Ah, 2015! A heady time full of promise. Let’s look at the angelscript API and see what it can do for a single player level. Different palettes at different stages of the level? Absolutely! Enemies with more health, other sprites used as enemies, other sprites used as (unremarkable) weapons. Sure! Totally sick fire-breathing platforms moving in all directions! Anything seemed possible. People were building on JJ2 gameplay to add exciting new elements to dazzle and amaze and entertain.
Tweedle Wheedle is not without bugs, I suppose, and the eponymous boss battle is frustrating as all Tweedle fights seem to be, and the layout occasionally gets confusing, but it’s unrelentingly cool. And even without all the scripting stuff the layout is still really good, doing interesting things with the psych3 base, then adding lots of really distinctive design elements to the rest of the level. Just a fun time throughout.
This is a good glow-up! It’s striking how much of a difference the fade color and the foreground layers make, and the intro area from psych3 has a lot of cool edits with pickups off to the side and stuff. Using a Cheshire2 is very smart—surprisingly few psych3 edits seem to do this—though I don’t understand why the fly carrot was removed here, as it was the original’s most distinctive feature. The spring section that replaces it is pretty cool, though. The rest of the layout is also generally good and fun with some fun takes on Psych wall shapes, albeit with the occasional dud moment (everything relating to TNT, some alcoves it’s easy to get stuck in). This isn’t a transformational take on JJ2 gameplay but there’s a lot of aww yeah neat. A great take on psych3.
Pretty much the most bare bones Psych3 edit you can imagine. A handful of enemies, almost no pickups, no layout changes. Functional but uninteresting.
I’m not thrilled with the secret level entrances, particularly the Tubelectric one, but I guess they’re not horribly out of line with existing JJ2 secrets… if this were really part of the game, eventually players would have found them over a period of months or whatever. Still, more visual cues would have been nice I think. But whatever that’s not the focus here.
Far Out is actually pretty good in terms of new event placement while sticking to the existing psych3 level. There’s a decent variety of pickups and enemies, and the little pipe organs on the platforms after the warp target are a good touch that make that area much more interesting to navigate. The new parts of the layout kind of lose me, though. The idea of warping through a bunch of little rooms (kind of like in Medivo1) is nice but eventually I got tired of hunting for trigger crates, and there are too many invisible warps and weird blocks that need to be destroyed or removed in unpredictable ways.
The other, all-new level here, though, Pinball Land, I actually really liked. Toward the end it gets annoying in the part when you track down four trigger crates behind lots of layer3 and stuff, but the rest of the level is I think a really good take on a Tubelectric secret level. There are clever pinball tables, and crucially, they’re not all at once, they appear from time to time within the level so they don’t get stale. There are spike platforms, one of Tubelectric’s other main unique features. Goodies feel fairly plentiful and the graphics are nice and varied. This is a nice one.
The way to access Far Out is a neat idea… if you find a secret earlier in the level, you get an alternate ending at the end of the level. It’s an understandable way to attempt to get the mid-level secret level experience while not knowing how to fix vanilla JJ2’s treatment of secret level area (it’s possible but takes some setup). The implementation has issues, though: the tiling at the end is pretty dubious, and more importantly, nobody’s going to find the trigger crate without knowing to look for it. If you find an area totally covered in layer 3 with no goodies in it, you’re not going to think “oh, I should stomp everywhere in case there’s a trigger crate.” And even if you do stomp it, there are no nearby effects, so there’s no way for the player to know what happened or why the secret level entrance is/isn’t open. Finally, this is a level with a bouncer powerup, and it’s trivial to shoot those bouncers through the trigger scenery events and hit the secret level signpost that way.
I couldn’t actually figure out how to get to the Tubelectric and Labrat secret levels in these edited versions. :?
Anyway, the main attractions here are the secret levels themselves, and they’re not great. “Shocking Experience” is just an extra (non-thematic) boss fight—is that really a good reward for finding a secret? And while this version of Far Out makes a good decision by using a unique palette, like Return of Birdland does, there’s not much to recommend it past that. It’s ‘finished’ to a pretty minimum extent, with strings of pickups and no other edits, and the foreground layers are a mess that you can barely see through.
