It would figure that the first time I do a t/nc in a long while is the time that everyone and their mother decides to release a billion maps. Also there's this guy Daniel who either forgot to upload all his maps until this week or has been really, really productive. On top of that we have the re-release of End Game and a new Chris Hansen map, hooray! So yeah, let's get started, shall we?
ARMAS 14 (Weapons 14) - Daniel
Port with Dehacked Support - n/a - 286k
This is a weapon replacement for Doom 2. The weapon sprites are pretty nice, but none of the weapons seem overly modified outside of the BFG which is pretty cool (attack the sergeant in ZDoom for some fun). But overall nothing much to look at unless you need some weapon sprites for your project (be sure to ask the author first, as per the text file).
ARMAS 32 (Weapons 32) - Daniel
Port with Dehacked Support - n/s - 1967k
This weapons mod is a little more ambitious than Armas 14 as it showcases not only new weapons but also some modified Doom sprites. Once again the Weapons aren't really anything amazing, just some new graphics, though once again the BFG is pretty cool. Other than someone finding use for the graphics, though (and I think some of them have already been used elsewhere) I can't see much to use this for outside a little bit of fun for a couple minutes.
Azagthoth - JSGraham
Limit Removing (?) - SP - 1572k -
This set of 12 maps is a definite addition to your WAD collection. I had a great time thoroughly playing through this masterpiece, and I rediscovered having fun while playing Doom.
You start off in a tech base, fighting off numerous monsters in cramped areas. Of course, fighting in cramped areas gives it a much more intense sort of atmosphere, as you're trying to dodge bullets from those nasty former humans while they're only three metres away from you! That's the type of intense fighting that pumps me up for some slaughtering, and there was plenty of that in this finely crafted WAD.
The detail is great, as you can see in the first and sixth screenshots. You can definitely tell that JSGraham ensured us that he made some effort to create a quality mapset. The non-linearity to the theme gives it that realistic feeling, like you're being magically teleported from one place to another, or being transported through some sci-fi tunnel that moves your body at light speed.
Oh yes, the puzzles! How can I forget about those? I know that if there's one thing the Single Player loves more than detail, it has to puzzles. Fortunately for you, there's tons of puzzles for you to figure out, such as really small mazes that give you a really eerie feeling, and maneuvering around a dangerous hexagon-shaped mountain (see MAP12). So in a nutshell, download this masterpiece today! - deathz0r (I know, I couldn't believe it either!)
Bella Et Arma - PumpkinSmasher
Limit Removing - DM - 149k -
Sadly I didn't have time to actually test this map in DM, but from the looks of a short SP runthrough I have a feeling it wouldn't play very well at all. It's entirely too cramped and there's no connection at all between the offshooting areas (outside of some badly done teleporters) which would make for pretty horrible flow. Darknation should get a kick out of the second screenshot as well, though who knows if it was intentional or not.
[B][O][M][B] - Xaser
ZDoom 2.0.63a - n/a - 434k
Another weapon mod. These actually make my job easier because all I do is run around map01 after typing IDFA and kill stuff with each weapon. Nothing overly interesting here (as with the previous two mods in this newstuff) though there's the addition of a railgun (what ZDoom mod would be complete without one?) and the BFG replacement is also pretty neat (and I assume where the wad gets its name). You can actually get some pretty good bomb jumps with it. Outside that, you know the drill (the weapon mod drill).
¡Bulla! - Eye del Cul
doom.exe - SP - 83k -
Replacing E1M1 this map is one of those maps that's nothing great but at the same time nothing awful. It's a hellish themed map and the theme is pretty consistent throughout, but the architecture and looks are hampered by a lot of newbie errors like weird half buildings and pieces getting cut off in the distance by the sky (see the first shot). There's also a pretty big lack of texture alignment in places, but the map is pretty full of monsters so you probably won't notice unless you're some kind of big crazy. Gameplaywise I found it fun but drawn out and repetitive. You start off with all the powerful weapons and are thrown into a huge firefight right away (which was pretty cool, I thought) but soon I got tired of all the crap coming at me.
Overall it's pretty much just your run-of-the-mill map, so I'll leave it up to you if you want to check it out or not.
