|HH18_Ending.j2l||Season's Greetings||1.97 kB||19 Jan 2019|
|HH18_Guardian.j2l||Frigid Fortress||6.23 kB||19 Jan 2019|
|HH18_level01.j2l||Penguinvasion||17.58 kB||20 Jan 2019|
|HH18_level02.j2l||Tipplenborough||46.68 kB||19 Jan 2019|
|HH18_level03.j2l||Cold Paw||12.58 kB||19 Jan 2019|
|HH18_level04.j2l||Under The Weather||13.57 kB||20 Jan 2019|
|HH18_level05.j2l||Breaking Out||10.64 kB||19 Jan 2019|
|HH18_level06.j2l||Toyed Badlands||19.39 kB||19 Jan 2019|
|HH18_level07.j2l||Pikitia Ara||62.10 kB||19 Jan 2019|
|HH18_save01.j2l||Save your game||2.36 kB||06 Jan 2019|
|HH18_save02.j2l||Save your game||2.36 kB||06 Jan 2019|
|HH18_save03.j2l||Save your game||2.36 kB||06 Jan 2019|
|HH18_save04.j2l||Save your game||2.36 kB||06 Jan 2019|
|HH18_save05.j2l||Save your game||2.36 kB||06 Jan 2019|
|HH18_save06.j2l||Save your game||2.36 kB||06 Jan 2019|
|HH18_save07.j2l||Save your game||2.36 kB||06 Jan 2019|
|Aztec2.j2t||Aztec 2||401.51 kB||16 May 2018|
|BioWinter.j2t||BioWinter||128.35 kB||02 Sep 2017|
|Blizzard Night.j2t||Blizzard Night||116.80 kB||17 Jul 2010|
|CandionV.j2t||CandionV||161.48 kB||31 Dec 2016|
|Castle2.j2t||Castle 2||209.44 kB||14 May 2015|
|Credits.j2t||E.E.H Ending Credits||103.21 kB||09 Mar 2018|
|Frozen Battle X3.j2t||Frozen Battle X3||59.99 kB||02 Dec 2018|
|HH18_level01.j2t||Penguinvasion||401.43 kB||18 Jan 2019|
|HolidaiusN.j2t||JJ1 Holidaius Night||72.97 kB||05 Mar 2003|
|HolidaiusStorm.j2t||Holidaius Storm||214.02 kB||20 Jan 2007|
|hoteldeluxefix.j2t||Hotel Deluxe (fix)||147.73 kB||09 Mar 2018|
|IC - Diamondus1.j2t||IC - Diamondus1||273.16 kB||03 Apr 2011|
|ld ice.j2t||LD Ice||16.17 kB||11 Nov 2018|
|LomatLn.j2t||Scorpio Key (Loon Edit)||521.58 kB||03 Sep 2018|
|Lowaa.j2t||Rage of Aquarius||211.89 kB||16 Aug 2018|
|Odyssey01.j2t||Odyssey 01||120.00 kB||07 Mar 2017|
|SnowotusV3.j2t||SnowotusV3||564.29 kB||17 Dec 2018|
|top secret ][ 2.j2t||Top secret ][ 2||95.53 kB||02 Mar 2018|
|XMas 1 Feaw.j2t||Holiday Morning Feaw||239.60 kB||17 Jul 2010|
|XMas 2 Feaw.j2t||Holiday Day1 Feaw||239.58 kB||17 Jul 2010|
|XMas 4 Feaw.j2t||Holiday Evening Feaw||239.54 kB||17 Jul 2010|
|XMas 5 Feaw.j2t||Holiday Night Feaw||239.52 kB||23 Dec 2015|
|XMas 6 Feaw.j2t||Holiday Candy Feaw||239.60 kB||17 Jul 2010|
|XMas 7 Feaw.j2t||Holiday Candy v2 Feaw||239.61 kB||17 Jul 2010|
|HH18E1.j2a||75.01 kB||30 Dec 2018|
|Jazz1Enemies v03.j2a||42.34 kB||10 Dec 2017|
|SExmas.j2a||13.38 kB||27 Dec 2017|
|HH18.j2e||Holiday Hare 18||41.31 kB||19 Jan 2019|
|HH18_Ending.j2as||1.69 kB||19 Jan 2019|
|HH18_Guardian.j2as||46.97 kB||19 Jan 2019|
|HH18_level01.j2as||4.53 kB||19 Jan 2019|
|HH18_level02.j2as||3.38 kB||20 Jan 2019|
|HH18_level03.j2as||3.64 kB||19 Jan 2019|
|HH18_level04.j2as||12.55 kB||19 Jan 2019|
|HH18_level05.j2as||3.07 kB||19 Jan 2019|
|HH18_level06.j2as||11.33 kB||19 Jan 2019|
|HH18_level07.j2as||6.14 kB||19 Jan 2019|
|HH17Enemies.asc||29.16 kB||30 Dec 2017|
|HH18savegems.asc||4.42 kB||19 Jan 2019|
|HH18Smoke.asc||51.00 kB||30 Dec 2018|
|IceKnight.asc||22.39 kB||06 Jan 2019|
|Jazz1Enemies v03.asc||58.52 kB||25 Dec 2017|
|TrueColor.asc||27.30 kB||02 Apr 2017|
|Jazz1Enemies_Diamondus_TurtleGoon.bmp||57.47 kB||08 May 2018|
|Jazz1Enemies_Nippius_SkatePen.bmp||9.16 kB||10 Dec 2017|
