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Katamori

What are you playing now?

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Just finished up Memento Mori 2 (UV). Cool set of maps, what else? It's weird, though: nothing in the WAD really stuck in my memory. Dunno if that's just because none of the maps are really that extraordinary, or if I've played so many PWADs now that something really needs to be special to stick with me, or maybe it's just because 90s Doom 2 levels aren't really my thing at the moment...? Beats me.

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Started in on Favillesco Alpha 2 tonight. (On UV, against my better judgement.) I love the levels, these sprawling, nonlinear messes. But I'm really starting to hate the secrets. The original Favillesco ones weren't too bad, but in the Alpha levels secrets are just getting so obtuse. I mean, I can always see the secret area (which is good, some authors won't even give you that) and on top of that, I can usually find the door. But now, more often than not, I have no idea how to open the door. And yes, I get that that's the secret, but still. It's super frustrating, and so far two maps into Alpha 2, I'm missing more secrets than I'm finding.

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50 shades was very cool.

Played Doomed Space Wars. Also cool. I really dig the Dark Forces aesthetic. The lighting is pretty static tho and most of the added enemies feel like wasted opportunities. The tortured soul and security droid are good additions. I would love to see more people take this theme and experiment.

Now playing Zalewa's Power Metal.

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I've been playing Nicolas Monti wads recently, started with Erkattanne, then followed by Reticula and Alpha Episode 2.

The latter was the most difficult one, death by a thousand cuts. Hitscanners everywhere, they wander in corridors, they hide in dark corners, they camp you from numerous windows and snipe you from a distance. They constantly chip away your precious health, which is nowhere to replenish as medikits are very limited. Not sure if I really liked it, as it provokes slow cautious playstyle. As I play "blind" with no savegames I also find it frustrating that author still insists on including instant death traps. Halfway through the map, 20+ mins in? 4 barons in 192x192 room is your ultimate reward. These are unbeatable without foreknowledge but aren't difficult in any way if you're prepared, so I question the purpose. Loved the exploration element of the maps though, it's just like Alpha One all over again but kicks in much earlier (I remember that first map that really impressed me back then was m5, but here you get a glimpse of what to expect in m2 already). I kinda wish the author would start to make use of "hidden" line property even if it'll make secrets way too obscure. I mean, almost all of them are solved by looking at the automap for hidden switches. And oh man m9 is hilarious. Too bad I never used any of the invulnerability spheres.

Reticula was the most varied one in terms of setting, but also the most linear, and surprisingly easy despite all the ambushes. Unlike deadly rooms of death from Alpha Two, they are easy to escape from and switch to door camping. Which is not very fun either, but still much more fair as it requires some skill and experience to react quickly. Wad is not too bad overall, if only a bit tedious. I had my share of fun moments and will play 2nd episode if it ever comes out.

Erkattanne is the best one in terms of balance in my opinion. It doesn't push you too hard, but if you are too careless you will still die easily. Some hectic weapon hunt starts are always welcome, and my only real complaint is the liberal usage of BFG / PG, once you get them the amount of cells trivializes the rest of the map a bit too much. Monti did some tuning in that department afterwards, but I'm yet to see if it was sufficient enough. Also visually it's the most "1994" of them all, so I'd suggest that all newschool adepts pretend Erkattanne never existed, lol. Cool stuff, I'd like to see more, but in a different setting (not tech-bases all over again, yawn).

Then I played ICAR2015, which was a solid effort from Eternal but it didn't really impress me all that much. I'm onto concern.wad from Matt Powell (finished e1, e2 and hadron.wad) now. As maps grow harder I think it will keep me busy for quite a while, along with draftex.wad.

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Finally finished Valiant! I'm sure it's no surprise to hear that I think it's an excellent mapset. Really exciting and energetic gameplay, plenty of challenge despite the numerous health pickups, and some phenomenal architectural design that I can't even wrap my head around. It's kinda funny playing it right after I finished STRAIN, as the two almost couldn't be further apart. Utterly fantastic stuff from skillsaw—I'm considering trying a no-save HMP run the next time I play it.

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Slowly going through Going Down, reached MAP14. Brilliant wad so far, looking forward to see what will happen in the other maps.
Also I started Equinox a few days ago, reached MAP07. Cool wad, I have the feeling that it influenced Deus Vult a lot.

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Been switching between Valiant, Alien Vendetta, and Scythe 2 on UV-Max pistol start. Having a tough time with Scythe 2 map 23 and I'm on Valiant map 27, AV map 26. Time to improve them skills.....cussing skills.

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Monolith Part 5 - this was just awesome, very recommended! It's a big interconnected arena with several waves of monsters, made by Richard Wiles. The wave after the blue key scared me shitless at first but actually it's not that bad.

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Finished concern.wad and draftex.wad. Kept growing on me for quite a bit, I must say; it went from being another mediocre project to something that can possibly be the best action-packed Ultimate Doom megawad. I can see why the author didn't add draftex.wad as an episode to Concerned though. After the slaughterfest climax in e3m8 you'd expect something along these lines in e4 but all you really get is a polished combination of the elements that are already well-established. e4m8 got me the most, thank God it's pretty short. It's also worth mentioning that I got rid of turret cybers in e4m6 halfway through, so don't give a player too much ammo if you want for such gimmick to work out. Overall I enjoyed Concerned but it's not what I'd call a "1st tier" work. As a player I couldn't help but to keep asking "Why did you choose UDoom to begin with? For the sake of aesthetics? But your gameplay already has broken it". To me it looks like being stuck somewhere in-between with no point to prove.

Not a fan of hadron.wad. While it's clear that Matt is capable of creating much more appealing vistas today, some of gameplay changes, especially in early maps, made things more tedious than anything else.

