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About finnaboing

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    the mongus

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  1. finnaboing

    Circle of Caina SP

    LOCAL DINGUS PLAYS EVERY SINGLE DOOMER BOARDS PROJECT PART 2: CIRCLE OF CAINA SP (if you don't know what the Doomer Boards Projects are, here's the Doom Wiki article on them) The next installment of the Doomer Boards Projects, April 2018's Circle of Caina SP, helmed once again by 40oz, is a notable step up from its predecessor. Inspired by FraGMarE's "icy deathmatch map" of the same name (y'know, minus the "SP"), it's a set of eight levels based around a wintry theme and it single-handedly got me excited for the rest of this series. First and foremost, this WAD looks incredible. Every arena feels very distinct from the last - none of these fights blend in with one another and they're all the better for it. 40oz chose an amazing resource pack for that month, with the textures being perfectly suited for the cold, jagged landscapes. Normally, I either wouldn't notice the blockiness of the terrain because I'm so used to it in Doom or I'd dock points for it, but here, it works so well with the vibes of each map that I honestly love it. I'm already partial to ice/snow levels in video games for a ton of reasons, so this WAD going all in with the lighting and icy aesthetics makes me so happy. The music choices are also perfect (other than Hell Revealed MAP16's MIDI for "Cold Shoulder" for some reason but it's not that out-of-place), with a lineup of classic MIDIs that also happen to evoke that chilly feeling. That's not to say it's all style and no substance, though - even if the fights do feel like they have a less intense bite overall than MoM, there are a lot more tricky "gotcha!" moments here that really keep you on your toes for longer. Each new arena feels dynamic and well thought-out (even the random pop-up monsters in MAP08 that feel a bit forced in but still work somehow even though you got a free BFG (the only BFG in the set, if I'm not mistaken) in the first room and plenty of cells along the way so it doesn't even really matter but whatever). The whole WAD flows super well, too, and lends itself very well to marathon sessions. Each map has a degree of momentum that keeps everything moving at an enjoyable pace. I found the ammo balance to be a lot more generous than Monuments of Mars for this one too. I don't know if I'd necessarily say that means this WAD is "easier," but it feels a lot more beginner-friendly (as in, me. that's me. I'm beginner) and makes fights feel a lot fairer. Outside of MAP07, "Below Zero," being WAY harder than every other map in the set (and almost every map in DBP1, for that matter), the difficulty stays pretty consistent throughout. MAP01 starts out really simple and minimalistic, MAP08 is a bit of mini-slaughter, you know, the usual. For me, the show-stealer is MAP05, "Frosty Cream Glade." It is maybe one of the greatest Doom maps I've ever played. It doesn't look like much when you first see it, but the way everything is so interconnected and how clever yet simple the encounters are and how pretty the visuals are and how the nonlinearity of the map lets you tackle the encounters in almost any order you want so it feels a lot more personalized and how the map's layout means that part of the puzzle is figuring out how to get where you want to go and the indirect signposting is so well-done that you're probably guaranteed to find it but it still feels satisfying AAAAAAAAA I love this map it's so good. If there's one's map you need to play from this set, it's "Frosty Cream Glade." The AUDACITY of supercupcaketactics to use the MIDI from Scythe 2 MAP21 and somehow completely justify its placement is something I aspire to. This WAD's far from perfect - 40oz's maps can be underwhelming, some of the levels' freeform nature greatly hurt their pacing ("Cold Shoulder"), they take FOREVER to give you a rocket launcher (you don't get one until MAP04, that's annoying), MAP04 and MAP08 use the exact same MIDI which is really jarring when you play MAP08 for the first time, and for whatever reason MAP05's exit is tagged as a secret even though it's not hidden at all and is required - but I'm getting nitpicky. Circle of Caina SP is a fantastic set of levels from some highly talented people working with a theme that I'm already a huge fan of. Definitely a WAD to check out if you've got a few hours to spare. OVERALL RATING: 8/10 FAVORITE MAP: MAP05 - "Frosty Cream Glade" (by supercupcaketactics) LEAST FAVORITE MAP: MAP03 - "Some Other Circle" (by 40oz) (it's not terrible by any means but it feels kinda meh compared to the other maps) HARDEST MAP (for me at least): MAP07 - "Below Zero" (by 40oz) MAP YOU SHOULD PLAY FIRST IF YOU WANT A SAMPLER: MAP01 - "The Chill Before The Thrill" (by noisyvelvet)
  2. finnaboing

