Review by FireSworD

Posted:
30 Jul 2009, 07:35
For: Forgotten Dungeons
Level rating: 6.4
Rating
N/A

Woah! Guys, be careful how you rate this. It looks to be about a 7-8 level. I don’t see much reason to rate this lower than 5. Although it is quite generic and the eyecandy could possibly be better.

Also, I suggest abolishing the rating system.

Not recommendedReview by FireSworD

Posted:
20 Jun 2009, 15:29 (edited 8 Jan 15, 12:23)
For: HappyCTF
Level rating: 8.9
Rating
6.0

As I like to take initiatives, I have decided to finally review this upload. I strongly believe that taking initiatives is important, if they are done in a reasonable way.

I am not going to cover all aspects thoroughly, just the ones I think are worth mentioning. I am also not reviewing this consistently with other uploads I have reviewed, and have adopted a new way of reviewing uploads.

First, let me start off by saying that I respect this upload for the fact it was relatively good when it was made, and it served as an inspiration for people to make levels, so things would probably be slightly different today without this. However, the problem with most older levels is that they are quite franky…very unbalanced. One of the levels in this pack is the most popular level according to JDC statistics, which I will explain further in my review. Generally, these levels are a bad influence when it comes to gameplay, and I feel that at least needs to be clarified. No one can make levels like these, receive high ratings, and even have one of them be the most popular level currently. I am in no way insulting stripe, and I have liked a few of his levels (superconductor), and I also think he is still one of the best level designers ever in the jj2 scene.

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Happy Hell CTF

What a fitting name, or not so fitting as I was only happy to change to the next level. In general, I don’t mind mp levels that are hard to navigate, as long as you can adjust to the obstacles. Here, you are forced to use the v-poles to reach the bases, but there’s also a warp at the bottom to reach both bases. However, it can only send you to a number of locations in a certain order. I find that annoying, what’s the tactic? – It’s not fun in any way in my opinion. There’s this cool secret: you can go into the platform that is below the poles, and the spring there will make it so you can reach the first pole only. Now, the spring on top of the platform will force you to use both poles, so you can only stomp before the second pole. The secret allows you to go below the second pole without the stomping state. If you took the ‘secret’ spring, you can go towards the right side of the shaft, which is where the other part of the secret is. It’s a toaster pu with some triggers that spawn platforms that make it easier to reach the bases! – Unfortunately, the effect is triggered off once you touch a base. I would really rather play something else than this level. The famous quote “inferno sucks!” is clearly not just frustration at using the tileset, but also the author expressing that he knew the level is subpar. There’s probably more I can say about the full NRG, but I’m really, really sick of this level.

Happy Canyon CTF

I really don’t want to go into detail here. You can apparently destroy the bridge and access the hoverboards (afaik you need your team around to access hoverboards) all by destroying the crates and opening triggers. Some of the triggers and crates are well hidden and require you to search every wall. Besides that, the level is really nothing I would consider interesting, and it’s annoying to play in my opinion, because of the void left in the middle after crates are broken. I’ve heard the level is buggy and laggy as well.

Happy Castle CTF

I never have liked this level much. I only recall enjoying a jb game here. There is only one way red team players can reach blue base, while there is only one way blue team players can reach red base? – Not exactly, blue base’s design is much easier to defend than red. It doesn’t help that the layout is somewhat symmetrical with varying sides. It doesn’t help that blue can only get bouncer pu while red can only get toaster, and there are no other pus to compensate for this. The differing pus may be said to be equal, but I’ve always had more of an advantage with bouncers for obvious reasons. Also, in my opinion, the layout is redundant and overly complex; I never used all the area available to me. I like the ‘cannons’ at each base, and I also like how the roofs are open in your team’s base. Again, there’s probably more to cover, but those were the most important points.

Happy Jungle CTF

I have always liked small, yet fun and quirky levels like MULCH/MALCH, Stupid CTF and Beachcombing. This level is very small as well, however it’s not as simple as Stupid CTF, MULCH/MALCH or beachcombing. It has blue base at the top, with red base at bottom. Guess what? – Higher up is always more advantageous. The times I’ve played here were all chaotic and lag based. I can’t really say anything more about this.

