Myth of the Kaiburr Crystal
Mission Type:
Post Date:
Kybo Ren
February 1, 1999
Level Review
Overall Score:
Date Reviewed:
82 / 100
February 19, 1999
93 / 100
75 / 100
84 / 100
First Impressions
I think (I'm not sure) that this is the author's first entry into the world of sp. His mp levels had good architecture, so I was expecting some very good scenes before playing this level. However, I was also expecting some lower scores in areas such as enemy placement, and realism since those are aspects that are hard to capture in mp levels. As far as the plot goes there weren't too many issues. I'm pleased that the author referred to the book "Splinter of the Minds Eye". This is not a book that many authors use as background information, so I was pleased with the new direction.
Review Screenshot 1
Review Screenshot 2
Design / Visuals
According to the text file, more time was spent in the design of the level then anything else. I have to concur with the text file, this level has some outstanding architecture. The rocky terrain that you start out in has a natural feel. Lots of slopes and crevices dominate the area. Needless to say, the opening scenes left me with a good impression, and the remainder of the level did not disappoint me. The temple was constructed in a very realistic manner. There wasn't any time when I looked at my surroundings and wondered if I was still playing the same level. My favorite scene had to be the tomb area. One look and you will understand how much effort was used to bring out the realistic effect. The tombs themselves are raised up on platforms, shelves with statues adorn the walls, and there are other signs of how much detail went into this one scene (pillars, slopes, etc.). Of course, that's not the only one with great architecture. If you're curious, I suggest playing this level so you can be amazed at some the detail. Texturing also helped bring out the realistic design. The temple areas had enough different textures to keep each room unique and interesting without it turning into a patchwork quilt. There was also a bunch of new MAT's which helped add to the design.
Dynamics / Interactivity
When I read the text file, I was both delighted and upset at this one line: "3 months for just architecture, 2 and one half weeks for items, cogs enemies, lights, and story." I was delighted that the author spent three whole months on just the architecture, and if you read the above paragraph, you will see the those three months were not squandered. However, I was upset with the fact that the rest of the level took less then three weeks, and it showed as I played it. Enemy placement was average at best. Although there were never any spots where I was overwhelmed, there were just too many enemies for a level of this kind. Almost every room had about 4-5 enemies in it. Now that in itself isn't so bad, but when every room has the same number of enemies (from important rooms to pointless rooms) it becomes repetitious and gratuitous, not to mention boring. As for actual placement, most of the time it was good. At times it seemed that enemies were milling around (something I hate) but that didn't happen often. Items, unfortunately, were just as gratuitous as the enemies. There are a lot of enemies in this level, but you might not notice it because of the number of shields and health packs. Ammo was also just as abundant. Towards the end the author cuts back on the health packs but by then the player has more then enough bacta to last. Furthermore, items were half-buried in the ground, something I thought I'd seen the last of. As for enhancements, this level doesn't have too many of them. There are a couple of new MAT's and WAV's to help the overall design and atmosphere, but the level lacked COG's. There are approximately four doors, three switches, two things that slide away when pushed, and two anti-gravity chambers (which might not even be a COG script). That's not much. Design only goes so far. After that, it's like playing a multi-player game where has a lot more importance.
Playing Experience / Atmosphere
Atmosphere was decent. There's some good use of lighting to help bring out a tense mood in the player. Also, the abundance of detail in the design helps capture the feel of the temple. Unfortunately, the levels comes apart as far as setup and realism are concerned. The level is much too linear for a temple. Almost every room had only one way in and one way out. This brought back a lot of memories of myself playing "Doom". I walked around, and shot things. It might have been fun at the time, but it was hardly realistic. This level isn't much different, save for the fact that this level has outstanding architecture. Another that killed the level for me was the realism issues, like swimming up a water fall. Also, what's with the anti-gravity rooms. That's something that you would see in a science facility, not a temple. The story also raises a question. From my understanding in "Splinter of a Mind's Eye" the temple containing the Kaiburr Crystal was in a jungle. However, the few outside areas that you see in the level suggest that you are in something other then a jungle. Trees and grass would have helped bring out a jungle feel. Then again, this level doesn't pick an accurate date as to when this level takes place. Maybe the crystal was moved. If so, it would have been in the author's best interest to let us know. Gameplay isn't much of an issue. There will some lag in certain areas, but most of it will be fast-paced. As far as bugs go, there weren't any. I commend the author on that at least.
Review Screenshot 3
Review Screenshot 4
Final Thoughts
All in all, it was a good attempt by the author. For his next sp level though, (if he chooses to do one) I hope that he puts more time into the rest of the level as he did the design. It's really hard to make a level good when a lot of it is crammed into three weeks of work. Still, give it a shot if you're curious.
93 / 100
75 / 100
84 / 100