perfectpitchrob

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  1. Prior to Back To Saturn X, I had no idea who "Guided By Voices" were. Flash forward to present day and I've since gotten quite acquainted with their vast catalog (Including frontman Robert Pollard's solo and collab records). I'm even probably going to get a chance to see them live for the first time this December at a smaller venue!
  2. That hub map is the most jaw dropping and atmospheric map I have played in recent memory. The intermission text is quite poetic too
  3. 90 years is quite a great run for such a legend of music. The amount of artists and music styles that have been directly/indirectly influenced by his music is enormous. From The Beatles and The Stones to Bob Dylan and folk-rock, to Punk Rock, to even Metal and Grunge: Just about every electric guitar-based genre of music owes some debt of gratitude to Chuck. Rock and Roll was all about the integration of the previously racially divided styles of music, such as Country/Western vs Rhythm & Blues and Jump Blues. Chuck not only managed to bridge those genres in perfect harmony ("Maybelline" is a reworking of an old Country/Western song called "Ida Red"), but also managed, to practically invent the whole diverse Rock and Roll genre entirely!
  4. Used to be "pizzabob18". Haven't used that username anywhere else since I first registered here in 2008. In regards to my new name, I'm a musician with perfect pitch, which means I can hear any musical note and correctly guess its pitch without any references. I can even hear tones of non-musical devices like air conditioners, for example!
    A great combination of jaw dropping level design, sharp gameplay, and brilliant music. One of my all time favorite wads.
  5. This is a complete surprise! I'm only on the first episode so far and I'm already loving the color scheme and map design!
  6. Map 30 - Excalibur - 96% Kills, 100% Secrets. And I though I'd written enough notes in tandem with my "No Parking" playthough...I think I wrote a whole book's worth here! Bob Evans' Excalibur is both famous and infamous. It is a massive castle, with gorgeous architecture and a design so snake-like, that just about every space is taken up with something. It is also a massive headache for first time players, especially those who hate puzzle maps. My first many times playing through this wad, I could never solve this properly and usually gave up. Even back in the day, I always ended up missing out on something and just eventually cheating my way to the boss brain. Today marked my first time actually solving it all the way through, with 100% secrets too!...but what a bumpy ride that was! Right from the start, the visuals are stunning. This level is like the larger, more convoluted brother of Darkdome. Both are "Breach the castle" maps, and both contain awesome visuals and design all the way through. There are only 94 enemies on hmp, but just like "Timeslip", each one is set up in such a way that the encounters feel unique. Can't deny though that there are times when the map is quite empty, especially when you have to run around frequently. The map can roughly be divided into three quadrants: The left, middle, and right. Each contains a keycard and a skullkey, six total. You need the keycards to activate the keycard switches, which allow access to the skull keys. You need all six keys to eventually access the timegate to the boss brain arena. Along the way, there are so many switches, hidden passages, and cryptic puzzles, that you may easily start to lose track of where you are, and what switches you have pressed. I mentioned earlier how in the past I could never solve this level properly. In fact, back in the day I never even managed to collect a single key. There are three VERY hidden areas that allow access to the key areas: A slightly bent railing (gains access to the bottom left areas), a run across a fenced in ledge (the upper right rooms), and an EXTREMELY cryptically hidden switch that lies behind a fake wall (give you access to the central rooms and the eventual exit. All three of these are mandatory for progression, but they are so well hidden, that I can easily see why others give up so easily. The actual final battle, which feels a bit tacked on to be honest, feels much tamer than some of the other fights in this set. Just a cyberdemon (an invuln sphere makes this a piece of cake), two "Keen" switches, and a few rockets into the exposed boss brain. And then that's it! Overall, while there is no doubt that Excalibur is a frustrating and at times, unfair map. There is also no denying that it is quite an impressive work of art that, once you managed to crack all of its secrets, becomes a rather enjoyable trip. But oh boy does it take a while for that to happen. Final Time - 14:22:04 (1:26:22 alone just for Excalibur!) ....but wait...there's more!!! Map 33 - Cybersweeper. Just a fun gimmick map, especially for those who love minesweeper. There are weapons lockers in case you manage to release a cyberdemon. For those who win, you get to telefrag each of them at the end of the game. Fun stuff, although the replay value is rather low. Map 34 - Credits. A cute credits map, with Jim Flynn-esque text showing what each creator contributed. There is even a minor key hunt and a rather funny ending. I wonder how this map looked back when it was the original closer map for Eternal Doom 1 & 2, and there were less names in the credits list. Love the music melody as well. Final Thoughts I have in the past named Eternal Doom as my favorite wad of all time. In some ways, I still stand by this message. It was the first custom wad I have ever played, It is what eventually led me to Doomworld, and it still holds up to this day. Sure, some maps haven't aged well, (Maps 10,14,32). And some maps to this day can frustrate me (All of the Flynn/Evans maps). Yet there is such a high level of quality. My personal favorites are Maps 12, 26, 28, and 31. Each of these maps are unique, and each have an epic feel. It is quite saddening that this DWMC playthrough occured after Ty's lifetime. I would have loved to hear his own recollections and memories of this wad. We are lucky that Soundblock stopped by to share his memories of Eternal Doom. It is also quite sad that this megawad's intended sequel, Return From Oblivion, is practically destined to remain in oblivion. I personally would love to see the right crew take the reins and turn Eternal Doom IV into a hand-picked community project to see its completion come to fruition! All in all, while my favorite current megawad is shaping up to be the BTSX series, I will always look forward to the next time I get to relive Eternal Doom...where it all began for me.
