RecommendedReview by minmay

Posted:
13 Mar 2014, 09:35 (edited 13 Mar 14, 09:37)
For: Sonic With A Gun
Level rating: 9.6
Rating
9.8

Sonic With A Gun is probably the fourth most ambitious Jazz-related project to ever see completion. The first three are Jazz Jackrabbit, Jazz Jackrabbit 2, and JJ2+, and now that I think about it, I’m not really even sure about those.

In case your country has censored the upload description: SWAG offers six new Jazz 1 episodes, most with two normal levels, a secret level, and a bonus level. If you only include the normal levels then you would expect roughly the size of two original Jazz episodes, but most of the SWAG levels are much longer than the original Jazz levels, so it is closer to 3 or 4.

The levels do a remarkable job of stuffing themselves full of Sonic references, and while the game is still, at its core, Jazz Jackrabbit, SWAG feels very distinct from that. I wouldn’t go so far as to call it a different game, but it feels much more like a full-fledged expansion pack (one of the cool ones, not horse armour) than a mere set of custom levels. Every planet has its own complete tileset, most of them more intricate than the original Jazz ones – Emeraldus is certainly a lot more attractive than Muckamok. Despite most of the graphics coming from some part of Jazz, the environments feel completely fresh, due to how much those graphics have changed. Just look at the 1st and 3rd screenshots. You won’t see a single enemy reused from Jazz, either – every single one is new, and there are lots of single ones, too. This being Violet, some of them are positively evil in their behaviour and placement. Even the pickups have new sprites!

The level design is tight all around, several times more appealing than that in the original game. Levels are filled with multiple paths, cool tricks, and interesting challenges. Despite many levels having complex layouts, it’s rare to feel lost; there’s a fantastic job done of showing the player where to progress. Or maybe that’s just because you always want to get from the left side of the level to the right side of the level. Whatever. The only planet that didn’t really impress me was Gravis – the graphics were surprisingly dull, with little detail and lots of floating coloured lines, and the pinball portions were really awkward with Jazz’s physics.

I was also very impressed by how well Sonic’s bonus levels were recreated. They’re certainly a lot more exciting than the original Jazz bonus levels – although I would have loved to be able to see the UFOs from more than 2 centimetres away.

The boss fights are on par with Sonic 1, and a good deal more interesting than the ones in the original Jazz. Then again, a trained gerbil could beat the boss fights in the original Jazz.

Playing SWAG, the only things that really bothered me were the timer running out on later levels (like I said, they’re long!), the small field of vision in Jazz (but SWAG handles it /much/ better than the original levels), and the limitations of the Jazz engine itself (every now and then you might notice a spike ball or spring spontaneously ceasing to exist).

I don’t think the difficulty was actually that much higher than the original Jazz levels, I didn’t have much trouble beating it on Hard. Mind you, Jazz 2 single player is about as difficult as drinking a glass of chocolate milk, and by comparison Jazz 1 is more like eating a small cactus. Except the cactus is actually delicious.

SWAG even has its own title screen. This is a product that is impressive in every respect, well worth the time it took to develop. I mean, the worst things I could think of to say about SWAG were actually complaints about the ORIGINAL GAME. I haven’t ever had that reaction to a mod before.

Rating? 9.8, because I’m reserving 9.9 for an especially large piece of the True Cross, and 10.0 for a machine that turns my toenail clippings into money.
Quick Review? I don’t think so.
Download recommended? What do you freaking think?

P.S. After completing SWAG, I managed to fix my Windows computer. Coincidence? Okay, yeah, it probably is a coincidence.

RecommendedQuick Review by minmay

Posted:
22 Nov 2013, 19:53
For: Winter Hare (J.A.Z.P. Remake)
Level rating: 8.5
Rating
8.5

Definitely a few notches above most JJ2 remixes! Good composition work and mixing, though it would be nice if the leads stood out more IMO. I like the drums starting at 2:13.Really disappointing ending though; there’s no interesting resolution. In fact, there’s no resolution at all, it just ends. Overall though, a very good effort.

Not recommendedReview by minmay

Posted:
21 May 2013, 21:34
For: JCS: no need for passwords!
Level rating: 4.4
Rating
1.0

Pretty much useless, because http://www.jazz2online.com/downloads/6627/password-remover/ already exists.

