RecommendedReview by Blackraptor

Posted:
24 Dec 2006, 22:53 (edited 24 Dec 06, 22:59)
For: The Downfall
Level rating: 8.4
Rating
8.4

I already promised to review this, so here goes.

IC PITFALL BATTLE LEVELS

Another out of the blue upload from IC. These guys just seem to constantly pump out new packs one after another, which is good since JJ2 needs another active group after OLC pretty much collapsed.

Basically, these are normal battle levels, except they’re open (usually floating platforms) and allow the player to fall to the bottom of the level. The downside is that you need BlurredD’s Carrotade for these levels to actually work, which just became even more inconvenient now that Gry has released a (featured) 1.23x patch that refuses to work alongside the program. It would’ve been nice if there could have been an LRS version of these levels included just for convenience sake and so that more people would be able to play them.

Anyways, the levels themselves:

ICPF01/ICPF02

These two are basically battle 1 and battle 2 edits, edited so they have pits to make them into a pitfall battle. Aside from adding pits, very little else is actually edited. The eyecandy still remains as subpar as it was, and the levels are just weird the way they are. If you were going to take the trouble of editing them, you might as well have improved their appearance a bit while you were at it. I won’t include these two in the overall rating, as the original levels aren’t yours. However, the pits were placed rather well in this level, and some of them were rather hard to avoid.

Forest Awakening

I’ve seen a screenshot of this level before, and I still have the same opinion about its eyecandy: simply beautiful. The backround looks amazing; you’ve made it look distant and not interfere with the foreground/layer 4, yet it looks full of life and actually does make the level seem like some sort of forest. The foreground eyecandy is also very well done, and overall appearance wise this level is stunning.

The layout is rather basic, but I like it. There are treetops, several chucks of land and pits disguised as water. The level does a good job of not being platformish, and the water as pits was a great idea as it made the level seem more natural and not like some floating chunks of land in midair. Powerups were placed nicely. The seeker was hidden in a rather interesting place, and the bouncer and blaster were out of the way and needed some exploration/risk to acquire. The carrots were also placed in nice little alcoves instead of just floating around, and you had to take some risks to get them. Ammo placement was nice, although I felt that it was too sparce since I had very limited ammo aside from the powerups when I played here online. Overall, however, this is my favorite level in the pack.

V.F.I.A.P

Apparently this stands for some inside joke, Vivando Fell Into a Pit or something. The level is bigger than the previous, but also a lot narrower. I didn’t like the layout as much since it seemed rather random. Making dead ends but placing warps into them for no reason is also rather weird; either make the warps visible or use something else. The top left of the level seemed rather useless, as there’s nothing there aside from some loose ammo and it just takes you back to the same spot where you came from. You’re also able to camp under the +1 carrot above the purple bridge by stomping out of some sucker tubes (I don’t know if this is intentional or not, but imo it shouldnt be).

The eyecandy was rather basic but looked nice, and I liked the ambient lighting used. It wasn’t incredibly innovative or anything, though, but it did try to be different then other beton levels with the weird tubes and other things like that, and nothing in the level looks bad. The ammo was placed in creative little patterns, but again I feel like there could’ve been more. The level feels like it’s intended for a small amount of people since it’s not as open as the last one and because of the ammo, and because there is only one carrot and one powerup. Overall, the level is decent but I’m not too into it.

Psychosis

I could already tell who made this one a few seconds after first playing it ;P. This level is quite different from the one above. It’s rather platformish, but because of the EC you won’t notice that as much. There’s 3 (!!) powerups AND a fire shield (which is rather easy to get, at least compared to the one in The Temple of Suffering) which makes this level a slaughterfest. The ammo placement in this level is probably the best in the pack, as there’s only 3 different types of ammo and each of them has a powerup for them with a rather short respawn time, so getting/refilling ammo won’t be difficult. The powerups were also placed similarly to Forest Awakening; they’re in little alcoves that you need to go out of your way to get to, and (especially the seeker powerup) post risks of falling into a pit/getting owned by your opponent when trying to get them. Intentionally or not, the fire shield doesn’t respawn, so you have 40 seconds to actually make it count and then it’s gone.

Eyecandy here is just awesome. You don’t see the (rather limiting) Death Metal tileset being used all too often, and here P4ul used it in a different and visually appealing way. The bones look great as they litter the ground/ceiling/basically everything. There’s even the little things to take into consideration such as the chains made to look as if they’re holding the bones up, which is really nice. Overall, this is would be the second best level in the pack imo.

It’s Over

This is a good level, but it’s already been uploaded before ;|. Honestly it would’ve been better to just make a new level instead of reusing an old one (especially when your pack only has three other levels in it, not counting the b1/b2 edits), but too late now I guess. The level uses the overused Diamondus B tileset, which has been completely overused to the point where it’s been eaten alive, digested, spat out and eaten again, then spat out and trampled over. That’s how overused it’s become >O (speaking of which, Pyro uploaded an xmas version of it Here !!). The eyecandy in here is the same as the eyecandy in most other diam b levels, which consists of a lot of trees/waterfalls/vegetation everywhere, but it still manages to look pleasing. Like P4ul’s other levels this one has lots of powerups everywhere, ensuring large amounts of flying rabbit limbs and carnage. There’s also a full energy carrot hovering over a pit, which can get shot down to the bottom of the level. The face in the wall looks awesome, btw.

Also, the music for this level isn’t included in the zip, and the one that the Level Description links to isn’t the one that this level uses. You’d either have to go out of your way to convert the basebos.it music to j2b format and rename it for the music to play in this level, or play without it =/.

OVERALL

I like this pack. It could’ve been something a lot better though. There’s only three new levels in this (the rest consists of one recycled level and two battle game edits) and the pack requires a program to actually function (said program also doesn’t work with featured 1.23x patch). If this had something like LRS versions of the levels included, and more new levels, it could’ve been something really awesome. Right now, it’s still good, but doesn’t try to distinguish itself by being something exceptional. However, with that said, it still deserves a download and is still a good upload overall. I’m going to give this an 8.4, although I really hoped it could’ve gotten higher then that.

~Blacky

RecommendedReview by Blackraptor

Posted:
4 Dec 2006, 01:50 (edited 14 Jun 07, 20:31)
For: (Improved) Inferno 2.0
Level rating: 7.8
Rating
7.8

I’m going to review this because it’s an awesome remake of a set I’ve been wanting to be fixed for a while.

The first thing that you did right is fix the (rather bad) masking in Inferno and make things a lot smoother.

The second is that you added several tiles (some from other tilesets; trees from HH I believe, and the skeletons from Damn to name a few), and the third is that you made 5 different palette versions (!).

This tileset basically not only fixes inferno, but also improves it and makes it a hell of a lot cooler. Masking is fixed, tiles are added, palette edits are made, etc. This pretty much replaces the original Inferno set, and hopefully will make more people consider using Inferno now that it wont scare away levelmakers with all it’s issues and stuff. The palette edits are pretty awesome: Dark just looks amazing, although I’m assuming LRK’s Inferno: Hell’s Gate should receive it’s due credit for the “inspiration”? ;P, Water is rather strange but might open some doors to how inferno would be used from now on. I don’t really love Shade all that much though, the lack of color variety makes it kinda dull.

The only things that prevents me from giving this an absurdly high rating is that most of the tiles you didn’t draw yourself (even some of the ones that were added were just taken from somewhere else) and that there really isn’t a whole lot of tiles added. You could’ve gone and added lots of stuff to potentially make inferno 2.0 very diverse and awesome, but instead you just opted to fix what was wrong with the set and mostly add a few things that would make some tiles more usable (cave bg corner tiles) or that would help the current atmosphere.

