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|OLCLLLandfill.j2l||Lost Luggage Landfill||20.43 kB||17 Aug 2008|
|j1Battleshipsv2.j2t||Jazz 1: Battleships v2||52.97 kB||19 Mar 2007|
|ORION.XM||The Orion Connection||675.90 kB||18 Apr 1997|
I have a gut feeling that I shouldn’t be making races anymore [because I suck] so I’ll leave you all with a little present [that you probably won’t like]. This present is “Lost Luggage Landfill”, a[n] [old] race I made a [very] long time ago but only really finished it recently. There are like 10 shortcuts in total, and I would probably reward someone if they can find all 10 if I could. Best I can think of is a pat on the shoulder for now.
Hope ya’ll like it more than I do. =P
Fast paced, innovative, exciting, and most importantly extremely enjoyable; this is a very well designed race level, and one of Rag’s best levels to date. If you like the Race game mode, play this.
This is very good race lvl ;)
This is very handly lvl, also the eyecandy is great.
Conclusion:Go and download this lvl fast !!!
Although this review was written in January 2009 for a level released in August 2008, I still wanted to address what I liked and disliked about “Lost Luggage Landfill.” I will mainly focus on the gameplay aspect of the race level in this review, though I will make some remarks about the appearance of the level.
Gameplay (9.5/10, 80% Weight):
On my first lap of this race level, I was a little confused. Upon further inspection, this can be attributed not to the gameplay, but the appearance of the level. After several playthroughs, I concluded that the flow, length, and potential for action in this level are likely the most balanced I have seen in a JJ2 race level.
The height of horizontal areas and the width of vertical areas in the level switch from “wide” to “narrow” frequently over long stretches. The effect should be more noticeable with more than two competitors. The short symmetrical branching paths (side-by-side pipes) allow the action to split up so the racing can have some semblance of “defense” that is lacking in other levels.
The springs are properly placed throughout the level, and I was also pleased to see them used well with “dissonance” early in the level, in that holding right constantly on the upper path toward the beginning results in the player being pushed back a little by blue springs, which is adequate punishment for holding “right” brainlessly.
The overall route of the level is confusing at first, though there are arrows indicating where to go. In particular, when the route is reversed, it would be nice to have the arrow pointing at the pole route removed via the same trigger and have a different arrow pointing to the left to show the correct path to take for the confused user who is experiencing this flip in the route for the first time. This is again, an appearance issue, but it impacts the flow of the level the first time through. A difficult goal in making the “perfect race level” is making the primary route perfectly clear the first time around. This and another appearance issue I will note later are the only issues, and they are very minor.
On the ascents of this level, Spaz has a minor movement advantage in that he has a few more options to shave his overall time. In particular, his extra jump allows him to forgo the ice ammo over the spring just after the trigger-based crossover somewhat early in the race. On the other hand, neglecting to pick up any ice causes the player to miss out on some decent ice-based shortcuts that would otherwise make up for that time. Other than this and the boxed spring situation very early in the level where Spaz can access the bouncer ammo without the use of the higher green springs using his extra jump, there are no significant advantages for Spaz.
Jazz has a few combat advantages in this level. The slight horizontal descent after the “holes in the floor” area that follows the steep descent through three pipes can affords Jazz better control over freezing his opponents with ice while flying. Additionally, the fact that he requires a jumping punch to access one of the ice shortcuts punishes players taking the same shortcut or merely passing over. Again, these are about as minor as Spaz’s movement advantages.
Most of the shortcuts in the level involve a risk/reward situation. In some cases, (in particular the RF shortcut and the second iced spring shortcut) the risk scales exponentially with the number of players and players may need to think twice about using them.
There is one major “one-use only” shortcut that is probably best used the first time around because it bypasses destructible scenery the first time around. It is close to the point where the course flips around. Unless in the case of race over TCP destroyed scenery is not destroyed for everyone, players can essentially “do all the work” for someone else. It has to be destroyed when the course flips on the player, however, though by this time the player can just use TNT to destroy the blocks. This probably makes taking the shortcut on the first lap every time and then picking up TNT the optimal strategy in every situation, which is the only remotely significant flaw that I can see in this level’s design. To balance this out, you might be able to do something with triggers to slightly punish players who took the shortcut that are also trying to obtain the TNT on the same lap (or not at all, for that matter). This would actually make using the shortcut on a different lap strategic.
While combat is less important in a race level than the flow, it is still important to have good weapon placement in case combat takes place. I have nothing bad to say about the weapon placement. Where paths split, bouncer ammunition is placed at the top, RF ammunition (which goes both up and down) is placed in the middle, and pepper spray (which goes straight) is placed at the bottom. The toaster ammunition is placed in wide open areas where it is more effective than other weapons. I only comment on this to point out that this is a good example to look at if you want to know what good weapon placement looks like in a race level. Weapon placement can only be as good as the design of the level, and since there are several symmetrical splits in the level, there are plenty of opportunities to use these effective principles.
Functional appearance (9.0/10, 10% Weight):
The tiles of the tileset are properly meshed together in all instances so no confusion will occur because of improper use of tiles. The first time around, the level was only a little confusing because I thought I was going back the way I came when I went right through one of three pipes, fell down a warp, and then went left through what looked at first like the same three pipes. This somehow made me think I was going backwards for a while and caused me to question my route throughout the rest of the level. This was not an issue on subsequent playthroughs, but it does reveal a slight lack of variety in that particular part of the level. Variety may trade off with consistency, however. Improving upon the overall design might require changing the first triple-pipe area that goes left. You maybe could just get away with changing the foreground in that area, though. The open view of space underneath it really should have caught my attention the first time through, but I did not notice it when I was trying to speed through the level. More holes in the background might look better, but the amount of holes should be kept reasonable.
