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The /newstuff Chronicles #509

  • Abyssal Speedmapping Session 26 - TheMionicDonut, Jimmy - Project Lead 4shockblast AD_79 alterworldruler an_mutt Astral-Doomer Breezee
    Doom 2 - Single Player - Boom Compatible - 1.03 MB -
    Reviewed by: vtm
    Abyssal Speedmapping Session 26, a 21 map pack, made in around two hours. It's themed around Romero maps: Doom's episode 1, high tier monsters and weapons, and all vertices on a 32-unit grid.

    Most of the levels have a nice episode 1 vibe, but some of them are quite empty, simply decorated and quite short. As said, monsters are high tier and usually revenants and mancubuses, and this in some levels became too boring; only fighting groups of revenants or hell knights in small spaces is tiring, but some maps are real OK and fun to play. New textures and new music are included. I suppose most of the flaws are because of the short time to make the levels.

    Some maps are real nice and others quite tiring. If you don't mind fighting only against big demons all the time then give it a try, you may like it.

  • IGTH - yaqxsw
    Doom 2 - Single Player - ZDoom Compatible - 8.62 MB -
    Reviewed by: gaspe
    I'm Going to Hell is a slaughter map with big and very hard set-piece encounters. I initially started on UV to see how the battle was, then soon lowered to HMP and finally to HNTR; the first impression was that this doesn't look exactly fun. There seems to be some logic behind the encounters, and you will manage to understand the better strategies after some tries. The use of saves is almost mandatory, and to be honest I don't even know if this is actually beatable on skill 3/4 legitimately. For sure you will die a lot, but if you want to continue it's better that you learn something from your attempts. You will also need lots of luck, and probably too much in many situations. The ideas behind some setups seem interesting, though the fights drag for too long for what they are worth, as the initial excitement vanishes quickly. Visually it is kinda rough, although it improves as you progress through the level.

    Fans of the slaughter stuff should check this, and in any case I suggest playing it at skill 2/3. While I admire the effort of making something like this, the result isn't really good, even if some of the ideas are nice. The author wanted to make something very difficult and for sure he did it, but he also made something that at times is boring, tedious, or even plain ridiculous.

  • UAC Madness! (UACmad.wad) - Fever (Oldcpv3)
    Doom 2 - Single Player - Boom Compatible - 55.46 KB -
    Reviewed by: gaspe
    UAC Madness! is a wad with four levels despite the text file saying that there are three. It's not a very first wad, which surprised me, as this looks like a "my first wad", in all the worst ways.

    It's even generous to call these few rooms slapped together "maps", with some monsters thrown in them so at least they aren't empty. The music is changed to rock and metal MIDIs, which add nothing to this wad. Even if you want to see how bad this is, avoid it. It's just another generic bad wad with no qualities.

  • Extinguished - Stormwalker A.K.A. Vordakk
    Doom 2 - Single Player - Limit Removing - 537.28 KB -
    Reviewed by: gaspe
    Extinguished is a quite long single level for limit-removing ports. It started as a remake of "Nirvana". You can recognize some of the first areas, but after those it starts to become its own thing. Visually it's very beautiful, well crafted places with good-old stock textures, and the lighting is simply excellent. About the gameplay is quite hard and has plenty of nasty moments. I would also say that some of the traps in the quest to get the yellow key are a bit unfair. There are also few chaingunners with the infamous Plutonia arch-viles in hidden alcoves behind them, though they were used well and don't overstay their welcome. There is also an optional area where you can find a BFG and lots of enemies too. The first areas are re-textured to have a more hellish appearance, and you will face the same encounters, but the monsters are replaced by tougher ones.

    The map looks gorgeous and it's definitely worth a play. If you have troubles with its encounters, difficulty settings are implemented.

  • Lebanon Connection - Memfis
    Doom 2 - Single Player - Limit Removing - 374.52 KB -
    Reviewed by: Not Jabba
    Lebanon Connection is clearly not a level that takes itself seriously. The textfile contains a short, goofy story about human rights violations and enslaved Lost Souls. The level itself is cleverly designed as a fully playable experience (unlike most jokewads), but it's still clearly a joke, and the puzzle elements can be extremely frustrating.

