Yes, it's finally up so you can stop complaining, Linguica. I think if you take a quick peek downward you can see what took me the hell so long.
A very interesting newstuff week. Why is it interesting? Well, to begin with . . . there were 17 zips uploaded. Yes. Once again, after many slow weeks, a heavy wad dump lands in the lap of everyone's favourite (or maybe least favourite) hyena. What else makes it interesting . . . hmm. Well, three of these zips contain a levelset wad. And one zip contains multiple single-level wads (and one levelset). On that note, thank you Deathz0r for sharing your old beginner wads with me. Since so far my opening news post has been nothing but a big complaining rant, you probably have lost interest by now so I can pretty much say poo is my bicycle of flea spaghetti in my left pocket of tuna pumpkin salad and thank you for the inspiring cheese-flavoured dish detergent which I logically place under my armpit whilst I hum the theme to Knight Rider while bathing in chalk. The skulltag bots don't seem to work for me, which made one of the wads hard to test, and because I was just a little rushed hopefully you can forgive me for a couple of very short reviews. (Besides, for some of them, the screenshots say it all)
Oh, and one special message to Mike louis Anderson (email@example.com); learn how to name a cat.
PS from Cyb - Apparently Hyena was going blind near the end, the gamma on some of these shots is really high, heh.
- Dawn: A Prelude - ReX Claussen
1,278k - Zdoom/Doom2 - SP -
The continuation of "Darkest Hour", the very cool Star Wars TC. At first, Dawn didn't seem to strike the same chord with me. Perhaps what bothered me is map09 and how it's an almost exact recreation of the first level of dark forces. Yes, Dark Forces is probably where 90% of the TC's resources came from, but I would personally want to downplay that part as much as possible and give it more of an original twist. It is kind of cool to come back to the old levels again and replay them, but only when there's a major noticable difference. I could list examples of games where you come back to an old level to find it in smoking ruin, but I think I've dwelled on this one level enough.
In one level you avoid all-out combat and pose as a civilian to sabotage a space station's communications equipment. I rather like the concept, although I had a difficult time finding my way around a big station.
As usual, the author creates a very aesthetic setting that ranges from small words like "nice" to a complete loss of actual words in exchange for punctuation, "!!!!" It is fairly fun too, although it wasn't nearly as addictive as many other wads I've played.
- Capture the Flag 1 - Dean "deathz0r" Joseph
512k - Skulltag/Doom2 - DM(CTF) -
I can't say I've played that many "capture-the-flag" style doom wads. Deathz0r apparently saw a need and filled it. As far as I can see, it's a relatively open and small map, and not the most detailed thing in the world, but not ugly. To get into one of the two bases, you'll need to hit a few switches, which seems to be the major challenge. If you're not playing one-on-one, you can have a teammate open the door for you when you return with the flag, which is an idea I somewhat like. It does seem to promote camping though, as the inner switch is right by the flag.
It's hard to say whether this is worth downloading because I mauled the crap out of skulltag trying to figure out how to get the bots to work, and it didn't do much. I'm probably going to get two pages full of messages now telling me I'm a moron for not figuring out something so simple. Take it easy, I lost my arm in the war . . . They took my squeezing arm!
- ALPHA: One Nerd And His Doom - Hyena (Me)
2,810k - Zdoom/Doom2 - SP/DM -
Do you remember G-onahd? Probably not. Well, for some reason I made a prequel. I know you'll all hate it and won't play it. Man, reviewing is easy. If you do play it, however, be sure to try it out in deathmatch as well as single-player.
- System Vices - Bob Reganess
1,000k - Doom2.exe - SP -
Sigh. I'm an idiot. I download the thing and it comes with all these stupid deusf instructions and I go through agony just to get the thing running. Turns out the instructions are only for those who want to use doom2.exe. Those with ports can just run the damn thing without all that annoyance. I wish I read that part more closely the first time.
