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cannonball
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UR Map31 - "Destructive Infinity" by valkriforce and deathevokation
Yeah this was evil to pistol start, the BFG secret is a real dick move placing you in a whole heap of shit. One shot, make it count. Once the initial mayhem dies down the map becomes really straightforward.
Took some time to figure out how to get the yellow key.

Map32 - "A Charming Khorus" by Khorus
Tough, fast paced map in the typical Khorus style, it's a good map though I struggled with ammo towards the end.

Old Post 10-16-13 15:16 #
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PRIMEVAL
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Triple whammy as I've seen reviews for all 3 maps relatively close to each other.

Map31 "Cloak and Dagger"


Basically a power metal remake of E1M5, slightly inspired by a Dethklok song x) Also threw in a tune that you'll be hearing later on and a short tribute to Iron Maiden. If you guess the song, you'll get a cookie. Eventually.

Map32 "Godsend Death"


Hi-octane rock track with some horror elements. Gotta have that double bass... it usually an old riff I came up with in the mid 2000's, albeit a generic one at that. Something quick and simple.

Map16 "Heretica"


Hmm, I wonder what this could be inspired from? Out of my usual style of generic MIDI rock and going into more of a slight jungle / Gothic theme using synth strings, timpani, mallets, and the like. Something that could be used in Heretic ;) Towards the end I changed the tempo a bit, not very common in Doom songs. Probably one of my better songs for this WAD, despite it being a rushed creation.

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Old Post 10-16-13 18:03 #
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dobu gabu maru
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Really like your summary of Z300 Demon, hits the nail on the head quite accurately.

Z300 Map16 - "Bruiser Fortress": A simple concept that works nicely. You’re forced to circle around the outside and clear the walkways before venturing inside. After you have a mad dash to the exit, which probably should’ve had a blocked baron rather than an AV that lets you safely escape. Had some fun here.

Old Post 10-16-13 21:38 #
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cannonball
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UR Map16 - "Dockside"
This was really fun to play, when you get the weapons and some health/armour this map is a walk in the park if you keep moving. Simples :)

Zone 300 Map16 - "Bruiser Fortress"
Hmm this map would be very easy to casually play, not a hitscanner in sight and the most dangerous enemies are rather cheesed by their placement, conversely it makes uv maxing this map a real bitch. Not very keen on this one despite being very clean looking.

Old Post 10-16-13 23:06 #
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Demon of the Well
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dobu gabu maru said:
Really like your summary of Z300 Demon, hits the nail on the head quite accurately.
Thanks. I know PCorf is capable of making interesting maps when he really puts his mind to it, but so much of Z300 just feels really phoned-in to me, in more ways than one.

UR Map 16 -- Dockside - 84% Kills / 100% Secrets
Yeah, like Veinen says, this one is definitely currently malfunctioning....monsters just sort of stop showing up (though they're clearly supposed to keep beaming in in waves) after you clear out the building you need the yellow skull to get into. At first I figured it was just a side-effect of my playing the WAD outside of the target port, but no, it's just as broken in PrBooM+ complevel 2.

Anyway, it's really quite an easy map, though I actually managed to get myself killed 20 seconds in on my first attempt, heh (the pillared arch-vile somehow saw me when I was over by the first switch, and a pinkie trolled me by lubing himself up and suddenly squeezing through the gap between two of the just-risen iron posts to block me and prevent me from evading the spell). By this point a very clear theme to the gameplay in E2 has emerged--almost all of these maps have involved fast-paced outdoor scenarios that see the player under fire from all directions while s/he scrambles around looking for weapons and other tools. In the Dockside's case, while it's true that the crowd of monsters initially inhabiting the area manages to sling quite a lot of shit your way in short order, there's even more open space to use here than in maps 12 or 13, and there's just so much health and plenty of quality ammo freely available all around the place that you ought to be more than a match for the opposition, particularly if you realize that you can get the BFG almost from square 1 if you like. I reckon some folks won't realize that you're just supposed to reach up and grab the SSG from down in the water, though.

Aesthetically it suits me fine, again if for no other reason than that I like stone/water themes. Of course, it would be remiss to fail to mention that pretty much everything about the styling of this level--the texture choices, the general setting, the shapes of the buildings and other structures, and especially the music track--screams "HERETIC!" at the top of its lungs, which is quite alright....just so long as I get to use buckshot instead of ethereal arrows, I'm set.

******

Z300 Map 16 -- Bruiser Fortress - 100% Kills / 100% Secrets
This one is very short even by the standards of this mapset. The action takes place in and around a tiny one-room marble keep surrounded by a deep blood moat (looks pretty weird juxtaposed with the stock E2 burning city sky), said keep being home to a Baron or two. The layout is highly symmetrical except for an aperture high up on the south wall of the keep, which allows access to the yellow skull-key. Once again I quite liked the MIDI, although this one is probably niche enough that I wouldn't be surprised to hear other folks think it's cornball to the max.

