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    The /newstuff Chronicles #97


    Linguica

    Since we don't have an official /newstuff reviewer yet, I figured I would toss out a double-header: two sets of reviews by two different Doomers, both of whom want to become the new /newstuff newsie! Who will survive? Which will emerge victorious? Meh, who knows. Enjoy!

    deathwarrior's reviews:

    • Andrew's Sounds by Andrew Locmel - This wad does not contain any maps, but it seems to replace every sound and midi with a bunch of random garbage. Various sounds include Fred Flintstone, Ren and Stimpy, animal sounds, screaming, and other atrocities. However, I'll take into the credit that the author of this is no older than 10 years, but this is really beyond my sanity limits. I did get a few laughs out of it, though.
    • Doom 2 Tournament 2534 by George Locmel- A ZDoom-only wad, solely because the music is in .mod format. Apparently, you have been selected to fight in this global Doom 2 Tournament, and that all the competitors have ganged up against you. Judging by the map, it looks like the work of some person who has never touched first person shooters in his entire life and thought "HEY I CAN MAKE A MAP AND I'LL CALL IT TEH GRATEST EVAR". Butt-ugly texturing, complete lack of ceiling or floor height changes, 90 degree walls everywhere my eyes can see, and a rather huge bunch of assorted enemies in one sector make this thing one of the worst levels I've played in some time. Did I mention the music inside the wad sounds like the person was somewhat drunk and had an argument with his son to see who could make the best porn background song? I almost thought for a second that my parents were paying for cinemax again. However, the dehacked patch that is inside the wad seems to be very professional and clean, without any signs of WinXP-destroying errors.
    • Realm of the Green Soul by Lexus Alyus - First off, I'd like to say that the author wouldn't know how to use Notepad even if a "Notepad for Dummies" book bit him on his ass. He somehow completly fucked the .txt file up, and even when I do look at it in Notepad with Word Wrap on, it still looks like unreadable shit. Keeping that aside, this wad is designed for ZDoom 1.23 beta 33, and you're inside a train station. His knowledge of ACS scripting is a bit limited: It's possible to bypass the intro. Even if it was meant to do that or not, it's gets rather annoying when you open the wad up first and you see a glimpse of a room then it instantly shows the start position. It isn't heavily detailed, but it looks very realistic and scary, with dark lighting and a unusable train. The ambient music which is playing in the background is intended to sound scary, and it does do a good job of it. You head off on the train tracks to find a really hard to notice gap, which leads you into a dark room with a red keycard. Yet again, his ACS scripting sucks - You can turn around, shoot and jump while the cutscene is performing, as shown in the second screenshot. After a rather easy battle (and music change, which also sounds really awesome), you have to "survive something", and unless you were the author, it would take you at least 2 minutes too work out what the hell he meant. Still, I won't go to far into detail, but his overuse of stealth enemies is scary and a real pain in the ass at the same time. Oh yeah, the boss in this level is really hard to beat too, considering you're in a room that would make you claustrophobic.
    • UAC by Kara C. Rader - Apparently, this wasn't in /newstuff #96, so i'm going to review it. Like Realm of the Green Soul, the .txt file included looks like encrypted trash that is almost unreadable, but unlike RotGS, this map looks like it was constructed in 20 minutes with usage of careless copy+paste with the monsters. There's barely enough ammo, health is almost extinct, and the amount of monsters is painful. It's almost like playing one of my old wads - too many monsters, so little health. The use of gray textures almost made me vomit (and it'll happen to you, too) and the overuse of switches is unbearable. Heaps of dead ends, with one that has no way of getting back up. The doors in the second screenshot are almost impossible to get past. You have exactly 0.05 seconds to run through it, or any regular doomer will be having to waste to something like 7 minutes to get through, just to flip 3 switches. The text says that it has a "beta" MAP02, which also looks like shit, but it does have a really nice fake 3d effect. Other than that, this is a waste of time to look at, so i'll provide you with 3 screenshots that really show off how friggin horrendous it is.
    Ultimate DooMer's reviews::
    • Andy's Sounds by Andrew Locmel - A music/sound only wad that replaces all sounds and music with a variety of offbeat replacements.
    • DooM 2 Tournament 2354 by George Locmel - Silly wad ahoy! This wad comprises of one square room with dozens of marines wielding rapid-fire BFG's! Fortunately you have the same weapon, but all other weapons and ammo have been removed. A dehacked patch inside the wad has done this, and also replaced zombie and imp sprites with the marines. You have one hiding place, though (the start passage). The only good thing about this level is that it's actually very tough to complete and it's quite amusing to see the special effects. Offbeat sounds and a MOD music track is here also (therefore it requires ZDoom). 1337 anyone?
    • Realm of the Green Soul by Lexus Alyus - Woah, this wad is cool. Set in an abandoned train station, this map is good-looking, challenging and has a cool MOD music soundtrack that really creates a great, scary atmosphere. After the nicely-done scripted intro, the wad comprises of a series of challenges, each accompanied by some cutscenes and dialogue with a green lost soul. (but don't do anything during these or the intro, as it's possible to cut the intro short) Weapons are limited and health/ammo is finely balanced, which makes the final challenge (which is innovative) and also the fight with the boss very difficult on UV. Detail is realistic throughout, with clever use of ZDoom slopes. The music changes to a faster Unreal-style techno track during the challenges, which is a really nice touch. The only potential downer on this wad is that lesser-skilled players would probably find it too tough on UV, as stealth monsters are used throughout and the challenges are pretty tough, especially the last two. Skill levels are implemented though, so all is not lost. In short, this is the best single map seen in ages, not to be missed! Requires ZDoom (v1.23 beta 33).
    • UAC Entryway by Cara C. Rader - This map should have appeared in my last set of reviews, as it was released the same time as Alien 3, but it slipped my mind (my apologies). This is a large map set in a UAC techbase, and comprises of a huge series of identical square grey rooms, each with different consoles etc. in them, with one outdoor area and one cave complex as well. The detail is mostly bland, with the exception of a canteen and a nice-looking warehouse area with the longest crate in history in it. The gameplay has two sides to it - on one side, you'll enjoy blasting away tons of monsters with rapid-fire pistol, shotgun and chaingun, and on the other side, you'll be running around in circles trying to work out where to go next. There's enough ammo, but very little health, some of which is hidden among the 25 secrets. It's safe to pass on this one, but if you want to play with the rapid-fire guns, then it's worth downloading for a quick blast.