Once I got past that, however, I found a very impressive wad, especially considering I was expecting some lame doom2 wad from 1997 *cough*deathz0r*cough*.
The detail fluctuates from below average to above average, and the gameplay is definitely on the fun side, but what really did it for me was the atmosphere. Bob Reganess has created a very surreal sci-fi/fantasy setting. Strange forcefields, odd creatures, and the structure of the levels sometimes changes as you explore them. There are some nice room-over-room effects too, not common in vanilla doom.
I did find a few of the puzzles confusing and a little frustrating, but with a little bit of time, trial, and error, they're not all that difficult. I wish I wasn't in a rush to get to the other wads because this is a very cool levelset I could easily waste a few hours on.
- DARK FATE - Karthik Abhiram
142k - Doom2.exe - SP/DM -
The best way I think to describe this level is "Hell Revealed for DooMortals" (DooMortals being a phrase I just invented--or that I think I just invented--for people who are not Adam Hegyi.) Beginners and Intermediate Doomers should be quite challenged by this one. And it's a lot of fun, too. It's packed with small to medium monsters, although I think it gives the player too much ammo and powerups. There is one Spider Mastermind to contend with, and several arch-viles, otherwise it's mostly cacos, hell knights, and sergeants hiding in tiny alcoves that ambush you just as you stop to take a breath. As a side note, I think the music really sets the mood.
- FIRST SPAWN - Johnathan "Monochrome" Wilson
88k - Doom2/????.exe - SP -
It begins. This is one of many previously unreleased (and maybe unreleasable) "myfirstwadevarkthnxbye" maps. I'm not entirely sure why everyone feels now is the time to show off how bad they were back before boom was invented, but here they are, nonetheless.
This one started off looking okay. The architecture is a little ugly, but it's not giant rectangular rooms, and there's no HOM. And mostly it was a decent playability. Then I found the cyberdemon. Oh, and there was a spider mastermind. I think that's the point when I decided I'd had enough.
Oh, and a note to the author: Think about what you put in the text file. I mean, first it says
"This is all you need: doom2 -file first.wad" and since it's an old wad I assumed it was doom compatible. But then I ran it in prboom and I got a segmentation violation . . . maybe the BSP wasn't properly built or something. Further down in the text file it says
Requires: : ZDoom Beta"
I have a headache. :(
- Arch-vile: the last fight - Mike louis Anderson
2k - Doom2.exe - SP -
Best Level Ever.
- Doom monsters: the last fight - Mike louis Anderson
4k - Doom2.exe - SP -
Okay, this one's exactly the same, but with a bigger selection of monsters. The first one made me laugh, this one didn't.
- SargeBaldy Speedmapping Compilation #7 - Various Authors
71k - Doom2.exe - SP -
Another speedmapping session, which SargeBaldy set up later than usual to accomodate a few Australian participants who never showed up. So, as a result, there are only three people who took part. Only two of them took it seriously. And only one of them made a very good one.
The theme is "create a UAC factory for armour and weaponry that has been taken control of by hellspawn"
Map01 is a pretty decent creation under those lines with some nice detail, and a fairly fun walkthrough. Map02 is a cramped, dark area filled with monsters.
Map03 is three rooms. In the second room you fight an archvile. Then you enter a bathroom where you grab a BFG and jump through a hole in the ground to exit.
- SYMOHOME.WAD - Symo Storr (C) 1995
53k - Doom2.exe - SP -
When I first started up the wad, the first words that left my mouth--out loud, mind you--were "What in the tar-head?". I don't know what that's supposed to mean, I've never said it before. It just came out. It's a really weird wad. You know how newbie authors always do their house? This guy/woman/sadistic android has added a bunch of pukey-coloured textures, made a house out of them, and filled all the rooms with very odd monsters and traps. Oh, look, it's Commander Keen's hanged corpse in a dark nursery, yay.
The level's definitely a head-scratcher. If you're feeling a little too normal, try this level and twist your brain around a little bit.
