Doom: The Lost Episode - Xaser, Wills, Skunk, Nuxius, SnowKate709
ZDoom or Eternity - Solo Play - 2493220 bytes -
Reviewed by: udderdude
This is an episode-long set of maps for Doom, using ZDoom. It's a project composed of various levels from the Doom Alphas, Jaguar Doom, and Playstation Doom. The authors have enhanced and in some cases completed these maps. In the readme, it's claimed they would like this to be seen as the missing 5th episode. In my opinion, it is far too disjointed in theme to count as such. There are tech maps, hell maps and other themes all mixed in with no real story. It still feels like a collection of random maps from the official source's wastebin, and other "semi-official" sources. In addition, it requires ZDoom, and most of the Doom 2 monsters are thrown into the mix, making it even more difficult to take seriously as a proposed 5th episode for Doom. But enough of that, let's move on to the maps themselves.
Map 1 is a discarded map from Doom Alpha. It uses some textures that are basically walls full of holes. You can shoot right through the solid parts, and so can the monsters, so they lose their effectiveness. The map has been considerably detailed and finished off. However, it's still rather flat. Still worth playing, though.
Map 2 is a map from Jaguar Doom. It's a remake of Hell Keep. The front door may look similar, but the inside is completely different. Overall a nice hell-themed map, with a few 90° walls that probably should have been changed.
Map 3 is another map from Jaguar Doom. It's a remake of Spawning Vats, however it only bears a superficial resemblance. The map is pretty lengthy and has plenty of stuff to kill. I'd have to say this is the best in the entire set.
Map 4 is another discarded map from Doom Alpha. I found myself running through endless corridors completely barren of monsters, save for a handful zombies. Where are all the monsters hidden? At a certain point you trigger a massive teleport which sends monsters into all corners of the map. Pretty unorthodox and confusing at first, but overall not that bad. The layout is pretty confusing and experimental, as you might expect from a map that didn't make the cut from Doom Alpha.
Map 5 is one of five maps from Playstation Doom. You've probably played most of these maps already, if you've played the Console Doom map by Kaiser. I have no particular nostalgic attachment to these maps, so don't expect any. It's got decent layout, pretty boring monster usage and some annoying switch hunting. Plus my favorite, a grid of teleporters where you have to cross into the correct one, or you get teleported into a pit of damaging slime. So much fun! I am not being sarcastic at all!
Map 6 is two of five maps from Playstation Doom. Definitely one of the more difficult maps in the set, this map seems to love revenants and shotgunners everywhere with little to no cover. Later on, monsters start attacking in droves. Be prepared to use your rocket launcher. Not a bad map overall, but be prepared for a fight.
Map 7 is three of five maps from Playstation Doom. It's pretty lengthy. As with most of the Playstation maps, the detailing is poor and ugly, but in this case it's especially bad. There's hardly a section of the map that didn't make my eyes water in pain. The final battle is just ridiculous. About 10 pain elementals in a star-shaped room, where pretty much the only weapon you've got left is the rocket launcher. Uh huh.
Map 8 is four of five maps from Playstation Doom. It's a large arena. By far the most difficult map in the set. It feels that you would need some luck to survive this as well, as it's completely nuts. You end up totally surrounded on all sides by zombies while an arch-vile runs around. There are Arachnos everywhere in a pit below, as well. It feels like one of those "lol they'll never beat this!" maps thrown together in half an evening. It's completable, but you'll probably be hitting quicksave/load every 10 seconds.
Map 9 is five of five maps from Playstation Doom. A very short, gimmicky map in which you have a zillion switches and teleports with no idea what they do, and two cyberdemons running around in the dark. Since the map is very open, it's easy to get hit by a Cyberdemon rocket unless you keep moving, because you can't hear them firing from halfway across the map. My favorite is the teleport which moves you into a small room with only one switch, which lowers a crusher and kills you. FUN!
The first four maps are OK, unfortunately the Playstation Doom maps tend to fall into gimmicky fights and poorly designed layouts/switches that feel more like guesswork than anything else. I felt frustrated by the end of it. It would have been much better if the Playstation maps were given a makeover and new gameplay as the Alpha maps got. As it stands, they look and play extremely dated. Overall, if you're a fan of oldschool '94-'95 style maps, you'll probably enjoy these. Or just play the first four maps (and maybe Map 6), and forget about the rest. Even the flashy new intermission map can't save this.
