Review by King Atari
"What have they done to Duke?!"
Introduction- I remember the first time I played the Duke Nukem 3D demo. I was quite sure that I had never played an FPS quite as fun or hilarious, and I instantly picked up the complete game when it was first released. In fact, I'm still sure, the original Duke Nukem 3D is my favorite FPS. That said, I was looking forward to playing the N64 version when I rented it from Blockbuster. An incredibly violent and adult FPS for Nintendo's 64 bit system? It had to be good! The resulting game, while not bad, was changed from the PC vesion, and this is unforgiveable.
Gameplay (7/10)- I just never seemed able to get a good aim at an enemy. The default control scheme is aim with the analog stick, move with the c buttons. This actually worked very well in the sequel, Duke Nukem Zero Hour, but I found it rather sloppy here. Even switching to move with the analog doesn't completely satisfy, though it was a little better.
Still, the controls can be overcome with a lot of practice and patience. When this is done, you have a decent FPS, but read on.
Even worse than the control scheme is the fact that they removed a lot of the adult humor that has made the PC game so great. The little details like the movie posters in the first stage have been changed, and stage two is all over the place towards the end. There's no strip club, it's Duke Burger (what?). I figured it might be toned down a little from the PC game, but not this drastically.
Story (7/10)- No different from the PC version, or most other Duke Nukem games for that matter. Basically, aliens have invaded the Earth, and captured all the girls. This is unacceptable, and only Duke can foil their plot.
Graphics (6/10)- I was hoping they would have made the game fully 3D and polygonal, but no such luck. The characters remain sprites, and it doesn't look great for a 64-bit system. They look really lame up close, they're all blocky.
The background graphics are nice and detailed (although the little touches have been removed, as previously mentioned), and you can destroy a good part of the environment.
Sound (8/10)- The actual music, save for the Duke Nukem theme, is standard FPS background music. The sound effects are big and loud, which is cool, but what really saves the sound is the famous Dukeisms. While the better ones aren't present, the ones that remain are cool enough to forgive this fault. Hail to the king, baby! Nothing's better than hearing a sly remark from your N64.
Replayability (5/10)- Ummm, no. Even if you do get the hang of the controls, this is nothing you haven't seen better on the PC version or it's various expansions. If you want great replayability in an N64 FPS, play Goldeneye.
Final Recommendation- I was disappointed with this one. If you can overlook the lack of the adult humor (which really made the original so great) and somewhat sloppy controls, then you have a decent FPS for you N64, but anyone who really wants some serious first person action would be mucn better off to pick up Goldeneye, which is excpetional in almost every way. Heck, I even liked Quake 64 more than this. If you want an N64 Nukem, than go with the 3rd person Duke Nukem Zero Hour.
Reviewer's Rating: 2.5 - Playable
Originally Posted: 09/09/03
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