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Week in Review - Week of July 26, 2015

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avatar GrayRemnant
Level 62 : High Grandmaster Senpai
3,244
Greetings and welcome to another episode of Week in Review!  This week was the conclusion of the Underwater Wonderland Contest, so obviously you guys are in for a special treat.  ;)



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This best project of the week, a week teeming with submerged castles galore, was Deep Sea, created by arguably the best build team around: BlockWorks.  It’s a massive, underwater laboratory that serves as a parallel between deep space exploration and deep sea exploration.

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BlockWorks apparently made this to emphasize the uncharted, ambiguous nature of the depths of the ocean.  I like to think of this build as a little nod to James Cameron’s The Abyss, though to be completely honest, this map is much more vivid and detailed than anything in that movie.  That’s right, BlockWorks has improved the visual effects of a 70 million dollar blockbuster film using only a 25 dollar computer program.  Suck it, Cameron!  You lose!

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But aside from that, this map is pretty cool.  What we’ve got here, basically, is a cluster of alien technology sitting at the bottom of an ocean trench.  Apparently, fish have a vested interest in solving the greatest debacle Earth has ever known: Donald Trump’s hair.  It’s a problem that threatens all life on this planet; if the orange fibers become malignant and spread beyond the Don’s scalp into the water supply, we’ll all become infected and die a horrible death (or we’ll just contract gout and go bald; still horrifying).  The fish scientists are close to synthesizing a vaccine, but time is against us.

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Assuming that I’m just joking around (I’M NOT!), let’s move on to the actual map.  This ocean laboratory sports a great variety of technological goodies, including but not limited to: a time vortex similar to the model seen in the Terminator series, highly advanced underwater combat vehicles, a ball of dark matter, a giant particle accelerator, nuclear silos, massive electromagnetic nodes tangled in a sentient coral reef, a hideous mutant eel monster, and much more that defies my identification skills.

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Oh, and there’s one particularly ominous looking egg sack enclosed in a metal cage that I’m guessing will hatch into either Godzilla or the Cloverfield monster.  Place your bets ladies and gentlemen!  If it’s Godzilla, we’re all screwed.  If it’s Clover, I guess we can just bomb Manhattan and hope for the best.

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But regardless of mankind’s coming destruction (either through atomic fire breath, or through a cancerous spread of Trump’s gruesome hair-fiasco), this map seems to be a statement about Mankind’s fascination with uncharted realms.  What is at the bottom of the ocean?  Could it be a mutant species of intelligent fish, plotting the demise of all life on the atmospheric world above?  Could it be a nuclear fusion reactor, sucking the Earth’s geothermal core dry, while assembling a cybernetic army of fish-robots?

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Or maybe, just maybe, that’s not the question BlockWorks wants you to ask.  Maybe what they’re saying is that ignorance is bliss.  Do you really want to know what’s lurking in that abyss?  It could be horrifying beyond belief.  There could be scary stuff down there.  Maybe we should just accept our over-world and not go looking for something we don’t understand.  And, just for good measure, maybe we should limit how much nuclear waste we throw into it.  You know, just to prevent Godzilla from actually coming up and knocking all our buildings down.

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Nevertheless, whatever the message or theme this map is intended to deliver to us, I think we can all agree that this is really fun to look at.  Like always, BlockWorks has given us a sharp, vast conglomeration of architectural goodness, blended together with domes, infrastructure, and some sprinkles of organic work.  And what’s better than looking at all this through the delightful lens of a top-notch Nati797 render?  Nothing.

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Additional Credit

P.S. If this doesn’t win the Underwater Wonderland Contest, I’m burning something down.  Yes, Horwitz, it’s your house!  >:(



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Taking a break from analyzing the untold depths of the ocean, let’s analyze some nice terraforming!  The best terraforming of the week was Reach - A World Unfolding, created by kilgrim.

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Reach is a vast, mountainous terrain, filled to the brim with towering evergreens, and splashed here and there with some vividly colored planes.  Like all massive landscapes, there’s a small tundra region to the north (Canada!), and the mainland is fragmented by various rivers and lakes.

