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- She-Redux (AKA The Desperate DOOMwive) - Richard Smith Long
GZDoom - Solo Play - 4947955 bytes - (img) (img) (img) (img)
Reviewed by: Rambosee
The stuff that people come up for gameplay mods never ceases to stop, filling the mod with wacky ideas that never really are fully tested for some reason. So this mod is a character and weapon mod with some minor alterations around other things; mostly this is about the weapons and you. Now Doom guy is a Doom girl who apparently hated Doom guy's stuff and replaced it with hers; sounds a lot like real life doesn't it? And what do I start with here...
The weapons. They look cool at first, and that was the problem. The author tried to make them look too cool, adding unnecessary features to most of the weapons. The chainsaw is now claws and they hit in slow swipes, but when hitting an enemy they supposedly take some health from them and give it to you. And it gives you a lot of health, falling under rape. So after seeing the claws, I moved on to the pistol. The pistol seems a little beefed up which is fine to anyone, but the alt-fire which fires a plasma beam from it is pretty much unnecessary since it makes it, first of all, weird, and second, since the levels are designed that when you get the new weapon, it gets tougher, and with the pistol section, you are guaranteed to be raping enemies until you come to the shotgun. Also there is a reload, but it is quick, far too quick.
So now the shotgun is a rip from Duke Nukem, which has been used so many times now, people just groan and skip the wad. Sadly my job was to review this wad so I had to press on. This is probably the weapon that was the most entertaining despite a major flaw in it. Now it fires as one would expect it to fire, but the alt-fire is a little bit more entertaining. You charge up one, two, etc. shots to be launched at once, and you let them all rip in one big blast, perfect for killing cacos, hell knights, and others. And now the big flaw, the reloading. You have 8 shots before you have to reload the shotgun back to the 8 shells. There is an option of reloading early, but you can still hold only a maximum of 8 shells at a time in the shotgun. The major flaw is that while reloading, you cannot suddenly stop and shoot. You have to wait while the painfully slow reload of the shotgun reloads all 8 shells, and who knows, there can be a baron near you, no escape, just one bullet needed to kill him, and you can't do shit. Seems useful, but that flaw just murders the remaining goodness the shotgun had. Speaking of which, there is no double barrel shotgun, something which will sadden everyone.
And then there is the machine gun now known as the Mosquito assault rifle. This weapon may seem entertaining at first, then it gets pretty damn boring. Normal fire which, yet again, seems to have more power and some recoil, and an alt fire which makes the weapon slower and every bullet takes 3 ammo, but nulls the recoil and makes the weapon pretty powerful. Still, it feels unbalanced like the pistol, and considering it can wipe out all enemies before the next weapon, it falls under the same category as the pistol, rape.
And here we have another rip from Duke Nukem, this time though it's the rocket launcher otherwise known as R.A.P.E. And that is the actual name for it, check the text file. And after playing with it, you understand why it's called that. The normal fire deals 1.5 damage compared to the normal rocket launcher, or so the text file says. It becomes pretty useful, mostly due to the fact of the alt-fire. Upon firing a normal rocket, you can press alt-fire to detonate the missile into 4 missiles that home in on a target, all equally as powerful. Seems like a useful weapon but alas, suffers the same dilemma as the shotgun, the reloading. This time you can only carry 5 rockets at a time, and the uninterrupted reloading stays.
Then you see the plasma rifle and you pick it up. It fires 2 plasma bullets for every single shot you take. The recoil of this weapon is absolutely horrible, and after about 1 second of shooting, you end up looking and firing at the sky. The alt-fire is somewhat useful, acting as a pipe of plasma in mid air, causing damage to all who pass through it, except you. The reload of the gun is just messed up, and I have no idea why the author didn't stick to the normal reload. In this reload, instead of ammo you have clips of ammo. If you reload a clip with remaining plasma, all that plasma is lost. A maximum of 16 clips can only be carried. So you can't reload right away, you have to shoot your whole clip out. Very bad flaw we have here, and this falls into the almost useless category.
Seeing all this, you wonder what the BFG is now. Overly, goddamn powerful, that's what it is. Basically a hell weapon, it shoots biting marks which dish out intense damage. The ammo can only be collected from certain dead enemies in the form of hearts. It can kill a cyber in about 5-7 seconds, and all you need is about 16-20 hearts. Even the recoil isn't enough to put this thing in the rape category, this weapon is in the overkill category.
