Russian DOOM - Julian Nechaevsky
Doom/Doom 2 - N/A - Chocolate Doom - 2.91 MB -
Reviewed by: joe-ilya
A well made text replacement for Russian speaking people who don't understand English, or just for people who understand the Russian language and the English language, yet are simply interested to see how this conversion turns out. It turns out quite nice; the biggest change besides turning English text into Russian text is the way the Russian grammar is implemented in the intermission screens; there are various versions of the "FINISHED" and "ENTERING" graphics for grammatical purposes.
Most of the texts are replaced: the menus, the pickup messages, the HUD, the automap, the intermission screen, the ENDOOM graphic, and even the English text on the textures is replaced, such as the exit signs and the various computer screens for example. The one thing that isn't translated are the acronyms in the textures, like UAC for example.
The text translations are implemented into all the id Software Doom IWADS; you can choose through the five Doom IWADs in the launcher's setup. (You can choose between Shareware Doom, Ultimate Doom, Doom 2, TNT and Plutonia.)
The Russian text is professionally crafted, looking like something id Software would make if they were Russian instead of American in the first place. It's a bit humorous thinking about a parallel universe where id Software is a Russian company and all their games would be implemented with Russian text and Russian inspirations such as music.
Doomworld Mega Project 2015 - Various
Doom 2 - Single Player - ZDoom Compatible - 17.61 MB -
Reviewed by: Csonicgo
I have no idea when I picked up Doomworld Mega Project 2015 to review. It's 2017 now, I know that much. It has taken me way too long, I've played about everything, and I still cannot say much more than the README already states. Because that's quite literally what we're looking at here. Quoth the README:
The idea and goal of the project was to get maps from as many mappers as possible, one map per person, during the course of the year 2015. Anyone could participate, and there were no restrictions regarding the theme or the quality of the maps, other than "no abusive maps that use scripts to change people's settings or are 1 GB while unzipped, etc."
Mapping and compiling this took two years. Something in development for that long should have more of a review than "It's a map equivalent of a bitchin' Trick-or-Treat haul". But there is nothing to chain these maps together whatsoever. Only one map per mapper, so there isn't any consistent styling of the sort.
There have been many, many megawads like these in recent years; these "compilation" releases with nothing to tie them together. There's nothing inherently wrong with this, I've reviewed many of these before, but I still had something to say about those!
Here's what's up: the map balance is totally destroyed on all these maps if you don't play from pistol start. None of these maps were designed with the spoils from the previous map in mind. However, the maps that are hard with the traditional play method are damned near impossible if played from pistol start. And so many maps in here abuse hitscanners with glee, at great distances, effectively creating huge zones of danger if you dare to walk in them. In Doom's original resolution, they might as well be considered invisible.
Other sins include: A revenant fight with little cover to block homing shots, Barons acting as doors, distant chaingunner turrets above your line of sight, projectile monsters in cramped hallways, samey rooms that require you to bring up the automap (the first time I've used markers in ages), picking a 45 second-long midi for a 20 minute-long map, using a flat that tiles horrendously for the majority of the map, getting caught in a BLOCKMAP collision due to detail abuse, maps with either too-complicated design, or too little design. There are more ways to make a map non-linear than interconnecting rooms via hallways.
Making your map seem "expansive" when it's literally hallway-room-hallway-room by using Boom sky features is an effective way to give the player the idea that he's actually in an open area, especially when one can see the other paths from the player's vantage point (and may be shot at from said hallways), but this setup is best used when teleporting in monsters to walkways next to the player, not just plop monsters in front of the player in a triangle shape, and have him die instantly by half a dozen shotgun guys blasting as soon as the door opens.
The maps are set up by source port, surprisingly enough. There is a "Vanilla" set, a "Boom" set, and a "ZDoom" set, although it's best to play those in GZDoom now. Actually, I recommend playing all the Boom maps in a port that can handle slaughtermaps well, because there are a few in here!
Sealed by Blood - Nick "Nostalgick" Burnham
Doom 2 - Single Player - ZDoom Compatible - 39.14 KB -
Reviewed by: Not Jabba
Sealed by Blood is a smallish level that looks like it's probably the author's first map. The architecture is blocky and weirdly angled, and the design is generally awkward and confusing. Random textures are used as doors, the sides of doorways aren't unpegged (so the walls scroll up and down), monsters are sometimes stuck on the sides of ledges, I faced at least one horde of Demons (right after the first main room with the central cave pillar) that were incapable of reaching me if I didn't enter the room they were in, and ammo balance is feast or famine. There are plenty of annoyingly narrow hallways and inconveniently placed decorations.
Difficulty is extremely easy until the end, and that's mainly because of cheap enemy use -- the final battle is an ambush by a Pain Elemental, and Arch-Vile, and some other enemies in very tight quarters, and you can either suicide with the rocket launcher or fight them with the chaingun or shotgun, as no better weapons are available. There was an interesting secret that let me sneak into a later portion of the level that I wouldn't otherwise be able to reach yet and gave me a rad suit so that I could go after a Megasphere in some lava, but then I found myself in the awkward position of having to pistol a Mancubus to death to get back out the way I came. Overall, this isn't bad for a first effort, but I was relieved to be done with it and wouldn't recommend playing it.
