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The /newstuff Chronicles #421

  • Compact Refinery - zepolleon
    Doom 2 - Boom Compatible - Deathmatch - 18996 bytes -
    Reviewed by: Dragonsbrethren
    A Boom compatible deathmatch map consisting of three rooms and two corridors. While it's nice to see more modern visuals after all those ancient DM wads I reviewed, this one has a pretty boring layout. Two of the rooms are symmetrical, as are the corridors connecting them for the most part. One corridor is a bit narrower and has the plasma gun and exit door, while the other has the SSG and a link to a larger room with the chaingun. The map feels cramped with four players, and the text file mentions it playing best in duels. I thought the chaingun was pretty pointless with the plasma and SSG being so easily accessible.

  • ArmageDoom - Sergeant_Mark_IV
    Doom 2 - ZDoom Compatible - Solo Play - 20599137 bytes -
    Reviewed by: Grain of Salt
    Have you ever wanted to play LameDuke with Aeons of Death loaded? If so, you're in luck!

    From the very second you start playing ArmageDoom, you are bombarded with ripped sound effects from every game you have ever played, not one of which is used with any regard for its original context. Pinky demons roar like Maulotaurs, zombiemen scream like Cultists (in between shouting "there they are!" in a completely different voice), the player's voice drifts whimsically between Heretic, Hexen and Duke Nukem... The overall effect is like playing with one of those keyboard presets that produces a different sound effect for each key. And this is only the first few seconds of gameplay - as you play on you find that monsters and weapons are similarly enhanced, with similarly dreadful results. If you liked KDiZD's variety of monsters but were annoyed at how some thought seemed to have gone into their placement, then this wad is perfect for you. Moreover, every monster here either explodes, makes you explode, or just screams incessantly. Round about this time I started wondering if the creator of this wad even has sound enabled when they play Doom.

    The map design tends towards plain, boxy, half-hearted "realism". Your mission is to go to a place (sometimes, in a shock twist, you are then asked to come back). Despite the "anything goes" style of the gameplay, textures are limited and used poorly. If you ignore the Things and the scripting, you're left with maps that just look amateurish and palpably unfinished. The ZDoom features ultimately serve only as a crutch for something that couldn't justify its own existence.

    Gameplay is homogeneous and uninteresting (you dodge; you shoot; things die; you die). Monsters explode when you punch them, like sachets of ketchup under a hammer, but small cars are indestructible to all weapons. Mancubuses and Arachnotrons are pointlessly enlarged by about 20%, the only effect of which is that they seem to be closer than they actually are (which is actually genuinely hilarious and possibly worth the download all by itself). Monsters and supporting characters now have text "dialogue", including the immortal line "Shut your cowards!".

    Do not play this.

  • Endless Fall: Conservation of Momentum - Newtonian Motion
    Doom 2 - ZDoom Compatible - Solo Play - 2631 bytes -
    Reviewed by: The Green Herring
    This is a simple physics test in which the player is moved off of a tall platform by a conveyor belt, and is then carried away by wind, where they proceed to activate several teleport lines until only one is left, all to create a situation where the player falls endlessly - hence the title. If you're interested in seeing how fast the player can go in ZDoom without a speed boost such as turbo, feel free to take a look. Otherwise, skip this one.

  • The Day The Gargoyles Attacked Us All - Newtonian Motion
    Heretic - ZDoom Compatible - Solo Play - 15622 bytes -
    Reviewed by: The Green Herring
    Your mission in this level, armed with every weapon in the game and four of each power-up, is to fight and kill thousands of gargoyles (2,203 on the easy settings, 3,628 on the normal difficulty and 5,503 on the hard ones) in a giant, square arena - a task made strenuous by Heretic not having an equivalent to the BFG9000. Fortunately, you have four Tomes of Power; at least the powered-up Dragon Claw can clear a number of the beasts once you've got them bundled together, after which you can switch to the Phoenix Rod. Ultimately, however, this is only of interest if you want to spend around 15 minutes (on the hard settings) performing a repetitive, boring task, in a type of level that any random schmoe could make within ten minutes. Otherwise, skip this one.

