Prototype - Molten_
Ultimate Doom - Boom Compatible - Solo Play - 262.17 KB -
Reviewed by: Chezza
Prototype, an episode 4 replacement for Ultimate Doom by Molten_. This man works as a professional QA tester so he knows about bugs. Well Mr. Molten, it looks like the tables have turned. I will now deliberately look for bugs and judge you for it.
(plays wad) Nope, none. I even used an incorrect source port. Well played.
So this wad has four levels, five if you include the Phobos-like ending. This is nothing ground breaking, but is it quality? Yes. Is it challenging? Sufficiently so, yes; I think hardcore and moderate players alike can get a kick out of this. Enough action to keep you interested but manageable enough to reward the clever and highly reactive players. Most importantly, is the wad fun? Yes.
What I find interesting about these levels are the designs. The levels gradually become more creative and form interesting patterns. I'm speaking of those types of levels where the bridge you walk over happens to also be a wall that lowers to the next room that also serves as a temporary window to a secret or yet another location. There is some real thought process into these designs that earns my respect.
The aesthetics are neither amazing nor poor, but serve their purpose well with mostly good spacing. There are also a couple of layouts and map techniques used that I loved, such as level 4 "The Belly of the Whale" (image 6), and the way he piles crates on top of each other (image 3, look at it. I love it).
You won't find any Cyberdemons, Masterminds, BFGs, or many Doom 2 monsters, but the resources you do encounter are well placed and designed to serve their purpose and occasionally make you feel like a total bad arse. There are also a few tricks and traps to get your adrenaline running, but they are all very manageable if you're quick enough. I played on medium difficulty and only neared death once, which taught me to play the rest of the wad more cautiously. I handled the other traps quite well but had to use my best reflexes and cunning to do so, which left me feeling really satisfied. That's the sort of feeling I want to get out of playing Doom.
Kudos for the choice of music; it's a little too upbeat for me at times, but helps create a unique atmosphere I enjoy. If only Molten had the time to create all nine levels. This stays true to the original Doom designs, and is definitely a wad to consider for any Doom purist.
Sinister Seven - Vanilla Maps by Doomkid - Doomkid [Adam P.]
Doom 2 - Vanilla - Solo Play - 2.86 MB -
Reviewed by: Csonicgo
The following seven maps are more than just maps - they're seven different experiences.
Let me explain myself. Every monster has received some graphical tweak or do-over, some sporting different colors than usual, or a touch-up to look even meaner than usual. Items have been switched around a bit. Weapons have a different coat of paint. They still play by the same rules, however.
As for the maps, except for MAP07, these maps share design ideas of stock Doom maps, with some alpha influences here and there. These maps also pack a lot of challenge, and will take a while to beat in one sitting - it took me around 90 minutes from start to finish.
If I had any complaints, it's that some of the graphics replacements clash quality-wise with existing elements. The pistol replacement (Doom alpha rifle) should feel beefier, but it falls flat as it's simply a cosmetic change. Perhaps a patch to speed up the rifle or use two bullets instead of the slow pea shooter could help a lot.
The final two levels will take you a while, so if you're easily frustrated, there are still some good maps in here for you to play.
If you like Doom levels, play it! That should be all of you! Right now!
Base of Tribute v1.0 - Cory Scott (NiTROACTiVE)
Doom 2 - ZDoom Compatible - Solo Play - 4.91 MB -
Reviewed by: walter confalonieri
This is a large map (with an extra "credits" map) for ZDoom and derivative ports (played on Zandronum without problems) made by Cory Scott aka NiTROACTiVE, mostly known for his Youtube Let's Plays (with the nickname of Aquarius199) of awful maps and Terrywads, and creator of the Illuminatus megawad and some other maps. This is map inspired by some of his best friends and other people, plus some funny memes and such stuff; everything placed into a huge screen that shows them in all their glory!
Also, I found that this map is a tribute to all the Skulltag-era wads from the mid-2000s in aesthetics, like lots of the textures are the ones mostly used for said port, and why when they upgraded it to that unpronounceable name they didn't use the contents of Skulltag or even publish them as standalone project is still a mystery for me [Ed: they're called skulltag_data.pk3 and skulltag_actors.pk3], and some other little touches.