RecommendedQuick Review by minmay

Posted:
14 Mar 2013, 21:31
For: The Paint Game
Level rating: 8.5
Rating
8.5

The first public full implementation of a custom game mode in AngelScript, and it’s well worthy of it. While the included level is a bit plain and questionably balanced, the concept of the game mode more than makes up for it. I hope someone makes more levels for this game mode!

Review by minmay

Posted:
14 Aug 2012, 02:16
For: Rapture
Level rating: N/A
Rating
N/A

The original tileset in Super Meat Boy isn’t too bad, and it fits JJ2 pretty well.

Unfortunately, it’s been scaled and palletised completely naively. It’s now blurry, distorted, and full of stray pixels. The layout is also poor in places, with closely related tiles place far away from each other.

My advice is to just try again and put more effort into making it look as good as the original. If a tileset is worth converting, it’s worth converting well.

Review by minmay

Posted:
3 Mar 2012, 00:41
For: Crime and Punishment
Level rating: 8.0
Rating
N/A

Hey, better late than never.

- The flag direction shouldn’t actually matter.
- Added that MCE event (never bothered to actually fall in the pit during my own testing!)
- Can’t reproduce the JB4 bug.
- This scoring issue in BR2 only happened because someone managed to get a flag without returning it to a base. It was actually possible for this to happen due to me using an unmasked tile where I wanted a masked one (and not noticing); fixed now!

Review by minmay

Posted:
28 Nov 2011, 02:32
For: A Couple 'o Trendsetters
Level rating: N/A
Rating
N/A

Trigger zones work in 1.23. They just aren’t listed in the JCS.ini that comes with most versions of it. Just add this line to your 1.23 JCS.ini: 246=Trigger Zone |+|Trigger |Trigger|Zone|TriggerID:5|on/off:1|switch:1
Or, heck, just use the converter; if it messes up the triggers, that is a bug in the converter and not an actual difference between the level formats’ or JJ2 versions’ capabilities.

Also, they only apply to the connection that triggers them, so unless the 2vs2 is in the form of four players splitscreening, touching one yourself does nothing for your teammate or your opponents. Test your levels!

(also you spelled claustrophobic wrong)

Review by minmay

Posted:
2 Nov 2011, 22:35
For: Strange New World
Level rating: 7.6
Rating
N/A

Put in technically incorrect “layman’s terms,” 1.24 has a greater supply of internal animation structures, so it doesn’t run out as easily as 1.23.

Review by minmay

Posted:
12 Oct 2011, 22:37
For: OLC Jazz1 CTF Pack 2: Electric Boogaloo
Level rating: 8.7
Rating
N/A

First of all: I can’t seem to host at the moment, so I was not able to play these online. As such, I am not giving a rating, as I cannot say much about the balance. However, I can still evaluate some things.

Big Apple Beatdown is great. Nothing particularly novel, but very well done – flow is nice and intuitive, the level is good-looking, and so on. The only thing I really dislike about this level is that there are too many powerups and they’re too easy to obtain; you can expect to see powered-up seekers and bouncers flying everywhere.

I am not so fond of Escape from Precint 83. The concept of having all the players permanently flying is a good enough one, but I feel it could have been implemented much better. It’s really easy to get caught on the edges of the many, many ceilings, and the “pits” at the bottom just seem to get in the way. The level also strikes me as looking downright ugly, though I think that’s more the fault of the tileset (someone make a good Technoir conversion already! And then give it a palette swap so it isn’t so hideously pink!). Also, it completely breaks in 8-bit color for some reason; the background turns completely black and my FPS goes from 100 to 30.

Anyway, this “pack” didn’t blow me away, but it’s certainly worth a look.

RecommendedQuick Review by minmay

Posted:
30 Mar 2011, 22:09
For: Medvio
Level rating: 9.3
Rating
8.5

It’s Medivo. That’s about it. Glad someone made a better conversion than CelL’s old one, though.

RecommendedQuick Review by minmay

Posted:
9 Feb 2011, 14:48
For: Sovun Valtakunta
Level rating: 8.4
Rating
8.2

Simple and inoffensive, but quite well done nonetheless. There are some interesting visual experiments, most notably the pond, although in some places they come off as messy. Layout and general gameplay is very good, no complaints there.

