Potential unfortunately killed by the runtime. Even I thought 20 minutes was pushing it for Paradigmadness 2.
But 40? Really not trying to shit on the project but 40 minutes doesn't suit the story on display. Hell, the first 8 minutes didn't even need to be in the movie, there's a ton of fat that could be trimmed off this project and not much would change.
Speaking of, the story was a clusterfuck. Lots of things were introduced and then not furthered on in later parts. There's a rule in film where if you show something important in the first act, it should show up again in the third act. Unfortunately, the case here is that things were introduced in collab parts exclusively and then forgotten.
Now it's okay to have things vague or misty, like in the case of Dark Souls. But what goes wrong here is that nothing ever has a hint of clarity to it. No pieces to start the puzzle, and that's what really kills this movie.
The pacing also really weighs it down, you go from high action violence to slow pans. Which can work if it's paced properly, which here it's not. Sometimes it just happens in the middle of a tense action scene which totally kills the pace.
This goes back to what I said about the runtime. Combine 40 minutes of nonsense with no hint of an actual cohesive story and pacing that stops and goes at random you end up with an unenjoyable experience.
That said, the positives this time around are really strong.
The art direction in most scenes, background art, assets, animation quality. It's all superb stuff this time around. 10/10 if not a 9/10 at times.
The only problem I have here is that there's no names or watermarks outside of a few, so it's hard to know who's doing what scene. This makes it hard to figure out who to recruit for potential collaborations in the future.
While all this is strong it can't carry the cons of this movie on its back, the pacing and runtime are too harsh on the final product to save it.
If I had to give suggestions to rectify this in the future they would go as follows:
-Plan out your timeline beforehand, then string along the plot after the fact.
-Restrict everyone's collab part runtimes, allow them to make multiple short parts or one long part. This will help to keep the runtime from dragging, especially if you have a lot of members.
-Plan out where you will and won't have downtime, this will allow the audience to relax from the insane action without it coming out of nowhere and killing the pace of the movie.
1 star each for art, audio, and animation.
1 star taken off for pacing and story.