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    The /newstuff Chronicles #318


    Almost 25 more WADs this time, taking us up to May when this whole reader-submitted review shindig started. We might get caught up eventually. This intro should really be longer, but I can never think of what to write about.

    • Calavera de Hierro Deathmatch - Noldor Ranzou
      Skulltag - Deathmatch - 13126050 bytes -
      Reviewed by: ler
      Holy shit, now I'm pissed. This wad froze my god damned computer, making me lose ALL of my review I had waiting to be published while I took some screenshots. So now you will get 1 screenshot instead of 6 and an amazingly angry review (though I will try my best to not be TOTALLY biased).

      This wad has 6 levels revolving around 6 heavy metal songs (though Motorhead and In Flames and Dream Theater don't really scream heavy metal to me, but maybe I'm just misclassifying or whatever). It also has some new skins and weapons.

      I'll address the levels first. They're really not much to text home about. You've got some pretty detail and whatever, but I've seen that so many times that I really could care less. What I care about is the fact that there are doors you have to hit use to open, and some really irritatingly unintuitive level designs. And why are there all these teleporters that really don't teleport you anywhere meaningful or rememberable? There are even deadly hazards in some of the levels (besides your usual slime or barrels), as if you couldn't die very easily or avoid them at all. I'm not really that impressed by the levels, to say the least.

      The weapons are also fairly awful. Some of them are really okay, like the laser pistol thing was decent as a lower level weapon, or the alpha rifle; I have a feeling these are the ones he took from the weapons resource mod. Some are just silly, like a faster super shotgun, which ruins the balance. And then some are rage inducing, like a devastator (from Duke 3D) that fires missiles that BOUNCE! And not even like a good bounce, they just sort of dribble. And the flamethrower is next to useless unless you catch someone off guard because it has the worst speed and range I've ever seen. There's even a redone Strife crossbow, because it's not like the crossbow is already coded or anything. Moving on...

      The skins are in a bit of a range. It's like the set of integers, nearabout: some are prime, some are composite, some are even and some are odd, all of those primes are odd, etc. To describe it more bluntly, it's a mixed bag. Some are pretty good, and then you see the Beavis and Butthead skins and wonder where your choice of deity has been. There are bots, though, which is a plus because you don't have to scroll through the skins in the player setup menu.

      A few final notes: all the weapon pickups are in Spanish, which is kind of funny. One of the new death messages had something about cheese. There are these amazingly cheesy midis of the song each level is supposed to represent (well they're midis, you can't blame them for being midis). The author probably ripped most of these resources without permission, but I can't say that with any certainty. Just don't download this wad, it's awful.

    • Plastic - Nautilus
      doom2.exe - Deathmatch - 46076 bytes -
      Reviewed by: AlexMax
      This is a pretty slick one-off dueling map. It's pretty purpose-built; anything over two players is crowded and feels claustrophobic even with two players it was designed for, but in spite of this it turns out that it is very playable. It features all seven weapons, but the BFG is quite tricky to gain access to, and the Plasma Rifle isn't nearly as potent as one might think due to the way the map is laid out and how long it takes to access it. The rest of the weapons are intelligently laid out and have appropriate amounts of ammo laid out, which means no boxes of ammo to assist any chaingun spam. The map itself looks great, plays well with Skulltag bots, has nice music, and even features a custom sky. All in all, it's a keeper and definitely deserves a spot in your server rotation, just make sure to turn jumping off to keep the BFG and Plasma hard to reach.

    • Wart 04: Den of Evil - Brad Carney (Carnevil)
      Skulltag - Solo Play - 4646003 bytes -
      Reviewed by: Edward850
      Another wad to add to the wart series. Carnevil brings us wart04, another WAD for us to "Minigun that shit".

      This wad has neat detail and interesting game play. Oddly enough, this WAD seems shorter then the rest. Maybe I'm wrong and the game play makes me lose my sense of time. Regardless, the WAD seems to get all worked up like if it was preparing to show us something awesome, and then finishes all of a sudden without showing us. For a WAD with excellent game play and detail, I feel let down at the end.

