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dobu gabu maru

The DWmegawad Club plays: Rowdy Rudy's Revenge! & Rowdy Rudy II: POWERTRIP!

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Right, now that the DDoS attacks have finally ceased (thank god for Linguica!), its high time I start getting back on schedule.

 

Speaking from my experience from prior playthroughs, Rowdy Rudy II: Powertrip! is bigger, better and more grandiose in its ambition than its predecessor. The arsenal and bestiary, along with their accompanying SFX, have been fine-tuned to instill the feeling of being an action movie protagonist, and the visuals are far more memorable than before.

 

The decision to open the Rudy-verse up to other mappers was a wise one indeed, allowing for a variety of takes on the wad's core themes. I'm honestly quite surprised that Powertrip! feels as consistent as it does, given the number of people involved. A testament to the strength of Rudy's core appeal, I'd say.

 

For this playthrough, I'll be using the same ruleset and source port as before, so without further ado, let's get started!

 

 

MAP01: Storming the Bayside Base, by @Doomkid - 100% / 100%

 

Right off the bat, Powertrip!'s biggest innovation over RRR is apparent: that being the visuals. Instead of pleasing but anonymous techbases or hellbases, Storming the Bayside Base immediately greets the player with a wide open jungle valley, with foliage, caves and waterfalls galore. There is a pleasing naturalism to the vista, made especially impressive by the wad's conformance with the vanilla limits (avoiding VPOs must have been a bitch with this one!).

 

Another innovation apparent from the outset is the new pistol replacement. @MtPain27 said it best, there is an almost carnal pleasure to moving down hitscanners with the thing. I agree with his assessment of the fists as well, I feel like a bloody Dragon Ball character going to town on the hapless goons obstructing me. The auto-shotgun is also immensely satisfying to use, hacking down swathes of enemies in seconds.

 

Fast weapon switching is also something I find unhealthily satisfying. While it could be argued that it downplays an element of strategy and forward thinking present in vanilla, the ability to almost immediately switch to your weapon of choice is enough of a QoL enhancement to make up for it in my opinion.

 

One could call the arsenal OP, and I'd call them pedantic in return. Any arsenal this side of Russian Overkill can be balanced out by resource limitations and careful encounter design. More powerful weapons just need to be implemented with finesse, something Powertrip! excels at.

 

Several of the beasties from RRR make a return here, along with some new faces. The Chaingunner and Plasma Guy in particular are a welcome recurrence, and the new Psycho Imp is an excellent replacement, more memorable and useful than its predecessor. The Zombieman's new sprite is a bit of a let down, though. Thematically appropriate sure, but a bit lacking in personality.

 

The map's progression is generally pretty straightforward, apart from the mandatory blue key 'secret' (the mapper's a true 90's kid, alright). The berserk/invul secret is also a nice addition, allowing the player to dispatch the remaining opposition in a maelstrom of bloody carnage.

 

Resource balancing is decidedly generous, which is a nice change from RRR. This probably isn't indicative of things to come, given the variety of authorial preferences present, but welcome nevertheless.

 

Finally, the map's midi is an excellent tone-setter, helping to immerse the player in the jungle setting with its unconventional style and rhythm.

 

So, overall, Storming the Bayside Base is a good introduction to the new Rudy, laying down high expectations for things to come!

 

 

MAP02: Initial Hurdles, by @sluggard - 100% / 100%

 

One of the interesting things about Powertrip! is the variety of authorial voices present, and the differing ways they interact with the themes of the Rudy-verse. This is the first map by sluggard I have played, and it certainly leaves a good impression, though not necessarily an even one.

 

Starting with the good, Initial Hurdles picks up where the last map leaves off, giving the player a moment of rest before plunging into the action once again. The map's opening shot is a strong one, introducing the coastal, cave-ridden cliffside setting very well.

 

Once again, there is a good sense of naturalism here, though a little more abstract than the last. The browns, greys and blues go together well, though there is little contrast in either lighting or texturing. Progression ties nicely into the environment, taking the player on a brief, cliffside jaunt before advancing further into the base.

Resource balancing is fair but a little tighter than the last map.

 

'Going Down the Fast Way' may be a little out of place, given the rather chill nature of the map, but my ears ain't complaining so who cares really. Generally, the atmosphere of the map is quite strong, giving a solid impression of an isolated seaside locale, and it follows on well from the last.

 

The combat here is a little so-so, lacking in challenge. It is entertaining, sure, but I think that is mostly due to the new bestiary and arsenal more than anything else. It is also very short and linear, more so than MAP01, which is a bit odd.

 

The Rocket Guy and Toxicaco are reintroduced here, along with the new Flamethrower Guy. The former seem largely unchanged from RRR, and the new face does little to distinguish himself as of yet, though I can think of a few use cases.

 

The chaingun is introduced here as well, though ammo for it is scarce, so the shotgun ends up being the primary workhorse for this map. The weapon itself feels great and is quite lethal, holding its own against the beefed up SG and Rifle.

 

Overall, Initial Hurdles, though brief and a bit forgettable, is a pleasant experience, and works well enough in its slot. I didn't detect a particularly strong sense of style here, though that is probably just my ignorance of the author's catalog showing through.

 

 

MAP03: Further Infiltration, by @DavidN - 100% / 83%

 

I'd say this map is the first 'full' experience in Powertrip!, with numerous secrets and a relatively lengthy progression.

 

I am quite familiar with the works of DavidN, mainly his excellent Ascent of Titan set, and am also a part-time viewer of his YT content. Four things stand out about his maps: 1) they are very pretty, with strong detailing, texturing and geometry, 2) they tend to have a strong sense of place and visual narrative, 3) they are filled with secrets, some helpful, some clever, some obscure and 4) they are generally awash in health and ammo.

 

Further Infiltration is all of these things at once, making it somewhat archetypal of his work, though without the usual GZDoom-enabled bells and whistles. It is quite interesting to me, seeing a distinct style converge and mingle with an equally distinct overarching vision.

