A few days ago I decided I was gunna go ahead and review every Gem Hunt level that was considered for 70-79, now called pack 8, and now that I'm done, I thought it'd be a good idea to dump all my reviews here (also to make NF proud). All of these reviews can be found on the Master Sheet for each level I reviewed, but I hopefully plan to update this thread with any other gem hunt levels I play that people upload.
For starters, let's go over how I rate shit, this will be the general gist of my thought process: 10/10: A special rating that goes to the rare gem hunt level that I literally can't find a single fault in and that I enjoy playing endlessly.
7/10 - 9/10: Levels I would love to revisit, even if it has some flaws or even a major flaw that doesn't affect me much.
4/10 - 6/10: Levels that are basically average in my book, they can play nicely but if nothing about it is inherently great or bad they belong here (Marbleland is a great example, instant 5/10 since it's the flagship "boring" level for me)
1/10 - 3/10: Levels that I don't particularly enjoy playing for too long, for a variety of reasons or one huge reason that bothers me
0/10: The "I'm never playing this again" rating
Now for the levels and their ratings:
Nightmaria by Blasted: 6/10
Plays nicely, although its not my favorite to run due to the 1x1 pillars and lack of blue spawns in more common areas of the map. Also, a 130 AS in singleplayer is too high of a challenge score for the average player given the plat and blue rates. I would recommend lowering the challenge scores to 60 PS, 90 US, and 115 AS if you don't wanna mess with spawns.
Inferno Ring by Ignas: 7/10
Gets a 7/10 despite the unbalanced spawns because the layout of the level itself is enjoyable to traverse outside of like, 2 minor things. Powerup placement is perfect as well. I would suggest putting two yellows across from each other diagonally on those center pillars so that the center spawn isn't as broken as it is. If the spawns are to be kept as they are the challenge scores need to be 80 PS, 120 US, and 160 AS respectively.
Beacon by Blasted: 3/10
This map would be a lot better if it was shorter in scale, much like the original Architecture (although admittedly I'm not much a fan of that map too). I'm sure someone could get very good at this map with enough practice but the high blocks and certain sections where the blocks are super packed make for some awkward movement in my experience.
Basin Hill by CylinderKnot: 8/10
Flying across this map from one end to the other is honestly one of the best feelings in the world. Not to mention that there are also shocks and super bounces to help you get some gems quicker, especially for some of the more awkward spawns. AS is set at a reasonable 110 which does require good map knowledge to get, although I personally would've set it at 115. It's awkward traversing this map without a powerup at certain parts and I would've liked to see higher places to get up since this is Parkour Peaks inspired, but overall it still plays solid.
An Allegory for Economic Mobility by CylinderKnot: 6/10
I personally like the top half of the level more than I do the bottom half because it feels a lot easier to move around in, though that might be intended given the name of the level. This did play above my expectations though so I will give it that. The big teleporters are a cool concept that I liked using but when there's a spawn that's awkward to get to from your current position (no good teleporters and/or weird terrain to traverse) it's basically an instant reset for me.
Four Stairs by Yoshicraft224: 6/10
As a gem hunt level I think its pretty neat due to the sheer amount of gems you can collect very quickly, but it would be a lot better as a Gem Madness level with a 30 second time limit. I'm thankful for Yoshi putting blast here because without it I probably would've given it a 4 or 5 out of 10 (Spawn abusing also helps sometimes). 105 AS is way too easy though, I got it on my first finish. Challenge scores should be changed to 90 US and 120 AS.
Golfland by Frost: 0/10
I would rather get fucked in the ass by a dude than play this.
Marblitzan's Temple by Yoshicraft224: 2/10
I personally liked the first person perspective, but the way in which it was executed was just disappointing. The tornado here is really bad for the first spawn especially because the plat is literally inside the tornado. There's no way to get up to the 2nd floor from the tornado room alone and a stupid glass wall blocking one of the entrances in the 2nd floor. The level as a whole doesn't have much to offer outside of that.
Panels - Gem Hunt by QwertyQwertz: 4/10
I don't really have much to say for this one outside of the fact that the low gravity section is a little annoying. Its not bad, but its not good either.
Spaceballs by Nedison: 1/10
Good scenery but plays horribly.
