Atari Jaguar

from AEO Magazine, Volume 3, Issue 14

 |||   DOOM
 |||   Review by: Mark "Stingray" Santora
/ | \  GEnie: AEO.4   Delphi: SANTORA

For those one or two people out there who don't know the plot of Doom
- Interdimensional Space Travel is the wave of the future. The test
site jumpgate near Mars, between the two moons of Phobos and Deimos,
has been becoming more and more unstable, until recently when anyone
entering the jumpgate, or surrounding area, has never been heard from

Enter you and your team of intergalactic bad-asses. Your team is
ordered to the base on Phobos to secure it. While you secure the
perimeter, the rest of your squad heads into the base and are quickly
ripped apart and turned into mindless zombies to battle the last
intergalactic bad-ass - you.

Now you are on your way in the ultimate first person shootemup,
battling old friends and taking no prisoners. Along the way you are
going to meet some new "friends." But let's not get ahead of

//// The Game

After the title screen you are introduced to the main screen. There
are three items to decide upon before your journey into hell. First is
the Game Mode. There are three options: Single, Co-Op, and Deathmatch.

In a single game, you're alone battling the heavies. In a Co-Op you
link 2 Jaguars together with a null modem cable (via the Catbox) and
both of you go after the baddies. In Deathmatch it is you against a
friend, no holds barred using the same set up as the Co-Op. There's no
baddies present, just two good friends enjoying an afternoon of
kicking the living daylights out of each other. Without a Catbox, this
review is unfortunately solely based on the Single mode.

Next you can choose which level to start at. The way this works (as
opposed to other home versions) is that you can start at any level you
have made it to. So, if you were playing yesterday and stopped on
level 12, when you come back to it today, you can start anywhere you
want, up to and including level 12. Unfortunately you start with the
basic handgun and fist again and all the baddies are back. But,
usually there is more than one advanced guns lying around in your
immediate vicinity when you start a level.

Finally there is the Skill Level. There are five levels of severity to
choose from here. They are: I'm a Wimp, Not too Rough, Hurt me Plenty,
Ultra-Violence, and Nightmare. The game suggests Hurt me Plenty to
start, as do I. Obviously, the guys at ID Software are trying to
intimidate you, and they should. This game isn't exactly easy.

Control is handled by full use of the control pad. Up walks you
forward, while pushing down backs you up. Left and right turn you
respectively in those directions. To "Slide" to the left or right, you
have to press the "C" button and press left or right on the control
pad. "C" is also used to open doors and use the elevators. Using the
"A" button while moving your character effectively conveys the sense
of "running." Trust me when I say you will use this option far more
than you think. "B" is your gun weapon. Of course, all these are
customizeable so, to each their own with the set up.

The Keypad overlay details which button to press of a specific weapon.
Buttons 1-7 follow this while button 8 and 0 are not used. Button 9 is
used to bring up the map.

The Map falls into what is known as "automapping." You will only see
on the map areas you have walked through. If you were to look across a
lake of acid and see a platform, portions of that will show up on the
map, but not all of it. Done against a black backdrop, the map is a
basic representation of the level. Yellow lines are for the walls
while brown indicates a door, and lifts can be found by a purple line
on the map. While looking at the map you can zoom in and out of it to
get a better indication of the area you are in by pressing "B" and up
on the joypad. Conversely, if you want to zoom out press "B" and down.
You can also scroll it sideways by simply pressing left or right on
the pad. By pressing "C" and moving the joypad your character will
move. He is represented on the map by the cutest little green arrow.

One thing to note however is that the game does not stop while you are
playing it. If you are getting hit by a zombieman and want to look at
the map, he will continue to attack you while you stop to ask for
directions. Find a safe place to stop and look at your map. There are
23 levels in Doom, and 1 "secret" level. Each level is massive and
takes quite some time to complete. They are not as large as the levels
in Alien vs. Predator, but there are 24 total here. I think it's more
than a fair trade off.

