+ DOOMCOMP ADDENDUM +
Author comments on game-console/handheld Doom games
Last update: 08/12/2010
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PC/Mac: Doom/Doom II games (all)
PlayStation: Doom / Final Doom
Sega Saturn: Doom
Nintendo 64: Doom 64
Atari Jaguar: Doom
Super Nintendo: Doom
Sega Genesis 32X: Doom
Game Boy Advance: Doom / Doom II
Tapwave Zodiac: Doom II
Original Xbox: Ultimate Doom/Doom II / Doom II Master Levels
XBLA/Xbox 360: Doom / Doom II
Apple iPhone/iPod touch: Doom
Back to Frequently Asked Questions page / ClassicDOOM home page
##. AUTHOR COMMENTS
o PC DOOM: For the Doom purist, this is the only version that matters. For
Doomers without access to a Mac or PC, one or more of the console versions
should be adequate.
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o PSX DOOM: Overall quite impressive. Compared to all other console/handheld
Doom games, the number of maps included in this package is exceeded only by
the Xbox Doom 3 releases that come with Xbox classic Doom games bundled in.
The system-link feature of this game offers the best full-screen multiplayer
options for any console version prior to Xbox 360 Doom.
Graphics are as good or better than all other console versions, with the
exception of Doom 64 (for N64) and the Xbox games. The new custom music and
background audio are well done and really add to the game's atmosphere (and
this is coming from someone who usually turns the music off in games); But I
wish they'd left in a few more of the original PC weapon and monster sounds.
Disappointing to see that several "Ultimate Doom" levels are close copies of
the watered-down Jaguar Doom maps, and that nearly half the Episode 4 ("Thy
Flesh Consumed") maps from PC Ultimate Doom are missing.
Also quite disappointing to see that the Arch-Vile monster was excluded, it
being one of the better enemies in PC Doom II. And I'm not sure I saw the
point of PSX Doom's Nightmare Spectre... Do we really need three versions of
the pink Demon? Something like a "Nightmare" Heavy Weapon Dude, Revenant,
Cacodemon or Lost Soul might have made a more interesting alternative.
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o SATURN DOOM: A simple copy of the PlayStation (PSX) game: Same map levels,
monsters, sounds and passwords, similar graphics, and almost all of the same
If you have a choice between Saturn Doom and PSX Doom, take the PSX game.
Here's why: A $15 cable allows you to hook up to a friend's PSX and play
Deathmatch and Co-Op games (if you both have original PlayStations, not
PSOnes/PS2s). The Saturn Doom game released in the United States is strictly
single-player, despite the blurb on the back of the Saturn Doom box that says
it's "Deathmatch ready". (When I talked with a GT Interactive spokesperson
about this, I was told that that blurb was "a misprint". Wow.)
Saturn Doom frame rate/animation speed is also somewhat slower/choppier than
in PSX Doom; The graphics aren't quite as as colorful as in PSX Doom, but may
be a little brighter.
Interesting that weapons seem to repeat about 25% faster than they do in
other versions. (Fast enough, in fact, that if you're continuously pelting a
Cacodemon with your single-barrel shotgun, it'll remain "stunned", unable to
return fire, until dead.) Personally I like the speed increase, though it
somehow has a "cheating" flavor to it.
I've also noticed that you can outrun your own "slow" projectiles (rockets,
plasma and BFG bursts)... and you can do it quickly and easily, in fact, by
simply running straight ahead like normal (the Run-plus-Strafe combination is
not needed). Playing tag with your own rockets can be fun when you're bored.
(Okay, REALLY bored.)
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o N64 DOOM 64: The gameplay mechanics are quite similar to that of all standard
Doom games, but that's where the similarity ends. With all-new artwork,
all-new levels, and new features not found in any other version, it's a big
departure from the Doom standard. With a few minor exceptions, the graphics
are excellent, and the flow of animation in the first-person view is very
smooth most of the time. (Monster animation can be choppy, but the Doom
environment scrolls across your screen smoothly as you move.)
Although I wasn't crazy about this game at first, I was hooked by the time I
was half a dozen levels in. I'm glad I have this game, my first for the N64.
