Doomatic v1.12 - Denis Fabrice & Boris Pereira
Doom/Doom 2 - Vanilla - N/A - 97777 bytes
Reviewed by: Bloodshedder
This has been sitting at the bottom of the queue for many months, so I'm just going to copy and paste from the text file.
"Doomatic is an old IPX-based DOS Doom netgame program, created by Fab & Boris, better known as the original authors of the Doom Legacy source port. The .zip also includes HIPAFRAG.WAD, a deathmatch level by Denis Fabrice."
Hell Awakened 2 Episode 1 - Death Dealer, insanoflex312
Doom 2 - GZDoom - Solo Play - 27739438 bytes -
Reviewed by: vtm
Hell Awakened 2 Episode 1 is a Doom 2 mod with a heavy Doom 64 inspiration.
Has nine new maps, eight plus a secret one. Many resources were taken from Doom 64, such as music, difficulties names, textures and monsters. Includes three new monsters: the nightmare imp with a reworked attack and its own sounds, and a pain elemental that resembles the Doom 64 version, which has more HP and spits two lost souls at the same time. The other one is a new archvile, with more HP and more annoying than the regular one because he has the ability to spawn monsters; I died several times because the bastard spawned barons and revenants too close to me.
It doesn't have new weapons, but the pistol has been removed; instead, the player starts with the shotgun, and it takes slot 2 in the arsenal.
Action is well planned; the author really planned all the ambushes, and most secrets are really well hidden. Generally combat is always challenging but doesn't get boring. Personally the hardest part was the final room of map07 with its near 20 revenants.
Maps are well-constructed and well-detailed and decorated, resembling Doom 64 maps. Exploration doesn't get boring. The colored lightning adds well to the atmosphere, and the only downside is that some rooms are too dark. Ammo and health aren't scarce after map02; most of the time I found myself using the SSG because I always had a high amount of shells.
The only map that I didn't like was the secret one, resembles Hectic (the super secret map from Doom 64) containing even a similar trap. The problem with this map is that it gets frustrating, especially if you don't find the BFG, which is the only thing that makes that map worth visiting.
Definitely this mod was fun. I do recommend every fan of Doom 64 to try this mod, you won't regret it.
Hell Temple 8 - Christopher Rutherford
Doom 2 - ZDoom Compatible - Solo Play - 976723 bytes -
Reviewed by: vtm
Hell Temple 8 is a huge map, intended to be played with Brutal Doom v19.
The map starts by giving the player different areas to explore, each one necessary to complete the level; at the end of each one a skull key is found. Several areas are dark, but luckily you won't find many monsters in these places.
The map is filled with traps, but the author did take time to organize these ambushes, and exploration gives its rewards. Many monsters will ambush the player, but these are weak monsters. There are few revenants and barons through all the level, and the imps are prevalent. There are two inaccessible areas with monsters and one empty area, so getting 100% is impossible. Secrets aren't marked in the map. Some areas are really well-constructed, but lack decorative elements in some places. The exit room seems somewhat unfinished.
Health and ammunition is short in this map, so being careful is really important. I couldn't find the rocket launcher nor the plasma rifle; actually, I didn't find any rockets at all besides the one given by the backpack.
Music used is the same from Doom2's MAP01. The combination of this map and that music doesn't fit well.
I really liked the map, as it is challenging without being insane, and it definitely deserves some attention.
For those who don't like playing with Brutal Doom, this map can be played without it, and it's still very good.
The Ultimate Doom Metal Replacement Vol. 1 & 2 - Mr. Chris/Glaice
Doom/Doom 2 - N/A - N/A - 530436 bytes
Reviewed by: scifista42
This is purely a music wad, actually only a compilation of unoriginal content. In fact, there are two wads: uldmmrv1.wad and uldmmrv2.wad. Each of these wads replaces all music tracks of BOTH Doom 1 and Doom 2 - D_E1M1 to D_E3M9, D_RUNNIN to D_ULTIMA, and intermission tracks too - which means that there are about 130 new tracks in both wads in total. These new MIDIs are all metal MIDIs from numerous bands, presumably taken from a site en.midimelody.ru which Mr.Chris/Glaice discovered at that time.
