I love this. Takes the classic Medivo theme and has a little fun, while staying true to the original. It sounds, simply, glorious.
Meh is a good noncommital word.
It can either mean, “Meh, this is all right, I guess,” or it can mean, “Meh, I’ve seen better.”
When I checked out this level, I thought, “Meh.”
It’s not really [I]bad[/I], per se…but at the same time, it’s not really all that impressive.
The level was big, and had a few multiple-choice passages, whereby you could shake off a pesky pursuer. In that respect, it’s good. The Layer 8 fade color, while not terribly original, worked decently enough nonetheless. There was a good amount of weapons, plus a few hidden powerups, so points for that.
Let’s be frank. I was not a fan of the level flow. In fact, I HATED it. There were too many poles sticking down from the ceiling, too many singleplayer-esque pinpoint jump platforms, too many irritating spring traps, and it was rather easy to get stuck at the bottom of the map. I lost track of the number of horizontal pole platforms that would’ve been [I]much[/I] easier to traverse had they contained One Way events. The overall level itself was too dark. I didn’t like the musical selection at all (A better one might’ve been TRAUMATI.xm, or perhaps sunatbox.it). Eyecandy, while present, was nonetheless woefully deficient.
Would I recommend this level’s download? Let’s see: It has good size and some usable events. It also has horrible congestion-spawning layout problems and so-so atmosphere.
Let’s just say, “meh,” and leave it at that.
Not much to say here that hasn’t already been said. Good layout, smooth flow, nice eyecandy, excellent eventage.
I wasn’t too impressed with the sand-colored Layer 8 BG, the campable Seeker powerup or the music (which I felt was a rather poor fit), but overall the level was nice and definitely deserves a DL.
I loved this. Good atmosphere (the music was an excellent choice), smooth gameplay, nice gameplay. Only downside was that I felt the bases were too close, but this may be due to the level’s size.
I disagree with Redmsr, because the level seemed more somber than spooky.
DL recommended. I wish somebody’d give this level a good review.
Upon being chided by certain reviewers, I have decided to focus a little less on my fellow posters and a little more on the subject of our postings.
After all, Laro B’s RoE Episode 2: Spear of Darkness may not be my very favorite singleplayer pack in the world, but it’s a good one, nonetheless. It certainly deserves more credit than I gave it initially.
Let me tell you why.
RoE 2’s starting level has very solid Layer 3-4-5 eyecandy (although I was less than impressed with the background details) and great gameplay. I liked how the music, lighting events and environmental TnT all significantly contributed to the mood of the level.
On the other hand, I felt that the background layers weren’t utilized very effectively. True, DM was supposed to be a dark level, but there was too much darkness for me. Maybe a few more holes punched through to reveal the sky would’ve helped.
Overall, I was pleased with the first level, although a few minor faults prevented my complete enjoyment of it.
The Dark Castle
Wow. What a level.
For starters, let’s be generous. I haven’t seen a level use the Medivo tileset this well in a long time. If EVER. It’s ridiculous, the amount of detailing Laro B got into TDC, and every bit looks as if it belongs. The gargoyles are perfect, the combination of windows, lava falls, edge-tiles-as-eyecandy and so on is impressive, and the structure is uncommonly good.
This level is freaking HUGE, and it’s very fun to play. It’s also got a sick music track, one that works exceedingly well for TDC.
Once again, though, I did have some issues.
There’s a wall bug behind the carrot barrel in which I got trapped in the wall by bad masking. That’s not good. In addition, while most of the level was great, I wasn’t a fan of the Layer 8 background at all. Red on red on red on red is only so pretty, and eventually it got kind of boring.
I also found the section cordoned off by trigger blocks to be quite annoying. I mean, really. I spent most of the level trying to find a trigger crate to open the blocks, only to learn that there wasn’t actually anything TO open.
Ooh, I felt like hurting somebody real bad after that…
Also, a few of the Boll platforms over the pits were a little tricky to get onto. Not impossible, just mildly challenging.
So, once again, the second level was good, but a few quirks messed it up.
Aha! A boss level!
This happens to consist of a darkened arena with lava falls and spike traps, as well as a…devilish…Bilsy boss.
While the eyecandy was excellent as usual, although the music track worked quite well for the fight, despite the fact that the darkness added a new and exciting element to the fight, I was not impressed with the attemped Bilsy prison.
