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    Wolf3D/SoD chapters: Favorites, least favorites, likes, and dislikes

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    WolfForever
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    Wolf3D/SoD chapters: Favorites, least favorites, likes, and dislikes

    Post by WolfForever on Sun Dec 23, 2012 10:35 pm

    This is sort of an extension to an already existing thread, but I thought it would be interesting to, in depth, list favorites AND least favorites in ALL official Wolf3D/SoD episodes. For purposes here, each episode of Wolf3D is a separate entry and each mission in SoD is also a separate entry. So in total there are 6+3=9 choices. Here are my answers (note that I'm answering everything but you can do a partial answer if you want):

    Favorites: Wolf3D Episode 6 and the original Spear of Destiny (yes I know the later might spike some controversy, but it is clearly one of my favorites)

    Least favorites: That's easy. Return to Danger and Ultimate Challenge. Nothing else comes close.

    Likes/Dislikes:

    E1 likes: The episode that started an entire genre of gaming. It's freeware. The first level I know like the back of my hand. Most of the levels take up relatively large map space. The secret level is one of my favorite Wolf3D secret levels.
    E1 Dislikes: It is rather predictable. You always have to get one key somewhere in the map and then the exit is somewhere else. There isn't a lot of variety. And the levels that aren't predominately grey shouldn't have had grey skies anyways.

    E2 likes: Completely different from any of the other six episodes. I also enjoyed most of the level design.
    E2 dislikes: E2L8 pushwall maze is way past redundant and forget about 100% secrets. E2L7 also seems redundant unless ID wanted to put in the gimmick of essentially being a "second secret level". The Dr. Schabbs fight is my least favorite in the game.

    E3 likes: You're after Hitler, the madman behind it all! It's the heart of the game, that's obvious. And most of the level design, again, fits my liking. I like the Pacman secret level even if it's just a gimmick and wow did they make it not easy to find (at least relevant to back in the day).
    E3 dislikes: Either route in E3L7 is a bit brief in terms of action IMO. And the designs still aren't true top notch.

    E4 likes: Some large, extensive levels just as I like them served. Particularly E4L5, E4L6, E4L8. E4L1 I have no problems with as an introduction either. And the way to properly get the keys on E4L9 is clever, even if nowadays anyone would see the trap coming.
    E4 dislikes: I don't care for the quick exiting opportunity in E4L2, E4L3, E4L4, and E4L7. I think the secret level should give a path where 100% treasures is doable without having to confront all 75 Officers. And the fact that you can completely seal off the key on E4L7, even though it's more common to just fire at start and kill a guard in the door.

    E5 likes: A lot of more compact designs which don't bother me at all. The huge fight against guards after the boss is a perfect foray to Episode 6.
    E5 dislikes: The boss is a step back from previous ones in terms of difficulty. I don't care much for the secret level.

    E6 likes: A huge majority of things. Large levels. Very challenging. Mazey, but not in a way that discombobulated me. E6L8 is probably my favorite ID Software level including SoD. So long, and so tough, what a penultimate level. The music for the secret level rocks!
    E6 dislikes: Mostly just in E6L2 that the ENTIRE map is one texture and the vast majority is a maze that's not hard to get lost in. I think E6L10 should have required exploring of two of the areas. Keep the bosses in the north and south quadrants, don't change the east quadrant (the player does not have to explore it at all), but put a silver key in the west quadrant and require both keys for the elevator.

    SoD likes: Mostly extensive levels. A few extra features, even though not much. I came here for more quality Wolfenstein times, not necessarily much new,. and that's what I get!
    SoD dislikes: Maybe they could have enhanced it just slightly further, but I'm not big on that since like I said all I am looking for is more Wolf3D. I think putting the two keys on Level 2 right next to each other is a waste; I'd rather have had more of the map mandatory to explore. If it's possible to block the winning solution on Level 20 without knowing immediately, then that as well.

    RtD likes: Virtually nothing.
    RtD extreme dislikes: Some of the enemy placement and level design is just total tripe.
    RtD dislikes: Cheap new graphics/sounds/sprites. Even the better designs struggle to make mediocre. Too many pushwalls are marked yet a couple mandatory ones aren't. Basically everything except my extreme dislike.

