The last level doesn’t loop. Just wanted to let you know.
Difficult to use, but can make really funky levels when done properly. Only for advances JCS’ers.
It’s been a while since I’ve reviewed a tileset, but with the new LMAT out, I can’t resist. Here it goes, the third installment of LMAT in.. like forever.
The overall theme that this tileset achieves is a combination of a post-apocalyptic world and a trashed office space. There’s a lot to work with in this tileset, ranging from rocky mountainside trails to indoor chaos. There are plenty of transition tiles to do both in the same level, so no worries there. The three different palettes (Snow, Lava, Poison/Acid) all have their uses when it comes to making a single player pack, or a variety of multiplayer levels. If you’re really good, this theme and tileset can be used over and over with no levels looking the same.
As I said, there’s plenty of transition tiles between the two main floor stuctures. There is a lot (and I mean a lot) of eyecandy to work with, ranging from lockers to vending machines (which coincidentally have my name on it…) and from destructable alarm bells to light beams. The set also offers a lot of variety when it comes to “layer-5 caves”. You can go with a natural, rocky background, or a pitch-black hole in the building, or computers and fencing. You name it, this set has got it! Well… not litterally, but you get the idea.
For all your singleplayer needs, there’s also a wide variety of desctructo blocks, lasers than can open and close (or blink, if you make an animation), and a nifty elevator animation (with which, I believe, this entire tileset started).
The eyecandy that you can make with this tileset knows little boundaries. As long as you’re a creative person, this tileset can make all your levels look different with the same tileset. You can go for space levels, post-nuclear battlefields, a computer graveyard, you name it. This tileset is very good for making SP levels, as you can easily adapt the tiles to fit your story and theme.
Overall: Plain to see awesome
This tileset has it. Like pretty much all other LMAT’s, this tileset is made BY the people, FOR the people. It has stuff we need to make levels. Too bad I wasn’t actively involved in this one (unlike the other two). Either way, this tileset is THA BOMB.
I wanted to do a really big review, but I can’t find the time. It’s an average map, not too original, though the tileset (as used before, also by Zeal) is really good and obviously gives Dan all the eyecandy he’d need. Well executed in the looks department, a little lacking in the gameplay department.
I really love the looks of this tileset, but you really should make it 1.23. Perhaps cut out some NPC tiles or anything you consider to be double. I would definitely use this. I love the cartoony look and the quality of the art.
Also, looking at the huge variety in coloured liquid puddles… maybe you can make multiple versions, each using another colour liquid and/or colour setting. Just an idea.
this is very scary how make you it??
this is GREAT I give it an 1.0 !!
An okay battle level, a bit too holed for my taste. Eyecandy is fine. Could be bigger.
Whadda we have here? A new Domination level? Sounds good, let’s download this.
Gameplay: Very original
I can’t figure out where to start explaining. The concept… wow, it’s just a really good concept! There are six different areas that you can go to, and in every are there’s a control point and a distinctive ammo type. Kind of like a ‘native fruit’ to the area. (Does that mean trading these ammo with other areas will make you money?… never mind…) The six areas are connected by big, red warp zones, which will confuse you a LOT at first. It’s really hard to learn a clear route, which will make a lot of games in this map frustrating, confusing and chaotic. Maybe you should draw a map… Yeah, just a simple Paint or Photoshop job would do the trick, I guess.
The individual areas all seem like a part of a single player campaign. The areas are rugged, not smooth like multiplayer maps. This can lead to getting distracted and losing your run speed in block-y obstacles, straight end walls and warp zones. Especially the Moon zone, where everything is made of brick and slopes are Only used on the upper level of the cave. Holding the jump button will get you across slopes, but it will still be sloppy and when you don’t start at the bottom, players will find themselves climbing brick after brick after brick.
Ammo is dispersed in distinct areas (for example, for RF ammo you should go to the Starshine Valley). This is fun, since you will be able to tell where someone has been, and… yeah you go for the control points anyway… Sorry, my bad.
