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50 Shades of Graytall

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50 Shades of Graytall is a project designed around creating maps with interesting architecture and gameplay despite being limited to a selection of arguably hideous textures. Started in response to a silly post made in the Editing forum which led I and several others to attempt maps using the (slightly edited) rules in the post, hoping the result would be decent. Eventually opened up to the community and here we are! Hope you enjoy the maps and if you don't hey Doom projects cant be graytall the time


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galileo31dos01

· Edited by galileo31dos01

  

Done with these settings:

 

- GLBoom+ 2.5.1.4. complevel 9

- Ultra-Violence

- Continuous combined with pistol start mindset.

- Saves every 10 minutes or dobu's traps so.

 

Phew, enough DOORTRAK for a year... I mean, a very well done megawad consisting of a special limited texture selection and diverse gameplay. That this is product of a meme in the community is out of my knowledge, since 50 Shades was launched way before I registered in the forum. Joke or not, the concept is intriguing: only the popularly acclaimed "ugliest" textures to create interesting maps, focused on what mappers can do with such strict rule so their creations are appealing in every sense possible. Because we are here to judge, I'll say the results are really impressive in general. The mappers involved brought tons of ingenious ideas to contrast each texture and make the best of them. I'm someone who wasn't very familiar with these three textures, more specific with DOORTRAK and GRAYTALL, until now. The first one has to be my least favourite, it's exclusive to doors, borders and certain structures like the tunnel in NoisyVelvet's map, which was combined with hall of mirrors in a very creative way. On the other side, GRAYTALL covers the majority of layouts' walls. It's partially plain as a single texture when its red stripes are too near from each other, in my opinion, not so much when they're spared or only the gray part is visible. However, the usage is generally decent due to light variation, the darker the better, also contrasted with FIREBLU's striking visual, the last texture that stands out in every context. There're also a few flats and ceilings to add some extra colour and some neat pitch black shadows, but another important complement is that amazing space sky. Whoever did it deserves an award, I absolutely loved how some mappers exploited it as either a texture replacement for switches, or simply the void. DGM's map is an example where it can be appreciated in its essence. The music selection isn't listed in the text file for some reason, I can say many are recognizable at first "glance", then others more speedy or chill midis according to the case, generally fitting. 

 

Gameplay is serious business. It's the kind that keeps you on your toes pretty much all of the time, and entails acquired skills to play on UV. The interesting part is that each map was designed by a different person (minus a collaboration map), therefore the diversity, many of which I have experienced their content before. For those who are new to the mappers involved, you'll get to find their names in the tally, or else on the internet. Naturally, I had expectations of what some of the mappers were capable of. The strategic set piece encounters from Ribbiks' map 12, or Mouldy's introduction into the slaughter-ish camp in his map 08, are examples of nothing to be disappointed at. Same for Mechadon's massive map 10 which serves fantastic non-linearity for days, and Joshy in his classic hectic start followed straightly by slaughter including a couple nonsense intermissions (more specifically, pain elementals in the open). Jimmy's remake of Entryway is a fun starter, easy to take your first steps into the new world of unpopular-only textures. For the rest of mappers, I had a few vague conceptions of their styles in other community projects, that after playing this megawad I will be able to recognize them. I know Xaser likes to play with circular very tall towers, his map is a huge infinite symbol whose gameplay is partially engaging, like the RL vs. pain elementals trap. Dobu Gabu Maru must have been an archvile in another life, otherwise it's out of my knowledge why such a mean-spirited map. It's ingenious, let's get that straight, the way he created architecture out of the sky and shadows and all that intricate geometry, which is put to maximum devilish reasons, and I liked the frantic setups even if it was near impossible to feel comfortable in the limited available space. TimeOfDeath did a decent boss map, the mix between resource and layout tightness. His etiquette two-(BFG)shots incidental mini setups against cyberdemons is present, they only persisted in the same exact contexts more than I like to see, but there're more variants of hard setups to experience too, and includes a full view of the mister of your dreams, or nightmares (I'm talking about the giant dude at the end, ok?)... On another side, there're some ups and downs from the rest of maps. I have to praise NoisyVelvet for such a great exploratory level, including the aforementioned tunnel of hall of mirrors, and a creepy face at the end. I also dig Megalyth imposing FIREBLU room with several setups for pressure-inducing. The one by Marcaek (not the credits map) left a sour taste in my mouth at first, since I'm not a fan of running away from monsters all the time. It gradually turned more palatable as I became more comfortable with the concept. Breezerp did a solid short BFG-spamming map, even though it's not my type of gameplay. Those by Quakis, Alfonzo, Ezormer and shockblast4 are somewhat similar, in regards to progressive difficulty and resource management, all of them enjoyable in their own way. Last but not least, the bonus map, a throwback into the old-school style of congested rooms, which can only be understood after a full playthrough. Don't try this map blind without a sense of exploration, if you have touched any Hell Revealed wad before you'll know what I'm talking about...