However, that said, I really do plan on using this in the (maybe near?) future =P. It definately towers over the original Inferno versions, at least.
If this receives the featured award for December (unlikely, though, since it was uploaded on the last of November) it would definately deserve it.

~Blacky

Edit: One more thing I’d like to mention regarding you nearly discluding the weird BG. Whether or not you think the tiles are ugly or not you should still add them in (unless size issues restrict that, or something) not only for the sake of completeness, but because chances are people like me might be able to find uses for them anyways =P.

Edit 2: After using it, I’ve noticed several masking bugs. The wall masks are too thin and you can stand on the diagonal slopes connecting the ceilings to the walls (no matter what slope tile you use). The animating spike pit tile has weird masking (though this doesnt really interfere with anything), and the ground tiles under the bone bridge are messed up. These problems (especially the wall thing) cause quite a nuisance when playing through levels with this tileset, and until fixed decrease the rating by quite a bit :(. (8.5 > 7.8)

RecommendedReview by Blackraptor

Posted:
16 Nov 2006, 02:13
For: Shade Castle
Level rating: 8.9
Rating
8.8

I had great fun betatesting this, and it really deserves more reviews than it currently has, so I feel as I should repay my enjoyment of this with a review.

Shade Castle is a really enjoyable level that I haven’t really seen coming until just a day or two before it was released. It’s fairly small, but still takes a while to finish as there’s quite a lot of exploration and revisiting areas in this level due to it being on the other side of the spectrum from linear. You’re free to travel wherever you want and don’t really have to complete most of the objectives in any order. This enhances replay value by quite a bit since you’re not forced down the same road each time you play and you get to decide what you want to do and when you want to do it.
Tileset use is really awesome. The eyecandy just radiates creativity and is really a pleasure to look at things. The tileset chosen is a very underused one and it’s great to see people using different sets instead of making the same repetetive Swamps levels. I particularly loved the “Invisible Tiles” platforms, those were ingenious and made me put on a smile the first time I saw them. However, because you used tiles in ways they certainly were never intended to be used, some things got slightly confusing for a bit, as sometimes I wasn’t able to tell what was solid and what was for show, or if that pole tile actually had an event on it or not. Although not really your fault, the spikes in this tileset are really hard to notice. Most the damage I took in this level came solely from them =/.
The layout of this level is awesome. Non-linear, and very creative. Coins and crates are placed in amusing locations and not just floating around in a random part of the level. The level was challenging, and it was enjoyable yet agonizing to see all the different and wonderful ways you made spaz take damage. The level was also pretty difficult, mostly from the hurt events and certain evil placement of enemies in walls or near poles ;P.
However, the area which this level really shines in is event placement. A variety of tricks were pulled off in this level which made it all the more fun. Using events such as spike platforms to increase the difficulty level is a nice alternative then just stacking enemies everywhere.
The level does feel noticably more empty in the open areas then the caves. The backround is pretty typical in eyecandy terms especially compared to the rest of the level, and there’s not much layer 5 eyecandy to obstruct the view. The caves are really well done, however.
Aside from the annoyingly small spikes to constantly harm you, Violet also took the liberty to place dragons into walls, lizards under vines and demons near poles. This does make the level considerably more challenging (and the lizards under vines thing was a creative trick), however nothing screams pain like getting hurled into a wall dragon by an h-pole while being at one heart.

The level was rather short (provided that unlike me you don’t receive a game over from constantly running into sharp objects), however each and every part of it is definately worth playing. The level is fun, creative, and inspiring and was really a pleasure to betatest. It’s too bad it won’t be in FSP2, though ;(.

Overall rating 8.8. This level looks like the author had a fun time making it and really shines in several categories, however it’s only a single level with no real storyline (as it is a preview) and could have been a bit bigger, as well as the exterior parts of the level possibly more visually pleasing. As a stand-alone, this is definately among the better levels uploaded on J2O.

RecommendedReview by Blackraptor

Posted:
10 Sep 2006, 02:27
For: Coral Coves
Level rating: 8.6
Rating
9.2

Seeing as how I didn’t review this yet, I’m going to do so now to pass the time.

Coral Coves – FireSworD.

This is probably the best treasure level out there. I’m really glad that during that one fateful night (or day? I can’t remember =P) FS accepted my challenge of using this set and wasn’t scared off by how user-repellant it appeared in JCS. I’d wish I had gotten The Chasm finished in time for it to be released with this, but ah well =P (at least that level DID eventually get released. Like a year later, or something). Anyways, onto the review.

The eyecandy in this level is extremely beautiful, especially in the underwater areas. This is even more awe-inspiring when you consider the tileset chosen, and how difficult it is compared to most the other tilesets out there. FS not only braved the challenges faced when using the tileset, but he mastered the tileset as well. Everything here manages to look incredible without having any negative side effects along with it. The eyecandy is plentiful, yet not overdone, and avoids being confusing or in your face. Truly, if this level doesn’t look like a coral reef in jj2, I don’t know what does. The level definately masters the eyecandy portion of the rating.

The layout of the level is pretty interesting. Its rather large which leads to more exploration and less fighting, which is good for a number of reasons. The level can handle large amounts of players, and appeals to me because I agree with FS’s statement on how treasure levels should be more about hunting for gems rather then hunting the players for them (you have battle mode for that ;D). Because the level is pretty big, it also is less annoying because you’re not forced to be stuck in a small area with lots of other people spamming seekers everywhere, and more strategy can be used this way instead of just shooting everywhere and hoping not to get hit.

Another interesting thing is that the level has enemies. This is pretty cool since it also enables strategy (get hit by the enemies instead of by your opponents to avoid gem loss, etc) although this makes the host at an extreme disadvantage since they are able to get killed by the enemies. However, there is a lite version included that has them removed, so one can’t really complain.

Gems are scattered throughout nicely, and there is a huge amount of them which really emphasizes on the need to collect as fast as you can rather then fight your opponents for them. Ammo is also placed well, and both the gems and the ammo are placed in creative patterns and shapes rather than dull clumps. There’s also more emphasis on strategy placed here with the TNT and the gem barrels, which is definately a welcomed add-on.

Overall, there isn’t any reason why you shouldn’t download this level. It’s the best treasure level out there (why is it that people tend to make the good treasure levels be underwater? ;P), and even if you don’t like treasure this level can still appeal to you for the great tileset usage and atmosphere it contains. If anything, it will definately make you view the tileset in a new light. I’ve played numerous games here, and even though oftentimes I find treasure mode to be somewhat annoying (mainly for the reasons White Rabbit stated in his review) this level is different then the typical treasure in that it shows what treasure really is about: hunting for gems, and because of that, this level provides for fun matches.

That said, I would definately reccomend this level to everyone. It shows wonderful levelmaking skill, allows for great enjoyment, and will hopefully inspire people to either use the tileset or make more treasure levels. You can learn a lot from this.

~Blacky with a very late review

RecommendedReview by Blackraptor

Posted:
10 Sep 2006, 01:43
For: Jungle
Level rating: 8.4
Rating
7.7

Woah, how did I miss this?

The level kinda deceives you at first. A single level using an official set titled “Jungle” rated over a 9? It becomes apparent why when you play the level, however.

