seamless. Just curious, were all the voices recorded?
You've really utilised stereo, which brings the viewer into the movie, instead of the movie to the viewer. Combined with switching of perspectives, in the scene with the drunk guy, and having that distinct transition from downstairs with the guards, then back up to the thief, that was something I rarely find people attempt. Very nice choice of soundtrack too, and lack of it as well in the silent scenes.

Now I hate to be a critic, but there were some things I didn't like.
- The eyes. Yes, you've probably got it many a time by now, but I really hate huge, wide, unnatural looking eyes unless they've got huge pupils to compensate heh. From the front, the guy looks like a downer because he's got no nose and the eyes just bunch into his face. And I know it's a style, and very hard to deliver good yet unique looking sticks, but at least make the eyes a bit smaller I reckon.
- Tweening. Yes, it saves so much time, but try playing with the ease, and making it a bit less 'straight', if you don't want to fbf everything. Physics are very important when dealing with sticks, and they are a bitch to master, I'll grant that. When he's loading an arrow, at least fbf that because it's close up and tweening becomes pretty obvious. There were two points where proper physics were critical, when he jumps from one landing to the other side, under the circular window,
- Action. There was barely a fight scene :P But fight scenes are hard so I'll save my remarks. I was really looking forward to some epic archery massacre though. Then again, he's just a thief.

Anyway, yeah my score's really more of an 8.5, but that rounds to 9 ;D
Again, you've done an exemplary piece of work, and made not just Stickpage, but all stick animators proud.

Ps. Time for some trivia. His right eye is the green one right? A few inconsistencies, before he hides in the library, two brown eyes; then when he goes into the bedroom, as well as afterwards when he's running back past the pillars, his left eye is the green one; before he fires the explosive arrow, his right eye is brown again ;D Sorry I'm being a detail whore haha.

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Mr. Literal Mr. Literal

Rated 5 / 5 stars

A round of applause! Wait.. how round?

Excellent use of the English vernacular, a unique and very well thought out comic approach to what smart alecs live their lives doing. I enjoyed it thoroughly, the facial expressions were priceless. Also loved the credits haha, though I have yet to watch Amazing Grace. Is it any good? :P

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Recent Game Reviews

Canabalt Canabalt

Rated 5 / 5 stars

Just my style.

Simple concept yet so effective. The music, sound effects, and graphics tie in wonderfully together, with the monochrome colouring (somewhat reminiscent of Mirror's Edge), constantly changing levels, the actual challenging aspect to it, and the soul objective of getting the furthest distance in an attempt to escape, is enough to capture anyone's short attention span. I really like how you've made sure to include environment within such a small game, the glass, the birds, the passing ship, even the smoke in the background.

I'm a traceur so this particular game appealed to me, I reckon you could totally pimp up a similar version of this into a fantastic parkour platformer.

Another excellent creation AdamAtomic!

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City Platformer City Platformer

Rated 3.5 / 5 stars


Good concept, reminds me very much of the game N-Ball. Hey, your graphics are alright, they just lack that luster that comes with experience.

I reckon the spikes are incurring too much damage at once. I found it hard to jump over without nicking the edge and losing a third of health. One alternative is to make the ball bounce back up (and flash or go red) as soon as it hits the spike, then take away an exact amount, rather than have it decrease continuously. Incremental injury is more ideal for something that damages at a rate, like a liquid.

Also, you might want to make the ball roll. Yes, it's a circle so how do you do that- don't rotate a radial gradient, because that won't make any sense (since shadows don't roll with the ball), instead you can animate the white reflection to create the illusion (look up a tutorial). Also adding a small amount of blur, or ground particles, will aid the illusion.

Also you can make the physics a little more obvious, bounce the ball more, relative to the height it falls from. Don't forget music and sounds!

Goodd stuff NewAssasination11.

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NewAssasination11 responds:

Why thanks S1tHSL4y3r For the nice and helpful review im just a begginer so it might take long but thats how games are made so thanks.

My Patform Game Tutorial My Patform Game Tutorial

Rated 1 / 5 stars

"Not bad! I think I like it!"

However, 'think' is an over statement. I really should have blammed this. It's a good tutorial, but please, just put the effort in to make it look better. You've put in enough to make a tutorial, spend some time on the presentation at least. And also, watch over all your spelling and grammar. Especially in your title. It's terrible and looks unprofessional. Wouldn't be too much to ask to include a demo of some sort at the end too.

Explaining the actionscript is what people need. To exclude that is to make people ignorant of what they're creating, resulting in more poorly designed games that nobody needs, apart from people who want their blam points up. What I'm saying is that tutorials are most helpful when they explain what they teach. Don't just spoonfeed.

I suggest simply break up that massive wad of actionscript you provide, into sections and what each section does, ie moves the character, makes it jump, collisions etc., just like you would separate each part of your code with comment labels. Maybe combine it with a related graphic of the character doing it.

Lialia, you really need to spend more time with this if you want something good that will actually help people learn how to make platform games, and contribute to the entire flash community.

- Coins stay on the screen after your last frame jumps back to the title.

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Recent Audio Reviews

JBI - What if I can't JBI - What if I can't

Rated 5 / 5 stars

Playful and yet epically moving.

I love the way it starts slow and sad, really emphasising the feeling of loss, but very quickly builds into a very playful gesture and suddenly erupts into a magical and epic brilliance. The sense of freedom and flight cannot be mistaken. Then it slowly returns to the sadness, completing the circle and ending the piece quite well.

The sad beginning with the heavy layering of strings really touches on Zimmer's style, and when the playfulness comes in, it reminds me of Desplat's Golden Compass track "Lyra, Roger and Billy". The epic section had me reminiscing Horner's Braveheart, especially with the traditional Celtic sounding instruments.

All in all, a wonderfully composed piece.

JBI - Worth living for! JBI - Worth living for!

Rated 4.5 / 5 stars


Loved it when the brass and strings took the soaring emotion to new heights, the buildups are very well done. I do reckon the cadence at the end needed to sound more complete though. The guitar at the beginning is alright, but what might have been better is a harp, would have added the extra magic. Effective use of windchimes too. Try some timpani rolls next time? :D

Reminds me slightly of Hans Zimmer, has a bit of James Horner in it too. Awesome music Jonas.

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reel2 responds:

Thank you! I was actually gonna use the harp but .. I didnt have enough RAM xD So i was like wuuteva tuuut tuut :D But yeah It needs some small fixings. Also it has alot of timp rolls only you dont hear them clearly cos of all the other things going on X) Agani thank you!

Narwhals Tune Narwhals Tune

Rated 5 / 5 stars


Get. Enough.

Narwhals are my life.

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