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The /newstuff Chronicles #457

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  • Invasionpack - queplop
    Doom 2 - Skulltag / Zandronum - Invasion - 1419167 bytes - (img) (img) (img) (img) (img) (img) (img)
    Reviewed by: vtm
    Here we have an invasion pack made for Skulltag and, as the author states, will work with Zandronum if you use skulltag_data.pk3. The author also states "18 extremely difficult invasion maps for Skulltag/Zandronum. You'll be astounded by the quality of the levels." They are difficult in a ridiculous way; regular monsters have their attack speed increased and projectiles travel faster, spider mastermind cannot be stunned, and monsters hit harder, making it a pain to fight against large groups of monsters.

    The quality of the levels isn't great as stated before; they are kind of simple and could had been more worked. The music selection is good in the majority of levels.

    As I said before, these maps are too hard; maybe you can do he first three waves without dying, but there comes a moment that you will find yourself dying multiple times and very frequently. I find them boring and I don't recommend spending your time on these maps.

  • Solo network driver - Simon Howard (fraggle)
    N/A - Vanilla - Solo Play - 23874 bytes
    Reviewed by: Bloodshedder
    This is a network driver for vanilla Doom, Heretic, Hexen, and Strife that allows you to play single-player network games. With Doom, you can also simulate fake players. Why would you want to do this? I'm told it could be useful for testing multiplayer maps. Sounds plausible enough to me.

  • PIR2.WAD - Bill Parker, Parker Information Resources
    Doom 2 - Vanilla - SP/Co-op - 1395103 bytes - (img) (img) (img) (img) (img)
    Reviewed by: Doomkid
    Pir2.zip is a package of 32 maps from Parker Information Resources, dated 2006. The design is way behind the time, as these maps have the feel of something constructed in 1995. There is so much repetition of architecture that this could have easily been cut down to 10 (or fewer) maps and nothing would be lost.

    The maps aren't ugly as such, they're just dreadfully bland. If this was 1997, I could forgive it, but we've come a very long way since then. It seems that nearly every sector has a light level of 160 or 255, with no hint of gradient/smoothness anywhere at all.

    Most maps start you in an "arena" with a stockpile of weapons and soulspheres/megaspheres, which may have been intended as a "safe zone" but just ends up coming across as lazy design.

    The included "heavy.wad" uses 100% Metallica MIDIs, some decent, some awful, all heard a gazillion times before in a gazillion different WADs. The SFX wad uses a mish-mash of random resources and seems to have been sent in a time capsule from 1994 when people still thought that a long, annoying quote each time you pick up a weapon was a great idea. The sounds are even more repetitive than the architecture, and that's saying something.

    Something I like about this pack is the description: Apparently, these were made by the author to play with his grandson. What an awesome granddaddy, that alone scores this a few brownie points, but not enough to really save it from its all-too-generic nature.

    This is one for the insane collectors of old WADs. If you're looking for intense, interesting Doom action, you're not going to find it here.

  • Mountain Explosion Ver.1 - Iovandrake
    Doom 2 - GZDoom - Solo Play - 510482 bytes - (img) (img) (img) (img) (img) (img) (img) (img) (img) (img)
    Reviewed by: walter confalonieri
    This is a short three levels set in some tech base in the middle of the mountains. Layout is large, spacious and pretty 90s, but there's some nice little detailing, ZDoomisms and eye-candies all around, like real 3D bridges, deep water, and effective slopes.

    Gameplay is nice; there are some bastard traps like the one at the blue key in MAP01, but the rest could be good for maxes and UV-Speed running. Also it's really straightforward where to go.

    Play it if you want to pass five minutes with some Dooming, but it is kind of forgettable, unluckily... since it has potential to be a cool mapset!

  • Big Woodchip - James "Phobus" Cresswell
    Doom 2 - Limit Removing - Solo Play - 91683 bytes - (img) (img) (img) (img) (img) (img) (img) (img)
    Reviewed by: cs99cjb
    In a memorable scene of the Coen brothers' dark comedy 'Fargo', one kidnapper feeds the body of the other into a woodchipper. A waggish reviewer already suggested that "Big Woodchipper" might be a more fitting title for this tricksy and unforgiving single-player Doom II map. There are no rotating blades, but by the time the door of the exit room slammed behind me, I had been well and truly shredded by James Cresswell's infernal machine.

