RecommendedReview by Blackraptor

Posted:
24 May 2006, 03:18 (edited 24 May 06, 03:21)
For: The Twilight Park
Level rating: 8.9
Rating
9.4

A long overdue review to a deserving tileset.

To start off the review, this set just demonstrates that Blade keeps getting better. I love the atmosphere the tileset is able to provide and the cartoonish appearance of it. There are many tiles provided for some spiffy eyecandy (posters on fences, stuff buried in the ground (although I would question the sanity of anyone deciding to bury a SHOVEL)) and you can make some nice things with it. The tileset is fairly straightforward and easy to use. Some tile placements may daunt you a bit, but you can quickly learn how to use all parts of the set properly. Poles, destruct blocks, tubes, hooks, everything is included in the set, even pools enabling water (although I personally would only accompany those tiles with Water Blocks). The masking is nicely done, although I have a personal dislike for really tight tubes and crawling into them in jj2 =P. Oh, and I also really like the backround and the way it is made, it really does remind me of a calm night in a park located near a big city.

Overall, this is a really good set and I wouldn’t be surprised to see several levels using it. The zip even comes with a nice, quick single player level which is not only enjoyable but also shows off the set. The only thing preventing me from rating this higher is that because of the cartoonish way Blade approached the set in, it doesn’t have as many details as other tilesets like 7th lava fall or Egypt. Nonetheless, it is a great set and definately worth the download

Edit: On second thought, i’m upgrading the rating by a bit because I’ve looked back and I think the set deserves it. GG.

~Blackraptor

RecommendedReview by Blackraptor

Posted:
29 Apr 2006, 00:39 (edited 29 Apr 06, 00:39)
For: Episode Two: The Rebirth of Evil
Level rating: 9.6
Rating
10.0

I felt like reviewing something so I did. I’m not going to bother writing up a long review as there’s enough reviews for this upload that will state what I said anyways.

I’ll start off by saying that this is probably the best single player pack I’ve played, so it’s already pretty obvious what rating it will get ;P.

The pack features heavily on storyline, even incorporating two seperate endings into the pack so you will play through different levels depending on the decisions you make near the end. This is also one of the only packs I’ve seen that incorporate story into a pack extremely well, as most other packs I’ve played that included storylines either focused too much on them which in turn detracted from the quality of the levels gameplay wise (most of them ended up being alike to cutscenes) or seemed like the story wasn’t complex enough, flawed, or seemed like the author(s) came up with it after they put together the levels. This pack contains beautiful levels and the story certainly did not steal attention from them, and overall greately increased my enjoyment of this pack. The beginning cutscene is also very well thought out and executed.

Some of the levels included in this pack are colossal. Deserto Orbital Base is simply a masterpiece. There are also many interesting tricks put into the levels which add to the sheer amazement you would probably be feeling after playing the pack. I think the weakest area in the pack in terms of level design is probably the Battleships levels. They’re not particularly long and definately don’t seem as open to exploration as some of the other levels, and Battleships isn’t a particularly interesting set.

Eyecandy is well done. Despite the amount of times I’ve replayed this pack the levels, beauty and story of the levels kept me too busy to look for eyecandy bugs for the most part, and there weren’t any that stood out. The alternative ending that features the sideways Deserto Base level seems like it could cause seizures, btw ;P.

Difficulty was pretty well done. I did find myself needing to cheat in a few areas, but I’ve managed to pass every area in each level of the pack without the need to cheat. The puzzle in the Desert level is slightly irritating as crates tend to be buggy sometimes. Running around with one heart in the Deserto Orbital Base was certainly refreshing.

One of the best things I find in this pack is the replayability, which is among the best I’ve ever seen. Not only are some levels huge and weilding many optional areas and secrets, but the pack has two alternate endings which means you’ll definately miss a level or two if you play it only once. I’ve replayed the pack around a total of 4 or 5 times since I’ve betatested it, and I’ve never gotten bored during any of the replay runs.

This review wasn’t originally intended to be long, but it seems it has come out this way anyways, probably because there’s too many good things to say about this pack. I know I’m definately awaiting the release of Devres 3, and I am glad to have betatested this pack and that I’ve played it. I haven’t rated anything a 10 since 2002, but I can say that this pack certainly deserves it.

Congratulations on this masterpiece.

RecommendedReview by Blackraptor

Posted:
25 Mar 2006, 05:25
For: Apocalyptic Afterworld
Level rating: 8.3
Rating
8.2

I felt like reviewing some random level, and got this through review ideas ;P.

Apocalyptic Afterworld is a nice piece of work by Magoo (who should make more levels ;P). It’s got some bugs and poor planning in some parts which could’ve been fixed/avoided, but generally its a good level worth your attention.

I’ll start off with the mood. The level has a nice feeling when you go through it (I like the backround) and some lighting to aid to the feeling. I personally would’ve chose a different music though, but whatever.

Layout is alright, and took me some time to get used to. It has a lot of rooms only accessible by warps (Seeker, Full NRG) which makes happy campers just wet their pants with excitement =P. Instead of having rooms for the Full NRG and Seek Pu, you couldve put them into tubes so people cant just hang around them and kill whoever enters the room (at least the full NRG isnt the only carrot in the level, or that would’ve been very, very bad). I’m not too big of a fan on how the layout of this level was made, but its acceptable and I wouldn’t mind playing in it.

Eyecandy is great. The only thing I that I can complain about with eyecandy is that the red rocks were used in layer 5 which might make it confusing for some people to tell if they’re solid or not at first. I didn’t notice that at first at all, so it didn’t bother me one bit.

Flow could be improved a bit. Springs like the one around 126, 60 could be made to have you hit the next spring on the ledge to the right instead of flying over it and going into the side of a wall. The ledge at 63, 50 could be raised so you don’t fall onto it when running from the PU and instead fall down the gap (this doesn’t happen with the ledge next to the PU on the right side of the level which makes the right side have a bit of an advantage). These little annoyances could’ve been fixed easily had a tester noticed them, but I found no significant flow bugs which means that the testers didnt entirely sleep through the level =P.

