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MajorRawne
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Posts: 1304
Registered: 04-10


Lost46: Genesis
Music played during the map: Toxin Refinery
After such a long absence from the TC, the beautiful, lonely Toxin Refinery theme makes its second appearance in four maps. In this case the music DOES suit the map, as it possesses a forlorn beauty. Whoever converted it made a very good job - however the monster variety has the same effect as drinking espresso (it draws your gums back over your teeth and makes your eyes pop out). In other words, the PSX RAM might disagree with your choices, so maybe change the Barons for Knights? (I actually think the Barons work well in this map. They don't bring anything worthwhile to most maps.) I was dodging like a fething master while playing this. If I'd made a video of it, the Indiana Jones theme would have come on halfway through as I chucked myself around like an acrobat, dodging fireballs while partially invisible. I feel like more of a man for playing this map. That said, Genesis highlights a problem: inconsistency in damaging floors. In The Crypt and Speed, you can run on blood and nukage without taking damage, but it suddenly hurts you here. That's always a pisser.

--

Lost47: The Twilight
Music played during the map: Toxin Refinery
Musical deja vu; this is the second consecutive map which plays this musicYou know how I said an earlier map made me hate Plutonia? It wasn't that one, it was this fething abomination from the Devil's trousers. I was firmly of the opinion that this map sucks balls for most of its duration, not for the visuals, but for the obnoxious gameplay. Ammo and health right where you need to be, leading to waste, especially of medikits; medikits stacked on top of one another, which has never bothered me but it bugs some players since they don't know how much health is available; a total Chaingunner spam fest. The Revenant which pops up when you hit a switch gets stuck and can't attack; the lift he's standing on can't raise until he's dead. I found a megasphere at the end of the map, right after I found a soulsphere and green armour. The teleporting Revenants are challenging, but this map pisses me off so much it felt obnoxious. However the music suited the map well and it looked very PSX.
RECOMMENDED MUSIC: I would recommend changing the music to Paradox because that track hasn't been used yet (after 47 maps!) and it lends a creepy, menacing atmosphere which would give the map a "fear factor" that it's currently lacking.

--
Lost48: The Omen
Music played during the map: Command Centre
Short and very painful, a PSX slaughtermap indeed. The "I hate Revenants!" video on Youtube is aptly named - they're a nightmare on a map like this. When you get the plasma rifle on a narrow bridge, the Revenant missiles are extremely hard to dodge and in fact I simply ran into one to save time. This is probably one of the toughest maps despite its short length. I felt the lift room near the end might have been a bit much, though with no specifics on how detailed a room could be or how many moving sectors can be visible at once, this one is Dragonsbrethren's call (as project leader). I would say that crushers and moving floors/ceilings, except for lifts, are relatively rare in PSX Doom, possibly for technical reasons. This is one of the few maps where green nukage is not harmful.
RECOMMENDED MUSIC: Limbo - strong, assertive music for a tough map - this track hasn't been used at all yet! However, map 52, Slayer, does use this music, in which case I'd shift Omen to an earlier position in the Lost Levels.

--

Lost49: Compound
Music played during this map: Phobos Lab
This music yet again, one of my least favourite tracks, but I cannot deny that it lends an atmosphere to city-themed maps. Inconsistency from map Lost48 comes straight away with harmful nukage, though again this is just the whim of the original mappers. It's a short nukage map which might have been a filler map to hit their tight deadline, but it plays well and feels like a varied bunch of monsters are used. There's a secret so generous I would almost call it mandatory, except the map is so
easy to beat with the super shotgun that I never fired a rocket or plasma cell. In fact I can't even remember picking the relevant weapons up.
RECOMMENDED MUSIC: Attack - would create a more desolate atmosphere and this would combine with the visuals to give a proper "Doomed" feeling. Amazingly, this excellent piece of music has only been used on map Lost13!

--

Lost50: Neurosphere
Music played during the map: Hell Gate
You really nailed it with this one. Bravo! Basically, this is a slightly more hellish and much more violent version of The Inmost Dens, which is one of my all-time favourite PSX levels. The difficulty of the opening fight, along with the Plutonia-standard Chaingunner spam, put this up with (or most likely, above) the harder maps of PSX Final Doom. The map looks terrific and the fact you chose the same music as the Inmost Dens shows the similarities weren't lost on you. This is one map that felt almost too short, I enjoyed it that much. Definitely one of the best conversions and one of the more exciting maps.

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Lost51: NME
Music played during the map: Minos
Already reviewed. One of the first Lost Levels I played. Definitely feels like it could have been viable on the PSX and avoids cheapening the Cyberdemon by replacing it with Barons. Seriously, who thought sticking a Cyberdemon in a small room looking out over a courtyard was a way to generate fear of such a creature?

--

Lost52: Slayer
Music played during the map: Limbo
Ah, an under-used music track to accompany a level that is basically a rock-hard version of the O of Destruction. I'll be honest, this is a fething nightmare of a map. You're constantly surrounded by all manner of monsters and I had to use the resurrect cheat a number of times. This kind of map rubs me up the wrong way. However - when playing this with an open mind, I admit it is relentless and exciting, a real challenge, and it makes effective use of Pain Elementals (as you know, a lot of maps don't). Unfortunately it uses a lot of Pain Elementals, which can make the map a chore and drain your ammo. This is miles too hard for the PSX, although as some kind of next evolutionary step in gameplay, it is possible that further Doom releases would have continued to ramp the difficulty up like this.

