The /newstuff Chronicles #443
Classic Doom - Posted by Bloodshedder
- 10 Comments
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.
Magnet - BloodyAcid
Doom 2 - Boom Compatible - Deathmatch - 47430 bytes -
Reviewed by: lupinx-Kassman
Magnet is a single deathmatch map for Doom 2 with an emphasis on 1-on-1 gameplay. My opponent: a hapless Zandronum bot.
Visually, the map looks intricate and appealing. It makes use of those familiar CC4 textures to create a small colorful tech-base inside a cavern filled with grey sludge. Oh, and nice adrenaline-rushing music.
The layout mainly consists of a circular loop around an elevated center area that is accessible from the sides through three sets of stairs and a couple of lifts. The rocket launchers in the map are set behind small fences, which add a bit of risk to accessing them. One part of the loop contains a timed switch that leads to this level's single energy weapon: the plasma rifle. The result is a map that makes the player feel like they need to constantly be moving to be safe.
I'll note that this is the second duel map I reviewed that doesn't contain an exit. C'mon guys, I know it isn't needed in today's source ports, but it's easy to add and makes a nice spot to put a chainsaw ;). Nit-pick aside, it's a good straight-forward duel map, and you should try it out next time you have a buddy to frag.
The Inquisitor 2 - Shadowman
Doom 2 - GZDoom - Solo Play - 27266882 bytes -
Reviewed by: kmxexii
The Inquisitor 2 is actually the prequel to The Inquisitor. Shadowman decided to tackle a different style of gameplay; the original Inquisitor was sort of a high-speed hardass Hexen map whereas this tried to be a first-person Diablo. A lot of the problems I had with the original carry over. The monsters are super-lethal, but the danger is exacerbated by the confined spaces you fight in and your limited weaponry. You get a sword for melee attacks that takes a few swipes, a crossbow that fires single bolts, and a double-barreled shotgun that fires like the one out of Blood. It's pretty tightly packed-in on UV and very hard to get going, though it lets out a bit when you get access to the blessed bolts, an alternative to the regular crossbow fire that causes lightning bolts to jump onto multiple targets. The shotgun will probably become your work horse for skirmish fights.
What I do like - there's a town hub at the opening with townspeople and quests that you can come back with gold won from monsters and found in the dungeons to purchase supplies. You don't get any sense of level progression or anything like in Diablo, but you can at least keep your health and armor kind of topped off. I think the town hub is my favorite aspect of the PWAD; the dungeon is dark and spooky, but there isn't as much interesting architecture to feast your eyes upon. If Shadowman ever makes a third entry, I'd like to see another town area. The weapon loadout isn't bad, but it isn't very well suited to keeping you alive in the crypts when everything seems to move so fast and hit so hard. The difficulty settings do knock the monster count down quite a bit, so it looks considerably more forgiving.
I'll also mention that this was part of a Russian mapping competition that I'm not familiar with that built a section with a random map creator and then had contestants build around it, though the building space was limited to a defined area, which is why every inch of the map is crammed full of dungeon sections, some of which are visited via teleporters. In that regard, it's impressive, though I can't help but think what Shadowman might be capable of if he let his imagination run wild.
100 Lines - Various
Doom 2 - Boom Compatible - Solo Play - 620832 bytes
Reviewed by: Vise98
This set of two megawads for Doom II is a community project which provides a good challenge for players. The map makers sure had a challenge too, since they had to follow these rules:
- Boom compatible
- Only vanilla textures
- Has to be fun to play
- Looks OK
- The linedefs have to be 100 or less
The two wads, 100lineT (Traditional) and 100linesN (New) have one main difference. 100lineT has more "traditional" maps, with good effects but with a more old-school-ish style. Generally, these are easier (which still means hard) than the other wad's ones. 100lineN has some innovative maps, like the first one, where you are in a boat and have to survive, and also some hardcore/slaughter maps which are sure a challenge for Doomers!
Some of the levels have new music and some work for coop and deatmatch. Basically, these wads are good, with some ups and downs, but generally, they are all short and fun to play. I recommend them to hardcore Doomers and also players that have some spare time.
