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Monuments of Mars

   (10 reviews)

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A custom single player mapset by members of Doomer Boards (doomer.boards.net)


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finnaboing

· Edited by finnaboing

  

LOCAL DINGUS PLAYS EVERY SINGLE DOOMER BOARDS PROJECT

PART 1: MONUMENTS OF MARS

 

(if you don't know what the Doomer Boards Projects are, here's the Doom Wiki article on them)

 

 

I'll start this off by saying that I have some reservations going into this little series of mine. For one, the Doomer Boards were (allegedly) originally made for people that got banned from Doomworld (which many of the DBPs' frequent contributors were and still are), and having someone else post the projects on the Doomworld forums almost acts as a form of ban evasion. Also at one point DB made its Projects subforum inaccessible to guests so you had to make a DB account to be able to view anything to do with DBPs which was kinda stinky since DBP posts on Doomworld were permitted as long as no one tried to "recruit" people to the Doomer Boards but now you don't really have a choice? That's kinda fishy.

 

This already tenuous arrangement between the two sites got even dicier when a direct advertisement of the Doomer Boards in DBP37 resulted in the posting of DBPs on the Doomworld forums to be banned outright for a little bit. Speaking of which, there's also hella beef between the two sites, with a lot of animosity and off-site harassment (oh boy), and there's even WAD-specific drama (DBP48 looks like it's... definitely gonna be a thing that exists).

 

With that being said, I won't be going into any of this aforementioned drama unless I feel that it's extremely relevant to a given DBP's development and/or release. This is so that I don't lose my mind scrounging through various threads trying to figure out exactly why a specific installment doesn't have an idgames link when it's probably just some annoying drama that I don't wanna have to dig back up. At the end of the day, it's drama on Doom forums, and I frankly don't feel that that's worth large amounts of my time when the reasons for people getting banned can be a bit dodgy at times. It's not something I want to concern myself with, and it's not something I feel like bothering readers with unless I think it's absolutely NECESSARY. Just know that, more often than not, the frequent contributors to the projects got up to some SHIT in the meantime.

 

With all that out of the way, let's talk about the actual WAD.

 

The first installment of the DBPs, March 2018's Monuments of Mars, is a solid start to the series. There aren't any maps in here that I found to be noticeably worse in quality than the others, which is kinda necessary when there's only seven maps in total. Fight design's good, difficulty curve's fairly reasonable, visuals are very well-done (if a bit generic, though that's mainly because of the resource pack), music choices fit pretty well - it's a consistently good-but-mostly-not-quite-great time throughout.

 

I will say, though, even when playing on Hurt Me Plenty single-segment with saves, I found myself getting low on ammo a lot more than I was expecting. Granted, I'm not exactly amazing at Doom, but ammo still felt a lot tighter than it probably should've and I shudder to think of the troubles that pistol starters would have to deal with. The Pinky horde feat. Arch-viles in MAP07 felt especially ridiculous - I'm not entirely sure how that's manageable with just the resources in the map (i.e. without the BFG from MAP05) without intensive planning. That could just be me, though.

 

All-in-all, if you have, like, an afternoon to spare, Monuments of Mars is a nice way to spend your time, though I get the feeling that most of the later DBPs are going to blow this one out of the water.

 

OVERALL RATING7/10

FAVORITE MAPMAP03 - "Ares Compound" (by Phobus)

LEAST FAVORITE MAP: MAP06 - "Steel Militia" (by Scotty) (still a good map tho)

HARDEST MAP (for me at least)MAP04 - "Drill Station" (by 40oz) (I have no idea why that Cyberdemon gave me as much trouble as it did)

MAP YOU SHOULD PLAY FIRST IF YOU WANT A SAMPLERMAP02 - "Mt. Orion" (by 40oz)

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Endless

  

FID5vXt.pngWith only 7 maps, this WAD delivers excellent quality and at least 1 hour of top notch quality in terms of gameplay, design and presentation. Intense, fast and fun. The challenge it presents is complicated enough to spice it up without being extremely tedious/difficult. It's not easy, but it's not extreme either, and in that balance you find quite a lot of fun. Considering that the WAD is themed on Mars, this is probably one of the best I've seen in terms of adhering to its theme. Great and fantastic. I would like to thank the Cacoawards for introducing me to this beautiful collection of maps that are on my roster of exciting and fantastic WADs.

