NEBULA 95 MUDMAN WONDERLAND
by Chris "lupinx-Kassman" Kassap
Chris Kassap's Nebula 95 series strikes me as a means of blowing off steam from his relentless perfectionism by flexing his vanilla muscles and indulging in stone-age Doom lunacy with jazzy MIDIs and sound replacements. Like the other entries, this one actually occupies both MAP01 and 02, with the first being a little bonus intro and the second housing the main event. After escaping near-death on the shrine planetoid you bound through the quadrant in search of your old military instructor (Crash?), arriving on a world with possibly sentient mud creatures. After naming off a few Doom-related alien races like Kaiser's DSV (with plenty more to spare), the potential existence of beings composed of mud pales in importance when compared to the very real presence of demons right next to you.
Like NEB01, Mudman Wonderland is a re-purposing of a previous work from Kassman, this one coming from his MAP28 from 32in24-12: Iron Mapper. It has a very clean layout, a hallmark of its multiplayer origins, and works as a very quick action-packed romp. The only thing detracting from it is the lack of color contrast. Nebula Shrine worked with gray and green against a dark black and white background; here, you've got light browns, dark browns, and a fusion of the two for that nebula backdrop. It means virtually nothing to the level's gameplay, but it put a bit of a mute on my interest. It's something you can easily get away with when a map is practically bite-sized, though.
NEB02 is considerably easier to get along with than the surrounding entries. It doesn't have a great many monsters, and most of those are low-tier Doom II trash. That's not to say that you won't see a few Hell knights, or even some revenants, but any players worth their salt should have no trouble clearing the yards. It does have a pretty cool transformation in the back nine, with some islands mysteriously appearing off the edge of the map while crushers activate in a desperate bid to throw some kind of resistance your way. There's too much room to get caught, though, unless you're incredibly clumsy while ducking the various projectiles getting slung at you.
It may not be the most exciting or striking entry in Nebula 95, but it gets the job done. I hardly need an excuse to blast monsters for a minute or two, and when the authorship is as clean and as competent as this, it's an easy recommendation. Provided you don't hate the color brown, of course.
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Chris Kassap's Nebula 95 series