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The /newstuff Chronicles #501

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  • DS Doom - Dave "WinterMute" Murphy
    Doom/Doom 2 - N/A - N/A - 2.19 MB - (img) (img) (img) (img) (img) (img)
    Reviewed by: yukib1t
    DSDoom is a port of PrBoom to the Nintendo DS. It runs on any model, though you'll need a GameBoy Advance Flash Cart, which allows you to store and run the .nds ROM file and WAD files on an SD card. Your other option is to use an emulator like DeSmuMe, which is what I used to facilitate getting screenshots.

    The SD card will need to have dsdoom.nds, PRBOOM.CFG, prboom.wad, and a Doom IWAD if your choice. You can also place Boom-compatible PWADs onto the SD card, though your mileage may vary with these. To load them, you have to make a file called ".argv", the use of which is detailed in the README.txt file.

    Booting the game up gives you the option to play single player, or use the DS's WiFi for a co-op or Deathmatch game. Multiplayer requires prboom_server running on a PC, however, and there are some basic instructions in the README.txt file.

    The game itself uses the top screen for the main view and the bottom screen for the automap, status bar, and messages. Image quality is pretty sharp, save for some distorted text in the menu, and the sound is also quite good. The only downside is that there's no music. Controlling things is pretty straight-forward, and pretty much just like Doom on the Playstation, but it's not nearly as responsive. I found myself having a very hard time aiming because of this. You can also use the touchscreen for movement if you enable the mouse in the menu options, though I found this to be very cumbersome.

    During play, I noticed some intermittent slowdown, which I think is caused by the game needing to load more data from the ROM. Basically, the first time a certain sound plays, the first time I see a specific texture, or the first time a sprite gets shown, there's a small hiccup. This was quite annoying. DSDoom also has some noticeable slowdown in more complex areas, or when a lot of sprites are on the screen. Saving the game also takes a few seconds, though loading is nearly instant.

    The game only crashed once, so DSDoom looks to be pretty stable. There are only a few minor bugs I noticed, such as when the top screen becomes distorted around the borders when using a screen size less than maximum.

    Overall, not bad, and if I had only a Nintendo DS to play when I'm out and about, I'd definitely take DSDoom with me. It just needs some more optimization.

  • DS Doom source code - Dave "WinterMute" Murphy
    Doom/Doom 2 - N/A - N/A - 2.01 MB
    Reviewed by: yukib1t
    This is the source code for DSDoom. The zip file actually contains five different releases of DSDoom, all of which are in tar.xz files. Each of these contain the source, a PRBOOM.CFG file (but no prboom.wad), project files for various IDEs, and a Makefile.

    To compile these, you'll need a toolchain that targets the Nintendo DS, specifically devkitPro, though this isn't mentioned in the readme file. Luckily, setting up this environment was pretty easy (I used Linux and had it working in about five minutes). At first, compiling DSDoom failed because the compiler didn't know how to use the -mno-fpu option. Fixing this needed just a simple change in one of the Makefiles. It's likely the author used a previous version of devkitPro.

    When it's all done, it spits out a dsdoom.nds ROM file, ready to be used on a GameBoy Advance flash cart.

  • License to Ilya - joe-ilya and friends
    Doom 2 - Single Player - Boom Compatible - 5.41 MB - (img) (img) (img) (img) (img) (img) (img) (img) (img) (img) (img) (img) (img) (img) (img) (img) (img) (img) (img) (img) (img) (img) (img) (img) (img) (img)
    Reviewed by: yukib1t
    joetune, otherwise known as License to Ilya, is an addon by joe-ilya, AD.79, Archi, cannonball, Dhu Mhan Yhu, Dobu Gabu Maru, Jaxxoon R, mouldy, Noisyvelvet, Surreily, Szymanski, Tactical Stiffy, and Voltcom3. It consists of 16 levels plus one secret level, and some sort of story about a time machine pentagram that didn't make much sense.

    Overall, License to Ilya is pretty good. It requires Boom and claims that it was tested with PrBoom v2.5.1.4. However, whenever I tried to use the same PrBoom version, I had palette errors. Thus, I used GZDoom, which played it flawlessly.

    There's a lot of good maps, with a few iffy ones here and there. Themes ranged from tech bases, to hellish caverns, to medieval areas. Each level also has its own music, most of which is good, save for two tracks I couldn't stand. Some of the music comes from other games. In particular, I picked out Rise of The Triad, Thunder Force 4, Descent, and Duke Nukem 3D music. There are also textures from various other WADs, including Gothic DM, and some new sounds. Unfortunately, the plasma gun/arachnotron sound is HORRENDOUS and made me want to throw my speakers out the window. It sounded more like something from the 80s He-Man cartoons than something that belongs in Doom. I'll definitely remove that sound when I play through this again in the future.