Using wind events to keep Bilsy locked in does not work. It only succeeds in making the area inaccessible to Jazz. Bilsy can teleport around the level, thereby neutralizing almost every form of containment imaginable for it.
Because Bilsy is thus exposed, all one has to do to beat it is buttstomp on its head.
Still, it was a decent enough level, and didn’t sink the pack TOO low.
This was the first level in this pack that I didn’t really like.
Don’t get me wrong, it had good gameplay and structure, and the song, although not a perfect fit, still fit well.
That’s about where the upsides end, however.
Even though the Dam Nation tileset admittedly leaves much to be desired, so does Hell’s eyecandy. The only background eyecandy is lava. The foreground eyecandy is used well, but is often sparse in places (this wouldn’t have been so bad if there had been some decent background eyecandy to pick up the slack).
Lighting events were used, but hardly maximized.
The tileset version chosen wasn’t the greatest, but to be fair, there isn’t much of a selection out there, since the Hot version was already used in Episode 1 (I would’ve probably used the Day version).
Overall, a so-so level.
This level features a number of elaborate passageways and rooms, a veritable block of digital Swiss cheese that fully lives up to the level’s name.
Unfortunately, though the Caves had really good eyecandy and a killer atmosphere, I felt that it still had a number of problems.
What, in particular? For one thing, movement was seriously limited. I lost track of how many times I got hung up on awkward roof angles or trapped in small tunnels (although the One Way Events helped).
I also didn’t like the high number of baddies that were placed in dark areas or obscured from sight. There were plenty of carrots in the level, but I never knew if I was about to jump into a darkened room and get killed by something I couldn’t see.
Finally, while they worked well enough, I didn’t feel that the Sparks were an appropriate baddie choice.
In the end, though it had some shortcomings, I was somewhat satisfied with the level.
This was a solid level, but not for the reasons you might think.
It’s not because of the solid Layer 3-4-5 eyecandy employed, nor is it because of the good level structure and smooth-as-usual gameplay.
It’s because of the end boss.
It took me a while to figure out what I was supposed to do, but once the Rocket Turtle disappeared, I learned I was supposed to fly up this shaft, all the while dodging some Schwartzenguards placed behind walls. This made the fight challenging, and also more enjoyable than the first boss battle.
Mistake me not, though, there were plenty of problems with Iron Mountains.
It has bland background eyecandy.
The music track is arguably the weakest selection of the whole pack.
The inappropriate Sparks were back.
Parts of the jungle tree swamp hid baddies, which was very annoying.
There was also a 10-coin warp, which took some effort to hunt down the money for and only provided a few mere un-powered-up Seeker missiles.
Overall, yet another so-so level.
Woods of Light
This level is a recycle of an RoE 1 level (like about half of this episode is), played through in a different direction and different tileset. This time, the Rocket Turtle chase does work, and you can engage in a race with it.
Trouble? I beat the Rocket Turtle to the end by at least a full sixty seconds, but I STILL couldn’t go to the next level.
The level has some of the best eyecandy in the pack, as well as great gameplay and excellent eventage, but all that means very little if the level can’t be completed. I played it fully through two or three times, monitoring closely each time (both passing the Rocket Turtle at the very end AND allowing it to finish before me), and I even looked in the JCS just to be sure, because I couldn’t believe it.
As far as I can tell, it’s impossible to beat this level without cheating. I don’t understand how everybody else seems to have overlooked this detail (Unless I’ve missed the boat on the proper execution of the Rocket Turtle, which is entirely possible).
Plus, unless I used the uber-cheap upper route (which eventually I did), the level was very easy to get lost in, and it took me forever to figure out I was supposed to use the Lizard’s helipack to get to the end.
I hate this level. And there may or may not be a level on J2O that I hate more.
Oh, sure, it had some good eyecandy, and once I got used to the brighter-than-usual foreground, it was a nice atmosphere, but let’s be honest. There’s no enemies. No ammo or food. No carrots. No nothing.
Just a whole lotta rooms with spike pits, and absolutely no way to replenish your health
if you fall when you fall into said spikes.
Oh yeah. And some wierd dressed-up kitties in random places.
It’s the most markedly empty Jazz 2 level I’ve seen in my life, and unlike in some levels where emptiness is actually a good thing, it drove me insane here.
