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C3ntralPr0cessing

What popular megawads do you think are overrated?

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+++DISCLAIMER+++

This thread contains opinions and some non-constructive critisism.

Please keep in mind that none of the mentioned wads can be called definitely bad, because opinions are, by nature, entirely subjective.

This thread was also not made to send hate or negative energy to mappers, but just to see some other people's opinions on popular megawads.

An exchange of views is, in my opinion, never a bad thing.

++++++++++++++

 

I'm talking about megawads like Scythe 2, Valiant, Ancient Aliens, you know, the big ones.

I think that most popular megawads deserve the praise they get (though I guess some didn't age that well), but I'm curios to hear other people's opinions.

Edited by C3ntralPr0cessing

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Doom Jr is considered by many as the best megawad ever made by a good margin, but I personally think it's just fringe top-3. 

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I got to about map 8 of Whispers of Satan this afternoon before realizing the atrocious weapons balancing was not going to improve any time soon. Moved on from that. A shame too, since the first four maps started out so well. If this was intended to be played Continuous, I can't find that stated anywhere, but it sure sucks terribly from a pistol start mindset. Too many mid-tiers, not enough firepower. If I have to plink more than one or two mid tiers with a shotgun, I'm looking for better armaments. Maybe I just don't have the patience for this kind of archaic design philosophy.

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As far as Cacowards go, Kuchitsu is one I have absolutely have no idea why it won a cacoward. The maps are clean enough I guess, but they are easy, dull, and don't do anything interesting. It's especially jarring when you consider the other cacoward winners for that year, like BTSX1, Stardate 20X6, Swim with the Whales, and Pirate Doom! This one really sticks out like a sore thumb to me.

I'll also add Romero's E1M8b and SIGIL here. E1M8b is not very good as far as I'm concerned, and while I was pleasantly surprised by SIGIL (since I expected from E1M8b that I would hate SIGIL), I still didn't find it anything incredible, it's alright, but nothing more. On the flipside of "official" levels, I love No Rest for the Living, and believe it deserves all the praise it gets, official or not.

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Anything by Ribbiks. Don't get me wrong, he's a fantastic mapper, but the production is almost too high. I dunno, one of the reasons I like classic Doom is because it's relatively simple and doesn't feel too AAA. Hard to explain.

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30 minutes ago, NuMetalManiak said:

Hell Revealed is most obvious pick. It's known for its difficulty scale, but it's also lame in its level design and for some reason, the vast majority of the maps are gimmicks that didn't age well.

 

Seconding Hell Revealed. It hasn't aged well. There are some nice maps on the second part and a few on the third, but thats it.

Requiem also comes to mind, some maps are awesome, and some are just ''what the hell is this map doing here'' like MAP16: Escape from Chaos by Iikka Keränen. Its a really good map, but how the fuck one can seriously explain starting on a bathroom, goind through a castle, to end on a spaceship?
Capellan do his magic here, but not even him could save this mapset from being totally random maps put together, and not even near to the quality of the amazing Memento Mori II.
Just the awesome midipack save it from being only another megawad.
 

On the other hand, i think that ''The Darkening Ep. 2'' doesn't receive the attention and the praise it deserve. For me it predates Suspended in Dusk and Back to Saturn X.
SlayeR and Brotherhood of Ruin also deserve more praise.

 

Now i'm gonna be hated, i know, but The Plutonia Experiment, gameplay wise could be entertaining, but mapping wise... Seriously, if another mapper from the community make something near to the rip-off fest the Casali made on Plutonia, he/she will be instantly booed by all the community.

Another ones that i think are a bit overrated are the DTWID serie. Or maybe i'm just tired of the maps being too similar to the original source material. For some this could be something to praise, as quircks and style are things that are personal and so being imitated so good is something to praise. But for me not at all. I still find Ultimate Doom and Doom 2 fun to play now and then, while DTWID 1 & 2 makes me feel bored.
Lost Episode on the other hand is really good, and i enjoyed it far more than the original UDTWID.

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Most Slaughterwads are pretty crappy. I wouldn't consider BTSX a Slaughter WAD, since there is always breathing room between fights, but although I've never played it, Dimensions looks like something somebody put together quickly, then released it. It might be the hardest WAD of all time, but that doesn't mean it's great. I want story, not HEY, try to finish this with the amount of ammo you have!

