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    The /newstuff Chronicles #504


    Bloodshedder

    • Comatose - Lainos
      Doom 2 - Single Player - PrBoom+ - 6.89 MB -
      Reviewed by: walter confalonieri
      In 2011, some people on iddqd.ru made an episode for Doom 2 called Sacrament. In it, there was a very cool map by Lainos (the author of this level) called Doxilamine Moon. Said level was a large, empty city, with some scarce encounters and a scary, desolate atmosphere.

      Why am I talking about that map? Because this is the spiritual successor of that map! Even if in the readme the author says it's a sequel to another map he made called "Overdose" (that I haven't played), so my introduction was unnecessary. Great.

      The same basics are present in this map (and even some parts of the city look like they came from Doximaline Moon); the level is set in a really large devastated town in... Russia? Europe? Anyway, you start into a room that looks like a lift where you're locked. When you get out from that place you start to roam the city searching for weapons, keys, and here and there you'll fight random low and mid-tier ghost monsters, such as ghost imps, ghost mancubuses, and ghost revenants.

      Graphics and detailing are just superb. Everything here gives you the impression you're roaming a nameless ruined city, with abandoned parks, broken buildings, graffiti and vandalism everywhere, and the feeling that whatever happened here, it happened recently, even if you don't find any tracks of the citizens. There's also some Egyptian / masonic symbolism in some parts of the map, giving more secrets to be solved.

      The gray and dirty brown schemes of buildings with the gray sky and the ominous music gives an oppressive feeling to the quest.

      Gameplay is good a bit hard; sometimes monster crowds appear via silent teleportation to the spot where are you are (and for the large part is spectres and lost souls with turret imps over top of buildings), and the surprise factor doesn't make you ready for combat and makes you die fast if you're not careful.

      But you can find some helpful items in the city, like some weapons, ammo, healthy blue soda and other stuff, so watch out for that and your journey will be easier. You need to find the keys that are set in some random spots of the town, and with that you can access the locked doors section of the city, and with one certain switch that uses two of the keys present in the map (also, I can't find the yellow key without cheating, shame on me) you can exit the map!

      Overall, this level is just amazing, one of the best I've played so far, highly recommended, but don't play with ZDoom and derivative ports, since I found some slowdown with my PC (a Intel core i5-2320 with 3GHz and 4 GB of RAM). But if you have a powerful enough computer or you play on prboom-plus, you have to play this! Download NOW!

    • Jerry's Kids: Take #969 (version 2 'c') - Guy M. Babin
      Doom 2 - Single Player - Vanilla - 843.42 KB
      Reviewed by: Csonicgo
      WARNING: This map is disturbing, as it intentionally depicts the symptoms of schizophrenia. If this might be a problem for you, DON'T PLAY THIS.

      If you know me, you know that I like terrible maps. Maps that use 2S lines for solid walls. Maps with little lighting variation. Maps with Beavis & Butthead sounds. So when I heard how wacky Guy Babin's "Jerry's Kids" was, I thought this one would be easily a Top 10 in my "So Bad It's Good" list.

      I didn't expect to play a map that questioned my mental state. Or altered it. Yet, here I am. Here we are.

      What's wrong?

      Before I review this one, let's listen to some story snippets:

      "To understand this dilemma, you must know the tale of Jerry and his kids.

      You were doing a movie based on a truth story. Believe me, this is based on a truth story!! Jerry is a wacky & crazy guy who has nothing else better to do other than to irritate his kids to oblivion with his wacky rephrasing of words. Jerry has a habit of saying things or asking questions that have no specific meaning or "just plain dumb," repeatedly, that everyone in his right mind wants to kill him just to shut him up!

      Note: This is true. Jerry's kids had killed him for that. But unfortunately for them, they too killed themselves from the terrible torture of these repeated "chants" embedded in their unfortunate minds!!!"


      .....Wat?

      "'Jerry' has become some kind of a cult figure. The younger generation would establish camp sites around Jerry's house and even chant 'spells' to rise Jerry from the dead. This is why the film production company wanted you to make a scary movie on this particular issue arond the real house where Jerry used to live!"

