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    The /newstuff Chronicles #352


    • Relentless Beating Capture The Flag - Metalhead, Cacodemon, Kitty, Midian, Catoptromancy, Mechadon, Rottking
      Skulltag - CTF - 19089769 bytes
      Reviewed by: Abyssalstudios1
      Relentless Beating Capture the Flag is quite a good mapset. It's got 15 new maps, and they're not even replacements! You can access them from the Skulltag (97b or higher) offline skirmish menu, right after the Credmap.

      RBCTF01 is a nice starting point. It's a brownish base set in lava with a fiery sky above you. It's very open, and nicely symmetrical. Weapons include the railgun, minigun, rocket launcher, SSG, and chaingun.

      RBCTF02 is a re-make of one of the pre-packaged Skulltag maps (I believe it's one of the Deathmatch ones). It's basically multiplied by two, and each side is given to a specific team. The weapons are the railgun, plasma rifle, minigun, grenade launcher, and SSG. The map is all set indoors, but there are barred ceilings that look up into the sky.

      RBCTF03 is another set of brown bases. It's a much bigger map than MAP01 in terms of area. But it's not as dramatic as RBCTF01, at least not in terms of sector heights. This is one map where I get lost rather easily. I mean, I kinda know where I am, but I also don't. As players ran through tunnels and through canals of colored fluid, I could only hope that someone knew where the enemy flag was, because I sure didn't.

      RBCTF04 is one sweet map. It's a huge, floating gray series of large platforms, with conveyor belts flinging players to other platforms. It uses an Ashley Carr Doom 2 music remake (I honestly forgot which one). The weapons are the SSG, minigun, railgun, and rocket launcher. It can get very hectic very quickly, as players rush (or fly) around, dodging railgun shafts and trying to avoid each others' buckshot while staying away from the edges.

      RBCTF05 suffers from a bad title ("Red and Blue"? Really? Why not just call it Red vs Blue and be done with it?) It's a classic ZDaemon CTF-style map, with a lot of gray textures coupled with team colors. It has the SSG, minigun, and grenade/rocket launchers. There are two small bases, each overlooking a dead-vine courtyard with lava in the middle, and a Doomsphere hanging over said lava. There are a few back-ways to sneak towards the flag, which is fairly easy to get to. Getting out with it is more challenging.

      RBCTF06 is quite enjoyable. There's some cheerful music playing while the players duke it out in a canyon. Side caves stretch almost the whole length of the map, and it's aggravatingly fun to guard the flag from so many back ways. This map requires more than than the usual amount of teamwork. Some players must guard/attack at the bottom of the canyon, while others work on the side caves. Everyone has to know exactly what their job is, rather than the usual scurrying about.

      RBCTF07: Have you seen some movies of WWI? Where the soldiers leap out of the trenches and rush headlong to the enemy? That's kinda what this map is. Everyone starts behind a few barricades with some weapons. Across a flat arena with a few more barricades lies the enemy's flag. Go get 'em! This map is almost the opposite of MAP06, at least where strategy is concerned. That is, there is no strategy. Just chaaaaarge! If that's your playing style (this *is* Doom, after all), then you'll love this map.

      RBCTF08 is really quite infuriating. It's dark. It's a good map; I just hate it, is all. It's a dark, nicely detailed, brown temple that's set underground. And it's dark. There's a high jump rune and some basic weaponry lying around. And it's dark. You rush out of your little area into a few main hallways, kill/get killed, and capture the enemy's flag. It's a fairly simple map, but it has a good flow to it. Oh, and did I mention that I do not enjoy dark multiplayer maps?

      RBCTF09 is another tech-gray/brown style map. Two small areas are set underground. A central, outdoors area with some corpses connects the two. There's only two ways into each base, so it's easy to guard. Not a bad map, but it's not especially special.

      RBCTF10 is a difficult map to play. There's a central area with various fluids, then an antechamber for each team, then a few staircases leading down to the flag. The central area can quickly become a nightmare, and anyone attempting to sneak into the flag room will be cut to pieces. If playing in large groups, then large groups WILL be needed to get to the flag, if only to act as cannon fodder.

