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Reviews: 9th January 2004; Review 1

Game - QUAKE
Map - haunting: Autumn Haunting [2 map pack]
by - [Kona]
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Overall Verdict - 2 good custom medieval maps.

haunting1: 24 Tongues of Evil

This pack is a sequel to "Carved In flesh", although it can be played either stand alone or carrying on from those maps. Architecture continues the feel of Carved in Flesh; lots of rockfaces and open rocky areas linked by stone corridors and heavy sliding doors. There some very imaginative brushwork including stone bridges, platforms and walkways and everything has a satisfying chunky, solid feel. Texturing is again a standout feature of the maps, with some highly imaginative and interesting textures, especially on doors and windows. The map also has a significant amount of new custom monsters and weapons [from the readme.txt]:

New monsters:
New custom monsters including mini-bosses Cadaver and the Ogre Knight, Demon-Queen, Fiendlings, the first worthy Quake femme fatale - Hell Kitten, Barons, a more deadly Shambler-Vile, modified Hipnotic Wrath's and other modified monsters including new skins.

New weapons:
Three new weapons including the Flame Launcher, Freeze Gun, Positron Beam and a new Lightning Gun (press keypad/weapon select twice to select older ID weapons).

The new mosters are in general good, and the new weapons at least make a change, although they seem kind of out of place in some ways.

haunting2: The Final Epic.

On hard skill, there are 79 enemies in the first map and 34 in the second, mostly medieval plus the new custom monsters mentioned above. Enemies tend to attack in small bunches but usually there is enough room to out manouevere them. Nasty fiend attacks seem common but these and other enemies are balanced by a slightly too generous supply of armor and ammo. The second map is essentially a short path leading to the final arena showdown, where in typical Kona style, waves of modified enemies must be defeated. In summary, maybe not Kona's best ever maps so far in his productive Q1SP mapping career, but still highly enjoyable with imaginative architecture and great textures.

Overall Score: 17/20

Reviews: 9th January 2004; Review 2 [Reviewed by RPG]

Game - QUAKE
Maps - evspq1: A subtle Dagger
by - Evan Wagner
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Overall Verdict - traditional id-type medieval level.

This is a fairly typical metal/runic map, with plenty of dark shadows, lava, and ominous metal structures; though the map does have its own unique visual style with long, metal girders and an abundance of inset gargoyles and crucified Jesuses. Visuals range from mediocre to decent (see the shots), but were on average about the same as id's maps. The detailing was overly simplistic in some spots such as the rocks at the start, but other spots were better such as the gold-key door area.

The lighting is interesting and moody and makes up for spots with few details, but it is also extremely dark in a few spots -- one time I couldn't see that there were stairs to go up. Navigation was straightforward with some backtracking, but it was done well overall. There is one side area that you are not required to visit, but other than that the map is very linear.

I played on Hard skill (53 monsters), and completed the map in just under 10 minutes. The map was longer than I expected it to be, but it was also a lot easier, too. There were a few traps and surprises, but despite that I only needed to use one health pack. The monsters are the typical medieval/runic fare of knights, ogres, fiends, and a few shamblers and vores. A few of the monsters are ineffective, though, such as ogres that are below you and can't hit you with their grenades. There are five secrets, of which I found none; though I did accidentally open one, but it closed before I could get inside.

After revisiting the map, I saw that most of the secrets contain powerful items such as the red armor and quad damage, so if you find any of the secrets the map will be a lot easier than it already is. Ammo was quite sparse -- the only ammo I had left after finishing the map was about 30 nails. Skill settings are in effect, so if there is a problem with the ammo, you can drop the skill level down a notch.

Overall, I think the map is worth getting, but by today's standards it is a bit short and too easy (at least on hard skill). The author has a lot of potential, and I'm looking forward to EVSPQ2.

Underworldfan's notes: This medium-sized map has a strong traditional, oldskool id medieval feel to it, with its largish, solid, open areas and plain-ish id textures. Gameplay is nothing special but enjoyable enough, although its definitely a bit too easy. Still, it shows potential for [hopefully] more ambitious and challenging future maps from this author. i would score it at 13/20.

Overall Score: 10/20