As always, UV, continuous play, frequent save and reload, using Risen3D.
Map01 – Escape From The Asylum – by Katamori – Kills – 100, Items – 100, Secrets – 100. Time 6:40. End Health 100, Armor 0. Death Count – Zero
I’m loving this megawad right off the bat. Cheers for choosing “Suspense” as the music. My favorite tune from Doom, nice and creepy. I never get tired of playing to this track.
Katamori does an excellent job of conveying the sense of a mental institution. The doors with barred cutouts are a prime touch. The lighting is superb and creates a sense of menace. The rooms and passageways are small and claustrophobic. The map design overall is very simple, but the lighting is so good that it works in creating a tense atmosphere. Really outstanding design.
The first big fight was the best, and caught me a bit by surprise, taking me down to 25%. No real problem bouncing back from that. But even though the fights are easy, the sense that something awful might happen was so strong that I always felt unnerved. What more could I ask for from an opening map?
Worth noting is the outstanding music that plays between maps, and the cool title pics. Evidence all around of a terrific project.
Map02 – Storage Basement – by Cell – Kills- 100, Items 100, Secrets – 100. Time 16:09. End Health 200, Armor 91. Death Count – Zero.
Map02 maintains the high standard of Map01, and picks up where Map01 left off, though now the exit/entrance is busted-up for some reason. Looks cool. Again you have to creep through an access tunnel, but this time you’ll face stronger opposition at the other end. In the fullness of time, you’ll also discover that even in 2012, mappers are still putting Medikits, Stimpacks, boxes of shells and so on, in front of switches! Please, stop that! Stop it right now! And don't put that kind of stuff in narrow hallways, either.
That gripe aside, this is a fun map oozing with atmosphere. The SSG is the first secret I found, which came in handy against the Pinkies and Spectres, given that the Berserk was hidden in an odd place, and I never bothered to pick it up until after I finished the map and went humping for the two secrets I missed the first time. I discovered that the Berserk is not a secret.
I liked the traps in this map, the teleporting chaingunners at the red key platform and the Insta-Lift menagerie on the (cough!) stairs (cough!) near the exit. I think it was a mistake to make the Insta-Lift monsters deaf, because at first they wandered around like drunks with no idea what to do. By the time they got the idea to attack me, they were dead. Only a few steps from here we open a door, kill Chaingun Charlie and his pink buddy, and find a box of shells in front of a switch. I had 48 shells when I saw that. Ahem! Luckily, I was able to back up and grab a shotgun from a dead Sergeant.
I finished in 10:35 on the first try – obviously I’m not a speedster – but only had 33% secrets, so I went back and found the Backpack and, miraculously, the Soulsphere. It was just a crazy urge that made made me try that (cough!) panel (cough!). Sheer luck! I also liked the music track in this level. Aside from the nitpicks I mentioned, this map is excellent.
Map03 – The Stench of Freedom – by Melon – Kills – 100, Items – 100, Secrets – 100. Time 18:39. End Health 100, Armor 111. Death Count – Zero
Clever name for a sewer map, and overall, not too bad, though I thought the fights were a bit too easy, and parts of the map looked bland, for example the room with the blue key switch. I was stunned when the first secret I found was the computer map, and I do object to that, but not too much. Sometimes it’ s nice to have things go a little easy.
The sewer areas were nicely done and convincing. The only big fight, with the teleporting monsters, isn’t really a fight at all, since circling around them causes the Hell Knight to do most of the work for you. I suppose this was seen as an easy way to introduce the HK, but maybe a little too easy. Luckily, there are enough hitscanners to chip away at your health. I lost my whole Soulsphere bonus, first at the trap in the blue key area, and second when chaingunners appear at the Midbars corridor.
A cool feature of the map was the lighting in the blue key area, which showed on the floor but not the ceiling. Cool trick. How do you do that? I figure it must be dummy sectors but I’m not sure how it was pulled off.
There’s not much else to say. It’s a nice map and continues the story of your escape. It looks pretty good, and has a nice music track, but the fights are a bit too easy.
Last edited by SteveD on 04-04-13 at 18:54