After a couple of months out (well one month and a couple of weeks), time to get back into things. Let's see now, usual old nonsense setup of ZDoom using Doom (strict) compatibility mode, with the exception of allowing true NSEW movement (lol), and telling the old hitscan code to fuck off.
I browsed through the WAD to see what these new sprites were, and ended up getting rid of most of them. The meat cleaver in the lump of flesh is pretty cool, the blue candle will make a nice change, and the Stimpack/Meditkit things were so corny I had to leave them in. Everything else though just went in the trash. Now that it's all said and done...
REALM OF CHAOS
Jesus Christ it's COMPSPAN City.
Blandness aside (which can be forgiven considering the age of this thing and the inexperience of the authors involved), it does at least play pretty well with the opening. The new textures (clearly used straight away to show them off!) work, and some are delightfully cheesy to look at while still managing to fit in just well enough with the stock resources. And everything's actually aligned too; that's some serious shit for 1996, given how mundane a task it was to have to manually align everything with no visual help whatsoever outside of testing the map over and over again.
Fighting did feel a bit laboured in places (the 'big reveal' of a huge sector and only seven Imps after activating Linedef 260 was more of a 'bleh' encounter than anything), and the ending was a bit tedious (I wanted to just SR50 everywhere and hit the switches ASAP, but held back for what turned out to be a very valid fear of breaking the platform raising triggers). Not at all horrible for MAP01, but nothing special.
This is a nice, solid Map01 without any notable mistakes, though one could quibble about the Soulsphere secret.[/B]
Too fuckin' right one could. We go from the goofy Arrow o' Crates clearly pointing out a secret for the most worthless Powerup ever (typically I was immediately hit by the next Sergeant to show his ugly bald mug, so these things always fucking suck as far as I am concerned), to this obscure nonsense that relies purely on the chance that someone would want to go leaping around trying to get a footing on the crates. Ehhhh.
I'm aiming for something under three hours total for this one. I know it ain't happening though.
Seriously, this one is awful for manoeuvrability. While it's not featuring anything difficult to get by, constantly getting snagged on non-orthogonal doorways and walls serves to do nothing but piss me off. And Autoaim proves its shittiness as usual:
When I aim slightly to the left to try and snipe that distant Imp, the bastard Autoaim doesn't kick in. Lazy, Carmack. LAZY.
A genuinely surprising Hellknight attempts to act like a fearsome obstacle, and only gets its head caved in while struggling to fit through the doorway. I told you this map was horribad for movement. Even the enemies are getting fucked over now.
Once I saw this it was Game Over for MAP02. It all turned into one of those 'punch the shit out of everything' events. With the exception of two Imps (which met their demise via Shotgun blasts), everything encountered after the acquisition of this box o' death got my fist rammed through its face or stomach, depending on size.
The secrets are pretty pointless and only contain shitty things of no value outside of 100%'ing the map.
A Partial Invisibility next to a Hellknight. Really?
The outside could have done with a 'Block Monster' flag being applied to the windowspaces, it looks clumsy to see this 8ft monster step up and appear to make its way in, only to find that it can't and swiftly turn back around again.
Hurrr, durr hur hur.
The central hub thing was a nice visual touch amidst some of the most haphazard texture theming this side of the Shitty Map Contest, but as pointed out already it didn't really allow any crossfire and infighting. I don't know, I guess it's an alright map in concept, but it almost feels unfinished, as though Chan lost interest after realising just how horribly cramped things are.
I hate it when monsters are looking at the playerstarts, regardless of how laughable the threat may be. Always reminds me of those times at school when you'd be having a race, only for the other kid to shout "GO!" after he'd started running. In other words, at least let me raise my fucking gun before stuff can take potshots at me, eh?
Not much to say about this one. It was a nice step up from the 'target practice' of the previous maps, with some hints of ferocity thanks to having attacks coming from multiple angles and some fine cases of low-grade crowd control, but the inclusion of the SSG reduces any real chances of a surprise fight for life later on to nothing but 'get out of my way' inconvenience. Ah well, it is only MAP03.
The secret door was probably more obvious than it should have been, thanks to misaligned texture work.