Land of Chaos by Lausen
Average Score: 85%
Rank: Second Place
Land of Chaos is a dark, occasionally spooky map, which comes straight from Lausen's current project. He really went all-out with this map! You'll find wicked mountain formations, floating statues, and even a primitive-looking carving in the middle of a lake. If you trigger a few events, it all leads to a very cool finale--and there's no way I'm spoiling it here; you'll have to see for yourself.
That is, if you can see any of it. I personally had trouble finding my way around the main map, which is set to Night, and didn't appreciate the aesthetics or the exploration until I went into the editor myself and changed the default time on the main map (that is, both Field Maps which have "Clear" as a default") to Evening. This won't be necessary if you're comfortable with RM3's "Night" views, but for those who aren't, it's worth making the change.
There's a foggy area that feels like a Haunted House, a graveyard that actually put me on edge, and a very intriguing overall design on the Field Map. Most of the scenery looks like it's dead or decaying, which fits the mood perfectly. Events were used to create obstacles as well as little aesthetic touches, and the effort paid off. A few patches of land seemed out of place, but on the whole the look is very effective. It's all a joy to explore, too, because there's a lot of interaction, and because of the finale, it all feels like it's adding up to a sense of completion.
-1 point (2 x 0.5) for two spelling errors
-0.5 points because the sword event can (nonsensically) be triggered multiple times
-4 points because I needed to change the default settings in order to appreciate or enjoy this map
TOTAL FROM WAVE: 85%
+ Great world design
+ Tons of interactivity
+/- Hard to see in fog at times
This map offered a variety of things to do, and was a joy to explore. I did have times where it has hard to navigate but I'm not deducting points because you need the fog to keep the proper mood of the place.
The whole dark theme fit well with this map, and could very well house an entire game if it wanted to.
TOTAL FROM JPS: 93%
This map had a lot going for it in terms of vastness, intricacy, and interactivity, but unfortunately it was hurt by a few fairly major issues. It was similar to his first map in that way, but I'm afraid the things which bothered me in the first map did so even more in this one.
Aesthetics: Even though the map was shrouded in night time, it was still bright enough to see that the map was indeed beautiful and interesting, but so much of the beauty was lost in the darkness. Still, the overall mood of the map was intended to be spooky, so the darkness added to that very well. I did have a look at the map in other time-of-day settings though, and it was a shame that I would have missed so much had I not done that. In spite of this I was greatly impressed by the stark beauty of the landscape.
Wanderlust: Just like in Lausen's first map, I was subjected to invisible walls that broke my will to wander just a few too many times. In fact, I had actually given up on this map for that very reason, until I was encouraged to go ahead and give it a second chance. I'm glad that I did, because I was treated to some nice new scenery and some COOL events, but had it not been for that encouragement I never would have known about them, because I was way too frustrated with the invisible walls which broke my nose constantly.
Originality: The landscape, while not totally unbelievable, was definitely weird...almost alien. I've seen mountainous formations like these before in the desert, but seeing them in that context was a rare treat. That, coupled with the many innovative flourished which Lausen added made this a very unique experience.
Technical: I saw nothing to deduct points for in this category.
TOTAL FROM OBRIGHT: 78%
Average Score: 85%
Rank: Second Place
*Please Note: the second screenshot in this review was obtained by changing the Time-of-Day to "evening" in Editor Mode.