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fullmetalvaran33

WADs: Most Overrated/Underrated, Most Surprising/Disappointing

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I just got bored and thought about the WADs I've played through over the years, and I came up with a few questions just for fun:

What is the most overrated WAD you've ever played (Doesn't need to be a Cacoward winner)?
My pick: "Asylum of the Wretched." I like horror/suspense WADs a lot, but this one really isn't anything special. Lots of people say it's a classic, but I think it's merely an average WAD with some slight creepiness and some lack-luster pacing and gameplay.

What is the most underrated WAD you've ever played?
My pick: "Phocas Island 2." I know it won a Cacoward, and it has 4 stars on /idgames, but I still feel like it's underappreciated. It's very unconventional and, in a way, slow-moving since it's not battle-intensive. But I think that's what's brilliant about it: It's not about plowing through hordes of monsters, it's an engaging puzzle adventure.

What WAD surprised you the most with how good it actually turned out to be?
My pick: "Alien Vendetta." I'd heard only great things about this megaWAD, but I went into it expecting nothing remarkable. MegaWADs, in my opinion, are difficult to make--especially when they have 30+ levels--because there's usually a very sluggish period (like the beginning or middle), or the ending it very weak. I tend to find most megaWADs to be decent but that's it. However, AV turned out to be excellent.

What WAD was the biggest disappointment?
My pick: "Oniria 2." I truly enjoyed the quirky, dreamlike prequel, and found it to be refreshingly original. But the sequel was extremely unappealing and cliched.

You don't need to explain your choices--I just did so because I felt like it. You can if you want but it's no big deal if you don't. I'm just curious to see what other people think, what their picks are for these questions :).

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Person complains about harsh comments regarding reviews, follows up with a thread that is bound to be controversial. Ok, you're either a bit naive, or not at all and doing this on purpose. ;)



Most overrated - I'd have go with Unloved.

It was the worst example of poor uses of GZDoom, with extremely cramped maps, tacky lightning/colors/textures, trying to be moody and artsy and painfully failing at both. Is gameplay even worth mentioning? For the minutes I managed to play before trying to gouge my eyes out with a spoon, it consisted of unintuitive switch hunts and monster spam throwing anything the author could find on the bestiary, with no regard for theme or consistence.

That it was hailed as a masterpiece by so many makes me realise I'll probably never see eye to eye with most doomers... Especially as my comment that roughly expressed the same opinion as I did here was deleted.



Most underrated - having bashed a popular GZDoom wad, it's only fair I bring up a very good and underplayed GZDoom wad, Demons of Problematique 2.

Strong ambiance, coherent design, interesting layouts with good use of 3D, solid Doom gameplay. ZDoom features are used to enhance the experience rather than replace it. Scripts and (the few) cutscenes are seamless, so well integrated they don't feel like they interrupt the game at all. The only point I could bring against it is that it's linear and holds little replay value, but for a few playthroughs, it's a blast to play through.

Definitely one of the finest examples of GZDoom wads done right.



Surprised me the most with how good it turned out to be - UAC Ultra. Following the development topic and 40oz's purposefully antagonistic and cocky attitude, I didn't have high hopes for this, and was ready to write it off as yet another wad with little value that most people would enjoy because of omg graphics.

As it turns out, I had fun playing it, and I come back to it every now and then. More than just pretty textures slapped together, the whole thing feels complete as a same old, but at the same time distinctly original, Doom experience. It's no surprise to me that despite the textures being explicitely made available for reuse, we haven't seen much maps with these : UAC ultra textures work best with UAC Ultra.

The weakest point is the gameplay, linear enough to guarantee each playthrough will pretty much be the same most of the time, with the only variation being "do I fight these guys in this room, or in the room right next to it". All too often monsters seem placed because they fit rather than to create dynamic and interesting fights. That said, to qualify the gameplay as anything less than average would be exaggeration, and it has its numerous moments where it picks up and gets much better.



Biggest disappointement - Deus Vult 2. It tries to be grand, often ends up grandiose. Consistently sacrifices gameplay for the sake of a certain vision, and yet there doesn't seem to be any theme, except that the author is your typical white male who likes japanese media, pop culture and dick jokes. Any attempt at atmosphere is instantly ruined by the immersion shattering "easter eggs" that you can't make a step without running into. It looks and plays like "good" fanfiction - the mapper shows technical talent, but lacks a real purpose, sense of direction or pacing and fills the gap with as many cultural references as he can cram in, confusing mere academic knowledge with intelligence.