      RBCTF11 is a sprawling techbase, with some interesting jump platforms. Each team gets plenty of room and weapons, and then they meet up to kill each other in a very large, central chamber with a black sky above the barred ceilings. The slanting floors are used in a way that doesn't make you wonder why the author couldn't have just used stairs instead, which is nice. The texture is really varied, and it all combines wonderfully to form an excellent arena.

      RBCTF12 A while ago, I remember seeing pictures somewhere of imps being contained in cryo-stasis cylinders. This map elevates that idea. It seems to be a research base. Frozen archviles "guard" each flag, while Barons and other nasties line a visible outdoor area. Cyberdemons are in the central room. The games themselves flow nicely on this map. If you host this WAD, be sure to include this one if you have limited slots.

      RBCTF13: "Pit of Rage". It's a wonderfully accurate title. It's in a base, and each side has a small flag area with tunnels leading to it. The flag overlooks a vast lava sea. The center area has a deep pit with four "launch pads"; each one has a Rage Rune. As players jump in and out of the pit, there can be some pretty interesting deaths that feel like falling damage.

      RBCTF14: Phobia. Not a phobia of anything specific; it's just the general principle of the thing. This would be a standard CTF map, but with one crucial twist: the bases. The only way to get into the enemy base is through a teleport in the central chamber. To get to the warp pads, you have to lower a wall surrounding them. But it's incredibly difficult to mount an attack, simply because you'll probably end up telefragging your own teammates. To get to the flag, you have to cross a linedef that lowers some pillars slowly. Guarding your flag is actually a bad idea here, as you'll just make it easier for the enemy. Definitely worth a try.

      RBCTF15 is okay. It's a rather disappointing finale, compared with MAP11 and MAP06. It's another techbase, with dark team sides and a brighter central area. It's got... interesting background music, and basic weapons. Frankly, I would have preferred MAPs 15 and 14 to have switched places. Don't get me wrong! This is a good map, but it's nothing new in terms of play.

      Flow: All of these maps play quite well. It's quite easy to spawn, pick up your gear, rush out to the central area, and start killing. If you need a quick escape, you can probably do it if you're not too deep in enemy territory. There's nothing cramped, except maybe a few side halls. ZDoom features are used to good effect. Nothing is superfluous.

      Balance: It's balanced. Everyone has equally easy/hard access to weapons and powerups.

      Detail: Even for a fast-paced, player-killing map, the detail is impressive. In some cases, it's just enough to keep the map from getting bland, but it doesn't matter. You're too busy pumping buckshot into enemies, or giggling as you make an awesome capture and no one sees you. Some maps (such as RBCTF11) have an extremely good detail level. Others (such as RBCTF06) don't take any awards for tons of linedefs, but you know exactly where you are and it looks pretty anyways.

      All in all, this is a well-designed and enjoyable CTF map pack. If you enjoy CTF, don't miss out on this one. Even if you're a ZDaemon jingoist, you should consider sneaking over to the Skulltag servers and browsing for Relentless Beating Capture the Flag.

    • Doomworld Speedmapping Compilation #19 - Various
      Boom Compatible - Solo Play - 81728 bytes
      Reviewed by: magicsofa
      This installment of the speedmapping compilation includes only three maps:

      Map01 - by SgtCrispy

      Detail in speedmaps is hard to come by, but this map does a good job of setting up a bit of atmosphere rather than a completely bland level. That said, it is still limited to mostly metal textures. Despite a very small number of monsters, ammo and health are rather tight, and I found myself chainsawing the last bit of hell knights just to save bullets for the hitscanners. The map has a simple but interesting layout, such that a little tactics might go into your playing. Overall, a good map.

      Map02 - by Fishsticks

      This level makes it obvious that only 100 minutes went into it. It features doors rising into the sky, missing textures, a couple of inescapable pits, and a really huge bridge. Also, the exit has a walk activation when it's actually a wall. Skip it.

      Map03 - by JonR

      JonR's map improves over Fishsticks' with relatively decent visuals and a neat layout. However, the battles were atrocious. You begin in a totally cramped area complete with imps, a shotgunner, chaingunners, and demons. The best I could do was 60% health in the first five seconds, only because of the lucky infighting. Otherwise I was prancing happily at less-than-25 with blood pouring out my ears. Unfortunately, after passing the start and having a fun little fight around the corner, the battles started getting worse: notably, hell knights cramped in hallways. And the end features the tiniest room where you teleport in, surrounded by more hell knights! And you can run around them but the exit is TWO switches, a lift and then the exit - so you can't hit the exit unless you step forward onto the damn thing! You got some architecture, but be more careful with monsters!

