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Jeremy

Direct comparison of 6 Doom ports

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http://i.imgur.com/dCjWMe3.jpg

I'm sure this has been done before, but I was farting around with the PS1 Doom today and decided to do a similar screen capture from each port of Doom that I own so that I could do a direct comparison.

From top to bottom going right, SNES, 32X, PC, PS1, GBA, N64. I cropped part of the obnoxious status bar from the 32x version so that the image would fit better with the others. Since Doom 64 is not a direct port I just used a stage where I could get a similar shot.

SNES still stands as the most faithful port, albeit horrifying frame rate and terrible pixelation. It retains the most accurate levels/ secrets and original textures, as well as imo the best music.

32X and GBA ports are almost identical, and both terrible ports in that an entire episode is missing, and there is no Cyberdemon/ Spider Mastermind. They however both have a far better frame rate than the SNES counterpart.

PS1 and N64 both far into the most terrifying versions to play with the ambient music and updated sound effects and lighting.

PC will always be the way to play though..

http://i.imgur.com/PEJYnsQ.jpg

(EDIT: Just realized how much photobucket sucks so I made an imgur account and edited the links :-p )

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I always like these comparison shots. Thanks for making it. :)

I never really got why everyone loves the SNES music so much. It sounds pretty poor to me. Couldn't tell you why though other than the ubiquitous 'muddiness' that pervades most SNES music. I like clarity hence I actually prefer the GBA tunes. Call me a contrarian!

I've also always preferred the N64 game over the PSX version. Mainly because they really took the game to a different level and created a true sequel. PSX Doom is nice but it's really just a simplified version of the PC game with pretty lighting. :)

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This is really cool. Never realized how much better the PSX version looked in comparison to the other console Dooms.

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that pc shot should probably be taken with a purer source port, seeing as though you've got blasphemous sky stretching going on there! Makes the mountains look all uggo. never would have noticed the mirrored skies without these pics though. weird

Also GBA Doom had all 3 episodes i'm sure, save for E3M1 (replaced with a different map), E2M8, and E3M8. I liked that port a lot, but mostly because the idea of playing Doom on a portable device that ran on a pair of AA batteries overshadowed its flaws. Not much really stuck out to me, but I would have liked corpses to last a little longer than 2 seconds before disappearing

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http://imgur.com/j4FWEh1

Here is a better one, all e1m1.

From left to right starting at the top,
PS1, SNES, Saturn
32X, GBA, CDi
PC, Jaguar, 360

There is a certain charm to the SNES version, but it probably has a lot to do with nostalgia, as it was the first full version of Doom I ever owned when it came out. All of the ports have one flaw or another, and of course everyone has a preference on which one they like more over another :-)

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Even without the floor and ceiling textures, I think SNES Doom's levels look better because the wall textures are more varied. I also like the PC version over the Xbox 360 one because the lightning in the latter is too even.

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Hectic said:

Even without the floor and ceiling textures, I think SNES Doom's levels look better because the wall textures are more varied. I also like the PC version over the Xbox 360 one because the lightning in the latter is too even.



I really have no idea what you are seeing there. The SNES textures do not look more varied but reduced in detail compared to the PC version. It's still clearly the best of the console ports. All the others just make me 'ugh'.

As for PC vs. 360, that's probably just different gamma settings. The engine is basically the same.

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Graf Zahl said:

It's still clearly the best of the console ports. All the others just make me 'ugh'.

Seriously? With its butchered gameplay mechanics, extremely low resolution, lack of flats, utter lack of aspect ratio correction, reduced number of sound effects with lower quality, reduced palette and more cut levels than even the Jaguar set? Don't get me wrong, it preserves the PC experience better in some ways than Jaguar Doom did, such as the music, the texture/detail in maps that did make the cut and especially the boss fights and the story text screens, but it's hardly "clearly the best of the console ports".

The PSX version is clearly the best contemporary port. It ran at 30fps vs. 15fps of the others, had non-indexed rendering (allowing for colored lighting and less distortion due to palettization), had both Doom 1, 2 and episode 4 in one game plus some good exclusive maps, and awesome sound direction. And at least they tried to have some aspect ratio correction. While they still didn't do a damn thing with the world, they did narrow down the sprites (6:7 instead of 5:6, but whatever) and 2D screen graphics like menus, HUD, etc.

Regardless of your opinion on the sound design, you can't blame them for doing what they did; there were legal issues with Prince's work at the time, and directly imitating it would have likely failed to capture the spirit of his work. Going ambient was a clear and obvious direction to take, and one must admit that it was executed well even if they prefer Prince's work.

Original Xbox, XBLA, PSN and BFG Edition don't count; they're just the PC version with tiny differences.

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Sodaholic said:

Seriously? With its butchered gameplay mechanics, extremely low resolution, lack of flats, utter lack of aspect ratio correction, reduced number of sound effects with lower quality, reduced palette and more cut levels than even the Jaguar set? Don't get me wrong, it preserves the PC experience better in some ways than Jaguar Doom did, such as the music, the texture/detail in maps that did make the cut and especially the boss fights and the story text screens, but it's hardly "clearly the best of the console ports".



I meant 'best looking'. All the rest looks like utter garbage.

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Graf Zahl said:

I meant 'best looking'. All the rest looks like utter garbage.


If I had to find a positive thing to say about the SNES version for this particular series of screenshots, is that its "color signature" comes closer to the PC version.

