A more thoughtful, understated outing that didn't make me want to smash a 2x4 into his face repeatedly. However, I think Jim has the Alanis Morissette definition of irony stuck in his head, as there's nothing ironic about a fat blogger with a whiny British accent dressing up in a trench coat and sunglasses. It's mostly just a sort of sad affectation.
Those last lines really made your point, Mr. Sterling.
So basically any character that tries to be cool has to recognize that he is doing himself a disservice and ultimately appearing uncool?
Big old fat Jim doesn't seem to quite get it that Duke is also funny because the character is played straight, or even understand the inspiration of the character. You're supposed to be reliving the life of the ultimate 80s action star. Why would a bit of self-detriment add to it? It's supposed to be over the top and his world is supposed to be going along with it; he did save it after all.
And why is Jim's suit so over-sized? Did he recently lose a hundred pounds or something?
I thought that episode was better presented, at least he's dropped the crap paint art. Getting there Jim.
I don't agree with him about Duke Nukem, I pretty much think of him as a joke, but then again anyone with ovaries would. I completely agree with him about Sonic however that would make the character work much better.
Not rushing to defend Duke Nukem or anything (as I am *gasp* not a big fan), but just because the irony that is Duke isn't signposted in glowing neon lights doesn't mean it doesn't exist. We are supposed to laugh at the absurdity of the action-hero archetype.
The idea that a character who has built statues to himself and has an autobiography entitled Why I'm So Great is supposed to be taken seriously is absurd, especially in this age of gritty brown realism.
And unfortunately Jim, pointing out the shortcomings in the production of your show does not excuse them, or improve them at all. Get a better mic, and learn to use it. The differences in quality between the VO and non-VO parts of this show are shockingly bad.
Too Cool To Be Cool
What does Duke Nukem and Sonic The Hedgehog have in common? Let Jim Sterling, a literal graduate of the School of Cool (it does exist), explain.
There is, of course, the opposite problem in many cases: situations in which we're beaten with the "drumstick of irony" a little too hard. It gets to a place where we say, "Yeah, we get it, he/she thinks he/she is super awesome, but really they're the laughing stock of the enlightened masses."
There's a balance to be struck. And as with any balance beam, it's possible to fall off either side. Perhaps the folks behind Duke Nukem Forever are working out a better balance than we all think.
Duke isn't meant to be "idolized." He's meant to be a "guilty pleasure." He's all id. He's living out all of the adolescent-boy-power-fantasy garbage that we all used to think would be "so awesome." And on one level, we're supposed to eat it up--blow things up! make wisecracks while blowing things up! get lots of hot girls for blowing things up!
And on another level, I really think the intention is that we see just how ridiculous it really is. Everyone in the game is all about Duke. But we, as the audience, are intended to be part of the "enlightened masses" mentioned earlier. We realize how ridiculous it all is, without having to have a surrogate character in the game telling us to realize it.
In the end, we're not supposed to laugh at Duke as much as we're supposed to laugh at the other people/characters who don't. They're the real butt of the joke here, I think. Is it a great joke? Eh, not really. But I think it's clearly there.
Duke Nukem generally trusts its audience a bit more to find the irony for themselves... and, of course, they don't mind making "boob money" off of the few that don't. Really, though, with all the free boobs (and boob mods for games) to be had on the internet, do we honestly think there are people buying this game solely for the womanizing element?
So basically, yes, you have to make a character like this ridiculous enough that people can't take him seriously (check), but you also can't go the other way and beat your audience in the face with the fact that you're not being serious by going too far over the top. (Finding that balance, in fact, is the main thing that is slowly and gradually improving your own videos. Keep dialing that in by not trying so hard.)
Sonic thing is absolutely spot on. As it is, Sonic is a parody of himself, but in a way that we laugh "at" him rather than with him. What he needs is to have more of that Dante flair, where he considers himself a parody or those around him consider this.
With Duke, it seems like some guys here missed the point. It isn't that we take him too seriously, it's that the games world does. It's trying to be a comedy but then tries to make Duke out as a serious badass at the same time. And while that worked once upon a time, not so much now. Exact same thing that happened to Sonic.
The humour they represented has either changed completely or just stopped being funny. Both characters are stuck with humour that this society doesn't fully care about anymore.
But, you have to be careful not to go too far. Which is also a possibility. It's more or less finding the right mix. Btw, love to see a weekly write up on a subject too from Jim. Maybe one that comes out after the video that lets Jim go into more detail about the subject.