Ammo is alright. You have to jump for a lot of it though. Magoo also included ice ammo for some reason (if you include it, at least give it more of a use). Otherwise, ammo placement is nice and nice designs are made of it.

Overall the level is pretty well made. A few tweaks could be made here and there, but it still gets an 8.2 the way it is. I don’t know why I havent reviewed this until now ;|. Download reccomended (although most of you have probably downloaded or played this by now anyways)

~Blacky

RecommendedReview by Blackraptor

Posted:
6 Feb 2006, 01:40 (edited 6 Feb 06, 01:40)
For: Electric Danger
Level rating: 8.4
Rating
7.7

Yasco asked me to review this (several times…;P) so I’m finally going to.

Electric Danger

Okay, layout isn’t symmetrical so that’s a pro, but base placement is kinda weird. Having the bases like that could lead to a lot of problems having the level be fair for both teams, but I haven’t had a chance to play this online with another player thus so far I cant criticize the level for biasness until I find a reason to. Eyecandy was nice enough. The middle of the level was rather boring though as I’ve seen eyecandy like that done a lot, but I like what Yasco came up with on the border walls in the level with the foreground layer.

Ammo needs creativity. It’s placed in large chunky squares. Maybe make less of those and place ammo more creatively (and more accessibly so you wont have to stop to collect all of it in the level, and can just pick all of it up on the run).

Next, carrot placement. Two full energies, both next to each base. I guess it could work, and I haven’t seen it done for a long time.

Flow is kinda meh. Wasn’t too easy moving around, some stuff shouldve been unmasked completely (like some metal poles near a gold coin which were half masked), and some places could’ve used alternative tiles in the set for better masking.

Why does blue base have an RF powerup right next to it that’s not even in a wall? Makes me want to be on blue team if I ever play seriously in this level.

Few more points about eyecandy: Backround could be more detailed since it’s dull right now, and sometimes eyecandy gets confusing since you cant tell what metal pipes are in level 4 and which are in level 3.

Rating for the level: 7.7 for now, until I play this level in more depth. Download reccomendation? Yeah. The things you did with the side walls and foreground layers inspires me to do something like that.

RecommendedReview by Blackraptor

Posted:
30 Dec 2005, 02:30
For: Christmas-X-Core
Level rating: 8.7
Rating
8.8

Review time ;D (I haven’t reviewed in forever)

Okay, let’s start off seeing how this compares to what its remixing (Xmas1). Listening through it, all the patterns from the original are in the remix (and all have been made to sound better), and LRK has also expanded the song with more good sounding patterns to make it play even longer. In conclusion, he stuck pretty close to the original melody of the song and you can find what patterns are where pretty easily.

As for how the song plays, it plays really well. The instruments go together well and make the song a pleasure to listen to, even if you didn’t like the original Xmas1. Percussion sounds really nice, and guitar is great too.

Finally, you can tell this is a quality song when you look at it (in ModTracker, for example). LRK made this very well and didn’t just stick in random notes in places, and it shows. It’s a very good remix, and definately deserves a download and a few listens. Great job on creating an awesome tune!

8.8
~Blacky

Review by Blackraptor

Posted:
19 Aug 2005, 19:40
For: THE EVEN BESTER LEVEL EVER(!)
Level rating: 1.6
Rating
N/A

Best level ever. Guarantees for hours of fun!

[Inappropiate (10) rating removal. For a rating this high and extraordinary a very good reason should be given for rating the level thus. None was given at all. – FQuist]

RecommendedReview by Blackraptor

Posted:
30 Jul 2005, 07:20
For: Team Foo Races Pack 1
Level rating: 7.7
Rating
7.5

Spoy hosted this like 30 times online and now Im going to review this (not with a usual long review though).

The levels are fun to play. The concept isnt really new (I made a level like this two years ago, even though its unreleased and unfinished dozens of people saw this =P. Violet also made stuff like this and Kirby SSB made more primitive forms of this) but its still original. The obstacles are nicely thought up of and a lot of teamwork is required. The levels are really fun to play at first, but they get boring once you play them for too long.
The eyecandy here and stuff is rather poor. Not much effort was put into making this level look good (nearly all the effort used seemed to be put into making the levels play good) and simple tilebugs arent even fixed. Its not too bad, but I would definately enjoy these levels more if they were pleasing to look at while I played them. Otherwise, this is a nice pack, although spoy overhosts it to death already =P. Rating for this would be a 7.5 and a download reccomendation. GG.
Oh, and btw, the cutscene owned. This made me boost up the overall rating of the pack by a few decimal points (although you wont get to know what the original rating was ;D). Nice and original cutscenes with innocent turtles being blown up ;D…

~Blackraptor

RecommendedReview by Blackraptor

Posted:
28 Jul 2005, 20:27
For: Whantil
Level rating: 8.0
Rating
7.8

Layout: Layout is kinda basic, nothing really original in it. The level forces you to jump more often instead of using floatups and springs (Which can be good or bad depending on your taste). I dont like the masking of the sucker tubes though, they seem to jut out more than the ground and you crash into them while running. 5,28 could also use a bunch of one ways (right under the red spring). The top passages to the base also force you to go into 1 tile wide sucker tubes, which gets annoying especially if you were chased or rushed or something.
Rating: 7.7

Eyecandy: Kinda basic. Lots of places are left empty without any layer 5. Poles are an interesting way to mimic antennae except that the first few times or so it feels like there is a pole event on them. Otherwise, there doesnt seem to be anything new or eyecatching about eyecandy. Lightning also gets annoying, especially if its in the foreground.
Rating: 7.5

Placement of Stuff: Interesting. 5 powerups. 4 out of the 5 are behind masked tiles, and 2 out of the 5 are only attainable by Electroblasters. 5 pus seems kinda crazy for this level, but the carrot placement gets even better. A full energy in the center and two +1s surrounding it, interesting idea. I’ve tested through the level and found nothing bad about it, and I’ve never seen carrots placed like that before so =D. Ammo is placed nicely enough.
Rating: 8.2

Gameplay/Flow:
Floatups are placed nicely, springs are placed well for the most part. The ground underneath the two red springs at the very side needs one ways. On second thought, why are those springs still there? They seem kind of pointless since the green spring + floatups gets you up to the base itself. As I mentioned before, sucker tubes jut out more than they should. The parts that force you to jump sometimes get on my nerves, but lrk calls them “obstacles” =P.
Rating: 7.5

Overall (Not an average): A good level, but it could use more things to make it stand out. I don’t particularly like the tileset, and the eyecandy could use more work, but the level plays alright except for the few annoying things i mentioned before. This level also seems big enough to handle large amounts of people, meaning it could be hosted in JDC events in the future.
Rating: 7.9

Final Rating: 7.76 ~ 7.8. Download reccomended.

