Stolen Pixels #133: I Need a Hero!

By Shamus
on Oct 13, 2009
Filed under:
Column

Here is a funny look at how your character design will (not) affect the NPC’s.

I’ve noticed an interesting pattern, in that readers start to get a little restless on about the fifth comic in a series. Usually when I hit #5 I’ll get a comment “yeah, yeah, I don’t care about this game, please move on”. The longer I push it, the more of these I get. I can say Champions Online will go for at least one more comic. (It’s already written.) But I’m not sure beyond that. I can’t very well do games I’m not playing, and Champs is more or less the only thing I’m doing these days.

Things are about to get very, very crazy. Brutal Legend, Left 4 Dead 2, and Borderlands. Plus the games I’m already missing: The new Batman, and the Firefly-powered ODST. I could quit my day job and I still wouldn’t be able to keep up with this.

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20626 comments. Hurry up and add yours before it becomes passé.

From the Archives:

  1. kik says:

    Frost post!
    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/2/2c/Emma_Frost_in_current_costume.jpg

    Also, it’s my first post on this blog.
    I love this series, even though I don’t play the game.
    If You like, make another x comics in this series, where x is ridicously high number.

  2. Brian says:

    Man, kik, speaking of superhero costumes that’ll have an effect on people…

    Anyway, maybe it’s a sign of your versatility, Shamus! People expect jokes about a wide range of games, and so if you linger too long, they’ll think you’ve gone “stale” or are a “fanboy” of a game. It’s nonsense, but hey, it’s the internet.

  3. Phase says:

    Left 4 Dead 2 will be awesome.

  4. Joshua says:

    You can’t please everybody, so you might as well please yourself. I enjoyed all of the Left 4 Dead strips, even though I have no interest in ever playing L4D. Heck, I adored the entire run of Concerned and I never made it past about the third room in Half Life. In fact, if I were to make a rule of thumb it’s that strips about games don’t actually start to get funny until the obvious jokes are exhausted and that doesn’t happen until they’re at least five strips in. Until then it’s humor based on simple recognition. The more interesting stuff comes after you’ve actually had time to establish things like character and recurring situations.

  5. Rutskarn says:

    I’m interested to see how Left 4 Dead 2 plays. Supposedly, my pre-order will give me some sort of fancy-pants early demo access, but I don’t know what that actually means. I could get it fifteen minutes early or a full couple weeks early, depending.

  6. Rosseloh says:

    Don’t forget Assassin’s Creed 2 (Nov 17th), and the Mirkwood expansion (Dec 1st) if you happen to play Lord of the Rings online (I don’t think this is you, Shamus, but I’m sure someone else who comments does).

    As it stands for the comic, I like the long series’. Left4Dumb was the best SPs I’ve read. The naysayers need to realize that this isn’t the only thing you do in life…heh.

    P.S. anyone else pissed off that Brutal Legend isn’t coming for PC? I can’t afford a newer console….

  7. Osvaldo Mandias says:

    I like series. Sorry.

  8. Telas says:

    Sadly, this is one effect that shows up in tabletop gaming occasionally…

  9. Ergonomic Cat says:

    Don’t forget Dragon Age.

  10. chabuhi says:

    I played the Brutal Legend demo on 360 expecting to hate it. Now I’m actually itching to buy the full version. Hopefully it won’t be an endless repeat of the demo!

  11. Avatar says:

    I picked up Brutal Legend at midnight last night (ironically, while searching for a copy of Demon’s Souls!) It’s as metal as advertised.

  12. Jazmeister says:

    I don’t play or have any real interest in Champs, but the comics are funny nonetheless. Fight the power!

  13. omicron says:

    Don’t forget Risen!

  14. Deoxy says:

    Things are about to get very, very crazy. Brutal Legend, Left 4 Dead 2, and Borderlands. Plus the games I’m already missing: The new Batman, and the Firefly-powered ODST. I could quit my day job and I still wouldn’t be able to keep up with this.

    Heh – rough life, eh? I wish I could find time to play HALF the stuff you do. But do keep it up – your comments and comics provide a good Cliff Notes for those of us who would like to, you know, actually play once in a while.

    Sigh.

  15. Miral says:

    @Rosseloh (#6):
    Actually, last I heard AC2 was being delayed until Q1 2010… :(

    And yes, I’m pissed that Brütal Legend isn’t coming out on PC.

  16. WILL says:

    Forget ODST, just watch the cutscenes with Nathan Fillion and what’s-her-face. There, done.

    Get Uncharted 2 instead.

    EDIT: Oh and Risen, too.

  17. toasty says:

    You know, I don’t really care how long you spend on one particular game; I don’t think I’ve played any of the games (except Half-Life 2) that you’ve made fun of anyways. *blinks* yep, I’m right. Of course its kinda hard to make fun of DotA (which isn’t really even a game totally), Civ4, Medieval Total War II or most RTS games… and I haven’t played any of the recent RPGs (are there any recent RPGs?).

    Also: this one didn’t seem so funny to me as much as it just rang true. It’s one of those, “yes, humorous, but true” things. Still, I enjoyed it. :)

  18. RPharazon says:

    @16, Will:

    Then you miss out on the IWBYD skull comments during gameplay! There’s a LOT of Firefly references that pop up.

    Also, constantly tap to the left with the left analog stick during the credit cutscene (after the credits). There’s a great easter egg with Nathan Fillion’s character.

  19. Dys says:

    I really wish people would stop talking about Brutal Legend.
    The one game I was really looking forward to this year and it turns out bloody Shafer won’t let me play it.
    Stupid consoles -.-

  20. TSED says:

    A couple of lines are particularly scarring.

    When aliens are all “You puny HUMANS can’t stop us!” and you’re all “… I’m a robot/trans-dimensional travelling alien/ alien myself / primordial nature spirit / etc.” you really choke a bit on the game. That’s not really too too bad, though.

    The Canadian cyborg-raptors are probably my favourite part of the game now, though. Frig yeah, cyberraptor!

  21. MichaelG says:

    You have a day job??

    I suppose you are going to tell us you have a life too.

    Not possible! There are only 24 hours in a day….

  22. Ericc says:

    Not to mention that if you quit your day job, you couldn’t afford the games anyways (unless your wife is loaded…in which case, why are you working again?).

  23. Rosseloh says:

    @Miral (#15): I hadn’t heard that. Damn; I was looking forward to that game. Oh well, I suppose if it is delayed I won’t have another game encroaching upon my LotRO time…

  24. BlckDv says:

    Yeah; the NPC dialogue seems to have an oddly high degree of relegating the player to being a human, especially given that several powersets use clearly inhuman types as the examples.

    So far the most amusing to me is the Bigfoot in Downtown who always greets you with ‘Forgive me if I stare, in my world humans are near mythical beasts.’ Which makes me wish I could respond ‘Well, I understand the stare, I am a six foot tall blue skinned bat demon with metallic spikes instead of hair… but what does that have to do with humans being mythic?’

  25. vede says:

    Woo!

    You’re looking forward to a game which I am looking forward to as well!

    It’ll be nice to read about a game that I actually plan to play, instead of being entertained by your eloquent denouncement of games I don’t care about.

    I’ve been waiting for Borderlands since… Actually, I think it’s been since I even got into video games. Just a few years ago.

    I’m so young…

  26. houser2112 says:

    re: Borderlands:
    Caveat Emptor: http://gbxforums.gearboxsoftware.com/showthread.php?t=71580

    I’ll direct your attention to the bottom of pg 15 for the pertinent entry in the thread.

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