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The /newstuff Chronicles #417

  • Doom 2: Reimagined - Leon
    Doom 2 - ZDoom Compatible - Solo Play - 238396 bytes -
    Reviewed by: Sergeant_Mark_IV
    Doom 2 Reimagined is a remake of levels MAP 01 to MAP 07 of Doom II.

    Visuals: Maps are very blank, more blank than the original maps: undetailed hallways and many nearly-empty rooms. I suggest the author to read some detailing guides. One specially bad-looking map is Map05 - I think it's supposed to be a natural dirt cave, but its entirely made of 90 degree Wolfenstein-ish angles.

    Gameplay: It plays well. Enough ammo is given to deal with the monsters, and enough cover is given to fight against hitscanners. But it's too easy on HMP, so I recommend playing this in UV.

    Overall: A somewhat fun casual map pack. But you probably are not going to play this twice.

    Bugs: The new waterfall texture is not animated, and some monsters get stuck with each other in UV settings. There are unaligned textures everywhere. The exit sign at MAP04 is too low and blocks the player's way, and you must either use IDCLIP or crouch to get past it.

  • Urban Fire - ProcessingControl
    Doom 2 - Boom Compatible - Solo Play - 3968936 bytes -
    Reviewed by: Dragonsbrethren
    ProcessingControl has probably crafted the best city map I've ever played. Urban Fire manages to pull off its urban setting convincingly, with great architecture, texturing and lighting, while still featuring lots of height variation and everything else needed for a good Doom map. It's also almost entirely non-linear: you need to get the keys in a specific order, but the rest of the map, barring the two locked areas, is available to explore from the beginning.

    I found this wad a bit too difficult on UV and wasn't really having fun, so I dropped it down to HMP and it was much more manageable. Monster placement feels very fair, and HMP only seems to give you an edge by offering you the plasma gun from the start, along with invulnerability for your first foray onto the streets. I thought the amount of ammo was spot-on, too. I ran out of cells or shells a few times, but there was always a pick up right when I needed one.

    My only complaint is that I only found the blue switch through sheer dumb luck - I couldn't see it at all until I was right on top of it. Given the map's non-linear nature, trying to find that switch could've been really frustrating if I hadn't stumbled onto it accidentally.

    I really can't recommend this wad enough. It's pretty short, but the gameplay is a lot of fun and it's definitely worth giving it a go.

  • Jingo - Jacob H. Orloff
    Doom 2 - ZDoom - Solo Play - 344312 bytes -
    Reviewed by: The Green Herring
    Jacob Orloff is an author who most consistently published levels between 2005 and 2007, followed by a single level in 2009. Now we have Jingo, a "tech-themed map with plenty of secrets and monsters." Said map is a techbase in which most of the layout consists of rooms connected by corridors with the odd wide-open room, and significant height variation is generally limited to staircases through more corridors and the occasional elevator. Eliminate them both, and you have a glorified Wolfenstein level with triggers. Worse yet, there is no attempt to disguise this, as nearly every room is either square or rectangular in overall shape with little variation. There are also crude edits to the death animations of the zombies and the imp, which don't add much to the experience.

    The gameplay isn't very interesting either. It largely involves walking through these rooms and corridors, shooting every enemy that happens to be standing in those rooms and corridors, and dealing with the monster closets that open in every other room. This occurs so frequently that by the time you get two-thirds through the map, it becomes predictable. Oh, and the "plenty of secrets" Orloff mentions? There are 33 of them in this level, which is frankly absurd. Who needs 33 secrets in a level of this size, especially when a number of them have no clues to their existence visible to the naked eye? As if to make up for all of this, every monster closet and secret is given away on the automap. If part of a wall is discolored on the automap, it may be a secret. If it doesn't respond to input or you don't find a switch nearby that opens it, it's likely a monster closet. The exception is a multi-part switch puzzle spanning the entire southeast of the map, going across multiple damaging floors, that ultimately leads to... a single megasphere. Whoop dee doo. The bizarre secret room with the author as the Icon of Sin is easier to get to than this.

