With only a few first-person shooters gracing the PlayStation Vita to date, there's plenty of room on Sony's handheld for anything offering up some half decent blasting. Since the bar hasn't exactly been set particularly high either, there's a perfect chance for classic titles such as Duke Nukem 3D: Megaton Edition to stomp onto the scene, giving the PlayStation faithful an opportunity to experience a game that, along with DOOM, Quake, and Half-Life, helped to propel the genre to the height of popularity.
Proceedings open with the titular hero more than a little upset as alien invaders have descended on Earth bringing destruction to Los Angeles. Since he's the planet's number one alpha male, his solution is simple: kill every single extra terrestrial, while spouting lines lifted straight from a raft of eighties action flicks. While light on story, the Megaton Edition of Duke Nukem 3D has plenty of content, as it includes not only the three episodes that made up the original release, but also a number of the additional instalments that were created later. As a result, there's plenty to see – although how much you enjoy the trip down gaming memory lane will depend somewhat on your nostalgia for Duke in the first place.
To say that the blocky geometry of the levels and the 2D sprite enemies look a little dated is a bit of an understatement, but on the upside this means that the game runs really well on the Vita, maintaining a consistently fluid framerate throughout. Another plus is that the level layouts are still really fun to explore, mainly due to them being built to resemble recognisable locations – such as a supermarket or a strip club – rather than the more abstract level designs common in other nineties shooters.
The 'adult' aspects of Duke Nukem 3D, while all present and correct, are – by today's standards – very tame. Fortunately, the crasser parts of Duke's persona, and his immature interactions with the opposite sex, diminish in frequency the further that you get into the game. This at least allows you to tune out his misogyny so that you can enjoy the first-person action, which thankfully still holds up today.
Fighting your way through your alien adversaries as a one man army is gratifying, not only due to the generous auto-aim, but also because of the arsenal at your disposal, ranging from the excellent shotgun to the infamous shrink ray, which miniaturises enemies so that you can squash them under your boot. You'll have no problem finding a use for pretty much every weapon, with only the laser trip mines staying in your toolbox, as you're more likely to blow yourself up along with your target should you start sticking them to walls.
As Duke's particularly light footed – especially when sprinting – the action moves at quite a fast pace, and you'll need to be careful that you don't run yourself straight into trouble, as it's easy to get killed should you end up on the wrong end of a blast from some of the stronger enemies. With no recharging health, you'll have to rely on medical kits and armour pickups to keep yourself alive, but when the inevitable happens, Duke Nukem 3D offers a unique solution to death – well, unique for a first-person shooter at least.
Rather than operating a manual save or a checkpoint system, you'll instead respawn by rewinding to any point in your playthrough of the current level, selecting the exact moment to jump back into the action. This helps keep your frustration to a minimum, as it's not only useful for restarting just before a particularly challenging section, but also can help you avoid getting into an unfortunate dead end, where you have too little ammunition or health to get past an encounter.
In addition to the single player, there are also a couple of multiplayer options that allow you to either play co-operatively through stages with others, or battle against them in 'Dukematch' mode. Unfortunately, the multiplayer's plagued by connection issues and lag that make it virtually unplayable, and when you also add in the fact there seems to be very few players online, you're better off forgetting about the multiplayer altogether and sticking to the campaign on your own.
If you've any interest in gaming history, or get a warm, nostalgic feeling about having played Duke's adventures in the past, then Duke Nukem 3D: Megaton Edition is well worth your time. If, however, you don't fall into either of these camps, then it's unlikely that any of the smart design decisions made to update this classic will get you past the more antiquated aspects. This is a shame as, despite the odd misstep, it's a perfect fit for the Vita, offering one of the best examples of the genre on the handheld to date.
I hate this game, I thought I would like it. I'm glad they don't make FPS like this anymore.
I never played the original games, so I bought this today. I love it! I'm no sexist but I find the misogyny and meat-head humor hilarious. My only issue with the game is that I was notified that my save file was corrupted somehow. I can still play, but there is one door that I am now unable to use. I open it, and instead of seeing beyond it, there is only blackness. If I walk into it, I bounce backward. It's not really a problem because there is a way around it, but I fear it may affect my game later on, and at the cost of my progress. The game also froze when I paused it and clicked 'exit game.'
I played the original, so much good memories, but it's all nostalgia, the graphics in this version are so outdated and the gameplay so old, I can't play beyond the second level and wouldn't recommend to someone new to the series.
I enjoyed Duke Nukem when it first came out in 1996. It was a lot more fun than Quake, which was technically impressive but just miserable to look at. Like being trapped in a caravan on a rainy day in Skegness. With Morrissey.
Mr. Nukem isn't everybody's cup of tea, which is fine. But I think some folks miss the point. He's intentionally crass and silly, because he's a parody of 80's action heroes. That's why he spouts cheesy one-liners nicked from cheesy cult movies like "They Live" and "Army of Darkness".
Duke Nukem 3D is one of those games that knows it's a game and is happy just being a game. It has no pretensions to being a film, or art, or social commentary. Its only purpose is to amuse you with gunplay and aliens and toilet jokes. Its only ambition is to make you smile.
It's a bit like Viz. And wouldn't the world be just that little bit more drab and Quake-like and Skegnessy if there was no room in it for Johnny Fartpants?
And, Alex, what's this?
