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    The /newstuff Chronicles #202


    AndrewB

    Hello again and welcome to a Thanksgiving edition of The /newstuff Chronicles. While some of you will be stuffing yourself with various festive food, most of you will be puzzled by my opening statement. This week shows itself to have a bit of a theme; namely, medium-sized single-player maps with medium-sized enemies. We have also have the odd deathmatch map, weapon replacement, and novelty mod. Of course, there is the odd submission that seems really dumb, but the better reviewers will always give these endeavors every drop of respect that they deserve. Now put away your flux capacitors, shut your storm shutters, open your watches and drink from the spring, and then set aside a few hours to enjoy the many enjoyables that The /newstuff Chronicles has to offer.

    • Madmax by Ryan Feltrin
      7kb - Doom - DM - 1 map - -
      We start off the week with a strange, although understandable when you think about it, WAD file. According to the documentation, this map was released ten years ago today. Why it took this person that long to upload it is anyone's guess. As for the actual map, it's about what you would expect from 1994. It's a simplistic, jagged-circle map with a slurry of red, brown, and yellow decor. All deathmatch will take place in one open area, which is actually somewhat acceptable. However, the chances of someone ever deathmatching with someone else in this map seem quite slim. If you love WADS that are extremely rich in the "What's the point" factor, this one will fill an orifice.

    • E1l1rq by Raphael Quinet
      11kb - Doom - SP - 1 map - -
      Following up a "What's the point" deathmatch map is a strikingly comparable "Why bother" single-player level. Anyone familiar with the registered version of Doom will almost immediately identify this as a touching tribute to the first level of Inferno. Misaligned textures, illogical gameplay, and an exit switch that can be thrown in four seconds, all take the defining factors of Episode 3 from Doom and far, far beyond what they ever were. This is a must-download for acrophobic blimp pilots and houseboat arson extortionists.

    • ZPong 1.0 by Jon Washburn
      43kb - ZDoom 2.0.63a - Doom 2 - SP - 1 map - -
      The continued evolution of nested games results in this. This version of Pong allows two players to compete simultaneously in an epic battle for bachelor pad domination. The map consists of a single room in a high-rise apartment with an arcade machine next to a window overlooking a city full of buildings with no doors. As for the actual arcade machine, it's just fine. If you choose to play by yourself, then you can set different levels of computer intelligence by picking a higher skill level. For example, Nightmare skill will be nightmarishly hard, or something like that. I didn't actually bother to check. Gimmick fans will have a decent few minutes.

    • Knee Deep In The Waste by Marcus Areschoug
      196kb - Doom 2 - SP - 1 map - - - -
      There may be the rare week where we go without anything worth downloading, but it's not this week. This "first time" single-player map for Doom 2 brings the qualities from such episodes as Doom Episode 1, Doom Episode 3, and the Vrack series, and merges them together as one. This level has the green-brown "platformy" feel that you might see in E1M9 of Doom. It has the twisting, sheltered sewer feel that you might see in the early levels of Episode 3. And it almost has the utter size and complexity that you would see in Fredrik Johannson's Vrack levels. In addition to these qualities, this level is rich in its use of mixing dark areas and light areas together, which is another Episode 1 staple. The ammo and health balance is almost ideal for all skill levels. And rather than spoiling a large, complex map by making it egotistically difficult, this map has a sustainable difficulty that is ideal for its size. There are many small-to-medium sized enemies, and they seldom seem to "jump out" at you through monster traps. Despite the complex map architecture, the level is "zig zaggy" linear. That is, you are pretty much required to throw every switch in a certain order, but it does so in a way that takes you back and forth through the map. Don't get the wrong impression, though. It's never very difficult to find out what a switch does. There may be a few cases where you find yourself backtracking and searching for where to go next, but that all comes down to your mental state while playing. All-in-all, this level is extremely worthwhile, large but not too hard, and it has a buffet of unique and non-unique qualities.

