When you’re new to the multiplayer level-making scene, figuring out what to design can be a challenge. I feel like this is their best level out of the three (as of this review). So, without ado let’s go;Minimum standards it does reach;
And what could be improved is..a lot.
The first impression I got was..very confusing eyecandy. It uses a lot of layer 3 and traditionally layer 4 tiles as visuals. I think it’s trying to look pretty, though it either comes off as intrusive or misleading. It also covers one of the important pieces of key ammo, gun 9. Covering key areas with layer 3 is something to be very careful with, generally left only to secrets or adding a small touch of atmosphere. Some levelmakers will tint the colour of non-functioning sprite layer scenery to show it’s not interact-able (with either scripting, or the classic translucent tile trick), or other, intended tiles filling the space. Or they at least add parallax to those kind of tiles, which gives a sense of depth (can still be kind of confusing, but much-less so).
The second impression I got is the levelmaker struggles to find where the one-way event is, which explains how they are often lacking where they should be – for example the branch above the left of the red base, or the edges of the hut platforms. You can copy and paste events, and adding one ways is more appreciated than not having them at all.
My third impression is that it’s practically unplayable without Spaz. Yes I get it, most players use him, though a lot of it can be so easily fixed in a way that would improve flow for everyone. For example, the branches area near red base can be climbed to the top with him, without having to go all the way around, you can doublejump to the blue-base from below with the green spring and jump to there from the right conveniently. It’s considered good courtesy to keep levels functional for all characters.
And then…the base balance. From what I’ve checked the creator has also made, they seem to really dislike red team. Blue base is given a lot more defense and a strong powerup nearby. Even if they are less close to the full carrot, they could way more easily fend it off. Red also more closely gets the ice powerup – one of the weakest, if not the weakest powerup in the entire game. Remember that by default, players do not get hurt, can break out manually and the powerup does no extra damage.
There’s more flaws I could point out, though I believe I’ve written enough for a beginner.
If I have to be super honest though, I actually don’t recommend newbies make multiplayer levels until they have played online for a reasonable amount of time. This gives a baseline understanding of what makes a multiplayer level fun, and is extremely hard to understand by explanation alone. I see a world of difference in improvement when levelmakers make multiplayer levels where they haven’t played online at all, vs when they have – especially for several months.
Don’t let this review put you off from levelmaking though, new blood is always welcome when you’re willing to learn and put in some effort! With some more experience, I think you have potential.
I’d recommend using Multi layer level editor, which allows you to find events easily now by sticking in key letters/words – very handy for JCS newbies and saving time on placing new events. You can also set smart tiling with it, saving much long-term time constructing base layouts.
You can add a bottomless pit by placing a MCE event in the complete bottom right corner of any level.
The error should be specified that you have to play as Jazz (instead of totally nothing), and neither should Spaz be able to play since he looks incredibly awkward with Jazzes abilities (he has uppercut even though he lacks sprites for it). Which is inconsistent because Lori can’t play at all.
EDIT: Okay, “done” playing. Before anyone goes crazy at the rating, read the cons. This contains many spoilers.
In this level, you start as Jazz (or a Spaz that works weird), incapable of running. Instead of blaster, you get a weapon that behaves like a boomerang. Gain abilities such as running, turning into Chuck the bird and antigrav. You will also gain some (mostly) classic ammo and powerups along the way, to access more areas. Also, many custom bosses must be fought along the way.
More scripting fun – new bosses (or at least mechanically) and abilities you gain throughout the game.
You can play as the bird, Chuck! (later on)
A few points for creativity.
Overall good music choices. Each boss and sub-world has its own track. None of them have been used before and fit pretty well, if I recall.
This level completely eliminates the lives system and has no checkpoints. Infact, it doesn’t allow you to start from the beginning of the level after death either. So instead, you must tediously exit the level and restart from the menu. This is not fun by any measure. And gives no chance for the player to stop and take a break.
So, when you enter the Chaos Realm and collect all the coins then reach the warp, you arrive at “Yuo are dead” in its incorrectly spelled glory. Then I look up in JCS…OH, you have a wall to destroy in this room, and then you win! What is this moon logic?
