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Bloodshedder

The /newstuff Chronicles #317

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If I remember right, Ty Halderman is on vacation right now, which means the archives haven't been updated for about a week. But that doesn't matter, because we're still working our way through crusty old WADs from the first quarter of this year. Read on.

  • UnlimitedStar23's Skulltag Deathmatch Party - -=<UnlimitedStar23>=-
    Skulltag - Deathmatch - 2606504 bytes - (img) (img) (img) (img) (img) (img) (img)
    Reviewed by: Janizdreg
    UnlimitedStar23's Skulltag Deathmatch Party is a DM megawad consisting of 26 levels, most of which are likely best played with 5 players or more.

    The level design concepts are well thought-out and varied - each level plays out more or less differently. There are several levels with pretty imaginative twists, a few wide open arena maps and the rest are mostly of the well-made but tried and true-type DM fare. Skulltag-exclusive weapons and items are utilised well, spicing up the action nicely. Item and weapon placement in general is also excellent. The layouts of the levels are smart and flow well in deathmatches.

    The levels look somewhat good, though a couple are a little bland architecturally. Each level sports a different look with a unique texture set, and all are clearly distinct from each other.

    The more unusual maps in the set are my personal favourites, so here's a short analysis on a couple to serve as an example: MAP04 consists of an array of hallways with powerups on pedestals that you need to jump on to reach. This combined with the rocket launchers-only weapon setup makes for an interesting and surprisingly fun gimmick map. MAP20 in turn consists of several hallways connecting four rooms that are filled with deadly lava pits, putting players' movement skills to a real test.

    My only major complaint about the mapset is the inclusion of the fifth level. Compared to the others, it looks and feels like uninspired and boring filler with an unconventional and clumsy layout as well as extremely drab texturing and architecture.

    Overall the WAD is a very good package of levels. There may not be any instant classics in it, but there isn't much to complain about either. Recommended.

  • Follet Deathmatch Beta2 - Francisco "Folley the Great" Duran
    Skulltag - Deathmatch - 407990 bytes - (img) (img) (img)
    Reviewed by: JohnnyRancid
    Folley the Great is a map author that I have not yet heard of. I'm not sure if this is his first work or not, his text file was not very revealing. This is a pair of deathmatch maps that Folley had finished in about the span of a week. It works with Skulltag and only Skulltag (due to textures and weapons used from Skulltag.wad). I was frightened to expect poor mapping ability, but upon playing it, it was quite the contrary.

    I was a little turned off by the first map. The detail was there, there were some small bits of slopes and colored lighting, and the texture theme was pretty consistent, but the map itself seemed hackneyed and uninspired. Mainly the shape. Try to imagine a square drawn on a piece of paper, with a cross going through the midpoints of each line of the square. Imagine those lines as hallways. That's the map. It is small and the shape was certainly lacking high expectation. Though playing the map with bots proved to be a decent challenge, which I suppose excellent use of Skulltag's AI must have been the aim here, as it is probably the most effective use of the map.

    The second map however proved to have been crafted carefully. It's a medium sized gothic type level that uses mostly wood and marble. It doesn't have any notable signs of symmetry. It probably would have fit snugly in Crucified Dreams if you ask me. All Skulltag weapons are available in it (with the exception of the BFG10k, which is a horrible weapon). The map has a few hidden areas, that trying to find them would make you an easy target in a deathmatch. I think my only gripe with the map is that there are many decorations littered in the outdoor areas where a grenade launcher can be found, so using the grenade launcher effectively was a pretty hefty task.

    Both maps have their own midi music tracks, there are some new gfx such as the status bar, and teleport sprites, and there are several new sounds that replace the weapons' traditional sounds. I suggest this mapper try to get into more deathmatch map compilations to get his name out there. He certainly has a way with working with map editors, and some decent knowledge of ZDoom-like effects. These maps are apparently a short teaser of what this mapper is capable of.

  • Dark Fate 2 - Karthik Abhiram
    Limit Removing - Solo Play - 314632 bytes - (img) (img)
    Reviewed by: prdarkfox
    The first thought that came up once I booted up the wad was to unload on a few shotgun zombies in front of me. Then, there were the bull demons that came to bite me in the ass as I grabbed their loot. This smallish map felt like another one of those 1024 maps that keep cropping up on /newstuff/, and for a good while, it did. However, never fear, as the action was non-stop. Glancing up at the adequately-detailed ceiling lights, a mancubus attempted to rain fire on me much to my displeasure.

    Okay, maybe not displeasure, but I still wasn't looking for it.

    Much of the combat was fairly confining, but it did keep things interesting: as you might see in one of the screen-caps above, the author had made sure that the battles were well-orchestrated and not too overwhelming in this hell-based map. As before mentioned, the action was non-stop as you kept moving forward. Just when you thought you get a break from a pair of hell knights, a baron descends on the lift you wanted to get on. Curses! There goes over half that box of shells.

