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30 Reviews

ActualKale [Creator]
For: Crimson Needle 3
Heyo! At the request of NO ONE I decided to commentate this game.

What follows are links to a series of videos featuring me "playing"/skipping through the entirety of CN3 and commentating on the game as I go. It's around 9 hours of footage and was recorded over the course of around 2 years. Because the videos were often shot far apart there will be noticeable differences in the audio quality, in how my voice sounds, in my enthusiasm, in how comfortable I am talking etc. It also means that I might be repeating stuff I've said in previous videos but I think that's generally a good thing in order to hammer certain points home.

I did try to record with a script but it didn't work very well so instead I went with just talking off-the-cuff. Given that theses are also unedited videos this means that I will have moments of brain lag or losing my train of thought or digressing or saying "umm" a lot. Speaking to yourself in front of a camera for long uninterrupted periods of time requires a lot of practice to do well and I'm already self-conscious about it so please don't be mean :)

As stated, these videos collectively go through every single part of CN3. I don't necessarily know what other people would find interesting to hear so naturally I just talked about stuff I personally find interesting. If there's something you're interested in about the game that is not covered then just ask me privately, I'll gladly take any chance I can get to talk about the game.

Below are the links to the videos along with brief descriptions of some of the things i go over. These descriptions DO NOT cover most of the topics that are brought up and I genuinely think every video has at least some points that are interesting so if you care give it a shot...


Start to 31:

https://youtu.be/bTfBoXZ8cHM

In this video I talk for an excruciatingly long time about the title screen and about some overarching goals with CN3 and how they differ from CN2. Don't worry, I get better at not being long-winded as I go... Once that's finally done I start getting into the ideas behind the cornfield and the first 30 floors of the game.

Golden Maze and Bounce blocks (M and A):

https://youtu.be/vHYouO6Dz6c

Talk a bit about the floor 31 hub. Get into the golden maze area and the UNORTHODOX design philosophy that informed the making of that. In the bounce block stage I talk about, among other things, why working on it was so inspirational and how Denferok almost KILLED the development of the game.

Variety stage (X):

https://youtu.be/83Uzw83j-JM

I start the video a little FRUSTRATED because I had to re-record. I then go to a stage which I struggle to find a name for - the one with Plasma visuals - and because it's the first thing I made for the game I talk about how CN3 started and how it grew over time. I address the DRAMA about CN3 not being a real Crimson Needle game.

Bathhouse (I):

https://youtu.be/Jzy4-bRxS8w

I go to the Bathhouse and pass by several sections of the game I'm passionate about. I bring up what I find to be UNDERAPPRECIATED aspects of the game. I also touch on the immense satisfaction of making this stage and what I find to be really special about the secret. Also a little bit about finding inspiration in unexpected places.

Blue Puzzle Area (N)

https://youtu.be/2i2u4PIoka4

I BASH pretty hard on the area of the game I like the least.

The Bad House (A):

https://youtu.be/TA2SA4UgRGE

Before going to the Bad House and EXPLAINING WHAT IT ALL MEANS I talk a little bit about something that DISAPPOINTS me about the current state of needle and also about why Charr is a MASTERPIECE. I visit my FAVORITE room in the game.

Triple jump stage (T):

https://youtu.be/eY2DVdHON14

A video apparently recorded out of SPITE?? How some people might have MISUNDERSTOOD the game. How the music was picked, tips for finding music. I talk about finding a new inspiring approach to game design and problem-solving. I also sing the game's PRAISES a bit, talk quite a lot about design philosophy and try to explain why I find that aspects of CN3 still haven't been surpassed even as parts of the game have aged.

Blue Tower (O):

https://youtu.be/a3js0LBNYSQ

A short video for a short stage. I mention an event during development that BROUGHT ME TO TEARS.

Halls of Brilliance (R):

https://youtu.be/T-_FllUFzRU

In this one I go through the halls of brilliance talking about EVERY SINGLE GAME I'VE MADE (minus one). I also talk about how needle ideas can seep into my mind and POISON my experiences.

Capitalism stage (2):

https://youtu.be/PzLQqIc8p0o

I give a pretty interesting rundown of how the ideas for certain GIMMICKS have come about. I also bring up the TIRED gimmick vs. "pure" needle argument. I explain why the Capitalism stage was a NIGHTMARE to complete and why the quality there DIPS around the halfway mark.

