Sunder Quest - TrueDude
Doom 2 - ZDoom Compatible - Solo Play - 1678379 bytes -
Reviewed by: Remiel
Sunder Quest, like others, is a collaborative storytelling game where- wait, that's not right. It's a new episode for Chex Quest 3, comprised of the first several levels of outstanding ongoing megawad/slaughtermap darling/time investment Sunder, notable for crushing the testicles of every source port foolish enough to challenge it without GL rendering. Oh, and most players.
This gift to the loyal dissolution-fetishist-hard-up-on-cereal-men community complements your Sunder experience with colourful pastel textures that sometimes are misaligned and/or tile oddly once substituted for the original assets, and cacophonous explosions of enemy roaming sounds really not built to be layered to the level allowed by these extreme monster counts. Good stuff!
Ashen Garden - Monakhov Vladimir
Doom 2 - Boom Compatible - Solo Play - 485952 bytes -
Reviewed by: Kirby
Ashen Garden is a level replacement for Map 32 intended to be a straight shot slaughterfest. It is the first map done by Monakov Vladimir (assuming I read the text right), and I have to say it's pretty good overall. Detail is good, gameplay is a definite slaughterfest and well balanced for HMP and UV. I got frustrated at first because I couldn't figure out where the red key was, but after that it was smooth sailing the rest of the way. And I have to say the midi redo included fits surprisingly well.
Overall, I enjoyed it. If you like slaughter maps give it a whirl.
Staph1 - "Dr. Sean" Leonard
Doom 2 - Vanilla - Deathmatch - 267071 bytes -
Reviewed by: walter confalonieri
Hello to all, another deathmatch mapset to review, this time less heavy than the review of paul_dm I've already written (there's only 6 maps), and I must admit that I liked it. The layout of all levels is inspired by good classic-style megawads like dwango5 or the brit series, and gameplay is really fun and exciting (the only part I got stuck on is in map03, due the bots vanishing in the middle of the match). It is a map pack I'd like to see played in a Saturday Nitro event. The details are nice and marry with the classic feel of the map pack; if I had to be more harsh in this camp, there are some walls that are mis-aligned (especially the GSTONEx in MAP05), but the texture choice is good and flows good during the play, so there's nothing more to say than to explain a little the maps in detail, and so...
MAP01 - Is a cool start, reminds me of Judas23, plays really good with 4 players.
MAP02 - A medium sized techbase with a fortress that surrounds it; this could be great in your 8/16 player fragfest!
MAP03 - A "dwango" style map that mixes e1m1 and map01 layout concept; it could be better if the windows in the western corner ala e1m1 GA room were flagged as impassible (due to blocking the windows that leads to the external courtyard if you do a rocket jump...)
MAP04 - A greenwar-style (but not so abstract) level that uses a huge amount of green textures, cool place to hide and seek and frag.
MAP05 - A large map that reminds of brit series for some reason.
MAP06 - Another map01 spiritual remake, this time a cool looking mining station with a lots of stairs that leads to a little techbase on the surface.
CDoom 2.07 - Carlos
N/A - N/A - N/A - 150804 bytes
Reviewed by: Melon
It's not every day a source port makes its way into /newstuff. This is CDoom, a source port for DOS based on MBF. It boasts a pretty impressive sounding list of features, most notably 3D floors, destructible ground, slopes, looking up and down, swimming, and a chasecam.
Uploaded to /newstuff along with this wad was a number of test wads showcasing CDoom's features. These wads will be reviewed separately, but this seems like the best place to talk about how well CDoom's features work.
In short, they're buggy as hell.
Now before I start complaining let me make one thing clear, Carlos managed to implement 3D floors and slopes into a source port, and that's a huge personal achievement that's very impressive. I want to congratulate Carlos on this, as I think that's pretty cool.
Unfortunately, due to the nature of software rendering, few of these features work well at all, and some are just flat out broken. The rendering of flats on the slopes makes me feel sick; it looks horrible, and sprites will routinely be rendered in front of them when they shouldn't. The 3D floors work well but slow the game to a crawl, and sometimes monsters will get stuck near them and completely freeze. They also severely reduce the number of sprites that can be drawn on screen at once, almost as if they're actually being drawn multiple times. When swimming, the water flat wasn't rendered in the only time I came across it in the test maps. That might be a mapping error, but the player seems to swim fine otherwise. The destructible ground seems be essentially deleting 3D floors and is one of the few features that works flawlessly.
