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Bloodshedder

The /newstuff Chronicles #488

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  • Hardcarrys From Space - D.Scratch
    Doom 2 - GZDoom - Deathmatch - 6.98 MB - (img) (img) (img) (img) (img) (img)
    Reviewed by: antares031
    Hardcarrys From Space is GZDoom-compatible (because some maps have graphical errors or lag that make them unplayable in ZDoom) wad which contains six highly-detailed levels for deathmatch. Levels feature custom textures, music, and ZDoom mapping techniques such as 3D floors, lightning effects, etc.

    Every level is detailed with some impressive architectures. And each map has its unique theme, such as tech base, large forest, and even hell. You may like this if you pay attention to environments during the deathmatch.

    Unfortunately, I can say that the layout and circulation of the levels are not as good as the detail. Some issues might disrupt your deathmatch experience. MAP01 has narrow corridors with bumpy wall detail, which easily blocks the player's movement. It could be fixed if the linedefs of wall detail were set to impassible. MAP04 has a large swamp which makes it hard to move around, so the players will tend to stay inside the forest around the swamp. This blocks the level from having more various movement and circulation. Every level shares similar problems: some misleading textures (door or switch that won't activate), obstacles, or improper circulation and weapon placement for deathmatch.

    Still, the design of the architecture is pretty good. Some levels have the potential to become better; MAP05 could be a nice CTF level with some modification. If you love DM levels with eye candy environment, go try this one. But for me, I wouldn't play this wad for deathmatch games.

  • OCD-Doom - Peter Hawes
    Doom 2 - Limit Removing - Solo Play - 2.02 MB - (img) (img) (img) (img) (img)
    Reviewed by: RaphaelMode
    tl;dr - switch hunts made exciting.

    OCD-Doom is a set of nine Boom-compatible maps by Peter Hawes released on 2nd July 2015. The graphics and music stay vanilla, but all the levels feature a new gameplay mechanic: once you press a switch, another one becomes available with a silver bar next to it lowering. If the bar lowers all the way down and the switch isn't pressed, you die.

    Unlike most switch hunts, you don't need to worry about actually finding the switches and areas they open - the helpful voodoo scripts only open the additional passages when necessary, new switches get uncovered, used switches get covered, and you're provided with lighting cues on top of that. Once you get to the last switch, you get a moment to catch your breath and finish off the remaining monsters.

    The visuals aren't exceptionally impressive, but each level has its distinct style. Besides, you won't have much time for admiring details.

    MAP22 (the first map of the set) is a small and pretty normal-looking level, except with the timed switches described above. You need to quickly decide whether to spend some time on killing monsters or run straight for the switches. After the momentary confusion it's a fairly easy map.

    MAP23 is a plus-shaped area, progressively extending as you continue pressing switches on the far ends. It gets pretty challenging despite featuring only imps, demons and a few shotgunners towards the end, as the ammo is fairly scarce and there's always some nukage to fall into. This is the first level using light cues to direct you, immensely helpful when you're busy with combat.

    MAP24 - if you loved The Chasm (of course you did! Why wouldn't you?), you're going to love this map too. As you can expect, there are some ledges to traverse. Most of them aren't as narrow as in the original Chasm, but there's always the time limit. And let's not forget the monsters.

    MAP25 consists of running back and forth, pressing switches on the opposite sides on the arena and letting the waves of hitscanners (and later lost souls) pour down on you. Fairly easy for this mapset's standards thanks to plentiful medikits.

    MAP26's gameplay style is reminiscent of the first map - just go around the level pressing the newly revealed switches and try to ignore most of the monsters that aren't blocking your path. Except here, you also have revenants. And depending on your gameplay, you may take a huge beating from them by the end of the map. The ending was pretty confusing; I think it simply requires the player to just wait a long time until a wall opens, but I'm not sure.

    MAP27 is a compact and confined version of the same routine - press a switch, move to the next switch and worry about the monsters you ignored coming after you. And the level's mechanics help them do just that.

