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    The /newstuff Chronicles #461


    • Abyssal Speedmapping Sessions: Session 5 - Various
      Doom 2 - Boom Compatible - Solo Play - 726487 bytes -
      Reviewed by: JudgeDeadd
      Yet another set of two-hour speedmaps; this time, the three themes available were Mineshaft, Foundry, and Killer Colours (after the Alien Vendetta map.) Apparently, giving the levels silly names was an unwritten rule as well.

      MAP01: Looks More Like a Cave - A simple, not-too-pretty cave level filled mostly with lightweight enemies. There's not enough ammo, though, which can be a serious problem at the end of the map.

      MAP02: The Tale of Sir Mineshaft - A level set in a ridiculously dark mine, with unfittingly-upbeat music playing in the background. In this darkness combat can be a challenge, and spectres become especially threatening. Again, it could use more ammo to use against the tough palookas in the end.

      MAP03: Broundry - Surprisingly good-looking for a speed map. Be shrewd with your ammo, and try and use infighting to your advantage.

      MAP04: Some Kinda Foundry or Whatever I Dunno - Using a texture set from... somewhere (I feel like I should recognize it), this is another visually good map. The combat can be pretty tough, especially with lots of monsters firing at you in tight quarters. There's a brief lull in the middle, but the difficulty picks up again at the end of the level. Great one.

      MAP05: A Mine is a Terrible Thing to Waste - A small, fast-paced, highly tough, but not unfair level. There's not much to say about it, except that it will take you quite a few tries to complete it.

      MAP06: Meinshaft - This is the kind of a level I'd call "inoffensive". There's nothing that stands out, no brutal fights, no spectacular architecture; about the only interesting thing is the non-linearity and high inter-connectedness. This isn't to say this is a bad level, but it's one of those which are mostly relaxing rather than exciting. The music is good for relaxation, too.

      MAP07: UAC Ultra 2 Sneak Peek - A hectic and really fun level. There are a lot of monsters around; luckily, ammo and maneouvering room are graciously provided, though the final battle might give you a bit of trouble the first time around. The visuals could use a little work; as far as I can tell, pretty much the entire map is fullbright. I guess there wasn't enough time to provide lighting after coming up with all these fun encounters.

      MAP08: Tarnsman's Pretty Little Cage - A short but quite fun Killer Colours clone. A well-designed compact map. The final fight is a little too easy to skip by accident.

      MAP09: Smelt You Later - A compact and very difficult map. There's little ammo, and in the beginning, you'll die a few times before you find the one place where you have some actual cover. A real challenge.

      MAP10: Alfonzo Conquers the Archbishop of Nepal - This was created as a double challenge: an attempt to combine all three themes in one map, and, evidently, to choose as ridiculous a name and music as possible. The cartoonish tune ("Hektik" from the game Gubble) may encourage you to wake up your inner speedrunner and complete the map by running past all enemies as if your butt was on fire (and in the final room, it really will be!). Not bad—worth a look.

      MAP11: First I was Lost, but now I am Foundry - A working map with good visuals and nice, tight gameplay. That said, it didn't really do much for me. There isn't a lot about it that stands out: a good, but forgettable level. There's one unfixed bug (you can jump into the chaingunner turret from the stairs and get stuck.)

      MAP12: Shaft 427 - A rather strange map with several interesting encounters. The challenge here depends on whether or not you have ghost monsters enabled in your source port. If not, the map becomes rather easy once you figure out the right strategy. Otherwise it will be very difficult, especially in the beginning. Well-designed, and even the sparse visuals don't register as a flaw.

      Overall, this set is worth checking out. The weakest maps here would be MAP01 and MAP02; the rest all have something good about them. The challenge level is variable but stays rather high throughout, with MAP09 standing out as the most difficult one in the set.

    • ZDoom Community Map Project II - Various authors
      Doom 2 - ZDoom - Solo Play - 53885433 bytes -
      Reviewed by: Preliatus
      ZDoom Community Map Project 2 was a surprise.