  7. Map 29 - Dominion - 93% Kills, 100% Secrets. Our penultimate map in the set takes us once again back in time to the dark ages. By now, it is quite easy to spot a Couleur map, and this one certainly carries his trademarks: Expansive environment, natural yet still colorful texturing, and a balance between arena combat and corridor crawls. Dominion is a very spacious level, which centers around a central hub, with spoked hallways surrounding it. There are also four separate areas, each containing a key. (We have an extra red keycard in this map). Some of the best looking areas include the fiery cacodemon tower, and the rather moody-lit room just before the blue key. Couleur seems to have taken a few pages out of Bob Evans' book in terms of cryptic secrets and switches. Who else would have you shooting a hanging marine to unlock an area, or hitting random switch panels to access a secret? What also makes this level a bit unique is that it seems to almost be done in reverse, I.E: The starting room looks more like a typical final room, and the rather dull looking ending rooms look more like starting points. Perhaps that's just me, but I've always found it makes the level more interesting. The biggest nitpick I have with the map is the overuse of enemies repopulating previous areas. Now, normally this isn't a problem as in many Couleur maps, you have to traverse these areas again so it prevents boredom. Here, enemies repopulate just about the entire main hub, and because of this area's size, it can be a pain to achieve 100% kills. In fact, this was my main gripe with Couleur's Eternal Doom IV levels, one of which recycled just a bit too much of Dominion. Overall, Dominion may not be the most original Couleur level in the set, but it does contain some nice looking areas, and a few new surprises to keep it interesting. ...Now...Onto Excalibur...
  8. Map 28 - Timeslip - 100% Kills, 100% Secret. Over the course of this megawad, it's become quite easy to pick out the styles of each map author. Flynn's maps are puzzle maps with some novelty thrown in, Dia's have an arcade feel, Couleur's are epic. But we've previously only played one map by Paul Schmitz: The Abbey. For those eagerly expecting Timeslip to be "Abbey II", you'll be quite disappointed. Instead, what we get is a techbase map that is one of the best in the megawad. Timeslip is the third Timegate-themed level in the set. In fact, it feels more like a direct sequel to the first than the second one was. There are certainly hallmarks of this theme: techbase with just a sprinkling of medieval architecture, Blue/grey walls and floors, the titular time gate, and red/blue key seals. The design is simply wonderful: A tight maze-like network of corridors and rooms, which link up via a circular shaped hub. Force-fields and locked gates block the way of progress early on, and you need to do a minor amount of platforming in order to fully unlock the way. By far the best looking area is the time gate chamber and its surrounding areas. With several castle-like fortresses, early faux 3D architecture, and amazing texture use, it still looks breathtaking some two decades later. The lighting is overall among the best I've seen, especially in that eerie series of interconnected halls to the bottom left. Combat is quite brutal. There are not too many enemies, and the overall level size is quite small. However, Paul set up each encounter so that you handle each enemy almost one on one. In terms of combat, it makes this the most unique level in the set. Of course, with the massive amount of revenants and multiple cyberdemons, you can expect to die quite a bit. Overall, Timeslip is a masterpiece, and it helps to have it placed so late in the map as it keeps the player wanting to keep playing until the end. Great design, challenging combat, and many memorable monents. It's one of my favorites in the set.
