Category Archives: Reviews

Cutting Board: Duke Nukem Forever!!

*Note, the views expressed in Cutting Board are those of Jason “Fidel” Carter and do not necessarily reflect those of Otaku Antics as a whole nor its associates. Viewer discretion is advised.

What’s it been, 15 years? Duke Nukem Forever is out for play! And what’s the verdict?! Well, to know that, we have to really look at this game, plus the originals, plus the development history. Duke started off as a wise-cracking dickhead from the late 80’s, early 90’s, and like every guy back then (and nowadays, aside from flaming homosexuals) was obsessed with sex, drugs, tobacco, and violence. This was back in a era where every main character could carry a pistol, machine gun, shot gun, rocket launcher, particle beam, freeze ray, shrink gun, mini gun, and so forth.

He’s baaaaaaack!!

Gamers had grown used to not asking questions like “Where do they keep all the guns?”, “Why are there alien pig cops?”, or even “Why can’t I see Duke’s feet?”. In all honesty, Duke paved the way for the wise-cracking heroes we have nowadays, all overly steroided-out, and with regenerative skills that would make Wolverine jealous. I mean, really, when has any soldier in the Middle East gotten shot, and where they normally yell, “MEDIC!” or “UGH!… *death*”, instead hide behind a wall, breathe for a bit, then go right back into the heat of battle? At least Left 4 Dead keeps you using health packs, and the characters make a shoddy attempt to heal you. But, I digress, Duke paved a path a blood, carnage, wise-cracks and one-liners, most from other movies, and an obsession with sex and female titties.

Then, one day, a game called Half-Life was made, then Remedy, suddenly after seeing it, decided that using the Half-Life engine would make for a great second coming for Duke. Then was announced the wonderful Duke Nukem Forever, which seemed like it would Forever be in development. Year after year we waited on the latest news, every now and then getting a trailer, screen shot, or even just hearing Remedy say, “We are still working on it.” After a while, we all lost interest and just kept it around as a joke, the greatest game that would Forever be made. Be honest, that is where Duke should have remained, in limbo.

A few years later, it finally happened: Remedy was shut down for not making any decent progress in the game or any headway. Gamers around the globe were saddened by the news that the King’s next big game was not only never going to be spoken of again, but would never see the light of day. Then Gearbox, a great developer that worked on the Half-Life expansions back in the day, as well as Borderlands, picked up Duke in order to bring the icon back into the gaming spotlight. I was thrilled not only to see Duke’s return on the Next Gen, but also that a decent developer could bring it to life.

Now for the reason you have been reading this: the review. So, I am going to start off by asking one simple question to everyone out there that has been bad mouthing the game, saying horrible things about it, and talking about how awful it is: “WHAT THE FUCK DID YOU EXPECT!?” I mean, really, people, its Duke fucking Nukem. Of course it’s not going to change the history video games, and much hasn’t changed since Duke Nukem 3D. He is a womanizing, alien-killing, monotoned jerk from the 90’s in a shooter! I mean, come on, people!

First off, the game isn’t THAT bad, but don’t get me wrong, it’s far from thrilling. Duke seems to have kept that massive ego to such a point where he now can hide behind a wall to regenerate him self, but he also regenerates his “ego” which doubles as a heath meter. However, despite how awesome his ego is, he is now downgraded to carrying two guns, like ever other game jerk out there. Look, I am all for two guns – makes more strategy, makes things more interesting – but in a game where the level design was clearly made for multiple weapons, WHY DID YOU JUST GIVE HIM TWO GUNS!?!? And why give him just enough ammo to run out!? I mean, really, we are playing Duke Nukem, not Call of Dime-a-dozen shooter! It doesn’t help that load times on the console are insanely long either… which is true.

Then, there is the ending, which Duke in fact says, “What the hell kind of ending was that?” Look, I get it, it’s a joke on the crappy endings video games give us nowadays. THAT’S NO EXCUSE! I swear, Gearbox, I should come to your studio and bitch-slap you for doing that to us! This kind of goes more into the humor, too. The game did, in fact, make me laugh several times, however, every time I did it was due to a pop culture reference or Duke making fun of other games. At one point, they straight ripped of Gears of War and then Halo back-to-back. It had no humor of it’s own, which, really, I’ve made funnier jokes that everyone could laugh about while I was drunk with friends.

