|devres00.j2l||The Invasion of Deserto||1.89 kB||10 Jun 2009|
|devres01.j2l||Western Barricade||5.23 kB||10 Jun 2009|
|devres02.j2l||Deserto City Ruins||15.98 kB||10 Jun 2009|
|devres03.j2l||The Temple||20.14 kB||11 Jun 2009|
|devres03s.j2l||Deserto||2.38 kB||18 Jan 2008|
|devres04.j2l||The Pit||10.39 kB||10 Jun 2009|
|devres05.j2l||The Temple||19.07 kB||10 Jun 2009|
|devres05s.j2l||Corridor||0.88 kB||25 Apr 2008|
|devres06.j2l||Between Dimensions||13.73 kB||10 Jun 2009|
|devres07.j2l||The Castle||17.12 kB||10 Jun 2009|
|devres07s.j2l||Between Dimensions||5.99 kB||10 Apr 2008|
|devres08.j2l||The next day...||3.80 kB||10 Jun 2009|
|devres09.j2l||The Temple||12.56 kB||10 Jun 2009|
|devres10.j2l||Deserto City Tunnels||13.79 kB||10 Jun 2009|
|devres10s.j2l||Tunnel||0.94 kB||25 Apr 2008|
|devres11.j2l||Western Barricade||5.87 kB||25 Apr 2008|
|devres12.j2l||Deserto City Ruins||15.04 kB||10 Jun 2009|
|devres13.j2l||A Small Victory||2.30 kB||25 Apr 2008|
|devres14.j2l||Painful Purple Place||13.64 kB||16 Feb 2008|
|CassaGradient.j2t||CassaGradient||45.51 kB||09 Mar 2007|
|Credits.j2t||E.E.H Ending Credits||103.21 kB||09 Mar 2007|
|devresep1intro.j2t||devresep1intro||55.60 kB||14 Feb 2008|
|ETs Planet2 v3.j2t||ETs Planet2 v3||83.06 kB||09 Mar 2007|
|JJ1Deserto.j2t||JJ1 Deserto||76.77 kB||09 Mar 2007|
|Temple.j2t||Temple||41.60 kB||09 Mar 2007|
|Waz18.j2t||Dark Reign (waz18)||51.71 kB||09 Mar 2007|
|Deserto.j2b||71.66 kB||08 Aug 2004|
|jm-deepd3.it||Deep Dungeon 3 - Dark Fest||240.64 kB||08 Aug 2004|
|m5v-mars.it||martian lovesong||976.47 kB||08 Aug 2004|
|Blueaura.xm||2732.70 kB||08 Aug 2004|
|naranja.xm||Naranja! (Zodiak)||389.93 kB||08 Aug 2004|
|ss_skyli.xm||Skyline||2468.31 kB||08 Aug 2004|
|WHITEAUR.xm||1893.52 kB||08 Aug 2004|
|Isotoxin.s3m||isotoxin - necros / fm||461.24 kB||08 Aug 2004|
|K_vision.s3m||Nightvision - Sandman/KFM||673.17 kB||08 Aug 2004|
|Medivo.s3m||113.91 kB||08 Aug 2004|
This is part one of a five episode series.
This episode takes place on the planet of Deserto. It has just come under attack, and you are a resident of it who has suddenly been caught in the middle of what is soon to become one of the biggest wars in history.
As a bonus, this pack also contains an extra level unrelated to the storyline. It must be loaded seperately.
The difficulty of this episode is very high. Easy mode is recommended for most players. Medium mode is for players who are quite skilled. Hard mode is intended to provide the greatest challenge possible.
It is highly recommended that you play in 640×480, 16 bit colour, with low detail turned off, hardware acceleration off, and ambient lighting turned on. Many of the levels will look wrong or ugly under other settings, or may even be unplayable.
These will work in TSF, but 1.23 is recommended. These levels have not been designed with Lori in mind.
Some of the levels in this pack are very big, and JJ2 sometimes crashes when trying to save or load the game in levels like that. You should only save the game in the smaller levels, such as during cutscenes or when the level tells you to save.
Some of the levels contain spike balls. Shooting these down is possible, but tends to crash the game. It is advised that you treat them as if they were indestructible objects.
Reviews are highly appreciated, even if they are short ones. When reviewing, please rate this as a whole instead of going over each level individually.
There are 8 powerups scattered throughout the levels.
Most levels have exactly 20 purple gems.
changing my review to QR, as i thought my original one sucked. anyway, this pack is great.
Really Really Really Awesome Level pack!!!!!!!!!
Good , i recommend you to make a multiplayer version (for all episodes)
[Quick review ~cooba]
I have first episode of invasion. must have secound episode too!This episode are good,very good!Nice job and leveldesigh!
I am sorry for my bad english languade!
