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Duke Nukem From a Different Perspective - Destructoid


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Sorry this is too big (that's what she said). Just open the picture in a new tab to see the whole thing <3

SteamID & XBL Gamertag: ScottyGrayskull


Hello! <3

Bit about me. I've been a gamer for the most of my life. When I was seven and waiting for my parents to pick me up from piano lessons, the teacher's two sons showed me Super Mario Bros 2. Needless to say I never learned to play the piano very well...

I've flip-flopped several times between consoles and PCs. I generally love non-generic FPS games, puzzlers (Tetris is probably my favourite game of all time) and platformers of all shapes and sizes. I tolerate RPGs, but usually don't bother because I just don't have the time to invest in them.

I'm one of those freaks that regard FF7 and Ocarina of Time as merely average. That might be partly because I'm biased against the first round of 3D games that generally looked and played like crap compared to the 2d games at the time (during that generation I was a PC gamer, where they actually could do decent 3D at the time). By no means are they bad games, but plenty of games have done just as well and actually looked good in the process.

Yeah yeah, graphics aren't everything. But as important as gameplay is, looks still matter. It doesn't have to be the best looking thing around, but it at least has to be passable.

I tried to be a collector for awhile, but realized there was no market where I lived and gave that up. Currently I have an NES, SNES, GameBoy/GameBoy Colour/GameBoy Advance SP, DS, a 360, and of course my lovely gaming PC. ^_^

Also, Black Yoshi Brigade:
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As you're all aware, Duke Nukem Forever is coming out in just two short months. After fourteen (!) years in development, people really aren't sure what to think. A lot of people have very fond memories of Duke Nukem 3D, which when it was released was a trailblazer for first person shooters, both in terms of interactivity and personality. Many games, especially first person shooters of the time, had a mute protagonist that was devoid or any sort of personality. Duke Nukem shattered that mold, bursting with an over the top personality and always ready with silly/crude one-liners. For many people Duke Nukem 3D, with its first person perspective, is the definitive Duke.

But right now I'm going to look at Duke from a different angle: that of a side scroller.

I know that it's pretty easy to forget, but Duke Nukem started out as a side scrolling series. The first time we see Duke is in 1991 in the appropriately titled Duke Nukem. There was no alien invasion, no babes to protect and save, and definitely no Pig Cops to give the boot to. Duke was just a mercenary hired by the CIA to stop Dr. Proton, a genius scientist who turned evil and is using his army of TechBots to try and take over the world. And apparently he could do it in time to watch Oprah.

Yep, Duke was manly enough to wear a pink vest and watch Oprah. Not quite yet the renounced symbol of masculinity and bad-assness, Duke was more subdued. He had the brash and cocky attitude, but no more than any bro with an ego. Gameplay-wise Duke Nukem mostly was a fairly standard action platformer, tasking the player with navigating the level, usually needing to explore and find an item or switch to proceed. It had little touches that made it stand out though, such as health pickups you could shoot which would alter their properties. Soda cans would give more health but had to be grabbed quickly before they rocketed off the screen, and live chickens would turn into nicely cooked ones.

I only ever played the shareware version of Duke Nukem, so I don't know if he made it home in time for Oprah, but it was especially for the time a fun action platformer. For the sequel two years later however, Duke really ups the ante.

Yep, he's wearing the iconic red tanktop now. Now world famous for his earlier exploits, he's apparently drawn the attention (for the first of many times) of aliens who abducted him while he's doing a talk show interview for his autobiography "Why I'm So Great".


Huh... guess it's a reprint?

Anyways, the aliens are looking to scan Duke's brain and use his knowledge and experience to invade Earth. There's no plans specifically for women this time just a general invasion, but by now Duke Nukem is a bonafide hero and as such uses an "explodo-molar" (!) to bust out of his cell and begin his lifelong crusade as the ultimate Alien Ass-Kicker.

Duke Nukem II plays pretty much the same as the first, but greatly improves on graphics and sound, has vehicle segments, and overall just has a better flow. As a character Duke's self-confidence has shot through the roof, and his general tone and attitude is much more inline with all the stereotypical macho action heroes of the time. I mean, shooting a smiley face into a target just because he can? That's badass! As another sign of his new attitude, bonus points are given for collecting Duke Nukem merchandise such as tshirts and game cartridges.

Several years and many post Duke Nukem 3D first person adventures later, Duke returns to his side scrolling roots with Manhattan Project. A bit of a weird title, one which I think was only made to stop the fans from asking about Forever for a little while longer. There are no aliens to fight in this outing, instead the villain is Mech Morphix who bares a striking resemblance to Dr. Proton. I guess the rename was done to not disrupt the continuity of Duke Nukem Forever, which at least at the time was going to have Dr. Proton as the villain. Morphix is using a combination of killer robots and an army of mutants created using a radioactive goo called G.L.O.O.P. which he must have obtained during the events of Duke Nukem 3D as it results in the infamous Pig Cops.

Seen as a bit of a mix between the Duke Nukem games of old with Duke Nukem 3D, the game is a "2.5D" sidescroller with many weapons and stylings of the first person games. Duke's attitude and voice is in full effect here, constantly spouting wisecracks and one-liners. As mentioned it's a sidescroller but often the perspective will shift from the expected left/right, sometimes going in and out or moving at an angle. It's definitely worth checking out for any Duke Nukem fans, as it can be demoed on XBLA, but in my opinion it's just not as memorable as the "core games" of 1, 2, and 3D.

So there you have it: Duke Nukem from a different perspective. I know there was several third person action games for the Playstation, but I wanted to focus on Duke Nukem's side scrolling roots and highlight his adventures before he found himself in a porno theater. :)
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