There are times, as a reviewer, where you have the rare and incredible honour of reviewing a mod which becomes immortalized in our little community, I have reviewed a couple such files before, but never anything on this level. I present to you, Movie Battles II, the product of untold hours of work from some of the best and brightest skinners, mappers, coders and modder's ever to play Jedi Knight.
I have to say a massive thank you right now to the Movie Battles II team, not only for allowing me to review their gargantuan mod, but also for allowing us to host the file here on JKFiles, where it will join the ranks of the most famous Jedi Knight mods of all time, here in our Great Library of Jedi Knight-exandria.
This is going to be a biiiigg review! Whew, where to start?!
Well, firstly I have to say that although I really love the mod and think it is great how it has become so popular, popular enough indeed to have its own community within the wider JKA community, I cant help but feel a little worried.
Why? Well, I cant help but feel that in order to produce a mod of such grand scope and fantastic quality, they have poached some of the best talent from JKA in general. For example, many of the incredible skins, weapons and even maps are only available for MB2, which is kind of a loss for the JKA community in generally, unless you are somewhat sneaky and take a skin out of the MB2 assets and pack it up for personal use in JKA. Ehm, not that I am endorsing that at all... muahaha...
Personally I would really love to see more of the MB2 assets available to base JKA players in general, since that would help keep both communities strong and provide us with a long stream of excellent files to review! But that is of course up to the MB2 team and the individual authors.
Since this is the latest version of Movie Battles II, what improvements does it include? Well, for a more comprehensive list you can see the changelog, but to highlight some of the major ones;
Multiple new maps, including the Emperors Spire and Malachor V
Updates to various existing maps, such as Duel of the Fates and Tatooine.
Fantastic mini-maps for most of the maps, which give you a detailed overview of your location in the map and the location of others, you can also enable a larger overview map from the Movie Battles II options. This is one of my personal favourite features!
Lots of new bug fixes.
Lots of new gameplay tweaks and improvements, including the abilities purchases using the points system (again, see the more detailed changelog for details!).
Some new weapon sounds and various improved effects.
Too many more to mention right here!
So what kind of features does this gigantic mod have? Weellll...
Models and Skins
For starters, there is a vast selection of models and skins there are available to choose from, out of each class that you can choose from ingame, there are several, sometimes even a dozen or so, different skins or models you can choose from. For instance, the Sith Class features, among others; Darth Traya, Count Dooku, Jerec, several versions of Darth Maul, Darth Malak and even Darth Talon! And that is only one class! Along with that there are yet more skins/models available in Full Authentic mode that are not available in Open mode, including, but not limited to; Darth Revan, Bastila, numerous Clone Trooper skins and other equally cool characters! (PLEASE MB2 guys, release that Revan skin for Base JKA, that would be an instant hit!).
Bear in mind that these are all made by top notch modelers and skinners, and so all are fantastic quality. Most of the custom models/skins also have custom sounds to go with them, rounding them off nicely. Multiply this by the several classes that there are to choose from, both on the light and dark team sides and you get a he amount of skins and models, the work that must have gone into the skins and models along must have been huge.
Weapons and Effects
Then there are the new weapons and the effects that go with them. For instance, there is the Westar M5 and BlasTech A280 Blaster Rifles, (I happen to own a very nice A280 in Star Wars Galaxies ) as well as the Fallann Hyper Rifle as used by Zam Wesell in Episode II. Various weapons also have additional features which can be unlocked by purchasing points in the relative categories in the points screen, For instance if you fully upgrade the A280, not only do you get the ability to rapid fire, but also a sniper scope too, further increasing the weapons potency.
That's not to mention the rocket launchers and various pistols and carbines, all modeled in high quality and with custom effects and sounds! Then there are several different kinds of grenades as well, which are available to particular classes (once you have spent the points to get them of course). While I am on the subject of effects, I should mention that you definitely need to play ingame to see how good they are, since no screenshots could do them justice. The way lumps of debris fly out of an explosion with a trail of dust and other such things are much more realistic than the Base JKA effects and definitely add to the combat. There are also two different levels of effects, normal; which is, well, normal, and high; which is more graphically intensive but also looks much better. Obviously if you have a powerful computer, you will want to use the full fat 'high' mode. But its good that there is also a lower setting so that people with older computers aren't shut out.
The lightsaber blades and trails though are something pretty special. Unlike the base JKA saber blades and trails that we are all used to, when you swing a lightsaber in MB2, the trail actually looks like like the sharp blur (oxymoron's FTW!) of a moving lightsaber as you see in the films, rather than just a fuzzy trail out behind the blade like they are in Base JKA. The only other mod to my knowledge that has this impressive effect is the Open Jedi Project. PLEASE somebody make a mod which gives us these kind of movie realistic blades and saber trails in Base JKA!