Favillesco - Episode 2: Tragedy over Europa V1.1 - Nicolas Monti
Ultimate Doom - Vanilla - Solo Play - 649820 bytes -
Reviewed by: 7hm
Favillesco - Episode 2: Tragedy over Europa V1.1 is the sequel to Favillesco E1, and part of Nicolas Monti's eventual four episode Ultimate Doom megawad. Per the notes, it aims to emulate the Shores of Hell E2 style, but without the Hell component. The episode probably plays best from pistol start, but I mainly used continuous play while working my way through. It starts off slow, but gets pretty good by E2M3, so stick with it. Monster numbers when mentioned are from UV.
One thing to note - Nicolas likes secrets (74 across the entire episode). A whole lot of weapons are hidden within those secrets, as well as some game changing powerups. It's worth paying attention and exploring.
E2M1: Europa Anomaly - This map was made with minimalist design in mind, and it shows. Very linear, very plain. It has you teleporting from hallway to hallway, plinking away at various demons with your pistol. The map has somewhere around 130 enemies, plus another 20 or so Lost Souls. Very tedious. You don't get a shotgun until about halfway in, so I hope you like shooting imps and zombiemen and lost souls with a pistol! Eventually you get the shotgun and it becomes bearable, but you're still better off just avoiding everything and rushing the exit.
E2M2: Digamma Quadrant - More of the same, albeit with a less linear layout. It's still very plainly textured, lots of greys, a little blue, and very little detail. It adds pinkies, spectres, and lots more shotgunners. Makes more use of height, but only in a limited sense; you don't see a lot of height variation within a single room.
E2M3: Storage Facility - At first I felt like it was just more of the same, plinking cacodemons away with increasingly limited shotgun ammo. I considered giving up on the wad and the review, but I stuck with it and by the end I was enjoying myself. The texturing remains incredibly plain; there are changes in theme throughout the map but it's mostly brown with blue sections. Again, very limited height variation. Nicolas continues to use lots of little hallways stuffed with monsters right in your path, and he relies a bit much on imp and lost soul ambushes for my taste (this map appears to be entirely demonic monsters, no zombiemen / shotgunners). Other notes: You finally get a chaingun as a non-secret (and an easy plasma rifle secret). There is a cool crusher trap that I totally fell for.
E2M4: Europa Lab - The author loves him some monster closets. His favorite trick is to have you flip a switch or grab an item and just unleash the single monster type horde on you. This is the first map where it has really worked - mostly when he decides to mix it up a bit. The berserk pack leads to a good bout with pinkies, a few imps, and a cacodemon. The bridge switch that unleashes about 15 lost souls is kind of fun. The maze that slowly lowers around you and includes cacodemons, shotgunners, and two barons is the most memorable encounter thus far in the wad. There is a platforming section. It is questionable. The teleport afterwards isn't questionable, it's bullshit.
E2M5: Epsilon Base: - Another fun map. Somewhat non-linear, but it still never really leaves you wondering where to go. There are no keys in this map. There are fewer monster closets in this one, fewer single monster hoards, and a better mix of monsters. Nicolas still loves his single path hallways with monsters blocking you in (or Barons laying in wait around the corner) but that's OK. He makes good use of pinkies + hallway surprises in a few spots - not guaranteeing you'll end up pinned in, but leaving the possibility and forcing you to trade off safety for speed. This is one I'm going to replay. I wish the lead-up to the exit room allowed 2 paths, with the one that is real not being the ideal path. It seems like a fun alternative "not secret" entry.
E2M6: Medical Department - A good use of darkness and spectres in the hub area. Good use of height and very non-linear. I liked the placement of the three keys one next to the other and viewable right from the start. I also really liked being able to see the exit from the entry room. I enjoyed the entire level quite a bit actually. A lot of Baron killing in this one.