CAVALEIROS - MACAÉ/RJ BRAZIL - Daniel
doom2.exe - SP - 1553k -
The map is supposed to be the city of Macaé in Brazil. I've never actually seen that city, so I can't judge the map on accuracy, but in terms of looks this map looks pretty cool. In terms of gameplay, it sucks. The map is loaded with big monsters and they seemingly all wake up the second you fire your first shot (it's a very large and open map). A few of them will take each other out, but for the most part this is of no help to you. That wouldn't have been so bad if I could actually find a friggin weapon. After much searching and running from every monster I saw (because face it, a pistol isn't very fun to kill stuff with) I finally found a shotgun... it was not an enjoyable experience. I recommend downloading this to take a look if you have the time, but don't expect Scythe-level gameplay.
Daniel Level Serie 01 - Daniel
doom2.exe - SP - 3074k -
This Daniel guy doesn't stop, does he? This one is a megawad, 30 maps for your enjoyment. Map16 is actually the same map I reviewed in the previous review. Anyway, the quality of the maps is about the same with his others, and they're all pretty fun with good health and ammo balance. The theme varies throughout the maps, but Daniel sticks to his style of maps that take place out in large open places pretty much throughout, the only exception being a few tech base maps halfway through the wad. The maps are nothing spectacular, and Daniel needs to learn about texture alignment in places, but overall the quality is still pretty good and it's worth checking out if you need a new megawad to play. As I said before, it's no Scythe, but it's not too shabby either.
Lava Pits - Spunkman
Skulltag - DM - 269k -
Once again I didn't have an opportunity to actually test this in Skulltag, but from what I could see the map looked like it would play fairly well. The hallways were wide and the map had good connectivity, though I think the doors weren't the best idea (even if they did open quickly). There were also lots of little pillars on some of the walls which I'm sure could hamper movement at times. But overall it looked pretty good and would probably be a fun little map to DM on. Give it a shot and see for yourself.
End Game - Various
Boom - SP - 1240k -
This is the re-released version of Endgame from a few months back. As you may recall the original version somehow contained a map and textures from Mordeth E2 and thus everyone learned the moral of the story was not to leak Mordeth resources. At any rate, End Game is back in all its mixed quality glory once again. I say mixed quality because, while all the maps are pretty good, some of them really stand out as being a lot better than the others. For instance map01 (which I could tell was made by Jan Van der Veken before I looked at the text file) is an excellent start map. The next two maps, however, are not as well done in the looks department, and it really loses something because of that. However they both still play well, which also counts for something, right? Map04 is by Erik Alm, and as you'd expect from Erik, it's an excellent map. Likewise map05 by Josh Zylstra is quite cool, though not as good looking as maps 1 or 4, but it doesn't stand out nearly as much as maps 2 and 3. Map06, the castle map (the one that caused all the controversy) has, I believe, been retextured, but I don't think it's a new map (I haven't bothered to check my original copy of End Game yet). The architecture of this map is great, but a lot of spots come across as looking very sparse. The theme of the map (gothic bricks) also doesn't really fit in with the other maps either (though map05 is bricks as well, so I suppose the meld).
Map07, however, is the real crown jewel of the set, and it really stands head and shoulders above all the others. The layout and architecture of the map are nothing short of spectacular, and the fact that you actually have to flood the map to progress only adds to how awesome it is. Throw in some really cool looking lighting tricks, great detail and excellent gameplay balance and you have a truly great map.
And not to end on a bit of an anti-climactic note, but I didn't like map08 at all. It's made in a Hell Revealed style, only it doesn't seem that much thought was put into monster placement as Anthony just dropped monsters in groups of the same species in the same area. Along with that the lighting is fullbright which I absolutely abhor (1996 called, it wants its light level back). Overall people who can't get enough of HR and AV will love this map, but the rest of us may want to knock it down a skill level or two. Anyway, you really should download End Game. Even though the map quality varies, overall each map is quite well done, and all eight (except maybe the last one) are a lot of fun.
Feveswar - Kostas "Bad Sector" Michalopoulos
Legacy - SP - 12k -
The text file says Legacy, but it worked fine in ZDoom and I assume it will work fine in any port. At any rate, this map is short. It took me 1:26 to play it the first time (though I didn't kill everything). Aside from the really small size it's not too bad, but nothing really great either. Maybe you can download it and play while you're waiting for End Game to download.
FutureTic - Xaser
Heretic - n/a - 314k
Heretic weapon sprites for Heretic... heh. Instead of the usual midevil weapons you now get regular looking guns. Not very useful outside the novelty value (or if you happen to need gun sprites). Plus I was never a fan of Heretic anyway. Enjoy!