    MAP28 greets you with a huge pile of rocket boxes, making you expect something really brutal. But then it turns out to be fairly easy; all you have to fight is groups of pinkies and an easily avoidable cyberdemon, the switches are easy to access, and then you walk to the exit and it turns out you solved the puzzle wrong and you die. Scratch that. This is NOT an easy level.

    MAP29 is a super-hellish-looking lava-filled arena. The secondary gimmick is similar to MAP28, except you also have the floor turning into lava. And archviles. And a spiderdemon. The difficulty gets really high at this point.

    MAP30 is how Icon of Sin would look if it was centered around a timed puzzle. Oh wait. Jokes aside, it's OCD-Doom's classic switch-pressing action, but with a huge arena and four Icons spawning monsters. And you need to kill all four of them.

    In my opinion, OCD-Doom is worth playing just to try the novelty. The concept is well executed and challenging, possibly too much, but at least it's a different kind of challenge this time.

  • Innocence: The New Technology - Demonic Integrated Software (Team DIS)
    Doom 2 - ZDoom Compatible - Solo Play - 1.06 MB - (img) (img) (img) (img) (img)
    Reviewed by: Jaws In Space
    Innocence: The New Technology is a 9-map wad that, according to the text file, was made in the spirit of TNT Evilution. Most of the maps in here were made by Jazzmaster9, but there are also maps by Jimmy and PRIMEVAL. The wad requires ZDoom in order to run, as there are a few custom monsters, some 3D architecture, and slopes in a few levels. The custom monsters are an Imp variant that is a transparent blue, which makes it a tricky foe in dark areas; the second is a Baron variant that shoots an arc of three fireballs and can be quite the threat in close quarters. The final monster is a Spider Mastermind variant that shoots plasma and rockets, but it's used in a very wide open space, making it a complete joke of a monster; just circle around him while firing until dead.

    While this wad says that it was inspired by Evilution, as I was playing through the maps I was reminded much more of Plutonia and Thy Flesh Consumed, not only because of the difficulty of the wad, but also because of the textures used. Some are taken right out of Plutonia, most noticeably in maps 2 and 7. Maps 1, 3, and 9 were the only maps that actually seem to have been inspired by Evilution, Map 1 mostly because it was a berserk heavy opener, and Map 9 because it was Egyptian-themed, though that hardly qualifies it as Evilution-inspired. Map 3 did have a tribute to Mount Pain near the end, in the form of a fiery Lost Soul mountain.

    As for the maps themselves, they vary greatly in quality. Map 1 and 7 were among the best, as they had very well-polished design and were overall just fun to play. Maps 2, 5, and 6 were decent, and had some good starts, but by the end of these maps I was getting killed a lot, as they were some of the toughest, map 5 being the best looking of the three. Map 3 is another pretty good one, but map 4 was not. Map 8 is a super easy arena fight with a boss monster at the end. Map 9 is a secret map; I didn't know where I was supposed to access it from, so I just IDCLEVed to the map. There's an exit right there at the start you can take, and if you're not a fan of puzzle maps you should do so, as this map is one puzzle after the other. Overall, this wad is a bit of a mixed bag of things. If you go in expecting an Evilution tribute, you may be a bit disappointed; if you're a fan of difficult maps, then you may want to give this one a try.

  • Alpha Complex (Warren.wad Redux) - Cicerone
    Ultimate Doom - ZDoom Compatible - Solo Play - 3.71 MB - (img) (img) (img) (img) (img) (img)
    Reviewed by: antares031
    Alpha Complex, also know as Warren.wad Redux, is a single player level for Ultimate Doom, replacing E1M1. Because this level contains MP3 format background music, you may need ZDoom source port to run this wad properly, even if it was designed under vanilla Doom mapping technique.

    This level features cramped corridors, dark atmosphere with lighting contrast, and environment that you can imagine from the early alpha version of Doom. To say it more precisely, the levels of alpha version designed by Tom Hall.

