Welcome back to this... Tuesday edition of The /newstuff Chronicles? I only recently got back from vacation and had time to compile an installment. I bet you don't care what day of the week it comes on, anyway.
Ungrateful Dead - Doria
doom2.exe - Solo Play - 57645 bytes
Reviewed by: prdarkfox
This is another 1996 (almost 1995, it's early) WAD that has come ashore from the seas of the lost. While the texture placement and monster placement is nothing special, there is one thing that this level set has, even over most of today's maps:
It's very, very unpredictable.
I found myself checking virtually every wall, making sure not to get jumped or crushed or falling into another trap for the first quarter of the map. After awhile it seemed Doria got a little tired and eased up on the pressure a little bit. The midway point did seem rather dull, however nearer the end there was an exciting battle as the ground collapsed.
I may be making a big deal out of such an aged WAD, but despite many of the multiple flaws (keys in secrets, hidden doors that shouldn't be hidden, etc.), this wad is indeed a special stand-out from the other crap from '95-'96.
To today's standard, not quite worth your time, however this is a must-have for collectors as this does show some of the neater, simpler things done with Doom.
Doom 64: The Reckoning - Steven Searle
Doom 64 TC - Solo Play - 1827218 bytes -
Reviewed by: engineer
This is "Doom 64: The Reckoning"; a 9-map, grape-buster of a wad that replaces Map01-Map09 of the original Doom 64 TC level set and is divided into 2 "episodes", with Map01-05 making up Episode 1 and 06-09 making up Episode 2, so says the readme.
Architecture is similar to the Outcast Levels (which are required to run "The Reckoning") and are generally in line with the Doom 64 theme. Weapon, ammo and health placement are good, as I never felt like I was going into a room under-equipped. Monster placement is on par with Doom 64 (and the Outcast levels, which seem to be the inspiration for this level set), though I don't remember encountering a Hell Knight in the first level of either the stock Doom 64 maps, or the Outcast levels. In fact, the maps get crazy with monster numbers and types as the levels progress, making ammo conservation a MUST to play through these maps at anything other than skill 1.
All in all, despite what I believe are goofy monster choices early on (Hell Knights in map01, for instance) the maps played very well. "The Reckoning" is a good level set for the under-used Doom 64 TC/engine. Give it a try if you enjoyed the Doom 64 TC or the Outcast Levels.
Ushasu - Brett 'Mechadon' Harrell
Boom Compatible - Deathmatch - 217750 bytes -
Reviewed by: Shaikoten
Ushasu is a pretty little Quakish Judas inspired DM wad by Mechadon. It's just a single map, intended for duel, and as such is a bit claustrophobic. If you're familiar with judas23_.wad, envision that, but brown and with slightly tighter hallways. Of course it isn't exactly like Judas, but it plays similarly, with great height variations, the map spiralling up to the top. I like that it's slightly more difficult to get the BFG than normal in Judas, which could potentially result in less lopsided games. One portion I'm not sold on, though, is the scalable walls just outside of the lower teleporter. The sudden dramatic change in height I feel always disrupts gameplay for both parties, but this is a personal gameplay caveat.
Overall the gameplay is fairly solid, and I can recommend it highly if you're a fan of Judas. The detail work is good in my book, very brown Quake tech-ish, and good for a one-off map.
ZPortal (ZDoom Portal Gun) - Cutmanmike
GZDoom - Solo Play - 9264271 bytes
Reviewed by: Wills
Some of you may remember a very interesting tech demo Cutmanmike released a while back; if you've played it then, then you almost certainly will. Basically it took the teleportation technology of Portal (from the good folks at Valve) and stuck it in Doom. The setup is the same: you shoot two types of portals between which you can teleport. Of course it's not exactly like Valve's version - as far as (G)ZDoom can stretch the source code, it can't make it do things like having flat portals that act more as doors than anything else (including being able to see through them), much less emulate the complicated physics powering Portal. But the amazing thing was that it even worked at all, and it was incredibly impressive that it worked as well as it did.
Cutman's tech demo came with a demonstration level (which is the first level in the full ZPortal, kinda like shareware Doom's first episode) that let you have all sorts of fun with this portal technology, and as an added bonus you could even play the stock Doom levels with portals. But as interesting as it all was, it was simply a short demo level, and the standard Doom maps weren't built for such gameplay.
With the full version of ZPortal, Cutman has included three new levels and two new types of portal guns, added enemies, secrets, and all sorts of other goodies, and even made cutscenes and a new 'time attack' mode. The four levels (Grey Complex, Canyon, Sky Palace, and Castle) are very basic stylistically - they mostly just keep to one theme and stick with it the entire time. Detailing is at a minimum and is mostly expressed through decorative objects. Too much detail would have definitely been distracting, but you can't help but feel as if maybe just a computer terminal here or there would have improved the looks a little.
