RecommendedQuick Review by Blackraptor

Posted:
20 Apr 2017, 06:45
For: Skyward Showdown
Level rating: 9.1
Rating
8.8

I think you did a great job on this, the layout is solid and I like the approach you took with the eyecandy. The redeemer is gimmicky but a lot of fun to use in populated servers. I don’t know if this is your best map but it’s certainly one of my favorites and I look forward to seeing it in future bashes and JDC events

RecommendedQuick Review by Blackraptor

Posted:
15 Apr 2017, 07:30
For: Outgrown
Level rating: 9.0
Rating
8.6

Fun large and aesthetically pleasing map. My biggest complaint is that due to its size and similar looking decor throughout the map, I find it nearly impossible to memorize where all the carrots and powerups are placed despite repeated play. The chestnut ammo or whatever it is could also play a bigger role. Still great even though I’m hopeless here

RecommendedReview by Blackraptor

Posted:
6 Apr 2017, 10:09 (edited 6 Apr 17, 10:09)
For: Castle Turtlevania
Level rating: 6.9
Rating
7.3

Blacky’s Single Player Catch Up Review #4:

My time spent playing this map was in near equal parts awe and frustration. My advice would definitely be set up a checkpoint/lives system of some kind so you could expand the level, more routes and areas but less dead ends, less linearity but way more direction (I had no idea where to access the chaos realm and eventually ran into it by luck/accident for example, because it was hidden with no indication), spend the same focus and passion on eyecandy and actual level design as on the creativity of the scripting. You have done a better homage to Castlevania than I have with my sprawling colossal single player level, I have never been as hyped about something I rated in the 7’s as I am about this, I feel like the shortcomings in this level are a lot easier to improve upon compared to the stuff you did well, there is lots of potential here – it’s like a swing that was almost a grand slam but was ruled a foul ball or something. Looking forward to your next upload!

RecommendedReview by Blackraptor

Posted:
6 Apr 2017, 09:13
For: Literally Frozen Spring
Level rating: 8.8
Rating
8.2

Blacky’s Single Player Catch Up Review #3:

I actually remember playing this before sometime, but neglected to leave a review so here I am experiencing it again! Whoo!

Having only played through The Secret Files campaign once, and a very long time ago, these feel like they should be the official Easter maps to me. They’re both great, my complaints are relatively minor so I’ll get them out of the way quick: There were times when jumping or tactical use of the Float Lizards enabled me to take shortcuts or reach stuff I wasn’t supposed to that way, like gold coins etc. There were a couple of tilebugs in the first level, a foreground bug with the frozen waterfall at 173,5 and a tilebug in the wall at 252, 3. I also got stuck on top of a trigger crate while riding the airboard in the second level and couldn’t get out without cheating.

Now, what I thought of these levels: They can be summarized by 3 S’s – solid, standard, and sexy ;). They’re pretty to look at, use standard jj2 obstacles and challenges without getting too experimental or using angelscript at all, and the layout design and gameplay is generally very polished. Any time something ‘new’ is introduced, you put a text string notifying the player of what is expected of them. I remember the first time I played this I got lost searching for trigger crates for several minutes, but this was my fault as I neglected to heed the sign stating that no Easter basket is empty. On my second playthrough, I paid attention and diligently searched every seemingly empty basket I came across – I was never disappointed. Likewise, signs are placed warning of the hazards of trekking over thin ice, and how to approach various puzzles and even the boss fight. The difficulty was fine, I think I played on Normal on my first experience so I replayed in Hard for this review. It was challenging enough to keep me engaged, but I felt you were awfully generous with the powerups and pickups so that by the end I was an unstoppable tank. I really liked that you gave me several options in how to deal with the boss, even if it was just typical old Schwarzy who cowered under the might of my powered up arsenal.

