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Bloodshedder

The /newstuff Chronicles #339

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  • X Weapons Mod - Crazy Chicken
    ZDoom Compatible - SP/DM - 209025 bytes
    Reviewed by: Chrispaks
    Well, a decent weapons mod with some plagiarized weapons (Plasma/BFG are from Half-Life). The other guns are probably from other games as well. If you want to play with new weapons and a few touch ups, this might be for you--but other than that there isn't too much of a change.

    The coolest part is the (what I think is an) AK, which acts like a laser shooting through people with bullets. The worst is the Tau gun, which is a total rip off (you'd be expecting a laser beam from it like Half-Life has). The BFG seems to be shifted when firing, so I kept hitting walls. That was annoying.

    Just another weapons mod. Nothing more/less. Good for about 30 seconds of fun, and that's it.

  • Congestion 384 - Cycloid
    doom2.exe - Solo Play - 88998 bytes - (img) (img) (img)
    Reviewed by: Wills
    Really, how much Doom can you fit into a space just a little bigger than the pillar room of E1M1? A good bit, it seems. The twenty maps of this pack, while certainly short on detail, manage to pack plenty of monsters and traps into a tiny space while gradually increasing the difficulty as you go. One could have only wished that the concept was a little more original.

  • Da Will - Various
    Limit Removing - Solo Play - 2392655 bytes - (img) (img) (img) (img) (img) (img) (img) (img) (img)
    Reviewed by: udderdude
    10 maps for Plutonia. This is a mapset made by various authors. As such, it's somewhat of a mixed bag. There are definitely some good maps in here, though, and the good definitely outweighs the bad.

    Map 1 is a short but challenging map. Beware of arch-viles.

    Map 2 is another short map, around the same level of difficulty as the first.

    Map 3 is a large, non-linear map. You can easily run out of ammo if you kill things too early or take a route which leads you to run out of ammo. It's also very difficult to get maxkills on.

    Map 4 is probably the weakest map in the set. Not only is it several times easier than the previous 3 maps, but the detail and gameplay sink down quite a bit. It wouldn't hurt to just skip this one.

    Map 5 is an extremely short, dark, claustrophobic map with just 35 monsters on UV. Challenging despite its short length.

    Map 6 is a mineshaft map. Unfortunately, this map has gameplay that's mostly too easy and feels tedious. The map requires a lot of backtracking and I felt bored by the end of it. You might want to skip this one as well.

    Map 7 is another short, challenging map, although finding the map's sole secret makes things a lot easier. Beware of the arch-vile.

    Map 8 is a wide-open city map that gets pretty challenging eventually.

    Map 9 is a hell map that starts off strong, then inexplicably changes into a tech map which feels like a completely different author created it. The tech area needs a serious change in lighting, it's almost entirely full brightness. Strangely enough, the credit for this one still goes to one guy.

    Map 10 is one of the best in the set, definitely worth playing. Starts off in a tech base and then heads outside into a large, expansive outdoor area.

  • Map set #1 - Daniel Steinert
    Limit Removing - Solo Play - 218442 bytes - (img) (img) (img) (img) (img) (img)
    Reviewed by: TheeXile
    mapset.wad is a vanilla Doom 2, uh, map set of 5 levels spanning a variety of themes, starting from the Doom 1 episodes and migrating steadily towards more Doom 2/mixed-style. Additionally, the quality also steadily ramps up from the rudimentary first few levels to the outright good (but not great, necessarily) latter ones. (I'd even go as far as to suggest for the author that the last two could be given their own release!)

    All throughout the difficulty balance is quite reasonable, finishing off probably a cut above Doom 2's standard Ultra-Violence difficulty. The only real complaints I have are the occasional misaligned/unpegged upper/lower textures and a little pet peeve of mine: illusionary wall secret areas (in the first few levels, mainly). Each level is doable from a pistol start, and should be playable just fine under vanilla Doom 2.

  • Crimson 2 - Doomaniac
    ZDoom Compatible - Solo Play - 3968211 bytes
    Reviewed by: Traysandor
    Crimson 2 is a fairly short 2-level wad that features monsters taken from Doom64, and adds a few interesting new monsters to the mix as well: a very slow and tough demon with a powerful acid attack, a lost soul that shoots homing projectiles, and the ever-annoying double grenade launching Arachnotron.

