|Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn.txt||0.04 kB||08 Jun 2006|
|TheChasm.txt||4.03 kB||08 Jun 2006|
|olcChasm.j2l||The Chasm||21.06 kB||08 Jun 2006|
|nr-underthine.it||Under Thine Spell||1506.70 kB||07 Jun 2006|
Level started long ago that I’ve done most the work on quite recently. Anything else of relevance is in the text file provided (not the two sentence one).
In case you dont know how to play LRS, read the JDC description I guess. Currently controller is required to cycle levels to prevent players from being stupid and from having a pointlessly complicated trigger system, but I might consider changing that in future versions.
So uhh…have fun or something.
Hello, it must have been actually a while again from my previous review when I had that “review-fewer” and got to finish a whole two reviews. Anyway, The Chasm, by Blackraptor of OLC, has a quality of very high gameplay and other and being a genre of the LRS-type, which just remains to be an underused one from people that aren’t belonging to the JDC staff for instance. Seeing a piece of it in a somewhat private server awoke me and made me evil. Evil enough to review the level by now.
Wherever you travel in the level, you’re mostly having a really neat vision around. All layers were used, and to bring a nice look for the entire sprite-layer, all of the foreground layers were used along with the sprite layer.
The three layers in front of sprite did their job anyway. I think there isn’t really anything that would fit as a separated foreground-eyecandy to the level. It could just make things look confusing. Blacky added a nice amount of stuff here and there within the lava, and still not blocking the vision to the players moving there, and showing that there actually IS LAVA. I’m just pleased that the sprite layer was focused a lot after all too.
The background is a very amazing part of the level also. It’s already hilarious to see what kind of tile the author used as a tile for the background, which does fit it perfectly in texture mode. The other background-layers, 6 and 7, have both old and new stuff involved and they are moving in a nice velocity to opposite directions horizontally.
But an impressive bonus is the layer 5 definitely. The black caves do end to linear, sharp edges, unfortunately, but Epic just did not design the tileset for this kind of eyecandy. At least I am not distracted by it a lot, especially when I would be playing a game there. The dripstones look good as they are. The advanced use of lightning give extra atmosphere for people who use ambient lightning. Only what I wished was tweaking the kinda black walls with a little more decent details…especially in the top-left region. I did like the blinking figures by the way, as well the tall Stalagmite in middle.
The level offers both solid and separate platforms. At times the level is a little bit like mountain-hiking with springs as help, but the level being wide with suitable amount of routes to places makes the level really exotic.
Spaz is being biased on some spots of the level. However, what would levels become in case all was focused on both-character friendliness? I don’t want to say. And still Jazz got quite and advantage at the left side of the level to land from high safely to the ground, meanwhile Spaz has to watch out a little where to fall.
Also the level being a Last Rabbit Standing-type gives a pressure during fighting right above the lava for instance.
A useful spot is the launcher in middle. You can fly yourself to left or right cavern. In case your at low health you could choose right which is a good place to hide with cure involved it seems. You may also bring ice from the small hole at top-left for the spring and go into the tube that will randomize a destination of two choices for you. Too bad both of them are quite close to each other.
The amount of ammo is quite alright. I have a thought the level could have larger groups of single ammo, especially if thinking of the amount of players in the begin. Then again it’s more exciting when you’re just slowly collapsing your opponents one by one, not crushing all at once with infinite overwhelming seekers.
The level includes a powerup of gun2, gun5, gun6, and gun9. As a tiny tile-masking bug, I could get stuck when sidekicking towards the wall at the gun9-PU.
Food is also included…kind of few. Probably to make some places to look even less dull. At your final life of 3 you will get a shield within yourself including 15 seconds of usage-time.
The level is entirely fantastic. Good the author decided to (finish?) and upload the level during the begin of JDC-season. It is a definite one to be counted in for an LRS-, or multiple-event.
Just a tip for the non-knowing; wherever you see lava, just do not touch it.
I’m sure I spent nearly 3 hours for reviewing the level, and admit it was a hard time for me deciding what order I’m going to go through things with the review, etc. Please do rate it and review the level yourself too. There’s not much time until it disappears from the downloads first page.
From me, the level gets a 8.7 and an extremely recommended download-recommendation. Well done Blacky!
Theming and Eyecandy – 5 out of 5
There could be entire paragraphs written on just the eyecandy here, but I will keep it short. The eyecandy here is the best eyecandy ever made in a Damn level, period. The amount of detail is marvellous, I found myself walking around the level with my jaw literally dropping in awe. Blacky managed to give this tileset a far more evil feel than ever like he wanted, and I salute him for that. The background is brilliant, the large glowing purple pillar in the middle of the whole structure, vanishing skeletons, the perfectly designed lava pits (especially the ones at the rightest part of the level), and, of course, the very right part of the level. It was seemingly rushed by Blacky as it seems, since it doesn’t have the amount of eyecandy the rest of the level has. And guess what? That’s what makes it the most awesome part of the level. It gives the brilliantly exact feeling of a chasm, it perfectly contrasts with the rest of the level. I never thought I’d like use of Damn 1 more than its blue/yellow counterpart. Using the alternate palette version would ruin the feel (and masking!) here, so yay. Great job, Blax.
