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Circle of Caina SP

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finnaboing

· Edited by finnaboing

  

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)

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Endless

  

I recently started my journey through the Doomer Boards Projects, checking the Doomworld threads and downloading a few for a quick look, but now I'm determined to play them all and catch up with the rest. After all, having played DBP1 and 2 I can say that the quality here is not only solid, but amazing.

 

Circle of Caina lives up to its name. You are going to do circle strafing, a lot. One more map compared to the previous release, DBP2 follows the Christmas theme with an amazing collection of winter textures that convey a perfect feeling of cold and demonic Christmas. The quality of the maps is as great as the previous delivery, showing not only a great consistency in its control but also an excellent capacity to produce solid deliveries, after all, there are more than 20+ DBP already and all of them seem to be of excellent quality.

 

I must admit that I prefer Monuments of Mars, not so much for being a quality divergence (both maps share the same quality) but for the fact that the Circle of Caina gameplay can be a little less... merciful.

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Catpho

· Edited by Catpho

  

The next installment in the DBP series goes ice cold on us. An enjoyable romp with decent music choice, nice theme, fun and generally relaxing maps with varied style. I still prefer DBP 1 (Monuments of Mars) but once again swell job DBP team!

Quick map by map review:

-Map01: Great opener! A very well made introduction, short but stylish and memorable. Plenty of cool (no pun intended) moments and encounters.

-Map02: Above average map. Cool detailing and architectural bits, but combat is a bit forgettable (imp hordes were fun i guess?).

-Map03: Good "Circle of Death" remake/tribute. Uh, not much more to say actually 😛

-Map04: A map in Valkiriforce's signature mid 90s/Memento Mori style. This map doesnt represent that style in its peak, i personally consider this as the author's B material. But its still adequate, and certainly not a bad map.

-Map05: Haha this is awesome! So much energy in every step, and the whole thing looks wacky! Whimsical and quriky, fitting with the texture pack too. A must play! (along with map01)

-Map06: Darn fine mountain trek. A good amount of super shotgun and plasma rifle action in here, the mountains and cliffs are rendered beautifully, magical stuff with the water too. Great!

-Map07: Those igloo structuers are comical, so as the slaughter gameplay. Fun to blast through.

-Map08: Good slaughter finisher. It's not too punishing, plus it has many things to look at. Best sector snowman! 

 

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  • File Reviews

    • By E.M. · Posted
      This right here is one of the oldest joke wads ever made, and its parodies of bad map design are still relevant to this day.
    • By SilverMiner · Posted
      The soundtrack is coherent thruout the whole
    • By LateToDOOM2020 · Posted
      No idea how this works Its doom magic!
      Very cool
    • By Philnemba · Posted
      Ok not going to lie, but I thought this shitpost megawad was made last year and NOT from February of 1998 which also technically predates the original Mockery wad by a few months 👀!?
    • By Catpho · Posted
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