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February 25, 2013

I Hraet You, Revengeance

Confession time: this was originally going to be a post dedicated solely to I Hraet You.

I’ve been thinking about the story a lot recently and what I want to do next.  I have a pretty solid idea of where this next chunk of chapters will go; whereas the first part was all about Lloyd discovering his powers and the stakes and consequences, this one will have him put his skills to the test.  He’ll have to become aware of his weaknesses -- even those that he didn’t know existed (and if you’re savvy enough, you’ve probably figured out what one of them might be).  He’ll have to put himself out there to “save” people he couldn’t save before.  And most of all, he’ll take a step forward in realizing his dream…and building the unbridled world of love he so…uh…loves.

There are still things that I need to do, though, and I’ll get to them in a moment.  But there’s been a slight change of plans.  See, I tried out Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance not too long ago, and if you’ve been following this blog you may know that I’ve been very concerned about it.  I’ve been worried about its quality, its reception, its status relative to the less-than-pleasant DmC, and its effect on me.  Would I end up hating it?  Would I end up being ousted as a hypocrite?  Would I tear apart a game that seemed like the last bastion of stylish crazy action?

Several times in the past -- and here on this very blog -- I said something like “Let’s see how Metal Gear Rising turns out.”  Well, it’s out.

And it is amazing.

Never would I have guessed that a game with the Metal Gear moniker would be a better Devil May Cry game than DmC (and note the strategic phrasing there).  But here we are.  Now, I won’t say that Revengeance is perfect, because it isn’t -- even if I’m a breath away from calling it “infinitely superior” to a certain other game that I hate to keep harping on.  Even in the short time I’ve had with it, I know that it’s not perfect.  There are some gameplay issues, and I suspect that there are story issues that could have used a bit more sorting out.  But here’s the thing: even if the game isn’t perfect, and even if it is stupid as a lobotomized turkey, and even if it is just the spectacle/power fantasy double whammy, it’s still everything I could ever want out of an action game.  Everything. 

Even while firing on all cylinders, at best DmC could only manage to get a resounding “huh, that’s kinda cool” from me.  In the first hour or so of Revengeance, I was almost shouting “YEAAAAAAAAAAAAH!” and “OH JEEZ!” and “TAKE THAT!” with every ounce of volume I could produce.  To say nothing of the fact that throughout the experience, I was spouting off my own bad one-liners.  Why?  Because what the game does, it does so well you can’t help but get fired up.  You can’t help but feel that passion, that heat, that drive to survive, and crush every enemy that stands in your way.

The downside to all this is that I pretty much HAVE to do a Let’s Discuss post on it.  That means that I’ll have to stew on the game for a while, and in the interstice between finishing it and writing the post, the veneer might wear off considerably.  I’m hoping it doesn’t, and I suspect it won’t, but anything could happen, I guess…like some pretty terrible plot twists or suddenly-awful gameplay mechanics rearing their ugly, crust-laden heads.  So that’s something to look forward to.

Long story short, Revengeance > DmC.  You should seriously consider getting it if you’re on the fence, or at the very least try the demo.  Or watch some YouTube footage.  It’s not the same as playing it, but you should get an idea of what to expect...well among them, the first boss fight.


Now let’s switch gears and focus on something significantly-less full of cyborg ninja action (for now).  As the diabolical mastermind behind I Hraet You -- seriously, some people have used the word “diabolical” to describe me -- I’ve got a responsibility and commitment to making it not only the best story I can, but something that’ll entice readers from all over.  Thing is, if the entirety of Cross-Up has taught me anything, it’s that you have to consider and put time into things well beyond just writing.  Pictures, art, links, music, videos, formatting, and more -- all things that need to be considered (and indeed, once a “certain story arc” is finished, I’ll have more than enough grounds to do another redesign).

In the context of IHY, what this means is that there are things that I need to do beyond just pump out chapters.  And indeed, I intend to.  Last week I brought up the possibility of a character creation contest, and that possibility is still open if enough people show interest in it.  But beyond that, there are things I want to do for the sake of the readers.  I have a few ideas of things that I could do, but before I get too ahead of myself I thought I’d get some input first.

So here’s the thrust of this week’s inquisition: what would you want to see first for I Hraet You?

I’ve come up with some options.  The first and most obvious, in my eyes, is to make a character page -- one that’ll be expanded over the course of the story’s life, but the sooner I start the better off I’ll be.  As long as my MS Paint skills are up to snuff, I imagine that I can add some visuals as needed…or at the very least, descriptions of who these people are.  Since there’s obviously a character-centric focus throughout the story, having a little archive can help new readers.

And on that note, the second option is to go all out and make a recap page -- maybe a recap video, if I can summon up the skill and willpower to do so.  Continuity lockout is going to be a big issue with IHY -- that much is obvious, and something I need to stem ASAP.  If I put together a recap page/video, then when Lucky Chapter 77 comes rolling around someone jumping in for the first time might have something to fall back on.  It certainly wouldn’t be the first recap; I’d probably end up doing something like this between every break in the arc.  Maybe even on a monthly basis (at least in summarizing in words; I’ve found that I kind of hate making WMM stuff.  So tedious…).  But whatever the case, that option is there.

