NOW THAT THE DAY IS DONE - THE REVIEW HAS BEGUN!
With seemingly all of this year's MD submissions in, now we get to go through all the goodies. These won't be reviewed in any particular order and I'll only be reviewing movie submissions - Here we go!
I never thought this day would come, but this MD has gifted us with the finale of the most treasured classic tribute and the without-a-doubt winner of this year's Madness Day. It was everything I had ever hoped for and then some - The action, camerawork, soundtrack, it all fits snugly together into what I consider to be a top contender for the best Madness animation in the history of this community. The narrative keeps you hooked with non-stop suspense and absolutely brutal levels of gore that this series has always been known for. The love and effort that went into this film were mind-blowing, and by god did it pay off. LittleLuckyLink deserves every glowing review and slice of praise that comes his way, for his love of this community and the medium of animation is as clear as day.
Final Rating - 11/10
A surprise collaboration from the same folks that gave us the WhiteHank Series, I must say that even on a smaller scale, these guys don't disappoint. As a "modern" style semi-sequel to the madness classic, this project brings us combat choreography and delicious scoops of violence that proves the capabilities of this team. The backgrounds are on a whole new level, setting the standard that the days of copy-paste gray corridors is at and end - which I must say is a turn for the better. Everything else? The SFX, music, animation and compositions are excellent and consistent throughout. Besides a few graphical hiccups in spots, I can't be damned to really find anything else wrong with this submission. Damn fine work from all of those involved, I can't wait to see what you guys come up with next!
Final Rating - 10/10
I don't know where all of this new talent is coming from, but by god I'm not complaining! We have a short yet vibrant and energetic submission which takes on a hybrid art style which will be very familiar to fans of the Thing Thing series. the elongation of limbs allows for some very unique combat choreography which isn't usually possible under the regular madness style. Again, all of the elements of this film are flawless and consistent from start to finish - so I'm put in a pretty tough spot when it comes to the final score. I don't really regard a project being "short" as a shortcoming, because what matters to me was if it was entertaining to watch all the way through and fulfilled all of its potential, which this project definitely has.
Final Rating - 9/10
A new animated short by a new contestant in the community, Datsalty. From what I know, he's had plenty of supporting roles in previous projects - but now he gets a chance to shine. Buttery-smooth animation throughout and creative kills/compositions sprinkled within, it's safe to say he's proven himself with the feat of building his own solo films. I must say that while not a perfect submission, this is the perfect jumping point for Salty to continue building on his abilities in order to deliver even more fantastic experiences later down the line. For your first solo, you did a bloody fine job - your talent shall be of great use to this fandom!
Final Rating - 8.1/10
To be frank, I'm very impressed by the amount of released solo project this year as I was under the impression that most had been cancelled or somesuch - yet here's another goodie! An all-around great madness short which takes some minor deviations in the usual art formula, namely with characters having some 'expressive' faces and a wider variety of colors than what is commonplace. Animation is top-notch, although the number of visual glitches and very unfinished background/art elements are very noticeable and bring the movie down a tad. That, and the very abrupt ending which comes just as I was hoping it'd ramp up even more was quite disappointing. Even so, I'm pretty confident in saying that we got another great contributor to this community in our midst.
Final Rating - 7.5/10
An entry from the same 'lad who gave us the "New York Minute" short from last MD. Swapping out the usual sprite style for a hand drawn method, this toon seeks to go for a more mellow 'cinematic' style from the usual madness affair. While the atmosphere and cinematic qualities are very well handled, the art quality definitely doesn't keep up with the rest of the production. Awkward perspective issues and messy/low detailed characters within featureless gray corridors. While I do think this project helps to show that Madness can go further than just a guy shooting other guys, further refinement would help to solidify this vision for future installments.
Final Rating - 6.8/10
Mech Battles in Madness? Fuck yes. From the same guys who brought us shorter projects in previous years, "Blackhole Studios" hits us with their most ambitious project to date. While I must say that the scale and ambition here are very respectable, not everything lands perfectly. There's a metric fuckton of animation work that went into this puppy, giant battles and Mech fights aren't easy to pull off. Yet at the same time, it's like there are elements of the project that just work against itself. The voice acting is going to be a big turn-off for most people, including myself to a degree. While it doesn't approach the abysmal levels most folk in this community have some to expect, it still feels a bit jarring and awkward at points - really only working to make scenes less enjoyable and suspenseful in my eyes. Some of the VA talent do good work, but It's more of a inappropriate use of resources then the people themselves doing a bad job. On the visual side of things, backgrounds are a mostly good mixed bag of fantastic vistas and impressive perspective work on complex structures and architecture. However, there is a noticeable downgrade in visual quality at points, with certain backgrounds missing shading or having broken perspectives that harm the looks. But even so, the Mech battle on-top of a helipad in the middle of a cyberpunk city whilst it rains is one of the most complex visual compositions I've ever seen in a madness project. Also, pulling helicopters out of the air to use as melee weapons was a fantastic example of typical madness "fun". Overall, this project is definitely worth the watch, and if you have a tolerance for VA work in Madness then you've got quite the treat on your hands.
