I'm sure you've noticed that the 3DArchives upload server has been down for maintenance and hasn't been accepting any logins. In order to sidestep that issue, I've included two Wads that haven't been uploaded to the archives but most likely will be in the near future. Also, this is probably a first: there are no Deathmatch maps in this edition, which is great because I probably wouldn't have been able to find anybody to play with.
This is my first time doing an entire issue of /newstuff, so try to go easy on me. I'm not the greatest at Doom, and I probably went overboard with the screenshots, but that's a good thing becuause this week is full of Wads that don't suck! How's that for a change? On another note, apparently the /idgames archive thingy here at Doomworld isn't updating properly, probably due to the aforementioned issue with 3DArchives.
- doomsday fortress by r.e. lubbelinkhof
244KB - doom2.exe - SP - MAP09 - (img) (img)
You remember r.e. lubbelinkhof from last week, right? Well, this map in the should-have-been-made-an-episode series suffered from a bad upload (as well as the normal lack of shift key usage) and didn't make it in time for #183. Anyways, this is a castle-type map, with plenty of monsters. The architecture is fairly straightforward, nothing spectacular, but not bad looking either. Several monster traps may find you scrambling at times. Ammo, of course, is scarce when first starting out, and then becomes a mixed bag; I found myself having just the right amount at times, and other times having no shells or bullets, forced to use the BFG. I was near death at several points, but still with plenty of armor, but the health situation eased on as I progressed through the map. Many times the map just seemed like it had too many switches. As a whole, the map doesn't look too bad and plays pretty well, and you won't be facing anything bigger than an arachnotron, at least on HMP.
- Decade by Russell Pearson
645KB - ZDoom 2.0.63 - SP - MAP01 - (img) (img) (img) (img) (img) (img)
Russell Pearson never fails to amaze. He never fails to release a good level. He never fails to use ZDoom effects wisely. In fact, he doesn't seem to be guilty of failing anything, except for deadlines. Yes, this map was meant to be released on December 10th, Doom's 10th birthday, but that obviously didn't happen. In this case, it's definitely better late than never. But enough with the dramatics: how does Decade work? As a sequence of original level-inspired areas, a smattering of unexpected surprises, and a wise usage of special effects, it works amazingly well. You'll find that many doors are opened for you, that jumping is not only allowed but required, and that Russell has taken the gameplay one step further with the addition of a few monster variants. There are so many inspired areas from the original Doom and Doom 2 levels that it was hard to keep track, but the high monster content made sure that the only time I spent wasn't just looking around. Even with the high monster count, gameplay manages to be non-frustrating. No area looked like it was tacked on after the other; they all flowed quite well. The ZDoom effects utilized never seemed gimmicky or unnecessary, and a few might leave you saying "Cool". It's obvious this map was playtested and tweaked extensively, as I had no significant troubles with ammo (except at the very beginning, punching a cacodemon) or health. To sum it all up, this is probably one of the best tributes to the original you will ever find.
- Reanimated by Karthik and Varun Abhiram
439KB - Limit-removing port - SP - MAP01-02 - (img) (img) (img) (img)
With siblings like Karthik and Varun, it's a wonder they didn't team up in creating a Wad earlier. Every one of their maps has been received quite well by the community, and this compilation has been no different, with good reason. Each map is very well crafted, perfectly balancing good visuals with exciting gameplay. The new music, well, sort of fits, but I don't much see how Linkin Park and Doom fit together. I uh, forget who made which map, but I suppose it doesn't matter much. They're both tech base-ish in style, a genre that you can hardly go wrong with. The MAP02 Cyberdemon battle provides a good climax. I've run out of things to say about these maps; they look great, play great, and the second melds into the first quite well. Go get it.
Also titled "Stuff that isn't really new that I didn't have enough time to play and review".
- Twilight Zone by Paul Corfiatis
1709KB - doom2.exe - SP - MAP01-32 -
Quoting from twzone.txt: "The Twilight Zone is a 32 level megawad for Doom2. The original version was completed in 1997. Most levels to todays standards have an old school feel. There have been many changes to the level design in all maps to improve the feel. A few of the earlier maps still have wolfenstein textures in them." Other changes mentioned are mostly added detail, but also include a "better music selection", per-map skies and map names for ZDoom, and small gameplay changes. Andy Olivera reviewed the original version quite some time ago, and I simply didn't have time to play the new version.
- Realm of Evil by Jeff Valancy
591KB - doom2.exe - SP - MAP01-06 - (img) (img)
This is the second release of Realm of Evil, which earned Wad of the Week from Grazza in The /newstuff Chronicles #161. I did get a chance to check out the new map, MAP06, and I found a map that, while it played pretty well, had decidedly average detailing, as evidenced by the screenshots. Changes to existing maps don't seem to be pointed out in the text file. Anyways, it's probably worth checking out if you haven't played the original.