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Game Review #527: Duke Nukem 3D: 20th Anniversary World Tour (Nintendo Switch)

Review by: WoodmanFLG

Developer: Gearbox

Publisher: Gearbox

Category: FPS, Bubblegum Chewing Simulator

Release Date: 6.23.2020

Price: $9.99

Watch the Trailer

Buy Duke Nukem 3D: 20th Anniversary World Tour from the Nintendo Switch eShop here.

Blow It Out Your Ass, For 20 Years!

Duke Nukem is a gaming icon, and that is not up for argument. As dated and backwards as he can be, when he hit the scene it was something insanely different, and the gameplay was extremely good. These were the old days of the FPS; packed to the brim with secrets and more, little need to reload, and no hiding behind chest high walls to recover your health. No, this is fast-paced, and forces you to think smart and think fast as you blow through Duke Nukem levels, leaving piles of gib in your wake. And then of course, Mr. personality himself.

Duke is brash and the last thing he is is politically correct, but it's a character from a moment in time clearly, and it's still important not to erase these kinds of things, but instead see it as a way that we can do better. There is absolutely the weirdest charm to hearing all of his quips (BEAUTIFULLY re recorded by the OG voice actor, Jon St. John, the man, the myth, the legend), as you blast your way through strip clubs taken over by alien pig cops. This game is a celebration of all the time spent with this character, and it truly does it justice. Let's talk a little bit more about what is contained within this package.

I'm An Equal Opportunity Ass Kicker!

This game contains 4 full on episodes from the game, which of course have many levels in each of them. But possibly one of the best things about this - coming from an old fan - is the addition of a fifth episode made by the people who made the originals, including new music, a new weapon, and BRAND new Duke lines, which you never should pass up. This entire experience has been redone to have campaign co-op available via local ad-hoc or online, remastered visuals that actually have real 3D viewing and environments, or you can of course go back to the original 1996 style as well. Also added is HD rumble to ALL of it, gyroscope controls if you want to play that way, and motion controls for melee attacks and more!

Of course, also included is some good old multiplayer deathmatch… or a Dukematch! This is a collection done right, they did a fantastic job adding in new content, and beautifying old content to breathe new life into something that is a beloved moment in gaming. Another feature added I REALLY love is that this game is absolutely old school hard. You will die, even if you play on easy mode. To help us all kinda learn how to handle these games, when you die, you can rewind time to any point in your gameplay, and start from there! Made a mistake earlier, lost a little too much health to take down the upcoming room? Instead of having to start over, you can go back to that pivotal moment and try to improve how you handled the first room, so you can make good things happen where you died initially! And of course, you can turn that all off as well if you want to hardcore the entire series like the old days.

I've Got Balls of Steel

If this doesn’t mean much to you, and all of this is new to you, let me bring you a little bit of an idea what you can expect with Duke Nukem in general; attitude. Duke Nukem is the embodiment of the hardcore cool 90’s gun toting, woman saving, alien butt kicking hero, and was put on this earth for not a whole lot more than blowing away aliens of various shapes and sizes with a big variety of crazy sci fi weapons, all while managing to save all the babes he can find, since of course the aliens have stolen them as well! This is a Doom and Wolfenstein era first person shooter, and I certainly don’t mean the new ones. This was the early days of FPS, before they really had it all figured out, and it was a FAR more arcade-y genre in those days. Rather than being very focused on big set pieces and accuracy like in modern FPS games, these were focused on optimization of levels, avoiding damage and finding secrets. So, so many secrets.

It’s been a while since I played one of these, and it was nice learning how the developers hide secrets, so I could have some luck in finding all of the early rocket launchers possible. You will be running around, checking every dead end, looking for every nook and cranny in your attempt to get every secret because they make sure to make it worth it. If you wanna destroy these levels, you are going to have to get every edge on the enemies you can, and secrets are the way to do that. There's honestly a HUGE difference in how a level can go with just one strong weapon early, so it will do you good to search those secrets out. There's no regenerating health, so taking one strong shot can really mess up a whole plan for you. Thankfully, Armor and Health pickups are all around for you to plan how you will take a level down, so not all is lost. Combine good play with map knowledge and you will be able to tackle what this game throws at you!

Your Ass is Grass, and I’ve Got the Weed Whacker.

These are classic levels, from a classic series; there is only so much I can say about them that hasn’t been said before, but I think I’ve done a good job outlining what the gameplay is like for the newbies, as well as the additions to the base game for the people who are excited to see the words Duke Nukem again, not followed by the words forever. If you love the Duke, you are doing yourself a disservice not picking up this awesome addition to the Switch. It's the perfect handheld companion for doing a little bit of ass kicking on the go. If you are looking to learn why this character has such a legacy, this is an amazing starting point as well! I give Duke Nukem 3D: 20th Anniversary World Tour an ass-kicking 9/10!

Score: 9/10

Buy Duke Nukem 3D from the Nintendo Switch eShop here.

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*A game code was provided for review purposes.

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