~Blackraptor

RecommendedReview by Blackraptor

Posted:
28 Jul 2005, 00:53
For: Untitled Tournament Fortress
Level rating: 8.0
Rating
8.0

I guess I’ll review this, since this needs a review =P.

Firstly, I had to look in JCS to find out what to do in the level (how to get into control room, etc). This isn’t too bad, since chances are nobody else would know how to get into the contol area, but it would be nice if there were some arrows pointing where to go that would be turned off by trigger crates once you went where they pointed to.

Layout:
First, I’ll start with the layout outside the fighting room and stuff. It looks kinda overcomplicated. You have this weird room with lots of text sign blocks with no text in them except for 1 string mentioning r3ptile in it. That place seems kinda useless, the only benefit of it is that it looks nice and provides more room so people arent all squished together in one spot. There’s also a warp to some room with text signs explaining rules and stuff in it, but I had to look in JCS to find out that there was a warp there ;p. Again would be nice if an arrow or something pointed to it, especially cause rules are usually important in a level and should be read (noone will be able to read the rules if they cant find them =P). (Edit: Rag informed me that this room is actually the hall of fame. With only one person currently in it. Yay)

There’s also a bunch of nicely made spectator rooms. In the same warp leading to them, there is a random room owned by FS, and a turret tower. The turret tower has turrets (omg!) pointing into the arena, but they’re blocked by solid tiles so only bouncers get in. Although its fun shooting in the arena and killing people and watching them get angry, I would imagine in a serious game if I was playing someone in the arena, I would already be worried about dying or falling, and wouldnt want to be worried about people outside the arena killing me as well (after all, in tourney levels, its you vs your opponent, not you vs your opponent vs everyone). It would be nice if there was some host controlled trigger crate or whatever which could disable shooting into the arena. There’s also a warp leading to a room filled with carrots (you can get here from a warp in the start too). Its called the ammo dump or something, Im guessing youre supposed to refill h or waste ammo here or something (why would you want to waste ammo anyways? ;p). A sucker tube leads from that room to under the arena where you can pick up any ammo that was shot down (which is a nice idea). A lot of this seems overcomplicated (especially since places like the Owned By FS room are easier to find then places like the room with the rules), but thankfully at least there is a text sign in the start telling what warps take you where. One more thing, its easy to get stuck when on the blue spring when the host hits the crate to start (i’ve seen this happen quite often). Although standing on the turrets when ready to start would be a better idea than being on the springs, nobody does that for some reason ;(. There is no warp or anything to free you from being stuck, and that couldve been fixed too. Oh well, nothing major, and more the fault of the players than the level I guess.

Now, for the layout in the arena. There’s only one way to get to the top (through a floatup vertical tunnel in the center) which makes camping there easy. There’s also a lot of places where you can fall (two large chasms) so you have to be careful and stuff. The bottom right of the arena seems kinda useless though unless you’re trying to hide (and there are even better places to do that in imo). Thankfully, there are two diff. routes to the carrot. Overall, the layout of the arena makes it easy to camp, but its both jazz and spaz friendly it seems.
Rating: 7.9

Eyecandy:
The eyecandy here was great. Lots of times it made otherwise boring areas look good. Use of transparent tiles to make other tiles seem a different color was also a nice addition and well used. I loved the backround, the castle surrounded by the clouds =D. Don’t have much to comment on eyecandy, except the tileset use and stuff was original and overall the level was pleasant to look at.
Rating: 8.6

Placement of Stuff:
Hmm…The two significant pus are on the top of the level (where there’s only one way to get up to), and both are as far away from the carrot as possible (without being too near each other, that is). Gun8 powerup is in the bottom right, not worth getting it really imo. I wouldnt mind seeing the Gun8 pu being switched with the bouncer pu or something. There’s only 1 carrot here, making camping important and hard to stay alive. It also makes it annoying for people at low h because chances are their opponent will be making life tough for them and camping at the only source of health. Ammo also seemed a bit too sparce in the middle/bottom area of the level, and I would have preferred to see more +3 ammo instead of the +15, since some areas could’ve used at least something placed there to prevent them from being empty.
Rating: 7.5

Gameplay/Flow:
Heavily based on camping. The lack of springs made the level interesting though, as floatups and sucker tubes filled the gap.

I found it really hard to survive if you were at low h in the level, because chances are if you have a bad start you will lose. This leads to frustration, but also makes strategy essential to win, and having to think of a winning stategy to survive rather than mindless killing is fun. Level flowed alright I guess. Some places jazz had to uppercut in because the vine was 1 tile away though, so that couldve been fixed or something (I dont really care since I play with spaz anyways =P). Still too heavily reliant on camping imo.
Rating: 7.8

Overall/not an average:
This level was nice. It was original (in terms of gameplay and eyecandy and things) and looks like a lot of effort has been put into it (looking at all the triggers and add ons and stuff). The level played alright and looked great, and it seemed to work. I wouldn’t mind playing it, or hosting it, somewhere in the future. Good Job!
Rating: 8.2

Additional comments: Music kinda gets annoying after you listen to it loop like 20 times while reviewing…And the next level setting is wrong.

Final rating = A Perfect 8. Just fix the next level setting or something =P. Download reccomended.

