902 Sneak Attack 2: Electric Boogaloo.

Ever since my flippant remarks durring that comic contest I’ve gotten several messages from Dresden Codak fans, which I choose to read as though I can hear a slight whimper in the voice, wondering how I can possibly dislike said comic. Rather than answer each one I’m just going to lay it out in public, since the guy isn’t going to read this, and would likely not care if he did. I know enough about the title to know that he’s gotten worse shit from better than me.

I don’t have any problem with the art. It’s a beautiful looking comic. That’s what has drawn me in every time I’ve tried to read it. It would take me years at a time to update too if I took that kind of time with my art. In that, at least, I envy the artist’s skill.

My problem is this: reading Dresden Codak is like trying to hang out with someone who is constantly trying to remind you how much smarter they are than you. It’s clearly a linear story, so you can’t just jump in anywhere. I’ve tried. You have to find a jumping on point, or start from the begining. The begining is where the problem is at its worst, but it’s evident at every random point I’ve tried to start from. At its most frustrating reading Dresden Codak is like trying to read David Foster Wallace. (His fiction at any rate. DFW’s nonfiction is actually okay.) The long and the short of it is that I find the writing style and dialog tedious. Which is saying something considering that I enjoy many tedious activities.

I haven’t tried to read Dresden in a long time. The last time I did there was a tiny Sigmund Freud playing D&D with the girl, if memory serves. Just to see if anything had changed I checked out the latest page. It wasn’t anywhere near as annoying as the ones I’ve run across in the past. Maybe it’s finally grown out of the annoying habbits that kept me at arm’s length for so long. I couldn’t say for sure. At any rate that’s what my problem is with it. I don’t want it destroyed, I don’t want people to stop reading, I just can’t get in to it. My complaints are SUBJECTIVE. I don’t think it sucks, but I still wouldn’t want to lose to it in a contest. XD I don’t want to lose to anyone, but the reality is that lots of comics are objectively better, and more popular than mine.

Anyway, I’m thinking about picking up Mass Effect 3 new, if I can scrounge up enough money. (Remember, kids, I’m available for all your art needs.) What I want to know is if a new copy comes with any codes for online content that will be ruined if I get it used. Some of you must have it by now, and product descriptions aren’t nearly as complete as I want them to be. If I try to get a used copy am I going to have to buy content I would have gotten with a new copy? Let me know.


Yeah, ME3 requires a code to play online. The online isn’t really terrific. That said, get it new. Support Bioware, they created an excellent universe and filled it with interesting characters. They deserve to profit from that hard work.

Oh, second panel John. I feel you so hard. Et tu, cigarettes?

As for getting ME3 new, I really enjoyed Mass Effect 3, but it’s worth mentioning since a lot of people are all up in arms about the game, you might not find that it was worth the however much it’s selling for right now. Still it’s got my stamp of approval.

Thats a nice Nerf Barricade that Jo has there, I just picked one up to supplement my Maverick, which I’ve seen in the last few comics.

Brooksie is going to win. There is no other possible outcome. She’s a ninja with a gun.

Also, Crave, I haven’t actually given up on the name thing, despite what I may have said. It continues to vex me so. A list of the names sit beside me, mocking.

I don’t think its just the cigarettes john… as for ME3, from what i’ve played from the demo, I’d say its worth getting. ME2 was one of the few games that I played twice. the combat is even more fun in this one, so if you can live with the ending, get it.

Have you played the first 2 ME’s? I think you’ll get a lot more out of it if you play them in order and import your character from one to the next. That said, ME3 is great (so far, I haven’t finished it yet, NO SPOILERS!) but try to get the Collector’s Edition if you can score a copy; if not get the From Ashes “OMGONOZ” Day 1 DLC that comes with the collector’s ed and not the standalone game. And buy new if at all possible. Online play is pretty sweet.

Three feelings I have about this game they are playing.
1. It is going to be awesome.

2. What happens when Mike finds out?

3. Reggie and/or Wes is probably going to use it to frame the others up for firing.

maybe mike will pull rank and order a surrender; at which point he is the target of several guns.

yeah, reggie will probably try; i get the feeling he isn’t very effective as an actual mover of…stuff happening.

Haha. Barricade beats Maverick any day of the week. Except when you want to be stealthy… seeing as it’s joe that huge wind up sound is a definate draw back.

Well you might not want to say all art needs or you might end up with a Nina and Brooksie picture where they are doing naughty things. Not that some of us wouldn’t mind.
Although on the topic of ME3 I haven’t gotten around to getting my copy yet and might not from what Ive heard from people complaining.

I would pay good money to see that picture. I can see it now… The two of them out on a night on the town, committing arson… stealing candy from babies…

Hey, I’d just like a picture of Carol hugging/ kissing/ smiling at/ pretty much anything but ignoring a cartoon likeness of me. Crave could create it sight unseen-just mix up the attributes of a lot of famous people and celebrities. Woody Allen’s height, Rick Moranis looks, Ross Perot’s ears, Erkel’s glasses and fashion sense. It’d be a great comic.

