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    The /newstuff Chronicles #262


    lerner

    Well, here it is. Sorry it took so long, unavoidable stuff in real life that was more important, but here's a my little guest offering. Not all levels have screenshots, as I deem some levels are so small that it'd be pointless to take them, or they are so pointless that it gives them too much credit. There seem to be a couple of older wads in this bunch that aren't quite up to standards but there are plenty of better ones as well. My reviews are equally inconsistent, as well, so bear with me. I'll list them in alphabetical order of filename. Unless otherwise noted, I tested with Zdoom v. 2.0.98.

    Note: This edition of the /newstuff Chronicles was written and compiled by lerner.

    • Area of 666 Sectors - Karoly (Charles) Horvath
      Advanced Port - Solo Play - 320 kb -
      Generally craptastic. The main part of the gameplay is annoying switch hunts and trying to avoid death long enough to finish the damn level. The architecture is fine but certainly could be more detailed, the texture choices are god awful, and the health/ammo placement could have been a billion times better. It keeps going like this for a good while, and the best weapon for about the first 1/5 of the level is the shotgun (while fighting numerous cacos and barons). While there are certainly worse levels out there, I believe this one shows that the author should just stop trying. If touching up his first level gives this, then maybe he should try alternative outlets for his creative passions. I recommend you pass this one up.

    • Canary Squardron - Chris Bourke
      Limit Removing - Solo Play - 263 kb -
      Unexpectedly difficult would be a nice summary of this wad. It looks fine, nothing special, and the layout is alright, but the thing that really makes it worth it is the thing placement. It's quite a bit frustrating, actually, as there are spectre imps to watch out for (those things are evil) as well as lots of cacos and a good number of big monsters. There's also a nice romero-head barrel teleport that leaves you with nothing to use but a chainsaw on level 4 (against a baron, no less). I would recommend this for a download, but keep at it when you get frustrated if you have trouble. It's a nice wad.

    • Canary Squadron (Fixed) - Chris Bourke
      Limit Removing - Solo Play - 265 kb
      Same as the above Canary Squadron, except fixed to work with ports besides Zdoom. Get this if you plan on using something else to play it.

    • Classic Episode 2 - Singularity Complex - Jan Van der Veken
      Limit Removing - Solo Play - 978 kb -
      One of the few newer Ultimate Doom episodes, Classic Episode 2 pulls off a feeling of fear all over again as trap after trap after monster horde after monster hoarde is sent after you in 9 base style maps. The "hub level" is a unique style of level ordering that I suspect will catch on with people who are looking to rip off styles from famous maps. I also like that it utilized the secret level slot for a regular level. The gameplay is quite excellent but has many traps and lots of bigger monsters (such as barons) strewn around. It's also a good looking mapset, at the same time feeling older. I very much suggest looking at this and name this my favorite wad out of all of them in this /newstuff.

    • Deadly Simplified - Derek McDonald aka Afterglow
      Limit Removing - Deathmatch - 200 kb -
      A nice, open DM level for limit-removing ports. I didn't get to play a match on it, but it looks pretty damn good. Big enough for a nice firefight. All weapons except BFG and chainsaw are available, but the plasma gun is a little too easy to get for my tastes. Still, it doesn't detract from what seems to be a nice deathmatch level.

    • Horizontal Spinning Fan in Doom - Derek McDonald aka Afterglow
      doom2.exe - n/a - 17 kb
      Interesting tech demo. I'm not sure how it works (I didn't bother to look inside the wad) but it makes a nice spinning fan that should work in all ports (it worked in Chocolate Doom, anyway). Take a look at it if it's your thing.

    • Fear is the Price of Sin - ReX Claussen
      Limit Removing - Solo Play - 250 kb -
      A very nice map that was quite worth the download. The detail is great and the gameplay is superb as well. It has a nice non-linear flow to it where you still have some idea of what to do, and the difficulty is at a nice medium where it's still challenging to me (and I wouldn't consider myself exactly skilled but I'm certainly not a bad player) and yet I can beat it without too much trouble. Recommended.

    • Flash of Death - Cyberdemon (Mike Watson)
      doom.exe - Solo Play - 139 kb
      Mediocre at best. The detail is pretty low, and there's far too much close quarters fighting with a large numbers of (the same) monsters for gameplay to be worth it at all. Don't bother downloading it.

    • ic2005 - Ian Cunnings
      Boom Compatible - SP/Co-op - 1,521 kb
      Sadly, in my franticness at trying to complete this edition of the /newstuff Chronicles, I left this gem out. I played through a bit and got stuck but haven't the time to play through the rest and give it a proper review. From what I've played, however, it looks pretty good, with lots of detail while still delivering solid gameplay. Try it and see if you like it.

