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The /newstuff Chronicles #529

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  • Eyedea_ - AlexMax
    Doom 2 - Deathmatch - Boom Compatible - 69.43 KB - (img) (img) (img)
    Reviewed by: walter confalonieri
    This is a short duel arena (but it's also suitable for 4 players, like how I played it with bots playing on Zandronum) made by master of deathmatch AlexMax, author of many UniDoom series maps and ZDaemon CTF series.

    Layout is well connected with a little system of hallways, and the main arena is above below series of floors connected via stairs and lifts. The level flows very well and the gameplay is fast paced and fun to play, thanks to a very good weapon placement... expect for the "secret" BFG, which is on a middle section of the main arena; it could be better if it was on another pillar (as it could look to be), and activating a fast lift to get it, but it may break the flow of map.

    But except for this, it is a perfect and fun map to play. It reminded me of great classic maps like greenwar (that I think it was somehow inspired by). Download it and frag some dude on some server on ZDaemon or another port of your choice!

  • Innocence X2 - Donnel "Jazzmaster9" Enriquez
    Doom 2 - Single Player - ZDoom Compatible - 33.98 MB - (img) (img) (img) (img) (img)
    Reviewed by: rodster
    Hello everyone! :)

    Two things about me that you should know while reading this: I never played PSX Doom, therefore I will focus on the Doom64 aspects. About my Doom64 experience: I loved it and I played it multiple times (I also lost the passwords several times which was a pain, maybe you can relate). OK, let's go on with the actual review.

    "Innocence X2" consists of 10 maps. Its made by Donnel "Jazzmaster9" Enriquez. The author recommends the GZDoom source port for this wad, which I used in my playthrough. "Innocence X2" is the successor to "Innocence X". Both wads were made by the same author. The music for the maps is taken from the Doom64 and PSX Doom soundtrack with the allowance of Aubrey Hodges. They really give you that special Doom64 or PSX Doom feel!

    The first seven maps make up the main game, while Map08 and Map09 are secret levels. They are quite difficult to find. Both secret exits are located within the main game. Map10 is a bonus level; I used the idclev cheat code to enter it.

    While the predecessor "Innocence X" used iconic map parts of Doom64 (e.g. the crusher in Map02 or the starting area of Map01), "Innocence X2" takes a rather freed approach. Yet the author still manages to keep the special Doom64 feeling alive.

    Map07, the boss map, is quite unique. It might be a bit cheesy but it does its job pretty good, and it will give you a decent fight with a nice build up.

    The author included several more new monsters in this sequel, which improve the gaming experience.

    Overall, a nice work by Jazzmaster9. The Ultra-Violence difficulty should give you quite a challenge. The maps are well balanced. Although at some points it might get quite difficult; for example, I struggled a lot with Map08. Also, watch out for those rocket throwing walls, they can be quite nasty. There is also a nasty trap with Nightmare Imps in Map06 which I didn't like a lot. If you want to have a chill session, then I would recommend a lower difficulty.

    About the boss fight: I actually liked the custom sounds and the build up to the fight and the boss himself, but I also think that the boss could have had a little more HP and another more destructive attack.

    In my opinion, if you liked Doom64 (or PSX Doom), then you might also like this wad. This wad is not meant to be a total conversion, but rather meant to bring a Doom64 feeling to Doom 2, and it does its job pretty well as far as I can tell. The author also gives you the option to disable the recoil; you just have to load the c_weapons.wad file as well with the "Innocence X2" wad.

    Also, be sure to check out Map10, it's quite a fun map actually.

    And whoever made those Nazi skins (I'm not sure if they are also made by Jazzmaster9, I saw at least one of the Nazi Soldiers and the Machine Pistol in other mods as well) did a nice job!


  • DEMISE: The Collision - Nathan Pagliaro
    Ultimate Doom - Single Player - ZDoom Compatible - 839.54 KB - (img) (img) (img) (img) (img) (img) (img) (img)
    Reviewed by: Not Jabba
    In a recent review, Benjogami described the Ultimate Doom megawad Demise as a huge dose of "schlock": "A nice chill B-movie wad where you can zone out and cruise through some ugly nostalgia and have a laugh or two." Demise replaced E1 through E3, and Demise: The Collision is the E4 follow-up. This episode was made immediately after its predecessor in just two months, and it isn't much of an improvement.