That said, here's what I don't like about it, in no particular order:
The graphics are too dark for many display devices. Yes, this adds to the
"realism" and "creepiness". However, even with the game's brightness control
maxxed out, and the brightness control maxxed out on the display I'm using,
(the display I use for every console Doom game), too often the darkness goes
from "realistic" to "a distracting hindrance"; Not a good thing for a game.
Also annoying is the fact that you can't save more than 16 passwords to a
standard Controller Pak, even if the Pak has a surplus of memory space.
It's only single-player. A big mistake. In a perfect world, "Linkable" or
"Multi-player" would be a feature of every game made since 1985. Nothing
adds more replay value than an option to play with or against another human,
yet game companies keep finding ways to avoid it.
While you can turn at breakneck speed using the joystick (if you adjust it
accordingly), I'd prefer to use the D button/pad for turning. Unfortunately
D-button turning is sundial-slow by comparison (and cannot be adjusted) so I
pay the price as I creak around to face enemies that spring up behind or to
In summation: Despite the flaws, and despite the fact that this isn't Doom in
the traditional sense, it is still a fun game.
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o ATARI JAGUAR DOOM: The 2-player function is buggy, causing games to crash at
random times, and that is a tragic wound to this otherwise good Jaguar title.
There's power in the Jag that went untapped here. If adequate development
tools had been available at the time, JagDoom could have been much better.
That aside, it still remains a strong entry among other console versions of
the same era: It's smoother than 3DO or Saturn Doom, has better graphics than
SNES Doom, has more levels and fewer bugs than Sega 32X Doom, and a bigger
active screen than all of those versions.
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o 3DO DOOM: This is a modified version of the Atari Jaguar Doom game, with
decent graphics and some very good remixed music. The maps are virtually
identical to those in the Jag game. Monsters are identical to those in the
Jag game, except that 3DO Doom adds the Spectre Demon.
On the down side, the playing speed is surprisingly uneven for this platform,
causing this game to be slower and choppier, overall, than any other version.
Also, the active game screen is smaller than that of the PSX, Saturn, N64 or
Jaguar Doom games.
No obvious reason why this version of Doom came out as late as it did.
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o SNES DOOM: Having very low expectations for this game, it was actually better
than I thought it would be. Very impressed to see that the basic map layouts
matched the PC originals with greater accuracy than did the equivalent maps
in ALL other console versions of the same era... Included here are are all of
the halls, tunnels and rooms which were simply lopped off in those versions.
The fact that weapons, ammo and armor are automatically restored to a killed
player when restarting a level is a big plus, and helps compensate for the
fact that you can't save games in progress or use level passwords.
Two-person play over the X-Band network was another plus and, at the time,
made SNES Doom the cheapest route to a rather limited Deathmatch game. (The
bugs in JagDoom Deathmatch disqualify it, in my opinion.)
Biggest drawback to this version: The graphics come across as low-res and
chunky, especially with sprites at medium or long range; and the effect is
amplified by the lack of floor and ceiling textures. Also, monsters only
display a front side, although you do get used to it after a while.
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o SEGA 32X DOOM: A textbook example of a game that was rushed out the door too
soon. As with the Jaguar version, an investment of another couple months of
work could have yielded a much better game.
A whopping 10 of 27 original PC Doom maps are missing; The game has a few
bugs, including a "crash" after you win the game in some cases; No BFG 9000
Making these faults a little more bearable: Graphics are better than in the
SNES game (although as with the SNES game, monsters only show a front side),
and playing speed is better than that of the 3DO or SNES games.
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o PSX FINAL DOOM: Monsters, graphics, sounds, passwords and link abilities are
all identical to the equivalent things in PSX Doom. Some of the music tracks
are also identical. The map levels are completely new, and most of them are
Biggest disappointment: Only 30 levels, which is absurdly low for a CD-based
sequel to a 59-level Doom game.
This PSX game uses only 17 of the 64 maps found in the PC version of Final
Doom, and uses 13 maps from a separate 21-map "Master Levels" collection for
PC Doom II. 55 other maps found in those original PC software packages were
If you enjoyed PSX Doom, and don't mind paying more for half as many levels,
pick up this game.
(For more information on Final Doom and Master Levels games, see FDoomCmp.)