      The detail is rather creative and atmospheric, although, I can't say the same about the music. If you turn off the music, you get a completely different experience versus leaving it on. I never have been a fan of the music included in the Wart series. Its good, but it just doesn't seem to fit for some odd reason.

      The battles are kind of strange. At some moments, you expect nothing, and get demons shoved in front of you. At other moments, you expect barons to be at your doorstep, and all you get are a few imps.

      Nevertheless, its not something to be passed. If you have a spear moment, play wart04. Fun for the whole family.

    • Needs More Detail - Fiend
      doom.exe - Solo Play - 278313 bytes -
      Reviewed by: ler
      Very nice Episode 1 replacement for doom.exe. It does a great job of capturing the episode 1 feel both graphically and gameplay wise. Fun battles, though some of those hallways are a bit cramped. The secret level was great fun, and E1M8 was a blast on UV. I can see a lot of influence from the official levels in the designs.

      On the down side, it obviously is not impressive technically. Along with some minor alignment errors here and there, sometimes doortracks were unpegged. Luckily it didn't detract from the maps as a whole. What bothered me only slightly more was the usage of the berserk pack, which wasn't present in Episode 1. It felt a little inappropriate, but it was used excellently.

      Overall this definitely worth your time. I would put this on my "must play WADs" list of 2008, so far.

    • Dark Resolution 2008 - UPDATED VERSION - Various
      Boom Compatible - Solo Play - 3219673 bytes -
      Reviewed by: RjY
      Community wad developed in a single thread. Replaces the first eleven maps of Doom 2, and needs Boom. Had some release problems including being released early and full of ZDoomisms. (I admit I didn't pay much attention to the thread - I was kind of expecting something like that to happen, given some of the previous work of the thread poster.)

      However then they did version 2, which seems better. I'd probably better do each map individually...