 

Beyond that, there is both too little and too much to say about this map. On the macro level, not much stands out apart from the above, but there are so many little touches and ideas that it becomes difficult to cover, like the bizarre but atmospheric cave section I always forget about on replays, or the strange semi-secret rocket launcher puzzle I only discovered on my most recent run.

 

There is always a lot going on in DavidN's maps, and I appreciate that, but I prefer not to get bogged down in the minutia when writing for the DWMC (not that one would guess, given the excessive length of my posts).

 

One thing I can talk about are the new monsters introduced in this map: the Blood Demon and Mini-Mastermind. The former are just reskinned pinkies, similar to the last Rudy, while the latter are quite interesting from a design perspective.

 

On paper, the idea of a chaingun spider makes sense, given the Mastermind's choice of weapon and the often turret-like role of the Chaingunner in many wads. The idea is bogged down somewhat by the clunky nature of the Arachnotron chassis, which is slow to move and to fire, and generally lacking in flexibility.

 

Powertrip! has some ideas about how to fix that. Since the non-turret use-case of the vanilla Chaingunner is taken over by Powertrip!'s weaker variant, which is better suited to the role in many ways, and the vanilla spider's role has been given over to the highly flexible Plasma Guy, the Mini-Mastermind is left to fill the hitscan turret role, which it is well-suited to.

 

Okay, with that piece of analysis out of the way, my summarized thoughts on the map are as follows: Further Infiltration is an attractive semi-linear techbase, aesthetically reminiscent of Plutonia 2's various jungle bases, with enjoyable, room-by-room combat, even progression, generous resource balancing, a wealth of side areas and secrets, a fitting midi and a good sense of continuity from previous maps.

 

 

Okay, that's enough from me for one day. I'll try to get properly back on schedule either tomorrow or the next day, depending on how my latest international move goes.

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MAP05: Decent level that does its job but there's nothing noteworthy, it would have been more at home in Rowdy Rudy's Revenge. Variety is certainly good but this return to the basics is rather underwhelming after the last couple of maps. I appreciated the rocky scenery in the outdoors.

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MAP 05: In the Thick of It

 

This is pretty standard Rudy fare: with its wide open rooms, toxic pitfalls, hitscan overflow, and grungy MIDI it could have easily made it into the first game (which makes sense, since it's Doomkid's work), but with your upgraded arsenal, it doesn't put up nearly as much of a fight. Watch out for at least two rooms which have a surplus of green uniforms, and the psycho imps in increasing numbers. I'm not a big fan of the berserk secret (hidden behind a fake railing), and I couldn't find the other one, but you won't need extra supplies to contend with this one, honestly. I prefer open fights to skulking around in the dark, so I consider this an improvement on MAP 04, but RR2 has some better stuff coming. 

 

Footnote: I don't think I mentioned in yesterday's post, but the super shotgun is almost disappointing in this wad, even though it now fires at the same rate as the classic shotgun. I think it's my fault for misusing it though, since I'm conditioned to time my shots with its slow reload speed, and I've been getting cocky, spraying enemies with it from afar, wasting a lot of potential flak. For some reason it doesn't feel as upgraded as it should, but that's partly due to the pistol and shotgun being excessively jacked.

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Map05: In the Thick of It - by DoomKid
GZDoom | Kills: 100% | Secrets: 100% | Expert, Fast Monsters, Pistol Start

 

Admittedly as others have said, it is a rather barebones map in terms of detail. Still good layout, and still good combat, but is rather unremarkable. What it does well though is make good use of imps as snipers while the player has to manage a lot of ground level hitscanners, at least in the first section. Also the outdoor section is nice and fitting, I just think the interior base could use some extra wall detail and this map would be a fine entry. I still like the map and enjoyed it.
Also I never knew how to get the berserk pack when testing the maps in beta, found it by accident this time around. that fence secret is tricky as there's no indication its passable. Part of me wonders if it should have had an untextured back side or something, or a blood pool idk. 

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Onward to Rowdy Rudy 2!

 

MAP01: Storming the Bayside Base

100% kills, 2/2 secrets

 

Going back to the regular Doom textures is nice, as the ones in the first WAD were generally pretty ugly to my eye. Texture cohesion in general is a lot stronger here as well - it's a very nice 'jungle entrance to hidden base' approach, which works well. The enemies also feel like less of a hodgepodge and more cohesive as well. Theme was something that I think the first WAD lacked, and so I think this one is a lot stronger for it. The map itself is a good intro map, giving the player a chance to get their bearings with the new enemies and weapons, but also having enough action to satisfy. Having the necessary blue key in a secret is a bit weird, but I did enjoy going back to look for it (and it helps that Doomkid likes to repopulate old areas with monsters).

 

MAP02: Initial Hurdles

100% kills, 1/1 secret

 

This one is pretty small/simplistic and could've made for a MAP01 as well. It's a little bit overkill with the keys, managing to use all three in a small map, especially one that's pretty linear, but like MAP01 I think it does a good job of introducing the player to some of the new enemies.

 

MAP03: Further Infiltration

100% kills, 3/6 secrets

 

Unlike last map, which kept the same 90's vibe as Doomkid, this map definitely was made by a different author and feels much more modern. A lot more complex in design, and lots of nice detailing with the texture usage and lighting. Secrets are felt more difficult to find and took some searching, and even then I missed half of them. Really good map with the way everything flows together, this is the sort of design I wish I were better at. The mini-mastermind felt a bit out of place (in addition to looking bad because of sizing down the sprite).

 

MAP04: The Hydrocore

100% kills, 3/3 secrets

 

Another map from an obviously different author, this one features an interesting looping (and disorienting) design and LOTS of darkness. The creepy music sets the tone, this one had me creeping very carefully to avoid getting blasted from a dark corner. Another really good map. I agree with @MtPain27 that it feels decidedly un-Rudy-like, but I appreciate variety in level sets.

