RecommendedReview by Jahari

27 Jul 2010, 22:00
For: Psychedelic Experience
Level rating: 8.7

This is pretty awesome. The music didn’t really appeal to me, so I just put on my own and played it in 1.24.

The eyecandy is pretty amazing. I like non-traditional approaches to tilesets. The mushroom effects in the background are very cool. You must have put a lot of time into this. I have no complaints where the eyecandy is concerned. It was wild, but not terribly confusing.

Pickup placement is very good. Some of the things are hard to get because of how the wall tiles are masked. The number of carrots I found was a good balance (not too many, but just few enough to make me CRAVE the next carrot).

Enemy placement is great, but also annoying. After dying a couple times I just resorted to cheating to see the rest of the level (and I was probably barely scratching the surface). I never would have resorted to cheating if you had put in more checkpoints. There was one area that really bothered me early on – somehow the player is supposed to use a blue spring to get to the top left area, but it’s nearly impossible to not hit the ceiling first. Death pits are also annoying ESPECIALLY WITHOUT CHECKPOINTS NEARBY.

It’s worth a download, whether you can finish it or not.

Review by Jahari

19 Jun 2010, 23:45
For: R.A.B.B.I.T campaign
Level rating: 2.7

There’s nothing wrong with his computer. You need to include the tilesets (.j2t files) that are used in your levels. I’d also remove the episode file or at least make it optional for the player to use it. Episode files clutter up the level list and are not really necessary. Even EvilMike’s level packs don’t use .j2e’s.

Not recommendedReview by Jahari

11 Jun 2010, 04:35
For: Electric Landscape
Level rating: 6.2

I probably would not play this level again, but it has some good things about it.

The good:

- Nice and long
- Decent eyecandy, though very repetitive in some areas
- Enemy placement was OKAY, but not amazing. It takes more skill to use a few enemies to take down the player rather than big masses of them.

The bad:

- Lack of consistency – conveyor belts should always be conveyor belts. The first one I encountered didn’t even go in the direction the animation. Same thing applies to the hooks on the electrical wires. Either make them all hooks, or put them all in layer 5 so they don’t interfere with the player. The fans should have also been uniform. Some fans have float up events while others have hurt events. Jumping on a fan and having it damage you instead of float you is very unnerving…

- Sharp contrast with the eyecandy – part of this is due to the tileset you used, but it’s not very attractive to have eyecandy that just sticks out because you could put it there. Use color to make the eyecandy more subtle (example: use yellow and red electrical wires in areas that are predominantly red or yellow …kinda like moss on a tree).

- Too many pickups. It didn’t take much effort to find the pickups in the level and there was too much reward for the effort given. Make the player work for it a little and use pickups as eyecandy rather than just stuff to keep the player busy.

- Way too easy. I never died even though you advertised that I probably would die. The boss battle was also incredibly easy. As long as you stand on the sloped part of the platform with the robot boss he can’t shoot you but you can shoot him.

Nothing new here. No download recommendation, but I do recommend you keep making levels to improve your skill at JCS :)

RecommendedReview by Jahari

26 Feb 2010, 22:14 (edited 27 Feb 10, 19:44)
For: Howling House
Level rating: 8.8

Amazing. You really should get JJ2 again and make more levels like this.

Bugs: – The poles can be fixed by putting them in background layer 5
- The tiles as the base of hte staircases toward the end could have been fixed in a similar fashion (wall on layer 5, stairs on layer 4, floor below stairs on layer 3). – The problem with the ambient lighting is due to the fact that this tileset doesn’t have enough palette entries to produce the lighting underwater. Only a few tilesets like Beach2 will let you do this. There’s an artifle on JCSRef about it.

The eyecandy is very good. You brought some new ideas to the table with things like the animated vines. It made it look like they were alive or dripping with something. Very cool. The background eyecandy was lacking. Some towers or something would have been enough. What amazes me is your use of the Haunted House tileset. It’s really hard to use. The eyecandy is very appealing except for at the very end where the staircases are stacked one on top of another.

Gameplay was fun and challenging. One part of the level has a pretty long series of trigger crates you have to smash. Normally, this would be boring but because the general structure of the level impedes you it’s fun. There are collapsing floors and well-timed jumps a-plenty. Pickup placement was very good – lots of secrets and such. I think the food items could have been used as a contrast rather than a compliment (peaches in a level that’s generally purple for example). The ammo was fine, and it had a practical use. I never did find all 20 coins, unfortunately.

The music could be changed. These would be my suggestions for something more original:

- Haunted Terrero: tek11bak.s3m
- All Hallow’s Eve: K_HALLOW.s3m

The problems with this level are very minor. If you decide to create more levels, you should try to integrate ideas from other people.

PS: How did you make the demons walk off the edge of the platforms? That could be a really useful gimmick.

Review by Jahari

26 Feb 2010, 21:18
For: Et's Planet:Green Caves
Level rating: N/A

For bugfixes:

- Make sure the walls tile all the way to the ceiling in the top right area.

