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Xbox Live Arcade Review: Duke Nukem 3-D

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Duke Nukem Forever has been the joke of the gaming universe for about 11 years now. That’s right, ELEVEN years folks. Gamers wait year after year to see if there is anything actually going to be released, but it never happens. Well, this game is certainly not that, but instead a reissue of the Duke Nukem 3-D that most of us fell in love with.

PC gaming was a haven for shareware releases that turned into gaming hits during most of the 90s. Wolfenstein 3-D, Doom and Quake all were huge shareware titles that all were well received full titles. Duke Nukem 3-D was another of those titles, but with personality. You actually have a character with a real name and a real personality. Also there are dancing girls, something that should be in any FPS.

Fast forward to today and Duke Nukem 3-D is back, this time on Xbox Live Arcade. The controls are all there. The voices are all there and intact, and yes, the dancing girls are still there. Unfortunately the graphics are looking extremely dated on the XBLA version. With the PC version, you could crank up the resolution. With the Xbox 360 version, you are stuck with what looks like a 640×480 resolution, without any enhancements that used to be in the game. It also plays in a window with a Duke Nukem 3-D background. Sure, it can be adjusted a little bit, but the default is a disappointment.

There are a few updates to the game, though. One is co-op game play, which seems to have become the “hot” thing to do these days. The other is another soon to be overused function, rewind. That’s right, you can now backup to before you died and restart your game at a previous point. Both functions work well, though it seems more of an attempt to attract a new set of gamers to the title.

There are multiplayer modes over Xbox Live which play well. It’s twitch-style deathmatch play, though, so be ready for extremely quick game play. The controller seems to hold up fairly well, but there are times that you can tell that the game was designed for a mouse and keyboard. Granted, there are better deathmatch games as well as newer ones, but this is classic FPS, meaning you will be able to have a legit match for maybe a week before people move on to something else.

Of course, there are the normal XBLA 200 achievement points to be had. Some of them look like they could take awhile, such as 500 ranked deathmatch kills, but the rest look simple to obtain just by playing a bit of co-op play or by getting a dancer to “shake it, baby”.

For 800 Microsoft Points, it may be a bit high for a game that many people have already played through. For others, though, you will find 39 levels of classic Duke Nukem 3-D game play.

Duke Nukem 3-D is rated M (Mature) by the ESRB for Content Blood and Gore, Strong Sexual Content and Violence.


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