 

That's just crazy. 

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^ Nice thing there, talking shit about something you never even checked out.

 

On-topic, Pizza Steve, it isn't even crunchy or saucy, the cheese is cheap, way too many oregano sticks, honestly it needs more oño. 

 

(yes I played it, not completely)

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Controversial but...Sigil.

 

John Romero is a legend but I feel like the Cacoaward was given to him simply because he came out of retirement (briefly) to make Sigil. It subverted my expecations the same way the new Star Wars movies do...it kinda sucks. The maps are all incredibly dark and poorly lit (imo it does not add to the atmosphere for me at all) and every level felt cramped with tedious combat slogs throughout. I will give him props for only using Doom 1 textures which is a bold move, but other than that this wad doesn't hold up at all compared to the talent that produces blockbuster megawads like Ancient Aliens and others.

 

Also shootable switches. This is very un-Romero like and just feels like he tried to borrow from Skillsaw to modernize his WAD a bit

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I'd say I'm in the minority in saying that scythe 1 is better than scythe 2. I think both are brilliant, but scythe 1 is much more enjoyable to me.

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1 hour ago, Egg Boy said:

I'd say I'm in the minority in saying that scythe 1 is better than scythe 2. I think both are brilliant, but scythe 1 is much more enjoyable to me.

Scythe 2 is meh...

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54 minutes ago, Tony_Danza_the_boss said:

Also shootable switches. This is very un-Romero like and just feels like he tried to borrow from Skillsaw to modernize his WAD a bit

 

This might be a little pedantic, but map20 of Doom 2 (designed by John Romero) has a shootable wall which opens an alcove somewhere else in the level. Other than that, I'm pretty sure shootable switches were popular long before Skillsaw. They're all over the place in Eternal Doom.

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Hmm... Eternal Doom? I don't know maybe first 3 maps aged not so well but after you ends up on MAP04: Nucleus - this is what we came for and it keeps getting better until... Map 13. It clearly exists only to nullify player's inventory but maps 14 & 32 feels like they not from this wad at all. Also map 15 broke the continuity between them and kinda feels slow even comparing to the rest of the levels.

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When I first started playing custom wads, I remember being sorely unimpressed with Alien Vendetta. The first wads I ever checked out were BTSX E1, Lunatic, and Arcadia, which were all very impressive and exciting. Alien Vendetta seemed to be the most revered when looking for wads, but something about the first level just hit me all wrong: the music, the enemy placement, the map layout. Without trying any other map I left a bad review on idgames that I would soon regret very much, because I really enjoy it now and respect it for it's mark on the community at the time. I suppose there was just a stark difference in presentation when comparing directly to something like BTSX and I don't think I was ready for it.

 

More recently I've had a hard time warming up to Eviternity and Sunlust. There's a lot I love about them, but the difficulty gets absolutely maddening for my taste, even on HNTR. It's hard to think they're overrated because there are many talented players that crave high difficulty and monster count, but for my own personal taste and skill, they just don't quite hit the mark, which is disappointing because they're so well made. It could be that I'm generally more of a puzzle map type, but I'm also a sucker for nice presentation, even if it's insanely difficult.

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5 hours ago, 3saster said:

As far as Cacowards go, Kuchitsu is one I have absolutely have no idea why it won a cacoward. The maps are clean enough I guess, but they are easy, dull, and don't do anything interesting. It's especially jarring when you consider the other cacoward winners for that year, like BTSX1, Stardate 20X6, Swim with the Whales, and Pirate Doom! This one really sticks out like a sore thumb to me.

Kuchitsu consists of only 6 maps (if i remember correctly) so technically it's not a megawad. Though, i must say i agree with you, there are many dull wads out there received cacowards for reasons i can't even understand, meanwhile we could also find actual high effort wads such as Bloodstain ended up only being a runner up. Pretty much why i always doubt the legitimacy of cacowards in the first place. Just saying...

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BTSX for me. Especially episode 1.

 

I do not question the skills of the mappers, nor the quality of the music and textures. On the other hand, it lacks of variety in the themes and the maps are not so memorable eventually. I mostly played in episode 1 and the techbases ended up boring me.