    For the first several minutes, because of cramped corridors with low ceilings and little floor height variation, the level makes you feel you're playing Rise of the Triad from 1995, which was also designed by Tom Hall. Although there are some wide open areas with high ceilings or sky textures, most of the time you will fight against monsters inside narrow, dark corridors with few lights. Thankfully there are some powerups and secrets to help you out, so you won't have much trouble beating the level if you explore it carefully. The circulation is not very linear and not bad overall; you don't need to collect all three keys to beat the level. The architectural design doesn't stand out, but is acceptable.

    I know that some people won't enjoy the level with features from the past. I must admit that even I didn't appreciate the dark, narrow corridors with low ceilings. But if the author's goal was to recreate a level from the alpha version with more polish, then I can accept the concept of this level. If you're looking for a Doom alpha-themed level and you don't have claustrophobia, you can try this wad.

    Keep in mind that the majority of size (more than 80%) of this level is because of the MP3 soundtrack, which is really unfortunate. If the author picked a proper MIDI soundtrack, it could be a better choice for a Doom alpha-themed level.

  • Scarlet Haze - Sophie Kirschner
    Doom 2 - Boom Compatible - Solo Play - 116.59 KB - (img) (img) (img) (img) (img) (img) (img)
    Reviewed by: Zahid
    Best map from Sophie this far. It's a medium-sized map with neat and impressive design, and stock texture usage in quite a pleasant looking way. Map layout is quite inter-connected and confined. Detailing isn't very special but decent in terms of the map's own scale. Although it has no variation in lighting and keeps a persistent, vivid light sequence, the limited spatial capacity gives it an ambiance. Gameplay on UV is very challenging here; reminds me of E4M1. Limited ammo, very few health kits, secret areas with no special rewards, no armor until later areas, and little space to dodge the monster attacks may frustrate players easily, but as you know, it feels more satisfactory when you're able to beat such maps.

  • Hell clash - Ilya "joe" Lazarev
    Ultimate Doom - Vanilla - Solo Play - 405.96 KB - (img) (img) (img) (img) (img) (img) (img) (img) (img) (img)
    Reviewed by: antares031
    Hell clash is a single player wad for the Ultimate Doom which replaces the second episode (E2M1 - E2M9). This wad is vanilla compatible, although the author mentioned that there's a drawseg overflow in E2M7. Every level was tested with pistol start with no problem.

    The concept of Hell clash is replacing episode 2 of Ultimate Doom in a classical way. By that I mean, it seems like that these levels were made during the early days of Doom level design, around 1995. There is not much architectural detail, clever layouts, challenging moments, etc. The environment is heavily based on episode 2 with a little reference to episode 3. The overall layout is pretty much linear most of the time, so you won't get lost during your entire playthrough (except if you're looking for the secrets, since they're usually too cryptic to find). Although most levels have repetitive gameplay, some levels can refresh your experience, like E2M3 where you must use explosive barrels and berserk in order to beat the level with no problem, or E2M8 where you're surrounded by tons of barrels when the Cyberdemon brothers(yes, they have evil twins as the final boss) are shooting rockets to crumble you.

    My opinion about this wad is this: it's the classic episode 2 replacement which is inferior to the original one. You could find more interesting experiences in the original episode 2. Certainly there are some interesting moments, like I mentioned above. But most of the time, repetitive and linear layout with mediocre architectural detail will make you want to find another episode 2 replacement. Even if this wad is vanilla compatible, there are more chances to get better gameplay and design under vanilla limitations. Anyway, if you're looking to play levels from 1995, this wad will fit your goal. At least these levels are playable with a pistol start.

    P.S.: The weird texture from some kind of cartoon in the bonus level feels really out of place. I want to know why the author decided to put that there.

  • The Gap - Skumball
    Doom 2 - Vanilla - Solo Play - 11.71 KB - (img)
    Reviewed by: Jaws In Space
    The Gap is a small level that has around 30 monsters in it. The map is basically a single room that has two elevated areas with a gap inbetween them. Gameplay is pretty annoying here; ammo is very limited, there is no health, and you are constantly using a lift to go back and forth between each elevated area to hit switches, all while avoiding the monsters you let live due to the lack of ammo. There isn't really much to see here. Play it if you like ammo starvation maps, but if you don't, avoid it.