      I would recommend SgtCrispy's map for when you just want to play Doom for a hot minute. The other two, however, were not very enjoyable.

    • SargeBaldy Speedmapping Compilation #21 - Various
      Boom Compatible - Solo Play - 248885 bytes
      Reviewed by: Abyssalstudios1
      "This is a compilation of the WADs entered in SargeBaldy's twenty-first speedmapping exercise. Participants were given 100 minutes to construct a map based around a texture they selected, inhabited only by one type of monster, and allowing the player only one type of weapon."

      So those were the rules. I'm going to review each of these seven maps in a mini, complete review all of their own.

      MAP01 was created by EarthQuake. It's a brown map, with some bookcases, plasma, and a plasma rifle. The monster he chose is the Archvile. Fortunately, there is sufficient cover to dodge their attacks, and the health is reasonably doled out. The last room makes for a nice panic attack.

      Next up was MAP02 by Erik "TGH" Baker. All I can say is, it shows. The music is cheerful and probably made by him, there's the usual switch-lift fetish, and the detail is very good by speedmapping standards. The weapon is the SSG, the theme is fiery red, and the monsters are Revenants. They come in manageable groups, but there are sixty of them. This isn't so much, but the slightly excessive amount of health makes the latter half of the map pretty redundant. I mean, you just can't do much with the same thing over and over again.

      MAP03 featured more brown, the Rocket Launcher, and... more Archviles. This is clearly a novice attempt. The door tracks aren't unpegged. Stucco really shouldn't drift up and down. It just shouldn't happen! Make it stop!

      Once my OCD was out of the way, I proceeded. The buildings you can see are pretty lame. There's no wall to them, when viewed from the outside. It's just the front of a building and then some sky. But the actual gameplay is what bugs me. See, when fighting monsters that are as bloody irritating as the Archvile, one typically does not blow up rockets in enclosed areas. I was forced to use my SSG from the previous map to avoid destroying myself by way of a rocket hitting a bookshelf. And DMPhobos can't wait to throw more archies at you. It's almost insulting how I have to get through all of that. I can't even see anything other than yellow; how am I supposed to fight?!

      MAP04 was a relief after that. I realized by now that I probably shouldn't be keeping my weapons from previous levels, but that was moot because it was another rocket launcher. The theme was quite interesting: a huge lake area, with little techbase pillars on islands (sometimes with roofs). It was really quite fun: I would circle-strafe the designated monster (arachnotrons), firing rockets at larger groups of them. Then I would hide behind a wall or something while the plasma streams would cool down. The red key fight is in a symmetrically neat area, but I'll leave that for you to discover. There were loads of Arachnotrons guarding the exit, but also a cyberdemon! But don't worry, that cheating tower of death didn't get me =).

      MAP05 was actually more of the same. I didn't see the forum thread for this event, but I'm pretty sure that there wasn't much communication between the participants. It was another hot red map with more revenants. I got a plasma gun this time, though. It was more extensive than TGH's, at 161 Revenants that I had to destroy. It had the "YOUSUCK" theme, which I absolutely love, but it didn't quite fit on a speedmap. It's an interesting, slightly puzzly type of map. It gets old fast, though.

      MAP06 involved even more Archviles. And more red. Doomers, man... you know one brain pressed for ideas in a limited amount of time, you know them all. The weapon was the BFG, and there were 25 archviles to content with. Unfortunately, you're gonna get burnt up as you rush for it. The megasphere helps. There's really not much to say here. There's a tower that uses... the BFD's left horn as its texture. Inside of it, there is a neat alignment trick and more Archviles than I would like to see unless I had a few Cyberdemon buddies.

      MAP07: More fucking Archviles. Oh yes, and more fiery rocks. I get the SSG and a megasphere, run down a progressively deeper canyon, flick a switch, run away from a very nasty trap, and run back up to the start point and exit.

      I honestly can't say I recommend this to anyone. I don't have much experience with playing/participating in speedmapping runs, but to me, the goal seems to be more of the pleasure of mapping, rather than the final result. Because, while the rush might be worth it, playing it... isn't.