First thing first, this level has a crapload of eyecandy. You tried to make it look like a jungle and you succeeded, maybe over the top, though. The whole level gets in your face and makes it hard to discern whats there. Often times enemies are completely hidden behind foreground layer foilage or seemingly solid objects are really backround eyecandy. The level does really feel alive, but it also feels confusing at the same time. There’s also a few eyecandy bugs with layer 3 at the 49,32 area, a tiling bug at 44,71, and another ec bug at around 98, 79 (keep in mind these are the positions in jj2, not JCS).

The levels plays…average. It’s a typical single player level without anything new, really. There are well placed enemies (aside from the eyecandy covering most of them up), some goodies (the level could use more though, IMO.) and some secrets. From the start I knew this level would be extremely short. Making single player levels containing tons of eyecandy like this is extremely tiring and a very long process, so the levels end up being very short, as shown by this one. The level was also pretty easy. The only reason I got injured was because I couldn’t see a hidden enemy and either ran into it or got lobbed by a banana.

There’s a lot of effort put into this level, and it does come out quite detailed and looking like a jungle, although it would’ve been better if it would’ve been longer, or in a pack with other levels of similar quality. Right now, though, the level isn’t too outstanding as there are many cons that take away a lot of the spotlight from where this level shines. The level focuses TOO MUCH on eyecandy, and therefore the quality of the level is severly detracted in other areas such as the layout of it (too short, too basic, etc). It is nice to look at this level, but I think I might’ve preferred one that sacrifices some of the eyecandy to make the level play better. This is another one of those levels that I give a download reccomendation because I want people to see that spending too much effort in one category makes your level lack in others.

~Blacky

Review by Blackraptor

Posted:
1 Sep 2006, 10:55
For: A Generic Single Player Level
Level rating: 8.9
Rating
N/A

Thanks for the review :). If you find the difficulty challenging, play in easy mode as there’s more carrots available to you. If anything, I’m happy that it turned out to be so hard because I didn’t want the level to be beaten in one try.

RecommendedReview by Blackraptor

Posted:
17 Aug 2006, 10:46 (edited 2 Dec 06, 18:32 by Cooba)
For: Evil Clones - add-on (fixed)
Level rating: 7.6
Rating
7.8

I think I should review this. Some levels in here are HUGE and encouraged me to make larger SP levels myself, so in turn I’ll give this a rating and review as a little thank you present ;P.

At first, the pack starts out rather…unimpressive. The intro level gives off a feeling of amateurness and experimentation with the tileset. Pandemonium has average (maybe even below) eyecandy and subpar pickup/enemy placement, and even tilebugs (although they were in out of the way areas I’m not sure I was even supposed to reach).
The level was also pretty easy except for a few areas (like the place filled with spike platforms and spike balls). It’s also possible to run off from the level into places youre not supposed to be by simple double jumping. This can get you stuck in spots and having to cheat to get out.

Easter level was significantly better, but still suffered from a lot of problems. It had way too much pickups (food in particular) because I got 3 sugar rushes through the course of playing through it. You don’t have to pile up so much of it in areas, and if anything there’s a lot of other pickups you can put to replace some of the food. It was slightly confusing in the start, I had no idea where to go (I thought you had to go into the coinwarp at first >O). EC was better but still containing layer 3 tilebugs in places (the long distached tunnel in the start, far left of it) and backround tilebugs (pumpkin patch vines at 273,11 are an example), as well as it overused easter eggs in the ground, among other things.. After running around pretty much everywhere in the start and not knowing where to go I got annoyed and just looked in JCS because it was either doing that, or jjnexting….and only to find out i missed a near invisible trigger crate hidden in an easter egg basket ;-;. You also used destruct blocks for stomp scenery, and buttstomp blocks for destruct blocks…confusing?

Carrotus level also came with a whole bunch of easy to fix tilebugs (even more than in the previous levels), but I liked the layout of the level a lot more then the previous levels.

Wonderland was…average =P. Apparently everyone in the level hated me for no reason, despite the big sign in the previous level saying i would find wonders and ADVENTURE here :(. Regenerating enemies are annoying as hell too. It takes the point away from killing them (and the fun). There are less tilebugs here then the carrotus levels, which is unexpected since psych is more prone to those, but some tiles are used in ways that make it easy for you to get stuck in walls. Putting crates in completely hidden spots (like in hats) is a cheap trick when you’re forced to find them. Thank god for sugar rushes and suspicions, I guess. And then, I accidentally shot a morph and turned into LORI! the horror :(. The large vines in the foreground constantly moving in front of your face is annoying too. The level overall was pretty average though (jumping cats at the end was pretty fun though =P).

Next level is a boss level. You get credit for trying, but the levelname in a game like this just comes out sounding either funny or weird. The arrow/sucker tubes remind me of jj1’s tubelectric >O.

The level after that, THE DARKENING, is actually really cool. It tries to set a mood and does a nice job at it, in my opinion. Maybe too many places to get hurt though. I finally died here and lost all my fastfires >O.

Next level starts off with a rather amusing text string. Rust in peace indeed. And girlfriend of both spaz AND jazz? Wow, lori must’ve been busy. And what’s this? Someone hid ammo in jazz’s grave? Looks like the grave robbers arent doing their jobs :(. I don’t know if I’m supposed to be able to double jump up to the blue bridge at the start or not, but I can. And uh, that’s a lot of skeletons in one long passage >O. I actually got through it all alive hoping I’d find a huge stash of pickups or something like that :( (before the water, rather). The whole march of the skeletons underwater was rather cool though. Then soon after I found the part of the level that impressed me the most. The houses in the backround and the whole rooftop climbing scene was probably the first area in the whole pack so far where I stopped to take a look around at the nice eyecandy. The house interior part that follows doesn’t look bad at all either. Overall, while the level isn’t great, it’s a definite improvement over the past few levels. You begin to think you’ve finally reached the better levels in this pack.

…and you might be right \m/. New-Jazz City isn’t a bad level at all and was actually pretty fun to play. Maybe a bit short compared to some of the other levels, though. Interesting idea of portraying Eva as a hooker with the witch =P. The second level actually uses some interesting ideas such as avoiding ravens as chuck and blowing up whole buildings. Both are always fun.

The next level, titled Balls of Evil (No comment >O) is actually quite confusing. Stuff is exploding everywhere, foreground stuff used in the backround everywhere. At least it feels more alive then the previous levels. Sometime later in the level i got thrown in a place i kept getting constantly warped back and forth in. I double jumped out and got stuck in some pit I’m not sure I’m even supposed to be in (It looks unfinished). I’m guessing this is an overlooked bug =\. The level has a bunch of tilebugs which i can’t tell if they were intentional or not, but it feels pretty big and at least it seems like a lot more effort was put into it then the previous levels. The tube maze with the crates at the end was also fun.

Next level starts off with another funny text string. Am I supposed to find the powerhouse and f**k it or something? what? The level does make interesting use of tubelectric however. Some parts were annoying like the warp part at the beginning, which is too akin to test levels and could do without the sucker tubes. Making you guess which warp out of like…over 20 to take (although there is a slight hint in differentiating animations, however) is interesting, but extremely annoying, since i don’t want to redo the entire test level part several times over :(. Pickups are clumped again (especially the gems), and whats with all the regenerating skeletons? Tileset use is meh, and nothing really stands out in this level. I’m going to make the assumption that youre a christian with this level. On a side note, why did I go through an entire random town to destroy it? I kinda lost track of the storyline after all these random long levels.