    In E4M1 alone, there are a fair number of texture misalignments and other visual glitches, you get charged by a bunch of Spectres that can't even reach you because the stairs are too thin, you have to backtrack across the entire level after you pick up the red key because the layout doesn't take the progression into account, and the sides of doorways and lifts don't use unpegging, so the walls scroll up and down when you use them. The rest of the levels aren't much better; they all have similar errors that could have been found and fixed with beta testing, and most of them suffer from just-a-bunch-of-rectangular-hallways syndrome. Practically every key in every map requires you to walk all the way back to the other end of the level to use it. Two maps (E4M2 and E4M9) have game-breaking bugs that require you to use the no-clip cheat to continue. E4M5 and E4M6 are Deathmatch levels and are skipped in single-player; the first one looks like a pretty standard classic DM map, but the second one doesn't even load because it lacks a player 1 start.

    One thing Pagliaro is pretty decent at is lighting -- it's simple but clean, mostly high-contrast spotlighting that cuts through dark areas. There are a few rooms that look pretty nice, generally in cases where the author uses more non-orthogonal angles -- see screenshot 2, for instance. The best map is E4M4, which has a pretty cool mixed Hell/water theme and a few somewhat interesting ideas.

    The whole Demise saga is a perfect example of why it's important for beginner mappers to post beta levels on the forums and get feedback as they go. Pagliaro has clearly learned some things through self-teaching and has improved very gradually since E1, but basically he's created an entire 36-level megawad where every level is filled with the same beginner mistakes. Demise: The Collision is in the awkward position of no longer being so bad it's good, but also not being fun or interesting to play, and as a result, I can't really find any reason to recommend it.

  • Revolution! MIDI Pack - Jimmy & various
    Doom 2 - N/A - Vanilla - 471.03 KB - (img)
    Reviewed by: Not Jabba
    It's no secret that Jimmy is an awesome guy, and this MIDI pack continues his quest to provide all-original soundtracks for megawads from the early era when collaboration was more difficult and MIDI composers were few and far between. And it's about time something like this happened. Of all the wads created in the community's first decade, TVR! is probably my favorite, with its casual bite-sized levels and goofy faux-realistic sector objects/everyday locations -- I believe the kids refer to that detailing style as "Doomcute" these days, but whatever you call it, Thomas van der Velden practically invented the concept.

    This pack contains original songs for every level of the megawad (plus the title, intermission, and story screens) by a wide range of composers, from veterans like Alfonzo, yakfak, and Viscra Maelstrom who have firmly established themselves in recent years, to new but promising composers like Akse and Icytux. Jimmy himself also contributed several tracks and seems to have done some final polishing on a few of the weaker ones. All of the tracks feel solid and are enjoyable to listen to, and each one is a pretty good fit for the level it's assigned to. I didn't feel like there were many tracks that especially stood out as masterpieces in that way that makes you want to stop in front of the exit door and keep listening for a couple more minutes, but there weren't any weak links either.

    In general, it feels like the team has made an effort to produce a more classic sound, but I think the soundtrack inevitably suffers somewhat from development cycle dissonance. Many tracks feel like the musical sensibilities are a bit more modern (in some cases, a lot more modern) than the levels themselves. However, it doesn't really take away from playing the levels, and it's certainly better than no soundtrack at all. So unless you've already put together a customized soundtrack specifically for this megawad (which I have, but I doubt many people have gone to the trouble), you can't go wrong with this compilation. This pack will also make an excellent resource for people looking for music, and the zip even includes all MIDIs in unpacked form (plus several more that ultimately weren't used for the megawad) to make your life even easier.

    This add-on offers more than just MIDIs, too. During its development, it attracted the interest of van der Velden himself, who decided to create a new level to go with the soundtrack's release. This level plays in the map 33 slot and feels like it's very much in the spirit of TVR! -- it's very simple and quick to play, but fun and adventurous, with some nods to the original megawad. The soundtrack wad also adds in custom story texts, which were missing from the original release. All in all, a great supplement to a great classic megawad.

  • TV1998 MIDI Pack - Jimmy & various
    Doom 2 - N/A - Vanilla - 130.17 KB
    Reviewed by: Not Jabba
    As part of the TVR! MIDI project, Jimmy also compiled this soundtrack for TV1998, an earlier 22-level megawad by van der Velden that feels a bit like a rough draft for TVR!. This soundtrack uses songs from the TVR! MIDI pack, so there's no additional original content, but the tracks have been selected and arranged so that they fit the maps in TV1998. If you're planning to play the megawad, make sure to pick up this add-on.

