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  • Hell On Mars - Sean Wheeler AKA Flesh420
    Skulltag - Solo Play - 12136324 bytes - (img) (img) (img) (img) (img) (img) (img) (img)
    Reviewed by: Farm Fresh
    Before I start, let me first clear some things up. The readme states "6" levels, but I was only able to find three, even after using warp commands to search the other slots. MAP01 - MAP03 are all new and are a good length to make up for the small number. Second, the readme states that the game crashes when you launch it in Skulltag (which is required) which it did to me every time until I launched with a MAP01 start command. So if you're having trouble, I suggest doing the same. I played on Hurt Me Plenty, mainly because I forgot to change the difficulty from the launcher.

    Now, onto the good part (which is essentially the whole WAD). Probably the first thing you'll notice when you start the WAD up is that it's very dark. I play with sector light mode in dark and I was forced to move the ambient light slider up just to see some areas. That said, if you do the same or play in one of the other settings (which are all lighter, including the default) you will probably not have to worry too much. The lighting in the map is very well done and conveys a good atmosphere while never being too distracting. Music from Doom 64 (I may be wrong about that) plays on the maps which includes the groaning and growling of demons and the metal clanks of the base around you. It works so well in the map (especially in MAP03) that I found myself being much more careful and paranoid. I definitely recommend playing with the volume very loud so you experience all the quiet atmospheric noises, such as computers droning away or soft crying and growling. The other sounds are taken from Doom 64, which seems a little out of place on some of the monsters, but overall it isn't too distracting and serves to make things a little less intense and a little more complementary to the theme.

    The maps themselves are very well-detailed, and small cracks or chips in the wall, as well as some demonic flesh leaking through some gaps serves not only as nice eye-candy, but usually means that plenty of demons are around. The textures are quite varied, and while there were two times that I became lost as to what I should do next, the path was well laid out the rest of the time. Most rooms are more cramped and close-quarters, while others are courtyards or labs that give the player more room to breathe. The battles take full advantage of this by offering the player a shotgun a few minutes in and a chaingun later for the long-range encounters. The monsters were also well-placed, and plenty of traps are sprung to keep you on edge, including a few of the classic "item on a pedestal" traps that you know you have to trigger, but can't tell where the enemies will come from. My favorite encounter was one for a key in MAP03 that had the player taking on three Hell Knights with very little room to move. Corralling them all to the center of the room so I could strafe around the outsides took quite a few tries but was very rewarding. Ammo is certainly not a problem on the maps, but health is more scarce. There were several times that I had to stay in the danger zone and I never felt like the author expected me to take lots of damage or that I could get careless. Every weapon but the BFG (that I could find) is here, though ammo is very scarce for the rockets and plasma rifle, which only appeared on the final map anyway. It was a good match-up for the caliber of monsters in the map as well and kept me from ever feeling all-powerful.

    Rounding out the package are some very clever secrets, and I'm not ashamed to admit I couldn't find them all, and some that I did notice I could not find a way in. When you play this map (and I believe that everyone definitely should) you may have better luck than I did with secrets.

    The author clearly spent plenty of time tweaking the atmosphere, scripting, and monster encounters in Hell On Mars and I'm certainly grateful. I enjoyed every moment of playing it, and it has earned a permanent spot in my folder. If you're looking for a little more flavor in your Doom or you're tired of endless slaughter maps, this diamond is worth working through the crash glitch.

  • OLD HELL SCRAPER - Walter "Daimon" Confalonieri
    Boom Compatible - Solo Play - 1014676 bytes - (img) (img) (img) (img) (img)
    Reviewed by: Snakes
    Hm... Eccentric might be a good way to describe this wad. It isn't really... um, good, but not that bad either. Be warned though: Map31 features abundant use of Nazis, and from the start, I know about half of you are moving on with the "Nothing to see here" attitude. I don't entirely blame you.

    The wad itself is 2 maps... 2 LARGE maps, as a matter of fact. The layouts themselves are somewhat interesting, with Map31 being quite intricate and requiring all 6 keys. The big problem is that these layouts can also be quite congested. I went through so many corridors I began to get mixed up. What's more, there's a clash of styles here that really doesn't make all that much sense. The first map alone featured use of Wolfenstein, GSTONE, and techlab textures that added up to a whole lot of, "Eh?" and head-scratching. It's sort of something you'd expect from '94 or '95 in that sense. Not necessarily bad, but... Yeah, not an idea that really works.

    Gameplay? Standard affair. Progression can sometimes be puzzling (yes, I got stuck on Map32, I admit it). It's mostly of the straight-forward-and-blast mentality, with those damn switch hunts that, yo! They don't make any sense all of the time. On the flip side, I've never really worried about Doom making sense. Make of that what you will (last time I use the verb "make" for this review, by the by).

    So, is it worth the download? Well, I suppose so. If nothing else, you'll get to see FIRELAVA used as a sky, which was actually kind of a cool sight to see. Too bad it doesn't stretch vertically. Play at your own risk. Who knows? You might actually find some neat stuff here 'n there.

  • Epicus Furor - Aluqah
    ZDoom Compatible - Solo Play - 2485975 bytes - (img) (img) (img) (img) (img) (img) (img)
    Reviewed by: Farm Fresh
    Aluqah brings us a very unexpected WAD. Epicus Furor (or Epic Rage according to my quick translation) is definitely not your ordinary Doom WAD. Aluqah brings style to the forefront, which is apparent the moment you spawn into the world. Everything is portrayed in shades of grey, except for blood and a few select items. This creates a very unique world which is interesting at first, but as the map wears on begins to get old. The world itself is mostly stone buildings and clearings inside cliff walls, which are filled with various monsters taken from Doom, Heretic, Hexen, and perhaps a few custom. Likewise, the weapons available start from fists (which are pitifully underpowered and require good dodging skills to use without dying) to a crossbow to a powerful sword with a massive reach and an even more massive punch. You'll spend most of your time using a sword, and while it's something new to most Doom players, it often makes it too easy to stand in a choke point and spam the sword as the monsters funnel in like Black Friday at Macy's over and over again. Health is rewarded from enemy hearts which drop from most monsters, and this also refills your special ammo which is used for two of the other weapons.