    Fortunately, there is plenty of ammo and health -- so long as you keep on your toes and shoot straight.

    I was much too busy fighting in this small map that I had overlooked some of what I was supposed to do (such as look at the eye-candy) but what I did pick out, everything seemed in place at least. There was enough detail to make it look good and tell me where I am, and that was good enough for me.

    The place eventually goes outside (and it's a quick "eventually"), however the map is so short that there isn't much room for puzzles. Not a big deal, though. I still had fun.

    It's a shame that it doesn't last, however according to the TXT file it says it may also double as a deathmatch map. ... I think I can see why, as the small size would make this pretty decent for two or three players, but I don't play DM online.

    Highly recommended in either case.

  • Deathstruction - Ryan Albright (High Flyin' Ryan)
    Limit Removing - Solo Play - 53542 bytes - (img) (img) (img) (img) (img) (img) (img) (img) (img) (img) (img) (img)
    Reviewed by: hnsolo77
    Let me start out by saying that Deathstruction is clearly an awesome name; clearly this means that this is an awesome wad. Not quite so, I'm afraid. This map is the 3rd released map by Ryan Albright and it's set to be a "boss battle/ending map" as well as it looks like 96 style that's single player only as well as vanilla friendly. Note that for being a 3rd release work it's not that bad from that viewpoint. It does suffer from enemies that come in groups of their type quite often at the start, as well as changing theme way too often as can be noted with screens 01, 02 and 03 since they are all the first 3 rooms.

    The map itself is rather plain, and ammo is quite plentiful, you will not be wanting, and though health is not nearly as common, you should have no problems. The boss battles take very little ammo since you can get the bigger monsters to infight the smaller ones. The fight against the Spider Mastermind requires no ammo since you pick up a berserker pack earlier. Then you get to grab an invulnerability artifact. Meaning you can just force the Mastermind and the Arachnotrons to infight and then just go behind the Mastermind and oddly enough just fist it to death, no joke intended, then safely fist the Aracs to death as well. Note screen 09.

    The Cyberdemon fight really requires no ammo too assuming you don't want to kill it. Just hit the switch, grab the invulnerability, and force it to fight the barons while you activate the pillars to systematically lower and grab the yellow key and jet on out.

    After you grab all the possible keys you get teleported back to the beginning of the map to fight imps, a couple chaingunners, a caco, a baron or hell knight *don't really remember to be honest* and an archvile. Then you get to go to a floor into the sky "exit" that just teleports you to the final boss room, where a green floating eye spawns enemies icon of sin-style, while hitting a skull switch lowers a teleporter and a wall of skulls that reveal a blood fall that you must fire into to kill a wall of blood. And that's about it.

    Though quite honestly I must say this, the map is far superior to my 3rd map ever and I do see some potential here, I suggest that the author keeps on trying and learning; remember, practice makes perfect.

  • ZT-96 - Aluqah
    ZDoom Compatible - Solo Play - 851647 bytes
    Reviewed by: Traysandor
    Well this was a pretty decent experience. There's a few new weapons here. A few we've seen before, but also a few neat new ones too (BioShock, Demon Spawner, Devastator, Saw Thrower) that are fun to use. I must say that the Devastator is a bit too powerful (max ammo of 400 can kill three cybers, which ironically enough doubles as the final boss fight) when you get it. The level itself is pretty hard and long, and can be confusing at times. Health and ammo are pretty decently balanced for the most part, though you'll be struggling for health after a hard fight. You're not missing much if you're looking for a spectacularly detailed level, but overall this level is worth a playthrough, if just to see the new weapons in action.

  • SargeBaldy Speedmapping Compilation #20 - Various
    Boom Compatible - Solo Play - 49397 bytes
    Reviewed by: Traysandor
    SargeBaldy Speedmapping Competition #20, the theme here is sewers. Unfortunately, only three authors managed to finish a level for this competition. All three levels are short (as you might expect for only having 100 minutes), and it's hard to say which map would be the clear winner here. Map 1 is pretty decent, Map 2 is hard (not much for health or ammo), and Map 3 is a pretty smart Tyson level (with berserk provided), but is dragged down a bit by the bad midi that plays.

    Overall, there's nothing particularly great or new about these maps (and if you're looking for something good to play... well, you won't find it here) but it was nice to take a few minutes out of my day to see what authors can do given only 100 minutes.

  • Town - Brian Sparks
    doom2.exe - Solo Play - 63056 bytes - (img) (img) (img)
    Reviewed by: Ashley_Pomeroy
    This is dated January 1996. I love these old levels with one-word names, like "Sewer" and "Castle" and "Dungeon", because they're so bad. This is the second town.wad (the first was id=555), and it's surprisingly decent, a competent blast from 1996 with a simple layout that just about evokes a Latin-style village. There are only 93 baddies, with a couple of toughies, and the ammo balance is just about right for 1996, by which I mean that it's a pushover nowadays. The gameplay is basically a switchunt, which is nostalgic. There's one good, modest trap that I didn't expect.

