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11.8.2000: Squonkamatic - Q3 DM: "Supacaca"
In spite of what your eyes are telling you, this is indeed a screenshot of a Quake3 level. Trust me.

Author: "SPRAM (NOT Spam)" 
Reviewed By: Squonkamatic

Game Mode Supported: DM

Overuse of Colored Lighting: Ohh BROTHER.

Missing Texture Graphics: Affirmative.

Spelling Errors in Text File: Plenty. 

Pain Level: Being forced to watch six straight hours of "Red Dwarf" without any forms of intoxicants to soothe your brain or a bullet to put you out of your misery.

Download Here (1000k)

All of a sudden I find myself transported back to graduate school and the painting critique of Mike, the dumbest fucking moron who ever picked up a brush.
AT A GLANCE: Is this one for real? Head honcho Cranky Steve pointed this map out to me in what can only be judged as an attempt to trigger art school painting critique flashbacks. It succeeded in doing just that, in that I have no idea what compelled the map author to create this monstrosity, and by natural compulsion, I am required to make comments on it. The best analogy I can make is that its like playing Quake in a jungle gym that was decorated by a 3rd rate Miro knockoff. It is a confounding anomaly in level design and reminded me of why I stopped painting - color kills.

DESCRIPTION: Reads more like an "artists statement" from some pompous, snotty second year painting major:

"When I started this map, I wanted to create something weird. I dont want to do another barroque hell castle or space map, but I dont have enough experience with Q-Radiant to create the cool outdoors eviroments I used to do in Half-Life so I decided to do somthing WIERD. I'll get a lot of flames from the 7337 mature kids that dont play anything unless it's brown or gray, My map has more colors than all the Mario games combined. People: Quake IS more mature than Mario, but that doesn't mean the people who play it are.. HAHA! Shut up and play whatever you want."

What I would like to play are the author's dried bones like a xylophone in an "Itchy and Scratchy" cartoon.

THE MAP: The map is a competently constructed building / thing which has some interesting jump pad shafts, a central area with a decent enough little frogpond / battle basin thing, and it is actually about the right size for a nice small game of Quake.

For fruitcakes. This is probably the most ridiculous looking map that I can remember playing in since the glory days of the Simpsons TC for DOOM; it is profoundly silly. The author went out of his / her / its way to meticulously design a series of custom textures that recall the worst of meaningless abstract pop painting (though the floor is a missing texture black and white grid: whatever). I mean, I can sort of see what the author is getting at when he urges people to remember that Quake doesn't have to be dingy brown and gray... but happy neon blue and glowing pastel lavender and grinning happy yellow smiley faces? Are we supposed to be playing inside of Timothy Leary's Lego set? 

These colors and happy forms fail to elicit one important reaction within me: the desire to kill. They make me want to be carefree, sing something from Yellow Submarine and maybe fuck a Smurf. One little picture looks to be either an homage to the Cacodemon from DOOM or a representation of a giant grinning zit with an eye growing in the middle of its face. The jump pad textures have been substituted with wiggly sperm-like bimorphic forms or yellow happy smilies. Huge eyes gawk out at you from the middle of globular, neon half faces. I can see the Mario Brothers connection in the sense that the map is an improbable, cartoonish collection of shapes and boxes in which you pop around like a chipmunk and hunt for magic bananas or whatever the hell you did in Mario Brothers. The big, colorful, abstract forms plastered on the walls only reinforce this impression, and I think by being so happy and fuzzy they actually serve to make the map more perverse and tasteless. It's kind of like going on a shooting rampage in a Romper Room that was designed by the Teletubbies; is that really a good idea for a game level?
Here we see a well lubed shaft with a wiggly sperm waiting at the bottom to infect you with one disease or another.

To make matters worse, the various shafts and nooks and crannies are pulsating with migraine inducing gobs of effervescent neon pastel light. If you pop up the jump shafts, you are propelled through an entire spectrum of colors. Red and purple lights smear the walls, bad-acid-trip neon yellow and electric goober / snot greens ooze out of the air like mist. Items hang half seen, suspended in the gloom, accessible only by the goggling jump pads. "SPRAM (not Spam)" has elected to use the colored lights like a brush and diffuse the map with more colors per binary foot than the entire last tier from the Quake 3 game, and it gluts up the file size far more than is justifiable; the goofy goggle eyed textures were enough. The lights are just overkill.

GAMEPLAY: You see, here's the big shame: the map is actually quite playable. It's just so ridiculous that I had to pick on it.


THE BOTTOM LINE: Like the maps' author himself foreboded, I'm sure that this review will generate some discord in that, as I concede, the map isn't that badly made and engenders an offhand, comic style that is certainly unique amongst Quake levels. I've seen worse and I'm sure I'll see stuff that will make this look like a masterpiece; it is a silly, gaudy, headache-producing monstrosity and will no doubt be a big hit on the Cranky Steve Quake3 server - if it ever gets running.

- Squonkamatic for the People!!

Category: Rating:
Aesthetics: - 10
Gameplay: - 2
Item placement: - 2
Layout: - 4
Detail: - 2
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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