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o NINTENDO GBA DOOM: The Game Boy Advance is a hand-held game system with a
small built-in screen and a 32-bit processor.
A better "portable" Doom system might be a PSOne (the smaller version of the
original Sony PlayStation) outfitted with a good snap-on screen and a copy of
PSX Doom or Final Doom. Doom on a PSOne looks better, has better controls,
and has more maps and monsters in the game, among other advantages. However
the PSOne has a big defect in design: The original PlayStation link port was
omitted (which reduced the per-unit production cost by about a buck, and the
versatility by about half). It also lacks a built-in battery pack.
It's here that Nintendo picked up the ball that Sony could've been carrying.
In addition to single-player games, GBA Doom supports 2-player Co-Op games,
2-to-4-player Deathmatch games, and all without being tied to external power.
A problem with the original Game Boy Advance is its screen. The GBA should
have been designed with a switch-selectable backlit screen, but wasn't; Thus,
GBA Doom (and a pretty big library of other games) can be difficult to view,
unless you have the right amount of external light hitting the screen at the
right angle, all the time. For best results use the GBA SP, which is smaller
and has a brightly lit screen.
Reports also persist of problems with save-game files (games fail to reload
correctly, weapons are missing, health and armor values are incorrect, etc.).
While this is something acknowledged by Activision, I've yet to experience it
with any of the 4 GBA Doom games I've used.
Beyond that, GBA Doom is a pretty good game... Considering the hardware, the
graphics and frame rate are both decent.
In the single-player and Co-Op games, GBA Doom uses the exact same maps and
monsters from the Atari Jaguar Doom game. For Deathmatch games in GBA Doom,
you can use the normal maps, or any of 8 new maps not seen in other console
ports of the game. (Incidentally, the rumored special Deathmatch game modes,
such as Team play, do not exist.)
If you have a GBA SP and friends who have all the same hardware, then GBA
Doom is good for multiplayer games on the go (though the playing speed is
somewhat slow), and is great if you need a Doom fix away from power outlets.
If such things aren't that important to you, then you may prefer one of the
other console Doom games.
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o NINTENDO GBA DOOM II: Torus Games could've tried to do a simple copy of the
DOOM II Episode of PlayStation Doom; Instead they took a more difficult path,
building GBA Doom II from the ground up, with an obvious effort to stay true
to the original PC game. The result is a good portable Doom II game with
maps and monsters not found in the DOOM II half of the PSX or Saturn games.
Unfortunately the dark screen on the original Game Boy Advance presents the
same problem that players faced with the first GBA Doom game, but there's not
much that Torus could do to compensate for that. For best results use the
GBA SP, which is smaller and has a brightly lit screen.
Due to limitations of the GBA hardware, 2 of the very large maps from the PC
game had to be split into smaller "half maps" here, and a couple other maps
had to have chunks cut out. Also, some maps have new walls/barriers in odd
locations in order to reduce the maximum number of textures and objects that
can drift into view at any given time.
Still, IMHO it's better to have the maps split or modified somewhat, rather
than to have them drastically simplified or omitted entirely, as they are in
many earlier console Doom games.
Monsters in this game have a limited range of sight and hearing, and active
monsters will even freeze or drop back into Wait mode if the player gets out
of range. This is unusual, but in general it doesn't detract from gameplay,
and it's a clever way to keep the number of monsters per map reasonably high
without overtaxing the engine.
The game speed can fluctuate and be a little choppy at times, but overall the
game runs at a decent pace in single-player mode.
Given a choice between the two, I'd recommend this game over GBA Doom 1.
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o TAPWAVE ZODIAC DOOM II: The Tapwave Zodiac is a Palm PDA marketed towards the
handheld-gaming community. It has a large, back-lit, touch-sensitive screen,
Bluetooth connectivity, and many other built-in features.
Zodiac Doom II, ported by Machineworks Northwest LLC, is basically PC Doom II
v1.9, with a few minor tweaks. When it was released, the game could be
purchased as a download from Tapwave, or as a tiny plug-in card which could
be found at a few store chains, or ordered directly from Tapwave.
The best thing about the game: It's PC Doom II on a handheld scale, without
many of the problems and limitations of GBA Doom II.
