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Thy Pr boom maps for doom II

a tale of two reviews!

A work in progress! Keep checking for updates!

 

 

 

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Zorahs Review (top) - Bob's Review (Bottom)

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Link to Thy  PRBOOM maps

 

Thy PrBoom Maps by Mrthejoshman is a 15-map replacement for Doom II, running a Boom compatible port. This replacement will surely test your resolve, if not drive you insane. I'll admit, it took me some time to run through this one.

Difficulty: 8.5

These maps are challenging, and for all the wrong reasons. While it's easy to gauge most replacements' difficulty by the amount and strength of the monsters, Thy PrBoom Maps' difficulty largely comes from its extensive use of monster closet traps and lack of supplies littering the maps. On the earliest few maps, expect more than a couple of monster closets containing Revenants in close quarters. In the dark, mind you. Armed with the Super Shotgun, be prepared to do some fancy footwork in these segments, rushing in to force them to punch, then backing off to take your shot.

As far as supplies go, there is really just BARELY enough ammo and health for you to scrape by. I found myself constantly running out of ammo, and getting through most of the maps having less than 15 HP for most of the run. Did you enjoy pumping those rockets into those chaingunners across that gap, because you ran out of chaingun ammo on those Hell Knights? Here, have some more Revenants. Wait, what's that? That was your last rocket, and you've only got a couple of shells left? Looks like you're fucked, buddy.

Also, just a quick note. Don't be surprised if you jump into a teleporter early on with low health, and three shotgunners on the other side waiting to insta-kill you. You've been warned.

Design: 5

I've got to say, these aren't the prettiest damn maps I've seen. Hell, most of them are actually quite ugly, with detailing fairly nonexistent. I will, however, award a few points for the maps after MAP07, which do get increasingly more detailed with each level.

Playability: 3

It's hard for me to give this replacement a passing grade for playability. Not for any glitches or bugs or anything, but with the way the maps are put together, it's infuriating to play. It took me two weeks to finish this replacement, and half of that was putting it off because I wasn't enjoying it.

Also, the name Thy PrBoom Maps is a bit of a misnomer. You should be able to play these maps with any Boom compatible port. Actually, I don't think I even saw any Boom features used at all throughout the replacement. Maybe even Vanilla Doom? I dunno.

Overall (Not an Average): 4

If you're looking for something fair and balanced, skip this one. Otherwise, if you crave something to challenge you other than pitting you against hordes of demons at any given time, and you LOVE monster closets every five meters or so, this might be for you.

 

Bob's Review

 

Apparently, my experience with this set of 15 maps was somewhat different than what zorah experienced. This is a 15 level set of maps that is a work in progress, so expect some changes (hopefully - lol).

Difficulty: 6

unlike zorah, i actually found this entire set of maps to be pretty easy with the caveat that (like zorah noted) the author springs and overwhelming abundance of traps on you that are guaranteed to catch you off guard and leave you for dead - so use that quicksave button frequently!!! On the other hand, if you're a masochist and don't want to save the game - have at, but I don't think this set of maps can be completed without saving and there are enought tricks and traps involved that you will get really, really, pissed off if you just cleared out half a level and then suddenly (and unexpectedly) find yourself surrounded by half a dozen hellknights or worse yet - a bunch of demons and a goddam archvile - i hate those damn things!

 

on the upside - once you've seen the trap - it is generally easily overcome on your next attempt. the only places where i truly had issues were in later maps where he used dark spaces with spectres. that can be a real pain in the, um, (excuse the language) ass.

 

what generally makes these maps easy  though (in my opinion) is that the maps are absolutely drenched in bonuses - health bonuses, armor bonuses, weapons, etc... At one point (The mansion map) I found myself virtually loaded for bear with all my weapons plus 100% health, etc... and when I got to the next level  - yup, more bonuses. pretty much after every major battle you can expect to pick up a ton of ammo and health and in some cases, you are just like looking at it all and wondering - wtf? then you hit the next big battle and you know why it was there. lol

 

Monster placement: 4

 

I've never actually used this particular metric before when reviewing a map (or maps) but in this case, I felt that it was absolutely crucial to add this to the review. and I hope it is something that the author fixes in the final  product. monster placement in this set of maps - end to end - is absolutely abysmal.

