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    The /newstuff Chronicles #167


    The Ultimate DooMer

    Those looking for a remedy for last week's newstuff need look no further, as we have a ton of maps this week! Not too many wads, but some of them have rather a lot of maps in. Whether it's battling in the streets of Gotham, playing God with guns, getting up close and personal, running away from cyberdemons or brushing up on your Spanish, there's something here for you. Comencemos:

    • Batman Doom by Various Artists
      5510kb - doom2.exe - SP -
      This appeared last week but was not reviewed, and given it's just appeared on the archives for the first time, here it is now. If you don't know what this is, it's a full mega-TC based on the caped crusader. Everything has been replaced - the monsters with humans (mainly punks) and various villians, the weapons with Batman equivalents, the sounds (really good), music (not that good) and the graphics (extremely good). This leads to a totally different feel, both in looks and gameplay. Split into 7 "chapters" with a trip to the Batcave in between each one (make sure you look for hidden stuff here), the maps themselves are all decked out in realistic city decor (textures, flats and sprites), making a real city atmosphere, and the non-city maps also feel quite good. Some impressive special effects like burning fires, mines and projectile turrets add to things greatly, especially the way they're matched to the environments (except mines, which are everywhere). There is a bit of detail lacking in some maps, but the level of it is realistic and matched well to the environment, so that doesn't matter. Gameplay-wise, it's mostly on the easy side, although the generally low amount of health can make things a little tougher, despite the excessive amounts of ammo. However, the final boss battle is impossible without IDFA-ing due to it's unique setup. Aside from that, it's a fun, innovative wad that is definitely a must-play, even if you're not a fan of Batman.

    • P0wer Weap0ns by The Masters of Insanity
      295kb - ZDoom - n/a -
      A weapons mod that replaces them all with ridiculously over-powered weapons. Fun to be had if you like having the power of God at your fingertips, and anyone who complains about Plutonia etc. being too hard need look no further.

    • Close-Up! by Xaser
      1070kb - ZDoom - n/a -
      Another weapons mod, this time replacing them all with ridiculously over-powered hand weapons. There are a couple of ranged ones, but some of them are quite good and the extra power makes up for the lack of range. A must have for tyson fans.

    • Minotaur's Maze by Eye del Cul
      34kb - doom2.exe - SP -
      Quite simply, a gothic maze with a cyberdemon and a handful of other monsters in. The aim being to get the 3 keys and exit by avoiding the cyber, as with only shotgun, chaingun and no extra health/armour it's probably impossible to kill him. Nuff said.

    • Garrulismo by Eye del Cul
      2270kb - doom2.exe - SP -
      Aquí está algo nuevo - un mega taco español. (Pensaba en hacer la revisión entera en español (hehehehehe...) pero pensada mejor en ella... inglés de ahora). If you've played any of his previous maps, you'll know he likes using SS soldiers like normal monsters and putting up portraits of himself and others. Well, he also likes spectres a lot. The SS soldiers do add to the gameplay, but look criminally out of place. So after a few maps I knocked up this patch out of the Herian sprites, and I recommend using this for the megawad. Onto the wad itself, and the maps are well-detailed but sadly follow the bog standard base-to-city-to-hell theme order that most megawads do (it really is getting old now). The first 6 are a bit boring, but improve after that. In fact this wad has some of the best city maps I've seen for a while, aided by some Duke textures and some particularly nice large-scale areas. And believe it or not, the maps actually follow on from one another!! The gameplay varies - quite easy early on, but the further you go into this megawad the more and more heavy monsters appear and the more action you get. There's always plenty of monsters in general, but the gameplay still isn't too hard compared to some of the stuff we've had recently. The ammo balance goes up and down, from fairly tight to fairly comfortable, although you'll gather too much up later on. Overall, it does have some things to distinguish it from most megawads out there (mainly the SS, the city section and the way the maps are linked), it's a solid effort and gets extra praise for being a one-man effort too.

    • Beyond Doom by Doug Radcliffe and David Perkins
      1010kb - doom2.exe - SP -
      Continuing the trend of big map wads, here's 12 more. This time though, it's not as good. The maps are somewhat basic in nature, some of the layouts seem like they've been randomly thrown together, the detail isn't that great (although in some places it can be nice) and there are a few features like mazes and mass teleporting to annoy you. Gameplay is a bit better, with plenty of monsters and some big traps too, although the first two maps don't have enough ammo (fists at the ready). Aside from those first two maps, ammo is balanced quite nicely but the large number of hitscanners in close and long range battles can cause a lot of annoyance, particularly with health not being too abundant. Overall these maps are somewhat different to the usual fare, but unfortunately aren't up to today's standards.

