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Bloodshedder
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  • Hellfire: Reborn - Shadowman
    Doom 2 - Limit Removing - Solo Play - 4990481 bytes - (img) (img) (img) (img)
    Reviewed by: Creaphis
    Jesus Christ, the review queue is getting long. It's not rocket science, people, just play some wads and write the first thing that pops into your head. Do you think your critical skills aren't up to scratch? Nonsense. Remember these words, and when you hit a block, adopt them as your mantra: "It's only /newstuff."

    Hellfire: Reborn is a remake of Hellfire, Shadowman's first upload to /idgames, a few months older than Cheogsh which set the tone for his future projects. "Tone" is an important concept here, because Shadowman's style was still in a formative, immature stage at the release of Hellfire, yet the text file for Reborn mentions that "Hellfire's main idea has remained as it was," whether or not this is actually a good thing. At the opening of MAP01, it's hard to figure out what the main idea is supposed to be. You stand in a cramped, heavily-detailed "my house," initially devoid of monsters, as if the author meant to create a feeling of suspense. However, the tension is wounded by the map's bright colours and calm, determined music, and fatally gut-shot by the fact that former humans are wearing polka-dot boxers.

    Hellfire: Reborn does find itself eventually, and there's definitely a lot about it that could be said, but there's a lot more kitty litter in the queue to sift through so I'm going to do us both a favour and make this quick.

    Gameplay: The fights in this wad are designed around the principle of sucking as much challenge as possible out of as few monsters as possible. This is accomplished with a tight ammo balance and with disadvantageous environments - you're always either closer to or farther from your enemies than you really want to be. There are also lots of switch and jumping puzzles and obscure secrets.

    Visuals: This wad travels through many of the staple settings of the '90s shooter and has a "realistic" texture set also reminiscent of that era. However, Hellfire: Reborn differs from Duke Nukem and Shadow Warrior in that there's more copy-pasting of decorative structures, which leaves the player in that awkward situation where he has to hump forty doors in a hallway even when he knows thirty-nine will turn out to be duds.

    My recommendation: If you're willing to put the time into exploring each map carefully and proceeding slowly, you should find Hellfire: Reborn engaging and satisfying. If that doesn't sound like you, try it out anyway, but make sure to save your game before you get sick of it.

  • Combat Shock - Daniel "dannebubinga" Jakobsson
    Doom 2 - Limit Removing - Solo Play - 4541234 bytes - (img) (img) (img) (img) (img) (img)
    Reviewed by: fullmetalvaran33
    OK, "Combat Shock" is basically like this: four big, beautiful, gorgeous maps with crazy traps, insane monster hordes, and epic music. If that appeals to you in ANY way (even if slaughter parties aren't your thing), you NEED to give this WAD a shot. I warn you now: Ultra-Violence can be kind of absurd sometimes, and map 1 will mostly likely be a big struggle as it's the most cramped and compact of the four. The other maps get big and open, but this just means many, many more monsters. Many of these monsters will be Revenants.

    Dear God, will there be REVENANTS.

    Something to note is that there are no secrets until map 4, which has a piddly one. So, what you see it what you get--all the ammo and health and items you come across are all you've got. It shouldn't be much a problem, as ammo placement and health is rather fair. Also, these maps do allow for convenient in-fighting, which I suggest provoking to make things a bit easier.

    If you like "Hell Revealed," "Alien Vendetta," "Speed of Doom" and the like, this is definitely worth a shot. It may not always be fun, which is my only complaint, but you do feel a strong sense of achievement when you conquer a horde.

  • Alkylation Episode 1: Handle with Care (version 1.0) - UltimateLorenzo
    Doom 2 - ZDoom Compatible - Solo Play - 6297240 bytes - (img) (img) (img) (img)
    Reviewed by: Dragonsbrethren
    Alkylation is a set of five tech base maps that would be fun, if not for the fact that they replace the entire Doom bestiary with monsters from the Realm 667 bestiary. The levels are high quality, but the game balance and pacing is entirely out of whack due to these monster replacements. I really tried to enjoy this wad, but the monsters seem to be designed to be as frustrating to fight as possible.

    The zombies and demons have been replaced with tougher variations that are harder to take down. The imp replacements poison you. The cacodemons' balls home in on you and they have what amounts to an instant death attack when up close. The hell knights have shields that can make them completely invulnerable to your attacks, and they use them almost constantly. There is one good monster included: a baron replacement that is essentially a weaker cyberdemon, which fills a role no monster in the original bestiary really could.