      Have you ever dreamed about playing a single level that captured the essence of the original Doom? Not considering gameplay here, but the aspect of a exploring UAC base to the depths of hell?

      This is a map for you.

      Consisting of a single level, you're tasked to investigate a UAC Facility that has gone dark after some experimentation. Expect heavy resistance.

      The level starts out in your generic techbase, an entryway. As you progress the cramped areas slowly widen with some miniboss battles here and there. The areas beyond the blue door have some traps and trickery to them. Indiana Jones style insta-gib stone traps will easily obliterate your opposition, as well as turn you into a steaming pile of blood.

      As detailed as the map is, expect awe-inspiring vistas and large battles between you and hellspawn.

      Taking cues from Doom 3, there is a PDA system that you can bind to a key if you choose to; it gives some background to the map itself as well as detail of your objectives, which are kindly placed on the automap if you do happen to get lost.

      There are a couple of downsides to this map. In the outdoor areas of the map near the Weapons Lab there will be some slow down due to a voxel render of a helicopter in the "End Level" zone of the level.

      There are also a few more places in the map that will bog your computer down regardless of your CPU. I recommend turning off the "Enable CPU-Heavy Effects" option in the ZDCMP2 Options panel, unless you believe your computer can handle it.

      If you're looking for a couple of hours to kill then you will enjoy this level. If not you can pass on it, but you will be missing a lot.

    • Courtyard of Death - Wayne Lumpkin
      Heretic - Vanilla - SP/DM - 21364 bytes -
      Reviewed by: vtm
      Courtyard of Death is a deathmatch Heretic map. The map resembles a castle with a courtyard, intended as deathmatch arena with monsters fighting the players. The map design is bad, one big open space with all weapons, and health can only be found inside the castle. The majority of textures are un-aligned and there are some rooms with goodies inside. Overall there are too many items too; also, there is an invulnerability that cannot be picked up (the author talks about it in the .txt). I find it boring to be honest, and it's better you play the original levels as deathmatch.

    • DM-Tempest - Skavenger216
      Doom 2 - ZDoom Compatible - SP/DM - 43807 bytes -
      Reviewed by: joe-ilya
      A single-map crampy slaughterfest that's also supposed to be for deathmatch. The map looks very unfinished, and there are several HOMs for your viewing pleasure. The map is also 3D and uses tons of ugly slopes and the default Doom Builder 2 textures get an appearance in this map. The map features keys in monsters and lots of weird coloring.

      This map is yet another little blast, have fun. I doubt if you'll have any fun playing this map on DeathMatch.

    • MacroTemple - CyberArch, J12Gc
      Doom 2 - ZDoom Compatible - Solo Play - 1327230 bytes -
      Reviewed by: Zulk-RS
      I feel that a lot of time and effort went into making this map. It's a lot better than anything I'll ever be able to make. That doesn't mean that this map is flawless though. It has its flaws, tons of them. The designs and textures are great but they do start to get repetitive.

      This isn't the kind of map you can finish by just rushing in without a plan. This map features tight spaces and powerful monsters. It's as hard as hell (or I just suck at Doom)! The music is decent and has thunder sound effects that get really annoying.

      I will admit, I wouldn't mind having this or a easier version of this map as the Doom II final map. The last section of the map is a BFG-less slaughter map. It features a powered-up Cyberdemon boss. Ammo and health is scarce throughout the entire map. 400+ monsters aren't something to laugh at either. But it can be fun.

    • Sentinel - Memfis
      Doom 2 - Boom Compatible - Solo Play - 6413027 bytes -
      Reviewed by: Tuxlar
      Short, sweet sequence of arena fights. Most of the fights are given with forewarning, even as far as revealing the specific monsters, letting you explore the arena, etc. Don't get comfortable, though. Damaging floors, minimal health, and even some height blocking mean you must think and act fast! Visually competent; implements well a theme of a filthy, deadly demon coliseum (hence its backstory). Verdict: Very worth playing, for a small bite.

