And the chronicles soldier on, as usual. What else should I write in this silly intro paragraph that nobody ever reads? The quick brown imp jumped over the lazy demon.
AARGH_2.WAD - Bruce Day and Brian Easton
Limit Removing - Deathmatch - 34472 bytes -
Reviewed by: JohnnyRancid
Time for a re-review.
This map has an octagonal shaped layout. Stairs and ledges all around the borders, and a neat tower in the center. It has some rather extreme height differences that would make "sniping" as the author intends to have made a feature in this map impossible without an ability to look up and down like in most modern source ports. The design was sort of simple at first, but the many teleports often tend to throw you off the course, which makes the layout a bit hard to grasp at first. There are several powerups such as berserk packs and megaspheres in easy-to-reach areas, which I would often advise against. Another gripe was an atrocious texture selection, making this map have no consistent theme whatsoever. Almost as if the authors had no intention of looking at a texture before deciding to use it on a wall.
Aside from that, there are plenty of weapons. A moderately symmetrical layout is present. The map must have looked good when it was being designed, but showed up rather trashy when actually played, mostly due to a spastic choice in textures. I often found myself falling into teleports by accident when trying to drop off a high ledge, which often warped me to place I had no intention of going. The map is not all that great, but it wasn't horrible. I think the map needs a new version. It had an interesting design and was drawn pretty well, but the execution seemed a little 'rushed'. I'm sure this map could be better if it were designed again.
Claustral - Kyle Casteel
Boom Compatible - Solo Play - 108843 bytes -
Reviewed by: ellmo
As the name might suggest, it's a small map, which could be a part of some 1024 size megawad. Too bad it's not.
The map is small (d'oh!), consists mostly of short, quite detailed hallways, using brown bricks, metal textures and occasional marbles. It looks nice and clean, no overdose, and the map is by no means cramped.
It's quite a simple map, with ~40 monsters, mostly low level. It plays nice and fast; unfortunately difficulty levels are not implemented.
A very good looking map, which I hope is just a beginning to some kind of a mapset, as it looks very promising, it just lacks continuation. Definitely worth checking out. It may take more time to open the link, download the file, unzip it and run, than to complete the map, though.
The Abandoned Base of Hellspawn - Michael Lundy and Rick Lunceford
doom.exe - Solo Play - 40509 bytes -
Reviewed by: MikeRS
An old WAD rescued from the passage of time. This is a small but fairly fun map, especially considering when it was originally made (1995). It's not too difficult to complete, even on Ultra-Violence (though admittedly, I did not succeed my first try), especially if you find the hidden soul sphere. :)
The map is pretty much made up of ammo-tight scenarios in tight spaces. You need to accomplish your first goal by setting off various switches which lower platforms to a certain teleporter... While doing this, you'll fend off zombies, imps, demons, lost souls, cacodemons, and sergeants in narrow hallways and not always all the ammo you would hope for. The final encounter is with a cyberdemon, albeit with a pretty anti-climatic solution to the lack of any gunpower to fight him; you are, intentionally, just to simply telefrag him. Pretty easy and disappointing.
Oh, and it's probably not worth mentioning that much, but I hadn't even noticed the ENDOOM screen was modified until the TXT file brought it to my attention. It mentions the level would have been used as a secret for a latter full-episode megawad, however said WAD seemed to have never been fully realized, though this could be the beginnings of it.
It's not too bad for checking out some early-style Doom 1 WADs, but don't keep your hopes up for expecting anything dramatic.
TGRCP1 - Nicholas "Tiger" Gautier
Skulltag - Solo Play - 1695060 bytes -
Reviewed by: Traysandor
This multi-map offering for Skulltag is pretty decent, however for some reason all of the monsters I fought had double the normal health, which made things far harder than they already are.
Aside from that though, these maps make use of Skulltag monsters, weapons, and artifacts, like providing a Doomsphere to help with a fight against two Cybers (for example). Health was tough to find, but I had no problems with ammo for the most part, aside from the fact you'd be pumping shells, bullets, rockets, and plasma into the tougher Hellspawn for a while until they finally die off.
The detailing is pretty decent for a fairly modern Skulltag mapset, and you definitely feel a sense of progression as you delve deeper into the wad, but most of the maps are pretty short overall. The final map had a nice scripted battle between Marines and the Hellspawn, before you get thrust into an overly difficult Icon of Sin fight with Cybers galore.
Overall, this mapset is a bit of a mixed bag. There's some good stuff and some bad stuff, but it's worth a look and a playthrough in my book.
