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Level Review: MM2.WAD
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Overview

Easily qualifying for any top ten list is this amazing MegaWAD. Though the levels vary greatly in gameplay, the standard of design is perhaps the highest it has ever been. There are a few exceptions to this, of course, but they don't overshadow the other levels. That much of the first episode is very dark is one flaw. However, as previously mentioned, gameplay is where it suffers most. In one level you'll have a very enjoyable experience, but you'll be struggling to get through the next. It goes without saying that Memento Mori 2 is technically superior, being far more polished than its predecessor. I believe this is also the main reason it failed to improve on the original. There was so much effort spent on making it more impressive technically that a certain authenticity was lost in the process. To polish an existing level is one thing, but to build a level with that mindset will seldom produce better results...


Outpost
Denis Moeller
1:21
Easy
Mildly hellish introduction to the set. The excellent opening scene with an awesome series of Flats that make up a large stained-glass window is really the highlight of this level. Quick gameplay with more monsters than the typical MAP01. Hey, Denis, you put all these Demons in here but forgot my SSG... images/mm2_01.jpg

The Feeding Pit
David Davidson
1:08
Easy
This level can best be described as visually impressive, short, and dull. Very good design and lighting, but an overly simple layout and slow gameplay hold it down. Once again we have several Demons without an SSG... images/mm2_02.jpg

...And Hell Beneath
Matthias Worch
5:28
Easy
The first memorable level in MM2. Designed with several different themes, but it all takes place underground. The Crypt area and the appearing pentagram are the best parts. Fairly complicated layout insures you won't be completing this too quickly. Given that it's by Matthias you can expect careful ammo placement so don't make a habit of missing your target... images/mm2_03.jpg

Ratamahatta
Florian Helmberger
6:29
Medium
The only virtue this level has is that it gives you a choice of what route to take. I suppose the Duck Nukem thing was a nice touch, but the rest(except the alter) is ugly. Looks like someone pasted all of Inferno into a single level and did a little retexturing. Even the fair gameplay can't salvage it because the light level's so low... images/mm2_04.jpg

Rites Of Passage
Paul Noble
7:05
Medium
The new textures are put to good use here. Good layout and gameplay, but it's just too dark in many places. The use of textures to hide areas never sat very well with me and it's a tactic used often in this level. Not a favorite of mine... images/mm2_05.jpg

Trapped
Adam Williamson
10:11
Medium
One of the lesser levels of MM2. Could be a good level if some touch up work were done. Those floating ceilings(after grabbing the Yellow Key) are ugly and the maze isn't very helpful, either. There's also two missing textures. To be fair, the final area is good. Gameplay is even worse, though, with only a Chaingun to take out distant monsters... images/mm2_06.jpg

Frustration
David Kuykendall
7:21
Medium
Above average Sewer level has a deffinate atmosphere to it. A few cool ideas like the computer that lowers the slime to gain access to the next area also thinning out the slime behind you. Apart from the awesome design, gameplay is great. Low ammo for the first half of the level then back to normal. I'm sure it's been said many times before, but I hate that door trick(the frustration of the title)... images/mm2_07.jpg

Stigmata
Denis Moeller
5:16
Easy
The first level that doesn't have any dark areas, which makes sense because it's mostly a TechLab. Good layout, detailing, and lighting. It's actually more detailed than I usually expect from TiC, at least in the last half. Good gameplay and logical progression... images/mm2_08.jpg

Sabbath Sewer
Mark Klem
14:09
Medium
This level is a real mixed bag. It's not at all attractive, but it does give off an air of realism. Meant to feel like a series of catacombs, I suppose. Plenty of monsters to kill and teleporters to take you to the next part of the level(instead of walking the whole way) keep it from getting tedious. The realistic touches make it a great theme level, but I don't care for it... images/mm2_09.jpg

Clear For Death
Matthias Worch
6:45
Medium
Great, bright TechLab design. Very nice layout and we finally get to see how a thirty second door's supposed to be used. Gameplay's planned perfectly with ammo waiting for you right when you need it, but don't expect anything extra. The only thing missing from this level is the SSG. You'll be fighting off Revenants, Cacodemons, and Hell Knights for much of the level so you will miss it... images/mm2_10.jpg

Sewer Shutdown
Eric Sargent
6:18
Medium
Another good Sewer level(there sure are alot of those). Layout and lighting are both very good. Ammo is fairly slim, but there's a Berserk Pack to make up for it. With a little help from you monsters will end up killing each other. The last room with the Hell Kights and Barons can be dangerous... images/mm2_11.jpg

The Waterway
Orin Flaharty
3:23
Easy
Short, simple The Living End style level. It's designed well, but it looks as though it was intended to be larger because of many possibilities for additions. Gameplay is very easy, but there's never a dull moment. Way too much health allows for nearly endless mistakes... images/mm2_12.jpg