 

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Juza

·

  

Levels 1 to 4 were great: beautiful, somewhat open maps with lots of exploration, challenge, and smart monster placement which renders a lot of replayability. 9/10

As for levels 5 to 7, their gameplay can be described with 'bite-sized arena fights' as the main loop, and 'mazey nonlinearity' for the layout design, and for me, that's boring. 6/10

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SilverMiner

  

This wad is easy to forget

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dubaCRO

  

Absolutly amazing.This is real doom.

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Summer Deep

· Edited by Summer Deep

  

A very well put together mapset. Excellent layouts, spectacular graphics and testing gameplay (which includes five archviles in a lava pit at one point...). Level three is perhaps the standout, but really there are no duds. 

 

If I had to nitpick, I'd say the authors could have made a concession to exponents of continuous play by consistently placing a couple of 25% healthpacks and a green armour near the start of each level (try doing some of these if you finish the previous one with 20% health and no armour!). Also the ending of the game is a little weird and something of a letdown in my view.

 

9 out of 10.

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valkiriforce

  

I can't help but love what's been coming from 40oz and company lately - this was a very fun and quick set of levels with plenty of red themes to go around. Really loved some of the concepts on play; there's a couple 'reach for the top' stages, a hemmed-in section of pumping rockets into crowds of cacos and former humans and some other brutal affairs carefully introduced without overstaying its welcome. I did feel some parts were potentially more frustrating given a lighter footing - if you're as careless as I can be at times you might just take some hits from behind you in some windowed acres of flying projectiles or trying to solve the mystery of the lost hitscanner. This is otherwise a worthwhile mapset, no doubt - and at 7 maps in length it shouldn't take players long to explore for themselves and see what they liked most about it.

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Gothic

  

Great wad. Minor bug, you can break some things on map 2 if you go the other way at the start.

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NuMetalManiak

  

has a lot of fun moments and is steady in progression, good red theme and encounters all around. recommend.

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Catpho

· Edited by Catpho

  

A pretty good level set with some memorable levels, does a lot of justice to its tan techbase and lava mountains theme.

Short level by level:

-Map01: Best opening tan techbase!

-Map02: Awesome lava mountain adventure

-Map03: Good chaotic level with nice visuals

-Map04: Weird gimmick map that uses ledges. Not a fan because it bogs the map down

-Map05: Good detailing, but frustratingly rough sometimes and not a whole lot of interesting structures.

-Map06: Good modern level

-Map07: Hard and a bit unfair sometimes, but  good visuals and other well thought out stuff saves it from being mediocre.

