Friday, November 3, 2017

600 Reviews

In spite of a dry spell brought on by things that must dominate my time outside of this blog, with the review of Deus Vult I've broken into 600 reviews with six and a half years of operation. Gosh, that's a long time and a lot of words to be writing about a nearly twenty-four year old computer game.

Things to look out for:

--I still have to backfill screenshots from 2012 and 2011. I keep thinking about coming up with a dedicated hosting option but I haven't made any serious considerations.
--Review tune-ups. This is different from the re-writes that I've been doing when replacing the old screenshots for pre-2012 reviews which are more expansive in nature. The tune-ups are more from a copy editor's perspective and should not have any impact on the overall character or thrust of any review. In fact, I doubt any reader will notice the changes unless they're doing line-by-line comparisons to archived versions. This won't have any impact on my review workload.
--More reviews! Since disengaging from the Cacowards my sights have been on finishing Doomworld's Top Ten of 2001, reader requests, and filling out the back catalog of authors in what little free time I have. Other areas of focus include

  • The road to 2002: A Doom Odyssey, which includes the back catalog of involved authors
  • The road to Plutonia 2, which looks something more like Kama Sutra, Deus Vult II, Scythe II, and then Plutonia 2
  • Stuff that I'm embarrassed to have not reviewed in spite of hassling people about them or specifically requesting them. PhobosDeimos Anomaly falls into this category but I'm also more sensitive into wanting to play through Titan 2, Titan 1024, Back to Hell E1 demo (the snarky Newstuff review still haunts my mind), Castle of the Hengs, and Doom the Way id Did: Lost Episodes (where I annoyed both Marnetmar and Xaser, to put it lightly).
  • Filling out the back catalog of authors I've already reviewed in one form or another like Malcolm Sailor or Mark Klem. This is part for completionism's sake and more "disposable" stuff (i.e. not megaWADs) might lead to more frequent reviews but I'm also building toward author retrospectives. I have one already written for Christen David Klie but I want to finish replacing the screenshots for his works first.

Lastly, I present to you the request list from last year with all of the completed stuff removed. I'm not going to dissuade you from making any more, unless you are BDL, because seriously. Just don't expect them any time soon.

2016-2017, for posterity


Plutonia 2
Dark 7 / Dark 7 Mission Pack
Ultimate Simplicity
Massmouth / Massmouth 2 / Massmouthmas
Scythe / Scythe 2 / Scythe X
Dolphin's Dream
City of the Damned: Apocalypse
Virus: Episode One
Super Sonic Doom
Oniria 1 / Oniria 2
Happy Time Circus 1 / Happy Time Circus 2
Dark Hell
Hellcore 2.0
Claustrophobia: The Walls Close In
Cheogsh / Cheogsh 2 / Realm of Cheogsh
Alien Flower (RDC Freakmapping #5)
Caverns of Darkness
Sinful Discharge (Heretic)
Gulag (Heretic)
Curse of D'Sparil (Heretic)
Codename HYENA: Killer Machine
Plutinya 1024
The Crypts
Town of Witchcraft (Heretic Treasure Chest)
Cassie Steele
The Experiment
One Bloody Night
hellrun.WAD (Doom / Doom II)
SJS1: Streets of Fear
Triad Experimental Corporation
Kama Sutra
Community Chest / Community Chest 2
Vrack 1 / Vrack 2 / Vrack 3
The Abyss
World of DETH
Nerves of Steel
Impure Offering
1 Monster
Action Doom / Action Doom 2
Deus Vult II
Armadosia: The Mad Corridor
Hellfire / Hellfire: Reborn / Hellfire: Dreams
5 Years
Jade Earth
Sacrifice in Blood
The Corrupt Priest
Doom: A Megawad in Two Weeks
Mayhem 2012 / Mayhem 2013
Legacy of Heroes
Infested Outpost
Templum Dormien Dei
Temple of the Lizard Men 4
Beta Labs 2
Void and Rainbow


Doomguy's pimp ventures II: The More,The Merrier.
School Doom II
AOL Girls Museum
Duke Nukem Level Conversion
Doom Center
Dawn of Reality
The Ghoul's Forest 3
The Mystery of the Marie Celeste
Calgon, Take me away!
Nimrod: Project Doom
Phocas Island 2
Pinochetstein GL
Doom 3: Mr. Smiley's Head Safari