Two years ago, I wouldn't be as harsh on this, although I was from the very start frustrated with it ; but since Sunder, which is closer to what DV 2 should have been like, I can't pull any punch on this wad.

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Most overrated:

DEMONFEAR- I've never seen any set of maps which can be as boring as the Demonfear. Even WOW.WAD is more interesting sometimes then Demonfear. And this architecture is terrible in the early 2000's. Looks like '95.


Sunder - I like this WAD, but please, why was that inhuman number of beasts needed? Levels looks like if the maps were made by the Satan himself.

Most underrated:

AEons of Death - a pointless WAD with bizarre mix of monsters and weapons, it's true. Although I think this is the base of fun. And due to the randomise, you have to use several weapons to kill several monsters - you need a tactical mind.

Super Sonic Doom - I read a lot of negative reviews about this WAD, but I've never seen any WAD which has as good and chilly atmosphere as SSD has. Also, it's a complex WAD and contains several bugs, but also, the feeling of levels is something good. Better than Doom! It sounds weird, but when I play with Super Sonic Doom, my mood is becoming to happy!

Stronghold: On the Edge of Chaos - I can't figure out, why people think that WAD bad? I saw a lot of 1 star ratings of realm667.com... damn, this is more than Doom! It's the newest generation of WADs! The absolutely best WAD of all time, in my opinion.

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Phml said:

Most overrated - I'd have go with Unloved.

It was the worst example of poor uses of GZDoom, with extremely cramped maps, tacky lightning/colors/textures, trying to be moody and artsy and painfully failing at both. Is gameplay even worth mentioning? For the minutes I managed to play before trying to gouge my eyes out with a spoon, it consisted of unintuitive switch hunts and monster spam throwing anything the author could find on the bestiary, with no regard for theme or consistence.

That it was hailed as a masterpiece by so many makes me realise I'll probably never see eye to eye with most doomers... Especially as my comment that roughly expressed the same opinion as I did here was deleted.



Finally someone who dares saying it. I found this WAD totally underwhelming in nearly every conceivable way.


So, here's my take:

Most overrated:

32 map community megawads in general. I won't pick a specific one but I can't say that I enjoy playing through 32 random maps with no coherent theme and quality.

Most underrated:

I'd say Awakening. It's a truly unique way of experiencing Doom, looks great and plays well. Yet it didn't even register with last years Cacowards even though it ranks at the top of my 2010 favorites.

Biggest disappointment:

Stronghold. Sure, the maps look great and a lot of work went into it - but what's the point of a single player campaign that draws out each level far beyond the tolerance point? Let's face it: You are stuck in a relatively small area and yet you have to wait wave after wave after wave after wave until the game finally shows some mercy to start a final wave and then lets the player leave. I was bored after two levels because it's utterly repetetive and dull.

Biggest surprise:

Awakening again. I didn't expect much from it, looking at the map in an editor and already seeing how it would play out. Still, it's thoroughly engaging and fun throughout, even though there's a few areas that can get frustrating due to lack of ammo or health.

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Most overrated: RTC-3057
BARRRRRG YOU NEED TO PRESS THIS SWITCH TO OPEN DOOR THEN PRESS SWITCH AGAIN TO CLOSE DOOR OTHERWISE SPACE GETS IN AND THINGS DIE! Seriously, what is with the damned switches everywhere? You gotta press this switch then press it again then press another switch then press that switch again then go adventuring to a different part of the ship to press another switch just so that the power for a more important switch can be activated so you can press that switch to get to another part of the switch infested spaceship. Sweet lord. So many switches. So little fun.

Most underrated: Mega Man 8-Bit Death match
Okay, so the community surrounding it leaves much to be desired, but I found that MM8BDM was a refreshing change of pace for me. The weapons have their own uses and can be easy to find a favorite weapon of choice. Plus, there's no hit scan anywhere, so that's a welcome change for me.

Most surprising: Unloved
Fuck all y'all, I love Unloved. It mimics the feelings I get when I first played games like Condemned and Painkiller, and it feels so good. The creepy atmosphere and dark corridors had me on edge the whole time. And about the cramped hallways: its survival horror. Why would you expect a fair fight in a survival horror game? That would make the entire experience not scary. Its not trying to be artsy, its trying to be scary. And it succeeds in doing so.

