Arena Reviews IV
reviews of the first "new maps"
the second helping of new maps, reviewed
more recent new maps, reviewed
The Void                                                                                                                   RR: 6.5
Sharpknux does get some pretty strange ideas sometimes - and, for a mapmaker, that is good!  Still, the idea of spawning by a whomper surrounded by nothingness, except for four distant islands...where did he get that from?  It is a long slog to each island, each of which has a square nerf-blue floor with six thick nerf-yellow columns; once there you find either all the pick-ups (doubler, megapower, shield...), all the ammo, four of the weapons (ballzooka, scattershot, mighty mo nerfcannon, sidewinder), or the other four weapons.  Since there are no landmarks, you can't really tell which set of stuff you will find until you get there.  The rest of the arena is void and without form, except that it seems to have a pale-grey floor slightly below the island level.  It can't really be foggy, or else we would never see the islands, but the weapons you carry lose their colour.
          I think we really need to play here a bit to decide whether it is any good, but it may just be a bit too big to be easy to get around in.
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RainForest                                                                                                               RR: 8.0
From Sharpknux, a variation on Forest really.  The sides are the same, the sky is still blue though a little "tiled" when I visited, the grass is as lush as ever.  Instead of the mixture of trees, felled logs, bushes to hide in, and a stream, instead here we have carefully planted rows of thick trunks, all lopped off at about twelve feet.  Great for hiding behind, and giving lots of possibilities for interesting gameplay; apparently it is possible to get on top of these massive trunks, too, as there are some power-ups waiting for you.
          Well, Forest is one of the most popular arenas, much more so than other maps which probably took SLAM ten times as long to build; it makes sense to take inspiration from it for further fun and games.  There are enough space stations and strange deserted factories, as well, so it's fine to get out into the fresh air here.  So, good thinking...a map that ought to be pretty popular!
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DeathFan Remix                                                                         RR: 7.5
From B-Ball, a fairly small arena, with an airy open plan to it, complete with the chance to fall to a quick death if you miss your step on the way to the megapower.  This is obviously designed for a fairly low occupancy rate, with only four weapons (scattershot, pulsator, triple strike, & hypershot).  Rumour has it that a "rocket jump" might get you to a higher level, but that might only apply to a preliminary version that has been around for a few weeks.  Some extra glass flooring makes the place less of a death-trap than it was, and I think this ought to play pretty well.
          So, not a huge map, and not hugely innovative, but it works well...and, from some screenshots that B-Ball has published on his site, it looks as if, based on his experience on these early maps, he is moving on to some even nicer arenas.  Two levels, plenty of metal walkways, elevators to shuttle you up and down...what more could we ask?
Training Arena 2                                                                                                RR: 7.5
This remixes the major part of the original Tutorial area from the game, courtesy of B-Ball; he has taken out the speedblast flags, but you still get 100 points for firing at one of the clan logos in the starting room, and the arrows still show you the route to follow.  When you think of how often we have played in the next-door Amateur Arena, it certainly makes good sense to reclaim this bit of classic Nerf design for regular use, with its corridors, jumps, water, and more.  Plenty of new weapons and pick-ups have been added, of course, so it is a nicely entertaining place to (re-)explore.
Da Bounce                                                                                                                RR: 8.0
An idea by Black Dragon, swiftly executed by Reaper, making a fun arena that perhaps relies a little too much on its gimmick, which is that the whole of the ground floor is covered with bounce pads, so that you bounce up, grab weapons or health or whatever from out of mid-air, and generally have fun.  There is a large hole in the ceiling, with the weapons and so on floating there - and when you go through, you find that the floor around the hole is again covered in bounce pads.  And there is a large hole in this ceiling, again full of weaponry to be grabbed, though the floor on the top level is a proper floor, with some handy health along one wall.  After all, you have probably banged your head on the ceiling a few times by now, or landed awkwardly just at the edge. so you may need health!
          Not exactly a deathmatch arena, but a fun place to spend a few minutes, and it may help improve your aim when firing in mid-air!
True Run (beta)                                                                                                     RR: 8.5
There is nothing wrong with a map having a gimmick, particularly if it is a good gimmick, and that the map works okay - and TracerX has done something that makes his map stand out from all the rest (so far), in that it comes with two players to fight you!  Yes, Sam and Frazier spring to life and start shooting, which is great, if you fancy a little Bot action you don't have to delve into Advanced Options, just choose this map and away you go.  For some reason they are both credited on-screen as "Player", and their faces and scores do not appear down the left side of the screen (if you use that set-up), so that you may need to hit [F1] to keep track of their progress.  Even in a Twisters versus Tycoons Team Game they still appear as a Rockhead and an Orbiteer, too!
