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The /newstuff Chronicles #408

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  • Doom: RV-007's Doom 1 and 2 Animilation Players Scaled v16 - RV-007
    Doom/Doom 2 - GZDoom - N/A - 17304232 bytes - (img)
    Reviewed by: The Green Herring
    This is a set of high-resolution player skins consisting of five anime girls created using a pornographic PC game, as the author's strange warning about "adulterated content" indicates. Whether or not the author knows that people usually call it "adult content," or, God forbid, "pornography," is a topic for another time. It also goes without saying that admitting that said content "might thread towards pedophilia" is not the best way to endear yourself to your audience.

    Anyway, what you get in this pack are three varieties of schoolgirls, a dark-skinned girl in a hilariously impractical ninja outfit (that the author equally hilariously calls the "samurai"), and some sort of succubus. Their sprites are, of course, cropped from screenshots of the game with different weapons added on and converted to the Doom palette. The perils of using glorified paper dolls (besides the complete loss of face that comes from admitting to such) are apparent here, as despite having different hair, eye colors, skin tones, and outfits, they all have the same face and body type. On top of that, the poses they're put in are all near-identical, with only the "maid's" weapon-holding poses and the succubus' attack animation differing slightly. Adding to the feeling they're all clones is that they all draw from the same pool of sound effects, a set of high-pitched yells and moans (some of which may not have been intended as moans of pain) that will grate on your ears. And just in case you thought the content wasn't from a porn game, the schoolgirls all flash their panties when they're gunned down. The whole thing comes off as creepy — except that wasn't what the author intended.

    Overall, this goes to show that a "create-a-girl" program is no substitute for actually drawing or modeling them. Doing so takes far more effort, but it means you can make them look and move any way you want, and it also doesn't tell people you're a creep the same way it does admitting you used a program made specifically for horny teenagers and dirty old businessmen. Skip this one and preserve your dignity.

  • Moderator's Nightmare: Two-Sectored Trash - drkugelschreiber
    Doom 2 - ZDoom Compatible - Solo Play - 878763 bytes - (img) (img)
    Reviewed by: Dragonsbrethren
    "Trash" sums this up pretty well. 20 puzzle maps that take place in a square within another square - this wad didn't even have the decency to try pushing the boundaries for two sector level design! None of the puzzles are particularly creative, and most of the maps tend to involve simply surviving monster hoards and getting to the boundary of one of the sectors. Really not worth playing.

  • Dicwad - The Dictator
    Doom 2 - Vanilla - SP/DM - 78386 bytes - (img) (img)
    Reviewed by: Dragonsbrethren
    Another old 90's reupload; no idea what year this is from since the original timestamps are gone. It's a pretty small map where you fight a cyberdemon. Architecturally it's a combination of boxy rooms/corridors and odd angles, like the author was trying to mimic the style used by the iwad levels but not quite getting it right. Doors stretch all the way to the tall ceilings rather than being placed into alcoves. Texture-wise it's pretty random, yet consistent between areas, sort of like an E2 map. The gameplay works well enough, but it's pretty easy, and the cyberdemon tends to get stuck in the rooms at the start area making it a non-issue. There's a new sound for when you gib enemies and a new midi. This one's probably not worth your time.

  • The Cemetery - Plut
    Doom 2 - Limit Removing - Solo Play - 1016062 bytes - (img) (img)
    Reviewed by: Dragonsbrethren
    This is a supposedly vanilla compatible map that isn't completable with vanilla. You'll need a limit-removing port that allows you to walk through blocking things to play this. Given how large some of the areas are, it would likely visplane or drawseg overflow if it could even be loaded in vanilla without giving an error about the number of lumps.

    If there's one word that sums up this wad it's repetition. The area that leads out into the graveyard requires you to do the exact same thing three times; the graveyard is just a bunch of raised sectors (tombstones) copied and pasted in a square box, and that box is copied and pasted four times. Some rooms, like the one leading to the yellow key and even the start area, seem obnoxiously big for no good reason. There are plenty of new textures taken from a variety of sources, and they're used fairly well, so that's a plus.

    Gameplay's not very difficult, provided the first arch-vile doesn't blast 80% of your health away like it did to me on my first playthrough. The monster encounters are relatively small, and you have enough ammo to deal with them, but access to health is limited. There's enough health, maybe even too much, but it's spaced pretty far apart and you'll have to backtrack if you need it.