An odd thing I found about the ammo placement is a little… well, I think ‘secret’ by the designer, plunK. There’s a certain place where the heroes of RF-climbing gather and steal all power-ups… Muhahaha… Luckily, none of them have any regenerators on them, so it’s a one-time job. May the fastest RF-climber take thy price.
Another odd thing is that plunK actually put a shield in this level. I mean, come on, this isn’t 1998. Shields are considered overpowered, and this one is available with the Electro Blaster and with TNT. The delay is even set to 31, which is, in my opinion, way too little concerning the latest JJ2+ update, if you even ponder to use a shield at all. In my opinion, it should be removed, but hey, who am I?
That sums up the gameplay, I guess. It could use a few flow-upgrades and stuff, but otherwise, pretty massive concept. Chapeau!
Atmosphere: insert some joyful statement here
Okay, let me state this really simple. plunK took one tileset, made six different areas and put them all in one level. All of the areas look good, some look amazing, but most of them just look damn fine.
The way he linked all the worlds without a main hub was really good. It felt as if I was traversing enormous lengths of space, since the environment changes drastically every time you warp. Take, for instance, the ‘Random Pipery’ area. This looks like a part from a submarine (or a Dubbed Marine…? Okay never mind) that has been left on the ocean floor to decay with the flow of time. Entering a warp, only a second later you find yourself in a grassy patch with a beautiful skyline, only to see, seconds later, a bridge swinging over a high-tech city in the background. The feel for each area is distinct, clean and well considered. Chocs to you!
The music fits.
Yeah, the music isn’t really anything special, because it’s hard finding music to fit 6 different areas. plunK went for the ambient approach, which I often use myself too. Nice song, goes with the theme a bit (if not exactly) and does the job.
An overall good level with a high confusion factor, which can be helped by making a map. The DOM points are well distributed over the level, each having advantages, whether it be easy to take or easy to defend. A few flow issues and a shield to spice things up a bit, if not to an unfair level.
Download Recommendation: Yes
Even if you don’t like DOM levels (or just don’t like this level), it’s worth taking a look at. It’s interesting how everything in this level fits.
A really well laid out level with a really well concept. This is just fun to play. Chapeau.
SJ said it all. This set is really versatile and good looking.
Ah, this was to be expected. A DOM level made into a CTF level. Also using Damn+, with again a creative theme (not praising Lost Onyx or something nudge nudge) Let’s “find it out”!
For the sake of it, I will review both levels (mostly in terms of gameplay, of course, since the eyecandy and lay out is the same on both(I think))
In terms of gameplay, CTF out-rules the DOM version. Ironically, since the level was meant as a DOM in the first place.
The level plays very horizontal, though there is a big height difference between the three ‘floors’. This is because of the easy manoeuvring from left to right and back, and because it’s easy to get down (with the risk of getting roasted in a volcano), it’s just as easy to go back up as well, due to well-placed springs and sucker tubes.
As I said, the level is divided in floors. There is the bottom floor, which is dangerously close to the lava, there are a few middle router and there’s the ceiling. Each of these floors has useful items so there’s plenty of reason to traverse every floor.
In CTF, the bases are located at the middle right and the top left of the level. In my opinion, this works really well. The level is non-symmetrical, meaning both sides and bases look very different. Blue will have the advantage of a quick drop to the lower levels and quick access to the RF PU, while Red has quick access to the top and the Bouncer PU. Both sides have their advantages, but they are not the same. The RF will work much better in the lower level (where Blue often will be heading) because it is very open, and near pits. Red will have access to Bouncers, with which he can shoot to Blue enemies, located on the (DUN DUN DUUUUN) lower levels. Great development of strategic level building here. Blue will, however, have a quick access to a (hidden) Toaster PU, opposed to Red, who needs more time to get there.
The Seeker PU is a whole different story. It’s located right above Blue Base, but it has to be grabbed with Gun9 (or a really REALLY well times Bouncer). This brings in the bias in character. Jazz has a sublime advantage in getting the Seeker PU, and in the level in general.