    • Last Resort - Frank Polster
      doom.exe - Solo Play - 56 kb
      For the era which I will now assume the wad comes from (1994-5ish) this isn't that bad at all (besides the gunswitch which gives no attempt to alert you to the fact that it's a switch). The level seems to be some sort of base, with a nice little elevator ride at the beginning and a useless yellow keycard. The layout even is semi-realistic for the time period (though it could use a very nice slice of detail). Overall, however, this is something to stay away from.

    • Maxima - Jacob H. Orloff
      ZDoom - Solo Play - 161 -
      Though the start is rather irritating (2 pain elementals, a hell knight, and a horde of imps vs. you with a normal shotgun in a medium sized cavern) this wad picks up. 4 levels (really 3) of great fun. Aesthetics are fine, although level 3 had some jarring texture choices (but then again I suppose it's supposed to be crazy like the Doom 2 hell levels). Overall I would suggest this for its solid gameplay.

    • Operation Overlord - Enjay
      GZDoom - Solo Play - 5,424 kb
      I refuse to keep trying to play this. On the lowest difficulty setting, it's so choppy that I could NEVER even get close to trying to play it. This could be GZDoom, but personally I don't think you should just butt out anyone who just plain can't afford to have a better computer than the one he has now from ever playing your wads. Not to mention the mass of enemies in the first area make that area nearly unplayable in the first place. Hitscan + wide area + large amounts of enemies + only weapons are the horribly difficult to hit with railgun and a pistol = crappy design choices. If Enjay would like to make a version that my computer could possibly play, I'll try it later. For now, I don't think anyone without an actual video card should go near this. (Note: I wrote this review after being a little cranky at the wad, so don't take it seriously. It did look nice, I just couldn't play it at all.)

    • Nothing - Joe Winiarski
      Skulltag - Deathmatch - 81 kb
      This is what at first appears to be a nice ripoff of the concept of a good many Quake III maps, but doesn't hold up. There are floor alignment errors (when skulltag can do that perfectly fine) and a sort of see-through wall (not a hom, different). Then there's the ridiculous power up area. There is a place, quite easy to get to within the level, where you can get an assload of power ups (both BFGs, all the spheres, a rune, lots of ammo) and then just walk out like it was nothing. I would not recommend this level for playing on.

    • Quake 3 Tourney 6 - Joe Winiarski
      Skulltag - Deathmatch - 31 kb
      This is a pretty faithful copy of the Quake III map of the same name. It looks nice and (according to my memory) is pretty much exactly what Q3T6 was. This would probably be a lot of fun to DM on. Go ahead and try it.

    • Outer Rim - ravage
      doom.exe - Solo Play - 173 kb -
      Good level, nice level of detail, great gameplay (although it was a tad bit unclear what switch did what, but that's a side effect of being larger than most levels). Not a bad timewaster.

    • Rim - The Colony - Frank Polster
      doom.exe - Solo Play - 55 kb
      Not really what I'd call a good level. It's giant but filled with absolutely nothing, has bland architecture, and boring gameplay. On the plus side, it's got one of the most pathetic attempts at colored lighting I've ever seen in the Doom engine. Not recommended by any means.

    • Rim 2 - Cere - Frank Polster
      doom.exe - Solo Play - 129 kb
      More giant empty spaces, boring gameplay, and bland architecture. Luckily this one's architecture is a bit better (has a nice flag sitting up in one part of the level), but unluckily the gameplay is worse because key doors aren't labeled. Pass up.

    • Infected Telekom Stations v 1.2 - Karoly (Charles) Horvath
      Limit Removing - Solo Play - 3,847 kb
      Exactly 18 levels in this wad are pure shit. Sadly this is exactly the same as the number of levels. The music didn't really catch me either, although it's not quite so bad. Ridiculously oversized environments and pitiful gameplay are the things that link these together. Avoid.

    And that's it. Thanks for giving me a chance, even though it was a very feeble effort on my part. Luckily I'm not planning to do this again.

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    fp! i'd rather all the maps had screenshots. i generally prefer playing the old ones, and it's nice to see what they look like rather than simply taking the reviewer's opinion.

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    I hope you were only kidding about not doing newstuff again, I like a bit of honesty in reviews (except when its against my own work)

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    Damn, that "Charles" guy got roasted.

    Nice to see honest reviews, though. I definitely agree with Mystic that I hope to see more like this. However, at the same time, I'd like to see a reviewer whose honest but will also do /newstuff on time and not pretty much skip some wads to get it out the door.

