The Ultimate DooMer
(former) /newstuff Chronicler
Remember, remember the 10th of November, as it's newstuff time again! Light those fireworks and stand well back, as there's some explosive action in /newstuff this week! 10 wads with 14 maps, including several mini-episodes for various ports, a new skin, a new weapon, a demoset and even some odd folder destinations! As usual, the reviews are here for you to decide whether to take up a wad and set it off, or throw it on the bonfire to burn in Hell for all eternity.
- Untitled (as of yet) by Archvile46 - (img) - A DooM 1 wad, this will be E1M7 of Freedoom when it is eventually released. Following the recent Abandoned Mines II, this is suitably retro-themed, this time in the Phobos style. This is reflected in the architecture, which is not intricate, but is consistent with the E1 theme, as is the layout of the map. It also contains the appropriate types and placement of monsters and weapons, but this map falls down badly in one area - ammo. There simply isn't enough to go round at the start, making it practically impossible to complete without bringing your own ammo in first. It is possible, but only if you're a very good player (like me), and with lots of evasion, in-fighting and quickloading until you get your hands on a chainsaw, which is a fair way into the map. It's still a good map, (especially if you're a Phobos fan), but only high-skilled DooMers will be able to complete this from a pistol start. Requires the Freedoom textures, but only for the acid falls. (you can still play without them by using a port)
- Cultist Skin by Swampy - A skin for DooM 2, using graphics of the Cultist from Blood. There are a few sounds thrown in as well. (so why it's in the levels folder is beyond me)
- Flay the Obscene - Compilation by Christian N. Hansen - (img) (img) (img) - A visually impressive and pretty damned hard city-style wad consisting of 4 maps, replacing maps 12-15. Great attention to detail is paid in every part of the maps, and some of the narrow passages look just as nice as the open areas. There's certainly enough here to please even the most ardent fan of detail. A spot of ammo trouble though - there is only just enough on UV to go round, with plenty of chainsaw action to boot. Monster-wise, there are many sneaky traps throughout, which will catch you out in many places, but thankfully it's not over the top, and with intelligent use of cover, a good DooMer should be able to do it on UV, despite the fact that health is pretty rare (which can get annoying when regenerating chaingunners are about). However, this wad really does require you to find all the secrets on UV, especially when some of their precious contents are not available in open play. But despite this, Flay is an excellent wad that everyone should play, but lesser-skilled DooMers should think about playing on skill 2 or 3. A source port isrecommended in order to remove VPO's, but it is not designed for jumping.
- Master by Steven McGranahan and Brendt Pantley - (img) (img) - Another multi-map wad, this one is a 3-map replacement for Legacy. The first map is a gothic chapel, the others are cave complexes. The architecture is good, with Hexen textures/flats used throughout, making the cave maps look very Hexen-like. Legacy features (namely 3D floors and underwater sections) are present in the maps, and these enhance the detail and atmosphere (which is additionally boosted by some nice music replacements). The gameplay is fairly easy, with the maps populated mostly by smaller monsters, and the big monsters appearing mostly in the traps, usually of the classic door-based type. Health is sufficient in the cave maps, and there's more than enough shells to go round, although other types are a bit rarer. It's an enjoyable wad with some nice visuals (particularly the outdoor tower area) and some neat tricks (like flying creatures rising up from water and lava), but high-skilled DooMers will probably walk this one, as there's only a few areas which are really challenging. Requires Legacy. (1.32 beta 3 or higher, tested with 1.40 - and it didn't crash once!)
- Blind Alley M: The Citadel by Gene Bird - (img) - The third in the Blind Alley series, this map delivers more of the same stuff as the previous maps.In fact, I might invent a new measurement, "monsters per square inch" (msi) to describe the amount of monsters packed into each area of a map. This map has a high msi count, and is pretty good fun to play because of this (similar to the previous Blind Alley maps, and also Io Anomaly, which has the highest msi of all). The layout has no real shape or theme to it (apart from the map22-themed start area), and the architecture in the passages is not that good, but you'll be too busy blasting hordes of monsters and watching your health to worry about how the map looks.Besides, the actual rooms and outdoor areas look fairly nice. Enjoy.
- The First Adventure by Karol Szczecinsky - (img) (img) - Completing the mini-episode glut this week is a slightly bizarre 3 map replacement for ZDoom. The maps are small, low in detail and cover a number of themes. Some new sounds (including one from Worms), new textures/flats, a dangerous 'kamikaze bomber' and some new weapons improve the wad, but on the whole this is nothing really special. It is fairly challenging though, and the third map has some cool ZDoom features. If you don't know how to edit scripts (needed to fix a fatal bug in map 03) then throw this on the bonfire after playing maps 01 and 02.(if you can edit scripts, go to script 4 in map 03 and uncomment all the lines). Requires ZDoom. (1.23 beta 33)
- E1M7 by DooMBoy - (img) - The second E1M7 tribute level this week, this one has plenty of wall consoles, lights etc. and is also quite dark throughout, which is quite an under-used feature in E1 style wads IMO. All this leads to a fairly authentic atmosphere, with the weapons and monsters to match. The map has its flaws, though - sector heights seem to be measured in 10's rather than 8's, and this leads to some weird texture effects, many of which don't look that good. The map is also fairly linear in design, which is not normally associated with E1M7. The gameplay is fairly easy, with only E1 monsters to worry about (except a few cacos), and enough ammo/health to deal with them. Still, this is the author's first released map, so a lot of these flaws are newbie errors, and overall it's not a bad effort for an newbie map. Requires ZDoom.
- E1M8 by DooMBoy - (img) - An E1M8 tribute which looks and plays very similar to the original. It doesn't look as good as the original, but is a little harder to complete from scratch. Requires ZDoom.
- Mkonnuri by DooMer 4ever - This weapon wad replaces the chaingun with the assault rifle from Half-Life, with the pistol sound from Duke and a dehacked patch (to increase the fire rate) included as well.It's quite fun mowing down tons of zombies and imps at once, but it does make the game a little easier.
- Romero's UV E1 LMP Recordings by John Romero - This is the set of E1 demos that Romero did during Doomcenter's E1 week last year. A chance to see the master at work on DooM's most famous episode, uploaded by myk due to Doomcenter's links to the demos being dead. As expected, the demos are of high quality, with 100% kills and secrets (but not items) each time, together with a running commentary by Romero himself, which greatly enhances the demos (as well as being funny at times, they even contain the odd bit of DooM lore!). There's even an extended E1 sky included to fix Legacy's sky problem. Altogether, they're nostalgic and fun to watch. Requires Legacy v1.32, but it will run on v1.40.
Last edited by The Ultimate DooMer on 11-10-02 at 11:07