|xlmconflux.j2l||Conflux||20.75 kB||06 Apr 2011|
|FooMergev1.2.j2t||FooMergev1.2||220.79 kB||16 Nov 2009|
|Conflux.mp3||1310.90 kB||06 Aug 1999|
Here is my latest battle level. The suggested player amount is 8-32.
The inspiration for this level comes from a game called Heroes of Might and Magic 3. The level also uses a HoMM 3-tune as music, which is the main influence of the theme and idea.
Conflux is a mix of 4 elements(Earth, Air, Water, Fire.) They are present in the creation of an arcane magician, who has summoned the elements together in his fort. You may try to find the magician from a part of the level(semi-hidden secret.)
In addition, the level contains a shield that has a respawn time of 93 seconds. You may either buttstomp it, or shoot it with a certain type of ammo.
Anyway, enjoy the new level!
11/04/06 – EDIT: Fixed an issue with the Bouncer power up. Please re-download.
Awesome level with epic eyecandy and gameplay. Also the castle ‘ruin’ is nicely done. Good job.
I was able to play this online with a couple of people, and although i think this level is more suited for large servers i did get a fair idea of how the level plays.
First of all, the level design mixes several different themes together, made possibly by Spotty’s Foomerge tileset edit (which I myself used, although it was a heavily edited edit of that edit cough :P, in phantasmagoria). All these themes (or as SJ describes them – “elements”) combine within the level to create a unique and interesting design. If I could summarize the eyecandy style here in one word, it would have to be chaotic. A great attention is paid to detail here, and no area of the level looks dull or bland, but sometimes the mix of seemingly unassosciated tiles together in such a small space can be a little bit disorienting, especially the background layer eyecandy. That being said, I liked that the eyecandy was kept out of the way for the most part, and besides the disorientation from the style itself, it did not interfere with the gameplay of the level. Also, going back to the style of the detail here, I think the way the appearance was designed, as a blend of everything with the castle area in the middle, gives the level a unique personality (for lack of a better word) and I liked it. Although, it could take some time to get used to.
As far as the layout and gameplay of the level go, I mentioned before I think it is better suited for larger amounts of players, like team matches or ffa games. Tho the level doesn’t look very big, the amount of passages in the layout and the presence of water here means it can be kinda hard to find your kill, even in a 2vs2 game. Also, i counted 5 carrots here (tho I could be wrong?) which is a lot, and means you probably shouldnt be playing duels here, even if one of the carrots is hidden and the other seems like it could only be gotten with a copter. There are also a few warps scattered throughout the level, which make getting from one side to the other fairly easy. It also made it a lot harder to stalk others in this level, because I couldn’t be sure where they were going, and it was already hard enough to find them in the first place. I’m not a big fan of using water in levels that don’t look like they would naturally contain it, but it was used here in an interesting gimmick with the bouncer powerup requiring a sugar rush, and used in combination with a fire shield placed in the level. The strategy involved in choosing when and where to use the shield, and the option of obtaining it through the use of the #2 powerup for a longer timespan, makes the water here serve a purpose (as well as the food scattered about), which is fine.
In terms of ammo, I found myself mostly using the RF powerup for long hallways or seekers for the vertical/water areas of the level. Bouncers were also very useful, but it took time and careful planning to get the 100 food required to obtain them, so they couldn’t be depended on for the entire match. There is also a #6, #1 and #8 powerup, and some fastfires. They tend to be scattered towards the top of the level (besides the bouncer), which I guess is meant to counterbalance the shield being at the bottom-center of the map. TBH, I mightve placed the blaster a bit lower down, since its about a second and a half away from the RF, but generally I think everything is spread out nicely. I mentioned this already, but I like how the food placement here serves a purpose, beyond just a sugar rush. The water and the option of obtaining a powerup and a longer shield time really make the food a lot more deadly than it usually is (although i still doubt it will play any significant factor in determining the outcome of a match, but w/e :P).
The music also fits perfectly, although it reminds me more of a sci-fi show than the HoMM series here, for some reason.
Overall, I have a tough time rating this, because its meant for large games and I could only play this with 3 people today, but I’d definately like to see this in the Anniversarry Bash this year. The interesting gimmicks, plus the unique design style and theming, and generally solid level design in general, means this is a level you shouldn’t miss out on, and that you’ll probably see hosted in public servers in the future. I’m giving this an 8.4 for now, although that may change after I get to properly play this as it was intended (8-32 people).
Funnily enough, until writing this review I haven’t realised that this is SuperJazz’s first Battle upload since a year and a half – apparently I wasn’t the only JCSer to take a small break in 2010. :P While 4th Reich was a good level (even if the name raises an eyebrow or two) I wasn’t really the biggest fan of it, even if it did use my tileset rather well.
Conflux, however, is an improvement from 4th Reich in pretty much every aspect. The theme, which is that of a “freak magical accident” is strong through and through, with multiple “elements” mixing smoothly but never really clashing with eachother. I think SJ could have done some more mixing, though, because as it is, the level is pretty much split into a Castle section, a Diamondus section, a Hocus section, etc. The spectacular background offers a glimpse of what could have been if SJ gave himself more freedom ;) The music fits the level (or should I say, the level fits the music?), but after it loops once or twice, even the biggest HoMM 3 fan will be a little sick of it.
This is a big level. The size is 140×80, but it’s more open and straightforward than E. Prime, which is 140×90 but doesn’t feel as big as Conflux does. For the most part, the gameplay is exactly what you’d expect from a well designed battle level – it flows well, it’s fast, plenty of carrots and powerups, etc. There’s a number of twists on the formula though, and one of them is the Bouncer powerup – you need a Sugar Rush to get it (inspired by Rainforest Revelry perhaps?). With the Bouncer PU, you can now shoot the previously buttstomp-only Fire Shield. It’s a cool sidequest, even if not very practical in the long run: the freely available RF powerup will be a better weapon than Bouncers, and the shield isn’t a very big deal, considering the bottom 25% of the level is underwater. Two of the five carrots are located there, by the way, and I don’t like the bottom left carrot – it’s hidden, it’s easily campable, and the area it’s placed in is boring.
Other than that, everything else in the level really clicks together, and the other small gimmicks (there’s a hidden warp, the Toaster PU which is a bit tricky to sidekick, the hard-to-reach carrot) are amusing and you can tell that this level was polished a lot. My favorite part is how the Castle part closely follows the mannerisms of other battle levels using Castle (namely battle1), but doesn’t rip them straight. I had fun playing this in this year’s bash and in various JDC 20 events. This is SJ’s best battle effort yet and it shows!
Eat your lima beans, Johnny.