      This is someone's HOUSE WAD! But not just any house WAD. One with a story so fucked to explain the new graphics and sounds that I sincerely question the thought of playing this. Is this some crazy occult shit?

      "Unfortunately, you didn't realize that a bunch of kids ('freaks'), had come the night before to finally cast the spell to waken Jerry... You have just remembered a newscast you've witnessed about the 'missing' freaks who hadn't come home.... You know that they were here at this house that night when you saw the 'Cat' who's wearing some of their clothes it took: the sunglasses and the shirt that says 'God.' "

      You know what could have worked? "Hi, this is my house in Doom, there are some funny characters and sounds I added that my friends found funny, enjoy!" But NO. That would be sane. We need to emulate a serious mental disease and the paranormal as well!

      If you didn't read the story and just played the map, this is nothing but one of those house maps that were popular in the 90s, full of inside jokes and ancient memes from the mapper's friends and whatnot. There are so many house and apartment WADs out there, and they always suck in the same way: low ceilings in an attempt to be "to scale", maximum sector brightness, sector toilets, and a flight of stairs to access two floors using teleport lines. Oh, and they always include a shitload of monsters in the yard. That's essential!

      Where's the cat?

      Let's cut to the chase: this map is absolutely terrible in ways that cannot be put fully into text. Imps have transformed into floating heads with fedoras. The actual floating heads, cacodemons, are Minnie Mouse heads. The baron of hell has been replaced with what looks like the abomination from "Cool Cat Saves the Kids". Oh, and the lost soul is now an Elmo head. Great.

      Are you asleep?

      The map layout? Equally atrocious. This trash has it all: texture misalignments abound (along with a convenient excuse in the text file as to why that is), cramped hallways, rooms with little purpose, unbalanced difficulty, and nonsensical monster placement. Even the starting room is hard, and there are zero monsters in the room! Did I mention arch-viles? They are very dangerous in this map since there is little cover outside and in the basement. The trick to defeating them in the basement is to use the teleporter outside, alert the monsters there, teleport out, and wait. Due to the way the teleporters are set up, and the position of the basement room, I was able to telefrag two arch-viles, a baron, and so many more, all without firing a shot.

      This map screams "I have not been playtested". And I mean that figuratively, as you could possibly be confused of this due to everything in the map asking you questions about your life. And it claims to support deathmatch? Hell no. Everyone would be telefragging each other trying to navigate the floors.

      But don't take my word for it, here's a review of this crap from /idgames: "I kind of wanted to just crawl into a corner and hide."

      Any more space in the corner? I think I'll settle in.

      And before you ask, "Where are the screenshots?", I want to let you know that some things don't deserve to be photographed. They must be experienced. You need to see this map in motion. Hear it. Only then will you know true pain.

      Plus, taking screenshots of this map could be the final step in giving this map a portal to the real world, and I'm not giving Jerry the fucking chance. Fuck off, Jerry. FUCK. OFF.

    • TNT: Evilution: MAP31 fix - Team TNT [archive upload by Jonathan Dowland)
      Evilution - N/A - N/A - 118.8 KB
      Reviewed by: gaspe
      This is a modified version of MAP31 of TNT: Evilution which fixes the infamous bug of the missing yellow key in single player mode. Before it was hosted on the official TeamTNT site which unfortunately is gone now, and it was uploaded here to the archive so it can be in a permanent place.

    • Second Infuscomus - D.Scratch
      Doom 2 - Single Player - ZDoom Compatible - 8.32 MB -
      Reviewed by: Not Jabba
      Second Infuscomus is basically a boss rush level set inside an extremely dark and creepy haunted mansion. The author was clearly aiming for a survival horror feel, with each boss enemy "haunting" you (silently teleporting in and out of sight) as you creep around the level, trying to hunt it down without getting killed in the process. In theory, this should be really cool and suspenseful, but I don't think it works so well in practice.

