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    The /newstuff Chronicles #333


    Bloodshedder

    Give us a hand with reviewing, especially the older WADs.

    • .SPC to .IT Example. - Dgon92
      Tracker support - n/a - 106007 bytes
      Reviewed by: udderdude
      This is a music replacement for Map 1 of Doom 2. It's a SPC track that's been converted to IT format and then shoved into a WAD. Will only work with ZDoom, or a source port that plays IT format music. The music is "Toxic Seahorse" from Mega Man X3. There's really not much else to it.

    • Hell Awaits - Dave Billing
      doom2.exe - Solo Play - 137588 bytes -
      Reviewed by: Wills
      A small set of four maps for Plutonia (I ran it in Doom 2, as you can see from one of the screenies). I can't call these typical "first map"s, as the author puts it, because they're actually good, although not four-years-worth-of-work quality. Gameplay, at least dealing with monsters, can also throw a few surprises at you; two maps end in nasty surprises, especially the third one (had me going OHFUCKOHFUCKOHFUCK). Otherwise it's the usual collecting-keycards stuff. The maps are detailed without going overboard. Yes there are some minor errors, but they get ironed out as you continue on. Overall recommended.

    • Hell Unleashed - Isaac Rodriguez
      ZDoom Compatible - Solo Play - 721054 bytes -
      Reviewed by: Chrispaks
      The wad starts off nice, it really does. There are wall images, tons of monsters to make it look like a hard level, and a decent challenge. The level starts to go to hell after a minute, and the gameplay falls off a cliff. There are countless unaligned textures, and some missing (see screenshots). Monsters are everywhere, and are either set in areas to be too hard or too easy. You either run out of ammo or have too much, etc.—that sort of level. It is really unbalanced, if you can't aim and conserve ammo you're toast.

      The end is just a bit too unbearable to play through. The level goes from a really nice design (well not great), to complete boxes. The latter parts of the level suffer from 256x256 syndrome, leaving a bitter taste in the gamers mouth after playing. If the author just put the time he did into the beginning of the level into the rest, this level might possibly kick ass.

      There are too many powerups. I ran across 3 megaspheres between 190% armor/health, making them totally wasteful. Any time a huge hard section came up, there was an invulnerable sphere near by to make it a joke.

      I don't recommend this map to anyone. If you want to check out the beginning, it would be fun for a few minutes—and you can start to tell where the map deteriorates.

    • Station Zero - CutThroat
      doom.exe - Solo Play - 30899 bytes -
      Reviewed by: Wills
      A tiny little "my first level!" techbase, though for a first map it's a little better than I expected. There are ten monsters, none of which pose any challenge. The map looks good for a beginner, although the contrast between light/dark is too sharp, and colors besides green would have been appreciated. A lot of attention went to the walls, which often look too "busy" (startan + support3 galore!); aside from the occasional light, the walls and floor are very bare. Not horrible for a person new to mapmaking, and hopefully with more experience and time CutThroat will get very good at this.

    • Object "32" - Lainos
      Limit Removing - Solo Play - 1687414 bytes -
      Reviewed by: Traysandor
      Object "32" is a single player wad that, according to the textfile, should be run in an advanced limit removing port such as PRBoom+. I played this mapset in GZDoom and it ran just fine, so I'm guessing similar ports won't complain too much about this.

      This is the first time I've seen this mapper's name around, but this map is definitely far from the author's first foray into Doom mapping... and it shows with this beauty of a single map. This wad also incorporates an exploration theme of sorts added into the fun as well, and does a great job at it, so that you can basically choose when to tackle specific areas.

      This map is also somewhat difficult at times too; while not Hell Revealed per se, it'll certainly test your abilities on more than a few occasions as you explore your way through this massive map. Fortunately, enough health and ammo have been provided to get the job done, and there's usually a place to retreat to if you happen to get overwhelmed by the demons.

      The music selection completes this wad, sounding rather epic in tone, and I felt it was a pretty appropriate selection, especially so once you go through the yellow key door.

      Overall, I have to say I liked this wad. It looks great, plays great, and sounds great too. This is most certainly a recommended wad to play through.