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    Bloodshedder said:

  • Operation Overlord - Enjay
    GZDoom - Solo Play - 5,424 kb
    I refuse to keep trying to play this. On the lowest difficulty setting, it's so choppy that I could NEVER even get close to trying to play it. This could be GZDoom, but personally I don't think you should just butt out anyone who just plain can't afford to have a better computer than the one he has now from ever playing your wads. Not to mention the mass of enemies in the first area make that area nearly unplayable in the first place. Hitscan + wide area + large amounts of enemies + only weapons are the horribly difficult to hit with railgun and a pistol = crappy design choices. If Enjay would like to make a version that my computer could possibly play, I'll try it later. For now, I don't think anyone without an actual video card should go near this. (Note: I wrote this review after being a little cranky at the wad, so don't take it seriously. It did look nice, I just couldn't play it at all.)


  • Did you read the text file? It specifically says it needs a rather powerful system and it also says that you won't be able to play this with traditional Doom tactics. Without ducking and sniping (use the zoom) you won't be able to get anywhere on this WAD. The railgun is a perfect sniping weapon because it is highly accurate. Of course that makes it a rather useless weapon in traditional combat but if you take out the enemies in the guard towers with it you already make your life a lot easier.

    I think the WAD perfectly captures what it has in mind: a military assault on a heavily fortified target.

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    Whoever does a newstuff/ review should comply with a list of requierments ie. vid card, being bothered to grab the port required (sounds simple but quite a few people aren't bothered with this) etc.

    Other than that, a pretty good week this one.

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    Graf Zahl said:

    Did you read the text file? It specifically says it needs a rather powerful system and it also says that you won't be able to play this with traditional Doom tactics.

    Indeed, right near the top it says:

    njol.txt said:

    ATTENTION: It is your own interests to read the further description and gameplay notes below.

    and it goes on to say...

    njol.txt said:

    May Not Run With... : Anything other than GZdoom 0.9.21 and later and a fairly fast computer (the starting area will bring old, slow computers to a crawl).

    and

    njol.txt said:

    A level with a different take on Doom engine gameplay...

    I HIGHLY recommend setting up an alias to zoom in on targets as a lot of the enemies are far away and you are provided with a railgun to snipe at them.

    Crouching and Jumping in this level are not only allowed, they are highly recommended, if not essential...

    This is not intended to be a typical Doom level. You are supposed to sneak up the beach using the cover provided whilst sniping at the enemies...

    Seriously, just running in and blasting away will get you killed...

    The BFG has been changed to a rail gun. This allows the sniping which is quite important for this level and the old BFG behaviour is not so useful.

    And finally

    njol.txt said:

    If that isn't to your taste, you probably won't like this mod. It wasn't made for you anyway. :P


    So, at least you can't say I didn't tell you. ;)

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    Jon said:

    My wad was missed this time around too :(


    Yeah, my wads Total Darkness 4 and 5 were missed too from a few weeks back. :(

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    I think I best mention now before any else does that Canary Squadron (fixed) or canfix.wad, still has errors meaning that it's also ZDoom only. I uploaded a definitive version yesterday and requested both previous versions to be removed from the archive, effectively superseding them.

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    Overlord is an excellent map, and the starting area is not hard at all, it just takes some tactics and thinking, which is exactly why it's so unique.

    Edit: And Area of 666 Sectors is a nice nonlinear map. Even though I usually hate having to sg barons it wasn't a problem here, as there are lots of possibilities for provoking infights. Item placement is okay, armor and health were readily available when I needed them and ammo was never a problem.

    Edit2: As for Maxima, there's a SSG at the start of map01, and the map itself is short and easy.

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    Enjay: Yeah, I still can't play it though :P. Impossible for me to play something that runs at like 15 fps.

    Jon and evilhomerdoom: When were your wads released? I reviewed from the last /newstuff (which was 260 when I started) to January 7th's wads.

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    lerner said:

    Enjay: Yeah, I still can't play it though :P. Impossible for me to play something that runs at like 15 fps.

    Jon and evilhomerdoom: When were your wads released? I reviewed from the last /newstuff (which was 260 when I started) to January 7th's wads.


    http://www.doomworld.com/idgames/index.php?id=14082
    Uploaded on 2005-12-30, accepted same day it seems: It was missedin the last one (Grazza had some kind-of explanation in the thread for the last /newstuff and said it'd be picked up in the new one, or that there was one in the middle missing, or something)

    Don't get me wrong, I mean my wad is not exactly very good: It's just the only idgames uploaded I've done in the last 10 years of wasting time on the game ;)

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    Jon said:

    (Grazza had some kind-of explanation in the thread for the last /newstuff and said it'd be picked up in the new one, or that there was one in the middle missing, or something)

    What I actually said was:
    Anything both new (or updated) and new to the archive from the period 25th December - 6th Jan is due to be reviewed in the next edition (#262).