      The problems are A) the enemy teleporting isn't that well implemented, B) the bosses are super overpowered, and C) you can't see anything. The darkness is fairly tolerable, since Second Infuscomus is a horror mod and it fits the mood -- but to get a sense of just how dark it is, check the screenshots.

      The first boss is a suicide bomber based on the Lost Soul, and it's the worst of the bunch. The author has it set up so that when a monster appears in this level, it basically teleports right next to you, and you can imagine how great that is when you're fighting a suicide bomber. As soon as it showed up, I was dead. Over... and over... and over again. No chance to run, barely any chance to shoot. It just teleported next to me and killed me every time.

      The second monster is better, and if you're really good you might be able to beat it. It's much faster than an Arch-Vile, has a large chunk of health, and sprays lightning-fast fireballs all over the place. The final monster is one of those transparent pop-up ghost guys from Realm667 (the ones called Nightmares), and if you've fought them before, it behaves the way you expect it to, except that it has much more health and can kill you in one or two hits. If you can somehow survive a couple of its attacks, you should be able to bring it down -- but there's no other way to fight it, since it only appears when it's attacking you, and you can only hit it when it's visible.

      Some of you may have the right play style to have fun with this level, but for me it was intensely frustrating instead of suspenseful, and I could never see any hope of defeating any of the monsters. I ended up turning god mode on for each one of them after dozens of failed attempts. This seems like the sort of level that could be really fun if it were done properly, but Second Infuscomus just isn't designed that well. Even so, I appreciate that the author is willing to experiment; I hope that they're learning from it, and that we'll see better maps from them in the future.

    • Maximum Stafe - D.Scratch
      Doom 2 - Single Player - ZDoom Compatible - 61.91 KB -
      Reviewed by: Not Jabba
      Maximum Stafe (I think it's probably supposed to be "Strafe"?) is a single smallish level that requires ZDoom, though as far as I can tell the only port feature is the scrolling floor texture used to create the outdoor nukage sea. The author has made a few other levels but is still pretty inexperienced, and it shows.

      The main problem with Maximum Stafe/Strafe is the complete lack of maneuverability. Despite the title, you almost never have much room to dodge, and the best tactic is usually to retreat around the last corner you passed and snipe the enemies from there. To make matters worse, most of the action takes place in a really tight crate maze with high stacks of boxes, and the player's height relative to the enemy becomes a frequent issue. More than once, I knew I had Cacodemons or Lost Souls floating somewhere high over my head but wasn't able to see or hit them until they finally dropped right on top of me. In three or four other spots, I got stuck at the top of a dropoff with enemies directly underneath me, shooting or biting me up before I was able to retaliate. Once you finally clear the maze and lower the yellow key, you're given a BFG and then plopped down in a tiny room in front of a door with 200 Lost Souls on the other side. Even without the BFG, it's an extremely easy fight, because you just let them herd themselves into the doorway and fry them with the Plasma Rifle and Chaingun while letting the rest infight each other to death on the other side. Admittedly, it's kind of fun to mow through them all. There was also an invulnerability sphere early in the level that I kept saving for later and never ended up picking up because I never felt like I needed it.

      There were a couple of bugs; there was one stimpack in the second room that I kept wanting to get, but I was never able to because an elevator kept raising it into the ceiling, where it got stuck. There's also a railing texture in that same room that runs down into the floor and creates a visual error. Other than that, the level looks pretty decent, and there's clearly some good effort put into it, but it misses a lot of its potential due to poor design choices.

    • Old Refinery - Carlos Lastra
      Doom 2 - Single Player - ZDoom Compatible - 81.38 KB -
      Reviewed by: gaspe
      Old Refinery is a quite short single map for Doom 2. It isn't really difficult, but the combination of low health and many hitscanners was quite tricky sometimes. Visually it has a nice style with some cute details. It will be required to jump few times, even though you can also avoid picking up a key to progress. It's a good average map overall.

