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dobu gabu maru

The DWmegawad Club plays: Japanese Community Project

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MAP05: Woodexial

A delightfully quirky and bizarre level, which seems to revolve around the humble chaingun, and I daresay pulls it off well. The difficulty is pretty high at the beginning, in no small part due to the fact that you're shot at by zombiemen from all sides (there are a lot of zombiemen here in fact). The library area can be a killer with imps ambushing you from behind bookcases. Monster infighting will be your friend when the arachnotrons appear. Intriguing beginning which implies our marine somehow made it to the starting area after massacring his way through hordes of monsters, yet later you end up arriving into the area and there's no other visible entrance... weird. There's a twin starting area elsewhere in the level, I'm assuming this is probably meant to be another player's coop start?

The dark part at the end isn't very fun, since you can barely see or aim at some of the bad guys; the computer map pickup available there seems useless as it doesn't even show the area's layout. However, I loved the two big open-air spaces. The layout and architecture here is really hard to classify, it's very nonstandard.

I wonder what the title means, maybe it was meant to sound Chinese (what with the "xi" sound.)

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MAP05 Woodexial

Was very skeptical on the opening rooms, especially since I was granted an invulnerability right off the bat as soon as I opened the first door. Loads of enemies and even more pickups. Progression is incredibly wonky, and enemies I fought included tons of zombiemen with the occasional imp or other monster in. The exit tease is alright, but the blood-filled rooms above it is just really annoying for my taste. The non-secret light visor is pretty strange too.

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Map 5

Oh boy... What opened as a neat looking map progressively turned into massive frustration the more time I spent in it. And that time was 36 minutes which left me with a sore ass and a bad attitude. I've seen people throw around "over designed" in regards to detailed maps and this is the first one where it's annoyingly so. Maybe it's my fault for trying to explore everything. After wallhumping over 100 "this could be a secret" looking things and doing a bunch of platforming which lead to nothing of value, picking up the computer map which didn't show shit aside from a pointless door behind the exit teleporter and ending up with 3/8 secrets I was left feeling a bit rustled. The gameplay was boring as paint too with 90% of it being chaingun tapping. It was also way too easy compared to map 03 especially. What's with the pathetic Hellknight/Demon trap in the corpse alley? I was expecting multiple Archviles resurrecting everything or something with more bite. 1/5 for the visuals. Will never play again.

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MAP06 - Riminshi Valley
ZDoom, UV - Pistol Start, KIS(%): 100/100/100

A small-medium sized, explorable level with rocky canyon and small outpost. For some reason this level reminded me Alien Vendetta, for its canyon section and background music from AV MAP08(strictly speaking, it's from Lands of Lore 2), and Plutonia, for its outpost section with vined walls and chaingunners, scattered around the canyon section. Yes, please proceed with caution since these chaingunners are a little bit annoying. The overall architectural design, lncluding lighting effect, is good. Except this waterfall, after you press the blue key switch, felt a little bit out of place. Finally, keep your eyes on the candle, if you want to find a secret place hidden behind the red teleporter. In conclusion, it's a small, but explorable level thanks to its well-designed layout. But it's a little bit tricky to deal with chaingunners all over the canyon. It's fun to play this level, still.

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06 - FDA. Some Alien Vendetta inspiration in this one I guess. I like the geometry: it's fun to explore different possibilities. Ammo balance seems carefully thought out: there is just enough to kill everything (I ran out of ammo on the very last monster hehe).

Possible improvements:
- better vertical texture alignment in the caves... but it will take a lot of time I suppose.
- monsters can get stuck on sectors 461 and 520 while they are rising. maybe put "block monster" on them? or will that hinder monster movement too much?
- do something like this with the blue key room? would be more like a cave.

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MAP06 : Riminishi Valley by Burabojunior

Demo here : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CplVoyLsxVo

Very atmospheric indeed (thanks in no small part to the excellent midi), in this case the sort of atmosphere that makes me somewhat wish this place was real. It’s like a somber version of Vanguard’s E1, which is just cool.