The Invasion of Deserto is, in my opinion, one of those rare SP level packs that comes around every once and a while, suprises everyone, and becomes a staple pack many users will look back fondly upon. It has a good storyline that is more than just a thin set of ideas to tie the levels together, you are actually playing along and interacting with it most of the time. It is also quite challenging with a variety of obstacles. There are areas that emphasize puzzles, your skills in maneuvering, simply killing enemies, and complex mixes of the three.
A lot of thought went into the placement of everything in the levels and you can tell. There is plenty of creativity that will make the pack refreshing for any seasoned jj2 player but it’s not (usually) too difficult for the newer players either. Sometimes you might get stuck in a certain part only to discover a more counterintuitive method to solve the same problem.
The general theme of the pack is somewhat similar to Tomb Rabbit and Another Story. You’re on a mission to see why Deserto was invaded and stop everything, but there’s a larger storyline going on that doesn’t get to finish (until Episode 2 and beyond). The Deserto tileset, though not seen much and rather unappreciated, starts to get old sometimes, but there is enough variation and the levels are usually just long or short enough. You revisit areas to discover new paths and even get to play some parts backwards. The non-Deserto levels are also particularly well made (though sometimes they just seem to be there so to allay the Deserto monotony). Also, because of things like the revisitting, levels tend to be very large and therefore you cannot save in them. This is abated by save levels right before these, however for those save-whores out there it’s annoying.
I can’t think of much else to say. I was able to beta test the pack and have been anticipating its release. This is a very enjoyable, original, challenging, and even important piece of work. Do yourself a favour and play it how it was meant to be played. Then write a review so that we can see the sequel. With that, I give this pack a 9.5. Packs like these only come around so often.
On a final note, I also encourage people to play the extra level. I got to play it a while ago and was quite impressed – you’ll see some things done with JCS you were unaware were possible.
Haven’t posted a review in a long time, and I didn’t exactly take notes on everything, but here is an impression.
Brilliant. Very, very evil, but brilliant. The levels look very authentic. I’d often really sit and just look at the screen thinking “Prettyyyy…”… and the way you revisit places throughout the story, and how they change and affect stuff… a very powerful effect. Can’t really be done any better in such a simple game.
Challenge indeed. It was there a-plenty. However, there were also a bunch of places that were just unfair. Oftentimes you’d suddenly walk into enemies without having any chance to evade them. At least a carrot follows right after most of the most unfair spots, but still.
However, apart from those points, the pack is excellent in this field. There were many great challenges that were just that: Challenging. In the ???? level, I almost panicked when I suddenly found that a lot of the bees instantly respawned after being shot, but when I got a grip of the situation, it was just challenging to evade bees. Rushing through a landscape fleeing from and destroying enemies all the time is a quite interesting gaming sensation, very different from what you usually get, which is either a crapload of enemies all over the place or a few very meanly placed ones, which slows down gameplay a lot.
Another really cool place was the one in the end of the castle with the collapsing scenery and freeze enemies.
Examples of unfair places are the room with the animated disappearing blocks and the spikes underneath in the Temple, which is extremely hard to beat with Spaz, as well as one spot in the castle where you have to bomb through pillars with spikes inbetween, where the TNT is quite likely to just blow you right into the spikes, and a place right after that with a high wall right after you fall down a pit at the bottom of which two bats will immediately attack.. I never did figure out how to get up there without cheating… although that probably doesn’t count as an unfair spot.
The story seems decent. Of course, I cannot say much about it yet, not knowing about plot twists that will follow, although I can guess that Devan will be resurrected in the second episode… it has been done before, but the plot works well in that it creates suspense, with unexpected plot-twists such as the setting of the bomb.
I don’t know what was up with Bilsy and the green place, but oh well. I hope it will be explained in a later episode.
And before I sputter any more unintelligible nonsense, take a few extra points for cool stuff like effects ( teleport-effect, flood, intro and outro, eavesdropping scene, etc. ), and take the 9.5.
I wrote a review for this a long time ago, but having played the episode again recently I must say my opinion significantly changed. Therefore, I’m writing a new one.
I should start with this – Episode One is ambitious. From the way the story is interwoven with the gameplay to the size of the levels to the variety of puzzles, it’s obvious that in this episode EvilMike attempted to push the boundaries of JJ2’s singleplayer game mode. And in a lot of ways, he succeeded; I think this is the first time I’ve seen an episode with so much attention for the story that didn’t compromise the gameplay because of it. Another Story, for example, had a very well-presented story but as a result mostly consisted of (sometimes interactive) cutscenes, resulting in disappointing gameplay. Here both get equal attention and the episode really shines in this regard.
Already in the download description, on top of this page, the player is warned that this is a very difficult episode. And indeed it is; I often died and when I did manage to complete a level, I rarely had more than one heart left. Apart from the usual enemies you’ll see a lot of death pits and spike balls in the levels, which certainly keeps you on your toes all the time. Even if you’ve got a blaster powerup and lots of fast-fire you can’t simply go running around holding space, as you’ll inevitably run into some spikes or a bottomless pit sooner or later.
