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Cyb

Like I Said, Reviews Pwn!

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Pray for Death was updated with a couple new reviews, that would be of Requiem (very excellent megawad) and NJTossoff (never heard of it, but it sounds amusing). Anyways, go check it out and stuff.

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"6. Natas ot Etubirt by Thomas Möller (vorph|TiC): I've got no idea what this means. Knowing my luck it will be 'The English are pigs'."

Haha, funny comment; read it backwards. :)

A lot of the level opinions contrast with what I think, but as we discussed before, any opinions are always welcome. Cool site, keep up the great work.

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It took me a while to realize what "Natas ot Etubirt" meant too. Great map BTW.

I'm not impressed by the quality of the Requiem review. While it's not my favourite megawad, I'm surprised to see so many of its maps getting trashed like this, and for some rather silly reasons (e.g. it doesn't look good in OpenGL Legacy, etc.). And that Dario Casali obviously can't make maps to save his life ;)

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I noticed the same as well, but I didn't think much of it until I read his review for the Plutonia Experiment.. ouch. Brutal. :)

"No-one in the world could do most of these on Nightmare. I would laugh in the face of anyone who seriously tried."

Uwee hee hee!

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Yes, sometimes a review tells you far more about the reviewer than it does about the thing being reviewed.

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Actually, I think 8/10 is about right for Requiem. It has a number of flaws, after all ... uneven gameplay being one of them. Not to mention that some of the maps were blatantly filler (I should know).

Though complaining about a lack of OpenGL compatability in a 5 year old WAD is being a little unreasonable, I think! :)

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Linguica said:

Hmm, that nick sounds familiar and with the filler comments, I will guess Adam Windsor?


You mean the sig didn't give it away? :)

I'm still around. Been utterly, uselessly unproductive (unless you also visit ENworld's messageboards, that is), but I haven't actually quit yet. And I've been thoroughly enjoying Dark7 recently (yeah, I'm behind on playing wads ...)

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Hello everyone,

I have re-worded the Requiem review so that it was trashed for good reasons. I criticised the lack of OpenGL support because I have been shown in no uncertain terms that OpenGL display errors are always due to problems with the level design.

However, as Capellan rightly pointed out, back when Requiem was being built there was no way to check OpenGL compatibility. I simply got my wires crossed over the whole thing and have removed this criticism from the review.

I am new to reviewing and am bound to get things wrong!

However, I found significant problems in that Co-operative mode was not supported when literally a few minutes' work per wad could have done the trick. A couple of the levels are rather lonely on single play mode due to their size, and a couple of real stinkers offended me so badly that I had to lower certain scores.

As my review criteria specifies, I WILL mark a level down if it does not support Co-op mode unless there is a bloody good reason!

I don't think that following my own guidelines is the same as finding "silly reasons" to mark a megawad down. If I like something and there's nothing wrong with it, I give it a high score. Few megawads are good enough to get a perfect score. If I gave everything 8 or more out of 10, what would be the point? There are a lot of kiss-arse review sites out there and Pray for Death IS NOT one of them.

I have toned down my harsher comments following some seriously bruised feelings. In some cases the only damage was superficial as I hurt egos more than anything, but I'm not here to alienate members of the Doom community. As I pointed out to TeamTNT, a lot of reviews on other websites deliver harsher punishments to wads that don't make the grade.

I didn't like Plutonia at all. I found the ammo placement and monster deployment childish. Requiem came out not long afterwards but is superior in every way. I have discussed my opinions with a member of TeamTNT and we reached a mutual understanding.

I don't think the Casali brothers make enjoyable wads. Is there something wrong with that assessment? Please state your opinions in full. Epyo, WHY do you think Requiem deserves more than an 8? Because "it's good", or do you have a real reason? Not trying to start a flame war, I prefer full opinions rather than brief, ambiguous statements. :)

I haven't yet played a Casali wad that I enjoyed. Possible exceptions are the Playstation Final Doom wads which are mainly exciting because of the wonderful soundtrack. This doesn't mean I hate the Casali brothers personally or will never play another of their levels.