      1. Onset This is a 1024x1024 map that's also kind of a puzzle map. That is, a long switch quest. Despite the small size I often found myself unable to easily find the next switch; for example the second (iirc) switch is quite hard to press, being at the back of quite a wide ledge, so I thought you had to find a way to jump onto the ledge. Other switches are hard to spot due to only being visible at an angle that require you to use mouselook to see them. Also, there's a couple hidden in the floor which you can press out of order due to Doom's lack of proper height checking. Resistance is fairly low, this is a puzzle map after all, although there's one baron that scared the hell out of me when it suddenly popped up.
      2. Operation Zero Nicely detailed hell-corrupted techbase kind of thing. The texturing is pretty much flawless and I liked the little bits of hellish weirdness embedded into the walls. However it plays awkwardly due to being cramped, full of traps, monsters with bullet weapons that sap your health, and not many pickups to replace said health. You will die and get fed up of having to wait for the lift at the start to descend. The ending, past the yellow door, is better, although the final switch and ensuing large teleporter can be skipped (you can sort of climb up to the exit anyway).
      3. The Hunt This one could be a base on an alien world. Complex route that crosses over itself and glimpses that draw you in. Full of nooks and crannies too. An intriguing-looking building on the other side of a canyon - sadly it appears to be inaccessible, I spent ages looking for a teleporter... However the Wolfenstein area was a bit pointless and random, and what I can only assume is a tribute to wow.wad (a BFG in a pit with missing lower textures) was just stupid (not to mention very hard to get into). Other than that, an enjoyable map that doesn't skimp on monsters or the resources with which to kill them, and which rises to a decent crescendo at its end.
      4. Den of the Beast E3-style hell castle, with surrounding caves and canyons and so on. Does some clever things with floor scrollers to teleport corpses around so they can be resurrected at unfortunate moments. However it has a serious gameplay flaw - a complete lack of useful weapons. If I have to pistol more than 2-3 small monsters I get bored, so the only way I could bring myself to bother playing was to gift myself a chaingun at the start. It seems like you're meant to have one, there's enough bullets to pick up. It finally grants you a chainsaw just before facing a spiderdemon (blatant ZDoom gameplay change) then gives you a super shotgun when there's about a dozen monsters left.
      5. Base Construction The major part of this map is a huge flooded canyon. There are various side areas, one of which you start in, and each of which contains a switch - when all of these side areas have been done, a bridge will have been raised over the canyon and you can get the key you need to exit the level. At least one switch is hard to get to, requiring a long series of jumps that must be repeated in entirety if you miss a single one. A bigger problem is ammunition and health at the start - this map is very top-heavy. Not brilliant, but not bad. Finally I do wonder why there is a huge cache of cells and spheres at the extreme far end of the map, but with no way to get at it.
      6. Hellstorm Workshop I don't know what this one is, it's not computery enough to be a techbase but there's metal everywhere so let's call it industrial. What there is though is massive amounts of detail linedefs including one of the most intricately-made 3d bridges I've seen. Vaguely reminiscent of CC3 map12 although a lot smaller. The gameplay is tough, I found UV to be an exercise in savegame reloads and frustration. You can't take much damage at all but the traps will damage you a lot. Slightly top-heavy, the yellow key area was definitely the most annoying. It got slightly easier after that, even the two cyberdemons weren't that much of a problem although I was very timid around the archviles in the exit room because there are so many of them.
      7. Devil's Pit We're in hell! Specifically first we have to hop around some floating islands in space. It's pretty easy to miss the jumps and fall. Then you have to go round the corridors and cramped rooms of a smallish hell castle. This map has next to no health and ammo on it, I gave up trying to bother with 100% kills. Not a great map, really.
      8. The Demons Inside One of those bases that's mostly outside, and some caves underneath. Unfortunately the wide-open nature of the start makes the map very top-heavy - the zombies overlooking the main area do not help with this, although there's a partial invisibility secret which can help you reduce damage taken and infighting is fairly easy to get going. I suppose it's best to run for the caves, but you need to know where they are. However the caves are tight and cramped and you can get pinned down quite easily. A decent map especially since it mostly avoids being another sequence of rooms and corridors, but could do with more ammo and health, or less monsters at the start (repopulate with teleporters, for example)
      9. Spawning Evil This is a partially-outdoor system of caves, where someone's built a base. Has all the trappings of an excellent map - complex route, cohesive landscape (you know, not disjoint), decent secrets that are more than just a miscoloured panel on a wall, glimpses, light and shade contrast, detail, blah blah blah it's hard to review maps that I can't find fault with.
      10. The Soulscarred Universe Honestly where do people come up with these map names? This one is a slaughter map, I guess. It's really hard even on HNTR, because you basically start off surrounded and have to grab the weapons before you get overwhelmed, and there's all monsters raining fire down on you from the surrouding castle. There are side areas: a lava cave and some corridors with a really awkwardly-placed cyberdemon. As I said, even on easy skill it's too hard. (However, the final area - a cave with some kind of a generator in it, behind the yellow door - seemed rather easy, given what had come before)
      11. Lich I'm surprised I've never seen a map with this word in the title before. I guess archviles are the nearest thing Doom has to liches, as they cast spells and raise the dead - but fortunately they don't come back to life themselves! So anyway as you'd expect from the name there's a ridiculous number of archviles on this map. First you go round the interior of another hell castle. This part wasn't too bad (on easy skill, at least). However I found the courtyard at the south of the map to be too frustrating due to lack of health and ammo, but the final area of the map wasn't so bad because you can use the staircases as choke points.

      Packaging: It replaces the status bar numbers with grey ones which breaks Boom's number colouring, and also replaces some of the key icons with ones that have odd patch offsets and look strange on a fullscreen HUD. (The red status bar replacement was suitably hellish, but I don't use it much, I prefer having a fullscreen display.)

      Summary: this wad is worth downloading, especially for map 9 but also 3 and 8. Some of the others are all right if you like that sort of thing, but others are poor. Typical community project, really...

