Duck Dodgers Preview

Infogrames has done plenty of other games based on its Looney Tunes license, so it makes sense that the company is making a game based on the extremely popular cartoon series Duck Dodgers in the 24th and a Half Century.

Developed by Paradigm Entertainment for the N64, Duck Dodgers has you take control of Daffy Duck in the role of the bumbling, space-faring, wisecracking hero as he attempts to stop Marvin the Martian from taking control of Earth. Marvin has built a huge doomsday device, and he needs atom particles to power it. In response, the Agency has sent its best agent, Duck Dodgers, to explore five different planets and gather the precious atoms before Marvin has a chance to.

The gameplay is very similar in look and style to Infogrames' Bugs Bunny: Lost in Time. You'll be able to move Dodgers around in a 3D environment and interact with objects. You can fight enemies by kicking them, break objects by bouncing on them, and jump chasms with a double-tab jump. Additionally, you'll run into plenty of ACME gadgets that will let you perform special actions. Rocket-packs will shoot you across huge canyons, mine carts will carry you over tracks, and huge buttons labeled "DO NOT PUSH" will need to be pushed.

To keep things interesting, many of the levels will contain puzzles and minigames that you must solve before you are awarded your energy atom. Some of the minigames we found were simple versions of basketball or boxing or even a fast-paced version of Pong. Also, at some point, the gameplay changes from a 3D platformer to a first-person shooter. You'll be armed with your disintegrator pistol, and you'll have to shoot Marvin's egg-like bad guys as you make your way through Marvin's lair.

The graphics are simple but fairly effective. Dodgers and all the other Looney Tunes characters are recognizable, and some effects, like reflections off polished floors, look very good. Each of the levels is colored appropriately to reflect the current planet, and the connecting levels are small to prevent pop-up. The camera work needs a good bit of tweaking, as the camera often points in the wrong direction or at a wall. One of the nicer features is a first-person view - where the game turns into a letterbox, and you can look around your environment.

Like many of Infogrames' Looney Tunes games, Duck Dodgers uses plenty of speech. Dodgers himself is full of the quips and remarks that make the cartoon so funny, and all the other characters use trademark sayings.

Duck Dodgers fans will be able to take control of the green-clad space avenger when the game hits the N64 this June.

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