The layout is pretty spacious and easy to navigate, but has some annoyances like the fake doors that don't open, and the right door/switch searching I had to do before the COMPSPAN maze in all the previously explored sections, but overall has this nice 2000 feel to it, and there's some pretty nice scenery and layout here and there.
The gameplay is pretty challenging (even too much for a "casual" like me), and has a new Skulltag-like library of monsters (there's even the Hectebus, I didn't remember it was so annoying to fight!) plus some other monsters like a (lot of) little cacodemons (ahhhh, it's so adorable! I felt bad fighting it!), two different flying spider masterminds (one gray version, with fewer hit points but the same power of a normal spider mastermind, and a version that looks like a floating Krang with two Gatling guns as a miniboss), ghostly cacodemons that act like the ghosts from Super Mario Bros 3; you know, they appear at first, then reappear randomly near you... Yeah, imagine that with the topping of they're actually shooting at you. A lot. Isn't this charming?
As a new final boss, we have this huge and much more powerful spider mastermind (I think NiTROACTiVE likes spider masterminds, eh?) which is pretty hard to put down, so be careful!
Overall this map is pretty cool to play even if it's difficult. Download and play it!
Miano's Deathmatch! - Michael Miano
Doom 2 - Multiplayer - Deathmatch - 1.27 MB -
Reviewed by: Obsidian
What, you thought I was gonna review a deathmatch wad? No siree! This next review comes to us courtesy of a fine fellow by the name of Decay, a resident of #doomtwid and victim of smile obesity who asked me to pop his review up on DW for your viewing pleasure. Enjoy!
Time to boot up a deathmatch wad by the notorious bad-boy of the Everything Else section of Doomworld.
The_Miano is an enthusiatic DM player, bringing his DM wads to Doomworld like nobody else, except maybe Doomkid. An arms race to see who the make more DM wads maybe? Mianodm.wad I guess is the pinnacle of his work, so let us see if it is any better than previous wads. This was played in Zandronum with 4 players and 1 spectator.
Mianodm is ten maps compatible with ZDaemon, Odamex, and Zandronum, with some weapon alteration, sprite changes, and sound edits. Let's see how it panned out.
Immediately as I spawn in map01 I'm blocked by a hanging corpse--BUT WAIT, it's not actually a corpse, just a view-blocking corpse with no matter. That's just what I need when I spawn, something blocking my view for no reason. It's a THING that stretches from the low-ceiling to the floor, so naturally I thought 1) it would block movement and 2) block projectiles, but I was wrong on both counts. As I played this intro map, I found it really set the stage for the future maps: twisty corridors ringing around the central rosie. This means that while there are some corridors for fighting, most fights end up being in large central locations in the maps. While this is not a bad thing, this becomes boring quickly, as anyone with good aim can stomp out most people in the center. Lack of interesting strategy would be the best way to put it.
Sounds and changes. The plasma has been changed to the arachnotron variant, and is actually more distracting with this change than regular plasma, and still has the horrible stock sound. If you're going to change the sounds, at least change that! The faster speed made the CG pretty decent, but then I don't think the weapon placements were really balanced out for it. The shotgun still sucks (and is under-presented!), and I don't think any projectile speeds were altered to balance out a more destructive chaingun. All the weapons except BFG and Plasma have different sounds. The chaingun sounds pretty good, and so does the pistol, I think, but the shotguns are not so good, with SSG grating on my ear the first time I heard it. Speaking of hearing things, all the music in this wad were metal or rock songs converted to MIDI format. While not the worst track listing I've heard in a DM wad, it was still pretty meh.