    The bright colour scheme puts me in a mellow mood, but there are a couple of quirks. The opening section has some windows that look as if you should be able to walk through them, but you can't (best to run past), and the final switch is backwards. The button works, but the texture faces the wrong way, so you never get to see it. It's a funny bug, because the exit switch has arrows pointing towards it - you'd have thought the designer would have spotted his mistake, but obviously not.

  • Not SO Simple - John Nelle
    doom2.exe - Solo Play - 468672 bytes - (img) (img) (img) (img)
    Reviewed by: GMan
    Not SO Simple is a set of 8 levels made in '96. As such, the gameplay and look of the levels is somewhat archaic, though there are some good moments to be had. The first three maps are pretty forgettable, but the .wad gets into its stride at the start of map 4. There aren't really any big surprises here - no major traps, fairly mundane monster selection and placement, and largely uninteresting architecture - but I found the maps to be enjoyable in a '96 kinda way.

    Although things flow quite nicely - in places the maps feel very well paced - the whole thing is rather easy. Ammo is placed in abundance, and if you play through the level set from beginning to end you'll never really be worrying about running out of bullets. Health is also rather plentiful, especially considering that very few larger monsters are ever used.

    The main sticking points would be the shoddy texturing (though this has never been something that particularly bothers me), the occasional, obscure hidden door that you need to find to continue, and the frequent use of lava/slime pits you can't get out of.

    If you can look past the design decisions that are more down to the age of the .wad that anything else, then Not SO Simple is quite diverting for a short while. Though it is, actually, quite simple.

    Oh, and included in the zip is a mercifully optional sound effects .wad. Bleugh...

  • 32 in 24 6 - The 32in24 team!
    Boom Compatible - Deathmatch - 2110686 bytes - (img) (img) (img) (img) (img) (img)
    Reviewed by: deathz0r
    The sixth installment in the successful 32in24 series decides to go back to its roots, and while it certainly achieves the careless mood of the original 32in24, it's several steps backwards in quality compared to the three previous 32in24s that were released. I'm also not a fan of the decision to include every map submitted into the WAD to extend it beyond thirty-two maps, since there is some utter shit like MAP08, MAP13 and MAP22 that I would have never accepted into the final WAD, along with an awful lot of uninspiring filler that could have been discarded to drop this down to thirty-two maps. Fortunately the betas I've played of 32in24-7 are of a much higher calibre quality than this mapset, despite the fact it's been weeks since the maps were generally completed.

    Since this mapset seems to focus a lot more on novelty maps and symmetrical arenas, I would recommend this if you're interested in a fun deathmatch experience, and not necessarily some serious matches. There are some hidden gems, but it feels like a major disappointment to me compared to 32in24-5.

  • Community Is Falling 3 - Samuel Villarreal
    ZDoom - Solo Play - 47726719 bytes - (img) (img) (img) (img) (img) (img) (img) (img)
    Reviewed by: Jimmy91
    Well, I think I'll start flexing my reviewer muscles again by taking on possibly the most epic WAD of the year. I hope I don't disappoint. Or offend. That would be...undesirable. :) Also be aware that spoilers WILL follow...so read no further if you wish to spare your mind the torment of knowing what this WAD holds beforehand. :P

    Well, what can I say? Better start with the basics: this WAD for ZDoom, which has taken quite a number of years to complete, concludes the CIF trilogy of WADs based around the recent goings-on in the Doom community as a whole - and at that, concludes it very nicely indeed. It's not just an addon for Doom, or another episode of CIF, or even a MEGAWAD, it's an all-new TC... no, in fact, a GAME in its own right.

    I knew I was in for one serious ride the moment it loaded up. Beyond the fairly underdetailed title sequence (sick of hearing the original D_DM2TTL by now...) and prologue, the opening cutscene begins with a "guy" giving you the backstory on the Community Is Falling series in manual dialogue boxes reminiscent of the Zelda games (some more Zelda references are found throughout the WAD - such as the DSSECRET and DSWPNUP sounds). After some lengthy exposition he gets you to choose the name of the main character (done through some somewhat complicated ACS). Now this isn't something you see in any regular Doom WAD (save the Wills jokewads): the protagonist has a personality of his own (expressed through his dialogue during the cutscenes...which quickly becomes evident) and hell, even a NAME (shock horror gasp :O! - when was that last done, Zen Dynamics?) that YOU get to choose - no, you don't have to stick to your in-game name!

