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|25 Mar 2011
|25 Mar 2011
|FF7 Boss Battle
|19 Mar 2011
Sparks Factory, a factory designed to produce Sparks. As in, the floating electric eyeballs.
Anyway, this level (and the tileset accompanying it) were created for FireSworD’s “Dethrone the Tyrant” boss arena contest.
Also, this file contains a custom boss1.j2b, so MAKE SURE YOU BACKUP YOUR OLD BOSS1.J2B IF YOU HAVE NOT ALREADY DONE SO.
I actually bothered to play this with all characters in all Easy, Medium and Hard. Not that it’s really useful to know, but it helps me know how the level works with each character.
I don’t think a custom tileset automatically makes it better (there’s some bad custom tilesets out there), but it’s a decent tileset, so I’ll give props for that. I get the theme, it works. I like how the tileset implements health bar tiles. However, there’s so much major animations found it rather distracting. Yes, there’s something called too much EC. So much that I didn’t even know what was solid when I first played the level at some points.
The basis of the gameplay consists of collecting 20 coins to meet the boss while avoiding his attacks, I actually thought it was going to be Bolly Boss before I played this, considering he does look a bit like sparks (at least the eye does, anyway).
I have mixed feelings…actually, there is quite an amount of issues. The idea itself is good, but not that well implemented. I don’t really like how the enemies are somewhat hidden behind from where they generate, so by means you barely have an idea when they’re actually there. Also, spawning carrots is a bad idea for single player. Why? You can pretty much stay there and wait to recover, it’s not that hard to dodge the Boss attacks while waiting for the c’s to respawn. And I’m not sure if you know about this, but there’s a lame Spaz sidekick bug which allows you to infinitie sidekick the boss if you get close to it, killing it in seconds by holding the down and jump button. And it’s not too hard to perform here.
Now about character balances. I actually found Lori the easiest to use (heck I passed Hard in one try with her while with Spaz it took a few tries, and didn’t bother with Jazz as I explain why later), considering killing the spark enemies are a lot easier to kill with her kick, not to mention you can easily turn back with it but I don’t think this was intended to become a somewhat Lori biased level, because I don’t even think the creator of this level has TSF himself, so this won’t really impact on the rating. So I’ll only compare Spaz with Jazz here.
Spaz can get up a few places faster. Helps a bit. Then you got the sidekick boss bug with him, which I sadly don’t even think the creator even knows about.
Ok…Jazz just isn’t very useful here. Took several tries to finish the level with him, And the uppercut and sidekick blocks don’t balance anything. Why? Same rewards, in the same place. Not to mention uppercut is the slowest special move to perform.
I think the default Boss music would’ve done just as well at fitting, but I suppose it’s nice to hear something fresh every now and then. It’s okay music.
No story here. I suppose it’s possible to make a story about this level although I think improving the gameplay is far more important.
The tileset is a cool little gimmick worth seeing for a while but the gameplay leaves such to be desired. If you don’t mind hidden spawning enemies, with waiting for c’s to respawn then you might like it. By the way, character balance isn’t all that important in SP, but it’s nice if you can, although it’s not really a big issue. I just wanted to say that, because the low-ish rating is not mainly because of the somewhat imbalancedness.
I noticed there were no reviews for this, and I think I should review this level because I am bored anyway. Not the best reason, but one nonetheless.
As this is a custom tileset, one word: AMAZING. You have fully conveyed the spirit of this location. There are Sparks being constructed in front of you, yada yada yada.
It’s a square room, coins scattered around the area, Sparks coming at you from lots of directions, and a Schwarzenguard in the coin-warp-accessible room in the middle of the arena. It’s creative, but not the most creative. There are coins which you have to buttstomp through blocks to get to, coins which Spaz must sidekick through blocks to get to, and coins which you must shoot blocks to get to. It’s not the best place, but it’s good.
You start at the bottom of the arena. Sparks are already here to greet you. The Schwarzenguard is already trying to kill you. What do you do?
A: Collect coins! There is a coin warp below you that requires 20 coins which to collect require the above mentioned tactics. Sparks will fly at you, determined to zap you, and the Schwarzenguard keeps flinging his chained mace at you. When you get hit, what do you do?
A: Collect carrots! They respawn (which is a weak point in my opinion) and you can feel free to get hit as much as you want.
When you have finally collected coins, you warp into the Schwarzenguard’s room. It’s easy peasy after that, even with no ammo.
Custom tileset! +0.7
8.33333 rounded to 8.3
DR? Yes, but don’t expect too much.
Heh. This was a fun level to play.
I really liked Sparks Factory for a number of different reasons. For starters, the gameplay was amazing. It’s a Boss Challenge map, where you have to navigate your way through a short level and break into a boss arena. Sort of like starting from the last checkpoint of a Jazz 2 level and going straight to the boss.
In SF, you are required to find twenty coins and activate a warp, which leads you into an arena with the Schwartzenguard. Easy enough, right?
Wrong. The whole time that you’re searching for coins, the Schwartzenguard is throwing flailarangs at you. Since you’re in a Sparks factory, Sparks are constantly being spawned to come after you. The eyecandy was quite whimsical, with Sparks parts moving through tubes and belts as if in a real factory.
The only thing missing from that is the factory ambient sounds…
SF is relatively free of bugs, and the music, while not terribly interesting, was nonetheless quite fitting.
My biggest beef with the level is that there’s too much going on. Don’t get me wrong, factories are USUALLY busy, and there SHOULD be plenty of activity here, but for such a concentrated are there seems to be an inordinate amount of eyecandy. It’s kind of distracting.
In any case, Sparks Factory is a good level, and it’s worth a download.
Eat your lima beans, Johnny.