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The /newstuff Chronicles #439

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  • That Amazing Space Amazon - Richard Smith Long
    Doom/Doom 2 - GZDoom - Solo Play - 12027445 bytes
    Reviewed by: Squadallah
    This is a gameplay mod realized by Richard Smith Long, and I must say that when he says "That Amazing Space Amazon" he's not kidding.

    I tested up the mod through Ultimate Doom, Doom 2 and a megawad I'm preparing. I must say that I have been really impressed. It has all that I like in Brutal Doom without the stuff that fucking annoys me and made me stop playing it. No rant here, it's just not my cup of tea... OK, maybe slightly ranting. :P

    So what's new with this?

    1: The weapons.

    The arsenal here is pretty interesting and totally changes your way of playing the game. While being smaller than Brutal Doom, its secondary fire system gives it a depth that makes it pretty interesting to play.

    For example, now the chaingun is coupled with a rocket-launcher, the plasma rifle also acts like a BFG 9000, etc. But some also provide new things, like the shotgun where you can fire two or even three shells at the same time after loading them.

    The pistol is replaced by a semi-auto assault rifle that also launches an acid gas cloud. The chainsaw has been replaced by a taser that stuns enemies. It may sound lame, but its secondary fire is really badass: it launches an electric ball that explodes throwing streams of electricity everywhere, literally exploding anything passing around. Including you. So use it with extreme caution.

    All in all, the whole thing seemed pretty well-balanced, and those additions to the "normal arsenal" are all useful and give some new dimension to the gameplay. That might be a bit tough to get used to in first few minutes, but it's really worth the time spent figuring out how all this works.

    Regarding weapons graphics: it's decent without being fantastic. Understand there that it's a step below Brutal Doom in this aspect.

    2: The enemies.

    First, new death animations that are pretty nice looking.
    Revenant now fires two homing missiles; on the other hand, they're easier to dodge.
    Cyberdemon fires now kind of homing grenades, rather easy to dodge.

    3: The hud.

    The hud is fully customized and looks nice without looking über-awesome either. A working radar is included, and it is placed a way that will not bother you in your shooting frenzy.

    4: The sounds.

    Nothing to add there, sounds are great and fit everything.

    That was the "pros" part; now on to the cons!

    - Sergeants don't drop shotguns anymore, and it can make some custom maps a bit tricky to do with a pistol start, even though the initial weapon is absolutely enough firepower by itself; you might end up lacking ammo, etc. if there are no clips or bullet boxes around. I think this should be reverted to normal.

    - Spider mastermind shooting looks bland. He really looks like "oh yeah, another day of shooting *boom boom boom*". Damn, put some heart in obliterating marines!

    - Wads with other amazon classes don't work. Seems like he messed up on some detail that should be repairable in a second... I guess, I didn't take the time to try.

    All in all, a mod I definitely recommend to anyone wanting fast-paced action and some fresh air in their gameplay, or simply someone (like me) who would certainly hang on a version of Brutal Doom without all its "overdone cheesy z-movie slaughter" parts. (I love cheesy z-movies though. Go figure.) And well, playing a woman in Doom is something I give kudos to; it's too rare, and our amazing space amazon is surely as bad-ass as her masculine colleague.

  • Vanilla Sky - DooMknight
    Doom 2 - ZDoom Compatible - Solo Play - 2753478 bytes - (img) (img) (img) (img)
    Reviewed by: schwerpunk
    Our story begins in Downtown, Earth - Doomguy's corner apartment. He's clearly made the best of things, even if his taste in art edges on the macabre. But what can one expect from a guy who sleeps with a pistol and keeps a loaded shotgun by his front door? Doomguy enters the apartment hallway with a sigh, almost ready to greet another day--

    "What the eff," Doomguy exclaims. "Demons from Hell, and they're knocking over all our art!"

    The demons hiss back at our hero, but Doomguy isn't interested in debate with art haters. He backpedals into his apartment to grab his shotgun along with a couple of shells. He makes a quick detour to the washroom (to pick up some green armour), takes one last look at his impressive gaming rig, then reenters the hallway, shotgun belching hot justice, turning the art haters into Pollock impressions.

    Welcome to Vanilla Sky, by Spanish mapper DooMKnight. This one-level wad is all about survival and escape. It's long and it's hard, and occasionally frustrating, but it is also rewarding and fair. Once the player has exited his apartment complex and hit the ruined streets, the city's immediate impressions may leave some Doomers overwhelmed, particularly by the abundance of hitscanners in open areas. But like all cities, there are niches of comfort if one seeks them out. Little goodies are sprinkled in alleyways and on doorsteps, and the player is rarely without adequate protection or munitions, although they may feel starved of them at times, as this city rarely allows one to fill up completely on either.