    The first level is fairly well done, detailing and level layout are reasonably decent, and it strikes a good balance of health and ammo, though the monsters seem a bit on the overpowered side at times. My only real complaint comes during the very brief second map, which introduces you to a BFG 9000-wielding Spider Mastermind that is pretty much impossible to beat without cheating.

    Overall though, this is a wad worth a playthrough. You'll have some fun blasting the new baddies around for a bit.

  • Beach Day - Dragon Hunter
    ZDoom Compatible - Solo Play - 945913 bytes - (img) (img) (img) (img)
    Reviewed by: udderdude
    This is an island map for ZDoom. The map doesn't start out bad at all. At first, you're in a small cove-like area. Once you move out of here, though, you fall right into shit central - the rest of the map. Crippling framerate issues and HOM/slime trails. Revenants, imps, arachnos and hitscanners all firing at you from various locations you can't even reach yet, most of them miles away. Even trying to reach dry land is a chore, and you can't take any time to explore. At one point I was swimming through the water, trying to find a decent place to start cleaning up this giant mess, when I turned out and found 6 (!!!) revenant missiles chasing me across the water. Of course, I couldn't outswim them, and they killed me. Fantastic.

    Once you finally manage to clean up the island in general, you're stuck searching for keys, and hitting mystery switches whose function is unknown. Opened a door somewhere on the mainland? One of the surrounding islands became accessible? Lowered something? Who knows. It turns into an ultimately frustrating switch and key hunt, with not enough monsters making an appearance to break up the drudgery. The island takes so long to traverse that just trying to guess what's going on is futile.

    You might be able to squeeze a bit of fun out of it, but it's not worth it, in my opinion. Doom was not designed for this sort of thing, and this map provides plenty of proof.

  • Tribute - This is not the best wad in the world. - Zalewa
    Skulltag - Solo Play - 42014158 bytes - (img) (img) (img) (img) (img) (img) (img) (img) (img) (img) (img) (img) (img)
    Reviewed by: Wills
    Most people associate jokewads with intentionally horrific mapping and LOL RANDUM humor. Occasionally, though, there comes along a wad that's not quite humorous and not quite serious, but you don't really care because it's pretty fun and trying to decide will only make your brain hurt. This, as I hope you have guessed by now, is one of those Doom mods. It starts out normally enough, with a backstory of survivors taking shelter in an underground vault after WWIII investigating the source of a radio transmission (sound familiar?). Exploring a foggy, ruined city, you start to encounter hellspawn and a portal into hell, eventually reemerging in an isolated castle to make a final stand against a horde of demons at the mouth of a canyon.

    Along the way, you might start to notice some odd things. Like a Massmouth statue. Or the fact that some sword-wielding monsters use sound clips of King Leonidas from "300". Or maybe it's the boss battle with a disembodied "I Can Has Cheezburger?" Cat head that shoots fireballs out of its eyes that might tip you off that something's not quite right. There are definitely some weird things going on, and they turn the wad from a grim post-apocalyptic adventure into something slightly less serious.

    But is the wad itself good? Actually, yes. There's plenty of action, with a few new monsters (some kind of Lost Soul variant, King Leonidas-beasts) and weapons (combat shotgun, the somewhat useless but fun AK-47). The levels look pretty decent, with one or two standouts (the opening city is very atmospheric and a lot more realistic than most Doom cities). So overall this is a very good wad with some slightly silly tendencies - basically a jokewad for people who hate jokewads. Very well worth your time.

  • Granite Base - Captain Toenail
    doom2.exe - Solo Play - 98653 bytes - (img) (img) (img)
    Reviewed by: udderdude
    A medium sized techbase map for Doom 2. It's pretty easy. Plenty of health and ammo around, and the biggest thing you'll fight off is a Hell Knight (and one Revenant, yikes). The map layout is a little flat, but there's a good enough level of detail. The only complaint I can really level is that for some Doomers, it might be a little too easy. Still worth a play, though.

  • Segway and Jetpack - Captain Toenail
    Skulltag - Solo Play - 132340 bytes - (img) (img) (img) (img) (img) (img) (img)
    Reviewed by: IRANianCha0s
    All this add-on gives you is two new classes to play with: Segway Rider and Jetpack Marine. Yes, it is as ridiculous as it sounds.

    I'll start with the more painful addition. The Jetpack Marine class basically gives you permanent flight, and wonky/shaky at that. Aside from being unable to hit anything 80% of the time, you have the added bonus of being unable to switch weapons (until you run out of ammo) or turn the damn thing off. Fun!

