All posts by Richard Martin
Version Reviewed: 1.0
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You youngsters who are not quite brushed up on your video game history may only know Duke Nukem by name; a legend who once ruled the video game industry with his slick 3d graphics and sassy catchphrases. More experienced gamers have much more fond memories of Mr. Nukem as the baddest dude around. I remember giving my lunch away for a week for a copy of Duke Nukem on PC because my mom wouldn't buy it for me. That's how awesome Duke Nukem was back in his heyday. He made children forsake their mothers for a few hours of bloody fun. He saved the world from alien invasions AND got a ton of tail in the process... like Bruce Willis in Die Hard, except way cooler... and with hair.
Duke Nukem 3D is MachineWorks Northwest LLC's nearly flawless port of Duke's first PC outing brought to you by 3D Realms. All of the little things are there, including the right of passage for every child to discover the little Easter egg in the original Duke Nukem where you could hand dollars to a stripper for an amazing pixelated show, and now you get to live this all over again.
Why this game kicks serious tail
It's Duke Nukem just as you remember him. Graphically, this game is just as you remember it in its' PC days, if not better. The game plays great. On my 3GS the game runs oh so smoothly, and from talking to a couple of homies operating on the 3G, it plays just as nicely. MachineWorks definitely did a good job in bringing over the original look and feel of the original Duke Nukem. The sound is just as good as well. Most, if not all of Duke's original catchphrases are there and the quirky little interactions with the environments that made the game so funny back in the day are also still there.
The controls are a plus and a minus for me. MachineWorks made a great effort at making DN3D as easy to control as possible. There are two different control schemes for you to take advantage of and I can't truly say which one is better, because they both have their advantages and disadvantages. The classic analog controls give you two virtual joysticks which work well once you get used to them, but are still a little buggy. The digital controls are a little odd at first as well but if you take the time to learn them they may be a little bit more convenient to use than the analog controls. Like I said before, different gamers will find different value in each of these control schemes.
The firing system was well thought out for this game, and like your control system there are two options to choose from, but you're only going to use one. There is the lesser crosshair system in which Duke will fire where the crosshair is aimed, but this one is a little bit difficult to use. While the controls may work well enough, they aren't refined enough to be able to accurately aim with them. The alternative touch to shoot system works really well in this game, and does exactly what it says. You touch where you want to shoot and Duke shoots there. This system works really well in situations where you will encounter a ton of enemies and I found the system accurate enough to use to fire at enemies who were only small blips on the screen.
Not much needs to be said about the gameplay besides this. You know what you're getting with Duke Nukem... pure shooter with tons of bad guys, blood, and boobies. If you were a fan of the original Duke Nukem, then you will like this iteration. Besides the controls, it's exactly the same game as it was before. Duke Nukem 3D was one of the most popular games of its' generation because of its' great gameplay and this definitely carries over.
Why this game falls flat on its' face.
It doesn't, but honestly it comes really really close...
The controls are just good enough for this game to be passable. That's really one of the only bad things I can say about this game. It's a bit tough to shoot and strafe out of the way of incoming fire at the same time but it can defintely be done after a bit of practice. One of the nice things that MachineWorks did was make the placement of the controls 100% customizeable. This is one of the saving graces of Duke Nukem 3D. The analog control scheme, as I stated before, still seems really buggy. You can't drag your finger around the joysticks, you kind of have to lift your finger off before you can change directions, which is annoying, and for anybody who plays any console games whatsoever, it's a completely unnatural motion to make.
This being said, there aren't really any more negatives I can come up with... Sooooo... I guess this is where we chew the bubblegum since I'm all out of ass kickings to give out.
The final verdict
Duke Nukem 3D is definitely the port classic fans of the game were looking for. The controls are little bit shoddy but I would guess that fans of the original game wouldn't mind this for a chance to play one of the greatest PC games of all time, on the go. For newcomers to the series, if you can pick up a game with great gameplay but lacking controls and get around it then it will absolutely be worth your 3 bucks (which is a bargain for a big name franchise like this.) If dealing with frustrating controls could ruin your gaming experience then you may want to think twice about this purchase, but I would highly reccomend that you give it a chance.
Duke Nukem 3D helped raise me into the fine young gentleman that I am, and hopefully it can do the same for preteens and young adults wielding iPhones in this generation.
That was a lie, don't buy this game for your kids. It'll mess them up.