Huh… her ass… IS sweet…

Told you that last week, John…

Folks were right about Brooksie — goin’ for the throat for the win

Funny you should bring up Mass Effect 3 after a rant about a series being difficult to jump into. Sure, Mass Effect 3 is set up so that you can play and they give you a brief rundown of what happened the previous 2 games… but… even in the demo I found myself going “Who the hell is this person? Why should I care? What are they talking about?” It’s a game you really should play from the beginning of the series. The problem is that you can’t do that unless you own an Xbox and plan to play the entire series on an Xbox. There’s a lot of trouble with Mass Effect 3 at the moment as well. Without revealing too much, no matter what you do the ending is the same so none of the choices you make matter. Bioware is working on releasing DLC to fix this but… seriously. Fuck that.

As for the Dresdan nonsense, my buddy does that to me all the time. He’ll suggest a book, and it will sound interesting to me. A month later he’ll ask me if I’ve read it, and I’ll say no because there’s 40 books in the series. I never realized that authors have a bigger hard on for sequels than game designers.

I wish I could say that I was more like Brooksie when I worked at the local toy store, but really I was more of an Ed.

Even still…I get a good feeling about Ed. Soon. Ahaha!

I love “electric boogaloo”! I find it a great tagline to add to terrible sequel movies. Just throw it on the end of a movie you want to get across as “bad”. Well I suppose it could be applied to any sequel! (Note: the prequel doesn’t have to be good for the sequel to have “Electric Boogaloo” at the end.)

Lion King 2: Electric Boogaloo.
Final Fantasy 10-2: Electric Boogaloo.
Final Fantasy 13-2: Electric Boogaloo.
PSU: Electric Boogaloo. (Phantasy Star Universe, it fails in every way PSOnline wins!)
Jungle Book 2: Electric Boogaloo.
Peter Pan 2: Electric Boogaloo.
… and pretty much any Disney sequel is an “Electric Boogaloo”. >:|

The long form story thing never bothered me with Dresden Codak. Many, many, many other webcomics (and TV shows, books, etc.) do the same thing. It’s a format with its own legitimacy and appeal separate from the more “bite sized” story formats like perpetual/episodic, slice-of-life, and gag-a-day stuff. An orange is an orange and not a weird apple. Besides, who actually reads from the middle of anything that isn’t gag-a-day based? First time I find any new comic, I read a couple pages back from the current update just to get a feel for the style and tone, and if I like that I jump to the beginning and start from there proper.

I don’t mind it playing with “intellectual” stuff either. People simply like talking about the things that interest them, and any art or published or broadcasted work is gonna be an open-ended, largely one sided conversation by nature. Just because the writer/artist has a different academic background, or is(horrors)actually more interested in conversing with parts of the intelligence bell curve you or I might not feel comfortable thinking we’re outside of (not to mention how their success/popularity could imply that that section of the curve might be broader than our egos find comfy) doesn’t mean they’re trying to lord it over you. You’re just not the target audience is all.

XKCD’s computer programming jokes for example go completely over my head, but I don’t feel like I’m being smugged at for that (and XKCD is usually pretty snarky, whereas DC usually isn’t).

As a disclaimer, I have to point out that I don’t consider myself any kind of genius or intellectually above Crave here or anything. Nor am I saying pseudo-intellectual trolls don’t exist, just that I don’t get that kind of vibe from DC at all (to me it just looks like a philosophy major’s idea of goofing around) so at the risk of being “that guy”, the accusation kinda backfires by taking on an insecure vibe instead.

I definitely fault DC for the update schedule though. There’s no excuse for a page-every-two-or-three-months non-schedule if the comic is your day job (which IIRC it allegedly is in his case). Google/youtube “speed painting” and you’ll see why even art as nice as his shouldn’t take quite that long even at a slow pace. At the rate he’s going, I’ll have grey hair by the time the story goes as far as Between Failures goes in just a couple months. That’s especially crippling given that it’s a long-form story: there’s definitely a minimum pace for maintaining engagement in that sort of thing IMO, and DC fails at that horribly.

As others says, if you played the earlier MEs, you need to complete the set! The main thing you miss going pre-owned is the online play, which I have not touched anyway. ME is an interactive story told by my PC, online play has no part in that, especially not as a cheap bolt-on – clearly others’ opinions vary!

The ending seems to be a big controversy right now, but didn’t strike me as bad as everyone makes out, although it is a disappointing note to finish what should have been a grand finale, it is certainly not a great ending either.

Personally, my favorite of the series was the first one. The second comes with a huge reset switch right at the start of the game, and plays completely differently, more like a conventional shooter – which is not my thing (getting too old for twitch games!). The third installment is a further evolution of the shooter, but really has done a good job of incorporating the strengths of RPG. There is a stronger focus on fewer characters, so you will get a stronger story from each squad mate. You will also get a cameo and occasional mission with just about every other significant (surviving) character you met over the series, which is why it may be confusing as a jumping on point. It is very much the game I wish the second had been, although ME2 clearly has the best end-game of the three. I’ll not say the best ending, as oddly, the high point of the series for me was the end music and closing credits of the first game. It just beautifully hit the right mood, giving me time to revel in the game I had just completed, and slowly come back down to earth. And now this is turning into a rambling review of the whole series while trying to stay spoiler free, so I’d better just stop!

