Hey look everybody! It's the doomer you love to hate. That's right, it's Ralphis. But don't worry lowly denizens of doomworld, I am here bringing much love with constructive criticism and other stuff. Let's all thank AndrewB or whoever missed their week's newstuff so I could stay up until 2 in the morning and volunteer to deliver this week's edition to all of you. Praise me now, praise me later, praise me always. Also, UD on top and other crap I normally say.
Square - Bjarne Christensen
Underhall Remake - Bjarne Christensen
Doom 2 (Port with jumping apparently required) - SP - 28k -
Bjarne progresses significantly as a mapper with the Underhall Remake when compared to Square. There are different rooms, doors, and even small amounts of detail. However, I've come to find that there is a certain area of the map where jumping is required to progress. Somebody please correct me if I'm wrong.
Level Design - The level design in this is far better than Square. Although not the most original layout ever, it shows that Bjarne is learning how to create a cohesive map in some sense. While the detail isn't anything to write home about, it's certainly an improvement over Square. The next step in his mapping career would probably be not making every sector in the map have 128 light units.
Item Placement - Item Placement keeps you alive as anyone could probably predict from a new mapper. Underhall Remake has just about every weapon and ammo you need to wipe out the entire level ten times over and then some. Health is also scattered around the map in corners usually.
Difficulty - The map presents a bit more challenge than Square, but overall nothing extremely difficult. The average doomer can most likely tear it up using only their feet to control the keyboard.
Ralphis' Verdict - Bjarne is looking to be a mapper to probably look out for in the future if he keeps up the learning process. However, he has a long way to go until he can look back on this stuff and call it crap like the rest of us already are.
Narrow Canyon - ler
Skulltag .96b or higher - CTF - 18k -
Here we have a CTF map for the newly released Skulltag .96B. However, since .96B doesn't work well with my computer, I'm unable to test this out online. Good thing I'm an avid multiplayer though, so I can probably give a fair assessment on how this would play out on a server.
Level Design - The map layout is rather boring for a CTF map. A straight narrow hallway where both teams can see the opposing team's flag at spawn. Of course, you can always take the high end of the road around the canyon and probably sneak it and grab the opponent's flag. This would probably be best suited for smaller games such as 2v2 or 3v3 as it would provide fast paced action but give a team a fighting chance. Also, perhaps a personal gripe but the yellow fog crap isn't as moody as it is just plain annoying.
Item Placement - The weapon placement in this map would probably get rather annoying for the player more inclined towards traditional settings (automatic weapon switch) since weapons lie right in the center of the Narrow Canyon. There aren't any items up top, but there are a few tricky secrets which could possibly give your team the advantage.
Ralphis' Verdict - Possibly a decent play and a break from the default ST CTF maps. If it were on a server, I'd probably grab it and play a few rounds.
UAC Gates Central - Tricky
Limit removing port recommended - SP - 322k -
According to this map's textfile, this map has been in development for roughly seven years. So I'm sure the question you all have for me now is, "Should I download this half ancient, half non-ancient wad?". Well, I don't know. Read below you freaking jerkoffs.
Level Design - The level design in this is considerably fun. However, we all know some people could end up bitching about the levels of detail, but let me reassure you the map isn't exactly ugly. It's a medium level of detail, between 1995 and vrack roughly.
Various themes exist throughout the map usually reverting back to the industrial style you the map begins with. You'll come across some cave like areas and obligatory nukage pits but it never becomes boring.
Item Placement - Item Placement seems to be balanced, never leaving you with a huge amount of ammo yet giving you enough to conservatively kill everything in the map.
Difficulty - The wad gives a pretty decent challenge even for the veteran doomer which is all in all good fun. The challenge and gameplay elements of the map are certainly the proverbial meat and potatoes of UAC Gates Central, often hitting you back to back with predictable, yet startling traps.
Ralphis' Verdict - This is definitely one of my favorite maps featured this week and anyone with a few minutes to spare should give this one a run around. I approve of this map like I probably approve of some of your mothers.
thefwf's Aztec DM - thefwf
Zdoom based sourceport - DM - 465k -
thefwf has made a "port" of the famous de_aztec from Counterstrike. How well can a Counterstrike map be translated into 2D doom crap editing crap?
Level Design - The level design is pretty in some areas, and pretty stupid in other areas. First off, the boxes are hideous. However, I guess that's what happens when converting to the Doom palette. Second gripe with design is a certain room that has floors that appear to be there, but you fall through them to your death. Why there are holes in the middle of the floor that were never in the original (that you additionally can't see) is beyond me. The map has a few misalignments but they're fairly small.
However, the section of Aztec actually taken and mapped into Doom plays surprisingly well.
Item Placement - The item placement is decent. The easy to obtain BFG makes it incredibly easy to come out of the pit and rip into everyone, so perhaps that was a bad choice to place the power weapon. There is plenty of ammo for the other weapons lying around the map though.