    • Bananas by Tafoole
      348kb - Edge v1.28 - Doom 2 - SP - 8 maps - -
      As you may possibly guess from the title, this WAD is inspired by the infamous "Nuts." However, unlike the original Nuts which inspired Doomers to make speedrun demos and engage in various discussions about the experience of having ten thousand monsters in an open area, this WAD is far less identifiable. This is really a "just screwing around" WAD, and since the author claims it to be his first release, you shouldn't expect much. There is virtually no gameplay, and there are many non-accessible areas. Some of the levels don't even have an exit point. Since most of the levels start out by swarming you with an attempted army of various monsters, the only way to see what is actually going on is by doing a very quick IDDQD upon entering these maps. However, there are some enhancements. Since this uses the EDGE port, floors-over-floors make their appearance. We also see a cameo from Wolfenstein 3D. Regardless, this is an experimental WAD that was never really intended for public consumption.

    • TCC Death by Todd Cook
      15kb - Doom 2 - DM - 1 map - -
      This is a medium-to-large sized deathmatch map for Doom 2. It takes on a "dirt" theme that is used on walls and floors throughout the map. It is fairly varied in its mix of indoor and outdoor areas. Weapon balance is fair, with different weapons obtainable in different corners of the map. Some "negative" things that may be noticeable about this is the odd missing texture (or HOM effect) and a general use of textures that just don't mix together very well. Still, this map is on par with something you might see in Dwango 5, which is perhaps the most popular deathmatch WAD of all time.

    • Mansion Of Time by Lexus Alyus
      87kb - Ultimate Doom - SP - 1 map - - -
      We have another quality single-player map. This time, though. it's for Ultimate Doom, running on level E4M1. With a mix of lava, wood, and small-to-medium enemies, it contains many of the elements that you would see in Episode 3 and 4 of Doom. It is medium-sized for a single player level, although it's bigger than anything you would see in the original Doom. Ammo balance is decent, but you may find yourself needing to try hard to conserve your health. In additional to the themes shown in the later Doom episodes, it makes use of such artistic elements as caves, broken walls, and pillars. Overall, it's a fair single-player challenge.

    • Fortress Of Duality by Jon Washburn
      197kb - ZDoom - Doom 2 - SP, Coop, DM - 1 map - -
      This single-player map for Doom 2 continues this week's theme of medium-large size levels with small-to-medium sized enemies. When you start playing, you are immediately swarmed. Some people like this, and some people don't. The map itself makes use of hallways, large halls, and a few outdoor areas. The map is also symmetrical in most places, which adds to the predictability factor. The level itself is quite difficult. It makes heavy use of "spawning" monsters, and there are few places to take cover from the constant barrage. Health can be a problem, especially if you choose to use the berserk pack that is provided to you at the very beginning of the map. All in all, this map would definitely be worthwhile if this were The /newstuff Chronicles #199.

    • Dm-Symmetry by Woolie Wool
      1,476kb - Skulltag - Doom 2 - DM - 1 map - -
      The largest WAD so far this week also happens to be one of the simplest. This is a single deathmatch map for Doom 2 running Skulltag, and as the title very accurately implies, it is quite symmetrical. It takes place in a dark, metal, factory-like area of sorts with some red and blue lighting. It contains some replacement sounds from Quake, and a fairly common piece of music in MOD format. In addition, it contains your typical Skulltag-only items such as the Turbosphere.

    • New Nightmare by Fiend
      253kb - Enhanced Port - Doom 2 - SP - 1 map - - -
      The trend absolutely continues this week. We have another single-player map for Doom 2, medium-large in size, with roughly medium-sized monsters. Unlike most of the single-player treats this week, this level is fairly open-ended in that it has its mix of mandatory and optional areas. It has a brown-base-and-mine theme all the way through, with a varied mix of indoor/outdoor areas and elevations. Ammo and health are balanced quite well. It is also fairly detailed in areas, with finely-painted collapsed walls and mined holes providing the "decorations." This is certainly worthwhile for anyone into the single-player scene.

    • Uzi Submachine Gun by Luiz Eduardo
      19kb - ZDoom - Doom 2 - -
      This is a simple weapon addon for Doom 2. According to the documentation, it requires ZDoom. It is a double-automatic-weapon that takes the place of weapon number 4. It fires faster than the chaingun, which arguably makes it more powerful. The loud popcorn sound may be satisfying to some.

