What can I say, this editor eases a level maker’s job at creating very creative levels by a landslide. At the beginning it may take a short while to get used to if you have been using JCS for years, but after that it really pays back in speed and diversity.
My most favorite level from Jelly Jam so far, the tileset is used creatively to create this ancient roman theme, the lake, the pillars, etc, with nice visuals overall. The level involves a nice mix of water and land, it has two power-ups under water which makes swimming in there fun and worthy. Plus you cannot stay underwater for too long since you have limited oxygen. Personally I’m not a huge fan of the pinball bumpers but I got used to them after a while, I guess.
Overall the level plays and flows well. Download recommended.
does exactly what it needs to…
i can see why SJ said what he said but personally i think it might get a bit spammy. this is great.
thank you violet!
It’s not particularly good but it’s at least honest.
Mt. Cinder, the volcano mountain.
Both CTF bases are on the far edges of the map with the blue base on the left and the red on the right, sitting each on top of the tower. Yes, this level is symmetric, which works quite well in a map like this with the Mt. Cinder in the middle. The volcanic mountain is also where most of the fighting will take place apart from the bases, alot of power-ups sitting on the edges of the mountain or scattered in caves right upon entry. It is where you will also find the full carrot at the bottom where the lava will kill you in an instant aswell as a small carrot at the top of the mountain plus each base also have a small carrot. Flying carrots are also scattered across the exterior of the map, the flying carrots can only be used for ten seconds, but it will also deactivate upon entry of the interiors like the towers or the mountain, which is well thought of to prevent too much flying, and that is important in a map of this size. This makes the map suitable for large public games.
This map uses different ammo for some weapons like the bouncers being replaced as stone balls or seekers being replaced as fireworks going straight in the air. The choices of weapons suit the gameplay very well, as the fireworks will be most usefull in taking down players who use the flying carrot. There is plenty of ammo around and spawn quite frequent.
First of, this map is freakin’ huge, and with that, finishing it in just 3 days as stated above is pretty impressive. Despite of being symmetric, you can clearly see how much details PJ put in this map. Also the originality is surely visible, with tilesets like BurningTowers3, Rootalopicus and Volcano(you don’t see these alot nowadays)you can safely state this as a one of a kind map. Everything is amazingly put together while it’s not too distracting while playing, but when standing still you will be amazed by the visuals of this map. The music also fits the level just fine.
Overall this is a unique, very detailed map made for public games of atleast 4vs4 or above. Download recommended? Absolutely.
Very nice map, original made tileset. Love it. :)
Ow, my eyes.
[Changed to quick review ~PurpleJazz]
Players can choose to move from base to base quickly through the crowded middle area, which is probably most populated together with the base areas themselves.
One can also choose for a safer but longer route from the sides by picking up a fly c and venturing through the top of the map which contains a seeker powerup which most people are too lazy to take. You can also attempt to take a flag from below, which is slightly longer but safer as few people are paying attention to this route, although its easy for them to camp the end of the tube which goes quite slowly.
Multiple layers have been filled well with stuff as original as the tileset allows. Quite a lot is happening graphically if you pay attention to it, yet it is not distracting while playing
This level is such a relief after all those new mappool maps of last year which had similar pathways and carrot areas. Castle of Devan Shell’s layout is unique, yet it works in games and requires players to think of movements and tactics they never had to think of before. Im really glad you made this so people can be inspired by its originality for making future maps. This map is definitely worth it being played in JDC events and even possibly mappool material.
I tried to adjust my rating a bit to people’s ratings nowadays so it would be more fair, yet Im glad that others already gave you a high grade so I can stick to my principles a bit more.
Final Grade: 8.5
Here we have a level which is not too large for a casual 3vs3 match, but is also not too small to suit events with a greater number of players, though the spawntimes for the latter may not work for everyone, considering that there’s generally not too much ammo piles scattered around the level. But worry not! Those kinds of events are usually hosted with fast spawn settings enabled.
