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Zirtonic

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About Zirtonic

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  1. Zirtonic

    The DWmegawad Club plays: Doom Zero

    UV, pistol starts, saveless I'm still here! Writing large(ish) posts for each level was starting to feel like work so I took a bit of a break. I think from here on I'm only going to post if a level really grabs me in order to keep this a "for fun" thing for me. That said, I'll spoiler some brief descriptions for maps10-15 in this one so I can be caught up. MAP10 - Leap Gates MAP11 - Too Close To Home MAP12 - Underland MAP13 - Tease MAP14 - The Crust MAP15 - Peak Facility I've mostly enjoyed the first half of this wad. It's definitely too puzzle heavy for my taste at points and the combat took a while to ramp up but the fights are intensifying and the map layouts are getting more elaborate without causing much confusion. The back half will be a personal challenge for me as MAP10-14 is where I tend to drop the wad I've been playing for a different one. I'll be putting in my best effort to stick to the schedule.
  2. Zirtonic

    The DWmegawad Club plays: Doom Zero

    UV, pistol starts, no saves MAP07: Claustrophobia I don't have much to say about this one unfortunately. My second playthrough was more engaging than my first as I hunted for all secrets but the combat didn't do anything for me either time. It's cramped sure, and the caco + hitscan trap can be dangerous if you're careless with positioning, but outside of that one encounter the map kind of just happens. If there's a highlight it's definitely the toxic maze secret. MAP08: Module Base Nothing to elaborate on here either. It's Tricks and Traps with a couple of references to other iconic DooM levels. I'm not a big fan of the original and this is too similar for me to form a separate opinion. I will say that this level of platforming/switch timing is about perfect for me. Enough to be captivating while steering clear of irritation if I mess up. Also the Baron swarm in the yellow key area was fun (and compact!). MAP09: Ancient Archives Oooooo, a difficulty spike! Now this is a level I can talk about. The opening room makes sure you're paying attention even if the combat isn't all that threatening. I baited one caco into infighting with a baron just for fun; the beginning of the level has you flush with ammunition. After a mini-puzzle and some platforming (plus an automap behind a fake wall) you walk right into a light trap, and surviving rewards you with a precarious hallway inundated with green goop. Having to traverse a hurt floor just to hit a switch seems a bit extra when you can raise the tiles permanently for your way back. A quick aside, I don't like that when you find the fake wall secret you can't get back to the top section of platforms (or if you can the jump is very specific). It's a minor nitpick but being punished, however lightly, for finding a secret is rude design. The psuedo-hub room is next and after a deceptively intimate hell knight and caco encounter we enter the main attraction: the library. I echo @bLOCKbOYgAMES opinion about this WAD's texturing but areas like the library more than make up for it with their lighting. Contesting with the perched imps and hitscanners above and below can be slow going if you're scared of the dark. Reach the end of an interior aisle and lower the bookshelf to snag yourself an extremely helpful plasma rifle (and a megasphere if you notice a jump). There's a backpack nearby as well if you can make another jump, and I wouldn't blame you if you wanted to use the secret invuln against the upcoming caco swarm (especially if you don't have any rockets). Personally I like to save it for the archie + hell knights + revenants in the next room as I can spam rockets point blank which is always a riot. What I don't like are the revenant pain sounds being replaced with the archviles??? I'm bewildered that DASI-I thought this was a good idea. He even mixes them in fights together in this level which compounds my confusion. Regardless, the map ends on a cute note with a zombieman guarding the exit switch. He seems to have gotten his orders mixed up however because he seems to be guarding you from the switch instead of the other way around. Failure to follow a direct command is asking for punishment, and I'm more than happy to gib him one with a closed fist. MAP09 is neck and neck with MAP04 for my favorite so far. It's combat is the best yet and DASI-I is sticking to his mapping philosophies well as the levels grow in size. I've played the next couple maps too and all I'll say is that we're finally having to earn our keep.
  3. Zirtonic

    Do you ever get tired of Doom?

