by: Finn Orfano
; edited by: Simon Hill
; updated: 4/17/2012
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If you enjoy webcomics, then check out these three that take a comedic jab at video games.
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8-Bit Theater is a webcomic loosely based on Final Fantasy I, about four heroes, called the Light Warriors, on a quest to destroy an evil villain called Chaos. The characters are represented by 8-Bit sprites, hence the title 8-Bit Theater.
The webcomic is a parody on Final Fantasy and role playing games, with characters talking and acting more like real people, mentioning their desires for liquor and power, and their habits for cheating and lying. Yes, you will see how much these Light Warriors don't get along, as they often argue with each other, calling each other names, sometimes using very naughty words. There are also a fair amount of references to the ridiculous powers prevalent in role playing games, something 8-Bit Theater enjoys poking fun at in their strips.
You figure these Light Warriors will be good and noble like their counterparts in the video game but these “heroes" are usually not heroic at all. When the four heroes go up against a dangerous wizard, three of them decide to run like the wind, leaving their friend all by himself to handle the fight. Fortunately for them, their enemies are in many ways just like they are.
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Virtual Shackles is like Penny Arcade, with a similar drawing style, and featuring two characters (Orion and Jack) sharing random thoughts about what goes on in the video games industry. Like Gabe and Tycho, they often complain, debate, and make fun of video game characters and the people who are part of the industry.
If you have that taste for humor mixed with the occasional violence, very bloody and twisted at times, along with profanity, then Virtual Shackles is right up your alley. The webcomic's two creators, Jeremy Vinar and Mike Fahmie, enjoy poking jokes at the games they love (Fallout 3, WoW, and Bioshock) along with taking shots at certain issues inside the industry, like the controversies created by EA and the problems surrounding the Halo movie.
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Brawl In The Family
Anyone who has played Nintendo games should check out Brawl in the Family, a webcomic that does a good job of bringing comedy into the Nintendo universe. Matthew Taranto, the cartoonist, has quite the imagination, putting these Nintendo characters in silly, sometimes unfortunate, situations. In one strip Yoshi and Birdo team up to egg Bowser's door, getting him all riled up since he was quietly sitting by the fire reading War and Peace.
The webcomic is really for people familiar with the characters in the Super Mario Bros. franchise, Super Smash Bros., Kirby, and a host of others. You can tell that Taranto has a strong affection for Nintendo games since a lot of his drawings feature gameplay from many of its franchises. One strip shows Mario in a hurry to get to the castle at the end of the level, but to get there, he has to fight Koopas and avoid Pirahna Plants. When he finally makes his way to the castle, it turns out he really needed to use the bathroom. According to this cartoonist, the world of Super Mario Bros. has toilets in the castles.