|frenchtown.j2l||French Town||16.41 kB||22 Jan 2023|
|industrialtown.j2l||Industrial Town||15.21 kB||21 Jan 2023|
|jungletown.j2l||Jungle Town||25.90 kB||18 Jan 2023|
|JJ1 Industrius Evening.j2t||JJ1: Industrius Evening||93.82 kB||30 Apr 2005|
|jungletown.j2t||Jungle Town||324.98 kB||15 Jun 2022|
|townhill2.j2t||French Town||209.18 kB||13 Jan 2010|
|jungletown.j2as||3.19 kB||17 Jan 2023|
|MLLE-Include-1.6.asc||23.90 kB||18 Jan 2023|
|jungletown-MLLE-Data-1.j2l||MLLE Extra Data||11.25 kB||18 Jan 2023|
Three SP levels that follow a similar setup: enter a sewer system to open up stuff in the overworld and vice-versa. It’s mostly stuff that I intended to make for competitions but never finished in time for varying reasons (life, pandemic, and setting priorities). Some parts of these levels may be confusing, some may not. It shouldn’t be super challenging but it’s definitely not newbie friendly either.
The 1st level started off as an entry for Primpy’s Bird Up contest on the JCF. You can only find and carry a single blaster bullet at a time so you’ll have to conserve it to free a Hiphop in order to progress. Your feathered friend is the only reasonable way to shoot stuff so try to take care of it! I guess losing the bird is rather frustrating here but there should be enough opportunities to find another bullet and a Hiphop.
The 2nd level is pretty random. I played Damn Lava Planet by Speaktrap sometime in 2021 and noticed that there was an unused tileset file in there titled French Town. That’s basically the same set as used by that packs 5th level with an alternate background photo. Thought it was funny so I started JCSing and just went along. I hope you don’t get lost too badly here.
The 3rd level started off as a submission for Bring back the lights to Jazz2 City on the JCF. I guess that competition is still up so I should submit it, lol. The level is very loosely based on The Jazz Industry by Another Jazz 2 Fan (no idea why it got 3 stars back in the day). Other than the ‘plot’ of having to go somewhere by visiting 3 distinct areas, the design got derailed quite fast. It’s still pretty Jazz2City-ish with all those Floating Sucker stomps and the trend of representing many random things with limited tilesets. You can cheese this a little by conserving TNT from the previous level. :P
For all levels, easy mode gives you extra carrots (including some invulnerabilities) and places some springs where normally a challenging jump is required. Hard mode adds a few enemies but nothing special.
Edit: Fixed some collisions and a typo in the 2nd level. Nothing else changed.
I very much enjoyed the first and the third level; the second one, a little less.
Some custom music would’ve been nice but the vanilla track choices aren’t bad either.
You can tell this is a Slaz level from its gameplay gimmicks. Some are great, others not so much, but all of them are very creative nonetheless.
3 levels, each scratching different itches, and rather inconsistent difficulty compared to each other.
Let’s start with Jungle Town since it’s the first map. The gimmick is that you can’t use your weapon, unless you get a special pickup that give you 1 shot (generally needed for destructable blocks) or you get the 3 way rockets from the coin warp. You also get multiple birds (I believe they respawn, unless I’m mistaken). Logically the difficulty is worked around this handicap, and does it so mostly successfully. The only issue is when you are supposed to shoot the destructable block you have to go running back and forth to get the 1 shot pickup, which adds padding to an already big and long level. Thankfully this particular level has a layout that generally nodges you in the correct direction, though due to the already mentioned lenght, you might get some fatige by the end. The level like the other 2 has an open structure, letting you do the exploring until you reach the path needed to progress, where you’ll generally be required to find a trigger crate or a 1 shot pickup. While the level is well designed, I think it should have been divided into 2 seperate levels, since the scenary will start to blend together, and being lost in an average sized level compared to a giant one is quite the difference.
Now for French Town, you can shoot in this level, so the difficulty is ramped up accordingly, but it stays well manageable. 1 thing I need to mention before anything else, is how cool the background for this level is, it’s basically a wide shot of a city (presumably in France). I wouldn’t normally even consider an idea like this, but I think it fit in very well, and looks unique. Now for the gameplay. You’ll be doing quite a lot of trigger crate hunting. Unfortunately this can sometimes lead to frustration, since you often have to enter sewer areas, and due to the tileset used, the manhole covers often blend in with the grass, so you may end up running around looking for the correct path and missing it multiple times. The level ends with a pretty fun boss fight. Luckily the level is shorter than the previous one, so it ends roughly at the time it starts to wear out its welcome.
Unfortunately this can’t be said about the final level. The biggest positive is definitely the music, which is my favorite track from the original game (Dark Groove, Hell2 level). This isn’t to say the level isn’t good at all, but there are some really big flaws in my opinion.
