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    The /newstuff Chronicles #502


    Bloodshedder

    • Get Paid - Fveitsi
      Doom 2 - Single Player - ZDoom Compatible - 113.01 KB -
      Reviewed by: gaspe
      Get Paid is a single map for Doom 2. It looks like the author changed some things before uploading to the archive, as this is the third version of the map, but honestly this final result isn't very good. For the first good half there will be a linear room after room sequence. Many parts have too many or too high-HP monsters compared to the weapons you have, and it drags the fights for too long. After a while some more open and bigger areas start to appear. The red key area has some repetitive closets filled with revenants in a narrow and linear corridor, and after you grab the key, the area again gets filled with revenants and you are in a dead end with no cover or medikits to support you. The exit room is again filled with revenants, so you can enjoy to keep tapping the space behind the door while spamming with the BFG. Aesthetically the map is Maximum Doom quality. It actually wouldn't be really bad in some parts, but overall is too much of a slog to play.

    • Wear negative armor! - cybermind aka Mistranger
      Doom v1.1 - Single Player - Vanilla - 2.25 KB
      Reviewed by: Voros
      It does what it says. Wearing negative armor.

      With trial and error, Doom 1.1 (apparently 1.2 fixes the small bug) and a special E1M9, you could succeed in achieving this bug.

      To be honest, it really is a pain in the ass to achieve, and you don't get much when you achieve it. But it's nice to see a wad has been made just to show it to us.

    • Infuscomus - D.Scracth
      Doom 2 - Single Player - ZDoom Compatible - 10.14 MB -
      Reviewed by: walter confalonieri
      A medium-sized spooky map by D. Scratch, for ZDoom and compatible ports (played with Zandronum and had almost no problems, but a floor doesn't lower twice and I had to noclip to pass through that part) and uses textures from the game Blood.

      The map itself is set in a possessed gothic mansion and is kinda inspired by the original Blood.

      Layout is well-made and has a great usage of scary atmosphere thanks to lighting effects. Gameplay is pretty much made of some jump scares and random encounters in a really creepy environment; also you can't jump or crouch for some reason, even though it's for ZDoom and this is blocking part of the game for me. Why making a map that works for ZDoom and you can't jump or crouch around the map?

      By the way, the playing experience is pretty challenging with the usage of puzzles, and the mentioned random fights make this map good to play. Also the jump scares present in the map do their work.

      Overall, a pretty good map. I enjoyed playing it and I recommend downloading it!

    • Winnie Pooh - Bzzrak Ktazzz
      Ultimate Doom - Single Player - Vanilla - 133.66 KB -
      Reviewed by: gaspe
      Winnie Pooh is a two-map wad for Doom 1 that it looks like it was taken straight from the nowadays-dreaded 1994 era of mapping. E1M1 is a flat room after room layout where, yeah you guessed it, the mobs are disposed in there to be quite harmless. E1M2 seems to be more interesting, or at least now there is some lighting and the classical music put me more in the mood to visit those empty rooms. This wad doesn't develop anything; there's nothing interesting to see here and it's way too basic.

    • Deloran - Tereith2050
      Doom 2 - Single Player - ZDoom Compatible - 1.44 MB -
      Reviewed by: gaspe
      Deloran is a megawad for Doom 2 with 15 brand new levels. To start, let's read the description first: "Deloran is a fast paced wad with small maps." OK, "It was created in the time frame of 5 days and with no knowledge at all." Now my expectations are lowered as much as they could be, but let's not judge it before seeing it in action. To talk about the positive things, all the maps are quite short and it doesn't take too long to complete the wad. For the rest, as expected it's a journey into full amateurism. Sometimes there are some things that actually look nice or there's something that resembles a good idea, but it looks like it's due to the chance rather than the author actually knowing what he was doing. Or maybe it could be because everything seen before was bad. Unmissable are some stealth monsters placed sometimes for whatever reason.

      (dis)Honorable mentions:
      - a map with only a cyberdemon and the exit switch in a very deep pit, and you can press the switch from above the pit.
      - half level which is Wolfenstein 3D, literally.
      - an empty level where you have to perform some platforming with some jumping.
      - and (my favourite) the race level: a very long corridor, where at the sides there are alcoves with every monster (except the bosses).