    • Barista by Brendon Chung
      3,378kb - ZDoom - Doom 2 - SP - 1 map - - - -
      This is one of the most unique and original Doom add-ons we've seen in a long time. It can best be described as a mix of Duke Nukem 3D, Half-Life, and a little bit of Doom. This one-level, story-driven adventure takes the player through a base that is, predictably, overcome by monsters. You will face green slimes, red blobs, and blue jellies that are hand-drawn by the artist. You will fight with several weapon replacements, follow instructions from computer terminals, and watch poor little hostages take what they've got coming to them. It's not all that difficult, but you can quite easily find yourself dead in a few seconds if your fingers slip off the keyboard. This addon also contains many new sounds, various high-resolution objects, and a very high-quality music replacement that kicks in at certain times. The overall design of the map is highly non-symmetrical, with a variety of light and dark areas. This is a highly enjoyable add-on that is rich in creativity as well as quality.

    • Akimbo Pistols by Luiz Eduardo
      15kb - ZDoom - Doom 2 - -
      This is a another weapon-4 replacement for Doom 2. Again, it is a dual-weapon system that fires faster than the chaingun. The sound is similar to the Uzi Submachine Gun.

    • Seeker Missile by Daniel
      66kb - ZDoom 0.63a - Doom 2 - -
      As you might guess from the title, this weapon replacement is a rocket weapon that "curves" toward enemies that are near the line of sight. It also fires faster than the rocket launcher. That's pretty much all that can be said.

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    Hey. Guess what. I made one little fairly obvious screwup on this thing here. The first person to find it gets a free fp.

    Edit: Fixed. First person to guess what it WAS gets another free fp in addition to the old one.

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    AndrewB said:

    Hey. Guess what. I made one little fairly obvious screwup on this thing here. The first person to find it gets a free fp.

    <Meph> haha, all the Barista screenshots link to the dmsymm one

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    At last, Barista makes it to Newstuff. Really a great WAD...it's a real shame that none of Chung's stuff is any longer...

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    AndrewB said:

    Hey. Guess what. I made one little fairly obvious screwup on this thing here. The first person to find it gets a free fp.

    Edit: Fixed. First person to guess what it WAS gets another free fp in addition to the old one.

    I think you used part of the opening paragraph in a review.

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    Brista was a very interesting wad, and I enjoyed it... but it was over WAY to quick! One medium sized level and it was all over. Also some of the monsters were ridiculously out of place. The blue guys and red cacodemon things were so cartoony compared to the rest of the theme that they just felt wrong. However, I was impressed by the fact it was stand alone and used the freedoom textures properly.

    In the end, a fun wad that I demand more of!

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    psst! You're supposed to put the maps that don't suck first!

    Stupid reviews!

    Barista : Interesting implementation, but overall boring gameplay. I play Doom to shoot stuff, not marvel over detail crapola.

    Fortress of Duality : Wow, this is even more symmetrical and boring than my maps. It's got the same monsters and textures for the entire thing, there's tons of ammo everywhere so you don't have to conserve at all, there's rarely any height variations anywhere .. this map is a total snooze, even with 400 monsters. I found myself wishing it would just end allready.

    Mansion Of Time : Awesome :B This map rules. Play this one for sure!

    New Nightmare : Lots of fun here. Ammo is sparse, you'll have to use the Chainsaw on every Demon you can find to save up. Architecture and detail is very nice, although a bit cramped. I beat it without dying once, yay!

    Knee Deep in the Waste : Needs more slime. Really though, this one was alot harder than I thought it'd be. It was pretty low on health and I kept getting whacked. Maybe I shouldn't play it at 2am? :P

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    udderdude said:

    psst! You're supposed to put the maps that don't suck first!

    Then I would end up being judgmental. Who am I to say which WAD is better than which? Sorting by date released is the only truly fair way.

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    AndrewB said:

    Hello again and welcome to a Thanksgiving edition of The /newstuff Chronicles.


    Wrong holiday. ;)

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    AndrewB said:

    Hello again and welcome to a Thanksgiving edition of The /newstuff Chronicles.

    Ummmm, it's OCTOBER right now, genius. Last I checked, Thanksgiving was in NOVEMBER.