|Jazz1Enemies_Nippius_SnowGoon.bmp||19.39 kB||10 Dec 2017|
|HH17_Balloon.wav||98.78 kB||24 Dec 2018|
|HH17_Crow.wav||160.37 kB||24 Dec 2018|
|HH17_Glass1.wav||204.09 kB||19 Dec 2017|
|HH17_lowind.wav||438.07 kB||25 Jun 2017|
|MLLE-Include-1.4.asc||9.55 kB||19 Jan 2019|
|HH18_Guardian-MLLE-Data-1.j2l||MLLE Extra Data||2.87 kB||19 Jan 2019|
|HH18_Guardian-MLLE-Data-2.j2l||MLLE Extra Data||2.62 kB||19 Jan 2019|
|HH18_level01-MLLE-Data-1.j2l||MLLE Extra Data||10.03 kB||19 Jan 2019|
|HH18_level02-MLLE-Data-1.j2l||MLLE Extra Data||15.15 kB||19 Jan 2019|
|HH18_level04-MLLE-Data-1.j2l||MLLE Extra Data||4.87 kB||19 Jan 2019|
|hh18_level05-MLLE-Data-1.j2l||MLLE Extra Data||3.77 kB||19 Jan 2019|
|HH18_level07-MLLE-Data-1.j2l||MLLE Extra Data||39.45 kB||19 Jan 2019|
|HH18_level07-MLLE-Data-2.j2l||MLLE Extra Data||24.28 kB||19 Jan 2019|
Music can be found here.
Special thanks to TurkoJAR for the artwork, to see more of him click here
Better late than never, huh?
Follow up to Holiday Hare 17.
Devan is trying to take over Carrotus by plunging into a new ice age using his weather control machine to create ferocious snowstorms. Will you be able to stop him?!
If you missed the music download link, Music can be found here.
Enjoy! And merry belated Christmas :)
Super fast changes 19/1:
Updated first level to the latest version (HH18_level01.j2l , HH18_level01-MLLE-Data-1.j2l)
Updated HH18Smoke.asc to the latest version
Updated HH18_level01.j2l, HH18_level01.j2as Now you start with infinite lives in the first level, also saves gems properly now from level to level.
So, there it is, Holiday Hare ’18. After three months of work and around a month of delay, it’s finally here. The pack consists of 7 levels, each being made by a different level maker. Despite my implication in this level pack, I promise that this review isn’t biased and I’ll give my thoughts on each level with the exception of my level, as well as general ideas about the episode.
General information about the episode
The gameplay is mostly well made. The difficulty scaling is done properly and there barely any sections that make you want to say “Bah, that’s bulls**t!”. What I consider to be worth mentioning is that the level pack is very easy. I suggest picking Hard difficulty instead of Medium for a more challenging experience and if you want to play it casually, Medium is the best pick. As for Easy, unless you’re very inexperienced with video games (or with JJ2), don’t even consider it. Visually, the level pack is mostly pleasant to the eye, with no noticeable tile bugs. The music is well chosen, a bad loop or two here and there but nothing too irritating.
Level 1: “Penguinvasion” by Jelly Jam – Rating: 9.7/10
As much as I’m trying to give this level a lower rating, I can’t bring myself to do so. It’s a perfect introduction to what the level pack has to offer, teaching the player all the mechanics and shenanigans they’ll have to deal with throughout the episode. The visuals are gorgeous… until the later part of the level. Jelly’s idea to add the “Club Penguin” section was very nice but the tileset chosen for it was not really the best. The music chosen is also very fitting.
