My 2 Cent Take on Cavern
Cavern - TheNooBringeR
DooM2 (ZDooM) - Solo Play - 56241 bytes
.: OverviewThis is a single-player map that plays on Map01 of DooM2, and requires ZDooM or its derivatives. In the words of the author: ".... this one is set in a small cavern which also leads to what appears to be a part of an UAC Base." You won't find a "cavern" in any real sense of the word, but you'll see a UAC base, set in a fairly small map. The fights are mostly lacking real danger, but the map does have its moments.
.: Map DesignThis is a somewhat non-linear map, with a couple of side areas to explore and some back-tracking. There are two keys in this map, but because of the brevity of the map you'll be able to reach the appropriate key door mere seconds after you pick up the keys (enemies notwithstanding). Additionally, because the map is so small, there is virtually no likelihood of getting lost. However, beware of the blue key door, which is a single-use door on each side. This means that you could be stuck outside or inside, and not be able to make progress.
ZDooM features are used very sparingly, and primarily in the use of scripts. Furthermore, the only script that cannot easily be replicated by vanilla DooM specials is the one using Thing_Hate. There is a MAPINFO lump that provides a name for the map and changes the music from Map01's stock Running From Evil to DooM. Finally, because of the use of waterfall textures, there is an ANIMDEFS lump.
.: AppearanceThe map is primarily done in a base theme, and maintains its consistency. The texture choices are fine, but there are frequent signs of poor texture alignment. In the secret area with the megasphere (which, by the way, was utterly unnecessary at that stage of the game), is a nukage fall that seems to magically appear from the stone floor above it. Some of the base areas look reasonably nice, but for the most part the map is very bare-looking. In particular, the area with the boss battle is pretty much a large rectangle with some smaller, symmetric rectangles thrown in. Given that this is a map for ZDooM, the author could have done many things to make the map look more spiffy. For example, I don't believe I saw even a single sloped sector. Furthermore, the entire gameplay arena is largely set at the same height and lighting levels, making the architecture and appearance somewhat dull.
.: GameplayThe fights at the beginning of the map are sparse, but gradually ramp up. You'll be given suitable firepower to quell the ravening hordes, and a reasonable amount of health, ammo, and armor. The boss fight towards the end may cause you to run a bit low on ammo, and this may be exacerbated by the fact that you'll meet at least one heavy between that fight and the exit. My advice is to conserve ammo from the start, so that you don't run out before the end. The traps are somewhat predictable, but fun nonetheless. However, I felt that the boss battle was devoid of excitement and drama.
.: Wrap UpThis map has a couple of noteworthy traps, but otherwise it seems like an effort from a mapper that is still learning the ropes of DooM modding.