A pointless money grab of a port for a console that didn't need it.
I recently found my way to playing Doom on the SNES after I decided to take a break from making Master System videos for my Youtube channel. After playing the first two levels of the game I physically couldn't play it anymore. It was actually giving me motion sickness; stress headache and all.
I can appreciate what Williams, and more specifically Ray Landers, were going for when they endeavored to develop a SNES port of Doom. It's an interesting little piece of technology to show off to people curious about the Super FX chip the console uses to generate 3D graphics.
The novelty of playing Doom on the SNES is an interesting one and the instrumentation of the background music is quite good. Also this console port of the game contains every level and enemy from the PC original.
There are just so many concessions it doesn't seem to have a point to it.
Doom on the SNES, although finished, feels incomplete.
According to many publications on this port of Doom it contains every level from the PC original and they are all faithfully recreated. A look at the first two levels of the game basically moots this point. While the levels might be faithful in the respect that the physical rooms might be present, lots of things like walls and other aesthetic elements have been removed.
In addition to this, there are no floor or ceiling textures and while this might not seem like a big deal it goes a long way to making the game look ugly and unfinished.
Enemies can only look in one direction eliminating the hilarity of monster infighting.
The worst thing about the enemy sprites though is the way they scale. When they are a few feet away from you enemies become a mess of pixels moving around the screen occasionally firing a pot shot at you without changing their animation cycle.
This scaling problem extends to everything in the game, including wall and door textures. As soon as you move away from something, it loses detail and becomes a shifting, ill defined blob. The scaling is really harsh and it not only looks really, really ugly but it actually made me feel motion sick after playing for a little while.
The frame rate is also very low, making Doom guy feel like an 80 year old arthritis sufferer. This is the final nail in the coffin.
The game is ugly and unrefined and then the frame rate turns out to be abysmal as well. It renders the game not unplayable, just not fun. It's slow, and ugly and it shouldn't exist.
The Bottom Line
Doom on the SNES feels unrefined and unfinished.
So what if it contains every level from the original Doom? That means nothing while it is busy being slow, ugly and exasperating.
It is not fun to play and actively hurts you while you are doing it.
There are very few redeeming features to be found with this port of one of the most important games ever made. The SNES might have a huge library of great games, but this definitely isn't one of them.