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I reviewed something I never thought I'd review, something that actually is considered horrible by the community. If you want to see it, here it is READ AT YOUR OWN RISK.Spoiler
Yes I reviewed Glassyman's Gamarra Story wads. You think I'd make the reviews on the file page but nah, I decided to do it this way.
Episode I: Gamarra Sucks
Oh boy, with a title like that, that's sure a start to this "series"! The textfile barely even gives a story, other than "please don't use IDBEHOLDL". If that's the case, why did I find a hidden light visor in the level? Well, speaking of the level, it's an E1M1 replacement where you start out in water, chaingun and shotgun to the sides, cacodemons over inescapable pits that you should have no business fighting, and shotgun guys in a corridor that is too thin to effectively dodge fireballs in. The idea here from what I can gather of this impression is this: grab the weapons, mow the shotgun guys down, get past the barons and hit the exit switch at the end. A very simple level to do. Getting 100% kills doesn't look that feasible, the two secrets in this one are easy, one of them even has the light visor, while the other has some sector art basically advertising Gamarra, meaning, well, shoes and Gamarra being referred by name.
This was definitely the least offensive of Glassyman's work, both in how its designed and played and the fact that no one was pissing on him at the time. But of course, because of it's extreme simplicity, it still is very bad overall. I'd like to point out that even though this is supposedly for ZDoom, there's really not any ZDoom features to note.
Episode II: In The Blue
And then things take a turn to shit really quickly. Again, no ZDoom stuff, just a wad made for ZDoom about Gamarra apparently being "stuck in blue rooms" there's changes to the status bar if you die or put on god mode/invulnerability but they are pretty much MSPaint stuff, same with the end graphic near the exit switch.
Although if you want to reach the exit, you might as well cheat. Glassyman gives supplies rather unevenly in this one, the shotgun is a few rooms away behind some imps, okay, the chaingun later can be found through a drop, and a bunch of berserk packs in a dark hall follow. Then you have a tad of nonlinearity allowing us to reach a rocket launcher and plasma gun before we reach a thin platform over lava ordeal that leads to the exit switch.
All of the above wouldn't be a problem if a single noise didn't wake up every single monster. And there are 900 fucking monsters around this area. So basically you put on IDDQD and an infinite ammo flag and just try to get through it all. Except that is honestly boring. I'd love to save the starting imps and demons for later, but with the drops, that's not possible. Not to mention enemies WILL clog up entrances, preventing any progress whatsoever. Especially blatant in the thin platform section at the end with the cacodemons, and their corpses easily block the entrance and can lead to a misstep into the lava. There's just no way to have any fun with this map. And I should mention design, it's obviously full of boring, bland, square rooms. Rooms and hallways that would fit right well with much of the Maximum Doom catalog, no good design, just all-around shit.
Episode III: I need a wc
This starts off the apparent toilet humor that Glassyman utilizes later on when he "gets revenge" on those who wrong him, but in this case, Gamarra's third episode has him finding a toilet to urinate in, and he's in this huge complex just loaded with bathrooms and needs to have his "physiologic necessity" met. "But some toilets are out of order" read all of them except for the one that naturally has the exit switch. What kind of bathroom even is this? It's designed awfully of course, loads of the "no personnel" signs on the walls of each hallway, the big rooms are just wood, and Glassyman puts up OUT OF ORDER signs just about everywhere except for that last one. The progression for this map is: pick up key in one of many stalls, open color door, find next key in one of many stalls, rinse and repeat. That's basically it. Combat in this case again leaves much to be desired, uneven spreading of supplies, no monsters flagged deaf, but it's a little more manageable than episode 2, but still not that fun, especially if you make the monsters clog up entrances. Another one that wouldn't seem out of place in Maximum Doom. Again, made for ZDoom but then again no ZDoom features.
Episode IV: The Nightmare
So in this episode Gamarra decides to be a couch potato and then have a nightmare where he is in a realm that's fucked up. In this case, we have wooden rooms at the start with no weapons for a bit to help against some marginal monsters, until you get both chaingun and shotgun in two of the side rooms. Then it progresses sort of like the last episode, except worse. Many of the rooms are massive in scope, meaning there's no difficulty to speak of, even against the spiderdemons sometimes. Design-wise after the wooden rooms, they're all over the place, not particularly executed well, some rooms are completely stark gray, another is completely dark with two spiderdemons and some barons, with the pit in the middle. The final round against cyberdemons in a DOORTRAK nightmare doesn't offer a whole lot. Very bleak and the excessively large rooms won't do it justice.
Episode V: In the pc
This one has an obvious tech theme, involving deleting a virus from a computer apparently. Even though we don't see that virus because again, no real ZDoom features are at use here. It's the usual go through big rooms, fight off non-deaf monsters, collect keys. The gimmick here is that crushers are everywhere, usually on supplies, and fast feet can ensure you avoid them. The big rooms have rather large crushers that are helpful against monsters, the endgame for example has three cybers that are boring to fight, so getting them under a slow crusher would help. A little bit more fun than the other Gamarra wads before it but it's still nowhere near good.
Episode VI: On Phobos
Wouldn't you believe it, this is the worst one so far. Why is Gamarra stuck on Phobos base all of a sudden? The progression still remains the same, of course bloated by a few huge areas, but what kills the vibe the most are those fucking lifts. The "little hell" and "big hell" sections are just cute but not fun regardless, going through tunnels with a radsuit against lost souls, yeah cool. But the lift to the big hell section? Fuck no, just NO. That took like a minute and a half for it to lower all the way. And to think I have to backtrack to get back to the exit using the same lift, the worst part is I managed to get to the red key and back FASTER than that thing rising all the way up. Fuck. Not to mention you'll need those radsuits for sure, so saving the ones in the secrets is mandatory. And then you have yet another insulting 2-minute lift ride. Time to microwave some chicken pot pie and eat it, and you'll still be riding that lift. The section above the lift is a gauntlet run vs. barons, cyberdemons, and spiderdemons, easier than it sounds of course due to the vast amounts of space to run in. But it's obvious why I hate this one. And of course the design sucks.
