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File Reviews posted by Killer5

  1. Combat Shock 2


    The following review is comparing Combat Shock 2 to today's slaughter wads.


    A pretty good wad overall. There are some design decisions made in the larger maps that make sense from an open-endedness design perspective.. but honestly I decided that it really detracts from the experience.


    The following descriptions are from my play through on UV, using pistol starts, and no saves.


    Map01: One of the best maps in the wad. There is very little downtime on this map and there is almost no tediousness cleaning up any of the fights. There are some filler moments but that is to be expected on Map01 I guess.


    I wont talk too much about Map01 because there isn't much that I really dislike about it. It is Map01 difficulty.. but still threatening (albeit not lethal) and has a great start and a great final fight.



    Map02: This map is quite slow in comparison to Map01 and introduces some of my complaints about the design decisions made in some of these maps. It seems a lot of maps follow a design decision which gives the player complete control over how the player wants to play the map. Unfortunately if the player is playing blind then the player will most certainly not be running around trying to aggro everything with reckless abandon.. but instead trying to survive. This means incredibly slow gameplay.


    My first experience with this map was quite a stale one. I had plenty of room to move around at all times.. and was able to take every fight one at a time (none of the fights are really threatening on their own save one which I will get to). This one fight involving tons of pinkys, a cyb, mastermind, and hks can be cheesed completely but simply running out of the area. It is quite obvious that you can leave the area immediately so I can't really say it is cheese.. just a design decision to allow to quicker play if the player wants. I think this is fine if you want to open the map up for speedrunning or something.. but it is something that really made a poor experience for me when I didn't go into the map with a mindset of aggressive play.


    The final fight is really great. Making 3 monsters threatening is kinda hard and Danne pulls it off well with 2 viles and a cyb.



    Map03: Incredible map. I really enjoyed how my experience was made harder or easier depending on the decisions I made at the start of the map. Sure you can get rockets early.. but that rocket fight is quite hard because of specters, and viles in a close quarters fight. I found that I could actually get plasma first.. and then return to the rocket area with plasma. This made the area easier and gives the player something to think about when playing the map. Great stuff.


    There are these groups of lost souls that appear when you raise the platforms leading to the final 2 arenas.. all they did was make it a bit more annoying to kill the hks (I just took an extra 30 seconds to kill the lost souls prior to dealing with the hks).


    Final two fights are fun. Especially the final area.. pinkys + cybs is always a fun combo.



    Map04: This map is half good.. half incredibly tedious cleanup.


    The first half is fun.. you get an awesome fight with imps/mancs/cacos/cybs in a medium size area. Very easy to get blindsided by fireballs/rockets here. The following bfg fight is also really great. You need to sort of figure out how long you can be aggressive vs the viles while still finding room to escape so you dont get cornered. The mastermind usage during this fight is insanely good too. Probably one of the best wandering masterminds I have seen in a map.


    Unfortunately the map slows to a crawl after getting to the next large area. While it is INCREDIBLY easy to eat errant cyb rockets at the initial reveal of this room.. it is complete circle strafe for your foreseeable future. I assume this area would be fun to speedrun.. but again casually this room is kinda meh in my book. The vile horde at the end is also quite stale since there just arent that many and the viles just sort of funnel towards your bfg. ezpz.



    Map05: Another map which falls victim to the open ended gameplay trope. There are many fights here which would be fun if you were going to play the map fast.. but playing slow it is an hour long map consisting of a long grind with almost no threat.


    The start is full of areas with very low threat and a very high monster count.. I don't really have much to say about them individually except that they didn't kill me. Eventually after grinding through many nonthreatening fights you get to the bfg area. This area looks great and has some great platforming to get the bfg. Unfortunately the bars which prevent you from leaving open immedately. I don't really understand this design decision unless you are just trying to allow people multiple ways of playing.. if you want you could just jerk off and spam rockets until you win. Hardly any threat in this area and almost no reason to use that big fucking gun you just grabbed.


    The final fight is also a slog playing casually. The meat of the room is triggered by a switch.. but if you dont want to hit the switch then you can just circle strafe for days while the center of the room kills and mancs on the outside of the room kill each other so then when you hit the switch.. you have almost no threat from the group of monsters which are spawned from the switch press.


    Quite an easy/grindy map. It overstayed its welcome. But it looks phenominal.



    Map06: My favorite map in the set. Almost everything in this map is good. There are a couple incredibly trivial fights later on if you know how to use bfg well.. but luckily these fights don't last long. The finale is kinda meh casually.. but it still isn't free so I ended up liking it. Great map.