In fact, even when you don’t run around like a madman you’ll get hurt sooner or later. The problem with the episode and its difficulty is that there are far too many obstacles you simply can’t avoid. Or, you can avoid them, but you’d have to know they are there first. Now that wouldn’t be a problem if you had an endless supply of lives and could start over at a save point without punishment, but lives will often be in short supply. You can’t save manually either, as most levels are too big for this and will crash if you attempt to do so.
Take, for example, the following situation (from the “The Castle” level):
Those blocks I’m about to land on are collapsing blocks. So basically, unless I somehow have superhuman reflexes and manage to switch to TNT the microsecond before the bats noticed me, I’m guaranteed to lose a heart here. This isn’t the only occurence of such problems. I’m all for challenging enemies, but this is simply frustrating. And difficulty is good; frustration isn’t.
It’s a pity that levels are spoiled by places like this, where EvilMike tried to push it just a little bit too far with regards to making things challenging. Mostly, enemies are genuinely well-placed and used in such ways that in spite of their very rudimentary AI they are hard to kill. For example, often a bat will be hiding in a small alcove, making it impossible to stay a safe distance away while shooting. In such cases however the player gets the chance to assess the situation beforehand and has a fair chance.
There’s also a few occasions where I simply didn’t know what to do. The final battle against the Rocket Turtle is an example; the previous level was a chase, where the Rocket Turtle flew away while you had to get to the exit. Assuming the next level would be the same, since again the Rocket Turtle quickly flew out of sight, I tried to make it to the end of the level as fast as possible, only to be warped to a death pit. Some more instruction wouldn’t have hurt. I have to applaud using the Rocket Turtle at all though, as its a rarely used and erratic enemy and was used well in this case (when you figured out what you were supposed to do).
Another problem of mine with regards to the difficulty might be a matter of taste; the overabundance of spike balls. EvilMike made a lot of jumping challenges involving spike balls. As a result, those often require very precise timing to cross them without getting hurt or even dying (the recoil of getting hurt often making you fall into a pit full of spikes). In my opinion those were often way too hard though, requiring such perfect timing that I often gave up altogether and resorted to giving myself invisibility with cheats. As said, this might be a matter of taste; I did enjoy the parts involving ordinary enemies, where I just got to shoot stuff.
During the parts where the episode isn’t plagued by frustratingly impossible challenges, however, it’s pretty good. Depending on the tileset, levels look gorgeous. Strangely, while they use the same tileset, the “Deserto City” levels look a lot better than the “Temple” levels. Whereas the City looks like a proper desert settlement the temple gives the impression of boring, repetitive brown blocks without much decoration. It gets better once you go underground, but the “daylight” temple parts simply don’t look that good. Having created the tileset himself, I imagine the Temple tileset was an obvious choice for EvilMike, but it might’ve been a better choice to go for a tileset like Persian Paradise here, or at least an updated version of Temple (which was years old already when this episode was made).
Like the graphics, the music was generally well-chosen. The soundtrack mostly consists of techno tracks, which might seem a bit strange given the fact that this episode mostly plays in the desert, but the music fits well and helps establishing an “alien invasion” theme.
It is hard to rate this episode. It’s got a moderately interesting story that is tightly interwoven with the gameplay in a way that we haven’t seen before. It looks excellent and sounds great too. Yet, at times it’s so frustratingly (and unfairly) difficult that I found it hard to genuinely enjoy playing it. Perhaps you’re a better player, or one that doesn’t particularly mind insane difficulty. Even if you aren’t, this is an episode you should certainly get, if only to appreciate the beautiful levels and well-told story. Expect to smash your keyboard a few times while playing, though.
I might as well review this, since Mike wants more reviews. I’ve been putting this off for a while now (every time I was about to play it, something/someone interrupted me and I ended up doing something else).
Basically, one of the first things that made me like this pack was that it had a storyline. Thankfully, it didnt have to do with Devan or saving Carrotus, and it was written well enough for a jj2 pack.
The levels were all either extremely huge or extremely short. Some were extremely hard to beat, some were relatively easy providing you were a bit careful. Lots of them had some original stuff in them.
The structure of the levels was nice. They weren’t extremely linear, but often times I had no idea what to do in certain parts (like what to bomb with my TNT, in the castle level). The difficulty was kinda insane though. Some things seemed almost unavoidable, and I lost over 15 lives trying to beat this pack.
The eyecandy of the levels ranged from average to beautiful. I loved the eyecandy in the level using Dark Reign, and the level based around a really old part of the temple. The only thing that brought down the rating a bit was the repetetiveness. Because the storyline was based around Deserto, most levels were forced to use the Deserto set, and seeing Deserto almost everywhere kinda got dull. Otherwise, Mike did a great job on eyecandy throughout the pack.
