RapidFire - Xaver
Skulltag - Deathmatch - 396837 bytes -
Reviewed by: arrrgh
RapidFire is a set of 5 maps for Skulltag, in Duel mode. These are very well-designed and as a result are very fast-paced and fun to play. It isn't cramped and there are open spaces to fight in, and the visual design of the levels is excellent, with good texturing and detail. Overall, it's an excellent set of maps and I recommend downloading.
I do have a few minor gripes though: The author used Doom II tracks for the maps but they don't really fit them, although that's a matter of opinion. Also, I think there should have been a few Skulltag specific weapons included in the maps - only stock Doom II weapons were used. The BFG in the third map unbalanced things a bit, too. Still, it's definitely worth downloading.
Doom shareware v1.25 special version for Sybex - id Software / Sybex
n/a - n/a - 2241621 bytes -
Reviewed by: myk
In June 1994, Sybex (the publishers of The Lost Episodes of Doom) released The Official DOOM Survivor's Strategies & Secrets, by Jonathan Mendoza. The booklet includes a version of the shareware in two disks, and that version, 1.25, is what we have before us here, kindly uploaded by LogicDeLuxe after a discussion about older versions on our forums.
As the version number indicates, this version of the DOOM shareware package is pretty similar to v1.2. It's simply a quick fix to ensure stability, prepared specifically for the hint book release.
The first difference we note in regard to 1.2 is that the startup band on the initiation screen uses a red stripe with white letters like versions 1.3 to 1.8 instead of yellow over blue. This is also the first version to say "DOOM System Startup" over the stripe instead of the previous "DOOM Operating System". During play I spotted no notable differences from v1.2 at first sight, except for the fact that the shotgun guy now lights up when firing, as in later versions.
The manual accompanying this version is the v1.2 read me, with an additional paragraph noting the version should be more stable, but that GUS card support has been disabled.
The one-episode shareware IWAD that accompanies the executable has the same levels, graphics, demos and data lumps as v1.2, while the game sounds have been modified: their size is as in later and current versions, and the chat sound has been included for the first time.
If you had playing Knee-Deep in the Dead in mind, you might want to make use this opportunity and enjoy the varying pitch sounds and other details of the early releases. And who knows, you may discover yet another small curiosity or difference in this particular version!
Grave Robber - Pun1sh3R
Heretic + CTF Support - CTF - 156475 bytes
Reviewed by: Patrick Pineda
This is a rather simple map for Heretic. The map is designed for CTF, there are 2 bases separated by a river. There are some cool looking graves, and it looks like a lot of time was put into making the shadows fall correctly in this map. Overall there's not much else to say about this map. It's neither unique nor special. Give it a try, play it on Skulltag, then forget about it.
Ultimate Doom 2 - Justin Lloyd
Boom Compatible - Solo Play - 2597001 bytes -
Reviewed by: udderdude
This is a 32-level megawad for Doom 2. The maps are, in general, low quality in terms of detail and map layout. Every one feels like a 1994 map, released in 2008. Some maps are better than others though, seeing as the maps were made over a 12-year span.
Half the maps felt like playing them from a pistol start was entirely ignored, and it's very easy to run out of ammo. The ammo placement is horrendous; you'll often find yourself dodging piles of ammo, only to run out later, and either have to backtrack across half the map to pick up the ammo you avoided, or end up screwed because some door closed behind you that you can't open and get back through. I also found numerous bugs and places where I would get trapped. Some areas have lifts that are textured like walls, and you'll have no clue to push them. Map layouts are frustrating and confusing, with way too much switch hunting going on. There are WAY too many pits of toxic slime, and almost all of them have no way for the player to escape from - once you fall in, you're done. It's clear to me that the author did not hand this to anyone for playtesting.
Also, I love how the author says, "Jumping is considered CHEATING on these levels", in several places, including the readme and his website. Heaven forbid he use the nojump flag in a MAPINFO lump for ZDoom to read. Or jump-proof his maps. So you'd better not jump in these maps. It's cheating. Yup. No jumping.