    Aside from giving a very dreary and moody world to explore, Epicus Furor gives a little something different to those who are looking for something other than an arsenal full of sci-fi weapons and endless demon slaughter. There are plenty (read: hordes upon hordes) of monsters, sometimes to the point of just being annoying, but aside from the flaws, the WAD is well-made, and you can feel the love put into its creation. The music is a bit repetitive, but it's easy to overlook.

    Don't let the misspelling of "heart" as "hearth" in the game fool you into thinking the WAD is poorly made. It's well worth a run through. I'd suggest lower difficulties for people who aren't patient and very skilled, especially considering the difficulty of the final boss.

  • Raven Crypt - Zalewa
    ZDoom Compatible - Solo Play - 3393671 bytes - (img) (img)
    Reviewed by: Creaphis
    There's an ethical dilemma that most /newstuff reviewers suddenly face. On the one hand, reviewing wads can be considered as a service to the community: it helps mappers reach a wider audience with their work, and it helps players to quickly assess that nothing new has come out that's worth playing. On the other hand, however, any review that I contribute to an upcoming T/nC is one less that could potentially have been written by st.alfonzo. As this review, when compared to our patron saint's brilliant body of work, will doubtless seem as a gangrenous limb, I will do my best to be brief.

    Ravencrypt.wad was built around a song. It has Hexen and Heretic-based textures. It is oftentimes pretty. It uses custom monsters. I have finally come to realize that this last fact can be considered a flaw, in and of itself. See, the thing about custom monsters is that they are invariably designed to be more threatening individually than their Doom counterparts. While I have nothing against a challenge, monsters that are too powerful or unpredictable lack versatility. The real strength of Doom's monsters is that they are all weak enough to serve as a single small piece in a million unique tactical puzzles, while dangerous custom monsters only fit in two. One: you can fight them on their own. This is alright once; then it gets boring. Two: you can fight them in a group. Chances are that this group, custom monster included, will be too dangerous for the player to face head on, so the map's design must afford the player some hidey-hole from which he can safely take pot-shots or enough room to circumnavigate not only the monsters, but also the globe. This is also boring. Instead of belabouring my point any further, I'll simply share with you a list I recorded while playing this wad. After every significant fight, I wrote down the tactics that the fight required.

    - Become invulnerable thanks to obvious secret, lazily exterminate horde.
    - Circle-strafe.
    - Hide behind corner.
    - Hide behind door.
    - Dodge rockets. (To be fair, there was a decent cyberdemon fight in the middle there.)
    - Hide behind corner.
    - Strafe a half-circle left, then right, then left, and so on, ad infinitum.
    - Circle-strafe, again.
    - Spam overpowered weapon.
    - Hide behind corner.
    - Spam overpowered weapon.
    - Hide behind corner and spam overpowered weapon.

    And so on it goes. But hey, gameplay isn't everything right? After all, this project's aims are more atmospheric in nature. As I alluded to earlier, this map uses a MIDI from "Lands of Lore," a fantasy game, and was built expressly to give this song a proper home - a crypt to haunt, as it were. The song, textures and architecture, taken together, are meant to make the player become entranced with this idea of a crypt on an alien world - meant to make the player pine for a bleak and gruesome reality which he will, sadly, never know. This wad does not succeed in these aims. The stumbling but rapid pace of the gameplay deprives these artistic elements of the time they need to do their work. The added weapon and final boss make an absolute mockery of the setting. Finally, the mapper blithely employs one of my own personal pet peeves: boss music! Meeting the thousandth cyberdemon of your Dooming career isn't the most dramatic event for most people, so changing the soundtrack to something up-tempo just because something big and snarly has shown up is a sure way to keep your level's music and your audience's emotions out of sync with each other. I'm doubly offended because this level supposedly exists for a given MIDI, and Zalewa's apparent unawareness of what that means makes me wonder if he was ever allowed to attend his own birthday parties.

    So much for brevity. I have held you back from st.alfonzo's reviews for far too long, and for that I am truly sorry. Oh, st.alfonzo... whose magic fingers weave wad straw into review gold - gold as lustrous as his long, blond beard, which I like to imagine he has, and which I dream of holding as he pats me on the head and reassures me in his rich, chocolaty baritone: "There, there. You'll be a worthy wad reviewer some day."

    *sigh*

    TL;DR: It's pretty good. Play it.

  • Classic Killz - Ryan Albright (High Flyin' Ryan)
    ZDoom Compatible - Solo Play - 263437 bytes - (img) (img)
    Reviewed by: StupidBunny
    A simple but very enjoyable classic-style map. The gameplay is definitely the map's strength, featuring a surprisingly wide variety of battles in a relatively small map. The monster count is fairly small, but the monsters are used very strategically, which coupled with weapon, health and ammo placement make the map pretty tricky in parts. It's technically actually a ZDoom map, though the only obvious signs of this are in a few places where messages will pop up, as well as a couple DECORATE lamp objects hanging from the ceilings. They're subtle and work pretty well with the classic style of the map as a result.

    On that note, the map does a pretty good job of sticking to an olde-tyme visual style, or rather a few such styles, as it reminded me of E1, E3, and even Plutonia at times. There are some minor flaws with the visuals--a lot of sidedefs aren't unpegged, there's some texture misalignments and the sidedef under the door behind the player start is untextured--but they mostly don't detract from the enjoyability of the map.

    Overall, this is a good piece of work, and anybody who likes good old classic Doom will have fun with this.

  • Thy Wicked - Flesh420
    Skulltag - Solo Play - 144939 bytes - (img) (img)
    Reviewed by: FuzzballFox
    Well seeing as this is my first ever review of a wad, I decided to try a small one map wad to ease myself into it, also because I have been playing way too much Minecraft and need to get back to Doom some time!