    • Insanity's Edge - Starscream
      GZDoom - Solo Play - 19939531 bytes -
      Reviewed by: Kirby
      It's quite refreshing when you happen across a wad that not only has great structure but also makes great use of port features to accentuate the map even further. Insanity's Edge does all of the above while both keeping a steady difficulty and narrating an in-line story to boot.

      Insanity's Edge runs you through a ruined military base that eventually leads out into a complete hellish setting. The story goes along the lines of "UAC have big machine, big machine then disappear and monsters kill", which doesn't initially seem interesting, but develops into something more interesting while you progress.

      As you move through the map, you will receive messages telling you how close you have gotten to insanity up through the point where you reach (you guessed it!) insanity's edge. The wad itself is a great play through. Most all of the areas have a good level of detail while making a nice use of fading and light strobes. You'll find demons around every corner and every so often the map throws you into a small arena where they will teleport in before you can go further. The finale is also a nice treat with a boss fight thrown in and another bit to the storyline which leaves me thinking that there might be a sequel to this at some point.

      There were only two gripes I had with this one. One was a particularly annoying jumping area where you go from pillar to pillar and so on. It might just be a general dislike of jumping areas, but I found it annoying to miss a jump by a few inches and land at the bottom, being forced to do it again. The other gripe was the spelling in some of the hud messages. A lot of words were misspelled and several others were homonyms being used in the wrong place.

      Besides that, I recommend this wad highly. It looks great and has lots of visuals/gameplay to keep you playing.

    • Tunnel Corporation - JS
      Limit Removing - Deathmatch - 49805 bytes
      Reviewed by: magicsofa
      Tunnel Corporation has a really creepy logo, however this singular deathmatch map is mediocre at best. It's a big marble room - which, by the way, wouldn't look so ugly if not for the marble texturing - with a small amount of cover and some 64x64 hallways running around its circumference. I suppose the item placement is reasonable...overall, this map is functional but not outstanding.

    • Last Man on Earth Textures - Eric "Sigvatr" Vaughn, Patrick "Janitor" Pineda
      n/a - n/a - 2783687 bytes
      Reviewed by: Abyssalstudios1
      The "Last Man on Earth" texture pack is very well-done. Included are 170 textures that would seem quite appropriate in a sort of zombie outbreak wad. There's aged bricks covered in mold and decay, sheet metal that's pretty banged up, and a few textures that could even be mistaken for individual stoplight colors.

      There's also a few pseudo-Hellish textures thrown into the mix. Burning caverns and supernatural colors lie amongst the rails and crates. Particularly impressive are the five NLAVA textures, whose animation resembles ZDoom's (or Skulltag's) floor waggle.

      I honestly don't have much else to say. If you're looking for a good texture pack that can help you with your abandoned base map, pick this one up.

    • Citadel Station - Super Jamie
      Boom Compatible - Solo Play - 39193 bytes -
      Reviewed by: Vermil
      A small predominantly TEKGREN2 and STARG1 tech base requiring a Boom compatible port.

      Apparently the layout is a replica of the first level of System Shock 2. I'm not familiar with the original level, so I can't vouch for its authenticity.

      But as a Doom map, the architecture is very green, square and bright.

      Even so, the author could have livened up the looks if they had used more than one main wall texture in each room. It's a similar case with the flats where 99% of the floors and ceilings are CEIL5_1 and FLOOR4_8/FLOOR5_1.

      The difficulty is very low, except for the red key trap, which is completely the opposite; it's something I think the some players may not be able to survive without prior knowledge.

      Ammunition is extremely plentiful and the DB shotgun you find is overkill.

      The maps Boom features consist of a pointlessly slowly opening door (it's not used for a trap or anything), a small lowering floor trap and a light level raising switch, all of which could have been done without (the door) or done with Vanilla compatible editing features (the other two).

      Note that ZDoom and its derivatives won't play the new music for the map (the music from Map10 of Doom 2) because of the incomplete MAPINFO lump in the wad, which also disables jumping and crouching in ports that can understand those lines.

    • Lost - Zom-B
      doom2.exe (nonfunctional) - Solo Play - 20857 bytes
      Reviewed by: Bank
      It's very seldom that you find a puzzle map that's any more than crushers, lifts, and switch hunts. Perhaps it's because the Doom community is made up of unprincipled charlatans, or it may be because puzzle maps don't really work 90% of the time.