The player. I admit, the HUD looks nice and all, but you cannot tell how much health you have, all you have is a bar which goes down by what, 10s? Also, if you switch the zoom so you don't see the HUD but see the health, armor, etc, most of it remains, including the woman marine face. I also found it unnecessary to draw the weapons on the HUD, covering half of it up. Plus, the player's use button when hitting something not activateable, that oof sound, it lasts simply way too long.
So to put this in quick terms, only get this wad if you are interested by it, otherwise skip this wad; this ain't no Brutal Doom.
- Etude in Blood - Charliegrolsch
ZDoom Compatible - Solo Play - 341827 bytes - (img) (img) (img) (img)
Reviewed by: st.alfonzo
The inclusion of the word "Etude" in the title of this map has left me a little confused. Certainly it is an exercise intended to develop a point of technique - namely that of flipping switches and swimming like a pro - but I would hardly consider switch hunting to be artistic, and with D_RUNNIN wringing what's left of your sanity out in the background it's not as though there's really anything left to draw connotation with music. The Blood part of the title at least makes itself apparent, though. And in a big way.
Charliegrolsch's first ever release is a high shout above many of the other first maps I've had the displeasure of playing. It's sufficiently detailed (architecturally lacking and symmetrical, perhaps, but well detailed), well scripted, coherently themed and, if you can IDMUS your way out of the discomfort zone in time so as to not become biased and bad tempered, entertaining enough to hold interest. Yet it's also an incredibly demanding piece of work, requiring that you not only be the sort of person whose patience isn't as thin as wrapping paper, what with the objective centring almost entirely around activating a series of 17 skull switches, but also that you really enjoy swimming - in blood no less - and relish the sensation of bullets on your face as you try to cope with the less likely but still prevalent threat of drowning. And becoming HIV positive.
Swimming combat was never a favourite of mine, then, no. When being made to shoot at things above the surface in particular I too often begin slamming the jump button, struggling to keep my aim steady as ZDoom's faulty buoyancy tosses me about like a plane in high turbulence. But maybe that's just me! If you're not too off put by this defining standard of play then you'll certainly find yourself enjoying the map's finer points a lot more.
The gameplay is reasonable, but not without fault. Aside from the whole swimming palaver and switch flipping there's the no small matter of ammo discrepancy, lack of armor, and frequent monster imbalance to deal with. Without finding the secret Super Shotgun, for instance (Ultra-Violence tested), you wind up having to combat the vast majority of Hell Knights, Cacodemons and Revenants using only the single barrel, which is not only tedious but enforced thanks to an overabundance of shells. The end result is a map that is probably a little more difficult than it needs to be, and which will likely hit home with some but miss the mark completely with others, demanding the highest level of patience and the greatest tolerance toward the inevitable, but in this case largely overcomes errors of the first time mapper.
An ambitious goal and a decent enough effort from Charliegrolsch for a first release, I would very much like to see how his maps develop in future if he wishes to continue mapping. Check this one out if you have the time, or if you fit the above criteria!
- Mountain Fortress - Demmon Break Master
Heretic Support - Solo Play - 103050 bytes - (img) (img) (img)
Reviewed by: Kirby
And now, as I have tons of free time on my hands, I return to the fray of map reviewing. As duly noted by st.alfonzo in the past /newstuff Chronicles, there is a SLEW of unchecked maps just waiting to be picked up by someone, waiting to be reviewed and judged by the public while wallowing in the darkness of a seemingly endless pit.
And I am happy to say that the first one I picked up is quite nice.
Mountain Fortress is a Heretic level replacement for E2M8 which uses the intro track RISE.MID from ROTT as the level's music. I am always skeptical as to how good a level will be based on its star rating within /idgames (I was even skeptical at the use of RISE.MID for the music), so I went into this one open-mindedly. Needless to say I was rewarded with a great Heretic map.
The map is what you would call short and sweet - it contains 30 monsters and just the right amount of ammo/arsenal to get the job done. The architecture is superb - just the right amount of detail to make you want to play through to the end while enjoying your surroundings. For the map's design style I'd say Demmon Break Master hit the nail on the head with this one. It's a well balanced map that looks good and plays through in about 5 minutes or less. While that's fairly short I can still whole-heartedly recommend this to any fan of Heretic.
God knows we need some good Heretic maps, and this one fits the bill quite well. I hope to see more from Demmon Break Master - I daresay he could be quite a good mapper in the near future.