"This at least allows you to tune out his misogyny"
The Duke isn't a misogynaniac. He loves women, that's why he gives them money and says "shake it baby".
And let me tell you, when I was a young cat in 1996, those blocky spritey ladies shook it for me so many times they nearly melted my SVGA card. I haven't been that excited playing a computer game since I discovered you could fight chickens in Ocarina of Time.
If you really want to find misogynimism in games, I suggest Ms Pacman and its terrible insensitivity towards women with eating disorders and phasmophobia.
Unfortunately it is no longer 1996, and Duke Nukem 3D's low-res graphics and super-simplistic gameplay are about as fresh as a Spice Girls CD or an episode of Last Of The Summer Wine. Nostalgia was better in the olden days.
@SuperCat 10/10, would read again.
Couldn't have said it better myself.
Btw, to anyone who is wondering.....I hear this game can run on PSTV but can't confirm for sure. Anyone here using PSTV to play this?
@SuperCat I hope you were shooting for a well put together parody comment, but if not.........
Do you not think his objectification of women, and the fact he talks about them like they're property - "Nobody steals our chicks and lives" - might stem from a teensy bit of hatred? His mother held him too much? Or not enough? You pick.
Anyway, I didn't want to make this the focus of the review as I really like Duke Nukem 3D for the game it is. It's a shame that in the years since the original release, I grew up, and in my eyes Duke Nukem went from being the ultimate anti-hero, to the sort guy who props up the bar and won't stop hitting on anything with a pulse. This isn't Duke Nukem 3D's fault though, It was from a different time, and so was the version of me that found it hilarious.
That said, if we're still attempting to call this parody, then it only succeeds in being the laziest sort. In my books, scattering around some scantily clad women, while stealing lines wholesale from a number of films, falls well short of my bar for a decent parody.
Also, there's no way you can argue after Duke Nukem Forever that developer 3D Realms were ever self aware.
I love the rewind mechanic they put in this version. Such a cool idea - I can't believe more games don't do it.
Looking forward to playing this when I get a chance, nothing beats a bit of nostalgia! I wish more games got this sort of treatment though. I mean, there are some serious classics that would be awesome with a bit of a spruce up and added trophy support - the first 2 Tomb Raider games for example would be perfect!
@AlexStinton For my part, I'm still able to chuckle when I hear Duke saying "shake it baby". I may not find it as funny as when I was a teenager, and I'm also aware of how it can be seen by some as objectifing towards women, misogynistic or whatever, but, really, I can't see any HATRED on it. It's a silly fantasy for silly immature testosterone filled teens, and that's okay. Everyone was a silly immature testosterone filled teen one day, grown out of it and not necessarily became a misogynist; and certainly not because of Duke Nukem. And the world is not worst or better because a parody of action heroes from yore is being the ultimate macho on a tiny screen.We've moved on, but boy it's funny to see how idiotic we were.
One of the best games on Vita so far
Potrock approves this game!
@fchinaski You're right, there's no explicit hatred of women to be found In Duke Nukem 3D, but everything else about him shows the textbook signs of misogyny.
I can conceded that I'm filling in some gaps based on how my own perception of Duke has evolved over the years, but he's such a paper thin, one-dimensional character, I think this is only natural, and makes both our positions valid assessments.
In the review, I'm stating my own feelings towards Duke's persona, I certainly don't think he corrupted the youth back then, or would be able to do so today, but I'm not quite able to make my peace with this aspect of the game, no matter how tame it seems today.
I also don't really see anything wrong with how either you, or @SuperCat feel about it either. I just can't join you on that side of the fence I'm afraid.
@AlexStinton Yup, I totally understand where you're coming from. BTW, I haven't played Duke Nukem Forever, but from what I've read/seen about it, not only it lacks any kind of the naiveness found here, but it kind of confirms all that you've said on your previous comment.
Thx for the info. Yea that is weird about it not working with other apps running. Maybe you are right about the RAM idea.
It could be that the game is not "officially" available for the PSTV, but it will work under certain conditions. That would explain why Sony has not said certain games are compatible when there are other games that do work even though Sony isn't saying they do. They may not "officially" work under Sony's guidelines or something.
I know Age Of Zombies & Soul Sactifice Delta (just Delta, not the regular version) are 2 examples of games Sony isn't saying are compatible, but users have confirmed they work. I have also heard Resogun works, but yet again, not a peep from Sony.
I have not confirmed for myself that it works, I have just read on various forum threads that it does. So good luck! Let me know if it does, as I am curious & may buy the game.
....ugh.....i'm feeling....too....much.......PAIN....how....does one.....think this....way?!?!?!?!?!?!
One of the greatest games ever made. An absolute masterpiece in game design. The level design, still to this day, holds up as some of the best ever made. This one game made Duke unstoppable, world famous and consistently hailed as....THE KING.
There is a resurgence in interest to this genre. The "real FPS" as we like to call it....i truly hope FPS games get back on the ball and get back to that 90's game design that is still unmatched to this day. There is a reason why Doom, Quake and Duke are STILL regarded as the FPS kings and are still played to death to this day. Modern FPS games, possibly since Halo, have been in free fall. Crippled by total dumb-down design.
Come, get some!
Also, after us typing all this stuff......Duke Nukem shows up on the PSTV store today. So I guess Sony is "officially" saying that it's compatible.
Tap here to load 20 comments
Leave A Comment
Hold on there, you need to login to post a comment...