~Blackraptor
(Dont you hate it when your computer crashes when youre just about finished a review? I had to write this one out twice argh)

Not recommendedReview by Blackraptor

Posted:
22 Jul 2005, 10:07
For: Stupid Test
Level rating: 5.9
Rating
5.5

Firstly, always include the tileset with your upload. Although Coolday is a common set, I didnt have it in my TSF folder and had to get it from my 1.23. Although this doesnt affect the rating it gives me somewhat of a negative view of the upload, which could potentially indirectly affect the rating.

First obstacle already. Powered up RFs are much worse for wallclimbing than normal ones, bleh. I wasted all my powered RF ammo and got the norm from the crate nearby so it will be easier.
Past the part where you get stuck in a wall and go through a tube, you can get stuck in the diamond shape tiles you put in very easily. There is a warp to get you back, but you’d have to slide down the lower wall of the triangle to get to it. I almost didnt notice it. Instead of placing bugs so you can fix them, it would be better to just not place them at all (ex. a square instead of a triangle could’ve prevented this, among many other possibilities, some which probably would’ve kept the obstacle of climbing diamond edges unchanged).

Next come spike balls. I dont remember whether or not they can kill you in treasure, but they’d either be a major nuisance if they did, or barely an obstacle if they didnt. (By the way, Im assumin you set the game mode as treasure, as the author gave no information about that).

Then comes more RF climbing. Yay. Nothing interesting either. After that comes running in darkness, which was actually mildly fun for me in my bored state, but anyone could just turn the lighting off at any time to make this easier. Following that is a lot of pointless running and jumping which anyone can do. Next part is slightly amusing, with flashing blocks you need to run by. So far my favorite obstacle as it’s at least sorta original. Sadly after a while those flashing blocks can give you a headache. You could also skip most of it quite fast if you just jump out and run on top of the blocks instead of through the passage they form.

Finally, the level ends. This is definately not 8.5, for the reasons I’ll state below.

Gameplay. The obstacles weren’t new at all, nor were they entertaining. Except for the RF part anyone could win these, which wouldn’t be so bad if it weren’t for the RF part because those people would be able to beat anything except it. Running and jumping all the time got boring too.

Eyecandy: Well, first the positive. There aren’t any extremely noticable tilebugs, but that is because the author used 1×1 tiles everywhere. Except for the snow which itself doesn’t look great,there is basically nothing to look at in the level. Not even layer 4 eyecandy.

Music didnt fit much at all either, I found it kind of weird that medivo music would be in a level using such a happy bright tileset.

Overall, this level was long and monotonous. Didnt throw anything surprising at you. If the author him/herself admitted the level is long and stupid, why did they upload it?

Final Rating: 5.5. Definately not a download reccomendation, nor deservant of its currently overrated 8.5.

RecommendedReview by Blackraptor

Posted:
7 Jul 2005, 06:39
For: Hustar (waz01mk3)
Level rating: 7.9
Rating
8.2

Hm. I actually like this set more than several of the higher rated TSF sets (was bored so I was browsing through them) so I’ll review this.

First, I like how you drew the ground tiles. They look nice. The level has a nice, nature feel, though more tiles could’ve been addded in to further enhance the feel (like better and bigger trees). Poles, destruct blocks, vines and text signs are there, though arrow signs would’ve been appreciated. More leaf tiles could’ve been used here because in its current state levels would look kinda barren using this set. This set only also has 450 tiles, making there no reason for it to be TSF since it doesnt even have half the tiles the 1.23 limit has. Either more tiles should’ve been included in to take advantage of the TSF feature or this should’ve just been converted into 1.23. I don’t like the rain much here too.

Overall, I like the set, but it doesnt really feel finished and is lacking tiles. I think this could’ve turned out great if it had been expanded and the quality of the new tiles stayed relatively the same. Currently, this gets an 8.2, and a download reccomendation.

RecommendedReview by Blackraptor

Posted:
25 Jun 2005, 05:23
For: XLM Summer Pack 2005
Level rating: 7.4
Rating
7.4

The Hidden Kingdom

Firstly, I like the creativity used in the backround in this level. The author attempted to make it look as if there is a castle betwixt the trees and mountains, and it manages to look alright. I don’t particularly like the eyecandy too much; I think there is a lack of cave tiles and the level screams out for more layer 5. The layout seems kinda strange, I don’t
really like the area around the fly carrot (That sucker is also annoying to get to cause of difference of masking between the blocks and the brown wall tiles). Music is alright, but a better one definately could’ve been used since this one doesn’t provide a lot if any atmosphere to the level. Some parts in the level also feel extremely empty.

Rating: 7.5

Rocky Gardens

This level also could’ve used a lot more layer 5. It has more atmosphere than the previous level, but I don’t like the wind events in it , and more eyecandy could’ve been put in. A lot of the ground is really flat and looks boring. Places like 26, 43 need one waying and there are a few pointless areas like 24, 32. Ammo seems to be overly sparce as well.

Rating: 7

A lighty X-mas lava version

This level had a great first impression for me, but there are a few annoyances in it. The green spring at 46, 81 doesnt reach the platform above. The suckers on the side could’ve been more pointed out since I had no idea they were there (accidentally ran into them). 77, 74 is an bleh area. Needs a spring or something. You shouldn’t have put two +15 seeker ammo boxes next to each other cause it will cause a lot of ammo lag (like the seeker area in battle 1 does.) The level is also kinda small, and definately should not have a full energy carrot. I also feel that a few areas should have more ammo. I would’ve rated this 7.7-8 if it wasnt for the carrot..

Rating: 7.5

Wooden Wonders

After playing this level, I found I liked it. The music is funny and the mood of the level is great. The layout was good, the eyecandy was nice. The only thing I didn’t really like was again it barely had any ammo in it =P.

Rating: 8

Midnight Battle

Bleh, so many places in this level got confusing because the author used masked tiles like the blue ground in layer 5, so it was hard telling what was solid and what wasn’t (even when using common sense and guesswork, I still couldnt figure out if some of the ground tiles were solid or not until I walked into them). There is an icepower up here (omg!) along with some friendly neighbourhood ice ammo. Flow of this level needs quite a bit of work, not only cause of the confusing eyecandy, but some springs need to be replaced, and more springs/floatups should be placed. The creativity in the ammo is also kinda limited since a lot of it is just placed in long lines.