    • Garbage - Memfis
      Doom 2 - Limit Removing - Solo Play - 2374727 bytes -
      Reviewed by: scifista42
      Garbage.wad contains 2 maps, designed by Memfis in 2013, in an attempt to emulate the feel of "ugly 90's wads". Most mappers would achieve this with absolutely no effort, but it seems that Memfis is too skilled for that and cannot deny his tendencies. These maps are textured and shaped a little strangely, but overall it doesn't feel haphazard and unprofessional like 90's wads often do. Gameplay is actually pretty fun, without annoyances that modern players despise in early wads. There are some interesting, inventive ideas in both maps. Difficulty is moderate, more easy than hard; there are just occasional tougher enemies among many basic ones, and some little traps.

      MAP01 is short to medium sized. It lets you explore a hellish fortress with a cemetery and occasional structures that look human-made, set in a natural environment. Full of unorthodox texture choices, usage of certain textures might get repetitive, but the level design and structure makes up for that, so that overall feel isn't bad at all. Well-structured compact map. Contains several teleporters to travel between areas. Interesting keycard placement and usage: there are two keycards, both quite hidden, one of them is mandatory and one only unlocks secrets. Other secrets require you to be clever in order to overcome obstacles (barriers, ledges) to get there. Enjoyable atmosphere and playability - rather slow paced, but good anyway.

      There's one major flaw in MAP02: the very first area has a maze made out of stalagmites, which is unbeatable in ZDoom-based ports and you have to noclip over there. The rest is good. MAP02 is longer and far more open than 01; in fact, it contains extreme height variation and spacious areas, and also mixes bland outdoor and more detailed indoor areas. See last four screenshots; the very last one is an automap shot. This kind of aesthetics and structure feels very old-school and 90's like, admittedly, but in the case of this map in particular, not in a bad way. Exploration is essential in this map, and despite the odd oldschool feel, I've enjoyed it. You can freely wander the "bottom" of the map, but the real action takes place in several buildings, often accessible via teleporters. Jumping between building blocks at high heights is involved too. A couple unconventional gimmicks will test your movement skills, but nothing too difficult to be annoying. I have to mention an invisible walkway to the exit - it's a pretty cool oldschool-style idea.

      Try out this wad for its really oldschool aesthetics and structure, combined with an okay gameplay and exploration, and some 90's styled unorthodox gameplay ideas which shouldn't get too annoying.

    • mem_old1 - Memfis
      Ultimate Doom - Limit Removing - Solo Play - 830980 bytes -
      Reviewed by: scifista42
      Unfortunately, Memfis doesn't state how old this old Doom 1 map actually is. Anyway, it's an interesting map. Forget about challenge - this map doesn't provide any significant threat. Instead, it's a simple atmospheric adventure on a space station. You need to explore the station to get 3 keycards and then unlock your way to an exit elevator. Exploration is actually pleasant. The map (in my view) combines oldschool and newschool aesthetics. Of course, the oldschool vibe is distinct (and sweet!), but there's also something advanced about the detailing and structure. See the screenshots and compare them, or better - play the wad. It's really short, and I can recommend it to everyone purely for the simple nostalgic experience.

    • Demonic Rituals - Memfis
      Doom 2 - Vanilla - Solo Play - 816847 bytes -
      Reviewed by: scifista42
      Demonic Rituals are two maps for vanilla Doom by Memfis. As always, they are fun to play, relatively small, look okay and have a certain "classic" vibe in their aesthetics and gameplay; Memfis claims that he got inspiration from classic wads like Requiem. There are new textures (appropriately used) and nice new music in each map. Difficulty is just right, not too easy and not too hard, at least for me as a casual non-hardcore player. I can recommend playing Memfis's maps to everyone.

