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    The /newstuff Chronicles #507


    • 2048 UNLEASHED (Pcorf community project 2) - Various
      Doom 2 - Single Player - Boom Compatible - 6.06 MB -
      Reviewed by: vtm
      2048 UNLEASHED (Pcorf community project 2) is a Doom 2 megawad with 49 new levels divided into episodes, the first one with 32 maps and the second one with 17 levels. This wad has 49 2048X2048 Boom compatible levels, so you must use PrBoom or ZDoom to play it.

      It takes advantage of Boom features in the maps, which are somewhat short. The maps are all well detailed and have a nice combination of textures; most of the maps are very nice looking, especially map 29. These maps are all somewhat hard, especially the later maps (map 24 Deaf Kamikaze for example, it took me by surprise the second cyberdemon twice). They are not high on ammo; usually there's plenty, giving you the chance to use any weapon you want. There is enough life to complete the levels; I didn't find myself dying too often, but I did get low on health several times in the same level.

      It includes new sounds for the final boss and has new music; some of it fits very well the maps. There are also new textures (some from Heretic and Hexen and some used by several others' megawads and maps).

      So, play it; it's very fun, and I really liked the majority of the maps. Some of them felt kind of boring for me in some sections, but overall they are very good. You won't regret it.

    • Mano Laikas: A road to Gamzatti - Nicolas Monti
      Doom 2 - Single Player - Vanilla - 3.53 MB -
      Reviewed by: gaspe
      Nicolas Monti is a quite well known author. In August of last year he released Erkattäññe, which won a Cacoward, but he wasn't done yet. A few months later, on the forums Mano Laikas made its debut, a full megawad for Doom 2, which it seems can be considered a continuation of Erkattäññe, to a certain extent. Many traits that are typical of this author are present here, like the distinct old-school/retro vibe, the not-so-great care for texture alignment, and the usage of a soundtrack that the majority of players will probably judge as weird or just plain unfitting in this modern era. So if you are already familiar with Monti's other works you may know what to expect, but in all the cases this is a wad that you will either love or hate. It may seem a shallow thing to reduce the judgment of a full megawad to a such short sentence, but both the things that are at the core of the wad and the various branches that they take to make things different lead to having that view of this project.

      Monti did a lot with little, and with this little he made 32 maps. There aren't actual differences between the episodes, and the maps don't follow very strict themes. Throughout the wad Monti likes to play with variations of the same stuff. Influences from E1/E2. The scale that goes from very big, high, and imposing to more comfy, flat, and almost cramped. The mood of the darker and brighter parts. Sometimes there will be lots of damaging floors to cover or some dynamic architecture. The leading thread stands in the high free form geometry and an abstract style that sometimes has flavors of a weird realism. Same goes for the gameplay, which puts lots of emphasis on using the Rocket Launcher. In particular, Arachnotrons and Mancubuses made lots of appearances in the encounters, and Arch-viles too, and they actually border on being overused.

      A shout-out must go to MAP31 which genuinely feels like it belongs on some '95 shovelware disk. While others may argue (or maybe it was the intention of the author himself and so this is the worst /newstuff Chronicles review ever made??!!) that all the wad was intended to be like that, but it has a some kind of coherence that leaves this MAP31 to be one of the most fitting MAP31s you can find in a wad.

      It's a wad that is worth playing, and it has plenty of cool and inspired stuff to check out. If after playing some maps you are struggling to find reasons to continue to play this wad, it probably isn't for you. If you are waiting for some drastic changes that will refresh your interest in playing this wad, you'd just better drop it, even for a while. On the other hand if you are keeping to enjoy this, prepare to live a fantastic adventure with what Mano Laikas has to offer you.

    • DMPSMU: DooM PostScript Maps Utility v3.0 - Frans P. de Vries
      N/A - N/A - Vanilla - 180.94 KB -
      Reviewed by: yukib1t
      DMPSMU is a utility to create PostScript files of Doom maps. PostScript, for those who don't know, is a programming language that is basically the precursor to PDF. The ZIP file contains both binaries, some batch script, and the complete source. I compiled it from source and ran it on Linux for this review.

      DMPSMU can create overhead views of a Doom map, and has options for controlling what gets printed. There are options for various categories of map things, whether secret area are shaded differently, whether teleporter links are shown, and more. There are also options to print a nice border around the entire page, show a legend, and place some title text at the top of the page. There are a few options to control the overall layout and page size as well: A4, A3, tabloid, or letter sizes; landscape or portrait; and one, two, or four pages. Unfortunately, the output is entirely in grayscale. Having options to color in things or certain sector types would be of a huge benefit, and is a feature that is sorely lacking.