Oh yeah, and then there's the "earthquake" feature that even more annoying than the one in ZDoom.
Ultimately I don't think anybody is ever going to use this port; the DOS restriction makes it impractical to use, but more importantly its features seem to be buggy and inefficient. The port stands proud as a personal achievement for Carlos, but I wouldn't advise ever using it, sorry. Definitely not in its current state, at least.
Special sloped Metro1 - Carlos
Doom 2 - cDoom - Solo Play - 183841 bytes -
Reviewed by: Melon
Here's the first of the CDoom test maps. This is a single test level designed to show off CDoom's 3D floors and destructible landscapes. In the level you travel through a city running away from loads of Cyberdemons whose rockets destroy the landscape around you. A pretty awesome sounding setup in all honesty.
It looks like crap. It plays like crap.
I won't detail all of the flaws as it's only a test map, but the map is basically unplayable. When buildings are destroyed they let off a huge explosion that always seems to kill you. HOMs everywhere. The worst part is the constant earthquakes that make you want to barf.
Avoid. Unless you're interested in CDoom's 3D floors, but you should probably still avoid it anyway.
Special sloped Metro2 - Carlos
Doom 2 - cDoom - Solo Play - 171207 bytes
Reviewed by: Melon
Another CDoom test map, very similar to smetro1, also unplayable. This one has some water and slopes, but they're shown off in a much better way in other test maps.
Nothing to see here.
Special sloped Metro3 - Carlos
Doom 2 - cDoom - Solo Play - 79481 bytes
Reviewed by: Melon
Continuing on with the CDoom test maps, this one is actually playable. There's no monsters, but this allows you to actually play around with the destructible 3D floors. There's nothing much to say really, you fire rockets, walls go BOOM and you look at HOMs.
Slope CDoom 2.07 test - Carlos
Doom 2 - cDoom - Solo Play - 9852 bytes -
Reviewed by: jetset125
If you're not even slightly interested in map design, or Doom engine workings, you'd be safe to read the following paragraph and move along.
This map is nothing but a (feature?) test map for a Doom port called CDoom. This WAD contains 2 maps, a few monsters, 4 weapons between 2 maps, and mostly weird-but-functional level geometry. Kind of cool technically, but not much to play.
A small map, with two simply interconnected rooms containing a floating platform that the player starts on, and a doughnut-shaped platform. Accompanying the player is a double-barrel shotgun, ammo, a few barrels, and 2 Pinky Demons. The other room has a doughnut shaped platform with rocket ammo, a rocket launcher, and buttons above eye level that I couldn't figure out how to trigger. Shooting the doughnut with a rocket however, creates barrel explosions lowering portions and creating slopes out of the previously flat-elevated doughnut, a la Build engine explosions.
A considerably larger room, with a huge slope and a little one. The small one has a rocket at the top, and the larger one has a step-trigger that drops the slope to floor level, revealing a BFG next to a Supercharge at the very end. A dozen Imps and barrels are arranged on the large slope. Not much else to see... or shoot.
Zombie Heart of Death v1.11 - David E. Armstrong
Doom 2 - Vanilla - Solo Play - 495554 bytes -
Reviewed by: DeathevokatioN
Zomheart.wad was originally released back in the 90's by TNT member David E. Armstrong. Due to a clause in the permissions side of the text file, this highly creative wad never made it onto /idgames... until now, of course.
I really enjoyed this level, and whenever I play this I can't help but think about how it could have fit in perfectly as a super secret level (Map32), as part of one of the famous megawads from '96 or '97. I say super secret level because of the unorthodox and creative hit or miss style of gameplay and the puzzles that this wad features, and because of the clever, extremely over-the-top and sometimes unfair (if you're playing on UV) traps that feature here. Regarding difficulty, I'd definitely recommend playing on HMP if you are turned off by encounters that require prior knowledge in order to survive. Yet even when I keep getting killed left right and center on UV, there is still that urge to keep on trying again, because the gameplay is quite inviting for me and is a load of fun.
Aesthetically, while Zombie Heart of Death is a product of its time, it does have some very surreal and awesome scenes. The author makes heavy use of odd angles, and combines these with warm and vivid texturing to make some of the scenes in this map visually unique and pleasing to the eyes if you are someone like myself who also is a fan of the more abstract side of 90's; I especially love the visuals of the outdoor areas.