    • BloodRust by Simon Judd (SlayeR)
      1010kb - source port - SP -
      Continuing the trend of big map wads that are 1.01 meg zipped, here's a short but sweet 11-map wad. Mostly base maps, but with a couple of brick ones, too. The detail is impressive, with few areas looking bare and the recoloured sky makes things look a little different. Gameplay isn't too difficult (for high-skilled Doomers), although it does get tougher throughout, and watch out for some sneaky traps and keep an eye on the ammo, especially towards the end. The health balance is mixed - sometimes there's plenty (including secret powerups) and sometimes there's not much around. However there are a couple of texture bugs that interfere with gameplay in map 10, so watch out for those. On the whole it's pretty fun, and certainly worth playing.

    • Outpost Recon by David Shaw (Tolwyn)
      127kb - source port - SP -
      Finally, a single map by an author who's better known for other things. It starts off not too well in the mountains, but once you hit the techbase things get better. The base is impressively detailed, particularly the taller rooms (which are harder to detail) and the texturing creates the futuristic splendour of the base. And the music is...(drumroll)...(wait for it)...nothing! (didn't see that one coming, eh?) However there are some issues with the gameplay - there are too many barons for your limited resources to cope with, a lot of the time you'll be using basic weapons only, and all the crucial weapons (chainsaw, berserk, plasma gun) are hidden away in not-too-obvious secrets (insert wrong-answer buzzer noise here). Health can also be tight as well. Unless you're psychic and find the secrets, it's not completable on skill 4 as you can't do without those weapons. It's a good map, but I hope that detail wasn't put before gameplay (which unfortunately is a trend these days). It's still a good effort and worth playing though.

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    Batman Doom!!

    except IDFA doesn't work on the final boss because you can't switch from that weapon... and he is beatable. But still...

    BATMAN DOOM!!!

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    Cyb said:

    Batman Doom!!

    except IDFA doesn't work on the final boss because you can't switch from that weapon... and he is beatable. But still...

    BATMAN DOOM!!!

    First claimed first post!

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    Telemundo!

    Anyway, here's my share of the megawad reviews....

    --Garrulo - By Eye del Cul--

    There is always those weird levelsets you might bumb into every once in a while. This seems to be one of them. The first thing you notice that the whole levelset and deh file is in spanish. The other thing to note is the....rather odd theme. It's your adverage "Go through bases and then through hell" type stuff, but the levels seem to be cluttured with pictures of random spanish guys. The most odd part is that the boss screen is Osama bin Laden.
    Aside from the oddness, the levels aren't that bad. They have the oldschool feel and the industrial maps are fun to play. There are some instances when you are in a big map and you seem to be lost. Most of the maps eat up about 10 minutes, so expect a nice big chunk of your time. The architecture seems to be dated, though. The midi however, is pretty irratating. Some of the maps have songs that we know and love/hate (like map22). I suggest you turn down the midi.
    If you want a good 32 maps to play, this outta shred some time.


    --BloodRust - By Slayer --

    Absolutly Brilliant.
    It hasn't been long since a nice levelset like this popped into newstuff. The maps use great use of the default textures and make the game feel like it has new ones (literally and not :P). Detail spills all over the corridors and outdoor areas (the 'portals' have their own nifty detail, too). The levels have the good ol mixed gameplay of Bella and Scythe mixed together. Although there are only 11 maps, every one of them won't be a waste of your time.
    I suggest you download this and experiance a nice quick Doom experiance that's ready to come again.

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    The Ultimate DooMer said:

    However, the final boss battle is impossible without IDFA-ing due to it's unique setup.


    That's not true. The whole point is that you're supposed to beat him with your fists, which I did. And I'm not a great player, either.
    They supply you with a BFG-replacement that's a punching weapon, and to ensure you fight Bane with your fists, you are unable to switch weapons without sabotaging yourself.

    You simply wait for him to charge you, and step aside (like a bullfighter). When he taunts you, you quickly punch him. Repeat as necessary.

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    Tolwyn made a level but didn't add any new music? :P I've played through Bloodlust anyway, good stuff. And Batman Doom of course, definitely worth playing if you haven't already.

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    pritch said:

    What happened to Tolwyn's wad? The link is all wrong.


    oh yeah, sorry, I had it changed but then I accidently borked the update and had to delete it and forgot to fix the link again when I redid the update... it's the right link now tho

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    I'm building a new house and my studio is packed up! ;)

    Thanks for the comments. I mentioned on the WiP page that I have a weakness with item placement.

    I did have a playtester, and stressed the importance that skill levels really mean skill levels. So, Skill 3 is for the average Doomer, skill 4,5 is for the punching folks that like a good challenge.

    I also am a huge fan of COOP, and the stats file included indicates that there is a lot more ammo and some different/more monster choices. The map was a learning experience for me, and my next one I hope will have more experienced item placement. ;)

    The secrets shouldn't have been TOO hard. I did the right things. You know, mis-aligned texture, the shadow arrow on the floor. :)

    Overall though, I'm pleased with the quick review and hope the next one is a little better.

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    Tolwyn said:

    I mentioned on the WiP page that I have a weakness with item placement.


    We should team up. My weakness is detail.