Its symmetry, afternoon-grade light level, and generally sensible texture scheme (marble, some wood, some vines) do make it a very clean-looking area, with only the randomly scattered bits of blood and flesh on the ground to busy up the scene....and looking at the scenery is the main passtime in this map, since it's quite lightly populated, with only the turret revenants to potentially make you sweat a little (unless you're given to getting spooked by arch-viles who wait for you behind doors). There's something of a 'sourceport-ism' in the design in that PCorf seems to have assumed that all players will kill all the imps before going into the keep--if you don't kill the ones on the south side, they'll prevent you from hopping over to the yellow skull by way of some infinitely-tall voodoo. Myself, I didn't kill the imps at first, but I also play in a sourceport, so no actual hitch for me, but it was something that did occur to me as I was killing them. Actual combat is too simple to be very interesting....I think this map would've worked better if it had had a monster density more akin to that of map 14 or the like.

Old Post 10-17-13 06:20 #
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Magnusblitz
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Zone 300 MAP16: Bruiser Fortress

Hmmm... yeah. I dunno. It's a very nice and clean-looking map, nice tidy little fortress, but despite the monsters used, it doesn't feel that threatening. None of the imps/revenants really did anything, and it's easy to get the mancubi/knights to infight. The AV at the end actually teleports itself out of the way, making running away from the gasbags simplistic. As cannonball said, easy to beat, unless you're trying to get 100% kills. I did like the secret, though. 2/5

I will agree with the others that I'm starting to feel underwhelmed by Zone 300. The maps aren't bad, but they really do just feel like smaller chunks of larger maps rather than attempting to make a full-sized 300 linedef map in it's own right. Compare these to say, E1M7 in Jayextee's 900 Deep, and the difference really shows. Then again, Paul did make the entire WAD in 6 weeks, so it should perhaps be expected.

Old Post 10-17-13 06:51 #
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dobu gabu maru
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UR Map31 - "Destructive Infinity": A charmingly cramped map. The wild outset is by far the trickiest part as there’s no safe spot to camp (that has plenty of ammo anyway) which means waking up a lot of pissy monsters. The map is a bit small & tight but that kind of gameplay fares well with me, and I especially enjoy all the little bits of detail in the walls and ceiling—gives a lot to look at as you’re running for your life. The final trap is alright but there needs to be a bit more sustenance for continuous players there, as I exited with 4% health.

Also, consider changing this door to something else as it blends in too easily with the background for it to be a mandatory thing. And there’s a lot of weird lines missing/shown on the automap.

UR Map32 - "A Charming Khorus": Possibly my least favorite map. Textures are a wild hodgepodge of tech and shit but it never really feels cohesive. There's a lot of space and plenty of monsters to maneuver by, but this feels more like a map you're trying to max than play, picking up goodies and instigating some infighting rather than just plain ol' shootin. Plus the lack of health (sans the overly generous megasphere) wasn't to my liking. It's a bonus map so it doesn't really serve as a strike against the whole megawad.

UR Map16 - "Dockside": Another favorite of mine—probably my most admired of E2. I have a thing for big boxy arenas and this map offers up a lot of frantic fun. Like Demon said it's not especially difficult although I also had some warp in problems as well, meaning I missed out on a fun climax. It's a damn shame.

Visually the map is superb with my favorite place being the interior of the central building... it's gorgeous yet simple, and the variety of pillars and structures outside are a very welcome sight. The placement of the AV is very wise too, as he's solely there to keep you from doing wide laps around the arena. I just I was able to tango with the Mastermind in the end :(

Also, this may be just me, but I think the backpack would be better placed inside the compound so the player can't just stock up on ammo during the initial battle.

Old Post 10-17-13 06:54 #
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Khorus
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dobu gabu maru said:

UR Map32 - "A Charming Khorus": Possibly my least favorite map etc.



I guess that means none of my shit will be a Megawad Club Plays feature, hahaha.

Old Post 10-17-13 09:37 #
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Veinen
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Unholy Realms Map32: A Charming Khorus

A charming Khorus map. It's like the polar opposite of map31 in terms of layout and visuals. Very spacious and simplistic design with emphasis on the bigger picture, so to speak, rather than in small details. It definitely shows that this map was made by a different author since it's so different in style compared to the rest of the wad. Yeah, it has the a bit of everything -syndrome when it comes to texturing but I felt the changes from techbase to dirt and caverns were subtle and sensible enough so that they didn't really stand out in a bad way.

Combat is alright too and I found this map rather difficult actually. Despite the free megasphere and soulsphere, health is pretty sparse and is delivered in bunches so a little bit of carefulness is needed in between these "health bunches". I definitely appreciated the megasphere since I was always low on health and without armor at that point. The pace here is a bit slower but it's compensated by extensive Plasma Gun usage which is always a pleasure. The ammo balance is great for my liking as well and all the better weapons in your arsenal will be used at some point. I did leave with a lot of cells to spare but the Cybers condition after the rebellion in the starting cavern was much worse than usual. A solid effort overall I'd say.