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Lost53: Impossible Mission
Music played during the map: Phobos Lab
I wonder why Phobos Lab is one of the more popular tracks in the Lost Levels? It's my least favourite of Aubrey Hodges' work. What kind of atmosphere is it supposed to convey? Anyway, this map is once again a fething nightmare designed to drive you round the bend. It's one of those switch hunts where you have to run around the level looking to see what the switches did. Gameplay is savage, reminiscent of early Hell Revealed 2 maps. The ammo balance is very poor and I was down to my chaingun against a legion of Barons and Nightmare Spectres. There is a lot of ammunition in secret caches and one of them comes right before the exit. Better late than never? No - I'd go as far as to say that the person who originally designed this map was a lovemaking masturbator and id Software must have been desperate to get Final Doom onto the shelves. BUT - while IMO it's a crap map, it certainly goes down fighting. It evokes that genuine sense of dread when you're running from Barons with only a chaingun to defend you. It's a feeling I often got when playing the horribly unbalanced, but extraordinarily exciting co-op mode back in the day. It's a feeling one can only describe as a sense of Doom.

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Lost54: Tombstone
Music played during the map: Nessus
The map looks good, with lots of coloured lighting, which is always nice to see. You exceed the monster allowance though; I'd consider replacing the Cacodemons with Knights or Nightmare Spectres.

--

Lost55: The Final Frontier
Music played during the map: Hell Gate
The monster types exceed the available points in this map. Hard to say which monster needs to go since they are all put to devious use. Probably the Pain Elementals would need to be sacrificed as that would also get rid of the Lost Souls. You may be able to stay within the points allowance by simply binning the Baron and replacing him with a Knight instead. This is a very challenging map and I died loads of times.
RECOMMENDED MUSIC: The music seems too mellow for a map so vicious; try Virgil. While Virgil is aimed at being scary rather than exhilarating, it will certainly help to finish off the trapped, forbidding, hellish atmosphere, and it's been almost completely overlooked, only appearing once in the early teens of the Lost Levels.

Old Post 02-05-14 17:33 #
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DeXiaZ
Member


Posts: 347
Registered: 05-13


Well, thank you for review, it was interesting.


I never got into the yellow key areas and clipped back through the map, wondering what went wrong with Habitat. I can just hear the AVGN saying "What the hell is up with THIS?"


This map I specially made unfinished, because I wanted to use usual megasphere secret (PC version, yellow key) into teleport to secret map.

But the list was unfinished and I left map unfinished too

Old Post 02-09-14 09:03 #
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MajorRawne
Senior Member


Posts: 1304
Registered: 04-10


Lost56: Temple of Darkness
Music played during the map: Phobos Lab
For some reason I don't like this map. It DOES feel well-suited to the PSX and has been well converted. The opening area of the map with the burning sky looks like it came straight from PSX Final Doom, around Ballistyx and Heck. The actual temple does cause me to wonder if there are too many things on screen at once, but it looks really good. People really like this music, it appears throughout the TC, pushing other tracks almost completely out of the TC.
RECOMMENDED MUSIC: Mount Erebus - if you're going to create a temple set in hell, you might as well go balls out and use the most disturbing track. Do we really need the Phobos Lab music again? The Mount Erebus music hasn't appeared at all in this TC - amazing!

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Lost57: Bunker
Music played during the map: Deimos Lab
There are a number of Plutonia maps with very similar start areas. Another time-saving device? While this is still recognisable in the TC, the PSX texture choice gives each map its own flavour. Bunker has always been one of the tougher maps, it's never been my favourite, but it has been converted well. The PSX makeover has done little to improve the map's unpleasant looks but that isn't exactly the aim of the Lost Levels TC.
RECOMMENDED MUSIC: Deimos Lab is one of my favourite PSX tracks, but it's definitely over-used in this TC. I would consider using Unholy Cathedral, as it better suits the frantic pace of this map. This is a tough call as the existing music fits the dingy, threatening map, and the Unholy Cathedral track has no fear factor.

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Lost58: Anti-Christ
Music played during the map: Hell Beneath
The music has always reminded me of a boat floating on a sea of blood. Disturbing? Yes, but that's the point of Hodges' music, to bring creepy, half-formed images into your subconscious to scare you when you're playing. The point is, the music really suits this map. It's also been 29 maps since it was last used! This is one of the longer maps, pretty tough, with occasional head-scratching due to the somewhat complicated layout. Play style (by necessity) is more PC than PSX but any conversion of these maps will always face this issue. I'd say this map could be more frustrating than Doom 2's "The Citadel", which itself wasn't hard, just boring. Anti-Christ has the exact opposite approach. If players couldn't save or resurrect themselves, I imagine many a gamepad would have been chucked at the wall. Still, the map gets a pass, taken on its own terms it's really good.

