Written by  :  Katakis | カタキス (39516)
Written on  :  Oct 22, 2003
Platform  :  DOS
Rating  :  4.75 Stars4.75 Stars4.75 Stars4.75 Stars4.75 Stars

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He's back to kick some more ass!

The Good

The original Duke Nukem was released by Apogee back in 1991. It mimicked platform games for other consoles such as the Sega Genesis at the time, with its spectacular landscapes, sound, and gameplay that was quite rarely seen on any system. Everything about it was so good that it deserved a sequel, which the company delivered two years later. After defeating Dr. Proton (about three times) and his army of TechBots, Duke wasn't given much of a break. Embarrassing for him, he was abducted during a TV interview by aliens that wants to use his mighty brains to wipe out Earth.

There are four episodes in the game with eight levels each, with the final one having you to deal with a boss that takes a bit of pounding to destroy. Each episode contains amazing backdrops, some of them are animated. Of these, my favorite one has got to be where the levels where there is an earthquake and you can see red storm clouds moving across the screen. In between levels, the "Get Ready" screen where you see a red bar getting longer and longer is excellent, too.

Duke Nukem II features the same elements that made the first game great. He can somersault in the air, grab onto ledges and skimmy across, teleport himself to another place, and grab his own merchandise. Almost each level of the game features laser barriers and other obstacles that will require certain items needed to get by them. In addition to this, there are restart points, hint globes, and space vehicles. The space vehicles can be used to progress through the level faster and kill enemies quicker, and you can mount or dismount it at any time. I really didn't need to use hint globes since I spent enough time in the level exploring and working out things.

Each level usually takes a bit more than ten minutes to complete, because of the amount of laser barriers and locked gates you have to deal with. The great thing is unlike the original game, you can pass through restart points so that when you run out of health, you don't have to go back to the beginning of the level, taking up more of your time than you need.

Duke has the ability to grab a variety of weapons along the way, and these weapons very much help him defeat the baddies quickly. One weapon worth mentioning is the flamethrower. Not only does it have some extreme firepower, which can kill everything in a chain reaction, but it also has the ability to be used as a jetpack. I remember somewhere in the last episode, I grown tired of getting up to three platforms above me, so I used the jetpack to get to the platform I wanted. But then, one of the turrets blew me down to where I was and I couldn't get back up as I exhausted its fuel supply.

There is actually rock music during the game, and some of this music is excellent. I enjoyed listening to the music while you are defeating the boss; it really fits the occasion. There are digitalized sound effects which make playing the game more realistic. When I first played this game, my system crashed half-way through the level, and I thought it had something to do with the sound effects.

The highlight of this game is the superb introduction to the game. The introduction, ten minutes long, gives you an insight of what happens to Duke. The picture of Neo Los Angeles, is the best artwork I seen in the game so far. The skyscrapers and the gradient colors really make the artwork stand out. Besides Alien Carnage, there are no introductions like this one in any of Apogee's games. Cut-scenes can also be seen after you defeat each boss.

The Bad

I had so much fun with the game, that I couldn't find any flaws with it.

The Bottom Line

Duke Nukem II is so much better than the original game. It uses the same gameplay, but now you have these new features that really blow it away. I would really like to see this game remade in the near future, with updated graphics and sound, and even better, the introduction and cut-scenes in which Duke is actually voiced by Jon St. John, not some Schwarzenegger impersonator.