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File Reviews posted by Jayextee

  1. Area 51


    Everybody, storm this WAD. They can't stop us all. #thatjokewillremainrelevant


    Honestly, this is stellar work for a 1997 WAD. By today's standards the custom sprites may be a little ropey, the new sounds clashing, and the cute little edits to the IWAD assets probably less-cute. But in the context of an era in which WinTEX was the best tool around (shudder) this is actually a gem. Two maps with questionable midi choices (Mission Impossible's theme tune I can both understand and forgive; White Wedding? I have no idea what the author was thinking on that one) but they're filled to the brim with neat little immersive touches that make it worth playing today, even if only out of curiosity.


    So go clap some alien cheeks! ;)

  2. Realm of Chaos


    I have rated this three stars.

    However, I feel like this megaWAD often gets overlooked despite what it is: a part of history. I came to it late, pretty much 1999/2000-ish, and was my first megaWAD personally, but I was always entranced by what I understood to be the story behind it; in a scene utterly dominated by the IBM PC-compatibles/DOS crowd and their (relative) wealth of tools, Macintosh DOOMers came together to show that they too can put together a full-length campaign for Doom II that wasn't going to let those DOS guys totally steal the show.

    And they did. Kind of. With the apparently-unstable-at-best HellMaker crashing every single-figure number of minutes at times, a handful of eager mappers (including the still-active-at-time-of-writing Steve Duff), some of which were authoring their first ever maps, delivered an experience that is to me as interesting as it is varied; in terms of both experience and quality, I have to admit. There are some poor maps here (Sewers, by Jim Bagrow - I'm looking right at you) but there are some epic adventures rivalling those of TNT: Evilution, if not aesthetically (hey, some of them come close) then in length and spectacle.

    What you're getting here is almost like a hidden piece of history that I feel stands proudly as an underdog with its peers. An underdog that isn't always well-behaved (many maps can be rendered uncompletable with the wrong actions taken, including one of the secret maps if you dare enter the basement without the three keys) but at its best (which is usually the maps by Rob Berkowitz or Duff himself) is an entertaining and oft-neglected slice of '90s mapping.

  3. A good DOOM mod should be challenging, right? How about challenging what is expected from the maps themselves? This is exactly what UnAligned does. In spades. Gimmicks and puzzles abound; especially E3M1, oh wow -- when I found out that the teleporters were basically math instead of "do them in this order", it became a great thing indeed, and this is saying nothing of the voodoo doll puzzle, or... you get the impression.


    If you want good solid combat, look elsewhere (or IDCLEV to E3M6 and play DOOM Tower Defence). But the fact is the DOOM engine offers more potential than just various configurations of shooting, and UnAligned is a good place to look for that kind of thing. By its very nature, the entire thing is hit and miss (each and every criticism of E1M8, for example? Completely justified -- a nice idea made totally frustrating in its extremity, and something already done better by MAP07 of Valiant for example) but there's likely something here to surprise anybody. I give it five stars for its creativity; not the overall quality, which is as sporadic as the themes of gameplay. It's not for everybody; in fact it's not for many people at all; but dash it all, if it ain't unique as hell. Even if, as the name would imply, it's not the prettiest smartass around.

  4. Once upon a time, armed with my old Maximum Doom disc, I decided to go through every single user WAD to see what the history of DOOM modding was like; where it started, and get a feel for the experimentation that led to the scene as it was then, the year 2001-ish. This experiment did not last long; boxy rooms, random ill-fitting sounds, badly-converted textures from inappropriate sources, awkward 'custom' sprites and a general lack of aesthetic in any sense of the word -- all these things combined made the process about as pleasurable as one would imagine soldering my eyeballs to my anus would be. And this was before I'd even finished the 'A' section, tackled in alphabetical order of course.


    Playing this steaming pool of fecal matter in WAD form (and I did, all eight maps of it; even if I needed to IDCLIP one of them and to find an exit switch on the arm of a swastika formation - classy) made me nostalgic for the extremely high bar set by those horrible Maximum Doom WADs.

    By typing this, and if you are indeed reading this, more time has been devoted to this simpering travesty than it will ever deserve. But I'll nutshell it as some joke about the Furry community that likely nobody but the author will 'get' (with one map named 'Anthrocon' and another, um, 'Cum Zone') spread across eight minimal-effort maps, three of which are bad Icon of Sin encounters introduced by the sound of what I would imagine to be the author trying to have clumsy sexual relations with his microphone using only his nose.

    I downloaded this to low-key troll my partner, who is a fan of the FNAF (or Five Nights At Freddy's) series. Even in that regard, this WAD had no value. Avoid.

  5. I had a dream once, true story, where I was playing DOOM and everything was kinda familiar but kinda not. Such is dream logic. Keys were the wrong colour, layouts were reversed or had new sections. And yet it still looked precisely like DOOM, the one I've come to know and love.


    This is a set of maps that does the same thing; even some questionable choices like the damaging start sector of E1M5 add to the 'dream logic'; everything's familiar and yet, it's somehow wrong.


    Definitely worth a curious look even if all you're going to do is get drunk and/or stoned and give it a shot to freak yourself out or something.

  6. Distorted Memories


    Less homage than one may think (although still clearly referencing the original levels and themes), this is a solid map set that's worth a quick play. Equal amounts of nostalgic and fresh, I'd recommend to anyone who wants to kill the better part of an hour with some classic Dooming.

  7. Currently the zenith of vanilla texturing and mapping, this is a great slog from beginning to end. The singular theme (dirty tech bases) threatens to get old, but toward the end the encounter design keeps it engaging. Also, the subtle hues in the new palette are pretty sublime; and the music never fails to inspire.