Category: Gaming Rants

Just to paint you a little picture:  I was 10 years old in 1997, the year George Broussard and 3D Realms announced Duke Nukem Forever after the success they had with Duke Nukem 3D, one of the pioneers of PC first-person shooters.  Well, it’s 2010, I’m 23 now, and Duke Nukem Forever hasn’t come out yet.  Believe it or not, this game has been in development for nearly 14 years.  The fact that the title was never really canceled all these years has made it a farce in the gaming community, with jokes such as “this will happen the day Duke Nukem Forever comes out” (or other words, never).  Problems such as scrapping months of work in favor of updating the game’s engine and legal battles have only made things worse for those fans who have been waiting over a decade for this thing.

Just when everyone thought the game had finally been put to rest after 13 years of failed development, news surfaced today that Gearbox, the developers behind the popular game Borderlands, owned the IP (intellectual property) now and were finishing this game after 3D Realms had folded.  At this year’s Penny Arcade Expo (PAX), a playable demo was on display on the showfloor.

I wrote this up because I want you guys to realize what a big deal this is, so much that today it has been at the top of the trending list on Twitter.  This is a game that NO ONE thought would ever be released.  The scheduled release date (once a humorous “when it’s done”) is now set for 2011.  Some gamers, understandably, still hold a certain amount of skepticism that this will happen at all.

If it does, this is what we have to look forward to:

"And Duke Nukem Forever was released ... and the rivers turned to blood and the sky became like fire, as The Horsemen began to ride."

Remember to leave your comments in the section below and share!

~My Two Cents


Let’s Play – The Good Old Days in a New Era

"It'll happen to you too, sonny!"

You never think about this until you get to that point, but it’s hard to talk about the past without relying on phrases such as “back in the day” or “in the good old days” or “when I was kid” because you immediately feel ancient.  At least it is for me.  So sit down, kiddies, because Old Man Specialist is about to tell a story.  A story about videogames (after the jump but before I begin snoozing). Continue reading

Welcome to a new edition of 5 Games I’ve Beat.  Today, we’ll take a look at 5 games I’ve beat from the Donkey Kong series.  I’m actually a little hesitant to call it his series, since in two of the games being showcased you don’t even play as DK, but you fight him!  And you gotta rescue him in the other two!  But anyway, they all featured him in some way.

Donkey Kong as he appeared before Donkey Kong Country

The original Donkey Kong was an immensely popular arcade game in the ’80s.  You were actually a carpenter known as Jumpman (who would switch careers to plumbing and be later known as Mario).  Donkey Kong abducted Jumpman’s girlfriend Pauline, and the man in overalls would climb up 100 meters of construction zones to rescue her.  Mario went on to become a hero of the Mushroom Kingdom and an international star, but what about his rival?  Hit the jump to see the games that feature the stupid primate and his shenanigans (because, according to his creator, Shigeru Miyamoto, he was going for that meaning when he came up with “Donkey Kong”): Continue reading

5 Games I’ve Beat – Zelda Edition

Welcome to a new edition of 5 Games I’ve Beat, this time tackling another beloved Nintendo franchise: The Legend of Zelda.  Yes, I could still go on about Mario games, but whereas Mario symbolizes how fun games can and should be, Zelda emphasizes how epic a videogame experience can and should be.  I can’t find another word to describe it.  The moment you start a game you know you are in for a great adventure in a wondrous fantasy world with diverse creatures and a menacing evil that looms over your quest.  This ain’t just about saving the princess.  It’s about saving the world (does that more or less sound like a Heroes sound tag?)!

Zelda I Link

Link in the original The Legend of Zelda

For the uninitiated, The Legend of Zelda is about a boy in green with a sword and a shield, who must gather items and clear dungeons in order to open up the path to the final boss.  That’s oversimplifying the whole thing, but it pretty much sums it up.  The very first Zelda and all its sequels are unique in that the games are not divided by stages, but rather it’s one huge overworld, with all the dungeons hidden in the landscape.  You must find their entrances.  Once there, generally you gotta solve field puzzles to progress.  You hack and slash the enemies that oppose you with a variety of weapons.

Now to be honest, I’ve never been able to finish the first two NES Zelda games.  I don’t know if they are harder than the rest in the series or I just stink at this.  I know I haven’t spent as much time with them as with the other games.  I did manage to finish 5 so far, so without further ado (well, you gotta hit the jump first): Continue reading

5 Games I’ve Beat – RPG Edition

Welcome to this week’s edition of “5 Games I’ve Beat,” where after one edition I’ve already run out of franchise-based or character-based entries because I stink at videogames!  Instead we are going to look at at a particular genre, it being RPGs.

For the uninitiated, RPG stands for Role-Playing Game.  To put it simply, an RPG puts you in control of a character or a team of characters, each with their own personality, backstory, attributes, and abilities, in order to overcome some powerful evil.  Often, you must crawl through dungeons and investigate towns in order to advance the plot.  Unlike other genres, the game is not structured by stages or levels, but rather it pits you in a large world, where you may explore each area as you please (often only some of these areas are accessible at the beginning, but more open up as you progress).