Nothing more from me except for this statement: BRING ON THE DRAMA!

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most overrated - requiem, memento mories
most underrated - killing adventure
biggest disappointment - no major disappointments, really
biggest surprise - impse

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j4rio said:

most underrated - killing adventure

Also, Long Days. The author says that it's "easy to play and fun". I agree.
Most overrated? Definitely Sunder. Small maps are decent, but the larger ones are simply garbage. Detail copy-pasted so much that eyes start to hurt and it's hard to see the big structures, most rooms look the same and switches are non-obvious making the map very hard to navigate, and only two colors are used in each map (except a few isolated rooms). Like Nuts.wad, only useful as source port benchmark.

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I'm certainly not starting this thread to be naive, nor am I intending to cause controversy. This is purely meant for fun. As for the stuff going on at the current /newstuff thread, I don't even care about that, definitely not anymore. I mean, what's the point of even dwelling on trivial stuff like that?

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most overrated:
ok, let's see. Find up to 50 most Highest Rated WADs with at least 25 votes. frad. ahhh, there we go.
crucified dreams. so many legendary mappers, comments overflowing with adoration and awe. well, it's everything that was wrong with the gothic series, squared. epic wall/ceiling detailing job, carefully planned shadows and lights, tasteful eye-pleasing textures. oversized rectangular rooms, cramped hallways with tiny doors, endless twisting staircases. it's mundane design job with gameplay as barely an afterthought. the details actually hurt player movement, the grainy textures make opponents blend in, dark areas are completely undesired in DM. items seem to have been chosen into prepared placeholder spots (omfg thrones! altars!) only after the maps were finished.

a handful of maps pass the average of the Onslaught series, but most of them are either too large and boring, or too small and stupid. in the middle of this disappointment is szymanski's map11, a gem in the mud. apparently well-planned with compact design and rather plain looks, this is how a working DM map actually looks like, but i'd expect more from a 30MB blob 8 years in development. now that no one plays it, EVER, the circle-jerk over its stunning visuals seems overrated.


most underrated:
ruba's killing adventure. the maps are entirely linear, easy, stupid and gimmicky, but they're also rather fun. your usual overhyped (g)zdoom bombastic wad will be all that except the last bit will be replaced by "sooooo beautiful". kadv is sort of mock2 for vanilla and it's kicked down because of author's reputation.


biggest disappointment:
overhyped project for advanced ports should never be trusted, then you'll never get burned. :) as a ctf player i will say "any ctf wad released after zdctf". cybershark can happily put zdctf into most overrated, but the sad fact is even the dreaded zdctf3 mappack has higher density of well-playing maps than any following ctf project. and to paraphrase alexmax - they didn't even know what they were doing (no real previous experience with ctf in doom), yet they got it better than people mimicking them. ultimate, epic, crazy, 32in24, oda, core, etc., all of them provide a very small yield of "instant classics" that get remembered and played in scrims, tourneys, idl, etc, a bunch of decent passtime ones and then at least two thirds of steaming crap and uninspired filler everyone forgets and never hears of again. here's to smartctf, don't you dare disappointing.

biggest surprise:
speed of doom. it came seemingly out of nowhere, at least for me.

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Most overrated:

Sunder - I know that this wad is based on massive groups of monsters everywhere. but even the monsters is deal with good, sometimes looking for switches is also a problem, and this may waste a lot of time if that map is large and complex.

Most underrated:

Killing Adventure - As what Ruba said, the wad is "easy to play and fun" to play with. I agree with this, this is a very fun wad with a nice killing adventure for doomers, the music are good too. For this wad, only a very little maps are hard, map13 and 31 right?

Biggest disappointment:

The Twlight Zone 2 - Originally Twlight Zone is my least favourite wad since it's too easy like the level for baby. There's a map I forget which, 3 invulnerabilites just for one Cyberdemon, oh my......fucking god! Twlight Zone 2 certainly sucks, I really found the new monsters' sounds annoying, especially the lost souls. I was very disappointed that Twlight Zone 2 is much worse then the first released Twlight Zone wad.

