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    The /newstuff Chronicles #535


    Bloodshedder
    • Doom Guy's House - Guy M. Babin
      Doom 2 - Single Player - GZDoom - 4.31 MB
      Reviewed by: Csonicgo
      Oh, oh no.

      Some of you may remember my Jerry's Kids review. What I overlooked is that the map Guy M. Babin used for it was released before - and by "before", I mean "multiple times". How many times, you ask? I counted around seven instances of this map on /idgames, all with changes that didn't solve the main problem with this map: the layout sucks.

      What's different this time? The biggest change is that the obnoxious sound and sprite replacements are nowhere to be seen. The music is "okay" on its own, but it doesn't fit at all. The main attraction appears to be the use of 3D floors for layouts instead of splitting the floors using teleporters on stairs. GZDoom cannot figure out what the heck to do with this, and a lot of the drawbacks of using 3D floors are magnified here. Archviles in the basement can resurrect demons already slain on the top floor. This event was so common that I killed the same shotgun guy twenty times, just because I could. On top of that, decorations bleed through the ceiling at certain angles. Mirrors are used only for decoration, colored lighting shows up in a few sectors in the basement, and one area has some dark fog that disappears the moment the light goggles are picked up. Light goggles in this map makes no sense! Everything has the same light level in the first place!

      The final boss is a spiderdemon in a round room. Circle her and shoot rockets or plasma spam, or if that's too risky, just camp in the hallway.

      It took me less than ten minutes to finish this. The main difficulty seems to be from the archviles, and since this is a house map, there is more than enough cover for them to be totally useless and devoid of any challenge. I didn't take screenshots of gameplay, because as soon as I started to fight, said fights were over. The rendering was so buggy, what screenshots I did take looked laughably awful from the slime trails and terrible sprite clipping. I dunno if it's my copy of GZDoom, or if this map is completely broken, but I do know this...

      It's boring, ugly, and stale.

    • Train Station: Episode 1 - JagDogger2525
      Ultimate Doom - Single Player - Vanilla - 253 KB - screenie.gif screenie.gif screenie.gif screenie.gif screenie.gif screenie.gif screenie.gif screenie.gif screenie.gif screenie.gif screenie.gif
      Reviewed by: Walter confetti
      Train Station: Episode 1 is, as the title suggest, a replacement for Ultimate Doom episode 1, made by JagDogger2525, a mapper with a bunch of other deathmatch maps already released that I don't remember playing.

      The story behind this map pack is that these levels were made for a forum that the author follows and dropped it since the forums that this guy follows are being frequented only by him and the forum host, so this thing has been forgotten forever by everyone... OR HAS IT?

      The author decided for some obscure reason to bring it back and... almost finish this episode, bringing us his first magnum opus.

      The levels are, obviously, set in a train station world of sorts including train stations, techbases, huge train tunnels (with the one in E1M3 filled with FIREBLU that makes a strange dimensional warp effect; imagine that while waiting for the train in the station / subway of your city?), Hell sections, abstract square caves, and canyons where you are running station to station to destroy the demon invasion once and for all from planet Train.

      If the idea of base sounds nice and kind of a novelty (if we forgive the many other train station maps made during the years since 1994), the execution was done pretty badly. The level layouts look like an amateurish map made with DEU or some other old editor; it is just bunch of square rooms and sectors for the stations and long and tedious hallways for the train tunnels. There's little to no detail (except nice lighting work in E1M1's station); the gameplay is kinda OK but doesn't really follow the episode flow perfectly, since on E1M2 you find yourself battling a horde of spectres with only your pistol. The rest of the battling is a sort of hard battle scenario, with tunnels filled with monsters and ammo, some pseudo-slaughter moments, some arena battles at the end of the episode (that is on E1M7; E1M8 is a sort of secret level here), and overall the feeling of playing something incomplete is highly visible here, so I don't get why the author decided to send this episode to the archives (it has a few good moments, mind you, like the mentioned E1M3 fireblu station and some other nice abstract moments in the middle of the episode and the overall hub feel of the episode layout). But for me it was a forgettable experience; take a look at this if you are a die-hard fan of old (or old-looking) mods from 1994 / 1996, even the most amateurish ones, but this episode could be easily skippable in favor of other levels in the archives.

