AXIS - Centennium 2 - J. B. Lewis
(SPOILERS as always)
Concept: (5/5) AXIS is a medium-sized itemswapper based on a simple concept: Chip can only move horizontally, and Melinda can only move vertically. Break either rule, and the tank button is pressed, causing tanks to nail themselves against the four chip sockets and making the level unsolvable.
Design: (5/5) The level is arranged in a very pleasing symmetrical layout, as is common in J. B.'s levels. The items and tiles of interest are laid out in a pound-sign (#) shape, with the teleports adding some real interest to the otherwise linear gameplay (causing there to be four intersections between Chip's world and Melinda's world instead of only one). Additionally, four purple balls bounce across the level, adding just enough minor dodging to break up the player's concentration.
Action Difficulty: (2/5) Simple ball dodging.
Puzzle Difficulty: (3/5) In addition to the itemswapper, there is some added interest with the hook/block interaction, ensuring the correct character opens the green doors, and managing five inventory items.
Fun: (5/5) A really enjoyable level and the perfect length for the concept. It took me four or five tries but it was always my own fault. Focusing on which axis you are allowed to move on took some learning, and those pesky pink balls definitely surprised me a couple times. I didn't get all the bonuses but it looks interesting for the optimizers out there.
CCLXP2. I recently finished playing through this set and to say the least, it was a different experience than back when I let's played the MS version. Not by much, but different enough to call it out.
The CCLXP2 project dates back to as early as late 2011. As we all know, CCLP2 was not crafted with the lynx ruleset in mind, due to the fact people were far more aware of the MS port instead of the original version. Over the years and especially after CCLP3's release, Lynx compatibly became more common of a ruleset, with many more designers crafting levels with both MS and Lynx rulesets in mind, instead of just the former. Because of this, various community members, including myself, took it upon themselves to make CCLP2, Lynx-compatible. For players who prefer the Lynx ruleset over the other to enjoy the first offical level pack (at the time at least). I was once part of this project in its early days, since I am a big fan of CCLP2. But as time went on and going through many hiatus periods, eventually I disbanded from it due to other reasons.
Despite the fact it has been released for quite some time now, I finally found myself to take the time to play through it. I was very tempted to LP this, to go along with my old out-of-date MS run back in 2011 but I decided against it.
As far as feedback goes, I will leave some for any level I found particularly interesting or more of a challenge. This includes the fixed levels and even some where the gameplay was slightly different but was still Lynx-compatible from the start.
Warning, spoilers. (I mean if you never played the original CCLP2 at least?)
14. The Parallel Port
This was the first level in CCLP2 to use invalid tiles. Originally, every collectable item was under a fake blue wall and the path to the exit included an ice corner, which can't be passed through in Lynx. The fix to this was shifting all items to the upper layer and over some to require close to the same amount of time to obtain as it would in MS. While the level itself wasn't really interesting even in the original, I found it enjoyable to finally play it in Lynx.
15. Debug File
I always choke myself up whenever I go back to watch Rock's run of this level and dying hilariously. This level went under very little fixes actually. Aside from the monsters not being on top of blocks, the way to collect chips was interesting. This was possibly the best (and only) fix for this and it was much appreciated. Got the bold on my first try too, without trying!
17. Double Trouble
The fix to this was simply making it possible to move at the start. Originally, the glider would kill you instantly in Lynx. Not that this mattered because the level was unplayable anyway due to the thin walls being under some fake blue walls and normal walls under chips. I found it a little amusing that the pop-up walls in the fixed version aren't necessary.
19. A Sample of Things to Come
I never was a big fan of this level but the fix to it was pretty simple. I like the new mechanism that replaced the original buried pop-up walls under the red locks at the start.
20. Ranger Denmark
This level was always silly to me, but this version is very obviously different. Such that the fire was replaced by water and most the monsters were swapped with their counterparts. Still was simple as ever to solve though.
21. Block Away!
I hated the original version but this one did it some justice, though not that much. I remember looking at this level upon this project's early days, figuring out what could be done if the wrong red buttons were pressed. That fix was clever, I never thought of it. The fact the blue keys next to the tanks were still there when viewing in the editor was nice to see, though me personally I would have swapped through some keys as to not add some like the lower right did.
Finally, the way to exit. Great change. I disliked the original with traps under locks. Even though I didn't trapped in this run, had I done so I wouldn't have minded as much.
22. How Goes?
Pretty good. (see what I did there?)
I remember this change being brought up and it is indeed a great one. Does not affect MS's solution at all, which was part of the goal whenever possible.
26. Work Fast
Surprisingly, I had a hard time at this one. I was so used to the way monsters moved in MS that it's completely different in Lynx. The glider section below was also a challenge to go through since splash delay is a thing. Overall, I enjoyed it but I probably won't replay it ever.
28. Madness I (LX)
So this was the first level that had to undergo a big change. While it's appearance is quite similar compared to viewing the original, the gameplay is slightly different. Blocks moving against each other while on traps is actually a pretty clever concept and I liked it. I did get killed by the first attempt though, since I didn't pay attention to the display message before.
31. Well of Wishes
While this level was already compatible with Lynx to begin with, I felt the gameplay was different enough to review it - notably, the glider part at the start.
For the longest time, I kept thinking it was possible to go through it the same way in MS but I don't believe it is. Until I realized the flippers can be used to collect those chips. Even though it's possible to do that in MS as well, I never noticed that and I really liked that it was used here.
I really found it fun that I was able to obtain all the first chips in the east fireball room without stopping. A lot of levels in this ruleset do this and I found it nice.
The only other difference I found cool was the blobs on ice. The timing to get past them a few times was a good challenge.
48. And Then There Were... Four?
Of course those fire boots are still in the third column.
