Review by Superjazz

25 Mar 2007, 19:05
For: Episode Three: The Battle for Carrotus
Level rating: 9.6

I would like to report, that for some weird reason ‘Mission Briefing 4’ loops to itself after shooting “exit”, for me at least. I tried using ‘jjnext’ there and it helped.

RecommendedReview by Superjazz

14 Mar 2007, 12:49 (edited 14 Mar 07, 12:52)
For: Toxin Twister
Level rating: 8.4

Here we see a few months-old ctf-level from Cooba called ‘Toxin Twister’ getting uploaded with some improvements. Well what was the result? The original one already was a show-off about the level’s tactical gameplay and the creative background at least. Both of them were improved a bit, as well there was some sprite-eyecandy added. And something else?

Like I said, the background here is creative. Though there could have been a little more effort put to design the background in a different way, since layers 6-8 are all used for the same part of it, and so there remains just lots of black area too, which isn’t so good thing. Sprite-layer had the most lackings originally but it looks quite fine now. The solid wall could use some more detailed stuff, especially around the bottom-tunnels.

The base-placement and their entrances bring to my mind ‘Demonic Home’ by Sacrush, although here you are able to reach either base from the same spot. This, and the rest of the layout was designed with care to make it friendly for the player also. Some people might think the bases are left too safe and campable, actually they aren’t, they are more like the most dangerous hang-outs here, except for duels maybe. Seekers can be shot from above, beneath, or through the tubes. Electroblasters also enable shooting from base to another.

The position for the full-carrot was no doubt the best choice. Putting it beneath the bases instead wouldn’t have worked, nor are there any other spots for one, because there are lesser carrots in the bottom anyways. It’s easy to hide in bases with low health in duels though, and just wait for the carrot to spawn. This has been made more risky with the warp in bottom. There are two Bouncy-PowerUps placed in the tunnels near bottom. It should be fine since they are very close to each other. The more powerful Seeker-, and RF-PowerUp are placed wisely as well. However, I have variable opinions about ammo-flocks.

Looks like not everyone appreciates this level that much. Cooba hasn’t done, or at least uploaded any CTF recently yet. Anyway I consider it great, that Cooba didn’t focus on eyecandy, and tried to make the level feel good from a player’s view as well. I can remember the 5vs5 I had here once, which unfortunately didn’t last long. I would say I enjoyed to play it there. I can’t be very sure how does this work in duels yet. I recommend you to download this.


RecommendedReview by Superjazz

9 Mar 2007, 16:44 (edited 16 Aug 07, 17:32)
For: New Ages II - Tale of a Snooze
Level rating: 8.9

Here we see another project of Snooze within a rather short amount of time from his previous piece of work. Expectations were set higher than with Vol 1, yet they weren’t still broken too much. Well, how come?

The eyecandy and decoration in each levels is just really well taken care of. It’s after all really smooth, meaning some level doesn’t just lack something major that would make the eyecandy there look really worse than in others. The backgrounds in these levels were sometimes the default of the tileset, but still made nicely, so they wouldn’t distract, confuse, or just cause a level to look ugly. Nevertheless, the sprite-layers weren’t left unimportant at all. Nothing looks unrealistic, repetitive, or unrealisticly repetitive. The amount of tilebugs/misplaces is very minimum. Just the eyecandy overall, with ambient lighting give these levels an enjoyable atmosphere, so you might fancy playing them really often. The most impressive eyecandy I would find ‘Gloriania’ and ‘Dreaming..’ as. ‘The Cliffhanger Ending’ instead would need the most improvement(for the sprite at least).

None of the levels are really full-symmethrical, so the layouts have been sort of just…improvised it seems. But that’s quite refreshing, isn’t it? Although there might be some imbalance in some levels still, for example ‘Gloriania’. Few levels contain greater or lesser interesting concepts like the base-placement in ‘Saint Zipcode’. However some levels have sort of boring layouts, and what r3p’s review made me to notice, some levels just don’t work practically. The much-offering ‘Twilight Park’ was used for a level with horizontal gameplay and tunneling paths, and it doens’t quite fit. Especially ‘Durance Of Hate’ is annoyingly linear and it’s “floors”-design has been used several times in a way or another. The author put some tubes/warps to nicely improve the tactical sides of levels. Some of them might be still a bit questionable though. The Flow in levels overall needs the least improvement.

Ammo was placed quite carelessly at places. What ammo-types to use in each level, wasn’t thought about a lot either, it seems. Just for instance ‘Dreaming..’ contains only three ammo-types, and lacks of gun5/gun8, which this level would need the most. Ammo there is also flocked in large groups, which might not be so good thing. I also wonder why carrots happen to be very close to each other in levels with multiple ones. PowerUps should be finely placed, though in ‘Durance Of Hate’ they could be all in open as well because of the level size. The ammo was placed well in ‘Friendship’, but already in ‘Gloriania’, it was far worse. So it’s kinda variable between levels.

So how were the levels? Here are some short explanations;

‘Friendship’ has a fine default background with a magenta fade. Looks nice overall, but the gameplay is limited and the full-carrot should be placed differently. After that a minor carrot for red side wouldn’t be a bad idea for the sake of balance.

The eyecandy in ‘Gloriania’ is nearly the finest of the pack. Looks like there was some inspiration while designing this kind of a layout. However it will confuse many people for long with it’s warps. The upper full-carrot should be removed, ammo-types replaced, ammo-flocks modified.

