Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Cold Steel for Quake4


Level name:Cold Steel

Author: eLuSiVe

Release date: 28 Janaury 2006

Size: 25 108 ko

Number of maps: 2

website: none

download: At Doomwadstation



Review :

This was the first descent release for Quake4 back in 2006 from an author that had been mapping for sevral month for Doom3 on a huge project after making a map called prowler.

According this release it's starts like in the original Quake2 release with a crashed cuscenes well scripted after you will neede to progress through the place the destroy the master of this place.
Design is perfectly manage in a cool dark and spoucky ambiance more related with Doom3, attention has been put on details that surrounds your progression, events that occurs and ambush that are happening add the fear to this experience, all part are well linked together in a non linear way adding despites a cohesive storyline some cutscenens that put perfectly the player into the Quake 4 theme

Gameplay is correctly balance with some thaught part where you will see you health dicrease fast (perhaps too fast) the progression is a mix beween suprise (from thinks falling to mad ambushes) and activating switch (you don't always know wher to go next...). The Challnege really increase till the end arena where the nightmare seems to never stop...but when it's over it's in an abrupt way that just throw the end generic at you face.

In conclusion: back when it came out this one was considered as a must have. Regarding the small amount of release for this game it still is but since then other maps have shine to the community and provide something more releated with what Quake4 offers (pilotable vehicles, squad progression, on screen objectives,...) . This one is enjoyable well put together with a good time enjoyement but for me wont let any memorable souvenirs...simply because the originality that comes with the intro scenes just fely appart after that with it's weak storyline.

Playtime: 50 min

Rating: A B C D E (82%)

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Forward Motion for Half-Life 2


Level name: Forward Motion

Author: Justin 'SneakySpeckman' Carlton

Date of release: 26 May 2008

Size: 47 389 ko

Number of maps: 10

website: none

download: here

Author's Note:
This map pack is really just group of ideas. Any constructive criticism would be appreciated. Each map proceeds in order. Every map can be played individually, so you can load any map and start with weapons. These maps may have some bugs. You can consult the walkthrough if you get stuck. If you get stuck you can always just load the next map.

Review :

The short Note from the author explain directly that there was no real story just idea after idea through wich the author wanted to create something enjoyable.
Design was well put together in a simple but efficiant way increasing (but at start is was quite average) in quality and realism as you will travel through all the 10 maps. The feeeling was really great and archtiecture well manage, everything is present from the original game but never let a feeling of dejà vu. You will travel from outdoor to indoor with limited weapons using the hovercraft for quite a while with tips and tricks.
All in all and even if the author didn't pay a lot of attention to details, but this doesn't really bother, every new part with it's traps, effect surprise and even more will really want to play this one in a sinlge experience.

Gameplay is really the major interest from this map pack from fight to puzzle passing through it's 'wierd' storyline, you will never have a moment that's lack from interest, action is always present and will increase with you progression sadly reaching a kind of moment where the author was perhaps a little submerge by what he wanted to create and starts to make things a little to complicate in my opinion. hoperfully the readme contains a walkthrough that will certainly b you friend.
What was really put in evidence is that the author manage the engine to it's quite complicated features and with a better thaught storyline from starts to end, I'm pretty shure the author could really catch the full attention from the community.

In conclusion: Even if the readme doesn't come with a lots of information and that maps were simply linked together, letting the posibility to play them each separatly, without no story, background map or 'new features' if was defenetly a great enjoyable surpsise for me, that i highly recommed to everybody.

Playtime: 3 hours

Rating: A B C D E (86%)

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Absolute redemption for Half-Life

Title : Absolute redemption

Author: Maverick Development

date: 01 November 2000

38 779 ko

Number of maps: 32

website: down

download: at planetphillip


It was written in the ancient scrolls of Xian that, during the last Crelat of Xen time, a portal would be opened between two universes and a being would cross the void and cause the second re-birth of Nihilanth, and all Xen would be drained of their lifeblood, their knowledge. And that, in this time, the Xen race would be oppressed by the armies from the far side of the portal.
It was also written that once the portal was opened, a human known as "Freeman" would cross the galactic transverse into Xen space, and set free the three sacred Telnorps, the guardians of the gate who had been captured from the ancient enemies of the Xen, the Zan from the Theldran galaxy.
And so it was that the prophecy came to pass, and the weakened Xen were powerless to resist an onslaught from the Zan. In the dawn of the first Ashaan of Xen time, the elders of the high council sanctioned an uneasy alliance with the perpetrators of the impending disaster, the Human race, in order to restore the sacred telnorps, and thus sealing the Zan gateway... forever.
The ambassador of the Alien Investigation Unit on earth was called upon to "redeem" the situation by employing the use of the very individual who had inadvertently caused the situation...

Review :

Before Wanted a western conversion for half-life (check it here) and after Drug-Barrons (one of the first interesting HL release Maverick Dev came with a huge release containing 32 maps were once more you will need to stop the evil machine!

