Around 1993 or so, my dad finally bought a new computer to replace our family's aging IBM Compatible. While I had played a few computer games on that machine, almost all of them were adventure games like King's Quest, Police Quest and LucasArts titles like The Secret of Monkey Island, Maniac Mansion and Loom. But with this new PC, my dad brought home a game that absolutely rocked my world: Doom II.
While people often point to Wolfenstein 3D or the original Doom as the first major first-person shooter, Doom II made the bigger impact, mostly because it was the first to be sold in stores. It's fair to say I was completely, utterly addicted to it for quite some time. I played a lot of the mods, too, particularly Army of Darkness Doom. Many new FPS titles quickly followed, such as Descent, Star Wars: Dark Forces and, of course, Duke Nukem 3D.
Originally the star of a 1991 side-scrolling platform game and its sequel, Duke hit the big time when developer 3D Realms decided to capitalize on the growing FPS fad by turning him into a buffoonish parody of an action movie hero. Similarly, the game itself referenced anything and everything from 1980s action film culture. Duke's lines were swiped from movies like Terminator 2, They Live and Army of Darkness; levels frequently featured references to movies like Aliens and Predator; and even the "Doomguy" himself appears (rather dead) in a secret area. Oh, and don't forget a healthy dose of strippers, cigars, and beer. Duke was a walking cliche - and then some - but that was part of his appeal. He's Dutch from Predator, Rambo from Rambo III, and the entire cast of Team America rolled into one jeans-bulging package.
And of course, he was tailor-made for toys. I still remember my glee at discovering this figure at my mall's Electronics Boutique, courtesy of ReSaurus (may it rest in peace). This was at a time when videogame-based action figures were still very rare. Quickly followed by several other figures from the game, Duke was the figure that put ReSaurus on the map. Even now, 13 years later, I still own the ReSaurus figure - it was a classic, from a time when you could still walk in a toystore and be surprised at what you found.
I won't go into the story behind the tortured history of next month's Duke Nukem Forever. Suffice to say, while we're excited for the game (the demo for those who pre-ordered the game hit on Friday), I was even more psyched by the news that NECA was giving us an updated, super-articulated action figure of Duke. Is it everything I was hoping for? Read the review!