Review of every doom game excluding 3 - Cam3ron36
Published by Cam3ron36@NFF
Doom: (The Master Review)
The Master Review
A Classic FPS, ported to so many consoles. I am going to take a look at most of the versions.
I’m sure by now we all know what Doom is; it’s a classic game that inspired what we know today and by that I mean all of the FPS games that are released today. There is just so many FPS games today that you don’t know which one to pick. Well, imagine the 90’s: Most games are side-scrollers and the only ‘Shooter’ Games that we would get would be a game like contra; running sideways across the screen and shooting the crap out of all the 2d figures. Now, in 1992 a company called “id” arrives to change the gaming industry forever, changing your 2d shooters to this:
Back then as well as today graphics were everything and I don’t know why but it especially was back then. I mean gamers enjoyed their side-scrollers and the gaming technology was relatively new still but throw in something 3d and people start going wild to try and get their greedy hands on it. This changed however as most of those kids back then chose to stick with the 2D classics they grew up with in the odd person from that age.
Now the image above is not the game in question. In case you don’t realise that is Wolfenstein 3d. id’s original FPS that is considered the grand-daddy of all FPS games. The problem with Wolfenstein 3d (and this is just speculation), is that id was a new company and didn’t have relatively good marketing ploys. So a few people bought Wolfenstein 3d but when 1993 arrived. id used a tactical marketing ploy to really get Doom on the charts. They sent out Shareware versions of Doom featuring the first of the three episodes of the game “Doom”. This is where id got cooking. People played the game to find out that yeah, it was crazily innovative but the part that got most gamers was the fact that the ending of the first episode enticed you to buy the rest of the game…
So enough of the story, I’m going to review the original Doom:
Doom, what words can describe this monstrosity of awesome? I’d say simply epic and revolutionary. Why? Well, playing through this game for the first time is just amazing. You start out as some random army marine trapped on the mars moon ‘Phobos’ and that was really it. The story was as simple as escaping a moon in the future, or so you thought. First comment when you start the game is; “Holy crap, the music is brilliant”. Now, you’re running around with a pistol when you see a zombie walking around shooting you with a shotgun and it gets crazier from this too. You come across crazy imps that spit fireballs and have spikes all over them but the part that got me as a kid was the pinky: A giant pink beast with a gigantic mouth and… Holy crap, it scared me, I mean even the imps looked somewhat human but these… Just wow! Words cannot describe the pixilated beast. Did I say pixilated? Maybe by today’s standards but no, I’m getting confused with the ports; the millions of ports that were made.
Things to note about Doom is just the simplicity of it, who knew that running around blasting random beasts without much of an apparent story could be so much fun? There is nothing more satisfying than blasting the ever-living crap out of random beasts that terrify you. That is the instinct in this game, your mind freaks at the horrifying sight on your Computer screen; basic instinct is to put a bullet in its head. Oh wait. There’s more and by that I mean more beasts… Lots of them, holy hell there is tons of them and a hell of a lot of different types too (pun intended). Open a door; oh, monsters, shoot-em! Step on a switch; oh, monsters, shoot-em! Turn around; oh, monsters, shoot-em! There is not a thing you can do in this game that doesn’t result in monsters and beasts appearing all over the place. Trap Doors are a big thing with id it seems further on. All you see is holes in the walls everywhere because id decided to stuff trap doors everywhere and not really for short cuts either. Most of these are for holding more monsters believe it or not. Monsters, beasts, demons, whatever you want to call them, they’re everywhere! It’s a little secret they use to keep the game fresh, and it works. These trap doors are placed in rooms you’ve already passed, so when you get a key or pass a certain area. Trap doors open and more beasts are roaming rooms you’ve been in. Most of the time you have to backtrack and explore the mazes of levels that are bestowed upon you later on in the game; so you want something to do rather than running around like a clueless moron. Thank you id, you’re a complete jerk for loading this game with monsters to slaughter us but we love you!
You may be thinking it’s as simple as running through an assortment of levels through out the game from how I worded my writing but did you notice the ‘Key words’ being “Key” & “Backtracking”. So while this was an action game the levels consisted more and more of scavenger hunts. No clues I’m afraid but if you go into a room full of demons then you’d better hope that that’s your clue to seek and destroy. Just don’t destroy the key, not that you can thankfully. Finding these keys though can be a real jerk. It can and will become a big search which is sort of a letdown and killer to the mood. But it gives you something to do at least. Other than shooting stuff of course but as you may have guessed already the keys are for opening doors (Key-cards to be completely accurate). To be honest though I could have done without the keys because they are not really fun to get, but that is just me.