Now, for the less bothersome cons
There’s no difficulty support, or at least there doesn’t seem to be.
Shooting upwards with your default weapon looks incredibly buggy/underpolished. The HUD flickers and an array of sound spam happens, though nothing comes out. Also, it would be nice if the default weapon made its appearance on the HUD instead of blaster.
The Clock tower to enter the Chaos Realm is layer 3’d. Such key areas are usually indicated by well, not being tiles that are normally completely solid. Which strikes as a bit unintuitive. It wouldn’t matter as a secret, though.
It looks pretty barren. Especially eyecandy-wise.
Maybe it’s just my bias for dislike of mazes for finding the Devils Gallery more tiresome and tedious than anything. But it’s also where the barren look sticks out the most. Some transitions aren’t so smooth, resulting in a part of the layout flicking away in a flash (particularly that bookcase and bottom-right window).
Enemies that respawn right in front of you. SDjksdjakjhjk.
Some empty deadends. :( Ammo could be placed into them.
At Castle Wall, there are thin platforms that invisibly lose collision when you get hit. It looks buggy (because absolutely no one would expect why it happens here – it’s not suggested in any way) and either way, it’s not really fun.
The full carrots are also unintuitive. On my first play attempt, I avoided them because I assumed they were just carrots that fully restored your health, not increased your max amount, since they looked exactly the same. Perhaps change the colour of them?
You can take normal carrots even though you have full health. This does not normally happen in JJ2. There’s a good reason for that.
I guess it’s just a nitpick/personal dislike, though I don’t like the run function being removed, even if running is made into a powerup. It feels kind of tedious. To me, a lot of the charm of JJ2 comes in being able to go fast. Even a jog would be more acceptable (faster than walking but slower than running).
The controls to get flight mode is awkward. I got it consistently eventually, but I think it would be a better idea to use one of the unused ammo numbers instead (like a toggle).
This level has some potential, though it has a lot of confusing design and a few elements I dislike, and too punishing on players for dying. Not recommended for less-skilled/easily frustrated players, but more seasoned ones may want to check it out.
…I preferred Damn Lava Planet. Sorry.
EDIT: I’d also like to note I only died twice. Which was on the first boss – so it’s not a matter of me rating 6.5 simply because of the no lives/checkpoint system. I could see this being a 7 or 8, depending on the amount of (or which) issues are fixed.
Listened to this on youtube before. It gets better further on. A lot of pump and polish! Recommended if you enjoy electronic rock with a retro touch.
A short level with a bunch of enemies placed into a row, and one tile platforms placed ahead.
Uhh…..it looks less tilebugged than your other levels.
You can use copter ears over the entire level skipping all of the enemies, completing the level in 4 seconds.
The level has a lot of tilebugs, like cut off floor edges and random shaded pillars. Layer 8 uses layer 4 windows which causes distracting sprite trails behind them in single player.
I’m not really fond of the EC style, which involves putting tiles meant for layer 4 in the background, which creates a clashy look.
The layout is just a long platform with a bunch of random short platforms placed ahead.
The enemy distribution is also poor, because they’re all on the floor. That partly contributes to the level being so quick to complete (other than being a short, empty horizontal path).
This thing in your description: “ The level works with:
- JJ2 1.23
- JJ2 TSF (1.24)
- JJ2+ 1.23
- JJ2+ TSF (1.24) “
But the version marked on your upload is TSF+, which makes that all a load of nonsense. But seriously though, you don’t need to tell what the level works with, as the version marking on Jazz2online already explains that.
Could Improve on
Theres an exit sign in the tileset. You can use that to indicate where the exit is.
This level is still half-baked. Sure it’s better than “Try to survive this”, though not by much. I could see potential in a level where you have to rush killing enemies, but some scripting is needed for that, otherwise you can simply disregard them and rush to the exit.
EDIT: “Oh, and I just marked the upload with TSF+ because I created the level in it” no, thats not what version marking is for. It’s for telling the minimum version supported. You don’t create something in plus, only the features you use define what makes it plus or not (i.e angelscript, pits, custom gamemodes like jb/dom, MP3s/OGGs). There’s no such thing as JCS +. Also, when you save a level in TSF JCS, it doesn’t work in vanilla 1.23.