Deathmatch Therapy ver.1 - Vasek "(The_)Damned" Havranek
Boom Compatible - Deathmatch - 449502 bytes -
Reviewed by: Wills
A set of three maps inspired by (and using textures from) Gothic DM. The layouts are cramped in some places and fine in others; at high speeds, they don't exactly lend themselves to easy navigation. Texture usage is a little messy, with many textures not really belonging together or even clashing. But there is definitely potential here in this set of first DM maps, and Vasek will hopefully get better with more experience.
Hell cruiser - Aluqah
ZDoom Compatible - Solo Play - 249788 bytes -
Reviewed by: TheMionicDonut
To pretty much set the tone for this review I will begin with the description for this piece of work.
A ship full of monsters.
Thank you so much for that VALUABLE information, that would have taken me all of five seconds to figure out after I start playing. That being said, Hell Cruise is just that. A ship full of monsters. A theme that has been done to death twice over, but that doesn't warrant saying that the wad is a pile of crap; but it isn't something I would play again either. The detailing is pretty much what you would expect to see in a level from the era of ship-maps (circa 1996 AD, a good ten plus years prior to this one), but what amuses and puzzles me is the usage of newer features that could have just as easily been left out; jumping is virtually a necessity if you want enough ammo to survive, and scripting is a minute detail that only exists to show you where to go next in this oversized wad. Ammo appears to be sparse, and at points I was running around with nothing but my fist after a swarm of imps drained me of everything. Now I love a little bit of fisting now and then, but it's no picnic when you have to do it against uninjured Hell Knights without the aid of berserk packs. I would really like to see more structure and preparation in a map project, especially with this being a revision of an older work by this author.
On a positive note, this wad did leave me a little aware, and a few altered textures and sprites made me laugh a bit. The sheer novelty of cacodemon dolls in the makeshift gift shop made me chuckle, given the irony that real cacos are out to kill you in the next room. Another unintentionally meta joke is that there are Doom 2 arcade machines (no, they don't work). This left me wondering. Why would you play a game about slaughtering demons when you yourself should be slaughtering demons?
And then I realized that I am just thinking too hard and too much about this, and how desperately I need a social life so I don't spend my every waking moment pondering such things as meta-game paradoxes in a mediocre modification of a fifteen-year-old game.
ESCAPE FROM TRANTOR - Robert W.S.Smith
doom2.exe - Solo Play - 105657 bytes -
Reviewed by: udderdude
This is a 1995 map for Vanilla Doom. As you might expect from a '95 map, it's not exactly refined. Misaligned textures and poor lighting choices abound. The ammo balance is totally wacky; I had 100 shells within the first 5 minutes of playing. Health was pretty tight, on the other hand. Gameplay wasn't too bad, considering its age. There were a few well-timed traps and it never felt too bland. If you're a fan of '94-'95 era maps, you'll enjoy this.
Virtual 33 - Aluqah
ZDoom Compatible - Solo Play - 135302 bytes -
Reviewed by: udderdude
This is a Doom 2 map for ZDoom. The map's gimmick is that you are entering a computer system to destroy a virus. Of course, the viruses all happen to look exactly like Doom's hellspawn. Complete coincidence, I'm sure. There is pretty much one texture used for the majority of the map, both on the ceiling and floor. As you can guess, this easily leads to confusion and resorting to the automap every 2 seconds. It doesn't help that the map's layout is slightly esoteric. The map's switches appear to be Windows dialogue boxes with an OK button, and of course there is the obligatory "DON'T PRESS THIS!" button that, when pushed, kills you instantly. Aside from this gimmickyness, the gameplay isn't too bad. There are a few interesting fights, and I can't really say I was ever bored. It's worth a quick playthrough, if you can stand the same neon green on black texture used for almost every square inch of the map.
Death Incarnate - VeinCrawler
ZDoom Compatible - Solo Play - 775791 bytes -
Reviewed by: Wills
I've always been a sucker for underground cave/techbase maps, so I had a real good time playing this one. Lots of enemies to fight (particularly in the last battle), good detail, nice atmosphere; gameplay starts tough and gets a little easier, with some challenges here and there. But the standout here is definitely the map design. With lots of twisty rock corridors, semi-abandoned warehouses, and caverns, you really get the feel that you're underground. The layout is complicated, but you never really feel lost because all the different areas are interconnected in cool ways. It's really neat to explore a long series of tunnels and rooms only to end up at an unaccessible spot that you could only see earlier (and figure out where that ledge goes), or to get a glimpse at places you're going to explore later. Definitely a keeper.
Citadel of temptation - Aluqah
doom2.exe - Solo Play - 248438 bytes -
Reviewed by: TheeXile
Well, uh, what can I say about this? Other than prominently featuring pornographic artwork mapped to large textures in various points of the map (funny how well the Doom palette appears to work for that :P), as far as design goes (if that has any part left in you're decision to play this or not) I'd call this an average-ish map.