--

Lost59: The Sewers
Music played during the map: Command Centre
I played this in December 2013, so recollections are sketchy. It converts well to the PSX style. Not sure how some of the larger rooms and longer corridors would have looked but there's nothing really bigger than the starting area from "Monster Condo". It seems pretty clear that at least two Alien Vendetta maps were inspired by The Sewers (most notably Lake Poison's massive Imp-fest). I recall getting stuck somewhere in the map, running around for a while not knowing where to go next. I might have missed something simple. I never finished the map. Due to the amount of time I put into playing it at Christmas, I had no desire to playtest it again today.

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Lost60: Odyssey of Noises
Music played during the map: Hell Gate
Now here is the kind of level I'd love to have seen more of back in 1994. The chasm area probably would have run on the PSX - it seems no more problematic than FDoom's "Deepest reaches". I felt there were a number of gameplay issues since the original map seems to have been poorly designed. The Chaingunners behind very tall barred windows were almost invisible in the dark blue light and were a bit of a pain to deal with. I've noticed that Arachnotrons do not seem to make their "roaring" sound - a kind of rotary whine - and I'm not sure if they just make the usual demon roar (there was a lot of roaring coming from somewhere when I fought them). I think this is the only map where I spent quality time around them so not sure if it's a map glitch or they simply don't make their noise. When you get the rocket launcher and survive the ambush, then go outside, your rockets cannot hit the Revenants in the battlement turrets - they impact the wall instead. Same with the plasma. Same issue affects the Chaingunners on another darkened platform in the opposite building. Note your missiles can impact the Revenants if you fire from sufficiently far away but using plasma is still chancey. There are almost no bullets in the map which seems common in many of these maps) which means you have to fight Chaingunner snipers with inappropriate weapons; they often seem to survive a direct hit from a single-barreled shotgun, which in itself is an average to poor sniper weapon. This means the player will take a lot of hits - fortunately there is a lot of health and a blue armour. Chaingunner-heavy maps should have a lot of ammo boxes for return sniping. In the blue soul sphere room overlooking the chasm, you cannot fire rockets from the east window at Revenants and an Arachnotron as your missiles explode right in your face when you hit the window ledge. Of all the maps in the TC, this one seems to have the most gameplay issues. It remains one of the better-looking and more memorable maps.

--
Lost61: Icon of Sin
Music played during the map: Command Centre
First off, WTF? I recall from the thread that there was an idea to merge all three Icon of Sin maps into one, which would create a PSX exclusive map, so with that in mind this level is awesome until the end. Second of all, let me count the ways this map wouldn't work on a PSX. The monster count is hugely exceeded for a start, with just about every monster in the game making an appearance. The final arena with the monster spawner (yes, unfortunately the enemy described as a Baphomet is here in full force) seems likely to have crashed the game, but in any case Icon of Sin battles suck the grand potato. Can you imagine fighting Romero's face using a PSX controller? A shame, as a great deal of mapping skill went into making this, including an interesting Spider Mastermind battle, making this only the third PSX level to include one of the big arachnid mother-effers.

Old Post 02-09-14 15:14 #
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MajorRawne
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Posts: 1304
Registered: 04-10


Lost62: Warrens
Music played during the map: Deimos Anomaly
A very dark, but infinitely more hellish version of E1M1. The red rooms are far too dark. This whole map exists just so id Software could play a joke on the player. The Cyberdemon fight is a slow-paced version of Tower of Babel and the invulnerability renders the battle moot, but this is not the convertor's fault.

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Lost63: Fear
Music played during the map: Hangar
"Hangar" suits this a lot better than "Toxin Refinery", which plays in the Youtube video for this map. The Hangar theme - IMO one of the best tracks - has hardly been used in the Lost Levels. The map plays like the very early Doom maps (including the weird exit with an unnecessary second door) and it's good to see a couple of Doom 2 monsters (Chaingunner and Nightmare Spectre) being used, even though the Chaingunners don't really bring anything to the map. I'm not sure which map leads into this one but be wary as the Hangar music is used a couple of times in early maps.

--

Lost64: Sewers
Music played during the map: Catwalk
ANOTHER sewer map? Ok. This is one of the better-looking maps in the project (in places). It has large areas to explore, feeling at times like "Crater" or "Deepest Reaches", i.e. an exploration map with lots of different things to see. Some areas (eg the grey area) are extremely bland and there are a couple of dead ends which ruin the sense of non-linearity, but they aren't game-killers. The music is one of the most formidable tracks and suits the dark, hellish atmosphere (an alternative track for this map might be Minos). Unfortunately it's TOO dark. Regardless of whether PSX maps were always 33% darker, some leeway should have been used, as not everyone wants to have to adjust their brightness and gamma correction every few maps just to leave the screen looking washed-out. There were NO maps in the PSX levels that were too dark to see (except for a few deliberately dark areas). Overall, this looks like it would perfectly suit Doom or particularly Final Doom on the PSX and the original author clearly wanted to give the player things to look at (again, hampered by darkness). Running back through the map towards the exit gives me the creeps - having to run through deserted PSX levels has always done this to me, due to the lonely, claustrophobic atmosphere. Historical note: Not that anyone cares, but this is the last map I played through and reviewed for the Lost Levels TC, a playthrough that has apparently given me eye-strain!