The music in these wads is more or less all pretty good - if you like metal. Truth be told, they're assigned to particular map slots seemingly randomly and without much thought. They're there mainly to be listened to, or maybe to be ripped if someone liked them and wanted to use them. Sure, the IWADs can be played with this music, but it's going to be an unrefined experience. The MIDIs don't always fit the maps they're on, and it feels weird anyway, to go through familiar maps with such unfamiliar music tracks. As I said, they'll be most useful just for quick in-game tests if the music sounds up to your tastes.
If you like metal and if you're looking for some metal midis (perhaps because you want to use them in your wads), check out this compilation, or go directly to the source (the site I linked above) to find out more. Maybe if you're interested how the stock maps feel with a foreign music, you might find this interesting (I personally didn't). Otherwise, there is nothing appealing, because the wad is nothing more than random tracks. Take it or leave it.
The Ultimate Doom Metal Replacement Vol. 3 & 4 - Mr. Chris/Glaice
Doom 2 - N/A - N/A - 499628 bytes
Reviewed by: scifista42
A second installment of Glaice's metalfest. More random metal MIDIs from various bands, thrown into uldmmrv3.wad and uldmmrv4.wad to replace Doom's and Doom 2's stock music, roughly 130 tracks in total. See the review above for details, because the principle is absolutely the same. Again, take it or leave it.
Hatred Removed - Datacore
Ultimate Doom - Vanilla - Solo Play - 427311 bytes -
Reviewed by: vtm
A replacement for Doom's first episode. The maps are short and tend to be difficult near the end.
The maps try to simulate the first episode vibe, or at least that's what I felt. Some maps lacks decorative elements and the same formula repeats several times, press switch and walls lower revealing monsters. It renames the level names at the intermission screen.
The first levels have a techy look and are very short, then the rest have predominant red and brown textures (except for E1M8) and have an extended duration as you advance, but the last ones are still kinda short. The secret level also has a tech look and features two Spidermasterminds ready to be put into an infight.
The music is the same as Episode 1 and I like those songs, but they don't fit well in some maps; the author should have used new music.
Overall it's pretty fun, secrets aren't hard to find and combat doesn't get too repetitive. Sadly, the maps seems to be completed for the Ultra-Violence skill level only; at second or third difficulties there are empty secrets, and some of the few decorative elements are missing.
Ammo is more abundant than health - very few moments will you find yourself with low health.
I liked most of the levels, but the majority of rooms are just tiny spaces. The last level is lame; it tries to simulate Phobos anomaly somewhat, but is just too easy and kinda boring.
The Fallen: Dark Ascension - The Solution
Doom 2 - GZDoom - Solo Play - 33815422 bytes -
Reviewed by: scifista42
An eight-map set, supposedly inspired by Episodes 3 and 4 (Hellish maps) of Doom 1. In a way, the author has succeeded, but in a way he has failed.
The wad uses lots of custom resources such as textures, unsettling ambient music (sometimes almost quiet), PSX Doom sounds, and fiery skies. Most importantly, there are custom monsters. Extremely overpowered custom monsters. And that's the thing: gameplay of these maps is rather uninteresting and very easy, placement of all monsters was uninspiring, often spammy, and it would be tedious to kill the monsters without powerful weapons (which I fortunately had, but with limited ammo). And these annoying new monsters were the only thing that raised difficulty - it wasn't very comfortable, though. For example, MAP02 introduces the Diabolist. It's an Archvile clone with more health and multiple highly-damaging attacks, which he is quick to perform. I had rockets and plasma and enough health, yet I needed over 20 attempts to kill that Diabolist, because he was simply too powerful and killed me faster. In addition, he just lurks behind a door in a normal looking corridor with a teleporter, not that he was a boss or something! And other maps follow in similar spirit: Railgun revenants, orange Cacodemons with fast and damaging projectiles and more health, big Bruiser Demon with explosive floor-hugging attacks... The last one was placed onto a cramped bridge, as was I (and I couldn't get out of there), and my multiple deaths actually made me ragequit.
Let's talk about visuals: The maps are very detailed, but only in a dull way. Consistent, mechanical, "inhuman-like" way. Borderline textures, metal arches, pillars and square-ish gradient sector lighting are applied everywhere (often symmetrically), and it turns out as unimpressive, because the corridors would be just boring generic corridors without it, and neither gameplay nor level design does anything to spice it up to be any better.
