The last Revenger - Oleg Puchkov
Doom 2 - Vanilla - Solo Play - 5104487 bytes -
Reviewed by: Kirby
Greetings all. Back with a new laptop and a new sense of what it means to NOT procrastinate, I am attempting to help with the bogged down /newstuff reviews with one of the few games that will work on my non-gaming machine - Doom! That said, we come across the bottom of the pile, Revenger.
Revenger is a 32-level megawad released back in 2006 and updated a couple of times after that for one reason or another. It introduces plenty of new textures, a ton of new sounds, and a small collection of midis to provide a somewhat different/new experience.
It's like crap from 1994 that tries a bit too hard.
The levels themselves aren't ALL terrible - there were more than several where I simply ran around for 10 minutes because everything was so fucking spaced out and had no sense of direction for where I was supposed to go. Hell, I would even dare you to try the secret levels - Map31 is just sky textured plastered on the walls and you have to wall-hump the edge of the room to find the part that opens into the next identical sky-wall area. I don't even know what the hell to do on Map32 (for anyone who wants to check, I assume you're supposed to lower the teleporter somehow, as there is only one way to cross it). And while I can see the desire to create a boss battle taking place in the sky, the last level just looks like pure tripe (check screenshot 7).
Some of the levels were decent, but nothing more than 1994-decent. To be honest none of the levels stuck out in my mind (except for the ones that pissed me off) and the wad is easily forgettable. Separately, since there's no mention of an advanced port I can only assume this was meant for the original Doom 2 (I have yet to get Vanilla or Boom running - I currently have only pulled my old wads from my previous hard-drives an am running ZDoom). Being that the case, there are TONS of spots throughout where the player can simply walk onto an area that is too steep to get out of. I also ran into several HOMs throughout, but hell if I remember exactly where they all are.
Onto the subject of the music and sounds - the music is a mish-mash of midis from all over the place, including the original Doom. A lot of them seem very out of place, and the sequence of music does not follow well at all. The sound replacements are just downright confusing - the author mixed in sounds from Quake, Predator (BFG firing noise I think), Duke Nukem, as well as what I assume are samples of the author's voice (namely for the player hurt sound). Beyond that, lots of the sounds have the echo effect added to them. You walk into a room filled with 15+ enemies and your speakers will spew garbage at you.
Overall - forgettable levels, visual/gameplay bugs abound (but not very detrimental), confusing/annoying sounds, and not great music usage. You will not miss anything by skipping this one, but feel free to take a look if any of the screens interest you (or so is my philosophy).
Old memories 2 - Wraith
Heretic - ZDoom Compatible - Solo Play - 211173 bytes -
Reviewed by: Kirby
I'm claiming this one as a double edged sword, though that really depends on gameplay preference.
Old Memories 2 is a Heretic wad created by the same author who did The Blacklands not so long ago. If you have played any of Wraith's maps before, then you'll know what to expect.
Here's why I'm calling this double edged - on the one hand I think this wad (even Wraith's style in general) now has great design. Wraith has developed a good eye for detail and what fits in the rooms he builds. I enjoyed the level from a design standpoint because the sense of architecture is not lost and each room is detailed accordingly, never overbearing. I commend Wraith on what I consider "getting it right".
On the other hand, this map is a goddamn switch/key hunt. On my first run from start to finish I spent 30 minutes on this level, taking time to explore and figure out where to go. I often ran to areas that seemed like I should've gotten to them later. Usually I was missing a key or a switch somewhere and would have to backtrack over the areas I had been to in order to find the areas I had NOT been to. Lifts are abound in this map - you will be taking them EVERYWHERE, which only serves to make the map more confusing. While Wraith has a good sense of interconnectivity you will find yourself moving back and forth between previous areas time and time again - only when you start getting the keys and hitting the right switches will you find yourself closer to the exit. Even if you don't take as long as I did, I can almost guarantee that you will spend a good 10-15 minutes on the switch-hunt alone, which is the main turn off for me here.