    In any case, this WAD is nothing special. If you want to spend a half-hour on a pedestrian level with too many secrets, go ahead and download it. If you're looking for anything else, skip this one.

  • Coffee Break Episode 1 - Matt Tropiano http://mtrop.net
    Doom 2 - Boom Compatible - Solo Play - 1479661 bytes -
    Reviewed by: cannonball
    Coffee break is an 11 level wad made by Mista_T, a series of short-medium length maps with easy navigation and challenging game play.

    Map01 – General Brown tech theme with some Plutonia textures used outside, fun but a little tough for an opening map with a few revenants near the end; overall good starter map, short but sweet.

    Map02 – Metallic theme, another nice map, Matt has a thing about revenants though and they are used often. The map keeps you on your toes but isn't too hairy. Perhaps the theme could be a tad overused, but it's only one map and nothing you could write against the wad.

    Map03 – Better looking than map02. Challenging level but still very fun. Mix of techgreen and plutonia brickwork. More medium tier monsters are introduced here, including the mancubus and archvile. Detailing is very nice in this one.

    Map04 – Mainly tech green map, same offerings here to the previous maps, a steady increase in difficulty.

    Map05 – Brown mix of tech and plutonia, lots of hitscanners in this one, probably the only real danger; this map is a little easier compared to the previous few, at least from playing consecutively.

    Map06 – Short brutal map ending the modern tech themed maps; hitscan is your worst nightmare here, but given the length it's not too annoying.

    Map07 – Standard map07 setup, light skirmish to begin with just a few troublesome Pain elementals along with weaker foes. After grabbing the plasma gun, the map07 stuff can begin with teleporting mancubuses and small buildings opening up revealing more fatsos. After killing them you get the spiders, after that you can exit. Simple! It's a good level with nice design.

    Map08 – Ruin style level, like an old abandoned library. Short and really fun, and pretty easy too.

    Map09 – Difficulty picks up again now, but you get a BFG, the encounters are pretty tough, though a couple are a little unfair; a couple of imps appeared in front of my face which was annoying. But otherwise a fun level.

    Map10 – There are some really cool effects, like walking into hell through a fireplace to get the yellow skull. The slow water effect could be quite annoying, but I will personally let it slide as it's a one-off. Really cool level where the author really let off some creative steam. Loved it.

    Map11 – Tough map, the architecture and surroundings add difficulty to this map. I thought the ending of the map was a bit of an anticlimax giving you all that ammo just for a few monsters and no biggies either. Oh well.

    As a general overview, the secrets were not too hard to find, which is a nice change for a wad. The map layouts, especially the early maps, tend to be a little blocky, and the later maps might suffer from the lack of texture variation (a lot of tan brown colours). The maps are challenging but not frustrating, and are a lot of fun to play. The game play is pretty plutonia-like with the monster usage and level design. Lastly, the music used in the wad is very good; each midi was chosen wisely and fits the theme and feel of the level.

    Overall I really enjoyed this wad; it's borderline cacoward territory, and when I posted a review on the archives I said I might need a bit more persuading, if you know what I mean.

  • Water HQ - Lukas Wilhelm aka omegamer
    Doom 2 - Vanilla - Solo Play - 46764 bytes -
    Reviewed by: Dragonsbrethren
    MAP02 is my favorite map in Doom 2, so tributes to it are always nice. Water HQ uses recreations of a few areas from the original map, such as the start and the brown building you have to jump into, and combines those with new areas. It doesn't really work for me. I mean, it's not a bad map, but it doesn't feel like Underhalls at all.

    Lukas, please test your vanilla compatible maps in Chocolate Doom or the original DOS executable. There are obvious tutti-frutti errors on some of the steps, which would've been really easy to fix.