It’s also an even more blatant Plutonia homage from Burabo than his previous outing. Not just because of the similar setting (but again, thankfully, without all the brown), but also because of the tricky enemy placement that requires the player to quickly chose which targets to prioritize, while always keeping their guard up, as well as the intricate layout (see also : « Ghost Town » ; « Speed »). For that matter, the overall format of the map checks out : short, brutal and tricky.

My only gripe here is that the placement of a certain teleporter pad makes the blue key trap a lot more annoying than it needs to be. I would recommend tucking the teleporter pad further out of the way so that the player doesn’t hit it completely by accident.

Otherwise, I had to play this level a handful of times in order to successfully complete it (since I don’t save) and record my demo, and to be honest it didn’t really ever get old or irritating. I guess it’s just really well conceived all around.

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MAP05 - UV - Pistol start - No save (finished on first try)

Not a huge fan of this one. Texturing was so confusing I decided to stop searching for secrets and aimed straight for the exit. I can appreciate the fact that it was built around chaingun use but the layout was at times too confusing for me to properly enjoy it, mostly because I felt overwhelmed by the detailing. Ledges to get some items were annoying as f*ck. The most aggravating of those I tried was the one for the light amplification. Impassable lines for those marble panels on the left would have saved me a lot of frustration.

That part in the dark after the exit tease would be guaranteed fun if there wasn't a way of killing everyone before you run'n jump on the platforms, which I did since I was low on health at this point. Overall I can't really think of any memorable fight apart from the one where a revenant teleports behind you when you find yourself in front of a HK.

All of that aside, I liked some parts like anything involving barrels and I reckon it would be pretty decent fun in coop.

Toooooasty has a few more entries in this wad, the next being map08. Hopefully they'll show me more of the good I saw in it.

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Map06
Not a big fan of this one. The lack of texture alignment was noticeable and detracted from the sometimes interesting architecture. They also made for lots of red herrings for secrets - a problem when they are as obtusely hidden as they are here. The only one I found, I got from the automap.

The linearity of progress is also a bit annoying when you’ve mostly cleared the level and are just looking around for how to exit / any last goodies. I’d suggest making the platforms like sector 488 into elevators so that once they are raised, the player can skip having to make roundabout journeys.

The many monsters at large elevations below you were also a problem, given Doomguy’s inability to bend at the waist. Getting shot by hitscanners you can’t even see is the bad kind of difficulty.

On the plus side, an archvile finally gets to move around in this map though, which is nice. And some of the architectural ideas and visual design concepts were quite striking, despite being rather sloppily textured.

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MAP05 - “Woodexial” by Toooooasty - 100% kills and secrets on second try

Whoa, what a strange beast of a map, I didn't expected being forced to hump walls everywhere that soon after having gone through Eternal Doom, it almost looks like a Bob Evans inspired map with its mandatory fake walls and unmarked secrets, albeit this one only uses vanilla resources. Very high emphasis on chaingun usage during fights with plenty of bullets to pick up. And the automap design will certainly confuses a lot of people. At least the automap shows the way to a secret.

I'm wondering what's next in store from Toooooasty in this mapset.

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MAP05 - “Woodexial” by Toooooasty

Man, this map has so much going on in it, you don't know where to start. Its a gloriously haphazard labyrinth of random scenery and vast broken spaces, looks like it was designed by dropping it on the floor a few times and shaking it. Really fun to explore and totally unpredictable, but at the same time you get a sense that the author spent some real time injecting method into the madness, telling some kind of story with the shattered scenery and monster corpses. My only gripe is that the computer map only gave me one secret, and there was a lot of the map that was obscured for some reason. This guy obviously wants you to earn those secrets, I found a few but with the chaos of textures everywhere I wasn't going to go around humping every wall. Excellent map.

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Naan said:

I'm wondering what's next in store from Toooooasty in this mapset.


You're in for quite a treat on his next contribution!

