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Lane Powell

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About Lane Powell

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  1. Lane Powell

    The DWmegawad Club plays: A.L.T.

    Played the first three maps on UV, pistol starts. Some general comments: - It was a good idea to start replaying the set right after playing the last several maps. - All three form a sort of narrative continuity. Plane-crash site-nearby city. - They exemplify what I think of as distinctive of the Clain B0S stuff I've played: an uncanny mixture of "realism" and more abstract trad-Doom aesthetics. It's an "off" spin on the typical techbase progression where Hell's architecture progressively creeps into the grey techbase interiors. This time it's lo-fi Half-Life being invaded by techbase and Hell at the same time, as if the maps are playing in three keys. - The plane wreckage in map02 is so weird. The damaged back end that you have to crawl over is as convincing as you can get in Doom, but then the rows of seats you see at the start of the level are laid out nice and tidy, like a part of the landscape. - Wildly different layouts and progression throughout all three. It's pretty unusual to have a big sandbox level where it seems like half the map is skippable in the map03 slot but by map02 it's established that this WAD is thoroughly flouting established conventions of progression. After a big organic map that's deliberately time-consuming to explore thoroughly, I'm as ready as I'll ever be to plunge into a tricky interconnected downtown district. - I normally dislike platforming in Doom but I like it here. It's interesting and makes progression feel somewhat organic, and so far isn't terribly tricky or difficult. - Recurring pirate motifs? I'm enjoying my return to A.L.T. Overall I feel like what I just played was the introductory sequence: two combat-light maps that introduce something of a narrative, but with a strange and possibly alienating mixture of aesthetic devices and progression sequences. If you've playing Sacrament, B0S Clan's previous WAD, it's very similar, but the first two maps of that WAD are more ghost-town. More later.
  2. Lane Powell

    The DWmegawad Club plays: A.L.T.

    I've never joined one of these before but I might do so this time because I need an excuse to replay this WAD. I actually finished it very recently, but I started it a very long time ago, having been forced to stop a couple of times due to normal megawad fatigue (I actually prefer the episode format in general for my Doom), but also because certain maps just lost me. I'm normally pretty good at keeping myself oriented in large, complex maps, but I have a harder time with puzzles and the like. There were also a couple of times I resorted to noclip--not to cheat through some labyrinth I couldn't navigate, but more because on certain levels it does seem you have to backtrack through some maze in order to progress (or if you just happen to fall off a ledge). But from what I saw, and can remember from the earlier maps, this is a WAD that deserves a proper playthrough from me. I started playing it back in the day due to a combination of ella's advocacy (after reading her first article about the WAD) and because I had already played Sacrament, which I consider an all-time favorite WAD. If ALT isn't an all-time favorite, I want to give it another chance just in case my lower level of enthusiasm for it wasn't due my broken-up playthrough. Looking over what been posted so far, I have to agree that the actual combat isn't the strongest suit of B0S WADs. It is what it is. I mean I would slightly prefer it if they were a bit more...hardcore?... I mean I imagine that if I made a sizeable Doom episode it'd maybe be something like Sacrament in spirit but with meatier combat, for sure. But on the other hand, there's something to be said for the nearly monster-less opening levels of Sacrament, for example, which do a better job of setting up the WAD's atmosphere and "story" (for what it is, anyway) than any amount of flavor text. Aside from things like that, even if the moment-by-moment gameplay is not terribly exciting at time time, there's usually something strange and exciting, if not downright uncanny, just around the bend. It's like those games that may not have terribly great gameplay but have strong art/sound/world design that keep you immersed. Only in this case it's not immersion but...something else. I'll have to wait till tomorrow to actually get re-started, though. One thing I'd like to see less of: "drugs"/"acid". Look, I'm not a prude, but there's plenty of wild stuff out there made by sober people, I assure you.
  3. If you don't mark your body with a stigmata of cigarette burns every time you die, you're not playing Doom properly.
  4. Lane Powell

    Can you play Doom 2 on Nightmare?