  • Butthole Deathmatch - JMAA
    Doom 2 - Skulltag / Zandronum - Deathmatch - 21459889 bytes -
    Reviewed by: Krispy
    Oh, boy, Butthole Deathmatch. A lot more conservative than what I expected in terms of scenery. This 5 level Deathmatch map was designed with tolerance in mind; if you're gay, this very well may be the most comfortable map you'll ever play. If you're straight, you'll enjoy many parts yourself. Anyhoo, things I like:

    1. Lots of variation pertaining to level design
    2. Fast-paced gameplay with lots of goodies lying around
    3. Nice height variation; players can fight on separate levels
    4. Lots of purple

    What I didn't like:
    1. Some weapons were overpowered like the plasma gun or the one-hit killer rifle-the scope is basically useless because one can simply not use it and maintain super-accuracy
    2. These weapons were often very easy to get to

    This wad got a bad rap just because of its childish theme, which is sad, because it seems like real effort was put into making it play smoothly and look nice (except for a couple of mystery textures). Of course, there are some odd bits like a gay bar and a risquι picture of Doomguy for the stats screen. However if you look past these, it's really not all that bad. Replayability is good.

  • Hell Chainsaw - RV-007
    Doom/Doom 2 - ZDoom - N/A - 4370 bytes -
    Reviewed by: Dragonsbrethren
    Replaces the chainsaw with a hell chainsaw, which is identical to the normal chainsaw, except you can throw it with alt-fire at and watch it float into your enemies at a comically slow speed. Consumes ammo, but you're given 100 to start with and can pick up thrown chainsaws to replenish it, so you'll never actually run out. deathz0r did this concept better seven years ago.

  • 100x - Doomguy 2000
    Doom/Doom 2 - ZDoom Compatible - N/A - 2902 bytes -
    Reviewed by: The Green Herring
    From the creator of Doomguy's Warzone and 30,000 Levels comes 100x, a new mod that promises an "amazing challenge ... far ahead of it's [sic] time!"

    Actually, it's just an edit of Cutmanmike's 10x, an example WAD for the ZDoom forums' Doom Mutator Contest, which causes the monster count on any given level to be multiplied by ten, with the ammo pickups also multiplied by ten to compensate. As you may have expected, this version multiplies it all by a hundred! As you may have also expected, this means most levels with an average monster count are going to be unplayable, achieving a single-digit frame rate on most computers as soon as you fire a shot. At least Doomguy 2000 warns you about this in the text file.

    Regardless, however, this is basically little more than an edit to a DECORATE lump that any random schmuck with a WAD editor could make within a minute of cracking it open. The experience of 100x, which took Doomguy 2000 an hour to make, can easily be replicated by putting the contents of 10x's DECORATE in a text editor with a "Find and Replace" function and using it on a certain string. (Bonus points if your WAD editor has a text editor with that function, like SLADE 3 does.) As such, I advise you to skip this one; if you actually want to play this, you can download 10x and make it yourself.

  • Eye of Sin Monster - RV-007
    Doom/Doom 2 - ZDoom - N/A - 207514 bytes -
    Reviewed by: Herculine
    This creature replacement for the Pain Elemental gives me the feeling that it had some good potential but that it was lost somewhere before the final product. At first glance the monster seemed cool and appropriate for the game; a creepy floating eyeball looking around. But a second later I started taking constant damage as if I was stuck under a crushing ceiling, and suddenly the monster was simply very annoying and felt unfair. The only thing that made it feel somewhat balanced was that one blast from the super shotgun can take it out... but with its death came another disappointment when I saw that the creature doesn't have any unique death animation sprites. It just seems to stop attacking and sits there still looking around; it could have at least burst open or something. I've used a lot of custom monsters in my projects but I wouldn't use this one without first doing some editing, like replacing the invisible constant damage with an attack where it spawns smaller eyeballs (since it is after all supposed to replace the PE) and giving it a death animation like an explosion or something. In other words, this was a good try but I think it still needs some work.

  • Possessed Marine Skin - RV-007
    Doom/Doom 2 - ZDoom - N/A - 189484 bytes -
    Reviewed by: Herculine
    This player skin alternative isn't much more than the default marine skin with a red helmet visor, sprites which were taken from another monster that has been around for a while (the Possessed Marine). I suppose that could be overlooked, but what can't be overlooked are the eight comedic sound effects that are included. After hearing the sounds, I can only assume that the author intended this as a jokewad rather than a serious effort. Delete the sound effects and replace them with a mixture of Zombieman and vanilla player sounds and this could be usable by serious Doomers.