    The large areas, small number of monsters, and potential need to backtrack kind of kills the pacing, and that paired with the bland, repetitive architecture just made this wad really boring to me. I'm no fan of slaughter wads, but I just think the monster count is too low for the size of these areas.

  • Base32 - Caleb "Radromity" Sizemore
    Doom 2 - Limit Removing - Solo Play - 47535 bytes - (img) (img) (img)
    Reviewed by: ReX
    This is a single map for Doom 2, and (despite the absence of this particular detail in the text file) it appears to be one of the author's first maps. (A search of the idgames database shows a wad named Outpost, released by the same author in August 2011.) The map is competent, showing some areas of promise, but it has the stamp of an author new to Doom mapping. Health and armor are moderately well-balanced, but there is an excess of ammo and weaponry, considerably reducing the tension and excitement in the game.

    First, the good: This map has a decent-enough design, with occasional side areas and a "loop around" progression that shows areas that you will visit/have visited. There is some back-tracking required, and a nice mix of indoor/outdoor areas. The architecture remains techbase-themed throughout, with some nice gradation in the appearance of the areas (e.g., some areas are computer rooms, some are corridors, one area is a pipe-filled sewer, and the exit is a surreal pit). Some of the areas (e.g., the start area, the central outdoor area, and the exit area) have an appealing look, and there is height variation throughout. The early fights are somewhat enjoyable, and there are a couple of traps that may keep you on your toes. The single secret area is cleverly hidden and appropriately marked; as a bonus, it takes you back to the start area if you wish to cut across and go back.

    Next, the bad: There is an excessive amount of ammo throughout the map. I played at UV skill, and exited the map with 197 bullets, 92 shells, and 11 rockets. And I was being liberal with my ammo usage. The map includes a rocket-launcher, which is entirely redundant, as the toughest enemies you face are demons (and mostly at distances that allow you to snipe at them with a shotgun). Moreover, the author does not make you work for most of the weapons and power-ups. There is a liberal sprinkling of health, but the SoulSphere near the map exit seemed entirely gratuitous. Thankfully, the blue armor is only available in a secret area.

    Finally, the ugly: The author has not paid attention to texture alignment and texture unpegging. The backtracking, of which I spoke earlier, is mostly pointless (as no new enemies pop up in previously-cleared spaces). The blue key is right behind the yellow key door and there are no enemies guarding it. And let's not forget the lift to the chaingun and ammo alcove at [x = 1360; y = -1000], which does not have a switch to lower the lift once you step onto the alcove, effectively locking you in. All of these give the map a clearly amateurish air.

    The author seems to have a good eye for visuals, but can learn a lot about creating exciting and challenging gameplay. However, given that this is probably one of his early maps, let's give him a free pass on this one.

  • Anacoluthon - SonicIce
    Doom 2 - Vanilla - Solo Play - 9233 bytes - (img) (img)
    Reviewed by: udderdude
    Crappy jokewad-ish map with almost zero effort put into it. Takes less than 5 minutes to play. Avoid.

  • Operation Body Count guns - ZR_Dragon
    Doom 2 - ZDoom Compatible - N/A - 781714 bytes - (img) (img)
    Reviewed by: Dragonsbrethren
    Like the title says, this is a collection of new weapons with sprites ripped from Operation Body Count. OBC was built on the Wolfenstein 3D engine, which had a limit of 64x64 for its sprites, so as you can imagine they're fairly small in Doom. I do have to admit that the OBC artists did a really good job with their weapons; they're much more identifiable than Wolfenstein 3D's vague gun shapes, although the quality is well below the level of the default Doom weaponry simply due to their size. It also looks like some of their color range has suffered from being converted to Doom's palette.

    So are the weapons any good? They're passable, but they're nothing you haven't seen before. The fist hits faster and the pistol fires faster. The "onebarrel" shotgun fires more pellets, has a wider spread, and takes longer to pump. The SSG has been replaced by a "good accuracy machinegun", an MP5 that fires similar to a chaingun with vertical spread, while the chaingun is now the "little but fucking fast gun", an Uzi that pretty much lives up to that name, being less accurate than the MP5 but much faster. The rocket launcher fires a glowing trail of sprites but behaves the same as always. The plasma gun is the most changed, a flamethrower, but again it's something that has been done plenty of times before.