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    Nice work U.D., really concise reviews with no guff...I know exactly what I'm going to play from the outset.

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    I'll go with Ultimate DooMer on "Green Soul" I thought it was superb. Everything He said it was. A different experience with a whole bunch of relatively simple ideas coming together to make a very atmospheric WAD. And the music really works!

    The following comment is not particularly aimed at Ultimate DooMer, but he raises the subject in the review...

    About UV being tough because of all the stealth monsters - Yes it is! Why is it so many people assume that UV is the only way to play? Sure, the original Doom and Doom2 IWADs are all very easy these days, even on UV, but 3rd party wads are being made today for todays audience.

    Why can't people aim there WADs to be completable by an "average" player (whatever that is) on "Hurt me Plenty" and save UV for the Doom Gods? If everyone just dives in to UV, and people make their wads to cater for that, what's the point in the other settings?

    For me, ROTGS.WAD gets that right. The easy skill settings are pretty straight forward, easy to complete. HMP give you a bit of a challenge, and UV is tough. OK, on UV there are a lot of stealth monsters, and they are not particularly to my taste, but on HMP I think the balance is just right.

    I'm no doom god. I usually play a WAD on HMP first, and if I like it, I'll keep coming back until I've beaten it on UV too. Apart from anything else, that means I get more playing out of a good WAD.

    Alright, I'm going on now. Time to stop.

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    God dammit! I knew that I should of stopped waiting for the /newstuff forum to be availible to normal users(yes people, it's a hidden forum at the moment). Oh well, here were my reviews that I should've gave to linguica....

    Mossvale Dungeons by Alex Parsons -Yay. Another A. Parsons WAD!!! The setting is basically marble, just like that other WAD, “Mossvale Estate”(AKA the most nearly unplayable WAD ever). Unfortunatly, this is a maze level that hates EDGE and Jdoom (why am I bitching about this? Read below)! Oh well, I managed to play this level with the default weapons (you know, those really shitty Doom ones that take too long to reload) and it was just another fine level for those people who just LOVE to be confused and find keys. Fans of archies are going to like the ending. The difficulty is not as hard as the next WAD I’m about to review, which is another of Alex Parsons.

