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Level Review: TWZONE.WAD
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MAP01 3:30
Easy
The collection begins with this average level. Though layout and gameplay are good it holds too many style changes, switching freely between Gray, Hellish, and Mansion. The Blue Key only being accessible through an unmarked door is not something I'd care to encounter more often, but since this was one of Paul's earlier levels I suppose it can be forgiven... images/tz_01.jpg

MAP02 3:10
Medium
Though one gray room and a Wolfenstein section look out of place the rest of the level holds together quite well, thematically. It looks like something from Inferno, particularly the opening area. However, the gameplay is a mixed bag. For the most part there's lots of action, but the fenced in area is unneccessary and only serves to slow one down. If it were at the same height I can see it being successful, but the difference makes the monsters too difficult to kill without wasting most of your ammunition and a good deal of time. On a side note, the windows should've been flagged to block monsters; watching the Former Humans step up onto those tiny ledges looks bad. Also, there's 36 Keens, that should've been tagged DM only, restraining you from 100% Kills... images/tz_02.jpg

MAP03 2:45
Easy
Good Cement level has a few poor texture choices, but is cohesive overall. An inescapable pit is easy to fall into if you're not careful while dodging fireballs. Another unmarked door is found here, but in a featureless room with a locked door, you have to know that trying all those walls is going to reveal something... images/tz_03.jpg

MAP04 2:26
Easy
Quick, easy Marble level is the best example of design we've yet seen. Good progression, but with nowhere near enough monsters. Too much running back and forth without adding anything new makes for boring gameplay... images/tz_04.jpg

MAP05 5:17
Easy
Back to mediocre designs again, we have this subterranian level. There's a small TechLab area to make the otherwise logical progression of styles look sloppy. The biggest faults, however, lie in a deep, inescapable pit. The first are three Demons that can't be killed(well, technically they can, but you're not given the RL until the last part of the level and given the use of monsters throughout the rest of the MegaWAD I'm assuming they aren't supposed to be killed). The other involves the bridge that rises ever so slowly out of the pit. It takes nearly two minutes(1:57) to rise to its destination, and during this time you've absolutely nothing to do. Later in the level you also have a long distance to run with only a few monsters scattered in your path. What a bore... images/tz_05.jpg

MAP06 2:34
Easy
A small, polished TechLab, with the exception of that wood protruding from the ceiling in one of the doorways. It's too bad that cave part didn't go on a tad longer because it would've gone even further toward establishing a sense of place. Then there's the gameplay. Once again we find monsters that aren't supposed to be killed; here, a pair of Cyberdemons used to give the player a good jolt before teleporting outside. Like the demons in MAP05, they can be killed, but this time it requires some Tyson strategy(save your ammo; it doesn't hurt to lure a few monsters into the teleporter, either). This can take quite some time, though, and I'm again assuming it wasn't intended. Note to authors: when you use monsters to scare the player, have them teleport into a crusher so people like me can get 100% Kills without the extra trouble... images/tz_06.jpg

MAP07 2:14
Easy
More clashing styles in what would otherwise be a very good little level. Gameplay is swift and constant. The courtyard is especially fun, though that moving plat section is pretty pointless. Oddly, there's no use of the MAP07 tags... images/tz_07.jpg

MAP08 2:17
Easy
A small Hellish beginning with a relatively seemless transition to a Brick area comprise this, one of my favorite levels in the set. It progresses as all three keys, located on pillars at the beginning of the level, are made accessible via the many switches throughout. Unfortunately, its downfall also resides in the progression department: as with MAP04, the amount of retracing your steps required is not offset by the addition of monsters as you return. These small locations would've been great for an HR-style slaughter; every switch you hit could've released some monsters. Such a missed opportunity... images/tz_08.jpg