    Not yet! I play other games on top of DooM (lots of co-op stuff with friends) but DooM is my comfort food and something I can turn on almost literally at any time. I fell in love with 2016 and played a lot of that when it came out and dabbled with the classics here and there...and then Eternal came out and I fell in love with the series all over again. Over the past year+ I've played almost exclusively Eternal and DooM II WADs and haven't felt an inkling of boredom or burnout. I'd love to keep it that way but if it's ever time for a break then I'll take one.
  4. Zirtonic

    The DWmegawad Club plays: Doom Zero

    Pistol starts, UV, no saving MAP05 - The Pits An SSG right in front of us, now we're talking! The imps across the way provide good pressure against the opening HKs/commandos. The imps across the first big room could be used for the same purpose, but it was too easy to get them infighting with the cacos (who killed them with no trouble at all). I avoided the two sludge covered areas for most of my first run since I wasn't sure if it was damaging or not. Running back and forth across the room to hit the switches in order was a little obnoxious honestly. It wasn't really a puzzle and since I cleared all of the enemies it's not like I was under any stress. Yell "Sike!" at the lost souls and take the elevator back down for a secret plasma rifle. I love the Quake 3 design and sound. That in itself would have been worth the secret even if we weren't given any ammo. The WAD's first archvile is out tending to his lava garden before we rudely murder interrupt him. This outdoor area is easily the most unique in the WAD so far. The timed platforming puzzle is something we haven't seen yet, and the bridge's design, though basic, is still eye-catching in the lava. I spent an embarrassing amount of time trying to catch the bridge with the wall still blocking me. Using the yellow lift brings us face-to-face with garden Archie's brother, who is only slightly more threatening. Lowering the wall means I can catch the bridge successfully, and paying close attention nabbed me a mega armor (which is still overkill for this kind of combat). A sneaky switch at the bottom of the stairs unveils a(n also useless) backpack. Take the teleporter, step in the hurt floor, and get crushed into the next level. MAP06 - Echo Halls Well this is...ominous. Quietly stroll to the triple key room and keep your eyes peeled for a shootable switch secret. I honestly picked the blue keycard because blue is my favorite color and boy did that pay off. 75/78 enemies make friends with the dirt and I get to hose down a spiderdemon and 2 archies with plenty of cover. The atmosphere in the opening is something that will stick with me for a while but this level seems half-baked otherwise. The concept is interesting but the level is too short to really do anything with it, even if you take a different key. It's worth playing for the novelty though for sure.
  5. Zirtonic

    The DWmegawad Club plays: Doom Zero

    MAP04: Triple Town Note to self: Do not try to take on a gang of pinkies with <100 bullets, a couple shells, and no berserk. You'll die. This map handed me my first and second deaths, once in the pinky/spectre room and the other when I waltzed through the red door with too much confidence and not enough room to maneuver. An attention grabbing start with the mini-tele ambush and an actually threatening amount of chaingunners around the corner. The secret blur sphere helps mitigate some damage in the outdoor fight but some well placed Imps keep it from being a freebie. A death to some pinkies had me searching for weapons on my second try and yielded a very helpful SSG. After the first portion of the bridge is raised I drop down low and am greeted by some hitscanners, and then as I climb the stairs I'm welcomed by even more. I love that they're placed just out of sight until you approach the top of the staircase. It's clever and a trap that doesn't involve closets or teleports is refreshing. The yellow key area rewards cowardice patience and a keen eye will allow you to snag a mega armor and some cells. After a quick tussle with some hell knights it's on to the final cave, a cave that features my least favorite thing in all of DooMdom: manually placed lost souls. It's a straightforward fight against them and a group of cacos. The change in scenery is appreciated and I'd be down for some more cavern combat. This is the first map that I actually had to piece together a little bit. The flow of combat continues to be smooth and our expanding arsenal is keeping the momentum up. I don't like the caco sounds much but the HK/Lost Souls I'm indifferent towards. Berserk admittedly feels better but the timing is slightly off and it's causing me a bit of frustration. All in all this is my favorite of the 4 maps we've played so far.
  6. Zirtonic

