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The /newstuff Chronicles #490

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  • Blood of Bin Laden Ally Imperialist Items ACS Enter Script - Imperialist
    Doom/Doom 2 - ZDoom Compatible - Solo Play - 2.48 MB
    Reviewed by: gaspe
    I could just summarize with one word: avoid. Leaving aside the titlepic which gives the impression that this is a poor trolling attempt, let's see what this mod has to offer. Two different friendly units of modern and realistic soldiers which appear to be totally unfitting for Doom. And to be actually used in the maps you have to summon them through the console. I don't have any reason to recommend this wad to anyone.

  • Matthew's Mixes Episode 2 - Guy M. Babin
    Ultimate Doom - OGG Support - N/A - 147.08 MB
    Reviewed by: walter confalonieri
    If you don't know me, I want to tell you that my favorite Doom episode is without a doubt episode 2, with its decadent, scary atmosphere... it always had a special place for me.

    This is a musical replacement for said episode, made by Guy M. Babin (or Matthew, if you like), and of a huge size of 154 MB (all music is in OGG format). The music in this case is gloomy ambient / electro tracks (reminds me of John Carpenter in style) with some cheesiness (E2M2 and E2M7, I'm talking about you!) that makes your play pretty cautious during your journey. Yeah, I must say it's a pretty good job, but there are some tracks that don't sound good here, like the "Vaporwave" track on E2M4 (c'mon, what's with that Windows 95 sound-alike piano? If you slow down this song and repeat it in an obsessive way, adding echoes and reverb effects, you will want to shoot classic Greek statues in a shocking pink universe to defend the A E S T H E T I C S of your consumerist life... or something like that) and the E2M7 that just doesn't fit with that map.

    But as for the rest, with some highs and lows, it is a good music replacement.

  • Rayzik's Birthday Doom 2013 - Various
    Doom 2 - Boom Compatible - Solo Play - 361.93 KB - (img) (img) (img) (img) (img) (img) (img) (img) (img) (img) (img) (img) (img) (img) (img) (img) (img)
    Reviewed by: antares031
    Rayzik's Birthday Doom 2013 is a compilation of single play levels for celebrating Rayzik's birthday in 2013. It was originally released on November 11 2013, and it was uploaded to /idgames on September 25. 2015. This wad is Boom compatible, and requires GOTHICTX.wad in order to run MAP03. Every level was built within 24 hours, making this wad a compilation of speedmaps. Finally, every levels is played on UV with pistol start.

    - MAP01 by JudgeDeadd
    This level greets you with the shotgun guy's gun sound, and the roar of spider mastermind. You may stay behind the columns since there are lots of hitscanners, including the spider demon I mentioned. The layout is simple and linear, and this level gives you two rounds of BFG to shut down the boss monster. But believe me, there's one more challenge right before the exit, and you need to spare one BFG shot if you want to beat the level with perfect kills. Overall, this level is okay, despite hitscanners from the beginning.

    - MAP02 by joe-ilya
    Another simple and linear level with nostalgic vanilla environments. The wooden claustrophobic corridors with monster closets worked pretty good. I can accept the lack of details or texture misalignment since this one is a speedmap. Although I couldn't figure out why the author put a negative message in the birthday map (maybe it's an ironical expression).

    - MAP03 by Obsidian
    Run for your life, don't ask any questions, and just run! Some angry martians are chasing you to incinerate you, and you don't even have a shotgun. Yes, I guarantee you that you'll score multiple deaths if you try this one in blind play. To make it even worse, there are vicious traps to slow you down, including hidden imps, explosive barrels to block your way, unexpected sinking floors, etc. This maze is absolutely brutal, and it's the only level from this wad that I gave up trying to beat on UV-Max. I just gave up dealing with angry martians and ran to the exit, and never tried it again.

    - MAP04 by cannonball
    A giant arena with tons of monsters. The goal of this level is to collect all six keys scattered around the arena, and survive hundreds of monsters. I'm usually not a big fan of slaughtermaps, but this one is unique. Maybe that's because of well-designed monster placement and teleportation, or giving me plenty of supplies to deal with the crowds. Yes, this level never gave me an unfair moment, and I really enjoyed the combat. Plus, this level has an awesome soundtrack to make the fight even better.

