Game Boy Advance

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  • Overall

    In the Game Boy Advance version of Doom, it's hard to tell which is scarier: the hellish monsters or the abundance of pixels. The 1993 PC original might look blocky by 2001 standards, but the GBA version fares worse, with intensely pixilated visuals that detract from an otherwise admirable port of the classic first-person shooter.

    The basic nature of the game remains intact, with a well-armed marine facing off against a horde of zombies, imps, and other creatures while collecting keycards and navigating through maze-like levels. Doom's simple controls and straightforward movement options make it suited for the GBA, and the action-packed gameplay translates well into portable form.

    The graphics are where the game stumbles. Granted, it's probably a feat that a first-person shooter like Doom is running on the GBA at all, but that doesn't mean it looks good. The resolution is lower than that of the PC version, and while the backgrounds are adequate, the character sprites leave something to be desired. Enemies are recognizable when they're up close, but at a distance, they are little more than a jumble of pixels that blend in well with other jumbles of pixels resembling background objects. Also, many levels are naturally dark, further complicating the issue of making out detail. Luckily, there's an option to increase the brightness, and this dramatically improves what you can see, just not the quality of it. Usually, it's best to just fire at whatever pixels are moving.

    The sound effects are straight out of the original, but the music is a bit of a disappointment, since the familiar opening song is missing from the first level, and the soundtrack feels more atmospheric than the energetic tracks of the PC game.

    Still, none of this makes Doom unplayable, and after a few minutes the visual aspects become less important as you get into the groove of blasting demons and making your way deeper and deeper in hell. Looking past the aesthetic issues, this is Doom, plain and simple, and it's a much easier way to play than lugging around a laptop. ~ Skyler Miller, All Game Guide

  • Graphics

    The scaling effects are impressive, but the pixilated visuals take some getting used to. ~ Skyler Miller, All Game Guide

  • Sound

    The sound effects are right on target, but the music fails to match the excitement of the gameplay. ~ Skyler Miller, All Game Guide

  • Enjoyment

    Doom is a solid first-person shooter that will evoke nostalgia in some and a sense of "been there, done that" in others. ~ Skyler Miller, All Game Guide

  • Replayability

    The game's 26 levels will take some time to master, and the classic nature of the gameplay makes it easy to pick up and play at any time. ~ Skyler Miller, All Game Guide

  • Documentation

    The color instruction manual goes into a lot of detail about every aspect of the game and includes screen shots of every weapon and enemy. ~ Skyler Miller, All Game Guide


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