A.W - AndyNicka
Doom 2 - Single Player - Vanilla - 171.46 KB -
Reviewed by: bzzrak
Why look at this.
A newbie's first mapset.
Betcha it sucks, heh.
A.W. is a 6-map set released in January '17 by the anonymous AndyNicka, intended for vanilla. So far this has been his only release, which is kind of a shame, as it, rather unexpectedly, mostly kicks a$$.
Generally it looks and feels like it came straight out of a time machine from '96 or so. But in the best, best possible way. If AW hit /idgames straight away instead of lying in the time machine for two decades, I'm sure that today it would be one of those "hidden gem" WADs that every one of us came across while experimenting with the "Random file" button. Do modern kids even remember what that thing was?? Ah, memories.
Um, I got carried away a bit.
I played A.W. with Crispy Doom 4.0, HMP difficulty, continuous, no saves. Time-wise it will consume an hour, maybe two if you're even more oblivious than me.
The levels are mostly a mix of wood, stone and marble themes, which looks very 90s. But just like in every decent and not-so-decent 90s WAD, you'll occasionally encounter an environment that sticks out, like hell or craaaates. It all looks quite comfy and warm, even if crude. The detail is not really as plentiful as it could've been; actually it's quite scarce, but it fits the spirit of the set, so it's cool. You won't notice it anyway, if you're at least a little like myself.
The author makes a lot of use of mid-textures, particularly the grate ones. Moreover, most of the time those grates separate the player from groups of monsters and may visually obscure them as well. Not just ugly, but also annoying.
Andy seems to be fine with the technical side of things. The levels worked properly in Crispy Doom, which deserves respect.
(Some switches do need to be pressed a few times in order to fully work though, unless you're using a particular PrBoom+ or ZDoom compatibility option.) Also a few minor cosmetic glitches can be found throughout the set, but that's not really that important, is it?
Now, about the gameplay. (I played on HMP skill level, for the record.)
The combat with monsters is quite easy. The author (thankfully!) doesn't overload his maps with annoying and stupid traps that, in this day and age, seem to be the very essence of mapping.
However, it's the maps' design that enhances the monsters' threat level and also works as a danger on its own.
Other than the so-classic-that-it's-repulsive "Spectres in the dark" cliché (which is present on several maps, mostly on MAP03), there are also things like monsters on lifts, or teleports, or even just big height differences that make the monster invisible for you, but not vice versa. Surprisingly, it never felt too cheap to me.
Along with all that, Andy makes a LOT of use of teleports. It's quite confusing to be honest, but, taking the overall small size of the levels into account, the confusion doesn't last too long.
Oh, by the way, the effect of most switches is NOT immediately visible, as all the badassiest mappers advise you to do. But you'll figure it out relatively quickly (unless you're really dumb keklolXD).
MAP01 -- generic wood+marble combination. The combat is very relaxed. Looks very pleasant, nothing too annoying. Can be completed in two minutes.
MAP02 -- SKIP THIS PIECE OF (insert favourite word) IF YOU VALUE YOUR SANITY. Just don't. Trust me.
MAP03 -- a wooden base, where you get treated to a tiny, but cute outdoor area. However, the bulk of the level relies on darkness as the main challenge, and you'll spend a good part of the time wandering around a maze which is also, coincidentally, quite dark. Oh, and it's got Spectres. Be sure to use the automap and your weapons (to light up the path), find the light-amp goggles, and then you should be fine. A quite strange level.
MAP04 -- a long, confusing level. Looks like a blend of MAP01 and 03, but is also a biiiiit threatening. Furthermore, there's a lot of rooms here that look very, very similar, like, you are in a room or corridor or something, and there are monsters shooting at you from behind some grates. Not a bad level, but kind of meh.
MAP05 -- a small level that mostly focuses on a teleport puzzle (bleh) and a bit of crate platforming (bleh). I'd say this is a decent, but forgettable level.
MAP06 -- an amazing finish to AW. A skilful combination of several themes. The first part is some sort of industrial-ish place, with bricks and wood planks and all that. Also there's an... underground computer lab, I guess? Then you get outside, into a small and quite cute chunk of outdoorsiness. Around this part you get the red key, and I'll tell you this, beware, you might die a lot there. That is followed by a big, enormous, grandiose, beautiful green/gray marble area. From here you'll reach some sort of yuck indoor fetid rocky tunnels or something, the blue key is here somewhere. Somehow (I don't remember the exact process) you obtain the yellow key as well and proceed to... THE BIG NASTY MEAN BOSS FIGHT OH MY GOD I'M SO SCARED SOMEBODY CALL MOMMY PLEASE!!!
Just kidding. Even I didn't find the Cyberdemon and a handful of other punks too hard.
One more spoiler is that there's an Invulnerability sphere behind the Cyberdemon, which you are free2grab.
There's a bit more of fighting after that, but you should be fine. And That's All Folks, AW has exhausted its supply of... itself, I guess? I really don't think out my smart phrases as much as I should.
Overall, A.W. is a great 90s-styled mapset; I'm sure any nostalgic oldschooler would shed at least a lonely manly tear playing this delight of a WAD. And the rest of us can still have a bit of fun here.