    • Plasmatology Vol. 1 - pintolinh0
      Doom 2 - Single Player - Vanilla - 26.03 KB - screenie.gif screenie.gif screenie.gif screenie.gif screenie.gif screenie.gif
      Reviewed by: Philnemba
      "Designed to be played on UV"

      When I first read these words on the text file, I would assume that this map was tested thoroughly... sadly, this isn't the case. The main issue is that the only weapon you get is a plasma rifle with extremely limited ammo to the point where you literally don't have enough ammo to kill all 90+ monsters in this poor looking 1994 visuals map.

      Best to avoid this and hope one day with a bit more practice, pintolinh0 can deliver a much better map for us.

      While I did play this on ZDoom, this map IS vanilla compatible, however DON'T open the secret room near the red key room, otherwise the whole map um... collapses itself in Chocolate Doom (prboom+ won't open this secret room for some reason).

    • Map a Day - Topi Hattukangas
      Doom 2 - Single Player - ZDoom Compatible - 406.06 KB - screenie.gif screenie.gif screenie.gif screenie.gif screenie.gif screenie.gif screenie.gif screenie.gif screenie.gif screenie.gif screenie.gif screenie.gif
      Reviewed by: bzzrak
      Map a Day is a 24-map speedmap megaWAD by Topi Hattukangas. If you haven't heard of him, he has released some very enjoyable but somewhat under-appreciated maps and mapsets, such as T3ST. Basically, this guy knows how to map. His maps generally feel kinda "smart"; he tries to incorporate unique concepts and gimmicks, but while also keeping the core Doom gameplay, and most of the time succeeds in doing that.

      During October 2016, Topi attempted to make one map every day and end up with a full megaWAD. Well, that particular goal wasn't entirely achieved; he managed to make only 25 maps, one of which was "not working" and therefore dropped. Never mind, 24 is still a megaWAD, right? And boy, what a megaWAD.

      I played Map a Day using ZDoom 2.8.1, HMP skill, lots of resurrection. In total it took me 2 hours or so?

      One little thing. The mapset comes a PK3 file (which means that it requires a ZDoom-compatible port), but the maps definitely look vanilla. Not even Boom. The author uses some vanilla mapping techniques, such as self-referencing sectors. The only port feature that the author seems to utilize is MAPINFO, even though that probably would've worked in a WAD file as well...

      Ah, whatever. I don't wanna start another ports-vs-vanilla debate. Well, I do, but not here. Introducing you to the maps would probably be a better idea in this case. :]

      All of the maps have rather low monster counts (
      (yeah, I said that slaughter-free means fun. Fight me, come on, I dare you. :] )

      Though, that doesn't mean the maps are easy. No, sometimes they are quite hard, especially if you are one of those weird folks that doesn't cheat. Some of the spaces you'll find yourself in are quite tight, so you'll have considerably less room to dodge the enemies' attacks, like in map01. In other maps, some gimmick or puzzle will be what prevents you from reaching the magnificent exit switch.

      Another thing is that you'll be quite low on guns most of the time. The weaponry is very scarce. The pistol and chainsaw will be your only friends until MAP06. If you're one of those super-cool Doomers that feel entitled to having a SSG at all times, this is 707411y NOT 73h m@p537 4u. Otherwise, you'll find out that the limited capability of shooting is actually not that limiting; you won't even notice.

      Along with being not too crammed with monsters, the maps have another advantage: they are short. You could probably expect that from 1-day speedmaps. They usually take 1-3 minutes to complete... plus an indefinite amount of time spent on unsuccessful attempts to figure them out. You'll probably be able to finish the mapset in about 2-3 playing sessions.

      Moreover, the maps have some consistency to them, which is kinda nice for a speedmap set. For example, the exits are in the majority of cases represented by skull switches, like in the end of Doom 2's MAP11, which is cool. Also, usually the end of one map will be similar to the beginning of another. The last few maps even end in the same room. There doesn't seem to be any particular plot tying them together that would explain this, but we can probably guess what is the backstory here, shouldn't differ much from the usual. :]

      Visually, the maps are perfectly fine for the amount of time spent on them. Well, almost. The thing is that Topi seems to have a fetish for the colour BROWN. Some of those levels feature that colour almost exclusively. There's so much brown in here that it feels disgusting. Was all that brown really necessary??