    What we have here is a single level based in hell where, by the description, "You are in hell-So shoot shit!". Text file says Skulltag is required but actually it isn't, this will work with pretty much any modern source port.

    The map itself isn't huge, but is nicely detailed but not over the top, non-linear, with a good mix of outdoor and indoor areas. The monster count is fair, however there were times where ammo was a little tight but nothing the average player can't handle.

    Enjoyed it for the short time it lasted and I would recommend you try it for a quick blast!

  • Nukage Processing Plant - Poppy Jones
    Skulltag - Solo Play - 35604 bytes - (img)
    Reviewed by: StupidBunny
    I feel really tempted with this one to say "look at the fucking screenshot" and be done with it, as there's really nothing else worthwhile to say about this. It's a very short map by Terry (or no, Poppy Jones now) in which you start in a small room with an imp and a cacodemon, and after a minute or two suddenly teleport into a featureless inescapable maze of invisible teleports with an unfunny Terry-esque phrase plastered onto the screen the whole time. I really can't come up with anything else to say about this one. It's a trollwad, don't play it.

  • Dead Outpost - StupidBunny (keegancovey@gmail.com)
    Limit Removing - Solo Play - 816991 bytes - (img) (img) (img) (img) (img) (img) (img) (img)
    Reviewed by: Never_Again
    A single-level WAD for Doom 2 that replaces MAP28. I played it after WIT.WAD and Ruba's latest - what a relief!

    The early part of the level plays much like a good Doom 1 WAD ... until you run into the first Revenant. The WAD starts out quietly, with sparing use of Doom 2 monsters; later on there are several pitched battles with a lot more heavyweights, of the slaughtermap variety. The numbers are never overwhelming, though, and you are given sufficient means to deal with every situation, so I found every battle to be enjoyable on UV. Nevertheless, there is at least one place where you can find yourself with your back against the wall and kick the bucket in no time if you don't react quickly enough. So, while most speedrunners should not have much trouble getting all the way through in a couple of tries, it is far from being a walk in the park. But rest assured: the fights are always fair and there are no "gotchas" in this WAD. Although the map is large it's quite linear, with practically no side trips, so it's always clear what to do next and you never run the risk of getting lost.

    From the start to finish the level consistently follows a nicely-executed techy theme, with just a few hellish elements neatly crafted in. The texturing and lighting are impeccable throughout, as is the overall design. Interesting layout, with many windows and openings that allow you - la Knee Deep in the Dead - to see the parts of the level you can't reach until later, with the final part getting you back to the beginning only to discover that things are not quite the same anymore.

    I managed to run into a critical bug while recording on this level. WARNING: SPOILERS FOLLOW! Skip the following paragraph if you want to avoid them.

    It occurred in the small room with a crowd of Revenants behind a UAC door. It seems that if you run back and forth over the brightly-lit white tiles in the center of the room before pressing the button that raises the floor, the tiled center fails to rise with the rest of the room. It forms a pit where you will get stuck if you fall into it. If you choose not to fall into it, you won't be able to kill the Demons teleporting in and get your 100% kills.Fortunately, it only happened to me once in about two dozen tries and should be not easy to reproduce in normal play.

    Oh, and while we're in the spoilers section: don't waste rockets or plasma on those three Mancubuses in red cave; the shotgun (or, even better, the chaingun) is the way to go, unless you're playing in a port that allows disabling autoaim.

    The WAD features several new graphics, like the above-mentioned back-lit white tiles. The tiles are similar to those in the city levels of Doom 2 Reloaded; I think they are used more tastefully here, though. There's a short new soundtrack as well that sounds to me like a Celtic military march. Although generally I prefer moodier music to do my DOOMing to, the track fits well the hectic action of the later half of the level.

    Curiously, the WAD directory contains the entries of an alternative (older?) version of the map that has the player start in what became the unreachable area beyond the exit in the final version. This Easter egg (or, most likely, just an oversight on the author's part :) can be played only after editing the WAD to insert the missing MAPxx marker.

    Overall, this is the best single-level WAD of the classic style to grace /newstuff this fall. In my opinion, Dead Outpost just about edges out Jade Earth: its design offers a lot more variety without losing the focus, and most players will be able to complete it in one sitting. DE's only flaw is its linearity, which may hurt its replay value. With most people never reading the same book or watching the same movie more than once I don't see that as a big problem, though.

  • Redoom - C30N9
    GZDoom - Solo Play - 153695 bytes - (img) (img)
    Reviewed by: Traysandor
    Redoom is a simple 5-level wad that requires GZDoom to run. Looking into the wad, the only reason GZDoom is required is the 3D bridge provided in the second screenshot.

    Redoom features a new difficulty, which makes the monsters fast, tougher to kill, and turns off sv_cheats. It's okay if you're into that sort of thing. Other than that, the texturing is very, very basic, and loosely based on the original Doom 2 levels. It feels like we've all done this before, and you'd probably be right.

    Overall, Redoom feels like a 1994 wad shrink-wrapped with "New" ideas. Playing through this, I can only think of one thing to say: "Avoid".

  • Nukage Tunnels - Vaporizer
    Vanilla - Solo Play - 11348 bytes - (img) (img)
    Reviewed by: Snakes
    I'll try and keep this review like Nukage Tunnel itself: short, and frankly, bad.

    There isn't really much to say about this map. It's cramped, it's ugly, and while gameplay is (easily) the best aspect of it, it still isn't really all that great. After all, how much fun can you have running through 64-width corridors for about four-fifths of the entire map? Not much, right? Right. Especially when you're given so much ammo that not even that damn arch-vile can be much of a hassle. Heck, even the sort of interesting presence of the blinking lights can be off-set by an unneeded light amplifier. Eesh.

    It should be noted that it's Vaporizer's first map, and as such, a lot can be chalked up to that. There's plenty of room for improvement, buddy. I encourage you to sally forth. Much luck.

    Download if extremely bored.