Funny side note: The way Jim portrays this show is satire, not to be taken seriously in that sense like others have said they don't with Duke. But with a topic starter and point mixed in with that form of satire to portray it.
Yet they end up taking this super cereal :D
The differences in quality between the VO and non-VO parts of this show are shockingly bad.
Yeah it's like Eastenders and NCIS are having a rap battle. Need to sort the sound out in the video parts :<
2:00 in - A subtle dig, sir!
I get the sonic part, but Duke isn't supposed to be idolized. He's more of a satirical anti hero than a heroic role model.
Duke Nukem is an egocentrical, over the top, womanizing badass. However, this is in an ironic sense, the most ironic sense it can be, as he is basically every 90's action star combined into one single one liner spewing being. You are right about the fact that you're supposed to laugh when he makes the jokes, but it's not because they're supposed to be funny: it's because they're ridiculous, and you think "What moron would actually say that!?", and whether we like to admit it or not, morons are funny.
This is only hightened by the fact that everything in the game has some type of innuendo to it that could only be written by someone with the maturity level of Beavis and Butthead, such as a town called "Morningwood" or a chinese resturaunt called "Noodle King" with the slogan "Until you've slurped the king's noodle, you haven't tasted anything!"
It's all funny because it thinks it's funny when it isn't, and that's what the developers intended it to be.
Now, the Sonic thing really is a good idea. A Sonic game where he thinks he's the best when nobody else does would really bring the character some new meaning.
Jim had a bad main point and an excellent side point. I haven't met a man or boy who takes Duke Nukem seriously. Yes, he's a hero in his own world, but it's not our world. It's in the same spirit as no-one going "WTF ARE THOSE" in the pokemon world.
However, the side point that sonic needs to be fun again is very true. Don't give him a gun or make him a
werehog Hogwolf again...
Slightly better this week all in all. Jim hit out at critic and swapped out his glasses for a cooler set, which weirdly wins him more points that what he had to say this week. Did he really have to labour the meta point though? It doesn't really work as irony if you point out being an arse is your character to the point were you become an arse...anyway, what happened to hated pretentiousness all the way back in last week?
Every monday I think to myself "I'm done with this dude" and every monday the toppic I see in the video makes me go "oh no you didn't... again... stupid mother frapper"
You have failed in every video so far.
-You have failed to make yourself funny: I know you're joking when you praise yourself, it's still not funny, it's very, very annoying. Sotp it. It makes me wanna kick you in the teeth.
-You have failed in DNF: Duke is not Sam or Dante, nor he's to be taken serious, and yet he's funny in his own way, unlike you.
-You have failed in Sonic: you weren't even close to where the problems in the game are.
Here's what I think of you: a fat bastard who starts every episode praising himself and choosing every toppic just to piss off people is just a troll.
And don't come again to me with "don't indiscriminately pick on fat people", I know what's like to be fat, that doesn't make him more appealing or intelligent.
Jim, I will watch as long as it takes until you finally turn about and tear open that huge wrapped present behind you. Don't wait too long, however, there could be a pony in there! And that would be bad. I'll keep watching, keep them coming.
Duke is a personification of the absurdities of super-masculine macho men. He's meant to be a satire, a good satire, too. One that's hard to tell if it's satire or not; quite unlike the Jimquisition where his satire on the self-indulgent arrogant game critic is so blatantly obvious it falls short of being funny and is just watchable, if not amusing.
I like that you're bringing arguments to the table that most critics haven't touched yet, or have touched very little and/or mishandled, but it seems that you don't have much of an understanding of what Duke Nukem makes fun of: The meat headed, sexist, guns-a-blazin' macho man who uses women as objects of lust and collects them as a sign of dominance. The fact that he's taken seriously in his universe amplifies the stereotype of a male dominated society and just makes everything seem more ridiculous.
But other than that, decent show. It's aging finely, barring a few missteps.
Now that you saiy it Jim, Im starting to notice.
Great episode as always.
Thank god for the Jimquisition!!
You brighten my mornings, Jim, keep at it.
I think this show would be better of if Jim would try to be less "ironic"
Christ, the bit at 1:57 made me snort out my drink. That was honestly one of the funniest responses you could give to the people on here.
Jim, I hope you read this you pretentious fuck. You are not funny, you are not entertaining, you are a bigger hippie than MovieBob, and because of your pretentious-ness you have failed to be even bearable to watch yet again.
Then dont watch and go away...Or would that be too simple?
