Duke Nukem II
Don’t confuse this bad boy with the original Duke Nukum trilogy – the sequel, aptly named Duke Nukem II (although the Roman numerals might be too fancy), offers a complete overhaul of the action-packed ass-kicker that was the first game. This time Duke gets captured by the Rigelatins, an evil alien race hellbent on conquering Earth. But a puny jail cell is no match for our buzzcut hero, and, managing to escape, Duke must blast, jump, swim and teleport his way through four episodes of intense platforming action.
On his way, Duke has to destroy lots of obstacles and enemies – both Rigelatin forces and apparent local wildlife. Initially, Duke only packs a pitiful laser rifle, but an assortment of cool replaceable weaponry can be picked up along the way, including a nifty flamethrower or rocket launcher. These stronger weapons, however, have limited ammo, and you’ll eventually switch back to the puny laser gun when you’re spent.
Power-ups abound: health items, Duke Nukem merch to increase your score, the ever elusive N-U-K-E-M letters to give you that end of the level superscore – it’s all there. Levels are once again centered around finding keys to open doors or disabling lasers, though the rock solid level design make these key hunts pretty fun. What’s more, the levels are constantly changing in theme in a logical manner, so you progress from a prison to the wild alien landscape, then stumble on some old ruins, then it’s back to a tech theme as you locate another hidden underground installation.
All of these places are crawling with aliens and their creations. These bad dudes can harm our hero in a multitude of ways, from the obvious (they shoot at Duke) to the truly bizarre (they can swallow him, or latch on to his face). As Duke, you can take quite a lot of punishment before going down, and you can always find health-boosting power-ups along the way. Perhaps one of the coolest aspects of the game are the usable vehicles (which are all too rare). Duke can find small spaceships that he can fly around and shoot it, providing even more fun.
Overall-Duke Nukem 2 is a very worthy successor to the first game. With the changes and improvements, Duke Nukem 2 is a shining example on how to do a proper side-scroller right.
System Requirements: 80286 CPU, 640 KB RAM, DOS
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