Level design - that's another disaster, kind of. Earlier in this review, I said that these maps were inspired by Doom's (probably PSX Doom's) E3 and E4. In reality, some of the maps here ARE Doom's maps from E3 and E4 (and E2), just with 3x more needless detail and ramped-up monster counts + the new balance-breaking enemies. Really, MAP03 has nearly the exact layout of Doom's "Unholy Cathedral", only degraded in a way I've described above. MAP04 does a very similar thing to "Unto the Cruel", and there's more. Some maps don't resemble layouts of IWAD maps, but they felt extremely generic; for example MAP01 - too simple, giving me needlessly powerful resources, symmetrical, and that's it. Balance in the IWAD-inspired maps also seemed worse than in the original maps, actually.
I'm sorry to the author, there was obviously a lot of work put into this wad, but I couldn't really enjoy it. It gave me an impression of "visuals over everything", with mediocre gameplay and balance and partially plagiarized design. Players, if all you want to see is detail, and if you can bear noticeably imperfect and annoying gameplay, check this wad out, it might impress you. Otherwise, I don't believe it would. It's a shame.
#DooM Speedmapping Session 2 - Kraflab
Doom 2 - Boom Compatible - Solo Play - 287036 bytes -
Reviewed by: Jaws In Space
#DooM Speed mapping Session 2 in the second WAD in a speedmapping session held once per month by the #doom community on irc.speedrunslive.com. I'm not familiar with that particular IRC channel, but by going off of the name and my familiarity with some of these mappers, I assume that they are all speedrunners. The text file says that some of these guys are first time mappers and it does show, though a few mappers do express disappointment with their submitted maps. I have a feeling that no one really took this one seriously anyways, as the two themes given were Tower Ruins or Fireblu, with seven people having Fireblu featured prominently in their maps. There are four maps of at least decent quality here, those being maps 3, 5, 7, and 8. The other maps are either completely unplayable or just not very fun. I really can't recommend this wad; it's mostly of a joking nature and there really isn't a good map in here, so go ahead and pass this one up for something better.
DieAngle - Peter Kasting
Doom 2 - Vanilla - Deathmatch - 15011 bytes -
Reviewed by: the_miano
DieAngle, created by Peter Kasting, is a small deathmatch map that strongly resembles the theme of the original Greenwar. The layout of the map is in the shape of a triangle, and there are quite a few sectors that are shaped like triangles. There isn't much of a variety of interesting textures. Pretty much everything is gray textured. There is a BFG sector that requires a switch to activate doors that open. The majority of the time you will probably be using the SSG to frag down your opponents.
Overall, not too shabby. It could be used for a DM community project.
Alkylation (version 1.0) - UltimateLorenzo
Doom 2 - ZDoom Compatible - Solo Play - 9515071 bytes -
Reviewed by: scifista42
Alkylation is an ambitious ZDoom wad, containing 13 new levels (often taking advantage of ZDoom features), a couple new weapons, and lots of new textures and new monsters that almost entirely replace the stock resources, at least that's the impression early on. All levels feature a well-fitting custom music track.
Despite being designed for Doom 2, this wad has an episodic structure. After completing each episode, the game shows an ending text and then returns to the menu, where you can select another episode, therefore you can't carry your weapons and stuff between different episodes.
Episode 1: "Handle With Care" (MAP01-MAP05) - Consists of small to medium sized techbase maps. Extensively uses new textures from various texture packs; I've recognized Quake textures, Cage's texture pack, and there's probably much more. All monsters encountered in this episode are new custom ones; there's not a single imp, zombieman etc. The levels are well detailed, good looking and well playable too. You only need to get used to the new monsters, which I'll talk about later. There is lots of ammo in the maps; they seem to be designed with pistol starts in mind.
Episode 2: "Xenothanatos" (MAP06-MAP08) - Suddenly, here's a twist: you (without any weapon, bar a pistol) find yourself on a rocky, hostile alien planet with mysterious temples and wholly new mysterious enemies. Again, no stock monsters, and minimum stock textures. Balance in these maps is off - there doesn't seem to be enough ammo, ever! You need to run past the monsters most of the time, while solving various switch-hunt type quests.
Episode 3: "Negentropy" (MAP09-MAP13) - Very Quake/Quake2 inspired maps; Quake textures dominate here, and the maps look kinda great (even though they're brown a lot). Unlike the previous episodes, you'll face the original Doom(2)'s monsters along with the custom ones from Alkylation's Episode 1 (but not E2). Gameplay resembles Alkylation's E1 as well.
Now let me say something about the new monsters. They're mostly nothing more than improved versions of the classic ones, in various ways. Examples (not a complete list):
- Rapid Fire Trooper - A zombieman clone, wearing a metal armor. He fires rapidly and doesn't stop until he loses line of sight.
