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…
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 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?
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.
EDIT: A lot of people have commented to say that Homestuck gets significantly better after the very rocky start. While this may be true, I don’t have the time or desire to dig through the mass that is the comic to verify that. Thus, take the above with this disclaimer, it might get better later.