Biggest surprise:

Speed of Doom - This is always one of my favourite wad even though it's hard. I was surprised by many beautiful textures and design of this wad, especially map31 which is very beautiful indeed. I will recommand it to everyone and rate of 5/5.

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Most Underrated -

Killing Adventure - Okay, so some levels were just fucking nasty in monster count and gameplay, but some levels just had a brilliant design to them. Some of these levels I found to be just really fun and challenging.

Stronghold - I like these kinda survival mas, so in no way did I find this boring. Thi is was pretty cool.

AEons of Death - Pretty wacky and just a million replacements, I actually like this because I like fighting tons of different monsters from tons of different games. I really liked this mod.

Most Overrated -

Alien Vendetta - I really found no fun in this. I got bored after the level six and just turned it off. I think the biggest problem here though was lousy encounters and bad texture choices all around. Browns Browns and Browns. Yuck.

Most Disapointing -

Alen Vendetta - A lot of hype, but just I thought no.

AEons of Death - Again, but only because I was a bit stricken that this only worked with Doom wads and not with HeXen, Heretic, Strife, and whatnot. Also I didn't like how most of the weapons were just crap pulled off of the R667 armory and loads of other websites. They got the monsters from Duke Nukem and Shadow Warrior, but why not all of the weapons? Few of the weapons were actualy weapons from the actual games. I also didn't like the extra Beastiary monsters either.

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Graf Zahl said:

with no coherent theme and quality.


Just like a certain 9 level zdoom mapset I played recently, sorry :)

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I'm just gonna post this now before someone else does because the anticipation is killing me.

Most overrated - 40oz maps. Oh look at me I can make a map for someone's birthday I'm so cool now admire me as I look down on all of you because I'm mapper of the year now! Bull shit. All his birthday maps fucking suck. They're short, boring, linear, and have no purpose but to clutter up the /idgames archive with random shit. Everytime I see a map that begins with "Happy Birthday" I fucking cringe knowing this faggot still has the means to make maps with no inspiration and no value, just for random bits of respect from different members of the community. And don't even get me started about UAC Ultra. Nothing says cacoward material like make an entire episode out of one fucking color - diarrhea brown. Anybody knows that if your map has brown in it it will ultimately trick some demographic into thinking it's awesome. Not me. Regular ass doom maps with basic traps and arguably annoying gameplay. The entire fucking wad is an SSG-fest. I can make an exception for some of Super Jamie's design principles but 40oz just outputs crap for filler and to get his name out there and nothing else.

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Robomorons said:

Most underrated: Mega Man 8-Bit Death match
Okay, so the community surrounding it leaves much to be desired, but I found that MM8BDM was a refreshing change of pace for me. The weapons have their own uses and can be easy to find a favorite weapon of choice. Plus, there's no hit scan anywhere, so that's a welcome change for me.

I'm having a hell of a time trying to run this. Why did they make you have to use the beta, and a newer version of the pk3 I can't find anywhere? Then you think you find the right version, spend half an hour downloading it, and it's the wrong one. Do you have a link to v2?

Graf Zahl said:

Finally someone who dares saying it. I found this WAD totally underwhelming in nearly every conceivable way.

Um, I've never played it but I know every Doomworld member bitches about it.

I don't like to say a wad is "overrated", because I'd have to play all the way through to make any sort of judgement, and if I don't like it I'm not playing all the way through it.

Anyway, for underrated, and I know people are sick of me talking about this one, is Cyberdreams. If you haven't played it, play it. Now.

Oh and I used to be in the "Alien Vendetta sux why they say it good" crowd, but I came back to it later and ended up finishing it. It really is pretty good.

edit: okay I think I found it here http://cutstuff.net/forum/viewtopic.php?f=27&t=2764 hope this is the right download

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Most overrated:
I could mention a lot of things, but...I'll say anything by Eternal after Long Days. He made some great stuff up to that point (including Long Days itself), but after that the gameplay in his maps felt like it degraded into boring stock late '90s maps with unnecessary sprite and sound replacements.

Most underrated:
Well, this feels weird after so many mentions already, but...Killing Adventure. It's a piece of art. You either get it or you don't get it. And if you don't get it, you're full of poo-poo.

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Most overrated: BGPA Missions: Liberation. It really was tedious and difficult to play through. Engine effects were put to good use, but the actual structure of the levels was disappointing. Some of the new graphics were pretty poor as well, and it lacked polish. I was never interested enough to play past the first few levels and the gameplay just frustrates me.

