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NuMetalManiak

The NuMetalManiak Review Thread: 2019-2021 (most recent review: DOOM: Damnation)

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1 hour ago, NuMetalManiak said:

Should I do future reviews in this thread from now on or continue using status updates

 

Stick to a thread i'd say, both NJ's and Endless threads already work really well in terms of reaching a broad audience. Also that way your reviews won't get lost amongst the other 97% of bollocks content you find in Status Updates.

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Its always a joy to read your Reviews, pal! :D

 

I wonder if you could add to them a little scoring system.

Much like the file section, it surelly help some people looking for interesting things to play.

Also you played a lot this year!

I just replayed lot of old projects that i didn't remember at all hahahah.

Edited by P41R47

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I just skimmed over a couple reviews of things that I've either played myself, or was involved with in some capacity...

 

 

So let's look at the slaughter spectrum for starters:

Not something I was personally involved with, I just played the maps when they came out, and that's it...
 

If I ignore my gripes with these maps (that being very easy to pull off skips and cheese-strats in the earliest released version, as well as, IMO, undercooked but still rather lengthy fights), I would still be able to discern a heck of a lot more that I'd consider worth writing about than your single paragraph there manages to do. There is no mention of themes and settings, no standout fights, no bits and pieces about technical aspects of these maps.

 

The actual content collapses down to:

-rejected from another project (an okay-ish factoid)

-looks pretty (pretty how, pretty why, pretty where, what about themes?)

-fun to play (fun for what type of player? is it spammy gung-ho slaughter? is it tight set-pieces? is it freewheeling?)

Even to somebody like me, who didn't enjoy these maps a whole lot, it's a very lean, if not anorexic "review", to employ a slightly morbid term...

 

 

Let's look at Mayhem 2019:
You open with "people being lazy or something", which makes you come across like an asshole pretty much immediately. How long it takes for these maps to find their way to the archives is irrelevant for everybody who wants to play the set, because the thread with several release candidates and updates exists...

 

Furthermore, going right in to bash a project sets the tone for what people will expect further down the line in your review, and it turns out that you absolutely deliver on that implied promise by way of adding more salt to the already very swedish licorice...

 

Adding insult to injury, you also point to the one Mayhem you contributed to as the best one there ever was...

 

When I stack all these things on top of each other, then it looks to me as though you didn't write this to actually review something. In fact, there is very little reviewing going on at all: "This is what's in the WAD, and I hate the WAD except for this one map, by the way." is about the sum total of your reviewing for this one... It's a thinly veiled vent paired with a slight pat on your own back - which is genuinely annoying to read.

 

Just listing the new custom monsters you say you are so annoyed by (which you later pseudo-retract by way of stating the maps suck even more) isn't reviewing... You provide no insight about how and why the new monsters may be better or worse than what's in the standard Doom2 roster, and you completely fail to make any remarks about "good or bad" monster usage in these maps consequently, which also comes across as though you didn't really give these things much of a look at all...

 

 

Mayhem 2020:
Another opener with a very negative tone: "Community projects are all over the place quality-wise, this one tries (but fails) to do better." that's how your opener reads, and I already can't wait to not read any more of it... Thankfully, this "review" is a rather short one, as it ends with a list of observations you don't care to elaborate beyond stating that "things exist"...

 

 

So, the review style I see here reminds me of those "mildly enraged" DWMC write ups that annoyed me in the past when I still participated in that. More salt than I can care to cope with, and a vent-to-review-ratio that does not inspire a lot of confidence... Your fixation on what's "bad", and how you set that tone of negativity very early on, while you completely stray away from virtually anything good in any of the projects that rubbed you the wrong way somehow, puts these reviews into the "not worth my time" bracket, because they're in no way shape or form pleasurable to read. Your style is permeated by petulance and elicits a general lack of enthusiasm for what you're reviewing, which shows in some form or another, be it negativity right off the bat, or an almost demeaning degree of brevity...

Edited by Nine Inch Heels

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However MAP29 was a worthwhile odyssey of a slaughtermap, with an appropriate music change that fit the mood swing, plus it gave off a perfect Sunder vibe, the best level in the whole set.

Awesome! I appreciate the kind words for my SlaughterMAX contribution.

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3 hours ago, tourniquet said:

 

Stick to a thread i'd say, both NJ's and Endless threads already work really well in terms of reaching a broad audience. Also that way your reviews won't get lost amongst the other 97% of bollocks content you find in Status Updates.

I'll do it! Seems like it's a better option. In the middle of Abandon right now so that's probably going to be the next thing reviewed.

2 hours ago, rd. said:


I'm happy when people ask questions like this and invite feedback about how to improve.

 

The reviews I enjoyed had a good substance-to-fluff ratio, and it felt like you were making pretty specific observations that couldn't simply be stitched into some other wad's review. 

 

Some examples:

 

- Mayhem 2020 (although the intro paragraph feels petulant, a point I'll return to later)
- Gateway to Shangri-La 
- All the Wiser (short and barebones, but very efficient -- it rattles off a list of facts relevant to playing, so I know what I'm in for) 
- DyingCamel's Demons #3 (salty, but the whole point about it "luring people into a false sense of curiosity" is a smart insight, which is further used to frame specific commentary on the maps, so that is well done) 

 

Good insights are the bedrock of a strong review, not the fancy language or the infectious voice. 

 

Your middle-of-the-road reviews aren't horrible, but generally lack the incisive particularity of the best ones. In these, a lot of the insights feel generic, or like padding. For example, the Terminal review is super vague: "standard" (in what way? aesthetics? what are the aesthetics like, I can't tell from this review?); "a lot of enemies" (like?); "horde to weld through" sentence... if I haven't played the map this is a really diffuse image; "interesting exit area" (interesting in what way?). To be clear, these aren't obligatory fixes; it's fine to be vague sometimes. But when everything is vague, that is a problem. 

 

In many of these reviews, e.g. Mayhem '19 and Criticality, you have a salty attitude. That is hard to do well while still being likable. I think your attempts fail more often than they work and will give you a bad reputation unless you figure out how to be more charming while doing that. 

 

Language can be tuned up: there are a fair few blunders like "impercentable" and "Return to Hadron E3 does what E1 don't and what E2 doesn't."

 

Also I'll restate this now that it's a thread and others can benefit from the knowledge: tossing around phrases like "only a runner-up" (for the Cacowards) is a general sign of not being familiar with the depth and breadth of stuff people make. The 5th runner-up of 2020, if those were ordered, would easily represent a higher percentile of community output than the 10th Cacoward of 2010. The very last runner-up would. Runners-up are often quite close to the 10 winners. (Knowing that would fix a lot of the salt and dissatisfaction that people feel when something they were pulling for is "only a runner-up," or when something they liked """is not even a paltry runner-up.""") 

