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    The /newstuff Chronicles #157


    deathz0r

    Whoever decided to reupload exec.wad for no reason, go to hell. If you were smart enough to look in the /idgames database, you would of found it right here. And I also decided to not review another wad (classix.wad), since it's just a compliation wad of old DM maps.

    Moving on, there's seven crap-filled WADs to review this week, including the most anticipated WAD of this year! What could it be? Click whereever that damn link is to venture into the mysteries of /newstuff for this week.

    • APOCALYPSE.WAD - Bruno Vergilio
      28kb - Doom2.exe - SP
      Oh my, this is pitiful. Why is it that most of the time I do a /newstuff Chronicle, the first wad on the list is patheticly bad? To those who think I'm asking a rhetorical question, I sort WADs out by title name, meaning I don't deliberately put the worst wad of the week first, but it sounds like a really good idea.

    • Death Summoning (Legacy) - Map01: Complex Entryway - Agent Spork
      472kb - Legacy - SP
      I really like Agent Spork's SP maps. They're fun, challenging and they sure as hell look decent as well. Judging from the title of this, it's obvious that he's planning a megawad of some sorts. It also says in the text file that he's making a Legacy and a ZDoom version of the same thing. Crazy bastard. Still, this map is something that'd I like to call a "sneak peak" into a future megawad. For a first map, it's actually quite hard, and I can never get past that damn Hell Knight pit. The detailing isn't over the top, but definitely not something that looks like my ass. Gameplay is a little bit challenging on UV, but since I'm so one-sided on the subject of choosing a skill level, I'll just say that it might be hard for some people. As I said before, the most annoying part of this wad is the annoying Hell Knight pit that you have to battle. Not only do I always die in it, I can't even find my way out of it.

    • Fortress - Templar
      70kb - EDGE - SP
      Ugh. The new enemies are ok, but the level design is far from it. Unlike 99% of WADs, this is an Ultimate Doom WAD, so uhh, if you don't have Ultimate Doom, then you'll be bound to see to some texture errors. Oh, don't bother downloading this, unlike you like rocket launcher-touting enemies.

    • Nickel Electroplate Facility - Samuel "Kaiser" Villarreal
      221kb - Boom Compatible - SP
      This is the fourth Kaiser_* WAD that I've reviewed, and once again, he never ceases to impress me. If it wasn't for that damn SP WAD down the bottom of this list, I would of given this the "SP WAD of the week" award. Regardless, it's a worthy addition to the somewhat large collection of Kaiser maps, with excellent level design, and some rather challenging gameplay. Check it out, you won't regret it.

    • r's Mega - Jason "Hellbent" Root
      287kb - Doom2.exe - DM
      Since Grazza didn't have time to review it, he handed it to me. Boy am I glad he did, since I love reviewing DM megawads, especially if the levels have a great replay factor... and I wasn't disappointed. "r" (who was a big fish in the Doomserv community) asked Hellbent to make a megawad out of his favourite Hellbent-produced maps, and to say the least, he has some really good taste in DM levels. All of them are great for FFA, but a few are a little too big for 1-on-1 action. There's a few levels that I don't particularly like (MAP05 and MAP06), and there's a few levels that break one particular rule of PWADs, but since they barely resemble MAP01 (I forgot which maps they are, look after MAP16), I guess that it's legal or something. The interconnectivity in most of the maps is spectacular, and dead ends are very rare to encounter. If you really need a reason to bitch and moan, complain about the detailing. They really do look like those DM maps that were made in the 1995-era, and a few of them are dog ugly. I'm sure you SP zealots will have a cry about that, but I prefer my DM WADs to have gameplay, not detail! Excellent megawad, a worthy contender for /beststuff.

    • Schlagwerk - Christopher "Udderdude" Emirzian
      1088kb - ZDoom - SP
      I hate cramped areas, and this WAD is full of them. Not to mention it has an illegal MP3, but hey, Ty doesn't care!