    At the start, the player is forced to battle imps and a cacodemon using only the pistol before picking up a shotgun on the first of several similar raised gangways. Each gangway features a desirable item on a dais with a lion's-head motif. Except for the blue skull key (the only key in the map), these items are mostly weapons, presented roughly in order of increasing power and utility. To reach them, players must run a gantlet of crossfire on narrow ledges and in corridors, often finding their line of retreat cut off by fast-closing doors. Traps abound, with a real danger of being sandwiched by monsters at close range.

    Many monsters are far away, so gameplay is a mixture of trying to dodge fireballs lobbed seconds earlier and tussling with closer enemies. It's easy to get caught out, and I often found myself unexpectedly sinking to the floor after being felled by a lucky shot from a distant shotgun guy. The fact that so many enemies are unreachable contributes to a pervasive squeeze on ammunition.

    The difficulty of the antagonists thrown at the player increases steadily. On the hardest skill levels, all the monsters in Doom II make an appearance, including a spider mastermind and a cyberdemon. The latter's lair is suitably ghastly, and his entrance is dramatic. Luckily there is just enough space to do the customary rocket dance.

    Progression is highly linear, but that is concealed to a large extent by the sinuous path that the player must follow. The exit is visible from a midway point, but trying to get there by the obvious route leads into a trap: the correct route is the opposite direction! This reminded me of Alice Through the Looking Glass, in which the eponymous heroine tries in vain to get to a hill by walking along a path that appears to lead straight to it (but always ends up back at the house). Unlike Alice, I was forced to battle across an expanse of cracked lava whilst being attacked by just the right mixture of spectres, lost souls, cacodemons, revenants and mancubuses to make using my only powerful weapon—the rocket launcher—both highly desirable and highly fatal.

    There are several interesting secret areas (one containing a berserk pack), but I passed most of them because the last thing I wanted to do was take the risk of wandering around on hot lava without a protective suit.

    Aesthetically, "Big Woodchip" lacks variety, but it is exceptionally well-made with clean-looking texturing. Metal-banded and paneled wooden textures predominate, with red rock and lava as a secondary theme. The geometry is not especially intricate, but judicious use of textures that actually fit is a breath of fresh air. A commonly-occurring type of door has pegged tracks, which I would normally consider an error; since this is James's 100th map (according to him) I assume it's deliberate. Some clever techniques have been used; for example, zero-height sectors that exist only to create a flush join between upper and lower textures. The only aspect I can criticise is that the action in the first part of the map happens around (but never within) large squarish rooms with 8-10 metre high ceilings; these look uninspired in comparison to the second half.

    I completed "Big Woodchip" in about 17 minutes (not counting deaths) but with only 91% kills. After beating the cyberdemon, I was low on health and ammo, so I ran past the subsequent gantlet of shotgun guys, imps and revenants sniping from the sidelines. The final battle is with a spider mastermind and several arch-viles. This sounds grossly unfair but the spider is caged, there is health and ammo nearby, and plenty of cover. Even so, it was touch-and-go.

    Overall, I thoroughly recommend this map.

  • Bullets - Joe-Ilya
    Doom 2 - Vanilla - Solo Play - 14823 bytes - (img) (img)
    Reviewed by: doomguy93
    Bullets, "bullets.wad" created by joe-ilya is a one-map single player wad. You start off with a pistol to kill 26 zombiemen. Then you work your way to other sectors to kill more zombiemen and a few chaingunners. The design of the map is pretty fucked up looking. I don't even know what to make of it. There is even a sector with a tree that looks poorly crafted. Textures are tech themed but they are plain.

    Overall, the gameplay is boring. Download if you are into simple wads.

  • Trinitotoluene - Obsidian
    Evilution - Vanilla - Solo Play - 130888 bytes - (img) (img) (img) (img)
    Reviewed by: Doomkid
    I'm a sucker for clever mapping tricks, especially in vanilla Doom. Obsidian is the go-to guy for this kind of thing - 321boom, called "Trinitotoluene" in the text file, is sure to satisfy any oldschooler looking for a fun and fair blast that's nice on the eyes and provides a good dose of atmosphere.