Some more variation (in enemies in particular) and innovation would have been welcome (and additional maps of course!) but it was a fun journey despite that. Now if you could make some Haunted House & Townhouse maps in this style, my memory of the TSF campaign will slowly be eroded and replaced with your levels :)

~Blacky

RecommendedQuick Review by Blackraptor

Posted:
6 Apr 2017, 08:25
For: The Lost Levels 1: Queen's Castle
Level rating: 7.9
Rating
7.0

Blacky’s Single Player Catch Up Review #2:

I was having fun playing this but it took me less time to complete than it did to cook up a bowl of ramen :(

Not sure how to rate this, but it was a glorious 5 minutes.

RecommendedReview by Blackraptor

Posted:
6 Apr 2017, 08:10 (edited 6 Apr 17, 10:17)
For: Ürdüng Chronicles #1
Level rating: 8.0
Rating
7.0

Blacky’s Single Player Catch Up Review #1:

I decided to review this whole pack since I haven’t played the earlier levels seperately before and they are included in the upload with the newer stuff. I’ll give out my general thoughts first and then specifics about each episode.

I enjoyed these maps but they are too easy! I get why you made the difficulty this way since its your take on the original Jazz2 singleplayer levels, but they were less engaging for me to play since I’m already familiar with how singleplayer works and used to playing more difficult custom content. They are pretty standard maps, without angelscript but not without creativity. What I really liked was all the secrets you put throughout the pack, the most fun I had playing this pack was finding them. I liked the occasional puzzles, gemstomps, and weird textstrings (the ones I could read at least…), and got a bit of nostalgia for the original single player campaign. The eyecandy is generally average throughout, but never bad. My biggest complaint with it is that it sometimes looks bland when you don’t put enough tile variation in places. I already said I thought the gameplay is a bit easy, but I like that you bothered to use difficulty modifiers. I didn’t like some of the ways you chose to increase the challenge by placing regenerating enemies or making it confusing to know where to go by obscuring stuff. I thought things could’ve been indicated better in general, especially events since you used things like sucker tubes and warps without visually telling the player that they are there. Both the Schwarzenguard and Robot bosses were too simple – all you need to do is buttstomp repeatedly to win. Now onto specifics:

Castle Maps

My favourite here is either “Kurva Denevérek” or “Toronyugrás” .In general I thought these maps were too easy and breezed through them. The only time I felt challenged was when I had to stop and figure out where to go, since some of them were quite mazey. I thought there was too much reliance on hidden passages obscured by foreground, and lots of times I just happened to stumble onto stuff since there was no indication what to do or where to go. Unlike finding the myriad of nice secrets in these maps, this didn’t feel rewarding since I had no way to deduct that a warp event or a one-way would be there, or a hidden passage within a hidden passage was the correct route to progress. None of that bothered me until the final castle map, where I felt it got too out of hand. The music in that map also drove me nuts while I attempted to figure out what to do – I reached a dead end near the textstring “a nyilak hazudnak” and unsure of what to do, hit the savepoint through the wall with gun9 and promptly killed myself. Not long after I got stuck inside of tile 224,36 and had to kill myself again. I’m not sure if that was the correct strategy to hit that savepoint or if I had skipped a portion of the map by doing that (it looks like I did?), since I kept getting stuck inside of the destruct tiles in the next segment and, slowly driven insane by the music, ended my odyssey of finding the exit to this map. The visuals in these levels were decent, mostly tilebug-free (occasionally I ran into a foreground layer ec bug or some tiles just looked weird), my only real complaint regarding them is that the tile placement got repetitive at times and looked bland.

Carrottus Maps

I enjoyed these more than the castle maps, its hard to choose since I liked all 3 of them but the second map is probably my favourite. The layouts were better (more straightforward while not necessarily linear) and the maps looked prettier. There was less single tile spam throughout these like at the end area of the second (evening) map, I had no problems here with the visuals besides what I mentioned above and that the rain in the third map looked bad. The pumpkins could use some consistency though, sometimes they are solid and sometimes aren’t, not a big issue however and I’m guilty of doing this myself :P The boss fight here was tedious, because it wasn’t ever a challenge (all you need to do was buttstomp) but it took longer (all you could do efficiently was buttstomp). Maybe some platforms and other hazards could’ve helped complicate the strategy a bit.