The originality of the pack was one of the things that I found shined to me the most. Where else could you find a level where you had to chase down a Rocket Turtle, or jump through a part that looked like it had no gravity in it (in terms of the secret level)? To sum it up, this is one of the most original packs I’ve seen (Along with Blur’s Unleashed Demo).
The placement of stuff was alright. I didn’t really mind the lack of things like non-purple gems (in fact, I didn’t even notice it really). Carrots were a bit sparce when I played in medium mode, but they were still there when I needed them in areas. I don’t think I’ve ever gotten 20 purple gems in any of the levels yet, but I came pretty close a few times.
To sum up my review, The Invasion of Deserto is a must download pack. It has a lot of great ideas implemented in it, that guaranteed you probably won’t see anywhere else, and it was (at least for me) an enjoyment to play. I’ll give this pack a 9.2, and definately a download reccomendation. Hopefully Mike will release more stuff like this in the future.
Time to review the pack that inspired me to make levels!
Now this could be a simple boring plot of Devan is taking over the world thing. This is however, different. Basically it’s been years since Jazz defeated Devan Shell. his henchmen have invaded the small Colony of Deserto. You are a civilian who is living in the other side of the town. You decide to jump the barricade to find out what has happened. From there, it is your mission to rid Deserto of Devan’s forces. This may sound simple, but there are tons of plot twist along the way. The story is compelling and is one of my favorits!
Wow. Just wow. Deserto isn’t really rich in eyecandey, but Mike proofed T was an idiot. the tilebug number is 0. Everything fits. If that’s not enough, the backgrounds look great. Foregrounds aren’t used much but that didn’t really bug me. The little details are incredible. The way the sand looks is great and a lot of stuff really looks natural. The weird planet you visit looks really cool and so does the temple. Overall, Great work! I loved the eyecandey and even by today’s standards, it still holds up great!
Now here is something refreshing and new. Unlike a lot of episodes where you just run and shoot, you actually have to think. A lot of puzzles are very hard to figure out and some of the secrets really break your neck. All the levels are very nice and long making it so it’s lasts a while. The secrets really boost the replay value. Most of the levels are open ended and feel very wide, even when there is only one place to go. Lots of cool little things are done like pits that kill you if you fall in. (Until I played this episode, I didn’t know you could do that)Some things like the disappearing platforms in the Temple level are annoying to death but that doesn’t really hurt the rating. the levels are very hard, even on easy which means you ARE going to die. At times I felt like this is what the jazz 2 campaign should have been like. The music is well choicen and so are the bosses, being one of the few packs to use rocket turtle. Overall, the gameplay sucks you in and never lets you go. you are compelled to keep playing, just to find out what happens and to just keep having fun.
While at times the enemy placement can be evil, there well choicen and the placement is great. They are put is strategic locations and there are lots of them. This was one of the few campaigns to give me a continue screen. Sometimes the enemies are evil and are hidden, but that hardly matters as it means you can’t rush through. You have to think and be careful of where you step. Great Enemy placement!
Great AGAIN. Ammo can be a little scarce at times, but the placement is great as it means you can’t weapon spam and it makes you think at times, where and when am I going to use my ammo. Coins are hidden well adding to the replay and the food was great too, only giving you a sugar rush every3 levels or so. The gem thing was a nice touch but some of them you have to be suicidal to get. There are few powerups and they are hard to find and get to. Great placement!
DR? this is easily one of the best packs on J2o and you would have to be an idiot with AIDS not to download right now! Play, and never regret it.
Okay, Im gonna make this review quite quick, so I will say what is happening overall. EM made a very sexy SP pack, which is probably the best on J2O. So many things are original about it, and this to be quite honest, nails everything. This beats Hocus Pocus, this beats lost world so HAHAHAHA. EM Poons you all.
Rating : 9.7
Well, overall, I didn’t expect much eyecandy as quite old and limited tilesets. But Evilmike surprised us again. Using crippled tiles, pipes, waterfalls, and a lot of amazing things. Lights, a whole new eyecandy feel to many tilesets. Waz 03 has a new colour for tiles and such. It keeps going on. There are shadows for once in deserto, Tarlet CLM and loads more! There are even bee-nests in one of the levels, and a lot of destructing scenery. Even … See for yourself.
Rating : 9.7
The feel is great and the gameplay is so good. There are secrets, bonuses, tactics, choices to make, and loads of places to go. The feel of this is amazing. There is even a new boss working. The rocket turtle is quite easy to beat if you use your brain. And there are also spike effects, sideways, upside-down. Even spikes that arent in the tileset. See JCS for that if you want to know how. There is a lot of difficulty in areas, and a lot of ease and repetition in others. The pack even has its own 3 difficulties. Does it rock or what? The one thing I dislike, that it is possible to get infinate pts. Gj =(
Rating : 10.0
Don’t ask why you got a 10 already. You just rock, or your levels do at least. Anyway, the levels all fit together, it fits in such a good way. Like you loop the whole thing. You visit the western barricade twice. And obviously the sewers and many other places. This pack just keeps on getting better!
