Duke Nukem 64
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|Duke Nukem Games
One of the most popular first-person shooters for the PC is slowly making its way to the home systems. The latest version, for the N64, is perhaps the best so far. Duke Nukem 64 goes beyond a simple straight-to-console port. The designers are adding enough new features and changing enough old ones to make gamers want to take a closer look.
For those of you who are not familiar with the Duke, here's an abbreviated history: Aliens invade Earth, Duke kills aliens. OK. no big deal there, but Duke's winning formula on the PC wasn't a result of the story line. Duke Nukem 3D became a big hit because of the wonderfully designed stages, unique weaponry and killer personality.
Duke Nukem is the first major first-person shooter to take place in present day and futuristic environments. You must explore many earthly locales like movie theaters, book stores, hotels, subway stations. office buildings, pool halls and much more. In the second episode. Duke visits space stations. alien bases and other sci-fi levels. Each level is crafted with special attention paid to every detail, from the graffiti on the walls to the pay phones in the night clubs.
The weapons also make for an interesting game playing experience. In the Nintendo 64 version, you can wield shotguns with high-explosive rounds, twin submachine guns, grenade launchers, heat-seeking missiles, shrink rays, plasma cannons, laser trip mines and pipe bombs (unfortunately, the freeze ray from the original game has been taken out). So not only can you blast an enemy apart, you can set traps and shrink them (then squish 'em).
Duke 64 will support two to four multiplayer action. What if you don't have three other friends to play Duke with? Well don't fret, because Duke 64 has a new feature called the Al Bot, ported from Duke Nukem: Atomic Edition on the PC. You can simulate multiplayer DukeMatches with computer-controlled opponents.
Duke 64 also has 32 large levels that will feed any Duke fan's appetite for destruction. Three of these are N64 exclusive Duke-Match levels, and the other 29 are modified levels taken from the PC's Duke Nukem: Atomic Edition. Each of these has been redesigned from the ground up. The secrets have been moved around, and the level layouts have been changed. Upon first playing Duke 64 you may see much resemblance to the previous versions, but you'll realize that things have been changed significantly.
GT Interactive is certainly making an effort to make this Duke stand out over the others. The changes may give this version just what it needs to beat out the multitude of other "Doom clones" on the market. Besides, what other console version is going to let you play a four-player match of one of the best first-person shooters around?
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It has blood, guts, big guns and strippers. Or maybe not. The N64 incarnation of Duke Nukem 3D-although it will surely be the best-looking of the console ports--will lack some of the PC blockbuster's more R-rated elements. Namely, the game's infamous stripper bystanders will wear T-shirts instead of their usual G-storm bikinis. But Nintendo has made up for its tinkering by upping the game's violence level and adding a few. N64-specific missions (there are more than 30 levels, and yes. they're still set in strip clubs and other seedy locales).
The N64 will also offer the most trouble-free multiplayer mode, arguably the game's coolest feature. Instead of fiddling with modem add-ons or link cables, players will only have to plug in four controllers to engage in some deathmatch mayhem.
- MANUFACTURER - GT Interactive
- THEME - Shooter
- NUMBER OF PLAYERS - 1-4
The gravel-larynxed hero of the PC sticks his Docs onto the N64, with creditable effect. Although Duke Nukem 64 looks rougher around the edges than Goldeneye, it boasts more levels and a refreshingly lax attitude to collateral damage. Despite it being an 18 certificate, Nintendo have nevertheless insisted on cuts (no more booze or nekkid babes), but it's still entertaining.
Rattling good fun with the quip-spewing antihero. Straightforward Doom-style gameplay, done with imagination and humour.
A commendably violent and vastly enjoyable conversion. Gorgeous new explosions and a brilliant multiplayer game.
