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Scythe X. Episodes 1-2

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The third installment of the Scythe series. This will be released on an episode basis.


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seed

  

And after a very short time Scythe X was finished too, played through PrBoom+ 2.5.1.5 on HMP difficulty.

 

So, what is there to say? Well, not much this time. Scythe X is the third installment in the Scythe series, using the same formula of fun, skillful, and engaging combat. It comes with a new background menu, new intermission screen, new music, new textures, and a few new enemies accompanied by new sounds. Namely, a new green type of Imp who moves faster and fires a more powerful version of the regular fireball, and new green Pain Elemental who spawns green spectral ghosts who fire plasma. They are also encountered as separate enemy, similar to the Lost Souls of the original Pain Elemental.

 

The design follows closely the established formula last seen in Scythe 2, starting this time on techbase levels. Their location is different from those seen in Scythe 2 as they take place in space, as opposed to Earth as it would seem to be the case of the predecessor, which often descended into underground areas. This of course makes them more appealing and interesting, compared to those of Scythe and Scythe 2 which didn't really stand out of the crowd. The difficulty follows the same curve, starting very easy and then increasing the difficulty in steps with each episode. Suicide exits are also present which end the first episode. The theme does not appear to change with the start of the next episode until the very end, with MAP10 The Encounter which serves as an introduction to the new enemies of Scythe X, but unlike Scythe 2 they are not presented in a boss battle, something the predecessor did with the Plasma Marine. And it is good that it doesn't do this since the new enemies appear to be low and mid tier monsters who are more threatening than the standard counterpart, but not by much.

 

Unfortunately, this is also where the journey ends. Right after it gets very interesting and teases some things to come. It's a shame considering it ends so abruptly because it holds great potential to be even better than Scythe 2, which was already an improvement over the original with its more modern design, less risky levels (complete removal of timed maps), and much more themes and styles to explore. It is also easy to see some similarities between Scythe X and other wads such as Lunatic which reveals the influence of the first over the other. At the time of writing this Erik Alm has not visited the site since September 2015, so it's unlikely to ever see Scythe X complete. Still, it does well what it does and it's enjoyable albeit very short (the length is similar to that of the previously mentioned Lunatic, which was also very short). It's also great to see how it already made improvements over Scythe 2, but perhaps we'll never know how the final product would look like. Perhaps the only bad part would be the beginning of The Encounter where a Cyberdemon needs to be faced, and you must do this on narrow, dark hallways with poor visibility.

 

Otherwise, it's good and it does well what it does in addition to being a good place to start if you want to get an idea of how modern maps and megawads might look like since the influence is certainly there, but a bad place to begin the trilogy since you will miss how each changed and improved over the other. Best to play them in chronological order. I think that's all I can say about it.

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Nems

  

I know I'm going to sound like a broken record at this point but, once again, the use of death exits really kills my enjoyment of this WAD. I accept and realize that the Scythe series in general just ain't for me though and that's okay. What's sad about this installment is that we'll probably never see the final product materialize. I think that's a damn shame. However, what's offered here is still good.

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Rook

  

The final, sadly unfinished entry in the Scythe series is a WAD I enjoyed very much with the exception of the final two maps. MAP09 has slightly obtuse progression and very little health even on HMP, while MAP10 is admittedly atmospheric but represents an aggressive step up in difficulty which I found very jarring.

 

These maps aside, Erik Alm did a superb job here. These are small, intense but not excessively difficult maps with a broadly tech-oriented theme. Because this was intended as the start of a megawad the higher-tier monsters and weapons are barely used, but the encounters are all very thoughtfully designed. It's a testament to the quality of Scythe X that I almost completed it in a single sitting.

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The_SloVinator

  

Played on UV.

 

The Good

Brilliant details & textures, challenging & fair difficulty.

 

The Bad

Sad this won't ever be completed. It's nearly 10 years old.

 

In summation

Play it! Ten maps of goodness!