  • The toxic exodus - Simon666
    Doom 2 - GZDoom - Solo Play - 9615011 bytes -
    Reviewed by: Grain of Salt
    A rather nice map for GZDoom, whose overall feel is quite close to Doom64, albeit combining more themes than individual maps of Doom64 usually did - tech, brick and cave textures are all present here, but they do work very well together. Monster and ammo placement are very well balanced, if a little unremarkable -- but it works. The monster placement isn't trying to bludgeon you to death: it's just quietly propulsive, like old school Chicago house (what?). The layouts are well thought out and well realized, with enough detail to give a good sense of location without becoming intrusive. The music - which, again, is very Doom64 - hums and crackles like the Protoss themes from the original Starcraft. Nice and nostalgic.

    On the negative side, in the midst of so many added textures, the few classic Doom textures that are used (nukage, some rock, and a couple of SLADWALL derivatives) seem a little out of place - not to mention the extremely suspect use of a DOORTRAK-based texture on the support pillars of a small bridge. It's also quite short, despite requiring three keys, and runs on MAP02 for some reason. On balance though, this map is certainly worth a look. It occupies a sweet spot somewhere between exuberant KDiZD-style augmentation and stripped-down classic Dooming.

    One final note: the author left a note on /idgames saying that there is a missing action that prevents you from completing the map without idclip, but the map must have been updated since then, because it was perfectly possible for me.

    Doom 2 - Vanilla - Deathmatch - 48097 bytes -
    Reviewed by: Dragonsbrethren
    A deathmatch map made by a Japanese Doomer in 1996. It has a very nice layout with lots of height variation, interconnectivity, and fair weapon placements. It is pretty small, though, and will probably only play well in duels. The texturing is all over the place and it has no real theme, but it's not an eyesore either. A demo is included, which my screenshots are taken from.

  • Kukuku - Memfis
    Ultimate Doom - Vanilla - Solo Play - 31304 bytes -
    Reviewed by: Dragonsbrethren
    An excellent little (emphasizing little) E1 style map from Memfis. Definitely give Kukuku a go if you like clean architecture, interconnected layouts, stupidly strong nukage, calming music. And maps that can be maxed in under a minute.

    Memfis, make a whole episode like this.

    Doom 2 - Vanilla - Deathmatch - 11869 bytes -
    Reviewed by: Dragonsbrethren
    Another DM map by T.KIMURA. This one's not as interesting as GORUZIG3 in terms of layout and geometry, but has a much more consistent texture theme. There's no demo this time, unfortunately. The map features a central arena with some pillars and another area with staircases which surrounds it. There's a teleporter to get the plasma gun, and you can make a jump to a platform for the BFG and a soulsphere, which is probably too much of a reward for how easy it is to reach. There's even a spawn on that platform, which doesn't seem fair at all. Like GORUZIG3, it's probably too small to be fun with more than two players.

  • Town of Aquafort - SFoZ911
    Heretic - Vanilla - Solo Play - 247500 bytes -
    Reviewed by: BlackFish
    A small yet detailed Heretic map consisting of only 60 monsters. There is some nice architecture here. The map is non-linear in terms of the starting "zone", in which you graduate out of to the other side of the map once you get the yellow key. My only complaint is that ammo is a bit scarce, so finding a way to lower the Gauntlet pedestal is a must unless you want to be fighting the later mobs with just a staff. Other than that it's worth a try if you want a challenge in conserving ammo.

  • Happy (Belated) Birthday, General Rainbow Bacon! - Dragonsbrethren
    Doom 2 - Vanilla - Solo Play - 34640 bytes -
    Reviewed by: glenzinho
    The intended port was not specified in the text file, but I tested it in Chocolate Doom and it runs perfectly. This is one of the better birthday wads that I've seen (or even made myself for that matter ;). It plays at Map 29, and is textured well in the style of The Living End. The gameplay is pretty basic (no keys involved, run and gun), but it's a nice challenge and tricky on UV. Monsters come clumped in groups of the same type. I found all the weapons except for the BFG and Chainsaw, but I missed a few secrets so maybe they are provided. Ammo and health are balanced pretty well; there are plenty of shells and just enough ammo for the high powered weapons. The author doesn't go overboard on health, and there is a comfortable amount. For a 5-10 minute blast, this is good fun. Definitely worth a download and play.

