Posted by: Brian Hibbs on November 29, 2011
Just a little warm up on some older stuff, as I test my posting muscles again — I *think* I’m going to attempt an Old-School write-about-every-comic-that-came-out-this-week thing on Wed or Thurs, since it’s such a small week of comics…
First some NotComics:
THE WITCHER: I’ve had this game (got for super cheap through some mechanism I can’t remember now) for at least 18 months, sitting there uninstalled. I changed that this week.
It is weird.
As I understand it, this is a project from a small Polish studio, that somehow against all odds caught on and got American distribution (We’re the center of everything, aren’t we? At least, that’s what it said on my Membership card…) — and one can easily see why: the engine is beautiful, the gameplay is smooth, and I’m having a reasonable amount of fun. The only problem is that the game is kind of a standard RPG (with lots of “go here, kill that” and “FedEx the MacGuffin to that guy” and all of the standard tropes). This wouldn’t be so bad, but the game was originally in Polish, and it was translated.
Now, here’s the weird thing (to me): they sprung for full and complete (and, actually, very good) voice acting (in American, even!), but, as near as I can tell, the translation was done by running the text through Google Translate or something… there wasn’t any attempt to… well, I was going to type “polish” in the sense of “shine up”, but maybe that’s confusing, given the national origin?
I’m sure the script is beautiful and lyrical in it’s native tongue, but, man, in mangled English, it is really really hard to follow what is going on — especially since the game is VERY wordy, with lots (and LOTS and LOTS!) of characters telling-telling-telling you what’s going on. In the second “chapter”, you need to figure out a Murder Mystery, and, can I tell you? That’s pretty damn hard to do with a badly translated script. Ultimately, I kind of was clicking answers more or less randomly (“Well, that one seems kind of confrontational? Let’s try this one instead!”) and got through it.
Still, I liked it, mostly because the protagonist almost literally is willing to fuck anything that moves (I hadn’t been playing for 10 minutes when the first sex scene happened, and one of the things you do in the game is collect “sex cards” to document your conquests), and it’s got some heavily violent Conan-level combat. I don’t know that I’ll ever FINISH playing it, mind you, but the 4-5 nights I’ve been dicking with it so far has been at least amusing. It is highly OK.
THE SHADE #2: This is a hard one to me — this really is “vintage” James Robinson, with sharp funny dialogue, crisp plotting, basically everything we ever wanted from a STARMAN spinoff… but it’s sort of 10 years too late, and it’s hidden in the shadow of 52, and I think that a LOT of people swore of JR after the JLA stuff, and, anyway, this is a perfect example of a “wait for the trade” book…. except that maybe it won’t even make the full 12 issues?
Also, well, I dunno if I really care? I really liked Jack and Opal and all of that… but I only really liked Shade in small doses, and in reaction to Jack, at that. He’s a rich character, yes, but he’s no protagonist.
And, I have to tell you, the continuity thing actually kind of pisses me off — they opted to have the “DCnu” Deathstroke as the villain at the climax of #1, but clearly STARMAN/Opal couldn’t have possibly have happened in the DCnu, as the JSA is so incredibly integral to the story, and there was no JSA is DCnu. They should have kept this squarely “old” DCU or, maybe, early Earth-2, or something… *sigh* So needlessly complicated.
Anyway, gang, yeah, if you don’t support the serialization, then no one WILL collect the work. I know sales on both #1 & 2 were roughly half of what I expected, and I’m slashing orders as fast as I can….
Too bad, despite my conflict, this is very GOOD work.
That’s it for today, the B&T order just arrived, and I have to get those boxes checked in… what do YOU think?