Duke Nukem 3D
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So cool you’re getting into this while at first you thought you wouldn’t like it. That’s really what the club is about, finding those hidden gems you otherwise would have overlooked! 😀
Now I can tell you, I’ve been playing this game since forever and I’ve got the same experience as you, David. I mostly have 1 or 2 main heroes and some other ones for guarding cities. I’ve grown used to the popup asking whether I’m sure that I want to forfeit some of my movement points, but UX-wise it would be nice to be able to shut it off.
It doesn’t feel like I’m really waiting around a lot though. The flow for me typically is that I explore a lot in the beginning of the game, which is quite interesting. In the meantime, units build up in the towns I’m conquering. Then at some point, some enemies will pop-up and I’ll require reinforcements. What I often do is that I buy a “transport hero” in my most remote town and he will pick up units along the way until he reaches my main hero. He drops off the reinforcements and heads back home, and the main hero can continue his conquest.
After playing some more, I feel I need to add something to this thread: the fact there’s a big difference between an offensive and a defensive army.
When going out into the world, it helps to have an army that’s quick to take out any enemy you might encounter. So flying units are great to block off enemy ranged units for example.
But when defending one of your cities, I feel it’s a better strategy to have strong units that can take quite a beating. It doesn’t matter if they’re slow, because you can’t really go anywhere from your castle anyway.
Some of the units I wrote off initially, such as the dwarves or the hydras, are actually quite useful when defending. When a hole in the wall is created, they can move into the gap and block whatever comes through.
The castle’s archer is quite strong, so just hanging in there can really pay off. If you have a few strong ranged units as well, this is really all you need to effectively protect your town from danger.
Yeah, I like HOMM2 the most as well. Some of the graphics are copied over from 1, but they’ve replaced the worst ones with new, crisp, good looking images. And from HOMM2 on, the hero is on the battlefield, instead of that weird tent. What’s up with the tent? Are they carrying the tent at all times? Is that where they sleep?
I’ve played a lot over the past few days. The game is extremely similar to HOMM2 (which I’ve played a lot before), but there are some key differences.
The AI seems to be pretty aggressive and most of the maps allow fairly access to your starting city, which means that leaving it unguarded is quite dangerous. This means you can’t grow too quickly, or you will spread your resources too thin and you’ll end up unable to defend your kingdom.
The battle field is a lot smaller than later games and it’s a bit unclear how the underlying grid works exactly. You just have to move your cursor around and guess where you can go, which is not the greatest UX. I did get used to it however and it works reasonably well.
What’s really different is how magic works. There is no mana and instead the magic towers produce spells each week which your hero can collect when he visits town. So instead of running out of mana, you actually run out of certain spells. This makes me quite hesitant to use magic at all, because depending on a spell means I can’t use that spell in the future. It really becomes more of a last resort for me.
There are no monster upgrades, but there are more monsters types than there are slots, so you have to decide which units to bring along, just like in later games.
All in all this games has all the basic foundation in place on which the later games are based and it all works reasonably well. The game never crashed on me and I didn’t encounter any bugs or anything. It’s not as polished or feature rich as I’m used to, but still very very enjoyable to play!
Wow, great review, Pix! Well done. Congrats on beating the game too!
I agree the game does feel quite flawed, but there’s a certain charm to it as well. And since it’s a one man effort, it’s actually quite an impressive achievement, even though it does feel at times more like a children’s game than anything.
So much for our “spooky October” Halloween game, eh? Haha. Ah well, we might have something scarier next year 😀
Oh he moved to America? I didn’t know, that’s fairly interesting, especially to see it influencing his writing!
It is indeed truly amazing that your far away childhood heroes are just people on Twitter nowadays, haha. I remember sending Al Lowe (who made Leisure Suit Larry, amongst other things, at Sierra On-Line) an e-mail somewhere in the late 90s / early 00s and HE ACTUALLY SENT ME A REPLY! I’m still a bit psyched 😀