Guest Comic 24) Zack and Josh
Posted December 30, 2015 at 01:07 am

It's GUEST COMIC TIME! This comic's brought to you by our good friends at Unlife! You might remember them from this guest comic way back in the distant year of 2014. Zack the artist and Josh the writer took a break from their unique drama-filled slice-of-life zombie-people webcomic to do this little ditty about Dan shitting himself and catching on fire. Why don't you go check out their comic on the link below?

We're also taking submissions for future guest comics! Preferably from people with webcomics or sites we can advertise. Message us on tumblr, twitter, email, or whatever and let us know if you're interested! Only restrictions: No OCs, no nudity (fanservice is okay), no gore, and we won't put up any comics that we feel are exceptionally low quality.  


Time to double-down on the shilling! IT'S TIME FOR...


BOY, it's been a while since I've done one of these. I've come across a bizarre problem where I've had a bunch of video games to play, but they're all long as hell and will take months to beat. I'm still on Kiryu's story on Yakuza 5, I'm 40 hours into Xenoblade Chronicles, and I still have a few other games to start. So I decided to take a break from long-ass video games to sit down and beat a shorter one...that ended up still being like 30 hours across multiple playthroughs. Let me tell you about a game called...

So recently, I beat Nier, an action role-playing game directed by the whimsical and upbeat Taro Yoko. Actually, I beat Nier four times to see all of its endings. I like to experience as much of the game as possible before I go and write a review about them, but I played Nier so damn much that it actively did its best to make me stop fucking playing already. And surprisingly, that's a good thing.

Yeah yeah, I know, I'm late to the party on this five-year-old cult classic, but I loved this game. It's not a perfect game by any means, and frankly, the story-telling is the real seller to this. As an action game, Nier is fairly basic and a little on the repetitive side. There's an interesting blend of melee and magic in this game, and I do think the option to switch all of your shoulder buttons with a wide variety of abilities ranging from your basic dodge or block to an arsenal of powerful magic, but you level up so fast and your later weapons are so strong that it turns your fights into a mindless slaughter rather than an engaging challenge. Which just might very well be the point, but narratively justified repetition is still repetition.

What makes Nier stand out is its willingness to try new things. Nier throws you into so many situations that turns the game and your expectations on its head. At a moment's whim, Nier will change its perspective and turn your hack'n'slash into a top-down shooter or an isometric Diablo clone or...well, I don't want to spoil it, I know most of you haven't played it. But the game's willingness to try this crazy new things and attempt so many unique gameplay situations is certainly admirable and worth experiencing.

Like I said before, the story-telling is the real reason to play this game. Usually, that's a negative trait in my eyes, but god damn, the story is so goddamn inventive and occasionally blends incredibly well into the gameplay that it's worth enduring some mild boredom. The plot hooks you right from the beginning with a fantastic twist and keeps you engaged with characters that are oozing charm. The main cast plays off each other so well in a way that I've rarely seen video game protagonists do. You're saddled with a ragtag group of anti-heroes that are bizarre but charming, and it becomes worth doing the countless side missions just to hear what they'll comment on. Nier's cast and story is full of jaw-dropping surprises, and it begs you to play it multiple times just to see what new information you can get. The New Game+ mode is almost mandatory if you want to fully enjoy its story, and I can't tell you why, but soon after you start, you'll see it.

Nier is my first foray into Taro Yoko's work, a video game writer known for his twisted sensibilities and happy endings. While Nier itself is loosely based on his first game Drakengard, it's almost entirely self-contained aside from a couple references. It's worth playing even if you haven't played his previous games, but Nier was such a damn good trip that I want to track down more of Yoko's work. The gameplay might only be serviceable, but the fantastic story, haunting soundtrack, and loveable characters make it a game worth experiencing. I strongly recommend this game.