 

MAP05: In the Thick of It

100% kills, 2/2 secrets

 

Back to Doomkid, and that means lots of larger areas, enemies teleporting behind you and some rooms stuffed with enemies to rip through at the end. I agree that the somewhat barebones nature of it makes it feel like it could fit in the first WAD.

 

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ROWDY RUDY II: POWERTRIP! Map05: In the Thick of It by doomkid (Hard difficulty)

Results: 100% K, 83% I & 0% S

 

Kinda cool base themed map, though I have no idea how to grab the secrets. It's a good map, not too easy but not too rough, at least in HARD. I like it, it's kinda short so there's not much to talk about. 10/10

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(UV, Chocolate Doom, Pistol Start, 100% kills, 100% secrets)

Rowdy Rudy II: Powertrip! MAP05 - “In the Thick of It” by Doomkid

 

Back to Doomkid, back to good old Rowdy Rudy. Like previous posters mentioned, the style of this map is very much like the Rudy's Revenge, with its classic sparsely detailed architecture and fitting midi to go along with it. I would say this map is a fair bit easier than the previous, with its high visibility you don't really run into the danger of being sniped by hitscanners, and the map is fairly generous with health and ammo. In particular you'll be using the autoshotgun a lot here to take out a plethora of imps and plasma troopers. The high-tier enemies are taking a break for now.

 

One secret is a berserk pack reachable through a fake railing. I didn't have much problems with getting to it because I immediately assumed the railing to be fake. Maybe I've been conditioned to the use of fake walls by Rudy's Revenge. Since I was playing in Chocolate Doom, I'm not sure which one the other secret was. There's a set of platforms that lower when you open a door containing two chaingunners, which can be used to reach a Soulsphere. The other potential spot is a blue armor pickup perched on top of a crate right next to the exit. I'm not sure how I managed to get the crate to lower -- probably by spamming use on some computers somewhere in the map, or maybe it was part of the intended progression -- but it definitely wasn't an explicitly audible switch that one could use. By the end of the map I had almost full health and armor.

 

The map is overall quite short. Nothing new is really introduced, and it didn't pose much of a challenge, so it will likely be less memorable than the other levels. I didn't dislike it though.

 

Also, I like that the theme of interconnected levels is continuous throughout the wad.

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with a clutched SSG in hand, let's go get that cargo!

MAP 06: The elevator opens to a room with a chaingunner and a couple zombiemen, I choose a side door, open it to some more shotgunners and imps. Another door and more imps and dead guys plus a caco and the yellow key, all frolicking around the sludge pool. Nothing else of interest so I leave through another door, and back to the starting room where I go right this time, and into another room where pressing the switch on the pillar proves to be a bad thing. I eventually get killed after the game slow to a crawl, something that had never happened except while laying lost civilization..

 Second go, from the top! Same approach but instead of going for the yellow key to the pool of sludge I take the lift up first : it takes me to that pillar again.. Maybe it's better if I go get that yellow key first, done, now to the yellow door, kill kill kill, spiders and other assorted enemies and.. I'ts the end? (5m12s, 70% kills, 0% secrets) I reload a save, go back to the megasphere pillar, kill all, grab the blue key, and.. Ah, I see how to grab the megasphere, I just need some fancy footwork. That I suck at. On my second try I actually pass through the pillar but fail to grab the megasphere or trigger the secret.. Again. And Again, and again and then I cheat. I know how to reach it but I can't do it so... Fly. After that, go outside, kill everyone, grab the secret backpack and rush to the exit.

11m56 seconds, about half of them trying to grab that megasphere without cheating, 1 death, 100% K/S/I.

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Map 05: In the thick of it

Outnumbered, but not outgunned...

 

I felt like a terminator while playing this map. A relatively straightforward map with simplistic progression, yet with a nice, punchy feeling to it's combat. You're given more than enough resources to take on a literal horde of hit-scanners and lower tier enemies, gunning them down with the rifle's automatic fire. Weirdly satisfying to be taking the fight back to them after fighting for my life in the previous few maps.

 

I feel like John Matrix's, lesser, estranged brother.

 

Silhouette's stats:

Kills; 100%

Secrets: 100%

Deaths: 0

Number of dead hit-scanners: count the number of  shell casings on the floor

Beginning to see why this is called "Powertrip":YES

 

Map06: Clutched cargo

This was tougher than I expected...

 

Another Tech-base map with added punch. The best way to describe this one would be a 'the way ID did" map with added difficulty and size. A lot more high-tier enemies are present within this map, including the toxic caco, caco-lantern and the much (anticipated) return of the mini-mastermind, AKA the world's cutest hit-scanner. I feel this map feels a bit...mundane compared to the previous maps. Not exactly noteworthy, but still a decent map regardless,

 

I have a feeling that the next map is going to punish me for this post.. BRING.IT.ON!

 

Silhouette's stats:

Kills: 100%

secrets: 50%

Deaths: 2

Number of regerts: 0

Action movie meterTM: 75%

 

 

 

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MAP 06: Clutched Cargo

 

Probably the map I had the hardest time with so far isn't so bad upon revisitation. It's an E1-style techbase, somewhat of a callback to the first Rudy once again. This is the last Doomkid map we'll see till MAP 17, so let's relish it. You won't be armed to the teeth in this one, so take each new room carefully: it's easy to get overwhelmed by a front of plasma soldier and chaingunners, then backstabbed by a treacherous toxicaco (which are almost totally harmless unless they're accompanied by other monster types, at which point they become a serious bother). The fight in the soul sphere room is pretty rough, and the outdoor area (a very John Romero touch, by the way) has an outpost full of chaingunners packed tighter than sardines. At low health, you're a goner here. 