However, it does have some problems of its own. Quick, precise movement can
be difficult to maintain, and analog-control response may fluctuate wildly at
times, even after recalibrating the Zodiac and adjusting the in-game control
options. Also, the game is only single-player, despite the Zodiac's built-in
Tapwave offered Zodiac Doom II patches for download, and the latest upgrade
patch ("v1.3") will adjust the movement controls to make them a little easier
to handle; But the patch will not directly update the plug-in version of the
game (you'll need to have the card in the Zodiac while running the patch).
Curiously, the sound effects allow pitch-shifting, a feature of the earliest
PC Doom versions, but discarded in later versions. This effect adds variety
to common game sounds.
There are some built-in cheat codes (and they will work even when playing at
Nightmare skill), but several useful codes from the PC game are not included.
Bottom line: If at all possible, try before you buy. The controls may not
bother you, or they may drive you up a wall. If you can adjust the control
settings to your liking, and you don't mind the lack of multiplayer support,
then this may be the best commercial handheld version of Doom II you'll find.
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o XBOX ULTIMATE DOOM/DOOM II: "Doom 3: Limited Collector's Edition" for Xbox
includes a few bonus features over the standard edition, including ports of
the full commercial versions of PC Ultimate Doom v1.9, and PC Doom II: Hell
on Earth v1.9.
Like the Tapwave Zodiac game, these ports are virtually identical to their
original PC counterparts, but with a few adjustments to make them work with
the new platform, and other minor changes.
On the plus side: These are the original PC games, with the complete mapsets
and all the same monsters. Both games are also multiplayer, featuring 2 to 4
player split-screen Deathmatch and Co-Op games. The graphics are basically
identical to the original games; Overall game speed and frame rate are both
excellent. You can save/reload games at any point. A couple of well-hidden
bonus maps have been added.
On the minus side: There are no in-game options for adjusting controller and
audio settings. None. This means that you have to, for example, use both
thumbsticks simply to walk and turn... And sound effects and music are always
on, unless you use the volume control on your TV to silence all of it.
Personally I find the controller setup awkward for these old-school games,
but if you're used to playing Doom 3 this way, it shouldn't be hard to adapt.
I'd also prefer to turn the music off while keeping the sound effects (which,
like the Zodiac game, include pitch-shifting), but no luck.
Other unusual omissions: There is no skill-level selection for Cooperative
games (you play at Skill 3, period), and no option for respawning items in
Deathmatch games. Also, while the Automap view can still be zoomed in/out,
there's no way to turn Follow Mode off, and no way to scroll the map display
except by moving the player character.
Finally, you may sometimes find yourself inadvertently toggling cheat codes
on and off, since many of the codes have button combinations that can come up
during normal gameplay action.
Xbox Doom 3 L.C.E. does provide relatively complete and accurate commercial
game-console ports of these classics; But the surprising and user-unfriendly
lack of adjustable gameplay options is unfortunate. As an alternative, you
might want to consider just buying the plain edition of Xbox Doom 3 for $10
less, and putting that money towards PC Doom: The Collector's Edition, which
includes PC Ultimate Doom, Doom II, and Final Doom.
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o XBOX DOOM II MASTER LEVELS: The Xbox edition of "Doom 3: Resurrection of
Evil" includes three bonus "Classic Doom" games: Ultimate Doom and Doom II
(both of which were simply copy-pasted from the earlier "Doom 3: Limited
Collector's Edition"), and "Doom II Master Levels". This Master Levels game
is essentially just the Xbox Doom II game running a new mapset, composed of
18 of the 21 maps from the PC "Master Levels" collection.
The missing levels include Mephisto ("Mephisto's Maosoleum"), Minos ("Minos'
Judgement") and Paradox. Personally I think Mephisto would have made a good
ending map for the game... but actually there's no ending map at all: Once
you exit the last level you simply enter the first one again.
The maps in this game are nearly perfect copies of the equivalent PC maps,
and are more accurate in general than those in the "Master Levels" Episode of
PlayStation Final Doom. The most notable change is the unfortunate loss of
the custom night-sky backgrounds found in some of the PC originals; The Xbox
maps just use the default Doom II skies/backgrounds.