    • Pepper - Ribbiks
      Doom 2 - Single Player - Boom Compatible - 1.98 MB -
      Reviewed by: gaspe
      Pepper is a small wad of three reality maps by Ribbiks. Reality is a game mode where you have to beat the map without taking any damage. Through DeHackEd in this wad, the maximum health is set to 1%, and it cannot be increased, so any shot you take will be deadly. It sounds really hard at first, but not as much as you may expect. The maps are small and have low monster counts; the hitscanners are the most threatening enemies now, but they weren't overused, nor does the wad put you in unfair situations. The density of the encounters will be low at the most, and the tight ammo makes you think about what monsters to tackle first and where to go to possibly find other goodies. Visually the maps have a nice brick setting (and if you play with a GL port you will also have a gorgeous sky), and the music gives a pleasant mood to the maps.

      Probably isn't among the best works of this author, but for sure it's a very good mapset with a gameplay theme a bit different from the usual. And if you struggle to play, remember that the difficulty settings are there for a reason.

    • T 3 S T - Topi Hattukangas
      Doom 2 - Single Player - Limit Removing - 428.63 KB -
      Reviewed by: gaspe
      T3st is a wad with seven new maps for Doom 2. Although it looks just good enough to be bearable, it suffers for pretty much all the rest. The gameplay is boring, good weapons and reasonable amounts of ammo are lacking in all the maps, most of the time you will be use the pistol and only after the first few maps you get a shotgun, and you will find only zombies and imps as enemies. I understand that it encourages finding the secrets, but many don't have hints and you also find other monsters in them. The action takes place mostly in cramped places. There aren't any redeeming qualities in this wad; it isn't really worth to be played.

    • Caged - zepolleon
      Doom 2 - Deathmatch - Boom Compatible - 43.75 KB -
      Reviewed by: Voros
      Caged is a Deathmatch map for Doom 2, taking the slot of MAP01.

      For a Deathmatch map, it's pretty small. The visuals are OK, but not mind blowing. The geometry of the map is simple, basically a modified square.

      I'll be honest here: it's not fun. The weapons and medkits are kept in hard to reach places, and trying to get to these places can leave you a sitting duck.

      It's too simple. Players can easily devise a technique to frag other players within a few seconds on the map. Easy frags, as they say. Not fun and too short.

    • Jupiter Carnage! - Bzzrak Ktazzz
      Ultimate Doom - Single Player - Vanilla - 135 KB -
      Reviewed by: gaspe
      Jupiter Carnage is a map that replaces E4M1 on Ultimate Doom. It looks really bland; the places are mostly empty rooms, and there are some poor attempts at making furniture. The gameplay isn't any better; the fights aren't engaging, and the tight ammo made the things even more annoying. Not something that I can recommend.

    • SNES SoundTrack - The massa
      Ultimate Doom - N/A - ZDoom Compatible - 1.14 MB
      Reviewed by: Jaws In Space
      This is a Doom wad that replaces the normal Doom midis with their SNES counterpart. It currently only works in ZDoom-based ports due to the music not being in MIDI format. If you're a fan of SNES Doom check this wad out, and if you are not a fan of SNES Doom check this wad out because these tracks are great, especially E2M2.

    • Mario Kart 64's Block Fort REMADE - TheSoldiersShadow
      Doom 2 - Single Player - ZDoom - 221.91 KB -
      Reviewed by: walter confalonieri
      Block Fort REMADE is, as the the title suggest, a remake of the Super Mario 64 level with the same name, made by newcomer TheSoldierShadow, and as far as I know this is their first map.

      Anyway, this is a medium-large open and simple map, kinda similar to Dead simple, with four towers filled with hell knights, and each tower is connected via 3D bridges. Reach the top of each tower for useful stuff like guns and keys, and collect all the keys to unlock the central switch that leads you to the exit.

      New textures are bright and colorful, but too bad for that misaligned new sky that doesn't look that good. The new music works, even if if I don't get too much the Mortal Kombat movie theme as title screen music for a Mario-based mod, but hey, it's always cool hear that catchy theme!

