Thursday, December 29, 2011

DoomX Not Dead!

Pierre Ramirez's DoomX project site went down for a good few days, sending a smidgen of incoming traffic to my blog. Apparently it was hacked, but it's back up with a minor update, concerning his badass-looking "freeze thrower" (and "freeze gun"). I wanna play this so bad.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Hanging Gardens (HGARDEN.PK3)

HANGING GARDENS
by Paul "Skillsaw" DeBruyne


Hanging Gardens is a single map for GZDoom by Paul DeBruyne, released concurrently with Lunatic. It's the only part of an abandoned project he deemed worth releasing. It was supposed to take place on some kind of desert base, and judging from some of the elements present, it appears to combine elements of Serious Sam's gameplay with Doom's, but after having played DeBruyne's other maps I think this kind of slaughtery action is just his style. It also has a few new monsters, pulled from the Realm 667 Bestiary, the Suicide Bomber and the Archon of Hell. If I'm not mistaken, HGARDEN also has its own special effects pack, derived from Nash's gore mod.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Plutonia Revisited Community Project (PRCP.WAD)


The Plutonia Experiment was a megaWAD created by the Casali brothers for id Software as part of the Final Doom package. In the years since, it's enjoyed a more favorable legacy than its sibling, TNT Evilution, so much so that it's had two unofficial sequels, Plutonia 2 and the WAD which this review covers, Plutonia Revisited. Plutonia Revisited's scope is a bit narrower than Plutonia 2, however, as the PRCP focused on vanilla compatibility (the trend of 2011). The only flaws you'll encounter when playing the original .EXE are a few maps that invoke the savegame buffer overflow (hooray for source ports!). In fact, this project has a few instances of mapping tricks that require vanilla emulation in source ports (notably some linedef hoodoo in MAP31). Redacted 05/01/12.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Helltrip (HELLTRIP.WAD)

HELLTRIP
by Jason "Hellbent" Root


Root initially introduced Helltrip fishing for possible titles to a WAD he was working on that was freaking him out:

"Maybe because it's the middle of the night and the lights are off, but this wad I'm working on is really freakin' me out. I mean, if this isn't hell, I don't know what is. Doom doesn't scare me that much anymore, but the second half of this wad does. It feels like the monsters are coming out of the walls. It is twisted evil, hellbent on seriously deranged destruction. Too bad it's designed for only the most hardcore and intense doomers."

Reception on the archives has been split dead even, with people despising it as boring, absolute trash or loving it to death as an intense, spooky experience. I myself am split. I certainly see where both sides are coming from, erring a bit more towards the lovers than the haters.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Nilla Doom (NILLA.WAD)


Nilla Doom is a seven-map episode for vanilla Doom II (duh), courtesy of Doomworld forum superstar Use3D (Mike Alfredson). The plot is simple and winking, following the adventure of a post-retirement marine as he attempts to warn his neighbors of another incursion of Hellspawn. It's a mixture of outdoor / indoor techbases and underground maps before finally settling into Hell itself, mostly to the familiar soundtrack of Rise of the Triad. This of course invites comparison to Hell Revealed, which isn't far off the mark. Nilla Doom is challenging, as though the first episode of HR got together with The Plutonia Experiment and had a baby. Those who fear Doom II's bestiary should avoid; Use3D puts the expanded roster to good work.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Favored of the Doomed


On the 10th anniversary of Doom's release, a bunch of Doomworld regulars got together and came up with a list of the Top 100 WADs of All Time, with ten representatives from every year. Unofficially, this feature constitutes the first ten years of Doomworld's current annual institution, the Cacowards, though the Cacowards are a bit more extended. Because these WADs come so highly recommended, they're part of my review itinerary. And, well, I figured I'd slap together a master list for visitors to leaf through. The lists are hidden via javascript; click on the headings to reveal them.

