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The /newstuff Chronicles #448

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  • HYMN: A Heretic Community Project - Various Authors
    Heretic - Boom Compatible - Solo Play - 5645880 bytes - (img) (img) (img) (img) (img) (img) (img) (img) (img) (img) (img) (img) (img) (img) (img) (img) (img) (img)
    Reviewed by: plums
    HYMN is a Doomworld community project aimed at making a Heretic episode. Compared to Doom, there are extremely few Heretic episodes/"megawads", and no others that I'm aware of that take a community approach. Considering the relative lack of people interested in Heretic mapping, this is quite a successful project, producing nine large and well-thought-out maps. As in most community projects, there's a bit of a lack of consistency among the style and quality of the maps, but I enjoyed all of them and wouldn't call any of them bad. The difficulty varies as well, but provides a decent challenge throughout, and supports both continuous play and "wand starts." It never reaches the challenge of Curse of D'Sparil, one of the harder Heretic mapsets, but is generally harder than most of the maps found in the Heretic IWAD.

    There's a number of new or edited textures, and most of them fit the general theme, although I found a few to be out of place, such as some of the more colourful recolourings, as well as the Doom skulls. These also add to the lack of consistency a bit, as many maps use their own rules for which textures signify a usable wall. Conversely there's an interesting homogeneity in the layouts - just about all the maps have the player start in an outdoor area and progress inwards towards a small city or building complex, occasionally starting in the city and moving outward instead. So a few minor flaws, but nothing that really detracts from the wad enough to worry about. If you're a Heretic fan and haven't played this yet (the upload date reads July!), you definitely should.

    Here's a quick summary of each map.

    E1M1 starts you in the thick of the action, in a large open city. There are lots of switches to find to open up new routes. It's an impressive start to the wad. A large supply cache is hidden as a secret toward the end of the map, making continuous play much easier for those that find it.

    E1M2 is a large rocky outdoor area, leading to a cavern full where all the environmental elements meet. There's quite a variety of textures in this map, bordering on too much at times, if you're used to the conservative approach of Heretic's stock maps. It still plays quite nicely though.

    E1M3 is a similar outdoor rocky area. Gameplay is based around finding two keys to open up the end section. There's a brief and unique icy area with a castle front, a theme that goes largely unused in the rest of the map, and several switch puzzles scattered about. One in particular has the player racing against currents, something some people complained about elsewhere in the forum but that I didn't have much trouble with. YMMV.

    E1M4 is one of the few maps to use new music. You start in a wonderful-looking grove, full of vines and greenery. This gives way to a building front that leads to an almost Egyptian themed underground cavern, with lots of lava.

    E1M5 starts you in a barracks of sort, and you must make your way outside. There's a hedge maze, an interesting gallows area, a Maulotaur, and more. While not a bad map, there's not much in the way of vertical movement at all, and it feels a bit flatter (in any sense of the word) than other maps in the wad.

    E1M6 starts you by a waterfall that leads to a small underground city. It's similar in some ways to E1M4, though the two certainly feel distinct from one another. New music here as well.

    E1M9 is a large indoor castle surrounded by a moat, with lots of enemies outside firing at you whenever you have to go near a window. There's some great use of the mosaic textures here. I did get a bit lost at times, and found it was possible to skip a lot of the level and run right to the exit before I think I was meant to.

    E1M7 is a standout level. It's quite huge, and very elaborate. It's also one of the maps that feels most like Doom, given the cityscape layout and hordes of monsters. Titled "Anachronistic Metropolis," I suspect the author is quite aware of this. While not a slaughter map, it's quite aggressive for Heretic, and a lot of time can be spent running around and gathering supplies while waiting for the crowds to fight amongst each other.

    E1M8, the finale, is perhaps my favourite level in the set. An intertwining castle has you hunting down Iron Liches to reveal keys, leading to an effective and challenging boss fight with D'Sparil. While I could easily see this map as a Doom level, covered in techbase textures, it works quite well in Heretic and makes good use of those Liches, one of the game's more unique enemies.