  • WooD - Walter "Daimon" Confalonieri
    Ultimate Doom - Single Player - Boom Compatible - 128.5 KB - (img) (img)
    Reviewed by: rdwpa
    Wood is a cute little E4M1 replacement that feels straight out of the late '90s period of sparse, but purposeful, design. It's not going to blow you away, far from it, but it might evoke a little nostalgia. I find the simple aesthetic gorgeous -- the e4 sky complements it very well -- and only wish there was more to play! Combat is quite insubstantial, mostly plinky action against low-tier monsters, so most of the modest challenge is tied to the light puzzly aspect of the progression. Give it a spin if you're looking for something simple and relaxing.

  • Dark Invaders (w/original music) - Paul Dechene
    Doom 2 - Single Player - ZDoom Compatible - 20.33 MB - (img) (img) (img) (img) (img) (img)
    Reviewed by: VeeTHis
    When I first started this WAD, it looked very promising. You can tell that there was a lot of detail and attention put into the house. In my opinion, it's one of the most detailed places of this map.

    So, when you get out of the spawn room of that house, you're immediately met with a ton of Imps. Downstairs is also pretty detailed, too. If you go to the kitchen, it turns into a "blood kitchen"? I really don't know how to describe it.

    When you go outside the house using one of two ways, it traps you there. One of the ways brings you to a swarm of Cacodemons, Imps, and Pinkies. The other exit is more easy to handle. It just has a few Imps and two Pinkies. When you kill all of them, you can press a switch to get a red skullcard.

    In one of the rooms of the house, you can get a chainsaw, which makes this level much more easier in some parts. In the other exit, once you kill all the monsters--well, I'll leave that part for you guys to explore.

    The custom music that this WAD comes with is also a really nice addition. Even though I prefer the original Doom 2 music for this level because I think it fits it better, it still sounds very nice, but, in my opinion, not that fitting.

    This level has a really nice design to it, and it's a long one! While it does take a while to complete, it still is very fun. I wish there were more healthpacks because I found myself dying many times because of how low my health was. The ammo was pretty fairly spread out.

    This map does challenge you a little bit as well, because most of the time it's throwing high power monsters at you like Cacodemons, Barons of Hell, Pain Elemental, Revenants, and more. This map does suffer from monster-spamming, though.

    I found myself using the chainsaw to mow down mainly Imps, Pinkies, and Lost Souls. The main reason for my deaths were because of the Lost Souls. Near the half-way point of the map, you have to kill a Pain Elemental, and I died so many times because of that.

    This level has very nice aesthetics to it, and the secrets, in my opinion, are a little easy to find. For one secret you have--wait... I don't want to spoil a secret! Never mind.

    This level does require some strategic steps to not get ambushed by the monsters; at the points where the monster-spamming is at its max, it's pretty easy to get hit by an enemy projectile. The ammo is pretty fairly placed, and I didn't find myself running out of ammo often.

    If you're going to play this, then you're not going to use the pistol. I can tell that this map focuses on you using the shotgun, because that's what most of the ammo you find will be: shotgun ammo.

    There is one part though that if you fall in, you have to get killed by the Mancubus in the hole because I haven't seen any way out of it. I highly advise to save pretty often, because you probably will die a lot because of the sheer madness that occurs!

    I really liked this. I don't think this would be the best map for beginners, as it does take some skill. And I highly recommend playing this with auto-run on (if you're playing it on a source port that has auto-run).

    Overall, what an awesome map! I'm looking forward to your next map, Paul Dechene.

  • Uplink - Zoltan Schmidt "Katamori"
    Doom 2 - Single Player - PrBoom+ - 10.86 MB - (img) (img) (img) (img) (img)
    Reviewed by: Not Jabba
    Uplink is a set of three maps that take place almost entirely in a CC4-skinned cyberspace. This type of setting has been done before (most recently, to my knowledge, in the last few levels of Mutiny), but Katamori's execution is pretty unique. Blue and silver are the primary colors, and the author has focused on complex architectural structures and simple (non-annoying) maze-like environments that call to mind the shapes of circuitry. The maps all do a great job of conveying the setting, and there are some pretty neat digital concepts integrated into the architecture -- my favorite is the huge scrolling bands of floating crates in map 02 that represent the flow of data. Laid-back electronic tracks set the tone for each level (map 03's track is especially good), and I felt like they really helped me get immersed.