Rating : 9.0
I guess the ammo is distributed very fairly, you get PUs at nice times for nice reasons, although there are a few pointless things here and there. The gems and food and everything is so sexy. You rock.
Rating : 9.5
I love myself and this pack, so make 2. ;)
good level pack… just kidding, it’s the second best level pack i had the plessure to play on after the “rebirth of evil”.
the difficulity of the levels is one of the hardest that i encounter, it’s not just difficult it also beutifly built. the difficulity reminded me tomb rabbit and rabbit honor guard, those two sp’s were very hard to beat but invasin of deserto is much more difficult. for difficulty: 10
the story of the level pack is an original story. the story is not about individuals saving the planet and become great heros and everyone put their trust in saving them whenever there is truble, the story is more about an individual that sees how he’s planet beeing destroyed and people get hurt or killed and no one accept themselves protect the little that left to protect. the hero in the story does not rest at all, he continiues to fight till he can’t fight no more, and becouse of this sacrafise the story ads another dimension into it and becoming more interesting for the player. so for story:10
for conclusin i want to write that: “this is a deffenit download recommandation, go and download this level pack, it’s sure fun”
The game is good.. challenging .cool eyecandy, enemy placement good(i died twice)goodie placement good ;ammo placement very good.
Music is fine chosen for the pack
Long…? Yes.. long levels
The between dimensions was awesome and hard.
You used a turtle boss which is unused which is very good.
Story: Good story and the end level maked me wanna play ep2.
DL? OF COURSE DL now!
An amazing level pack!
A huge level pack with lots of fun! Here’s my review:
Good points: The levels are huge, hard to beat and enjoyable
The enemies and ammo placements were really good!
Also there were wonderfull ideas like collecting purple gems can bring you some awards!
And Rocket Turtle Boss was amazing!! I didn’t know that you could make him move with Area ID. It really rocks!
And the use of tileset was also fine! I liked the tilesets. (Except the castle one) And they were used intelligently!
Bad Points: In a level, it causes an error and you have to start from the begginning!
The levels were reallly good, but you were always at the same place, and saying i’ve been there! And this made the level a bit boring.
The goodies could have been placed better. There would be more gems and carrots.
Overall it could make 8.5, but the rocket turtle idea impressed me, so it makes 8.7 :)
I’ll admit I haven’t played very many single player campaign packs, but this one was by far the best I have played.
The graphics were flawless, as far as I could tell. I never got bored of the scenery, nor did I see anything that looked particularly out of place (unless it was something that had changed to direct level flow, in which case it was always understandable.)
The difficulty was really fun. I think I played it on easy, haha, but it still provided a good challenge, though not so much that I wanted to quit. I got stuck and confused at one point, but I think the answer was actually obvious and I should have figured it out so I wouldn’t say that’s a flaw.
I DID cheat once; I turned on fly and followed the rocket turtle at the end to see exactly what he did because I was confused as to how to beat him—somehow, the first several times I played the level I never saw him again after the beginning. After I found out where he was going, though, I beat him fair and square.
ALSO, the music was rad. A few of the tracks sounded a lot like legit Alexander Brandon pieces, though ones I hadn’t heard before (there was one Unreal Tournament track as well, I believe. Haha.)
I’m glad to hear Mike is doing a revamp of the series, as I can imagine a few spots he might polish up and a few enemy/flow related quirks he might refine. All in all, I can’t think of anything really negative to say though. :)
Even though it feels odd for a new comer to comment like this… I kinda ref this from the other reviews >>
This is the first single player level pack I ever downloaded on J2O… and wow, up until today, JJ2 seem like this nice casual gun game. Now, I can feel the UMPF! in it :D.
This level pack is difficult, definitely difficult, but also very fun, every map has it’s own unique touch to it, if anything, it is bias against Lori players. I took 5+ tries to clear the entire episode without cheats WITH LORI. And just one try to clear it with Spaz.
Design-wise(i think this is called eye candy? >>)
The pack was very well build, there was very little places which I can wallclimb and there was no actual boring areas in the game. But this pack is probably not made to admire graphics, since it was over populated.
Seeing how everyone else comments, the enemies sound hard to kill. But in my own opinions, the enemies were strategically placed yet does not overthrow the levels, maybe just makes sure you can’t sit still whenever you like ;D/
Bias. Super Bias. I probably stated earlier but: unless you can run-double-jump the game is difficult. But as a Spaz, it is very fun, I find these maps very….“I WANT TO BUILD SIMILAR” kinda feel.