- Shotgun Trooper - A shotgun guy clone in green clothes. He deals far more damage per shot, and he's quicker to pull the trigger. He drops more ammo as compensation.
- Vulgar - An imp clone, skinny and with dull green skin. Throws fast projectiles that deal poison damage lasting several seconds after they hit you! Better try to not get hit by them at all.
- Blood Demon - An armored pinky demon clone with more health.
- Chaingun Major - A chaingunner clone with quicker reactions, much more health and much lower pain chance. He's annoying, because he often doesn't stop firing even if you blast his face with a shotgun.
- Hell Warrior - A hell knight clone, looking like an armored lion. He wields a shield, which he can raise and become invulnerable for two seconds, and he actually does it every time he gets damaged -> quite annoying. In addition, he fires heavily damaging yellow projectiles and also green piercing projectiles from his shield, which can totally destroy you if you run backwards trying to evade them, because they deal piercing damage all the time while in contact with you.
- Caco Lich - A decayed-looking cacodemon clone, shooting very fast homing projectiles or a stream of even faster non-homing projectiles.
I've also mentioned new weapons. There are two:
- Plasma Shotgun (slot 3) - Fires three plasma bolts, uses plasma ammo, quite useful because of its heavy damage, and found relatively frequently in the maps.
- Nailgun (slot 4) - Rapidly fires nails that can pierce through multiple enemies. Uses its own ammo, and is quite useful too, but rarely found in the maps.
The weapons are great additions, but many of these monsters actually degrade the gameplay, because killing them takes more time, either because of their higher health, or because of the peekaboo-style strategy needed to beat them (otherwise you'd die easily). Their placement in E1 levels is simple, yet efficient. In E2, they have too much meat to be overcome quickly, and it's even more uncomfortable. In E3, the placement is like in E1, but I've got an impression that it's getting too easy; most of the encounters were either a spam of low-tier enemies, or occasional high-tier ones that could have been easily skipped more often than not.
I liked E1 of this mapset, disliked E2, and was kinda neutral about E3, but it was a good one too. Either way, try out this mapset, I believe it's a worthy experience.
I Was Bored And I Made This - Omegalore
Ultimate Doom - Vanilla - Solo Play - 530073 bytes -
Reviewed by: Jaws In Space
This was a pretty simple map that replaces E1M3 of Doom. As an E1 replacement it uses mostly E1 texturing, but the detailing is a bit more advanced than anything from Doom, and I think it looks decent enough. The layout on the other hand is quite bad; the entire map is pretty much a single hallway from start to finish. There were a few errors I noticed while playing the map. First, there are two pretty bad instances of sky cutoff, and the other issue was an inescapable pit of water that is surrounded by lamps. Gameplay was quite easy, so don't play this one if you're looking for a challenge. Overall this is an okay map. It would be a nice map to play if you're looking for something quick and easy, but don't expect it to impress you in any way.
Respawned: Back from Hell - Zalewa
Doom 2 - Vanilla - Solo Play - 1225261 bytes -
Reviewed by: scifista42
An oldschool-styled, but pretty good 12-map set. Zalewa has obviously put a lot of work into it. He said that he has been working on the mapset for four years, albeit with long breaks.
Visuals are kind of average, occasionally better looking. That's the "oldschool-style" here. Nothing in the wad looks downright terrible, though. The central unifying theme is "Hell" (later maps also have techbases), but in fact, various maps take various approaches to it. So there are maps of various scales (from small rooms to vast courtyards and canyons), various colour and texture schemes (see the screenshots), and various progression styles (linear, semilinear, sometimes nonlinear).
And where the wad doesn't appeal visually, it appeals with its playability. I found the maps fun to play and explore. The author didn't hesitate to put tough opposition against the player, but he was rarely zealous with it (MAP02 start), and the battles should be manageable for everyone casually skilled (probably with a bit of saving and/or camping). Balance might be tight on UV, but everything is definitely doable, and enjoyable at the same time. The maps are mostly structured and balanced out well. The only map I should warn you about is MAP07: it's a specially weak-looking map, centered around gimmicky infighting. The other maps are solid.
If you don't mind imperfect visuals and if you're a fan of oldschool, this wad might impress you. I've enjoyed playing through the maps myself, and I can recommend the experience.
