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|transcar.j2l||Magic Carrot Land!||8.26 kB||12 Jan 2003|
|m6v-nrun.it||The Nightrunner||939.35 kB||30 Oct 1998|
“Carrotus levels seem to look similar to eachother no matter how they try.” ~Trafton
Basically, this level was made for too reasons – the quote above, and that I wanted to make a CTF level. It is also, I believe, the first level I sketched out beforehand.For best appearance: High detail, Ambient Lighting on, Hardware Acceleration off, 8 or 16 bit color. May not be playable under these conditions for those with slow computers or internet connections (not sure).
NOTE: After extended play, I have upgraded this rating from a 7.5 to a 7.7 as of January 17th, 2003.
As I hear, this level is my fault. But I do not say that in a negative way. Simply put, I was wrong. And this level proves it. Judging by the ratings, it seems that this sort of eyecandy was a little too new for the general masses. While I think I like it more than the previous reviewers (with the possible exception of Fighter II aka Mazinkaiser, who seems to be hooked), I am not sure that I am completely ready for this new type of eyecandy either. Some parts I like, some I had trouble getting used to. A lot of it brought me back to some really bad levels circa 1999, which was the major reason I had trouble accepting this kind of eyecandy. Regardless, this level is different, and proves that, in fact, you can make Carrotus look new – though maybe a bit too new for some reviewers’ tastes.
Tileset Use: Eyecandy is the first thing that you notice in this level, and it can be hard to get past the eyecandy. Simply put, this level is like nothing that you have ever seen before. It uses tiles that you never would have thought could be used in the foreground and uses tiles for purposes that they were never meant to be used for. Sometimes it goes a little bit overboard, but for the most part it stays within the boundries of reason. The carrot sucker tubes, while good-looking allow for buttstomping within them, letting a player stay in there as long as they can buttstomp. Transparency effects are used heavily in this level, and there were parts where my Jazz 2 literally became extremely slow. Extremely bright ambient lightning is used in the sucker tubes. If such things annoy you, disable ambient lighting and turn on low detail. However, if you do this, the level turns into a merely “O.K.”-looking level with transparancy effects and some creative tile use. Unless it would really kill you, I recommend at least attempting to get used to the refreshingly new and unique graphics instead of taking this way out. The effects looked cool. However, in some cases, they reminded me wayyyyyyyy too much of bad tile use from old levels. For instance, the use of the white box-shape dot outline (the stencil leftover) is common in some low-quality levels. While it is used creatively here, it does still remind me of these terrible levels. It just looks off to me. Overall, tileset use was highly creative, and I myself have no complaints here.
Tile Errors: One man’s tile error is another man’s creative use of a tileset. This could never be more true than in this level. If you keep a closed mind, the look of this level will quickly become annoying as Mosquitoes in July. However, if you take an open-minded approach to it all, you might enjoy the eyecandy quite a bit. It will take some getting used to, but when you get used to it, it is not that bad. I could not find any pure tile errors, though some of the ground was thin and looked a tad questionable. Still, this level does not have any obvious errors that detract from eyecandy quality in my opinion.
Creativity: There is no denying that this level is creative in the field of eyecandy. After all, if you have ever seen a level like this before…well…you just haven’t. There are so many novel ideas in here, it could be mistooken for a different tileset entirely. Whether you agree or disagree with the eyecandy use in this tileset, you must admit that it certainally is unique, and for that Violet deserves a lot of credit. This is the area that this level excels in most.
PLACEMENT OF STUFF
Carrots: Carrot placement was good, but nothing surprising. The carrots that there were were mostly out in the open. Surprisingly, Violet elected to use normal plain carrots instead of full heals. This is an interesting choice, but deserves mention. Overall, carrot placement is very good, though it takes too long to restore to full health.
Powerups: The blaster powerup, the only powerup that I could find with a quick look-through, is endlessly useful during play. It is stationed right next to fast-fires, allowing for quick access to the deadly combonation. It is good to see levels that use the blaster as the primary weapon, as opposed to seekers.
