Statik on Playstation VR

Statik is one hell of a fun game to play. Lasting only a couple of hours, depending on whether you solve the puzzles of course, this game never got boring. Despite the fact that you spend the entire time with your hands locked in a box.

Locked in a box

Your hands are locked in a box within its VR world for the whole game, whilst in reality you take a hold of the standard PS4 controller. That controller is used in very inventive ways throughout the game to try and solve each puzzle.

Each level gives you a new puzzle to solve, which become increasingly tricky and mind-bending as they go on. Each button, whether it be the directional buttons; the shape buttons; triggers; or analogue sticks, will control individual parts of each box.

There are some puzzles that require you to hold the control bindings of a box in your mind all at once, with one particular box being on a timer. This gave me just the right level of stress to warrant fighting back against being put back a step or two.

It’s not just a box

A lot of the game must actually be solved by using the environment around you. Parts of the room and certain objects around will very subtle guide you through the cryptic puzzles. I found myself at times just dumb-founded without a clue on how to solve something. Until I would make a really clever connection between my box and something around me and I’d end up with a great big grin on my face.

My personal favourite was taking control of a small remote control camera buggy. As you move around to otherwise-inaccessible areas to solve its particular puzzle, you get live feedback to your box. It felt so trippy to be inside a VR game controlling a remote control car that can show you a live feedback of yourself in that chair.

So frickin cool.

A quick game that feels just right

Even though each game involves you solving a different box that has your hands locked within, the game never felt repetitive. Each puzzle was so different from one another that I ended up feeling like I’d been on a real test of the mind to get to the very end.

I completed the game in about two to three hours and that felt just right to me. I’d had my fill of that particular world, but could probably have played just one more level.

I guess that’s one of the marks of a really good game – leaving the player wanting just that little bit more.

In Summary

If you want a challenging mind-bender of a game with truly ingenious uses of what the PlayStation VR can do, please do check out Statik. This game was a random recommend on a list of “best PlayStation VR titles” I stumbled across, and I’m so glad I picked it up on the PlayStation store.

 

One of the most exciting pictures I’ve seen in a long while

This picture is one of the most exciting pictures I’ve seen in a while. On the surface it is just three people looking at something on a computer monitor. However, for those who know and enjoy two of these people’s work, it is something to shout home about.

Junji Ito

The guy on the left is Junji Ito – horror manga legend and instrumental in bringing the genre to modern mainstream attention. I enjoy horror manga very much and Junji Ito is one of those authors whose work I actively search for. His art style is instantly recognisable and has created some of the most memorable and terror-inducing images and stories.

His most well known stories are probably Uzumaki, Tomie, and Gyo. Each masterpieces in their own right and serve to solidify Ito’s position at the very top of his game. His stories, especially those mentioned, work within the horror sub-genre of ‘Body Horror’.

Hideo Kojima

The guy on the right is Hideo Kojima. Kojima is a name well-known and highly respected within the gaming community, and indeed the wider community of action and story telling. He is the man responsible for the Metal Gear Solid series whose reputations really do precede them.

Each of the games of Kojima’s that I have played I have fallen in love with. The first two Metal Gear Solid games, the first on the Playstation and the second on the Playstation 2, were such important games to me growing up, with me being about fifteen years old and eighteen years old respectively when they were released.

These games were some of the most memorable gaming experiences that I have ever had and have definitely stayed with me to the present day.

Why this picture is exciting

To have both of these people present in the same photo, apparently reviewing something together in an office, s exciting. The had previously been working together on what was going to be a new Silent Hill game. The very thought of that even being a possibility is cause enough to lose your shit over. Junji Ito’s twisted and macabre creations within a world created and directed by Kojima…

…But it was never to be. Silent Hills, as it was called, was cancelled and they both went their separate ways. And that was that…

…Or was it?

Death Stranding is the game that Kojima and his team are currently working on, which is exciting in itself. However, when you take the recent image above and consider the very real possibility that the two masters themselves could in fact still be working together, whole new levels of awesome enter into the mix.

Original source of image: https://twitter.com/Kaizerkunkun/status/894538086356467712

After about six months of owning the game, I have finally started playing Skyrim VR. And I’ve gotta say – it is so f**king awesome. Okay so the graphics are still of the game’s original era, but being in that world just feels so great nonetheless.