    In keeping with the unreality of the setting, things change rapidly in these levels, whether it's a key suddenly teleporting away or a bunch of walls lowering, and you have to think on your feet. Combat is trap-oriented, but it's generally pretty moderate; it never feels trollish or difficult to get out of, it just forces you to react quickly. The mapset ends with a very cool final battle against a bunch of Pain Elementals -- because you don't have plasma weapons and they teleport into the arena rapidly, your only choice is to take them on with the rocket launcher, making for some seriously nerve-wracking combat with an emphasis on maneuvering quickly for a good shot. All in all, these smallish maps are well worth the time to play, and I really enjoyed them.

  • Run For It! - Cherepoc
    Doom 2 - Single Player - ZDoom Compatible - 4.1 MB - (img)
    Reviewed by: Jaws In Space
    Run For It a fun joke wad designed for ZDoom-based ports. The basic concept is that every item and projectile can sprout legs, and then they run around the map. Monster projectiles target the player, the players projectiles target the nearest monster, while all of the items and decorations seemingly run around at random. The objects only stop running if they are shot, or if they hit their target. This mod makes the maps fun and somewhat challenging as you are forced to chase down those pesky weapons and health items. My personal favorite decoration is when the hanging legs sprout legs to run around with.

  • Winter In The City - Omegalore
    Doom 2 - Single Player - Limit Removing - 1.97 MB - (img) (img) (img)
    Reviewed by: Not Jabba
    Winter in the City is your typical Christmas wad with cute holiday-themed graphical replacements for everything. The monsters all look like toys, Santas, reindeer, etc., the hellish dead trees are decked out with ornaments and lights, and the weapons and nukage barrels are all lovingly gift-wrapped. It's definitely fun, and the author has put a lot of effort into maintaining the theme and has gone well beyond just tossing Santa hats on everything and calling it a day. The chaingunner, Revenant, and Arch-Vile are the only monsters that don't have sprite replacements, which is kind of weird. There are also a few little bugs here and there -- for instance, the Lost Soul has the wrong death animation -- but with a wad like this, it almost feels like the bugs are supposed to be there.

    If you played this level without the graphics, it would probably be pretty forgettable -- it's mostly square buildings with streets between them, and an abundance of long, pointless, empty alleyways. However, I felt like the cheesy charm of the Christmas theme was enough to keep me going. If you love all those weird classic graphics-only TCs like Simpsons Doom, or if you can't get enough of Christmas wads, you'll probably enjoy it.

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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All of the WADs reviewed here still seem to be in the review center, they all say "preparing for publishing".
OK, not anymore.

Nice Chronicle overall!

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Not Jabba said:

from veterans like Alfonzo, yakfak, and Viscra Maelstrom who have firmly established themselves in recent years

oh god not again ;-;

Not Jabba said:

to new but promising composers like Akse and Icytux.

Icytux is far from new, but doesn't do much musical work for Doom, Jenesis MAP29 and ZDCMP2 are the only ones I can think of. Last I heard he was writing songs for Japanese pop bands or something - possibly a slightly warped memory there though.

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Eris Falling said:

oh god not again ;-;

Sorry for not mentioning you, if that's what you mean -- I include you in that same category, I just didn't want to list every single contributor.

Eris Falling said:

Icytux is far from new, but doesn't do much musical work for Doom, Jenesis MAP29 and ZDCMP2 are the only ones I can think of. Last I heard he was writing songs for Japanese pop bands or something - possibly a slightly warped memory there though.

Ah, my bad. I just didn't recognize the name from anything else. Thanks for the info!

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eyedea_ was meant as a modest upgrade to the original map. I felt like the original map was a tad bit too cramped, and the BFG in the middle of the arena was actually meant to be denied through the use of a shoot-switch, which turned out to have the opposite effect, making the BFG trivial to get. So I expanded the hallway, and changed the BFG denial gimmick to actually...deny the BFG, plus a bunch of other small little adjustements.

I'm happy with the map as it stands, and I do not anticipate another iteration. Thanks for the review.

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