      I was not able to print out any maps directly on paper because my printer is currently on the fritz. But, I was able to view them in a few different programs. GhostView worked best for viewing the resulting files, while other programs seemed to cut off the top part of the page where the title and legend are printed. Using a converter (ps2pdf) also exhibited this issue. Whether this is an issue with the viewing programs or the PostScript code getting generated by DMPSMU is beyond me.

      Moving on, there are actually two separate programs included. In my opinion, this was the wrong thing to do. There is no reason they can't be one program, nor is there an advantage. The README file acknowledges this, however. Anyway, the first program, named dmpsmu, uses a text-based interface derived from DEU to give the program commands. There are a few useful perks to using this one, such as being able to print out (to the console, not to a PostScript file) a table of stats for the selected level, listing the directory of a WAD, dumping an entry to hex, and saving entries to raw files. Unfortunately, dmpsmu repeatedly crashed on me any time I tried to save a PostScript file. This was disappointing since this is the main purpose of the program. Additionally, the interface feels very outdated by modern standards, and I would have liked to see an ncurses-based interface instead.

      The other program, dmpsmap, foregoes the text-based interface for a command line interface. Unlike, dmpsmu, this one worked flawlessly. Additionally, dmpsmap tends to be much easier to use since the command line can be edited more easily. It also lends itself well to scripting, which is a major plus. One downside is that the command line arguments roughly need to be in a certain order, which isn't immediately apparent. Also, it lacks some of the other features of dmpsmu. Still, this seems to be the best way to go.

      One last thing: this only works for Doom-format WAD files. The Hexen IWAD didn't work, nor did a UDMF map. This is a very big limitation, and while the README acknowledges this, there doesn't seem to be any plans to support other WAD formats.

      Overall, DMPSMU can be pretty fun to play with, but feels unfinished and old. The bug in dmpsmu that prevented me from writing a PostScript file makes it nearly useless. Also, a newer ncurses interface for the dmpsmu program would go a long way in usability. So play with it if you want, but expect a few hiccups.

      Offhand note: why doesn't the Makefile remove the executables when doing a "clean"? :^(

    • Baal Hadad - Gran-D-Knight
      Doom 2 - Single Player - Boom Compatible - 79.5 KB
      Reviewed by: Voros
      Baal Hadad is a Doom 2 map replacement WAD, taking the slots of MAP01 to MAP04.

      This title is strange. But the description looks promising.

      The design of all the maps are simplistic, but not bad. The detailing is pretty good, there is this sense of realism in these maps. One thing I didn't enjoy is that the challenge was not hard, but easy actually.

      The thing placement is well placed, but then again, it is still too undemanding on the player. You'll find enough cover to hide from the demons and ammo to kill them all. Just hide, shoot and move on.

      Overall, the mapset is a missed opportunity. Some more time with the editing of these maps could have made them something a bit more memorable.

    • DMTXLS: DooM TeXtures LiSter v2.0 - Frans P. de Vries
      N/A - N/A - Vanilla - 65.93 KB -
      Reviewed by: yukib1t
      DMTXLS is a command line tool used to generate a list of the textures and flats used in a Doom WAD. The ZIP file contains both binaries, some batch script, and the complete source. I compiled it from source and ran it on Linux.

      There isn't much to this program: it lists texture usage stats. You give it an IWAD, an optional PWAD, a map number, and the name of the text file to save everything. There are also a few options to control what gets printed to the file, and to define what name gets printed at the top. There is no option to print to standard out.

      The output is clean and can be pretty useful for authors who want to really optimize their maps for size. The default is to list the name of the texture or flat used, and how many times it's used. It also gives the total number of textures/flats used, but this doesn't seem like it would be too useful. A somewhat more useful number would be the total number of unique textures used, or even better, both of these numbers.

      DMTXLS, like the author's other package, DMPSMU, only works on vanilla Doom WAD files. So no Hexen formatted WADs or UDMF. This is a major limitation.

      Overall, it's kinda useful, but seems like it needs to be fleshed out in terms of output features, or even like it should be merged with DMPSMU. Having it print to standard out would also be nice.