  • Stfhead Monster - RV-007
    Doom/Doom 2 - ZDoom - N/A - 78450 bytes -
    Reviewed by: Dragonsbrethren
    Replaces the lost soul graphics and sounds with those of the status bar face and player, respectively. If you have a child or sibling under the age of five, show this to them; I'm sure they'll find it hilarious.

  • Manga Skins - RV-007
    Doom/Doom 2 - ZDoom - N/A - 16465210 bytes -
    Reviewed by: The Green Herring
    The author says that he made this in case you ever wanted to cosplay or troll during a multiplayer game. It provides you with five high-resolution skins that—

    ...are exactly the same as the Animilation skins I reviewed back in May, but which were deleted from the archive — except the first time around, the author was serious.

    Since this version is identical — which is appropriate because the skins themselves feel like identical clones — you would do well to read my original review. My conclusion, however, is the same as before: Skip this one and preserve your dignity.

  • Visor Player - RV-007
    Doom/Doom 2 - ZDoom - N/A - 4935 bytes
    Reviewed by: Sergeant_Mark_IV
    This wad gives the player an item that allows Nightvision to be switched on or off by pressing the Use Inventory key. This could be actually somewhat useful if it didn't have to replace the player class and didn't include a lot of garbage and unused lumps. I'm not uploading any pictures because there is actually nothing to be shown.

  • The Most Impossible Difficulty Ever!!!!! - Doomguy 2000
    Doom 2 - ZDoom Compatible - Solo Play - 11721894 bytes -
    Reviewed by: Sergeant_Mark_IV
    This is another chapter of Doomguy2K series. Our hero continues into his God-sent quest for completely flooding the /idgames Archive with the most weird and useless junk made since Terry's days, and causing anger and disorder in the /newstuff review post just for the lulz. Will he succeed now?

    I saw a guy saying at the /idgames reviews, "Do us all a favor and no one review this crap on /newstuff." Well, unfortunately, somebody must review this in order to make other newer wads reviewable, so I decided to step forward and do it.

    Here's my review: just look at the uploaded screenshot. Don't play it. Don't download it. Don't rate it in the archives. Don't click it. Don't talk about this review. Pretend that his wad never existed. Please move on, and read the next review.

  • Temple Base - Egbert B. Gebstadter
    Doom 2 - Limit Removing - Solo Play - 74944 bytes -
    Reviewed by: Krispy
    Temple Base is a one level tech-themed wad. Visuals are nice, and design is fun with the exception of a couple bugs that force you to IDCLIP your way out. Save often and conserve your ammo if you decide to try this one out. There are a couple of interesting fights with archviles or other baddies that may seem very difficult, but beat them and you'll get some nice satisfaction. Took me 15 minutes to blast through, and kept me entertained enough to do it. I probably won't be playing it again anytime soon, though.

  • Barrels 0 Fun - The Goat Avenger
    Doom 2 - ZDoom Compatible - Solo Play - 13171376 bytes -
    Reviewed by: walter confalonieri
    This level is senseless.

    Sure, it had some cool textures and music, but is just a large room where you spawn barrels in after activating some script switch. I don't really see the meaning of this.

    Avoid.

  • PSXSM (PlayStation Style Music) - Herculine
    Doom/Doom 2 - OGG Support - N/A - 95225409 bytes
    Reviewed by: Dragonsbrethren
    Like the name says, this is a collection of music done in the style of Aubrey Hodges's soundtrack for the PlayStation version of Doom. You'll need a port capable of playing Ogg format music in order to make use of them. There are a ton of tracks here, and they're named so that they replace the default Doom and Doom 2 music tracks. They mimic the dark ambiance of Hodges's music and would be a perfect fit in PlayStation-style wads.

Let me guess; one of those reviewers doesn't know how to properly appreciate a WAD that you liked this week. Want to do something about it? Instead of complaining in the comment thread like you always do, perhaps you can make a difference and write some better reviews than those idiots up there. The /newstuff Review Center is the place to do so. Put that Doomworld Forums account to constructive use, because you need one to submit reviews.