Because of a feature in JJ2 we call ‘copter ears’, Jazz can hover, effectively lowering gravity’s effect on him. There are also copters, which (fortunately) help non-flying characters like Spaz get up as well. However, because of how gravity is calculated in JJ2, Jazz could grab the copter with an uppercut from the base area. This will lower gravity’s effect on him and could even make him fly. However, if you grab a copter WHILE USING COPTER EARS, the effects will stack, making Jazz hover in place, mid-air (going up slowly, even). This is a huge advantage for two things. One is being able to get to the Seeker faster than Spaz (going up = negative gravity = still stacks with copter ear speed) and being able to form effective barricades by spamming Bouncers or RF’s from midair.
Of course, this is all based on a copter flight of maybe 5 seconds, tops, but still, to me it felt like something I could tell about. It’s a good strategy, that’s for sure. So come on, Jazz players, use that copter.
Oh yeah, Jazz in general. The level is really open and there is plenty of room for flight. Especially in the lower area, where a Jazz with Bouncers can be a deadly pit-trapping-machine.
Regarding the DOM level:
The DOM points are located in the same way as the CTF bases, plus two more. The locations aren’t bad, it’s just that the steam events can be annoying to some extent… It may be just me, but I’d rather play this as a CTF. Still, same things apply for the DOM level as well, all that is said above, there is a wide variety of strategy that can be used in this level.
Yes, I found it basic. And it is, really. Of course the old Dam Nation set didn’t have much to offer, but PJ’s palettes and extra tiles helped a lot. The addition of caves is good and helps to recognise some areas, even. The theme is well executed, mostly because of the ‘heat’ rising up in the back. It really adds flavour.
There is not much to say about the eyecandy… lots of rocky outcrops, stalagmites and tites, it’s all there. Done before, of course, since this set doesn’t have much to offer. Nothing new, but does the trick.
Both the CTF and the DOM version are great, and should definitely be played in huge party-sized servers.
Download Recommendation: Yes
‘nuff said, read the review.
A good level in terms of gameplay, which is the heaviest factor in my scoring. The eyecandy apartment could use a lick of paint, but the lack of set tiles that fit with the theme didn’t give you much of a choice. Still, a score to be proud of. Chapeau.
White Penguin… sound familiar… it rings a distant bell… Anyway, WP has given us a tileset. At first glance, I really like it. Let’s see how this does after some testing.
Tiles and Theme Great
The first thing any tileset maker should have is a solid theme to work with. WP has chosen for the natural, organic theme. However, included in the tileset are more tiles than just nature, more on that later.
The nature theme is certainly not unheard of. In fact, a decent amount of tilesets use this theme. However, I rarely see a nature set that presents itself as dark (or as a planet, for that matter). This tileset has a lot of good themeing tiles, ranging from plains to caves and forests to sewers.
Moving on, let’s take a look at the tiles and the masking. Starting at the top, one thing is certain: The tileset maker chose for a practical approach. On the top of the tileset are all basic tiles. Platforming, slopes, edges, corners, all that is needed to make a solid layout. Next to that are the practical event tiles; vines, hurts, hooks, poles, signs, destruction-blocks and trigger-switches. Every one of these outside tiles has their cave-counterpart, with nice edges and good tiling. The cave-tiles itself are located underneath the basic tiles, for easy access.
Scrolling down further will present the sewer/industrial tiles. They look worn down, as if the facility has been shut down for years now and the moss and vines are growing everywhere. I love it. Again, all sorts of tiles are included. Belts (from Labrat?), Matrix-esque wall tiles, pipe fences, animated hatches and even teleporter warps. Before its breakdown, this facility was quite something. :)
Then, at the bottom, are the more optional tiles. backgrounds, layer 7 and 6 mountains and different colours that can be used to redo something else, using JCS’s translucency options. A chaotic-looking texture is provided as well, if you’re not creative enough to make a cool background, since this set gives you all the tools needed.
Looking at the masking, everything looks fine except for one thing that bugs me. On the top of the tileset is a tree, on the left side. The base of this tree has the same type of masking as the hook next to it. This is probably unintended and a small fix should do the trick.
On to the next category.
Art and Atmosphere: Great
The tileset shows a real artist’s work. While the set is pretty pixel-ish, it does the trick of looking really nice, especially in JJ2’s 640×480 environment.