  • LIEDOWN1.WAD - Kenji.K(LEI)
    Doom 2 - Vanilla - Solo Play - 33368 bytes -
    Reviewed by: Memfis
    Two very small maps from 1996. They are more suitable for deathmatch, but there are some monsters, so single play is supported too. You get different sets of weapons depending on the skill level; for example, plasmagun and BFG are only present on UV and NM. MAP01 is a simple arena with a giant crusher and a few small balconies. MAP02 represents a closed train station with parts of its platform moving up and down. It also features almost perfect texture alignment which is quite impressive considering the wad's age. If you're interested in the early days of Doom mapping, you should be able to have some fun with this wad.

  • ONLY CHAINSAW - 永野 想
    Doom 2 - Vanilla - Deathmatch - 31605 bytes -
    Reviewed by: BloodyAcid
    ONLY CHAINSAW contains 3 deathmatch wads dated from 1996, titled TAKI.wad, HISAN.wad and CHAINSAW.wad. Each wad contains 1 map slotted to MAP01.

    CHAINSAW.wad features a straight walkway surrounded by damaging nukage and 2 chainsaws. There's no detailing and texture combination is awkward, combined with floating blood for the ceiling, there's no sense of design or gameplay.

    TAKI.wad has no chainsaws, contrary to the .zip file name. Instead, it's a larger map that has more fluidness and connectivity. Stairs lead out of a central blood river to two facilities on either side with teleporters to link them together. It has a decent layout that would work for no more than 4 players at best. However, the design is horrendous with texture alignment errors and illogical themes. The gray brick leads to walls of COMPBLUE that clashes with stones and nothing works correctly.

    HISAN.wad is playable for both deathmatch and singleplayer. For singleplayer, there are monsters placed in a symmetrical fashion that serves no difficulty at all: there's plenty of ammo, the BFG, more than ten spheres and lack of obstacles. For deathmatch, it's a typical arena layout that has been done to death (maybe not for the time of this wad), so there's nothing to see here either.

    All in all, don't hesitate to skip this one. There's nothing worth seeing, and there are tons of better deathmatch wads out there.

    Doom 2 - Vanilla - Deathmatch - 24481 bytes -
    Reviewed by: Dragonsbrethren
    A third DM map from T.KIMURA. This one features a U-shaped outside area surrounding a central house, inside which are most of the weapons. Like his other maps, this makes heavy use of stairs, windows, and height variation, but it just doesn't seem to flow as well. The height variation in a few spots is actually too great to effectively shoot at your opponents, and I found myself sticking to the flatter outside area once I had a good weapon. On the other hand, this one is large enough to comfortably house more than two players. Texturing is, again, pretty haphazard. There are a few monsters to fight this time, too.

  • ONLY CHAINSAW 2 - 永野 想
    Doom 2 - Vanilla - Deathmatch - 15609 bytes -
    Reviewed by: BloodyAcid
    Chainsaw 2 is uploaded as the sequel to the first chainsaw deathmatch maps. In this wad, there is one map that has absolutely NO chainsaws at all. I feel cheated.

    It's another plain and symmetrical 1996 deathmatch wad that links 4 dark rooms with teleporters. The switch in the middle opens up for a few illogical lost souls. There's no detailing, though the texturing is decent (despite the numerous alignment errors - can't be helped for the time).

    Due to the darkness of the rooms, I've taken the liberty of brightening them up for you.

  • Millennia Invasion - Doomguy 2000
    Doom 2 - ZDoom Compatible - Solo Play - 28945854 bytes -
    Reviewed by: Obsidian
    Let me start by saying I had a vague idea of what I was getting myself into. I had never played a "Doomguy 2000 production" before this, but the general vibe was that...well...I shouldn't. I probably should have listened.

    I'll set the scene for you. You're on an enemy spaceship and you need to find the self-destruct switch. You creep along corridors until you find the switch, press it....and all of a sudden Lady Gaga is throwing insults at you. Yep. Should you enter any of the rooms along the way, you will find (A): some random props or (B) a moronic death trap. I even spied an enemy from UACMN, so it's probably downhill from here where Doomguy 2000 is concerned. And the bloody thing took ages to download to boot! Needless to say I recommend giving this wad a wide berth.

    On a positive note, there's this cool jukebox in one of the rooms which plays some fairly decent tunes. At least Doomguy 2K has decent taste in music, eh?

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.