Wolfenstein 3-D


Review by Matt Paprocki



Graphics: 8

Sound: 6

Gameplay: 8

Overall: 8

After creating a huge success with "Commander Keen," John Carmack and John Romero along with the rest of the quickly growing company, decided to try something a bit different. In the process, whether or not they realized at the time, changed video games forever. While Nintendo recruited them to create a watered down SNES version, Atari said "Keep it like it is!" They did, and in doing so, created the best version of "Wolfenstein 3-D" ever produced.

Players control the unfortunately named William J. Blazkowicz. Infiltrating a nazi stronghold called "Castle Wolfenstein," he'll need all of his cunning (and weapons) to blow away anyone who stands in his way. What he doesn't know is that the group has performed a few experiments on a few unlucky souls, and he'll be taking on those results as well.

The team at id actually ported the game as a joke. In preparing to create a Jaguar translation, the programmers worked on this for some practice and to test the hardware. When they realized what they could do, it ended up as a full retail product. They didn't stop there either.

Not only does the frame rate exceed anything the PC rendition could do, the graphics have received new gloss and the horrid pixelization has been taken care of (tough ceilings and floors are still absent). The game never moved this fast before and it actually becomes a better game because of it. New and very effective weapons, including a flamethrower and bazooka, make this port unique. Their ammo is quite rare, so use them sparingly. Oddly, once the chain gun is acquired, players can no longer use the pistol. It seemingly disappears from their inventory.

Thirty levels have made the trip over. That's a smaller number than the original, but it's a minor quip. In essence, it actually makes the game a bit more qualified for the console realm. Saving is available anywhere and three slots are available. Simply press the appropriate keypad button and you won't have to worry about going back.

Clunky as it may be, the Jaguar's pad doesn't cause very much trouble. The limited number of buttons required here means that no odd distortions of the gamer's hand are needed to perform a task. Oh, and you'll have just as much fun watching Nazis explode into bloody messes on the Jag as you would on the PC. All of the blood has been retained.

Really the only disappointment here is the audio. Rest assured that all of the classic screams and German sayings have been retained, but so has the music. Practically nothing has been added to the soundtrack and it simply sounds archaic considering how much better the game looks. Granted, all the tracks are included, it's just hard to accept the fact that nothing has changed.

This is one of those exceedingly rare titles to outshine its PC counterpart in every way. The Jaguar is more than up to the task put before it. It's a shame we never got the extra levels from "Spear of Destiny" ported over, but that's certainly not a fault that can go against the game.


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Last updated: Saturday, December 04, 2004 08:58 AM