i'm not complaining about heavy weapon dudes being placed at long range where you can barely see them (if you can see them) or anything like that - i'm talking about using what should be incredibly difficult monsters in situations where they are really nothing more than target practice for your shotgun. there were alot of monsters in all of these maps - many of the situations required nothing more from me than to just lay back and let the monsters decimate their own ranks - fun at times but hardly challenging - you just mop up the few survivors aftewards and move on. one of my most consistent notes as i was going through the maps was this - barons and hellknights are not frightening in open areas and as it turns out - in tight areas either for the most part, if you have any room  to maneuver at all. and there are plenty of them in the maps - sometimes anywhere from 3 to 6 or more would be unleashed at a time but when you rarely if ever run low on ammo to the point where chewing it up isn't even a concern - well, they just don't have the same effect. also - cacodemons are about as scary as the tooth fairy - slow, stupid and pretty much useless. the pain elementals are more of a challenge because they spit out lost souls but even then - with tons of ammo - a spray of death from your plasma gun dispatches them and their little minions in a hot minute. in many situations I also saw revenants, which I normally can't stand but i rarely saw them in close quarters which made dodging their attacks and counter attacking much easier and when I did see them in close quarters and consequently got my ass flattened, i just loaded the plasma gun on the next go round and wasted them before they could attack - so there we are back at the problem with far too much health and ammo in the maps again.

 

one other note of interest - there were portions of several maps that literally did not need to be there - the battles i fought brought nothing in terms of moving the player along to the final goal of exiting the map or in providing him with anything of any real use. There weren't many like this but one of the more unremarkable sections involved hitting a switch and then all four surrounding walls opened up and i was inundated with cacos and all manner of demons. after my initial failure I simply ran the hell out of the room and let the monsters fight it out. after mopping up, i discovered that there was nothing there worth fighting for anyway. i have no idea what that switch did (i'm sure it opened something i needed besides those walls) but the rest was completely pointless - it was just a giant trap that failed to move the game along.

 

one final note on monster placement - the traps were well hidden but many of the non trap battles were very predictable and while this is probably personal choice - when i was approaching a big gain in the map - a key or something like that, the big battle happened before gaining the key but generally absolutely nothing happened after the picking up  of the key, which was somewhat disappointing really. alot of this monster placement detail also has an impact on the design score

Design: 6

i actually give this set of maps high marks except for one (we'll discuss that in a moment). The initial levels - 1 through 8 were pretty basic doom2 type levels (and as zorah noted - they definitely do not require a port, as I loaded the wad into my dos machine and confirmed that they work with vanilla doom 2.

Regardless, they were well constructed with only a few minor texture alignments that i noted early on. the design was especially good, however, in later levels (or the middle levels really), when the author used some really nice design to create an environment that was truly impressive. in the last couple or three maps, however - when he got to designing "city" maps, he sort of lost it again with some areas of the maps being quite good but large chunks of them being somewhat bland and to be honest - too large.

 

ONe of the upsides (or downsides as Zorah saw it) was the plethora of traps. the author really unleashed the demons of hell in this one. I'm telling you - save frequently or you'll regret it. the surprise attacks come frequently and in many cases from directions you wouldn't suspect.

Playability: 7

personally, i enjoyed these maps very much with the exception of map 7 which zorah and i both agree was just a waste of a map. it offered nothing - was essentially one room with a cyberdemon and some other badasses involved and the cyberdemon was easy pickings with plenty of room to maneuver and tons of good weaponry to choose from - and, of course, once the creatures started in earnest, they did all the work for me - all i had to do was mop up the cyberdemon which was  far easier than it ever should be. if i had the time, a second run through definitely wouldn't be out of the question but (even though it didn't take 2 weeks as it did zorah) it was a time consuming affair and i have other reviews to get to.

Overall (Not an Average) and some final thoughts: 6

the author has clearly improved  as a mapper over time, as evidenced by the dramatic difference in the quality of the first several maps to the ones between 8 or 9 and say 13. 14 was a great fight but quite large and i did find myself getting bored at times - that may have had something to do with the lack of fighting after getting keys, etc....

 

I didn't keep notes on the first maps but i did start keeping notes at rip and tear, probably because i was starting to recognize some  patterns - so, some notes:

 

"rip and tear" map 6

 

huge - w/pointless battles. that would have been the map i referenced earlier in the review. finished the map with 200% health and 200% armor and there was tons of ammo

 

"cyberden"

 

left rip and tear with all that health and armor and there sits a megasphere - pointless. also tons of ammo available to pick up

 

It kind of goes on like that....

"let the monsters do the work"

"cyberdemons and hellknights are not scary when you have this much health and ammo and room to move"

"revenants suck by die pretty easily"

"caught out on some traps but generally pretty easy"

way too much health and ammo"

 

the maps get much more difficult towards the end, as the author notes in his "maps.txt" file. but even then,... good skills beat these maps fairly handily.

 

Finally (last thoughts)

 

This IS a work in progress. i'm certain that the author is taking this to heart and will be making changes to the levels with the input he gets here and on doomworld. :-)

I played on uv - should be harder than this but not like nightmare hard either. lol

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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