My review style is admittedly different from other peoples' and you won't agree with everything I say. If you did, you'd be sheep, or zombies I raised from the dead to do my bidding. I provide lots of links for you to give me feedback or send me your OWN reviews if you disagree with my opinions.

I look forward to peoples' comments.

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Heh, Sparky uploaded that plutonia patch just for people like this.

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Mustafa saed - you are not a sheep or a zombie. You are a wonderful, wonderful man. Perhaps you could upload some of your charisma and pleasant attitude into Myk's artificial brain. ;)

So there's a Plutonia patch which makes the Playability good? Hmm, must find Holy Grail - I mean Plutonia patch...

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Some other random errata:

The Iron Lich enemy is originally a boss monster from Heretic. It appears in Paul Corfiatis' megawad "The Twilight Zone 2" (twzone2.wad) as a replacement for the Cacodemon.

Son of Cyberdemon appears in Twilight Zone 2 too. It also appears in "Cringe" by Mark Klem.

The guys on the pictures in "The Juggelo Funhouse" (secret level of Biowar) are the crazy guys from the not-so-acclaimed hip hop act Insane Clown Posse. (I think the text file says that one of the creators was an ICP fan).


Even if I do not agree with some of your reviews I think it's nice that you also review wads from a co-op perspective.

I think you should start to get cracking on the Memento Mori reviews. These two megawads are of optimized for co-op and are of moderate difficulty (most doomers should be able to do them).

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Thanks for the info Little Faith. This will be incorporated into my site. I never expected to find anything out about Juggelo Funhouse! ;)

The Monsters section is currently under construction. The pages you can see are beta test pages. You probably won't recognise the new layout! It's taking ages though as I am having to research each individual enemy. I must have over 5,000 wads in total on my hard drive.

What don't you agree with in my reviews? Please don't tell me you like Plutonia too... :)

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In fact, yes.

But I'll let you in on a little secret: I play it at I'm too young to die difficulty. ;)


I think you need to reword that review a little. A way to state it could be: "I apologise, but this wad is simply to damn HARD for me to get any enjoyment from and unless you possess above average dooming skills I would recommend that you play this one on the lower difficulties, or perhaps skip out on it altogether. Definately not for beginners!

The problem is that there ARE a lot of doomers who can take on this wad on UV difficulty, there are even some who could almost do it eyes closed. Also, there are plenty of wads that are far more difficult than this. Just check out the later levels of Alien Vendetta or some of VIRGIL's levels (Seraph springs to mind).

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The problem is that there ARE a lot of doomers who can take on this wad on UV difficulty, there are even some who could almost do it eyes closed.


I shudder to imagine deathmatching a Doomer this skilled. It speaks to me of many consecutive hours sitting in front of a computer screen - more than most people are prepared to commit.

Have you ever played a Final Fantasy? I bet you didn't sit there playing it 12 hours a day for 6 months like a tiny handful of fanatics do. These fanatics become good enough, their characters powerful enough, to destroy any opponents. The game loses all challenge to them. MOST people will struggle. I myself couldn't defeat the last boss after 60+ hours of building my characters up! He just killed my characters and Aeons in one hit (Aeons that deal 36,000-46,000 damage per Overdrive attack!).

The capability to conquer Final Fantasy exists. Does this mean that reviews should not state "this game is incredibly hard to beat" when, for the overwhelming majority, the game IS in fact incredibly hard to beat? I bet only one in a million FF10 fans managed to kill the ultimate monster, Penance, and one in four defeated the last boss.

If I had to guess, I'd say one in ten Doomers could beat Plutonia on UV (Doom has been around so long that most fans would already possess a high degree of skill). I'm the best Doomer I know, and I have known a LOT of good Doomers. No-one could beat Plutonia on UV; most people gave up with disbalieving smirks on their faces.

I will consider re-wording the review (for the third time!) - however, remember that true Doom Gods will always be the minority group. Should I apologise for a statement that the majority will agree with?

No single review can ever agree with everyone's opinions. Pray for Death is about MY opinions. I can't understand why people criticise my reviews if they don't give good reasons!

