Heya players, this is Amaster doing my very first /newstuff guest reviews. I can feel the power! Just my luck that there were a large number of wads to plow through. Fortunately I had Hobbs to help me out with a couple of large submissions that I wouldn't have been able to get done otherwise. Will this mark the beginning of a regular review schedule for me? I sure as hell hope not!
The ArchVile Temple - Logan MTM
Boom Compatible - SP/DM - 1188 KB -
This short, cramped map claims to work in all Boom-compatible ports, however this is not 100% true. It's clear that the map was compiled with an older version of zdbsp and only tested in ZDoom, as there are numerous misalignments that appear in PRBoom 2.02 and Eternity. Everything else seems to work out though. The architecture is moderately detailed and overall pleasing, though I hope you like brown because that's about the only color you'll be seeing. Architecture interferes with movement occasionally but I think that's intentional. Despite the abundant health and ammo, players will find themselves challenged more by the tight spaces than by the enemies themselves. Give it a whirl if you like close-quarters, frantic fights.
1024 - alterworldruler
ZDoom Compatible - Solo Play - 43 KB -
Ok seriously guys. If you're going to call a map "Boom-compatible", try actually testing it in something like PRBoom. This map will not work outside of a ZDoom-based port because it uses ZDoom's flat/texture mixing ability. So it will crash with a missing flats error anywhere else. As the title suggest, it's a map inspired by the 1024 project, so it's pretty short. It's also exceedingly easy. You'll mostly be facing off against zombiemen, with a couple of imps and a demon thrown in. Texturing and architecture are poor (BRICKLIT should never tile vertically). Pass on this one.
Ancient Battlegrounds - DJShrimpy
Skulltag - Deathmatch - 646 KB -
Huge and hideous. With the exception of maps 1 and 7, it's just gigantic arenas basically. Plasma is abundant. Something some players may dislike. Due to the large sizes, you'd probably need at least 6 people to have a good time. Definitely not suitable for 1 on 1.
Burning Fane - Vasek
ZDoom - Solo Play - 127 KB -
Another 1024-style map. This one looks pretty good and plays all right. As you would expect, it's very short. But it is sweet. My only complaint is that things are really easy up until the very end, and it's a copy/paste-fest. Check it out for some quick fun.
The Challenge - Jacob
doom.exe - Solo Play - 42 KB
According to the text file, this is one of ellmo's first wads. But despite that, it's not totally horrid. Texturing could have been more coherent, instead of covering almost every theme there is, and there's no detailing to speak of, but it actually plays all right. One of the traps managed to catch me off guard which is hard to do these days. Ammo is tight and the enemies are abundant early on so lesser-skilled doomers may want to play this on skill 3. Not *too* bad for an early work.
Hard Attack - Morbid DooMer
Limit Removing - SP/DM - 244 KB -
I really enjoyed this maps interconnectivity and sense of openness and nonlinearity. Detailing is modest but effective. You'll find yourself moving back and forth through the maps "main areas" without feeling aimless or bored. Enemy placement could have been a tad better, since infighting tends to occur. It's not very long but it's a good show.
Demon Eclipse: Episodes 1 and 2 - Eric Ou (Eriance/Ezxariarch)
GZDoom - SP/DM - 14468 KB -
The following review was submitted by Hobbs:
Where do I start. The new weapons and monsters, the looks, the gameplay, the atmosphere, the music, the, oh screw it. I guess I'll just start from the beginning.
Demon Eclipse is the newest GZDoom was by Eriance/Exariarch. You probably know him for making sprites. He needs to stick to that, and never make levels again. This was the most painful dooming experience I have had lately. The new textures are easily the best part of this wad. They make sense, don't look like crap, and create a theme. The rest of it is just pure port loving, detail whoring crap.
To start off there's a whole arsenal of new weapons, courtesy of DECORATE. I personally am not a fan of weapons mods, but hey, for wads that change everything else I was willing to give it a shot. I will know better next time. The weapons are really quite weak, so much so I think that they were inherited from Heretic. Theres quite a bit of stolen sounds there, I won't give examples, I'll just let you figure it out. Oh yeah, my personal favorite part, there is a weapon (slot 4 I believe) that makes wonderful squelching noises when its in the idle state. Totally unnecessary. Moving on to the counterpart of weapons...
...Monsters. I don't have quite as much to say about these. For the most part they seem quite horrible. For instance there is a floating recolored monster spawning cube that flies around shooting projectiles at you. While this might sound ok, they are used in horrible ways, do more to annoy you than actually hurt you, and seem to have an enormous amount of health (though this might be attributable to the weapons). Another fine example are wraithverge ghosts. Which again, are just annoying. Next subject.
K now it's time to go into how absolutely beautiful this wad is. To be honest its not particularly beautiful, contrary to the popular (and quite true) (G)ZDoom megaproject stereotype. Although the wad has a coherent theme that works well, it looks quite blocky at times and in general does not present any bit of architecture that just wow'd me.
Actually, the indoor areas look pretty good. Not anything really memorable, but still they look nice enough. The outdoor areas on the other hand just look so terrible. The use of height variation is awful. The fact that a slew of slopes, normally quite ugly themselves, would help out this WADs outdoor areas is a testament to its ugliness. Anyways...