    My favorite aspect of this map are the "detonators" which give the illusion of blowing holes in walls or otherwise changing the level's architecture. Very convincing suspended bridges are used throughout this map too; you see them often enough in Doom wads, but they don't usually look quite this natural. Just another touch that adds that extra level of immersion.

    The ammunition and health provided are enough to get you through the map, with little to spare. It shouldn't be impossible for your average player to make their way through this one, although it will provide a challenge.

    An aspect of the map I liked was the dark, lonely underground cavern. Very dreary, I rarely get that feeling from maps. There were only two secrets, one being a mere chainsaw, but I like the way it was "sunk beneath water". Just another nice touch.

    Overall, I certainly recommend this one to any Doomer, oldschool or newschool.

  • Monster Hunter Ltd (Part II) - Didy
    Doom 2 - Boom Compatible - Solo Play - 1853849 bytes - (img) (img) (img) (img)
    Reviewed by: kmxexii
    Monster Hunter Ltd (pt 1) was a very cool, almost laid-back adventure map with a ton of polish. Part 2 is slightly different, but not in any way inferior; it's a city combat level in an old-world setting where some Boom scripting has monsters blowing through walls and collapsing buildings. Didy has packed the level full of action with the only exception being the canal area which carries some of that adventurous energy from the previous installment. Combat moves from congestion control to more open gunplay toward the end with a few arena-style fights, like that nesting doll-style encounter that ends in a trip to Hell. This ruined cityscape is definitely worth exploring; I can only imagine what the whole thing would have felt like as one continuous play.

  • Doom.ExE - 08scatman
    Doom 2 - Skulltag / Zandronum - Solo Play - 4100198 bytes - (img) (img) (img) (img) (img) (img)
    Reviewed by: mrthejoshmon
    What happens when you take a god awful Creepypasta and try and translate it into Doom?

    Why, you happen to get this wad, oh joy.

    The wad starts up with an edited Ultimate Doom start up screen (the marine is blue this time, true horror!) which is supposed to make the player think their game is bugging up or something (I dunno).

    After you are done cowering in pure terror at the start up screen, you then start the game, which thrusts you into a undoubtedly 90's tech base where you fight three low-level enemies, four Barons and one Skulltag monster (that I don't remember the name of) who drops a red key upon expiry. After going down a lift (located behind a red door), you are introduced to a very dark corridor filled with splattered marines. At the end of this corridor of pure tedium there is a marine who wants you to play with him.

    Upon beginning the super happy fun time with the marine, he then decides your ass is on eBay and he wants it. The marine begins to teleport all over your screen and then gives chase to your sorry ass as you try to run away from the endless teleport box you managed to cram yourself into off screen before inevitably catching you; the marine then promptly proceeds to kill you.

    After this absolute spook fest, the marine then taunts you with something (about stuff I didn't care about because so far this has been utter boring crap) before you all of a sudden spawn in some kind of endless red skied and metal-plated floor area. As you proceed to wander into this tedious bullshit, static decides to show its ugly face (because it is spooky... right?). After the static is done having some kind of spastic fit, the areas floor is now replaced by the BLOOD flat (Unfortunately, hyper-realistic blood was nowhere to be seen) and that little bastard marine soon arrives. After more tedious dickery by the marine (involving charging at him as he teleports behind you constantly), he then kills you again and taunts some more meaningless crap.

    You the spawn in a long marble textured room with an exit at the far side. You proceed to go towards it, but that marine has other plans...

    Let me put it quickly:

    Spooky face (pictured in screenshots)
    You die
    Game over
    Not fun or scary at all.

    Now it is an obvious fact that I did not like this wad, but there was clearly some effort put into it, so much misplaced effort. Another point you could bring up is that the inspiration for this wad wasn't even good to begin with.

    Overall, I can only recommend this wad to people who enjoy crap wads, people who enjoy wasting their time, people who get off to Jeff the Killer, or people who are die hard Creepypasta fans, and if you felt that I was a little too harsh, then please do inform me how much of a terrible person I am.

  • Deathmatch Guns by DoomKid - DoomKid
    Doom/Doom 2 - Zandronum/ZDaemon/Odamex/Doom Legacy - N/A - 5282441 bytes - (img) (img) (img) (img)
    Reviewed by: doomguy93
    Deathmatch Guns by Doomkid "dg_guns.wad" is a great gun mod for DM gameplay. Some of the weapons have been replaced using the sprites from Alpha Doom.