I liked this fix, I remember it being brought up and it was well-received. Though, I don't think all the other red buttons needed to be there.
59. Lot of Danger
The beginning was much more difficult, since you have no control over the random force floors. I honestly really dislked the paramecium part after this. I felt it could have had more wiggle room and less of a chance of dying by it. Other than that, this level was pretty good.
68. Madness II (LX)
I just realized both Madness levels changed in this set.
Anyway, the only changes were the hidden items and the force floors underwater right at the beginning. Mostly everything else is the same. It was a good level to play again.
70. Killer Spiral
One of the few levels that I actually suggested the fix for (The other being Frost Swirl)! And a different style gameplay, since I couldn't rely on boosting like I could in the original.
82. The Block Stops Here (LX)
The bomb section at the bottom was a well done fix. It was appreciated that I could actually kill off some of the gliders, if I really needed to.
85. Follow the Glacier Brick Road
It was sad to see the original level's concept go but there was no way to replicate it for Lynx. So arguably this one was a lot, lot easier to solve.
87. The Walker Machine (LX)
An actual level that requires you to erase blue keys? This may be my favorite level in this Lynx version. It was just a ton of fun to play and has so much replay value. I loved it, well done to whoever's idea this was!
92. Abandoned Mines
The blob section was a lot more challenging here, since blobs act weird in Lynx. The force floors at the end gave me a headache. That's mostly the animations fault but still it was a pain collecting the chips there. Was still fun to play again regardless.
93. Exit Chip
Okay. This level wasn't nearly as evil as the original. I actually kind of liked it? That's kind of hard to say though!
Thankfully I didn't die by any ball on that ice slide, though I did almost get killed by the block containing suction boots in the NE.
94. Checkerboard II (LX)
A good fix to the level but I didn't enjoy playing it. I found it easier to mess up guiding blocks in this version. I might have been impatient though.
96. Glider and Fire
I remember there being debate on whether this level should stay or be replaced by a mirrored version that I made back when this project was first starting out. I'm honestly a little disappointed the mirrored version didn't get used here, it would have been much easier in my opinion.
Anyway I had to watch Miika's lynx solution to this level to solve this. I especially hated the ending that requires nearly perfect timing to exit or you'd get killed by a glider, which is completely out of your control. I wish some were removed at least but oh well.
In general I can't say I liked it, but it was definitely a challenging level.
99. One-Block Sokoban
Lol I accidentally erased the blue key on the first attempt.
Backtracking to get the green key before pushing the block was not fun. It couldn't be helped though. What could have been helped though was the teleport/splash delay cook at the very very end. That wasn't very nice, Lynx.
105. Yet Another Puzzle (LX)
Still remained just as fun as the original, despite the change. It was a little harder to outrace the glider before getting stuck.
107. Joyride I
I recommended a time limit increment for this level but unfortunately it didn't receive one. So the bold time is 2, which I find funny.
Block slapping made this level a lot easier.
112. After the Rainstorm (LX)
Even though its not required here, I love the fact the force floor remains in that once called "Ram" section. Nice touch.
113. Oorto Geld II
This is the true definition of a lame sequel. And the walkers didn't do it any better. Did not enjoy this one.
I never did play the version that required odd step but this was a good level. I appreciate the teeth in NE no longer releases out of it's trap.
120. Frost Rings (LX)
Even though it's concept couldn't be retained, it was still enjoyable. Nothing beats the original though
No changes but because slide delay does not exist in Lynx, this level played sooooo much smoother. Loved it.
130. Frozen Birdbath (LX)
I raged on this level in my MS run. I despised the original so much, it's my top least favorite CC level. BUT.
This version did it so much justice. I loved it. Considering to replace my #1 least favorite level now.
131. Time Bomb (LX)
I'm surprised this was mirrored and Glider and Fire wasn't. But it makes sense with this level, since the original had fire all over the place.
The level was great. I don't know if it's the same gameplay just mirrored but it seemed harder to me. Great fix (or replacement I guess?).
132. Captured (LX)
This one wasn't as annoying as the original. Quicker to solve as well!
136. Switch Hit
I'm surprised the AVI for this level claims this to be unsolvable in Lynx. It was definitely more interesting here though, it had me stomped on how to exit since the way to in MS couldn't be done.
139. Frostbite (LX)
I found this to be a little more timing based. Enjoyable to play though was never much of a fan of the original.
140. Keep Trying
Moving with random force floors everywhere was more difficult than it should have been. But still fun to play!
The fact there still resides a bust here makes this level better. Didn't catch it until I completed it the first time, so I went back and executed that bust.
I don't know if it's possible to collect all 15 chips in the teeth corridor, but I didn't chance it. Thankfully the 2 at the end were useful for something! The walker clone machines also acted out with me and caused me to die several times.
Hated the original. Hated this version even more. I especially hated that a fireball in the west room goes in the ball/chip room which only made it unnecessarily harder. Sorry.
147. Cloner's Maze
Just because gliders don't die in fire here, I went all out with the cloner and spammed it for a good 30 in-game seconds. Don't do that, it ain't a good idea.
Anyway I had to watch chipster1059's video of solving this in Lynx because I was at a complete loss on some parts. While I'm pretty sure it's possible otherwise, I relied on collisions to collect the yellow key and one of the chips. I hated one collision but loved the other. Thanks chipster for the video assistance!
Liked the fact the traps made getting blocks in those spots for gliders to destroy the bombs much easier. I didn't enjoy this level that much unfortunately.
Overall, playing this was very interesting and most, if not all, the fixes were excellent. Thank you to those who worked hard on completing this project and I apologize for disbanding in the middle of it. You did CCLP2 some justice with this. I highly recommend playing this, even if you weren't a fan of the original.