MS Paint Adventures

A note from the author: Archive Crawl will now be updated on MWF, as I am big college students and actually have to bloody study for once. Cheers.

MS Paint Adventures

Andrew Hussie


Updates regularly

I have mixed feelings about MS Paint Adventures. Rather, I have different feelings concerning the two different stories available. Technically there are four stories, yes, but the first two consisted of dark tiiiimes and we do not speak of them. Because of this problem, I shall write two reviews.

Firsties, the universal stuff. The entire comic is built around the idea that it’s a video game. All of the “next” buttons are commands that anyone who has played Zork should be readily okay with. Readers can submit ideas for the next “move”, and the author decides whether to make it. The art style jumps frequently between complex and utterly simplistic, as (despite the name) most of it was done in Adobe Photoshop. Yes, you internet sellouts, it was shopped. In later pages animation becomes relatively common, and it’s actually done very well. However, this is done best in Homestuck. Why is that a problem? You’ll see…

Problem Sleuth:

The (technically) third and absolutely best story on MSPA. It follows the absolutely insane misadventures of Problem Sleuth as well as his two “partners” as they try to… I’m not entirely sure what they were doing. Seriously. Like, there were parts in the plot where the author hit the “pause” button because he knew that the entire thing was so fucking insane that he had to recap. And it was WONDERFUL.

I have never been more engrossed in a story before. It’s very odd, and the plot makes no sense whatsoever. Let’s just get that out of the way. But there’s such absurd satire that I sometimes had me laughing out of my chair (That’s right, a ROFLOL). The absurdity is just balls-to-the-walls crazy, but there is something of a plot there. Actually, there’s a lot of plot there, although you have to pay something of attention to get it. The general idea that it’s all one big game helps a bit in the beginning, but after a bit the comics become less about utter absurdness that blatantly rips on RPGs. It’s like if you took a RPG, threw in some pixie dust (not the fantasy kind, the narcotic kind), some noir detective novel. It’s nice.

I tried.

I really did. I wanted to find something to replace Problem Sleuth. I thought “Hey, now he’s had so much more practice! This will be great”! I read and read and read. And what do I have to say?

Fucking sucked.

Problem Sleuth’s genius is that it took absurdity and managed to tie in into a delectable meal that is good with red wine or cocaine. I compare Homestuck to a McDonald’s cheeseburger. You eat it, you kind of enjoy it, and then after you don’t really know why you ate it. It’s not clever, it’s not funny, it’s just stupid. I must admit, I stopped reading a long time ago simply because I was so bloody bored. The only real redeeming feature about it is that the animated parts and (get this) soundtrack is pretty good. However, this is only found by digging through the proverbial chaff for the gem. Except that the chaff is the size of the Pentagon and the gem was once mistaken for a grain of rice.

Overall, read Problem Sleuth, skip Homestuck. It’s your only hope.

P.S. For you who love video games, Zero Punctuation. It’s a hilarious video game video series that I just heard about, although it seems like that’s like Rickrolling someone today… idk. It’s yours, anyways.

7 thoughts on “MS Paint Adventures

  1. Pretty sure you haven’t read Homestuck. Because if you had you would realize how good it is. Sure its not absurd whimsy like PS, but it makes up for it in excellent dialogue, writing, characters, environment, and creativity. If you only read the first act then I would agree, but get past that and it gets better ten-fold. You don’t make an effective argument as to WHY it sucked, so I doubt your opinion is any good.

    Try Again?

  2. I compare that to the reviews of Final Fantasy XIII. “Hey, it gets good after 20 hours or so”! Yeah, but you also spend 20 hours making love to a cheese grater to get there. I gave it a chance, I did, reading through the first act and most of the way through the second, and still was not impressed. It simply did not have the constant charm of PS, which is what I expected at the outset and was severely disappointed.

    I still stand by my review. Okay, maybe it’s not as bad as it once was, but that’s like saying that it hurts less to hit yourself with a rock than a knife.


  3. I was underwhelmed by the beginning of Homestuck as well, but I’m glad I waited it out. I remember specifically the page that finally hooked me was “[S]: Ascend” (I think this was the first real music page). After that it just got better and better. I personally think it just took a while for the author to decide how he wanted to do the comic with the new format – but I’ve heard others say that reading through Problem Sleuth as it was being written in the beginning was much the same… I don’t know. Either way, it has definitely surpassed Problem Sleuth in my mind at this point (your review of PS is dead-on by the way).

  4. Here’s the trick to getting through early homestuck: Skip through pretty much everything Rose says. The problem with the beginning is, like the other adventures, that it is slow, as Hussie begins to explain the abstract concepts that will define the series, and as he began experimenting with new ideas (in this case flash).

    Rose, however, can make this slightly unbearable for you if you try to read everything she writes at face value. For most of Rose’s text, skim it, and get this gist of what she’s saying rather than trying to parse her flowery prose.

    Trust me, the second act and onward (especially after Dave is introduced) is amazing.

    • Like I’ve said before, saying that “it’s good as long as you skip (blank)” isn’t really a point in favor of the comic, especially when (blank) is needed to establish the story. However, I understand what you’re saying, as I ended up skimming her stuff anyways because reading those chat logs made me want to do shots of rubbing alcohol until I blacked out.

      • Let me start out by saying that I wholeheartedly agree that saying “It’s great, as long as you skip *insert superfluous information here*” is like saying “You’ll love the sex as long as you don’t mind the herpes”. But it is critical for a reader to know that, like many webcomics, Homestuck’s brilliance boils down to the sum of its parts. And yes, quite a bit of the beginning can seem silly or inconsequential, and the first few jokes can seem weak to anyone whose educational career surpassed eighth grade, but the hilarity presented in later pages more than attones for that. As for Rose’s passages being unimportant, I strongly disagree. While a lot of what Rose says may seem like inconsequential bullshit, later on in the story many of her introductory statements are referenced, her SBURB walkthrough especially. As for the large quantity of Colonel Sassacre’s text on one page, skip it. It’s not important. After that, pretty much everything else is pure gold. The characterization is fantastic. The humor is unique. The silliness is attoned for by the seriousness of certain unbelievable situations. This is by far one of the best webcomics out there, and you would be a fool to miss out on it just because of a few missteps during its creation.

      • I’ve been getting a lot of people (as you can see) that say that Homestuck gets significantly better. While this may be true, bear in mind that the “few missteps during it’s creation” is a pretty sizable portion of the archive, one that requires a lot of time sunk into it in order to get through it. As for Rose’s passages, I refer more to the gigantic text blocks that make up the “chat sessions”, which may be important to the story but are still poorly implemented. You’re supposed to weave the story in with the actions onstage, not stop everything while you sit down and read a 15-page thesis on “What I’m Up To”.

        Bear in mind that this review was written almost a year ago, when it was just starting up. And yes, I would like to keep my posts as accurate as possible. However, I’m afraid that I don’t have the time, or frankly, the desire to go through the entire thing again, which would be required if I were to rewrite it properly. But since the consensus seems to that the comic gets better, I’m going to throw a note in that says so.

        In all, remember that this was just my opinion. If you liked it yourself then Guns and Roses awesome for you.

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