On one hand, it's a simple, non-linear map layout with various "puzzle" elements and at least some apparent thought towards its design and progression. Ammo/health balance is good, as I never ran into trouble with that (though the BFG was perhaps a bit overkill towards the end). I do cringe a little on the inside at the sight of concentrations of hitscan enemies (especially those goofy SS Guards). Not a significant issue, though. I noticed also the Cyberdemon appeared to be "stuck" in its starting cage (I was playing on ZDoom, by the way). Not sure if that was by design, though.
My main gripe with this would I guess be the "puzzles" themselves. One puzzle in particular that stumped me was the final one involving the blue building thingie in the lava lake. It wasn't clear at first what was going on or what was supposed to be going on, which I felt kinda made the map drop the ball a little (until I figured it out, at least). A few other functional elements could also have done with improvements in clarify (the starting platform was a lift?), but again, nothing major.
So yeah. It has porn, and it's a okay, average map. Enjoy!
Control Center #10 - TheeXile
ZDoom Compatible - Solo Play - 506429 bytes -
Reviewed by: udderdude
This is a map for Doom 2 using ZDoom. It was originally supposed to be a part of the 10 sectors competition from a few years ago, although it's clear it wasn't included. It's definitely one of the weirdest maps I've played in awhile. It's very flat, but full of conveyor belts and long hallways everywhere. Some areas have conveyor belts that move so fast, you have to turn them off to proceed. At one point, you have to slingshot yourself off a conveyor belt into another area! Detail level is only average at best; most rooms are big, boxy and without much going on.
Most of the gameplay isn't too interesting. The award for "most annoying fight" definitely goes to the seemingly never-ending hallway of box crates you have to navigate through, full of deaf revenants and cacodemons hiding behind them. And then you have to go through it again on the other side, only it's full of spectres, hell knights and some archviles.
The ammo balance is pretty much a huge mess. Unless you're really careful, you'll end up running out, only to discover there's literally a pile of shell boxes right after the enemies at the point you ran out. I don't think it's even possible to get maxkills on this map, due to the obscene amount of barons and hell knights thrown at the player. Not to mention some arch-viles which are very difficult to even locate (they're in a part of the map presumably where the author wanted you to die if you even entered into). You just don't have enough ammo to kill them all.
Also, for some reason, all of the door sounds didn't work. I don't know if this is a bug in the particular version of ZDoom I'm running, but it didn't work for me.
Overall the gameplay feels very loose and the map not very well put together. The author even warns you against "breaking" the map in the readme. Unless you're desperate for new maps to play, you'll probably want to pass on this one.
shotfun - Michael "Optimus" Kargas
Limit Removing - Solo Play - 233029 bytes -
Reviewed by: TheeXile
At first I was about to say "This map is too dark, there's too many hitscan fuckers and not enough health...", but when I reached the monolithic, monotextured, fullbright GRAY5 crate room, well... I guess there's no point being harsh anymore. Not that I was gonna, anyway. However, there actually are a few interesting features in this map, though, as I'll mention later.
Otherwise, not much to say here. In nice words, it's a "tactically-thematic, sequential mass-slaughter experience", which is French for having to provide cleanup service for each area with only tier 1 weapons (excluding the Chainsaw) against masses of mostly tier 1 monsters. Hence the name, I suppose (though thankfully not just the shotgun, as I'd originally feared).
Technically, I suppose there's enough health, as I originally skipped the left corridor at the first intersection where the armor and other goodies were due to the somewhat illogical map layout, but at about that point I'd had my fill of all the damn hitscan cocksuckers and already copped out with iddqd/idfa. :P
Architecturally, it's pretty sparse and unremarkable... with the notable exception of the first and last rooms. The first room I suppose resembles a parking area with a... I guess it's a beacon of some sort in the middle and street lights with outward lighting graduation in the corners. However, when you look in the distance, you can see what appears to be a city-like area complete with building lights and hilly terrain. This is not a texture. The author made this out of linedefs and stock textures arranged in such a way as to create that effect. The last room delivers a view of a genuine starry night sky; an impressive feat, considering each "star" is a tiny sector of its own amidst tall black walls, with each sector having its own lighting, texture color, and even blinking effects. That alone is a mapping effect worth clipping to the end just to check out, if you're into that sort of thing.
Otherwise, yeah. It's a beginner map. Playable unless you lack the stomach for masses of hitscan cunts. You decide.