‘Saint Zipcode’ uses a tileset-conversion, that offers some nice additional eyecandy for levels using this tileset. It was used well here, although I would wish some more foreground eyecandy. Music fits. Impressive layout and base-placement, lesser carrot to be removed/moved.

‘Trademark’ has an easy, horizontal gameplay. I don’t find the way carrots are placed exotic here. Better sprite-eyecandy here. The background is OK.

The background seems to be a little bland in ‘Durance of Hate’. The sprite eyecandy instead is more filled and looks great. Layout isn’t very innovative, but at least there’s a chance to move between levels with warps/copters. PowerUps for once more could be in open, instead of wall. Ammo-placement doesn’t make sense.

There’s a simple, but good-looking background in ‘Tainted Heaven’, where is probably also the best layout in this pack, not overwhelmingly though. There could be one more PowerUp, most likely Bouncer would fit. The lighting is used in a nice way. Only what I dislike, is the music that freezes after played once.

‘Dreaming..’ could be easily my favorite quality-level in this pack if it had more types of ammo, placed better, and few more PowerUps. Great eyecandy, the lightning doesn’t distract me at least, because it’s in layer 7 and there’s much sprite-eyecandy to cover it. Carrots are both fine, but the warp to the upper one should be moved further from the full one.

‘Cliffhanger Ending’ quite continues the theme to have a “tunnel-level” in the end of the pack, like ‘The Boneyard’ of New Ages vol 1. It anyway doesn’t remind about it much. The background here is original in fact. However, this level might not impress some people at the first sight very much, like me. This layout isn’t confusing(once you’ve learned the warps), isn’t imbalanced or anything, unlike some other levels of this pack. The ammo and PowerUps aren’t so bad, but yet again the full carrot was placed clearly closer to the other base.

I actually expected this to easily beat New Ages vol 1, but it did only by a little in my opinion. The amount of better levels would be as much as in vol 1, related on the amount of levels. These better levels, mainly #3, #6, #7, and #8 have some nice tactics to be used on, and I recommend anyone to give these levels a try. There wasn’t unfortunately any levels that would have a really nice and balanced layout like the two awesome levels from vol 1, ‘Persona Lity’ and ‘Radiation’. The rest here I would consider as filler-levels, that just didn’t manage to have too great quality to be played with joy. I would rate the levels separately between 7.5 and 8.2, but because of Snooze’s patience to save them all for a compiled pack, they deserve more together. Also for the sake that Snooze can create epic multiplayer-levels even.

EDIT: I decided to give a +0.2 for inconvenient justice in placement back those times.


Review by Superjazz

21 Jan 2007, 14:56 (edited 21 Jan 07, 14:58)
For: Neobeo's Firetruck
Level rating: 8.7

I actually found this level quite entertaining. Some of the very first puzzles took a little time from me in fact, though they could have the purpose to be solved out quickly. But after them solving the rest was actually easier, because the later puzzles seemed to be recycling the earlier used concepts a bit.

The level actually contains a twilight maze, but it’s fine as long as it isn’t really a lot larger or confusing as here. Because many people find such large mazes rather annoying than interesting. There aren’t after all a lot of single-player puzzle levels made for JJ2, so this goes to the quite top in them. I think this could at least challenge the Godaikoku-pack.

The author nicely abused the bugs,(or let’s say detailed features) of JJ2 for the puzzles in here. So, that the player had to actually have some JJ2-knowledge along with just general cleverity and smartness in these puzzles.

The way this level happened to look like in zoomed-out layer-window of JCS even amazed me. I think the boss-part could have been put a little more effort even, to make it as challenging as any puzzle in this level.

I’m not actually sure about what would I rate this one, but need to say it really is educating. I don’t promise that you’re going to really “enjoy” every part here, like you’re not probably even supposed to, in puzzles. I just suggest people download this and give it a try. Thanks for this level, Neo.


RecommendedReview by Superjazz

24 Dec 2006, 19:06
Level rating: 9.6

Unarguably the most useful and sweetest patch*(of the very few ones) ever made for jj2, *so far, meaning there is no doubt, that more is yet to come.

First, we have some passive cool features, one of the most important in my opinion is “death on flag”-fix, that is done perfectly, along the other great fixes. I actually tried this in server-side with PC4 Self-Destruct-function which didn’t work, but for what I’ve seen, it probably just needs someone to really roast you to work(as well I’m wondering is it compatable with PC4.)

Then we have the features, that are to be activated, all by your will. There shouldn’t be anything wrong with either server-side or client-side functions, from which I tested approx. half.

Even all this is already very much, as the other patches released had only a few small fixes/added features in past.

The only bad in this seems to be it’s incompatability with those few useful programs. Anyway as this doesn’t really lack of anything important that needs to be added at the moment, and because it’s all done into the exe, without a need to open separate exe-file(s), there is nothing from preventing me to give this a 10. Also as something nice for the Christmas Eve.


RecommendedReview by Superjazz

18 Dec 2006, 16:28 (edited 21 Dec 06, 21:52)
For: Err.. CTF Levels?
Level rating: 8.8

A couple of older but very neat levels by Ragnarok, nice to see them being uploaded finally.