  • Valley of Saints - ETTiNGRiNDER
    Heretic - Vanilla - Solo Play - 218192 bytes - (img) (img) (img)
    Reviewed by: plums
    Valley of Saints is a moderately large map for Heretic that remains vanilla compatible. It mostly sticks to the default textures, plus a few edits that fit right in, and follows the conventions of the Heretic IWAD maps in terms of key progression, texture use, and so on. The enemy use feels similar to the IWAD maps too, and while the monster count is just shy of 300, they're spaced out to give the player a steady stream of smaller encounters rather than any large hordes. As a result it feels distinctly like a map made for Heretic, as opposed to some maps which feel more like Doom maps with Heretic resources.

    The level isn't especially challenging, as the player has lots of supplies and can eventually acquire every weapon. The author writes that you can find the firemace early, late, or not at all, due to the way Heretic randomizes this weapon. But even though I got the early spot, I could have done just fine without it. Ample artifacts help keep the player out of danger, and also add to the authentic Heretic feel.

    The map layout has a good amount of non-linearity without being confusing, offering a few optional routes while keeping the player relatively directed. The visuals are quite nice, sticking to the default textures and using them in some creative ways. In particular, the eponymous Saints make an appearance, as several columns with the Saint/Disciple texture appear throughout the map. Some new music would have been welcome, but E1M1's track is still pretty good.

    As a Heretic fan, I find that new maps are often hard to come by. As a result I get excited when even a mediocre map gets made for it. Fortunately, Valley of Saints is far from mediocre, but a great example of a map made by someone who obviously knows and loves the game.

  • Reticula: Episode 1 - Nicolas Monti
    Doom 2 - Vanilla - Solo Play - 1596990 bytes - (img) (img) (img) (img) (img) (img)
    Reviewed by: mouldy
    This is a set of 10 vanilla maps for Doom 2. They are pretty tough, each map consisting almost entirely of traps and ambushes. Some maps seem to be exclusively populated by teleporting and insta-popping monsters, and when they aren't springing on you out of nowhere, they are waiting behind hidden closets and dropping floors, pouncing on your every movement and action. It's seriously relentless at times; every item you pick up, switch you press and room you enter heralds a nasty surprise, ranging from small armies of smothering imps to dickish chaingunners (of which there are more than enough) to baron sandwiches in tight corridors. This may or may not be everyone's cup of tea; I found it pretty tiring on the first few maps where most of the opposition are hitscanners and death comes fast and random.

    However, as the maps progress and the monsters get larger, the traps start to ease, and half way through things become less bullshitty and a lot more fun. The maps also start off a bit basic and get more and more interesting, so even if the gameplay puts you off to start with, it might be worth battling through it. The highlights are the last few maps which have quite complex and inventive layouts, action aplenty and a fair bit of enjoyable exploration.

    The visual style is fairly minimalist, with small amounts of detailing and somewhat unadventurous texturing that borders on wallpaper in places (e.g., hanging-corpse textures that disappear into the floor), though it does get better as the wad progresses. The lighting is a little bland for my taste as well, but these issues should not be of paramount concern, as it is intended to have an old-school look and feel, and other than some alignment problems and seemingly arbitrary texture usage on some maps, there is nothing massively offensive to the eye. The themes jump around from map to map with no apparent consistency, from techbase to castle to hell and back to techbase again with no rhyme or reason.

    They were tested with Chocolate Doom, but I played with ZDoom and encountered no problems other than a couple of bugs that would happen in any port I think: a switch on map 01 that can be pressed without triggering the walkover line in front of it, and an archvile on map 07 that resurrected the last arachnotron causing the 667 tag to raise twice.

    In summary, a decent though relentlessly trappy set of maps that gets better as it goes along, slightly let down in my opinion by ugly visuals in places.