This is fun, challenging, and fun. Very well build, very hard levels. Very fun.
(bonus 1/1 point)
Download Recommendation Yes!! :D
RATING The Invasion Of Deserto
I said one thing: I not like wild tilesets(like deserts and jungles) so much. but this episode was change that.
Apart from using of Jazz 1: Ihlvndi tilesets i like your the secret level, your “The Castle” level, but i liked so much the smart way you used in Jazz 1: Ihlvndi and the way you use it to create the “Temple” tileset. Good job!
BAD POINTS: ?
Some levels are huge with a lot of traps! I liked it!
AND… In “Deserto City” you use on a lot of things what do the gameplay to difficult!
Bad Points: too hard or easy levels.
Great! very creative!
The events are placed well! lot of enemies. so the items!
Bad points: Lot of levels are placed with GUN 8 Pepper Spray-It’s too weak weapon. You can replaceit with GUN 2-Launcher or GUN 6-Flamethrower.
i cant rate it because i didn’t download the music… :-P
RATING: 97.5 ~ 98 = 9.8
This pack is pretty much a legend by now. Back in the day, I always wanted to play through EvilMike’s five-part level pack, but could never make it far due to the immensely high difficulty. I finally decided I’d actually complete the entire five-part saga and have indeed just beaten episode one. So, what did I think?
Episode One did not live up to the hype at all.
It’s a “Hard” level pack. So what does that mean? “Hard” should mean that, if you play this pack, you will find it very challenging to beat, but all too often in my experience, “Hard” actually means “Loaded up with impossible bullshit that will kick you in the nads repeatedly for no reason when you’re trying to play.”
That is to say, Super Meat Boy is challenging. Many levels will take you 30+ tries before you beat them, but if you fail, it’s never because the design is unfair, and you get an unlimited number of retries to ensure you can get good at the game over the course of playing it.
I Wanna Be The Guy is bullshit. You will repeatedly get cheap deaths from hazards you never knew were there, everything is going to kill you, and any death means you restart the entire game from scratch, meaning it’s impossible to learn and improve by playing.
Both of these games are hard, but only one is fair, and only one is a game I would recommend people check out. Sadly, this level pack leans far more on the I Wanna Be The Guy end of the spectrum than I would like.
In this level pack, you will very frequently be presented with situations where it is impossible to venture forward on your first go without taking damage. Carrots are only very sparingly given, 1-ups even more sparingly, the levels are massive, sprawling labyrinths, often ending with their hardest sequence yet — for instance, in The Castle, there’s a section very reminiscent of a Test, requiring very precise manoeuvring or you’ll be sent back to the start. Except in this level pack, because “Fair” is an alien concept, you will be insta-killed. There is a checkpoint very shortly before this Test section, but unless you’ve completely aced the entire pack up to this point (which would mean you don’t have much pack left), you will only get 3 or 4 tries before you run out of lives and are forced to start the entire level over again, with none of your ammo or fastfire.
And I haven’t even gone into the fact that a few of the levels just have a really poor sense of direction. “Okay, where do I go next?” was a question in my head a good few times while playing this, and it wasn’t a question that I was able to answer for several minutes in a few cases. That’s never really a good sign; to my mind, good/fun design requires clear goals, but with obstacles along the way that the player must clear. Navigating a giant maze trying to find which door was opened by the crate you stomped after you’ve already searched extensively two or three times over (not counting your first go-through that led you to the box) is not fun gameplay.
While writing this review, I was discussing the level pack with Seren over on the Discord, and they pointed out one section in The Castle where there’s a very, very difficult jump. Screenshot courtesy of Seren: https://i.imgur.com/gwqA1st.png
A bat is present in this section (killed before the shot was taken) who you can stomp on to gain the height necessary to clear the jump, but it’s not a generator, it’s a one-and-done. If you kill the bat without using it for the jump, or you stomp it but whiff the jump, then you’re pretty much buggered.
The wall to the left is a ricochet wall, so you can’t use RF missiles to clear the jump, and it’s set up such that Spaz’s double jump won’t make it. The only way, according to Seren, is a golden jump, which is a fairly advanced technique that I don’t imagine most players are aware of.
So, if you fail at this jump ONCE, then you’re effectively softlocked out of progressing unless you can pull off an obscure, difficult technique… Or if you save-scum, which wasn’t possible when this level was released (the level is too large for vanilla JJ2 to load saves properly. JJ2+ fixed this, many many years after this pack released).
This is a pretty good example of the kind of bullshit this level gladly throws at you in the name of being “difficult”. To my mind, this isn’t true “difficulty”, because it’s not a challenge, it’s the level simply being unfair. In most games, a difficult challenge is presented after a checkpoint and you usually wouldn’t have a limited number of lives. This way, you can repeatedly try this difficult challenge and become better as you retry. This level isn’t interested in being fair in this way; checkpointing is sparse, 1ups are almost never given, and even carrots are rare. I’ve harped on this already, but it bears repeating: This is not a fair level pack.