It’s been two years and you’re still relying on the “I’m a beginner!” crutch, while I never did. It’s time to stop making excuses and learn to make more polished levels. No one cares how much time you spend on your levels, it is all about the end result.
EDIT: Made the rating a little higher after some things were fixed. And removed some no longer relevant stuff.
You really think a level either takes hours or 30 seconds to complete? Wowwww…very few levels are so hard that they take hours to complete. The bare minimum of finishing a level should take at least a minute, otherwise it feels unsatisfying. I don’t even like massive levels myself all that much, but the polar opposite isn’t any better.
And yes, saving a level in TSF JCS makes a level unopenable in 1.23 JCS. That’s why there is a TSF to 1.23 level converter in the first place. Go on, try opening the level in 1.23 JCS and tell me I’m wrong. Infact, I don’t recommend using TSF JCS at all unless you have to use it, as unlike TSF JCS, 1.23 JCS supports showing special tile types without you having to keep right clicking to check, and allows you to use the new plus tile effects like frozen, invisible and heat effect.
This pack should include inferno.xm instead of inferno.mod. They are two completely different modules.
Vault of Ceramicus is a tall level that takes a while to traverse around upwards. It’s cramped in a few areas, with lots of tubes. There’s a coin warp reward near the top, and a room at the bottom with lots of gems, that you can reach with TNT and a flying carrot.
Props for thinking outside of the box. I think levelmakers should experiment with treasure more, as there’s so much hidden potential.
It looks alright, for the most part.
Slaz failed at making this level work for a smaller party, which was apparently his goal. I can confirm this by playtesting it a couple of times. I don’t think he realised it’s not about forcefully slowing players down, but mainly the size of the map. Even the recommended maxscore isn’t so great. At 5-6 players with 100 as the goal, whoever reaches the gem vault first will automatically win. Which brings me to this point;
Going for the gem vault is worth way more, than aiming for the coin warp. Not only does it take less time, but is a much larger reward. In other words, the rewards are completely imbalanced.
The gem vault isn’t that hard/risky to reach. It may take a few tries and require knowledge of the flying through tubes (press down through a tube while you’re using a flying carrot) and large TNT hitbox trick. But the reward is so high and most players aren’t going to stay at the bottom area, since there isn’t much reason to (small amount of gems and no useful ammo), further reducing the risk. Not to mention the reward is so high, that any gems you may lose from getting shot are miniscule in comparison.
To put it shortly, I think the vault reward is too high. Everytime I or someone else manages to reach to vault, the winner has pretty much been decided at that point. And at that point it becomes less treasure hunt, and more level and mechanic knowledge to win (also, whoever reaches that point first).
The coin warp becomes useless once all the gems are collected in the room. I think a respawning tube of gems would’ve been better, as they would always give the coins a purpose.
The nature of the layout (highly vertical and forcefully slowing players down) makes it difficult to catch up to others, or hit them. Useful ammo is a little lacking, too. As a result, the pace of the map slows down.
A lot of areas look the same, especially the middle area. Part of the reason is the vast amount of tubes sticking out there. When you’re falling down, it’s not easy to see which tube direction goes to where. I think it may have been more intuitive to have the tubes sticking out from where you can enter from, which is far easier/quicker than trying to read small arrows.
Overall, I think this level is okay, but with notable flaws when you play it for a while. It may work better with a larg(er) amount of players.
By the way, you don’t need to include default music files, as everyone has them.
I will review this once the deadline is over.
EDIT: Chances are, if someone loses the default music files, they either didn’t want them or tried to get rid of JJ2 (the completely wrong way, as you’re supposed to use the uninstaller). You can’t really delete an individual music file “by accident” considering it appears in the recycle bin and it’s not worth the effort deleting them.
Time for a more to-the-point review system.