Final Rating - 9.5/10
Another entry to the .FLA craze, yet one that brings some new elements to the table. Namely the noticeably improved camerawork and compositions compared to most of its kind, along with the willingness to push things in an interesting direction visually. We get new monsters, FX, and a few neat little ideas that help this guy stand out. While definitely rough in spots, I must say that this was definitely an enjoyable project and probably my favorite out of the .fla series so far. Biggest improvements that could be made definitely go to the animation - choppy movements and not-so-smooth transitions sabotage the flow of the movie. I seriously want to see Burcanch continue to experimenting with this sort of thing, perhaps we'll get some .fla flicks out of him that surpass the originals.
Final Rating - 7.5/10
I actually find it quite odd that it took this long for someone to make a film with the concept of MAG versus MAG action, but here we are. While the idea behind this film is fantastic, I can't really say the same for what lies within. While most of the compositions are well constructed, the visuals and animation are rough to say the least. Although the spritework isn't 'bad', it is seriously rough in spots and very noticeable on the new custom sprites of soldiers and protagonist. That, and I believe that there was a lot of unused potential with the concept of a MAG versus MAG fight - we ended up getting some enjoyable fights, yet I was left feeling a bit empty. I'm hoping that further iterations of this idea can bring this in a far better direction, because what I'm left with is overall enjoyable but tainted with disappointment.
Final Rating - 6/10
A bit of a jokey animation which doesn't try to achieve much other than having the usual run of madness kills with a punchline. It's well animated for what it is, and overall enjoyable if 'ye aren't burned out on "vanilla" madness like I am. It's animated quite well for what it is, and such efforts shouldn't go unrecognized - I just wish it brought more to the table.
Final Rating - 5.5/10
A madness collab that tries to be a meme, but ends up being a seriously enjoyable affair. It keeps the absurdity coming with slick animation, fantastic kills, and non-stop goofiness. I seriously wanna see these guys tackle a bit more of a 'serious' idea akin to the Redeemer 2 collab, but if they wanna keep making projects like this I honestly couldn't say I'd mind. As much of a meme as this collab keeps trying to be, the sheer talent that went into it cannot be ignored. A pretty great watch for this MD - and a great way to unwind from the more story-heavy projects of this year.
Final Rating - 8.5/10
The granddaddy of the Madness community gives us a new flick for this MD, which is unfortunately a bit of a mixed bag. Djjaner has given us some of the more bizzare tastes of the fandom over the years, but unfortunately this project doesn't really go to the same extremes which made previous Djjaner projects as enjoyable as they were. The art looks generally unappealing, with Djjaner attempting to ingest some of the "Dissenter" sprite style with his own, but what we end up getting just looks kind of grungy in a bad way. What we got is 'yer average Djjaner-styled solo with a couple of odd moments sprinkled in, when it would have been far superior to see a full cooperation between Ellvis and Djjaner. For what it is, it's alright - but doesn't have much to offer that we haven't seen before.
Final Rating - 5.7/10
Green Pepper Studio's only submission for this madness day, and I can't really say it's what anybody expected. This would have been a fine companion-piece to a proper Madness toon, but instead what I'm left with is a very softcore 'what if' scenario that doesn't do anything visually or thematically interesting or unique - and doesn't really hit a home-run on the humor either. It's quite sad that Gibb50 has abandoned the idea of making proper madness toons, in favor of these once-in-a-year jokes that are only ironically funny in terms of their disappointment. Submissions like PROJECT: Felony and Madness Celebration have shown that you can make a 'joke' Madness cartoon whilst still having a good amount of effort and payoff behind it, but instead this just feels like an excuse to plug GP's new server in the description. I would say that I hope that Gibb50 will eventually return to more worthy creative endeavors, but I know him too well to have any hope for that.
Final Rating - 1/10
Definitely one of the more 'out there' ideas I've seen for Madness, but like hell If I'm gonna mind that. A pretty energetic yet messy take on if Madness combat was turned into an anime. While the compositions themselves are pretty well put together, things aren't so solid in the art department. While the visuals sync up well with the music track, the quality of the visuals themselves are a bit iffy at points - mostly thanks to the wonky perspectives and consistently broken anatomy from the humanoid versions of the characters. The transitional effects and supplemental art assets were pretty much flawless however, and for the first ever attempt I've seen for something like this I can't really say he's done a bad job.
Final Rating - 7/10
"Madness Jerkification" would be a far more appropriate title for this submission, given what I've seen. If you are looking for a Madness toon that is hilarious in a way that the author never intended, you're right on track here. This submission unfortunately suffers from the worst of the common madness tropes, yet somehow manages to introduce enough bizarre and awkward moments to where you are just laughing along with the stupid. Characters jumping around like frogs, mentally retarded MAG Agents, and extremely bizarre compositions that leave you scratching your head. I think this project will be a very good learning experience for Spavit - because whether intentional or not this submission had me laughing harder than any of the intentionally funny toons today.
