Level One - xnv
Doom 2 - GZDoom - Solo Play - 274570 bytes -
Reviewed by: Kirby
Level One is a simple map designed for GZDoom and is pretty straightforward. The level starts you out in a central room of a tech base with several paths and moves along from there. Being straightforward however, you will quickly find only one available path before the others can be opened. As a whole, Level One is pretty bare and does not feature much detail at all, but gameplay wise it is a solid level. There are a couple of GZDoom features used throughout the map, but they are used sparingly.
One of the standing points of this map is an arena type fight that takes place underground. The description with the map notes that the scripting can break, but you should be fine if you do not cheat. I attempted three different times to finish that fight and every time it broke on me. Maybe I'm just unlucky, but ye have been warned. All things notwithstanding, this map is a nice play through, albeit not much décor to look at. It will be interesting to see how xnv's work will progress (assuming he still plans on making maps).
a level for Chex Quest - uhbooh
Chex Quest - Vanilla - Solo Play - 24172 bytes -
Reviewed by: vtm
A short level for Chex Quest. As the author stated it is difficult, since life and ammo are short and scarce, but finding the secret helps a lot. If you play it with chex3, some textures will be missing. You will need to find chex.wad to properly play it.
If you love Chex Quest give it a try, you may like it.
CASTLE OF DOOM - Lorenzo Caira
Ultimate Doom - Vanilla - Solo Play - 126800 bytes -
Reviewed by: joe-ilya
A castle with the style of the 90's mapping era, what I mean is: random/misaligned texturing, stuck monsters, an Axel F MIDI and all that fashion while the map remains puzzly and fun. It has a ton of secrets (some of them are mandatory to grab the keys), a total of 10! That's a lot, but most of them are easy or are either a combo secret.
The wad contains custom sounds and textures: the textures are just jokes; one of them is a screen with some guy on it, while the other is a hilarious sign that reads "Warning: this is not a real switch". In the wad it's near a switch in an inescapable poison pit for some reason; I bet he forgot to make a way out or was just trying to do the "I told you!" thing or something.
I recommend this wad for people who appreciate the previous mapping era or just want to trip in nostalgia.
Portol - Andrew A. Fritz
Doom 2 - Vanilla - Solo Play - 78394 bytes -
Reviewed by: walter confalonieri
This is a medium-sized green stone maze-style map from the 90s made by Andrew A. Fritz (the only guy that didn't have Internet access in the 90s! C'mon, who at that time didn't have Internet access? Personally I didn't, I got my first Internet access in 2001, with a bad-ass 56k connection that sometimes worked, sometimes didn't... just like now in 2014 with a 100mb ADSL connection! Oh, Italy!) using the glorious Doom Construction Kit 2.2 (I noticed the editor used for this map immediately, since I too used it in my early Doom mapping experiments) to craft this interesting map.
Although it's crude looking, it is a nicely-made map, with tricks, puzzles, pretty lighting details (like E2M7), but the bad point of this map is this:
This level becomes really, REALLY linear when you reach the key section: find the wall section different from the others, try pushing it and it doesn't work, walk a little bit and you find another little maze that leads to the key, walk more and you find another different wall section that IS THE LOCKED DOOR! What a coincidence!
However, this is a nice map, download and play it, you will not regret it, if you're a fan of 90s maps! If not, there are better maps out here, but give it a shot, it is a nice map.
Punchit.wad - Nick Anderson
Doom 2 - Vanilla - Solo Play - 77686 bytes -
Reviewed by: Tuxlar
This trippy map is a semi-linear collection of oddball progression elements and oddball encounters (including bosses). Not too difficult, but a few (in particular the last) might be a tad rough. Theme use is pretty bonkers, along with the layout, map geometry, trigger use, and monsters. You seem to need to divine the locations of tripwires and unmarked triggers on occasions (tip: try humping from different angles), which was a bit annoying. Nothing terribly pretty to look at, but a few interesting situations to be had. Verdict: Worth playing, if bored.
