Comic Book Review – Bloodborne: A Song of Crows by Aleš Kot, Piotr Kowalski, & Brad Simpson

A Song of Crows

A Song of Crows by Aleš Kot (writer), Piotr Kowalski (artist), and Brad Simpson (colourist) is the third graphic novel adapting the world of the video game Bloodborne, a horror action-RPG developed by FromSoftware. This is the first book in the series to feature a character from the video game as the main character. Eileen the Crow is a Hunter in Yharnam with a unique duty: hunting down other Hunters who have succumbed to the blood they imbibe and lost their minds. During the course of her duties she comes across a butchered Hunter whose remains are arranged to reflect a ritual she finds disturbingly reflective of a practice from her home in foreign parts. In search of the perpetrator, she embarks upon a mind-bending journey that has her confront the ghosts that haunt her past.Read More »

Grant Us Eyes: The Storytelling Veil of Bloodborne

This post contains some spoilers.

Video games are a frequent hobby of mine but something I talk about very infrequently on this blog, especially over the last couple of years. Nevertheless, every once in a while I play a game that really grabs me with its story. Not simply in how well it tells this story, but the ways the story is integrated with the video game medium itself.

In Bloodborne, developed by From Software, you play as a foreigner who has come to Yharnam, a labyrinthine city of Gothic/Victorian architecture, seeking the miraculous blood healing of their Healing Church to cure an unspecified malady. Your character also seeks something known as “paleblood,” though what this is isn’t explained. Upon signing a contract and receiving a transfusion of strange blood your character becomes a Hunter—people made exceptional by “blood ministration.” When you awaken after the transfusion you are alone at dusk on the night of a hunt, when Hunters and citizens alike take to the streets to hunt the Beasts that plague Yharnam. You have no choice. A Hunter must hunt.

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Story Hoarding

I’ve been ill for the past week, and while that hasn’t stopped me from getting a couple hundred pages into The Dark Tower or from getting sucked into Breath of the Wild, my motivation to write has been a little shot. The sickness was so bad at one point it even stopped me from enjoying said anticipated video game. That being the case, this week’s post is more on the light side. I just wanted to make sure I wrote something. This is a bit of a continuation of a line of thought I had in a post I wrote months ago called “What We Get To,” although more lighthearted.Read More »

Trying to get Refocused

Lately I’ve been taking in just how much I still need to get through, not just in terms of books, but all forms of art and storytelling that have been backlogged for years now. I think part of this has to do with coming into my own both as a reader/viewer/etc. and as someone with critical aspirations. When I was in university, the material I had to learn and write about was provided for me and occupied a lot of my time. Now, I have to be the author of my own progress. The problem is, despite progress I feel I have made as a writer, I’m terrible at managing what content I get through.Read More »

My Revelation about Resident Evil

ChrisJill

While actually getting a lot of things right, Resident Evil: Revelations stands as a testament to a lot of what’s become wrong with the series. I recently completed the Nintendo 3DS version of the game, and mechanically it is quite well made. It follows the gameplay model of Resident Evil 4 and on the New Nintendo 3DS it feels even better thanks to the addition of the C-Stick. The game also does a decent job of injecting some survival horror back into the series, with interesting new creature designs, claustrophobic environments, and fairly limited resources.Read More »

Artful Video Game Storytelling

I don’t get too specific, but this post has Spoilers for 999: 9 Hours, 9 Persons, 9 Doors

999Zero

Anyone who plays enough video games knows how important storytelling has become for the medium. Though obviously not essential, as many great games have little to no story at all, both the big budget and independent scenes have a plethora of compelling, story-driven games. Video games are unique when it comes to storytelling because they require the direct action, and often skill, of the player to progress. This is unlike other mediums, where you’re never punished for doing a poor job of watching a movie or reading a book. How much you can understand may vary, but you progress regardless.

Over the past few years I’ve become increasingly aware of and fascinated with games that have core story elements that only work in the video game medium. Adaptation would be possible, but something crucial would be lost along the way.Read More »

Hesitation Near The End

There is a phenomenon I have experienced throughout much of my life that I haven’t been self-conscious of until very recently. It is an obscure sorrow that I have become increasingly aware of — credit to The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows for inspiring this kind of reflection — and I’ve begun to feel that there are probably a lot of other people who feel the same way.

There are people who love to marathon through shows, movies, speed-run games, or speed read. While they may share my experience, I feel it applies more specifically to the way I go through things. I read a lot, but I’m not particularly fast at it. My pace gets the job done, but I hardly read fast enough to finish even a short book in one sitting. I can spend even greater amounts of time on a game, or a series, where going back to the material becomes a regular routine in my life.Read More »

The Depth of Wind Waker

 Contains some spoilers for the ending of Wind Waker.

I have recently crossed a milestone with this blog, having successfully kept it going for over a year, and would like to start publishing a lot more review-focused content. However, I will still be writing more reflective posts, such as the following.

This week’s post feels a bit lighter to me, but I have just started a new job that has had me working full-time graveyard shifts, so I hope you can bear with me while I simply share some experience I’ve had in gaming lately.Read More »

Why is Ocarina of Time my Favourite Legend of Zelda Game?

OoT3D

For my birthday last month I received a copy of Hyrule Warriors for the Nintendo Wii U, which is a Dynasty Warriors styled game set in the Legend of Zelda universe. Although by this point I’ve had the game for quite a while, I’ve only just started getting into the meat of it. I’ve never played a Dynasty Warriors game before, so it took me a while to both fully grasp what I should be focused on while playing, as well as become more invested in what I was playing. I found how different it is from a traditional Zelda game to be more of a barrier to entry than I thought.Read More »