The Escapist makes money via the publishers club and adverts. The level of publisher club members and adverts is directly linked to the number of people who view the site. If there's a video not "pulling its weight" then its in the Escapist best interests to be told of this. Of course not watching would have a similar effect but by posting it gives some indication of where a particular went wrong and The Escapist can use these feedback when deciding what new videos to put on its site.
So, erm, how is that relevant when the guy telling him to stfu and go away was doing so because the only thing the original poster said in the way of criticism was, and I quote "Jim, I hope you read this you pretentious fuck. You are not funny, you are not entertaining, you are a bigger hippie than MovieBob, and because of your pretentious-ness you have failed to be even bearable to watch yet again."
I don't even think that counts as criticism. That is not feedback. That is flaming.
I dunno Jim, in a world of Marcus Fenix's, Master Chief's, Nathan Drake's and god knows how many other overly worshiped 'badasses' I think someone like Duke really isn't all that harmful.
As for the 'ironic' approach for Sonic, I dunno how to feel about that. I think maybe this whole 'coolness' thing is something not worth taking so seriously. Taking your commentary seriously, this is the response I have.
Taking it as satire... Well for this episode at least, that's a tad bit difficult for me.
Still entertaining vidya nonetheless.
EDIT: Also, I think I know the 'perfect' way to describe my appreciation for a character like Duke and it's because the whole thing is so damn campy. Duke doesn't have to be a total dumbass and he doesn't need to be ridiculed, because he's so cheesy it's amusing.
Just because there's no one in the game to call him out on his behavior doesn't mean he's a bad character. We KNOW Duke Nukem's a total dick/asshole but again, in a world of 'gold hearted' badasses, it's nice to occasionally see a parody/total opposite to make us appreciate them.
In my opinion it's the most original and insightful episode of his yet. Once again the best parts are when he is talking over gameplay (those were really good) and the worst are when he's talking in front of the camera (those were meh). The talking in front of the camera parts have improved since the start (and reduced too) but I still don't like it as much as when he talks over gameplay.
It's probably because he brings up serious points when during those parts and just tries (sometimes too hard) to be funny in front of the camera. If the Jimquisition sticked to the serious parts then it would be an excellent series.
I do agree with the point about Sonic, putting an Austin Powers-esque kind of spin on him would make him a far better character... even a die-hard Sonic fan like me can't help but cringe at some of the dialogue he comes out with.
But, I have to say I'm pretty tired of these videos. After seeing what Jim is like in a column, I really am wondering why he hasn't been given one. His humour really isn't well timed or well delivered. I'm just saying, there's a lot of potential being wasted here.
Jim fails at funny again.
A man like JIM is not here to entertain YOU, you egostical, blasphemous brat!
Duke is Duke leave it at that.
However Sonic stuff was right on the money.
Pretty good episode, but maybe your claim that you are a parody in these videos would work a bit better if you didn't have the exact same attitude in your written articles on Destructoid.
I like how this episode made a point, some of the other episodes were over-saturated in sarcasm to the underlying message was completely drowned-out. The series is definitely finding its voice.
You're right. I've been selfish. I should take my JimQuil with a spoonful of sugar and like it!
(Made in good fun as I know you were being facetious as well)
Good show. Really enjoyed your take on the Duke, but I've always thought it was more self aware than you give it credit for. Maybe like we're seeing the world through the Duke's eyes, where he is the big macho man awesomest guy ever. Maybe if we saw it from a different perspective it'd be completely different, but since we're playing as Duke everything is colored by his perspective.
He just pwned all of his haters without half of them even knowing it.
He just pwned all of his haters without half of them even knowing it.
And that's why this is the best video series on the Escapist.
Great as always Jim. Ignore the haters, they're just angry because you say sensible things.
Well he finally explained to some of the slower member of the escapist that he is a persona, cant belive the number of people who thought it was genuine.
Your ideas for sonic sound great... but i don't think Duke is as similar to the hedgehog as you say. I assumed that Duke's games were satire. Everyone IN the games love him, he's stereotypically handsome and macho, and he kicks alien butt. But he objectifies women, he's got a huge ego and he's rude. But it's all in satire. We love him too because we're in on the joke. He's like the Companion Cube from Portal!
Well, my dear Jim, as I am sure you already know.
Thank god, for you.
Totally agree, we need a life in the shitter sonic.
Can somebody explain whats with the black lines on the background?
I think it has to do with something from "V for vendetta".
Still not really funny. Still interesting.