Well folks, this will be my last t/nc, or at least my last one following the regular rotation. In two weeks Grazza will be taking over for me, so look forward to his reviews. That aside this week we have uh, well a pretty sub par showing of maps, though there are a few strong ones mixed in there. Oh well, I guess we can't all go out in a blaze of glory. Flaming wreckage perhaps. The two are very similar you know.
Caco's Revenge - Xaser
doom2.exe - n/a - 4k
We start off this /newstuff with a dehacked patch. I'll just let the text file do the describing:
Okay... This is basically a dehacked patch that makes all the monsters supercharged and more powerful than normal, except for the caco, which is now harmless, but invincible. Well, it first started because my little 6-year-old sister likes doom as well (despite her young age :), except that for some strange reason, she likes the cacodemons and doesn't like to kill them. Please, don't laugh, it's not my fault that she's like that. Anyway, after getting repeatedly killed by those darn cacos that I'm not allowed to kill, I Started to make a Dehacked Patch that turned the Cacos into harmless floating "shields". However, while I had dehacked fired up, I decided to change all other monsters, too. So there you have it, the stupid story behind this strange dehacked patch. See below for changes.
It may entertain you for a few minutes, but that's about it.
Speed Mapping Ness style - Various
doom2.exe - SP - 50k -
Speedmapping LIVES! Okay, here's a short rundown on these maps. MAP01 and MAP03 are eerily similar to each other in terms of texturing and overall look. Both play decently enough, but are pretty under-detailed and drab looking. MAP02 and MAP04 however are quite nice showings for only 100 minutes of mapping, though as is often the case they're both very small and fairly quick to complete, though there are a good helping of monsters in each. In fact, map 2 has some really nice detail such as couches, desks and such (the theme was to make a Resident Evil style mansion by the way) I'm not even sure how Espi pulled it off in such a short time. If small maps don't bug you too much then it's worth the download just for those two maps.
Castle of Forgotten Realms - Scott Carnegie (Ness)
doom2.exe - SP - 101k -
Okay the text file said to run it in gl, but it's just a regular doom2.exe level, so I ran it in software ZDoom. Eh. Nothing special. It comes across as a bunch of random areas which kind of fit in with one another, but none of them are overly well detailed and many spots could really use some sort of texture alignment. Gameplay isn't hard, and I could tell where the author wanted to spring some traps on me, but I was never really trapped. That aside you just collect some keys and when you run out of keys to collect you hit switches to open doors instead. You can probably skip it unless you're some sort of weird /newstuff completest.
Fantastic Violence - Michael Kelly
doom2.exe - SP - 25k -
Blah. Okay well the concept of this map is sort of interesting, but the execution isn't so great. You're supposed to be traveling through some kind of giant monster which, uh, has a bunch of smaller monsters living inside of it. However the level is really ugly (which I guess you'd expect) due to the texturing. I think it could have done better with some custom textures perhaps, but I dunno. Another major flaw I think is the lack of ammo and health. I played on skill 4 and I pretty much ran out of ammo by the time I got to the cacodemons. However since I was using ZDoom I pretty much just ran over all the monsters and got to the exit. You can probably skip this one as well.
Sniper of Insanity! - Xaser
ZDoom 2.0.47 - n/a - 338k -
Xaser's second showing this week is in similar fashion to his first, only instead of making all the monsters more powerful this time he's made the weapons more powerful. All the weapons have been replaced and have had their behaviors changed (with the exception of the fist which looks like a knife, but it's still a fist). I really liked the rocket launcher replacement, which fires chainguns that rip through whatever you fire them at. I thought that was pretty neat. Also the new chainsaw hud sprites are pretty neat. I'm also wondering why the dehacked patch is external if this is a ZDoom wad... That aside though this of course follows the standard weapons mod clause of being entertaining for a little while and then consists of you tossing it aside and forgetting about it. Enjoy!
Run darn you RUN - B.P.R.D
advanced port - SP - 141k -
Kind of an interesting concept, but it's way too hard and the level design is just ugly. Essentially you spend the entire map running from a buttload of Revenant rockets and then dodging Cyberdemon rockets while balancing yourself on tiny platforms and such. And I don't think there's an exit. There's a story too or something, but I didn't read it.
Southern Cross [Gold Edition] - The Solution and bryant robinson
advanced port - SP - 2.38m -
I actually wasn't going to review this because I forgot that deathz0r neglected it last week, but he happened to point that out to me recently, so I downloaded it. It's actually fitting that I reviewed it and not him since I was the one who reviewed the first release of this set back in /newstuff #130. At the time I said that the maps were laid out nicely and played well, however they were lacking detail to the extreme.
Well, this version is all that I hoped Southern Cross would be. The maps still play well with excellent balance and flow (like Dark 7 by the same author) however now they have some excellent details which is just what they needed. Smoothed lighting, computer consoles, steel pillars and so on have been added to all the maps making them (finally) look good. Without a doubt this is a set you should check out if you haven't already.