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Arena Reviews VI
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AR-WaterPark                                                                                                                        RR: 7.5
Icedude brings us the first new speedblast map to go on general release - it must have been a close race, as Techno is working on one, but has been struck down by the flu!  He says "This is not really speedblast, it's like a cross between ballblast and speedblast, so it is "Flaghunt"!"  Which means that it is by no means clear where to find the flags...though of course the "hunt" aspect only works for your first visit or two.
          You start by leaping into a waterslide, and halfway down go straight through flag one, so that is no problem.  You drop down into a diving pool, and flag two is at the bottom, so pretty easy to hit.  After that, head for the small orange-brown dome...which has some "clipping" problems round the far side, but that does not affect the play.  You are in a large grassy area, so the temptation to play "pointblast" style may well be overwhelming!  Flag seven seems the only flag that is hard to reach, as you need to bounce high up a tower to touch it - high enough for the ground to be unhealthily hard, so try to aim to land in the pool if you miss!
          Plenty of innovation here, and it demonstrates that there is a lot of untapped potential in speedblast, if you approach it from a different angle.  Of course, once somebody gets to the final flag, the game is over and the server will cycle to one of the old speedblast maps, so you can't just "hang out" here for hours - but there is no reason why speedblast maps should not be as popular as "domination" or "capture the flag" maps are in Unreal Tournament.
Talath Remix                                                                                                                         RR: 8.0
A recent Unreal Tournament map, remixed for us by B-Ball, who has done a nice job, as usual.  This is a very playable deathmatch arena, and the weapons and pick-ups have been nicely sited.  The megapower, for example, is in a small closed room with its own small waterfall.  You cannot get in there unless you happen to respawn there, which is a nice way to encourage and aid somebody who has just been knocked out!
          As so often, we are in two-level castle mode here, but the whole effect seems to work better than usual, and some long, entertaining and hardfought games have already been held here.  Add this one to your portfolio?  Surely!
Alcatraz Remix                                                                                       RR: N/A
This is a pretty recent Unreal Tournament arena, which Rainmaker has remixed and released.  Well, he has released it... in this version he just forgot to remix it first, basically, as almost all the textures are still that bubbly concrete-pumice texture you get if you visit a map someone is only just starting to remix - as I do sometimes, to get screenshots!  Walls, floors, tables - and even the darn sky!  Apparently, this is only a preliminary version, to show what the map entails to people who are interested in such things - whether or not Rain has the time to release a full version... well, time will tell...
          The map itself is a good one, and indeed as a UT map this arena is highly-rated; try it, but just don't expect a realistic, finished environment.  It is probable that somebody else may do a "finished" remix, if Rain doesn't release one...
Stadium '01                                                                                                                           RR: 8.5
Tracer has created a very unusual arena here, with a little help from some of our other mapmakers.  It is weird, but it is certainly a fun place to play!  The ground-level arena is quite good, with a couple of huts, some monoliths to dodge around, acid and lava pits, and little passages into the outside wall that really only serve as respawning points, but a nice sturdy stone ramp takes you up to two other levels, the top one being a matter of jumping from one floating island to another.  Some distances you can jump, others, well, look out below!  Get the nerfcannon and annoy everyone at ground level...
          But wait, there's more, as befits a map that comes up on server lists with quite a different name, like most of Skippy's.  Ancient Arena is the alias, and one of the cool things is that one of the spawning points is at the top of a long vertical tunnel above the arena.  It is a long drop, and, unless somebody else has respawned that way in the last 30 seconds, you grab just about every weapon, plus ammo, as you plummet.  You fall into a pool of water, luckily, fed by a waterfall.  Climb out with your favourite weapon chosen, and head for the hut with four megapowers in it, then prepare to go wild!
          There is a hidden room, too - should I reveal its location?  Anyway, stand by the correct (if damp) bit of wall and a doorway opens, go along the narrow corridor and - well, if someone isn't already in there armed to the teeth and ready to blast you, you find megapowers, shields, a doubler, a whomper, and even a handy 500-point target!  Some day, all hidden rooms will be made this way.
          This is the kind of arena you are happy to spend a long time playing in, because you can play it so many ways.  It is wacky, but it has all been carefully thought out, and we are all going to have a lot of fun here, right?
Civil War Remix                                                                                      RR: 8.5
This remix by Duo will get plenty of visits, I think, in part because, with its grassy slopes, it is a nice place to spend time in.  With its two forts at opposite ends of the rolling prairie, it is a remix of an Unreal Tournament "capture the flag" arena, and is very faithful to it, though the NAB grass is lusher and the forts themselves cleaner-looking!   If you find that there is a tunnel into a hill, but nothing to pick up in there - well, in the UT original you do find some pick-ups at the end, so maybe a revised version will add a whomper battery or two!
