|qzdom081.j2l||Pearl-Shell Shore||6.97 kB||25 Oct 2008|
|Mystic Isle 2.j2t||Mystic Isle 2||61.02 kB||26 Jul 2007|
|artsun.it||Artificial Sun||471.49 kB||17 Oct 2005|
My entry for Rag’s DOM-contest with Moonblaze’s Mystic Isle 2 set.
Two CP’s at the left of the level, one PU (seeks) at the right. You need to swim to the PU to get it, which might take some time, so what will you do? Control the CP’s fast or get the PU for more firepower?
About the layout.. Well, see the levelname. It’s a shory area with an underwater passage. Also, a lot of waterfalls in the caves thanks to condensation.
P.S. Made some minor changes, so this is a tiny bit different than my entry for the contest.
Great theme. At first I thought the top right being empty was a bad idea, but the layout seems complex enough to make up for it. So it’s a unique layout that just barely accomplishes the feel of being on a shore, which is amazing. Other theme-related stuff was cool, like the condensation. The level plays good. This level is all-around good.
Not much to say here that hasn’t already been said. Good layout, smooth flow, nice eyecandy, excellent eventage.
I wasn’t too impressed with the sand-colored Layer 8 BG, the campable Seeker powerup or the music (which I felt was a rather poor fit), but overall the level was nice and definitely deserves a DL.
After reading Rag’s mini-review in the contest results, I couldn’t help but download this right away. After a quick game, I’m ready for my review.
After playing this for five minutes, I couldn’t help but notice that this level actually is fairly small. Though it measures 120×58, it feels denser than the numbers may suggest. This may be because of the large open airspace. The level consists of platforms connected through caves or water.
The control points are both placed on the left half of the level, while most of the ammo and carrots are placed far from the CPs. In fact, the only PU in the level, good ol’ Seeker PU, is hidden far away from the battlefield in an underwater tunnel. This setting makes the player choose between defending a CP with little or no ammo or going out there to get some protection, leaving base unguarded. Controlling the lower base isn’t exactly hard, since the use of Seekers when down in the water makes for a perfect defence. You can hardly be hit down there, and once the player decided to run for a spree of Seekers, the CP is easily recovered. The upper base, however, placed the player with his back to the wall, cornered and outnumbers against the possibility to be killed from below or from the right. Bouncers will easily kill a target at a large distance.
Healing shouldn’t be a problem in this map, in which three carrots are scattered across the caves. Only one is near the CPs, though, so the defence will have a hard time on this match, whereas the offence can hit and run and easily heal.
Pearl-Shell Shore uses a tileset that is somewhat overused, but at the same time, totally unseen. Quickz utilizes the tileset’s beach tiles to the fullest extend of it’s possibilities, and it surely shows. The level has a serene beach-feeling painted all over it. Among the sand, one can find a few rocks and even bits of the rocky grass tiles. The background is oddly two-toned in pink and yellow, yet strangely doesn’t seem bad at all. A quiet lake sits comfortably in the background, surrounded by a few mountains.
The beach tiles and the shallow water make for a comfy feel for the whole level. The music only adds up to the Relaxation-bar. Some may say that it’s bad for the gameplay, but I find a relaxing game more worthy than a rushy game. Points to YOU, Quickz!
lame Quite good
The level contains a wide array of ammo and a Seeker PU. The PU is harder to get, but it surely does make your team the winning one. The use of bouncers can be fully utilized with the upper CP, which will surely come in handy.
The carrots are nicely spread out over the map, with only one being near the CPs, which are, by the way, very nicely placed as well.
Springs are placed all over, for easier access to the platforms. The only spring I didn’t like was the rightmost green spring, which kind of killed the flow because you will always bump in the ceiling when running into it.
There is little more for me to say on the event front. Nothing too special here, but it all works properly.
Overall: It works
This level is very fun to play and certainly put a smile on my face. The well-chosen winner for Rag’s DOM contest stands before you.
Download Recommendation: NOW
I didn’t say no, I said NOW!
This level deserves a way above average score, and with respect should it be called the best Domination level so far.
As this won Rag’s Domination level making contest, I couldn’t wait to review this.
The first thing I notice is the unusual mix of pink and yellow in the Layer 8 Background. I really like this and think that this goes really well with the tileset that has been used. Quickz has made extensive use of all the Beach and sand tiles in this set. The water background in Layer 7 looks very nice. The waterfalls don’t look like they are pouring down from nowhere but really look as if they are coming from the ceiling itself and they stop at the water like real waterfalls should do.
Quickz has made excellent use of Layers 3-8. Layers 1 & 2 aren’t used but you don’t need to use every layer to make a good level.
Everything here makes this look like a Shore as intended by the level name.
