Category Archives: video game webcomic
Buckle up, video game fans: the next few months are going to be rocky. Video games have been making the news lately. Recent violent events have been heating up rhetoric not just with regard to gun control/Second Amendment groups, but with video game fans as well. Just a few hours before I wrote this, Ralph Nader was comparing violent video games to “electronic child molestors.” The appearance of some bloody video-game related memorabilia is probably not going to help the game industry’s case.
The likes of Penny Arcade, CAD, and their ilk are likely going to be rallying out the rhetoric pretty soon, I can guarantee you that. I predict that the coming days will be pretty insufferable. I propose an alternative. Let’s remember a time when games were tied to our childhood imaginations. A … Magical Game Time, if you will.
Earlier this week, I mentioned how Bravoman reminded me of 80′s Saturday morning cartoons. I should have quantified that to mean American cartoons. It’s Shiftylook stablemate, Wonder Momo (written by Erik Ko and Jim Zub and illustrated by Omar Dogan) reminds me of the toons from the era that were viewed by our pals out in Japan.
While it looks modern for the most part, there’s a spot where the illustrations change to mimic the 80′s look. One of our characters sports an audacious Gundam helmet, which she uses in part to protect her impeccably fluffy and oh-so-80′s perm. Elsewhere, bits of the story are reminiscent from the schoolyard rivalry of the classic 80′s anime/parody Project A-Ko. And, finally, while I know this is going to make me sound a little gross, there’s the one thing that I remember being in just about every 80′s Japanese anime I ever watched to the point that it’s a little nostalgic: gratuitous panty shots.
(This just in! I just guaranteed myself 1,000+ search engine hits for this post just by including the words “gratuitous panty shots”.)
This is the part of The Webcomic Overlook where I reminisce nostalgically like an old man. My grandpa had World War II, my dad had his childhood in the Philippines. Me? I have video games.
I remember, way back when, as a bright eyed kid playing in the arcade. I remember playing Pac-Man. I remember playing Space Invaders. And I remember especially playing Frogger, which was the only cartidge I ever owned to play on our Atari 2600. I remember trekking Toys ‘R Us just so I could buy a Ninendo so I could play Super Mario Bros. (That Nintendo was later stolen by burglars who broke into out house in Detroit, but that’s another story.)
I even have fond memories of the Saturday Supercade. That was the Saturday morning cartoon series that featured the animated adventures of Space Ace, Donkey Kong, Donkey Kong Jr., and Frogger. For some reason, though, I can only sorta remember the Q*Bert segments, which, at the time, I though were so very wrong because Q*Bert talked. I also remember the Pac-Man series, back in the day when Atari was still trying to convince us that the dude was had retro Mickey Mouse eyes and a hat.
What I’m trying to say is … I been playing video games for a long, long time.
And I have never heard of friggin’ Bravoman.
Hey, just because you’re writing a video game webcomic doesn’t mean you can’t have style. That’s what Zac Gorman’s Magical Game Time has in spades. It’s like reading video game humor — mostly filtered through a retro 80′s sensibility — and watching the Adventure Time cartoon. It’s also filled with fun animations, which is always cool. Hey, these are video games not … standing still games.
Time to give a brief shout of to Scott DeWitt’s video game webcomic, Fanboys. You’re saying, “What? Didn’t you review this, like, four years ago?” (OK, you’re probably not saying that. Chances are, you haven’t been on this site quite that long.) But now is a good time as any to remind readers that:
- This comic is still going after, what, eight years now?
- The title is no longer some ridiculous mash-up of symbols.
- It has gotten more and more absurd (and has dispensed anything resembling plot), and
- It’s one of the best drawn video game webcomics ever. Seriously, I don’t follow modern video game humor … and neither does Fanboys, by the way. Recent gags have been about Megaman and Nintendo Power. However, I come back again from time to time to chart the ongoing evolution of Mr. DeWitt’s fun cartooning style.
It’s probably a sign that I’m getting increasingly out of touch with the gaming crowd, but I’m not entirely sure what “aggro” means. The last time I heard that term used in the context of games was in Midnight Club 3. If you were driving a truck or a luxury vehicle, you could fill up a meter depending on how many times you ended up rear ending other vehicles. When the meter filled up, you could activate a mode called “Aggro,” which let you plow through heavy traffic without taking any damage at all. It’s especially useful if you needed to both smash through to the finish line and also to scatter crashed cars in an opponent’s their path.
It was, suffice to say, absolutely ridiculous. I mean, how does that mechanic work when translated to real life? The more damage you take, the more you’re likely to plow over other vehicles? It makes a little bit of sense when applied to a human being; the idea is you’re sick and tired of being a victim, so you reach for that last bit of adrenaline rush to lay the smack down on your opponent. But how does that work when you’re driving a car? Does the car suddenly get an adrenaline boost? And how is it all of the sudden invincible? Is the car suddenly equipped with a force field generator?
Anyway, my meager understanding of the term leads me to believe that “aggro” refers to plowing things down with reckless abandon. If that’s true, I a little perplexed by the title of Casey Vasquez and Fei Hsiao’s Life in Aggro, a webcomic about … you guessed it … video games. The comic stand-ins for the two — Bear and Pie — seem to be chill for the most part, and I can’t see either of them getting into a Cadillac Escalade to tear up interstates in the greater Los Angeles area.