    After that, the following map consists of grabbing a frying pan and smashing the living hell out of your nazi stepdad to get the key to your room. Gold. And on the maps that followed THAT, I found myself really getting into it and thoroughly enjoying myself. There's so much to discover and uncover... each map is chock full of strange and unique new map features that make each a blast to play right through. ACS, KSSC, skyboxes, conveyor belts, quirky enemy characters, interactive cutscenes... it's all ingenious. There's even alternate routes you can take depending on what you say to the characters at times (hmm... save the Doom community or kill it...? :P). I really loved the first encounter with the enemy, too - which makes their sudden appearance almost *threatening* despite being obvious MSPaint knock-ups (but if you've played the previous two TCIFs, you'll see right through this). There's also a subtle stab at the Doom 3 community in there which had me laughing. :)

    Kaiser's Strife Dialog program has obviously been used to its full potential here. In the maps, you interact with the characters and monsters (sometimes annoyingly so: see Doomboy and Quasar in the first IRC levels :X) in various ways, including being able to buy weapons, ammo, health and upgrades from them with gold you collect from killing the monsters and through thorough exploration of the immense maps (more on those in a bit); using the good ol' Strife dialog trees.

    Most of the monster and weapon sprites are taken from an old PSX game called PO'ed; you even encounter the main character from the game at a couple of points and he gives you weapon advice. Of course, this means there isn't a lot of ORIGINAL material in this WAD, but there certainly is a lot that not a lot of Doomers have seen before, and I'm not just talking about the sprites here - the gameplay aspects and architecture as well, which means that despite the blatant unpermissioned rips (hurrrr :P), there's loads of new stuff and plenty of uniqueness to enjoy in this WAD. Like I said, it's so separate from Doom itself, it's like an entire new game in its own right. I'd go as far as to say that it is to the CIF series as Quake II was to Quake.

    The amount of effort gone into this WAD to make it what it is is staggering. The maps are huge (with fervent abuse of ZTerrain being quite prominent in the later maps), rivalling Eternal Doom III's standards. Light variation, texture usage, gameplay flow, layout... is all executed very well. While the difficulty (and length) of them can be somewhat tiring, there's always a "break" level in between huge killfests where you can replenish health and get psyched for your next epic battle(s)...which may not be as far away as you think - these maps keep you guessing. :) On a side note, the ACS source is included in the zip file but I can't make anything out of it. That's not saying a lot, but I can understand some massive innovation went into coding this WAD. :D Well done, you guys.

    Now, did I enjoy it? Mostly yes, a lot - the humor stays pretty true to the previous installments of TCIF (with some hilarious cutaway gags and long...awkward...silences... to boot) and the levels are actually pretty fun when you get "into the groove" of them (they may come across as extremely difficult throughout the first play-through and do require a lot of knowing-what-you're-doing to get through) and the music during climactic boss fights is fraggin' awesome (this stuff is original! :D). However, there are a couple of major snags that really make this WAD sometimes a bore to play.

    Some of the monsters are grossly unfair to fight against when they're in a massive group, such as the FUCKING "flooders" that drove me insane with their persistent shooting me and being impossible to hit at the same time. The Computer Station map and a few more of the "Intardnet" maps that followed it were outright unfair and boring. The weapons are unimaginative (pulse guns, rocket guns and power guns, anybody?... but a big thumbs-up for the Ohshit gun - b^_^d) and frankly, unbalanced. Some of the maps take what seems like hours to load, the first sky map being the most guilty of this. Bosses are nigh-on impossible to beat without using up all your items and ammo (however they are very innovative with their use of scripting and for once you actually have to combine strategy with firepower to beat them). There's even a few mispaletted textures in there, and a ZDoom bug that caused it to crash on saving was even DISCOVERED by firing one of the new weapon's alternate fire. o_O The status bar is also...less than visually appealing (it also slows the game down to a crawl in huge areas due to the sheer amount of hudmessages involved in printing it to the screen - plus you can't get rid of it...at least not without an annoying red warning obscuring the bottom half of your display =/).

    One of the major high-points of this WAD for me, though...as it is with many WAD reviewers and which also seems to be a recurring theme with WADs of this scale...is MAP14. You'll see why. You'll see. :)

    Final verdict: Well worth the download, and worth playing through all the way - if you can stand its glaring but few faults. :P I can't see this seriously getting a Cacoward, though. It'll probably have to settle for the Mockaward. :P

  • Heil ! - Duane Miller aka Rentman or Phoonzang
    doom2.exe - Solo Play - 103092 bytes - (img) (img) (img) (img) (img)
    Reviewed by: lupinx-Kassman
    This is a single map made in 1996, featuring new music, one sound, and an orangish sky from Hexen. Let's take a closer peek.

    The architecture: The author states in the text file that the map has a "Nazi-type theme", and while it is true that there are numerous Wolfenstein textures in the map, I would say that this map's "theme" is pretty random. It is apparent that Duane did try to make the map's design look interesting. However, texture choice in the wad is strange, there are numerous misalignments, flats that do not fit the sectors they are applied to well, and some pretty weird combinations (BLOODFALL1 and the grayish FLOOR0_3 do not mix well o_0). Despite all of this, the architecture does at least provide for some interesting fights, which brings us to...

