This level was rather interesting. It felt partly like an Earthworm Jim level, and also like a joke WAD in Doom. The swirling background could give some motion sickness, especially when you get shot around all over the place. I did really like the boss and thought that having waves of enemies be the boss was a neat idea. I’d say it’s worth a shot.
its here :D
[Please provide more support for your rating. For more information on writing a proper review, see the review rules.]
Probably one of the best Medivo remixes out there, if not the best.
I love both the remix and the poster. Seems like their author is a multitalented person! Is Sidnify an artist as well?
It’s a rather nice level, as vanilla as it gets but still competently made. It felt almost like a secret level from the official episode 4 (exiting to Hell2 made this feeling stronger), but one that made better use of the ideas in Hell1.
I wasn’t too crazy about some things, like needing to find every single coin for the bonus warp, some blind falls onto spikes, and some eyecandy errors, but I enjoyed it anyway. And I have to give you props for using Inferno!
This one is still really cool.
Seems like I’m a slowpoke as I’m a little bit late with this review – most of pros and cons have already been described, but, WOW, this experience was amazing!
What I liked
As I’m a big fan of traditional JJ2 gameplay, I always wanted to see more content – more enemies, more mechanics, ect, though I wanted them to fit the original gameplay and Stadler’s drawing style. Among my favorite mechanics of this pack I can name the presents that open only after hitting the ground, ice blocks that break with a sound of broken ice, enemies sitting on moving plates, infinite corridor and some new mechanics of old enemies, especially the one of floating suckers. This levelpack is a good example of common work’s effectiviness. The work of programmers is obviously skillful. Skripting is probably the strongest point of the pack.
What I… Er… Not disliked, but my inner perfectionist makes me mention that.
There are some new enemies (or better to say, our old acquaintances from JJ1) – the only thing I don’t like within them is the fact that their grafics differ from later Nick Stadler’s works. Enemies and tilesets of JJ1 and JJ2 don’t fit each other. The dragon boss is a masterpiece, thow his drawing style is also different. These small style discrepancies slightly damage the harmony of the level sequence. Gameplay also vary from level to level, but it’s not a problem since each level was made by different author.
My game crushed at “Bah, humbirds” level, but when I was replaying it, everything was OK. Most likely, crush was a result of my own PC issues.
I strongly recommend this episode to all SP fans! Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all of you!
i expected this to happen but, copying maps is time consuming :D and there should always be backups made of the jj2 directory,
i have now put a warning advising others to make backups, as my utility is meant to just quickly copy the cache folder for harvesting.
Burrrrrp thanks morty xD tttimeee to get *urrrp schwifty up in here!
[Rating (5.0) clearance. No meme reviews please. ~PurpleJazz]
I agree with AvalancheMaster and PJ. I’d just like to whine a little bit more about graphics and gameplay.
Whining about grafics.
I highly appreciate the ideas of writing a proper storyline and creating brand-new tileset conversions, but the realisation of the last isn’t that good. The quality of graphic inclusions is far inferior than of the original Nick Stadler’s masterpieces. I think it would be much better just to combine original tilesets with each other – remember Rage of Aquarius or Scorpio Key? They are so harmonic! It would be really great if the inclusions fit the original drawing style but they don’t. And the quality of the recolors isn’t the best I’ve ever seen.
Whining about gameplay.
When I started playing the episode, my first reaction was like “WOW! What a great and original piece of work it is! I wonder why its rating is so low?” However the more I played the more I felt bored and the more I agreed with the rating. After 10th level or so I couldn’t help typing “JJNEXT” just in order to have a glimpse of all of the levels. How many of them you’ve made? 50? Oh, God. Sorry. It’s obvious that you’ve put a lot of effort in them, but the repetiveness kills all the gameplay. It’s simply tedious. Making true single player Jazzers endure this gameplay is like making Usein Bolt search for a lost sock in each of 50 huge and messy rooms. JJ2 is supposed to be a fast paced game, isn’t it?
P.S. It’s not easy to rate this episode as a higher rating could sometimes be given to a small level wich was done in one evening. And you’ve put so much effort in your work. I appreciate your enthusiasm, creativity and diligence!
I agree that the level design is often rather laborious gameplaywise, and visually uneven (some colour mismatching, and that has to be the worst rain effect I’ve ever seen in JJ2). However, I enjoyed the variety of areas and the effort that went into visual storytelling, and I love the Arabius and Tibetius tilesets; alone they’re worth a download.