What probably makes this level stand out is the complex layout, which is more or less open at the far ends, and becomes more and more cramped the more you travel to the center of the level where, conveniently, the only carrot is, which makes the center area juicy for some close and chaotic combat. Don’t get too carried away with the chaos though, one wrong move and you may fall into the dreadly pits, so don’t just run around like a headless fly, have some control over your movement!
But don’t let the center make you feel like you should leave the outer areas out, since the outside is where the majority of the powerups are, particularly the seeker powerup at the top middle of the map, which is evenely spaced out and quite isolated and far for both teams, but such a strong and useful powerup is worth the visit to it. That’s a nice little quirk to get some more traffic in the top area, which has a whole new layer of combat since it’s accessable only with the fly carrots. However, with annoying seekers flying around, this path should be used with caution as seekers are even more useful in areal combat, but the huge pillars give the player some nice cover and a chance to utilize the environment against their opponent.
There are also blaster powerups in the walls at the far left and right. Even when you have no ammo you should always try to take one of these just in case. It’s always useful for stuff like fending the flagholder off from the bases. There’s also two electroblaster powerups but those may be less important, unless you happen to be passing by them with really low on electroblaster ammo, you never know.
Lastly, there’s the RF powerup at the bottom middle, quite impossible to miss. This is probably where the most stuff is going on, as it’s right below the carrot and in the fastest route between the bases. If you manage to snag it while it’s there, good for you, it has multiple purposes. You can use its far range to snipe someone flying far away at the top, or use it’s strong blast to get your enemies away from the carrot or bases. There you have it, some might say it’s a bit of an unusual choice of powerups but it’s different from most setups nowadays, and it certainly works with the gameplay.
Now lets get to the aesthetics! The Medivo castle theme is supported nicely with some athmospheric music from Michael van de Boos. The visuals are not at all distracting, so players can easily concentrate on their game, and if they happen to be stationary for a little while, they definitely have a lot to look at, the level is full of fun little details. You can clearly tell apart the cold, foggy blue background from the yellow-orange hot castle in the foreground, the contrast here is simply brilliant, the platforms are clearly visible in motion.
To put it all more simply: great map. An enjoyable, decent CTF level, that’ll surely leave you beside yourself and give you something different from what most popular CTF levels offer nowadays.
The flag placement is good, and the level offers some good crossroads. The tileset and music fit nicely, and the scripted eyecandy is a touch of class. I also liked the use of fly carrots and walled in powerups, as well as the Damnation background used as a fresco in the middle of the map.
I like the PU only accessible at the beginning, the candy theme and the slippery parts, but I don’t like the tight tunnels, how there are other bouncy PU’s around, how a base is above and one’s below and that layer 8 textured BG moving faster than the sprite layer. I mean… There’s AngelScript, and the jjUseLayer8Speeds function!
I have a few complaints about this map: – 7th Lava Fall is overused – The map doesn’t offer freedom of movement – The map is too small and the ammunitions are too many
On the other side, I liked the crate with a plethora of ammo, just not in a map this small.
And some people don’t like spikes in battle games. I do, but others don’t.
Love the sets, especially the blue one. Nice remake. :)
just like on Teeworlds… nice!
I’ve only properly played through the first three so far, but I am very impressed, especially by level 2 which I thought really captured the spirit of the original HH98 levels and built upon it, using the 20 years of JCS history that followed.
So, there it is, Holiday Hare ’18. After three months of work and around a month of delay, it’s finally here. The level consists of 7 levels, each being made by a different level maker. Despite my implication in this level pack, I promise that this review isn’t biased and I’ll give my thoughts on each level with the exception of my level, as well as general ideas about the episode.
General information about the episode
The gameplay is mostly well made. The difficulty scaling is done properly and there barely any sections that make you want to say “Bah, that’s bulls**t!”. What I consider to be worth mentioning is that the level pack is very easy. I suggest picking Hard difficulty instead of Medium for a more challenging experience and if you want to play it casually, Medium is the best pick. As for Easy, unless you’re very inexperienced with video games (or with JJ2), don’t even consider it. Visually, the level pack is mostly pleasant to the eye, with no noticeable tile bugs. The music is well chosen, a bad loop or two here and there but nothing too irritating.
