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Jade Phoenix (Beta 1)
Author: Strife Submitted: 20th July, 2009 Favourites:0
Genre: Platformer Downloads: 532
Rated:
73rd Place     (4.4 / 5)


Edited By Strife on 7/20/2009

Jade Phoenix is a side-scrolling platform adventure game with characters and locations based on fantasy concepts from members of the Neopian Times Writer's Forum. I've performed all of the programming, spriting, and music composition, while I've had a group of volunteers create the characters for me and test the game for bugs and other issues.

In the game, denizens of the island of Netwafopia have been possessed by an alien being, making them hypnotized "puppets" and causing evil things to happen. Players must journey across the island to save the hypnotized citizens and stop the alien's plans, using one of two playable characters: Patjade or Wandy (both are actual administrators of the real NTWF). Patjade is a female elf who uses a bow and arrow as her main weapon, while Wandy is a male kitsune who uses a sword as his weapon. The game itself plays very similar to Super Mario Bros, with inspiration from various other games.

Jade Phoenix has been in development for about 3 years so far, with massive breaks in between, and I think enough levels have been completed to warrent an official release. This version (Beta 1) contains 31 levels across 6 distinct worlds and is playable from start to finish. The final version of the game will hopefully contain 50 levels across 7 different worlds, with both a mini-boss battle and a big boss battle in each world.

Since this is a beta version, there are some bugs and issues that you might encounter. I am still actively working on the project with a small team of bug testers. Hopefully I can fill in the rest of the missing levels and get it into a completed state in the near future.

That being said, happy platforming!

(Controls for the game are explained in the first level. All you need to know at first is that the arrow keys move your character.)

Gameplay videos:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wU5JokF3yK8 (Forest Canopy)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pk1aq0GvOoU (Beach Boss)

Review This Download



     
     


http://jadephoenix.org/jpgame/jp_beta1.zip (9.37mb )



Posted by Ski 20th July, 2009
Rated :

Ooh this looks colourful, downloading.
 
Posted by DMT 20th July, 2009
Rated :

Umm... Do you mind not making it an installer. I'm uncomfortable installing things on this machine.
 
Posted by Ski 20th July, 2009
Rated :

Not bad I found it quite addictive. The engine seemed fairly solid, appart from one or two slip ups where I became stuck in some of the falling boulders and what not, and some of the rampaging window smashing enemies were created in the ground and not on it. Other than that it reminded me of some of the platformers on TDC from years gone by, don't get many like these nowadays.

Image

Enemies stuck in ground

Oh yeah and try not to use installers, I personally don't mind at all, but some people on TDC are really fussy about it.
 
Posted by erghhhhx 20th July, 2009

Can't open it, needs "platform.COX"... :l
 
Posted by OMC 20th July, 2009
Rated :

Very solid little game with charming graphics and smooth animations. I would have preferred that it did not require me to add entries to my registry, but it was worth it for a bit of old school platforming fun.

Great work so far!
 
Posted by phanto 20th July, 2009
Rated :

Great game!

It crashed on the first boss though, but that's been happening to a lot of MMF2 apps for me lately...
I reloaded and it went smoothly from there.

However, at a Stage screen (Level 8: The Overgrowth), I tabbad away from the game and chatted with a friend. When I tabbed back the game wouldn't respond to "press any key" or whatever it says.

Anyway this is an excellent platformer. By TDC standards I definitely believe it's worth 5 stars.
 
Posted by Strife 20th July, 2009

Thanks everyone!

I updated the download link to a ZIP file without the installer. And whaddya know, it knocked the filesize down to 9 megs too.

OMC, when did it require you to add registry entries? Was it the installer, or are most klik games like that?
 
Posted by OMC 20th July, 2009
Rated :

The installer adds registry entries. It's a petty little thing, but after having repaired many computers with clogged up registries, I'm wary of installing anything I don't need. I'm glad I did though.

You get mondo kudos for uploading without an installer. Most people don't bother.
 
Posted by UrbanMonk 20th July, 2009
Rated :

This was great! I wish we had more of these game, but everyone is too busy making level editors! lol

EDIT: if anyone wants to skip levels check out the youtube videos for passwords!
Comment edited by UrbanMonk on 7/20/2009
 
Posted by DMT 21st July, 2009
Rated :

This is pretty cool!
 
