Yesterday was a blockbuster Tuesday, if only for the release of the highly touted, much ballyhooed game, the shoe-in for best return from vaporware by a major motion video game.

Yes, that’s right – Duke Nukem Forever (cleverly acronymn’d DNF – aka Did Not Finish) was released to the public. You may also have heard (meh, who am I kidding – no you haven’t) about Alice: Madness Returns which ALSO came out yesterday. If you remember playing the original back in 2000 – this is the effective sequel. American McGee has stayed true, and this updated title only complements the original. More info, as well as screens and video for Alice follows “the king”, below.

Duke Nukem:
There’s a massive balls of steel version, even a fully loaded package which includes an EVGA 560 GTX video card. It was a huge marketing campaign… and that’s about it. You literally start the game playing the game – after the first boss you’ll see what I mean. I cut some bits for time, but you’ll get the whole feel from menus to your first inkling that something’s wrong.

It shoots well, it controls ok – much better then I thought it would. The graphics are high quality, but there’s very little depth. The style is missing shading, variation, rust and dirty bits or bolts… you see a plain metal wall, just like the old days. That is how it seems dated. The game play moves along fairly well, and though I was on the highest difficulty, I didn’t find myself having any issue. There are the same deals with toilets, drinking fountains, various things you can interact with in true Duke Nukem 3D style… but the water when drinking from the fountain was a transparent texture – as opposed to rendered water. It really is a small nitpick, especially considering how bad the rest of the game is.

Don’t get me wrong. It’s fun, but it’s bad. It may be fun to watch Universal Soldier with Jean Claude Van Damme, but it doesn’t make it good.

Alice: Madness Returns:
Amazing visuals, interesting story, enemies, and platform jumping through twisted lands. Everything is rendered quite well and there is so much detail from the plant life, to the spent enemies, the leftover goop, water, and even the moss on the trees. It is all rendered beautifully, and creates an entirely new world, a wonderfully dark and twisted world of flying pig snouts and extra bouncy fungi.

The one thing I can’t really take is the controls. Woop, whip, shim shoom. Alice moves on a dime, and though her clothes shoosh this way and that as she darts in a different direction, it feels anything but fluid and natural.

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