Dodge and don’t shoot the spike bolls, and don’t get hit too much by the enemies (you can shoot those, however). Moving right automatically at a fixed speed, you can’t slow down or speed up, only jump. Your health slowly regenerates when you aren’t getting hit. The level is pretty easy once you know where everything is. Relatively short.
Experimenting with a different way to play JJ2, looks decent. Music fits.
This level suffers from a lot of unintuitive design issues such as:
Getting rid of the hurt sound and replacing it with the burn sound. Replacing the sound with something that is asscociated with killing an enemy is misleading. With the new health system, it can be easy to overlook if you have F9 on a lot out of habit (it overlaps, which could be remedied by moving the health where it usually is).
The trial and error nature of this level; This comes down to many things; failing to mention shooting/going into spike bolls kills you until you fail, the forced tiny resolution, making copter ears useless (everytime I used them I died into a spike boll because I couldn’t see what’s ahead) and shooting then suddenly discovering there’s a spike boll off-screen. Being mindful of shooting isn’t a bad thing, it’s that I can’t always prepare for it until I know what’s ahead.
The cutscene that barely suggests it’s one, because it looks no different from than what you are playing. Perhaps some black bar surrounding the bottom, with the character saying not to shoot the spike boll/s in some way? Maybe there could be some explosion sounds going on at the start and end.
Why am I walking away from an explosion? It looks odd, as wouldn’t you be running away from it? Plus it suggests that you can go faster, but apparently this level does not.
The annoying bug: Backspace doesn’t work. So you have to keep reopening the level everytime you fail. This is exactly what makes me discourage from recommending others to download it.
Could improve on
The level is rather short. It lasts 30 seconds. Though it appears to be intended, so I don’t imagine that changing.
Being able to control your horizontal speed would be more suspenseful and challenging. It would make the lab explosion itself a threat (like if you fell far too behind, you’d die).
Difficulty settings could affect the level.
The script writing. Too bad I’m a script noob, though I can say, there appears to be a lot of uneeded hardcoding, which results in a wall of text.
Once these issues get fixed (especially the backspace one), I’ll rate it higher. EDIT: Forgot to mention something else.
The download file doesn’t work. You should re-upload this.
Please don’t add full stop characters to zip filenames. J2O can’t handle such things properly.
Whenever I try to open the file is get something like “the compressed folder is invalid”.
Luckily I found the new version of the level in my cache, but that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be fixed.
EDIT: Oh yeah, I forgot there’s generators now. I didn’t check in JCS, my bad.
You know you can just update an existing upload right? You don’t need to make a new one.
To be blunt, I don’t feel like reviewing this in detail anymore. It still has a lot of the same flaws as before (tilebugs everywhere, questionable layout, a giant bottom path of nothing), and I don’t want to repeat myself.
Fortunately, the screenshots are a lot more bearable. They’re saved as JPEG for some reason though. Stick to PNG.
However, there are a few improvements, with there being more pickups and another start pos and some more layout, albeit no effort to make it tile with the tileset, which is the main flaw of this level.
Also counting a level version as plus isn’t meant to be used that way on J2O. It’s whether the level requires plus to play it. However, saving a level on TSF JCS makes it require 1.24 unless you have 1.23+. However there is a TSF to 1.23 level converter (and yes, you can load 1.23 levels in tsf jcs).
A ridiculous amount of extra empty space, lacks a serious amount of useful tiles, and 1 minute worth of effort in MSpaint. Even if it’s a first, no attention has been paid to the standards.
Players usually ignore reviewing poor quality levels, since they usually think the creator will disreguard the critique, or the level is simply too bad to improve on. But hey, since you asked for it, here’s a review.
Really bland and generic. The level creator obviously doesn’t care for eyecandy, probably because he thinks gameplay will excuse for it all, or doesn’t care about decent looking levelsHowever, good eyecandy provides good first impressions, as it often shows the levelmaker cares about their level. Yeah, there’s no tilebugs, however, it’s really easy to not make tilebugs with this set.
Short summary: A generally cramped, linear level, with no ammo until you reach the campy PU room. It manages to succeed at being chaotic and campy at the same time.