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P.S. How can I record a demo of myself playing Plutonia and/or Alien Vendetta on UV? I'm sure it would provide everyone (myself included) with a few laughs. Can I play it in Legacy using freelook, or GLBoom, without it desynchronising on other people's computers?

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As long as other people have the same program as you, and use that to watch the demos, then they should play back OK.

BTW, before recording, why not take a look at the NM Plutonia demos at compet-N (and the UV movie runs)? They might give you a few helpful ideas.

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No Poet watches the videos with an increasing feeling of disbelief

When I bought Final Fantasy 10 for the PS2, I was looking forward to a real adventure I could get my teeth into. After 30 hours' gameplay I bought the guidebook. When I saw the extent to which Final Fantasy could be mastered, I felt a sick lurching in my stomach. I'd only been scratching the surface.

Watching a true Doom God at work, clearing The Factory of all monsters in under 5 minutes - dodging Mancubi attacks at point-blank range, using the BFG with an efficiency I never even imagined could be possible - I got this feeling again.

My demo is going to be very funny compared to those...

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If you find those unbelievable, check out some of the TAS demos (e.g. Cameron Prosser's Nightmare Pacifist run on HR map 22). They're at http://www.doomworld.com/tas or http://www.doomworld.com/sda/tas.

BTW, recording demos in Legacy is very easy: in the Launcher ("Start single player"), just choose the map, skill, etc., as normal, but click the "Record demo" option.

Otherwise (and with other ports), you can use the "-record" option from the command line, as with the original game.

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I always enjoy reading a well written review. Even if I dissagree totally - as is the case with the plutonia review. I personally consider it the best 32 level set right after the originals, in terms of replay value and simplistic but solid architecture.

The beauty of the plutonia maps is just that simplistic - - but still great looking scenary; it dosn't screw up gameplay but still looks sweet. The only author I've seen succsesfully recapturing that style is Richard Wiles with Slayer. Each plutonia map have a distinct look and feel to it, yes, some look too much like the original maps (map21 comes to mind), but even those have something going for them.

It dosn't take an overwhelming skill to conquer the plutonia maps on ultraviolence. A decent keyboard-only player that apply some thought to his approach would be able to do them.

to quote from your review:
"As with everything TeamTNT and the Casali Brothers do, the main problem with the Plutonia levels is that they are so boring! Each level shares an indentical colour scheme and similar ideas are in use throughout."

I can't help but be puzzled by that statement. One of the undeniable strengths of plutonia is that the levels have so much individuality to them. What two maps in plutonia look the same in terms of texturing and ideas, specifically, except from Congo - map01 and Aztec - map03, that both use a brownish brick theme (but otherwise look totally unique)

Another quote:
"Some levels are too difficult to beat without resorting to cheats as you are always surrounded by Revenants and Chaingunners - yes, that's what we want to see, even more of these idiots running around."

Plutonia was really pushing the UV setting when it got released, today I would hardly consider it more difficult than the majority of new map releases. Not one map in plutonia is unbetable from scratch, add -fast monsters and its still perfectly beatable. One should be carefull stating stuff as final as that w/o checking out some of the demo resources like compet-N etc :)

"No-one in the world could do most of these on Nightmare."

Humm..
http://www.hszk.bme.hu/~ha211/compet-n/database/cn.cgi?record:plut:nmare+2002:9
all the plutonia maps on nightmare for ya.

"'Annoying' monster placement does not consitute 'fun' monster placement. It wouldn't be called 'annoying', would it?"

I just er, don't get this :) I've played alot of maps, and a good deal of singeplayer doom through the years, and I know alot of people like me - who all would rant plutonia gameplay as some of the best around. Its just a notch harder than the original levels on uv, and you have more badarss monsters. The gameplay works out extremely well for compet-N styled maxkill demos, and thats a testimony to their playability.

To me, your Plutonia review contradicts everything thats true about The Plutonia Experiment, and I can't imagine how you'd percept HR or AV gameplay if Plutonia is seen as close to impossible :)

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Andy, your case was written intelligently and convincingly. This is the first sensible feedback I have received over Plutonia. Do you want me to add your post into my review? It's only fair that Plutonia fans should have their say.