      I'm one to speak, because, like the author, many of my (attempts at) mapping have been not only puzzle maps but visually simplistic maps. I think that creative use of the engine's lighting and texturing is a good thing and should be encouraged, but there is a limit. This map, as described, has a "Lack of texture detail almost completely loses your depth perception and you have to rely on seeing items, monsters, colors and your memory to navigate successfully." It has a very SKY MAY BE atmosphere about it, which can be a good thing or a bad thing depending on who you ask. While an interesting concept, the execution is more than a bit to be desired. I learned this during my own mapping endeavors, because no matter how good a concept, execution is key, and while a good puzzle can be rewarding, a bad one can be head-smashingly agitating.

      Which is precisely what this map is. From the get-go after I had wiped the bloody tears out of my eyes, my brain started to pulsate out of my bloody eyeholes as I continued down nondescript hallway after hallway. I eventually ended up in a long corridor where alternating colored doors would open up single item hallways and walking into each hallway would open up another one. It continued like this, and just as I thought I was finished, 8 more of the damn things opened up. This map is damn ugly, but I'm certain that's intentional. You may want to run it in ZDoom if just for the decal effects.

      Zom-B, while I commend you on your willingness to try something different, I can't help but wonder what you were trying to accomplish with this map. These are less "puzzles" as they are "torture", and at no point did I feel that I was accomplishing anything more than adding to my own confusion.

    • Serious Sam First Encounter textures - Captain Toenail
      n/a - n/a - 3984038 bytes
      Reviewed by: WildWeasel
      Taradino Cassatt, take note: this is the way a new Doom texture pack should be handled. Captain Toenail has extracted all the textures from Serious Sam: The First Encounter and resized them a little more appropriately for Doom. The textures are all in PNG format which means OpenGL-based ports such as ZDoom will be able to display them without any need to convert them to the Doom palette. The textures in this pack all fit into an Egyptian theme, which may also be handy for those making Hexen levels who wish to make things a little more interesting.

    • WATER WORKS - Joe Anderson
      doom2.exe - Solo Play - 2316669 bytes -
      Reviewed by: Kirby
      This is a really dumb 10-level wad for Doom 2. All the levels are retardedly short and give no challenge whatsoever. I passed though all of them in about a minute or less, with MAP09 clocking in at a whopping 12 seconds. The monster count rarely comes above 20 in each map and the levels all look almost the same. Level 10 is simply mind boggling, with two cyberdemons and no exit to be found in the small 4-room midget of a map that it is. The author seemed to feel that this wad was deserving of three crummy sprites drawn in paint which add nothing to the wad whatsoever. The new HUD is even worse, making me feel like I'm playing some sort of Commander Keen knockoff. Don't even get me started on the crowbar replacement for the fist (just look at the screenshot).

      Lack of gameplay, no detail, and did I mention the HOMs in the water found in practically every level? This isn't worth anyone's time, so I'd recommend investing in something other than this.

    • Maledictio - Mr. Chris
      Boom Compatible - Solo Play - 135391 bytes -
      Reviewed by: Do0minat0r
      One map for Doom, replacing E2M5. Like Mr. Chris's other recent maps, this wad aims to deliver a solid map in the theme of the original Episode 2 (The Shores of Hell). This is possibly the biggest and hardest one yet of the series, but it's just as good as the ones before it. The gameplay is quite strong with a good yet certainly fair challenge, and although the level is long, I enjoyed it all the way through, and I never lost interest in it or wished it would end. The fights gradually intensify, with the final one being quite a climax. The architecture is also spot on for what it was designed to be, as it matches the original style very well, and has enough effort put into it such that it looks good, even without that much detail.

      My only complaint is that the secret exit can be reached without finding the yellow and red keys - I think the author should probably have put a locked door in front of the teleporter so that the player can't skip a fair part of the map. That said, finding the exit may take time, though, as the exit itself and the switch that reveals it are pretty far apart. Overall, this is another fine map, and those who have liked the previous four maps in the series won't be disappointed.

    • Tormentum - Mr. Chris
      Boom Compatible - Solo Play - 21986 bytes -
      Reviewed by: Vermil
      Although the maps readme claims a Boom compatible port is required, the map is actually completely vanilla compatible.

