Anyway, I recently finished playing the four games in the Doom Collector's Edition and I am seriously DOOMed out - at least for the moment. So, in not breaking the vicious cycle of playing PC games, I started to play Diablo II again.
Still, to bring this topic to a close, here are some thoughts on the four games found in the Collector's Edition:
For the most part, the original Doom is just great. The level design is great (Doom II coming in at a close second) and having all the levels in their original form (there isn't a single console port that contains them all, though the Playstation port is well done) is more than enough to spring for the PC version. Really, it's the little touches - some of which were taken out of Doom II - like the map screens and the E#M# (Episode #, Mission # level indicator) - that give you a real sense of accomplishment as you progress. Still, if anything holds Doom back, it's probably the fact enemy types are so limited, the sequel doubling that number, though in some ways it's a blessing (yeah, I'm talking about you Archviles... annoying bastards)
If anything, being able to see the original end of Episode I, Knee Deep in the Dead - where you die and literally go to hell - is awesome (most versions don't include this scene) and goes down as one of the greatest ending/beginnings in video game history.
Doom II: Hell on Earth
As far as sequels go, Doom II offers what most would see as a meager upgrade; doubling the enemy types, add one new weapon (the super, doubled barreled shotgun) and power up (the Megasphere.) Surprisingly, while it is more of the same, the game really takes on a feel of it's own even with the use of the same engine. This has more to do with the construction of the levels than anything else, level II-13: Downtown, proving this more than any other, with urban landscapes full of hell spawn, bringing the "Hell on Earth" subtitle real meaning despite the game's primitive look. Unfortunately, as high as this particular element soars, the fact this level is completely absent from the PSX version completely negates such a vibe from taking hold on the player in that version, which is really regrettable. Again, while it is more of the same, it is able to beat down most of the negative connotations associated with direct sequels.
Final Doom: TNT Evilution
One of the most impressive things about TNT Evilution is instead of just using Robert Prince's music as stock material like The Plutonia Experiment, Team TNT actually wrote a new original score for this add-on. This alone is enough to make it feel fresh, but while the level design doesn't really jump out at you at first, later on the levels seem to be designed around fun more than challenge, something that becomes crucial when taking in Final Doom as a whole. The difficulty ramps up near the end as one would expect - Mount Pain being, well, a real pain - but it never becomes a case where frustration eclipses the fun to be had.
Final Doom: The Plutonia Experiment
Before playing The Plutonia Experiment, you may have lots of fun playing Doom, hell you may even love playing Doom. Well, if "love" seems to be an extreme term to describe one's passion for a game, The Plutonia Experiement is here to turn that love into hate. Hate may be too nice of a term actually. Wow. Do we really have enough chainsaw guys in these levels? It's crazy how you don't see Former Marines and Shotgun Guys (the two weakest enemies) on a regular basis until halfway though were the game oddly seems to loosen its grip on your neck a bit. This is where a little of the fun returns, but by that point, any opinion formed is pretty much signed, sealed and delivered. In the end, this experiment is a mixed lot, and is flawed because it lacks the essential control element: fun.
And I'll be honest...while the original music by Bobby Prince is a lot of fun, I very much prefer what Aubrey Hodges came up with for the PSX and N64 versions of DooM. Rather than fast-paced rock-and-roll, he went the ambient-and-scary route...and it just seems so PERFECT.
So yeah, grab the original music, but do yourself a favor and get Aubrey's work as well. Especially "Mt. Erberus"...heh heh hehhhh...
Aubrey Hodges' music works really well in the PSX version of the game, but I've found it very hard to connect with when not playing it. There are other games - like RE4 - that have great soundtracks that, for the most part - share the same fate with my ears.