But this is a superficial gripe; the real focus here is gameplay. One thing you have to get used to right away is the fact that the portals are wider than you think they are. This means if you rush you're likely to accidentally walk into your own portals when you think you won't (Cutman has included a usable item that removes portals, thank goodness) or that you'll shoot a portal but hit a nearby wall instead of where you were aiming. Here is another one of Doom's limitations - if the teleports were any smaller, it would be possible for the player to teleport into a wall or floor (according to Cutman). So the only thing you can do is aim better, slow down, and use that portal-destroy device.
ZPortal starts out with the Grey Complex level, the map featured in the ZPortal demo. Level design is okay and very easy, but it's good to get a solid grasp of how your portal gun works before you start facing the real challenges. Next is the Canyon, which is much longer and harder than the Complex. The lack of texturing variety is most obvious here, as this is all brown, brown, brown. Not only that, the entire level is permeated with a brown fog. Gameplay, however, gets very interesting once you have the Sticky Portal Gun. Sky Palace comes next; for some reason I really like the combination of marble and white fog. Level design also gets very good here and uses GZDoom's 3D floors to full advantage. The final level takes place in a sort of castle-area filled with lava. At the beginning of the level your weapons break, forcing you to rely on your own running-and-jumping skills to get your guns back. If you've ever played one of Cutman's platformer levels you'll know what I'm talking about. Castle is also the best level stylistically, as it contains outdoor segments where you have to avoid falling off the level and the indoor sections where you stumble around on platforms over lava.
The enemies in ZPortal are appropriate to the style of gameplay (no health, just avoid falling into slime/lava/the sky). Two types of droids, one that destroys your portals if it sees them and one that jams your weapons if it can see you, make things much more challenging. You also meet up with a plasma-ball shooter robot thing that doesn't hurt you but can push you into lava/slime/whatever it is you're trying not to fall into. This is extremely annoying; thankfully these plasma robots are in only one level.
From reading through the ZPortal topic on the ZDoom forums, it's fairly obvious that most other people are better at ZPortal than I am. I found this wad extremely challenging, probably just because I suck at it for some reason. Normally I would have skipped especially hard sections with the 'fly' cheat, but 'fly' has been disabled, doubtlessly making many players tear their hair out with frustration. Or maybe not; I really suck at this wad, so maybe you won't have such a hard time with it. I would have appreciated including difficulty levels - this was planned but scrapped so Cutman could release ZPortal. As a map designer, I understand his desire to just get the damn thing out the door already even if you can't include all the fancy new features you want to.
But these complaints are only minor distractions from what this wad really is: a creative and technologically stunning release. ZPortal opens up an entirely new dimension of gameplay in Doom, much like Cyberdreams did, and hopefully it will inspire map authors to go beyond self-imposed limits on how to play Doom. Doom's standard 'get key, kill monster' gameplay, no matter how well executed, gets stale after a while, and it's good to take a refresher with a creative wad such as this. Definitely one of the top ten wads of the year.
PN Slime Base - PirateNipple
doom2.exe - Solo Play - 91495 bytes -
Reviewed by: Nuxius
What we have here is basically a small, fun, well executed map. When I first saw the aesthetics of the map, it reminded me of Alien Vendetta, however, upon getting into the map further and experiencing what it had to offer from a gameplay perspective, it became obvious the author had implemented their own style of mapping.
I really liked the aesthetics of this map; it concentrates on broader strokes of detail, similar to more classic styled maps, a style which I enjoy. The structures are built around the gameplay, rather than the gameplay being built around the structures. My only real complaint is that the map is a bit too easy, but that doesn't detract much from the fun to be had throughout the experience.
I'm definitely looking forward to whatever else PirateNipple has up his sleeve for Doom maps; and in case you haven't already figured it out, this map gets a recommendation from me.
CramMped Capture The Flag - Kuchikitaichou
Skulltag - CTF - 626370 bytes
Reviewed by: Wills
This is a set of eight maps for Capture the Flag. About half take place in buildings with small, cramped hallways, sometimes where there's only room to go single-file. It's very easy to get caught on various crags that stick out into the halls, which often take awkward right-angle turns. These small hallways twist and turn on each other, often creating labyrinthine, hard-to-remember layouts in a suprisingly small amount of area. Everyone knows half of playing CTF well is knowing the map, and it's hard to learn where to go in these maps.
The other half of the maps feature larger open spaces. Unfortunately, these areas aren't sophisticated enough to make gameplay interesting; they're often just a large arena with one or two high structures in the middle, with very little cover. So it seems this wad suffers from polarization between small and large - everything is too cramped or too open. Perhaps with some serious reworking the author can improve some of these maps, but until then I can't imagine anyone wanting to play CTF on these.
1024-4: Directors Cut Version 2 - Alter
Boom Compatible - Solo Play - 1793178 bytes
Reviewed by: prdarkfox
Hmmm. 1024 maps. Created to limit the mapper... or is it the player? Let's boot this baby up and give it a spin.
MAP01: Baron in tight quarters with only a standard shotgun -- from 100/100 I lost over half my health. The rest of the map (that was the worst encounter) was much of the same.
MAP02: Felt kind of "meh" as I meandered through. There were a couple "details" that I was really curious about, as in "why are they there, and what purpose do they serve?"
