Done with these settings:
- GLBoom+ 188.8.131.52. complevel 9
- Continuous combined with pistol start mindset.
- Saves every 10 minutes or so.
This is a slightly improved sequel of a mediocre megawad. It has no story whatsoever, not that it needs one, it's practically designed without an overarching theme and focused on Boom compatibility, something that the prequel didn't communicate very well. Although you rarely see tricks like conveyors and silent teleports put to specific purposes, they're mostly for the atmosphere. A couple of maps use custom colormaps in particular setpieces. One is to simulate immersion in toxic, and the other in blood, or perhaps portals to hell?. Anyway, Community Chest 2 has some nice visuals using stock textures. While not every map looks great, a bunch are simply awe-inspiring because of the author's creativity. I dig the idea in "Death Mountain", the sinuous terrain with mounds everywhere is very neat, as it's theoretically a mountain floating in the air. My only gripe is the trees are placed to get stuck in. Other locations are plain techbases, brown caverns, wooden complexes, Inferno-styled hell and unknown places. Most of the music available are tracks from other wads and games, with only one self-made piece for map 24 by the same author, an amazing melody by the way. I would suggest to add your own tracks for the maps lacking them, for a stronger experience if it helps.
For those who have played the prequel first, and I'm sure everyone did, there are quite a few familiar names to be found, some of which contributed with more than one map. Gene Bird cooked around five for example, evoking a conservative "rooms with monsters" 90's style. His maps don't vary in any aspect to each other, nor to his previous works in Community Chest 1 unfortunately, but they blend well enough with the tone of the mapset. The first map is already by Erik Alm in his well-known Scythe fashion. Then we have individual entries from Andy Leaver, Kaiser and Use3d, the latter came as an improvement to be honest. On the other hand, a big portion of the people involved were completely new to me, and that's when I had to expect the unexpected, sort of. I'd say the maps had their ups and downs, generally enjoyable if some exceptions. They were also organized in a very random way, but that's no news. Just like a traditional community project, this megawad features a wide range of concepts, layouts, and forms to entertain the player, for better or worse. Fans of old-school and/or adventure maps will be delighted, as there are a lot of them in all sizes and difficulties, even several inspired by the original Doom levels. The obvious standout is "The Mucus Flow", a brutal map that can only be understood with patience and dedication, mostly the former one, and heavy chainsaw practicing. Besides, its curvy "mint-chocolate" design is beautiful and unique, or used to be, since tons of future releases found inspiration from it (e.g. Speed of Doom). A shame it has glitches in the sky. There are other remarkable moments to be experienced, such as to explore a city in depth to figure out the secret exit, or to fall in a sequence of fake exits that only exposes you in circles of chaingunners. I'm not sure how others will take it, but I couldn't hold my laugh after the second time.
Secret-wise, the first thing to know is that PRBoom users need to activate the "Linedefs w/o tags apply locally" option to enable access to some ZDoom-only secrets in maps 06 and 24. There is also a secret in map 20 that requires an archvile jump, but it's not possible to reach it outside of ZDoom versions. Other than those, hope your sense of exploration is wide awake, as there is plenty to locate and highly appreciate. I'm thinking of the standout map, of course. For favourite maps I will pick 19, 24, 27, and 31. Some others like 06, 13, 23 and 32 were entertaining for the most part, but not convincing as a whole. The rest range from good to dull or tedious, like the final map.
Overall, it's certainly an upgrade in quality, and I'm inclined to believe the successors are much better. Still, it's nice to traverse the history of the community chest projects. If you and I share similar tastes, then you'll probably find content to enjoy here, and if not, well, skip the unnecessary. My rate is 6/10.
Should have been called "Doom 64 for Boom".
I really wanted to like this more. I mean, I do like it but I feel like the gripes I have regarding it just bring my overall rating for it down too much.
It was interesting to see how, at first, the authors recreated the Doom 64 levels in Doom 2 with just vanilla assets. You can still see some of that in the Boom levels like how revenants and arch-viles are used in place of where traps where. That was an interesting touch and I liked that.
As I got further into it though and more of the Boom tricks were used my thoughts wandered from "hey this is a nice vanilla interpretation" to "man I could be playing Doom 64 EX or Doom 64 Retribution". I really wish they would have stuck with vanilla constraints for this reinterpretation. I would have liked to see how they would have handed nightmare monster placement (would a nightmare imp be worth two imps or three, for example). I feel like using Boom and DeHacked cheapened the experience, like they were trying to replicate Doom 64 as close as possible rather than doing a vanilla Doom (2) interpretation.
Additionally, map 30 can fuck right the hell off with that puzzle bullshit.
Anyway, if you don't mind any of the complaints I made, you'll likely have fun with this. I got some fun out of this as well but to me it feels like it's trying to be exactly like Doom 64 rather than simply a vanilla Doom 2 interpretation of Doom 64. In trying to be exactly like Doom 64, it just makes me want to play that more than this.