Labrat Maps

“Madárka – Madárka” is my favourite map in this pack so far, the difficulty was engaging (I almost died!), and I struck the motherload of all purple gems when I entered the coin warp. I got stuck in the beginning of the third map, I played as Spaz and hit the morph so I could uppercut the destruct blox. It turned me into Lori and never respawned :( There was a sucker tube in the top right of the level that shot me out directly into spikes, it was the only way out of the box I was in and I was at 1h and died. When I respawned at the last checkpoint I was Spaz again, and could reach the water shield without finding the tnt and get through the box puzzle area without having to solve it. Overall I thought these were pretty ordinary Labrat maps, I enjoyed them but wish they could have some more of the creativity present in the Castle maps but without the issues I had.

Overall I think these maps deserve a 7, which I think is fair because they are well done for the most part but not exceptional. There were aspects I really liked and some things that I didn’t and also which annoyed me, and sometimes I ran into bugs and had to cheat. I think your work is best when you combine the experimental creativity you used in the castle maps with more consistent layout design like the Carrotus maps, while avoiding the frustration of the third castle map and the generic-ness of some of the Labrat map areas. I would still definitely recommend this pack to players who are relatively new or just starting out with exploring custom singleplayer content, I think I would’ve enjoyed this more myself if I had played it several years ago instead of at the point I’m at.

~Blacky

Review by Blackraptor

Posted:
6 Apr 2017, 05:41
For: UID Collision Finder
Level rating: N/A
Rating
0.0

Thanks to this handy little tool I patched a collision in pinball2k15 that involved the bottom right +1 carrot. Very useful!

RecommendedReview by Blackraptor

Posted:
19 Feb 2017, 04:57 (edited 19 Feb 17, 04:58)
For: Forgotten Toilet Chronicles
Level rating: 7.7
Rating
7.5

Evidently I promised this a review, deservedly so as I seem to duel in here every time JDC comes around. This is a simple, small map that is ideal for 1on1 matches. While there is a trick with a crate involved, you can virtually learn the entirety of this map in a manner of seconds. There is suitable ammo for the type of layout provided, although imo bouncers are clearly the best weapon due to the vertical gameplay and slopes. I feel that the bottom part contrasts this due to it’s flatness, but perhaps for the better as it encourages the use of the variety of other weapons here. The placement of pickups is very balanced, so that there is always a lot of mobility; matches feel fresh and quick instead of stale and campy. The eyecandy is nice but not obstructive or overdone, its done well in a way that it doesn’t stand out at all but feels natural, because of the limited amount of tiles actually being used from the Dreempipes tileset in keeping with its visual theme. Only when you stop and pay attention does it become evident that there is more going on than initially meets the eye, especially in the background layers (the foreground could’ve used a bit more love though).

Overall, I almost feel as this level is a mandatory addition to the folder of any battle player since it fills a niche, it’s balanced, it’s very easy to learn and provides a quick burst of fun battling without overreaching beyond what it intends. The rating here doesn’t quite tell the whole story, and its probable that only after having a match here can the appeal of this level be fully understood.

~Blacky

RecommendedQuick Review by Blackraptor

Posted:
29 Dec 2015, 20:07
For: Mighty Switch Test!
Level rating: 9.0
Rating
8.8

This is something I never expected: a test I actually enjoyed. While the skill level may be a bit high for filthy casuals like me (I only made it to lv8 so far), the balance between fun and frustration is well done. In particular I like how the test requires some thought to play. Also kind of irrelevant but visually this also looks nice.

Review by Blackraptor

Posted:
22 May 2015, 06:01
For: Brain Tumor / Organic
Level rating: 9.1
Rating
0.0

This looks gruesomely marvelous, reminds me of a tricked out version of the Blood tileset from the old irc server (still no idea who made that to this day). Can’t wait to play around with the complete version!