I get those butterflies in my stomach as I am freely exploring the wilderness.

I have only played the first few quests on the PC version of the game, and am glad I never pursued it back then. Because now I get experience what I have heard is a really great game for the first time all in VR.

Tonight I found I had saved the game in Riverun. I went and completely one of the only quests I was familiar with – the exploring of Bleak Falls Barrow and the finding of the Golden Claw.

Running through those caves, with each Playstation Move controller controlling a different hand for my magic spells, I felt pretty badass.

I’m looking forward to seeing where the adventure takes me.

I’m sorry, dear website. I haven’t been paying you much attention recently. I have been busy writing on my Horror Manga blog, but that’s no excuse. In fact, I only mention it for the chance to create a backlink from this page.

I promise I’ll start coming over more often.

Thoughts on A Nightmare on Elm Street

A Nightmare on Elm Street is one of the most recognisable titles in cinema – as is it’s villain, and star, Freddy Krueger. I felt the urge to re-watch this film after my recently-formed gaming obsession with Dead By Daylight. I was pleasantly surprised by the fact that much of the film still holds up to modern viewing.

What is A Nightmare on Elm Street about?

Behind the scenes on A Nightmare on Elm Street

A Nightmare on Elm Street follows four high-school kids, who are all experiencing almost identical nightmares. Nightmares about a mysterious burnt man in an old jumper and hat with knives for fingers. This figure is none other than one of cinema’s most charismatic antagonists – Freddy Krueger.

Freddy has long been dead, but has since returned to feed on children’s fear within their dreams in order to kill them. While alive, Freddy was exclusively a child killer – and possibly worse in the originally draft – which makes him one of the most despicable of his contemporary killers. Yet, perhaps intentionally, this is juxtaposed with his bouncy, playful actions and the fact that through the course of his films people have come to regard Freddy as a “cool character”.

It isn’t long until one of the children Freddy is hunting, Nancy, takes it upon herself to stand up and fight back against him. This ultimately leads to a showdown where you’ll want to throw your fists up and shout “Fuck Yer, Nancy!”.

A Nightmare on Elm Street artwork

The Effects still hold up

When the Matrix came out in 1999 it blew most people away with its cutting-edge, computed-generated, effects. Less than ten years later and those effects sure did start to look dated – more so now. However, with films that focused on created actual physical effects, this dated effect is lessened quite substantially in my opinion.

A Nightmare on Elm Street, although cheesy in parts, still holds up strongly with its physical effects. Especially those bedroom death scenes from both the start and end of the film. R.I.P. Johnny. And Freddy is every bit as menacing and full of charisma as I’d remembered from watching it years ago.

Nancy in the bath
Nancy in that famous bathtub scene

It’s great when modern films take a leaf out of the books of films like this one. You really can’t beat the authenticity of good-old physical effects. Especially in horror.

A personal favourite favourite of mine of all the film’s effects, is when Nancy is asleep at Tina’s house. Freddy can be seen pushing his way through the over-arching bedroom wall from the other side. And although it’s not too difficult to work out how this could be achieved it is still effing terrifying and highly effective.

Freddy is still rock n roll

Nancy and Freddy

Freddy Krueger is one of those pop culture horror icons who sits beside all of the greats. He sits with characters such as Michael Myers; Pinhead; Jason and Leatherface. He was played so perfectly by Robert Englund and like Doug Bradley for pinhead, will always be tightly linked to his seminal role.

Interestingly what differs Freddy from many of his contemporaries, is his sense of humour and playfulness with his victims. Michael Myers was a silent shape in the darkness; Jason too was silent; Pinhead spoke only in a deep, almost poetic manner. But Freddy just toys with his victims in his cheeky, tormenting way.

Freddy has been a really fun villain to revisit and I’m looking forward to re-watching the other films too. This includes one I’ve never seen before – Wes Craven’s New Nightmare. I’ve heard good things about it so will get a hold of that when I can.

In Summary

A great horror film that I think still holds strong today. Wes Craven unknowingly created an icon that would go on to become a household name – like Kellogg’s Corn Flakes and Coca Cola.

If you’ve never before seen A Nightmare on Elm Street, I urge you to give it a watch. Yes there are some aspects of it that will be dated, such as the fashions and the acting in places. But this really is an important horror film like all of the top films lists repeat. You wont sleep easy till you watch this film.