MAP03: Baron Baron Baron Baron Baron Baron Baron Baron Arch-Vile! Arch-Vile! Also felt meh and the overuse of Archies and Baron-classes made this slugging match very tough and almost unfair. Damn you, 1024 restrictions! Oh, hey, I can see the monster pens on the automap.
MAP04: Same as 03, except even less interesting.
MAP05: Still following the base theme; I really wonder about the logic of some of the placement of the archetecture. Lots of teleporting monsters on this one, and one of the most awful "gates" I come across with yet another Arch-Vile to undo my work. The space is bad enough (even though this one's a little more open)!
I need to note here that this is where I left off, getting pretty flustered with the maps. However, with a review to finish, I took the rest of the night off to continue on later. ...
MAP06: Still a little frustrating but the less use of Arch-Viles and more towards finding a goal made this one actually pretty solid.
MAP07: Kind of like Dead Simple in a good way. Architecture did not get in the way as there was plenty of room to avoid -- except in the damned beginning room. However, I am certainly tired of seeing the Gothic textures being misused; they felt... slapped on.
MAP08: I'm not sure on the decision to call the map "Red", however this one really didn't feel like a 1024 map at all. It felt open, unrestricted, and had me with a couple surprises I didn't quite expect. This one was a blast and I'll do it again. I could actually use rockets here!
MAP09: This marble-tiled map felt like a key hunt with an interesting ending. Not a lot else to it, but at least it wasn't aggravating.
MAP10: Cosinus felt a lot like a miniaturized version of a Hell Revealed map. Tight confines, lots of monsters in one area, and ammo only for a shotgun? Unless you stocked up machine gun ammo from the previous maps, only fancy footwork to the extreme would get you through this one. Too hard.
MAP11: It's alright, but again, the frustrating confines work against you here. All shells, nothing else, and plenty of hordes.
MAP12: Same as MAP11 but better in terms of gameplay. An errant wood stair irks me, however about the strange "detail" present and also its ability to inhibit my ability to dodge and lay waste. The map was also otherwise remarkably flat.
MAP13: Looks like a meeting hall. This one was a switch hunt. Action was alright, not a bad map at all.
MAP14: This seemed like a whole lot of an interesting nothing. "Void" was what it was called, but it was just more of the same mish-mash of Gothic textures in a night setting. Moving on...
MAP15: Another key hunt, set in a town-like setting. Didn't seem to interest me much but it wasn't a bore, either. Lots of teleporters and surprisingly easy to get lost.
MAP16: Boss fight! Set to the (MIDI) music of "Stealth Frag", except in obligatory 1024 style. The monster fired Revenant fireballs instead of rockets, however, as for once the tight confines do not hamper the player with a monster's splash damage!
Good: I don't hear the remixed Doom MIDIs very often and find that they do add a nice touch to frustrating levels. The levels themselves at least had a collective theme, so not a lot felt out of place.
Bad: There needs to be a much larger emphasis on variety of gameplay. I felt like I was running laps after MAP03, until a map like MAP06 or 08 run a nice straight detour. Insufficient health in many of the earlier maps and little variety in types of enemies used.
FINAL VERDICT: You have some crappy levels here with good "artistic" detail, some really bad levels with limited detail, and some real gems that actually play well. MAP08 was by far my favorite. However, I'm going to point both thumbs down to this unless your a masochist. It's not total garbage, but I'm not going to try to sugarcoat what I got tired of quickly.
So, mappers, the primary goal in a map is to make sure the map is fun! If it isn't fun, the experience is going to be quite forgettable!
Quake III Weapons - Captain Toenail
Skulltag - n/a - 3078854 bytes -
Reviewed by: Cutman
Quake III Weapons is what it says on the tin. The mod replaces all the weapons in Skulltag with Q3 weapon sprites either ripped from the game or ripped from screenshots of the models in game. A lot of these don't have any animation at all, but instead have a bobbing sort of animation when they fire. It's not too bad but no sparks coming off the guns when you fire them looks a bit tacky. Here's a list of the guns present.
Machinegun: The Machinegun seems okay at first glance, until you start firing it. It uses a two frame animation for the spinning of the barrel, which just looks plain ugly. I would have expected a few more frames on this thing, even if it is a screenshot rip. Also I remember being able to literally snipe people with the Machinegun in Q3, but here the spread is a bit too much at distances.
Gauntlet: Another two frame spinning animation. In Quake 3 you could kill people with the Gauntlet in two or three hits, but here it acts just like the chainsaw.
Shotgun: The shotgun looks okay. It bobs back when you fire it, kinda like in Q3, but like I said earlier the lack of a gun flash when you shoot it kinda kills the feeling of it. Anyway the spread seems a little too much here too, but it's not bad.
Nailgun: Next up is the... Nailgun? I can't remember a nailgun being in Quake 3, but rather Team Arena. Anyway this is another bobbing-firing weapon which is kinda like a worse shotgun. It fires a spread of "nails" and hurts things (I was hoping they'd rip through stuff) and it's slower than the Shotgun (weaker too it seems).
