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Lost Temple


Up to this point, I've never come in contact with a schizophrenic (mark the spelling, boys and girls, as it's sure to be on a test) individual. I've met some in my day-to-day RL workings, and heck,
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I even have a uncle who's a paranoid skitzo (seriously; every day is [i]Conspiracy Theory[/i] for him). I have never, however, come in contact with one online. Now, admittedly, I'm not positive that the author of this map here is [i]actually[/i] a schizophrenic, but I'm pretty darn sure. Why, you ask? Simple: it's the only possible way this map could have been created, because it's a prime example of both fantastic and piece-of-shitaki mushroom design. Never before have I seen such a combination of beauty and simple elegance with imagery so harsh on the eyes it hurts. The map layout is actually relatively basic: a huge temple is the centerpiece for this oxymoronic marvel, a clover-leaf platform floating above a bottomless pit within the structure's walls, a slightly raised viewing walkway around the sides. The temple is an example of great mapping: aside from the disjointed feel of the roof, the detail of the area surrounding the dueling platform is visually pleasing while remaining technically light, allowing for some sweet dueling framerates. Head on downstairs and you'll find yourself in flame-lit catacombs (note that every single little torch deals damage to unwary jumpers) leading off two four separate dueling areas. Here, of course, is where things start getting problematic. Two of the dueling areas are gorgeous. Two look like they were concocted by a drunk and stoned Mr. Hyde. First up: the Greenhouse (and yes, I'm naming the arenas myself; I love naming things myself, because then if folks start using the names in-game -- which they won't, but I can pretend they will -- I get a major ego-boost). The Greenhouse is actually a simple dueling area: a flat square battleground ringing a lone tree, looking through a series of high windows out onto a breezy balcony. The balcony's cute, but the dueling surface itself is the gem. Little irrigation ditches crisscross the floor around the tree, giving the dueling surface a three-dimensional visual feel while keeping the gameplay solid and level. To be frank, aside from the floor the room is deceptively simple, but it [i]feels[/i] right, and that's what's important. Again, framerates are great. Then there's the Two Levels room. As far as I can tell, this was created for the sole purpose of playing around with curves. They're everywhere. Curves in the floor allow for really quirky patterns. Curves in the walls bend it into a giant circle. Curves in the [i]ceiling[/i] makes the roof look like a set of four bulbous balls making dents in cloth. The room makes zero sense. There's no feel of flow to duels, and framerates are horrible because of the overuse of curves. The area's a waste of space. There are so many curves in it that you get even sicker of them than you do of seeing the word “curves” so many times in this review. Of course, there's the Cavern as well. That's not to say that it's [i]actually[/i] a cavern... it's a big box with stalactites and stalagmites coming from the ceiling and floor, and a couple outcroppings to denote bends in the walls. There's a pool of water, but it might as well be flat, because it isn't deep at all. Basically, it's just a big flat room. Hoo. Ray. The last arena, however, is another simplistic marvel. Beautifully lit by a combination of wall torches and lit panels, it's virtually barren -- with the exception of the mirrors on the floor. Yes, I'll admit, it a VERY simple effect, but it doesn't seem to tax computer resources at all. It's elegant, it's striking, and it's fresh. The bottom line? Lost Temple is a very simple map. Four duel areas, a main arena, and connecting hallways. It’s both beautiful and eye-gougingly horrible, serene and daringly painful. It has the capability to house some absolutely terrific games. It also has the problem of simple architecture and boring textures in many locations. Should you download it? It all depends. If you're a mapper, grab it right now; it's a fantastic source of information on simple but effective use of basic design. If you're an FFA-er, you might want to skip on by. If you're an FFA-dueler, then pick it up, but be forewarned: you'll be spending your time in very specific locations of the map, and rarely hit anywhere else unless you're unlucky enough to spawn there. Oh, and if you're female, please find my phone number hidden strategically in the contents of this review. The first one to call gets two extra roses in the initial bouquet on our first date. Bot Support: No New Textures: No New Music: Yes Game Type: FFA - Dan "ViperEye" Tennant

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