the Bard formerly known as the Bard
As a tribute to my 'unprofessionalism', /newstuff was delayed a day. Sorry. The /newstuff gods have responded to our sacrifices with six new wads this week, and I do believe there's a little something for everyone. DMers, SPers, Guns'N'Roses fans, and AndrewB will all be overjoyed with this gift from the heavens and if they aren't they'll probably be smitten. Better playing Ralphis maps than smitten, right? Thought so.
Narcosis by Espi - - Narcosis is a Doom 2 Map01 DM replacement that consists of a circular marble arena lined with catwalks. A metal structure in the middle of the map cuts off the player's view of the opposite side and creates three seperate paths in and out of each side... it's an uninteresting layout if I may say so but it works just fine. One nice little aspect of the DM play that made me squeal was the variety in availiable weapons; that is, this isn't just another big arena with SSGs littered in random places. You'll have to make good use of every projectile weapon in Doom but the BFG9000 (and the plasma doesn't even get spammed, imagine). The map is comfortable for 2-4 player DMs, spawnfrag-safe. The only real downside to the map is that it has some qualms with playing correctly in Doom2.exe, so whatever OlDsKeWlErS actually read my reviews may have to tear themselves away from the dos prompt for a few games. Narcosis is kind of like a refreshing one-week myrtle beach vacation away from the frantic SSG duels forced by ZDaemon's 29 Dwango5 servers and 1 Vex DM server... minus the seafood diet and the insane heat. Advanced Doom port recommended.
Eidolon's Lair by Alexis Aiello - - Amazing, a new Heretic wad... nothing too original though, rather a conversion of Hexen 2's final boss map to an older engine. Eidolon's Lair runs on Heretic E1M1 and gives you a choice of three opponents (D'Sparil, a Maulotaur, or an Ironlich, all of which are some three+ times easier than Eidolon himself) depending on the difficulty level you choose to play on. I also noticed that this map is also quite a bit, eh, smaller and brighter than the Hexen 2 original (or I need to play Hexen 2 again). That's kinda it I guess... if you've played the original you may have some fun with this one but it's really safe to stay away from, even if you're a Heretic.
The Rocks / Mossvale Estate by Alex Parsons - - Alex Parsons returns with his best-looking and worst-playing wad yet! The wad with the variable name sports an impressive monster count of 700+, irritating chaingunners placed on very high ledges and pesky revenant gangs withstanding. The map is set on a series of cliffs textured with, yes, SP_ROCK1. Said cliffs surround a marble ruin that you'll weave your way in and out to get to the exit. Really I think the architecture looks like a million bucks, it exemplifies beauty through simplicity. Like all his previous maps however, there isn't much in the way of dodging room and there's a lot more to deal with in this one. Playing it on UV felt more like work than a game; I had a blast running around like an idiot with -nomonsters on though. Maybe I'm just retarded. Advanced Doom port required.
Telekenesis by Black Void - - A semi-hellish map to replace Doom 2 Map01, Telekenesis (eh) had me hitting the quickload button a bit more than I'm used to doing. This wad is really visually lacking... save a swank archvile fight in a dimly-lit metal room there isn't much to distinguish it from a bunch of twisty hallways but man this map hits home with me gameplaywise. The ammo is placed almost teasingly and you'll be forced in and out of tight spots and near-death experiences. If you don't aim your shots carefully you may find yourself having to box with a revenant or make a mad dash through a horde of demons for the box of shells at the other end of the room. I also got a rare chance to use my head once or twice too, although I try not to work it too hard and doom does a good job of keeping. Telek...e...nesis gets my personal recommendation but your milage may vary... just give it a shot and see. Advanced Doom port required.
Anarchy by Dejan - - CAUSE SHE'S PLAYIN' ALL NIGHT! AND THE MUSIC'S alright which ones are Guns'n'Roses again? Bah, it doesn't matter, this is a three map replacement for Plutonia Map01-Map03 (yes I said Plutonia, but I didn't see any problems when I tried it with Doom 2, feel free to give it a go yourself). The first two maps take place in what is either some kind of cavern or mine, or texture misalignment Hell... the third takes place on the surface. The detailing is the strong point here, all the construction and architecture looks well thought-out and believeable, and there's touches of nostalgic early realism (beds, toilets) in the first map. The wyKkEd tYtE mine environment of the first two maps makes the wad worth downloading, despite a texturing job that looked intentionally bad in a spot or two (no, not talking about the giant Guns'n'Roses poster in Map03). Too bad the gameplay got played-out after the first map, I really think a little less ammo would've made things a bit more exciting; having a plasma and 600 shells halfway through the first map dulls things up mighty fast. Oh and there's a music replacement too, I'll leave it up to you to figure out who it's by.
AndrewB Still Sucks It by Ralphis - - My comrade-in-arms and well-respected community member Ralphis harnesses the power of WadAuthor to bring us the only single-player Dooming experience of this caliber since 'AndrewB Sucks It'. The wad replaces Doom 2 Map01 and consists of a flesh arena speculated to be the interior of a certain person who is said to 'suck it'. Surprise, he is filled with dangerous hell demons from hell and it is your job as Corporal Flynn Taggart to clean the place up, undertake the rigorous search for the red, blue, and yellow keys, and escape in one piece. In true andrewb.wad fashion, you will be rewarded for surviving the onslaught with a nifty piece of automap art, drawn in the 'avoid creating anything remotely resembling architecture' style. So the textures are misaligned, so the map is short, so there's no detail, the fact that I'm here reviewing it makes it a work of ironic genius and it's staying in my /pwads dir.