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    Crazy. I think what happened was that you guys uploaded sometime when all the #261 wads were uploaded (which Bloodshedder told me to ignore) and somehow got caught between them and I missed it. Of course that doesn't sound totally likely but I'll check anyway.

    Edit: This is indeed what happened. Bloodshedder told me to ignore a range of wads for simplicity's sake and yours accidently got caught within it. Evilhomerdoomer's wad was made before the 25th, though, so that's why he wasn't included. I suppose #263 could amend that small mistake, but I am still quite sorry, as it was unexpected.

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    I think I mentiond before in the thread, but Classic Episode 2 is great. It has a really well done hub feeling to it, and the levels feel like Episode 2/1 replacements... but more modern. I don't really see too much else this week worth playing though.

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    lerner said:

    Enjay: Yeah, I still can't play it though :P. Impossible for me to play something that runs at like 15 fps.

    If it makes you feel better, I can say that when Demonized (demonizd.wad) came out, I still had a 486, the wad ran at 1 (one) fps (maybe 2-3 fps towards the end), it took me three days to play it through, but I still did it, and without any cheats :)

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    Ok, I've just played up to the minefield (where I died a horrible death) in Operation overlord. And It's a really nice wad. Something fresh for once. (Yay) There's a few things I really dislike with it though. Some don't make sense, and some just are bad for the map and it's gameplay.

    1. Why on earth are the player entering combat with nothing but a peashooter and his dick? Sure, you get handed some armor and a railgun directly on the beach, but noone in their right mind would charge a beach-head w/o packing heat and atleast some armor. This really disturbes me as it makes no sense what so ever and makes me feel like I'm entering war naked.
    http://www.wulffmorgenthaler.com/log/ER15082005.gif

    2. Why did his buddies plant the bombs and then leave? And why are you simply not cutting that whire, since a bomb is a bit overkill for a simple barb-whire. Seems to me like it would take longer to plant a charge, that is hidden so the enemies doesn't notice and remove. Or, why didn't I just throw a grenade?

    Those two were things that I just found annoyingly bizarre.
    These things I am about to mention are just IMO simply hurting the gameplay.

    3. Why are the chaingun being given AFTER the railgun? By the time I got the chaingun I didn't really need it anymore, and the railgun were almost out of ammo, when I found myself being at a comfortable range to start really picking off the guys in the towers. IMO, you should have had the chaingun as you walked off the boat. And been given the railgun after the first fence or thereabout.

    4. Why is the doomguy throwing his grenades like a 5 year old girl? I still haven't found anyplace where I could have any actual use for my grenades. Maybe that comes later though. (dropping them from a ledge?) Had he actually thrown it in a bit, I would have been able to compensate for the obvious lack of assault weaponry in the place of the map that so far requires it the most. I couldn't even get them over my shelter when I was ducking.

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    kristus said:

    4. Why is the doomguy throwing his grenades like a 5 year old girl?



    Because that's the way Hexen's Flechettes work when used as grenades.

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    I think OO was very fun, but yes it does require a good comp, as some scenes went to 35fps with my amd athlon 64 3700+ and geforce 6800 gt.

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    kristus said:

    1. Why on earth are the player entering combat with nothing but a peashooter and his dick?


    Who says he has his dick with him? ;) Ummm, I dunno. Plenty of guys stepped off the landing craft in Normandy with inadequate weapons, but that's better than some of the Russians had in Stalingrad where (apparently) you got paired up with a guy and grabbed his rifle when he got shot. I dunno, I thought allowing you to find a railgun very early on, plus ammo for it, plus extra ammo in the backpack, plus a few grenades (IIRC) was reasonable but I take your point about the logic. However, I like it this way.

    2. Why did his buddies plant the bombs and then leave? And why are you simply not cutting that whire, since a bomb is a bit overkill for a simple barb-whire...[/b[


    Wire clippers would have been possible, but I was trying get a bit of the feel of using bangalores to blow up the wire like in MoHAA, Private Ryan and I assume, the real Normandy landings. I also liked the look of the charges on the wire and the explosion effect. Umm, maybe the sneaky guys who planted the charges are good charge planters but rubbish trench fighters, or something. :)

    3. Why are the chaingun being given AFTER the railgun? By the time I got the chaingun I didn't really need it anymore, and the railgun were almost out of ammo, when I found myself being at a comfortable range to start really picking off the guys in the towers.