      Gameplay is kinda easy if you're fast enough to dodge all the fireballs from the enemies, but I found myself dealing with more than 12 hell knights and 33 HP at the end, so yeah, maybe another pair of stimpacks would be welcomed here.

      Oh, and there's MAP02, just a broken map where you can exit the same way as MAP01, but without any keys and any other other rooms instead of the starting one, so this is a sort of "Thanks for playing" / skip map that doesn't have any reason to be here.

      Anyway, nice map, take a shot.

    • "Fallen HQ" & "The Terminal" - Mario Augusto Puga Valera
      Doom 2 - Single Player - ZDoom Compatible - 116.23 KB -
      Reviewed by: gaspe
      "Fallen HQ" & "The Terminal" is the title of this wad, and as you can guess those are also the names of the two levels that you are going to play. Both levels are techbase-themed with a simple style that has a nice classic feel to it. Gameplay was good and fun with an average difficulty, and if there's a thing that didn't work very well, I must say that the monster placement often goes on quantity over quality, though you aren't spammed with monsters and the levels still flowed rather well. Overall this couple of levels is quite good; don't expect anything outstanding, but they are worth it.

    • Beeeeees - pancirno
      Doom/Doom 2 - Single Player - ZDoom - 250.79 KB -
      Reviewed by: Jaws In Space
      Beeeeees is a mod for ZDoom that replaces all the normal Doom monsters with bees. Upon encountering where an enemy would be placed in a map, you will find a swarm of around five bees. The bees fly around the map attacking the player, are pretty weak and will drop dead if you wait long enough, and do minimal damage to the player, but in hordes like say on Doom 2 Map 8 Trick and Traps, they can easily take you down rather quickly. I would recommend turning down your volume when playing this mod, as the bees make a rather loud and annoying buzzing sound. The Icon of Sin has a special replacement where it will release a steady stream of bees for a few seconds, it makes defeating him quite challenging as the bees often get in the way of your rockets. There is also one custom weapon in the wad: the BFG is replaced with a flamethrower.

    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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    From what I read, the /idgames archive has fairly strict rules regarding patent content. With Jerry's Elmo and Mickey Mouse heads floating about is that a problem or it's not until Disney Lawyers have the balls to venture to the depths of Doom archive and throw a cease and dismiss claim?

    Anywho, good Chronicle. Comatose seems particularly interesting.

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    Chezza said:

    With Jerry's Elmo and Mickey Mouse heads floating about is that a problem or it's not until Disney Lawyers have the balls to venture to the depths of Doom archive and throw a cease and dismiss claim?


    With Disney you can be sure that they'll do something about it if they knew. Of course it's rather unlikely that they step down into the bowels of the internet where /idgames resides. I'd still remove such content. Unlike borrowing some textures from other games this stuff can indeed be troublesome.

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    I was getting really excited that my wad is about ready for review. Nup, It's one wad away from being unlocked lol. I wonder if many people who submit their wads look out for their reviews.

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    Also, the number of pending wads in the Review Center is now under 100 for the first time in...well, I really have no idea how long. It was up around 130 this spring when I started following it/reviewing wads. We're catching up!

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    Not Jabba said:

    Also, the number of pending wads in the Review Center is now under 100 for the first time in...well, I really have no idea how long. It was up around 130 this spring when I started following it/reviewing wads. We're catching up!

    But the reviews have stopped flowing in. Right now there aren't enough for another edition.

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    Bloodshedder said:

    But the reviews have stopped flowing in. Right now there aren't enough for another edition.

    And the worst part? It's like nobody wants to review anything from the bottom bin.

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    I'll work on doing another review or two this coming week. Never thought I'd be doing reviews, but it turned out I sorta liked doing them when I finally tried a few weeks ago.

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    alterworldruler said:

    It's like nobody wants to review anything from the bottom bin.


    Well there are many megawads there (and one is for DM), I guess that the people are discouraged to review them.

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    What, not enough reviews!?!

    I'm doing Bloodstain right now (really enjoying this!).

