Sunday, February 28, 2016

February 2016 New PC Games To Watch For

Well, this feature is being posted a bit late this month. My excuse is that the games had been so good this year that it is quite difficult to decide which are the cream of the crop. But, oh well, here goes nothing -

XCOM 2 is a turn-based tactics video game developed by Firaxis Games and published by 2K Games for Microsoft Windows, OS X, and Linux. XCOM 2 is the sequel to 2012's reboot of the series, XCOM: Enemy Unknown. Taking place 20 years after the events of Enemy Unknown, it follows the continuity that XCOM, a military organization trying to fight off an alien invasion, has lost the war, and is now a resistance force against their occupation of Earth.
It was released February 5, 2016.

Dying Light: The Following
Dying Light: The Following is a standalone expansion for the open-world first person survival horror game Dying Light. The expansion introduces new characters, a new story campaign, new weapons and gameplay mechanics.
The game was developed by Techland, published by Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, and was released for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One on February 9, 2016.

Firewatch follows the story of a volunteer fire lookout in the aftermath of the Yellowstone fires of 1988.
Firewatch is a first person adventure video game developed by Campo Santo and published by Panic for Microsoft Windows, OS X, Linux, and PlayStation 4. It was the debut video game by both companies.

Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 4
Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 4 is a fighting game developed by CyberConnect2 and published by Bandai Namco Entertainment for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Steam as part of the Naruto: Ultimate Ninja series, based on the manga Naruto by Masashi Kishimoto. It is the sequel to Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 3, and is the first Naruto: Ultimate Ninja Storm installment built for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. It covers the final arcs of the Naruto storyline, therefore making it the last installment in the series.
It was released on February 5, 2016.

Unravel is a puzzle platform video game developed by Coldwood Interactive and published by Electronic Arts. The game centres on Yarny, a small anthropomorphic creature made of yarn whom the player navigates through the environment, utilizing the unraveling yarn which makes up Yarny to solve puzzles, avoid dangerous creatures, and traverse obstacles.
It was released in February 2016 for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Microsoft Windows.

Street Fighter V
Street Fighter V is a fighting video game published by Capcom, who co-developed the game with Dimps. It is the fifth main numbered entry in the Street Fighter series.
The game was released in February 16, 2016 for Microsoft Windows and PlayStation 4 with a later release on Linux, and will feature cross-platform play between the Windows and PlayStation 4 versions.

Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc
Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc  is a murder mystery visual novel adventure game developed and published by Spike Chunsoft and the first game in the Danganronpa series.
The game was released on Steam in February 18, 2016.

Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare 2
Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare 2 is a third-person shooter and tower defense video game developed by PopCap Games and published by Electronic Arts. It is the sequel to Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare.
It was released for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One on February 25, 2016.

Disgaea PC
Disgaea is a Strategy RPG, where you train your characters to level 9999 and deal damage by the millions in the wacky Netherworld that is Disgaea. Help Laharl become the Overlord by fighting complex battles that not only include spells and weapons, but also the unique Geo Panel and Lift & Throw systems.
A version of Disgaea: Hour of Darkness, including the added content in Afternoon of Darkness, was released for Microsoft Windows via Steam on February 24, 2016, retitled as Disgaea PC.

Superhot is an independently developed first-person shooter (FPS) video game, created by Superhot Team. Though the game follows traditional FPS gameplay mechanics, with the player attempting to take out enemy targets using guns and other weapons, time within the game only progresses when the player moves; this creates the opportunity for the player to assess their situation and respond appropriately, making the gameplay similar to strategy-based games. The game is presented in a minimalist art style, with enemies in red in contrast to white and grey backgrounds.
The full game was released for Microsoft Windows, OS X, and Linux on 25 February 2016, with an Xbox One version anticipated in March 2016.

[ So everyone can totally see why February is the month of promising games this year where it was quite hard for me to pick the top of the releasing games. I am specially interested in 'XCOM2', 'Street Fighter V' and 'Disgaea PC' among these.]

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Short Story Review - Breaking Water

Short Story - Breaking Water
Writer - Indrapramit Das
Published By - Tor Books

Since a few years, one of my secret ambition has been writing a zombie apocalypse novel taking place on the Southeast-Asia region. I have always dreamed about what would happen in such a post-apocalyptic situation, whats with the huge number of population living in this area and the lack of weapons and other means of survival for the living. 

Friday, February 19, 2016

Mini-Comic-Review - Uncanny X-Men #2

Name - Uncanny X-Men #2
Published by - Marvel
Writer - Cullen Bunn
Artist - Greg Land, Jay Leisten

Ah, the second issue of a new series. Burdened with the responsibility of taking the positives and discarding the negatives which is always a tough job for the writers. This issue had a mixed bag in this regard.

