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Murdoch

Doom 64 - I Don't Get It

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For DOOM64, it was the first DOOM game I actually played the entire way through many years ago as a DOOM scrub. We were mostly a console family, due to the fact that my father really enjoyed the earlier Zelda games. I had run into classic DOOM (I think DOOM 2) before but I was too young and got way too scared to play it. But I used to watch my father play a lot, even though I later realized he played on "Hey, not too rough!"

 

Because of that, I'm very biased towards defending D64. Keep that in mind. As a kid I played it through on whatever the hell UV is called (Watch me die?), but not pistol start. I actually revisited the game this year using the Retribution variant, playing on PC with keyboard and mouse instead of that mess of a controller the N64 has.*

 

But as many have said, I think the atmosphere is unparalleled among the "commercial" DOOM map sets (i.e. not fan-made WADs). The graphical updates to the demons are very nice, and once I returned to "regular" DOOM I was kind of put off by how shitty everything looked. Especially the pinkies look very dorky in DOOM compared to the monstrosities in D64. That was before I had internet and realized that there are quite a couple of years in-between the IWADs and D64... As for the weapons it's hit or miss, I feel that the chainsaw, chain and plasma guns feel better in D64, whereas the SSG and BFG are downgraded (not speaking about balance, just the feel).

 

Looking at the levels they are more complicated for the most part, but they also lack the action flow of the IWADs, likely in favor of the atmosphere. This works really well in the early tech levels, but that lack of action flow starts to wear on you when you get to the hell levels when they start throwing hordes of demons at you and the tension is kind of broken. There are also a couple of maps that feel a bit too gimmicky (looking at you, Spiral).

 

In summary it's really the atmosphere for me. The levels are at best on par with the best the IWADs have to offer, and never really reach the lows of their worst (e.g. some of the maps in E3, D2, and TNT mostly).

*I actually started playing with the controller tilted 90 degrees towards my right hand, using the index finger and pinky for strafing, since it is so crucial.

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I have tried replaying it on an N64 semi-recently, but on a non CRT screen it is too dark to play, even with TV brightness and Gamma on max sitting in a pitch black room at midnight. Plus you get to shoot with an actual trigger on the controller which in those primitive days seriously added to the immersion. Can't stand that controller anymore though.

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5 hours ago, Dexiaz said:

I'm really getting pissed off from such affirmations about "Doom [Place Any Number or Subtitle] doesn't feel/is not Doom game".

 

Cool down. I wanted to have a genuine discussion to understand what people saw in this game. So again, I state, I consider every thing I said in this thread my subjective opinion and not objective fact. It is not wrong because opinions cannot be wrong. Neither is your opinion to the contrary. I actually like it when a piece of art brings people happiness even if it's not for me and I don't understand it.

 

5 hours ago, Dexiaz said:

What? What the hell? What does it mean at all? Any Doom game is Doom. It's like to say Quake 2 is not Quake game.

 

And I would completely agree. Calling quake 2 quake 2 was a dumb idea and if memory serves it happened because the name they wanted was taken. It's clearly not the same style in the slightest even it shares a few common elements.

 

Doom 64 doesn't feel like doom to me because I grew up with classic doom. It's close and I would like it with maps more to my taste. I would say the same about doom eternal. A lot to like but frequently dickish and an overthought gameplay loop. But I actually thought doom 2016 was pretty close especially for a game with a lot added to it and an engine nearly a quarter century newer. And that's fine. Doom is different things to different people.

 

5 hours ago, AtomicFrog said:

Anyone completed Quake on their first run through? Im guessing not. Plenty of map learning required there. Is Quake a bad game in your opinion? 

 

Quake is a deeply flawed game but it's positives outweigh the negatives. It's been a long time since I played through it but I personally do not recall any issues with map progression or an excess of dickish moments. I definitely didn't have to consult any walkthroughs. It is also possible I recall nothing negative because I was more patient when I was younger :)

 

Thanks for all the civil discussion gentlemen. It has been interesting. Once again doomworld proves itself superior for discussion than most other places online.

Edited by Murdoch

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22 minutes ago, Murdoch said:

 

 

 

Thanks for all the civil discussion gentlemen. It has been interesting. Once again doomworld proves itself superior for discussion than most other places online.

I suggest you play my DOOM 64 EX RELOADED EP1 and see how you find that.
I have attempted to show what D64 could have looked like had the devs had limitless time and more file space.
It ramps up the atmosphere with refined lighting. And I have attempted to correct small errors that you find frustrating. 
Here is the wad... it plays on EX... not Remasters.

https://www.mediafire.com/file/nzltpztyxyzql03/D64EX_RELOADED_EP1e.wad/file

It includes all the phobos levels... with the TC 'Crisis' level included. 15 levels in total... including Hectic... and the three 'fun' levels 'Cat-n-Mouse' 'PlayGround' and 'HardCore' which Ive have turned into a mini challenge... which unlocks the features menu.
 

 

Edited by AtomicFrog

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16 hours ago, seed said:

 

There aren't really any such instances in the game, however.

What about that yellow key platform with a puzzle serving as red herring, and the real switch to lower it is a random wall texture in the previous room? It took me an hour or so of searching until I got fed-up and looked for a walkthrough.

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1 hour ago, Juza said:

What about that yellow key platform with a puzzle serving as red herring, and the real switch to lower it is a random wall texture in the previous room? It took me an hour or so of searching until I got fed-up and looked for a walkthrough.

