|23 Jan 2023
|10 Apr 2020
|31 Dec 2021
|27 Dec 2017
|01 Jan 2023
|01 Jan 2023
|23 Jan 2023
|06 Jan 2023
|06 Jan 2023
|06 Jan 2023
|11 Dec 2017
|10 Dec 2017
|23 Jan 2023
|MLLE Extra Data
|23 Jan 2023
|MLLE Extra Data
|23 Jan 2023
Santa lost some gifts on his mission to deliver gifts to every rabbit. It’s up to the Jackrabbit siblings to recover them and return them to Santa!
“Jingle Jumble” is a non-linear single player level where you have to find a number of gift collectibles in order to proceed. This was intended to be released on Christmas day as my gift for the JJ2 community but I missed that deadline by a long shot. Oh well.
- Violet CLM – Helped me with scripting and testing, wrote the code for the custom boulders, gifts and lamps;
- Seren – Helped me with scripting and made sprites for the collectible gifts, food pickups and checkpoint;
- PurpleJazz – I used and edited his gem saving library and his HH17 enemies library;
- FawFul – I used his Hellfire tileset and used the level as reference on how to place the tiles.
Update – 7 Jan 2023: Added and changed a lot of stuff based on the feedback I received. [Changelog]
Update – 23 Jan 2023: Small bugfixes and tweaks.
Please let me know if you find any bugs in the level.
A non-linear level with a funny little storyline using a recent tileset. Mainly traditional JJ2 gameplay with only slight variations of existing enemies and obstacles. Quite easy for the veteran player but fun to explore for anyone. Nice that the final 3 gifts have arrows pointing towards their location, really improves the flow for completionists!
Super nice! This looks great and is fun to play. The non-linearity is done well, in that you don’t get lost too easily and come across the important parts of the level more or less naturally. There are some nice Christmas-themed custom events (I loved the falling Christmas balls) and there are small secrets everywhere which makes the level fun to explore. Overall it definitely has that holiday vibe and it’s nice to see that Jazz Jackrabbit games can still deliver that in 2023.
The (medium) difficulty felt just right too – you can’t just run around willy nilly, but it’s also not too challenging. There’s even a small story to the level which is nothing too special but nevertheless executed well.
This is a great level and you should play it!
The thing I like most about this level is that it feels like a good looking level made for all skill levels. it’s probably enjoyable for anyone to play. Something very suited for the holidays. Since I get that vibe of this level I also have some nitpicks and tips to make it a more enjoyable experience for everybody:
1. Most of the Rabbit messages were a bit strange or unfunny. I would refrain from using (inside) jokes that most people would not understand. I personally liked the informative messages the most by far. And this is my favourite text box in a SP level yet.
2. I’m not a fan of the mechanic that allows you to finish the level before getting all the packages. I really felt like I needed to get them all and that it outright felt like cheating not to do so. That said, It also took me 30 minutes just to find the last package. Others talked about an arrow, I agree this would be helpful. But I would also be fond of combining that with collecting all the packages. (and make the bottom segment easier for easier difficulties, see #4)
3. For me the UI for the package counter lacks a tiny bit of polishness. I didn’t expect it to be there. I didn’t notice the UI until i collected my sixth package. I think what would really help is if there was some sort of temporary icon/text flash whenever collecting a package, so you really notice that the counter goes up. Maybe a temporary text size or colour change would really help. Similar to how other games handle stat counters.
4. I’m pretty sure that jumping from tiny hook to hook in succession (mainly in the bottom area) is too hard for casual players and should not be part of Easy and perhaps Medium difficulty. Casual spaz players will definitely get stuck here. This isn’t really your fault since this is a trend that has been going on for decades now and with even the most respected SP packs (HH, Devres, etc) are brutal when it comes to these designs. Most leveldesigners tend to only look at difficulty with the amount of carrots or enemies given, but not take into account very difficult platforming obstacles (often combined punishing with pits/hurt events) where casual players are most likely to give up. As i’ve been watching a lot of casual random JJ2 streams it’s very easy to overestimate rabbit control and the intuitiveness of casual players, I’m talking about players that get stuck in TSF, yeah it really happens more than you think. Sure, as of now you don’t need that package to complete the level, but that’s also stealing completionists of their fun. Which is a shame, because I would really like to recommend this level to new players, and I think that’s almost possible, but with parts like these they will get frustrated over the whole experience.
5. Same thing goes for the package at position 10,77. I understood how to get there by buttstomping because of a hidden ice block, but I assure you that this visual queue is too hidden for a lot of players. Maybe collapse scenery is a better option here. Post review I also noticed the stomp scenery at 222,175 in MLLE, which is even more vague, definitely needs a better clue or nobody finds this.