    • Worm Digestion - Isaac Rodriguez
      ZDoom Compatible - Solo Play - 780284 bytes -
      Reviewed by: Wills
      Some things I noticed while playing this, itemized for your reading pleasure.
      1. It really irks me when a person puts their map on a random level number, such as Map 27, just for the music or something when they're already using a source port.
      2. You need a separate texture wad, which the map makes frequent use of. Seeing that I don't exactly have d1gfxd2.wad lying around on my HD, I played it with checker-walls. I couldn't really tell the difference though, as most of the level was in black and white due to...
      3. Invulnerability spheres! They're everywhere, and it makes the level really easy. You always have the option to take your time and eliminate the monsters one by one (there are plenty of them), but if you don't want to KILL 'EM ALL then all you have to do is grab the spheres and run like hell.
      4. The level design is perfectly acceptable. Apparently the map takes place in a worm's alimentary tract, although the red "HELL" in big letters at the beginning might lead you to think otherwise (or maybe the worm is hell? Mysteries never cease). As opposed to some of HR2's "I have to figure out where the hell to go while killing 800 monsters along the way" maps, it's a fairly linear killfest, with occasional diversions through teleporters and side rooms.
      Overall, not a bad level. Give it a spin, especially if you're a slaughterfest fan.

    • Ivano: 1024 - Ivano Lich
      Limit Removing - Solo Play - 108649 bytes
      Reviewed by: JohnnyRancid
      A pretty good 1024 map. It's got strictly green and silver textures. Despite to blatantly obvious fact that it's small, I was a little bothered by the rounded out corners, causing many accidental bumps pretty frequently. However, the map is fairly easy; there's imps, shotgun guys, and a hell knight here and there. It didn't take me more than a minute to complete. Nothing really blows anyone away unless it's super duper original, but this map is still worth a shot if you like the feel of winning from a pistol start on your first try. It's so short that you're better off just downloading and playing it to kill a couple seconds than to sit there and gaze at screenshots of it.

    • NJCHLLNJ.WAD - Nigel "Enjay" Rowand
      doom2.exe - Solo Play - 213470 bytes -
      Reviewed by: Morpheus
      When I played that 1994 wad called CHALLENJ.wad, I was pretty disgusted by how bad it was. Then Enjay decided to revamp it. I downloaded it to see how it looked after his work.

      What I can say is that it came out pretty nice. Interesting detail has been added to the general layout, that all in all, even in the old version, was pretty interesting. But I didn't like some areas, as they were too flat, and they could have used some more height variations.

      Gameplay was pretty fair and balanced, with a pretty decent amount of ammo and monsters. It was pretty funny, and definitely it brings back memories of old school wads.

      All-in-all, I can say that this wad is pretty good, considering how bad the original one was. It's worth a look.

    • Heretic Binary Ripple Counter - Paul Hiebert, aka Creaphis
      Heretic Support - Solo Play - 53531 bytes -
      Reviewed by: udderdude
      This is a small map loosely based on fraggle's counter.wad. It's a 4-bit binary ripple counter. So I guess everyone's dream of making basic binary math work in vanilla Heretic has finally arrived. The second level is a weird dance-floor looking thing where you are immediately killed and turned into a ghost/bugged mode where you can't do anything but move around. Honestly, reading the bizarre story in the readme is more entertaining than actually playing the map. But I guess it gets points for doing yet another crazy thing with vanilla source code.

    • Big Arch - Andrew J Apted
      Limit Removing - Deathmatch - 206348 bytes -
      Reviewed by: Wills
      It's a DM level featuring a, um, big arch surrounded by ledges and buildings. It seems too small for ten people, as the text file suggests, and the textures used don't really "mesh" well. It's also a little hard to move around. Try it out for yourself to see what you think, but I can't say I really like it.

    • Testae Virtus - Jekyll Grim Payne aka zer0 aka Ashigaru
      GZDoom - Solo Play - 6168798 bytes -
      Reviewed by: Wills
      It's common knowledge that the vast majority of conceived Doom projects never see the light of day, but even when ambition turns to dust, work can still be salvaged. This map was originally made for a four-level, uh, megawad (as the author puts it) that for whatever reasons was never made.

      All things considering, it's not a bad save. The map takes place in a castle, where you explore hallways, tunnels, and caves to find the five switches. Along the way you battle monsters such as imp-things, Hell Knights, and Cacolichs (a personal favorite). Sometimes they take you by surprise, either by ambushing you via teleports or laying on the hurt in a tiny cage. Overall gameplay is balanced; explorative and careful players will have no problem with ammo and health.

