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Game Review: Hellblade Senua’s Sacrifice

For those of you who haven’t heard of this game, please take a moment to view the amazingly epic trailer above.

There is a lot of different reasons why I love this video game.  I’m going to make a list.

  1. It features a Pict as the main character and while it stretches the religion of the Norse, it doesn’t really break it.  The myths themselves are accurate and portrayed fairly well within the context of the game.  The Norse are the ‘bad guys’ in so much as they are the ones who caused the events that set off the story that you play in the game.  The Norse themselves are absent from the game itself.
  2. The graphics were stunning, but what made those graphics so amazing is that the game was actually acted.  The graphics are CGI, but the animations are motion captured and boy does it show.  This is one of the few games where it felt like the characters were actual people, and not something created to behave like people.  The eyes are what usually break that illusion and in this game, they eyes are nigh on perfect.
  3. This game explores mental illness.  The creators actually studied mental illness and had a group of people who actually experience mental illness who consulted on the gameplay and effects.  It explores it in a way that doesn’t pass judgement on those who suffer from these things, but as a way to show folks what these people deal with on a daily basis.  I have yet to find a game that addresses mental illness in a similar way.
  4. It is a shamanistic journey.  Outside of the mental illness aspects, this is a story of a woman going on a journey to save her loved one.  It hits several basic core aspects of shamanism and mysticism in varying different ways.  Combine that with the nordic mythology and it’s no wonder why this game is one of my favorites.
  5. The puzzles were fun and engaging.  Each area required you to think a little differently, yet still allowed you to utilize the skills you had gained in the previous areas.

There are no levels in this game, so you didn’t have to worry about skill trees or equipment.  You immersed yourself into this world and just enjoyed the ride.  It was fantastic.  I didn’t have to worry about character build, the story told you all you needed to know.

It’s not open world, so there is certainly a specific path you had to take, but the story it wove made up for the more ridged outline.  It couldn’t have told the story with the same depth and engagement without giving you a little nudge every now and then.

They added a mechanic where there was a possibility of losing your game saves if you died too much.  I died a LOT and never lost the saves, so I don’t know what that threshold was but it was more than should be needed for sure.

If there was one complaint I had about the game and that was the fighting mechanics.  Senua is slow, and the monsters are fast.  That is okay but it means that in order to beat the fighting scenes you spend most of your time doing two things, dodging the incoming hit, and then following through with a slash of your sword.  No matter what you are fighting, that is pretty much the totality of the combat mechanics.  There is also no way to change target focus until you are hit, or you just so happen to hit the monster on your way to your current target.  It’s not a game killer, but it’s certainly less than ideal.  Luckily the combat was balanced by the puzzles, so in the end the clunky combat didn’t take up the majority of the game.

10/10  I would HIGHLY recommend this game.

Once you have completed your play through make sure to check out the little trailer included with the game, it goes into more detail with how the game was made and the various consultants that they had to make sure it was as true to life as they could make it.  Just be certain to do it AFTER you finish the game as it contains spoilers.

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Photoshoot done!

2017

I finally got to get the photo-shoot for the next couple of comics done!  I should have enough pictures for three pages at least.

Most of the timing issues were my fault, as I am unusually busy right now, so I am thankful that the model was willing to work with me on that.

So now I am pulling out the good photos, organizing them and getting them edited into a usable comic page!

The next page is coming soon!

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Hello from the Middle of Chaos!

Hullo!

I have some amazing things planned for the comic and I am actively working on them. However, I am caught within a month of insanity. Between work commitments and personal commitments I am trying to find time to even write blog posts.

The Talon is one of the few avatars that is still housed on someone else’s account so I am having to try and schedule photo shoots around their schedule. They are playing heavily in the upcoming storyline so I am trying to get as many photos as I can with each shoot. It’s a challenge to bring it all together!

I haven’t forgotten about the comic! Quite the contrary I am working hard on getting the next several pages questions up and ready to go. I even have some exclusives just for my beloved Patrons! Let me know if you would like another Facebook live session where I can answer all your comic related questions!

All of this is coming soon!

