|It's funny. I'm the one who recommended this comic in the first place, and I almost ended up not reviewing it, since I made a point this time to finish the comic before saying something about it. See, some webcomic creators have been upset at my negative reviews because I didn't bother to finish their archives. While I don't fully agree with them, I realized that comics do tend to get better as they go on, so I figured I'd read this comic to the bitter end, no matter how much I disliked it. Then I read this page, and said, "Okay, I'm done."
Sprite comics, in general, are lame. Their art is obviously ripped off, but there are much bigger problems, such as terrible layout, juvenile humor and the pretentious notion that the sprites are not an indication of laziness. If they can't draw but want to make a comic, why don't they take some art classes, hire someone to do their drawings or even just write a novel? I don't know if Brian Clevinger's comic is unique at all in these regards, but I do know that there are a lot of problems with it backed up by a hubris that makes me want to punch the screen sometimes.
Dude, it's sprites ripped off from Final Fantasy, peppered with photos and drawings ripped from elsewhere and cheap photoshop (or is it MS Paint?) effects. Normally, I'm not too much of a stickler for artistic quality if it still pleases the eye, but there's the rub: the sprites from Final Fantasy have garishly clashing colors. All of the colors don't mix at all, creating one big mess when given a first glance. The blacks clash with the light colors, the blues clash with the reds, etc. The wording is also much too cramped and the white letters with colored outlines against the black background hurt my eyes.
Then again, I've said before that good writing saves bad art. Doesn't happen here.
Not only is the art unoriginal, but so is everything else! The story is that of Final Fantasy 1, only it crawls at an even slower pace than the original game did, what with all the bickering and infighting and speeches and melodrama and distractions that go on. The fact that the overall story was ripped off means that Brian Clevinger doesn't have to think about the story's progression since it's already been written.
If all of the events have already been done, it would be better to make this a character-driven comic, right? What if all of the characters were monumentally stupid and/or evil, so all they ever did was argue and fight instead of actually giving you any kind of progression? Stupid and evil characters can be funny, but not when they're as generic and one-dimensional as this:
Fighter: Likes SWORDS. Is STUPID.
Black Mage: Is EVIL. Likes WHITE MAGE.
Thief: STEALS stuff.
Red Mage: D&D POWER PLAYER. (Also STUPID)
White Mage: HEALS people. NAIVE.
Black Belt: Slightly less STUPID than FIGHTER.
These characters never change. They go around doing, saying and wanting the same things all the time. All they do is react in the same predictable way to whatever situation is thrown at them. The jokes themselves weren't really even funny to begin with. How many times should the point be made that Fighter likes swords or Black Mage stabs people before everyone gets it and wants to go on?
And then there's the dialogue, which is way too long-winded to pack any punch at the end, not that it usually does. Often characters will break out in monologue and go in-depth to say what they think, which often boils down to the character descriptions I gave above. Since the set-ups are so long, the reader has plenty of time to predict the punchline before it happens, as it's usually something that's been done before. Most of the time it's just someone saying something stupid or doing something evil and a character responding with a boring, glib one-liner such as "I hate you" or "It's stabby time!"
So, like, why is this comic, out of all the other sprite comics, so popular?
The kind of people who like this comic are nurds. Nurds will happily eat up any kind of re-hash of something they enjoyed before. They're afraid of change and will not dare go outside and do something new. Instead they will play their latest RPG and bitch about any of the changes made to it. It's these kind of people who eat stuff like this right up. "It's a sprite comic about Final Fantasy? I love Final Fantasy! I have to love this by association! Ha ha, Fighter's dumb! Black Mage, don't you ever change. My incredible lack of knowledge about true evil makes your insidious acts all the more easy to swallow. I wish I could be just like you and stab those jocks that give me wedgies in the locker room! They're dumb like Fighter!" This may be also why any other comic dealing with console RPG's gets quickly popular, regardless of quality.
To all the 8-bit fans that are reading this: You are fools. You are being played. This is nothing but glorified fan-service (meaning it was created more with the intention to please the fans than to be creative or intelligent) meant to provide Brian Clevinger enough money to build a wing on his condo for his gigantic hubris to stay in. This is a guy who quit his job in order to have more time to make his webcomic, then he whined that he wasn't making enough money from it. Oh, and he shot my dog. Stop now while you still can.
RIPPED OFF ART. UGLY LAYOUT. NO CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT. BORING, OVERLONG SET-UPS DEFEAT BORING, WEAK PUNCHLINES. INEXPLICABLE POPULARITY. AUTHOR'S AN ASS. HORRIBLE WEBCOMIC. THE END.