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galileo31dos01

· Edited by galileo31dos01

  

Done with these settings:

 

- Crispy Doom 4.2

- Hurt Me Plenty.

- Continuous combined with a pistol start mindset.

- Saves every 10 minutes or so.

 

Echoing what Spectre01 said, this is a fantastic set of classic Scythe maps. As short as it is, I had quite a lot of fun revisiting Alm's style. The maps are all beautifully designed with tech/space ambients, small layouts for short gameplay. You can also see at the end what could have been the theme of the next episode(s). The music selection is neat, with map 10 having my favourite one (I just love mysterious tracks c:).

 

For combat and monster placement, it's obvious that the wad is unfinished, the two episodes are clearly early combat against low and mid-tiers, presenting a few instances of high-tiers, something that the other Scythe's did too. Not the whole bestiary shows up, there are even some surprises, which emphasizes the wad's absense of further episodes (Circle of Death crashes the moment you wake the arachnotrons up). It's still great quality though, provides easy to medium fights, some teleport traps and a few lock-ins in darkness. 

 

Secret-wise, Alm used mostly the same kind of textures (or similar ones) to use as switches. It's not always intuitive as to which "specific texture" opens the secret, so I had to wall-hump a bit. Regardless, always generous rewards. 

 

Can't pick favourite maps, as all play more or less the same, probably map 10 which was hilarious at first and then, the surprises. 

 

Yeah, this needs more maps! But we get what we get, and I highly recommend it, at least to encourage Alm to make the megawad... uh, whatever XD. My rate is 10/10.

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Spectre01

  
Fantastic start to what could have been a legendary megawad. Hopefully Mr. Alm gets around to finish it.

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NuMetalManiak

· Edited by NuMetalManiak

  

*waits for new episodes and collapses* okay so Scythe X, perhaps if Mordeth wasn't still in development we'd have called this one the Scythe X award [/badjoke]. still though, we're still waiting for the episodes beyond 1 and 2, both of which handled techbases fairly well, but ultimately were standard, like Alm's first few levels in the previous Scythes. he manages to make secret finding a little bit more peculiar in this one, as well as add a new monster which is featured in the final level, but that's about it. poor Scythe X is the kind of wad we all really anticipate would truly be finished.

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Guest

  
very good level

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Budoka

  
Pure eye candy as usual with the scythe series, although it doesn't reach the immersion level of Scythe 2. Of course, the gameplay is high quality, with one caveat: whereas the first two Scythes are known to be amongst the most grueling megawads out there (I'm ignoring super-slaughter collections like Sunder or Chillax as those target a niche audience),most of this one is two easy. Only the last 2 maps throw on brutal challenges out of nowhere (do consider that I had to utterly butcher MAP10 to clear it).

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Guest

  
It's a shame that Erik Alm didn't end up finishing this. Feels like Scythe 1's gameplay mixed with 2's aesthetics. Great overall.

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Guest

Unknown date

  
Good short (or barely medium) levels with quality gameplay/architectur e and fitting music. Erik delivers once more, good luck on future episodes! 4.5(5)/5

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Guest

Unknown date

  
I'M WAITING FOR THE SEQUELS AND THEN SCYTHE LEGENDS, THEN SCYTHE BATTLE NETWORK. Joking aside, this is love in WAD form. ***** ~CSon

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Guest

Unknown date

  
this was an outstanding wad had fun playing it i really like the space like feel to it and Erik should really consider making more of these great MEGAWADS there really good.

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Guest

Unknown date

  
Outstanding quality levels, very fun gameplay, surprisingly tough challenges at times, well hidden and clever secrets, interesting new monsters, amazing work with themes... the list just goes on. 5*, no questions. -Phobus

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Guest

Unknown date

  
awesome wad!!! erik is the master 5/5 is a shame that is incomplete

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Guest

Unknown date

  
Great level design, great gameplay, nice music, and perfect pacing. It doesn't get much better than this folks! The atmosphere is great too. The last map had my heart racing! Lighting in Software mode is orgasmic.