    Now, what this wad could use is some stronger weaponry to take these tougher monsters out. Unfortunately, it doesn't exist. There are two new weapons, but neither is particularly effective. The plasma shotgun uses three cells to fire three balls of arachnotron plasma, one of which isn't even strong enough to take down a zombieman replacement, and all three hitting seems no more effective than single shotgun shell. It also has an annoying cocking mechanic that essentially means you have to click twice to fire a single shot. The nailgun is much better, it's basically a plasma gun without the cool-down animation, but its ammo is in such short supply that you can't really make use of it. Overall, I found the chaingun to be the best weapon, only because its ammo was abundant and it could keep the monsters in their pain states.

    If you ignore the monsters and focus on the level design, you'll find that there's everything that makes a good Doom level: plenty of interesting architecture, interconnectivity, contrasting, recognizable areas, and height variation. It does suffer from a lot of the problems of modern design, though. Most areas look too busy, and there are a bunch of little alcoves, walls, and other things sticking out to get stuck on. The maps use a variety of textures; some original Doom stuff, Quake rips, new grittier recreations of Doom textures (I think they might be from FreeDoom), and others that I didn't recognize.

  • Spawn V1.0 - David "Dave" Billing
    Doom 2 - GZDoom - Solo Play - 25659195 bytes - (img) (img) (img) (img) (img)
    Reviewed by: Dragonsbrethren
    The best way I can describe Spawn is that it's a faster paced Doom 3 with an automap. It shares a similar setting and style of level design. The visuals are stunning - this cannot be understated. A combination of good texture and flat choices, slopes, portals, and excellent lighting all comes together to make classic Doom look impressively fresh. However, as good as these visuals are, they quickly get repetitive. Mixing up the textures in each map would've gone a long way towards remedying this, and ideally there would've been more texture variance in different sections of the same map to make every section have its own personality.

    Speaking of repetitive, that's the best word to describe the level design. Lots of medium sized rooms sealed by doors and connected by corridors, with clusters of smaller rooms occasionally placed inside of them. The levels are all very boxy as a result of trying to keep textures and flats perfectly aligned. Luckily the automap saves the day here and makes navigation a little less irritating. Put it on overlay mode; you'll need it. You'll also encounter locked doors that don't open with a specific key; instead you're given actual objectives, and completing these will open locked doors. Retracing your steps to find the door that has been opened could have been a frustrating experience, but automap comes to the rescue again, and the place you should go next is shown as a yellow dot. Unfortunately some objectives never get placed on the map, including an annoying hidden switch hunt near the end of MAP04 that you're given no hint about, and that I only figured out accidentally while looking for secrets.

    In terms of gameplay, it, well, exists. The level design really restricts how you can encounter monsters, and most often after clearing an area out there is no opposition left every time you re-traverse those sections. There is a strong emphasis on ambush encounters. A rail gun is available, as is a zombie making use of the weapon. There are also plasma gun zombies and a few new powerups. Powerups go into an inventory and can be activated at any time, like Heretic and its kin; this is something I've never really been fond of, and the powerups often seem to be placed exactly where they were intended to be used, so it seems pointless. I don't really have any other place to mention it, but you'll often need to jump to collect items off tables and shelves for some reason.

    The text file mentions the project being intended specifically for GZDoom 1.5.3. This version is not available on the GZDoom website, so I played with the latest version, 1.5.6, as the average player downloading this wad from /idgames likely would. Outside of some issues when rendering certain portals, I didn't notice any problems. In fact, the only problem I had was related to having text scaling enabled; certain text lines would bleed into each other. Changing scaling from full to double solved this. If there are other issues, they're not game-breaking enough to prevent you from playing in this version.

    After finishing this wad, I was kind of disappointed. The visuals, which were incredibly impressive when I began it, quickly became monotonous, and every map looked exactly the same. The gameplay just wasn't very compelling, and I really disliked all of the backtracking. Going back to Doom 3 comparisons, it's Doom 3 without a hell in the middle to reinvigorate the game.

  • FoH Fort 2012 Celebration - fiend-o-hell
    Doom 2 - Boom Compatible - Solo Play - 405679 bytes - (img) (img) (img) (img)
    Reviewed by: Dragonsbrethren
    This is a limit-removing Doom 2 map with Hexen and Daggerfall resources. fiend-o-hell created this map in five hours, which makes it really impressive! It's linear, but usually offers a little interconnectivity between the area you're in and the area you'll go to next. The architecture is great, even more so for a speed map, but I feel that it's more fitting for Hexen than Doom.