Devils Paradise
Rhys Hughes
8:30
Hard
Some of this proportionally large level is good(the beginning), but most of it falls into the mediocre category. Plenty of ammo, but a few tough sections make it hard. One of the secrets requires you to run back through the entire level. Not one of the better maps... images/mm2_13.jpg

A Question Of Time
Matthias Worch/Thomas Moeller
7:31
Hard
You couldn't ask for a better teaming of authors. Their styles are virtually indistinguishable. So much so that I can't determine who did what part of this excellent level. Maybe Thomas did the DM area and Matthias did the rest, but I'm not sure. Anyway, it's an awesome indoor Brick level with great lighting and equally impressive gameplay. Its only flaw is a bad monster teleporter... images/mm2_14.jpg

The Devils Coterie
Adam Windsor
11:22
Hard
A very creative level that doesn't get the respect it deserves. Contains Adam's usual attention to detail, but in an unusually large level(his largest ever, in fact). Fast, violent gameplay throughout an elaborate installation. Good use of the new textures, too. It is possible to get all nine secrets... images/mm2_15.jpg

The Nephilim
Denis Moeller
6:10
Medium
Great design in a combination of TechLab and Base styles. Some truely amazing areas and awesome lighting make it even better. Watch a very plain room transform right in front of you in the coolest sequence ever. Gameplay is well-paced and not too easy. One of the top levels in the set... images/mm2_16.jpg

No One
Michael Rapp
8:07
Medium
I'm a sucker for Gray and Stone designs and since this one contains both, as well as great gameplay, I love it. It doesn't rank very high in the style category, but it still looks good. What makes this level hard isn't the normal ammo problem. Instead, Michael uses a combination of low health(very low) and lots of Former Humans to make reaching the exit a difficult task. Very clever... images/mm2_17.jpg

Regulate
Matthias Worch
10:27
Hard
Large, somewhat complex TechLab design. Good layout, perfect texture alignment, and appropriate lighting, but what else would you expect from Matthias? Oh, yeah. There's a big ammo problem(are you surprised?). It's one of those levels that omits a Backpack simply so you have to know when to use what weapon. A nice secret lets you lessen the severity of the final area's trap... images/mm2_18.jpg

The Shaft
Jeremy Statz
11:51
Hard
Everyone knows I like large, complex, difficult levels, and this one fits nicely into each of those categories. To give you an idea as to how large it is, let's just say that if you split each of its three sections off and made individual levels out of them you'd have three medium size maps. It's almost completely linear, but it's still very complicated. A key is required to advance to the next area, but within those areas everything is controled by switches. Sometimes you have to look for the results. As for the difficulty, it's not so much surviving that's the problem, it's surviving all of it in a single attempt. These things, together with its odd yet successful mixture of styles, make it one of my all-time favorites. Great job, Jeremy!!! images/mm2_19.jpg

The Experiment
Alden Bates
5:47
Medium
Somebody in the quality control department must've been asleep when this one came through. Absolutely awful design alternates freely between at least five seperate styles. If you're dead set on making a haphazard level the least you can do is align those mismatched textures. Gameplay is less than impressive, too. Even Bates' own The Mansion was better than this amateurish mess... images/mm2_20.jpg

Sanctuary
Andy Badorek
15:10
Medium
Great Brick level displays the same unreal design that made DooM2 so awesome. You couldn't imagine a place like this actually existing, yet you can still imagine yourself in it. I've always used this style in my levels(with mixed results). Let's just say it's not a skill that's easily acquired. Gameplay flows really well with lots of monsters, but it still isn't all that hard to beat. The result adds great replay value... images/mm2_21.jpg

Reactor Related Fuel Refinary
Thomas Moeller
18:07
Hard
Remember when I said High-Tech Grave wasn't the best Thomas could do? Well, there are only two levels I can think of that are equal to, or better than, this masterpiece, and one of them's in this collection. This Brick/TechLab design is deffinately not for anyone who dislikes large levels. However, if you do enjoy them, prepare to be amazed by the awesome gameplay within. It's not only very tough, but also has some inventive situations to help you tone it down a bit. For instance, activate the crusher before you let out the Cyberdemon, to save a considerable amount of ammo. Both health and ammo are carefully placed, but there's a somewhat unusual pattern to it. Health is scattered everywhere, in small quantities, while ammo is sporatic and in larger quantities. There are several route possibilities, but, no matter what route you choose, you have to be careful. It also helps to save plasma for key situations. Anyway, regardless of your taste in levels, you need to play this one... images/mm2_22.jpg

No Way Out
Eric Sargent
8:18
Hard
Many of the new textures are used here, especially the green ones. The design isn't great(a bit too dark) and the layout just doesn't agree with me, for some odd reason. There's enough action to keep your mind off of its downfalls, though. Several dangerous areas(the BFG room) elevate it above the Medium category. Overall, it's neither good or bad... images/mm2_23.jpg

Io Lab
Sean Birkel
6:05
Easy
Another perfect Episode One imitation from Sean(see also: Fava Beans). Good layout and overall design, but difficulty hasn't been increased at all. It's a good level, but feels like a retread more than others of its type... images/mm2_24.jpg