E2M7: Back to Tei Tenga - Continuing with the non linearity. There's a cool fight at the yellow key (cough). Luckily there is also a conveniently located invulnerability close by that you can use to trivialise the fight (thank god). Something of an arena fight at the end, as the map opens up to the outdoors and you get to blast away at cacos, spectres and lost souls while being shot at by zombiemen behind cover. Another fun map.
E2M8: Field of Humiliation - I love boss maps that start with you maxing out HP and armor, then filling up on rockets and plasma. Really sets the stage for what's to come. Just you and four cyberbros, duking it out in an arena. A lot harder given said cyberbros like to teleport around, but fun. A fitting end to the map set.
E2M9: Containment Area: - A pretty straightforward secret map. Has some good exploration and backtracking and some alternate paths. Nicolas still loves his secrets and his barons popping out from behind corners, as well as using nukage to control pacing. Not a lot of height variation affecting gameplay, but some good looking architecture. From pistol start this one involved a lot of skipped fights, and perhaps because of this there weren't many memorable moments. A good, but not exceptional, map.
Explanada - vdgg
Doom 2 - Limit Removing - Solo Play - 318596 bytes -
Reviewed by: kmxexii
vdgg throws his hat into the realm of authorship with this gut-punching map that's basically in the '96-'97 style except for its incredibly exacting fights on UV. Knowing all the tricks, vdgg twists you into uncomfortable positions as you deal with tricky dodging scenarios in both close-quarters and from afar. Hate arch-viles? Well, they're used to their full potential here, including two pairs of the sneaky devils, the second of which I'm not sure how I even survived. If you make it to the end on hard, there's a little thank-you done in clever fashion. Much appreciated after all those pain elementals! Very cool and very tough; keep up the good work.
Absinthe 3lvl adventure - Simone Lombardi
Doom 2 - ZDoom Compatible - Solo Play - 102370 bytes
Reviewed by: Vise98
This wad for Doom 2 contains three short levels, made by Simone Lombardi. The maps are all designed for single player only, as they only have one player start. Also. every level has secrets and the number of enemies never exceeds over 60.
The gameplay is pretty old-school, but every level has something unique; the first one starts, for example, with two spider masterminds in an outside room near the start; the second one already has the exit door in the beginning room, and the last one starts with a red button, which will open the exit door. Generally, the levels are not too hard, but they require some planning, as you'll need to rely on monster infighting, like in the second level with a cyberdemon and a spider mastermind along some cacodemons.
I suggest these maps to everyone, as they'll just take you 15 minutes of gameplay.
Nebula 95: Drown Stone - lupinx-Kassman/lupinx_Resurrected
Doom 2 - Boom Compatible - Solo Play - 3816008 bytes -
Reviewed by: kmxexii
Drown Stone is the second release from Brian Knox's Secret Santa project. WAD wizard Lupinx-Kassman drafted a very tight level for stewboy using CC4 textures. It's got lots of height variation and acrobatics, coming across as a three-dimensional maze... but not really. As small as it is, it's very action-packed, and with some cool architecture, even if it's overwhelmingly gray / silver and blue. I highly recommend it for a fast play. I just got one question - where are the rest of the Secret Santa levels?
Zone 300 - Paul Corfiatis (Pcorf)
Doom 2 - Vanilla - Solo Play - 926169 bytes -
Reviewed by: kmxexii
Every time Paul Corfiatis says he's done with mapping, he goes and makes more. Zone 300 is a spinoff of 100 Lines, but pcorf didn't use it as an exercise in eking out as much from each linedef. It's more about making small, action-packed levels for Doom II. To me, the action comes across as heavily scripted, but these are a fun thirty-two combat scenarios that will be over and done before you know it. The new music is a fantastic bonus; it was an enjoyable play, if not particularly substantial. Personally, I enjoyed MAP32 the most.
Relentless Decay - Jonathan Bergeron
Doom 2 - ZDoom Compatible - Solo Play - 894093 bytes
Reviewed by: Vise98
This wad is made of two medium sized maps for Doom II. There are new graphics as well as new music.
The two maps (The World Below and The World Above) have are all designed well, with great light effects that really set the mood up well. There are also some traps, but little ammo, so you'll need to use your weapons wisely. There are also some secrets, which are not too hard to find.