Old Post 10-17-13 11:07 #
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Getsu Fune
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MAP17 Missing Gamma Sector

*Regular Run

I'll be honest. I'm not really liking E2 at all ever since MAP12. This map is probably the best so far though. A quite nonlinear layout, very visually appealing to the eyes, with mostly imps, but then also quite a number of hellknights too. Plasmagun trap was well done I'll admit. Some small ambushes, and then some crowds to deal with. I had some fun moments in gameplay, even though I forget about medikits alot. That final slaughter at the end was really well done and promises that this map was really good. BUT there are still flaws here.

http://i.imgur.com/ctaLkZ9.png

http://i.imgur.com/W7IjGxT.png

(Please excuse my shitty MSpaint skills with the last one)

Those are visual glitches, but that's not all. I've had it once again with the teleporting monsters, including a cyberdemon, not showing up again. At least they were active this time, but I'm not sure why they didn't show up anywhere. Possibly since they were W1 teleports instead of WR. The cyber's teleporting closet was actually WR (I assume he teleports on that big structure in the final slaughter area) but he still didn't teleport. Please fix. Final Time 6:23.

*Reality Run*

Getting real tired of action starts everywhere now. Big area on the east had lotsa imps on the walls, meaning I had to watch carefully for those stary fireballs. The PG trap was most difficult. I used the BFG to clear out the two lateral sides, which have a mancubus, a shotgun guy, and imps, and I actually had to dance masterfully to avoid those projectiles. At the last battle, I preemptively shot the BFG at the exit, at least twice, hoping that many enemies particularly the mancubi would soak up the rays. And the tactic works quite well, but took some attempts, sometimes the big structure forms right in front of me, shoulda stayed on the side instead. Final Time 7:50.

MAP17 Constriction

*Regular Run*

You know what, I've seen that thing so many times in many of pcorf's maps that it should be called the "pcorf catwalk". I refer to that long stretch of walkway to the east when I said this, this catwalk was also in Skybase 300 as well. Same kinda structure as it was in some of pcorf's other wads, such as his 2002ADO maps. It has zombies and imps in a rather spread-out manner. This particular catwalk had surprise encounters from some monsters when rounding the bends. Pretty cool. Some might not like it, but I've gotten used to seeing it a lot and it is always fun going on the "pcorf catwalk."

Nothing much to talk about for the rest of the map though, although the secret is quite nice. Final Time 1:51.

*Reality Run*

I was just simply more careful :). Final Time 2:07.

Old Post 10-17-13 14:41 #
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cannonball
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Hmm seems to be a compatibility issue on map16, the line action 19 I assume doesn't work as intended in complevel 2 whilst it's fine in standard pr-boom compatibility. I would suggest either to have the affect sector lower than the monster sector so it simply pops up to the same level and hence works or use linedef action 38 instead (w1 - lower to lowest floor).

Old Post 10-17-13 15:48 #
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Cynical
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...Am I the only person who sees a dark night sky in UR's second episode? That's the second screenshot I've seen of someone having a bright orange sky when taking a screenshot of that position in map 17, whereas when I reported that, it looked like this http://i.imgur.com/Q7oAyv3.png

I like the dark sky atmosphere a lot more, myself.

Old Post 10-17-13 15:58 #
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PRIMEVAL
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I have the orange sky.. I do like that dark blue sky a lot, though.

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Old Post 10-17-13 18:07 #
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Memfis
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That blue one is the second sky from cc4-tex so I guess you're loading it after Unholy Realms? You don't need to. I think cc4-tex.txt is included just for the credits.

Old Post 10-17-13 18:09 #
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dobu gabu maru
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Khorus said:
I guess that means none of my shit will be a Megawad Club Plays feature, hahaha.


Nonsense. I'm still interested in Speedy Shit and it's up to the club's opinion ultimately anyway.

UR Map17 - "Missing Gamma Sector": A longer level with more sequestered areas that provides a nice change from the open outdoors of MAP16. The start is, as always, frantic and if you're smarter than me you'll realize you can pick up the RL pretty early on (I on the other hand ran through a large part of the level hanging on by the skin of my teeth). Traps make a notable return here with a few tricky ones like the PG fight and teleport into pinkie pen (which was made worse when the manc walked through that line first). No major qualms with this map, it's a lot of fun and quite ammo tight.

I did have a pretty silly thing happen which I'm unsure if Knox intended or not. After opening the blue door I didn't want to deal with the yellow man and his bony brigade so I scooted past them and went to the final arena. If you've played slaughtermaps before it's an admittedly easy affair to tackle, but since I left the AV alive he proceeded to resurrect EVERYBODY on those balconies and then emerge into the arena, boneheads in tow. I think it made the fight a bit more interesting and is a just bonus for cowardly running from battle.

Z300 Map17 - "Constriction": One of the better maps. The revenants are used exceptionally well here, with their homing rockets being the most threatening aspect of the map (although the hitscanners from across the walkway are a close second). Only the room with 2 HKs and 2 barons felt like padding as there was little to no threat in dancing with them. Still, had a lot of fun here thanks to some clever layout.

Old Post 10-17-13 18:32 #
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Cynical
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Memfis said:
That blue one is the second sky from cc4-tex so I guess you're loading it after Unholy Realms? You don't need to. I think cc4-tex.txt is included just for the credits.