The main plot-line is really lacking as it is hard to be interested in the story other than having interest in the diverse cast of the protagonists. The villains, Dark Riders seem so unmatched in their potential against the giants in the team that the fact that they keep defeating the heroes seem really unlikely. On the other hand the introduction of Mystique into the mix with the already fascinating cast of characters does add much hope for the future. In terms of characterization once again the main entertaining facet of the story is the banter between Monet and Sabretooth; while the promise of interesting development in case of Magneto and Psylocke does seem an enticing possibility for the future.

The art seems a bit disjointed and out-of-place at times, also the facial expressions might seem a bit repetitive as a whole. But the action sequences are done with exquisite detail and the overall style is quite crisp and smooth.

Once again the hope of things to come in the future is the only thing that will make me read this series in the future issues. 

But this one only gets 2 out of 5 stars.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

February 2016 New Comics To Watch For

This time I start with some new comic series' coming out this month. While there are not as much promising stuff coming out this month as the last one some of these are really stuff I do look forward to.

Art and cover by SARA PICHELLI
Miles Morales has been doing the super hero thing for a while, now, but after SECRET WARS, he'll be a full-fledged member of the Marvel Universe. Swinging next to The Invincible Iron Man, The Mighty Thor and the All-New Captain America as a card-carrying member of the Avengers is an adventure, but it's not all fun and games for New York City's main Spider-MAN! What happened in the eight month gap? It all starts in SPIDER-MAN #1!

Art and cover by SANFORD GREENE
We KNOW you've been waiting to see LUKE CAGE and DANNY RAND back together and back to STREET-STOMPING basics! POWER MAN and IRON FIST are tracking a mystery with all the ingredients of a classic Heroes-for-Hire tale. Expect old friends, hired goons, crime lords, weird magic, plenty of power, a flurry of fists and as much bromance as you can handle! It's Power Man and Iron Fist reunited, and writer DAVID WALKER and artist SANFORD GREENE are making it feel so GOOD!

Written by  EMMA RÍOS
Art and cover by HWEI LIM
team up for a new ongoing series, following a terrorist talking dog, an idealist mage, and a heroic lab rat on their quest for acceptance.

Written by  JOE HARRIS
Art and cover by MARTÍN MORAZZO
In the year 2045 it no longer snows. A catastrophic crash has left the climate ravaged, society splintered, and the newly-christened "Cooperative States of America" propped up and administered by the powerful Hazeltyne Corporation. Only one man wages an all-out weather war against the system, wielding the forces of nature themselves as weapons. He is the White Wizard. The ghost in the night. Genius. Terrorist. Outlaw. Hero?

Written by
Guns, moonshine, monsters—there’s a lot going on in the backwoods of Kentucky. Iris Gentry is a war veteran who returned from Iraq to find his options for supporting his family limited. Since they live in a “dry” county, Iris has turned to running moonshine for his former ranking officer—meaning the men now share crimes at home and abroad. You see, back in their combat days, Iris’s regiment got involved in something they shouldn’t have, and now a deadly, otherworldly consequence has come looking for vengeance.
THE DARK AND BLOODY is a haunting new horror series by writer Shawn Aldridge (Vic Boone) and artist Scott Godlewski (Copperhead), with covers by Tyler Crook (Harrow County).  

Art and cover by CAITLIN ROSE BOYLE
Just in time for Valentine’s Day, Jonesy is a comic about love that makes us swoon! Sam Humphries (Legendary Star Lord, Citizen Jack) and fresh talent Caitlin Rose Boyle (Buck n’ Lou & the Night Crew) bring something special to BOOM! Box with this series about mad-cap shenanigans, friendship, pals, being a teenager, and figuring out who you are...with a teen cupid twist! If you like Giant Days, dig adorkable romance stories, or just want to smile from ear to ear after reading a comic, you’ll fall in love with Jonesy!


Monday, February 1, 2016

Promising Sci-fi, horror & Fantasy - January 2016

These are some promising novels, novellas and short stories that were released in January 2016.

"This Census-Taker" by China Miéville
In a remote house on a hilltop, a lonely boy witnesses a profoundly traumatic event. He tries—and fails—to flee. Left alone with his increasingly deranged parent, he dreams of safety, of joining the other children in the town below, of escape.
When at last a stranger knocks at his door, the boy senses that his days of isolation might be over.
But by what authority does this man keep the meticulous records he carries? What is the purpose behind his questions? Is he friend? Enemy? Or something else altogether?
Filled with beauty, terror, and strangeness, This Census-Taker is a poignant and riveting exploration of memory and identity.

[A short read from the highly acclaimed writer China Miéville, who am I to refuse?]

"Drake" by Peter McLean
 Hitman Don Drake owes a gambling debt to a demon. Forced to carry out one more assassination to clear his debt, Don unwittingly kills an innocent child and brings the Furies of Greek myth down upon himself.
Rescued by an almost-fallen angel called Trixie, Don and his magical accomplice The Burned Man, an imprisoned archdemon, are forced to deal with Lucifer himself whilst battling a powerful evil magician.
Now Don must foil Lucifer’s plan to complete Trixie’s fall and save her soul whilst preventing the Burned Man from breaking free from captivity and wreaking havoc on the entire world.