  • Horse Shoe - Zalewa
    Doom 2 - Vanilla - Solo Play - 136532 bytes - (img) (img) (img)
    Reviewed by: mouldy
    A moderately large map for Doom 2 in a classic vanilla style. A sprawling interconnected and unpredictable tech base, very reminiscent of the first episode of Doom 1, in both looks and layout, with windows everywhere and stairs in all directions. Abstract and convoluted though the layout is, it is very hard to get lost thanks to the large open-plan nature of the scenery. There are windows everywhere, so you are always aware of where you are in relation to everywhere else. Where it differs from the original Doom is in the scale of the architecture, which is expansive enough to make good use of the Doom 2 monsters. The author says it will take about 15 minutes to play; for me it was more like 30, and very enjoyable it was too. If you are looking for some old school Doom action I recommend it.

  • Taggart Difficulty Mod (Version 1.8) - J.E. Gregory aka Taggart
    Doom/Doom 2 - ZDoom Compatible - N/A - 1964540 bytes - (img) (img)
    Reviewed by: walter confalonieri
    A little "randomizer" mod for GZDoom, with some new blood and gore effects à la Brutal Doom (only not that exaggerated) and realistic bullet effects, plus the new monsters from the Realm 667 Bestiary (new zombie variants and a cybernetic demon), adds more difficulty to the original gameplay. It is a little mod but it's nice, take a look, it's worth it!

    Played with GZDoom 2.6.0 and works perfectly.

  • Temple - mrthejoshmon
    Evilution - Limit Removing - Solo Play - 364437 bytes - (img) (img)
    Reviewed by: mouldy
    This is a single map replacement for map 22 of TNT, set in a mysterious marble temple located on a floating mountain according to the text file. It's medium difficulty, generally not too hard apart from a couple of places. The adventure starts in the aforementioned temple, which is very green and very rectangular, though the square nature of the layout is alleviated by good use of detailing and excursions into more organic underground areas. It's a nice enough map, not too long and nothing outstanding in terms of gameplay, visually pleasing if a little orthogonal in places. I think mrthejoshmon has come a long way with his map making, though the enemy placement could maybe use some more thought, as some of the monsters are quite easy to avoid. Certainly worth a gander.

  • Hugin - Obsidian
    Doom 2 - Boom Compatible - Solo Play - 413302 bytes - (img) (img) (img) (img) (img) (img)
    Reviewed by: cs99cjb
    I speculate that a hug-in is a type of peaceful protest in which hippies hug one another until their demands are met. Rest assured that nothing of the kind will happen in this review.

    There's plenty of space-age eye-candy right off the bat, but the first couple of rooms are merely a prologue before a central arena to which the player must repeatedly return. I was slightly surprised how small this map is, taking into account that roughly a fifth of its area isn't accessible to the player. Apparently it was made in 24 hours so I guess that's reasonable.

    Texturing and lighting are excellent apart from a water tunnel that abuses the pipes texture from 'Underhalls' (never one of my favourites). 2D pipes are unconvincing at the best of times; when misaligned with the geometry they hurt my eyes. In ZDoom there are also obvious glitches in one of the corridors (I was tempted to add a screenshot but thought that unsporting). Doom Builder reports errors relating to the same spot so it should be easy enough to fix.

    My main problem with this map is not its design, but its difficulty. Those who enjoy being repeatedly blasted to smithereens (or fancy themselves awesome enough to avoid such a fate), please take into account that it's not my bag. I played on "ultra-violence" and lost count of how many times I had to reload - maybe twenty. I probably wouldn't have bothered completing the map at all, had I not been writing a review.

    It throws all of the hardest monsters in Doom 2 at you: antagonists who have long since been robbed of any distinction through overuse. I don't find maps with this level of difficulty impossible, but frequently saving and reloading breaks my immersion. Reloading also gives me déjà vu and causes confusion (e.g. "Where's all the ammo I picked up earlier?")

    My first inkling that something might be amiss was when I walked into the central arena and saw hordes of monsters facing away from me, marching on the spot. This is something I specifically try to avoid when designing maps because real creatures do not behave like that, and it's usually a red flag that I'm entering a game of strategy with the map designer rather than an engrossing virtual world.