    This wad's got a few bugs, too. The chainsaw can be picked up, but can't be manually selected, only automatically. The BFG can't be picked up at all, and can't even be cheated into the inventory. The ZDoom smoke particle effect for rockets doesn't line up properly with the rocket replacement, so the smoke trail is much higher than the rocket.

    I'm not a big fan of weapon-only mods to begin with, and this one definitely doesn't seem worth your time. It brings nothing new to the table, outside of the weapon sprites, which don't fit Doom at all due to their size.

  • Beef Balogna - kaiser_wilhelm2
    Doom 2 - Boom Compatible - Solo Play - 22229 bytes - (img) (img) (img) (img) (img) (img)
    Reviewed by: glenzinho
    Here is a good, short beginner map from this author. Not a single texture out of place and couple of good bits of detailing. Excellent nice 'n' quick blast level, enemies are the hitscanner gang, a few imps and a couple of demons. Author states that it should be for ZDoom or Boom but I can't see anything that would prevent it running on vanilla (no I didn't and am not going to test it.)

    Verdict: Download for 2 minutes of Doomy fun. I give it two shots out of a bottle of Glenfiddich. And a third shot after it's over.

  • 30,000 Levels - Doomguy 2000
    Doom 2 - Boom Compatible - Solo Play - 10303791 bytes - (img) (img)
    Reviewed by: The Green Herring
    This apparent joke WAD, three months in the making, puts the player inside of a 64×64×128 box with nothing in it except themselves and a switch directly in front of them. Press the switch and the level ends. The "joke" is that the WAD consists of 30,000 levels exactly like this; only the music differs, starting with every 32 levels the first two times, and then every 100 levels for the rest. It reminds me of Congestion: 64, which is miles above this WAD as 1) it ended before wearing out its welcome (it's just 32 levels, like any full megawad), 2) it did something different in every level, and 3) it had a purpose beyond reaching an attention-grabbing milestone (parodying Congestion 1024). Skip this one and play that instead.

    P.S. It took 24 seconds for this WAD to load. Meanwhile, Stronghold, which is a little over fifteen times as large in filesize, only took 3. When a WAD with so little content in comparison takes eight times as long to load, you're doing something wrong.

  • Doomers.wad - Dave Kernen
    Doom 2 - Vanilla - Deathmatch - 50904 bytes - (img) (img) (img) (img) (img) (img) (img)
    Reviewed by: glenzinho
    Here's an old mid-90s wad that has been recently uploaded for "historical" purposes (thanks Perseus). The text file claims it's for E2M1 or MAP01, but only MAP01 is present here.

    Designed for deathmatch, although single play is possible with an exit accessible from the second floor bedroom window. The enemies are mostly hitscanners with a couple of demons thrown in for your gaming pleasure.

    This map is based on that old ever popular concept of "my house." Although it's been done to death, this is probably one of the nicer looking ones, but that ain't saying much. It actually is quite pleasant to look at, and it cleverly utilizes the teleporter on stairs trick to give the illusion of two stories. Love the snakeskin decor in the bedroom and living room.

    A couple of gripes is that there are a LOT of secrets, of which all of them are in very non-obvious places and blended into the walls with no clues as to their existence. There is a swimming pool outside that is flagged impassable for no discernible reason other than to keep one lousy chaingunner inside. Haven't played deathmatch in a while but it doesn't seem that it would have that nice deathmatch flow. Also, WTF is up with that blue key strip as a texture in that upstairs room and the red rock room? Totally out of place in this map.

    Verdict: For historical buffs. You're not really going to get too much enjoyment from single play on this, and the lack of deathmatch flow and ton of secrets that only the author would know would make multiplayer not much fun at all.

    I give this two shots of scotch out of a bottle of Johnnie Walker.

  • Ohno Ver 1.1 - David B. Cox
    Doom 2 - Vanilla - Solo Play - 38950 bytes - (img) (img) (img) (img)
    Reviewed by: glenzinho
    Aaah the 90s.... I remember those. I remember that the weed was pretty awesome back then too, which must explain this "map." What can you say about 50 odd rooms which are exactly the same (until you get near the end, if you are mentally unfit enough to see this through that far), filled with sergeants, imps, demons and a baron. Or sometimes two Barons. Or sometimes just sergeants. Or sometimes just imps and demons... you get the point. If you make it far enough, you'll see a Cyberdemon! Yay! [/sarcasm]

    Check the screens, this is what it looks like folks... all the time. 50 glorious STARTAN covered rooms at full/near full brightness.

