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Soundblock

Old Doom: Comparative first impressions?

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Thinking back, what were some of your first impressions of the game, comparing it to the gaming standard at the time?

For me, one of the things that made me realize this was a special game was that the enemy sprites never decayed, but remained where they lay. Coming back to a room, I would get little flashbacks from the fight that had put them there, adding a layer of history to the level exploration. Later of course, Archvile was to make serious gameplay use of those corpses...

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Though I had played Doom beforehand, I hadn't seriously done so until 2004, when a friend introduced me to ZDaemon. It was also the first FPS game I had seriously played and didn't just bumble through. I didn't have much to compare it to though, having only briefly played parts of Duke Nukem 64 and Goldeneye. My introduction was sort of a trial by fire. I didn't care much for the Doom 2 maps I had played. I ended up in a lot of Plutonia, Alien Vendetta, Memento Mori, or whatever servers that had been set to UV with fast monsters and fast projectiles. In fact, my first time playing ZDaemon was either on Alien Vendetta map27, or Plutonia map14. I don't remember exactly, just that those are the earliest memories I have of ZDaemon.

It was probably the first game to challenge me to get better, at least that I could recognize at the time. With those settings, which at the time I didn't know wasn't the default, it was probably the first time I had to be seriously engaged to play the game. Even imps, with those settings, weren't just a casual annoyance. If you weren't paying attention when you walked into a room, and a few were standing behind you on a ledge, you could be seriously fucked up. That much I remember pretty vividly.

One thing was learning that regular players had made some of the maps I had been playing. That was seriously impressive to me at the time, and with most maps it still is. Especially, having played some of the more popular wads of the time, you could see how I might go back to regular Doom 2 maps and not be entirely impressed, though some still caught my attention. Learning that probably shaped my opinions on games more than anything else, that this older game could be made that good, by the players no less. That's one of those things that put Doom above most games for me.

Really, Doom set future expectations for me more than it either met or did not meet my expectations, so my impressions of the game as a whole are kind of limited to those few things. I think the game just left the impression that Doom was how FPS's were, and led me to judge most games by it (unfairly or not).

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For me, it was a completely new experience, because I wasn't sure what to expect. I had no previous exposure to FPS games (not even Wolf3D), while I only saw textured 3D graphics at the arcades (Sega's Daytona USA), so I thought that anything close to that would be impossible on a home PC. without a bazillion $$$ worth of super-custom hardware.

From pics of pixelated monsters, I deduced that it was some sort of rail shooter like Terminator 2: Judgment day or Beast Busters (the latter also had scaling/pixelating monsters).



With that being said, and not knowing exactly what to expect, I figured that if so much fuss had been generated around this "Doom" thing, then it must be somewhat good, amirite? So I turned to my friendly neighborhood's pirate (hey, that was Greece in the 90s for you...), got my set of Doom v1.1 installation floppies (with cracktro by Quantum on the last one) and the rest, as they say, is legend....

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For me it was just a fun game, I was only about 5 when it came out so I didn't really take much interest, but I did have a go. Then as years passed and I played other games, I was playing it's PS1 port and I did like it. It was just another violent video game I was playing alongside Loaded and GTA during my growing years.

Then about 4 or 5 years a go I learned of it's PC parent and tried that too. I spent a fair bit of time with the port, but the PC version I ended up liking too.

It's a fast and fun game, surreal and weird while not taking itself so mega seriously....I dunno how it can really, you're shooting demons in the face with a shotgun.

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My first impressions about Doom were only the best. As a little kid, I didn't question its imperfections, of course. I've enjoyed playing it a lot, either in cooperative mode over LAN with my father, or just playing / cheating around myself. Doom was (and still is!) the best 3D game I ever knew - as opposed to 2D games (which I also liked a lot), wandering Doom's 3D environment and shooting monsters (or letting them infight) was a great experience for itself.

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My first experience was with the SNES version on an emulator using a crappy and slow Windows ME computer. Pity me.

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Soundblock said:

Thinking back, what were some of your first impressions of the game, comparing it to the gaming standard at the time?


I think the first impression must have been how liberating the game-world was, in how you survived and finally reached the exit - the temporary sanctuary before the next map.

There was a great interest in exploring the levels, because the graphics were unbelievable to anything prior to DOOM, much like how GTA3 kind of was.

DOOM was an incredible game, and it's in my case also largely in thanks to the background story and setting, monster and texture design, graphics and audio - I can't think of a cooler soundtrack (particularly for DOOM 1) than the one we got.

With that said, I can't actually remember the first time that I played DOOM :]

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I'm 25 now, and I believe I was in 2nd grade, on a Win95 fumbling around... Upset that some games were DOS and I freaking spent hours trying to run them. (CAnnon Fodder, Apache 95)

There was a demo disc, called the Space shuttle Odyssyessy or something, and I was blown away by it, a fps demo disc. I went into a room and saw DooM 95 as one of the games.

I played the first room of e1m1 for days i'm sure before finally hitting F1 and learning how to open doors. My mind was blown then and it still is.

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I was totally blown away as a kid when I first tried it, even the music got me well. I ended up getting into it again when I was 12, and boy, it felt like I was playing it for the first time again, apart from a laggy PC at the time. Good times.

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Christmas 1995, on the 32X, of all things. I was still blown away by it. Up to that point, my only real experience with first person gaming had been the Megadrive version of The Lawnmower Man. That said, I immediately noticed differences between the game I was playin g and the screenshots on the box. One of them actually showed a Zombieman with his back to the player.

Got the PSX version a couple of years later, and the rest is history.