          There are corridors and a staircase, inventive use of wild textures, a points target, a mirror, a pit-trap that sometimes catches Frazier, plenty of weapons, so this is a pretty decent (if fairly small) map already.  Add the two Bots, and you have a really useful addition to your ever-growing portfolio.
Ultra Real                                                                                                                   RR: 7.5
TracerX brings a novel approach to his first couple of maps (this and TrueRun), choosing the most eye-catching textures he can find, and some whacky designs too.  He hasn't yet mastered elevators, so you get some rather awkward stairs to climb where you have to keep jumping to get anywhere, but the effort is worth it, and while this is not a large map, it has its tricks, and makes enjoyable playing.
          So, while I have no idea why anyone should consider this particular arena to be "ultra real", it certainly gets my "thumbs up" as a place well worth visiting.
Cross (beta)                                                                                                              RR: 7.0
A refreshingly simple idea from Black Dragon this; four circular rooms, each with two triple strikes and two rocket ammo packs, meet in a central "cross".  What else is there to say?  The entertainment here relies on who is fighting, but it ought to be a fast and furious fight in "rocket arena" style, and you may well get more enjoyment here than in an arena that took twenty times as long to build.  It all depends on what sort of game of NAB you want to play.
Training Arena                                                                                                       RR: 7.5
A remix of part of the "tutorial" map from the start of the NAB disc - the final "Pointblast" section!  It makes an ordinary, decent map, solidly constructed, pleasantly textured, and not particularly complex, from B-Ball.  There isn't really a lot to say about it, just that it looks as if it ought to play well for two or more players.  No gimmicks, just a good place for a game of NAB!  Since you probably only visited it once before, it is almost new to you, and the added weaponry makes a big difference anyway.
Philistine Temple                                                                                               RR: 8.5
From Acemaster2000, a rather playable arena which comes up on server lists as just
.  It ought, I think, to play rather like Skyscraper Arena, which can't be bad...
          Actually, it doesn't look much like a Temple to me; it looks more like a 1970 office block, except for the three jets of flame, which, unlike the Sequoia variety, are not bad for your health if you stand in them, though as they can come between you and your weapon, or pictures, or health-score, the effect is a little strange!  The office block has no interior, just external ramps, walkways, and staircases; the shield, megapower and doubler are here, and generous amounts of health, but only five weapons: scattershot, pulsator, triple strike, hypershot, and whomper.
          You might say that many concrete-clad multi-storey office blocks were designed and built by Philistines, so I guess we can allow the title; and I think this ought to be a nicely-playing arena, so get it, and try it, okay?          
Dome Remix (beta)                                                                                           RR: 6.5
Black Dragon has rather followed Spike's NerfPlaza example here, and remixed a place we are used to visiting without weapons.  The "dome" in question is that circular room we visit while "connecting" to a real arena.  Sometimes we spend too long there, or end up dead and respawning just by an entirely useless 1000-points lozenge.  Still, it is an arena in its own right, even if a trifle small (unless BlackDragon has built in a secret passage or teleporter I didn't discover), so why not publish a version full of weapons and pick-ups?
          A fight here would be rather hectic; that 40-minute points record ought to be blown away, if anyone wants to keep bashing their buttons here that long!  Put more than two players here and it would be...well...ridiculous mayhem?
          Still, a fun idea...heheheheheh...
Arcane Temple Remix [2]                                                                            RR: 8.0
While he has done original maps, this is the first remix by Sharpknux, and a good-looking one it is, too, with a small outdoors section (which I suspect a more experienced remixer might have included a moving waterfall in), plus plenty of interior rooms, ramps, pools, and corrridors.  One pool-connecting underwater swimway is invisibly blocked; as this happens from both directions, it may be a design feature rather than a bug, and is certainly no problem once you know about it.  This also applies to one grassy corner of the main pool surround - step on it and you find yourself in the water straight away! 
          Generous weapons and power-ups, a fairly open plan, nice airy textures - I would call this a success, and well worth adding to your portfolio. 
DaMAZE                                                                                                                     RR: 6.0
A new "beta" from Boomslang; nice to have him back at work on these things!  That said, I am not particularly a fan of maps like Warehouse where you are surrounded by cases you can only jump on when the single megajump re-spawns.  You can only get out of that particular area using the 'jump, too (or by falling to your death down the well) - and the other part isn't particularly big, and full of dead ends.