...what does A.W. mean anyway?
NAM Ally Green Beret Items ACS Enter Script - Huey Greenhorn
Doom 2 - Single Player - ZDoom Compatible - 5.43 MB -
Reviewed by: Walter confetti
This is a little patch for ZDoom that gives you a team of four helpful bots, and they will help you while playing. When they die, they give you a nice weapon (a chaingun most of the time) with some ammo, and a new health kit that works like the Duke Nukem 3D medikit item. The guys are pretty helpful, but the only bug I found is that their weaponry is a little overpowered (maybe on hard/slaughter maps), and they don't fall down ledges. This last one is the worst problem for me, since seeing how this thing works I've put one bot in action at the start of map01; it worked pretty efficiently, but when I jumped down the ledge I expected the bot to follow, but it remained in its place, what a good soldier. I had to use another one to have another support through the map.
Overall, a nice and helpful mod, you can always check it out.
Planisphere - Perro Seco
Doom 2 - Single Player - Limit Removing - 726.4 KB -
Reviewed by: Not Jabba
Planisphere is one of those overlooked gems. The level dates back to around 2011 (or at least that's when I first played it), but it never got an /idgames upload until this year, and it was probably vastly overshadowed at the time of its initial release by the emergence of mappers like skillsaw and valkiriforce. This map also has practically nothing to do with Planisphere 2, which some long-time forumgoers may remember as that map that recreates all of New York City and lags like crazy. Planisphere 1 is just a nice medium-sized classic city map in a more conventional Doom 2 style.
The map is pretty open and laid-back, and it's mostly fun for the sense of exploration and all of the creative ideas that are packed into it. It's well detailed in the style of TVR! or Kama Sutra, with sector objects and signs of damage all over the place -- flipped cars, street lights, trains where you walk through every car and kill zombies, and all that other good stuff. Personally, I can never get too much of it.
According to the story, you've been traveling by train, and then suddenly the apocalypse happens. The train grinds to a halt next to a missile launch facility, and it's up to you to keep the demons from using the missiles against humankind. The first half is just hunting around the city, but the second half is where it gets really interesting. You enter the demons' portal and end up in a far-future post-apocalyptic version of the world that includes a canyon full of demons, a creepy and seemingly empty techbase, and a vast toxic sea where nukage pours down from the sky. After all of this, you return to the city, clear the guards out from around the missiles, and find your way to the exit. You also have the option of hunting down an army of SS Nazis that are hiding out in a fairly large secret area in the city -- which I think works pretty well and doesn't feel out of place, since it's a secret and they're not just thrown in as regular enemies. All in all, the map has tons of interesting ideas and great storytelling, and it always feels like it's giving you something worth seeing.
Planisphere was a very good level for its time, and I think it has aged pretty well; it has a distinct classic feel, but it remains very fun to play.
JNNHangar - joshthenesnerd
Ultimate Doom - Single Player - Vanilla - 119.63 KB -
Reviewed by: Memfis
The readme of this wad contains probably the most passionate credits section ever written. I could almost feel it clouding my judgment while playing. Then again, why not? We should be nice to newcomers after all. That's right: JNNHangar is yet another first time effort uploaded to the archives, and I have to say it is one of the better ones in the "genre". Sure, it doesn't have a coherent theme, the monster placement is rather basic, and the texture alignment could use more work. But there is a lot of variety, constant action, and some pretty cool surprises to keep you entertained. It's just a nice and chill map you can play without worrying about your health too much. Not convinced yet? Just open the readme...
MDK Skies Pack - Bzzrak Ktazzz
Doom 2 - Single Player - Boom Compatible - 514.98 KB -
Reviewed by: Walter confetti
This is a little graphic wad made by bzzrak with a little demo wad including six new (huge) skies from the game MDK, and they all look pretty good. If you're looking for a good sky for your own levels, take a chance at this!
Deathtrap - sKydran
Doom 2 - Single Player - ZDoom Compatible - 59.46 KB -
Reviewed by: Walter confetti
This is a level for Doom 2 made by sKydran (how to pronounce your nickname? Sky dran? S. Kydran?) and works with ZDoom and derivative ports (I played this on Zandronum).
According to the text file, the map replaces MAP01 (to be more precise, only one new level without any hint of the map slot) so imagine my surprise when I didn't find it in any of the classic slots the first time i played this wad and neither in other alternative slot. Tried MAP33, MAP34, MAP35, even MAP00. Nothing. At first I started to think this level was broke, so I checked it out with SLADE3 and... check the first screenshot, but it is a pretty weird choice for a map slot and it will surprise you like me, maybe.
Anyway, the level itself is pretty nice, with some cool detailing here and there and a solid theme of a techbase beginning map for some megawad or map pack of sorts, and the gameplay follows the starter map concept, with an easy/medium difficulty and some simple puzzles after the red key door section for spicing up play. Beat the level and you beat the game. Yeah, is one of those kinds of maps.
I expected something harder for a map called "Deathtrap", but it was pleasant to play, overall. Take a chance at playing this map, I'm expecting maybe a mapset with more stuff from this author in the future!