    To wit, weapons are introduced at a reasonable pace and with some fanfare, usually followed by a big brawl where the player is given the opportunity to feel powerful. As for ammunition, rockets are placed near waves of spawning imps and Hell Knights, the Chainsaw and Berserk Pack are made available in tight corridors followed by Pinkies and later Spectres, and bullets for the Chaingun are situated near the usual array of hitscanners. A design choice that may divide some is the hiding of two key weapons in secret areas, or off the beaten path. The Super Shotgun and BFG are prone to being missed completely, unless one takes the time to explore the edges of the world.

    As befits a large map, engagements and settings are fairly diverse, ranging from small, slaughter-esque fights in latticed streets; battles across large gaps, and varying heights; melees through dark tunnels with sneaky Spectres; and arena-like gauntlets where the player must survive waves of spawning enemies in order to proceed. More skilled players may become bored of the mono-directional nature of most of these, as the player is rarely beset from more than one or two angles. The playable areas are very orthogonally designed, though this is somewhat alleviated by the excellent and varied use of textures and detailing.

    This reviewer's biggest complaints against Vanilla Sky are, 1) the repetitive music, 2) the messy automap, with zero attempt made to hide a single linedef, and 3) the very sudden spike in difficulty about thirty minutes into the map. Pairs of Archviles are introduced with mixed waves of higher and lower-tier enemies without much warning. This jars with the somewhat leisurely pace of the earlier sections. Furthermore, the finale of the level introduces pairs of Cyberdemons, Spider Masterminds, and slews of Mancubuses, all without any warning, or 'training period.' The finale is a slaughtermap section without question, and will leave some frustrated.

    This may be a mad stroke of genius by DeathKnight, as Vanilla Sky eases us into greater and greater difficulty, increasing our confidence with every bested baddie, before finally pulling the rug from under our feet and reminding us: This is Doom.

  • Half-Assed - AlektorophobiA
    Doom 2 - Vanilla - Solo Play - 98727 bytes - (img) (img)
    Reviewed by: Alwaysdoomed
    Despite the name being called halfassd, this wad actually has better quality than a vanilla Doom map. The map itself is of the hell/techbase theme and is done pretty well, considering the detail is just a little above vanilla Doom maps in some areas. The author should have really named the wad differently, because I can see many people judging it before even playing it.


    This map ranges from medium difficulty to hard. Ammo is a little tight, but then again there are plenty of spots where you can use infighting to conserve ammo, so in the end I think the map is perfectly balanced when infighting is used. Health is a little low, so one must play smart and dodge like crazy to survive. I would say every two monster encounters reward the player with around 20-40 extra health.

    Overall, the difficulty is challenging yet fun at the same time.


    This map actually looks pretty cool and like I said before, this map is a combination of hell and techbase. The map itself flows pretty nicely and has some nice architecture and outdoor areas. The rooms in this map are pretty interesting and look and feel different. The map looks like a techbase that is half way corrupted by hell, kind of like episode 2 of Ultimate Doom. Overall, I would say the map looks pretty nice and the rooms don't look the same or get boring.

    In summary, the map is pretty balanced and looks nice. It could use a little more health and perhaps bullets and a backpack.

  • Dark Passage - Chris Pisarczyk, Jeff Shark, Callum Oliver
    Ultimate Doom - Vanilla - Solo Play - 117240 bytes - (img) (img) (img) (img) (img) (img) (img) (img) (img) (img)
    Reviewed by: ReX
    This is single map replacement for E2M7 of the Ultimate Doom. (Note that the text file incorrectly indicates that this is for E2M6.) It was originally intended to fill the E2M7 slot in the well-known Doom the Way id Did (aka DTWID) mod. However, it was deemed too big for an Episode 2 replacement, and had to be released separately. I tested the map with vanilla (Chocolate) Doom and GZDoom, and it ran flawlessly in both instances.

    The map is sprawling and branches off in different directions, occasionally reconnecting in places. This may create disorientation the first time this map is played, but it also lends a replayability value. In keeping with being vanilla Doom-compatible (and the DTWID theme), the architecture and detailing are somewhat plain. Still, together with the texturing, the map has a decent visual appeal. Gameplay mostly delivers, and the opposition ranges from cannon-fodder to all the tougher enemies one associates with Episode 2.

