Time to tease out one or two recalcitrant lines about a bunch of wads I've had sitting around forever. Actually this has ended up pretty much everything new I've played this year and not mentioned on the site yet.
As if it wasn't clear from yesterday's post, dtwid, now a year and two days old, is the greatest thing ever. There's not much more I can say (other than perhaps some snide remark about how amazed I am that there appears to be some hope for modern mapping yet)
Trivia: by chance and luck I actually played it first in deathmatch. This made for some weird experiences during the first solo playthrough, you feel like the maps are all backwards and upside down.
The third episode of Base Ganymede seemed rather simpler than the first two, especially with regards to layouts which were more disjoint and showed less evidence of planning. It's also, on the whole, easier.
Also I am convinced the maps are out of order. The others transition slowly from base to hell, the third goes into hell at the end of e3m2, and it stays there in e3m3 but e3m4 is suddenly a techbase again.
Eternal's awardbait map for this year, released right on cue at the end of November. It's a single map, in his very distinctive style, with an ice and snow theme.
It requires a very strongly limit-removing engine. Indeed, it claims to be unplayable on anything except a very high-end machine. I wouldn't go that far, but it does slow down a lot if you look in the wrong direction. So, be aware you may take more damage than usual due to loss of control.
Other than that it's like a cross between Nordhell, Epic, and a few parts of Epic 2 (the final battle, for instance) - in fact I have to admit it gave me a certain sensation of "seen this all before".
I'm not sure I see the point of this. It's almost identical to the original release, save for a few touch-ups, a few changes in the map order, one map removed and two new ones. The latter stick out rather gaudily from their 10-year-old cousins due to being significantly more detailed. Very few of the existing well-known problems with the original 2002ADO have been fixed (the usually cited example being the monster teleporters on E3M3, which are terrible)
One positive change is that the first ultra-secret level E5M1, previously a chaingun-only (and also almost cacodemon-only) map, now has a BFG on it so the frustrating chore of killing the cyberdemon with bullets is no longer necessary.
A megawad optimized for hard situations. While some of the maps do have outrageously high monster populations and do live up to the term slaughter map, many just have astronomically high monster densities and are little more than battle arenas.
Basically these are niche maps, designed by and for those players who are lucky enough to have the skill for them. I enjoy them to a degree, by playing them with various hacks that beef up the player. The authors of the wad supply some simple hacks for that purpose (but I have my own...) That said, I really liked map26 and it is quite playable without augmentation on skill 2.
skepland.zip - MAP03
The two-map super-hard-but-wonderfully-laid-out Plutonia wad Skepland gained a third map sometime in the previous year; it is bigger, and - as if this were possible - definitely more evil than the original two.
A 16 map + 2 secret community project wad from winter, 2 years ago, I think. Snow and ice theme, obviously. Other than that, it is one of the most inconsistent and perplexing wads I've ever known... Some of the maps are absolutely enormous and seem to go on forever in incredibly tedious ways, and I was often left thinking, "is this actually supposed to be fun?" Others are tiny and barely consist of more than two or three rooms and a dozen monsters.
The two secrets include one featuring a unique highly powerful enemy. It moves very fast, has several attacks (both bullets and projectiles) and most importantly has so much health that you'll wonder if it will never die. Also it's so badly drawn it has to be a joke.