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Is trying to buy an authentic copy of DOOM I & II for GBA worth it?...

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...especially compared to being able to play PC and/or PS1 DOOM on PSP?


DOOM for GBA, especially DOOM II, is rare and expensive. To make matters worse, people are always selling bootleg copies of both games on ebay, usually for a reduced price. I intentionally bought bootlegs of both games a few months ago, since back then I didn't have the intention of trying to find and buy authentic copies. Not only did they take several weeks to get to my house (they came from Hong Kong), but the bootleg of DOOM II was defective (the game freezes whenever you exit the options menu). The seller sent me a replacement bootleg which is on its way, but I'm beginning to regret this decision...


Both bootlegs combined only cost a little less than $20 with free shipping, but that's not what I'm worried about. Remember that thread I made where I asked for help getting DOOM 64 EX's Wadgen to recognize my DOOM 64 ROM dumped using my Retrode? I'm trying to become and stay a legit gamer, and stop myself from illegally downloading games. I'm feeling like buying the bootleg cartridges was a major step backwards on that. Plus, for several reasons, I can't even dump the bootlegs into ROMs. I was gonna buy a flash cart to put the dumped ROMs on so I could keep the bootlegs in good condition, but that would've complicated my status as a legit gamer even more...


I have a PSP in addition to a GBA. I play the PSP 10x more than I ever play my GBA, even though the GBA has much longer battery life than the PSP (unless you guys can pinpoint me to a really reliable PSP battery on amazon and/or ebay). My PSP is modded, but only so I can play my legitimately backed-up PS1 and PSP games on it (as well as source ports and emulators for FPS games and ROMs I legally own/dumped). I've also heard that the GBA versions of DOOM I & II, even though praised by normal gamers, were greatly inferior compared to other versions of DOOM...


One more thing:

I'm on a very tight budget right now. I only have a little over $100 in my bank account right now. Not only is my birthday coming up (I've already spent a ton of the money I got from it), but I'm going on vacation for a week towards the end of July (ten to one I'm gonna spend a lot while I'm gone as well). Once all that's out of the way, I really need to build my bank account back up, and I can't buy any more games or stuff like that until the account's at a decent level again. I don't know how long that's gonna take...


So this is what I ask of you guys:

Is DOOM I & II for the GBA truly inferior to playing DOOM and Final DOOM for PS1 (as well as DOOM source ports) on the PSP? And is it truly worth it to shell out the $80+ I need to buy authentic copies of the GBA cartridges?


If the answer to both questions is no, then next time I go to town, I'm selling my GBA, and then using the money I get from it to buy another PSP. That way whenever my current PSP runs out of battery life, I can continue DOOMing on the other PSP, and so on...

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If money is a concern and you already have mobile access to play PSX Doom, I'd just wait until a better time. GBA Doom has no spider mastermind or cyberdemon, and has  E3M8 replaced by Fortress of Mystery, a level vastly inferior to Threshold of Pain. Also there are no E4 levels, no animated skies, no crushers, red being replaced by green blood, far worse graphics with color palettes that don't work well for the browns in Doom 2 while appearing washed out as a consequence of compensating for the unlit GBA screen when it was first released. 


Doom 2 for the GBA is a little more complete than the PSX iteration, but there are downsides in addition to what has been already mentioned.  It has all of its levels intact, albeit with MAP15/24 being split into two for memory limitations. All monsters are present as well. There is an armor bug that makes it to where when you advance to another level with 90% armor, it is treated as 0% until you pick up an armor item of any type. The chainsaw is useless as it pushes enemies away, and you can no longer snipe with the chaingun since the first shots are subject to the accuracy deviations rather than being centered. 


If it was up to me, I'd go with PSX Doom/Final Doom since there's almost 90 levels between the two versus 60 or so on the GBA, while having superior graphics and presentation. The GBA games are worth a play for their novelty but nothing I'd rush to obtain at the sacrifice of other things due to finances.  

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I'd recommend an original copy, if at all possible. That's where the smart money is.

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23 minutes ago, Aldaraia said:

GBA Doom has no spider mastermind or cyberdemon

That alone just killed it for me. All this time I thought they were in there. If I had done my research 100% and knew about that all along, I never would have bothered with playing DOOM on the GBA in the first place. I'd rather play DOOM on the SNES instead (which I thankfully own legally).


So yeah, I'm definitely selling my GBA in favor of another PSP. Battery life be damned. Also, thanks to my PSX2PSP knowledge I can play not just PSX DOOM & Final DOOM, but Quake II, HeXen, Duke Nukem Total Meltdown, Time To Kill, and Land Of The Babes as well...