Forgotten Town
Denis Moeller
12:02
Hard
Beautiful, large, extremely complex, and very difficult best describes this incredible level. This is the one that equals MAP22(see MM MAP28 for the only one that's better). To illustrate how intricate the layout is, you start in a small courtyard and by the time you're done you'll be able to access virtually every section of the level from there. The design is created with the same unreal, yet believable, style I mentioned earlier. Gameplay will certainly keep you on your toes with a style that's become increasingly rare: that of creating difficulty without being overwhelming. Carefully placing items makes for a more interesting experience and is much more fun to play repeatedly, as opposed to the common, boring let out the monsters and pray you survive mentality. A great level in every sense of the word, this is most deffinately not to be missed... images/mm2_25.jpg

Base Exposure
Mark Klem
6:42
Medium
Huge open areas comprise most of this fun level. The only real bad part is a silver area around the halfway point, but everything else is perfect for the total carnage you're presented with. Monsters are everywhere, so you're fortunate to have so much ammo. Just grab the bigger weapons and start blasting your way through. Loads of fun... images/mm2_26.jpg

The Silos
Paul Noble
14:23
Hard
Creative, unique mix of styles in this odd theme level. The towers and catwalks provide a good 3D feel. Primarily built using odd angles, giving it a surreal appearance(as surreal as a TechLab can get, anyway). Gameplay is a huge disappointment, though. It's fairly non-linear, but it doesn't progress very well. This could've been a really good level, but for some reason it isn't... images/mm2_27.jpg

Corporate Hell
Stephen Watson
16:37
Hard
Is there any particular reason why MAP28 always houses the largest level in most MegaWADs? This level, with its two distinct areas(the town square and the towers) is one of the largest levels in overall area that I've ever seen. You begin in the town square and are greeted by some Shotgun-weilding, former employees(and no, they're not postal workers) of the district. Several buildings occupy the landscape. One appears to be some sort of data processing center(Yellow Key), but I've got no clue as to what the other is. After clearing out this area you enter a teleporter and find yourself staring at a group of massive towers. The center one contains the main elevator which branches off into nine small areas. Four of these areas lead to walkways, each of which, in turn, leads to one of four other towers. One tower contains a tribute to the Red Key trap of Tricks And Traps. Anyway, that's just a few parts of this beautiful, complex, huge work of art. The rest you'll have to see for yourself. Note to Stephen: those door/lift combos at the end suck... images/mm2_28.jpg

Kings Of Metal
Jens Nielsen
11:45
Hard
Great fun and design await you in this complex level. Awesome idea of using the new Wood and Brick textures in a subterrainian environment works very well. Typically good texture alignment and lighting, too. If you know Jens previous work as well as I do, you'll notice that he uses the same general shapes and structures. For instance, the huge acid area is the same shape as the acid pond in City Of The Unavenged. Also typical are the secrets. Don't expect to find them all on your first run, or even your second. One is particularly cool with you walking in behind a sleeping Cyberdemon. Gameplay holds pretty firmly in the Hard category, even though it's only got just over one hundred monsters. Another trick towards the end of the level, involving a second Cyberdemon, is very clever. As far as I know, this is the last level created by Jens Nielsen(not counting the co-author credit in Requiem). That's a shame because his formula still works remarkably well... images/mm2_29.jpg

It
Jim Wraith
2:54
Easy
Typical MAP30, but this one attempts to spice things up by including keys. It might've worked if they weren't all in the final area and incredibly easy to grab. The fair design doesn't make up for the boring gameplay... images/mm2_30.jpg

Dejavu
Orin Flaharty
6:09
Medium
Orin can always be depended upon to produce a moderately sized, attractive level. This one is a very good imitation of Episode One, right down to the secrets. Unfortunately, Orin always had a problem with difficulty. He's good with gameplay(there's always action), but it never gets very tough. That's not really a problem here, though, because it's so much fun. There's an Imp trapped outside the playing area so 100% Kills is impossible. I wonder if this was done intentionally... images/mm2_31.jpg

Dances With Demons
David Kuykendall
2:10
Easy
Essentially Dead Simple on steroids, but better looking and slightly tougher. Uses the new textures well. Not really much you can say about a level like this. Thanks for not using that annoying door again, David... images/mm2_32.jpg

Secret Operation 1
Steve Towle
1:25
Easy
What is this crap and how did it make it into the final release? A beginner level, and an incomplete one, at that. Monsters outside the playing area and the whole thing is ugly. Pretty easy to see why they hid this one. No secrets... images/mm2_s1.jpg

Secret Operation 2
Thomas Moeller
10:04
Hard
Not too original TechLab. Good layout and lighting, even though it's too dark at times. Features plenty of action and a few difficult situations. Some things strike me as odd, though. For instance, why those Cacodemons are held in that cage. They serve no purpose, other than annoyance, in there. Would be better if they could teleport out. No secrets... images/mm2_s2.jpg