We will say that the mission is divided in 3 separate ones with a final travel to xen, the gman will constently stay in contact with you through cutscene mission breafing and so on, so you will need to catch back in every mission the 3 sacred Telorps to close the portal on xen. so travelling through well thaught and design mission will keep you busy during a correct time.

Design is impressive back in 2000 r-speeds is really well manage by placing map change in the place they should, from the first mission that take place in the himalayan montain to a carnival full of impressive attraction witch reminds me from the first chapter of Blood: the criptic passage game to a end research complex, the design is really put on a high quality, attention to models was also well done and interconnectivity in a way you could easily be lost in a non linear progression add certainly a great touch to the management layout. There is really too much detail that could be described here that it's noncense to spoil them. The mix between storyline and the gameplay is for me really well handled and push you to play this one without no break which is for me really a sign of quality. The small break through cutscenes and briefing mission with a quite enjoyable voice acting (that is not always from the best quality), is enhanced by the personality of Gman and add even more value to the whole content.

Gameplay isn't that easy in fact that you could easily be lost or don't directly know what the next objective, regarding combats and traps they are well balanced to make it challenging but not frustrating, puzzle are mosltly absent or easy to solve but all those things flows perfectly to create a memorable mission.

In conclusion: like other production from Maverick this one is another enjoyable map pack that really create a new mission guided by the Gman i'ts for me also the best one and is defenetly worth to be play and replay especially regarding the details, effort and humour that has been put in it.

Playtime: 3 hours

Rating: A B C D E (92%)

Friday, December 12, 2008

Chronicle episode 1 for Half-Life


Title: Half-Life: Chronicles

Episode One : Traumatic Experiences

Author: Radioactive Software

Release date: 9 August 2000

Size: 10 005 ko

Number of maps: 5

website: none anymore

download: at planetphillip


Half-Life: Chronicles once again places you in the boots of scientist Gordon Freeman. Trapped in the Black Mesa Research Facility, and pursued by humans and aliens alike, you must use your wits (as well as firepower) to stay alive. However, Chronicles takes place in what could be called an "alternate timeline" wherein certain events in Half-Life unfolded differently.

Review :

So i have still a lot of HL stuff to play and decided to give a try to several one that seems back then, in HL stoneage, to catch the attention... This one, release as a preview of upcoming stuff that never did tried like for opposing for to imagine at a certain points another storyline...for making this more attractive, there are some new sounds, weapons and texturing.

Design is great, you really have the impression to play something professional; texturing, flowability through the collection of maps is perfect (especially taking in account it was released more than 8 years ago) new weapons model are also fitting well, the architecture is well put together with a well balanced use of texturing from classic to newest one. The architecture and use or environment layout make it easily linkable to the original game but this is more a valuable comparaison.

Gameplay is also well put together more oriented on grunts combats (you won't see a lot of aliens) than on puzzles, progression is quite obvious and misses perhaps some outdoor area, there aren't a lot of stuff required to make you progress: from a moving element to a keycard all seems quite obvious, the G-man is always present and will in some place appears.
The travelling is mostly done by foot progression with the exeption of a memorable subway ride with some shooting that remind me from the experience that happens in movie like the Goonies or Indiana Jones first opus...but sadly the expeirence just stop abruptly with a 'to be continued...' on text message that never happens after this release.

In conclusion: Back in 2000 this first release from radioactive software looks really promising with a classic mission start used some original element but also a really good design...sadly there was never a sequel to it. for the one who never gave this one a try it's not to late and regarding the small playtime experience it's defenetly worth.

Playtime: 25 minutes

Rating: A B C D E (78%)

Friday, December 05, 2008

sp_valley for Half-Life

Title :sp_valley

Author: [fpsb]agressor

Release date: 30 july 2008

Size: 4 977 ko

Number of maps: 1

website: none

download: at fpsbanana


none, but as author's note :"This single player map was created using prefabs from fpsb (this site). There are a house with garage and two floors and one waterfall. If you want to play on this map in multiplayer, please tell me about it in feedback. [I'm sorry, my english is not good enough))))"

Review :

Not a really old release (4 months) i found this one at FPSBanana it's quite short and just provide 2 main places there is no puzzle or objectives it's just a grunt feast.

The architecture even if not realistic regarding the house location isn't that bad, for the design and if the author only use prefabs it's then a little bit weak and also provide some mapping error like the lighting that appears in the mountain wall and the part of the toilet that is...out of the house. But in a way of just looking and walking through it , it's not really bad, and could easily be use for multiplayer purpose.

Gameplay is short not that intense and well balanced to create a short but not frustrating experiences, like told before there is no puzzle, no search just shooting (include a chopper)

In conclusion: don't expect to much from this one it's for me just correct enough to give it a place at 'SPmapcorner' for the rest don't blaim me if you didn't like it there is no aim just elimate all resistance and i didn't even find an ending ...

