1993. I was twelve years old, and my family had a fancy Windows based 386 computer in our house. Which seems weird thinking back, because my mom wasn't the wealthiest. But here we were with AOL. It was incredible. And trying to retrace the steps, I think it's because my step-dad worked at Circuit City at the time and probably had an awesome discount.
In 1993, shareware was a big deal if you had a PC. I played all kinds of stuff because of these cheap/free disks. (Who remembers Jazz Jackrabbit?) But Doom wasn't even the first FPS I got into. Nope. That would have been Wolfenstein 3D. And yet Doom is the one that hangs on as super important in gamer history. And for good reason.
I vividly remember staying over my friend Phil's house one time in 1994 and him showing me Doom deathmatches. It was crazy. He was playing a game ONLINE. Like, against friends at their houses. On the internet! THE FUTURE WAS HERE!
In the many years since - god, I'm old - Doom has remained a true classic. Yes, the FPS has been refined over the years in many ways. Namely, vertical aiming. And better maps. And stories. And so on. But yet, NOTHING needs to be fixed in Doom. It is perfect the way it is the same way you couldn't really improve upon Super Mario Bros or Tetris. Even if you can refine it (Super Mario World, Tetris 99), the original is still perfectly crystalized the way it is.
Doom was ported to Switch via the eShop a while back - which is part of a long, LONG lineage of ports. Doom has literally been on EVERYTHING from SNES to GBA to smartphones and smart-thermostats. And at this point - outside of my family's old Dell 386 - I don't know if there's even a preferred way to play Doom anymore. But this Switch port is solid.
One thing I'm really impressed with is the inclusion of (official) WADs. If you didn't grow up on the cutting edge, or didn't read Masters Of Doom, or live under a rock, WADs are user made levels/campaigns. Some are their own new legit fan-games. But the ones offered here - for free in a $5 downloadable game - are totally welcome. Like, there's Sigil which is an honest go goodness Episode 5 just finally released in 2019, which is insane and awesome.
Anyway, I played through Episode 1 this week, which is really important to me. Episode 1 is the original shareware release. IE, it's the game as I knew it 1993. I've played it many times on many platforms in the years since, and those opening levels are just really iconic to me (and millions). This game is still brilliant all these years later.
The level design is well thought out. The sound design in insane. Those sound effects are the stuff of legend and can still creep me out and make me feel anxious. The speed is intense. The guns are satisfying. Doom is an unmistakable classic with a kind of crazy history of sequels - both good and bad.
But I love that Doom exists on Switch. I love that all the levels are here in their insane glory. This is the better way to play on a Nintendo system - sorry SNES and GBA. The included WADs add so much value to an already overly cheap point of purchase.
I'd say that Doom is recommended, but you really don't need me to recommend it.