TGRCP1DE - Nicholas "Tiger" Gautier
Skulltag - Solo Play - 1718035 bytes -
Reviewed by: Wills
[Ed: Looks like this is just a German version of the previously reviewed WAD? Oh well, here's one of those second opinions some of you have been clamoring for.]
After a few minutes of trying to get this to run in ZDoom, I actually read the text file (which is written mostly in Deutsch) and figured out this is for Skulltag. This is a five-map set of SP/Coop maps for Skulltag that seem to take place in an underwater laboratory of some kind. It's consistently good but not great. The levels look nice but aren't really that impressive architecturally (save the computer terminals in Map02, an old mapping trick done very nicely). The maps start out easy and get more challenging as you go along, which is how most Doom wads go, I guess. Everything is in German, but I managed to figure out what to do (hint: computer terminals). As expected, the Skulltag monsters and weapons show up here; I usually don't play ST, so this made things a little different. There was an interesting level name ("Doom Lavatory", I believe it was). Also some near-dark rooms, which was kind of irritating.
The only thing wrong with these levels is that they're generic and usual, almost as if they don't even try to differentiate themselves from the thousands and thousands of Doom maps already floating around the Internet. And in a way, that's the kind of wad I hate most - the one that's conventional and doesn't even try to make itself different. Whether this is from inexperience or lack of desire for uniqueness, I don't know - I can't read German, after all. Somewhat fun and enough to keep you occupied for half an hour or so, but it's not a keeper.
Beautiful Doom - zer0 aka Jekyll Grim Payne (aka Ashigaru)
GZDoom - n/a - 3580937 bytes
Reviewed by: Patrick Pineda
When I first saw the name of this mod, I couldn't help but think of something that involves nail polish and makeup. I was pleasantly surprised to find the exact opposite.
Essentially, this wad takes all of the Doom weapons and makes them... well ... pretty. Every bit of scenery can be blown to pieces, every monster can be made into confetti, and the weapons now have smooth animations.
I'm going to pause a moment and ask everyone to stick a pencil in your eye. That's your punishment for not having downloaded this yet. This wad is awesome, and no amount of words can describe how awesome it is.
All the weapons have been given a makeover and there's even a new weapon: dual pistols. The weapons aren't burdened with the pain of reloading, which retains the classic Doom element. At the same time it's still giving a pretty much new lineup of re-worked guns. Need I also mention that you can shoot gibs around? There is a kind of satisfaction in playing football with a cyberdemon's head.
This is a well-executed wad and you should download it now.
Spooge - Floss
doom2.exe - Solo Play - 41640 bytes
Reviewed by: Traysandor
Despite the (slang pornographic) name of this single-level wad, there is absolutely no pornographic content whatsoever contained inside this level. What you get instead is a short, but tough one level map that uses a fair few hitscanners in the main hallways and the first few rooms, then opens up for a really tough fight up a lift and into the blue key area, where grabbing the blue key and running is not really an option.
The health is acceptable for the difficulty, though granted you'll be dead if you hang around in the Blue Key area too long. The ammo was never much of a problem, and the secrets aren't too hard to find. The detailing is passable but nothing that really stands out, but overall I feel this map deserved the playthrough it got.
Mercura 3-Level Co-Op - MercuraTelexom
doom2.exe - SP/Co-op - 123228 bytes -
Reviewed by: ellmo
This mapset insulted my playing skill and it would most probably insult yours as well. It was designed for co-op and the author states that you would not like it on single player. I thought I won't like it because it would prove to be too damn hard. So I started Single Player anyway.
Map03 is basically the same as illumina.wad reviewed by prdarkfox in /newstuff #323, which was released under the author's name of JS. So what is your name really? JS or MercuraTelexom?
It really is quite bad. The first map does not offer a single height or lighting variation. Instead it offers bad texture choices that sometimes seem pretty random, and large cubical rooms, laid out so that - despite being simple - they confuse and do not make a lot of sense. Most of those errors are repeated throughout the next maps. But it looks like from one map to another the author learns new editing things.
There are no difficulty levels implemented. Which basically would make this mapset far too easy when playing co-op. Monster placement also seems quite random - for example: author does not care about putting Lost Souls in front of shooting enemies, which of course renders both of those monsters absolutely useless. There is very little health in maps 02 and 03 compared to the amount of monsters roaming around (and I say _roaming_ because all encounters are identically straightforward, forget about traps, forget about surprises), and ammo - which sometimes comes in ample amounts - is not around during big fights, when needed. This does not make the mapset too hard, however - it only forces you to backtrack every few battles to replenish your supplies, which equals a lot of wasted time.
