Duke Nukem 3D is a title most seasoned gamers are already familiar with. What with its dozens of re-releases across multiple platforms since its initial debut on PC in ’96, one has to talk about this title with a certain amount of familiarity. But what exactly constitutes PlayStation Vita’s new Megaton Edition? Aside from the fact that it’s on a handheld the answer is: not much. If you’re familiar with the XBOX Live Arcade version that released a few years ago on 360 and you enjoyed it then you’re bound to find yourself right at home with the Vita release. Love it or not the original’s fast-paced gory gameplay and womanizing behavior are still prevalent, and though the latter may not have held up as elegantly in modern times the title is still a blast to play.
Duke Nukem 3D: Megaton Edition looks as crisp and sharp ever, especially if you have a Vita with the OLED screen. Colors pop, enemies are still animated, and though I wish they would have taken some time to clean up some of the rendering noise that still exists in the background I must admit that the game still holds up relatively well. The few and far between CG rendered cut-scenes could definitely use an overhaul, and I hope that if there are plans on releasing this game again that some time is taken to fix them. It’s certainly not as beautiful as some newer sprite-based titles, but I think it’s absolutely incredible that a game from the mid-nineties still looks this good.
"Love it or not the original’s fast-paced gory gameplay and womanizing behavior are still prevalent, and though the latter may not have held up as elegantly in modern times the title is still a blast to play."
The controls did take some getting used to. No matter how much I play first-person shooters on Vita I still can’t quite feel comfortable with its nubby little control sticks. I don’t have this problem with any other titles, but when playing an FPS one requires pinpoint accuracy which is hard to maintain given the radius the sticks are capable of reaching. Luckily Duke Nukem: Megaton Edition does have a relatively flushed out options menu and you can feel free to turn down the sensitivity to match your liking. I wish there were more control options, but considering the layout is already pretty well thought out it’s not necessarily the end of the world.
Every campaign that has ever existed in the Duke Nukem 3D world appears in this release, which is freakin’ awesome! Though the “Duke it out in DC” and “Carribean Vacation” campaigns are fairly glitchy (I believe both were initially fan mods) they haven’t been made readily available on other console ports and it’s awesome to have these silly additions complete the Duke package on Vita. It makes for a fun break from the standard Duke nonsense.
"Though the game makes good use of the timeline feature introduced in the Xbox Live Arcade version, it still takes a long time to jump back into the fun."
My one issue with the Vita port is its load times. Every time you die it takes anywhere between 20 and 40 seconds to reload a level or save point. Though the game makes good use of the timeline feature introduced in the Xbox Live Arcade version, it still takes a long time to jump back into the fun. Though this issue isn’t that apparent if you’re good at the game, there are moments when frustrating level design will cause death quite frequently leading to a lot of time spent staring at your loading screen.
Overall Duke Nukem 3D: Megaton Edition is a great way to revisit Duke’s good ol’ days, especially if you have that twinge of nostalgia that rings in your gut whenever you hear Duke spew that iconic phrase, “I’m here to kick ass and chew bubblegum.” If nothing else it’s a great vertical-slice of 90’s culture, film references and game design.
Review by: Palmer Sturman | Reviewed on: Playstation Vita