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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 again. 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 ourselves.... =-=-=-=-=-=-= //// 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 level. 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 anymore.  Former Human Sergeants (Zombies with shotguns): Big guys with Bad Attitudes.  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 meat. 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 Stimpacks. 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 2%. 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 bit... 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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