Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Power Metal (PWRMETAL.WAD)

by Robert "Zalewa" Zalewski

Zalewa has been something of a presence in the Doom community, the author of 2009 Cacoward winner Tribute (which I haven't played as of this review) and a co-author of the Doomseeker utility. Power Metal, released in 2015, is a single map meant to be played in any limit-removing port... but describing it as a single map is not an adequate representation of the experience that awaits you. More accurately, Power Metal is a single HUGE map, with nearly 1,000 enemies on the map to start. There is no context given to the gameplay, though the explanation of the title may offer some hint - it's called Power Metal because it's not as Heavy as Black Metal.

Friday, September 25, 2015

Doomed Space Wars (SPACWARS.WAD)

Doom is no stranger to Star Wars; I've seen a massive, light-hearted TC (Star Wars: Chibi Rebellion) and I know that Rex Claussen has had a few SW-themed releases. Heck, according to John Carmack:
Seeing how someone had put the death star into our game felt so amazingly cool. I was so proud of what had been made possible, and I was completely sure that making games that could serve as a canvas for other people to work on was a valid direction.
This time, Paul Corfiatis is taking a swing at the pairing. Doomed Space Wars is a twelve-map release meant to be played in ZDoom, published in 2015. While it uses textures that will be familiar to veterans of Dark Forces, Paul isn't really trying to channel the gameplay, and has confessed that he's not overly familiar with it. So, if the phrase Dark Forces got you all hopped up, I'd make sure that you're willing to settle for visual parity, if nothing else.

Friday, September 18, 2015

50 Shades of Graytall (50SHADES.WAD)

50 Shades of Graytall is partially a joke. It's also mostly serious. Doomworld Forum superstar Marcake took Gez on his jest, creating a project with an unusual restriction, limiting the available textures to what are widely considered to be the three least attractive options - DOORTRAK, GRAYTALL, and FIREBLU. The end result is an eighteen-level megaWAD to be played in a Boom-compatible source port that attempts to deliver, again, on the promise of the Monochromatic Mapping Project. That is, to create a mapset whose limited capacity for visuals forced the authors to focus on the aspects of level design related to gameplay.

Friday, September 11, 2015


Insane_Gazebo had a dream. His goal - to pair slaughter combat with beautiful environments, because it's what he wanted to play, and as far as he could see was pretty much nonexistent. It looks as though he may have left, and while some people may still have their fingers crossed, I guess that Sunder is pretty much done... for now. IG may have fulfilled his dream better than he could have hoped, though. His influence is felt through a new generation of authors who have taken his approach to heart, kicking off a revolution of iteration and experimentation, plumbing previously unexplored depths in gameplay and aesthetics. Ribbiks and dannebubinga count themselves among Sunder's disciples, possessed by a strong LUST for the paradigm brought to life by Insane_Gazebo. Seeing each other as kindred spirits, they combined their talents to bring you this intense loveletter to Sunder - Sunlust.

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Abyssal Speedmapping Session 1 (ABYSPED1.WAD)

There are plenty of Doom communities besides Doomworld. One of them used to be NewDoom, which was really before my time. NewDoom eventually went behind an insane paywall, forcing most of its userbase elsewhere or out of the community entirely. I guess some of the folks were already Doomworld pariahs. Anyway, some of the NewDoom users migrated over to The Abyss, which served as the foundation of a new Doom community institution - the Abyssal Speedmapping Sessions (this being the first), named as such because of its outgrowth from the Abyss community, though Obsidian wasn't one of the NewDoom emigrants. The goal is to get people to work together over the course of two hours (plus thirty minutes for music / textures and bugfixing) to make a bunch of speedmaps.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Oblivion (OBLIV666.WAD)

Back in 2010, Stormwalker aka Vordakk released Phobos Massacre, an episode replacement for E1 of the original Doom. Then he did a lot of work in both Heretic and Doom II before coming back to this, making him the first of several 2015 authors to go back and take a second crack at something they felt disappointed with. So, here's Oblivion. Like its predecessor, it's an episode one replacement for the original Doom, but where PHOBMASS only worked in ZDoom, this was tested down to Boom compatible ports at the very least, with an optimistic outlook of limit-removing... but I can't guarantee anything.