|QzSavanna.j2l||Hidden Savanna||9.08 kB||20 Aug 2006|
|SwampsD.j2t||Swamps Day||196.30 kB||11 Nov 2001|
|Beach.j2b||Beach Bunny!||146.53 kB||08 Jun 2006|
This is my first level as XLM’er! It’s a CTF level, partly symmetrical.
There are three PU’s in this level: Bouncy, Toaster and Seeker. There is one Full NRG in the center of the level. The area around the Full NRG is open, which reduces the camping. There are two tubes that lead to areas close to the carrot. At the top of the level is a warp, which leads to the Seeker PU. From there you can take a tube to the area close to the bases.
Finally I wanna thank al the betatesters for their good work, thanks!
I think Quickz’ new level needs to have more attention. I dunno why Emp reviews every level by Quickz, but whatever. Let’s go to the review!
The first thing you’ll notice when playing this level is that it’s pretty small. The layout is non-symmetrical, but it’s balanced. That’s always a good thing. There is one real way to each base, but you can get there in two ways. Near the bases are tubes that will lead you to the upper platform. The base placement is about the same as in Hydronificant! and Rainbow Hills. Maybe it’s time for a different placement, Quickz? ;p
There are tubes in the middle that will lead you to near the carrot. This is nice. That there’s a wall in the middle prevents you from running around at the bottom of the level without being stopped. It’s a good thing in my opinion. The area near the carrot has changed since I beta tested the level. You can run around there without being stopped, but there were small holes before. I personally like this more, because it makes it easier to hit someone who camps the carrot.
In the top middle there is a warp that will lead you to a Power-Up. This method has been used in Hydronificant! as well. The Warp Target, however, is closer to the left base than to the right base. Making it in the middle or putting two Warp Targets would solve this. It’s not a serious problem though.
It’s pretty hard to defend very well. There are lots of slopes near the bases so Seekers don’t really work to defend with. People can shoot Bouncers from above or they come from the other side and use Toaster or Bouncer. Seekers aren’t very good in this level I think. Some people can dodge them very well.
As usual, there is quite good flow. The springs are pretty useful, but you might bump against a wall. Nothing to do about it I guess. Just keep it like this, as it’s not a major problem. The way to each base is pretty much to the left and the right, but with obstacles like the tubes in the middle. One Ways are used at the springs left/right from the carrot and to lead you to above by using the blue spring. There is one small dead end at the Toaster Power-Up. I don’t think it’s a problem, as it’s small and strategical.
The eye candy in the level is typical Swamps eye candy, but it’s logical. Lots of leaves in layer 5 and 4 and other stuff that’s used in lots of Swamps levels. There are also empty places to prevent the eye candy from being overused. I personally like lots of eye candy a lot, so if there’s eye cnady everywhere I like it more. Unless it’s extremely overused. In this level is isn’t. I appreciate the fact that people use Swamps properly because I had big problems with it when I tried to use it. The foreground layers aren’t used a lot. Probably because I don’t really like foreground eye candy with the Swamps tileset. But anyway. The background in the level is also pretty basic, it’s just what Swamps levels should have. Overall, the eye candy is pretty good, can’t say a lot more about it.
The only carrot is a Full Energy carrot, which is enough for a level of this size. It’s placed in the middle and is easily campable. But you only want to camp it if you have 3h unless you are fast enough and you can get it before you die when you have 1h. RFs are good to use against a camper, and Toaster also works fine. A camper must be extremely skilled if he/she wants to survive with 1h while the carrot isn’t there.
The placement of the level is pretty basic. The shapes of ammo are nice, the 3 × 3 group and the 2 × 4 group of Seekers are the only unoriginal ones. There are 3 more Seekers at the right side by the way. ;p
There are a few Fast Fires at the left and right sides of the tubes in the middle of the level. They can be useful for Bouncers in the level, but not for other weapons(as usual)
There are 3 Power-Ups in the level. Seeker, Toaster and Bouncer. These 3 are used a lot in levels. The Seeker Power-Up is in a warp, the Toaster Power-Up is in a small dead end and the Bouncer Power-Up is between some vines. I personally think that the Bouncy Power-Up and the Toaster Power-Up are the most useful in the level.
The music used for the level is a standard music from Jazz2. It’s better than Jungle.j2b, which has been used in other Swamps levels(like The Marshland of Evil) but Beach.j2b has been used in Santranigus V. Anyway, it fits the level even though there is no water or something in the level.
The level doesn’t have any original ideas, but it’s hard to make up something nowadays. The tileset used is pretty overused, but I don’t think that’s a problem. I can’t really find a nice underused tileset anyway.
