Sakura Lake by Sleepywolf
Average Score: 69%
Rank: Third Place
Sakura Lake has a minimalist and natural feel. Cherry blossoms and quaint castles conjure up images of feudal Japan—and like any good Japanese garden, the beauty of Sakura Lake lies in its simplicity. There’s nothing particularly eye-catching, but the consistent theme makes the map into more than the sum of its parts. In particular, be sure to catch a glimpse from the cliff, where you can peer across the ocean to see several smaller islands, some of which have castles of their own.
Having said that, there was nothing here that completely amazed me. The structure (an elliptical lake in the center) is something we’ve all seen before, and there’s no interactivity or change. For me, the biggest problem is that the slopes around the entire lake are almost completely uniform, so there aren’t any interesting branches off of the main path, nor are there any areas where the player can get a dramatic, sweeping view of the map.
I can picture Sakura Lake serving as a map in nearly any type of game and performing admirably. As a stand-alone experience, it falls a little short—it definitely captures the eye, but it doesn’t quite capture the mind. Still, on the whole it was a joy to experience, and it’s a great first effort from Sleepywolf.
TOTAL FROM WAVE: 69%
+ Beautiful landscape, especially the two towers on the distance
- No real exploring at all
Good attempt at making a contest-worthy map. Being a fairly new person, Im quite amazed at the level of detail Sleepywolf's landscape had in it; it did treat me to some really nice views at times, unlike a lot of RM3 maps.
TOTAL FROM JPS: 68%
This map wasn't the most innovative of the 5, nor was it the most interesting, but it was certainly beautiful.
Aesthetics: The choice of terrains, season, and climate all came together really well on this map, in my opinion. This map was definitely beautiful, with its sunbeams, spring flowers, and castles in the distance. There were times when I was actually reminded of the 'peach orchard' sequence from Kurosawa's 'DREAMS'. However, there were places where the path was tilted at a 45 degree angle, which looked awkward to me.
Wanderlust: This map didn't really seem to hold many secrets, so I would have been content to just sit upon my high perch and look at the beautiful scenery. I could see that there was a path around the lake, and a castle in the center of it, but nothing really compelled me to explore, unfortunately. I did explore the map to the fullest extent that i could, but it kinda felt like excercise. "ok, that's ONE lap around the lake!" However, when I did wander around, I was treated to some nice views of the landscape.
Originality: This map wasn't terribly innovative, but it wasn't terribly unoriginal either.
Technical: I saw no points to deduct from the technical score.
TOTAL FROM OBRIGHT: 71%
Average Score: 69% (rounded from 69.33%)
Rank: Third Place