Friday, July 27, 2012

Feature: Hot and Not (July 1-July 28, 2012)

I've decided that, most likely every couple weeks or as release frequency warrants, I will point out and briefly summarize the highlights of the recent weeks, as well as what to avoid! This post will take a look at July so far. 'Hot' indicates a recommendation, while 'Not' indicates avoid. Only single player wads with maps are considered; Heretic and Hexen maps are included if there are any. Some stuff may be listed as neither - in such cases it implies I didn't see any reason to consider the release particularly good or bad. No unfinished projects (if more work is clearly planned and actively in progress) are mentioned.

One screenshot from a selected 'Hot' is provided, and is usually courtesy of Doomworld, most likely on a release thread or in a /newstuff review, or from whatever forum the wad was released on. Occasionally my own shot might appear however! Viewers are encourage to comment and guess what wad the screenshot is from - I will post a comment if/when the correct answer is picked.

So without further ado:

Nutty Shells: This map contains many memorable areas from Doom II condensed into one map. It is a bit rougher than it could have been but the concept deserves its attention. Rating: 7/10!
...Total Randomness Community Project: Totally a mixed bad of maps, 8 in total. However there's some creative maps by Lupinx-Kassman in here (though there are short) and Map06 is definitely something to not miss! No rating since it's only picked for the highlight maps.
cannonball's speedy episode 1 wad: The author decided to lowercase the whole name so I just preserved that. It's a quickly mapped episode for Doom I that is of pretty high quality. Reminds me of Khorus' Speedy Shit from last year in concept, although the authors clearly have very different styles. The author might make more of these and maybe there will be a megawad at some point! Rating: 8.5/10!
Titan 1024: Re-imagining of the authors' wad Titan released in 2004, with maps condensed to 1024x1024 space. So it could be viewed as a "miniaturization" of the wad. Cramping can become an issue as is common in 1024 maps but these levels deliver a challenge that is generally fun, not frustrating. This is the first "1024 wad" in quite some time and it's worth it. Rating: 7.5/10!
Urban Fire: A single player version of Map37 of the excellent 32in24-11, this is a city level. It's not very large but it packs a big punch difficulty wise! It's also quite good looking and the Duke Nukem 3D music fits well, not surprising given the number of city-themed maps in DN3D. This was a reject from the soon-to-be-released Community Chest 4. Interesting, the public beta of Community Chest 4 contains another single player converted 32in24-11 map as well as a map by the same author as this level, and interestingly enough they play in two consecutive map slots in the current beta! Rating: 8/10!
Coffee Break Episode 1: Last is clearly best in my view here! It's not necessarily unfinished despite its name as it was just intended to be longer, which is a shame. There isn't much to say special about it, but that is actually its biggest blessing: what you get here is 11 maps that stick to the Doom basics of how to make maps good in the finest sense. You have to get this! Rating: 9.5/10!

Anything by DooMWar: While he technically only has one release in July, this author flooded the archives with a bunch of virtually worthless stuff just beforehand. There is single player maps, DM maps, and mods, but they all have one thing in common - they such. Avoid downloading these!
Uploaded by Perseus: I don't have a particular link I can give here in particular but this guy thinks the archive needs every mid-90's wad out there no matter what the quality is like. Fact of the matter is, it doesn't, and we'd be missing nothing without these maps.
The doors to hell: Likely this is by the infamous Terry even though it is a different name (likely he has used a thousand different names, no kidding!). It's a serious-looking start that then turns into an incredibly cheap, lame, and insulting joke. The usual Terry formula.
Real Death: It is another stupid map that's loaded with Commander Keens that's probably from Terry under yet another name.I wish this guy would just cut it out one of these days. At least there's been no UAC Military Nightmare 2 yet.
ClubEpic: Just pointless, almost in a wow.wad type of way except it's 13 years too late to be a classic in spite of that.

And here's the screenshot!:

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