There is lots of eyecandy, of which most things are already named. Caves, trees, vines and decayed tiles, cool backgrounds, animated torches and even a little something peeking up from a hole.
This tileset can give any (dark) level idea you might have a spin. You can make the tiles into a sewer, filled with green sludge. You can use it to make a worn down computer lab. You can even turn it into a dark forest (with a little creativity… this tileset needs a variation on trees and shrubs, I’d say).
This is definitely well executed. Props to you.
Room for improvement: Not much
As I said, maybe a little expansion on the vegetation. Also, the maskbug I mentioned could be easily fixed. The outside signs also seem to miss an up and down arrow, maybe you can add those as well, if you decide to fix it.
Edit: Also, I would like to see this multi-palette. A dark-red or dark-yellow/orange version would make this tileset worth more, I bet.
With a tileset, it’s important to work away little flaws and re-releasing it to the public, so everyone gets the correct version. I will, of course, also edit my review then and probably even up the rating.
Overall: Very good
This tileset is awesome. Period.
Download Recommendation: Yes
Even without the slight flaws I mentioned, this tileset is pretty awesome and worth using.
This is one of the bests and easy-to-use tilesets I’ve seen in a while. Props to you, and keep building and improving.
Edit on March 24 2009:
Two of the things mentioned in ‘Room for improvement’ have been helped. The extra signs are added (vital for singleplayer) and the maskbug has been fixed. The score has been enhanced slightly to compensate. Good show.
Olsen… Olsen… Rings a bell. It’s been a while, I remember you from back in the day… BrainFart and such. Good times. Well, I’ve seen the level, time to hand down my verdict.
Cloud Connected, a CTF level that takes place in the higher planes. The level is fairly small (101×64) and nearly symmetrical. It is nearly symmetrical since a route opens depending on which team you are. More on that later.
This level consists of a few platforms and a bottom. The bottom is very simple and simply leads back up through the use of a sucker tube. The platforms are nicely divided, though the flow in some places could be a lot better. For example, when arriving from any side at (51,38), you don’t wanna hold the arrow keys, ‘cause that’ll result in your undeniable downfall. I think it’d be better if you put some one-way floors in that ceiling you’ll bump into.
The bases are something else. First of all, the bases are on a little plateau, so when you just run into the base, you’ll find yourself missing the flag. Instead, a small well-timed jump should get you your precious flag. Then, on the way back, you’ll notice one thing. On your side of the level, there’s a gate that is closed on the other side. This is decided by triggers, depending your team choice. Behind this door, at the top of the level and not far from the flag, is a +1 carrot and a Bouncer PU. The carrot can be shot down if you, for whatever reason, want to make it accessible to the enemy. If the door is closed, The Bouncer Pu can also be acquired by using the Electro Blaster… or just going to your own side of the level.
Next to the carrots, there’s also a full NRG in one of the tubes in the middle of the level. There is one downside to this, since all tubes have a common exit. Therefore, it’s easy to predict where the enemy will end up. Thankfully, you can also (partially) heal at the private base, so that clears this problem quite well.
The level features two Bouncer PU’s (one for each base) and a Seeker PU with plenty of ammo to make sure you’ll keep on blasting. With this amount of carrots, that’s a good thing.
The level uses the Dreamland tileset, which isn’t very rich in original tiles. In fact, it lacks quite a lot of tiles that should be included with such a ‘curvy’ tileset.
For example, Olsen makes use of some of the ‘cave’ tiles. These tiles are nice on their own, but they do not connect to any of the cloud tiles, which is the main ground for the level. This is a tileset design flaw, but it could have been helped by using layer 5. Unfortunately, Olsen has decided to use layer 5 for another batch of background clouds. Luckily, this looks very nice and hopefully distract you from the many tilebugs that are made using this ‘cave’ tile.
Olsen creatively uses translucency and brick tiles to add eyecandy to the walls, which are otherwise very bland. Using translucency to make the bricks pink is a really nice addition.
This level has a few minor design flaws concerning flow and predictability, but it’s very fun to play in nonetheless. If you can’t be bothered by a few little tilebugs, this level should be in your folder as of today.