Chaingun: The second of the TA guns. The chaingun, much like the machinegun, has a lack of frames causing it to look pretty bad. It's exactly the same as the Machinegun but faster. I couldn't tell if it was any powerful or if the spread was different.
Grenade Launcher: Another bibbity bobbity firing gun, although this one has two frames of animation if you look closely. It seems to be just like the Skulltag grenade launcher but the grenades travel slower. I can't tell where the grenade sprites came from, they look like rips but I have no idea how you'd rip a object like that with screenshots. Overall, this one isn't too bad.
Rocket Launcher: Ahh, now this brings back memories. It bobs when you fire it just like all the others, but the rockets that come out of it are great. I get a quick burst of nostalgia whenever I fire this one. The rockets sparkle and roar as they fly by, just like in Quake 3. The explosion to me seems a tiny bit too strong to me, as rocket jumping seemed to knock me down to 3 health and send me flying. This is probably my favourite one.
Lightning Gun: This is essentially a weak railgun that constantly fires as you hold the trigger. It looks pretty damn good to be honest, but since it's a railgun the range is unlimited. But I guess it's the best you're going to get for a Lightning Gun in Doom so far. I like this one, but the thing that kills it for me is the animation on the weapon. There is none!
Plasma Gun: Another bobbing-firing weapon, but I don't mind this one so much because I remember the Q3 one doing the same thing. The projectiles on this look nice too. The Q3 Plasma Gun had a tiny radius damage on the projectiles, and you could even kill yourself with it. Here it's just like the Doom Plasma Gun but with faster moving projectiles. Not bad not bad.
RailGun: Another one framer. This one fires just like a Railgun should (none of that skulltag BLAM. BLAM. BLAM. BLAM. RELOAD. nonsense) and feels kinda like the Q3 one I guess. I'm probably wrong about this but I can't remember the railgun having a weird humming noise while you held it. Also the fire rate seems slightly off. This is okay but could use some glowing effect on the gun like in Q3.
BFG10K: I hated it in Q3 and I hate it just as much here. It has a one frame animation (as usual) and the projectiles just look like the plasma balls but green. I thought this thing spewed HUGE blasts of green energy, not cacky plasma balls which suddenly hurt a hell of a lot more. Also this seems to be the only one of the bunch where the explosion frames suck (2 frames). The power seems about right though.
The weapon sprites are also changed to those "simple" ones in Q3. I don't like them at all, but some people probably do so that's fine. The sounds and effects for all the weapons are spot on (because they're ripped), and even the weapon switching is made Q3 style. There are also new powerups and other things worth checking out, but nothing too fancy.
Overall, this isn't a bad effort. If you're a Quake 3 fan you should check it out for sure and see what you make of it. The weapon sprites are really what lets this project down. However the author claims this is still a work in progress, so who knows what to expect. Who knows, maybe Skulltag will gain half decent weapon model support and save the day?
Zero Tolerance - Zero Prophet
ZDoom Compatible - n/a - 8668466 bytes -
Reviewed by: KingofFlames
Zero Tolerance is a weapons mod by Zero Prophet; it was released onto the ZDoom Forums by Xaser, however. It has several new weapons in it, going all the way up to slot 0, all of them have a reloading alternate fire, excepting the one on slot 0. It's also got a scripted hud, which you can activate by setting a key in the console. It also has enemy replacements in it, including an annoying Imp variant!
#1: The replacement for the Fist and Chainsaw is a Flare Gun, which can be upgraded to several different levels. It can be quite overpowered, because of its radius damage.
#1a: There is also a chainsaw replacement, which is also the other weapon in slot 1. It looks like the Doom 2.5 chainsaw at first, but it has some really cool edits to make it look like it's being swung.
#2: The replacement for the pistol is the Prophet Pistol, which can be upgraded to the Dual Prophet Pistol. The Pistol has a cool little laser sight on it, but it can be off-sync at times, it's still neat though. You can upgrade the pistol by picking up another Prophet Pistol.
#3: This replacement to the shotgun is called the "Susan" Mark II Photon Pistol. It fires projectiles that spread out, they have nice little trails on them. What I do hate about it though, is how they can hurt you when you're up close to an enemy or a wall.
#4: This weapon replaces the chainguns dropped by the Chaingun Guy, which in turn is also replaced. It is a rifle called the "Raiden" Military-Issue Rifle. It's a cool looking assault rifle and it fires at a nice speed while dealing a good amount of damage.
#5: The replacement for the rocket launcher is the "Atlas" Ultra-Velocity Flak Cannon. It fires six flaks which then bounce on anything it hits. It can also pass through enemies.
#6: The replacement for the plasma rifle is a weapon called the "Xanadu" Experimental Liquid Crystal Pulse Rifle. This weapon fires small projectiles that move very quick and bounce off of walls and floors, they disappear when they hit enemies. Good for cleaning out rooms.
#7: A new weapon that's a machine-gun type thing called the "Bouncer" .50-cal High Velocity Machine Gun. This has a much wider spread than the "Raiden".
#8: A new weapon which you can pick up by killing the Cyberdemon is called "Prometheus" Alpha-Model Radioactive Blaster, this weapon can fire green projectiles that home in on the enemy, and the last projectile fire before reloading will stick there and damage enemies nearby.