    The gameplay: The map is generally pretty easy on anything Hurt Me Plenty and below. (I might add that there are some SS nazis in the map, as a warning to those who hate that monster outside of secret maps.) Ultra-Violent ups the challenge by adding a couple of cybers to the map, but nothing more. As mentioned earlier, the monster placement is not bad, and I actually found some of the fights to be pretty enjoyable. Its not always obvious where you should be going. A couple of things that nagged me were unmarked (or poorly marked) lifts/switches. Additionally, it took me ages to figure out how to exit the map (the method is far from obvious), and vanilla Doom 2 can VPO in the final arena of the map.

    Overall: If you are very bored, don't mind a strange looking map, and have already played some of the newer major releases, give the map a spin. However, if you are looking for something very challenging, filled with pretty detail, or possibly both :o, you'll probably want to skip this.

  • Noob Project Part 5- Digital Highway - Lupinx-ressurected aka. Lupinx-Kassman
    GZDoom - Solo Play - 19105105 bytes - (img) (img) (img) (img) (img) (img)
    Reviewed by: Remiel
    Noob Project 5 tells the sad tale of an author who got his act together after a year of mediocrity, contributing alright efforts to CC3 and the 32-in-24 projects, then, deciding to continue the series, his first maps consisted of this, ruining a year of inspiringly dedicated self-rehabilitation faster than that abusive drunk who calls you on the phone on his way from AA, promising you that "I'm clean now, man, I swear," just before he throws up into the passenger seat and drives into a telephone pole.

    The joy begins in the cockpit of an impossible L-shaped spaceship -- yeah, yeah, 'joy in the cockpit' -- where the player grabs some weapons, ammo and armour and enters a bright, vibrant cyberspace setting. That sucks to be you though, because the author's idea of "bright and vibrant cyberspace setting" is not to try to make something abstract and lush but easy on the eyes, but to cram as many incredibly bright and gaudy colours into an area as possible with the help of HacX's cyberspace textures, edits thereof, and self-made textures based thereon, resulting in a visual phenomenon best described as "I turned the lights off while playing and now I've gone blind."

    It's quite difficult as the author himself says, but more for being unfair than for actually being difficult. The map has at most one wall, so you're shot a lot from far away, and contains a lot of precarious success-or-death jumps, so you're shot from a lot from far away, out of the air and into a bottomless pit. I lost count of how many times I died, but it was definitely over 20, about 15 of which were from being knocked off of a ledge and dying, and the vast majority of the rest of them were from the several cacodemons at the start that approached and blocked me from above while I slowly swam up the zero-gravity beams. Although, after the unfair start, if you're lucky with the inane jumpfests the difficulty is pretty minor overall. There's a boss, your clone, who is easily defeated by circlestrafing and shooting guns at him until he rolls over, rewarding you for your amazing display of willpower in resolving to actually complete the map with a cliffhanger ending that then attempts to crush it by alluding to much, much more length to this series' thread of existence.

    From the hamhanded design, to the inability to make a serious storyline or character (His words, not mine. To me, it seems like he's just being lazy about it because he wants to.), and to the "justified"-fourth-wall-breaking Mary Sue Author and Friends™ self-inserts made out of edits of Mega Man X's sprites on the Super Nintendo, I sort of enjoyed it, though only through the morbid fascination through which people enjoy fanfiction.net, online roleplayers' Freewebs sites and train wrecks, not because it was actually good at being funny or immersive -- because it definitely was neither.

  • Dark Resolution 2008 - Death-Destiny, Bloodskull
    Boom Compatible - Solo Play - 3295885 bytes
    Reviewed by: RjY
    Old version of dr2008v2. It has been removed from most archive mirrors.

  • Mortal - Gijs van der Linden
    ZDoom Compatible - Solo Play - 496363 bytes
    Reviewed by: Locke Carnelia
    At first glance, Mortal on the /idgames did not inspire much feeling in me. It was, well, very bleh-looking on the /idgames page, and indeed, some of the prior reviews were not promising a very good play-through. I will start off with my general thoughts were on the entire WAD, and then go in-depth into each of the levels.

    General Thoughts:

    The author is not a fan of lighting. Very much not a fan of lighting. That annoys me, especially considering when I can barely see my enemies. He also likes making up for admittedly blah levels by making the levels full of non-stop action. I am NOT saying that that is bad, indeed, that is one of the good things about this WAD: The fact that you don't get a breather to notice the real bad things about it. This CAN be a disadvantage, however. Ammo distribution is plentiful, I never ran out of ammo. However, health is a completely different matter. The author must be a masochist, or a Doom god, as the sheer amount of enemies requires far more health than the maps provide.