But if that's all it takes to dismiss everything else as "utter garbage", than that would be akin to admitting that, after all, Doom can look good even with a flat brown floor, lower-res textures and coarser lighting, as long as the colors look similar.

But then again, what do they say about where beauty lies...?

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Colors are important. Jaguar texturing makes the levels look like Doom 2 minus everything that makes Doom 2 good.

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I have played the PSX port back in the day and I hated it with a passion, because it destroyed everything that makes Doom look good.

Due to stripping away all the detail (both in geometry and textures) I found it actually worse than many of 1994's n00bmaps.

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Jeremy said:

http://imgur.com/j4FWEh1

Here is a better one, all e1m1.

From left to right starting at the top,
PS1, SNES, Saturn
32X, GBA, CDi
PC, Jaguar, 360

There is a certain charm to the SNES version, but it probably has a lot to do with nostalgia, as it was the first full version of Doom I ever owned when it came out. All of the ports have one flaw or another, and of course everyone has a preference on which one they like more over another :-)


I edited the image and added the names to it, using the incredible powers of MS Paint. Here it is.

(You're okay with that, right?)

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I don't really think that including Doom 64 as part of the comparison was appropriate. While I do consider it classic Doom (just an alternate form), the maps themselves are their own scenario and cannot be accurately compared with screenshots of any other official Doom maps. As cool as projects like Doom 64 in Doom 2 are, they don't count as they're not official.

Maes said:

lower-res textures and coarser lighting

The textures are full resolution as far as I can tell.

Graf Zahl said:

Due to stripping away all the detail (both in geometry and textures) I found it actually worse than many of 1994's n00bmaps.

I won't deny that it sucks that they used the Jaguar mapset for the E1-3 portion of the game, but in the levels ported directly from the PC version, it really doesn't suffer that much.

Are PSX Doom's E4 and Doom 2 conversions really that bad?

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Doom's geometry is already sufficiently primitive; I didn't find the PSX ports to be that downgraded. The colored lighting makes up for this, especially in Final Doom, where the developers had matured in their implementation of it.

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Sodaholic said:

The textures are full resolution as far as I can tell.


*Looks at PC screenshot right underneath the SNES screenshot*

...right.

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Despite rather hating the SNES version as a whole, I do have an odd appreciation and fascination with it. It is closer to the "artistic" (for lack of a better word) experience of the PC version, though is mechanically not even close. I primarily take interest in the concessions made to run on the most primitive hardware of any official Doom port, like solid color planes, universal monster deafness, etc.

Maes said:

*Looks at PC screenshot right underneath the SNES screenshot*

...right.

Though it's been said (by Jodwin IIRC) that you're always right even when you're wrong, you're wrong. I just played the SNES version and walked right up to a wall. There is no resolution loss on the textures, only the renderer being low res.

To be fair, the non power-of-two textures have been cropped, but that has nothing to do with resolution, only size.

Jaxxoon R said:

I'm pretty sure Philips CDi Doom isn't a thing.

Heh, that would be a sight to behold. Imagine the low budget cutscenes they'd add.

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"If you need instructions... on how to RIP AND TEAR... check out the enclosed instruction boo-"

"THIS IS IT MARI-*Clipping*. You know what they say: 'where there's smoke'..."

"There's fiya!"

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How nice, I started a riot. My bad.

I find the Atari Jaguar-based ports to have a pretty bland usage of textures. I feel some levels are more similar to each other than in the SNES and PC (including ports based on it) versions, instead of retaining some of their more individual feeling even if they are supposed to have a theme running through them (stuck in the same episode). I myself don't mind how worse the textures are in the SNES version, but it's the repetitiveness in the Atari Jaguar-based ports' texture usage that turns me off. I didn't even mention how the levels were simplified in those versions.

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@Sodaholic, DaWerecat: Those textures (and pretty much everything else in that screenshot) look like quarter-resolution to me (half horizontal, half-vertical resolution), ON TOP of the overall rendering resolution being lower, which would make much more sense considering the limited cartridge space, too. Unless they somehow managed to cram full-resolution PC textures in a 2 MB (or 16 mbit, if you want to sound like a k00l retro kid) cart.

The fact that the colors follow the PC version more closely, may mask this fact, but I'll give you the benefit of the doubt and try it myself ASAP with an emulator.

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Sodaholic said:

I primarily take interest in the concessions made to run on the most primitive hardware of any official Doom port, like solid color planes, universal monster deafness, etc.

How many of these are "concessions to limited hardware" instead of "we're just cloning the Doom engine rather than porting it because we don't actually have the source"? Solid color planes I can certainly see it as a hardware issue, but monster deafness, I'm not so sure...

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Maes said:

Unless they somehow managed to cram full-resolution PC textures in a 2 MB (or 16 mbit, if you want to sound like a k00l retro kid) cart.

They tried to preserve the aesthetics as much as possible, but they still cut a lot of textures.

By the way:

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I enjoyed the Gameboy advance port; multiplayer was a blast. Considering it was roughly the same power as the super NES, I thought that the game looked and played pretty well.

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I honestly have to say that PSXDoom looks the best out of all of these. Yes, the obvious choice would normally be Doom64 but I feel that its style is too much of its own thing, so my opinion is being based solely on the "original" Doom ports.

I mean shit, that colored lighting is really the best. It right off the bat gives such a level of depth and atmosphere to the game.

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