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  • File Reviews

    • By PsychEyeball · Posted
      The most avant-garde Doom will ever get. Obviously not a WAD for everyone, the core target for such a mod is mainly people who are in video game glitches, corruptions and to some extent, creepypastas (whether that love is ironic or not). Nothing works as it is supposed to. You can hardly understand most of the things that are happening to you. Some of the custom monsters (like the hitscanning corrupted pinky) will put you on edge and keep you paranoid about the ruleset of the game.   The aesthetic of lilith.pk3 is one of a kind, horribly mangling the rendering engine of old ZDoom beyond belief to disform sprites, textures, text and even sound effects. The end result makes close to no sense, your Doom marine sprite is heavily dislocated and looks more like one of those creatures from Alien than a human being and the list goes on and on. The confused looks obviously doesn't always make for clean or concise gameplay, especially in later levels which crank the confusion up to eleven and manipulate the level geometry to do things you thought weren't possible in the game. Even basic things like crushers, slime pits or a turnstile look horribly out of shape and makes the player uncomfortable.   This is essentially what lilith boils down to: an unfamilarity to something we thought we knew by heart, a rising sense of uncomfort as the level design makes less and less sense and offering the player a new perspective on what Doom is. Don't play lilith expecting top-notch Doom gameplay, but play it for the one of a kind experience it offers you. For the better and for the worse, there are no WADs like lilith anywhere and there will never be.
    • By Skittle · Posted
      I think that the combination between shotgun and chaingun combat, and the hitscanner shootouts this WAD offers are really fun and engaging. Pinky Demons are placed in areas where they're not frustrating, (The opposite being something I see very often, nice work Romero :P.) My only issue with this WAD is that one or two of the secrets, specifically those found in the darkened tech room, are sort of esoteric. The one where you have to jump from a platform isn't the worst, but the one for the Mega-Armour is annoying and in my opinion, unfair to find.   Despite these small issues, I think that Phobos Mission Control is an excellent and exciting level to run through, and I applaud Romero for returning to the Doom Community to make new levels.
    • By top10epicfails · Posted
      this wad SAVED MY MARRIAGE. 3/5
    • By finnaboing · Posted
      LOCAL DINGUS PLAYS EVERY SINGLE DOOMER BOARDS PROJECT PART 2: CIRCLE OF CAINA SP   (if you don't know what the Doomer Boards Projects are, here's the Doom Wiki article on them)   The next installment of the Doomer Boards Projects, April 2018's Circle of Caina SP, helmed once again by 40oz, is a notable step up from its predecessor. Inspired by FraGMarE's "icy deathmatch map" of the same name (y'know, minus the "SP"), it's a set of eight levels based around a wintry theme and it single-handedly got me excited for the rest of this series.   First and foremost, this WAD looks incredible. Every arena feels very distinct from the last - none of these fights blend in with one another and they're all the better for it. 40oz chose an amazing resource pack for that month, with the textures being perfectly suited for the cold, jagged landscapes. Normally, I either wouldn't notice the blockiness of the terrain because I'm so used to it in Doom or I'd dock points for it, but here, it works so well with the vibes of each map that I honestly love it. I'm already partial to ice/snow levels in video games for a ton of reasons, so this WAD going all in with the lighting and icy aesthetics makes me so happy. The music choices are also perfect (other than Hell Revealed MAP16's MIDI for "Cold Shoulder" for some reason but it's not that out-of-place), with a lineup of classic MIDIs that also happen to evoke that chilly feeling.   That's not to say it's all style and no substance, though - even if the fights do feel like they have a less intense bite overall than MoM, there are a lot more tricky "gotcha!" moments here that really keep you on your toes for longer. Each new arena feels dynamic and well thought-out (even the random pop-up monsters in MAP08 that feel a bit forced in but still work somehow even though you got a free BFG (the only BFG in the set, if I'm not mistaken) in the first room and plenty of cells along the way so it doesn't even really matter but whatever). The whole WAD flows super well, too, and lends itself very well to marathon sessions. Each map has a degree of momentum that keeps everything moving at an enjoyable pace.   I found the ammo balance to be a lot more generous than Monuments of Mars for this one too. I don't know if I'd necessarily say that means this WAD is "easier," but it feels a lot more beginner-friendly (as in, me. that's me. I'm beginner) and makes fights feel a lot fairer. Outside of MAP07, "Below Zero," being WAY harder than every other map in the set (and almost every map in DBP1, for that matter), the difficulty stays pretty consistent throughout. MAP01 starts out really simple and minimalistic, MAP08 is a bit of mini-slaughter, you know, the usual.   For me, the show-stealer is MAP05, "Frosty Cream Glade." It is maybe one of the greatest Doom maps I've ever played. It doesn't look like much when you first see it, but the way everything is so interconnected and how clever yet simple the encounters are and how pretty the visuals are and how the nonlinearity of the map lets you tackle the encounters in almost any order you want so it feels a lot more personalized and how the map's layout means that part of the puzzle is figuring out how to get where you want to go and the indirect signposting is so well-done that you're probably guaranteed to find it but it still feels satisfying AAAAAAAAA I love this map it's so good. If there's one's map you need to play from this set, it's "Frosty Cream Glade." The AUDACITY of supercupcaketactics to use the MIDI from Scythe 2 MAP21 and somehow completely justify its placement is something I aspire to.   This WAD's far from perfect - 40oz's maps can be underwhelming, some of the levels' freeform nature greatly hurt their pacing ("Cold Shoulder"), they take FOREVER to give you a rocket launcher (you don't get one until MAP04, that's annoying), MAP04 and MAP08 use the exact same MIDI which is really jarring when you play MAP08 for the first time, and for whatever reason MAP05's exit is tagged as a secret even though it's not hidden at all and is required - but I'm getting nitpicky. Circle of Caina SP is a fantastic set of levels from some highly talented people working with a theme that I'm already a huge fan of. Definitely a WAD to check out if you've got a few hours to spare.   OVERALL RATING: 8/10 FAVORITE MAP: MAP05 - "Frosty Cream Glade" (by supercupcaketactics) LEAST FAVORITE MAP: MAP03 - "Some Other Circle" (by 40oz) (it's not terrible by any means but it feels kinda meh compared to the other maps) HARDEST MAP (for me at least): MAP07 - "Below Zero" (by 40oz) MAP YOU SHOULD PLAY FIRST IF YOU WANT A SAMPLER: MAP01 - "The Chill Before The Thrill" (by noisyvelvet)
    • By BoxY · Posted
      Horribly glitchy and impossible to see or do anything in the game. Literally every single texture is glitched out, only thing that works normally is the shooting sounds. 5/5
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