Basic Weapons: Basic weapon placement is actually quite well-done. While there is not much of powerup ammunition, there certainally is plenty of base ammo. Most of it is along the slanted ground, so a lot of ammo will be gotten by simply running around the level. Sometimes I thought that there was not enough ammo, but it turned out to be pretty well-balanced.
GAMEPLAY AND FLOW
Flow/Navigation: Eyecandy is really and truly this level’s main focus. However, fortunately, that does not mean that it lacks in the area of flow and navigation. Flow was generally good, though there were a few quirks that should have been worked out. Because of how the level is layed out, the flow is not extremely fluid. Not much can be done to improve this, other than entirely redoing the level. Still, the flow of it is not bad at all. Navigation was fairly easy and I did not run into walls too much.
Layout: The layout for this level is fine. There is not too much to say here. This level does not add anything to the layout that you have not seen in other levels. Eyecandy is really the main focus of this level creativity-wise. While the layout is fine, again, it is nothing to write home about. The bases are placed in predictable areas with equally preditable sucker tubes near them. Its quickest to just run from base to base, and I was slightly disappointed that there was one route that was much faster than any of the others, but it was still good in this area.
Compatibility: The original version of this level was affected by flag bug, but it appears the area that caused it has been patched (under the bridges). I did not get a chance to do extensive testing, but I could not cause it in a quick time. The level was fairly stable, though it did severely slow down my poor old TNT2 graphics card at points with its cool but impractical ambient lighting effects. I got stuck once, but this was a masking error. Still, it seems to be slightly easier to get stuck in this level than other Carrotus levels. Not much to worry about, though.
Balance: I do not have much to say about balance. It was good. Nothing that particurally piqued my interest. There were a few things that could have been centralized, but good otherwise.
If you are looking for a good ol’ home-style classic Carrotus romp, I would advise you to look elsewhere. This just isn’t it. If you are interested in a level with great gameplay or revolutionary game styles, you just aren’t going to find it here. What you will find is some of the strangest most interesting eyecandy that you ever will see. And to think that this is using Carrotus. My statement that you could not make anything interesting except with one eyecandy style in Carrotus has been proved wrong. Still, I stand by my belief that most Carrotus levels use the same formula – this one does not. Even if you are only looking for amazing levels to download and are dismayed by the fairly low raiting of this level, download it. The graphics are simply fascinating, regardless of whether you love them or loathe them. It is worth a download just for that, though, when it all comes down to it, it is not a bad Capture the Flag level gameplay-wise either.
+ PROS: It’s not a bad level at all. Everything was fairly well done. And, oh yes, the eyecandy is extremely creative.
- CONS: What is positive for some is the kiss of death in the eyes of others. The eyecandy may be too new age for some classic Jazz 2ers who pine for the good ol’ days. If you do not keep an open mind when playing this level, you will hate it. If you do, you might like it.
VERDICT: I am starting to wonder whether I should ever make stereotypes of tilesets again, as they are usually proved incorrect within two weeks. ;P
This level definitely proves my theory wrong. And I’m glad it did. Sometimes, I just say such things so someone will prove me wrong. I love to be proved wrong about things being bland. These sort of exciting new levels are what will keep Jazz 2 alive. Even if you absoluetly hate the idea of using Carrotus in this way, as I’ve said a million and six times before in this review – keep an open mind. If you do not, I can guarantee that this level will quickly become your worst enemy. Still, this is just a good level. The gameplay is solid. But it is nothing more than solid. Without its spiffular effects, this level would be nothing more than a good, but slightly uninteresting, Capture the Flag level. I would have liked it if Violet had spent more attention to level flow. It is not bad, but it is not as revolutionary as the eyecandy. Eyecandy is important, but it is not a huge chunk of my rating. Gameplay is. I give this level a seven point seven and download recommendation. Some of that score is for the gameplay, but without the eyecandy, I would probably give this level a seven or so. It is not amazing gameplay-wise, but it is still enough for a good game. This level is primarily notable for the advances in eyecandy, and is definitely worth a download for that. I hope to soon see a really good level that matches revolutionary eyecandy with revolutionary gameplay – wouldn’t that be great? And, yes, I will probably regret saying that. At least I hope I will. Great job, Violet. Keep up the excellent work. While it seems that this level has not exactly received universal rave reviews, I like the style. It is nice to see some orignality in the levels of today. Keep up the great work! :)
[This review has been edited by Trafton AT][This review has been edited by Trafton AT]
Sorry to say, this dissapoints me a bit.
