|ICDeathF3.j2l||The Death Facility III||30.57 kB||30 May 2007|
|ICDRampart.j2l||Demon Rampart||21.60 kB||30 May 2007|
|ICDResearch.j2l||Distorted Research Site||10.20 kB||30 May 2007|
|ICLabratP.j2t||Labrat P||209.72 kB||12 Apr 2007|
|Odyssey04.j2t||Odyssey 04||120.01 kB||19 Mar 2007|
|WSF01.j2t||Windstorm Fortress I||127.23 kB||25 Feb 2004|
A CTF pack which I originally wanted to release sometime later, with more (6) levels. However, in the halfway, I no longer had the time nor the inspiration to finish the pack, so I decided to wrap it up somehow and release, the sooner and better.
Which means today.
- BlurredD and Nick Stadler/NOKA for the tilesets
- cooba and Sasik for betatesting the pack
- Luigi Elettrico for the pack’s soundtrack
- DoubleGJ for his “Crack Addict Spaz” picture used in this pack’s banner
Any other members of Impressive Creations are not allowed to rate this upload to prevent possible bias.
One thing to say – THE EC IS AWESOME!
It’s just a shame that the layouts are way too simple.
Need to download…
[Rating (1.2) clearance. Sorry to break it for you, but you do need to download files before you can play them. – cooba]
Amazing pack. Three really different levels with each of them having great EC. Demon Rampart’s layout is really clever. These 3 levels are all so different, especially Distorted Research Site. Definitely download this pack, since all 3 levels will play well and they all look amazing.
These levels aren’t as conventional as they might appear due to borrowed concepts from other levels, which can fool you into thinking there are no original ideas. If you look closely, you can see that these levels shine in lots of aspects visually.
Demon Rampart may remind you of “The Temple of Suffering”, but upon closer inspection you notice that every area was added to complement the look of another; if you were to move specific eyecandy elements to other locations, they would look drastically different. Demonic structures are in the level, and they don’t look cartoony due to the surprising amount of detail added to them, in my opinion. I disliked certain ‘patterns’, but that probably can’t be helped with jj2’s limitations, and they sort of add more personality to the level.
As for the gameplay, the level is a completely different story. It’s like a paradox, because the essential items like carrots and bases are so close to each other with a relatively large amount of playing area all around (the top area is almost useless, but with exceptions like having the “higher ground”). In duels, I imagine the level probably favors RFs and Bouncers over Seekers (which is kind of a good thing). The top area is not safe, because there’s 4 ways to get up there, so players that use it will likely be blasted with RFs, and that takes away the use of it being a good spot to lure people there. Players might feel that they should stick to the middle area due to the concentration of carrots, thus making the entire gameplay hanging around there, and they will only go to the bottom left and right sides occasionally for powerups. The top area could be useful for luring people away from the middle area, or to grab a +1 (the area is big enough to allow this), and possibly come back for another to get full, but it’s risky. If you’re playing someone smart/skilled, he/she will wait for you to get impatient and own your (butt) once you get down from the top area (hopping down to the full nrg is likely to be suicide). Players will probably prefer to play a fast paced match by using the middle area a lot (which is roughly 30% of the level), and they will probably avoid getting stuck at the top with an uncertain outcome. If there were no arrows to help guide a person to where the flag carrier is, then I think this concept could work out nicely without such a large risk. Also, the middle area is tedious to defend: it simply wouldn’t be fun to move back and fourth with your opponent, and wait for him/her to make a mistake; I’d rather play DW, because I won’t have to put as much effort to move. If anything, it may encourage the defender to waste seekers, and decrease the risk. All in all, the top area just makes the level tedious to play in, but the level would probably function chaotically without it (or when players decide to just play 30% of the level). In team matches, I don’t see any reason for the flag carrier to move around much, and the top and bottom areas can’t be exploited to a great effect.
Now onto Distorted Research Site:
The thing that struck me the most about this level is the tileset. To accentuate the theme, P4ul used the metal/pipe tiles quite a lot, and although it may look easy, it’s actually a challenge to work with them effectively, so he resorted to using a lot of patterns. Some of the patterns around the right side are a bit clever, in my opinion. P4ul went crazy at the bottom area, and you can tell that he did just randomly place tiles, and hope for the best.
The gameplay… Ok, first of all the layout consists of many relatively small platforms, so… I normally despise layouts of this variety, but the lack of a seeker powerup may save this level from being chaos. You can get a shield for 25 coins, and that’s alright, but considering the layout, I think players will be too focused on offense than defense to even care. There are pits at the bottom, and you have to open them by using tnt on a crate. You could restart the level if some idiot decided to open them (assuming you don’t want them) during a private match, but in public servers, there’s just no say in the matter. The level will probably be hell in jdc events. So yeah…not much to say about the level here.