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Lost65: Betray
Music played during the map: Catwalk
If played in sequence, this map uses the same music as Sewers. I realise now that not everyone will just be typing "map lostxx" into the console, but many probably will. Is this going to make it worth changing music tracks? Doubtful that this will be a priority for the project, it just highlights how mappers seem to be choosing the same types of music tracks for their maps. Anyway, I think I reviewed this in December, but Betray turned out to be far better to play than expected. This map seems fairly notorious for its low quality on the PC, but giving it the PSX makeover is equivalent to Sandra Bollock's "visual upgrade" in Miss Congeniality - albeit in a dark and wretched way, since there are no beautiful brunettes here, only a poisonous, dark environment populated by things that hate you.

--

Lost66: The Castle (already reviewed in a previous post)

--

Lost67: The Escape
Music played during the map: Hell Beneath
A remastered version of Grosse with better visuals, marking one of the Cyberdemon's infrequent PSX appearances. Any experienced Doomer won't have any problems vanquishing the enemy here, especially through infighting. Looks good and seems appropriately important as a PSX boss map should, given that there are so few of them. Note that this music was used in map Lost60 but I'm not sure how level progression works, so I don't know if the two tracks would play close together.

--

Lost68: Bad Dream
Music played during the map: Fistula
Ugh. What could you realistically do with this work o fart? Possibly delete it altogether, or create a PSX exclusive map (which is what I would have done here). Historical note: this is the first PSX map to feature more than one Cyberdemon. I wonder if using more than one in a map would crash the Playstation?

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Lost69: Pharaoh
Music played during the map: Geryon
One of the most disturbing of Aubrey Hodges' music tracks accompanies this painfully dark adventure in a kind of low-budget Mishri Halek. Unfortunately, this is the ONLY map this music accompanies! Gameplay tends towards a switch hunt and you will need to backtrack a lot. Surely this map provided inspiration for Kim Malde's Alien Vendetta map. Gameplay was a bit meh for me, progress can be confusing. The map is highly over-stocked with rockets and plasma, but I didn't see anything that made me feel the PSX would bog down. The Revenants are dangerous here.

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Lost70: Caribbean
Music played during the map: Minos
The exit to this map is so frustrating that I would probably have started crying as a 14 year old wrestling with the Playstation's joypad and no ability to walk through walls. It's akin to a single player reaching "The Marshes" from "Twilight Descends", a feat I have always thought to be impossible. "Caribbean" still looks like an anus rendered in 2.5D, but the final area actually looks good. Gameplay makes superior use of Revenants, they were a royal pain in the arse here and felt genuinely threatening. Overall, this is a map with a higher than usual contrast between good and bad elements, but you nailed its conversion. I was a bit undecided about whether the map offers too large and open an area for the player to view, but would say the map does not do this as the player is generally restricted in where he can go. Historical note: the Minos music is one of my favourite Doom tracks and Minos itself was a terrific example of an exploration map. You managed to evoke good memories here.

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Lost71: Cyberden
Music played during the map: Nessus
You really nailed this one. It was pure PSX. This is one of those PSX TC maps where Hell Knights sometimes die from 2 rocket hits instead of 3. This seems to happen on levels the PSX might have struggled with eg this map, Icon of Sin (I think). Historical note: this is the second PSX level to feature more than one Cyberdemon.

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Lost72: Go2It
Music played during the map: Paradox
I've always held this map to be a symbol of Plutonia's excess. While I wasn't really looking forward to it, I realised the PSX version would probably be quite different unless the author ignored all monster limits. I think it just scrapes the limit (no real way to test this) but if in doubt, there's no need to use Barons when Knights will suffice. (Can't believe I'm saying that after wishing for so long that there were more Barons in PSX Final Doom!) The gameplay veers from piss-easy to quite scary (PSX Cyberdemons seem immune to BFG blasts, and Cyberdemons make a hell of a guard dog when they're protecting long corridors) but, as with the original, it felt like every time you revisit an area there are just more Cybers and higher-tier monsters. It's a bit of a grind, but I really enjoyed the map, and the people I played Doom with would have loved a level like this back in 1994. As it is, this is a good conversion which understands what Playstation Doom is about and manages to blend the PSX's abilities and limits with the boss-heavy violence of the PC. This is the only map in the game that currently uses the Paradox track. Historical note: Paradox plays during the final map of PSX Final Doom, "Onslaught". Appropriate to use it here.

Old Post 02-09-14 16:33 #
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MajorRawne
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Posts: 1304
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Apologies for the triple-post but I want these to be in blocks that are slightly easier to read through, rather than one epic blog that no-one will read.

LEVEL ORDER:

* There is currently no kind of order to the maps, meaning the TC may lack a sense of cohesion or progression (in fairness, this could also be said of the original PSX Dooms).

* I would recommend creating some kind of PSX Plutonia TC wad to be released seperately, so that players can play through the PSX version of the Plutonia Experiment.

* I would recommend doing the same for TNT Evilution.

* Some of the later maps are relatively easy, but are sandwiched between maps that are very hard - for example, "Compound" between "The Omen" and "Neurosphere" - although this could be seen to give the player something of a break between difficult maps. Your call.

* Some of the maps are too hard for the PSX, particularly the nukage-heavy, chaingunner-heavy boss map "The Final Frontier". This is not such a problem for PC players who can save at will, and in general players will be far more skillful today than they were in 1994, but certain maps would be very frustrating on the Playstation.