‘Technodus Cargo Station’ has a layout that radically differs from the usual symmethric or semi-symmethric layouts that levels nowadays use, or somehow it just doesn’t feel like them at all. The author had thought widely about what could everything go like in here, yet it’s all as balanced as possible.
And there’s actually a few minor original things put into the level, for example the frozable ceiling springs. The author took a good care about the overall flow along the layout, and it all just clicks. All the tubes(except the one in very right maybe) and warps are as well very, very useful. There is just barely anything left to be improved in this scene.

The level gives a really amazing lookout, that makes the level actually so interesting to be played also. The eyecandy is nearly the best you could reach with this tileset. The background differs from usual a little by having a diagonal layer-speed, which looks nice. The ambient lightning fits quite perfectly, though it could actually highlight the rather unnoticable animated pulse-lights going on the background ‘X’-tiles. In fact the solid wall has some weird randomness too.

As I mentioned earlier about the ceiling-springs, this is a level that for once has some use for the freezers. It was probably a better idea to limit their amount anyway to a certain box, than spread over the level. Except there’s a few hidden loose-freezers to be “shot down.” The other loose-ammo is still mostly fine, but some groups could be improved slightly. For example I don’t like a flock of 2x bouncer and 2x pepperspray. However, the situation and choice of PUs was great. Seeker-PU that is a more powerful one has a more outlying position, to be shot with electroblaster, while Bouncer-PU is above blue base, which you will likely buttstomp because of the entrance. However, most of ammo could have a longer respawn time, which is 10 at the moment. I didn’t actually notice this earlier.

The level might not immediately feel as good as it is(for me didn’t at least), but because the level is easy to be learned also, after for example a few matches it is really enjoyable. It is an underrated one after all, but that could be because it was yet now uploaded in it’s improved form, and used to be semi-public around 2005. It just looks so “professional-made.” Even the music fits, although it could be something different because it has been used several times already. In my opinion ‘Technodus Cargo Station’ is worth around 8.7 even, which is just ultimately high. Note the level is already around two years old(at least the original non-improved version.) Well done Rag.

‘Very Stupid Floating Castle’ is a symmethric level of some larger size, which we don’t have too many so that is just good. Anyway, what makes this not so good compared to ‘Technodus Cargo Station’ for instance, is the linearity that is probably noticed as first things in the level. Bases are at the very edges on middle-level of course, and that doesn’t really help it. However the bottom-level with just simple warps in pits, that take you to the current side’s bottom-edge are a nice add to the level. Pos. 131,51 is a very safe and annoying camp-spot(that I used in a match to hide, same on other side btw), and should be removed, even if the author meant them just for text signs. The level is quite easy to learn, but some players may have problems moving on the bottom-level at the first times maybe.

The level has a little empty/simple background, but it is full-visible only in the bottom-level. The other eyecandy, especially solid wall looks good, while something special could be still added, because this tileset is less limited. Eyecandy in overall is in fact kind of standard to what most people do with this tileset.

It probably fits to have some larger ammo-groups in a level of this size. The respawn-time could be still stretched by 5 at least. Carrot is placed rather unoriginally, to the top-middle, and it can be actually shot down all way to the bottom. What comes to the PowerUps, they are just fine.

As well the level could have some springs removed/replaced, though I’m not meaning exactly overuse of them. This is after all a decent big level that could be useful in a possible future JDC-event, but it could have been uploaded way earlier for previous season events definitely, if it’s old too. ‘Very Stupid Floating Castle’, grabs my attention once more, and I’m deciding to give it an 8 in overall.

I recommend both for hosting at times, and the first one a little more in fact. They aren’t useless at all. I’ve decided 8.5 could fit as a final rating for the pair. Also I would like Rag to create some more as good, or why not even better levels in future. And I hope I didn’t miss anything important while carefully reviewing this. Do download this!


RecommendedReview by Superjazz

5 Dec 2006, 15:35 (edited 9 Dec 06, 09:35)
For: New Ages CTF
Level rating: 8.6

Here goes Snooze again with a pack of levels. The things I saw about the levels already in the testserver were pretty promising. And what is obvious, is the inspiration and productivity the author had got while creating the levels, yet they still ended up being decent. I just wished a few more levels still if those ones were finished in just a few hours.

The eyecandy is something I don’t really have anything to complain about. An amount of creativity was used and all it adds way more of suitable atmosphere for the levels. Nothing looks confusing for me at least. It might be still a little repetitive, but is barely noticable during gameplay.

The gameplay’s quality is a little variable between the levels. I mean both the quality of gameplay in overall, as well the good thing, which is the variableness of layouts. It’s also good that there is a nice mix of solid and thinner platforms in the levels to make it all exotic and interesting. There’s some floating also to help you to move easier between some platforms. The levels can be learned fast, except ‘Radiation’, that might feel a little confusing at first.

I really expected more from the pickup-placement. It was improved only slightly after the betas. I was looking for something else than linear or squared loose-ammo flocks. Neither do I fancy those flocks with mixed ammo-types. The pickup-choice for each level, and the additional food were a little strange at times. Not much wrong with the carrots, but are the PowerUps questionable perhaps?

But I’m not done yet at all…

‘Question;’ is a level with four levels of height I would say, thus making it very linear. The background seems to be quite alright but not too original. There’s no sprite-eyecandy for some areas like the carrot-spot, but would that make it too confusing if there was? The level has the placement at it’s worst indeed. The two Bouncy-PUs are maybe nicer than Bouncy and Toaster, but they could have a different position in my opinion. The level contains a Blaster-PU too, in open. The author still hasn’t fixed the float-bug next to red base, that I requested during testing, although not many use that route to get up. I neither recognize anything that would make this level “made for Viv-”, except the replaced text-string maybe.

