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Child of Light

Publisher: Ubisoft - Genre: RPG - System: Multi-platform
Buy: PC Download

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tl;dr (spoiler free)

Child of Light, a side-scrolling JPRG developed by Ubisoft, features gorgeous 2D visuals (complete with great use of parallax scrolling of multiple layers), a beautiful and very non-traditional musical score, and fun strategic combat heavily inspired by the Grandia series. I didn’t like the story or the writing, but I enjoyed the game otherwise.

Full Review

Child of Light uses a modified Grandia combat system. For those unfamiliar with the system (and who haven’t played our own Penny Arcade RPGs which use a similar system), the core is that by hitting enemies right before they make their next move, you interrupt them which knocks them back on the time bar, essentially stunning them briefly. Child of Light makes a few changes to the basic Grandia system: your party consists of only two characters at a time (Grandia had a four person party); you can swap characters in and out mid-battle with ease; there is no positioning aspect (in Grandia, allies and enemies moved around the battlefield and different attacks had different ranges and areas of effect); all attacks can interrupt enemies (in Grandia, only specifically marked interrupt abilities did this); and you have a firefly friend, Igniculus, who can slow down enemies. Read More »

Mythago Wood by Robert Holdstock
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I’m still all salty from posting that Erikson cover on Monday, so, to make up for it, here’s the gorgeous cover for Gollancz’s Fantasy Masterworks 30th Anniversary edition of Mythago Wood by Robert Holdstock.

“I think it treats the book as the modern classic it undoubtedly is, as well as reflecting the earthy vibrancy and primordial energy of the book.” said Darren Nash of Gollancz.

I think [Robert Holdstock] would have loved it.”

Robert Holdstock is considered one of modern fantasy’s most revered writers. He passed away in 2009 at the age of 61.

“The cover design is by Graeme Langhorne, who produced the beautiful series style for the re-launched Fantasy Masterworks, and the amazing artwork is by Grzegorz Domaradzki, who is responsible for many other lovely covers in the series.”

More of Grzegorz Domaradzki’s artwork can be found on his official website.

Brazilian artists Anderson Mahanski and Fernando Mendonça asked just that. In answer, the talented illustrators created a set of portraits imagining how six of Game of Thrones‘ most iconic characters — Jon Snow, Cersei Lannister, Tyrion Lannister, Bran Stark, Hodor Hodor, and Daenerys Targaryen — would appear in a more family-friendly (though no less inebriated, apparently) fashion.

The results are delightful.

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More art from Mahanski and Mendonça, including some stunning line-drawn portraits, can be found by visiting their DeviantArt profiles: Mendonça/Mahanski. Beware, salaciousness awaits.

Otherbound by Corinne Duyvis

Publisher: Amulet Books - Pages: 400 - Buy: Book/eBook
Otherbound by Corinne Duyvis

Every time Nolan Santiago closes his eyes in Arizona, he opens them in another world. There, he sees through the eyes of Amara, a mute servant tasked with protecting Cilla, a renegade princess threatened by a terrible curse. Though Amara doesn’t know it, Nolan has been bound to her his whole life, a silent passenger who nonetheless sees her thoughts and feels her pain as though they were his own. Nolan’s family think he has epilepsy, seizures and hallucinations, but no matter how many pills he takes, Amara remains real. Until, suddenly, a new medication gives Nolan the power to take over Amara’s body. For the first time, he can communicate with the Dunelands – and with Amara. But Amara has enough problems without learning about Nolan: her life is a misery of torture and servitude, she doesn’t know how to feel about Cilla, and the assassins chasing them are closing in. How can Nolan help with that? And why does Amara’s master, Jorn, seem suddenly to be in league with Cilla’s enemies?

This is going to be a review in three parts: a spoiler-free overview, some spoilery analysis, and a spoiler-free conclusion – because, as you may have guessed, Otherbound is a tricky book to discuss without giving away the ending. Or so I found it to be, though others may not – it’s very much a Your Mileage May Vary issue.

But I’m getting ahead of myself. Let’s start with the basics, shall we? Read More »