    Map07: Bonus incidental combat map. I enjoyed the larger area around the yk door.. but everything else is whatev. Not really a fan of this map.



    Overall: A solid slaughter wad made in the vein of Sunder. C-shock 2 is definitely easier than Sunder and in some maps outmatches Sunder in gameplay and quality (Maps 01, 03, 06). C-shock 2 is also completely void of incredibly offensive maps such as The Cage. As far as slaughter wads go c-shock 2 is a must play and is a huge improvement over the original c-shock. 4 stars.


    Also.. it is really fun seeing wads made from 1/2 of the Sunlust/Italo team. While I think Danne improved a lot as a mapper his early maps still pack quite a punch.

  2. The following 'review' is mostly me describing my experience when playing through this wad initially. So lots of it is simply a rambling description of my experience on maps I find notable to discuss. Generally if I enjoyed a map I don't really have much to say about it.


    Played through uv/pistol starts/no saves. I was debating on whether or not to take when Scythe 2 was made into account but I decided to put it in the same bin as the newer wads I have played so take that into consideration when reading.


    Very overrated wad imo. Some of the episodes are quite dull and possess very annoying design decisions. My focus will be primarily on episodes 2, 4, and 5 (the other episodes really didn't bother me and I consider them the high points of the wad).



    Episode 2:

    Many of these maps are incredibly simple with no real threat what-so-ever. They look cool.. but a map's looks/atmosphere mean nothing if the map plays super straight forward and has no chance of killing the player. Some maps that come to mind are:

    - Map07: Dead simple clone. Forgettable map. I think there is a reason why Experiencing Nirvana's Map07 is also Dead Simple.


    - Map08: Normal incidental combat map which possesses 2 areas (really only 1 fight) which can possibly kill the player: 1.) There is a switch which simply spawns revs in close proximity around the player. So if the player doesn't react the player dies. I am always at odds which whether or not I like traps like this. I came to the conclusion that if I can simply beat the trap without issue if I know it is there then all the trap is is an attempt at a quick kill of the player. This trap falls into the absolutely no threat category if you know it is coming category so this trap is bad imo (I am simply tested on whether or not I can kill a few revs). 2.) There is a cyb that appears at the end with some manc snipers. This is without a doubt the most interesting part of the map.. and it occurs at the very end. Which means the player needs to just run around the map for a few minutes and get rewarded with a sort-of-threatening encounter. Overall a pretty uneventful map. Looks nice though.


    - Map09: Incredibly dull map. Run into a temple -> hit switch -> literally sit in one spot spamming rockets -> go into exit. No player should ever die on this map. Again.. map looks nice.. but this map has very forgettable gameplay.


    - Map10: This map is interesting because the final room has a lethal trap (thank god something engaging), but unfortunately everything prior to this trap is again incredibly dull. Hey some hitscan and a rev? Oh a manc on its own? Playing saveless means that if I die at the end I judge a map based on whether or not I would play through the map a second time. The final encounter is definitely not rewarding enough what-so-ever to wade through the first 90% of the map again. So this entire map is basically the final bit as far as engaging gameplay. Very unfortunate because once again the map looks great and has a great atmosphere.



    Episode 4:

    This episode starts out great but ends up ending on a very low note. Primarily, because once again, the maps aren't engaging what-so-ever.

    Map16: One of the high points of the set. Very cool introduction of the plasma marine. Not much to say except that this map made a single monster incredibly threatening. Which is cool.


    Map17: An incredibly sloggy map void of any threat. Once the player gets past the initial teletrap of hitscan/revs/pinkys/imps

    the map is pretty much over. The player is forced to fight groups of monsters such as: a few PEs, lone baron, a small group of mancs, a giant group of monsters trapped on the other side of a 3d bridge (target practice since they cannot get close to the player), and.. a lone cyb (out in the open even). There is one interesting bit where there is a rev horde the player needs to rocket down. Avoiding lots of rev rockets is great because the player can die incredibly quick if the player can't dodge rev rockets.. which is a skill one can learn through practice. Because practice takes all rng out this makes fighting this large group of revs without taking damage a high skill fight which means it is fun in my book. The map looks interesting though.. textures are mostly brown ash but the map is quite wide open so the scale of the map looks great.. but this cannot save the map because the gameplay is non-threatening for almost all of the map.


