NOTE: For instruction on the MEGA STATISTICAL REVIEW SYSTEM, check here
Look out, here comes another awful port. DOOM may have the worst history with bad porting in all of gaming’s history. It was incredibly popular on the PC in the early ‘90s, and so console ports, understandably; followed. Many of them were of subpar quality. Is this one of those?
|The suspense mounts. But yes.|
CURRENT POINT TOTAL: 50 POINTS
Mechanic: The mechanics of the original DOOM are very good. The 32X is okay at using them correctly. The only real problem that the 32X faces is the fact that, due to hardware restrictions, enemies only have sprites that face forward. This takes some of the strategy away from the game, as it is impossible to surprise enemies by sneaking up on them, and they cannot be made to fight against each other. Also, due to the 32X’s limited cartridge, only 17 levels are available for play from the first two episodes. Other than those, the gameplay actually works fairly well. Level movement, while it isn’t as fluid as the PC version, is much better than it could be.
CURRENT POINT TOTAL: 55 POINTS
Presentation: DOOM’s graphical and auditory elements were severely limited by the 32X’s hardware. While this is unfortunate, this never could have happened without the addition of the 32X. The audio is certainly lacking. While the sound effects are clean enough, the music is severely hurting. All of the musical tracks sound like low-quality versions of the original PC Midis. This hurts the atmosphere of the game (and I’ll get to that later.) The graphics, if you couldn’t tell, are muddy to the point of actually hurting the gameplay. It can be difficult to see where you’re going and who you’re shooting at. On top of that, the actual gameplay only takes up a small window of the screen. The rest of the presentation, menu and HUD-wise (HUDweiser, coincidentally, would be the basis of a great pun if I could think of one) is actually alright. The Doomguy face is still great.
CURRENT POINT TOTAL: 51 POINTS
|That mess of pixels there in the center is your enemy.|
Control: Using the Genesis controller is pretty awkward for a game like DOOM. For one, movement is controlled by the D-Pad, allowing only for forward and backward movement, along with rotation to the left and right. Shooting, on the other hand, is very responsive. The lack of ability to strafe is a little annoying, but other than that, it works fairly well. With a six button controller, the player can use the mode button to quickly change between weapons. The development team made do with what they had, and it worked out decently for them.
CURRENT POINT TOTAL: 52 Points.
Design: As previously stated, the first sixteen levels from DOOM are present in this version. These levels are designed very well. That’s about all I have to say about it. They’re great.
CURRENT POINT TOTAL: 59
Atmosphere: One of the things that made the original DOOM so great was the atmosphere. It was dark, claustrophobic in some cases, and legitimately unsettling at many points. Not much of this transferred over to the 32X. The graphics, as already stated, are muddy and blurry in some cases, which hurts the atmosphere because the excitement and unease given to the game is nearly gone when the player can hardly tell what is going on. The music probably takes a bigger hit, as the reduction in quality on many tracks strips most of the intrigue and suspense away.
It just doesn’t work like the original did, sadly; and it probably takes more away from this port than it would have if DOOM wasn’t a classic.
CURRENT POINT TOTAL: 53
GOING ABOVE AND BEYOND: Though there are only seventeen levels in the game, the programmers still had the presence of mind to code the BFG into accessibility. It can only be accessed via cheat code, apparently; but it is there. +2
(Info on this found at tcrf.net
HOLY SHIT THIS MUSIC: I mean really. -4
ACCOUNTING FOR LAZY PLAYERS: The first fifteen levels are accessible directly from the menu. The sixteenth level must be unlocked, however; and if the game is completed starting from anywhere other than the first level, the player gets the bad ending. +3
FINAL POINT TOTAL: 54
Realistically, this port can be fun in some cases. Unfortunately, the rating that this receives (54/100, basically terrible), gets swayed negatively by the great legacy that the original PC version holds. When it comes to DOOM ports, you could go worse, but you could go much, much better.