To sum it up Doom is an absolute classic, and while Wolfenstein 3D was first it just can’t beat Doom. To my knowledge Doom is still way better than any FPS today simply because it is quite long for its time with three episodes of absolute legacy. This is not a game that intends to be forgotten. Even a fourth episode was added later on to the game and it was renamed “The Ultimate Doom”, ultimate? It most certainly is. Doom is the ultimate FPS experience. It’s scary and it makes you sit on the edge of your seat and fear for your character’s life plus it has an unparalleled soundtrack that perfectly blends into the game and immerses you into the experience all while still remaining an interesting experience that you won’t soon forget.
A few problems to find with it though is that while Doom is great in the entertainment factor, dying a lot just happens on certain levels and I often just felt out of place on some levels: Let’s just say that some earlier levels seem More difficult than some of the later levels and leave it at that.
I always felt somewhat mocked by the ending of doom and I mean yeah; you escape so onto living life right? Guess again, Earth has been over-run. Can you say sequel? Oh boy. Back to action, that’s right; Doom 2. Now don’t get me wrong this was not by any means a disappointment. Everyone wanted a sequel and you can’t go wrong since the original never got old. So here you have it now, yet another doom game and I repeat: “id, we love you”. This time you’d think it would be different but no. It’s the same game pretty much with many more levels and some new AI brought into it. This game is a little less popular, taking into account that it was the same game with different levels. One thing that I do find annoying about this one is that the levels are constructed in a manner that is more tedious; they made it more of a maze. Some of the later levels took me up to an hour to fight my way through and there is a lack of enemies at that long point of duration. The trap doors are there, but it was literally back and forth through the whole level over and over again. The enemies ran out because they just eventually all got killed by you unless you weren’t killed already of course. This is something that got to me and to make matters worse you’ll notice that the music is a huge down step. In the original doom, the tunes were so awesome that it just immersed you into the game. If you recall my Day of Reckoning Review I noted the music since it was one of the most redeeming factors of the game, this may just be a personal issue but in doom 2 there is this chill music that’s nice and calm for most of the game. Chill? Is Doom about “chilling”? No, doom is about fighting for your life and putting bullets in the heads of scary frigging beasts. I was stunned to hear this music when I first played Doom 2. That’s not to say that there wasn’t some semi-suitable music for the game, just generally. It was not very enticing to the mood of the game, and that’s a problem for me personally. That is just me though.
Other than a few minor drawbacks Doom 2 was also excellent, it’s Doom people and Doom rules so there is not much good to say about it that I haven’t said already in the Doom review above. All of the features that you love from the original doom are present in Doom 2, and some! One thing people most often note is the boss of Doom 2. It’s just an evil face on the wall but you can’t even concentrate on it. Too many other enemies are emerging from well, everywhere. On the occasion a platform is lowered that you can jump on and it will raise you high enough to get a few shots off on the face. It doesn’t really attack you, stuff flies out of its head but to be frankly honest I don’t know what comes out of its head. I believe it’s the flaming skull enemies. The reason why I can’t concentrate on it is because I’m getting murdered by millions of other monsters in the room. Supposedly, it has been noted over the internet that this is not the real boss because there is some weird noises at the start of the boss. If you play that message backwards it says: “To win the game you must kill me. John Romero” and then if you run into the wall below the face you see John Romero’s head on a stick. I am not going to say if this is real or not since I’ve never tried it personally, I deleted my Doom 2 file on my dream cast after I beat it. I only have room for one doom file at a time. I’m trying to find out though… Sort of, but sorry, I cannot clarify if that is real or not. I remember hearing that message though but since it’s in reverse it just sounds like gurgled noises.
Overall, Doom 2 is a worthy sequel to Doom. It was not as popular as the original for the reasons I have stated, but it is definitely a good game.
What’s next? Doom 3? Well, sort of, this is the “controversial” sequel that I am going to talk about now and no I’m not talking about that newer Doom 3 that was released recently, I am talking about the true third game in the series: Final Doom.
Now when I heard of this game I thought it was just another expansion to Doom, like the Ultimate Doom was. So why was this so disliked? At least that’s my take on it by reading reviews on game spot and other places like that, that it was disliked I mean. Most of the comments are things like “too old looking”, “Graphics are terrible compared to FPS’ today” and “Doom should hang up its hat for good”. All I honestly have to say is dang people! Get over it, Doom isn’t about graphics. Let’s take an honest look at what doom ended up being like in Doom 3. It wasn’t liked as much as your common FPS, it wasn’t honestly true to what Doom was. Doom was just a simplistic game that didn’t need to bear a storyline. It didn’t need a real purpose; it was just about blasting aliens. Honestly, the only faults I’m finding all over the place is about the graphics and how you can’t aim up and down and you can’t honestly tell me that’s a valid argument and it’s not like Final Doom was released recently since it was released around the same time as the other 2 Dooms on PC. There is no point in even stating what doom is about and why it’s good since I just stated that throughout this entire review.
