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The /newstuff Chronicles #436

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  • Forseen Version 3 - Alex Williams
    Doom 2 - Vanilla - Solo Play - 36371 bytes - (img) (img)
    Reviewed by: MajorRawne
    This appears to be Alex Williams's first released wad, and to be succinct for a change, it's not brilliant. It's too cramped, too short, the monster deployment wasn't given a great deal of thought, and it is never a good idea for the author to give you the middle finger by making it hard to find the red key (it's in a hole by the rubble, you need to stand in the exact spot to be able to drop onto it).

    If this is the third version of this map, I'd hate to have played through versions one and two. There are a couple of nice touches, like the lighting effect in the first corridor and the fact the author went to minor trouble creating damage to the environment.

    Well, a Doomer making his first map is aiming to prove that he can create doors and things, so Forseen is a success in that regard, if not in any other. Hopefully Williams will now move on from Forseen and make a bigger level that isn't quite so cramped or linear, and doesn't make us run in circles yelling "Where's the frigging KEY!"

  • Theta labs - Revan114
    Doom 2 - ZDoom - Solo Play - 24994417 bytes - (img) (img) (img)
    Reviewed by: Creaphis
    From the text file:

    Single Player : Player starts only
    Cooperative 2-4 Player : No
    Deathmatch 2-4 Player : No

    I'm taking that as an obliquely self-deprecating statement, which is too bad because I think Revan114 may be misjudging the quality of his own work. There's actually a lot of things that this wad does right. The first room teaches the player that crouching is required (because you can't escape the room without it). You don't learn that from some annoying sidekick, you learn that from the level design. Five seconds later you catch a glimpse of a BFG behind bars, giving the player a goal to work towards. This is heady game design stuff here, people, and Revan114 gets it. What is that, two things? That's two things that this wad does right.

    Never mind the rest.

  • Foul Play - BloodyAcid
    Doom 2 - Boom Compatible - Deathmatch - 68742 bytes - (img) (img) (img)
    Reviewed by: Creaphis
    "Foul Play" is a solid, versatile deathmatch layout by BloodyAcid. Have a fast-paced free-for-all with four or more players, or a duel as slow and savoury as pot roast. The focus is mostly on super shotgun showdowns, but while you're dancing with your partner around these smooth arenas, watch your back for the rockets that are coming to gib both of you. This map is designed for oldschool play, so the flat sight lines are conducive to that sort of trollish rocket launching. There's also a BFG tucked away at the end of a long nukage tunnel, but anyone near enough to hear your grunts will know what you're up to.

  • La Tortura - The Hell King (Eduardo Vargas)
    Doom 2 - Limit Removing - Solo Play - 162788 bytes - (img) (img) (img)
    Reviewed by: Creaphis
    Shambling into the archives from the year 2006, it's "La Tortura" from The Hell King. There's an intriguing backstory in the readme, something I admit I have a soft spot for, but the map discredits it immediately with a UAC logo plastered in the starting room. Apparently the judgment of murderers' souls has been sub-contracted out to our favourite fictional corporation.

    Pretty much every texture in this level was placed with no thought to material consistency (e.g. "Is this wall made out of wood or marble?"), an acceptable stylistic choice if the textures still look good together, which is never the case here. Much of the second half of the map is unpleasantly dark, as if the map knows it's ugly and is trying to hide.

    It's playable, but only to a low and magnanimous standard. Health is tight to the point of criminal negligence. You can't count on anything more than a stimpack to prepare you for an arena full of zombie snipers or a cramped and unmaneuverable fight with multiple revenants.

    I like to extend armistice to wads by beginning mappers, or those with historical importance, but this one doesn't quite qualify for either protection.

  • Hell's Janitor - Canofbacon
    Doom 2 - ZDoom - Solo Play - 7120498 bytes - (img) (img) (img) (img)
    Reviewed by: BloodyAcid
    "I have always been a fan of DoomGuy2k's charactor Weightlifter12." and "I hope you don't mind DoomGuy2k."