I can't imagine playing this with more than 4 people. It was pretty constant death, but I guess the wad was aimed for 4 people anyway. It's a good wad to just have a quick romp in, but getting familiar with the map nuances would eventually start to piss you off. There are many edges and TECH LAMPS to get caught up on, and many of the spawns don't make sense or are unbalanced. There are extremely pointless pistol spawns. There are too many instances where maps have chaingun spawns next to SSG spawns. What is the point of trying to balance a spawn when the CG user is going to get rofl'd out of existence, even with a stronger CG? Item distribution is sometimes out of control. Ammo placed around haphazardly, health confusedly, and blue armour (replaced with red) handed out generously, because that's simply not OP enough for generic DM. I was told pistol spawns have weapons close by, and while this is true, really all this does is shaft some players into having to do the weapon_raise animation twice, which, in fast-paced maps like this, is a death sentence.
The wad is ten maps; most look the same, little variety, and four of them are pretty much box arenas. The others are winding, twisting tunnels and corridors going up and down all over the place. There is a tendency to have corridors go somewhere for some ammo and medipacks, and then you have to go backwards to get back into the field. The corridors going up and down really just distract you from the fact that sometimes, the map is really just flat with some bumps. One thing I will say is that Miano and friends have really nailed down that old stock texture theme. Visually it's fairly polished, if unoriginal, dull, and repetitive. While this may appeal to some people, to a lot of others it will just be "I've seen this before" or "Didn't we just play this map?" or "I've played this wad before" when they actually haven't.
Shitty 90's Map is, well, pretty shitty, and Marnetmar had a stroke when he saw it. Lucky for him, he didn't have to play it. I know I won't be playing that map again. Map08, dWANGus Maximus, was also god-awful, particularly for putting a huge fucking puddle of 20 damage lava in front of a spawn. This map is also a metaphorical manifestation of particular player's strange obsession with horrible map packs nobody plays anymore, for good reason. This style didn't play well 20 years ago and doesn't now. I don't know why, but there are a lot of chainguns, which is pretty much the only good weapon on a certain port, so maybe that's why, but for now we will say there are excessive chainguns to support Doomworld's 2nd amendment. Let no player go without chainguns. Map06 features some gimmick where the author(s)? are found in a raging fire. I feel like this wad is a manifestation for metaphorical happenings in Doomworld. Maybe map06, being devoid and empty, is supposed to be Linguica's stone-cold soul. No arguments out in this Courtyard, because if you go in that empty middle you're going to get smacked fast.
Gameplay: While it's not the worst thing I've ever played, it definitely needs more polish. I feel like this is a trend with the_miano's work, that final releases are made far too quickly, when there should be a lot more testing and refining that could fix many of the issues. There are some good ideas I think, particularly seen in map09, but they were taken out of the oven too quick. The BFG gimmicks, for the most part, were fairly done, not being too hard or easy and balanced OK except for a few maps. It's not bad if you want a quick run and gun on something new with your friends, but it's not something I would want to repeatedly play, and it certainly doesn't give me anything memorable in the game play department.
Looks: While it's really stock, rudimentary, and sometimes clashing texture usage, for the most part it is visually clean and not distracting. While it's nice to aim for that "old-school" feel, I feel like I've seen these maps 100 times before, and they offer nothing new and exciting for me to want to continually play them. Again, nothing really memorable here, on the negative or positive spectrum. In the end, it's a mediocre wad on all counts.
Future recommendations: Actually dedicate time for play-testing. Not just playing to have fun. This wad had the potential to be much better if testers had caught some of the spawn issues and edge-grabbing stuff. Go beyond your usual testing group and get some people to be really critical about the maps. You don't grow as a mapper by putting out the same stuff repeatedly, which is really what I see here. Also for the love of all that is unholy in Doom, stop trying to be DWANGO in 2015, nobody plays that stuff for a reason. Find some texture packs, and try to make something progressive.
Enhanced Skill Levels - Mr. Chris
Doom/Doom 2 - ZDoom Compatible - SP/Co-op - 2.18 KB
Reviewed by: Csonicgo
This is an "Enhanced skill" WAD for ZDoom that simply changes ZDoom global variables for skill levels. If you know how skill levels work in ZDoom, this does nothing too special, with small tweaks to "aggressiveness" and "damage factors".
