Review by Gruel
"Extremely underrated when it came out the same time Goldeneye did."
GT Interactive brings the most controversial first person shooter series home to the N64. The sexually explicit, bad-mouthing, cigar smoking(well he doesn't smoke in this version) Duke Nukem arrives in his first N64 adventure which is a polished off translation of Duke Nukem 3D for the PC. Will this game pack the same punch that the PC version had, or it will it be a poor translation? Let's get onto the review and find out.
This game was released in the summer of 1997, the same time when Goldeneye 007 was released, so compared to Goldeneye, these graphics aren't the greatest, but if you don't compare, the graphics turn out pretty good for the N64. Even though most of the graphics are made of sprites and don't show animation, except for blood popping out of them. Like in multi player, the only animation I see against the other Dukes is his feet walking, and blood flying out of there body when I shoot him. But it doesn't need to be perfect, any ways most of the guns and weapons look pretty cool like the shotgun and pipe bomb and the sub machine guns.
The environment is another thing that looks pretty cool. Even though it's made entirely out of sprites, it looks exactly the same off the PC version. The walls, the Duke Burger joint, the gun shop and everything else looks like a great translation off the PC. The co-operative and multi player modes all run at fast rates and there's barely any slowdown occurring at all, even with 4 people going at it all at once. I guess people who played Goldeneye first will consider these sprite based graphics inferior to Goldeneye's excellent use of polygons, and Hardcore Duke Nukem fans will be mad at the editing GT Interactive made developer, 3D realms, do to edit some nudity scenes, but there still are babes to rescue in here only decked out gorgeously in bikinis.
You really don't got much for background music here, the sound effects and the stuff Duke says is just enough. Most of the sound effects sound pretty good, and just the way they should be, like gunfire sound like gunfire, explosions sound like explosions, and I was surprised on how well they got a toilet flushing to sound just like the real thing whenever you press the action button by a urinal or toilet. The so called ‘Dukeisms' in the game are pretty cool. 3D Realms had to take some out to make GT Interactive and Nintendo happy, but most of the one's from the PC version are still in here like, ''Hail to the King, baby!'' and his weird sounding grunts are in here too. The stuff Duke says is what really cracks me up. Though some background music would've been really appreciated to add to the gaming experience, but the Dukeisms make up for it.
Let me start off first by giving you a quick run of the story in the game: You are Duke Nukem, you must kill all aliens on planet earth, and rescue as many babes as you can. That's basically about it in a nutshell. The controls are pretty responsive, it uses the infamous, ‘Turok Style' of controls where you move around using the C buttons, and aiming with the control stick. I like the weapon selection at the bottom of the screen by using the control stick for accessing of the weapon, which was way easier to do in Goldeneye in my opinion by pressing the A button over and over(not including the pause list menu of selecting weapons, but I'm talking about selecting weapons during game play). You can jump with the shoulder buttons to avoid pits of death and so on.
The missions are really fun to play, you get a nice little cinematic screen after completing each mission, complete with text and minor animations(not like the cinematic in Goldeneye or Perfect Dark, but a lot like the one's you saw in Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire.) I believe this was the 1st first person shooter on the N64 which had a co-operative mode so you and your friend both can go through the missions together, and the game automatically saves after each level on the controller pak so you can continue your game later on. Playing missions are a lot like Goldeneye, minus any conversations during game play, you get to open doors, elevators, activate computers and stuff using the action buttons, and you may even need key cards to open up new parts to explore or to gain access to hidden items(like the awesome Jet Pack, which enables you to fly!). And you have to finish off every level by getting to the Nuke icon and pound your fist on it.
The multi player mode is really fun to play. Make sure not to have the option to just whoever pounds the symbol first wins. Because rounds can go really fast that way. Just make sure to have it set whoever gets to a certain amount of kills first or whoever has the most amount of kills within a given time limit wins. What's a really cool option in this game is the infamous ‘Duke Bots' I believe this is the first 1st Person Shooter on the N64 to have a multi player mode where you can go against the computer. A lot like the simulants in Perfect Dark. If you're only playing with 2 players you can go against 2 Bots, or with 3 players go against 1 Bot. You can even set teams too! If it's 4 players playing, than get ready for the time of your life, you'll definitely be playing for hours on end. You can play in any level from the single player game, plus there's a couple of arenas exclusive to the multi player mode, like the stadium. Which is basically just a football arena, with a locker room, loaded with weapons!
Alright the game isn't perfect, now I have to talk about some of the crappy parts of the game like how hard those dang Duke Bots are, especially if they got some heavy weapons. The missions, although a blast to play, really don't have much depth like your only objective is to rescue the babes and pound the nuke mark for just about every level! And the weapon selection isn't the greatest either, there are about only 10 different guns in the entire game, even though most of them are pretty cool, a few more would've been nice to add to the inventory.
The missions are a blast to play on your own, and even more fun when playing in co-operative mode with a friend. And the multi player is another great thing about this game, even though it might not be as good as Goldeneye's multi player mode, it's still a blast to play. And at least you can go against the computer in multi player, an obvious item that was missing from Goldeneye's multi player. Like I said before, some hardcore Duke fans will miss the edited out stuff from the PC version, but the game is still just as fun to play on console without all the hardcore stuff edited out from the PC.
+: Play against computer in multi player!, Co-Op Mode, Exclusive arenas to multi player!
-: Some stuff edited out from PC version, Missions don't have a lot of depth like Goldeneye, A lot of people prefer polygons over the sprites seen here
The Final Ratings Rundown
Game play: 8.3
Replay Value: 7.9
Rounded to fit GameFAQs Score: 8
Just about all the Duke Nukem fans will want to get this game. It's a worthy translation and you can easily forgive 3D Realms for making the needed edits. The game had modes that Goldeneye didn't(Co-op and vs. Computer in multi player), but didn't have a strong mission mode which really knocked it out of Goldeneye's ballpark. Also the sprites is another thing that made more people turn away from this game and go for the beautiful polygons of Goldeneye. But all the above flaws are easily forgiven by the awesome multi player experience and fun Co-Op mode. Also this runs on a completely different engine from the games sequel, Duke Nukem: Zero Hour, so this is a definite buy for fans of the genre.
Reviewer's Rating: 4.0 - Great
Originally Posted: 06/09/00, Updated 06/09/00
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