As for the bootleg GBA cartridges, they're going in the trash, including the replacement cartridge. I'll find a way to make the lost money up to myself...

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About 15 years ago I bought a boxed copy of Doom 2 GBA on Amazon's "reseller" program. When I got it, the thing heavily smelled like ink. When I put the cartridge in and played it, the game had had ROM headers before Doom 2 started. I figured.... never again.


I do have a cartridge of Doom 1 on GBA from 15 years ago as well. Bought it used from GameStop 15 years ago. It fit SNUG in the cartridge slot. Then I noticed there's no Nintendo seal of quality and the screws were different. It took was a bootleg. At that time I checked Doom 2 to discover it too had no Nintendo seal of quality. Why are bootleggers afraid of that?


I tried taking it back saying it was a forgery. The manager told me I bought their real copy and tried to refund it with an obvious forgery. They would not have bought a forgery. Wow. Its mine now. To be fair it plays fine and I have played through it many times.


Now I just don't buy used cartridge games.

Edited by geo

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I consider myself extremely fortunate to have gotten a legit copy of GBA Doom II off of eBay about 5 years ago or so. It was in a lot along with Duke Nukem Advance and 007: Nightfire, and I ended up paying about 20 bucks for the entire lot. I also managed to get the original Doom and Wolf 3D for GBA around the same time for pretty reasonable prices, so I'm guessing this is before the prices on them really skyrocketed. I thought all the ports were really enjoyable. They aren't really my go-to versions to play, but they are very good nonetheless.


That being said, even though I own my original Game Boy Advance I find that I get more enjoyment by playing all my Game Boy games through the Game Boy Player add-on for the Gamecube. I've never been too big a fan of portable gaming, so the Game Boy Player gives me a chance to play these games without having to strain my eyes.


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Playing Doom GBA co-op was a highlight for me around the time it came out.

Since then I've played/play it online on PC and I wouldn't go back except for the novelty or if stuck at an airport, and even then I would have a laptop capable of playing Doom anyways

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Too many downsides to the GBA version as @Aldaraia mentioned. Better off with PSX Doom/Final Doom or Doom 64.

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Buy stuff like games and electronics if you have extra money only. You got to have some money in the bank in case of some emergency.

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I collect heavily for Gameboy/collor/Advanced myself. Doom/II are both on my want lists. But indeed they are expensive and definitely downgraded from the originals. 


My best advice is, visit local game stores or flea markets and gain a rap-ore with the owners/employees. Some will let you know when they come in. Also, it will be cheaper most likely buying from a retro local game store than looking on ebay. 


Above that, don't make an impulse buy if you can't afford it. I've been looking for copies for years. I make weekly trips to three different stores. Most will call me if something I really want comes in. I don't get anything on ebay mostly because of the prices and there is a certain thrill and satisfaction of walking in and finding just what you were looking for. I've passed up a few good ones in the past that are hard to find just because of the price before. Regretted it a bit, but life goes on. Some I did stumble on again later on when I actually did have enough disposable cash to pick them up. 


Lastly, how much do you actual play your gameboy? I play mine almost everyday and have a case which I cycle games in and out regularly of so I have a variety of choices. I also Have a genesis which I love, but don't get to be home enough to play it much at all. That's why I don't really collect for it. Gameboy on the other hand is worth collecting for since I play it a lot. 


If you play your gameboy a lot, I would say it would be worth it if you find it in the wild and can afford to drop the money at that moment without going broke. 


Happy hunting.

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In addition to having PSX DOOM & Final DOOM on my PSP (and soon to be second PSP), I also have DOOM 64 on my phone and tablet using Mupen64Plus AE. It actually runs really good on there (especially with the Glide64 video plugin)!



I live with my mom, and she controls my bank account in addition to helping me pay for important stuff like bills and taxes, so I'm nowhere near as broke as I made myself sound. However, selling my GBA for another PSP, along with buying Tekken 7 on PS4, will hopefully be the last major thing I spend money on for a good long time, at least until Christmas so I can get my account back to a decent state. Thanks for being so considerate though.



Thank you for your advice, but like I said before, DOOM I & II for GBA are too inferior and too expensive for me to continue pursuing. Not only that, but once again, I BARELY play my GBA compared to my PSP. I only have three games for it: The bootlegs of DOOM I & II, and Street Fighter Alpha 3 (which was the one and only reason I bought the GBA again in the first place). On my PSP, I can play my UMDs & PSN downloads converted into ISOs, PSX2PSP EBOOTs, emulators and ROMs, and source ports! All I need to do is find longer-lasting batteries for the thing...

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