A neverending arguing? Sure, why not.
Uh, what? Jungle bases, Cities, Redrock mountains, Gothicy-hell-castles, brown-wood-outdoor-levels, earth-mountains, various styles of tech-bases; that's three themes? I think not.
Bases, Plutonia-like, hell. That's how I see it. But of course you can let your imagination fly and think of a plethora of different vistas that aren't really break the circle.
Yes, UR is much harder than Vanguard. 83% of Vanguard (namely, the first 10 maps) is really easy. Map 12 is pretty damn hard(and harder than anything I've seen so far in UR), but that's one map out of 12. UR is more consistently challenging.
First of all - I don't consider Vanguard to be hard. Then again - I don't consider UR to be hard either. In fact, these sets are on slightly different levels: while Vanguard tends to be slaughterous at times and its enemy placement forces the player to move constantly (I must admit that I adore it when things go that way, everything else is just boring), UR is completely conventional. And this is why I mentioned 1996 if you point that out - the formula is exactly the same. Plutonia already had it all, and had it better handled. Disagree and I'll consider you an apostate.
UR's got a lot more variety in its encounters; more varied enemy placement (how many Arch-Vile snipers are there in Vanguard? Not many...), more varied map style (just compare maps 11 and 20!), more tricks and traps as opposed to static placements in fairly open areas.
Indeed? And I thought it's all about shoot some enemies-yawn-activate the switch/pick up the key-activate the trap-shoot some enemies-yawn... Silly me. Oh yes, there are some sandbox-like maps (with map19 even being pretty fun for the most part) which are better, but there's not many of them among 32 levels. And that constant shotgunning, always fucking shotgunning that makes things even slower. That's demoralising, man.
And fuck map11. Seriously.
Also, UR's Cacodemon usage (aside from that one stupid one at the start of map 05 that's neutered by the block monster line) is A+++++, and it's got some really unique usage of things that happen after a certain amount of time has passed in the maps (Such as Caco-swarms being unleashed in map 17, or the timed spawns in 20).
Heh, I think Combat Shock uses cacodemons better, you know. The more - the merrier. And timed spawns... it's hard to surprise anyone with it nowadays, I even did it myself if you ask me.
This isn't to say that UR is better than Vanguard (the jury is out on this one still; Vanguard definitely looks better, has better early maps [UR doesn't really hit stride until map 17, with maps 6, 9, and 12 being exceptions to this] and it's overall more polished, but UR tends to have better individual combat situations).
Look, you nailed it. Should I wage through the bland half of the maps in hope of finding something decent? I'm not that desperate in looking what to play. And I really don't know what do you mean by better combat situations. As I said before - I already saw something very similar very long time ago. Numerous times. In a row, dammit.
We're all slightly insane, yep.
@ Tarnsman: it's an exaggeration. But I actually agree with your point.