    Lowering a player into a confined pit with three revenants when their only heavy weapon is a rocket launcher is almost guaranteed to be fatal every time. It might be a good scare the first time, but it gets tedious very quickly. I prefer spontaneity and emergent behaviour.

    I'm acutely aware how off-putting this kind of trap is to casual gamers because I've recently made changes to one of my own maps after observing testers die over and over again in the same place. If the player isn't enjoying themselves then the trap is a failure; the point of traps is not to kill the player.

    One can instead play on "Hurt me plenty" difficulty, where there are (for example) only two arch-viles rather than three. Personally I think more than one arch-vile in a map is too many; three in a single fight is ridiculous.

    Consider yourself warned or your appetite whetted - whichever you feel fits best.

  • Manin - Obsidian
    Doom 2 - Boom Compatible - Solo Play - 99680 bytes - (img) (img) (img)
    Reviewed by: mrthejoshmon
    Manin is a single Boom-compatible map for Doom 2 that was created in about 24 hours (give or take), which is surprisingly not as straightforward as it sounds.

    Manin puts the player in what appears to be a (judging by all the wood and books) demonic library; the map starts off with a fight with a few former humans and a couple imps, a very standard encounter and possibly the only standard encounter going on here. The map has a kind of puzzle-based gameplay element about it; if you screw up you will either be mugged by archviles, killed, or just plain stuck on what to do (also, the certain part with the "Silence" was devious, very devious). This level actually made me think of what I was doing and where I had to go (which is a very rare occurrence); the gameplay is very challenging, and it made me feel intelligent when I finally figured it all out (also, that custom enemy was an interesting encounter).

    The detail in the map is far better than I expected for a 24 hour map; I honestly didn't believe it was actually made in 24 hours the first time I played.

    Overall, I recommend this wad to anybody looking for something a little "different" Doom experience; better yet, I recommend this map to literally everybody!

  • Battle Strategy - Plut
    Plutonia - Boom Compatible - Solo Play - 551225 bytes - (img) (img) (img) (img) (img) (img) (img) (img) (img) (img)
    Reviewed by: Zed
    Plut has been kind enough to make a Plutonia-based map for our enjoyment, and as you should know if you've played his maps before, it's not going to be an easy ride.

    This is a medium map that feels smaller than it actually is, but at the same time it doesn't feel cramped thanks to a generous amount of open spaces. Ammo is tight, and while this isn't always an issue with this type of works, in this particular situation it is more evident, as Plut has packed this map with Revenants and Arch-Viles. A lot of Arch-Viles. In fact, it seems that almost every trap in this map involves at least one monster-resurrecting foe that makes every such encounter a lot more difficult, so if you don't have at least something like 90% accuracy, you'll be trying to take down some baddies with your fist. There's also a fair share of Revenants and Chaingunners, but they aren't nearly as dangerous as the AVs.

    In terms of architecture, the map looks like it could fit in Plutonia's first "episode", but also works good as a stand alone map, as some of the authors' previous works. As I said before, the open spaces compensate for the size, and while the layout is a little too linear, it doesn't feel like a long corridor, if you know what I mean.

    Now, the not-so-good stuff, from my point of view, of course.

    First, as I said it, the Arch-Viles. Unless you really love them, or at least you are good enough to control two of them at a time comfortably while trying to avoid a Baron or two Revenants and a bunch of Imps/Demons and Chaingunners, you will probably have a very, very hard time (in fact, I missed the deadline for submitting my review of this map, and one of the reasons was that I just couldn't finish it the first 10-15 times because I kept running out of ammo while trying to figure out how to deal with that).

    Second, on my way to the blue skull, I was "taken out" of the skull building through the window (courtesy of an unwanted AV jump), and couldn't get back to the building without cheating (curiously enough, it happened like 60%-70% of the time, which is frustrating).

    Also, and maybe because of the sometimes little space available and the number of AVs, monsters tend to get stuck in walls or in each other a lot, and it's sometimes a little annoying.