          Nice murky and moody lighting, but having one main part of the arena so hard to get out of is counter-productive.  The idea of a map as a maze is fine, but I don't think it really applies to this particular arena.  You need size for that, and preferably megajumps to move us above the walls before we have time to get bored.  Spending five minutes trying to find the one correct route through a maze seems off-putting to me, but make it too simple, rooms and corridors with a few dead ends, and there isn't much to experience.
          So, I don't know if a "Final" version of this map is worth the effort, when Boomslang could just as well try some completely new idea.  Another megajump or two wouldn't hurt, but maybe it makes more sense just to move on...
Grinder Remix                                                                                                       RR: 8.0
Thunderbird is "go" with a large and carefully-textured fighting arena, with lots of levels, plus ramps, crates to clamber up on to reach other levels, our favourite weapons and power-ups, an elevator...all a player could possibly want.  Sometimes these arenas become popular, and get played regularly, and sometimes they disappear without a trace.  I think that this has the potential to be one of our regulars, but we can only wait and see, after of course getting hold of our own copy.  It will be interesting to see if TB himself makes a server using it instead of his usual "Moonlight Bonus"! I don't know what a (Heavy Metal) "Grinder" has to do with things, but hey, it makes a colourful name...and a map with lava below where one can't actually fall through into it has to get full marks for originality!
One2One                                                                                                                    RR: 7.0
In Britain, a "One2One" is a mobile phone call; in Mr.BoBBo's native Sweden it may be something different.  This is an arena rather reminiscent of UndergroundRemix (though not with the same subtlety of texturing), which Mr.B had probably never seen at the time he made this.  Rather a nice blue "bounce" pad, which, coincidentally, again mirrors what Tmon and Tux gave us. A nice playing area, though not anything special; like MessedUp
this was part of his second map pack, which sneaked up on me - on all of us, I think!  But now the secret is out, and we have another quite enjoyable medium-size map to check out, so why not add it to your files?
MessedUp                                                                                                                 RR: 7.5
Hidden away in Mr.BoBBo's second map pack (along with One2One), we have a rather fun, if "messy", arena.  The reason that it is "messed up" is that somehow pieces of entirely different styles of arena have been put together, so you dash straight from a
-style bit to the primary nerfish Amateur Arena colours, or grey stonework, or something out of Orbital Arena, and so on.  This doesn't hurt the playability, of course,. and a nice original idea like this is always an asset.
          I hate "map packs", they never do the contents any favours.  I just don't see the point of hiding maps away so that you don't know what titles are in there until you take a chance on downloading the whole thing.  That said, this is a cute map based on a clever idea - but it might have seemed more striking if it had been noticed when originally issued, instead of being hidden away for a while... And, talking of being hidden away, this map appears on my drop-down list of maps as "Up"...
BattleField                                                                                                                 RR: 6.5
Galen's first map is, well, a good first map, showing that he is in command of all the elements of making an arena, and indeed of the elements needed to make a good, fun arena.  This particular battlefield has two ends, with rubble to hide behind, and the weapons (except the three most powerful ones, TS, HS and whomper, which wouldn't be appropriate here) divided between the two ends.  Each end has a shield, though to get it you risk sniper fire; in the middle is a deadly-deep trench with a single beam to span it, on which are a pair of megapowers and a doubler.
          So, full command of the elements; unfortunately, it is such a small arena, say 15' wide by 50' deep, that it all seems rather cramped.  It will probably work well for two people, but there is hardly room for more!  As there are no ammo packs, two players is probably as many as you would want here.
Project Moon                                                                                                          RR: 8.5
An all-new, all-original map from Mr.BoBBo, with a couple of rather neat surprises.  It is very slightly like a small Hall of Giants, in that there is deep space outside the main fighting area, and at least one part of the inside has low-gravity leaping.  There is one "gate" entry to the main room, from outside; it doesn't seem to be connected to the room directly, as the other, hidden, way out from the indoor suite takes you to a different bit of space entirely, the actual space outside the suite.  There is a whomper to be found, if you can keep your jumping in check, and other weapons and ammo.  And a hidden "control room" has plenty of goodies in it, too!  It ought to be possible to fight out there, as well as inside, but that is something I have not yet been able to check out.
          Mr.BoBBo's original maps are progressing well.  Not as ground-breaking as Dodo's or as large and ambitious as Reaper's, but occupying a middle ground. Strangely, until recently he had had very little experience of actually playing other people's new arenas, so while this is his nicest work yet, I think we have got a lot to look forward to from him, as he gains in experience.  I do hope he keeps the maps coming.