    Songs of the Damned

    Okay, so like, I get why this one was on the Most Memorable Maps list. I understand. It's a distinct map for sure. But, like... I dunno, it doesn't feel that memorable to me. Is it really the 85th most memorable Doom map ever? I know I've bitched about this before, but in what world is this map more memorable than 96% of Going Down? The map itself is pretty alright. It's quite a long one, so iori absolutely deserves props for keeping my attention for its entire runtime. The visuals are astonishing for 2006 and have aged surprisingly well. My main gripe is that the actual gameplay of "Songs of the Damned" just sorta... exists? It's not bad (mostly), but the level's so nonlinear that none of the fights even really feel like "fights," it's more "inconvenient happenstances that tend to bleed together." That usually isn't an issue for me (the fights in "Warp of Time" also just kinda exist), but this isn't the kind of map where aesthetics can completely carry it. All of the fights feel like such afterthoughts that I'm constantly wondering whether I'm actually doing something right, if I skipped a key, or if there was a secret earlier in the level that makes this one section way faster. The encounter in the graveyard feels especially sloppy. iori just kinda slapped a bunch of monsters in there at random in this map where ammo isn't exactly plentiful WELL before you can get a Super Shotgun (making the whole encounter really tedious if you're trying to save ammo (which you should be)) and then had the GALL to make me solve a really confusing puzzle that instantly kills you if you get it wrong. Seriously? Why? Like always, no shade to the actual writers of the Memorable Maps list, but I struggle to think of reasons that "Songs of the Damned" earns its spot on the list outside of historical significance. I do still think it's worth playing to some extent, but with the caveat that (at least in my opinion) it's better as a history lesson. OVERALL RATING: 6/10
  3. finnaboing

    Monuments of Mars

    LOCAL DINGUS PLAYS EVERY SINGLE DOOMER BOARDS PROJECT PART 1: MONUMENTS OF MARS (if you don't know what the Doomer Boards Projects are, here's the Doom Wiki article on them) I'll start this off by saying that I have some reservations going into this little series of mine. For one, the Doomer Boards were (allegedly) originally made for people that got banned from Doomworld (which many of the DBPs' frequent contributors were and still are), and having someone else post the projects on the Doomworld forums almost acts as a form of ban evasion. Also at one point DB made its Projects subforum inaccessible to guests so you had to make a DB account to be able to view anything to do with DBPs which was kinda stinky since DBP posts on Doomworld were permitted as long as no one tried to "recruit" people to the Doomer Boards but now you don't really have a choice? That's kinda fishy. This already tenuous arrangement between the two sites got even dicier when a direct advertisement of the Doomer Boards in DBP37 resulted in the posting of DBPs on the Doomworld forums to be banned outright for a little bit. Speaking of which, there's also hella beef between the two sites, with a lot of animosity and off-site harassment (oh boy), and there's even WAD-specific drama (DBP48 looks like it's... definitely gonna be a thing that exists). With that being said, I won't be going into any of this aforementioned drama unless I feel that it's extremely relevant to a given DBP's development and/or release. This is so that I don't lose my mind scrounging through various threads trying to figure out exactly why a specific installment doesn't have an idgames link when it's probably just some annoying drama that I don't wanna have to dig back up. At the end of the day, it's drama on Doom forums, and I frankly don't feel that that's worth large amounts of my time when the reasons for people getting banned can be a bit dodgy at times. It's not something I want to concern myself with, and it's not something I feel like bothering readers with unless I think it's absolutely NECESSARY. Just know that, more often than not, the frequent contributors to the projects got up to some SHIT in the meantime. With all that out of the way, let's talk about the actual WAD. The first installment of the DBPs, March 2018's Monuments of Mars, is a solid start to the series. There aren't any maps in here that I found to be noticeably worse in quality than the others, which is kinda necessary when there's only seven maps in total. Fight design's good, difficulty curve's fairly reasonable, visuals are very well-done (if a bit generic, though that's mainly because of the resource pack), music choices fit pretty well - it's a consistently good-but-mostly-not-quite-great time throughout. I will say, though, even when playing on Hurt Me Plenty single-segment with saves, I found myself getting low on ammo a lot more than I was expecting. Granted, I'm not exactly amazing at Doom, but ammo still felt a lot tighter than it probably should've and I shudder to think of the troubles that pistol starters would have to deal with. The Pinky horde feat. Arch-viles in MAP07 felt especially ridiculous - I'm not entirely sure how that's manageable with just the resources in the map (i.e. without the BFG from MAP05) without intensive planning. That could just be me, though. All-in-all, if you have, like, an afternoon to spare, Monuments of Mars is a nice way to spend your time, though I get the feeling that most of the later DBPs are going to blow this one out of the water. OVERALL RATING: 7/10 FAVORITE MAP: MAP03 - "Ares Compound" (by Phobus) LEAST FAVORITE MAP: MAP06 - "Steel Militia" (by Scotty) (still a good map tho) HARDEST MAP (for me at least): MAP04 - "Drill Station" (by 40oz) (I have no idea why that Cyberdemon gave me as much trouble as it did) MAP YOU SHOULD PLAY FIRST IF YOU WANT A SAMPLER: MAP02 - "Mt. Orion" (by 40oz)
  4. finnaboing

    Doom City

    T H I S I S A C E R T I F I E D H O O D C L A S S I C And the fact that it still holds up pretty well despite its age and the many advancements in Doomcute over the last decade or so is a nice bonus too. I wouldn't say it's particularly hard or anything, but it's still a fun time. OVERALL RATING: 7/10
  5. finnaboing