Perhaps the more defining characteristics of RPGs are the battle mechanics.  As you begin, each character begins weak or at the lowest level, but as you fight and defeat your foes, you earn experience points.  Enough points let you increase your level, allowing you sometimes to learn new techniques or abilities or even magical attacks.  The fighting is turn-based, meaning that you select what you want your characters to do first and then watch as they are played out in battle.  On the one hand, it’s great to have all the time in the world to make up your mind or assess the situation, but it might be weird to not be directly involved with what’s going on as you would in a platformer like, say, Super Mario Bros.

Because of the nature of RPGs, they are more conducive to tell stories that sometimes put novels or TV shows to shame.  But this introduction is already going pretty long, so hit the jump to look at 5 RGP games that I have beaten (did I mention that they are usually pretty long games): Continue reading

Apple enters the console war (spoof)

I get my Nintendo news from several sources, but one of my favorite sites is the aptly named  In a story about an IGN’s Matt Casamassina accepting a position with Apple, the readers in the comments section joked about the possibility of Apple directly competing with Nintendo in the console market.  One post particularly grabbed my attention, which I will now reproduce here.

I’ll be the first one to admit that I like the iMac.  I used to use one at work for simple video editing, and it was the best thing ever.  And if the things weren’t terribly overpriced, I might have just gotten one for myself.  Having said that, what would Apple’s console be like?


Continue reading

So after a long hiatus, the Two-Bit Specialist is back now in the outset of summer.  I’m hoping now that I can post a little more frequently now.

As many of you may know, my library of games is rather large, going upwards of 200 games by now.  Mainly for my own benefit, I decided to chronicle that games that I have finished (the requirements for completion will change from game to game, but usually beating the final boss and getting 100% is necessary).  I hope you guys get a kick out of it.  I’ll go through 5 at a time, as that way it won’t seem so overwhelming and it will give me a chance to go a little bit into detail about each game.

To start things off, what better than 5 games about a mustached Italian plumber who is almost synonymous with video-games?  Hit the jump to see 5 games in the Mario series that I have beat: Continue reading

Aria di Mezzo Carattere

The 1990’s was a good year for videogames, during the fabled “16-bit era,” when the Super Nintendo and the Sega Genesis competed for domination of the market.

In those days, some of the best RPG’s (role-playing games) came on the scene, though they were not as popular as they have become in recent years.  Nevertheless, gamers of that decade have fond memories of some of the most excellent games ever produced.  One such example is Final Fantasay VI (originally Final Fantasy III when it came out, before it was re-numbered).

Like other RPGs of the day, Final Fantasay VI is a huge game, spanning several hours of dungeons, leveling up, turn-based battling, and a epic storytelling that would put some novels to shame.  It is the story-telling portion of the game that I want to focus on in this entry.  There are 14 main characters (kinda like an ensemble cast), each one with his or her own subplot that plays out throughout the course of the game.

Just to give you a quick idea of the measure of this game, I’m about to describe what is known as the “Opera Scene.”  Not wanting to inundate you with a lot of unnecessary backstory, I’m going to provide some quick context and then describe this plot, which is a rather small portion of the over-arching story:


In order to invade the evil tyrannical empire Ghestal, the group of heroes needs a flying ship.  They come across an opera house, and the opening day for “Draco & Maria” is approaching.  But the lead female singer has received a note from an admirer, a pirate named Setzer, who has threatened to kidnap her during the function.  In order to protect Maria but also to contact Setzer, whose flying ship will prove useful to invade Ghestal, the group volunteers Celes, who has an uncanny resemblance to the singer, to take her place in the opera.  Celes reluctantly agrees, and halfway through the show, Setzer appears and kidnaps her, while her friends stow away aboard the flying ship.

Setzer is not fooled and sees through the ruse, but eventually agrees to help the heroes.  In a memorable line, Setzer, who is a gambler, throws a coin at their feet and says, “My life is a chip in your pile.  Ante up!”


That’s the basic premise.  Now, I am of the persuasion that this plan would’ve failed if it wasn’t for one thing:  Celes’ feelings for one of the main characters, Locke.  Locke rescues Celes when she was about to be executed.  She was a former general for the Ghestal empire, but she betrays her orders and became an enemy of the empire.  She is not a sweet, sappy girl, yet she was thrown into a plan that required her to bear her heart out.  “Draco & Maria” has a song titled “Aria di Mezzo Carattere” (or Air of Half Character, translated from Italian).  The character Maria expresses her sorrow at the thought of having to marry a man she is not in love with, especially when she is in love with someone else.  So for Celes to be sufficiently convincing to her audience for this kind of emotional moment, I believe she had to tap into her personal feelings for Locke, who saved her from certain death.

The song itself is a great composition.  After this point in the story, a rearrangement of Aria di Mezzo Carattere, simply known as Celes’ Theme, plays when Celes is the main focus of the plot, especially during the latter part of the game.

Now, keep in mind that I’m talking about a 13-year-old game for a very old console.  I think that’s rather amazing.