Rating: 6.5

Ctf levels:

Harmful Hazardous Harbor

Again a lot of the level is empty (some places could really use more pickups or eyecandy to brighten them up a bit – like the area around 40, 73). Bases are in the top left and bottom right, and because the gameplay is diagonal instead of the usual straight more people might be complaining about team biasness and stuff. There were lots of pointlessly long tunnels without much things in them. Ammo looks balanced enough.

Rating: 7.5

Station 87
No Start Positions found. Whoopee ;(. Im not going to rate this cause playing CTF levels in SP = sux, but right now it looks like it would get 7.7 – 8.

Pitfall CTF
Hm. This level is really small seemingly. Less than 70 tiles across. I like it though. I sometimes crash into something at 43, 60. There’s not really much to say about the level cause its really small. Having blaster be the main (and only) powerup is interesting, though, and I like this level. Next level setting needs to be fixed though (-0.1)

Rating: 7.8

Cutted Problem
Both jazz and spaz could play here, which kinda sux since jazz can stay in air for a really long time and has an advantage. Otherwise, level is pretty standard, and nothing really new about it. Imo there should’ve been more ammo and less ammo crates too. The eyecandy in the starting room looks nice though.
Rating: 7.6

Full Moon Time

It looks kinda ugly when you can see the bomb crates above the arena when you jump. Eyecandy looks weird, and otherwise just a regular ground force level without the anti-jazz thing. Looking in JCS, it also seems that everyone can get into the control room because DX forgot to put a lock on it. (-0.3)

Rating: 7.4-0.3 = 7.1

Castle of Fake

Suckers in the top of the level are kinda annoying. Level needs a bigger arena too since the crate alone destroys like 90% of it.

Rating: 7.3

Conclusion: For me, this pack was unexpected. It was alright, but deadlines tend to rush things and a lot of these levels couldve gone through more testing since there is still bugs in them. This is still worth downloading, because these levels are (for the most part) well made and fun to play.

Final Rating for pack (Takes out calculator): 7.38 ~ 7.4. Download reccomendation.

RecommendedReview by Blackraptor

Posted:
5 Jun 2005, 03:53
For: Prime Retribution
Level rating: 8.6
Rating
8.4

I haven’t reviewed this. Wow. I think I will now.

One Spot

Firstly, the atmosphere in this level is among the best atmosphere I’ve seen. The backround is really awesome (looks a lot better than the default backround) and the music is pleasant to the ears. The eyecandy is also really nice to look at. I don’t really like the flow of the level. Lots of things could use one ways (66, 28), and I’m not too fond of the placement of the full energy. The layout is alright, I like the originality used in the placement of the bases, which I haven’t seen remade to this day. I also kept bumping into walls and solid tiles as I ran through the object, as several areas are rather cramped. Weapon placement is alright, I didn’t really have a problem with it. The right area could’ve used more ammo though, but the bouncer pu might make up for that. Also, the music has a looping bug, so that = bad =(. Rating for level: Eyecandy: 9.5 Gameplay/Layout: 7.5 Originality: 8.5 Placement of Stuff: 8.4 Overall (not average): 8.3 Final Rating for One Spot: 8.44 ~ 8.4 (-0.1 for the music bug) = 8.3 Additional Comments: Its a great level to look at and maybe play for fun, but I don’t think I’ll have any serious games in here. The looping bug of the music also gives you a limited time to gaze at the eyecandy and marvel the atmosphere before your ears get blasted by an annoying repeating sound.

Medieval Skyscrapers:
I’ve played this one a lot (even had a clanwar in it). Firstly, I also like the atmosphere in it. The level shows off what the tileset is capable of, and it looks like a fortress. Eyecandy and tileset use is great. The layout of the level is better than in the last. It allows for strategy, and still has originality involved in it (though not as much as in the previous level). I don’t like how it is so easy to hide in this level (by flying towards the top corners, nobody ever goes there) and waste time, but bleh. I found the placement of things to be alright, except the underusage of RF. There were so many situations where RFs could’ve saved the day, but because they were placed in the most unused passages, few players had them (In games with a lot of people, you rarely will have time to get them). The lack of RFs got more annoying because the level was so open which maximized their usage. At least there was a bit of pepper in the way for use.. Still, I like this level. It may have lost my clan an important tournament, but I would still play in it. The music is a nice choice, too.

Rating:
Eyecandy: 8.7
Gameplay/Layout: 8.3
Placement of Stuff: 8
Originality: 8.5
Overall (not an average): 8.5
Final Rating for Medieval Skyscrapers: 8.4 ~ 8.4
Additional Comments: Despite the rather low rating the level recieved, it seems like an interesting level to have games in, although most of them would be 3vs3s or more.

The Melting Point:

Firstly, I like the eyecandy in here. A lot of it inspired Zerox. It has a few tilebugs, but I think most of them are fault of the set and its limits to creativity in certain areas. I like the variety of wall tiles used to prevent repetition. Layout is alright. Its symmetrical to prevent bias. I was never fond of Wind Events in CTF (I don’t like levels such as Superconductor for that reason), but here it is reasonably tolerable. Sometimes its annoying trying to get the carrots though. Also, the small L shaped tubes next to each base that jet you out really fast are a bit useless unless you want an alternative route to go up, since most people would just run for the base instead of the tubes. I guess at certain moments they could provide some form of use. This level is rather original, but a lot of the things in it have been remade (like the backround) and a lot ofthem have been done before (the wind thing). I like the idea of having two +1 carrots and no full energy though, but it would be hard to stay alive with powered up weapons firing at you. Overall, it’s a nice level. I might host it time to time, but I would have few if any important games in here since it doesn’t really feel much of an intense level. Rating: Eyecandy: 8.6 Gameplay/Layout: 8.3 Originality: 8.4 Placement of Stuff: 8.2 Overall (not an average): 8.3 Final Rating: 8.36 ~ 8.4 Additional Comments: A pretty good all around level. Too bad few people play it nowadays, since it could be fun.