 

Even if it's one of the biggest vanilla project ever released, it will never surpass classics like Alien Vendetta, HR or Kama Sutra in my opinion.

 

 

However , I wait lot of BTSX E3 , I saw some screens and the themes look a lot more varied !

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2 minutes ago, Roofi said:

BTSX for me. Especially episode 1.

 

I'd say BTSX E1 too, but for different reasons: I gave it several tries at several sparse dates, and i just couldn't get into it, and i feel like it's because encounters feel so strict and linear, like there's no real problem solving involved like there'd be in other wads, where you come up with a strategy for a vast map with open-ended encounters, looking for just the most optimal strategies for the many ways to get through those encounters so you wouldn't run out of health/ammo by the end. In BTSX it always feels like i know exactly how i died no matter what, and it just becomes a boring trial and error repeating process throughout the whole thing. Which is a shame, because i genuinely wish i could enjoy it like most people do.

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30 minutes ago, Roofi said:

BTSX for me. Especially episode 1.

 

I do not question the skills of the mappers, nor the quality of the music and textures. On the other hand, it lacks of variety in the themes and the maps are not so memorable eventually. I mostly played in episode 1 and the techbases ended up boring me.

 

That's a common complaint about BtSX E1.

It's a cohesive set on both gameplay and visual aspects, which is a strong point in my eyes, but the downside is indeed that some people could get tired of it.
Granted, every map is a techbase of some sorts, but I do think there's enough variation between them. A lot of care has been put on visual polish and texture alignement to give the set a standardized and harmonious look, but the different authors nonetheless found ways to express their own styles. You could easily distinguish Iori's angled borders in "Mix Up The Satellite" (map 06) from Mechadon's massive architecture (map 15) or from skillsaw's clean and modern texture usage in "Optical Hopscotch", for instance. Give me any screenshot from BtSX E1 and I could instantly tell you which map it is from :)

You should try E2, surely you'll enjoy it more.

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1 hour ago, Dranyan said:

Kuchitsu consists of only 6 maps (if i remember correctly) so technically it's not a megawad. Though, i must say i agree with you, there are many dull wads out there received cacowards for reasons i can't even understand, meanwhile we could also find actual high effort wads such as Bloodstain ended up only being a runner up. Pretty much why i always doubt the legitimacy of cacowards in the first place. Just saying...

 

Just like Whispers of Satan. Probably didn't deserve a Cacoward to be honest, maybe a runner up. But 2009 was a rather bland year anyway. SIGIL getting a runner up was okay, but I wonder if it was made by a different author would it have got a runner up?

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I think that every "old" release is overrated to varying degree. When I put aside any sort of historical notability and compare classics like Alien Vendetta or Scythe 2 with modern megaWADs like BTSX, Valiant, Sunlust or Eviternity, the visual detailing and gameplay polish are several levels apart. This doesn't mean that these classics aren't good - they got their cult status for a reason. But the progress in average quality is there and I personally think it's bigger than most people give it credit.

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The first Memento Mori. I don't think there's another once lauded megawad that aged that badly. 

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Eternal Doom is up there in my overrated, I think that it being highly regarded is justified though as it nails exactly what it wanted to be and is very well crafted, what it wanted to be is a complete pain in the arse puzzle and it does not appeal to me, in fact I'd say it shouldn't be as recommended as much as it is to new players as it will be sure to frustrate them.

 

It's a niche mapset that appeals to a certain sect of people, not just anyone.

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Most of the 90's wads (especially the 2 Memento Mori wads) have aged badly.

 

Also I think Scythe 2 and (to a lesser extent) Alien Vendetta are overrated (though they are much better than the 90's wads at least). I find the original Scythe much more enjoyable than both of these. Also modern wads have vastly surpassed these "old classics".

 

On the other hand, I found Darkening E2 to be kinda underrated. It is like a proto-BTSX before BTSX.

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Sunlust (boring soulless slaughterfests)

Ancient Aliens (colors make eyes and head hurt, also it's a common slaughterfest wad)

Eviternity (everything is good but slaughterfest parts in round arenas)

Valiant (very high monster count makes me feel it was meant to be a slaughterfest. It's balanced but boring)

Sigil (Overhyped by authority of the Romero, it caused source port devs to implement support specially for fifth episode despite the fact it runs vanilla as third epis lol)

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