Overall this is a mediocre and frustrating mapset. The author would have been wise to pick out the best levels, refine them, and ditch the rest. And oh yeah, get someone else to actually playtest them. Clearly, this did not happen. Avoid.
Doomguy's pimp ventures 3.5: Moar Futa - Mandy
Boom Compatible - Solo Play - 741857 bytes -
Reviewed by: udderdude
Well, what can I say? It's another installment of everyone's favorite jokewad, Doomguy's pimp ventures. Apparently, this one has "Moar Futa", whatever the hell that means.
The map takes place in a forest with sprite-based trees scattered around. You get a rocket launcher that fires dildo rockets, and they do no splash damage to you if you blow them up in your face, unlike DOOM's regular rockets.
There are the usual cyberdemons that moan with gratification when you kill them. They also fire dildo rockets which do very little damage, so they are not nearly as dangerous. And the b-ball imps are back in droves.
The one addition seems to be ... arch-viles. They are by far the most dangerous enemy in the map, as everything else does very little damage, while the arch-viles do their usual amount if they burn you. Later on in the map, you are pretty much sandwiched between an arch-vile in a corridor lined with sprite trees (that don't block LOS), and two more arch-viles out in the open with nowhere to hide behind. It's pretty much time to remind yourself you're playing a jokewad, and nobody gives a shit if you slap on god mode for the rest of the map. I sure as hell didn't.
There really isn't any new humor or anything really interesting in this mess, so unless you are a hardcore (HURR) fan of Doomguy's pimp ventures, I'd say pass.
Breed - The Player
ZDoom Compatible - Solo Play - 4505 bytes -
Reviewed by: Scet
There are bad wads and then there is Breed. The wad consists of one large, poorly textured, two sector map that contains a cyberdemon, some revenants and probably a few hundred monster spawners. Your job is to get to the exit on the other side of the map before it becomes clogged with monsters. Only download this if you want to waste electricity.
Killem Dead - Claude Matherne
ZDoom Compatible - Solo Play - 45192 bytes -
Reviewed by: udderdude
This is a short map for Plutonia, on Map 15. It's got pretty much every cheap trick in the book. Arch-vile fights where you can easily run out of ammo if it resurrects the wrong monster (Hell Knight), chaingunner traps where you have no chance of getting away without losing some health, fake exits that open up a trap door and reveal more monsters (that you don't even have enough ammo to kill...)
There's a secret area that makes the entire map easier, but requiring the player to find secrets to make the map playable is just a bad idea. And it's a very non-obvious secret, also. It seems the author thought everyone would find this secret, as the map is ridiculously hard without it, especially the aforementioned arch-vile fight.
There's some bugs also, a crate which lowers when pressed can also raise up around you and trap you inside it, permanently. You can only noclip out or load up a saved game. Definitely needed more playtesting before release.
Aloha777 - Alamain
doom2.exe - Solo Play - 92076 bytes -
Reviewed by: TheeXile
This map is an architecturally-simplistic mishmash of themes with the occasional eye-scorching lighting and some fairly standard gameplay. Ammo balance was good, but I found health and armor to be a bit on the surplus side later on in the form of multiple health spheres and blue armors. Some top tier monster peek-a-boo boss battles cap off the gameplay. Game time should last you about 25 minutes or so.
Things to complain about: large portions of the map's blocky, uni-sector hallways devoid of monsters; some annoying booby-trapped BFGs that you couldn't get to without dying or cheating on account of entrapment and crushing ceilings (which I guess you could say were hinted to...); occasional annoying use of illusionary walls (one of my personal pet peeves); occasional strange teleporter use.
Verdict: You probably won't be bored, but I doubt you'll be terribly impressed.
P.S. Why does this have a .wps text file in the .zip? ED: This is a Microsoft Works word processor document. It can be opened with some versions of Microsoft Word or NeoOffice, too.
Technophobia Overdose - Morpheus
ZDoom Compatible - Solo Play - 4277485 bytes -
Reviewed by: TheeXile
This is the first really good map I've gotten to review for /newstuff! Here we have an ep1-ish ZDoom tech base that throws you right the fuck into the action from the get go. Game time should last around an hour, and I guarantee you won't get bored!