    Textures are all perfect, which wasn't common in 95, however when you're only using 3 different ones in a map they should be! (And 1 of those is the end switch!)

    Gameplay: Kill lots of sergeants, imps, demons and the odd baron in long narrow rooms with only shotgun, chaingun and plasma rifle... wash, rinse, spin, repeat. Needless to say it gets old VERY soon.

    On a side thought I wonder why this was made for Doom 2 when it uses none of the new features?

    Recommendation? A kick in the nuts with spike covered boots would be less painless and perhaps even more intelligent.

  • Dances with Hellspawn - David J Finnamore
    Doom 2 - Limit Removing w/ MP3 Support - Solo Play - 3129741 bytes - (img)
    Reviewed by: Herculine
    This map is a large symmetrical thing with rooms that open or close as the player crosses certain lines, giving it the feel of a slaughter map if you move too far too fast. Alert, cautious players will likely find it challenging but not impossible, while players with less experience will likely have a difficult time clearing it. My strategy was to head for the outer hallway and let the released monsters play around in the central room where I could pick them off at my leisure, occasionally peeking into one of the rooms forming the inner ring to grab much-needed supplies. Provoking infighting among the enemy seemed like a must to complete the level, and I even managed to get the Arch-vile to do most of the necessary damage to the Spider Mastermind before I decided to kill them both. With a bit of frantic running around, it's also possible to get the keys and reach the exit without having to kill everything.

    Some recolored textures were well-used to give the map a unique look, and the music track fits the atmosphere well; I thought the new door sounds were unnecessary. Out of habit I generally open a PWAD with an editor like SlumpED before I actually play it, just to see what's in it and to avoid being assaulted by images of Justin Bieber or the like. In doing so this time I discovered a large assortment of unaltered flats packed into the WAD that apparently have no purpose but to bloat the file size.

    Overall, I felt that this map is not an appropriate pistol-start MAP01 (though it's not impossible to beat it as such), and that it would be better-suited as a "super-secret" level like "GROSSE" (the first map it reminded me of). If the author cleans the superfluous content out of the file and can find a community project somewhere willing to include the map, I think he'll be good to go.

  • The Sixth Hour - Dragonsbrethren
    Ultimate Doom - Vanilla - Solo Play - 25437 bytes - (img) (img) (img) (img) (img) (img)
    Reviewed by: Matt534Dog
    The Sixth Hour is an E4-themed level replacement for E4M7 of Ultimate Doom. The level itself is fairly short and contained, yet it really captures the E4 vibe, at least, in terms of visuals. The enemies are placed well, although they don't provide much of a challenge at all. This is where I believe the level falls flat. It's not very challenging at all, even on UV, which was very disappointing; what made E4 stand out from the rest of Ultimate Doom, in terms of design, was its balls-to-the-wall difficulty.

    The actual design layout of the map is very compact, yet still gives the player plenty of room to maneuver. There are only two secrets in this map, both of which are useful, and both of which I found on my first playthrough. The item placement is pretty nice; I was never placed in a situation where I ran out of ammo completely or came dangerously close to dying. There are a few optional side areas to explore, which don't ruin the fast-paced flow of the map.

    This level, according to the text file, took about six hours to make, without using Doom Builder's 3D Mode. While this isn't really on par with Perfect Hatred, this map is still very well done; the enemy/object placement (difficulty aside) is great; the design is short, but well put together; and the visuals seal the deal in terms of making an E4 style map, and are doubly impressive when you consider that this was completely designed in 2D mode. If you are looking for a short, E4-style map which is a bit on the easy side, definitely give this map a go.

  • The Infested Hideout - Paul Corfiatis (pcorf)
    Doom 2 - Limit Removing - Solo Play - 112458 bytes - (img) (img) (img) (img)
    Reviewed by: Dragonsbrethren
    This is a vanilla style wad with two maps. MAP01 has a mishmash of themes; there are tech, stone, and brick areas. The map is pretty linear but loops around on itself in such a way that it masks it pretty well. Lighting is well done, with some nice gradients in places. Unfortunately, despite its looks this map isn't actually vanilla compatible and it will crash right before collecting the yellow key. MAP02 is a small tech base arena where you fight arachnotrons, an arch-vile, and a cyberdemon. Both maps are fun, and this wad's definitely worth a download.