Level 2: “Tipplenborough” by PT32 – Rating: 8.5/10
“Tipplenborough” takes an interesting approach to designing a JJ2 level. Unlike most of the levels, it’s very open and lets the player choose whatever path they want to. This, however, makes exploring for gems and coins a little bit tedious. Due to its massive size, secrets are a bit of a hassle to find and backtracking to explore another path can be a bit tedious, if not impossible (it’s no longer possible to backtrack at some points in the level, such as the ending part). Most of the secrets are very well hidden, to the point that you can replay the level a bunch of times and still be unsure where to find some of them. If you want to get the proper bonus for this level, you’ll have to explore a lot to find enough coins for it since they are, again, well hidden. The level is still interesting regardless of its flaws. The visuals are nice but there are some tile bugs scattered around the level. The music chosen for this level is very fitting.
Level 3: “Cold Paw” by Archon (w/ Slaz) – Rating: 9/10
There isn’t much to say about this level, though that doesn’t mean it’s bad. The level design is nice, although a bit too narrow at times. Well done eyecandy, the music is nice as well. Again, it’s a very nice level but just not as memorable as the others.
Level 5: “Breaking Out” by happygreenfrog – Rating: 9.3/10
HGF’s idea of a level is also very interesting, as “Breaking Out” revolves around collecting a certain amount of coins in order to proceed. This level is the shortest but it certainly is not a bad level. The level design is mostly well done, the visuals are pleasant to the eye and the music is fitting. The boss at the end of the level is the cherry on top, shoutouts to Smoke for making such an interesting boss battle for this level. The boss is a bit too easy on Easy and Medium but a challenge worth considering in Hard and Turbo.
Level 6: “Toyed Badlands” by Slaz – Rating: 9.7/10
“Toyed Badlands” is a perfect blend of open spaces and narrow paths. Not linear in the slightest but at the same time not confusing to explore and getting lost in it is out of the question. The only problem I had with this level is the eyecandy. Don’t get me wrong, the tileset is well chosen, there are no buggy tiles, it has nice animations and all that jazz (pun intended). It’s just that I don’t like how the colors the level uses blend together. This might be very subjective but I don’t think the blue-pink-red of the sprite layer works with the green-mint green of the background. The music is… okay. Neither too fitting, nor completely unrelated to the level’s theme.
Level 7: “Pikitia Ara” by Loon – Rating: 10/10
I consider this level to be the gem of the pack. The gameplay is challenging, as expected for the final regular level of the pack. Just like Slaz’s level, it’s neither too narrow nor too open. The level revolves around spikeballs, which serve for both aesthetics and level design. The enemies are well placed, the pacing is good and the theme of an underground base is conveyed perfectly. The eyecandy is a perfect blend of Carrotus and a shady, metal based bunker. The music chosen fits the level like a glove. Stunning in every single aspect.
Boss: “Frigid Fortress” by PurpleJazz – Rating: 10/10
The perfect way to end such a wintry JJ2 episode. Very well done and nicely scripted final bosses, as well as great visuals and well chosen music. This level consists in two bosses, both of which are fair and challenging (especially in Hard and Turbo). The way of presenting the story of this final level is very nice, properly combining humor with seriousness. Very naisu!
FINAL RATING: 9.5 / 10
TL;DR: Great wintry level pack with nice visuals, gameplay and music. Pick “Hard” instead of “Medium” if you’re looking for a slightly more challenging experience. It’s a must-play for every JJ2 player!
I’ve only properly played through the first three so far, but I am very impressed, especially by level 2 which I thought really captured the spirit of the original HH98 levels and built upon it, using the 20 years of JCS history that followed.
Penguinvasion is a nice, simple level that serves to introduce a lot of HH18 mechanics (gem collection, gift boxes, enemies…) in a safe context without a lot of fanfare. All these things are easy enough to understand that the player is largely left to figure them out on their own without lengthy text signs or other explanations, which is a wise decision. The graphics are never too elaborate but definitely serve to define several different kinds of environments within the level—branch climbing, caves, even a hotel—each of which remembers to have a distinct sort of layout. Besides the trigger crate hunt at the end, nothing is ever going to be especially memorable about this level, but that’s because it has a different job to do: to be a relaxing introduction. At this it succeeds perfectly.