    Canofbacon has graced us with this beautifully executed tribute towards an infamous modder, titled "Hell's Janitor", where the UAC has stooped so low as to coerce sanitary technicians into exploring the depths of hell for them. The two included maps are played alongside some of MJ's top hits, with their .ogg renditions occupying more than half of the intended download.

    The flat, bland and ultimately dull maps are tasteless in both and design and gameplay, and should be avoided at all costs. As the icing on the cake (refer to screen #4), "Weightlifter12", or the top half of a naked paletted man, chases you in a square room wanting to melee you to death.

    I want my bandwidth back.

  • El Castillo del Misterio (Mistery Castle) - Jack the Ripper
    Ultimate Doom - Vanilla - Solo Play - 23464 bytes - (img) (img)
    Reviewed by: MajorRawne
    There are two mysteries about this map. One, that the wad's timestamp is apparently 2002 (that info comes from some anonymous person in the archives), but it is hugely dated in style and gameplay. The second is how it managed to attain two star status in the archives. Fair enough, two stars isn't exactly a knighthood, but it's about one-point-nine more than the map deserves.

    It's a green marble castle which reminded me of both Unholy Cathedral (for its looks and somewhat bewildering layout) and Crossing Acheron. The latter is superior to Castillo in every way. Unholy Cathedral, for the aching boredom it always bestows upon this reviewer, is simply better executed.

    There are four areas: the starting courtyard, which looks promising but oh my, the rest of the map fails to deliver; a simple nukage maze with a blood floor that damages you in one unmarked section; the 'main' room, with several doors, one which uses an unnecessary red key to lead you into a death pit and another which leads to two Cyberdemons; and the exit area which requires the yellow key (obtained in the nukage maze) and offers the player a radiation suit WHICH WOULD HAVE COME IN HANDY FOR THE BLOODY NUKE MAZE. Better late than never I suppose.

    Playability is comparable to having chronic gut problems. If you are compelled to play every Doom wad in existence like the Angry Video Game Nerd collects NES cartridges, well, that's probably the only reason to play El Castillo del Bollocks.

  • Manga Skins - RV-007
    N/A - ZDoom Compatible - N/A - 16198088 bytes
    Reviewed by: Obsidian
    If you're experiencing a sense of Deja-vu upon reading this review, there's a very good reason for that: mangskin.zip is a replica of a file of the same name that The Green Herring reviewed roughly 9 months ago, which in turn is a copy of the wad that poor Herring reviewed 5 months before that. Read his first review if you want to know about the actual wad itself.

  • Awesome Panda DM - Awesome Panda
    Doom 2 - ZDoom Compatible - Deathmatch - 610803 bytes - (img) (img) (img) (img) (img) (img) (img) (img) (img) (img) (img) (img) (img)
    Reviewed by: Sicamore
    Usually when you open up new WADs today, you expect either two things: a great project, which stays faithful to Doom and persists to the Doom experience - or a WAD which is so basic and broken that you wish to god it never sees the light of day. Awesome Panda DM is not one of those works.

    Created by no one other than the Awesome Panda himself in late May of 2013, this WAD packs 13 maps of classic-inspired deathmatch material with a few modern twists. Being a ZDoom WAD, Awesome Panda DM features maps with such things as frictionless ice, flashing disco lights and cool architecture. You will play one map in a mini-mall, another in a Brit-10 style dome, and yet another in a winter hill scenario; each map has its own feel, style and flows extremely well.

    While playing through each map with three friends, the situations I encountered felt neither cramped nor too big, but just right for deathmatch, which shows that these 13 levels were carefully scaled to ensure a good playing experience. I also noticed some maps' strategic architectural design - in particular on map 01, where the author's careful attention to cover and pillar placement meant playing the WAD required you to take advantage of walls and devise a frag strategy. I used this to my advantage while handling the rocket launcher, as the window designs on the map were perfect for getting the right shot.

    Even though the maps vary in theme and design, each one is nevertheless very fitting and classic and doesn't fail the Doom test. Mapinfo adds some cool skies to some of the maps, and the music was surely selected to reflect the type of gameplay intended on each particular level. A slow, SNES MIDI for those large maps and metal for the fast paced - the perfect blend for a great night of deathmatch.

