Since I do not have a lot of energy and am not feeling 100% this weekend, it’s going to be a Classic Doom weekend, and not much will be said about it beyond what I said on 13 May, 2016 about Doom. Also, no videos. They will return Monday with a different retro game that isn’t Doom. :)
While Doom (the original) is still (probably) my favorite game of all time, Doom II: Hell on Earth is right up there. The only real problem with II is this: map design isn’t quite up to par with the original Doom design. There are levels that just don’t feel like they are put together quite as well, and feel a bit overconstructed, as if they tried to just put a bit too much in there and make it more of a pain to get through — not difficult, but just more tedious, making you feel like “oh no, it’s this level again with that part” (for me, one of those is MAP09, The Pit with the hub chamber with the three-sided switch that opens up three equally tedious parts, and even if you ignore the other two and just go for the one with the key, that part is actually the most tedious one of all).
But the addition of the Super Shotgun and the new enemies really balance that out well. The Chaingunner is a new zombie with, well, a chaingun, and can really rip through your health fast if you don’t take him down, the Hell Knight is a weaker but still formidable version of the Baron, the Revenant’s homing missiles keep you on your toes, the Mancubus is a bloated mini-tank with a nice shot spread that is tricky to dodge if you’re not careful, the Arachnotron is a plasma-shooting annoyance that is fortunately easy to kill in a few blasts, the Pain Elemental gives those Lost Souls a home and can fill the room with them if not taken care of, and best yet, the Arch-Vile, a terror that can chip off a significant amount of health with a blast of fire if you are in its sights. Add the Wolfenstein 3D secret level SS troopers, a surprise appearance by some hanging Commander Keens, and the Icon of Sin final boss (who is really just John Romero’s head on a stick, saying “To win the game, you must kill me, John Romero” backwards).
It’s a great sequel slightly marred by some sloppy level design here and there, but still one of the greatest games ever released. Play it.