    *Light spoilers ahead* The level begins with a key door marked as blue, but it actually requires the red key. Blue keys (both skulls and keycards) are scattered very liberally around the map, practically in every corner and on every ledge. At one point, there's a maze of tiny player-sized rooms to navigate, containing almost nothing but blue keys. They are completely useless, of course. After you've gone through all of the easily accessible areas, you hit a dead end, and it becomes clear that you have to hunt for hidden switches and other secrets to beat the level. I didn't find most of them to be too difficult -- the only one I really struggled with was a teleporter that had to be lowered in the far northern part of the level, and when I used IDDT to try to locate the switch, a big arrow appeared on the automap pointing to it, as though Memfis was acknowledging that people weren't going to waste too much time looking around. Once I finally got the red key and returned to the level start, the door was gone and I saw a sign (screenshot 3) saying it had been moved. From there, it wasn't too hard to find the real exit. */Spoilers*

    All of this felt a lot like the kind of trollish crap that's found in most pointless, unfunny jokewads, but Lebanon Connection is definitely smarter than usual, and I did laugh out loud when I found the sign about the key door (although that was the only time). In all honesty, I regret playing this wad, but people who enjoy tricky puzzle levels may like it.

  • Snort (v0.99) - Maarten Hoogveld (hoogveld@xs4all.nl)
    Doom 2 - Deathmatch - Vanilla - 25.51 KB -
    Reviewed by: Liberation
    Snort, a Deathmatch level from 1997.

    A smallish map with a metal and marble texture theme that looks reasonable and has decent architecture.

    Playing with bots via ZDaemon I found the map layout to be fairly hectic with good height variation and nice use of teleporters. It was fun, and if it was on a server, I wouldn't mind playing the map at all. The BFG is a nice touch, as you lose a lot of health getting to it.

    All in all, back in 1997 this would have been a good deathmatch level; nowadays it's more of a relic and, sadly, probably won't get played.

  • Gore5 - Jeff Tunink
    Doom 2 - Deathmatch - Vanilla - 31.05 KB
    Reviewed by: Voros
    Gore5 is a deathmatch map for Doom 1 or Doom 2 (there are two files).

    This isn't really that fun.

    The lack of weapons ruins it. The huge size of the map ruins it.

    There are barely any weapons here. And poor placement too. One of the player starts has almost all the weapons right next to it, and the rest of the player starts? Nada.

    The map is so big that there's not that much action. More roaming around and less shooting. And when you do frag a player, you'll be running around to find another player again, who most likely spawned on the other side of the map.

    The geometry is plain simple. Some pillars, some stair-like formations, some quadrilateral sectors and at a large scale. This might have been better if it were smaller.

    The design is boring. The same wall texture everywhere. It lacks something unique.

    Overall, it is not fun at all and you have no reason to download this.

  • 1stpdie - Jeff Tunink
    Ultimate Doom - Single Player - Vanilla - 7.05 KB -
    Reviewed by: gaspe
    1stpdie is a short level that replaces E1M1. Interesting thing is that it was made with Doom Construction Kit 2.2, an editor that was used back in '95. And the map isn't good, nor difficult as advised. It's a sequence of few rooms filled with monsters with the inevitable cheesy Cyberdemon battle at the end. The room with the the barons and cacodemons was more interesting, but still there aren't any reasons to play this map.

  • 4block - Jeff Tunink
    Doom 2 - Deathmatch - Vanilla - 5.86 KB -
    Reviewed by: Not Jabba
    This deathmatch level is a set of five square rooms -- four outer ones connected to one central hub room. Players start in front of either the rocket launcher or the plasma rifle, and the BFG is in the center in what looks like an inescapable vat of nukage; if you run around frantically you'll hit a teleporter to safety eventually, so the gun may or may not be worth it. There aren't any smaller weapons. There's no detailing or decorations of any kind, and the walls are all a single texture. This looks more like a beginner's exercise in mapmaking than a playable DM level.

  • OSHIT - Jeff Tunink
    Ultimate Doom - Deathmatch - Vanilla - 1.2 KB
    Reviewed by: Not Jabba
    You (and up to three friends) start out in a small square room with a Cyberdemon and four shotguns. That's all there is to this level. I understand that everyone has to start somewhere, but there's no reason for this to be on the archive, and no reason for you to play it.

  • The Hallway of the Tempest - GTAMan13
    Doom 2 - Single Player - Vanilla - 2.77 KB -
    Reviewed by: Not Jabba
    This wad consists of three very short beginner levels. Each level is made up of two rooms with square or weirdly acute-angled corners (except for map 02, which is only one room), and each room is monotextured and empty except for a cluster or two of randomly assorted monsters. Oddly, the levels get easier as you go, but none of them offer any serious combat situations, and you can skip every one of them by just running to the exit. This was probably an exercise in mapmaking, but it appears to have very little effort put into it and isn't worth playing.

