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The /newstuff Chronicles #414

  • Short maps - Hardcore_gamer
    Doom 2 - ZDoom Compatible - Solo Play - 205349 bytes -
    Reviewed by: Ofisil
    Short Maps is a 6-level Wad for Doom 2 that features very small maps instead of the typical ones created by most mappers nowadays that need more than 10-15 minutes to complete. Well, I'd be a liar if I said that I didn't enjoy Short Maps. First of all, as a fan of the original Doom, I loved the fact that it plays pretty similar and is a lot better when you dive into danger with all guns blazing instead of being more "stealthy". Furthermore, like the name implies, all levels are very small... kill baddies, pick up the key, kill more baddies, pick up the next key, open the door and exit the level (and enjoy a funny intermission screen between maps). It is fun, but doesn't really have any replay value, since the level design isn't exactly an example of innovation. It has simple enemy placement and almost no traps or decent ambushes, and can be generally described as a pretty straightforward trip that will take you about 10-15 minutes to complete.

    ALL levels have the same tech-base style, which is a bad thing for me because (like everyone I think) I like a bit of variety, especially in this Wad, where levels are very small, and thus don't really need too much time to beautify. Hardcore_gamer has included a couple of licensed heavy metal tracks (I was quite happy to hear Children Of Bodom in the intro), which sound good on a fast paced Doom Wad like this.

    Short Maps is very short and sweet good ol' Doom experience that will keep you entertained for a while but won't exactly rock your world. Try it out, but remember that there are far better one-timers out there.

  • Masters of Chaos v 1.1 for Heretic - Caleb & Doom_Warrior
    Heretic - ZDoom Compatible - Solo Play - 13341638 bytes -
    Reviewed by: Ofisil
    Masters Of Chaos is a 31-level Megawad for Heretic. I love Heretic. Sometimes I feel as if I like it even more than Doom (GASP!). So, when I saw this file, I immediately downloaded it and spent, err... a LOT of time enjoying it. It's not perfect, it's not for everyone, but it is surely one of the greatest Heretic Megawads I've ever played. Masters Of Chaos has 31 very big and nicely thought/designed maps. Nothing fancy in here; don't expect any weird and innovative themes or original ideas. It's like good ol' Heretic, just a lot more massive and with lots of new cool enemies and weapons that are very Hexen-like! Personally, I like those classic-style Wads that make you feel as if you are playing the originals. Masters Of Chaos is like that, with a somewhat big difference that will annoy some and make some others quite happy. It will sometimes make you feel that you are playing Hexen and not Heretic! Why? Well, maps are gargantuan and require a LOT of searching around for switches and keys. Is there any action involved? Well, there is, and it will rock your world by offering a lot of medium-to-tough baddies and not too much ammo (I love that in a Wad), at least in the Smite-Master mode. As I've said though, this Megawad leans more to the searching-for-switches-and-keys style of gameplay.

    Visually though, I wasn't impressed, especially since this is a Wad aimed for ZDoom. It doesn't look bad, but I expected far more. All maps are nicely designed with a decent amount of detail added, plus a lot of custom textures that all look great and fit like a glove. The new weapons look cool, and the new monsters even better (and most of them are modified enemies from Hexen). The bad: Most maps are way too dark and lack contrast, thus they never truly show their beauty, and only a handful of small areas in some maps stand out. Usually it's boring/dungeon/cave/outdoor area after boring dungeon/cave/outdoor area. Audio-wise, no tunes will make you hum them afterwards, but like the new graphics they are so... Heretic!

    Yup, I am a nitpicker; then again the way I see it, reviews ought to show everything even in such wonderful Wads as this. So, bottom line: a great Heretic Megawad that will give you hours of fun, as long as you don't hate searching around for switches and keys in very large maps.

    PS: I smell a Cacoward coming...

  • SCHOOL - DooMWaR
    Doom 2 - ZDoom Compatible - Solo Play - 824442 bytes -
    Reviewed by: Ofisil
    SCHOOL is another recent creation from DooMWaR... I need not to tell you what that means. That guy/gal is either a beginner who cannot understand that we don't need more beginner stuff uploaded, or just someone who is too bored to make a decent Wad.