Level 1: “Penguinvasion” by Jelly Jam – Rating: 9.7/10
As much as I’m trying to give this level a lower rating, I can’t bring myself to do so. It’s a perfect introduction to what the level pack has to offer, teaching the player all the mechanics and shenanigans they’ll have to deal with throughout the episode. The visuals are gorgeous… until the later part of the level. Jelly’s idea to add the “Club Penguin” section was very nice but the tileset chosen for it was not really the best. The music chosen is also very fitting.
Level 2: “Tipplenborough” by PT32 – Rating: 8.5/10
“Tipplenborough” takes an interesting approach to designing a JJ2 level. Unlike most of the levels, it’s very open and lets the player choose whatever path they want to. This, however, makes exploring for gems and coins a little bit tedious. Due to its massive size, secrets are a bit of a hassle to find and backtracking to explore another path can be a bit tedious, if not impossible (it’s no longer possible to backtrack at some points in the level, such as the ending part). Most of the secrets are very well hidden, to the point that you can replay the level a bunch of times and still be unsure where to find some of them. If you want to get the proper bonus for this level, you’ll have to explore a lot to find enough coins for it since they are, again, well hidden. The level is still interesting regardless of its flaws. The visuals are nice but there are some tile bugs scattered around the level. The music chosen for this level is very fitting.
Level 3: “Cold Paw” by Archon (w/ Slaz) – Rating: 9/10
There isn’t much to say about this level, though that doesn’t mean it’s bad. The level design is nice, although a bit too narrow at times. Well done eyecandy, the music is nice as well. Again, it’s a very nice level but just not as memorable as the others.
Level 5: “Breaking Out” by happygreenfrog – Rating: 9.3/10
HGF’s idea of a level is also very interesting, as “Breaking Out” revolves around collecting a certain amount of coins in order to proceed. This level is the shortest but it certainly is not a bad level. The level design is mostly well done, the visuals are pleasant to the eye and the music is fitting. The boss at the end of the level is the cherry on top, shoutouts to Smoke for making such an interesting boss battle for this level. The boss is a bit too easy on Easy and Medium but a challenge worth considering in Hard and Turbo.
Level 6: “Toyed Badlands” by Slaz – Rating: 9.7/10
“Toyed Badlands” is a perfect blend of open spaces and narrow paths. Not linear in the slightest but at the same time not confusing to explore and getting lost in it is out of the question. The only problem I had with this level is the eyecandy. Don’t get me wrong, the tileset is well chosen, there are no buggy tiles, it has nice animations and all that jazz (pun intended). It’s just that I don’t like how the colors the level uses blend together. This might be very subjective but I don’t think the blue-pink-red of the sprite layer works with the green-mint green of the background. The music is… okay. Neither too fitting, nor completely unrelated to the level’s theme.
Level 7: “Pikitia Ara” by Loon – Rating: 10/10
I consider this level to be the gem of the pack. The gameplay is challenging, as expected for the final regular level of the pack. Just like Slaz’s level, it’s neither too narrow nor too open. The level revolves around spikeballs, which serve for both aesthetics and level design. The enemies are well placed, the pacing is good and the theme of an underground base is conveyed perfectly. The eyecandy is a perfect blend of Carrotus and a shady, metal based bunker. The music chosen fits the level like a glove. Stunning in every single aspect.
Boss: “Frigid Fortress” by PurpleJazz – Rating: 10/10
The perfect way to end such a wintry JJ2 episode. Very well done and nicely scripted final bosses, as well as great visuals and well chosen music. This level consists in two bosses, both of which are fair and challenging (especially in Hard and Turbo). The way of presenting the story of this final level is very nice, properly combining humor with seriousness. Very naisu!
FINAL RATING: 9.5 / 10
TL;DR: Great wintry level pack with nice visuals, gameplay and music. Pick “Hard” instead of “Medium” if you’re looking for a slightly more challenging experience. It’s a must-play for every JJ2 player!
