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Sunday, November 1, 2009

Jump Into the Past: a Duke 3D revival

"Damn! Those alien bas***ds are gonna pay for shooting up my ride."

Does this opening sentence sound familiar to you? Two days ago, after installing Duke Nukem 3D on my iPhone, I launched the game and was welcome by it.

I used to play with Duke on a PC powered with a Pentium 133 a long, long time ago. When I saw it on the App Store, by chance, I couldn't resist buying it and playing it again.

The port is really good, although still incomplete. The primary three episodes are there (L.A. Meltdown, I didn't even remember the name!) and the feeling is just the same. I noticed some graphical detriment that I wouldn't call minor:
mirror effects, for example, were things that made Duke 3D so cool,
back in the 90's. Playability on the iPhone isn't so good, either, in
my opinion. The user is given two choices: digital and analog controls.

Digital controls, whose screenshot is shown in the next picture,
is the easiest control to get accustomed to. By sliding your finger
onto four buttons you can control Duke's movements just as if you were using a joystick. While playing you still need to use additional buttons (such as jump or use): these buttons are located on the uppermost right corner of
the screen and they're sufficiently small so as you confuse them one another.

The analog controls, at first impression, seem more intuitive because the user is given two separate joysticks:

Nonetheless, I found these controls pretty hard to manage and quickly switched to using the digital ones exclusively.

If you're feeling some kind of longing for such an old game, Duke Nukem 3D can be purchased right now on the App Store at just 0.79 Eur. Much less than an espresso, here in Spain.

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