      Tormentum by Mr. Chris is the secret map (it's on E2M9) of the episode 2-styled episode he is making and releasing one map at a time. The intent with this map was to stay faithful to the original E2M9, so it features the same two-room setup.

      However, I didn't really get an E2 vibe off this map. While the original E2M9 features a lot of marble, Mr. Chris's take, completely decked out in GSTONE and the top of the red sky prominently visible through windows, felt more E3 to me.

      The trademark fights from the original map also haven't been brought across very well. You spend more time in the corridor between the two rooms shooting at lower level foes behind bars than battling a mere two Cacodemons in the start room, or hitting the switch in the second room and escaping while the Barons are still getting off the platforms they came down on.

      What happens when the player then presses the newly revealed switch back in the start room could have been more entertaining... if some opposition appeared.

      I also found the new music very unfitting.

    • Communications Center - Morpheus
      doom2.exe - Solo Play - 79603 bytes
      Reviewed by: Abyssalstudios1
      Communications Center is a slightly above-average map that shows tremendous promise. It's pretty easy throughout (except where that Revenant popped out and scared the irrational crap out of me), even though I couldn't find the SSG secret. It's a mix of gray stone and brown techbase textures. Outside is a brown, rocky canyon with assorted baddies. The fights are very manageable. The last fight consisted of me, an Archvile, and me running away (I have it on good authority that I'm a wuss when it comes to small weapons and really tough monsters). The map can be a little aggravating when it comes to the yellow key. You find a switch, and then it's back into the stone hallways in an attempt to find another switch that lowers the key.

      It's too easy for my tastes, but it might entertain some people more than others. If you're a hardcore player, don't get this one.

      Gameplay: As I said, it's fairly easy. The toughest monster by a long shot is the Archvile, and I ran away from him with no trouble while he was doing the resurrection thing. The meat of the level comes in the middle, where there's a few Hell Knights and cacos. I did notice a very stubborn demon: I hit him with two shotgun blasts, and then a caco accidentally got him with two more hits. It took me two more shotgun blasts to kill him. It was a very odd feeling, like all the stability in my life had been blown away.

      Balance: It's pretty good. Maybe a little too easy when it comes to health, but completely correct when it comes to ammo. Just when I was getting low, I'd find some shells or a box that I could use to further my violent cause.

      Detail: I found that this map has surprisingly good detail. It's nothing to write home about, but the lighting, nifty bits of architecture, and well-designed ceiling holes with bars stretched in them (I need a better name for those) all coalesced to form a map that felt right. I would have liked to see a few more computer textures, but the pipe walls did the trick nicely.

    • Crab: Thrown Together Weapons That Work - XutaWoo
      ZDoom Compatible - Solo Play - 1173217 bytes -
      Reviewed by: Mr. Freeze
      XutaWoo's "Crab" is a weapons wad that proudly proclaims "a weapon mod that isn't fully serious". After rolling my eyes at the LOL SO RANDOM XD text file, I booted up Doom II (more on SkullTag later) and prepared to play.

      Saying the results were underwhelming would be an understatement. Upon starting MAP01, I was greeted by holding a crowbar. Aside from the stupidity of having a melee weapon in place of the pistol, I turned around and discovered that the Chainsaw had been replaced by a "Hell Sphere". Yep, a weapon had been replaced by an item.

      Playing through Doom II was an absolute chore. The shotgun has been replaced by Duke Nukem 3D's Pipe Bombs, so good luck killing anything at range. Instead, you toss a Pipe Bomb (hoping you don't get hit from any ranged attacks), wait for the enemy to walk over it (this sometimes took AGES), and detonate the bomb (pressing altfire). Oh, and I hope that you placed a few bombs for larger enemies. If you didn't, you have to do that whole process over again.

      The Super Shotgun has been replaced by the Skull Staff, a weapon that fires twirling purple beams. It's not too bad, and it has a rather cool secondary fire (upon hitting the ground, the beam causes 20 or so spikes to rise up and trap enemies).

      The Chaingun is now the Infinity Blade, a sword that shoots white beams. This weapon actually was a bit of fun, but a minor flaw prevents it from being great: the altfire shoots a stream of beams, but their spread is too narrow to use on more than one enemy. However, it is good for when you are facing lone tough enemies.