Return to Hadron Episode 2 - The Collider's new clothes - Matt "cannonball" Powell
Ultimate Doom - Single Player - Limit Removing - 1.04 MB -
Reviewed by: Not Jabba
Ever since Cannonball hit his stride as a mapper, every Ultimate Doom episode he has touched has literally turned to gold. Although it's anyone's guess what will happen in a year as insane as 2017, Return to Hadron E2 is -- at least in a figurative sense -- pure gold as well.
I played this episode right after No End in Sight, and I find it impossible not to compare the two, just because they are so completely opposite to each other in almost every conceivable way. Whereas NEIS tends to be slow-paced in the vein of classic Doom and full of puzzles, Hadron E2 is all action all the time -- pulse-pounding, gut-wrenching, exhausting action that's probably going to kill you if you're ever foolish enough to stop running, sort of like Jason Statham in Crank. Whereas NEIS is very restrained in its use of large monsters and makes you ration your rockets and cells for the times when you encounter them, Hadron E2 just about pretends the shotgun and chaingun never happened and is all about using rockets and plasma on meatier, harder-hitting enemies backed by hordes of their lesser brethren, even as early as E2M2. And whereas every level in NEIS is a brand new experiment, Hadron E2 pretty much sticks to its formula -- which isn't a bad thing, because its formula is pretty kickass. "Purity of form," I believe is what Alfonzo called it.
All of the levels are pretty compact, except for E2M7, aka The Big Epic One, which is actually about four compact levels placed as quadrants of a larger square, with plenty of connectivity between them. Romero-like freedom of movement is the rule; usually every part of the level that isn't behind a key door is open to run around in as soon as you start, and usually the locked areas are just tiny little rooms where you grab the next key or hit a switch before being spit back out into the main complex. As a result, every level has the feel of a big multi-room arena where you're constantly fighting large numbers of enemies. Every once in awhile, you get a creative gameplay twist, like when you're sandwiched between two waves of Demons and have to run through a crusher field for a chainsaw at the very start of E2M1, or like how E2M4 starts off as a Tyson map and allows you to either play the whole thing with your Berserked fist or hunt for weapons while on the run. But generally speaking, those sorts of clever setups would only have slowed Cannonball down, which is why they are few and far between.
The set culminates in an immense arena battle against hordes of Cacodemons, Barons, Cyberdemons, and the occasional Mastermind in E2M8. This map is so intense and brutal that I find it really hard to imagine where Cannonball could possibly go from here with E3, aside from making every map revolve around the BFG. I guess we'll just have to wait and see.
Industrial Facility - Aidan (Luigis) Geisler
Doom 2 - Single Player - ZDoom Compatible - 284.76 KB -
Reviewed by: Not Jabba
Industrial Facility is a short, basic techbase map, and it's one of the first maps the author has made. It shows some decent competence with basic architecture construction and features, but it's full of misalignments, strange-looking acute angles, and other glitches and visual oddities. The gameplay is very simple and not very interesting, but the only actual bug I found was the door to the room with the red key, which I had to clip through because it can only open once from each side. There's also a section of the outdoor slime area that you can only get out of by jumping, but it would be pretty easy to put in some steps or something to make passability easier for non-jumping players.
The music is goofy and vaguely annoying, but the level mostly feels like a serious attempt at design until the final two rooms, where you get about a zillion cell packs, a BFG, and an invulnerability sphere, and then have to fight a bunch of SS Nazis and a Cyberdemon. It sort of feels like the author just stopped caring. Not recommended.
Outland Industries - Professor Bucket
Doom 2 - Single Player - ZDoom Compatible - 62 KB -
Reviewed by: bzzrak
Outland Industries, Professor Bucket's first WAD.
I have to say, this is a cute and enjoyable little level, and that's without the first-WAD-extra-points.
But first, I have to criticise Professor for doing something that shouldn't be done. Let's take a look at OUTLAND.TXT.
Advanced engine needed : None ... Tested With : ZDoom 2.8.1
Yeah, I know what you're thinking. This WAD apparently doesn't use any port features, but the red-key door will break in ports that don't support ZDoom's handling of 0-tag linedef specials. Basically, ZDoom will work, PrBoom+ works too (if you enable an option in the menu), and also some other ports.
But OK, let's focus on the more important stuff.
I played this WAD in ZDoom 2.8.1 on HMP skill level. No jumping or mouselook required here, and jumping can actually lead to skipping a fair part of the level, so don't do it.