Download Recommendation: Yes
The level is certainly fun and quite ideal for duels or 2vs2s. Try it.
It’s hard to judge a level like this, since it’s both fun and has those few minor flaws… Though, if you play this a few times, you’ll be sure to see that this level is actually quite fun to play in.
Frost a.k.a. CrimiClown
Little to none creative gameplay. This shouldn’t be uploaded, yet hosted on occasion.
ShockSheep… I don’t have any witty comment to put here at the moment.
The level has a platformed lay-out, which means the level consists of mostly platform that connect through the use of vines, springs and solid bridges. ShockSheep is an average sized level, with a lot of space being covered (though the down right corner is basicly just ‘earth filling’).
As it is a battle level, it is good that there is a lot of space to jump in. Few low ceilings and large walkways make the ideal settings for a battle level this size.
The level has some ‘gimmicky’ power-ups. With that, I mean that you’ll automaticly grab them via a spring on the ceiling, if you take the correct route and speed. The PU’s in question are the Toaster, Bouncer and RF Missiles. Furthermore, Seeker ammo can be found as well, but the Powerup is either well hidden or missing. That’s a good thing. The level also counts three +1 carrots (if I didn’t miss any), which is good in a level of this size.
ShockSheep also has a very fun gimmick, namely a working ‘turret’. When you enter the turret, you get instructions on how to operate it. Using Wind events, you’ll be able to run inside the turret and not move. In effect, everything you shoot will be thrown away for tiles than you can imagine. When inside, be sure to have the Toaster PU. Normally, the only thing that this weapon lacks is speed. Inside the turret, however, speed isn’t an option. The awesome spread of fire with the Toaster will cover a huge area, which is basicly inaccessible after you start shooting. Take that with the fact that the Toaster doesn’t run out of ammo fast, and you’ve got a killing machine. However, the skilled player will be able to ‘knock the turreteer out’ with one well-placed seeker.
The tileset used is one of NOKA’s remakes of the JJ1 set Letni. Out of the pallettes available, Arti (or Camou) went for a darker setting. NOKA – JJ1 Letni 4 is the purple version of the tileset, and most definitely the darkest one.
While this isn’t such a big deal for people who can adjust their monitor brightness, the overuse of eye-candy kind of kills it. Don’t get me wrong, though, the level looks really sweet, but it can be confusing in times. For instance, sometimes solid tiles are used as layer 3 and 5 eye-candy. Normally you’d stop at these tiles (or bump into them), but it took me a while to realise that in this level, you have to walk through those. Same goes with the background tiles (the nearly black plates) used in layer 3… Those have knocked me off quite a few times.
Sometimes, layer 3 also features the ‘tubelectric’ wood tiles, which looks surprisingly good. Then again, sometimes I find that more annoying than pretty, for example in the left-bottom corner spring.
Now of course this review isn’t going to end up with just negative aspects. The background looks peculiarly awesome. Looking in JCS, it’s really simple, but it looks pretty nice, also because of the addition of the black plating in layer 6.
The sprite layer eyecandy is something else as well. Nice platforms with good eyecandy in the walls and edges make for a winner. Too bad it is sometimes blocked with too much layer 3.
Overall: Not bad
If you get to learn this level, it isn’t half as bad as I make it sound here. Though the eyecandy can be confusing at first, look past that (or use Low Detail you pussies) and you’ll have quite an enjoyable level.
Download Recommendation: “On the edge” yes
The lay-out can be quite hard to learn at first… and not everyone feels like learning levels. I personally would like to recommend this, though, as it can be quite fun to play in once you know how the level works.
ShockSheep is an entertaining level with fun gimmicks and can be used for an unsettled score with an arch enemy. The level is also really fun for larger games, because of the turret. That could result in a ‘Tower of Power’ kind of gameplay.
City of the Snooze… I’ve seen this a few times. Now, also on behalf of the Review Exchange, I’ll review it.
City of the Sn00zE is the kind of level that you could see in all kinds of places; JDC, tournaments, etc. I can see how lots of people could like this level.
