LGR – MDK – DOS PC Game Review

[LGR Theme] [fizz, sip] Aahhh! I love weird games. Weird games are weird. Why aren’t there more weird games, anyways? You can do anything imaginable in a game, in theory, so why don’t more developers just run with it? Money probably has something to do with it, but in the ’80s and ’90s there was a lot more leeway
to make really strange games, since they were less advanced and they
required smaller teams to make them. Shiny Entertainment is one of the
exemplary groups that made quirky games. They’re the guys that made Earthworm Jim, Wild 9, Messiah and Sacrifice, in case you were wondering. All of their games have unique humor
and a bit of an unearthly charm, and honestly, I think MDK takes the cake in this regard. I recently played MDK for the first time and was completely blown away with how great it is. This is easily one of the most absurdly
weird games that I have ever played and it is awesome all the way. MDK has a story, but don’t expect it to make sense or be… extremely important at all. It’s completely ridiculous anyways,
but I’ll try to make it digestible really quick. You play as Kurt Hectic, the janitor for a brilliant scientist, Dr. Fluke Hawkins. After being exiled to a ship orbiting Earth, Dr. Hawkins starts work on his strange experiments. Suddenly, the planet is attacked by aliens with giant mining ships as big as cities, and you and the doctor,
along with his six-armed robot dog Max, are left to save the planet. Millions of people are dying every minute, so you quickly slip on the tight-fitting coil suit and make the leap to the first of the floating city-ships. You start each level with a skydive directly towards the giant ship you’re about to enter, collecting power-ups and dodging bullets and radar scans along the way. The game starts off in a sort of tutorial level where you learn your suit’s various abilities. Other than making Kurt look a bit androgynous, the coil suit has several awesome key abilities. The first is the arm-mounted automatic machine gun, which can be loaded with varying types of ammo. You also have a parachute of sorts, which springs out of your back
and helps you reach new areas and glide from high falls. Quite revolutionary for the time is the sniper mode, which is what your pyramid head is for. This is the first real sniper rifle I can think of in a game where you actually zoom way in
on anything from across a map and it can still see things with full detail and no clipping. At first, MDK looks and plays sort
of like a third-person Doom game. And in a way, that’s pretty much it most of the time. You strafe left and right. There’s no real need to aim up or down. You’re just constantly blowing away
lots of enemies on various planes. Just point and shoot. But what sets this apart as far as gameplay is simply how awesome it all feels. I mean, Doom is awesome, but this is just… It’s just a solid, balanced all-around game and you just don’t ever feel like you’re getting killed by cheap shots or level bugs. The levels themselves are completely rad as well. And, man, there is no shortage of strange on display. I can’t help but just love it all. The atmosphere is just dark, cyberpunk sweetness. There are quite a few platforming sections as well, and I normally hate these in shooters, but since this is a well-handling third-person shooter, this goes quite smoothly and
adds a whole new dimension to an already great game. I never got annoyed at these sections,
and actually quite welcomed them. The graphics look pretty darn good for 1997, especially when played in Direct3D, or 3dfx Glide mode on PC. The PlayStation version looks good, too. Maybe a little more polygonal, but it kind of adds to the strangeness. The sound effects are good enough. They’re actually pretty plain. But the music and the ambience all
around the different level sections are completely top-notch and perfectly suited to the game’s otherworldly nonsensical feel. Unfortunately, there’s only six levels, but each of them are quite
large with different areas in it, and usually take about 45 minutes to complete. They really are huge, and there is
no loading in between sections, thanks to innovative areas in between. Many times, they’re just
winding hallways to walk through, but often you’ll have a mini-game of sorts, like surfing or sliding down a very steep pipeline. And all of the levels are chock-full of awkward and often completely hilarious moments and strange objects. You really just have to play the game
to see what I’m talking about here, but if you know anything about Shiny, you know their humor is just classic and a little bit off. [monkey screeching] I especially love the World’s Most Interesting Bomb and The Land of Mirrors. There’s so many, many more
amazing locations and events, but I’m not gonna spoil them for you. Each floating city does have a boss at the end. and these freaks are some of the most
unique ones that I have ever seen in a game. The only real complaint I have about the game is that the controls can be a little inconsistent at times, leading to some awkward moments. For instance, I usually use the
WASD setup for moving and strafing, and the in-between level flight sections use
other keys completely to move back and forth. So it ends up feeling like a Sinclair Spectrum game where you have keys on each side
of the keyboard to do different things. It’s nothing horrible, it’s just a bit disconcerting. And the game is incredibly short. I played through my first time in one sitting, at about five hours. But it’s just so consistently different and fun that I can’t help but wholeheartedly
recommend this game. As quick as it’s over, MDK is very, very
much worth getting and playing through. I first got it at the Good Old Games
website for just a few dollars. This lets you play the game on any Windows PC. The physical copy is a bit harder to find, and although it sold decently, it is somewhat of a collectible
now due to its cult status, so finding a box will be a bit challenging. There is a PlayStation version which
is a lot easier to find if you want. But anyway you can get the game, it is far worth it, I say. MDK is one of the most refreshingly
different games that I have played in years. And if you like completely absurd action-shooters, you really can’t get to playing this game fast enough.