Hello readers, I was asked by BloodShedder to replace Deathz0r as the regular /newstuff Chronicles reviewer because he was too unreliable. Unfortunately, I have to review 40 WADs this week, so I apologise if this post is too long. Please don't flame me, this is the first time I've done any reviews!
LOLOLOL AUGUST FOOLS
Though I bet if you saw this via the forums (hey dudes, the front page does exist) this prank wouldn't have worked at all. Oh well! Sorry ZDoom forums krew! Anyway, there's tons of shit to go through so I'm going to be brief so you guys don't have to read too much:
32 in 24 - 32in24 team, see individual maps
Boom - DM - 913kb -
Note by deathz0r: I asked AlexMax to do this review due to my involvement in this WAD. Cheers Alex! Thanks to Tango for doing all of those screenshots!
When I started going through the maps, I decided to keep a separate window open for recording the map numbers of maps that I thought were interesting or well done. However, I soon gave up the endeavor, because for a set of speedmapping maps, I was quite surprised to see a good amount of quality, and a few in particular were stunning. In particular, MAP02 and MAP10 were the standouts in my mind, though there were plenty more good ones. And yeah, there were plenty of mirror maps, a couple of little-effort ones, and one absolutely brain-dead layout (MAP32, hurrrr), but overall, it's definitely worth a look if you need a new set of FFA maps. My only other gripe is that a handful of maps were missing items in single player, (17, 18, 26, 28 and possibly more) but I'll give the benefit of the doubt.
A New Nightmare - Hardcore_gamer
doom.exe - SP - 381kb -
The first of several Doom episode replacements this week, and it seems to be a quite bland and uninteresting E1-themed episode, to the point where E1M5 looks like a inferior ripoff of the original E1M5. It also suffers badly from tutti fruiti, so it seems like Hardcore_gamer didn't really test this out thoroughly.
Crap Speedmapping Episode 4 - Walter "Daimon" Confalonieri
doom.exe - SP - 79kb -
CryBaby - Ruba
doom2.exe - SP - 17kb
Though I have to give it credit for its funny text file.
Demons of Problematique - Dennis "Exl" Meuwissen
ZDoom - SP - 10mb -
I would give this WAD of the Week, but I got stuck on the second level and I eventually gave up. Maybe I overlooked a switch or something, but I'm not a huge fan of switch hunting anyway. It's a shame, because this WAD would have been perfect if it wasn't for that problem, as I checked the other levels and they were great. A very solid WAD if I ever figure out how to get past the second level.
Doom: Awesome, Episode 1 - Giest118
doom.exe - SP - 418kb -
Another Doom episode replacement, this one eclipses over the other tripe released this week. Unfortunately, the maps are fairly basic and have a Simplicity feel to them, which doesn't make them stand out to me as being excellent compared to other stuff released this week. That said, as far as Doom episodes go, this is as best as you're gonna see this week.
ENTERPRISE NX01 - Lorenzo Davia
ZDoom - SP - 2.3mb -
This month's Star Trek-themed map uses a DECORATE-based weapon mod with some interesting features like a "laser shotgun" that can overheat. The map itself is quite decent with several puzzles to solve, but I wasn't a fan of the hallways and cramped battles.
Giulio Galassi Is Dead - Anonymous
ZDoom - SP - 185kb
It Only Gets Worse - Wills
ZDoom - SP - 3.4mb -
After a series of dull joke maps, Wills finally hits gold again with It Only Gets Worse. I honestly thought that he had lost his charm when I reviewed N.O.U.G.A.T. but I'm glad that I was wrong. This has some hilarious levels and dialogue with completely absurd dimension-warping vents and seizure-inducing mountains. If you're a fan of jokewads, you most likely will not regret playing through this and having a good laugh.
Kohe 14 - Ruba
doom2.exe - SP - 48kb -
Unless you like tedious mazes, don't bother wasting your time.
Kohe 15 - Ruba
doom2.exe - SP - 76kb -
A truly epic conclusion to a stellar series.