  • Urban Warfare - Episode 1: 5-Star Hotel - Ken Taggard, Sysop Backyard BBS (Gopher)
    Vanilla - Solo Play - 70552 bytes - (img) (img) (img)
    Reviewed by: Craigs
    This is a rather large map from 1994 designed to look like a hotel, just in case you couldn't tell from the name. Despite its size however, a lot of it is somewhat redundant. There are numerous hotel rooms you can explore, but the majority of them consist of the same exact room with a shotgunner, 4 shells, an armor bonus, and a health pickup that only seem to serve as small supply caches.

    The main parts of the map, as well as where the fights mostly take place, consist of what appears to be a restaurant, a ball room, a pool, a dining room, and the main lobby. While there are really only two areas that actually have any real purpose, exploring the other areas can result in some pretty fun, if not easy firefights.

    That's another thing about the map. It's extremely easy, and chances are even the most unskilled player could probably make it through without any trouble. The map does give you a few heavy weapons, but by the time you get them, you usually don't need them. The only hard hitting enemies on the map are a baron and a couple of cacodemons. Other than that, the enemies consist of zombies and imps. The fight at the end is rather laughable. When you open up the exit you're given a BFG and a shit load of cells to fight a single imp. Two imps if you're playing on UV. In addition, they come from a room near the exit meaning you don't really even have to fight them.

    Overall though, this map probably won't take you more than 20 minutes to beat so long as you don't get lost, but it's still good for a bit of nostalgia. I'd recommend it to anyone who wants to kill a bit of time; just don't expect to be wowed by the map design and gameplay.

  • MONSTER (monster.wad) - David Pezzato
    Vanilla - Solo Play - 62427 bytes - (img)
    Reviewed by: st.alfonzo
    What's that coming over the hill?

    ...It's a complete and utter waste of time. The inclusion of more than a single room, however, requires me to insert more words than is necessary (on account of the author's "pithy" efforts), so if the screenshot doesn't convince you of anything, walk over to your nearest piano and play a B7 minor with diminished 5th. Alternatively, if you don't play piano, picture a hall of mirrors with just two objects at its centre: A rock and a grey metal door.

    A monster indeed.

  • 3 Steps From The Hell - Foxysen
    Skulltag - Solo Play - 315799 bytes - (img) (img) (img) (img)
    Reviewed by: Craigs
    Three steps to hell is a seven map wad for Skulltag, although the reason for it being Skulltag exclusive is somewhat questionable. During my playthrough I really didn't see anything Skulltag exclusive, and as far as ZDoom features went, they mostly consisted of stealth monsters and flats used on walls. However, this is not the only issue the wad suffers from.

    As far as gameplay goes, it's a mess for the most part. The concept behind it is rather interesting though. Essentially you only get three weapons: a pistol, a shotgun, and a rocket launcher, all three of which are available from the very start. In addition, ammo is extremely scarce and the only time you get health is at the very end of the level, so each hit you take is a lot more severe, no matter how minor it is. Like I said, it's an interesting concept but it fails miserably due to multiple issues, the biggest of which would probably be the overuse of stealth monsters and extremely cramped maps. For me, the main cause of death was stealth monsters. This was mainly due to the fact that a lot of them were placed right in the middle of hallways and cramped areas where you'd have no way of knowing they were there until you bumped into them, unless you had played the map before. It takes what should be a test of skill and turns it into a trial and error run instead. On top of that, the maps themselves tend to be excessively cramped and littered with crap the player can easily get stuck on. This makes dodging incoming projectiles almost impossible, something that's pretty much vital in a wad like this.

    That's not to say the wad is all bad though. Despite being somewhat bland, the maps do have a sort of simplistic charm to them that I liked, interesting layouts, and a few interesting moments as well, such as the pinky rush on map03. The goal of the map was always made clear from the very beginning and I never found myself getting lost or struggling to figure out what to do at a certain point. Some of the later maps also look pretty good as well.

    Despite its glaring flaws, I'd recommend downloading it just to witness some of the more memorable moments in the maps, as well as to take a look at some of the later maps as well.

    Also the end screen could have done with a bit of proof reading.

  • Colossus - Wraith
    ZDoom Compatible - Solo Play - 530066 bytes - (img) (img) (img) (img) (img) (img) (img)
    Reviewed by: StupidBunny
    Colossus is an unfortunate map: it has some good design, good layout, good gameplay, and all-around good ideas that would have worked so well if only the damn thing were just smaller. I played it start to finish, and I quite enjoyed it, but there's no way I could've done it without saving fairly frequently. The map's biggest (no pun intended) problem is its sprawling size, which is an issue I can relate to; I have a problem keeping my maps concise, and for that they can suffer. What I think the main issue with size is is that the problems which ordinarily would be annoying but pretty minor are now immensely frustrating and can cripple the enjoyability of the map. I can say for certain that I'd have ragequit several times if I hadn't been saving fairly regularly.

    Before I dive in, though, a quick open letter to some members of the community and to some of the /idgames commenters in particular: when running Doom, pay attention to the menu that appears after selecting a new game. There are 5 items on this menu. This is not a decorative menu, but the "difficulty levels" menu, and the ones nearer to the top are easier than the ones nearer the bottom. Next time you're about to post bitching about how there's too many monsters and not enough health and ammo and such, try one of the easier ones. There's no shame in it and, after all, they are typically implemented for a reason.

    Thank you. Anyway, I'll start with the visuals of the map, since they're probably the easiest thing to talk about. I'm going to be honest: I really like the way this map looks for the most part. The architecture and texturing are simple but unusual and actually pretty interesting, and the dim lighting in the outside areas creates a good atmosphere. There are a lot of texture misalignments that could easily have been fixed, and some of the shadowed areas outside are perhaps a bit too dark, but for the most part the map looks pretty cool.

    Unfortunately, the scale of the map causes the interesting design elements to wear thin, as there's a fairly limited variety in what you see. As interesting as the "street" areas look for a while, they are expansive and essentially have the same theme repeating itself. As neat as it might look, it does start to wear on one after a while, and it isn't until late in the map that some variety is introduced.