    There are two other wad files in the zip that contain a skins pack and Deathmatch SFX pack. However, they are only compatible for ZDaemon and Zandronum, not Odamex or Legacy.

    1) The fist sprites have been replaced with a gun with a bayonet attached to it. According to the text, it has been modified to do double the damage that the original fist would have.

    2) The pistol sprites have been replaced with a machine gun that shoots faster. It also shoots single shots, unlike the traditional chaingun that always shoots two shots when fired.

    3) The new shotgun is my personal favorite. I love how fast it shoots as well as the smooth animation when it reloads.

    4) I dislike the modification for super shot gun. Although the pump action feature looks neat, it just reloads a bit too slow in my opinion.

    5) The chaingun is slightly faster.

    6) The plasma color has been changed from blue to green which looks pretty nice.

    7) The chainsaw also has been modified to have a double blade and faster cutting speed.

    What are you waiting for? Download this wad!

  • Marine - Chaosvolt
    Doom 2 - Vanilla - SP/Co-op - 2812816 bytes - (img) (img)
    Reviewed by: Doomkid
    This is an edited version of "Marine Doom", that old military combat simulator for Doom made in 1995 and used to "train" real marines.

    If you've played that before, then you've played this. The only change here is that the sprites have been used more appropriately, and a few doorways were widened. I appreciate the thought; I suppose this would now be kinda-sorta playable in deathmatch, but this honestly exists for historical interest only.

    Another one for the loony collectors such as myself.

  • The Cave - LAH
    Doom 2 - Vanilla - Solo Play - 14404 bytes - (img) (img) (img)
    Reviewed by: doomguy93
    The Cave, "cave2.wad" created by LAH is a very short newbie one-map wad. It kinda reminds me of Wolfenstein 3D with its rectangular/boxy routes. The beginning of the map contains dark brown ASHWALL textures which loosely resemble the inside of a cave. There is also a little tech base area that just seems out of place. The gameplay is dull, but for a first time wad, this really isn't terrible. I did like the duel between the cyberdemon, mancubuses and revenants.

    Overall, it's not too bad for a first time wad. Give it a download if you like newbie wads.

  • The Depths of Fear - Ben "Dreadopp" Taylor
    Doom 2 - ZDoom Compatible - Solo Play - 1539584 bytes - (img) (img) (img) (img)
    Reviewed by: vtm
    The Depths of Fear by Dreadopp is an interesting map. It has more than 300 monsters and is fairly long - around 30 minutes of gameplay. This map is well constructed; the author took his time to make all the necessary construction and decoration to make it look like caverns, not like a mountain. The only downside is that the same texture is used a lot throughout the map.

    The combat is balanced, not too rough but still challenging; all weapons are available, but two can be found only with secrets. The music goes well with the map. If you want to kill time, then this is your map.

  • TOT COMICS DOOM - Joe Anderson
    Doom 2 - Limit Removing - Solo Play - 494390 bytes
    Reviewed by: kmxexii
    This is a re-upload of TOT Comics Doom, first uploaded as TOT Comics Doom and then updated as TOT Comics Doom Remastered. The previous versions are no longer in the archives; why, I don't know. Anyway, here is the review for TOT Comics Doom Remastered back in Newstuff #404, because it is the same exact thing.

  • DREAD - Joe Anderson
    Doom 2 - Vanilla - Solo Play - 242983 bytes - (img) (img) (img) (img) (img) (img) (img)
    Reviewed by: Zed
    First of all, this is one very, very small map, plus an even smaller unfinished one.

    MAP01 - A small gray and blue techbase, with 32 enemies in UV, limited to zombiemen and imps, while you are limited to your pistol and fists. It has no secrets, and in my first attempt I managed to finish it in just over two minutes. The architecture is fine, and I especially liked that small tower outdoors (it has a door, but you can't get in).

    MAP02 - An even smaller map in the same style as the first one. This one is limited to four staircases in the first room, and a second room with some crates and some central structures with moving parts (sorry, I don't know how they're called). No monsters, and the only present things are a SSG, a stimpack, a green armor and some barrels. There are two doors, but only one of them opens (there's a room behind the one you can't open, but there's nothing in it).

