Format- Gameboy Color
Genre- 2D platformer/shooter
Your average Duke enthusiast undoubtedly knows that the blonde haired alien killing machine started his trade in 2D platformers on the PC. They were solid titles, but were pretty much forgotten when Duke Nukem 3D arrived on the scene.
It didn’t signal the end of Duke’s side on escapades though. Duke Nukem on GBC may have been released three years after the 3D Duke, but it admirably still went about reviving much of the ideas and enemies from its 2D ancestors.
Not many seemed to care though, and Duke’s first outing on a Nintendo portable pretty much disappeared without trace, consigned to a mere footnote in history.
I think that’s a shame, as this is an enjoyable enough outing for Mr Nukem. And considering most of the trademark gore, babes and swears of the series are absent here, that’s no mean feat.
The graphics are colorful and pleasingly chunky, with Duke particularly well animated. He’s agile too – able to grab ledges, duck and shoot from ladders, little frustration arises from the controls.
Alas, what the game gives it in equal measure takes away. Controls may be solid but avoiding your enemies’ range of attacks is still tough, and you’ll find yourself taking a lot of unavoidable damage throughout the game.
Health packs are plentiful though, meaning most players should be able to make it to the end of the game just by remaining persistent. Skill isn’t a necessary requirement here.
Incentive to progress is helped by side missions (such as a satisfyingly destructive tank level) and the cut-scenes – which have a nice relaxed humor about them.
For Duke completists then, I think this is a must have. Unfortunately the game is somewhat scarce, but copies thankfully aren’t too expensive when they do turn up. If I may paraphrase the great man – ‘go get some.’