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The /newstuff Chronicles #416

  • Chambers of Dis - Trey Azagtoth
    Doom 2 - ZDoom Compatible - Solo Play - 60488 bytes
    Reviewed by: Phendrena
    I enjoy a good blast and a challenge as much as the next person, but when that challenge starts with you facing off against TWENTY-FOUR Arachnotrons armed only with your pistol, you know you've got some problems.

    The first time that you load up this WAD you will die, and die quickly. On your second attempt, you'll live longer. I can't recommend enough how important it is to run forward as soon as the map starts, as this will give you a super shotgun, some ammo, and a megasphere. You'll need these should you want to live!

    Not that you will care - oh no, you won't care at all. This WAD is designed surely as a joke; if this is a serious WAD, then the author is a lunatic. Should you actually want to inflict this nightmare upon yourself, then be prepared to die - lots!

    Would I recommend this WAD? In a word, no.

  • Blackout UAC - Leon
    Doom 2 - ZDoom Compatible - Solo Play - 1793645 bytes -
    Reviewed by: Foodles
    Blackout UAC replaces MAP01 of Doom 2 and it will probably take you 15 - 30 minutes, depending on how you play. The map isn't very challenging even on skill 4, and I was able to blaze through the map without having any problems. You get access to all the weapons, although the BFG is pretty useless due to the lack of cyberdemon/spiderdemon. My biggest gripe with this map is the texturing; there isn't much variance in areas, and almost all the textures are unaligned both horizontally and vertically. The visuals are not a strong point to this map, although some effort has been put in to make the rooms seem interesting. The layout can be a bit confusing at times, with doors opening a few rooms back after you walk over a line/click a texture, but you shouldn't have too many problems reaching the end of the level. Overall, this map is very rough around the edges and lacks music, but it is a genuine effort from the author, so you might want to give this a quick spin.

  • Green Water - Keith Phipps
    Ultimate Doom - Vanilla - Solo Play - 64992 bytes -
    Reviewed by: printz
    Green Water is a classic level for Doom 1. It's fairly large and challenging, with varied themes, similar to other Keith Phipps maps. As with 90s maps, it's not too hard on ultra-violence, and monsters can be sparse sometimes, but don't let your guard down. All in all, this is worth playing, and becomes more challenging if you use difficulty modifiers like -fast.

  • STONEHENGE - Rick Hoffman
    Doom 2 - Vanilla - Deathmatch - 24617 bytes -
    Reviewed by: BloodyAcid
    Contrary to the supplied textfile, STONEHENGE plays on MAP04 rather than the stated MAP07. Stonehenge plays as both a single player map and deathmatch, and as the name implies, the map itself attempts to recreate the monument.

    The single player experience requires the player to defeat a dormant Icon of Sin, as in it does not constantly spawn monsters. The monster count of 13 stays at 13. This would prove to be easy, right? Nope. The weapons provided to the player are the shotguns, the chaingun and trusty slot 5, none of which have the ammo to knock out even one of the two cyberdemons. Similar to the original Doom 2 level, the player has to find the switch that lowers the center platform for the player to blast Romero, which would not be so hard if there wasn't a lack of notable architecture or things in general to help the player find their way back to the centre. The design overall is bland and doesn't contain much detail, so there's nothing to see.

    The multiplayer experience, to my experience, would be lacking. The rocket launchers are placed in the corner of the stage, just waiting for the player to run off the edge. The flow might be disrupted because of the tricky borders and blood tunnels, but it'd be similar to a regular arena with obstacles. It's a typical 90's wad, and there's nothing special to miss if you skip this one. It's a decent wad to kill for a few minutes, but then again, there are other wads that are worth your time, so avoid.

  • Lost Way - Lainos
    Doom 2 - Limit Removing - Solo Play - 2029946 bytes -
    Reviewed by: Sergeant_Mark_IV
    Visuals and presentation: Very good and realistic detail. The textures and new objects have been used very well. Good background music.