Happy Desert CTF

A complex level. Again, I don’t really want to go into detail here, but it’s another somewhat-but-not-really-symmetrical level that’s probably imbalanced. The first time I played this I thought it was absurdly hard to navigate. Nowadays I don’t think it’s that hard, but the layout could’ve benefited from much better arrangement.

Happy Semiconductor CTF

Where do I begin?

This level has been one of the most popular levels on jj2, and seems to be even more popular now being the most played level on jj2 currently. There are some nice tricks, like exploiting the top right area as an RTS spot, all the neat rf climbs, and the fact most platforms are 1 tile
thick make the level fun. What isn’t fun is blue team has better spawnpoints. Blue is easier to defend than red. It doesn’t help that it’s really campy in duels because of 1 full c (although most levels are campy). Lots of passages are 1 tile thick, though I personally don’t mind. In my opinion, this level is average at best, maybe even below average if I consider the gameplay quirks. I keep hearing varying opinions on which side is better, but the fact is this level is imbalanced.

I could’ve gotten into more depth with other aspects, but there’s no point. I think the designers now should focus on making balanced levels, with emphasis on flow. I never mind obstacles that can result in a way to gain an advantage, but not as advantageous as exploiting the level in a way that the opposing team or player can’t.

RecommendedQuick Review by FireSworD

Posted:
2 May 2009, 09:02 (edited 27 Mar 18, 22:02)
For: Agony Void
Level rating: 8.4
Rating
8.7

Great tile-set use as always. The game-play is decent, but conventional with an open layout. I think this deserves at least an 8, because the metal brick tiles were used in of the best ways possible for this set. The pits could have better placement in my opinion.

RecommendedQuick Review by FireSworD

Posted:
14 Feb 2009, 07:38 (edited 16 Feb 09, 13:47)
For: Sanguinary Sanctuary
Level rating: 8.2
Rating
8.4

The level size is 245×64, and yet you once thought a level of 200×200 was only fit for sp. It’s heavily patterned ec-wise. The gameplay does not justify the level size, and the layout may be too overcomplicated (UNLESS THIS IS IN A BIG GAME/EVENT). Some parts are amazing but others are redundant.

Review by FireSworD

Posted:
27 Jan 2009, 07:10
For: Dubbed Marine
Level rating: 8.1
Rating
N/A

Make this proportionally bigger and I will review.

RecommendedQuick Review by FireSworD

Posted:
27 Jan 2009, 06:44
For: The Emerald Eye
Level rating: 6.5
Rating
6.7

This level has clever ec ideas, and cool looking designs. However, the layout does not flow well, and the overall design is too simple for a level. In other words, the level is just one big circular pattern.

Still, DL this. I hope to see more levels by this author.

RecommendedQuick Review by FireSworD

Posted:
16 Dec 2008, 01:20 (edited 17 Feb 21, 21:44)
For: DREAMLESS
Level rating: 8.2
Rating
8.8

Quite an evil pack. The best thing in my opinion is the execution of the theme. There are some unfair situations, and you may feel the author (or demon) is being a complete bastard at times, but it’s real fun.

RecommendedQuick Review by FireSworD

Posted:
2 Dec 2008, 04:15 (edited 2 Dec 08, 04:27)
For: Codename: Alliance
Level rating: 8.4
Rating
8.8

City of the Sn00ze, Restplace for SN00ZE, The Shrine, Secret Forest Shrine, A ‘fortress’ being renovated eternally, Hall of legends. There’s a lot of worshiping here, in particular Snooze.

In all seriousness, most of theese levels have great themes (snz), creative tileset use (snz, DS) and decent gameplay (PJ, DS).

RecommendedQuick Review by FireSworD

Posted:
28 Oct 2008, 10:11
For: Pearl-Shell Shore (DOM)
Level rating: 8.8
Rating
8.6

Great theme. At first I thought the top right being empty was a bad idea, but the layout seems complex enough to make up for it. So it’s a unique layout that just barely accomplishes the feel of being on a shore, which is amazing. Other theme-related stuff was cool, like the condensation. The level plays good. This level is all-around good.

