Duke Nukem Advance
by Take 2 Interactive
Shoot 'em up (FPS) games certainly seem to have been very popular on the Game Boy Advance. Doom and Wolfenstein 3D proved that the handheld console is easily capable of accommodating the genre. The titles that were legendary on the PC have been thrilling new audiences on the GBA with their excellent conversions to the console. Of course one game was missing, Duke Nukem. What would the FPS genre be without him? Thankfully that's now been put right and what we have here is a superb port from Torus Games.
With the option of four difficulty settings, 19 levels and the ability to have five different save games, it is obvious that Torus haven't skimped on the details. The game begins with a few still images and some verbal snippets from Duke; while these are not subtitled, they are merely some of his one liners and are not part of the plot. Towards the end of these images there is some text so why the rest isn't subtitled is something of a mystery. After these images you are given a brief mission briefing. From these mission briefing screens you're given the option to save the game if you so wish. If you press the start button and access your map you'll also notice that the mission objectives are on the bottom of the screen which is very handy. During the game you'll receive messages from General Graves who'll instruct you on what to do. These messages are given in static text and require a press of the A button to proceed. The game also pauses whilst the messages are on screen so there's no need to panic that you'll be massacred whilst you read. During the game Duke makes remarks such as 'Holy Cow!' and 'Want Some?' and these are not subtitled. If you try to open a door that needs to be opened via a switch the text will appear on screen to tell you this. When you consider all of this, Duke Nukem Advance is a very deaf gamer friendly game with just the colourful comments from Duke that are missing.
In terms of controls the game is fine. Strafing is achieved by use of the L & R shoulder buttons, B is to fire and A is to jump. The directional pad is responsible for movement and the select button will change your weapons if you don't want to take advantage of the auto weapon change feature. There are 3 alternative control schemes to choose from if you wish, although personally I found the default control scheme best. The range of weapons on offer is considerable and covers most of Duke's usual range such as the Freeze Gun and the Lead Cannon.
Graphically the game is very acceptable and true to games such as Duke Nukem 3D. The stability of the framerate is also very impressive even when there are numerous enemies onscreen at the same time. To make things easier on the eyes, objects such as ammo, weapons and health packs are oversized and easy to see which is very important. In fact the quality of games like Duke Nukem Advance leads me to believe that a whole range of classic PC titles such as The Secret of Monkey Island would be possible to port to the GBA.
Again we have a first class port to the GBA for a golden oldie PC game. If you own a GBA and are a fan of the FPS genre, then this title comes highly recommended.
Overall Game Rating: 9.0/10 Another superb conversion of a FPS legend.
Deaf Gamers comment: The one liners form Duke are not subtitled but everything else is fine.