    Gameplay: The map is entirely linear, and there are no secrets and no backtracking. Unfortunately, this map doesn't plays as good as it looks; most of hitscanners are badly placed, and you have no cover to fight against them. Early on, due lack of ammo, you will have to fight against spectres with your unberserked fists; while this is not hard at all, it is very boring. The last battle is somewhat fun, but fighting a large group of revenants, arachnotrons, mancubuses, and one cyberdemon only using bullets and shells gets boring pretty fast. When I finally found the rocket launcher, it was too late; everything was dead, and I just had to fire a few rockets at the Cyber and head to the exit.

    Bugs: None. This wad is bug-free.

    Overall: Very good visuals, not so good gameplay. I enjoyed it; you should give this a try, but this wad has very little to no replay value.

  • Coven - ETTiNGRiNDER
    Heretic - Vanilla - Solo Play - 45868 bytes -
    Reviewed by: Foodles
    Coven is a medium/small map replacing map01 of the first episode of Heretic. I played this on skill 4 and didn't encounter too many problems, although ammo may be a little tight, so you might have to find those secret areas. The author has done a decent job of making this feel like a Heretic level with good use of the stock textures, although the visuals and layout are probably sub-par when compared to the stock levels. It seems as if this map should be part of a set of levels, since, while not a bad level, it fails to leave a lasting impression by itself. In short, if you like Heretic then I would recommend you play this once – definitely a solid, if forgettable, effort from the author.

    One thing I should note, not sure if this was a problem with my download, but the text file wasn't displayed properly when opened in notepad on my computer.

  • UAC Scientists are total morons - AlektorophobiA
    Doom 2 - Limit Removing - Solo Play - 813436 bytes -
    Reviewed by: Sergeant_Mark_IV
    This is a big single map. And it's entirely tech-themed.

    Visuals and presentation: the detail of the levels is very simple, but still good. The semi-realistic structures and the variation of texture themes for each room creates a good sense of progression.

    Gameplay: The battles are fair, a good balance of ammo, and you usually have enough cover when fighting monsters like chaingunners and revenants, but in 80% of battles, the monsters seems to be just randomly placed. The level has a lot of switch hunting, and sometimes you have no idea of where you should head next. And there's no monster closets or portals getting spawned after you get a key, so expect to do a lot of pointless backtracking. All three traps protecting the keys can be easily evaded (e.g: in the red key trap, instead fighting the Baron, you can just use the teleport, and the Baron will unable to chase you).

    Bugs: Missing textures in some lamps. Door to exit area uses a S1 Door Open Wait Close line, and you can not finish the level if the final Revenant opens it first.

    Overall: Has its flaws, but an entertaining map. You should give it a try if you are bored.

  • Whesher - DooMWaR
    Doom 2 - Limit Removing - SP/DM/Co-op - 301936 bytes -
    Reviewed by: BloodyAcid
    As the grand finale to the trickle of DooMWaR wads, Whesher is a combination of both a singleplayer and deathmatch map. Included are sound and music replacements, a few "new" textures, and a new titlepic/endoom picture. Let's start with the sound replacements.

    Instead of decorate or mapinfo lumps, DooMWaR opted to directly replace the original Doom 2 sounds, where 9 of the included 12 swap out the original death sounds for a few lower-tiered monsters. The sounds are best described as nonsensical blurts of ill-fitting grunts that resonate from unfortunate souls stuck on the loo with a microphone to tape their problems. If they were taken from other games, as they most likely are, then the creators are not mentioned in the text file. In addition to the over exaggerated dead sounds, such as a belching imp, the cyberdemon's death sound is replaced with the arachnotron's. The logic behind that is well beyond me. Aside from that, Duke Nukem's trademark taunt is slapped onto the BFG's firing sequence, and the teleportation is now a downward sweep of 8-bit beeps. D_RUNNIN is replaced with E1M1, and the deathmatch's music some random rock MIDI.

