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Culture consumption, November 2017. Well, I was busy writing...


P.G.Wodehouse, "Mike And Psmith", "Right Ho, Jeeves", "My Man Jeeves": I made a bit of an effort to read some Wodehouse as part of my research, but ended up just rereading three classics. Psmith's dialogue is a hoot.

Connie Willis, "D.A.": a short story at best, with illustrations. And a dreadful cover! But it's fine. Bit puzzled at why it exists as a 70-page hardback, mind.


Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice: this is the famed "swords and psychosis" game from Ninja Theory, and it is exceptionally pretty. As a game it has... weaknesses. The biggest of which is that Senua moves less like a warrior and more like she didn't train for her half-marathon, meaning that the bits where you retread earlier ground are super dull. The fighting, however, is good enough to cope. As for the exploration of mental illness... well, it has lots of voices hissing in your ears from all directions, murmuring self-abuse (or, sometimes, the aural equivalent of context-sensitive help, which is handy), and it has illusions and visions. It left me with no idea at all as to what was real and what just happened, so if that's what mental illness is like, good job. latest best collections dressed for prom party

Rock Boshers DX: it looks like a Spectrum game (down to an attempt at colour clash) and frankly it plays a bit like one too, although the levels are more interesting than most Spectrum games managed. For eight bucks, an amusing bit of nostalgia, especially in its simulation of the loading screen. For normal people probably a miss.

Deadlight: a sludgy 2.5D trek through zombie-wrecked Seattle with graphics too small to admire and more interesting backdrops apparently too difficult to allow me to explore. Tedious story too. Not recommended.

Mystery Case Files: The Black Veil: my mindless addiction to the MCF franchise continues with this harmlessly typical spot of fantasy-horror. Not the greatest in the series, and with virtually no hidden-object stuff. Some of the alternatives they've come up with are rather linear and tiresome in my view. But it still has its moments and there's another one out already :)

Prey: game of the year, let me say that up front. That rare thing, a superb story, taking place in a superbly-designed place with interesting mechanics and lots of options. And lengthy: 22 hours or so for me, and there was more stuff I could've done, not to mention the temptation to replay once the pennies drop. A dip in interest when resources start running low was more than offset by the realization of how many ways I could avoid that problem and the satisfaction of doing so. Basically, buy it.

Bleed 2: a pastel-coloured boss rush with a heroic girl destroying giant robots by means of twin-stick shooting and dashing. A sugar rush rather than a full-blown game, but a blast.

Figment: another from the "what's going on inside the head of a coma patient" department; in this case the answer is depressive nightmares attacking parts of the imagination, requiring a grumpy sword-wielding hero and his punning songbird to get stuck in. The nightmares sing songs at you during their boss fights, which is fun. The art direction is also pretty good. The puzzles are average-to-good, and happily, everything moves at a reasonable pace, so you don't get super bored executing the solutions. A solid short game, therefore, and recommended. (Would work well for young gamers but for the inexplicable presence of a few adult swear words in there.)

Nothing much else, which indicates that the 33 hours I spent on NaNoWriMo usually counts for a lot :)