For its time I'd say that this map is a huge achievement, and it still is quite a refreshing experience to break away from some of the design-oriented wads of today. I'd recommend this to anyone who wants to see something different that showcases unique fights and ideas. But at the same time, judging from the /idgames flamewar, this wad probably won't change the mind of anyone who thinks that the 90's were the "dark ages" of wad making.
Beware the beating of the heart!
Heretic - Dark Deity's Bastion - Stormwalker
Heretic - ZDoom Compatible - Solo Play - 956122 bytes -
Reviewed by: Kirby
This is a very impressive standalone map by Stormwalker and created for Heretic in ZDoom. As it follows you have made it into Dark Deity's Bastion to kill the Dark Deity once and for all. As you make your way through, you will find yourself facing trials represented by the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. Each one is protected by a small puzzle which you must solve in order to pass each trial. Once you have successfully made it through all of them, you can then finally face your true foe, waiting at the end for you.
The map is superb - I can't say I've seen such a good Heretic wad in the last year or so. The map is great - good sense of non-linearity to it and letting you find your own way to the final goal. Detail is wonderful, simply put. Gameplay is fantastic - I really can't give you a reason not to play this. Even if you are confused by the puzzles, the text file included provides you with solutions to them.
This is a must play. If you not, you are just kicking yourself.
Clear Focus (Hardcore Edition) - Mr. Chris
Ultimate Doom - Vanilla - Solo Play - 15610 bytes -
Reviewed by: walter confalonieri
Hello to all, here I am again talking about this nice little level from Mr. Chris, "Clear Focus: Hardcore Edition"! It's a remake of a level called "Clear Focus", made a long time ago by the same author, and this version adds more monsters.
Firstly, the title confused me, since I thought it was a MAP04 remake, so I played it with Doom 2, but found nothing. So, I checked out the text file, and I noticed this map is for the first Doom, so now to to play it with the correct IWAD...
Then, I played in a short and sweet Phobos station; the layout is simple but enjoyable and tricky in some parts (especially in the secret lift room near the exit, I took a little more time to get that place) and gameplay isn't complex, but exciting (reminds me of TNT map01 with the combination of short layout and usage of medium monsters like sergeants and spectres). In conclusion, it is a really enjoyable little map, good for playing during the breaks in your projects / works / whatever you're doing, and I'm saying this is worth a download!
Oh, one last painful note: I found a bug that doesn't like me a lot: in the courtyard between the two bases (shot 2) there's this wall covered in shadows, and the drastic sector change makes the walls near this section look chopped, as if there's a HOM error in that section (as shown in the image); it could look better if that section kept the original height of the sky in the outdoor section (keeping the shadow effect), and had a fake 128 unit height sector that replaced the wall section, with 0 height in this new sector. This trick works well, since it was used in the original Doom 2 MAP01 and in lots of other custom levels.
Other than that, it's a cool wad.
Fight On!: Fury Rising - Paul "Fiend-o-Hell" Stasiuk
Doom 2 - Limit Removing - Solo Play - 1139498 bytes -
Reviewed by: GooberMan
Yeah, it's GooberMan here. I've been in a Doomy mood lately, and noticed /newstuff was horribly behind. So I decided to load up a random map and give it a review. As it turns out, I've picked a map that is at version 1 (a playable demo as the author notes), but really it's more in an alpha state.
This map seems to be in the "Kitchen Sink" style, as in, the author seemed to have put everything but in it. Visually, it's a big sprawling base. Lots of attention has been paid to geometric detail, but not the alignment that goes with it (both in terms of textures and flats). There's even some weird lift constructions that are quite easy to get out of sync and reveal undefined lower sidedefs. If you're allergic to those kinds of visual mistakes, then this isn't the map for you.
The good? Well, the important part of any wad is how it plays. From a neat start where you're point blank with an Archvile, you might think the map straight up hates you. But that's not the case at all. The map rarely feels like it's cheating you and every encounter seems beatable. Ammo is abundant, health gets a little bit tight in places but there's more than enough if you're not being stupid, and there's an actual weapon progression in the map. There's not much to get offended at in that regard.
The bad? It does turn into a shooting gallery at points with a hold-fire-button-to-win mentality permeating a few of the traps encountered. And what's with those copypasta towers just before the blue doors that are a pain to navigate? I didn't even realise the switches within lowered a blue key in some random corridor until I got annoyed and noclipped about the map.