I do not recommend this mapset. It has nothing to offer in terms of design/visuals and very little to nothing in terms of gameplay, which is way too crude. The whole mapset seems like it's a first attempt at mapping (which it is not, according to the text file) and each map has something that the previous had not (Map02 has some height variations, but still no light variations, while Map03 has height variations plus light variations). It really should stay on your hard drive, JS/Telexom... and I'm not sure about releasing the same map twice.
Peril Demo - Theshooter7
GZDoom - Solo Play - 5600059 bytes
Reviewed by: Ed
I'm going to refrain from the standard issue, pros vs. cons review format, as the content of perildem.zip is less a map as it is a large scale anthropology test. There is a simple question at hand. The author has laid it out quite clearly and expects us, the player, to provide him with an answer as he doesn't possess the nerve to do so himself. The question at hand; Do the existing few hundred side-defs, half-dozen or so lines of script and the few thousand bytes of audio data justify the author carrying on with his vision, or should he abandon it and continue on a path of banality, walking the narrow line that we, as players, call our comfort zone? Before I take it upon myself to provide the author with an answer, perhaps we can take a closer look at the contents at hand and understand some of the dynamics that are in play.
Upon reading the provided text file, I was intrigued of the new concepts in mapping the author would present to me that I would be so unaccustomed to. I asked myself: "Would the concept of key hunting, puzzle solving and the mass slaughter of countless hell-spawn cease to exist in this brave new world?" "Would I be presented with a free environment void of the oh so common goal of finding a room with a single latch switch that miraculously transports me to new and amazing adventures in key hunting and the continued slaughter?". Alas, I found Orange Tang. A trillion gallons of vaporized Orange Tang saturating everything in sight. A cloud of tangerine in every outside environment. Maybe the new way of playing Doom is by hop-scotching across a stone rendition of the Tree Top level from Super Mario Brothers in a haze of orange I thought. Before I could discover what exactly it was, the level abruptly ends and you're left feeling that you've been put through a forced speed-run of sorts with little to no explanation.
After a second run-through, I feel confident that I can answer this question, move on and hopefully feel that I've helped someone with their dilemma. The answer is yes, the author should continue on with finishing this project and presenting us with the full vision he had in mind. The reasons being; The map itself shows promise, despite being obnoxiously short and a bit of a time-waster, it's not due to lack of quality, it's due to lack of confidence. The atmosphere provided could potentially be something quite enveloping, even disturbing. The so called new concepts of design is the feeling I get of "If I screw this up, I will die." Jumping from large distances, not knowing if I'll actually complete such a feat provides the player with extra sense of danger that's a bit lacking in the Doom universe. Normally, your main objectives are clear and a bit linear; if the author is getting at what I think he's getting at, I would appreciate the fresh new outlook of knowing that if I don't possess something other than an itchy trigger finger, I might not be able to complete this level. The end cinematic is the real teaser.. is there something more to this? Is there going to be a deep story line that pushes the limits of what you thought you could feel in a game that's old enough to be a sophomore in high-school? That, I don't know. I'm not provided enough information to give an educated answer. In turn, I ask the author to finish what he started and don't show weakness before your audience or they'll nip at your flesh like a pack of hungry dogs.
Efecto 2000 (2000 Effect) - Cabro
doom2.exe - Solo Play - 88714 bytes -
Reviewed by: hardcore_gamer
Well here we have a Doom 2 map from Cabro!
It's not really the best map I have ever played, but it's not at all the worst one either.
If I were one of those reviewers that claim that ALL wads that have a lot of square rooms are crap then I would probably be crapping all over this map right now, since this map is indeed FULL of them! Does that mean that the map is bad? Well no, but the square design is still very dull; you walk into a room that's shaped like a square, you open a door and walk through a square-like hallway, just before opening another door, before walking into the next room that is also shaped like...you guessed it, ANOTHER DAMN SQUARE!
The map does make up for the whole square design with nice gameplay at first, as I found myself fighting Chaingunners and Cacodemons in a rather fun fashion.
But then the map just goes down the toilet. I found myself fighting mancubuses, Barons of Hell and Hell Knights in cramped spaces, and even though the map does give you enough ammo to handle those situations, it's still not fun to fight through them. I also found myself wandering around the map for like 10 minutes or something looking for the keys to open the locked doors.
The final fight puts 4-5 Barons of Hell and a Archvile into a small cramped room where the exit switch is. NOT fun at all.
In a nutshell:
-Rather fun gameplay during the first half of the map.
-The map gives you enough health and ammo for the most part.
-Many monster types used.