For some reason, the levelmaker decides to add a stupid textstring saying you get kicked if you hurt/kill in the powerup room. So you know, instead of taking measures to not make the room campy, he lazily adds a kick threat. You really think you’re going to stop players from doing that by adding a textstring? And besides, not everyone has the time to moderate a server all the time (implying that admins are going to kick others for abusing poor level design). I also dislike such textstrings because those who are hosting the level (that aren’t you) may not have the same view as you, so it’s pointless.
Camping (staying in a hotspot to get more kills, which is what I think you mean) may be annoying, though it’s not cheating because everyone can do it. You can take measures against it by changing the level design or using a script, which is the best way.
What contributes to campy level design? Linearity, cramped passages, safe hotspots. This level has it all.
Also, the hurt zones are…what? How am I supposed to expect they are there? That’s not a good anti-camping measure. You can make coin warp targets not campy by putting a powerup above warp zone, then putting a ceiling spring above the powerup.
If you have no ammo, and the other player does, you’re pretty much screwed. However, if everyone has blaster, prepare for a lot of camping in the tiny passages. Who likes blasterfights?
What contributes to chaotic level design is a lot of strong/overpowered ammo, lots of green/blue springs (though this level has none of them, so disreguard this point) small layouts, no carrots and cramped passages (yep, it can be chaotic and campy, due to being hard to dodge incoming attacks).
At the top, there’s a row of tiny platforms. I’m not a big fan of tiny platforms, because they sometimes require pin-pointing (which is annoying in a very fast paced game such as JJ2), and also make it too easy to dodge incoming fire by just falling.
Also, there’s a lazy disreguard for Lori support, which could’ve easily been fixed by adding a red spring. (platform above the bottom floor). “But lori suckzz!” well of course she is if you don’t bother making her viable.
Meh….somehow I feel this guy just picked the first module he found on the mod archive and went “This’ll do”. It sounds boring and doesn’t fit.
Overall, I don’t recommend this level for the reasons above.
This level makes the best use of utilising belt floors in multiplayer, which makes it stand out. My nitpicks are, is that the top right corner is a little campy, and the top warp is fairly useless. Too much trouble to prepare getting to, for little reward and high risk. Reguardless, this level is solid and relatively balanced.
I’d recommend disabling ratings since nothing is actually yours.
I suppose this would be convenient for those who are looking to use JJ1 conversions which aren’t the official godawfully converted ones, though I just prefer using the search function to get the certain single conversion I want, so I don’t fill JCS with tilesets I’ll never use even more.
Incredibly uncreative, it’s just a boss slapped in an empty arena. Anyone can do that. Also, the screenshots are unrelated, and bossrush7 doesn’t even have a boss put in, it’s just an end area. Bossrush1 is annoying when Bilsy gets stuck in the wall. Test your damn levels before uploading them. The Devan boss is made easier for no reason.
What’s the point of uploading the sequel to the first one, now that they offer the exact same thing? At that point you should only keep one or the other.
Also, use the TSF to 1.23 converter. There’s absolutely no need for this to be TSF. There’s one for tilesets and levels.
This was supposed to be a quick review, but it turns out I have too much to say about it. So I’ll go into more detail. Then I expect people will downrate it because of the rating, no matter how constructive I am.
I’m not sure where the “Challenging” comes into this. It’s about as easy at the official episodes. Partly due to having 3-4 shields in this level, lots of seekers, lots of carrots, and mediocre enemy placement.
While I don’t mind reviewers mentioning their difficulty experience as information, I’m not a huge fan of players judging level quality based on difficulty. The thing is, player skill varies wildly so while one level may be hard for them, someone else could just steamroll through it. Some like it really difficult, some like it medium, and some like it easy. However, I may be biased since I try not to judge levels based on difficulty, but on creativity and the execution of ideas (which is why I originally didn’t want to make a long review of this level). Except I dislike mindless (aka riskless) easy and the cheap trial and error “hard”.
Why is the enemy placement mediocre? Except in the small and water passages, you can easily ignore the enemies by jumping over them. There are literally no airborne enemies, so jumping and running constantly is promoted. The enemy placement gets pretty spammy at times, which may look difficult until you realise that all you need to do is stand/walk and spam the shoot button…or spam kick if you’re Lori. More enemies also means a higher chance of pickups, possibly making the level even easier.