I think for Terminal that I meant standard is referring to aesthetics (texture usage mostly since it uses stock, and the overall design is something similar to that of other wads in the 2010s) and gameplay (modern gameplay with monsters waiting in ambush or coming in through teleporter/closets). I think I'll avoid the use of "runner-up" in these cases from now on and review them without mentioning any awards they could/would/eventually receive. Bear in mind a lot of these reviews were made almost immediately after I played the wads, so some levels do leave a bad taste in my mouth still which could explain the saltiness at times. I don't want to come off as an extreme nitpicker unlike the stuff that tends to cause drama though so I'll try to sound as neutral as possible with each review.

"Return to Hadron E3 does what E1 don't and what E2 doesn't." <-- this was just a dumb icebreaker joke I came up with on the fly that's easily ignorable.

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40 minutes ago, NuMetalManiak said:

Bear in mind a lot of these reviews were made almost immediately after I played the wads, so some levels do leave a bad taste in my mouth still which could explain the saltiness at times. I don't want to come off as an extreme nitpicker unlike the stuff that tends to cause drama though so I'll try to sound as neutral as possible with each review.

I'm not sure if you're serious about that last point, but I'd think you would get a lot more out of focusing on what you like and being constructive and analytical about what you don't like, rather than pretending to have no emotional response at all.

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I would like to give you some general advice...

 

Well, I don't consider myself a veteran of WAD reviews and I don't have much experience in it (yet) but I think I can give some constructive feedback as to the overall quality of the type of reviews you submit. As RD and NIH have said, if you tend to drag the paragraphs a bit towards negative receptions that don't deliver much substance, you end up making your review look more like a random complaint post than a solid review. Like those old /idgames rants that don't leave nothing of true meaning behind.

 

To avoid this, you should first consider what a review means to you. In my case, I see reviews as both opinions and criticism, of course, constructive criticism that offers help/advice/tips. What I always try to give in a review, even if it's about a small map or a full megawad, is also a bit of constructive criticism in case I find some negative factor that I don't like very much. I try to be as positive as possible and I am also the kind of person who promotes constructive criticism, always looking to improve in detail but also in general quality. If you review something, make sure that what you give is also objective feedback. If there is something you find negative in a WAD, ask yourself, why don't I like it and what would I do to improve it?

 

Don't just point out the first error you find, but you also try to circumnavigate towards possible improvements and find the positive aspects. Nitpicking can create a negative obsession in you that will end up resulting in a negative attitude towards everything you play. This is why I also recommend that you try to play only what you are sure you will enjoy. I think I have played maybe 2 or 3 WADs in my life that I don't really enjoy, and even those I try to look on the positive side and give them a little bit of defense if at least their creator or creators had positive intentions.

 

Or just in a more conclusive way: Don't shit on WAD, but also don't ''ignore'' the bad things of it. Try to look at it as a way of contributing something that's worthy and may be helpful in the future to the author.

 

And as a small tip: Read. Read lots of reviews from wherever you want. /idgames reviews and some of the /newstuff tend to be a little bit rant-ish and foul mouthed. Those reviews can actually help you look at what-not-to-do when reviewing. Personally, I love NJ and Demon of the Well reviewing style. They both have a distinctive style yet never fail to give true sustance and some well hindsight into the WAD. And, of course, kmxexii, who is like a god to me :P

 

Also, I've notice that you seem to go into the ''quantity'' side of things. You've done lots of reviews but some really lack a good structure, like the above comments state. Don't force yourself to finish a review in the shortest time possible or you will end up sacrificing the quality of the review. I usually review within 2 days for WAD episodes, and more days for megawads. I like to use that time to find out more about the background behind the development of WAD. But I also review per-map so I do take my sweet time.

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@NuMetalManiak said; "the maps are medium-sized and only get bigger and bigger, with veteran mappers like Confalonieri, SteveD, and Roofi giving it their all. Hate to be blunt though, I hate the direction towards longer and more confusing levels these mappers are making, preferring maps that are generally more action-packed than "action and then you run around trying to figure out what you need to do next."

 

Although I have some big maps in the pipeline, you'll be happy to know that I'm concentrating mostly on small-to-medium-sized maps these days. They're easier to playtest, for one thing. I have some small maps now that may not appear for years, but in time, they will dominate my output. I hope you get a chance to review some of them. ;) 

 

 

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Here is my review for Abandon (12/26):
 

Spoiler

2020 proved to be more than just a year of the megawad, but also a year of the slaughterfest. With Mapwich 2, the two NoReason's Speedmap megawads, SlaughterMAX, Death in Excess, Bastion of Chaos, When you get three budding slaughtermap authors coming together to create 18 (actually 17, as MAP18 is just an end map) high-quality levels full of linedefs and design echoing its almighty grandfather Sunder, you'll be quite surprised at how well it looks up to its predecessors and eclipses them.

Luring many into its amazing macro-architecture and scenery porn, each of these Boom-format levels play like a true slaughtermap, but each has their own theme to make them stand out. It of course has a good progression from the smaller fights to the larger ones, and usually the largest battles are saved for the very last each time. In most cases, establishing a foothold will require a few tries, but I can see each fight being manageable once a foothold is secured. As a result, there's actually barely anything negative about this wad as a whole! Well, apart from framedrops in MAP13 if your rig isn't even remotely good enough, which makes some of the platforming segments impossible. Be quite careful with the inescapable pits in some maps (starting around MAP06 in particular).

Highlight not-to-miss moments:
-MAP09's imp house. You'll know what I mean.

-MAP10's lost soul swarm.

-Much of MAP13 (if you can handle it). Reminds me of The Hag's Finger

-MAP16's endgame. Best map in the set by the way, but the open space is safe to run around with.

-Most of MAP17, final battle in particular.

 

Other good stuff:
Maps aren't as gargantuan as Sunder, so each map shouldn't take more than an hour even if your at your slowest.

With the exception of a few switches that are often out of the way in arenas, it's impossible to get lost.

 

Salty moments of mine:

Framedrops on MAP13 making platforming segments impossible (not author's fault)

Side note, this is the final wad I'll play on my old desktop rig. Had it for 11 years but it's been deteriorating all year so it's time to retire it. Abandon authors, what are some spec recommendations for best performance?

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ESP2 (12/26):
 

Spoiler

Took me a while to play this, probably because I got annoyed with the music at a first glance, but I'll turn it off and play accordingly.

Those already familiar with ESP 1, well, this one tries to be significantly different, but is the same, but is still different. Do not overthink my statement. As usual the compilation wad orders things in a way that playing continuous is disjointed, so pistol start is recommended. First few maps are from the NH series, so no health. A lot of save/loading can be tedious but these maps are extremely easy anyways. MAP11 is a DMP2017 map, kinda quick though. The UDINO E4M9 thing I definitely remember a lot about, certainly fun to see a number of fears, though Dying is over the top. We then see a mixture of NH levels plus another DMP level before MAP17 tells us to put in the dehacked patch for MAP18: Teledest. After that is the Boom-compatible stuff, some of this I was familiar with in the projects they were already featured in like 50shades and such. ZDoom comes in at MAP26, well these are of course varied. The two Loink maps I wasn't a fan of, but the other, smaller ones felt alright, of course there was more than enough action to tangle with. Didn't bother with ZDaemon wads for now but I think I've had my fair share of fun.

