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Where the heck do I start with this?! This map is to Sith J Cull like The Phantom Menace was to Star Wars, or like Kingdom of the Crystal Skull was to Indiana Jones – the very much awaited return of a legend after a long period of absence.
I saw this map when Sith J started production on it many, many aeons ago, and when Sith J mysteriously vanished due to real life work commitments I feared we would never see this map. But, he hasn’t disappointed us, as with excellent timing the finished map is delivered to our doorstep! And believe me we have a treat for you here today!
Before starting off the review though, it is best that I first mention the mod which this map is largely based around. This is the JKA Galaxies Mod, a mod that aims to replicate the MMORPG feeling of Star Wars Galaxies using Jedi Academy. Here is what I think is a good summary of the main aims of the mod and this map from the readme:
This map will eventually form a player world in the upcoming mod JKA Galaxies, the map act as a preview to that mod. I have included instructions throughout the map given by protocol droids that are standing near shuttle ports, and banking terminals and other key areas, the will inform you that you cannot do carry out a particular function at the moment, these actions are a part of the Galaxies Mod so thats something to look forward to in the new year. The map stands as a completely playable FFA map however with plenty of areas to explore and also lends itself well to the RPGEr as there are living quarters and underground bars to name a few.
The droids mentioned are spread throughout the map and are easy to find, they really do give you instructions too when you press the use button on them, a very nice little touch there on the interactivity side there!
Now lets have a good look at this very large map.
In true Star Wars Galaxies style, this is laid out just as the towns are in SWG, there is an entrance and exit point, that in SWG would lead to the outside world. However of course you cannot go past these areas in this map as it would be physically impossible to replicate the completely open world that Star Wars Galaxies features. The town itself is within some low walls, which allow you to look over and see some scenery beyond, which helps prevent the map from feeling too enclosed.
The buildings, and indeed the whole town has a lot of SWG references, such as the droid sounds from SWG used for the many R2 units wandering around, and also the occasional electrical hum and other such noise. All of these are an excellent touch, which adds greatly to the ambience of the map. Buildings to explore include a Medical Center, a few small shuttle ports, between which a small platform flies, transporting you to various parts of the map. There is also a droid / junk shop, some houses (including an outskirts ‘mud-house’ type area), a garage and a bar, all of which are enterable.
And I haven’t even gotten to the best part yet!
The best (at least in my opinion) and also the biggest part of the map is the shuttle port area. Now, you all remember Sith J’s Millennium Falcon map don’t you? Well the Falcon (a fully enterable one too!) is back for this map, docked in one of the docking bays of the spaceport. But wait, there is more! One legendary, fully enterable ship wasn’t enough to put in this space port, there is another famous fully enterable ship docked here… The Ebon Hawk!
Yes that’s right, Sith J has turned his multitude of talents towards providing us with what I think is the definitive rendition of the Ebon Hawk ever see in a JKA map. There have been several maps which feature the Ebon Hawk, both enterable and non-enterable versions, so what sets this apart?
Well for one, the attention to detail is incredible. This is definitely the best replication of the Ebon Hawk that I have ever seen. The shape and textures are spot on, though the ship itself is somewhat oversized I think (as is the Falcon) but that is necessary to make all the inside areas fit in, so it isn’t too much of a problem. All the areas we remember from KotOR are here, the bedroom areas, the storage rooms, the bridge, the central room and more. One particularly special feature that caught my eye in the central room was the holo-projector, which has hovering above it a display of a system of planes and asteroids rotating around the Binary Star System of Tatooine’s two suns.
Moving back out into the map in general more features that caught my eye was the huge wrecked ship crashed into the middle of the town (very similar to the Dowager Queen that rests in the middle of Mos Eisley) and also the maps textures. The textures are of note because they seem to use some form of bump mapping, which I can’t figure out. The effect looks great, and fits nicely with the rough, grimy appearance of Tatooine in general. Another textural feature of note is the special ENV maps that certain textures have - the ones where only certain parts of the texture are made shiny, whereas the rest remain matt. I forget what this type of shader is called now, but it is a difficult effect to actually make, so well done there Sith J mate. ;)
I could go on for much longer with this review, but I think my fingers might fall off with too much typing. :P
To sum it up, the layout of this map is very reminiscent of the Star Wars Galaxies locations without being just a copy. The textures are excellent and have been well used, as is the lighting, especially in the underground passageways of the spaceport. These areas look very cinematic, which their low lighting and slight haze in the air.
Sith J Cull is always very impressive when it comes to hunting down and getting rid of bugs and errors, however I did notice a small few that managed to slip through. These though are mostly just small areas where a texture is misaligned or not scaled correctly, and in a map this big you wont notice little things like that unless you are looking for them pretty hard.
Other than that, I would say that the terrain doesn’t look quite natural and smooth enough in a few areas, but again, that doesn’t spoil the overall excellent quality and workmanship displayed in this map. Overall then a fantastic map here and a magnificent return by Sith J Cull!
As far as legends go, he might not be might not be ‘The Man in the Hat’, but he certainly is back! :D
New Textures: Yes New Sounds: Yes New Music: Yes Bot Routes: Yes Game Types: FFA
*********************************** Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy *********************************** TITLE**: SJC_JKG_PREVIEW AUTHOR**: sith-j-cull E-MAIL**: firstname.lastname@example.org WEBSITE: http://uk.youtube.com/user/sithjculley FILENAME: sjc_jkg_preview.pk3 FILESIZE: 120mb DATE RELEASED: 24 December 2008 CREDITS**: Thanks to Lourens aka BobaFett for helping create the script that controls the ramp to the Eban Hawk type ship. Thanks to Kessno for his work converting various player models into md3 so they could be inserted into the map, he also did a great job editing the base jka R5 droid to actually sit on the speeder, that i was then able to animate to 'ride' through town. Without help from these guys, this map would not have turned out how it did so thanks to them! Credits for the following models: Super Battle droid - Chairwalker Luke speeder - Mars Marshall pit droid - Matt-Liell Map: Sith-J-Cull (James Culley me :) ) Textures: Sith-J-Cull (James Culley me :) ) INSTALLATION INSTRUCTIONS**: Drop in your base folder, run the game and select the map from the menu. DESCRIPTION**: A map that I began work on before my break from mapping. It is a Tatooine based map in a fictional (in relation to starwars that is!) town named Mos Kreetle. This map will eventually form a player world in the upcoming mod JKA Galaxies, the map act as a preview to that mod. I have included instructions throughout the map given by protocol droids that are standing near shuttle ports, and banking terminals and other key areas, the will inform you that you cannot do carry out a particular function at the moment, these actions are a part of the Galaxies Mod so thats something to look forward to in the new year. The map stands as a completely playable FFA map however with plenty of areas to explore and also lends itself well to the RPGEr as there are living quarters and underground bars to name a few. Have fun and have a happy new year! BUGS: some sparklies, a couple of texture/shadow errors perhaps some shabby clipping of models here and there lol!!. THIS MODIFICATION IS NOT MADE, DISTRIBUTED, OR SUPPORTED BY ACTIVISION, RAVEN, OR LUCASARTS ENTERTAINMENT COMPANY LLC. ELEMENTS TM & © LUCASARTS ENTERTAINMENT COMPANY LLC AND/OR ITS LICENSORS.
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