I hope you didn't really think that Doomworld would let The /newstuff Chronicles die a sad, lonely, forgotten death. But thanks to a cabal of volunteer reviewers, and a new reviewing system made by yours truly (keep reading until the end), T/nC is back (sadly, without deathz0r, sniff). Check out these WADs that were released back in November and December of last year.
Community Chest 3 - Various
Boom Compatible - Solo Play - 12913516 bytes -
Reviewed by: Scuba Steve
I cannot put my finger on why, but I have a soft spot in my heart for megawads... as I believe most of the community does. A couple years ago I awarded a Cacoward to Community Chest 2 for its collection of 32 wonderful levels and awesome title screen. Two years later, and just in time for Doom\'s 14th birthday, we were graced with the third Community Chest installment. If the last two were any indication of quality, then Community Chest 3 should be a great megawad... and it does not disappoint.
Like any community collection, the maps are, obviously, very mixed and range from outstanding to decent. Many of the great maps come from an impressive roster of modern mappers... Rottking, Dutch Devil, Thomas van der Velden and many more. This time around, Community Chest mappers took more advantage of Boom special tags. You will see your usual display of scrolling dummy effects put to good use in this collection... not quite Lutz insanity, though. Be sure to check out all the levels—there are some real gems to be played in here. If you enjoy megawads (and we all do) then you really cannot go wrong with Community Chest 3.
Infantry: A Tribute to Nuts - Michael Laakso
Limit Removing - Solo Play - 2862 bytes -
Reviewed by: GreyGhost
Playing Infantry is like facing a firing squad without a blindfold. It might have been inspired by Nuts, but this is one joke I don\'t get. Not recommended by this reviewer.
Corpus Collosum - Myself Alone
GZDoom - Solo Play - 1698624 bytes -
Reviewed by: ler
Dear lord, this map is ridiculous. The text file says it requires GZDoom, but I saw nothing that really needed it. In fact, I loaded it up in software mode just fine.
One of the more glaring things to me are the graphical oddities. Doortracks are unpegged, there's incorrect usage of transparent textures, the whole thing is rather underdetailed, and the theme shifts constantly and without logic. The author seems to really care about lights, though, as those are the most detailed parts.
Then we have the length. The par time for this map is 1 hour and 3 minutes. You may think the author would at least put some nice fights in there if it's going to be that long, but instead he decides that having 5000 sargeants in groups of 2, 4, 8, and 70 at a time is fun. There are also absurd amounts of lost souls. There should never be 50 lost souls in a map unless they're spawned by Pain Elementals, and this is a Doom 1 map.
The gameplay of this map is, very simply, boring. I've never felt so damn bored in such a huge map. You walk around aimlessly (because you can never figure out where you're supposed to go, and there's 50 corridors that lead to useless town for every corridor that leads somewhere you're supposed to go) and shoot at the giant crowds of zombie troopers that pop up occasionally. If you hit a switch, be prepared to never understand what the hell it did. And you never have an interesting fight. The cyberdemon at the end was boring because you had a BFG by that time. That's not a good fight.
The part that really annoys you over time is the cheesy cheesy midi of One by Metallica that he used for music. Couldn't he have picked a more original song for a midi? Or maybe used a less shitty midi version of the song? I have no idea.
This is not worth your time at all. Author, this is your first map and it was pretty boring and shitty. But perk up, don't bother with GLDEFs unless you're going to actually use them, make better fights, and detail more, and you'll do fine later. At least it looks like the wad was made within the last 5 years.
Corpus Collosum (old version) - Myself Alone
GZDoom - Solo Play - 1705648 bytes
Reviewed by: Bloodshedder
Old version of Corpus Collosum, already reviewed.
The New Adventure 2 - Glassyman
ZDoom - Solo Play - 255338 bytes
Reviewed by: GreyGhost
Note: this reviewer is another Australian Highlander.
The New Adventures 2 is Glassyman's reply (60% of the readers leave) to Paul Corfiatis' Glassyman's Nightmare and possibly the start of a new series (the remaining readers take up a petition).
It's a jokewad - if you haven't already guessed - brief, heavily scripted and with an annoying sound loop. Most of the map's architecture has been recycled from the "Gamarra's soul story" series which earns it the inaugural GreyGhost Award for Environmental Awareness.
Gameplay is minimal - the highlights are punching out a defenceless cybie and killing Paul a second time. The New Adventures 2 earnt a smile but not a laugh from this reviewer.
Aeternum - Paul DeBruyne (Skillsaw / Scissors)
ZDoom Compatible - Solo Play - 5067379 bytes -
Reviewed by: Creaphis
I'd like to start off by thanking Bloodshedder for this new review system. If I hadn't noticed that this wad needed reviewing, I most likely wouldn't have ever downloaded it, and I would have missed these excellent three maps made by someone who I've never heard of. This small mapset is the product of Paul DeBruyne's return to Doom mapping after a ten year absence, and was inspired by a play-through of Alien Vendetta. The gameplay (and often the appearance) of these levels closely matches the style of that hallowed megawad, with many creative, challenging fights, and the occasional monster horde. For a levelset that supposedly requires ZDoom, it's distinctly lacking in advanced features. Aside from the music tracks that are definitely not MIDI, and the occasional environment that would shatter any sidedef-rendering limit, it's not hard to imagine this running on vanilla. However, freelook is definitely necessary to appreciate the full height of Paul's modern architecture.