Frankly, I can’t imagine why this level pack is so well regarded, because back in the day, you couldn’t save during levels in this pack. Nowadays, you can easily save scum it to take the edge off, and honestly, despite getting very frustrated with this pack at various points, I did find myself enjoying many portions of it, but the tedium of save scumming doesn’t do the frustrating nature of this pack any favours. And yet, without save scumming, I would never have managed to beat the pack.
This sounds pretty awful, and it is, but there is a lot of good in this pack; the story is told well, the environments are well chosen and work well together, the music is good, the variety of gameplay styles and environments is good, and the way you essentially return to earlier levels at various points creates a strong sense of continuity and the illusion of a connectedness of the world that the pack creates. I probably should have just walked away on my 20th or 30th save scum in the temple, but I felt oddly compelled to soldier on. Playing this level pack wasn’t a joyful experience, but it was certainly a compelling one. Perhaps just out of spite for the level itself; if it was going to be relentless then so was I.
This is not a bad level pack. It’s one that could do with a once-over to remove some of the most unfair/unavoidable hazards, tweak a few weird obstacles (such as the bat in The Castle not being a generator), make the direction in certain levels clearer (in The Castle in particular, there isn’t a strong indication that you have to use the TNT to blow up the gargoyles, which can easily lock you out of progressing. There’s even a text field that tells you about this, it just isn’t used in the level), add more checkpoints, and grant infinite lives in AngelScript. Most of this could easily be applied only to the “Easy” difficulty, to preserve the original experience for any masochists out there (or the few people who are just that good at the game), but personally I would put these improvements on as standard, only taking them away on turbo and maybe hard.
But for me, these problems impede my enjoyment too much for me to say I liked the pack.
If you’re very, very skilled at Jazz Jackrabbit 2 (and I’m talking speedrunner levels of good at the game), you will probably get on fine with this pack. If not, you will find this a very frustrating experience severely lacking in fun, and as that was my personal experience, I can only possibly give this pack a 3/10, for my personal enjoyment of the pack. Harsh, yes. But so is this pack, so it bloody deserves it. :P
And yet, despite only giving this pack a 3/10, I’m giving this a download recommendation. Why? Many people in this community are just that good at the game (just look at the other reviews), and for those of us who aren’t, this is still a highly-influential Jazz 2 custom level pack, and to a certain extent its reputation is deserved; it’s full of interesting ideas, its story is well-woven, and the way you return to previous levels is very cool. There’s a sense of immersion, and you really feel like you’ve been on an adventure by the end of it.
I do not like this level pack. But if you’re reading this review, you should probably try the pack out anyway. Don’t be ashamed of save-scumming, because this pack is very unfair at times, and don’t feel bad if you decide it’s just not worth continuing; for many people, it will not be worth it, because for many, it will not be fun. But you should try it anyway, because if you do like it, you’ll probably like it a lot.
A solid storyline starts this levelset off. Then the fun begins.
Evilmike sez this is the remains of another levelpack, but you can hardly tell with the storyline.
He uses tricks I did not even know were possible in JCS. Seeing a small cutscene to show a gate opening, greating a ball of light for a teleporter, even using the ROCKET TURTLE, a boss I had previously thought was unusable!
This levelpack is work the download just to see what kind of tricks JJ2 is capable of doing.
There were very few gems because gems are stupid worthless items that do nothing important. I only used them in cases where they created an effect.
Rating ‘The Invasion of Deserto’
RATING TILESETS: The tilesets are good, but they are too much use for so much levels.
RATING MUSIC: The music choise is better. It’s good chosen.
RATING OBSTACLES: The levels are sometimes VERY, VERY hard. And since I play your episode, I knew how I can use the Rocket Turtle! I have used him in ‘Devan Shell Search’, my first episode.
RATING STORY: It is a good story, nothing more to say.
I give you a bonus of ½ point in case of the Rocket Turtle.
FINAL RATING: 9.3
I would have to totally disagree with Master Cheater’s review, because
1: he’s a CHEETR!!! jk
2: he’s not played it, so what right does he have reviewing it?
Now, for my review…
This is a very, VERY good level pack! The theme is simple: Turtles have effectually been wiped out, but the few remnants remaining have banded together and are attacking the rabbits in full force. You are an inhabitant of the small, “backwater”, as EM put it, planet of Deserto, colonized by rabbits, now invaded for goodness-knows-why, except maybe for its oil fields. Nah, I don’t think so… So you are trying to discover why on earth someone would invade Deserto, you you pick up your gun and start looking. AFter a sequence of events, you finally realize why they’re invading: _____ _____ _____ ____ ____. Whoops, no spoilers here :( But, very good plotline, the best I’ve seen in a long while, and while gameplay was basic, it was still enjoyable, and I highly recommend downloading it!!!! Evil Mike gets a 9.8 from me, and I hope he goes back and makes EP 2!