Detailing is superb all throughout, with things like small glowing lights and other assorted curious hardware components catching my eye all the way through (I'm a sucker for simple, well-executed effects like that). Nothing more I can really say that the screenshots can't, though.
Ammo balance and gameplay was tight but not oppressive up to about half-way through, but after the mid-way Spider Mastermind battle it starts to slack off a bit with ammo becoming abundant and the monster populations never advancing much past the lower and middle tiers. However, one good thing in particular to mention is how the author makes excellent use of the ZDoom bestiary monsters, which don't simply exist for the sake of existing this time around. I especially loved the use of those semi-transparent lurking fireball throwers in the dark areas, for instance.
But I still think a lot of the bestiary monsters look silly in general, in spite of the effort here.
The map has a few ZDoom puzzle and gameplay elements, but it's overall still distinctly standard Doom. Some jammin' metal music adds to the experience, though I think the map's duration was a bit too long for that choice of music to be heard the entire way, frankly. Something tells me this map could probably have benefited from being divided into two or more separate maps.
Note to the map author: A small 3D bridge in one of the areas later in the map (forget where exactly) apparently glitched with my version of ZDoom (2.3.1). Nothing a clipping cheat couldn't solve, but I can see it obstructing progression without that.
Neat easter egg secret, by the way.
Hell Revealed Map23 UV-Max fix - Alter
doom2.exe - Solo Play - 84177 bytes
Reviewed by: The Green Herring
It's a modification of Hell Revealed MAP23: Ascending to the Stars, which fixes a bug preventing three arachnotrons from warping into the map by changing their one-time-use teleporters into repeatable ones, allowing you to kill every monster on the level. Of particular note is that the text file for Hell Revealed expressly forbids modifying the WAD, making this WAD a blatant violation of the original authors' legal wishes. Oh yeah, and the nodes were rebuilt in the process, so every demo ever recorded on the original version will not play back correctly on this one. Give this WAD a pass, unless you just have to be able to kill everything on Hell Revealed MAP23.
Banished Lands - Aluqah
Limit Removing - Solo Play - 154136 bytes -
Reviewed by: MasterOfPuppets
Here we have a single map that takes place on some sort of metal platform hanging in the void of space. Brown metal textures pretty much have a monopoly, with only a few blotches of color throughout the map to break it up. It's not that this makes for a bad looking map, but some certainly will find it bland. The level of detail in the map geometry itself is good, but nothing that will make you stop and think "Oh wow!"
You'll want to save a few times as you progress through the level, as it is fairly difficult. Ammo and health are limited, but the enemies certainly are not. My only real gripe about this map is that sometimes you'll hit a switch and not know what it did - but this isn't a huge labyrinth map so this doesn't cause too big of a problem.
Also, the health pickups are all Hitler-faced soulspheres. I don't know what's up with that, but it doesn't really add any extra value to the level for me.
Overall, a respectable offering to the Doom gods. Good for 15-30 minutes of fun.
Kari's Wad - Kari
doom2.exe - Solo Play - 458208 bytes -
Reviewed by: Scet
This is a set of 11 maps for vanilla Doom 2. Most of the maps are entertaining and of good quality for vanilla, my favorites being MAP03, 04, 07 and 11. The quality of the architecture and the difficulty tend to improve as you go on. The maps start off with a tech-base theme, with the monsters being mostly zombies and imps. Later maps using a mix of tech-base and hellish atmospheres, using the more demonic monsters.
The maps are very challenging; most are impossible from pistol start. I found myself having to use the fist a few times. At the start of MAP05 I hit a switch, only to hear the mover sound, but didn't see anything move. Thinking it was a crusher, I moved out only to see the floor eventually rise. I couldn't re-activate the trigger and was forced to throw off my mortal coil, causing me to have to restart and face seven demons in close-quarters with the pistol.
Still, these are rather small flaws, and good vanilla WADs seem scarce these days. A decent way to waste of an hour or two, although you might want to start at MAP03.