Arena Boss Fights - Aiden (Maisth)
Doom 2 - Single Player - ZDoom Compatible - 43.8 KB -
Reviewed by: Obsidian
Before you ask: yes, I picked this wad simply because it had the words "boss fights" in the title. I love boss fights: there's something magical about pitting your wits and skill against an entity specifically designed to test your mettle. I love the atmosphere that comes with boss fights, I love the gimmicks they can sometimes indulge in - you get the picture. I could waffle about bosses all day, but that's not what I'm here for.
So, what does arena_bf.wad have to offer in the way of bosses? To be honest, not a whole lot: the wad consists of one level with three encounters modeled after the boss battles from the original Doom. And how do they measure up? Welllll... let me count the ways:
- The baron fight is a (somewhat toothless) tango on some walkways above lava. Seeing as the wad gives you the SSG off the bat to take care of the Barons (yeah, this wad is for Doom II for some reason) they become somewhat trivial to take down in short order and the experience suffers as a result. I love the SSG as much as the next Doom marine, but I have to admit that the shotgun/chaingun combo against the Barons in the original hit the balance of difficulty in taking the bruisers down. Well, unless you found the rocket launcher, but I digress.
- The Cyberdemon fight consists of ol' Cyb on a raised platform and a plasma rifle that you can use to effortlessly shave off most of his health. Considering the threat of the original tussle was the Cyberdemon's mobility, this does effectively handicap one of its greatest assets.
- Finally, the SM fight has you hiding behind pillars in the corners of the arena and popping your head around to fire off rockets. It isn't terribly exciting, all told. :/
On the plus side, there's just enough ammo to get the job done and the wad doesn't drag its heels too much. The author states that this was something made on the fly to unwind, and at the end of the day it's basically inoffensive: I don't really recommend it, but I don't hate it either. That's all I have to say on it, honestly.
Impact - greendingbat
Doom 2 - Single Player - Vanilla - 23.22 KB -
Reviewed by: Obsidian
First of all, I feel like I should mention that I initially thought the username of the guy who made this wad was greedingbat. I have no idea why, it makes no sense.
Ahem. Impact is a single-level wad for Doom II that (according to the textfile at least) was made with the express intention of feeling like an intro map. A noble aspiration to be sure, and to the map's credit it does have that feel somewhat: it does its best to invoke that MAP01 feel with the texturing scheme and length. I actually caught myself thinking of D2TWID's MAP01 at one point, so there's definitely something here that works. I wouldn't say it completely succeeds in its venture though: the map itself feels a bit too linear for my blood, and the short map length is rather in-advisably used to introduce the Shotgunner, Demon and chaingun in fairly short order. Bearing in mind that these elements aren't introduced in Doom II until MAP02 and MAP03, having all of them introduced so quickly makes the map feel shorter than it is and actively does it a disservice. This ain't Pistol Panic darling, you're well within your right to take it slow.
Gripes aside though, impact.wad is pretty decent and accomplishes what it set out to do for the most part: perhaps you could make the case that it'd be better utilized in a mapset of similar maps, but it's still a decent (if short) romp. By the looks of things this is the mapper's first map too, so I'd say this is a decently promising start, and it'll be nice to see where they go from here. Would I recommend you download it? If you're looking for something simple and short to unwind, then go for it. Just make sure you aren't allergic to D_RUNNIN.
Sinful Outpost - Paul Corfiatis (Pcorf)
Doom 2 - Single Player - Limit Removing - 284.24 KB -
Reviewed by: leodoom85
Sinful Outpost is a standalone map made by our friend, Paul Corfiatis, involving some hellish architecture combined with a nice sky and more traps... of course. Without further ado, let's go!
It's a nice start for sure (first image) with some imps and zombies shooting you from afar, but you can easily dispatch them with some well-placed bullets. When you advance, you see the soulsphere, the BFG (secret areas), and some nice green armor that will save you. Surprisingly, the blood pool doesn't hurt, which is great.
The keys are always followed by some traps, and this map is no exception. When picking up the blue skull, cacos will appear along with some minor resistance. Fortunately, some secrets are easy to spot (like the soulsphere and the berserk with some medkits in the next area). There's an SSG and more enemies to kill before the next main area.
I like that the map lets you see the next areas, showing the interconnection and allowing some planning by the player (second image). And be sure of it, because once you pick up the yellow skull, a big group of monsters will spawn including a pain elemental.
The next areas are like the calm before the storm (third image) because the fights serve as a sort of climax before reaching the red key area and then going to the red door after that. The encounters are well-paced for those areas, including an acid pool and more traps. Very important thing here... don't forget to discover more secrets, which come in handy.
The last area is where the map gets even more entertaining to play (fourth image), where you see some revenants and monsters that work as turrets in each side and the exit right in front of you. The architecture in that area is effective for trying to keeping you at bay. I was surprised when that archie spawned suddenly before reaching the exit... that bastard. You know the bad part of this? I picked up both the BFG and the megasphere after I killed all of the monsters... sigh...
Overall, it's a great and solid map that it's fairly difficult and enjoyable. I ended up getting 100% for everything because the secrets are not hard to find. Great job Paul.
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