Tipplenborough is a rarity in any game, JJ2 included, being a level with a primarily vertical orientation. Certainly you spend a lot of time in horizontal areas, but the goal is always to find a way up, at least until a point toward the end where you have to fall down for a while before you can start going up again… that part is confusing and could be better signaled. The level looks very big and impressive and must have taken quite some time to construct, especially considering the amount of exploration that’s possible to do across the various paths. A speedy player could easily see only a fraction of this map in a single playthrough. On the other hand, the different paths all seem fairly similar in their gameplay, not deviating much from normal JJ2 fare… and there aren’t a whole lot of gems, and even the episode’s distinctive giftbox mechanic falls by the wayside here… and it’s weird having normal fire dragons right after the first level’s ice dragons… so Tipplenborough feels almost more of a standalone affair than part of the broader episode. It’s hardly objectionable as a refutation of HH98’s level design style while using the same tileset, but the ambition of the hugeness doesn’t seem 100% born out in the moment-to-moment.
Cold Paw further demonstrates the hazards of coordinating the finer details of different levels in an episode being made by different people… the little walking penguin robots are feeling quite overused by now, but the ice bats that this level introduces (and should therefore highlight) hardly seem to appear at all. But gift boxes return in full force, and the level does manage some other level-specific focuses as well, mostly springs and pepper spray. There are a couple moments here that don’t seem quite prepared for Lori’s reduced jumping powers, and the red poles as barriers never quite clicked for me as a layout concept, but this isn’t a bad level, just a kind of punishing one. After two dark ice cave levels in a row, we’re about due for something in the open air…
Under the Weather is a strong contender for the level people remember from HH18, with its heavy focus on gimmicky gameplay. The freezing temperature mechanic that hurts you when you stay outside for too long is too omnipresent to ignore and becomes a serious threat toward the end of the level as shelter becomes more sparse. The tiny jumping snowman enemies are this level’s other big threat, frequently placed where you can least afford to pay attention to them because you need to get back inside before it gets too cold. If anything they may be a little too fast, but it’s interesting to see HH18 bringing out tougher enemies, forcing you to remember your stronger weapons. The same cannot be said of the ice golem boss battle, unfortunately, who is probably perfectly interesting but always goes down in seconds. This level is also smart enough to not have the entirety of its layout revolve around the temperature mechanic, so there are a couple of fun cave areas that are also high on the gimmicky end and yet manage not to overstay their welcome. The level is fairly short and linear because it needs to be, but it’s definitely a great example of thinking about what sorts of things video games can do to evoke the deadlier side of winter.
Breaking Out unfortunately feels out of place in a pack that’s otherwise gradually increasing its complexity and scriptedness. There’s a definite difficulty to the gameplay here, as enemies shoot lots of bullets at you (even the ice bullets are nicely positioned near spikes or jumping snowmen), but not a whole lot of interest value. You bust into jails, grab coins, go to the coin warp, and then do all the exact same things again. It’s also unclear why things aren’t scripted more than they are… the prisoners are static tiles instead of animated, the “keycards” are just trigger crates, and the coins are just coins. Things get more interesting at the end with the boss battle (and its utterly unnecessary cutscene moments), which has an elaborate set of moves not common among JJ2 bosses, but unfortunately again it’s just a quick bullet sponge and the attacks can probably be ignored unless you specifically want to watch how cool they are.
Toyed Badlands is pretty interesting as a very exploration-heavy map that trusts you to eventually figure out the right way to go as you gradually hit more trigger crates. This would quickly fail in a level with only one kind of eyecandy, but fortunately that’s not the case here, and there are several distinct areas (including some buildings with actual labels) that make it much easier to tell at a glance where you are and remember where there’ve been lock blocks before. Little details like rotating lollipops or spiky Lego bricks add a lot to the atmosphere. The ice skull guys from the previous level are back but this time are much less dangerous, which is kind of a weird progression… all that’s newish on the enemy front is ice-colored versions of Tuf Turtles and Doggy Doggs, and even those are familiar from HH17. Sometimes the map is more cramped than it needs to be, which doesn’t 100% facilitate exploration, and there’s never really a standout moment, but this is still some good fun.
Pikitia Ara feels in some undefinable way like an overgrown JJ1 level, and has a lot of good old-fashioned platforming and spelunking and enemy dispatching. There are two fun new foes on display in this final level, both of them quite tough, but the player’s arsenal has evolved to the point that they feel totally fair and correctly placed. Spike bolls get a lot of really good use here. There’s an unfortunate moment of sequence breaking available to anyone willing to shoot a checkpoint with electroblaster, but everything else seems to work as intended and it’s a nice challenge (but never too challenging) that doesn’t do much out of the ordinary but doesn’t make any mistakes. It is a bit of a weird choice for the final stretch of this episode, though, wearing its winter holiday theme only very loosely.
