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|Mtw.j2l||Menace to Wonders||0.98 kB||21 Jun 2006|
|Mtw1.j2l||Vapor Caves of Iwylon||5.68 kB||21 Jul 2006|
|Mtw2.j2l||Fruit Gardens of Vita||4.98 kB||21 Jul 2006|
|Mtw3.j2l||Winterland of Alimi||5.43 kB||21 Jul 2006|
|Mtw4.j2l||Hi-Tech Base of Roibi||3.94 kB||21 Jul 2006|
|Mtw5.j2l||Waterworld of Tluba||7.97 kB||21 Jul 2006|
|Mtw6.j2l||Natural Park of Simi||6.02 kB||21 Jul 2006|
|Mtw7.j2l||Efreet Palace of Alibuda||5.97 kB||21 Jul 2006|
|Mtwbonus.j2l||We Like to Party||3.10 kB||21 Jul 2006|
|Mtwend.j2l||The End||1.38 kB||21 Jul 2006|
|discofever.j2t||discofever||58.98 kB||13 Aug 2001|
|FL.j2t||Fruity Landscapes||89.15 kB||24 May 2003|
|PersianParadise.j2t||Persian Paradise||145.71 kB||17 Nov 2002|
|RagingInferno.j2t||Raging Inferno||121.78 kB||30 May 2002|
|Subsurfacia.j2t||Subsurfacia||126.19 kB||04 Mar 2002|
|SwampsD.j2t||Swamps Day||196.30 kB||11 Nov 2001|
|Top3.j2t||Top secret ][||95.97 kB||26 Nov 2001|
|WinterlandW.j2t||Winterland Wonder||182.37 kB||30 May 2002|
Alright. I’m tired. Crimiclown rates my Big City Life awful and Ischa’s good reasons to rate it good are cleared. I won’t call the police. I’ve just made this new episode: Menace To Wonders. Devan wants ti conquer the Jazz Galaxy wonders charming the inhabitants. Jazz must stop him. See how do you find the reasons to rate it bad. There are puzzles (like the maze and the figure) and there’s no ‘die when you fall’ holes. I hope somebody likes it.
I’m not sure why I downloaded this. But I’m reviewing it because it’s just too awe-inspiring to leave unreviewed.
“Menace to Wonders” is a story about Devan trying to take over a galaxy by “charming” the inhabitants. What this means is, if you fight an enemy that isn’t a turtle, it isn’t actually evil, it’s only charmed to be evil. You’re still supposed to kill them, but now you have the optional added bonus of feeling guilty about it. Especially because I think it tells you to cure them at some point. Well, they’re not charmed anymore, right? There are also a few species that resist being charmed into evil, including parrots, sharks, moths, and women.
…yes, women. I’ll get back to that.
The level pack opens with an old cliche which I had totally forgotten about because I thought nobody used it anymore: a nearly-empty Carrotus Day level with a few text signs and an exit. I think it represents the fact that you leave Carrotus to go on these adventures. That doesn’t change the fact that it’s really stupid. If I go out shopping for donuts, I never expect to see a sign right outside my door reading “Story: There is a lack of donuts in your household.” I suppose I should take this on faith as big signs reading “EXIT” are kind of improbable too, but I have a thing against text on sign tiles which would really never actually appear on a sign. So the intro level sucks.
After that, we get into the heart of the pack, these being the Wonders. See, the way the pack works is each main level is a Wonder of the Galaxy, or something like that, each with a different theme – fire, water, heart, space, plutonium, radium, tumbleweed – and at the start of each level, a sign announces the name of the wonder, the creator of the tileset (this is known as breaking the fourth wall), the theme of the wonder, and the inhabitants. For the first level, Vapor Caves of Randomwordgenerator, the inhabitants are Vapor Souls (Pacman Ghosts) and Lava Monsters (Devils). It seems odd that you need to charm devil things with giant green pitchforks and that they’re not evil already, but maybe that’s just racial stereotyping. Onto the Vapor Caves!
…or, let me take that back, onto the Vapor, because while there is steam all over the level, I counted, and there is only one cave. I have no explanation for this. It makes no sense at all. Almost the entire level takes place on small floating platforms against a background of red sky, often jumping from one platform to another over a pit of lava or something. It is about as uncavelike a level design as you can get. Caves would have probably looked better, too, as with so few walls, there is very little eyecandy in this level. Again, it’s mostly just tiny floating platforms, which the tileset (Raging Inferno) is admittedly very good at providing.
Here I will take the time to quote the level description. “there’s no ‘die when you fall’ holes”. This is very true. Instead, there are ‘get hurt over and over until you finally die’ holes. They’re really annoying and tedious, especially the time when Gus places a pit underneath some stomp scenery blocks, so it looks like you’re supposed to go that way, but then you die slowly. Instakill, come back…!