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    Tomorrow is Thanksgiving in Canada, n00bs.
    [Edit]
    Bleh. udderdude beat me to it :)


    Mansion of Time - Very nice. Enjoyed this level a lot.

    Knee Deep in the Waste - Cool. An excellent first map.

    New Nightmare - Awesome. I can see why its WAD of the week.

    Barista - Played this a few weeks ago, and loved it. Very nice work. I'd highly recommend visiting his website and playing some of his Half-Life SP levels as well.

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    WildWeasel said:

    At last, Barista makes it to Newstuff.


    I highly recommend you head over to the barista site and download everything there. It's all good stuff, especially the trippy barista 2.

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    Nor is everyone whatever you are... I've no clue (except supposedly the one regarding the month given in a post above) where your Thanksgiving Day falls... they are both different local holidays in a couple of North American countries.

    AndrewB said:
    Then I would end up being judgmental. Who am I to say which WAD is better than which? Sorting by date released is the only truly fair way.

    I agree. Your way of noting the engine/game is proper too.

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    The wads I played/used:

    Barista - Fun, a little short, but has dual double-barreled shotguns. They may still work like the regular Doom 2 single, but the image is worth it.

    Knee-Deep In The Waste - The first part was way too dark and there are way too many zombiemen. Other than that it's a cool level.

    Seeker Missile - An IMP drops the seeker missiles? Huh?

    Uzi Submachinegun - A completely original idea that gives you the two uzis from Shadow Warrior (as edited for Immoral Conduct).

    New Nightmare - The greatest level in the history of the universe for any game on any platform. A shrine should be built to it in every religious spot in existence and one should be erected over the ruins of destroyed religious spots. There also should be a human sacrifice. I'm looking at you Idaho cultists!

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    AndrewB said:

    Then I would end up being judgmental. Who am I to say which WAD is better than which? Sorting by date released is the only truly fair way.

    And I'm sure you would never want to be judgmental.

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    AndrewB said:

    Then I would end up being judgmental. Who am I to say which WAD is better than which? Sorting by date released is the only truly fair way.


    Isn't being judgemental the purpose of the /newstuff chronicles?

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    Schneelocke said:

    Isn't being judgemental the purpose of the /newstuff chronicles?

    No!!! YOu misunderstand!!! If AndrewB lets us know if he LIKED a wad or not, then he has failed!! His purpose is merely to parrot information about the wads, not to give any sort of value judgement!! God forbid that a reviewer say something as inflammatory as "this wad is good" or "this wad is bad."

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    Linguica said:

    No!!! YOu misunderstand!!! If AndrewB lets us know if he LIKED a wad or not, then he has failed!! His purpose is merely to parrot information about the wads, not to give any sort of value judgement!! God forbid that a reviewer say something as inflammatory as "this wad is good" or "this wad is bad."


    Ah, I see. Maybe the review should be left out, then; only providing links to the files would save quite some time, too. ^_^

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    Linguica said:

    God forbid that a reviewer say something as inflammatory as "this wad is good" or "this wad is bad."

    I agree. Reviewers should state only facts, such as "this wad is uglier than linguica's mom" or "this wad has gameplay fun equivalent of washing dishes", and assume the audience to be clever enough to figure out for themselves whether this is actually good or bad.

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    I'm glad that you all desire my opinion so much, but you need to realize that different people enjoy different things. A reviewer must stick to things that ALL people can agree with. Otherwise, they're just some FOX columnist.

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    I don't see the problem. If I say, "I think Daikatana kicks ass!", who would disagree? Contrarily, I think all reasonable people can agree that it is my opinion.

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    Barista is not only the coolest WAD I have ever played, but also the scariest.

    Go play some other things by Brendon. You'll be pleasantly surprised, and wierded out all at once.

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    Finally got my username back after like, two years. Anyway, the link to DM-Symmetry is linked to the entry for Knee Deep in the Waste. I've noticed stuff like this in several Newstuff articles. Seriously, doesn't anyone test their links anymore?

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    Weston said:

    Barista is not only the coolest WAD I have ever played, but also the scariest.


    Are you serious? Admittedly, it had some nice ideas, but it was too short, the level design was not all that great, and the enemies looked ridiculous.

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