    • A Pyramid - Xaechireon
      ZDoom Compatible - Solo Play - 439837 bytes -
      Reviewed by: master lockwolf
      This map has a lot of pros and cons to it. The greatness of this wad lies within its non-linear gameplay which focuses around a pyramid-like structure. Also, it's got a little bit of detail to it so it's ok to look at for more than 5 minutes. But its greatness pretty much stops there. The author of this map has you battling the first half of the map with a shotgun against numerous monsters at once. Eventually, you get to a point where you get a plasma rifle and rocket launcher within moments of each other when you could have finished most of the map without them.

      In all, this is a great non-linear map with poor gameplay.

    • Sawun Luajaw Veagiuna (Enemy Base) - Ruba
      doom2.exe - Solo Play - 66166 bytes -
      Reviewed by: LordK
      Sawun Luajaw Veagiuna is prolific Thai mapper Ruba's latest level. Ruba has released a lot of levels (this is his 50th in the archives), but he's barely improving as a mapper. None of his earlier levels have been good and neither is this one. However, it is a little more fun to play than some of his previous levels that I have tried. It's larger and more intricate and it looks and plays better. It still gives an impression of a newbie level and has some odd stuff in it, like a baffling amount of fake exits. It doesn't take very long to finish, so try it out if you don't have anything else to play.

    • Evil Journey - Plan "A" - Arch
      ZDoom Compatible - Solo Play - 5142403 bytes -
      Reviewed by: Dreadopp
      Anyone looking for levels that have the "classic" Doom feeling to them should check out Evil Journey - Plan "A". Evil Journey is a small collection of 5 levels that do have that "classic" Doom 2 feeling to them. Though the levels are fairly short, they do have good game play. The detailing on these levels is not super insane (like today's standards), but I find that it helps bring in the "classic" feel of the original Doom 2 levels.

      There is, however, a shortage on the choice of weapons. The shotgun and the chainsaw are pretty much the only weapons you will have access to. At some points the player will, basically, be forced to use the chainsaw, especially on the final level (which can take a while depending on what difficulty you happen to be playing on).

      Evil Journey also features some familiar new monsters, like the chainsaw zombie and the undead marine. The maps also include some tough battles as well as some tricks and traps, which also add to the original feeling of the Doom 2 levels.

      Overall, I had fun playing this nice set of levels, and I hope you will too. I recommend you check out Evil Journey - Plan "A".

    • REFUSE - Aleksej Selivyorstov
      Boom Compatible - Solo Play - 73657 bytes
      Reviewed by: Steeveeo
      Very solid and decent map.

      Wasn't hard, but also wasn't too easy. It was right in the middle where the fun lies. Traps were well placed and well used. Ammo and health balance was great, secrets were well hidden but not extremely so.

      I got lost, however, and could not figure out how to get the yellow key, so I noclipped up to the platform to get it (not sure if the way up is broken or not, but I couldn't find it). The blue armor secret was a little hard to trigger and run all the way back to in time to get the armor, but in the end I still got it.

      This map was not a clusterfuck of detail like some maps, so I enjoyed not getting hung up on someone's 1x1 unit pipeline while fighting off a multimonster trap.

      Map was wide open, not cramped in the least, with the monsters used, this worked out nicely for the map.

      I should also point out that this WAD uses some BOOM linedefs (which I only noticed after looking at it in an editor), so it is not vanilla.

      This author was going for a '94-'95 look, and achieved it quite well, with decent gameplay I might add!

    • Justice - Infernal Mechanics - James "Phobus" Cresswell
      ZDoom Compatible - Solo Play - 683948 bytes -
      Reviewed by: TheDarkArchon
      If I could sum up Justice - Infernal Mechanics with one word, it would be "experimental". The WAD takes the concept of giving the player a limited amount of weaponry, in this case it's the rocket launcher and the titular Justice holy sword, and places it in an otherwise standard WAD to see how it would play out. The end result is something that is a good amount of fun, though it isn't amazing and contains a few minor problems.