    The gameplay itself is okay, but nothing spectacular or even all that engaging. The monster count is pretty low, and there's more than enough ammo to deal with them all. Chaingunners probably posed the biggest threat to me, since they tend to be placed in areas with little cover, and some teleport into areas you've previously cleared. There are boss monsters thrown in that lengthen the map, but fighting the cyberdemon was kind of annoying because of the terrain. The spiderdemon will quickly trigger nearly everything in the last area to infight with it, so that's not much of a threat.

    I found a few minor issues, nothing game breaking, and actually less than I'd expect from a speed map. This isn't a real problem, but I thought the way the first door had to be opened was excessive, more suited to a secret than simply opening a door, especially the first door of the map. There's a really hard to miss HOM right before the lava flow when playing with -complevel 2, and said lava flow (and the water nearby) doesn't actually flow, the textures are static. There's also a little alcove near the first group of hell knights that can be annoyingly hard to get out of once you get into it, and offers nothing to the player, leading me to believe you weren't supposed to be able to enter it in the first place.

  • Doom: RV-007's Doom 1 and 2 Animilation Sprites Scaled v20 - RV-007
    Doom 2 - GZDoom - N/A - 13657406 bytes
    Reviewed by: CarpetolA
    Well, what the fuck can I say? From what I understood from the garbled nonsense that is the text file of this WAD, the sprites of all the zombies and the imp have been replaced with girls from Japanese anime. Their AI was given a nudge, too.

    It seems the author made a WAD very similar to this one. Hell, I'm going to go out on a limb and say that it's the exact same WAD. The only difference is that the last number in the title is 16. What a great improvement (if any was in mind)!

    Everything about this horrible pile of crap just reeks of trolldom. Please, for the sake of your sanity, bandwidth and hard drive space, just scroll down and pretend this WAD never existed.

  • Doom: RV-007's Dumb Doom2 MonsterPlayer Collection Version 43 - RV-007
    Doom 2 - GZDoom - Solo Play - 149717209 bytes - (img)
    Reviewed by: Dragonsbrethren
    This wad contains over 140 MB of sound effects and music. I'm telling you now, it's not worth your time or HDD space.

    As for the real content, it allows you to play as a variety of monster-inspired player classes, and also buffs up the standard Doom 2 bestiary to be more of a challenge to these classes. The projectile classes all behave similarly, firing an over-the-top amount of projectiles. The demon is probably the most interesting of the classes, since it gets a charge attack. Monsters can strafe now and use the same weapons the player classes get.

  • Master Cooperative - Whymes
    Doom 2 - ZDoom Compatible - SP/Co-op - 2818382 bytes - (img) (img) (img) (img) (img) (img) (img) (img) (img) (img) (img) (img) (img) (img)
    Reviewed by: Dragonsbrethren
    Upon first loading this wad I thought for sure it was another mid-90's wad recently uploaded to /idgames, this in spite of the fact that the text file specifically mentioned it being a ZDoom wad. There's even a cheap MS Paint edit of the Doom 2 TITLEPIC, but make no mistake, this is definitely a ZDoom project, and a pretty strange one at that. Despite having "cooperative" in its name, the text file mentions being designed for single player, so that's how I played it.

    It starts off like a standard vanilla Doom 2 wad. The layouts aren't bad, and the gameplay is pretty good. The maps feel really dated to me, though. It's the little things, like obnoxiously tall slow lifts, bland lighting, upper unpegged doors, the occasional switch that opens some random door halfway across the map, and other similar things you (thankfully) don't see too often in modern wads. The author also has an odd obsession with placing monsters behind invisible walls, so that you can see them but they never wake up. These maps have inconsistent difficulty; at times they're almost boringly easy, then you turn a corner and suddenly you're facing a much tougher horde of monsters. There's usually more than enough health and ammo to deal with these encounters early on, but they tend to be a little unfair.

    ZDoom features slowly creep their way in. First there are just a few particle fountains, then some horizon effects. Colored lighting debuts with MAP07: a hideous puke green that makes it difficult to see the monsters. MAP09 features white fog outside that makes it nearly impossible to see monster projectiles. Ignoring the lighting and fog, I appreciated the subtle use of ZDoom features alongside vanilla-style clean architecture, but the visuals could still use some work to be up to the same standards as the iwads.

