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Capellan
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e1m9
I did not like this very much. It's definitely a level that overstays its welcome. Not that it's especially huge, but it had a constricted, bitsy form of progression that requires too much switch-flicking and more than a little back-tracking.

The western section of six identical rooms is a good example of the switchitis of the level. Rather than one interesting fight, we get a series of small, tedioius, chokepoint battles. Yawn.

The level does introduce a new enemy: an immobile gun turret. They're chaingunner-esque, capable of flaying away a lot of health, which is a real issue in a level where healing is as scarce as it is here.

Visually, the level lacks any 'wow' moments, and the brown144 tunnels look pretty bad.

A disappointing entry.

Old Post 05-03-13 09:18 #
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Capellan
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e1m4
I liked this a lot more than the secret level. Like every map since e1m2, it's visually less detailed and impressive than e1m1 was, but in this level the textures that are chosen are generally appropriate for their purpose (for instance, if a wall is more than 128 high, a tecture that tiles well vertically has been chosen).

I also had a lot of luck with getting the gun turret enemy to infight on this level. There are least three of these enemies on the map, and I only had to kill one. Monsters (in one case, another turret) took out the other two.

I found 3 secrets, at least one of which was a nice change of pace: rather than simply giving goodies (though it did that), it also gave you a better tactical position from which to fight. Nice.

Speaking of fights, these were also a step up from last level: while the map still had discrete 'clumps' of resistance, it varied the size and placement of those clumps, and gave them more space and a sense of ebb and flow. I especially liked the section leading up to the switch that opens the way to the blue door.

Old Post 05-04-13 01:39 #
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Capellan
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e1m5
One recurring issue with the mapgame levels is backtracking. The design often requires you to do part A of the map to get a key or flick a switch to do part B. Then you go do part B, which gives you a key or switch to open part C ... but to get to C you have to run through A again. And of course when you do part C and get access to part D, you get there via B.

That issue is in full effect here, and is compounded by the fact that one of the areas you revisit - the metal1 'squares' - was pretty dull the first time. Coming back through it later with no new monsters to fight, just so you can reach the blue door, induces a rolling of the eyes.

Which is unfortunate, because this level has some nice moments: the illusion of the raising floor after you teleport to the exit area being a particular case in point. Kudos for also offering a route back to the main part of the map so the player can search for secrets and picked up goodies they left for later.

Gameplay remains centered on E1 enemies, plus the gun turrets. The key to making genuine challenge out of this opposition is using multiple angles of threat and forcing the player to prioritise. This level does that reasonably well at the outset, and again at the red key trap, but other than that the enemies generally funnel in from a single direction, making it very straightforward to deal with them.

An okay entry to the wad, but not a great one.

Old Post 05-04-13 23:46 #
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Capellan
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e1m6
I liked this level. I thought it had a good exploratory vibe for most of it. There was a little bit of the common problem with the last few levels, in that we got some rather linear corridor-shooter bits, but these were compensated for with some fun secrets: I especially liked the grilles leading to the soulsphere (as well as to an alternate route to the yellow key) and the shootable switch leading to the blur sphere.

Combat remain easy, thanks to the episode's self-imposed monster limits. The pop-up turret near the red door was a good surprise, though the turret's slow firing animation made it pretty easy to strafe & gun.

I have mixed feelings about the chaingun replacement. On the one hand, the flight time of the projectiles limits its worth at long distances against moving targets. On the other hand, it seems to kill enemies quicker up close than the chaingun did, and its lack of 'bullet spread' makes it lethal against distant turrets.

Old Post 05-06-13 09:19 #
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Capellan
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e1m7
By now, "competent tech base" is pretty much the default expectation for every map in the episode, and it's what we get here, once more. I'm not hugely enamored of some of the textural and architectural choices - I think this wad's look and feel peaked early - but there's nothing bad.

Paricularly good elements? I liked the turret fights in this, actually. They're well positioned, giving you opportunities to sometimes use them to your advantage if you're clever, and to always have a fair shake at engaging them in any case, without them being entirely nerfed.

I also very much appreciated the final rush of monsters, with a few cacodemons finally enlivening the onslaught. They're not hard to deal with, but they do at least vary the opposition a bit. Was a mistake to have them appear on the walkway, though - they should have been sniping in from the outside to creat crossfires.



e1m8
A solid boss level, with the barons positioned in such a way that you can't readily bunch them up. This means you can't just rocket them as a helpless clump of meat, and also that green fire is coming down on you from multiple angles. Good fight.

I also realised liked the ending room, with the maw of hell and the strange noises it made.

Overall, a very fine conclusion to the episode.




I'll be taking a little break from this thread - other than maybe a single level or two - as I'll be doing a playthrough of HYMN this month in addition to Fava Beans and Double Impact for the Megawad Club.

I should be back in June though :)

Old Post 05-08-13 10:56 #
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Capellan
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Realm of Shades
So all I know about this is it is from 1998, and it has 7 maps.

Map01
So, using multiples of 8 for heights is not going to be a thing in this map, it seems. Nor is any semblance of any 'real' place. Details are apt to be thin on the ground, too. Lots of long, uninterrupted, straight lines around the place. There are soe lighting sectors though, so that's something. Still, for a 1998 level, the looks are fairly crude.