      Other than that, the detailing is usually adequate and neat, not crossing into overd33teyl territory, but also (mostly) keeping away from mid-90s aesthetics. Sometimes you have DoomCute™ little sector objects such as ships, boats and furniture.

      Also, Topi sometimes breaks that one rule of John Romero's, the one that says that different flats should have different heights. That doesn't look too good.

      Map-by-map review for both folks who appreciate it. If you're not one of them, feel free to skip it!

      MAP01: Teleporter -- very simple little level. Right after you start the game, you find that you're surrounded by a group of Cacodemons, with more monsters that will come into play a bit later.
      MAP02: Running From Evil -- a brown fortress in a brown lake, with some brown walkways around. Some Revenants are watching you from above; be patient if you can't kill them right away. An average level.
      MAP03: Deja Vu? -- You start with the exit pretty much in your sight... but soon you find out that it's not that simple. Between you and the switch stand three sets of teleport gates. Sometimes they teleport you to an area that is a recreation of some IWAD map, such as Deimos Anomaly, Tricks and Traps, and even Plutonia's Well of Souls. You have to figure out which gate will not teleport you, letting you pass instead. The third set of gates takes you to a potentially very nasty fight. This is a very interesting level, I enjoyed it.
      MAP04: Claustrowhat? -- boring brown set of corridors with different height levels connected by lifts. The only room that's not a corridor (with the red key) looks very nice. Other than that, this is a forgettable level.
      MAP05: Soul Falls -- contains about 73 billion Pain Elementals and a comparable number of Lost Souls, while you have only a pistol, a chainsaw and a berserk. "Fun". Visually it's a very pretty little level, with even some colour variety.
      MAP06: In The Sewers -- best level so far. Barely any brown, with delightful green, gray and blue everywhere. Also, oh my god, the SHOTGUN!!! I found the final battle very fun.
      MAP07: Dark 2 See -- also a good level. The beginning requires you to react very quickly. Then it turns into a dark maze with Mancubuses everywhere around you. After you dispose of those, a huge outdoor area opens up, with around 150 trash monsters, an invulnerability and lots of rockets around. Insane fun.
      MAP08: The Trench -- mostly an outdoor level. Has some simple platforming with Chaingunners in guard towers shooting at you. The lighting really could've used some work. Other than that, this continues the chain of good levels.
      MAP09: Remember Citadel -- this level is focused around a small, decently built fortress. I'm really liking these last few levels, I hope it gets even better!!
      MAP10: Maze Of The Minotaur -- ugh. UGH. This level greets you with a simply atrocious maze. Goddammit, I should've known there was a maze in here somewhere. Even worse, you have to find both a key and its door. I recommend noclip. After you get through that, the level becomes just average, with two rather awkward rooms where you pick up the other two keys and a simple fight.
      MAP11: Weight Of The Matter -- in the very beginning you face a Cyberdemon, although he can easily be avoided. The rest of the level is some ordinary key-finding. Well, at least it's not brown!
      MAP12: Toxic Lake -- a cement base in a lake of nukage. Earns my respect for not being brown. Very similar to the previous level.
      MAP13: Deep Breath -- the very first impression of this level is not too good, but it improves soon. You will see some metal grates above water pools that also block you from the switch on the other side... but you can dive under them! Incredible concept.
      MAP14: At Last A Battle -- a great level. One huge nukage pool, with some walkways around and monsters hurling projectiles at you from every single direction. Enduring this battle feels like a true achievement. This, along with the fact that there's barely any brown, makes this level one of my favourites.
      MAP15: Are Barrels Fun? -- secret level that I couldn't find.
      MAP16: Out Of The Shadows -- Oh. Brown. Meh. The blue key area is very smartly designed.
      MAP17: Rock The Docs -- you are in a dock of some sort and you need to get to your boat. The first (indoor) half is easy, but the outdoor half can get tricky.
      MAP18: Peaceful Boatride -- you thought you could get some sleep while you sail to your next destination, without being threatened by demons? No such luck. This is a small level where monsters keep coming in waves and you just have to survive. If you jump and look at the sea, you might find that it looks a bit glitchy due to all the ambushes unleashed upon you from it. Hey Topi, people can jump now, you know? This level is quite hard.
      MAP19: Towers R Odd -- the rest of your voyage was not too problematic, and you successfully arrive at the dock. However, a squad of zombies were waiting for you there! There are some powerups on raised platforms here; you'll get the opportunity to lower them as you progress through the level. The ending fight can be a bit surprising.
      MAP20: Feel The Hot Of Hellfire? -- starts out as a cute, relaxed little techbase, but then it turns out that there's more to it than you might think! You get the first taste of Hell when you see a marble room, followed by a big cavern with IoS pads on the floor. Good level. Also I'm proud to announce that the levels become far less brown from now on!
      MAP21: Nether? Whatever... -- whoa, you're really in Hell now! From a surreal cavern you enter a marble structure. Has some nasty fights. A beautiful level. Also, you are introduced to the exit room that you will revisit in the next few levels.
      MAP22, apparently named "Rewind", was dropped due to "not working". After finishing 21 you go straight to 23.
      MAP23: Arch-Enemy -- you start in a tiny room, with some barrels around you; that room soon expands, twice, with a fight accompanying each expansion. Then you encounter a really tricky fight with some Revenants on a platform. You are in a very inconvenient position here, so shattering them into bones can be challenging. The doors in that room with the Revenants can be a bit annoying due to the way they were set up. Following that is a moderately hard fight against some Cacodemons and Pain Elementals; after that you grab the key and face your arch-enemy. The arch-enemy fight is kinda underwhelming, as it's a tiny ring-shaped room and hiding from his attack is trivial. Also there's some sort of sequence where you get an invulnerability to blow up a LOT of barrels, which was awkward, but cute.
      MAP24: Tower Of Babel -- again you start on your trusty vessel, with a huge ziggurat in front of you. You need to ascend to the top and grab the key from the tower's master and then go back down, where the key door is situated.
      MAP25: Dead Again -- Icon of Sin fight :]