      Atmosphere is where it's really at, though. The mood tends to get very tense as you wander through dark (sometimes too much so) hallways, always wondering what's around the next corner. The attention to detail is impressive - the barracks have beds and dressers, maps hang on the wall, and the jail cells have bars painstakingly made from stacking 3D floors. Especially of note is the torture chamber - blood and guts everywhere, and you can test out its grisly devices for yourself (don't get too close to the iron maiden).

      Yes, there are some flaws. Some areas seem underdetailed, as if a few nooks and crannies would make the area perfect. The texturing is occasionally garish, and the architecture is sometimes awkward - plus there's that previously mentioned bit about how sometimes the darkness is too dark. Still, this is overall a strong map, and downloading is highly recommended.

    • Slaughter - Gemini
      GZDoom - Solo Play - 298983 bytes
      Reviewed by: Jekyll Grim Payne
      This map with a title strangely absolutely not corresponding with the filename is a replacement of map 29. Design is pretty ascetic and mostly consists of green and red marble and flesh textures. It actually looks not like "slaughter" maps usually look like; honestly, it doesn't have much open space, and doesn't look epic. It doesn't even seem to be some important place of Hell to be protected so furiously. It could be a normal classical level... but this is a slaughter. Unfortunately, it is you who is slaughtered, and your chances are... diminutive.

      It begins quite peacefully, but a Megasphere at the very beginning is suspicious. Soon you'll find out that this level consists of tense fights inside pretty small, locked areas. And although constantly teleporting revenants are tolerable, an Arch-Vile appearing right there and starting to raise those bony bastards and roasting you, while you're running out of shells, is somehow... disquieting.

      The problem of the gameplay is that there's neither hidden strategy, nor enough ammo. But still, I advise you to have a look. After all, it is a... a good-looking map. With an interesting color theme.

    • Inside the Deku Tree - TimeOfDeath (Chris Balch)
      ZDoom Compatible - Solo Play - 372311 bytes
      Reviewed by: stickguy5000
      Inside the Deku Tree is a map based off of the first dungeon of The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time (kickass game) and surprisingly the layout stays true to the N64 game. The gameplay however, does not; the map feels more like a slaughter map rather than a run around and find keys and buttons map. The music is still map01 music (I could be wrong—I only played it when Chris first released it) [Ed: you probably are, considering the text file says it has new music] and no new sprites. The big problem of this map is that there are points where you almost have to use god mode; for example, the final boss, which is a spider demon that keeps respawning while monsters spawn too. So overall if you're itching to play a pretty cool map, love a challenge, or you're just a Zelda fan, check it out.

    • The History of Fruit - TheCupboard & Worst-vd-Plas
      ZDoom Compatible - Solo Play - 2591305 bytes -
      Reviewed by: udderdude
      HOLY SHIT A HERETIC MAPSET. Now that we've got that out of the way, this is a 9-map set for Heretic using ZDoom. The maps are well designed, with good use of custom textures, and plenty of detail. They feel like harder versions of the original Heretic maps, with the exception of the secret map, which is loaded with monsters and feels more HR-ish. Two the later maps are short and difficult, while others are lengthier with more even difficulty. As someone else on the forum mentioned, the "History of Fruit" posters that appear on occasion are more distracting than anything else. But overall, if you like Heretic, you'll like these maps.

    • SnoW2008 - Azamael (Kolybenko Misha)
      ZDoom Compatible - Solo Play - 310773 bytes -
      Reviewed by: Wills
      I won't be so cruel as to slap deathz0r's "DOES NOT WORK IN INTENDED SOURCE PORT" on this, even though it doesn't work in ZDoom 2.2.0 and the text file doesn't specify what version to use.

      It's a short map filled with imps (with a misaligned frame or two) and bearded chaingunners, both donned with Santa hats. The action takes place in a town-ish area with snow falling all around; the town is filled with buildings and thus doesn't have that "endless walls of brick" feeling that some Doom towns do. There are a couple of tricks and surprises but plenty of ammo and health. It's kind of cute, worth a play-through.

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    Regarding:

    The second level is a weird dance-floor looking thing where you are immediately killed and turned into a ghost/bugged mode where you can't do anything but move around.