    As for the secrets, I only found two out of four, but honestly, with all that was happening at any given time, I didn't find them until I had beaten the map a couple of times and took my time to search. But anyway, I don't feel secrets are necessary to finish this, so it's not a big deal.

    Overall, a really good job, the only real issue being that unwanted jump at the blue skull (probably an impassible line would do the work) and the occasionally stuck monsters. I highly recommend it, and while there are no difficulty settings, you can always play on ITYTD (as I did).

  • Urban Brawl: Dead of Winter - "Scuba" Stephen Browning
    Custom IWAD - ZDoom - Solo Play - 20461415 bytes - (img) (img) (img) (img) (img) (img) (img) (img) (img) (img) (img) (img) (img) (img) (img) (img)
    Reviewed by: Phobus
    Just in time for Easter, here's a review of the Action Doom 2: Urban Brawl winter special - Dead of Winter! For those of you unfamiliar with Urban Brawl, it is a landmark in the Doom community. Released in 2008 as the prequel to the acclaimed Action Doom (a 2004 ZDoom mod that bought the wonders of Contra to an FPS perspective and demonstrated a range of well-scripted battles, action sequences and more), Urban Brawl took the game play of Street Fighter, put it into a first person perspective, and set it in a luscious cell-shaded environment, filled with urban decay, corruption and a serial killer. It was vibrant, a lot of fun and immensely replay-able thanks to branching storylines, exploration (with plenty of secrets, shout-outs, in-jokes and more), diversity of environments and weapons... As you can tell, I'm a huge fan. So, how does this stack up?

    Well, the story here is a lot simpler - you, the main character, are recounting a tale to your daughter (presumably pre-kidnap) to help her go to sleep, but she wants a cop story. So you slip back to 1987, and your very first outing as a detective. The story jars with the game play a bit here, as although you do start off near a police car, you don't have a night stick or gun on you, and your modus operandi is remarkably similar to a washed-up alcoholic street brawling his way through town. The good news is that this doesn't matter. As you can tell from the sheer number of screenshots I took, the winter exterior of the first level is brilliantly realised, with the gang members dressed up appropriately, a few Santas in town (each named appropriately, if you pay attention to their health bars when hitting them) and some winter-themed weapons (such as a very useful hockey stick, complete with pucks you can fire off at hapless goons only to then collect them and fire again). If, like me, you're into in-game vandalism, you can enjoy particle effects as you punch the snow off stacked tires or deck a snowman.

    The path here is linear, taking you past areas that are blocked off and then letting you into them after you reach a dead-end. This can be a little confusing, but the limited play area and direction the enemies come from is enough of an indicator that you should work it out. As the text file points out (and screenshot 05 demonstrates), the fragility of ZDoom portals is still on display, but only if you go into a building. For the most part everything hangs together very well and, if you listen to the voice-over (once again enjoyably provided by Manc) then the puzzle in the first map won't hold you up very long. The meat of the map is in the snow blower encounter, which not only is very enjoyable wanton destruction, but also actually functions to clear the snow away (see screenshot 10 for one I prepared earlier... Kind of wish I'd taken the opportunity to draw a cock now, but never mind!).

    After a silly interlude, you then advance to the second (and final) level, which is mostly a shadowy apartment block filled with hired professionals. You'll want to have found the shotgun before you go plunging in, as, much like Urban Brawl, you'll need to fight fire with fire if you want to survive, and "fire" here means guns. The very deep and dark shadows can make the gunfights a bit more difficult than you'd hope, but even the two climactic gun battles are perfectly doable if you're quick on your feet. Triggering the ending sequence is likely to be almost accidental, but does follow a standard gameplay trope if you're observant.

    So, I've described it - what do I think? Well, its linearity and short-length leave you hungering for more, but what you get is very high quality and just as enjoyable as the original game, with the added bonus of a popular tongue-in-cheek theme. Considering this took 5 years (developed mostly in secret much like the main game) and I've only had a few nit picks and "I want moar!" as complaints, it does feel like we've been given more of the best Scuba Steve and co. have to offer. I can only recommend this reminiscent prequel to Urban Brawl whole-heartedly as an enjoyable 20-30 minute bite of wintery goodness. I have my fingers crossed for more, but given the development time on these, we shouldn't be holding our breath and should be thankful that we've got anything at all!

