Needs more Lupara - Zalewa
ZDoom Compatible - Solo Play - 430227 bytes
Reviewed by: Mr. Freeze
Lupara is a joke wad revolving around the mysterious "Lupara" weapon, supposedly the most powerful weapon in ZDoom. As with all joke wads made after Mockery, this wad falls flat on its face during the "funny" parts (because 10 Megaspheres in one room is goddamn hilarious). It is only one level (a short and ugly techbase), complete with amateurish scripting and a lousy end boss. And no, you don't get the supposedly powerful Lupara weapon.
I wish this wad never existed. I also want my memory erased.
CASTLE - Joe Anderson
doom2.exe - Solo Play - 181135 bytes
Reviewed by: Eligitine
CASTLE is in short, a very sad wad. When I first started it up, I noticed it had a title screen. Not a good title screen, just a title screen. However, as soon as I pressed escape, the terribleness began. The selection marker is replaced with a rook with eyes that was clearly done in MSPAINT. Not even beginning to play, I had already begun to despise the creator. As soon as I pressed "Ultra Violence" my eyes were assaulted with another abomination, the status bar. Instead of being that rock solid grey color, it is now wonderfully rendered in beautiful shit-brown. After painstakingly forcing myself to look back at the screen, I noticed another wonderful detail, the ammo icons. Not content with letting a perfectly good thing stay, Mr. Anderson replaced the words of the ammunition with little pictures that represent the ammo type. Or they would, if they were not big piles of MSPAINT bullhonkey. I still fail to see how cells should be represented with green boxes with dots inside of them.
The level is one of complete failure. I counted 58 misaligned textures on the first level alone, and you do not, repeat NOT use the same texture for ceiling and floors! To sum this wad up, the level design is unintuitive, there are end of the level unbeatable boss fights, there are crappy graphic replacements, many of the levels have HOM and are broken, and the theme transitions just plain suck!
For your own well being, PLEASE do not play this wad.
Chex Quest Advanced - arch129
Limit Removing - Solo Play - 3435460 bytes
Reviewed by: Eligitine
When I first started up this wad, I noticed nothing different. It was only after careful inspection that I realized the brilliance of the wad. This wad edits the original Chex Quest episode's levels, greatly improving and adding to the Chex feel. There are only subtle differences to the gameplay and levels, but they make the game seem so much more refined and well though out. Just in the first level alone, there were well over 15 differences that made the map seem much prettier, for lack of a better word. The second level had changes much like the third, with the boxes moved around and other small things. There was really no appreciable difference in level 3. In level four the garden has been vastly expanded upon and you see a variety of new sprites.
Level five, however, is the biggest improvement in the whole game. About half of the level has been redone from scratch, including an interesting secret where you go into the mine's water tunnels. You really have to be a hardcore Chex Quest fan like myself to really appreciate the genius that is behind this wad. The wad includes a number of custom textures and flats and only one new monster. If you love Chex Quest, or even if you don't, download this wad.
As a side note, you don't need chex.wad to play this. The experience is totally different and about 140% harder if you use doom.wad as the IWAD.
Jizzin' Cocks 1.1 - Theta
ZDoom Compatible - n/a - 1444468 bytes
Reviewed by: Mr. Freeze
This wad is a weapons mod that replaces the weapons with fists. And then the fists move and white blobs move out and hit enemies, complete with moaning sound clips. I'd recommend it as a goofy 18+ WAD if the author wasn't so preoccupied with penis jokes (check the readme file for more info). If Theta isn't physically 12 years old, he is mentally.
I have nothing to say about this wad. It does not deserve a second playthrough or even a first. This is so pointless, I'd have more fun watching paint dry while eating lukewarm oatmeal.
cato_01 - Catoptromancy
doom2.exe - Solo Play - 33102 bytes
Reviewed by: Phil1984
A very basic, and indeed bland looking level full of large marble rooms packed to the rafters with monsters. I'm no slouch, but I found myself dying horribly every time on UV, although I was able to survive on lower difficulty settings. It really was quite fun in a way, working out how best to survive that that can't be survived. Ultimately though, I couldn't possibly recommend this to anyone who does not fancy themselves a "Doom God".