I'd actually forgotten that tooooaasty did map 5 in this, but needless to say if you didn't enjoy map 5 then his other three maps are way waaaaay better.

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Going to follow a similar path to Capallen: HMP, continuous, saving whenever I please, -complevel 9

Map 1: 100% kills, 2/2 secrets
I appreciate that the shotgun isn't booby trapped since that would be so predictable and cliche'. Lack of an alert sound means that bum biting lost souls have a favorable chance of inflicting damage. The cacodemon in the exit room serves no purpose other than an ammo sponge. Took a bit of observation to find the second secret. Light opener overall to ease the player into the set since brutal murder on Map 1 tends to scare off the audience.

Map 2: 100% kills, 3/3 secrets
As an isolated map, could use a bit more action. A few non-deaf monsters in the indoor techbase, even if lowly troopers, would add some unpredictability to the corridor clearing.
Since I played ahead and know that the challenge does pick up, I like the map's difficulty the way it is well enough. It provides a playground for the lesser skilled and anyone looking for a challenge knows how to use IDCLEV or -warp at the command prompt.

Map 3: 100% kills, 6/7 secrets
The danger level is higher with quite a number of times to get jumped by hitscanners or smacked by a revenant missile. No SSG (unless it's in the one secret I missed) and a number of tougher monsters make an appearance. Still on the forgiving side of the spectrum since one can generally retreat to a safer location. Yellow key gave me quite a bit of trouble since my marine seemed to be a magnet for homing missiles. Had fun strong arming a cacodemon into taking out a number of faraway imps at the start.
Secrets were interesting such as a leap off a lift through a window. A highlight is the chainsaw secret in the way it is hinted and the strategic possibilities it offers. Different colored lines on the automap give away quite a few of the hidden entrances, enjoy them while that lasts. Didn't find berserk until very end when searching for a lone live monster.

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MAP05 - “Woodexial” by Toooooasty

a base-library-something, don't know how to describe it as it seems puzzled together from various themes, there's metallic base stuff, slime, stone, wood and library parts, overall in a long-winded progression of exploring this place, while mowing down mostly zombies, in large numbers. yes, the chaingun is given right at the start, and although it's unfortunately anemic vs the doom2 bestiary, it's ideal for you to crush these enemies, see them driven before you, and hear... nevermind. their pistol shots can be annoying nevertheless, as there's a mass of them. the part with the bookshelves sinking into the floor and leaving some health reminded me of tnt map04. then there's a well placed arachnotron that massacred a group of pinkies and others while trying to fry me. i had a berserk pack from a secret (there's a hint), and later the ssg and a blue armor, visible from the outside, feels rewarding when you get that. however i got stuck in that area (see image) and had to idclip out.

so far an interesting map, just its last part could be improved: the hell knight vs pinkies "trap" can be taken apart with the fists, and the dark part seems just tacked on, some uninspired sniping of imps and chaingunners in a blood and marble labyrinth. i think it's better to keep the books & tech mix as before, stuffed with another secret or two.




fell down here and got stuck



MAP06 - “Riminshi Valley” by burabojunior

plutonia-style caves with some interconnected rooms where it's easy to come under fire from several directions. complete with hanging vines and assorted chaingunners, revenants and archviles, although not excessive as in other plutonia maps, and the color scheme is different, less brown because of the gray stone used. yes there are texture misalignments, although frankly it didn't bother me. there was more the somewhat obtuse progression with switches, first there's a red skull switch that turns blue when activated (while i expected a red key here), and then when you cross the bent line of pillars there's some switch in the wall that i didn't even see first, so i went on searching. the blue key cave is visually impressive, the 2 viles there can be beaten easily by retreating to the pillars around the key. excellent music btw.




blue key cave - i don't know why screenshots look darker than ingame

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Map 6

Hey, another Plutonia map, this time more in the style of Well of Souls with all the water and grey rock. Playing with Zandronum, I really had to crank the gamma correction up because some parts were way too dark. The layout is sightly confusing and I missed the path back to the starting room several times. The combat is not too challenging assuming you don't expose yourself to multiple hitscanners. Certainly doesn't have the bite or trap brutality Plutonia is known for. I did enjoy that portal secret which looked like an homage to Sunlust's God Machine with the dark metal/yellow lights and void aesthetic. Now, the issue I'm having with this wad is that it's thematically all over the place. Feels like a bunch of very different maps slapped into a megawad. There does not seem to be any sort of unifying episode theme for the first chapter from what I can tell. Maybe that's the usual when it comes to Community Chest projects, which I haven't played.

