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The Castle

   (5 reviews)
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Somehow getting inside an old English castle, you must find you way out to freedom. Can you survive the underground maze? Will you get out alive?

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New sounds are TERRIBLE! Map is unintresting and feels random.

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This is dated July 1995. It's yet another castle-style map, this time loaded with lots of random textures and sounds, none of which adhere to a coherent design theme. The design is odd and very occasionally clever (the spiral alcove thing was okay). Unfortunately it's too slight; the first half is just a couple of corridors and an outdoors bit, and the second half is a tedious dark maze that slows the (minimal) gameplay to a crawl.

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Crap. - 1/5

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  • File Reviews

    • By AinuTheTaken · Posted
      Played and completed on ultra violence. It is actually really nice for what it is. As a small map, and no doubt it isn't large, it makes you feel tense but not completely and utterly cramped. You might or might not have to watch your ammo a bit despite the map being small. Difficulty is just easy enough to be called medium. This is a base map so the textures are appropriately industrial. Could be considered a 'correct' Doom 1 map and useful for study if you map by studying.
    • By AinuTheTaken · Posted
      Played and completed on ultra violence skill. Does what it sets out to do. You're in a water processing plant although it seems to be underground and the visuals reflect this. In general this map appears to be built with spaciousness in mind so most of the rooms with monsters in them are spacious (but not every single room). I wasn't able to figure out how to release the large grates to get the secret where the imps are but then again the switch or trigger is probably well hidden. A good map. A map that's more easy than hard if it had to be called one or the other. A mediumish sized map that takes a reasonably long time to complete. It feels substantial. 
    • By Fonze · Posted
      It's truly awe-inspiring what can be done in the span of 24 hours. Team Rocket 1 was a 24-hour streaming event held by 4 main mappers with 5 guests that produced a full megawad plus a couple bonus maps. Some few of the maps are simplistic, which can be a good thing, and a decent chunk are gimmick maps, also which can be good, but most are just well designed speedmaps that are worth a look.    A lot of the maps have interesting layouts with clever progression and good flow; it's fun to run around them and exploring is equally satisfying, even in such small maps. I liked the clever use of multiples of a certain keyed door in a couple maps to present what seems to be a nonlinear setup in what turns out to be a linear design, as the doors wind up being entrances or exits to/from previously cleared areas, creating a new linear path through an old one; it's a nice, concise way to add interest to the exploration side of things. Similarly with walls that lower and other stuff; not necessarily limited to keyed doors, though I think keyed doors are a bit less commonly seen on this general trope and are a bit more overt in that they add some extra level of intuitive conveyance to players that lowering walls don't necessarily bring to the table, so worth a mention.   Gameplay is really the largest mixed bag of these maps and it's such a shame because they are otherwise great maps in a hugely inspirational mapset. Ironically it wasn't the gimmick maps that hurt this set for me, though I also tend to like gimmick maps so grain of salt on that, heh, but more-so the maps which were far too overtuned in their supplies, permitting few mistakes on the part of players. Additionally frustrating was that some of these maps in particular didnt have difficultly settings implemented. I hate to be judgemental but that's just lazy and inexcusable, especially when hot fixes after the event are a thing, but also especially when it takes 2 seconds to add more health or uncheck a box for a troublesome monster to account for lower difficulty settings. I'm honestly torn between giving this a 3 or a 4 star rating because of this.   The other loss of points for me comes from that overtuning of some of the maps. To some degree I can see what was being aimed for and I'll also qualify this review by stating that I played through this on the touchscreen, so I was at a definite handicap when compared to if I had tackled this on the laptop using kb+mouse, but at the same time the goal of the game should be to have fun, not to throw players to hitscan rng with little health pickups to recover with, or smack in the face with cheap/dirty gotchas that only work the first time (without preknowledge), etc, and the maps that fit this mold constricted my ability to make my own fun into one particular playstyle that I just didn't enjoy. Honestly tho idk if this was more frustrating to me or the lack of difficulty settings in the maps that really needed it. Thankfully ITYTD is a thing, but even just halving the damage taken doesn't make some of these maps easy, and that combined with double ammo still doesn't make them much more fun. It did help a little though. I was under the mistaken assumption that this first one was a zdoom mapset so I played this in gzdoom; knowing now that I could have used prboom makes me cry a little knowing that some of the worst offending maps would have literally been easier without zdoom's differing behaviors.   That's really it for the negatives from me, I enjoyed most of this megawad. Even the maps I did not have fun with I can appreciate as good and well-built maps. Something funny about restaurant reviews can be similarly drawn to my experiences here: the worst reviews are most often from bad service rather than bad food, and even just looking at the food itself presentation is half of how it is received. The maps I didn't have fun with could have been fun to me with only minor changes; it was ultimately just the balancing of the maps that made them unpleasant. To some degree there was questionable monster placement as well, but mostly it was just the balancing. What a shame to ruin a good map with poor quality control on balancing. I think it would be good in the future to have better testing and qc wrt how the maps play as a whole and fit together for the next iteration(s) of these events.   My favorite maps were: 9, 10, 11, 16, 17, 21, 23, 27, 29, 31, and 34.   MAP09: Acceleration - Dragonfly - has a viscerally fun hot start
      MAP10: The Oppressor - AD_79 - has a nice concept and was well done, though a bit tightly balanced
      MAP11: Down With The Thiccness - Matt Tropiano - is a silly, punchy (not as in using the fist) sort of rocket map against midtiers