Non-Typical Battle:

I like this level. It seems like one of those levels you play for enjoyable games with your friends. It’s rather unique, and has a lot of interesting quirks to it like the jail, the interestingly done shield, and the hidden seeker powerup. Eyecandy is good, but in the other levels it was better. The backround is still cool, though, and the eyecandy is still great. Ammo is placed sparcely but often in large clumps. I’m not too fond of the patterns it is placed in, but it is tolerable. Originality is great. The level has a lot of great quirks in it, like jails, the shield, etc. Unfortunately this makes the level seem like its more intended for open servers with lots of people then intense play. Rating: Eyecandy: 8.3 Layout/Gameplay: 8.2 Originality: 8.8 Placement of Stuff: 7.7 Overall (not an average): 8.3 Final Rating: 8.26 ~ 8.3

Additonal Comments: I would play in this level, but most of the games in it would probably be with friends and on boring evenings or rainy days. I still like this level, though.

Final Comments: The thing I love about this pack is that it shines in originality. Every level has something interesting in it, so even if the levels don’t appeal to you, there would still be something cool in them. I urge everyone to download and play this pack else you will miss out on a lot of great things. All of these levels are good.

Final Rating of pack: 8.4, and definately a download reccomendation.

Great Work!

RecommendedReview by Blackraptor

Posted:
28 May 2005, 17:10
For: Summer Dreams
Level rating: 7.2
Rating
7.2

Okay. This is extremely overrated so I guess I’ll balance out the rating.

Summer Dreams – A level by Odin

The first thing I noticed is that the level is very open in the top, and there’s no layer 5 eyecandy or whatsoever to make it at least a bit interesting. All there is is open space and backround.

I don’t really like the platforms in the level, they look really thin and again have nothing interesting about them, such as having at least some layer 5 cave tiles around them.

The eyecandy, in general, is alright. The bottom areas are ok, but the top is kinda lacking in the area. I also found a slight eyecandy bug at 49, 58, if it matters.

The placement of stuff is kinda weird. And 100 coins is O.o. I wouldn’t think you’d also be using ice ammo to look for secrets in the middle of a game, too, which makes me thing that this level would be used more for random hosting than serious games. Also, the reward for the 100 coins is rather =|. Too many ammo crates in one place will leave a big mess.

The flow of the level has a few bugs. Firstly, the pole sometimes throws me into a wall. A few horizontal springs (namely the one around 182, 45) juts me into a solid tile. 251, 53 also could’ve used a spring because its just an empty corner.

The layout of this level is huge. 256 horizontal wise is O.o. I’m not sure if the layout has much strategy at all, and isn’t just randomly put in to fill up the area. The 100 coin reward also allows for camping (when there’s a full energy and a blaster powerup, who needs to go out and run around?).

Overall, this level isn’t bad, but is far far far from a 9.2. I think I’d give it a 7.2. The music also has a looping problem, btw.

Edit: Fix the next level setting plz.
Edit 2: Defost deleted his review (he rated this a 9.2) so thats what I meant by this being overrated.

RecommendedReview by Blackraptor

Posted:
15 May 2005, 21:08
For: Episode One: The Invasion of Deserto
Level rating: 9.4
Rating
9.2

I might as well review this, since Mike wants more reviews. I’ve been putting this off for a while now (every time I was about to play it, something/someone interrupted me and I ended up doing something else).

Basically, one of the first things that made me like this pack was that it had a storyline. Thankfully, it didnt have to do with Devan or saving Carrotus, and it was written well enough for a jj2 pack.

The levels were all either extremely huge or extremely short. Some were extremely hard to beat, some were relatively easy providing you were a bit careful. Lots of them had some original stuff in them.

The structure of the levels was nice. They weren’t extremely linear, but often times I had no idea what to do in certain parts (like what to bomb with my TNT, in the castle level). The difficulty was kinda insane though. Some things seemed almost unavoidable, and I lost over 15 lives trying to beat this pack.

The eyecandy of the levels ranged from average to beautiful. I loved the eyecandy in the level using Dark Reign, and the level based around a really old part of the temple. The only thing that brought down the rating a bit was the repetetiveness. Because the storyline was based around Deserto, most levels were forced to use the Deserto set, and seeing Deserto almost everywhere kinda got dull. Otherwise, Mike did a great job on eyecandy throughout the pack.

The originality of the pack was one of the things that I found shined to me the most. Where else could you find a level where you had to chase down a Rocket Turtle, or jump through a part that looked like it had no gravity in it (in terms of the secret level)? To sum it up, this is one of the most original packs I’ve seen (Along with Blur’s Unleashed Demo).

The placement of stuff was alright. I didn’t really mind the lack of things like non-purple gems (in fact, I didn’t even notice it really). Carrots were a bit sparce when I played in medium mode, but they were still there when I needed them in areas. I don’t think I’ve ever gotten 20 purple gems in any of the levels yet, but I came pretty close a few times.

To sum up my review, The Invasion of Deserto is a must download pack. It has a lot of great ideas implemented in it, that guaranteed you probably won’t see anywhere else, and it was (at least for me) an enjoyment to play. I’ll give this pack a 9.2, and definately a download reccomendation. Hopefully Mike will release more stuff like this in the future.

RecommendedReview by Blackraptor

Posted:
23 Apr 2005, 23:03
For: What is this?!
Level rating: 8.8
Rating
8.7

Ugh. I had to restart this review 3 times now because of stupid computer self restarts and internet crashes, so I’m rather frustrated right now. Anyways, here goes:

Since this level has only one review (although its a great review) I decided to review it.

Introduction

“What is this?” is a solid, enjoyable level by Newspaz of J2LC. It’s no wonder it made it into the bash, since this level excels in several categories.