- I.S.M. - Incredible Shrinking Marine... - Symo Storr (C) 1996
115k - Doom2.exe - SP -
A waste of time. Full of annoying puzzles that require you to be both intelligent and insane in order to conceivably pass by. The first puzzle is in the first room where there's a tiny alcove that's very low, and somehow you're supposed to understand that you need to shoot through it because there's a small square dent in the ground you need to stand in to be low enough to shoot through it. After fighting about three hundred and forty eight zombies (slight exaggeration) you walk into the next room (which has a door shaped like a wooden panel) that has a very infuriating puzzle.
There are four switches in the room that raise four platforms off the ground by 16. You need to arrange them to become stairs for you to climb to the next area. That means you need to hit switch #1 exactly once, switch #2 exactly twice, and so on, to arrange it properly. If you hit any of them too many times, it's impossible to get to the next room and there's no way to reset the platforms except to restart the game. And by the way, the level is map02 (because it's too hard for map01 . . . whatever the hell that means) so you can't just start a new game. You need to start a new game, then use idclev to get back to map02. If this isn't annoying enough, the switches are arranged so that switch #1 is closest to you, then switch #4, then 2, then 3. Great, so not only do you have to hit each switch the correct number of times, you also have to remember which is which (They're not labelled in case you're wondering)
For some reason, I was masochistic enough to try this until I got it right, then got killed by a room full of chaingunners. Then I restarted and did the puzzle again, and used IDDQD just to see if the rest of the level was this bad. I ran out of ammo in a room full of demons and lost souls (and one revenant) and had to beat them all with my fists, and hit a switch that doesn't seem to do anything but that I have to figure out in 4 seconds before whatever it did undoes itself. One of the worst I've played in a long time. There has been worse, but not much.
- SYMOSHR.WAD V ][.0 - Symo (C) 1996
75k - Doom2.exe - SP -
This level would almost be fun if not for the 2-sided lines disguised as walls that had enemies hiding behind it. As usual, Symo likes to create annoying puzzles. One switch was hidden inside a 64x64 sector, two sides being 1-sided walls, one side being blocked by a pillar, and one side being masked as a normal wall. I myself had the patience to open it up in the editor to figure out where that damned switch was. Most players I think would not.
Other than that, the textures are weird, the monsters are somewhat easy except when they pin you against walls. And the ammo balance actually is pretty good.
If you find the secret area (which you need a yellow key to find) there's a very bizarre room with a sky floor and small land bridges, complimented with hanging keens and a spider mastermind. Okay . . . yeah . . . I'd stay away from this one.
- SYMOPLAN.WAD - Symo (C) 1996
96k - Doom2.exe - SP -
I went into this level expecting to hate it like Symo's other wads, but I found myself somewhat enjoying it. Well, it's hard to say really whether it's "good" or "bad". It sort of teeters. It's very non-linear, and ammo is very tight. Finding the best way to get from place to place can mean the difference between barely enough ammo and not enough. It takes a lot of trial and error to figure out the best walkthrough for this map, and that can mean great to some people and terrible to others.
Unfortunately, there also are some infuriating areas that are somewhat difficult to figure out, ie switches that effect the other part of the map that require you to run all over the place trying to see what's different.
As for the actual look of it, it's very odd. The textures are extremely brightly coloured, and some of the switches are just so strange I don't even want to describe them. OFF / ON
It's such a toss-up to me whether to call this a good or bad wad that I don't even want to. I think I'm leaning more towards bad, but at the same time I do find that switch amusing, and I have been ripping Symo's levels to shreds so I think I should have something nice to say about one of them. *shrug*
- The Transformer - Christoph Oelckers (Graf Zahl)
46k - Doom2.exe - SP -
May Not Run With... : This level should work with any source port. The level crashed in doom2.exe, boom.exe, prboom.exe, and zdoom.exe before I could even begin. This would have been my entire review, but I somehow managed to get it to work in skulltag. Graf, if you're there, I have one hyphenated word in all caps for you; PLAY-TESTING! The error messages say something about texture moronity, involving a texture called STEP1A, so now that I've done that work for you, you can go and fix it.