Sequence by RandomityGuy: 4/10
Concept is nice, but it's repetitive and it plays out too long. Challenge scores need to be buffed too.
Last edit: 29 Sep 2022 00:43 by Mazik. Reason: Color coding and updated rating system. 9/28/2022 - Added the updated name of packs 70-79 (pack 8)
The following user(s) said Thank You: QwertyQwertz, Nockess
Big Freeze by Blasted: 6/10
Between Nightmaria and Big Freeze, I'd say Big Freeze is the better map, but only narrowly so. I compare this to Nightmaria because once again, this map has a seemingly luck based AT and the blue rate feels equal to the plat rate here. I lucked out on an older version of this map (only difference was the amount of SJ's) and ended up getting a 149 because plats decided to be in my favor. I like how compared to Nightmaria there are more options for you to get to different sections of the map more quickly, but one critique about the cannons I have is that I would've preferred if a "no movement" trigger stopped you from going OOB instead of an ice shard. The ice shard stopping you definitely fits the theme, but I would prefer those extra 2 seconds I have being frozen be dedicated towards getting gems.
Overall, just like with Nightmaria, put more places for blues to spawn and buff the blue rates so that the AT is actually doable in most games. If you don't wanna do that, lower the AT to like, 115 or something and adjust the other challenge times accordingly.
Last edit: 15 Jan 2022 19:34 by Mazik. Reason: Color coding
Just finished playing through all of hPerks gem hunt levels since they had singleplayer variants, so I thought it'd be a good time to give my honest thoughts on them.
Wrap Zone by hPerks: 8/10
Controversial opinion but I absolutely love this level's concept. It's hard to wrap your head around at first (hah), but eventually the portals become second nature. The yellow/green side is absolutely perfect and I have no complaints about that side at all. The purple/orange side however isn't as enjoyable for me to traverse but still neat.
The 2 big things that prevent this level from being a 10/10 for me is the purple/orange side, and the very clear broken spawns with a bunch of yellows on the yellow/green side. If you want to have a very strong record on this level, you need to have lots of spawns on the yellow/green side of the level, especially on the bottom floor since they're the easiest to pick up quickly. If the spawns on the purple/orange side were more on par with the yellow/green side this would easily be a 9/10 for me.
Checkmate by hPerks: 9/10
The first custom gem hunt level to reach a 9/10 by my standards. This is really well made and it plays almost flawlessly. I love how hPerks intentionally made the pawns and knights just the right height so that you could use a gyro and collect two yellows on top of two pawns/knights at the same time. Pulling that off is really satisfying, and there's a myriad of other neat movement tricks you can do thanks to the sand and rug chess pieces. The only reason why this isn't a 10/10 for me is because sometimes the sand/rug pieces send you in random directions when you least expect it, making spawns a bit awkward at times, but even so I still think making the chess pieces sand/rug was the right move.
I would probably give this a lower rating if I was judging this as a multiplayer map (as it was intended to be), but in singleplayer it's just flat out amazing.
Ramp it Up by hPerks: 6/10
This is basically like a very early prototype of Ramps Revamped, and for what its worth, its not as bad as it looks. Plays decently well thanks to the abundance of super speeds and (sometimes) the bouncy walls. Main critiques are that the tarmac and especially the ice quadrants are a bit weird to move around in without blast and not enough going for it in the way of scenery. The sloped up gravity level concept is nice too but I was always meh about it since if you make a slip up it'll cost you a lot more than if you had normal terrain to work with. Could do with 2 more blue spots too but that's just me.
This level definitely works better in multiplayer, singleplayer variant isn't as fun.
Ramps Revamped by hPerks: 8/10
The cooler version of Ramp it Up. The more complex terrain easily makes this cooler to traverse through with less awkward moments where you're struggling to get somewhere. Don't have much else to say apart from that though, the blocks can be annoying but that's really about it.
Parkour Peaks by hPerks: 7/10
I was initially gunna give this a 4/10, but then I played it more and realized I was just suffering from a comically large skill issue. It's a very well made map for the more experienced players that's difficult to get used to at first, but when you find every little trick to maneuverer around this map, it will quickly become your favorite. Powerup placement couldn't be better, with super bounces and super speeds in the exact places you would need them.