Review by Blackraptor

Posted:
26 Jun 2014, 02:13
For: Castamere
Level rating: 8.5
Rating
0.0

Lol good find FS, that is bizarre. Looks like they only act like that for the player that froze them, so that can’t be manipulated to the disadvantage of others :P

RecommendedReview by Blackraptor

Posted:
2 Mar 2014, 03:07
For: Twisted Venom Test
Level rating: N/A
Rating
0.0

I didn’t play this level yet, but you are already a winner in my book for managing to use a Burzum track in Jazz2, even if its off his electronic album.

RecommendedReview by Blackraptor

Posted:
2 Jul 2013, 01:59
For: Forest Wheel (updated)
Level rating: 9.4
Rating
9.0

I’ve played this online in its various stages and even during a JDC event I was miraculously around for, as well as asking you to upload this and I did promise to review it, so I went along and retrieved my J2O password and logged on the first time this year just to do that :P

I’ll start off by saying this is some of the most enjoyable stuff I’ve played in JJ2 in recent memory. The level design is pretty simplistic but immensely creative, and wouldn’t be possible without the use of some complicated angelscripting. The “ferris wheel” itself is amusing, but the most complicated and interesting part of this level to me is the morph beam, which is made out of apples in some complex copter using script that morphs the player when they come into contact with it. I’m not quite sure on how this works exactly still but the point is that it does work well and its awesome.

The flexibility of this level is also great. It can be played with a handful of people or a packed server and would still be a fun experience, and works in multiple game modes. I’ve played it in both battle and bank robbery and can’t tell which I prefer because both ways rocked. This level managed to hold up during a packed live JDC event and basically steal the show. The angelscript also allows for the triggers to be used for some interesting quirks that slightly alter the gameplay of the level.

All this level is, is basically an idea. A great idea that’s been implemented and executed well, that works without hitches and can be altered to fit the style of the game you want to play. While the level itself is a small standalone concept, the behind the scenes scripting to get this working properly is fairly complex and in some ways groundbreaking. It’s really hard to write a proper long review on something so small without repeating myself, so I’ll just summarize that I really enjoyed this, somewhat marvel at how it was executed, and approve of it’s multiple uses and flexibility.

Download this for a good time ;)
~Blacky

Review by Blackraptor

Posted:
20 Jun 2012, 06:18
For: Java Tzar Beck Biz Jell
Level rating: N/A
Rating
N/A

i made the music, specifically for the level “Pride” in dreamscape, so you’re welcome

RecommendedQuick Review by Blackraptor

Posted:
4 Apr 2012, 23:10
For: Total Annihilation I: Massive Destruction
Level rating: 8.6
Rating
8.7

Solid levels, good design overall. Great eyecandy, especially Delta Halo which looks beautiful. Great to host or play online with a crowd of people. Highly reccomended.

RecommendedReview by Blackraptor

Posted:
6 Mar 2012, 19:21
For: Carrotus_Lake
Level rating: 7.2
Rating
7.0

This is a pretty nice looking map small enough to be used for duels or 2vs2 matches. I actually played it with more people than this map is probably built for, but the size would accommodate at least 3 other players before it starts getting too crowded. The eyecandy is pretty standard for this tileset, but looks nice, so no real complaints there. Maybe I would’ve connected some of the floating pumpkins to some vines. The background is what looks like some mountains behind a lake, which gives the level its name.

There’s not much to be said about the layout. The bases are on opposite diagonals from each other, and the blue base is considerably more open. The red base is tucked away in a corner below a long narrow drop. It’s possible to escape upwards by RF climbing, but its not reccomended because of the lenght of the drop and the size of the map. My opponent shot me in the face as soon as I managed to get up :( I don’t like the spot around 19,30 too much since I kept running into it when trying to reach the base and it would bounce me up over it. The center of the map is fairly open so expect lots of confrontations to take place there. There are 3 powerups used here, which is a bit excessive, and especially the seeker powerup makes things really chaotic. Personally I think this could’ve gotten away with only needing 1 powerup, its small and they arent far away from one another. The ammo is placed in basic patterns but its balanced out well and there’s enough of it.

There’s two carrots in this, one full energy at the center of the map and a +1 in the top left corner. I have no problems with this and its good that there is more than a full energy that people just camp. With the abundance of 2h-dealing weaponry the extra carrot doesnt seem excessive at all.

