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22/08/2016 - "svalley2" by Chicoverde

Each week a single map is discussed here in detail.

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User avatar Semfry
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Subject: 22/08/2016 - "svalley2" by Chicoverde

Post Posted: 22 Aug 2016, 15:28

Map Title: svalley2
Author: Chicoverde
From: Shamu Quest
Filename: svalley2.unr
Music Files: Vortex.umx




Video Playthrough:
Part 1:
http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x5rnzx_map-shamu-quest-map-1-part-1_videogames
Part 2:
http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x5roht_map-shamu-quest-map-1-part-2_videogames


Synopsis: In an alternative Unreal Prisoner 849 sleeps in a tavern at a town in the mountains and wakes up to screaming...

Discuss!
Formerly Mman

User avatar UBerserker
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Subject: Re: 22/08/2016 - "svalley2" by Chicoverde

Post Posted: 22 Aug 2016, 15:52

Lol did this map have no title
Image

Doublez-Down
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Subject: Re: 22/08/2016 - "svalley2" by Chicoverde

Post Posted: 22 Aug 2016, 17:23

It was amazing what Chico was able to do with the old engine, especially in terms of terrain building. The map itself is iconic in terms of being grandiose, almost to the point of being too big in scale. Giants must have lived in the temple at one point. There are some weird texturing problems in the map where polygons weren't properly merged, and the somewhat now infamous sudden death occurrences were certainly annoying, but all in all Chico's work in these maps spawned dozens of decent (and some not so decent) renditions on the ancient theme.
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User avatar Semfry
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Subject: Re: 22/08/2016 - "svalley2" by Chicoverde

Post Posted: 26 Aug 2016, 01:10

Well I have my opinion on the review page, so I guess I'll put that:

svalley2: Yes, "2" comes before "1" in this pack. This level takes place in a village built in front of a lava-filled ravine. You start in a large house, but various breakable windows and your inital trip to the rooftop shows off the packs trademark immense scale. After getting out of the starting house the layout is quite non-linear, with various optional houses to explore with unique designs. However, the translator messages give enough of a goal that it's not too hard to work out the route (although the lifts towards the end can be a bit confusing due to having no switches). Unfortunately it's let down by a multitude of issues. For a start, the technical ones; on most versions of Unreal the game crashes when looking at the starting house from outside (although the Unreal 227 patch seems to have resolved this), and, it's easy to stumble into a few BSP issues, although they don't really affect the gameplay too much. While the design looks great at a distance sloppy architecture flaws and stretched textures tend to show up when you take a closer look. Most damning however is the combat design; it starts off okay, but once you get down into the village you frequently run into things like getting sniped at by multiple ASMD Skaarj and opening doors to immediately get a Stinger volley in the face, and there are random spawns thrown around too (although it thankfully seems to only be the Warriors who get them), the map is quite dark too, which means you're shot at from darkness at times (although a Flashlight is provided) even on normal it can be brutal, let alone when you put it up to the higher settings. If you can get around that issue though the scale and overall design shines through, although this isn't the peak of that...
Formerly Mman

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Subject: Re: 22/08/2016 - "svalley2" by Chicoverde

Post Posted: 29 Aug 2016, 01:03

UBerserker wrote:Lol did this map have no title


No official title, I guess the best name for this map would be Fra'rr Lunar Village (IIRC as I can't check right now, I'm only sure of the "Lunar Village" part), as that is the actual name of the village as is mentioned on the sign post at the beginning of the third map of the original Shamu Quest campaign. Admittedly this name isn't very evocative!

This map is fascinating. To be honest I only played the original Shamu Quest series after the remake. In fact, Nak'halinra Peak is the first custom map I ever played! Well, the two Shamu Quest starter maps kick off their respective adventures in very different ways, with Fra'rr Lunar Village more mission-based. The main excuse is ridiculous (Skaarj took control of the lift; how is killing that monster in the church supposed to change anything? What kind of curse is this? Dumb) but whatever, the setting is epic. And the main quest is also introduced to you (the Crown of Na Pali as a powerful artifact that cannot fall in the wrong hands). The level is quite hard with all those Skaarj Troopers and Skaarj Lords (and respawns) and I did die here a couple of times or so. The boss battle is rather lame though, and clearly Chicoverde learned to use Titans much better later on (such as in Valley of Eelhandra), but this key moment is the first to suggest clearly how consciously malevolent Soquatre is as an entity. Great setting, gotta say! If it were not for the inferior technical execution (BSP issues abound here, although they rarely impede gameplay), then this map (let's really just call it Fra'rr Lunar Village :wink: ) would be just as good as Nak'halinra Peak (even though the latter sports more professional build overall)! Also, conceptually, this is probably a better start to a mappack than the first map of the new Shamu Quest series which made you feel like you were jumping right in the middle of the adventure, hence missing the beginning.

Great map, even today. It captures the classical Unreal spirit very well, there's a magic in the air here. However, the choice of music isn't bad but could have been better and it plays for too long, and while the first time I didn't pay attention to the lack of ambient sounds, I have to say that retrospectively this compares unfavourably to those maps that actually make extensive use of ambient sounds (especially outdoors in this case).

Conceptually grand as usual with Chico. Then there's the next map but that's for another time. :wink:
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