I tried to solve issues like that.
8 minuets into this video by Immorpher.
The original puzzle's clue was that random wall texture is the same texture above the yellow key. And looked out of place on the wall. Its used as a ceiling light texture throughout the Phobos levels... but there it is... on a wall... all lit up.
This edited puzzle gives more clues with the yellow lights and monitors added.
Personally I never found that puzzle a problem. But apparently it's famous for giving players problems.

I also edited the Plasma Rifle puzzle as when the Plasma does not appear on a corner... it's possible to luck out and miss picking it up. Flip side to that... it's not really much of a 'puzzle' now.

I do remember walking around wondering what to do on map 11 'The Bleeding' as in the room with the underground stream there is a switch that lowers a floor by 9 units... this allows you access to an alcove which has a switch that only becomes visible once you enter the alcove.
I found that set up to need some tweeking to make it obvious the alcove was now accessible. So I put bars across it that raise when the first switch is activated.

I like truely cryptic switch puzzles but they should be left for Demon Artefacts and secret levels. Not obtaining items needed to progress through a map. And any puzzle that you cant solve and have to ask someone for the solution to... should leave you thinking 'Oh now I see, the clues were there!' and not 'Well how the hell was I to know that?'
Clues can come in the form of textures... lighting... structure... sound... and automap. Leaving the keen eyed to find them. 

 

 

 

Edited by AtomicFrog

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1 hour ago, Juza said:

What about that yellow key platform with a puzzle serving as red herring, and the real switch to lower it is a random wall texture in the previous room? It took me an hour or so of searching until I got fed-up and looked for a walkthrough.

Granted most people probably solve it by looking it up, but an observant and smart person will figure it out by realizing the two switches inside will never let you get the key, so the solution must be elsewhere.

 

The texture for the secret switch also happens to be the texture of the platform the key sits on, and it's right outside. Add in the (hopefully common) knowledge that in Doom, you have to hump every wall to find secrets, and that's all the clues you need really.

 

Some people solve it accidentally by pressing the secret switch first, and then wandering into the room with the key already lowered, having no idea they just thwarted a puzzle.

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I completely understand where your coming from @Murdoch!

 

As a kid playing it on the N64 I found it extremely frustrating and completely different to DooM 1 or 2. To be honest, It feels closer to DooM 3 than any other game in the series (dark hallways over bright open areas, horror over action, slow paced over hectic mayhem, etc.). Plus the puzzles! God damn those confusing as hell puzzles with inescapable death traps >:-( Took me months to finish it as a kid and never picked it back up once I finished it!

 

Since the rerelease though, I’ve found I appreciate it more :-) Whether that is a case of being more experienced or just nostalgia I’m not sure but what I do know is I quite like it now :-D It definitely isn’t anywhere close to as awesome as Doom 1 or 2 but I don’t find it a slog to play like I used to :-)

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1 hour ago, Nevander said:

Granted most people probably solve it by looking it up, but an observant and smart person will figure it out by realizing the two switches inside will never let you get the key, so the solution must be elsewhere.

 

The texture for the secret switch also happens to be the texture of the platform the key sits on, and it's right outside. Add in the (hopefully common) knowledge that in Doom, you have to hump every wall to find secrets, and that's all the clues you need really.

 

Some people solve it accidentally by pressing the secret switch first, and then wandering into the room with the key already lowered, having no idea they just thwarted a puzzle.

Not sure how common that knowledge would be for players who had never picked up or heard much from the game before, especially in the 90s. And who ever highlighted the "puzzles" (if you can call them that) in the original Doom? And necessary keys shouldn't be 'secret'.

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I love Doom 64. Retribution is my favorite way to play it.

 

Truly creepy and difficult. In The Void is one of my favorite maps of all time. So simple but done so well. The tech base maps are pretty nicely detailed, and the Hell levels are even better, with Breakdown really selling how unnerving this game could be. All the weapons sound beefy too. Doom 2 may have had more enemy types but Doom 2 IMO has some really poor maps compared to D64.

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1 hour ago, R4L said:

I love Doom 64. Retribution is my favorite way to play it.

 

Truly creepy and difficult. In The Void is one of my favorite maps of all time. So simple but done so well. The tech base maps are pretty nicely detailed, and the Hell levels are even better, with Breakdown really selling how unnerving this game could be. All the weapons sound beefy too. Doom 2 may have had more enemy types but Doom 2 IMO has some really poor maps compared to D64.

 

Yes doom 64 from a purely design perspective has the most impressive use of the original engine of all the commercial releases. I also agree about doom 2, some really weak maps there.

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On 11/15/2020 at 4:00 AM, Murdoch said:

 

Yes doom 64 from a purely design perspective has the most impressive use of the original engine of all the commercial releases. I also agree about doom 2, some really weak maps there.

I also appreciate the lost soul changes. Making them more aggressive but weaker makes them much better to fight IMO. They were one of my least favorite enemies before 

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1 hour ago, R4L said:

I also appreciate the lost soul changes. Making them more aggressive but weaker makes them much better to fight IMO. They were one of my least favorite enemies before 

 

Indeed, when a horde appears in Doom 64, its less annoyance, more 'oh SHIT!' now.

 

And Pain Elemental are now harbingers of doom...

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To me, Doom 64 is almost like an "alternative Doom." Its got everything a Doom game needs, but its priorities skew in different directions than Ultimate Doom or Doom 2. Its more focused on atmosphere, which was always present, but is more exaggerated in Doom 64 and playstation Doom. I'm a big fan of it, but I don't like it quite as much as Ultimate Doom and Doom 2.

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