    As far as layout goes, we run once again into the problem that there's simply too much map to go around. I'm not sure that the solution would be to split the map in two so much as to simply scale down what's there, as the map as it is would flow pretty well if only it wasn't so expansive. I guess it could have worked if the area after the yellow key had been cut out and put into another map, if for no other reason than because it doesn't really fit with the whole first part.

    One thing that really bothered me, and that really served no positive purpose in a map this size, is the fact that the automap is disabled in large areas of the map. For some reason, the author thought it would make sense to hide whole areas from the map's view, making what would ordinarily be a pretty clean navigation process into an annoying wanderfest at times. It wouldn't have been so bad if the outdoor areas had been more varied, but since so much of the detailing runs together it makes navigating by sight very difficult, and without being able to tell what wasn't open before the process of searching really just comes down to guessing. And that's no fun, especially in a large map.

    The battles were a strong point of this map, and I was amazed at how varied and interesting they felt given how flat so much of the map really is. I suppose ostensibly a lot of them were pretty similar, and consisted of taking out higher-up enemies on balconies while trying to deal with other ones coming through doors or teleports, but the combinations and numbers of foes varied a lot which made things exciting. In particular, I loved the couple of battles with spider masterminds on the streets. As an enemy that rarely gets used right, it was lovely to battle them in an exhilarating chase like this, especially with other demons swarming me as well.

    But, once again, the size of the map comes in to mess with things. There was a ton of teleport traps in this map, which ordinarily would be difficult but not more than a little annoying. But when playing something as large as Colossus, they suddenly become a real pain in the ass, and if I hadn't been saving through it I would basically have had to memorize where and what each trap would be, otherwise I simply wouldn't be ready. In huge maps, traps like these cease to be effective and just become cheap and unfair.

    As I kind of suggested before, the map is very difficult on UV, with nearly 1000 monsters and far too little health to support the player. Fortunately, on easier difficulties the map is more playable and much more fun, and on HNTR, which I beat it on, there is enough health and just the right amount of ammo (perhaps even a bit too much.)

    One rather serious mistake that's a definite no-no in general, but especially in a map as big as this, is that there are doors opened with a switch in the red door area that close after being opened, after which the switch can't be used. You only get one chance to figure out what it is the switch did and run through one of the doors. This is a really unfair design element and is far enough through the map that it would pretty much guaranteed sour anybody to the level if it caught them.

    I have a hard time deciding whether to recommend this map or not. If you like large maps and street-style fights, and don't object to saving once in a while mid-level, then I'd say give it a try and see what you think, as it really is a pretty good map on its own level. But honestly, I think the author simply built this map too big, and as fun as it might have been I feel its length brings it down somewhat.

  • All Fear The Sentinel Deathmatch - Tib and PUN1SH3R
    Skulltag - Deathmatch - 16674969 bytes - (img) (img) (img) (img) (img) (img) (img) (img) (img) (img) (img) (img) (img) (img) (img) (img)
    Reviewed by: walter confalonieri
    15 fast-paced semi-professional deathmatch maps (mostly FFA) from PUNiSH3R and other folks, mostly inspired by Judas Priest music/artwork. Predominant map theme is canyon / techbases, with some fancy devices like a grey/blue hellish place, or a brick station a la Quake (to name some examples).

    All maps looks awesome, and gameplay is great (I played it using the bots present in the wad; I think it could be great also in a net game).

    For me it's a worthy download, and I really enjoyed playing this... I hope to see a server in Doomseeker using this map pack, above the over-used Megaman 8 bit DM and ZDoom Wars (although MM8BDM is simply epic...)

The /newstuff Chronicles is written entirely by players like you. Visit the /newstuff Review Center to help out. If you are not a member of the Doomworld Forums, please sign up, because you need an account to submit reviews.

Old Post 12-07-10 07:25 #
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Snakes
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FP! Y'all a bunch of suckas!

Old Post 12-07-10 07:47 #
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RjY
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st.alfonzo wrote:
walk over to your nearest piano and play a B7 minor with diminished 5th
Hahaha I totally went and dug out the old Bontempi for this, because I love sevenths. But this is the worst one.

Anyway the wad is dated 3rd October 1994, so even though it is somewhat lacking, that should be taken into account.

I look forward to TheGreenHerring's /idgames exploration maxdemo, if it's eligible.

Old Post 12-07-10 10:43 #
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Alfonzo
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Creaphis said:
Oh, st.alfonzo... whose magic fingers weave wad straw into review gold - gold as lustrous as his long, blond beard
Rusty black, with grizzled and untameable dishevelment. I dyed it once with blond streaks, but the catholic school enforced facial and scalpel unanimity so I was made to downgrade to a cowlick and an all too ambiguous stubble. I do sing baritone though!

Old Post 12-07-10 12:20 #
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david_a


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Creaphis said:
See, the thing about custom monsters is that they are invariably designed to be more threatening individually than their Doom counterparts.

I hate this too. It makes the gameplay too Quake-like in my opinion. Some of my favorite custom monsters were the weaker ones in KDIZD (the shadow and golem-looking thing).

Old Post 12-07-10 16:00 #
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NaturalTvventy
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Bloodshedder said:
It uses custom monsters. I have finally come to realize that this last fact can be considered a flaw, in and of itself. [/i]


I hope he doesn't mean all custom monsters, because of course it's not true. There are plenty of weak ones out there that gets used. And many of the harder ones, like the bruiser demon, doesn't require cheap play after you get to know it's attacks. And to say the original DOOM monsters are devoid of this is also, in my opinion, untrue. It's oftentimes wisest to hide and take pop shots against archviles and spider masterminds if you're not packing a BFG.

Old Post 12-08-10 03:11 #
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Traysandor
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Bloodsheeder said:
It uses custom monsters. I have finally come to realize that this last fact can be considered a flaw, in and of itself.


Not necessarily. A custom monster in itself can add something new and interesting to the gameplay, even if (as a general rule) they are tougher and more dangerous than the original Doom2 monsters.