Posted by DMT 21st July, 2009
Rated :

Okay, I really enjoyed it, especially the dash attack. It reminds me of Captain Falcon's down special in SSBB. The plot I didn't really understand or care about. You know, it would be nice if you could kill the first boss without the bird, if it just took like... 3 iterations.

i didn't like the pixel perfect jumps in the first level. It was crazy hard! And one time, I hit a ? block and nothing happened. Anyways I'll just review it after I win.
 
Posted by Strife 21st July, 2009

Thankies!

At the moment, the intro movie isn't included, so i'd understand why the plot would be a little bit confusing.

By first level, do you mean Warm Welcoming? If so, some of the trophies are meant to be difficult to collect. I've been thinking about adding a shop-like area to the final version of the game where you can spend gems and trophies on unlockable items, so that those collectables actually have a purpose.
 
Posted by Klayman 21st July, 2009
Rated :

Love the graphics and the gameplay is tight. Is there a purpose to collecting all the stars? It's be cool if you could trade then in for upgrades or something. I find collecting things to be more rewarding if you're.. well rewarded for collecting them
 
Posted by Strife 21st July, 2009

The stars are like the gems, but they reward more points. I was thinking that I could have some sort of shop in the final version where you could buy unlockable features with the shinies and trophies you've collected. ^^
 
Posted by DMT 21st July, 2009
Rated :

Yes, I mean Warm Welcoming. it took me forever to get on the roof with the shinies and stars. unless I did it wrong? I hate missing any collectables which is why I'm glad there's no time limit.
 
Posted by Strife 21st July, 2009

Ah yes, that jump is tricky. It's just a little bonus, but I can understand why the collectors would get a little frustrated by it. Perhaps I can make it slightly easier to reach in the next version.
 
Posted by AndyUK 21st July, 2009

This is a great platformer. There were no major problems I came across. It might start to get boring if you don't start to introduce more unique gimmicks to the levels though.
Oh and I thought the characters rounded arms and feet looked bizarre. But it's only a minor thing lol.

I did find myself landing on the edge of the floor only to slide off of it. This could become really annoying if you have any sections with small platforms suspended in the air.

The shop idea is good. Just collecting for points doesn't really seem worth the effort unless your game is supposed to play like an arcade game.

Since it's only a beta I'll not rate it yet but it's looking like a good one.
 
Posted by Asholay 21st July, 2009

Great stuff. Definitely add a shop to spend the collectables in - also a screen at the end of each level saying you collected x / x gems, and stars, etc would be great. Maybe even allow the player to keep playing the level to find them all.

Found a bug btw: if you change the size of the screen to 150% or 200%, then turn on & off the menu bar, it messes the screen up and you have to go back to 100% to reset it. Just a heads up.
 
Posted by SupaStix 21st July, 2009
Rated :

I really enjoy what I played so far. I like the colorful graphics, it has that Fishhead vibe to it.
 
Posted by JustinC 21st July, 2009

Yeah the pickups seemed pointless if you don't incorporate a shop or something. Also it seemed pointless to be able to push up at all the doors and hear the same thing.

I got frustrated at the first boss though. I died and had to go through all that text again. There should be a way to skip text boxes without them having to go through all the dialogue first.

Wait does this have something to do with neopets? It's run by scientologists.
Comment edited by JustinC on 7/21/2009
 
Posted by Asholay 21st July, 2009

Yeah - with the dialog boxes, I kept pressing ctrl to bring the text up quicker, but it obviously makes you jump, and resets the text boo
 
Posted by DMT 21st July, 2009
Rated :

Umm... If you read the sign it tells you how to skip text by pressing esc.
 
Posted by Asholay 22nd July, 2009

Yeah - I think I must have pressed jump on that one........
 
Posted by JustinC 22nd July, 2009

Yeah figured that out in the readme.

Also I think this game could use a map screen ala mario world. Along with a gamesave.
 
Posted by GamesterXIII 22nd July, 2009

Hey, fun game.

Only thing is that it feels pretty repetitive after about 6-8 levels.

I somewhat agree with Andy, but I believe as long as graphics/animations are fluid and don't look broken/retarded, then they are fine for games. . . especially non realistic games. I do believe they play one of the most important roles in gameplay for certain games, but your animations don't hinder it at all.
 
Posted by erghhhhx 22nd July, 2009

"platform.COX"... :l
 
Posted by Strife 22nd July, 2009

Thanks everyone!

