Wednesday, September 4, 2019

Game 9: Spear of Destiny

ID, iD, iD. I'm starting to think my fondness of Doom is just a fluke brought on by a series of easy map editors used by a dedicated community for over twenty years. I just don't feel like this stuck in my mind at all beyond a big blue and grey mish-mash and the final three levels. Why? I haven't thought long about it, but compared to my more loved Wolfenstein clones in Catacomb Abyss, Blake Stone and Nitemare 3D there is nothing exciting in the level design here. Hell, when I think of Wolfenstein's levels I think only of Hitler and the levels from a freaking mod. Its not the relative time either, I played the full Wolfenstein as a child with nothing better to do at the time except make levels in The Incredible Toon Machine.

I can draw a handful of conclusions from this, leading me to think one of these is right:
1)Tom Hall and John Romero are terrible at designing 2D levels.
2)Tom Hall and John Romero were terrible at designing levels, but realized how bad they were and changed for Doom.
3)Tom Hall and John Romero are terrible at designing levels and Doom was a fluke.
4)Doom's levels had better feedback, Wolf's levels did not.
Pick your guess! Any guess! Who knows? I don't.

I better rate give this a lackluster rating before I think of twenty more that probably aren't it.

Same as Wolf. 2/10

Same as Wolf. 4/10

Same as Wolf. 0/10

Gosh, you know, I have mixed feelings here. You have some terrible levels and some good levels. I liked the last three, and I liked most of the ones preceeding the Castle. They weren't good and they don't really stick out in my memory too much, but I liked them. A better ratio of average-to-crap makes me give this...4/10

Player Agency:
Same as Wolf. 5/10

Same as Wolf. 1/10

Wolfenstein feels chunkier compared to its parts. You have new pieces and parts, but most of them don't really feel like they belong in the previously very pixel-based graphical scheme. Whereas the new stuff feels like it doesn't belong. Like someone slapped together two different movies and hoped no one notices the difference. 3/10

I guess everything I complained about in atmosphere applies here too. It lacks a whole. 4/10

I think the ending cutscene deserves a minor credit for being the most interesting story in one of their games after Keen but before Quake 2. 2/10

There are some curious sound effects, like the new gatling gun get sound is a low hum, like someone got a violin and tuned it really, really low. Its barely audible over the music. Most of the music is recycled from the first game, although there are a few new tracks. Quite frankly, I like midi music and I'm sick and tired of this game's soundtrack. 4/10

That's 29. Two points lower than Wolfenstein 3D. Even if you want to say the level design is better than still isn't a good score for a commerical sequel. I can't honestly say I feel disappointed in the score. I dread the appearance of the mission packs. For now, a journey to another place, by submarine. Its less interesting than it sounds. Much less interesting.

Note on the publisher: Both Apogee and FormGen are listed as the publisher. I've arbitrarily chosen FormGen. I don't care either way.

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