The next wonder is called Fruit Gardens of Vita, and it doesn’t make incredibly good use of the Fruity Landscapes tileset. The thing is, Fruity Landscapes has a very repetitive wall texture. Fruit Gardens of Vita has big walls with no attempt at decoration. There are fortunately some giant fruit, either serving as useless ornamentation on long horizontal stretches of ground (one of the author’s favorite features of level design) or as floating platforms (another), and amazingly sometimes the giant fruit have smaller copies of themselves on top. Giant floating purple grape platforms have grapes on them to eat. It’s kind of cute. It’s kind of predictable. I’ll lean towards cute on this one.
Like Vapor Skyscape, Fruit Gardens of Vita features stomp blocks, platforms, little background or foreground eyecandy, and generally uninspired level design. It does appear to make more attempt to have secrets than its predecessor, though, which is nice. Here I found a blaster powerup which was my constant friend throughout the rest of the pack as I shot enemies who posed me no threat at all due to usually not even having methods of attack. I might as well say now that the enemy placement in this pack isn’t very good. They often kind of feel like afterthoughts added into race levels. Pacman Ghosts, like Sparks, work well for sneaking up behind you, but they are totally useless if placed right in front of your line of fire.
The next level uses Winterland Wonder and is called Winterland of Alimi. It has ice block buildings which are kind of neat, except, you know, Chandie did it better. Oh well. This level is probably better than the last two as it’s actually kind of interesting with variety in scenery and whatnot, has (random) lighting effects, and even features a puzzle. Unfortunately it follows an unfortunate trend, that being having the explanation on a sign after you’ve already encountered the puzzle, so by the time you have an idea what you’re supposed to do the puzzle is ruined and there’s no way to start it over. Still, this level is better than the others.
Why is everything suddenly cooler when placed in a high-tech situation like outer space? Hi-Tech Base of Roibi, using Top Secret ]I[, is so much more interesting than the previous levels that it almost seems like a cool level. Here are all the ideas of the pack. There’s still standard stuff like platforms over deadly pits, and climbing up (or down) staircases while shooting various harmless walking enemies, but there’s also a sucker tube pit, bridges of collapsing scenery (with the letter F on them… huh?), “robot” things that either hurt or help you, secrets, slippery slopes, and a decent
background. If this level were longer and with some better sprite/foreground layer eyecandy, it wouldn’t be too bad.
Waterworld of Tluba is very confusing because the non-turtle enemies are crabs and the inhabitants are supposedly fish. I think that means there used to be fish but Gus forgot to fix the sign. Anyway, it’s a very pretty level, because it uses a very pretty tileset. It could use the tileset a little better, but it’s not bad. The design is also somewhat interesting, with shark rides, grottos, castles, and a puzzle which isn’t actually all that bad except for the fact that all the challenge comes from figuring out what you’re supposed to do without messing it up. Not really all that memorable overall, though.
The(!!!) Natural Park of Simi also uses a nice-looking tileset, Swamps, although I’m somewhat jaded to it due to overuse. The thing is, by this point in the pack the level design seems to have improved enough that instead of being laughably bad they’re just average and not particularly worth writing about. There’s flat stuff, platforms, ramps, and a “puzzle” where you try to figure out which warp to take, which tends to be my least favorite variety of puzzle. It’s a pity, because the next level is Efreet Palace of Alibuda, a truly unusual level which is the real reason I chose to review this, um, non-masterpiece.
Efreet Palace is the level containing the most storylike elements, as the level is largely under the control of a mysterious creature known as an Efreet who also prevents the charming of his pet women.
“Inhabitants; Efreet, Women, Parrots, Lizards.”
They sit around in various places about the level and speak in really bad old english.
One hugs and kisses you very sweetly because Jazz is totally the kind of fellow who says “Of Course!” when someone asks him if he wants a kiss. I know it’s Jazz because the ending level talks about Jazz, Spaz, and Lori. Hmm, actually, I guess it could be Lori getting hugged and kissed by the pet woman.
“Test 2: Temptation. Resist the pet women’s love or else you’ll die.”
…anyway, this is actually a pretty fun level, it has variety in scenery, okay design, some nice ideas (the temptation test involves women who warp you, and they have wind attracting you… pretty cool, really), a storyline… but then I realize that women are one of the planet’s primary species and it all stops making sense again.
So yeah. That’s the pack.
At the end is another signs-on-Carrotus level where you use the Efreet’s three wishes to… no. I won’t tell you. I’ve spoiled too much already. Just play the pack and find out.
…why is Carrotus-with-signs so ugly, anyway? The last few levels actually had background eyecandy!
EYECANDY: It improves through the pack, but it’s never too good… basically standard fare for each tileset with nothing even remotely inventive. No tile bugs that I saw.
LEVEL DESIGN: Often pretty uninspired. There are some good bits with collapsing scenery and other stuff, and the bits with horizontal springs and ramps are amusing, but a lot of the rest feels pretty interchangable and uninteresting. CliffyB designed his levels as interesting bits with space inbetween, but he did it better.
EVENT PLACEMENT: Not too interesting. The enemies often don’t pose much of a threat, or at least they don’t give any sense of danger. Admittedly that caused me to die once or twice because it didn’t occur to me that I ought to be careful, but still. The pacman ghosts in particular could be used a lot better, and not much of the ammo seemed to serve any real purpose. There is a cool thing where there’s a bomb crate at the end of every level, it serves no purpose but it gives the pack a certain feel somehow.