JustinC, you can skip boss text by pressing the Escape key. As for Neopets, the game has nothing to do with it, but my original beta testers and character designers came from a Neopets-based forum. I started working on the game well before it was taken over by Viacom. xP

As for a map screen, I wanted to include one in the beta, but I decided to scrap it for now and work on getting all of the levels finished first. Here's a screenshot of what's done so far though:

http://img217.imageshack.us/img217/1833/jpscreen37ap4.png

Toxic - Why does it need platform.cox? o_o Have you tried downloading Bonus Pack 1 for MMF/MMF2 and dragging the platform.cox from there into the game folder?
 
Posted by erghhhhx 22nd July, 2009

I'll try.

...But dontya' think it should work for anyone? Maybe include the file in next version.
 
Posted by The Chris Street 22nd July, 2009

I'm trying to figure out why it neds platform.cox to work. It should all be compiled in the exe, surely?
 
Posted by Strife 22nd July, 2009

That's what i'm thinking. None of my previous beta testers reported any problems with platform.cox... Maybe it has something to do with the operating system?
 
Posted by The Chris Street 22nd July, 2009

Hmm... Ok, I downloaded this and here are initial impressions. I'm not going to officially give it an overall star rating since I can't edit it, and I haven't finished the game, but will give stars through what I've played so far.

Firstly, this game looks really, really good. The spritework is delicious and everything animates pretty well. I have to admit that I do not like the distant backgrounds one bit, ie, the stars at nighttime or the clouds. They look too different in style to the main spritework. I'm not overly keen on the distant hills either, they just look like random pixels of green splattered about in the form of semicircles and I actually found them hurting my eyes to be honest. Also, the backgrounds clash with walls, floors and ceilings and I found it hard to differentiate between what I could walk on, particularly in levels which involved climbing onto the roofs of houses. Graphics: 4 out of 5

The music is good, well composed, yet ever so slightly repetitive. I have to admit to not being fond of the boss music, it wasn't ominous or fast paced enough. Yet its a lot better than the sort of stuff I can compose so I guess in theory I can't critisize. 7/10 for the music.

Gameplay... Ah. I had a lot of issues with gameplay. While the engine is fine, I found I had an awkward time jumping on the enemies. In part this is the engine, and in part the graphics making it harder to spot them. I also found myself slipping of the edges of platforms and got stuck in numerous backdrops too, slowly floating upwards - but if I tried to jump while stuck in one I actually ended up floating downwards instead. The level design is a very, very mixed bag and could count on one hand levels I felt that were truly great. I also felt that the levels were very samey, there wasn't much variety and found that hitting those boxes with the characters head to be strangely very unsatisfying so I largely avoided them. That said, there were some interesting level features. Giving the player three forms of attack is a good idea and enemies are visually designed so you know when you can't jump on them (ie, hedgehogs and their spines). I also like the appearing bridge puzzles, though I feel they are perhaps a little underused. Finally I found that on some levels, if I held DOWN, the screen would flicker when I was trying to slide attack boulders - most notable on the very first tutorial stage - but also present in other stages. It didn't always happen but it felt unpolished. I also didn't see the point of the bonus stages, they felt rushed.

Things that did feel polished - the menu and text engines were very well done and very professional. The graphical interface for the game was simple and not too crammed full of features.

Aside from the blocks I failed to see any relation between Super Mario World too!

Since this is a beta version of the game, as I said I'm not going to officially rate it. At this present time though I'm giving it 3/5 stars.
Comment edited by Chris Street on 7/22/2009
 
Posted by Strife 22nd July, 2009

Thanks for the in-depth analysis, Chris!

The switch-based bridge puzzles are one of my favorite elements as well. It's difficult to plan out how they work sometimes, but the effort is worth it. Perhaps if I added a few more switch colors, i'd be able to add more of them without them getting too repetitive or easy.

If I may ask (and this is to no one in particular), which levels need improvement in order to ease up on the repetitiveness that several of you mentioned so far?
 
Posted by Marc Georgeson 22nd July, 2009
Rated :

I like it. Nice graphics but a bit too easy.
 
Posted by JustinC 22nd July, 2009

Actually the guy who originally bought neopets and made it what it is was the scientologist. Then he sold it to Viacom. But I'm guessing he's still raking in cash from it and funneling it back into his cult.
 
Posted by The Chris Street 22nd July, 2009

Strife: It's pretty much any level with blocks seemingly randomly placed to make it more vertical, as well as horizontal. Make room for levels with pure platforming, which test your abilities, aka Super Mario Sunshine.
 