Playtime: 15 minutes

Rating: A B C D E (52%)

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Half Secret for Half-Life


Title: Half-secret

Author: TTK/Freeslave

Release date: 8 August 2008

Size: 5 597 ko

Number of maps: 5

website: none

download: at planetphillip


none, it's just a classic black mesa type episode with a good nostalgia feeling

Review :

Here is another recent release that came out during summer it's a classic straight forward experience that exactly begins as the official HL version but hand maded with the qwest following the same path.

Design is well handled with nothing really special and perhaps sometime a lack to details and a use of repetitive walls textures especially the hallways at the beginning, but after it's becomming beter, you get into the complex and the design will be more representative. Even if most of the part are not perfectly crafted or designed to be great eyes looking, it's enjoyable to progress into this sientific complex. There aren't a lot of new features (except some new wads) in this small episode but it's just about nostalgia so this wasn't really what we were looking for.

Gameplay was build also like the original game with a mix between fight, events and puzzles integrating or not some barneys (only for fights) to help you, it's well handled and balance to increase your interest with your progression. There is even a new 'aliens' weapon (i think it was the first time i saw it but i may be wrong), the experience quite obvious but i prefer it in this way than when i encounter lots of puzzle that frustrates me.

In conclusion: another interesting release from this year... it may looks too classic and perhaps you will prefer to replay the original game but for the not too long playtime and the effort from both authors it's another enjoyable experience.

Playtime: 50 minutes

Rating: A B C D E (80%)

Sunday, November 30, 2008

use destruction for Quake4


Level name:Use destruction

Author: Sebastian 'Tombery' Peters

Release date: 6 October 2008

Size: 79 966 ko

Number of maps: 6

website: here

download: At MODDB


A short one in german traduce with babelfhish...

An attack on the outguard Nexus is approaching. We may not leave the Stroggs too close at us ran and one may not give you the possibility to a counterstroke draw back, navy said the core. After to long negotiations the resolution was set to the attack into force and the employment is approaching. To survive the will and hope on a victory must be steadfast. Much luck.

Review :

The author is not on it's first attempt and release 2 good mods for Doom3 before, this time he create an entire experience with cutsenes challenge, impressive design so be prepared for a great experience...

Design starts directly with a marvellous intro scene, i like those small think witch ask for a lot of work but direct put the player into the experience. So you crashed onthe nexus base and will meet with some squad to progress and find out what's next. Everything is well handle according architecture it's a classic combats/activate button/ progress experience but well handle through the choice of textures and the general layout not only straight forward but also with alternatives routes. The author didn' negligate the use of vehicules, some small cutscenes and the travelling through the complex with a mix between outdoor and indoor. for me it's huge well crafted and not at any moment boring.
The gameplay flows with the rest and is a good mix between single and teamplay experience, the experience will increase in difficulty with progression and will also provide some side experience like jumping plateform, crushing doors and robot vehicle combat. The atmosphere is always holding you into the gameplay and will surprise you when you don't think of it, combats are taught but just what is needed not to be frustrated (note that the end combat experience may look unbeatable and frustrating if you don't now what to do...) weapons and health are perhaps sometime put without any logic but provide when it's needed.

In conclusion: Sebastian did some good work for Doom 3 and now even beter for Quake 4, his skill did increase and provide so a chalenging experience but for me just missed a strong storyline that could be a wire to this mission with voice acting and a real aim like saving somebody... But i won't be to exigeant regarding the work that was made cause the experience was impressive and provides finally something strong for this great game. Highly recommanded

Playtime: 2 hours 30

Rating: A B C D E (93%)

Friday, November 28, 2008

outwards for Half-Life


Level name: Outwards

Author: Visa "Zandramas" Alanko

Date of release: 11 August 2001

Size: 8 616 ko

Number of maps: 8

website: here

download: At plantphillip.com

Note : this one is recommanded to be played in easy mod except if you are really a good player and don't be bothered buy surronding spawning of enemies. The author told that you may encounter a problem at the last stage when you need to fall down by a vent and loose lot's of health points if you are below 40pts and no HEV points I juggest you to use god mod or simple take the quicksave kindly provide by guilfarry from Planetphillip -> here below

Story :

You are a Gordon Freeman in a time after deciding to take the chance, which G-man offered to you. First he commanded you to carry unidentified materials for researching to Black Mesa Research Facility in New Mexico. You arrive to laboratory and there should be someone to receive you, but you see nobody and hear only blowing wind. Something makes you think there has happened an accident or something like that again.You decide to take a little look around....