      The weapons the WAD gives you are well balanced and fill the roles they're supposed to well enough: The sword, which looks absolutely terrible, is powerful enough to be useful and not make fights take forever to through but doesn't bowl most enemies over in one hit and the rocket launcher fills the mid-to-long range combat gap nicely. There's enough rockets spread throughout to take on most of the tougher monsters without giving the player excessive rockets so they can ignore Justice all together and speed through the map spamming rockets. That said, I would have liked it better if swordplay was more than hold the fire button down until whatever you're fighting dies. Something along the line of Zen Dynamics' machete would've been welcome here and would have made using the sword more fun. There are also a few new monsters in the map as well, including a couple of boss monsters. The bosses look a bit on the plain side, but at least they aren't just recolours of existing monsters and exercises in circle-strafing, which offsets their otherwise bland looks.

      The map itself is short, lasting around 8 minutes or so on the first play, and tight, being excessively tight at certain points along the way. In the main, it's just standard Doom gameplay with a few arena style fights and a well executed puzzle involving moving a crate around along the way. The fights are nothing too hard but aren't overly easy, either, though there is one part where an armoured Baron of Hell immediately spawns and attacks you from behind once you've beaten one of the mandatory fights. Health is a little on the overgenerous side, with a Megasphere appearing within the first couple of minutes, a Soulsphere appearing just after another section and Invulnerability sphere appearing near the end of the map, although the fact the some parts block you off from previous parts of the level mean you can't afford to play recklessly and then go back to previously unused medkits. Most of the map's secrets are fairly standard, with the exception of the last one which is quite clever and yields a seriously useful item.

      There are a couple of other minor problems with the map, though. The music is annoyingly repetitive and loud on the standard Windows MIDI synth to the point of distortion most of the time and there are no difficulty levels implemented. That said, ignore the /idgames rating, the WAD is worth the download, even if it's just to see how a limited weapon WAD would work. Just bear in mind that it won't blow you away.

    • Square Of Destruction! - hardcore_gamer
      ZDoom Compatible - Solo Play - 264834 bytes -
      Reviewed by: master lockwolf
      Square of Destruction pretty much gives away what the map is gonna feel like. This 5 minute battle through square rooms, hallways and such is a very dull map which may leave you asking for more in the end. One thing that really bugged me with this map was battling a Hell Knight in a very tight hallway with just a shotgun. Another thing was that through half the map, I kept finding rocket ammo and didn't find a rocket launcher till the very end of the map. It has a 1995ish feel to it but uses one, maybe two, ZDoom features. Also, the author tagged a key with just the "Multiplayer" setting, so you either got to play in in a multiplayer mode or edit the wad.

      Basically, stay away from this wad.

    • Atari Sounds - Walter "daimon" Confalonieri
      n/a - n/a - 573440 bytes
      Reviewed by: Csonicgo
      In the spirit of the NES sounds WAD and the many 90s sound WADs of Beavis and Butthead, we now have "Atari Sounds". Various Atari games make their beep-boop presence here, including Asteroids's famous "Beow" firing sound when you fire the shotgun. However, a lot of sounds are grating on your ears after a while, and some sounds were not replaced (super shotgun, for example), breaking the feel. I'd play it for 10 minutes or so, have a laugh, and not touch this again.

    • MALESE MAster LEvels SElector - Doomgater
      n/a - n/a - 418680 bytes -
      Reviewed by: GreyGhost
      MALESE is a neat little launcher for people who want to play Master Level wads without first playing "guess the map slot". The launcher's accompanied by a set of wads and .deh patches to insert level names into the automap and statscreen - a nice touch. While the GUI's not overburdened with options it does the job. [Note - the Engine string only accepts 8.3 format filenames.]

    • Pcorf's Music Rejects - Paul Corfiatis
      n/a - n/a - 95729 bytes
      Reviewed by: prdarkfox
      Project Dark Fox: wasting his time to save yours! ;D

      Essentially, just as the title describes, it is a bunch of rejected MIDI music tracks. No levels. Eh, at least the download was small.