That's it. The skill levels aren't really "enhanced" enough that I can sense a difference from the originals, and some feel like duplicates - "Hardcore" and "Insane" feel oddly similar, with the exception of hitscanners being beefier in the damage department. Unless I pick something like "Masochist", I never notice. Since Nightmare! was so exaggerated, I can't tell if the finer-tuned skill levels actually increase difficulty, so everything played pretty much the same as before.
This WAD would shine, however, if it offered a custom skill level menu where I could pick values (with sliders) and create my own skill levels - for example: UV monster spawns with double ammo and ITYTD damage - or UV spawns with ITYTD items. Something like that. Even weirder - UV spawns with Multiplayer items, or solo-net mode.
If ZDoom doesn't allow tweaked skill levels in the manner I'm talking about, and this is as close to "custom" skill levels that is possible, then I will understand why this WAD is the way it is. As this is now, it's kind of boring.
Bushface - Zalewa
Doom/Doom 2 - Vanilla - N/A - 164.34 KB -
Reviewed by: Obsidian
A graphic replacement wad that swaps Doomguy's head with the noggin of former US president George Bush, with some silly sounds thrown into the mix in case you still weren't sure if this was silly or not. Apparently it was made back in 2004 for the folks on Doom Connector, so maybe it has some historical significance or something. Personally it's not quite my cup of tea, but it might give you a chuckle nonetheless.
Nashville, Tennessee - Paul "skillsaw" DeBruyne
Doom 2 - Boom Compatible - Solo Play - 81.62 KB -
Reviewed by: joe-ilya
A sweet cozy little map by skillsaw, inspired by Memfis's "Kuchitsu" Cacoward winner, it follows the roots quite nicely; it's set in a small, non-linear and colorful town with a river and a cave, set with mostly low-tier enemies, and has an occasional mid-tier enemy to spice gameplay up.
While it doesn't have any secrets in it, exploring will get you some bonus items. It's a nice wad to breeze through, but too bad it's just one map. If it had the number of maps "Kuchitsu" had, I would consider this "Kuchitsu 2", but with just one map it feels like a lost level.
Demon Trench XL - Jaxxoon R
Doom 2 - Limit Removing - Solo Play - 434.2 KB -
Reviewed by: joe-ilya
An enhanced map from a community project called "Nova 2". While it does what is written on the tin, it also adds a few more secrets, places more enemies, more areas to explore and a rebranded switch-hunted exit. I'd say the map does its job with sweet bonuses all around.
The map has an awful new midi that screeches in your ears sometimes; I'd rather listen to something else.
The map is set in a dark, atmospheric, moody, well-detailed setting, starting in a library and progressing through the caves and the wet sewers. The movement is more open and pleasant than the original map and still manages to be as challenging as before.
The gameplay is hard, with ammo starvation of the good kind, where you're forced to skip some enemies to find more ammo and better weaponry for your arsenal and kick their asses later.
It's a good medium sized map; I found it fun, so probably you will too. This enhanced map would suit "NOVA 2" better in my opinion.
Plasmaplant - Sverre Kvernmo (aka Soundblock, aka Cranium)
Doom 2 - ZDoom Compatible - Solo Play - 2.54 MB -
Reviewed by: Obsidian
Ohhh boy, here we go. If I'm perfectly honest I wasn't going to review ol' Plasmaplant here: considering it won a Cacoward last year and the author is one with a sizable amount of maps in the bloody Master Levels, I felt like my paltry Dooming skills and equally insufficient reviewing abilities couldn't possible do this leviathan justice. Unfortunately I recently let a claim on a decent wad in /newstuff expire by accident, and my punishment by decree of Dew was to claim this. Oh dear.
As you may already know, Plasmaplant is a 1-map wad for ZDoom designed by Sverre Kvernmo, a rather prominent mapper in the early days of Doom who left the scene for a while but is now back in full force. Well, semi-force. Anyway, the map in question was released just before Christmas about two years ago, which certainly demonstrates its staying power considering its Cacoward the next year. I'd given it a quick look at the time as I tend to do and thought it looked neat, although my tour of the map was brutally cut short by the tirade of teeth and terror that makes up its sizable monster count. This time around though I decided to stick to the course, swallowing my pride (a pretty easy task actually, heh) and saving my way through the entirety of the map. I managed to beat it after much tribulation, but I imagine that Doomguy would have limped through the exit cradling his liver and digestive system so they didn't fall on the ground.