Blood Pools - HarroSIN
doom2.exe - Deathmatch - 24989 bytes
Reviewed by: Captain Toenail
"Blood Pools" is a deathmatch map with a Hellish marble theme flooded with blood.
The map consists of a series of completely flat cramped rooms strung together more or less in a linear way, which is quite a poor layout for deathmatching in, as there is only one way in/out of each area. Powerful weapons such as the rocket launcher are actually hidden behind concealed doors in awkward secret rooms, just asking for you to be trapped and raped, and the plasma rifle is located at one end of the level in plain sight, which inevitably leads to plasma spam-fests.
If you're looking for visuals in your deathmatch experience too, you will be disappointed. The map overall resembles something from '95 - only one texture theme, green marble and blood, poorly aligned textures, unpegged door-tracks, low sky ceilings, impossible door frames, etc. The default sky and music remain too, so be ready to listen to some D_RUNNIN.
Overall the map is disappointing by today's standards, both in the gameplay and visuals departments, due mainly to a poor, cramped layout.
Escape to Corvus - Brad O'Dell
Limit Removing - Solo Play - 1694061 bytes -
Reviewed by: Snakes
Reading the text alone made me want to review this. It required a double take, as Brad started working on this in 1997. No, that's not a typo. 1997. Twelve years ago. The explanation is really thorough, too. Three operating systems and editors. Sheesh. Way to persevere, guy.
In a nutshell, these levels aren't very good. They aren't broken, but they're overlong, have terrible flow issues, and the health balance is downright awful. Plus, you'll always have a surplus of ammo. This wad features many of the faults the community has come to hate over the years:
- Large open areas with about 10 revenants on one map.
- Four Cyberdemons RIGHT NEXT to 2 invulnerability spheres, a boatload of cells and a BFG.
- The very same map has an outdoor area with 4 spiderdemons with very little cover.
- Areas of prolonged darkness that are next-to-impossible to navigate on anything lower than gamma 2.
- Consoles that routinely sub for actual switches. Good luck trying to find those.
- Most maps look just like each other, and every area within those maps looks the same. Automap is a must. (Look at the images to see Map15 as an example).
- Keys in very obscure locations that are only accessible through a hard-to-find switch on the opposite end of the level.
There is some good, though. Gameplay is occasionally solid. This normally happens on the most self-contained maps. Map07 is a reasonable Dead Simple-style map, though nothing new. Map09 is a single arena with a castle-like building in the middle that will keep you on your toes. Map12 is a crate-stuffed warehouse with some interesting moments. And kudos to the author for making the levels non-linear, even if the execution was really weak. Oh, and really really confusing at times.
All in all, I'd say these aren't worth playing unless you are REALLY bored or have drained those archives for all they're worth. You may or may not have a good time on about 1/3 of these maps. Download at your own risk.
The Mouth of Death - James and Paul Cresswell
ZDoom Compatible - Solo Play - 77950 bytes -
Reviewed by: PhilibusMo
It took me a good few weeks to review this wad. Not because it was long or because I wanted to give a really well formed opinion on it, but because every time I played it, within ten minutes I had completely forgotten every last thing about it, and had to play it again.
That's the big problem with this set of 3 levels: they are boring, forgettable and bland.
Can you remember the first level that you made which wasn't a horrible cyber demon arena or an illusio-pit? Remember thinking it had really unbeatable detailing and that the monster placement couldn't be better? Remember thinking that it was a really good idea to put at least one health pack in every room along with a box of ammo? Now look back on it and you will see just how wrong you were and that your level was just an insipid pile of seemingly random textures and monsters that get stumped by stairs. That is what the authors of this level will be doing in a couple of years time, wondering how they could possibly have made such shonky levels which, despite having a couple of nice ideas and the occasional bit of detail, are as horrible to look at as they are to play.
Having said this, it did have a nice archvile battle towards the end which I quite enjoyed, but not enough to recommend playing through this turgid level set.