    SCHOOL features a single map which is, what else, a large school. Don't expect anything special though. What we have here are very large square areas with a single textured applied and no other details. Rooms with "chairs" and blackboards, libraries with textures that remind me of 1985 DOS games, a butt ugly sky image, and that's about it! In terms of gameplay? Well, those large areas I mentioned just have some small squads of zombiemen scattered around. The only good thing is that the author has added some new weapons, not that they have any value in a Wad like this, of course. Finally, I don't know if it's just me, but there was no exit... believe me, I've searched.


  • CHAOS - DooMWaR
    Doom 2 - Vanilla - Solo Play - 102172 bytes -
    Reviewed by: Ofisil
    CHAOS is another DooMWaR Wad, which means... TOTAL GARBAGE! Well yeah, as a reviewer I don't exactly go easy on my opinions, but I always try to see things as objectively as possible, but honestly this is pretty lame.

    Two levels: What do they have to offer? The first level is probably what many authors made in their first Wad: a series of extremely simple rooms where you have to find some keys, open locked doors, and find the exit, killing baddies along the way. Not a single extra detail, not a single smart enemy placement. Pure noob stuff. The second level is an arena style slaughter map, where we have a Cyberdemon in the center and many enemies that spawn within the four teleporters that are in the four corners of this big square room... a little better than the first map, since this can actually give you about five minutes of fun, but once again, beginners galore. And that's it!

    This guy throws Wads at us faster than a chaingun, something that says a lot about the quality of his designs. Do yourself a favour and play a Wad where the author has actually put some time in thinking and designing it.

  • ACHTUNG! - DooMWaR
    Doom 2 - Vanilla - Solo Play - 65152 bytes -
    Reviewed by: BloodyAcid
    More crap from DooMWar. This time, it's a horrendous insult to the Nazi regime. It consists of random monsters, random texturing, mile long hallways, and shit in general. I hope my automap screenshot is sufficient in explaining that you should avoid this map.

  • Nazi soccer - DooMWaR
    Doom 2 - Vanilla - Deathmatch - 46392 bytes -
    Reviewed by: BloodyAcid
    A single DM map that is a soccer field decorated with Nazi flags along the edges with a bright blue sky. A Chainsaw, Rocket Launcher and Shotgun are lined up beside each end's goal post. The SSG can only be obtained by sitting through a lift, which by then you'll be dead.

    Avoid this map since it's a basically a big rectangle. If you're really curious, the screenshot tells all.

  • Tennis - DooMWaR
    Doom 2 - Vanilla - Deathmatch - 32738 bytes -
    Reviewed by: BloodyAcid
    Similar to the Nazi Soccer, except this DM map resembles a tennis field. Even with that, the author has failed, since the net doesn't stretch past the doubles lines.

    There is a rocket launcher and ammo on both sides, intended for players to have a rocket duel through the net. Impassible lines block each player from entering the other side.

    There isn't anything to see here, and like the soccer wad, the screenshot reveals all there is to the map.

  • Nixel - DooMWaR
    Doom 2 - Vanilla - Deathmatch - 161907 bytes -
    Reviewed by: BloodyAcid
    Yet another deathmatch map from DooMWar. Nixel is a single map that also includes a few graphic and sound replacements. The sound replacements are all very typical, grabbing sounds from other mods/games. The weirdest one is that the rocket launcher sounds similar to a laser gun.

    Nixel is slightly better than his other maps, but they are still plain in presentation and gameplay. DooMWar uses a techbase design for this map, but the rooms lack any sort of extra detailing apart from a few pillars.

    This map would fail gameplay wise too. There's only one way to get anywhere, and everything's too open. As well, the weapons are scattered around in random alcoves and rooms. Funny thing is that the BFG is much easier to get than the plasma rifle.

    Once again, feel free to skip this map.

  • Discovering the Hell: The Invasion - Deadwing
    Doom 2 - GZDoom - Solo Play - 16808250 bytes -
    Reviewed by: Ofisil
    Discovering The Hell: The Invasion is an 8-level Wad for Doom 2. It's another one of these decent but also average kind of Wads, where nothing is really wrong, and nothing is really exciting.

