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Stale Meat

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  1. Stale Meat

    SERENITY II aka ETERNITY (v1.1)

    Eternity is a great example of a sequel that is better in virtually all regards to its predecessor. The maps are more polished and detailed. Their layouts are also more refined, with interesting level themes and architecture that keep each map unique and memorable. Most importantly, the difficulty is harder with more enemies and deadlier traps. This rise in difficulty is most noticeable in the first few levels. Similar to the beginning levels of Thy Flesh Consumed, you will need to take great care of an abundance of enemies with dwindling supplies. While it does ease off later on, difficulty all around is still a decent bit higher than Serenity, so if you had any trouble playing Serenity you may want to tone down the difficulty level. You can get most of your arsenal earlier on compared to Serenity, so long as you pay attention for secrets. Keeping your eyes open and paying attention to your surroundings is also more important than ever for Eternity, and not just for fighting the enemies and avoiding the map hazards. Several otherwise inconspicuous lifts will be denoted by the presence of white bars along the wall. Sometimes this leads to secrets, other times it is the way forward. Several times you may also be put into fights where you have to deal with both monsters and the map working against you simultaneously. You will have to act fast and choose your targets wisely if you want to make it out of each fight alive. There isn't much more to say about Eternity that hasn't already been said about Serenity. It took a bit longer to beat and it is certainly harder, but the levels are still simple but pleasant to look at and have an intense and clever gameplay focus. If you liked Serenity you are almost definitely going to love Eternity.
  2. Stale Meat

    SERENITY v2.0

    If you could describe the general multilevel WAD of the early 90s, you would have experimental and very abstract level design and texture placement, a MIDI soundtrack of popular song covers and whatever else was readily available on the BBS networks, a handful of custom sounds and textures, and a difficulty a bit higher than base Doom, but nowhere near many of the WADs released today. All of this is present in Serenity, and it makes for a memorable and pretty fun jump back to the past and the basics. Serenity has some pretty good effort put into it, with much of its design geared towards quality in all of its aspects. The textures are placed with care and do well to compliment the unique theme each level has. Layout is pretty solid with a healthy dose of experimenting with the various sector effects like stairs, lifts, and crushers to add variety. A few simple traps and complimentary barrel placements help emphasize a more tactical approach to each level, and a few secrets can certainly change how you can engage a future room full of bad guys by opening windows and alternate paths. There isn't much aesthetic detail beyond what is absolutely necessary, but it doesn't take away from the main focus of its gameplay. It isn't a very difficult level set, so if you handled base Doom on UV just fine you will probably do the same here. Supplies are spread but plentiful and weapons are acquired slowly but surely through the 8 levels. Difficulty for me was fairly even, with action picking up in the last few levels in particular. This and the levels being fairly short meant that in most cases I didn't feel a worry to save more than once in a level, if at all. Enemy placement is pretty good overall, with most of the enemy types appearing early on but are often placed in ways that makes it engaging and fun to deal with most of the time. The whole WAD took a bit over an hour to finish with thorough exploring of secrets and close to full level completions. Overall I quite enjoyed this charming throwback to the past. It was engaging yet not overly challenging and most of the levels I quite liked. A few were a little subpar, with the 7th map being the most annoying with its many doors, switches, and stairways dragging it out longer than it needed to be. But overall it is an hour well spent with gameplay that certainly holds up after all these years and some interesting level designs. If you want a fun experience of early 90's WADs, Serenity should be one of your first picks.
  3. Stale Meat

    The BFG

    What I am really curious about other than what the BFG10k is shooting at, is what the demons plan on doing to it? They could simply be trying to destroy it, but they could also be trying to capture it to do all sorts of nasty shit. Whatever the case, I also wonder if Doomguy is trying to save the facility and the BFG or if we will have do something like the Argent Tower and break the Gun to keep the demons or the crazy UAC from using it to cause more chaos.
  4. Stale Meat

