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Doom (SNES) artwork

Doom (SNES) review

"Chances are, if you're reading this review, you can play the PC version of Doom. Do so immediately if you haven't yet."

By my count, the only console that DOOM didn't manage to get on was the counterpart to the Super Nintendo, the Sega Genesis. On every other console from the 16 and 32-bit era, there is at least one Doom game. However, after seeing the quality of Doom for the SNES, maybe it's a good thing that it didn't make its way on to the Genesis...

In case you're not familiar with it, in Doom, you shoot a bunch of things. Well, okay, it's a BIT more complicated than that; you shoot evil demons. That's about the whole point. Oh sure, there's some storyline about abadoaned bases on Phobos and Deimos, two Martian moons, but that's only in the instructional manual. Doom is about reloading shotguns and wading through armpit deep lakes of blood and gore.

In most versions of the game, that is. However, this version manages to falter due to some fatal hardware limitations. The graphics in Doom are absolutely hideous, the entire game is choppy, and the pixelation and blurriness would make anyone feel drunk.

The problems with Doom start at the very beginning of the game. On other platforms, Doom is a fast moving, rapid game that requires outstanding hand-eye coordination and lightening reflexes. The game is from a first person perspective, as you venture through deep labyrinths, trying to blast your way out.

''Blast'' is a bad word to use, though. A better word would be ''amble''. The controls on the Super Nintendo just aren't appropriate for a game that was originally on the PC. Without a mouse, it's impossible to circle strafe (meaning to turn in a circle around a large enemy as you fire at him) or turn around quickly in 180 degrees to get the demon gnawing on your keister.

Sluggish response times make the controls even more unbearable. A delay of half a second to a full second can be expected for most commands, and sometimes they don't even execute at all. Cycling through weapons takes a long long time to do, and by the time you finish, you're usually dead.

All the weapons (handgun, rocket launches, plasma rifle, ect.) and enemies from the original PC game manage to make it in, along with all three original levels. If you've never played the original, this is a good thing; if you have, then there's absolutely no reason to play.

The monsters in Doom have always been a strong point. Nothing can match the intensity you feel as you stare down into the face of a Cyberdemon. However, the terror of Doom is negated when all the enemies look like fuzzy blobs of jumbled pixels. If it wasn't for the different colors of the enemies, all of them would look very very similar. The gloomy look to the other games has been replaced, and the levels are significantly lightened up. The game is limited by the SNES's weak graphical ability as compared to the PC, but still, if they were going to be THIS bad, then Doom shouldn't have been developed at all.

The only bright spot of Doom is the music. Nothing has changed from the other home versions, or from the PC version. This isn't too surprising, given that the original didn't have the most technically advanced sound in the world. The SNES easily duplicates it, in all of it's glory. Too bad it doesn't have the graphics or atmosphere to match.

The final death blow for Doom is the lack of any significant extras. There's no multiplayer option, and since it is a console system (and since the X-Band modem is long gone) a network option is out of the question. Due to the cart format, there's no level modifications like on the PC.

Chances are, if you're reading this review, you can play the PC version of Doom. Do so immediately if you haven't yet. However, if you must play Doom on a console, stick to the outstanding and unheralded Nintendo 64 version, or any of the Playstation versions. Just about any version of Doom is better than this one.

sgreenwell's avatar
Community review by sgreenwell (Date unavailable)

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