The most underrated is probably anything by NaturalTvventy. I'm still anxiously awaiting the release of this. I really hope that he doesn't end up taking away all the complex architecture in the name of people who think that every Doom wad has to be playable on a seven year old laptop just because the original Doom game has low system requirements by modern standards. Really stifles a lot of creativity, it's your fault if your computer can't handle a complex Doom wad, really.

My biggest surprise was Temple of the Lizardmen 2, which actually turned out to be pretty fun- despite the shameful rips it was actually a very complete-feeling TC. I was tempted to quite after the first level but now I'm glad I didn't, the design gets much better after the first four or five maps.

My biggest disappointment might be a considered unfair since the full version hasn't been released yet, but I thought that the 2-level Vela Pax demo was pretty underwhelming. The design and detail were nice but the architecture didn't feel nearly as huge as it looked in the screenshots. Gameplay-wise I thought that it was boring and to straightforward. I'm not going to say anything more about it until I actually get a chance to play the full version- the later levels look more awesome anyways.

Edit: I'm gonna tack on this response instead of double posting.

Graf Zahl said:

Biggest disappointment:

Stronghold. Sure, the maps look great and a lot of work went into it - but what's the point of a single player campaign that draws out each level far beyond the tolerance point? Let's face it: You are stuck in a relatively small area and yet you have to wait wave after wave after wave after wave until the game finally shows some mercy to start a final wave and then lets the player leave. I was bored after two levels because it's utterly repetetive and dull.


Stronghold was designed for Co-Op not single player IIRC, it was supposed to be similar to Skulltag's invasion mode. As for being stuck in one small area- what did you expect from a game mode were you're supposed to defend one small area? Were you expecting puzzles and non linear designs?

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dew said:

most overrated:

crucified dreams

...most of them are either too large and boring, or too small and stupid.

Yeah, I said this all along. There's some playability in there, but no damn continuity. It really does look like someone just threw together a whole bunch of maps of diverse sizes, from varying eras.

32in24-5 puts it to shame.

dew said:

biggest disappointment:

overhyped project for advanced ports should never be trusted, then you'll never get burned. :)

Hopefully this won't be the case with what I have lined up for ZDS #200.

dew said:

as a ctf player i will say "any ctf wad released after zdctf". cybershark can happily put zdctf into most overrated, but the sad fact is even the dreaded zdctf3 mappack has higher density of well-playing maps than any following ctf project. and to paraphrase alexmax - they didn't even know what they were doing (no real previous experience with ctf in doom), yet they got it better than people mimicking them. ultimate, epic, crazy, 32in24, oda, core, etc., all of them provide a very small yield of "instant classics" that get remembered and played in scrims, tourneys, idl, etc, a bunch of decent passtime ones and then at least two thirds of steaming crap and uninspired filler everyone forgets and never hears of again. here's to smartctf, don't you dare disappointing.

I call BS, and you only have to look at how many of ZDCTF's maps are usually gleefully hacked out of server rotations to prove it. Bear in mind also that 32in24-4 was (in part) crafted by people who not only had 'no real previous experience with ctf in doom', but had no real experience of multiplayer doom. With that considered then 32in24-4 is surely >all.

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Most Underrated (as far as I know): Scoredoom. I'm surprised no one talks much about this port, then again, I do get that the add-on pack's monster theme's just wild. Not to worry, according to Bilbohicks, he might make the next version of the pack more doom-like, keeping the heretic and hexen-based monsters from showing up. Also, he'll also add the feature that lets you play against the default monsters on specific maps in a megawad. (Like Speed of Doom's Map30)

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bgraybr said:

Stronghold was designed for Co-Op not single player IIRC, it was supposed to be similar to Skulltag's invasion mode. As for being stuck in one small area- what did you expect from a game mode were you're supposed to defend one small area? Were you expecting puzzles and non linear designs?



I would expect that some considerations were made for single player mode since there is a single player mode. Even if it just means to reduce the number of waves. I am certain that in Coop it's a lot more fun but that still doesn't make the SP mode anything worth playing.

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OK, let's get the obvious out of the way ;)

Most underrated: Titan 2. There are only so many ways I can describe how smart this wad is. If you think that GZDoom features are purely for covering up substandard mapping talent, load this up and prepare to be educated.