    I couldn't find a place for it in the main review, but I have to give a special mention to Ralphis for the soundtrack for both this and the main game, as I think they're excellent. Always appropriate to the mood and often catchy too.

  • Urban Brawl: Bonus Content - "Scuba" Stephen Browning
    Custom IWAD - ZDoom - SP/Co-op - 13004297 bytes - (img) (img) (img) (img) (img) (img) (img) (img) (img) (img) (img) (img) (img) (img) (img) (img) (img) (img)
    Reviewed by: Phobus
    For those of you who bought Urban Brawl, this is old-hat, but the Urban Brawl Bonus Content is now available to all, so those of us who were patient (or content with what we had) enough to wait it out can see what came in the official DVD case. There are six different additions here, so I'll give a brief overview on each.

    "All About The Bennys" treats us to Benny Hill music and a wonderfully sleazy bedroom, filled with booze, money and mostly-naked women. As it's NSFW, I've decided against a screenshot, but can tell you that, with pillow in hand, extracting giggles from them is entertaining... for a few seconds. There's no scoring, objective, or depth to the experience that I found, so you get some titillation (hurhur...) and that's your lot.

    "Samurai Showdown" (screenshot 01) is the dojo you might remember from the Phylex Tower in the main game, sporting an infinitely enduring katana and a very dense wave of enemies that keeps on coming. It's a high-score attacking affair, where each kill counts for a point. Space is limited and I got overwhelmed quickly on my two tries at it, but there's a challenge to overcome there, so it's a bit of fun.

    "Boss Rush Kekeke" (screenshot 02) sends you back to the dojo, but with the "When Hugo Crazy" music on and a timer. Your goal is to beat one of every enemy in the main game, one at a time, as quickly as possible, with your bare hands and a supply of sandwiches dropped in after each kill. Around about the time they come out with guns, you might start struggling a bit, so it's definitely challenging. A solid bonus offering, in my opinion.

    "ZOMG Zombies" (screenshots 03-13) is the meat of the bonus pack and is also co-op compatible! You're in a well-realised city with such interesting landmarks as a Ferris Wheel and a stadium and have to survive an invasion-style set-up, but with a heavily melee-oriented play style. You get a timer and a score, so do your best. I found staying alive was easy as pie, but racking up a reasonable number of kills took a bit of time, especially as the weapons are fairly sparse and, if you find the blunderbuss, any pistol you have is mooted and can no longer be collected. I gave myself over to the horde at about 34 minutes with 507 kills, as nothing much was changing. Keep an eye out for the darknation zombies, which get back up again and take more than one chainsaw cut to die. Also, if you like green boobs, your fetish has been answered - I've tried not to get them in focus on screenshots, but they're there if you're looking.

    "Ralphis' Rockin' Gaybar" (screenshot 14) is the gay bar from the end of the first main mission, with no fighting and a juke box in place that lets you scroll through and play any music you like - a neat addition, but you can just extract the music yourself or download it officially if memory serves.

    "Isle's Casino" is the Casino from the Phylex Tower, but this time nobody is trying to kill you after they kidnapped your little girl! You can play blackjack (screenshot 17), roulette (screenshot 15), try your luck at the slots(screenshot 16) or play some video poker (screenshot 18), all realised in ACS. You start off rich and can win or lose as the luck has it. This is the most technically impressive aspect of the bonus content, really showing what ACS can do in the hands of somebody skilled.

    If you're up for some co-op action, the zombies might well be worth a go, and other than that, the casino is very, very well done, but I'd be hard-pressed to say you need to get this. It's a combination of arcade extras that are very well put-together, but the main game is definitely the draw, if you ask me.

