Friday, 21 February 2014

GR Strips - Wii Would Like To Pay U Off

The next instalment of "GR Strips" featured over at GameRevolution, this time we look into the possible reason as to why Nintendo's Wii U console isn't doing so well...

Okay. Being realistic, it's not Sony's doing and they're not that evil. There's no dark room conspiracies or brief cases filled with a huge of money. I think. Don't get me wrong, I love Nintendo and I love the Wii U. I've been a big Nintendo fan ever since I was a little kid. I remember my brothers and I got the first Nintendo Entertainment System for Christmas, twenty one years ago. Been Nintendo fans ever since.

As much as I love the Wii U and its potential, it's very sad to see that compared to other consoles it's not doing so well. It really is a great machine and it does have a lot of potential. My brother and I loved Zombi U, one of the launch titles back in late 2012. My brother wrote an excellent blog entry about Zombi U to coincide with our strip based on Zombi U.

Despite how good (or at least how good we thought it was) Zombi U was, it's a shame that there will not be a sequel and it's an even bigger shame to see that many third party developers are avoiding the Wii U, leaving it up to the Big N to try and save its own console. While the 3Ds is doing very well, the Wii U's sales have been so poor that the president of Nintendo, Saturo Iwata has taken a pay cut of half of his salary, which is a lot of money. I think it's a very good and honourable thing of Saturo to do and really, I doubt he's missing out on much.

There's a lot of reasons why the Wii U isn't doing so well. In my opinion, I believe marketing was the biggest issue. See here in Australia, the Wii U wasn't advertised at all. I never saw it on television, in the shops or anything. No posters or anything. As it came closer to the release date sure I started seeing that stuff, but no one except for gamers and Nintendo fans actually knew what the Wii U was.

Nintendo decided to target the casual gamers with the Wii and while I hated most Wii games because of it, the Wii was a huge hit and made a lot of money. The Wii U was designed to go back to the hardcore gamers, to go back to the original fans... so this left all those casual gamers scratching their heads at the Wii U. People asked me "What is the Wii U?" and I got questions like "Is it like the DS?" "Do I use my iPad with it?" "Is it like an iPad?" "Is it a new accessory for my Wii?" No one had any idea that it was actually a brand new console.

That's where I think Nintendo failed. No one knew what a Wii U was so no one bought it. Well, that's a lie, people did buy it but not as many as Nintendo would have liked. On top of that, while the Wii U's power is on par with the PS3 and X-Box 360, I believe it was a little too late for the Wii U to be released, as the PS4 and X-Box One were already way in development and were released one year after the Wii U. Both latter consoles have been booming with sales, with the PS4 in particular.

As much as I love Nintendo and the Wii U, I am deeply saddened by its lack of success compared to the other consoles. We can only hope that its future games (such as Mario Kart 8, Super Smash Bros, the Legend of Zelda, Metroid, X etc.) will help deliver more sales to the console, which may encourage third party developers to return to Nintendo.

It's a great console. It just needs a little more love.

-Craig (Cr33g)

Wednesday, 19 February 2014

GR Strips - Maybe She's Born With It (and holy crap we're updating)

Wow. We're actually updating. Holy crap.

It's been a while since we've updated, a long while. I believe our last comic was uploaded last year 2013 in September so yeah, it's been a while.

Lucky for me I've received an awesome opportunity. Recently I've been working in collaboration with the staff of and together we've come up with "GR Strips", a weekly web comic featured at GameRevolution, that relates to all the latest news in the world of gaming. Each strip is released Friday/Saturday (America/Australia).

The folks of GameRevolution are allowing me to upload GR Strips right here at Reckless Abandon, which allows me to not only expand my portfolio but to also update Reckless Abandon which makes me very happy. Each strip is released one week prior to GameRevolution first before being uploaded here at Reckless Abandon a week later.

I've been following GameRevolution since 2006 and it's easily my favourite gaming website when it comes to news, previews and reviews. I've also been an active user on their forums for a few years now too. Stop by and check it out!

So this comic is about the recently released Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition for the PS4. The PS4 version looks absolutely amazing. It looks even better than the PC version on the highest settings. Strangely though, the developers seem kinda obsessed with how "realistic" they've made Lara Croft this time around, in particular with her hair. I haven't played it yet because I'm told if you've played it once before, you don't need to play it again. If you've yet to play the 2013 reboot of Tomb Raider and you happen to have a PS4? Now is the time.