- Make sure the level ends with “End” in the next level string.

The eyecandy of this level is good, but not amazing. This particular tileset makes it easy to pretty things up. I’d be curious to see how you make use of a more simple tileset. The waterfalls in the foreground were repetitive and made it hard to see. If you really want to use that many, don’t spread them all over the foreground like seagull poo on a windshield.

Gameplay was okay in the sense that it was consistent in the level (no contrast between unique ideas and boring parts). There was nothing new or particularly challenging. It was also short.

You can probably recycle this level into something better, but I’d give it a 5 for effort.

RecommendedReview by Jahari

20 Feb 2010, 01:05
For: Sluggion Adventure (1st half)
Level rating: 7.2

I liked the castle, carrotus, and sluggion level with the water, but the others were kinda meh.

Things I liked:
- Puzzles that required a bit of backtracking
- Difficult, but not impossible bosses (Bolly took me about 4 tries)
- Good eyecandy on the carrotus level – less so with the other levels

Things I didn’t like:
- Wasted space (eg: open areas with little to interest me
- Getting forcibly thrown into spikes or baddies. You can get away with it when the player is at full health, but at 1 heart it’s stupid and does not belong in the level. You may know they’re coming, but the PLAYER doesn’t.
- Regenerating enemies (a little warning would have been nice)
- Repetitive eyecandy (the swinging spike balls in the castle level)
- Did I mention spike balls? Use them sparingly, or at least be more creative at killing the player.
- No way out of the big spike pit on the carrotus level.

To make your levels better:
- Make better use of empty space
- Try not to annoy the player by killing him/her. You can make your levels challenging without putting baddies and spikes everywhere.

Otherwise, these levels were pretty good. I was hoping to gain a little inspiration by playing someone else’s levels but I didn’t encounter many new ideas here.

Not recommendedReview by Jahari

15 Feb 2010, 07:02
For: Tower Of A Warrior
Level rating: 5.6

The 4th level of the castle has some interesting gimmicks, but otherwise this is a frustrating level not worth the trouble.

The eyecandy is repetitive. You don’t have to have big open rooms on every floor. You could have made a tower a less linear layout.

The difficulty is annoying, but it’s not really hard. After running into one set of spikes, you can breeze through the rest. One room is a bunch of warps that you have to do in the correct order. Unfortunately, the warps send you straight into spike balls and there’s no way to avoid them. To add insult to injury, if you get hurt after going through a warp you get sent back because the entrance/exit is right beside it. This is where I gave up on the level. There are also coins that cannot be obtained because they’re at the edge of the level.

You might find it playable, pjshwa, but you should think of the person playing the level when you create it.

Review by Jahari

13 Jan 2010, 05:49 (edited 13 Jan 10, 21:57)
For: Dreamscape
Level rating: 9.2

The first level in the city was pretty cool. The eyecandy was good, though you could have made it a bit less cluttered. Also, one thing that this pack seems to suffer from is a lack of consistency with platforms and such. If I jump on an awning and it supports my weight (using the city level as an example), I expect all other awnings to do this. This led to frustration right away as I’d try to jump on to an awning only to fall through, or a fencer would jump through yet I couldn’t jump to him. I think the background buildings in the city could have been put in a moving layer. Everything just seemed static and cluttered, though it looked nice. The more cluttered something is, the more likely I am to be distracted which leads me to crash into some baddie that could have easily been avoided. Also, bats going through the floor is one of the most annoying things ever. I could have made it through this level without cheating.

Next level…pipes and tubes everywhere. Very very nice eyecandy. The atmosphere was fantastic. I got frustrated with it eventually, though. jjnxt …

From this point on, the story kicks in. As Blackie said, you have to guess at what’s going on. Jazz has doomed himself to some sort of hell in his mind – kinda like in PoP: The Two Thrones EXCEPT THERE’S NO WAY OUT OF THIS ONE. You die and die and then jjnxt. Good eyecandy in the hell level, though. The virtual reality level (Nippius, I think). Was very good. The level that used the Sirius tileset by Agama was…confusing. I tried cheating through it, but it was no nonlinear I couldn’t find the exit until about 5-10 minutes later.

The bonus level is clever, though once again frustrating. You introduced a lot of new gimmicks that I really liked – the cobwebs, deer heads, etc. Like the others I eventually skipped it.Death pits are just not my thing – not after all that work/trying to cheat my way through. The eyecandy was decent, though I’ve seen better use of SwampOTSJ. If your other levels had been more like the bonus level I might have enjoyed this pack more. I understand that it’s in “as-is” format. I’m not going to rate it because of that.You put a lot of effort into this, though. Item placement was excellent. Enemy placement was annoying, and it became monotonous in the hell level as well as the Sirius level.

I recommend giving this a try, but prepare to be frustrated.

