The /newstuff Chronicles #300 has been long in the making, but it's finally here. I'm Agent Spork, and I'll be your guide for this wonderful week of WADs. (The preceding sentence was sarcastic and not meant to be taken seriously.)
Final Onslaught Map 01 - Pawel Zarczynski
ZDoom - Solo Play - 415kb -
This is the first map of a project the author apparently couldn't bring himself to finish. The first word that comes to mind when I play this map is "ZDoomy". The author went a bit overboard with the detail, and abused slopes all over the place, which I think the map could have done without. Good texturing and architecture goes much farther than cramming detail in every nook and cranny, my friends. As far as gameplay goes, I'd have to say this map is way too easy, even for what was supposed to be the first of many maps. I managed to beat the map without taking any damage at all. Not recommended.
Gamarra Death Match!!!!!! - Walter "Daimon" Confalonieri
Skulltag - Deathmatch - 24.2KB -
Gamarra Death Match!!!!!! is quite possibly the greatest Deathmatch map I have ever seen in my life, both in terms of beauty and playability. Move over Dynamite Deathmatch, this is Skulltag mapping at its finest.
Obvious sarcasm aside, this map sucks. Not recommended.
High/Low 2 - Chris Hansen
Limit Removing - Solo Play - 215KB -
Before I move on to the actual review of this map, let me just make a little note to the many authors who use ZDoom-based engines to test supposedly limit removing, vanilla, or boom compatible maps: DON'T DO IT. I found I was unable to play this map in Eternity or PRBoom because of texture errors in the map, which does not make me a very happy reviewer. Anyways, crappy testing job aside, here's the review of the map after I was forced to play it in ZDoom:
Chris Hansen delivers an Episode 2 themed map to the masses with High/Low 2. The map replicates the Episode 2 theme nicely, but really isn't anything to call home about. It's not very visually appealing, but doesn't look bad either. The map is also relatively easy, even though the text file claims it should be challenging on UV for skilled players. Now, I'm not exactly what one might call a skilled player, but this also wasn't a very challenging map, either.
Overall the map is pretty average, and has its own fair share of bugs, such as being able to get the red key early, and being able to pull certain switches from below ledges. Not recommended.
Hell Keep Remake - Paul Corfiatis
Limit Removing - Solo Play - 86.1 -
I've actually seen several Hell Keep remakes lately. This one, by Paul Corfiatis, tries to make the map more realistic, in addition to making it actually look like a keep. However, the gameplay is almost identical to that of the original, which I personally never liked much in the first place. Recommended, if you didn't mind the original Hell Keep.
Railsaw - Jake "The Nutcracker" Stevens
ZDoom - n/a - 761KB
Railsaw is a below average weapon mod. The weapons themselves are... bad, using sprites that I'm sure just about everyone has seen before. They range from an invisible fist, to an ultra fast firing railgun thing. Some of the weapons don't even have sounds! Not recommended.
Destination Unknown - SkullTag Edition - Stewboy
Skulltag - Co-op - 1.84MB -
Here we have a cooperative megawad for Skulltag that is "intended to be fun", according to the text file. Normally, I make maps intending to bore the crap out of people (which I do a pretty damn good job of, I might add), but this guy has decided to raise the bar and try to make something that's fun. However, I think his attempts might have failed. You see, most of the maps in this WAD are highly linear, and involve you shooting waves of monsters that happen to appear right in front of you. In addition, the author made it so that you have infinite ammo on all weapons by default. It might just be me, but that sounds... not fun. Not recommended.
DOOM MARIO - KERSEY
ZDoom - Deathmatch - 1.14MB -
DOOM MARIO is a series of crappy Deathmatch maps with crappy mario-related resources thrown in. There's not really much else to say about this one. Not recommended.