I like writing reviews of Doom maps. This site, in its original incarnation (that is, when I made the graphics and so on in mid 2000) was going to feature a lot of reviews, in fact a review of every map I had ever played.
Unfortunately, back then "review" seemed to take on the meaning "detailed walkthrough and commentary" and the whole thing became hugely bloated and overambitious. The most extreme case would be the review I wrote of TeamTNT's Icarus, the file for which was some 70k long and took about two weeks to finish writing. Now who would read something that long, about a wad that was, at the time, already four years old? It was insane. I should put it up sometime for comedy value.
That doesn't mean I don't want to write map reviews, I just have to be a lot less verbose about it. Doom Underground is a good review site, though the reviews are longer than the sort of thing I want to be writing. Doomworld's newstuff chronicles, now that's about the size for which we want to aim. Having said that, both these examples and indeed all the major review sites provide screenshots which I very much doubt I would ever do.
Anyway here's some more stuff I've played recently.
- robv.wad. The construction sucks. The architecture is pretty much randomly laid out with little rooms off hallways. The texturing theme is all over the place, green marble, blue tech, stone, whatever. But it's quite old, so it's only to be expected. What was that huge empty computer room for? The gameplay is quite fun. If you find the computer map or are able to get the secrets, it's easy, and there are a lot of monsters to kill and lots of weapons and ammunition to do it with, just the way I like it. I don't understand why half the monsters are stuck in walls or to each other though. There are a couple of large barrel collections, set up to kill all the monsters in the room for free. In summary I guess it's okay, ugly as anything, but playable once.
- pisa2.wad. I downloaded this before its appearance in this week's newstuff because it's in Italian, which caught my attention. Contrary to what newstuff says, it's two maps. The first is a large open space containing, of all things, the leaning tower of Pisa. Of course it doesn't really lean because plain old Doom doesn't do slopes. I enjoyed jumping off the top. There's a bunch of other buildings around it, apparently realistically laid out. They are textured well, though the rest of the texturing is just Doom stuff. It's really easy. You start with the rocket launcher and other weapons are immediately available, with plentiful ammunition. Facing you, a meagre twenty monsters. Seems it's more for looking around than playing. The exit, which is damn near impossible to find, leads to.. "Aces, another author's house map!" It's not too bad as they go but suffers the same problems all attempted real-world constructions face, namely that even if you do work around putting a real 3d structure into an effectively 2d game it still doesn't play very well. Lots of small rooms and tiny cramped corners is not much fun. Having said that this one wasn't the worst I've seen and didn't have a stupidly high monster density.
I know that writing Doom reviews on this site is completely pointless because nobody I know who reads it plays the game. But then I don't share many interests with people I know and even with the ones who do I don't like talking to them about stuff they already know about because I always end up feeling more stupid. Talk to any of the technically-oriented #warwick regulars and you'll realise how little you know about computers, for example.
But hey. On the other hand one day I hope that I might write something about Doom that makes someone go "I wish I knew what he was on about" and bother to play one of the things I mention. Then maybe I could actually have a conversation about it with someone who doesn't fill me with fear because they're a stranger! Oh my, wouldn't that be sweet. I know it's about as likely as a chocolate teapot but still. Like I said, I like writing Doom map reviews.