 

The Mastermind mini-mes are hilarious. I can't take them seriously at this point. Pull out the shotgun, chaingun, or maybe even the rifle, pump rounds into their bitty brains, and they can't do a thing. I thought the last corridor with three of them was going to pose a threat, but I didn't even take cover once. Another thing I noticed: in the low-lit toxic sludge room, there's a pile of crates and a swivel chair. One of the crates can be lowered (one time per side) for a medikit, but on top of the box is a pair of playing cards. A reference to Tom Hall and the Doom Alpha perhaps? I think so. Great Easter egg, Doomkid.

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(UV, Chocolate Doom, Pistol Start)

Rowdy Rudy II: Powertrip! MAP06 - “Clutched Cargo” by Doomkid

 

A Doomkid map that feels very much like an Episode 1 techbase, both due to the textures and because the only enemies that wouldn't fit the Doom 1 theme being the Mini Masterminds found guarding the exit corridor. Other than that, the biggest opposition you'll face is a few Toxicacos and a single Baron, as well as a horde of human personel and imps, but they all fall easily to the might of your autoshotgun and super chaingun. What might catch you off-guard is a cage full of chaingunners that is placed outside the base itself, but they tend to infight each other to the death soon after you alert them.

 

One thing to note about this map is that it does not require you to collect the blue key, at least on Expert difficulty. You can in principle enter the left door, grab the yellow key, rush to the other side and towards the exit, leaving most of the map unexplored. The blue key door instead holds a chaingunner cage that can catch you off-guard, a blue armor, and a SSG that will be mostly useless to pistol starters, as it will likely be the last item the player receives.

 

There is also a Soulsphere that can be reached through a simple elevator puzzle. One thing I like about Doomkid's style is that he designs the secrets in a way that their presence is apparent in some fashion,  but require the player to figure out how to get to them. This has been mostly consistent with few exceptions throughout Rudy 1 and his maps in Rudy 2 as well.

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MAP06: A much better take on the simple formula of the previous level by improving everything but not without straying too far away from that style. The map is also a quite obvious love letter to KDitD and wouldn't feel out of place in an episode 1 replacement. Combats favors more the weaker enemies to have a faster action and there's also some optional stuff to explore, including a visit to the secret courtyard that can't be missed in these kind of maps.

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Map06: Clutched Cargo - by DoomKid
GZDoom | Kills: 100% | Secrets: 100% | Expert, Fast Monsters, Pistol Start

 

another favorite little map of RRudy2, its a very nice E1 base that focuses more on close quarter fighting than dealing with snipers and running in the open, but still has some of the latter to keep it a bit more varied. The map features an alternative blue key route which is not necessary to beat the map, which I always like. For some reason having areas to explore just to kill demons and get some extra weaponry has always added more to my opinion of a map than the main path, something I like a lot.
the map is still somewhat simplistic in detail and has some weird doom 1 texture combos, but the added details here are a lot prettier to look at than the previous map, feels a lot less barren. Good combat, good fun, secrets are alright but could use a couple more. I found the yellow key "main" path was easier to tackle first from pistol start than the blue key "optional" path, however i could see how doing the blue key path first would make the yellow key path a breeze.

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Dang, I've been busy lately. Didn't realize I'd fallen so far behind. Time to start catching up.

 

I'm playing Powertrip with mostly the same rules as Rowdy Rudy 1. Hard difficulty, pistol starts, and no saves (at least until the game starts kicking my ass sufficiently).

 

Map 1: Storming the Bayside Base

A solid start to the wad. Map 1 is a nice looking level, and manages to feel exciting despite its mild difficulty. The new monsters and weapons are welcome additions; I especially like the flamethrower guy. 

Deaths: 0

 

Map 2: Initial Hurdles

The choice of music for this one makes me feel like I have to speedrun it. I like this level a lot. It's relatively short, simple, and easy, but the action and progression feel seamless to me. 

Deaths: 1 - the toxic caco that teleports in when the blue door is opened snuck up on me.

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Map07: Secluded Rifts

A map set in a cavernous base with heavy opposition, atmospheric and a great midi? Is that not the perfect combination?!

 

This is probably my favorite map so far. Not too tough and atmospheric. One of the longer ones, too. There's an interesting use of textures here. Final Doom textures and a few Duke 3D here and there( I love the random toilet on the wall in the one building). The combat is also really fun, giving you access to a good amount of the arsenal and a ton of high-tier enemies. The final area is probably my favorite, with a look at the upcoming hellish aspect of the conversion.

 

I'm thinking of opening a "Can you pet the spider mastermind?" twitter account...

 

Silhouette's stats:

kills: 92%
Secrets: 80%

Deaths: 1

Killer soundtrack: Yes

Killer atmosphere: Yes

 

 

 

  

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MAP07: Moody and and a little creepy map with a fitting music and the high cavernous space of the underground also sets the tone with the good use of lighting. Liked the truck and the cheecky toilet at the PR. The start is rather challennging due to the starvation of resources, plus I took a hit I should have avoided from a rev I didn't notice from above so I had to go with very low health for a while. Though the map isn't as menacing as it presents itself once you get an initial foothold and you have secured some ammo. The  central room with the stair that lowers was the hardest trap, fun stuff. Minor complaint but I think that the exit cart could have been a bit more detailed

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Map07: Secluded Rifts - by riderr3
GZDoom | Kills: 100% | Secrets: 100% | Expert, Fast Monsters, Pistol Start

 

a lovely atmospheric map. Definitely feels rather TNT-ish by design with the cave structures and the truck. The map flow is very fun with lots of height variation, and the player is constantly looping through the map while either climbing tall stairs or jumping out of windows to access new points. Combat is fine, good difficulty for mid WAD, and balance feels just. I especially liked the arena fight with the lowering staircase, a fun use of the map structure. Secrets were plentiful, varied, and all felt rather good, especially the hidden key wall similar to E1M5 if I remember correctly. Also the blue armor secret was cool, out in the open with little hints to it, but if you look at the environment the solution slowly becomes clear.