    Map20: Great looking map yet again.. but the gameplay is incredibly lack-luster. The player starts out having to kill a rev and some imps.. then the player can simply run by some mancs -> kill pinkys -> escape. Once the player escapes the start of the map the slog begins. The entire start of this map is nothing but turret monsters and an incredibly ineffective cacoswarm (honestly with all the room the player has to move these cacos must have been a joke group of monsters). So.. the player can simply run by everything and yeah.. shoot rockets -> kill cacos and revs out in the open -> ..that's it. Getting the bfg is kind of interesting? The player needs to kill a large group of revs in a sort of tight space with rockets.. so that is interesting I guess.. but otherwise gameplay consists of a few small groups of revs and 2 viles where the map provides all the cover in the world. Nothing very interesting yet... The high point of the map comes after getting the bfg. After the bfg a group of 4 cybs spawn which are interesting to kill because of the way the ground is constructed in this map (has a lot of uneven/bumpy sections). I had some trouble finding good angles to 2-shot the cybs so I needed to use my head and wait for good positioning. Good stuff. Too bad the good stuff ends as quickly as it began.. the player then needs to shoot 4 groups of monsters which are trapped in 4 separate rooms. So no threat what-so-ever. Worse after pressing each switch guarded by each group of monsters the player is greeted with a group of chaingunners and revs each time (each group of chaingunners/revs is as nonthreatening as the last). I enjoyed the bfg bit at the very end though. Killing a large group of plasma marines followed by a pair of cybs is fun.



    Episode 5:

    Maps 21/22:

    Both of these maps I found interesting simply because I got to punch a lot of stuff. Playing without saves however.. they take so long to get to anything threatening that if I was to die (died at the end of map22 due to plasma marines) I have absolutely no interest in playing them again. So these maps are basically a test of.. can you kill small groups of monsters without taking damage with your fists (at least how I played them to make them more interesting to myself). I passed the test on both maps until I finally got to a threatening group of plasma marines. I can't justify playing a non-engaging map for another 10 minutes just to get to the plasma marines yet again so I skipped the end of map22. Map22 reminds me a lot of map10. I liked one part.. but found the entire beginning section kind of meh thanks to nonthreatening gameplay.



    I have played this map previously.. however with saves (I got to have fun slamming into groups of monsters with bfg at all times). My opinion changed playing without saves. You can camp outside the area of pretty much every group of monsters and shoot shit at them from safety. Incredibly disappointed in this map after playing without saves. I found myself becoming annoyed when getting to the bk area and decided to push through the groups of revs and hks with bfg.. so that was fun. Pretty much the rest of the map is.. snipe monsters and one instance of: can you bfg viles. Very lame map overall. Probably fun to speedrun but I have decided that I can't judge maps based on if I think they are fun to run. No deaths on this one.. as previously stated.. very disappointed.



    Much better than map23 but.. there are some fights which are complete filler. When moving up to the ysk area it was fun shooting all the revs with rockets.. but then you are rewarded with 2 absolutely pointless fights: 1.) after killing a cyb there is a group of revs just trapped in a cage.. no threat 2.) in the area where the switch to lower the ysk is located you just need to spam bfg at a wall of crap (which you are given cover from immediately). I assume the barons which spawned on the floor are supposed to make the player move.. but if the player can use the bfg then there is literally no threat here. This map finally begins when going for the rsk. Spawning the group of viles in that larger arena was cool.. and bfg'ing through revs and chaingunners later was interesting.. cool section of the map. Spawning all of the shit at once (hitting all of the key switches) was also interesting. So at least the map ended on a high note. This is definitely my favorite map of the episode.



    Imo Scythe 2 is at its best when you are playing through episodes 1 and 3. These maps all felt like everything belonged where it was placed.. and there weren't any difficulty spikes which I can remember (each map lead up to areas present later each map just fine and the maps weren't dull like episode 2). Episode 6 (primarily maps 26, 28, and 30) saved Scythe 2 for me. I don't really have much to say about them except that I had fun and had to worry about dying more than a few times. So Scythe 2 gets 3 stars from me.


    I am happy to hear that this wad inspired a lot of the authors whose maps I really enjoy playing today (same with Sunder because my review of that would probably be similar to this review). But I am very happy that well known authors now-a-days have improved on basically everything that Scythe 2 is doing. I have Bloody Rust to play when I want threatening.. more incidental maps.. and I have stuff like *some* d-d maps, most Danne maps, most Ribbiks maps, etc when I want harder maps to play. So for that I thank Scythe 2.. but I probably won't ever be playing Scythe 2 again. So.. Scythe 2 gets 3 stars from me.

  3. Combat Shock


    I enjoyed Map02 and Map03. Map04 has two very good fights in it but I felt like it dragged on quite a bit. I would still recommend this wad to anyone who enjoys slaughter gameplay.