MAP09 3:28
Medium
The mix of styles here has a good deal in common with Evilution, with its TechLab opening and subterranian section. Surprisingly, the styles are blended well and the overall look is reasonably polished. Gameplay follows suit with a number of SS Soldiers making an appearance, but not looking out of place. This is the largest level, so far, but the action is constant(and consistent) throughout, with a pair of Cyberdemons punctuating the finale. Easily one of the most balanced levels in the MegaWAD. Of course, there's six unkillable Demons to ruin the otherwise exceptional rating... images/tz_09.jpg

MAP10 1:40
Easy
Tiny Hellish level with connected Marble, Base, and Gray sections thrown in for good measure. The four central rooms are dark and dull(not to mention identical), so it's easy to mistake one for another when you enter them from the side areas. Despite the visual flaws, its simplistic layout makes it fun for speedrunning... images/tz_10.jpg

MAP11 2:08
Easy
Superior take on The Shores Of Hell begins with a crate section straight out of Refinery and continues in the Base style. Many Former Humans and a small selection of medium size monsters will keep you busy for the duration. Highlight has you repeatedly running across a room releasing monsters. It would've been interesting had a pair of Chaingunners repopulated the island after every switch... images/tz_11.jpg

MAP12 2:55
Easy
The individual rooms in this level aren't bad, but they almost never have anything in common with the one before. Hell, grey, brick, and subterranian all make brief appearances. Gameplay has no serious flaws, though it's quite easy to leave behind a Former Human or two outside the windows by the Blue Key. There's plenty of ammo, but no SSG; fortunately a Berserk Pack is provided to speed up the game(it's faster than the Shotgun)... images/tz_12.jpg

MAP13 2:53
Easy
Realistic, consistently themed Brick level. The effective, if not difficult, resistance, is placed thoughtfully. The only downfalls are the -10% lava toward the beginning(-20% inside the BFG secret) and an unpredictable monster teleporter. Once again there's an abundance of Keens to open the final door, but they're all in the same room. What's the point??? images/tz_13.jpg

MAP14 3:59
Medium
Good level in a style much like the last. Mostly underground, but this one has a few larger areas, one of which is a moderately sized maze(this I could've done without). Ammo balance is slim for the first half so you'd better utilize that Berserk Pack. Save some Plasma for the Yellow Key area if you want to speed things up... images/tz_14.jpg

MAP15 3:29
Easy
Fairly polished City level with a series of bizarre secrets(a platform raises around the entire level, allowing you to access a few holes at various points in the mountain). Gameplay does well at keeping the action moving, but here's another instance of the dreaded slow monster teleporter. I wish authors would learn to make those more efficient... images/tz_15.jpg

MAP16 4:26
Medium
Entirely cohesive design and nonstop action help to make this one of the best levels in the set. The level opens in some caverns and progresses outdoors to a small courtyard highlighted by a nice cathedral. The second half is a good TechLab similar to MAP06. You're not given much extra ammo in the first half; that, together with the effective Blue Key trap, helps elevate this above the "easy" category. The last half is easier, but is hampered by the lack of an SSG, forcing you to slowly Shotgun a few Mancubi... images/tz_16.jpg

MAP17 2:41
Easy
Excellent TechLab that would have fitted quite well in the first episode of DooM2. Population is also appropriate with enough monsters to kill, but too few to pose much of a threat. The Red Key trap is well executed and could easily take an unexpecting player by surprise... images/tz_17.jpg

MAP18 3:20
Easy
Most people peg this as a good Knee Deep In The Dead knock off, but it actually has more in common with the Base designs of TiC than Romero's. Once again, though, there's no SSG which slows down the carnage in some sections; however, most of the monsters are small, so it doesn't make much of a difference. From a purely design angle, though, this one is far and away the best of The Twilight Zone... images/tz_18.jpg

MAP19 1:54
Easy
Good Brick/Wood design is a standard, though easy, HR style BFG festival. Naturally, there's a slow teleporter, but it can be bypassed if you pick up the Blue Key and finish the rest of the level, since you have to come back for the exit, anyway... images/tz_19.jpg

MAP20 1:25
Easy
This is essentially Icon Of Sin with an extended, four Cyberdemon preface. Add in numerous Invulnerabilities, a Chaingunner, a Revenant, and a lot of teleporters and you have a very dull, easy level... images/tz_20.jpg