    To summarize, these maps really impressed me, and I hope to see more work from this author in the future. If you are looking for a decent, simple and not too heavily customized deathmatch WAD to kick off your evening, why not try Awesome Panda Doom - I guarantee you won't regret it.

    Since this WAD only works with newer revisions of ZDoom, an edit has been made so it works on ZDaemon. Pick it up here.

  • Ciudad Maldita (Cursed City) - Evil Ash
    Doom 2 - Limit Removing - Solo Play - 56465 bytes - (img) (img)
    Reviewed by: MajorRawne
    There's no easy way to say it: this map is a calamity. There are bad design choices and monster deployment that's so inept it should be punishable by wearing a hair shirt. So what have we got here? There are blank, undetailed rooms; doors you can't open; a switch that doesn't work; Cyberdemons miles up on a rooftop where you can't kill them; massive blocks of zombiemen who end up blowing each other away... and that's it, apart from some new music that failed to stop me from cursing the day I downloaded this.

    You could say it's an attempt to take on Doom 2's "Downtown", just as King Canute's wooden chair was an attempt to take on the ocean. Or you could simply heed the words of the map author who states in the text file that his own map "looks like shit". Little short of poetry.

    Doom/Doom 2 - ZDoom Compatible - N/A - 19519 bytes - (img) (img) (img)
    Reviewed by: Creaphis
    "AAAAAAHHH MY ARRRRRRRRRRMMMM" is a bizarre fist-based weapon from BloodyAcid, perhaps stemming from the same unmedicated creativity that brought us B.P.R.D's "HAND". You have to open the console, enter "take fist" and then "give dumbfist" for it to work. Then watch as your left arm slices itself into deadly shurikens of meat. It falls between the pistol and shotgun in attack strength and has a limited range, so you can't fault it on gameplay grounds. Therefore, you really have no choice but to set it to autoload in your .ini files and get used to a new normal.

  • Renderer Option Back In GZDoom - Doomguy 2000
    N/A - GZDoom - N/A - 1977 bytes
    Reviewed by: Creaphis
    Drop this wad in your GZDoom skins folder and you get the "Renderer:" option back in the video mode menu, letting you switch between software and OpenGL rendering on command. Otherwise, type "vid_renderer software/opengl" in the console for the same effect. You've already spent more time reading this review than this wad will ever save you, so download it quick.

  • Rock It! v2 - Mr. Chris
    Doom/Doom 2 - Vanilla - N/A - 388638 bytes
    Reviewed by: JudgeDeadd
    Rock It! v2 is a nice music WAD, replacing nearly all the tunes in Doom and Doom 2. The music consists of a variety of heavy rock and electronic melodies, which mostly fit well into Doom and even into the maps they've been picked for. There are some weaker specimens, like the E3M9 music which sounds more like a jolly sea shanty than something fit for Doom, but there are also some particularly good songs like the catchy E1M7 or the moody E3M1. The WAD is overall a fine choice if you're bored of the default tunes.

    It's a real pity, though, that Mr. Chris never bothered to name the songs he "found on the internet" and used in this WAD. I think the composers do deserve some credit! Besides, don't you hate it when there's a song that you love, but don't know anything about it save for "that one nameless song in that one part of a very obscure game mod"?

  • The Monster Hideout - Matthew
    Doom 2 - ZDoom Compatible - Solo Play - 71659 bytes - (img) (img) (img) (img) (img) (img) (img)
    Reviewed by: TheNooBringeR
    By looking at the author's name, you might think that this is a Terry wad because of the author's other files uploaded to /idgames, but it actually isn't; it is actually a pretty nice wad.

    It has slopes, so it only supports the ZDoom-based ports. The detail is also good, but here we go:

    You start in a small room with 2 dead marines facing you; behind them is a door which reveals another area, with shotgun guys and imps. I liked the nukage pool with MIDGRATE textures inside that area. There is also an secret room in this area which is the pillar with the marble face textures.

