Wolfenstein 3D

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Martin III
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Wolfenstein 3D

Post by Martin III » Tue Jun 05, 2012 2:59 am

Well, this evening I popped this sucker in and gave it a whirl.

Wow.

I think what impresses me most is the soundtrack. It's a wonderful use of the CD format, with a rich assortment of instrumentation, and it really grips you and gets you into the mood.

I'm also pleasantly surprised by how smoothly the game runs. Slayer is generally amazing, and still my favorite 3DO game thus far, but movement in the game is rather jerky, and I had feared Wolfenstein 3D would be little better, if not worse. Instead, it plays as smoothly as I could ask for.

The gameplay is also deeper than I had expected. The positioning of enemies near doors, and their tendency to bob and weave sets my pulse racing in a way Blake Stone: Aliens of Gold never did. (Yep, that's right. Back in the day I never played Wolfenstein 3D, and only played the shareware version of Doom, but I bought all six episodes of Aliens of Gold and played them multiple times. What can I say, I like sci fi without the horror.) The gameplay elements are all familiar(heck, I've seen 'em all in Aliens of Gold) but the enemy and level design gives W3D a unique feel.

My one complaint? The lack of an automap. Sure, it's not like in Doom, where backtracking can cost you health and eventually kill you, but the levels are big enough to get lost in, and searching for secret rooms isn't as fun when you don't have a map to narrow down good places to look.

Great fun on the whole, and the fact that the Nocturnal Missions are included means I've got plenty of it to look forward to. :D

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Re: Wolfenstein 3D

Post by Trev » Tue Jun 05, 2012 3:18 am

Martin III wrote:
My one complaint? The lack of an automap. Sure, it's not like in Doom, where backtracking can cost you health and eventually kill you, but the levels are big enough to get lost in, and searching for secret rooms isn't as fun when you don't have a map to narrow down good places to look.
The game does have an auto-map actually ... you acess it by hitting the A & C buttons together. Hope it helps, I agree the game is awesome!
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Re: Wolfenstein 3D

Post by bitrate » Tue Jun 05, 2012 3:18 am

Martin III wrote:My one complaint? The lack of an automap. Sure, it's not like in Doom, where backtracking can cost you health and eventually kill you, but the levels are big enough to get lost in, and searching for secret rooms isn't as fun when you don't have a map to narrow down good places to look.

There is an auto-map. Press the A and C buttons together to bring the map up and you can scroll around with the D-pad.

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Post by Trev » Tue Jun 05, 2012 3:21 am

Lol, looks like I beat your post by only a few seconds bitrate. :P
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Post by bitrate » Tue Jun 05, 2012 3:22 am

Haha! :D

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Post by Austin » Tue Jun 05, 2012 11:41 pm

Yes, Wolfenstein 3D is a fantastic game on the 3DO. The new soundtrack and sound effects especially enhance the experience and make the whole thing more "gripping" than other versions of the game. A framerate boost would have been nice, but still, the gameplay is extremely brisk and it's just awesome to play. I can't recommend this game enough! :)

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Re: Wolfenstein 3D

Post by Martin III » Wed Jun 06, 2012 10:23 pm

Trev wrote:The game does have an auto-map actually ... you access it by hitting the A & C buttons together. Hope it helps, I agree the game is awesome!
Ah, thanks. It is helpful, though the fact that the map doesn't indicate where you've been makes it a lot more confusing than it should be. And A and C together is a rather senseless way to map the function; if you don't do it perfectly then you waste a round of ammo whenever you access the map, and why not just put it in the menu? This prompted me to check a scan of the manual, and now I see that switching weapons is mapped the same way! Why not use the P button to switch weapons? Having a separate pause function when the menu and the automap both pause the game makes no sense. I can see how a three-button controller is limiting in some ways, but a game like Wolfenstein 3D really shouldn't have this problem.

End rant. Despite my complaints, the automap is a lot better than nothing, and I like that it's nice and big.