Ah, that explains it; I thought that the textfile meant I needed to load CC4-tex.

I think I'll keep doing it that way when I want to play Ep 2 maps, though. I like the night atmosphere.

Old Post 10-17-13 19:02 #
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cannonball
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UR Map17 - "Missing Gamma Sector"
Well I reached the exit room but couldn't figure out how to exit, assume it was cyber related like map11, couldn't be bothered and let the cyber blow me into the exit :P
Fun map otherwise, lots of tough traps and great layout, what else is there to say.

Zone 300 Map17 - "Constriction"
The central area is nicely done and the revenants are well placed. The pain elemental is annoying as hell and the meat in the blue key is just a waste of time to be honest. Mixed opinions but at least PCorf put something other than nobles behind the exit door :)

Old Post 10-17-13 20:38 #
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PRIMEVAL
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Map17 "Magic"


More upbeat electronic rock of sorts for this map. Playing around with some of the chime-sounding instruments and synth strings. I love galloping drum rhythms, they give off good energy while being different than flat out double bass playing all the way through, which I'm sure we've heard enough of in this WAD hehe.

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Old Post 10-17-13 21:42 #
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Jaws In Space
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Zone 300: Map 17 - UV, pistol start

I had mixed feelings about this map, on one hand you have wonderfully annoying Revanants, but on the other had you have dumb imp traps & a waste of ammo guarding the blue key. And of course we have the normal bad guys behind the exit door, at least Revanants are short enough to get out of the doorway. Visually I will say this is a pretty nice looking map & I did enjoy the music.

Old Post 10-18-13 00:18 #
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Demon of the Well
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UR Map 17 -- Missing Gamma Sector - 107% Kills / 100% Secrets
Ah, a fine map this, feels larger than it really is on account of all of the open spaces and the steady pulse of action in and around the blue-locked kiosk. The theme here is a distinctly 'early CC4' techbase--so, big chunky slabs of concrete and limestone, accented by mint-green masonry and pulsing green plasma lights--that has seen better days. It has been badly damaged, with messes of broken conduit cables and electrical detritus spilling through its cement skin in places like so many intestines out of a sunburst corpse, and to top it all off, it has been half-flooded in some nameless infernal fountainhead. While this is quite a bit less pickily-detailed than many of the earlier maps, largely a function of the more broadstroke/chunky architecture, I think it's actually quite possibly the most visually attractive map in the WAD thus far. Apart from the previously mentioned fact that watery ruins really float my boat (techruins still count as ruins!), the pale green/grey/silver color scheme is as much a success here as it was in CC4, especially juxtaposed with the deep blue of the water. I reckon what really sells it, though, is the way so much of the complex is immersed in deep shadows, really a striking contrast with the ever-present dusky orange sky (bet it looks good with the deep blue CC4 nightsky as well, too). To top it all off, there's a hint of the surreal and the sinister to help cement the sense of place, such as an ominous marble tower marked by towering plasma beacons in the distance (was Sector Gamma perhaps some kind of archaeological site?), and another cameo by the Icon of Sin in the yellow-locked area. The only chink in the armor is the very pronounced sky-cutoff/perspective fuckery in one small segment of the map, already mentioned by others and presumably something that will be tweaked in the final release.

It doesn't just look good, though, it's fun to play as well. Again, there is no SSG here, but there's an early rocket launcher and plenty of rockets to compensate. The fork at the outset presents an illusion of non-linearity, but generally speaking there's only really one right path to take. It's nevertheless a very satisfying installation to traverse, as it doubles back on itself at a few points, using small but persistent doses of monster reinforcement pretty much every time you pass through a major area. As aforementioned, I particularly liked the blue-locked kiosk area, which apart from initially having some fine arachnatron placement and housing the heart-starting pinkie ambush, is also the site of unpredictable monster warp-ins; the two viles seem pretty specific/scripted in their appearance, but at many other points there's a steady trickle of mostly lower-tier enemies into the area, teleporting in in threes and fours, sometimes minutes apart. And just when you think the area has finally been cleared out, you open the blue door and have to think quickly in order to deal with the last vile and his disarmingly large contingent of revenant bodyguards. The final battle is suitably climactic, though more in terms of spectacle than in terms of actual intensity, since the flooded arena is more than large enough to make standard 'run around and get them to kill each other' tactics viable, although at least some of the monster teleportation keeps you on your toes a little bit with some of its resultant sudden path blockages. From context I assume the cyberdemon was a mandatory kill (like the one in map 11) in an earlier beta; I think he still should be, honestly....replace the red key with a BFG, make it so that the player can climb up the water spiral to his perch, and voila, instant catharsis.

The corny/very video-gamey plasma rifle trap doesn't seem quite up to par with most of the other encounters, but this is more a presentational thing, as in pure gameplay terms it still works okay, mostly on account of the arch-vile that beams in. I like that there is a secret/optional key in the map, as well, although whenever I see this I usually hope for the locked area to be a little more weird/expansive than the one here is. Nevertheless, these are small complaints that don't really detract much from what is definitely one of the WAD's standout maps.