Doomworld's Cacowards aren't a definitive list of the ten best WADs of their eras, a fact detractors take care to point out. They're a good starting point, though, for those wishing to sample the cream of the crop with regards to PWADs.

1994 Top Ten WADs


1995 Top Ten WADs


1996 Top Ten WADs


1997 Top Ten WADs


1998 Top Ten WADs


1999 Top Ten WADs


2000 Top Ten WADs


2001 Top Ten WADs

Sin CitySlayer
Null SpaceDoom Resurrection
The Darkest HourEquinox
Vrack2bPhobia
KZDoom7TVR!

2002 Top Ten WADs

Alien Vendetta2002: A Doom Odyssey
Caverns of DarknessDark 7 / Mission Pack
NimrodCH Retro Episode
RumaLicense to Spell Doom
Rip It, Tear It, Smash ItCongestion Control

2003 Top Ten WADs

Phobos: Anomaly RebornVoid
ScytheBrotherhood of Ruin
Doom 64: AbsolutionMassmouth 2
Doom RaiderHelpyourselfish
RTC-3057 DemoSpace Station Omega

2004 Cacowards

The Top TenBest DM LevelHonorable Mentions
Action Doom8-Bit DMSuper Sonic Doom
DecadeWorst WADDeus Vult
RTC-3057Doom: Rampage EditionMassmouthmas
GroveMordeth AwardDaedalus
TremorHellcore
ChosenMockaward
Phobos RevisitedDoomworld Forums 3
Hell Revealed 2Mapper of the Year
Community Chest 2B.P.R.D.
ZDoom Community Map

2005 Cacowards

The Top TenBest DM Level
SimplicityNimrod: Project Doom
Scythe 2Worst WAD
HedRox1994 WADs
Suspended in DuskMordeth Award
Kama SutraJägermörder 02: Terra Nova
Congestion 1024Mockaward
Hi-Tech Hell 2: Alien TechKama Sutra
Temple of Chaos 2: Warped RealityMapper of the Year
Crimson CanyonAgentSpork
Total Control
Honorable Mentions
For Whom the Bell TollsAltar of Evil

2006 Cacowards

The Top TenBest DM Level
Phocas Island 2Dynamite Deathmatch
IC2005Worst WAD
Hellcore v2.0Auferstehung
Newdoom Community Map ProjectMordeth Award
Operation OverlordCrucified Dreams
Vae Victus 2Mockaward
Phobia: The AgeHow Not to Be Seen
Foreverhood v1.0TurboCharged Arcade!
Classic Episode 2: Singularity ComplexMapper of the Year
Crucified DreamsDutch Devil
Honorable Mentions
Impossible: A New RealityOniria
Zen Dynamics

2007 Cacowards

The Top TenBest DM Level
Genesis of Descent32in24-5
CheogshWorst WAD
Songs of the DamnedAnything Gamarra
The Dying EndMordeth Award
Sine DieKnee Deep in ZDoom
Knee Deep in ZDoomMockaward
Community Chest 3It Only Gets Worse
EpicMapper of the Year
Ultimate Torment and TortureAlexander "Eternal" S.
The Outer Darkness
Honorable Mentions
Demons of ProblematiqueWonderful Doom

2008 Cacowards

The Top TenBest DM Level
Deus Vult II32in24-7
GravityWorst WAD
Urban Brawl: Action Doom IIUAC Military Nightmare
Eternal Doom IVMordeth Award
ThunderpeakDeus Vult II
Back to BasicsMockaward
BGPA Missions: LiberationCommunity is Falling 3
Chex Quest 3Mapper of the Year
Escape from Castle ChezcreaBjörn "Vader" Ostmann
Cold as Hell
Honorable Mentions
Remain IIIXXXI Cybersky
Diaz: Last Hours of Purity

