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09.08.1999: Cranky Steve - Q2 DM: "Koi Arena"
I am Koi, master of the arcane arts! For my first magic trick, I will make this entire wall disappear!

Reviewed By: Cranky Steve
Game Mode Supported: Deathmatch.
Overuse of Colored Lighting: Fullbright.
Spelling Errors in Text File: No text file.
Pain Level: Brushing teeth with Brillo pads.

In case you forget the name of the map and mistakenly believe you're in the "Crap Arena", this sign helpfully reminds you otherwise. Notice the two megahealths right next to each other. Nice.

Forget Quake3 Arena, Cranky Steve's got Koi Arena! Q3A's got nothing on this baby, except maybe superior gameplay. And better graphics. And decent item placement. And walls that don't disappear when you walk away from them. And a coherent, sane design. But other than that, Koi Arena kicks ass!

DESCRIPTION: No text file, as this bugger was sent to me by somebody that requested anonymity. Surprisingly enough, this was the first file that was sent to ol' Cranky Steve where the guy wanted to have his name withheld. I would've figured that almost anybody submitting maps to me would like to be distanced as far away as possible from these man-made disasters, but this was the first person so far.

Oh yeah, the author has shrewdly elected to write his name on the wall, the hallmark of good mapmaking everywhere. I can't leave that out.

THE MAP: Well, Koi Arena is an arena much like the way "Ernest Saves Christmas" is a film; just by the loosest definition of the word. Koi Arena is big, which I guess makes it kinda like an arena. Koi Arena has bright lights, which many arenas do. But then again, Koi Arena has walls which vanish when you walk away from them. It also has crates randomly placed on the bottom floor and it surrounded by lava for some unknown reason. I think that the whole "crate and lava" idea is wonderful and should be ported over to real arenas. I can just picture it now:

ANNOUNCER: "Elvis Grbac drops into the shotgun formation. The hike is up, Grbac swings left and arches to throw a pass to Andre Rison-"

COMMENTATOR: "Oh no! Rison has fallen into the lava moat surrounding the field! Oh the humanity, I can hear his screaming all the way up here!"

The Quake 2 crates (tm) really add the finishing touch to this map.

ANNOUNCER: "My lord! The offensive lineman, on their way to help Rison out of the lava, have tripped over the crates littering the field! I can see their leg bones sticking out through their uniforms! Oh, the humanity, somebody push them into the nearby megahealths, which are up on the catwalks for some odd reason!"

COMMENTATOR: "Why the hell is it so bright in here?"

GAMEPLAY: It was fun! Sure, the map is ugly as hell and has no logical weapon / item placement, but it was so bad it was actually enjoyable. When a player spawns on the bottom floor, they can only get up and to the weapons by climbing a long ladder, making them a sitting duck. I had railed The Forgetful Lumberjack 9 times in a row before he could get a weapon. Of course, once he spawned on the top floor and got a railgun, I was dead meat, but until that point I thought I was some pretty hot shit. I coulda' been a contender...

FUN FACTOR: Surprisingly high. I would actually play this map if it weren't for the fact that I have better things to do, like... uh... review shittier maps.

THE BOTTOM LINE: Sure it looks ugly, but looks aren't everything. But in this case, they're still a big part.

- Cranky Steve

Category: Rating:
Aesthetics: - 5
Gameplay: - 1
Item placement: - 5
Layout: - 3
Detail: - 6
TOTAL: - 20

Individual 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).

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