My only complaint with the map is that the player can go into the yellow key cave before lowering its pedestal, and trigger the yellow key area fight early and access the lift. Not sure if this was intentional to make it easier when later going for the yellow key (grabbing it forces the lift down and you have to kill a baron to re-raise it).

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Map 3: Further Infiltration

Another easy but fun level. This one actually felt easier than map 2 to me. There's an excess of ammo, and I breezed through it pretty quickly. The modified berserk powerup is ridiculously fun to use, and crazy powerful. Once I got it, I just punched everything for the rest of the level.

Deaths: 0

 

Map 4: The Hydrocore

Between the choice of music and all the sounds of unseen enemies teleporting, this map has a pretty tense feel to it. The generous use of hitscanners made this one the most difficult so far as well. There's a switch that's right next to a window overlooking the red key that I think must have been an intentional fake-out. I stood there like an idiot for a few seconds after using it, waiting for the red key to lower, not realizing it was opening a passage behind me.

Deaths: 1

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Damn, falling behind again. What can I say, life's been pretty crazy of late (by my placid standards, anyway). Time to (attempt to) rectify that (again).

 

MAP04: The Hydrocore, by Voltcom (now @MidnightMage) - 100% / 100%

 

The problem with being perennially late is that other people get to make all the good points, putting me at risk of sounding boring and derivative ;)

 

Most of what can be said about this map has been said in some capacity. The Hydrocore is a dark, open map with a high degree of player exposure, reminiscent of RRR, with Plutonia-esque visuals and a number of small interesting touches, such as the random dispenser or the gore-choked fan.

 

I also can't really make any points about the interplay between Powertrip! and Mage's style due to my ignorance of their body of work. The only thing I know is that they seem to be fond of dark sectors (gleaned from various submissions and posts), appropriate, given the nature of this map.

 

Darkness is a difficult tool to use correctly, though it has many applications, from tone-setting to hiding austere detailing to increasing difficulty to concealing secrets. Excessive or misplaced darkness can be immensely frustrating, especially when combined with annoying encounter design. There are few things more annoying than being boned by a Rev you cannot see.

 

For the most part, The Hydrocore avoids the problems associated with low light-levels and reaps the rewards, though the last trap near the exit is a little cheap. The resource balancing is a little tight, though you are given the opportunity to use the rocket launcher, the plasma and the SSG, which is introduced in this level.

 

Said SSG is probably the only weapon that feels weaker here than in Powertrip!, though given the god-tier punch of that weapon and this variant's high RoF, I can't say I'm disappointed. The damage you deal out with this thing is unreal, scything down most enemies is seconds.

 

I didn't really mention the RL in the last map, since it plays and feels mostly the same, though its sprite is definitely cool. The plasma also doesn't feel too different.

 

Overall, this is a nice short little map. Surely, it is a departure from the norm, and doesn't feel especially Rudy-ish, but there is nothing wrong with that, especially when taking the next two maps into consideration.

 

 

MAP05: In The Thick of It, by Doomkid - 100% / 100%

 

If the last map strayed from the baseline set down by the first map, then this one 'regresses' all the way to RRR's standards. Almost everything I said about the first seven maps of RRR applies here, just on a larger scale and with more developed gameplay.

 

This is not a bad thing, though, since RRR is still a damn good wad, and these two maps feel like a natural evolution of that style. Of all the maps so far, this one understands the new weapons and monsters the best, to the surprise of exactly no one.

 

The combat just 'clicks' in a way that is hard to describe. I find myself runnin' and gunnin' like an action movie protagonist, mowing down the opposition with Rudy's superb arsenal. A true Powertrip!

 

Like with RRR, the layout just served to facilitate the action, with little in the way of atmosphere or personality. It feels in some ways like a linear deathmatch map, with good height variation, lots of space to maneuver and a high degree of exposure.

 

Resource balancing is fair, not really noticeable either way, though I must say the lack of a backpack makes managing the 100-round ammo boxes a real pain. This has been bothering me since the start of RRR, but isn't really that noticeable since I have failed to mention it so far.

 

Overall, a solid but very 'standard' map that feels like a more mature take on RRR's first half.

 

 

MAP06: Clutched Cargo, by Doomkid - 100% / 100%

 

This map is similar to the last in many respects but is a lot less linear, and feels more well-rounded, though it pays for that in its combat, which lacks the speed and fun-factor of the previous map. The detailing is also better this time around, lacking the 'lite' feel of RRR. Not much to say here, another solid map from the 'Kid.

 

Honestly, the only mistake made here was to put the two maps back to back, rather than using them to punctuate some of the rather bizarre maps yet to come. Though, I don't really know anything about Powertrip!'s development process, so I can't really say anything for sure.

 

 

Almost caught up! I'm trying to resist my natural impulse to leave everything to the last minute. A short attention span really is a curse! Anyway, now that things have settled down a bit on my end, I should be able to put a little more effort into individual maps. Time will tell, I suppose.

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so, let's shoot up two more levels! 

 

MAP07 : It's some kind of cave, and it connects to another cave where a doom-cute truck is waiting for the gates to open so it can leave. Of course, after I killed it's driver it won't go anywhere but.. The gate seems to be jammed, but still I enter the building to press the switch, which doesn't fix the gate, as expected. "Outside", a wall of switches, I press it and reveal it as a lift.  Exiting the lift, in the room with the yellow and red bars, I find the secret automap, and then I fall down. A yellow door, a teleport destination, a fire caco and some insta-stairs. I climb those, discover that there isn't anything up there yet and go back down, and across the room and back up. Now, I grab the rocket launcher and fall just before the yellow door, and.. Nop, not here. "outside" I find a secret collection of health bonus, and then enter the big metal door, kill a dude, jump, grab the blue key, press the switch, jump for the amplivision, go up back the metal door stairs and into the newly erected platform. Enter the door, press the switch, kill and get shot at, press the swtches up the stairs. Enter the 'port, press switch to lower the key, back to the 'port, and go get that key! But first, detour to grab the back pack. The cavern in a cavern that leads the keys that lead to the yellow key is now filled with monsters, but after grabbing the key there is only one more baron to deal with here. After this I could open the yellow bar and move to the exit but first a short trip to the WC to get a plasma gun. Now, actually outside we have assorted cacos, revenants and a pair of barons to deal with before reaching the exit, but first, I'm missing 2 secrets and having the automap there's just no excuse for that. Secret 1 : soulsphere! Secret 2 : Megasphere! And that's 18m39s, 0 deaths, 100% K&S&I!