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One Shot Role Play – First Contact

First Contact

When: Sunday, July 9th 2017

Where: Second Life

It has been over a thousand years since the Great Divide that split the continents and the creatures that lived upon them. The fae and humans have rebuilt their civilizations to the best of their ability on their long isolated landmasses.

Humans: Their numbers nearly decimated, it has been a struggle to regain the footing they lost during the downfall. Because of their relatively short life spans the fae have become subjects of myths and legends and most people have begun to focus on science to improve their life. The humans are now within the grip of an industrial revolution but they are beginning to realize their power sources are slowly killing them. Coal and oil has allowed them to build wild and strange machines but it is a dirty power source and the even the wealthiest people are beginning to suffer because of it’s slow creep of death and destruction across their lands.

Fae: Fae are long lived and powerful, though their memory is fickle. There are those who still remember human beings, though after a thousand years the details tend to blur. There are also many new fae who have never experienced the humans’ touch of mortality. They are a wary bunch, knowing there are creatures out there even more deadly than they are. They are creatures of magic so science has never taken root in their society. Why would they need it? Their magic does what ever they need it to do. If they cannot do the magic they need themselves, they certainly know of someone who can. Thus the Fae have tight knit networks of information. This is their true source of wealth. In a rigidly hierarchal society they can only move up in the ranks out of might or usefulness.

The Story: The humans need a better power source for the future of their survival so they begin to travel farther and farther from the ‘Civilized’ world. It isn’t until an intrepid group of Air Pirates are forced out into the vast expanse of the Great Waters as a last ditch effort to avoid certain doom that they discover the wondrous world of the fae, long thought lost. This is the story of the First Contact between human and fae after the 1000 year divide.

 

You have the choice of playing on the Fae side, or on the Human side.  I will mark the professions that are chosen as they come in.  First come first served.

Humans – Choose a profession:
Carpenter
Surgeon
Engineer
Navigator
Rigger
Cabin Boy

Fae – Choose a power:
Blood
Wind
Divination
Spring
Winter
Electricity

I will work with you to create your character before the game itself. Submit the form below and I will contact you directly.

 

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Patreon Rewards Update

To make the Patreon rewards more useful to folks, and easier for me to achieve on a monthly basis, I have updated them.

I have adjusted the price tiers to those that are most used, and given folks at each tier some fun things to experience.

One of the big changes is that I will be holding a monthly Q&A session on Facebook Live for everyone!  So if you haven’t liked the Facebook page do so now and you won’t miss a thing!

The first Facebook Live event will be June 14th at 6:00 cst.

The $3 and $10 tiers were dropped so that I can give you more bang for your buck on the other tiers.  I think it is going to make a big difference.

If you aren’t familiar with my Patreon page, head on over and check it out!  We would love to have you.

I hope you have a great day!

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Little Late this Week

Last week turned out to be a lot busier than I had anticipated.  Getting ready for the last game took up more of my time than it usually did, so I was unable to work on the comic at all.

I will be working on it this week and will have this page and next week’s page sorted before Friday.  So you will still get a comic this week, it just is going to be a little later than usual.

Sorry about that!

 

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More Work Done!

So I’ve been busy working on the sim, getting it ready for the stories yet to come.

Here is a picture of the slums of Vardala, ready for their debut in the comic!

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It will be a while, but I can’t wait to tell stories in this section of the world!

I also added lights to the streets outside the shops.

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I am happy to be able to have purchased a hospital for the city as well!  It will come in handy knowing how much the crew of the Jeweled Heron like to get in trouble.

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Image Comics

Are you a fan of comics?  If you are Humble Bundles are your friends.  I’m not getting paid to say that, I just want to share a great way of exploring comics without breaking the bank.

So one of the hardest things for me to do is to justify spending money on a comic series if I don’t know anything about it.  What is it about?  How is the artwork?  Is the story worthwhile?  If you haven’t done any research on the series you won’t know.  This means that unless you do a lot of research, expanding your comic repertoire is difficult.  I want to explore comics!  I want to read off the beaten path stories.  I tend to shy away from your usual titles, Batman, Superman, The Avengers, X-men.  They are all great comics, but they aren’t what I’m looking for.  Give me the weird and unusual, give me the original and unique.  Tell me a story I haven’t heard before.