******

Z300 Map 17 -- Constriction - 100% Kills / 100% Secrets
Apart from the differing vines/sandstone/blood texture scheme, this is something very much like an extended remix of the elevated walkway segment from Skybase 300 earlier in the WAD, including the same over/under crisscrossing traversal. Unlike the Bruiser Fortress before it, monster density is more appropriate for this point in the WAD, although I reckon the four chaingunners found at various points are probably more effectively dangerous than pretty much everything else, since you face the first two armed with only a pistol (I baited the knight into whacking one of them for me, and then took his chaingun), and the two on the blood walkway are well-positioned. There's a lot of firepower concentrated on said elevated walkway over the blood pool, but it's only as dangerous as you allow it to be--there are radsuits in the blood, so you can fight it out from there if you like, or you can do what I did and just sort of ignore the bigger monsters until later, since only zombies actually inhabit the walkway proper (although I didn't find the secret until all monsters were dead as a result of doing this). Monster placement later in the map can be questionable at times, e.g. the 4-noble group blocking one of the keys, but at least there are no nobles in the exit chamber this time (revenants instead, but at least it's a change). There's an odd-looking lighting error on the ceiling over by the lift at the end of the blood walkway.

Old Post 10-18-13 07:18 #
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Veinen
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Unholy Realms Map16: Dockside

Hmm, well this map could be really good if not for the monsters that don't show up. It's one of those arena maps again where the enemies come in all shapes and sizes and from all directions. I've said before that I like this concept and this map makes no exception as the gameplay is very enjoyable. The combat was very easy since a boatload of baddies didn't show up but I can't criticize really about it as this obviously wasn't intentional. Visuals are nice, I like the water/wood -combo combined with the stony cliffs. Makes it look very natural and pleasant. The architecture is pretty abstract though but whatever works is fine by me. Didn't really put much effort into the demo this time since the map is so broken but here's the token playthrough anyway:



Map17's a good one but pretty long to max. I hope I can put out something today or tomorrow but chances are it's gonna be delayed to sunday. Found some cool trickery in map17 though: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fi-ZjsoBh8k

Old Post 10-18-13 11:59 #
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Getsu Fune
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Okay was I really the only one who never fought a cyberdemon at the end of MAP17? I had to check the map in DB2 and the cyberdemon closet had a teleport which is WR, and he's supposed to teleport on that structure at the end but he never did. And he wasn't mandatory to kill either, I got through to the exit without any major discrepancies.

That being said after MAP18 I'm done with Unholy Realms.

MAP18 Of Brick and Crimson

(Called The Sanguine Base on the automap)

The open nonlinear layout here and the "attack from all sides/angles" mantra is more annoying than it is entertaining in this wad and I've seen enough. The mapset seems to emulate many of Plutonia's surprise encounters by E2 but they are much more difficult to contend with. I end up weapon-switching so much it only hurts me. I use up lots of supplies here, forget about medikits a lot, and even they are expended too quickly when I remember them. I think my dodging ability overall took a tumble. And the blood visuals don't really shine any spark whatsoever. The jump to the YK was really annoying too. And I got real frustrated with several teleporting monsters, since I had to go egg hunting for some of them. Exit fight was annoying too. And did we really have to have another E2M8 music remix here? (no offense, this is probably the only music track I thought was actually bad) So that's it for this wad, keeping up with Zone 300 now. Final Time 7:09.

MAP18 Zombie Hideout

*Regular Run*

There's a bit of claustrophobia once I start making noise behind the blue door, as there's gonna be some teleporting monsters. Somehow handled that well. I loved the long pathway that allowed me to punch spectres and demons (watch that archie), the one leading to the teleporter to the yellow key. Exit was fine. It overall could use more zombies though *looks at MAP18's title*. Final Time 2:09.

*Reality Run*

Much less monsters than on HMP, no archvile, no mancubi, only one baron at the end. Pretty easy. Demon corridor still fun to punch through. Final Time 1:53.

Old Post 10-18-13 15:39 #
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dobu gabu maru
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Sad to lose you on UR Hurricyclone but I can empathize, as that's how I felt with Kama Sutra last month.

UR Map18 - "Of Brick and Crimson": A really fun one here—I enjoyed it more than when I first initially played it. Speaking of, my beta version had a central column the AV was quarantined in so imagine my surprise when I see him with free reign over the starting arena, a dinky pillar as your only cover. This was fun as it forced me into the blood to dance around a bit, although once I got my armaments I was back on solid ground. While not a particularly vicious level it does have its fair share of difficulties, the never ending yellow door trap being my favorite (revs -> boring mancs -> HKs up close -> chaingunner -> warp in). There's a large amount of space and only minor perched guards as opposed to MAP17's floors of baddies, so playing carefully can get you through this one. AVs cause a lot of trouble, especially the last one, but that's half the fun!

Visually I think the map is a bit drab and clashes with the bright orange sky, but it does at least remain consistent in its dark tone. My only suggestion is to make crying tan statue's eyes not as deep, as it looks kind of silly from the side. Also, the green armor in the east section could totally be removed as the map has 3 greens and 1 blue in total and not enough health to cover all that damage (granted the blue is secret, but an easy one).