* There are inconsistencies in use of damaging sectors in consecutive maps - for example, in some maps green nukage is dangerous, in others not.

MAPS THAT MIGHT NOT RUN ON THE PSX

- The Castle seems quite visually complex compared to many of the original PSX maps, but regardless of this, too many monster types are used and the map would not load on the Playstation due to RAM errors.

- Temple of Darkness contains areas that seem like they might have taxed the PSX once you actually get into the temple area (with the lava).

- The canyon area in Odyssey of Noises seems fairly complex due to its large size and sectors of varying heights; however Final Doom's "Deepest Reaches" is somewhat similar and that ran perfectly.

- Bad Dream contains a huge crushing sector and a number of boss monsters on-screen at once. Cyberdemons were never used more than once in a map; however, Spider Masterminds attack in a pair on Redemption Denied, so I presume that the PSX could have run several boss monsters at once? Would this affect available RAM, or is each monster type loaded in only once per map?

- The Final Frontier is another example of a map with too many monster types. There are several more that I can't remember.

- Icon of Sin was probably thought of by Williams employees only in their darkest, most secret moments; it probably brought them out in a cold sweat and killed their erections. This map, while very enjoyable until the final battle, seems very far beyond the Playstation's capabilities due to large and complicated rooms with too many monster types. Someone once said that using boss monsters in some of the original maps would simply crash the map with a texture cache overflow. I cannot comment on this, but if it is true, Icon of Sin would definitely have that issue. Personally, as soon as someone decided to combine three maps into one (on the PSX of all things), disaster was waiting.

UNUSED MUSIC TRACKS:

- Mount Erebus (amazingly! I was expecting to hear this in every other map)

- Refinery (this is the least interesting/suspensful track but it is still used in Doom and Final Doom)

* All of the other official Aubrey Hodges tracks were used at least once.

* A small number of tracks are used repeatedly (see below).

* A number of tracks are only used once.

* There were several occasions where the same piece of music played on two consecutive maps.

* There were occasions when the same track was used in maps that were close together; generally, these tracks were not used elsewhere in the TC, or did not appear frequently.

* I cannot really comment on consecutive music use for secret maps, as I played the project through using "map lostxx" at the console and so did not keep track of which map leads to which secret.

* A handful of tracks do not suit their maps - for example, Toxin Refinery has a melancholy, wistful style, which is not especially suited to frenetic action and would be better suited to more attractive maps (e.g. in Final Doom, it was used in Vesperas, one of the most beautiful levels). This feedback is subjective.

OVER-USED MUSIC TRACKS:

* Phobos Lab is used in a number of maps. This is subjective, but the Phobos Lab theme is neither frightening, nor particularly hellish, and is not suited to hell-themed or scary maps. It's more of a city or tech base theme. "Deimos Anomaly", "Mount Erebus" and "Hell Beneath" would be better suited to hell-themed maps or maps which are intended to frighten the player.

* "Deimos Lab" is also good for hell or fear-themed maps, but is over-used in this TC.

UNDER-USED MUSIC TRACKS:

* In general, the Final Doom tracks were under-used.

* This list shows the track names - in alphabetical order - and the Lost Levels map number in which they appear. Maps with an [F] are Final Doom tracks.

- Attack (map 13) [F]

- Gereon (map 69) [F]

- Hell Keep (map 37)

- Limbo (map 52)

- Paradox (map 72) [F]

- Unholy Cathedral (map 39)

- Virgil (map 14) [F]

DIFFICULTY LEVEL:

* Generally speaking, most of the maps on UV can be completed by a skilled player who has little or no forewarning, without the player being repeatedly killed.

* Average difficulty is consistent with PSX Final Doom on UV, albeit generally harder.

* Trial-and-error gameplay (i.e. progressing slightly further before dying) is totally unsuited to the PSX. I cannot make a recommendation about this since these are simply conversions of original maps and it is more than possible that I was playing like a moron. This only applies to a handful of the most difficult maps.

* Darkness in some areas of some maps makes gameplay more difficult as the player cannot see the monsters. However, this problem is nowhere near as prevalent as I expected and only occurs in a few maps (noted in their reviews). I believe some maps have been slightly re-worked to take this into account?

AMMO BALANCE:

* The ammo balance is uneven in a number of maps, notably some Plutonia maps. The player may run desperately short of bullets and shotgun ammo, then at some later point in the map will discover one or more large caches of equipment, sometimes right before the end of the map or after all the monsters are dead. Examples: Bloodsea Keep, but especially Speed. This leaves gameplay feeling like cresting a hill on a bike: a tough trial which suddenly, when the crest is reached, becomes an easy cruise.

* A number of maps, many of them consecutive, might benefit from the addition of a Super Shotgun. The player has to use the single-barrel shotgun and a chaingun to cut through waves of powerful enemies, primarily Cacodemons, Revenants, Nightmare Spectres and Barons, but also Hell Knights, Pain Elementals and Arachnotrons.

* There is a distinct deficit of bullet ammo in some maps, particularly Odyssey of Noises, where these are required to efficiently kill Chaingunner snipers.