    The map was made in the UDMF format. I don't know why the author used the UDMF format when he could have used the Hexen format, which is in my opinion much easier to use.

    Overall, a pretty nice and fun wad.

  • Space: The Unknown - Canofbacon
    Doom 2 - ZDoom Compatible - Solo Play - 4209585 bytes - (img) (img)
    Reviewed by: BloodyAcid
    Space: The Unknown features one recurring theme: "bad". A uniformly bland space crater area leads to an equally bland and empty techbase with no challenge. The given weapons and ammunition are in much excess to the available monsters, and there's absolutely no reason why keyed doors would be required, considering the linear base operation. The majority of the file size is due to a music file (3MB).

  • 5 Song WAD 1 - Nabernizer
    Doom 2 - Vanilla - N/A - 4905 bytes
    Reviewed by: Megalyth
    The title sums up this WAD perfectly. It contains five midi replacements. I assume these were released for use in custom maps, although the text file doesn't give specific permissions.

    "Dam Top" is a pretty faithful midi recreation of the song from the Borderlands 2 soundtrack. It seems to loop well and would likely be fitting for use in a fast-paced map.

    "Inbound" is a slow-paced, melancholy song. It would work well in certain map settings, but I imagine the lead synth would become grating after a while.

    "SickOfGuitarsYet" is more driving and action-based. Not a bad song, but it's really short and it doesn't loop well.

    "Danger" is another guitar song with a driving beat and hard percussion. I kinda like this one, and it might work okay as map music, but it doesn't loop at all.

    "Percussion Build Up" sounds like it would make good intermission music. It's a good song on its own as well, with a progression that builds up nicely, as the title suggests.

    I can't really say much else, you'd have to listen for yourselves. Map authors may find a use for these as midi replacements in their maps, or perhaps you'd enjoy just listening to the songs on their own.

  • Seismic Lab - Fragmare (Ian McPherson)
    Doom 2 - Vanilla - Deathmatch - 227923 bytes - (img) (img)
    Reviewed by: BloodyAcid
    A refreshing deathmatch wad done in the style of Quake in tribute to Dwango5 MAP01. The layout flows seamlessly, and visuals are nice. Nothing is out of place, though I do feel that the BFG grab is a little too easy. Then again, it might be based off the ease of obtaining the original. Overall, it's a little small for deathmatch with more than four players, but I definitely recommend checking this one out.

  • Repercussions of Evil: The Game - Jacek
    Doom 2 - ZDoom Compatible - Solo Play - 1235503 bytes - (img) (img) (img) (img) (img) (img)
    Reviewed by: Obsidian
    If the name Repercussions of Evil doesn't spark something in your brain, you're not going to have a clue in Hell what this is, so I'll tell you: Repercussions of Evil is a hilariously bad fanfiction written by our very own Hyena of Doomworld. The idea of turning it into a wad isn't by any means a new one, so how does this particular piece of work shape up?

    Funnily enough, it does rather well. Take a look at the first screenshot: it's obviously a TITLEPIC (and a rather crap one at that), but coupled with the music it comes off as somewhat cute. This style doesn't stop there either: all of the graphics you see in the wad are drawn by hand, including the enemies (the monster in the second shot is a Demon, honest). To some people it may come across as deliberately shoddy, but when you look at the story it's based on you can't help but laugh at the lunacy. The wad certainly sticks to the storyline, you can't deny that. :P It's a fairly short wad due to the nature of the story, but it does its job well and I can't begrudge it that.

    Is it worth playing? If you like jokewads, sure: it's a pretty decent piece of work despite its appearance, and it's liable to get a chuckle out of you if you enjoyed the original story. Good stuff.

  • Knee-Deep in ZDoom - KDIZD Team
    Ultimate Doom - ZDoom - Solo Play - 24188427 bytes
    Reviewed by: Obsidian
    This is an update to Knee-Deep in ZDoom that fixes some of the DECORATE errors in the previous version. Click here to read Deathz0r's original ragequit review. :P

  • Lock N' Load 2 - Canofbacon
    Doom 2 - ZDoom - Solo Play - 1910000 bytes - (img) (img) (img) (img)
    Reviewed by: BloodyAcid
    As the sequel to the critically aclaimed original Lock N'Load, this mod takes the name, dignity, pride and whatever else Canofbacon could be working towards, and smashes it into countless pieces.

