Sci-Fi Video Games: Duke Nukem

Between computers, various consoles, tablets and other devices, there are a lot of Sci-Fi video games out there to choose from. Some are simple, others tend to be more complicated, some have fantastic story lines, while some tend to be all about blowing up as many alien bad guys as you can. In the end, there is bound to be at least one game that appeals to each person who enjoys this particular genre. As part of Sci-Fi Month I will be discussing several video games which I have played, explaining what I liked and didn’t like about them, as well as listing the ones that are on my list to play in the future. Today I will be discussing the Duke Nukem games.

Of the many Sci-Fi games I have played in my life, the first one I can distinctly remember playing was Duke Nukem. Though it had been fifteen to twenty years since I last played the original game, I still have such great memories from playing this game as a kid. The hours spent trying to beat the game and, more importantly do better at it than my sister, were too many to count.  Then came the sequel, which I don’t remember as clearly as I do the first game, but I certainly played it plenty as well. A few years later came Duke Nukem 64, or as it is also called Duke Nukem 3D. This one I also enjoyed plenty but I remember having trouble with certain levels being a royal pain in the butt to complete. And of course we can’t forget about the long awaited final game in the series, Duke Nukem Forever. The game which I bought with intentions of playing but sadly haven’t gotten around to it yet. So let’s have a quick look at these games and what I remember from playing them.

 

Duke Nukem is the explosive debut of the known universe’s greatest high-flying, wise-cracking, alien-punching, babe-saving, gun-toting badass. A man who would eventually go on to become a one of a kind gaming action hero that would soon combine ass-kicking and bubblegum-chewing in a completely revolutionary way. Duke begins here. 

In a world ravaged by Dr. Proton’s villainous ambitions, the original video game action hero must rise against the evil scientist’s army of sinister Techbots. And although Duke isn’t exactly what the Doctor ordered, he’s exactly what the world needed.

This is where it all began, not just for the series but for me as well. I can’t remember exactly how old I was the first time I played this game but it didn’t take long for me to fall in love with it. Now, don’t get me wrong I remember plenty of frustrating moments playing this game when I couldn’t make a jump, or a certain level was being particularly annoying for me to get though. But with that frustration aside, I grew to love the game over time. My sister also picked up the game and a competition quickly erupted between us on who could get through the levels faster, with more points and get to the end the best. She won some, I won other times. In the end this was how I spent many hours of my childhood jumping around obstacles and killing bad guys.

Recently I bought this game, along with two other Dukem Nukem games, on Steam. I just happened to curiously look to see if they even had the game to begin with, which I doubted they would, and managed to find a three pack of the games. So not only did they have the games, but I also noted they were on sale. Three duke Nukem games for less than six bucks? I couldn’t whip out my credit card fast enough for that.

Oh seeing the game come to life on my screen brought back so many good memories for me. But it also returned the frustration of trying to make certain jumps or killing certain enemies. Frustration aside, I started to play the game to the best of my abilities, which is difficult considering how horrible the controls are for this game. There may only be five buttons to use (left, right, up, ctrl and alt) but my biggest problem was mixing up the fire and jump button. Part of that could be because the first bit I played using the right ctrl and alt buttons, then I switched to the left ones, which of course are reversed and thus it took me far too long to get straight which button was which. Of course eventually I got the hang of it, and though there were plenty of areas where I had to try a certain jump a good dozen times of so to get past it I see why so many hours were spent playing this game.

So what makes this a sci-fi game? Well it was set in the future (read that as mid 90s, with the game being released in 1991), there are little squiggly green aliens and robots to defeat. The gun Duke uses shoots lasers, though as far as I can remember never needs to be recharged. And there are teleportation devices in certain levels. It might not be the most Sci-Fi game out there, but it certainly fell into that category when it was released.

Ignoring the poor graphics, bad controls and fairly simple style of the game, Duke Nukem certainly has it’s appeal. Probably the best part is when you die and you explode into multiple balls of color. Having beat the first episode of this game I am looking forward to reliving the other two levels and seeing just how quickly I can beat this game.

Duke Nukem is back. Captured by an alien foe in the middle of promoting his best-selling book, “Why I’m So Great”, Duke must once more defeat the forces of evil to save himself from the knowledge-stealing Rigelatins, and ultimately prove his book’s namesake.