  • 100,000 Revenants - Revenant100 aka Marphy Black
    Doom 2 - Single Player - Boom Compatible - 639.85 KB
    Reviewed by: Voros
    100000 Revenants is the one of the new NUTS of 2016.

    The title screen is pretty good. Not amazing, just good.

    Let's get to it: you spawn in a room with an Icon of Sin front of you, and an exit switch. And the exit is the middle of room, surrounded by 100000 Revenants.

    My frames per second was at 1 the minute I pressed fire. And my processor could've exploded in the process. Everywhere Revenants were screeching, firing, punching and eating my device... and I'm using PrBoom+.

    Overall, it's a nice gimmick. I didn't enjoy it like a normal Doom map, but it made me laugh.

  • Hardest fight - GTAMan13
    Doom 2 - Single Player - Vanilla - 16.89 KB -
    Reviewed by: gaspe
    The Hardest Fight. And no, it isn't what the title says. It's shorter to describe to you how the "maps" are: on MAP01 you start in a room with few shotgunners, and what follows is the exit room with another few mobs in it. MAP02 is a square room with monsters in it but they don't attack you. It's probably caused by the nodes not being built properly, and checking this required more time than playing the wad itself. Avoid.

  • Moonsong - InsanityBringer
    Doom 2 - Single Player - Vanilla - 141.19 KB -
    Reviewed by: Not Jabba
    In most ways, Moonsong is just your standard medium-sized techbase level, but the starry sky and accompanying moonlit night atmosphere help to set the mood and make it more memorable. It's also very well designed for being the author's first map. It flows smoothly, the rooms are pretty well sculpted, and I didn't catch any texturing errors or other bugs (except for a Sergeant that seems to be stuck in a corner in the second room). The combat is generally pretty easy on UV, but the difficulty definitely increases over the course of the level, and the last few areas should be able to keep you on your toes without being frustrating. Up until that point, the map has a nice casual feel to it, which is aided by a fun, slightly jazzy Jimmy midi that I hadn't heard before.

    The level is pretty dark overall, especially indoors. Given the night sky, it seems kind of odd that the exterior areas are so well lit and the interiors are all so dark, but it's not exactly a bad thing; playing it, you get the impression of a very bright moon (fitting, given the level's title) and an almost completely unpowered base interior. The almost constant darkness in the early part of the level was occasionally annoying, but on the other hand, it also laid the groundwork for the map's most interesting and challenging fight -- a couple of Spectres chasing me around in the dark, visible only in my gunflashes, while I was trying to fend off several Cacodemons that were converging on me from all sides.

    Ammo was overabundant, and the author had a tendency to use Imps in large clumps that don't really pose a threat. The flaws are all minor, though, and InsanityBringer strikes me as a mapper who will continue to improve quickly and steadily. The ending text sets us up for a sequel (apparently set in Hell), and I'm looking forward to playing it.

  • Jupiter Carnage 2: To Hell And Beyond! - Bzzrak Ktazzz
    Ultimate Doom - Single Player - Vanilla - 156.04 KB -
    Reviewed by: Liberation
    Jupiter Carnage 2: To Hell And Beyond! An Ultimate Doom map running on E4M2.

    A small/medium level with a hell theme that shows a few creative ideas, but then unfortunately falls short due to some sloppy level design and bland texturing.

    The level contains a lot of small narrow corridors that lead to arenas, or a strange triangle maze with barons that get trapped. In the end, it makes for a level that's nearly as dull as dish water, saved by a few areas that ether looked interesting or did play OK.

    Bzzrak seems to have put some effort into the map; he clearly has some good ideas and knows his way around a map editor. Hopefully his next wad will be a improvement and I can recommend it.

    This map however I cannot recommend unless you have nothing better to play.

  • Twin Peaks - Patrick Boyer
    Doom 2 - Single Player - Vanilla - 106.64 KB -
    Reviewed by: Liberation
    Twin Peaks, a map01 replacement for Doom 2.

    To start off, this is the author's first map, so unfortunately it does suffer from the first map syndrome of un-aligned textures, unpegged doors, the odd HOM, and a random floating mid texture, which is a shame, as the twin peaks mechanics is kinda cool and a bit different.