      It could have been much worse; nonetheless, it's really bad, with very few passable moments that for sure won't save it. Recommended if you are looking for a bad wad that isn't the usual troll stuff.

    • Elf Gets Pissed 1.1 - RottKing
      Heretic - Single Player - ZDoom Compatible - 3.6 MB -
      Reviewed by: Not Jabba
      Just a few months after the release of Realm of Parthoris, we were given a full Heretic episode by RottKing, creator of Double Impact and Community Chest 3 map 12. Elf Gets Pissed is a gem, and for the most part, I think the author was more concerned with making sure it was perfectly cut rather than super shiny. Like Realm of Parthoris, it has a pretty large custom texture selection that makes Heretic feel a lot less monotonous, but is mostly basic stuff that blends in and doesn't leave a strong impression. The episode has several impressively constructed settings with a great sense of place, but it doesn't put much focus on detailing. The story is nothing more than a goofy bit of text thrown in at the end, and there's no music aside from a couple of borrowed console game songs for the title and intermission. The gameplay, however, is top notch.

      RottKing fully understands that in Heretic, the challenge usually comes not from high-powered monsters or from massive clustered hordes, but rather from the way that multiple different monster types carefully situated within the same area push you into putting yourself right back in harm's way every time you try to get clear of the most immediate threat. That said, expect some tough boss encounters and even a fair number of hordes within this episode. RottKing constantly finds new and interesting ways to put pressure on you, whether it's gargoyles dropping on you from high ledges all around you or Nitrogolems coming out of a closet in front of you while crushers descend on your escape routes.

      Elf Gets Pissed also has a new weapon, which is called the Lightbringer. If you've ever messed around with the Karasawa from Realm667 or played that one Quake 2 expansion, you probably get the basic idea: it's a pretty strong semi-automatic weapon whose projectiles fly through enemies and bounce off of walls several times, giving you new flexibility in how you attack enemies. It delivers some serious crowd control against large groups of enemies in spaces of any size, and the rebound also makes it incredibly powerful against enemies who are in tightly enclosed spaces with walls on most sides -- at one point, I killed a Liche with two shots this way. I can't help but feel that the weapon would have been more interesting if its wildly flying projectiles also dealt damage to the player, as currently the weapon is basically a game breaker, like having the BFG in Doom 1. But I guess the idea here is that the Lightbringer is a reward rather than a trade-off. In order to get the weapon, you have to find the megasecret in E1M4 to get to the secret level, and then find another megasecret within the secret level itself. It takes a lot of effort, but it's worth it, as ammo for it is scattered around the later levels.

      Anyway, on to the levels. E1M1 shows you right off the bat the kind of challenging battles you're in for. You start off with a Phoenix Rod and a Tome against a swarm of Golems, and almost as soon as you beat them you're running across Knight-manned platforms to reach a switch while under fire from above by an Iron Liche. E1M2 almost seems easy-going by comparison, but it continues to use Liches as a go-to enemy for defending important areas, and puts you under heavy fire in dim light on several occasions.

      E1M3 is a fairly typical Heretic town level; combat is building-to-building and room-to-room, with most enemies popping up from the front. As a result, I found it to be less interesting than the other levels in the set, though that style of urban combat is still pretty fun in its own way. By contrast, E1M4 is RottKing at his best, with combat that frequently has you scrambling for a foothold. It also has one of the most beautiful and memorable settings in the episode, a canyon fortress with great height variation, a cool winding route, and a custom texture set that really sets it apart visually.

      E1M9 revolves around a wide, fast-flowing river with water that pushes you in the direction of the flow, messing with your movements as you try to dodge the Ophidians and other enemies that populate the level. It also has some scenic ledge-hopping in the enormous central canyon area and several nice fights on solid ground, including a big arena at the river's end -- but perhaps the biggest highlight is the previously mentioned megasecret that houses the Lightbringer.

      E1M5 starts you off facing a pair of charging Maulotaurs in a space that's barely big enough to fight them in; meanwhile, the floor slowly rises up toward another area above, eventually giving you a small amount of breathing room if you can survive long enough to get there. The exit is nearby, but a second, almost equally mean fight awaits you after you beat the Maulotaurs.