  • Whack - Mr. Chris
    Doom 2 - Vanilla - Solo Play - 44502 bytes - (img)
    Reviewed by: Herculine
    While I wouldn't recommend this map to any first-time Doomers, I found it both challenging and enjoyable on the ultra-violence setting. At first I thought the ammo and health might be a bit too scarce, but I stuck with it and found enough of both to complete the level without finding any secrets. Sloppy ammo-wasters likely won't make it through this one though.

    The level design is compact and basic but not simplistic; Mr. Chris obviously put some thought into designing it so that players have both a right way and a wrong way to clear each phase of the level. Overall, Whack has a good Doom II feel to it and will remain in my WAD collection to be played again.

Does this /newstuff Chronicles suck? Does your wise ass think you can write better reviews than these jerkoffs? Then get over to the /newstuff Review Center and help out. I know you must have a Doomworld Forums account because you like griping about every edition in the comment thread, but if you don't, you need to get one to submit reviews.

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Well that was fast with the next installment of Newstuff chronicles. Hey thanks for reviewing my joke wad.

The Japanese school girls wad by RV-007 was somewhat interesting but also lags your PC probably because of the 1024x768 sprites.

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Bloodshedder said:

Operation Body Count. OBC was built on the Wolfenstein 3D engine, which had a limit of 64x64 for its sprites...

OBC actually had 128x64 gun sprites (it stuck two 64x64 graphics together). Though in pratice, most of the sprites only used something like 96 pixels of the width.

Also, OBC didn't have a fist or pistol weapon; they were something this mods author added.

Bit strange when he could have used the tazor thing from the demo version of OBC to cover one of them. It was a weapon that didn't make it to the final version; the OBC demo features material that didn't make it to the final game.

The mod author also didn't use the original sound effects for the weapons or pickup or projectile sprites.

But then, the mod author does state in the mod readme that he's never actually played OBC...

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Nice range of review styles and subjects here. I suspect "Dicwad" was only made because the author found the name funny, TBH :P

Certainly a few highlights in the bunch this time around, but nothing particularly special.

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Vermil said:

OBC actually had 128x64 gun sprites (it stuck two 64x64 graphics together). Though in pratice, most of the sprites only used something like 96 pixels of the width.

I meant to check that out (the sprites looked bigger than 64x64 to me), but I forgot to before my review was approved.

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I thought Moderator's Nightmare was pretty clever, with many interesting\funny situations and surreal atmosphere.

Anacoluthon is worth downloading just for the music.

And 30 000 Levels is awesome just because it exists. :)

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from credits to the anime sprites thing:
Mircosoft Corp. (?William Henry "Bill" Gates III?), mspaint.exe (Microsoft Paint); Image painting application for editing images for a pixel clean up. It is like 'pimping' the sprite's overall image. Included with Microsoft Windows 1.0 and later Windows operating systems. This program is the essential application to do all the pixel clean up.

this made my day.

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Hey those aren't STARTAN textures in the Ohno screenshots. They look more like BROWN96 or something like that. Which means the author put some effort into selecting textures, because DEU defaults to STARTAN3 (I think).

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(...) I'm not a big fan of weapon-only mods to begin with (...)

Then why review one in the first place? :-)

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glenzinho said about Beef Balogna:
Limit Removing

Nope! As it implies on the text file, it uses at least one Boom line type, so when I tried playing it on an otherwise vanilla limit removing engine, it broke. Part of the reason we use the chronicles is to find out if WADs work in the engines or settings we prefer, and sometimes the text file is wrong and that may be corrected in the review or its tech specs, so let's get this stuff right so as to not cause confusion!

I mean, I did check the text file myself but I thought "maybe this guy checked and noticed it does work on plain limit removing behavior."

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I wonder if it's possible to write a tool for checking PWADs, to see if they use any special Boom or other non-vanilla stuff, like linedef types, things, new textures (that aren't shipped in the PWAD), flats used on sidedefs, etc. Is there any reason this couldn't work?

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Unfortunetely, Base32 isn't quite limit removing; sector 67 features that old ZDoom tag 0 behaviour.

Though you don't have to go in there to complete the map.

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Yea, my Whack was something made because I was in a techbase mood (which I am always good at, aside gothic as seen in Chapel of Chaos)

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Just now noticed The Sixth Hour made the front page. The map was originally so hard that I couldn't beat it; I pulled a bunch of monsters out and locked others into specific areas, but I probably went a bit overboard judging by the review.

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