Highlight not-to-miss moments:
The Drown in Blood levels
UDINO E4M9 in more or less its entirety

Mr Graytall

Other good stuff:
Well this has good stuff if you like easy slaughtermaps!

 

Salty moments:
Music was bad so I turned it off.

 

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Shrine 1 (12/27):
 

Spoiler

Since I haven't played the first one yet, might as well. In any case, this is supposed to be some kind of Lovecraftian TC, and a good look at the level design, enemies, weapons, and even playable character all reveal that yep, you're in some crazy eldritch abomination of a wad made to look and feel as such. Is it good?

Well my first impression wasn't all that exciting. The first weapon in the game is a reskinned pistol, and the enemies are more or less reskins of the zombieman (Goresack) and imp (Deacon). Not even sure what the Zealot was supposed to be. Seemed like another hitscanner? The revenant-like enemy known as the Bonelord at the end of the first map had an interesting high-speed ranged plasma bolt, which is more unique. But the second level proved a lot better, with both shotgun forms present, and the SSG in this game, the Vile Slayer, is already kick-ass, with both a good fire rate and the ability to shoot either both barrels or two at different times. The Leviathan weapon fires the same plasma that that revenant-like enemy does, which is super fast and can be somewhat overpowered. This was also the level where we first see what seems to be a reskinned caco (Angel). Third level immediately introduces the chaingun replacement, the Splinter, which seems to function more like ST/Zandro's minigun really. Also the Shrine version of Doom's demon (Hunter) was here too. Quite a few hordes in buildings to take care of but much quicker overall. MAP04 had its moments, but introduces me to the Matriarch, a.k.a. hell knight/baron replacement, firing multiples of the traditional green fireball or one big bright green one. MAP05 gives us the rocket launcher equivalent, the Placenta Cannon, along with a new floating projectile enemy called Afflicted. MAP06 was alright but kinda lame; it does introduce the Sinner, who functions like a Lost Soul. Those things are quite ruthless without either the Splinter or Leviathan wailing on them, they've got the health to survive well and this can easily be seen in the Cathedral level, which also features the mancubus replacement known as the Guardian. Nothing new in MAP08, but it's themed well to build up to the simple boss map of MAP09, where the BFG Replacement, the Eldritch Annihilator is, along with the boss, the Dreadnought, which frankly isn't as cyberdemon-y as I thought. Also the Eldritch Annihilator functions more like the BFG2704 from the alpha really. The Womb level that follows is quite grotesque, with a surprise Dreadnought at one point, then the Archives that follows it, while mostly standard, gives us the Seraphim boss, with a number of unique electricity attacks. It's also flying, and I find that the Leviathan is the best choice if you can somehow slam it outside the field. The Elder World is the best designed level so far, but Aether after it is just a lame climb-up map. Sentinel was a fun level which even had rain effects, and the big enemies in tough halls. Crucible is another meh boss level, before the final level in MAP16 with the Old King boss. Looks and moves like an arch-vile, but has a homing BFG attack plus a spread-fire BFG assault move, with only two obstacles to avoid the projectiles with. An interesting ending to this 16-level mapset.

 

Highlight not-to-miss moments:

The graphics are amazingly grotesque and neat

Weapons are more fun to use


Other good stuff:
The Seraphim and Old King are decent boss enemies

Ending was cool

 

Salty moments:
Felt like most of the monsters just felt like crude reskins or something, was hoping for more uniqueness.

Levels felt shorter than they should have been, some feel like filler maps

 

Overall a nice, quick TC that paved way for a bigger sequel. 4/5

 

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Shrine 2 (12/28):

 

Spoiler

Things are significantly different in Shrine 2 than in Shrine 1. It's more standalone than its predecessor, with its very own GZDoom verison required, inventory items, alt-fires added to weapons and what not. Let's see here:

Bone blade is the first weapon re-reissued, it's now a sword-like weapon and alt-fire shoots your character forward, explained in the second episode as a way to shoot your character forward. The Shade enemies at the start are good practice for this. There's also Pod Bombs (slot 8), which are basic grenades (alt-fire can throw a bouncing bomb if you equip one). Also a frag bomb variant that shoots shrapnel if you get it for its alt-fire. A crossbow weapon is Slot 6, the enhanced adjudicator, which shoots freezing bolts, alt-fire is a punch to shatter. Primary fire can be used on water to create frozen tiles too, making it far more interesting. A secret on the first map shows a Hiveslayer, capable of shooting bees (homing bees for alt-fire). The Gore Blaster, also in a secret on the first map, fires a buttload of shotgun shells on regular fire, but a smaller spread and higher rate of fire on alt-fire. Later on it's possible to dual-wield this weapon. Slot 4 was given to...the Holy Cross, a weapon that shoots a spread of cross projectiles, or for alt-fire a bigger one that can split into three more. The Dark Cross is also in Slot 4, except its primary fire shoots 5 instead of three. In Slot 5 is the Bloodrail, a gun without an alt-fire, but its similar appearance to Quake 2's railgun gives away its main function. In fact, it is a charge-up weapon which is great for annihilating lines of enemies in front of the player. In episode 2 I found the Bone Mortar, a Slot 7 weapon shooting short-range explosive projectiles, with alt-fire shooting a small spread. Another charge-up weapon for Slot 1, a Molten axe was also acquired. 100 heat ammo, can shoot fire if above 50, and the ammo regenerates. I found a Hound Staff in episode 3 (slot 9), supposed to summon a dog (alt-fire pets it, aw), but it was weird cause I didn't get ammo for it beforehand. Armor says its different as well. Inventory items include Hell's Fury (increased damage), haste boots (speeds up weapons), time clock (basically a time stopper), and the Augur of Ophanim (powers up weapons like Tome of Power). Also Flight Wings, which are Heretic's Wings of Wrath more or less, as well as Void Satchels (backpack).