Any new Single Player levels 20 years after the release of Jazz Jackrabbit 2 are great news. Even more unique is when you get a release so big, it ranks among the biggest Single Player mission packs ever.
However, big is rarely equal to better, and this release is a great example of that. Mystery of the Four Artifacts contains more than 28 missions, and 50 different levels, but the vast majority of it is repetitive and cliched.
The story hits the same old tropes—Jazz and Eva are married, but Devan has escaped, and now Jazz must once again go back in time to serve justice. This time Jazz and Eva’s daughter has been murdered by the turtleous goon, but this element is just a poor hare’s McGuffin. Anyway, the story is rarely the reason why one plays JJ2, so cliche doesn’t bring down the quality of the levels—but it doesn’t help either. Still, the character of Bonus, Merlin’s ward, is quite original and refreshing.
Most of the missions revolve around finding numerous trigger crates/areas/coins, and unlocking subsequent sections of the level. Unfortunately, this gets tedious over that many levels, and has been overdone to death even before the release of this mission pack.
The same old enemies have been used, with adequate placement that doesn’t bring anything new to the table. The gameplay is way too easy, except when it is not—and when it is not, it provides no challenge but plenty of frustration. Some of the enemies respawn far too quickly, some of the choke points require pixel hunting, and some of the obstacles are way too annoying. Every time I finished one of those difficult sections, I didn’t feel satisfaction but relief—relief that the boring part of the level is over.
There isn’t any proper direction in most of the levels, feeling more like an aimless maze than a puzzle or a platformer. I spent more time trying to find my way than actually playing this level pack.
The boss fights don’t seem to have any resemblance of a pattern. The perfect example is the final boss fight against Devan Shell, in which you battle the evil turtle in a really small room, with no platforms or hiding spots. To make it worse, Tuff Turtles randomly spawn on top of you, and no Carrots appear, even on Easy.
Still, there are some nice moments that feel original and inspired. 12 years later, chandie hasn’t lost his touch for Frog-centric levels, and the small section where you get to play as the Frog feels just right.
There aren’t any awful or unplayable sections in those levels either, so don’t expect any glaring shifts in level design that just don’t make sense. There’s plenty of jump and gunning to do, the problem is that it is too much and too repetitive.
EYECANDY AND MUSIC
Where the gameplay falters, the eyecandy glaringly succeeds. The main advantage of Mystery of the Four Artifacts is its custom-made tileset conversions, each of which blends several classic tilesets with new and edited tiles, as well as an edited Palette, to provide for environments that simultaneously feel completely new and pleasantly familiar. Tibet, the Arabic world, the Aztec Empire, and more are beautifully represented in a true-to-Jazz-Jackrabbit style. I hope those tilesets get used in the future for new Single and Multiplayer levels.
What chandie did with those tilesets is impressive as well. The eyecandy isn’t too obvious and doesn’t distract from the gameplay, but feels natural. The music included in the pack has also been properly picked to complement the atmosphere without distracting.
While the gameplay is repetitive and uninspired, the new environments provide great eyecandy that is worth experiencing. There are no strictly awful sections in this mission pack, but one can’t help but wonder if it wouldn’t be far more enjoyable if it was 70% smaller.
Rooms that are accessible only through warps are generally not a good idea, especially if they are big and you can exit them only through another warp again. People can just camp the warp targets and get plenty of kills.
If you perhaps put holes on the middle left and right the two big rooms wouldn’t be THAT campy, but there would still be a problem, as the entire map just feels cramped. There’s plenty of power ups to go with but in a small map this can result in total chaos. Also it seems the bouncer ammo boxes respawn insanely fast, which only adds up to what I said above. One warp target wasn’t even placed well, as it got me stuck in a wall.
I don’t like the eye candy. The trees in the foreground are quite distracting, it wouldn’t be that way if there wasn’t a whole lot of them. Instead you could’ve experimented with the background and added at least mountains or something.
You used the cave tiles well enough, although it seems you forgot to fix a tile bug. Other than that I don’t see any errors, Diamondus is quite an easy set to use, and it looks good. I think you should continue using this set until you get the hang of making levels.
In the future try making levels that are more open wide. Not that open but take a look at plusSeasons.j2l or Murder of Crows. They use Diamondus too and are quite good.
It doesn’t matter what FireSworD spits out, it’s always a magical moment for me. He makes everything I look for in a map and never dissapoints me, he always goes out for making a good and functional level. The scripting is also fab but that’s a shout out to the coders. Sorry for the shortness, Maybe a more indeep review later.