    - MAP05 by walter confalonieri
    This level was started with soft moments, then brought me to yet another giant open area. But this one is not a slaughter map; this level has less than 40 monsters on UV. Instead, you need to deal with a bunch of arachnotrons and revenants, so make sure to find your safety spots. This level also features a cyberdemon to spice up the combat, but you know that there's always an alternative way to frag that boss monster.

    - MAP06 by 40oz
    Another soft start from the beginning, but ended with a strong moment. You clear this vanilla-themed techbase by killing some zombies and demons, and press the exit button. And congratulations, you've just activated the devil's trap card. Now this level becomes a slaughtermap with hundreds of monsters. But unlike MAP04 with a giant open arena, this is a closed techbase with just enough ammo to defeat them. One flaw is in sector 103, which is too narrow to pass through for bigger demons (see rbd201315.png).

    - MAP07 by ArmouredBlood
    A hellish, claustrophobic cave with challenging moments. It is surprising that the author put in impressive details like this within 24 hours. This level has few monsters, less than 40 on UV like MAP05. But because of claustrophobic corridors and tricky monster placement, this level is hard and challenging. The best part, and yet the worst part, is the exit door area, featuring cacodemons and a spider family.

    Overall, some simple but fun levels are here. The contributors did the right job within 24 hours, so nice work. :)

  • Disaster - Memfis
    Doom 2 - PrBoom+ - Solo Play - 332.31 KB - (img) (img) (img) (img)
    Reviewed by: gaspe
    Inspired by 90s wads, Memfis made this map whose main traits are an emphasis on puzzles and a pretty obscure progression. The fights provided aren't hard, but they rely on few monsters used often in tricky situations. The visuals are really simple but still nice. Both the gameplay and the aesthetics fit really well in the explorative vibe of the level. An interesting map that requires the player to have a more unusual interaction with the environment to progress, but without being excessively frustrating.

  • RT_TOWN.WAD - Shawn Teal; Robinson Technologies
    Heretic - Vanilla - Deathmatch - 31.67 KB - (img) (img) (img)
    Reviewed by: walter confalonieri
    This is an old Deathmatch map for Heretic uploaded to the archives by ETTiNGRiNDER and made by Shawn Teal and the mysterious Robinson Technologies.

    The level, as the file suggests, is set in a city that kinda resembles the level "The Citadel" from original Heretic (E1M5) in much more simple layout terms. It's a pretty fun layout! There's lots of places to hide / ambush your opponents, but the only part that really pissed me off is that it needs more ammo to be more enjoyable. Too bad that you're roaming about the map without any ammo except for the artifacts you'll find scattered around (and can get only once!), and then you'll found yourself without anything good to use.

    Yeah, that's the only problem, but it is a real big one, because it crashed all the fun that could be for deathmatch play. A missed chance.

  • NH2 - TimeOfDeath
    Doom 2 - Vanilla - Solo Play - 15.86 KB - (img) (img) (img) (img) (img) (img)
    Reviewed by: antares031
    NH2 is a vanilla-compatible single player wad for Doom 2. It replaces two maps from the original wad, MAP07 and MAP08. The gimmick of this wad is simple: no health packs. And I believe that's the meaning of the name of this wad, No Health.

    MAP07 is a small level and gives you a berserk powerup right away to deal with the monsters. The only problem you may encounter from this map is revenants from the beginning as turrets. Other than that, it's just a level for practicing berserk punching. Alternatively, you may finish the level UV-fast, considering there's no complex puzzle to exit the level. And in the end, I managed to beat the level on UV-pacifist in six seconds. Punching out every monster or escaping the level as fast as you can, just do whatever you want, since this level is a small and simple one.

    MAP08 provides you a BFG and tons of energy cells. This sounds fair, except this level pours on lots of revenants and hell knights. To make it even worse, this map has arch-viles and cyberdemons. And remember: this level has no health packs, so just one single mistake, like failing to dodge an arch-vile's fire magic, may cause a critical result. But of course, you can deal with arch-viles with the BFG, and you can cause monster infighting with a cyberdemon and others to make the game easier. And thankfully, this map has plenty of ammo supplies, in contrast with the lack of health packs.