  • Mayhem Mansion - Jack101
    Ultimate Doom - ZDoom Compatible - Solo Play - 21456705 bytes - (img) (img) (img) (img)
    Reviewed by: kmxexii
    Mayhem Mansion is a single map TC for Doom II that is directly inspired by the bizarre Exploding Lips, an unusual FPS released in 1999. The overall feel is like some bizarro Doom clone injected with a dash of 90s CGI adventure games. I think the Exploding Lips intro works a lot better; it's worth looking up. You crawl up some nondescript, silent concrete shelter only to emerge from a coffin in some kind of funeral parlor. Atmospheric, foreboding, and leaving you totally off-guard for the reveal once you arrive and start the game proper. Here, you're kind of thrust into the mansion apropos of nothing. A mystery, to be sure, but Jack doesn't spend a whole lot of time drawing you in. Just, suddenly, chin monsters attack! Move along.

    Both the puzzle play and combat are a bit simple to hold up for too long, but it held my interest for the duration of the map. As far as puzzle play goes, you run around the level hitting switches to open up new areas and collecting items that are basically keycards but on entering Mayhem Mansion land turn into letters of the Greek alphabet, priceless gems, birthday presents, etc. It's goofy, throwaway weirdness. About the only puzzle in the game that feels like one involves backtracking to various level locations to grab something that may have caught your attention but which you couldn't take before. He does have the good grace to seal off the areas of the map you don't need to visit, and does a great job of creating a sinister atmosphere during that particular segment. Lights out, skullcrabs out...

    The combat system claims at giving a weakness to every monster, and to some extent, that's true. Enemies are purportedly weak to what ammo they drop, but what you'll find is that a lot of them drop magic ammo, which you won't get until fairly late in the TC, and your magic spell is the great equalizer to which all your foes will fall. I spammed the Hell out of it after I got it and maybe got close to running out of ammo a few times, but the blunderbuss and crossbow virtually vanished from my loadout once I could cast the killing spell. Maybe it makes more of a difference on the hardest difficulty, but that seems like it's made for masochists.

    I would love to see more mansions to explore. Throw in all the crazy clipart you can find, I don't care. That would be perfectly within its style, in my opinion. One thing I saw in the Exploding Lips videos that seems like it would be a fun addition was the feature of shootable walls that displayed messages, but I don't know how tuned Jack is toward holding a conversation with the player; that seems more like a quirk of Gorebag's self-indulgence. A rock-paper-scissors weapon format that actually worked would be another plus.

  • Toxic Waste Processing Plant - Dutch Devil aka Dutch Doomer
    Doom 2 - Boom Compatible - Solo Play - 710385 bytes - (img) (img) (img) (img)
    Reviewed by: mouldy
    A large and intricate map for Doom 2, set in and around a labyrinthine nukage processing facility. Thankfully the nukage has already been processed so it doesn't hurt to walk on. In case you were wondering how beautiful a toxic waste plant could possibly be, this map takes a good stab at providing the answer. It's a real feast for the eyes, with lighting and detail that is perfectly implemented to create an environment that is complex and varied yet simple to understand and navigate. The scenery alone made this a joy to explore, and while the journey is fairly linear, the path winds around and back on itself in various clever ways, and there are plenty of optional distractions along the way. The difficulty is well balanced, hard enough to keep you interested and forgiving enough to keep you alive. It took me about 40 minutes to play through it, and it was time well spent. Definitely recommend having a go.

  • Pinky Demon Explosion - Omegalore
    Doom/Doom 2 - ZDoom Compatible - N/A - 75594 bytes - (img)
    Reviewed by: Memfis
    This little mod brings back the demon gibbing sequence from the Alpha versions of Doom, where the monster explodes with a lightning-like sound. The package also includes a little test room for you to see the sequence in action. Note that due to their high HP demons don't gib very often, so don't be surprised if the explosion doesn't happen after your first shot.

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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Thoroughly excited about this Heretic community project! Yum. Prepare to see it played during a community co-operative event on ZDaemon Friday Night Monster Mash #137.

edit May 15, 2014: I'm looking at running this in ZDaemon but a bunch of animated textures are not working. I will look at making a small animdefs lump as a patch to run alongside it, but it might take me a couple weeks because we already have content scheduled to run.