Finished Episode 1 today. I struggled a bit on level 6, but otherwise it was a no-deaths run. That said, my pulse was pounding the vast majority of the time. I'm playing on "Bring 'em on" difficulty, so if a Nazi gets the drop on me, I can die in just a few seconds. And I was caught off-guard more than once.

Question: I see one of the new game options is "Original Campaign"(or something like that). Does this have a different presentation from the individual episodes at all, or does this just treat the thirty levels of episodes 1-3 as a single episode?

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Post by Martin III » Sun Aug 12, 2012 6:50 pm

And now that I've finished Episode 4, I've got another question...

It seems like this episode suffers considerably from slowdown, speedup, and frame-rate drops, whereas the first three episodes are perfectly smooth. Is this just my imagination? And if not, are the remaining two episodes also like this?

By the way, level 4-8 shocked me with how tough it is. I died ten or eleven times before getting through that one. Those dang SS Officers... They almost seem to shoot before they even know you're there.

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Post by Trev » Sun Aug 12, 2012 9:23 pm

Martin III wrote:And now that I've finished Episode 4, I've got another question...

It seems like this episode suffers considerably from slowdown, speedup, and frame-rate drops, whereas the first three episodes are perfectly smooth. Is this just my imagination? And if not, are the remaining two episodes also like this?

By the way, level 4-8 shocked me with how tough it is. I died ten or eleven times before getting through that one. Those dang SS Officers... They almost seem to shoot before they even know you're there.
Hmmm ... don't remember seeing much slowdown w/my copy. Which isn't to say it isn't there, I just might not be bothered enough by it to really notice.

Wait to you play on "I am death incarnate"! (or is that the difficulty you are already on?)
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Post by 3DO Experience » Mon Aug 13, 2012 12:31 am

I've never had slowdown on this game. Is your system in a cool place / well ventilated?
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Post by Martin III » Mon Aug 13, 2012 10:44 pm

3DO Experience wrote:I've never had slowdown on this game. Is your system in a cool place / well ventilated?
Yep. The slowdown comes in a little bit when I face Episode 4's mass hordes of enemies, like on Floor 9, the room of hiding officers on Floor 8, and the secret level. However, where it mainly pops up is when I approach the pile of bodies afterward. The game perceptibly struggles there.

I've been playing on "Don't Hurt Me", Trev. I went through Episode 1 just fine on "Bring it On", but the huge difficult jump on Floor 2-1 threw me. After some 20 deaths, I switched to "Don't Hurt Me", only to find that most of the remaining levels of Episode 2 are far easier. If I'd known that, I would have kept plugging with "Bring it On", but the game's still plenty challenging, and I like the idea of saving the harder difficulty for a second playthrough.

I doubt I'll ever take on "I am Death Incarnate"; I'm just not that hardcore a first-person shooter man. In fact, Wolfenstein 3D is the first game in the genre that I've wholeheartedly enjoyed, unless you count Red Steel 2.

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Post by Trev » Mon Aug 13, 2012 11:27 pm

Martin III wrote: I doubt I'll ever take on "I am Death Incarnate"; I'm just not that hardcore a first-person shooter man.
Ha ha, I'm not either when it comes to most fps if I'm being honest. I just remember fooling around w/that mode and thinking what a spike in difficulty it was. I tend to pick 'don't hurt me' or 'bring it on' also depending on my mood, and if I wan't a more fun run through the game, or a more intense one. Good to try death incarnate though once you beat the game a few times.
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Post by Austin » Tue Aug 14, 2012 9:26 am

I think you are confusing slowdown for frameskipping (i.e., choppy framerate). The game never "slows down", per-se, but the framerate does get choppy when a lot is going on.

BTW, "I Am Death Incarnate" is the ONLY way to play Wolfenstein 3D. :P

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Post by Jones » Wed Aug 15, 2012 9:30 am

Am I the only one, who gets slightly sick by this game's 3D engine?
After 20 minutes of playing I can feel my stomach.
No problems with modern FPS games though!