      The Rocket Launcher is now the Gas Gun, a brightly-colored weapon that shoots a gaseous sphere which separates into poisonous clouds. This weapon is excruciatingly weak against anything that is not standing in the exact center of the cloud. Even Sergeants can avoid death by slightly moving away from it. To top it off, the ammo used is labeled "Fart Cans". Real mature, XutaWoo.

      The Plasma Gun is now the Icer, which considering my username I found to be a blast. Using "shards" as ammo, the Icer freezes any enemy caught in its blast. It also requires some legit strategy, as regular fire is slow but accurate, while altfire is fast but inaccurate. Definitely my favorite weapon in this .wad.

      Finally, the UnMaker. No, not the weapon from Doom 64. Instead, what we get is a gauntlet-type weapon that you wear on your hand rather than a real gun. This is the part where I swear that XutaWoo is trying to troll me, as the weapon dramatically charges up, only to have your fist come out and punch the enemy. But it isn't like Fist of the North Star where the enemy explodes or anything, just a simple punch. For a weapon that replaces the BFG. And no, there is not an altfire.

      XutaWoo claims in the text file that this wad is supposed to run in SkullTag and features new music. The only problem is that this wad refuses to load in SkullTag, leaving me forced to play it in Doom II. Considering that SkullTag is based off ZDoom and I run ZDoom, I'm going to go out on a limb and say that the SkullTag version - if it even wants to run for anyone - is the exact same thing. Feel free to correct me if I am wrong, however.

      Theres also a inventory system that I had to discover on my own (the textfile makes no mention of it). One item will give you various Stimpacks/Medikits/Potions and another will give you ammo. That's it. Basic as can be.

      This wad is the very definition of "needs more work". Some good ideas are floating around, but the execution is too half-assed in order for me to recommend it.

    • Umaga Beast - HairyJerry
      ZDoom - Solo Play - 180932 bytes
      Reviewed by: WildWeasel
      This lovely Decorate monster is the handiwork of one HairyJerry, aka Marcus Koller, who was recently banned from the ZDoom forums for some of the most blatant trolling I've seen in a long while. It's a Baron of Hell recolor (including new sprites - he could just as easily have used a palette translation), with a couple of new projectiles and some fart and belch noises to go with it. The obituary messages are loaded with awful words, and I honestly can't see why anybody would use this in their project.

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    Insanity's Edge (great work!) is definitely the week's highlight IMO, followed by Maledictio. Control Center and Citadel Station were also fun, but Doom gods probably want to stay away from these.

    Lost wad an OK idea; poorly executed though. Water Works was pretty poor, though not quite as poor as the Time Warp wads. His next release, Castle, actually looks a bit better designed, but short on ammo and still very simple. Who knows, this guy really might produce good levels someday.

    I hate to say this after giving Maledictio a good review, but I can only agree that Tormentum doesn't really keep the feel of the original level. Oh well, it's just a secret level anyway. Let's hope E2M6 doesn't dissapoint. :)

    The speedmapping wads were very hit and miss. Doomworld #21 is better than the ones in this edition IMO. Also Siggi's wad (which I reviewed in an earlier edition) is worth a go especially for skilled players, although this one doesn't follow strict rules of speedmapping.

    I generally don't have interest in non-single player wads or wads without levels, so I can't really comment on the rest. Umaga Beast does sound pretty pointless to me though.

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    Do0minat0r said:

    Insanity's Edge (great work!) is definitely the week's highlight IMO

    I certainly agree. The platform jumping area was my only gripe, it consumed quite a large amount of time trying to find where to jump to and all that fidgeting around but fortunately the upsides of the wad compelled me to push on.

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    Insanity's Edge didn't interest me at all. I found it cramped and boring, but perhaps I just like classic maps alot better than eye candy ones.

    I love everything Mr Chris does :) though I don't think his intention was to recreate the original E2M9, but just make a short secret to accompany his Episode 2 so far.

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    w00t, my texture pack got reviewed! I think im going to have to make some maps to encourage the use of this.

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    Wildweasel wrote:
    The textures are all in PNG format which means OpenGL-based ports such as ZDoom will be able to display them without any need to convert them to the Doom palette.

    Looks like your G key is a little hard to push there. I don't remember Zdoom itself ever having a OpenGL renderer :P

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    InsanityBringer said:

    Looks like your G key is a little hard to push there. I don't remember Zdoom itself ever having a OpenGL renderer :P

    Yes, that's a complete typo and I apologize. I'm pretty sure I typed that G, though...