Ultimately the biggest problems with this Master Levels game are that, again,
there are no user-adjustable options (no controller configuration, sound and
music are always on, no skill level choices for multiplayer games, no Automap
scrolling), and the possibility of accidental cheat-code activation remains.
Also, the map names are mismatched, on both the tally screens and the Automap
display (the map names used for save-game files are correct, at least).
Despite the problems and oddities, "Doom 3: Resurrection of Evil" gives you
the most Classic-Doom bang for your buck, as far as console ports of the PC
(For more information on PC and console "Master Levels" games, see FDoomCmp.)
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o XBOX 360 DOOM (XBOX LIVE ARCADE DOOM): This is a download for the Xbox 360,
made available to members of Xbox Live late in September of 2006.
This is nearly identical to the PC edition of Ultimate Doom, and very similar
to the earlier Xbox Ultimate Doom ports included with the Xbox Doom 3 games.
The older Xbox versions had some problems that have been corrected here: The
background skies for each level now correctly match those in the equivalent
PC maps, the music and sound FX settings can be adjusted independently, the
Kills/Secrets flaw introduced into map E4M1 is not present here, Skill levels
can now be set for Co-Op games, Deathmatch items respawn, and common gameplay
actions no longer toggle cheat codes.
Problems remaining: No ability to adjust the controls (which are very similar
to the controls of the earlier Xbox ports), and no way to scroll the Automap
display. Also, as with the older Xbox ports, some monster actions are slower
than expected in games played at Nightmare skill. (Then again, that might
not be considered a "problem". ;)
This version runs at higher resolutions than all previous console Doom games,
improving the detail and sharpness of objects and textures at longer ranges.
Frame rate is very good for single-player games and same-console multiplayer,
but can vary somewhat during multiplayer games over Xbox Live, depending on
the speed and quality of the connection for each of the players involved.
In Deathmatch games, exit switches and portals are deactivated, which means
you'd better love the map you're on. Also, as with all other console Doom
games, you can't have monsters in Deathmatch. I would've liked to have seen
both of these as switch-selectable options.
A new interesting feature here is a "Doom Achievements" scoring system which,
like many other games on Xbox Live, keeps track of certain accomplishments in
the game achieved by you and other players.
Another interesting twist is that players share keys in Cooperative games
(when one player picks up a key, everyone gets that key), and that can really
alter the overall flow of the game.
Currently in Xbox Live Arcade the game comes in two forms: Trial Game, which
allows you to play the first map for free, and Full Game. When the game was
released in 2006 the Full version cost 800 Microsoft Points, about $10.00 US.
That price was cut in half to 400 Points/$5.00 as of March 19, 2008.
If you want the overall best and least expensive commercial console port of
PC Ultimate Doom, this is the one to get.
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o APPLE IPHONE/IPOD TOUCH DOOM: This is a downloadable version of Ultimate Doom
for iPhone and iPod touch devices, and was made available at Apple's online
"App Store" on October 31, 2009 for $6.99 US.
Like the Xbox 360 version before it, this is nearly identical to the original
PC version of Ultimate Doom, but with an all-new control interface for the
multi-touch iPhone/iTouch screen, and some other changes.
This version of Doom seems geared toward those who are already familiar with
the game, and who just want a casual pick-up-and-play experience: There's no
documentation, background info or instructions with the game (if you're a
newcomer to Doom, you're on your own to learn about it); all of the game's 36
maps are accessible immediately (you can always pick any starting map for new
games); and there is only a single save-game slot available.
The biggest issue for this game, and platform, is control. The iPhone and
iPod touch are physically similar: each is thin for its weight, with a nearly
featureless case that is quite smooth, sometimes to the point of feeling like
it could slide out of your fingers. Because of this, you may want to get one
of the many wrap-around cases available, which leave the screen and ports
accessible, while providing a better grip, and some protection for the device
if it's dropped.
The few preset control schemes are highly customizable (which is something
that deserves praise in any game), but it may still be difficult to find a
setup that feels natural and is consistently easy to use during combat. If
you're new to multitouch handheld devices, or first-person shooters on them,
this may mean a steep learning curve.
The graphics are very good in general, though up-close textures and sprites
tend to get a little blurry or melted-looking around the edges compared to
the old PC games, due to heavy antialiasing. (The old traditional rendering
method yields sharp-but-blocky graphics for surfaces at close range.)