As a long-time fan of Duke Nukem on the PC, I was quite intrigued at the prospect of a Nintendo 64 version. Even on a cartridge-based console, Duke doesn't disappoint. He has retained nearly all his distinct personality in this conversion, with the exception of certain forms of violence--namely, smearing the babes. Nope, that's a no-no, and unfortunately, you're regulated to saving them instead. The cocooned babes no longer whimper, "Kill me" when approached, but are rescued instead. I also haven't been able to find any little steaming piles of alien-pies, but I'm not gonna cry about that. Rather, I'll choke back the tears with the horribly limiting controller choices, as you cannot individually configure each button. Another awkward, yet manageable difference is the resolution. On the PC, you can get a crisp 800x600 view. Here, you're limited to 320x240 interpolated (quite nicely) to 640x480. Smaller details get lost on the N64. In Multiplayer Mode, I've found a keeper. The biggest problem is the oversized gun graphics stealing valuable screen space, but it's something I can live with. The new weapons add flair--my new favorite is the grenade launcher. Nothing's better than silently bouncing a few timed/contact grenades around corners and stairways. You'll have a blast playing Duke with your friends.
You're not gonna find a better console version of Duke. The revamped weapons are very cool, as are all the extra areas that have been added to the levels. Sure, the game has its little problems. I wish it gave you more control options, and your weapon often obscures too much of your tiny screen in Four-player Mode (which, while fun, isn't nearly as cool as multiplayer GoldenEye 007). If you've never played Duke before, this is a must-buy.
Duke 64 provides the same generic action found in 99 percent of the "Doom clones." The difference, however, is that this game has style and personality. Many of the weapons (including new Duke 64 ones) do more than just shoot (trip mines and pipebombs are a great idea). The realistic-looking locales (modified from the PC version) make for interesting exploration. The best part? Deathmatching. Not as good as 007's, but fun.
I'm a fan of Duke on the PC, but on the console side, this is the best version out so far. The graphics look great, although the blurring gets a little annoying sometimes. I especially like the explosions. The special N64 deathmatch arenas are pretty nice, too. The control can be a little tricky at times, but the different styles help (it's not easy to look around in one of the Control Modes). One more note, they could've made the Al Bots more fair.
Although the information on Duke is sketchier than Newt Gingrich's bank accounts, there's one important tact--Duke N64 will feature levels specifically designed for the Nintendo 64 that are not available in any other version of Duke (not even the PlayStation and Saturn versions).
There will also be a four-player split-screen deathmatch for those gamers who get their kicks from inflicting great bodily harm on other individuals...which means all Duke fans! You can also battle it out in a two-player mode.
Otherwise, the song remains the same: Duke is stuck in post-apocalyptic Los Angeles, battling mutant guards and assorted miscreants in movie theaters, rest rooms, and more. How will Duke N64 get past the sticky Mature rating of its PC counterpart? Apparently, the bikini-clad dancers will now be wearing T-shirts, and you won't be able to shoot them. Otherwise, the gore factor should be pretty high.
Hail to the king, baby! Duke Nukem hauls his wisecracking, butt-kicking exploits to the Nintendo 64, complete with new levels, extra weapons, and a four-player DukeMatch to the death!
Twenty-nine of Duke 64's levels are from Duke Nukem 3D and its Plutonium Pack add-on. So PC veterans won't be bored, many of the missions have been redesigned or altered. The remaining three levels are all new, including a pirate level, a silo, and a haunted castle ("Scooby Duke, Where Are You!?"). Other goodies include new weapons like dual machine guns and heatseeking missiles, Rumble Pak support, and computer-controlled DukeBots in death matches. In the alpha version we played, the controls were customizable but confusing, so hopefully GT will simplify them before release.
Fans of the violent and sexist PC game will find some of the game's more infamous elements have been toned down for the console release. Captured women no longer moan "Kill me..." because, well, you can't-- but you can get points for safely teleporting them out of harm's way. Power-boosting steroids are now called "Vitamin X," too. But fear not, DN purists--there are still plenty of grisly elements, plus Duke's familiar mutterings (including new phrases like "Aw...does it hurt?" and "I'm gonna get you, suckas!"). Some things never change.