6. Most secrets are cool, some are a little confusing. Overall I enjoy it more when you can see what you are collecting, but often in this level you have no idea what you are collecting. There is a secret at 246,147 with a carrot and a hor spring, but since I was full health i was completely confused as to what I’m missing out on. If there is a horizontal spring inside a wall and I don’t gain anything I immediatly think I should freeze the spring. I’ve had this a couple of times where I felt a bit dissapointed when I could run into a wall and only found something like 4 food pickups. Perhaps it’s because there is no coin warp. With coins it feels different because the game gives you a very clear audio queue and stat counter. 4 Coins in comparison feels a lot more exciting than 4 food. Maybe the best policy is to only put gems and coins behind foreground secrets for that reason, or script something that makes it more noticeable and exciting than it currently is.
7. The level is great for what it is but I also want to note it’s not a really ambitious. For me personally I would have also loved if the boss fight had a change of scenery like Treylina mentioned. Another downside for me is that the level itself also lacks memorable landmarks, which is an issue when running around a map collecting stuff. While searching for the last packages I often got lost in the maze. I can safely say that the change in scenery, caves and open area’s were not enough to really make sense of where I was and where I need to be. It maybe would have helped if paths were blocked off after collecting the needed package.
But even with these nitpicks I highly recommend checking out this level. It’s a fun festive level and very enjoyable for most players.
2022-01-08: A lot of feedback has been used to improve the upload, see the changelog. This is why i’m adjusting the rating a bit.
Alright, here we go…the somewhat devils advocate. I put N/A so people will read the text, not the number.
TL;DR: It’s a solid, expansive map with attractive visual flair, but don’t expect any boundary-pushing gameplay with spectacle. It’s mostly traditional (albeit trickier) gameplay with an extra coat of paint and context. And perhaps that’s your jam!
EDIT: This review is a bit outdated. Will update once I’ve played the new version.
The long version:
**WARNING: Spoilers below. **
Disconnected thought dump
The NPC dialogue was silly (and somewhat cute at times). It added some life to the world.
The gameplay certainly fed my " Let’s explore the heck outta everything! " instincts on a first playthrough. I liked challenging myself how much I could defeat with blaster alone, though I did occasionally use other ammo for enemies in super tricky spots.
Nice to see this set finally used, and the extra Christmas aesthetics are a fun little flair. The water layer reflection also makes its debut in an actual level! I’m not sure if it would move at this temperature, but who cares this is a cartoon rabbit game.
Was hoping I could unlock more areas (maybe secrets) by freezing springs. I never really use ice in single player. Maybe there was but I wasn’t looking hard enough.
Those bastard tiny dragons blending in with the scenery…
The bossfight was…underwhelming. All that build-up. And then it’s just a bog standard xmas Bilsy fight and we come to an agreement after defeat.
Quality of life suggestions
Minimap: Such a large, expansive map would benefit from telling you where you’ve already been, and where to go next. Maybe even hints for the next missing present? It’s not exactly fun when you’ve almost collected everything and you’re navigating for miles on end through dead enemies, just to find one or two missing collectables.
coughs in Spyro flashbacks
OR an arrow that points to the next missing present, akin to treasure mode pointing to exits once you have enough. More simple and doesn’t really cover the already explored areas, but perhaps way easier to implement?
More checkpoints: While I never died, lesser seasoned players may do. For a giant level, it could be really cumbersome to die in some places. In that case, it’s probably better to put the boss checkpoint just after the hole to avoid the long falling sequence (maybe one slightly above the arena?).
Warpable checkpoints before you’ve collected the minimum amount. Because big map and collectable items, yadda yadda.
This is really minor, maybe a trigger scenery tile that changes in clear sight when you destroy the trigger crate? Would give players a clear idea what it does. I almost forgot myself…
As you descend into hell, the surrounding environment would slowly transform into a firey hellscape, setting the mood and realization that something is off.
Give the Bilsy bossfight/arena more spice. Add fire hazards, floating platforms, bubba, idk. Maybe he could leave a temporary, hazardous trail of fire as he warps away, and he aggressively warps to your position? Or, maybe these ideas are better left for an extra phase, instead.
A tougher, extra boss phase would’ve give more experienced players an incentive to collect all presents (and the PU reward would still stay). This could delve more into the story, too. Who knows…maybe we could end up fighting Santa himself, mad about his dirty secret being revealed.
You can get stuck between the tiles at 113, 104 and 163, 125 (in-game pos). Any other sections masked like this will have the same potential (so I won’t label them all unless asked). No big deal, debug or cheat mode will help and it takes a lot of fiddling to trigger it.
Not much to say honestly, this is a damn near perfect level, with an insane size, gorgeous eye candy and level design crafted to near perfection.
The whole open ended nature of the level is greatly appealing to me, reminds me of Silent Night level made by Slaz. Here you need to collect gift packages instead of coins. Aided with a very soothing soundtrack to the level, makes for a great overall package.
My only complaint might be that for a level this big, some extra checkpoints would have been nice, other than that, this is a perfect level in my eyes.
Eat your lima beans, Johnny.