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|DMine.j2l||Mine Of Diamondus||16.58 kB||11 Jan 2010|
This is my first level.
Pick either Jazz, Spazz or Lori and have fun!
Multiple changes on the obstacle-side.
DON’T destroy the spike bolls I’ve added; it might crash the game.
[“good level” doesn’t quite match the 3.0 score you gave. Please write a review that at least matches your rating, however short it is. ~Stijn]
My favorite part about this level is how unapologetically ridiculous it is. There is no storyline, as we learn at the very beginning when even a text sign tile fails to produce any text. There’s a boss at the end, but no explanation is given then either. The level exists entirely within itself, and is nothing more than a darkened, linear, sadistic romp through the emptier caves of Diamondus. It is the most basic part of JJ2 single player distilled: enemies are in your way, as are spikes, and over time you pick up food and ammo to help you. There are two moments when trigger crates became involved, but at that point I didn’t trust the level enough not to perceive them as a threat to avoid stomping until I had made sure there really was an impenetrable obstacle later on in my path.
From the very first screen, you know you’re in trouble. It’s dark, a few enemies are circulating around, and there are spikes you don’t want to fall on. A quick check reveals that ceiling spikes hurt you as well. And that’s what you need to know. There are a lot of spikes, and a lot of enemies, and they’re never really going to let up. There’s not enough ammo to use it constantly, but there’s enough so that whenever you get in a situation warranting it you shouldn’t be defenseless. Toaster and RFs won the day for me as enhanced melee weapons to take out a group of enemies quickly with more firepower than the blaster. I didn’t especially notice any moments when TNT or Electroblaster would have come in handy (outside of a trigger crate for the former), but ice had its moments against the tougher baddies, and bouncers were absent for most of the level and then presented as a lifesaving boon near the end. Seekers were, in keeping with the amount this level wants you to die horribly, nowhere to be found.
Mine of Diamondus is a good example of how to use a lot of different enemies right, in that it staggers them rather than introducing them all at the very start of the level. The more thematically specific ones, such as skeletons and ghosts, are restricted to limited areas which you may assume are more haunted than the rest of the mine. Float lizards only appear at the top of the level — which gives you the prospect of escaping the mine but in fact reveals the far background to be no more than more cave but a little farther away — and fencers and witches at the bottom near the end. (I don’t think the fencers really worked, due to their costumes, and I think they really only do appear in one spot so they would not have been missed.) The level uses two witches and incorporates them into its design philosophy perfectly in that they are presented with no show or preamble at all, are gone with as little fanfare as they appeared, and are not involved with any complicated find-Eva-type level design. Rather, you morph back almost immediately after meeting them: they’re just threats. It’s kind of amazing.
There are several secrets to break up the level, some of which are obvious and some not. The author favors layer 3 secrets that you have to shoot your way into over the ones that you don’t, so eventually I realized that it just made sense to have the blaster firing all the time, and switch to other weapons when the occasion warranted it. Secrets get bigger as the level goes on, giving you carrots and large caches of ammo instead of a measly two red gems, and were all fairly well executed. There were some I saw but never found a way into, and I wouldn’t be too surprised if they weren’t actually accessible and the level was just being sadistic, because that is so much the feeling I got from this level. It was enjoying my pain and looking for subtle, non-flashy ways to increase it. Bats would come out of the floor, secrets would not be where I expected, witches would attack without any warning at all, the top of the level didn’t offer any sight of the sky, and so on. Even the end of the level pits you against a boss in the deepest point of the cave, and there’s no suggestion that beating it will make any progress in getting you out of there, because it’s a dead end at the bottom of a long pit. Even by beating the level you are no less doomed than you were at the start. Yet determination wins out!
I’m not sure how I feel about the eyecandy… it was very basic, letting the level design speak for itself, but still I think at least a little bit more could have been done. The level was, as I’ve said, extremely linear — most of the trigger crates were even before the blocks they removed — and I don’t know whether that’s good or bad, because it certainly made the level all the more inevitable to give me no choice at any time what I would be doing next, outside of finding secrets. And there could have been more creativity in some of the obstacles. I think swinging platforms would have worked well here, and in general some enemies placed more tactfully, since at least most of them only involved getting in the right place to hit with two or three or four bullets. The important thing is to maintain the feeling that the level is deeply, deeply angry at you for something that you did — even if you have no idea what it could possibly have been and would probably apologize if the level would only provide you a text sign — and I don’t think that’s in much danger of going away. The only false note on the obstacle side was an inescapable pit of spikes near the end. Not cool.
This is fantastic. When I loaded up the level, my first reaction was “here comes the painful slime green and blue of Diamondus” but I quickly forgot that notion after seeing your excellent use of the tileset.
There is variety everywhere. This level doesn’t seem to specialize in a particular theme or weapon loadout, which for a standalone level is fine. I love the backgrounds that peek through the hole in the wall. The level doesn’t really suffer from the usual REPETITIVE scenery, but it does get to be a bit much sometimes in relation to how much stuff is crammed into a given area. It’s also a pretty tight squeeze through most (but not all) of the level. Efficient use of space? Definitely. Feeling claustrophobic? A bit.
There were a few things I took issue with. Mainly:
- The warp portal exit near the second witch spawns you right into her. This is not fun when you’re on your last frog legs.
- One area where the ceiling came to a point, there were some hurt events that I ran into blindly. Throughout the rest of the level I avoided such areas until I realized you only slapped a hurt event onto that particular one. I’d just get rid of it since it’s not obvious. Either that, or you could change all of them to do this which would screw up some areas of the level (the gem trail, etc).
