MMRC Ratings for Jan-Feb

Map ratings given this issue are for "Hell Hole" only.

Review by The Terminator <belcher@ucsu.Colorado.EDU>:

Hell Hole
Design/Plot: 4-Good

The author acknowledges that there is no plot, and nothing in the way of
secrets or eye candy.
Nonetheless, the level succeeds admirably in what it is designed for:
no-nonsense, in-your-face carnage. The layout requires fast tactical
thinking, forces the player to master a variety of movement types, and
requires the player to hone their accuracy. Which is what it's for. . .
One drawback is that play is all at a single elevation, so players won't
build vertical aiming skills. The author reputedly plans to address this in
a future version.

Difficulty: 5-Overkill
This is hard. However, strange monster behavior forced the author to
create a large area ("Sniper alley") free of monsters. (Note: this is not
the case in the included map, "Bastard child" so be warned.) Also, the
monsters are not as tough as could be - for example, there are no monsters
with guided weapons, and only a few 'serious' monsters (Major Hunters,
troopers, etc) present at any given time.
Play is fast and furious, with the most rewarding play being 'dive into
the melee' tactics.

I've had this map for a month or so, and I still play it daily! I'ts
highly addictive and just loads of fun.

©1994-96 Bungie Software Products Corporation.
All Rights Reserved.

Review by Frost <> :

Design/Plot: 4-Good

Although it is relatively small compared to many maps, it has good design, i.e. the lighting is adequate and the textures are appropriate. The only part I didn't like about it is the fact that there are some places among the columns in which you could get stuck and/or begin to float into the air, which is very weird. I'm sure this will be fixed at a later date though.

Difficulty: 4-Hard

I have played alot of Marathon maps and Hell Hole seems to be one of the best third party non-stop carnage levels I've ever played. It can be viewed as an easy level by some, but for the most part it's a great level in which to hone your shooting and dodging skills. It can become frustating, however, when grenades keep flattening you before you can come across a better weapon or power cell. I get alot of fun out of the various challenges it offers: good representation of all monster types; crowds of monsters to continuously plow through; no hiding places to take a breather in; and enough grenade launching cyborgs to keep anybody busy. I began playing it at Major Damage just to get the feel for it . . . good enough - but when you move on to Hell Hole TC it turns into a real contest. If anyone feels this shootout is too easy, try stowing the launchers, fusions, rifles,and burners, and whip ass with dual pistols instead.

Personally, I wish the level was larger, but the challenge still remains good and even being blown to pieces is fun and/or funny at times. It should provide enough entertainment for anyone from the novice to the most experienced.

Review by Jimmy Mitchell<>:

Before I review this map, I would like to point out a few things about
my reasoning when I review maps. First of all, there are very few
really good third party maps out there. The vast majority of third
party maps are created in a rush with no pre-organization and an
unwillingness to spend time on the map, or no thought was given to
aesthetics--or maybe the level just has poor flow and simply doesn't play
well. Maybe the author is an inexperienced mapmaker-that's still no
reason to overlook problems. Whatever the reason (and there are a
sooooo many of them) many third party maps are just not up to Bungie
quality as they should be. So, I'm saying that about 85% of all the
third party levels out there fall in the 1 (terrible) to 3 (average)
quality rating categories, so if anyone ever receives a 'bad' review for
any map from me don't be discouraged-I'm hard to please. If the map is
not up to Bungie's standard of quality, then it has some problems and
isn't worthy of an all praising review. I'm just evaluating the map as
I see it measured up against the best, and that's all. No flames
intended. Well, that are my ratings for "Hell Hole v1.3":

Level Design/Plot: 3-Average
Difficulty rating: 4-Hard

"Hell Hole" shows some nice attention given to texture alignment, object
placement, object placement data, and flow in general. It's kinda fun
to play. But, unfortunately, lighting is very static and poorly
done...and this is a big downfall of "Hell Hole". This map says it was
made as "training map". It would vastly improve any training map to
have more variation in height-"Hell Hole" doesn't fare too well when it
comes to up-and-down training. Almost all the fighting takes place on
one monotonous flat ground. The map isn't very varied in design and it
can become boring to just see the same stuff after so long... And as a
'training map' it should also be more difficult, i.e. it should give the very
best Vidmasters out there an extremely difficult time to just stay alive
for a couple of minutes! I lasted so long on Total Carnage I finally
just got bored and quit. And there are most likely some other
Vidmasters that are more skilled than I... ;-) "Hell Hole" has some
good ideas and decent construction (not to mention some interesting
cheat codes), but because of its lacking qualities I still consider it
an average map. And average doesn't stay in my Marathon Infinity folder
for very long.