Z300 Map18 - "Zombie Hideout": Circle-strafing is the name of the game here as it can get most of the monsters to claw at each other. This level was alright—it didn’t feel quite as clever as MAP17 but at least the AV was put into a clever spot.

Old Post 10-18-13 18:45 #
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PRIMEVAL
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Posts: 1974
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Map18 "Everybody Told Me About id"


I've always had a fascination with this song. Simple, catchy, hypnotic. This time around, I made it somewhat orchestrated. Honestly, I couldn't think of anything else for this map and the original placeholder music was E2M8, so I just went with that. Sorry, Hurricyclone, that you didn't like it x) Can't win them all, I suppose hehe.

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Old Post 10-18-13 20:03 #
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cannonball
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UR Map18 - "Of Brick and Crimson"
This was pretty good overall, nice visual style, good fights which were for the most part tricky but not unfair except the final fight which killed me several times and seems to rely on luck to get the archvile flaming other monsters.
Overall another good effort here

Zone 300 Map18 - "Zombie hideout"
Nothing wrong with this map, just need to rely on infighting to save ammo which is very tight but the berserk pack means I can't exactly complain. Again the use of nobles in the exit area is very questionable but otherwise each monster serves its purpose well.
Demo is another lame effort by myself because the map isn't forgiving on ammo.

Old Post 10-18-13 21:04 #
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Magnusblitz
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Zone 300 MAP17: Constriction

Somewhat reminds me of last map in that there's an outer walkway that's just begging to be blazed through with a key in the middle, but I think DotW's observation that it's more like Skybase 300's walkway area is more on the nose. The start is one of the hardest parts of the map, since getting the chaingunners/knight to infight is difficult, and it's a hard battle with only a pistol. The imp traps are somewhat ineffective; I just ran right through the walkway area without trouble. At least the revenants here are much more of a danger than last map, so I actually felt rushed. Unfortunately, doing so means I spent most of my time with the boring-as-hell knight/baron room, which really just comes across like a slightly larger Meat Corridor. Sigh. Didn't have much trouble with the small fry in the corridor or the floating gas bags at the end (was able to trap the PE between me and the Cacos). 2/5

I've seen some other comments about "wasting linedefs" and I hadn't really thought they were warranted, but this map is starting to make me re-think that. There's a really good example with the columns the keys are on here - completely unnecessary, and a waste of 8 linedefs. That may not seem like a lot, but one of the points behind the 100 linedef limit is to really force players to focus on what could be achieved by cutting corners (my own contribution to the 100 linedef project was a bit of a failure in this regard - it's a decently nice looking room, but it's also only one room because I used so many linedefs on columns, walls, detailing, etc.) This design idea is what contributes to the feeling that Zone300 just feels like snippets of larger levels instead of full levels unto themselves.

Zone 300 MAP18: Zombie Hideout

For a zombie hideout, there's a lot of non-zombies in this map...

I actually really liked the start, everything up to the blue key. Some good monster variety so can get some good infighting going, and the teleport trap on the blue door was fun. After dropping down though... the ammo dries up real quick, and taking on a pain elemental and an Arch Vile in those tunnels with only the berserk is really annoying due to the lack of cover. The last area seems like an afterthought with a bunch of enemies just strewn around what is basically a cube with another cube in the middle, filled with the requisite Meat Corridor. At least for this one I could get the barons out and then run past them. Another no secret level, as well. 2/5

Looking forward to catching up on Unholy Realms over the weekend! /fingers crossed

Last edited by Magnusblitz on 10-19-13 at 02:04

Old Post 10-19-13 01:59 #
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Demon of the Well
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UR Map 18 -- Of Brick and Crimson - 102% Kills / 50% Secrets
The UR readme file says that Snakes doesn't really care much for this map. Personally, I didn't find it unenjoyable, although I think I might be able to see where some of his lack of enthusiasm for it comes from.

Aesthetically it's somewhat plainer than a lot of the other maps, to say the least. The texture scheme is just as the name suggests--Plutonic masonry and a lot of blood, with bits of dark metal here and there. It's a tried and true combination, and hence not ugly, but there's little flair to the presentation and a lot of flat lighting outside of some of the narrowest corridors. While there are still a fair few of the ceiling details (stylized skylights, ductwork, etc.) that have characterized much of UR as a whole, most floors and many walls are largely featureless. This is all speaking from a luxuriant 2013 standpoint, of course; as far as decor goes, nothing in this map is really ugly or anomalously bare--it's quite serviceable, really, but not much more. The feeling of some aesthetic blandness elides more from the layout itself: it's really just a collection of big, mostly-empty boxes with only a bit of relevant height variation, and doesn't do a whole lot to disguise this fact. Even the sort of roundabout interconnectivity the central area possesses seems more coincidental than anything. On the plus side, I quite like the BGM here. 'Nobody Told Me About id' is one of my favorite tracks from the original DooM, and this remix does it justice.