      MAP01 takes place in a techbase influenced by hellish presence. Progression is semi-linear; the main and correct path is given, but there are optional areas, and you'll frequently revisit areas after activating switches, getting a key etc. Thanks to the map's small size, it doesn't turn into a bothersome switch-hunt, not even in the slightest. The map is structured and interconnected well, and it'll show even more once you unlock red door. I've enjoyed exploring it. Getting secrets requires a little movement skill, which I find great. Most enemies are low-tier, and the tougher ones are not placed harshly, but still, you must not stop paying attention for the presence of chaingunners and shotgunners.

      MAP02, for a change, is a city map, longer than the previous one (but not really big). Most outdoor areas are covered by either GRAY7 texture, or rocks. Gameplay is okay for a city styled map - you need to explore the outdoors, infiltrate the main building through a vent shaft, then consequently visit two path branches (involving jumping over rooftops between buildings, visiting caves and other buildings etc.) to get red and yellow keycards, to unlock a final outdoor area and the exit. Secrets are hidden in a similar spirit as in the previous map - no wall-humping, instead you need to use movement to jump at non-obvious places beyond the playable area. Amount of tough enemies is noticeably higher compared to MAP01, but should be well manageable anyway. Good map as well.

    • Dissection - Memfis
      Doom 2 - Limit Removing - Solo Play - 733723 bytes -
      Reviewed by: scifista42
      Another good Memfis map, plays on MAP22. "Short violent map" is a fitting description of it. The level is punishing from the very beginning, but not overly so, not unfair, and not slaughterish (only 52 monsters in total). It primarily forces you to think and plan your movement quickly, otherwise you die easily. Movement is really essential to save you, and map's music intensifies the fast paced atmosphere. Prepare yourself to fight various enemies from low to high tier. You shouldn't have problems navigating the small and compact layout, although at one point I got lost a little - turned out that I needed to access a teleporter which I previously didn't care about. Unfortunately, there's also one flaw: one secret (with a medikit in it) can't be accessed due to author's oversight, because the secret's door opens too low. Anyway, this is a fun map. Give it a try, and expect a moderately-high challenge and pure action.

    • Greatwad - Memfis
      Doom 2 - Limit Removing - Solo Play - 719653 bytes -
      Reviewed by: scifista42
      Yet another short MAP01 by Memfis. Contains great new music, new textures and also decorations, so that you need a source port that supports custom sprites (recommended is PrBoom plus with -complevel 2). As usually with Memfis's stuff, the map looks pretty good, plays well and has an enjoyable atmosphere, obviously inspired by classic wads. Low-tier enemies only. Difficulty is relatively easy; you shouldn't die unless you keep headlessly running into sergeants. Good layout structure, looping into itself. Otherwise there's nothing much special about this map, but it's very pleasant to play, and that should be enough of a reason to try it out for yourselves.

    • Ascension - Memfis
      Doom 2 - Vanilla - Solo Play - 667548 bytes -
      Reviewed by: scifista42
      Ascension is a small map by Memfis. Thanks to a moody music track and use of decorative objects, the level has a pretty unsettling atmosphere, which will make you actually worried for your life. Don't underestimate my words until you try for yourself. Your fear might really work against you this time. Even though the map is not that hard, you can easily die if you don't appropriately react to suddenly appearing enemies. Those are primarily low-tier; only a couple hell knights and a cacodemon are present. The map looks good, flows very well too, and I enjoyed it (although I died). There is one secret, hidden overly well if you ask me. Anyway, I recommend this map for a quick, tense, but fun experience.

