Review: Duke Nukem 3D Megaton Edition – Hitting the Consoles Like a Nuke

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Review by Dustin Murphy

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Pros:
-Contains all expansion content that released for the game in its previous days
-Controls have been updated to fit the modern first person shooter needs
-Remains uncensored unlike its Nintendo 64 predecessor
-Graphics have been upgraded to current day standards
-OpenGL Support for the remade content and DOSBox for the Classic Version
-PC version supports WASD and mouse for more modernized shooter fans.

Cons:
-PS3 and PS Vita version both suffer from some framerate stuttering
-Multiplayer for PS3 and PS Vita version sometimes don’t work
-Intermittent soundbugs that can occur. Sometimes requires an app restart on Vita or game restart on PS3.

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What do you do when a game such as this smash hit classic re-releases on PC, PS3 and PlayStation Vita? You download it, launch it, and sit back for some alien arse kicking. This is something that Duke Nukem is all familiar to when he isn’t throwing his one liners around and showing enemies just how hard his balls of steel really are. Remaining as satirical as it was for the “dumb blonde” antics that Duke has become well established upon remains all the same in this new version. Reimagined and upgraded in many ways to current standards by the teams over at 3D Realms (original work), General Arcade, and Abstraction Games have done to make this port and updated version possible. So it’s hard not to see why this game made it out the way it did.

If you were like me, you grew up hearing this gum chewing badass, well when he’s not out of gum. Players will always remember him and his constant knack for stomping alien balls in for one reason – the babes. Yep, he’s at it once more, but not completely in the way I remember him. When I was growing up, the game had this option for parents to lock down Duke Nukem 3D so children couldn’t play; this meant backing up save files, uninstalling, re-installing, and hoping my parents didn’t find out. Luckily? The game doesn’t need to be watered down with mild editing to filter out Duke’s adult content.

Returning in much of the way he did before, Duke has become an iconic character of sorts for the first person shooter genre, and that is one reason this game deserved the remake it got, one that was pulled off rather well. Like before, players are once more rounding up a rather 10-weapon loadout without reload times; something that has become common practice these days; that also features weapons that would make almost no sense in todays modern games. The game itself still boasts one thing that most games outside of DOOM, Wrack, and a few other retro style shooters do, and that is hidden areas. The game itself contains some among the best of the best where players will fight enemies, grab off the wall rewards, and maybe even find a babe to make Dukes day.

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Like everyone knows, Duke Nukem is filled with references, puns, and even a full-on-camp of one liners that would make almost any gamers head spin. Among them however, are the ones that make any gamers head fill with a recollection of nostalgia. Though it’s hard for gamers not even to laugh at a bit of them while smashing an alien’s head in after having made him fall to his knees and shake at the sight of this guy. For many fans however, this game will be one for the newer audiences that may or may not captivate them the way it would have at one time due to the outdated jokes and references in which he has targeted. Though for some – it may just be that little bit of a brush off that bit of crude humour that will leave one chuckling or even cackling like a hyena.

With all jokes and puns aside, the game was solid. For games back when 3D Realms designed it, there wasn’t much in the means of storytelling beside a few mumbles from Duke Nukem, and a rather large careen of enemies coming your way. This is where Duke Nukem once more begins to shine thanks to nearly every room hiding something within it such as fire extinguishers, gas cans, hidden door switches that cause some event, or just a hidden lock code for a locked door that needed to be opened. Even though this game is 20 years old, it’s not surprising to see that the Megaton Edition has once more revived one of gamins great classics. Unfortunately, it’s one of the few of the genre that has actually made it through time since developers have yet to try and revitalize games such as Hexen, Heretic, Quake, Quake 2, DOOM, DOOM II, Final DOOM, DOOM 64, System Shock, Dai Katana and many more. Though this game should help fill the need for the others until they get re-released or modded to operate on modern computers for those that don’t.

Though now the question is, what are you buying for a game of this type that is flows on stages where you hunt secrets, kill the enemy, try to beat the time trial, and even pick up a few guns or two? The price is a not-so-steep 9.99 USD. This is for what is considered all four episodes that released, well “official” episodes for Duke Nukem 3D. Each of these episodes features between 8-10 levels, and each are rather unique. For those that are unaware, 3 of them were developed independently and follow a rather unique and Duke Nukem twisted theme to them. Such as Duke Caribbean: Life’s a Beach where players will find themselves as Duke on a tropical vacation beating enemies down with Super Soakers, Water Pistols, and well Shotgun Supersoakers, which isn’t complete without enemies whom are decked out in the attire to match the occasion. Though my personal favorite? Is probably the Duke: Nuclear Winter, which features enemies fitted out as snowmen, Rudolph, or simply dressed up so that they are wearing only a Santa hat and their normal gear. Oh, did I mention Duke himself invading the North Pole? Yea he does and it’s an interesting take on top of Dukes normal antics.

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Unfortunately the one that seems to drag its feet a bit is Duke it out in D.C, which feels as though the developer itself had fallen a bit bored with the game. Though none of these are new, which isn’t surprising with a 1997 release date, it’s still worth saying that they were rather difficult to find when going to the store, unfortunately back then we didn’t have steam as a convenient source to download from on PC. However, this time around it’s a pleasant sight for PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Vita owners as this is the first time the title has managed to be released on them. Thankfully the developers did take note of how to implement controls into the PlayStation Vita’s touch screen. Swiping left or right or even tapping the touch screen allows players to sift through their weapons quickly and with ease; this means no worrying completely about the weapon that pops up next. So this is quite a bit of a welcomed sight. Except for when dying and using the Megaton Edition’s new rewind system or figuring out what weapon is next among your ten weapon roster while taking on a horde of enemies that are careening over each other to get to you. This is fixed with the games ‘rewind’ feature that will allow players to go back in time, pick a safe spot, and plan for the enemy that killed them previously. This is something I found myself doing more than once due to my lack of timing and having remembered where I got shot in the back from. Fortunately? Turning around and unloading a bunch of lead in the enemies was not a problem after that. Newcomers; learn to utilize this as it will be something rather helpful for your first time through.

When the multiplayer there is multiplayer, however, as noted before – the multiplayer from my experience tends to work or not work due to sometimes latency, which isn’t surprising in many ways as sometimes the connections for the peer-to-peer playstyle don’t always work the best, but the multiplayer is still functional and still allows for a Duke Nukem fragfest. that is filled with the antics that many will remember. Thanks to PlayStation Plus I was able to experience the game for free on both PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Vita while having purchased it on PC out of the sheer want to relive my childhood. Hopefully we can see more games get this well done of a port in the future. This is definitely one to place in the digital collection with a smile on your face due to how well done it was and how well the original game was kept intact while new features were implemented such as the touch screen access and the death rewind to a safe place within your campaign.


Review Score: 8 out of 10


About the Writer:

Dustin_BATGRDustin is our native console gamer, PlayStation and Nintendo reviewer who has an appetite for anything that crosses the boarders from across the big pond. His interest in JRPG’s, MMO’s, Handheld Gaming, and Pizza is insatiable and can’t be softened by even the biggest names in the gaming industry. His elitist attitude gives him direction, want, and a need for the hardest difficulties in games, which is fun to watch, and hilarity at its finest. To follow Dustin, hit him up on Twitter over at @GamingAnomaly, find him on his Google+. Wanna game with him? You can find him on PSN with RaivynLyken.

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