      E1M6 is where most of the episode's horde combat comes in, and despite my comment earlier about how horde combat doesn't usually work in Heretic, RottKing throws enough enemies at you to put you in a real danger of being overrun. The spaces you fight them in are well designed though, giving you a way to control the horde, or at least escape being swamped, if you're smart enough about how you maneuver.

      E1M7 is Heretic's version of Hell, I guess -- a small slice of some endless cavern network deep underground, flooded with lava in many spots. It has a nice mood, but the combat is surprisingly light in this level, almost like it's a breather before you go on to fight the boss. And sure enough, E1M8 is intense, pitting you against several platoons of Knights before letting in another huge mixed horde along with D'Sparil; if you got the Lightbringer, it will go a long way here. The level is pretty small, but it's a fitting climax for the episode.

      Elf Gets Pissed is well worth the time it takes to beat and the brutal challenges you have to overcome to make it to the end. Like all of the best Heretic wads, it really feels like a journey, like you're trekking across a living world that goes far beyond what you can see and is rife with hidden secrets and echoes of what once was. Highly recommended.

    • Mt. Erebus 1024 - Subucnameth
      Doom 2 - Single Player - ZDoom Compatible - 20.99 KB -
      Reviewed by: Not Jabba
      "Mt. Erebus" has always been one of my favorite levels in Doom, mainly thanks to its large size and almost complete nonlinearity. "Mt. Erebus 1024" is intended as a tribute to that level using the time-honored 1024 size limit, but it pretty much misses the point entirely. First of all, as a small, completely linear level, it has none of the traits that defined the original "Mt. Erebus." Still, it's a 1024 level, so you would expect things to be compact, and that might even be OK, as long as it has a strong nostalgia vibe to it. It doesn't, though.

      What really screws this level over is not scarceness but excess. It has Hell Knights and a chaingunner in it, just for the sake of having them. It also includes some ZDoom features like colored fog and flowing lava. So wait, a 1024 tribute to a Doom 1 level with Doom 2 monsters and ZDoom stuff? There's just too much going on here for any of it to work. It doesn't succeed as a bite-sized tribute because it throws in too many anachronisms to even look like the original level, but it doesn't succeed as a modern ZDoom-based re-imagining because its tiny size doesn't allow the author to explore the original themes enough to update them. The only thing in this level that even reminded me of "Mt. Erebus" was the two Imps behind those funny diagonal-barred cages. I'd love to see someone do a good tribute to E3M6 -- expansion, modernization, 1024, or whatever else -- but this isn't it.

    • An Evening Stroll in Venice - Hebridean Isle
      Doom 2 - Single Player - ZDoom Compatible - 1.96 MB -
      Reviewed by: Not Jabba
      Note: In case you're wondering, the text file says this was only tested in GZDoom, but I had no trouble in regular ZDoom. Everything seemed to be in order, and there were no missing object markers.

      Anyway, this level is certainly... yellow. It's got a completely new set of texures and decorations based on the city of Venice, pretty much all of which are yellow, and there's a yellow haze over everything to add to the mood. It may sound weird, but it looks pretty nice thanks to the new resources (which you're free to plunder, according to the author). Not only that, but this is one of the few ZDoom levels I've played that goes over the top with the port-specific features and is actually better off for it. Besides the haze (without which this level would tragically be so much less yellow), there's also a bit of a story that goes along with the level in the form of occasional text, some scripting, and one bit where you have to move a box around to get where you need to go. It's all pretty silly, but since this is a 1024 level, it's short enough not to outlive its welcome, and I got a few laughs out of it.

      I was less happy with the gameplay. The beginning of the level has you fighting a bunch of Demons and then a pair of Hell Knights in a narrow alleyway without enough room to get around them effectively, and then there's some Revenants that you have to fight with little cover -- and throughout all of this, your only weapons are the piston and shotgun. Once you get the chaingun, it starts to feel more reasonable, but the layout is very boxy and there's not much in the way of interesting combat. At the end, you finally get the SSG, and maybe the plasma rifle if you found one of the secrets (I suspect the second secret has a rocket launcher, as I saw one or two rockets lying around, but I never found it), just in time for one last large-ish battle where you can finally run around the whole level and it finally feels like you've got something better than a pea-shooter -- and then it's over. All in all, it's far from the best use of space I've ever seen in a 1024 level. Even so, it's hard to get too annoyed with a level this short, and it's worth a playthrough for the cool setting.