Death Facility III (i thought there were only two versions of this; where have I been?) is a large improvement over the previous version I played in every aspect:
The last one has some neat eyecandy imo, but this one has eyecandy in epic proportions, and even in the little ways things were done to enhance the level’s appearance (although in my opinion Demon Rampart seemed to have far more mastery).
The level is, in my opinion, more playable than the last version, but it still lacks the aspect of ‘using’ the layout against the opponent. It’s probably boring for duels. In team matches, I hate the base placement for the fact they are easier to defend than even sbv2 bases (that should tell you something).
Overall these levels have neat, brilliant eyecandy (alone almost earned 8.6), but they fall far short of masterpieces due to the fact the layouts have bland, tedious or simply uninteresting gameplay. I guess you could argue that more stimulating gameplay would sacrifice the way these levels look, and is a fault of 2d level design or jj2’s gameplay style in general.
Agony is a must to download. It shows the epitome of what can be made with these sets. The levels should also be fun to play in public servers and possibly events.
(I know this review is late, but I have been very busy with school recently.)
Well, I can simply say the levels were fantastic visually. I could just sit here all day staring at it, and I would have no distractions and I wouldn’t get bored. One of the things that makes these levels great is that the the eyecandy may seem a little overdone to some people, but when you play you don’t lose focus at all, and you enjoy the pretty landscape flying by. Also, all these levels use mechanical type tilesets, but P4ul has used them very well and as made them look much more organic and random, contrasting a lot with other levels made with these tilesets.
The Death Facility III had me completely shocked by it’s massive amount of eyecandy, which is even more than the original Death Facility. The pipes are placed together perfectly, and there are some original EC things too, which is always a good thing, especially in an overused tileset such as this.
Demon Rampart has a slightly strange atmosphere made by it’s music choice. Instead of a floating castle, this level looks more like an underground ruined temple; so it looks different to other WSF levels, but it slightly resembles The Temple of Suffering (which was also made by P4ul) in some aspects, which doesn’t bother me at all. Btw, I love the face in the wall above the Carrot.
Distorted Research Site uses a palette edit of Noka’s Labrat Conversion, giving it a more Metalic feel, and making it so it looks like many things are stained in blood. There’s an original background in this level, and you can only see the top half of the textured background. The sprite layer eyecandy is placed very well, it has a lot of random objects everywhere, to give the level a more “abandoned” feeling. I though the music is a little soft for this sort of theme however.
The gameplay was generally smooth in this pack. The springs all take you to where you aim to go, and there aren’t dumb obstacles all over the place. The layouts in these levels are simple in design, meaning that they can be learned easily. While The Death Facility III and Demon Rampart being symectrical, allow for certain balance, I would much rather see Un-symectrical levels like Distorted Research Site, as they offer more variety in the gameplay, and they tend to be more original, all though this means a lot of effort is required to make a perfectly balanced layout. The placement is in interesting shapes, instead the usual, boring 2×2 squares that annoy me when I see them. I had no problems with the PU/Carrot placement either.
I thought The Death Facility III had a simple, linear and fairly boring layout, rather like it’s cousin. While the gameplay is solid, it seems a little chaotic in my opinion, since there is serveral open spaces, which are a haven for RF Spam. I like the fact Wind/Floatups/Springs have been used instead of Sucker Tubes, and if you get stuck, you will be warped out.
Demon Rampart has a slightly different layout compared to other levels, I would say it’s quite original. Although it’s considerably large, it would work the best in duels rather than in Teamplay, since it is quite one-wayed. There’s an interesting PU placement, with an RF in the middle, two Bouncer’s near the bases, and Toaster/Seeker in the lower left/right corners. As this levels is extremely open, there is a lot of room to fire Seekers, yet they can easily be avoided. The RF PU is no doubt the best choice for the middle, since it would be the most destructive here.
Distorted Research Site has a more platformy layout compared to the other levels, and like Demon Rampart it is very open. There is some Spaz bias in some areas, however. This level contains an interesting concept with the death pits, as they are only opened by the use of TNT at a block in the lower middle of the level. There is also a 20-coin warp, which will give you a 15 second fire shield, which will be of great use for a flag carrier as a short burst of safety.
This became awarded as the Featured Upload of May, so you have no excuse to not download this. These are most certainly P4ul’s most awesome levels so far.
So…. Download Reccomendation!
EDIT – It seems that after further playing, this deserves a higher rating.