    The wad gets weird starting with MAP10, which makes heavy use of the horizon effect to make a bizarre underwater base and floating castle. MAP11 is a VR level made of blue and red grids, and MAP12 is an incredibly short map on a floating mountain, where you can fall to your death, and which deposits you into Doom 2 MAP13 after exiting, rather than the next map in the wad, MAP20. This same thing happens after completing MAP21, and MAP30 restarts after its intermission text. MAP10 felt especially unfair in terms of health, and rockets and cells were in short supply in all three maps. MAP20 is a short space station, then MAP21, 28, 29, and 30 are all different flavors of hell. MAP29 reuses MAP01 as a part of its layout, kind of like E3M9, and borrows the boss arena from Doom E1M8. MAP30 is a slaughter map. I found the hell maps needlessly complicated due to switch hunts, especially MAP21.

    Overall, I'd only recommend the first few maps, since those were the best, even if they were pretty generic and easy. The maps that made heavy use of colored lighting or fog were really annoying thanks to poor use of those effects. MAP11 is pretty cool looking, and MAP30 might appeal to slaughter wad fans. This wad doesn't feel at all polished, though.

  • Doom: RV-007's Dumb Doom2 MonsterPlayer Collection Version 44 - RV-007
    Doom 2 - GZDoom - Solo Play - 149757641 bytes
    Reviewed by: Dragonsbrethren
    I didn't notice any differences between this and Version 43. The warning about the file size still applies.

  • CYBERMUD - Jim kaminski.
    Doom 2 - Vanilla - Solo Play - 312886 bytes - (img) (img) (img) (img)
    Reviewed by: Dragonsbrethren
    A collection of three maps from 1995. The text file claims they're difficult, but this difficulty only comes from using boss monsters, which simply aren't that challenging in the situations they're used anymore. The spiderdemon in the third level would be tough, due to a lack of cover, but you're given the BFG and a ton of cells before you fight it. The hardest part was actually an ambush by imps and zombies in the second map. I'm sure this was considered a lot harder back when it originally came out, but I still think it falls short of the later iwad maps.

    The text file also claims they're good looking, which unlike the difficulty is a blatant lie no matter when it came out. Some parts could almost be considered good looking, but most rooms are textured haphazardly, and any new textures are terrible looking. That includes the status bar, which gets progressively worse looking the more weapons you collect in vanilla.

    This wad isn't good sounding either; there are horrible sound replacements for the weapons and sector actions. The shotgun is now a thundergun, apparently. The door sound continues to play long after the door has opened. None of the sounds are good, but on the plus side, the music is taken from Doom 1.

    These levels aren't in any way terrible, but they don't offer anything new to an experienced Doomer, and the texture and sound replacements just make this wad obnoxious to play. It's really only worth checking out if you're really into wads from this era.

  • Doom 2 crashed - Chaingunner
    Doom 2 - Vanilla - Solo Play - 112735 bytes
    Reviewed by: Dragonsbrethren
    I reviewed this wad in /newstuff #406. Nothing appears to have been changed.

  • The Void of Hell - zrrion the insect
    Doom 2 - GZDoom/Skulltag - Solo Play - 9093684 bytes - (img) (img) (img) (img) (img) (img)
    Reviewed by: CarpetolA
    Alright, my first review! Here we fuckin' go!

    Zrrion the Insect brings forth his debut release - The Void of Hell. First you are greeted by a nifty looking title map. The short back story pulls you in enough to make you go "this won't be too shabby!" I was right for the most part.

    The first thing that instantly popped up in my head was that the levels were dark. Really dark. Sure, the levels were meant to be dark since Zrrion wanted to make them dark according to his own interpretation of Hell, but it becomes a bit of a catch-22. The atmosphere is very good when it's dark, but it's hard to see anything. If you raise the brightness a bit, it takes away a lot from the atmosphere. The textures probably had a factor in this, given their dark colors.

    The monster fights were pretty generic and easy. Several new enemies here and there, but nothing special. Doomguy's new health system gave them an edge over you, though. There was almost not a single box of health in these levels. You had to resort to gradual healing. This was a big problem, because I didn't have the patience to sit around and wait for my health to go up and then continue going forth. I died many times trying to avoid enemy projectiles because of my health being constantly low.

    The boss fights were almost like the regular monster fights. Of course, they were more resilient and deadly, but you could easily kill them if you kept your distance and didn't let go of the trigger.

    The levels themselves were very nice. Zrrion obviously practiced and learned a lot from other authors before releasing his own content. Great architecture, just the right size, not too easy to get lost. The biggest gripe I had was the parts of the maps that were suspended in the void. When you fall "into" the void and there is no way you can escape, you just stand there and wait until you die. For me this was unrealistic, even for hell maps. It would be a lot better if you were teleported into a remote sector with an instant death special, for example.

    Still, even with these flaws it was fun to play! I recommend this to anyone who wants to kill 20-30 minutes. If Zrrion just keeps mapping and honing his skills, he would become a force to be reckoned with!