- Sopmod v1.1 - William Layton -- "Toughguy"
Vanilla - n/a - 62649 bytes - (img)
Reviewed by: Kirby
So earlier when I mentioned the bit about reviews and ratings on /idgames keeping me open minded I stumbled across this wad which was in need of a review. A weapons replacement mod, mind you.
You could just stick to the reviews over in /idgames, but I'll lay it out for you briefly.
Slot 1 - Horrible, awkward looking knife animation. Stab people. Alternate slot for Chainsaw is the EXACT SAME THING, with an extra animation or two in there so you can somehow justify why this knife is better than the other one.
Slot 2 - M4 Rifle. Fires like a Chaingun, only more powerful.
Slot 3 - Same thing as slot 2. Different Ammo.
Slot 3 Alternate (SSG) - Same thing as slot 3. Same ammo.
Slot 4 - Same thing as slot 2. Same ammo.
Slot 5 - M203 grenade launcher attachment. May as well be the rocket launcher with a new skin and slower firing rate due to the animation of having to reload a new grenade after every shot.
Slot 6 - Same thing as slot 2. Different ammo. But WAIT! Could it BE?! A.....A NEW MUZZLE FIRING ANIMATION!!!! WOW!!!!!
Slot 7 - M249 Automatic Rifle as it is described in the text. Apparently the author doesn't know what a machine gun is. For all intensive purposes it is THE EXACT SAME GUN WITH A DIFFERENT SKIN. And more power at that.
Yep, that's about it. Oh wait, there's a bug with the SSG version, something about needing 2 shells to fire. Oh well.
- Happy Frickin Birthday 40oz - Philnemba
Vanilla - Solo Play - 17745 bytes - (img)
Reviewed by: Snakes
What can you say about a wad like this? It wasn't made for anything but fun (and a nod to 40oz's DOB), and the build time was 25 minutes. That should be the first sign of what you can expect from this map.
Essentially, what we have here is a single GSTONE room with 2 blue armors, 2 soulspheres, a BFG with ammo ++, and a single invulnerability. As soon as you touch that BFG, you get ambushed from either flank by a 72 cacos. It was pretty snooze-worthy, but then 15 cybies slowly flooded into the map to add to the wacky on-goings... Come to think of it, it was still pretty snooze-worthy.
It might make for good practice in BFG skills, but beyond that, not much worth looking at. Phil has made plenty of other maps, and any of those are worth checking first. On the plus side, it uses a pretty sweet MIDI.
- Year 23 -The Belly of the Beast- - Eric "The Green Herring" Baker
Boom Compatible - Solo Play - 1151329 bytes - (img) (img) (img) (img)
Reviewed by: Kirby
I still occasionally wonder how maps upon maps sit in the dark gathering dust due to either a lack of reviewers (which I highly doubt) or a general lack of interest in the maps themselves. The reason I wonder this is because after I saw this map was authored by The Green Herring, current CC4 project leader (whom I still owe a map for - I promise I'm still working on it -.-), I immediately jumped at the chance to review it with some fairly high expectations.
I was not disappointed.
Year 23 is the third map in the Year series TGH has worked on over the last couple of years. At this point the third installment takes off just after the point of where the second one ended. You've now ended up in hell and in order to get out you must go through. Subsequently TGH uses nothing more than a combination of red, black, and orange to highlight the dark and devilish atmosphere of the hell the player has landed in, and it works well. The map is woven into several sections that you must fight through in order to activate 4 separate switches that will ultimately lead you to the exit. Your problem is simply getting there.
The level is packed with monsters in a skillful manner, very much the same way it was done in Scythe 2. You are pitted against hordes upon hordes of monsters with nothing more than the basic weaponry which requires you to pay attention to your surroundings and your ammo. It is an absolute requirement that you are quick on your feet and can react fast to monster traps which you will find around every other corner in this level (I actually had to load one save five times because I couldn't anticipate what to do in one particular trap). Several secrets are around which can prove invaluable if you are having a tough time, but you also have to keep a sharp eye out to figure out where they are hidden.
The biggest thing that stood out to me in this map was the ever-changing landscape (or cavernscape, if that is even a word). TGH has made it so that with each trigger or switch you activate the large hellish cavern shifts form to open up new pathways and expose you to lines of monsters just when you think you are safe. In the end it all connects back upon itself, revealing where you've been and opening the way for where you are going.