Wonderful Doom
2002: A Doom Odyssey
Claustrophobia 1024
Titan 2
Titan 1024


Claustrophobia 1024 2: The Mystery of Too Many Maps
The Hub
The Ultimate Torment and Torture
Stronghold: On the Edge of Chaos
ZPack: Random Maps for ZDoom
Knee Deep in ZDoom
Community Chest 3
Classic Episode 2: Singularity Complex
Flashback Demo 1 / Flashback Demo 2


Reign of the Spider Gods
Demons of Problematique / Demons of Problematique 2
Whispers of Satan

(is no longer being maintained)


  1. I will almost certainly be playing whatever the Cacoward winners from 2017 happen to be but if there's anything you think they pass up then those are some easy recommendations. Also if you are an old hand and have any favorites from 1994 and 1995 I would like to see those reccs too, and to a lesser extent 1996.

  2. I know this probably won't get a review for another year or two due to more pressing classic wad reviews, but it would be cool if at some point you reviewed Templum Dormiens Dei. By the way, I'm glad you've been able to find more time to write reviews, I enjoy them a lot! Hope the baby is doing well!

    1. Single levels are a lot easier to squeeze onto the short list. My daughter is doing very well! She's very close to standing and walking on her own.

  3. I'm really curious what your opinion of Project Einherjar is, now that it's in its final form design-wise.

  4. I'm glad that despite the previous announcements you were still able to write for this blog, and kudos for hitting 600 (actually more now) reviews. I remember discovering this blog around 2012 and since then it has always been a staple source to find more wads to play.
    I understand that you have your priorities for the wads to play, still I hope to read the review of Legacy of Heroes one day, since it was also suggested.


  5. Anything and everything in the 2017 single player Cacowards can officially be considered something that should be added to the suggestions list IMO.

    1. I'm not adding these to the list because they're such an obvious no-brainer and there's no need to further bloat something that I already regret letting run away from me. As cool as they no doubt are, grinding them out is one of the furthest things from my radar given the incredibly limited time I have. Gentle readers, if you made a PWAD that won a Cacoward in 2017 and want to see it reviewed sooner rather than later, then please ask me directly. I am slightly better at honoring personal requests, especially if they are from an author I really enjoy. PMs to my account on Doomworld are preferred.

  6. Well none of these is a personal request but I do recall you saying you prefer single maps; Dead.air, Bringadine, Saturnine Chapel, Waterlab GZD, and Dark Tide all fit that preference. (And Void and Rainbow, but pointless to include in the main list given a review already is in progress.)

  7. Replies
    1. I started playing it using Pawel's GZDoom patch but the gameplay felt so weird and the patch is now a venerable twelve years old. I had sincere doubts as to whether it accurately represented the ZanZan experience if only due to the way that ZDoom development has sometimes deprecated old features, much in the same way as Lost Seraphim. At the time I hadn't considered finding the then current release of GZDoom and playing it on that, but that's probably what I will end up doing. Not that I have a lot of hope; one of the /idgames comments says that the GZDoom (con)version is "buggy" and that it "fucked up the gameplay".

  8. Did you mention that CORTYR_B.WAD was created by Michael Kelsey, the creator of Return to Phobos?

    1. I think that I knew about it at one point but it would be a serendipitous snipe considering that it would patch in the time between STONES and RETURN.

  9. Surprisingly, I don't see many reviews (or ANY reviews, really) that are even remotely in-depth about Dark Tartarus V5.

    I mean, yeah, it's a slaughterwad and hella hard, but some of the tricks it pulls and its varied theme and design really deserve more commendation - and eyes on it.

    And it's a whopping 43 maps!

    1. Its reputation precedes it. I would rather play a thousand other things before spending the time it would take to really sink my teeth into it; it's listed above the difficulty of every single level that I've ever played.

  10. Did you mention that Arch Deluxe (Arch.wad) by NaturalTvventy?

  11. I played ZanZan on an older version of GZDoom, but it wouldn't work on a newer version.

    1. I got it working on a relatively recent version of GZDoom (contemporary to 2014 because that's when I was working through 2000) but I don't recall off the top of my head how I got it all stuck together.