Female Marine Skin - Captain Toenail
Skulltag - n/a - 467424 bytes
Reviewed by: Vermil
What we have here is one of the bad guys from "In Pursuit of Greed" and "Assassinators" downsized by about half, colored green instead of white, and given some sounds from Quake 3.
Happy Time Circus ][ - Shitbag, aka Ray
ZDoom Compatible - Solo Play - 25538028 bytes -
Reviewed by: Craigs
As its name suggests, this wad is a sequel to Happy Time Circus, and I've got to say, it's a huge improvement over the original. The first thing I noticed was the level. To put it simply, it's massive. The map is literally an entire town, and as if that wasn't enough, you can enter just about every building on the map. In addition to the town, there are certain times when you'll be teleported to the "clown dimension", which is like the final section of the first wad, only this time it's a bit more interesting, although it's still got that Sky May Be style. There are also sections in the regular dimension where the lines between the two are blurred. There are many buildings that are crumbling or transforming, as if to make room for the clown structures.
The story line in the readme is obviously a joke, but the map itself paints a much more interesting one. There isn't much music. The map relies heavily on ambient sounds, which makes the map even more eerie. While the map is impressive, it's still lacking a bit as far as gameplay goes. Due to the size of the map, it's often hard to find out where you need to go. A lot of times there's a switch you need to flip, a pennywise figurine you need to shoot, or something else in a particular building that you need in order to continue. The problem is, it's not always clear as to which buildings are important and which ones aren't. Sometimes you'll cross a building that looks pretty important, such as the S-mart, only to find there's nothing really important inside aside from some supplies. Other times you might stumble across what you need while exploring some random house that doesn't even look too important.
Most of the original happy time circus monsters have returned, and there are several new ones. With the exception of the possessed balloon, they've all gotten a face lift as well. The new monsters are much creepier than the original ones. Like the 2 main monsters from Circus666, several of these monsters take on the appearance of (mostly) ordinary objects. There are light bulbs that drop from their sockets and turn into projectile-spewing monsters, clown ghosts that either disguise themselves as black balloons or simply come out of the walls, and even the bouncing skulls and possessed balloons from the first Happy Time Circus. I found the clown ghosts particularly creepy, mainly because of how quiet they were. They have this nasty habit of sneaking up on you when you least expect them. I remember one moment when I was heading back to town from the cabin in a nearby forest when a shit load of clown ghosts started pouring out of the trees. I was running low on health so I ran through as quickly as I could and then stood there waiting for them at the entrance to the woods. I turned around for a second to make sure nothing was behind me, and sure enough it was clear. I turned back to the forest and a couple of seconds later, I was ripped to shreds by a clown ghost from behind.
There are several new weapons as well, all of which are extremely bizarre. The first is a clown grenade. When you throw it, it sits on the ground for a second before exploding into multi colored particles that do a ton of damage. The weapon itself is fine, but since it uses the same slot as the fist, I've had a few issues with blowing myself up. I'm used to slot 1 being melee weapons, so I'd hit 1 to bring up my fists so I could hit one of the pennywise statues and save some ammo. Instead, I'd end up whipping out the clown grenades and throwing them. Something like slot 5, or some other slot you'd expect explosives to be under, might be a bit more appropriate. The second new weapon is a "gut flinger", though the thing it's flinging doesn't quite look like guts. The projectiles do splash damage and fly in an arc, making them fairly suitable for shooting over walls and through windows. The third weapon is gore balloons. They work kind of like the clown grenades. You throw one, and when it hits something, it sends bits of gore flying everywhere that damage everything they touch. The only real complaint I had about this weapon was that the raise state seemed a bit choppy. The 4th new weapon is a gas rocket launcher. It fires a rocket that homes in on targets and then explodes, sending clouds of rainbow colored poison gas flying everywhere. The weapon is cool, but it feels a bit underpowered. There were times when I'd fire it into a mob of rather weak monsters such as bouncing skulls, only to find that it had only killed or seriously injured one while the others were virtually unscathed.