OVERALL OPINION
===============

Overall, this delivers a consistently PSX- friendly experience with just a few clangers by people who possibly didn't play the original PSX version, and a handful that raised the question of "Would the Playstation actually run it?"

PC players might scoff when they see what's happened to some of their maps, especially the Plutonia efforts, but long-term PSX fans will find the Lost Levels delivers an accurate experience with nostalgic moments and levels that blast you back to the mid-90s when the PSX seemed so far in front of the other consoles.

I still don't feel ready to call myself a Plutonia fan. This was the biggest bugbear of the project to me. PSX Doom is about creeping around in darkened chambers, hiding from Hell Knights and dreading the slow clomping of the Cyberdemon as it draws near. IMO, Plutonia simply delivers MORE of everything: more Cyberdemons, more Revenants, more Hellknights, more Chaingunners, more toxic blood, more wall textures with vines on them. It's a step away from the classic Doom experience and more like the early fan levels which featured hordes of the most powerful monsters, and you can definitely tell they were up against the clock thank to repetition of ideas and themes.

However, I've got to respect that many Doom fans see Plutonia as the natural evolution of Doom. The PC gang don't want to creep around, they want to charge in blurting plasma while Nine Inch Nails shakes their subwoofer apart. They don't want to be drip-fed enemies or to input the -fast parameter for a challenge. This, I imagine, is where the ideologies of PSX and PC fans clash. It's a fundamental issue and it may determine how much you get from the Lost Levels TC.

If you take away the safety net of in-game saves then you significantly ramp up the stress level. THAT'S when you get it; that's when you see the difference between the original and its PSX port. That's when the music starts to creep into your consciousness. That's when the PSX levels, with their lack of BFGs and reduced ammo and monster counts, start to get into your head.

That's when you feel what I felt as a 14-year-old boy, hurrying home from school to get the Playstation on. You'll never know the spine-tingling elation as you hear the Playstation jingle, or how your universe seems to contract when you select your difficulty level and the LOADING message appears with a pistol shot.

This TC WILL help you to know what it was like to exist in those gritty, dark landscapes, feeling like you're the only person in existence, that the exit will bring you closer to the warmth of other human beings but instead brings you another dark nightmare.

Thank you to everyone involved in this project for bringing those memories back to life so we can experience them again.

Last edited by MajorRawne on 02-09-14 at 16:50

Old Post 02-09-14 16:44 #
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Olroda
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MajorRawne said:
If you take away the safety net of in-game saves then you significantly ramp up the stress level. THAT'S when you get it; that's when you see the difference between the original and its PSX port. That's when the music starts to creep into your consciousness. That's when the PSX levels, with their lack of BFGs and reduced ammo and monster counts, start to get into your head.

That's when you feel what I felt as a 14-year-old boy, hurrying home from school to get the Playstation on. You'll never know the spine-tingling elation as you hear the Playstation jingle, or how your universe seems to contract when you select your difficulty level and the LOADING message appears with a pistol shot.

This TC WILL help you to know what it was like to exist in those gritty, dark landscapes, feeling like you're the only person in existence, that the exit will bring you closer to the warmth of other human beings but instead brings you another dark nightmare.



Coming from the 'PC gang', and only recently (last year and a half) been introduced to the PSX version, I must say that you've really nailed what I love about it. PC DooM is an action flick with horror elements. PSX DooM is the reverse.

I'm currently playing through the 'pre-beta', but with me not having played the real deal on the console, any feedback I'll provide will be limited to errors and so on. That is, if it's needed at all.
(I could note that the monster limit for Dis is exceeded on UV with all those Barons, though! Or perhaps you are using them more as guidelines?)

Last edited by Olroda on 02-09-14 at 18:49

Old Post 02-09-14 18:07 #
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Dragonsbrethren
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Thanks for playtesting and the summary at the end, MajorRawne. I really appreciate it, it'll help so much in getting the beta out. Once beta's out, we'll start worrying more about the limits. I should be back to work on this shortly, my other project is nearly finished (took much longer than anticipated, sorry).

Olroda, take a look at Redemption Denied:



Tons of Barons along with two Masterminds. Granted, the two monster types aren't active at the same time. That might make all the difference in the world. The Mastermind is still huge, though, and two are active at once. Each sprite on screen takes space in VRAM. Barons are much smaller than a single Mastermind, so I think Dis is probably alright.

Old Post 02-09-14 21:16 #
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Ragnor
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Icon of Sin is pretty clearly actively giving the finger to the monster limit. The idea seems to be that Williams never got that one working, truly being a lost level. You have to admit though, it was actually fun seeing the Spider Mastermind in a PSX level for once. Pretty sure it used the Erebus music too, at least in one of the betas. I think Bad Dream should be ignored too, you cant really do much with that level :p
Cutting it would undermine the entire point of Lost Levels too..