GAMEPLAY & FLOW
This level has very good layout, is easy to navigate and doesn’t feel cramped. The top right is empty but I don’t think that is an issue in this level. You can choose to do two things. You can either capture the Control Points located on the left and defend them or you can go for the Seeker Power-Up, the only PU that can be found in this level located on the right by going for a swim through an underwater tunnel on the far right.
If you decide to go for some ammo or the PU you can be sure that the CP you were defending is going to get recaptured.
The flow here is excellent, there are no annoying dead ends that you will bump into. There are also no warps so there is no way to escape from attackers by warping to other places.
EVENTS & PICKUP PLACEMENT
There is a nice amount of ammo to be found in this level. All the ammo for each weapon grouped up very nicely. There is neither too much or too little of every weapon.
As I mentioned in Gameplay, there is just one Power-Up and that is the Seeker and the placement is not campy. Spaz players can kick the PU for 50 ammo but since most people use Spaz I do not find this a serious issue in the level. Jazz players can still uppercut the PU by pushing it a bit to the left. There are three “+1 Carrots” to be found here. No Full NRGs so that players cannot regain full health to easily. The Carrots are spread out nicely so you shouldn’t have a problem gaining 1 or 2 Hearts back. One Carrot is placed by the Seeker PU so that you can get some ammo and regain 1 Heart back. Only one Carrot can be found nearest to the CPs so defenders shouldn’t regain any health too easily.
There are two Control Points (CPs) here. One CP can be found in the top left so it’s possible that you might get surrounded and get Seekers and other weapons fired at you from all directions. The other CP can be found at the bottom left in the middle of two pools of water. The two pools can be used as protection from ammo that may be fired at you while protecting the CP. Seekers may still hit you.
Five different weapons can be found here, these are: Bouncer (Gun2), Seeker (Gun4), RFs (Gun5), Toaster (Gun6) and Pepper Spray (Gun8).
Most of the ammo can be found on the right side of the level so if you are defending any of the CPs you will have to go some distance away from the CPs to regain some ammo.
All the platforms can be accessed easily with all the available Springs.
Pearl-Shell Shore is very fun and has excellent placement of pickups and has impressive eyecandy. I love the mix of the pink and yellow in the background.
This is a level I would definitely play online and host.
The Artificial Sun (artsun.it) music used is a perfect fit in this level. +0.1
TOTAL SCORE = 27/30
OVERALL MARK = (27 / 3) + 0.1 = 9.1
SHOULD YOU DOWNLOAD?
Since this won Rag’s Domination level making contest and has been awarded the Featured Download of October 2008, you REALLY MUST DOWNLOAD THIS!
As the tileset author, I was very impressed with how you managed to make a smooth and rich layout using so few tiles as the set had. It always makes me happy to see people get in depth with my set and make such impressive levels, and I’m honored you choose my set for your contest entry.
I would rate this but I’m afraid I’d base my rating on your usage of my set rather than the actual game play. I hope that a few kind words will do. ;)
(This review is part of a review exchange)
Domination is a fairly new game mode. Quite a few DOM levels have been made since Blur first introduced the popular UT game mode into the JJ2 scene with the latest update of plus, however no one has really experimented with the concept; it has a lot of potential, which is very slowly being realised. Who knows what wacky DOMs we may see in the future? This level, though, is the first step into seeing what kind of gameplay Domination is really capable of.
I had my doubts on this level when seeing it in it’s early stages, however Quickz designed the level to near perfection. The thing that possessed me the most was the theme; creative tileset usage made the level appear to be on a quiet shoreline. I consider it genious how the layout fits in perfectly with the theme; it moves up in layers from the bottom right, rising out of the sea onto sand until reaching tall cliffs. Caves reach inside the sandbar in a complex network, containing nice touches such as the waterfalls representing condensation. The music makes the level feel so epic. In fact, this level feels so magnificant that this even inspired me to take a trip to a beach myself, although the weather sucked. D=
Aside from looking great, it plays amazingly too. The positions of the two CPs were no doubt the best; the level would not work anywhere near as well if they had been placed elsewhere. The rest of the pickups are placed with thought, there is only one PU (Seeker), although in the DOM game mode spending time camping a PU rather than a CP would be utter stupidity. The fact that there are no Full NRGs make staying alive harder, but that could be seen as a good thing. The level feels cramped, however not so cramped in a way that makes movement slow, and the cramped feeling in the caves is part of the theme. The thing which I like the most about the gameplay is the fact this level can work with pretty much any number of players; not too big for smaller games like 2vs2s or not too small for larger games like 5vs5s. Pretty much everyone will enjoy this level, and for the moment it plays much better than all of the other released DOM levels.
This level inspired me to work on a DOM level, and I’ve been having great fun experimenting with the concept. In general, this level is pretty damn amazing, I don’t really think there will be any people who won’t enjoy this level. However, what stops me giving higer than 8.5 is that I’ve still yet to see what Domination is truly capable of.
Eat your lima beans, Johnny.