#9: The 9th weapon in this mod is a grenade launcher that spawns some flames after it has exploded, which can damage enemies.
#0: The last weapon in this mod is called "Zero and Infinity" which is two weapons in one, and it is meant to replace BFG pickups. The left weapon can fire a homing projectile which can kill most enemies. The right weapon can fire a black hole which can't suck in enemies sadly, but can damage enemies around them and it will go away after a while.
In short, I'd say this weapons mod is a pretty worthwhile download!
Polyobject Fun - Pinky's ass
ZDoom Compatible - Solo Play - 14008 bytes
Reviewed by: prdarkfox
This wad, presumably his first WAD, will make your computer cry as the polys accelerate faster than the engine will allow. Steer clear.
Dead Perfect - Yonatan Donner
doom2.exe - Solo Play - 87171 bytes -
Reviewed by: hnsolo77
The name of this wad is Dead Perfect, unfortunately it's not perfect per se but it's still a hell of a blast to play through. It starts you out right in the middle of a fair amount of high powered monsters with only a pistol, grab weapons and hold on to your ass if you're playing on UV mode like I did. The architecture is pretty damn good for it being an older wad, since this is a single player version of 2 levels from Pursuit back in '97.
In the first map you must get monsters to infight each other for survival otherwise they WILL cut you down real quick, grab what you can when you need it, unfortunately the only complaint I have about this map is shown in screen 03 since I can't grab either of these shell boxes, but there is plenty of ammo otherwise, way plenty. Health is plentiful as well, so are monsters but I think I got that point across too.
In the second map it's the same deal, monster fight at the start, but you have the bonus of retaining weapons from the first one, the con is the Mancubuses at the start are even more numerous. The one of only 2 complaints I have about this map, well the first is not really a complaint too much just a bug, is what is shown in screen 09 since that Arach is stuck in the wall. And that the final monster is again a Cyberdemon, a Spider Mastermind would have worked better if room would have allowed for it.
All in all though this is essentially a kill the small hoard type set of maps, and this is a good thing. I would suggest trying this out if you like senseless monster blasting.
DOOM 2: THE ETERNAL WICKED - Adam Bruneau
doom2.exe - Solo Play - 208936 bytes -
Reviewed by: prdarkfox
Why the hell did I start in a burning blood river with zombies out to get me?! I lose 10 HP to the pool alone and then another 50 or so because a shotgun isn't handy. That battle ends quickly, however, but there's very little to look at. The "architecture" is very square -- even on the zimmer-walls outside -- leaving me not a lot to remember.
Overall this was a less-than-interesting mapset, possibly from around '96 or so -- there is no date on the text file. All three maps seem to be heavily inspired by the final third of maps of Doom II: Hell on Earth as they generally all looked the same. I wasn't sure what type of details were attempted in the first one as it just looked like a convoluted mess.
All three maps had used tried, true, and worn out methods of surprise and means of progress. There's practically nothing but shotgun shells for ammo throughout all of the maps and plenty of them, making other weapons such as the rocket launcher (picked up in the very beginning of MAP02 with a demon out to get your ass before you know what's going on -- knock that off!) quite useless. Health is very low in MAP01 as I found myself at 3 for most of it, with barely a stimpack to use. The final battle at the red door made me step into the SAME GODSDAMN BLOOD POOL YOU START IN and die about five times because of that. The hitscanners in the tight confines don't help.
There is one very interesting thing to note, though. On MAP03 there's a miniaturized version of the giant "Living End"-esque off to the east. It was neat to see that when you rose sections of the mini up, the actual one copied it. A good thing, too, as I found myself hugging the walls a lot to get around.
From the TXT file:
"A bug!? IN MY LEVEL?! UNHEARD OF!!!"
I've got news for you, but yes, you've got a couple. A good one is on MAP01, when you drop into the nuke pit of the yellow door -- and you lack the key.
Final verdict: If you have run out of levels, give this a spin, otherwise, don't waste your time.
LONGWAD2 - Steve W. Long
doom2.exe - Solo Play - 482517 bytes -
Reviewed by: Imp
Oh boy where should I begin? A recently uploaded set of two wads from 1997. I shall review each wad separately.
Longwad2: A 7 map replacement for Doom 2. I started up Map24 and was treated with a slow moving bland textured elevator. Navigating the passageways leading from this elevator is an utter nightmare. It becomes more annoying when you get the keys. I found this wad to be really easy (you get all 7 weapons in the first map). It's an okay wad by 1997 standards. But there is really nothing special here.
31: There is really only one word to describe this map. This map is SHIT in every sense of the word. Long dark corridors with spectres and traps. This map is annoying as all hell and I couldn't even finish the map because of it. Don't even bother playing this.