EDIT 2 – In fact, this pack does not that higher rating after all. The gameplay turned out to be too chaotic in Distorted Research Site and Death Facility III, to the point of nearly being unplayable. Demon Rampart played decently though, but with the abundance of power ups, few routes and several open spaces to weapon spam in, it will probably stay as one of those levels that are only good in public servers or events, due to it’s frantic and chaotic nature. Rating takes quite a big hit.
OK, now this is the FIRST TIME I EVER reviewed a CTF level so I hope this is all right, I spent 3 days typing this up.
1. THE DEATH FACILITY III
Tileset used for this level is Odyssey 04 which is one of the overused tilesets but this set has been used really well in this level. All 8 Layers have been used. Backgrounds and Foregrounds are original and look fantastic. Tiles have also been made translucent. Every layer has eyecandy. Tons of animated tiles have been used in lots of the layers. The whole level looks like one big machine. The background in Layer 7 also moves. The whole level looks much better than the original Death Facility. The eyecandy must have taken months to make and to get working correctly. There are masses of animated tiles in Layer 2 & 3. I love the way everything moves. There are absolutely NO tilebugs present anywhere. Nothing looks repetitive. Everywhere you go you will see all this amazing eyecandy.
Overall, there is absolutely NOTHING wrong with the eyecandy so this deserves a 10!
Layout is great, there are no places for the player to camp. There are Float Up events used to get to higher levels. Three PUs can be found in the level. 2 of these are Seekers and RFs which can only be accessed by shooting a Bouncer at them as sucker tubes stop the player from going down to the PUs. The other PU which is a Bouncer can be found at the top and I didn’t find this on my first playthrough. Flag placement is good, I couldn’t find the Flag Bases at first as they were hidden well. Weapon placement is also great, the are not placed in the usual broing 2×2 square forms and are scattered about the level.
In some of the tubes, Springs and Wind Left/Right events have been used instead of Sucker Tube events. There are 2 +1 Carrots and there’s one Full NRG carrot too. The Carrots also have a delay so that the players cannot pick these up too easily.
There aren’t any secret or Bonus areas to access here but the gameplay is still excellent.
LV 1 SCORE: 19/20 (9.5)
2. DEMON RAMPART
Tileset used for this level is Windstorm Fortress. Eyecandy in this level is not as impressive as DF3, no animated tiles are used but the eyecandy here is still awesome. Layers 3-8 have been used. Nothing looks repetitive, there are no tilebugs. This level has fantastic backgrounds, the Layer 8 BG has been made translucent.
There are 5 PUs here. 1 RF, 2 Bouncer, 1 Seeker and 1 Toaster. They are easier to access than in DF3 but they do have a delay so that the players can’t just camp there shooting PUs. Weapon placement is great, but there are some RFs placed on both sides and they are impossible to pick up as there is no spring to bounce up to them. Only the useful weapons are here. No useless ones like TNT or Freezer. Also, they are not placed in the 2×2 square forms so that they don’t look boring.
Flag placement is good, sometimes I don’t notice the Bases as I run through the level. There are 2 “+1 Carrots” and 1 Full NRG carrot. The Full NRG carrot can be quite hard to get which is good. Carrots are not placed on the ground. They are also have a delay so that players can not easily re-gain any Hearts. There are no Bonusses but there are hidden warps which go back up to the top. Overall, this level has some great gameplay but it’s not as strategical as DF3.
LV 2 SCORE: 17.5/20 (~8.8)
3. DISTORTED RESEARCH SITE
Tileset used for this level is “Labrat P” which is a Palette edit of Labrat. The Layer 8 Textured BG has been cut in half which looks good and is original. Some might not like it. All Layers except 1 have been used.
Again, everything here is original and does not look repetitive. I like the moving background in Layer 7.
The platforms look great, Layers 2 & 3 have been used to place more eyecandy on the platforms.
I would recommend using Carrotade/JJ2+ for this level as there are Death Pits here which can be opened by using TNT to blow up a Trigger Crate at the bottom. There are 3 PUs in this level, Bouncer & Toaster are two of these. They can only be accessed by shooting them with the Electro Blaster. Belt Left/Right events are also used to make the EB shoot further to reach the PU. The other PU is for the Blaster which can be found at the bottom near the Death Pits.
There is a 25 Coin Warp which contains a Fire Shield. As you are bounced down from a Spring that counts as Buttstomping it meaning you only get 15 seconds of use. This will be useful when you are trying to get your Flag to the other Base.
Coins are placed well and are not placed in 2×2 square forms which don’t look boring and are spread out so that they are not too easy to collect.
There are 3 “+1 Carrots.” No Full NRG carrots so that players cannot re-gain health too easily.
