Cabro's legacy is a big megawad comprising of a hub and 40 playable maps. While the design of maps isn't that great, the gameplay is balanced with lots of fun and there're at least 10 maps that have more than 500 enemies. I really enjoyed the whole megawad and will replay it in future.
Note: Originally written for /newstuff... figured I'd post it here...
You know how sometimes your memory completely fails you? I'm sure it's happened to me before but I can't recall... oh wait, it's all coming back to me now. I do remember looking at the sign-up thread for one of the Doomworld Mega Projects. For some reason, though, that memory was lost when I ventured to review DMP 2016. And so, I came at this with no predispositions, almost like a virgin Doomer who had never downloaded a PWAD before.
It's a good thing I'm obsessed with reviewing this sludge pit of WADS in perfect chronological order, because otherwise my instincts would have turned me away. Which, come to think of it, isn't that good of a thing. But suffering is necessary, at least if you want to complain as much as I do.
So the first thing I found was a beautiful description of my near future. "A megawad with 50 maps."
Oh yeah? I have so many questions already. 50 what maps? 50 maps why? Are they good maps, or notable maps, or cheesy maps, or maps of maps? Of course since the text file refuses to do anything other than pain me with knowledge of how dreadfully long this adventure will be, I have no choice but to fire it up and gaze at the equally beautiful titlepic. I was delighted to see something totally original: The regular doom II titlepic turned to grayscale, and then vandalized with sloppy red MSpaint text. Okay. I guess I still want to see what's inside, even though the box is literally smeared with feces.
I can't whine about the text file too much because it actually describes DMP 2016 in humorously accurate minimalism. This is a megawad, and it has 50 maps. And they are ALL the maps. Did you want an empty map that's too easy? It's in there (but it's not the first map). Did you want to get shredded by annoying hitscanners? It's in there. Did you want a nice-looking map with decent gameplay? It's in there. Did you want a gimmick map to jump in front of your car, causing you to crash and waste thousands of dollars on repair? It's in there. Did you want a severe waste of time? Well, obviously you did, since you chose to ignore the awful presentation right from the start.
Censorship is not really my thing. I like that people can make joke WADS. The fact that we can map to our heart's content, with only the boundaries of the game engine and our own imagination to contend with, is part of the reason Doom is my favorite game ever. But to me, DMP 2016 is almost worse than a joke. A joke wad is meant to troll you, to get a quick laugh, and to offer a small respite from the other side of the spectrum - obsession over detail and perfection. But this isn't supposed to be a joke. I mean, the title pic is an insult to your senses, but you arrive there in confusion because of the description: A megawad with 50 maps. It doesn't say a jokewad with 50 maps including some actually good ones. It also doesn't say 50 good maps but some are actually not so good. It just says 50 maps. And that's what it is. This WAD is like a reflection of the /idgames database itself. Just hit "random file" and play whatever you get. Your experience will be almost indistinguishable from playing DMP.
Except wait, when you hit "random file" you usually get a sane description of whatever garbage you are about to force yourself to eat. That way your stomach enzymes can get ready for the torture. DMP offers no such preparation. When you start, you are given a hub map from which you can choose any of the 49 other "normal" levels. It even has cute little screenshots of each map with the author's name. But is there any description of the maps, or indication of quality, difficulty, style? Nope. It does say which compatibility those maps were made for, because why would a WAD be tailored for a single port? Fuck it, let's have vanilla and GZDoom all rolled together in a horrendous mapping burrito!
My favorite part of the hub is that it doesn't even indicate which levels have been completed. That's right folks - you get the honor of remembering which ones you have played already! Completing a map doesn't bring you to the next one...it just spits you back to the hub. Naturally I resorted to warping to each map instead, for want of saving my forehead and keyboard from destroying each other.
There are some good maps in here, and since they cover almost all play styles imaginable, there's probably at least one that will appeal to you. I enjoyed "Teenage mutant ninja demons", "Bliss Toxin", "The Swarm", and "Ancient Base". If you scroll down the text file there is a description of each individual map, so if you feel like reading a book instead of actually playing the game, you can try to find out which maps you want to see beforehand. But I'm not here to review these maps as if they were released standalone. I'm supposed to review the WAD as a whole.
I said that I'm against censorship, and in the case of people deciding to throw together random compilations of maps with no theme, no quality standard, no organization, and no logic of any kind, I would say "Fine, go for it." And then as a player I would proceed to download something else, something that's actually worth my time. But as a reviewer I am submitting myself to even the worst quality maps, in order to hopefully help other players find WADS they like, and to give authors praise for well executed designs, as well as criticism in areas that could be improved. At least with a map set created by a severe newbie, there's some amount of effort, some vision, some kernel of good Dooming to be found. The mistakes can be seen as necessary learning along the noble and never-ending path to Master Mapper. But this "Mega Project" is impossible to review in that light. Sure, some of the maps were good because they looked nice and played well, and some were fun because the gimmicks were a success. On the other hand, some were very amateur, very annoying, or just so different from their neighbors, that it spoils the entire thing. One bad apple ruins the barrel, they say. And this has more than one bad apple. One map is a repeating series of rooms each with a door, a cybie, and some soul spheres. It's kinda funny, but the fact that it's placed alongside serious maps makes it more insulting than amusing. I would be embarrassed if I actually created a nice map for this project. And if I was an aspiring mapper looking to join up with the community to improve my skills, I would have wasted my time, since nobody cared about the quality of submissions, and nobody will care to play it and focus on constructively criticizing it. If you really want to make a map just for the hell of it, and then throw it in the garbage, I won't stop you. But if anyone thought this was anything more than a dumpster fire, I can't find much appreciation for your work. I've heard rumors that later installations of DMP have some sort of organization in terms of quality, so we shall see what that looks like. But as for the 2016 edition, you should only download it if you enjoy wading through sewage in real life.