I suggest this wad to everyone, since it's not too hard, it lasts around 5 minutes, and it's quite an enjoyable experience.
Escalation I: The Breach - James "Phobus" Cresswell
Doom 2 - Limit Removing - Solo Play - 207423 bytes -
Reviewed by: JudgeDeadd
A small treat of a map. It's an easy, but fun level based around the plasma rifle. There is an attacking horde that gives the opportunity for satisfying infighting, and Revenant battles that aren't infuriating. The level feels a tad too short, but it's still worth playing if you have literally five minutes of free time. There are some new sounds--the plasma rifle is quieter, while the pistol makes a louder, dull noise (one that sounded a bit weird to my ear.)
Arsehole - David "Springy" Spring
Doom 2 - Vanilla - Deathmatch - 24548 bytes
Reviewed by: eligrand1
Any wad can look great with time spent, but this is an interesting one. This wad is graphically decent, not too big or small. This could be a good map for up to 5 players. There seems to be no bugs; the weapon placement seems pleasant and some require buttons to reach. For a small map, there isn't that bad of a performance hit. This would seem like a boring map if played over and over, but the map itself is fitting for small groups of players and is graphically decent. It kind of resembles classic deathmatch maps. It is not legendary, but it isn't terrible.
The 8 Game - Necronal
Doom 2 - ZDoom Compatible - Solo Play - 55827 bytes -
Reviewed by: Memfis
This level consists of a white room with a button that (literally) says "eight" when you press it. Apparently it was inspired by some scene from the game called "The Stanley Parable". Maybe it makes more sense in that game's context, but outside of it, this wad is completely pointless.
Dragonsbrethren's Pandemonium - Dragonsbrethren
Ultimate Doom - Vanilla - Solo Play - 41336 bytes -
Reviewed by: 7hm
Dragonsbrethren designed this map for an E3 replacement wad that never saw daylight, but which intended for every level to pay homage to Pandemonium. It was released as a single level rather than have it languish in development hell with the rest of the mapset. Like the original E3M3 map, it was initially designed as a techbase and then converted into a Hell-style map. Dragonsbrethren thinks that it's a bit more Hellish than the real Pandemonium, and I would agree.
The only real gripe I have with the map is that it's far too easy, even for an episode 3 map replacement. It gives all kinds of tools to deal with enemies, which kind of leads you to expect a strong finish, but it fails to deliver on that expectation. The big bads are in the middle of the map, not the end, and are disappointingly easy anyway. This is a map that would fit well in a Doom remake megawad like DTWiD, but it's too plain jane all by itself.
On the positive side, Dragonsbrethren makes good use of height variation, has lots of simple secrets, and has a fun little hallway maze that makes good use of strobe lighting. It's a competently made map and worth a playthrough if you've got a couple spare minutes.
Crackdown - David "Springy" Spring
Doom 2 - Vanilla - Deathmatch - 4831406 bytes
Reviewed by: Vise98
What we have here is a quick but nice deathmatch map!
The textures are all well placed, with some nice details. All the weapons are present, and that makes the gameplay pretty frenzied.
The best thing in this map though, is the music! Really, I've rarely seen such inspired music (by the way, it's called "Demons on the Prowl" by Primeval).
The author says this map is for 1 vs. 1, but even a 3-4 player deatmatch is OK, in my opinion.
I suggest everyone that has some free time with friends to try this out.
Warehouse 18 - Donnel "Jazzmaster9" Enriquez
Doom 2 - ZDoom Compatible - Solo Play - 75041 bytes
Reviewed by: Vise98
What we have here is a short single player map for Doom II. To be honest, I first though this map was about the TV Series "Warehouse 18".
The map is pretty easy and there are not much details, though the style is still enjoyable. The gameplay is old-school with some traps and cool effects.
This is also the author's (Donnel "Jazzmaster9" Enriquez) first map. Sadly, not everyone's first wad is as good as this is.
I suggest everyone to give it a try, since it will only take two minutes to complete.