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Reviews: 8th January 2003: Review No. 2
Game - CUBE
Maps - sm06: Speedmap 6 (2 maps)
by - Pushplay/Sirlivealot
Download - sm06.zip
Overall Verdict - collection of 2 speed maps, both with challenging gameplay.
"Speed maps" are maps built in a limited amount of time (eg 100 minutes), and the theme of this pack is "Alien Underground" single player maps.
Map 1 - sm06_pushplay:licking the third rail
This is an excellent speedmap, in fact it really is equal to many "normal" Cube SP maps in terms of its layout and gameplay. Architecture is done just about as well as could be expected in the limited time of 100 minutes, there is a good sense of atmosphere and progression through this "alien underground". As the name suggests you must find your way to the underground subway train tracks, then you open the entrance via a trigger, before making your way down the train tracks to the final battle and escape to the alien planet surface.
There is some decent detailing (steps, light fittings, the train tracks themselves) in the architecture and in general there is a nicely proportioned feel to the map. Another strong point is the consistent and excellent use of colored lighting throughout the level which adds a lot of atmosphere to the experience.
Gameplay is also good; there is both a pleasing amount (around 70) and a good mix of monsters to provide a good challenge, which is added to by reasonably (but not unfairly so) sparse supplies of health.
There are a couple of tough battles, clearing the train tracks of many rhinos and goblins takes some skill, and the final battle throws quite a few waves of enemies at the player, at a time when player health is already likely to be low.
Overall a very good Cube map, which makes the "speedmap" tag almost redundant in that is as good as many normal levels.
Map 2 - sm06_sirlivealot:Underground Alien Infestation
Another well constructed, nicely textured and challenging map, this map is maybe *slightly* easier than pushplay's but still provides a good challenge. May layout is of a similar size and scope to pushplays map as well, that is, a small to medium sized underground complex of rooms and caves. Sir livealots maps seem to me to always have good textures with nice colors and pleasing combinations of colors complementing each other, and this map is no exception: his cube maps always seem and feel very "neat" and well built.
The main texture choice is brownish walls and caves, but this is broken up by a largish watery area near the end of the map.
Gameplay is also good, again a nice variety of monsters and well-balanced supplies (health and ammo, as well as a much-needed (and not excessive) armor) helps a lot here. In addition there are a couple of nasty (fun) rhino ambushes which are pretty tricky, especially the second one. You may be grateful for the savegame feature at this point. ;)
Fighting progresses through the watery cave to the ending, although it is unfortunately possible to hit the final trigger and end the level without killing all the monsters. But this tiny flaw does not detract too much from an otherwise very solid and nicely built speedmap.
Overall speedmap 6 pack: 15/20