by Chris "lupinx-Kassman" Kassap
This time we take a bit of a detour in Nebula 95, acknowledging that the series itself is a detour from typical Doom fare with its unusual blend of jazz and funk tracks, demons, and jarring SFX, a deliberate callback to the anything goes days of Doom mods. Human Earrings is the first (and at the time of this writing the only) original entry in Nebula 95, which has you traveling through the mysterious forbidden quadrant in a corner of the galaxy inundated with the eponymous hallucinogenic gas. After spending some time in your ship, which might reward you with some armor, you can touch down and put these particular demons to task for their gruesome mockery of human life.
But, well, that's easier said than done. NEB03 is about as short as any other Nebula 95 level but it's crammed full of high-HP monsters including a Cyberdemon that stomps around in the starting area, just itching for a free shot. When you look at all the pockets of hardbodies milling about plus that dinky little shotgun you start out with, there's only one direction you can really go, and that's away. Thankfully, Kassman has an area that's populated with lower-tier trash to fight to and clear out so that you can get some breathing room and a safe place from which you can assault other, more densely populated areas.
The layout is supercool, very much in style with the multiplayer-origins of the first two maps. The architecture and detailing are pretty vibrant; the blue night sky really pops with the green / brick / metal structures, plus the occasional spattering of red. I like the hook of having all three keys visible but having to work your way toward each one. The yellow key trap is a little unusual and I found getting out kind of tricky but it's a memorable feature, much like that blue soulsphere secret, which is a pain in the ass to get in to but very rewarding.
It would be cool to see lupinx take on something more medium-sized, but these little morsels deliver nice chunks of gameplay, sometimes relaxed and sometimes riotous. Human Earrings falls in the latter camp and as long as you don't find yourself easily overwhelmed by bunches of Hellspawn everywhere you go, you should check this one out.
DID I JUST SEE A RAT?
This article is part of a series on
Chris Kassap's Nebula 95 series