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 work 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.
Very handy tool.
Very small maps with very annoying layouts and bad remixes. I don’t think this pack took longer to make than an hour total.
Karde? öncellikle Türkçe için te?ekküler. Dosyay? oyunun iç klasörüne yap??t?rd?m. oyunu ba?latt???mda dil seçeneklerinde Türkçe görünüyo ama silik bir ?ekilde duruyo o yüzden seçemiyorum bu sorunu nas?l çözerim.
I’m not sure if this is just me but I wanted to warn that with JJ2+ the crystal puzzle on devres66.j2l (Deluge) seems to be broken. I activated the three crystals and the door still won’t open. I tested it in non-plus and it worked fine.
So this is great. But it’s a shame the rest will probably never be finished. I will write a proper review later, but I will say it does some things the original Tomb Rabbit didn’t do, and the variety of areas you go to is a nice change from just exploring tombs. (Not that I didn’t enjoy the tombs!)
Awesome, love original level recolors, once I start making the rest of the People Chimp I’m definitely going to use the Jungle Storm tileset. I’ve been looking for a really dark version of the tileset and this will be perfect!
Download recommended! It brings some variation to the original tilesets.
I’m not sure if one of the JJ2+ updates broke anything, but the music doesn’t change for me. Also oddly “neve.s3m” doesn’t play, and I had the same issue with the original levels.
Edit: I opened up the original UMX file in OpenMPT and saved it as an S3M over top of the one in my JJ2 folder and it works now.
how do i play this level it has no .exe file?
[Please don’t rate levels you didn’t play.]
I searched a long time for this upload, as Xobim said, it should be labelled as Single Player… ; I had played it ten years ago, and I found the gameplay uncommon for this game. It left me a lasting memory.
It is set in a middle of a war (before, and during it) To complete the levels, you have to “talk” with static characters. The story is somewhat consistent, and especially the fact that it takes a central place, although the texts are not that astonishing.
SYSTEM OF INDOORS/OUTDOORS
I found the idea of indoors/outdoors also good: some parts of the level were duplicated, and through a warp, you go in the building. Those warps are above the doors, so you may unwantedly warp in the building.
To compare it properly, with elements from other single player games, I would say that the difficulty (enemy placement, strategy) is absent there. There are no ennemies but for two levels, where they are gathered in one place, in groups of 50 or 100, and with Spaz you get rid of them in one movement.
The tileset isn’t especially beautiful.
I loved every level of it (no pun intended)! It was already awesome to see all the references of other JJ2 players and levels which were executed well. However the way the levels managed to keep a very humoristic/parodic atmosphere through the episode while keeping up to top-notch visual- and gameplay-quality impresses me more than anything.
“A messy masterpiece” is the best way to describe it. 10/10, I enjoyed the heck out of this. Also, Violet should make his own video game someday.
EDIT: I didn’t expect a meme SP pack to bring me on the verge of tears.
level 6 made me wow. the save music made me lol.
level is tedium.
Eat your lima beans, Johnny.