D2KFP02.WAD - Jrgen Kroder
Doom 2 - Vanilla - SP/Co-op - 73257 bytes -
Reviewed by: Memfis
A medium-sized semi-nonlinear city map from 1995. It's quite spacious and the detail level is low, but most buildings use different textures so it doesn't look too boring (no eye candy at all though). The start is exciting with monsters roaming in the streets and not much weaponry to fight back, but you should be able to find it quickly if you choose a good route. After that the combat becomes pretty trivial and the map concentrates mostly on exploration. I found it satisfying to "solve", with non-obvious but totally logical progression. If you're an adventurer who's into very old maps ,then this is for you.
P.S. Don't fall into the slime pit while jumping to the soulsphere, or else you'll get stuck and die there. Falling from the stairs is OK, as it will open an escape teleporter.
Sonic Doom - Doria Biddle
Doom 2 - Vanilla - Solo Play - 54776 bytes -
Reviewed by: Tuxlar
You know you're off to a great start when you open a map editor to figure out how a map's obscure linedef triggers work. I just up and quit after the 2nd invisible, impassible hallway blocker decided to appear. Visually uninteresting, monsters occasionally dickish, mysterious sector triggers (with some that break)... yeah. Most likely beatable, but not my kind of map. Verdict: Not worth playing, unless the above traits sound appealing.
Bridges.wad - Nick Anderson
Doom 2 - Vanilla - Solo Play - 52507 bytes -
Reviewed by: walter confalonieri
Some forgotten map from 1995 uploaded to the archives in "recent" times... and probably should have stayed forgotten.
Why am I writing this? Well, for how much this could be safely called a typical abstract 1995 map, all based upon the "bridges" of the title, detail and texture choices are weird but not too bad looking or having stupid ideas. The parts that I really didn't like are some of the weird teleport tricks in the "sky bridge" on shot 4 (which leads you to a very different section of the map), the really narrow bridge in the very next "obligatory hell / green stone room" that passes near a teleport in a blood pit that breaks the path of the room, and the "teleport lakes" that lead you back to the beginning of the room showed in shot 6 (by the way, this room has a pretty texturing scheme! Nick Anderson, you did a good job!). Plus gameplay that is pretty puzzle-ish (sometimes too puzzle-ish for my tastes) and overall a way too cryptic map (really, I had to work hard to find where to go or how to reach some part!).
In conclusion, this map isn't perfect but has a few nice concepts in it, good for just one play, but there's much better effort around.
PC Speaker Sounds - Doom II - 08scatman
Doom/Doom 2 - Vanilla - N/A - 501120 bytes
Reviewed by: Tuxlar
PC speaker sounds. Either you're old enough to appreciate the nostalgia, curious enough to have a glimpse at what us old folk had to live with, or else you probably won't care much.
I keep thinking these sound different from what I remember...
"daedalus" - Mike Hardie (Mike H. or "daedalus" on Compuserve)
Doom 2 - Vanilla - Solo Play - 936465 bytes -
Reviewed by: Tuxlar
Another of a recent influx of early-90s wads. This time it is a decent set of six maps to plow through. Starts easy, ramps up after a few maps. Wasn't boring; some sensible design apparent (even a bit of trickery). Missed a lot of secrets. Some (occasionally tedious) backtracking involved, but few real puzzles. Visuals generally decent; not a ton to write home about. Features custom sounds ranging from grainy, annoying weirdness (who doesn't love talkative zombies?) to "that sounds familiar", sounds-for-the-sake-of-new-sounds (also had a sprite wad included, but I saw nothing changed). Verdict: Worth playing. Skip to map 04, if impatient.
Party Base - Walter "Daimon" Confalonieri
Doom 2 - GZDoom - Solo Play - 701520 bytes -
Reviewed by: Tuxlar
Decent little GZDoom map. Some custom imp and zombie variations present; nothing too special. Crouching and jumping will see some use. Bit cramped at parts. Somewhat challenging. Standard semi-linear, room-to-room key-based progression. Visuals nothing to write home about, but aren't bad. Has a helipad. Some sort of birthday present for Mr. Chris, I'm guessing (by the ending)? Verdict: Worth playing, for a quick bite.