Speaking of the PS4, I got one at launch and sadly I don't have any games except for Assassin's Creed IV: Blackflag. I really enjoyed Blackflag, although to be honest I didn't really care much for the actual assassin's plot, all I wanted to do was run around and be a pirate. Still, it's fun.

The Last of Us has finally got some storyline DLC which I'm looking forward to playing, Left Behind was released just recently and I'm looking to stab my shivs into that... man that sounds wrong.

That's it for now. Expect to see more soon! Thanks for reading.

-Craig (Cr33g)

Sunday, 8 September 2013

Spy meets spy

Before I say anything, drawing x-ray vision style goggles to see through walls is hard.

It is hard to keep this comic updated when so much stuff happens and how busy things get... but enough of the excuses.

This strip is about the recently released Splinter Cell: Blacklist, the sixth installment of the Splinter Cell franchise, technically seventh if you're going to count Splinter Cell: Essentials on the PSP. I've been playing a lot of the competitive online multiplayer recently and I've gotten pretty good for a newbie, mostly because of the game breaking equipment I use, just like many other players. Spies have the option of using "sonar goggles", which seriously let them see through fucking walls. It's legit in-game wall hacking and I abuse it regularly, but as I said everyone has the option to use this. So when two enemy spies come across one another, both standing behind a wall dividing one another and both using sonar goggles... it becomes an awkward stalemate.

I'm a big fan of the Splinter Cell franchise. I've owned and played every game and while the last game, Splinter Cell: Conviction wasn't that great for me, Blacklist was great. It kept the game play mechanics of Conviction but bought back elements from the past, most notably Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory... so it was like taking the best things from Chaos Theory and Conviction and putting it into the one game. Even without the iconic Michael Ironside voicing Sam Fisher (now played by Eric Johnson), Blacklist is still good. I'll admit that Johnson does sound a little too young to be playing the early to mid fifties veteran Sam Fisher, but I got over it pretty quickly.

I recently picked up Diablo III for the PS3. I played it last year on my PC and I ended up getting pretty bored of it, but I grabbed it for PS3 because I thought it might be a good couch multiplayer game to play with mates, since the game can allow four player cooperative play on the one console and TV. I gave it a go and rolled a Demon Hunter, ended up getting to level fifteen in Act 2 so far. It's actually kinda fun and feels like a new, but familiar game on the PS3. It does feel a little easy though and the amount of rare and even legendary item drops seems to have increased from the PC version?

Grand Theft Auto V is coming out later this month, not long now actually. I was originally going to get it another time, maybe, but then in the end (more like a spur of the moment) I decided to pre-order. I am looking forward to playing it, but really I'm looking forward to late October for the release of Batman: Arkham Origins. I love the Arkham series and despite a new developer behind the wheel, Origins looks awesome.

If anyone's interested, I caved in and made an account over at Tumblr. Since I do a lot of drawing in my spare time, I figured it'd be another place I could put some of my artwork, as well as other silly things that you guys might enjoy looking at. I hope. Anyway, it's up there so check it out and I hope you like it.

That's all for now. I know all I always say this, but I hope to bring another comic strip up soon. Until next time.

-Cr33g (Craig)

Sunday, 18 August 2013

At least one

This strip is a little bit twisted, a little dark. I actually feel kind of bad drawing this, but my brother and I have been told by a friend that hey, we can draw at least one messed up strip. That sounds fair right? 

This strip is loosely based off what happened just yesterday, minus the last two panels obviously. I went shopping to JB Hi-Fi and was wearing a Batman t-shirt. This little girl sees me and says to her mum, "It's Batman!". I stop, turn and respond to her, "I'm Batman!" The look on the kid's face was priceless. The same thing happened to me at the end of 2012 when I was in Queensland visiting Australia Zoo.

Once again, we've updated just a little bit too late, considering our last update was at the end of last month, shortly after our trip to Melbourne, Australia for PAX AUS 2013. It's been difficult, mostly due to my full time job taking up most of my time, especially when travel to remote communities is involved. It's not a bad thing at all of course not, it honestly just makes it a little harder to motivate myself for these comics, which I know it's no excuse really but I'm using it as one. I still draw often but as for comics I really do need to keep it up, considering this is what I want to do. 

Recently we've been designing some nerd and gamer-related t-shirts. I'm really happy with these designs and I would really like to see them as actual t-shirts. Maybe one day, when we get a little more settled on this web comic. 

Anyway, a thousand apologies for the lack of updates, I'll try harder. Now let's talk about some games.