Overall, this is a pretty nice level. It reminds me of a shrunken version of Martins Carrotus Squash (I think I spelt that right? I dont remember :<) It’s good for small matches but doesn’t hold a large amount of people. There also isnt really any innovation in it, and this makes it hard for the map to stand out against dozens of other decent carrotus levels. However, it’s not a bad effort at all, and I had fun playing it. Download reccomended.

-br

RecommendedReview by Blackraptor

Posted:
3 Mar 2012, 21:53
For: Cold Flash
Level rating: 7.8
Rating
7.7

Well what we have here is a pretty nice looking and polished level that’s in singleplayer mode, something I don’t see much nowadays. Cold Flash (i keep spelling it as cold lake :/) uses an edit of the diamondus set I’ve never seen before, a relaxing tune, and a custom boss music. It’s fairly sized, though pretty straightforward, and is good for a quick fix of singleplayer JJ2.

One of the reasons being, is the consistency of the level design throughout. The detailing on the eyecandy is good but not spectacular, although I really liked the look of both the background and the boss arena, however its done well throughout and without bugs or any ugliness. The only complaint I really have is that the rain in the foreground looks too mechanical or patterned. It results in looking kind of unnatural, but this didn’t bother me much.

The gameplay of the level is pretty solid as well. There’s nothing I found new in it or jaw dropping, but if you’re in the mood to play some good ol’ sidescrolling action this satisfies the craving. The whole level mostly consisted of traversing areas in a usually linear fashion or finding some crates. There we’re plenty of checkpoints placed throughout and although some of the enemy placement could be tough the number of them you face at a time is mostly restrained. This is quite a contrast from the SP I usually play, which includes my own levels :P I mostly breezed through this level, with a few occassions during when I fell to 1 health and had to be more careful. The boss was a nice touch, especially as this was a small(er) standalone level and so really needed one. The custom boss music was also a perfect fit and I really think more people should use this as an example and take advantage of this option to use custom music for boss fights. I also liked finding the secrets placed in this level. The horizontal green spring in the one at 143,28 shoots me into a wall though.

Item placement was also good. I felt it may have been scarce sometimes, but the ammo I thought was done well and fit the situations presented in the level.

Overall, as I’ve said already I think this is a polished and well done level. In my eyes I couldn’t find any single major weakness or significant problems that would impede my enjoyment playing it. It’s only ‘flaws’ is that it isn’t really outstanding in any way, that it could use more improvisation and bring something new to the table. Also, for a standalone it is quite short. I would’ve loved to see it in a pack of levels. My rating averages out to a 7.7. I think you should try making a single player campaign, and I hope your experience in level design encourages you to experiment more.

-br

RecommendedReview by Blackraptor

Posted:
19 Feb 2012, 03:10 (edited 19 Jun 12, 07:24)
For: Death Star {updated}
Level rating: 8.1
Rating
7.3

Well, this is an interesting and different approach to a CTF map. DEATH STAR by PT32…

First, this isn’t your typical ctf layout. The entire level is based on a pretty cool theme and as a result the layout is more gimmicky and unorthodox.

The eyecandy is definitely the simplest to comment on. It’s not too outstanding, but it’s pretty solid and it works well aided with the theme of the level. However, you did use tiles that look solid in the background, and combined with the somewhat confusing and unintuitive layout I found myself running into walls occasionally throughout my playtest because I thought they were passages. Not too big of an issue, but it took a while to get used to and certainly didn’t help the layout look any less confusing. The elevator was a gimmicky but cool addition and a way to split the level into two nearly symmetrical halves.