    Anyway, I won't go over all the levels, but here are some of the highlights. The WAD starts out kind of average, with a nice looking first level but really crappy music. There's also not too much ammo in the first map, which made it a bit of a pain to get through by the end.

    Level 2 is the odd one out of the bunch. It's a Rise of The Triad-styled map complete with music from the same game. The map is short and cramped, but nicely detailed, with frenetic combat. I especially liked the progression and found it to be quite fun.

    Level 3 is a very nice, detailed map. It has very balanced combat, and a lot of very fun traps. It was easily my second or third favorite map in this WAD.

    Level 8 was amazing, and quickly became my favorite level in the whole WAD. It's a medieval themed level with amazing detail and lighting. Nothing was punishingly hard about it, but it certainly wasn't a cakewalk, either. Instead it felt very balanced between combat, health, and ammo.

    Level 10 is a very long level, with frenetic combat and exceptional detail. The texture work in particular was striking and beautiful. This was tied with level 3 for my second favorite map.

    Level 11 was very well laid out, with good detailing. However, I felt that the placement of health items needed to be tweaked. There just wasn't enough health at the beginning. The ending also felt very gimmicky.

    Level 13 sucked. Sure, it looks really nice, with vibrant architecture and lighting, but the whole thing felt unfair. Plus it had some Duke Nukem 3D music in it that I've never liked. By this time, it was apparent that the WAD was starting to play with slaughter-style maps.

    Level 15 is a full-on slaughter map. It's very nicely made, with a very strong Quake episode 3 feel. But I really dislike slaughter maps, so this was one I couldn't wait to finish.

    So that's basically it. Overall, I'd say it's a good compilation of levels, though only a few really stand out. Level 8 in particular is one that I would play over and over. So give it a shot, and don't be too surprised when it changes from being normal maps to slaughter maps on level 13.

  • Abyssal Speedmapping Session 25 - Various
    Doom 2 - Single Player - Boom Compatible - 1.91 MB - (img) (img) (img) (img)
    Reviewed by: Jaws In Space
    Quick and dirty mapping has always been part of Doom right from the very birth of the game, from Sandy Petersen's task to finish 19 maps for Doom in only five months or John Romero's ability to finish E4M2 in only six hours. Here we are 22 years later still keeping the tradition of making maps quickly with the 25th incarnation of The Abyssal Speedmapping Session. For the 25th Anniversary of ASS, mappers were given the option to vote for their favorite themes from the previous twelve sessions. After all the voting was done, the themes chosen were xopious barrels (session 15), scrolling floors in map (Session 20), and crates (session 17). Then for the second round of mapping twelve hours after the first, the bonus theme zero use of door specials (session 20) was given. Also the 32in24:15 resource pack was given out at the start of the session for mappers to use. The vast majority of the 17 maps in this month's session used all of the themes, with just a few using only one or two.

    This ASS is pretty hit and miss when it comes to the quality of the maps. There are good maps from authors Jimmy (maps 3 and 8), Jmickle (map 5), and rf` (map 11); the others are anywhere from OK to horrible. The problem maps have a lot to do with how map authors used the moving floor effect; most authors went with a joke idea, like in maps 1, 4, 7, 16, and a few others. While joke maps can be fun for a map or two, it's a little bit too common in this wad, so it gets old pretty fast. Barrels for the most part are used for fun in this wad, though there are a few annoying barrel maps, like in map 9. Map 9 is a nice looking snowy canyon map where you platform up a cliff side, but there are a few instances where barrels can cause you to blast off the edge and you'll have to do the platforming all over again. Maps 13 and 14 by Pinchy and AD_79 were both pretty fun arena maps that made good use of barrels. Then there was Map 18 by 4Shockblast; if you've played previous ASS wads, then you know what to expect from this map: extreme difficulty with an emphasis on getting through the map as fast as possible all while attempting to avoid some nasty traps. As far as this ASS goes, I'd say that unless you're a fan of joke maps, you may want to skip this one in favor of something else.

  • Savior - Zack aka.DeF1LeR
    Doom 2 - Single Player - Vanilla - 11.57 KB - (img) (img)
    Reviewed by: gaspe
    This is clearly the effort of someone who's at his first attempts at mapping, but there's nothing interesting in this level. All you do is go from square room to another square room with enemies or supplies just scattered around. Both gameplay and visuals don't seem to have any idea behind them. Don't bother with this wad.