Most overrated: Hell Ground. Ammo-tightropes do my fucking head in. Ammo balance is all well and good, but there should be at least some margin for error. If you're going to play this you need to have your shit together or you'll be Tysonning Archies before you're out of MAP01.

Biggest disappointment: The original City Of The Damned. I'd already played some of Tormentor's more recent (and superior) stuff before I grabbed this. It felt like more of a tech demo for the Blood texture pack than anything else, and it wasn't long before I was running around the level with ABSOLUTELY NO AMMO WHATSOEVER. The sequel was a major improvement.

Biggest surprise: The CIF series. Jokewads aren't supposed to be playable or funny, so what the hell happened?

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Most Overrated: I was originally gonna say Unloved, but I'll avoid being too redundant. So, Wonderful Doom would have to be my choice. At times, I almost felt like maps were retextured or mirrored versions of the original. It had its moments, but meh.

Most Underrated: Tough call. One Bloody Night is overlooked, I guess. Also, from this year, Heretic: Call of the Apostate has high praise from a few people. Heretic fans definitely need to give it a go.

Most Surprising: Vanguard came out of nowhere.

Most Disappointing: Mordeth 2...

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Snakes said:
Most Underrated: Tough call. One Bloody Night is overlooked, I guess. Also, from this year, Heretic: Call of the Apostate has high praise from a few people. Heretic fans definitely need to give it a go.


Great, I was gonna put that, now I feel like asshole of the year if I follow that with the same one. Oh well, Super Sonic Doom and DoP2 are also some underrated ones. (SSD singlehandedly brought me back to the doom scene)

Rebirth also doesnt get a much love as it deserves.

Overrated: Dwango5. Full stop.

Biggest Disappointment/Out of nowhere: 32in24-10. Really guys? After so much talks of making 32in24-10 a 1024 theme, you just go ahead and make it normal stuff. And to add insult to injury you do the map construction ON 10.24? What the hell people.

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Katamori said:

Most overrated:

...

Sunder - I like this WAD, but please, why was that inhuman number of beasts needed? Levels looks like if the maps were made by the Satan himself.


i think you have to understand that insane numbers of demons is a style of gameplay and not a lack of capability in any sense. and this isn't just one of those "it's not shit because the shit was intentional!!!1" arguments; even if it only appeals to a select audience (which can be said of any doom wad, really), it performs extremely well at what the author intended.

Robomorons said:

Most underrated: Mega Man 8-Bit Death match


what i like most about the wad is that the only servers on skulltag that ever has players are the ones with this wad. if you want to play something even relatively normal (like, let's say, UDM3), then have fun waiting in the server by yourself for hours.

*sigh* skulltag servers.

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Most Overrated - Hell Revealed 1 - I honestly consider this wad's sequel to be a more enjoyable experience. The original never was that visually appealing to me, save for a few exceptional maps (map 26).

Most Underrated - Hexen: Serpent Resurrection - This has got to be one of the most diverse, visually stunning wads I have ever played, and in my opinion, it deserved a cacoward. Progressing from a large deserted hillside to a colossal palace, and of course some wonderful music to go along with this. Ultimate Doomer has been a great example of a wad author getting progressivly better. Super Sonic Doom could also be in this slot as that map set is also great, but Serpent Resurrection to me feels like a true adventure and is such fun to play.

Most Surprising - Community is falling 3 - I expected this to be in a similar linear vein as the first two CIF's... boy was I wrong. I was surprised on how intricate/funny the storyline was, the diverse levels, and the fact that the combat is so tense and epic. Despite some framerate dropping levels, I still enjoy this one, and still hope for a community is falling 4...

Most Disappointing - Daedalus Alien Defense - I actually played this after playing team tnt's most recent work, their Eternal Doom IV demo, and while I have occasionally replayed Daedalus, I almost never finish it past the third hub anymore. I feel that it could have used more music besides the six tunes that are replayed among the 27 actual levels in the game, more texture/detail variations (too much green/grey), and the final level and its ending were not that memorable either. Still, I wouldn't call this a bad wad, it just isn't among my favorites.

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hex11 said:

overrated: Doom II
underrated: Doom (the original, episodes 1-3)


YES! VERY YES!
You are now my new best friend.

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