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[usp] [ut] New Déjà Vu review

Legacy news previously posted on UnrealSP.org.
User avatar Hellscrag
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Subject: [usp] [ut] New Déjà Vu review

Post Posted: 11 Jul 2009, 16:45

Aptly given that we are currently celebrating UnrealSP.Org's eighth anniversary, our own third anniversary map pack Déjà Vu - Gryphon Revisited v2.01 has now been re-reviewed on the new schema thanks to the efforts of UBerserker. You can find the new review here.
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UBerserker
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Post Posted: 11 Jul 2009, 19:05

After my recent playthrough of DV2, I changed a lot of opinions regarding the individual maps. Triskaden Station now on top for the build (but so-so for the gameplay), Temple of Novana being actually more pretty than it ever did, Location Z-14 is always the one which dares to be different (but very, very easy!), and Palace of Chizra & Kra'Filnish Valley being the best gameplay experiences. Cellars of E'Nara got the best scripted sequences, and some of the most entertaining battles and bosses.

Unreal difficulty is definitely pretty tough in some levels. I hate the freaking Caruthers.
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Post Posted: 11 Jul 2009, 19:08

UBerserker wrote:After my recent playthrough of DV2, I changed a lot of opinions regarding the individual maps. Triskaden Station now on top for the build (but so-so for the gameplay), Temple of Novana being actually more pretty than it ever did, Location Z-14 is always the one which dares to be different (but very, very easy!), and Palace of Chizra & Kra'Filnish Valley being the best gameplay experiences. Cellars of E'Nara got the best scripted sequences, and some of the most entertaining battles and bosses.

Unreal difficulty is definitely pretty tough in some levels. I hate the freaking Caruthers.


I would agree that Triskaden Station is so-so for the gameplay. IMO the challenge is about right, but it simply isn't innovative or dynamic enough.

I definitely want to feature more interesting combat scenarios in VVV.
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UBerserker
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Post Posted: 11 Jul 2009, 19:57

It wasn't so-so for the challenge (it's moderately right). There were just some issues regarding enemies getting stuck all the time in the geometry and the awkard connectivity between areas (you were forced to pass throughout the broken wire to go on the walkways over the main hub). Oh, and the killing elevators in the storage area.
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Post Posted: 12 Jul 2009, 03:26

Very very well written UBerserker. I think that's the best review yet! It covers the important issues very well and I couldn't agree more with about 95% of everything said. One thing that made me roll my eyes though ws the comment about decals showing past the fog in Map 3. I don't think that is really a map limitation rather than a bad engine limitation created by Epic. I guess I'll stick with keeping decals off in Unreal :lol:

UBerserker
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Post Posted: 12 Jul 2009, 13:16

It is an engine fault, but it was more to bring up this problem regarding fog vs decals which should be avoided. Various upcoming SP packs, AFAIK, seem to have resolved this problem.
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Post Posted: 12 Jul 2009, 13:47

UBerserker wrote:It wasn't so-so for the challenge (it's moderately right). There were just some issues regarding enemies getting stuck all the time in the geometry and the awkard connectivity between areas (you were forced to pass throughout the broken wire to go on the walkways over the main hub). Oh, and the killing elevators in the storage area.


About the broken wire: IIRC, I kept the damage to an absolute minimum and provided health beforehand.

About the elevators: Yeah, that was basically a sloppy workaround to avoid the alternating sequence of the lifts being screwed up by obstructing pawns.

jackrabbit wrote:Very very well written UBerserker. I think that's the best review yet! It covers the important issues very well and I couldn't agree more with about 95% of everything said. One thing that made me roll my eyes though ws the comment about decals showing past the fog in Map 3. I don't think that is really a map limitation rather than a bad engine limitation created by Epic. I guess I'll stick with keeping decals off in Unreal :lol:


The only thing that bothered me about the review was yet-another-jibe-against-ONP (let it go, people), but since it was a legitimate comparison I decided to let it through.
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UBerserker
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Post Posted: 12 Jul 2009, 14:12

Hellscrag wrote:About the broken wire: IIRC, I kept the damage to an absolute minimum and provided health beforehand.


True. But the cave should have been more easily accessible once you finished that section. Instead of forcing the player of going always through that wire, you could have made another entrance. The broken staircase would have been replaced with a working one and the area leading to it would have been closed from the side of the main hub. Problem solved, and the connectivity between those places would have been even better (pretty sure the Skaarj are able to climb that broken staircase, though).