          There has been a tendency to run a server with this map on a reduced gravity setting, which makes for fun, but it is a decent playing area anyway, with the weapons you want, but not too many of them, and the other goodies too.  As with many "CTF" remixes, the playing area is large; the hills break up the "line of sight" usefully, and help keep things interesting, and generally, this looks like a good arena to look out for, either in teamplay or the usual free-for-all.
Asteroid Bonus II                                                                                   RR: 6.0
The trouble with giving your original map a name like this, is that it gives you a lot you have to live up to, and I really don't think that Icedude's new arena here has got a lot in common with the other Asteroid maps, other than texture use.  Those two "old" maps are so clever that they come up fresh on one's hundredth visit, with secrets, ways to play, and a whole lot more. Of their kind, they are hard to beat.
          The best thing about this map is that it shows that, as a mapper, Icedude is learning how to do a lot of useful stuff.  There are plenty of clever elements here, I just don't feel that they hang together very well to provide a good gaming experience.  However, that doesn't mean that the next map from the 'Dude won't be specially cool!  All this may just be my view, of course, but I don't like an all-corridor map - I like some open playing areas too.
Womper War                                                                                           RR: 7.5
This is apparently a remix, by Black Dragon, and a quite good-looking one.  It certainly adds to the variety of maps available, as among the rocky crags here you will only find one weapon to pick up - the whomper!  There are plenty of it, though of course as they each only hold one shot, the action will not be quite as insane as you may expect...
          So, a nice idea, and cleverly executed.  I am not sure how long I would want to play a game here, but, with a few friends, I think we would be having a high degree of fun.  Maybe, if we all agreed, we might go into "cheat" mode, and become invulnerable, so that the balls of whomp just threw us about?  There are certainly possibilities!
Nitro Remix                                                                                             RR: 8.0
B-Ball is developing a nice line in remixing recent highly-rated Unreal Tournament death- match arenas, and this one, in Asteroid Arena texturing, with the orange tiles, is probably his nicest yet.  It is a high-energy, exhilirating place to fight, and there is a cute little secret - if you like deathtraps, that is!  Get an opponent onto a certain rectangle of tiling, and they fall straight through, into the nice warm lava...
          Twists and turns, ramps and water-splashes, strange machinery, elevators - yes, this is a good place to explore and play, a high-quality deathmatch experience to keep us all warm and happy, these long winter evenings.  What else is there to say...?
Dark Forts                                                                                               RR: 8.0
CurtSquirt's map doesn't seem to be particularly dark, but I guess it's the forts that count, and you have two of them here, sure enough, at either end of the indoor arena.  I don't think the texture work is going to win prizes, and you do have some rather steep sets of stairs that don't quite link to the upper level as comfortably as one might wish, but the general design is suitably cunning.  Most of the space between the two sniping-ends is taken up by a pair of swimming pools, which is nice (though I would want more than a doubler in there to dive in very often!), while there are "rat runs" at the sides to make it pretty easy to sneak up on the enemy - unless they are waiting for you down there!
          The main claim to fame for this map, however, is that Curt has made a version which can be used with the demo; get it from his site, and then unzip the map to c:\program files\ atari\nerfdemo\maps and the texture to c:\program files\nerfdemo\textures.  There are some things that that version does not have, with floating lozenges pointing out what is "not available" - but if you only run the demo, you won't be worried by that!  The "full version" version does not have an extra texture file, as we already have the textures needed.
          So, a good start for a new mapmaker, with more than one clever idea on show.  I am expecting great things from Curt's future productions!
Matrixed Remix                                                                                      RR: 8.5
From Sharpknux, another The Matrix-inspired arena, with the office block and that big hall downstairs with the pillars and the metal detector...and more besides!  You get streets outside, you get an underground "tube" ("subway") station, with entrances at either end and, if no actual subway train, at least the sound effect of one approaching...and the sound of a ringing phone, and various suitable text messages.  Why, the office block has lots of floors and elevators and cubicles, with lots of computers...and like any office, most  of the screens are showing that the workers like to play Unreal Tournament on their breaks!  You can even get up on the roof in a couple of places - and there is a helicopter waiting up there.  There are lots of cool touches in this map, including cash machines, payphones, and office equipment.  It seems a slight shame that the helicopter's main rotor is represented only by a rectangular semi-transparent sheet, rather than something circular or even, like Fee's
, lethal rotating blades - but this is a minor quibble.  Only the smaller characters can actually get into the helicopter's cargo bay, which is fine by me!
          So, a nice big complicated place with lashings of atmosphere, for a fine fighting and exploring arena.  The new "sounds" file makes it slightly more complex than usual to get installed, but it is well worth the effort, trust me...