    The map design relies on the standard objectives of finding all three keys to reach the exit. Note, that there is more than one door in different parts of the map that requires the same key. For example, the yellow key may be used to open two different doors, and the area behind each door eventually meets the other. This allows for exploration and offers path options; undoubtedly, it will add replayability value to the map.

    Progress, at first, appears chaotic; various path options present themselves, and I found myself stumbling around as I sought to get my bearings. Heeding the advice in the text file, I periodically referred to my auto-map. Gradually, the intended progression began to emerge, and I began to get more comfortable. Some areas open up after completing an objective, or teleporters become accessible, preventing unnecessary back-tracking. The utter non-linearity of this map begs for it to be played again (which I may do, if time permits).

    There is a variety of texture themes employed in this map, ranging from tech to wood to stone. This is in keeping with Episode 2 texturing; within this context the texture variety is not by itself a bad thing. However, it's possible that it has been carried a bit too far in this map. There are some instances of texture misalignment, but again, this is consistent with the texturing in the original Episode 2. Mostly, however, one has to be paying attention to this aspect of the game in order to notice.

    The architecture and detailing are adequate in some places and bare in others. This gives the map a slightly discordant feel at times, particularly when transitioning from a visually-appealing section to one that is plain-looking. (Most notably, the ceilings in many areas are utterly devoid of decoration.) On the positive side, this allows the map to be played with vanilla Doom. Height variations are used quite well, as are indoor and outdoor areas. Lighting is nicely done, with some dramatic instances of blinking lights. In general, the architecture does not impede smooth movement, and I was rarely getting snagged by supports and corners as I dodged enemy attacks.

    The map starts with moderate resistance, but very quickly ramps up quite steeply. There is the usual assortments of Episode 2 denizens, beginning with the human and imp variety, and graduating through demons, lost souls, and cacodemons to barons. The barons, in particular, are encountered in close quarters - making them particularly dangerous. After having being spoiled by the super-shotgun in Doom 2, I found it somewhat tedious to pop away at advancing barons with just a shotgun. But, for the most part, it was not a frustrating experience.

    In general, there is plenty of ammo and armor, and a fair amount of health. After the yellow key ammo gets scarce for a while, but finding the berserk helps greatly. After picking up the red key there are hordes of enemies, but virtually no ammo, and a berserk pack only goes so far against barons and cacos. This would be a good time to pull out the rocket launcher and use those rockets you've been saving for a special occasion. The traps are nicely done, mostly via teleporting enemies or swiftly opening doors. The teleporting enemies have been well-implemented, offering more than one fight in areas the player must repeatedly visit.

    There are several secrets to hunt down, some of them being easier to find than others. I liked how some secret areas were visible, the trick being to discover how to access them. My general rule of thumb is to find as many secrets as I can, but refrain from using the powerups or items in them if possible. The single backpack in the map is found in a secret area. I question this choice, as the size of the map and the stiffness of the resistance demands the ability to carry more ammo. In the absence of the backpack, the player would need to periodically back track to hunt down ammo caches previously left behind.

    There are a few minor issues to point out. First, there is an inescapable nukage pit surrounding the Soulsphere behind the yellow key door. Don't make the mistake of jumping down in the hope of finding a secret. Second, it is not possible to get 100% kills - there are three monsters in a trap area with only two single-teleport lines. This means that only two out of the three enemies will make it into the player's game space, and one will forever tread the lonely wastes. Third, and this is a very minor nit-pick, the BFG is in an area that ought to have been marked as a secret. (By the way, I consider the BFG to be entirely gratuitous, as the resistance does not warrant such a powerful weapon.)

    In summary, this is a large, non-linear map that requires periodic back-tracking. Despite these points, however, the map offers surprisingly continuous opportunities for combat. The fights are sometimes difficult, but generally quite fair, and you are provided with adequate weaponry for the tasks at hand. Recommended, not least for its replayability.

  • Favillesco - Episode 1: Genuflected on Io V1.2 - Nicolas Monti
    Ultimate Doom - Vanilla - Solo Play - 604119 bytes - (img) (img) (img) (img)
    Reviewed by: Jayextee
    The beauty of Doom's introductory episode is that, over the years, players have attached their own meanings to it. For Nicolas Monti, episode 1 means "getting lost".

    In a nutshell, that's what you're going to do. If you're the kind of player who hates bringing up the automap more than they hate trapping their genitals when sitting, then your anger-button may be poked repeatedly on this one. But it's not all bad; Monti presents a good-looking collection of levels that share the aesthetic of Knee Deep in the Dead, but adds a more contemporary (though vanilla-friendly) level of detail. They're darker than the original episode, too - in a way that complements the challenge rather than frustrates.