It's not without merit in the gameplay department, fortunately. I think that the majority of the map is really quite easy--because so many of the areas are so open and flat, because there's a lot of ammo scattered about, and because monsters tend to come in heterogeneous mid-sized groups, the player generally has every opportunity to triumph in most battles. It's a bit two-faced, though....to contrast with the relatively low-stress open-area combat, there are a couple of rather cruel closet traps in claustrophobic spaces (I might not have survived the one that's early along the yellow key route if I hadn't found the soulsphere secret, as I really didn't have the right weapon in hand at the time), and some potentially pressing arch-vile usage. Several times the viles are used to make the normally relatively innocuous open spaces quite a bit less marine-friendly, simply because the flatness and relative emptiness of many of the room-boxes save for a few small freestanding support columns or whatnot really favors the vile's mode of attack, and can require some tense maneuvers from the player in situations where the vile is not alone.

Embarrassingly, I had to look around the room for a minute or two before realizing what the final switch had done....guess I was expecting something more/something else. Far from unpalatable, but not one of the megaWAD's standouts, certainly.

******

Z300 Map 18 -- Zombie Hideout - 100% Kills / No secrets
I was really hoping this would be some kind of zany zombieman-only bonanza, but no dice. Hell, there are only a handful of zombies in it, and appearances by every other monster in the Doom II bestiary, not counting the bosses and free-roam lost souls (and SS nazis, I guess). Though it fizzles a bit again at the end (more SSGing of various Barons, although in fairness it's mostly optional this time), I do actually rather like the beginning here--the way it looks (that one depressed ceiling tile looks surprisingly good), the way it plays. Ammo is much tighter here than in any other Z300 map to this point, so instigating an inter-demon riot in order to acquire the blue skull is recommended. The teleporter trap that springs on sound only after the blue-locked door is opened is also quite mean-spirited....and I approve! We haven't seen much done to mix up the combat in Z300 up to this point, but now we've seen two rare variations within moments of one another. It's a bit downhill from here, but I at least like punching pinkies (and other things) to death, so I'm not liable to complain about the underground stream segment too much.

One of the better maps in Z300, I think, despite being somewhat poorly named.

Old Post 10-19-13 05:35 #
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Getsu Fune
formerly Hurricyclone


Posts: 1056
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Zone300 MAP19 The Invasion

*Regular Run*

One of the blander levels actually. STONE4 is everywhere, lost souls, imps, and spectres about, and the rocket launcher secret makes everything quite easy. Not memorable. Final Time 2:19.

*Reality Run*

Was actually harder than it looked, at least from the start. The caged imps had to be dealt with, but I had to keep an eye on the sides keeping sargeants in check. Also lost souls can be sporadic. I found Thing 83 to be the most annoying monster here, he's in a good arse of a position :p. Final Time 3:02.

Old Post 10-19-13 13:51 #
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Demon of the Well
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UR Map 19 -- Borough of Blood - 126% Kills / 83% Secrets
Bloody indeed. This is the first map of this particular type that the Club has encountered since the (also sanguine in nomenclature) map 19 from BTSX E1--a short sandbox that finds ways to make a relatively small number of enemies fairly punishing. It is once again a question of momentum, with the start generally being the most dangerous (at least on a blind run), featuring a madcap scramble for weaponry (which is easily obtained for the most part) and some sense of purpose.

Aesthetically, it's a lot like map 18 in that while I don't see much that really makes me want to complain, it also doesn't particularly grab me. It's very DooM II in appearance despite the usage of some of those ubiquitous CC4 textures, with lots of dingy brown/grey/beige masonry set down on some astroturf and walled in by a shabby-looking wooden fence. Apparently the UAC houses some of its bluecollar personnel in true ghetto style.....one can only surmise what kind of horrible fate befell them all, but the huge industrial gore-spouts that represent the area's most visually striking landmarks provide a none-too-subtle hint. The textfile says that Worch and Alm were inspirations, and the Worch definitely shines through as far as decor goes, although more than anything this made me think of a sort of squashed 'Karmacoma' from Memento Mori. The architecture and layout is more functional than anything....it works fine in regards to the map's gameplay, but I generally need a larger sense of scale and more open space to be really sold on the 'city' theme. Optional areas help as well, and little of this map is optional. Indeed, even the 'sandbox' aspect of it is quite limited--sure, you can run around outside wherever you want at the start, but the buildings have to be tackled in a very specific/rigid order (barring some speedrunning tricks, that is), and all but the green shotgun-factory tower have to be visited in order to reach the exit.

Despite not really excelling as a sandbox or impressing as a landscape, however, the important thing is that Borough of Blood is still a lot of fun to play, by virtue of good monster/thing placement, plain and simple. The generally small scale of the area works to the gameplay's favor in this regard, as down on the ground level it's fairly easy to get flanked/broadsided, particularly where the waves of monsters that teleport in after each key is acquired are concerned. Ammo and health are both quite plentiful, but it's easy to take a lot of damage in a short span of time if you aren't constantly aware of your surroundings (particularly since armor is a much rarer commodity here than in the previous map), and equally easy to spend most of your ammo early on if you try to play safely/methodically. No, you've got to keep on the move in this one....the end result is that you end up involved in quite a few games of 'cat and mouse' over the course of the proceedings, sometimes as the cat, ala trying to find an opening to attack some of the ground-based viles that appear, and sometimes as the mouse, ala tangoing with the cyberdemon(s). I actually kept the first cyber alive until I uncovered the second one, but at the point one of them just had to go, and they insisted on going together, heh.