In summary, good detail, good interconnectivity, BAD EVI-ahem...I mean long-winded switch hunts, etc. The difficulty is above average; I can't really say more than that because (again) I felt like I entered certain areas before I was supposed to, and in some cases I was left low/empty on ammo completely.
If large switch-hunts don't kill you, then play this. I'm having me some Jim Beam from the headache caused by it :P
1994 Tune-up Community Project - Snarboo
Doom 2 - Boom Compatible - Solo Play - 10961159 bytes -
Reviewed by: Kirby
How does one make a megawad? Does one simply take 32-or-so maps and put them into one file? Sure. But if one wanted quality, then perhaps it would be a better idea to use maps that are already decent? Absolutely. But what if you took it one step further and spent two years finely re-tuning those already decent maps into something much more spectacular? That, ladies and gentlemen, is when you get the 1994 Tune-up Community Project. And I will not hesitate when I say that I just about love this thing.
The 1994 Tune-up Challenge is a project that was spearheaded by Snarboo and progressed over the course of two years - enough hard work that it even earned itself a Mordeth Cacoward this year. The project was quite an undertaking, involving 20 different mappers and a dedicated team of 6 testers. And for everything that could have gone wrong with this idea, it seems to have headed in very much the right direction. Each level in this wad corresponds with a single level from around 1994. As most Doomers can relate, these 1994 wads are associated with their hundreds of brethren from the same era - wads that seemingly emphasize a lack of detail, direction, gameplay; hell, even a lack of effort in many of them. But as for this project, a set of guidelines were established that sought out '94 era wads which were decent in their own right. From there started the process of tuning them up to what might be considered today's standards.
Each respective wad in this collaboration was re-edited to the standards set by the project guidelines. Not once did I ever have a major complaint or grievance on any of the levels. Each stands out with its own sort of uniqueness, a feel that I think comes from each base '94 level. It also comes a lot from each mapper that worked them, as their mapping styles come through as well. One of the reasons I like this project idea is that it enables other mappers to come in and work on flaws/additions in the way they see fit. Because they aren't making it from scratch, each mapper gets their own vision at what they feel is missing and work from there. I daresay it leads to some spectacular results (and unique - did I say that already? :P )
Three gripes (well, two gripes and a minor bug): 1) Map 30 aggravated me almost to the point of no return. It is the one level that rightfully marks the end of the megawad but does so by amping up the gameplay to a level you won't experience anywhere else in the wad. Don't get me wrong - the level is great, it just made me fume on several occasions (especially if you can't figure out where you're going, though it's only a matter of paying attention). 2) I was pretty over-stocked on ammo throughout the entire journey. I'd say it should be toned down a bit, but such is the woe of making levels doable from a pistol start. It makes it easier, but it isn't taking away from the wad terribly. 3) I played through this in ZDoom, and don't know if it's port-specific, but jumping/crouching are still enabled on map 27. Minor bug, so nothing big to worry about, just wanted to mention it.
GO PLAY THIS WAD! I hate choosing favorites, but Map 7 is definitely worth a playthrough. If you work hard enough and are a true Doomer you will also enjoy the secret levels (and make sure you get the secrets in them as well), and Map 30 will give you a run for your money, no matter who you are. Play, play, play! I will not say it again :P
P.S. - I did not quite intend to hog this wad for over a week (though it's hard to say I hogged it - /newstuff is a barren wasteland these days ._. ). It took me six and a half fucking hours to finish this whole thing. I wasn't planning on coming back from work, playing for 1-2 hours, then drinking myself to sleep and trying again the next day when I wasn't getting anywhere.
But again, don't let that deter you. Go check it out :)
aloha4u2 - Alamain
Doom 2 - Vanilla - Solo Play - 383888 bytes -
Reviewed by: Kirby
One the one hand this wad is brown. Completely. On the other hand, it kind of makes up for it with half-decent architecture. But on the other hand gameplay is semi-retarded. But on the other hand - ah fuck it.