    UC likes: Some of the level design at least makes some sense. Going to the Doom universe at the end.
    UC dislikes: Still a lot of pretty poor designs, and everything else I disliked with RtD as well since besides some level designs, all the other characteristics carry right on over.

    If RtD and UC were Spear Resurrection and EoD officially, or if those two games were just official in some way, they would easily be my two favorites of them all. Alas they aren't official chapters since ID/FormGen had no involvement.

    Thomas
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    Re: Wolf3D/SoD chapters: Favorites, least favorites, likes, and dislikes

    Post by Thomas on Mon Dec 24, 2012 3:20 am

    Interesting subject. For me, it goes:

    Favorites: Wolf3D Episodes 6, then 5

    Least favorites: Anything related to the "mission packs".

    Likes/Dislikes:

    Episode 1 likes: The maps engage the player, they're not too hard, and you don't get everything thrown in your head as once (like in Spear). It's hard to judge this episode objectively, 'cause it is after all the first thing related to this game most of us played, so I suppose that factor counts as well.

    Episode 1 dislikes: All ceilings are similar, not many walls are used etc. etc - but it's hard to sit and point fingers at this now. It's just how it is. That being said, they could've used the steel panel, the gray slime walls and the purple stone some more in the regular levels instead of saving those for the secret level and not even using the slime ones. They were in the VSWAP - as were all sprites.

    Episode 2 likes: The levels take on a life of their own, incredibly atmospheric - you really, really feel you're in a "lost" castle. The first seven levels, when played in a row, is just fantastic. E2L10 - I would slot that out of the flow though.

    Episode 2 dislikes: E2L8 pushwall maze is very redundant and screws up the whole flow. It seemed like a good idea at the time... And Schabbs' level is a tremendous letdown. I remember looking forward to some guards, a mutant battle, but there's nothing here.

    Episode 3 likes: The levels are small and slinky, easy to race through without missing anything (until you get past level 6, of course). The officer is introduced well here and fits in with the gray stone environment just fine. The Hitler ghosts are wonderful too. And, of course, the first boss battle/environment that didn't let me down.

    But nothing beats the feeling when you find the secret elevator for level 10. I was ecstatic when this happened. Mind you, this was in the afternoon, Christmas Eve 2001. Eleven years ago today! lol!

    Episode 3 dislikes: In hindsight, the almost impossible route to the secret level is a bit atrocious. But it's well worth it if you haven't been there before!!

    Episode 4 likes: Great level design, a more technical approach, a fine, interesting boss level and the fact that some of the excellent traps here pisses WolfForever off. The long cave hell that is E4M5 began to grow on me after having played it numerous times, the homage in Chemical Warfare's level 33 is just touching, and all in all this episode is just a big white wonder. I like level 6, it often gets overlooked, mainly because of the repetitiveness of the many doors. I just feel it's twinned with level 2 in a way. Same music, same textures, same feel... It all goes hand in hand.

    Episode 4 dislikes: The secret level is cheap.

    Episode 5 likes: The small, concise level flow of level 3 transformed into proper use of the "new" textures, excellent guard placement, excellent boss battle. All levels just go ping! ping! ping! and you're through. Love it. Oh, and the teal ceiling on the opening level makes my flower moist.

    Episode 5 dislikes: The secret level sucks.

    Episode 6 likes: All levels are masterpieces in some way or another. The music from Episode 3 fits the moods of all levels perfectly. There's an excellent variety in guard placement, challenges, pushwall perspectives and par time racing possibilities. Level 1 is a tough nut to crack but gets to grow on you, level 2 is a tedious beast of a gentleman, level 3 is an excellent crossroad for the last final showdown of this terrific game, either paving the way for the secret level which is excellent, the only secret level of the game that really, really stands out on its own and proves that there is some bonus to gain if you struggle to find the secret level, level 4 has a great classic design, level 5 takes all the wonders of episodes 3 and 4 and merges them into one, level 6 is just a busy city of a map, totally great design, absolutely love it, level 7 makes you beg for mercy and cries out for you to try and beat its mapping aspects though you won't succeed after 8 odd years, level 8 is a long, long road that really pays off in the end (especially if you get 100 % secrets) and level 9 is a stressed-out, mentally ill boss level filled with surprises and filled to the rafters with guards just wanting to tear you apart. THE BEST WOLF LEVELS EVER MADE.