    The included graphics are ventilation textures from Duke Nukem, which of course, go uncredited, a starry sky, and an incredibly shriveled up Doom titlepic to fit a tiny texture, to the point of being just barely recognizable. There are two textures that can easily be identified from a quick job in MSpaint by their disgustingly ugly presentation. One displays a contact e-mail, and the other a wall texture that reads "Kill them all" in large red letters. Both of which pitifully worsen the already negative experience. (Spoiler: there were about 10 zombies behind that sign.) Also bundled with this wad are a few modified death sprites for the chaingunner, demon, imp, and the zombieman. The titlepic is of no relation to this wad, and is the daisy rabbit image with his name and the wad title merged with it. The endoom picture resembles a hacky DOS picture, with predictably, his website and contact email, as if we haven't seen his constant promotion roaming around this website already.

    Now, to the largest problem: the maps. For the singleplayer map, the player starts in a small bland room. Upon exiting, it becomes painfully obvious that Whesher mimics a typical 90's wad. There is no clear effort in bringing a little twist or even some detail. For the first few minutes, the player is challenged with trekking through a long shawn hallway with illogical and random alcoves. After stumbling outside, the player with trudge through some detail-less and non-orthogonal rooms, many of which clash in themes with the adjacent room to finally arrive at... more shawn hallways. Wash, rinse, repeat and you have yourself Whesher's singleplayer map. The deathmatch map that follows is somewhat of a decent mid 90's deathmatch map. The rooms are well interconnected, and the detailing attempt can be seen, which begs me to ask why he refused to do the same with the opening map. The one feature that plagues this map is a vent system (using the Duke textures) that winds around the battle area which eventually leads to a BFG900—oh look, his contact information.

    Overall, there's nothing new and nothing to miss. If you've come this far into this review, it's needless to state that you should skip over this and save yourself ten minutes to go and play something else.

  • We All Have to Die - DeumReaper
    Hexen - Skulltag / Zandronum - N/A - 4137 bytes
    Reviewed by: jetset125
    We All Have to Die is an interesting gameplay mod for Hexen, which also works for Deathkings of the Dark Citadel expansion, and I'm assuming Hexen user-made maps as well, provided that an abundance of health is available.

    This wad is supposed to pay tribute to games in the Gauntlet series of games, where you lose health gradually over time, and you must keep obtaining urns, vials, or flasks to stay alive. All mana has been removed and made infinite; the health maximum has also been increased to "999".

    Playing with these changes adds an extra level of difficulty, as you are subjected to a "timer" per say, as when health gets to 1 and runs out, that's it.

    All in all, this mod plays as advertised, and might only reach its full value to veteran Hexen players. Know what you're getting yourself into with this one, or you might not be able to enjoy it as intended.

    Purely a gameplay mod, nothing substantial has been changed visually.

  • A shitty night - Lukasxd
    Doom 2 - ZDoom Compatible - Solo Play - 239681 bytes -
    Reviewed by: lupinx-Kassman
    In today's Doom plot, our hero (or heroes) find themselves driving home drunk when an earthquake suddenly impedes their car in its tracks, so they must now travel on foot. Though the car must have been difficult to drive in the first place due to its wheels being made of cubes, and our situation doesn't explain the flesh-hungry monsters, but sure I'll take it!

    This wad takes the realistic approach in design, though some of the architecture (like the car at the start of the map) doesn't translate so well into Doom. Still, it hits the soft spot in my heart for cute Doom furniture. For the most part the theme is clean and efficient, and I don't mind it. The new sky and music also help to reinforce the zany mapping style that I find similar to many wads from the mid-nineties. Oh, this map also has a "driving" sequence that has to be seen to be believed. The illusion is broken right away by the walls on either side of the car scrolling in opposite directions, and the fact that you can exit the vehicle and fight monsters on the (static) road that the car is supposed to be driving across. Since the author recommended ZDoom, this map could have easily employed other methods of creating a driving sequence (like scrolling floors, or a moving skybox camera), but for some reason this little section made me love the map's theme even more.

