If you don’t want to bother reading all of this, here is what it basically says: This tileset is awesome in every way. Download it now.
The most important thing about a tileset: Does it work? And does it work well? Violet CLM’s latest tileset conversion shouts the answer as a resounding “Yes!” The masking is flawless. I encountered no bugs whatsoever, and I believe that none exist. The content is great, especially for a conversion. There are so many types of… things available for use that it is almost staggering. There are (to name a few) belts, hooks, platforms, spikes, vines, poles, and sucker tubes. Everything that should be included is there, and then more so. You can make just about any type of situation you want with this tileset, and that in itself makes it great.
The second most important things about a tileset. If the eyecandy is dull or monotonous, any level made with that tileset is likely to be dull and monotonous too, no matter how well it’s made. Thankfully, Violet has provided endless opportunities for eyecandy. There are at least six types of ground for you to just to stand on, depending on the version and how you want to classify it. And it is very possible that I could have missed some. I only have one single problem with the dirt-ish part. The horizontal pieces of ground lack the ‘sheen’ that is present on the slpoed tiles. The lighter color gives the ground a nice feeling of depth, and that it is missing in the hirozontal tiles looks slightly odd. But really I’m just nitpicking. Then, after that, there are three or four types of crystals, and wooden and metal ledges. Various walls, boxes, chalices, crystals, and ostriches (?) are included depending on which version you wish to use.
The animated tiles are plentiful. The water is gorgeous, and Violet even went so far as to animate the arrows on the signs. The walls literally sparkle due to another flawless animation. Even the 4-stage destructing scenery is ingenious. Four small crystal are on the blocks, and each time you shoot it a crystal disappears.
The background possibilities are endless. You can use black interspersed with decorative crystals, or use a slightly different colored ground. Animated waterfalls are also available, along with a very nice diamond-y pattern. You can use the background to set your level in a cave, but there is also and outside-sky for level eight.
There is some foreground in the form of large, transparent crystals, but the possibilities pale in comparison to the background. Yes, this may be the only area that is lacking. But in its defense, no one really likes too much foreground, and the crystals do their job well enough. You could get creative and use different types of vertical crystals as foreground, too, so there is really no need for more. The only reason it seems like there is not much foreground is because there is so much everything else.
Plus all of that, there are tiles only available in each version of the tileset. But I’ll get to that in the next section…
I think different versions should be a staple of all good tilesets. Sure, having one is good enough, but is simple to modify the palette slightly in order to change the entire mood of the tileset. And Violet does this not twice but thrice. And what makes this even better is that they are not just simple palette changes. He has changed tiles in each one. The staples are all the same, but it’s the extra eyecandy stuff that gets a slight modification. A dinosaur in CrysilisV gets replaced with yet another background in CrysilisV2, then to a differnet type of wall in V3. The subtle changes are a lot better than what you see in most tilesets, and they still maintain the overall feel of the tileset.
CrysilisV is my least favorite of the bunch. The bright yellow has a tendency to burn my retinas, but if it’s used sparingly no big problems should come of it.
Also needed in a tileset. If you have to search everywhere for a piece you need, no one is going to bother looking and will soon abandon the idea of using your tileset. Not a problem in CrysalisV, because every tile is ordered in a very logical, easy-to-understand way. All the ground is grouped together at the top, followed by eyecandy, a nice section for invisible platforms, then transitioning into background and ending water animations. There are no odds and ends floating around to be overlooked, and everything has it’s own place.
No matter how complex I made it sound, there is very little to mess up. Every tile is clear on what it is supposed to be, and are no ambiguous pieces. Once you familiarize yourself with the layout, which takes surprisingly little time, you will find yourself zipping around the tileset at warp speed. This is a great tileset for beginners as well as old pros because you can make it as simple or as intricate as you want. All the tiles fit together wonderfully, and you can blend and mix them in whatever way you wish.
This tileset can be used and reused in many different ways, but at its heart, it is still a conversion. The old 8-bit style shows through, and if this is overused, it will become old. (Battleships comes to mind) Mainly I am worried about the bright yellow I mentioned earlier. This is offset, though, by the fact that there is so much to offer. People that know what they are doing should be able to combine backgrounds and level designs to make something new every time, but still, it can only go so far. I think it will be new for a long time to come.
All three levels, including all three versions of the tileset, are top-notch. Short and sweet, as examples are supposed to be, they demonstrate the possibilities of this tileset and the proper way to utilize it. Layers two through eight are used extensively, and with them comes a clear picture of how this tileset is supposed to be used.
No rating, but if there was one I’d give it a 10.
Violet CLM comes through with another brilliant conversion. It does everything right and very, very little wrong. In fact, I can’t find anything wrong. I do not own Jazz Jackrabbit 1, so I have absolutely no problem with it not containing every single tile in the original Crysilis. I am looking forward to some amazing levels built with this amazing tileset.
Yes, I know that 10/10 implies perfection, and perfection cannot be achieved. This is as close as it gets, though, so here you go: A ‘perfect’ ten.
Eat your lima beans, Johnny.