…speaking of the layout, there is an interesting feature of an outside path that encircles the entire map. It’s basically a long, narrow winding passage that I would call something between a corridor and an almost vertical shaft. I actually really liked how this played out, because it was sort of the ‘hub’ of the level if you understand my meaning – its the most used passage because it connects to everything else in the map. The vertical gameplay was also a plus here, but it could’ve been capitalized on more (part of which I will get into further). I felt that it was too narrow, and some parts could have been less steep and used more slopes. I found myself getting “caught” in the walls of the passage while running at full speed a number of times and it really threw off the flow. This encircling passage and the elevator were my favorite layout designs, despite of the narrowness of the corridors. From here on however things start to fall apart…

The bases were placed in air vents in passages at the vertical center of the map, accessible through corridors from either opposite side (left/right). [REDACTED]

To explain what I mean, the carrots (both +1) are symmetrically placed at the end of two very long corridors on each side. The corridors end with a small room containing a +1 carrot. This is basically the worst death trap possible, because there is almost no chance that you will be able to heal without getting trapped there and having to fight your way out. To make it worse, this is one of the only areas the RF powerup can be unleashed to its full potential, and grabbing a +1 carrot only to be blasted to pieces by RFs from the guy(s) following you is NOT a good trade off. I played a duel in this map and I thought the big and elaborate layout would at least give me time to lose my pursuers and sneak away with the health, but even in this scenario I often found myself being trapped and killed often, and vice versa. The only chance someone had of escaping that carrot death trap was when one time by some miracle I ran out of RFs right before I was about to kill that guy who was hiding and praying for his life in the corner of the room. There seriously needs to be another way out of that room, probably into the elevator shaft or something. Otherwise, you can expect to be destroyed trying to regain that health and your opponent knows it. Basically it came down to people making a last stand and fighting to death instead of disengaging the battle and fleeing for health, cause it was such a death trap area.

The last thing I want to address about the layout is the large number of pointless dead end rooms. They slow the game down and make it more campy, most of them have no real purpose besides to trap you, and it makes the layout pretty confusing. It looks like a remnant of an SP map which doesnt belong in a multiplayer game – I think some of them should either have more worthwhile reasons to visit or just be removed completely.

The gameplay of the map was actually fun. Besides the annoying carrot death traps and the base areas (the dead ends weren’t too much of a problem since after a while people just instinctively avoided them) the level was fun and has the potential to play really well. It was enjoyable sniping people through the thin walls with EBs (and in the elevator :P), using the RFs as a super shotgun kind of weapon, and sidekicking people in the outer passage. Besides the RF I actually found the next best weapon to be the sidekick/buttstomp in this map. This gives a bit of an advantage to spaz here, but I really liked the tactics it brings. Often throughout my game here I would struggle for high ground, or find ways to cut my opponent off through other passages, or trap them in some room etc. It’s just too bad, because if it wasn’t for some of the inconveniences in the layout I would’ve had a blast with this.

The ammo placement is also the weaker focus of this map. I thought the free floating ammo was way too space here – it was barely enough just for a duel, and this is a pretty big level so I can’t imagine people would find it satisfactory for a team game. I think it could’ve used more bouncer and electroblasters. The powerup choice also did not fit the map. I liked the RF powerup, because it was only useful to it’s full potential in a few zones, and mainly serves as a close combat shotgun equivalent. Despite it’s limited power, its still the only weapon here that can deal 2h damage, which is a problem. The freezer powerup was completely useless, and it broke the balance of the game because the RF powerup it’s supposed to balance out with is the weapon of choice here. It should be replaced with a gun #2 powerup, which I felt was severely lacking in this map. In any case, having only one powerup capable of dealing max. damage severely breaks the balance of the game. Please replace the ice powerup :P

Next, the hardest part to do in my review was to actually find some people I can play this with online (nobody ever plays in my timezone lol). I did manage to have a duel here, although I think this level SHOULD be better suited for 2vs2/team games (once it gets more ammo and the camp scenarios are fixed). The issues I thought would affect the way the game played out did in fact do so (no surprise) – the carrot areas were death traps, the dead ends did make the layout confusing, and although I had no problem finding the bases (other people apparently did) I found it to be more of a problem to actually get INTO them. The gameplay was fun, as long as your opponents dont take advantage of cheap tactics like camping the base/carrot.

[REDACTED]

[REDACTED]

Some of the passages could benefit from being less narrow, specifically the outer circular shaft. Every part of the layout should serve at least some purpose. I’m not suggesting that every dead end needs to be removed, but at least more incentive should be given to visit those places or else they become pointless and bog down the map.