The only way it gets used more than once in Lost Levels in a legitimate fashion, will be if someone makes a PSX exclusive boss map for it

Music is something I consider "fuck the rules in almost every possible way" for this project, with one sole exception: No FD tracks used for the small amount of UD/D2 maps, and only FD tracks for the master levels. FD had a few entirely unused tracks, which likely would have been bumped if Subspace, Subterra and Vesperas did get thier exclusive tracks. As it is, its kind of a dull "What do we use instead? Just partially copy/paste the first games list" with Hangar, then Plant, then Toxin Refinery etc. Thus its much better to have tracks picked out by the mappers or the project leaders that fit (as long as some arent overused or ignored)

Old Post 02-09-14 23:38 #
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But the problem is, tracks are being over-used and ignored, see my commentary in the previous post. Two music tracks weren't used at all.

It's an interesting suggestion re the Final Doom tracks, but you can't just confine them to the master levels; they are Final Doom tracks, therefore, strictly speaking, should be used throughout Plutonia and TNT. There was little or no repetition of music in PSX Final Doom, they didn't seem to restrict certain tracks to certain types of map.

The right music sets the tone for a map and I think they should be paired very carefully, with some regard to what other mappers are doing. But this is less important than finalising the maps.

EDIT: "PC DooM is an action flick with horror elements. PSX DooM is the reverse."

That is the best quote I've ever read about Doom and it sums things up perfectly. Doom became a separate game, almost like it did on the N64.

Last edited by MajorRawne on 02-10-14 at 10:13

Old Post 02-10-14 09:52 #
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Olroda
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Dragonsbrethren said:
Redemption Denied is loaded with bogeys!



Oh well, I can at least hunt for bugs and odd stuff as I progress.

On another note, once this project is done, I really think you should make a set of brand new maps adhering to the PSX limits (for use with the TC). It would be awesome!


MajorRawne said:
Doom became a separate game, almost like it did on the N64.


Indeed. It has such an oppressive atmosphere, with the music, the sound effects and all. For me, only PC DooM (and not the latter games) comes anywhere near that. Still far off, though.

Old Post 02-10-14 11:35 #
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BaronOfStuff
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Ragnor said:
Icon of Sin is pretty clearly actively giving the finger to the monster limit. The idea seems to be that Williams never got that one working, truly being a lost level.

I started on this before the limits were confirmed IIRC. I've recently started taking it apart again, dividing it back into three maps so I can get the monster choice to meet the RAM limits without ruining everything altogether.

The general progression of each map won't change though. And that Mastermind is staying too.

Old Post 02-10-14 14:52 #
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Job
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I played the TC last night and was gibbing former humans in Command Center with the shotgun like it was going out of style. Has that setting been tweaked yet? I know they were gib-prone in the real PSX port, but that was over the top.

Regarding music, well, that's really subjective? You'd be hard-pressed to find multiple people who believe a certain track fits a certain map. In fact, there were maps in the PSX ports that I believe were mis-matched on their tracks. If you folks are still taking suggestions, I took a bunch of pictures of broken sectors in one of the later maps. I'll post them if you want. My big problem was lighting implementation in some of the maps had too stark of a contrast. In other words, some spots looked like they had daylight. Ruined the atmosphere.

But I'm not a total asshole. I still respect your guys' cumulative efforts and a job well done, overall, in a land of unfulfilled promises and unfinished projects.

Old Post 02-10-14 20:37 #
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Dragonsbrethren
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Yeah, the gibbing stuff hasn't been fixed since Quasar's findings.

By all means, post anything that is (or seems) wrong.

Old Post 02-10-14 22:17 #
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mrthejoshmon
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For some reason, Titan Manor seems impossible to complete...

Now either I am completely overlooking something or I managed to break a sequence (Which I have done many times) to prevent myself from continuing.

I get stuck in the wood room with the marble lifts in the middle, the one with the soulsphere in an unreachable alcove with a switch in it (I can leave the room but I can't find anywhere else to go or what to do)

Old Post 02-10-14 23:17 #
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Ragnor
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MajorRawne said:
It's an interesting suggestion re the Final Doom tracks, but you can't just confine them to the master levels; they are Final Doom tracks, therefore, strictly speaking, should be used throughout Plutonia and TNT. There was little or no repetition of music in PSX Final Doom, they didn't seem to restrict certain tracks to certain types of map.


I never said just the master levels, but that those levels should only use ML tracks. Aubrey made a unique track for each included master level after all. A few of those tracks snuck into later levels, so yes, they are okay in TNT/Plutonia levels.

Also, thanks for keeping that mastermind Baron.

Old Post 02-10-14 23:45 #
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Running in the 90's
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mrthejoshmon said:
For some reason, Titan Manor seems impossible to complete...

Now either I am completely overlooking something or I managed to break a sequence (Which I have done many times) to prevent myself from continuing.

I get stuck in the wood room with the marble lifts in the middle, the one with the soulsphere in an unreachable alcove with a switch in it (I can leave the room but I can't find anywhere else to go or what to do)



I know I was stuck myself for a long freaking time. It's embarrassing, especially while casting live.

I had to watch a video to figure it out.

Here's a tip: Check the fireplace.

and good luck figuring out the next level.

Old Post 02-11-14 00:56 #
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mrthejoshmon
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Running in the 90's said:


I know I was stuck myself for a long freaking time. It's embarrassing, especially while casting live.

I had to watch a video to figure it out.

Here's a tip: Check the fireplace.

and good luck figuring out the next level.

Thanks for the tip, I got past it now thanks to that :)

And the next level...
I have completed the outdoor part (Where you get the yellow key) but of course the map then gets cryptic as all hell again...

