“What a Mess”
- – Jon st. John as Duke Nukem
So I’ve waited half my life for this game, and yesterday it announced that I started the “final battle”, and then it was done. Now I don’t usually do game reviews, since I only play Doom, Duke Nukem and Assassins Creed, but I’ll make an exception this time. So, did it live up to it’s expectation? No. Was it a good game? It was fair. Did you have fun? Yes, I laughed my ass off, but I’m kind of weak for this kind of humor.
Duke Nukem has a terrible game engine. Just look at the picture above, does the girl turn you on? Does she look sexy? No. I’m looking at a friggin’ poser-model, which is badly lit. Most of the game does that to you. It is there, but it just isn’t. You know what I mean?
It has no open space-levels. No striking sound design. No volumetric audio. No realistic facial expression, No volumetric lighting. No Causting. Mediocre scripted action sequences. And Terrible acting.
But most annoyingly, the graphics are from a different era. We’re just up and about these graphics nowadays:
2004 called, Duke, and they want their engine back.
Still Duke Nukem is fun to play. As promised, you can interact with a lot of elements in the game (although I haven’t found a commander Keen Arcade machine). The game is quite easy to walk through, even in ‘hard’ mode and it’s funny as hell. Walking around with a shotgun, shooting pig-cops and kicking a Cycloid-Terror-Alien (or whatever these bosses are called) in the nuts is fun. Especially with the Duke wisecracking a reference or two. Splattering enemies with a machine gun is fun too, especially when you can go in and rip their heads off.
It’s all nostalgia. I played the Duke3d for nights on end, over an IPX network (and got blasted to bits by Schurem over and over again). I guess that is my main concern; my illegal copy doesn’t allow local-network gameplay. These people aren’t actually thinking that I would pay for this crap? I want a game and a laugh, I’m not here spending money on this out-of-date-bullshit-excuse for a game. It’s nostalgia, dammit; a reminder of the fun I had when I was 15. Besides, I didn’t pay back then either; got my copy straight from the Twilight CD’s. Hell yeah. Back then it allowed for local network play too.
It’s a pity, because I would have had the most fun, presumably, shrinking Schurem and stepping on him (and get blasted to bits again by him after a respawn). Alas, in this day and age I need to login to Steam and register with payed-for credentials. Steam shouldn’t allow games that old on their network anyway. If you are about to bring out a game that is 7 years overdue, you should include an IPX network mod. I’ll dig up some serial cable again and get the computers together. Truth be told, the single player of Duke3d wasn’t that great either.
I’m serious about the price by the way, as Ravage puts it on GameFluke:
Duke Nukem Forever should also not be garnering a full-blown retail price of $60. Instead 2kGames should have opted to release this as a bargain title at at less than 1/2 the price. [...]. Its clear Gearbox Software had one mission when they were brought in: Just finish the damn game even if it sucks.
( italics by XX )
So with this part of my life finished I can look forward to real games. I hear the beta of Battlefield 3 will be available late september …
Posted: June 30th, 2011
, not sexy
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Ha! It’s that time again! I’ve found some time to read up on my comics list and decided to pick a new one that I hadn’t got around yet. Air, by G Willow Wilson and M. K. Perker is one of the newer ongoing series from DC/Virtigo. It now runs for just about a year and half (october 2008). I already got the first trade-paperback handed to me at my local comic shop about a year ago. Back then I decided not to buy it, as I had just bought about 5 or 6 trades already. I promised however to look it up online. Well, that moment arrived last week and I’ve been reading it through over the weekend.
Air is a fun read! But it has a slow start. It mingles Airport-fiction loosely with Terrorist-detective and does an adequate but not brilliant job on it. I must note that it is written by a woman, G Willow Wilson, and it shows. Not in a bad way, mind you.
Her heroine, Blythe, is a stewardess and a very believable, strong woman. The character gets her power from her no-nonsense attitude and her “girl next door” wit, which makes her a very suited protagonist. There is something chick-lit about the whole ordeal, but it is never annoying, better yet it adds to the story.
After the first introduction of the main characters, Zayn, an Interpol Agent, some flight attendees, a couple of bad guys and Blythe, the story takes of. It develops easily into a love story against a background of terrorist threatened airports and airplanes. A lot of the story takes place in Schiphol Airport, which I find funny as I live an easy 2 miles away from there and can actually see it from my window. The dutch which is spoken now and again in the strip is almost right, missing a letter or a noun here and there. Which is often the case when English native speakers try to write our language.
The story after the first couple of issues picks up and enters a new dimension as we find out that our Heroine has some special teleporting abilities called “hyperpracting”, not unlike ‘folding space’ which we know out of the Dune series. Wilson connects this through the Aztec-culture proclaiming that we did not invent symbolism, but that symbolism actually invented us, and spacial relations are nothing more then connected dots (interesting notion, not unlike Plato’s world of forms).
Now the story both deepens and weakens at this point. The central theme of the story; Symbolism as opposed to Euclydian space is interesting but is not worked out nearly enough to strike some ground. The ‘hyperpracting’ is a loose background on which the relationship between Blythe and Zayn is played out. Admittedly the human part of the story is so good that the loose ends in the philosophical part are soon forgotten, but it gets fishy here and there. I think it could do with more support for the paranormal and spiritual claims. The way it’s set up now reads more like new-age-abracadabra.
I did like the winged serpent though.
As it appears there is some ancient technology that allows matter, preferably airplanes, to get from place to place without moving called hyperpracting. Now this technology can only be controlled by ‘gifted’ people, who, more often then not are women. And one of those woman is Amelia Airhart, whom we all know vanished mysteriously when flying as the first women across the Atlantic.
To summarize, the writing is good; it’s not eye-dropping gorgeously good, but is good. Definitely worthy of the DC/Vertigo imprint. The remarks I make here are the only real critiques I have, the story flows fluently (although a bit slow at the beginning) there is always a ‘moar moar moar’-cliffhanger at the end and the supporting characters are believable and well plotted out. There is depth and warmth in this comic, and that is saying a lot.
* end of spoilers *
The art is good. It’s not brilliant. I can’t quite put my finger on it, it’s solidly drawn, high realism with very profound expressions. It reminds me a bit of Matthew Sturges) The color could be a tad more expressive. I get a good sense of movement, intelligently positioned and well set, good perspective. In short; it’s good craftsmanship. Still it is lacking something.
In a comic like this one, with a rather outrages plot; the art could make up an awful lot. There are (many) visions and hallucinations in there, and as an artist that would be a good opportunity to go all-out. Experiment more, try to get into the feeling and emotions of the character, rather then draw page after page like a machine.
On the upside; the expressions work really well, the curves and postures all fit perfectly, the artist never ‘overstretches’ himself trying to do an impossible perspective and I never get the feeling he was missing any deadlines. It’s pretty friggin’ well done. but still…
And that goes for the whole comic then. It’s good. Very good at points, but there is an uncanny feeling that it could have been better. It feels like a spin off from a larger comic series that is really excellent ( Like Jack of the Fables ), but it nowhere looses it’s craftsmanship, and is absolutely a fun read!
So in conclusion, should you buy this comic. Well, yes. I think you should. But if you have just bought five trades already then leave it at the shelve and buy it the next time you come around.
Posted: April 26th, 2010
, G Willow Wilson
, M.K. Perker
, trade paperback
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