The level is non-symmetrical. In some cases, this could disrupt the balance of the teams. For example, the shortest route from blue to red base could take you a little more than four seconds and requires you to jump once (from base, jump up, run into the warp and land on the base). The Red Base has a warp closeby the base as well, but it’s right below it. Blue only has to hold right and celebrate (sounds like a Sonic game), while right has to make a timed, perfect drop into the warp if they don’t wanna lose speed on the way to base. The Full NRG carrot is also more accessible when you approach from the left, rather than the right (you can jump into it without losing speed from the left, but right-siders will have to slow down).
The carrots in this level are all accessible with ease. The two +1 Carrots in the level, near the bases, are behind a barrel, but when coming from above, they’re hard to miss. The Full NRG carrot can be found in the middle of the level. As said before, it’s kind of under a ledge, so coming from the right, it’s easy to miss. Then again, if you know that it is there, a simple press on the down button can get you +2HP. ;)
The level is divided in two “routes”. One of those is the Underground. Down here, there are warps up and the famed Seeker PU. Also, running down here could give you an advantage, as it is not littered with obstacles. The upper route (or actually just everything except the underground) consists of roof-platforms and little tunnels, routes and balconies, all waiting to be walked. For a non-symmetrical level, the platforms are divided in a really nice way and there are only few points that disrupt the flow (i.e. by bumping into the edge of a platform, forcing you to a sudden halt).
The level is cramped with ammunition for all kinds of guns. Separate from the Bouncer PU above each base, the upper floors also provide a Toaster PU and the Seeker PU, as mentioned before, rests in the underground. The ammo is divided nicely, and there is not too much either.
This level would be perfect for a 3vs3 or more. Maybe a 2vs2 would work, but the amount of ammo and carrots make for a larger, team based game.
very scary how make you it Very nice
City of the Sn00zE uses the infamous “Colonius” tileset. The set itself has a few tiles missing and a lot of masking errors. Luckily for us (and PJ), Paul fixed those errors and created an improved version of Colon2.
Given the fact that this set is a pain to work with, we can safely assume that PJ is an experienced level builder. I could not find any tile bugs at all. Not only that, but PJ manages to use almost every tile of the tileset in order to create some very creative eyecandy. For example, the tileset contains an ‘arc’ at the top of it. Most people just use that because it looks nice, but City of the Sn00zE shows us that those can be used more creatively that one could imagine.
The eyecandy in general is nice. There are VERY few ‘bland’ areas, most of the level is carefully looked after.
The music is all right. It’s a bit too spacey for this level, if you ask me, but then again, it IS kind of serene and does fit an alley-ish setting. Combined with the yellow-into-purple fade on the background, this actually gives a calming feel in the end.
As PJ stated himself, this is probably his best work as of yet. There is no reason why this level shouldn’t be in your folder.
Download Recommendation: Yes
Yes. Simply yes.
This level is worth an above average score. Treat her with respect.
Another Snooze level… where does he find the time to make these?
Gameplay: Well constructed
Destroyed Cassis Factory, a name of which I have a hunch where it came from… The level plays in a somewhat tube-based area. It is completely symmetrical (from what I can tell) and plays smooth and collected.
DCF has one Full NRG carrot and two normal carrots, making it too easy for duels to take place here. The ideal setting for this level would be 3vs3, at the very least.
The bottom part of the level contains all the power-ups. RF missiles, Toaster PU and Bouncer PU (accompanied by the less popular Pepperspray PU). The level also contains ammo for the Electro Gun, which is needed to get the RF and Bouncer PU (unless you already have bouncers and you know how to shoot through walls =P ).
The bases are quite far apart, but good use of the sucker tubes can help you on your way. Various sucker tubes fill the route, mostly leading you to a level above you. This comes in handy when looking for the Full NRG, but because of the ‘hotness’ of that area, it is advised to take the two smaller carrots on your route to the other base.
Overall the level plays really smoothly, with a few spots where you will run into a wall unintended. This is mostly on the ceiling, where there are blockades hanging down to ensure you don’t copter or double jump all the way to the other side, which would have been too easy.