      Because I'm quirky, I loaded it up with Doom II. The first track actually sounded pretty good; it kept a good "serious" tone and I thought it was a shame he was going to throw it away. Perhaps it was just a mark too short for his earlier 2002ADA project.

      The rest... eh..... don't bother. The second track only made it to "okay", and it got progressively worse from there.

      Obvious avoid unless you want to use that first track since he's allowed permissions for re-use.

    • Kill Again - MazuQ
      Boom Compatible - Solo Play - 320413 bytes -
      Reviewed by: JohnnyRancid
      Kill again is a pretty difficult map without difficulty settings (like anyone would play a map on a skill other than Ultra Violence these days anyway). The map is pretty big but looks like a Sandy Peterson's E3 maps from Doom 1. The difficulty kicks in right from the start, where you grab a shotgun and run through an empty room or two, and then are suddenly bombarded with monsters from there. The use of monsters is sort of annoying in a way, because unlike most maps I've played, you'll start off fighting a couple of imps, a demon, and some shotgun guys. Then you run into some hell knights and mancubuses, then hell barons to arch viles. This map doesn't emphasize that, but instead pairs hell knights and imps in ambushes as if they are the same difficulty. You're occasionally forced to fend off horrendous amounts of monsters in an Alien Vendetta-ish sort of way, with a mix of some parts that are teasingly easy. This map is surely a test of patience, and is pretty good at being annoying, but trying to beat it without dying is ultimately an addicting task. If you think Hell Revealed needed just one more map, you might wanna try this.

    • Four Color - Azamael aka Kolybenko Michailo
      doom2.exe - Solo Play - 308869 bytes -
      Reviewed by: Remiel
      After having already played several colour-themed WADs at this point, I have been praying at my bedside nightly for about a year now, in hopes that my prayers will be answered one day and that these budding WAD authors would realize that unless Kristus and Gemini get together to remake AV MAP31, there is no reason for anyone to ever use this kind of map archetype ever again as nobody could ever possibly outmatch AV MAP31. Much to my dismay, I'm not quite sure if it's really working.

      Literally half of MAP01 consists of The 64 Unit Wide Hallway Lined with Monsters, features two suits of green armour even though only one is actually needed, and on lower skills you end up with more effective ammo by using nothing but the pistol. MAP02 features a fight with a spiderdemon in a small room with a rocket launcher being your main source of damage, and MAP03 features 22 archviles. MAP04 sets itself aside from the others in the WAD by actually being vaguely competent in comparison. Its gameplay is slaughter-based, but you can really just kill a few monsters at the midpoint, take a blur artifact then sneak the rest of the way. Oh, yeah, and the maps are also made to support cooperative play and deathmatch (more like multiplayer starts and items were thrown in at the last minute, but yeah). But... but why?

      As for thing placements, 4colours is as much a criminal mastermind as a WAD of its caliber will allow; its item placement is schizophrenic and alternates neatly between starving them for ammo then giving then a soulsphere, a box of shells here and there, then leaving them with no ammo just as fast as they acquired some, waiting for the three archviles at the end of MAP03 to leave the exit room so he can try to get past, hoping he doesn't die on his way. Of course, he won't get that far to begin with, because the 22 archviles that come after MAP02 are totally unexpected and on the first try can't be prepared for at all by managing your ammo usage accordingly, which in turn sort of gets you stuck. Silly trick and not good gameplay at all.

      There is also not much texture usage that actually adheres predominantly to the colour themes even though the author made his own palette edits which, given MAP01's colour theme is white, is probably a good thing anyway. On second thought, AV MAP31's three parts were able to be nothing but blue, green and red respectively and look fantastic, which makes 4colours bad because it can't figure out how to innovate to look good. If you can't make a colour theme look good, pick a different colour. As a result, it's unsatisfying because it's bad at what it does, like we were meant to sleep with it, though I think your time would be much better spent with a prettier, smarter, more intelligent girl like Deus Vult II or, compared to this, Sadhus Time Travels.

    • 4 Hour - Kyle Casteel
      Boom Compatible - Solo Play - 39557 bytes
      Reviewed by: Nuxius
      [Ed: 403 errors on screenshots. Guess you'll have to do without.]