  • Kick Attack! - Digital Marketing Associates for Kick
    Doom 2 - Vanilla - Solo Play - 642165 bytes - (img) (img)
    Reviewed by: Dragonsbrethren
    This is a Doom 2 port of Kick Attack. In addition to the resources from the Doom 1 version, some Doom 2 textures and sprites have been altered. The same map is included, but it's been edited to use Doom 2 textures.

  • Kick Attack! - Digital Marketing Associates for Kick
    Ultimate Doom - Vanilla - Solo Play - 636932 bytes - (img) (img) (img)
    Reviewed by: Dragonsbrethren
    This is a reupload of a wad that was created to promote Kick soda back in the mid-90's. Apparently id gave their blessing for this to be created, although this is the first time I've ever heard of it. The wad contains texture, sprite, and sound changes. The sounds are low quality and kind of hard to understand, and the textures mostly just add logos or red and green bits to the standard Doom textures. Similarly, most of the sprites are just simple edits of the standard Doom sprites, but some of the edits are actually really good, and other sprites have been drawn from scratch. Most interestingly, the wad contains a replacement for E1M1 created by none other than Tim Willits.

    The map is a high quality techbase, especially for its era. Lots of interesting architecture, pretty good layout, lots of monsters to kill and plenty of ammo to kill them with. Only the monsters with sprite replacements are used in the map, so that means no cacodemons, barons, or cyberdemons. The lighting is pretty bland, and while the map is well designed, the texture edits kind of ruin the aesthetics. I realize they were trying to promote their product, but they really didn't need to plaster the name/logo onto nearly every texture.

    I doubt anyone is really going to care for the graphics and sounds, but definitely download this one to give the map a shot.

  • Io - Aluqah
    Doom 2 - Limit Removing - Solo Play - 181949 bytes - (img) (img) (img) (img) (img) (img)
    Reviewed by: NitroactiveStudios
    This WAD has only one level, but it is generally something you expect from a challenging WAD. The WAD has one big level and it has many nice elements to it such as nice texturing, epic monster battles and a great environment. The WAD also does a nice job following John Romero's map design rules.

    One thing I like about the WAD was the style used in it. I also liked how some of the Icon of Sin textures were used in the level to be part of the walls to make it look interesting. Another thing I like about the WAD was that there was an airport building in the final area which also had a plane inside.

    The amount of monsters the map has is 666 and it will stay that way for all difficulties in the game. There are no secrets in the map as well. There's also what appears to be the author's signature in the map written in linedefs and sectors.

    Overall this WAD is a pretty nice challenge and it was the toughest level I played through. So if you want a WAD that's tough and fun, then you should give this map a try.

  • The Mort - C30N9
    Doom 2 - Doom64 EX - Solo Play - 192634 bytes - (img) (img) (img) (img)
    Reviewed by: Dragonsbrethren
    The Mort is a set of four maps for Doom64 EX. Two tech bases, one void, one hell. The levels are all relatively small and pretty linear. With the exception of MAP03, the void map, the texturing and lighting, which go hand-in-hand in Doom64, range from bland to pretty good. The outside sections of MAP02 are pretty repetitive and unfinished looking, and I'm simply not a fan of the void theme. Macros are used to good effect, changing the level geometry and lighting around after grabbing items or killing monsters, creating bridges, pistons, spawning monsters, and similar things. Overall, these maps wouldn't feel out of place alongside the original Doom64 maps, although they are a little more simplistic.

    The difficulty is about spot on for me, with the possible exception of MAP03, which I felt could use more health and ammo. I actually tested this project while it was still in beta, and it's been made a lot more fair since then. The biggest difficulty issue isn't exactly the wad's fault: MAP03, in addition to the limited ammo, can be pretty tough thanks to Doom64's annoyingly aggressive lost souls, which can shred your health if you let them anywhere near you. My only real gameplay complaint about the wad itself is the frequency of set piece encounters. These typically lock you in an area, spawn a group of monsters, and you have no choice but to kill all of the monsters before you can proceed. This has an interesting side effect on MAP03, where can actually complete the map after dying, since killing the cyberdemon ends the map.

  • DOOM ][ "A$$KICKING" - Randall C. Jordan
    Doom 2 - Vanilla - Solo Play - 83231 bytes - (img) (img) (img) (img) (img)
    Reviewed by: Dragonsbrethren
    Another old 90's wad without a date in the text file or accurate timestamps. This one really captures what Doom 2 is all about, and is definitely worth playing. Its layout starts off like a tech base, but later sections feel similar to Doom 2's city maps, only without the extreme height variation. Most of this map is actually completely optional and hidden in secrets. After seeking out everything I could, I still only got 71% secrets. The monster count is pretty high for an older wad, and they tend to be placed well.