I should mention again that the arrow pointing at the pole route around the point where the course flips around is misleading when the player is instructed to go back down. That arrow should be temporarily removed via trigger and a different arrow should appear that points left. It is okay to point arrows along the primary route of the level. You only need arrows pointing at alternate routes when you want those alternate routes to be obvious and they are not already obvious.
Graphical appearance (8.0/10.0, 10% Weight):
No offense to the tileset creator, of course, but I feel the tileset limits the potential of this race level. The tileset is used very well to create the occasional view of space, and that is easily the best use of the tileset in this level. The “inside” areas contrast with this in that they are comparatively bland, though I could see that much effort was made to optimize the appearance of the level despite this. In short, the level looks good, but it is not eye-catching.
Overall (9.3/10.0, rounded down to 9.2 to fit J2O’s rating system):
I really feel this raises the bar for race levels with regard to flow and weapon placement. The level is still very limited in its choice of landmarks throughout the course. It is still about as scenic as it can get with the chosen tileset, so I would at least like to acknowledge that some effort was made to make the level stand out aesthetically. You can only really make a race level better by keeping it this great over a slightly longer course and adding interesting landmarks that fit properly in the level, much like what was already added in the case of the space views throughout the level.
Any shortcomings in the “eye-catching” department of this race level are trounced by the excellent level design, which provides fun and balanced racing and combat at all skill levels. This is a short race level, but it has so many movement and combat options for racers throughout the level that races can be conceivably very different every time. I recommend this level as a worthy addition to any race pack on a server as well as a great example of how one should design a race level.
Good work on the level.
It’s time to pick up the pace and head to the starting grid. I have a feeling this level will be blazing!
Lost Luggage Landfill is a race level filled to the brink with original ideas, shortcuts, handy weaponry and obstacles. For example, there’s a really tricky part in the level where you must cross a vine-bridge. One shot can make you fall into oblivion and force you back. Rag certainly spent a lot of time to make this level’s flow perfect. Rarely will a player get stuck pushing walls or falling back down… well, except when another player forces you down. ;)
Although I can’t see the link between “Lost Luggage Landfill” and something that appears to be a space station, I must conclude that Rag’s level looks more than moderately good. He uses the BattleShips tileset in ways I’ve never seen before (or anyone, for that matter). Though sometimes a bit chaotic, the overall directions stay clear and it’s more than obvious wether you’re about to run into a wall or a tunnel. The music emits a spacey vibe that somehow makes you wanna run for it, despite it being a remotely slow song.
Bouncers, TNT, Freezers, anything you need in a race level is here. A tricky powerup every now and then and hidden surprises make Lost Luggage Landfill a gem under the sun. Creative use of those hourglass-thingies and springs, not to mention the poles, who surpassed my imagination as far as they can be used in race levels.
Bonusses and substractions
+10 because you’re Rag
Besides being a good level, this level is actually a lot of fun to play with a handfull of players. Either download this or LET’S GO KFC.
Whoa. What a level.
I was very much impressed by what Ragnarok was able to do with the JJ1 Battleships tileset, taking it and building a race the likes of which are rarely seen.
Lost Luggage Landfill is expertly built. There’s clever Spring traps that can both punish and reward a player, depending on how they’re used. There’s loop-de-loop segments, where the racers go through one section, then make a return circuit through it. Like basically everybody else here has said, gameplay was completely on point, and this level rocks.
That being said, I was VERY confused by the segment at the beginning (which I am quite disappointed to find no one else addressed in their reviews) with the in-wall trigger crates, which although doubtlessly intended as a whimsical flourish of excellence, ended up frustrating the bejeebers out of me.
Which was too bad. I dunno, maybe I’m missing something important regarding the fancy sequence, but I’d be willing to bet that’s the bug that Daemon was talking about in his review.
Contrary to what he insists in the upload description, Rag seems to have an uncanny knack for building race levels. Lost Luggage Landfill, once past the annoying intro, is a terrific race and a blast to play. Ragnarok’s good, and his levels even better. Download today.
The creativity in this level just keeps amazing me every time I play it. Every time I play here, I notice something completely new and creative. You could honestly play this level for hours at a time. Would it get boring after a while? The answer is no. I’m just so impressed with Rag’s latest work, and this by far, gets a vote for one of his best all time levels. Maybe not in everyone’s first person view, but for me, this is just superior. The Eyecandy just makes this level flow, and the atmosphere just feels so realistic. The Ideas Rag put into the eyecandy for such a set, are brilliant. If someone was looks for some ideas, eyecandy wise, this would be the level to look at. Another thing I wanted to point out where the tricks and short cuts he put in here, as well as “death zones” such as the vines near the very end of the level. If you fail to cross, you’ll have to start the lap completely over. A trick that he put in here, was the RF jump near the middle of the level. It’s not impossible, but it’s not the easiest to complete, which is perfect for such a simple, but brilliant trick. I give this level 2 thumbs up, and a definite download. Good job Rag.
I am sorry for it 3,7 I cannot get better one :( the level very good only his front bug :(((
[If you can’t properly play a level, don’t rate. It also helps to elaborate when reporting a bug. ~cooba]
Eat your lima beans, Johnny.