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    Somebody needs to re-do Batman Doom's DEH to use ZDoom's sprite resize feature to make all the sprites normal-sized instead of gigantic. KTHX.

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    Arioch said:

    Somebody needs to re-do Batman Doom's DEH to use ZDoom's sprite resize feature to make all the sprites normal-sized instead of gigantic. KTHX.

    But it makes the villans look relatively menacing. :P

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    ravage said:

    But it makes the villans look relatively menacing. :P

    Relatively STUPID. Especially when other Batmans in a multiplayer game look about 2x your own height.

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    Hyena said:

    That's not true. The whole point is that you're supposed to beat him with your fists, which I did. And I'm not a great player, either.
    They supply you with a BFG-replacement that's a punching weapon, and to ensure you fight Bane with your fists, you are unable to switch weapons without sabotaging yourself.

    You simply wait for him to charge you, and step aside (like a bullfighter). When he taunts you, you quickly punch him. Repeat as necessary.


    Yeah, but the point is that you don't have enough ammo to kill him, even if you entered with 300 cells and hit him with every punch. 7 punches ain't enough, you know.

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    The Ultimate DooMer said:

    Yeah, but the point is that you don't have enough ammo to kill him, even if you entered with 300 cells and hit him with every punch. 7 punches ain't enough, you know.

    You don't use ammo to kill bane. That was the whole idea.

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    Something really really wrong must be with your version if it's taking up cells every time you punch.

    Edit: I think you used zdoom without the custom zdoom deh patch.

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    Hyena said:

    Something really really wrong must be with your version if it's taking up cells every time you punch.

    Edit: I think you used zdoom without the custom zdoom deh patch.


    I just used the one in the zip, is there another one somewhere?

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    Arioch said:

    Somebody needs to re-do Batman Doom's DEH to use ZDoom's sprite resize feature to make all the sprites normal-sized instead of gigantic. KTHX.

    Yeah and change the fist too

    A fantastic Wad... but the graphics were really oversized... I ran around hitting everyone in the nuts.

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    Use3D said:

    what's wrong with base-city-hell?


    I was asking myself that too. Sure it is not one bit original, but if done well it derserves some kind of praise anyway.

    BTW, I like the return of solid no-shenanigans Doom editing I have seen lately.

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    sargebaldy said:

    The deh I included in the .zip was the ZDoom one from the site, not the old deh.


    Well, I ran zdoom with the old batman.deh and I had the same problem as Ultimate Doomer. (No problem with prboom) Are you sure you included the right one?

    Edit: I checked, and yes, you did include the later version. But the problem happens with both patches.
    I'm pretty sure I know what's wrong, though.
    Dehacked allows you to change the number of cells used by the BFG, but Randy said that for some reason, he was having trouble with weapons and ammo expenditures (with the incorporation of Heretic and Hexen weapons) and so he made it that you need to specify in the DEH how many shots each weapon uses with new zdoom commands.
    In other words, unless we make yet another new patch, Batman Doom cannot be run properly in zdoom.

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    I can't believe I bumped into a review of Batman DOOM! We made it sooo long ago... (I'm one of the authors... Carlos Bordeu). It's so wierd to find it in the newstuff.

    Sorry about the problems with the BFG and Bane, but we tested it with ZDoom back in 1998-1999? (I can't remember). Hyena and Ravage are right... the BFG shouldn't be using cells. Those punches should last forever.

    About the sprite sizes: Yes... they are way too large. We always thought we would be able to scale them somehow, but at the moment it was not possible. We could have scaled the drawings, but that would have ruined them too much. We tried making the player taller using deh, but that caused big problems with doors, ceilings and many other things.

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    Why doesn't someone make a ZDoom patch to scale the sprites to a plausible size and to fix the BFG thing? Shit, maybe I will.

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    Heh. So things to do:

    • Fix Things (and others) bits erroneously marked 1. See here.
    • Add sprite scaling to ZDoom-specific .deh file.
    • Be more specific in ammo usage. (BFG)
    • Fix fists?

    Get crackin' Ling. :P

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    Hyena said:

    (No problem with prboom)

    That's nice to hear, given that prboom hasn't always worked too well with complex deh patches. Which version was that?

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    If you are really interested in fixing Batman DOOM I might have something cool for you guys...

    Batman DOOM has never worked in cooperative in the PC because it's a port of a Mac wad file and the ported wad had a problem: No enemies appeared in coop. Some months ago Andres, Edmundo and I started fixing Batman DOOM so that it would work in cooperative. We fixed a lot of bugs (like the crash from level 12 before the fight with the Penguin on his chopper). We also tweaked some weapons, made the gameplay better... added new enemies in coop, etc. We got it 90% done. It still has some issues... but it's far better than the actual Batman DOOM. It's not a whole new thing, but its an improved version. All maps are playable in cooperative.

    If someone cares we could send those files... If someone is gonna re-scale the sprites then it's better if doing it for a better version of Batman DOOM.

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