Okay, now that I wrote all this stuff you probably want me to rate the level. Well, before I do that I’ll tell that it’s your best level so far(in my opinion) Hydronificant! looks a bit like this level, but I like this level more(because of the better eye candy probably) Rainbow Hills was also pretty basic in my opinion. This level doesn’t have anything special, but I like it.
Host this: Yes, sometimes. I’ll probably host it if Quickz allows me to. A 2v2 could be nice here too.
Download this: Yes, it’s a nice, small, new level. We don’t see a lot of new levels lately.
My final rating is an 8.0. This level is a very nice third level(although you made more, but this is the third release) and a very nice first level made for XLM. Have fun!
P.S. This was my longest review ever for one level. Hurray!
Visual Appeal – 3 out of 5
First of all, I never liked this tileset too much. Mainly because it’s nearly the least flexible set in existance, since it’s so heavily based on style rather on functionality, which roughly translates to “every level using this tileset will look the same”. And this level is no exception to this non-written rule: it looks exactly the same as the whole buckets of Swamps levels. There’s nothing original about the eyecandy, and after having seen so many of visually the same Swamps levels, it just stopped being anyhow appealing to me. There are no annoying tile errors in this level at least. Overall, use a different tileset next time.
Playability – 4 out of 5
For starters, I’m not too fond of the layout. Some places were clearly inspired by other Swamps levels, and while it’s not a bad thing, it can get annoying sometimes. For example, the two tubes in the middle of the level placed JUST by the FastFires can get really annoying, and the Seeker powerup box just encourages camping, since it’s so close to the bases. There are also Bouncer and Toaster powerups, which make up a fairly good balance, seeing as this level is mostly enclosed. The Toaster powerup has to be accessed by passing through a hole in a tree, which makes it a dead end, unless one uses logic and shoots it with an Electroblaster, avoiding being trapped in the cramped room. It doesn’t seem to fair seeing as the Bouncer PU is just placed between two vines, which doesn’t create a situation seen in the Toaster PU.Summary
A decent level by Quickz. Doesn’t have anything original nor outstanding, but still should play well in an occasional 2on2. Definitely Qz’s best level, but also definitely not an 8.
You won’t know that Hidden Savanna is a very small level when you first play in it, but you’ll certainly feel cramped the moment you set foot in it. There is virtually not a single place where you can’t see a wall or a ceiling in this 105×80 CTF level.
I’ve played a little 1v1, some 2v1, and a 2v2 game to 4 points here…excluding the 2v1 game, I think it’s easy to camp at the carrot and the seeker PU in duels, since you have no team mate to attack the camper in your place. You’re a bit more at danger if you camp with just one or two hearts, but as long as you’ve got the ammunition (and the gung-ho attitude), you’ll give your opponent a hard time.
The flow is fast and smooth, which is fun, although the symmetry, size, and tileset choice of the level leans too heavily towards gameplay. There hasn’t been much attempt at breaking new ground anywhere, and there’s not much eyecandy either. It’s as simple as the level.
One thing worth mentioning about Hidden Savanna is its predictability. This level doesn’t require you to memorise much. It’s got a basic platform layout, and the suckertubes and warps are all easily accessible. The flag arrows really do count here, and you can deduce where your opponent is going just by the direction he’s heading for (honestly, many levels aren’t like this at all!). Tensions can run high when two or more players stalk each other, trying to guess where the other is going and getting there before them.
Long story short: Nice, small CTF level.
Rating: 7.2, and a download recommendation.
Oh, and Unknownfile betatested too (but he won’t mind).
I’ll start with the eyecandy. I saw that you used almost all aspects of this tileset(which is a very good tileset for the level) and thus you used this tileset very well. Another thing I noticed is that the layer5 had very good eyecandy , I like the variety you used in this layer. As you can see , I haven’t really something bad to say about the eyecandy. Next , the gameplay. This level aint 100% symmetrical and that absolutely improves the gameplay a lot. And it’s still not biased ,good job there. The flow in this level is good too , I can see you’ve been working on this. There’s one bad thing I’d like to say : the seeker PU is placed on a tiny floor , this floor should have one-way IMO. But that’s only a detail. Let’s continue with the placement. The carrot might be a bit campy , but the tubes in the middle can make you cross the level without your opponent knowing it. The Seek Pu is placed in the middle of the level so that’s fair , the bouncy and toaster PU aren’t paced symmetrical , but that’s fine as it’s still well placed , just like the other ammo : not too much , neither too less. Perhaps the 2 toaster boxes at the left side of the level will make this floor be full of toaster ammo as people will shot the boxes without taking the ammo. Again , this is only a detail.
Good job , Quickz , I really like this one;)
Rating : 7.5 (+0.2 for the music which fits this level well)
Eat your lima beans, Johnny.