    • Heavy Water Plant - Lowpass30Hz
      Doom 2 - Single Player - Vanilla - 80.09 KB -
      Reviewed by: Voros
      Heavy Water Plant is a MAP01 replacement for Doom 2.

      This map is interesting with its design. At first sight, you see pillars, water, and ledges. The fact that almost everything in the map is textured with gothic bricks makes the experience seem somewhat different. "Water plant" puts techbase with water in my head, not ancient and sacred areas with water. The map is mostly non-linear, as you'll go back and forth to areas you've already visited either to flip a switch or replenish your ammo. But the lack of large medkits intensifies the map.

      The detail is beautiful for a map made with brown textures everywhere. Most of the time, you see only bricks. The few parts that resemble broken walls really put the icing on the cake. But when you see that there's also some cement textures mixed with the ancient brick textures, you have to admire the combination. The architecture is very unique.

      The enemy placement is well done. There isn't too much of the demons that you'll run out of ammo, but the fact that you usually encounter Chaingunners when they can see you straight just screams that you need fast reflexes to play. Or else you'll lose a lot of health while asking yourself "WHERE IS HE!?!"

      The map is amazing. It's simple. It's precise. It's detailed. It's balanced. Whether it's beautiful or not is debatable. Looking forward to future maps from the author!

    • boo - Aardappel
      Doom 2 - Deathmatch - Vanilla - 66.39 KB -
      Reviewed by: Voros
      boo2 is a Deathmatch map, replacing MAP01 of Doom 2.

      At first glance, it will seem like it's a level from Quake. The author states that Quake 2 textures were used for this map and... it works. The dark, gritty and claustrophobic atmosphere mixed with the sunshine outside makes a great combination. There are no doors, no teleporters, just you and your friends and foes.

      The item placement is well done, with the most powerful weapon of them all leaving you sitting ducks. Even though all the weapons are here and some health pick-ups too, having a rocket launcher in such a small area would be a bad idea; the same goes for the chainsaw.

      The Quake 2 textures really hit the spot. Makes the atmosphere very moody for the players.

      This is a wonderful Deathmatch map, and a uniform one too. Well executed and nicely detailed, I would Deathmatch with anyone here, just because of the vibe I get it from it, which I'm sure others will also feel.

    • Something Awful - Bzzrak Ktazzz
      Ultimate Doom - Single Player - Vanilla - 82.4 KB -
      Reviewed by: Voros
      Something Awful, just like the title says.

      Just kidding. Something Awful is the second map from bzzrak, and is NOT a jokewad. The map replaces E1M1, but it's no piece of cake. Simple design and low-tier enemies in large numbers. Even though the door textures have been replaced with an awful UAC texture, it's still pretty good. The main thing about this map is the fact the exit is literally a trap, and to find the real exit, you have no choice but to go through the rooms filled with zombies and imps, and hope you don't run out bullets. But thankfully, once you open "that wall" you won't run into much trouble with map, as it becomes really straightforward.

    • No Remorse - youraverageamir
      Doom 2 - Single Player - ZDoom Compatible - 39.53 KB -
      Reviewed by: gaspe
      No Remorse is a wad for Doom 2 composed of three maps of which every one tries to follow different concepts. The first level is pretty much like a normal map; it's the best of the wad and has more effort put into it compared to the other levels. Follows is an arena level where you stand on a lowering elevator with monsters that will teleport on the platform, plus some mobs sniping in nooks around the area. To end there's a IoS level that can be beaten in five seconds. Extremely dull playing and looking, I can't really recommend this wad.

    • BID 2 - Serious_MOod
      Doom 2 - Single Player - PrBoom+ - 443.73 KB -
      Reviewed by: Voros
      BID2 is a two-map replacement for Doom 2, taking the slots MAP01 and MAP02.

      I didn't know what to expect, reading the title. But it's not disappointing at all.

      The map itself is pretty hard, even on Hurt Me Plenty. Low-tier enemies tend to be in groups and high-tier enemies are usually kept somewhere small and limited... and in small groups, too. I would say that this map would fit the slots of MAP20-MAP29, that's how difficult it is.