Layout/Gameplay
The layout of this level is interesting. In fact, its a mix of several different types of layouts. There is an open, platformy terrain in the top right, narrow corridors in the temple area, and corridors linking to “rooms” (open areas) in the cavern area. Yes, this level even has a dead end with a carrot in it. This bizarre mix of ideas can only add to the creativity of the level, and through my experience with this level, works alright (although people tend to stick to one area frequently). The gameplay of this level is also nice. There are even springs on the sides of masked objects to bounce you around, which could become very chaotic with several people playing. Although the gameplay is generally good, there are a few
annoyances that could be improved in it. Some springs are rather unneeded (like the one in the very topmost platform on the top right; what is it doing there?) and some could be of a different type of spring (the two red springs in the bottom right room, a blue spring there would suffice). 6, 22 – the area there should be revised. The floatup is too noticable and annoying – it causes a noticable delay before you hit the red spring. The slope should be smoothed out so the floatup wouldn’t be needed and there would be no delay. 57, 30 – Spaz can run and double jump up to the blue springs, while jazz has to go underneath the one ways to get up there. Otherwise, I rarely found myself bumping into stuff or getting stuck, although I think the room in the bottom right could use another exit since its a big dead end (at least have the sucker be lower so you wouldn’t have to climb up to get out.)
Rating: 8.5 (Generally good, and an interesting combination of different things, but it does not come without small bugs/annoyances which horde up together).

Eyecandy
Probably the section this level excels at the most, the eyecandy is probably even more bizarre than the layout, and probably gives the level its name, “What is this?”. Although strange, it’s creative and adds to the already-strange mood of the level.
There is a good amount of eyecandy in the level, and thankfully none of it really gets in the way or blocks view. The eyecandy could be confusing at first, but personally I got used to it quickly. The trees in the backround layer could be moved up more though, since they are barely noticable and the top right of the level is more empty than the rest. There’s not much to point out about eyecandy, though some of it looks particularly random (ferns growing out of the center of stone boulders and rocks growing on tree branches?). To sum it up, the eyecandy has a lot of creativity in it, and is pulled off nicely. The level doesn’t really have much of an atmosphere (except some screwed up jungle perhaps?) but it still looks good.
Rating: 9

Placement of Stuff
Let’s start out with the ammo, since it is battle. Personally, I didn’t find the ammo as creative as the previous two categories. Most of it is seemed to be placed in bunches, forming random shapes, usually rectangles, lines, or stairway like things. The majority of the +3 ammo is in the top section of the level; underneath in the caverns you’d find more powerups and +15 crates (while on the topic, I don’t think having two +15 crates of seeker ammo next to each other is a good idea). I think the top right could’ve used more ammo, since it’s quite empty in terms of events. Powerups (3 of them) were placed alright, I didn’t have any problems with them. Maybe the seeker was a bit easier to get than the rest, and more of a target since it even has a carrot next to it, and a Toaster powerup might’ve been good here (replace the RF with the toaster, perhaps?). Otherwise, nothing noteworthy. With the carrots, I think the one in the top could’ve been further away from the seeker. With the one in the bottom, I found that either it was ignored for most the game because of the inconvenient area it was in, or many people camped at it because it was a good place to regain health in without being noticed. Strategy wise, that could be a positive or a negative thing. Suckertubes were well placed. There also appears to only be 1 start pos, which could explain why people pile up in one area.
Rating: 8.3 (not as creative as the previous categories, and there is room for improvement)

Originality/Fun Factor:
The area where this level excels at the most. One of the most bizarre quality levels I’ve played (even the name indicates it’s strangeness), this level has seemingly random, but yet nicely pulled off eyecandy, and a combination of different layout types. The music choice is even original (although really weird..). As for Fun Factor, this level was fun enough to play in, although after the random level selection in the anniversarry bash forced people to play this level dozens of times it started to get boring.
Rating: 9.2

Overall (not an average):
I like this level, and so do many other people (its average is 8.8 and it made it into the bash). There is a lot of things in this level that make it stand out from other levels of the same set, and there is a lot of things in this level that make it enjoyable. (While I was typing this my computer crashed a 3rd time (4th if you count the internet crash), good thing I was typing this in notepad this time ;D). You should definately download and play this level if you haven’t had a chance to through the numerous times it was hosted. Among all the positive things in this paragraph about the level, there is still always room for improvement.
Rating: 8.5

Final Rating: 8.7 on the dot. This is a great piece of work that definately earns the rating and the download reccomendation I’m giving it, and I hope I will have a chance to review & play more of Newspaz’s works in the future

~Blackraptor.

Edit: wow. It took me an hour and 7 minutes to complete this review. Darn computer crashes..

RecommendedReview by Blackraptor

Posted:
23 Apr 2005, 21:45
For: The Godaiku Pack
Level rating: 9.0
Rating
7.5

Yay, the full thing is out. I didn’t notice really any significant change in the first 5 or so levels that were in Part I, although over time standards change and imo the rating of a few of the levels dropped a bit. I’m not going to review the first 5 (and maybe Tropicana Bay, depending if I notice any difference in it) since I already did previously, although the ratings would be mentioned here because they are needed in the overall rating calculation.

Save the Sheep 7.2
Santa’s Stolen Hats 7.7
Head Hunter 8.3
Snowdust: Reloaded 7.5 (the poem for the F-dimension dissapearing too fast wasnt even fixed)
Grand Casino 7

Jungle of Mabaroshi
Wow. There are actually enemies in here =P. Don’t think they’ll appear online though. I didn’t particularly enjoy their placement much either, since a lot of them were either sparcely placed ,or in the case of the insects, attacked you in huge swarms.
The eyecandy here was better than in the previous levels, though.
Rating: 7.7

Tropicana Bay
Already reviewed this.
Rating: 7

The Tale of Moo: An Epic Story

Lots of text signs are too close to each other. Lots of narrow mazes with 0 lighting which I bet most people playing online would just turn off ambient lighting in..Eyecandy needs improvement again.
Rating: 6.5

Alberto’s Chili Peppers
The 5 things you need to get (chili peppers) were hidden more evily this time (i.e instead of being out in the open or needing to beat some puzzle/maze to get to, they were hidden behind layer 3/5 passages or in warps placed in barely landmarked places). I even had to look in JCS to find two of the peppers because the passage was that much hidden. I think this level would be extremely difficult to finish in multiplayer unless you already know where everything is. Also, the text behind one of the signs doesnt appear \o/. Overall, I like this level, but it’s just too hard to complete unless you know where everything is (via JCS) or are just really lucky.
Rating: 7

Mechanics and Astronauts

This level was rather easy to find all the things in. Nothing really unique and special about it; the levels are getting rather repetetive. Eyecandy was tolerable in some places, but needed a lot of improvement in others.
Rating: 6.7

Route 77
I liked this level, dunno why. The cars were moderately easy to find and the music was fun. Eyecandy was alright.
Rating: 7.7

Camping is for Noobs
The last level. I didn’t like the set too much, and I got most the items before I found out what I had to get them for. A rather simple level.
Rating: 7.