Ralphis' Verdict - The map would be very fun to play if there wern't random holes of death ready to swallow you up in certain rooms. With a little bit of modification, I'll give it a thumbs up. But for now, it's rather awkward.
LDF clan wad - Cartelli
Doom 2 - DM - 769k -
Well this is a run of the mill newbie DM map set. Except for of course Map02, which anyone in the DM community knows is really a map they ripped off from Erik Alm (I believe).
However, their text file would indicate otherwise.
"Base : Scratch"
Level Design - The level design is ugly and unbalanced. Maps are gimmicky or have many dead ends or impassable lines in places that make no sense. This makes for uneventful deathmatches filled with boring bfg fests.
Item Placement - Item Placement, much like the level design itself, is horrendous. No thought out weapon placements, groups of SSGs and hundreds of potions all smashed together create a huge sense of unbalanced DMs.
Ralphis' Verdict - Unless you're Erik Alm looking to see if your work has been plagarized, you probably could use the space on your hard drive for something else. It's a sorry thing to see, but it's the way things go.
LDF Headquarters - Cartelli
Doom 2 - DM - 417k -
Apparently the headquarters of LDF is in a movie theatre. A movie theatre with no weapon placement and apparently no purpose.
Level Design - The map is large and essentially useless for any type of gameplay other than playing stupid with your friends. There isn't much more to say about the wad other than it's set in a large building which is apparently supposed to be a movie theatre with some still pictures from movies. Sounds like a load of fun, eh?
Item Placement - Forget about it. It's virtually non-existant.
Ralphis' Verdict - As mentioned earlier, the map doesn't seem good for anything other than the clan maybe playing in it for a few days and then never running it again. However, for the rest of you not in clan LDF you can rest knowing that downloading this wad will be painful. Save the bandwidth.
Just Doom It! XE - Jules "julz_d" Spindler
Zdoom based sourceport - DM - 1965k -
This is a rehash of the dm wad Just Doom It!. What does the XE stand for however? Somebody, please tell me. Please. Now.
Level Design - The best way to imagine these 30 DM maps is "Dwango5 on Zdoom Steroids". Most of the maps are very symmetrical and run of the mill, however there are a few unique dm maps in here which would probably give an interesting deatmatch. However, the symmetrical maps and overall amatuer design hold this DM wad back from being a big player on the servers most likely.
Item Placement - Since there are 30 maps, weapon placement ranges from not good to very good.
Ralphis' Verdict - Overall, I could probably play this a few times with some buddies but it doesn't seem like a DM wad that would last on the servers (insert a stupid dwango5 joke somewhere here). I particularly like some of the later levels as they seem interesting and tend to shy away from the symmetrical styles. A very noticable gripe however is BFGs on wide open maps. That's just sort of annoying. If you see this running on a server, I'd say grab it and play a few rounds to judge for yourself.
Vile-Encounters - SS-Bowen
Skulltag - SP/Coop/Deathmatch - 70k -
This wad runs on Map32 of Doom2. As to why authors decide to put their single map wads run on a random level number is beyond me.
Level Design - The map itself isn't very visually appealing. There is a lot of blood and marble, but the author isn't at a point in his editing career yet where he realizes that making the textures blend together smoothly makes the player's eyes not bleed.
The actual layout of the map is very linear. It consists of traveling back and forth from the beginning of the map to progressing further outwards.
Item Placement - There is definitely plenty of ammo to go around in this one, as I never ran out of shells once. There is plenty of health to be picked up as well later in the level.
Difficulty - It's interesting to note that this is one of the only wads I've ever played with the hardcoded Skulltag monsters. They're pretty fun to play against, but it would've been nice to see more of a mix between the older and newer monsters. The map is easy to progress through, minus a section where you have to kill archviles at long range.
Ralphis' Verdict - It's not a horrible map, but it's certainly not a great map by any means. If skulltag existed in 1995, this might've been one of the first maps produced for it. However, the skulltag mapping community has to get started somewhere and this is it.
Doom 2 - SP - 12k -
Bjarne has a few maps this week, this one being the worst.
Level Design - The concept behind square is a rather innovative one. You see, it's a big square room. And well, that's it. Inside the square room, there are some pillars "with a lot of Big Ones!". Exiting the map is a pain in the ass if you have a poor sense of direction, but you'll be bound to get it right eventually.
Item Placement - Item placement should be no problem for anybody. A few hundred super shotgun shells and a megasphere will keep you alive as long as you want, unless you're one of the worst doom players ever (or have no arms).
Difficulty - Assuming you have half a brain, the map should be a breeze for the average doomer. Hide behind some pillars, kill some monsters, hit some switches. The basic standard fare for a newbie map.
Ralphis' Verdict - I personally would have never uploaded something like this to the archive as it seems like it came straight out of 1995. However, to each his own I suppose. The author certainly has a lot of room to grow, and by room to grow I mean learn how to create something that doesn't look like crap and add a little creativity and gameplay to his maps. Download at your own risk.