    The map itself isn't bad, with one fairly decent fight around the red key, a couple of good traps, and a reasonable layout. Health and ammo was fine for the most part, but towards the end I did end up dodging some of the last enemies and concentrated on getting up the peaks to finishing the level.

    A good start for a new mapper, but could have done with more play testing, and texture variation could have definitely been a lot better. On a side note, this map requires a limit removing port even though the txt file says no; at the start you have around 350 segments facing you.

    If you have plenty of spare time or don't mind beginner wads then this is worth a bash, but if you don't then move along.

  • Don't Think of a Pinky Demon - Serge Haikin
    Ultimate Doom - Single Player - Vanilla - 77.69 KB -
    Reviewed by: Liberation
    Don't Think of a Pinky Demon, an E1M3 replacement for Ultimate Doom.

    A strange level with some good ideas that ends up rather dull. The layout itself is reasonable with a mix of corridors, massive open areas, and some leaping across platforms.

    The level itself doesn't present a massive challenge; being sniped at by hitscanners tends to be as hard as it gets. Ammo is sparse. I found myself using the pistol a lot, which isn't a massive problem, but does slow the gameplay down when you're shooting cacodemons! Health wasn't plentiful, which considering the amount of shotgunners blasting away at you was annoying, and again, slowed the gameplay down slightly.

    Texturing was rather bland but functional, alignment needs some work, and a general lack of detail doesn't help with what turns into a rather dull mission to get to the exit. The exit itself was a rather decent idea, one that will infuriate players that like 100% kills.

    I can't recommend this level overall; it's rather dull, and I was bored by halfway. If you're desperate for more Doom levels then sure, play it, but otherwise you're not missing much.

  • James Champney's Kitchen Nightmare - Richard B.
    Doom 2 - Single Player - ZDoom Compatible - 20.4 KB -
    Reviewed by: Liberation
    James Champney's Kitchen Nightmare, a map for (G)ZDoom.

    I skimmed the txt file and decided to give this short level a bash. After completing it I thought to myself, well, that's a typical 1995 wad, then it dawned on me that it needed ZDoom, and also after re-reading the txt file, it's from 2016... jeez.

    This map has to be one of the worst, soul destroying pieces of crap (am I allowed to say that?) I've been subjected to in a while. The level is very basic with hideous textures, heinous texture alignment, an easily broken teleporter for the yellow key, and I couldn't even find the blue key.

    After examining the map in SLADE it turns out that I missed some of the level, and of course I went back to double check what I had missed.

    Actually that was a lie, I couldn't face it again.

    Avoid at all costs.

  • Rock It! Electronic Edition V2.0 - Mr. Chris
    Doom/Doom 2 - N/A - Vanilla - 394.61 KB
    Reviewed by: gaspe
    Rock It! Electronic Edition V2.0 is a set of electronica and techno style midis that replaces the soundtrack of both the Doom 1 and Doom 2 IWADs, though not every track is unique as some are shared between some map slots. Honestly I don't think this is a very fitting music pack to play in the IWADs. I think this is more useful as a resource if you are looking for some songs to use in your works. There are some nice tracks and many have an interesting mood, but if you like them and if they are fitting for what you have in mind it's up to you. Keep an eye on this if you are looking for some new music tracks.

  • At Hell's Gate - Carlos Lastra
    Doom 2 - Single Player - ZDoom Compatible - 318.24 KB -
    Reviewed by: gaspe
    At Hell's Gate is a single map for ZDoom, and I guess that the author wanted to experiment with some of its features, as a few slopes and few special actions will appear, but otherwise this is pretty much like a standard limit removing map. The visuals were nice; there's some effort put on them, though they are bit chaotic in many places. It plays rather well and isn't very difficult due to the high abundance of ammo, but you will spend most of the time using the weakest weapons. It's a good level overall. It doesn't look extremely polished, but it manages to be fun.

  • Neal - Mauzki
    Doom 2 - Single Player - Vanilla - 54.07 KB -
    Reviewed by: gaspe
    Neal is a single map for Doom 2. It's the first map by the author and it definitely shows. It's very basic on all the aspects, with a linear progression of room after room with monsters just spammed in them. It isn't something that I would recommend to play.

The /newstuff Chronicles is a usually-weekly roundup of new items uploaded to the /idgames archive, and it is written entirely by community members like you. If you wish to contribute, the /newstuff Review Center is the place to do so. Register on the Doomworld Forums first if you don't already have an account, because you need one to submit reviews. Special thanks goes to the nearly 300 users who have submitted reviews over the past several years.