Mutiny Mod 2.0 - Woolie Wool
ZDoom Compatible - Solo Play - 12010908 bytes -
Reviewed by: WildWeasel
When it comes to weapon and gameplay mods, many mods strive to be more ambitious, changing literally everything that can be changed (aside from the maps). Mutiny, while obviously ambitious in its own right, takes a slightly more minimalistic approach, making as few changes as possible while still presenting a new way to play.
Users of DeHackEd might remember an included sample patch that replaced most of the monsters with recolored Doom marines, presenting it as a "fake" Deathmatch game. Mutiny might seem mildly reminiscent of that patch, but really, it's much more than that.
Mutiny presents you in pretty much the same situation as in basic Doom: you're alone, you have a pistol, and the whole world is against you. In this case, though, rather than demons and zombies, you're up against the coup d'etat of General Eduardo's personal army, and it's your job to put a stop to it. So, of course, all of your enemies are 100% human. They'll shout at you, shoot, dodge, throw grenades, punch you if you're too close. They are also far more aggressive than your basic Doom baddies, opting to shoot rather than move. On higher skill levels, this is taken to an extreme not seen since Wolfenstein 3D's mutants: enemies have such a hair-trigger that they'll probably cream you the instant you poke your head out.
That's why Mutiny provides you with a formidable new arsenal. Doom's weapon archetypes are all here - you start with the basic pistol and fist (though slightly edited to be a little more fresh), you can acquire two types of shotguns (which feel slightly more effective), two rapid-fire weapons (a quick, weak, and inaccurate PDW and a slow, powerful assault rifle), energy weapons, and explosives. New to Mutiny are a grenade launcher (really the only weapon I have a problem with, as it's the same Shadow Warrior one we've seen time and time again), a railgun (not quite as powerful as most other railguns but has a slightly quicker fire rate, making it better for close encounters), and a Pyro Cannon, which satisfies my obligatory need to light things on fire. Doom purists and old-school fans will probably be pleased to learn that none of these weapons require reloading, compensation for recoil, or any of that pseudo-realistic stuff.
If you grow bored of the predictable monster placements and want a little luck thrown into the mix - along with tons of new variants of enemy to duel with - Mutiny also includes a randomizer patch, which when loaded on top of the Mutiny20.wad, totally shuffles the enemies. Your basic pistol-toting soldier may randomly be swapped for a scientist, a quicker-moving Officer, or a harder-hitting PDW marine. This, plus the "Realistic" difficulty level, would result in an experience not unlike that of Tom Clancy's Raven Shield - never the same arrangement twice, and just as unforgivingly difficult.
Nostalgy: Trip down my memory lane - Jodwin
doom2.exe - Solo Play - 68244 bytes -
Reviewed by: udderdude
A short, difficult map for Doom 2. From the very start, this map corners you and doesn't let up. As you progress, you run into hordes of monsters and plenty of arch-viles. There's little room for error as most areas are very cramped. Definitely a challenging map. Unfortunately the architecture and map layout are a little boring, mostly just square rooms jam-packed with monsters. And the final boss (spiderdemon) is trivially easy to kill. Also, you'll want to take a specific route to get the SSG first, or things will get very painful. Play this one if you're looking for a challenge.
The Ultimate NMD - Fiend
doom.exe - Solo Play - 925980 bytes -
Reviewed by: udderdude
Three episodes for Doom. Despite the name being Ultimate NMD, there's only 3 episodes in this mapset. The maps are, as expected, low on detail. Unfortunately, they don't make up for it with much else. Most maps are very short. Layouts are uninspired and mostly flat. The biggest issue is there are a few maps in episode 1 and 2, and almost every map in episode 3, that are pretty much unplayable from a pistol start. I found myself running out of ammo time after time. If you can find a few secrets, you might be okay, but probably not. It seems the map's name is actually "Needs More Ammo". If you are going to try playing these maps from a pistol start, don't even bother with episode 3. Overall it's not a bad mapset, but there have been better classic Doom recreations before.
The /newstuff Chronicles #341