This is the game I recall the least about. I know that I had the game and that I played in quite a bit, but the details of the game had slipped away with time. I’m sure that I beat the game, probably did so several times, but I just can’t say how hard or easy I found it.

Having downloaded this game along with the original Duke Nukem game, I was given the chance to remind myself why I played this game and how it compared to the original. Though I haven’t played much of it yet, since I’ve only had it for a couple days now, I did pop into the game to at least check it out. The first thing to note is the improved graphics. Obviously they are nothing compared to what we have in today’s games but it’s certainly a huge step up from the previous game. There’s also a bit of a soundtrack to the game. Previously the only sound was that of when Duke is walking, shooting or activating something on screen. While it’s not award winning music, it is kind of nice to be able to hear something else while playing the game.

The controls are the same as the original game, with ctrl being jump, alt being shoot and the arrow keys controlling Duke’s direction. A new feature is the ability to look up and shoot things that are above you. It might not seen like a huge thing to many gamers, but it certainly helps rack up the points by shooting all those cameras above you, and it doesn’t require a mix of jumping and shooting at just the right moment to get the job done.

Unfortunately I didn’t get far enough in the game to really see all that much (I only just started playing it again yesterday after a 10 year or so break from it), so I can’t say how challenging the game is overall. Eventually I will play through this whole game when I have the time to truly give it my full attention.

“Come get some!” says bad boy Duke Nukem as you romp through the alien infested city of Los Angeles. Duke returns from a little vacation to save the City of Angels and destroy those scum bag aliens in this lead-packing sequel! You’ll get more Duke one-liners and secret levels, such as multiplayer, which gives you the chance to blow all your friends away! With all new weapons, more of the trademark Duke humor, and a soundtrack with bands such as Megadeath, this is one pistol packin’ adventure that’s high in testosterone and short on charm.

This was one of the first games I bought after buying my Nintendo 64. How could I not buy a Duke Nukem game on my new system? It took some getting used to, mostly since I was used to playing the PC versions of this game, but once I got the hang of the controls I was ready to go. I clocked countless hours playing this game on my small 13″ TV, tucked away in my bedroom determined to get through every level cleanly. I did hit a few areas that seemed to be determined to not let me pass. But with plenty of determination of my own and a whole lot of stubbornness, I refused to give up and continued on until I had gotten past that part.

Once I had figured out the trick to those areas there was little stopping me. Even so I enjoyed playing through this game from start to finish multiple times. My only regret was selling my Nintendo 64 and all it’s game some years ago.

Manhattan Project features the humorously chauvinistic action hero Duke Nukem, this time fighting Mech Morphix, a mad scientist who is using a radioactive slime dubbed G.L.O.P.P. (Gluon Liquid Omega-Phased Plasma) to metamorphosize creatures into deadly monsters in order to take over Manhattan island, New York City. These enemies include metamorphic alligators, giant cockroaches, and even the Pig cops from Duke Nukem 3D. Duke also faces a few enemies who are not mutants, such as Fem-Mechs, lethal whip-wielding gynoids. Levels in the game contain recognizable parts of New York City.

This game I am ninety-nine percent sure I have never played. And if I did I have completely forgotten about it. On the plus side this was included in the three pack bundle that I bought a few days ago, so I will have the chance to play this in the future.

The King is Back! 

Cocked, loaded and ready for action, Duke delivers epic ass-kicking, massive weapons, giant explosions and pure unadulterated fun! 

Put on your shades and step into the boots of Duke Nukem. The alien hordes are invading and only Duke can save the world. Pig cops, alien shrink rays and enormous alien bosses can’t stop this epic hero from accomplishing his goal: to save the world, save the babes and to be a bad-ass while doing it.

There’s not a lot I can say about this one. I was so excited to hear that another Duken Nukem game was coming out that I made sure I bought it shortly after it’s release. I remember dying to get home so that I could install it and when it was installed on my computer it just sat there, collecting pixel dust. Months passed, and then years, and the game still remained practically untouched. I did actually start the game one day, but other than loading the game I don’t think I did any actual playing of it. Perhaps I will start playing it soon and finally get to experience the final game in this series.

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9 thoughts on “Sci-Fi Video Games: Duke Nukem

  1. 2D Duke Nukem was so surprisingly fun when I first tried, you’d never expect it to be when you see the modern Duke Nukem.

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