"Motto hayaku! "
And there goes Rush, played through GlBoom+ 220.127.116.11 on HMP difficulty. So let's see what we have here, shall we? Of course we shall.
Rush is a 13-level (12 with actual gameplay, 1 bonus for end game) slaughter megawad, meaning that the enemy count is high, or in this case, relatively high, and the enemies typically assault the player in waves of varying sizes and from various positions. It comes with a new background menu, music, textures, and one new enemy, a black/dark gray version of the Mancubus, but more powerful. The action takes places on various locations on Earth, both indoor and outdoors, as well as more abstract dimensions.
The difficulty curve is traditional, starting relatively easy and getting gradually more difficult as you progress, with no spikes. Considering the category it fits under, this is probably one of the more interesting aspects of the wad, as it can be described as "entry-level slaughter".
Visually, the maps looks pretty good and are accompanied by fitting music, which is mostly more action oriented, and they get more impressive with their design as you advance through the wad. If the beginning may not have revealed anything particularly interesting, that's something that changes near the second half, with maps such as MAP06, and the final level MAP12, aptly named "The Destination".
This is actually where a mixture of good and bad can be found. MAP06 is basically a maze, without what could necessarily be classified as slaughter gameplay most of the time, but it has a few unintuitive puzzles where a way opens on the map, but perhaps it'll take a while to locate the place. There's also what appears a small spiral of torches placed in the distance which, while enhancing the feeling of mystery of the level, doesn't seem to serve any real purpose. MAP12 suffers from a similar problem, it's rather easy to get lost in the temple since you'll be revisiting the same areas a few times, but maybe not know where to go. But being the final map, it might be fitting, making things more difficult on multiple levels, not just through resource and enemy usage.
Either way, Rush might not be SF2, Sunlust, Sunder, or any other "triple-A" slaughter megawad, but it does its job well. It's fun, short, and has plenty of atmosphere if you appreciate it. Indeed, it might be the perfect introduction to the genre for a newcomer. So don't wait, but Rush.
"Me key has been stolen! "
And there goes Pirate Doom, played through GZDoom 4.0.0 on UV difficulty. We sure showed 'em how Doom is done, the pirate way, so let's see what we have here.
Pirate Doom, as the name implies, is a total conversion for Doom II, featuring a lot of new content and vast modifications to the gameplay. It comes with new textures, sounds, music, enemies, weapons, menu background, intermission screens, and status bar. The player visits caves, ships, temples, forests, circuses, bars, castles, and various building with an architecture and design similar to that of the old days, a 19 maps long experience (18 with actual gameplay + 1 bonus for credits and epilogue).
Being a TC, the modifications are extensive. All enemies are re-skinned and have new attacks, the weapons are replaced with various equivalents of that period, with the notable exception of the BFG, which is now a dynamite thrower, no chainsaw, a Cutlass replacement for the fist/berserk, and freelook is recommended. A few entirely new enemies are also introduced, namely a smaller, very weak Arch-Vile, with no hitscan attacks, ghost versions of the Imp and Lost Soul, suicide bombers, yet another version of the Imp, this time equipped with dynamite, and a final boss, the pirate Black Beard. Certain weapons also have mounted versions, such as the pirate cannon, which is the main means of destruction on a level where the player is tasked with sinking a few enemy ships.
The difficulty curve is traditional, starting easy and getting more difficult as you advance, but the game never becomes very difficult, in fact the difficulty is very similar to Doom 2 and a few maps from Plutonia. Certainly, fun and immersion are the main elements at work here.
The music has atmospheric, ominous, and more action themed tracks, and this would be one of the more intriguing parts of the TC. This is because it contains copyrighted music, namely AC/DC's classic Highway to Hell. No idea how permission was granted to be used in a non-commercial Doom TC, but it sure is a welcome addition.
After all is said and done, the journey ends with a battle against the famous pirate Black Beard, in his ghost form and with powerful attacks, capable of summoning minions and using a variety of magic attacks, an expected and well executed final battle. Perhaps the only real problem in the TC are the underwater levels, this is because movement is very slow and difficult there, not to mention that one can barely see a damn thing. Thankfully, these maps are short and straight to the point, so they don't ruin the experience.
All in all, Pirate Doom manages to create something fresh, fun, and unique with a surprising theme that fits remarkably well, in addition to preserving the core essence of the original game. It's most definitely worth the time, even if you're not necessarily a fan of pirates, I myself am not. So grab yer Cutlass and prepare to slash some demons, arrrrrrgh!
Average map with some good quirks like the spaceship at the end. But yeah, a bit too hard in some places.
I may be wrong, but it seems that you are not supposed to engage demons and archvile in the very beginning of the map. Pressing the switch right off the bat is a very bad move. There is an alternate way that is hidden. You should find it yourself. I managed to locate it after a couple of tries.
Really, rating a level only one star because of such thing is weird unless you are a troll.
first of all the biggest issue I have with Enigma is I for some reason cannot extract the download from the zip file for some really dumb reason. have no idea what's up with that, but I have to download it from the DSDA archive and I'm not sure if anyone else has this problem besides me.
Enigma, a 9-level set by the late Jim Flynn, lives up to its name. this is the kind of wad where you will get lost, looking at completely odd, Maximum Doom-like detail (sorry, but is this really amazing design?), jumping puzzles (I never find these fun), and cryptic progression where if you're gonna try and get out somewhere, you might want to try to use random walls. some secrets are required. those weird Mandelbrot images look like fancy desktop wallpapers, and you're gonna spend some time looking at them since this set actually is quite long in individual level length. levels like Triplet and The Citadel are true highlights of the set, but let's not get ahead of ourselves here. another thing to take note of is that each of these original levels somehow had been released beforehand, while Jim actually compiled them all and released them as one wad which is this file.
gameplay actually is quite hard, for a set from 1995 that's quite an accomplishment. if you're not dealing with figuring out where to go, it's actually somewhat enjoyable. unfortunate that I spend quite a lot of time groping at the level progression and what I need to do. perhaps the design also didn't help matters. Jim's definitely a peculiar one, this and the Eternal Doom maps he made show just how powerful he is at trying completely off-the-wall things. me, I'm more traditional than this.