Battle of Toprawa I
Mission Type:
Post Date:
Level Review
Overall Score:
Date Reviewed:
Matthew Pate
79 / 100
January 28, 1999
90 / 100
70 / 100
80 / 100
First Impressions
First, one glaring error in the plot. Being an avid Star Wars fan as I am, I know this, but the author might not have. Toprawa, a planet that assisted in transporting the stolen plans to the first Death Star, was made an example by the Empire. The entire planet was reduced to caveman technology, and the only way to get food was to wriggle around of the ground in front of stormtroopers, lamenting the Emperor's death. Thus, the Baron's Hed type level that exists here cannot be on Toprawa. Also, the author mentions that this is his first MotS level, but I'm not sure whether he's made levels for JK before.
Review Screenshot 1
Review Screenshot 2
Design / Visuals
The architecture in Toprawa was about above average. The level had beams, and walkways above head, adding the realism and interest. A variety of stairs and ramps, as well as a small outdoors area made the level look well put together. It looked a lot like a more cramped version of Baron's Hed, using the same textures, but the layout was more like Katrassii Spaceport. It was real for a city, though there was a bit of boxiness. However, various lighting effects and detail, like beams, made it hard to notice. One thing though, which annoyed me, was a street area that looked like there were two separate buildings, but upon entering one of them, you see a passage linking them, even though this can't be seen from outside. This, to me, really kicks you out of the Star Wars Galaxy and back into your computer room. Texturing was great, with no un-stitched surfaces, and the textures looking like a city, though a little more variety wouldn't have gone astray.
Dynamics / Interactivity
Enemy Placement was rather horrendous. Trandoshans lined the street pelting you with Concussion bullets and Rails. Overall it was a bit too hard. I was wandering around on next to no health, which I don't really like :). There were some good points, with Grans jumping down from behind and ambushing you. The realism of the placement was also good, except for a couple enemies, where there is no obvious way for them have gotten where they are. Item placement was alright, with a nice lot of ammo, but not enough health or shields. But a revive found half way through was gratefully accepted. There was also plenty of most weapons, except for carbonite guns, and flash grenades. No great loss there. There weren't many enhancements, and the cogs used weren't implemented properly. While Kyle said "Locked." Or, "Hmm, a force field", what was shown on screen was the familiar "COG_60013" type deal. I'm not quite sure how to fix this, because I use print(""); instead of stuffing around with the cogstrings.uni file. There were no new sounds or cutscenes. A briefing cutscene would have been easy to make, and very effective. Maybe next time.
Playing Experience / Atmosphere
The Level's atmosphere was great. Lighting was day bright in all outside areas. Inside areas had nice shadows. Coloured lighting was used a little, to great effect. The mood, unfortunately, didn't have much of the tenseness that you'd expect trying to find a bomb that could be used any minute to blow up an entire city. The level felt pretty stagnant, people were just standing around not doing anything, but there was a good level of sound. There was wind, chatter, water, and various other sounds being used throughout the level. In gameplay areas, it was pretty flawless. framerate was high the entire mission, it never crashed, and besides the earlier 'missing tunnel' error, no technical errors. A good thing. I pretty much enjoyed myself while playing, which is the important thing, but the first time I played, it took me quite a while.
Review Screenshot 3
Review Screenshot 4
Final Thoughts
Overall, this is a level to download. It is relatively small in file size, only 500k, and it's a level that will take time to complete. While not having any extras, like cutscenes, it's a fun little exercise for Kyle, and you'll probably have a fun time playing it. We'll wait for cutscenes next time, OK, Antilles?
90 / 100
70 / 100
80 / 100