    Of course, his own schtick means that there's more time spent wandering the levels than usual so there's time to admire some of the little details he puts in; and visible-from-afar secrets, usually outdoor areas, paying much lip-service to Romero's hallowed design rules. Any more tongue, and we're going to have to give it an adult rating, though.

    Amid the varying levels of homage, there's some standout moments though. E1M9 - Monitoring Terminal is a fun run-around some occasionally-evil ambushes with a polarizing platform section thrown in for spice; E1M4 - Waste Treatment is a fast-paced barrel blast in semi-labyrinthine tunnels and walkways. There are some questionable moments, of course (E1M7 - Hardware has a denouement that could've been rethought a dozen times and E1M8 - Io Anomaly has an awkward beginning) but overall it's fun enough. Just not really innovative, as per the E1 tributes we see over and over again.

    It's not overtly challenging or doing anything new, but what it does is to feel good, and nostalgic, whilst not being so heavy on homage as to render itself worthless. But you know, I kinda liked it.

  • shrek vs doomguy: a battle of orge proportions - chesse20
    Doom 2 - ZDoom Compatible - Solo Play - 821337 bytes - (img) (img)
    Reviewed by: BloodyAcid
    Avoid. Oh, the screenshots weren't enough to warn you?

    You run and fight and try not to get cornered. When you emerge a champion, you realize that the five minutes devoted to playing this wad could have been better used elsewhere.

  • fubpack - fub
    Doom 2 - Limit Removing - Deathmatch - 107700 bytes - (img) (img) (img) (img) (img) (img)
    Reviewed by: Clonehunter
    Like deathmatch? You do? Really? Hey, me too! Looking for some new maps? Hey, maybe you'll get a kick out of these. fub's "fubpack" is a wad that contains three deathmatch levels for Doom II. They're not massive in scale, and I'd suggest anywhere from four to five players (Though the author suggests four to eight). They're fairly "medium" in size, but things don't ever seem that cramped. There are some tighter areas, but there's also wider and more open areas useful for dueling, even if these areas lack almost any cover whatsoever. Aesthetically, the first two are actually quite nice to look at. They function properly, and there's a quite a few nice details like a rather well executed (Non Functioning) conveyor belt, some interesting looking machines, and a good use of elevation. There's only a few unaligned textures, but it's nothing to really fret about, as it's courageous I think for someone to use wadauthor during the day and age of Doom Builder 2. So, detail and design wise, and just the overall construction, looks good. They're just very nice to look at... Then we have the third level. The third DM level here is without a doubt the weakest level. It appears to take place in a big cave, and atmosphere wise, it's decent. The map itself is on a big uprising or platform in the middle of a lake of lava. And that's about it. Down below there's some platforms that look decent and some small details bring it about, but the rest of the map otherwise is also fairly boring. Also, the exit door can't be reached, as far as I know, without jumping across the lake to avoid damage, otherwise you'll die before you make it.

    Gameplay wise, this may be a little weak also. As nice as the levels are, they are very Point A and Point B. Players will undoubtedly start at one end of the map and the other and meet each other dead in the center somewhere. Coupled with the frustrating dead ends and the inability to properly flank, play can get a little tedious, especially with large groups that will just create a cluster-fuck in the center of the map. The second level is probably the worst in this regard, whereas the first level at least has some extra floors in order to gain an elevation advantage and if done properly, flank. The third level, being just a platform, seems best suited for dueling, if anything. Secondly, consistency. Especially regarding the exits. If you're going to use exits in a DM map (Which I suggest one should), make sure they're accessible and identifiable. The first map is okay with this. It's easy to spot, it's clearly marked exit, and it's accessible, though out of the way enough so no one will end up flying to it by mistake. The second level has an exit right in the thick of things, and it's unmarked. Don't rely just on the door to let people know it's an exit. On the first playthrough it I flew into it and activated it, expecting to open a door or something. Instead it resulted in angry insults and bashing as the level quit. The third level suffers from inaccessibility due to the lava lake.

    So, all in all, the levels do look decent, and fub has some great construction skills for making a level have this air around it that makes one want to explore it and see what other details and neat touches were crammed into it. I just suggest some of the gameplay mechanics could be worked on, unless this was really meant for small parties and dueling, i which it's fairs fine with.