Not particularly pretty, but fun. Some of the secrets are satisfying, as well....I found all but the BFG, and I suspect I might have some inkling of how to get that, as well. On my first run I made it to a balcony and saw a green teleporter booth up high on the wall of the grey building....I had meant to strafejump into it, but was blocked by cacos, and was killed shortly thereafter. Returning there again on the next attempt, the booth wasn't open, and I was never able to get it to open again, despite finding the other five secrets. Is it one of those cheeky time-sensitive secrets, perhaps?

******

Z300 Map 19 -- The Invasion - 98% Kills / 100% secrets
Unholy shit, lost souls! There sure are a lot of them around at the start here, and a lot of fire coming in from monsters in elevated positions to distract you from the foes on ground level. Again, I'd say this is one of the better maps in Zone300, simply because it's legitimately fast-paced for a bit at the start, something fairly rare in PCorf's style. As Hurricyclone says, the simple secrets do make it quite an easy battle, but at least it's bloody (and looks the part, incidentally). The arch-vile comprising one half of the $1 Value Menu ExitMeat Combo thought he'd try to get clever, but he took far too long capitalizing on his feint and I simply left without finishing him....hey, my jowls are fucking exhausted from the 18 previous maps already!

Old Post 10-20-13 06:04 #
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scifista42
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Posts: 2117
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I haven't been playing for a while - particularly, for more than one week. This means I'm pretty belated now. Due to this reason, now I'm gonna catch up at Zone 300 first, because these maps tend to be completable very quickly, and I'll move on Unholy Realms then and try to catch up too, though probably slower, in days rather than in hours.

The Great Zone 300 Map Review Pack

(Note: I'm pistol starting all Zone 300 levels now. But I still sometimes save during the level, so I don't have to start the whole level over after dying.)

MAP12 - "Villa of Pain"

From pistol start this is great. I don't know if a skilled projectile-dodger would consider it easy (probably yes), but I am not a skilled projectile-dodger. So the result was me frantically running around in circles and not only circles and firing quite inefficiently everywhere. It surely wasn't the ideal way how to spend ammo and definitely not the way I usually use, but - it had success! I haven't died at all in this map. You cannot realize what it means to me. :) Now I don't complain about balance, heh.

Have to admit, the "hecticity" is achieved cleverly in this map. Monsters attacking you from every direction, and although there are obstackles to hide behind, the monsters can chase you anywhere. Yet there are no "blind corridors" where you can be hopelessly cornered. I'd say this map gives you "a middle amount of space to move" - not too big, not too small, and I like it a lot.

MAP13 - "Dark Crypt"

On my first attempt, the sergeants at the start drained my health down to 16% right away, my fault though. Well, this level actually has kind of a darker tone, overally, with the music and lighting and all. Wasn't truly easy to go through, but there also weren't memorably outstanding/unique fights. My deaths resulted mainly from me dodging in a wrong place or forgetting to dodge at all. I must however say that I enjoyed the "relatively mild" difficulty combined with the aforementioned darker atmosphere.

I found one secret, the megasphere one, unfortunately after everything was already dead and I was moving on to pistol-start the next level.

MAP14 - "The Circle"

The beginning forces you to push forward a bit, as there isn't enough ammo at the beginning if one's pistol starting. I don't complain, quite the opposite. This was once again me desperately trying to survive at all costs, including large losses of ammo. Believe me, I enjoy such a gameplay, and since I am not yet overfed by it, I'm gonna enjoy it further.

On idgames, this map alone would earn a "clean 4/5 stars", because I'd give 4/5 for visuals, 4/5 for gameplay and flow, 4/5 for ammo placement, 4/5 for monster placement and I think for everything. Only if the exit corridor was something different than what I've seen so many times, maybe... But being it a pcorf's trademark apparently, it's all OK. :)

MAP15 - "Trouble Town"

Forget what I've said about the previous map. I stupid didn't know anything.

I like this map a lot, as it quite differs from the rest. I finally have a feeling that the 300 lines limit was utilized in an exceptionally effective way, on pcorf at least. Map layout and structure are much superior to all the previous maps I've seen, that's how I feel it now.

The essential strategy for this map is not to get pushed back to the starting hole after you're once out of there. Gameplay is hectic then and although it isn't really anything surprising in a Zone 300 map, it is still fun, trying to not being killed there when you don't yet know where all the goodies are.

Also this map lets me realize how few high-tier monsters (like cyberdemons) Zone 300 uses. Or how it uses them in specially threatening or interesting ways. The exit corridor is surprisingly tough this time and you need to plan your strike carefully, otherwise you get an infinitely respawning baron and lose a lot of ammo there. Nice!

And I found the secret exit! :) (not the other secret, though)


This playing + writing took me more than a hour and a half. Enough for now, more to come later. Later today, probably.

Old Post 10-20-13 10:46 #
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