RPG World Vol. 1
Over the years, the venerable Final Fantasy series of role-playing games has spawned a good number of offshoots bearing its good name. Some, such as Final Fantasy Tactics, were good. Others (*cough cough* Final Fantasy: Unlimited *cough cough*) haven't been especially memorable. Perhaps the best related product produced by Square (also known as SquareEnix, SquareSoft, or whatever they fancy themselves nowadays) to date was the ill-fated feature length CG movie, The Spirits Within. An excellent film that was about as fun as watching the brainwashing sequence in Clockwork Orange (another excellent, yet painful film), it just didn't have the soul of the Final Fantasy games.
I should have known that the first good spinoff of the series wouldn't come from the makers of Final Fantasy themselves.
So, here we are, and for the first time, I have in my hands a worthy side project related to the Final Fantasy series. This little wonder is called RPG World, but there's a good chance that fans of Keenspot know what I'm talking about already.
This isn't a sequel to a pre-existing game, nor is it a side story focusing on one of the characters or events you've seen before. It's far better than that. RPG World is in truth a brilliant parody. For quite some time, regulars at Keenspot have been reading and enjoying this series, but now it's finally available in graphic novel format for those of us who don't feel like reading it on a computer, or waiting for each page to download.
While most of the inspiration for this first volume appears to come from Final Fantasy VII, there are plenty of other jabs taken at countless other RPG conventions. RPG World will appeal especially to those of us who've played RPGs for years, but even if you only went through a single Final Fantasy title, you'll get most of the jokes in this comic strip.
The storyline of the comic continues throughout, but each page tends to have its own punchline. Unlike Megatokyo, which has shifted to focus more on the story and less on the humor, RPG World hangs on to the jokes tighter than the clothes on most of the characters in Final Fantasy X-2.
Visually...well, you're not going to want a poster of this series for its artistic quality. This is a lighthearted, humorous series, and the artwork does exactly what it needs to do. However, I don't mean to imply that I wouldn't WANT a poster of this series. The book is hilarious, and it certainly beats going through the website's archive for fifteen hours to read it all.
I'd never heard of RPG World until I saw the book in my bookstore recently, but I'm extremely glad that I found it. It's easily the funniest comic book series I've encountered in a long time. When I had a super-fast internet connection, I spent hours at a time reading Megatokyo, CuteWendy, Real Life, and Dub This!, but now that I primarily use a dialup internet service, my relationship with web comics has been put on hold. I can only hope that more publishers are willing to take the risk and put these series out where I can buy them.
If you're new to web comics, RPG World is a great place to start. If you're unsure as to whether or not you'd like the series, just check out the comic for free, at www.rpgworldcomic.com. Fans of the series, take note - this book is one of the most direct ways you can show your love and support of your favorite comics, so if you like RPG World and have some extra cash, do your part and pick up the book. That way, we can have more great stuff like this made available in the future!
In the meantime, my game is saved, I've swapped the disc, and I'm ready for the second part of this immensely entertaining adventure. So when's it gonna come out?