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Author Topic: 2011/07: Duke Nukem II (PC) - High Treason  (Read 17180 times)
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JonLeung
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« on: June 30, 2011, 10:39:49 PM »


For this month's "Maps Of The Month" featurette, I wish to draw your attention to High Treason's Duke Nukem II (PC) maps.

Duke Nukem is back!

In this 1993 sequel to the 1991 classic, Duke is kidnapped by aliens who want to use his brain with a powerful weapon to threaten the Earth. Duke isn't too keen on the idea, and escapes, and then you help him save the world and get revenge on the aliens.

As a computer gamer, one thing I miss from my pre-teen/teen years is shareware. Remember that? Shareware games are kind of like a demo concept...you can, and was intended that you should, share copies of the game with others. Typically, or at least was common with Apogee's games, you'd just get the first episode, and if you liked it, you could purchase the rest of the episodes (though those weren't meant to be shared). Between 1990-1995 (coincidentally, when I had my first computer but right before I got the Internet), Apogee made great shareware games that I have fond memories of. Most of the time, I only had the first episode of these games, but that was fine enough for my short attention span - and limited allowance. And there's just some nostalgia of swapping 3.5" floppy diskettes back in junior high, or purchasing new shareware games with simple packaging (usually just an envelope with an amusing blurb about its contents or a clear plastic case with a generic screenshot insert) whenever we passed by the stationery/supplies stores, for just a few bucks.

Duke Nukem II is one of those great shareware games. Large areas, lots to shoot at, items and keys to find, this game had it all! Well, except for 3D and over-the-top vulgarity...but that'll come soon enough. New mapper High Treason takes on all four episodes completely and reminds us that a not-quite-as-ridiculous-but-still-hyper-masculine Duke Nukem adventure is still a great time, even without inappropriately dressed women.

So to recognize the effort put into this great bit of nostalgia from forever ago, High Treason's Duke Nukem II (PC) maps will be known as VGMaps.com's Maps Of The Month for July 2011.
« Last Edit: October 31, 2011, 09:28:47 PM by JonLeung » Logged
Will
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« Reply #1 on: July 01, 2011, 01:13:05 AM »

It's a pity that the map set hasn't gotten an improvement to mimic the real thing. The maps have a lot of missing sprites and objects (especially the force fields, a few teleporters, slime vats, flowing water, screen messages and so on. Some maps like Episode 1, Level 8 is pretty untidy with gaps in the walls. In every level there isn't a background, just black colour. The maps are just incomplete that way. If the maps can be improved within the month it is well worth it.

I too had played Duke Nukem II. My favourite weapon always has been the flame thrower. If you notice various graphics and sprites have been copied and based on the Amiga Turrican trilogy. The first episode was great, but I was somewhat disappointed with the other episodes, because they hardly offered newer features from the first, just a couple dozen new enemies, sceneries plus a jet craft. In each episode you destroy radar dishes and get an "Earth" quake but there's no new unique features after that.
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DarkWolf
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« Reply #2 on: July 01, 2011, 06:11:38 AM »

Shareware was really only worth-while for developers back when you had to buy the software at local stores.  Back before almost everyone had internet access, you bought your shareware disks or collections on cd at a local store for a cheaper price than a full game.  If you were able to connect to a BBS, you might also get it that way.  Either way, distributing the software took a little more work than it does today.

But there's no need for shareware now.  You can simply download demos for games.  True, you probably don't get as much content with modern demos as you did with older shareware, but it's still enough to decide if you want to spend money on the full product.

As for the choice of game, I'm glad you didn't mention a certain other game in your post.  This is how Duke should be remembered.
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The Ultimate Koopa
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« Reply #3 on: July 01, 2011, 11:52:57 AM »

Wait, how come the main site had this up for the Maps of the Month, earlier, but now it's back to showing last month's?
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TerraEsperZ
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« Reply #4 on: July 02, 2011, 01:19:25 PM »

I kinda agree with Will in that the state of these maps, which look like they were taken straight from a level extraction utility, doesn't feel to me like they deserve a "Maps of the Month" award. In several stages, you can see that the lava (E1L6, E3L1) and acid (E2L5, E2L6, E3L4) is simply a sprite placed over the general area where it would go, but it doesn't look like it would in-game. Similarly, some stages show off-screen areas that look a bit random and would definitely not be visible while playing (E1L8, E4L8)).

Again, I don't want to deny High Treason the honour of having his maps honoured in this way. I just think that, at least, a bit of manual work to correct the biggest problems is warranted.

Also, JonLeung, the image for Duke Nukem II in the Maps of the Month page actually links to the SNES game list instead of the PC one.
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Current project that I really should try to finish:
-Drill Dozer (GBA)
-Sonic 3D Blast (Genesis)
-Naya's Quest (PC)
-Lilly Looking Through (PC)

Pending project:
-A ton of stuff that will never be finished
Maxim
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« Reply #5 on: July 03, 2011, 03:07:00 PM »

I think the desire to be topical is overriding the desire to spotlight great maps in this case. The topicality is kind of cheesy anyway...
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