Long story short - I highly recommend this one. If you are a fan of Scythe and like a good challenge you will certainly enjoy the gameplay. The detail is good and the map a whole fits very well together. If you've got nothing better to do, load this baby up and strap in 'cause it's a wild ride.
- Base of Sacrificium - Paul Corfiatis (pcorf)
Vanilla - Solo Play - 82398 bytes - (img) (img) (img)
Reviewed by: Snakes
Yet another single Doom map, this time brought to us by community veteran and Cacoward-winner Pcorf. Needless to say, quality is guaranteed. The only question is: how much?
Well, it's a good looking map to start with. Taken directly from the Mapper's Guide for Inferno, this has E3 all about it. Sure, it's cleaner and more polished than Petersen's maps ever were, but in all honesty, it should be. Probably the real negative about it is that BFG secret area. It's taken directly from E3M1, and let's face it: we all prefer more original ideas in maps like these. Is the nod worth the paper bricks? Not in my eyes.
Oh, my favorite thing about this map was probably the secrets. There's plenty to be found. Some are intuitive, like the plasma rifle, while others require a degree of guesswork (aforementioned BFG). Whether or not you find these will change your perception not only about the challenge, but about the map as a whole. Seriously, there needs to a non-secret weapon that isn't the shotgun/chaingun, because that's just tedious to play. Other than that minor fault, fun stuff.
I'd throw this one in the above-average category. If I'm not mistaken, this was originally intended for Hellbent's "Doom the Way id Did" project. Not much of a wonder as to why it was released as a standalone: this is more "Doom the way Pcorf Did." ...
Not that there's anything wrong with that.
- 21?! - Wraith
Heretic Support - Solo Play - 3978788 bytes - (img)
Reviewed by: The Ultimate DooMer
Protip: Health is needed to survive, especially on maps with 500+ mobs and big traps full of them with not much room to play in...consequently I had to restart this map partway through and scum save a lot in order to finish it. In fact it's so rare you'd think it was a powerup or something (there's very little of those too), and it does affect what is otherwise a fine map. It looks pretty good, has plenty of action and has some neat set-pieces too. It's worth playing, but you'll need a bit of luck with mob item drops and not take many hits to win.
- Outbreak - Wraith
Vanilla - Solo Play - 46494 bytes - (img) (img)
Reviewed by: Malinku
Here is a map that starts out as a fine typical 3 star map but turns out to be much worse. The majority of the map is spent running in cramped hallways killing things with a shotgun or chaingun. When the room does open up you have to fight a randomly selected horde of monsters that come at you from many different angles and heights. The first of the three large rooms is just a bunch of hit scanners with one lone revenant (not a bad fight and holds much needed ammo). The second features a archvile, revenant, arachnotron, and a few imps. That room is very annoying with the weapons you are given (if you are not a pro at killing an archvile like me).
The last of the three is a dark courtyard that features a few spider masterminds along with a few revenants, baron/hell knights, Mancubus, a caco, and more hitscanners. This is one of the most annoying/hard areas even with the soulsphere.
The rest of the playing area is just cramped hallways and rooms. Two of the rooms (the one below the blue key and the one down the pointless hallway before the first switch) have really annoying teleporting fights. The worst part is the spider masterminds hallways in the red door area. They are long, dark and really hard to get past with the amount of ammo you are given.
Overall this is a really poor map that features a hidden auto map, shoddy gameplay and just plane weird detail and layout. It does feature DM starts but on a map like this they are worthless. So this gets added to the avoid list.
- Chris's Hangar - Mr. Chris
ZDoom Compatible - Solo Play - 37150 bytes - (img) (img)
Reviewed by: Kirby
This is Mr. Chris' own re-envisioning of E1M1 apparently created out of boredom. The map itself is faithful to the design ethics of the original E1M1, save for one room with a white compwall (screen #2) and an added helipad out in the poison pit area. Other than that it's nothing more than someone's simple remake of The Hangar, complete with difficulty settings. No additional details or textures used - just a bare-bones remake. The only thing that annoyed me was the secret, which didn't stand out quite so much (I could just be bitching, feel free to check yourself).
Expect out of this what you would out of E1M1 - nothing more, nothing less. On a separate note you will need the latest version of ZDoom to run it, else you will find errors with the MAPINFO lump.
