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Sharp Things

   (5 reviews)

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About This File

Single map for Ultimate Doom.

Created for the first Battle of the Bits Doom compo. In this spectacular adventure, you must wage a one-man war against a thorn bush in your backyard that happens to accidentally contain a portal to spiky hell. Time to break out the metaphorical weed whacker!


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NuMetalManiak

  

we need more good Ultimate Doom wads. this was nice, plasma gun combat at first, when it opens up, it's chaotically good. the three keys weren't that hard to figure out, although the puzzle for the red key stands out the most. some nice and sharp (yes) ideas overall.

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NaturalTvventy

  

Xaser mastery of the highest order, demonstrating his command of architecture, texturing, (sharp) angles, lighting, and mood.

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Nems

  

I'm usually a fan of Xaser's stuff but this isn't one of them. Maneuverability is my biggest complaint with this map. I don't think strafe running should be mandatory to reach anything (admittedly I'm an average player; when strafe running is mandatory for anything I just cheat and jump, like I did with getting to the red skull key). Getting to the exit was also an exercise in frustration and I just jumped my way from platform to platform to get to it after several tries at strafe running.

 

For other people, this is easily a solid 4-star or even 5-star map. For me though, it's a 3-star map.

 

Xaser is still a cool dude though. <3

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Zalewa

  

I like the constant action, the rough visual design with flesh theme, the eerily atmospheric music, the independent key sections. I didn't like this trypophobia texture crap.