Plasmaplant is hard. Its legion of monsters stands at over 700 and they are absolutely everywhere: hiding in monster closets, teleporting in behind you, chewing at your health from the very walls themselves! I'm surprised the singular Invulnerability Sphere in the map didn't bite my head off when I picked it up. It isn't quite a slaughtermap considering there aren't that many boss-tier monsters lurking around the map, but it can get frantic at times, and you'll find that ammunition can get tight when you least expect it. Naturally you start off with the map's namesake weapon though, so it doesn't kick things off with you plinking away at a Baron with a shotgun for some free artificial difficulty. Well, not unless you want to of course. There are some somewhat annoying moments that require a bit of pre-knowledge to overcome (the exit and the area with the super shotgun that locks you in are the first that come to mind), and sometimes the wall snipers can get on yer tits, but all things considered the gameplay and difficulty are solid as a cinder block and most of the deaths were probably my fault, heh.
Sverre also mixes up the formula with some of ZDoom's stealth monsters, which if I'm honest I'm actually rather okay with. Stealth monsters rarely see use due to how easy they are to abuse, but personally I reckon they work fairly well here: it helps you keep on your toes and react to the slightest movement, which is never not useful in these situations. I will however say that positioning Stealth Imps next to pickups so they claw you as soon as you try grab the item is still a dick move, although lessened ever-so-slightly by the fact that Sverre does it on every single Armor Bonus. Grr. Another new addition to the formula is a pair of new enemies: The Clusterfiend and the Midasfiend, or Buck-Tooth Cacodemons as I tend to call them. As well as having some snazzy sprite art, these monsters add a bit more of a tactical edge to the map by also serving as item piñatas: the Clusterfiend drops Health Bonuses, while the Midasfiend voids its bowels of Armor Bonuses. It's a nice touch that can seriously help out if you're being swamped by monsters. It's a shame there wasn't a giant Fiend as a boss that explodes into Soulspheres or something though, huge opportunity missed. :P
Decoration-wise can be summed up with the colour "blue": don't be fooled by the starting area; Plasmaplant is as blue as a cutpurse on a noose, with not many other colours muscling in on its turf throughout. The later areas can get a tad dark as well, giving the impression that the whole show is happening under the sea or deep below the earth, which is a good way of building an oppressive atmosphere. Progression is rather interesting too, with numerous optional areas and nicely concealed secrets to ferret out. Personally I'd have picked better music (a map like this could definitely get away with using a swanky mp3), but at the end of the day the map is still damn impressive and a sight to behold. Special shout out to Sverre for making the COMPBLUE piano, I burst out laughing when I spotted that.
The verdict? An excellent map well deserving of its Cacoward and most certainly worth your time. Play it if you think you're a man and a half, because you're probably going to need that spare half when you lose a leg and a good chunk of torso to a salvo of plasma. Dew, you owe me a glass from your drinks cabinet.
M51 Rifle - enderkevin13
Doom/Doom 2 - ZDoom Compatible - N/A - 37.98 KB -
Reviewed by: Obsidian
A wad for ZDoom that replaces the Chainsaw with an M51 rifle that shares the #2 slot with the pistol. It's a fairly uncomplicated affair, although I have two gripes with it:
-As some comments on /idgames have noted, the sprite of the gun takes up a bit too much room on the screen and blocks your sight; looks like the sprites weren't offset enough.
-The M51 has the same rate of fire as the Chaingun, with the only difference being that it doesn't fire two shots at a time; I'd recommend lowering the rate a little so it makes a decent in-between weapon and doesn't pretty much copy an existing one.
If you're looking for a new weapon for your wad then you might wanna check this out; otherwise I can't really recommend it.
The /newstuff Chronicles #485