Crusher                                                                                                                        RR: 7.0
A new Nerf map by the legendary Captain Mellow is a cause for rejoicing, even if it is a small one that isn't without flaws.  But more on that later!
          Named after Star Trek: The Next Generation's Wes Crusher, the teen most Trekkers would most like to see the ceiling fall in on (but don't quote me on that, as I just made it up), we have a central area and an outside corridor, rather like Vulcanizer.  The ceiling on the central room comes down and crushes anyone in there if somebody outside by one of the four ways in presses a design on the wall - likewise, press a symbol on the inside room's wall, and you can crush any of those four areas on the outside!
          The outer ring has ammo and the ballzooka, wildfire, nerfcannon, and pulsator; the central room has health, the doubler, and the scattershot and its ammo.  The flaw is that, unless the central items are in use and haven't respawned, when they are "crushed" they do not return - ever!  The outer ring weapons don't suffer this fate, though, as they are not in the sections where the pumice-coloured ceiling can descend.
          So, the (almost immediate) lack of health is a downer, and continued use of the scattershot would have been nice, but this is a useful arena for small battles, textured luxuriously in the best Nerfish style; I've played it with Fenix, and it was fun.
Forgotten Warriors (Final)                                                                           RR: 7.5
Not a reworking of the previous version - instead, Scouse has started from scratch, just continuing the general idea, and made an altogether better place to visit.
          One of the occupational hazards of being the hero of a time-travel novel is that you do tend to run across giant statues of yourself.  I never expected this to happen to me, but there is a circle of massive stone statues of Nerf players here, time-weathered and tall, and I recognise Todd's haircut on one of them!
          This is a difficult arena to describe.  There are various small grass areas around the central pit and its stone circle, just about within jumping distance of the pit's surround (though you lose a lot of health); teleporters are indicated by indentations in the soil, and you can move happily around, picking up a triple strike here, a hypershot here.  You may also reach the "stargate" above the pit...leap through and you find a megapower and whomper ammo, or a shield...or water to drown in, or lava to burn to a crisp in!
          Playing here could well be rather fun, shooting and teleporting from one little island to the next, and the whole thing is very atmospheric, though the random "reward or death" stargate may not get used much, particularly by people in the lead as a death there would cost them 1000 points.  And how come one can walk straight through the statues, but not walk close behind them?  But an original map is always welcome, and Scouse has certainly given us one of those!
Pressure Remix                                                                                                     RR: 8.5
Policer_O joins the ranks of the map-remixers.  He is another player familiar with Unreal Tournament, so he was able to pick a good map to remix.  Well, it is another disused, mysterious industrial plant, but it has three levels with elevators, and it has a water tank and water tunnel, and various places for jumping across, so we can forgive the original mapmaker if he wasn't really giving us a ground-breaking new concept.  He was giving us a good place to fight, which has to be important.
          Where the remixer comes into his own is with the textures, and the weapon and power-up choice and placement, and really Policer_O has done an excellent job here.  Like most industrial plants, especially the mysterious, abandoned ones, there is grime here, and rust, and nameless stains, and faulty lighting, and full marks for getting the surface of the water to look so scummy!  There is no megajump, and I don't actually remember seeing a whomper, but everything else is present and nicely placed.  And there is a room you can dash into, with a shield, a megapower, a doubler, and more!  I'll just go in there and - what's happening?  It's going all red, my arm's stretching, warping...
          Heheheh.  Cus fell into my trap!  Just hit the button on either side of the room, and watch through the window as your victim balloons up - and is blown away!  This has to be a first for nerf - no gore, but  definitely a cool effect.  So hustle over to Policer_O's i-drive, or the usual download sites, and get ready to have a swell time!

LavaRun 2 and 2-1                                                                                            RR: 8.0
This is a new version of Mr.BoBBo's LavaRun arena; before, it had lava-coloured carpet, but now it has the real thing, all hot, bubbly and lethal, just waiting for you to fall in.  But check your map title, after you unzip it in the usual way, if you are just downloading it; if it is called LavaRun2.0, you need to right-click on it, choose "rename", and change the name to PM-LavaRun2, or it won't work...though an updated version has taken care of that particular hazard now, so maybe you ought to make sure you have PM-LavaRun2-1!