    DOOM Eternal Gameplay Reveal Impressions

    I wouldn't go as far to say that Brutal Doom invented the current characterization of Doomguy, since even Mark says the entire mods mood is based on and a homage to the infamous Doom comic, but it isn't a stretch to think that Brutal Doom had a helping hand in perpetuating and popularizing this kind of characterization in the minds of people unfamiliar with Doom. How much of an effect Brutal Doom had is certainly debatable, but I think it may have had some level of impact regardless.
  5. Stale Meat

    The BFG

    I always had a sort of headcanon that BFG's in general were developed as "Blast Field Generators"; Big cannons made to destroy anything and everything in a wide area. Stationary BFG Turrets would make sense to have been made first taking into consideration that whatever kind of ammo/power source for them would be too big and heavy for handheld use. Also take into account how the Lazarus Labs had a BFG Division to test the BFG 9000 in secret and, I assume, relative safety. The Phobos base may be similar in that it is a remote and "safe" place to test an orbital denial cannon in hopes they can mass produce it. It could even be a sort of last resort defense against a demon incursion heading to Earth in the event Mars is lost to the demons.
  6. I've never understood just why they thought calling the game simply "DOOM" was a good idea. Many fans of the games, especially ones who have been around for many years, often refer to most anything related to Doom as just "Doom". Then considering how many search engines won't discriminate between looking up Doom with "DOOM" means that of course people are going to add a secondary title to make it less confusing. I understand if they didn't want to call the game Doom 4, but just making the title all caps wasn't very bright on Id's part.
  7. Stale Meat

    DOOM Eternal Gameplay Reveal Impressions

    I think that sword might just be the Crucible as seen at the end of the last game. Although the blade looks exactly the same, it still raises a few questions. Why is the handle different, and how does Doomguy get it back from Hayden?
  8. Stale Meat

    The Unholy Trinity

    Trinity is, as far as I know, the first real attempt in Doom to try and make a level based on a real life location. In this case, it is a recreation of the Trinity College at Cambridge. Today something like this would at the very least be considered taboo for obvious reasons, but back in 94 the idea of recreating a real place in a 3D environment like Doom was exciting. And unlike other attempts by map makers to recreate their house/school/workplace, Trinity also stands out with "realistic" custom textures all thanks to a few pictures the author took with his camera. Having never been to the actual Trinity College I can't say how accurate map layout is to the real building, but the map does seem laid out like a real place, save for a few liberties made for gameplay and engine limitations. There are a few outdoor courtyards, a cafeteria of sorts, a classroom, a chapel, a pretty cool movie theater, and smaller miscellaneous rooms the player will run across. Aside from very basic and obvious details that give away what these rooms are supposed to be, they are otherwise quite bare save for enemies and items. The smaller rooms suffer the most from this, being simple boxes with a bad guy or some kind of item in it and a single door. At the very least the level layout feels open enough that you can explore at your own leisure, but this can make finding out where exactly to go next difficult; specifically the hunt for the exit in the end. It isn't a terribly tough level, but it makes decent enough usage of its enemies outside and indoors to stop the player from bull-rushing straight through. All in all it is an alright map to play solo, so long as you don't mind being a little lost and can get past how empty it feels at points. I personally suspect it might make a slightly better map to DM in, but it probably isn't something you will come back to for a second helping.
  9. Stale Meat

    DOOM Eternal Gameplay Reveal Impressions

    Same, the only bit from the scrapped Doom 4 that I kinda wanted to see was the UAC/Armies of Earth desperately fighting and losing against the encroaching forces of Hell. I am also glad that at least some of the UAC has enough sense to call bullshit on their cultist superiors and at least try to fight off the demon hordes rather than submitting. It would feel pretty good to actually curb stomp on Hell and have at least some people you can look back at as being saved, so I hope we see more of this in the game.
  10. Stale Meat