This map definitely loses a lot of its maneuverability potential with the lack of blast however. If blast was included in the singleplayer version this would be an instant 9/10 for me, but it's still fun regardless. I'm also not much of a fan of this map having only yellows; 3 blues scattered about would make games a little more interesting.
Requisite by Blasted: 7/10
Easily BM's best gem hunt level thus far. AS isn't terribly hard to get, and blues feel like they spawn at a decent rate compared to his previous maps. TT placement is good as well, forcing you to really think about if going for a TT is worth it in your path for gems. I like how the lava here also acts as a unique bounce surface that gets stronger the higher your fall distance and that propels you in the direction of your spin at the moment of impact. Definitely used it to my advantage in some instances.
The level plays really well, although there is one caveat. Lava gems. I like the lava surface, but getting gems in that one part near the elevator is very slow compared to other spawns and was often a big run killer when I was trying to get a 130 on this level (PB is 132). I originally planned to put this as an 8/10, but after playing the level more and more, the more I wasn't a fan of that particular spawn.
Poolside Panic by MillieAmp: 8/10
Gotta say, I'm impressed with the amount of effort put into this. This level has both great aesthetics and great gameplay. I'm also not normally a fan of hunt levels with water in them but this level makes it so the water isn't as annoying as it is in Wonky Waters for example. My absolute favorite part about this level is maneuvering around the huts and the chairs, the chairs especially. Jumping over the pool to get to the other set of chairs and huts feels satisfying too.
The main critiques I would give for this level would have to be the half pipe gems though, the yellow ones in particular, and the random small gem groups you see sometimes. The former I'm not too fond of, especially when there's no water, and the latter is just sad when you're on a good run.
Challenge scores also need to be buffed a lot but thats not much of a critique since this is Millie's first hunt level and challenge scores aren't super hard
Skatium by Blasted: 8/10
As a mix of Bowl, Skate Battle Royale (the brown hills), and Stadion (MIU Multiplayer Map), I'd say this goes hard. Super speeds littered everywhere make traversing this map fun and I basically rarely use the super jump's and gyro's as a result. AS is perfect too, not too hard, and not too easy (by my standards).
I don't have much else to say about this apart from minor critiques with level geometry. It's just really fucking solid and everyone should play it.
Quadrant Collector by RandomityGuy: 10/10
I might be jumping the gun admittedly, but I never thought I'd ever see a hunt level that would top Triple Trail and Blender Chop in terms of replay value and enjoyability. The level may not look too appealing at first glance, but it is wayyy more fun than it looks.
It's really easy to chain the TTs together and incorporate them into your path for the gems. On top of that the geometry of the level is really fun to traverse too. It lends itself well to unique strategies with gem and TT chaining.
I legitimately can't think of anything wrong here. Outside of low point spawns there aren't any places on the map that are inherently bad or awkward to be in. The only part that comes remotely close is the lower half of the blue quadrant, but even then there's a cannon and Super Jump to help you out quicker than the intended way out.
Duplex by Connie: 9/10
I know this is supposed to be a multiplayer map, but fuck it, I'm gunna rate this as if its a singleplayer one.
This honestly rivals the official MBU maps. Not only does it look like an official map, it plays like one too. Super Speeds, Gyro's, and Super Jumps are all put in the right places and combined with blast, navigating the map is very simple to do. I can tell a lot of work was put into making this map be as good as it is.
The main thing that really prevents this from being a 10/10 map for me is that you always respawn on the light blue floor, which is a little annoying if you fuck up a spawn on the dark blue tiles and you just used your blast. Add some respawn points on the dark blue tiles and its a perfect map.
Gem Racer by RandomityGuy: 6/10
Similar to Sequence (also by Randomity) but with more complexity. This level is definitely an upgrade because of that alone, to the point where the repetitiveness isn't even a problem imo. There's more options for timesave here outside of only "jump/bounce up this step/slope more efficiently and with better spin management to get the best score" for the entire level (which iirc was 7 minutes long). Since I'm not repeating the same actions over and over with every spawn here its definitely a better experience. I've also never seen Laps + Hunt (or "Sequence" as Randomity calls it) in a level before, so bonus points for creativity. I do wish this acted as a proper hunt level with random spawns but I understand the bugs/issues that would cause with laps and whatnot.
