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Author Topic: Reviews and Submissions  (Read 53644 times)

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ck3D

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Re: Reviews and Submissions
« Reply #255 on: August 31, 2020, 11:28:19 AM »

Are you looking for a review for this one too, Puritan?

Fully gotcha on Facebook, too. All my social media would be long gone if I didn't need it for work so much.
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Puritan

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Re: Reviews and Submissions
« Reply #256 on: August 31, 2020, 02:56:20 PM »

Are you looking for a review for this one too, Puritan?

Fully gotcha on Facebook, too. All my social media would be long gone if I didn't need it for work so much.


If you would be so kind  ;)
You are a good reviewer for sure. You may PM me your review and I'll put it up immediately.
Very much appreciated!

"Social media" has become socialist media. Censorship and lies goes hand in hand.
MeWe are a neutral platform and you may be anonymous.
No gathering of your personal data.....etc
Recommended !
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ck3D

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Re: Reviews and Submissions
« Reply #257 on: September 04, 2020, 11:08:23 AM »

Very rare are Duke 3D user maps so chockfull of surprises that the mere act of writing a simple review risks instantly slipping into spoiler category. And Shaky Grounds Pt. 3: Epicenter just so happens to be one of those (urban-themed) pieces that tells its own story - or its own chapter of the story more specifically here - as written by longtime Build engine narration legend from the Netherlands, Merlijn Van Oostrum.

The author not only lives up to his legacy here with more stellar design, clever texture applications and good taste as far as general visuals, but also pushes it even further in terms of gameplay flow - navigation is made clear from the beginning to the end of the level, ensuring you'll never get stuck despite the existence of a constructed plot, but also dotted with moments of build up then release. It's hard to think of any map since Red 4 and Red 5 (not coincidentally also by Merlijn) with such a progressive sense of immersion - here your whole ride will be punctuated by atmospheric moments of tension and bouts of all possible kinds of action, including some particularly ambitious explosive surprises (jack-in-the-box style - except your brain will be the box).

Just like the previous installments in the series, Shaky Grounds Pt. 3: Epicenter is a magnificently-crafted city map but also and most importantly, one of the evolutive kind that's only too rarely seen. Here you can literally expect the urban landscape to move around you as you go, and lots of thinking and technical effort has been put into the implementation of a ridiculous amount of effects to make sure your time in this map will feel so coherent and live, with some surreal props thrown in for good measure; for brief moments you won't be sure on which side of the screen you belong: 'here you go weird' as a certain saying goes, but only the best kind of.

If around the time of its release, Duke 3D was popularly regarded as a more interactive Doom, then the whole Shaky Grounds series so far can similarly be viewed as a more dynamic Roch. If ever needed, with that map set, Merlijn reminds us all that pseudo-realistic, complex (or Kompleks?) environments don't have to be static, and discourage authors from using terrain effects that originally made a lot of the strength of the Build engine - if anything, they may in fact make for just as many opportunities to push them, thereby inviting the exploration of new dimensions in Duke 3D mapping as opposed to repeating old tropes. Each and every installment is a piece of art and instant classic.

Score: 98
« Last Edit: September 04, 2020, 11:18:41 AM by ck3D »
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Merlijn

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Re: Reviews and Submissions
« Reply #258 on: September 08, 2020, 09:32:14 PM »

Thanks for the review! ^_^
I'm willing to write a review for Woudrichem war (and perhaps some other recent maps too). But since Woudrichem war is made by Maarten, it's probably not appropiate for me to determine the rating.
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Puritan

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Re: Reviews and Submissions
« Reply #259 on: September 09, 2020, 08:01:51 AM »

...
I'm willing to write a review for Woudrichem war (and perhaps some other recent maps too). But since Woudrichem war is made by Maarten, it's probably not appropiate for me to determine the rating.


No problem.
Your integrity is indisputable, sire.
And thank you for offering a helping hand  ;)
( I was thinking of a score around 97-98 if it is a relief ....)
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Merlijn

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Re: Reviews and Submissions
« Reply #260 on: September 20, 2020, 08:14:13 PM »

Alright, it took a bit longer than expected, but here it is. If it's too long, don't hesitate to shorten it a bit. :)

Review: Another alien attack 1: Woudrichem War

Duke Nukem 3D is well known for it's simulation of real life locations, in a time where most FPS games were just abstract mazes. A lot of user mappers took this idea even further and started recreating monuments, castles and even whole city blocks. Authors like Pascal Rouaud and Ck3d are well known for translating European architecture to the build engine and pushing the enveloppe. Now Maarten has taken the next step by recreating an entire town and its surroundings. This whole map tries to replicate the city of Woudrichem, a real historic place in The Netherlands. The result is a very ambitious and remarkable map.

The map starts outside the city and lets the player circle the place first. This is a nice way to introduce the player to this world and give them an idea of the general geography of the area. Enemy encounters are built up in a similar fashion, starting off slow but becoming more intense as the players progresses. Once the city is unlocked, the map becomes more unlinear. The player has to hunt down 3 keys and has the freedom to decide in which order to get them. The entire city is ripe for exploration, and there are hidden goodies everywhere. Even most of the rooftops are accessible, resulting in some enjoyable parkour.

Throughout the city, there are a lot of historic Dutch buildings to be admired, and there are a lot of fun little details. For example, there's a playground with some creative usage of sprites. There's even a little nod to E1L1 (you know it when you see it). But it's the sight of the whole city on screen at the same time that's the most impressive thing about this map. The hunt for keys will frequently take you from indoor sections to the top of a building and the sight alone is worth it.

Gameplay-wise, there's quite a lot of enemies to deal with. A surprisingly high amount of recon patrol vehicles and pig cop tanks patrol the area, combined with lurking assault troopers and fat commanders. But Maarten is always pretty generous when it comes to ammo and health and this map is no exception. And while there are some spicy fights in here, it never gets unfair. The city itself may be a little disorienting at first, but luckily there are viewscreen camera's to guide the player. What's more, there's a large bell tower in the middle of the city, which looms over the other structures and serves as a handy landmark.
My only minor complaint is that some indoor areas are cramped, but luckily these areas don't contain too many enemies.

The map saves the best for last though, with a thrilling and awesome finale which I won't spoil here. Let's just say it's the perfect cherry on top.

Conclusion: this map pushes this old game to its utter limits by creating an entire city and its surroundings, and showing it all on screen at the same time. That's remarkable enough, but it also offers a lot of fun firefights, exploration and memorable moments.There's no reason not to play it, so 98 points is what it gets.

Rating: 98
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Puritan

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Re: Reviews and Submissions
« Reply #261 on: September 21, 2020, 05:18:36 PM »

Excellent review, sire.
Thank you very much :)
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