    DOOM Eternal Gameplay Reveal Impressions

    My take is that by "cartoony" they mean several things: -The color pallet is too bright and vibrant, ending up looking more exaggerated than realistic looking -The gunplay/gameplay is unconventional because of the weapon designs or the weapon mechanics -The bits of story/how the Doomslayer is treated in the reveal is too silly or over the top As mentioned earlier in the thread, I think different people have different tastes and expectations in how they enjoy Doom. Some people prefer intense and bombastic action and feeling like an unstoppable badass while listening to fast music, some prefer a darker and grimmer experience with a haunting soundtrack and a sense of surviving against the horrors of hell, and others want a cinematic and story driven adventure with cool looking places and enemies, with plenty of lore behind it all to give them more meaning and purpose. Many of people like some overlap, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with any of these ways to enjoy the franchise. The various games and much of its user made content has used these different kinds of directions and more as the foundation of their experience, and while it has led plenty of Doom fans who have quite different ideas as to what the ideal Doom experience would be, I don't think any of these are a bad or wrong ways to play or expect from future titles. TL;DR I am personally fine with how Doom Eternal looks, but I can understand how some people might be put off in the directions it has taken. Hopefully most of these will just be subjective things that won't take away too much from what looks to me like a really fun game in the making.
  11. Stale Meat

    DOOM Eternal Gameplay Reveal Impressions

    Funnily enough, you can hear for a split second what sounds like a dog toy squeaking when this happens. The sound design is definitely on point so far. The Arachnotrons electric gurgle, the creepy Arch Vile alien-like purr, and especially the weapons firing and hit sounds giving a powerful sense of impact. Looking forward to more awesome Mick Gordon tracks too! Thinking back my biggest complain with Doom 2061 was certainly the lack of focus on additional Single Player content after the base game. In a way I am glad that they went with making a proper sequel than releasing small little snippets of DLC stuff every 3-6 months.
  12. Stale Meat

    DOOM Eternal Gameplay Reveal Impressions

    Finally, we can enjoy the Mancubus in all of his 6 tit glory. Super super excited for this, it really looks like they are going above and beyond with what they had in DOOM.
  13. Stale Meat

    Doomsday of UAC

    Ah UAC_Dead, I often find myself coming back to it from time to time just because it has a certain kind of charm in its aesthetic. Its details are fairly minimal yet do quite well at conveying a sort of tangibility to the level as a whole. Things like the main building having a lobby and bathrooms, a scenic fountain with the iconic "3D" Logo before a sort of garage-like area, and an overturned and totaled truck serving as your start with a still spinning wheel to boot. And this isn't even to mention perhaps its coolest feature being the invisible staircase in the hellish caverns; a fairly well known mapping quirk today but was and can probably still be considered dazzling both when it came out and now. This and a few other neat tricks like the clever use of the special map tag and caving in tunnel that towards the end that you must get around by "blowing" up the wall nearby certainly make it a memorable experience. Difficulty-wise it isn't too terribly hard, but is a bit stilted with the beginning certainly being the hardest before petering off into being quite easy once you acquire bigger guns, especially the BFG. It is also for better or worse a quite linear journey with only a decently sized secret area serving as any kind of detour. By the time you finish off the Cyberdemon and grab the Red Skull, there may quite possibly be only one enemy left at the very end assuming you cleared all previous resistance, leaving you with a somewhat anticlimactic run back through most of the level to open up the locked door to the end. To some this can certainly be a turn off to have a decently strong start only to decline from there to finish, and whether you think the scenery alone can make up for this is entirely on your own preferences. While the map itself sits firmly at a 4/5 for me, I would have to say to anyone going into this for a first time to expect about a 3/5 overall experience. It is a map where its looks are definitely better over its game play, and considering it is a WAD from 94 you shouldn't expect even that to blow you away. But other than some iffy game play that has aged poorer than the looks, it doesn't really have much else necessarily bad about it. Worth at least a single good playthrough.
  14. Stale Meat