  • 900 Deep in the Dead - Jay 'Jayextee' Townsend
    Ultimate Doom - Vanilla - Solo Play - 92069 bytes - (img) (img) (img)
    Reviewed by: cannonball
    This is a KDITD replacement which embraces the 100 lines project which was first brought up by Adam Windsor. The wad itself here contains 9 maps which all consist of 100 lines or less.

    Visually it's nothing special, but that is of no surprise given the linedef constraints, so for those wanting computer panels embedded in every wall, prepare to be disappointed. Though, personally, I have no issue with this.

    Most of the levels actually get quite a lot of gameplay out of the 100 lines, which at times can be pretty violent. The map which gave me most trouble was E1M5 with its yellow key reveal, which was rather nasty. This is very nice to see.

    There are some issues; first off, there is some 64 unit wide corridor shooting which doesn't really work. There are also a lot of tropes which get used repeatedly, like the two-layer design of E1M3, which is almost repeated in the same way on the following map, and the lifts which have more than two destinations. Maybe there could have been a little more variety, but it's just a nitpick.

    There are some interesting concepts in this map set and some excellent design choices given the linedef constraints; coupled with pretty violent but fairly easy gameplay, this is well worth a play if you want to burn 30 minutes with some KDITD-style shooting in some short, fast paced levels.

    Also, the boss map was actually pretty good.

  • Slaughterfest 2012 - Various
    Doom 2 - Limit Removing - SP/Co-op - 13424019 bytes - (img) (img) (img) (img) (img)
    Reviewed by: 40oz
    If you haven't played Slaughterfest 2012 yet, it's probably for a good reason. Atmosphere, impressive visuals, and beautifully consistent level design is your forte, and being stacked against endless hordes of monsters with thousands of revenant missiles orbiting around you, being quadruple-barbecued by squads of archviles, and stomping waves and waves of Hell Knights and Cyberdemons as if they are your new imps is not. -- Fair enough.

    But, for those of you that are, this is your playground.

    Slaughterfest 2012 is the second installment of a community project series of megawads pitched by General Rainbow Bacon, and spawned from the various evil masterminds lurking around the shadows of Doomworld with a sinister, bloodthirsted intent to exhaust any and all of their resources to decimate every bit of muscle tissue of that god-damned doomguy into scattered bits of flaming debris. Skilled level designers and major Doom veterans with an exponentially larger body count than your average space marine make their mark here, such as TimeOfDeath, dannebubinga, Kyka, Ribbiks, Phml, ArmouredBlood, etc., as well as mappers who have not made any major releases (that I know of,) before this. Mappers such as cannonball, Rayzik, Archi, Bloodlite Krypto, Death Egg, Elmle, etc. and many others who are surely proving themselves as they bless us with their growing number of vigorously entertaining Doom maps.

    Despite the opening level being much softer than the start of last year's Slaughterfest megawad, each level is a unique and well-structured death factory with hideous traps designed to exhaust the skills (or the patience) of the strongest Doom Marines. Very few of the levels are genuinely lacking in any degree of excitement, and the level of difficulty remains pretty consistently intimidating throughout. Almost all of the levels require the player to be well-fed with the knowledge of how to maximize the damage dealt by his/her weapons, incite massive civil war between the demons, and be blessed with the gift of amazing situational awareness to complete.

    How you choose to play these levels is up to you, as doing a complete level playthrough without dying in many of these maps is about as difficult as catching a fastball pitch with your bare foot if you haven't crushed through Hell Revealed 2 lately. I've heard some people choose to complete these levels by abusing Doom's save and load feature to break down every map into slightly smaller loads at a time without losing too much progress. In fact, if you'd ask me, playing through it with IDDQD and IDKFA on is perfectly acceptable at these standards, although the genius behind the designs of these behemoths may be difficult to observe on such conditions.

    As heavy metal is to the unseasoned listener, a bunch of noise, unintelligible screaming and banging on drums, it's easy to dismiss slaughterfest as a bunch of hopelessly terrible abominations with giant masses of monsters and infinite ammunition and BFG spamming. While some maps have jawdroppingly large monster populations, most of them do a better job at making you feel like you are fighting a lot more monsters than you actually are. If you have it in you to look past the stereotypes, drink a red bull, blast some music, and give each map your all, you'll see, without a reasonable doubt, that the foundation of each map has an amazingly well crafted design, supported by the teams' extensive playtesting, and extraordinary reception to feedback. Each level focuses on the behavior of monsters, how they interact with each other, and how the designer expects the player to evaluate his/her choices. This kind of design far exceeds the level of understanding of Doom required to create your traditional Doom level, and is a totally different scope of underrated and seemingly diminishing talent in most other level designers' wads.