 

MAP08 : the trolley brought me to some cave, and outside I can see the pinkies waiting for me, so I shoot a couple of rockets, luring them inside before going out, and kill the imps waiting for me. A far off pinkie distracts me as his cousins come to try and eat my face, together with a revenant. Nothing too serious, so I go up some stairs, find a berseker and a secret green armor I can't yet pick up and then back to the same place so I can punch some demons, Ahh, that felt good. And then I go back to grab the rocket launcher and end launching a rocket to a wall. Twice. Which, predictably, kills me.

 Second go, this time I stepped away from the central area and threw rockets at my problems until they were no more. After that, and low on ammo, I go up the stairs and punch my way to the door, but once inside I decide that the rambo approach isn't a good one. I decide that after dying of course. 

 Third try goes a bit better, but I still end up dead, rocket to the face, but at least it wasn't one of mine?

 Fourth try is going well but I need to make a break for work related reasons so.. Back. Two more deaths before I can finally clear that outdoor area and then cleared the blue key zone in the first try. Got the secret cell pack, and back, press the blue switch and I am free to leave but... 2 secrets short.. Let's go back outside and.. Oh, a secret I had already opened but hadn't entered. More rockets! And now, for the soulsphere.. hum.. Ah, from the inside.

 5 deaths, 14m32s, 100% everything.

 

Edited by kalaeth

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MAP08: Rather hot pistol start, having to face so many pink(red)ies and after the pistol replacement you'll have only the RL that you have to be careful to not to blow yourself with it. There's even a berserk pack if you want to open your way with punches. The map progressively get less warm until the underwhelming ending. Potentially you can grab some ammo and skip this whole encounter, the door that connects to the next area is a fast one so the monsters can't open it and the initial horde can just sit in an area you don't need to visit anymore. The central part was the most fun and the monster placement and layout made some interesting combats. I was disappointed by the BK ambush, maybe I was just expecting something more by the menacing look of the room instead of a basic encounter like that.

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Map 08: Cliffside punch-out!

Call me Mike Tyson, because it's time to PUNCH OUT!

 

A map where the gimmick is made instantly clear from the moment you start. Dozens of Blood Demons await and your only option is to have them fall by your bare hands. The map switches things up in the second part of the map, with a larger focus on traditional, tried-and- tested combat. The second part of the map also roundhouse-kicked my ass and made a hearty contribution to my death counter for this map. Overall, the combat is pretty fun and is shaken up nicely by this map.

 

Rudy's fists are in burst-fire mode, locked and loaded!

 

Silhouette's stats:

Kills: 99%

Secrets: 40%

Deaths: 6

Sore fists: YES

Adrenaline meterTM: 84%

 

Map 10: Security station

This map may have broken my brain(or what's left of it, anyway).

 

Something about this one confused me in a very interesting way. Maybe it's the fact that I'm so bloody exhausted and my brain feels... smooth. Anyway, This is probably another one of my favorites. Ticks the box in every department and has a good midi, too. About all I can say, just a really good map.

 

The map also introduces us to the airborne spider-demon. There's something oddly humorous with her that I can't put my finger on. Maybe it's the very small thrusters barely keeping her afloat....?

 

The floating spider-demon may have broken me... What's next, Doomkid? A cyber-demon with roller skates?

 

Silhouette's stats:

Kills: 99%

Secrets:80%

Deaths: 1

Smoothness meter: 95%( I just hit the same wrong key three times in a row)

Wondering who had the bright idea to give the spider-demon the gift of flight: YES

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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MAP09: This one reminded me of Valiant with its fast and constant action. Good usage of the plasma zombies as snipers. There's plenty of ammmo which goes along well with the very fast flowing gameplay and you are given a backpack from the start,  possibly the item that is the most important in this wad as bullets and shells go down quickly. For the health I should have been more careful instead, especially in the last part where you are locked and can't go back until you beat the boss. Somehow I managed to open the secret armory and get some health and cells for the true spiderdemon of the wad which is floating thanks to the rockets that replace the legs.

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MAP 07: Secluded Rifts

 

Another low-lit map, Secluded Rifts takes you underground, where your worst enemies are the limited visibility and unconventional progression. Both keys require switches to access, which are kind of out of the way if you don't know what you're looking for. I got Requiem vibes from this map for some reason, with its simmering ambiance and mandatory step-retracing. The cavern with the yellow key sets up a pretty obvious ambush (I could have done without the barons), and I got surprised twice by the arch-vile that pops out of the first room; he can be neutralized with some careful rocketry. I love the detail of the revenant driving the TNT truck, that made me chuckle. For the final fight, you can spray and pray with the plasma you found in the toilet. Not a bad map.