Wow this is great, ill review after some playing.
This is a great pack, I like how you introduced the levels, and how you’ve set it all out is great, but how the heck can you get past the second level?
[Rating (9.2) clearance. There was no support given for the rating. And by the way, it’s practical to say where exactly are you stuck if you want help with passing the second level. ~Cooba]
Maybe I’m seriously stupid, but I can’t get out of the bunker – level 1. How do you break all the barrels :) ?
I have played this pack before and decided to play through from Episode 1 all the way to 3. Unfortunately, I now get an Amnesia Error when I go to Level 7 (The Castle). I’m using 1.23+. I did save before LV7.
BTW, how do you do the deliberate Access Violations in Painful Purple Place?
EDIT: I used the original 1.23 and it worked.
The access violations are random.
Invasion of Deserto…
I remember for it, its the greatest sp series ever made! It have a really amazing built and holds a lot of stuff what other level makers could learn a lot from it. I remember that I learned a tons of tricks from it like pits, wall spikes, and of course the Rocket Turtle. I really recommend for everyone because you can learn from it so much! It is really one of the best series that ever made!
Level one barely touches on the challenges of the next levels, and it’s still pretty damn hard, nice work!
(Unsupported rating (10) removal. This is a good try, but it would be appreciated if you spoke of more than just the difficulty… especially as we don’t really know what these challenges you mentioned are, from reading this review. ~Violet)
Its good And the part u made the rocket turtle move is brilliant!Its harder than devan and that boss is more fun than other bosses!Anyway I love the secrets (After I play the game I played it again and I cheated this time the cheater signs are funny[Unsupported rating (10.0) clearance. Please provide more support for your rating. For more information on writing a proper review, see the \Review Rules\. – Cooba]
Download recommendation: YESYESYES – Download it now…
I’m giving you low rating. Why? Because you’re very annoying person – you’re insulting players in your comments (see above and the readme file). Releasing a levelpack doesn’t make you a god. It wouldn’t be bad if I’d enjoyed this pack a bit, but I didn’t – it’s not about difficulty it’s about: I’m not going to dance how you play me… sorry. Whole levelpack is not as hard as … just boring, especially because there was no gameplay flow and I had to find something hidden too much times. Putting the action on the desert probably made it easier to not care too much about eyecandiness.
In case you are stupid or just suck: the rating would be higher if your attitude was different, but not much since I didn’t enjoy playing these levels. And it was an insult for me that I couldn’t play for long with Lori character.
[Unsupported rating removal (5.0). You’ve given invalid reasons for your rating. Please only take into consideration the quality of the download when rating, not your dislike of the author. – FQuist]
Alright.. I haven’t played it all, but I guess here goes something.. XD
The first level, I don’t know the level, but I swear that the tileset could be a small bit better. Even though I recognize it’s a JJ1 conversion, the sands there didn’t need to be.. Outlined, still, it’s a good “Intro-before the Action” type level. The eyecandy isn’t much, but I guess it’s enough not to keep you bored.
The second level, where the enemy killing begins, there’s a lot of uses for the Skeleton guys here, and certainly quite a bit of the Underground mazes, traps, travels and flight that’s needed there, the “Insta-Killing pit” event there is pretty simple to intermediate Jazzers, sometimes uppercuts and speed are needed to access secret high-areas. Which fondle somewhere in the sky, though the placement of some enemies, like directly you get hurt by an enemy once you come onto a platform. It’s rather annoying.. Still, this is a good level for starting out quickly. The eyecandy, as in the background and such is pretty basic, but better than the first level at the very least.
The third level, from what I remember, is that Egyptian like cave, the Temple they have, it’s rather amazing the uses of events are there, but still, the eye-candy lacks it’s appearances in these levels. The enemy placement in here is OK though. It’s rather easy to beat in Easy or Medium mode for an intermediate. However, this doesn’t mean that you should be rejoicing on the difficulty..
I ain’t good at remembering levels, but if I guess right, the fourth level is the Underground Temple, now THIS level has a good dosage of eyecandy, the problem here are the crashing Spike-balls in this level, I avoided shooting them as the author requested, freezing them was a good alternative however. The enemy placement is very good in here, however it’s also very tricky to the human eye. Sometimes a purple-bat may just appear out of a layer 3 covered corner, surprising the player and taking away one of his lives.
Fifth level, if I remember correctly, is the surface of the Temple again, though it still lacks eye candy, it’s still a strong challange like the Underground Temple level…
Alrighty.. That’s how much I exactly played, if I remember correctly, now based off this rating, I’d give this.. 9.2
[Unacceptable rating (9.2) clearance. Never rate level packs if you haven’t played them to the end. ~Cooba]
Eat your lima beans, Johnny.