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Obsidian

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File Reviews posted by Obsidian

  1. The Demon Invasion

       67

    Seems like your average first map: blocky geometry, rooms and corridors, all that guff. I'll give it a 2 because I'm nice: whatever its faults may be, it's at least functional and the mapper in question will hopefully improve as time goes on. Keep on trying dude. :)


  2. Adorable, if a bit insubstantial: I'd give this 3 stars due to how little there is, but I feel like I'd be ruining someone's day if I did. Also the default hand acts as a somewhat rapid weak chainsaw in the stock maps, heh.

  3. lilith.pk3

       5365

    Ah, this little lovely point of contention...

     

    I'll freely admit that when Lilith first hit store shelves the forums I didn't really "get" it: the idea seemed neat but at the time the concept wasn't one I could immerse myself into. Recently though I've given it a play through to the end and I'm definitely a bit more positive towards it. What I like is that the concept plays on the preconceived notions people have of Doom: it adheres to the core principles of the game but absolutely screws with everything else in order to generate an atmosphere that I can only describe as....well, uncomfortable.

     

    And "uncomfortable" really is the word: there's a profound sense of unease as you play through the maps, which is only increased by the unconventional architecture and occasional DECORATE addition that pops up and then pops right back down again before you can get used to them. It even stretches to the sound effects and music: to be honest the music feels kinda Silent Hill-esque, which I dig a lot.

     

    It also helps that the Silent Hill soundtrack literally used dental drills as an instrument, but I digress.

     

    If I were to level criticism it'd be at a few things: the gameplay can be a bit of a hodgepodge at times, with some ideas being barely explored (such as the DECORATE additions mentioned earlier) while others can drag on a bit overlong. The architecture, while somewhat fitting for the theme, does feel like the effort of someone not completely comfortable with mapping (which the mapper has admitted is the case, to be fair). I'd be interested in seeing what a steadier hand with the mapping tools could accomplish: after all, you can only really break all the rules once you know them.

     

    The last is somewhat subjective: personally I wouldn't have had the glitch aesthetic be present in the entirety of the wad. It'd be present in most of it, sure, but I would've had snatches of sanity in all the chaos to create a sense of juxtaposition and increase the feeling of unease that the experience is built around. The worst way to steal the mystique out of an experience is to make it routine and while Lilith doesn't quite manage that it does border close, at least for me. Then again, this is just my take: it's possible that I wouldn't have been able to dream up an idea of this magnitude in the first place. :P

     

    At the end of the glitch-riddled day, Lilith is an imaginative piece of work with ambitions that I think it met. It's weird, sure, but I honestly don't view that as a bad thing.

  4. Back to Basics

       170

    This was an odd mapset to play. I'm a big fan of Espi's work and I can see the amount of effort that went in, but even in saying that I have to admit that this isn't the greatest of mapsets. Good, certainly, but not great.

     

    First off, the positives. You can tell that these are Espi maps right off the bat: the architecture is twisty and masterful, with neat tricks that you can miss easily if you aren't looking. That's one of the things I've always loved about Espi maps: they're always so damn clever. I especially loved some of the secrets, including the method of getting to the secret exit. Espi's also quite handy with the detailing, doing his best with the resources on hand to make some lovely looking locations.

     

    Here's the odd thing though: most of these qualities are actually what drags this mapset down. I'm of the opinion that if Espi wasn't limiting himself to Doom I's resources, this would've been a greatly improved mapset.

     

    Yes, the architecture's lovely and the detailing is well done, but it has to make do with Doom I's smaller texture set and it doesn't take long for things to start feeling bland, something that the later maps' shift to more flesh textures can't salvage. This also extends to the gameplay: Doom II's extended bestiary could've done wonders, but as it stands you're not gonna be seeing an awful lot of variety monster-wise. That isn't to say that the gameplay's terrible, but the lack of specialist and in-betweeny monsters means that encounters just don't have the fine-tuning they need to be the best. At best I can say that the gameplay was moderately fun.

     

    Also the E2M7 death exit was bullshit. ALL OF MY CELLS.

     

    At the end of the day though, it's a good mapset: it has the technical genius that I know and love when it comes to Espi maps and were it not for the (frankly arbitrary) limitations I'd be giving this a lot more praise. As it stands, it's good. Not great, but good.


  5. I'm surprised at the lukewarm reception this map got, it's a rather solid (if unconventional) affair that I enjoyed quite a lot. Plenty of challenge and trickery without being too grueling in the former or obtuse in the latter, just the way I like it. Cool stuff!

  6. The Darkening

       438

    A nice little collection of well-made (albeit remarkably brown) maps, with a DM set coupled alongside as a nice bonus. I can't really comment on that seeing as I don't DM, but the SP maps themselves are really nice and the added textures compliment the stock ones used quite nicely. And above all, it's fun. 4 stars!

  7. The Trials 2

       18

    Honestly it was the freaking tightrope walking afterwards that annoyed me: there is literally no way to avoid the Chaingunner that pops up without falling off. I'm not against puzzle wads in general, but this one needs some work. 2 stars - Obsidian
  8. CRESTFALLEN

       33

    While admittedly short, the environment is very well detailed(this was 1994, remember) and the gameplay is claustrophobic while still being fun, something that's difficult to do. I'd give it 3.5 stars if I could, but I'll round up to 4 instead. - Obsidian

  9. Rooms are blocky, texturing is plain and gameplay is a bit uninspired, but the author seems to have a decent grasp of the basics and understands lighting effects decently. I'm guessing this was a first project sort of deal and for that I'll give 3 stars. - Obsidian

  10. A small arena-type map where you fight a somewhat varied group of monsters followed by a Cyberdemon. A bit uninspired, but it's put together alright and there isn't anything glaringly wrong with it, so 3 stars. It'd be 2.5 if the rating system worked that way, so I rounded up. - Obsidian

  11. A small map for ZDoom. There's a decent bit of detail that doesn't go too overboard, but the map itself is kind of cramped and compact, even for my tastes. It's put together well though and for a first map it's an excellent job. 3 stars. - Obsidian
  12. Going Down

       955

    Definitely worthy of a 5 star rating: top-notch gameplay, excellent visuals and the music is mental in the best way possible. Thanks for making this dude. - Obsidian

  13. Visually this map is a treat, but the actual structure seems to be the old room-corridor progression with not much thought to the actual flow of the map. Also I noticed quite a few areas where the architecture was abruptly cut off by the sky, including the very first area. It's an excellent effort though, so keep trying! 3 stars. - Obsidian

  14. A remarkably linear map with rather plain texturing and not much gameplay. Not really worth downloading, but we all gotta start somewhere, right? 2 stars for effort: keep trying. - Obsidian

  15. Certainly an improvement over the author's early works, and not bad for a one hour speedmap. The end was a bi harrowing though and I noticed a Demon stuck in a wall somehow: I'd recommend you give the map a test before uploading. 3 stars. - Obsidian
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