Welcome to Horror Manga dot com

Hello there and welcome to horror-manga.com.

I have been blogging on my personal website for a little over a year now. One thing that has come out of that writing is an interest in Horror Manga. I have decided to concentrate the majority of my writing into that subject for the new year. This new website is for that very purpose.

At the time of writing I am still setting up this site and the linked social network profiles. However, I will be planning on publishing a new, high-quality article about a particular horror manga story each and every week.

I welcome you to join me on my journey as I search out and read new stories by some of the world’s most exciting manga artists.

Interview with Katy Bentz (Steph Gingrich in Life is Strange Before the Storm)

Life is Strange Before the Storm re-acquainted us with some of the characters we had come to love from the original game. But not only that, we got introduced to some new characters also. A favourite of a lot of peoples, myself included, was Steph Gingrich. She’s the girl who you really need to take the time and play D&D with in episode 1.

Steph is played brilliantly by the talented, and always-funny, Katy Bentz. Katy has been building up quite the following, which includes too her growing YouTube channel. Every video she makes is a joy to watch. I was blessed to be able to send Katy some questions – a lot of the same questions that I also asked in my recent Interview with Kylie Brown – that she very quickly replied back with.

The Interview

Please tell us about yourself in as many or as little words as you like.
I am an actor living in Los Angeles, California. Just passed my year mark of living in the city of hustle! I’m outgoing, independent, determined, strong-willed, caring, and passionate. I enjoy to find the simple things in life, as silly as that may sound. We can get so caught up in our day-to-day life that we forget about walks around the block, or watching the sunset. My favorite color is blue and I love Dolphins! 😊
What is your favourite Book?
Not much of a reader, but I read White Oleander for one act in high school and I really enjoyed it. I do love to read self helps books though!
What is your favourite Album?
Omg! Too many. Probably a Say Anything Album. I love anything pop punk!
What is your favourite Film?
(500) Days of Summer anyone? 😊
What is your favourite TV Show?
I really like That 70’s Show. The 100 and Under the Dome are some others I have really enjoyed.
Do you have a favourite film/tv/musical soundtrack?
Guardians of the Galaxy is awesome! But also The Legally Blonde Musical Soundtrack….I know I am all over the place!
What poster / posters do you remember having on your walls growing up?
I had way too many animal posters haha and these two weird ocean space posters…I know…interesting. Oh! And a Backstreet Boys poster where I circled Nick’s face and drew on the other members haha
You’re walking somewhere and your mp3 player has only a little battery left; You’ve only got time for one more song. What song do you play?
Oh man. Too many options. I get on song kicks, where I find songs and listen to them over and over until I can’t anymore haha, so I would say out of my current mix…Touch by Little Mix, such a feel good song!
Was there any defining moment in your life when you knew that you wanted to be an actor and model?
In High School when I was still finding my place amid being a teenager, I quit the dance team and joined the drama club and I’m not sure that that was when I knew I wanted to be an actor. But that was the moment where I felt like I could finally be myself and that my peers weren’t going to judge me. And that was the start of my passion for the arts and everything it stood for.
What is the proudest moment of your career so far?
Life is Strange: Before the Storm, hands down. I have never felt so amazing about a certain role and I get to see the affect this game and my character have on the players and it’s the greatest feeling.
What advice would you give to your younger self?
Works harder than you think you need to work.
Growing up, who were your heroes?
My mom and my peers around me. I never looked very far for influences in my life. My mom meant and still means a lot to me and I always look to her for guidance. One of my best friends in high school was two years older than me and in the drama club. She was someone I strived to be like. She is still my best friend to this day and someone I am riding this journey with, and it’s amazing.
Who is your biggest influence in how you approach what you do today?
My mom again haha and past and current relationships. I feel like the people I am closest with are the ones that see all of me and because they are close to me, they can be honest with me about things that I may need to do differently.
If you could ask any person – living or passed – any question, who would it be and what would you ask them?
Honestly, any elder person. And I would want to ask them what advice they’d give their 25 year old self.
In Chloe Price’s journal she writes: “I can never decide if Steph is the coolest or nerdiest person in all of Blackwell.”. What would you say to that? Coolest or Nerdiest?
Coolest!
With Steph being a new character in the already established world of Arcadia Bay, did you feel any pressure in stepping into that world for the first time?
Not at all! I didn’t know the story line prior to recording for Steph, so I came in with a fresh mind, ready to bring the character to life.
Are there any causes / projects that you would like to raise an awareness of to the readers here?
There aren’t specific projects or organizations off the top of my head, but I am a big supporter of anti-bullying projects and efforts. Bullying was a huge thing when I was growing up and I can only imagine what kids in schools are going through now.
Could you tell us a joke?
What’s a plumber’s favorite drug? Crack! I just made that up! Pretty good? haha