It’s really hard to find if you don’t already know what you are looking for, lemme tell ya.  So when Humble Bundle provides a group of comics I usually snap them right up, because hey, I don’t have to invest my life savings AND I get to explore comics I may not have heard of yet.  Win/win!

While not every comic I end up getting is a four star gem, there is still a few that are worthwhile that I hadn’t even heard about before I got the bundle.  Good stuff!

Back in January I downloaded their Image at 25 bundle hoping to find a few of those hidden gems.  I already knew about RatQueens (amazing), and Saga (WELL worth the read) and I had just finished reading The Wicked and the Divine (Beautiful and well written), so I figured they had a good chance of having even more comics I might enjoy.

HOLY MOTHER OF GOD.  I was right! Image Comics immediately jumped to my number 1 spot as my favorite comic publisher.

From the bundle I now have a list of comics I plan on following, or at least catching up on.

Limbo

A detective with no memory, no identity, and no manners. A femme fatale seeking escape from a powerful crime lord. A voodoo queen with a penchant for mixtapes and hi-tops. A goat-eating TV… A surreal neon-noir fusing hardboiled pulp with an 80’s VHS visual aesthetic, dripping with neon and static.

This trippy little gem is sure to keep you guessing to the end, and while it’s full of magic and realm hopping it’s presented in a way so it doesn’t become confusing.  Love it.

East of West

This is the world. It is not the one we wanted, but it is the one we deserved. The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse roam the Earth, signaling the End Times for humanity, and our best hope for life, lies in DEATH.

I’m not a big fan of westerns.  Not really my type of story.  So when I first opened this one up I was kinda, meh.  But it isn’t a western, it is SO much more.  It ropes you in early and keeps the pages turning to the end.

Black Road

1000 CE. When a Vatican official under is murdered on the infamous “Black Road” while under the care of Magnus The Black, Magnus uncovers a secret so big it threatens to change the balance of power in all of Europe.

Historical Comics are something I have explored only briefly as my usual comic of choice is sci-fi or fantasy.  This comic will be on my list for a number of reasons.  It is a slowly unfolding saga that, when paired with the artwork, tells a gripping story you won’t want to put down.

Pretty Deadly

KELLY SUE DECONNICK (Avengers Assemble, Captain Marvel) & EMMA RÍOS (Dr. Strange, Osborn) reunite to bring you an all-new ongoing series that marries the magical realism of Sandman with the western brutality of Preacher. Death’s daughter rides the wind on a horse made of smoke and her face bears the skull marks of her father. Her tale of retribution is as beautifully lush as it is unflinchingly savage.

This one caught me by surprise.  I didn’t expect to enjoy this one as it starts out as a another Western-like story.  But just like East of West it really isn’t a western.  Add a couple of strong female characters and you’ve got me hooked.

Prophet

On distant future Earth, changed by time and alien influence, John Prophet awakens from cryosleep. His mission: to climb the the towers of Thauili Van and restart the Earth empire. But, news of the Empire’s return brings old foes and allies out of the recesses of the vast cosmos.

Aliens that aren’t remotely human?  Strange worlds that aren’t anything like earth?  A story that keeps you wondering what the heck is going on?  Ooooo boy, I’m gonna be reading this one for a while.

These are just a few of the titles that made Image Comics a fascinating follow.  Anyone else have some comics from Image that they recommend?  Let me know in the comments below!

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The Dreams of Innocents

Writers create a world when they write.  It’s usually huge and vast and rarely ever seen in the actual story in it’s full glory.  Sometimes it’s not.  But my worlds are just that, filled with history and characters that rarely get explored in the main story-line.

So I offered my Patrons the ability to see into a small section of each character to give a more detailed view of who they are and what their motivations are.  They are 1-2 page comics that really are just character studies but they are fun and give you insight on the character.

So I asked my Patrons if they would be okay with me sharing these comics with you after a while, so that the general reader can get those same insights.  They said they had no problem with it.  (I love my patrons!)

So two months after the Patron’s get the first look, you will be able to see the comics too!  They will only come out once a month, and will be posted on the first Thursday of the month.

Look for the first one next week!