Maximum Difficulty - ugos
ZDoom - SP - 3kb
MBunk1.wad and MBunk2.wad - Dan Ferro
doom2.exe - SP/DM - 427kb -
You don't usually see SP/DM levels that often nowadays, and it's probably because creating layouts that work in both modes are not easy. The layout is quite symmetrical for DM and uninteresting for SP due to the excessive zombiemen at the outside of the bunker, but it is a good effort in trying to create a SP/DM map.
Midnight Island - Paul Corfiatis
ZDoom - SP - 396kb -
It's pretty much a rip-off of The Ghoul's Forest. Need I say any more?
Monocromatic Fortress - Walter "Daimon" Confalonieri
doom.exe - SP - 79kb -
Great idea, horrible execution. Kind of reminds me The Sky May Be, which I guess is a good thing because I love TSMB.
Napalm - Alexander "Eternal" S. (aka Deadall)
Enhanced Port - SP - 427kb
I'd love to give this a positive review, seriously. But I couldn't figure out how the hell to get past the starting area, and I pretty much gave up. I tried this in both prboom and ZDoom and it seems like there's no way out of there, and I don't need to watch a demo just to find some secret door or something. I'm guessing the map is broken?
Return to hell - Diego Cea (Killator)
ZDoom - SP - 102kb -
This map starts off weird, since just about all of the map is actually behind the player start, not in front of it. I was like "wow, this is pretty effin unusual for a map" when I first played this, and it certainly surprised me. That said, Killator does a decent job at making this level, but there can be a lot of improvements in the blandness of some rooms and making some boring rooms a tad more interesting.
Rising Blood - Chris Hansen
Boom - SP - 560kb -
A new map from the person who brought you Helpyourselfish and Classic Episode 1, and as usual, Chris Hansen delivers a solid map that can be enjoyed by everyone. It's moderately difficult but it looks beautiful.
Some Maps From Some Episode of Some Megawad - Agent Spork
ZDoom - SP - 4.8mb -
These are maps which were originally intended for episode 3 of Ultimate Simplicity, and I really wish Spork had finished episode 3 instead of adding those trash maps, as this would have been an excellent episode. Oh well, fortunately Spork was smart enough to release these maps anyway. Simplicity fans will love this.
Station 12z - Trev Primmett
doom.exe - SP/DM - 26kb -
Hey cool, another SP/DM map! This one is a lot better than Mbunk2, and I originally thought this was only a short SP level until I read the text file more thoroughly. I checked back to look at the layout for DM play, and I have to say that I was shocked to not realize it before reading the text file. The map is brilliant for a 1-on-1 map with having some good flow.
Systematic Corruption - Tango
Enhanced Port - SP - 280kb -
Tango's first map this week is a tech themed map for the failed #dmclub Channel Project and is batshit insane in how hard it is, but it's also interesting to see the amount of effort Tango placed into detail. I haven't really paid attention to any of Tango's maps before, but this has convinced me that he has the potential to be an excellent mapper. That said, if you're after some HR-style maps that don't sacrifice detail, you'll definitely get a kick out of this.
The Abandoned Base 2. - John Cartwright Bejiitas Wrath
ZDoom - SP - 185kb -
This map for TNT has a very oldschool E2 feel to it in its detail and texturing. It feels like playing through a 1996 map, but it is quite fun and a good challenge to boot.
The Dying End - Christopher Lutz
Boom - SP - 560kb -
Whoa. This new map by Chris Lutz is a MAP29-themed massacrefest that is incredibly hard to beat from a pistol start. The detail is excellent and the difficulty is definitely up there with HR-style maps, which unfortunately might turn off some people. However, if you're the type that's looking for a tough challenge, look no further this week. Oh yeah, this also wins the highly-desirable WAD of the Week award.
