Doom review - Super Nintendo

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Doom box artDoom is world-renowned for it's specialist blend of Seek and Destroy gameplay - placing the emphasis on killing, and the required tools in your hands. If this all seems too extreme, rest assured that the recipient of your vented anger is no better than repulsive hell-spawn. This here is the classic good versus evil scenario, only this time the action is presented as in-your-face real-time 3-D! The power of Nintendo's Fx2 chip, combined with the programming talents of Sculptured Software - who handled MKII so well - have brought it to the Super NES.

Overall Score95%

Retrospective comments


Towards the end of the SNES's twilight years, all eyes and ears were fixed intently on Nintendo's forthcoming next-gen console - the N64. Many of the purported killer apps for the console included two very high profile games for the era: one was Killer Instinct, and the other was Doom. So it was with no great surprise that when both these games were announced to grace the SNES instead of Ninty's super console, that many people were dubious if indeed downright dismissive of the notion, not least of all with the idea that Doom could would be even possible, let alone playable on 16-bit hardware. However, what was surprising is that not only was it possible, it was also playable; very playable indeed. It would later turn out to be one of the jewels in the crown and one of the great technical marvels that the SNES grew steadily infamous for.

It's hard to gauge just how big of an achievement it was to see Doom running on the SNES if you weren't an avid and conversant gamer back when it was released. To put it into perspective, it would be like porting Id's latest in the series to a PSP. You see, the SNES simply wasn't meant to be able to cope with the 3d texture-mapped environments Doom's engine spat out, and that's where it had to get a helping hand in the guise of the Super FX chip.

However, for all it's merits, the technical proficiency of the FX chip inevitably had it's shortcomings, and invariably some minor aesthetic sacrifices had to be made. The resolution was dropped to around half, and the frame rate likewise - it chugged along at a solid and just-about playable 15 fps; textures adorned the walls only; enemy sprites could only be viewed from one angle (the front) and the game screen was boxed to around 70 percent of your TV screen. Minor setbacks for a game that almost two years previous, was only capable of running on high-spec PC rigs that cost close to a grand.

Doom purists then (and now) would argue that this wasn't a good conversion of their beloved FPS. It lacked some of the finer things the PC version had to offer, most notably the flick-of-the-wrist gameplay that a keyboard and mouse had to offer - knee-jerk reactions were a must when a sneaky imp clawed at your back, and lest I forget, for multi-player - something the SNES lacked.

But all those things aside, it didn't matter. Sculptured had managed to port the same run-and-gun and nerve-inducing gameplay that made the PC original the classic that it's come to be. It even got one better over on it's PC big brother by actually boasting a better and more booming orchestration of the game's soundtrack. Asides from Secret of Mana, the game had no other equal sonically.

Id has a track record of breaking the mould when it comes to first person shooter's in the graphics department. When Doom was released back in 1993, it prompted enthusiasts to shell out for expensive upgrades and it was no different 11 years on when they released the latest in the series in Doom 3. Just like many of the SNES owners back in 1995 who could not afford a decent spec PC, or simply just hadn't sampled Doom's frenetic gameplay yet, so it was much to the delight of many an Xbox owner that the game was being ported over to the system for them to see what all the big fuss was about. The only difference this time - and once again underling why SNES Doom was such a triumph for the system - was that the Xbox was more than capable of handling the new engine, albeit with minor sacrifices.

Simply put, Doom on the SNES rocked. It made a man of your SNES, and a boy out of it's rivals. It was certainly a stinging jab to the eye of Sega's much vaunted supposed next gen add-on, the 32X.

If you didn't go to Hell by owning this game back then, then you sure as hell deserve to for not buying this piece of mastery - with all guns blazing, mind.

- Steve AKA Drunken Leprechaun

barrie - 19 Aug 2008, 21:38 GMT

i remember playing this on the snes when it came out,it was great!!!!i didnt have a pc at the time so this was an eye opener that was until i got it on the playstation now that was a great version!!!!!!!!

John J Maloney - 28 Feb 2010, 01:32 GMT

This was the first contact i had with Doom, i was captivated. The graphics were charming, but the frame rate would disorientate, you had to blink when you looked away from the screen. I love Doom to this day & the Snes gave a generous slice of the Doom pie. Wolfenstein is also cool on the Snes, better frame rate....less eye strain.

johney - 20 Jul 2012, 00:36 GMT

when i saw doom for the first time on the snes,i was mind blowed,i cut,nt believe that it was running on a snes.
however needless to say many of my favorite levels from the 32x version are missing,nut most levels fromthe pc version are there.
this game uses the superfx2 chip wich is a powerfull 16bitter,at 21mhz,5 times faster then the slow snes 16bit chip.
they pushed the snes to it,s limmit.
the st0018 was an powerfull 32bit chip only used in 1 snes game but it was too expansive,they could,ve used that chip instead to make it much easier and better to port doom to the snes,but the st018 chip just dit come too late and was too expansive for mass production!!!!

ninja games - 28 Jan 2013, 11:29 GMT

I played "Doom" only in the PC version I didn't even knew that a SNES version was available. My old SNES console is gone but I will add it to my collection on a Mame emulator.

Mr. Ninjitsu - 15 Mar 2015, 11:41 GMT

I must admit I never played Doom before, neither on PC or SNES, but I hope it is never too late :)

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