The Freeze Thrower Mark 2 - Omegalore
N/A - ZDoom Compatible - N/A - 29841 bytes -
Reviewed by: Jaws In Space
This is a simple weapon replacement for the Plasma Rifle that turns it into a Freeze Thrower. The new weapon is simple enough, aim it at the bad guy and he will be frozen in his current frame; it takes the same number of projectiles to freeze the monster as it would to kill it with the Plasma Rifle. Once frozen you can then push the monster around until it shatters, or if it takes damage it will also shatter. The weapon does have a few drawbacks: it does take a few seconds for the frozen monster to shatter, so if you get too many frozen in one spot, you will either be stuck for a little bit or you will have to waste additional ammo to clear them out of the way. Another drawback to the weapon is that a frozen monster will block the weapon from hitting other monsters behind it, which makes you somewhat vulnerable to hitscanners. I find that the drawbacks to this weapon far outweigh any benefits that it may have and it really isn't very fun to use in the first place. There are other better ice weapons out there, so go ahead and skip this wad.
Secretdoom: The Green Machine - Cyberdemon531
Plutonia - GZDoom - Solo Play - 21994244 bytes -
Reviewed by: scifista42
A ten-map set (plus two secret maps) for Plutonia, using new textures, new monsters, very nice new music, and some (G)ZDoom features, while the design philosophy seems relatively simple. Unique wad, in a way. I have mixed feelings about it.
Visuals. I'd say that they're literally beautiful in their (relative) simplicity, and I was actually impressed by them. There's a lot of effects / new textures and other content involved, which I don't appreciate for themselves, but here it helped to make the wad unique, as I already said. And there's more about it. Wads with elaborate structure and a high amount of detail tend to feel artificial and not always in a good way; wads with simplistic aesthetics and structure tend to feel lazily done; but Cyberdemon531's maps are different from either, and I haven't seen such a wad... maybe ever. It really feels like Cyberdemon531 created all the environments with love, every single part, and he has succeeded in making them appealing that way. The creative enthusiasm seems apparent to me.
Another thing connected with it - focus on exploration. These maps are awesome in this aspect. Tons of optional areas, each of them seemingly created with love. Instead of just some goodies thrown into these areas (like what usually happens), the exploration is rewarding for itself in this wad, for the feeling and for the view. I admire it a lot. These levels offer one of the best (while low-scale and simple) exploration experiences I've ever seen.
Gameplay itself is weak, though. Almost all monster fights tend to be either:
1. Door fights. Open door, kill monsters, go on. No challenge, no possible threat.
2. Corridor shootage. All monsters are in front of you, just keep shooting. No challenge, easily can get tedious.
3. Slaying high-HP monsters with low-rank weapons. Very tedious, takes too long. Minimum challenge anyway. Not fun.
4. Gameplay like in the secret MAP11. Just blatantly awful, from a gameplay perspective. By the way, the idea of the last map (MAP10) was a great conclusion to the whole adventure, but its gameplay sucked, with just one enemy type with high HP everywhere that bounces off like a gum ball when shot. For today's mapset, it's very bad. The word is "stale". We players like and need a bit of non-straightforward challenge.
Anyway, I liked the mapset overall. I felt tempted to play further and explore the maps, despite rather badly-done gameplay. The wad had a very distinct Heretic vibe, but in nice Doom-like environments. Great use of music to set a "relaxing" atmosphere. If Cyberdemon531 could improve the gameplay, the wad would be even better. But anyway, it's worth checking out, I say.
GZDoom Speedmapping Session #4 - Cyberdemon531
Doom 2 - GZDoom - Solo Play - 4322593 bytes -
Reviewed by: scifista42
This looks like an unfunny attempt at a jokewad. Cyberdemon531 created this entire 30-map megawad within four hours, at least he claims so. The maps are extremely simple, full of misalignments and even game-breaking errors. Most of the maps have dumb titles like "Don't give this 0 stars please". There are often ridiculous amounts of overpowered enemies facing you at close range, or no enemies at all in some maps. The maps use custom textures and monsters - but a better word than "use" would be "misuse" in this case.
I honestly believe that true speedmapping has potential, and if Cyberdemon531 feels like practicing this way (wanting to improve his skill), it's all right. He is able to make good maps, I know it (he has created Secretdoom: Disrepair and its sequel The Green Machine). I only say that the result of this particular speed-work is absolutely nothing worthy to be played. Pass it.
The /newstuff Chronicles #471