In ‘Complex’ there is a rather empty background, and with it’s current music, and mild lightning, the level gets an ambient atmosphere. There could be a little more of special eyecandy for solid walls. The layout itself is okay, but I don’t get the point of all the tubes. The level isn’t after all very special. Toaster-PU seems to be the only PU here.

Now we come to ‘Persona Lity’ which is my favorite of the pack with it’s great music that I suggested to the author. It was probably a nice idea to use the textured background as transparent for layer 6 instead. What makes me quite like this level that much anyway, is the sprite-eyecandy with darker(distant) and lighter(closer) wall-tiles(might have been used before). The layout is anyway something that just clicks, and I do like the situation of carrots. Ambient lightning is somewhat suitable and sewers are a nice bonus. Even placement is slightly better here than in previous levels, with two somewhat hidden PUs(Bouncy and Toaster) and the shared RF-PU in sewers. A bad thing in the level is the few weird dead ends, in sewers for example.

In ‘Radiation’ the red base wants to be blue in single-player, eek! The level has a decent background with a yellow hue. Eyecandy probably the best of the pack in overall. The top-route between bases is very short, and there’s no obstacle even, so moving between bases is very fast. The match I had here for once proved that it could be actually more a tactical thing about the level. While you’re ready to capture from enemy base, and in case your opponent’s flagcarrier died, you could quickly go back to middle of the level and wait for the new flagcarrier to come out of the basement. And so, you could possibly hurt/roast him immediately, as some people often choose that way to exit the base. The rest of the layout was quite nice after all. The carrot-concept was somewhat a good idea, that let’s you restore health with halfcarrots, while hanging out in either base. You can also go to the somewhat bottom-middle for a fullcarrot. I also liked the PU-choice, and the rest of placement is just as good as in ‘Persona Lity’. You might want to take a bath in the soup also, except it pushes you up, if you try that.

Like r3p said the level, ‘The Boneyard’ has a tunnel-feeling mostly. With P4ul’s special tileset this level succeeded quite well however. Eyecandy is fairly good, but this is the level that has the most of “repetitive eyecandy.” With this I mean for example the “mushrooms” at ceiling or just the solid wall, that has the same tile used for large areas. This might be because of the original tileset though. In this level there’s some linearity, but it seems to be okay this time. There are a few warps to help you moving in the level. I’m just wondering why was the Toaster-PU placed as the only one again. Top basement could be more open too.

Now a summary about the pack would be, that it had quite awesome eyecandy, nearly as good gameplay, and not as good pickup-placement. I was looking for some more creative placement for loose-ammo, and perhaps a little difference with PowerUps or something. This is probably because of the rush the author had while doing the levels, that placement was left rather unimportant. The levels would have separately been worth of 7.5-8.2, but together they deserve more! 8.5! So I also suggest you to download this pack. Each are worthy enough to be hosted or played sometimes too.

P.S. (You know to not do this. At least not here. ~Cooba)


RecommendedReview by Superjazz

19 Nov 2006, 16:27
For: Teacup
Level rating: 8.1

It’s good to see Snooze being active again with jcs like in the old days. This time the result is even better and he had some inspiration on this level too. Teacup in this case, I suppose.

The meteors were used in a different way here by placing them in flocks, and giving them an unordinary, but nice layer-direction. Either not many have used the textured-background tiles for sprite-eyecandy, any tileset. This does fit the level very well since it’s not overused. The minor lightning here is welcome also. What would I still wish, was a little more generic detail to the solid wall(top corners.)

Very important is that the author took the effort, and didn’t just flip up the other side of layout. By that the layout is nicely semi-symmethric and fairly easy to learn. Flow is well done and any annoying linearity has been avoided. With a few warps taking you to certain places, and the “abuse” of rf in the middle make the level quite tactical. The spring to the bases might be a little annoying to use at first, which is the only entrance to the bases in fact.

The level goes with the default Toaster-, and Bouncer-PU without a third “neutral” PU. However you possibly run out of those ammo pretty soon because the PU’s are to be shot with Electroblaster, and the placement of separate ammo here is so “room-biased.” More ammo could be placed into some kind of exciting shape at least. A full-carrot floats above the “teacup” in bottom-middle. Weird thing is how the another half-carrot at top is less campy than full.

This level was after all a quite nice comeback from the author. He wasn’t at first even expecting for this high quality but it just came in sudden. Even the music fits here that I would rather listen than the beta’s labrat.j2b. This is probably the best ctf-level Snooze has ever made and I guess it’s also the tileset Snooze has used the most. Floating Fortress and Station 87 are his previous pieces of Space Warbase I remember, but they do fall under this one’s quality. I thought for a rating of 8.2 but actually the placement-part kinda lacked of things after all, so it turned into 8. It’s very great level still and even an 8 is much for a single level. Download recommendation.


RecommendedReview by Superjazz

19 Oct 2006, 16:47
For: Evil CTF pack beta 2 v0.87
Level rating: 9.1

Well, it seems that no one actually took a serious and careful look on the pack. And I did notice it quite late indeed as I thought people were sure what they actually thought about the thing. Nevertheless the pack doesn’t belong to the worse side. Even with today’s standards the levels remain fairly decent.