Throughout the levels there are doors, elevators, hidden doors, and
levers. Some doors require the correct color matching key (red,
yellow, or blue). You will have to find these keys. Hidden doors are
in the walls and there is a lot of trial and error to find them.
Although the map will sometimes give you a good idea of where to try
and look.

//// The Basics

To battle in the world of Doom, at first you are armed with your fists
and a pistol. As you progress throughout the game you will find a
Shotgun, Chainsaw, Rocket Launcher, Plasma Rifle, and the BFG 9000
(Big YouKnowWhating Gun). Each of these weapons are unique as they
each have a pay-off. There isn't any way to completely point out how
much fun it is to take the chainsaw to a bunch of imps. But beware of
using the Rocket Launcher on enemies that are too close to you as you
will end up hurting yourself as well.

When the game starts you are presented with a full screen image of the
3D world you are battling in. Across the bottom of the screen is your
information bar. Listed in the bar, from left to right, are:

1. Your ammo count for the weapon you are currently using.
2. Your health (normally maxxes out at 100 but can be increased with
   soul spheres up to 200).
3. The key you have, or don't have. There are generally 3 keys per
4. A picture of you (kinda ugly,too!)
5. Your armor rating. Like the health, it normally maxxes out at 100
   but can be raised to 200 with special armour.
6. The weapon indictors, which tell you which weapons you have.
7. The Level Indicator.

Whichever weapon you are holding is displayed on the environment
screen. The better to blast you with....

//// Bad Guys

[] Former Humans (Zombiemen): these are your old friends, they're not
[] Former Human Sergeants (Zombies with shotguns): Big guys with Bad
[] Imps: Tough, brown monsters who spit out fireballs.
[] Demons: Pink, but not nice.  Will open wide and swallow you whole.
[] Lost Souls: Flying around fireheads, but not the brightest enemy.
[] Cacodemons: Huge floating heads that spit out lightning.
[] Barons of Hell: Huge monster that make you wish for a T-Rex.

One of the nice things to note is that each weapon acts differently
with each bad guy. And on top of that, the power of the weapon seems
to decrease with added distance between you and your intended dead

Also make note that these demons are full 3-D creatures, they turn.
You can see their sides and backs. They just don't slide left and
right as they do in inferior versions of Doom.

//// More Basics

Scattered throughout the levels are various items to pick up. To grab
them all you have to do is walk over them.

//// Healing

1. Stimpacks help you out by raising your health a bit.
2. Medkits are much better at healing you and are a step above
3. Berserk Packs take you to 100% health and turn your fists into
   something that imps and the like should avoid. This power up will
   generally allow you to take out baddies with one or two punches.
   It lasts the rest of the level.
4. Health potions are in little blue bottles and raise your health by
5. Soul Spheres take you to 200% health. They are rare.
6. Invulnerability Artifacts make you invulnerable for a brief time.

//// Things to Wear

1. Security armour (green) will bring your health up to 100%.
2. Combat armour (blue) will bring you up to 200%.
3. Spiritual armour will slightly raise your armour level.

Radiation Suits help you as you trot your way through the green ooze
that flows like rivers throughout the complex. Be sure to check these
river or canals out for extra stuff.

Backpacks allow you to carry extra ammo. They also have additional
ammo in them when you find them.

Computer Maps update your automap so you have a better idea where you
are going.

//// Graphics

The textures used throughout the game are nothing short of awe
inspiring. Sometimes beautiful and sometimes so discrete that you
don't notice, those are the ones that are the most impressive. These
textures are a combination of ones found in Doom and Doom ][ as stated
by the programmers at ID Software.

The levels are claustrophobic and hauntingly real. They look as if
someone took a castle off the shores off the highlands of Scotland and
moved it to Phobos. Excellent.

The Characters are a well defined and move convincingly. They do get
pixelated when you get really close to them, as do some of the walls,
but it is not bad. In this game if you are close enough to a baddie to
examine the pixilation, you're in a lot of trouble....