The 5th weapon is by far my favorite. To put it simply, it's a popcorn gun. The ammo consists of bits of floating popcorn found lying around the level. You can also break open bags of popcorn to find more. It fires a stream of popcorn which does a lot of damage, enough to kill a mob of clown ghosts and other mid sized monsters in just a few streams, and considering how popular this particular brand of popcorn seems to be around town, ammo is rarely a problem. The final weapon is the crazy ball, which is pretty interesting, but can really hamper the flow of gameplay. It's kind of like the clown grenade, except for when it goes off, it basically goes off for 3 minutes straight. The main problem with this weapon is how long the effect lasts. If you throw it in front of a place you need to go, you're basically not going anywhere for awhile unless you're willing to cheat. It fires off the clown grenade projectiles for several minutes, and going anywhere near it when it's doing so will kill you in the blink of an eye. So if you threw this weapon and ducked behind cover to avoid the explosion, you might as well go grab yourself a drink because you're not going anywhere for awhile.
Overall, this is a pretty fun wad, and it's definitely worth playing. It can get a bit frustrating at times when you're unsure of where to go, but there's still plenty of action to go around while you try to get on track.
Mercenary Skin - Captain Toenail
Skulltag - n/a - 461405 bytes
Reviewed by: Patrick
This is a simple model rip that is a player skin/class for Skulltag. The rip is well done and definitely looks like a mercenary. That's really all anyone needs to know. With a little scripting, this could be a bad-ass bad guy to fight in single player. Definitely worth a look.
Plane of Infernus - Stormwalker
ZDoom Compatible - Solo Play - 86743 bytes -
Reviewed by: hardcore_gamer
This appears to be the first map made by this author, as I could not find anything else from him at /idgames.
Just like most people's first maps, this map is not very good (though still better then most first maps I have seen and played).
The player begins in a small circular room with 4 doors in it with each door leading to a new area of the map, and out of those 4 doors only one does not require a key to open. The player must explore each area to find the key needed to get to the next one until he has beaten the map.
The first area is some sort of a library in a large room that for some reason has flesh wall textures all over it. It's also swarming with monsters.
The second area has a large castle (well it's not really a castle but that is what comes closest to being what I saw, just look at the screenshots to see what I mean) that is located above large amounts of slime/lava, and you must traverse very narrow paths to reach it or else fall to your doom, while also dealing with the monsters that attack you.
The third area is church/chapel filled with monsters. And finally the fourth and the last area is a giant outdoor area where you must fight 5 cyberdemons in order to lower a teleporter that ends the level.
Gameplay wise, the map is solid but bland. Most of the time the author just throws legions of monsters at the player without any real creativity, so the fights get rather dull after a short while; there are a few fights where this is not the case, though, but they are not very memorable. I could be wrong, but I think I encountered every Doom 2 monster there is besides the SS Nazi and the spider mastermind. I also don't think there are enough ammo and health items in the level; the author should have added a couple of more shotgun shell and medkit boxes into the map, but it's nothing game breaking. I also have a issue with the final area of the map where the player fights the 5 cyberdemons. It's large, empty and boring; I would have liked it much more if the author had instead made a small but a well designed area with only 1 or perhaps 2 cyberdemons instead of simply drawing a giant circle in the editor and then throwing a handful of cyberdemons in it.
And visually, there is nothing impressive about how the map looks besides the large castle/whatever that thing is that is located in the second area. As you would expect from somebody's first map, there is next to no detail in the map and everything looks very bland, though I will admit that the library area looked sort of good, but nothing to WOW over.
In the end, I can't really recommend this WAD. If you like seeing people's first attempts at mapping (like I do) then this WAD can be prove to be interesting, but if you are simply looking for something fun to play then skip this one and look for something else.
The Ten Thousand Ton Army - GreyMatter
ZDoom Compatible - Solo Play - 6023024 bytes -
Reviewed by: Vermil
You are the last survivor at a small underground/cave-based tech base being invaded by Hell and your objective is to get out.
This is a highly detailed map, with ripped up floor tiles, light gradients as smooth as can be done with sector lighting and such. But at the same time, it's not details we haven't seen before.