Short, sweet and nice! This really is a nice re-creation of a map that never was! Well done on re-creating it fairly accurately to what it may have looked like.
I enjoy a good custom map now and then and this one at first looked like it as going to hook me in hard! This mod is certainly a gorgeous looking masterpiece but…
I have a good few issues.
Good – For a first stage the snowy design is very eye-pleasing and the music matches very well (than again most of the songs do XD) I also loved the minor nod to Carrotus in some of the design. The presents mechanic was introduced very well and was easy to understand.
Bad – I found the first stage far too difficult for an opening map. Some of the gimmicks confused me at first and weren’t implemented safely (like warning the player they’re going to be trapped in ice and spikes will be below them) not to mention the crystal maze was very tedious and awkward to fly through. Also unless I missed a few, there are like 2 or 3 checkpoints and they’re spaced out FAR.
I don’t even know if stage 1 can be completed on Turbo.
Good – This is how you make a level. Fun, lengthy but not overwhelming, weapons, a good few checkpoints and health. This level while a design-clone of the funky stages personally felt way fairer and much easier. Plus, the ice dragon mechanic was introduced nicely as you get the bouncer just before it!
Bad – I actually had a hard time finding major issues with the second map. Probably the fact that you can goof the graphics if you touch a smoke ring but that might be Jazz+ doing that.
Good – This stage has a fantastic remix of the Candion theme and it fits really well since this level does not joke around! The fact that weapons are so plentiful made this level far superior to the first map.
Bad – Of all of the boses to clone… why the tentacle crab spawner thing from the beach bunny stages. That boss is not fun and here with a smaller arena does not improve that at all. Plus this stage is much harsher than the previous stage… sometimes harder than even the first map… Also this map introduced the worst enemy ever to exist. The bloater… Glad ice freezes them so you can get past!
Good – The auto-move section was a really funny concept and I enjoyed watching Jazz bounce around like a pinball whilst collectin goodies along the way
Good – … There was a good point? Where?
Bad – The starting room, like the previous level, had me confused as to how to complete, the arrows were no help at all. The excessive usage of the Rapier turtles is not what I call fun, especially when they can easily glitch into blocks or literally phase through them from areas that have like 3-4 tiles blocking them! And finally… couldn’t you pick a less painful song to have on loop? I’m sorry but stage 5 was a humongous let-down.
Good – Funnily unlike 5 this map is the opposite. A very well made map! For one thing the blizzard effect was exceptionally neat and it added quite a bit more depth in its design! Secondly the ice physics was again a lovely addition. Thirdly schwartzen turtles actaulyl PUSH giant snowballs at you! Fairly smart! And lastly this level tells yo that bloaters are weak to ice and fire attacks.
Bad – Like all good things in life, a bad time comes… firstly the music in this stage is possibly WORSE than stage 5. Not only that but if you kill the Ice queen and then exit the stage it has a chance to crash Jazz2. Lastly the only small segment that gave me grief were the spike platforms in a spiky room with ice dragons… a little annoying but do-able :)
Good – The remix design of the ice stage from Jazz2 is really well made and it looks like it was straight from the original game.
Bad – Personally I didn’t find this level interesting. Very few elements stood out to me like “Wow this is fun!”. Also this level is exceptionally unfair in the difficulty department.
Good – The boss dies
Over-all I found this mod to be far too hard in its difficulty. I know its a fan mod but when the easiest difficulty is so hard that I would have game-overed a few times, its just not worth it. And to pour salt into the wound, you CAN’T SAVE in a level! I’m chalking that up to Engine limitation but the lack of saving mid-level really urks me the wrong way. Thankfully after every level there are save levels to help fix that issue… though loading causes the game to crash…
Do I recommend it? Only if you are a hard-core Jazz2 fan or love hard maps, otherwise just steer clear and play Holiday Hare 98.
I love it
Well, this application does its job, but I don’t recommend anyone to use the “Copy Cache” button, as it copies everything from the cache folder into the main JJ2 directory. It overwrites files that have the same filename without prompting the user. So it would mean that your files may be replaced by bad ones.
In example: if you join a server that hosts a weird level which happens to be named “battle1.j2l” and you decide to use this utility and press the big “Copy Cache” button, your original battle1.j2l will be with the weird one.
And nobody wants that. So for that reason, I do not recommend this utility.