This is the latest version of a wad worked on by Alamain. It is a large brown level that chooses to start you off with a berserk pack and a horde of spectres, flanked on each side by a few hell knights and a baron. Once you manage to get through the invisible horde you can then get the shotgun, which sits right in front of the baron, and you'll find it very hard to knock him out while his three hell knight buddies behind you are consistently attacking your back.
To summarize fully, this wad has a somewhat decent architecture scheme, but the gameplay is something of its own. Ammo and weapons are clumped far far away from one another, making it difficult to maintain your munitions. In short you'll be fisting demon upon demon (just for you Maes) while using your ammo when needed (or actually have any for that matter). I want to say that this could appeal as one of those higher-difficulty wads, but then I walked over an edge into a room with a poison pit and got stuck with no way out, and thus I became ever-more-so disappointed. Hence, I am not partial to this wad and would say play at your own risk. No harm in skipping it though, either.
Stranded on Erebus - Berserker79
Ultimate Doom - ZDoom Compatible - Solo Play - 1014539 bytes -
Reviewed by: Melon
Stranded on Erebus is a replacement for The Shores of Hell, Doom's second episode, only without an E2M2 for some reason. It requires ZDoom solely for the sake of a few very minor touches that you'll probably not even notice.
The levels themselves get progressively better as the wad goes on, almost as if they were made over the course of the author learning how to map. Each of the maps are inspired by the originals from the map slot they occupy, with various recognisable homages.
I would summarise the wad as "basically alright". The gameplay is fine, especially in the later levels, but there's nothing memorable. A few flaws and annoyances here and there, and the levels are made up of a few too many sparse corridors. Ultimately it's just some basic simple Dooming on offer here. I'm struggling to say something exciting about it, which probably says more about the experience than I ever could.
The temple of death - Patrick Carosso
Plutonia - ZDoom Compatible - Solo Play - 154919 bytes -
Reviewed by: Kirby
To be honest, this wad does play like a Plutonia wad. At least difficulty wise - the monsters and ammo are balanced in Plutonia fashion, making for a challenging gameplay (plus it requires "Plutonia.wad" to work!). On the other hand, this wad was made for ZDoom and requires ZDoom, so I don't know how the author didn't realize the player can jump up to the exit and finish the map in less than 30 seconds. Same thing with the keys stuck up on pillars.
Either way, map layout + detailing = average. Not much to this one unless you are in a challenging mood for some lack of detail.
Not in my courtyard - Memfis
Doom 2 - Vanilla - Solo Play - 110459 bytes -
Reviewed by: Jimi
Not in my courtyard is a courtyard-inspired level by Memfis. The level begins in some desolate mountain/cave type of area with some monsters attacking the player right away. It takes a little while to get into the courtyard area. The arch-vile in the beginning was a bit too early for people like me who want to clear one area completely before going to the next. A super shotgun would have been useful earlier.
The courtyard is refreshingly green with marble, vines and some wood. There isn't any exact route here, and the player can explore the area nonlinearly in pretty much whatever order. The nonlinearity does not feel confusing, as the area is not overly big or labyrinth-like.
The level is quite hard. There's not much health, armor or ammo on UV, so if you make too many mistakes, you're probably dead, but if you survive the first half of the level, it gets a bit easier.
Weasel Presents: NAZIS! (WWHC: Axis & Abaddon) - wildweasel
Doom/Doom 2 - ZDoom Compatible - N/A - 11088199 bytes -
Reviewed by: Kirby
This is a fun weapons mod created by none other than WildWeasel. It replaces the weapons set and the monsters as well, as any good replacement mod does. This means (or so I think) that you can play it with just about any custom wad/IWAD you want, meaning if you felt Deus Vult was missing that Nazi-esque feel, then this will fix that right up.
Overall its a fun mod, plain and simple. The weapons are mostly representative of the WWII era from Germany - .357 revolver, MP40, etc. The sounds are spectacular, very crisp and in your face which gives great satisfaction when you blow away a Nazi with any weapon. Some of the weapon sprites are lacking in detail, but it doesn't take away from the mod much. The monsters are replaced by SS officers plus a couple of supernatural/enhanced minions as well. One thing I did like was that WildWeasel changed all the weapons so that hitscans are replaced instead by very fast moving projectiles. It makes for a fun sight if you get into a huge firefight and want to see where you're shooting.