Episode VII: Gamarra for President
What does Gamarra running for president have to do with this one? Hardly anyone knows! But when you think about it, this is pretty much just token Glassyman design and gameplay, supplies in oft-kilter rooms with huge and flat square rooms and hallways, plus gameplay that is easy or hard depending on what enemies are used. Hell, this one just seems to damn forgettable because this is an ordinary bad level with no real concept to speak of. This time you're just collecting three keys in a nonlinear fashion, the only real interesting area being the dark hallway one with multiple secrets and more than half of the monsters being situated in that stupid ass maze. But even that's boring and tedious to go through to reach the red key. The blue key has a few crushers that are hard to spot until you realize that the supplies are under them, the yellow key area is piss easy because of the space. Hey, no annoying lifts for once. Gamarra's office apparently incorporates stealth barons, but there's still nothing to really consider for this wad. And disco theme? You'd have to incorporate flashing lights to get that office to look pretty, but nope.
Episode VIII: Questions in front of a mirror
So in this one, Gamarra is basically interrogating himself in a mirror and makes questions to prepare for a "class interrogation" at school, which makes me wonder what kind of school Gamarra (or Glassyman) goes to. And then there's a level made out of it. It shows his improvement with ZDoom things, creating mirrors, instadeath pits, different moving doors, scrolling textures, but not a single one of these is gonna save the wad's score because it's still flat and uninteresting. The scrolling textures barely help matters and are more annoying than they're worth, and one particular key area is a consistently brightening and darkening room which is really something else. Typical Glassyman wad progression means that much of it's slow-paced until you get your good weapons, and that takes a while. The "quizzes" involve Dante's Allegory it seems, and are simply choose a door and be greeted with a flat lava pool. You pick the wrong one and go on the lava it is type 115 and is instakill, the other is type 256, which sadly is still damaging. There's really only three questions to answer. No other gimmicks exist here. It's just lame.
Episode IX: Pyramid of Problems
Get ready for the marathon level! Easily the biggest and most tedious Gamarra level yet, the main draw here is of course that pyramid you have to climb to get the first key! Over 2600 monsters, and about 4/5 of them on the pyramid alone. The textfile and the game flat out give you the BFG right at the beginning, but not necessarily the ammo for it. This is a square pyramid folks, one with each tier of Doom monster going up, including stealth monsters. Going up is the long and tedious part, especially when the lost souls and cacodemons start flying around. Or you can take a shortcut with a secret to reach the top automatically, with cell ammo, invulnerabilities, and the blue key. Whichever is feasible, wait no, neither really is.
Assume you made it past that, then you'd have to get each of the other keys and the exit in a linear order. Some traps here and there in the flat surfaces can be quite nasty but that's all there is to it. The side areas are just typical Glassyman design and gameplay. This truly is a pyramid full of problems.
Episode X: Final Show
Ooh, what do we have here for the final Gamarra map? That's right, an episode replacement, here we go. Please don't be big levels all the time please...
First map is Possessed Offices, which looks nothing like offices and just a typical Glassyman map with typical bad design and gameplay. Next is Crazy Base, certainly crazy alright, sacrificing design for a few gimmicks like moving water but making the whole thing not good to play at all. Boxes is pretty much exactly what it says, boxes, boxy rooms, and just general boredom. The secret exit here involves a secret switch near the exit and going all the way back to the starting point. And said secret level is titled Special Thanks, Vain Hopes, and Unoffensive Insults, nothing but special thanks to people who like him and insulting Wills and anyone who hates him, hoping that no one disses his wads. Sorry pal, but that isn't gaining sympathy.
Virus seems like a nod towards a previous episode (V), with slightly better gameplay, keyword is slightly, as it still is much of the same, although the yellow key trap can definitely put a number. Wills Delundus Est follows, a stupid cutscene map that in fact shows the first signs of Glassyman's vengeance, as his first wad in the Gamarra's soul story involves Wills. Plus the gameplay is absolutely nothing to write home about and as simplistic as his first wad. Then Stupid Hotel follows. It's stupid and looks nothing like a hotel. It's got homages to previous Gamarra maps but if you think that's spectacular you need to get your head checked. Hell According to Gamarra's Opinion, the penultimate map! Full of eye-searing red everywhere and fireballs in a huge-ass gauntlet, where you get long runs for two keys and a bunch of other shit to compensate the rest! It's huge, and probably not legitimately beatable. Finally, The Truth. We've got some boring walls followed by boring symmetry along with monster closets lined with imps and zombiemen, before having to kill loads of barons to meet Gamarra at the end, where jumping into his mouth reveals, spoiler alert, nothing important.
So I managed to finally beat the core Gamarra wads, ten completely lackluster levels made for ZDoom but not really offering anything ZDoom-y and rather actually being both horrible in design and in gameplay. All this compounded with a story that isn't really relevant to many of the maps. I probably won't play Gamarra's Soul Story anytime soon unless people want me to. But overall, these are just lame maps that are really bad, and none of these wads really showed Glassyman's vengeful side apart from at least one of the levels in gamara10. Still though, it's obvious this stuff should be avoided.
Damn son, I'd give a you a medal.
I've played the Soul Story start to finish and in my opinion the absolutely unironic not self aware lunacy of it all doubles back from an awful experience into a strange endearing trek through the half developed mind of a moron, so innocently inept that I just adore it (out of pity).