Nuclear Strike 64

a game by THQ, and Pacific Coast Power and Light

Platform: Nintendo 64Nintendo 64

Genre: Action

The threat of nuclear war is upon us again. Join up with the Strike Team as they try to avert this crisis by taking on a variety of tactical missions and keep the world at peace. Nuclear Strike 64 puts you behind the controls of an Apache Helicopter, as well as several other vehicles, decked out with lots of weapons in a series of challenging missions in an attempt to keep the world radiation free.

Gameplay

This is the next in the series of 'Strike' games. Those of you that have played Desert Strike or Jungle Strike already know what this game is all about: You pilot a helicopter and other vehicles on various missions that involve rescue/capture, search and destroy, escorting, and transporting cargo -- amongst other things.

The game's perspective is a 3/4 above view. The levels take place in various locations over both sea and land, and there are a variety of enemies including tanks, anti-aircraft cannons, missile towers, infantry, ships, submarines, etc. You name it, it is probably there to attack you. Fortunately, you have a decent arsenal of weapons including machine guns, rockets, missiles, and wingtip missiles. On some levels, you also have use of vehicles other than your Apache Helicopter that may or may not make the battle easier depending on how you use them. These include an A-10 Warthog, MI HX Abrams Tank, PACV Hovercraft, and an AV8 Harrier Jet amongst others.

While primarily an action game, this game requires a good amount of strategy to succeed since your ammo, fuel, and armor are all in limited quantities. There are usually places on the map where you can 'refill' these, but they are typically limited and often times surrounded by enemy troops which means you need to plan your missions out so you can survive. The map screen not only shows the map, but also the locations of detected enemy troops, assets (fuel, ammo, vehicles, etc.), and mission objectives. Everything is color-coded which helps quite a bit when looking at the radar on the main screen since some items blend in with the background and can be hard to see. There is a Heads-Up Display (HUD) that shows all the vital statistics including ammo, armor, fuel, radar, and a compass amongst other things. While the option is there to disable the HUD, it's not something you'll probably want to do as it's incredibly useful.

The controls in the game aren't really that complicated and you should become comfortable with them in only a matter of minutes. Even though you can use the analog stick, control of all the vehicles is digital only. If you've played the previous games, you already know the controls and how they respond. The response is quite nice, which is very helpful when missiles come flying at you. Targeting is automatic and once something is targeted, all ordnance fired will hit its mark. Although the targeting is automatic, the reticle can be manually changed to target the enemy of your choice assuming it is within range.

It is pretty easy to get the hang of the general interface. The map screen in the game is probably the most complicated part of the interface as you can select objectives, enemies, or assets and cycle through available options that then show the selected item on the map.

The difficulty in the game is higher than I would expect for the medium setting. Once I remembered that I had missiles and wingtip missiles available, the game became much easier, but still a little more challenging than I'd expect for a "medium" level of difficulty. There are three levels of difficulty available: hard, medium, and easy.

Graphics

This game supports the add-on memory expansion pack, which can make the graphics even better than the base level graphics. That's saying quite a bit, as the base level graphics are very impressive. The colors appear to be a bit brighter than average and the photo-realistic textures are really nice. The special effects, such as explosions, are not so extravagant that they interfere with other aspects of gameplay. Unfortunately, I don't have a memory expansion so I can't comment on how much better the graphics are with the memory expansion.

Audio

There are a lot of sound effects in this game. Virtually every sound imaginable on a battlefield can be heard in this game from screaming people to explosions to helicopter blades to ammo shooting, et cetera, so on and so forth. All of the sounds are done well but there's nothing groundbreaking or incredible here.

Bottom Line

If you are familiar with and liked the previous 'Strike' games, you'll love this one just as much. While this is a great action game, don't assume it's mindless -- you have to think and react quickly to situations. The game is very challenging, but not impossible and gives a feeling of accomplishment when you finally finish a mission. Be advised, though, It can also be a bit frustrating at times due to this challenge. Overall it is still a fun game. If you are looking for a challenging action/strategy game, Nuclear Strike 64 may be right up your alley which is why I give it a score of 85.

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Nuclear Strike 64 Downloads

Nintendo 64 Nuclear Strike 64 download

Next from the industrious T HQ comes Nuclear Strike, a timely N64 rendition of the third game in the top grade Strike series, after the Saddam-bashing Desert and the drug-smashing Jungle. And, although Nuclear is seen by Strike afficionados as being the weakest of the three, snappily-named developers Pacific Power & Light - who repair telephone lines in their spare time - reckon they've turned in the best version of Strike yet.

Probably part of the reason is that they've created the entire game from scratch, bravely deciding not to simply port over the age-old PlayStation and PC versions, and instead give N64 gamers something to shout about. The result is a surprisingly fine-looking chopper sim with 15 different air, ground and water vehicles - including Apache 'copters, Harrier jump jets, tanks and hovercrafts - as well as some much-improved Al, with CPU opponents reacting and attacking depending on what you do. The effect is mightily impressive.

Disappoint in ugly there's no four-way deathmatching, even though the Strike series would be perfect for a spot of multiplayer rocket-launching. But there should be more than enough one-player missions to keep you going (over 20 according to T HQ), and the extensive gameplay enhancements - better Al, quicker speeds, bigger explosions - means there's also a good deal more to occupy your time. In fact, this could just be one of the best Strike games yet.

Look out for more as we get it...

reggie posted a review
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