Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Nex Credo (NEXCREDO.WAD)


Lots of Doom authors set out to make a megaWAD. Many never make it to replacing all 32 levels, and oftentimes the half-finished works languish in obscurity, something to be worked on a rainy day. Occasionally, the author sees fit to put the finishing touches on it and shove it out the door, grateful to be clean of it. The players may despair of what may have been, as was the case with Vanguard, but at least they have something that is. Released in 2016, Jay Townsend's Nex Credo follows in that grand tradition. It's an 11-level episode for Doom II and it appears that the intention was to pattern a megaWAD after Doom II's themes, but sketched with Jay's hand.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Sins of the Flesh (A_SOTF.PK3)

SINS OF THE FLESH
by "zrrion the insect"


When I committed myself to reviewing zrrion's back catalog in preparation to the curiously strong Mouldy Old Void, I did not know that he had another release languishing somewhere in a half-assed (but good-intentioned) community project. Thankfully, he was kind enough to pull this level back out for a solo publication and a gentle reminder to me that it was now out in the wild. Sins of the Flesh is a MAP01 replacement for Doom II to be played in GZDoom. Made sometime in 2014 but released to the archives in 2016, it's also sort of an aesthetic sequel to his previous The Blood of Virgins.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Japanese Community Project (JPCP_V1*.WAD)


The Doom community has a distinctly international flair. It isn't immediately obvious since many of them are pretty good English typists, but many of them have their own personal forums, like the massive Russian Doom community and the smaller but no less treasured French Doom community. Enter the Japanese Doom community, a group of individuals that I assume must be tightly knit. I'm no games historian, but I understand that PC gaming has been a niche activity in Japan, and while Doom has been ported to what seems like anything and everything, the tools used for content creation - specifically, levels - are an entirely different matter. The JDC is no less passionate, though, and from them comes one of 2016's biggest surprises: the Japanese Community Project, a full-fledged megaWAD for limit-removing ports.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Flay the Obscene - Part Two (FLAYOBS2.WAD)

FLAY THE OBSCENE
PART TWO
by Christian Hansen


While Hansen eventually collected the pre-2014 portions of Flay the Obscene into one concrete episode, its maps were originally released separately, spanning from 1999 to 2001 and interspersed with his work on 2002: A Doom Odyssey and his own CH Retro Episode. Where the first outing involved a little introductory level to set the scene coupled with the main event in devil-land, Part Two is a MAP01 replacement, originally released in 2000 but only uploaded to the archives in 2013. It had been kicking around as part of Chris's Flay the Obscene compilation, but for whatever reason he elected to make it available on its own, though he moved it from the MAP14 slot, which means you'll hit the ground D_RUNNIN.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Flay the Obscene (FLAYOB01.WAD)

FLAY THE OBSCENE
by Christian Hansen


Chris Hansen's final release in 1999 marked a turning point in his authorial career that involved contributions to 2002: A Doom Odyssey and his own virtual Cacoward with CH Retro Episode. While his Flay the Obscene series was not immortalized in Doomworld's Top 100 WADs of All Time, it enjoys a reputation by sheer word of mouth that brings it to the forefront whenever someone asks for something just off the beaten path. While eventually collected into a compilation (which does not include Hansen's 2014 follow-up), the series began with - what else but - Flay the Obscene, a two-level minisode for Doom II. The version available on the archives is version 0.1, which added some extra areas and I imagine tinkered with the thing placement. It's also the edition that made it into Hansen's compilation. If you're interested in viewing the original iteration of the mapset, you can find it on the Doomed Speed Demos Archive as FLAYOBSC.WAD.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

The Unaided Eye (ENNUI.WAD)

THE UNAIDED EYE
by Christian Hansen


Chris Hansen thought he was done with Doom as early as 1999, but its siren sectors lured him back. After the very short quasi-deathmatch level, That Urban Sence, he published The Unaided Eye, a MAP10 replacement for TNT: Evilution. He'd previously worked with Evilution for his remake of his tribute to Star Trek: Voyager, Antithesis. ENNUI is far more grounded in the story and architecture of Doom, however, and its presentation makes it feel like the longest of Hansen's levels up to this point, on top of the fact that it's furnished with what is the most detailed authorial backstory... up to this point.

Saturday, July 2, 2016

Nihility: Infinite Teeth (NIHILITY.WAD)


Nihility is a work in progress, by which I mean that author Years has finished the first episode in 2016 - occupying Doom's second episode - and is looking to turn it into a full-fledged megaWAD as time wears on. And, uh, I don't mind telling you that I am looking forward to what nightmares may come. The recipe is sort of Shores of Hell, mixing in some of the elements from Doom's alphas and betas and then working in a bit of S.T.R.A.I.N.'s philosophy of adding in new blood to jazz up the otherwise familiar vanilla experience. Oh, yes - Nihility is vanilla compatible, crowbarring its gameplay changes both shocking and subtle in with DeHackEd.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Strange Aeons (STRANGEAONESV53.PK3)


(This review is an expansion and edit of my review for v3.x of Strange Aeons. The original is still available here.)

Strange Aeons was originally released in 2015 as a three-episode megaWAD for the original Doom. Since then, Impie has added two additional episodes, bumping it up to a full 45 levels and including a patch so that it can be run in either Doom OR Doom IIAs it requires ZDoom, it's something much more than a plain ol' Doom mapset; its almost exclusive use of textures from Chasm: The Rift, coupled with a few new weapons and a basically brand new bestiary, puts it right alongside the other "total conversions" of yore... and recent memory. It also has a plot, set up in the PDF and expanded in the end text of each episode, so you're free to get as invested as your imagination will allow.