Now is Final doom honestly that bad? No, I’ve been playing a bit of it. It is more of an extremist doom because it’s frigging hard. It comes with 2 different ‘missions’ I guess, I believe its two separate games in one, because I can’t tie them together, but who cares? Honestly, I don’t try and make sense of it; I just enjoy the games for what they are. If you want the story, read the books, there’s only like 4 of the books. Anyways, this one is on my dream cast as well and there was no label for final doom. I had noticed these other two games called “TNT Evilution” & “Plutonia experiment”. Turns out that those were the two games or possible ‘episodes’ of Final Doom, so how are they? Well, I cannot honestly say that I’ve played through the entire game successfully. I’ve needed pass codes eventually just to view the levels. TNT Evilution is your average difficulty, I could make it through most of it on the first two difficulties but it’s still a hard game. Plutonia experiment is insane though! If anything this is the second episode but I still think they’re both two separate games altogether. I am honestly going to say that I could not make it through the first level on easy without a few attempts. You may be thinking this is why people disliked it, but no. It just requires more problem solving and strategy. This is unlike doom since it’s more like the stealthy type of games you see today, sort of. You need to hide a lot if you can guess that but to the avail of the players though it really keeps you on the edge. Health is everywhere and I mean ‘everywhere’. There are so many freaking enemies that it’s just jaw-dropping. If you view one of these levels you’ll probably be swearing at how tremendously hard it looks. Now that I’ve looked into it, it appears that Plutonia was meant to be a sequel to doom 2 that was meant for extremely skilled players of Doom 2 only. The levels are insane, I honestly can’t beat it, but I have played every level as well as watched them on you tube. So I guess that is where some of the hate comes from, is in the difficulty but I’ve made it to level 24 without using a pass code and that’s fine. That’s about 75% of the game there. There is normally enough health to keep you alive. So I’ll let it slide. Plutonia is really difficult but it’s still incredibly fun despite that. How is TNT Evilution? As I have stated it’s a bit harder but I would not say any harder than the originals, it’s really still worth it and it does bring variety to the series. So it seems that TNT was thrown in there as a classic and easier-going game. Then you have Plutonia on top of that totaling in about 60+ levels. 60? Holy-frogs-of-hell man! That is a lot of levels. Doom and doom 2 only had like half of that unless you count the ultimate doom which was just doom with an extra 10 levels or so, an extra episode anyways, so in the long run Final doom is definitely worth it. I love it; I may even go as far to say it beats its predecessors. Maybe not though and the reason I say ‘Long run’ is for Plutonia you’ll need some serious training to beat the game so they should have called it “Difficult Doom” or “Get ready to die Doom” or how about “Find the health packs ASAP Doom”! Final doom is excellent otherwise especially in the music department, even though Plutonia used recycled music from the original Doom.
Before we get to console ports of these original dooms I have one more to comment on. Another “infamous” Doom game and you probably know which one I mean, visiting our old 1996 cartridge based friend the N64. That’s right, Doom 64 (Dang, how many dooms are there?). This one there’s not much to say and I’m really running out of a variety of comments. I enjoyed Doom 64 but again with the reviews. “Graphics outdated”, “seems too old”, etc. Doom 64 deserves its credit; it is doom for the N64. No, not a port it is its own version. Again some new levels and some new weapons and well, unfortunately I can’t say new enemies since it has very little variety compared to Doom 2 and final doom which came out before it and while I’m on the ‘enemies department’, the imps look nothing like they have before, no angry face and no spikes on them. Other than that it seems to be following the original doom since it seemed to disregard all of the new enemies that existed in Doom 2 and Final doom, that being a minor drawback though I won’t complain much. Some of the new enemies were just bizarre and difficult anyways. Only new things are really in what your character can do since he can now jump and there really isn’t much point to that anyways other than the final boss. You can choose to play like a real fps now where you can look up and down, or you can choose the classic style of control (something the wii should learn to allow in every game; classic control and same goes for the DS). I choose the classic style since it makes the game easier and it is like the originals. It remains true to what doom is and that is what I like. That’s all that there is to really say about that. It’s an excellent nostalgic game.
Complaints that I have about it is that it’s such a dark game so it’s often hard to see and I don’t always know where enemies are until I’m already losing health. It’s not like this in the whole game however. Later on you’re in out door levels but it seems that they always felt the need to add all these dark rooms in random areas and I’m not talking about rooms where photographs are made, I mean dark black rooms that sometimes flicker on and off. They did this on occasion with the originals and I always hated it since I couldn’t see and I’d get killed. They didn’t do this too often with the originals but now they have to overplay it so much in Doom 64 that it’s just ridiculous. Thankfully it doesn’t take too much of a toll on you with enemies in these rooms like the originals but it’s disorienting trying to venture your way through these rooms and it’s tedious as hell (yes, pun intended).