    The Segway Rider class is slightly entertaining. Movement keys are disabled, but left clicking will drive your segway forward at a VERY fast speed. Driving into enemies will damage them similiar to a chainsaw, and that's it. In a nice touch, dying will promptly cause your segway to explode. This class also suffers from being unable to switch weapons (picking up any weapon will switch to it, but movement will still be disabled).

    Despite being nothing more than a gimmicky mini-mod with a few big flaws, I'll admit I enjoyed running over a few dozen demons on the segway.

  • Zombie Onslaught - Captain Toenail
    Skulltag - SP/Co-op - 1586671 bytes - (img)
    Reviewed by: Craigs
    This wad replaces each and every monster with zombies. While it may not sound like anything special, it really does add a unique twist to gameplay. You can't kill these zombies. You can shoot them, you can blow them up, and you can pray for them to be struck down, but in the end they're just going to get back up. As if that wasn't enough, the beloved BFG has been removed. While it is somewhat entertaining at first, it gets old really quickly after you've put down the same zombies several times. There's only one type of zombie too, which doesn't help. It's worth checking out, but I can't say it's something you're going to keep.

  • Super Mario Bros Deathmatch - Captain Toenail, Mati, Icytux, CrazyChicken, HnSolo77, Daimon
    Skulltag - Deathmatch - 2111625 bytes - (img) (img) (img) (img)
    Reviewed by: Wills
    I've been playing the Mario games since I was a kid, so I have many fond memories of the various games in the series (Super Mario World is still my favorite). For me, crushing small animals by jumping on them was a logical stepping stone to blowing demons apart with overpowered and very portable weapons, so I was looking forward to playing this mod. But as we all know, two-dimensional gameplay does not always translate well to three dimensions. I'm pretty sure that if Super Mario 64 had not been as well-designed and adapted for the 3D world as it was, poor Mario, while maybe not suffering the same fate as Bubsy, would be far less of a gaming icon today.

    So how does Mario translate to a two-and-a-half dimensional world? Pretty well, if you don't try to translate too much. Basically, the problem is this: the closer that the authors stick to Doom run 'n' gun deathmatch, the better the gameplay is. When they try to put in the platform-jumping elements... well, that doesn't end up so well.

    Let's start with the graphics. They are, of course, the basic Super Mario Brothers textures, sprites, etc., with sounds and music from across the series. They're retro-tastic and look good, although there's a dark border around the tops or bottoms of some of them. Each level takes the theme of a Mario world, whether it be grassland, desert, or Bower's Castle.

    The level designs range from "eh" to pretty good. Subcon Kingdom is a large, open-area map where you fight around a central lake/waterfall area. Lost Oasis is a night desert where you can travel between the normal world and Negative Zone (or whatever it's called). On the other hand, a few of the maps aren't quite as good, whether they're awkward to get around or just seem messy and unorganized. Waterfall is a series of ledges from the top of a waterfall to the bottom, a map which would be playable if it wasn't so hard to jump quickly into the pipes that take you up and down... one ledge at a time.

    The pipes exemplify what the authors didn't quite get right - translating the Mario gameplay into Doom. First of all, there's the curse and bane of 3D shooters - platform jumping. In an engine like Doom, where you can't really tell how close to the edge of a platform you are, it's very frustrating to jump from 32x32 pole to 32x32 pole, especially when overshooting or missing gets you instakilled. Not only that, trying to go slowly/carefully will guarantee you're an easy target. As mentioned before, the pipes are kind of hard to jump into at high speeds, and the musical jump boxes don't propel you very high, which lead to a few frustrating moments.

    Thankfully, you can completely avoid the flaws in these maps and just blow away your friends. Play if you like DM and don't mind a few bad nuggets in an overall pleasing map set.

  • Outpost Redux - Captain Toenail
    Skulltag - Solo Play - 3715033 bytes - (img) (img) (img)
    Reviewed by: Traysandor
    Outpost Redux is a fairly short 2-map wad for Skulltag, and can be played in single player or co-op. While nothing particularly new in concepts (save for the Suicide Cubes, and for some reason the Imp fireballs are faster, but all of the other attacks are the same, and it was a minor nuisance at best for me), the detailing was fairly well done in the first map. While the first half of the map shows some promise, the second half of the map didn't stack up quite as well design-wise. There was more than enough ammo laying around to kill everything off, and health wasn't an issue for the most part, especially if you access a few of the secrets within the map.

    Also note for solo players: It's impossible to get the blue key unless you use a no clipping cheat.