Interview with Kylie Brown (Rachel Amber in Life is Strange Before the Storm)

The character of Rachel Amber has been brought to life, in ways we couldn’t even imagine, by the very talented Kylie Brown.

Rachel Amber was but a memory that we caught glimpses of through the eyes of Max’s best friend, Chloe, in Life Is Strange. But now that we have witnessed the events that brought Chloe and Rachel together in Life Is Strange Before the Storm, we can share in those memories together.

I have been lucky enough to be able to ask Kylie Brown some questions about herself, her life and her approach to her craft.

The Interview

Please tell us about yourself in as many or as little words as you like.
Lazily active and very passionate.
Who is your biggest influence in how you approach what you do today?
Jennifer Lawrence and Tom Hanks. I’ve always said that I want a career like Jennifer Lawrence where I go from being in movies that go to comic-con to movies that are Oscar nominated. And Tom Hanks where I can own any role that comes my way.
What inspires you?
I don’t think there’s any one thing that inspires me. There’s a lot of things that do. Like a simple walk around my home town, staring at the Hollywood sign, watching a movie in the theaters, my parents, my friends, watching BTS footage from a movie. Inspiration is everywhere for me.
What annoys you more than anything else in the world?
When people talk during a movie/tv show that I’m watching. I literally hate it …so much… so very much. Just don’t do it.
What is the proudest moment of your career so far?
I would definitely have to say Life is Strange: Before the Storm is my proudest moment in my career right now, it was so far from my normal acting jobs and I had such a blast filming it and watching it take off.
What advice would you give to your younger self?
You’re on the right track kid, just keep going for your dreams, you’ll get there.
If you could ask any person – living or passed – any question, who would it be and what would you ask them?
I would ask Jennifer Lawrence, “What’s your favorite kind of pizza?”
Rachel Amber is someone we’ve known for a long time now. We’ve gotten to know her through word of mouth and other characters’ experiences but we’ve never met her. Is there a lot of pressure to portray this brand new person to fit with the Rachel Amber people already feel that they know?
Rachel Amber Missing Poster
Rachel Amber Missing Poster from Life Is Strange

Well yeah! There’s a ton of pressure! Rachel was portrayed as this woman who’s out of this world, and here I am…on earth. I mean really, even her NAME is kickass. Rachel Amber. Like, what?!? My biggest fear was not doing right by the fans, and all I can say now is that I am so honored the Life is Strange community has accepted and welcomed me as their Rachel.

What is your favourite Book?
1984 by George Orwell
What is your favourite Album?
Uhhhhh, the last FULL album I’ve ever listened to was from the Jonas Brothers….so I guess the Jonas Brothers Lines, Vines and Trying Times album? If musicals count as albums, then definitely Hamilton.
What is your favourite Film?
Depends on the genre really.

  • Action (which is my favorite genre): any marvel movie that just came out
  • Drama: Silver Linings Playbook
  • Comedy: Baywatch
  • War (or historical): Saving Private Ryan
What is your favourite TV Show?
Will & Grace (I’m currently watching it as I write this) and Game of Thrones
Do you have a favourite film/tv/musical soundtrack?
I LOVE movie scores and I can’t pick a favorite. But probably Jurassic Park.
Is there anything that you are binge listening to / watching at the moment?
HAMILTON and I just finished binge watching a new comedy on Netflix called The Good Place
You’re walking somewhere and your mp3 player / phone has only a little battery left; You’ve only got time for one more song. What song do you play?
Hakuna Matata from the Lion King so that way if it dies in the middle off the song, I’ll still be singing it at the top of my lungs giving everyone a show.
What was the first poster you ever had on your wall?
Oh wow, I don’t know. I first moved into my house when I was two and my room was decorated like a princess room. Pink walls, princess bedding and princess posters. So I’m guessing the first poster to be on my walls was a princess one that had a princess saying on it.
Could you tell us two truths and a lie?
  1. I’ve known my best friend since kindergarten and we’re still best friends.
  2. I broke my leg three times in two years due to soccer, snowboarding, and climbing on my roof.
  3. I grew up with three boys across the street from me and we would play army and have airsoft wars and one day I got shot right next to my tear duct and was forced to wear goggles every time after that.