Also, the layout was so confusing that I had a tough time finding the end.
The music compounds the emptiness and solitude of this level to an unimaginable degree. It’s impossible to overstate this. It’s a VERY good level/song pairing.
If this level had had some carrots, it might’ve been one of the best levels in the pack. Instead, it’s one of the hardest levels around, since you have to make it to the end on exactly five hearts, no more, no less.
Summary? Not the best level of the pack, but decent enough.
A Few Overall Thoughts
I was impressed by the level of eyecandy throughout most of the pack. RoE 2 seemed to have a high standard of prettiness, and (usually) ended up hitting said standard consistently.
However, I had some trouble accepting the pack’s story. In my mind, it was confusing, poorly grammaticized, and contributed very little to the episode.
The story levels were similarly a little uninteresting for my tastes. They weren’t terrible, but they weren’t the highlight of the episode, either.
Plus, the only thing I know of keeping this pack from being 1.23-compatible is the C + C tileset, so why not just use a different one?
On a more positive note, I liked the music a lot. It picked up a lot of slack.
In the end, I think that RoE 2 was a missed opportunity. The first part won Singleplayer Level of the Year last year, if I’m not mistaken. That makes it hard to look at this episode, which I feel takes the RoE saga a small step backwards.
It’s not quite as good as Episode 1, but Spear of Darkness is still worth a download. After all, let’s look at the positives. These levels have good structure and great eyecandy, as well as some nice music. Just because it’s not the greatest thing out there doesn’t mean it isn’t a good pack. It is. Download today.
Like most people already said, it’s a solid enough pack.
It has some good eyecandy, some solid design and a story that, if not excellently displayed, at least decently so done.
I wasn’t a fan of some of the questionable enemy placages and freaky tile quirks, but it’s still worth a DL.
With practice comes perfection.
Look at my early levels. Heck, look at ANYBODY’S early levels. Nobody starts out with Featured Download material. They have to work at it in order to improve.
Don’t give up. Just keep hackin’ at it.
Not too bad of a level. It has some creative eyecandy (Although I didn’t like the way the “beasts” were handled), decent enough flow, and a good amount of ammo. Worth a download, I guess.
This was a pretty good pack.
The Lost World Episode by Ninja Dodo was a little hard to get used to at first. I mean, admit it. It had decent, but not overly great eyecandy. Most of the music was animal noises and crashing waves (and stuff like that). The story wasn’t very original (unless you’ve either never seen Jurassic Park, or else never heard of it). The tilesets weren’t the greatest in the world. The levels were pretty simple to beat.
Stopping between levels to watch cutscenes was also rather irritating (Although I applaud the creative and successful use of the technology).
However, for some strange reason, I found myself drawn to playing LWE. Why? I couldn’t tell you. It was just fun.
Nothing was overly spectacular…but then again, it worked well enough to make the pack enjoyable. It wasn’t the most original singleplayer episode out there, but it was decently well executed.
Maybe it was the mood. Despite the aforementioned so-so tilesets and average music, it made up for a lot of shortcomings, since it was actually not bad.
What should this episode be rated? Probably in the 7.5-8 range. I refuse to overrate it just because it has actual video cutscenes (which I actually think detracts from the story, since it slows it down) which tell a story simple enough to be explained in text strings, or at the very least with a “text and/or picture tileset”.
Nonetheless, it’s a solid pack, and it’s worth a download.
Thanks, Blacky. Thanks so much. Makes it awful hard to write a decent review when you point out almost everything I was going to say… =(
Oh, well. Guess I’ll try and point out some unique things (If that’s even gonna be possible here), since my fellow reviewer’s already covered most of the basics.
Like Blackraptor said, there are some upsides and some downsides to Carrotus Lake. The layout is small, but not too much so. The level isn’t 100% symmetric, but there’s enough similarities between each half to avoid giving one player an unfair terrain advantage. Powerups did seem a bit excessive, but I think only one PU really needs to be taken out (The seeker powerup, obviously).
One thing that I DID notice that I don’t think Blacky pointed out was that two out of the three powerups were over on the right side of the map, which means that the Blue team can get them much quicker than the Red team. There’s a few tall platforms in the middle of the map (Particularly one with a one-tile hole in it) that might be better places to stash stuff, although the limited size of CL does make this pretty gnarly.
