Review: Doom (Game Boy Advance)

In this review, we slay some demons in the Game Boy Advance game Doom. We find out how well this FPS game plays.

This game was released in 2001. It is one of many ports from the original DOS version.

We have a pretty good understanding of this franchise now. We first played the original DOS version of Doom. That game got quite the great score here. Next up, we tried Doom II. That game got a very solid score. Next up, we tried the 32X port of Doom. While not as great, the game still got a great score. Finally, we played the N64 port, Doom 64. That game got quite the great score. So, we continue on with our exploration of this franchise with another port of the original Doom.

This game is basically the 32X version of the original Doom. Levels are abbreviated. Some enemies are missing. Even some of the levels themselves are modified to be shortened as well. Ultimately, you are getting the handheld version of the 32X version if you play this game.

One technological limitation to be wary of is the fact that you have to hold both the L and R buttons and press up or down to cycle through your weapons. This winds up being a hindrance in the overall gameplay, but a strong case can easily be made that this is more of a fault for the handheld device more than the game itself.

So, ultimately, this is an abbreviated version of Doom. It is pretty much just the 32X version ported over to the handheld. The controls are a bit clunky when it comes to cycling weapons. Still, you do get the novelty of playing this game on a portable device. It is an achievement being able to fit an FPS game onto this console, though there are certainly limitations.

Graphically, as you can imagine, things are much more simplified. You are working on a smaller screen, so everything is squashed down. This has the unfortunate effect of making out distant objects next to impossible. So, you are basically running around the levels as a somewhat near-sighted marine here. In addition to this, some of the effects are also removed.

Audio is also reduced to fit with the handheld cartridge. There is a small handful of tracks, but they do ultimately repeat as you venture further into the game. For whatever reason, when you fall, you hear the damage sound effect even though you take no damage from falls. It’s a bit distracting at first because you can easily think you are being fired on, but it is something you can get used to.

Overall, this game is just the 32X version crammed into a portable cartridge. The controls are a bit clunky thanks to the limited buttons. As a result, you are forced to hold down two buttons and use the d-pad to cycle through weapons which makes for a clunky playing experience. The graphics are reduced and make you short sighted thanks to the smaller screen. Also, the audio is a bit funky with some of the effects and the music repeats a fair bit. So, an overall solid game if you can handle some of the restrictions of playing on a portable device.

Furthest point in game: Beat the game on the easiest difficulty.

General gameplay: 16/25
Replay value: 9/10
Graphics: 7/10
Audio: 3/5

Overall rating: 70%

Drew Wilson on Twitter: @icecube85 and Facebook.

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