the Bard formerly known as the Bard
Six is a nice round number. This batch should keep you Dooming until next Sunday, when we delve once more into /newstuff. Also, by request, the wad author's name will now link to the .txt file from the zip (as AndrewB used to do it), rather than send a mail to the author. Enjoy.
World's End by Alex Parsons - - World's End is a single-player focused map running on Doom 2 Map01 that takes theme consistency to new heights by being very, very, very brown. This map is an amalgamation of brown rock and sludge, filled with enough imps to make you never want to see one again. Most rooms and areas are indistinquishable from the rest of the map, so you may find yourself running around in circles if you're not careful. Nonetheless, the map is challenging and should keep you occupied for an hour or so if you're looking for a way to kill time. Advanced Doom port recommended.
The Cross by John - - A single player map running on Doom 2 Map07, The Cross sends you shooting your way through a series of gigantic steel, stone, and wood areas all linked together by, appropriately enough, a 'cross'. The map is (for the most part) very simple and square but it's obvious that the map's focus was on gameplay. The health and ammo is balanced reasonably well and the secret areas are well hidden. Unfortunately though, there's way too much backtracking involved after you open up a new area of the map and sometimes it's unnessecarily hard to to find out exactly what that switch you just pulled did. Worth a try.
Quake 1 Base Deathmatch by Bryant and Kevin Robinson - - We have here a Quake-inspired deathmatch map running on Doom 2 Map01. Q1BDM sports a distinctly non-circular layout and new graphics, music, and sounds from Fanatic's QDoom TC. The map may be a tad large if you want fast-paced one-on-one action, but it should suit 4 player FFA games fine. Requires Zdoom.
For the Wicked Shall Perish by Rex Claussen - - This one's a bugfix version of a single-player map that somehow managed to slip through my fingers last week. Running on Doom 2 Map05, Wicked takes place in a spacious, vaguely E1-reminiscent base with a 'hub' in the center containing the exit and linking all the areas together. The architecture achieves beauty through simplicity; you won't get a VPO from this map. The map's challenging but not near frustrating, and the ammo and health are balanced quite well. 'Backtracking' is kept to a minimum. The only notable complaint is that I found myself lost on several occasions, but not nearly long enough to detract from the map's fun factor. There's no reason not to download.
INDUSTRIAL by Magikal - - Industrial's a first-attempt map that runs on Doom 2 Map01, and while it's better than a lot of our first maps I'm sure, it has some problems. The texture choice in the early parts of the map is fairly silly, CyberDemons/Spiderminds are used overly too much, but worst of all the map almost requires that you find the secret areas. Just getting out of the first few rooms is confusing. Despite this, the map is quite large, and it's obvious that a lot of effort went into it. You'll also notice a doom2.exe 3d bridge, uncommon for a 'newbie' map. Interesting just to look around if nothing else.
CH Retro Episode by Christian N. Hansen - - I saved the best for last this time; CH Retro truly deserves a place in anybody's Doom directory. Replacing all of Doom Episode 1, the CH Retro Episode attempts to capture the look and feel of Knee-Deep in the Dead and does a simply amazing job. You'll almost feel like you're playing E1 for the first time again... some of the rooms look like they were ripped straight from Romero's original maps. Nostalgia isn't the only reason to download this wad though, the gameplay is balanced and fast-paced and there's enough tricks, traps, and secrets to make sure you come back to play this more than once. Absolutely recommended.