RetroReview: Doom (1993)

With the release of Doom Eternal I felt it was the perfect time to take a look at Doom on the classic consoles.  My first decision to make was what console would I review Doom for as it has appeared on the SNES, 3DO, 32X and the Atari Jaguar.  This wasn’t a hard decision as I just asked myself “well, what system had the best version of Doom?” and the only choice was the Jaguar.  So here we go.

Doom on the PC was fantastic and I am sure every true gamer has played it.  If for some reason you haven’t then let me set it up for you quick. Many people have been sent to mars but none have returned. You are a space marine and have been sent to mars to find out what happened to them. It isn’t pretty as Martians have turned all of the astronauts into zombies and for some reason are out to kill you. Your mission is to get back to earth alive to tell what happened.

The first thing you will note is that Doom on the Jaguar was gorgeous for it's time, just as good as the PC in my opinion.  Even though you are playing on a lower resolution television I think the graphics hold up just fine when compared to the PC version.  The animation in the game is on par with the PC version also (meaning they are dated and don’t compare with today’s games) and definitely gets the job done.  They in no way to compare this to Alien Vs. Predator but remember, this is a port of an older PC game and AvP was built from the ground up on the Jaguar.

The one area where the Jaguar version really drops the ball is in the game music.  You see my friend, there isn’t any.  This isn’t really that big of deal as AvP had no music either and it just adds to the “you are there” feel.  Personally I would have liked a little beat in the background but there is only so much room on cartridges so something had to be omitted I assume.

Thankfully the sound effects are still there and very faithful to the PC original.  From the shotgun blasts to the roar of the chainsaw, it is all there.  Make sure to turn the volume way up on the home theater system while playing!

Since Doom is a 2D game (meaning there are no levels above or below you and you can’t look up or down) it works decently on the Jaguar controller.  The game moves swiftly and basically all you need to know is where the fire button is and you are set!

Unlike the other console versions of Doom you can actually network with another Jaguar and either DeathMatch with a buddy or go through the game in CO-OP mode.  This was a nice bonus feature and one of the first on consoles that I can think of.

Overall I think this is a very well done version of Doom and one that is still fun to pull out and waste an afternoon with.

- The Big Geek

Release Date: December 10th, 1993

Publisher: Atari

Developers: id Software, GT Interactive, Rage Games

Original System: PC