Published on June 24th, 2015 | by Lee Davies
Review: Comic Workshop 2 (3DS)
Format reviewed: 3DS eShop
Other formats available: eShop exclusive
Price: £7.19 (40% discount if you own the first Comic Workshop)
Website: official website
Rating: Not applicable
Comic Workshop 2 is an art package for would be anime and manga creators to express their interest and talent from the comfort of their own settee. The first Comic Workshop released last year exclusively on 3DS and you can see our awesome review here.
This review will focus on the improvements and general changes that Comic Workshop 2 brings to the art package available at a reduced price for owners of the previous installment. So, is the second issue a better read or is it just more of the same?
This is essentially the same package that released last year. The same jazz and easy listening French cafeteria style music, the same interface, the same, well, everything, but with added extras. Are these extras enough to make people double dip though? At first glimpse Collavier have added one extra lesson to the previous 28 in the first game. They provide short and interactive help to get you started, and are essential if you want to understand the basics of creating your own masterpiece, or in my case not. Once again, however, there are no art lessons for the uninitiated and tutorials focus on the functional properties of utility usage rather than practical art help.
Everything seen in the first game is present and correct in this sequel, but there are differences and the vast majority of those only add to what was a pretty full experience last time. One of the nice additions is the ability to fully personalise your button layout for choosing between applications and tools easily. It takes away a lot of the pain of navigating similar looking menus whilst switching between a pencil and a roller stamp. The available tools are identical to last time, but all have slight improvements which usually extends to variety. More stickers, more stamps, more text boxes, etc., but my favourite change is one that irked me a lot last time round.
It was the slight lag that was ever pervasive throughout the entirety of the main suite. Drawing a line meant waiting for a fraction of a second before it appeared on screen. The response time is now greatly improved and removes the frustration felt last time. Drawing a line still involves a lag, but it is barely noticeable. The Undo feature that made you wait for 2 seconds before reaching its climax now only takes ½ a second. This increased response time relates to every tool, even the copy and paste feature which has been expanded to reach across to other pages. In the prequel you could only copy and paste within a single page, not anymore. All around, Comic Workshop 2 feels as good as it should. This being the biggest and best improvement over its predecessor.
There are other additions which make this the best of Comic Workshop, especially the post to Miiverse funcion, which was conspicuously absent last time. There’s still no online gallery hosted by Collavier accessible directly from the 3DS. Instead a convoluted ‘Press X’ to save a JPEG picture of your art one page at a time, then remove the SD Card from your 3DS to upload on a PC. This became a whole lot more difficult for New 3DS owners. But, by using the Nintendo 3DS Image Share software it is possible to upload your creations to Twitter, FaceBook and Tumblr, but still is far from adequate.
Extra additional effects, such as gradation and saturation of linework tools appear. A new grid based effect can be applied to allow for a more precise drawing. And, the storyboard mode allows colour in this outing.
These are the most notable changes which make Comic Workshop 2 far better than its predecessor. Be warned though, every other aspect of this art package remains so similar as to be identical to last year’s release. Frame and Layer management, saving, storyboarding, etc., are virtually unchanged. No stereoscopic 3D function of the 3DS exists in both versions. Maybe when they release Comic Workshop 3.
Once again Comic Workshop 2 is a hard recommendation for an artist of limited ability. Applications like Art Academy and Colours 3D provide a more stable environment to teach you how to draw, and provide enough tutorials to slowly give you practice and get better over time. Even with its limited tutorials, none that focus on art creation and awkward sharing mechanics, this utility will be enjoyed by those who its aimed at, artists with a talent and an interest in comic book creation. This is the better of the two editions available on the 3DS, so if creating a comic with an extensive set of tools is your thing, don‘t delay. It may be a hard sell for those that own the first, but if you spent 40 hours loving that edition it may be worth your money upgrading. If you’re a first time buyer, then the second version is the one to plump for.
Comic Workshop 2
Summary: A competent art package for those who like this. Not recommend for those upgrading with a casual interest, but if this is your first time, or if you love this stuff buy the 2nd over the 1st.