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The New Oldstuff Chronicles #12

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Hello, I'm Sarge Baldy, and to all appearances I'm reviving Doomer4ever's version of Oldstuff. If people find these useful at all I might do more later, but for now here's a few more reviews from about where he left off.

  • Talpoida by Eddie Nguyen, Doom (E2M2), 1994, Grade: C-

    For a 1994 wad, this isn't so bad. I think it has an interesting atmosphere, mainly through a good use of glowing lights. Technically it's ugly and error-rific but it plays as good as anything from its era and utilizes lighting better than most (i.e., it isn't fullbright). Not a bad selection if you're looking for something really aged.

  • Tallon by Ken Sumner, Doom (E2M1), 1994, Grade: C+

    For a wad dating to 1994, this is quite attractive and plays quite nicely. The theme reminded me a lot of Inferno although can look E1 at parts as well. It's very short and as the author says, a demo map, but it's clear he learned the ropes fairly quickly, including making use of monster teleports. A few too many glowing areas or completely dark areas hurt things a bit, but on the whole I find it mostly impressive for a first map.

  • TakeThis by Doug Jenkins, Doom II (map01), 1997, Grade: C-

    An older and perhaps milder take on the basic HR theme. It starts off kind of a pain in the ass, with not enough ammo or health. Once you get the SSG things become fairly simple for a while, but the pace increases pretty dramatically by the end. I thought it was pretty hard, but maybe it's just too early in the morning. Also note there's a strong distinction between various skill levels, with over 3x as many monsters on skill 4/5 than on 1/2. As for how it looks, it's not terribly detailed but utilizes some good aesthetics and is correctly aligned for the most part. The theme is also pretty good in any individual room but transitions kind of bad sometimes.

  • Tactical by Bob Halberg & C.Cec Allred, Doom II (map01-map06), 1997, Grade: C+

    Ah, an experimental wad. The start really had my interested, with a trail of dead bodies in the dark and no one to be seen. The gameplay soon proved pretty disappointing though although I found most of the maps in the set creatively interesting at least in some part. The theme is very consistent within maps, and a lot of them look really good in parts. A lot of stuff seems to be done more for the purpose of being interesting than to make anything difficult. That seems to be the main focus overall. Each map has largely a different theme from one another though most begin and end in a similar teleport room. It can get a little copy and paste at times, but it's usually done in a pretty effective way and not merely to repeat a pointless detail. On the whole I liked it, even if it doesn't really play that well and can get a bit monotonous.

  • Syd 1-3 by Andrea "Mad Syd" Farnocchia, Doom II (map01-map03), 1996, Grade: B-

    Well, here's some nicely detailed older maps with nicely rough Doom II gameplay. Starts off with the traditional jail approach and then things get harder. Some parts kind of pissed me off though, like entering a room with a spiderdemon when I just ran out of all my ammo, but I think the author just expects you to run. Also these maps will remind you what a pain in the ass chaingunners can be. If you can put up with that stuff though you'll probably enjoy it, as I have for the most part.

  • Symbolic by Eric Birnie, Doom (E1M1), 1994, Grade: B-

    Another example of a better than average wad from way back in May 1994. The theme is admittedly inconsistent, but there's some cool details that even a modern mapper would feel probably feel smart to have thought of. Like most wads of the era it has its share of problems, but it's certainly one of the better maps of its vintage.

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