    Episode 6 dislikes: You gots to be kidding me.

    I don't know enough Spear to be able to judge it in the same manner as with Wolf. I've played through the entire game just once, in 2005 or something, and didn't love it or hate it. Since then I've no-clipped around the maps and studied its designs. It seems all right. But I'd rather play Schabbs 2000, Totengraeber or Ipank's new map set than this.

    And everything related to the Lost Episodes stinks.

    WolfForever
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    Re: Wolf3D/SoD chapters: Favorites, least favorites, likes, and dislikes

    Post by WolfForever on Mon Dec 24, 2012 6:40 am

    @Thomas

    In hindsight most of your likes/dislikes are similar to mine, with the original SoD being the main exception, but a difference in opinion is fine. Smile Just some quick comments in response to your:

    E1 likes - Same between me and you, more or less. Dislikes - Also similar, re textures: Never felt green slime walls belong anywhere before E2 in the original story and I like purple slime just the way it is (only in the secret level), it gives the level a dirtier look and that's how it's special as a secret level. I agree with the steel plate however. Good point.

    E2 likes - Copy yours, except take out Level 7, unless you just view it as more a second secret level of sorts. E2L10 didn't bother me because it's secret and there's plenty you'll miss by just taking the exit. And if you could just ignore than maze thing then E2L8's "real" level is fine. Dislikes - The pushwall maze messes up your possibility to score 100% of everything (I'm assuming that's what you mean by the flow). Agree about boss level too. E2L7 does seem misplaced in the normal level progression to me.

    E3 likes and dislikes, I couldn't state it better myself although I think E3L7 the normal way is a bit too brief.

    E4 likes - Everything you said except the too-quick-fastest-routes on some of the levels. Dislikes - The too-quick fastest routes on some levels (2, 3, 4, 7), I agree the secret level is kinda cheap too. I'm going to add a neutral - Needing that pushwall on E4L5. You can see where the key is, but I used to get lost forever trying to find that thing, wondering of seeing the key was just a red herring (i.e. it was really somewhere in the maze)! Honestly can't decide if that's a like or dislike thus neutral.

    E5 likes and dislikes - Could not state it better myself.

    E6 likes and dislikes - Again, hard for me to state it better myself, even E6L2 isn't that bad (I just played it yesterday). I was par time racing too, oddly enough! And thinking about it, it's probably not so bad that you don't HAVE to visit more than one quadrant of the secret level, because it is after all a secret level. And each Hans Grosse you kill adds quite a bit to your score, even when you already have the key.

    We really appreciate the original Wolfenstein for many, many of the same reasons I think. Smile

    On SoD - my thoughts differ from yours, but I'm going to argue opinions here. I guess I just see SoD as more Wolfenstein as that's all I really wanted and you expected something else.

    Lost Episodes - Yes, they're quite terrible.

    Thomas
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    Re: Wolf3D/SoD chapters: Favorites, least favorites, likes, and dislikes

    Post by Thomas on Mon Dec 24, 2012 6:55 am

    I think Spear didn't make it easy on the mappers. They blocked out sprites that I find necessary in a good gameplay, such as stove/kitchen utensils, sinks, beds and the spear rack to make room for sprites only used in the sub-par level 21. That took it out for me a great deal. Some of the level designs are pretty good though.

    WolfForever
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    Re: Wolf3D/SoD chapters: Favorites, least favorites, likes, and dislikes

    Post by WolfForever on Mon Dec 24, 2012 8:24 am

    Bingo. I don't care as much about looks so long as it isn't plain ugly, per se. Perfectly fine difference in opinion! Smile

    Also I could possibly support Ep 6 being the best levels ever made by ID, but I think some mappers (you included!) equal or top them.

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