Gameplay is pretty good. The first fight in the courtyard is a good one, with sniping revs and chainguns above, plus a motley selection of enemies at ground level. Probably the best part of the map, really.

Once you clear that, it's a pretty simple bit of corridor shooting to open access to the blue key. This brings another flood of monsters, but quite a lot of them got stuck up in the north eastern part of the map, reducing the potency of the encounter.

The final act of the map is one I largely just ran through. Lucked into finding the elevator I needed pretty much straight away, used the first teleporter; guessed I needed to go back where I'd 'ported from, and found the second teleporter and the exit. I ignored pretty much everything in the nukage area, fighting-wise.

Not a bad level, but the later fights were not as well orchestrated as the opening.

Old Post 06-05-13 11:33 #
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TimeOfDeath
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What made you play RoS? I played it a couple months ago and liked it: http://www.doomworld.com/idgames/index.php?id=9040

Old Post 06-05-13 16:10 #
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Capellan
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TimeOfDeath said:
What made you play RoS?


vdgg suggested it above, and when I looked at it on idgames it seemed interesting.



Soldat said:
I'd like to make a request for the next play: The (original) Plutonia Experiment.


I'm not generally a fan of Casali levels, to be honest. I only own Final Doom because it was cheaper to buy Rage as part of an "every iD game ever" pack on Steam than to get it by itself.

Last edited by Capellan on 06-05-13 at 23:02

Old Post 06-05-13 20:31 #
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Capellan
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Map02
Well, this is a pretty square level of squareness, with orthagonal buildings containing orthagonal rooms, connected by orthagonal hallways, and surrounded by orthagonal courtyards.

It's also a level with a rather tiresome penchant for distant/high chaingunners with dominating views over open spaces. That gets pretty tiresome.

Other than that, it's a reasonably fun level, for gameplay. The flocks of cacos are entertaining, as always. I also liked the HK/sergeant fight leading up to the blue key becoming available. It was a battle where taking out the shotgunners around the edges was much more important than the goatboys in the middle. And I don't mean Daniel Bryan.

The cyber fight was something of a lowlight ... he got a decently menacing build up, but is very easy to cheese when you finally do encounter him.

Old Post 06-06-13 10:32 #
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Capellan
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Map03
I rather enjoyed this sprawling techbase level. It's not going to win any prives for looks, and continuous play pulls a lot of the teeth from its fights, but it's a fun 90s romp. I had 100 rockets coming into this, and about 90 as I leave, but I must have expended a good pile of them in the course of the map.

Favorite moments: the multiple switches in the first major nukage area were amusing, as each opened yet another closet, rather than the exit. The big brown canton with arachnotrons and revenants across it was also fun. I liked the cacos hiding in its depths, and the teleport jumps to cross it. Fun.

The end room trap was thoroughly sign-posted. I think it might have been more fun in a larger area with the HKs not confined in cages, though. I got caught on a stray vertex or something the first time I tried it - a flat piece of wall, but it snagged me good and proper. On the second attempt, things went much more smoothly.

Old Post 06-16-13 07:47 #
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Capellan
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Sorry for the long break. Playing 80-ish "100 lines" maps has kept me rather busy.

Map04
Wow. As map03 is to 01 and 02, so map04 is to 03. Much bigger, much better looking, much more architecturally ambitious ... and a whole heck of a lot harder! The red key was an especially nasty fight, taking several attempts and about 500 cells when I finally completed it. I'm glad I wasn't trying this level on UV, as the map has twice as many AVs and revenants on that setting. It was mostly the AVs who got me on this one: on several occasions the map puts you up against them in places with very little cover.

The definite highlight of the level is the layout, which intersects with itself in numerous places, creating links back to earlier areas, or to zones you've seen from another direction but been unable to enter.

I got stuck for a while looking for the blue key; not the most intuitive progression there, but I did eventually trigger the trap that was needed to proceed.

Comparing this map to map01 is like two completely different standards.

Old Post 07-05-13 12:07 #
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Capellan
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Map05
This map feels like a slight step back from map04. It's also large and technically proficient in its construction (though the blue key room had some strange alignment issues). The structure of the level as a whole, however, is less interesting. Firstly, it's a hub-spoke map, which is a pretty linear and uninteresting structure at the best of times, and doubly-so when it's the bog standard "no key, 1st key, 2nd key, 3rd key" approach. The map adds the wrinkle that you have to do the 2nd key wing twice to get the 3rd key, but that's not an especially interesting wrinkle to add.

The map also suffers because the final fight is entirely skippable on difficulties below UV (on UV, the mastermind might make a run to the exit less appealing!).

These weaknesses of the map are a shame, because it has some nice architecture, interesting textures (I like the grimy crates), and challenging fights (the first run through the red key wing being the highlight IMO).

I imagine this would be pretty tough on pistol start, especially on UV. There are quite a number of PEs about the place, and UV has a lot of extra barons, which are real ammo sinks. You do get a berserk or three though, which will help.

Ten secrets on the map; I found only one, but it was the one to find: the BFG :)

Well actually, I found two, but the second one I got when I was doing some random exploring in nukage, and I couldn't be bothered to go get it when I went back to finishing the level (it was a long trek to get a rad suit, and the reward was only a box of bullets).

A decent map, but not quite at the level of 04.

Old Post 08-04-13 08:41 #
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