  • UNX01 - unerxai
    Doom 2 - Single Player - Vanilla - 25.12 KB - (img) (img) (img) (img) (img) (img)
    Reviewed by: SassyPaddy
    UNX01 is a somewhat medium difficulty map for vanilla Doom 2. It's OK at best. The map layout is kinda basic, aside from the zig-zag part. Though why is the water poison, yet looks normal? And how come the red key is next to the blue key? Wouldn't it be nice to have it in one of the cubicles?

    The monster placement is all right. No cheap shots or anything. Overall, an OK map that you can speedrun after a few tries.

  • Voldesad Crypt (e2m2) - Richy Walsh
    Ultimate Doom - Single Player - ZDoom Compatible - 500.84 KB - (img) (img) (img) (img) (img) (img) (img)
    Reviewed by: gaspe
    Voldesad Crypt is a quite long single level that replaces E2M2. If I could summarize the overall feel I would say "90's amateurism", and not necessarily in a good way. Even if is a bit ugly there's quite a bit of work on the lightning, and it certainly helped to give a better appearance in some places, but it was a bit overdone sometimes. It looks more like the author just wanted to use every effect and show gradient lightning in useless places. This leads me to talk about the very long corridors that connect the bigger areas, which is one of the biggest problems. I'm not sure what the author was trying to do with this map; sometimes it seems that it's trying to have atmosphere, then there are some gimmicky moments.

    It isn't terribly offensive, but I don't think there's anything really worth seeing here.

  • Spiky Speed MapPack - CactusHege / Hege Cactus
    Doom 2 - Single Player - ZDoom Compatible - 4.98 MB - (img) (img) (img) (img) (img) (img) (img) (img) (img) (img) (img) (img) (img)
    Reviewed by: gaspe
    Spiky Speed MapPack is wad with nine maps (or speedmaps?) for Doom 2. For the most part, it is and it plays like an average wad you can find, but there seems to be a quite silly mood that goes on in all the wad, and it wasn't a bad thing. Map 04 and 08 are the only ones that have only gimmick or jokewad stuff, even though the other maps have some silly moments as well, like MAP01 and its teasing chaingun or the MAP03 finale. The last map deserves another mention for having only revenants and a really appropriate custom boss. There's also the Pyrosuccubus as the only other custom enemy which will make few appearances, and it's in the wad for... reasons, I guess. Gameplay is quite basic, but many times, especially in the slaughter scenarios, there will many monsters but not used very well, and some fights will drag for a bit too long.

    Overall it's quite a mixed bag in quality, both gameplay and visuals; maybe the more joking moments will ruin the wad for someone, but they didn't feel forced or obnoxious. If you are looking for something not really serious and without high demands you can play this.

  • Full Doom Textures - TheLoop aka Uhbooh
    Doom/Doom 2 - N/A - Vanilla - 37.31 KB
    Reviewed by: gaspe
    Full Doom Textures provides the TEXTURE1 and PNAMES lumps containing all the definitions of the textures from both Doom 1 and Doom 2. That means that you can use all the textures from Doom 1 in a Doom 2 project and vice versa. The wad is present in two versions made oppositely for the Doom 1 and the Doom 2 iwads. However the only patches provided in these wads are for the animated waterfall and you have to provide yourself the missing patches from the desired iwad. It's a quite useful thing.

  • Bloody Rust - Various
    Doom 2 - Single Player - Limit Removing - 977.85 KB - (img) (img) (img) (img) (img) (img) (img) (img) (img) (img) (img) (img) (img) (img) (img) (img) (img) (img) (img) (img) (img) (img) (img) (img) (img) (img) (img)
    Reviewed by: Zalewa
    This WAD was released in February of 2016. The opening words of its story say this: "Humanity's war against the Hellspawn army has been going on for 22 long & bloody years now." After this the story continues in a more-or-less generic way. This is perfect. Doom was released in December 1993. For 22 subsequent years it's been rehashed, remade, revolutionized, and regurgitated with countless custom maps and mods. It should have gotten really old and dull a long time ago, but it never did. There's something about Doom that makes its core gameplay timelessly amazing (is it the super shotgun?). Bloody Rust here doesn't offer anything original either and it doesn't have to. It offers an exceptionally well made and polished reiteration of pure Doom gameplay, and that is enough.

    After this prolonged introduction, I will contradict myself and say that the first level doesn't promise much. It's basic, dark, and not very demanding in terms of difficulty. It eases you into the overall theme of the remaining five levels. Darkness will be your closest companion (or the worst enemy) up untilthe final map. It's not pitch black darkness. It's just dark enough to keep you on the lookout for deadly chaingunners stalking in the shadows. Pay attention to your health level, as there aren't many health pickups provided. I was too reckless and found myself running at 10% most of the time. Thankfully, the final two maps get easier, and there's always enough ammo throughout.