The reference to annoying monster deployment was written in response to feedback from a Doomer who made the blunder (IMHO) of stating in no uncertain terms that "monster deployment is supposed to be annoying", an opinion with which I completely disagree and also proves my point about the cavalier attitude towards monster deployment inherent throughout Plutonia.

'Annoying' monster deployment is never the same as 'exciting' monster deployment. 'Annoying' is 'annoying'.

To the people who keep expecting me to change my opinions: don't waste your time, because I won't re-word the review.

I did find HR and AV impossible on Ultra Violence. HR lost points for this as it is TOO DIFFICULT FOR THE AVERAGE DOOMER, even on Hurt Me Plenty! HR is NOT marked out in the text file as being specifically for Doom Gods. If it was, I wouldn't criticise it half as much - its difficulty level might even have won it praise in this circumstance, as it isn't false advertising! HR is 'marketed' as a top-rated megawad with big battles. It's only upon reading reviews like mine where people get to see what each map is really like.

Many people will have spent half an hour downloading the zip files only to get trounced in short order once they started playing. And the 3,000-Revenant battles are not exciting or challenging - they are atrocious, for myself and for the average Doomer. Most of the maps were rather boring or otherwise uninspired, with virtually every level degenerating into a mindless meat grinder assault.

AV was so much fun to play on Hurt Me Plenty co-op, with such incredible architecture and sense of location, that I disregarded the increased difficulty on Ultra Violence. This was an exception I made for Alien Vendetta only because it's so good to play on Hurt Me Plenty and/or in co-op mode. I don't find AV at all enjoyable on Ultra Violence. Neither did my co-op partner, Miles, who is about average or slightly above average as a player.

Plutonia, in my opinion and that of my co-op partner, was neither fun to look at nor fun to play. That's my opinion and it isn't going to change.

HR review:
http://www.nopoet.pwp.blueyonder.co.uk/hr.htm

HR review quotes which are relevant to this conversation:

1) "There are so many monsters that co-operative players can find their starting positions swamped and so will respawn at random Deathmatch start points!"

2) "Oh, it's scary, but the real fear is that the next fight will see you up against eight Archviles. Dying even halfway into some of these levels can undo half an hour's play and starting with the pistol is not a good situation to be in."

3) "If you plan on playing this level on UV then don't bother; there isn't room to move with all the hellspawn wandering around."

4) "23. Ascending to the Stars: God help you if you try this one on UV. Just when it looks like you're facing countless hordes of Imps, you realise you're actually facing countless hordes of Imps...and their bigger, tougher brothers. You'll need to be sparing with the health and plasma if you want to live long and prosper on this Episode 1-style moonbase. One false step, one moment's hesitation, and you're screwed. It's quite attractive to start with - if you can see past that army of Imps."

HR 2 review coming closer to Christmas time.

Just out of interest, how do you play Doom using keyboard only? Isn't using the mouse preferable for serious Doomers?

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NoPoet said:

No-one could beat Plutonia on UV; most people gave up with disbalieving smirks on their faces.


Hmm....that's why I can do it on UV from a pistol start on each level, with -fast.... (and I'm a keyboarder, too!)

Personally, I think Plutonia is the best wad ever (it would get 10/10 if I reviewed it), but a review is based on a personal opinion, and we've all got our own opinions, so anything's fair.

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NoPoet said:

Just out of interest, how do you play Doom using keyboard only? Isn't using the mouse preferable for serious Doomers?


Most keyboard-only players will probably tell you that they don't believe using a mouse will help their gameplay, or are possibly just afraid that the adjustment will take away from their game rather than improving it. The results have been the exact opposite from what I've experienced, though. Take xit-vono from the Compet-N, for instance. He did pretty good by himself with the keyboard, but after enough hints we got him to switch, which allowed him to compete better in UV speed and nightmare demos. I hear another friend, Casey Alvis, is giving the mouse some practice as well... I fear for our safety. :)

Well written responses, Andy and NoPoet, and thanks for answering the question I had on my mind before: "How can you like Alien Vendetta when the Plutonia Experiment was too tough?" I look forward to reading your AV review. :)

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Most keyboard-only players will probably tell you that they don't believe using a mouse will help their gameplay, or are possibly just afraid that the adjustment will take away from their game rather than improving it. The results have been the exact opposite from what I've experienced, though.


