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 lard pirates dawt cawm  §  Duke Nukem 3D (XBox Live Arcade) / by Spoony Spoonicus
 
 
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 ~Spoony Spoonicus on 05:04am 01/31/09 (09:02am 10/04/08) in 33m30s  §  2331 eyeballs
 We love Virtual Console but man fuck writing a full review of something we just paid six dollars for. Have a Quick Hit instead.
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Duke Nukem 3D is a game perhaps better known for its shocking content than its gameplay, featuring copious amounts of violence, objectification of women (up to and including outright nudity), and controversial messages. Unlike most games that ride a wave of controversy, though, Duke 3D was a great game, and still holds up surprisingly well despite its age, something that can't be claimed for most games in that category (Mortal Kombat, I'm looking at you).

At any rate, this is one of my all-time favorite first person shooters not only for its sense of humor, but for the brilliant design of the stages themselves. While Doom just had big, blocky industrial compounds, Duke 3D makes the most of its setting in a post-apocalyptic LA by featuring environments like movie theaters, a bank, and even a "Duke Burger" fast food joint (modeled in the main character's image). There's just the right blend of realism and game logic throughout - tripping a switch on a cash register can open a hidden door with items, for example, and you'll frequently have to crawl through ventilation shafts and other tunnels off the beaten path to make your way to the end. Some levels even require you to venture underwater, like the sunken city in Episode 3.

The game also sports some of the most creative weapons and gadgets in any shooter, many of which STILL haven't been seen in another title since. In addition to the standard pistol/shotgun/chaingun combo, there's also remote-controlled pipe bombs (handy for setting traps), tripwire bombs (same), a shrinker (allowing you to shrink your enemies and finish them off with a well-placed stomp) and even a "freezethrower" that allows you to freeze your enemies and then shatter them. Other fun items include a jetpack, a holoduke (which creates a holographic double to confuse your enemies) and even a portable health kit, allowing you to recover your health at any time you choose. I honestly have no idea why these ideas didn't catch on and inspire slews of creative artillery in subsequent games.

For only $10, you get the original game, plus the content of the expanded Atomic Edition - a fourth episode with new enemies and even a new weapon to play with. The game also supports competitive play over the internet via the Xbox Live service, which is another bonus the PC version didn't come standard with. For only 800 Microsoft Points ($10 in actual cash), you can't go wrong with Duke.

score:

The only down-side is the game lacking the custom level builder packaged with the PC version.
 
 
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