Well, I already mentioned that this latest version of MB2 adds the Emperor's Spire and Malachor V, among others to MB2's already impressive repertoire or maps. Some of the other movie themed maps include, but are not limited to: Mustafar, Tatooine, Mygeeto, a Trade Federation Battleship (as seen at the start of Episode I), The Star Forge, The Valley of the Jedi, Kamino, Utapau, the Tantive IV and many, many more! The maps are the only area where I feel some improvements could be made, since some of them date to way back and aren't up to the same kind of standards of detailing and such that the newer maps are. That isn't to say older maps such as Lunar Base aren't great too, in fact gameplay wise they are just as good as the newer ones, I just feel they could do with a bit of a sprucing up detail wise. Speaking of Lunar Base, I just love that window which, when broken, sucks people out into space! In this new version, it also amazingly registers kills and team kills!
Some of the best mappers around have made maps for Movie Battles II, and no doubt as more updates are released more maps and locations will be added.
What is my favourite map? Well, that is a touch choice! So many of the maps are beautiful to look at (gotta love that Mustafar Skybox!) and feel alive and interactive. I did very much like the Malachor V Trayus Core duel map, since good KotOR 2 themed maps seem to be lacking from JKA, but I also liked Lunar Base because of its excellent layout and gameplay. But then Comm Tower is also a great map, and it reminds me of the original Jedi Knight and JK2 as well.
Well, I guess I cant pick a favourite myself, not without spending a lot more time playing MB2 to find out all the ins and outs of each map anyways.
As I mentioned earlier, many of the maps now also have mini maps which are displayed in the HUD, this is one of my favourite features as it actually shows a map, with walls, unlike the Base JKA radar map, which only shows objectives and such. This makes it much easier to tell where your team mates, objectives and enemies are in relation to the structure and layout of the map.
That brings me nicely onto...
The HUD and Menu's
As well as having a nice new mini map, the entire HUD has been revamped with new graphics. There are two new indicators on each side of the screen for your health, shields, ammo, force and saber style, which look much better and sleeker than the base JKA ones. I personally would love to see these parts of this HUD used for a Base JKA HUD mod, if any of the MB2 guys would care to make one for us *nudge nudge*.
There is an options menu section dedicated to MB2 options, including setting keys for your class special actions (such as being able to sprint faster for a limited period etc.) and also a media section for setting your screenshot key, and the ability to set a key to record a Demo movie! Whilst I personally prefer to use Fraps, this is definitely a much needed option in JKA and one that I am sure people will find useful.
The menu's overall are easy to navigate and look good, the main menu, with that picture of the sun bursting over the horizon of Coruscant is very nice, although I think it would be even better if there was a set of screenshots or images that the main menu background cycled through, just to add a bit more movement to it (since it seems a little still compared to the Base JKA menu, with its little video set in the middle).
The main complaint that I have always had with Movie Battles II was that you can die quite quickly, and you don't respawn. That is unless you have spent points in the section which allows your particular class to respawn, 'reinforcements' I think it is called. This complaint has most likely come from being someone who has played and enjoyed a lot of Siege, a gametype in which the gameplay is fast and furious because people are constantly dying, respawning and running like headless chickens to get back into the action, making for some insanely frantic battles. Indeed on Siege Hoth, if you are a Rebel tech, its not uncommon to put up a shield on the bridge (to stop the AT-ST advancing) and then simply throw yourself into the chasm so you can die, respawn, and put down another shield. Since you often only get one life, maybe a few if you have spent points in 'reinforcements', in MB2 it stops this kind of insane gameplay, and thus it seemed a bit slow to me at first, since I died and then that was it.
However, as I have played MB2 more, I have come to appreciate the delicately balanced game mechanics which go into it, and once I got used to it, the dying issue didn't bother me so much, though I still personally prefer the ferocious gameplay of a 16 vs 16 Siege game, but that's just me!
The features I have mentioned above, such as the vast variety of weapons, skins/models and maps, along with different gametype's makes this pretty much a game in of itself and I can see who it has become so amazingly popular. The points system does take a little getting used to and you have to be quick when you start to spend those points where you want them before the round starts. The class system, and the abilities and weapons available to each can also be bewildering at first, but with a bit of practice you will soon get used to it!
One nice new feature for this version is that you can now continue to move while using voice chat, which makes the process both quicker and less hazardous to your health. After all stopping in the middle of a fight to open up the voice options and find the button for 'roger!' is likely to get you killed! This latest version of MB2 is full of neat little features like that, and I am sure more of the same will be added in future versions so further enhance gameplay.
All in all a monumental mod, more of an entirely new game in itself to be honest. If you want to know more about what is new for this version, then you should check out the changelog which is in the readme section below. The full readme for the mod can be found in the .zip.