 

Powered up weapons from Augur of Ophanim:
Hiveslayer shoots either bee bombs or shotgun-spread homers
Gore Blaster shoots either ricochet shoots or chaingun-rate-of-fire shotgun blasts
Adjudicator shoots railgun-spread freeze shots and crazy punches
Pod bomb shoots fire bomb or bouncing frag grenade with shrapnel
Both crosses increases in spread for primary fire and power for alt-fire

Bloodrail is stronger and may even have a rapid-fire railgun moment (had it happen once, don't remember how to replicate it)

Bone Mortar shoots either a bouncing super-explosive or a fireball-spewing explosive
Molten axe can shoot flamethrower-style and I think it regenerates ammo faster

 

For enemies, the Shade functions a bit like a hitscanner, but those are just fast shotgun-like pellets. The Bilepod is an interesting gasbag, and there's a Vermin monster too that spawns from it which has 1 HP and is pretty annoying without your melee weapon. The Cultist is this game's chaingunner, while the Branded seems to be this game's imp. Sometimes the Branded respawns (as Branded2) and continues attacking, meaning that the best course of action would be to freeze it with the adjudicator to prevent it from respawning. The second level gives the Butcher and Gravelord, which function like demons. A spider-like enemy called the Lustbeast seems to be the arachnotron. There's a Hangman enemy which shoots another projectile and reminds me of something from Earthbound, but also becomes a weak Choker upon defeating it the first time. The Fallen seems to be another meaty projectile shooter, and also flies. A Lower enemy looks like the Goresack from Shrine 1 but functions like a suicide bomber. A Maw enemy seems to be like a Lovecraftian cacodemon, but its projectiles remind me of Hexen's dark bishop. The Punished is quite reminiscent of the revenant in looks but fires three high-speed projectiles. The annoying Brute enemy shoots explosive projectiles that bounce. The Lighthouse fires a flurry of homing projectiles and is real lanky. A Hellhound enemy was also seen, being another melee enemy in some way, although you can summon your own as allies with the Hound Staff. Episode 3 has the Apostle, originally a boss crony enemy, but becoming more common in that episode. Episode 4 retrieves the Matriarch from Shrine 1 and rebrands it as the Sister, functionally similiar to its original counterpart. There's also the Brazen, which shoots bright green projectiles at a rapid pace.

 

As for levels, overall they are much better. Secrets are around, and there's such thing as "soul secrets" which are like Blood's super secret or something. The first level shows that somehow, the player from the original Shrine has somehow been imprisoned and stuck without weapons, until he gets a new one from a voice above. The levels are more refined from their Shrine 1 predecessors, and are slightly longer to deal with, but none of these maps should take over 10 minutes apart from boss fights and at least one major level. Ritual Ward (MAP05) is a neat little city map where things pick up well. It also introduces the exploding barrel equivalent too. The following level, Clockwork Cathedral, is quite a trap-filled level, as well as a multi-tiered boss fight against a big organ sort of thing. Six turret things to attack first, then you hit the heart (which doesn't really do anything) and then from there repeat two times. The second episode starts off incredibly strong with a surreal section, before the forest and then a dark encounter with the Lighthouse enemy. Much of the rest is fairly lukewarm for this episode, but the Hawkboss at the end is unique enough to warrant mention as a tough two-stage boss. MAP11 was another cool city map, and YET ANOTHER boss level in MAP12 featuring the Horsyman (later Horseman), originally riding is horse at first while shooting spread shots, he gets off the horse eventually and goes bullet hell on your ass. Made even more annoying by Shade enemies being summoned into the field. Turns out he's the one responsible for the incarceration of the player. And yes, another boss map, against a CrusaderMob enemy who fires slicing projectiles and has Apostle allies (functioning a bit like cacodemons) on MAP13. Also the Hound Staff at the end. Later levels don't fare as well in design to be frank, such as the bad maze in MAP15 (MAP17 has quite a lot of design potential but it doesn't offer as much in gameplay). Ophanim, the boss of MAP18, is another bullet-hell riot, but without any added monsters in it and a number of obstacles making it easy. The first secret level MAP31 showcases a familiar level from the first game but enhances it and even gives off an EvilTusk enemy at the end with your arsenal against you. The end of episode 4 is against Dagon, which spices up boss levels by having you defend certain Sisters called Domineereses, against a horde of monsters, as they are the only ones to defeat Dagon. It's easy to mistake them for something else and accidentally kill them. Episode 5 further spikes things up with a strange platforming area with multiple gravity moments. A more enhanced Sister is on the chessboard at the end. Carnival part was fucked up and didn't really care that much for it, but I experimented with the adjudicator to find my way to the soul secret on the next level. It seems that Origin is a buildup to the titleless final boss against Azaoth, another multi-stage boss fight, throwing you in the black void first, then a maze area where Azaoth has a nasty melee charge (noticably the boss seems to throw mortar projectiles if you use your own. Another fireball spewing segment later and he becomes a big heart thing with lightning and mortar. This is unfortunately where the game outright crashed, because one attack has him spewing all around him but it ended up lagging to the point where it crashed. After cheating I found out that was the final stage of the battle and ended up at the endgame, a rather decent ending to this character's legacy. One other thing to say about Azaoth, he seems to have no mass value, as evident when you hit him with the Bone Mortar he just FLIES somehow, and that ends up kinda funny when he's in his last form.

 

So overall, Shrine 2 is a neat odyssey TC with strange weapons and monsters to tangle with, the levels are all mixed and some are still very easy to go through.

 

Highlight not-to-miss moments:

The soul secrets if you can find them.

Weapons, level design, and monsters are much, MUCH more different than in Shrine 1


Other good stuff:
Using the powerups to spice things up, although it helps to have at least one of each for reserve if necessary.

 

Salty moments:

What's with the sprayaround attack that the final boss uses that tanked my system?

 

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Mutabor (12/29):

 

Insurmountable may be a perfect term to describe tourniquet's Mutabor, a surprisingly Vanilla-made level that is just rife with green and brown. Perhaps we've seen more than our fair share of the color scheme in Miasma and numerous other well-designed levels by other authors, but Mutabor delivers more than just its color scheme. It's a level rife with life, enemies are abound here, but the vast majority are of the small enemy variety, so the kill count rises fairly quickly. Be mindful of arch-viles and sniper enemies around most of the corners though, and note the verticality as the landscapes often change shape all around. It's hard to even pinpoint where you are in many cases. The yellow key is now a green key, while stuff like the health bonus and soul sphere have also been recolored green. The chaingun is now ST's minigun while the SS and Keen are replaced with former human enemies that don't drop much-needed supplies.

 

But really, the main draw here is how, at least in the main level, the difficulty settings are all over the place. Notice that the second skill setting is called "Onslaught". Looking at the monster counts, well imps, hell knights, barons, mancubi, and revenants, etc, they all seem to be more numerous in the standard UV rather than on the lower settings, but a look at the counts for arch-viles, zombiemen, spiderdemons, cyberdemons, and the two dehacked monsters show up far more. There's 350 Chaingun sargeants (that's what they're called) on Onslaught as opposed to 35 on HMP and 59 on UV. What the heck. Weapons and other pickups are also strangely separated according to difficulty, and Onslaught features the least amount. You get the minigun early, but the only OTHER weapons to get are a rocket launcher (five are present), a chainsaw, and a BFG9000 (can find up to three). With all of the chaingun sargeants, the main issue is going to be pacing as the hitscan hell is unleashed to make you cower in fear while you only get a minigun for much of the way. Essentially, Onslaught is the Nine Inch Heels difficulty setting, so play that at your own risk of sanity (and that's even if you cheat). I think ITYTD has the same thing as Onslaught except with the usual ITYTD bonuses.