    Both MAP07 and MAP08 have simple layouts and architectural designs, and the combat is also just fine and simple, except there's no way to replenish your health. And that makes this wad challenging. If you want to practice your movement skills to dodge projectiles and arch-vile magic with limited health, go ahead and try it. P.S.: Thankfully, there are no hitscan monsters in these maps.

  • Practical Infiltration - mrthejoshmon
    Evilution - Boom Compatible - Solo Play - 153.76 KB - (img) (img) (img)
    Reviewed by: gaspe
    This is a single map for the TNT IWAD and is on slot 17, to have its music track I suppose, and it fits well. The level is set inside a UAC tech-base with a visit to a courtyard with some crates, and ending in an area which reminds me a lot of "Underhalls". Visually the level is quite nice, with a very simple but clean style and many nice details, but the last areas look a bit bare compared to the rest of the map. On the other hand, the map is flat and the combat doesn't involve many interesting situations, consisting mainly of hallways filled with enemies, and throwing in so many that it just seems like filler many times. The map looks quite decent overall, but it lacks atmosphere and more interesting gameplay.

  • Acid Assault - mrthejoshmon
    Evilution - Boom Compatible - Solo Play - 225.71 KB - (img) (img) (img)
    Reviewed by: gaspe
    According to the author this is an experiment to create a rocky map using mainly two to three textures, and the result is quite good. The choice of using rock textures from the TNT IWAD was quite interesting, as it gives a unique look to the map. We have a contrast between the grey rocks and the green slime (which isn't damaging), and with nice work on the lighting. Overall the level doesn't look dull, despite using only a few textures. For the gameplay we have some caves that feel cramped in the right way, with monsters that block our way, and two open areas on the outside with many monsters sniping us from different ledges. The biggest problem comes from the ammo which is quite low, pushing us to move forward, and there is also the possibility of doing a little exploration, which was always rewarding. This is a pretty solid map; the only missing thing was some height variation on the scenery in the big outdoor areas.

  • Vacation At The Incineration Station - RaphaelMode
    Doom 2 - ZDoom Compatible - Solo Play - 16.98 KB - (img) (img) (img) (img) (img)
    Reviewed by: Royal_Sir
    "Basically this WAD is a reminder that DECORATE exists, ZDoom exists, and the future is now." -RaphaelMode

    Unfortunately for this wad, so do older computers.

    This small PWAD revolves around a couple ideas: DECORATE, boss fights, and tons of game-crawling particles. Oh, my, God. The particles.

    You start in a square outdoor room, with a crescent plateau in the middle holding rockets and a launcher, which also keeps the modified cyberdemon from seeing you immediately. Toward one corner is a shotgun, ammo, backpack, and a megasphere. Pretty bare, but not ugly. The music sounded like it could be inserted in Hell Revealed; not exactly my style of music, but hey, to each his own.

    Now onto the DECORATEd stuff. Your shotgun deals a burst of plasma balls, kinda similar to an early-stage BFG. The rocket launcher shoots homing Mancubus flame projectiles. Then there's the Cyberdemon: instead of rockets, he fires a burst of exploding balls that instantly burst into an expanding sphere of particles, and each two fired brought my game to approximately three seconds per frame. If you don't mind the gameplay, you could say that the particle spheres are picturesque fireworks. Faults aside, the effects ARE quite pretty.

    It was hard on UV, and, no thanks to the thousands of DECORATE projectiles, I couldn't beat it. I had to resort to god mode, just to end each successive lag ball from appearing.

    If your computer isn't top of the line, don't try this. It'll crash your game probably, or worse. If you do have a top-of-the-line computer, don't get it. It sucks, even if played as a concept wad.

  • Devile II - Gustavo Ramos "Gustavo6046" Rehermann
    Doom 2 - ZDoom Compatible - Solo Play - 4.07 MB - (img) (img) (img) (img) (img) (img) (img) (img) (img)
    Reviewed by: antares031
    Devile II is a ZDoom compatible wad, featuring eight single player levels and two deathmatch levels. This wad is the first wad designed by the author, who just entered Doom level design, and released to the public. Therefore, this wad has every flaw that you might expect from someone's first level.