  • Aquatex v3 - JMickle66666666
    Doom 2 - N/A - N/A - 217.36 KB - (img) (img) (img)
    Reviewed by: antares031
    Aquatex v3 is a texture pack that mainly features brown concrete, silver metal textures with some lighting, construction stripes, and border textures in both horizontal and vertical directions. The first picture shows every patch, and the second one shows every flat that you can use from this wad.

    I've tried these textures and most of them are pretty good. The combination of patches and flats are fine if you pick the right ones. The border textures which feel like they are meant to replace SUPPORT3 are also useful, since there are some width variations (16,32,48,64). I must say that the author made the right choice to create more concrete and metal textures for Doom from scratch.

    One minor flaw that I found is some discontinuous horizontal pipe textures. I believe it's supposed to be continuous, but the dark stain (or shadow, whatever) makes the texture a little bit weird. See the third screenshot and you'll see what I mean. Because of this, you need to put some border textures on each side of the pipe texture to make it clear. Plus, it would be better if there were some more decorative textures such as computers, machines, colored lighting, etc.

    But don't get me wrong. I can assure you that you can still make a level with fine architectural design with these textures. And you might combine some more texture packs to make your level even better. If you're looking for some Doom-themed brown concrete and silver metal textures, you may put these ingredients into your stew.

  • Mondrigan - Jmickle66666666
    Plutonia - Boom Compatible - Solo Play - 196.3 KB - (img) (img)
    Reviewed by: Jaws In Space
    This is a very small speed map from jmickle66666666. The map contains only 12 monsters, yet it is quite a challenge due to some tight fight spaces. You need all three keys to exit. I started with the blue key, which is obtained by hitting some switches on a platform above a damaging floor. A revenant is released upon getting onto the platform, so you must take it down quickly as there is no cover and you don't want to fall down. You must do this with the shotgun as your most powerful weapon.

    To get the yellow key, you are forced to fight in a very tight space containing three revenants, along with two mancubuses shooting from above. Since I only had rocket ammo, I was forced to rely on a bit of infighting in order to distract a few monsters.

    The red key is obtained by some simple platforming. No monsters to worry about here, as the last of them were killed in the fight for the yellow key. This is a pretty little speed map, and if you are looking for a really quick challenge, give this map a go.

  • UAC Offices - unerxai
    Doom 2 - Vanilla - Solo Play - 9.39 KB - (img)
    Reviewed by: Jaws In Space
    UAC offices is the first map by unerxai. It's a very simple map that plays on map2. It's pretty much a square box that has a central plus-shaped hallway with four rooms containing Imps, Demons, Cacodemons, and Barons. The map relies on a combination of berserk and infighting in order to win as you collect all three keys in order to exit. Don't expect much from this map, but if you need some berserk practice, give this one a quick play.

  • Flesh factory - Damson
    Doom 2 - Vanilla - Solo Play - 87.4 KB - (img) (img) (img) (img) (img)
    Reviewed by: Zahid
    A medium sized map with non-linear design. The usage of stock textures with non-varying lighting gives it dull visuals. It has a tendency to give the player a feeling of "where to go now?" There are many switches, and it is sometimes difficult to know the functionality of a particular switch. The architecture doesn't make a strong impression. Gameplay is not challenging, especially if you are able to find all the secrets. There is a decent final battle though. Viewing from modern day standards it's nothing special, but if you are an oldschool enthusiast this may amuse you.

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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I just played Hell Clash and I have one thought. I don't think you exist. This level of madness must be deliberate somehow. You're not real. I spent a half an hour playing this crying and wondering WHY? Why was any of this a good idea. These midis. These maps. Those ponies. This anything? The maps themselves aren't that great but they're overshadowed by everything else. To quote The Hitchhiker's Guide, its fundamental flaws are thoroughly hidden by its superficial flaws.

You constantly find new and exciting ways to make me question reality.

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rf` said:

You constantly find new and exciting ways to make me question reality.

Well, there's always some new shit to discover everyday.

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