If I have to criticize these maps, I'll say this: some traps are predictable (gee, I wonder if this wall is going to open up when I take this key) but that's just part of the gameplay we know and love. Also, the second map will be considered as too long by some players. I enjoyed it to the end; it would have felt complete even if it ended a few areas sooner. Okay, that's enough. Go play these maps! If you skip past this review without downloading this wad, you're making the mistake that I only narrowly avoided!
Into The Abyss - Dan Ferro
ZDoom - Solo Play - 35219 bytes -
Reviewed by: Edward850
I can't say that this map is that good. The first thing you would notice is that this map has hardly any detail at all. You will then continue to play through this map to find a very bad balance between health/ammo to monsters. You have to pistol your way through most of this, and if you run out of ammo, you're next to fucked. You can end up getting lucky, but I don't see how anybody could beat this without needing to be very good at fisting. There's hardly any health to pick up, and some of the lifts in this are rather slow and annoying (At least they come back down for you if you miss 'em).
The detail is rather lacking, although I like the use of lighting. It's rather ambient sometimes, but it could be better. A little bit more detail and work could be added to the lighting. There are hardly any height variations, and most of the walls a square.
Keep an eye on detail and remember to test your maps thoroughly.
Lethe - Hobomaster22
Limit Removing - Solo Play - 641098 bytes -
Reviewed by: magicsofa
This map by hobomaster is a masterful creation despite a few small hobo-flaws. It was action packed almost all the way; however, the level has an interesting non-linear progression which causes you to do a lot of retracing certain areas and perhaps getting confused. That aside, the health situation was pretty tight throughout. I was often running around with 11% - but I always found something eventually, so it remained fun (great secrets btw!). Checking my six became routine as well :)
The visuals here are perfect. There was no incidence of mindleslly tiny sectors and junk like that - everything was tasteful and pleasing, including the color schemes. A+
Okay, so there were a few funky finicky fings, such as an area that could be jumped into but apparently not out, and a box of shells stuck in a fake bridge (last 2 screens).
Anyways, the minor bugs didn't detract from the map much at all. A solid Doom adventure with a modern look that captures classic gameplay...eh, just play it!
Kobal - Shadowman
Boom Compatible - Solo Play - 928213 bytes -
Reviewed by: GreyGhost
Kobal is a techno-gothic map set in a complex of dark, decaying structures arranged around a large courtyard. I like the look of the map - collapsed ceilings with debris on the floor, skylights with weeds hanging down, some stained glass and moss-tinged stone almost everywhere.
Game play is a fairly linear switch hunt plus a few simple puzzles. Fortunately most of the switches are in plain sight (only one is disguised) and there should be enough ambushes to keep most players from getting bored. I'd have liked a bit more cover for the boss battle. Difficulty levels are supported - ammo is plentiful, health and armour are adequate.
Some monsters have been re-coloured - the barons look more like afrits and you mightn't see the imps in my screenshots. Shadowman has also used voodoo dolls and conveyors to pull of some neat tricks - the running lights in two stairways being the most obvious. Apart from the boss battle I enjoyed this wad and I'm giving it a high recommendation.
NORDHELL - Alexander \
GZDoom - Solo Play - 1104696 bytes -
Reviewed by: Creaphis
Unless I\'m extremely mistaken, this is the Alexander \"Eternal\" S. who gave us remain1.wad and epic.wad. Now that Alexander has gotten a handle on the techniques that vanilla and boom mapping have to offer, it looks like he\'s dabbling with GZdoom features. This is a mixed blessing.
This wad features a rare theme for Doom levels - a snowy middle-of-nowhere, laden with pine trees and a blue glow in the dark sky. Alex uses GZDoom to strengthen the sense of atmosphere - upon starting a new game, the camera makes a trek over the white landscape before finally facing the doomguy, staring wistfully from his cabin window, gun in hand. I found this interesting the first time I saw it, and less interesting when I died and found that this sequence can\'t be skipped. However, some advanced features just feel out of place next to the other aspects of this level, which are somewhat neglected - should every cabin door be a polyobject when the Doomguy\'s bed appears to just be a wooden slab? I think that Alex was really just experimenting with GZDoom here, but if his goal was to create a strong sense of atmosphere, he should have crafted the environment more carefully, to make suspension of disbelief possible. Snow isn\'t necessarily flat, and snowdrifts aren\'t always parallel to the ground. The music could also have been more enchanting.
This is all a lot of blabber over a level that is actually very short, so it\'s definitely worth your time. Even though the theme isn\'t powerful, it is unique. The layout gets a passing grade, and the gameplay actually reminds me of the combat in Phocas Island 2, with sparse appearances of strange monsters. Check it out.
boring - Ruba
doom2.exe - Solo Play - 13689 bytes -
Reviewed by: GreyGhost
An appropriate title. Gameplay consisting of two minutes of strafe\'n\'shoot (if you take your time), some wall humping and trying to operate a broken exit switch. Only one difficulty setting. Architecture is bland - two wall textures and a lot of randomly placed pillars. Not recommended by this reviewer.