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    Adding to previous post where I suggested better speedmapping wads:

    Also go here (new wad) if you like short action-packed levels:


    32 small maps with plenty of monsters. I've played up to 20 and it's been pretty fun thus far. Give it a try if you're into this type of thing. :)

    Also, I actually found both Map01 and Map03 of dwspd019 to be pretty good (Map02 is TERRIBLE, though - looks like complete '94 era garbage, inexcusable even for speedmapping). But I couldn't get into sbspd; I thought the 1-Monster megawad was OK, but on speedmaps the concept makes an otherwise OK level rather repetitious - at times even boring.

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    Lost was an awful eyesore. Bank, I commend you for suffering through that.

    I guess I can give the author credit for trying something different but.. man.

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    Is it me, or does Umag mod try to resemble UAC Military Nightmare with its Obituary messages?

    And from what I remember, the Decarabia monster from Zdoom forums is almost the same, just not the farting noises and no mini version.

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    After checking, the Umaga Beast is basically Decarabia (by Marcus), but with the stupid noises and rape messages. It even features the small-scale variant.

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    Well, in the new megawad I mentioned in my previous post, I'm now up to Map27. Many of the later levels are really f*****g hard (Map25 and 26 took me numerous tries to figure out/finish), so I'd advise not-so-good players to turn down the skill or quit playing one you get to about Map20 or so. If you can handle it, it's pretty fun, nonetheless, though be willing to have to try many, many times before succeeding.

    Also switched my link to that wad to the /idgames database page on DW, for rating convenience(s). And I added a few more details regarding the speedmapping wads in this issue.

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    I thought that the first map in the Doomworld speedmapping exercise was exemplary. :-] It could have used a few more monsters in the outdoors area or a couple of traps though. The second had too many random shaped rooms and the third looked nice but was rather unforgiving on HMP.

    As always, thanks goes out to the reviewers.

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    Goddamn, this post hell skin is annoying. What's with the lack of ability to change the skin back to the proper one?

    Anyway, nice reviews, etc. etc.

    I will have to say, though, that I knew that I should've added a strategdy guide for Crab; it'd note that the gas gun should be used in really small rooms (as in, the baron room in MAP08) and the fact that there are two unmakers; in the first version of the tweaking stage there was only Mr. Fisty but I decided that just having that would annoy many people (as it turns out, I was right, looking at the review :P) so I plopped in a true ultimate weapon.

    Also, I thought I mentioned that crabst.wad needs 97e, beta or stable, and has to be run with crab.wad, second in line. Sorry about that.

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    Holy crap I was wondering where that map came from. I was going through some old backups and found that wad in my WADED dir. A earlier version of it however. Kick ass.

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    Vermil, citadel station is a remake of the first "level" from the original system shock (not 2). ("the game uses hubs").
    image from system shock
    In that level the dominating color was the one you see on the walls. More blue than green.
    There's also a thread about this on the looking glass forums.

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    @Abyssalstudios1: I see you gave RBCTF a good review, however a quick look shows me that this wad is rated almost uniformly terribly on /idgames. What did you like about it, or is the review a joke?

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    I just now played Insanity's Edge. Eye candy won't nearly always win me over, but I really liked the snazzy decor and lighting in this one. Gameplay was great, though the jumping section could easily be cut in half. The grammar errors make the story a bit vague, but, pfft story, right? Right guys? Actually I like Doom with a story, but the specifics aren't important. The story always boils down to "man versus fate" and that's good enough for me. That's already epic. The boss fight! That was epic. It's perfect. It's hard but not at all cheap. It's not like Doom 3's bosses where you can drop your BFG, drop your pants, waddle around with your pants around your ankles and then trip over your BFG and yet still be awarded a stunningly unsatisfying victory. Killing this boss is satisfying. It took me some tries before I managed to not get killed (I was playing on killer) but I never resented having to try again - it's just a fun fight to fight. Good work, Starscream, wherever you are.

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    Thanks for all the comments on Insanity's Edge. I may in the future make an updated version with some revamped areas, less cramped rooms, better balancing, and tearing down that horrific jumping part. When I think back on making that jumping part, I still wonder what the hell was going through my head :P But anyway, I hope everyone who played it had fun.

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