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"j" reviews

Key Quest KEYQUEST.ZIP -- 734k
11 may 1997
author: Yvon Lariviere. this level is a sprawling one done in the medieval style (lots of stone and rusted metal). play areas are generally cramped, but the level contains a number of long hallways and stairways to give the player quite a run to find the 15 monsters (on Hard) this level contains. flow is linear, though accessing some areas is a bit non-intuitive due to the lack of messages (the one button i pressed opened something somewhere, but it took me a while to find what it did). some interesting ideas in this level, along with some good architecture and lighting, but the lack of theme (well, i didn't find one, anyway) and the very light monster placement left something to be desired. for a first level, this is a good one, and, like other good first levels, i'll be looking forward to this author's next work.

6 jan 1997
author: Matthias Kunze. one big open room, 29 monsters, 1 quad damage, 1 double-barrel shotgun, 1 ventilator, lots of ammo, no health, no exit. pretty fun, though. see how much health you have left at the end of the level -- my highest was 84.
<no rating>

King Solomon's Mines KSM.ZIP
11 jan 1997
author: "Ace". the lighting is excellent and the architecture is convincing and true to the theme in this level. the messages are strikingly well done -- informative, relevant, and, at times, humorous. the level follows a distinctly linear progression, but rarely feels like it. sadly, some of the button textures were glaringly misaligned. strategy is awarded in this level; in some places, you are able to kill monsters that you would not have otherwise encountered until much later in the level, and in others, you are given ledges and other out-of-the-way places to attack monsters that cannot reach you. the deeper you go into this level, the better it gets. some areas are clearly secrets, but they are not marked as such. monster selection varies widely; in some places (i.e., the ogre in the cavern / water room) they are done brilliantly, while in others (the second ogre down the first mineshaft; he couldn't get up the steps and i was able to kill him with zero danger) they are not done so well. the cavern room overall was nicely done, but i found a stalagmite that wasn't attached to the floor. the button in the rocket launcher room, that extends the platform, was a bit difficult to find, and that room on the whole ran significantly slower than the rest of the level due to the complexity. however, it contained some fun and extremely brutal combat; strategy pays off big time in this room, if you can resist the obvious temptation on the way in. again, later in the level, monster selection was a bit jarring; to find grunts and enforcers this late in this type of level was strange. the section that followed was, again, well done and well built, but out of place in a mine, i'm thinking. the main hall battle (after getting the gold key) is brutal... and if you've planned ahead, you'll come out well. if not, you'll probably get slaughtered rather handily. the endgame would have been a lot more difficult if you didn't have all the weapons by this time; since you do, though, it's kind of a letdown after the main hall battle just seconds previously. all in all, a great level; only the technical stuff kept this one from getting 5.

this level kicks ass

6 jan 1997
this archive and .bsp are the same as Sham, which has already been reviewed.
<no rating>

22 feb 1997
author: "Kayos". the title for this level (displayed in the status bar) is enormous... how many secrets? who knows? this level is another that runs fairly slowly from the beginning. the first room is a nightmare to survive with only a shotgun. enough weapons are provided, though ammo can be a little scarce. health's a little on the light side as well. the architecture in most areas of this level is adequate; lighting is good as well, though some areas could have stood to be brighter. some texture misalignments were noted. the flow is uncertain; it's not easy to tell where to go next... definitely not a "clearly linear" level, to be sure. i didn't like the deathtrap baited with the required gold key. also interesting: when i got squished by my second attempt to get the gold key, my head flew right out of the level entirely and fell infinitely with blood trailing from it; kinda neat, actually. this author likes deathtraps too much for my taste, but this sure is a big complicated level; definitely worth a look.

"l" reviews