RecommendedQuick Review by FireSworD

Posted:
6 Oct 2008, 03:39 (edited 29 Sep 18, 00:58)
For: Starlit Summit
Level rating: 8.7
Rating
8.2

Good level, it’s mostly balanced. Great for events and games with a lot of players because of its size. I really don’t think this is worth 9.9, as the wow factor just isn’t that high. My favorite aspect is the theme, and the bg is nice.

RecommendedQuick Review by FireSworD

Posted:
12 Sep 2008, 13:39 (edited 12 Sep 08, 13:48)
For: Device
Level rating: 8.6
Rating
8.2

Snooze and DS did it. The level looks nice and plays just as good. However it’s not anything really special (thus the rather undiscriptive review). It’s just a good battle level for events and public servers.

RecommendedQuick Review by FireSworD

Posted:
24 Jul 2008, 04:19 (edited 24 Jul 08, 14:40)
For: Gothic Cathedral
Level rating: 9.3
Rating
9.0

The drawing style is like townhouse. Unfortunately, the usability is also like townhouse. While the set contains lots of creativity I don’t see many ways to use the set creatively.

On closer inspection, the leaves could’ve been drawn way better, but the overall look of the set is great.

RecommendedQuick Review by FireSworD

Posted:
3 May 2008, 07:07
For: Episode Four: The Resistance
Level rating: 9.3
Rating
9.0

If I really tried I could beat it on normal difficulty without losing health. Everything is so logically placed I only lost health or died because I either did something stupid, or didn’t consider what might be ahead. Not to say it’s by any means easy, not even close.

Great job Mike, you left me wanting more. Release episode 5 soon!

RecommendedQuick Review by FireSworD

Posted:
28 Mar 2008, 00:55 (edited 26 Jun 08, 10:10)
For: New Ages III - After Dark
Level rating: 8.9
Rating
8.0

8.0 (Northscar Needle owns). I’ve felt the artistic appeal of the levels went down for me. The levels look worse to me now after repeat playing and other factors. Since the looks are the most important thing in this pack, the rating takes a huge hit.

Rating is back to what it originally was.

RecommendedQuick Review by FireSworD

Posted:
10 Mar 2008, 23:05 (edited 7 Oct 18, 05:12)
For: Legends
Level rating: 8.7
Rating
8.0

These are levels that I didn’t mind playing without prior experience. Although not many new concepts, there are more elaborate versions of older ones like the carrot in Evening Shades.

If you can’t think of any levels to play, then host these.

RecommendedQuick Review by FireSworD

Posted:
10 Mar 2008, 22:42
For: Err.. More CTF Levels?
Level rating: 8.8
Rating
9.0

Huge levels, with designs that are not overcomplicated and the eyecandy in both levels have a bold appearance.

Easy to learn, exciting, big. Theese are the type of levels for events, and they are perfect for that purpose.

RecommendedQuick Review by FireSworD

Posted:
26 Jan 2008, 09:40
For: The Fortress of Forgotten Souls
Level rating: 9.3
Rating
9.9

This is so funny. Giving out 10s used to be a common thing a while back, people’s standards became higher and it leveled off. Now standards are really high and yet uploads are getting well justified 10s. I can’t find a single thing wrong with this set and it just looks awesome, nothing could possibly be added to enhance it.

Review by FireSworD

Posted:
12 Jan 2008, 22:37 (edited 12 Jan 08, 22:38)
For: CrysilisV
Level rating: 9.7
Rating
N/A

One of the few times I felt like I was playing a totally different game.

Bravo Violet.

RecommendedQuick Review by FireSworD

Posted:
24 Nov 2007, 15:19 (edited 12 Jan 17, 12:40)
For: Desolation (Updated)
Level rating: 9.5
Rating
9.2

Technically, high for usability. You can avoid the lego set usability, as some tiles look quite ‘organic’.

The more stylistic tile-sets tend to be the least usable (inferno as an example).

RecommendedQuick Review by FireSworD

Posted:
14 Nov 2007, 09:13 (edited 14 Nov 07, 09:16)
For: Substracted Space
Level rating: 6.7
Rating
8.0

Perhaps a quick review isn’t appopiate for a pack of 6 levels but I must point out that some of them (¬°SandBox especially) used annoying gimmicks that produced no positive side effects. So mastering is pointless. It’s good to try new ideas, but sometimes you will get your hands burned if you’re not careful.

Still, nice job.

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