MAP21 3:14
Easy
Another mix of styles, ala Evilution. It looks decent and the gameplay is good if you ignore the caged Lost Souls and unkillable Spectres. Paul seems to have developed an aversion to the SSG in the latter half of the MegaWAD. I suppose that's what the Berserk Pack is for, though, isn't it? The Plasma Rifle doesn't hurt, either... images/tz_21.jpg

MAP22 3:56
Easy
Resembles The Spirit World during the first third; the second is a dark, green cavern. An attractive Stone/Stucco section finishes off the level. Gameplay is reasonably good, with the exception of an extremely long rising lift. Altogether, I don't care for it, but in all honesty it's a decent effort... images/tz_22.jpg

MAP23 2:22
Easy
Thoroughly dull in every sense, this small Silver level is nothing more than a series of square rooms, all textured the same, and each with one wall full of switches. One of these switches will open the door to the next area, but all the others will release various hoards of monsters. That repetative setup wouldn't be so bad if there was enough ammo to kill everything. However, as the ammo ratio is 5.5:1, excellent Tyson skills will be required if you intend to get 100% Kills. You'll also have to fight five Cyberdemons simultaniously in a very small room. This was intended to be a puzzle level, but the only way to do it is trial and error. Good luck... images/tz_23.jpg

MAP24 5:40
Medium
Texture schemes and gameplay here are both reminiscent of DooM2. There's a number of different styles, but they're separated skillfully. The Cacodemon outside the windows of the opening room is annoying(the outer area is fairly lengthy and it takes some time for him to pass by one of the windows). Also, there's a pair of Mancubi at the end that are out of reach. They can shoot at you, but you can't shoot back... images/tz_24.jpg

MAP25 1:49
Easy
Very short, very violent, but not too difficult if you're careful. The first part is Black and the last is a brief Brick section. Both the gameplay and feel bring to mind Plutonia(well, it doesn't look quite that good)... images/tz_25.jpg

MAP26 3:06
Easy
Another Silver level, but with just enough variety to keep it away from total blandness(the Yellow Key building is also a pleasant change). Monsters are somewhat slim, though the Red Key trap is effective. The trick to lowering the BFG pillar is so unusual I doubt anybody could figure it out without a level editor... images/tz_26.jpg

MAP27 3:42
Easy
This level contains four seperate areas all in different styles. First, we have the Monster Condo library; second is a respectable Inferno imitation; third is a brief TechLab area that looks more than slightly out of place; fourth, and finally, we have a short City segment. Gameplay isn't any more consistent than the design with just enough action, but a number of unkillable monsters... images/tz_27.jpg

MAP28 2:14
Easy
Extremely short, but the design is decent save for the poorly textured ammo room. Gameplay? Well, it contains 24 monsters; three are Cyberdemons and two are Spider Masterminds. Don't be afraid; there's three Invulnerabilities, conveniently placed... images/tz_28.jpg

MAP29 2:59
Easy
A tribute to DooM's Containment Area can be found in this good level. Design is mostly Brown. Gameplay offers constant action, though it's still pretty easy. On a side note, Paul uses the keys themselves to mark locked doors. I'm not sure if I care for this... images/tz_29.jpg

MAP30 1:27
Easy
This may just be the most boring MAP30 ever created. There's no Boss Shooter, four monsters, and a slowly rising walkway. Nevermind the fact that you can walk up to the Brain and punch it to death... images/tz_30.jpg

MAP31 1:45
Easy
Another level of the Inferno variety with a bland Stone section thrown in for good measure. It plays like Inferno, too. The secret exit can be accessed by killing an unseen Keen at the beginning of the level(fire a rocket through the grate)... images/tz_31.jpg

MAP32 :58
Easy
Modeled primarily after DooM's Hell Keep this level ends up being neither better nor worse. Likewise for gameplay, except the opening field is now populated by Chaingunners... images/tz_32.jpg