 

Secret-wise, to begin with, depending on the author, some went for something more exploratory full of secrets, while others dismissed the idea of placing at least one (Joshy, ahem...), nothing wrong with it though. It's wasn't easy to find all of them in the bigger maps, but still fun to be encouraged to explore and find extra portions that covered half of the map. I'm not sure why a couple of secrets in Mechadon's map are not hinted at all, like one required to shoot random FIREBLU, or maybe I needed glasses to detect a tiny difference between all of the FIREBLU walls, no idea. As to the bonus map, well it was expected to have important "mandatory" secrets, but it seems like not everyone moved on from the HR era, by the time this megawad was being made. Just don't go too far if you haven't found the, big thing, yet. Anyway, for favourite maps I'll pick 03, 06, 08 and 12.

 

On the subject of bugs, I found out that in map 08 a random monster from the first ambush might not pop up, could be a pinky or a hell knight. In map 15 it is possible to get stuck in the last step of the spiraled stairs, more specifically the point where a bunch of pinkies teleport in, the step never raised on my first try. There is also an unintentional HOM in the tower of sergeants. Lastly, not a bug per se but I found it weird that the chaingunners in the blue key trap in map 16 were stuck in their cubicles, still able to shoot, because there're teleport linedefs in the borders.

 

Overall, just a lovely mapset I recommend to anyone out there. Be smart and choose the appropriated difficulty, I'm sure lower skills are more accessible to casual players. Also, granted you'll end up loving FIREBLU if you haven't yet. One last thing, try to find the caged dog in map 07, it looks a bit like a floating skull on fire (; . My rate is 8/10.

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Gato606

  

Not bad for a minimalistic project with the challenge of very limited textures palette.  The design and architecture looked nice.  For some reason, the floor and sky texture didn't show properly for me when playing it on GZDoom with the HXRTC mod.  It was enjoyable till the slaughterfest maps appear, I think that broke the balance the maps had on the starting maps.

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Gallic00

  

Was very enjoyable.  The maps were varied in style and gameplay so I was never bored.

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Aldaraia

  

Surprisingly good mapset. Despite my initial expectations, the severely limit texture choices weren't much of a bother for most of the levels. There are times where the minimalist textures almost fade away from oversaturation, leaving you with a heightened focus on gameplay aspects (all which are great). Some maps are maddening, others - masterpieces. I wasn't expecting a space battle emulation in MAP14 though.

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bzzrak

  
Starts out quite good, but becomes a bunch of goddamn unplayable slaughtermaps towards the end. Meh.

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trrobin

  
A very mixed bag. The textures are obviously unpleasant, which was the point, although it doesn't stop them from bringing down the tone. Gameplay wise, the first levels get progressively better, peaking at the excellent level 10 only to go downhill after that, sometimes quite severely. You're left with an average wad that could have been saved by ending at map 10. Pity.

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Bryan T

  
There's no such thing as "too hard on UV". The only thing I don't like about this is the weird looking doors. It kept me wanting to play, so it gets a 5 from me.

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molten_

  
some maps are creative, and gameplay is decent, but nothing can make those textures look good. sorry.

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Guest

  
Game play is good. The obnoxious textures, or lack there of, are very annoying.

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Guest

  
Didn't like the sky under Doomguy's feet.Made me want to pee.