Yes this is exactly what happened to me... I was always against using the mouse, then one day I tried it and the abilities to turn quickly to any angle you like, and "creep" (push the mouse slowly forward, instead of having to move in small spurts by tapping a key) won me over very quickly. And then I got the hang of circle strafing...

Okay I'll never be the world's best player but at least I can survive on some of the more difficult maps.

Hmm....that's why I can do it on UV from a pistol start on each level, with -fast.... (and I'm a keyboarder, too!)


On the other hand, respect due to you, sir:) Fast monsters as well... I found -fast annoying, all the monsters are too busy firing at you to move except for the demons and spectres who run around in that comically sped-up way that used to be used in old Benny Hill shows, you know where a load of women in bikinis would chase him round a park at the end.

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I agree the game is optimized for normal (not -fast) play, but I've learned that once you start playing in that mode you don't notice it much, since you're moving around so much in order to avoid attacks or finish off opponents quickly, particularly in tougher WADs.

The demons don't really look bad once you've seen them run like that a few times and the fact that some monsters rarely move also does on occasion give the player advantages, although they are rarely enough to make the game easier.

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It must be really weird to switch from using the keyboard to mouse and vice versa. I remember first getting used to the mouse - I hated it to begin with, but now I prefer it to all other game playing peripherals. I can't play using the keyboard and haven't really thought of trying!

I had a serious attempt at playing 3 Plutonia levels again on UV, just to see if I could match these legendary Doom Gods, or if I really had got my review wrong. I rarely play so competitively - I prefer to have a good blast without worrying about being perfect.

But although I got very far into some of the levels, on one in particular I was crossing a narrow ledge over a lava pit under fire from a Cyberdemon and two Mancubi. I was almost halfway around the cavern, firepower exploding all around like the start of Saving Private Ryan, when I turned a corner and ran into a Baron.

Well, even if I hadn't chosen to leap into the lava rather than face the Baron (on a narrow ledge with chaingunners, shotgunners, Mancubi and a Cyber firing at me) I couldn't have nailed the Baron in time with my SSG. In the event I died in the lava as I ran for a door that infuriatingly wouldn't open. It's this type of no-win situation that does my head in. I still feel cheated by that death.

The other levels were less lethal, but resulted in really annoying deaths, mostly due to me feeling like I had too little ammo and consequently rushing through some areas leaving monsters alive - this is also something I rarely do in Doom.

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NoPoet said:

But although I got very far into some of the levels, on one in particular I was crossing a narrow ledge over a lava pit under fire from a Cyberdemon and two Mancubi. I was almost halfway around the cavern, firepower exploding all around like the start of Saving Private Ryan, when I turned a corner and ran into a Baron.

Well, even if I hadn't chosen to leap into the lava rather than face the Baron (on a narrow ledge with chaingunners, shotgunners, Mancubi and a Cyber firing at me) I couldn't have nailed the Baron in time with my SSG. In the event I died in the lava as I ran for a door that infuriatingly wouldn't open. It's this type of no-win situation that does my head in. I still feel cheated by that death.


The way to beat that area is to kill the cyber with the tons of rockets that are lying around (a long-range rocket battle), and then go on the ledge. Also, if you use the mouse, the chaingunners at the top can be killed with rockets. (but being a keyboarder I tend to kill the cyber/mancubi, then rush the ledge, kill the baron with a bfg and mow down the chaingunners with their own weapon when I reach the top)

A good technique for killing chaingunners in sniper positions is to fire rockets at them, stay in their view (so they stay still) and wait until the rockets kill them. You'll take a small amount of damage, but it always kills them. If you're far enough away, they'll hardly damage you at all. (as a chaingun fired continuously is less accurate with increasing distance)

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NoPoet said:

I had a serious attempt at playing 3 Plutonia levels again on UV, just to see if I could match these legendary Doom Gods, or if I really had got my review wrong.


Ahh, interesting.

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