AT A GLANCE:
Herein lies proof that even a timeless classic can be "Crankified" into a mind numbing journey into madness. I am still a major DOOM2 closet junkie now some five and a half years after playing it for the first time. I still play DOOM2, I still make levels for DOOM2, and I still tend to bristle with annoyance when anyone encroaches upon my said obsession. Even without intending to do so.
I find myself wishing
that the asteroid would be sent hurtling out of
orbit to obliterate this map. Or at least that
blue textured roof.
Young Mr. Gatchell has managed to do just that with this hackneyed "conversion" of the hallowed DOOM2 Map07/"Dead Simple", and the only reason why I did not mail bomb the guy with weird Indonesian octopus porn after first encountering this is that I can tell that his intentions were simply misguided and not a calculated, evil plot to give me "drowning in green neon Unreal light" nightmares. I appreciate his enthusiasm for DOOM2 as evidenced by his choice in recreating this map ... I just question the grip he has on his sanity.
"My first Quake2 level. It's a ripoff of the classic Doom deathmatch Dead Simple level with a little health added to extend your stay. The extreme use of coloured light may at first seem a little overboard but seeing as the level is a big symetrical cube the colours help orient you to your position (if you don't have a 3DFX card you're outta luck).
It's small size makes for good 1 on 1 combat but it's better with 4. However, with 6 players it gets outright hairy (that's the way I like it). Works well with CRBots set up for teamplay (the coloured lighting can hide a teammate's colour so it's better if you make the opposing team the opposite sex)."
Mmm ... he likes them hairy. I also find humor in the way he cunningly suggests a way for players to gloss over his incalculable error of adding enough colored light entities to this map to keep Kiss's light show glowing with lava lamp crap for the next twenty years no matter how old they get. Umm, and I hate to be picky but Map07 had monsters in it -- I know/I've been there. No problem excluding them (though a version with Q2 baddies has always sounded interesting I have never found one -- email me if you know of an example), but let's try to get our background info right before the really annoying DOOM freaks catch wind of such an inexcusable display of ignorance; I'm nice compared to some of those wackos.
I'll admit that there really isn't much arguing with the brutal simplicity of the original D2M07 map layout, and Melvin actually did an admirable job of recreating the structure of the map for Quake2 with a couple of intriguing little "jammies" for a real 3d game engine; the little glowing metallic space toadstool/platforms he made for the central battle courtyard are intensely ... weird. I even find the idea of setting the map in a "space" environment an interesting twist and don't mind a high tech feel for the old classic. The problem is that for all intents and purposes Melvin RUINED his efforts in the end by selecting a gut-wrenchingly hideous choice of textures (what IS that shimmering powder blue tablecloth texture used on the ceiling/roof of the famous gazebo structure supposed to be?) and choked the whole map with oatmeal thick gobs of completely inappropriate colored lights. If he had toned them down about eight notches or even left the map fullbright (like Tom Mustain and Sebastian Kleye's superior renditioning referred to as "D2m07_Q2") I might have overlooked it as merely just another funny little Quake conversion of Dead Simple -- even I have made one. Everybody makes one. "Dead Simple" must be the single most often recreated DOOM map because it is exactly that -- DEAD SIMPLE. It's hard to fuck up the formula: if you can line up blocks to make a gazebo with a yard in the middle and enclose it in a big box with some sort of a sky, well you could make one also. But to manage to aesthetically destroy the singular continuity and endearing charm of such an effective, pure map design takes real talent. I can't figure out how he pulled it off.
Good GOD is there
no end to this?
GAMEPLAY: The map is playable -- just don't LOOK at anything without some sort of eye protection gear like a welder's hood. Perhaps consider switching to software mode or maybe even just yanking your 3d card out of its PCI slot to save it for something that won't cause a cathode ray meltdown in your monitor from TOO MUCH DISCO PURPLE. Less can be more, good people.
FUN FACTOR: If you enjoy being gagged by colored lights, hideous textures and seeing a classic, beloved milestone in game level design treated with as much regard as an old pair of socks that are used to clean up globs of dangerously toxic neon paint then this is the map for you. Otherwise avoid it and consider a visit to Opulent's DOOM --> Quake2 Conversions Page for a less painful take on its formula.
THE BOTTOM LINE: I'm sure this review will probably generate a certain amount of controversy -- there will doubtless be readers who will check the map out and find it to be charming and effective, or at least inoffensive. So be it. Fortunately or unfortunately I am the one composing this review and it rubbed up against me in a way that I frankly prefer not to be touched. Sure, it's got the DOOM nostalgia thing going and in spite of its shortcomings still probably makes an interesting small group melee level, but what's the point if the thing drives you crazy?
ratings go from 0 (bearable) to -10 (painfully terrible).
Total score goes from 0 (ok) to -50 (the worst piece of shit you'll ever play).