There’s also a bunch of ammo crates near the start. The ammo usually feels slapped about in the level in terms of why it’s there. I rarely use ammo in SP due to a habit of spamming blaster. Most of the time I didn’t see a reason to use much else, but hey, if you’re bored of blaster, you can try super easy mode with spamming seekers, or use freezer if you have a fetish for wasting time, or electro and pepper and RF just for something different.
The best thing about this level is the layout. It’s not exactly linear at the start. There’s a lot of exploration involved, and some secrets.
However, changing the difficulty will barely make a difference, because the author put no effort into setting difficulty for the events (I checked in JCS). I’m guessing they either overlooked that you can set difficulty for events, or they didn’t know how to, or were just plain lazy. The shields, some carrots, and a couple of seeker crates belong to easy mode. Hard mode could do with some smartly placed air enemies, or even just in general.
There’s also a bunch of star blocks you’re supposed to shoot with RF. Um…there’s RF blocks in this tileset. If that was supposed to be a puzzle then it wasn’t too well thought out for simply being a trial and error one.
There are two exits. It’s not worth playing again if you got to the coin exit, since there’s nothing special at the main exit. Inside the coin exit…you get the tuff boss in a plain arena with a bunch of carrots. EIGHT carrots. I get the coin warp is supposed to be rewarding, though eight carrots feels like overkill, especially when you’re against a boss. At that point all you need to do is mindlessly fire due to the sheer amount of carrots.
There’s nothing in particular that’s really creative. Since it’s limited to vanilla jj2, there’s barely anything new you can do with it anymore, so I didn’t expect anything revolutionary. However, it’s still possible to be creative within these limitations.
Your typical colony fare, except the closer foreground streetlights aren’t there. I can’t say much else, since there isn’t much else you can do with this tileset. At least the tiles are placed fine.
However, I’m a little against using the original tilesets due to most having annoying masking errors and worse tile arrangement (which makes it harder to work with), and this isn’t one an exception. There’s a conversion of this tileset which fixes the masking issues. Not a big deal though.
There’s also some enemies that feel out of place. Xmas turtles, dragons, helmutts…what.
Lol, what? I guess I can’t get used to the idea of official music being used in a different official tileset, that was intended for a different one.
Overall, this level is mediocre. Not bad, but not good. I’m sure plenty of other players will enjoy it more than me. If you’re into the official style of levels, you’ll love it. I feel like I’m repeating myself…
I thought this was going to be a level to train RF climb (don’t bother making one though, we can train in those levels ourselves). But what I got instead, was a level that looked like a ground force level, that makes you guess constantly and punish you for not knowing. Even for other trial and error levels, this won’t help at all, because most trial and error levels are different in successful paths and fails.
How is this a training to “pro” level? This doesn’t train you on anything. If this level title and description weren’t so incredibly misleading, I may have rated it higher, even though I have a deep hatred for punishing trial and error levels.
What is a real training level? Practicing skills in a level. Guessing is not a skill.
It also includes bonus2.j2b which isn’t necessary, because every JJ2 comes with it.
It would be a terrible level to play race in, considering you need a ridiculous amount of knowledge to win it, and everyone who hasn’t played it before will likely fail. Good race levels are about being open and approachable (not a lot of knowledge required to play well).
Best of all, you get stuck in the pits and don’t even die in them. With plus, you have to keep using kill command everytime. Without plus, you should only attempt to play in SP and JJK, otherwise everytime you fail you have to rejoin/restart the server.
Also, it uses the blocks misleadingly. ! blocks are used for buttstomping/special moves. Use star blocks if they’re supposed to be shot.
What about the good things about this level…uh, a +0.2 for correct usage of layer 4 and 3.
Also, gotta love the “Don’t repost/reupload” because that’s already against J2O rules, it’s like putting “DO NOT STEAL” over picture descriptions on art sites.
Don’t download this, unless you love punishing trial and error levels. Play it in Single player.
Eat your lima beans, Johnny.