    • Tyson's Delight - Walter "Daimon" Confalonieri
      Doom 2 - Single Player - Limit Removing - 175.84 KB -
      Reviewed by: Not Jabba
      Tyson's Delight contains not one but two Tyson-oriented maps by Walter Confalonieri, who has a solid reputation these days as a prolific creator of simple but well-designed levels. The two maps were made separately during different years, and each one approaches the Tyson theme in a very different way.

      "F****** Metal" (map 01) is a true Tyson map in that it never gives you any guns but the pistol, and it falls more into the "Tricks n Traps" school of mapmaking rather than being very action-oriented. You actually have to hunt around to find the Berserk Pack, and if you try to run through the map without looking carefully for it, you'll soon realize the hard way that you missed something. There's also a secret chainsaw if you prefer to use that, although once you have the Berserk pack there's not much need for it. Once you have your choice of melee weapon, the level is pretty easy, with most of the enemies being Lost Souls, Demons, and other weak monsters.

      "Techubus" gives you the Berserk pack right at the start, but the combat is much tougher. There are over 120 monsters on UV, including a Cyberdemon, an Arch-Vile, and the Mancubus that greets you as soon as you open the first door. The Manc ends up being pretty easy, since it can't leave its alcove and you can just pop out from around the corner to attack it -- I can't help but feel like it would have been more interesting to position it at the opposite end of the large main courtyard to put heavy fire on the player as they try to eliminate the weaker enemies and gain a foothold; if it had been more of a challenge and I'd had to work to reach it, it would have been much more satisfying to kill. All the same, the rest of the map certainly gave me plenty of threats to worry about. In addition to the Berserk, you can get the shotgun and chaingun (from zombies), as well as two rocket launchers. Ammo is moderately plentiful, but you'll definitely want to focus on melee whenever possible and use the guns for things like ledge snipers, chaingunners, and the Cyber and AV. Fortunately, you also get plenty of opportunities to get the Cyber infighting with other enemies while you work to clear the rest of the level and find the exit, but if you want to get 100% kills, you're in for a fairly nasty fight after it's the last enemy standing.

      It's cool to see such totally different Tyson maps paired together for contrast, and both are well made and fun. This is definitely a worthy addition to your wad collection if you're either a Tyson specialist or a fan of "good ol' Walter Confetti."

    • Retribution: Part I - Fenes Octavian - Romulus (DooM_RO)
      Ultimate Doom - Single Player - Boom Compatible - 14.17 MB -
      Reviewed by: 3_nights
      Retribution: Part 1 is the debut wad of Fenes Octavian, and damned if it's not a huge one. When the player is first given a look at the souped-up techbase, they will not see much detail in the courtyard area. But inside the twisting, multicolored, dark corridors lay the author's meticulous attention to detail. Every beat in the level is orchestrated by Octavian, it seems, down to the quiet beginning and sparse monster encounters that crescendo into a brutal slaughterhouse packed with Sergeants and Imps. Ammo is tight, and Octavian pulls no punches when they introduce the next wave of enemies. The atmospheric beginning lulls the player into a sense of security, in a way, before the experience really kicks up.

      There are some visual bugs, as to be expected of a wad of this insane scope and size. The visuals themselves are impressive, with Octavian making good use of Boom's lighting effects as well as the classic Doom textures. There is much backtracking, thanks to the non - linear environment, but the level is cleverly laid out to minimize "Damn, where's that blue door?" wandering.

      Sometimes, however, Octavian lays it on a little too rough. The Hurt Me Plenty difficulty will kick your ass the first time around, and the atmospheric beginning is cool the first time, but not when you have to walk through it again - so save often! Particularly frustrating was an encounter in a cargo area, which includes a nasty (maybe a bit unfair) ambush.

      If you're looking for something a bit different and have your heart set on a longer level, give Retribution: Part 1 a go. Octavian's dedication and patience (seriously, it is a humongous wad!) are sure to not be in vain.

    • Chaos - Adam Goldman
      Doom 2 - Deathmatch - Vanilla - 8.11 KB -
      Reviewed by: walter confalonieri
      Ok, now for starters: the author says this map is intended for Single Play, while in the description he just wrote: "Multiplayer fun" (that was kinda assured, mind you, but I will get to this point later), so I expected some little slaughter / hard map (due to the short file size of the zip), but instead what did I get?