Likely the monsters were made in the first place because the original monsters got too predictable and boring... Though this never stops anyone from playing co-op/survival wads on the servers even if it's just stock Doom2 monsters, like in HR2, Scythe, AV, etc.

Old Post 12-08-10 03:37 #
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40oz
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st. alfonzos MONSTER.wad review is easily the best out of the bunch

Old Post 12-08-10 06:36 #
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Graf Zahl
Why don't I have a custom title by now?!


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[*]Dead Outpost - StupidBunny (keegancovey@gmail.com)



As good as this level is there's one point of criticism here and that's use of the skill settings - or better - not properly using them.

I mean, what's the point of skill levels if 'easy' is just 'a little less hard'? There's less than 10% of difference in monster count between the 3 levels which hardly makes any difference in how the level plays. As it is, the 'medium' skill is absolutely useless and it would have been better to drop this entirely and add something below what's currently 'easy'.

Old Post 12-08-10 08:10 #
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That was one thing I particularly regret not implementing in that map, and something I plan to address much more thoroughly in my current mapping project. At the time I made DE I terribly underestimated the importance of difficulty levels, and since then have come to realize that they're a really important option to have.

Old Post 12-08-10 08:26 #
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Zalewa
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Creaphis said:
(...) and Zalewa's apparent unawareness of what that means makes me wonder if he was ever allowed to attend his own birthday parties.


I've just been insulted. Nice.

Old Post 12-08-10 13:05 #
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Baby Bonnie Hood
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Any particular reason why, in Raven Crypt, the autosave point is only at the middle and not, say, right before the final boss where it would've really helped?

Old Post 12-08-10 15:51 #
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40oz
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Zalewa said:

I've just been insulted. Nice.



YOU CANT DO THAT ON THE INTERNET


Graf Zahl said:
As good as this level is there's one point of criticism here and that's use of the skill settings - or better - not properly using them.


Good point. It's usually best to make skill levels have a very wide spectrum

Old Post 12-08-10 16:39 #
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The Ultimate DooMer
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Traysandor said:


Not necessarily. A custom monster in itself can add something new and interesting to the gameplay, even if (as a general rule) they are tougher and more dangerous than the original Doom2 monsters.

Likely the monsters were made in the first place because the original monsters got too predictable and boring...



This.

(but ofc the only custom monsters deemed acceptable round here are dehacked ones, so it's like talking to a wall really)



- Become invulnerable thanks to obvious secret, lazily exterminate horde.
- Circle-strafe.
- Hide behind corner.
- Hide behind door.
- Dodge rockets. (To be fair, there was a decent cyberdemon fight in the middle there.)
- Hide behind corner.
- Strafe a half-circle left, then right, then left, and so on, ad infinitum.
- Circle-strafe, again.
- Spam overpowered weapon.
- Hide behind corner.
- Spam overpowered weapon.
- Hide behind corner and spam overpowered weapon.



Kinda like all classic-style wads when the projectile weapons appear. (minus the secret in most cases)


One: you can fight them on their own. This is alright once; then it gets boring.


Kinda like all classic-style wads when you face a single cybie or archie etc.

Last edited by The Ultimate DooMer on 12-08-10 at 17:56

Old Post 12-08-10 17:51 #
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40oz
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Clearly you've played every single classic wad ever.

Old Post 12-08-10 18:18 #
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Use3D
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The Ultimate DooMer said:

(but ofc the only custom monsters deemed acceptable round here are dehacked ones, so it's like talking to a wall really)



Yeah where's this coming from? I think the monsters 'accepted' around here should ideally just be original and fun. 9 times out of 10 it's some newb filling up a zdoom level with shit he got from 667 and sure, people aren't going to fall all over it.

Old Post 12-08-10 18:26 #
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dew
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The Ultimate DooMer said:
Kinda like all classic-style wads when the projectile weapons appear. (minus the secret in most cases)

yeah doom2 map01 is exactly like that. creaphis described his experience with this particular wad and you reacted with a nonsensical generalization that refuses any possibility of creative design in all classic-style wads. did he strike a chord that badly?

Old Post 12-08-10 18:51 #
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Phml
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The only trend I'm seeing is The Ultimate DooMer bashing every non-ZDoom wad and praising every ZDoom wad in every post he makes ; that is, when he's not busy saying anyone who dislikes any custom monster do so because they're unskilled, and that using full mouselook and no autoaim takes more skill than no vertical mouselook and autoaim.

Old Post 12-08-10 18:57 #
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DeathevokatioN
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Dead Outpost was pretty awesome. Thanks a lot for making that one, Stupidbunny, difficulty was fucking spot on for me. One complaint I have though is that I kept running out of ammo at a certain point, I eventually got past this problem by running past fights... is there any secret that contained ammo or something?

The custom monsters were done pretty nicely in Raven Crypt IMO. They added to the atmosphere, complimented the art direction of the wad, and were very fun to take down. I wanna use that warlock dude at some point. Fuck, those things are too much fun to blow away with the super shotgun. Hehe

Use3d is right about 9/10 times it's a noob filling his map up with custom monsters, I'd say that this is the 1/10th time where it worked though. I'd love to see sequel to Raven Crypt.

On the other hand, though, "Ultimate DooMer", you are clearly biased in your discouraging reviews towards wads that don't rip resources like it's Christmas. Your not doing anyone any favors with those Newstuff reviews either.

Last edited by DeathevokatioN on 12-08-10 at 23:40

Old Post 12-08-10 19:21 #
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Craigs
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Epicus Furor was pretty fun for the most part, although the gargoyles can seriously fuck off. Trying to pick off fast moving flying enemies at a distance with a seriously underpowered crossbow that fires slow moving arrows isn't exactly fun. The hammer also seems kind of useless.