The only other complaint that I have with this game is the lack of music, may I ask why they felt the need to plaster this dark and gothic music in the game that’s barely hearable? Often times all the music is this cackling laugh from the she-boss of the game. It really doesn’t make me too enthusiastic to play it. I want rocking beats when I play a game like this, what ever happened to that? I saw no fault in the music before.
Overall, Doom 64 gets repetitive without the music and it seems like there isn’t much variety in the levels. It is still an enjoyable game but it doesn’t hold your attention for too long and that means you have to come back to it every once in a while. Still though, while it is repetitive it is still interesting to play it and its still Doom.
*Sighs* saving my pet peeves for the end. Let’s get to it, Doom ports! I’m not going in-depth to each port as the other dooms’ I just have to say what’s good and what’s bad.
Familiarity first with Super Nintendo; what a glorious console I mean everyone loved it, but with a crummy Wolfenstein 3D port it was a touchy subject. Anyways it is released and it was alright. My only complaints are just draw distance and stiff controls. You can’t see enemies in the distance which is a problem and the controls are so stiff and unresponsive that it just makes for a mediocre port. With all the other ports out there especially the excellent Xbox live port but that segment will come soon. So all I really have to complain about with the Super Nintendo version is those two things and the graphics are better on every other port but that doesn’t matter too much. What’s good about it from the other versions is the music. It was enhanced with the Snes’ superior sound chip but for an odd reason I still prefer the PC music of “The Ultimate Doom”. Not bad but the only reason I play it is to make an interesting video.
ME Commentating after I played snes on nightmare
Unfortunately the little amount I’ve played of the Jaguar and PS1 versions aren’t enough to review them but they seem alright other than no music on the jaguar. So it’s time to look at the best port before the dreaded version. Doom on Xbox live arcade! I love this game, I couldn’t resist buying another version of doom but this was only like 400 points and it features 4-player co-op online! That is my dream; I would have never imagined the sight of multiplayer doom. This port is also very well polished with better controls (mostly), better graphics and a perfect port of the PC version with all 4 episodes. My one complaint however is why in god’s name must you hold the ‘L’ button down to run at the proper speed and turn around fast? The controls are as stiff as the Super Nintendo version if you aren’t holding the ‘L’ button down. Why? It is so painful after a while and why even it even gives you the option is beyond me? Most of the other ports just automatically let you run fast and if anything the ‘L’ button should have been used to walk slowly, like the other way around? Sheesh, I’d rather tape the button down.
One and final decent port to look at, to quote Game spot again and other reviews they all say “Released to late, Terrible graphics, why isn’t this golden eye” and other crap like that. Its doom, you seriously think they’re going to favor the Saturn in a port? No one gave a crap about the Saturn except me and I like this port. Screw the people that say the frame-rate sucks and all that jazz it is good and it is one of my favourite ports since it is the only one I’ve played to include both Doom and Doom 2. I have no complaints about it but it does do the same thing as the Xbox version with the button holding. Only this time you actually run the right speed and if you want to go extra-fast you hold down “y” I believe so now that is what I’m talking about. Saturn version is one of my favourite ports.
32X port: Now when you look at the Game Boy advance version it is just humiliating. You wanted the 32X review? Patience since I have to say that for a 32-bit port of doom on GBA why is the graphics so bad? I’m not normally one to complain but give me a break; Super Nintendo was 16-bit and was less superior to the GBA graphics-wise so how did they manage to produce two GBA ports with terrible graphics? Other than that though the controls were okay but not the best, I can’t remember them entirely since it was years and years ago that I played the GBA version.
Now it is finally time for everyone to hear my opinion on the worst port created. Can you guess? Thirty-two-Ex time; Nothing but complaints on my part so I won’t praise this one much so with an honest look the first thing that gets you is the music. It is so bogged down to a ridiculous extent. What they couldn’t at least give the worthless 32X a better sound chip stupid Sega and their need to make a billion add-ons! While the music is a lot worse, at least there is music and some of it can still be catchy but it’s basically just noise made entirely of beeps and cricks. I started a silent LP on this to take a look for myself and it’s not terrible but it has the stupid button-holding mechanics again due to the genesis’ lack of buttons so you have to hold ‘C’ I think to strafe which is a problem for me. I need to strafe in doom and the same button was also shared with the door-opening button or the shooting button depending on what control scheme you picked. Here you’d also think they’d fix that for the 6-button controller so you had an alternative but no dice. They also managed to screw up the power-up colors which isn’t a big deal since it’s kind of better to not have that monochrome screen with invincibility but it sucks because it just barely tints the screen gold so you can’t even really tell the difference between invincible or not.
With all these ports I’d stick to the Xbox Live version. Make that the Xbox live version with a side of tape.
Hope you enjoyed this review sorry for the delay, only took me three months so I really hope you enjoy it! Thanks for reading and a special thanks if you read the whole thing!