 

Secrets are all over the place  in this map and are often multi-step and difficult to access. For convenience the exit can be accessed with any key, so if you get one key and find one key door, you can in fact leave the level should you have lost the will to progress on. That being said, the real challenge is conquering it, getting every secret, every monster closet, every item, enough to take an hours worth of time. Most places can be squeezed through well though, and as a whole Miasma and other maps manage to still be tougher than this, assuming you're not on Onslaught setting. There is a second level, as well as an exit level in MAP03. The puzzle level, however, didn't seem to work (I assume you're supposed to press the switch behind the start, and a bunch of voodoo dolls were supposed to teleport into the buildings and such?

 

Highlight not-to-miss moments:

The secrets if you can find them
The design and most of the setpiece encounters


Other good stuff:
Difficulty settings are weird.

 

Salty moments:

Puzzle map didn't work right.
Onslaught difficulty gives only the minigun for a weapon for most of the entire way. Took me thirty minutes to find one of the five rocket launchers.

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Thanks for the write-up. Heh wasn't expecting this to be something up your alley and i actually enjoy reading some honest/harsh critiques, so i'm actually a bit disappointed to find not much of either in your review. Regarding difficulties all over the place, it is quite amusing to observe reactions of players being deviated from their conventions. Perhaps i should have pointed it out a bit more in the text file but i mean it's not the first time someone tries a different approach to the standard difficulty setting. SlaughterMax has done that before.

As for the "broken puzzle", dunno what went wrong but here's a demo that show's how to solve the map, in case you care.

 

mut-02_TNq.zip Recorded in PrBoom 2.5.1.5

 

Cheers again for the review.

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Snap the Sentinel (v1.2) (12/30):

 

Yikes, another standalone release using the newest GZDoom release, okay. And yet another TC, although it's actually very short with only five levels. With this being version 1.2, could there be more in store? Who really knows. First impressions had me thinking of Adventures of Square right away, and when you strafe, your character has a very interesting lean. What do you fight? ROBOTS! And they blow up quite nicely. It's sort of Adventures of Square meets Descent but with 2.5D sort of ordeal; you fight many different robots, some are simple turrets, others are mobile. Some are quite bulky and difficult to bring down with loads of hit points and usually lots of firepower. Snap (I assume this is the character name) has only one weapon, a blaster that shoots until it reloads (or until you finish shooting, in that case you auto-reload), and he can also kick things. In the game, there's canisters which function as powerups, the beer item is useful for increasing max HP, while others give you limited ammo powerups like spread shot, rapid fire, bomb blast, homing beam, mirror laser, flamethrower. The sad things is it means that if you pick up two different powerups, you basically use only one of them, and when its exhausted you go back to the default blaster, which means they have to be consolidated quite well.

 

As far as levels go, the first is bleak but sets up for the later ones, which are both bigger and badder. 4th level is quite an odyssey. 5th is a simple boss arena. Got super annoyed with his attacks being impossible to dodge though. One thing that's quite interesting is that the difficulty levels do more than just increase the enemy load, but also offer different level routes. This adds to the replayability of this rather short TC.
 

Highlight not-to-miss moments:

The powerups are great

Got that Descent-meets-Adventures of Square feel.

Graphics are top-notch


Other good stuff:
Difficulty settings offer different level routes and replayability

 

Salty moments:
Final boss attacks nearly impossible to dodge.

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Switcheroom 2 (1/3/2021, first review of new year!):

After nearly 7 years of development hell Switcheroom 2 finally hits the idgames shelves. For those who are unfamiliar with the first Switcheroom, the concept is to remake a level for Doom 1 as if it was for a different episode, so like Hangar was made in E3 style while Deimos Anomaly was remade in E4 style, and so on and so forth. You can then easily guess that the same sort of concept would be used for Switcheroom 2, except with Doom 2's levels. So now Entryway is going to be a Hell level, while The Living End and the Icon of Sin are going to be techbase levels. Wonderful stuff right?

 

It really does suck, however, that the original project leader somehow went completely AWOL when we actually did get a working beta. Was there ever going to be a release? It took Jaws in Space to finally get the project running again, even though there was an overhaul of half of the beta maps in the set. Those that were kept were generally decent enough already, usually the cannonball and Magnusblitz maps stayed, while newer mappers came in and made some decent stuff too. All great fun re-revisitng Doom 2 maps in different styles of course. I think Magnusblitz was the best mapper overall, despite only two maps created, his style of creating the maps in the chosen style work well, but he also incorporated stuff that was in the original mapslot. Like Low Power for instance is The Catacombs in base style, but Magnus didn't shy away from putting in several design decisions from The Focus, which is where the map is in the mapslots. His Switcheroom 1 maps followed the same ideals, which makes them the strongest. Meanwhile, cannonball focuses heavily on the gameplay, and tourniquet sort of expands on the originals with his submissions. I think MAP29 overdid it, but whatever. Also MAP30 imo probably should've had a boss shooter?

 

By the time Jaws got to releasing this on idgames I was going to get ready to message him if he was going to send the rejects in a separate wad, but it turns out that I didn't need to as they are already in their separate wadfile along with the main download. It's nice to see the several levels that have already been beta-tested but scrapped again, and I remember most of them. It then brings me to some hot takes on which maps got scrapped, like "I prefered sincity's Courtyard to cannonball's Courtyard", and I was definitely in two minds about scifista's Wolfencity being scrapped for joe-ilya's Rock 'N Roll City (both were MAP31 done city style). Both were very unique levels in their own way with scifista's being all about incredibly tough gameplay while joe-ilya makes what could be his most surprisingly competent work to date. There were a lot of Grosse remakes, and for some reason an_mutt's Factory remake uses the MAP07 tags despite not being in MAP07. Many of those rejected were mediocre, and I value mediocrity a lot so I don't hate them. Just the two BlueFeena maps are terrible, and anyone who's betatested them knows how bad they are.

 

You get more bang for your buck with these nifty renditions. It's worth the time to play through all these levels to spot all the fun similarities.

 

Highlight not-to-miss moments:

Magnusblitz maps
tourniquet maps

cannonball maps


Other good stuff:

All others are good
Forgotten levels were mostly still fun

 

Salty moments:
Still do believe that some of the mediocre levels are still good.

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Temple of the Lizardmen 5 (1/4):

I have a huge soft spot for the whole damn series despite its super easy gameplay. A TC that plays like Doom, but in jungle and cave styles and mostly melee enemies, made into a well done story. And it's stupidly funny in a way because it seems that after each Temple of the Lizardmen installment, your character goes on a vacation. That is, until the next installment where you have to go back in the Temple of the Lizardmen over again! But then again, this is the actual last installment in the franchise, and it seems that it will actually be converted into a graphic novel series some time in the future.

