12/11/2007 @21:13:56 ^22:06:40

Doom: Awesome, Episode 1 A deliberately simple episode 1 replacement (the author goes off on a long rant on this topic in his text file) Some maps achieve this simplicity while still being good - it's surprising just how much of an improvement a bit of attention to lighting can be - but others aren't so great. Difficulty varies quite a lot too, E1M9 is nasty from a pistol start, E1M8 pits you against 12 barons in quite a small room with only a shotgun and chaingun (this is more annoyingly slow and repetitive than outright difficult) and E1M4 was textured entirely in COMPBLUE, a bit too dark and full of spectres for my taste. Overall the wad achieves its aims of simplicity but its gameplay could be less cramped and more free-flowing.

Defragmentation Factor This is apparently an entry in a freak mapping contest prior to freak4. That is, it's a highly modified Oblige map. It's all right but I found it somewhat cramped and low on resources. Pretty confusing layout with more backtracking than I would have liked as well. Maybe I would like it better if I played it again, but I don't feel like it.

The Horror Collection (eden.wad) The good: this single map looks good, uses Boom effects expertly, and is generally well made. However, it's a horror wad. This means, darkness, very little ammunition, and monsters appearing right next to you or behind you when you least expect it. I dislike this kind of gameplay. I also dislike those plasma marines from Scythe 2, yet here they are. So for me this map was not a great success, but others might love it.

Phobos Reloaded E1M1 E1M1 remake. Rather colourful. Obviously made with Doom Builder, borders on sectors and wall indentations everywhere. There are extra sections beside the standard E1M1 stuff; the remnants of a mining operation in some caves, and an outdoor secret area. A couple of issues: there were secrets but they weren't marked as such, and the platform with the chaingun on it was a damage sector for no good reason. There is also an obviously incomplete E1M2; this project was abandoned. Unfortunate, because it shows promise.

The Gudla of Hell A fairly decent map by the author of Spell of the Archvile and therefore exceeds expectations. Its style is rather repetitive, textured entirely in red bricks. It's not overly cramped. Ammunition is plentiful. It could do with a super shotgun and more care with monster placement; despite the presence of both plasma weapons and lots of cells, you kill most of the monsters, which all wake up at once, with a single shotgun and chaingun. Also, the mass wall lowering was vaguely reminiscent of Maze of Frustration.

Hurry! This is a concept wad, made in one hour with Yadex so you can imagine what it looks like. You must run round the edge of an enormous square box. It's made entirely out of damage sectors so your health constantly decreases, so you must hurry to the next megasphere etc. There are of course monsters in the way. If you manage to run around all 4 sides, the middle opens up and there's a mass of monsters, which you must run past to the signposted exit. I didn't manage to get past the first side of the box; it would be good to see a demo of this map.