Single Status Update
Review of SlaughterMAX
We have Slaughterfest 2011, Slaughterfest 2012, Slaughterfest 2013...ohohohoho NO we have Slaughterfest 3 instead, cause some people took too long. so now we have Slaughterfest 2020...ahahaha actually we have SlaughterMAX. it's so interesting to see how much the slaughterfest community project evolved over the years, the first one separated maps by author, giving us ways to see just how selective mapping styles were done, and it actually did pretty well. 2012 went away with that gimmick but gave us 32 decent slaughtermaps, then 3 came around and whaddya know did the same thing. SlaughterMAX spreads the further joy as the fourth official slaughterfest community project, with UV-MAX demos recorded in order to prove they are complete-able (even though one is literally called Literally Unplayable)
so when I played SlaughterMAX I was disappointed with it. Why? well, I expected...more perhaps? the first level tries to be interesting with pain elemental usage (the map itself resembled one too, I guess that's cool) but it kinda doesn't hit its stride. MAP02 on the other hand, the door didn't work, and the room after it was just a glorified arena. this arena trope is prevalent for the next three maps, and they aren't really designed all that well. it isn't until MAP06 (which was already in Doomworld Mega Project 2016, and was one of the better maps) that I started liking stuff, and only in spades at best. MAP07 wasn't a slaughtermap, the maps after it do better especially MAP10 and MAP11. MAP15 had interesting gimmicks, and I ended up seeing more of these, which is good. some maps resemble hubs, where you go on your merry way. MAP23 was another excellent map.
MAP27 is aptly named Back and Forth and is a strong yet silly level. MAP28 oh man, this was the reason I was disappointed with the wad as a whole. because I completely expected the wad's quality to be just like this judging from screenshots. and then I couldn't actually play the level in hardware mode, wonderful. However MAP29 was a worthwhile odyssey of a slaughtermap, with an appropriate music change that fit the mood swing, plus it gave off a perfect Sunder vibe, the best level in the whole set. It wasn't the closer, MAP30 was the frantic closer which can be rendered completely unplayable if you're not fast enough (actually I'm not even sure how to beat it in any case).
for the other ones that weren't mentioned, they had their moments, but ultimately felt flat. given the quality of many maps from the previous slaughterfest community projects, I really did expect things to be amazing, but either the design was bleh or the fights were mostly glorified arenas with waiting being the main protocol. take note I DON'T hate slaughtermaps, just the arena parts where you're forced to wait often for the next switch to finally be revealed just to move on. I like more adventurous slaughtermaps with more freedom like the ones from Sunder and such. arenas aren't fun anymore.