          Originally, this was issued in a "Map Pack", which isn't always a good idea, as the contents of such a pack can easily get overlooked.  It was actually a well-designed idea, though, since Mr.BoBBo was new to mapmaking, he couldn't bring off the lava.  But now he can, and he has added a nice big skylight to make the place look more interesting too!
          See what you think, but I reckon that this map ought to be a lot of fun to play, with its metal walkways, central island with stairs, outside corridors... It is not really very much like any other arenas, except possibly the Inferno pair, or perhaps the two new
maps - and that has to be good, right?
Fetid Remix                                                                                                              RR: 8.0
Funny how you can tell what people are interested in by the maps they make, or choose to remix...and from this one, which comes up as Fetid Sewers on the server listing, we can deduce that Thunderbird has a keen interest in - household plumbing?  Well, maybe not.  This is another arena where players are awfully small, like Bathroom and
- but this time we have moved down a foot or two, under the toilet bowl, into a labyrinth of pipes.  All scrupulously clean and shiny, and textured for clarity and fun by TB, with a strange absence of actual water. 
          In fact, this is different from the other "tiny player" maps in that you aren't dwarfed by the surroundings, with the other players so far in the distance you can't tell which team they are on.  This is a more normal-playing arena, with weapons and power-ups placed in some easy places and some hard.  There is an elevator; like many of its kind it is a little finicky about where you stand on it, but it works fine if you take a little care, and stays at the top long enough for you to find the side to exit on!  There is a triple strike, but Thunderbird has hidden it.  Some places need agility to reach, which adds to the fun. 
          So, a nice start for the Thunder Clan leader.
Nali Temple Remix                                                                                            RR: 8.5
Tmon and Tux's latest remix has a textures file bigger than the actual map file, and you can see why when you open it up...lush is the word, very much in the Quake III Arena style.  It is a gorgeous place to explore, with all the weapons and power-ups; the megajump is near enough to the platform with the megapower on it to allow room for error, which is good, and I am assured that the Bots are working well here, after a little assistance from Tiggy.  (If you got the map before 10:45pm on 6th November, CST, you need to upgrade to version 1.1, identified as such in the ReadMe...)
          Great lighting, a suitably atmospheric sky with Jupiter large and luminous, a fine bounce pad that "boings" beautifully, and the look of a Quake III level - how could we go wrong?  Curving corridors, rusty gratings, even a place where the paving has been torn up, stately staircases... Tux_the_Penguin and Tmon are really getting rather good at doing remixes.  I wonder what an original map by them would come out like?  I think it is probably approaching time that they showed us!
Forgotten Warriors                                                                                            RR: 6.0
Now this original map by Scouse puzzles me; I need to do some research, maybe even find some people to play/explore it with, to work out what it is supposed to do...because on my first visit, it just didn't work for me...
          It is a small arena, and blocked off in places where you don't really expect it to be blocked off.  One of the main areas seems to be a pit you can't escape from, and I do not understand the function of the strange piece of machinery above you.  And what about what looks like a large teleporter, but isn't?
          But hey, it looks good, and probably further exploration or explanation will bring it all into focus!  It is only a "Beta" apparently, after all...
Ender's Game                                                                                                       RR: 8.5
Jphn King, or WaCkA, took the idea here from the "battle room" in the novel "Ender's Game" by Orson Scott Card, and what we have here is a truly three-dimensional arena, set in deep space, where, unlike Asteroid Bonus, you don't float off and die if you leave the rocks.  There are two teleporters to small shacks with a hypershot or a pulsator, there is a whomper at the centre ( though the two rechargesfor it are dummies), there are other weapons and health also to be had.  There are plenty of rocks to hide behind, and in fact this is a great place for a battle, and an idea I have been waiting to see!
          One thing I didn't realise until playing against Black Dragon here, though, is that trying to spot an opponent is hard, since he can be above, below - anywhere!  This means that sneakiness and patience will be needed, as much as the usual battle skills...
          So, this is a special arena, and a must-have.  Try it - you'll be surprised!
Lava Giant Remix & version 1.1                                                          RR: 9.0
One advantage FeEdiKo has is that he does play Unreal Tournament, so he knows a lot of their maps, and is able to choose some good ones to convert for NAB use.  And this is a top-rate arena, a "capture the flag" type, though sadly it wasn't possible to actually put the flags into a Nerf version.  Two castles, one stone and one generally Luna-textured, are the two team headquarters; unlike previous "facing forts" maps, these two fortresses are actually some way apart, without a direct line of sight, and connected by a number of different routes, on the lava-surrounded island.