The only downside with downloading this is the sheer insane size of it. In fact it is very close to the size of Base JKA itself!
This is definitely worth a download, and you guys had better make sure this gets to the top of our download charts, since the MB2 team is paying me 2 Millio... uhh, did I say that out loud?! Umm, cookies, that's it, yeah they are giving me cookies to review this. They aren't bribing me with millions of dollars to give them a good review, not at all. Complete nonsense!
Don't forget to view the videos below!
Subaru is awesome. There you go, I actually put that in here!
View the video below to get a taster of what Movie Battles II is like:
And here, for your viewing pleasure, a preview of things to come!
* The "CM_AdjustAreaPortalState: negative reference count" crash that has prevented the mb2_lunarbase map from being played has been fixed.
* The smod parsing of the mbmode command has been fixed to allow the usage: 'mbmode ' through smod.
* Saber trace passthroughs fixed.
* Restore comboable bounces off of destructables.
* ARCs may only shoot during special moves with Dex 3.
* Fix missing textures and shaders in mb2_duel_ihod.
* Fix missing textures and shaders in mb2_duel_rcbridge.
* Enhanced mb2_jeditemple.
* Double shot exploit fixed.
* Eliminate the middle tier of enhanced effects.
* Remove the Secret Apprentice model due to engine issues.
* Allow the mbmode command to have a second argument that also switches the map.
* Display the wrist-laser shot count.
* Fix for "Out of G2 infoslots" error.
* Kicks no longer hit a single entity more than once per move.
* Disable various bad commands.
* Add respawnWait key to mbch files. Allows custom respawn times in FA.
* Allow Speed and Mind Trick even if you've lost your saber.
* Fix for certain forms of server flood abuse.
* Prevent sticking in the speed lunge landing animation.
* Fix NPC hitboxes with modelscale
* Allow saber shutoff during knockdown and other forced anim events.
* Various other internal improvements
* Force Lightning is now visibly blocked by lightsabers, and blocking players are no longer electrocuted. (Aesthetics only, the behavior of the force power and lightsabers has not changed.)
* Blinding effects of TDs are now done in code, to prevent effects replacements from removing the blinding.
* Voicechat menu updated to allow movement while open.
* Added In-game server browser to escape menu.
* Added a version check to ensure that the server you are joining is running the most recent version of MBII.
* Players are once again able to view the HUD while spectating, as the benefits of removing the HUD were deemed outweighed by the negative results of hiding it.
* New serverside cvar, g_HideHUDFromSpecs. Default 0, set to 1 to hide the HUD while spectating, for tournaments and such.
* Added USE_TEAM_DELAY_WIN, UI_TIMER spawnflags and message key to target_delay (See Wiki).
* Added new Misc_TurretG2 functionality.(See Wiki).
* Added variable sized map feature. This allows the keys min_players and max_players to be given to certain entities to adjust the flow of a map based on the number of players in game.(See Wiki).
* cg_minimapalpha added. 1 is fully visible, 0 is fully hidden. Etc. 1 is default.
* Added smod command "smsay". This lets smod admins and subadmins talk to each other privately in game.
* Added smod command "who". This lets smod admins and subadmins see who else is logged in on the server.
* The generic timer is now triggered when the slap timer is set, so players can see how long they must wait before being able to slap again.
* Added hand gestures to the voice chat menu. These can be used as a silent voice chat. They are also accessible through the command hand_cmd.
* Trolling commands r_pri and userinfo disabled.
* Direct secondary grenade hits now turn off jetpacks.
* Allowed numBlades argument in FA mode.
* Force seeing changes:
o Effects changed to be more subtle.
o Level 2 seeing no longer differentiates between teams.
* New improved HUD system. Made it more compact and more intuitive to use. Got rid of some redundant info and put it in more convenient places. Mandalorian jetpack overheat is now represented directly on the fuel bar.
* There is now a dampening on the third person camera while poisoned.
* New menu background.
* Heros with quickthrow level 2 now use Special Button 2 in order to throw a secondary grenade and Special Button 1 to throw a primary grenade.
* Hug-Kata bug is now a "feature".
* New Open Mode model additions:
o BX Commando Droid - Imperial Commander
o Crix Madine - Rebel Commander
o Darth Traya - Sith
o Hoth Elitetrooper - Rebel Commanders
o IG-88 - Bounty Hunter
o Kreia - Jedi
o Mara Jade - Jedi
o Red Sith Trooper - Imperial Commander
o Sith Trooper - Imperial Soldier
o Starkiller - Sith
o Visas - Jedi
* Sabering Changes
o Trace and timing tweaks.
o Bodyhits now only drain 1 ACM
o Hitting someone who is perfectblocking adds .25 ACM
o When 2 ACM is reached, the defender cannot perfect block.
o Non swingblocked attacks now do 1.4 times more BP drain
o When using dual sabers, you can activate specials by holding use and attacking to the leftright (for side stabs) or attacking while running backwards (for the front+back stab)
* Jedi can no longer block while staggering if they regen FP mid-stagger.