I liked how the base positions were inverted, with the Blue base on the far right side of the map where 9 out of 10 JCSers would put the red one. Changed things up a little.
I didn’t download the music, so I won’t include it in my rating.
Eyecandy was standardized, but decent enough. No real gripes here.
Ammo was distributed well, as were the carrots (although, as somebody else already pointed out, it’s pretty easy to camp the upper left zone).
In the end, I think this is a solid level that’s good for a 3-4 person match (Dang you, Blackraptor, for stealing my thunder once again!), and it’s worth a download.
Very nice level. Plenty of ammo, awesome layout and mechanics, bugs scrupulously taken care of. I had fun. Download today.
Heh. Got a good laugh outta this one.
Blackraptor’s Race For The Vodka race is a bit tricky to get the hang of, and it can be occasionally frustrating (i.e.-the Pinball bumpers), but it’s definitely a worthwhile endeavor.
RFtV uses the Dreempipes tileset, taking the player through what is apparently a giant vodka production plant (No worries, parents: Rabbits apparently can’t hold anything stronger than Epi-Cola, which Blacky has substituted for real vodka). There’s a few sequestered Ice powerups, a fancy shortcut or two and some straight-up gameplay traps no race would be complete without. Spring traps (especially used in conjuncture with Float events). A water/caterpillar pit. A vertical Spring trap. These and more are expertly executed, and greatly enhance the quality of Vodka.
On the converse, there were a few things I thought could’ve used improvement. The Freeze Enemy traps, while whimsical and fun, were downright annoying, and greatly disrupted the flow of the race. This consequently ruined the Seeker shortcut, although in my opinion it was already quicker just to take the normal route and bypass the Seeker shortcut altogether. The pinball section irritated me because it was just hard enough to stop me almost every time I came through it, but not quite hard enough for me to label it as unreasonable in its difficulty. The Freezer powerup at the beginning was way too well hidden, and I would probably never have found it if I hadn’t looked through the editor after playing the level, to make sure I didn’t miss anything.
On another note, the song was hilarious, and fit the level perfectly. Nice find there.
Is Race For The Vodka worth a download? Absolutely. This is a good, quality race by Blackraptor, and once you look past its small number of minorly bothersome flaws, it’s definitely worth playing. Download today.
Wow. Talk about a steal.
I was stunned when I stumbled onto Jgke’s Cave of Dreams CTF level. Here, I had found a functional, good-looking upload, and absolutely NO ONE ELSE has reviewed it yet!
Oh, yeah. This level’s good. Everything is painted in dark blue tones, except for the translucent aqua fog at the bottom that’s apparently supposed to be water. The map is symmetrical, but it’s open and well-designed enough that you hardly even notice.
How often does THAT happen with a symmetrical level?
I liked how the carrots were placed in RF-climb shafts that noobs can’t get at. Furthermore, in anticipation of said noobs’ unhappy reactions, Jgke placed a Full NRG in the middle for them to fight over. Classic.
Ammo was distributed well, although I did feel like there wasn’t very much for such a wide open level.
Bases were placed well, too.
I didn’t download the music, so I won’t include it in my rating. Judging by the file name in the Level Properties window, though, I’m sure it fit the level quite well.
On the other hand, I wasn’t very impressed with the aqua agua (That’s turquoise water, to all you uninitiated folks) at the bottom. While it DID contribute positively to the level in terms of functionality, I felt that the colors clashed in a bad way with the rest of the level. It’s too bad, because the rest of the level looked so pretty.
In the end, then, I was highly pleased with Cave of Dreams. It’s a quality, satisfaction guaranteed level, and it’s unbelievable just far beneath the radar this level has flown. Download this level. It’s awesome!
On the one hand, this was certainly an interesting level. Violet CLM’s Midigating Factor is one of the most gimmick-oriented CTFs I’ve seen in a while, utilizing fancy sucker tube and spring sequences to shluffle the player around the level and confuse them to no end. Eyecandy is interesting and cool, and makes the level fun to play.
On the other hand, MF also suffers from the Cramped Hallway Syndrome. It never feels very wide open, and it’s been a while since I’ve played a level that made me feel this enclosed and claustraphobic.
Music worked pretty well for the level. It was a sort of quiet and serene piece, accented every so often by a smooth-as-silk violin. Good choice.
