Tag Archives: World of Warcraft

Review: On the Rain Slick Precipice of Darkness

Yes, I know I’ve been away again, but graduation/real life will do that I guess, those seeking an explanation may skip to the bottom, but I want to talk about the new game from Penny-Arcade.  On the Rain Slick Precipice of Darkness, or RSPD as it is often abbreviated, came on the market last week, for a pricey 1,600 Microsoft points (roughly ~20 American dollars for anyone keeping score).  A high pricetag for an xbox live arcade game, however alternatively it can be bought for $20 USD for personal computers, either mac or PC.  The game, which marks the first videogame review on this dedicated comic blog, which runs somewhere between 5 and 10 hours on the first complete playthrough is pretty spectacular.  It is fairly obvious that Jerry and Mike, the creators of Penny-Arcade had a decisive role in the creation on this game, and that they were not willing to settle for anything less than perfection when it came to faithfully recreating the atmosphere portrayed by the webcomic.  This is something that their readers take very seriously, and their work shows through with great clarity.  The best way I could describe the game is, you know that feeling when you’ve been away for a week or two, and get like 6 comics to read at once?  Well, its like that but multiplied by a year or so.  This is a whole lot of PA condensed into one place, and to me, that’s just what I was looking for.  The game chronicles the story of your character, gabe, and tycho as they chase the giant robot with a great desire for fruit.  During the course of your adventure, you will battle fruit loving robots, mimes, hobos, living garbage, clowns, babershop quartets, and even possibly a dark god.  If this does not grab you, I’m not sure what will.  The battle system is a little tricky to work out at first, and the blocking can be troublesome, but once you get the the timing down properly, the game gets much easier.

Overall I would absolutely recommend this game to any fan of Penny-Arcade, as well as to any fan of RPG video games.  The art is what one might expect from a webcomic gone animated, and is very similar to what LFGcomic did, as well as Ctrl-Alt-Del in their animated endeavors.  As good as the art is, the dialog is where the fun is at.  I would probably play this game even if the rest of it were terrible, just to see what they say next.  It’s that good, but not with too much over the top language of the blog posts that accompany each comic posting, and in the case that there is, it is either not important, not all that verbose, or Gabe translates for the player in his own indignant way.  I am eagerly awaiting the next episode of RSPD, and although I feel that it was worth the price, I hope it may be a little cheaper, it probably won’t be.  Gabe/Tycho explained their pricing, and it makes perfect sense.  Achievements on the 360 are well assigned, and are not overly taxing without being incredibly simple.  I am generally adverse to providing an out of ten rating in my reviews, but there is such a convention for it in the video game industry that I will; I give Penny-Arcade’s On the Rain Slick Precipice of Darkness a 8.5 out of 10.

Ok, as promised, here’s my excuse: I’ve been busy.  I spent the last 4 weeks of college working on paper after paper, not having time to read comics, and now having graduated, I’m stuck job hunting, working, and running errands for my family while I try and save enough money to move out.  This is coupled with studying for the GRE’s so that I can go to gradschool to get my Ph.D, because a base level degree in science won’t get me where I want to go.  I will do my best to return to a normal posting schedule, and am still working through reading well over 200 comics to be caught up in what’s going on.  Also, must to my chagrin, I have been failing to read other blogs because I don’t want to expose myself to unnecessary spoilers.  This said, I know I missed Ebay week, and it is still on, just postponed to start next Monday (for real this time I promise).  Mike, if you could email me your article at yourcomicreliefblog@gmail.com along with any preamble you would like me to attach that would be awesome.  Anyone else looking to contribute should contact me there or via comment.

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Rapid Fire Reviews: Conan, Cable & Deadpool, Star Wars, and World of Warcraft

Conan: The Frost-Giant’s Daughter #1 

            Granted, as I set out to write this review, I must admit that this was my first venture into the world of Conan the Barbarian.  For the record though, “The Frost-Giant’s Daughter” is the name of the story by Robert E. Howard, the comic is not depicting Conan as a daughter.  It opens with Conan on a snow covered field of battle, the lone survivor of a confrontation, facing off with another warrior, who we can assume to be the survivor of the opposing force.  The story continues with a scantily clad female, who approaches Conan of Cimmeria, tantalizing him, and he follows her for miles, eventually fighting her two brothers.  The art is very cinematic, and at times it seems almost watercolor, in what I understand to be the classic Conan style, there is a lot of buildup to the fight, but not as much art is dedicated to the fight itself.  I find this to be refreshing, although I do love a great comic book fight, Conan: The Frost-Giant’s Daughter has the feel of a novel, and it was based on one.  Despite its roots though, it does not tend to be overly wordy.  All in all, a good read.