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Guest

Unknown date

  
Man, I love how Erik Alm just keeps outdoing himself. This tiny collection of excellent maps needs to be completed, considering it has the potential to become one of the best wads of all time. Looks like the Scythe series keep getting better, the first Scythe was awesome, Scythe 2 was even better (legendary status), and this one would be utter perfection if it was complete. The map design is so superb I can't even describe it. It's been way too long since he started this wad, I hope we'll see more of it.

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Guest

Unknown date

  
It's rare to find such a great balance of wonderful aesthetic and architecture, with fun (fair-minded) gameplay. Great music, too.

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Guest

Unknown date

  
A disappointment compared to the first two parts. Only ten maps. Design is very beautiful, but gameplay and difficulty are a bit poor. Only maps 8 and 9 are very good. 3/5

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Guest

Unknown date

  
Maps 01-05 were all pretty awesome, but 06-10 made me fucking cream my jeans. Goddamn.

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Guest

Unknown date

  
Just finished testing the wad (ie passing through in god mode :P) A really great wad I can barely wait for the whole thing *¬*

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Guest

Unknown date

  
The levels themselves are very "meh". Very gray and dark most of the time, except for the last 2 levels. The layouts were also very meh. It was also incredibly easy. I know it was only a few levels, but I was able to blow through them on UV in about 45 minutes with zero deaths. I miss the "Man against all Hell" feeling of the previous scythes. The music was pretty grating too. I had to turn it off after a few levels. This one doesn't live up to the scythe name. So far.

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Guest

Unknown date

  
These maps just don't do much for me. the theme is too monotonous, the battles are not particularly memorable, the health is too skimpy, and the powerups are too rare. I like more variety in all accounts. 2/5 NT

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Guest

Unknown date

  
Erik Alm strikes yet again. This is just superbly honed gameplay and design through and through. I can only hope that he releases more wads in the future because he is one of the most consistant of all. 5/5 no question. -TRRobin

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Guest

Unknown date

  
Great mapset. I have no idea why, but I think it lacks the x-factor of the other two Scythes. "Technically" there's nothing wrong with it though, and I can't think of any kind of rational reason why I think it isn't as good as the other two. =p 4/5

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  • File Reviews

    • By Meril · Posted
      It's large 1995 map. Starting area is looking nice, but later author lost creativity and made mazy corridors. Very challenging because of overuse of chaingunners. It's extremely annoying. Lots of traps, Some clever, some not fair.
    • By HUGEkidsY2K · Posted
      Too linear in my tastes looking back now, will do better with my next projects!
    • By Meril · Posted
      For 95' map is really ok. A bit "blocky" design, but not bad. Map is rather big, it takes me 40min but i get lost in one place. Some good traps, IMO kinda challanging at the begining, before you get ssg. Overall good classic wad.
    • By Erick · Posted
      Fun map that captures a nice TNT-ish feel with plenty of weird yet also nice looking rooms, groups of hitscanners and demons to blast through, and a sense of adventure to it. Taking the MAP14 slot, you would see the episode 2 skybox of TNT: Evilution and listen to the track "Cold Subtleness", both creating a nice atmosphere to the map. Worth checking out!
    • By Player Lin · Posted
      Doesn't like the layout and monster replacements, I didn't found RL until got the yellow key and found a lot of rockets, the location where RL is confusing me, and it also not fun when you get kicked down from the cliffs by Revenants, Mancubus and Archviles after the way to Blue key door, the way to the teleporter just far enough to kill you if not killed by monsters which kicked you down. Final timed puzzle room just nasty as the cyberdemon and archvile fights in the same place, not sure why make the level so big but can't make the fights with them also on bigger place too?   It's not bad level but I'm sure the frustration level is sky high, and not sure the slopes from ZDooM do anything good to this level too.
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