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Map 05 -- Woodexial - 99% Kills / 50% Secrets - FDA
Now this is an interesting one, fair few things to comment on here. It quickly becomes apparent that this is easily the largest map in the set to this point, both in terms of structural scale and in runtime (though it's still only what I'd call "medium" in the latter department), and it feels much more open and freeform than anything that has come before. The presence of an alternate startpoint for Player 2 situated on the opposite side of what I'll refer to as "Corpse Alley", essentially in the other half of the level relative to where Player 1 begins, bespeaks the way the level seems to be designed to flow, inviting lots of variability in pathing, spurred on by monsters and pickups placed in juicy clumps and candy trails all competing for your attention, like something out of a platforming game. If you look at the layout (with IDDT), it's easy to see that the author seems to have taken the age-old tack of drawing a big bounding box and then set about the process of filling in every little ounce of space within it. This approach often leads to a certain degree of 'filler' playspace (often expressed as winding/doglegging connecting passages in between the areas where the main ideas are found), but there's very little sense of that here. The level is built out of a number of discrete 'zones' set down side by side, each with its own unique landmarks; these different areas are clearly partitioned or otherwise delineated, but the kicker is that with a few small exceptions the boundaries are almost never solid, so it's easy to storm from one to another on a whim, and exchanges of gunfire and other (un)pleasantries with the inhabitants several rooms away from where you happen to be at a given moment is an ever-present factor until you've started to seriously depopulate the place.

The feel of the gameplay is quite capricious, with a heavy slant towards mowing down trash monsters with the chaingun, aided by the occasional spot of gratuitous barrel-splash. And a free chainsaw at the start (of dubious tactical relevancy and of significant fun-factor potential, of course), to boot! I love it! It feels like it's been ages and ages since I've seen a mapper so willing to use the basic zombieman so freely and in such numbers outside of a setup intended for comedic effect, which is a shame, as sometimes it's fun to just mow those poor braindead bastards down in droves. Given the nature of the environment, which is both topographically complex and largely free of truly solid barriers between areas, there's a lot of scope for playing loose and fast, improvising on the run. There's not much in the way of actual threat to be had at any point (though sometimes you can get smacked by a manco fireball or rev rocket from quite a ways away, I suppose), so it's easy to play the whirling blood-dervish and feel like an unstoppable killing machine for a time, which is fun for the better part of the duration. I do feel like the author failed to turn up the heat when the time was ripe, though--for how imposing Corpse Alley is made to seem when you're looking at it from the outside, the actual fight that takes place there turns out to be underwhelming indeed (I was honestly expecting a cyberdemon or something like that). Granted, I suppose one could make the argument that this fight doesn't need to be climactic because it's not actually the end of the level, though.....here again we see another fakeout with the exit, just like in map 03 earlier (could it be that this is a characteristic trope of Japanese Doom maps?), setting up another 2-3 minutes of action before the true end. Myself, I think the concept of the darkened bloody area that closes out the level is just fine, but it's probably too halfhearted in execution, with almost nothing but perched imps and a couple of chaingunners on offer, making the area feel under-utilized (good excuse to place the light-amp goggles as a serious powerup though, I suppose). Also, it really bothers me how patently worthless the computer area map is here, probably more than it has any right to.