    The series is growing with Slaughterfest 2013 nearing its peak, and the possibility of Slaughterfest 2014 creeping around the corner. This wad is definitely well worth the download. Even if not to embrace the unbelievably deadly scenarios formulated out of Doom's primitive monster AI, but even to just study the design of these maps in an editor to acknowledge the kind of strength and crowd control the Doom guy is capable of harnessing, and the imaginative science of pitting the player in terribly horrifying traps with only the slightest ray of opportunity.

    Or even if you're like me and play these catastrophic space marine night terrors just to laugh at the horrible screams and incomprehensible pain your poor Doom guy has to endure. I swear you'll never see your screen get as red as it does in this wad.

    Check it out.

  • FDC # 10 - Plut
    Doom 2 - Boom Compatible - Solo Play - 1120370 bytes - (img) (img) (img)
    Reviewed by: Jayextee
    Apparently intended for the First-Try Demo Contest, expect some surprises from this wad. First of which is the fact that it's apparently Christmas-themed, but that doesn't really go further than a snowy main area, some music that wouldn't sound out of place in Lemmings, and Revenants wearing little Santa Claus hats. D'awwwww.

    In fact, there are a slew of graphics accompanying this wad, and handful of familiar textures, some of other origin. There's no denying, it looks pretty - without being stupidly-soaked in sector soup. But then, there's a whole slew of recoloured sprites, including anemic Barons and Mancubus minstrels with alarming red lipstick. Bizarre.

    Starting up this map, it looks like you're trapped, but that's just an illusion. The bars in front of you are wide enough to squeeze through, and thankfully that's only once - but not the only annoying thing this map has to offer, unfortunately.

    The progression is solid enough: a linear enough run to grab three keys with a main snowy courtyard area that regenerates with enemies (including at one point, a Cyberdemon whose existence is telegraphed via the mighty roar heard with your first shot). Some encounters are straightforward, some are designed to surprise; no spoilers here, though.

    It's a solid enough wad, but there are niggling problems. Some combat is cramped, but manageable. After the three keys, there's a really fiddly walk along a narrow seam (crossing those bars at the start) to get a tucked-away switch that opens a door at the beginning of said section. It's not ideal, but it serves as something of a calm before the storm of the final encounter.

    On the plus side, ammo balance is tight enough on skill 4 to enforce some considered and restrained play amid the chaos - including some smart infighting potential.

    In conclusion, it's fun-but-flawed and probably a great way to kill time at Christmas or something.

  • Stack Domination - BloodyAcid
    Doom 2 - Boom Compatible - Solo Play - 538663 bytes - (img) (img) (img) (img)
    Reviewed by: Jayextee
    For Doomers who like a bit of a fun challenge.

    This single map sets you in the middle of a mild fray of imps with hitscanners for flavour, your first shot sparking the all-too-familiar Cyberdemon roar signaling an expected fan and fecal impact. How exactly this is going to happen is a thing to keep close to the chest in the early parts of this map, a seemingly no-frills key-chase that feels ultimately like a huge calm before what can only be a disappointing few droplets, pathetically labeled 'diet storm' for your inconvenience.

    The no-frills approach of this wad means that it's no great shakes visually, being a very familiar 'subterranean techbase/ruins' - but anything too ambitious may detract from the crux of the level, which is the crescendo of difficulty it offers.

    An expected ambush after collecting the first, red, key should have played a foreboding note, but alas, I was expecting Business As Usual(tm) with the rest. Blue key ramps the encounters up to insane, culminating in a quartet of Archviles playing their necromantic symphony in an area that already delivered a few dirty blows to my ammo reserves, and the yellow key area hits the high notes with aplomb, the crescendo starting to peak as the Cyberdemon orchestra finally shows and things start to get a kind of slaughter-ish hectic. You're given a BFG, but you'll need it. And then some.

    Ultimately, this was a very fun map. I don't prefer longer maps (the text file estimates this at ~35 minutes, I took 45) but every now and then, they're a welcome change in pace. And pace is something this one has done excellently, from reasonably-quiet beginnings, through a middle section with an ammo balance tighter than Miley Cyrus' favourite twerking shorts, to a hectic run for the three-keys exit area.

    Add in a few sneaky surprises, and we've got a fun little adagio of carnage here. Although (and to end on a musical note, if you'll forgive the pun) I really hope you like hearing The Healer Stalks' sneaky samba groove over and over as much as I did.