    Some ugly fullbright level looks disgusting, and plays even worse. Some random and useless blocking linedefs here, pointless jumping/crouching section here, topped off with inconsistent R667 repo sprinkles, was zipped and uploaded to the archive. This painful process across the 2 days (mind you that's more than 20x the time spent on the prequel) needed to make it ends up equally, if not much worse, than the original. I pray to the Doom gods that there will not be a sequel.

  • bee hive 3D - chesse20
    Ultimate Doom - Skulltag / Zandronum - Solo Play - 178740 bytes - (img)
    Reviewed by: BloodyAcid
    You invade some startan beehive and attempt to slaughter 1500 bees with an SSG to "drink their honey." Funny for a few minor laughs, but then spirals into a boring slugfest of you taping down your primary fire key and going for a coffee.

  • Satan's Backyard - Matthew
    Doom 2 - Skulltag / Zandronum - Solo Play - 46074 bytes - (img)
    Reviewed by: BloodyAcid
    A large techbase arena featuring a small maze section. Lower tiered monsters can snipe the player from across the map, but generally poses no problem. Then you slog through a cyberdemon battle by stabbing it with some shotgun shells. Looks all right, but gameplay suffers from lack of difficulty.

    Requires Skulltag textures because it uses "stsky".

Let me guess; one of those reviewers doesn't know how to properly appreciate a WAD that you liked this week. Want to do something about it? Instead of complaining in the comment thread like you always do, perhaps you can make a difference and write some better reviews than those idiots up there. The /newstuff Review Center is the place to do so. Put that Doomworld Forums account to constructive use, because you need one to submit reviews.

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Cool reviews. And with this issue all of the clogged up written reviews have been flushed out.

Thanks for the reviews of my wads, Creaphis.

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BloodyAcid said:

And with this issue all of the clogged up written reviews have been flushed out.

Yes, but there have been nearly zero new reviews submitted for about a week.

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Bloodshedder said:

  • Renderer Option Back In GZDoom - Doomguy 2000
    N/A - GZDoom - N/A - 1977 bytes
    Reviewed by: Creaphis
    Drop this wad in your GZDoom skins folder and you get the "Renderer:" option back in the video mode menu, letting you switch between software and OpenGL rendering on command. Otherwise, type "vid_renderer software/opengl" in the console for the same effect. You've already spent more time reading this review than this wad will ever save you, so download it quick.

  • Something that should be noted about it: this will not have any immediate effect. You need to quit and restart for GZDoom to effectively switch renderers.

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    Well with maps entitled UAC Military Nightmare 2, Half-Assed and Attack on Super Pizza World, it doesn't take Mulder and Scully to work out why. EDIT: That was a reply to Bloodshedder.

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    Gez said:

    Something that should be noted about it: this will not have any immediate effect.

    Good point. I didn't mean to imply that.

    Bloodshedder said:

    Yes, but there have been nearly zero new reviews submitted for about a week.

    Perhaps I rode off into the sunset a little bit too soon. Hang in there, I'll be back when I feel like it.

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    Single Player : Player starts only
    Cooperative 2-4 Player : No
    Deathmatch 2-4 Player : No

    That's hilarious, I wish I'd thought of it!

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    Strangely, the first version of thetalab.txt (which is still hosted on the Doomworld frontend) has "No" written after all three play categories. "Player starts only" is actually a correction.

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    Creaphis said:

    Strangely, the first version of thetalab.txt (which is still hosted on the Doomworld frontend) has "No" written after all three play categories. "Player starts only" is actually a correction.

    Reminds me of the X-COM: Terror From the Deep patches, which made the most minor fixes possible but created brand new problems.

    I'd love to write more reviews but prefer playing shitty maps that even the authors hate. Maybe in future I'll find the time to review long wads and megawads as these are always the ones that get stuck in the archives.

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