    Map01:

    Map starts out with a nice calm session of picking up ammo and getting your shotgun. Nice UAC theme, then blammo. You're dropped in a medieval setting, and it's quiet. You walk down a bit, then shit hits the fan. There's about 10 Hell Knights, quite a few imps and sergeants, and to top it off, a sprinkling of Cacodemons ontop. From there on out, it is pretty much a frantic struggle to stay alive until the end, due to the fact that there are a total of 3 (!) health packs in the hard beginning area. Lighting is HORRIBLE, I cannot see anything. Sum up of level: Blast-fest in beginning.

    Map02:

    I couldn't finish this map. Again, it starts off with picking up ammo, and two guns this time. Oooh. Unfortunately, that's the only good part of this level. The rest of it is like a panic attack in Doom form, as the entire area is extremely dark, extremely claustrophobic, and you instantly have about 500 monsters going down your throat, and no way to effectively funnel them to one spot, because there's monsters above as well. I was frantically scrambling to try and find my way, however, the box maze (Yes, a box maze. Collective groans now, please.) looked all the same, and people were shooting at me, and I felt like I was going to have a friggin' heart attack. Sum of Level: Impossible unless you have nerves of steel.

    Map03:

    This map, contrasted with the others, has somewhat of a gradual build-up to a fever pitch, rather than dropping you directly into the fire. The lighting is actually decent in this level, although the level itself isn't pretty. There's quite a few large monster closets, which I believe somewhat defeats the purpose, but that's my opinion. Very generic blast fest level, yet again. Sum of Level: Blast fest with a bit of a break in the beginning.

    Map04:

    Two words: Stupidly. Boring. This map is nothing more than a grid, with, yet again, horrible lighting. Monsters occasionally warp in, but the rocket launcher provided generally dispatches them all. No Chaingun ammo, despite the fact that you start with the Chaingun. No health. No place to bottleneck enemies if they get too much to handle. Only good part might be the cyberdemon battle, although the ready ease in which you can acquire rocket ammo defeats the climacticness. Sum of Level: Boooooring.

    Map05:

    The first thing I said when I saw this map was: This is gonna be a huge level. Needless to say, I was not disappointed by my rough estimate. This level is really really really really.... Big. And ugly. Ugly as sin. Very sparse monsters except in certain areas make for traversing this bigness very boring. Not to mention the Waste Tunnels theme in the background making you want to fall asleep. Subtlety in lighting is absent. Sum of Level: Ugly.

    The Good: Map03
    The Bad: Map02
    The Ugly: Map05


  • MyCastle - Gijs van der Linden
    Limit Removing - Solo Play - 2616876 bytes - (img) (img)
    Reviewed by: LordK
    MyCastle is a little misnamed. The level doesn't feature a castle, but a large medieval walled off town facing the sea. This dark, gloomy level is interesting in concept. I haven't seen a city level quite like it before and there's something alluring about its atmosphere.

    Unfortunately, it's not very much fun to play. The level has a large monster count and while the critters freely wandering around the dimly lit streets provide some tense moments, the gameplay is more often frustrating than it is fun. Most of the level is too dark and the nonsensical maze in the end made me want to start cheating. There is also evidence of copy-pasting, some graphical bugs and even a bug where I was caught in a stairwell and couldn't move without using noclip (I played in ZDoom and the author tested in Legacy).

    Despite its flaws, MyCastle is an interesting, if not a fun level to play. If you're a fan of city levels, check it out.

  • Kill the Homies - Ruba
    doom2.exe - Solo Play - 35381 bytes - (img) (img) (img)
    Reviewed by: Csonicgo
    The collection of Ruba maps can be best described as a "grab bag" in terms of quality. Sadly, this is one of the duds of the bag. The best way I can describe this PWAD is this: Kill shotgun guy, kill imps, repeat. Note that I am not kidding, the automap screenshot pretty much reveals this. This might be a decent DM map if modded a bit, but as a single player map there is no fun in this. Also, upon starting the map, you may be killed almost instantly, as there is a shotgun guy on top of you when you start the map. I lost 60 health in one room alone. Combine this with repetitive gameplay, HOM, and a drab theme, and we end up with a dud. Play only if you're bored, else you will be sorely disappointed.

  • The Imp's Episode Starter Kit - Impboy4
    Boom Compatible - Solo Play - 266249 bytes - (img) (img) (img) (img)
    Reviewed by: ler
    An interesting set of reinterpretations of the original episode starter levels (E1M1, E2M1, E3M1, E4M1). They seem to be fairly faithful while still adding a good bit of detail. The E1M1 was particularly well defined as being both new and familiar, as all the old secrets were still there and yet the level looked so much different with an extra outdoor area and a new switch. E2M1 was similar, with extra pieces on the walls with fleshy bits. E3M1 was almost completely redone, with most of the pieces retextured and reassembled from different pieces. E4M1 was a bit of a disappointment, being detailed but not very similar to the other pieces, and the baron teleport was broken as you couldn't get him to come out unless you fired a shot in the red key room, along with the NIN secret being removed. But overall they're very solid, and I'll admit that I probably enjoyed that E1M1 remake more than Z1M1 [ed: of KDiZD].