However, with all this said and done, I am still okay with this game. So much, in fact, that I am going to keep it. Why? Because it’s Duke Nukem!

I shouldn’t need to say more.

Seriously, people, what did you expect, a new-age Duke with different humor? Even back then, he was riding the pop culture bus and talking about his dick and having sex with girls. I mean, really, get off your high horse and realize that it’s Duke Nukem. It seems like people can’t get into the right frame of mind before playing games like this anymore. If the game isn’t in your face in the first 20 minutes, you shy away, say it’s stupid and move on. However, no one seems to care about innovation when Call of Duty keeps pumping out new games and charging you 60 bucks for the same game with a few new guns and maybe a new toy here and there.

You know, PC did that a long time ago and charged you 20 bucks for the new stuff: it was called EXPANSIONS!!! They were cheaper and had double the content. Is it for everyone? HELL NO! It’s only for a few people, and it is not without flaws at all. It’s a decent game, with an all right campaign, and a decent amount of content. It isn’t dog poop, so shut up, lest I come to your home while you are sleeping, take a frying pan full of boiling crap, and smack you with it!

So, as nicely as I can say it, STOP WHINING!!!

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Oh, PETA, You So Silly!

Okay, I’ll admit it: in my younger years, I supported PETA. To an extent, I still do…but let me clarify. I support their attempts to end animal cruelty, but I do not at all support how they go about it. Their attempts are oftentimes clumsy and foolish, and make a mockery of the entire cause rather than strides in the right direction.

And their latest shenanigan is no different.

Enter Pokémon Black And Blue: Gotta Free ’em All…A derpily created flash game that attacks the beloved Pokémon video game series for promoting animal cruelty.

Warning: This is not your standard Pokémon game…

You think I’m kidding? YOU CAN CLICK ANYWHERE IN THIS SENTENCE TO SEE THAT I AM NOT!

The game’s lead protagonist is a battered and bloodied Pikachu who has decided that daggone-it he’s had enough of being used by his trainer to battle other Pokémon. In this edition, he must attack his trainer in order to gain his freedom. While he can use attacks like Thundershock and Quick Attack to lower his trainer’s health, attacks like Group Hug and Protest help alter his trainer’s skill point sets to make the battle easier. Meanwhile, the “evil” trainer uses attacks to chain Pikachu up and stab him with nails.

You still think I’m kidding, but I promise I’m not.

The description provided by PETA for the game is as follows:

For generations, Pokemon have suffered at the hands of their cruel trainers. Help PETA free Pikachu and his Pokemon friends as they struggle for Pokemon Liberation.

The amount of time that Pokémon spend stuffed in pokéballs is akin to how elephants are chained up in train carts, waiting to be let out to “perform” in circuses. But the difference between real life and this fictional world full of organized animal fighting is that Pokémon games paint rosy pictures of things that are actually horrible.

If PETA existed in Unova, our motto would be: Pokémon are not ours to use or abuse. They exist for their own reasons. We believe that this is the message that should be sent to children. —Team PETA

Failure to ever hit puberty caused Ash Ketchum to become the greatest virtual animal abuser in all the land! — PETA (not really, but you believed me for a second)

Anyone who has played the actual games knows that Pokémon promotes kindness to all, with the villains often the ones doing the abusing. The protagonist’s mission is always to thwart the villains’ evil plans and restore harmony to all. Some games even feature rewards based on how well you treat your Pokémon, such as new evolutions and greater effects from Items and Attacks.

But I suppose PETA never got past the “Oh my God, there are live (cartoon) creatures captured inside of mythical ball devices! We must protest…hey, we should incorporate protesting in our protesting! What a brilliant idea!”

Even Xzibit is not impressed…

This isn’t the first time PETA has parodied a game market for one of their campaigns. There was Super Tanooki Skin 2D, which theorized that our beloved Mario likes skinning raccoons and wearing their bodies on the weekends. Then came Cooking Mama: Mama Kills Animals, just in time for the Thanksgiving festivities. And who could forget Super Tofu Boy, where Super Meat Boy’s girlfriend dumps him in the name of veganism.

The response to the game–and the others–ranges from hysterics to outrage, and once again PETA has caused all of the environmentally-friendly, animal-loving individuals like myself to hang our heads in shame and wait for the controversy to die down.