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|xlmungar.j2l||Â§1Unknown Garden||19.10 kB||12 Jun 2007|
|CarrFixEve.j2t||Carrotus Fix Evening||228.92 kB||14 Jan 2007|
|newmca9.s3m||Unreal #9 (By Michiel)||636.56 kB||25 Oct 2000|
This is just another CTF level by me.
Tileset usage: 7.0
The use of the Carrotus Fix Evening tileset was decent in some ways and a little jarring in others. I feel the tileset was used better than the standard Carrotus tileset was used for the official JJ2 levels simply because there was far better variation in the ground of each platform. On the other hand, there may be a little too much deviation between tiles, as there are certainly several locations in the level where adjacent tiles have questionable compatibility. One thing I liked, however, is the fact that the weeds coming out between the rocks actually helps cover up several of these tile compatibility issues, making the overall result much more pleasing to the eye.
The tile incompatibilities do not pose a significant problem when actually moving quickly through the level, however, as the screen scrolling makes this difficult to see. I suggest looking at older levels like Carrotus Squash to improve your use of Carrotus tilesets. That battle level had few tile clashes in the ground. However, the size of each platform was also smaller on average, making tile compatibility significantly easier for that level.
Overall graphical appearance: 8.0
The background is full of carrots, vines, and waterfalls, while the foreground is used mainly for the smaller vines and brush that hang off the visible side of the platforms. I like the fact that the foreground is not used to cover the player in any area. I also like how non-scrolling mountains were used in the “distant” background off to the right hand side and waterfalls were used on the left hand side somewhere in a similar fashion.
The varying widths of the closer waterfalls also lends the level’s landforms a sense of depth, as it appears that water falls off the side of the landforms far away and much closer. While there is a lot of depth in the background, the foreground appears to be much flatter, with no water flowing out from the front. You might be able to do this in a lower corner of the level so it does not obstruct any other important part of the level while still appearing logical. Overall, I like the fact that the level’s physical symmetry does not carry over into visual symmetry.
Level navigation: Very easy
This level’s greatest strength is its excellent flow. The springs were well placed, and most areas of the level where springs are used have enough distance between the player’s head and the areas’ ceilings, and most items are placed at ground level or in the paths of springs to allow reloading to occur at fast speeds. I question the use of the two warp points in the level. While they do not move the player far enough across the level to become part of the primary method of travel, I think many players might hesitate to use them most of the time because the warp targets are close to the center of the level, which makes the center of the level a very dangerous place for most players. This is actually a good idea because using the most straightforward path in a CTF level should also be very risky. While there is nothing new about the flow of this level, there is also nothing fundamentally wrong with it.
At first, I questioned the base placement in this level. Both are in the lower corners of the level, which often leads to players neglecting the upper area of the level, as all the action is concentrated at the bottom. At the very least, however, there is a large difference in the type, power, and quantity of weapons you can get between the bottom and top of the level. At the very top, there are also powerups, which highlights this difference. You can certainly improve this idea even further by removing the seeker ammo from the bottom of the level. Players should have to go out of their way to acquire the ammo that makes the open areas toward the bottom of the level dangerous.
Another aspect I liked about this level was the existence of both highly open areas and relatively narrow areas close to one another as alternate paths to each flag base. This results in the narrow area being much better for those that possess bullet bouncers, while the open area is much better for those that prefer to use RF missiles. Both become dangerous paths when players are able to assess the situation and use the proper weapon. Similarly, there area areas with several branches (specifically toward the bottom) where seekers are very good to use, while RF missiles will instead hit the walls and ceilings and bouncers are generally less effective than seekers, but more effective than RF missiles. These design choices are very good to keep in mind when creating a level that emphasizes simple flow.
Overall Concept: 8.2
Unknown Garden is a solid CTF level with excellent flow and decent design decisions in its graphical presentation and structure. While there are no new concepts to be seen in this level, it is a good example of a CTF level having both bases placed at the bottom of the level while still encouraging players to navigate the rest of the level to acquire more strategic and powerful weapons to roast the flag carrier. The optimal match in this kind of level would probably be a 2 on 2.
Wow. This is a pretty good CTF level. First thing I’d like to say is that there is lots of space, and the bases are far enough apart. Didn’t really like the inclusion of seekers, but I don’t think it damaged it too much. Excellent eyecandy, which made the level look very lush and similar to a greenhouse. Only odd thing were the floating things in the background. I’d say about… 8/10. Really good, definitely worth a download.
Eat your lima beans, Johnny.
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