Then I played Incineration and Monument, by Paul Corfiatis and Chris Hansen, respectively. Both are quality episodes with nothing wrong about them. However none of the mapping aspects - gameplay, layouts, or visuals - were taken to the high level either. I will not go as far as calling them generic, and they do have some good moments, but I doubt I will ever replay them. And if I had to pick one, I'd say I prefer Incineration over Monument a lil' bit.

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Finished Favillesco Alpha 2 last night. Whew! Those are some big, sprawling maps, wow. Each level has 1 or 2 real dick-move BS instant-death-if-you're-not-prepared traps, but as a frequent saver they don't bother me terribly. E3M9 was totally unexpected, though: I laughed when I initially pulled the map up and saw the monster count. Wow. E3M8 might have been the easiest Favillesco finale yet, but I really liked it, and it continued the basic pattern of most of the Fav finishers: large empty areas eerily devoid of opposition to slowly arm you and build atmosphere, and then boom! final fight. Great stuff. Looking forward to diving into Erkatanne shortly.

In the meantime, I'm working on Doom 2 In Name Only (Russian Edition), which is just magnificent. MAP05 in particular was a 2-hour beast that just blew me away. The Russian community just puts out some gorgeous (and fun!) stuff. I definitely need to play more of their back catalog.

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About halfway into Valiant right now. I'm on Map32 right now and about map31 I've decided that nope I still don't like slaughter, I guess I should try making a slaughter map that even I will like sometime. In recent memory I did really like map15, those suicide bombers are pretty fun to be put up against assuming I'm not where they teleport in :P

I played Sunlust until I got to the more hell themed maps, once I reached that point I kinda skimmed through the rest. I should go back since there's some really cool maps onward from there so I guess I'll just go fraggin' finish it. :s

Also gonna do some exploration of the newest build of the Shadow Maverick Multi-Purpose Mod sometime since it's just so full of stuff >.<

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Running through Jim Flynn's stuff right now, finishing up with Oracle. His stuff is some of the best classic Doom stuff there is.

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Finally found a little bit of time to start in on Sunlust! *squeals*

In some ways it's just what I'd expected, in other ways not at all so, but it has been quite enjoyable thus far.

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power metal was okay
Erkattanne was excellent
Estranged was interesting, very adventurous
Breach was fucking fantastic

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Now I'm playing Bloodpack. It feels like the poor man's version of Eternal Doom, but I find it preety fun. Also I like 50% of the sound replacements.

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Ragnor said:

Running through Jim Flynn's stuff right now, finishing up with Oracle. His stuff is some of the best classic Doom stuff there is.

If you haven't, check out Paul Schmitz's The Artifact and Welcome to Hell for Doom 2. Has the similar type of obtuse puzzle solving coupled with stunning architecture that we see from Jim Flynn, Sverre Kvernmo, and Bob Evans. There's also Dave Brachman's Zandor 2 and Alex Mayberry's Perdition's Gate episode. It's awesome playing through some Team Eternal's maps outside of their legendary project. ;)

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I'm almost done with Erkattäññe, and it's damn good. Didn't like map 09's gimmick that much, but the rest is top quality, provided you can cope with Nicolas Monti's craziness when it comes to ( lack of ) texture alignment.

Can't wait to try the Russians' take on Doom II In Name Only.

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Ragnor said:

Running through Jim Flynn's stuff right now, finishing up with Oracle. His stuff is some of the best classic Doom stuff there is.


Yeah he made really interesting maps, I'm currently playing Enigma.
Also I started a replay of Evilution as the last full playthrough I made of it was like 3-4 years ago. I'm at MAP06 now, but I'm looking forward to reach E2/E3 where the are the more interesting maps for what I recall.

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Finally got around to DTWID, since E4 is lost in limbo and likely wont surface for years. E1 was "eh" and didn't really feel special or memorable at all, only level I really remember was the secret one. E2 and 3 however, were excellent and would be much better as the real E2 and 3. Props on making the mastermind ACTUALLY a threat in comparison to the crap that was Dis. When do we make PSX versions of these? ;]

Tempted to start up some other UD wads now.

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Finished playing 50 shades of greytall. I thought it was pretty awesome mapset with some very clever and creative usage of texture. I didn't like some of the more slaughter-based maps but other than that, I really enjoyed it. And damn mechadon made a beast of map, never ceases to amaze.

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SFoZ911 said:

Finished playing 50 shades of greytall. I thought it was pretty awesome mapset with some very clever and creative usage of texture. I didn't like some of the more slaughter-based maps but other than that, I really enjoyed it. And damn mechadon made a beast of map, never ceases to amaze.


Map 6 was pretty goddamn amazing, no matter what the textures. That basement is creepy as hell :)

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SFoZ911 said:

Finished playing 50 shades of greytall. I thought it was pretty awesome mapset with some very clever and creative usage of texture. I didn't like some of the more slaughter-based maps but other than that, I really enjoyed it. And damn mechadon made a beast of map, never ceases to amaze.


Map 6 was pretty goddamn amazing, no matter what the textures. That basement is creepy as hell :)

Mechadon's map was pretty fantastic, that UT midi definitely added to it.

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Had Plutonia 2 and Plutonia Revisited on my list of WADs to play this year. I had played the first couple maps of one of them, forgot which, so I randomly chose Plutonia 2. Yeah, that's the one I've played before. Only the first two maps, though, so whatevs. Anyway, it's a lot of fun, but I'm glad I'm only playing on HMP. Up to MAP06 now.

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I have recently played Needs More Detail 2 (nmd2.wad). I find it to be a very faithful tribute to the original Doom and was motivated to do my pistol-start challenge on it. Yesterday I succeeded in playing the 8 non-secret levels in sequence but pistol-starting each one with idclev, not dying or reloading once. Very entertaining challenge!

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