    Overall, all the levels are good looking, great fun, and challenging. The complete map pack takes about an hour to an hour and a half to beat (on UV). Even though this is a joint endeavour by 7 mappers, the WAD comes with a story which implies that it has a coherent continuity that should be played with inventory carried over between maps. That's how I played it, but I also noticed that weapons are provided for a pistol start approach, so it should also be viable. The maps follow a consistent theme of tech-base mixed with some stone.

    Some nitpicking:

    The story says that you must save a salt mine on Ceres because salt is the main component of BFG9000 ammunition (what an idea!). Despite this, the only BFG9000 that can be found is on MAP03 and has the "Multiplayer" flag, meaning it's available only in co-op or deathmatch. There's another BFG9000 on this map but it has all difficulty level flags disabled, therefore it doesn't appear in the game.

    There's no music replacement in the WAD, but because so many other WADs replace the songs with overused tunes, it's actually nice to be able to listen to the original Doom 2 MIDIs.

    This WAD also allows deathmatch play in maps 01, 03, and 04, so I launched a skirmish play with three bots. I found only map 01 to be playable due to its circular layout and small size. Map 04 would still pass as a DM level, but not with bots. The remaining map 03 is too much tailored towards single-player and too big, but then again deathmatch isn't my thing, so I don't really know.

    The sky texture is horrendous. I don't know if this is a horribly mangled Hubble picture of some piece of universe or spaghetti overflowing with tomato sauce, but it looks closer to sprayed guts and is simply disgusting to look at.

    Below are some words for each of the maps:

    MAP01: Construction by FireFish and Jaws in Space - (screens 01 - 03):

    Looks more like a cave-in than construction. Circular layout and small size. The only DM map in the bunch that was playable with bots. DM weapon placement is reminiscent of Doom 2's "MAP01: Entryway" where each weapon is provided once and each is in a different section of the map. A good starting map.

    MAP02: Outpost by nxGangrel - (screens 04 - 07):

    Uses almost entirely brown textures. Mix of stone and base-ish metal. Some red is thrown into the mix in the form of teleporters and blood. There are lots of damaging floors. You will have a hard time navigating them while trying to avoid fireballs launched at you by Revenants. There are lots of Revenants. This level is my least favourite one, but it's also the most difficult.

    MAP03: Smelting by Flesh420 - (screens 08 - 13):

    A claustrophobic, dark indoor map with a view to the bright outside - a sort of a promise of escape from the tomb you're locked in with all the demon bastards. Or is it they who are locked in it with you? Good level, but scarce on health pickups.

    MAP04: Foundry by AD_79 (Layout & Texturing) & Jaws In Space (Thing Placement) - (screens 14 - 15):

    This level begins in space where you're immediately vulnerable to enemy fire. Hide fast. It's an arena of brick, stone and blood - a painful, damaging lake of blood. You will have to soak your boots in it, as there you will find a set of blue doors which block your way towards the red keycard. Thankfully, there are radsuits, but just one for each side. Use them wisely. A very good map.

    MAP05: Oxidized by Du Mhan Yhu - (screens 16 - 20):

    My favourite. Adorned by SLADWALLs, this is a form of beauty. An example of good layout leading to unrelenting but not exhausting action.

    MAP06: Refinery by Vectomon - (screens 21 - 27):

    Open space. A sort of warehouse-like area with hordes of demons. You will be fighting them invasion style. This level is the brightest of the bunch. A nice final level with sort of a boss fight against "The Horde". A bit worse than MAP05 overall.

  • Payback Time - antares031
    Doom 2 - Single Player - Limit Removing - 412.07 KB - (img) (img)
    Reviewed by: Not Jabba
    Payback Time is an outtake map from Luducrium, the jokewad episode by antares031. As soon as you enter the arena, hundreds of Arch-Viles pop up all over the place -- but their attacks can't hurt you or even throw you around (explained by the "asbestos armor" that you pick up at the start), and you have the BFG and all other weapons with infinite ammo. The other catch is that the AVs can resurrect each other. On UV, there are so many Arch-Viles that you may never be able to win, as they can resurrect faster than you can kill them with the BFG. But as with the rest of Luducrium, winning isn't really the point. The point is curb stomping a couple thousand of your most hated enemies until you finally get bored of it. This is a cute little jokemap that's worth a laugh.