- One of the trigger crates could not be destroyed by Jazz (the one leading to the bouncer ammo). I don’t know whether this was intentional or not. I kinda liked it because it forced me to dig through my backpack for some TNT.
The rest of the gameplay was really quite good. In some of the tight areas – mainly at the beginning of the level – I couldn’t clear the spikes. I would have preferred a spring on the ceiling that pushes you back rather than stalactites. The use of food and gems was very tasteful. Baddies, a little less so but there’s only so much you can do with them.
Using the classic music for DIamondus fit rather well. The whole level had a bit of an oldschool feel to it with the way it was all narrow corridors – the sort of thing you’d see back when you couldn’t fit much on your monitor :p
I could care less that there was no storyline. The level would be better with one, but not by much. I like stories that keep you in suspense over multiple levels anyway.
If I could make any definite recommendations on improving your levelmaking, I’d say… allow the player to “breathe” a bit more. Open areas and more checkpoints (maybe; I don’t like dying, but they were well-placed in this level). I just couldn’t help the feeling that I was being squeezed through a sewer pipe at times. If at all possible, choose a tileset that is less painful on the eyes in the future.
This is real quality work. I hope you make more.
I appreciate the reviews.
I have already made a few changes and I got the text working. Also some collapsing scenery, boll platforms and Spike bolls are added in. I’d re-upload it soon.
Also note that this level is supposed to be narrow with a lot of spikes. You are moving through caves, through mines!
Hi. I have finally found something interesting
Mines Of Diamondus by ThunderWalker:
Now the review:
You start with Jazz/Spaz/LOri and you get to the first text
(which you could fix by the way) , and after that the show begins.
Story: Well no storyline but i won’t deduct too much out of it.
Eyecandy: The typical Diamondus tileset with 90% caves,
there weren’t too many bugs, although i have found one and after that i died because of a bat; it was covered but layer 3 contain the cave blue as well.
The layer 5 is used as well for some background cave, and layer 8 the same, layer 7and 6 with caves and holes full of leaf(or whatever that green thing is.)
Gameplay You start on a platform, it’s quite dark, there are some spikes down so be careful, there are quite a few enemies although it would be more usefull to put hurt floor instead of bees on the spikes, there are bats, hidden everywhere, carrots hidden, coins,ammo crates and barrels, there is a large variety of enemies although some only appear once or appear many in one place, there are a lot of warps, guns, food and many others.
Another thing about spikes: There are near end which is not good!
The checkpoints aren’t quite often met: I died at 1/4 of level and started from the begining, because there are only 2 checkpoints in all the level. Anyway it’s quite linear but it is a good gameplay.
And you could try putting more enemies in hard mode instead of pilling enemies on normal mode. It’s quite hard.
Ammo placement: As i said before there are all weapons, although i just wonder what’s with the electro gun?
Anyway, it’s enough for the entire level,but sometime i just felt like: why don’t just use the blaster instead of all these?
fire on bees, rapiers and raven(that’s arguable).
bouncer for…. enemies..
RF for enemies or boss.
TNT for crates.
and the rest for boss, because from what’ i’ve analysed in the level, all Destruct Scenery are with Weapon 0 so you can shoot them wih anything(except freezer ammo)….
There are bees on the horisontal spikes, there are bats hidden everywhere, dragons spit fire at you when “you need the most”, a lot of tough turtles, and some are just in one place or more in 1 place and appear once in the whole level.(eg: the rapiers).
The boss is the schwarzenguard; i sincerely hope nobody has 1 life right before he/she fights it. There is a “low” spike from which you can’t escape other than jjfly…
It’s a good thing the spikes before the boss stomp blocks aren’t “spiky”; no hurt event… yeey!.
Story: None: 7.5/10
Gameplay: Good but still room for more. 8.5/10
Ammo placement: Good, there are all guns although some are useless…. 8.5/10
Enemy_place. Lots of enemies, though, the fact that there are too many is making it hard 8.5/10
Originality: Yes, original level with a cavey design. 9.3/10
Bugs: Almost none: 9/10
Miscelaneous: You could learn making some texts…. 8/10
Final mark: 7.5+8.5+8.5+8.5+9.3+9+8 / 7 => 8.3 with DR
It has been a while since I’ve downloaded anything from here but I liked the design so I tried it. I have to say this is a very good level. The often small space and the cave design is very well done. Though I had to get used to the fact that ceiling spikes actually work here (which is good). I got every type of ammo with the exception of seekers and pepper spray. The bouncer got really useful at certain places mostly when I was low on health. Health was actually enough, whenever I needed only 1 hit I got a carrot. Even if not, I survived far enough to get one. I found quite a lot of secrets, I think there were even a few which couldn’t be accessed though I’m not 100% sure. You can argue that it’s too linear, too simple etc. but it depends on who’s playing. For example I like levels which don’t divide 20 times in 35 places. Yes-yes and I’m a horrible person for liking the original levels as well. I like when I know where I’m actually going. Also I couldn’t care less about a story. J.K. Rowling may be a good writer but I doubt she’s a good level creator. So there’s no point in making a bad story for a good level, as well as making good stories for a level that sucks. I think it’s perfectly okay that you used the original music, don’t know how you think about it but I like the original tracks. Another reason why I like this level is because you can see that this wasn’t a 2 hour work. It is really long and still very precisely done. I really can’t find too many things that could lower the rating. Maybe that there are very few saving points. I can’t really complain about the difficulty since in my opinion a level needs about as much difficulty as this level has (well maybe a little bit less).
My rating is no less than 9.5 and even if it’s not a perfectly accurate rating I can calmly recommend this level for any player.
Eat your lima beans, Johnny.