 

MAP 08: Cliffside Punchout

 

This is the most fun I've had in the DWMegawad Club so far: Cliffside Punchout is a ripping good time. Sprint down the first hill, grab the rocket launcher, and hustle for the berserk, then start going to town on an onslaught of revenants, pinkies, imps, and the odd RPG trooper. The high octane music and the screaming horde of monsters get the testosterone pumping, let me tell you. It's hard to top the opening melee, but the rest of the map gets pretty close. The dockside shootout features a wide monster variety and can sting you with sneaky traps if you're not careful. Don't forget to have a coke: it'll open a secret plasma rifle which will help out a lot later. There's a room towards the end that I'd swear was ripped straight from E4M6 (The Pain Maze) from Quake: the one curved like a C, full of spawns and vores, with a staircase leading up to a higher level on the left side. I remember it because it's one of Quake's more painful rooms, but thankfully its Rudy counterpart doesn't share its sadism. The last room with the arch-vile and his contingent got me good--it didn't kill me, just gave me a nice scare. I had a blast with this map, its enemy placement complements the new weapon variety better than any Rudy map I've played so far.

 

MAP 09: Security Station

 

This secluded base gets pretty relentless with its sniper placement, it's rife with plasma-type foes who like to spit projectiles at you from afar. The flame troopers are starting to become problematic: as expected, we're starting to see them placed in close quarters situations, like the dark hallway trap about halfway through the map, where you get two of them and a flame caco right in your face. Speaking of those hot-tempered oranges, they're starting to see more prominent usage than their lime flavored cousins. There's a teleport trap in this map that drops you right next to two of them, very mean. 

 

I like the details in this map: the secret ammo stash attached to the guard's office, complete with a playing card table, feels very lifelike, and the trees at the start actually make it hard to see projectiles, which is sly decoration placement. Of course I also love being rewarded for using the coke machine. I did have an issue where three or four revenants located north of the start never teleported in for some reason even though I found all five secrets (with help). The ending really caught me off guard: what the hell is this flying arachnoid monstrosity?! I first thought to myself, forgetting about the "Flying Mastermind" entry in the text file. It gave me a jolt, but emptying your plasma on it does the trick every time. 

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it's friday, past work hours so time for a glass of wine and a dose of doom!

 

MAP 09: I've reached the security station but it looks like someone else was here first and did a number on a bunch of marines and a pinkie.. Outside, imps and more marines, corpses litter the ground, and imps on ledges shoot at me as I recover the armor and backpack some poor soul lost in here. I cross the barbed wire and reach what must actually be the security station, guarded by my enemies. The "guns blazing, no cares given" approach almost proves fatal, but I manage to get a foothold inside. A secret armor + invisibility and I'm ready to tackle the lower floor, that actually serves no purpose. Now, to go outside, and say, with all due respect, fuck them cacos! After removing the annoying ones I climb the stairs,  grab the soulsphere and the blue key, jump down and deal death with plasma and rockets. Having survived, I go towards the blue door, super shotgun in one hand, glass of wine in the other since I already killed everything that lurked on the way.. Can't say I was surprised that there was a trap on the corridor. Or a secret. Still, what's done it's done. I head outside and then I make a mistake : I jumped down and had to deal with the rocket launcher marines on my way up, it didn't work well for me.

 Second go : Much better. Reaching the 'port I take a deep breath, a sip of wine and a step forward. By that order yes. Teleporting outside I SSG whatever shows up before grabbing the red key and 'porting back. Next step : red door. Whomever deploys this RL marines has no love for the interiors of their bases, launching rockets inside?! Crazy. I then face a pair of mancubi while considering that their shots might also leave a mess on the walls and that I do not want to be the one who cleans them after. Strangely enough it seems that "middle of the combat" is not the best time to wax philosophically and I end up dead. 

 Third go, from the red door : Ok, much better. Mancs dead, chaingunners dead, imp dead. I stop for soda, and the coke machine delivers a soulsphere. Not what I had in mind but, I might be inclined to say that is was a better choice. And now I'm ready to leave but I am also a pair of secrets short... Since I can't go back (this sucks!), I can only find one more, if I can figure how to enter the ammo.. oh, it's open now. Weird. Still, no way to go outside, and as such, let's go kill the flying brain! A bunch of rockets after, oh look! A teleport back, great. Now, how to grab that berseker? Oooh cool. Let's punch air until the exit! 

 So, that's 20 minutes 31 seconds, 2 deaths, 100% K/S/I!

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MAP07: Secluded Rifts, by @riderr3 - 100% / 100%

 

Now this is an interesting one.

 

If you had asked me mere weeks ago what I knew about riderr3, I would have replied 'who?'. My recent foray into Plutonia and its various successors has changed all that. Now, the handle 'riderr3' brings to my mind one thing in particular: Urania, the (in)famous megawad for Plutonia.

 

Needless to say, when I saw that name in Rudy 2's roster, the notion of a crossover between Powertrip! and one of the masters of the Plutonic arts intrigued me to say the least.

 

Strange then, that there seems to be little of Plutonia in this map, at least no more so than some previous entries. Instead, Secluded Rifts seems to focus on fostering a dark, moody atmosphere, and bizarre sense of place. If anything, this map reminded me more of TNT: Evilution than the Casali brothers' masterpiece.

 

Talking about the basic gameplay and progression of the map seems almost to miss the point, though I can only say this due to the competence of the execution, since few things distract more from an atmospheric adventure than obtuse progression or stale combat.

 

Here, the combat is woven into the experience, creating engagement and a sense of overwhelming hostility that really cements the mood. The star of the show, though, is definitely the layout itself, which is strikingly non-linear, unconventional and domineeringly vertical.

 

Doomcute detailing, most notably the TNT-esque truck, adds another layer of personality to the map. There is a pervasive sense that something happened here, something bad, giving the map low-key horror vibe, setting it apart from the rest of the set.

 

There is one thing Secluded Rifts has in common with most Plutonic maps, however: it starts out difficult, but becomes easier and easier as time goes on, with the last fight being a veritable cakewalk. This is mainly due to the vast excess of ammo accumulated by the player toward the end of the map. Even on UV, I didn't find myself having to use the plasma at all.

 

This isn't really an issue, though, since the map has basically made its point by that time, and perhaps the author knew having to play through the whole thing again after dying in the final fight would defeat the purpose of the map. Who can say?