    All the levels are extremely linear, something that isn't always a bad thing if the trip is actually full of good surprises and nicely thought out challenges, but in DTHTI you just enter a room, hit the switch that opens the door, go through it, get the key, open the locked door, rinse, repeat. Then again, most Doom Wads are like this, aren't they? Well, yes they are, but it is what's between switches and keys that makes things more interesting, and here Deadwing fails to deliver. Enemies are just... there. You won't see any cleverly placed baddies in this Wad. You just enter a room, avoid fireballs, and shoot the baddies. The same goes with traps: you press a switch in a big but empty room, and then walls come down and monsters come forth that don't really give you any trouble. The mapper has increased the speed of projectiles (similar to Nightmare mode I think), giving you a tough time at first, until you get used to it and realize that most of the time you are up against wimpy imps and just a couple of Hell Knights and Revenants.

    DTHTI looks good, although it is as simple as the original Doom 2. After a tech-base that doesn't really have any distinctive areas, we get to see a couple of rocky outdoor maps, with green grass, brown walls (lots of brown), and trees. Then another small tech-base, a cave complex, and another outdoor area until you reach the main deal of the Wad, a castle type level, with even MORE brown textures used, but once again not detailed enough. The only "problem" I have here is that no area looks "Doom" enough. The outdoor maps make me wanna go to a picnic, and the castle area looks like a simple castle. Not enough demonic distortion if you get my drift, but then again maybe it's just me... take a look at the screenshots and decide on your own. The music themes have the same problem, maybe even worse, because they are even more out-of-place. Most of the tunes will make you feel you are in a lounge café and not in a hellish castle where demons spawn. Kudos to the author for creating music themes for all maps though; all mappers that include their own custom music get a large respect bonus from me no matter the result.

    Hate me not, but that was my humble opinion. This Wad surely doesn't suck... the author has actually worked on his maps and didn't just create a bunch of square rooms, but it was average nonetheless. I hope he will see this review as constructive criticism and try to make his maps better gameplay-wise.

  • Possess me! - Aluqah
    Doom/Doom 2 - ZDoom Compatible - Solo Play - 481001 bytes -
    Reviewed by: Ofisil
    Possess Me! is a gameplay Mod for Doom and Doom 2 that brings to life an idea that pretty much all Doomers had at least once in their lives: the ability to possess enemies and use their own powers against them! You are in control of a "spirit" that has a weak melee attack, but also has the ability to take control of fallen enemies. For example, if you possess an Imp you can throw fireballs, if you possess a zombie human you take his weapon attack (rifle, shotgun or chaingun), and so on. You can take the powers of all enemies (apart from Pain Elementals and Lost Souls, since they don't leave a corpse behind), and along with their power you get their HP, size and speed. When you lose all HP, you turn into the simple spirit once again, but the author of the Mod has made a smart move and removed all health on maps, so the only way to survive is to constantly possess enemies. Furthermore, all possessed ones have an extra ability that you can use. Some examples: Cacodemons can make Pain Elementals join them, Arch-viles can resurrect enemies, Mancubuses can... fart and stun enemies, the Cyberdemon/Mastermind can scare away all monsters, etc.

    The problem with this Mod? It will give you a couple hours of fun (maybe even less), and then it will probably be left to collect digital dust in your hard disk. Is the Mod poorly made? Far from it... it just isn't exciting enough. Sure, it changes the way you play, but the fun won't last for long. Try it out, but I don't think that it will keep you interested too long.

  • WadSpy v1.1 - Oliver Brakmann
    N/A - N/A - N/A - 29789 bytes
    Reviewed by: JMAA
    This is just a small tool which is used to see the data of monsters' HP, items, and map statistics of a WAD file. This is pretty much useful to see the difficulty of a wad and each of its maps. The part I like is that from the amount of monsters and weapons in a map, you can see the difference between the monsters' collective HP and the damage you can do with all the map's weapons.

    Recommended to see if your maps are easy or not and to tweak difficulty settings on your creations. Kudos!

  • Nutty Shells - Walter "Daimon" Confalonieri
    Doom 2 - Vanilla - Solo Play - 101098 bytes -
    Reviewed by: Ofisil
    Nutty Shells is a single level Wad for Doom 2. The idea here is a single map that will remind you of all Doom 2 maps, both gameplay and design-wise. Does it achieve its purpose? Well, to me it looks like an unfinished and way far from perfect work.

