Thread: JCS Awards 2021
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Jan 24, 2022, 01:59 PM
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The results are in!

Best Battle Level of 2021

Crown of Thorns - PurpleJazz [8]
Landfall - Loon [4]
BioMess - Lynx [3.25]

Runners up: Malice in Wonderland - Loon [3], Frogavia V2.5 - TreyLina [2.75], Retroic - FireSworD [2.75], Mint Commotion - Violet CLM [1.25], You Arena - Superjazz [1]

This was probably one of the most competitive Best Battle categories in quite in a long time. We were rather spoiled for choice this year in terms of arenas to battle it out in, so no doubt everyone had a hard time picking their top 3, and in a way it's a shame that only the top 3 get to make the cream of the crop. Nonetheless, a podium has been decided. Thank you so much for your votes! I was honestly not expecting to win this time, I was concerned that the concept may be a little too "extreme" for some players, but hey ho. The other two levels are absolutely worth your time - Landfall is a more conventional but beautifully built level that's bound to become a party smash, whereas BioMess is ideal for two people to duke it out in a duel. Maybe challenge Jety to a match there if you're feeling brave..

Best Bee Tournament Level of 2021

BioMess - Lynx [6.5]
You Arena - Superjazz [6.25]
Acid Reign - cooba [4]

Runners up: RAID: Mirrow Legends - Violet CLM [3], Laboratory 38 - Dragusela [1.5], Stille Heide - Laro B [1.5]

Looks like tournaments work just as well as more traditional contests for motivating people to fire up JCS/MLLE! BioMess is quite the extraordinary level in the visual department, but is absolutely no slouch in the gameplay department either. I found it hugely fun to play during Bee's Duel Tournament, and I hope to see more of it again! You Arena by SJ just barely missed out on the gold medal by a narrow margin, but is no less deserving of the top spot with its combination of funky visuals and slick gameplay with a few interesting twists here and there. Acid Reign is probably the most daring level to come out of this year, and while it may not be everyone's cup of tea, those who give it a chance will find it to have some real strategic depth that rewards intelligent play over mindless ammo spam (and just a bit of luck).

Best CTF Level of 2021

Sand Castle - Lynx [7.5]
Erathia - Superjazz [6.5]
Syri i Kaltėr - Loon [5.25]

Runners up: Wuwang Bang Bang - Violet CLM [2.25], Deck 17 - DanZeal [2], Hydroponic - Warren [1.5]

Although 2021 didn't bring as many new additions to the CTF level pool as it did to Battle, the concise set of levels did contain some real treasures. It was a fairly close call, but ultimately Lynx' Sand Castle took home the gold! It's a real visual treat with a brilliantly well-realised theme that oozes charm, and also has a fun layout to boot. Erathia continues SJ's trend of making levels thay pay homage to Heroes of Magic and Might 3, and those that enjoyed his previous efforts such as Stronghold and Hall of the Mountain King will find plenty to enjoy here. Syri i Kaltėr takes Jungrock to the next level with a modern JJ2 twist and offers a great package of superb visuals and gameplay. All three of these levels are best played in 3vs3 and above, so bring friends! (as a side note, Sand Castle and Syri i Kaltėr are both available to play on the JJnet clan ladder, so get training!)

Best Single Player Release of 2021

Jazz of the Jungle - Violet CLM [6.25]
Lori Fortress - Primpy [4.25]
Mystery of the Four Artifacts (Plus Edition) - chandie [2.5]

Runners up: Swamps of the Sleeping Jaguar - JesterOfDestiny [1.75], Sinister Winter - Dragusela [1]

Seems like quirky-but-fun gameplay is the ticket to success in 2021! Jazz of the Jungle is a romp unlike anything else you will have played recently, taking heavy inspiration from Jill of the Jungle but with its own unique JJ2 flavor and a bit of Metroidvania flair. Lori Fortress is a worthy runner up, which packs plenty of Lori-tastic action into its relatively brief runtime. I also highly recommend checking out the updated Mystery of the Four Artifacts episode, which has seen a significant overhaul that brings it into the modern era while addressing many of the issues raised by reviewers upon the original release.

Best Eyecandy of 2021

Crown of Thorns - PurpleJazz [5.7]
BioMess - Lynx [4.9]
King of Wuwang Hill / Wuwang Bang Bang - Violet CLM [4.4]

Runners up: Sand Castle - Lynx [3.9], Malice in Wonderland - Loon [3.6], Landfall - Loon [3.6], Syri i Kaltėr - Loon [1.8], Teapot DOM - Violet CLM [1.3], Hydroponic - Warren [1.2], City of FreeDOM - Violet CLM [1]

Thank you again so much for your votes! I don't feel like I can accept this award without giving credit where credit is due - special shout out to Fool for drawing the thorny tree that was used in the background! Someone really ought to commission you to draw a tileset for JJ2, huh? BioMess has perhaps the most innovative visual design to come out this year, and has clearly made a real splash. I'm really looking forward to what Lynx has in store for us this year! I also take my hat off to Violet's King of Wuwang Hill, which takes the (lets face it, overused by now) Carrotus tileset into an atmospheric new direction - the palette and background combination are jaw-droppingly beautiful, enough to make you completely forget that it's another Carrotus level.

Best Level Script of 2021

Jazz of the Jungle - Violet CLM [4.25]
Frogavia V2.5 - TreyLina [2.75]
Mystery of the Four Artifacts (Plus Edition) - chandie [2.75]
Lori Fortress - Primpy [2.5]

Runners up: City of FreeDOM - Violet CLM [1.75], Teapot DOM - Violet CLM [1.5], King of Wuwang Hill - Violet CLM [1.25]

Congratulations to Violet for taking the top spot in this category! For those looking to see the potential of AngelScript in a multiplayer context, check out the joint runner up Frogavia, which deploys Seren's script magic to bring you quite the froggy (and birdy) experience!

Best Tileset Conversion of 2021

Hakuna Matata - chandie [9.5]
Lapper Festive - Violet CLM [7]
Inferno ß - chandie [1]

Safe to say that I think Hakuna Matata has been on everyone's wish list for tileset conversions for the best part of a decade or two now, so mad props to chandie for taking that leap and finally bringing proto-Carrotus into JJ2! Lapper Festive is also well worth checking out for those looking to bring some seasonal festivity into their levels.

Best JCSer of 2021

Violet CLM [7.5]
Loon [7.25]
Dragusela [4.25]

Runners up: Lynx [3.5], Superjazz [1.5]

This was probably the closest finish we've ever had in the history of the Best JCSer award. Violet CLM just barely pipped Loon at the post with her eclectic mix of Single Player and Multiplayer treats, taking the grand prize. Congratulations! Props to Loon as well for bringing us three outstanding multiplayer levels that will no doubt get some considerable air-time in the coming years. Very well done to Dragusela as well, who was 2021's work horse, retaining incredibly consistent productivity throughout the entirety of the year. You can only go up from here, and I'm eagerly anticipating your 2022 output! I also want to give mentions to both Lynx and SJ, who despite not making the podium, both delivered some incredible levels each with their own highly unique designer flair.

Thank you to everyone who made 2021 such a wonderful year, and to everyone who voted! See you all next time!