    The second, very brief map houses way too much ammo, and a fight with a souped-up Cyberdemon that fires Doomguy-seeking rockets! It's not very much of a level and a near-impossible fight; I recommend you just skip the boss with a quick type of mdk into the console.

    Overall, this wad shows some promise, but it also shows some rough spots as well, a mix of both good and bad things. The first map is worth a look, but skip the second one.

  • Dodgeball Doom! - Captain Toenail, Zaerg, Mati, Crazy Chicken, Viscous1107, FuzzballFox, FireWolf
    Skulltag - Deathmatch - 12493635 bytes - (img) (img) (img)
    Reviewed by: Wills
    Contrary to most semi-nerds who play a lot of video games, I actually liked playing dodgeball in school. I enjoyed running around, rolling under and dodging balls from the other team, especially since my arms were too weak to throw the ball and hit anyone. This multiplayer mod by Capt. Toenail and team seeks to recreate your fond school memories in Doom format.

    Problem is, this mod suffers from a few fatal flaws. First of all, it's almost impossible to implement a real-world sport that requires quick thought and faster reflexes into a video game that really doesn't let you move much at all. Compared to real life, Doomguy doesn't have nearly the same range of mobility as a real person (except perhaps he strafes a little better), and this dooms the mod from the start. Instead of carefully aiming at a person and trying to calculate how hard and how fast you should throw the ball in order to hit them, you just have to kind of aim and hope the ball connects with your intended target. This would have been much more forgivable if throwing the ball made it go really fast and rocket it, demanding real skill and reflexes to dodge it, instead of making it kind of a limp toss.

    Next up: the maps. The basic arena-type maps tend to do the best, but unfortunately most of the levels try to make the already-thin gameplay more interesting by throwing in some irritating feature, such as hills that make the balls bounce EVERYWHERE and reduce your odds of dodging them due to sheer luck, or make the two halves of the arena rise and fall at different rates so your balls always hit the floor ten feet before they hit the target. Also: some of the maps are rather large or have obstacles, and it's easy to hide out in a place where the opponents can't hit you.

    So basically the killer of the whole experience is bad design: the balls that barely go anywhere, the irritating arenas, the "step onto the teleporter!" + moving floor that screams of cheap hacks. Try your luck with Super Mario Deathmatch, another wad by Capt. Toenail and others that is much better.

  • Awesomesphere - Mr. Chris
    Limit Removing - n/a - 1616 bytes
    Reviewed by: Wills
    Replaces the Soulsphere with the 4chan "Awesome" Smiley (which is actually from Something Awful) and does nothing else. Exactly what it sounds like.

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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"Da Will" has some type 11 slime (damage player and end level if health <= 10%) in map 2... could probably be (ab)used by speedrunners. :)

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I read the review of Da Will. I think the first paragraph of the review sums things up well, but I have some disagreements with the map-by-map reviews. I believe that Map01, Map03, Map06, Map08, and Map10 were very good, Map05 and Map09 were pretty good, and Map02, Map04, and Map07 were average. In particular, as you may have noted from where Map06 is mentioned above, I disagree with the reviewer's assesment of Map06. What's your opinion(s) of that map or of the review/wad overall?

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I have an opinion on it but I'm going to keep it to myself and you will never find out what I'm thinking.

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Brandon D. Lade said:

I read the review of Da Will. I think the first paragraph of the review sums things up well, but I have some disagreements with the map-by-map reviews. I believe that Map01, Map03, Map06, Map08, and Map10 were very good, Map05 and Map09 were pretty good, and Map02, Map04, and Map07 were average. In particular, as you may have noted from where Map06 is mentioned above, I disagree with the reviewer's assesment of Map06. What's your opinion(s) of that map or of the review/wad overall?

I think dw should allow multiple reviews per map. It'd help cut down on the subjectivity.

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TheeXile said:

I think dw should allow multiple reviews per map. It'd help cut down on the subjectivity.


I agree with that and that was the point I was trying to make. However, in this case, can people actually tell me their opinion instead of saying they have an opinion but they're not going to tell what it is? That would be appreciated.

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A review is inherently subjective. That's what a review is. This is Doomworld.com, not preschool. None of this everybody-wins bullshit. If your wad got a bad review, try harder next time!

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Brandon D. Lade said:

The download links for Tribute on the /idgames page don't work.

Seems you're right.
I'm working on this.

EDIT:
Greece mirror still works.