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Post by MakillaGorilla » Wed Aug 15, 2012 5:57 pm

I was on the fence about which system to get this game for. I was leaning towards the Jaguar, because I already have Doom for that and it plays really well. It seems though that the added goodies on the 3DO version make it worth it.
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Post by Trev » Wed Aug 15, 2012 9:14 pm

MakillaGorilla wrote:I was on the fence about which system to get this game for. I was leaning towards the Jaguar, because I already have Doom for that and it plays really well. It seems though that the added goodies on the 3DO version make it worth it.
Having owned both, I can say that the Jag version is good, but the 3DO version is far superior.
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Post by Austin » Wed Aug 15, 2012 10:10 pm

MakillaGorilla wrote:I was on the fence about which system to get this game for. I was leaning towards the Jaguar, because I already have Doom for that and it plays really well. It seems though that the added goodies on the 3DO version make it worth it.
To be honest, I think both are worth owning. Each has benefits that the other does not have. For instance, the Jag version has a smoother framerate overall, objects look bigger and it uses remixed versions of the original DOS tunes. The 3DO one has a different kind of quality to the visuals, has shoulder strafing, less slippery controls, and a brand new soundtrack with an overhaul on the sound effects. Both are great in my opinion.

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Post by Trev » Thu Aug 16, 2012 4:37 am

Hmmm ... unless you are a diehard fan, I personally don't think there are enough differences between the two ports to warrant a purchase, especially at the prices they seem to have attached to them as of late.

As good as the Jag version is, the only thing I can think of off the top of my head that I like better is that the map is easier to access via the Jags keypad(no risk of wasting bullets like w/the 3DO's control setup)

The 3DO version just offers so much more though imo. Besides the obvious, that the music & sfx totally destroy the Jag port, it also has more levels, and cleaner, brighter visuals. Something about the Jag version just makes it seem dark, like several of the Jag games come to think about it. (maybe it's cause the switched the floor color to brown)
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Re: Wolfenstein 3D

Post by Jones » Thu Aug 16, 2012 6:58 pm

Martin III wrote:
Trev wrote:The game does have an auto-map actually ... you access it by hitting the A & C buttons together. Hope it helps, I agree the game is awesome!
And A and C together is a rather senseless way to map the function; if you don't do it perfectly then you waste a round of ammo whenever you access the map, and why not just put it in the menu?
I can see how a three-button controller is limiting in some ways, but a game like Wolfenstein 3D really shouldn't have this problem.
Alright, here comes the magic trick, man:
First push the C-button, keep it pushed, and hit the A-button.
Absolutely no chance of wasting any ammo that way. :-)

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Re: Wolfenstein 3D

Post by Martin III » Fri Aug 17, 2012 6:29 pm

Jones wrote:
Martin III wrote:
Trev wrote:The game does have an auto-map actually ... you access it by hitting the A & C buttons together. Hope it helps, I agree the game is awesome!
And A and C together is a rather senseless way to map the function; if you don't do it perfectly then you waste a round of ammo whenever you access the map, and why not just put it in the menu?
I can see how a three-button controller is limiting in some ways, but a game like Wolfenstein 3D really shouldn't have this problem.
Alright, here comes the magic trick, man:
First push the C-button, keep it pushed, and hit the A-button.
Absolutely no chance of wasting any ammo that way. :-)
Yeah, I do use that method, but it still occasionally shoots off a round that way. It's an awkward setup, and if your focus lapses, your finger can slip off the C button a split second before you push the A button. Not a big deal by any means, but there were better possible configurations and it bugs me that they didn't use them, as unreasonable as that may be of me.

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Post by Martin III » Sat Oct 13, 2012 1:22 pm

I've since finished episode 5 - still savoring this excellent game.