    The Catacombs by Alex Parsons – Another A.P. WAD. This time, it’s a helluva lot harder if you play it on UV. Well, you can tell that this was inspired by MAP22 (Same name) in the IWAD. But hey, I’d keep this level instead of id’s. Well, it’s quite differnt. The start of the level looks like it continues from “Mossvale Dungeons” but it doesn’t IIRC. Basically, you deal with the same marble area but then it’s like a dirt like level with MAP22 inspiration. It’s harder than the original, fair enough to say. You often see barons and chaingunners loitering the level. I must warn you, there is a pit you cannot get out of unless you use the IDCLIP code. I’d recommend this to a fan of MAP22, but anybody who loves AP is going to like the fact that he joined Community Chest (that new community megawad that Cadman started and I webmaster/host).

    Alien 3 by Ismaele – Ismaele goes at it again with the third installment of the aliens series. You’ll immediatly notice that this is MAP14(IIRC) and there is new music. This base themed map is filled with puzzles and uses good ol’ square like layout. There are new graphics too (duke pistol, the overused flamethrower, and multiple new textures). The level is horribly long but it’s worth looking at. I dont really like the alien series because I often got lost. Go play it if you want to get lost and hear the nice music.

    Die1 by Cadman – What is this you ask? A little update to his other really bad level (Die). It’s still bad. There are bad texture alignments and I never found the exit. If you did, congrats. Not like a give a royal fuck about this WAD. Heh, at least he’s not doing any levels for CC (thank the mother fucking god). Safe to pass.

    Lock and Load V3 – The 3rd version of Lock and Load is the best. Lots of bugs fixed there are new additions to the guns. I must warn you, they are quite cartoony, but it’s a must play for those fans of Guns PC and Immoral Conduct. Requires EDGE 1.24 (no, NOT 1.27). One more thing, if you got this prior to this post, get it at...
    http://www.geocities.com/pilottobombadier/index.html

    Andrew's Sounds by Andrew Locmel - Jesus Christ! Talk about Murder! This wad sucks ass. Just shitty songs and sounds. Thank god this 9 year old doesnt map.

    DooM 2 Tournament 2354 by George Locmel - Okay.. Another shit wad in one week. At first I thought it was UT themed but it's 1337.wad AT BEST. WEEEEE!!! Super Rapid Fire BFGS AHOY!!!! Only play this wad if you are REALLY BORED. Zdoom required.

    Realm of the Green Soul by Lexus Alyus - I haven't seen a great wad in WEEKS. In fact, I love this wad. The adreniline rush and other aspects of this wad make it so good. The ACS thing allowed me to shoot in circles though. For once, I wad actually made me SCARED HALF TO DEATH!!!! The music completly fits the level. Stealth enemies made it really hard. I suggest you play this wad with UT style controls due to it's high difficulty. SO PLAY THIS WAD RIGHT FUCKING NOW!!!!

    Now when are the archives going back up?

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    Gee...Railgunner. What is your problem? I spent a majority of my time in Die1RV to adjust those texture alignments. The texture alignments were basically non-existant in the original release. In this new release I worked extensively on those texture alignments. If I missed a few here and there then gee whiz! May life come to an end...I adjusted the skill levels and health and ammo. All the keys are in place and the exit is there, I even stuck a flashing arrow on the floor where the transporter was. A "real" Doom player would have found the exit. I gave the map when finished to an old friend of mine to play test and he found the exit with no problem. And that's after I re-designed the exit. Please next time, get the name right as well, the original wad was called Die1 and the new release is called Die1RV. And all the nasty language, that's really bad, that's one thing I don't appreciate. I know that DieRV is a good map, it's not the best that's for sure but it's very playable and of good quality. You're review sucks wind man, end of story.


    Cadman - Member TeamTNT

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    Cadman, I played your map. It isn't all that bad. The 1st part is interesting, both in how it plays and how it looks, but after the cybie it gets less neat and becomes easy (I was playing by killing everything.)

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    I say have deathwarrior and UD both do reviews everytime. They're quite professional, although dw's use of cynicism gave me a VERY clear idea of how good or crap each map is.

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    I like Ultimate DooMer's reviews. They are calm, sensible and informative, and he is capable of criticizing a map without swearing his head off.

    BTW, what is wrong with having monsters in screenshots? Or do most Doomers play with -nomonsters?