Version Reviewed: 1.0
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Thank you dear six pound, eight ounce Baby Jesus for this game. I was beginning to think that my reviews would consist of B and C list apps that would make even the most stoic of gamers shed a tear or two. But alas, fear not, CAPCOM's port of Resident Evil 4 for the Gamecube has finally hit the iPhone and it was an honor to play through it and to deliver this review to yee humble iPhone gamers.
Basically what I'm saying is, go buy this game now. If you're a Resident Evil fan then you should have the game already. If you aren't a Resident Evil fan... go buy this game and become a Resident Evil fan. RE4 for the Gamecube is one of my most fond memories of gaming. It pushed that little plastic cube to its' very limits, delivering graphics and gameplay most didn't believe was possible from Nintendo's little black and purple box. The game took forever to beat but every second of it was a gamer's bliss. It included a great variety of enemies, tons of beautiful environments, lots of guns, and while the game was a pure shooter there were still many moments where the player had to stop and think. You always had to know how much ammo you had for each gun because it felt as if you were always on the brink of being completely defenseless.
Plus the game was scary enough to make you crap your pants.
Resident Evil 4: Mobile edition almost manages to translate all of this. Graphically the game looks great and is by far one of the best looking games on the iPhone. Almost all of the weapons are carried over, so for you die hard RE4 fans, you'll recognize the pistol, shotgun, rifle, tmp, bazooka, and the upgrades that can be applied to all these weapons. The only thing that doesn't really come over from the gamecube version is the fear factor. RE4 on the Gamecube was as scary as the thought of a night locked in a room with a coked out Richard Simmons. This one is kind of like spending the night with.... something that's not that scary.
The plot of the game is simple enough, and was made a bit more so for the iPhone version. The Gamecube version took me about 25 hours. RE4: Mobile edition took me about a quarter of that time. You play the role of Leon, a police officer turned secret service agent who is charged with the task of finding the President's kidnapped daughter. What a great first day on the job. His investigation leads him to a wee town in South America that is seemingly deserted but actually inhabited by (not so much of a spoiler coming) ZOMBIES! You make your way through 12 (somewhat short) levels finding and leading the President's daughter to safety.
Typically, games such as this are plagued by bad control schemes. Let's just say it, most first and third person shooters on the iPhone suck. CAPCOM could have followed the lead of ID Software's "Doom: Resurrection and put the player on tracks, which worked really well, but this would ruin a lot of the allure the game especially since RE4 worked so well with its' over the shoulder camera angle. So instead CAPCOM took a gamble allowing full control of the character and his weapon via a touch screen joystick and this time it actually pays off pretty well. There are numerous control schemes you can use, but by default your joystick is in the bottom left corner of the screen. In order to shoot, you tap the fire button which will get the players gun ready. At this point your joystick is no longer used to move but to aim your gun, which is aided by the red laser sight. In order to move again you have to tap the walk button on the right side of the screen. This is a bit inconvenient and when so much of the game is based on a formula of shooting, running, shooting, and then running some more, you will die a few times (you also die a bit too easily) before you get it perfect, but it can definitely be done. Aiming is also a little bit tough, but again, it can be perfected. The boss battles in RE4: Mobile edition are very much like their Gamecube counterparts. These battles are very formulaic but they work. Each boss has a weakness that you will need to somehow exploit in order to defeat him. Lather, rinse, and repeat.
While the game is a bit formulaic, Resident Evil fans will enjoy it because it's what they're used to, and new Resident Evil fans will have a good segway into the series. Also helping the game out is a bit of variety in the Mercenary Mode. You have a predetermined amount of ammo, health, and a time limit to kill as many zombies as possible and is actually quite fun. I'm typically not too fond of the extra gameplay modes thrown into iPhone apps but I liked this one. I really really really enjoyed playing this game. I'm not going to lie, when it comes to iPhone games I'm really hard to impress. Forgive me if I seem like a bit of a video game snob because I'm not. I like a little bit of everything, but like most iPhone gamers I can be a bit ADD. I almost never pick up my phone solely for the purpose of playing a game. I always have my phone on me so the games are more a convenience than anything, but I found myself wanting to play more and more of this game. CAPCOM Mobile did a great job in this port. If you an extra $7.99 lying around, I definitely suggest picking this one up. If you don't have an extra $7.99 then borrow it from somebody else. However you need to get that eight bucks... Get it. This game is a keeper.