…Electric Death. another tubelectric level >O. Playing all these (and reviewing them, to a lesser extent) has begun to get very tedious indeed. Same usual problems (subpar or average eyecandy, clumped items). However, all this is cut short as soon as I reach a text string that tells me to f**k bolly. How nice ;). All this is made easy with a few carrots and an extended time shield. At last I finally get to know why I went through like 5 or 6 long levels to destroy some random town, all in one text string.

Daddy’s Birthday. Apparently Santa gave me presents and I have to find them. Or something. Except it looks more like he’s trying to kill me. As with previous levels, the gem amount found in barrels or crates could be…toned down a little. It looks as if you just set everything to 15. The level actually looks pretty nice though. love xmas enemies. Might be the best level in the pack so far, at least definately the best looking. Feels pretty linear though, and isn’t difficult at all and not very long either.

…now comes a castle level (Whispers of Ghosts). I’ve lost track of the story again :(. Pickups are…weird. You put a seeker powerup right out in the open? The level tries to set a mood again, but text strings arent really enough imo. The level isn’t as visually pleasing as the previous, but compared to the earlier levels its somewhere up there. The level layout is actually really good. However, apparently I died somewhere into the level and respawned at the 3rd crate (the one inbetween all the long spike paths with boll platforms). The second crate was reset or soemthing (the one on top of the slide pillar), and I was barricaded in the area and had to cheat to get out. No idea why this happend since I know I hit the crate before touching the savepoint, but whatever. Dying in big levels = not fun :(. You shouldn’t put many spike balls in the path. Players get tempted to shoot them down to avoid injury (especially when they’re placed in narrow areas which make them virtually unavoidable) and shooting too many of them gives an app. error. The altar was pretty neat (which is good since getting to it was rather long and tedious D;). Soon after you fight a queen in some cool looking dungeon (Using the queen as a sort of midway boss is an awesome idea i’ve always wanted to use in a level and never had time >O). However, whenever I try to go into the lower tunnels i get randomly warped into a wall, and jjfly up to get out and discover the queen respawned and i have to face her again. What the hell? I’m not sure why this happens but :(. After this happend the…third? time I just noclipped and made a detour around that area to be able to get to the passages after. Soon after, ending boss followed and level ended. This level was LONG, not surprising since it’s an astounding 64kb(!!!!). I need to make something bigger than this >:(. Anyways, this is by far the best level in the pack, even with the weird queen glitch which i’m not sure who/what is responsible for. A truly great level.

I thought that would be the end, since the filename was finalfight and the level was a huge work of art, but I guess not =P. Next level is a jungle level called…Bananas Smash Face? Right. If anything, the level further proves that the authors have been improving through the course of the levelpack since the levels are improving too. This one has some nice eyecandy and doesn’t clump pickups or throw tilebugs at the player’s face like some of the earlier levels. And…it uses a CTF base as a coinwarp. The only thing that comes to mind when thinking about this is “What the fuck?”. There’s being creative, and there’s….doing that, I guess. Soon after seeing that amidst all the confusing and contemplating about why on earth someone would use a CTF base as a coinwarp i fell into some large pit behind a tree with no visible way out. I very nearly RF climbed out of it but messed up near the top and couldn’t go at it again since my former RF supply of 70+ ammo was depleted in just a few tries. Looking in JCS, there’s no way at all out of the pit, that means BAD >:(. There’s also a lot of powerups placed out in the open (including freezer, in a jungle) for no explicable reason. Again, your love for rapidly regenerating skeletons shows no end :’(. You’ve also made a sucker tube shoot me out right into some spikes near the end. I’d imagine if I was at 1h when that happend I’d be rather upset. Overall, the level has nice eyecandy, albeit confusing in some parts with the branches in the backround, but its pretty average and doesnt have much to keep the player’s attention or anything.

A Diamondus level (Kill this Rabbit, taken from the posters in the tileset I assume?) follows. Right in the start I’m rewarded with Chuck, only to lose him right after as an H-pole swings me right into a bee. Is there no justice? ;-;. The level looks very barren, and reminds me of the older levels in this pack with bunches of blue gems placed right out in the open. The gems in the walls could be made to look a lot better. Suddenly, there are random caterpillars and pinball events in the level, only followed by the shocking revelation that UTERUS IS BACK!! oh no :’(. I think the caterpillars were trying to touch me or something too, or at least the text string implies it…O.o. No further comment on the issue. You could’ve just used the bees event on the ceiling spikes instead of putting them in layer 3 and doing what you did, btw. Then there’s a whole shitload of coins followed by a warp to a room above the caterpillars where I am constantly bombarded by smoke rings and have to look in JCS to figure out what to do. After that comes a part where I am told I can now drink my cup of tea! Where would I be without my tea. This would all be better if some springs had keep placed on them so they’d bounce me into the next h-pole instead of into the wall ;). It was still fun to watch though, and reminded me of running rabbit. Once I had finished drinking my wonderful tea, I progressed to the next area, which consisted of a whole pyramid of random assorted destruct blocks which i didn’t realise were destructable until i looked in JCS and found out that the star block needed to be hit with a toaster….and soon i realised that the weapon pictured on the destruct block had no connection to which weapon needs to destroy them. Confusing? yes. I just switched to TNT and blew the whole place up instead of playing “guess the magic weapon” :(. The part after that with the pinballs and spikes actually looks really cool, though. You can get stuck at pos 180,121. The level actually improves as you get further into it, although imo it still is a step backwards.

Next is a colonius level (I thought I was going to fight uterus again? ;\) which I actually quite like since it makes nice use of the tileset and seems quite multirouted. You still kinda overused the gems, though. One waying stuff like the hanging signboards would’ve been nice, too. Text signs are placed too close in a few areas, but at least they give insight to why the hell youre running around back and forth across the level (makes it almost seem like an rpg, even :o). Sewage waterfalls are creative. This level took a long while to beat, and despite getting stuck in a few places and having to look at JCS a few times to find out what to do, I really like it. It uses regenerating enemies but is large and multirouted enough not to yell out that it does and stick it into your face, and also requires it since you go back and forth through most the level quite a few times. It also feels slightly RPGish since you interact with NPCs and are given a bunch of tasks to do, etc. One of the best levels in the pack so far, imo.

Like (an?) Angel at the Dark River. Not sure if the levelname is missing “an” or if its referring to Angel as in the vampire, but k. First, rain looks…weird. When I look closely I get the impression that rain in the backround is frozen/hardly moving at all. Again, things could use one ways. Accidentally shooting down psych poles sucks ;\. And uh…I like how you spelt doughnut in russian ;). Level has a bunch of passages deviating from the main route, which is good, and a bunch of secrets and stuff. Overall, another one of the better levels in the pack, with great eyecandy and a nice ending.

I’ll start off by saying that song14 does NOT fit inferno, especially in the mood youre trying to put it in. At least now the rapidly regenerating skeletons make sense to why they’re here ;). The tree in the middle of the level is pretty cool, but why are there random warps placed in it? Would be better if warps in some places were a little more pointed out instead of just placed, imo. The level is also one of the huge ones in this pack (just under 50kb) and since it’s late and i think i already played through over 20 sp levels so far, I used JCS as my guide to get through this. Somehow, saying “Its cold in the world like in a refridgerator” just doesn’t scare people..;P. I think i’d find this level quite hard if I wasnt stocked on fastfires and random powerups left out in the open from previous levels. Eyecandy in this level looks really awesome, btw, despite the tiling problems. I love that huge tree in the middle (despite it having warps to annoying places containing more hidden warps back). The level took a while to beat for me since i pretty much explored all of it, but I quite like it >O. The last savepoint is buggy since you start in a solid trigger block. The robot boss is actually slightly harder now because of the one way “roots” and the layout of the arena.