[This seems like my kind of urban fantasy, with an interesting protagonist and from Angry Robot, hoping for a fun read when I get on to it.]

"Steal The Sky" by Megan E. O'Keefe 
Detan Honding, a wanted conman of noble birth and ignoble tongue, has found himself in the oasis city of Aransa. He and his trusted companion Tibs may have pulled off one too many cons against the city’s elite and need to make a quick escape. They set their sights on their biggest heist yet—the gorgeous airship of the exiled commodore Thratia.
But in the middle of his scheme, a face changer known as a doppel starts murdering key members of Aransa’s government. The sudden paranoia makes Detan’s plans of stealing Thratia’s ship that much harder. And with this sudden power vacuum, Thratia can solidify her power and wreak havoc against the Empire. But the doppel isn’t working for Thratia and has her own intentions. Did Detan accidentally walk into a revolution and a crusade? He has to be careful—there’s a reason most people think he’s dead. And if his dangerous secret gets revealed, he has a lot more to worry about than a stolen airship.

[Another promising debut from Angry Robot, with some highly praising reviews on the internet already.]

"Predator, Prey" by Rob Sanders
The Imperium is under attack by a relentless tide of orks. The Imperial Fists have been destroyed, leaving Terra itself vulnerable, and across the galaxy, worlds are beset by greenskin savages.
After centuries of peace, the Imperium is thrown into panic as human worlds everywhere are menaced by orks. In a relentless tide of slaughter, ork attack moons destroy planet after planet with gravity weapons of unstoppable power. On Terra, the High Lords are paralysed by the scale of the threat, and fail to take any effective action. With entire Space Marine Chapters missing, or known to have been wiped out, does anyone have the will and the power to rise to the Imperium’s defence?
It's a snapshot of the battles that rage across the Imperium as the orks attack in force. It also continues the story of the High Lords as they try to hold the Imperium together... as long as it suits their own interests, of course. And it introduces characters who're going to be very important to the future of the series... if they survive the battles to come.

[I did read and review the first in the series 'I Am Slaughter', so definately looking forward to more from this timeline of the Warhammer universe.]

"The Drowning Eyes" by Emily Foster
When the Dragon Ships began to tear through the trade lanes and ravage coastal towns, the hopes of the archipelago turned to the Windspeakers on Tash. The solemn weather-shapers with their eyes of stone can steal the breeze from raiders' sails and save the islands from their wrath. But the Windspeakers' magic has been stolen, and only their young apprentice Shina can bring their power back and save her people.
Tazir has seen more than her share of storms and pirates in her many years as captain, and she's not much interested in getting involved in the affairs of Windspeakers and Dragon Ships. Shina's caught her eye, but that might not be enough to convince the grizzled sailor to risk her ship, her crew, and her neck.

[Tor is delivering a lot of goods in term of fantasy lately, this should be another wonderful novella.]

"City of Blades" by Robert Jackson Bennett
The city of Voortyashtan was once the domain of the goddess of death, war, and destruction, but now it’s little more than a ruin. General Turyin Mulaghesh is called out of retirement and sent to this hellish place to try to find a Saypuri secret agent who’s gone missing in the middle of a mission, but the city of war offers countless threats: not only have the ghosts of her own past battles followed her here, but she soon finds herself wondering what happened to all the souls that were trapped in the afterlife when the Divinities vanished. Do the dead sleep soundly in the land of death? Or do they have plans of their own?

[I am currently devouring the first book in the series and it is as good as people say it is. Can't wait to get onto the second novel in the series.] 

"Unit 731" by Craig Saunders
Luke Benson is a troubled young man obsessed with the history of Imperial Japan's Epidemic Prevention and Water Purification Department, later known as “Unit 731,” a covert biological and chemical warfare research and development department that undertook lethal human experimentation.
But is it a veil to mask his more sinister passions? Reggie and Luke's sole-surviving family members are about to find out. When bad memories surface and deeds long forgotten come to light, Luke's obsession will shake their family to its core.
The family's only hope is to face the evil within themselves...only then might the good that men do shine from the darkness.

[Darkfuse has cut on a niche in the horror community already and they keeps on delivering these interesting reads.]

"Nausea" by Ed Kurtz
Since the night he made an ill-advised decision to commit a pair of revenge killings, Nick has made his living as a professional murderer. Early on, he dispensed with guilt or emotion, but after a routine hit gets messy Nick gets sick—and the conscience he thought he’d killed along with dozens of other marks comes creeping back into his brain. Now Nick’s profession and life are on the line, and he has begun stalking a perfectly innocent couple to see if he can snuff them out without the slightest hint of remorse…or if the humanity he worked so hard to suppress is making up for lost time.
A dark noir novel about human connection and repentance, Nausea is the story of a sociopathic killer in a war with himself, a war in which the lives of an uninvolved couple hang in the balance.

[Hmm, dark noir from the view point of a murderer, has been done before, what can Ed Kurtz add to the experience?]