      Not only are there powerful demons roaming around, but the detailing of the map is superb. The author made the map seem like a techbase experiencing a major chemical leak, with toxic pools breaking up the floor, and in one part, taking up the floor entirely. Then there's all the things techbase maps usually have: techno pillars, computers and consoles, wires, pipes and metal thingamajigs. The author did an excellent job in the design of all these elements.

      The map itself is a maze. You can very easily get lost or thrown off the path to the exit and just find yourself roaming around, looking for something new. There's the blue keycard, which opens a blue door. There's a yellow keycard, which I don't know what it's supposed to open, and the exit opens from a red keycard, which I still haven't found. Yet.

      My only complaint would be the items and how rare ammo and health can be. Right in the beginning, you're bound to run out of the box of shells you have, what with that Revenant, those Chaingunners, the Imp encounters, and that Mancubus all at once... then some Spectres and Shotgun guys, then again another Mancubus with a group of Shotgun guys... again. So many enemies, yet the ammo to take them all down is barely enough. Barely.

      BID2 keeps the player on his toes; the map is seemingly more focused on speed rather than offense (there is no BFG 9000 and not even a rocket launcher). You better have good feet.

    The /newstuff Chronicles is a usually-weekly roundup of new items uploaded to the /idgames archive, and it is written entirely by community members like you. If you wish to contribute, the /newstuff Review Center is the place to do so. Register on the Doomworld Forums first if you don't already have an account, because you need one to submit reviews. Special thanks goes to the nearly 300 users who have submitted reviews over the past several years.

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    Thanks, gaspe and Voros! You guys rock!
    (I actually expected the reviews to be far, far worse) :]

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    Elf Gets Pissed is awesome. Great wad. Even greater author.

    Boo is an ancient duel map that is legendary. One of the best. FYI the map does have a teleporter (one-way), contrary to the review :)

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    Elf Gets Pissed is really cool, played the first 2 levels so far. The intermission screen is 10/10.

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    Currently playing EGP, and even though I'm on the second level, I'm enjoying every minute of it.

    Maybe I'm over-exaggerating, but it's a gosh-darn shame we don't have people who are committed into making Heretic levels this good.

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    Thanks to all reviewers for an excellent /newstuff issue, I enjoyed the read very much!
    Now looking forward to playing Water Plant ^^

    @Voros is that watermark necessary, it's kinda distracting?

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    DooManic said:

    @Voros is that watermark necessary, it's kinda distracting?

    Watermark? You mean that gear sign? Yeah, can't remove it.

    ... its not that distracting...

    @Ralphis huh, there is a teleporter? Gonna have to check it out.

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    Voros said:

    Watermark? You mean that gear sign? Yeah, can't remove it.

    Are you using "PrtScrn" in-game? Because that's how you should be taking screenies instead of relying on an external utility.

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    HavoX said:

    Are you using "PrtScrn" in-game? Because that's how you should be taking screenies instead of relying on an external utility.

    D-Touch, man. And the screenshot function in the controls gives me a black png file.
    IDK why, but I'm fine with it.

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    Voros said:

    It does what it says. Wearing negative armor.

    With trial and error, Doom 1.1 (apparently 1.2 fixes the small bug) and a special E1M9, you could succeed in achieving this bug.

    To be honest, it really is a pain in the ass to achieve, and you don't get much when you achieve it. But it's nice to see a wad has been made just to show it to us.

    I really loved cybermind's idea, so I edited the map, put together a TAS recording and ran it in prboom-plus with 1.1's emulation. If you want to see what really happens, I even made a video of it.

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    I've tried playing Elf gets Pi**ed in both ZDoom and GZDoom, but it seems to work in neither. Hoe are other people getting this wad to work?

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    I downloaded the latest version of ZDoom and it worked. I am surprised that it doesn't work in the version I otherwise have, which is only about 2 years old. I guess EGP must use coding that the older version doesn't recognise. GZDoom neither.

    When I said it doesn't work, they both return with an error when I tried to run EGP in my older versions of ZDoom and GZDoom. I would drag-and-drop the file on the (G)ZDoom executable, select Heretic, get the Heretic loading screen and then the error would come up.

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