  • Jesus DeathMatch - Walter "Daimon" Confalonieri
    doom.exe - Deathmatch - 299149 bytes - (img) (img)
    Reviewed by: Ashley_Pomeroy
    This is dated March 2008, although it seems much older. It's a deathmatch level, and it's hard to evaluate. The layout is pretty good, in an old-school way. It has a flow, and places you can hide, although there are a couple of rooms where you can get trapped easily.

    On the other hand, the Jesus theme is half-hearted. The fist, pistol, chaingun and rocket launcher are replaced with sprites taken from Heretic and Hexen, but they're just distracting and poorly-executed. There are a couple of new wall textures and some imported sounds effects, and that's your lot. The wad doesn't even change the player sprites into Jesus.

    I was hoping for a level in which you kick arse for the Lord, slaying Lucifer's minions with a chainsaw and the force of moral righteous, but sadly I was disappointed.

  • MegaFrag - Lainos
    Multiplayer - Deathmatch - 2620025 bytes - (img) (img) (img) (img) (img) (img) (img) (img) (img) (img)
    Reviewed by: master lockwolf
    Megafrag is a 10 map Deathmatch wad spawning many different varieties of maps. Some really good, some really bad.

    Map01 wouldn't be that fun of a map. There are a lot of really tight hallways which make this absolutely no fun to play in Deathmatch. To make things less fun, there are a few Rocket Launchers you can grab for frags in the tight hallways.

    Map02 changed my outlook on this wad. It was way better designed than map01 and had some detail. This map is pretty balanced and might make for a fun one to play.

    Map03 also brightened my hopes in this wad. Though not as detailed as map02, it has a nice flow to it and might actually make a good duel map. Of course, the teleporters wreck flow but its alright.

    Map04 is another good map. A lot of open space but enough smaller rooms to make it fit. Lots of fun could be had here.

    Map05 really didn't tickle my fancy. It's a Phobos map detailed like the original Doom. Nothing wrong with that except that it doesn't fit with the better detailed maps.

    Don't touch Map06 with a 10 foot pole. The screenie will explain all.

    Map07 is nice but there are a few poor choices in textures that make this map a little underdetailed.

    Map08 didn't tickle my fancy. I'm not a huge fan of big open maps with lots of buildings to hide in.

    Map09 is probably the only other playable map on here. Its got good flow and looks semi-decent. Give it a play, you'll enjoy it.

    Map10 is way too large for most FFA situations. You would probably need to go a full 16 player FFA to play this map well. Also, there are some detailing issues I don't like. Very plain looking.

    In all, this wad had a few good maps and a lot of trash. I would download it for the few playable deathmatch maps.

  • OSAMA - pun1sh3r
    Multiplayer - n/a - 53437 bytes
    Reviewed by: Wills
    A skin done in MSPaint by the same guy who made "Puppy". Now you can play as Osama bin Laden, if he was yellow and got hit in the face by a truck. The "funny death scene", as the author puts it, is of Osama sitting on a toilet. The toilet grows teeth and eyes and eats Osama, then dissolves into thin air. If that's your idea of a worthwile skin then knock yourself out.

  • Puppy - pun1sh3r
    Multiplayer - n/a - 152547 bytes
    Reviewed by: Wills
    Another skin by the guy who made "OSAMA". Now you can play as the author's dog, who apparently shoots out of his ass and shits when he dies (a theme repeated in "OSAMA"). "pun1sh3r" must be very talented; I can't remember the last time I saw a fifth-grader who could make Doom wads.

Like what you are seeing? Want to get in on the reviewing action? Visit the /newstuff review center and start writing reviews today! You need a Doomworld forums account to participate.

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FP suckers. CIF3 is hard to review... it's so massive and fascinating, but has a lot of glaring problems that make it frustrating to play.

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wooo one of the reviews is mine! I feel like a star.

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[lame t/nc controversy]Remiel should get that stick out of his ass, because Noob project 5 was absolutely awesome.[lame /t/nc controversy]

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JohnnyRancid said:

wooo one of the reviews is mine! I feel like a star.

Like your avatar ? :)

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Hmmm... not bad this newstuff, but is it just me who thinks that at least the half of the reviews is too long? Who will read through all this?

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Haha so I guess my suggestion about cleaning up the database instead of publishing reviews of wads long since deleted fell on deaf ears. Oh well.

I think the thing with review length is that with this feature you're writing for people who haven't played the wads yet, who are looking to judge whether they want to, as opposed to when they've already played the thing and want to see what others thought of it.

In other words, you're writing a preview, not a review. So basically it shouldn't be so long and full of spoilers. I am guilty of this just as much as anyone else as you may find out next week.

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Did you copy the review from your webpage? We'd love to see something new everytime, though.

