Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Jack Red reviews Duke Nukem Series (Steam Edition)

Hello everyone I'm Jack Red, today I wanted to talk about Duke Nukem games. Maybe not as good as it once was perhaps. But people seem to forget there do exist great Duke Nukem games after some bad games. I have officially played all Duke Nukem games on Steam currently. I thought I should start with my least favorite to the best Duke Nukem game on Steam. For the record I am counting expansions & dlc The Doctor Who Cloned Me as separate games.

9. Duke Nukem on DOS (1991)
The original Duke Nukem game is not very good. It really isn't aging well compared to other DN games. Some of the worst controls I ever experienced on any platform. Not many enemies that are an threat to you in the entire game. All three boss fights with slight differences are the same exact boss fight. Due to how it was programmed Duke Nukem is broken literately into three games. This means after selecting one, you only have access to one episode at an time. Some levels can be surprisingly short or long depending on what's present. OMG the sound effects weren't very good. I will be honest to say I haven't played many DOS games. An game called Blood that never got ported off of it was much better than this. Yes the developers did what many others did on DOS at the time. Which I can respect but why is it so frustrating to play. Installing it isn't bad but trying to figure out how to get your controller to work was terrible. Sadly the best part of this game are your upgrades especially those jump related. Otherwise good luck trying to beat just one episode of this.

8. Duke: Nuclear Winter (1997)
On and off I been very vocal about how much I don't like this expansion to one of the greatest games. Like Doom & Quake by ID, a lot of people decided to crap out expansions like no tomorrow. Most of which in Duke 3D's case being very poorly programmed. 3D Realms confirmed in another statement related to Shadow Warrior release not too long afterwards. There are officially three expansion packs to Duke 3D. I am still very surprised an expansion this poor got such an title. Sometimes cheating will cause Santa Claws to appear & sends you into Episode 1 of Duke 3D. The intro is hands down the single worst Duke Nukem game intro ever. It's ending isn't much better but a little bit better than that horrible intro. Horribly programmed enemies with some of the worst Duke 3D maps ever made. There aren't any secret levels with the original version of this expansion working. Actually makes Duke 3D not able to work makes no sense at all. Although in Duke 3D Megaton Edition they fixed that problem. Sadly I can only say two good things about this piece of garbage. This does play Christmas like music with parts of levels appearing in that time of the year. The single best part is the boss fight itself. I am not kidding Santa Claws is technically an Duke Nukem character. You got to be on your A game to beat him. I usually have an great time trying to kill him.

7. Duke Nukem 2 (1993)
I will be honest to say Duke Nukem 2 was an surprising experience to me. Yes this is ported from handhelds that played it. Which causes issues not present in the original DOS version. But I still enjoy playing this game. An huge improvement overall over the original game. Better enemies, levels & weapons in this amazing DOS game. I love the sound effects of this game especially it's awesome soundtrack. Yeah maybe not the best one for an game like this sure but it gets you going. Which is saying a lot compared to DN1. They actually made all the boss fights more different this time around. I am not going to lie this is an difficult game to beat. I still wouldn't mine playing some more of this.

6. Duke it out in D.C. (1997)
The original expansion for Duke 3D often mixed by many fans. I actually really like they made a lot of locations in D.C. within this game. Although one level is based on an movie & book called The Hunt for Red October. You must rescue the president from Aliens was done so good here. Some levels can be tedious especially Smithsonian Terror level for what's involve. Sadly no new enemies are introduced with the same boss of Episode 3 being the boss for this expansion. Honestly it is more challenging due to how much smaller this place is compared to the Stadium. In that regard I do prefer it just not by much. I love the ending especially one of my favorites in any DN games.

5. Duke Nukem Forever (2011)
I will be honest to say most of what I did play was from Xbox 360 version. An friend of mine did allow me to play it with our accounts linked. To clarify if I could buy it on Steam, I would. Yes mostly negative reviews to an game that isn't that bad. Honestly I seen worst games than this all the time. Yes it didn't do Duke 3D justice like a lot of us thought. This still nailed his character better than other bad to okay DN games. There is a little bit of sandbox game play. It is very limited compared to other games with similar concepts. If I had to pick one that really stands out more worth your time. Go play Fallout & Half-Life series instead, now they made a lot of changes. Some of which took it's toll on this game. The biggest risk they took is almost directly ripping off another great FPS game. I think you know the one Half-Life 2. It's like they tried mirroring it in Duke's image & didn't work as well as they hoped. What's crazy is the long development of this game to not be cancelled. If you seen a lot of pictures over the years. You already know this game went through several changes. At one point looked too similar to Half-Life 1. I do like his execution moves especially those for bosses. What I honestly didn't like was only explosions hurt bosses was an terrible idea. Just look how good the new Doom game did just by not doing that. I did enjoy parts of the game you are shrunk down. Duke keeps some of his old lines with great new ones. Duke Nukem Forever is suppose to be an parody of action movies not FPS games. They tried making this too similar to Half-Life & Halo series. 3D Realms failed to take any real opportunity to improve on it or make it more like Duke in general. I do like it's achievements still one of my favorites on any platforms. Easily the longest Duke Nukem game on this list. I played games like Darksiders 2, Fallout 3 & Dead Rising series. All of those are great games being somewhat lengthy that actually works to their advantage. I can't honestly say the same about Duke Nukem Forever. In most versions you have to beat the harder version of the game to unlock stuff acting as cheats. It is so much easier in PC version but I recommend Duke 3D in cheating runs over this. Yes the graphics & sound are somewhat dated sure. You can't deny they did put a lot of work into this game. Maybe not the best Duke Nukem game but it really doesn't deserve the criticism this badly. At least you have good lines, mess around for a little while & great achievements. The best part of this underrated DN game is it's multiplayer. It's almost like it's own game with an leveling system & plenty of unlockables.