Much has been said about the visuals, it seems. Weighing in, for my part I will say that to me the map looks good, enough so that I enjoyed no-monstering through it afterwards to inspect all of the lovingly wrought little bits of grindhouse detail. I reckon I understand the viewpoint that it's aesthetically chaotic, but I'd say it's a cohesive sort of chaos, something I'd attribute to the mapper seeming to use textures from an in-depth 'materials' standpoint rather than from a color-centric or transition-conscious standpoint (all the more credit to toooooasty for using only stock assets here, incidentally). So, we see quite the welter of textures here, yes, but they've all been very carefully deployed to craft a strongly themed setting, something like part of an old ghetto or campus building where mundane reality is rapidly fraying apart at the seams, hemorrhaging out the pulsating viscera of existence in the process, like a horror movie highlight reel made corporeal. The aftermath of an orgiastic ritual to the God of Death, perhaps? Who knows? I certainly don't, but the way the setting is delivered here makes it fun to imagine what it might represent, one of the little joys of a largely abstract/story-free game like Doom.

Yes, quite interesting. Certainly look forward to tooooooasty's next map.

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MAP06: Riminshi Valley

This one is a mostly-naturalistic cavern crawl (though I second Capellan's observation that the lack of texture alignment detracts from the atmosphere) around which various temple and fortress structures have been built; some riverside shrine to a forgotten water demon, maybe? I think I'd have found it frustrating had it been a later and larger map, but here, it's compact enough that the platforming sections don't have a chance to overstay their welcome, though I do think the lack of secrets in the water shrine itself is a bit of a missed opportunity; its shadowy vastness really begs for more to be done with it. On the other hand, the secret, optional jaunt through some glowing golden techno-temple (a little bit of a Sunlust map buried beneath the crust of this more Plutonia-esque offering) is a just plain fun inclusion. Overall I liked it quite a bit.

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MAP06 Riminshi Valley

Very modern map going here, good combat, interesting platforming and such. One secret area reminded me of Sunlust's more yellow maps. so far this seems to be my favorite map in full showing so far.

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MAP07 - Confused Arena
ZDoom, UV - Pistol Start, KIS(%): 100/100/100

Another day, another dead simple-themed arena level. All in a day's work for Doom 2 MAP07. You won't have much trouble to deal with mancubi if you use the pillar with plasma rifle as a cover. Not to mention that you can snipe them with your chaingun while you're hiding behind that pillar. And as you guessed it, make sure to collect every rocket ammo in the arena before you kill the last mancubus. And now it's time to deal with arachnotr... oops, sorry. You've got unexpected visitors. You're most likely in the rocket launcher room when you activate the tag 666. Get the cacodemons first as soon as possible, then defend your outpost against those intruders with your rocket launcher. Now it's time to face the spider squadron, but make sure to grab the plasma rifle. It's not a big deal to fight against them if you kill the baby spider behind the switch, and grab the soulsphere. But keep in mind to collect the ammunition around the corner, since you still have one more unexpected visitors. One thing I didn't like about this level is reward for finding secret. Seriously, a rocket and a cell? It could be better if this level gave me a mega-armor, instead of two basic ammunition items(you need to replace the original mega-armor to other item, in this case.). Overall, it's another arena with dead simple concept. Not a bad level, but it could be better.

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07 - demo. I remember playing an early version of this level. Back then the monsters couldn't open the only door in the map, so the second fight was a lot easier. Now it feels like a proper "siege" and it's pretty fun. I think all three main fights here are nice and dangerous in different ways, so it's pretty successful for a Dead Simple remake. On my first attempt I got unlucky with the arch-vile (I killed the last spider exactly at the spot where he and the revenants appear), so I had to restart... I also saw some glitchy lines here (only visible while moving) but I couldn't manage to catch them on camera.

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MAP07 : Confused Arena by tatsurd-cacocaco

Demo here : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=No7y6xWBZH8

A tolerable Dead Simple remake from tatsurd. I like that you have to keep one Mancubus alive for a while to gather resources, but I hate that you have to kill every single one of them before anything interesting actually happens. Oh well, at least the ensuing chaos is satisfyingly intense. I will aslo concede that the final Archvile was used in a very interesting way. It’s funny though. Tatsurd may be one of the very best players in the world, but so far he’s easily my least favourite level designer in this project.