It's been out for a while but I picked up Monster Hunter: Ultimate for the 3Ds. I picked it up because two friends of mine have the game and say it's a lot of fun when it comes to multiplayer. I've never played a Monster Hunter game before until now and while I haven't tried multiplayer I am still enjoying this game. I can't wait to actually try out the multiplayer though, I bet it'll be heaps better. I've been told the game is a bit slow to get into and yeah, it kind of is, but it's getting better as I progress a little further.

I recently got back into playing Pokemon: Black and White 2 (Black) on my 3Ds as well. Finally got all eight badges and on my way through Victory Road.

A while ago shortly after my return from PAX AUS 2013 I picked up Shadowrun Returns for PC via Steam. I tried to play the original Shadowrun on a Super Nintendo emulator but I couldn't get into it, that being said, I am a complete sucker for cyberpunk stuff like Deus Ex and Shadowrun. Shadowrun Returns is an RPG with a turn based tactical combat system similar to that of the XCOM games. I really like this game so far, the storyline is interesting and the concept of user generated content is very appealing. I can't wait to see what some people bring out. Shadowrun Returns is a pretty damn good game, especially considering it's an indie game developed via successful runs on Kickstarter. 

I saw on Steam that Splinter Cell: Blacklist is available for sale. At the sight of this I began to jump up and down for joy, but my jumping quickly diminished when Steam mentioned that the game will be "unlocked" on the 23rd of August next week. This was incredibly disappointing. The actual game comes out this week on the 22nd here in Australia, so I'm looking forward to it. 

I've pre-ordered both the Collector's Edition and Definitive Edition of Batman: Arkham Origins for PS3, another game I'm looking forward to. Why both editions? Well, the Collector's is for me and the Definitive is actually a belated birthday present for my brother. Happy birthday to him! 

That's about it. I hope to bring more comics soon in the near future. Hope you like this one and hopefully there will be more soon! 

-Cr33g (Craig)

Sunday, 28 July 2013

"The main event" - and apologies

Holy crap.

First thing's first. Once again for the second time in 2013, I'd like to apologize for not updating this damn blog. It sounds like an excuse but it does get hard to try and regularly maintain and update this website when you're working full time, training and wanting to play video games or/and have a semi-decent social life. On top of that, things just don't work out the way I want sometimes which I'm sure anyone can relate to.

Regardless, my brother and I have both been inspired to try and get back to work, ever since PAX, the Penny Arcade Expo came to Melbourne Australia just last weekend. We went to PAX AUS and it was a completely amazing experience and it was the most fun I've had all year aside from my trip to Disneyland. I won't dwell too much into it, as my brother and I are both working on a more in depth "our experience at PAX" kinda comic, which we will be uploading soon. We'll both be ranting about PAX then.

In the mean time, here's a strip based off true events from PAX AUS. It was really funny, Microsoft was there to show off the X-Box One and as everyone walked past the main theatre, the poor enforcer would be shouting "Come check out the X-Box One! Come on inside! Plenty of room!" etc. Most panels seemed so busy and it was tough to get in, for the X-Box One though it was almost as if no one at PAX wanted to see it. Maybe they thought inside the main theatre was a monster instead of an X-Box One, ready to eat them upon entry.

When the guys revealed that if you stayed to watch the X-Box One presentation, you didn't have to leave the panel room, meaning you could stay inside and wait for a short amount of time to see Gabe and Tycho of Penny Arcade for their Q&A panel. Naturally when we discovered this, we bolted inside to see the rather average X-Box presentation, but the wait to see Penny Arcade was worth it.

With this strip I wanted to try something new. I wanted to ignore shading and shadows. As I watched Gabe draw his strip live on stage, I noticed he didn't even bother with shading and shadow. I then read recently in a Penny Arcade book that I picked up from PAX that Gabe used to do shadow and shading in almost every comic, but now only does it if he feels it'll effect the quality of the joke in a positive manner. He believes if there's no need to put shadow and shading in, then don't bother, it's not going to change the joke unless you are using the visual to pull off the joke (e.g. lighting and such) and it's a lot faster and easier to draw the strip. It's so much faster. I am happy with this but at the same time, I know I have a lot of work and improvement to do.

Stay tuned and watch this space, we'll be bringing some more comics to you soon.

-Cr33g (Craig)

Sunday, 12 May 2013

"A cracking good time"

I remember saying that we'll try and stick to an update schedule of either Tuesday or/and Thursdays, but after finishing this one tonight I got a little excited and wanted to upload it straight away. Although the game has been out for over a month, this one is about Injustice: Gods Among Us.