The tileset use of the level is unique and strange, but some tiles just didnt go together. Actually, tons of tiles didnt go together. I have no clue what the backround eyecandy is suppose to be (although it looks rather creative) and the backround looks like slime, but ita not to bad. The gems were used for decoration, im sure, but just looked plain strange and didnt fit in well. The transluscent tiles looked strange as well and looked like they were made out of glass. Creative, but looked kinda ugly, sorry. The sparkling carrots were VERY creative, but again, they just looked wrong. Ammo was placed unevingly, some places being VERY bare, and some places clustered with ammo. Layout wasnt to good, just looked empty and strange. Some tiles were placed extremly creative and looked cool, so they upped the mark a bit. There was ambient lighting, but it didnt make a big of a difference in the rating. The music, though irritating sometimes, fits the level. I didnt see much wrong with the base placement.
Pros: Creativity being unimaginable, very unique and “different”
Cons: Ammo not placed the best, tiles didnt fit together a lot. Music irritated me.
OVERALL: Definately creative and unique, which is why im rating it this high. Unfortunately, the number of cons prevented me from rating this too high. Its an interesting and unique level, worth a download reccomendation.
Violet did really make a level that did look totally different from other carrotus levels, just too bad it’s a poor CTF level.
The music is boring, ‘nuff said, there could have been better music, the suckertube up to the carrot is cool effected, but the carrot is in a death way (bad).
Thought this amazing eyecandy, the level itself is kind of boring.
Too small, too boring. But it’s still worth a 7.
I’m sure this ís the best level name ever seen. It looks magic because the “towers” on the layer 7 rule. Everywhere are some things transculent, sometimes they aren’t, you have carrot tubes, coins in ground, strange vegetables and more. It’s, bad enough, not so big. It don’t think this is so boring, there is lot of eyecandy, orginal amazing eyecandy.
All what i have to say is: Download this and: “Trafton, shuddup.”
(Rating removal. You receive a subwarning for this offense. -Trafton)[This review has been edited by Trafton AT]
Very creative, I like this level.
Yeah… interesting level. Let me just skip to the Review:
The layout is probably the best part of this level. The flow is nice, but the way the tubes at the top left and top right were made could be improved. They just seem a little boring and tedious (nothing to do with eye candy). I would suggest at least changing the tubes on the left to be as short as the ones on the right, though it’s not that big a deal. And I don’t know how much of a difference it would make, but I would also suggest changing the blue spring near the Red base so that it doesb’t keep the x-speed. It’s a little annoying to adjust to. I suppose everything else is decent.
I don’t know how to describe it. It’s really really interesting. I liked most of it except for everything that was translucent. Carrotus and translucent just don’t mix too well. And the background is just too weird with the things that almost look like some sort of deformed futuristic buildings… After that, the eye candy is a little above average. But points will be deducted because altogether it doesn’t all that great. This level would probably get a slightly higher rating if it was more traditional and/or if it used a better tileset. If I was going make an original level with this tileset, I would—on second though, I’ll keep my idea and use it for myself (hehehe).
CARROT AND AMMO PLACEMENT:
From what I can tell, three +1 carrots were used: one at the bottom middle, one at the top left, and one at the top right. Full energy carrots would be better IMO, but I guess what you did could work. The ammo placement is… well, unnecessary. It’s like in EvilMike’s SPACE ISLANDS levels, but you didn’t have to put it so close to the ground (at least not all of it). You should have used the traditional method and suspend it in midair, but this way would be a little more convenient (points won’t be added nor taken away for this). Powerup placement is decent (assuming there’s only one) and I have nothing else to say.
HOST THIS OFTEN?
If you like semi-weird stuff and semi-good layouts, then host this a whole lot. 7.0 just because.
Eat your lima beans, Johnny.