    My only real complaints about this wad is that some of the switches in the optional areas are completely unintuitive, and that there's probably not enough ammo to kill everything, at least on UV, without finding some of the secrets. Most of the early secrets aren't that difficult to find, but I still had some ammo management problems the first time I played. There are some texture and detail object placement issues, but nothing too bad, and a few monsters stuck together or in walls.

Does this /newstuff Chronicles suck? Does your wise ass think you can write better reviews than these jerkoffs? Then get over to the /newstuff Review Center and help out. I know you must have a Doomworld Forums account because you like griping about every edition in the comment thread, but if you don't, you need to get one to submit reviews.

Old Post 05-18-12 04:10 #
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Deeforce
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Thanks for this newstuff. So far I played "Alkylation Episode 1: Handle with Care (version 1.0)" (too difficult for my taste).

Old Post 05-18-12 05:39 #
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Dragonsbrethren
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I really thought this was going to be the /dragonsbrethren Chronicles at first. You guys are slacking on the reviews, as Creaphis helpfully pointed out.

Old Post 05-18-12 06:04 #
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fiend-o-hell
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Thanks for the review Dragonsbrethren. Way to put the time for all the reviews you did this time around.

Old Post 05-18-12 08:20 #
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Phobus
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fiend-o-hell said:
Thanks for the review Dragonsbrethren. Way to put the time for all the reviews you did this time around.


Agreed!

I will get round to coming back to reviewing eventually, but I'm busy with a lot of mapping this month :P Then the sisyphean task of clearing the backlog can begin!

EDIT: Io and Combat Shock look really good - shame I'm unlikely to get time in the forseeable future to give them a go! Kick Attack strikes me as cheesey, so that might be cool. I remember testing Void of Hell for Zrrion - it's pretty out-there and rather difficult, but I enjoyed it.

Last edited by Phobus on 05-18-12 at 10:13

Old Post 05-18-12 10:06 #
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RjY
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OK, "Combat Shock" is basically like this: four big, beautiful, gorgeous maps with crazy traps, insane monster hordes, and epic music. If that appeals to you in ANY way (even if slaughter parties aren't your thing), you NEED to give this WAD a shot.
Sunder really needs to get released properly before it is eclipsed by its various clones :-P

Old Post 05-18-12 10:15 #
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valhallaist
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I notice that "Combat Shock" was reviewed by its author. You can do that? o.0

Old Post 05-18-12 17:19 #
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Snakes
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Hopefully I get some time to set aside over the next couple of weeks to play a few new wads... Last night was the first time I'd actually played any Doom in 8 weeks or so (not counting runs through drafts on -nomonsters). Getting back into it was pleasant.

Oh, and nice to see /newstuff isn't dead.

Old Post 05-18-12 17:31 #
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Lorenzo
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Deeforce said:
Thanks for this newstuff. So far I played "Alkylation Episode 1: Handle with Care (version 1.0)" (too difficult for my taste).


A lot of people told me it is too difficult...
Now I'm working on the new episodes of Alkylation: I'm not so sure anymore to add new monsters. They are difficult to manage.

What do you suggest, to use less powerful enemies or stronger weapons?

UltimateLorenzo

Old Post 05-18-12 19:22 #
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Dragonsbrethren
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If I wanted new monsters, I'd only add a few, and they would have to be more interesting than "an imp that poisons you" or "a cacodemon with homing fireballs". After all, I don't think anyone considers the hell knight to be the best monster added to Doom 2. For difficulty, I always think it's better to have more weaker monsters than fewer strong monsters. I simply find blasting through hoards more rewarding.

Old Post 05-18-12 19:32 #
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Phobus
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@UltimateLorenzo: Balance the weapons and monstersa bit. You can edit the DECORATE lump to lower damage, projectile speed or health if the monsters feel unfair, or even tweak weapons to increase damage to respond to the new threat.

Old Post 05-18-12 19:33 #
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Phml
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valhallaist said:
I notice that "Combat Shock" was reviewed by its author. You can do that? o.0


dannebubinga and fullmetalvaran33 are two different persons.

Old Post 05-18-12 19:38 #
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dew
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Phml said:
dannebubinga and fullmetalvaran33 are two different persons.

HOW CAN U BE SO SURE!!1

Old Post 05-18-12 19:57 #
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Phml
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I am their sock puppet account.

