My friends and I bought Anarchy Reigns cheap recently for something different to play multiplayer. It’s certainly different. We haven’t really played much of it yet and all I do is complain about how much damage I’m taking when I play it (#maturity). It’s enjoyably baffling, obviously bonkers but pretty frustrating. In an attempt to get to grips with the controls and systems better I played through the campaign. Here’s what I thought.
Anarchy Reigns is a sequel/prequel/interquel to MadWorld on the Wii (I have it waiting to play so I haven’t looked up the connection) so for a lot of the story I couldn’t tell if I was missing information because I hadn’t played MadWorld or because it wasn’t given to me. But it’s a Platinum Games game (<3) so honestly it could be either. The storyline is some balls about two different characters that are trying to catch up to a third character for reasons that are never fully explained and with fantastically unearned high-emotion scenes. The whole tone of the campaign is like a 12yo who’s still young enough to play with action figures but whose older brother has shown him Robocop and Die Hard. And, as with so many Platinum Games, I can’t tell if they realise this or not. Continue reading
Two friends and I decided to do some short-form writing based on io9‘s Concept Art Writing Prompts. The furthest we got was 2/3 of us did it once. This is my entry based on the image below, titled “A Boy in the Hall of Hearts“. The piece is by concept artist Brun Croes, via Concept Art World.
The boy stood perplexed at the scene in front of him. Arranged in a regular grid were wooden pedestals, atop them bell jars containing what could only be hearts. (He’d studied organs in science class last term and the heart was his favourite because he liked the word “ventricle”). Stranger than the appearance of the suspended army was the sound. Each heart was still beating, but not in unison. A deep cascade of thuds expanded throughout the room, unceasing. There were so many hearts that the first had beat its second before the last had beat its first. It created a tension as the tumbling sound had the listener expecting a crash at the bottom of the fall. But the crash never came. He closed his eyes, screwed up his face and shook his head, attempting to lift the mesmeric effect of the rumble. He reached toward the nearest jar but stopped as he noticed the undisturbed dust covering the stately container. Below the glass he could see a small brass plaque, too dusty to read. He ran his finger across it, lifting a layer of dust and leaving a line of shining brass in its wake. He played with the dust between his fingers and felt its grainy texture resolve to nothing as it rejoined the air. The plaque read
How he looked at Sarah in Ivory
One of my friends was taking a creative writing class as part of his Master’s and I’d been giving him feedback on some of it. I’d felt guilty just criticising his work so one week I decided to write a piece to the same brief. An attempt at empathy. The brief was about “a scene between two characters, one of whom is finding it difficult not to reveal something to the other”. This is what I came up with.
“Thanks for doing this. I know it was short notice.”
“It’s honestly not a problem. I was actually going to call you anyway. I needed to give you this.”
Patrick reached into the side pocket of his coat and attempted to remove the wrapped, Blu Ray copy of Die Hard from it. He’d put it in with longest sides of the case parallel to the bottom of the pocket, since otherwise the wrapping protruded upwards. The bright blue and yellow Batman motif on the paper didn’t look particularly inconspicuous against his black, woollen coat; the fact that he was still wearing it in a heated café looked even less so. He’d blown the smooth reveal, since he was now fumbling, half-turned-round in his seat, trying to remove the gift by force. He was conscious that in this particular position his gut appeared at its least attractive, but he’d anticipated this and was wearing a loose black t-shirt. Patrick fleetingly compared himself to Sherlock Holmes but was shaken from the fantasy by the realisation that his hand might now have been stuck in the pocket along with his dignity. Douglas watched the spectacle with impatience, but obvious affection. Continue reading