I have recently reunited myself with a long-lost videogame love – Soulcalibur IV. Something not many people know about me is that I actually LOVE fighting videogames. From my Nintendo origins with Super Smash Bros Melee, to Street Fighter, and more recent titles like Injustice, I just love giving someone a good beating – virtually AND metaphorically speaking. It is probably genetic inheritance from the days when my mum and dad used to play DOOM with the cheats to have the immortality bonus and hack people open with a chainsaw – I Promise we are actually very pacifistic people!!! I guess, it is somewhat funny, because in an RPG I’d never play the warrior/tank sort of character. But you know, we all have our quirks.
I first started playing the Soulcalibur series probably much later than most people: Just as I was doing my Masters degree in 2012-2013. Back then I was playing it on the PlayStation, whilst now I am hooked up on the Xbox 360. After 4 years of not having touched the game – or many fighting games for that purpose: I have been very PC based and it’s just not the same… – I found great relieve in knowing I was still sharp with my combos, I just needed some dusting. However, I have noticed a few differences. Some to do with the platform, some just with a chance in preference and style, I suppose?
Este lunes, después de haberme pasado unos cuantos días destrozada por un virus de la muerte, decidí que hacia falta levantar los ánimos, así que nos fuimos a jugar unas partidillas a Board in the City (Southampton). Probamos dos juegos que yo nunca había jugado: Origins – la premisa tenia buena pinta y era un juego visualmente bonito, y el Blood Bowl Team Manager. Este ultimo lo conocía porque mis padres lo tienen en casa pero yo nunca he jugado. Uno de nuestros jugadores del grupo nos comenta que no sabe como saldría el Blood Bowl porque el ha jugado partidas de dos y tres y le habían parecido algo extrañas, pero creía que con cuatro tenia que cuadrar todo bien. Así que después de haberlos probado, aquí os cuento:
Como venia diciendo este juego es muy bonito. Viene con un mapa del mundo que usas como tu tablero para similar la evolución y migración de los primeros humanos. Para simbolizar tales individuos el juego te proporciona con unas piezas de madera muy chulas que vienen en distintos tamaños de altura anchura y distinto color para ejemplificar las formas en las que uno puede divergir de la especie humana original. El objetivo del juego es ser el jugador con mas punto al final, y al dinámica en ese sentido es muy simple. Cada turno puedes moverte a un área nueva del mapa que tienen todas distinto color. Dependiendo del color coges carta y loseta de avance de tu grupo humano. Además de moverte puedes evolucionar siguiendo unas reglas especificas (o bien cambiar el peón de color de las mismas dimensiones, o alterar las dimensiones existentes a mas alto o mas ancho). Y no tiene mucho mas. Sencillo verdad?
So a few weeks back we actually made it to the Terry Pratchett: His World exhibition at the Salisbury Museum (UK). I was a rather nice little exhibit that I think all of us enjoyed with delight – in fact I dare say it was almost a better experience because one of the crew had never read any Pratchett books or knew much on the subject. So in a very bizarre way, and given the context, the objects in the rooms allowed us to revisit some of our very favourite moments and ideas that surround the Discworld and the mind of one of our favourite fantasy authors. Certainly, a lot of the information was not new for us, but I think I was very nice seen it all streamlined in front of our eyes, unveiling a narrative we were familiar way, through a different lens. I think some of the highlights for me were:
-Seeing Sir Terry’s sword that was made out of the meteor he came across.
Today, however, I will be discussing comics that talk about the Vikings and that perhaps fall under the radar for various issues – mostly the language barrier.
Saxo Grammaticus History of the Danes – Graphic Novel
If you didn’t know that there was a comic book version of the History of the Danes written by Saxo Grammaticus, do not be alarmed – I didn’t either until I stumbled across it at Kronenborg Castle in Denmark! It is two volumes, emulating the original source. The sad news is that it is, indeed, all in Danish. However, for a Danish noob like me, I found that with a little help from a dictionary, and due to the fact that there is not a ridiculous amount of text, the images really help you understand what is happening so you can follow the narrative fairly well.
Have you ever been listening to some tunes and thought to yourself, “OME, this would make a great RPG plot/story line/character concept”? If you have then you know what this is going to be about – and if you haven’t, dudes, you need to get your musical mojo on because music is a great source of inspiration for all sorts of things! These are things I have been thinking about for some time, so, forgive me, but some of these ideas are a bit more developed than others. In any case, I hope you can see how they could work.
Oh, and prior warning, this includes, a fair amount of METAL! :8
Rhapsody of Fire – The Emerald Sword & Dawn of Victory
If you are in for some high-fantasy stuff, this is perfect. Both songs are really fast paced and they scream epicness. Starting with Dawn of Victory, I think it is pretty obvious but here is a lot of stuff for a very cool battle/fight.
So, you have gone around reading about Thorsfinn, Sven the Badass, the reckless Siegfried and our daring Valkyrie and you have thought to yourself: I need more. I need that extra layer. Then, you are now part of the brotherhood and I shall guide you throughout this process. The next three pieces I present you with provide different looks on to Early Scandinavian society and the Viking Age. The vary in tone and style. But I think, above all, what they provide us with is a further degree of immersion. Now I appreciate Northlanders is pretty good for that…but I never said it was about better quality: this is just about the extra bits.
It’s been a while since I have gone down the comic business, mostly because I have been caught up with other stuff that was non-comic related. I have been playing lots of board games lately, I guess that has been more on my mind. But, as you all know, comics and I are like bread and butter. I have noticed that there was one thing that I had not done yet, which perhaps some of you may find interesting, and that relates to my studies directly. So as I have been revising my sources for a paper I am currently writing, I thought, “Hey, why not share some of these bad boys to the rest of our friends?”. Therefore, here I present you with my list of, badass, cool (and in most cases historically accurate) comics and graphic novels regarding the Vikings :3
You will find the big boys, aka Marvel and DC, do not publish much on the subject of historically related subjects in their mainstream stuff, which SUCKS. You gotta go to Image and independent publishers to get this sort of things. So if you haven’t heard of a lot of these people, don’t panic.