Frigid Fortress leans heavily on traditional approaches to forbidding atmosphere but with a definite wintery flavor, a solid decision. The first boss gets around the shoot-the-cyberdemon-until-it-dies issue that other bosses in HH18 had by having invincibility frames of its own, encouraging strategic (read: high-damage) attacks mixed with a lot of dodging. The second boss has a difficult job to do because the number of hearts players could be fighting it with is potentially highly variable, but arrive at what I think is a good solution by exhibiting a range of different attacks that are interesting but never unfair, so if you don’t have the hearts to just sink bullets into it forever (and it’s got quite a lot of health), dodging is a realistic option. The dialogue and plot twist between fights are hardly novel but you wouldn’t expect them to be for a holiday pack anyway. Everything here is satisfactory for a video game boss experience.
I know I’m over half a year late with this review but I only recently came across this sequel. So, I’m glad to see you guys put in the effort to bash out a another mod, hopefully it’s better, right?
LEVEL 01 – Penguin Invasion:
- Compared to last year, Holiday Hare 2018 has a FAR easier opening map. For one thing, It’s not filled with cheap enemy placements, buggy mechanics and horrible checkpoint placements. The extra health mechanic is a great idea and makes you have extra HP as your run continues. Neat touch and finally gives the gems some usage!
- DAMN That’s a gorgeous opening song! I love it!
- The springs inside the wooden boxes near the big beige gate for some reason disappear which means you can be trapped very easily. [Seems to be fixed after I re-added the mod?]
LEVEL 02 – Tipplenborough:
- Technically not a plus for this map but the extra health boost mechanic DOES carry over fore every level. Good idea. :)
- The music is quite cheery and upbeat. I like it. :)
- Due to the new health mechanic, carrots are surprisingly hard to come by here which is a problem even on easy. Most of my damage is because of the robot penguins being in awkward spots to hit and the fact their shots bounce.
- Some parts of the map are hard to tell when it should be in the background and the foreground. Some trees can be landed on that look more in the foreground whereas other trees are clearly in the background can also be landed on, this is a little confusing.
- The building in the cave couldn’t be destroyed for the longest time but after like 3-4 attempts it all of a sudden allows me to break down the door? That’s rather buggy…
- The new ghost summoning enemy is quite a pain to deal with, especially since the small ghosts he spawns can move at lightning speeds.
LEVEL 03 – Cold Paw:
- The music is fine but nothing to write home about.
- Way. Too. Dark. Seriously I can’t see what I am doing half the time.
- The hands that come out of the ground to swipe at you really aren’t easy to tell where they are again due to how dark the level is. This is Jazz 2, Not DooM 2.
LEVEL 04 – Under The Weather:
- The freezing mechanic sure is original and a nice touch to get you to keep pushing on rather than dawdle about.
- The speed at which the heat gauge decreases is a little harsh if you prefer to stay alive (like on Turbo).
- The bouncy snowman enemies really don’t help with the already wonky enemy designs.
- Music really isn’t this level’s strongest point. Fairly bland.
LEVEL 05 – Breaking Out:
- This is very much a fun map to play. Some enemies are annoying sure but WOW is this a breath of fresh air! If you want a GOOD map in this set, this one so far wins
- The cute small story here is quite adorable. :)
- Great soundtrack to go along with a great stage!
- Ended with an access violation… GG.
- The miniboss at the end dies rather easily to the toaster…
LEVEL 06 – Toyed Badlands:
- Extremely confusing layout!
- The song isn’t bad nor good. Just neutral. :l
LEVEL 07 – Pikitia Ara:
- HORRENDOUS map design. I got lost very easily.
- The song for this map really is bland and dull.
- From what I can tell, this map straight up lacks an exit. Good map design.
LEVEL 08 – Frigid Fortress:
- The final boss was fun to defeat and I do love the vortex-y background effect. Neat touch!
- Unless bosses gain more health on higher difficulties, the final boss goes down fairly easily with a healthy dose of seekers and bouncers aimed straight up.
So the overall review:
I can see that you guys wanted to be more relaxed in your approach with HH’18 and I can see why, not every map pack needs to top the previous. My biggest issue here was how it was presented. This did feel rushed. The levels aren’t super well designed (level 7 comes to mind) and I did struggle quite often, even on easy difficulty. Whilst not as hard as HH’17 in some spots, HH’18 really needs polishing. Maybe add in a few more ammo types earlier on? Bouncers only started appearing by level 5, which is over half-way. Another thing I didn’t understand was, why was the music files separate? Without them the game is just mute.
Do I recommend it? Personally I recommend HH’17 over this and I blammed that one fairly harshly as well. If you want a good christmas map-pack I again recommend HH’98. It’s still better to run through.
Eat your lima beans, Johnny.