This past Friday morning I awoke at 6:30 am to what I thought was the sound of a door opening in my house. I inspected the entire house in my underwear with the leg of a high chair to fend off any would-be robbers and decided that I must have dreamt it. By this time I was awake though so I checked the internet to see what time Wal-Mart opened, saw that it was very soon, and headed out to pick up Super Mario Odyssey for my Switch.
As soon as the game starts you’re in the dark, grimy, cyberpunk city of Detritum, a place with a gloomy and depressing atmosphere as people are gathered around flaming barrels and everything just looks bleak and dismal. You play as just Willa Thorne for the first few minutes, a high class young adult who was thrown into the depths of the city, but soon you will have a whole cast of six protagonists to choose from. The story of the game is interesting and keeps becoming more and more expansive as new locations are explored and new characters are met.
This is the second installment of Eric Schumacher’s Hakon’s Saga, a series that follows Hakon Haroldson’s rise to power amongst the Norwegian Vikings during Europe’s Dark Ages. The first book propelled him rapidly from being fostered by the English King Athelstan to confronting a barely remembered brother and claiming his crown. If the task wasn’t arduous enough Hakon had converted to Christianity at a young age, and arrived as one of the handful of Christians in a proudly Norse culture filled with human sacrifice to the Old God’s.
When Google Daydream was announced I thought that it had a good chance of being a Gear VR killer. It promised to be on more phones than Gear VR, be built entirely into those phones, it looked to be more comfortable and it had the motion controller. I was ready to jump ship, certain that the one that I was on was sinking. But before it was time for me to get a new phone, Samsung released their controller. That combined with the fact that I’d not been hearing great things about Daydream caused me to rethink abandoning my first love. While what a phone can do with VR is the most important aspect of a smartphone for me, for my wife it’s the camera. And Pixel boasts a pretty solid camera, in fact, at release it was lauded as the best camera on mobile. Thankfully that meant she went with pixel and I could now straddle the two ships, legs akimbo, like Van Damme in that commercial with the trucks. I don’t remember what it was for, but I remember the splits.
Despite the age old idea that you should not judge a book by it’s cover, and by extension, a game by it’s cover art, I nevertheless find myself doing that anyway a lot of the time. I think that adage came to be before a large portion of marketing budget went in to designing eye catching covers. I only bring this up because everything about the Twisted Arrow store art caught my eye, from the yellow and green colour scheme, to the font, to the way the word arrow is being busted up by an arrow, it just screamed production value. I’ve felt this way before though and wound up less than enthused with the product, but I’m happy to say Twisted Arrow is so very close to being every bit as good as I expected it to be.