What can you say about
Doom that hasnt already been said? Its a classic game, one of the first FPS
titles ever, and has amassed a huge cult following. It has shown up on just about every
system, and this year it beats a clutch of other FPS titles to the Game Boy Advance. Your
enjoyment of Doom on the GBA will be enhanced by any nostalgia you harbor for the game,
but even if youve never tried it, youll agree that there is a future for FPS
titles on the GBA.
There is a basic premise to Doom you are working to
eliminate the evil aliens and mutated humans found in and around the interdimensional
space travel gateways connecting the two moons of Mars, Phobos and Deimos. You enter with
a squad of soldiers, but eventually its all up to you to wipe out the baddies and
save the universe. Of course, all of this comes from the instruction manual Doom
isnt big on story.
Everybody knows that what made Doom a hit, and what keeps it alive on all kinds
of systems today, is a lot of running and gunning. On each level you cruise around mowing
down baddies and looking for the exit (conveniently marked by a large "Exit"
sign). There are secrets, power-ups, and new weapons to find all over, and die-hard Doom
fans will spend time collecting all of these.
Overall, the GBA version has managed the control scheme well. Usually these games are
played on the PC with a mouse and keyboard, or on a console system with two analog control
sticks and some shoulder buttons. The GBA doesnt really have enough buttons to
handle all of the controls were used to in Doom, so some have been simplified. You
cannot look up or down, for example. However, with six control schemes to choose from, you
should be able to find an acceptable compromise.
The graphics are just like the original, meaning that they are good but not
great. Some elements, such as the status bar at the bottom of the screen, look impeccable,
but the textures of walls and explosions look like classic Doom theyre kind
of blocky and not at all detailed. This is okay because its what we expect, and Doom
is definitely more about the fun of playing than the pretty visuals.
And the fun of playing is there, although hindered. The simplified control scheme takes
away some of the freedom of movement that we are used to on FPS games. The one thing that
fans love about FPS titles, and detractors loath, is how effective the first-person point
of view is at immersing you in the game. Doom is no exception, although not being able to
look up and down takes away from that feeling. You can still maneuver really well by using
your strafe commands, but it will take some work to get really good at this.
So Doom is fun enough to own, which is good because if you want to play
multiplayer you and your buddies will each need a cartridge. And it is worth it to play
multiplayer. You can engage in standard Deathmatch play, which is, in and of itself, a
novel and exciting thing on the GBA. Whats even cooler is that you can actually play
in Cooperative mode, which is a very welcomed innovation in GBA games. One of my favorite
things about the FPS in general is cooperative mode, and Im very happy to see it
make an appearance in Doom.
Overall, I can heartily recommend Doom. Although other FPS games for the GBA are coming
out, such as Dark Arena and Ecks vs. Sever, Doom has an existing appeal that will be hard
to overcome. I do believe that these other titles will give Doom a real run for its money,
but it doesnt really matter. FPS fans want a lot of games in their favorite genre,
so all of these titles stand to be very welcomed. Its a good season to play your