DCF uses the infamous 7th Lava Fall tileset. My first idea behind the tileset choice was the reddish tubes that come with the set (for transporting cassis, of course). Snooze utilises the tileset really well, using the rusty and broken tiles to emphasise the ‘destroyed’ part. The background shows us the broken frame of the rest of the factory, along with a city in the background.
The use of this tileset is very common, though, as it is most likely one of the first tilesets to pop up when you open a new file in JCS. After all, numbers come before the A in the tileset list. Therefore, this tileset is (sadly) overused, and usually with all the bad effects that come with it. Snooze, however, manages to make this level look spooky, abandoned, yet fresh, in attempt of creating the ‘destroyed factory’ feeling. An attempt which, beyond a shadow of a doubt, worked out really well.
Destroyed Cassis Factory is a nice level that, when it comes to it, should serve well in your list of 3vs3 or 4vs4 CTF levels.
Download Recommendation: Yes
This level is definitely worth having. Get it before it’s deleted!
Destroyed Cassis Factory has a well worked out theme, as well as a clean feeling gameplay. This should belong in your list as well as in everyone else’s.
Clever, original and helpful for those learning how to play guitar. I am note sure whether or not to rate this and how to, so I’ll leave it a blank. nice job, though. I didn’t play them from tabs yet (mostly since I always have trouble keeping up with them), but by the looks of it, they’re pretty accurate as well. I can’t give a full check, though, since I can’t read a single note and play everything by ear.
Anyways, props to you, Lark.
Edit to add: I’d like to see the intro riff for Jazz Be Damned added. It’s hard to get it on paper, but it’d be quite helpful.
Aah, another Christmas-y level. While this is not the first Christmas level this year, let’s hope it’s certainly not the last either.
This battle level has a typical DS-layout. Not too complex, yet it does the trick of looking very carefully built. Icy Environment carries an action-packed feeling, created by the large amount of useful ammo. Three different power-ups (no seeker) add to the tactical use of weapons.
The level is basicly divided into two areas. The lower level and the rest. The lower level isn’t much interesting, since all of the PU’s and carrots are above it, but it does have various ‘shortcuts’ to the above level, including the outer edges both leading to two of the three carrots present. The third and last carrot sits safely on his platform high in the level.
On the lower section are two crossing tubes, one propelling you upward and the other propelling you to the other side. Both are handy to escape a rabbit on your tail, since they can give you quite a head start if you keep on running afterwards.
There are three PUs to be found. Bouncers come in handy for shooting the people on the platforms below. RF missiles can easily haunt a player down walking either in the top or bottom paths, since they’re long and straight. The Toaster PU comes in a little less handy, but can still be used in a way only the Toaster can be used; just block the path of narrow corridors with tons of flames. A player is almost bound to run into those soon enough.
Overall, nice gameplay and use of ammo dispersion.
Atmosphere: Even nicer
This level has a typical DS-atmosphere (where have I heard that before?). The tileset is used to the extreme, providing us with lots of goodness for the eye. The platforms can easily be made out for solid walls and it’s quite obvious what is supposed to be the background.
Speaking of which, the background is plainly gorgeous. DS makes use of the tileset like rarely anyone has ever seen before, creating an original background, as well as ‘wall-eyecandy’. Simply charming little details fill your heart with Christmas spirit as you run by killing rabbits.
The music choice is a whole different story, though. It seems DS is rather fond of his collection of Sonic the Hedgehog tunes. I myself, however, get rather bored by these tunes easily. Several DS levels already include music from this franchise, and I can’t really appreciate this. It does add to the feel of the level, on the other hand, but I personally would rather play without the music on.
Overall: Very nice
Icy Environment gives a whole new, refreshing look to Nippius. Festivity is in the air and this should occasionally be hosted, especially during the season.
Download Recommendation: Yes
This level, Icy Environment, gives a whole new twist to Christmas levels in a way that neither the Holiday Hare 94 nor the Holiday Hare 98 sets could bring.
Dreamless, a single player level pack made by none other than snooze. Will his ‘legendary’ status aid him in making a good single player pack or will this be yet another popularity hit?