While I had fun with this level there were a few things that bothered me while playing that prevents me from giving this any higher than a 6/10. For starters, you're actually punished for trying to spawn abuse to save time, which imo makes no sense at all. You get a certain amount of points deducted each time you do it and its enough to make it so spawn abusing even once won't get you the highest score possible. Pretty dumb, but what I find even dumber is that the level just automatically ends after 3 laps, even if you have loads of time remaining. This means that there is a very hard score cap which can be achieved fairly easily, that score is 462, and I got it in roughly an hour or 2. I know I complained about repetitiveness when I talked about Sequence, but like I said before, its barely even a problem here. You don't even gain time after every spawn in the 3rd lap, so its like.. just let me continue until time runs out. Even without that hard cap, this level would have a hard cap anyway thanks to the nature of this gamemode, which I've yet to form a complete opinion on due to only playing 2 levels with it, but I can say for certain it sucks here for speedruns.
Desertion by Blasted: 6/10
I'm not exactly the biggest fan of desert levels in any sort of game, I just think the overall theme is boring, but obviously that didn't stop me from giving this level a fair shot. The level pretty much met my expectations of how much I'd enjoy it, it's not a bad level by any means though there are some things I wasn't too fond of while playing.
Starting off with the good, I think the pyramid in the middle was designed pretty well. It's fairly easy to get to the top and not annoying to traverse through. It's even useful as a "launch pad" when you need to get to a certain spot quicker with a super speed, albeit it does require some amount of running speed beforehand. The "Oasis" corner (the one with grass slopes) is also pretty nice to move around in and has the best aesthetic out of all the other parts of the level. The "Brown" corner is probably equal in quality to the Oasis corner for me. I can tell it was inspired by Sprawl and platforming around there is equally as fun as it is on Sprawl.
The "Tornado" corner is the only one I'm kind of "meh" on. I think the sharp sand slopes are a nice touch to get out quicker and doing a mine hit to get out of there is one of the best feelings ever, but I'm not very keen on the tornadoes and the fact that if you're trying to go through that section it can be very easy to misplay and end up losing several seconds at worst.
The "Water" corner with the green islands is probably the section I dislike the most. It's not offensive or anything, it can just be slow to play around. I know BM used altered water physics for an earlier version to avoid this problem, but the problem with that was I was constantly surprised when the water physics didn't behave as I expected them to. I also dislike the various sand humps littered throughout the level for the same reason, it feels like I'm losing time for every spawn on them. Gems really seem to love spawning on those humps too...
Hunting Playground by CylinderKnot: 7/10
I remembered playing this level at some point in either late 2019 or early 2020 and decided that I'd come back and revisit it just to rate it. It's a pretty nice and innocent level editor level that I can't give too much hate for. There are a few things that make me scratch my head - like a yellow gem spawning underneath a mud interior that you can't get out of too easily without going to the sides, and I think 1 or 2 missing SJ placements on corners (if they were even missing to begin with). Despite little things like that I had fun and enjoyed it for what it was.
360 Degrees by Lucilla: 4/10
8 Battlecubes with the same level of confusion as Core is how I'd describe this. Sure you'll get used to navigating it but that doesn't really make it better. The spawns where you have to switch gravity several times to even get all the gems is the absolute worst thing about this in my opinion. Other than that there isn't much bullshit here.
Luci's Hunting Grounds by Lucilla: 8/10
This is another example of a hunt level that further proves my stance that symmetry is not a bad thing. The layout feels very clean and easy to move around in, and every gem in a spawn feels very good to pick up as a result. The tornado in the center of the 2nd floor is basically the only thing I have a problem with, and thankfully even if you do get a spawn with gems on the outskirts of it, it's not a run killer like the tornado spawns on Outlook are.
Crescent Layers by CylinderKnot: 5/10
The biggest hurdle to overcome is navigating between the different colored islands and such. Memorizing the powerup placements is essential to getting a good score here, and gyro's are your best friend here. The level overall is alright, nothing to write home about in my book. Think there could be some gyro's placed on the lower floors of the islands but that's about all I have for suggestions.
Gem Island by Jaxx: 1/10
Arm pain Island
AMONG US & AMONG US 2 by Red_zone: 2/10 & 3/10
Give the crewmates a fat ass and these will be 10/10's