The gameplay is crap ranging from utterly boring to utterly retarded. That's all that needs to be said unless you want a novel about it.
Oh and one more thing, the wad supposedly features new music. I cannot hear it no matter what I do.
Doom-plus and Doom v1.91 hacks - Miguel Folatelli (aka myk)
doom2.exe - n/a - 6 KB
A pair of patches you can apply to version 1.9 of doom(2).exe, compiled into a single package by Myk:
"The patch in PLUS incorporate's e6y's hacks to raise Doom's limits so that it can load large or complex levels, the one in LONGTICS loads the changes discovered by cph to enable v1.91 demos."
Gamarra's story: Part III \ - Giulio Galassi
ZDoom - SP/DM - 87 KB -
Crappy joke map with no effort put into it. One of those "so bad it's good" attempts, except it's got no kind of thought or creativity behind it. Requires ZDoom for some reason. Don't waste your time.
Kastel of The Koebrah - Ruba
doom.exe - Solo Play - 33 KB -
After reading the text file, I can't tell if this is a joke map or not. Either way, don't bother. Map 31/32 textures mixed with normal Doom textures. Nazis and demons. You get the picture. Its only positive aspect is that it's really short and easy.
Das Labor - Hannes Müller
Limit Removing - SP/DM - 250 KB -
If nuts.wad were toned down a bit and turned into something more playable, this would be it. I'll be honest and say that I played through this with IDDQD and IDKFA helping me. I was unable to find the exit though. I'm not sure if this level can be completed normally. Each area is jam packed with ludicrous numbers of enemies. I don't mean in the sense of Hell Revealed either. It's just a crazy mess of enemies separated by doors and teleporters. In the author's defense, I'll say that it's not visually abysmal and some attempts at interesting architecture were made. Play it if you liked nuts.wad.
Megaaussie's Mega Deathmatch - Megaaussie
Skulltag - Deathmatch - 354 KB -
Awful. Map01 has terrible connectivity and few weapons. It's also got a pitch-black middle area connecting the two "arenas". Maps 2 and 3 have zero visibility and enough copy/pasted "architecture" to ensure that you have as much difficulty moving around as possible. All three maps are hideous. Avoid.
The Newstuff Chroniclez - DU0
EDGE - Solo Play - 156 KB
I was unable to review this because EDGE wouldn't run properly. No I'm not kidding. Yes it's kinda funny.
Odamex - KillingMaster
doom.exe - SP/DM - 29 KB
Lame joke wad. This is not Odamex.
Blood Rock - sitebender
Boom Compatible - Solo Play - 53 KB
One look at the file name will give you an idea of what you're in for. A hell themed map which is very, very red. It's also VERY difficult. Lots of monsters. Hardly any ammo. Expect to spend a lot of time running scared. Despite this, I had a pretty good time playing this one. The map is laid out so that you can slip by many enemies. A few parts are somewhat unfair though. Try it out if you like high difficulty.
Status bar replacements - Daniel
doom2.exe - n/a - 105 KB
A large set of replacement status bars based on Doom textures. Give 'em a shot if you feel like spicing up that 13 year old HUD. Note that they all remove the little weapon/ammo counters, but not the large ammo counter on the left.
Toxic Province - DJShrimpy
Skulltag - Deathmatch - 562 KB
Most of these maps are straight up arenas. The rest don't have great layouts and you will occasionally find dead ends. Some places will trap you for a period of time, which is never fun. Weapons and ammo are too readily available in some maps and nonexistent in others. Like the text file says, the theme is "toxic", so expect lots of slime, some of which may damage you. I didn't particularly enjoy that either. Visually it ranges from bland to painful. Overall there isn't anything very noteworthy about the maps. Give this wad a try if you need a new DM set to play. But if you never pick it up, you're not really missing anything.
White 0 - Hyperdormant
ZDoom - Solo Play - 118 KB
The following review was provided by Hobbs I feel wads with a decent amount of effort put in deserve a decent review (scathing or not) and a few screens. I also feel wads that are total crap deserve nothing but a crap review. This is one of the latter type of wads. 26 levels of someone transferring one of their LSD trips into ZDoom. Truly epic.
RL-PL-BFG-Upgrade - Karate Chris
Skulltag - n/a - 57 KB
Some graphics upgrades for the rocket launcher, BFG, and plasma rifle, as well as their respective projectiles. The changes are minor edits to the original Doom weapons. Not bad looking but not terribly interesting either. Try it if you like pink plasma.
ZDoom Catch The Chicken v4.0 - Cutmanmike and HotWax
doom.exe - Deathmatch - 404 KB
A Catch the Chicken multiplayer mod for ZDoom. Players Attempt to grab the chicken, which spawns somewhere in the map, and then hold onto it for as long as possible to gain points. Supposedly it works on any map, and a test map is included. I had a hard time really testing this out with bots, but it looks like it could be fun.
Well, that was fun. I hope I didn't royally screw everything up. This whole thing has certainly been a learning experience and I've gained a lot more respect and understanding for what the regular reviewers have to go through. Props to Hobbs for helping out. Begin posting.... NOW!