 

Overall, an original, atmospheric map unlike anything in the set so far.

 

 

MAP08: Cliffside Punchout, by @TravyB - 100% / 100%

 

This map is everything I love about Rudy condensed into a single, delightful package.

 

TravyB is not a handle I am familiar with, though a quick glance at their work shows an aptitude for visuals, which is definitely present here, as well as an affection for Tango's legendary Supercharge.

 

The thing which stands out to me the most about this map is just how well it nails the action movie hero feel that Powertrip! aspires towards. The first half of the map in particular is just an absolute joyride, a maelstrom of ultra-violence that leverages Rudy's shonen anime punching skills to the utmost.

 

Cliffside Punchout in many ways feels like the first map of the set, but on a larger, more blood-soaked scale. Both involve clearing out a cave-riddled jungle coastline on the periphery of a military-themed installation.

 

Both have great midis that set the scene, both have pleasing naturalistic vistas that defy vanilla expectations and both embody the heart of what makes Powertrip! and the Rudy-verse as a whole so special.

 

While the map does start to lose steam toward the end, there is never really a dull moment here, and TravyB is definitely a handle I will look out for in the future!

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Map08: Cliffside Punchout - by TravyB
GZDoom | Kills: 100% | Secrets: 80% | Expert, Fast Monsters, Pistol Start

 

another excellently designed map with a great track, this is a map where i think doing a pistol start does it some justice. Normally the player would have an arsenal and slowly take out the demons and make their way into the canyon, however with just a rifle the player is forced to run into the nest of demons and imps, trying to circle around to that very visible berserk. One achieved the player has the option to then go ape mode back into the cliffside or do use the nice escape route back to the stark, creating this nice loop of running and then gibbing everything in sight, a very fun intro sequence that really sets up the name of the map, worth doing even when you have a SSG and chain guns.

the intro is a finely crafted nature vista that then goes into a very open base on the cliffside. Here is where the map devolved into a bit of hitscan hell, with plenty of shotgunners and chaingunners hiding in nooks and crannies around the base, all while the player deals with imps and demons. A nice combat setup, but a tricky one that killed me many times with fast monsters. open enough for the player to move, but still rather close. The other notable mapspot is the toxin arena, where killing the archvile first is absolutely necessary, and letting the mancs take care of the revs for you. I do agree that once you get the blue key it feels a bit anticlimactic to just walk out into the corpse ridden courtyard and just leave, feels like something should happen when you open the blue door, but its also fine as is. Overall a great map.

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I played through maps 5 and 6 last night, but I was very tired at the time so I decided to redo them tonight, as I couldn't really remember anything about them other than that they were really easy. Oddly enough, replaying them today, they seem quite a bit tougher now. Maybe the key to being good at doom is to play it while you're half asleep. Or maybe I accidentally had it set to a lower difficulty last night. I'm not sure.

 

Map 5: In The Thick Of It

I'm a sucker for fast-paced, simple, straightforward maps like this one. My only regret is that I found the berserk when there were only 2 enemies left.

Deaths: 0

 

Map 6: Clutched Cargo

This map came very close to killing me several times, but I managed to make it through on my first try. There's a lot of optional areas in this one, and the first time I played it I missed more than 25% of the kills. Another solid map, and still not too difficult.

Deaths: 0

 

Map 7: Secluded Rifts

I have mixed feelings about this one. It started out great for me; a tense, atmospheric level that was a step up in difficulty and had a very familiar sounding song. But then things got confusing. Maybe I only have my own terrible sense of direction to blame for this, but with each new switch I activated, I spent several minutes wandering around trying to figure out just what the heck it did. There's a lot that I like about this map, but by the end of it I was pretty frustrated.

Deaths: 2

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MAP10 - “Satan’s Watchful Eye”

I'll just state outright that I didn't like this map, and that was before the IoS section at the end. Once again, there simply isn't enough ammo to do much from a pistol start besides bait infighting or employ speedrunning strats. There are 2 Medikits outside and not a whole lot more in terms of health aside from 2 Berserk packs. I was low enough on HP before grabbing the first one, which resulted in taking damage from invisible Imps and Shotgunners while the game autoswitched to the fist. The Vile trap near the Blue Armour also results in either damage taken or a huge waste of plasma if jumping down the lift to get out of there. The 2nd Vile that spawns in isn't much better, as he shows up before the door where there is no cover. I could either run inside the flesh room, take some damage from the Flame Caco and hitscanners, and return to the Vile resurrecting a bunch of stuff. Or jump back down after opening the door and try to melt him. One time he managed to resurrect 2 ghost Flame Cacos, who died near the door and got crushed, so that was an instant game over. Now, ghost monsters are at the top of my list of vanilla grievances. :P

 

Oh boy, now that final area. Why is there no audio cue of the IoS waking up or the whoosh sound when it spawns enemies? I only noticed what type of encounter it was after clearing the room and seeing enemies teleporting in after my kill count was stuck at 84/84. Then there is riding 3 tiny lifts in a specific sequence, where another tiny lift lowers somewhere across the lava. The only redeeming aspect was being able to shoot the eye from a stationary position. That was unfortunately one of the least enjoyable maps I've played recently.

 

Final Thoughts

Sorry @Doomkid, Rowdy Rudy is a set I wanted to like, but there were a lot of things I just didn't enjoy. The dehacked changes are generally good, though starting with no bullets makes the beginnings of several maps, mainly 05, 06, 07, and 10 feel like a crapshoot that guaranteed taking some damage while scrambling for resources. This wouldn't be as much of a problem if there was more health lying around or earlier access to armour. It reminds me of how the IWADs or 90's wads would design their pistol start progression, which I'm a vocal critic off. Playing continuously would have probably resulted in a more enjoyable experience and less times wondering where the health, armour, and ammo is.

 

Favourite map: 08

Least favourite: 10

 

Overall score: 2/5

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