The Ghoul's Forest 3 - Cutmanmike
ZDoom - SP - 13mb -
Normally I'd say doing the same thing three times would eventually get boring, but fortunately this final installment of The Ghoul's Forest is a lot more interesting than the previous two, thanks to the addition of EXTRA GHOULS. Cool! If you haven't played any of the WADs in these series yet, make sure you do it in a dark room with uh, lightning or bad weather or a werewolf outside.
Toxic Cove - Tango
doom2.exe - SP - 134kb -
Like the text file says, this screams out AV MAP10 inspiration from it's excessive use of BRICK10. That's not a bad thing however, as it's one hell of a great level with it's tough difficulty and very nice detail. If you ask me, I think Tango is underappreciated as a mapper, as this is some quality stuff that he has released this week.
Also I highly doubt this is made by the same genius behind the dwforums series, and the /idgames listing on this WAD seems to prove otherwise.
Ultimate Simplicity - Agent Spork
ZDoom - SP - 15mb
I don't know what to say about this, honestly. It feels like an unnecessary release to me. The third episode is full of really dull and boring maps, and I couldn't bear myself to play through the first two episodes again to find the differences. Maybe all of those Simplicity fans will love it, but I don't think I can make myself play it in its entirety again.
Vanessa the killer bitch - Walter "Daimon" Confalonieri
ZDoom - SP - 760kb -
This is totally chaotic. It has hentai, porn, stuff stolen from various WADs and games, relatively decent gameplay (though short) but it somehow works in that it feels a lot like a jokewad. It's extremely hard for me to take this WAD seriously, which is why I like it.
Kohe 11 - Ruba
doom2.exe - SP - 30kb -
Fairly short Ruba map, and as you would expect from Ruba, it really isn't anything great. It's nothing more than a small Demonic GSTONE structure, a room full of crates and a long and dark hallway. All three of the keys are located in the same large crate room, and shortly after you get them you face a bunch of Nazis. There's also an Icon of Sin/Romero on a stick sitting right next to the exit, which is rather pointless. Nothing worth bothering to play.
Knee Deep in ZDoom Soundtrack - Joseph Ritter/"dethtoll" for the wad, kinkiness for the music
N/A - N/A - 30kb
Remixes of the original E1 tracks. I suppose you might as well use this if you're going to play KDiZD.
Kohe 12 - Ruba
doom2.exe - SP - 51kb -
For something by Ruba this was great; definitely better than Kohe 11. The gameplay is more interesting in this one, though still not much of a challenge. You face primarily Zombies and Imps until you get a few rooms in where there are a few Cacos and a Baron (which is standing right on the other side of a door and could definitely maul you to death if you aren't ready for it). The final battle consisted of a large group of Cacodemons and an Archvile and, while in a room simply full of crates, was somewhat amusing albeit easy because of the few Megaspheres laying around.
Meek - Chris Hansen
Enhanced Port - SP - 62kb -
Originally released only on Wads In Progress quite a while ago, Meek is a great E1-style map. The texturing, as to be expected from Chris Hansen, is fantastic and never looks odd or out of place for an E1 map. One of the things I really liked about this map is the design; everything flows very well and you'll see some areas multiple times. The shape of the rooms also deviates from what you would usually see in that the majority of them seem to have somewhat random placement of vertices, and I mean this in a positive way. If someone were to just tell me this without me actually seeing it, I might expect it to look weird and ugly, but it fit well with the E1 theme and actually made things more interesting. Still, the map isn't quite as good as Chris Hansen's Retro Episode, but it is worth a playthrough.
Jesus christ it's a fucking Megawad - DJShrimpy
ZDoom - SP - 158kb -
The screenshots alone should make it obvious that you shouldn't even bother.
Shadow Pit 2 - Brandon "exp(x)" Del Bel
Enhanced Port - DM - 181kb -
Haha I remember playing the first one before on Skulltag and wondering who made it. Definitely epic; I wouldn't be surprised if this got the Best Deathmatch Wad award in this year's Cacowards!