  • Monster House - Canofbacon
    Doom 2 - ZDoom Compatible - Solo Play - 4522493 bytes - (img) (img) (img) (img)
    Reviewed by: Jayextee
    This smells so much like "baby's first wad" it's unreal, but I gather this is not the case. It actually feels like a baby itself; worse, it feels like Wolfenstein's flat maps had an illegitimate lovechild with "my house" wads, its hideous offspring vomited, and then a fly landed in the vomit and laid its eggs and this wad is the maggots.

    It's apparently an escape from a house, but I don't know of many one-floor houses that have teleporters to death-rooms masquerading as not-so-secret BFG caches. It's strange that the map should play such a trick, because the weapon is given away for-real only about a minute later, in a "girl's" bedroom -- this "house" offering a "boy" variant and even a row of nigh-on a dozen toilets. Honestly, who lives in such dwellings?

    After the duo of bedrooms, there's a double-Cyberdemon fight in the garden, a red key, and exit. It's over, and I'm pretty glad of it.

    The level's one saving grace is a chiptune by YouTube user Yuzoboy, using Sega Genesis/Megadrive synths. But it accounts for the lion's share of this wad's size and ultimately adds very nothing to a wad whose epitaph should be "why bother?"

  • North By Doom 2 - H_C
    Doom 2 - Limit Removing - Solo Play - 136646 bytes - (img) (img) (img) (img)
    Reviewed by: Jayextee
    "Let's stick all the levels into one map!" is probably almost as old as Doom editing itself. This wad's schtick is to constantly have the player travel north as they progress through bite-sized recognisable-but-recreated (instead of idly copy-pasted) chunks of Doom 2's environments - if Doom 2 were comprised of occasionally-cramped, regularly-symmetrical areas.

    And this wad does exactly that. There are no real surprises here, just a large tray of finger-food déjà vu for snacking on - a twenty minute long clip show of Doom 2's highlights. Or lowlights, if you wish.

    Traveling exclusively north means that there is almost-no backtracking, and the experience is super-linear. Early on, there is such a lack of health that the challenge factor is initially amplified past that of its obvious inspiration, but this difficulty curve seems to work in reverse - later 'levels' are done in a breeze, or can be flat-out ran through with only the bare acknowledgement or recognition of their source material.

    It's a curio, nothing more. For those who wish to experience a unidirectional, abridged version of Doom 2 it delivers precisely that, and no more. For everything else, maybe something fresher instead.

  • STARK - DooMWaR
    Doom 2 - Vanilla - Deathmatch - 184772 bytes - (img) (img)
    Reviewed by: BloodyAcid
    A "hockey arena" that "works" for deathmatch rounds. It's "alot of fun" with "diverse" styles and an "interesting" layout. The replaced sounds blend "nicely" with the original sounds, are clearly "original", and are credited appropriately.

    Or you get this map that consists of 4 long hallways, a boxy central arena with uncredited sounds/music and some randomly filtered sprites.

  • YARD - DooMWaR
    Doom 2 - Vanilla - SP/DM - 58437 bytes - (img) (img)
    Reviewed by: BloodyAcid
    So apparently it's a house.

    I don't see either single player or deathmatch working here. Branched off rooms snag players and hinder mobility, while open fields with hordes of monsters just isn't fun. Combined with DooMWar's adherence to the motif "the sky's the limit", at exactly 128px with a mild dosage of illogical sound replacements for the rocket launcher/plasma gun and you have yourself yard.wad.

  • Retter - DooMWaR
    Doom 2 - Vanilla - Deathmatch - 32825 bytes - (img) (img) (img)
    Reviewed by: BloodyAcid
    Some bland, boring "deathmatch" level filled with tight corridors and dead ends. The music sounds awfully familiar too, but I can't quite put my finger on it, and there aren't any credits for it either.

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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Props to all logged in DooMWaRs.

On that note, who exactly is DooMWaR? I don't recall a Doomworld account by that name. :/ That Favillesco wad sounds up my alley, I might download it.

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Really enjoying these reviews by Jayextee. Fun to read, but also go into quite a bit of detail with the wads themselves. Honorable mention to BloodyAcid for the short, warning-like reviews.

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Aw 40oz, why'd you have to go and give SF2012 a positive review? Now there's no drama for us slaughter people to whine about! jk thanks for the review

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Thanks Jayextee for the awesome review! Glad you enjoyed it, and please look forward to more.

