Dearest apologies for being late! I have been dwelling deep into the pits of unknown, experimenting with a certain thing called Ubuntu Linux on a networkless Pentium II. The highlight of this expedition was getting a SVN revision of Chocolate Doom to compile (amongst other unrelated things, like waiting half a hour for mplayer to compile and spending two hours obtaining and installing the required dependencies to get Chocolate Doom to compile). Does this explain the reason for being a few days late? Certainly not! So forget everything I said and let's move on to some surprising additions to this week's /newstuff!
Hell's Twisted Influence: Episode #2 - Andrew "Ninja_of_DooM" Fernie
ZDoom - SP - 15mb(!) -
I have to say it's a mere coincidence that I sort my reviews alphabetically, and this happened to be first on the list. I have to say this first and foremost: This is a massive waste of downloading time. And I thought I was pissed off with Project Dark Zone back in #271.
Now, I can't really complain myself since I was downloading it at 900kb/sec, but when I read the text file and discovered that a twenty three megabyte WAD only had one level, I immediately thought "this better be worth the HD space I'm going to use up in order to review this". Unfortunately, I was wrong. So damn far from being right that I was largely disappointed with this... incredibly linear... piece of shit.
I'm sure as hell going to get flamed for this, but I cannot emphasize enough how much I hate this WAD. When I was playing this, I had the feeling that this was comparable to a Hollywood box office movie: Overbudgeted (in this case filesize), overly excessive detail and next to zero replayability. If this was meant to be nothing more than a tech demo, then Ninja_of_DooM has accomplished that brilliantly. The layout is dull, the gameplay the dull, nothing about it strikes to me as being remotely interesting, but I'm sure this WAD will be popular with idiots purely based on eye candy and the amount of sectors/linedefs/sidedefs. Also, the lack of co-op support just makes this even more useless.
If you have any sort of decent taste of user-made levels, you should either avoid this or play it once and delete it afterwards.
Rf 1024 - rf
Boom - SP - 47kb -
Ah, the 1024x1024 craze. Let me remind everyone that I invented that damn idea! If you don't believe me, go look at Mock 2 MAP18 and see for yourselves.
Irrelevant facts aside, this is a map by ravage for that 1024 contest that's going on in the forums. I'll be honest and say that I still have not downloaded Congestion 1024 yet but if the maps are anything like this, I'll have to add it onto my to-do list. Despite being short (as you would expect with maps this small) and incredibly cramped, I found this to be quite an excellent map, disregarding the gimmick of this map. The detail is great, the layout is amazingly complex and the gameplay is quite balanced. I did finish this map on the first try though, so I presume it won't be much of a challenge for you SP freaks. Maybe it's going to be assigned to an early slot in the upcoming 1024 megawad. Regardless, if you're after a quick thrill, check this out.
RYLAYEH - J S Graham
Enhanced port - SP - 1,820kb -
I recall reviewing Azagthoth roughly 90 or so /newstuffs ago (as a guest reviewer, due to the whole thing you all know about), and I wasn't really impressed with the WAD. This set of ten levels is a definite improvement over that WAD. What I like most about this WAD is the recolour jobs for certain monsters. I believe it gives them a bit of variance that we don't see that often in Doom wads. Anyway, I wasn't impressed with the start of MAP01, since I found it a bit too challenging for me, but it starts really picking up from MAP04 onwards. However, there is not much health in the entire WAD, meaning you have to either use a defensive style of play, or hope that you're able to dodge attacks and hazards very well. Fortunately the ammo count is quite balanced, and the detail is great and consistant throughout. Another note of interest is how the levels flow into each other. I must say it's very impressive, but you'll just have to see it for yourself. WAD of the week.
Skulltag Community Domination Project - aabra, Rivecoder and others
Skulltag - Teamplay - 7mb -
One thing I like about Skulltag's community is that they can pull together high quality community releases in an incredible period of time. Cheers to the underdogs in the Multiplayer Doom community!