Return on Deimos Shityard - Walter "daimon" Confalonieri
Boom Compatible - Solo Play - 313909 bytes -
Reviewed by: prdarkfox
You first attempted to do this whole thing in 100 minutes? I thought it was 100 per map? Anyway, the text file says that this small speed-map pack is in the theme of Episode Two. It pulls that off alright, and starts off with a remade-from-scratch MAP01 in that style. Clever. :)
While the maps probably appear rushed, they... actually weren't too bad! While detail was a little lackluster, it was certainly sufficient and even pretty good for the amount of time allotted. Most of the "munchkin" battles were decent, however I was thrown for a little loop on MAP02, coming up to an Arch-Vile backed up by about three mancubuses, supplied with enough rockets and a megasphere to last forever.
Speaking of lasting forever, there was enough ammo throughout. The final battle was just much too easy: You're given a BFG9000, backpack, and a full set of energy cells to fight a single cyberdemon and a short fleet of lost souls. If it were a plasma gun and half the ammo I'd be much happier, however the way to exit can make even the battle with the cybie unnecessary.
If you have five or ten minutes I'd suggest actually trying this one out. Not a real winner, but not a steaming pile of crap, either. (I bet if you had taken your time on this, you could have done wonders with these.)
Headcut - Long
ZDaemon - Deathmatch - 1913490 bytes -
Reviewed by: JacKThERiPPeR
Basically, it's a clan map pack of 16 levels for ZDaemon, which at first glance it would make you say "what the hell is this crap, this is acid". But on a second glance, it may look like entertaining. There are sawblades, fans that pull you up, barrels, everything that makes it a kind of custom deathmatch game. I'd recommend it not for its beauty, but for its original gameplay and design.
Revolver - Sam Stackhouse
doom2.exe - Solo Play - 33554 bytes -
Reviewed by: Creaphis
This level was finished within a day, so it's not exactly Deus Vult, but it beats the average speedmap. It comprises two medium-sized rooms with gameplay-focused shapes, built from brown brick. On UV skill, the level contains as many monsters as it can while still being fun. The lower skill levels are more quick and leisurely. Instead of just being trimmed versions of UV, these skill levels make changes in monster choice. Berserk is provided instantly, so this could be a good playground to demonstrate your tyson skills - though accomplishing this on UV would be next to impossible.
So, if you have five minutes, this is a pretty good way to spend them.
Oh, also: DOES WORK WITH INTENDED SOURCE PORT. I always question whether a "vanilla compatible" map really is, but in this case, my suspicions were unfounded.
One Sector Tag Concept Map - Paul Hiebert aka Creaphis
Boom Compatible - Solo Play - 10218 bytes
Reviewed by: prdarkfox
This level is a proof of concept WAD around the idea of using only a single sector tag. ... What with how long we've been playing the game I was expecting something far more extravagant, kind of like the latter levels of the first Ten Sectors compilation.
Come check it out if you're interested in the concept, other than that, not a big deal at all. However I wouldn't hold this WAD against Creaphis, either...
((PLEXYDOME)) a 3d DeathMatch level - -=MR.ROCKET> - aka - Ron Goode
Legacy Compatible - Solo Play - 361374 bytes -
Reviewed by: Patrick Pineda
First of all, having played some of Mr. Rocket's previous levels, I assumed it would be a DM level using far too many 3D floors. Again, I am proven right. This level is a fairly large DM map meant to be played in Doom Legacy. It ran in Legacy as well as GZDoom. I imagine it'll run in a DM port like Skulltag as well. This map is nothing special, it uses some pretty colored lighting effects and 3D floors. I can't say it'll play well in a deathmatch either. Its not great, but not terrible. Worth a look and a play.
Ten Thousand V 1.0 - Slasher
ZDoom Compatible - Solo Play - 3309610 bytes -
Reviewed by: GreyGhost
(WARNING - This review might contain gratuitous Dragon Ball Z references!)
Ten Thousand is possibly the most unusual wad I've played. Instead of prowling around a hellspawn infested complex painting the walls with their blood and entrails I found myself playing a game of dice. Or at least I did after I'd unbound the cursor and Z keys - a small detail that's not mentioned in the test file. Notes on how to play and score the game are missing from the official release but can be found in the 0.9.2 Beta - downloadable from the wad's ZDoom Project Thread.
Ten Thousand can be played solo but is intended for multiplayer (not tested) with up to 8 people taking turns to play. The object of the game is to be the first to score exactly 10,000 points by rolling a set of 6 simulated dice. The game's suitable for all age groups with little prospect of bloodshed provided no one plays too slowly or tries to cheat. There are 11 midi tracks for background music, one's selected at random for each game and depending on your tastes some may have you turning the music down. The wad's a novel diversion from the mayhem usually associated with Doom and worth checking out if you're looking for something truly different.
Later comment: Slasher has uploaded V1.1 of Ten Thousand to the archives, rendering part of my review obsolete by including rules & scoring info - as a text file and a scripted map in the wad.
10x - Cutmanmike
ZDoom Compatible - Solo Play - 2324 bytes
Reviewed by: prdarkfox
It's hard to call what exactly kind of "mod" this is. However, as its name says, monsters and ammo -- but not health -- are multiplied by 10 for each map you play. To compensate for all of that extra space they take up, monsters can run through each other -- as can you.
Simple concept, right?