Most of the eyecandy is appreciated and mostly even more. Just so nice creativity was already used 4-5 years ago. DreamScape quite shows a good side of it while it actually might confuse some players as the default textured background CelL used just blends up with the entirely green level. 22 Hour Biscuits with the same tileset has this problem fixed and offers just more kinds of sweet and interesting eyecandy with an ambient atmosphere.

Some levels have a handy layout with a bit more questionable flow though. Not all the amount of vines are that necessary and definitely Asphalt Warzone has annoying balance-problem somewhat. Part of the sucker-tubes improve the flow slightly, part of them lead to something secret like a PU, and an equal third part are useless. As well in Mechanism 35 such mazes don’t really satisfy me. Another fine example of a better gameplay is Superior Technologys. Unfortunately involving these tubes.

Placement is kinda boring to say at the least. Ammo is placed either path-vice or in squared flocks, while also I’m wondering the point of freezer being everywhere. However the way that major pickups, carrots/PUs were placed was mainly exotic and even this part does have some quality.

The pack is overrated, but good. At least it beats that another old CelL-pack, the “mega CTF pack”, where actually all these levels were put in after. And they are the better ones indeed. I’m not as well sure about the Constructional Warfare that just looks like an unfinished predesign. An exact 8 should do it. I recommend downloading this however and giving it a try.

RecommendedReview by Superjazz

24 Sep 2006, 20:42 (edited 31 Dec 10, 00:13)
For: LaYOutZ CTF Package
Level rating: 8.6

Very decent work from our now more experienced group-member. Just hoping Chippie is updating the memberlists as soon as possible so Birdie can become a Distinguished member even officially at the least. I am suggesting people to really download this for a look and review it as well.

I was awakened right the moment Birdie reported to be uploading a pack within an hour in a public game-server. I had high expectations while remembering his previous achievements. And I wasn’t disappointed. A few more levels could have been definitely appreciated with all this quality though. Here are some of my first thoughts on the levels.

Area 51 was already seen earlier in public betatest and the layout was really something that I would have expected somebody else to use multiple times till today already. But it isn’t so apparently, so this is welcomed indeed. The eyecandy is Birdie’s neatest. And with the newest fixes to the layout the entire level does really make sense.

Limenade’s eyecandy is something quite close to Area 51’s quality, but the lay-out could have differed a little as now it does just look like recycled Area 51. The paths are annoyingly long and the gameplay is too much of two-way style.

Something else has a way different and simplified layout, which is still original at places. It’s too squared up however. The tileset would surely offer more detailed scenery. Something should be done for the bottom region especially. Since the tileset is underused, so is the eyecandy. As well it is outstanding.

Nevertheless a high-quality pack with only a few medium improvements asked. Good job Birdie!

Review by Superjazz

23 Sep 2006, 19:07 (edited 24 Sep 06, 18:44)
For: The Anthill
Level rating: 7.6

To perhaps encourage more people to review this one, I, as a member of the same group as the author, am giving this level a simple and very tight review, for what is it all about.

The funky blue fade in the background caught my eye first once looking into the level. In front of it there’s some nice underused eyecandy-stuff used, although not really special. The masked walls meant for sprite-layer shouldn’t confuse anyone as it isn’t used for the sprite layer at all. Also some other original decoration like transparent black’n white spots for example are put into the level. Too bad they end up being only very minor things about the level overall. There were a few strange tile-bugs at spots eventhough the level was supposed to have been betatested carefully, I as a lesser one too.

The gameplay is outstanding enough and doesn’t fall under circumstances like for example that the bases are too easily to be reached, bad balance, and so on. Only thing that I thought later about was, that there could be possibly a smaller spring-usage actually.

The choice and placement of pickups remains pretty alright too. There is just a small overuse of ammo in general. Don’t know if putting the carrot into a narrow gorge was that nice idea, especially because Yasco did use that earlier.

As a summary I would give the level a score of 8, but for the sake of good habits, being a groupmate I remain not rating it officially. Do download and review!

Cooba: That’s true. Glad to see your standards changing too, maybe.

Guess belonging to the same group made me “overrate” it perhaps, if anything.


RecommendedReview by Superjazz

5 Aug 2006, 12:57
For: Chlorophyll World
Level rating: 7.9

Time for another contest level-review. While looking again to the level carefully although I have had several games there before, the level wouldn’t look that sweet anymore.

Just about the decoration in the background, Sky, “hill-trees”, “tall trees”, they don’t really fill the background enough and it gives a little bland atmosphere. However the fade-color for sky is nice and leaves in front fit. Lightning was used for the cave-region which is alright. I would have wished a little more of waterfalls to the foreground for instance. The ceiling shouldn’t be as linear everywhere either. Also spotted few bugs like at the bottom I could see a very thin line, barely noticable, under the layer 7 decoration. Another thing was at 26,37 which has waterfall-tiles placed both on layer 4 and 5 as double.