I recommend loading this up. It might not be your cup of tea, but it deserves a playthrough, if not just once. The novelty may wear off after playing a bit, but I have yet to get tired of it.
skepland.zip - Monakhov Vladimir
Plutonia - Limit Removing - Solo Play - 703783 bytes
Reviewed by: MajorRawne
Here we get a map that is designed to make you DIE, often and painfully. Fans of super-tough maps which provide more of a challenge than just dumping 200 Revenants on you should enjoy this. However, the map does dump Chaingunners and Knights on you instead, and is very unforgiving on UV. The fighting is often at close quarters and you will be constantly surrounded. If you don't have the reflexes of a cat who finds himself parachuting towards a cold bath, you're gonna get dunked.
The text file does warn you that UV is basically for hardcore players only, and I ended up dropping down to HMP. There are no lower difficulty settings. That's a shame, as I was never a fan of super-hard maps where you are always surrounded. I'd have liked to finish the map on HNTR and work my way up through the difficulties. That said, I always got a bit further on my next attempt, and the familiar panic of running blind through enemy infested structures conjures memories of the days I was bollocks at playing Doom. There is something about this map which encourages you to try again.
There's a very disturbing new titlepic, along with a decent new midi which sets a tone of menace. The map didn't load properly for some reason the first time I tried it in Plutonia. It worked the second time though, and I almost wish it hadn't; I lasted about fifteen seconds on my first try.
The map is attractively designed and incorporates fiendish cleverness in its construction. No matter where you go, there will usually be a monster overlooking it. They provide overlapping fields of fire which can actually benefit you considering the monsters all hate one another. A Cyberdemon acts as a permanent, immovable weapon tower which will impede your progress. This is not the map to lose your nerve.
Give it a try, but less skilled players should be advised this is a map designed purely for the strong.
Micro Plutonia - Mattias Johansson
Plutonia - Vanilla - Solo Play - 309907 bytes -
Reviewed by: xvertigox
Micro Plutonia is a 3 map wad requiring Plutonia. Don't let the name fool you; the first two maps are small, definitely not micro, and the last is of moderate length.
The first map (map04) is pretty short but quite fun. It has a good mix of close quarters combat and more open areas. Visually it's well designed, detailed but not overly so. However, I do find that there is a mishmash of textures - there are too many different textures and styles in this one map. I really enjoyed the gameplay; it was difficult enough to be interesting but not very straining. It features a wide array of monsters, fun battles and a few good set pieces. Overall it's a fairly easy map, easily do-able on your first try on UV.
The next map (map05) made it clear that I had been lulled into a false sense of security. This is another small map but it packs quite a punch, the difficulty really ratchets up quickly. It starts off feeling much like the previous map but then you're neck deep in revenants desperately trying to kill an archvile at the back of the pack. The map isn't too hard except for two notable fights, the aforementioned one with an archvile and a pack of revenants and another involving a handful of chaingunners and hell knights, complete with a couple of revenants teleporting in right behind you.
This map looks decidedly better than the first. Like the last, it has a nice mixture of indoor and outdoor areas with some decent architecture; nothing amazing, but definitely good. There's always just enough room to move around (except for that god damn revenant and archvile fight) and enough detail to keep the map from looking drab. Overall it's a fun, reasonably attractive map that is only marred with one annoying fight - not the best map ever but worth playing.
The last map (map06) is by far the hardest and most entertaining. It's probably the best looking map of the trio as well. The map is made difficult by its liberal use of archviles and other top tier monsters. That being said, the archviles aren't annoying, offering fun and interesting fights. The map really pushes you all the way to the end. Luckily, it is well balanced with health and ammo, challenging but not frustrating. There are a few traps but they aren't simple monster closets, they really make the map interesting.