In short, buy it, and if you can managed the day one DLC From The Ashes, grab that too – it may not be ‘needed’ but I found the rest of the game to be richer after picking up its bonus character.

First, sneaky Brooksie is sneaky. To bad he failed his spot check.

Now then, I just picked up ME3 and ended up playing for several hours straight before I put down the controller. The gameplay is great, the story is great, it’s a game that is better than most most of the sci-fi movies coming out of Hollywood these days. Stunning visuals, fast combat, great humor, I’ve played all three now and I have to say, I’m very tempted to dig up my ME1 and ME2 and start a fresh character and run through all three. One of the few games that lets you run your character through all three games.

Lots of possibilities, but aside from the obstacles of Reggie and his new douchebag underling to contend with, I’m predicting Ed and Nina in a sexy Matrix-style duel. :)

The question is whether Ed smokes Brooksie ahead of time or she jumps in at the last second while Ed and Nina are busy with each other.

Thomas, of course, will win by dint of having taken a long lunch break and showing up to take the last man/woman standing unawares.

Another fun update, this time with more action!

On ME:3, I got it on preorder, I played the crap out of the demo (but only the multiplayer, I wanted to keep the story fresh for when I could actually play) and I finished my first play through a fee days ago. I liked it. The gameplay was solid, the stories that were playing out all over the galaxy worked for me, and the various characters who made cameos (if they were still alive, that is) still had the same feel as they did in the previous games. The endgame could have been done a bit differently (even if only by having your choices in it made based off of previous acts preformed by Shepard, instead of you possibly pulling a sudden 180 on everything) but the ending still worked for me (green, for those who know)

I’d buy it again, and I’d play the crap out of it again, and I plan on going through all 3 games again, with a completely terrible Shepard this next time. It’ll be a messy galaxy, but it’ll be fun to play a different character (and see how much the galaxy changes because of it)

You’ve given each female character an issue or two (Or ten) that just focuses on how sexy they are lately. I’ve also noticed compared to earlier issues you seem to make their more silly, or ‘faulty’ characteristics more subtle and draw them a bit more attractive over all.

Is this intentional or subconscious?

You’re gonna have to be more specific about this. As far as I know I haven’t made anything more subtle.

Also, as for Mass Effect 3? I’d wait a month or two. There’s this whole controversy about an incomplete ending and suspicions that Bioware is releasing DLC to complete it (hopefully free) so I’d wait until that announcement is official before I’d buy the game.

Do not get it for ps3,it does horrible on it. The framerate constantly drops as well as it freezes in the middle of the game. You will have to turn off your ps3 and it has a good chance of messing up your HDD. check the bioware forums,theres all problems for it right now.

As other people said you should really play 1 and 2 first. And you can only get ME1 for xbox 360. The collectors edition isnt worth it,your basically just buying the DLC anyway. It’s a crappy DLC,that gives you a CRAPPY weapon and a barely 20 minute mission to unlock Javik the prothean. His ability’s are alright as well.

@Crave, you wouldn’t happen to be a fan of Spill? It’s a movie site with some REALLY good podcasts and among many things they joke about, “Electric Boogaloo” comes up occasionally, which is why I ask. Now I gotta go listen to more, DAMN YOU!

Yeah, if you want all the content buy it new. Not sure if you’re able to buy the online pass separate, but you might. Also, in response to the controversy over the game, I think its all in the eyes of the individual. That said, I think they could have done the ending better, but the Indoctrination theory fills in all the plot holes for it. Yeah, even then its not the best ending, but its better than it was. The rest of the game however is pure AWESOME. The combat flows a lot better than the second game, and they really pull off those heart-wrenching moments nicely, as they always have. Its still a good game to get, and its still fun to play over, despite the ending. You also should definitely get the 1st and 2nd beforehand. Things will go horribly wrong if you don’t import.

#1. Mass Effect 3 has one online-mandatory achievement. One. That simple fact all but ruined it for me. I put the game on hiatus the moment I realised I would have to get a Gold account just to finish off my 100% achievement record for the Mass Effect series. SO VERY ANNOYED.

#2. Dresden Codak, as described before…. is very much condensed, and it is rather clever. That said… I like the way it expresses its cleverness. The reason you apparently dislike Dresden Codak is the reason I kinda dislike XKCD. Dresden Codak is clever, and I’m a clever guy, so I get most of it and can really appreciate the execution…. and it is also very pretty, and I can appreciate that. On the other hand, XKCD is smartarsery taken to its logical conclusion… and doesn’t have fancy art as a convenient distraction. I don’t take it personally that the guy who does it is probably one of the few people in the world who actually IS smarter than me (I’ve encountered one or two in my lifetime)… but it generally doesn’t strike me as funny. It seems a bit pointless. Just smartarseness for its own sake. Plus it doesn’t help that my friends like to link it at me a lot. I tend to prefer my smartarsery on the SMBC level.

#3. Nina’s butt is fine. Tres fine.

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