As it is now, I liked the concept behind this. I liked the unorthodox layout and the interesting gameplay. I liked not having to rely on seekers, but melee combat and sniping with electroblasters and using the RF as a shotgun. For the most part I liked the eyecandy as well. Generally when levels are revamped into other game modes from what they were originally purposed to be they don’t turn out quite as good or balanced as they should be. This one actually came close to breaking that rule, but some existing faults and remnants of zones that don’t look designed with MP in mind prevent it from realizing its potential.

[REDACTED]

EDIT: So I got a chance to play the updated version of this after I bullied some unsuspecting victim into hosting it. I’ll quickly go over what I noticed that’s been changed and then give a brief overview on what I think. So firstly, a lightning shield has been added into a fairly out of the way warp (that I didn’t even notice the first time I played…) which was kind of surprising the first time to see a bunch of people with shields running around. I was never a fan of 40 second shields that are easily obtainable in MP, especially when placed in an unneccessarily out of the way campable warp room, and my POV doesn’t change now. I think this kind of breaks the game here (evidently there was a pepper powerup pre-existing in that spot..). On a brighter note, the partially opening doors to the bases have been removed. An additional passage has been added to the base, with some slightly bad flow, and wind events have been added in the base shafts to force encourage you to take it. The freezer powerup has been replaced with the bouncer. For some reason some gun9 ammo has been exchanged with TNT, and shafted to the R&D room confining it to the top portion of the map. The former deathtrap of a carrot room has been much improved by the addition of the passage cutting through the base area and the access to the elevator. Also, 2 more +1 carrots have been added to the bottom warp area, as far as I can tell I don’t believe they were there before. Basically, while some of these updates were good (since they were responses to the biggest criticisms this map faced) they are intertwined with new stuff I don’t like, such as the lightning shield, somewhat annoying wind tunnels (tho conceding theyre not as bad as the doors), and doubling of health. The balance of this is questionable, and the flow still remains clunky and complicated. Also maybe noticing this because I played with a pretty large group of people this time, those text strings everywhere get pretty annoying. I don’t want to be told where I am all the time, the nth time around. Can’t really make my mind up on the adjusted rating of this, I don’t like a bunch of stuff but effort has been taken to fix a lot of the original criticisms I had about this. So until I change my mind I will keep it the same.

*I had to remove some chunks of my review because J2O has this annoying character limit of 10k :(. Its not my fault if I have a lot of things to say damn it.

-REDACTEDBlacky

RecommendedReview by Blackraptor

Posted:
6 Feb 2012, 07:23 (edited 6 Feb 12, 07:24)
For: War of the rabbits
Level rating: 8.5
Rating
7.0

This was on the front page for top rated single player d/ls and I’ve never heard of it til now, so that makes it a good candidate for me when I’m in the mood to dig up my jj2 and play it. Really I was only going to write a quick review but its pretty limiting to explain my rating for a single player campaign :/.

There’s some minor overlooked bugs in the first level with some foreground eyecandy. I didn’t like the small turtles with the hurt events at all especially in their choice of placement which was sometimes cheap. I think the diamondus levels got progressively better as I went along, and I started to notice the cool layouts because of the sparsity of eyecandy to look at. The levels felt really nostalgic to play, even though they were built for JJ2, although sometimes I did feel that they would be better suited or I would’ve liked them better if they had been made in J1E. The difficulty was also challenging and good, but those damn mini turtles really got on my nerves sometimes.

The tubelectric levels were more confusing than the former, and some parts I thought looked almost downright ugly. The crate you must break immediately after morphing into a bird to reach is placed in a very narrow area and its impossible for jazz to uppercut and destroy it. Like the diamondus levels, tubelectric got progressively better as I went through it, both in their gameplay and appearance. The difficulty was again fairly challenging, most of the damage i took was probably either from the abundance of sparks in narrow passageways and the laser turrets which basically reprised the role of the miniturtles from the last planet.