Hellscrag wrote:The only thing that bothered me about the review was yet-another-jibe-against-ONP (let it go, people), but since it was a legitimate comparison I decided to let it through.


ONP is more known, but I didn't point only at it.
But DV2 having a good gameplay is the truth - ONP's one had a lack of new (repetitive until the very end) and it had serious flaws with the Ally system. Not true with DV2, and that's a great achievement, and it increases replayability (wonderful use of Difficulty filtering).
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Post Posted: 12 Jul 2009, 14:17

UBerserker wrote:
Hellscrag wrote:About the broken wire: IIRC, I kept the damage to an absolute minimum and provided health beforehand.


True. But the cave should have been more easily accessible once you finished that section. Instead of forcing the player of going always through that wire, you could have made another entrance. The broken staircase would have been replaced with a working one and the area leading to it would have been closed from the side of the main hub. Problem solved, and the connectivity between those places would have been even better (pretty sure the Skaarj are able to climb that broken staircase, though).


Well, it was deliberately meant to be a use of the base's infrastructure to negotiate an obstacle (in this case, the onstacle in question was the broken ladder on the far side of the main cave). If there had been another main entrance, it wouldn't have been as interesting. The pupae hatchery, for whatever reason, has a drain leading out into the secondary cave and that provided the player with an alternative route. The fact that the bottom half of the broken ladder is still on the ground implies that the damage is recent (perhaps it was coincident with the cave-in that killed the base subcommander).

Would it have been better if I'd had the player, on finding the broken ladder, say "I need to find another way around..."? :P
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Post Posted: 12 Jul 2009, 22:55

Very nice re-review UB
:tup:

And although you "didn't entirely agree with it" in regards to my and ThickAsABrick's
original review...our final tally is pretty much the same....which is actually a pretty good testament as to the quality of this pack.
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UBerserker
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Post Posted: 13 Jul 2009, 00:15

You're pretty much right.
I was more pointing out at the various individual scores for the maps, mostly regarding the gameplay (i.e. K'etrith's one is extremely overrated, as I think it has the worst entertaining value in the entire mappack).

Then, I liked the build of Map 15! :o
Different scores that led to, almost, the same single score as before :tup:
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Post Posted: 14 Jul 2009, 10:38

I think it's a fine review. Although, I still think my map has more faults than either reviews mentioned. It might be a disjointed pack at times in terms of quality, but there are worse examples out there of sharp build quality curves. It was a fun experience working together with the regulars here back in the day to make this pack. It was a nice little homage made by a community devotedly in love with the game, and a strong one at that even with the cookie cutter edges. But considering the circumstances of its construction, I'm amazed it turned out as intact as it did.
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Post Posted: 14 Jul 2009, 14:03

I agree about your comments regarding Deja Vu as a whole, Prophet. I really enjoyed working on that project with all the regulars. I think the project worked so well in the end, because most of us were more than willing to change our maps around to flow better with the other maps in the pack. Not only that, but when the time came for the release of 2.0, we were improving/fixing maps from authors that were no longer around. I think Scrag, Frieza and I were the designated fixers of maps whose authors were no longer around in 2.0 - me being the texture aligner of places people didn't even want to look. :lol:

It was a lot of fun working on that project. Maybe someday we can throw another community project with maps that connect like DV2. Not like BFNP though, because I think that was a little too large.
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Post Posted: 14 Jul 2009, 18:16

Lightning Hunter wrote:
It was a lot of fun working on that project. Maybe someday we can throw another community project with maps that connect like DV2. Not like BFNP though, because I think that was a little too large.


If this current speedrun competition is any indication, that's one sure way to keep the community well pumping. Although BFNP's future is still uncertain, I'd like to think a smaller pack can be salvaged from that one at some point.
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Post Posted: 14 Jul 2009, 18:48

Lightning Hunter wrote:I agree about your comments regarding Deja Vu as a whole, Prophet. I really enjoyed working on that project with all the regulars. I think the project worked so well in the end, because most of us were more than willing to change our maps around to flow better with the other maps in the pack. Not only that, but when the time came for the release of 2.0, we were improving/fixing maps from authors that were no longer around. I think Scrag, Frieza and I were the designated fixers of maps whose authors were no longer around in 2.0 - me being the texture aligner of places people didn't even want to look. :lol:

It was a lot of fun working on that project. Maybe someday we can throw another community project with maps that connect like DV2. Not like BFNP though, because I think that was a little too large.


I think you're the one that fixed all my texture alignments lol never had the patience for it :/

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