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esselfortium said:

A review is inherently subjective. That's what a review is. This is Doomworld.com, not preschool. None of this everybody-wins bullshit. If your wad got a bad review, try harder next time!

That's a cop out justification. And that's not what I'm talking about. For example, I think the map Nightomb is probably one of the best maps I've ever seen, but some others think it's crap because, say, they can't figure out the rocket launcher room puzzle, or the instant-kill trap was 'mean', or something dumb like that.

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TheeXile said:

I think dw should allow multiple reviews per map. It'd help cut down on the subjectivity.

What do you think this comment thread is for?

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Bloodshedder said:

What do you think this comment thread is for?

Bitching and moaning, duh.

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Some really cool maps here. Unfortunately some of them have less than 4 stars on the idgames archives, and therefore I am unable to play them. Not because they might be bad or good, but because I can't form my own opinion about something until someone has arbitrarily given it some random rating which may or may not be legitimately based on the quality of the wad, or some personal grievance against the author.

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Use3D said:

Some really cool maps here. Unfortunately some of them have less than 4 stars on the idgames archives, and therefore I am unable to play them. Not because they might be bad or good, but because I can't form my own opinion about something until someone has arbitrarily given it some random rating which may or may not be legitimately based on the quality of the wad, or some personal grievance against the author.


That sounds JUST like me :)
I suspect you are immitating??

Zalewa said:

Seems you're right.
I'm working on this.

EDIT:
Greece mirror still works.


It was rejected because it "contains MP3 music". All you need to do is fix that and reupload, and it should be good to go.

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Brandon D. Lade said:

It was rejected because it "contains MP3 music". All you need to do is fix that and reupload, and it should be good to go.

I don't consider this a fix. I consider this a massacre.

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Zalewa said:

I don't consider this a fix. I consider this a massacre.

Even Huy "Sucking Cock While Mapping" Pham released separate versions of Deus Vult 2 with and without mp3 music. Generally the only exception is if the music was created specifically for your wad (and thus, is either not copyrighted or you're legally using it), like the music in RTC-3057 hub 1.

Brandon D. Lade said:

That sounds JUST like me :)
I suspect you are immitating??

Oh dear.

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Not meaning any disrespect to the reviewers BUT with an average map rating of 3.35 stars, T/nC #339 is practically unreadable.

exp(x) said:

Bitching and moaning, duh.

I thought it was to allow mappers and reviewers to discuss the relative merits of their work. ;-)

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esselfortium said:

Even Huy "Sucking Cock While Mapping" Pham released separate versions of Deus Vult 2 with and without mp3 music. Generally the only exception is if the music was created specifically for your wad (and thus, is either not copyrighted or you're legally using it), like the music in RTC-3057 hub 1.

Still, it's hilarious! Because wads which break rules should have been rejected BEFORE appearing on idgames... hurr.

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Bloodshedder said:

What do you think this comment thread is for?

For discussing how much subjectivity sucks. :P

The ideal goal is to minimize it, I'm saying. If not multiple reviews, perhaps a wiki-like review system then?

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TheeXile said:

For discussing how much subjectivity sucks. :P

Two reviews will not eliminate subjectivity, they will only double it. The only way to be objective would be to describe the WAD and provide no opinion at all—that isn't even a review, and it's something you ought to be able to get just by reading the text file.

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Bloodshedder said:

Two reviews will not eliminate subjectivity, they will only double it. The only way to be objective would be to describe the WAD and provide no opinion at all—that isn't even a review, and it's something you ought to be able to get just by reading the text file.

Well you could objectively state the opinions of the people who have played the map. That happens all the time with wiki articles, for instance, and it's considered valid as long as kept clearly printed as not being the 'final' opinion on the matter.

At least, that's the general idea. :P

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alterworldruler said:

Still, it's hilarious! Because wads which break rules should have been rejected BEFORE appearing on idgames... hurr.

While you're right, it's still a bit silly to expect Ty go through all of the newstuff uploads just in case there's copyrighted music in there. Although...in this case finding it out would have been simple, since all the songs were mentioned in Tribute's credit-file (not the readme, there was a separate file for credits).

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Where does the spidermastermind from Crimsom 2 comes from? It's a pity that the author didn't know that the ports he picked for his mod support png files and he didn't need to ruin the sprites so much.

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TheeXile said:

Well you could objectively state the opinions of the people who have played the map.


Opinions are subjective by their very nature. No amount of opinions will ever make it objective. Arguing otherwise will just make you look stupid.

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