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However, unlike most massive landscapes, Reach has a secret hidden beneath it.  That’s right, below the golden plains there’s a hellish cave system, filled with lava and downright scary.  Now that I think of it, it does remind me of that place where you encounter the Centipede Demon in Dark Souls.  God damn it, kilgrim!  Why must you remind me of that?!?  I still have nightmares. -_-

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Is this map a statement about how every seemingly peaceful place has a hidden darkness buried somewhere within it?  Perhaps.  But, overall, this is some solid terraforming that looks highly realistic, while giving the player some neat secrets to explore.  And that is what terraforming is all about.



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And, moving back to the underwater theme, let’s talk about the best organic work of the week.  That map would be Xephira, created by Pandoras_Blocks.

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Xephira is a massive mollusk-type organism that lives on the bottom of the ocean.  Apparently, it’s a sort of primordial entity responsible for the early evolution of life 4 billion years ago.  It’s covered in jagged spikes, valves, and a rich sandy texture.

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It seems that, at some point, a vast civilization formed around Xephira, as Romanesque architecture surrounds it on all sides.  The city is covered in a thick haze of seaweed, sea creatures, and massive jellyfish.

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There’s a sort of symbiotic vibe at hand here; a fusion between man-made architecture and organic sea life.  Whatever civilization inhabited this underwater kingdom seems to have lived peacefully alongside Xephira, either out of respect or perhaps even fear of its baleful wrath.

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The most impressive feature of this map is what lies within Xephira.  It’s an almost completely hollow shell, with a large beating heart suspended in the epicenter.  Wrapped around the large organ is what appears to be a giant squid.  It’s unclear if this relationship is symbiotic or parasitic.

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This is one of the most mysterious and perplexing underwater kingdom maps.  It tells a story so intriguing that it could very well be the basis for a novel or film.  The theme is elegant and simple, and the audience can interpret it in a variety of different ways.  It’s the quintessential setting for a timeless sci-fi story ready to be told.

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Additional Credit



Qualifiers
Top Ten
2,000 Sub Special Sneak Peak!

Thank you very much for checking out this blog!  If you enjoyed it, please toss me some diamonds, and don't forget to spread the diamonds to the map creators as well.  I'll see you guys next week!


-Gray Remnant
Tags

1
08/20/2015 8:37 pm
Level 56 : Grandmaster Senpai
Dudamesh
This has been the most beautiful and very Amazing work from the Weekly Reviews. Especially BlockWorks! 
(I know them from a Minecraft Modded Survival Series with a whopping 180+ mods called Mianite w/ CaptainSparklez, TheSyndicateProject, OMGitsfirefoxx, and II_Jericho_II, and many others) so Blockworks basically built almost everything in Mianite :DDDDD
1
08/21/2015 4:45 pm
Level 62 : High Grandmaster Senpai
GrayRemnant
I agree.  Can't wait till the next contest.  Should produce some pretty impressive work.  ;)
1
08/07/2015 6:49 pm
Level 29 : Expert Robot
Horwitz1011
This is amazing...
1
08/07/2015 8:34 pm
Level 62 : High Grandmaster Senpai
GrayRemnant
That's what happens on the last week of a contest.  xD
1
08/07/2015 9:07 pm
Level 29 : Expert Robot
Horwitz1011
O, and wats wiwth the blonde hair..?
1
08/08/2015 1:22 am
Level 49 : Master Baconator
Rainbou_Fondler
the blonde hair is donald trumps cancerous hair.
1
08/08/2015 8:31 am
Level 29 : Expert Robot
Horwitz1011
Oh. >.>
1
08/06/2015 6:32 pm
Level 41 : Master Nether Knight
10Andrew
I love reading your weekly blogs. It's been a while since I've had a chance too but I am glad to see some of the great stuff on here.
This week in review thing was a great idea that you had :D
1
08/07/2015 5:25 pm
Level 62 : High Grandmaster Senpai
GrayRemnant
Aw, thanks dude.  I really appreciate that.  :)
1
08/05/2015 11:28 pm
Level 33 : Artisan Architect
MarcTaylor
You made it to the PMC homepage!
1
08/06/2015 12:51 am
Level 62 : High Grandmaster Senpai
GrayRemnant
Ikr.  I'm always happy to make the pop reel.  :D
1
08/05/2015 5:53 am
Level 9 : Apprentice Network
WhoIsThis
That’s right, BlockWorks has improved the visual effects of a 70 million dollar blockbuster film using only a 25 dollar computer program.  Suck it, Cameron!  You lose! 
I agree to that xD
Nice review!
1
08/05/2015 3:44 pm
Level 62 : High Grandmaster Senpai
GrayRemnant
Lol, thanks my friend.  ;)
1
08/05/2015 5:35 am
Level 38 : Artisan Architect
compthedj
Oh wow this is incredible! i swear the minecraft community is getting better and better every day.
1
08/05/2015 3:44 pm
Level 62 : High Grandmaster Senpai
GrayRemnant
Or, at the very least, it get's better when there's a contest with a prize incentive.  ;)
1
08/04/2015 4:31 pm
Level 57 : Grandmaster Meme
CroatiaTheMan
Great Review Gray I Forgot To Comment On This After I Watched It :P.

