Doom Game Boy Advance | Yokoi Corner

I love that Doom for the Game Boy Advance (GBA) exists! It is a well-done port that brings the game to a handheld system. However, it does come with numerous notable changes. They don’t impact the game too much, but they’re noticeable.

It is still Doom, and Doom is fantastic! This port looks like the SNES version of the game from a visual standpoint. It is heavily pixelated, and sometimes you aren’t sure what you’re shooting at. This creates an “if it moves, kill it” style of gameplay because you won’t be able to tell what something is unless it is up close. Thankfully, Doom doesn’t have anyone that needs saving.

This is a good port of the game. While it doesn’t look great, it is better than other retro FPS on handheld consoles.

TLDR: Doom is a great game; this version isn’t all that great.

Gameplay

Doom is an early First Person Shooter (FPS). You pick up guns, ammo, and health items as you fight through different levels. Along the way, you kill zombies and demons as you travel through two space colonies and eventually Hell.

There are numerous differences between the PC version and the GBA version. These don’t detract from the game, but they were noticeable enough for me to mention. Items are missing, pits are missing, and several switches are missing.

The things that were cut don’t change how the game is played, but if you come to this version from the PC, it will be very noticeable. I could also see someone trying to 100% the game noticing how different things were.

I also had issues with shooting enemies on a higher or lower platform. Typically, you must line up with an enemy, and the game auto-targets them. It does this because you can only move your gun on a horizontal axis. This works fine with the PC but doesn’t seem accurate in the GBA version.

Visuals

The visuals could be better. Everything is heavily pixelated, much like the SNES version of Doom, but somehow worse than that. I was playing this on a TV, and I can’t imagine figuring out where the enemies are on a small GBA screen.

It was sometimes hard to track where the Imp’s fireballs were and if you were lined up with the enemy to get a good shot. Shooting an enemy above the character was a little tricky, and shooting an enemy below you was frustratingly awful.

 I made the mistake of picking up the radiation suit. My go was that a terrible idea! The screen turns green to tell you that you are protected from radiation. It is painful to look at!

The blood has been replaced with green slime. This was an odd choice, but I guess Nintendo or the developer wasn’t comfortable with blood. Enemy corpses also disappear after a few seconds. I think this was due to technical limitations. There were also some items missing and changes to the layout of some levels.  

Thankfully, I knew what the items should look like, so I knew what I was picking up. After playing Doom on a PC, coming back to this was visually jarring. The GBA version gets the job done but isn’t the best-looking version of Doom.

Replayability

Doom is a game that I can always come back to. I have many memories tied up in it, and I love trying to find those secrets I may have missed over the years.

I go back and play Doom for a few hours every so often. I think it is one of those games that can be played repeatedly. It is simply one of the best games of the 90s.

When this game came out, it would have been great! I could see myself playing the game repeatedly, especially since it has three of the four episodes of Doom on it. However, there are other versions of the game that I would rather play now, and there are better ways to play this on a handheld.

7/10. It is Doom on a handheld. If you were looking for a way to play this amazing game on the go, this would have been great! However, it is lacking from a visual standpoint.

Pros

  • It’s Doom on a Handheld
  • Gameplay is faithful to the original
  • It has all three episodes

Cons

  • Very Pixelated Graphics
  • Green Blood
  • Levels have been noticeably edited

Conclusion

I’ve been on a bit of a Doom kick this year. I love the game and have many memories of playing the shareware version over and over. It wasn’t until the late 2000s that I played the entire game.

I was a little excited when I learned about this version of Doom. I didn’t know that it existed, and I was interested to see if it was closer to the other console ports or if it was like the SNES port. I was a little disappointed to see how bad the game looked.

Graphics aside, it is a faithful version of Doom. You’re doing all the things you would expect from a Doom game. It is a fun game to play, and it is fantastic that it was brought to the GBA.

This isn’t my favorite version of Doom, and the visuals make it inferior to the ports you can play today. With Doom being playable on other handhelds, the GBA version is more of a nostalgia trip or collector’s piece.

Published by Paul Werkema

Hi! I'm here to share my hobbies with all of you. I love video games and books, so I write about the books that cover video games or are novels about video games.

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