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System Vices

   (28 reviews)
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Systems have always existed for the benefit of someone or something. And although somewhat perverted, vices also have always existed for the very same reason. The two are usually in opposition to each other. But when systems and vices are in agreement you either have total chaos or utopia. In this story it is a combination of both. On the surface and because of your upbringing it would appear that it is chaos which rules. But to inhabitants of Sverre, which is where this story takes place it is in fact the other way around. Utopia to them it would seem is to hunt and be hunted. They have no family ties and are not naturally affectionate. They derive pleasure from killing and creating confusion. I must warn you that this creation of confusion is going to be your greatest obstacle. Things are not always as they seem and it is not only your job to hunt and be hunted but also to test the waters as it were to see if you are really true to your own beliefs. In other words... Who's side are you really on?


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Argenteo

· Edited by Argenteo

  

Weird and disturbing adventure. Astonishing music. One of those set of maps that leave a hard impression on me.
Has some cyberpunk vibe I love. If you're familiar with 90' wads, be sure to check it up.
If you like the ambient don't forget Hacx. Be careful with those worms.

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Doomkid

· Edited by Doomkid

  

This wad is a really interesting experience overall, so I'll start with the one aspect that lets this episode down a bit: the mapping. Despite having some really interesting design concepts here and there, they're all separated by stretches of Wolf3D-level mapping, long 64-wide corridors with not a whole lot going on in them. That said, credit needs to be given where due: There are some awesome spaceships, structures and faked room-over-room illusions that are very effective.

 

The spritework is a bit rough, as to be expected from a 1996 project, but certainly not to the point of looking bad. I think the grittiness arguably adds to the experience in a way, and it's all certainly done with a degree of style and cohesiveness despite the roughness and I think that bares mentioning. Things are effective at being offputting: the weird little "dead lost souls" lying around whimpering their last breaths that you need to shoot and blow up almost make you feel some pity.. almost. There are also textures that show these strange little creatures trying to break out from behind the rocks - it's very 90's and only has a few frames of animation, but it adds immersion and is just a damn good touch.

 

The actual textures have an element of grit to them, but they succeed in giving this map a very unique and memorable vibe. Coupled with the music - which is the area where this wad really shines, imo - I just genuinely felt unsettled at certain points, especially when that MIDI on map02 looped as I was finding my way around. It's what I'd call anxiety music - there are really interesting and groovy beats spaced out between long uncomfortable stretches of ambient noises and such. It's all done extremely artfully on that side of things.

 

Overall, fans of classic partial conversions should enjoy this one, it's certainly worth the ~1.5 hours it will take to beat it. Better wads exist and the mapping can be "meh", but the other unique elements help to carry the experience and make it worth your time, if only once.

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dylux

  

My review is based on the fact that System Vices was created in 1996 by a single author.

 

It's WADS like this one that makes me dislike TC's or partial TC's - with very few exceptions.

The new weapons look too "cartoon-ish" as do the textures. I'm not sure if the textures with the red borders were intentional or not. The gameplay is rather dull and there is too much hunting.

 

I'm giving System Vices 1 star for the music and 1 star for the effort by a single author.

 

Nothing memorable here.

 

2 out of 5 Stars

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Xerenogan

  

    This one is a bit of a mixed bag for me. I appreciate the new sprites and textures, but in some levels the textures get a bit overused to the point it makes it difficult to navigate and avoid obstacles. For example, the damaging floor that has the very faint thin red lines on it is difficult to spot (maybe intentional?) and isn't used in a way that makes sense (just randomly placed in the cage area.

    Another thing that bothered me is the intended progression, and by this I mean it's clear that there is meant to be logical story progression from level to level, but without intermission text or more contextual clues, it's unclear what is happening. The player goes into an official looking building (map01), goes into the basement and does something (map02), comes out of the basement (map03) to find that most of the building has been destroyed (either by there own actions or from outside forces), boards a spacecraft (map04) clears it out and takes control, and ... it gets a little muddled after that. I understand that this is unfinished (apparently), but one thing this did do for me is it left me wanting more.

    The spaceship level was pretty cool, I also liked the final level. One interesting thing I discovered in map07, there is another exit that can be ran to in a few seconds from the start. It's linedef #89 (the regular exit is linedef #184), and is textured just like a regular wall. I don't know why it's there.

    All in all, this was an interesting one that made me wish it had been developed more. Definitely worth playing once, but I won't be going back for seconds.

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galileo31dos01

  

Done with these settings:

 

- Crispy Doom 5.2.

- Ultra-Violence.

- Continuous combined with pistol start mindset.

- Saves every 10 minutes or so.