Gameplay – 4 out of 5
The gameplay is the finest battle gameplay I’ve seen since
Villain Village The Corsair’s Coast (which, notably, was also Blacky’s). This level flows perfectly, the springs take you where you want them to take you, no dumb obstacles all over the place. This level features the (simplified for whatever reason) Last Rabbit Standing concept, which, as the name says, makes you lose a life when you die and you’re out of the arena when you run out of lives. One fine twist here was that the lava pits (which abound here) make you lose a life too, which adds an extra gameplay element and makes the level feel even more evil. Unexperienced players are prone to lose two lifes at once, when they fall with 1 heart and are killed when they respawn. The pits aren’t too exposed (maybe except in the lower left corner of the level) and are fairly easy to avoid, so if you fall in, it’s ultimately your fault. The only reason which keeps me from giving the gameplay a 5 is that the rightmost part of the level doesn’t add much to the gameplay value. Sure, it looks great, but doesn’t play as great.
Eventing – 4 out of 5
This part of the level isn’t as strong as the rest, but still fairly awesome. Anyway, the powerups were kinda lacking here. There’s the usual Bouncer/Toaster/RF mix here, although it didn’t stick in mind as much. RF does a very evil job here, since it can reach insane lengths in this level (as well as Pepper Spray) and tends to push people straight into lava. Bouncer, and its long range nature technically should work well here as well, and they’re arguably eviler here than RFs. But at what price? It took a while to find out where they are and how to get them (I should have figured it out straight out, stupid me…), and there seems to be few +3 Bouncer ammo in general. By the time one gets the PU and full ammo, other people will own with Toasters and RFs. There’s also an ambush/gambling element in this level, and it’s straight above the rightmost cavern. The tube requires Frostbiter (located at the very left) to get pass through, and even then one has no way of knowing whether they will be spit above the +1 carrot room
(which is THE perfect ambush spot) or if they will be passed down. I like the ambush part, but the randomness kinda ruins it. And as usual, there are food events there and there. They’re mostly grapes, though (note that this doesnt affect the rating!) I’d definitely prefer them to be apples, as a symbol of the primary temptation, the first incarnation of evil.
Best level by Blacky since Charnel Keep. Download and admire immediately, or Cthulhu will eat you in your dream :(. This level will be perfect for BlurredD’s built-in Pitfall LRS, so yay.
I’m late. Almost a year later and I decide to review this level…
I feel a need to as after a certain period of time standards change and levels can been seen through different lights and I’ve decided to try reviewing levels this way from now on.
Now to begin with the review, this is Blackraptors’ best released level by far. To start off, the main appeal of the level is the theme and look. Now here’s where I start stating my personal opinions. It’s obvious Blacky was aiming for a random chaotic look, and the theme seems heavily influenced by death metal, in that aspect, this level still retains its originality. Even after other levels that have copied certain eyecandy aspects still have not captured the same style presented in this level.
Now here’s where I state the problems with the eyecandy, yes, you heard me, there are problems with the eyecandy. Unlike what other people here may have you believe, the eyecandy was a thin line between being butt ugly and brilliant. To support the eyecandy the level had to be totally reliant on the theme, which justified some of the chaotic uses in the level…HOWEVER some uses simply DID NOT WORK; like the purple pillar tiles did not tile and clashed horribly with the black tiles, and they were used quite a lot in certain places and some other uses around the level were borderline ugly. Ambient lighting helps hide this to some extent but keep in mind the level is relatively big and some people need to free up fps to play seriously in jdc events or in servers where a lot of players will abound, and this level was designed for a lot of players, so turning off ambient lighting will be a common thing and will reveal the eyecandy flaws to a large enough extent where it will be distracting. Now there are a lot of levels that have recieved rather low ratings for simple mistakes like tiling problems.
That aside, the eyecandy and theme were awesome, as Blacky used the complex method mixed in with efficient placing (for example the pulsating large purple pillar at the center of the level) which is rarely seen. Whatever unconventional uses that worked were also quite amazing. So in my opinion this level has a great theme but the eyecandy is not perfect.
Now on to the gameplay, and this is where the review starts revealing important, unstated facts about how the chasm really plays. The two reviews above, although well written, do not state much about the layout and gameplay, which I will go into detail here. The basic layout is two chasm-esque parts at the right and left side of the level, separated by rather long and linear paths. The layout is really quite simple and not very strategic. There are some nice tactics, like the tube which can be used to change direction, but since the paths are so close, this tactic will not produce much of a different outcome if it hadn’t been added, but other than that, the level mostly consists of running and shooting. Ofcourse the level does nothing wrong as far as flow is concerned, but as we all know perfect flow in battle levels means little strategy and more weapon spam. Since most of the level is linear wherever you go, this makes the RF powerup the most powerful weapon in the level and this will cause plently of fake health deaths. The lack of areas in the level being safe means a lot of matches will depend wholly on luck, since the best playing style here is hit and run. So there’s really nothing original or unique you can experience in gameplay here. The level is basically fast paced and although some areas I thought should have been easier to reach, the layout is still easy to navigate. So if you’re looking for fast paced and exciting games with blurry outcomes, this level is for you. If you feel like having a tough match based on skill and planning, there are better battle levels designed for that.
This level is best fit for an anniversary bash like event where there is no serious playing.
Despite giving this the lowest rating, it’s a must to download the level for the fact that it shows eyecandy is not all about just decortating a level randomly with tiles, it is all dependant on the theme and the theme totally determines the personality and which light the eyecandy should be seen. The same can also be said for gameplay, as gameplay is not really just following the standards perfectly and making a level flow right, there are plently of ways to make a fun level that breaks standards in exchange for flow.
I hope to see more levels like this one in the future. Until then…
EDIT: I totally forgot to mention anything pertaining to the LRS version. Oh well, I pretty much covered what I wanted anyway.
Eat your lima beans, Johnny.