  • Kill-A-Hoe - Fveitsi
    Doom 2 - Single Player - Limit Removing - 117.51 KB - (img) (img) (img) (img) (img) (img) (img) (img)
    Reviewed by: gaspe
    Kill-A-Hoe is a slaughter map with more than 4000 monsters to satisfy your BFG/RL spamming needs. Let's just say straight away that visually it sucks. There's a very low effort in that, aspect and the lightning is basically absent. The gameplay is a bit better, but overall it's a mixed bag. The first big arena after an initial decent fight ends up being a door camping exercise for the most part, and this will happen at other times in the map. The big hub area was more interesting, and it's followed by a room with more camping behind a choke. The worst moment is probably after the blue locked door with a very long and straight corridor full of pinkies. The biggest fight happens at the yellow skull area, and it was pretty nice overall. It is preferable to jump into tha battle rather than retreat there, otherwise you'll have just to camp behind a door that will also block the monsters. The last battle is a room filled with cyberdemons and few archviles.

    The big fights were somehow nice, though they didn't feel like anything special. There are many monsters to kill in this map, but the combat drags for too long for what they are worth, and it isn't an extremely hard level.

The /newstuff Chronicles is a usually-weekly roundup of new items uploaded to the /idgames archive, and it is written entirely by community members like you. If you wish to contribute, the /newstuff Review Center is the place to do so. Register on the Doomworld Forums first if you don't already have an account, because you need one to submit reviews. Special thanks goes to the nearly 300 users who have submitted reviews over the past several years.

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Does DSDoom run as well with a non-GBA slot card such as a DSTT or R4? I have an old version that did, would be about the right time to upgrade I reckon.

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The link to the forums and the review center in the last section is wrong, also they are the same in the previous /newstuff. In the review center there's the link to newuac but the wad isn't anymore in the archive.

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The /newstuff and Doomworld Forums links down at the bottom of this post seem to be invalid. They work on the front page, though.

EDIT: LOL gaspe. Well played, sir.

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Jayextee said:

Does DSDoom run as well with a non-GBA slot card such as a DSTT or R4? I have an old version that did, would be about the right time to upgrade I reckon.

I'd assume it would, but I couldn't test it due to a lack of hardware. However, DSDoom uses HBMenu to start, and from the looks of this page, R4 works with it. YMMV.

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Jayextee said:

Does DSDoom run as well with a non-GBA slot card such as a DSTT or R4? I have an old version that did, would be about the right time to upgrade I reckon.

It works well with the Acekard, that's what I used.

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I didn't imagine that DS Doom would even qualify for /newstuff Chronicles, or even that there'd be so much interest. I uploaded it as a historic port, not as an actively maintained one. Very glad to see such a thorough review of it however :-)

If anyone is interested in forking it and picking up where it left off, the source control repository is at https://github.com/Doom-Utils/dsdoom -- the 1.2.1 source archive corresponds to the latest in it.

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Jayextee said:

Does DSDoom run as well with a non-GBA slot card such as a DSTT or R4? I have an old version that did, would be about the right time to upgrade I reckon.

It should. It ran ok on my NDS Lite with Acekard 2 (with AKAIO).
But of course this particular machine only has 4 megs ram, so there are slowdowns on some maps.
And I also didn't find the movement/control very good. In particular turning takes forever, and leaves you open to attacks. It's much harder to control than playing Doom with just the keyboard in DOS. I didn't like the way the touchscreen works at all, so didn't use it.
I'm sure all this could be improved though, because DS Quake has much better movement. So that's what I spend most of my time playing instead.

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I'm glad my spiky maps got a fair review, I was afraid of non humour sensed reviewer but was pleasantly surprised.
Nailed it pretty well!

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Bloody Rust - Various

The sky texture is horrendous. I don't know if this is a horribly mangled Hubble picture of some piece of universe or spaghetti overflowing with tomato sauce, but it looks closer to sprayed guts and is simply disgusting to look at.

Haha, I made that sky and I agree that it's quite bad. I'm surprised it got used at all to be honest. Originally, it was actually bats hanging upside down in a cave, though between the low resolution and conversion to the Doom palette, you can't really tell.

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plums said:

Haha, I made that sky and I agree that it's quite bad. I'm surprised it got used at all to be honest. Originally, it was actually bats hanging upside down in a cave, though between the low resolution and conversion to the Doom palette, you can't really tell.

Well I liked it, besides it was the most rusty looking sky texture that I could find so it's perfect for Bloody Rust.

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Jaws In Space said:

Well I liked it, besides it was the most rusty looking sky texture that I could find so it's perfect for Bloody Rust.

Don't get me wrong, I'm glad you found a use for it. I just thought, when I included it in the pack, "no one will ever like this one." Happy to be proven wrong.

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