    Hell Ground

    Hell Ground is a really damn solid WAD. It's got atmosphere dripping out of every pore, the music and sound effect changes are welcome ones for me, and the level and combat design are a lot better than I was expecting them to be. Some of the levels can get a bit long and needlessly confusing (lookin' at you, "Mystery of Hell"), but it's not that big of an issue. Alright, let's stop beating around the bush - "Warp of Time" kind of wipes the entire rest of this WAD. The rest of Hell Ground is really damn good, don't get me wrong, but to pretend like "Warp of Time" isn't easily the most notable thing about this levelset and the only reason I'm bothering to write this review would be disingenuous and silly. "Warp of Time" alone dramatically raises my overall rating of the WAD. It is, put simply, one of the greatest Doom maps ever created. It's a masterclass in pacing, setpiece design, signposting, visuals, worldbuilding, and good ol' fashioned ATMOSPHERE. It shows that Doom can be so much more than simply shooty-shooty bang-bang if you invest in your presentation enough. Seriously, if you haven't played "Warp of Time" yet, it makes Hell Ground worth the price of admission all on its own. OVERALL RATING: 8/10 FAVORITE MAP: MAP04 - "Warp of Time" (obviously) LEAST FAVORITE MAP: MAP07 - "Mystery of Hell" (exasperating) HARDEST MAP (for me at least): MAP07 - "Mystery of Hell" (seriously why is this level so confusing to navigate) MAP YOU SHOULD PLAY FIRST IF YOU WANT A SAMPLER: MAP02 - "Blood Runner"
  6. finnaboing

    Japanese Community Project

    Definitely not a perfect WAD (there are some outright duds in there for certain), but its highs are some of the highest highs I can think of. It's a very creative WAD made by some clearly talented people, and I appreciate it for giving me that eclecticism that draws me to community projects. I might not have love-loved it, but there's a very good chance you will, and there's still plenty of great Doom in there for everyone. OVERALL RATING: 7/10 FAVORITE MAP: MAP11 - "My fav" (by Nanka Kurashiki) LEAST FAVORITE MAP: MAP18 - "Space Port Panik" (by doom86k) (sorry) HARDEST MAP (for me at least): MAP28 - "HeLLport" (by Masayan) MAP YOU SHOULD PLAY FIRST IF YOU WANT A SAMPLER: N/A (it's a community project and it's too eclectic to pick one map to define it)
  7. finnaboing

    Going Down

    As of right this very second, this is my favorite megawad of all time. There's so much creativity oozing from every single tiny bit of this thing, from every fight smacking you upside the head in unique ways that I'd never thought possible before playing it to the textures (to my knowledge) being exclusively stock Doom 2 textures (which I absolutely wouldn't have known if I wasn't told), to the music - GOD, I love the music. It's almost free jazz-esque, the way it jumps all over the place unpredictably. You definitely can't hum along to it or anything, but you sure as hell will remember it. The difficulty's pretty reasonable, too (keeping in mind that I played through it on HMP, with saves, and single-segment lol) - I wouldn't say there were any maps that felt unfair, and the progression is done beautifully. Most of the maps are pretty short - they get in, get out, and don't overstay their welcome in the slightest. Like I said earlier, every fight sticks in your mind, with "oh shit" moments galore and mouldy's one-of-a-kind mapping style leaving you constantly guessing. To say this is "essential playing" would be an understatement. (also the fact that "The Mouth of Madness" was the only map in Going Down to make it onto the "Top 100 Most Memorable Maps" list is a crime imo; no shade to anyone who worked on that list, y'all did a great job, but c'mon, "TMoM" isn't even the most memorable map in the set, and "Insanity" and "200 Mega Hurts" should've been on that list by default) OVERALL RATING: 10/10 FAVORITE MAP: MAP26 - "Insanity" LEAST FAVORITE MAP: MAP14 - "Secrets and Lies" (but even then I still really like it, it's just a bit too "heehee haha" for my liking if you get what I mean) HARDEST MAP (for me at least): MAP18 - "Buried Alive" MAP YOU SHOULD PLAY FIRST IF YOU WANT A SAMPLER: MAP06 - "Painframe"
  8. finnaboing

    Best Tyson maps?

    ohhhhh right I forgot about GD MAP03, that counts doesn't it, didn't consider that it didn't really feel like a Tyson map to me, but yeah it totally is, that one's good too (though not one of my personal favorites from that set) I also really need to play Vanguard at some point
  9. finnaboing

    Best Tyson maps?

    damn I just realized this should've gone in "WAD Discussion" lol, whoops I'll try to do a better job of that in the future
  10. finnaboing

    Best Tyson maps?

    What are some of y'all's favorite Tyson maps? I've only played one map explicitly made to be a Tyson map so far (to my knowledge), Going Down MAP21 - "Indigestion" (great map and great WAD, by the way, you need to play it if you haven't), so I guess that one's my favorite by default. I'm not very well-versed in the concept, but it interests me a lot and I was wondering what the community thought were the best of the best.