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Reviews: 17th August 2008: Review 1 [Reviewed by Tronyn]
Map - digs04: The Parallel Worlds
Here we have a fairly original idea: to squeeze as much gameplay out of a single .bsp as possible: You play this map three
separate ways, from three separate angles. Each time, you spawn in a different part of the map, and take a different route.
Item locations (keys, for example) are different, and the layout is switched by walls and even lava-pits that are present/absent
at certain times but not at other times. Despite the map being a single (massive) .bsp, each time you play it, you revisit some
of the same areas, but you also see new areas each time. Therefore, it's a really strange experience - like playing three
medium-sized, "related" maps.
The visual style is a mixture of idbase and ikbase, fairly oldschool, mostly built up in a fairly horizontal layout which never
the less has a variety of vertical levels (ramps, stairs, the occasional perch). There is a remarkable amount of detail; the
lighting, if done more subtly (dark/sourced/smooth), could have made this place seem even more complex than it is, due to the
very "busy" walls and ceilings.
There is some odd texture mixing in places, where more medieval-seeming textures appear, but
nothing excessive. And of course, lots of crates. Some moving features and plenty of pipes help give the sense of functionality.
Nicely built, fairly intricate stuff.
The layout(s) can get frustrating at times - the player should be forewarned that if he runs and guns too fast, he will likely
leave behind important items/buttons/etc. For example, it took me quite a while, after I had killed all the enemies in several
relevant areas, to find the gold key in layout one. There are few pointers/messages to let the player know what's up or where
to go, and the exits aren't really marked although once you find one, you know what to look for the next two times. So points
against the map for a bit of layout confusion. However, the combat is very oldschool and enjoyable - blowing away hordes of
base enemies and ogres, later mixed with zombies, fiends and shamblers.
All in all, this is a cool idea that is perhaps slightly lacking in execution, but features tons of enjoyable combat in an
oldschool setting that is consistently interesting to look at.
Overall Score: 16/20
Reviews: 17th August 2008: Review 2 [Reviewed by Tronyn]
Game - QUAKE
Map - E2m5rmx: E2M5 remix
by - rj
Downloads - E2m5rmx.zip
This is a very nice remake of John Romero's e2m5: The Wizard's Manse. Episode Two, The Realm of Black Magic, has always been
my favorite id episode, and I particularly liked e2m5, so I was happy to see this map. The Lizard's Trance is a modern remake,
which takes the sludgy blue manse of the original and recreates it in a modern Quake style (that is, the Q3-inspired style
perhaps best exemplified in The Marcher Fortress). The layout is the same, but the areas are all much bigger, and there is a lot
of additional architecture around just to make things cool, including rocks above the skylights to give the impression of a
fortress carved into solid rock - a particularly nice touch.
The skylights are all curvy and detailed, and the architecture
on the whole is very elegant, well-conceived and well-built. Plenty of skull-carvings and inverted crosses full of blood are
present to remind you that yes, this is hell. Gameplay is fairly easy (by modern standards), again based on the original, although there are a few intermediate challenges.
It's the standard medieval monsters, used sparingly but effectively (fiends in particular). Despite the shortness of the map,
and the limited size of the layout (of course, due to being based directly on the original), there are some impressive moments
in this map where you will literally be craning your head to take in the grand scenery. Some areas have been rethought well
in terms of gameplay, and the end was also a nice surprise. Well worth the download overall, and if the rest of the "remixes"
are this good, then we are in for a real treat.
Overall Score: 16.5/20