"A video game comic and blog that would have been awesome and relevant 10 years ago. Maybe." -Famous Website
This week's comic is based on the ever famous Tactical Espionage Action game franchise Metal Gear Solid. This series is definitely a must-try if you're a gamer, even if you're not into espionage or shooting games. Like the ninja game Tenchu from last week's comic, Metal Gear solid isn't really about battling, but is more about surviving the path from point A to point B tactfully, often with little gameplay surprises mixed in. Some might think that the series is a typical game about a soldier with a gun who goes around killing other soldiers, but there're so many more elements to it, some bordering the supernatural.
I've only experienced the first and some of the second game, but I've always thought the third and fourth installments of the main series were very interesting. Having tight controls, an artistic cinematic style, amazing voice acting, a variety of play mechanics, and an engrossing narrative makes the first Metal Gear Solid an amazing game, especially for the time of its release back in 1998. I know I'm sounding really clichéd, but evaluating the game as unbiased as I can, I only have great things to say. Part 2 seems almost just as interesting except for the fact that you're made to play a "pretty boy" new character for most of the game after fans have gotten accustomed to playing such a cool main character in the first and the beginning of the second game. Like I've said, I've never had a chance to experience the third and fourth installments, but the trailers I've seen always looked "epic" and interesting!
-Anyway, the idea of the comic is VERY loosely based on an element of strangeness that is revealed in the second Metal Gear Solid involving the main character's brother's hand. I don't think I should say what it is because I'd hate to spoil it for fans who haven't played the game though I'm kinda betting that if you're a fan, you probably already know what I'm talking about. Anime fans might notice too that elements of this week's comic are similar to something in the series Midori Days. Though similar, the comic wasn't inspired by it, but I can't help to think that maybe it took part in the creation process by the fact that Bear and I've seen it and have already become accustomed to its weirdness. ^^
Pie covered the game and basis pretty well, so I wanted to cover something that has been clawing away at the back of my mind for the past few months. Here we go!
In the anime Kaleido Star, our ambitious protagonist Sora leaves her home and family to fulfill her lifelong dream of becoming an acrobatic performer in the world-famous Kaleido Stage. Through circumstances not entirely within her control she ends up being slightly late for her big audition. Stumbling awkwardly through the door into a room full of would-be peers, she is confronted with the diva of the show, Layla. With an ice cold demeanor Layla flatly rejects Sora, reasoning any serious player would have been on time.
Working on LiA, I've become acutely aware of this mentality. In the end it doesn't matter how hard you worked or how valiantly you tried – if you can't deliver when the curtain rises you're going to lose your audience and possibly your biggest opportunity. Look at Penny Arcade and how, despite the huge amount of content they produce, they deliver consistently and reliably. It's easy to write this off saying, "Well, it's because of their fully staffed office!" But how did they get there? Before they grew to where they are now, how much did they have to push and struggle? What trials and tribulations did they undergo in becoming pro?
When I look at how we are progressing, I feel like it isn't enough - that we aren't living up to our potential. We need to be delivering more consistently, more reliably and bridging the gap faster. Sometimes while working on the comic I think, "Well, the comic is done when it's done." or "Hopefully we'll get some slack for being new".
Then I sit back and think about Sora and Layla. There are no excuses! There is no "Well, at least I tried". You get out there and do your best because there are people out there who you are fortunate enough to be interested in your work. You OWE it to them to wring out the very best of yourself and if you can't stand the heat then get out of the kitchen!! At least that's what I tell myself.
With that said, I won't explain away why the bonus stages have been...lacking or missing lately. It's not something I am at all pleased with because of how extremely grateful I am to be able to deliver our comic to you all. It has already had, and continues to have, a deep and significant impact in how we see and live our lives. I've said thank you in the past for bearing with our growing pains, but I am sick of that as I feel like it is a sort of crutch. I don't want to promise you things are coming or we are working hard on something – I just want them to be there, on time and nicely wrapped like Christmas gifts, because what matters are our actions.
In other words, I want to meet the qualifications of being a pro. Thanks for reading my totally unfunny post and enjoy the comic! =D