    Also, the fluctuating viewheight is supposed to make it look like you're dancing. I realize that effect doesn't work very well, but I couldn't get it to work any better, so then I made it extra-tacky instead.

    [/i]The text file for "The History of Fruit" said:[/i]
    Additional Credits to : Esselfortium and RottKing for medivltx.wad. Also, Creaphis for making some modifications.


    I'm useful! I'm finally useful! *sniff*

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    It is possibly worth pointing out that the screenshots from NJCHLLNJ.WAD are from a version uploaded to idgames by *someone* (I don't know who) before the map was finished. I got Ty to take down the unfinished version as quickly as I could and replaced it with a newer version myself but, obviously, some people grabbed the unintended version. So, if the review is also based on the unfinished version, one or two of the points raised in the review may have been slightly different had it been done with the final version.

    However, I don't think the review would have been much different. At the end of the day, it is just an old '94 WAD that I pulled off the archives and decided to "tart up" for my own amusement one weekend. The review pretty accurately conveys that's what the level is about.

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    purist said:

    The chronicles are halfway to that magic doom number!

    It's common knowledge that /Newstuff Chronicles #666 will mark the beginning of the apocalypse, which is not something you should be excited about.

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    Enjay said:
    So, if the review is also based on the unfinished version, one or two of the points raised in the review may have been slightly different had it been done with the final version.

    Yeah, I had noticed. The WAD got nuked from the review center because of that and re-added after it was uploaded again.

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    Craigs said:

    It's common knowledge that /Newstuff Chronicles #666 will mark the beginning of the apocalypse, which is not something you should be excited about.

    The walls around the edge of the earth will lower and in come the arachnotrons.

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    Enjay said:

    It is possibly worth pointing out that the screenshots from NJCHLLNJ.WAD are from a version uploaded to idgames by *someone* (I don't know who) before the map was finished. I got Ty to take down the unfinished version as quickly as I could and replaced it with a newer version myself but, obviously, some people grabbed the unintended version. So, if the review is also based on the unfinished version, one or two of the points raised in the review may have been slightly different had it been done with the final version.

    However, I don't think the review would have been much different. At the end of the day, it is just an old '94 WAD that I pulled off the archives and decided to "tart up" for my own amusement one weekend. The review pretty accurately conveys that's what the level is about.


    Are you allowed to do that? I'm assuming you didn't actually ask the guy if it was okay with him. I'm sure he wouldn't care after all this time but if you are allowed to do that I'd like to detail up some old wads myself.

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    JohnnyRancid said:
    I'm assuming you didn't actually ask the guy if it was okay with him.

    The Copyright / Permissions section of the text file usually answers that. For this one, the author gave people permission to do so. Enjay also credited the man as he had asked.

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    myk said:

    Yeah, I had noticed. The WAD got nuked from the review center because of that and re-added after it was uploaded again.

    I noticed that it disappeared then came back from the review rosta. I guess Morpheus must have grabbed his copy before that happened. I don't think it matters too much though. I don't think the review would have been hugely different with the newer version. Though, obviously, IMO the finished version is better than the unfinished one (but it will only ever be a quick edit of a '94 WAD).

    JohnnyRancid said:

    Are you allowed to do that?

    As Myk said, the original author (Josh Schultz) gave permission to use his level as a "base for modification" in the text that came with his file. I duly credited him in my text file, linked to the database entry for his WAD in my text and included a copy of his text file in my zip. So, yeah, in this case it's all good and I've made it clear who should be acknowledged for the original map. However, if an author says you can't use a file as a base for modification then, of course, that's a different matter.

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    purist said:

    The walls around the edge of the earth will lower and in come the arachnotrons.


    This time though, there shall be no palsma rifle to palsma the demons with.

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    Wow, the newstuff area is getting full again. I might chip in later tonight and get some reviewin' done.

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    purist said:

    The walls around the edge of the earth will lower and in come the arachnotrons.


    But we'd only have to try to survive the onslaught until Newstuff 667. Then we could exit.

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    I forgot to mention in the dekutree txt file that I was inspired to actually start building the map on my birthday by TheGreenHerring, when he made a map on his 21st birthday. So, props to him for the inspiration.

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    Is there some trick to activating the blue key switch in Ivano: 1024? I have the blue key, but it doesn't activate.

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