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I'm fairly emotional man. It doesn't take much for me to start tearing up during a moving moment. But aside from obvious trite, like pets being reunited with returing masters, what really gets the water works going is scenes of heroism.
Bravery and courage shown in times of ever increasing peril, and all that jazz. I think that I'm such a schmuck for that sort of thing because I still have that niave desire to, at some point to some degree, be heroic. I think a lot of us do; it's why we play video games and read books and watch movies. We want to identify with the hero and be part of a righteous force that saves the day. Something that Earthbound nails perfectly.
If you've seen the scene, you know exactly what I'm talking about. If not, it's in the ending so I'll try to be descreet, or you can just turn back now. Look it up if you're curious, but really you should just play the game. The way the game sets it up nonchalantly is genius. It seems so insignificant at the time and it is quickly forgotten. The video game world's best brick joke. In a dire moment, when all seems lost, when every resource seems exhausted and it's not enough, what will be the final straw? What will be the final death stroke to the great evil? YOU will be.
It was almost like Itoi knew the exact recipe for pulling my heart strings. To make this moment the most powerful moment in gaming history I've ever experienced. A moment that is still powerful to this day, if not moreso. A moment that blew my ten year old mind, and makes me well up just thinking about it to this day. A moment that tauht me an important lesson: when times are bleak, when pleas for help get absorbed by the darkness, just keep praying.
I grew up with first person shooters. I'm old enough to have had access to Wolfenstein 3D as a young child. I played the shareware version to exhaustion, running alongside the walls while mashing the space bar looking for secrets. But it was Doom, and later Duke Nukem, that really solidified my love for first person shooters. And while I adored the more fantastic settings of demonic and alien invasions, what I loved most about these games were the weapons.
The keystone of a great FPS, in my opinion, is fun weapons. Doom had a few of these. The plasma rifle was always a blast to use when I could spare the sparse ammo. But this is where Duke Nukem excelled. Past the pistol and shotgun, Duke had a wide arsenal of unique weapons that became a standard to which I judged future games.
But, alas, after the golden age of the 90s, first person shooters seemed to become more mundane. As computers became more powerful, the simulation shooter became a genre, stealing market share from my beloved arcade shooter, which was suffering enough from the proliferation of WW2 shooters. Occasionally I would be introduced to something to sate my appetite: Time Splitters, Perfect Dark. But it took a special game to get me excited for a first person shooter.
Metro 2033 is a special game.
Before this game came out, I must admit I was interested. Science fiction themed, spiritual successor to STALKER. All good points. But the second I saw the commercial for this game, peddling that damnable exclusive DLC of a light machine SHOTGUN, I knew this game needed to be part of my life. And it didn't disappoint. Despite still having the regular machine guns, shotguns and pistols, they all had unique designs and almost reinvented each weapon. It was enough to make me abandon my typically stealthy playing style. How the hell hadn't anyone thought of a machine shotgun before? WHY ISN'T IT IN EVERY GAME? Because it ridiculous, that's why. But everything can benefit from being a little bit ridiculous. And what's more ridiculous than belt fed automatic shotguns and silenced revolvers?
(PSST! Did you like this comic? Perhaps consider purchasing a print here! You'll be supporting me and I'll have more incentive to make more comics!)
Hi chums! If you know you want a print, jump down to the bottom and follow the instructions as I ONLY HAVE TWELVE PRINTS. Otherwise, stick around for a story.
So as you may know, I started Printoid several months ago. Hell, they've been DONE for several months. The idea was to support a charity that Niero and a few others were going to be a part of, and that my prints would be sold during a live stream.
However, that never happened and I eventually got around to asking Niero about it. He confirmed that sadly the whole thing never got off the ground, and he told me to just go ahead with the sell. Which left me without a charity.
As I've said before, being the ignorant gamer I am, the first thought is to send it to Child's Play. But that's boring. Which brings me to today. A few days ago, I became aware that another Dtoider, PhilKenSebben, was in a tough spot after after the unfortunate death in his family left him with some steep funeral bills. I can't think of a better beneficiary for a community charity drive than someone from that community.
So here's the deal: 100% of the proceeds will go to help PhilKenSebben with his step-father's burial. Prints will be $30 dollars + $5 shipping (international shipping will be decided for each individual). Seem like a lot? These aren't your typical made by the thousands printed on newsprint kind of posters. I hand printed each one of these on thick art paper using professional ink. SHIT IS MADE TO LAST. Ask Max and Niero how sweet these things look. Maybe we'll both get lucky, my art degree won't end up being a $50000 mistake, I'll become a successful artist and that print will be worth a million dollars some day. Also, it's for charity. So there.
Want one? Here's the rub. I don't have a store front or anything like that, so this is how it's going to work: send an email to meanderbot (at) gmail (dot) com. The first twelve people I hear from can work out payment with me via Paypal or an appropriate analog. Anyone after that will get placed on a waiting list in case someone falls through.
Also, I plan on painting one with watercolors, which will then be put on ebay in the hopes of raising a bit more. That one is still in the works, so stay tuned!