    Never bothered. Quake on Nightmare is totally different. It keeps the spawns from Hard, but ups the enemy attack rate and makes them harder to stun. (The entrance is also hidden in a secret rather than selectable from a menu.) I don't usually play Quake maps on Nightmare, but sometimes I'll do so for an extra challenge if I consider a particular map too easy on Hard. I would never do that with a Doom map.
  5. Lane Powell

    Top 25 Cacoward Snubs

    Rylayeh's awesome. Glad it's getting recognized. "Good for its time" fuck that shit. There are a lot of more famous megawads and episodes I've played through that are a total blur in my memory (in some cases blurs with distinctive color schemes, in all fairness). Rylayeh is something else. I'll never forget maps 2 and 3.
  6. Lane Powell

    SIGIL - New Romero megawad for Feb 2019

    I mean I'd love it if everyone and their pet snake made a Doom map, but by the looks of it Hall's just delaying his.
  7. Lane Powell

    SIGIL - New Romero megawad for Feb 2019

    What I'm really hoping for is for Romero to release a complete Quake SP level for Arcane Dimensions.
  8. Lane Powell

    SIGIL - New Romero megawad for Feb 2019

    There's some great pwads for Ultimate Doom...including Romero's. (No, they are not the hardest/greatest Udoom pwads of all time, but that's hardly a reason to get bent out of shape lol.)
  9. Lane Powell

    RYLAYEH

    This seems like a semi-hidden gem. The author's other WAD Crimson Canyon won a Cacoward, though I prefer this one. It certainly lives up to its namesake. The textures are all Hell's green marble and blood, supplemented with custom textures including some modified Giger designs and some creepy sprites I recognize from Monolith's Blood. The map designs are seriously contorted. It's probably a divisive aspect of the set. In some levels the angular layouts wrap around themselves in a jagged mesh, creating devilish mazes with slightly obscure progression, and where fireballs can fly at you from different parts of the map. Other parts are darker and more claustrophobic. It's all a totally hostile atmosphere. There are some common themes gameplay-wise but you'll know them by map 2. A big one is ammo constriction, especially on UV. Certain maps seem near unbeatable without finding key secrets. This was actually one of the first WADs I completed a few years ago, and on revisiting it it feels very fresh. Like most memorable WADs, it rides on strong concepts and some devilish gameplay while targeting a distinctive theme.
  10. Lane Powell

    So why is Alien Vendetta in particular so well liked?

    Alien Vendetta has the same place in Doom WAD history that Leaves of Grass has in American poetry.
  11. Lane Powell

    Jade Earth

    A good, very HUGE map, plus or minus 1000 monsters depending on difficulty: the kind that can take upwards of two hours on the game clock to run through. Naturally it's not for the FDA/no-save crowd. Frankly I had to do it in multiple sittings over the course of a day, as map fatigue kept setting in. That said, and despite the fact that it largely uses the same green marble/stone and tech textures throughout, the detailing and designs manage to keep areas from feeling too samey, though personally I would have used a greater variety of textures in different areas to keep them more distinct, or at least widen the color palette a little. While most of the map takes place indoors, there are a few cool outdoor void areas (which I could've used more of, to be honest—even peeks out of windows would be nice!), some cave areas, and even a small ruins setpiece. There are many side areas and a great deal of interconnectivity (though few if any true route choices), but the pathing is very good: I never felt lost even when coming back from a break. The fact that buttons almost always acted on something close by was naturally a huge help. Gameplay was appropriately challenging and about as varied as it could be in such a huge map, though there are a few tricks one can tell the author was especially fond of. For example, there are plenty of archviles. Luckily I'm fond of stomping archviles. On the flatly negative side I felt some areas were much too dark. Unfortunately these were often populated with stealth demons—not very clever. Also I don't know the idea behind fighting multiple Cyberdemons in a near-pitch-dark room with tons of geometry to get stuck on, but it wasn't a good one. While there are some things I would do differently, this is all told a pretty fine map—provided you're among the intended audience of people who like trawling through huge-ass maps to begin with.
  12. Lane Powell

    Quake Awards 2018

    Whoops! I voted for Shamblawards. :P
  13. Lane Powell

    Your Guilty Doom Pleasure

    Killing every monster in a map except one little imp. I know that leaving any amount of Hellspawn alive is a sin for which I will have to answer to my Creator, but I am a prideful marine and the only way to let my legend spread among the enemy is to leave behind survivors to tell the tale.
  14. Lane Powell

    Quake Awards 2018

    Hey everyone, a group of people at func_msgboard have put up the first annual Quake Awards to honor some of the best single-player Quake maps from 2017. There are only a few categories but each one of the winners was deserving, I felt. (I had nothing to do with the awards myself, I just follow Quake closely and wanted to promote them!)
  15. Lane Powell

    DOOM OR DUKENUKEM

    The Build engine can feel pretty wonky at times in terms of its physics, and freelook is inherently weird in 2.5D games anyway, so Doom just feels better overall to me. It's kind of like the Unreal vs. Quake situation. One has a more interesting, diverse arsenal, while the other has superior core mechanics and enemy design.
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