Review :

This release seems to have passed trough the wire of lot's of HL sp fan so that it just came out recently at planetphillip. The impression during the playing of this episode was really a mixed feeling, the author created something interesting at start but didn't put enough effort in general layout with oversized places laking details, big place looking to boxy, too much use of copy/paste without any change (the office hallway before the tank attack) but this was mixed with some interesting design and detail and some correct interconnection

Design is intended to be not repetitive but even if the author wanted to make a good mix between outdoor and indoor, the lack of detail and weak architecture design let sometime the feeling of visiting places that look quite similar but with different texturing. The theme is the most visited in hl release (research complex), but doesn't succeed in adding value to the original game, and this even if some place are well crafted and that some events or puzzles seems sometimes intersting (tank attack, 'clark lift' puzzle, end scene,...) they are mostly lost in the mass of the gameplay and doesn't really succed in highlinthing this episode.
Gameplay is really the sad part of this episode all fight and combats are not that easy and quite unrealistic with sad trap that won't let you a chance at the first try, the progression seems mostly obvious and puzzle,even if they seems quite well handled, doesn't add any value to the frustrating fighting gameplay...ambiance and especially sound seems more to lack so that you never really get immersed in the experience.

In conlcusion: this one was lost somewhere on the internet and is really intended for HL fan who likes to play everything, it's really not a priority...because at the end it let more frustration feeling than good memories. But you can only at it's advantage not too difficult regarding gameplay, in easy mode it seems ok and finally it will take you a little bit more than a half hour to be completed if you don't know what to do for this period of time in an evening why not give it at try but don't forget all the weaknesess mentioned.

Playtime: 50 min

Rating: A B C D E (58%)

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Separation Anxiety for Doom3


Level name: Separation Anxiety

Author: Thomas Hoeg

Date of release:
01 May 2008

Size: 5 137 ko

Number of maps: 1

website: here



While Bravo Team was moving through sector 3 of the Alpha Labs, an explosion rocked the facility sending debris and assorted pieces of machinery crashing to the ground. The chaos of the explosion and the subsequent wreckage left one of the Bravo Team marines (the player) separated fro the team and unable to rejoin them. In addition, the explosion damaged the marine’s equipment leaving him with only his sidearm and flashlight to fight off any potential threats. That marine must now traverse the dangerous maintenance passages under sector 3 in order to reach a maintenance lift that will allow him to rendezvous with the team in sector 4.

Review :
Another short but enjoyable release from a student at the Guidhall .
This map contains all what is needed to create 'atmosfear' you qwest will directly go wrong but on text message will help you out to progress and find more and more pda's and challenge

Design is perfectly fitting the theme ambiance, sounds traps are present in a well related environment in a linear but not repetitive progression from out to down to shaft and even more there are not a lot of area to visit but some small lateral path may add a value to it so don't esitte to visit every corner. don't forget to read email from pda no important data's have to been read but i think it's really an enjoyable part of Doom3 features.

Gameplay is progressive, it's a push and fight progression with surprise but no real puzzles the challenge increase with progression and i quite bad suprise awaits you there isn't a lot of things to discribe just download it and appreciate what has been done
In conclusion: I really thought that the best for Doom 3 was behind us this new fresh breath I a good reason to justify a Doom3 folder to sleep on you Hard Drive, if it’s not the case you should directly reinstall it…

In conclusion: like most of the production of guildhall students it's defenetly too short but perfectly makes the circle arround the question...giving a reply to (or shoud i say a use) from most of the features coming with Doom3 and this with enjoyment...so get it even if it's too short.

Playtime: 10 min

Rating: A B C D E (76%)

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Enlightenment for Quake4


Level name:Enlightenment

Author: Jane Chung

Release date: 1 may 2008

Size: 4 326 ko

Number of maps: 1

website: here

download: Author's page

Kane must find and rescue Lieutenant Reynolds of the Raven Squad, who has been captured by the Strogg. Reynolds is being held in the research wing of the Strogg Medical Facilities. This is a side mission, taking place when Kane enters the USS Hannibal (before the briefing to “Operation: Advantage”). Kane has not (yet) experienced Stroggification for himself and this mission will be the player’s first impressions of the Strogg’s treatment of P.O.W.’s.

Review :

Another Short but interesting release from a Student at the SMU Guildhall (people are dedicated to a year cursus classified on SMU as Cohord, the author is part of the last one).

Design is atmospheric and well put together for what is intended as kane to be you first mission. You will get down with an elevator activate switdches to progress and after get out by another elevator...the author use ambiance sound and ligthning perfectly in the middle of this short release to get you 'trapped' into this release. Original voice acting is also something that add the necessary filling to add to your ego by some encouragement when you succeed objectives.

Gameplay is well balance between puzzles and battles even if those seems a bit weak in challenge it offer some surprise...

In conclusion: this was a midd term work done in a small period but even if it's short it contains everything to make it really enjoyable its neat in scritping and design and well worth the download

Playtime: 15 minutes

Rating: A B C D E (77%)

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Asda for Half-Life 2


Level name:Asda

Author: Mike 'Dryn' Knowland

Date of release: 24 April 2007

Size: 92 104 ko

Number of maps: 2

website: none

download: here


Set in 2030, global warming and an upsurge in population growth have taken their toll on humanity. In a world of dwindling food resources an increasing amount of large corporations try to find ways to sustain profits. Numerous ASDA shopping centres across the UK have secretly begun to abduct citizens and carry out inhumane tests to try to find a means of creating a perfect food product using alternative resources to that which have suffered over the past 23 years. In an attempt to keep this illegal operation covert, the multi-billion dollar business Wal-Mart based in America (who own ASDA) developed its own military and special police force that are currently in operation at all major Wal-Mart stores.

