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Reviews: 4th May 2004; Review 1 [Reviewed by Tronyn]
Game - QUAKE
Map - zsp1: Perversion of Gun
by - Zwiffle
Download - zsp1.zip
Overall Verdict - Intresting debut Q1SP map from Zwiffle.
This is a small, curious new Q1SP. It is made up of a series of rooms, mostly box-like but usually with sufficient decoration to mask this fact. Some of the rooms get a little more complex with walkways, perches, and/or being L-shaped instead of square. Still, the design remains simple. The overall size is smaller than average, even a bit smaller than most of id's maps (67 monsters on normal). That said, 67 monsters is a fair amount for such a small map, and the gameplay does get challenging in places.
Mostly you'll be fighting both varieties of knights, and particularly Fiends and Ogres, on ground-level - the same level as the monsters. This can get really nasty with fiends, due to their fast speed and the fact that if they hit you three times, you're dead. This type of gameplay isn't anything too special, but like I said it can get interesting. An ambush of scrags in a small room that almost fills up said room with white reptilian bodies is one of the map's more interesting and entertaining gameplay moments. Vores are used occasionally and effectively. Overall, though supplies can get scarce, things are never unfair even if they sometimes are challenging. The gameplay is not as smooth and straightforward as is average in Q1SP maps, but this is a debut map and I think the small size might contribute to that.
The map suffers mainly from one problem. Due to either the textures or the lighting, or perhaps both, the entire map looks very washed out. This might just be a problem with my particular setup, but most custom maps and id maps look fine in FitzQuake with normal settings and high resolutions, which is what I was using. I think the problem mostly has to do with the lighting, though perhaps using some textures with more variety in color and shade would have helped (I'm not joking, Quake itself isn't too "brown" for me but this level is). The lighting just doesn't have enough contrast. Darker shadows, brighter sky light, more intense spotlights, would have really made this map a lot easier to look at. Additionally, the fact that all of the doors and buttons are dull brown, just like the rest of the level, doesn't help much with navigation. Finally, there are a lot of areas where there are closed doors - just closed doors - that don't seem to lead anywhere. Some I'm sure are secrets, but I'm also willing to bet that some are just... there.
All in all, this may be a below average map but it is an above average debut. There is a certain amount of skill evident in the architecture contained within the rooms, which uses angles effectively, even if the layout itself is overly small and simple. More practice may be necessary but this map shows promise.
Overall Score: 11/20
Reviews: 4th May 2004; Review 2 [Reviewed by Tronyn]
Game - QUAKE
Map - e1m1rmx: The Slipgate Duplex
by - CZG and Vondur
Downloads - e1m1rmx.zip
Overall Verdict - Jointly mapped aesthetically-improved [?!] remake of Id's original E1M1 level.
I think I had the same reaction any self-respecting Quake fan had when I loaded up this map: How cool is THIS? Two of Q1SP's best mappers, Vondur and CZG, have teamed up to provide the lucky few remaining Q1SP fans with a remake of that special level: The Slipgate Complex, or E1M1. Pretty much every aspect of the map's layout is carried over faithfully, even the general scale is very accurate - but the architecture is about twice as detailed (or at least in a different style), and the texturing is much more modern and efficient. A lot of details have changed and been reworked as well. Added details such as intricate rock faces, sky lights, extra supports add aesthetic appeal, while the entire style is a lot cleaner and smoother.
Basically, everything looks a hell of a lot better, even though nothing will truly replace good old E1M1. Additionally, though it's cool to know where a lot of the secrets are before even loading up the map, a few new areas (all secret of course) have been added in there to make this remix more interesting. Don't recognize the area shown in the screenshot on the right? Don't worry, you're not supposed to.
Gameplay is, amusingly, pretty much exactly the same as it is in the first Slipgate complex. The same weapons in the same places, same amount of monsters, same approximate difficulty. Which means basically, it's a map that (suitably enough since it's Quake's first map) a beginner could easily play through, yet still manages to provide a fun blast for any Quake player. In summary, get this map. I know you're tempted to already.
Overall Score: 17/20