    Surprised though, that no one tried Beautiful Doom.

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    I wouldn't say the reviews have stopped flowing; at the rate we're going, we could easily have enough completed to publish on Thursday as usual. Part of the problem is that it feels like we've become a little faster than the unlocking process; if more wads were unlocked, we could have more reviews done. I do appreciate that the system is in place to get people to review the really backlogged ones, but even so, there are relatively few wads to claim right now -- only 13 available, whereas I've seen the number close to 30 in recent months.

    As someone mentioned before, longer wads stick around for longer, and full 32-level megawads with long levels stick around for the longest. I would really, really love to do a review of Bloodstain, but I haven't played it yet due to the amount of time it would take. The three-day claim period is far too short to play the whole thing, take screenshots, and review it -- and at the same time, I wouldn't want to try to rush myself through playing a megawad that big just to get to the review, especially to have someone else claim it while I was playing. Better to leave it for another day. These are the sort of things we're considering as reviewers (not to mention that by the time a major release is unlocked, KMX has already done the perfect review).

    Seriously though, we're clearly working down this queue. Things look pretty good to me.

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    I really don't see what the problem was with Second Infuscomus. It's not that hard, and there's the Easy difficulty which I could easily beat. The reviewer makes it sound hopeless, but it's an interesting concept, even though IMO it requires more work and more space to create the actual "Slenderman-haunted-by-a-monster" feel.

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    Bloodshedder said:

    But the reviews have stopped flowing in. Right now there aren't enough for another edition.


    How does one become a reviewer? I may consider doing a review or two a month. :)

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    Go to the newstuff review center, go all the way to the bottom, look for a WAD you want to review, then press "Claim It!", and now you three days to make a review.

    Also, the review center shows that there are already more than 10 approved reviews, which should be enough for another issue. I wonder what's the holdup?

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    gaspe said:

    The three day claim seems short but you can extend it if you need it.


    Unless the WAD is huge, it seems adequately long for my intended ethods. "Oh look I have 2 hours free" -> Claim WAD, Review WAD, Submit Review

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    Does anyone have word about what's going on with the review center? I don't want to complain, but the radio silence on the admin end of things is a little worrying.

    Regarding the stuff that's left to review -- in case there are people who aren't following the queue, here's what we could really use right now:

    1) Someone who understands Doom editing and knows what the two utilities (DooM TeXtures LiSter and DooM PostScript Maps Utility) are for and why they are useful.
    2) Experienced deathmatch players who can review Dwango Unchained and MildDM.
    3) People who have already played and enjoyed the megawads that are currently backlogged -- especially Mano Laikas, which I know a lot of people liked when it came out.

    I'm none of the above, and probably none of the other regular reviewers are either, which is why that stuff is still there. If anybody else wants to contribute a review, it would be really helpful and awesome.

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    Not Jabba said:

    1) Someone who understands Doom editing and knows what the two utilities (DooM TeXtures LiSter and DooM PostScript Maps Utility) are for and why they are useful.
    2) Experienced deathmatch players who can review Dwango Unchained and MildDM.
    3) People who have already played and enjoyed the megawads that are currently backlogged -- especially Mano Laikas, which I know a lot of people liked when it came out.

    I'm not 1.
    I can be 2. Ironically, I gave a review for MildDM once, and it was approved.
    I can be 3 too. But like you said earlier, it takes time.

    But currently, there's over 20 approved reviews now. That is literally 2 new issues. Wonder what's going on?

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    Not Jabba said:

    Does anyone have word about what's going on with the review center? I don't want to complain, but the radio silence on the admin end of things is a little worrying.


    Maybe Bloodshedder is on vacation or something like that I guess.

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    Not Jabba said:

    1) Someone who understands Doom editing and knows what the two utilities (DooM TeXtures LiSter and DooM PostScript Maps Utility) are for and why they are useful.

    Oh wow, I somehow missed seeing those. I can definitely give those a review. Plus, since I was working on a similar tool myself, it'll be nice to get some inspiration.

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