      Whee, we're done!

      Overall, I liked Map a Day. It's a very neat set of speedmaps, with some brilliant concepts, but also not too gimmick-oriented. I recommend it if you want some "bite-sized" classic-style Doom maps to pass some time. Kudos to Topi for creating such a good mapset!

    • Trigger-happy - pintolinh0
      Doom 2 - Single Player - ZDoom Compatible - 52.68 KB - screenie.gif screenie.gif
      Reviewed by: Not Jabba
      This is the author's second map, and it has all the tropes you know and hate from every other beginner map, including D_RUNNIN as the default music. It's basically just a series of rectangles where you kill the monsters, hit a switch, and move to the next rectangle. Most of those rectangles are full of hitscanners, including many SS Nazis. For the entire first half of the level, you get no weapon except a shotgun, and you're expected to kill Mancubuses, Arachnotrons, Pain Elementals, and a Baron with it, which is no fun for anyone. The second half of the level is more of the same; you at least get a rocket launcher, but nowhere near enough ammo to actually kill the Mastermind that's camping on the exit switch. Not worthwhile.

    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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    Great reviews; fun reads! Good job everyone!

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    I genuinely admire @bzzrak's ability to have fun with just about anything.

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    It was my first attempt at a single-player episode and I hope to have more than just squares and such in the single-player wad that I am making. One of the maps was a line-by-line and item-by-item recreation of a Wolfenstein map so I couldn't really add it in (even though it really wasn't texture-by-texture). It was back in '09 so I get that it would be forgettable. I didn't really have any other inspiration at the time other than creating a train station for the first 5-6 levels and lost inspiration for the rest.

     

    I hope to make a second episode that is better but that might be a slight stretch. Still, it was a start and I learned from that and this so I could make bigger and better maps for the future.

     

    Thank you Walter confetti for reviewing my first single-player episode attempt. I am improving my style to make maps every time I map.

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