This is not really a “deserted” Diamondus as it’s full of goodies and nice eyecandy everywhere. I like how the beginning has 2 separate pathways, adding some replay value. It’s also the first level where I saw a turtle shell fall through Destruct Scenery blocks, well that’s something lol. While it’s a fairly standard Diamondus level, the underwater race and little backtrack near the end felt original. Too bad ceiling spikes couldn’t work at the time this level was made, as this clearly wanted to utilize them.
I recommend playing this at least once. It’s better than reading reviews. :P
An early level by EvilMike, that clearly shows what was to come with Devres. Floating Suckers won’t like this level, as it popularized buttstomping them to reach new heights. It has plenty of other clever design elements for it’s time such as using TNT to get crates that are out of reach, proper usage of spiked platforms, and even requires an RF jump at one point. The Bolly Boss arena, utilizing spikes and hooks, was pretty good too. The part where you helicopter and Airboard through a path of spikeballs has an unfairly small gap, and at some point there’s a rat next to a vertical tube that will always hit you.
It also comes with a bonus level that’s pretty original, grabbing coins as you fall, althougth it’s rewards are mostly useless unless you want to play Mike’s earlier Diamondus level with extra guns.
I recommend this even in 2019 if you want to see what EvilMike was up to before the heights of Devres.
This is the only tool publicly available on J2O (aside from J2E Creator by the same author) that provides the much needed functionality of creating and editing j2e files, so you kind of need it if you want to have custom episode files without writing your own software. So it was received well because it was software we needed. That is not to say it is a good tool for the job.
You open this up and you’re greeted with an awful, awful user interface that is hard to call an improvement over a console application. First thing you’ll do is probably try to open some file, either a j2e or a bmp, you’ll type in the file name (don’t count on a Windows file selection dialog), and you’ll be told that nope, that file doesn’t exist, because you’ve included the file extension like any sane person would do, but J2E Editor actually appends .j2e or .bmp to whatever you type in, so it just tried to open Home.j2e.j2e.
With some effort you get used to that and you load the bitmap you wanted. You know JJ2 uses palettes, so your bitmap already has the menu palette, so all that the software needs to do is take your indexed image and put it in a j2e file. Well, it won’t do that, because your menu palette is not the menu palette it wants. The menu palette it wants is in a file included with the software in a format that nothing opens. If you manage to open it, you can find out that the palette is blatantly wrong. Literally all you have to do to obtain the menu palette from the game is take a screenshot (F12 key) in 8-bit color mode and extract it from the file, so how the author managed to obtain his very discolored version of the palette escapes me. I sort of imagine that he tried to approximate it via trial and error until it more or less looked right.
But that shouldn’t matter, right? It can just take the bitmap, see that it’s indexed, and put it in the file as it is. No, what it will actually do is make sure the provided palette matches exactly, and perform color reduction if it doesn’t. Why? Just why? You take my picture crafted exactly for the menu palette and it’s ready for you to just put directly in a j2e file, all you have to do is zlib it, yet you have to convert it to your crappy wrong palette?
Writing text into prompts relies on key press events rather than character input events, and if you know what those two are, you should be cringing right about now. This means that handy functions like copy/paste will not work, long presses of a key will not produce multiple characters (including that you have to press backspace once for every character you want to delete), and what non-alphanumeric symbol you obtain by pressing a given button is very much dependent on your keyboard layout. Whenever I have to type in something like a dot, I just go through every symbol on my keyboard with and without shift because who knows which one will happen to produce a dot. This is an actual downgrade from a console application.
Oh, and here’s another fun fact, I wondered why I can’t edit the episode’s number in the list. So I looked into the readme, and apparently it’s the only thing that you interact with not by clicking on it like everything else in this program, but by pressing numpad plus and minus keys. Nothing indicates this, you just have to open the readme to find out. It was a matter of adding something like “(+/-)” to the user interface and it wasn’t done.
This is terrible software. It’s bad at interacting with the user, and it’s bad at its job of just taking some data and structuring it into a j2e file, but I guess the files it eventually produces are at least correct in the sense that JJ2 opens the j2e files and graphics software can open the bmp files it exports, so it’s not hopelessly useless.
In awe at the size of this lad. Absolute unit.
Jokes aside, it’s a very challenging and fun level.
Eat your lima beans, Johnny.