    The DWmegawad Club plays: Doom Zero

    I'm going to jump into one of these for the first time in an effort to not drop a megaWAD at the halfway point. I'm also not nearly as good at the classic DooMs as I'd like to be so something around or slightly above IWAD difficulty should do me some good (I've just beat map15 of Memento Mori 1 which was engaging if not too too tough). I'll be honest and say that this WAD never seemed enticing with it's reputation for puzzle-heavy levels but a) I just mentioned I'm playing MM1 so I don't have much room to talk and b) it'll probably make me a more well-rounded player or whatever. I play using PrBoom+, UV, pistol starts, and saveless. I always try for 100% kills but if monsters are tucked away in secrets I don't feel like hunting for then they get to live another day. MAP01: High-Rise Roof An expectedly breezy opener that doesn't offend and introduces DASI-I's mapping style. The "1-of-3 keys" choice is an early standout moment. Not much else to say. The combat is fluid which deserves some points but it's too early to be able to dive deep into it. MAP02: Toxic Tower We've shifted into second gear! The difficulty is roughly the same but the encounters and progression are overall a lot faster. I actually came close to death at the right side hitscanner trap but was able to preserve my 4% health with some ginger peekaboo shooting. I'm not sure how I feel about the new Chaingun animation. It's certainly smoother but the spread feels more inaccurate, even though I know it isn't actually. I am a fan of the little bits of jumping we're required to do. It's nothing complicated of course but jumping in DooM has always felt slick to me and I enjoy it. The secrets were a mixed bag: The mega armor barely counts, I'm never excited to grab a chainsaw, and I thought the scrubsphere was implemented well. I'll also mention that the blue floor textures and being able to see your exit near the beginning of the level remind me a lot of Fava Beans. Overall a good map that ups the speed without spiking the difficulty. MAP03: Marble Zone Very heavy DooM 64 vibes in this one with the huge chunks of dynamic level geometry. I really dislike a lot of the visuals here but that's because I really dislike green marble. It's probably my least favorite stock texture. The combat remains mostly incidental and offers little challenge. The SSG fight isn't hard but at least it summons a decent number of cacos, and the chaingunner trap towards the end is the first spot where a fight has felt neutered. I know this map set isn't famous for its challenge but I think the health bonuses could have been replaced with more hitscan and still avoided overwhelming the player. That would have made the soul sphere feel more valuable as well. I'm hoping for a noticeable difficulty spike some time soon because we've been cruising for 3 maps now.
  7. Zirtonic

    Fava Beans

    This E1 replacement successfully captures the spirit of the original but not much more. Level design is arguably a cut above, with maps constantly looping in on themselves in creative ways and secret hallways allowing you to get the jump on some enemies in a couple spots. The combat is similar to the IWAD, which is to say it's easy even for a new player and anemic for everyone else. The final and secret levels are especially barren and can be completed in under a minute. There is a small spike in difficulty in maps 5-7 just to make sure you're paying attention. Fava Beans is worth a play for its historical significance and intuitive level design, but the combat leaves a lot to be desired. Still, for something that can be completed in under 30 minutes it's worth downloading.
  8. Zirtonic

    Violence

    An all killer no filler wad with a novel color palette and fitting synth soundtrack. The first 3 levels fly by (in a good way) and the 4th is a beast of a closer with just over 500 demons to murder. The level design is open and begs to be properly routed/optimized, and looping back to previous areas is well implemented and feels natural. It's not a difficult map set by any means—you'll probably beat each map on your first playthrough—so don't be afraid to let loose with your weapon of choosing. 5/5, this wad accomplished what it wanted to.
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