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EGM Shows It's Doom Bias - The Atari Times

EGM Shows It's Doom Bias

EGM's Review of 32X vs. Jaguar Doom
by Gregory D. George

January 28, 2002
It's always been rumored that video game magazines covering multiple systems are biased against certain consoles for one reason or another. Perhaps due to the amount (or lack thereof) of advertising in the magazine. The more advertising, the better the reviews are. Well, that's the theory anyway. Take this case for example. 

Back in the January 1995 issue of Electronic Gaming Monthly, the writers chose to review the Sega Genesis 32X version of Doom and the Atari Jaguar version of Doom.

Note these statistics:

32X Jaguar
Full Screen? No Yes
Multiple monster views? No Yes
Networking Support? No Yes
Number of Levels 17+1 24+1
Save Game Feature? No Yes
More sound effects? No Yes
High resolution graphics? No Yes
17-button controller, making the weapon select a snap? No Yes
BFG-9000 without a code? No Yes
Monsters fight each other? No Yes
Depth Cueing/ Lighting? No Yes
Can fire or use while in Automap? No Yes
In-game music? Yes No

See http://www.classicdoom.com/ for more info.

You'll note that the ONLY area the 32X beats the Jaguar version is in the music department. In all but one area, the Jaguar version dominates!

So, based on this information, which one do you think got the higher rating? If you guessed the Jaguar version, you were WRONG! The Jaguar version received a score of 6, 7, 7, & 7 for an average rating of 6.75. The 32X version received the scores of 9, 8, 8, 8, 9 for an average rating of 8.4. The 32X version even received an Editor's Choice Gold Award. Um? Hello?

Here are scans of the magazine with the reviews. The Jaguar one was modified only to make it easier to read. The Jag Doom reviewers are Ed Semrad (6), Danyon Carpenter (7), Al Manuel (7), and Sushi-X (7). Click on the scans to enlarge.

EGM's 32X Doom Review EGM's Jaguar Doom Review

(Screenshots prove they knew it wasn't fullscreen)

Notes on the Jaguar reviews: All of them complain about the lack of music (even though one says it's no big deal), some complain that two enemies were removed, some complain about slippery control, some complain about missing levels, one complains about no co-op mode (lack of monsters in 2-player), one incorrectly complains about a lack of a save game feature even though there is one.

Notes on the 32X review: No complaints about missing levels! No complaints about the small screen! No complaints about having even fewer enemies than the Jaguar version! No complaints about the lack of a 2-player mode! No complaints about the fewer frames of monster animation! No complaints about not having a save game feature! No complaints about the clumsy weapon selection! Why, there are no complaints at all! This must be the most perfect version of Doom outside the original PC game! (In all fairness, there was only one review printed, and I assume it was Ed Semrad's, since he gave it a 9.)

The sad truth is, the Jaguar version is MUCH CLOSER to the original PC version than the 32X version is. I'm just curious to know what it would take for the Jaguar version to get a better score than the 32X version? Virtual reality?

Was EGM biased giving the 32X version a better score? Who can truly say. Perhaps they got confused between the two versions? Perhaps they didn't spend enough time with each game to give it a proper review? Perhaps they reviewed a "preview" copy of Jag Doom? Perhaps...

In any case, I made up mind about EGM years ago. And their lack of objectivity doesn't seem to change with new management. If this gross injustice to a far superior version of Doom isn't enough to persuade you about EGM's bias, nothing will.

Do you want fullscreen (black bar on the right courtesy of Virtual Tempest emulator), better color, more monsters, more levels, multiplay or the 32X version? You decide.

Notice how you DON'T have full-screen? (or even 16-bit color!?)
This is the ONLY view of the monster you will see, the front. You CAN'T sneak up behind them in 32X Doom like you can in the Jaguar version.

Doom by Dominic on 2006-11-23 23:46:55
Sega had nothing on atari, doom is a game best polayed on the 64 bit level.
Jag Doom by Badeaux on 2007-02-15 15:48:44
I agree, the Jaguar port of Doom is great. I own both the 32X and the Jag versions and the only reason I have the 32X copy is because it came with the 32X.
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