The game engine here is based on a popular third-party PC Doom engine, or
"source port". That engine by default comes with some changes to cheat codes
and the Automap (among other things) and most of those made the transition to
this iPhone/iTouch iteration... The Automap is a bit more versatile, offering
some more color-coded information, and the selection of available cheat codes
is now larger here than in any other commercially sold Doom game to-date.
The game tops out at 4 skill levels, leaving Nightmare mode behind. Probably
a good thing in this case... but if Ultra-Violence is too easy there's a code
to significantly speed up the monsters.
Multiplayer is simple and fairly robust, allowing basic 2-4 player Deathmatch
and Cooperative games via short-range wireless connection.
As with the Tapwave Zodiac game, I'd suggest trying this game on a friend's
device, if possible, before purchasing. If you're happy with the controls,
and you have a need for anytime-anywhere Doom action, this is a great choice.
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o XBOX 360/XBOX LIVE ARCADE DOOM II: This is a download for the Xbox 360, made
available to members of Xbox Live in late May of 2010.
This download actually contains two separate Doom II games/Episodes: "Hell on
Earth", which is all but identical to the original v1.9 PC game, and "No Rest
for the Living", a new original 9-map Episode by Nerve Software.
All in all these Doom II games for Xbox 360/XBLA are very much like the first
Xbox 360/XBLA Doom game, in that they run at higher resolution than previous
console versions, they include the same multiplayer modes, and basically have
all the same features and limitations.
The control setup has been modified so that the D-pad selects weapon classes,
where Up selects shotguns (or switches between shotgun types), Right selects/
switches pistol and chaingun, Left for plasma rifle and BFG, Down for rocket
launcher and other weapons. Weapon types can also still be cycled normally
with the Y and B buttons.
Another minor change is that the red plus-shaped symbol used on medical items
has been replaced with a red and white pill symbol, so as not to offend the
trademark holders affiliated with the Red Cross. (Nevermind that red shapes
like those are as old as cave paintings.)
An interesting new feature is the automatic recording of gameplay, which is
then accessible on the top-ten Leaderboards, and is also shown as background
video, temporarily replacing the built-in gameplay demos. This is a clever
use of the original PC demo-recording code, but there are some bugs that
still need fixing, as these demos can sometimes desync, causing players in
the replays to appear to blindly run into walls and shoot at random.
One unfortunate thing that remains stubbornly unchanged from previous Xbox
Doom/Doom II games: No way to scroll the Automap, except by moving the player
character. Dear Nerve Software, or anyone who makes Xbox 360 Doom games from
now on: Please stop crippling the Automap. Thank you.
The new 9-map Episode is challenging, and it's obvious that a lot of thought
and effort was put into map design. The overall look and feel of this mapset
is different than that of the original "Hell on Earth" game, though, and this
may not appeal to everyone. Personally I'm all for the inclusion of new maps
in Doom ports, and this bonus mapset is more than welcome.
To sum up: While there's still room for improvement, this is the best console
Doom II port commercially available, and at 800 points ($10US) it's also a
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Back to Frequently Asked Questions page / Classic DOOM home page
About this page and the comments here:
The content here started out as the last section of the earliest complete draft
of the DoomComp document. I cut that section just before the document's first
public release because I felt that A) it's simply a less formal summation of
the "Pros" and "Cons", and therefore redundant, B) nobody cares about "author
comments" in a reference document, and C) I didn't want to give the impression
that the information in DoomComp is based on personal preferences for any game
system or Doom version. (It isn't. :)
The original 1996 comments on the games for the PlayStation (PSX), Jaguar, 3DO,
SNES and Sega 32X have now been updated a few times over the years.
In April of 1997 I added Saturn Doom, Doom 64, and PSX Final Doom to this page.
Game Boy Advance (GBA) Doom was added here in November of 2001, GBA Doom II was
added October 2002, Tapwave Zodiac Doom II in February 2005, Xbox Ultimate Doom
and Doom II in April 2005, Xbox Doom II Master Levels in October 2005, Xbox 360
Live Arcade (XBLA) Doom in September 2006, iPhone/iPod Doom in January 2010 and
Xbox 360/XBLA Doom II was added July 2010.
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