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Little known fact: I love silhouettes. I also love movie ephemera and art based on comics, tv shows, movies, etc. So Olly Moss’s Paper Cuts are basically a win-win for me. I found the Calvin and Hobbes one on Epbot and then went on a massive Olly Moss rampage. First I found the Paper Cuts blog and found all these, which were recently featured in a solo show at Gallery 1988. Can you recognize them all?
But then I found more and more stuff from Olly, and now I want to be his concubine. He came up with the Panic and Freak Out mug, that I adore, and can be purchased here.
And Raphi, this is for you:
UPDATE: I also found this, which I think speaks for itself
If you know me, you know I love Batman and I love video games. With Arkham Asylum, Rocksteady Games proved that a great video game can come from a comic book title. This year, they’re upping the ante with Arkham City. The game is just as it sounds, Arkham’s borders have been pushed out to the entire slums of Gotham, it’s a city within a city. The only real rule, as I understand it, is that prisoners (aren’t they really patients?) will be gunned down if they attempt to break out. It’s like a less happy Escape from New York. I don’t know why Batman’s been called in this time, I presume it isn’t to rescue the President’s daughter, but we’ll see.
What matters about this game is that it must stay true to the formula that made Asylum work so well. And in the video, it definitely appears that they have made every attempt to make that happen.
With all such games, though there needs to be new content as well. In this game, they’ve sampled deeper from the Rogues Gallery – Hugo Strange may be the ultimate baddie and Two Face seems to have a real role in the game. But the trailer lets slip something great.
If you haven’t started watching the trailer, why not? Arkham City will be released October 18, 2011 and can already be pre-ordered from most vendors.
This will be a first for me – I don’t believe I’ve ever written a video game review.
For the last 24 hours, I’ve been subjecting myself to a particular kind of torment, a survival horror game. While it’s always been one of my favorite genre (I still remember the first time I played Resident Evil on the Playstation back in 199-something) there are remarkably few truly outstanding titles. Here are a few of my picks: Resident Evil 1 and 2 (I hear great things about later entries in the series, but I haven’t gotten around to playing them yet), Phantasmagoria (Seriously old school PC game), and Fatal Frame. Which, until last night, was the scariest video game I’d ever played.
The shadow isn’t some spirit, it’s the universe catching up with itself.
This comes from one of the many loading screen quotes from Amnesia – The Dark Descent for the PC and Mac. Since I only have a PC I don’t have much to say about the Mac version. I would imagine they share most things in common and whatever I say about the former will apply to the latter. Though, if you have contrary information please tell me.
Dark Descent was described to me as a grueling, survival horror game with a Lovecraft influence. You wake up in an old castle with no memory and very little to go on. The game centers around you trying to find out who you are, where you’re going, and what the hell is going on. Since I’ve only been playing 24 hours I can’t give a full review, but here are some first impressions.
Grueling doesn’t quite cover what this game is, it punishes the player. If you’re used to survival horror games where ammunition and weapons fall from every enemy, you’re in for quite a bit of culture shock. Set in the 19th century, there are no guns. For that matter, this game has no weapon system at all that I’ve found. You interact with objects in the most basic ways, some you carry (like the flint boxes) some you can hold and throw. But, there seems to be no combat at all. The best you can hope for, when an enemy comes on screen, is to run and hide. Yes, Run and Hide. The key word here is survival. This game will not appeal to the shoot ‘em up crowd, most likely. Which is unfortunate, a game like this really helps you appreciate the ability to dish out what the game is doing to you. It’s also unfortunate because there probably won’t be enough copies sold to warrant any kind of sequel – but I am hoping.
Back to the game, without combat there is still damage to be taken. You have
two metrics : health and sanity. Health, illustrated by art which looks like it came from a period health text, is your physical well being. You can go from full health to dead rather quickly. That’s not the only way to die. If your Sanity, illustrated by a similarly drawn brain and spinal cord, drops too far, you will also die. What damages your sanity? As far as I can tell, almost everything. You’re warned early on that being in the dark too long can drain your sanity. Mysterious events, doors opening by themselves, wind coming from nowhere, or any of the other frequent happenings, will also drop your Sanity, which goes from Crystal Clear to Headache and shaking fists, down to … which is the last one before you die. The monsters also drop your Sanity, giving them ways to hurt you, if you simply look at them. You will drive yourself mad if you look at the monster for too long on the screen.
How do the monsters look? Well, so far I’ve only seen one up close and if I were to see such a thing in real life, I would only be able to say, “…” after the fact. The graphics are good, but not great in the game. The texture detail on the castle walls and environment are quite good. I’m running the game with a Radeon 5770, if that means anything to you. The weakest graphics, so far, have been discarded bodies which come in handy as bait. These look like mannequin parts with a little blood and gore effect. I don’t really find this very much to be an issue, however.
While the graphics are impressive, they only serve to create enough atmosphere that you feel like you’re in the world. There’s no real music in the background. Most of what you hear is ambient noise punctuated by occasional cries for help or what sounds like a monster crashing in around you. But, most of these sounds are totally disembodied. The game likes to push your buttons. You’ll hear footsteps all around, the voices sound like they’re coming from the next room. But, there’s often nothing there. Or, I should say thankfully nothing there. After 24 hours, I’m still not comfortable confronting the enemy which may be lurking around that corner.
The game mechanics engrossing, but not overly complex. You’re tasked with figuring out puzzles in the game. For instance early on, you have to find the chemicals to mix an acid to eat through the sinewy tissue that blocks your way to one level. These puzzles, in fact, are the best way to get back your lost sanity – piece the world together. That’s why I chose the quote at the beginning of the article. This game makes you feel like this bizarre, nightmare world really is the world that belongs. The kind and comfortable reality is quickly decaying into something else.
I do recommend this game, even after so little time spent with it. But, I do caution against playing it alone, at night, in the dark. Your ears will play tricks on you, and you might start seeing something out of the corner of your eye. Keep the lights on and the temperature warm. The drafty castle of Dark Descent will start to get to you.
Amnesia – The Dark Descent is $19.99 and available via download through Steam.