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I speculate that a hug-in is a type of peaceful protest in which hippies hug one another until their demands are met.

X-D Oh jeez. For those of you who are interested, Manin, Wyrda and Hugin are 3 words taken from the Elvish language in Eragon: the translation is Memory, Fate and Thought. Also I think I can guess what the glitch in Hugin was, but I needed to make sure the activating linedef wasn't split and considering the whole thing was a one-day speedmap I didn't really have time to think of a more eloquent solution.

EDIT: Spelling. Darn the people who quoted my post!

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Oh cool, this is out. I hope these reviews bring a bit more attention to those Heretic maps which generally don't get the same reception as Doom levels do. From the looks of TheCupboard's post, it already has! I feel like I could've gone on longer with HYMN even, talking a bit more about gameplay, but I didn't want to write a novel.

Anyhow these are my first /newstuff reviews, so I'm all ears to criticism and suggestions.

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Pretty thorough reviews all round here and all with screenshots, too. Good to see :)

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Obsidian said:

X-D Oh jeez. For those of you who are interested, Manin, Wrda and Hugin are 3 words taken from the Elvish language in Eragon: the translation is Memory, Fate and Thought. Also I think I can guess what the glitch in Hugin was, but I needed to make sure the activating linedef wasn't split and considering the whole thing was a one-day speedmap I didn't really have time to think of a more eloquent solution.

Hugin and Munin is the norse god Odin's ravens. The old norse words mean "thought" and "memory". Each morning they fly over Asgard and Midgard, and at the evening they return to Odin and tells him everything that has happened and is happening around the lands; thats why Odin is the wisest and most knowledgeable of the gods.

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Obsidian said:

X-D Oh jeez. For those of you who are interested, Manin, Wrda and Hugin are 3 words taken from the Elvish language in Eragon

Kinda disappointed here. Not the origin I expected.

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If a hug-in is a peaceful protest involving hippies hugging each other, I'm not entirely sure I want to witness a man-in.

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Toxic Waste Processing Plant looks great. I look forward to playing that... but I'm supposed to be reviewing something else!

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Obsidian said:

X-D Oh jeez. For those of you who are interested, Manin, Wrda and Hugin are 3 words taken from the Elvish language in Eragon: the translation is Memory, Fate and Thought. Also I think I can guess what the glitch in Hugin was, but I needed to make sure the activating linedef wasn't split and considering the whole thing was a one-day speedmap I didn't really have time to think of a more eloquent solution.

Why can't it be split? You just give all of the linedefs the same tag number. From what I remember one needn't even have different sector IDs on either sidedef, although it's more awkward to arrange that in some editors than in others.

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going off the reviews of the Urban Brawl content: if you're interested in the soundtracks of the main game and Dead of Winter, you can purchase the soundtracks on Ralphis' Bandcamp, costing only 7.50$ for the two of them. i thought it was worth mentioning for people that might've missed it.

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cs99cjb said:

Why can't it be split? You just give all of the linedefs the same tag number. From what I remember one needn't even have different sector IDs on either sidedef, although it's more awkward to arrange that in some editors than in others.

If the linedef was split you'd be able to activate it twice, which means the edges on the floor would have lowered again and made the whole thing look ugly. It's a thorny problem, to be sure.

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Obsidian said:

If the linedef was split you'd be able to activate it twice, which means the edges on the floor would have lowered again and made the whole thing look ugly. It's a thorny problem, to be sure.

I assumed you were using action 38 "Floor Lower to Lowest Floor", in which case it would be impossible to do twice, but actually the action is a huge number that means nothing to me or Doom Builder.

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cs99cjb said:

I assumed you were using action 38 "Floor Lower to Lowest Floor", in which case it would be impossible to do twice, but actually the action is a huge number that means nothing to me or Doom Builder.

It's a Boom customizable action: if I remember correctly it was basically action 38 with a higher speed.

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