    • Mega Tear - Memfis
      Doom 2 - Limit Removing - Solo Play - 467882 bytes -
      Reviewed by: scifista42
      Megatear is another short and sweet level by Memfis. It's a techbase built around a deep water pit. It's not a hard map, but also not trivial, just how I personally like it. There's a little tricky beginning: a mancubus attacks you while you only have a pistol, deal with it however you want - either blow up barrels near him, or run to get a better weapon from chaingun or shotgun zombies. Pay attention to monsters around you and you should manage everything; the most threatening enemies here are some chaingunners, about two revenants and one mancubus. Your only goal is to jump over a couple platforms to get the yellow keycard, then use it to raise the exit bridge and not get killed in the meantime - that's it. The map looks good enough for a vanilla techbase, and I found it satisfying to play, too. Recommended for quick fun.

    • Voyage to Deimos map02 - Memfis
      Doom 2 - Limit Removing - Solo Play - 436678 bytes -
      Reviewed by: scifista42
      Memfis's Voyage to Deimos MAP02 should not be confused with Voyage to Deimos E2M1 by the same author - they are very different levels. Actually, Memfis claims that this map—VoD MAP02—is older (year 2007 or so), and even one of his very first maps! Indeed, it somehow feels a little less thought-out than Tyson-styled E2M1. But Memfis's talent is obvious in all his maps, and Voyage to Deimos MAP02 is good for someone's early work.

      Compared to Memfis's later maps, this one is rather... boxy and straightforward, consisting mainly of orthogonal rooms with corridors connecting them. But not really in a too bad way. The map is detailed quite well at places, bland at other places; sometimes it ends up looking nice, sometimes a bit odd. Anyway, Memfis's tendencies how to create gameplay and add detail can be observed. The map isn't very hard; most enemies are encountered simply in front of you, and they're placed more like randomly than to be effectively challenging. Still, watch out for a couple traps and tougher enemies on the way. Map is moderately long and extensive. As I said, you need to visit rooms in a determined order; there are little to no extra path interconnections (but there are windows to areas visited later in the map).

      All in all, this is the kind of wad where the main focus is linear exploration and shooting enemies encountered from the front, with little extra obstacles. For that, it doesn't play bad at all, and doesn't look bad either. Decide for yourself if you're interested to play it, but for myself, it was worth it. Anyway, Memfis has managed to improve his mapping style during the years greatly, and I like his maps a lot.

    • Fighting - Memfis
      Doom 2 - Limit Removing - Solo Play - 423933 bytes -
      Reviewed by: joe-ilya
      Yet another retro wad inspired one-map wad by Memfis, mostly inspired by "Invasion UAC". It's mostly a tech level, but in the end you're outdoors for a short while. The map has hordes and traps almost everywhere; the final trap is the heaviest here as you could guess.

      About graphics: some of them are taken from "Invasion UAC", and the sky is from some arcade game. The new textures give a little bonus dimension to the game to make it feel like an armory.

      Difficult all the way. You should play this if you want to have a little blast!

    Let me guess; one of those reviewers doesn't know how to properly appreciate a WAD that you liked this week. Want to do something about it? Instead of complaining in the comment thread like you always do, perhaps you can make a difference and write some better reviews than those idiots up there. The /newstuff Review Center is the place to do so. Put that Doomworld Forums account to constructive use, because you need one to submit reviews.

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    Scifista42 truly is a bad dude.

    I really need to give the Review Center another look, I need to get back into the swing of reviewing. :/

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    I'm surprised that there was no note made of the fact that DM-Tempest is a remake of an old Unreal Tournament map.

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    Cynical said:

    I'm surprised that there was no note made of the fact that DM-Tempest is a remake of an old Unreal Tournament map.

    the map's text file states it, i thought of this immediately when seeing the map's title, being an ut fan myself, but haven't played it yet (well, crampy slaughterfest isn't really my kind of map).

    however, i didn't know that memfis is such a prolific mapper.

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    With so many Memfis wads reviewed, it should have been called "The /newstuff Chronicles #461: Memfis Edition" :P

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    Philnemba said:

    With so many Memfis wads reviewed, it should have been called "The /newstuff Chronicles #461: Memfis Edition" :P

    Just wait for #462...

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