RecommendedReview by Jahari

12 Jan 2010, 21:34 (edited 14 Jan 10, 18:32 by Stijn)
For: Damn Lava Planet!
Level rating: 8.6

My initial reaction to this pack was that it was yet another sloppy mash of gimmicks and Babelfish translations, but I was wrong – veeeeery wrong. Never underestimate the Polski.

You start out on a lava planet that seems pretty dangerous. The lava is the least of your worries, however. You’ll end up hurting yourself more by destroying the cleverly placed blocks that are there to help you avoid the lava! The eyecandy of this first level is pretty good. Overall, it’s very well thought-out. My only annoyance with the pack in general is the placement of ammo. It can be excessive at times, but I’m very conservative with my ammo, so maybe I’m just overreacting. This level has one major flaw: at the beginning it says you need to fine an invincibility carrot in order to enter the lava. I only found one, and it was out of reach. I ignored the lava for the entire level and there was no consequence for doing so. I didn’t miss any coins or important triggers. The lava was pretty to look at, though.

The next level is really cool, though short. You have to sneak past the guards and security system of a facility in the lava planet. I had the feeling of being very sneaky while playing this, and the music was a nice touch.

In the inner part of the facility, you have to get to the reactor and destroy it. There are all sorts of clever MCEs to help you accomplish this in ways you might not expect. The final battle is challenging, but you’re not likely to die from it.

After you escape the facility, you have to go throughout a city and disable bombs. At the beginning, you have to escape using the copter. It’s a big of a shock, because there are blocks in the way and the copter only lasts long enough to get past them. The city itself is beautiful. It’s a very nice tileset edit that combines Townhouse, Colony, and a photograph for the background. The level design is excellent. Everything is cleverly placed.

The next level…well…I’m working on that. The author forgot to include the Discofever tileset, so my game crashed =( !!

K, got the tileset now. The discofever level has a weird storyline that is introduced abruptly even though it fits in the plot of the pack. I didn’t really care for this level. It’s mostly there to add story.

Overall, I liked this pack – point being that I had FUN. It may not be a work of art like some things I’ve played, but it was very creative with its use of MCEs and event placement. The story made sense in the end, but with a little adjustment most of these levels could have been standalone. Ammo placement was decoration, at best. The only time I found it useful was fighting Devan (or whoever the turtle is at the end). The secret areas were good. Food placement could have been better. I never had a sugar rush – even when I could have used one. The text signs could use some cleaning up. Have someone who knows fluent English fix them for you, Speaktrap.

It’s fun. Download it.

RecommendedReview by Jahari

8 Jan 2010, 03:30 (edited 12 Jan 10, 21:39)
For: Mines of Diamondus
Level rating: 8.3

This is fantastic. When I loaded up the level, my first reaction was “here comes the painful slime green and blue of Diamondus” but I quickly forgot that notion after seeing your excellent use of the tileset.

There is variety everywhere. This level doesn’t seem to specialize in a particular theme or weapon loadout, which for a standalone level is fine. I love the backgrounds that peek through the hole in the wall. The level doesn’t really suffer from the usual REPETITIVE scenery, but it does get to be a bit much sometimes in relation to how much stuff is crammed into a given area. It’s also a pretty tight squeeze through most (but not all) of the level. Efficient use of space? Definitely. Feeling claustrophobic? A bit.

There were a few things I took issue with. Mainly:
- The warp portal exit near the second witch spawns you right into her. This is not fun when you’re on your last frog legs.
- One area where the ceiling came to a point, there were some hurt events that I ran into blindly. Throughout the rest of the level I avoided such areas until I realized you only slapped a hurt event onto that particular one. I’d just get rid of it since it’s not obvious. Either that, or you could change all of them to do this which would screw up some areas of the level (the gem trail, etc).
- One of the trigger crates could not be destroyed by Jazz (the one leading to the bouncer ammo). I don’t know whether this was intentional or not. I kinda liked it because it forced me to dig through my backpack for some TNT.

The rest of the gameplay was really quite good. In some of the tight areas – mainly at the beginning of the level – I couldn’t clear the spikes. I would have preferred a spring on the ceiling that pushes you back rather than stalactites. The use of food and gems was very tasteful. Baddies, a little less so but there’s only so much you can do with them.

Using the classic music for DIamondus fit rather well. The whole level had a bit of an oldschool feel to it with the way it was all narrow corridors – the sort of thing you’d see back when you couldn’t fit much on your monitor :p

I could care less that there was no storyline. The level would be better with one, but not by much. I like stories that keep you in suspense over multiple levels anyway.

If I could make any definite recommendations on improving your levelmaking, I’d say… allow the player to “breathe” a bit more. Open areas and more checkpoints (maybe; I don’t like dying, but they were well-placed in this level). I just couldn’t help the feeling that I was being squeezed through a sewer pipe at times. If at all possible, choose a tileset that is less painful on the eyes in the future.

This is real quality work. I hope you make more.