    So, the first map is good considering it is a MAP01. I wonder why the author left this unfinished, given that he even added difficulty settings, created a title screen, a HUD and renamed the menu skill levels. This definitely shows potential, and I'm eagerly waiting for another release by him.

  • Brother's Temple - Worm318
    Doom 2 - ZDoom Compatible - Solo Play - 155197 bytes - (img) (img) (img) (img)
    Reviewed by: Tuxlar
    Gameplay mildly challenging and in (mostly) standard form; about iwad-level. Expect some mild teleporter/closet surprise ambushes with only slight hinting. Decent lava ocean-fortress (Plutonia-style) theme. Layout uses lots of same-width hallways. Map uses odd visual gimmicks and ZDoom effects; seems it wouldn't lose much to be designed without these; in Boom, perhaps. Occasional minor texture alignment/doortrack issues (remember kids: pegging is your friend!). Feels like a beta of a map meant to be part of a larger map set. Reasonable duration. Verdict: Worth playing, for a quick bite.

  • The Wailing Horde - Chris Hansen
    Ultimate Doom - Limit Removing - Solo Play - 361901 bytes - (img) (img) (img) (img) (img) (img) (img) (img)
    Reviewed by: Tuxlar
    Challenging and creative gameplay that often rewards bold play; timid, tunnel-vision tactics will get you a nice collection of imp scratches and demon bites on your bum. A tad rougher than iwad-standard difficulty, especially at the end. Some switch/trigger hunting involved, but progression shouldn't give too much of a headache. Thematically a jumble of various Doom 1 elements; all competently implemented, albeit often a bit cramped. Decent visual embellishments in each area. Some mild midtexture vine fetish apparent. Fairly lengthy and non-linear; you'll probably wander a few times. Verdict: Very worth playing, even with its length.

  • Work.wad - Jerry Truchan
    Doom 2 - Vanilla - Solo Play - 189971 bytes - (img) (img) (img) (img)
    Reviewed by: Tuxlar
    Standard "my-first-house/office/school/workplace" 90s-era map. Claims to be for deathmatch...? Couldn't muster the patience to hunt through each cramped room/office/cubicle to find all of the keys to finish. Can screw you a bit if you wander outside before finding the rocket launcher and an end-game enemy blocks the only non-keyed doors to get back inside. Supplies and monsters are plentiful, but arranged such that either could screw you early on, with some unlucky wandering; gameplay is chaotic, but playable. Probably no accident finding SS troopers in the offices and help desks, though... Verdict: play if bored.

  • Justify2 v1.0 - Antony J. Burden
    Doom 2 - Vanilla - Solo Play - 158273 bytes - (img) (img) (img) (img) (img) (img) (img) (img)
    Reviewed by: Tuxlar
    Well, this map is sure a bag of tricks. Moderately easy difficulty-wise (iwad-standard), but prepare for several assorted crazy ambush moments. Progression is a bit non-intuitive, but I managed it, with enough running around (maybe those tick marks on the walls were supposed to mean something after all...). This is one of those maps where off-color textures are as good as clearly-marked doors. Visually, it's not gorgeous, but it gets the job done (see screenshots). There are some nifty puzzle-like elements, along with some interesting ambushes, and even a boss; you probably won't get bored. Verdict: Worth playing.

  • D2KFP01.WAD - Jrgen Kroder
    Doom 2 - Vanilla - Solo Play - 139339 bytes - (img) (img) (img) (img) (img) (img) (img)
    Reviewed by: Tuxlar
    Gigantic, boring layout. Feels sparsely populated even with >250 mostly-non-ambush monsters. Bland room-to-room progression. Lots of lengthy, dull, narrow, often-dark, unchallenging mazes. Has multiple huge, fullbright, city-like hub areas. Has Keens. Uses a wide variety of themes (including Wolfenstein); none of which notable (except perhaps the titular city, because it's so damn large). Seems completable, albeit unnecessarily lengthy. Probably an early 90s map. Verdict: Not worth playing, unless bored.

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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Thanks for the review, vtm. :)

Since I was mostly using stock textures, there wasn't a staggering amount of choices for rocks and such. :P

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I think I should point out that in my review, this part:

(there's a room behind it with nothing in it)

should instead be:

(there's a room behind the one you can't open, but there's nothing in it)

Sorry for the typo.

EDIT: a fucking typo, what the fuck is wrong with me?

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