Final Rating - 7/10 (3/10 without the humor)
A sheepishly slow yet still rather enjoyable short collab-ish toon to sink your teeth into. Heading the animation this time around is Awez, who I was pretty sure disappeared from the community years ago, yet he's back at it again with a butter smooth set of frames for each scene he's featured in. Actually, the easiest thing to notice in this rather bizarre submission is what scenes aren't done by him, because there's quite a noticeable drop in animation quality any time he ain't pumpin' those frames himself. Otherwise, this feels like some sort of half-finished inside joke - yet it still manages to be enjoyable through its absurdity. Hopefully this will signal the return of one of the lesser-known great talents of this community back into the Madness scene, rather than just being a one-off return which'll amount to nothing. Either way, I'm happy he's been able to post another project since his absence and I wish him the best.
Final Rating - 6.7/10
Another surprise MD toon by a dude I've never heard of, but again I'm left pleasantly surprised by what's offered here. Things start off way too slow, but as the scenes progress the pace picks up and more interesting elements are sprinkled in to keep your interest. Although the 'Battlefield 3 Tint Filter' felt a bit odd in spots, It doesn't really break the visuals for me - even though I believe that the usage of more non-stock assets would have been a big plus as always. Nothing really stands out as poor, besides some minor animation glitches and suchlike. All of the issues I can think of are relatively minor, I still think this is a damn good start to what'll be a series worth keeping your eyes on.
Final Rating - 7/10
If the opening perspective shots of the base made you giggle like a madman, I can't blame you. As much as the opening scenes try their best to make you stop watching, persistence will reveal a shockingly ambitious first-time solo animation that unfortunately doesn't have the exact set of skills to execute all it tries to accomplish. I was going to write this off as another "Hank X AAHW" re-do animation that you often see this time of year, but I was pleasantly surprised by some unique elements which are underutilized. The further the film goes on, the more it sets into a respectable flow and pace. The choreography as ambitious as it was rough, but I can't really blame PotekusSilvanus for going balls-deep. I respect being this bold with a first-time release, and it's safe to say I'll have my eyes on him for future releases.
Final Rating - 6.5/10
A very bizzare submission which should've just waited 'till Halloween to be completed, but it's right here right now instead. Definitely some heavy-duty Project Nexus 2 inspirations, and from what little there is too see it's safe to say that were the project to be completed, it'd be a solid damn movie. I find it odd that given that this much content was completed in only a month that the creator would choose to just bail on it rather than hunker down and push it out on a later date. I can only rate what I can see, and what I've seen was pretty damn good - but bittersweet given what could have been.
Final Rating - 7/10
(Hit the Newgrounds News Image Upload Limit I guess, Just imagine some Dissenter-style sprites shooting stock agents)
A rather disappointing change of direction, given what I've seen from Prov22 last madness day. In 2019 we got a passable .fla style animation, and this year we get a passable "Hank X AAHW" animation with nothing really unique to offer at all.
Final Rating - 3/10
(Imagine some Anime-Style Madness Characters fighting Sailor Moon)
A definite upgrade from the last time I've seen this series, most notably the notion of MORE action and LESS bad dialogue. There are still some pretty damn corny lines, but I don't think it approaches the awkward levels of the previous entry. Animation quality has improved greatly, and so has a lot of the spritework. The talking sequences just make the movie go into a near standstill, but if you can ignore some slower portions this is definitely at least worth a watch.
Final Rating - 6/10
(Imagine Clint Eastwood from "The Good, The Bad and the Ugly" versus Anton from "No Country For Old Men"
I thought It'd be hard to follow-up from Killroy Madness 3, yet somehow this manages to not feel disappointing even with the notable down-scaling of conflict. If you like the hardcore western motifs of the original, you are gonna get more of that here and then some. As I've mentioned in my Killroy reviews, this unique body style allows for more intricate and interesting combat maneuvers that what'd usually be possible. While not better than Killroy, it's still a damn fine watch on its own that deserves a spot on this list.
Final Rating - 8.5/10
Alright, so after running out of Image allowance and noticing that I've already reached over 3 Thousand words, I think it's safe to say that I have covered most of which deserves to be covered. If I didn't get to you, blame Newgrounds for being stingy with their image bandwidth - and my own bodily degradation due to me typing for the last 24 hours and the subsequent loss of circulation to the rest of my body. I will be on life support for the next month or so thanks to this ordeal, but I honestly have to say that this Madness day was the best we've ever had. So many absolutely fantastic and unique projects to come out so fast, it's the most lively I've ever seen the community since I've joined here all those years ago. I'm seriously proud of everybody that was able to post their projects for this event, all of your efforts work towards the ultimate goal of world domination. But for now, we can settle with making such badass animations that it makes the core of Newgrounds quiver with every upload.
Be brave, be brutal, be bold - have a fucking fantastic post-madness day!