The basic idea here is good, but I don’t actually want to play these secret levels, so I don’t want to apply the patch to my official labrat2 and tube1.
There’s not a lot of level design flow here. You kind of wander around, maybe collecting a bunch of goodies, maybe jumping over some enemies, not sure if you’re going the right direction, and suddenly there’s an exit. But what’s interesting about this pack is how much Talec is (already, in 1999) pushing up against the limits of what the game is supposed to support. Frogs, invisible enemies, secret levels, next level settings. (You’re asked repeatedly to use the JJNXT cheat code in order not to break the secret level bool, though in 2022, we know that using other events could have avoided this issue.) And there’s something thematically fitting about the pack’s focus on secret levels in light of how some of those features are kind of secrets within JJ2. The first level is an edit of psych3, an unfinished secret level, if not the most interesting one. There are more pickups, the warp target doesn’t go where I’d expect it go, but nothing truly remarkable. In general the disappointing factor in this pack is that secret levels are never really treated as a reward. Talec learns from Labrat3 that secret levels are supposed to involve turning into a bird, but there aren’t the profusion of goodies you’d expect from a JJ1 secret level. And you need a secret level to have some kind of desirable experience or else the player is actually working to their advantage to skip it, because they save time that way.
love the atmosphere and the good level design
Mieli = totaalisen puhallettu. Mind totally blown. Go blade!!!
I really like this “Forgotten Landscape”! With use of Diamondus tileset with night palette, this level is very challenging.
Weapons are cool! 10/10 HYPE!
BTW Naps made new types of weapons, like Anti-Gravitational Bouncer and Hornet Gun. Violet, you could update this weapon pack with these two new weapons.
This tileset is not bad, but you could put an example level so everyone will test it.
It’s a pretty good level, suitable for 2v2 or 3v3. however the clouds in the background layer are colored incorrectly but it doesn’t really matter.
It’s a pretty solid level the layout is nice, the visuals are impressive I like how you used the textured background for lava and maybe you could add a little more of ammo but overall it’s really nice.
JAZZ IN SPACE! Super awesome level! Make more spacey levels!
Perfect atmosphere, and very grassy level. I really like grassland levels!
The mystery blue rainforest and its perfect gimmicks are awesome!
Oh, and music is made by Will Be.
I think this map is good. It has nice layout even if there are some mask bugs which will make you stuck in the wall like 12,35 and 26,9 and some smaller eyecandy/mask bugs (which doesnt affect gameplay for example 65,24 and 8,35).
Iam not rly sure about some eyecandy things. The first this wich catched my eyes were that black towers, they kinda doesnt make sence to me because that mountains in the backround are more detailed than that towers. It should be opposite, I would use some other more detailed ones or make mountains in the backround same simple as towers. Walls on layer between layers 4 and 5 should maybe move a little slower imo. Also i would maybe make solid branches other colored than unsolid, its kinda confusing.
Iam not really sure why there is water, I dont think it really helps gameplay in this case. Toaster PU is good choice imo Bouncers are deadly.
Haven’t played the other levels from this user, but based on the ratings, this should be a definite improvement. The level is pretty competently put together. No splitting paths or secrets or coins, but since it’s a short level that can be completed in about 5 minutes, it doesn’t matter all that much. The eyecandy seems to be on the blander side, since from what I see, it seems only layer 4 and 8 were used. Item and enemy placement were decent, but there weren’t any carrots, not that the level is that difficult, but 1-2 may have been better. There’s a boss fight with Bilsy at the end but bosses were never the strengh of this series.
Anyway, overall I think this is a competent/decent level. It does enough to tip the rating on the more positive side. Most of the basics are there and there’s nothing outright bad in it. Like I said, I didn’t play the other levels from the uploader, but this seems to be going in the right direction. Keep up the improvement!! I’d definitely encourage you to make more levels.
Eat your lima beans, Johnny.