Stafford ASDA has become one of the most active and dominant locations for the experiments to take place as a result of several secret agents working on ASDA’s behalf who successfully infiltrated and swayed the local police force into corruption.
After numerous abductions you fall victim to the hand of ASDA when you return home from work to find your wife and child missing. The police fail to satisfy your questions to find the truth, but the tides turn in your favour one night at a bar, when a sympathetic ASDA employee overhears your conversation with your friend. Feeling guilt under the weight of his immoral actions working for ASDA, he agrees to help you, supplying you with all the inside information you need to take revenge.
You make plans to infiltrate ASDA using the sewer entrance alongside the river bank using a keycard carefully concealed by your informant from the guards. Once inside you will then have to work your way up to the main floor; where you will need to locate a gas valve that has to be released in order for the main door leading to the experiment areas to become unstable and open. Your inside man has also agreed to hide a C4 explosive inside the main shopping area after you agree that it is too risky to try to get the explosives in safely and quietly through the river and sewer way. Once you acquire the explosives you must use it to destroy the core power and test silos at the far end of ASDA from where you entered, and then escape. The inside man has also informed you that he thinks there might be a teleporter located somewhere near the silos, which ASDA secret agents use to quickly get out into the Car Park area or to other ASDA stores, although it is likely to be unstable and inactive.
In preparation for your attack you set of several explosives at key road points at the surrounding area the night before, to encourage civilians away from ASDA.

Review :

It was a long time since i tried another release for HL2 but this week-end gives me a change to do this so I wan to planetphillip to download one of the last one...

The release start pretty well under steam with some intro video and interesting stuff that prepares you to the background map. And so it's start with a new weapon( too efficiant) and lot's of custom content from modified models to textures and even for sounds and custom music (hits from the ninety that i don't remember) , progression seams obvious even if for the first puzzle i had some chance to find the necessary object... after the progression is straight forward with small puzzle well balanced fight (a little too easy) in a 'real' supermarket the way to the outdoor is a bit special and will send you to the market parking place were fight will increase with the presence of a strider...

According design it's quite classic but well put together with the feeling of unfinished places creating some 'bad visual' if you reach them...use of custom models and new textures in the supermarket add something new but it doesn't really shine like the new models that have the only positive point of beeing personnaly created but don't really add any memorable feeling...

Gameplay is a mix beween puzzles and fights but both are a little weak in my opinion i'ts just fun and short but after thinking of the starting position I was really thinking that both design and gameplay would increase with progression whitch was not really the case...

In conclusion: another good find from phillip on grinder's places it's fun a little bit too short and misses in my opinion more cohesion like if the author put too much effort at start and after really rush to finish his release

Playtime: 30 min

Rating: A B C D E (74%)

Sunday, November 02, 2008

preMistake for Half-Life


Level name: preMistake

Author: Ashkandi

Date of release: 12 October 2008

Size: 93 292 ko

Number of maps: 11

website: none

download: At plantphillip.com

Note : there was a prebeta available from this one arround one year ago even if the content can be related with this release the senario and mapping expeirence is totally different, so feel free to check it here

Author's Note :This mod will let us into a horroristic world in the Andrew Parker asylum and we will live through (or not) in the view of a mental patient. The mod’s primal object is not the insane bloodbath. The real object is to escape from the huge building which holds a lot of secrets.

Review :

In this release like in the preview one, you will try to travel to the exit of a kind of psychiatric hospital. The ambiance take some inspiration from classic movie but also from recent game like F.E.A.R. it's really what we can call a Total Conversion with new hud, weapon enemies and texture

After a small brief intro that seems to explain who you are, you wake up in a room and start you qwest to the outdoor. It' s dark and gloomy and the music like the atmosphere is perfectly fitting the theme.

Progression is mostly streight forward but correctly agremented by puzzle simple jumping ones or more difficult like the first one that make you search for a key under a plate. Flashing picture featuring blood and dead bodes will certainly surprise you at some time...you will so enter places that can only be exit by solving the puzzle (whish somehow is interesting in limitating the qwest or puzzle in a not too huge place), on text message build the story with your progression and the enemies you will face will also be put in ballance with the increase of power you got to distroy them (from a mess to a shotgun).

To be honest the design is quite limited in originality but limited to a psychiatric hospital seems perfectly fitting. the custom counted from alcohol bottle to enemies passing by the genral texturing is for me above average.

The gameplay is pleasant and not too difficult including the increase in challenge from start to the end scene is well balanced puzzle add what's needed to increase the palytime but without any frsutration of not solving them

In conlcusion: regarding the first opus (beta) i was hopping for the same sort of gameplay that i enjoyed and was quite surprise to find it even more enjoyable...with a good atmosphere mistake add something new to what we are familiar to play for Half-Life it's enjoyable fun and not too long...let's hope there will be a sequel.