WIREFRAME DOOM - mallo
Doom 2 - Limit Removing - N/A - 15113 bytes -
Reviewed by: Memfis
This wad turns all Doom 2 textures into black squares with borders: normal walls are green, activatable objects (doors, switches, lifts) are red, and liquids are blue. Just load it as a pwad and enjoy your "Tron Doom". Of course it won't work great in levels that weren't made with these graphics in mind, but it might amuse you for a while.
Hot Spot - Gwenvael Le Bihan (subject_119)
Doom 2 - Vanilla - Solo Play - 100074 bytes -
Reviewed by: Obsidian
Hot Spot is a (supposedly) vanilla-compatible map by Subject_119 that he apparently made in a week. I can't say I've played anything by this particular author, so this should be a learning experience for the both of us. Shall we?
The map itself is your average techbase in the wilderness, said wilderness being made out of ZIMMER textures and pretty much nothing else. So no points for originality, but the detailing is fairly decent and the curvy walls in the outdoor areas are
a major turn onquite an interesting design choice. Considering this was made for vanilla compatibility, I think the detailing is quite well done, if a bit unremarkable at times. Moving on...
The gameplay funnily enough seems to reflect the design of the map: low-tier and not overly attention-grabbing. I'll admit that I'm not the best Doom player out there, but if I can just breeze though a map like nobody's business on Ultra-Violence, it might be a good idea to rethink your map design. I will say that the blue key trap is a bit more high-risk than the rest of the map, but it seems like the number of monsters somehow works against it and renders it a lot less dangerous. Maybe a Hell Knight or two?
Don't get me wrong though, this map isn't bad: it's solidly made and admittedly quite fun, but the challenge isn't there, and you don't feel like you're in that much danger while you're playing, which isn't a good thing to feel when you're playing Doom of all things. It's possible that the map would feel a bit more at home in a mapset rather than as a standalone release like it is now, but of course that's for the author to decide. All in all, Hot Spot is a decidedly decent map that, despite any shortcomings it might have, is still fun to play and looks good. Play it if you feel like it.
Lurking Evil - Ericson Willians
Doom 2 - ZDoom Compatible - Solo Play - 4042997 bytes -
Reviewed by: Tib
Lurking Evil is by all conventional means an amateur map. It contains a series of square tunnels and small rooms occupied by monsters whose specialties include murdering players who walk in a straight line towards them (that's you, since there is so little room to maneuver), situated within a convoluted layout which requires either close observation or luck to successfully traverse, and a couple of really odd texture choices that make for quite the confusing experience.
Despite these obvious flaws, I think Lurking Evil has a sort of 1996 amateur author charm to it; it makes very little sense in an interesting way, and combined with a pretty good music track (composed by the author of the WAD, no less), it just feels fuzzy to me, in a good way. Give it a shot and tell me if I'm the only one.
Doubts Even Here - riki
Doom 2 - Vanilla - Solo Play - 32348 bytes -
Reviewed by: Doom Dude
Doubts Even Here by riki is a small level that I finished in just over nine minutes on UV. Overall it's an easy, quick romp through a tech base that would make a decent entry map for a larger set if the author ever decided to do such a thing.
This map has some UAC base grade, gray concrete, various comps, a wee cramped cave looking place and a few monster closets. The map design here is good for what's intended to be a simple 2048x2048 map, and I do seem to have a thing for small maps. If you get lost in here there's something wrong, and if you die with the extra health laying about you may need to retake UAC basic training... or maybe you're drunk or something.
Also note there's an abundance of secrets in here for such a small place. I discovered a grand total of 4 out of the 7 secrets (GZDoom's lights.pk3 gave away the armor secret... lol), but you really won't be needing to find all of them that's for sure. So if you like your Doom sessions fast and easy and your maps simple, then maybe this thing has your name on it.
The /newstuff Chronicles #458