Old Post 05-18-12 20:32 #
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Enjay
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I really enjoyed Spawn. It's a really good looking map set with some of the best, if not the best, integration of GZDoom features with Doom aesthetics that I have seen. Although dynamic lights, 3D floors etc were present throughout at no point did they feel tacked on or out of place with the traditional Doom low-res graphics.

The fights were mainly of the type that I enjoy and although I acknowledge that there was a certain repetitiveness to the exploring, to me it felt more like cohesive styling of the same complex rather than merely being dull repetition. ie, it worked for me.

Other features also worked nicely: I liked the music and the title map, although simple in concept, was very effective.

Any problems? Well, unfortunately, yes. There were a few of the usual ones that would be expected in a project of any size - eg a few texture misalignments (one of which was a glowing computer face so it really stood out) and other similar minor flaws like one window that should have blocked shots not doing so and a place where it was possible to see and shoot at enemies that were dormant and so invulnerable (at least I think that's what was going on).

Also, with a game that was otherwise very good looking, it was disappointing to have a relatively lacklustre final cutscene and there were one or two other points where something a little more spectacular would have been nice too (eg the destruction of the forcefield power coupling thingys near the end were a bit of a non-event).

There was also a little inconsistency in some of the "rules". These were things like some windows being breakable and some not. However, there was no obvious difference between the breakable and non-breakable ones so I ended up shooting a lot of non-breakable windows "just in case". There also seemed to be a slight inconsistency in the appearance of usable computers so I ended up "humping" anything with a computer texture just in case I needed to activate it. Also, a minor point, on the walkway near the end you can jump off at one side and into the water, but not the other. The reason is obvious (ie you would run out of map if you went off the blocked side) but how about a visual difference on the blocked side to justify it (eg a fence)?

There were also one or two places where something quite secret-like, if not actually an official secret, was needed to progress. However, I think I found all of those so they can't have been that secret and perhaps the criticism isn't justified.

There was something that was used a lot as a progression mechanism that quite annoyed me - doors magically becoming available. What I mean by that is, I'd walk up to a door, try it, be told that it was unavailable and then I'd walk on. Eventually, I'd get to another part of the map and be told something like "you need to activate the do-hickey in Room X to disable this". So, I'd start back tracking and, despite the fact that I had done nothing to significantly interact with the game architecture, the previously unavailable door was now available (and with no visual clue either). The Doom3 influence was obvious so why not find a "datapad" with an enhanced security clearance (or some other mechanic) when you got to the "you need to activate a do-kickey" message? That would justify a previously unavailable door becoming available. Also, a visual clue would be nice - eg a red light on an inoperable door and a green one on an operable one. Sometimes there would be a map marker used but most of the time there didn't seem to be.

However, so far my gripes are largely those of taste. That cannot be said of the next one. Assuming that I am correct (and it's impossible to be 100% sure in a map set that I am playing for the first time) there were some places where the map logic/script/whatever broke down. ie there were a couple of places where I am absolutely convinced that I had done everything possible and available to me up to that point yet, for whatever reason, I was stuck. I wish that I'd had the presence of mind to screenshot these or make a savegame because they are killers. I can't remember the full details but there is one place where you can jump over a fence only to find yourself in an area where all the doors out are locked and you can't get back the way you came. There are two sections of the game where, despite me humping every wall in sight, activating the automap cheat and trying anything and everything visible for something like 20 minutes, I just could not find a way to progress. I am as convinced as I can be that the game was broken at these points. No clipping through what I considered to be the most likely door allowed me to progress and I did not have to see the problem area again indicating that I possibly was correct in assuming that I was done with it and should have been able to move on. However, if you end up having to do something like that, particularly in a heavily scripted map, there is then always the nagging doubt that you have missed something or done something to break another part of the game and you can't be sure that any flaws from that point on are genuine or as a result of you taking a shortcut. So it kind of saps away the enjoyment for the rest of the game.

Also, the game forces sv_cheats to false. If you are going to do that, you need to make damned sure that your game can't be broken by legitimate play. Forcing the player to need cheats to progress but having them denied to him is not good. :P Fortunately, switching on sv_cheats, saving and then reloading allows you to use cheat codes.

And finally, just back to minor annoyances, I have my lighting and monitor set up exactly how I like it. It's nice and gloomy and these maps looked perfect with my settings. I did try messing around with changing the lighting and the recommended Doom lighting mode didn't look as good on my machine as my own preferences did. Therefore, I didn't need a nag message telling me to switch to Doom lighting mode every time I started a new level. :P

Also, a very minor personal gripe, I saw a couple of resources that I made but didn't get credit for. However, I have to take that one on the chin because the resources in question have been used many times over by many different people and I'm sure that most people haven't got a clue where they came from in the first place. So, no harm done there.