1 hour 30 min

Rating: A B C D E (84%)

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Counter added

Just found this feature on another blog...

It's something I wanted to add for a while but with a certain anxiety...thinking i was mostly the only one to visite my blog...

After two days I'm quite happy

so if you like to add one to you own blog it's quite simple, just follow the information here copy/paste the embed link and that's it.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Reissues for Half-Life


Level name: Reissues

Author: collective of mappers

Release date: 14 september 2008

Size: 101 891 ko

Number of maps: 30

website: here

download: At planetphillip

note: I used my classic Half-Life CD with patch for the steamuser take the version here


Phillip's note :
Reissues is a collaborative mapping project that traces its roots back to Project Quantum Leap. The basic idea was to collect a bunch of unrelated maps and short multi-map adventures by authors of all levels of skill, both veterans and newbies, and release it as a single map-pack. There was no story; each map stood (or fell) on its own. The first Issues was the same idea - in fact it was originally called PQL2 - except that it used Spirit of Half-Life as the basis for it’s maps.

Review :

For the review I will take all part seperatly and try to make it not too long. First of all there is a hazard course, which isn't that great and after you may enter into the real game.After a short talk with the G-man choice seems obvious and here you are again to start some nex mission. There is a central place with access to different portal, link to each releases, when the mission is done you get back to this page and the portal you just came out will crash down. there is no orientation about the one that you will choose it's just on you hand. So here we go

It's Safer...by tottmaster_c

I Begin with this one, it's a short classic map with a good transposition of HL2 feeling you progression is obvious and streight forward In a clean design perhaps containing a little bit to much of hallways and squared places but the action is clean, so this doesn't bother you to much.This 2maps experience is quite short but enjoyable and features some intersting stuff like the new skin of military forces

note: in the first version it seems that there is a skybox bug to prevent this just at the start of the map quick save and quick load and this will be ok

rating: 7/10
playtime: 15 minutes

Cyan from Half-Life_Maniac

This second experience was really a perfectly well designed part with everything what is needed to make it intense (you know the episode you are just making a short break and after 10 minutes you return to it because you really want to know what's next). In this release you enter a planet base where something wrong just happens, Design is well put together and balance with clean brilliant architecture, small action behind doors or some scientist screaming, and a perfectly scripted scenario that let you the feeling that this base is so huge and full of connection that you could be easily lost or miss something (which never happens to me...). The progression is well organized with help of barney (with a great new suit) or with some sientist, puzzle are present like an end fight triggered and quite difficult (just have to wait for the elevator to open) This is the perfect example of what we look for with 4 maps and arround 50 minutes of gameplay...this is really enjoyable and recommanded.

rating: 9/10

playtime: 50 minutes

Encamped...by Dred_furst

Third part from this release if you simply progress in the classic hour progression. This one is a well balanced simply designed release, You are still gordon and need to go for another lab mission full of ambush, Inth is one there is a teleport to activate and this is the onlyway to get to the next chapter of Reissues. Design is quite classic with correct layout but nothing impressive, I didn't recognize any new stuff in this one. Progression is mostly streight formard and happens only in a indoor vue.
Gameplay is well balance with help of on the message that give an orientation to the gameplay highly enjoyable, traps and fights make the rest to make it enjoyable.

rating: 7/10
playtime: 30 minutes

Labcoat required...by Ansith

This one is the one that I like the less, it was quite short and build like the first map that shines nearly ten years ago... use of prefabs, places like the broken railway missing reality, simple forward gameplay without any atmosphere (voices or text), no real puzzle, nothing really new hopefully it's not too long sothat you don't have the possibility to get bored.

rating: 5/10
playtime: 15 minutes

Second Wind by Campainjunkie

This one is another good suprise I only know the author since he as post several (not enough...) review at Ten Four but din't know I could create something so good. Design gives a terrible fresh feeling in a conceptual grandness* with marvellous view, perfect texturing and good fiting storyline. In this release, that seems to be the longest in playtime due to mostly puzzle, you were abandonned on a coast by you former boss and you only aim is..vengance! In this way you will need to enter its fortified castle hanging on a mountain island. Design is really brilliant enhanced buy texturing, intro and outro cutsceenes and lots of perfectly crafted places that let memorable view that everybody could use as screensaver.
Gameplay is a mix between good fights and ambushes and lot's of puzzle some easy to understrand other not so witch can cause some frustration if you are turning arround for quite a long time thinking in the wrong way (I was pretty sure i needed to use the Gargantua to do something...witch was not the case)or if you don't like jumping puzzle or sort of for the last part you need to climb to the top.