Overall, gameplay is very good in this level.
LV 3 SCORE: 18/20 (9.0)
TOTAL SCORE: 19 + 17.5 + 18 = 54.5/60
*Awesome music in all levels +0.2
FINAL SCORE: (9.5 + 8.8 + 9.0) / 3)) + 0.2 = 9.3/10
SUMMARY – GOOD POINTS
+Excellent eyecandy in all levels.
+Death Pits used in LV 3
+Flag placement good in all levels.
+Items not placed in 2×2 square forms.
+Excellent layout for all levels.
-Eyecandy in Level 3 may not appeal to all.
RANK: A = SUPERB! :D
Do you really think I would not recommend this if I gave it over 9? This is also the FEATURED DOWNLOAD of May 2007 so why would you not download this? Obviously I’m saying YES! :D
Well, I bet this’ll be [I hope not] the shortest review of all these, as I’m not the best at length.
Waaay uber good! You picked only the good sets, not the cruddy stuff. Levels were executed well, and it was fun playing.
Once again, kudos on the tiles. You picked great ones, and made equally great levels. Nice work!
Not really any, but my policy is to never say something’s bug-free, because I’ll probably find a bug 5 minutes later. Still, it’s practically clean.
Lots of it. You decorated your levels well, and made them a world of fun just to look at. Boy, if I was that good…
Not really any, please move on.
To sum it up, I’ll give you 9.5, because you did so incredibly well, but the one shortcoming was that it was kinda short. I know, that was intentional. But a bit longer would have been even better. Good job, though! DL this right now, before I come make you!
Ôþñá Win Ï Ðáß÷ôçò
Ç Óýíäåóç êáé Zual Alpha
[Rating (10.0) clearance. – cooba]
THE DEATH FACILITY III
This level uses Odyssey 4 Tileset. The layout in this level is symectrical.
Gameplay is nice and strategical. Well it’s not amazing but it’s nice. Moving between bases is fast and easy. There are sucker tubes in some places and they are placed well. There are float ups also in this level. With them you can get upper level. Springs are well placed. There are no dead ends in this level and that is a good thing (of course =P) The flow is good so
you can get easily in every place. Ammo placement is good. There are 3 PU’s in this level and that is enough. There are 1 Full NGR and two 2 Carrot+1 and I think that it’s too much. Those Carrot+1 could be removed.
Eyecandy is nice. It looks realistic in some way. Backround in this level looks original. I like the way that you have used layers 5, 6 and 7. Also I like the way that you have used layers 2 and 3. You have used all layers, but still eyecandy looks simple. Eyecandy looks massive also, because there are so much stuff in layer 2 and 3. I didn’t notice any tilebugs. Nice job with the eyecandy.
Overall this is really nice level with massive eyecandy and good gameplay.
I give a 8.7 for this level.
This level looks like a prison or something… It uses Windstorm Fortress tileset.
This level also looks symectrical. First I have to say that spring placement is bad in some places because it’s hard to get in some springs. Moving between bases is very easy. It’s even easier than in level ‘‘The death facility III’‘ There are sucker tubes in some places. Gameplay is not very strategical
or tactical, but it’s still really nice. Ammo placement is good, but there are too much fast fires I think. PU’s are placed well. There are 1 Full NGR and two 2 Carrot+1 in this level and, well, again it’s too much.
Eyecandy looks amazing. Everything fits perfectly. You have used all kind of tiles for makin good eyecandy. Layers 5, 4 and 3 are well used. I didn’t notice any tilebugs and that is good thing. Well I can’t say much about eyecandy, because it’s so perfect =)
This is really good level also with amazin eyecandy and good gameplay.
I give 9 for this level.
DISTORTED RESEARCH SITE
This level uses Labrat P tileset. Palette edit looks really nice.
Layout in this level is very different than in those two other levels. Layout looks platformy. Layout looks really open also. Moving between bases is easy. I like the death pit idea. You can open those dead pits with TNT. Level looks more strategical with those dead pits. Flow in this level is ok. Springs are well placed. Ammo placement is nice and PU’s are in good position. Coins are also well placed. With them you can get a fire shield.
Eyecandy in this level is really cool. It looks creepy. You have used all layers except layer 1. The backround is original. Textured backround is half cutted and I don’t know does it looks cool or weird. (or both =P) There are
few nice details in this level. After all eyecandy looks simple, but it’s really nice. And again, I didn’t notice any tilebugs.
This is really nice level also.
I give a 9 for this level.
Overall this is really nice CTF pack with amazing eyecandy and nice gameplay. Nice job! I give bonus points for music and theme.
Download Recommendation: Yes
Eat your lima beans, Johnny.