These are the first Domination maps made for Skulltag since 2000, when a certain founder of WIP had created fbasedom for Skulltag 0.8. That said, this mapset generally satisfies my taste of deathmatch in general for this week with the highly notable exceptions of MAP04 and MAP08: Two maps which I've seen given tons of praise by various people, yet I personally hate them for two completely different reasons. I absolutely hate the layout of MAP04, and I absolutely hate the KDIZDism of MAP08 (fifth screenshot).
The other maps are generally high-quality with lots of replayability value and great massive layouts that made me squeal in joy. The sheer size of some of the maps, particularly MAP01, MAP03 and MAP05 makes for incredibly epic battles that require at least six players on each team. MAP06 and MAP07 are a bit out of league compared to the other maps, but they're still enjoyable and definitely a recommendation to check out on Skulltag servers.
Terror Within: An E2 Replacement - Wills Hines
"ZDoom" - SP - 214kb -
I'm not sure why this explicitly requires ZDoom, as I'm sure it needs nothing more than a Dehacked patch changing the map titles. Regardless, the text file states "Made this a long time ago", so don't expect super flashy detailing. However, I do believe that it is a rather faithful remake of episode 2, but the quality of the WAD overall feels a bit inferior to the original levels. If you're an E2 fan though, I'd definitely check this out.
The escape from UAC's tower - Aluqah
ZDoom - SP - 151kb -
The first reviewed in a series of WADs by this author, I find this map to be quite poor overall. Long boring hallways, very plain detail, and definitely not enough health.
The lost city - Aluqah
ZDoom - SP - 57kb -
Allow me to copy and paste from the previous review: Long boring hallways, very plain detail, and definitely not enough health. I found this WAD less tolerable than uactower.wad though.
The New Adventure - Paul Corfiatis
ZDoom - SP - 1,183kb -
What do you get if you throw mock2.wad, lamedoom.wad and 1337.wad into a blender and set it to the fastest speed? You get this interesting result of sheer craziness and so forth.
I must say, I think Paul has some sort of inside knowledge about who reviews /newstuff on what week, since he released this WAD at the perfect time. Not only do I love jokewads, but I also love his nod to myself with MAP23. This displays the typical features of most jokewads: deliberately poor design, inane texture, sprite, sound and music replacements, and the weirdest map titles you'll probably see in any Doom WAD. Although I personally found this a blast to play, people will whine like bitches (especially those who uploaded maps this week) if I gave this the coveted deathz0r WAD of the Week award, so I'm going to refrain.
Also, if you have to use cheats to get through this WAD, you must clearly suck. This WAD is incredibly easy compared to lamedoom or do-tims.
The World is Not Enough - Aluqah
ZDoom - SP - 114kb -
I should basically repeat what I said for the other Aluqah WADs reviewed, but this one has a slightly more interesting layout than the other two.
Twilight Duel - Nick "DD_133" McCarthy
Skulltag - DM - 28kb -
Primary purpose: Single play
Way to fail DD!
To quote DD, he is "BACK IN MAPPING ACTION" from his infamous haitus from the Skulltag community for reasons I don't think need to be mentioned on a site that gets around 2000+ page views a day. Regardless, this duel map is an interesting piece of work to say the least. It looks like it was made up on the spot with a few bad choices of texturing, but the layout seems to work quite well. Very good interconnectivity between rooms which allows for alternate approaches to take out your opponent. The item placement is also quite good, so I'd check this out if you want to have quick 1-on-1 matches.
White Light - James "Phobus" Cresswell
ZDoom - SP - 228kb -
I was hoping to not end this /newstuff on a negative note, but I found this map rather tedious and annoying to say the least. First, it took me ages to realise what the switch textures were, as I thought they were simply decoration at first. Not only that, but the new monster is probably invincible and has a really powerful ranged attack. I also did not like the lack of contrast variance, as it seemed way too bright. I do like the use of the skulls however.