The essence of destruction…You get a nice wake up call here from another rapid regenerating skeleton horde this pack has come to be known for ;P (they can actually make areas EASIER since you can keep stomping on them to get across and avoid the hurt events). Backround fade color is nice, but tileset use kinda sucks. I hit over 2000000 in scores in this level too, and I’m not even trying to pick stuff up >O. Music is interesting. The level is pretty short and mostly a boss level. I guess the author got exhausted after making the huge Tree of Pain. The boss battle is actually pretty hard and powered seekers quickly become your best friend. Could this finally be the end of the pack?

Soon there is another meh mez cutscene. Interesting text though, and I’m glad to know that after nearly 30 levels I finally killed someone important. Huzzah. As for the level with the angel, i think jungle music is hardly appropriate for the situation ;P. It would be nice if my highscore could count instead of the pack just looping to itself.

Anyways, wow. I know I was looking to kill some time, but jesus h. christ that took HOURS. I got completely suckered out by the pack =P. I can’t believe how long that was though, ugh. Some of the levels were HUGE >O, and apparently unlike most people who reviewd this I didn’t jjnext once. Anyways, it’s quite hard to review this (I know I probably skipped a secret level or two but too bad >O). Not because there’s so many levels, but because of the contrast between them. The authors themselves stated their skills have improved while making this and it is clearly visible from that. Some levels kinda suck while others are pretty good. The sheer number of them is just O.o though. The levels mostly have several things in common though. Especially in the earlier levels, stuff was put together in clumps way too much (emphasis on this). The pickup placement is usually pretty subpar through most the pack (except in the latter levels where it actually hits average and even above in some cases), and the enemies is a mixed bag (generally a lot better then the pickup placement, however). Eyecandy is pretty bad in some levels but above average in others. There are numerous tilebugs everywhere throughout though, and I don’t mean ones like in Tree of Pain where they actually added to the atmosphere at times, but simple easy to fix tilebugs which completely infest the early levels and continue to plague throughout the pack. The levels feature interesting things from time to time, and some of them are pretty cool. This isn’t limited to events but level layouts as well. Some levels are also extremely huge and look like a lot of work was put into them, so that will be taken into consideration.
The story is…weird. You’re russian so I’m assuming english isnt your first language, but you could’ve got someone to fix up the typos for you who is better at english. I lost track of the storyline and what the hell I was doing somewhere in the middle of the level. It just seemed like you made levels with every official tileset (and mez sets) and stuck them together.

The pack has a lot of pros to it, though. It has some of the biggest (maybe even THE biggest) levels, a lot of levels are above average and enjoyable to play, although you have to get through a myriad of subpar levels to get to them. I really enjoyed some of them though (to name a few, Whispers of Ghosts, Tree of Pain, the colonius level which i don’t even remember the name of ;P). The amount of levels is astounding as well. This is such a mixed bag of stuff that it is very difficult on thinking of a rating. I’m giving this a 7.8 for now. It has a few gems in it, but they’re sparce and far apart. A lot of earlier works bring down the rating since they’re quite poor in comparison to the later stuff. You could’ve went back and redone them after or something.

Anyways, this might have been the longest time it took me to write a review ever, even longer then the time it took to write Shellion’s Extreme Revenge. It’s nearly 5am now and I’ve been writing this for a while, and I probably came off sounding like a jerk or something in some parts of the review because of the huge amount of stuff I was reviewing and the state of tiredness and sleepbakedness I’m in right now, so apologies for that (hell, I bet you won’t read this anyways. If you even see it the lenght of the review will probably make you think twice).

Well, that was fun. I think next time I feel like killing some time however, I might pick a smaller pack to play. If anything, be happy I played the pack from beginning to end without skipping anything, and provided a nice long review that nobody will ever read.

~a very tired and sleep deprived Blacky

[HTML fix which caused chunks of text to disappear ~Cooba]

RecommendedReview by Blackraptor

Posted:
28 Jul 2006, 12:02 (edited 28 Jul 06, 12:29)
For: Hellsinki
Level rating: 7.8
Rating
7.2

I’m going to start off with eyecandy first since it’s the most noticable thing and I have a lot to say on it.

First, there’s a lot more eyecandy then I expected here. Which isn’t necessarily good. A lot of it (nearly all of it, even) is extremely confusing because you can’t tell what is solid and what’s just for show. Its nice that you tried to make the level pretty, but honestly, I have no idea what the hell is going on sometimes in the level because too many things crowd the screen.

There’s a lot of creative stuff I see though. Some things I know I used in my Chasm level before, while there are some which are fairly new and I haven’t seen before (the pillars at 41,48 for example). Of course, using this tileset and trying to be creative at the same time usually ends up with a load of tilebugs, but I’m willing to overlook them for creativity’s sake because I’d rather have a level that tries new things (minus the confusing eyecandy part and using solid stuff in layer 5) then a level which doesn’t and is extremely limited visual wise or is empty. Some of the tilebugs, however, like the layer 3 bug at 92,30 in jj2 should be fixed (same bug reoccurs in the same spot except on blue team side).

So basically, its creative and look cool in some areas, but too confusing since you used the same tiles in layer 4 and 5, and there’s too much in areas and it crowds the screen and makes it annoying if you’re playing.

As for the layout, it’s pretty much symmetrical. Spaz can quickly get to the bases by RF climbing and not needing to take the tube or extremely long route. Normally I don’t mention spaz biases because basically most people use spaz anyways and he is better in more situations online then jazz is (imo), but this one pretty much makes it seem like you either didn’t know about RF climbing or want everyone to be spaz here because jazz would get humiliated.

I had some trouble getting around too, but that’s mainly the fault of the eyecandy. The way this level is made, with all the layer 3 passages and sucker tubes and warps which are fairly hidden, makes it EXTREMELY hard for new people to learn it, and can lead to a lot of people losing fairly quickly in this level because they weren’t aware of a hidden warp to a powerup, or a sucker tube to the base, etc. If you’re going to have stuff like that, at least point it out. I had no idea about pretty much most of it until I looked in JCS.

Some passages are pretty much useless for the most part. You have a sucker tube, a very quick and effortless RF climb spot, AND coinwarps to the bases. Who would use the slow and vulnerable staircase passage on the far sides of the level aside from just getting loose ammo?

Gameplay wise, I don’t like how this level plays out all too much. It’s extremely easy to get to the base and you can get there in a matter of seconds, making it pretty hard to defend. I think the coinwarps could at least use some more coins to get into, personally. This level can also get pretty cramped and is chock full of very thin walls blocking your path which would make electroblasters at least twice as useful if they were included in the level.

The level includes 3 +1 carrots. I can’t tell if I like this or hate this. The level is definately too small to house a full energy with those +1s being there, yet I don’t really like having to always need 2 carrots to ensure I am not one hit away from death. It could work though, I guess, and I might prefer it to the One Full Energy method which so many levels used before and which basically ensures you’re screwed when youre at 1h and your opponent is camping the carrot (memories of snooze duels go here ;P).

Ammo variety is…limited. I would’ve liked some EBs here since they would kill in this level, and maybe even more loose ammo to make some areas seem less useless and dull. AFAIK there’s two powerups, found in warps which you probably won’t find unless you know where they are, or are just lucky and/or explorative. Powerup choice is well done, though.