Like me, Enigma wasn’t fond of creating a fully symmethrical level for now. It is indeed fine that there are some differences with the sides. However annoying is that the level remains quite linear and that the springs kinda assist you everywhere instead that you would have to do a little jump-work while climbing up to the upper levels. Also I would find the large space between ground and ceiling quite useless unless I was Jazz. Then again being Spaz makes you able to double-jump from tree-tops and such to higher level without springs. Overall the layout makes you very vulnerable to rf-missiles for example and generally it’s just difficult to run away with low health from an opponent here. That’s why this could rather support team-games where there could be always somebody to save the flag if the carrier feels himself chased. It seems to be also possible to cover self with the barrels at bottom, from bouncer attacks especially. The blue base might be possibly a bit easier to camp as well as the hole to the top-level isn’t as close to the base as in red side, not as open either. I earlier had a thought of somewhat this kind of basement for one of my levels. Seems it doesn’t have anything really wrong though I wouldn’t have put the bases technically as close to each other. So the level does give some tactical impressions anyway. The level should actually have only one start-position per team, but looked like there was a “Jazz” start-position forgotten to the top-left weirdly.

While moving through the level, it quite soon becomes clear that most stuff is pretty much placed in a balance on both sides, like carrots. About the j2mc-version, the fast-respawning basic carrots are a freshening choice although a few levels probably had that already. The ammo is placed either separated along a certain path, or in small flocks, that unluckily are, “squares.” The two barrels to the bottom were a nice idea as earlierly mentioned. Anyway all this is done reasonable well, nevertheless anything of it is really SWEET.

Something like 7.5 was my original plan about the level but guess it’s a 7.7 as it took the third place in the actual contest of total 12 entries. The music was originally used in Jazz Unleashed Demo, but is good and suits so that’s something positive too. Overall I feel that I criticized the whole level pretty much but ended up in such an uh…high rating. I just prefer the two older ctf-levels by Enigma over this; The Marshes of Twilight, and Celestial Wargrounds. Download recommendation on all three of these however.

RecommendedReview by Superjazz

23 Jul 2006, 12:02
For: The Death Facility
Level rating: 8.3

As being bored and actually having the feeling of giving a review for all, or nearly all of the contest-levels for j2mc. This level seemed to be a good startout point to begin reviewing with as Helldome isn’t uploaded to the downloads that got the first place. I will review the rest of the levels at time but that is going to be some time because of holidays. However…

The level has a grey ‘n black “palette” everywhere, mostly because of tileset choice too, but also the background has a fitting grey fadeout. This is all pretty nice nevertheless. The rest of the background is only rather simple but doesn’t really need a lot to be added as during gameplay the non-solid wall-tiles block the vision there anyway, so you will get to see just some pieces of it. ‘The tube’-eyecandy, mainly fills all the solid part of the level, but then again with this palette there isn’t really anything else that would suit really well. And that P4ul did make it carefully and the result was really neat is extra. All the rest, flashing lights showing your current side for instance, were allright.

The layout isn’t as interesting at all. It is a pretty linear everywhere like back to the 2004 Galactic Warfare by Snooze. This isn’t really a direct ripoff at least like it would first look like, but I do prefer the layout in GW over this. The fact that you barely need to jump when moving through level anywhere makes it dull. It could feel like a level for old Jazz-grandfathers sitting in wheelchairs or how are they called that who have to use SLOPES or ELEVATORS, instead of STAIRS. Or then the greater elevator to the middle with float. A bitter jump required. The paths don’t have too much of open area luckily. Then the narrow tubes meant for getting to the lower levels don’t fit a lot. The bases were placed into closed rooms with two quite small entrances/exits(and a third entrance as holes below bases in the updated version.) It is innovative, but doesn’t impress me so much. At least the layout doesn’t remain very spaz-biased.

Pickups are placed evily. Perhaps eviler then Evilmike would. Meaning ammo is placed all in large flocks, still not in boring-looking squares. Talking about the upgraded version of the level, having a more reasonable amount of Seeker-Powerups in the ex-turrets, as the turrets would be more useless in duels. The gun8-Powerup in the middle is fine, but the way the two other Powerups are to be reached in the bottom is irritating. They are supposed to be shot with bouncers, and with the sharp edge accurary has to be perfect. I guess overall the included seekers and rf’s are the most preferred weapon here during games.

I was thinking to give this a little below 8 but probably an exact 8 is more accurate since it got the 2nd place in the contest. The level looks decent by it’s cover, could be better by its layout, and is somewhat ok about its stuff content. Recommended for a try at least.

RecommendedReview by Superjazz

11 Jun 2006, 13:06 (edited 11 Jun 06, 15:23)
For: The Chasm
Level rating: 8.5

Hello, it must have been actually a while again from my previous review when I had that “review-fewer” and got to finish a whole two reviews. Anyway, The Chasm, by Blackraptor of OLC, has a quality of very high gameplay and other and being a genre of the LRS-type, which just remains to be an underused one from people that aren’t belonging to the JDC staff for instance. Seeing a piece of it in a somewhat private server awoke me and made me evil. Evil enough to review the level by now.

Wherever you travel in the level, you’re mostly having a really neat vision around. All layers were used, and to bring a nice look for the entire sprite-layer, all of the foreground layers were used along with the sprite layer.
The three layers in front of sprite did their job anyway. I think there isn’t really anything that would fit as a separated foreground-eyecandy to the level. It could just make things look confusing. Blacky added a nice amount of stuff here and there within the lava, and still not blocking the vision to the players moving there, and showing that there actually IS LAVA. I’m just pleased that the sprite layer was focused a lot after all too.
The background is a very amazing part of the level also. It’s already hilarious to see what kind of tile the author used as a tile for the background, which does fit it perfectly in texture mode. The other background-layers, 6 and 7, have both old and new stuff involved and they are moving in a nice velocity to opposite directions horizontally.
But an impressive bonus is the layer 5 definitely. The black caves do end to linear, sharp edges, unfortunately, but Epic just did not design the tileset for this kind of eyecandy. At least I am not distracted by it a lot, especially when I would be playing a game there. The dripstones look good as they are. The advanced use of lightning give extra atmosphere for people who use ambient lightning. Only what I wished was tweaking the kinda black walls with a little more decent details…especially in the top-left region. I did like the blinking figures by the way, as well the tall Stalagmite in middle.