*Answers at the bottom of the page.

Do you have any announcements or causes you’d like to raise an awareness of?
I’m a huge advocate for anti-bullying. I was a safe school ambassador at my high school where we would step in and speak up if we saw bullying going on and it saddened me to see how much was going on. And it saddens me even more seeing how much bullying is going on in this world right now, I always thought it stopped when we graduated high school. Bullying is so pointless to me, we are all human beings, we all have stories that no one is aware of, we all have pain that no one understands. No matter what you are feeling, it is valid, no matter what you are going through, I’m here for you. I don’t care if you are halfway across the world, you matter and you are cared for. And if you see someone getting bullied, please speak up. Stand up for your peer. Let them know they are not alone. If we all do that, this world will be a happier place.

*Answers to the two truths and a lie question

Question Truth or Lie?
1 Truth
2 Lie (I’ve never broken anything but my toe one time)
3 Truth

Life is Strange: Before the storm episode 3 (Hell is Empty)

It doesn’t seem like too long ago since Life is Strange Before the Storm was first announced. Now here I am writing up my thoughts on it’s heart-felt, bittersweet conclusion.

In this final episode we follow Chloe as she works to uncover the truth, and whereabouts, of Rachel Amber’s birth mother. As she does so, she manages to uncover some dark truths about certain characters. As we’ve learnt from previous events in this game, most things can’t simply come down to just good or bad; right or wrong. It tends to be dependant on a given character’s perspective.

I’m a little sad that this game has come to its end. However, we do still have the bonus episode with Max and Chloe to look forward to early in the new year.

Everyone has good and bad

Rachel Amber and Chloe Price
Rachel Amber and Chloe Price

Life Is Strange Before the Storm is a game that is great at showing how all people have both good and bad sides. All the characters here are as fully fleshed out as we have come to expect in Arcadia Bay. We’ve seen Chloe do bad things and let people get hurt – but for her love of Rachel. We’ve seen David and his militarist approach to parenting – but then in episode 3 we actually see him soften somewhat to meet Chloe on a middle ground.

But the characters I found perhaps most interesting in forms of their actions and moral compasses, are Rachel’s (birth) mother and father.

Rachel’s father goes through many different guises through Chloe’s eyes as the more she uncovers, the more she learns of his actions and motives – motives that are perhaps ill-advised at times. Meanwhile her Mother, who is initially painted as the bad guy, gets a chance to speak for herself later on. She is a woman who has made mistakes, sure, but who is now willing to give up everything for what she feels is right.

Rachel Amber and Chloe Price photos
Rachel and Chloe posing for photos

You will have a hard choice to make at the end of this episode, which will hinge on whether you want to do what’s right, or what’s good.

The world of Life Is Strange is well known now for its ability to show us fully fleshed-out characters. People who at first appear one way, but later – after the peeling back of layers – show us that there is so much more beneath. In good ways and bad. Before the Storm has continued this tradition with flying colours.

So much more than a prequel

Life Is Strange Before The Storm is just as good, sometimes even better in my opinion, than its predecessor. The focus in on Chloe and Rachel’s blossoming relationship has been an absolute joy to watch. I think now, after seeing their meeting and subsequent story together, that playing through the original game will be a fresh experience. Rachel is no longer just a face on a missing persons poster. Rachel is a complex young woman whose very presence seemed to bring out the best in people – not least of all Chloe Price.

Chloe investigating Frank's trailer
Chloe investigating Frank’s trailer

What impressed me also about the developer’s approach to this story, is that it is not just a prequel that is heading towards what we know comes later. These three episodes are completely self-contained and serve their own narrative, which is done extremely well. I love how there is still enough time between the end of this game and the beginning of the original. Maybe we will see some more stories in the near future?

P.S. Stick around till after the credits

Make sure you stick around till the end of the credits on this one. Where in previous episodes there would have been the next trailer, we are instead shown something entirely different. Something that still makes my skin crawl now, just thinking about it.

Damn you Deck Nine!