          But, we have to talk about the "clipping" in the stone castle.  It isn't Fee's fault, he was right to publish this map in a first version, and hope that he can overcome the problem with perhaps a little help.  You go into the courtyard, and the paving flickers, strobes and vanishes, leaving a clear view of lava a distance below.  You won't fall through, but even a wall vanishes from some angles, leaving you wondering why you cannot walk straight ahead.  It is terribly offputting - but only in this one small part of the map.
          Despite the problem, this is a great place to explore and play, and full marks to Fee for bringing it over to Nerf ArenaBlast.
          With advice from Tiggy, FeEdiKo was able to make a much-improved second version; there is still a small amount of clipping where one internal wall is, in the stone castle, but it shouldn't hurt the playability.  Oh, and I found the whomper - a nice place to keep it, if you don't mind a hot lava bath now and then!

Oblivion Remix                                                                                                      RR: 8.5
A second excellent remix from FeEdiKo, of a distant relation to Hyperblast Remix; Fee tells me it only took him an hour, which shows...well, that different people work at different speeds, I guess.  If you have fought against Fee, then you will know that he moves pretty darn fast!
          Captain's Log, stardate 11012000.  The USS Oblivion is en route at maximum warp to the Federation colony on Nerf Prime, carrying vital medical supplies.  But a strange energy-beast has affected the crew - and they are all running about with nerf weapons, trying to shoot each other!  We only have a scattershot, a pulsator and a wildfire weapon on board, but luckily there is plenty of health to be had...
          Well, something like that.  Not a huge arena, but an enjoyable one, with some splendid visual effects.  Unlike Hyperblast, you cannot actually go outside the vessel, but this is a minor point.  A good addition to your portfolio!
Deck 17 Remix [Final]                                                                                     RR: 9.0
Talking of Deck 16 (as we are below...we write these reviews in reverse order, so the newest are at the top), here is its sequel, a first remix by Clan Destiny's co-leader,
.  Join a server running this, and you are in familiar territory, though Fee has changed the textures and lighting to add a bit more atmosphere.  However, you soon find out that, while the "slurping" acid pool and associated ramps and corridors remain, there is now a whole lot more to this place.  Mainly hard to get access to, initially, using a teleporter that is not immediately obvious, or a narrow passageway in a shadowy corner behind the crates, but there are higher levels to the building now - and you can even find yourself out on the roof!  You can't fall off, which is good, and there appears to be a cool fireworks party going on nearby!
          In fact, there are quite a few cool effects here - and a few tricky traps.  Where Deck 16 used to have a teleporter, we now find a "deathray", and baited with a very tempting doubler, even!  And what if anything does the white fire, thoughtfully caged, do?  I don't know how much of this is carried over from the Unreal Tournament original, but the first skill a good remixer needs is to pick good maps to remix, and I can only wonder why, considering how popular Deck 16 was, it has taken this long for Deck 17 to be chosen for conversion to NAB.  I would have put the old arena in my top ten new arenas, but it has now been ousted by this confident newcomer, so well done Fee!  I look forward to many exciting games played here.
The Alamo & version 1.1                                                               RR: 6.0 & 8.0 
Reaper has gone to a lot of trouble here, but I am not sure that the idea works as well as most of his recent arenas.  It is like having only one side of the Forts of Independence, albeit with more detail, and the type of "grass" effect he has used in the first version is blurry, and gives the impression that you are running along with your point of view rather too close to grass level.  And that isn't just me, another early visitor to the arena gave it as the reason he didn't like the place.
          There has been a big, deadly battle here.  When we arrive, it is over, has been over for weeks; the bodies of the dead heroes have been taken away and buried, the blood has gone, the grass obscures much, but the holes battered in the walls, the doors torn down by the attackers, the abandoned chapel...they tell their own sad, mute story.  This was a place out of legend, a place of inspiration...a place where a deadly showdown ended in a defeat that became the birth of something greater.  Come here, and look at what still remains, but tread softly...
          Maybe I am over-sensitive, but it gave me goosebumps, and I was not sure at first that I wanted to run around, merrily shooting triple strikes at other players, here.  But I got over it, and, well, it does look as if it has been designed to play well, and those doors that haven't been torn off their hinges work splendidly.  Not my favourite Reaper map, but not a bad one, and Reaper sets himself high standards.
          The revised version puts the grass right, which is a big relief, and adds some extra bits and pieces, for an altogether better place to visit.  So, it is a useful improvement, making this a pretty good map, if still a trifle grim!
take the express route...