Icon of Sin Patch - Alexis Aiello
Dehacked Support/Limit Removing/Z Clipping - SP - 20k -
New Icon of Sin monster which is actually a static monster instead of a giant wall. Looks pretty cool, and maybe someone can find a use for it in their project (the dehacked work doesn't replace any monsters). The sample map requires ZDoom or another port with Z clipping (Eternity, Legacy and EDGE all have it I believe), though I'm not sure why.
In A World - Chris Hansen
Limit Removing - SP - 400k -
It's weird, but almost every time I do /newstuff, Chris Hansen releases a map. Mind you, that's not a complaint, because I love his maps. In A World carries with it the usual Chris Hansen style. Chris makes use of a ton of textures, so there's no real theme to the map (similar to Helpyourselfish), but he still makes it work. The detail throughout the map is great, from the architecture to the lighting. You can tell a good amount of time was spent on honing the gameplay. I played on skill 4, and while it was a great challenge, I never felt frustrated due to an excess number of monsters or because I kept running out of ammo. Not that there's an excess of ammo or health, meaning you'll still need to be careful, but as long as you don't go crazy (or have awful aim) you should be okay. Overall, this is one of the best maps this week, and one of the ones you should not miss out on.
Catacombs of Knoa - Yupa
doom2.exe - SP - 135k -
Here's a fun little map. While it's not excessively detailed (though it does have a bunch, it may VPO in doom2.exe, though I didn't check), it's quite a lot of fun to play. Set in some catacombs (as the title might give away), your mission is to kill a bunch of demon hellspawn guys and get to the surface. There's lots of switch hitting but zero keys are used (which is refreshing, though switch hitting is harder to do since you don't want to make the player hit a switch and have no clue what it does). It's peppered with lots of enemies, mainly imps and former humans early on (as well as a few hell knights), and later on you have to deal with cacodemons and a few pain elementals (which are actually used in such a way that they aren't as annoying as they normally are). Overall, it's not the most pretty map, but you're sure to have some fun playing it. Recommended.
Doom NES Music - Bloodshedder (Bill Koch)
port with mod support/Doom - n/a - 201k
That crazy Bloodshedder guy has gone and converted all the Doom music to chiptunes (like NES or C64 music). On top of that they sound pretty cool. There's not much more I can say about that, but if you like playing the original Doom levels but need some music variation from time to time, then you should check this out. Other than that, project authors can use these tracks for their projects (I sure am suggesting that a lot today, huh?) with Bloodshedder's permission.
RIPANDTEAR - «º¤PØTG|Ê$§ÊR¤º»
doom2.exe - SP - 147k -
I'd just like to relive a point back in 1997 when I had random ASCII characters in my nick (yes, I was that lame). They do not make you look cool. They do not make you look like a '1337 h4x0r'. In fact they make you look like a 12 year old dumbass. And that's all I'll say about that.
So hey, if you enjoy dull looking maps with pretty boring gameplay, then this map is for you! Actually, it starts off pretty good. The detail level isn't great, and the architecture is pretty dull, but at least it's fun. After a while, however, I started to get bored. The 'gameplay' consists of opening a door and facing off with a bunch of monsters over and over. There's no surprises, no monsters teleporting in, no cool traps (except for one with an arch-vile and a revenant), just boring kill a bunch of crap and hit a switch. Actually, I think the beginning was better because you were hitting switches and the rooms had some sense of purpose. After a bit you just collect keys in a bunch of randomly thrown together rooms. Don't bother, there are much better maps to play this week.
Torch The Day - «º¤PØTG|Ê$§ÊR¤º»
port with sprite support - SP - 162k -
More of the same from that crazy potgiesser, only in a marble setting. The map looks a bit nicer, and there's more height variation than RIPANDTEAR, which makes it more interesting to play. The imps are also red. I'm not sure why, I guess just for fun. You can probably pass on this one too.
wImPy HeReTiC - Xaser
Heretic - SP - 139k -
It's a Heretic map! Yay, or something. Pretty cramped and crowded, but I guess if you like Heretic you might enjoy it. Sorry for not spending more time on this review but a) I don't really like Heretic and b) I'm running late with this whole review thing, so that's all you get from me! Anybody who likes Heretic will probably download this anyway since Heretic maps are quite rare, so enjoy it you crazy Heretic people!