* Fixed TD blinding effect to work properly on a widescreen aspect ratio.
* Minor fix to silver lightsabers in FA.
* Malak Saber Hilt now properly matches in hilt menu.
* Kills are now properly attributed for throwing players into lava or slime.
* Kills are now properly attributed for the Lunarbase windows.
* Fixed Target_Relays Random flag to be more Random.
* Fixed "mbmode" command not being recognized unless prefixed with a slash.
* Fixed a buffer overrun in smod argument parsing.
* Fixed an old BaseJKA bug that would cause players to glow random colors after using chargeable weapons if the server had been up a while.
* Saber slap fixes:
o Slap can no longer be used to cancel saber special moves. Regular slashes can still be cancelled.
o Slap no longer 'queues' for use while knocked down, getting up, rolling or in midair.
o Slap FP requirement is now consistent in all cases. (5 FP)
o Better hit detection for kicks/slaps/spin kicks.
* Speed Lunge no longer continues to drain FP while you're skidding to a stop.
* Fixed a server crash when the player carrying Han is killed, on the old Cloud City map.
* Fixed a bug with stabdown moves draining virtually no BP even when correctly used.
* Fixed an old bug with saberthrow, that made the hilt teleport after bouncing off a wall.
* Bug fix for blocking while jumping being a defense against slapping.
* Fix for instaspec bug.
* Fix for double shot exploit.
* Wristlaser will now properly hit very close targets.
* Using the ninja wallgrab will now properly release the wall even when you have not released the direction and jump buttons.
* Fix for a physics bug that causes increased speed/damage after a collision.
* Fix for the twitching camera bug while wall running.
* Vehicles will now correctly stop floating after returning from space.
* Fix so that certain NPCs will no longer die on round start.
* misc_siege_items are less likely to get stuck in walls and float away.
* Fly bug fixed.
* Sometimes movers would improperly drag you along with them. This is no longer the case.
* Some server crash fixes.
* New Assault map: RC Hangar C
* New Duel map: Emperor's Lair
* New Duel map: Malachor V
* Fix Kamino minimap
* Fix Tatooine Siege file errors
* Fix Trade Federation Large minimap
* Communications Tower Updates:
o Added UI Timer to the bomb.
o Increased Dish impact damage from 10 to 25.
o Fixed Misc Texture missalignes, particularly in the Objective area.
o Removed unseen surfaces.
* Death Star Updates:
o Changed objectives: Tractor isn't required anymore, its optional. The only required objective is now the Hangar Control Room hack and the Falcon door quick hack.
o Hacking the Tractor Beam shortens the final Control Room hack considerably.
o Added more cover to both hallways and the Falcon hangar.
o Added rails in the Hangar elevators.
o Added closeable window shutters on the Hangar Control Room.
o Made the Side Route Door hackable in 5 seconds from the Rebel side instead of the old 20 seconds. Imperials still have a 20 second hack on their side.
o General bug fixes.
* Duel of the Fates Updates:
o Fixed visual map exploit near throne.
o Fixed bugged clipping in throne allowing people to "Pounce" down on people
o Fixed minor cosmetic bug
* Enclave Updates:
o Fixed Max_Qpath Error.
o Added cover throughout the map.
o Objective trigger now has Facing flag so you cannot hack from any direction.
o Added a two new secondary routes into the objective area. One of which requires a minimum of 12 players in play to be open/active. A visual notification is there, that is a set of crates blocking the doorway is there/not there.
o Flattened floor portion of doorways to allow easier access for Droidekas and allowing others through the door without a potential to be knocked over thanks to the height difference.
o Expanded door triggers.
o You can no longer get stuck going around the inner ring in the junction.
o Bombardment now happens 30 seconds earlier.
o Can no longer hide inside the ship model.
o Updated Minimap.
o Some doors are now defaulted to open.
o Fixed visible Z-fighting and caulk.
o Fixed spectator getting stuck at roundstart.
* Jabba Updates:
o Added a button outside the rancor pit to allow the other team to open the door from the outside.
* Kamino Updates:
o Fixed wallbugs in Armory.
o Fixed HOM under elevator in main.
o Fixed main hall door areaportal HOM.
o Fixed being able to shoot through clone capsules.
o Added UI timer to the bomb.
* Lunarbase Updates:
o Removed invisible box cover.
o Updated vis stage.
o Fixed clipping issues on the ship.
Movie Battles II V0.0.2 - Full - User Comments
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Total comments: 139 | Last comment: 01-18-2013 at 16:26
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#1 - Posted by: Spior (Member) - 08-13-2010 at 00:32
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