//// Sound

Ok, I have a minor gripe here. After playing Alien vs Predator (and
finishing all three scenarios, thank you), I was a little disappointed
with Doom's sound. In AvP there is always a little background hum
going on, something to give a little ambiance. I like ambiance. But in
Doom the effects, while well placed. are a little scarce. It is
important to note however, that there is music between the levels
which is quite good. But lack of music during the actual gameplay did
not deter from the overall experience. Though I feel that music during
the gameplay would have distracted me from the game, I think there
should have been at least a little ambient noise to keep the gamer
going. Aside from that, great sound.

//// vs. Doom PC

I had never played Doom on the PC but I had seen it. So, after getting
Doom I made it a point to go over to a friend's and play it on his
486DX/33. I brought my Jag and A/V cable and we went over it, bit by

Speed is roughly equivalent to the 486. (Don't forget that the Jag is
doing it in 16 bit color.) My friend was very impressed with the
shading of the hallways. The Jaguar shines here as the lighting
effects are far superior to the PC version. There was some slowdown on
the Jag with a lot of enemies on the screen, but it doesn't detract
too much from the game. My friend was actually so impressed, he plans
to pick a Jag up after Xmas when he gets his bonus.

//// vs. doom 32x [Ed: lower case used to denote inferiority]

There isn't really much to compare. The 32x version has forward facing
bad guys, a smaller screen window to play the game through (so the
game will run faster), maybe 256 colors, no level save feature (start
anywhere), only 15 levels (2 secret if you play from the beginning),
and is slower than the Jag version.

Oh, please let me invest $100 in a Genesis, $160 in a 32x adapter, and
another $70 to get a pseudo-Doom. Not.

//// Conclusion

Jag Doom is as close to perfect as it is going to get. Even John
Carmack considers it to be the best version of Doom that ID has ever
done. One thing to note is that the Doom engine was not fully
optimized for the Jaguar; if it had been, it could be running faster
than we could play it at! I assume that when Quake is released for the
Jag, it will be fully optimized so we can see a major speed increase.

This is the type of game you are not going to finish in one sitting,
or two, or three. You are going to play this for a long time. Then,
when you get higher up in the levels, you will wonder where all these
guys are coming from. You will wish you were playing an earlier level
only because it is easier.

It is very difficult to find everything scattered throughout the
levels. Secret rooms, objects that are placed at the exact point that
if you don't walk over into a corner, you would never notice that
something in the shadows; these are what will keep you coming back to
Doom. Not to mention that this is the best way to take out aggressions
on a video game since Tempest 2000!

So go out, grab Doom, and go kick some interstellar butt!

//// Final Ratings

         Title: Doom                 JagNet: No
        Design: Id Software         Players: One or Two (via null
  Published by: Atari Corp.                              modem cable)
         Price: $69.95(US)        Available: Now (US, UK)

    Here's the summary ratings:
                 "*" is a whole
                  "+" is a half
                5 stars maximum

 Graphics - ****+    The graphics are top notch. If they had been at a
                     little higher resolution they have been better.
    Audio - ***      Nice sound f/x but a little more was needed to
                     totally immerse the gamer.
  Control - ****     Smooth and easy to pick up. Surprisingly good
                     with the joypad.
 Gameplay - *****    Highly addictive. Don't forget to put the
                     controller down and eat on occasion.
  Overall - ****+    Worth every penny.

Pts Stars  AEO Ratings
""" """""  """""""""""
 10 *****  GAMING NIRVANA!!! - You have left reality behind... for good.
  9 ****+  Unbelieveable GAME!! - Your family notices you're often absent.
  8 ****   Fantastic Game!! - You can't get enough playtime in on this.
  7 ***+   Great Game! - Something to show off to friends or 3DOers.
  6 ***    Good game - You find yourself playing this from time to time.
  5 **+    Ho-hum - If there's nothing else to do, you play this.
  4 **     Waste of time - Better to play this than play in traffic.
  3 *+     Sucks - Playing in traffic sounds like more fun.
  2 *      Sucks Badly - You'd rather face an IRS audit than play this.
  1 +      Forget it - ... but you can't; it's so badly done, it haunts you.
  0 -      Burn it - Disallow programmer from ever writing games again.

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