Old Post 12-08-10 19:38 #
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StupidBunny
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DeathevokatioN said:
Dead Outpost was pretty awesome. Thanks a lot for making that one, Stupidbunny, difficulty was fucking spot on for me. One complaint I have though is that I kept running out of ammo at a certain point, I eventually got past this problem by running past fights... is there any secret that contained ammo or something?


I'm glad you enjoyed it as much as you did. Unfortunately, the rather poor ammo balance is something that I never properly dealt with (like the difficulty levels), and I can't say you're really missing any secrets or special placement with that. I think I know exactly which part you're talking about : it's after the yellow door, in the area with all the spectres and the hell knights, right? If it is then that's a spot where I for some reason thought that the ammo balance there was perfectly decent until I realized after submitting the map that there's just too little there.

Old Post 12-08-10 22:33 #
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Holy shit I was not expecting such a good review of Hell On Mars, thanks!

Old Post 12-08-10 23:03 #
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Zalewa
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Creaphis said:
Ravencrypt.wad [...] uses custom monsters. I have finally come to realize that this last fact can be considered a flaw, in and of itself. See, the thing about custom monsters is that they are invariably designed to be more threatening individually than their Doom counterparts.


I've never found the lesser custom monsters used in this wad to be more threatening than the original Doom monsters. Perhaps they are faster and more aggresive but this is usually balanced by low health or smart placement. Also I usually modify the Realm667 monsters if I think they're overpowered or just plain stupid. For example the Raven Crypt's version of fiery flying thing is no longer strafing like Michael Jackson on the steroids augmented Moonwalk, since that was retarded.
Most monsters in Raven Crypt were not placed randomly and the fights were designed to provide challenge. If it is too tough use lower difficulty levels, that's why they were implemented in the first place. Not to mention the usual less-monsters/more-stuff stuff, lower difficulty levels make boss fights significantly easier.


Creaphis said:
While I have nothing against a challenge, monsters that are too powerful or unpredictable lack versatility. The real strength of Doom's monsters is that they are all weak enough to serve as a single small piece in a million unique tactical puzzles, while dangerous custom monsters only fit in two. One: you can fight them on their own. This is alright once; then it gets boring. Two: you can fight them in a group.


K. Since neither is in the map the statement above is misleading people.


Creaphis said:
Chances are that this group, custom monster included, will be too dangerous for the player to face head on, so the map's design must afford the player some hidey-hole from which he can safely take pot-shots or enough room to circumnavigate not only the monsters, but also the globe. This is also boring.


Play smart. Play S-Mart.


Creaphis said:
- Become invulnerable thanks to obvious secret, lazily exterminate horde.
- Circle-strafe.
- Hide behind corner.
- Hide behind door.
- Dodge rockets. (To be fair, there was a decent cyberdemon fight in the middle there.)
- Hide behind corner.
- Strafe a half-circle left, then right, then left, and so on, ad infinitum.
- Circle-strafe, again.


Did you just describe every FPS game that was made before the time when shooters had infinite regenerating health and linear level design?


Creaphis said:
- Spam overpowered weapon.
- Hide behind corner.
- Spam overpowered weapon.
- Hide behind corner and spam overpowered weapon.


The minigun is damn cool. Admit it.


Creaphis said:
And so on it goes. But hey, gameplay isn't everything right? After all, this project's aims are more atmospheric in nature. As I alluded to earlier, this map uses a MIDI from "Lands of Lore," a fantasy game, and was built expressly to give this song a proper home - a crypt to haunt, as it were. The song, textures and architecture, taken together, are meant to make the player become entranced with this idea of a crypt on an alien world - meant to make the player pine for a bleak and gruesome reality which he will, sadly, never know. This wad does not succeed in these aims.


Because creating endless mazes, confusing layout and applying Hexen detail level (I mean the game Hexen, not Hexen's texturing style) is a great idea. Idgames archives are full of badly done levels that are pretty good at pretending they are well done, but you are forced to kill barons with a pistol or a boomstick or you just walk around bland corridors wondering where the hell haven't you been yet and where is the goddamn yellow key. My maps are always about murdering stuff, because that's what this game is about. And no confusing layouts. Not ever. Not even in my first maps.
A level shouldn't be a slaughterfest but if I don't have anything to shoot at the wad gets a 0/5 note.

Did I mention shooting Barons with boomstick?

I must also mention those 32 map megawads that for some reason are still produced with Boom compatibility as a mighty doctrine in mind. For some reason people refuse to use ZDoom and instead implement hackish behavior in a hackish way in antiquated source-port... voodoo dolls omfg... Jesus, either stick to vanilla or stop torturing yourselves, and us. These wads are also for some reason rarely multiplayer compatible only because some idiot mapper decided it is a great idea to lock a key area forever. So, if the player dies there no one else can go in. You can beat these megawads using noclip with a friend but hosting them for people is not possible. What a shame that so many levels had to fade into oblivion because of that.
Have you noticed that in Raven Crypt the end boss portal is so close to the starting respawn points? Why do you think is that so?

What else (about wads)? 1 monster type maps, 1 texture maps, 2 sector maps, 1024 maps, 1 lighting level maps, various Skulltag mods that don't even pretend to be Doom anymore (GvH, Who Dun It, AoW, this stupid zombie mod, realism mods, etc.). Where's Doom in this? Where's the good old 12 gauge shot right between imp's eyes...


Creaphis said:
The added weapon and final boss make an absolute mockery of the setting.


The minigun is damn cool. The boss, well I picked this thing because I've never seen it anywhere before.


Creaphis said:
Finally, he mapper blithely employs one of my own personal pet peeves: boss music! Meeting the thousandth cyberdemon of your Dooming career isn't the most dramatic event for most people, so changing the soundtrack to something up-tempo just because something big and snarly has shown up is a sure way to keep your level's music and your audience's emotions out of sync with each other. I'm doubly offended because this level supposedly exists for a given MIDI.


Yea, cabron.

TL;DR: My next map will be dedicated to you.

