French Review Available Here|
Duke Nukem 3d is one of the last, and one of the best games released on the Saturn in english-speaking countries. The game was ported by Lobotomy, the same people who worked on Exhumed / Powerslave. While the PSX and N64 versions had cuts and missing content, the Saturn version of Duke Nukem 3d is as good as the PC version. In fact it's even better in some regards, due to the usage of lightmaps.
There's not much to say about Duke Nukem 3d that you shouldn't know - battle horde of aliens who try to take over the earth, with the smart-aleck, typical action hero type titular character of the game. Massacre alien pig cops in mapped sections of Los Angeles, take a detour in a strip bar, restore your health by using the men's room, and have a game of billiard while you miniaturize aliens with a shrink ray, and then introduce them to your Dr. Martens boots.
What made Duke Nukem 3d so great among all the "doom-clones" of the era was its interactivity. In most FPS games of the time, you were limited to collecting keys, interacting with doors, and blasting your enemies. In DN3D, you can use toilets, strippers, phones, kick ammo out of garbage cans, or blow up a fire hydrants and restore your health by drinking from the emerging fountain. Most of these amount to pointless fun (for example the strippers, who show their "goods" for :20bux:), but others like the working surveillance cameras can be quite useful.
The other thing that turned DN3D to an instant classic was the macho attitude of Duke. Amongst the mindless carnage, he is constantly spouting hilarious one-liners (many borrowed from cult movies such as Evil Dead). As well as everything else, these made it to the Saturn version as well, so you can hear all of Duke's famous quotes: "Come get some!" or "It's time to kick ass and chew bubble gum... and I'm all outta gum". These barely have any function in the gameplay, but you can't help but laugh when Duke compares the heads and asses of the aliens, only to find no difference, while you are busy blowing up everything that moves. Black humor serves the game very well.
For a First Person Shooter, the game controls very well on the Saturn pad. You can fully costumize the controls, and you have support for the analog pad. In fact, with a code, you enable controls similar to Quake 3 on the Dreamcast, which is in my opinion the most effective way of controlling an FPS game on a console - using the analog pad for look, the regular buttons for moving and strafing, and the L/R shifts for shooting and jumping.
DN3D is a wonderful port of a hilarious action game, and even with the limitations of the controls, it plays incredibly well. Oil on top of the fire is the inclusion of a hidden minigame, titled "Death Tank Zwei" - unlocked by either having Quake and Exhumed saves in your Saturn, or by destroying every toilet in the game. This minigame plays similar to Worms, but its real time and allows for as many as 10 simultaneous players with dual multitaps. With this, the Saturn version of Duke Nukem 3d makes up for the lacking deathmatch and other multiplayer modes that make PC FPS games great.
So, what are you waiting for? COME GET SOME.