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mrthejoshmon

  
An ok concept but (obviously) an assault on the eyes. The set does play well and is as fun as Graytall can get, a little bit slaughtery but not too unfair.

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Doomkid

  
I thought the concept was cute and original, and considering the textures given they are wonderful in the visual front. The gameplay was great on some, on some it was just asinine. Some of those maps names made me laugh my ass off though. This deserves a solid 3.5*

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Guest

  
Shitty idea with shitty execution. So tired of all these gimmick wads lately, whatever happened to making something that's good on it's own? The only redeeming factor about this turd is the title screen. -Mr Delilah

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AnonimVio

  
I thought this rocks.

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Demonologist

  
I thought the same.

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Guest

  
I thought this sucked.

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NuMetalManiak

  
yay another mapset that delves into super hard gameplay at a point just like everything else I've played this year. 10, 12, 14, 15, and 16 are great, everything else less so.

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Eris Falling

  
Too hard on UV

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Guest

  
Unusual mapset, only 3 wall-textures are used. The maps live from great architecture, lighting, layout and the authors creativity. The slaughter fights in later maps... ok, I wished these maps were 'normal' maps.

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Dime

  
fireblu seizures hurt body, dis is bad.

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Megalyth

  
These maps made me throw up out of my eyes 0/5

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Guest

  
Is there a different texture pack that will make this look better?Gameplay id decent, but the graphics are awful!

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AD_79

  
Fantastic mapset. also lol at people not being able to handle a little difficulty and rating the set low because of it

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Guest

  
^That's entirely too broadbrushed. Non-slaughter fans will want to play the first 5-7 maps (6 and 7 definitely apply lots of pressure though). EVERYONE should play Map10, it's a masterpiece, period, regardless of having over 800 monsters. You can try lower skill if the slaughter sections seem like too much. 4* for accomplishing maps that look reasonable, Map10, and some other decent outings.

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Zalewa

  
First of all I want to say that MAP10 deserves 5*, period. It's epic and also a borderline slaughter map but it's done in a fair fashion and monsters are laid out evenly. Moreover, all maps are visually impressive. Unfortunately, this WAD has too many dooumb slaughterfest maps with completely bullshit situations. I don't find being molested by armies of monsters to be pleasurable. Everything else is great, so if the maps were toned down on monster count it would definitely be at least a 4* WAD.