Last edited by Zalewa on 12-09-10 at 00:40

Old Post 12-09-10 00:21 #
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Phml
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- Become invulnerable thanks to obvious secret, lazily exterminate horde.
- Circle-strafe.
- Hide behind corner.
- Hide behind door.
- Dodge rockets. (To be fair, there was a decent cyberdemon fight in the middle there.)
- Hide behind corner.
- Strafe a half-circle left, then right, then left, and so on, ad infinitum.
- Circle-strafe, again.

Did you just describe every FPS game that was made before the time when shooters had infinite regenerating health and linear level design?



You thinking that way is why you'll never get what makes a good map.

Old Post 12-09-10 01:21 #
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Craigs
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Gave Raven Crypt a try, and honestly I wasn't all that impressed with it. As far as monster placement goes, yes, it is pretty bad. Mostly it's because they're placed in spots where it really doesn't take much skill or thinking to pick them up. For example, there's one part where you enter a room with what I guess are some kind of benches, pillars, and some acolytes. All you need to do for said part is shoot one of them, go back through the door you came in through (assuming you even entered), and wait for the rest of the acolytes to pour through and mow them down as they walk through. The map is full of situations like this. It's boring and poses no challenge at all.

I'm gonna have to disagree with Creaphis on the map being pretty. There were a lot of areas in the map that looked downright ugly, such as the gold room. There were a few areas that I couldn't help but laugh at, such as the room containing a death knight and a plasma rifle. There was a black and white checkered flat just plastered on to the ceiling that didn't align with the room at all. It looked like it had just been placed there without any real though as to whether or not it really looked like it belonged there.

Last edited by Craigs on 12-09-10 at 01:35

Old Post 12-09-10 01:29 #
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rf`
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Zalewa said:
I must also mention those 32 map megawads that for some reason are still produced with Boom compatibility as a mighty doctrine in mind. For some reason people refuse to use ZDoom and instead implement hackish behavior in a hackish way in antiquated source-port... voodoo dolls omfg... Jesus, either stick to vanilla or stop torturing yourselves, and us. These wads are also for some reason rarely multiplayer compatible only because some idiot mapper decided it is a great idea to lock a key area forever. So, if the player dies there no one else can go in. You can beat these megawads using noclip with a friend but hosting them for people is not possible. What a shame that so many levels had to fade into oblivion because of that.
Have you noticed that in Raven Crypt the end boss portal is so close to the starting respawn points? Why do you think is that so?

What else (about wads)? 1 monster type maps, 1 texture maps, 2 sector maps, 1024 maps, 1 lighting level maps, various Skulltag mods that don't even pretend to be Doom anymore (GvH, Who Dun It, AoW, this stupid zombie mod, realism mods, etc.). Where's Doom in this? Where's the good old 12 gauge shot right between imp's eyes...


The beauty of doom is that the base doom maps (and similarly styled wads) is not all there is; Doom is a playground of creativity. The fact that people CAN make doom into something it was not originally says a lot about how how good it is, and long its lasted. There's absolutely nothing wrong with this.


Zalewa said:
TL;DR: My next map will be dedicated to you.

You're taking things way too seriously.

Old Post 12-09-10 01:51 #
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Never_Again
knows his birth month


Posts: 981
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Ha, I see Snakes beat to the Old Hell Scraper review, and his version is right on the money, too. Good job. ;)


RjY said:
Anyway the wad is dated 3rd October 1994, so even though it is somewhat lacking, that should be taken into account.
Indeed, KADEATH.WAD is quite fun, especially for a speedrunner. It looks like a case of a reviewer getting so mesmerized by his own flowery prose as to stop bothering to actually play what he reviews. A shame, that may be his best review to date, except that it missed the mark completely.


RjY said:
I look forward to TheGreenHerring's /idgames exploration maxdemo, if it's eligible.
It sure is. Thank you and st.alfonzo for bringing this WAD to my attention.

edit:

StupidBunny said (re: Dead Outpost) :
Unfortunately, the rather poor ammo balance is something that I never properly dealt with (like the difficulty levels), and I can't say you're really missing any secrets or special placement with that. I think I know exactly which part you're talking about : it's after the yellow door, in the area with all the spectres and the hell knights, right? If it is then that's a spot where I for some reason thought that the ammo balance there was perfectly decent until I realized after submitting the map that there's just too little there.
The ammo balance was perfectly fine all the way through and I got a demo to prove it. Ppl just need to spend less ammo on the walls and more on the monsters. :P

edit2: retracted support for Zalewa after seeing Belial's link.

Last edited by Never_Again on 12-09-10 at 18:39

Old Post 12-09-10 02:31 #
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40oz
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I must also mention those 32 map megawads that for some reason are still produced with Boom compatibility as a mighty doctrine in mind. For some reason people refuse to use ZDoom and instead implement hackish behavior in a hackish way in antiquated source-port... voodoo dolls omfg... Jesus, either stick to vanilla or stop torturing yourselves, and us. These wads are also for some reason rarely multiplayer compatible only because some idiot mapper decided it is a great idea to lock a key area forever. So, if the player dies there no one else can go in. You can beat these megawads using noclip with a friend but hosting them for people is not possible. What a shame that so many levels had to fade into oblivion because of that.
Have you noticed that in Raven Crypt the end boss portal is so close to the starting respawn points? Why do you think is that so?[/B]


Oh please! Whenever I think of Zdoom I think of garbage hackish behavior. Boom isn't even very flexible so it usually doesn't deviate too far from traditional Doom gameplay. I can't even think of any really wayward hacky examples you could be referring to. And its not like the ability to use one side of a door with a key and the other without is restricted to ZDoom. Get real. It is too make a perfectly acceptable and playable boom compatible mapset WITHOUT hacky behavior.

Old Post 12-09-10 16:15 #
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Belial
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rf` said:
You're taking things way too seriously.

Nothing new here, move along.

Old Post 12-09-10 17:07 #
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Craigs
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Belial said:

Nothing new here, move along.



It's ok if he insults them but they can't insult him.

Last edited by Craigs on 12-09-10 at 18:12

Old Post 12-09-10 17:25 #
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