In summary, I guess I’ll give this level a 7.0 on the Richter scale. Neutral DL rec, ‘cause I haven’t decided what I think of it all yet.
Quality is surprisingly easy to overlook, and no less so here. Sub-Terrestrial is a well-rounded level, with good eyecandy, smooth flow and a quaint, yet befitting music track. Worth a download.
Geez, people. You’ll probably kill me for saying this, but I honestly think this set is a wee bit overrated…
The Twilight Park is a city tileset, a genre of sets that often gets little to no attention. It’s too bad, since metropolis/town/city sets are among my very favorites.
Unfortunately, tilesets like Twilight Park, while very good and loads of fun to use, are the reason why city sets are so infrequently done (And done well, too).
TTP has the usual whimsical Blur eyecandy (Random items buried in the ground, a doghouse with accompanying dog bowl, silly posters slapped onto a junky old alley fence, etc.), plus some unexpected surprises (A swimming pool, gardening tools sticking out of the ground as “thorns”, a small background red brick wall). Well-trimmed trees provoke intriguing visual ideas, while a background dominated by grassy parkland and distant skyscrapers lend Twilight Park a very suburbian feel.
Unfortunately, things started to fizzle out at about this point.
While all of the pluses I mentioned are nice, they’re really all there is to work with in this tileset. I mean, there’s a few more tiles than what I mentioned, but the greater extent of the set is devoted to The Average Joe’s Backyard.
The dirt is the only real “ground” material available to work with (Although, in its defense, there are two or three different surfaces for the dirt that are perfectly usable). Despite being a suburb-esque pack, there’s not even any houses or apartment buildings. Only one fencing material is at the JCSer’s disposal (And wooden fences get very old after a while). There’s no black tiles. No “cave” wall tiles (unless you count the fence, which I don’t).
Parks and naturalistic scenery can only go so far, and I have some rather serious concerns about the limitations of this set.
Don’t get me wrong, Twilight Park’s a great set and all. It has bodaciously good eyecandy and truckloads of JCSing potential…but good is only so good these days. I felt a little let down by the limitations of the set.
Still, Twilight Park IS a sweet tileset, and it’s definitely worth a download.
Well, it’s a Letni conversion, and it’s a working Letni conversion. That much is good.
Beyond that, I was massively underwhelmed by CelL’s JJ1 conversion.
In his defense, Letni is a pain in the donkey to work with. The visuals are limited, the music bland and unappealing, the levels boring and unengaging, the tileset even more so. Letni is one-dimensional and uninspired, and it’s arguably the most unpopular JJ1 planet of ALL time (Matched only by Raneforus, Muckamok and Ceramicus).
However, if one is making a JJ1 conversion, one must gut through the pain and misery and do a good job.
While most if not all of the Jazz 1 tiles appear to be there, not all of them are the right color (Especially the yellow, blue and red pulze lights mounted on the dark blue background). There’s no clear background duplicates of the orange and light blue floor tiles, limiting the JCSer to one measly BG choice. Speaking of this, there’s no fancy backgrounds or anything. No fluff tiles (Which are extraneous tiles that weren’t present in the original set, but still add a positive element to the conversion. These are things like sucker tubes, blast’em blocks/buttstomp blocks, vines/hooks, et cetera) of any kind. Grouping was absentminded at best, sloppy at worst.
There’s extremely little present here in this tileset to work with.
In short, it looks like CelL just copied all of the tiles from Jazz Jackrabbit 1 over to the conversion and slapped everything together.
I wish he had done a better job with it, because J2O is STILL waiting for a decent true-blue Jazz 1 Letni conversion (Not remake, conversion) to be created.
Neutral DL rec, since it’s not a very good tileset, but it’s the closest thing to an adequate Letni conversion out there at present.
Hold that thought. “World of Jazz” will be coming out later this year.
Nice tileset with awesome palette swaps and some…well, interesting, I suppose…black-tile eyecandy. Definitely worth a DL. Great for building a Credits level for your singleplayer pack (which I’ll be doing with World of Jazz). Download rec.
Wow. I can’t believe the things that slip through the cracks of J2O.
Great level, solid eyecandy (although the back layers were a little too standard for me), excellent music and layout. Events were nice, too.
Definitely worth a DL.
Eat your lima beans, Johnny.