Well You Know Horowitz Lives In The U.S
1
08/05/2015 1:54 am
Level 62 : High Grandmaster Senpai
GrayRemnant
I wrote a letter to Obama courteously asking him to order a drone strike on Horwitz.  :P
1
08/05/2015 5:14 am
Level 57 : Grandmaster Meme
CroatiaTheMan
Haha Yeah That's Always The Right Thing To Do :P.

And I Wonder What The 2000 Sub Spoiler is O.o
1
08/04/2015 3:39 pm
Level 22 : Expert Artist
supcom2
Your videos are great dude :)
1
08/05/2015 1:53 am
Level 62 : High Grandmaster Senpai
GrayRemnant
Thanks, my friend!  I'm glad you like 'em.  :)
1
08/04/2015 3:13 pm
Level 68 : High Grandmaster Crafter
JohnnyCoolwater
good job =)
1
08/05/2015 1:52 am
Level 62 : High Grandmaster Senpai
GrayRemnant
Thanks, buddy!
1
08/04/2015 11:19 am
Level 31 : Artisan Blockhead
Jackieeex143
great job :)
1
08/05/2015 1:52 am
Level 62 : High Grandmaster Senpai
GrayRemnant
Much appreciated!  ;)
1
08/04/2015 10:57 am
Level 56 : Grandmaster Architect
whiffdog
Another awesome job! It's really cool that you put a lot of work into this just to show people's projects.
1
08/05/2015 1:52 am
Level 62 : High Grandmaster Senpai
GrayRemnant
Thanks, dude.  I always feel like the work is well worth it.  ;)
1
08/04/2015 8:26 am
Level 43 : Master Musician
GerganaGZ
Great job with the blog and the video! :) I saw the underwater builds when are uplodaded for the contest, I hope one of them to be first. Btw, congrats for the new haircut :D
1
08/05/2015 1:51 am
Level 62 : High Grandmaster Senpai
GrayRemnant
Thanks a bunch!  ;)
1
08/04/2015 6:23 am
Level 18 : Journeyman Explorer
RenegadeRad
The underwater builds are viral all over the internet 0_0
1
08/04/2015 6:25 am
Level 18 : Journeyman Explorer
RenegadeRad
...and what happened to the hair?
1
08/05/2015 1:48 am
Level 62 : High Grandmaster Senpai
GrayRemnant
It has mutated.  o_o
1
08/05/2015 5:19 am
Level 18 : Journeyman Explorer
RenegadeRad
You are looking like george bush xD
1
08/05/2015 3:43 pm
Level 62 : High Grandmaster Senpai
GrayRemnant
Actually, even Bush had better hair than that.  :P
1
08/04/2015 12:43 am
Level 52 : Grandmaster Mage
Spectre
Lol, hopefully that Funky-hair-virus wont kill us all :/ Lol, amazinh builds!
1
08/04/2015 1:03 am
Level 62 : High Grandmaster Senpai
GrayRemnant
We can only hope.  :P
1
08/04/2015 2:15 am
Level 52 : Grandmaster Mage
Spectre
Ah, but hope is a strong word ;) Hope is the esence, hope is the core of justic and Victory, hope is what creates, or atleast supports our souls, keeping our Wellspring cleansed and renewed, and some Junk like that :P
1
08/05/2015 1:48 am
Level 62 : High Grandmaster Senpai
GrayRemnant
Donald Trump would probably say something like 'Hope is for losers'.  xD
1
08/05/2015 2:11 am
Level 52 : Grandmaster Mage
Spectre
Ok then, lets get Logical ¬o¬o + ( •–•) = Logical loser ;) Ima genius!
1
08/03/2015 11:43 pm
Level 50 : Grandmaster Pony
Starlight Glimmer
Obviously, blockworks' project was on here
1
08/04/2015 12:25 am
Level 62 : High Grandmaster Senpai
GrayRemnant
Obviously.  Blockworks' map is going to win that contest.  Mark my words.  ;)
1
08/04/2015 7:38 am
Level 50 : Grandmaster Pony
Starlight Glimmer
agreeed
1
08/04/2015 3:15 am
Level 31 : Artisan Pixel Painter
F4llenW4rlord
I would say that anything could happen. Blockworks and PB have been head-to-head in the last couple of contests.