 

So most of the gameplay mechanics from the Temple of the Lizardmen 4 remain intact, from the enemies to the weapons. New enemies include the pyro demon and Archon of Hell from Realm667 as well as the dark revenant (which actually functions like a regular revenant). A few bosses in the final level round things out, including the Helltaur mainstay. Weapon-wise, most of the mainstays are here, but we also get a Striker MkII which is a bit different from the semi-automatic shotgun as well as the Stinger which is a rapid-fire crystal shooter. The Dragon Scepter has also changed significantly making it more viable. The slot 8 weapon is still a reskinned BFG more or less.

 

Level-wise, this one spices the thing up from the branching path segment, so this time, you won't be missing certain levels. Although I liked that aspect in Lizardmen 4, it does mean that you couldn't get through every single level in one go. In Lizardmen 5, there are two hub maps, where you can go to separate levels in order to get skull orbs, which are used to progress the game. After you get a skull orb in a separate level, you can then insert it, and just to prevent you from being too bored with the hub map there will be monsters entering upon putting in each skull orb. The first hub is bigger than the second, with the second only having four maps while the first having eleven (both also have a secret portal level). Both before and after there are a few levels to tangle with, with the latter of course being the boss levels where you go up against Spectra once again. Storywise, the Big Good known as Therana basically gives you your missions and such.

 

The hub maps offer some potential insight as to what to expect in each individual level. And design-wise, Alando still does well in making these levels less linear and more worthwhile. Plenty of the maps pay homage to familiar levels in the Doom games, like one combines the main aspects of Inmost Dens, Tenements, and Bloodfalls into one map. The penultimate boss gauntlet level has areas that remind those of Phobos Anomaly, Unto the Cruel, Hell's Maw, Tower of Babel, and finally Icon of Sin, before you fight Spectra for real in a relatively small arena (making it more of a challenging fight when compared to her Lizardmen 3 battle). I cheesed many of the bosses, since I tend to save the amulet of invincibility from other levels to battle them with. The overall gist is of course I enjoyed almost every level and the nonlinearity is awesome throughout.

 

Highlight not-to-miss moments:

Homages to Doom/Doom 2/Heretic/etc levels in design

Nonlinearity and exploration!


Other good stuff:

Finding secrets which wasn't actually hard to do.

Hub maps have action to prevent boredom

 

Salty moments:
None

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Autumnal Infernox (1/7):

Of all the episodes, Inferno has the most awkward start. Surely, for the first time Doom player, they're not as used to the idea of taking out the starting imps with just the pistol when compared to the former humans that inhabited both Hangar and Deimos Anomaly beforehand. And especially not the caco behind the first door. They weren't expecting the shotgun bridge to lower, or the weird corridors with demons, plus the roomful of imps and then that's basically the map. The entirety of E3M1 is super awkward and no matter how you play it, it just doesn't feel right at all and is often considered one of the worst levels of the IWADs. Then, you have Warrens, which drops you back into Hell Keep, except with a surprise twist at the end with a surprise cyberdemon, then enemies to see while backtracking! Surely this perplexion has garnered attention making it a more well-received level, even if it was a secret map.

 

Autumnal Infernox by ReX Claussen is a take on both Hell Keep and Warrens. The design sticks to the Inferno style, but the gameplay is much wider than the standard Hell Keep. You still get the imps and the caco at the start, but the shotgun is in a much easier location. You then teleport back to the starting hub, open another door, and have to deal with some strange corridors, which then culminates into a damaging blood area, where you might as well backtrack because a demon closet has opened with a radsuit inside. Then you teleport back, get a yellow key, and cross a non-lowering bridge. The home stretch involves yet another walkway while projectile monsters battle you. Now that's just E3M1. Remember to conserve your ammo like in the original and you'll probably get through this one fine.

 

That being said, the E3M9 in this one does things far differently. You're going through the familiar areas in a different order, as opposed to going through them the same way until the end. Of course, the exit teleporter reveals a bigger path, and there's an additional secret to find in the map as well. And the cyberdemon will make an appearance after you teleport to the monster gauntlet section, in the starting hub. Of course, there's more action, so it's quite a lot more fun. It was nice playing these Hell Keep/Warrens tributes. I will say this though, the progression isn't what I would call nonlinear, despite what the textfile says. You start in a hub, finish a spoke, return to hub, finish another spoke, repeat. This goes for both maps.

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Enceladus (1/18):

Leave it to nicolas monti to do...nicolas monti things. nicolas' maps all fit very well for casual doomers, as they offer Metroidvania-style exploration and generally decent gameplay. Enceladus is an E4 replacement, but do not expect it to be about a bunch of brown and blood. The texturing of this episode is sort of unique, it's a special brand of "wtf are these textures" but despite seeming like eyesores you can still play the levels without issue. And secret hunters will have more than their work cut out for them, stuff that I myself am very much used to by this point.

 

Frankly, I'm so used to monti's style that it's just another fairly average episode replacement from this guy. The levels, with the exception of E4M7, are all medium-sized, and speedrunners who dare to speedrun this will get themselves in a bind, I can easily see it. But casual players will enjoy the exploration. Much of how monti does his gameplay is present, the excess use of nukage and radiation suits, a few nasty traps that even when prepared will take out of you quite well, the occasionally trippy battle here or there. Some of the baron fights are honestly kinda boring. Then you get E4M7, which is monti's largest map to date and is an amazingly cute nod to both sector ships and city maps. Said sector ships are also the level's best means of crossing the nukage, as there's no radsuits to see! It's a nonlinear expedition, and unfortunately you WILL get lost in it trying to get three keys and the exit. Don't say I didn't warn you. E4M8 sort of folds things back, but it's a decent level and you can kinda skip the ending battles if you kill the spiderdemon early enough.
 

With this said, monti continues being the prolific author he is and that's great to see.

 

Highlight not-to-miss moments:

E4M7


Other good stuff:

The general monti goodness and/or craziness.

 

Salty moments:
One secret in E4M7 I wasn't able to actually register despite finding it. Ree.

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Hellevator (1/27):

What have you done mou...oh wait this isn't Going Down 2. Where hath mouldy run off to in the past few years? We haven't seen him. But what we do see here is yet another megawad involving some elevator action. So I'm coming in expecting compact action. This is what Going Down would be if it is about going up instead of down (and I'm not referring to the first map or the secret maps of that megawad) and it was a community project of speedmaps. For the story, the demons want to apparently invade heaven so they build a big ass skyscraper and Doomguy basically has to go up to kick their asses. Neato.