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I found Doom after Dark Forces. 2003 or 04 or so, maybe. Whereas Dark Forces was violent and contained very scary corpses on the second level, Doom blew me away with the violence. My parents were restrictive back then on violent stuff, and finding this stuff on my own was a bast, and shocking. The biggest thing was killing a pinky for the first time, which was the most blood I had seen in a video game by that time. Star Wars games (I actually wasn't allowed to play some of these either, until my Dad okayed the lot of them behind my mom's back) and Medal of Honor (I only played this at friend's houses, and I never told my parents about it) didn't have that kind of bloody violence in it.

SO of course I went through my pre-teen gore phase that lasted through the Freshman Year of Highschool, filling it stuff like Happy Tree Friends and installing blood mods on Jedi Outcast. And then I dropped it, but still enjoyed carnage filled movies like Hobo With a Shotgun and sorta re-entered the phase. Doom also got me into rock music, which with the exception of Some Bon Jovi, was non-existent in my home for a long time.

Anyways, comparing it to the standard of the time, I didn't have a lot to play. I got the Shareware of Doom off of the internet, and before that the games I got to play were whatever I could get out of the Library, which was Star Wars games from the 90s, like Rouge Squadron 3D, Episode I Racer, Rebellion, Galactic Battleground, and of course, Dark Forces 1 and 2 (There was also a fun Harley Davidson game). THe only games I could compare it too were Medal of Honor: Rising Sun, GTAIII, Jedi Outcast, Battlefront, and Jurassic Park: Operation Genesis. MoH was fun, but it didn't have the speed of Doom, which was a very fast game. I had Outcast waaay after Doom (JO came out in 2002, but I don't think I had it until long after Jedi Academy was released, which was 2005), and Battlefront was it's own beast. JPOG was also a totally different game, that looked better graphically, but otherwise wasn't comparable. I never got to play GTAIII actually, I just watched my younger cousin play it (Heh, his Mom I don't think cared or knew. Now days, I'm assuming the latter). But comparing to the other FPS titles, Dark Forces 1/2, I'd say Doom nearly exceded them. Better than Dark Forces, almost as fun as Dark Forces II. Doom was eaiser to get mods for, so I was thrilled. I didn't have sound though for a long time, because DOSBox problems, and I don't think I found Doom Legacy until a year later.

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Summer of 95, my fathers PC which had Doom 2 and Wolf3D installed. I knew mostly NES at the time and could not get my head around the first person view. I thought "how am I supposed to play this?" at first. I actually preferred side-scrolling games like Contra at the time and only started appreciating the game watching my dad play. Also there were not any game magazines where I lived and I didn't even know Doom was that popular. Years later it is my favorite game ever.

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I hadn't experienced anything like it before. I played wolfenstein later and it was step back for me and only later appreciated it. Next time something impressed me as much when I played red alert in 1996, I also missed tiberian dawn and same thing happened as with wolfenstein. Summa summarum: DOOM, it blew my mind and that's why I still like to discuss over it here 20 years later.

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Waffenak said:Next time something impressed me as much when I played red alert in 1996[/B]

Lol same as me. That game was boss.

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I first played Doom on the PSX back in '96 I think it was. Anyway, the sound and music and the overall horror atmosphere really made an impact on me. That and it was really fun and engrossing. It grabbed ahold of my thirteen year old self and didn't let go. It never has, actually - I'm still playing Doom nearly two decades later :) I don't think I've played another game that did to me what PSX Doom did to me at that time.

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I played it sometime in early 1994, on a roommate's 486 (where it ran flawlessly). The year before I spend a lot of time with Hired Guns on Amiga. That's a really great game with some similar features (multiplayer, very fast intense action, hordes of monsters, dripping in atmosphere...) but the engine wasn't as advanced. It was really like something in between Dungeon Master and Doom.

Doom of course was amazing at the time, but in itself not any more revolutionary than various other games that preceded it (such as Dungeon Master, Another World, Lemmings, Pinball Dreams, Prince of Persia, Pirates!, Elite, Ultima, Rogue, Colossal Cave, and so many others...) It's really the ability to edit and extend the game that made it something to keep playing regularly for years on end. But that wasn't apparent in the early days before DEU, when I didn't even have a modem to dial local BBS...

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The first time I played Doom was '96 or '97, my dad had seen someone playing it at work and had me look it up. I had never really played an FPS before, despite the fact that they'd been around for a while at that point, and honestly, very few 3D games in general, aside from the odd flight simulator like Jet Fighter II (God that takes me back). I was friggin' blown away by this realistic, 3D environment. It was creepy, it was intriguing... I remember the outdoor areas especially just blew me away - the first time seeing that courtyard in E1M1 and being like, "Man, it'd be so cool if I could actually get out there," and then later I found out you could. The monsters were all creepy, the guns were awesome, it was just a blast. And at that same time, I discovered that the game could be modded. Just having the shareware, I couldn't actually try any mods, but just the thought of what you could do with it blew my mind. Just thinking, "Anything I can think of, I could create, and put it in the game." New levels, designing my own worlds, replacing enemies, weapons, etc... More or less, everything I had hoped for in terms of what 3D could allow, sculpting new worlds from scratch. So yeah, it wasn't just, "Hey, this is a really cool new game," it was, "My God, the things I could do with this."

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The super solidity of the game balance (hitpoints, damage) was one that got me, also. The threat level is always tangible, a damage peak always being possible, even from the low rank monsters.

Oh, and Hired Guns was a great pre-Doom blast! 4 players hunched over one machine, "deathmatching"! Pray everyone had their BO bashers on. :-)

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