Well dragusela768943, the level isn’t so bad. The atmosphere and usage of MLLE are a pretty good cause. Also, the DiambKarstV2 tileset edited by PurpleJazz are mainly created by Pyromanus, P4ul, Violet and Epic. And to other J2O users – I recommend to download and play this level.
Anyways, I’ll give you 7.7/10.
Not a Single Player level.
[FYI this has now been corrected ~ PurpleJazz]
Quite the spooky level! The theme is executed solidly, making effective use of elements such as the bloodstains and the noose without being overworked. I also really like the way the buildings are layered in the background. The layout is well-constructed with areas that feel distinct from eachother in terms of gameplay and visuals.
Honestly, pretty good level. These reviews don’t do it justice. A bit claustrophobic at times and the witch section doesn’t specify that you have to break some crates, not kill the witch, but other than that it’s a short and sweet level.
Nice level Loon! I really like it, however I modified it with a little help from MLLE by changing tilesets and adding one extra BG layer and texture BG, and added custom weapons, also, I kept original music.
dragusela768943 these levels, also with Race, CTF and Battle, are inspired by eltiolavara9’s game “Same Sprites, Different Levels” from smwcentral.net. This is part 1 of this pack.
I like the fact that you remade the classic treasure hunt levels with new tilesets, but the level design is almost the same, I expected it to have something different.
Here’s another brilliant battle level where the theme is executed excellently both visually and gameplay-wise. The thorns, as the level name suggests are made part of the gameplay in a fun and challenging way. The level layout is solid and yet it suits well for the fact that there are no carrots in this level, but shields. Download recommended!
This level looks gorgeous and is fun to play in, especially the middle area and the top left/right of this map. I do believe more elements could have been used to make this level stand out even more (I mean, massive jungle is 1 thing..) Overall a nice level that gives me the cool old jungle vibes.
The space given in this level isn’t much. But PJ managed to create certain area’s that all look completely different. The mushroom springs are a nice addition to the theme of the map. The eyecandy looks gorgeous and the gameplay is smooth. The nailgun serves for excitement to reach certain area’s and pickups. Download highly recommended.
The theme is very well executed, giving this level a very unique touch. The level also makes good use of ‘Slide’ events which works well in those certain places. However I feel the bottom area lacks a bit. I can’t quite put my finger on it to be honest. Overall a near perfect level with great visuals and gameplay. DL Recommended!
Theme and level are well executed. Thumbs up for giving this level an unique touch for not adding any carrots but instead the usage of shields and timers, giving this level a very interesting gameplay approach. Eyecandy is as impressive as we are used to see from PJ nowadays, easily blending various tilesets together like it’s nothing.
Tight, fast paced, well spaced, beautiful, simple, well balanced and 100% fun. This level is an absolute classic for multiplayer skirmishes.
+ eyecandy, looks
+ multiple access paths to the base and most points on the map
+ second carrot being accessible from an underwater path (great execution)
+ balance, ammo placement, choice of weapons
- nothing really, if I have to nitpick then the invisible walls above bases that don’t play with the otherwise, fully consistent, great map
A short, relatively easy level mashing up Carrotus & Castle. Aside from some unusual tile choices it has nothing revolutionary, yet the flow is good enough to never feel dissatisfied either. There are some wall-hugging secrets that are decently hard to find. Download recommended, as long as you’re up for typical vanilla gameplay.
It’s nice to see a level that knows so clearly what it wants to focus on: in this case, gravity flipping. Once the player gets out of the outdoor tree area, they embark on a gravity flipping adventure, navigating the same large space from two different perspectives in search of a trigger crate to remove a column of buttstomp scenery blocks. (Why the lock block graphic was unavailable is unclear.) It’s complex and puts a lot of faith in the player’s navigation skills, though there are a few places where the layout doesn’t seem to fully anticipate how much wandering the player might do… the top left has a rogue sucker tube in the ceiling, which is bad if your gravity is flipped, and it takes too long to flip your gravity upwards if you flipped it back downwards at the wrong spot.
Once you get past this first big section, the level becomes more linear, although a few more trigger crates do turn up, and likewise another (much shorter) gravity flip sequence. I almost wonder if the level’s order of events might have been better reversed, so the player could encounter the simpler stuff in the latter half of the level first, learning the level’s vocabulary in a more linear environment, before having to navigate the more complicated puzzle at the start. A similar questionable order of presentation occurs with the beer pickups, which temporarily reverse the player’s controls. They’re a neat idea and manage to avoid being used too frequently, but the very first one is directly above a pit of spikes. A softer introduction in a no-danger environment would probably have been better.
The last main non-vanilla piece of the level, besides the gravity and the beer, are snowflake pickups, which serve as a basic collect-‘em-all goal and use nice seasonally appropriate graphics. It’s a little confusing having both snowflakes and coins in the same level, but otherwise these are a fun addition to the JJ2 formula, and it’s good that the HUD lets you know how close you are to completion. They’re mostly placed fairly, except for a few in a vertical area that I tended to shoot down while aiming at ravens, which wouldn’t have been so bad if my gravity hadn’t been reversed at the time. The pickup sound effect kept making me think there were demon enemies nearby, though. The intro level also does good work on the snowflake front, showing the player (in a low-stress environment) that there’s no gameplay effect to collecting them, only some green HUD text and a sense of completion.