Wonderful and Green tower (3 and 5):

https://youtu.be/qh3ZsRz9hXI

I address some of the backlash against Wonderful's stage and go over why I like it and why I like her design in general. I then head over to the green tower stage where I spend most of the time talking about one of the BEST game's I've made: Thank Thenewgeezer and what I find so special about it (and so lacking about the majority of needle games).

Boshy stage:

https://youtu.be/rVKXPFmLhmE

I talk about BOSHY! Give an account of how I got into Boshy and speedrunning and how that developed which gradually evolves into a kind of disjointed rambling. But there are probably some interesting parts in there..

Floor 70-100:

https://youtu.be/qzYdul5GDJA

Lots to cover in this final video. I go through the last bits of the game and remark how I feel about some of the rooms there. I go on a long rant about the INSANE last 2 weeks before release where a MAJOR CHUNK of the game was made. Why 92 had to be the way it is and why floor 100 was such a success.

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[20] Likes
Rating: N/A       Difficulty: N/A
Jan 18, 2022
ActualKale
For: I wanna be the Magnificent Stumble
Consider this:

The perception a person has of how difficult something is will vary with the person

How difficult a particular person perceives something to be is going to vary from day to day

How difficult a particular person perceives something to be is going to vary over time

How difficult the general playerbase perceives something to be is going to deflate over time

The idea a person has of what it means for something to be difficult will vary WIDELY with the person

The idea a person has of how a game's difficulty translates to a difficulty rating on Delicious Fruit is going to vary with the person

The idea a person has of by which principle one ought to score something is going to vary with the person

One person might base their rating on their own experience of the difficulty

where as another might make an estimation of how difficult the game would be for the general player and score it relative to other ratings of different games.

Some people look at how others score something and score similarly

Some people might adjust their score for difficulty inflation, others might not

In all cases people will operate with different notions of what difficulty is and how that difficulty is to be translated into a rating.

Thus, different reasons for a difference in how two people rate the same game might stack but that does not necessarily mean that the difference increases


If we accept these as reasons for scoring disparity we might not be so quick to call error when a game has an average score that differs from what we personally would have rated it.


Regarding Magnificent Stumble;
An iconic needle game. Out of the thousands of needle games in circulation there are probably only a few dozens I consider worth playing and of those there are only a handful that I would say genuinely impress me. Magnificent Stumble is among the latter. It's impressive because after like 10 years of needle games it should have been impossible to make something this unique without tampering with the base ingredients of a needle game. Still, outside of some later year imitations I can't really think of any games that play or feel like Magnificent Stumble.

It's of course noteworthy how one of the most recognizable and visually striking fangames ever uses default spikes, single-color tiles and no effects outside of a subtle flashlight. The real brilliance of Magnificent Stumble lies in how its rather simple presentation is integrated into the gameplay, or vice versa if you will - the game's two key components both serve one another while simultaneously coming together as a cohesive whole. Clever and unique jumps melding into artful layouts which in turn add up to a larger maze-like structure which help the progression feel like a journey and gives the game its unmistakable identity.

Magnificent Stumble was released all the way back in 2015. It's tempting to say it was a game ahead of its time but while that is true it also seems to suggest that the times have now caught up. I don't think they have.

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[10] Likes
Rating: 9.5 95       Difficulty: 75 75
Nov 8, 2021
ActualKale [Creator]
For: I wanna be the Friendly Needle
https://gyazo.com/5ea230aa99c95f08810b59959a02b0c1

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[12] Likes
Rating: N/A       Difficulty: N/A
Jun 11, 2021
ActualKale
For: Hydrohomies
Congrats on release!

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[5] Likes
Rating: N/A       Difficulty: 87 87
Jan 17, 2021
ActualKale
For: Alphazetica
Thoroughly polished in several ways. It has great variety and slick visuals along with creative and fun design. Also teases with some interesting gimmicks you'd wanna see more of. Chatran's apple room is one of the best needle screens I've played.

Very little to object to!

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[3] Likes
Rating: 9.2 92       Difficulty: 65 65
Aug 23, 2020
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