STORY: Better than some. It’s not a bad idea that Devan charms the inhabitants of various planets (wonders) to attack you, rather than just saying that ordinary innocent creatures somehow cause you pain when you walk into them. However, there’s really no way to cure the charmed creatures except killing them. And I have to give points for the Efreet Palace which is pretty cool and could support the pack fairly well.
OVERALL: Basically, I am not very impressed by this pack, but it does have its moments. Way too much of the levels was boring move-forward-and-shoot, though, with no branching paths to speak of and no special rewards. I’ll give a download recommendation, but keep in mind that’s because of the Efreet Palace…
Nah, I really disagree. You put a good bit of effort into the pack, but there were several things that annoyed me.
It could have been better, but you seemed in a rush to get these levels out. Please spend more time adding scenery. Also, you need to work on your English. I couldn’t understand the puzzle on the ice level.
The enemies wern’t really placed anywhere strategically. They were easy to kill and didn’t present much of a challenge. Another thing I had a problem with was all the pits that you couldn’t get out of. You need to warn the player of these or create them so you can see the fire/spikes/whatever just at the edge of your screen when you hold the down key. Nevertheless, it was a decent pack, and not a complete irritant.
Ammo placement 1/5
You need to spread the ammo out more so it’s not in such big clumps (along with all other powerups). The blaster powerup made the rest of the levels too easy. I never even had to use the ammo for a puzzle.
Food placement 3/5
It was okay, but it would be nice if you actually did something with the food aside from putting it into strings of clumps
Enemy placement 2/5
Nothing great. They were all fairly easy to kill and never annoyed me. A big yawn-rating there~
You need to include the music for your pack in the zip file. I had to search modarchive and j20 for a while to find all the songs I didn’t already have. Assume that someone has just installed jj2 and doesn’t have any extra files.
Work on your english.
spend more time on your levels. Make them challenging, but not frustrating. I don’t know why this is becoming such a trend with new levelmakers, but it has to stop.
I really enjoyed this.
MENACE TO WONDERS REVIEW:
EYECANDY: Really nice backgrounds, some fantastic Tilesets used very well. All the levels look great. 10/10
GAMEPLAY: The levels were quite long. The puzzles made them quite a bit harder. 7 fantastic levels. I’ll go into more detail about the puzzles later. You can also replay the whole pack again to try and find the 21 TNT to access the Bonus Level. 9.5/10
OBSTACLES/ENEMIES: Lots of obstacles. I especially like the Collapsing scenery in Level 4. Enemies were very well placed. Not too many or too less. I loved the way you used the crates to make it appear as if there were enemies coming out of the crates. 10/10
PUZZLES: I think all the puzzles were great. I liked them all. My fav puzzle in this pack was the Maze. I love Mazes. I really thought the first puzzle in Level 5 was great, getting the first set of blocks to match the other set. Very well done. 10/10
MUSIC: I didn’t hear any music in Level 5 & 7 but I did like the music in the other levels. 9/10
TOTAL: 48.5/50 (9.7)
DOWNLOAD RECOMMENDATION: YEP!
Some may not agree with this rating but I like this pack.
I hope this review is good enough.
[While I appreciate that you put effort into this review, it certainly lacks support for the given rating. Feel free to rerate, but keep in mind that you need to clarify why is the eyecandy nice or why was the gameplay good. ~Cooba]
I write a very short rewiew:
These are my favourite levels and tilesets but I have a question:
How to make a DON’T USE IT(blue phantoms)?
Please wrtite to me the answer!
Rating Menace to Wonders:
Seven excellent created levels which are considerably long and hard.
This episode contains seven levels which is all long and cumbersome. Gus have made the levels beautiful. The enemies and obstakels are well scattered and the eyecandy is also very good.
A large pity: Gus have placed no end bosses. A pity with a large P, because Gus creates regular his own end bosses and does that very good. For example: download ‘Flashback: Outta dis World’ and ‘The Game Machine’. In the final levels of them Gus has created his own bosses.
The levels have been strewn with several puzzles and riddles which you must answer to come further in the level or reveal secrets. All puzzles are not just as easy… with some puzzles I was more than one quarter busy!
In spite of that there are no end bosses this is nevertheless an excellent episode. I look forward to play his next episode, but Gus… could you please put (selfcreated) end bosses in it?
[Rating (8.6) clearance. Why were the enemies and obstacles well scattered? Why were the levels beautiful? You still need to specify the upload’s good sides before rating. ~Cooba]
They were good placed, because it were not too much and not too less. The level is on that way hard, but not impossible. I always mean that if I say that the Obstacle Placement is good.
It’s beautiful, because there is a nice background, maybe a good foreground and the path is beautiful. I always mean that if I say that the eyecandy is good.
But I never write that in my review, because I think that everyone knows when something is good.
Eat your lima beans, Johnny.