Overall, this is basically a small level which is an example of what happens and how confusing a level can get when it overused layer 4 platforms and tiles in layer 5 scenery and overdoes the eyecandy. It needs to be less author friendly (rather, not hiding nearly every useful thing in this level) and an eyecandy facelift, imo. I don’t like how easy it is to get to the bases either, really. Possibly taking out the coinwarps entirely would fix that.

However, the eyecandy is creative despite being confusing and some things are pretty cool. The level is small but isn’t another AYB or something where there’s only one full energy. I’m giving this a 7.2.

Download reccomendation, but mostly to see some creative tricks used in the eyecandy and a lesson to what happens when you overdo it and make stuff confusing and seemingly crowded.

And finally, a reply to Cooba because I half wrote this review for the sole purpose of debating on what he said when he edited that 6.5 review: I think tileset choice DOES matter when it comes to levels, really. Tileset choice affects what you can do with a level, what tiles you can use, and it can really determine whether your level is worthy of an 8 or over. Eyecandy basically depends on tileset choice: you can use a bad tileset and make something creative in it, but it would never really be as good as the eyecandy you can do when using a wellmade tileset. Also, limitations in the set can influence things outside of eyecandy. If there were arrows in this tileset, the warps and the sucker tubes need not be hidden which would definately improve the rating this level gets, but there aren’t arrows in this set so =P. Music choice can matter, but to a much lesser extent. I wouldn’t take marks off for it personally, but I would get annoyed and definately bring it up in a review if a music was irritating or completely doesn’t fit a level.

Well, this was kinda fun. HURRAY!!

~Blacky

Edit: Fixed a few wording errors that made one sentence pretty much not make sense. That’s what happens when you review while being half awake I guess.

RecommendedReview by Blackraptor

Posted:
27 Jul 2006, 01:50
For: Running Rabbit
Level rating: 8.7
Rating
8.5

Hahahah, wow. This is amazing ;P. You don’t even have to lift a finger to see some really cool effects this level can provide. A few of the ideas used are pretty basic spring things, but there’s a lot of really creative and original things done like the pillow ghost area and the float lizards. Too bad the level doesn’t look pretty, but the chain effects done here to keep your rabbit moving more then make up for it. I’m guessing it took a LOT of trial and error and testing to get this working right, but it was worth it since this is a unique and fun level :).

The originality, fun factor, and gameplay tricks more then make up for where this level lacks. Well done indeed.

~Blacky

RecommendedReview by Blackraptor

Posted:
22 Jul 2006, 11:38
For: Mega Megatropolis
Level rating: 9.5
Rating
9.6

Wow, what the heck? I didn’t review this yet? >:(

Looking at this colossal set, I can’t help but gape in awe at all the effort that making this must’ve taken. Over 4000 quality tiles in one big tileset, wow ;P. This is definately taken into consideration when deciding upon the rating of the set, but the two four letter words that come to mind when i look at this set (one of them being “holy” and the next being censored =P) would best describe my first impressions when i saw this.

As for the set itself, obviously there’s a lot of different settings possible with the amount of different terrains stuffed in here. A lot of tiles are copies with different backrounds put into them for ease of use and not requiring layer 5, though, but that’s alright.

The theme of the tileset isn’t my favorite, and a bit too cartoonish, but it is executed nicely and looking at the example level i would want to use the set.

Masking is pretty well done. There were a few things that i’d question the masking choice for when i first saw the set (such as assuming the green bricks to be solid since they resemble the solid red bricks, having the leaves be solid for whatever reason). Aside from that, the masking is pretty much great, and includes the usual mask messages from wisey =P.

As for needed tiles, the set could’ve used spikes or other hurt events and vines, but other than that it pretty much got the essentials covered. Aside from desctructable scenery, there’s pretty much no animations though, which is a shame. There’s a lot of blank tiles in the set, so at least one row of tile could’ve been economized by filling them in with some tiles (sacrificing a bit of userfriendliness in the process, though) to make the set slightly smaller, and some animations put in to fill in the rest, but I guess the sheer colossal size of the set can make up for that.

Huge tilesets usually tend to have problems with being userfriendly. The tilesets end up being too big and scare away levelmakers, or it can take a while looking through a heap of tiles to find the one you need. I downloaded this tileset completely expectant of this, but was slightly surprised to find that it’s not as bad as I’ve envisioned. Pretty much everything is logically placed and grouped together with related tiles, and it is very easy to find what you need considering the size of the set. However, this tileset is still huge and it does take ages to browse through all the tiles, as well as you have over 4000 tiles to consider using when you want to make an area, and that’s a huge amount of tiles to have in mind ;P. Generally, the set fared much better in this category then I expected it to, however, and it compels me to consider using it should I ever want to make more gigantic single player levels.

Overall, if you have TSF – even if you don’t ever use it – you should still download this set regardless. It is a unique set (not so unique now that there’s a 1.23 version of it out, but ;P) that offers a LOT. You can’t ignore the amount of work that was put into this masterpiece, and even with the high expectations I have of Disguise tilesets, I was still quite stunned the first time I saw this.

I think this deserves a 9.6 for its efforts. I really hope that this tileset will be used in several levels, and that there are levelmakers out there who can meet and overcome the challenge of using such a large tileset. Congratulations for making this wisey ;P (I’d say happy birthday too if I wasn’t 3 years late with this review ;))

~Blacky

Review by Blackraptor

Posted:
21 Jul 2006, 11:17 (edited 21 Jul 06, 11:18)
For: Hide and Seek
Level rating: 7.9
Rating
6.0

Uhh..9.8? Sorry, but no.

The gametype is…interesting, I guess. Too bad this can never be played in multiplayer for so many reasons, and the requirements to play this are…limiting.

However, the levels are better than I expected. Tileset use is decent and eyecandy is average, but at least everything tiles.

The levels are fairly small and consist of random platforms (Dreamland), or long, flat ground (Megatropolis). There’s no pickups or anything, but in the gametype these levels tried to execute i guess you don’t need them.

One thing you couldve done is put freeze enemies (with quick respawn time) in the hiding spots. When you’re frozen by them in multiplayer your name vanishes and others cant see you, so with that at least these levels would’ve worked….somewhat.

Otherwise, these are pretty much levels for young children to play with their siblings, for lack of a better descriptions ;P. Definately not worth a 9.8, however, ugh =P.

RecommendedReview by Blackraptor

Posted:
20 Jul 2006, 09:30
For: Final Resistance
Level rating: 7.8
Rating
7.3

Uhh sorry, but this is definately not an 8.4 level.

The level looks pretty…average in eyecandy. Some parts look pretty empty while others look like they have random stuff tacked on, and the backround is pretty boring although that might be the fault of the tileset. The water in the small pools isn’t even in layer 3 and the splash doesn’t tile with the surface of the water. Otherwise, I expected a lot better ec from a level this highly rated.

The level is symmetrical, but the layout looks interesting. I really don’t like the deathtrap at the +1 carrots though (the deadend, rather ;P). The vines are also annoying, you should’ve just taken them out since they slow you down and don’t serve any purpose.

Ammo is placed alright, not overly creative or anything but not bad either. Powerups are where you expect them to be, and the seeker powerup is placed nicely imo.