 

 

Cable & Deadpool #48

            If you have been following Cable & Deadpool at all recently, you’ll know that Cable ‘died,’ and that his name has been crossed out on the cover for a while, replaced with a new character each month.  Now, I don’t think anyone believed for a second that Cable actually died (and we know now for sure thanks to Messiah Complex, that he didn’t), but it has offered some interesting story opportunities.  This month’s stand-in is Brother VooDoo (linked because some people may not recognize him, he’s not exactly central to many Marvel storylines), and he helps Wade Wilson with some self-actualization.  Fighting Deadpool arch-nemesis T-Ray takes up most of the issue, and while I am a huge fan of both fighting and Deadpool, nothing much really happens from page to page.  Don’t get me wrong though, I did enjoy the issue, but going back through it, it’s all setup for issues to come, and this issue is more of the same – Deadpool wants to be a hero now.  For Deadpool fans?  Well, you probably already own it, read it, and bagged/boarded it.  For anyone looking to get into Deadpool, I would go back to Civil War, and collect trades or read the comics by whatever means you have from there, because it will likely be confusing to any outsider at this point.

Star Wars: Dark Times #7

 
            Star Wars: Dark Times is one of my favourite Star Wars comic book story lines.  Set about a thousand years before the battle of Yavin, that’s the end of the first movie for all of those who might not know.  This story arc, Parallels, is set 19 years BBY (before the battle of Yavin).  This issue is comprised of three parts, a conversation between the nosurian, Bomo Greenbark (the new guy), and the human, Crys Taanzer, about how they have lost their families in the galactic war.  The next portion is a look at what happened after the events of Dark Times #6 (which, I highly recommend for any Star Wars fan out there), K’kruhk seems to be cautiously optimistic about his current situation, abandoned on this planet.  I wish they had donated a bit more than 2 pages to this, because it’s the story I’m most interested in; K’kruhk is one of my favourite Star Wars characters right now.  Moving on however, we’re back to the story of the crew on the Uhumele.  They’re attempting to make some money, but things go sour, and they get double crossed, and find they’re outgunned three to one.  Thankfully however, there is some deceit, and in the mayhem, it appears that the crew of the Uhumele will attack, with Bomo seeking to prove his worth, and become accepted. 

I am a fan of the art in Dark Times; Dave Ross is exceptionally proficient at making a busy scene understandable.  He is able to represent all the different races of the Star Wars universe, makes them recognizable, and gives them emotion.  Putting emotion into the eyes of a human is one thing, but being able to do it to a nosurian like Bomo Greenbark is another thing altogether.  If you’re not a Star Wars fan, I would be hesitant to recommend any of the Star Wars comics to you, because of the depth of Star Wars knowledge required, especially in story lines such as Knights of the Old Republic.  Dark Times would be much easier for anyone looking to pick up a Star Wars title, who has only seen the movies, however, working knowledge of Episodes 1-6 is probably required to understand what is going on.

World of Warcraft #2

 

 
            Last of this list of mini-reviews today is a follow up to the review I did of Issue #1.  The comic still seems to be written for a younger audience; the author still spells out many connections that could be left for any reader to discern for themselves.  However, the art is still very good, and much of this issue is taken up by a fight scene.  So, if you enjoy comic fights, this is probably worthwhile.  We do get a limited insight into the past life of “Croc-bait” or as he is known by the end of the issue “Lo’Gosh,” however, nothing we couldn’t have guessed for ourselves: he was a soldier who served under a still unnamed great leader.  He is likeable though, if you enjoy the unwilling hero motif.  My analysis from before has not really changed however, the comic is not brilliant, but it is good enough if you have an interest in the story behind Warcraft.

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Filed under Comics, Dark Horse, Marvel, Reviews, Wildstorm

Wow…. Busy Day

Short update again today, moving houses is a big deal. Went to the comic store today, managed to pick up my back issues of Messiah Complex and Ra’s al Ghul, except for episode 5 of Messiah, which is upsetting, cause I really want to be up to date on the series, perhaps I can find someone who has it, or order it online. Other than that, I picked up the What If…? Civil War, World of Warcraft #2, Star Wars: Dark Times #7, Captain America: The Chosen #5 (variant because I didn’t like the regular cover), Cable & Deadpool #48, and Conan: The Frazetta Cover Series #1. Didn’t get a chance to write that piece on The Dark Knight trailer, but it’ll be up tomorrow, today was just a stressful moving day. Because of finals etc, I have 3-5 weeks of comics to rad as well, which is both awesome and daunting, so I’m gonna get to that, have a good day.

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Tomorrow’s Comics

Comics that are available tomorrow follow:

 

DARK HORSE COMICS:
 
Grendel: Behold the Devil #2
Scream #2
Star Wars: Dark Times #7
Umbrella Academy: Apocalypse Suite #4 (of 6)

 

DC COMICS:

Army @ Love #10
Batman and the Outsiders #3
Birds of Prey #113
Catwoman #74
Checkmate #21
Countdown: Arena #3
Countdown Presents the Search for Ray Palmer: Superwoman and Batwoman #1
Countdown Special: The Atom 80-Page Giant #2 (of 2)
Countdown to Final Crisis #19
Detective Comics #839 (Ra’s al Ghul #7 of 7)
Justice League of America #16
Metamorpho: Year One #6 (of 6)
Shadowpact #20
Superman/Batman #44
Superman #671
Scooby Doo #127
World of Warcraft #2

 

 

IMAGE COMICS:

Circle #2
Glister #3
Madame Mirage #4
Special Forces #2 (of 6)

 

MARVEL COMICS:
 
Avengers Classic #7
Cable and Deadpool #48
Captain America: The Chosen #5 (of 6)
Exiles #100
Footkiller #3 (of 5)
Immortal Iron Fist #11
Incredible Hulk #112
Iron Man: Enter the Mandarin #4 (of 6)
Marvel Adventures: Avengers #19
Marvel Adventures: Fantastic Four #31
Marvel Holiday Special
Might Avengers #6
New X-Men #45
She-Hulk #24
Terror Inc #4 (of 5)
The Order #6
Ultimate X-Men #89
What if: Civil War
Wolverine: Origins #20
World War Hulk: Warbound #1 (of 5)
X-Men: First Class #6

 

OTHER PUBLISHERS: 

Alter Ego #74
Betty & Veronica #240
Doctor Who Classics #1
Archie Digest #240
Fathon Kiani #4
GI Joe: America’s Elite #30
Painkiller Jane #4
Simpson’s Comics #137
Sonic the Hedgehog #183
Primordia #2 (of 3)
Red Sonja #28

 

Happy Reading!

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Update: World of Warcraft Comic

It has just been brought to my attention that the World of Warcraft comic that was reviewed here yesterday was precluded by an online-only comic hosted on MTV Multiplayer. If you are even still undecided about if you’re really interested in this comic, Issue #0 is the first five pages of Issue #1.

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Review: World of Warcraft Issue #1 – “Stranger in a Savage Land”

Cover 1b

The comic is based off the fictional World of Warcraft is a massively multiplayer online role playing game (MMORPG), which currently boasts over eight million (that’s right, million) subscribers. A result of which is that it’s hard to find anyone that hasn’t heard of it. They have released merchandise in just about every form imaginable, and then they thought of one more, comics.

 

People Behind this new form of WoW

This new form of World of Warcraft is brought to you by Walter Simonson (official website unfound, if anyone has a link for it let me know), who has been around for a long time, some of you may know him as the writer of Thor from 1983-1987, or for the Fantastic Four from 1989-1991. The penciler, Ludo Lullabi, and this appears to be his first foray into the comic book world. The inker, Sandra Hope has worked extensively with DC comics, and does an exceptional job here as well. World of Warcraft is published by Wildstorm Comics.

 

Story Analysis

The story is set after the time of World of Warcraft, and there is an unstable peace between the horde and the alliance. While it looks like it had the potential to get interesting, starts out as the very old and tired ‘Warrior who doesn’t remember his past and had an upstanding sense of honor,’ and if you’d believe it, his parents died in a tragic fire when he was a child and he’s had to fend for himself all his life. If you have played almost any story based (non-sandbox) fantasy RPG in the past 10 years, you know what I’m talking about. They press it as far as to explain to the reader that he likely has amnesia, and it is done in a very convoluted way. That said, the characters are likeable, albeit very stereotypical. The main character, whose name has not yet been discovered, a function of his amnesia no doubt, does present himself as a very likeable reluctant hero. The story opens with our main character defending himself from a crocolisk, and he is captured and forced to become a gladiator. His new friends, a blood elf by the name of Valeera Sanguinar, and a wise night elf druid, named Broll Bearmantle, no depth of character is really revealed in this issue, but the blood elf and the night elf are subject to frequent quarreling, keeping with the World of Warcraft lore. This first installment of the story chronicles the start of their training as gladiators to compete in the arena of Dire Maul. It concludes with a fairly fulfilling fight scene and a cliffhanger, pretty bread and butter for a first issue hook.

 

Quality of Art

Ludo Lullabi, has an interesting art style that I find myself partial to. It’s a sort of eastern-western fusion. His artwork imbues a sense of motion into the pages. Combining this with cross-panel or out-of-panel artwork, gives the comic a sense of urgency that moves keeps the reader moving where the writing may fall short. The art is somewhat reminiscent of Humberto Ramos, in that the proportions are often not precise or consistant, although this is accepted as being intentional and part of the artistic design even though some may not agree with it, and the characters are outlined heavily. Ludo also makes good use of foreground and background, really bringing the reader into the story. His best work is done on the blood elf female, Valeera Sanguinar, and the main character, whose name is yet unrevealed, but is often referred to as pinkskin. The overall quality of the art is very good, but it does feel as though some sections were rushed, and that others were laboriously created, however the rushed sections are few.

 

The Big Question: Is It Worth Buying?

While not the most well written comic available out there, it does have some merits that would appeal to all readers, although admittedly it is geared more towards those who play and have played World of Warcraft, and enjoy the lore surrounding it. It keeps to this lore fairly strongly, although some likely debate this, all must concede that it is accurate in it’s portrayal of the different roles and places. It’s worth picking up and reading for a few issues, but if you don’t find yourself getting into it, I would say don’t bother forcing it, it’s nothing you’ll be talking about in a few years; place your hard earned money elsewhere. Still on the fence? More information on the can be found at the WoWwiki site.

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Filed under Comics, Reviews, Wildstorm