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Well, Tatsurd made the more basic maps of this wad: the simple starting stuff and the classic Dead Simple remake. So they indeed can seem the least interesting. If you want to see his more solid stuff, refer to Plutonia Revisited or 1994 Tune-Up. Oh, and there is also Map16 of this very wad.

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MAP06 - “Riminshi Valley” by burabojunior

Intricate and atmospheric design, very nice use of lighting and snaking tunnels that weave around without getting you too lost. Somehow I managed not to die, but came close a few times. Don't think I found a single secret in the end, left a few monsters behind too. Very nice map, only let down a bit by some careless texture alignment in some of the rocky areas.

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Map07
Well, it’s basically Dead Simple, but the wave of varied monsters between the inevitable mancs and ‘trons was a nice change of pace. I’m less enamoured of the final group of revenants, as they’re neither interesting nor challenging to fight.

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MAP06 - “Riminshi Valley” by burabojunior - UVMax on second try

This map certainly looks great but is a bit confusing. Lots of dark and cramped areas that makes me wander in circles before figuring out my way. Lots of hitscanners hidden in the dark makes it a bit unpleasant, but the BK area and the optional secret part were pretty. Looks like Japanese Doomers enjoyed Sunlust, eh?


MAP07 - “Confused Arena” by Tatsurd-Cacocaco - UVMax on first try

So it's a Dead Simple arena remade to confuse Doomers playing it, right? Looks like killing the last mancubi on the northern closet is the safest way to tackle the map in order to bottleneck next wave at the door. The secret was kinda hilarous, was it intended this way?

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map04

Burabo is a master of spectacle, I've noticed -- a good two-thirds of the monsters in this level exist purely for the hilarious image of them crowding on the ledges in the last ambush, to be blasted away with the rocket launcher or infight themselves to extinction. The rows of stairs on the ledges makes the image -- it's a lot more comical when the monsters pop up and down repeatedly and awkwardly.

The map is a symmetrical one, yes, but any criticism thereof must be directed purely at the aesthetics, because the gameplay doesn't really suffer for it (except for perhaps the AV encounter): the encounters are short and small-scale, and in the case of the last one it's only a good thing that we get to see the monsters crowding two separate ledges, because it's not really possible to get enough of that.

map05

[Two paragraphs of vitriol towards this level, since removed.]

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MAP06

This one feels very Plutonia 2 like. You start in the middle of a two way hall of sorts, and can choose your own path. This level is pretty easy for the most part. There were a couple of switches I missed a couple times so I found my self running around quite a lot here. One of the secrets and the blue key room reminded me (design wise) of Sunlust lol. Pretty cool map.

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UV, pistol starts

map04 - demo here

+ great MIDI
+ firing rockets into the massed hordes of hell on the other sides of the 'bank' is satisfying!
+ i liked the archvile trap - just to keep you on your toes

- alcoves that hold the teleported archviles have steps before them that can catch your rockets :(
- the teleporting monster traps a little bit toothless - staying at the switch works for the first bit, then entering the rocket/medpack alcoves to take care of the other side of the bank. could have been more exciting

map05 - demo here

+ differing heights makes climbing fun
+ chaingun as main weapon is interesting
+ MIDI is great!

- abundance of hitscanners means that gameplay was slow (at least on UV)
- secrets were difficult to find due to random texture use
- blood sewers sections seems to be designed for vert mouse users!

map06 - demo here

+ menacing/foreboding atmosphere
+ great midi
+ cool cave/base/lair design

- some decorations were hindering movement more than they were adding to the map
- couldnt find any secrets :(
- went straight over the exit trigger! i think it may be because of the small ledge before the exit itself? check the demo!

map07 - demo here

+ great homage
+ varied weapons/monsters makes the choice of fights interesting
+ good MIDI

- lone archvile is a bit pathetic, and waiting for him to stop teleporting can be tedious
- exit trigger can be run over again! check the demo
- rockets on steps are a pain to pick up