rating: 9/10
playtime: 60 minutes

Echo transit by Snotball & Sjakal

This is the sixth releases on nine and the two guys that builded this one have put priority in scripting before mapping. The storyline is another accident that took inspiration from HL2 the starting place you just arrived by the teleport but something goes wrong and the objective is the transport and use a generator to restore the power in orther to escape by the starting teleport. Design is simple but perfectly done from indoor to outdoor with lots of containers, bulding and attention to detail as he generator, crane and teleport.
The script is really what can make a game geat and his one is the good example correct voice acting will explain to you step by step what you need to do that really create a great atmosphere that can sometimes get a little frustrating when an ambushes triggers when you need to listen to the mission objectives... Challenging is also a great part of this release with perfect balance between items and fights you will need to do and that increase witth you progression.
This one is another enjoyable and good surprise.

rating: 8.5 /10
playtime: 40 minutes

Starlab by SEThorian

I follow this one through then for forum and was really disapointing when Seth, decide to put an end to it. Hopefully a part of his upcoming episode was added to this Reissues project. The theme was already visited a lot in this Reissue project, a base that is under enemie control and that need to be delivered.
Design is well put together in perhaps, a too classic way. The general layout use perfectly the original content that create a good ambiance, neverteless you don't have really the impression to travel through a large, spead complex (vertical travels is not enough present). The way to progress is well oriented by on text message but sadly, and especially for non native speakers, the text disapears too fast so that most of the time you don't have all infos required. Gameplay appart from the design is prefectly feating and even if soemthing it's predictable like the end fight it's still what it should be Enjoyable.
All events that occurs really help creating a mission ambiance but finally the experience felt a little bit short with no real highlights even if still the content and gameplay are above average, I had in memory something better...

rating: 7.5/10
playtime: 45 minutes

The specter of Ra by Firebinder

This one is quite original looking both to concept and layout and shines mostly by the integration of new models.In this mission that seems short your boss is sending you to the temple of Ra to take back the specter from the evil that want to used it against humanity...the big problem that will occurs is that Ra was woke up...and will start punishing humanity as a sentence.
The Design is one time more from a classic bottle from the starting office full of details to the temple of Ra made of classic architecture not that creative but perfectly fitting the theme. The addition of new enemies models really add something special to this release because they are brilliant...mission is quite simple and streight forward with it's part of amushes and surprise that really get you immersed in this experience.
Gameplay is perfect from start to end in an increase challenge untill the boss fight that isn't the end of the surpise the only complain was perhaps the poor voice acting that didn' t sound clear at all moments...still a great experience.

rating: 8.5/10
playtime: 30 minutes

Coil by Gary 'kol' Brigadir

Another awaited project that finally came out through the reissues project (for more info just check the website here) and this one like starlab was certainly something i was looking for. This one ends up for me this interesting Reissues experience with a great experience.
Design is really well organized arround an important building that you will need to explore in order to progress. Architecture is a mix beween outdoor and indoor places well organized in a complex depot set on several floors. Attention to detail add a bunch of realism to this one that also includes some impressive custom content from texture to prefabs, elements like traps, accident, different possibility to progress make it entertaining. There isn't a real storyline below or scriting help but it's really not needed it's so intuitive that you just flow through the experience without any daubt or question.
Gameplay is the mix we all want: puzzle and fights from simple to more complicated one and perfectly balance to make it difficult but not frustrating. sometime you need to rush and other times you need to think and travel more and more to understand what could be done to progress a little more. the end teleport just let a abrupt ending filling with in back a more imortant project that just felt down due to lack of time...this is for me the only sad point, but the filling that is left was what i was waiting for. This one, even if still quite classic, was my favorite one.

rating: 9/10
playtime: 40 minutes

In conlcusion: Reissues is a top notch collection of 9 episodes from good quality that every Half-Life fan should try, it won't take you much time to complete each of them and the experience is really worth so don't wait any longuer just get into it

Playtime: 5-6 hours

Rating: A B C D E (88%)

* Mikko Sandt used a lot the reference to this unreal sp vision of mapping

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Operation Nova for Half-Life


Level name: Operation Nova

Ben Greenwood

date: 14 september 2008

Size: 5 813 ko

Number of maps: 7

website: here

download: At filefront.com


authors's note :

A single-player episode for Half-Life 1. The episode takes place during the events featured in the original Half-Life; specifically, the episode entitled On a Rail. The player plays John Skinner, a cleaner who wears a similar HEV suit to Freeman, and is hence mistaken for him by the military. Skinner’s objective is to destroy a surface-to-air missile launcher, which the military have brought in to take out the sattelite delivery rocket being launched by Freeman. The episode features voice acting performed by experienced voice actors (including some with professional voice acting experience).”

Review :

This one seems to be the first release from the author who manage to create a short but well balance episode with a lot of integration in terms of puzzle, AI interaction and Even more.

Design was correct and quite varied there was no tremendus work in terms of architecture and even if some places seems to be to squary they were well mixed together adding outdoor and indoor travelling. The interconnection and the items placement makes it a perfect sequel with creativity to what has been provided by the original game there isn't any new stuff except some prefabs and a high quality voice acting environment.