Metal Dream Remix                                                                             RR: 8.0
Sharpknux has been keeping busy, which is just as well, as other mapmakers seem to have slowed down recently, except for B-Ball.  This is a remix of a fine "domination" Unreal Tournament map, where two teams fight to keep control of three different positions, to gain points; the loss of that particular gameplay takes away a little from the arena, but it is still a nice big map, and very playable.   
          Okay, so the arena is a big oil rig, in the middle of a calm, but quick-drowning, ocean.  There are elevators from sea level to the middle level and to the top, open level, while it is also possible to jump up onto the roof level.  A tall tower tops things off,and you can get there by using a teleporter, then make yourself popular by raining rockets down on your friends below! 
          So, definite possibilities, and Sharpknux has set things out nicely.  I guess the UT version is more detailed and realistic, but, that is the nature of things, and you have got everything here you could wish for...except working "domination" points of course!  The square sky-lights add a nicely "unworldly" touch; my own theory is that they are giant Earth-orbit reflectors, positioned to bring light to the nightside and cut down on the use of outside electrical light by bouncing sunshine that would otherwise miss the planet.  Could they be focussed on farming areas, to speed up the growth of crops and keep the planet fed?  Or, on the other hand, did Sharp just not get around to fully-texturing a moon?
          I am not sure where the "Dream" part of the title comes in, but there is a strange other-worldliness to a big oil drilling platform, all alone out at sea.  It is out there, just waiting for you and your trusty triple strike...
Underground Remix
Codex Remix
Tsunami Mountain
Snowed In
Skyscraper Arena][
Deck16][ Remix
Tweety's Hallways to Heaven
Nerf Plaza Remix
Fractal Remix
HealPod][ Remix Update & Update 2
HealPod][ Remix
Coughin Remix
Frigate Remix
Surge 3 Remix
HyperBlast Remix
Space Noxx Remix
Injector Remix
Morpheus Remix
Morbias][ Remix
Longest Yard
Hall of Giants
Box Canyon Remix
Trench Box
Distinctive Remix
Warehouse Remix
Frigate Remix (FINAL)
Gothic Remix
PingPong][ Remix
SplashDown [1] & [2]
Pyramid Remix - BETA
The Hall
Phobos Moon Remix
Frigate Remix 2 [1]
Mazon Remix [1]
Phobos Remix
Gothic Remix Beta09
Floating Forts BETA
Ocean Remix
Barricade Remix ][
Face Remix
Longest Yard [TS-HS]
Overlord Remix
TechComb 2

Empowered Remix
Star Command
Static & Static [a]
Battle Spheres
Leadworks Remix
Peak Remix
Windy Remix
Rocket Run 2
Rocket Run 1
Inferno 2
Forts of Independence & 1.1
007 Temple Remix
Fools Bravado Remix
Pure NRG
Breakfast Remix
Matrix 2 Remix
Ariza Remix
Roman Arena
Downtown/Concrete Playground
BathRoom Remix
Colloseum BETA
Liandri Remix
Air Beta/"Air Rage"
HiSpeed Remix & V1.1

The Alamo & v1.1
Deck 17 Remix
Oblivion Remix
Lava Giant Remix
Ender's Game
Forgotten Warriors
Nali Temple Remix
Fetid Remix
Pressure Remix
Forgotten Warriors (Final)
Project Moon
Grinder Remix
Arcane Temple Remix
Dome Remix
Philistine Temple
Training Arena
Cross (beta)
Ultra Real
True Run (beta)
Da Bounce
Training Arena 2
DeathFan Remix
The Void
NightOp Remix
The Office
The Very Best of You
007 Basement Remix
Fith Remix BETA
007 Library
Nuts & Nuts Lava
Gladiator Dome
Matrix Fix Remix
Galleon Remix
Shocker (beta) &
  Final Shock
Faces of Faraohns
No Exit
Gladiator Dome 2
TimeRift Remix
Alien Planet
Sequoia Bonus
Elsinore Remix
The Next Level
Ride the Dragon Remix
Floating Island & 2
Master Computer
Merry Christmas
Target Tag Original
Laser Remix
Circular Forts
The Chase
Target Tag 2001
Arena_12 Remix
Aggressive Tendencies
Pahgio Remix
ISV-Kran Deck 4 Remix
Tempest Remix
The Chase 2
Talath Remix
Civil War Remix
Stadium '01
Alcatraz Remix
Asteroid Bonus II
Womper War
Nitro Remix
Dark Forts
Matrixed Remix
Metal Dream Remix
After Metal Dream Remix, we changed over to the
Reviews Index
method, with an individual page for each review, plus a screenshot and, where possible, a "Download Now" button linked to the downloads.  So, these old review pages are kept available to give an idea of the order in which the maps appeared; the reviews in the new array may also have been updated, while these stay as they were.  Reviews of maps released after Metal Dream Remix can only be found by clicking through the Reviews Index.