Friday, June 04, 2010

Video game number one hundred and forty eight: Doom 2 XBLA

Video game review number one hundred and forty eight in my 365 Games in 365 Days project is "Doom II" for Xbox Live Arcade.

Is this a new game? No. I've played it a dozen times on a dozen different platforms. I think one of my first color screen cell phones came with this damn game. But, when XBLA came out with a version, I had to check it out, just to see whether or not it had been improved at all. The verdict? No, it has not.

This game is exactly the same game you remember (if you've ever played it). I actually have to subtract points for the controller, which makes it a little less fun. Keyboard and mouse feel like "home" in a game like this, and unless you're going to up-res the graphics, it just feels weird to play it with a controller.

The same old levels are all here, including all the secrets and surprises you remember (if you've ever played it). If you want to take a trip down nostalgia road, and your PC is broken or something...this is an 8 dollar way to do it. Plus, you'll get some tasty achievements.

For me....all this game makes me think about is my final round in the Omegathon at the first year of PAX. I had managed to win my way through a ton of other games (Diceland, Halo, Mario Kart, Dance Dance Revolution) and now here I was with old school game I had just spent a week or so practicing on. I actually won second place in the real match, but the scorekeepers didn't see my final kill, so we had to have a tiebreaker, which I lost. It was a huge bummer after getting that far, and the whole story is here, if you're interested. Basically...playing this one just reminded me of how much that loss sucked. After a couple of (easy) achievements...I think I'm done with this one.

Overall score? 3/10. If I was scoring Doom 2 and it was ten years ago, this would get high marks. In 2010, on the Xbox 360...this is the kind of shovelware that simply doesn't get me excited anymore. I like Game Room (and how they're bringing back old Atari games). I enjoy seeing old games like TMNT and Contra come back, but this one just doesn't do it for me. Hopefully, the XBLA folks will get to work on some arcade games I really want to see again, like Hard Drivin, The Simpsons, Pit Fighter, WWF Royal Rumble, Dragon's Lair, etc, etc. Anything I've ever thrown 10 bucks or so into is fair game. PC games I can still legally download for free? Not so much. :-)

Achievements: Here are the couple I got, both in the first two levels.

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