    • Vrack 3 - Fredrik Johansson
      922kb - Boom Compatible - SP
      Wow, I am impressed. The long-awaited sequel to Vrack 2 has arrived, and it sure as hell gets the coveted "SP WAD of the week" award. I'm not much of a SP player myself, but I really enjoyed playing this more than anything that I have this year. It doesn't use many custom textures, which is what I particularly like, since anything that is in doom2.wad is a lot better than the gothic textures, and some of that other stuff. There's a phletora (sp?) of Boom features in this, and the lifts are nothing short of amazing. The gameplay is also challenging, as I was constantly running out of shells throughout the level. I only took three screenshots, so I don't give away much of the level, but let me assure you something. If you've never played the Vrack series before, download this and play it now! You don't know what you're missing out of.

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    fp props to me!

    I grayscaled the vrack3 image on the frontpage for comedy value. You can hardly tell. Great map but really gray :P

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    I really don't like the /ns reviews in the past few months. Instead of just saying "This sucks because I don't happen to like blah blah" why don't you instead try and focus on some of the better things a map has to offer (although I will admit sometimes it is hard to do that). Some people actually DO put some effort into wads only to be told by doomworld's mainpage that their wad sucks. THE END OF MY RANT oh and Vrack3 is cool

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    Yea, the lack of color in Vrack3 sorta turned me off to attempting this wad more than twice. I need variation in my maps, unless they are very small, and in this case, a map of such size should have 5-10 themes throughout to keep monotony from setting in.

    Deathz0r, thanks for the rave review on my r-mega.wad. Makes up for the ignored dm wads I submitted last week. Your review was spot on, except that I don't think map06 is that bad gameplay-wise. Map05 really shouldn't be in there, though. I have dozens upon dozens of wads better than map05, but alas, that was the request according to the notes r had sent me (I think r, in retrospect, either never wanted that in there and made a mistake when taking notes, or I blundered when following his instructions.)

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    Ralphis said:

    I really don't like the /ns reviews in the past few months. Instead of just saying "This sucks because I don't happen to like blah blah" why don't you instead try and focus on some of the better things a map has to offer (although I will admit sometimes it is hard to do that). Some people actually DO put some effort into wads only to be told by doomworld's mainpage that their wad sucks. THE END OF MY RANT oh and Vrack3 is cool


    I agree. It's not like these are hollywood funded productions waiting for ruthless critics to tear them apart. There really should be a more community founded approach to reviewing amateur wads. That doesn't mean that wads shouldn't get the uncoveted "not recommended" stamp of disapproval, but that there be more of a critique and less of a "hey moron, take a hint, you suck as a mapper and should give up right now." Say the wad sucks in so many words, but maybe offer some tips for the mapper to take or some sort of upshot so they don't feel it's a total waste of theirs (and our) time. The doom community is small enough as it is; we don't need to encourage people to not partake. Another thing that'd be really nice is to see overall comments on wads such as "recommended" and "download at your own risk" and "not recommended" along with a 5 star rating system.

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    Hellbent said:

    Your review was spot on, except that I don't think map06 is that bad gameplay-wise. Map05 really shouldn't be in there, though.

    Oops, I meant MAP04 instead of MAP06. Heh, I was kinda rushing the reviews, did them all in 20 minutes (a record for me).

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    Hellbent said:

    Yea, the lack of color in Vrack3 sorta turned me off to attempting this wad more than twice. I need variation in my maps, unless they are very small


    LOL @ irony

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    I haven't played too many of these wads yet, but I think there is some fun to be had with Apocalypse.wad. I recorded a pacifist, for instance.

    Hellbent: I don't think I ignored any of your maps last week (or by "ignored" do you mean that you don't believe anyone has played them?). The megawad actually arrived too late to be "officially" in my week (it didn't appear in the Saturday's fullsort document), and I preferred not to try to squeeze in a really hasty review at the last minute.

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    Ugh. I come back to DOOM to make some new levels and I get flooded out by a joke megawad and Vrack 3, and both my WADs get dumped on.