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    Grazza said:

    BTW, what is wrong with having monsters in screenshots? Or do most Doomers play with -nomonsters?

    well, if you ask me, some people don't want to find out the gameplay until they download it. they might want to look at some -nomonsters screenshots and go "hey, this map might look pretty cool" and download it, or something.

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    Can we make Deathy and UD have an old-school doom2.exe deathmatch to decide the new reviewer? Sure, the winner wouldn't necessarily be the best reviewer, but uh... ummmm... hmmmm...

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    Hehe, nice to see newstuff is back, and two new reviewers.
    Ult. doomer and deathie... :)
    hard to pick one. Let us keep them both, :)

    Torn

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    deathwarrior said:
    well, if you ask me, some people don't want to find out the gameplay until they download it. they might want to look at some -nomonsters screenshots and go "hey, this map might look pretty cool" and download it, or something.


    However

    - people might not want to find out the architecture before they download it. People who particularly want to avoid spoilers shouldn't look at screenshots.
    - people can look at screenshots with monsters and see if a map looks cool, and also see if a map looks fun.

    I've never understood why people always try to avoid monsters, status bar or the player's weapon in screenshots. They are all part of the level, and can give rather useful information - is ammo plentiful, are you wandering around with your fists, is it packed monsters or spacious, etc etc. These are all part of the atmosphere of the level.

    Architecture-only screenshots are more like publicity brochures - like the empty pictures of hotel foyers in travel brochures. Hotel guides would show the less photogenic reality, hopefully (i.e. the same scene packed with clueless tourists). A review is meant to be a critical guide, so it should show the reality not the publicity shot :-)

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    not for nothing, but I think deathwarriors reviews were Aa little over-critcal. otherwise both guys did a great job.

    I used the cheats in rotgs to see what UV was like. you can actually kill the lost soul when it first comes out, which is pretty funny. the architecture and music changes were great. kinda reminded me of half-life, only not as annoying.

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    I think the two reviewers is an advantage, if something really sucks you'll hear about it from both reviewers. Likewise if something is really good.

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    I think Ultimate DooMer would be best if he had a more opinions. These are reviews, not informative speeches. If I had to pick the second best, I would choose RailGunner, because DeathWarrior`s review of RotGS was about the text file, instead of the wad.

    This is my 2 and 1/2 cents haveaniceday

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    "Yet again, his ACS scripting sucks - You can turn around, shoot and jump while the cutscene is performing"

    This is a zdoom limitation. Even in Lu-Wang's maps, you can turn shoot and jump during cutscenes.

    Deathwarrior is entertaining to read, but he doesn't seem to let facts get in the way of a good review :)

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    Oh, by the way, would it be possible for me to take a crack at reviewing? Not to say the others didn't do a good job. Just want to try out as well.
    I've done some reviews in the past for NES, C64, and GBA games which some have found amusing. Unfortunately the website's down, so I couldn't really show you. :(

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    Yeah keep em both. However, with warrior as an inactive slaughtered torso. just keep ultimate doomer, he isnt a liam wannabe, warrior aims frustrated "never gets any" attitude at wads. heh, blows matted platted ass hair.

    Heretic away
    .$. b-ba bu? Fle

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    Cadman said:

    Gee...Railgunner. What is your problem? I spent a majority of my time in Die1RV to adjust those texture alignments. The texture alignments were basically non-existant in the original release. In this new release I worked extensively on those texture alignments. If I missed a few here and there then gee whiz! May life come to an end...I adjusted the skill levels and health and ammo. All the keys are in place and the exit is there, I even stuck a flashing arrow on the floor where the transporter was. A "real" Doom player would have found the exit. I gave the map when finished to an old friend of mine to play test and he found the exit with no problem. And that's after I re-designed the exit. Please next time, get the name right as well, the original wad was called Die1 and the new release is called Die1RV. And all the nasty language, that's really bad, that's one thing I don't appreciate. I know that DieRV is a good map, it's not the best that's for sure but it's very playable and of good quality. You're review sucks wind man, end of story.


    Cadman - Member TeamTNT



    Sorry, I just hate mazes. Annoying ones espically. EDGE made some bad grid alignments.

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    hmmm. warrior still reviews based on opinion like a bitter prick without makin me want to download wads, but agree with lame ass txt files with certain wads i meant -fuckin retarded? dribbling puke onto a txt file, sensless tit.

    simp! He be severed.

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