Anybody else feel that the first level of each episode is always one of the hardest, if not the hardest period? This especially struck me with episode 2, where you have those frightful mutants behind every door in level 1 combined with hardly any ammo, while the rest of the episode you're mostly fighting old manageable foes and have a healthy stock of ammo. But in pretty much every episode I've seen a noticeable difficulty spike on the first level.

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Post by Martin III » Fri Oct 26, 2012 4:07 pm

Finished the game today. Holy moley, that last level is nuts - and this is on "Don't Hurt Me" mode!

I died several times against the dual swarm before I went with what I call the "sissy method": Running back to a safe corner as soon as the swarm is triggered so all the enemies have to squeeze through narrow passages to get at you, allowing you to mow them down one-by-one. Even with that method I died a couple more times before making it to the bosses.

The first time I reached the bosses, I foolishly decided it would be better to tackle them both at once (they make a bigger target that way, so less wasted ammo) and was killed in under five seconds.

Second time, I led out Trans Grosse first. After using up the last of my flamethrower, I fled back to the hidden room near the level start so that I could grab a health kit and ready my chaingun. After a long, tense wait, it hit me that Trans Grosse must be unable to open doors. Not liking this, but managing to keep my cool for the moment, I ran back to open the door and let him in. Two seconds later I was running backwards while firing, strafing like a madman, taking only a few nicks but ever aware of the fact that I had no health refills in reach. :x And then...

You know how the room adjacent to the boss room has those two little passages in the inner walls, one of which opens up to a secret room? Well, I managed to run back into the one which doesn't open up to a secret room. (face palm)

For a split second I thought of running back out, but Trans Gross appeared at the entrance. There was nothing left to do but grit my teeth and hold down the trigger of my chaingun, all the while thinking "I'm dead, I'm dead, I'm dead." By an odd stroke of luck, Grosse didn't fire at all at this point, but he did walk right up to me, and... finally fell dead.

I can't remember the last time I felt such glorious relief while playing a video game. Then it hit me that I was down to only 33 bullets, and my only other option was a handful of rockets in my launcher. Yikes. I eliminated the soldier on the west side of the boss room, then readied my rocket launcher, planning to grab any ammo that might lie behind that soldier if I ran out of rockets.

I led the Death Knight out the west entrance, firing rockets in such a panic that I missed more than once. Yet my strafing was good, and after an intense bout I felled the Death Knight without taking a hit, and a few rockets still leftover.

Man, did finishing that level feel good. This is one awesome game and I look forward to polishing off my review of it.

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Post by Trev » Fri Oct 26, 2012 4:19 pm

Congrats on finishing it! :) Looking forward to your review (I gotta post some new reviews too)
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Post by 3DO Experience » Sat Oct 27, 2012 10:17 pm

Congrats! Just wanted to let you know that a new version of the soundtrack is available in the 3DOverture.
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Post by JohnnyDude » Mon Oct 29, 2012 4:10 am

Good work dude, those games aren't going to beat themselves!

Odd that you mention the game. A couple weeks ago I read an article on Hardcore Gaming 101 about Wolfenstein 3D: http://hardcoregaming101.net/wolfenstei ... stein2.htm (quickly becoming a favorite site of mine). It has a very extensive history of the game! I had no idea it was so prolific! And apparently 3DO presented a very good version.

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Post by Trev » Mon Oct 29, 2012 4:13 am

JohnnyDude wrote:Good work dude, those games aren't going to beat themselves!

Odd that you mention the game. A couple weeks ago I read an article on Hardcore Gaming 101 about Wolfenstein 3D: http://hardcoregaming101.net/wolfenstei ... stein2.htm (quickly becoming a favorite site of mine). It has a very extensive history of the game! I had no idea it was so prolific! And apparently 3DO presented a very good version.
Yeah, I really like that site too. :)
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Post by Martin III » Tue Oct 30, 2012 8:22 pm

That's a good article; thanks for posting it. It's nice to take a gander at those screenshot comparisons and see how well the 3DO version stacks up against the others!

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