|CaveOffensive.j2l||The Cave Offensive||24.75 kB||24 Apr 2018|
|CaveOffensive.j2t||Cave Offensive||72.94 kB||24 Apr 2018|
|CaveOffensive.j2b||The Cave Offensive||834.21 kB||24 Apr 2018|
Here’s a typical vanilla SP level that has, well, things you’d expect from a vanilla level, including a lousy story and .j2b mixed soundtrack. The groundwork for this level is several years old, became forgotten, only to be finished up recently. It’s not really a joke level, but it does mock with classic gameplay every now and then since we live in a Plussified world. As for difficulty, Hard mode adds plenty of enemies in unfortunate places and Easy adds several carrots. For the ‘boss’, it’ll probably and unintentionally slap you in the face on Easy, run off on Normal, and stay for a beating on Hard.
The title is a tribute to Kirby Super Star, as you may’ve guessed. It’s a game I recently enjoyed on a SNES Classic Mini console.
Now to (probably) move on to another attempt at a Multiplayer level.
The ending was a bit anticlimactic and there were a few dick moves placed here and there but it’s overall a good SP level :)
So I thought I’d return Slaz the favor and do a quick review of his level in return.
This level offers very enjoyable vanilla experience. It has a good pace and balanced gameplay with slight difficulty spike towards the end. I managed to get through on Normal with 1 life lost and no saving. Tileset was well used (especially for such a limited one) and overall it was pretty to look at. Additional falling lava tiles gave it the right eyecandy polish it needed. Also well placed and just right amount of goodies and enemies. There are no scripts obviously, but it still manages to do quite a few original things, like when you have to shoot the block by bouncer through tight crevice for metal crate on top of it to fall down and get destroyed by generating TNT event. Also plus points for humor.
Now to few things I didn’t like. One of them was a long lava section on the bottom right of the map, which was kinda hard. I got lucky and got a sugar rush right before it on my second life, but otherwise it could’ve been a bit annoying. I understand it’s important for pacing to mix easy and fast sections with difficult ones that require more careful approach, but I think at least one more carrot along the way (on normal) wouldn’t hurt.
Also the final “boss”. What was the point of that? I mean, even in vanilla, we have ways how to make him work in a way of chase challege, like EvilMike did. If you want to provide a classic boss room fight, wouldn’t it be better to pick one of the working bosses instead? I kinda imagined he was there for story reasons, like, to steal the ring again from you after you went through all that trouble to bring it back, but there wasn’t any text before, nor after, the fight to confirm this.
To conclude, as I didn’t really find anything wrong with it, I wouldn’t mind giving this a full rating, but I’ll substract a point for a boss, lack of originality and for maybe being a little too short. If you want to play something new and unique that would stand to today’s plussified standards, you should probably look somewhere else. But if you’re looking for a quick SP vanilla fix, this is just perfect.
This isn’t the hardest level ever made, because its focus instead is on being absolutely chock-full of stuff to do, and as a result it’s a really fun time. Everywhere you go there are more pickups, more blocks, more secret areas. There are a wealth of paths to take at every point, and if you take enough of them eventually you’ll figure out which is the right one—the only challenge is not picking it until last, so you won’t miss anything along the way. And even then the level snakes back on itself enough times (usually with great artistry) that you should get a second or third chance to recoup any pickups you did miss. One trick in particular the level uses to great effect is partially hiding a destruct/stomp block behind a wall tile that doesn’t fully cover the 32×32 space, so you can see the block if you pay attention. A few secret areas are a bit too unclear, in that they’re in the center of a wall and it’s not until the second or third time you pass by that you actually get to the entrance, but most everything is basically where you expect it to be and it’s a lot of fun to clear everything out. Plus of course the level does feature regular enemies, spikes, and some fun moments with spinning platforms, vines, and pinball objects to up the variety even more. I’m not honestly sure how long this level was, because it never dragged at all. The graphics let down the level design in a couple places, and some people may find the layout a bit too claustrophobic at points, but for the most part this is perfectly executed.
*There’s only one tile for the wall and it’s not varied enough.
*The spikes bland in too much. You should have used a different color.
*The lava flow appears to be in the background (there’s one part where there’s a vine in front of it), but for some reason it’s in the foreground. It’s not transparent enough and the objects behind it can hardly be seen.
*The bats have a weird color palette.
*The pinball bats’ color palette is like you forgot to set it.
*There’s not enough space for the enemies to move. The helmuts get stuck in the overused diagonal tiles. The tuf turts just stand in one place or change direction in miliseconds.
*There are too many elements. There’s one room with pinball; another with swinging vines, which are really out of place in a lava cave with no plants; the next with a hover board, which glitches with the swinging vines.
*You put items on lava and there were many parts where you need to exploit the faulty hitbox on diagonal tiles to not get hit by spikes.
*The bonus room was empty. So collecting the coins was a waste of time.
Overall, the whole level feels overcrowded.
The description says it works with the normal jazz2, but it doesn’t. The music doesn’t play, JCS crashes if I try to open the level with it, and there was another error at the end with the final passage not opening up. I had to check with TSF JCS to see where to go and realized I was stuck and have to restart the level in TSF if I want to complete it.
Eat your lima beans, Johnny.