Tubers Announcer - tubers93
Skulltag - n/a - 4028976 bytes
Reviewed by: udderdude
This is an announcer mod for Skulltag. It sounds a bit like a demon with a vocoder. It's pretty decent. In a few places you can hear breathing into the mic, which is a bit annoying and could have been fixed. Download this if you're looking for a new guy (or demon with a vocoder) to tell you how many frags are left in a game of Skulltag.
Virus Episode 1 "Shareware Demo Release" - James "Phobus" Cresswell
ZDoom - Solo Play - 4652685 bytes -
Reviewed by: Traysandor
Virus Episode 1 is clearly something quite different than standard Doom. In this wad, you play as a robot of sorts, and your mission is to fly around and contain the outbreak of a virus and destroy anything that gets in your way. In the 8 levels you play through, you will encounter very basic textures, as well as a lot of bright colors. The enemies you face are tough and numerous, from static defenses, infected viruses, odd purple diamonds, a tough skeleton dude, and a few others.
For the most part, the puzzles are pretty basic, though confusing and mildly annoying at times due to the excessive use of bright colors. The enemies you encounter put up a decent fight, and you get unlimited ammo (for the basic weapon only) to dispose of them with, so with enough circle-strafing and dodging you will eventually kill everything. The good news is you're quite speedy in this wad, though binding a key to fly up/down is rather slow.
Overall, this wad presents a nice twist to a new idea of sorts, and while not perfect by any means, it's certainly worth taking a look at if you're in the mood for something different than Doom. (Though, there's a secret level in this wad where you do get to have some fun with the Doom monsters.)
Sinalbin - Colin Mitchell aka 'Radtard'
doom2.exe - Solo Play - 62172 bytes -
Reviewed by: Sonikku7
A rather short level with a rocky mountain theme. The layout is well designed, with diverse changes in elevation and some good use of common textures. Difficulty, overall, is on the mild side; though the room holding the yellow key can take you by surprise if you're not careful. (I recommend you find the rocket launcher.) This isn't a wad that tries to push boundaries by any means, but I'll admit that I had fun playing through the map. I also felt that the new music suited the map quite well. Worth a look if you're not busy playing something else.
Coadjutor to the Stars - Colin Mitchell aka 'Radtard'
doom2.exe - Solo Play - 119699 bytes -
Reviewed by: TheeXile
Well, I finally get to review a "normal" map. No porn textures, excessive fruity colossal rooms, or endless tier 1 hitscan hordes. Yay.
The word "decent" about sums up this map. It has a nice, tight ammo/health/monster balance presenting a decent (if a wee cramped at times) challenge with a few surprises along the way. It's composed of a series of areas with a mix of themes, including the obligatory waste tunnels, a quarry-like area, and a "space base" area to top it off. Gameplay should last you 30 minutes or so, depending on your efficiency. A number of interesting secrets can also be found, which will help you greatly towards finishing the map.
I'm not sure if I get to say if it's my fault or the map's fault, but there was an issue after the blue key pickup where the bridge that supposedly connects to the quarry gets, uh, blocked (ceiling lowered to floor (closed door?), floor being height of waste area), which I ended up noclipping past to continue. A bit annoying, but I'm sure it would be easily fixable (if indeed it wasn't an oversight of my own). I was playing this on ZDoom, too, but I'm not sure if that factors in...
Other than that, yeah. Decent.
The unnamed base - Mr. Chris
Limit Removing - Solo Play - 118101 bytes -
Reviewed by: udderdude
This is a tech base map for Doom 2. Detail level is pretty low. Map layout is OK, but a little bland. There are advertisements for a few Doom-related sites pasted about, including one that acts as a distraction for a trap. Evil, I tells ya!
The gameplay starts off easy but ramps up towards the end, with some nasty traps in confined, closed-off spaces that you can't run away from. Ammo also gets somewhat tight towards the end, and you'll really want to save your rockets for the final fight. I was able to complete it without dying, but I'd say keep your finger close to the quicksave key if you aren't too sure of yourself. The highlight of this map is definitely the gameplay. It's worth a quick play.
Der Wahnsinn, "The Insanity" - Colin Mitchell aka 'Radtard'
doom2.exe - Solo Play - 110283 bytes -
Reviewed by: TheeXile
Another "decent" map. Ammo and health balance is fairly tight on UV, and the map is fairly small making it a good 15-25 minute investment. Not extremely detailed, but I wouldn't rank it lower than your average vanilla Doom 2 map. Only complaint I can think of is a somewhat illogical map layout, but given the map's relatively small size a bit of running around won't strongly affect your game. Don't be annoyed if you run into a few surprise upper tier monsters, though.
Edit: I should also note that there does appear to be modified graphics and sound, despite the text file indicating none.
The /newstuff Chronicles #338