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Map 06 -- Riminshi Valley - 98% Kills / 100% Secrets - FDA
Another short map from burabojunior, again in what seems to be a kind of 'parallel universe Plutonia' theme, depicting the crumbling ruin of an old coastal fort built around a cataract, with a small network of wind-carved caves nearby, and a portal to another dimension entirely tucked away in a forgotten strongroom. While the viney ruins/nature theme with the grey sky naturally speaks broadly of Plutonia, as aforesaid (the monster placement style also being loosely in that vein, though with fewer "gotcha" jabs), there are perhaps some other concrete references present as well, though it's difficult to pin down anything definite. Several of the major assets are once again from CC4, but of course much of the CC4 pack consists of alterations or reworkings of resources from elsewhere (note the Eternal Doom masonry comprising the outer wall!); I also thought I caught a whiff of the 'garden temple' episode of Scythe II, but perhaps it was just the blue-keyed switch that put me in that mind. Apparently the BGM track is famously from Alien Vendetta, which also has a notable 'wilderness stronghold' minisode of sorts, but I totally failed to recognize it, probably because the last time I played AV was years ago now, and likely with a different port using a different soundfont for its BGM. Thematic lineage aside, the overall presentation is sound enough, more conventionally framed than the oddball map 04 in terms of texture/color combos, with much of the feel of the place eliding from the cozy juxtaposition of artificed and organic shapes, and also lighting contrast, with deeply shadowy areas alternating with the cold, unsentimental light of day. I actually didn't really notice the poor texture alignment in the wind-caves while playing (though watching my own demo I see that it is indeed more than a little roughshod thereabouts); my main aesthetic criticism is that the lighting contrast is essentially abandoned in the optional/hidden void dimension, robbing it of much of the drama and thematic contrast it feels like it ought to have.

The main salient feature of the map's gameplay is its shortform approach to non-linearity; you can technically access the majority of the playspace within seconds from the outset, and monsters are placed so that every way you turn you have something attempting to keep you off-balance and tumbling further in, often a perched sniper of some sort. All told, its relatively small amount of real estate cannot accommodate any truly sustained monster presence, and if you play smart it's not at all difficult to get away with proceeding at a methodical/leisurely pace, but if you willingly go along with what seems to be the mapper's cordial invitation to play things a bit looser it pans out reasonably well, if a bit nondescriptly. There are a couple of tiny setpieces (one of them hidden) based on arch-viles to ensure that even careful players face at least a bit of pressure at some point, though I feel that the BK setup could've used some flying enemies from the darkened periphery in back of the key's spring, even if it was just a few lost souls or the like. Other players also brought up a good point in that the likely issue of infinitely-tall shenanigans in some areas seems to work against the map's intended non-linear flow somewhat, particularly in/around the light platforming segment leading to the BK shrine in the wind-caves; in this case I would suggest simply removing the pinky demons from the watery plane the stone platforms rise out of, as due to their particular movement quirks they cannot generally leave that plane to enter other parts of the level (and thus don't contribute anything of real value to the gameplay) , and they will probably be the culprits in 90% of the infinitely-tall snafus that could feasibly happen in that area.

I also apparently missed killing a monster somewhere. Seemed like the level was too small for me to have simply overlooked somebody, perhaps a slow/dysfunctional teleporter closet or the like?

Map 07 -- Confused Arena - 100% Kills / 100% Secrets - FDA
Ye Olde Dead Simple Mappe. Given that the world has not (yet!) had the good fortune to have Japanese-made megaWADs spilling out of the rafters, I'm endeavoring to curtail the kneejerk snark I tend to lazily default to when I see something like this these days....everybody's got a ticket to do something like this at some point, I suppose. All the same, I don't reckon I'll be able to muster my usual 'loquacity' (<--euphemism) as regards this one ;).