Posted by Strife 23rd July, 2009

Got it. Apartment Complex and Way to the Bay would be good examples of that, methinks.
 
Posted by Ivaxlar 23rd July, 2009
Rated :

I'm not sure what type of feedback I'm supposed to give here, so I'll just make a couple of points in a few areas. I played up to the boss fight with the pogo-stick woman.. it was a close battle but she kicked my butt, lol.

I think you have all the right basic elements here, but there's really only three points that need refinement to make this game great:
. Controls - I'm not sure if you plan to add this later or not, but it'd be nice to custom map the keys how I like. imo, I think the up key would be more comfortable to jump with (which would also free-up the button for another ability). I do, however, like a seperate jump button when using a controller.. but on the keyboard I prefer the arrow keys for all movement.

. Point System - What, exactly, is the point of collecting those gems and stars? In Mario, points are used for 1ups and in Dragon's Curse (it feels like your game is somewhere in between those two which is awesome) they're used for gear upgrades and other purchases. imo, some type of gem-consuming attack would fit right in here and (if balanced to be worth-while) would certainly offer the player an incentive to spend the time getting those gems. Also worth noting.. players like sparkles and shiny things as it breaks monotony and helps your game to maintain flow, so I think it would be fun if dead monsters dropped just a few gems... especially during boss fights (this would be necessary if there was a gem-consuming attack).

. Camera/FoV - This was, for me, the low-point. Every time the character jumps, the camera moves. For me, this was extremely disorienting and was, actually, the reason I stopped playing after I died. However, I think this problem is tied to the small field of vision. imo, fixing this would involve panning the camera back just enough so that the character can jump up and down without moving x-position and the camera barely moves up at all (not completely still as a slight motion would be pleasing for the player). This would, also imo, make it easier to jump on the heads of enemies (which is a fun feature along with the dash).

Well, I hope that was along the lines of the feedback you were looking for. All in all, this was fun. I loved the graphics, music was fitting, and I'm looking forward to the beta 2.
 
Posted by AndyUK 24th July, 2009

I agree with Ivaxlar on the camera. It was disorientating but I couldn't actually work out why.
 
Posted by Guru Rinpoche 27th July, 2009
Rated :

I find this to be quite solid-- the movement engine is done pretty well, the animations are nice, and I really like the mid-air frantic-kicking move.

I'm glad the controls were editable as well, since I had to change them around.
It'd be nice if there were some reward for collecting the gems as well...

My one gripe was the level with the sticky arrows (Lvl 9, maybe?). I didn't even visually discern the sticky arrow "patch" as being such, and I ended up running all over the level looking for something that was right there.

Love those white hagfish things too!
 
Posted by Guru Rinpoche 28th July, 2009
Rated :

Also, it'd be nice if Randy's sword-shot wasn't affected by his run speed. i.e. if he's shooting while running at full speed, the shots still project from him at the same speed as if he were standing still.
 
Posted by Guru Rinpoche 29th July, 2009
Rated :

Beat the whole thing, and I have to say, this was a very fun game. I liked everything about it, with the exception of one thing:

The zombie penguin levels are pretty much impossible to beat using Wandy. With Patjade you can easily take them down with a one-hit kill electric arrow, but Wandy generally has to get too close to not get hurt occasionally.
 
Posted by Strife 29th July, 2009

Thanks for the comments, Guru!

My beta testers and I have beaten the zombie penguin level many times before with Wandy, although they have mentioned the exceptional difficulty. I could either beef up the strength of his lightning bolts, or I could make the penguins a little easier to kill. I think the former would be more beneficial in this case.
 
Posted by Dustin Gunn 5th August, 2009

The camera jolts up and down when you jump from a lower platform to a higher platform; that's why it's disorienting.

Pretty nice game but it would help if you introduced gimmicks earlier than after the boss. The first 5 levels are basically just collecting stuff. The boulders that fall down need work, because they get stuck in eachother and you can get stuck in them. Also, sliding into them only destroys them half the time and the other half it just knocks you back.

You need to limit jumping to once per button-press if you have to hold it to jump higher. Otherwise it makes you involuntarily jump every time you land a close jump.

The passwords I'm hoping are temporary seeing as the game is pretty competently made and save systems are so easy to implement. Also, it crashed on the sand castle level but that's probably MMF's fault.
 

 



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