The level offers both solid and separate platforms. At times the level is a little bit like mountain-hiking with springs as help, but the level being wide with suitable amount of routes to places makes the level really exotic.
Spaz is being biased on some spots of the level. However, what would levels become in case all was focused on both-character friendliness? I don’t want to say. And still Jazz got quite and advantage at the left side of the level to land from high safely to the ground, meanwhile Spaz has to watch out a little where to fall.
Also the level being a Last Rabbit Standing-type gives a pressure during fighting right above the lava for instance.
A useful spot is the launcher in middle. You can fly yourself to left or right cavern. In case your at low health you could choose right which is a good place to hide with cure involved it seems. You may also bring ice from the small hole at top-left for the spring and go into the tube that will randomize a destination of two choices for you. Too bad both of them are quite close to each other.

The amount of ammo is quite alright. I have a thought the level could have larger groups of single ammo, especially if thinking of the amount of players in the begin. Then again it’s more exciting when you’re just slowly collapsing your opponents one by one, not crushing all at once with infinite overwhelming seekers.
The level includes a powerup of gun2, gun5, gun6, and gun9. As a tiny tile-masking bug, I could get stuck when sidekicking towards the wall at the gun9-PU.
Food is also included…kind of few. Probably to make some places to look even less dull. At your final life of 3 you will get a shield within yourself including 15 seconds of usage-time.

The level is entirely fantastic. Good the author decided to (finish?) and upload the level during the begin of JDC-season. It is a definite one to be counted in for an LRS-, or multiple-event.
Just a tip for the non-knowing; wherever you see lava, just do not touch it.

I’m sure I spent nearly 3 hours for reviewing the level, and admit it was a hard time for me deciding what order I’m going to go through things with the review, etc. Please do rate it and review the level yourself too. There’s not much time until it disappears from the downloads first page.
From me, the level gets a 8.7 and an extremely recommended download-recommendation. Well done Blacky!


Not recommendedReview by Superjazz

18 Apr 2006, 12:21 (edited 19 Apr 06, 14:12)
For: Metal Tube Climber
Level rating: 3.0

The review-fever continues.

The tileset for the level was Tubelectric, the night one, and it is used
pretty poorly here. The background could look better and does only have
the same “screens” in textured mode. It looks more awful in 8bit-mode,
that gives a longer sight and everything is just messy. The electricity that
is visible only in the top and bottom are a nice add and don’t confuse
at all, but that is because the sprite-, and it’s assisting layers don’t
really have any kind of decent extra eyecandy, and the flats just look boring
with rough edges and all.

The concept here of a “climber”, that once you go in to the tubes on any
side, it pulls you to itself and warps to the level right above and sucks
you in again and loops from top level back to bottom, until you run to the
opposite direction from the tubes. But as a level, all this is just nothing,
because the middle is nearly empty of any creative fill, and the
level size is just way too small for the concept in my opinion.

Every floor has a different set of ammo for 9×3. The top 2 levels have also
different PU’s. All of them seem to have an instant respawn and that just
guarantees infinite ammo for every player moving around the level. Every
flat has a single-health carrot as well that have a respawn-time of 25, but
it’s still just too much for a level of this size, and I don’t believe
anybody else would either put as much to a lot bigger level. Because of it,
roasting will barely happen at all in multiplayer.

I see you might have had an eager to set up this kind of climber-concept,
but creating a proper level seems to be difficult still. The level wasn’t
probably more effort then a few hours at maximum, and shouldn’t deserve
too high grade, especially because it doesn’t really have a lot of use and
so on. I decided an exact 3 would be a pretty balanced rating this time.
I suggest you indeed spend time on doing a level next time…and
carefully. The music should be pretty suitable with the tileset at least.


RecommendedReview by Superjazz

17 Apr 2006, 18:49 (edited 18 Apr 06, 12:29)
For: Eastern Swampside
Level rating: 8.0

Here I am reviewing again. It has been a long time from my previous review,
but something inspired me again to review at least this level, and it’d be
just good to have more reviewers in the community because there aren’t too
many these days anymore, or at least very fair, whatever. Then the level.

For some unknown reason, everytime when I tried to load this level in
internet-play, jj2 ran out of memory. It also happened in single-player if
I self-destructed myself multiple times.

The eyecandy overall is just splendid. Tileset used is Swamps Night and the
background layers have the default set of tiles. The flood around trees that
Agama meant for background-layers. Transparent leaves around sprite-layers
look nice enough though they annoyingly cover the vision in a few places of
the oaks for example. The vertical logs are also used in a more advanced way
this time. The rest additional eyecandy seems to be just fine.

The level has a roundabout ovalish(or not that ovalish) layout. One funny
spot is the tiny flat, best noticable from jcs, that a Spaz-player can reach
with a little work, and hide there from other players, or fire bouncers down as long as he has enough ammo. Then I would have liked
if the northwest region had a warp to some spot of the level as it seems
to be quite irritating dead end. There is a warp just a little below that
takes nearly to the southeast. The region has a carrot however, so
being chased into there isn’t too big problem.