I love closing off every issue :)

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I would like to thank Squadallah for the complete review of my own Space Amazon mod. I'm glad you appreciated it for the most part! :-)

Also, I find the review layout to be extremely well-readable, and exhaustively covering all the typical aspects of a gameplay mod - all features are listed, and shortcomings are explained with sufficient detail.
I'd go as far to propose it as a general template for weapon mod reviews...

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schwerpunk said:

Really enjoying these reviews by Jayextee. Fun to read, but also go into quite a bit of detail with the wads themselves.

BloodyAcid said:

Thanks Jayextee for the awesome review! Glad you enjoyed it, and please look forward to more.

Thank you guys, my first foray into wad-reviewing has no doubt been a pleasure.

Kudos 40oz, for the SF2012 review. I broke my Slaughter-virginity properly with it (albeit on ITYTD) and agree with such an appraisal.

Well, here's looking forward to /newstuff Chronicles #440. I'll try and get a week or so to review some new newstuff. :)

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Schwerpunk's vanilla sky review was a fun read. Somehow every time doomguy rents an apartment, it becomes the subject of monster's attention in someone's city map. Rotten luck.

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Yeah, it was a good review, certainly pointed out the absurdity of the "realistic" detail at the start. It's a shame the map has such boring gameplay given the visuals, at least the parts I actually played through. How can you have such extreme heights but put all of the monsters on the same plane?

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Dragonsbrethren said:

Yeah, it was a good review, certainly pointed out the absurdity of the "realistic" detail at the start. It's a shame the map has such boring gameplay given the visuals, at least the parts I actually played through. How can you have such extreme heights but put all of the monsters on the same plane?

I honestly dont understand many of the comments that you do about the map...
It's your opinion and I respect that, but dont think everyone thinks like you. Look at all the reviews, if you dont like, sorry, but please stop saying it's boring. This has a nomination to cacoward.

Talking about the gameplay, its a large and detailed map, and looked for outdoor areas were fast and challenging, because of that the combat is "unidirectional". Dont want frustrating 360 degrees encounters, only purely run'n'fun.
In the second half of the map the combat varies and occurs in enclosed spaces, finishing later in an fatal ecstasy of monster waves that attack from all sides.

This is another kind of gameplay that likes a large portion of doom players, not everyone likes labyrinth & puzzle maps.

About the Schwerpunk's review, seems fair and I liked, the only complaint are the screenshots selected, I think not do justice to the map.

I think the screenshots accompanying a review has to be representative of the map. And the only thing I see is two screens of your brilliant short story (the apartments), and two other showing irrelevant areas, casually, the most crappy.

Here some examples of screenshots that I consider most appropriate:


Another thing that seems forgotten to mention is that the map doesn't use any advanced Zdoom trick (only vanilla doom 2 mapping tricks) and hasn't any new texture, with the exception of the sky.

Just hope people enjoy my map and do not listen to the negative comments that some make for the pleasure of discrediting.

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Discrediting? Excuse me? Do you think that all criticism of your "perfect" wad is an attempt to drag it down? I'd say if there's a criticism like that it doesn't need dragging.

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Yeah, it's just my opinion, you're free to design whatever you like.

You should listen to negative feedback as well as positive, though, it's what helps you grow as a level designer.

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Your map would speak for itself. Unless it was utterly trashed by the reviewer (which it wasn't), there's no need to go anal on the defensive.

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Dragonsbrethren said:

Yeah, it's just my opinion, you're free to design whatever you like.

You should listen to negative feedback as well as positive, though, it's what helps you grow as a level designer.

Your negative feedback is useless to me, say it is "boring" and "two-dimensional" doesn't help me to improve my future maps.
I think it would be better if people who have not played the map at 100% stop making annoying critics.

BloodyAcid said:

Your map would speak for itself. Unless it was utterly trashed by the reviewer (which it wasn't), there's no need to go anal on the defensive.

True, I said that Schwerpunk's review seems fair and correct. Only pointed out that the screenshots used in the review weren't doing true justice, do not show practically nothing.

That was constructive criticism to review. I'm not like others who are saying other's things are shitty and boring. I took many years doing things in doom, registered here since 2005 and it is very sad to see today trollkids ruin the work of people making useless comments .. . I miss the old days

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Played Vanilla Sky, gotta agree with the assessment that it was extremely boring. Lots of low tier padding, terrible baron and hell knight usage, pretty poor overall placement (especially in the interiors) and just an underwhelming experience to what feels like a goofy fun Kama Sutra style city map.

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