 

One thing to respect, the level names make sense. You start out in the lobby, and interestingly it's a rocket launcher-oriented level despite the monsters not being as strong. The cafeteria floor (MAP02) is quite deceptive, as the enemies are minding their own business until you wake them up and such, then you basically gotta look out for the occasional ambush here and there. You'll note that the red key is the required key to get to the next floor each time, and will always be the last key acquired. Also to start each floor, the Keen sound effect is modified to sound like an elevator ding. Also many ideas are abound in these floors, like the Doomcute water cooler with a barrel as the cooler. That being said, you see this start of MAP04? Don't do this, ever. Feels real bad having a complicated floor as the fourth one. Other interesting floors are the crazy dance floor of MAP09 with varied battles and the cyberdemon floor that followed it in MAP10, which tried to spice up a neat obstacle course while you and the cybie dance around other enemies, and that central crusher can actually be useful! MAP13 was a very nifty shapeshifting floor. MAP15's secret exit, I think you go in the exact order that you get the keys with regards to which color buttons to press but apparently you get only three tries before it locks forever. I think that's how it goes? I'm still unsure. Also unsure how that one room at the north end of MAP29 is supposed to play out so I skipped it. Most other maps do what they can but nothing's ever perfect. Since these are speedmaps, they aren't really that long to beat, and they all have a plus-shaped layout which is befitting of the skyscraper to climb. Since these maps go by quickly you can go through this megawad quickly and effectively as well. Going up?
 

Highlight not-to-miss moments:

Quite a few good ideas, like the interesting secret exit concept and MAP09's frantic pace.
Much of MAP13

Captain Toenail's maps were really good.


Other good stuff:

It really does remind you of Going Down.
Having to get the red key last reminded me of Icarus too.

 

Salty moments:
MAP04's start had me pulling my hair.
Had to skip MAP29 (something about a voodoo doll teleport closet not working)

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The 128kb mapping extravagant "challenge" (2/2):

 

So what we have here is the sequel to a not-so-mediocre quickie of a double megawad, but this time we have 37 levels in Ultimate Doom format. Seems fun, right? It doesn't get off to an amazing start, but rather a relatively humble one. Yeah, I'm not that happy with E1. Aside from the appreciative mediocre levels some of these maps definitely had low quality to them, like E1M9's starting room of HOMs and E1M8 being blatant with backtracking and having literally no idea on what to do for much of that map.

 

E1M8 felt like a halting point overall, thankfully it was the very last level in the episode. But most players will probably get bored from the first lift ride since nothing substantial occurs from it. The bonuses in the lava are tempting at least, and the combat is okay although previous levels were better with monster placement and ammo (by just a tad, no biggie). Again, two more lift rides, and frankly I still don't like them, even though there was some more meat to keep me from being truly bored. By the time I reached the top end and pressed the switch, got the blue key, was thinking what should I do next? I'm usually not the kind of player who goes to the "all keys go here" area until I get every key and there's probably more like me so that part will end up stumping players. This can perhaps benefit more by adding some extra pointers as to where to go. After getting that figured out was the backtracking, and honestly I think this could benefit more from monster closets rather than more enemies teleporting in, but maybe that's just me. It also wasn't completely aware that my next destination (for the red key at least), was one lowered crate, specifically one behind a much larger one. And then back to the key switches and THEN back to the two lifts yet again, taking them up to get the yellow key, then taking them down yet again before at least one more final battle before you can finally exit the damn level. It might take me another play to warm up to E1M8, but it felt like it went on long enough and could improve in a number of ways, like make the lifts better and perhaps try to make some fights more interesting (of course with the limitations, not everything is possible). Okay!

 

Thankfully it does get better from E1, as E2 dials things up to be a tad better for the most part. Magicsofa and riderr3's maps are definite standouts in good ways (lol at the caco ass flat!), and I was a bit surprised to have somehow entered E5M1 in the middle of it, a decent level (that HOM at the end room actually felt like a part of the level and not a newbie error too!). E3 furthers it with even more fun levels, especially E3M7 and its spider hordes. E4 has an epic start, going into the mouth of the beast! There's lots of creativity with the levels overall too. E4M7 seems like a love letter to Requiem's MAP07 given the layout, but to me the whole episode is an "all killer no filler". I really don't feel the need to say much else, but there's sweet and sour sauce abound overall. 128kb is a case of "it gets better from its mostly humble start" and that's great.

 

Highlight not-to-miss moments:

All of E4

The caco ass flat. Once you see it you cannot unsee it.


Other good stuff:

Captain Toenail, magicsofa, breezep maps were cuts above the rest.

 

Salty moments:
E1M8 and its hideous backtracking

Edited by NuMetalManiak : more constructive

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@NuMetalManiak since you've asked for feedback on your style, here's some food for thought.

 

6 hours ago, NuMetalManiak said:

So what we have here is the sequel to a mediocre quickie of a double megawad, but this time we have 37 levels in Ultimate Doom format. Seems fun, right? Your first impressions got to be your very best. But I see you're full of shit and is that alright? Yeah, I'm not happy with E1. But aside from the appreciative mediocre levels some of these maps definitely had low quality to them, like E1M9's starting room of HOMs and E1M8 being blatant with backtracking and having literally no idea on what to do for much of that map.

 

I'm seriously at a loss when it comes to figuring out what to highlight in the snippet above, because it's jam-packed with issues several people - including yours truly - have pointed out already:

- instant negativity

- poor and, actually, vitriolic choice of words

- generally devoid of interesting content

 

You could have saved yourself a lot of time if you just stated that "This community project is off to a less than ideal start, but it picks up some steam in later episodes". It's to the point, and far less vitriolic than your opener. And don't even get me started on how you bash a previous project as "mediocre", which is completely unnecessary as it adds nothing of value to this review.

 

6 hours ago, NuMetalManiak said:

Thankfully it does get better from here, as E2 dials things up to be a tad better for the most part. Magisofa and riderr3's maps are definite standouts in good ways (lol at the caco ass flat!), and I was a bit surprised to have somehow entered E5M1 in the middle of it, a decent level (that HOM at the end room actually felt like a part of the level and not a newbie error too!).

 

I've said it before, and I will say it again: Stating that "things exist" isn't "reviewing".

 

So, there are "standout maps" for the right reasons? Okay... What are those reasons? What makes these maps better than the rest? There's a "decent level"? What makes it decent?

 

 

6 hours ago, NuMetalManiak said:

E3 furthers it with even more fun levels, especially E3M7 and its spider hordes. E4 has an epic start, going into the mouth of the beast! There's lots of creativity with the levels overall too. E4M7 seems like a love letter to Requiem's MAP07 given the layout, but to me the whole episode is an "all killer no filler".

 

So there's something good and creative here? Why not spend some time writing about this good stuff, instead of wasting time on bashing something else? See what I meant when I said that you gravitate too much towards the negative things while doing very little in the way of pointing out what works and most importantly why it works?

 

 

6 hours ago, NuMetalManiak said:

Overall, 128kb is a case of "it gets better from here" and that's great, now if only E1 wasn't giving me garbage maps it really would be better.