      One of the few wads made in 4 hours that stemmed off a certain thread at NewDoom.

      Considering the time constraints, this map is decent enough. It's your typical brick and metal motif (with lots of brown), and a few marble face textures to break up the monotony somewhat. So as expected, it's rather short. Unfortunately the difficulty varies widely depending on whether you find a certain secret or not. If you don't find this secret, you'll be suffering from ammo deficiency rather quickly; find it, and you'll have so much ammo you'll leave quite a bit of it behind when you're done. Overall, it just squeaks by with a recommendation.

    • Needs More Detail II - Fiend
      doom.exe - Solo Play - 313009 bytes -
      Reviewed by: CodeImp
      This is what the text files says it is. It is underdetailed and at first will look like a cheap copy of the original episode 2 maps with some lines dragged around and sectors copy-pasted. But don't be fooled by its simplistic style! While the maps look much like their original version, it provides new places to explore and the gameplay is challenging at times. A good ammo and health balance; I usually don't like playing pacifist, but I didn't mind using the chainsaw sometimes to save a little ammo. Worth playing on a Sunday evening.

    • The Maximum Doom Reference v. 1.0 - Funduke
      n/a - n/a - 282439 bytes
      Reviewed by: Nuxius
      An HTML document that contains a list of all known map titles, authors and other pieces of information for the various files from the Maximum Doom collection that came with the Master Levels for Doom II package. It also contains download links for the maps from this set that Funduke and others have uploaded to the archive. In addition, at the end of the document there is a list of maps that have no or only partial information known about them. If you have further information about these maps you would like to contribute, be sure to let Funduke know through his email listed in the text file.

    • Can Bomb Dominoz - Ruba
      doom2.exe - Solo Play - 23956 bytes
      Reviewed by: Wills
      The latest wad by Ruba. What happens is, you walk on a ledge around a large slime pit to attract the attention of a Cyberdemon. He blows up some barrels in front of him, which sets off a chain reaction of barrel explosions over some platforms that lowers a lift for the exit. Or, you can press a switch to lower a lift that gets you onto the aforementioned platforms so you can duke it out with the Cyberdemon.

      Quite honestly this is one of the most useless levels I've ever played. There's no real gameplay unless you choose to fight the Cyberdemon, and the barrel domino gimmick - which has been done countless times before - serves no real purpose except to be big and ugly and get in the way. At the very least it's somewhat interesting in a cheesy, B-movie type way - much better than having just a bunch of featureless grey corridors.

      But don't get me wrong, it's still awful.

    • Jonesin' - Magicsofa
      doom2.exe - Solo Play - 182048 bytes -
      Reviewed by: POTGIESSER
      Here we have a nice 5 mapset called jonesin by Magicsofa. I've yet to encounter a sofa that was sentient enough to make Doom levels, but there's a first for everything. As sofa states in its text, this was a mapset that had emphasis on puzzles. Puzzles it does emphasize on. There weren't piles of detail, but there was enough to carry the progression. Often you will find new areas constantly opening up and hunting for switches. At times the maps can really brain tease. You might get a feel of HeXenitis, although it's no where near as frustrating as "Your Mother's Legs have opened on the seven portals."

      The gameplay is carefully orchestrated and quite in tune with the puzzles. There were some missing lower and upper textures that really could've been fixed quite easily prior to submission. Difficulty, both gameplay and puzzle, really picks up at the 4th map. It got a little frustrating. The 5th map was a nice tech base, and I thought it was designed quite nicely. Themes were consistent throughout the whole set. There is new music which fit the maps quite nicely. It also looks quite promising for coop mode, but with all those puzzles I won't be trying "drink everytime your health changes" anytime soon. If you're fiending for puzzles and demon blasting fun, or an excuse to play a drinking game, start jonesin' without delay.