And speaking of options, here’s a third one: more bonus chapters.  If the holiday special chapters have taught me anything, it’s that it’s more than possible to take the cast and put them in unique situations, regardless of where they are in the story.  And barring a few details here and there, I’d assume that it’s a little easier getting into those than the story at large…in other words, you can think of them as a sort of teaser, or a jumping-in point in their own right.  Plus they’re plenty of fun to make.  So if there’s anyone out there who wants more bonus chapters (or even better -- if anyone wants to write their own guest chapters), then let me know.

I’ll do what I can to make the story user-friendly.  So, I’ll leave it all in your hands, guys.  Tell me what you want to see first -- whether it’s one of these three options, or if you have your own idea/expectation.  I’ll do what I can to get them all typed up and ready to roll.  Of course, it goes without saying, but just because I put one thing up first doesn’t mean that the others will never follow; I’m just prioritizing based on the public’s desires.  Writing for the people, pleasing the fans, and so on.  Still, this’ll work a lot better if I get some input.  So whether you’re an avid reader, a casual fan, someone who likes reading the gaming posts but isn’t quite ready to take the hraet-y plunge, or just someone who found this site by searching for anime schoolgirl panties (seriously, I have no idea how that happened), then let me know.  Help me help you, as they say.

So here’s a poll for you to vote in.  And of course, there’s the comments section below.  I want to hear whatever you have to say, and everything you have to say.  So let’s hear the love, yeah?

I Hraet You is on its way back soon. What kind of content do you want to see first?


  1. I'd really suggest both a character page and a recap page, as I've seen a few plot-based web comics do. But as far as what should be done first, I'd go with character pages. A colorful cast of characters will not only entice would-be readers, actually writing down character pages will help you solidify what you want your characters to be. It'll more or less help you get your facts straight about your characters in your own mind. After all, putting ideas and concepts down on paper is infinitely better than just having them kinda float around in your head, all malleable and immaterial-like.

    Though, I guess since you're already 50-something chapters in - with a holiday special, no less - you could say they're already "on paper." But I think you get what I'm getting at, ne? Defining your characters to yourself and others will give you a better idea of who exactly your characters are.

  2. I'm still not sure if I will get the new MG game...looks pretty though.

  3. I've always been a fan of the character Raiden so it's great to see him get his own game. You paint a very lovely picture for this one. It's sounding like THE action game of 2013.

  4. Well, it's a little early to make that call just yet, but I can tell you right now that it's the best action game this year so far. Well, even by year's end it'll probably be a top contender; outside of one or two titles I'm hard-pressed to name any other titles that are even in the same genre, much less rival it.

    ...Maybe we've got a washout here.

  5. It doesn't just look pretty; it FEELS pretty. It's an audiovisual treat, where the visual and sound effects come together to give virtually every action speed, weight, and force. If you land a successful parry, it sounds like there's a damn thunderstorm booming. If you're looking for a game with some real impact, Revengeance is a good choice.

    ...On the other hand, there have been a LOT of concerns about length, and yeah, that's a real issue. I'm having a hell of a time with the game, but there's a voice in the back of my head that keeps saying "it's gonna end soon, it's gonna end soon." If longetivity is a concern, I don't blame you for being unsure -- but then again, I hear there are plenty of unlockable items and side missions. I also suspect that it's the kind of game I'll end up playing more than once, so there's that.

  6. I'll admit that getting a character page set up has always been a top priority, but I just thought I'd hear what others had to say first. Probably because I know that getting all the stuff drawn up is going to be a multi-day endeavor, and when it comes to art I can be deceptively lazy...but whatever. I'll do it. For the people! Or...something.

    Well, I'll have to keep an eye on the poll for the next week. In the meantime, I might as well get started one of these days...

  7. I'm looking forward to playing this. I have fond memories of MGS2 playing as Raiden. They might have been... less than pure. Namely laughing as he tried and failed to do bad ass flips up stairs, slipping on bird poop, and killing so many seagulls with NIKITA rockets that he got dumped by his girlfriend... but I digress.

    As far as I Hraet you goes. I'd start small. With as much as you've invested in the characters, it should be a cakewalk to drum up a simplistic character list. In fact, a long one would likely just intimidate people! Two or three sentences that sum up them. From what I've read, two descriptor sentences and a quote would be golden.

    Non-spoiler recaps are hard. I struggle with my short story descriptions in the same light. But if you can drum up the feel of the chapter in a sentence or two, the goal is making them want to find out how that comes to be... not giving them a reason not to bother.

  8. Heh heh, sounds like you had some good times with Metal Gear. I admit that, while I like the series, I've never actually been able to finish one of the games (I just watched my brother go through them). It seems like every time I try to be stealthy and tactical, "bad things" tend to happen...and I end up tackling my way through a room full of baddies, and then giving them an up-close-and-personal view of my knife. Good times, those.

    So in a way, maybe Revengeance is the game for me. You can be stealthy, but outside of a few instances it's just as viable to go in swords blazing. Then again, I'd expect no less from a cyborg with built-in high heels.

    Anyway, regarding IHY: that's a good idea with the quotes. I'll have to make a note to throw those in. And I should probably put a bit more thought into how I'm going to get the recaps set up. Nothing ever goes 100% according to plan, in my experience (my Metal Gear misadventures taught me that...repeatedly). Guess I'll just have to mess around and find something that works.