This is much more difficult than I anticipated -- and I was expecting it to be pretty hard. If you want a new way to run through your classic episodes, here you go.
The Beesong - Death-Destiny
ZDoom Compatible - Solo Play - 491733 bytes -
Reviewed by: Remiel
This map shouldn't be bad. The layout is very plain, but conveniently accessible and not too cramped, and packed with good old hard-mode gameplay, plus there's always enough ammo, health and secrets to always give you a fighting chance. There are a lot more teleported-in ambushes than there should be, so it can really be better, but it's palatable nonetheless. Really, Beesong shouldn't be bad. There's no reason for it to be bad at all! If it were a regular limit-removing level and took away a good part of the ambushes, I could enjoy it, but because of one glaring problem with the map development that shines brighter than the sun, it will be irredeemably bad as long as that problem exists.
This serious problem happens to be the governing reason behind this map's design, meaning that it appears in anthropomorphic personification all throughout the map; the eponymous bee enemies. They're unholy bastard children of the Lost Souls; incredibly fragile (killable in one chaingun firing), but attacking several times a second for chipping damage, and are small, fast, and during their attack dive, fast to the point where while you're dodging for your life and sending them zipping all over the place, they become difficult to hit before they finally slam into you and chain-hit off anywhere from 5 to 15 HP before you've done whatever to stop them hitting you, like escaping, shooting them, or dying. Dying, mostly.
Okay, just think about how you can bait-and-switch Revenant missiles and keep Chaingunner beads off of you until the next lunar eclipse if you're good enough on your feet, then imagine that the Chaingunners suddenly have no wind-up time, or that the Revenants have all become Omega Rugal, and you have a pretty good idea about the sheer level of annoyance the bees present. Also present in Brandon "Death-Destiny"'s masochist starter kit are beehives that generate the little bundles of horrible, bloodcurdling hellish torture in a fashion similar to that of a Pain Elemental, and the fact that over the course of the map, you encounter (at my estimate) roughly 50-65 bees on Ultra-Violence. Ri-i-i-i-idiculous.
All in all, this map doesn't earn many points with me, and you should pass it up yourself so as not to make the same mistake I did, because otherwise you won't be very proud of yourself afterwards. If for some reason you want a ridiculous bee-related game hit, go find a DoDonPachi Daioujou cabinet at a local arcade and insert credit or something.
Wizardry 2 - zer0 (aka Jekyll Grim Payne aka Ashigaru)
GZDoom - n/a - 1121159 bytes -
Reviewed by: ler
I was pleasantly surprised by this wad. The text file said something about designing it after Harry Potter, which made me worry because of the age and obsession of some Harry Potter fans, and the fact that it required GZDoom. As it turns out, those fears were a little irrational, and this wad is excellent.
This is a weapons mod designed with Harry Potter in mind; your main weapon is your wand (though there is a fairly weak mace available in slot 0). You start with 2 spells, Accio (which lets you pull things and slightly damage monsters) and Impedimenta (which stops monsters for a short time and damages them slightly). Kill a trooper replacement (all the former humans are replaced with mages equipped with spells similar to your own, which you can pick up) and you get Reducto, which is a fairly powerful railgun-style single shot that can obliterate most mages and imps in one shot, but still take 3 to kill a demon. The list of spells continues down with a horizontal slash (Sectumsempra) to a nice rocket-like explosion (Expulso) to a Flamethrower (Insendio) to the more interesting spells, such as Petrificus Totalus (longer paralysis) and the Imperius Curse, which much like in the books, controls a monster for a short time. There's even a Patronus charm which acts as a summoner; apparently your patronus is a giant white centaur who runs around destroying your enemies; I made short work of the room of barons in MAP08 using that. Ammo is consolidated into one source: mana. This has the interesting side effect of letting you use the Expulso curse earlier due to availability of ammo.
The whole mod is fairly well done, with dynamic lights for all the new item pickups, and the wand being a clever construction itself (all the weapon graphics are the same, but different sparks are generated for different charms; not entirely sure if that works in multiplayer for the other player, though). The weapon graphics are seemingly high resolution scaled down, which makes them incredibly clear in game (I might be wrong on this point, though; I do play on 640x480 in GZDoom). There's even some nice voice sounds for casting, though with a thick accent of European origin. The only major downfall I can see is that there's no longer any armor pickups outside of a megasphere, and the sparks for some weapons match. Despite the source material not really clashing well with Doom, the author has made it work very easily. I suggest a download for a nice new experience.
Run-n-Gun 2 - zer0 (aka Jekyll Grim Payne aka Ashigaru)
GZDoom - n/a - 2491641 bytes -
Reviewed by: Bank
As much as I hate to say it, I'm a sucker for weapons replacements, and especially those that change the game play sufficiently without losing the fun factor of the originals. I was fairly impressed by Run-n-Gun 2, because with a couple of exceptions the set was pretty solid.