Hell Underneath - Hardcore_gamer and Walter "daimon" Confalonieri
Skulltag - SP - 1,043kb -
Misaligned textures, helipads, monitors and keyboards, visual errors, inescapable pits, centered on-screen messages, etc. I don't know why this is for Skulltag either; the only things I really see that are Skulltag specific are a few monsters, decorations, textures (and only a few at that) and a MAPINFO lump, all of which could have easily been done without, especially with the sparse usage of all of them. MAPINFO could always just be included for anyone that is using ZDoom/Skulltag and a default sky that fits all of the maps put in the wad for everyone that isn't.
BHOUSE - EANB
Enhanced Port - SP - 179kb - (holy fucking shit talk about going overboard, there's only one map)
Knowing that this was (a revised version of?) the author's first map, I was expecting something much worse than what I actually got. The map starts off in a brick/techbase-type area but moves on to a GSTONE/hell-ish theme after just a few minutes.
Everything starts off fairly easy and has you fighting Imps, Former Humans, Shotgun Guys and Chaingunners, but after you move up a flight of stairs (which you could get caught on going down), you're greeted with Arachnotrons, Hell Knights (who were hidden in a trap that I wasn't expecting) and a Mancubus. After grabbing a key, a few too many Hell Knights and Barons teleport into the room. I ended up having to flee this room, as I ran completely out of ammo when 2 Barons were still alive.
Not long after this fight, you enter a teleport and flip a switch that opens the door in front of you to reveal 4 Barons (screenshot #4). This part was really annoying. You're basically sitting in a very small hallway, so you have to quickly run back into the teleport before one of the Barons maul you to death. Trying to re-enter the teleport got me killed twice, as the remaining Barons that did not follow me back into the teleport were standing right in front of it.
The rest of the map was amusing, although nothing special. The final fight puts you up against a ton of Barons (of which this map has way too many), a Cyberdemon, Cacodemons and a few Revenants. This was probably my least favorite part of the map. Usually I enjoy hordes of monsters (Scythe 2 for example), but this really wasn't fun at all.
There were a few visual "flaws" in the map as well, such as the heavy use of the metal SUPPORT texture where just using METAL would have looked much better. There were also a few instances of textures not matching the flats, which can be seen in shot #9 on the right. Steptop, the ugliest texture ever that only contains 4(?) shades of brown was used in the beginning too.
All things considered, it was a decent 16 minutes and I suggest you play it unless the screenshots really put you off.
Base 499 - Nickalaus "DD_133" McCarthy
ZDoom - DM - 577kb -
Small and tight ZDoom deathmatch that looks like it could be fun. The detail is a bit messy in some spots, but still decent in general. Kudos for using Minomus music.
King of the Hill - Edward850
Skulltag - DM - 8mb -
In this game mode, players must hold the "hill" (which is actually usually a sector lower than everything around it) to accumulate points. The top three players and their points are displayed on screen as well, which is a nice feature. The maps, however, are symmetrical (with the exception of 10) and look rather boring. The new weapons are kind of neat, though. Map06 also has the most creative title for a map that I have ever seen: Tech Base.
How long can you last? - EANB
ZDoom - SP - 6kb -
Uh, 6 kb, that's a small file. You're in a square room with a bunch of switches, one of which spawns health (and there seems to be no limit on how many times you can push it) and the rest spawn monsters. There's really no goal here; you just hit the switches over and over until you get bored. There's also no reason for you to want to push any of the switches for the stronger enemies either. Meh.
Hell Deathmatch - RIRE INC.
doom2.exe - DM - 39kb -
DOES NOT WORK IN INTENDED SOURCE PORT
Note by deathz0r: I love it when people take my advice on reviewing maps properly except he made screenshots, bad Tango!
Kohe 13 - Ruba
doom2.exe - SP - 48kb -
DOES NOT WORK IN INTENDED SOURCE PORT
Fragfest - Hardcore_gamer
Skulltag - DM - 37kb -
Cramped, dark, not very good looking. Bleh.