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  • File Reviews

    • By galileo31dos01 · Posted
      Done with these settings:   - GLBoom+ 2.5.1.4. complevel 9. - Hurt Me Plenty - Continuous combined with a pistol start mindset.  - Saves every 10 minutes or so.   Beautiful demanding set of fabulous maps. First time I got my hands into something made by this author, and I'm not disappointed at all. A colour scheme consisting of shades of brown/grey and primarily purple inclined to magenta, which replaces all greens if I'm not mistaken. There's a lot to experience in terms of design, part is because of the colour selection, both contrast perfectly with each other in many ways, all positively: aesthetically pleasing to the eye, no overdose of the strongest shades nor monochromatic rooms; giving new visuals or at least the feeling of wandering in an unique world, outside of hell or the tech-bases we all know; the level of detailing, the complexity of the terrain you step, all outstanding; easy to recognize the texturing and environment the player's in, which is closely connected to the extensive variety of geometry that can be seen and felt (physically, above all). In gameplay, this combination seemed optimal to me, as it gave each section a bit more personality. A bunch of atmospheric midis to emphasize the spaceship theme of the wad, casually fitting even in the most punchy situations, can't say anything negative of them to be honest.    I found the gameplay to be strong and consistent, most of the time. The offerings are varied but the overall style is what I'd characterize it as an "arcade game". To be more clear, the action/progression is setpiece-centric, non-linear, and sometimes multitask-based. The player isn't instantly thrown in the heat of the battle, but they're asked to make decisions and plans in order to claim your resources and thus, victory. These decisions include not only what to do but where to start and how to stay steady, something that usually differs from the incidental, mostly frontal combat style. A mistake won't necessary cost your entire life, though, depending on the difficulty the person chooses (HMP can still be highly demanding for less experienced players, and forget about UV on a blind first try), this sort of gameplay can be perfectly studied at the moment of playing them, one can anticipate and prepare themselves more or less for what's going to happen. Some clues are sheer silence, creating suspense, and checking the automap regularly, whatever suits you. So, in basic words, traps with lock-ins and some incidental surprises, composed of a variety of monsters in determined places in order to be efficient if the player is caught off-guard, or in other words. They generally have one more than solution, the usual is some sort of gimmicky infighting scenario involving an enemy or various to call the attention of others, since in some cases they appear in idle state on purpose, this while you need to keep an eye at everything, grab the ammo and health if necessary, plus the way out via switches that might unleash more opposition... ergo the multitask I mentioned above. Monster count can be low or high depending on the composition, the slaughter ingredient is regularly present, but the "cherry of the cake" is usually kept for the finale or near it. Progression being non-linear means that, after a chill or hot start, the maps open up and you can choose where to go, as far as available. Mobility and stability is also important, the environment can become an extra enemy too (curvy shapes that can provoke elastic collisions, combat on stairs which means bumpy floors, platforming on thin pillars while turrets attack, darkness and spectres, etc), which in this kind of wad I found to add more seriousness and fun, that is excepting the platforming, in map 06, just, no... not for me.   Secret-wise, standouts are the secret arenas that reward the player with, combat first and then cool pickups, or viceversa in case of new weaponry. A thing is for sure, once I figured out the most used hint from earlier maps, they were all much easier to find later, that is with extra help of the automap, but this is one of my favourite ways to hint a secret so all cool. For favourite maps, I can pick maps 05 and 07. Only one I didn't enjoy myself much was map 06, I have yet to replay it to find something else to do in that finale. The other maps were really fun too, with 31 being a funny kind of "joke" bonus map.   Overall, fun is guaranteed, anyone who hasn't tried this before should stop by and take a look. Pick skill 2 or 3, if you feel intimidated by the description file, this is fabulous Doom after all, nothing invented to be mad at (; . My rate is 9/10.
    • By Poncho · Posted
      So... this is skillsaw's first official work. Apparently, it's the only pre-2000 WAD of his that is still around.   I must say that, for a 1998 WAD, this is pretty good. It's a short and sweet WAD, and is an ideal choice if you just want to play Doom for a good thirty minutes (it takes about that time to beat the WAD to 100%). With the exception of Map08 (and, to an extent, Map03), the maps aren't that long, and all have a sort of uniqueness to them.   The first two maps are fast-paced bullet-mayhem style maps. I find these two levels to be well lit and have nice enemy placement (though the secret placement in Map02 is shoddy). Map03 is a longer affair, with a lot of backtracking that reminds me a lot of these earlier WADs. You can skip a lot of monsters in this map, too, which makes it a bit too easy. Map04 is the most confusing (if you're speedrunning, anyway), since it requires you to go from one end of the map to the other, and since you teleport back to the middle constantly, it can be a bit annoying.   Map05 is the worst level; it's a series of gauntlets, really, most of which are just a bit agitating and / or boring. Map07 isn't your typical seventh level (Mancubi and Arachnotrons do appear, just not in an arena-like setting). It's a good level, with decent action, good music and good enemy placement. Then comes Mansion (Map08), the longest level. It involves "resource-starvation," which is something I'm not a fan of in Doom WADs generally. With that said, the music fits perfectly and the design (for the time, anyway) is really good. I like the little pool at the start and the observatory parts to the west end of the map (there's a sort of aquarium area, which is really neat).   Map09 is like Map05, only better (better traps and feels harder for good reasons... well, except for that first Arch-Vile). After that, Map10 and Map11 are essentially slaughtermaps - both has a shit-ton of energy cells (especially the last level) and are super easy to complete (even easier if you're playing casually).   So, all-in-all, Sector 666 is a short, yet fun affair - it's never truly annoying, the chosen music tracks (by Mark Klem and David Shaw) fit quite well and looks very good for the time of its release.   Points are taken away, however, for the overall easiness of the WAD, and also Map06 - the laziest excuse for mapmaking I think I've seen in a non-joke WAD. Good thing skillsaw isn't like that now.   Final Rating: 3 / 4 (rounded up to 4 / 5).
    • By whirledtsar · Posted
      Excellent adventure with a dark atmosphere, cool architecture, and fun gameplay. The level/puzzle design is well-done, with engaging puzzles across multiple maps and interesting spins on the traditional locales (eg. the fire level is a mountain on a sea of lava). The whole wolf theme was also unique and interesting. It was very helpful that completing everything necessary on a map resulted in the message "Map completed", preventing unnecessary backtracking. Unfortunately I didn't acquire enough aeon mana to unlock the aeon attack, but I did get enough to unlock the aeon passive (regenerating mana for the mage), and it was very useful. The new enemies & bosses look good, although they aren't perfect. There are a couple of oversights like how the wolves lack a death animation or the ettinwolves lack most noises. The best enemies were probably the statue bosses (who totally took me by surprise), as they were complete, fit best with Hexen's artstyle, and filled a unique role.   Unfortunately, the flame mask and ruined town puzzles do not work properly in newer versions of GZDoom, so you'll be forced to noclip to complete both of them if you start the game not in an older version. That isn't the author's fault though, so it's not a criticism.
    • By Shiro Nomatsu · Posted
      Very good MEGAWAD. Keep up the good work guys!
    • By GuyNamedErick · Posted
      Two great vanilla maps with great challenge and excellent level design. The atmosphere is solid and vanilla textures are used wonderfully here, I especially love the sky texture here. Ammo might be a bit tight on the first map if you don't manage your ammo well, but otherwise, it's a fantastic set of vanilla levels.
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