Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Mod 3: The Stranger

Name:The Stranger
Mod for:Doom
Time:6 hours

As an aside, instead of the base levels, I used OBLIGE to make a custom set of levels for this review. If you don't know, its a computer map generator. While it is very obviously limiting, and very clearly bad, if you need a custom levelset for say, the DoomRL mod or that Call of Duty one, then its fine. Key word, custom, not quick.

Ah, anime, that great Japanese succubus that eats the souls of men. (and some women) The Stranger is not the first game to merge shooters and anime together, by my definition there are at least three Japanese titles and one western. Although at this point I cannot remember if that some are ports. It is the first one I played, however, and feels like a more realistic starting point. Its not the first mod to do that, although it might be the first Doom mod. I'm not going to talk about THAT Wolfenstein mod yet, because I don't hate myself enough at the moment to do that. I'm not sure its even possible for me to hate myself enough to want to do that.

The stated primary influences are Trigun, Hellsing and Ghost in the Shell. Hellsing has no weapons related to it. Given how the mod is balanced this is probably because they'd be too powerful. Ghost in the Shell has one, the auto-pistol, and outside of the crossbow everything that has an actual influence is taken from Trigun. Weapons are taken from surprisingly specific episodes. Which effectively makes this Trigun: Doom Edition. All you need now is to slap on some map pack set in a desert.

I will be talking about the weapons roughly in order.
In slot 1, you have Martial Arts, a fist replacement. For the primary, its has a three-hit combo that's useful if you're desperate. For the secondary, a shockwave attack that hurts you. If that's an attempt at balancing, its a bad one, since you are going to only use it if you lack any ammo for the real weapons. For the chainsaw, there are throwing knives, which can be picked up after being thrown. They also have the secondary attack of just cutting someone. Given the anime theme, I'm surprised they aren't called Kunai or something. One big problem is that they seem to be the highest priority weapon, meaning if I run out I switch to this automatically, instead of something useful when I'm already about to die.
Possibly the ugliest Luger I've ever seen
You might not be able to tell, but the pistol seems to be a mod of the Duke one.
In slot 2, you have a Luger pistol. Stated influence is that WW had the files for this on his computer, but Lupin III exists so who cares? It doesn't have a lot of accuracy or bullets so its usefulness is until you get...The Auto-Pistol. It has no accuracy but carries 30 bullets and pumps them out at a steady pace. One problem is that it jams, constantly, a feature I question the balancing of. The auto pistol already hits like ass, why would it need to be weaker?
In slot 3, a revolver, seemingly based on the Mateba Autorevolver, a gun that fires considerably faster than this game's imitation of it. Hits like a truck against most enemies, so its all good. This is your shotgun replacement, effectively. Eventually, you get two, solving firing speed as an issue. The only problem now is how to feed it.
In slot 4, a double-barrel personal shotgun. Like a really tiny one. You fire it twice, not both barrels at the same time. Its not bad, it isn't even useless when we get...Power Shotgun, which holds eight shells and fires them off two at a time. It hits hard, but it feels slow. The combination of the low-wait time between shots and the reload time makes it a gun you won't use as often as you should.
In slot 5, you have an assault rifle and a heavy machine gun. The former, faster, clip-based, more accurate. The later slower, no clip, less accurate. I found in practice there was little need for two different weapons and mostly used the heavy machine gun. Neither of them were terribly powerful.
In slot 6, there are hand grenades, which okay. I didn't find a lot of them, but when I did they didn't do much good. They felt too floaty. There are also satchel charges, which instead don't feel powerful enough.
In slot 7, a crossbow, which is silent. Useful if you want to be silent, hey, it happens. Weak otherwise. There's also a sniper rifle, instead of sniping, it penetrates multiple characters. I found that to be a bit difficult to utilize effectively.
In slot 8, an explosive cannon. It felt really underpowered, which is a problem when the weapons here already felt underpowered. I swear I saw a zombieman tank a shot. A lance cannon, which is effectively a high damaging semi-auto weapon. This one was really effective for what it was.
In slot 9, an anti-tank rifle, which is really an inaccurate rocket launcher. Felt a bit underpowered and the inaccuracy didn't help things, but overall this was a pretty good rocket launcher replacement. There's also a demon arm, it uses your health as ammunition and seems to cut through most enemies like butter. Very nice, doesn't help the overall problem the weaponset has though.
If you cheat, there's two weapons in slot 0. These were axed by WW but kept in...for fun, I guess. A Glock...just a Glock. I can see why it was left out. What appears to be a modified version of the shotgun from Duke Nukem 3D. Its semi-automatic and reloads quickly. Suffice to say, I can see why it was left out since it actually works as a shotgun.

This weaponset works well in some respects. If you want to kind of sneak through the level, you have some throwing knives and all your problems will be solved. I mean, until there's something that you can't sneak up on or the target is more than a few feet away. I'm assuming you'll be changing if a crapton of enemies pop up anyway. Its also good for multiple weak enemies and a handful of strong ones. The rapid fire weapons are good at this, and most single fire ones have a habit of gibbing enemies. However, this is not very good when the enemy count gets higher, which it does. You have no way of effectively dealing with them. No BFG-like weapon. The demon arm and sniper go through enemies, but that's not very helpful when you've got a lot to deal with that aren't in a straight line.
One thing that isn't something you really think of, but there's a lot of neat effects going on. Smoke and shell casings are the most noticeable.

What about enemies? There's a good chunk unmodified from the base game. Changed monsters seem limited to spectre, lost soul, pain elemental and archvile. Although there are minor changes to the shotgunner, mostly to bring it in line with how the shotguns work in this game. The former two are changed to make them more explosive, the lost soul in particular now being a drone that explodes upon death. Making it a mobile explosive. The latter two are changed so they don't resurrection/spawn enemies, the archvile is now that mech from Strife.

A minor issue is that the invulnerability powerup completely turned the screen blue. Which would be a problem if you use this on a normal mapset.

Interesting weapons, but without a real horde option, not good for most levelsets. 5/10

Outside of the mech from Strife, I've got no complaints. 7/10

There's a new palette which makes things interesting, which is a plus. On the other hand, the weapon sprites don't really feel all that cohesive. 4/10

Most sounds are taken from other shooters, but only the new death sounds are obvious about it. 3/5

That's 19 out of 35. As a replacement, its only good for low enemy wads. There are very few of those, giving this a limited usefulness.

No comments:

Post a Comment