All that being said, I did enjoy the game and the reason I have bothered to type all of the above is because I think it was worth it. IMO, this map set is borderline classic - or at least a close-to-textbook example of how to use GZDoom features in harmony with the Doom aesthetic. Unfortunately it is quite heavily flawed but I hope that the 1.0 in the title indicates a willingness to revisit it and fix things up a bit.

Old Post 05-18-12 23:17 #
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Dragonsbrethren
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Enjay touched on a few things I forgot to mention in my review. The inconsistent glass, the illogical door opening (always tied to an objective, but not always in any meaningful way), the lighting mode nag message. (The nag message was doubly annoying in my case since that is my preferred lighting mode, so it was already set to begin with.) I didn't run into any of the broken script issues, though. I fully expected to since I knew I was playing with the wrong version of GZDoom, but everything worked fine from what I could tell.

Old Post 05-18-12 23:32 #
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kmxexii
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I only encountered one major bug with Spawn myself, which he mentions in a comment on the Realm 667 news article, but it didn't actually affect me as I'd already completed the mission objective before breaking the relevant door.

Old Post 05-19-12 00:25 #
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scalliano
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Spawn is responsible for my custom title. >_<

I use Dark mode, so I never ran into the nag message in Spawn (though I have played .WADS with them in the past - they always get insta-nuked), however I did find myself noclipping on more than one occasion, because either doors didn't work/stopped working or I had no clue what to do next.

Vanilla/Boom .WADS which force nojump/crouch is one thing - I'm not a fan of it but I can understand they are meant to be played a specific way - but forcing nocheats in ANY circumstance other than multiplayer is unforgivable, regardless of whether the map is broken or not.

This kills me, because Spawn should have been a showcase of what GZDoom is capable of, but it just ended up being infuriating.

Old Post 05-19-12 01:49 #
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glenzinho
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Enjay said:
I can't remember the full details but there is one place where you can jump over a fence only to find yourself in an area where all the doors out are locked and you can't get back the way you came. There are two sections of the game where, despite me humping every wall in sight, activating the automap cheat and trying anything and everything visible for something like 20 minutes, I just could not find a way to progress.


I came across this part too. I was really enjoying Spawn up until this point then it became really frustrating and I thought it was broken or I'd done something wrong so I had to quit.

Old Post 05-19-12 02:09 #
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Deeforce
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Lorenzo said:
What do you suggest, to use less powerful enemies or stronger weapons?
@Lorenzo: Please add soul spheres for the lower difficulties.

Old Post 05-19-12 03:49 #
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I was going to write a review of Spawn pointing out the flaws that have already been pointed out. But it was so boring and tedious that I couldn't even be assed to write anything about it. >_>

Old Post 05-19-12 17:50 #
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Lorenzo
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Deeforce said:
@Lorenzo: Please add soul spheres for the lower difficulties.


I didn't implement difficult settings so I'll add soul spheres for all!

I think I'll use new monsters only for stronger enemies as "little bosses" and use imps demons and normal doom zombies for all other enemies.

Old Post 05-19-12 17:56 #
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udderdude said:
I was going to write a review of Spawn pointing out the flaws that have already been pointed out. But it was so boring and tedious that I couldn't even be assed to write anything about it. >_>

I mainly just wanted to point out how good the visuals were. I really didn't enjoy the gameplay at all.

Old Post 05-19-12 18:02 #
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The Ultimate DooMer
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Lorenzo said:


A lot of people told me it is too difficult...
Now I'm working on the new episodes of Alkylation: I'm not so sure anymore to add new monsters. They are difficult to manage.

What do you suggest, to use less powerful enemies or stronger weapons?

UltimateLorenzo



What Phobus said. No need to remove the new monsters, just tone them down a bit.

Old Post 05-22-12 01:06 #
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udderdude
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Dragonsbrethren said:

I mainly just wanted to point out how good the visuals were. I really didn't enjoy the gameplay at all.



I don't even agree that the visuals were any good. Architecture that works into part of the visuals is also important. The mapset's vast network of boring, flat hallways is not good enough. Adding trim and lighting to every corner of the map will not create good visuals alone.

Old Post 05-22-12 19:14 #
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PRIMEVAL
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@Lorenzo
Indeed, toning down monsters a bit will help. New monsters are refreshing, even if they do something just slightly different from their stock counterpart. I found it fun, though, even with the stronger monsters.

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