    Last time my WAD got 3rd place to some 89k thing with some huge Zdoom bugs that prevent it from even working, while mine was called annoying. This time the "review" of my WAD is pathetic .. I'm aware they don't want you uploading WADs with MP3s, but that's more to prevent idiots from uploading WADs with popular music MP3s in them and no levels at all. Not some obscure music from a Japanese video game nobody's prob. even heard of.

    I played Vrack 3, on UV the traps are annoyingly hard. When you get the SSG, you're faced with 3 mancubus (one teleports behind you) and nowhere to run. I had to save/load tons of times just to get out of it alive. I felt like I was playing a joke WAD with rediculous detailing .. I half-expected a message to come up on the screen saying 'LOL MANCUBUS!!!!!1' when I got the rocket launcher. Ugh. Yeah, the detail level is insanely high but it's so gray and repetitive I refused to care less than halfway through it. I was more aggrivated that it was slowing my framerate down.

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    I rather liked Schlagwerk. Lots of good battles. I like the cramped feeling. I havent heard the mp3 though (I leave music off), but I doubt it was really necessary. I havent been able to beat it yet though.

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    Vrack3 is stunning. The architecture is very real, very believable. It's one of the few Doom wads where the level actually looks like the place it is supposed to be. ie I could easily imagine flashing forward a few years into the future and stepping onto a space station that looks something like that - even if it does have all the usual illogicality of Doom levels (eg closed doors with nothing behind them except trapped monsters etc).

    As for gameplay - it was a tough fight, but good fun. My only gripe was the logic of the level. Quite a few times I found myself wandering around in and out of rooms I had already visited trying to work out what to do next. That could just be me though. Whatever, as far as Vrack levels go Vrack3 is probably the best but I find the logical layout of Vrack1 the most open and playable.

    Oh yeah, and I like the grey. Much better than the over used tired Gothic look or rusty steel and stone/brick IMO :-)

    And as for the reviews, on the whole I think they have been pretty good recently. Much better and more even handed than in the past. Sometimes they can be a bit harsh or cursory. However, we now expect newstuff to be a bit harsh, and lets not forget, just like the WAD authors, the newstuff reviewers are also doing this with their free time for no payment. They are not reviewing Hollywood funded projects but neither are they being paid by some media company to review Hollywood blockbusters either. The reviewers are amateurs and hobbyists who put their time and effort into the reviews. Saying "your reviews suck" is no different in principle to the reviewers saying the same about levels. I for one would like to say "thank you" to them and ask them to "keep up the good work".

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    udderdude said:

    I played Vrack 3, on UV the traps are annoyingly hard. When you get the SSG, you're faced with 3 mancubus (one teleports behind you) and nowhere to run. I had to save/load tons of times just to get out of it alive. I felt like I was playing a joke WAD with rediculous detailing .. I half-expected a message to come up on the screen saying 'LOL MANCUBUS!!!!!1' when I got the rocket launcher. Ugh. Yeah, the detail level is insanely high but it's so gray and repetitive I refused to care less than halfway through it. I was more aggrivated that it was slowing my framerate down.

    Don't play on UV if you're not good enough for it. Yes, the traps are evil, but I made it into the caco-maze with some saving/loading on UV. I beat it on HMP, maybe you should try it too?

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    deathz0r said:

    (...) The detailing isn't over the top, but definitely not something that looks like my ass. (...)

    Prove it *g*

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    boris said:

    Don't play on UV if you're not good enough for it. Yes, the traps are evil, but I made it into the caco-maze with some saving/loading on UV. I beat it on HMP, maybe you should try it too?


    I had little problems with the map except the trap areas. Up to the Mancubus SSG trap I hadn't died once. Also, the Arachnotron trap was annoying as hell too. It seems like the difficulty goes from average to ball-crushingly hard instantly, and that's NOT good. I didn't die once in the caco-maze.