    The overall design, including texture placement and gameplay, are just way too primitive and simple. And the secrets are placed in cheesy way for the most part. There are a few okay moments in some levels, but most of combat is also uninspired. Of course, I can't expect a masterpiece from someone who just started with Doom level design. And to be fair, it is not that bad as practice. But it is definitely not for public release, unless you want to take feedback from the community.

    Anyway, are you interested in looking at anyone's first wad? Then, be my guest. But if not, just move along.

  • Fear Station Bravo - ReX Claussen
    Doom 2 - GZDoom - Solo Play - 747.72 KB - (img) (img) (img) (img) (img)
    Reviewed by: Royal_Sir
    Fear Station Bravo, created by ReX Claussen, mixes large rooms with long corridors and manages to emerge challenging but fun gameplay out of the mix.

    The map is supposed to resemble a techbase, including smaller functions such as a power room, toxic dump, and power turbines, which is executed pretty well, if a little austere. The abundance of gray and blue make an interesting mix, especially since very little maps use blue as a primary color scheme. The architecture, although good, is repetitive, and is reused on a symmetrical basis. This is an excellent realism vs. creative struggle, where the author sacrificed fresh layouts for an overall clean layout.

    Most of the gameplay revolves around groups of monsters in corridors and groups of monsters in large rooms. The corridors offer near-zero cover, and the rooms vary depending on room type. Ammunition becomes tight at certain points, so the gameplay often revolves around running from an increasing horde of corridor monsters and combating room monsters for supplies used to face the horde behind you. Due to the large lengths of corridor, you'll usually have a minute inside each room before a corridor horde catches up, which is more than enough time to clear rooms of enemies and ammo.

    The nonlinear nature of this map is noteworthy, and is partially achieved through the sparse use of 3d flooring. In fact, one of the set piece moments for me was a bridge that could be called for two separate floors that each lead to a different section. Each section could be thought of as a circle, in that you can start and end in the same location.

    Overall, if you like hard maps, long empty corridors (other than monsters), and long range firefights, this is for you. Although mixed with close/medium combat in rooms, players may be turned off by the halls of this corridor-heavy layout.

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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Hi everyone,

At the current rate reviews are coming in, I estimate the next edition will be released in about 6 months. Is anyone willing to step up to the plate?

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Multiplayer wads, source codes, Pinochestein 3D edicion, stuff already reviewed in Cacowards, speedmap compilations, Heretic deathmatch trash... Oh boy. :D Okay, I'll see what I can do.

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kuchitsu said:

Multiplayer wads

If that's not your bag, don't review them.

kuchitsu said:

source codes

Describe what it is, maybe with some historical context, and how it could be used today (if at all).

kuchitsu said:

Pinochestein 3D edicion

Review one edition fully and just point out the differences for the other edition.

kuchitsu said:

stuff already reviewed in Cacowards

Give a brief overview and a link to the Cacowards page, but a full review isn't necessary.

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In regards to antares031 idea of incentives for writing reviews - I like it. This can provide recognition to those who review frequently. It can be lots of work if you're going to play wads from start to finish and then take screens and write an article on them. I done a few myself and after a couple Megawads I was totally burnt out. But a little incentive, like a happy little star sticker you would give a child actually might motivate. Granted it may work too well and you get an abundance of lower quality reviews to filter out :/

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Top 10 reviewers by count who have had a review published in the last year:

  1. walter confalonieri - 89 total
  2. scifista42 - 88 total
  3. MajorRawne - 59 total
  4. Creaphis - 52 total
  5. Obsidian - 44 total (tie)
  6. doomguy93 - 44 total (tie)
  7. JudgeDeadd - 40 total
  8. Jaws In Space - 38 total
  9. Memfis - 35 total
  10. joe-ilya - 32 total
  11. Csonicgo - 31 total

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I wish I had the time to help out with reviews over here, Bloodshedder, and maybe with time I'll start squeezing one or two in here and there, but it'd be biting off more than I can chew for now. I will say that I have much respect for those that take the time to review all these wads uploaded to the archives and think that some reward, like antares said, would be nice for the top reviewer(s) for their commitment.

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