    CROSSING ACHERON

    One of Dr.Sleeps earliest works, Crossing Acheron is a simple but atmospheric map made in a time where mapping tools were both simpler and more user unfriendly than the Doombuilder of today. Gameplay wise, it is quite subdued compared to his later maps in the Master Levels and Thy Flesh Consumed, with an enemy count and difficulty on par with most of Doom 1. The action is fairly brisk save for a few more intense areas, leaving the player a good bit of breathing room between fights to take in the sights and decide how to proceed. It is fairly nonlinear and doesn't give you a strong sense of direction other than searching around for more bad guys and bigger guns. It isn't enough to be completely lost, but you may want to keep an eye on the automap to figure out where to go next. You can get the entire arsenal in this map, but chances are you will probably kill most everything by the time you get it all. There is definitely enough ammo and health to take care of things with a good margin for mistakes anyways. Layout wise, it looks its age but not necessarily in a bad way. There are some not so obvious lifts, a few spots where sectors are angled oddly, and the texture placement is a little rough, but otherwise it is pretty close to the standard of Id's own levels at the time, all with Dr.Sleeps signature emphasis on ambiance. His choice on E1M3 for the music fits well with the level, and combined with the sky and temple-like architecture it leaves a sort of eerie serenity as you wade through the chapel and surrounding open ceiling hallways. Compared to many WADs of later years it certainly pales in almost all aspects, but by even today's standards it is a fairly solid if simple level that can very well be a good standard to compare ones own early works. Overall it is neither a spectacular experience or a particularly flawed one. You could probably skip it if you aren't attracted to its history or care much for shorter and simpler levels. But if you are interested in studying Doom history, making levels yourself, or even just want a fairly quick and laid back experience, I would recommend you check Crossing Acheron out at least once.
  15. Stale Meat

    GALAXIA.WAD (The Ultimate Czech Level)

    Galaxia is certainly unique among the levels released in 94. Rather than the standard fare of killing your way from start to finish in an abstract level, Galaxia offers the player a level with a clear narrative that reflects its story quite well. Your goal is simple enough; escape from the underground while wading through a sizeable enemy resistance to get to your ship waiting for you on the surface. The level layout is simple yet meaningful. Each section is distinct and does a good job of giving you a sense of progress. Starting in a series storage houses you will find your way to a containment of Spider Masterminds, an underground rail system of sorts, winding sewage tunnels, and finally the surface where your ship awaits. The geometry is simple and a bit primitive by modern standards, but it works well enough at portraying what it sets out to do. A use of crude but fitting textures goes a long way in helping set the mood of the map. The best examples of course being the occasional scrolling announcement boards that you will come across along your way. Other textures like the cages and drainage tunnels also do well to convey the unique atmosphere. While there is an amount of strange texture alignment and even stranger texture choices, this is to be expected from the era rather than a glaring fault of the author. As far as the difficulty of the level goes, it is certainly a rougher experience than base Doom. Giving you a shotgun right off the bat still leaves you no match for the Mastermind that descends into the starting area, and this is intentional. Common sense dictates you avoid it and the other Masterminds you find later on, but even using the provided cover it can be tricky getting out in one piece. On UV there are 300 something enemies to contend with, but only a small margin aren't cannon fodder, and all are spread quite evenly along the level. Health and Armor is somewhat scarce, with ammo only a bit less so. There are no officially tagged secrets, but there are a few hidden areas with goodies that definitely go a long way in making life more manageable. Like the Readme states, you should make it out with just enough supplies to manage against all but the "decorative" spiders, even assuming you miss a few hidden goodies. While the shotgunners can be a bane at times, it is an overall enjoyable fight from beginning to end. The only serious gripes that someone might have is that in exchange for a narrative driven experience, the map is quite linear, so don't expect huge replay value unless you really like what it offers. The WADS second map on E1M9 is also a good deal underwhelming, being nothing more than a quick and cramped berserk punch-out in a tight ship. Not necessarily terrible, but definitely skippable. Overall I would recommend giving Galaxia a try, as it really is one of the best of the best 1994 has to offer. If you are a sucker like I am for quasi-realistic maps that tells a narrative through the gameplay, this WAD may just be for you.
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