One thing that concerns me most about this pack is the gameplay. Simply put, I don’t know what to think of it. The pack carries a heavy mix of feeling rushed and feeling well constructed. Some area’s feel like they serve for no other purpose than to add an extra mile to walk, while some really add to the fun.
Without doubt, the worst thing of this pack were the pits. Some are obvious, but most of the time, you would drop down from a vine and fall to death, simply because you were looking for some more treasure. It IS a platformer, after all, so ammo and gems are always welcome. As recommended, playing on Easy will serve you a lot more justification when looking for aid in this particular pack.
The levels have a really odd feeling to them. It’s not really based on enemy killing, but the puzzles also don’t prove much of a challenge (though that might be just me). The puzzles may be fun at first, but when you think back, you’ll head go “pfft, I knew that” most of the time. Regarding the puzzles, by the way, there is a certain degree of complexity that nobody could guess if they hadn’t heard of that before. For example, there’s this puzzle where the player must use the Electro Gun to shoot a checkpoint beyond a wall and then kill himself in order to get there. Not only is this quite far-fetched, but it can also cause quite a lot of frustration for people new to the Single Player packs presented on this website. On the other hand, the idea itself is very original but feels like an elite player gadget.
The pack is driven by a storyline. A mediocre one at that, but it does the trick. It’s not like this hasn’t been done before, but the aspect of it being all a dream makes up for it. Either way, it is still a ‘bad guy has to be defeated’ story. From snooze, I would have expected something a little lighter and funnier, but then again, no. This is exactly what I was hoping for.
A few things about playing this pack kept annoying me. The pits, as said before, but also the amount of text strings. For example, cutscenes can also be implemented in tilesets. Also, as EvilMike said, some of the ‘protagonist thoughts’ are annoying for the fact that the player may think completely different from what the protagonist is thinking.
Overall, the pack played average. There were too many things bugging me, I’m afraid, and I’m gonna have to stick with the rushed feeling I had in the beginning.
The one thing that stood out in this entire pack was without doubt the atmosphere. There are two sides to this. One being the excellent use of tilesets, the other being the way in which the levels are presented.
Snooze is of course known for his multiplayer levelpacks, which often feature levels that make an unexpected use of particular tilesets. This results in ‘wow-ing’ the player and therefore earning fantastic scores in the eyecandy department. This pack follows the tradition of unexpected tileset use (with a few exceptions, more on that later).
The level with the Star Wars reference feels the most left out. I simply don’t think it stands out too much in comparison to the other levels. Even when you’re ‘shot into space’ and ‘the view is amazing’, it still feels odd, even for a dream.
On the other hand, the ghostship level is by far the best use of tileset I’ve seen in a while. A completely unexpected turn of events for the Beach tileset (though a previously released screenshot shows us a little spoiler). The level is fairly translucent, making the background visible, showing occasional other ships passing by (maybe too occasional, I personally would make the layer wider to prevent it from becoming boring). The level carries a mystique feeling, which I really enjoyed.
Also, as I said before, the cutscenes especially feel rushed. I would have used a tileset cutscene myself, simply because the cutscenes now look like they were added in ‘just because you needed a cutscene’. They don’t feel like part of the pack, which they of course are. Especially the opening level felt like a big disappointment and almost made me quit on the spot.
The Dreamless single player pack surely feels like a step forward in the SP setting of J2O. I surely hope that snooze will continue his work and improve upon the critique he has received. Good job.
Download Recommendation: Yes
Though on the hard side for newcomers (even in Easy), learn to think out of the box. Forget the Epic SP packs and use your brain. You’ll have to with this pack.
I was thinking about giving this a higher score before, but this pack had just too much worrying me. I do sincerely hope that you build on these ‘flaws’ (don’t want to call it mistakes or faults) and make even nicer level packs. You have my faith. :)
(Rag, eat your heart out. 5000 characters!)
This pack is fun and contains lots of interesting levels. There are a few annoying pits, though, but most of them can be avoided when you get to know the level better.
Oh and fix those text strings. Some still give the name of the old levelpack name.
Eat your lima beans, Johnny.