 

Oh, wait... We're right back to negativity again... We get it already, you didn't like the first episode, you already expressed as much, why do you need to mention that yet again? Do you feed off of negativity, or what's the deal here? Are you writing these reviews while you're being pissed off? Make your point once, and leave it at that. Redundancy is not a virtue.

 

 

 

Tell you what... I'll give you a TL;DR of your so-called review:

 

"It's 37 maps for ultimate doom. The first episode isn't good, but later episodes get better and have some cool stuff by certain mappers." That's literally all your review says, right there in front of your eyes. I know absolutely nothing about these maps after reading your review, save for a few bits and pieces you could have and should have elaborated some more.

 

And if this is what you manage to discern over the course of 37 maps, you're not putting a lot of thought into your reviews as far as I'm concerned.

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gotta agree with Nine Inch Heels on the above. Your reviews are seriously grating to read and lack any real substance. While opinions can be subjective, the grace of writing a good review is to fold what you feel about what a WAD does right or wrong into a structure that is constructive and objective-ish. Ar Luminae's cacoward review is a master class on this. Not Jabba and I ping-ponged the review, with both strengths and weaknesses of the set. while video reviews can be spur of the moment, you have a ton of time to review and revise a written one so that it doesn't sound like first-time play reactivity. 

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58 minutes ago, Major Arlene said:

gotta agree with Nine Inch Heels on the above. Your reviews are seriously grating to read and lack any real substance. While opinions can be subjective, the grace of writing a good review is to fold what you feel about what a WAD does right or wrong into a structure that is constructive and objective-ish. Ar Luminae's cacoward review is a master class on this. Not Jabba and I ping-ponged the review, with both strengths and weaknesses of the set. while video reviews can be spur of the moment, you have a ton of time to review and revise a written one so that it doesn't sound like first-time play reactivity. 

I think I should probably rename the thread to “first time play through reviews” or something since pretty much all of these are going off of first impressions. Also I really don’t want to overdo it which is why In hindsight these reviews lack substance and I’d rather be lacking in substance anyways.

 

Can I be negative about things and say why though? Because I’m sure I did exactly that when someone said to do it that way and somehow it’s still wrong?

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14 minutes ago, NuMetalManiak said:

I think I should probably rename the thread to “first time play through reviews” or something since pretty much all of these are going off of first impressions. Also I really don’t want to overdo it which is why In hindsight these reviews lack substance and I’d rather be lacking in substance anyways.

 

Can I be negative about things and say why though? Because I’m sure I did exactly that when someone said to do it that way and somehow it’s still wrong?

Even if it's a first time playthrough, you can write like it isn't, is my point. You say something about a map and then don't specify what you actually mean which is confusing. "This map sucked" okay why? What about it didn't feel right to you? What did you dislike about it, specifically? Was it level flow, was it monster placement, was it aesthetics, etc. That is called constructive criticism. Otherwise you just sound like someone who wants to complain without pointing out what could fix the issue, which would be helpful for the mappers (and your reviewing, even) in the long run. Honing down what it is you do or don't like will help mappers determine whether they find your feedback useful. Otherwise it will be ignored.

Edit: as it turns out some other people have pointed out these exact things to you and you've ignored them entirely. Good luck.

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42 minutes ago, NuMetalManiak said:

Can I be negative about things and say why though? Because I’m sure I did exactly that when someone said to do it that way and somehow it’s still wrong?

 

It doesn't help anyone to read a review that just says "this was a pile of shit", and also nobody is interested in reading that sort of thing.

 

I've spent some years co-running a fansite for another game and one of the key rules for user reviews was to point out how the upload author could improve his uploads in the future, and give constructive advice. This would pay off in spades.

 

It's 2021, the world is now much more compassionate than 15 or 10 years ago. It costs nothing to be a good guy and not a whiner.

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1 hour ago, NuMetalManiak said:

Also I really don’t want to overdo it which is why In hindsight these reviews lack substance and I’d rather be lacking in substance anyways.

Didn't you talk about wanting to become an author for cacowards at some point? How are you gonna facilitate that when you're perfectly fine with lacking in substance? To me personally, this seems to be an attempt at somehow making excuses for something that you know you could have done better, because the respective feedback has been provided to you a couple times by now.

 

It's like you're not even trying. Not even the negative aspects you talk about are substantiated in any way shape or form, let alone the positive ones.

 

1 hour ago, NuMetalManiak said:

Can I be negative about things and say why though? Because I’m sure I did exactly that when someone said to do it that way and somehow it’s still wrong?

Seriously, are we even speaking the same language here? Yeah, sure, you can point out problems if you find any, but pointing out that one episode of something sucks isn't saying why that episode is bad from your point of view. Do you not see the difference? I mean, how hard can it be to outline just a handful of issues about an entire episode of maps, just to give the reader a general idea?

 

If you have to deal with an episode that rubs you the wrong way, for argument's sake, there is no harm in describing a range of issues you have encountered, rather than going into great detail.

 

Hypothetical example: "From ammo-starvation, over hitscan-overdose, as well as bland visuals, to generally uninspired layouts - episode 1 of this set is a mixed bag". Add a few more concrete examples to that, and you've done your job for the purpose of a brief review as far as that particular episode is considered. It tells the reader everything they might want to know in order to get a general sense of quality, and that's what reviewing is about. It's not just a stage for your opinion, or an opportunity to vent your frustration - reviewing is about giving someone, who knows nothing about something, at least a vague idea about that respective something.

What doesn't work is "This offspring of an already mediocre project has a shitty first episode", and that's what your latest review started off with.

 

If you were pretty sure you've done something along the lines of my hypothetical example: No, you did not - certainly not in your latest review.

 

Conversely, the same principle applies to reviews of other, supposedly better episodes. If you don't want to get into too much detail, you point to a couple general things about an episode, spruce it up with a few examples, and that's that episode done as well.

 

Reviewing isn't difficult if you keep the obliviousness of the reader in mind, and that's what's missing here. Your reviews aren't interesting for anybody who knows nothing about the maps in question, because they are that damn insubstantial. Anybody who knows these maps, and reads your reviews after the fact, will be able to piece something together, because they have a recollection of the things you are writing about. But why write reviews only for people who have already made up their own mind?

 

So, you need to substantiate your opinion pieces, because the alternative is being told that your review of 300 or whatever words can be boiled down to a single phrase.

Edited by Nine Inch Heels

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Okay I edited it to be a bit more constructive especially towards what I think is the weakest map. 


"Seriously, are we even speaking the same language here?" Yes


EDIT: also it was mostly E1M8 that made me feel bad about E1 as a whole (there's a term for this where the last level ruins the whole experience for someone but I forgot what it's called). This was where I was wrong here because the rest of the episode is just generally average in gameplay and average levels are nice levels usually.

Edited by NuMetalManiak : kiss me

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