2009 Cacowards

The Top TenBest DM Level
Hell GroundUDMX
NewDoom Community Project IIWorst WAD
HarmonyTormentor667's Detail Guide
MapgameMordeth Award
Legacy of SufferingPlutonia 2
TributeMockaward
Ghouls vs. HumansKilling Adventure
Whispers of SatanMapper of the Year
Demons of Problematique 2Brett "Mechadon" Harrell
Plutonia 2
Honorable Mentions
Happy Time Circus 2Cheogsh 2

2010 Cacowards

The Top TenBest MultiplayerRunners Up
No Rest for the LivingMegaman DeathmatchBeyond Revival
Arcadia DemadeWorst WADBase Ganymede ep2
Curse of D'sparilÆons of DeathDoom: Threshold of Pain
UAC UltraMordeth AwardRealm of Cheogsh
UnlovedStrongholdSerpent: Resurrection
ValhallaMockawardTemple of the Lizard Men 2
Speed of DoomFacepalmParanoid
Drip FeedTurboCharged ARCADE! The Sequel Episode
Epic 2Mapper of the Year
StrongholdJon "40oz" Vail

2011 Cacowards

The Top TenBest Multiplayer
Plutonia Revisited32in24-11: Occupy Doomworld
VapordemoBest Gameplay Mod
LunaticBrutal Doom
Double ImpactMordeth Award
Vanguard1994 Tune-up Community Project
ReverieMapper of the Year
JenesisPaul "Skillsaw" DeBruyne
IceboundHonorable Mentions
Mandrill Ass ProjectDoom II Redux
Khorus's Speedy ShitDoom64 EX

2012 Cacowards

The Top TenBest MultiplayerRunners Up
Doom the Way id DidWhoDunIt?Beyond Reality
Strife: Absolute OrderBest Gameplay ModMasters of Chaos
PutrefierRussian OverkillFrozen Time
5till L1 ComplexMordeth AwardPlanisphere 2
Community Chest 4Community Chest 4Coffee Break Ep. 1
ReelismMockaward
The EyeCall of Dooty II
Combat Shock 2Mapper of the Year
Winter's FuryAdam "Khorus" Woodmansey
Base Ganymede: Complete

2013 Cacowards

The Top TenBest MultiplayerRunners Up
Back to Saturn X: Episode 1EyedeaInterception
Doom 2 the Way id DidSamsaraHadephobia
Unholy RealmsEon DeathmatchHellbound
ZDoom Community Map Project: Take 2Best Gameplay ModHigh / Low 5
Fuel DevourerProject MSXSoulcrusher
KuchitsuMordeth AwardStomper
Forsaken OverlookZDCMP2
Stardate 20X6Mockaward
Pirate DoomExtreme Weapon Pack
Swim With the WhalesMapper of the Year
Ribbiks

2014 Cacowards


2015 Cacowards

The Top TenBest MultiplayerRunners Up
SunlustDon't Be a Bitch RemasteredDoomed Space Wars
ErkattäññeChaosCore CTFCrumpets
SkulldashBest Gameplay ModPrime Directive
Swift DeathDoomRL ArsenalPinnacle of Darkness
BreachMordeth AwardOl' No Name
ValiantChaosCore CTF32in24-14
50 Shades of GraytallMockaward
Sheer PoisonInstaDoom
dead.wireMapper of the Year
Return to Hadrondannebubinga

2016 Cacowards

The Top TenBest MultiplayerRunners Up
Tech Gone BadAeonDMWarphouse
Ancient Aliens32in24-16THT: Threnody
Nihility: Infinite TeethBest Gameplay ModBloodstain
MutinyDoom 4 DoomStrange Aeons
Absolutely KilledMordeth AwardEchelon
Elf Gets PissedDoom the Way id Did:Shadow of the Wool Ball
ComatoseThe Lost Episodes
MiasmaMockaward
Alpha Accident: Terra NovaLudicrium
Japanese Community ProjectMapper of the Year
Blades of Agony E1Lainos

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Lunatic (LUNATIC.WAD)