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  • File Reviews

    • By amackert · Posted
      Visually there is a ton of attention to detail which is always a treat to look at, and the actual map designs of the first four episodes are very well done. I enjoy the "new" monsters and some of the upgraded weapons, it definitely makes certain parts of it feel fresh compared to the typical wad. The challenge on UV was just right for me with few if any parts being too overwhelming. Overall it gets a 4/5 from me because I wasn't a big fan of the fifth episode set of maps, both thematically and gameplay-wise. Ammo starvation was real there in those last few maps which isn't a lot of fun to me, not to mention its too drastic of a change compared to how the rest of the wad plays. Also, thematically I feel like these end-game maps would have made a bigger splash as mid-game maps, not finale maps. Great idea with the final boss mix-up though, I enjoyed that. I do still prefer Ancient Aliens as a whole (a wad that I feel is much better balanced overall and is more interesting of an experience), but Valiant still comes highly recommended from me.
    • By hardcore_gamer · Posted
      I agree with BChricton78. Rather than being fun to play, this remake just highlights how massive of a difference good lightning and texturing makes to a level/game. I know this isn't the fault of the makers of this mod since they were merely remaking the original Doom 64 levels, but these levels frankly aren't very great when stripped of the improved Doom 64 graphics. So much in fact that it makes me wonder how important level layouts even are compared to other aspects of the visual presentation such as texturing, lightning and rendering.
    • By silentzorah · Posted
      Good stuff.  Only giving it four stars because though the new music was good, I just wish there was more of it.  Still, this wad is absolutely worth your time.
    • By BChricton78 · Posted
      Umm... From the brief snippet I played, I'd definitely give them an A for effort... But this just feels... wrong to me. I'm sorry but playing Doom 64, without the lighting, atmosphere, redone sprites and ambient music? No thanks. It just takes away the things that make Doom 64 so special. Still a nice little attempt at recapturing Doom 64, but I'm better off with Doom 64 EX, for my fix.
    • By Agent6 · Posted
      And thus, oh you know what I'm going to say already, Doom 64 for Doom II has been finished, played through GlBoom+ 2.5.1.5 on UV.   So for an introduction, as the name implies D64D2 is a recreation of the classic Doom 64 originally released as a console exclusive for the N64. It aims to recreate the levels along with their gameplay using mostly vanilla Doom II resources. It features a new menu background, ENDOOM screen, new music, a few new enemies, namely the Nightmare Imp and Cacodemon as well as the final boss the Mother Demon, a few new textures, new intermission messages, a new end level screen, but no custom sounds or weapons, meaning that the unique and iconic Unmaker was not recreated in any way.   For a recreation, I must say that the levels and their gameplay come quite close to the original Doom 64, nonetheless various liberties have been taken in different forms, ranging from new takes on various puzzles to completely new levels, as well as the usage of the enemies who were absent from the original due to memory limitations. The usage of enemies who were absent from the original game comes with mixed results as it doesn't always work, probably one of the most obvious flaws in the game. This is most noticeable primarily in the levels that came closest to their D64 counterpart as the environment was clearly not designed with them in mind. For instance, you'll encounter Revenants on narrow corridors quite often, and sometimes even Arch-Viles. This isn't a problem in larger areas where it's usually quite fun to fight them, but not in those particular areas. Chaingunners do seem to work quite well however since they can easily blend with the rest of the hitscanners.   Compared to the original D64, a major difference is the tone and atmosphere of the game. D64 was slower paced and more atmospheric, whereas D64D2 is faster paced and puts less emphasis of that element, supported by the amazing but more action/fun oriented soundtrack. Perhaps the darker, much more hellish levels such as Unholy Temple are the most atmospheric levels in the entire game, and also the best looking. Unholy Temple is definitely my favorite level in D64D2.   While on the subject of changes, some of them are very interesting. In the Void is probably the most surprising for me. The original map featured a light blue sky and a rather foggy atmosphere while the level itself was pretty bright, how does this map look like in D64D2? Well, it seems to literally take place in a void now. Indeed, the sky is now pitch black but luckily poor visibility in the level itself was avoided, at least for the most part, so there's no difficulty in seeing the enemies and where they are. It's a change that works quite well, unlike others. The most drastic changes were probably done to The Absolution, where you can now locate 3 skulls, but in order to reach them you need to complete their own puzzles first, and they're not the exciting or fun type. The room with the yellow skull was probably the only one that was fun, the others? Well, for the red skull you have to go through an awkward platforming section where everything, including the enemies are... cloaked in darkness, while the room with the blue skull features a puzzle similar to the one seen in the room with the red key (Demon Key on the original D64) on Outpost Omega, except that it's longer, more complex, and more tedious. Not exactly changes done for the better. I don't know how exactly they impact the level though, but in my playthrough I didn't even fight the Mother Demon after aquiring all skulls, I just heard her screaming once while I was fighting the teleporting enemies thinking that she finally showed up to the battle, only for the end level screen to appear immediately afterwards, so I assume she died somehow.   D64D2 also comes with some exclusive levels that were not part of the original D64, and I personally think they're little more than filler maps. They're not awful but nowhere near great either, and I'm unable to find any valid reason for their existence. This is primarily due to their nature. Their gameplay style and tone is very different from all the other levels and in consequence, they feel out of place, not mixing well with the rest of the maps. Still, at least they're very short and straightforward so you don't waste much time with them. And while on the subject, some of the secret levels from the original have been turned into regular maps, meaning that you don't have to search for secret exits to access them anymore. One such example is the previously mentioned Outpost Omega.   All things considered, D64D2 manages to capture the spirit of D64 while also making plenty of changes, yet generally remaining faithful to the original. Some changes might have been done for the worse, but there's plenty done for the better as well. It's pretty short and easy, just like the original, so it can be finished in a day, you can't go wrong with it. A collective effort for an ambitious project that should be well worth your time if you like Doom 64 and want to see a different take on it.
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