Turtemple was my favorite planet. I really liked it in the original game and I like how the levels were crafted to resemble its design. Also, the eyecandy was done better here. I did manage to get stuck in one of the collapsing scenery blocks, around after the text sign specifically mentioned me not to :(. Not really your fault but the green palette edit of turtemple kind of hurt my eyes to look at. The boss battle was anticlimactic for me because I was loaded up on fastfires and a powered blaster by that point.

The first industrius level had too many narrow passages for me. I think the author himself might’ve thought that at one point, cause the next level is noticeably more open with broader corridors. However, the layout of both levels was pretty simple and linear, with the obstacles (crates) being placed out in the open and fairly straightforward to navigate. I thought the hidden powerups here was a good idea.

Generally I liked the layouts of the levels, you were right to call that they felt like JJ1. However the eyecandy was on average pretty dull, because JJ1 style eyecandy looks fairly barren and dull on a bigger screen. There is a slight variation in that category, sometimes the visuals bordered on ugliness and sometimes it was nice like in the later diam&tubelectric levels and turtemple. Mostly it felt plain for JJ2. The pickup placement in the style of JJ1 worked out better than the eyecandy did, but not quite as well as the layouts. Also, I had a recurring problem where the levels would loop to themselves unless I used the jjnext code. Instead of cycling to the end credits or looping back on itself the last level crashes trying to change to a level that doesnt exist.

Overall, I think the biggest benefit of this pack is also its biggest curse. While many of the aspects of JJ1 translated well into its sequel, sometimes it didn’t turn out quite right or felt dated. However, there was a great sense of nostalgia in experiencing this pack, and i’m curious how these levels would be had they been made for JJ1. Also I don’t think this stood up too well against the test of time, 5 or 6 years ago I probably would’ve given it at least about half a point higher, but I did enjoy it and it’s distinct retro style.

-br

RecommendedReview by Blackraptor

Posted:
30 Dec 2011, 02:38
For: Resurrection of Evil Episode 1: Time Lapse
Level rating: 8.4
Rating
7.8

I quickly played through this today to get motivation to use jcs again and I liked this pack, so I will review it :P

The levels here were designed generally well. Not terribly innovative or boundary pushing, but the quality was solid and the visuals always maintained an above average level. Most of the obstacles consist of enemies and various hurt events, with some occassional death pits. There is a great deal of story that drives this pack, which in this case improved it, because the story was written well enough (and with mostly proper english!) and because of the way it was incorporated into the levels was good. Most of the levels were fairly short, but this episode is still time consuming (took me maybe an hour to play & win it) because of the non-linearity of some of the levels and the difficulty.

However, there’s a couple of things I noticed that bothered me and lowered the rating of this somewhat. Maybe I just don’t play JJ2 often enough and I suck at it, but I found these levels quite difficult to beat fairly. After a couple of game overs I just resorted to cheating or running through parts that bothered me. Early on, the enemy placement bugged me a lot, especially because bats would often be placed in narrow corridors hidden behind foreground scenery, or would blend in to the scenery way too well in the dark diamondus B night level. Sometimes hurt events were placed quite liberally, especially in areas that would be revisited later, and in combination with the regenerating enemies (which I didn’t mind too much, usually I hate them) made it really tedious to navigate and beat certain levels. I think this could’ve benefitted from more free health lying around.

Also, some of the levels I felt were too short. It’s a good thing that I liked them enough to wish that they were longer, but they definately could’ve used more obstacles and creativity to make them longer and more memorable. I liked the non-linearity of some of the levels a lot, but I felt that maybe it wasn’t used to its full potential (there were some pointless dead ends, and some non-linear levels required you to visit most or all the areas anyways or go through them in a linear fashion). However, it was really nice and I felt sort of appreciative of when a non-linear level would be thrown in after a series of linear point a -> point b levels.

Overall, the visuals and the quality of the levels warrant at least around an 8. There’s also a good story and multiple levels to back it up. Only the drawbacks I mentioned above prevent me from giving that rating. This was fun to play and I recommend downloading it

-blacky

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