Lunatic is a five-map minisode by Paul "Skillsaw" DeBruyne for limit-removing Boom-compatible ports. To make a long story short, if you enjoyed Vanguard (another 2011 release by DeBruyne), Lunatic should be right up your alley. It's a similar style of gameplay with smaller, tighter maps (compared to Vanguard's later, sweeping epics), and a few new twists. It's set on the moon, which recently collided with a giant ball of demons, the combined mass breaking it from its orbit and sending it toward Earth. You've got to fight your way across Luna's surface and through the resident UAC outpost to make your escape.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Upkeep

I've been undergoing a phase of site improvement that's 95% under the hood, stripping out garbage HTML and some slight edits here and there. All of Sverre Kvernmo's Cabal levels have an appropriate "series" TOC similar to Titan, Inferno, and the Top Ten. And, in case you're wondering... Yes, I've elected to take an extra three day period off for reviewing that forty-map monster, Doom 2 Unleashed. Lunatic will be posted on Saturday. Additionally, I have a tentative list of WADs set aside for the period between 2011 / 1998 and 1999. It's pretty big, but not as big as 2011 is turning out to be. Jeeze. I may post it at some point in a desperate bid for comments / suggestions. Also added an About page.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Pallace Skorn (PLCSKN.WAD)


PALLACE SKORN
by Callum Guy "phobosdeimos1" Oliver

After playing through Digon Base and Spire Complex (and bits of Corebinder and Zfactory) I got the impression that Callum Guy Oliver (aka phobosdeimos1) was a techbase man. Imagine my surprise when I loaded up Pallace Skorn, finding some never-was alien world more typical of Hexen's wild environments. It's crammed full of textures not native to Doom II (though you may recognize some of them, if not many) as well as, surprise surprise, some new monsters / weapons. The WAD has no story associated with it; it's just a Boom-compatible MAP01 replacement.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Happy 18th Birthday, Doom


Another year has come and gone and a dozen or so nominees lie smoking by the roadside. Congratulations to award winners and thanks to anyone who earnestly made anything during this period of Doom's life; indeed, in all periods. The biggest changes this year include a) the removal of the worst WAD award and Mock awards, and in their place installing the Best Gameplay Mod category, given to the ever-evolving Brütal Doom. Here's to another year of excellent releases! And, uh, Mordeth and Millenium. Keep on truckin'.

Also taking a moment to mention community members that were unfortunately lost this year, The Engineer and the patron saint of Legacy WADs, Jive. My condolences to their loved ones.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Doom 2 Unleashed (PC_CP.WAD)


Paul Corfiatis is a veteran Doom mapper, the author of ancient WADs like The Twilight Zone. Upon releasing his Whispers of Satan megaWAD with best Doom buddy Kristian Aro, he opted to start a community project, which debuted in 2011 as Doom 2 Unleashed. It's a forty map megaWAD whose last eight levels constitute their own episode, titled "No Hope for Peace". The scope of the project was restricted to maps that functioned in any limit-removing port and used only stock Doom II textures. I'm not entirely sure how the bonus episode is handled outside of ports that support maps in excess of 32, let alone custom episode definitions, but in ZDoom NHFP shows up as a selectable episode, backed by the soundtrack from Inferno.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Zfactory (ZFACTORY.WAD)

ZFACTORY
by Callum Guy "phobosdeimos1" Oliver


Zfactory is Callum Guy Oliver's (aka Doomworld forum superstar phobosdeimos1) first foray into wadbuilding, a speedmapped MAP01 replacement for ZDoom. The map doesn't use any of Zdoom's gameplay features, instead taking advantage of ZDoom's format idiosyncrasies, including a new (edited) titlepic. Zfactory has no plot; it's just a small techbase-style map clocking in at 56 monsters. They're mostly smaller trash, but cacodemons and mancubuses will grace your final moments as you make your way to the map exit.