    • Tremble - Sam Stackhouse
      doom.exe - Solo Play - 28409 bytes -
      Reviewed by: Ashley_Pomeroy
      This is pretty much what it says on the tin. It's a small Doom level with 58 monsters, a modernised E3 style, and a fair amount of close-in fighting. It starts off with an irritating little fight that has lost souls, and then the gameplay has an emphasis on teleport traps, which gets tiring after a while, because you know that every switch, key, and power-up will provoke a bunch of monsters. The ammo balance is very spartan, and that angered me. You either have to run past most of the monsters, or you end up pistol-shooting cacodemons, which isn't entertaining either way. The design is retro, there's nothing wrong with the textures etc, but I found the gameplay frustrating and fiddly. The swarm of cacodemons at the end - flock? herd? - is maddening, because you have no ammo to kill them, and it's hard to get around them because they're so big-boned.

    • DM-Deck1 - Eric 'alien8' Hushagen
      ZDoom Compatible - Deathmatch - 37713 bytes
      Reviewed by: prdarkfox
      It's a relatively simple techbase that looks like it's been around for a few years. The flow seems good, but there's some pitfalls where a stray rocket or a well placed shotgun blast could end up plummeting a poor player to a hot death.

      Speaking of rockets, I've noticed that the rocket launcher and plasma gun are in some pretty easy to reach places -- and there's two of each. While there's plenty of other weapons as well, I feel that a nice balanced map should force players to work for larger hardware like that.

      There are some texture alignment bugs and some of the details are iffy, but this doesn't seem like it'd be a bad place for a hunt. It's wide open and yet there's plenty of cover to hide behind. Its biggest selling point to me is the simplicity: there's nothing to get hung up on in a fierce firefight.

      If you've got a few minutes and about two fragging buddies (I'd see this best for two to four players at most), give this a whirl. Avoid the pitfalls and you're gonna have a blast.

    • Claw Fist - Brett 'Mechadon' Harrell
      Limit Removing - Deathmatch - 163738 bytes -
      Reviewed by: magicsofa
      Here we have a medium-sized deathmatch map by Mechadon. In the text file he states that it's nothing special, and I agree. However, it's still a solid deathmatch with great visuals and plenty of cover. The detailing didn't get in my way while running around, and so forth. On the negative side, I thought the music was annoying, and it's a terrible map for ZDoom bots. Since most Doom music is annoying and most maps are terrible with bots, there's really nothing wrong with this wad. I never figured out how to get the plasma weapons however...

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    I haven't played most of these, but I know that Wart 4 is better than the review makes it seem.

    Also, "drink every time your health changes" sounds like an interesting challenge.

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    Steeveeo said:

    I should also point out that this WAD uses some BOOM linedefs (which I only noticed after looking at it in an editor), so it is not vanilla.

    Where you find BOOM linedefs, tell please? If they are I shall fix.
    Actually i use DeePsea in DOOM1.PRJ mode, NOT BOOM.PRJ and ALWAYS check my work ONLY in vanilla.

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    RjY said:

    Finally I do wonder why there is a huge cache of cells and spheres at the extreme far end of the map, but with no way to get at it.

    No reason really. Just for fun.

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    The two Needs More Detail wads are great fun! finished the first and am a decent way into the second... is an E3 based one in production?

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    deathbringer said:

    The two Needs More Detail wads are great fun! finished the first and am a decent way into the second... is an E3 based one in production?

    I had a level and a half done and I ran out of steam, so I'm working on a regular detailed mapset, then hopefully continuing with e3.

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    never figured out how to get the plasma weapons however...

    If I'm remembering correctly, you hit the switch just south of the PlasmaGun lift, then you have to run up the stairs and onto the elevated walkway to get it before the lift resumes its original position.

    Hopefully I described that clearly, heh.

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    Fair enough review for Wart 04, but I agree with Creaphis in that it's better than the review makes it seem. But hey, I suppose I am biased slightly.

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    Yeah, the Wart 4 review fails to emphasize a key point: This level is a chance to use awesomely powerful runed-up weapons to turn monsters into a fine red mist, yet it's actually balanced and looks good. Few levels fit this bill.

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