Number 1 the massive difficulty SPIKE, pun intended since a lot of it comes down to the spikes, they are placed in such positions that you have to make perfect jumps to avoid them which is hard with the often cramped up spaces they are placed in. Unfortunately due to the level having probably the most confusing layout out of the 3, means if you don’t know exactly where you should go and how to get there, you will be traversing through these spiked areas constantly while trying to find out where you have to go next. Add on top of that, some enemies respawn.
Number 2 is the layout and the trigger crate hunting. Even though the level may look smaller compared to the first one. I’d say it feels twice the size. The high difficulty does add a lot to it, but what doesn’t help either is how you may find a trigger crate on one side of the level, and then have to retrace your steps back to where the crate opened a new path on the other side of it. And since on your way you meet multiply trigger blocks, you won’t really have an idea which one it does open up (yeah you get text messages, but on your first playthrough will you really remember where the mentioned area is?). At one point you are required to defrost a frozen spring, so you have to go look for flamethrower ammo. The funny thing is when I got there, I couldn’t pick it up, because you have to jump from a vine/rope so only a double jump will work, which Jazz doesn’t have. This leaves your only other option as far as I could tell, getting hit by the Floating Sucker enemy, which launches you high enough to get the ammo. Of course there’s a 3rd option, but you might not have that option due to circumstances. The 3rd option is using TNT and letting the explosion throw the ammo down where you can pick it up. There is a big reason why this may be out of question, you may not have TNT anymore. Maybe you are wasteful and used it when not necessary (you get maybe 6 from the previous level) or more likely, you killed the deflated Floating Sucker with it, since when it hits the ground it will be so low that crouch shooting will still have your shots going above it, so you can either ignore them, or kill the with TNT, since no other ammo will hit them (yes, even the seeker ammo won’t register it walking around on the ground). So unless you play as Spaz or are lucky, you’ll have to take damage to get an item needed for progression, which would be fine normally, but the level is already difficult enough. There were also some areas where I had no idea how I was supposed to progress.
Edit: 2023.01.23 I was informed that the intended way was to buttstomp the Floating Sucker. Fair enough, since it respawns, it can get annoying if you don’t know that since if you shoot it by instinct it will fall into the spikes where you can’t kill it without taking damage, or you can run back far enough where it will respawn as a Floating Sucker. (I guess I was impatient at that point and didn’t even consider buttstomp an option) This also does justify some of the respawning enemies since now I actually realised they serve a purpose. Since those high areas can be reached with buttstomping, though in my opinion some require too much precision.
Number 3, the moving platforms. I don’t know if the intention for them was to work like this, but they are extremely annoying, and make platforming a crapshoot basically. You barely get any control over your character whenever you land on these moving platforms, since they will catapult you off themselves unless you are standing next the wall, but since you can’t just through them since the One-Way funcion wasn’t added to them, you have to try your luck by going to the edges and jumping from there which requires far more patience and precision from the player than it’s realistically worth. One of these examples is the frozen spring area. If you return from where you picked up the flamethrower ammo, you’ll eventually have to somehow jump up to the area with the frozen spring. It’s in the area where the gold coin is, even getting back to that point is questionable since in the underground area I have no clue how I’m even supposed to continue, there’s a long strech of spikes with 2 Floating Suckers and a very tall wall with a Normal Turtle on it. I have no idea how you are supposed to get back up there when returning. I ended up using JJFLY and JJINV cheats to see through to the end, because I had very little fun that would justify me to find the end of the level through normal means. And judging by the boss arena, I think I made the correct choice. Seriously? Bubba boss in a small space with springs covering the ground, walls and ceiling with 2 pinball bumpers? It is quite a shame because otherwise the level is pretty, and like I said, at least the music choice was awesome.
Still though, I think the first 2 levels were good enough to warrant a recommendation, since those were well worth playing through.
The 3rd level would need some changes to be enjoyable because as of now it’s a confusing frustrationfest. Maybe I missed something or assumed the wrong path as the intended one, but then it should be made more obvious. I’m sure it’s not that confusing for the actual level designer, since they were the one to come up with the layout and different ideas, and spent who knows how long creating the level. But if possible either simplefy the level a bit, make more deliberate methods of shoving the player in the correct direction and if possible don’t have the trigger zones and trigger crates be 2 levels worth of distance from each other.
But like I said, the other 2 levels are good in my opinion. So this pack get’s a download recommendation.
Edit: 2023.01.23 Due to some of my issues being cleared up for me level 3 makes a bit more sense, Navigation can still be tricky and frustrating, but certain choices at least have a purpose rather than being oversights. Due to this I’m bumping the score up a bit.
Eat your lima beans, Johnny.