    Obviously we play it differently. I use the cover on the first part of the beach and pick off the guys in the towers right from the start. I find the railgun, in combination with a sniper-scope console script, perfect for doing this. By the time I've blown the first charges on the fence, I have usually wiped out all the guys available in the tower at that time.

    4. Why is the doomguy throwing his grenades like a 5 year old girl? I still haven't found anyplace where I could have any actual use for my grenades.


    The way they are thrown, as Graf said, is purely down to the Hexen flechette code. I don't suppose there is much call for them on the beach. I suppose in Doom, they are pretty irrelevant because they won't take many enemies down much quicker than your guns would, but I like the feel of using them. I certainly use up most of my grenades by the end of the level. There is plenty of opportunity to use them if you want and most windows and stuff are set at a height where it is possible to lob a grenade in and wait for the death screams. :)

    BTW, if you have just cleared the beach and minefield, there is still quite a bit of the map to go, but from now on in, it's much more straight-forward and has a more traditional gameplay style.

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    i must say, enjay, your map is one of the more clever and unique maps i've seen in doom. i may even pop it in again.

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    I hate to whinge about newstuff reviews, but at least some screentshots of my map would have been nice :o\

    Anyway, lot's of good stuff this week. Classic Episode 2 is excellent, and Rex's new map is as good as always. Operation Overlord is an interesting play from what I've tried of it so far also.

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    There's nothing wrong with telekom.wad. It's a solid mapset that makes up for it's shortcomings in the design department with fun gameplay. Of course it's not exactly what you'd expect from a 2005 wad, but it's definitely not 'pure shit' either.

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    Enjay said:

    Who says he has his dick with him? ;) Ummm, I dunno. Plenty of guys stepped off the landing craft in Normandy with inadequate weapons, but that's better than some of the Russians had in Stalingrad where (apparently) you got paired up with a guy and grabbed his rifle when he got shot. I dunno, I thought allowing you to find a railgun very early on, plus ammo for it, plus extra ammo in the backpack, plus a few grenades (IIRC) was reasonable but I take your point about the logic. However, I like it this way.


    Well, I hope he got his dick with him. Would be painful to leave it at home I would gather.
    Yes, I remember reading about that. But this is not Stalingrad, and your buddies don't drop weapons when they die.

    Enjay said:

    Obviously we play it differently. I use the cover on the first part of the beach and pick off the guys in the towers right from the start. I find the railgun, in combination with a sniper-scope console script, perfect for doing this. By the time I've blown the first charges on the fence, I have usually wiped out all the guys available in the tower at that time.


    Obviously we do, I'm not concerned about the guys in the towers since they can't hit me anyway (unless I'm standing still or am moving back in my own tracks). I'm more concerned about the hitscan enemies that are on the beach and actually hurt me. When you get closer to the towers the tower guys are easy pickings and you don't even need to scope. But since I used up all ammo to clear off the beach I had to shotgun the guys with the machinegun nests. Which wasn't very effective compared to if I had sniped them.

    Enjay said:

    The way they are thrown, as Graf said, is purely down to the Hexen flechette code. I don't suppose there is much call for them on the beach. I suppose in Doom, they are pretty irrelevant because they won't take many enemies down much quicker than your guns would, but I like the feel of using them. I certainly use up most of my grenades by the end of the level. There is plenty of opportunity to use them if you want and most windows and stuff are set at a height where it is possible to lob a grenade in and wait for the death screams. :)


    Well, if they had been actually thrown, they would have been very useful on the beach, since there were no assault weaponry to deal with the enemy. I could have thrown them from my hideout, and enjoyed them very much (or used them on the machinegun-nests). But since I basically had to run out and up to them to get them, it proved to cost more than it was worth. We'll see if I find use for them later on in the map.

    Enjay said:
    BTW, if you have just cleared the beach and minefield, there is still quite a bit of the map to go, but from now on in, it's much more straight-forward and has a more traditional gameplay style.


    Hm, what a shame. Despite what I've said, I did enjoy taking the beach. Once I had got over the fact that you and I had different ideas on how to plan the game-play for this map. It was different and I am bloody sick of straightforward and traditional gameplay styles.

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    Heh, Overlord runs just fine here. Pretty awesometastic wad, which is reminiscient of an older wad of Enjay's where the objective is to infiltrate this genetic engineering facility.

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