13/12/2004 @12:18:01 ^13:55:07

CC2 is cool, I'm having much fun playing it through... except, map5 has to be the single most annoying Doom map I have ever played.

the reviews are coming in

troa review backlog mountain

If I can update every day this week I might manage to get through all this stuff

Exquisite corpse Okay let's quote the text file here, I'd only be repeating it otherwise:

The phrase "exquisite corpse" originates from a surrealist game in which sentences were created by a group of people, each person not knowing what the previous words were.

In this WAD, each of the 12 authors was given a block of space 1024x1024 units big and asked to create a part of a larger level. However, all they were given to guide them were small slivers of the previously created pieces adjacent to theirs.

Good idea, huh? Like Consequences or whatever that shit I played a couple of times in May 2000 was called. Anyway the map turned out pretty well. The joins are usually visible (with the notable exception of the starting area at the top left of the map, and the area to its immediate south) and for the most part it all somehow managed to follow a techbase/factory theme (even when they didn't it still fitted in..except maybe the underground bit at the bottom left hand corner, but oh well) Gameplay is hard until you know where you're going and where the traps are, but the secrets are quite inventive, especially the one in the top left square (hint: you need a super shotgun to set it off)

Here is the thread about the idea if you really care

Area 51 Two maps set in a secret base out in the desert. The plot goes, contact has been lost with Area 51, you have to go in and see why. Usual stuff. The first map starts outside the base, you find your way in via this "biochip scanner" thing that the WAD uses a few times as a gimmick. There are storage rooms in which the exploding barrels feature a cameo appearance from a dying cyberdemon, and tunnels full of an interestingly bright yellowy orange acid. There are research labs with monsters in suspended animation - watch for an archvile trapped in some sort of force field, it's creepy (only a decoration, you can't shoot it) There's a commander's office with a photo of Smoking Man on the wall. There's a dead spiderdemon that has been dismantled. You should play this thing if only for the graphics.

The second map is more like a toxic waste plant. There's lots more of that weird orange/yellow acid, and a yellow and black railing texture that works quite well. Later on you find yourself in a huge room with four huge baths of the stuff; it's an impressive setpiece, and quite dangerous too. The map ends when you board a small spacecraft at the end, full of writings in an alien language. This part reminded me very strongly of Equinox, in fact, what with the extra graphics giving it a similar atmosphere, the whole WAD did.

I think there was meant to be a third map since when you finish the second map the title of the third map on the intermission screen has been changed to The Mothership, but it was evidently never made, which is a shame.

Overall, the construction is quite simple, There aren't that many sectors and linedefs in view at once. Since this map predates limit-removing sourceports, this is not surprising. The texturing is, well, the word I would use is "noisy". That is, it uses a lot of textures that are better used sparingly. Huge walls of computers and wiring. Long repeating stretches of textures that aren't meant to be repeated (e.g. the TEKGRENx ones that aren't the basic green wall) That sort of thing. It's hard to explain. Gameplay is tough. You are up against it pretty much from the start, both monsters and the environment are against you, and health can be quite hard to come by. As you go on it gets easier (obviously) but there are some nasty traps and a number of archviles in awkward places. However if you find the secrets, which aren't too hard, you should end up with quite an arsenal. I'm not sure the maps are enjoyable enough to have great replay value but the first time you will be drawn in.