The things I most liked about it were A) the simple but classy detail work around the arena's periphery, and B) the fairly intuitive but nonetheless welcome development that the obvious holdout room to the north turns out not to make for a very safe camping spot for all but the first wave. As for criticism, I think the main issue is that the skill 4 thing placement simply doesn't levy enough pressure. When you have a symmetrical arena such as this I feel like it's generally best to make the Doomer play off that symmetry by compelling him/her to have to constantly stay on the move in order to avoid being cornered, but outside of the first few seconds of the arachnatron wave the monster presence is always too reserved to marshal the space very well, and so it's easy to camp out in one part of the arena for most of the battle(s). I also didn't care for the way the arch-vile was used, as it seems like he'd only be a factor if one had the poor luck to be standing in his part of the arena when he first appears; otherwise he just tele-pogos around ineffectually while you wait for him to stop to pick up a penny out of the basin so you can peg him. I'd rather have seen him (maybe even two or more of him, at that) simply deployed on the ground along with the revenants, reckon you'd get a lot more bang for the buck that way.

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Little bit of catch up to do here. My goal was to actually play one per day but then grading got in the way of that. I don't need to do much when proctoring an exam, but playing Doom might be pushing it. Time to build a buffer now that I have some time.

MAP 02: Another short map which has something of a propensity for lulling you into a false sense of security. This feels like it might be a theme: maps starting out with a few rooms of easier monsters but then suddenly dumping a mid-tier monster on you to keep you on your toes. I’ll try not to be surprised when, later on, they have a few rooms with low end monsters before dropping you into a fight with a Cyberdemon.

MAP 03: The first two maps set the pace of short levels this one appears to continue that trend before pulling a fast one on you twice. Now, I’ll be honest, I hate fighting Revenants so there were a bunch too many for me here. This level made me glad I didn’t reset to UV on 01. The map itself has a bit of backtracking, but almost always it managed to open up some walls and throw some new monsters into the mix. Fairly good use of the teleporter to bring you back toward the exit the first time, thinking the level was doing you a favor, before tricking you again.

MAP 04: I think I’m starting to pick up on this map set’s tricks. Exit marked right away? No way I’m just flipping a switch to unlock that. Different switch market exit? That’s spawning monsters. That said, I didn’t expect so many or such a variety. Tons of monster infighting including the ever hilarious spiderdemon vs cacodemon makes this map slowly ramp up in intensity before an all-out brawl at the end.

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Map 4: 100% kills, 1/1 secret

This one packs a lot of monsters into a small space. Difficulty in the map is interesting since the setpieces become easier the further one progresses. That shotgun is guarded and the blue key trap easily puts a hurting on the player. Later setpieces are most easily handled by staying put. Stay far back enough in the tunnel and the arachnotron will keep pelting a wall (which has a side benefit of distracting any cacos that wander into the line of fire) No cover so be quick on the trigger with hitscanners especially. After that comes the fun part. Dozens of weak monsters, they clump up due to the layout, and the map hands out a rocket launcher and several boxes of rockets. (evil grin)

Got the SSG secret. Wasn't quite sure how when I did it but think I worked it out since then.

Map 5: 99% kills, 5/8 secrets

Found a permastuck, same one the Pirx pointed out by the blue armor and SSG secret.

Lots of bullets, lots of zombies and other assorted weaklings, numerous barrels to splatter said weaklings, small amounts of other ammo types, the map very much supports going on a rampage with the chaingun. The free invulnerability (on HMP anyways) is a welcome sight towards that end too. Nothing dangerous enough to need it but sure is fun to blaze a trail with total impunity once in a while.

I'll go with "intentional chaos" when it comes to the detailing. 90's freeform creativity meets more recent standards or something. The western section I found quite memorable (visplane overflow bait). Just somehow clicks with the nature of the map. The light amp visor is a welcome boon for the section after the exit fakeout. Secrets tend to be hidden quite well; found close to zero on an initial scouting run.

Fun map. Didn't care for the revenant in the lookout post personally (goaded a mancubus into taking it out for me) though that's such a minor nitpick in the overall enjoyable experience.

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