I really hope you put screenshots for the /newstuff version of your review.

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printz said:
Did you copy the review from your webpage?

Of course I did, they knew I was going to do this, and it was accepted so shrug.

We'd love to see something new everytime, though.

Yeah well I expect for the 99.99999% of Doomworld users who don't read my site it will be new :)

Seriously though, you're right, it is a bit stupid, I probably won't do it again, but I wanted to try it once just to see what happened, sort of thing.

I really hope you put screenshots for the /newstuff version of your review.

Yeah I made 5 or so. I'm not good at screenshots. I took them a while ago before that whole thing about how big screens should be and yadda yadda. Actually come to think of it I haven't so far seen any hits for them in my server logs so I hope it all works out, fingers crossed.

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Yeah, the review length is starting to get out of hand, especially when the writing is meandering and redundant. Think about what really needs to be said, and then say only that.

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There probably needs to be a word cap. As said before: this is a review, not a summary.

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I wouldn't advise any specific word cap, just some more pickiness from Bloodshedder. He has every right to reject a review with the reason "too long - please condense."

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Geeze, this is because /newstuff became analogous to wad community projects: a generality that nobody knows what the rest is doing for that same session.

I'd take the words "the more the merrier" seriously every time, though.

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Users Locke Carnelia and hnsolo77 should refrain from including severe gameplay spoilers in their SP map reviews in the future (ie. don't describe in detail what is going to happen in a map when you play it). It takes away much of the fun of playing it yourself.

EDIT: However, I think this was a pretty good T/nC overall, and there weren't any excessively long reviews either IMO. Personally I don't mind reviews being somewhat in-depth at all.

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Janizdreg said:

Users Locke Carnelia and hnsolo77 should refrain from including severe gameplay spoilers in their SP map reviews in the future (ie. don't describe in detail what is going to happen in a map when you play it). It takes away much of the fun of playing it yourself.

EDIT: However, I think this was a pretty good T/nC overall, and there weren't any excessively long reviews either IMO. Personally I don't mind reviews being somewhat in-depth at all.

noted, i will try to tone it down in the future, i AM new at reviewing stuff after all

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Dr. Zin said:

There probably needs to be a word cap. As said before: this is a review, not a summary.

And I was worrying that my reviews are too short! (deletes large chunk of unfinished review) :-)

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RjY said:

Actually come to think of it I haven't so far seen any hits for them in my server logs so I hope it all works out, fingers crossed.

And you never will. I download all screenshots and upload them to Doomworld for hosting.

I don't think any of the reviews are too long. Learn to skim or something.

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Bloodshedder said:

And you never will. I download all screenshots and upload them to Doomworld for hosting.

No, you misunderstand. I know you're going to rehost them. I was checking my logs to see if you'd got them yet, so I could delete them. I thought it'd happen when the review was approved hence the concern.

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Bloodshedder said:

I don't think any of the reviews are too long. Learn to skim or something.

Or the author's can learn to write. Give us an opening paragraph that sums up the article then we can read more if we want.

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What's the featured screenshot from? I wish it would tell you. Tis a pain having to go through every screenshot to find out.

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RjY said:

No, you misunderstand. I know you're going to rehost them. I was checking my logs to see if you'd got them yet, so I could delete them. I thought it'd happen when the review was approved hence the concern.

Oh. No, it happens when I compile a /newstuff on Saturday. Whenever yours happens to be in it.

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It's not so much a matter of whether a review is too long or not as whether it communicates information well not. I've been adhering to an intro-body-conclusion format, because that's just how I naturally write, and I ensure that every sentence deserves to be there. I'm seeing reviews that don't introduce the wad well, and that have lots of redundant text. Also, gameplay spoilers are never necessary for a sufficient review.

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Creaphis said:

It's not so much a matter of whether a review is too long or not as whether it communicates information well not. I've been adhering to an intro-body-conclusion format, because that's just how I naturally write, and I ensure that every sentence deserves to be there. I'm seeing reviews that don't introduce the wad well, and that have lots of redundant text. Also, gameplay spoilers are never necessary for a sufficient review.

You mean you're concise and have an audience-centered approach? Please hold while I wipe a tear from my eye.

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Carnevil said:

You mean you're concise and have an audience-centered approach? Please hold while I wipe a tear from my eye.


Ha, well I try to. Look for my old reviews and see if you agree. I doubt that I'll be writing many now as the new wads are getting claimed pretty quick.

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CIF3 was mostly fun to play, and I liked the metal music and the design of the levels (especially the zterrain in the "intardnet" levels.

However, there were so many large amounts of enemies in most levels that it slowed down my computer to a crawl in most cases. The sky, and the boss levels were so slow that I wasn't able to play through them smoothly at all.

The final boss fight was another area that slowed down so much that my computer had to reboot, so I was not amused about that.

These small points were a shame, as otherwise the game was very well detailed, and there were a lot of humorous moments that made me smile.

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