The Transformer, if you can get it to run, is a challenging and fun level. Early in the level, the ammo balance is extremely thin, so that means you should fire at only the monsters that directly get in your way, or enemies who leave behind ammo that you have immediate access to.
Once you find the "sergeant room" however, things should be fine in the ammo department. It's a short level, but good for average-skilled doomers who like a level that's difficult but not impossible.
There's some nice texture use and lighting effects used here. But don't take the time to enjoy them or you'll be very dead very fast.
- SYMOWOLF.WAD - Symo Storr (C) 1995-6
104k - Doom2.exe - SP -
I'm sorry, but Symo's stupid puzzles are too much. I couldn't figure out how to get out of the first room, and I'm not even going to bother playing the rest of the level.
- deathz0r Episode 1: The Old Menace - Dean "deathz0r" Joseph
164k - Doom2.exe - SP -
A collection of deathz0r's old levels, which are all conveniently separated into different wads, some of which don't have an accompanying text file. Interested to see what 1997 had to offer? Me neither.
- DIABLO -
A giant ugly mishapen room with monsters, an uncomfortable amount of barrels, and a lot of rockets. There's no point.
- SURVIVAL THE NAME OF THE GAME -
A big round outdoors area with at least one of every monster with enough ammo to kill them all 10 times over. In case it's too hard, there's also 2385923845 soulspheres, megaspheres, and invuln spheres.
- SURVIVAL THE NAME OF THE GAME 2: THE RETURN OF THE ALIENS -
See above. Change outdoors to indoors. All other conditions apply.
- SURVIVAL THE NAME OF THE GAME & DIABLO -
Okay, now this is pathetic. Map01 is exactly like survival2 . . . item, monster placement, and everything. The only difference is that the ceiling is impossibly high and the outer walls are a sky texture.
Map02 is completely 100% the same as Diablo. I fail to see the point in this wad. I think Deathz0r is getting revenge on me for the time I submitted a crappy wad to newstuff under a fake name.
- THE WADPACK
The text file says: This is only 8 modified Doom II levels (THE FIRST SIX ,LEVEL EIGHT AND LEVEL 31) and one created level (LEVEL NINE) which are harder, stranger, funnier, easier, less monsters with better weapons or more monsters with easy weapons etc.
What the ant-herpes is that supposed to mean??
Well, I played through them. Most of them are supposed to be modified doom2 levels, but as far as I can see they're exactly the same. I saw no difference whatsoever. I warped to map09 and it was another survival wad with some hideous graphical errors. It doesn't deserve a screenshot.
- dean.wad -
No text file. You have to go to map06, and I had to open my editor to be able to tell. It's a big room full of corpses with ugly ugly graphics errors, and a spider mastermind in the corner. No weapons. There's no way this wad was supposed to be serious. I don't have the slightest idea what Deathz0r was thinking.
- suprdoom.wad -
- sprdoom2.wad -
I'm going to kill you, deathz0r.
- DIABLO -
- Power Plant Deathmatch - Bob Larkin (a.k.a. Sematary) (a.k.a. Brad_tilf)
468k - Doom2/Port Required - DM -
I would like to ask the author a question, if I may, regarding the text file.
You're 41 years old, you're married, you have 3 children and 4 stepchildren. How do you have too much time on your hands?? Anyway, Power Plant Deathmatch is a small, simple DM wad. It's a little easy to get lost in, as it's one room seperated into six identical parts, which means hunting down the weapon you want will be a little difficult.
It is sort of fun, though. And although repetitive the detail is good. Since it seems to be the only real deathmatch wad this week, I guess those DM players looking for a new wad will being going with this one.
*GASP* That took way longer than it should have. That's newstuff, everyone. Hope it was worth the wait.