- Small Dark Twisted Computer Lab - James "Phobus" Cresswell
ZDoom Compatible - Solo Play - 54679 bytes - (img) (img)
Reviewed by: Rambosee
As the name suggests, this map is relatively small, twisted, and has a tech theme, but is not dark. Starting off in hallway with already 3 paths to take, this map is very much non-linear. Playing the wad on UV, the gameplay is always smooth and there is never a dull moment.
ZDoom features such as slopes were used well, especially in the generator part. The difficulty on this map is very nice and the ammo and health were never short, although there are some pretty mean tricks pulled (I'm looking at you, arch vile room). Due to the non-linear gameplay, the difficulties depend on the way it is played, like after activating a lift you could either end up in a safe room or be literally face to face with 2 mancubuses depending on the way you played. The 2 secrets that are hidden in the map both involve switches, and you have to have a really good eye for switches in the middle of nowhere in order to find them. Well, you only need that eye for the first secret, since the second switch is fairly easy to see. The architecture is very good in terms of looks and it was enjoyable the whole way through.
Any Doomer seeking for a challenge or just something to have fun with should find this map right on their prescription on the top. The map is evil in some places, so unexperienced Doomers need save games, or else some parts are going to murder them if they are not careful (I'm looking at you again, arch vile room). Why are you still reading this? Click that link already and get this map!
- X-mas E1 Map - Andrew "Malinku" Rehberger
Limit Removing - Solo Play - 53911 bytes - (img) (img)
Reviewed by: Snakes
Whenever I download a speedmap, I know I'm taking a bit of a risk. There's only so many mappers who can pull it off: 40oz, Eternal, etc. It's an art I can acknowledge and appreciate from a distance, but once I get up close and personal with it, my reactions are always mixed. That's to be expected I guess.
After playing this, I can breath a little easier. While E1CM won't go down as an end-all be-all Doom map, it's more than serviceable. Malinku's style is showcased quite well, with the abundance of 45-degree architecture and single-switch adventures. The formula's a classic one for a reason: it works. Mix that with a episode-1 theme, shake 'n bake, and you'll inevitably wind up with a map like this.
Gameplay can be a fairly standard affair. All of the enemies are of the low-level variety (save for that last double-baron fight), and unless you find the first secret, you'll play 95% map strictly shotgunning monsters at various heights and ranges. Simple Simon. The only drawback is a complete absence of traps, which made the flow suffer, albeit minimally.
So, on the whole shot, E1CM is a short little blast of a map that neither thrives nor dies when compared to its speedmap brethren. For a good challenge, up the ante and play it with -fast.
- Darkening Episode 2 Texture Wad - Ola Björling, Jan Van der Veken, Nick Baker
n/a - n/a - 2287737 bytes
Reviewed by: MegaDoomer
This is a set of the textures from Episode 2 of the classic "Darkening" project, released way back over a decade ago. As was clearly shown by that wad, these are high quality textures with somewhat of a Quake (2) like look in parts, that may well be worth borrowing and/or using in a project.
- Tech Crazy - Mr. Chris
Vanilla - Solo Play - 33856 bytes - (img) (img)
Reviewed by: Snakes
Like short, easy, base-themed blasts? Tech Crazy's probably right up your alley, then. A single, Doom 2 map stylistically similar to MAP04, it's got that Mr. Chris feel going on for it.
That is: plays well, slightly rough in the visuals, and above all else, short. It's kind of like the punk music of Doom mapping, in a way. The production values aren't really polished, it's incredibly quick to play, but for all of the little nitpicks I could go after, I honestly like it. Really, who can complain about a solid Doom map? Not this guy.
There's got a be a better flat to match TEKGREN than FLAT20 for those windows, though.
Really, other than the length and a shaky teleporter trap near the end, there's not much to fault about this one. Go ahead and waste 2 or 3 minutes if you feel the need.
- Castle of Combat for HERETIC, REG ONLY - Martin E. Ferris
Heretic Support - Solo Play - 52424 bytes - (img)
Reviewed by: The Ultimate DooMer
Here we have an old AD&D inspired map for Heretic, part of a series of such maps. This one looks pretty much like an old RPG...a series of identikit flat square rooms with the odd passage. Open door, kill mobs, loot items, rinse and repeat until you're back in the hub room to press the next switch, rinse and repeat until you find the exit. Too many items, too much ammo although the mob count isn't too bad. Not particularly inspiring.