The guns all have new sprites, nothing recycled as far as I could tell, and all behave pretty well. The mini-gun spins before it fires, the reloads on all the weapons are well timed and appropriate, and the animation is pretty damn smooth for all of them. The guns themselves are all pretty fun to mess with, but some lack the pure genius of others, such as the forcefield generator, which is really brilliant and would fit in perfectly with modern wads. There are several variations on some of the weapons including dual-wielding and silenced versions, and the whole set is pretty consistent. With the increased firepower, Ashigaru has included enemies carrying the weapons for an added challenge in standard single player.
As I mentioned before, the consistency is pretty good throughout the set...except for the BFG replacement. Yes, I understand that the BFG is a ridiculous weapon that does ridiculous things, but the Merlinesque fire-ice storm and the monster summoning is beyond the line of ridiculous and may even venture into the tar-soaked lanes of ludicrous. This not to say that it's unfun to use, but just doesn't fit with the rest of the set.
But, all in all, this is a good showing and worth fooling around with if you like weapons replacements.
ZPack - Random Maps for ZDoom - Various
ZDoom Compatible - Solo Play - 36997772 bytes -
Reviewed by: Remiel
WPack is a large product originating from ZDoom.org's Projects subforum, consisting of 3 episodes of 10 maps built through the efforts of an assortment of people. Present are the noteworthy Bjorn "Vader" Ostmann, Xaser, kind of sort of Tormentor667... and that's about it, really! As is the case with community projects, most of the mappers for BPack are somehow completely incompetent around the act of mapping for a game that's more than a decade old, utterly ruining the whole thing. I've never seen a project ride so heavily on the efforts of one person (Vader) to be good. More at 9:00.
I will not mince words. Quite a few of the levels in QPack suck, and if you put them on their own, even moreso in the face of pieces like Thunderpeak Powerplant, and Vader's other four levels. Rocket traps in small rooms, obnoxious conveyor belts, you-will-cry-blood-obnoxious boss fights, boring bare square room->door->square room layouts, repetitive textures, secrets stuffed five seconds into pools of acid, use of incredibly annoying custom enemies like the rocket zombies who are quite capable of killing you for looking at them funny, and so on and so on and so forth.
However, the management herein at least tried to paint over these things through use of a mean trick. It didn't work, but they tried. By putting sweet sugary treats by Vader and friends around the corner at intervals, people are compelled to wade through digital human waste, having convinced themselves that it's entirely worth it to be able to get at the good maps. You, generally speaking as in "the cruel bastard doing this horrible shit in the first place", gets bonus points if the player is obsessive-compulsive and wants to get the "full experience," like, say, me.
However, while it nearly works for a while, it doesn't last long. For one, as previously stated, there is still the major problem of an entire project needing to ride so heavily on the efforts of one person, even if for a single episode, which is a severe, severe, MASSIVELY SEVERE design flaw that should get one a slap in the face by proxy. Four of Vader's five contributions are in E1, and as such neatly counteract those such as... Phobus, well enough for me to not care enough about the lesser maps. As a result, I was actually left thinking good of the project by the end of the episode. Though, as a result of Vader's concentration therein, E2 and E3 are thrown to the dogs.
I persevered as much as I could through E2 however, playing straight through two levels by InsanityBringer and the demon-runed torture complex from the ninth circle of Hell that is E2M0, but ultimately, at E2M5, for all my effort and sweat across more than 20 tries, I couldn't actually use the large fan there to propel myself high enough to get to any of the higher floors, undoubtedly becoming stuck from ever progressing in the episode. As I hadn't quite gotten over E2M0, which came not but two levels before that, I promptly deleted MPack, restored it from the recycle bin then sent it back 5 times, then repeatedly hit myself for ever bothering.
I wanted to try Episode 3, which supposedly has a cool bonus level by Xaser, and the last of Vader's five levels which is by far the best in the pack... but I couldn't. GPack had effectively broken me. If I tried to say "I was at least a little bit impressed!" with this project, I would be unable to keep a straight face after "I". 2Pack had Vader in surplus, and Xaser, but... it's not worth trying to play through the levels to get to them; it's just not worth it. And, if you skip to all of the good ones and play them, you'll either play approximately 6 out of 30 maps, or edit the pk3 so that the remaining 24 maps are Thunderpeak Powerplant, and feel dirty for it. Save yourself the pain and skip this without so much as a glance over the shoulder.
Axiom - Didy
Boom Compatible - Solo Play - 1033133 bytes
Reviewed by: prdarkfox
One of the less used themes of Doom mapping seems to be well-detailed underground facilities like this. The dilapidated and derelict state of some of the machinery and electrical boxes, plus the amount of work put into the natural formation of the scenery, makes this a pleasing sight to browse through. Or blast through, whichever floats your boat. The underused Boom specials put to use here make this one of the cooler-looking and -playing levels I've played in awhile.
And blasting you'll be. While you never get the super shotgun (unless I missed a secret), the battles are very well balanced, very well orchestrated, with adequate health and enough ammo. While I wish there were a few more bullets, this is more of a personal gripe than an actual problem. It may be a little easy to get lost, but that's due to the size of the map. Overall it flows very well, giving this map a thumbs up in the gameplay department also.
All in all, this is a very sharp map. Download and enjoy.