  9. Map 27 - Paldorian - 97% Kills, 100% Secrets. David Brachman's second and final entry in the Eternal Doom trilogy is in many ways similar to its predecessor, "Stands". Both levels take place within a square-shaped boundary, both are a mixture of tech and medieval themes, and both even feature alternative arrangements of the same music track (Barabbas). Obviously though, Paldorian is significantly trickier, and there are still a few new tricks to show off. One interesting theme throughout this level is room transformation. If you step into a plain looking room for the first time, there is a very good chance that by the time you leave, it will be either lowered, contain newly opened areas, or in the case of the start room, it will change so often you'd swear you entered "Prestidigitation" from Icarus. It's by far what makes this level stand out. I say by far because honestly, the level doesn't really impress me as much in other aspects. The first few halls and rooms are rather dull looking, and the lighting tends to be either full dark or full bright. Also, the architecture is predominantly 90 degree angled rooms and halls: A far cry from something like "The Seeker" for instance. Also, the use of Time Gate computer terminals as regular wallpaper textures is done in an incredibly tacky way. At least there are several interesting and tricky fights to be had, especially the lower trapezoid room as well as the colorfully snazzy yellow key chamber. There are also a few times you need to revisit old areas and these are almost always repopulated, which prevents too much boredom. Overall, a decent level, and one that feels like a breather after two Jim Flynn maps and a mammoth Couleur map. However, it just doesn't come off as memorable or groundbreaking when compared to those maps.
  10. Map 26 - No Parking - 97% Kills, 66% Secrets. You thought Beginner's End was complex? Well you ain't seen n-n-nuthin' yet. I wrote a good essay worth of notes while replaying this behemoth. There is so much going on, and so many unique elements contained within, so let's dive in... Picking up where Beginner's End left off, No Parking takes us through Eternville: A strange abstract town where the only buildings nearby appear to be warehouses, weapons testing facilities, and demon-filled sheds. There are streets that transform into toxic pools, four glass security booths that you must find a way into, and more cacodemons than you can shake a stick at. The combat is the toughest so far, which is fitting as this was originally the final regular map in Eternal Doom II. The armory room left me dead countless times, until I realized that yes, there is a way to get rid of those archvilles before they all teleport in. Getting the red and yellow keys requires just the right amount of puzzle solving. It's tricky, but you will certainly say "A'ha", when you figure them out. However, once you get through the yellow key door, progression can become quite cryptic. This building starts off as a weird library-type complex, opens up into some sort of cultist hideout, complete with a huge fire pit, and finally drops us off in the top secret proving grounds. This battle is made mildly more survivable by the cool experimental rocket armor. Although that crushing hallway to get to the much sought after blue key can be a pain. But there's more! The final third of the level takes place in Eternite Planetary Park. This section can be quite disorienting and occasionally frustrating to navigate, especially when you are under fire from various heights. I do like the way the place looks though and there are some neat details like the sign before you enter, and the secret firepit. You can actually reach the exit rather early if you know where to go, but you will miss out on some secrets. One other aspect I feel deserves mention is the music. It's a rather short surf-rock track, which sounds cool the first few times you hear it. However, since the track is so short, and the map is so long, it can get REALLY stale after a while. In fact, that has always been my one gripe with Eternal Doom in general: Awesome music, but each song is too short. Overall, No Parking is the culmination of everything Jim Flynn: Puzzle solving, humor, crazy combat, and the unexpected. It is the latter that especially makes me enjoy this level every time I play it.
  11. Map 25 - Beginner's End - 96% Kills, 0% Secrets. Jim Flynn's second map in the set, (Originally his first before the expansion), carries on much of the same love 'em or hate 'em traditions as Monster Mansion. I've always felt that all three of the Flynn maps feel a bit out of place both design and gameplay-wise and even music-wise. I also feel that Beginner's End is the weakest of these three maps. It is often cramped, the puzzles can occasionally be headache inducing, and there's even one puzzle that you will either need to noclip or restart the map if you screw it up. Even the secrets are hidden in almost cryptic locations, to the point where I completely missed them all. But enough of the bad. There's actually quite a lot that I enjoy about this map. Beginner's End takes place mostly in a six story midrise tower. You start off on the bottom level where a handy text directory foreshadows what to expect on each floor. Unfortunattly, these text walls throughout this and the next map can be occasionally buggy in GZDoom. Each floor has something unique to offer. The second floor "Fun House" is mostly an abstract office/professional suite with tight halls and a minor amount of seemingly random switch hitting. The third floor "Pillar Expo" and its button puzzle can be a pain if you miss the Samuel Morse clue from the ground level directory. It's the "1st Eternal Bank Of UAC" on the fourth floor that is hands down the best area of the map. Jim created an extremely detailed bank, complete with everything from vaults, to offices, to the tricky yet awesome "Diablo Security" Room. The Cybernetics suite on the fifth floor contains yet another cyberdemon/mastermind fight, but in a much smaller science lab enviornment and with an archville thrown in for good measure. After reaching the top, we are told via riddle to make our way back to the start of the map. Fortunately, new hallways and shortcuts have opened up to make this easy, (Although I tend to forget about that newly opened teleporter in the fun house). The outdoor tower area however can be a bit of a pain to navigate. Falling down repeatedly and waiting for slow lifts is not fun. The "Minor Temporal Discontinuity" sign at the end always makes me chuckle. Overall, while Beginner's End does have its flaws, and while it can be frustrating, I still find that I enjoy playing it. Sometimes we need something a bit different in the set, and these pair of Flynn maps certainly do the trick.
