A small chronicles this week, using up all the last finished reviews as of today. So without further ado, here's a whole six releases.
Hell's Mine of Saturn - Joe Kaminski
doom2.exe - Solo Play - 130618 bytes -
Reviewed by: myk
This is a medium-sized DOOM II level from '96 taking place in an underground location, uploaded by RL. It's a MAP03 level, I'm guessing for the moody music playing there, so you'll have to warp to it. Of the three WADs by Joe Kaminski, this seemed like the more playable one. It does have rather clunky texturing in many places; notably the use of SKINLOW in walls where it does not align very well, some tutti frutti effects, and the use of liquid flats without height variation.
The author used lighting effectively though crudely, set out a series of traps throughout the level (the poorest one giving instant death, and the better ones being ambushes), and gave out adequate but not superfluous equipment. The encounters are generally mildly challenging because of the usually dark lighting levels and the not too generous space available. The level isn't really confusing but you may have to backtrack a bit without opposition when returning from certain areas. It isn't very big, but might take over half an hour to complete the first time around.
All in all relatively fun but somewhat crude in appearance. In an included text file the uploader links to a review on the defunct Doomnation, although it refers to version 2 of the WAD, which may have included some aesthetic fixes at least.
Crushing fear - Hardcore_gamer
Boom Compatible - Solo Play - 3509315 bytes
Reviewed by: ellmo
I'm not a great fan of Doom64, but I must admit it has an incredible atmosphere - thanks to nice, dark techy textures and great sounds. This WAD makes a good use of both, but unfortunately has some really bad things too.
Bad, bad boy!
Author states that the map works in Boom ports, but I couldn't get it running under PrBoom, because of texture errors. So I used GZDoom, which has some texture errors, but runs fine. That's because ZDoom / GZDoom always run fine, no matter the flat or texture error. Your resources are screwed.
Textures are used very well, but overall the map is very dark. Too dark for my taste and for my eyes. Increasing gamma makes the graphics just look bleached. All this makes the WAD at least average, until you consider the D64 sprite replacements. Dude! Your Imps are 3 meters tall (9.84252 feet), all other monsters are about 50% too large, while the Cacodemon is the size of an apple, and you mix them with classic Doom PC sprites. Some people may think it's a good blend. I don't second. Weapons, pickup sprites are all in good taste and they fit. You should get rid of the D64 monsters, or use only those.
How does it play?
The map is fairly simple, fights are straightforward, just as you would expect them to be in map01. Ammo and health are nicely balanced. Monsters never surprise you. My only complaint is - you can pick up two new weapons in the same 96x96 room. Come on, Hardcore_gamer! It's only map01!
This WAD looks very promising, but it fails in many aspects. A few more hours fixing the sprites and texture errors, then release more maps, and this would indeed become a very nice installment. It's a shame the author made only one quite short map, which, in order to play, you need to download along with a 3.5MiB resource file.
D-Day invasion - BiNaRy01
Limit Removing - Solo Play - 57755 bytes -
Reviewed by: ellmo
I always liked the World War 2 theme and everything around it. When I read in the text file about invasion and fighting on the deck of a battleship, I was very interested. You should thank god, because now I can warn you.
Those maps present every single aspect of bad and erroneous mapping. Missing, unaligned textures placed randomly, wrong sector heights, vines mixed with Wolf textures (yes, some people still think Wolf textures are adequate for WW2 themed maps...), solid flats on the same level as the *cough* sea... The battleships look like kicked trapezoids, with "things" sticking out of the "deck" that resemble chimneys and gun turrets only if you're really stoned. Very, VERY bad mapping.
Actually it's non-existent. There are monsters (possessed humans, imps, Hell Knights and a Cyberdemon) attacking you from the beginning, TONS of guns, ammo and health on Map01, and three medkits and a green armour (total number of pickups aside from monster weapon drops) in Map02, but you don't really have to fight any of the bad guys, so you don't need to pick up weapons. Just ignore some of the monsters placed on top of one another, find a lift that looks like everything else surrounding it, and flip one of the four exit switches.
I know how people don't like when reviewers get offensive and rude. But I'm offended by this kind of "production" myself. You can download it for laughs, or (preferably) just avoid.
Oh, and I don't believe this requires any kind of port. It barely has any functionality. You may need a source port to jump into a room in Map01, which is otherwise inaccessible, because of flawed design.
Evermore - Ruba
doom2.exe - Solo Play - 27396 bytes
Reviewed by: Wills
As long as we keep giving Ruba the attention he wants, he'll keep making wads like this. I advise you to not download this wad, or any other wad Ruba ever makes, or to comment his wads in /idgames or talk about how awful they are, even in other places. Only this way can we stop Ruba's constant flow of awful maps, and, lacking the attention he desires, he'll go away.
NWT 1.3 source code - Denis Moeller
n/a - n/a - 163337 bytes -
Reviewed by: Trasher][
This is, as the name implies, the sourcecode to New Wad Tool. While perhaps not as useful nowadays, it's still an interesting piece of Doom editing history.
Thunderpeak - Björn "Vader" Ostmann
ZDoom Compatible - Solo Play - 9255945 bytes -
Reviewed by: Traysandor
Thunder Peaks is a 2 level wad designed for ZDoom 2.2.0, and it presents itself very well to the Doomer. The first level is designed for exploration; you can pick and choose which areas to take down first (some are easier than others), and you can get pretty far before you have to go and get the yellow key to continue. I got a little confused in a few spots, but if you really look around, you can find some nifty secrets and out-of-the-way ammo and health.
The main objective in the first level is to restore power to the stormy fortress you're in, and then make your way to the exit. Along the way, I ran into a very unique adversary (seen in the third screenshot), a greyish mix between a Baron of Hell and a Cyberdemon. It has roughly twice the health of a normal Baron and primarily uses its rocket attack (which does not hurt nearly as much as taking a Cyber rocket to the face would). You will be facing several more of those as you progress through the rest of this wad. The second level is a fairly straightforward fight across a bridge and into the arena that houses the final boss (seen in the final screenshot).
Overall though, this is a well-detailed wad, using ZDoom effects nicely. There's a good balance of health and ammo, and was never too hard, the casual Doomer will be able to complete this wad on UV with some effort. The lighting is on the dark side, but not overly so, and matches the mood of the levels nicely.
I highly recommend that you give this wad a play, it's by far the best offering I've reviewed thus far, and is a contender for Wad of the Week.