Doom: What You’re Getting Yourself Into

Released on the Super Nintendo in September of 1995, Doom has been named one of the greatest games of all time.  You’ve probably seen its bright red game cartridge at used game stores from time to time and seeing as the series is hailed as one of the most controversial franchises in gaming history, it’s no wonder it is such a coveted game.  Although it may not be extremely rare like Earthbound, it is a game that revolutionized the concept of first person shooters and kickstarted the gaming industry in a new direction.  All this being said, most people probably don’t know what they’re getting themselves into if they’ve never actually played the game before.

I got Doom a few weeks a go and I was super pumped to play it because I’d heard great things about it, especially from the Angry Video Game Nerd.  Overall, the game is amazing.  The music is awesome, the gameplay is intense, and the atmosphere is dark and mysterious.  Although you’re playing an old 16-bit game for the Super Nintendo, it still holds its own as one of the best survival-horror games out there.  But, before you go out to buy this game you should know what you’re getting yourself into.  If you didn’t grow up with a Super Nintendo and you’re not used to the way games looked back in the 16-bit era, then you may want to read further to get a better sense of what I’m talking about.

I love playing Doom, but there are a few things that can cause the game to feel strenuous at times.  First of all, if you aren’t a fan of Super Nintendo’s graphics you probably won’t enjoy playing Doom.  Although revolutionary for its time, Doom lacks depth from a graphic standpoint, which can be ridiculously annoying when you’re trying to judge how far away an enemy is.  On top of that, much of what you see on the screen tends to blur together while you’re moving around.  This can add to the eery atmosphere of the game, but at the same time it can become confusing and tiresome on your eyes.  In other words, if you’re someone who is more interested in graphics than gameplay itself, you probably won’t appreciate what Doom has to offer.

Once you move past the graphics you’ll begin to notice that the controls are a bit difficult to get a hang of.  Up and down on the D-pad move you forward and backward while left and right cause you to turn in the designated direction.  The left and right bumpers also allow you to strafe, which can be very helpful when you’re surprised by a large amount of monsters.  Sounds simple enough right?  The problem is that you can’t implement any of these controls in a combination together.  If you start strafing left or right you can’t turn while strafing, which can complicate your ability to shoot at enemies.  To make things better, the controls lag slightly behind the game.  Unresponsiveness is usually a huge letdown in video games, but Doom isn’t the worst I’ve ever seen.  Once you get used to the controls you won’t have much of a problem enjoying the game, but it will take some time.  If you’re easily irritated by difficult controls that tend to be a bit unresponsive, then Doom on the Super Nintendo isn’t the game for you.

The final challenge for the true Doom fan is the ability to play through the entire game without saving.  That’s right, you have to play through 22 levels straight without being able to save.  You can pause to take breaks, but once you turn off your Super Nintendo you have to start all over the next time you want to play again.  This wouldn’t be so bad if the graphics and controls weren’t so mediocre, but 22 levels means a lot of hours sitting in one spot while your Super Nintendo steadily heats up and your eyes begin to water.  I’m still not sure why a save system wasn’t implemented into this game and as far as I know there aren’t any codes to restart where you last left off, but the fact that there isn’t one might actually add to the game.  In a way, being forced to play straight through the game almost makes you feel like you’re living through the experiences of your character.  Some people may not like it because of the immense time requirement, but it certainly makes the game unique.

So, what do you think?  Is Doom on the Super Nintendo a game you’d like to play?  Why or why not?  Leave a comment and let me know!

-Ocarina of Time Nerd

About Joel

Live, love, play video games.
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4 Responses to Doom: What You’re Getting Yourself Into

  1. I remember playing DOOM on the SNES way back when, the only problem I had was the controls like you said, the graphics never bothered me but at the time a lot of PC games and console games looked a lot alike and I was used to it on the PC. It was definitely one of my faves right next to Wolfenstein 3D

  2. Mike says:

    I’ve recently started powering through my game collection on consoles and on PC. I just started going through Doom on the PC and I can’t imagine powering through it without saving! Maybe I’m spoiled by modern save systems, or maybe it’s because I’m a dad now and need to be able to stop at a moments notice, but that seems pretty rough, especially if you can’t strafe and turn at the same time. Still, playing it again on the PC has felt like a breath of fresh air. Shooters just don’t feel as fast paced, and everything has some form of reload mechanic now in a strive for realism, often at the expense of fun. It may be extremely unrealistic, but it’s damn fun, and that’s what really matters!

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