For the size of the levels, I’d agree 2-3 single-health carrots to be a good
amount, and seems the author’s choice was 3. The ammo is placed either
linearly by the path on some places or in exciting diagonal ways. The
treetops could have a few ammo also in my opinion, that were quite empty.
There’s a seeker-PU hidden in a tree at that region anyway, and just guess
they’re pretty hard to dodge in such narrow paths. Then there lies a bouncer-
PU on the lower road and RF-PU is to be reached with these powered-up
bouncers at the northwest region.

Uterus rating: 10 YAY NO UTERUS…just joking. ;p

Overall the level is another good one by Booshi/P4ul, but there wasn’t
anything very special/original in it, and even the level name is a little tasteless, or let’s say, ordinary. Maybe the underused treetops for
instance. I also wondered a bit about the gem stomp’s point with ceiling-
springs. Just for fun perhaps. The music gets also a bit distracting at

As a single level, I’d like to give the level an 8. It could be probably worth for the next bash even. Well done!


Review by Superjazz

15 Dec 2005, 21:04
For: Chateau
Level rating: 8.3

I’m actually wondering why is my review gone from yet another upload… It was right after WR’s if I happen to remember correct, at least it shouldn’t have had anything unusual. Weird. ;/

RecommendedReview by Superjazz

14 Dec 2005, 14:47
For: Episode Two: The Rebirth of Evil
Level rating: 9.6

I must admit this to be one another fantastic episode. I already played both the Invasion, and this one through with an another computer, both as medium-difficulty. ;p

So, the storyline is really well written, which actually is sort of an afterlife of the main jj2 single-player story, but still a good one. The episode also kept me all the time known about what’s happening, and nothing necessary was left out. Hope you know what I do mean. :D

The fact that there are even two endings to choose of, I haven’t ever seen in any other jj2-epis. As the previous episode was mainly focusing on one a single-planet, Deserto, this had a style of Space-adventuring and more freedom to do stuff so I guess I’m preferring this over the previous, it seems. I’ll review that episode also sometime.

The eyecandy is great enough and really gives a realistic feeling for the playing, but still doesn’t confuse. It couldn’t just have been done better, everything seems to fit.

There were plenties of original or underused concepts used for the levels, like the puzzle in the first level, followed shortly by tunnels with rocks coming towards you, shooting cannons and so on. I really agree the few custscenes were a nice add. The difficulty made me die sometimes even now as I couldn’t save every minute, anyway I always wanted to go on with the levels instead of usually just getting too bored to try again with some sp-levels from a save-point. So I was still able to finish it with enough will to try things, but took some time for example to think about; where should I go next?

The amount of ammo and other goodies was suitable enough as well. I really needed some special type of ammo in some cases and especially the Devan-boss, instead of just using blaster or toaster through all levels. Good nothing was overused, and I liked the gem-thingy as well.

I guess I’m giving it a 9 and a half so far. Nothing was really too bad as a reason not giving it a 10, but it seems that this was only an another part of story and might be continuing later. I really wish this to continue. :-)

I didn’t actually find all music fitting the levels too often however…and most music-files were already been used for some other levels. If the continuation of this serie depends of us fans, then I’m here to give this a yet another review and a vote for Evilmike to continue it all. There would have been so much of nice sweet candy to report more about this whole episode in this review, but I just can’t remember it all by now. Hope I didn’t forget anything important I was thinking about while writing this.

Anyway…Great Job, Evilmike!


RecommendedReview by Superjazz

12 Nov 2005, 14:23
For: Virtues
Level rating: 8.4

Yet another splendid battle-level. This was, if I remember it correct, the first level that I saw from Wrath. For first when I looked at the level, it seemed to be just any average battle-level so far, but investigating it further I began liking the level more and more.

For first about the layout itself…The dead ends which I usually dislike if they aren’t really fitting the layout. This time they were really allright and making the level more tactical. Still the rest of the layout was fantastic. It’s hard to actually explain why I like the layout so much, but it probably might be that everything is well balanced. There are enough of close and open rooms. I also liked that there were two warps leading to the northeast of the level.

The eyecandy is good enough and doesn’t have to be too superior because the current one with bg-wall tiles and so on already fits to the layout and that the level ain’t so big. At least it doesn’t confuse.

There are also two +1-carrots which is just a good choice when thinking of the level size and type. They are both placed into very small dead but long dead ends where the opponent may camp for a period of time. It can be possibly breaken with electro-blasters anyway, which is good. As powerups there were Toaster and Bouncer. The most usual one. There was a copter around the middle of the level, making it able to either reach the bouncy-PU, collect some separated bouncers from the top or go to the upper level in northeast where you can go also via the warp in bottom-middle. Rf can be also used to climb up to the 2nd highest level as well but I doubt no one except Bobby(if even he) can make it up the wall in the very northeast, which wouldn’t be even that useful. ;p

However, this level didn’t have a real original concept, but the layout was a great one which brought some feeling of a decent old level, with still not too non-solid layout. Must say I prefer this far more than Battle1 for example. So far it is worth of an 8 even, please download and host sometimes when Wrath isn’t doing that himself.


Review by Superjazz

17 Aug 2005, 19:45
For: have u ever been to Pezrock..?
Level rating: N/A

This picture immediately inspired me to use this set. The eyecandy especially. Good job. ;P

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