Thursday, January 22, 2015

Pocket Review - Duke Nukem 3D: Megaton Edition

Duke Nukem might have been the most infamous first-person shooter in the 90s, but how does it hold up in the modern era? First and foremost, I have to give a huge shout-out to Abstraction Games for developing a fantastic port of Duke Nukem 3D: Megaton Edition for Vita. The game runs smoothly, and it offers a wealth of gameplay options. The single-player campaign allows you to select from any stage in the game, including the game's many expansions, and at any difficulty. There are leaderboards, multiplayer battles, and a host of other features making this a feature rich port.

Abstraction amazingly crammed all of this content into this port, and everything works great. The bad side of this is that it all feels like a waste, as the original Duke Nukem 3D is awful. This waste of resources makes for a great showpiece for Abstraction, but just goes to highlight how tedious the original game from 3D Realms really was. The game features tiring level layouts with annoying gating issues. Enemy designs are ridiculous with painful AI. To top all of that off, the game's crude settings just help show how juvenile and uninspired Duke was and still is.

To help curb some frustration with Duke's design, there is a new rewind feature. When you die, the game allows you to skip back to any point of your playthrough to decide where to restart from. It's a great addition that many games could benefit from borrowing.

Sadly, even the rewind feature, you can't go back far enough to make Duke Nukem interesting. While packed full of content, there are many other FPSs from prior eras that are more deserving of a re-release than Duke Nukem 3D. Sorry, Duke. You weren't cool back in the day and time has done you no favors.

TLDR Abstraction did a fantastic job painting a turd.
Enjoyed By? Anyone clamoring for an FPS on Vita or those who have nostalgic longings for the past might enjoy this. 

This game was played on Vita via PSN through PS+.

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