  12. Map 24 - Rainbow Bridge - 93% Kills, 100% Secrets. An interesting observation I noted during this playthrough: In the previous map, the final time gate destination is the year 2500 AD. Yet Rainbow Bridge is a level chock full of primarily medieval architecture with a healthy dose of tech mixed in. I've developed a theory that all the messing around in the different realms has altered the future and turned it into a medieval/tech-hybrid world. Fan theories aside, Rainbow Bridge is classic Couleur: Massive spaces, occasional arena-style areas, and lots of crossfire from enemies while you make your way through the map. This map actually feels larger in size than The Seeker, although Rainbow Bridge takes me quicker to complete. Just like The Seeker, Rainbow Bridge is also roughly divided into two areas. The first is a massive conglomerate of walkways, medieval cityscapes, and a huge variety of textures. The blending of medieval and tech textures may not work in a logical sense, but it does give the level a very colorful feel. The lighting is phenomenal, especially in the western section, which ends up catching on fire later on. Having cacodemons pop out of said fire is one of the coolest looking moments in the levelset. Another prominent feature of this first half of the map is the large multi-tiered building to the right. Due to the excessive amount of lifts and platforms, it actually reminds me of Industrial Zone from Doom II. I should also note that there are quite a few buildings in this map which you cannot access and which seem to serve only as sniping locations for monsters. These extra buildings add a layer of depth to the map, although it does make it excruciatingly hard to achieve 100% Kills, so I opted not to. The second half of this map features the "Couleur Arena Finale(tm)". In this case, it's a castle-like fortress partially surrounded by a moat, and featuring a central stronghold which literally holds the key to leaving the map. This is where the combat gets quite tricky, especially as new enemies get teleported in, and as new areas open up. These cyberdemon encounters are getting trickier and trickier. Overall, Rainbow Bridge offers a formidable challenge, set against a massive and impressive looking map. I'm very curious to see how well the next two levels hold up for both myself as well as the rest of the DWMC...
  13. Map 23 - Time Gate II - 98% Kills, 100% Secrets. Dia's final map in the set is a sequel, in name only, to Soundblock's Time Gate. Unlike the original, which dealt with accessing a lone fortress to get to the time gate, here we start off in the fortress with a fully functioning multi-year time machine at our disposal. Doc Brown would be proud. The starting room is a bit plain/boxy, but things heat up when we set the time machine back to 1,000,000 BC. Here it is apparent that the UAC have taken this otherwise plain brownstone and lava temple and added their own technologies such as lights and glass walls. It creates quite an interesting aesthetic, with a few hefty challenges against some of the heavier monsters. The second area takes us apparently to the year 5,000...a bit hard to believe as it looks like any old ruined current cityscape. For those who selected the 5 years into the future ending for the first Time Gate, this level offers a much more generous portion of that same theme. There is a really cool faux room over room effect in the first building, and a tough challenge to evade and eventually fight the spidermastermind. Otherwise, it's over pretty fast. The secret areas are quite interesting. You have to revisit both of the first two time gate destinations to open the awesome caco heaven. Although I always found the revisit of the cityscape to be pointless as there is nothing new unlocked unlike the first time gate destination. Overall, a fun and slightly quirky map that gives us some nice visuals and entertainment before the next massive map in the set.
  14. An embarrassingly banal name that my younger self made up some 15 years ago. (Favorite food at the time, nickname at the time), lucky number). When I joined Doomworld in 2008, I made it my username because I figured it would be easy to remember. Now that I'm almost 30, it makes me both cringe and chuckle at just how silly it is, yet it's too late to really change it so I'm stuck with it.