4. The Doctor Who Cloned Me (2011)
Hands down the best adaptation to DNF is this expansion dlc. This acts as it's second campaign with some interesting concepts. As it turns out most of this was going to be the game we all waited for. You are fighting aliens & your nemesis Dr. Proton with his army in the same campaign. Usually you only face one army per an game so this was an nice change. Also considering since the original Dr. Proton hasn't appeared since. At one point he was going to appear in Duke Nukem: Manhattan Project. This adds so much needed content to the game. More levels to the multiplayer, new enemies, new bosses & great new levels. Plus this is one of the few DN expansions to add new lines. Such as I got Balls huh Balls Balls of Steel lol. This particular line was an reference to an prank someone did online. Dukenators are an parody of Terminator which is one of my favorite movie series. This campaign was done so much better than the first campaign of DNF. I got to be honest it was very good as I actually beaten it on all difficulties.

3. Duke Caribbean: Life's a Beach (1997)
The best Duke 3D expansion & possibly the best add on overall in this series. How could this not get high on my list? They got someone that sounds very similar to Jon St. Jon to do more lines. They changed so much making it an unique experience. Duke gets an surprise alien invasion on his vacation. Obviously pissed by this, he goes to kick some asses to spend time with the babes. Every weapon has been altered, most enemies look great for it's theme in the Caribbean vacation. Some of the best Duke 3D maps with an great sound track. Everything just works with this amazing expansion. Yes like Duke it out in D.C. the boss for this is the same but more fun. One of the best DN endings with so much work went into this. I am very surprised it came just an day after Duke: Nuclear Winter. Which was second to the last day of that year who knew right.

2. Duke Nukem: Manhattan Project (2001)
Some of you are probably wondering why is Duke Nukem: Manhattan Project above my number 3? It was an close decision but I decided since it was for an anniversary to give it that spot. Yes some of his new lines aren't that great. Majority of levels in this are great for their time. Unlike most Duke Nukem games, I had no trouble working with my controller. An great sound track with good sound effects. You save babes & get key cards in almost every level. What does sound like the man is doing his job. Some boss fights are okay but most enemies aren't that bad. If you took some time, you could explore almost every level with no limit. This game is very unforgiving as you keep getting health & ammos from enemies. Surprisingly the same team behind Duke it out in D.C. & Duke Caribbean: Life's a Beach made this. An few years ago 3D Realms themselves ported this to only Xbox 360. I played through both versions to tell you not to play Xbox 360 version. It is very lacking compared to the original game. It's like comparing Resident Evil CODE: Veronica from Dreamcast to other consoles. Except that holds up better with great adaptations to the series. Also all achievements are way too easy to get. I had more of an challenge getting all of them in Duke 3D on Xbox 360. You do get stuff for your avatar but it's okay. Basically only play the PC version as it works better overall especially it's controls.

1. Duke Nukem 3D Megaton Edition
Is it an surprise or was this way too obvious? Duke Nukem 3D is an amazing game that still inspires many gamers & developers to this day. The very best of what Duke is truly capable of. You can play the original DOS version or the newer version. Great achievements with good improvements presented. People can create their own maps & upload them online. You can do coop or multiplaeyer like Doom. Cheating is so much fun in this game. Some of the finest levels of it's era of FPS. Of course Duke saying some of his best lines really caught on. What's better is I can also play all three expansions through this. Thus it's four Duke Nukem games in one for an great price. Everything about this game goes up & beyond on an level. I don't think Gearbox Software could rival. Although they did make Half-Life: Opposing Force which was an great game.

I hope everyone enjoys this but I'm coming right back with another forgotten FPS series. Until then I'm Jack Red & I'll see all of you later.

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