The WAD is a base set in a cave or mountain or canyon or something rocky. If I got a penny every time someone made a level with that concept, I'd now have far more important things to do rather than review newbie maps. But unfortunately, I don't get a penny. Fortunately though, the rocky base theme is executed decently here. You start in a dark underground area, then enter the base, go outside on a couple of occasions, then you have a quite cool final arena fight. The difficulty is fitting to keep an average player on his toes without causing ragequits, which is wonderful. There are no Arch-Viles and Cyberdemons, for a change. No Chaingunner or Revenant abuse either. The monster count on HMP is 189 (with Lost Souls), but it feels like far, far less ("whaaaa, I've killed half of the map already?"). I'm not sure if I should criticise or compliment that one.
The detailing is also quite good, the usual computer stuff, it's all done neatly.
(I have a small secret tip for Prof Bucket: making linedefs on inset details impassible, so that I can't climb on those computers and switches. Shh, don't tell anyone.)
However, the texturing is mostly STARTAN2 on walls. That's not really recommended, especially as it's DB2's default texture. There are some not too widespread texture choices too, but they don't stick out too much. Alignment, on the other hand... well it exists, and I can respect that.
The layout is quite clever. At some point you will see that you're standing right above the door that you entered the base through; that felt amazing when I fell down and saw where I was. The final arena looks quite badass.
Professor has stashed a solid six secrets into this small map, which is definitely something to compliment. (I found only one, though)
Well, that's really everything that can be said about Professor Bucket's mapping debut. It's a nice, small, fun map that you can give a play or two if you feel like doing some relaxing demon killing. Keep it up!
Happy Birthday JC! - franckFRAG
Doom 2 - Single Player - Vanilla - 33.21 KB -
Reviewed by: walter confalonieri
Three REALLY short tiny maps made by franckFrag for the speedrunner specialist JC, and all of these maps are only doable if you know some tricky speedrunning strategies; otherwise you will not know what to do from the very start... like me exiting map01 of this wad.
But luckily all of these maps are really short, and if you get the trick you can finish them pretty easily, and it's more of a little romp for speedrunners than your usual Doom wad.
Perfect for Doom speedrunner masters and lovers; for other people it could be easily skippable using another map from the archives.
Mercury Rain - Jimmy
Doom 2 - Single Player - ZDoom Compatible - 912.24 KB -
Reviewed by: Not Jabba
Mercury Rain is a nice medium-sized ZDoom level that uses a fair number of port features and has some cool textures and decorations to help flesh out the setting. The biggest feature is the rain system -- not the 2D rain texture sheets found in TVR! or Armadosia, but a full-fledged weather system that comes down everywhere there isn't a ceiling and partially obscures visibility over longer distances. I know this isn't the first wad I've seen it in, but it looks nice and adds to the atmosphere. The progression is based around color-coded sets of forcefields controlled by a single switch, which you use the keys to unlock. There's also a fun custom hazard, a sort of skull tree that releases clouds of poison gas when you destroy it -- they present very little danger to the player, but like nukage barrels, they're fun to murder enemies with.
The map is pretty chill for the most part, except for the Revenant opener and the red key area near the end, which has some light horde combat. Overall it's nothing super fancy or unique, but it's fun and pretty quick, and the custom content helps it to feel a little more different from a typical base level.
Tungsten - Jimmy
Doom 2 - Single Player - PrBoom+ - 252.52 KB -
Reviewed by: Not Jabba
Tungsten is a short level that Jimmy made for a Battle of the Bits contest, and the idea was to create a map that used no orthogonal lines at all. The latter sounds neat, though I can't say I really noticed it while playing the level; most mappers try to keep 90-degree angles to a minimum anyway, and there are still a lot of straight lines, which I think is mainly what makes it feel normal. Still, it's a nice little base map with custom textures and music by Jimmy. The layout is compact, but the structure transforms as you grab the keys and platforms descend into lava, which makes it progressively more difficult to get around and fight the enemies without taking damage. I think that's a pretty cool gameplay hook, and the level feels like it's worth playing just for that. Otherwise, it's a fairly basic map that could easily be map 05 or so in a Jenesis-like megawad -- and who doesn't want more of those?
The Floor Is Lava! - Jimmy
Doom 2 - Single Player - ZDoom Compatible - 125.42 KB -
Reviewed by: Not Jabba
I'm sure we all played this game as kids: jump around from one piece of furniture to the next, because the floor is lava. Jimmy's "The Floor is Lava!" translates that concept into ZDoom, with scripts that kill you instantly if you ever hit the floor, forcing you to navigate using furniture, crates, doormats, lamps, trees, and even explosive barrels. It's a short map and there are only a handful of enemies, but the furniture placement makes it extremely hard; you have to be an ace at jumping, and Doom has never been very good for platforming. I had to save after almost every jump and died repeatedly on every attempt to get to the next safe point, mainly because many objects are small and I kept sliding off of them. The concept is neat, but I wish the map had been a bit more casual -- no house I lived in as a kid was anywhere near this difficult. I came to a total standstill after getting the blue key and hitting a key switch that doesn't appear to do anything except execute a cutscene; the way back outside was blocked off, and I couldn't get to any other areas with a normal jump. Maybe you'll do better than I did, though.
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