Blockworks has a great execution, however, PB has an amazing original idea and design in my opinion. Also, MysticAbsents has entered with an amazing entry, probably their best! People have been saying amazing things about MysticAbsents.

I think for this contest, anything could happen.
1
08/05/2015 1:45 am
Level 62 : High Grandmaster Senpai
GrayRemnant
I don't think PixelBiester has an edge in this one.  The Exodus is a beautiful map, and I can't deny the sheer whimsy and quality of the background lore, but it was sparse and a bit fragmented imo.  I didn't see the whole idea come together in the way that Deep Sea, Xephira, Echoes from the Deep, and Above the Surface did.

If I were judging, it'd look something like this:

1st Place: Deep Sea
Concept/Originality: 3.8/5
Technique/Execution: 4.8/5
Presentation/Experience: 4.5/5
Public Reception Bonus: +1.6
Total: 14.7/15

2nd Place: Xephira
Concept/Originality: 4.6/5
Technique/Execution: 4.2/5
Presentation/Experience: 4/5
Public Reception Bonus: +1.2
Total: 14/15

Possible 3rd Place 1: Echoes from The Deep
Concept/Originality: 4/5
Technique/Execution: 4.2/5
Presentation/Experience: 4.4/5
Public Reception Bonus: +1.1
Total: 13.7/15

Possible 3rd Place 2: Above the Surface
Concept/Originality: 4.6/5
Technique/Execution: 3.9/5
Presentation/Experience: 3.8/5
Public Reception Bonus: +0.9
Total: 13.2/15

Granted, I'm aware that the judges don't think exactly like me, but I think my logic is sound.  After all, I'm just betting on what's going to win; I don't know crap.  But we'll see in a few hours nonetheless.  ;)
1
08/05/2015 5:57 pm
Level 31 : Artisan Pixel Painter
F4llenW4rlord
Gray, by PB, I meant Pandora's Blocks, lol. Initials suck sometimes, lol
1
08/08/2015 6:00 pm
Level 62 : High Grandmaster Senpai
GrayRemnant
Told you so.  :P
1
08/05/2015 7:32 pm
Level 62 : High Grandmaster Senpai
GrayRemnant
Oh, that makes more sense, lol!  In that case, I agree, Xephira is definitely the only contender even close to Deep Sea.  xD
1
08/03/2015 9:37 pm
Level 64 : High Grandmaster Fox
Jordanw5432
What's with the hair?
1
08/04/2015 12:23 am
Level 62 : High Grandmaster Senpai
GrayRemnant
It's a disease.  Watch the video.  xD
1
08/03/2015 8:25 pm
Level 1 : New Network
OhNova
oooooowhhh that sneak peak doe XD
1
08/04/2015 12:26 am
Level 62 : High Grandmaster Senpai
GrayRemnant
What could it possibly be?  o.O
1
08/03/2015 8:04 pm
Level 29 : Expert Architect
Coxe_
Awesome Week! Can't wait till the next
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