What sadistic bastard made these two Master Levels?

EDIT: Oh, and I found this on the second Titan map: http://i.imgur.com/C2iTpFJ.png

Old Post 02-11-14 02:42 #
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Ragnor
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Those levels were made by Jim Flynn. He was well known for his puzzle-like maps

Old Post 02-11-14 03:06 #
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Running in the 90's
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lol speaking of which i'm stuck myself on Map 18:Black Tower

Old Post 02-11-14 03:16 #
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BaronOfStuff
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From what I remember, I just fudged my way through some of the Master Levels, but they can definitely be completed without cheating. I don't think know some of the other maps were not tested properly during conversion though, which seriously fucking irks me.

Old Post 02-11-14 04:01 #
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Running in the 90's
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Wait there's like 72 lost levels?

Holy crap, I am barely on Map 22

Old Post 02-11-14 04:23 #
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buttspit
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Was Black Tower updated recently? Otherwise, you can get stuck if you use the teleporter on the ground floor before hitting one of the switches nearby.

Old Post 02-11-14 04:43 #
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Olroda
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Some errors I found (perhaps you've sorted them out already on your end):

And Hell Followed
The red key area has four platfroms which raise, two of which has gateways in them. In one of them, there is a small triangular sector which is much brighter than the rest.


Industrial Zone
Found plenty of questionable material here, all tied to the fact that the player character is slower now.

-The METAL2 tower (more of a "house" now) jump to the gateway can be done from the ground. Perhaps raise the gateway part a bit so one just can't walk into it?

-The two subsequent leaps (to the switch which lowers the barrier around the red key gateway, and the chaingun secret one following that) require knowledge of straferunning. I can buy that the secret should be hard to get to, but not the mandatory jump before it.

-Inside the castle structure, where you get the blue key, there is a similar situation. After using the switch which raises the stairs in the PC version, you have to run back through the lava to catch the lift, which is almost(?) impossible to make in time before it gets back up. I tried this several times, to no avail.

-As a matter of personal taste, I would like to suggest that the outside light level is lowered a bit to conform with Downtown. I'm thinking it's a bit too bright as it is.

The Castle & The Escape
Brilliant levels, possibly my favourites so far (and I sure didn't like the originals). Excellent conversions, all the way down to the siezure-inducing lighting!
However, a few minor things were noted:
-In the Castle, a zombieman were kind enough to open the door to the next secret level for me. I repaid the favour by putting him out of his misery.
-In the Escape, the blood in the beginning won't hurt you if you step in it.

Last edited by Olroda on 02-11-14 at 12:47

Old Post 02-11-14 12:09 #
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BaronOfStuff
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Olroda said:
The Castle & The Escape
-In the Castle, a zombieman were kind enough to open the door to the next secret level for me. I repaid the favour by putting him out of his misery.


Oh, well-spotted. Not sure if anyone else caught this, but I'll fix this while I also simplify other bits of the map and reduce the monster variety.


-In the Escape, the blood in the beginning won't hurt you if you step in it.

This is intentional, but I don't mind changing it if the majority think it should be damaging.

Old Post 02-11-14 15:00 #
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Job
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Dragonsbrethren said:
Yeah, the gibbing stuff hasn't been fixed since Quasar's findings.

By all means, post anything that is (or seems) wrong.

I took these pictures at least a month ago with the intention of posting them but forgot. The only thing I know for sure is that the last few gameplay pictures are from the last level. It looked like there were some issues with implementing the teleportation. Anyway, someone more familiar with the FD levels than me should be able to identify the other levels (too lazy). As for the last picture, I just assume that it's supposed to do that, but I took a picture anyway because I thought it was kind of funny.

http://i.imgur.com/a0Z6sE9l.png

http://i.imgur.com/JK4Fvutl.png

http://i.imgur.com/Pz0vHgTl.png

http://i.imgur.com/8bi15hhl.png

http://i.imgur.com/9MKiJFel.png

http://i.imgur.com/XfwbS5dl.png

Old Post 02-11-14 16:15 #
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Job said:
I took these pictures at least a month ago ... Anyway, someone more familiar with the FD levels than me should be able to identify the other levels (too lazy).

Ah yeah, these. This is what I mean when I say maps clearly haven't been tested. I've fixed these, but can't remember if I uploaded them after.

Old Post 02-11-14 16:59 #
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scalliano
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All work and no play makes Jack etc.

Old Post 02-11-14 17:29 #
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Cicciolo
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Not sure if it was already reported, but the current default TITLEMAP.WAD from PSXLOST.PK3 has conflicts with PSX Doom and its Customizer. It doesn't let it use the PSX and Williams startup sequences and has to be deleted manually.

Sorry again for the inconvenience, this is probably my first week in the forum.

Old Post 02-11-14 23:17 #
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Ragnor
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I laughed so much at the END TEXT END TEXT thing when I saw it a while back. I guess you guys havent thought up what to write there :D

Old Post 02-12-14 02:26 #
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Dragonsbrethren
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Actually ScottGray did type up some text for it. I thought it was included in the latest version I posted, but I guess not. I'll have a new version up soon with it.

Old Post 02-12-14 02:37 #
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