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    Enjay said:

    And as for the reviews, on the whole I think they have been pretty good recently. Much better and more even handed than in the past. Sometimes they can be a bit harsh or cursory. However, we now expect newstuff to be a bit harsh, and lets not forget, just like the WAD authors, the newstuff reviewers are also doing this with their free time for no payment. They are not reviewing Hollywood funded projects but neither are they being paid by some media company to review Hollywood blockbusters either. The reviewers are amateurs and hobbyists who put their time and effort into the reviews. Saying "your reviews suck" is no different in principle to the reviewers saying the same about levels. I for one would like to say "thank you" to them and ask them to "keep up the good work".


    The reviews have been good recently, but this week is just .. ugh. It seems like deathz0r is just pissed off and decided to take it out on this week's WADs. It seems like he played mine for about 2 seconds before writing his "review". Infact, any WAD that wasn't from someone he allready knows he totally trashed. Bleh.

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    Actually I found Vrack 3 rather repetitive and annoying. Yes, there is a lot of detail and some nice traps. But I can't see anything else about it that I like.

    I liked Vrack 2 very much, but Vrack 3 is not more than a sequel that nobody really needed. Go ahead, Frederick, make something new!

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    I think that Deathzor must be replaced with someone else.
    If he doesn't have time (or interest) in review the wads, he must leave. I'm sure that there are a lot of guys here that should love to do his work (not me).

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    TheProphet said:

    Actually I found Vrack 3 rather repetitive and annoying. Yes, there is a lot of detail and some nice traps. But I can't see anything else about it that I like.

    I liked Vrack 2 very much, but Vrack 3 is not more than a sequel that nobody really needed. Go ahead, Frederick, make something new!


    I partially agree.
    Though Vrack3 is indeed a nicely crafted level, it's pretty repetitive and, yes, annoying. That doesn't mean I didn't enjoy the level (or most of it). Some parts were really good, while others were so-so. Good, but not incredible.

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    udderdude said:

    The reviews have been good recently, but this week is just .. ugh. It seems like deathz0r is just pissed off and decided to take it out on this week's WADs.

    You must be new here, or you're an idiot. Maybe both. Either way, it seems you're a fucking baby.

    Don't whine because your review wasn't good. Here's a tip. Make better WAD's.

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    I'm sure that there are a lot of guys here that should love to do his work (not me).


    That's the problem, it's all fine and good to say that other people should do reviews but finding them and getting them to do it is another thing entirely. I think that anything is better than having no newstuff reviews at all. You also need to keep in mind that this is one persons opinion. That's the great thing about this comment system, if you don't agree with the review just write your own and post it. It's not that hard especially if it means that much to you.

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    I played schlagwk, and it is a bit cramped, but there's still just enough room to maneuver in most spots. However, the problem isn't quite what you might think. The monsters have a hard time moving around in a lot of the areas, especially the Pain Elementals near the end. The narrow corridors made most monsters much easier to kill and the Revenants and the Mancubus harder. There was one thing that was nagging me throughout half of the map. There are two blue armors practically right next to each other in that room just before the first 3D bridge, and then again (but not as bad) closer to the end of the map. I generally avoid the armors unless I have little or no armor left, so this is a bit annoying.

    And by the way, I liked vrack3 up until I got the rocket launcher as well.

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    Ralphis said:

    I really don't like the /ns reviews in the past few months. Instead of just saying "This sucks because I don't happen to like blah blah" why don't you instead try and focus on some of the better things a map has to offer (although I will admit sometimes it is hard to do that). Some people actually DO put some effort into wads only to be told by doomworld's mainpage that their wad sucks. THE END OF MY RANT oh and Vrack3 is cool

    I second that. Doing so will only discourage people from making more wads, especially if they're just starting out. (and then people bitch about how few wads there are in /newstuff :P) While the reviewer might be "right" in saying that a wad is pure shit or whatever, and others agree, what's more important: the bottom line (keeping wad authors happy so they keep making them), or being right?

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