 

Pretty interesting for a very old partial conversion. It appears to be an incomplete release of what could have been a hybrid megawad/two-episodes wad, which is a shame because there're tons of cool new features. There's a story behind this mapset in the text file for enthusiasts of science fiction, something in the line of an utopia and the reality, the ideal world for the "inhabitants of Sverre" is what the player sees as chaos, and they have to decide on which side are they on. It's downright about dooming the planet's creatures, nothing outside the ordinance, but I guess a little bit of projection adds to the atmosphere: since they live from killing, you'll have to adapt to their ideals, even if that means to abandon yours. Anyway, aside from my vague interpretations, there's some understanding of the story in the visuals as you travel through buildings, caves, mountains and a spaceship. Texturing is generally decent, I really liked the deep blue water and grass textures as well as trees and little details here and there, like the damaging sector in the cavern map, hard to see though. The first view of the spaceship's interior is neat, the cavern's connections too. There's plenty of weird/nice new sound effects, and apparently more custom music than maps though, one more reason to wonder what the author used to have in mind for the rest, they all sound particularly fitting. 

 

As said above, visuals are solid as long as they give you a clue of where you are. The layouts however, not so much. I did appreciated the distinctive floors simulator in the last map, for example. It's the way the maps interact with progression. I wouldn't call them "puzzles" exactly, but it's important to explore the most of the maps if you want to complete them. Even more from pistol starts, which are doable but possibly not what the author thought of. Things like the slow tall lift in map 06 which you'll have to take more than once to grab resources, or the boring mini-rooms in map 04 that don't have a purpose whatsoever, could maybe bring down players who chose to start each map separately. It's kind of unbalanced, if you consider in the first map you can drown in ammo, but some of the later levels require some weird decisions in order to kill everything. On a positive side, maps take little time to solve and your only obstacle will be to identify mandatory fake walls and secrets. The combat doesn't precisely pose any real pressure, that is if you take a good look of the new sprites. Of all of them, the pinky/spectre replacement is the most outstanding, a sort of carnivorous creature that chases you underwater. It's a bit of a dickish design, specially the "spectered" version, since they aren't visible until they emerge to bite you, but still a cool concept. Another interesting sprite is the floating parasite, in the place of the lost soul. There is a (dead maybe?) version too. It didn't take long to realize they explode from a hit, much like barrels. Weapons have a new form too, their behavior is the same, and they're decent in general. I assume because the mapset is incomplete, not all of the beasts make a presence, and some barely register. A pity, but what can we do...

 

Secret-wise, well it's an obviousness to say a few of them are intentional to exit the maps, that used to be a common design choice in the earliest era of mapping. My advice is to check the automap frequently, and treat walls as if they aren't all solid. It's nothing too intricate, though. Also expect the unexpected, because a few require to walk on a certain linedef or push a random wall, I could access some and others not. The content inside of them was, surprising.

 

Overall, it wasn't that bad, as a partial conversion it offers some decent content, to say the least. I don't know if to recommend this thing, it hasn't aged well at all, and it obviously failed to become a "classic". However, fans of old-school story-based wads could have a good time, I suppose. Anyways, my rate is 5/10.

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doomedwarrior1981

  
4 stars for the new music and graphics however the levels aren't that good for example in one level I couldn't find out how to get to the yellow door so I had to clip to get out of the level I mean I had the key but the elevator button wouldn't make the lift go high enough so as a result I had to cheat. Monster placement wasn't that bad though

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Guest

  
Nice try, but not as interesting. ~1/5

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Guest

Unknown date

  
It's a sort of early mini-TC; the date is 2003 but it must be earlier than that, I guess 1995 or so. The graphics and sounds are very good for one man for 1995 (the pickup sound has been used a lot in other wads). The levels are a bit dull and there are lots of tedious switch/key hunts, and as one of the reviews says level four is where your patience will wear thin (the design is reminiscent of one of Unreal Tournament's best levels, but larger).

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Guest

Unknown date

  
There's no need to guess about the date: it was April 1996 - see the wad's date-stamp. (2003 is just the year it was added to the archive.) Great and highly imaginative wad, with a lot of creative areas and features. There's a sort of plot in the background, that kind of binds things together in a weird sort of way. The new music and graphics were greatly appeciated by the Doom comminity back then; they were used by a lot of other mappers. (Better than the modern trend of just stealing resources.)

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Guest

Unknown date

  
Some ok new graphics, some not so good. Some ok looking areas, but most of the levels design sucks. Take level 4 for example, the same basic square rooms are replicated about a hundred times.

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Guest

Unknown date

  
Wonderful TC with very unique atmosphere, and lots of puzzles. My only regret is there are only 8 levels. *****

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Guest

Unknown date

  
A most excellent experience all around. The maps are as small as the campaign, most of them with less than 100 baddies, but it wasn't too easy, just short and sweet. Level 6 was simply spectacular to play. Played using Brutal Doom, despite the mild graphical glitches it causes with TC's like this.

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  • File Reviews

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