    As for the map's flow, it is quite linear. Despite this, I still somehow managed to get lost, as there are some doors/switches that are not very clearly marked. The difficulty spikes in certain areas due to cramped (and occasionally dark) corridors packed full of hitscan enemies, and in a particular area it may be difficult to fight the opposition without the aid of mouselook. The final confrontations, despite using boss monsters like the cyberdemon and mastermind, are a lot more trivial due to the plasma weapons you receive before them and the amount of cover you are given to avoid their attacks. After reducing the last stretch of monsters to mush, board the least aerodynamic helicopter in the world to end the level.

    It's a short map, but it's a decent ride. The humorous aspects (though maybe unintentional) add to the charm of the wad, and I would recommend it if you enjoy the occasional quirky map.

  • Heaven - Doomguy 2000
    Doom 2 - GZDoom - Solo Play - 3356750 bytes -
    Reviewed by: The Green Herring
    From the creator of 30,000 Levels comes this sequel, another WAD that could qualify as avant-garde. It turns out that it took so long to flip all 30,000 exit switches that by the time you hit the last one, the world ended. Then you got killed by an invisible anomaly, and now you're in Heaven. The first thing you'll see is the sight of a ruined world, set to strange bird-chirp music. Open the main menu and you are greeted by a marijuana leaf. Start the game, and you'll find that Heaven is... a small, invisible box surrounded by an open field (represented by a poorly-tiling sky texture) that spins lightning-fast around you, where you have nothing to do other than sit there.

    But wait! That's not all! Activate both the noclip cheat and God Mode (or you'll die running out of the box), run outside the map, and you'll find three secret switches! One of these teleports you back into the box, one permanently freezes you in place, and the last is an exit switch that takes you to a version of Heaven where the field doesn't spin. Press the space immediately in front of you and you win! For your efforts, you get a text screen detailing your escape from Heaven and—

    Hey, wait a minute! This is just a plug for Doomguy's Warzone! Oh, well, at least you get to listen to a MIDI of Megadeth's "In My Darkest Hour" for your troubles. (Fun fact: The original June release of this WAD was taken off the archives because it contained commercial music. This is why you read the rules, people.)

    In the end, there's not much of a point in playing this unless either you're that desperate to hear one of Megadeth's classic hits, or you're high as a kite. Otherwise, it is safe to skip this one.

  • Iranian Ally - RV-007
    N/A - ZDoom Compatible - N/A - 2013120 bytes -
    Reviewed by: lupinx-Kassman
    A ZDoom wad in which actor "iranian_ally" presents itself as some barely animated robed figure that chainsaws you when approached and prints stupid messages to the console. It also explodes when it dies. I wasted a few seconds downloading and playing this. Don't waste yours.

  • Hanging Urinator - RV-007
    N/A - ZDoom Compatible - N/A - 1490664 bytes -
    Reviewed by: lupinx-Kassman
    Well, this is a ZDoom wad in which you can summon "Huar", a copy of the hanging twitching corpse. It urinates yellow rectangles when approached, and it's as dumb as it sounds.

  • Doomguy 2000 Picture - Doomguy 2000
    N/A - Skulltag / Zandronum - N/A - 161697 bytes -
    Reviewed by: Bloodshedder
    Just take a look at the screenshot and you will have no reason to download this file.

Let me guess; one of those reviewers doesn't know how to properly appreciate a WAD that you liked this week. Want to do something about it? Instead of complaining in the comment thread like you always do, perhaps you can make a difference and write some better reviews than those idiots up there. The /newstuff Review Center is the place to do so. Put that Doomworld Forums account to constructive use, because you need one to submit reviews.