      MAP16: Frank Lloyd Wrong's Aqueduct - Matt Tropiano - has an interesting progression and fun gameplay
      MAP17: Petrichor Gardens - Jimmy - has a great atmosphere and feels good to explore

      MAP21: Jog On - Dragonfly - yes. Maps like this are good. I came into this map on easy difficulty and was happily surprised to see monsters present blocking the path when I bumped it back up. I love this type of concept and it was well done here.
      MAP23: Bug Collection - Jimmy - what a cool gimmick for a map. I mean I guess it's been done enough times to be a clear enough trope when you see it to figure out what's going on intuitively, though the map also does a good job of conveying that in the first room. What I like about the implementation of it here though is the essentially neverending supply of bugs, which adds a nice layer of complexity to an otherwise simple map. The timed door was mean tho ;p

      MAP27: Snow Problem - Matt Tropiano - I actually liked the ice physics here; I guess fitting with my like for gimmicky stuff I generally don't dislike ice physics in most general cases, but it was certainly fun to play around with here. Fairly lowkey use of it too; there isn't a whole lot of action that really happens on the ice; just grab the rl and return later to clean turrets. Doing circles was fun tho, as was moving at super speeds ;p
      MAP29: Papyrus Containing the Spell to Summon the Breath of Life Enshrined in
      the Collected Scrolls of Sheryl Crow - AD_79 - is a fun, chaotic slaughter map centering around the bfg; nice!

      MAP31: Sleep Forever - Dobu Gabu Maru - is a good challenge map but it made me learn the final encounter and I found the process of one of the few neurons left in my brain forming a new connection to another painful so 0/10
      MAP34: Vermilion - AtronxGH - is a fun, small map   Also special mention to the cool IoS setup used for map 30.   I loved the music choice in all of these maps; so on-point and from many talented musicians that I respect. Couldn't ask for a better track listing.   I guess that's enough ranting and gushing for one review; the main point is that this megawad is good and it's so inspirational to see what can be done in just 24 hours by a group of well-practiced, highly motivated artists. Simply amazing.
    • By Tindalos · Posted
      I prefer this one to its predecessor, the levels are not as small and don't feel as rushed as some of them were in Scythe and I really enjoyed the theming and the different aesthetic styles. Having to start over in each group of 5 maps was a nice challenge that I didn't mind, but I didn't like some of the other gameplay aspects: those super fast plasma gun marines are a nightmare, but at least they're used sparingly, and the balancing takes an interesting turn from Whispering Winds (map 23) onward when the difficulty suddenly spikes and the design spirals into slaughterfest maps with hundreds of challenging enemies crammed into confined spaces forcing you to rely on invincibilitys and BFG spam. I revisited this one on a lower difficulty (HNTR) after many years to compensate for my abilities withering away in the absence of playing and the progression felt even odder with the juxtaposition of how easy and chill the maps in the first 2/3 of this pack are and the 500+ demon spam and archvile/revenant/cyberdemon orgies that followed. However it is mostly high quality stuff and the 30 maps breeze by faster than they seem
    • By Percy T · Posted
      These levels perfectly fit the episode 1 narrative, and have some unique level design choices. Also, b e a n s.