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|Snowcastle2016.j2l||Snow Castle 2016||24.08 kB||11 Jan 2016|
|HoHo13.j2t||Holiday House 13||418.64 kB||07 Dec 2014|
Jazz is crashing an xmas party.
While not particularly challenging or innovative, I had fun playing this level. The theme of the level is interesting, vaguely reminding me of Tim Burton’s A Nightmare Before Christmas with its mix of HH98 and Haunted House. I liked the non-linear nature of the layout and the subtle focus on finding weapons to unlock new areas. Give it a try!
Really enjoyed playing it. At first I thought there were too many carrots, but after bumping into those little b4st4rds all the time I understood why there are so many.
For a single map I really hoped for an end boss, but this was ok.
PS: couldn’t load file in JCS, so I didn’t saw where (if there is any) zone where the frog wears off.
Snow Castle 2016 starts out strong; you stand next to a closed wooden door that clearly can be destroyed by some kind of ammo, but nothing you have right now. Instead you go inside the house to your left, go down some stairs, and take either of two exits (both concealed to various degrees by layer 3) on a looping path that takes you back to whichever exit you didn’t take before. By the time you get there, you’ve got toaster ammo, and it turns out that’s what you’re supposed to use on the door.
That’s the theory, anyway—it should be mentioned that the toaster ammo is really close to the beginning of that looping path, so you could just grab it and head back. There’s also, if I’m understanding the level layout correctly, an entirely separate second looping path coming out of the starting house on the left side, only this one doesn’t contain any toaster or seemingly anything else of any use. It’s just there to get you lost. It’s respectable enough to play, I suppose, but it still leaves me with the feeling that maybe I’m missing something about why it’s there.
Still, if you don’t pay too much attention to your surroundings, you’ll end up on the right path—toastering through the wooden door—eventually. And then the level gets less interesting. The path might branch a little at some point, since there was a time or two I remember seeing enemies I clearly hadn’t gotten to, but I’m not sure about that… otherwise, though, it’s very much your basic JJ2 gameplay with limited graphics and not much to keep you from speeding through everything. There are plentiful carrots and big ceilings, a great recipe for letting a (non-Spaz) player helicopter across all the careful level design and skip all the careful pickups and enemies.
And the level certainly does some things right along the way. Ammo isn’t abundant, but there’s a good amount of it, some of it clearly tailored to its surroundings, and the seekers in particular can be helpful against dragons below you or ravens above you. Enemies seem mostly practical and appropriate, though I don’t think the suckers quite fit in. Everything tiles properly, and the lack of background layers is more the fault of the tileset than the level.
Nonetheless, I left Snow Castle 2016 feeling cold. The layout meanders through layer 4 in random directions until it reaches an abrupt exit that I think was prompted more by running out of room than by anything particular to the design. Despite the fairly open nature of the path, the walls are all so thin that you’re constantly looking at other, relatively distant parts of the level at the same time, which is distracting. And very few parts of the layout feel especially memorable—a vine covered in gems, maybe, or the two or three times you drop down from a vine onto a dragon-infested house, but that’s about it. The totally straightforward tileset use and level design beg comparison to HH98 and TSF, and I honestly think the official levels did a better job providing distinct, memorable gameplay. Nothing about Snow Castle 2016 is bad, but nothing about it demands to be recommended either.
Eat your lima beans, Johnny.