-VERY square-like design.
-Many battles take place in cramped spaces and rooms.
-I found my self running around for a long time trying to find out what to do.
Final verdict: This map is not total shit or anything, in fact it's not all that bad at all, but it's not all that fun either.
The Crypt - Juan Domingo Belmonte Medina (JDooM)
doom2.exe - Solo Play - 129068 bytes
Reviewed by: Traysandor
This is a pretty decent single level. Pretty short, sets the theme pretty decently, not very difficult, and reasonably sufficient ammo to deal with the monsters, though there was a bit too much health. Detailing was acceptable, and didn't distract from the action.
Overall, worth a quick play through if you're waiting for a bigger level to download.
Dr. X's base - Regweld
doom2.exe - Solo Play - 144210 bytes
Reviewed by: Traysandor
I couldn't really figure out what was going on here with all the random areas in this wad, I got lost, confused, and died a lot with inferior ammo, inferior health, and superior monsters hanging around all over the place. Add to this a confusing blood maze and a tricky stair slime pit jump, and you've pretty much got a bad wad that should be avoided.
SQUANE - TimeOfDeath (Chris Balch)
ZDoom Compatible - Solo Play - 349873 bytes -
Reviewed by: ellmo
To be honest, I don't like carnage spam maps... at all. So when I took this map and read the text file _after_ I did so, I was afraid I won't be able to maintain objectivity. I promise not to make this mistake again.
Either way - the map looks nice and clean. It's a circular arena with inner and outer "zones", large pillars on the outside, earthen trenches with more (but smaller) pillars in the inside.
Monster count is ca. ~380 on easy, ~750 on medium and ~1500 on hard. It consists mostly of projectile monsters, Hell Nobles and few Cyberdemons on the ground and on some pillars, Mancubuses, Arachs and Revenants on outer rims of the map and a shitload of Cacodemons slowly following you around the entire map, they are also accompanied by a handful of Elementals, which are particularly deadly for your frame rate.
From the very beginning you can get a Megasphere, Launcher, Plasma Rifle and a their ammo. From now on it's mostly all you'll be picking up (sans some Automaps, which are very interesting in a carnage installment, few BFGs, Invulner spheres and occasional weapon pickups from later monsters when the menu becomes more varied). There's no armor and no health other than Megaspheres, no ammo other than rockets and cells. And there's a lot of all three.
This unfortunately (for most of you) will probably make the map too easy. Add the fact that there is a lot of room to circle-strafe, infighting occupies about 50% of all creatures, and more difficult monsters that would force you to change your tactics a bit (like Archviles and Masterminds) come in too thin numbers, and are fairly easily drawn into infighting.
As long as you don't let yourself stuck anywhere, it's almost impossible to be killed (don't get me wrong, one silly teleport, one ill-considered move, and the cloud of Cacodemons gets you).
Despite not liking maps that aim just for killing spree, I found this map to be damn fun. Ammo, armor and health are never the issue (at least on easy and medium :P)... frame rate can be. Also the map, even though it's design is very simple, _looks_ quite nice.
Recommended download for an hour long fun, just be aware that 1K of monsters will kill frame rate on almost every CPU.
Forward Deathmatch - Jim Brannen
Limit Removing - Deathmatch - 197425 bytes
Reviewed by: JohnnyRancid
A single deathmatch map based on the hackneyed concept of designing maps based on the environment around them. In this case, it's his own suburban neighborhood street he lives on. As most Doomers are aware of, this often makes for a poor layout for actual deathmatching. While it doesn't make an excellent deathmatch map idea, the mapper does a great job at making things looks like the things they are supposed to look like. Which ordinarily is not that hard with a good selection of textures, though the author uses almost entirely stock Doom 2 textures, with only a couple new textures. An admirable feat, as that is something I could not do myself. There are 5 houses, a couple that were left rather empty, others detailed and designed to scale. Just looking at the rooms I had a fairly detailed idea of what the houses look like in real life. You can go in the back yards, complete with barbecues and dog houses and such, or in a basement where there are crates and a cyberdemon hidden in the darkness. Lots of excellent and careful texture choices really define the picture that author was trying to create.
As far as Deathmatching in it goes, weapons are kinda rare, and often hidden in closets, so most of the fighting would be done with pistols until players find out where the weapons are. There is little to no ammo for any of the weapons, so it will eventually turn into a pistolmatch anyway. This map seems like it probably would have been better suited for a single player experience rather than deathmatch, as the player can apparently draw out detailed environments he has seen before, though originality and effective deathmatch layout is sorta hidden. It was decent eye candy though.