However, it is a tiny tiny map. It consists of 9 small rooms the player moves through linearly, several of them linked by one way teleports. One can beat the map in about half a minute (probably less quite easily) if you just run, and that seems to be what the author intends given the fast paced mp3 music and the "hurry" message given at the start of the map. There is plenty of ammo and health around if you want to go slowly and eliminate the Hell spawn. Despite the reasonably high number of bad guys, it's an easy map either way.
The low difficulty and small size is perhaps explained by an in game message stating that this is "part1", so at some point in the future we may see more from this fairly new map maker.
There are a couple of bugs in this map that one can accidentally trigger: in the second room, the edges of the removed floor tiles all have door line types on them for some reason, so be wary about pressing the use key while walking around this room or you may bring the ceiling down. There is also a teleporter with its sides only set to single use. So try to keep the Demons away from it or you could get stuck.
The physical map in this wad takes up about 1/16 of the file size. The rest of the file size is taken up by a skybox (most of which is never seen because of incorrect offsets), the aforementioned mp3, and a bunch of unused decorate monsters (only a single one of them is actually used). Given that the map is so tiny, despite that it is well made, they all seem like unnecessary file bloat.
Whispers of Satan - Paul Corfiatis and Kristian Aro
Boom Compatible - Solo Play - 11396374 bytes -
Reviewed by: Mr. Freeze
Over two years in the making, Whispers of Satan is finally upon the Doom community. A full megawad with 30 regular levels and 5 secret levels (3 only accessible with ZDoom), this WAD is the full experience. If you gave it a face, this WAD would be a hellspawn unto itself.
Upon starting WoS, I was greeted with a piano theme and a cool custom TITLEPIC, depicting a stained-glass window from Hexen. Immediately imagining massive church/hellish levels in my mind, I started a new game and braced myself.
From the start, WoS oozes with creativity. Eschewing HR-style slaughter maps for old-school Doom II-styled action, WoS is a radical departure from the current trend in wad making. Although most levels are nothing you haven't seen before, they are immaculately detailed down to the smallest cranny. No level feels boring or tedious, although some controversy was raised over MAP06. I felt that the map didn't repeat itself too often, but when it did, the section repeated was generally good anyway, so I didn't mind. Anyone saying otherwise needs to chill out.
Some levels also use custom textures to create all-new environments. Levels 16-19 in particular use textures from Hexen to create a snowy/rocky theme. These were among my favorite levels to play, not only because of the use of custom textures, but the fights are particularly well-choreographed and genuinely threatening: in my time playing this WAD, I didn't see many avalanches of powerups, so treading carefully is often the best option.
The music is also very well-done, with all of it being composed by the two authors (although Paul did most of the work). At times creepy, atmospheric, or just plain driving, the music serves the levels well and never feels out of place.
I do have one complaint: MAP30 can easily be beaten due to a lack of attention paid to the final arena's design. I won't spoil how to do it here, but anyone playing the final level who takes advantage of the exploit will be somewhat disappointed. After slaughtering your way through six-to-eight-hours worth of hellspawn, killing the final boss in two minutes is very disappointing.
Nevertheless, that one complaint is minor compared to the breath of fresh air this wad is. In an era of copy+paste HR-ripoffs, WoS stands above the crowd by offering Doomers old-school gameplay, brilliant level design, and legitimately hard-to-find secrets. When you finish WoS the first time, you'll roll right back into it, determined to squeeze every second possible out of the WAD, if only for the awesome secret levels. If you haven't played it yet, drop your other WADs in progress and download this immediately.
Imp Skin - Captain Toenail
Skulltag - n/a - 36308 bytes
Reviewed by: scalliano
Not a lot to say, really. It's a greenn Imp with an Uzi. Well made, though, and ths reason it's green is so that it can be recoloured like all good player skins worth their salt. Makes a pleasant change from the truckload of substandard 2D sprite rip skins we've seen recently. Nice and quirky, much like a lot of Toenail's other stuff, and it deserves a place in anyone's /skins folder.
The /newstuff Chronicles #354