Gameplay is well balance and perfectly script some puzzle are dificult to solve (but there is a hint.txt in case of) and AI interaction is well set to make you travel through the complex in a well organized mission. This is really the interesting point, hints and tips are given by acting voice AI and you will need to go a lot backward in a non linear way. Ammo and health are wells spread to make the challenge increase with you progression end place is aztmospheric but lack an outro cutscene

In conlcusion: For a first effort Ben put a lot of energy as equal in scipting as in mapping to create and enjoyable mission integrating correct environment, good and even sometimes a little hard puzzeling but an interesting and immersing mission. It's really worth the effort to play this one

Playtime: 40 minutes

Rating: A B C D E (86%)


Note :I test this one with my old Half-Life copy using update without any problems

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Holiday at Aegean Melathron

I had 3 week of holiday during August and I will just share my 14 days Greeks experience with you, readers

This year for our family holiday we decided to go to Greece to find the sun that didn't really shine here in Belgium.

We reserved our holiday at the Aegean Melathron situated on the nearly island of Kassandra part of Chalkidiki on aproximatly 100km south of Thessaloniki.

The first aim of the holidays was to take some rest and perhaps rent a car or do some trips to visit the region. Hotel was quite intesting especially regarding the confort of the room (wide, well located, calm and with an outstanding layout).
The Hotel is quite well organized with lot's of swimming pools, restaurant, and houses well oriented. The old part beach part of the road was build 5 years ago the new part on the other side of the road (linked by a tunnel) was opened this year.
The tourist are comming from everywhere but mainly Bulgary, Greece, Germany, England and Belgium...language most common used is english...
Service at the hotel was what is neede with cleaning, adding confort with sometimes great touch of services like chocolate in the room every evening, a small drink if you are late at the evening diner, small golf car for travelling to the beach, ...
I was sadly a little disapointed by mainly the excessive price of drinks at diner time, the food deliver was certainly in good quantity but the quality sometimes make you more think as a 3star hotel...also people behavior at the dinner room was unrespectable but this happens everywhere.

In addition to the hotel holiday we add two travelling excursions:

  • the safari (safari-hellas), a day trip through forest roads with a great guide called Stratos landscape is wonderfull even a little distroyed by some fire 5 years ago. recommanded if you can drive and can do it all you family

  • the pirate cruise more made to take tourist money it was ok but nothing really special no real animation, jumping from the ship into the sea, swim and following the coast with a simple dish at lunch time but for the kids it was ok

there are lots of other posibility: karting, night club, visiting kalithea, scuba diving and lots more

Even if holiday become quite expensive and it's more and more difficult to find something with a good relation between price and quality the Aegean Melathron is certainly a place to take in account...also Greece is a perfect place to visit if you like sunny days, fun, not too expensive and the lool and swim in a marvellous blue sea.

I also have add a new link to my bad guy it's a small game where nearly everything is fixed except your bad guy that you need to create to fight against me and the others everyday (to start 6 fights and after 3 fights a day) you make some battle and win points whish will make you increase in ranking.
To progress you have also another way is to add 'students' by linking you profile to friends (that what i'm doing here) the pyramidal effect in some way...the only frustration if that fights are happening out of control except the choosing of you opponent...quite pathetic

Sunday, August 10, 2008

So much for Freeman for Half-Life 2


Level name: So much for Freeman

Author: Duncan 'Finger' Moore

Date of release: 31 May 2007

Size: 14 918 ko

Number of maps: 1

website: snarkpit profile

download: here

Author's Note:

This is my entry for the snarkpit ‘map from base’ singleplayer mapping challenge. Regardless of how the challenge pans out, I plan on developing this map further, and extending the gameplay beyond what I’ve built.

We’ll call this an ‘alternate history’ if you will; a spin off scenario that puts you, Gordon Freeman, captive of the brutal Combine - being marched off to a quick death. The end is near…. or is it?

Edit…. this map has been EXTENDED!! I’ve completed round 2 of the snarkpit mapping challenge by continuing with this singleplayer map. I decided to try and cram round 2 into the same bsp… the result is a fairly large map. Let me know if anyone has problems running it, as I may end up splitting it into 2 maps. Once again, I plan to continue developing this further.

Review :

This map was made already a year ago for a sp contest at snarkpit, the author isn't a beginner and you will directly notice it.

In this mission you end sadly captured by the combine forces and seem ready to be in a really bad position...the intro will lead you in a step you never taught about...so try to survive and escape

Design of this map is well done with a good intro and a simple but immersing design, the progression is well oriented in limited areas but the travelling and challenge encountered make it really enjoyable and organised. Everything look fresh in a classic design and is enjoyable with even some new textures touch like doors and the atmospheric skybox and some short voice acting

Gameplay is balanced to be challenging and add what is needed to slow down you progression traps and combine attack are waiting for you but no boss fight in this one. It's not also a simply forward and fight progression, you have to think a little and this help the enjoyment.

In conclusion: for a short contest map it's a high enjoyable one everything that is needed is here present except an ending that i hope will come out one day.

Playtime: 20 min

Rating: A B C D E (87%)