Welcome friends, to another installment of /newstuff. The pickings are decent this week, but unfortunately a vast majority of the maps are average at best and shithouse quality at worst. At least the authors this week were explicit about what their maps ran in.
In other news this week, there was also a demo of SL-9: Resurrection uploaded to the archive, but honestly, I don't see the point in reviewing demos unless the map is REALLY ambitious. You can give it a looksee if you want, though. But wait...an AlexMax /newstuff would never be complete without...
- Dark Barren Forest - Paul Corfiatis
ZDoom - Solo Play - 1898 KB - (img)
This is essentially a boss battle against this really quick and hard to see boss. To make matters worse, it's really dark outside, and he can screw you up really quick if you're not careful. That's...about it, but the author certainly has the mood down pat. Fun for about 10 minutes, and by then you have either beaten the boss or you've deleted this WAD from your hard drive because OH GO HERE HE COMES AGAIN @#&$*()&)!!!1111
- The death in brown and gray - Eye del Cul
Limit Removing - Solo Play - 168 KB - (img) (img) (img)
In my humble opinion, this is the one map this week that everyone should play. This reminds me of an E1 styled map, where you are more concerned about exploration and hitting switches than getting all three keys. The action is very fast paced, but never too difficult, at least not on HNTR, though your mileage may vary. Heck, the designers even dared to put in a BFG, though it had a decent enough reason for existing. Ammo at the beginning of the map was rather sparse, but it's clear the designers play tested the map to ensure the odds were never really unfair. My only gripes are are twofold, one with the switches in that they are sometimes a little bit TOO obscure to find (the one that opened the path to the red door was a puzzler for me) and that the architecture, though very nice, I think was a little bit TOO repetitive. They could have gotten rid of a number of the 'patterns' in the wall and I wouldn't have noticed the difference, and it also probably would have made the level a little bit easier to maneuver around in. Recommended, and with an AlexMax Pick of the Week seal of approval as well.
- Gloomy Sewers 1024 - Mephisto
doom2.exe - Solo Play - 34 KB - (img) (img) (img)
This is a 1024 map that takes place in the sewers. While the main texturing is uninspired at best, the trim works out well and overall it doesn't look too too bad. I did think that there were a tad too many switches in general, but that might just be because of the restrictions, so it's forgivable. It's not that difficult, all told, probably the most difficult thing in the entire map is dealing with the final two enemies, and even that is pretty trivial for most seasoned Doom vets. For what it is, it's a decent map. Give it a go.
- GO TO HELL - Paul Corfiatis
doom2.exe - Solo Play - 55 KB - (img) (img) (img)
This is a simple hell-styled map. Nothing much to say about it, because to be honest it's awfully shoot, especially for needing all three keys. Challenging? Not in the least. Texturing? Spot on, and at others times it looked completely out of place. The architecture is awfully simplistic as well, no matter how you slice it. In general, the whole map feels amateurish and unfinished. The author tries to pass this off in the text file as a map that gives off a mid-90s feel, but honestly, if I wanted a map from the mid-90s, I'd play a map from the mid-90's. The best I can say about the map is that there isn't anything really terrible about the map, no glaring errors and such, and it looks like the author gave it an honest shot. Still, not enough to save it from a recommendation to pass it by.
- NEoDM - Th0r
Skulltag - Deathmatch - 1166 KB - (img) (img) (img) (img)
The readme describes this as an interesting style of DM maps. Well, they're about halfway right, the visual style is certainly interesting, and at times, beautiful. The point of the map set is that each level, from map01 to map06, uses a different color, and black, sort of like 8BITDM. However, where 8BITDM was fun as hell to look at and play, the problem with NEoDM is that the two colors made the maps near-unnavigable, since the colors made judging simple things, like the space you were in, harder than they should have been. What's worse, the layouts themselves are either symmetrical or ludicrously bad. Seriously, when did the author think it was a great idea to deathmatch on thin white walkways overhanging damaging red slime? And hey, let's steal map07 and retexture it and call it map06. The atmosphere is there, but maybe someone should have actually tried playing it first. This gets an emphatic pass from me. Seriously Th0r, you can do better than this.
- Purged - Parapsyche
ZDoom - Solo Play - 348 KB - (img) (img) (img)
This single player WAD makes use of a story in the text file, and also sprinkled across the various terminals in-game. Problem is, the result doesn't feel very authentic. The entire experience is pretty much on a rail, there is the keyed door, and then one or two other possible place the key could be. Plus, the one 'diversion' room didn't have anything neat in it for my trouble. Visual-wise, the map looks VERY detailed, but not in a good way. Instead of jiving with the stylized look that Doom's default texture set and engine allows, he decided to do what everyone who has done at least 'realistic' wad has learned NOT to do, try and cram as much detailed line and sector work so you can replicate the look of a bed or a piece of paper or a computer keyboard to perfection. Don't do this, people, it looks terrible in Doom. Challenge-wise, I didn't like the fact that he skimped out on health early in the level, especially considering how many hitscan enemies you go up against, and if you go into the storage room, you're not compensated at all for your effort wasted in terms of health. Judging from the story, I also expected a great deal more darkness and suspense in the level, but everything was surprisingly bright and cheery. On the nitpick side of things, I didn't like the excessive use of DOORTRAK on certain walls, and none of the doors' tracks were pegged correctly, so you get to see them rise and fall with the rest of the door. I suppose this maps a fun diversion, but I have the feeling that it could have been much more...
- Twisted Metal 1024 - Mephisto
doom2.exe - Solo Play - 62 KB - (img) (img) (img)
Here's another one of those 1024 maps. The mapper made good use of that 1024, the map requires two keys and he seems to use a great deal of creative catwalks in various places. However, I do have a few nitpicks with the map. One, he uses those face-switch textures both as decoration and as switches. It only took a few more seconds to figure out what he had done, but that's bad practice in my opinion. Two, the jump-across catwalk that leads to the blue door is a pain in the neck because it's pretty easy to get hung up on a wall decoration; he should have used an impassible line there. Also, if you're not good at dealing with a reverent at melee range with ZERO maneuvering room (I'm not) you're not going to like the end of the map. Worth a try for what it is, however.
THE GODDAMN SHITHOUSE
They call it the Goddamn Shithouse. It knows the score. It gets the women. It kills the bad guys. And it's where the worst of the worst end up.
And that's it. See ya' next time, folks.
- I'm not able to do deathmatch maps but i still made it - Walter "Daimon" Confalonieri
I never thought I would ever send a set of more than one deathmatch maps to the shithouse. I was wrong. I've seen better layouts in a random DWANGO release, hell one of the maps even has a broken linedef. The maps themselves look just barely passable. This whole thing reeks of no effort, which the barely-articulate author basically admits to in the included text file. If you see a server admin running this mapset, punch him in the face.
- The Marble Demon Boss - Pure Hellspawn
Apparently, this map is a showcase for a ZDoom scripted boss character. Too bad the showcased boss sucks ass. Just jump in the air to avoid his 'attacks' and shoot the face (not the eye, the face) fourteen times to win. Yawn.
- Gamarra's story: Part I "Gamarra sucks" - Giulio Galassi
Despite the name, this is the fifth map in the Gamarra saga. That should be the end of the story, but apparently this map was made by a different author, and the original author is throwing a hissy fit over it. Funny, but the map still fails it like you would expect.