Indie platformers focused on player-created content seem to have suddenly become surprisingly common around here, but the experience this one offers is quite different from that of Below Kryll. Created by Nifflas, whom you may already be familiar with from NightSky, Knytt Underground, or several other games, Knytt Stories offers players the possibility of adventures which can not only range anywhere from being soothingly atmospheric to soul-crushingly difficult, but which are often both of these extremes simultaneously. (more…)
As this is the first set of player-created Below Kryll levels I’ll be covering, I wanted to show off some of my favorite ‘tutorial’ stages. These areas are each designed either to focus upon fully utilizing a single ability or to actively teach you advanced techniques which many of the hardest stages expect you to be familiar with while still being challenging stages in their own right.
Please note that there are some slowdown issues in these videos which I was not able to resolve in time for this recording and the game normally runs at a faster speed. I’ll be looking into ways to fix these issues for future Below Kryll videos and will hopefully have them resolved very soon.
Advanced Moves Boot Camp by Zubit (1w14)
This is the oldest stage of the lot and the only one which is blatantly designed as a tutorial, though it is still entertaining and can be tricky in its own right. It was made before air dashing was implemented into the game, but the two primary techniques it teaches you, extending your jump’s horizontal distance with Death from Above and performing a long jump by lunging off of ectoplasm cubes, are necessary for completing a significant number of stages in the second layer. Even though air dashing can be used to trivialize this stage, many difficult, newer stages combine these techniques with air dashing. The instructor is also set up to give additional tips with more details on how to perform these actions if you get stuck on a particular segment for too long.
Flying Lesson by Mostro (7w9)
Speaking of stages which expect you to utilize air dashing alongside other techniques, here’s one now. Flying Lesson keeps things simple with the focus placed entirely upon covering huge gaps with Mitsu’s ability to temporarily cancel his vertical movement when he hits an enemy in midair. It can take a good number of tries to fully clear this stage, especially if you aren’t used to utilizing this particular technique, but making it to the end of a gap feels immensely satisfying. It’s definitely a difficult stage, but things are nicely balanced out by tying the upper level of Enuras (the giant frogs) to the respawn point and by giving you the option to talk to Mitsu’s master a second time to access a much easier path, though one which does not allow you to collect all of the shurikens.
Dash ‘N’ Slash by Ikami (21e9)
Dash ‘N’ Slash is more of a fully-realized stage than the other two, but it’s one which was made around the time the ability to dash was added to Below Kryll and still serves to this day as one of the best illustrations of how this technique can be utilized. It starts with simple (though rather difficult) jumps in which you need to use the dash to get around a low ceiling or just cover a large amount of space, but the second half throws enemies into the mix. What’s particularly nice about this stage is how it gradually builds up to tying everything together by first making you use the air dash to perform tricky jumps at the top of the stage, then moving on to teaching you how to use the instant-recovery gained from killing enemies to cover large amounts of ground in a short time or to cross gaps where a single dash alone would not suffice, and then finally forcing players to overcome all of these challenges simultaneously if they want the final shuriken.
With all the love that Super Mario Maker has gotten, it’s a bit of a surprise that Below Kryll hasn’t become a bit more well-known than it currently is as the player-created platforming world of the latter in many ways rivals the former. Like Fraxy, this is a game focused almost entirely around content created by the players themselves, and we’ll be looking at some individual stages made by the community down the road, so I’ll be covering both the actual gameplay and the editor itself in this article. (more…)
Hi everyone and welcome to the first article covering player-created content in games! The format for these is still not set in stone, so the next one may have some significant changes to it, but for now the plan is to keep these primarily video-focused with a very brief synopsis of each creation. Today I’ll be looking at three rather different bosses made by the community in Fraxy so let’s get started! (more…)
Fraxy is a shmup dedicated to boss fights, but it is also a powerful and flexible engine dedicated to making those fights. With a small yet dedicated fanbase, Fraxy has amassed quite a large amount of user-created content over the years and we’ll be taking a look at some of these creations in the very near future. For now, this article will serve as an introduction to Fraxy both as a game and as an engine. (more…)