    All areas truly look like a mix of Doom 2 maps. We have the sewer area, the brown/green area, some "city" buildings, marble, blood and brown walls, a small tricks and traps-inspired room, and a scaled down Icon Of Sin "room" where the map obviously reaches its end. However, none of these areas have anything distinctive... yeah, it looks like Doom 2, but meh. Also, the most important aspect of every Wad, the gameplay, is way too average. Enemies are just... there. Don't expect any smart ambushes and challenges. Map progression is way too simple: enter room, kill few baddies, hit switch, take key, find door, unlock it and repeat.

    So the way I see it, what we have here is a VERY interesting idea that just wasn't implemented as it should have been. With a bit... no, with a LOT more polishing it could be a very decent map.

  • Real Death - Uncle Cracker
    Doom 2 - Skulltag - Solo Play - 478909 bytes -
    Reviewed by: hardcore_gamer
    This is basically a crappy troll/jokewad that tries to rip off NUTS.wad. It's a giant room with hundreds of thousands of Commander Keens and a few Doom monsters.

    The text file says that this is for Doom for some reason, though it is actually for Doom 2. It also uses Skulltag, though I can think of no reason why the wad would require it, seeing as this is just one big room with lots of pointless shit in it.

    The text file says that this is the author's first mapping effort that he deemed "worthy" of being uploaded. If this is indeed the case, then let's hope that he won't upload any more wads, or that if he does that they won't be shitty troll wads.

  • Nitro's Doom - Cory Scott (NitroactiveStudios)
    Doom 2 - ZDoom Compatible - Solo Play - 1299977 bytes -
    Reviewed by: glenzinho
    Here is a Doom 2 "episode", 11 maps made by our buddy NitroactiveStudios. The maps here are made in a pretty basic style. One would be tempted to call them "classic", except that lighting is mostly uniformly bright, variation in heights is almost non-existent, and there is a general sparseness to the maps; that is, when they are not cramped rooms or tight narrow hallways.

    Gameplay suffers from a lot of fights where basically you have to blast from the doorway, as you would have no chance of running into the room unless feeling particularly suicidal due to lack of room to maneuver. It also contains a bunch of switch/key hunting. Traps are obvious and basic, typically opening monster closets after getting key/item or by switch.

    There's no obvious beginner error stuff here, like moving doortraks for example, but plenty of beginner layouts. The first four maps suffer from linear gameplay, squarish architecture, and narrow hallways/cramped rooms. The author seems to have a Pain Elemental fetish, by the way. Map 5 and above are an improvement, and Map 9 "The Compound" I enjoyed a lot. I always like when people include custom TITLEPICs, so big ups there, and custom episode endtext is always good too. I'm looking more forward to the Illuminatus project judging by screens posted in that thread. In short, this is beginner stuff with not too many flaws, but it is rather plain.

  • cannonball's speedy episode 1 wad - Matt "cannonball" Powell
    Ultimate Doom - Limit Removing - Solo Play - 761231 bytes -
    Reviewed by: Liam
    The word "speedy" in this wad's rather frank title refers to the time spent on making it and not the pace of its gameplay. This is the biggest flaw in cannonball's episode 1 replacement, and I'm inclined to give him a piece of advice: if you trap every single item or switch I need to progress, I'm going to wise up very fast. I mean it, as soon as I see that red key I'll be surveying the surrounding area and making plans to deal with the horde that's about to be unleashed upon me. Some of the rooms even have multiple sets of monster closets nested like matryoshka dolls, and considering the author's religious devotion to recessed wall panels, they aren't exactly hard to scout out before the carnage begins. This can make for something of a slog (at least until you have a full arsenal), and the challenge is mostly ruined by an abundance of ammo, health, and breathing room. The set pieces in which the battles take place do look nice though, especially considering the short development time, and there's certainly no shortage of action. Many of the map layouts are also pleasingly nonlinear in true episode 1 tradition. cbspeed is worth a try despite its flaws, just don't expect many surprises (aside from E1M1's replacement soundtrack).

Does this /newstuff Chronicles suck? Does your wise ass think you can write better reviews than these jerkoffs? Then get over to the /newstuff Review Center and help out. I know you must have a Doomworld Forums account because you like griping about every edition in the comment thread, but if you don't, you need to get one to submit reviews.