Micro-Plutonia is very worthwhile playing - it has good monster placement, adequate health, weapons and ammo, interesting set pieces and battles. The difficulty ramps up over the course of the 3 maps making the wad feel well rounded. I highy recommend giving this wad a go.
Mad Mushroom Salad With Disgusting Salad Dressing - Vaporizer
Doom 2 - Boom Compatible - Solo Play - 96323 bytes -
Reviewed by: xvertigox
"Mad Mushroom Salad With Disgusting Salad Dressing" is a two map wad for Doom 2. The first map (map07) is described in the readme as being the primary map, with the second map (map32) being an old level of his added as a bonus. For some reason this tiny wad has a custom titlepic.
The first map is terrible. It consists of killing a mancubus while having invisibility, going through a teleport, then doing the same thing (another mancubus and another teleport), then fighting an aranchatron in a silver room, going through a teleport, and doing it all over again until you finish. In total there are 10 monsters in the map.
For some odd reason there is a voodoo doll behind you while you fight the first manucbus, presumably to add a twist to the battle. The map is bad because it's pretty ugly, short and boring. There is no real challenge or satisfaction to be had.
The second map feels more like an actual map. Unfortunately, it's even worse than the first map. It's quite ugly and boring too. By far the worst part of the map is that there are 73 enemies (all imps and zombiemen) and you only get a pistol, making it extremely tedious and boring. I just discovered that this is only the case on UV; on the lower difficulties you find shotguns - this removes any semblance of challenge from the map. There is no reason to play this map either.
Overall both maps are crap, offering no enjoyment - either from gameplay or interesting architecture. It feels like an extremely subtle jokewad that I'm just not getting. You can definitely skip this wad and not worry about it.
Paul's Deathmatch - Paul Corfiatis (pcorf)
Doom 2 - Boom Compatible - Deathmatch - 1583403 bytes -
Reviewed by: walter confalonieri
All right, so today I want to show you this megawad made by the well-known Paul Corfiatis; this time he's built this set of 32 death match maps (in large part extremely symmetrical, and just a large courtyard for the most part) in his own classic, basic style, and that's a thing that, personally, I always loved from this mapper.
Anyway, let's take a look at the maps in the detail (I played it using Skulltag and bots):
MAP01 - Is a fast, fancy techbase, but it suffers from congestion of gameplay flow, since I found myself locked in the lift in the right corner of the map.
MAP02 - This map likes me much more; good gameplay flow and lots of fun.
MAP03 - First of the many square-ish arenas, this one is set in the depths of space. Fun fact: When I played with bots this map, I just stayed in a corner of the external board of the arena, and then I became the king of the world, due to a fancy spawnfest bug.
MAP04 - It's a brown brick place, and like MAP02, sorta fun.
MAP05 - A dark hellish temple, but doesn't have a so huge amount of (?)
MAP06 - Episode 1 style level here, also with lots of mazes. Nice and fun map.
MAP07 - Another square arena, berserk mayhem here. I don't have so much fun playing it whit the bots.
MAP08 - Another map in the style of MAP04, this time larger and unluckily more symmetrical, but it was fun.
MAP09 - Large square arena in hell.
MAP10 - Another space level, sets in Doom 2 episode 1's style techbase, or that's the way I recognized it, this time less symmetrical and more fun than MAP03.
MAP11 - Copy/paste of the same room and hallway interconnected with each other.
MAP12 - A dark (maybe too dark, for my tastes) woody map, that in original Paul idea resembles a spooky mansion, but doesn't really look like that at all. Personally, is one of the weakest in the pack after MAP07.
MAP13 - A cool map that resembles episode 4, and a Death Tormention series homage. Third place in the best maps.
MAP14 - Another space level, this time a green tech large arena, filled mostly with toxic barrels.
MAP15 - A weird hellish arena, where you have the privilege to see this girl called Jill appear behind a hellish (?), also in this level we have graffiti on the floor which says "KILL JILL". I don't know who this Jill is, but surely Mr. Corfiatis doesn't love her.