The carrot placement is a mixed bag, really. The +1 carrots are placed in dead ends and makes you wonder if it’s worth it to risk getting them or not. The full energy is creatively yet annoyingly placed. You need ice ammo to get it, and need to freeze two springs. That pretty much crushes any chance you have of making a quick getaway with the carrot before your opponents kill you, and i’d imagine it would be pretty hard as the flagholder to have enough time to bypass the carrot camper, freeze the springs to get the carrot and run without getting hit, unless the camper is just an idiot =P. I probably wouldnt’ve minded if you only needed to freeze the top blue spring and the green spring was taken out, but it makes it annoying in its current state. Basically, all the carrots manage to be deathtraps at the same time as being essential.

Overall, this level features some interesting things and the carrot placement might inspire someone to make something like it but less annoying, but this level also suffers from a lot of bugs and mistakes, and doesn’t particularly excel high enough in anything to score over 8. I’m giving this a 7.3, and this is completely overrated.
~Blacky

Review by Blackraptor

Posted:
9 Jul 2006, 09:50
For: Space Station Assault (Re-re-upload)
Level rating: 8.0
Rating
6.5

I’m going to review this, since I’ve lost many JDC assault matches in this ;P.

The zip has two jpgs in addition to the level/set/music. One is a blueprint of…part of the level. Kinda confusing and not very useful either since it in no way tells you where to go, and just names certain areas. The other is a letter giving more backround to the level, I guess. Interesting.

As for the level…

The first area is pretty confusing. There’s lots of places to go and it doesn’t tell you where to go to first, so you either have to memorize the order of around a dozen trigger crates or hope that you or your teammate happen to find an unlocked one. For me in my matches it was pretty much everyone splitting up and running everywhere, with minimal strategy or teamwork involved. The part after that (which was later edited and turned to fans by blur) is pretty pointless imo, and just wastes time. There’s a small area after that resembling a warp test (except with suckers) which kinda screams out desperation for some sort of obstacle. Other notable parts after that include a very narrow airboard maze and climbing vanishing 1×1 blocks. The layout of the level overall, at least after the first part, resemble somewhat of a race level or so, really, instead of an assault. There’s not much teamwork needed for this either as it’s pretty linear and everyone is heading the same way.

Radium pretty much depended on one tile for the tileset use, a 1×1 blue block, with other tiles making very occasional appearances. The tileset use is greately polished up in Blur’s edit of this though, but this is not blur’s edit.

Overall, the level lacks in some areas, especially eyecandy/tileset use, and seems like it might be better off as a race/test level or something. It is nice that someone is making assault levels though =P. Back in 2002 this probably would’ve been a pretty good level, and it still gets the honour (albeit a heavily edited by blur version of it) of being played in various important events today. I’m going to give this a 6.5 in the state it’s in right now, as I don’t want to damage its current rating too much. Undecided download reccomendation, because there’s a better version out there (but it’s not uploaded to j2o).

RecommendedReview by Blackraptor

Posted:
9 Jul 2006, 09:13 (edited 9 Jul 06, 09:15)
For: The Death Facility
Level rating: 8.3
Rating
8.4

I guess I should review this level since it really deserves more reviews then it currently has, and it has inspired me to use Odyssey.

Eyecandy is just a masterpiece. I really don’t have much to say else about it. The first time I saw this level in a server my jaw literally dropped. Although I haven’t seen this palette edit of Odyssey before I saw this level either, I havent seen Odyssey being used in such a beautiful way before. The tileset and the eyecandy come together to create a really strong atmosphere in the level, and you should get a pat on the back for that.

Layout is pretty basic. Level feels kinda small though, looks like it should be used for duels/2vs2s. I never liked having to stop running and fall into fairly small floor tubes though. I have no idea whats up with the seeker powerup box areas though O.o.

Bouncer and Toaster powerups are pretty annoying to get, especially since you prevented people from being able to get them by buttstomping. They’re pretty much next to each other too, so you can get both of them nearly at the same time, and you’re pretty much guaranteed to always get the seeker powerup since there’s 3 at each side (all in the same spot tho) and have a respawn time of 1, which pretty much means everyone will be running around with powered seekers and not caring about bouncer or toaster powerups as much. I really have no idea why you did this though, since it kinda kills strategy and the ability to keep control of the level by stealing powerups all the time and such. Carrot placement is nice, having two +1s in the bottom instead of a full energy makes it slightly harder to camp them too.

Overall, its a pretty simple level in terms of layout, but really comes alive in eyecandy. Because everyone always has the seeker powerup the level isn’t as stratetic and more of a gorefest, though, so I question your decision regarding the seeker powerup, and those two areas where the seek powerups are are also weird and I have no idea what they’re for (they dont really make good turrets either =/).

I’m going to give this an 8.4. The level has wonderful eyecandy, a pretty good layout (although it doesn’t really stand out), but the seeker powerup pretty much kills ammo placement since it’s the strongest PU and always available. I might boost or lower the rating later on depending on what type of effect it has on the level in the long run. For now 8.4 though, good job.

~A very tired and sleep deprived Blacky

Review by Blackraptor

Posted:
6 Jul 2006, 22:36 (edited 7 Jul 06, 04:51 by Violet CLM)
For: JJ2 Wallpaper - VERY OFFICIAL!
Level rating: 5.8
Rating
N/A

truly a masterpiece of our time. You can’t miss out on this one :(
(Unsupported rating (10) removal. ~Violet)

RecommendedReview by Blackraptor

Posted:
4 Jul 2006, 05:34 (edited 28 Oct 09, 16:31 by cooba)
For: Random Battle Levels
Level rating: 8.6
Rating
8.7

FS made me play these and I thought they could use a review, so here goes.

The Temple of Suffering (emphasis on Suffering \o/)

Basically, this level is a bunch of elongated large platforms. It’s also extremely large, even for a public server intended level, and I’m getting kinda tired of seeing Windstorm Fortress levels really, especially since there is little difference in the appearance of the levels that use them. But this level still is pretty to look at, though. You also kinda missed a tilebug at around 109,43, but whatever.

You start with several powerups in this level, which is…interesting. I guess it’s meant to speed up the games in here because otherwise it would be impossible to kill people in this level. There’s also a fire shield in this level accesible by the bouncer powerup which gives 40 seconds of shield time, and that fits into the level. The shield is annoying as hell to get though, because bouncer shots tend to be unreliable and such. There’s also like half a dozen carrots in this level, which pretty much limits this level to large numbers of people or really stupid people who don’t know what carrots do, I guess. Public servers or not, this would have to be hosted at peak jj2 times to provide exciting games where people actually die.

Aside from that, this looks like it would be pretty good to play in with crowded servers because of the powerups given to you at the start, so you go straight to the action instead of scurrying around with a wimpy blaster. I know I’d like to see this in a large JDC event or something. That might be the only thing that really stands out in this level though, as otherwise its a typical, extremely large battle level chock full of carrots and nice, but generally done before eyecandy.

An Uninspired Psych Level

I got a great first impression of the level. The eyecandy here features a lot of original (or at least, I haven’t seen it done before) gimmicks such as the mushrooms in the back layer mountains. This level feels really alive because of things like that, and the set being rather underused greately helps that, and the atmosphere in this level is really trippy.

As for the layout, the level again is huge considering the small amount of paths it has, but I can imagine this level being played well enough with smaller amounts of people. There’s some creative things done with the ammo on the far right, which I really like. Most of the level is also…empty. Despite the rather large size, the level is incredibly open in the center and there are very few platforms. There’s also some warps for easier travelling too. In general though, the layout is….weird. It just seems really random or something, I guess.