I haven’t mentioned the intro level before but yeah, this isn’t actually a single level, there’s also an intro and a boss and an outro and a silly bonus level. They all do their respective jobs admirably well and so it’s harder to find things to say about them, but here are some random thoughts: Drawing an entire alternate graphics set for an existing JJ2 boss is impressively ambitious. The steam events in the intro were kind of annoying. The sucker-tube-based dialogue (a holdover from Faded Story) still feels weird, especially immediately after a clearly scripted explosion sequence. The sciency base area from the intro/outro is a bit quaint but quite nicely put together. The bonus level is good and it makes sense it’s not trying to develop itself into a full map with a detailed layout and stuff.
Graphically everything in this upload is quite solid, as you’d expect from someone with a background in multiplayer levels. The palette and tileset choice are distinctive, leading to memorability, and everything has enough detail to be attractive but not overwhelming. A few of the spikes do cross the line into nearly invisible, though, but mostly it’s hard to know what to say about the visuals other than that they’re good. Same goes for some of the more linear gameplay sections I didn’t really dwell on above… yeah, they work fine, there’s a good mix of enemies and layout styles, platforming and vines and open spaces and caves and all that stuff.
This is a nice romp through familiar territory. The tileset merger is used to generally good effect: not only are there are a variety of graphical details used at different points in the level, the Castle and Carrotus components get to intermingle throughout, instead of being bizarrely segmented and missing the whole point of a mashup. It’s nice to see vines hanging off of bricks, or one kind of wall giving away to another. The combination palette leaves the Carrotus caves visibly blacker than usual, but it’s dramatic and works surprisingly well. Generally there’s a lot of interesting stuff to look at, at least in layers 3 and 4. Where the graphics do fall down a bit are the parallax background layers… there are a couple Carrotus layers against the sky, looking pretty static, but the background is mostly pretty empty, which is more noticeable considering much graphical detail there is moving at the same x/y speeds as layer 4. Tiles that traditionally appear in the far background are here much closer to the camera and it eventually gets noticeable.
As for the gameplay, it’s all reasonable stuff, with appropriate enemies that match their surroundings in both layout and visuals. There could probably stand to be more non-toaster ammo, perhaps replacing some of the many gems. About halfway through the level, finding trigger crates becomes the main focus… in general, the player gets to see the thing the trigger crate will be opening before finding the crate itself, which is a good principle, although the tile use doesn’t always make it clear at first glance what’s going to be trigger scenery. It’s a pity the tileset didn’t include JJ2’s standard lock block, because the alternatives this level employs—1×1 Carrotus blocks, and a Castle door that looks like it should be completely open—aren’t so obvious. As a result, it’s good to know when you hit a trigger crate that you should go back somewhere, but you won’t always know where to go back to.
The main issue I have with the layout is that it’s all kind of consistent and cramped. All passages seem to be about the same size, not very open, often bounded by very straight lines, no matter whether they use the Castle or Carrotus side of the graphics… and some more variety would be appreciated. Look at something like Rux0riffic for how much variety in layout element size it can get out of just a single tileset, not to mention the way it plays with things like springs and spikes. Changing things up from time to time within the level helps keep the player engaged and makes it more likely that one or another area will stand out and be memorable. There’s good stuff here, but it’s too tightly clustered and thus becomes hard to notice in isolation.
Still, I enjoyed playing this. It does have some nice tricks with less common tile usage, and some interesting bits with vines and destruct scenery and such, and the combat is all generally fine. But there’s still some room for it to grow in terms of visual clarity and distinct gameplay sections.
It’s grand! It’s flashy! It’s not fun!
The fact that this level pack is rated 9.5 / 10 completely baffles me. It’s obvious that Blackraptor put a ton of effort into making the visuals but the gameplay itself is incredibly tedious. There is a lot of enemy spam to artificially increase the difficulty and length. Some levels’ visuals are overbearing and straight up confusing. Darn, I wanted this to be a quick review but guess I’ll do a short review of each level instead (secret levels not included).
- “City Centre” is just enemy spam. Tiles are often placed just to confuse you and make you question whether something is a solid object or it’s part of the background. Yes, yes, I get it, it’s supposed to feel ethereal, it’s a “dreamscape” after all. It did not matter to me, the level felt confusing and annoying.
- “Pride” is frustrating. Akin to Queen of Board, you’ll have to check for hidden walls non-stop until you find a trigger crate or something that will let you progress with the level. This is not about skill, it’s about how much patience you have to bump and shoot every object in hopes to get further in the level. The visuals are great though, can’t complain.
- “Quiessence” is a weird one. I’d say I like it if it weren’t for the One Way wall at the start of the level. I still don’t know how to consistently get past that wall, I just bumped into it until magic happened and I got over it. The level theme is interesting, music doesn’t fit (just my opinion here).
- “Phantasmagoria”… yeah, I hate this one. It’s an eyesore full of enemy spam, death pits and whatnot. Goes on for way too long and made my retinas burn.
- “HellFire” and “Crystal Mountain” are rather tame compared to the previous levels. They’re… okay. Visuals are fine, level design is pretty good. They share some of the issues I have with the previous levels but they’re less prominent here.
I have a feeling that I’m treading on thin ice by writing this review, because I’m tainting the rating of a “classic” level pack. Again, this is my opinion: I didn’t have fun while playing this. I get the pack’s theme but I dislike the execution. Judging by its size and visuals, it’s obvious that a TON of effort was put into making this level pack. It just didn’t click with me for the reasons I mentioned above. Oh well.
Eat your lima beans, Johnny.