Overall: It’s an alright pack I guess. I would’ve given it higher if the concept of it was new to me (rather, if part 1 wasn’t released as a spoiler to the concept). I would have probably had more fun playing these online with more people so there would be competetiveness. It would’ve added greately to the rating if the author of the levels focused more on having them look less empty in several places.

Final Rating: 7.275 ~ 7.3. Bumped up to a 7.5 because these would be funner online. It’s a nice pack with a lot of levels, but some levels need to be fixed up a bit and stuff. Otherwise, download reccomendation.

RecommendedReview by Blackraptor

Posted:
23 Apr 2005, 18:49
For: Chateau
Level rating: 8.3
Rating
8.0

Chateau – Toxic Bunny

Firstly, looking in JCS, this tileset looks really un-userfriendly. I see random tiles placed in garbled piles and can’t tell what is what. Otherwise, there is a large tile variety, and the textures are great. The theme is semi-original (the way it is pulled off was more original then the actual theme, rather). Masking is alright, although I don’t think the trees should’ve been fully masked (maybe only the tips?). Unfortunately, there is no warpable backround (just a single light blue tile) and not much you can do with the set if you want part of your level using it to be outdoors. There is some nice chandeliers and barrels/bottles, but otherwise not a huge amount of layer 5 placeable things (knights in armor, desks with papers under candlelight could’ve been included or something along those lines). Thus, this set excels in some areas, but (even greately?) lacks in others.

I think I would give this set an 8. It’s still a good set and people should definately download it and give it a try.

RecommendedReview by Blackraptor

Posted:
23 Apr 2005, 18:39
For: TDI2
Level rating: 8.7
Rating
8.2

For lack of better things to do, I’m going to review this.

Boring Surprise:
The main thing I liked about this level was how the robot boss battle was made harder. I couldn’t actually just keep stomping the robot without getting harmed like in most battles with it because of the schwarzenguard, so that’s definately a plus. Otherwise, it is a rather boring surprise ;d.

Puzzled Breakfast:
I like this level. Most of the challenges come from relatively easy but still fun puzzles and platform/vine hopping over hurt events. The music gave this level a good atmosphere imho. I hope you fixed the bug with the triggers and the save point in this level (I didn’t test if you did) because that could’ve screwed up the level if it was still there. Otherwise, the placement of stuff was good and the puzzles were fun (the “Good Job” or “Excellent Work” text after you complete a puzzle is also good since it congratulates the person and makes them want to keep playing). The level wasn’t too long, but was still fun.

Forbidden Move
The water rising part in the very beginning of the level is cool. The eyecandy in this level was pretty similar to the last level’s except this just uses the night version of carrotus. A lot of the enemies were placed in difficult areas where you usually get hurt, so the level was more difficult and a bit more annoying then last level. 122,25 in jj2 – spaz can just double jump onto the cliff while jazz cant reach it with his uppercut. Otherwise, this was just a normal level.

Trouble Underneath
Aahh carrotus AGAIN. Thankfully, this is only a boss level, and the arena for the boss is creatively made. So yay.

TDI2_04 or something crashes me because I dont have it, probably because moonblaze didnt make it and this is only a demo.

Ratings: (Only doing it for the two non-boss levels)
Puzzled Breakfast:
Layout/Gameplay: 8.7 (fun puzzles)
Eyecandy: 8 (just basic eyecandy)
Placement of Stuff: 8.2
Originality/Fun Factor: 8.7
Overall (not average): 8.5
Rating: 8.42 ~ 8.4

Forbidden Move:
Layout/Gameplay: 7.7
Eyecandy: 7.5
Placement of Stuff: 7.3
Originality/Fun Factor: 7.9
Overall (not an average): 7.7
Final Rating: 7.62 ~ 7.6

+0.2 for the boss levels, which makes the rating (7.6 + 8.4 /2) 8 + 0.2 = 8.2. Too bad the pack is unfinished.

Not recommendedReview by Blackraptor

Posted:
10 Apr 2005, 07:51
For: Koth of the Hill v2
Level rating: 6.1
Rating
5.5

Ok, basically you have to stay up on the hill and collect 100 coins so you could warp and get all the gems and win. The arena is very small, but not really threatening at all. I would be more worried about people taking my coins and having to wait longer than falling off. The eyecandy is also very boring and has some minor tilebugs. The second version of this has springs in the side pits instead of stuff that makes you lose all your coins. I’d find this version less challenging, but probably better since I would find getting 100 coins to take a long while if you have 7+ people. Thankfully the coins spawn every 2 seconds so that wont take long at all with only a few people. The ammo here is really sparce though, and in the version with the springs, kinda useless. The concept isn’t really anything too special either, but at least it works.
Layout/Gameplay/Concept: 6 (the concept brings it up quite a bit here)
Eyecandy: 5
Placement of Stuff: 5.2
Overall (not an average): 5.7
Final Rating: 5.475, boosted up to a 5.5. The idea has a bit of potential (its not anything new but its still the first time I think someone tried something like this) but the levels are just really small and bland. No download reccomendation for this one (although comes kinda close to one, mainly for the idea).

  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. 3
  4. 4
  5. 5
  6. 6
  7. 7
  8. 8
  9. 9