      "Chaos" is a big deathmatch arena made by Adam Goldman, author of two other maps that I don't think I have played or downloaded yet, but this is because they weren't even uploaded to /idgames... so Adam, you lied to us saying that your level is intended for single play! How do you feel about that? That doesn't matter to you? I hope that the "multiplayer fun" will not be another lie...

      Layout of this map is pretty symmetric; there are four starting rooms, four pits with teleports that lead to the catwalk part of the level, and a larger teleport that leads to one of the upper 64x64 pillars, with a medieval theme and some misaligned textures.

      Gameplay in single player is pretty pointless since there's nothing other than you, but it is in the multiplayer department that the magic of spam begins!

      In multiplayer there's all the items, including shotgun at the spawning points, plasma guns, and four megaspheres as your health at the larger teleport pod at the center of the arena, and your gift for reaching the above mentioned pillars are BFGs, where you blast out lots of people (or bots, in my case) for a real spamfest, until you run out of ammo, and this is the major problem here: there wasn't a huge amount of ammo here. Maybe putting a shell box or a cell pack in the pits or somewhere else will make this more fun to play with a few players, but this map is intended to be played with lots of them (I played with 14 bots and 15 fraglimit at first, then 22 bots and 30 fraglimit for the second bot session, that was more fun), so download and play this level only if you want to start a LAN party of sorts, otherwise forget about it. Just your typical 1994 / DWANGO arena that has been seen from the days Doom came out... nothing special. But it is fun indeed.

    • UAC computer centre. - John Cartwright
      Ultimate Doom - Single Player - Boom Compatible - 256.21 KB -
      Reviewed by: Voros
      Base-Tech is a Doom map made for E4M1, but filled with E1 references.

      The map is not bad at all. Detailing is all right (it is filled with E1 references, what'd you expect?), the geometry is basically spacious and abstract, usually with larger versions of parts from E1 (the computer maze in E1M4 is a good example), the demon placement is nicely done, the item placement needs some more thought. Overall, it was fun.

      The detailing, as I said, is all right. STARTANs, computer panels, and whatever else signifies E1. It was all inspired from E1 to make this map. Everything is so simplistic here, you'd think you were in the 90s era of map making. That doesn't mean it is ugly. It is just plain fun.

      The geometry is very spacious most of the time, and the E1 references tend to be larger versions of their originals. Take the classic zig-zag bridge from E1M1. It is huge here! And the computer maze from E1M4 is extremely big in terms of length. There's a lot of backtracking in this map, and they are usually not so obvious (say I press a switch here and a door opens ALL THE WAY down there). But for some reason, I kept getting confused during my play where I have to go, how I get there, why I came here, how did I get here, etc. I don't know why I felt so disoriented while playing this. Maybe it's the large, open areas with barely distinct texturing, but that's just me.

      The demon placement was unexpected. I expected the author to put hordes of demons in the player's vicinity, but no. Most of the time, there are small groups of minor demons inside the facility, with major hordes of demons outside. Easy pickings against the ones outside and inside too... except for the Cyberdemon.

      The item placement is enough for at least finishing the map, but 100% kills? Not really. The ammo and weapon placements should have been increased a bit to at least gain a high percentage of kills. The med kits are just right throughout the map. I found myself making it out with enough health, and I'm sure others will too.

      I like this map for having this basic detailing on a large scale. It's like the whole E1 episode remade in one map. Well done, John Cartwright, well done. Be sure to check this out!

    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 for the review, Not Jabba!

    And kudos to all, i want to take a play to Mano Laikas ... as like as the other Nicholas Monti wads!

    Yay, i'm on the cover on this week newstuff!

    EDIT: funny grammar kinda fixed

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    Thanks for the review 3_nights! It's great to see people appreciating my WAD. You could have chosen better screenshots though. That courtyard area gave me a lot of headaches because Doom 1 techbase textures do not tile very well in large areas and all of the other combinations and shapes were ugly.

    I have decided to switch to Doom 2 for Part 2, which is set in Hell due to the fact that the Doom 1 roster is very limited and the rock and hellish texture variety is very poor.

    It's going a lot faster so the wait will not be so long - that is if any of you care and like my style.

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    gaspe said:

    And with this edition all the wads from the last year have been reviewed.


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    DooM_RO said:

    Thanks for the review 3_nights! It's great to see people appreciating my WAD. You could have chosen better screenshots though.

    No problem. Yeah I should have picked out some more, there were some gorgeous visuals. Thanks for the critique of my critique c;

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