The ugly? Some bars don't have the impassible flags set, which led to one inescapable instance with a soulsphere requiring a noclip out. The red key in this version is unobtainable, requiring a noclip up to the platform to get it. And that switch/lift race in the yellow key area is best left to an Olympics mod; I found it to be quite annoying.
Overall, it's a decent play and you can do far worse that download it. I hesitate to recommend it in its broken state though.
Pain 2011 - Gabor Szlobodnik (AKA "Szlobo")
Doom 2 - Vanilla - Solo Play - 116924 bytes -
Reviewed by: Kirby
This needs some serious re-editing. While this appears to be a modest mapping attempt by Szlobo, it suffers greatly from some serious mishaps and odd level design. In particular there are a couple of areas where you can just fall down and get stuck - no death, no nothing. That's always fun.
Beyond that the level progression is just downright strange. There is no indication of where you have to go (aside from the doors with keys) and you're left guessing where to look (or wallhump for that matter). Which reminds me - there's a very narrow tunnel area that harbors a few doors. Only the doors are textured and aligned with the surrounding rockwall, so you'll want to wallhump for those too.
Nothing special, might've been a decent attempt but needs serious reworking at this point. Play At Your Own Risk! - PAYOR
0_5 Resor - Unknown
Doom 2 - Vanilla - Solo Play - 1493122 bytes -
Reviewed by: The Green Herring
The text file presents this as a random, 14-level WAD discovered on the Internet, its author unknown. In reality, it is the Doom 0.5 Alpha Resources WAD, compiled by deathmatch level designer and former /newstuff Chronicles reviewer deathz0r in 2002, and available on his website. Would it have killed Perseus to do at least a little research before making an upload like this?
Terrible efforts at archival uploading aside, as the actual title suggests, this is a compilation of resources from the v0.5 alpha of the original Doom, with the intent of making them suitable for use in other WADs. As outlined on his website, all you need to do should you decide to use them is to credit deathz0r for converting them. This includes not only the 14 levels from the alpha, but its graphical resources, enemies and weapons as well, including weapon graphics that were in the alpha IWAD but unused. Just for kicks, it also features sound effects from the final product and other sources, in contrast to the alpha which had no audio whatsoever. Keeping within the "alpha" spirit, however, these sounds are downsampled to Wolfenstein 3D levels of audio quality.
In fact, if you treat it as a regular WAD, it manages to feel just like an alpha, which was likely intentional. The levels are converted as-is from the alpha; this means that some levels cannot be finished without noclip because of rooms with ceilings too low for you to cross or arbitrary impassible lines, some are unbeatable due to lacking exits, and the last level in the set (E2M1 in the alpha) will crash the game unless your source port of choice has a workaround for missing flats. Almost all of your weapons are slowed down, even the ones from the final game that you get by using the weapons cheat, and the enemies are sometimes stuck in the walls. Oh, and the rockets fire backwards. All of these are clear signs of a game in the alpha stage, just like the source material.
So, yes, this WAD is broken and unbeatable from a playability standpoint, but that's not the point; this is a resource WAD, first and foremost, and as far as providing the graphics and levels of the alpha go, this WAD does an impeccable job. If you want to use any content exclusive to the alpha in your own WADs, you can't go wrong with borrowing stuff from this WAD and crediting the compiler appropriately (unlike Perseus). If you're looking for more, you may also check out the Doom 0.4 Alpha Resources, which give a similar treatment to the v0.4 alpha.
Katamori 1024: The Lost Era - Zoltan Schmidt "Katamori"
Doom 2 - Boom Compatible - Solo Play - 421503 bytes -
Reviewed by: Melon
This wad of four levels is a set of 1024 maps continuing on from Katamori 1024 Episode 1. It was originally designed to be a full megawad, although according to the text file the author won't be making any more.
For those wondering what a 1024 map is, it's a map where the only places the player can travel are inside a square 1024 map units large, popularised by the community wads Congestion 1024 and Claustrophobia 1024. I'd complain that the levels in this wad were cramped, but that would be silly, because all 1024 maps are cramped.
As far as 1024 levels go, these ones aren't bad. They don't always look so hot, but they play all right. While the famous community wads mentioned above contained a lot of levels that tried to make creative use of the limited space available (although some didn't play very well), this wad contains levels more along the line regular levels, only small and cramped.
If you're itching for more 1024 then you might as well check it out, but there's not much content here.