MAP16 - A semi-symmetrical tech arena; I've had lots of fun playing it despite its fake symmetrical nature. The gray corridor that leads to the lift reminds of the E3M9 tech halls for some reason.
MAP17 - A large, metallic human station. A nice map.
MAP18 - A dark, creepy gothic arena. I can see a cyberdemon walking around this place.
MAP19 - Copy/paste square rooms filled with crates. Bah.
MAP20 - Oh, this is an awesome map! I really liked it, in terms of gameplay and layout. It's a large, creepy level set in hell. First of the pack!
MAP21 - Another hell map, nice and fun. The layout reminds me of greenwar.
MAP22 - Uhm, a gray techbase like the one in MAP16, but more complex and less symmetrical. I had fun playing this map.
MAP23 - A brick castle themed map, similar to MAP20 spirit.
MAP24 - A weird and fancy map set in a huge outdoor arena that resembles a jungle; I liked this place from the first time I saw it. Second place.
MAP25 - More copy/pasted rooms and hallways. When I checked it the second time for the review, I felt a weak vibe of Scythe 2 jungle maps.
MAP26 - A large, dark episode 1 level. Kinda of fun, maybe too large for my tastes.
MAP27 - Another dark, gloomy map, this time set in a huge library. Nice map.
MAP28 - Another square arena! Yahoo! This time set in the good old Phobos base... but, hey, it was fun for me.
MAP29 - Another good looking map set in the hell reign, but where layout and detail wins, unluckily it was a little bit dispersive in the gameplay department.
MAP30 - Final map (if we don't count the secret ones) and final square arena. Luckily, the author added a fancy conveyor belt that leads you to some rooms with cool stuff.
MAP31 - A spacial, metallic techbase with some nice details and ideas (such as the usage of GRAYRED textures as lights). Cool map, it was fun.
MAP32 - A hellish map that mimics the Romero mapping style, mostly E1M6 catwalks and room building concepts.
Oh well, this is a real long review, sorry about that! Anyway, this is a nice and fun megawad (for the most part, as you read above), and it could be better with human opponents than bots, and the usage of new graphics and brand new music performed by the author is a seal of approval from me. Download and try it out with your friends.
Green Day - Memfis
Ultimate Doom - Limit Removing - Solo Play - 241377 bytes -
Reviewed by: Processingcontrol
Green Day is a fun little two-level wad for Ultimate Doom. Both maps have a grassy outdoors theme which works very well. The first one seems to take place in some sort of tiny village, while the second is similar but is half taken up by a large indoors stone-built building. There isn't a lot of detail, but both maps look great and aren't bare looking. There are however a few small details that work very well, such as a half opened gate and a well with a broken bucket laying at its side. The gameplay shouldn't be challenging to most Doomers, but it's still pretty fun. Both maps are pretty short, and by the end I was wishing that there was more!
I'd recommend Green Day to anybody in the mood for some fun, short, simple Doom maps, just as long as they don't mind the low difficulty. And no, it doesn't have anything to do with the band of the same name. :)
Harmony MIDI Pack - James "Jimmy" Paddock
Custom IWAD - ZDoom Compatible - N/A - 92813 bytes
Reviewed by: MajorRawne
A set of 11 level tracks plus intermission and title tracks that are head and shoulders above the audio bombardment which normally has us reaching for the volume button. I'd actually like to use some of these in my own maps, if any of them ever get finished. The music ranges from mellow, laid back tracks that suggest we should put our feet up and relax for a while with a beer or a caffeine drink (whatever's your poison), to more aggressive tracks that make you want to tear through the map ripping Imps up with the power of your SSG. In other news, I am the Stig.
CDoom 2.07 source code - Carlos
N/A - N/A - N/A - 294337 bytes
Reviewed by: Processingcontrol
This is the source code for the source port "CDoom". CDoom, by Carlos Guariglia, is made for DOS but supports advanced features such as 3D floors and jumping. I don't get why anyone these days would want to make a DOS port in the first place, but if you ever want to help out you can download this.
The /newstuff Chronicles #399