Review by minmay

Posted:
8 Dec 2010, 19:06
For: Ice Age
Level rating: 7.0
Rating
N/A

What part of this upload are people supposed to rate? The tilesets, the levels, or both?

RecommendedQuick Review by minmay

Posted:
6 Dec 2010, 15:36
For: Test levels and a casino
Level rating: 9.4
Rating
9.0

If you react to all JJ2 tests with disdain, you obviously weren’t around in the EvilMike days. The biggest problem with this upload is that it took about five years to appear.

Quick Review by minmay

Posted:
17 Nov 2010, 18:51
For: Chocolatte World
Level rating: 7.2
Rating
4.0

Very ugly and inconsistent in style, but quite functional. The various stolen tiles were completely unnecessary, though (you didn’t even give credit – for the record, those gems are from Bookworm Adventures).

You have a good grasp of tileset layout and what tiles are needed – a shame this isn’t backed up by competent artwork.

Review by minmay

Posted:
9 Nov 2010, 02:00
For: Chaos Castle 01
Level rating: N/A
Rating
N/A

Next time, please do not upload tilesets that are not used in your level.

Quick Review by minmay

Posted:
8 Nov 2010, 00:04
For: Unusual Place with Lava
Level rating: 8.0
Rating
7.0

Competently made. The biggest flaws I can see are the ammo placement (too much and uneven), invisible walls (they’re useless and a bit confusing), and tilebugs.

Review by minmay

Posted:
31 Oct 2010, 20:14
For: crappy for crappy contest
Level rating: N/A
Rating
N/A

“Crappy” referred to the contest, not the levels made for the contest.

RecommendedQuick Review by minmay

Posted:
25 Oct 2010, 22:05
For: ISLAND LEVEL WITH ISLANDS
Level rating: 8.8
Rating
8.5

Pretty much what you expect from Mike – original and interesting ideas that are well-implemented. Not really exceptional, however.

RecommendedReview by minmay

Posted:
20 Oct 2010, 02:46
For: Lava Fortress v2
Level rating: 9.2
Rating
8.3

Lava Fortress is certainly a very good tileset. It is well-drawn and easy to use. However, like anything, it does have certain flaws. This review will try to explore the tileset in more detail than 350 characters and “hope someone uses this” can allow.

How does it look?
The tileset consists of two different themes: a barren, rocky and irreconcilably brown landscape of dust, and a generic factory setting with pipes and conveyor belts.
And lava. Lots of lava.
Both settings are nicely drawn. I think I prefer the look of the factory setting, however, simply because it is much more varied; there are very few eyecandy tiles available for the outdoors — just some wooden poles, bridges, and a dead tree.
And, um, lava.

I must, however, make one exception. The volcanoes in the background look like crap. In fact, they look sort of like actual crap. I admit that volcanoes erupting with actual crap would appeal a lot to my juvenile sense of humor, but it doesn’t excuse bad artwork.

What about usability and flexibility?
It’s certainly easy to use, I’ll give it that. Tile layout is sensible; there are a few tiles placed in rather odd places, but they’re still easy to find.
Flexibility is when the tileset begins to lose some serious points. It’s called “Lava Fortress,” but /you can hardly do anything with the lava/. It is extremely restrictive; lava can only be in one-tile-high pools on a single flat surface. There are tiles for lava pouring into the pools, but no tiles for lava pouring out of them, which means there are no true lavafalls (they’re like waterfalls, BUT WITH LAVA).

And then there’s layer 5. The tileset is impossible to use effectively without layer 5; there are no tiles containing both solid ground and background, requiring you to split them up between layers. I completely understand the tile limit, but come on, I had to give up a layer so that you could draw some fricking crap volcanoes?

Also, the large pipes lack corner tiles, which is rather disappointing (even the example level finds this a problem).

Anything else?
The mask, palette, and event tiles are fine. You can shut up now, Boldface Text.

Not recommendedQuick Review by minmay

Posted:
19 Aug 2010, 23:03
For: Bubble Bobble 2.0 (NES)
Level rating: 5.8
Rating
3.0

This is a good example of a tileset that has no place being converted for JJ2. There’s no way getting around the fact that Bubble Bobble, great game as it is, is rather ugly, and it only looks uglier when you put it next to JJ2 sprites. And as the example level shows, you can’t make up for that with clever usage.

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