I got the game on launch day on a whim. I had a feeling of paranoia that the game was going to suck, but I bought it anyway out of faith. I was very surprised. This game is actually really good. I love DC comics, I enjoyed the last Mortal Kombat game, so I thought the two would work quite well. Besides a few balance issues and Wonder Woman looking like Wonder Man, Injustice: Gods Among Us is pretty sweet. I will say though, the storyline reason of why guys like the Joker can take a punch from Superman is kind of stupid, but hey, it's comics. Anything goes in comics. Anything.

To tell you the truth, this strip was originally sketched a few months ago, long before I knew Bane was actually in the game. I figured "Bane has to be in the game, I can draw this right?" Seeing Bane execute his trade mark back breaking move on Batman in the game would look terrifying and oh man, it really does, but I thought it would look even more brutal if Injustice utilized the same "X-Ray moves" seen in their 2011 incarnation of Mortal Kombat. Hey, it's a DC game, so they can't be that graphic right? The comics beg to differ.

Anyone remember that Toasty guy from Mortal Kombat? I don't know the exact story behind him, but I remember he started popping up in Mortal Kombat II. Usually after a brutal uppercut or roundhouse kick in a fight, this pixel-photo of a random dude would pop out in the corner and scream "TOASTY!", it didn't make any sense, it was totally random especially at the time when you would first witness it. I kinda want to dive a bit deeper and find out a little more about this Toasty guy, but leaving it as a mystery seems to make it weirder and kinda funnier.

Speaking of Mortal Kombat, Australia has finally gotten R18+ games. That's right. Despite Mortal Kombat being released in 2011, we actually got it, right around the same time Injustice rocked up. I mentioned before I've already played this Mortal Kombat game, courtesy of a friend of mine who bought the game overseas. One of my favourite things about the PS3? Region free.

I've been playing a fair amount of Star Wars: Battlefront II on my PC, courtesy of the recent Steam sale. Now though, I've gotten myself into the RPG PC classic, Fallout 2. I remember first playing this game when I was about twelve or so, I swear I must have finished the damn game like four or five times. Now after almost a decade of not playing it, I remember almost everything in the game like it was just yesterday. I can't tell if that's awesome, or incredibly sad.

Let's just say it's awesome. That makes me feel better.

-Cr33g (Craig)

Monday, 6 May 2013

"A long time ago..."

Holy crap. An update.

Before I get into the strip and update, I just want to apologize for... well, not updating. Our last update was about three weeks ago, and even then it wasn't exactly a real update.

These past few weeks have been very hectic. I've been very busy with my full time job, things have been getting very stressful, on top of that I've been having some issues with some other personal matters that I won't get into here. Normally, we try and update on Tuesdays or Thursdays (preferably both if we can) but since today is a public holiday, I've decided the update will be today. Sorry about that. Hopefully we can get into a regular schedule again.

Right. This strip is going back a few years, back when my brother and I first played Star Wars: Battlefront II on the PS2. That's going back about seven or eight years ago, maybe even nine. It was a long time ago.

I remember we were playing online, well my brother was. The match was set on Endor, Rebel Alliance versus the Galactic Empire. My brother's on the Rebel side, blastin' away some stormtroopers and suddenly, he's got the option to play as a hero character, in this case it's Han-fucking-Solo. We were blown away by this, we thought it was awesome. I then pondered out loud,

"I wonder who the Empire gets?"

My sentence was interrupted as suddenly, from out of nowhere, Darth Vader landed on screen in front of Han Solo, cut him down with one strike of his lightsaber, before jumping away off screen.

"What... what the fuck was that?"

I can't remember if that was the exact spoken words, but that's how my brother and I were both feeling at the time, staring at the TV in shock.

The idea of this strip came back from flooding memories, when a friend of mine sent me an MMS of the recent Steam sale over the weekend. A tonne of Star Wars games, some of which I really enjoyed, for fifty bucks. Holy. Shit. No wonder people often say buying off Steam is dangerous and addictive.

I think there were two reasons that there was a massive sale on Steam for Star Wars games. The now widely celebrated "May the Fourth" recently just passed this weekend and also, as everyone is well aware now, Lucas Arts have recently shut down after they were purchased by Disney. I know Lucas Arts wasn't doing that great recently but they had made some awesome Star Wars games, not to mention that upcoming Star Wars: 1313 looked great, now we may never see the light of day, which is very sad. I love Disney, but I'm still sad that they shut down Lucas Arts.

That's about it. Hopefully we'll have another strip by this Thursday or at the very least, next Tuesday. I think I would feel a lot better and happier with myself if we can return to a regular schedule of comic uploads.

Have a good week!

-Cr33g (Craig)