Currently I envision most people just shooting seekers everywhere, especially into open spaces and hoping they’d hit something when I think of public games here. The 3 powerups included here are extremely useful in this level, so I guess the only real strategy would be to get one of them and just shoot bullets into the wide open space in the level to hit as many people as you can, but then again this is meant for public servers and not duels or anything, so that’s not too bad. I guess this is as good of a time as any to mention that the backround fade is really nice, too ;P.

Anyways, both levels pretty much acheive their goals of being intended for large audiences, except one of them pretty much forces that to be the case while the other would just work better if that was the case. Lots of interesting gimmicks used, and eyecandy is well done in both of them. I don’t LOVE these levels, but I would definately host them before I host Blade’s overhosted Battle Packs ;P.

I guess this is where the rating should come, although I’m not going to rate this yet. I haven’t played these online with very many people (most of them idled anyways) so I’ve yet to play them as they were intended to be so I’m going to wait until I experience them firsthand before rating this. Hopefully that will be soon before I forget I ever wrote this review ;P. From what I’ve seen though, this gets a download reccomendation anyways, first hand experience or not.

~Lol – Source code

Edit: I’ve played these some more times online (and in JDC events) and they worked pretty well. The Temple of Suffering was pretty damn fun with around 16 people or something and these levels proved they can handle serious JDC matches. Therefore, 8.7 >O. These levels win at life (and jj2) gg.

RecommendedReview by Blackraptor

Posted:
21 Jun 2006, 04:33
For: BioWinter
Level rating: 7.9
Rating
7.4

Hm…this got uploaded rather quietly (that or I havent been checking my email, heh), but it’s about time this got released, since it’s pretty old now (I tested it a WHILE ago) =P.

Anyways, since J2O currently lacks active reviewers and I dont want to study for an upcoming math exam I’ll review this instead, I guess.

Basically, Biowinter is pretty much a typical winter tileset with some interesting and creative additions, but nothing really outstanding or jawdropping. Some things like the brown ground look kinda nice, and others like the snow need more detail as it’s just white. The set also needs more color variety still, imo, because seeing brown and white everywhere, with the occasional green, gets kinda boring.

On a more positive note, there’s a number of things in this set that I like. The cool crumbling scenery of the snow on the pine trees is original and I like it, the spaz animation is pretty funny, and the figures frozen in ice are creative and cool, among other things. There’s even a text sign with my name on it ;).

The set functions pretty well and is quite userfriendly. One thing I still don’t like is the ripped tiles in it though. The castle from carrotus, the spikes from inferno, it wouldve been better if you hadn’t taken the lazy way out and instead drew them yourself =\.

Otherwise, this tileset is what I consider a mixed bag kinda. There’s a bunch of things that could be improved a lot, but there are also a lot of creative things and the set is by no means bad.

Perhaps more detail on certain aspects of the set, a larger landscape variety, more colors and redrawing the ripped tiles would greatly improve this tileset, but for now I think I’m going to rate this a 7.4.

Some creative and original ideas here, and the set can be used pretty easily, but there’s a lot of room for improvement. I’d give this a download reccomendation because some of the tricks Bio used in the set kinda inspired me in certain ways.

~Blackraptor

RecommendedReview by Blackraptor

Posted:
11 Jun 2006, 20:46 (edited 12 Jun 06, 02:50)
For: Atom Heart 243.5 [re-uploaded]
Level rating: 8.2
Rating
8.6

Time to fulfill my part of the review exchange deal ;P.

Atom Heart 243.5 by SJ

I’ve already had a 2vs2 here (which I lost but ;|) and I’ve gotten a good impression of what I’m going to give this already, but I’m playing it again anyways >O.

First, eyecandy is really nice in this level. Everything is pleasant to look at (even the backround has a nice fade color) which makes playing here enjoyable because nothing distracts you or hurts your eyes or anything. It’s also different from other eyecandy I’ve seen using this set so that’s nice.

Gameplay, let’s see. The level requires you to jump in several places, but still uses a lot of springs to keep the flow good. There are some out of the way passages which I saw people camp at sometimes because nobody goes there and they aren’t that hard to defend, but SJ did use some things to try to prevent camping, which I’ll touch on later. Everytime I run by the large tubes in the top right/left with seekers in them I always jump into them because i think they’ll take me somewhere, instead of jutting me back out :(. Otherwise, some passages might be a bit too small and could be annoying to get into during the heat of battle. Otherwise, gameplay is good enough.

One of the things which I like the most about this level is actually the carrot placement. There are two full energies in the middle of the level, one on top and other on bottom. Both can be reached through the middle of the level but also through top/bottom routes. This really takes off a lot of stress during games when you have 1h and your opponent is camping at the carrot, and I greately prefer this placement in this level rather than a full energy and +1 carrot(s) or something. It worked good in the 2vs2 and it prevents carrot camping which gets annoying.

Ammo is placed nicely and powerup placement makes sense. Ammo is also placed creatively instead of in boring clumps so that’s good too. Music is a really nice choice too, and I don’t see .mtm files being used often.

To conclude this review, Atom Heart is a pretty good level, and will probably provide at least a handful of JDC matches (i’ve already been in one, heh =P). Nothing here is really outstanding or completely new, but it is a solid level and it plays well, and has no major flaws or anything. I’d give this an 8.4 and a download reccomendation.

~Blacky

Edit: After further playing and careful consideration (and threats from FS) I’ve decided this level deserves more than an 8.4. 0.2 points more, specifically.

Review by Blackraptor

Posted:
10 Jun 2006, 06:50
For: The Beach Megamix
Level rating: 6.7
Rating
N/A

i fully agree with noob

seriously, what the hell is an electric flute anyways? out of all my metal songs I have i dont think i have one with an electric flute, because what the fuck is that?

oh no i swore :(

otherwise, metal ftw.

RecommendedReview by Blackraptor

Posted:
24 May 2006, 03:56
For: Miracle of Sun
Level rating: 9.5
Rating
9.5

Woah, a COLOSSAL set. I’ll shorten the review in a few pro/con points

Pros:

-The set is huge, offering a wide variety of tiles enabling the user to be able to express their creativity in a large variety of ways. Definite Pro.
-A LOT of animations, to prevent areas from getting boring.
-Beautiful tiles and good atmosphere (great creative backround, mood etc.)
-Really nice tile combinations you can use to make great looking areas, the huge Example level is a great way to see this in action.
-As stated in the description, you really can build a nice looking paradise with this :D

Cons:
-Huge huge set, meaning that to find the tile youre looking for you have to scroll through almost 3200 other tiles!
-The set is too red. I’m not really going to deduct much because of this, because in my opinion the red gives it a certain feel, and making tiles other colors would make them stand out and not look too good. While the red doesn’t look atrocious or anything, it could get repetetive and boring after a while.
-Some tiles could be better drawn

This is one of those files that making up your mind on a rating for them is quite difficult. On one hand, the tileset is a masterpeice with almost 3200 tiles and you can build amazing things with it. On the other, its incredibly huge and I’d imagine it would be very tedious to work with. Although you suceeded in offering levelmakers a HUGE amount of ways to express creativity and make a lot of unique levels with this tileset, achieving that came with a price of the tileset being extremely time consuming and large and will probably scare off many little children as they look at it in JCS. But the huge amount of work put into it can’t be overshadowed by that, and thus I’m giving this tileset a 9.5.

Although this is a really wonderful tileset, because of its huge size I don’t think it’ll be used for too many levels because of the amount of work it would take to use this. Despite that, everyone should check out the set and play through the example levels, or you will be missing out on a rather unique experience. That said, this definately receives a download reccomendation.

~Blackraptor

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