Otaku Review: Knights of Sidonia

Knights of Sidonia

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A Netflix original, mostly 3d animated, manga adaption by the same name. The master mind and author behind this series is Tsutomu Nihei. Whom is well known for emotional scenes, striking vistas and insanely huge and complicated environments. His previous work Blame! Took place in a huge ever expanding mega structure. This time around it’s a science fiction epic that takes place in a generation ship. A asteroid made into a humongous spaceship that has been traveling for generations though unknown space. On the run from some very, very creepy and clearly organic beings. sid4These monstrosities looks like something out of a Lovecraftian nightmare and will shred you to pieces with razor sharp appendages. Meanwhile try very hard to fight them with rocket propelled mecha. Which uses lances among other things as weapon. There is a reason why it’s called Knights of Sidonia, Naturally the students also use them to joust during combat training. By now you should know that this series is in no way affiliated with the Knights of Cydonia song from the band Muse.  Interestingly enough this puts it somewhat on the hard side of the science fiction reality scale,  Though the Guano as the thing they is know as, is anything but real.

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The main protagonist Nagate Tanikaze is a fairly decent one and is just shy of being a spike haired loud mouth. Tough he has his moments. Since he is from outside the system he’s the odd one out and slowly but surely he gains the respect of his peers. However this is a seinen  series, which gives the characters a lot more emotional flexibility, which also make then infinity more expandable. I will not go into more details, as few people like spoilers. Almost everyone with a name can die and probably will die.  At least this holds true for the first half of the series. Nagate, is a bit of an oddity that emerged from the under belly of Sidonia in order to raid the rice storage. Naturally a chase scene ensues, he got heavily injured and eventually got conscripted. By the way, have I mentioned that anyone can die? I just had to be sure. For reasons unknown to me there is also a female baker bear in the series as well.

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Mi biggest complain would be that I feel that there is something seriously wrong with the framerate. The animations have a nasty habit of getting choppy. There are plotting and visual differences between the manga and anime, but it’s mostly faithful. There are also cases of naked breast in the comic. sid6

All in all a fairly enjoyable show, based on a very decently drawn and made manga. Though at times I wish that Knights of Sidonia was drawn instead. But you know what they say; taste is a butt, split in half and the middle is shit. One thing that also stands out is the overuse of the color white, as everyone seems to parade around in their uniform all the time. Keep in mind this is not a child friendly series, there are a lot of violence, blood and people dying in gruesome ways.

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Njål H Sand

Haven Editorial: Things to improve in No Man’s Sky

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No man sky has hit the world wide web hard and the hype train has been insane. Yet the game delivers exactly what the trailer promised. It’s flawed and does not deserve all the media coverage that shattered peoples expectations. Regardless, No Man’s Sky is a beautiful game, even when I find yet another two meter tall mushroom species on almost every planet.

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Some sort of city wide planet. Have the entire planet being covered in one solid mega structure. Abandoned cities would be a nice addition as well. Currently all I find are the same boring outpost, that may or may not spawn with a door.

Which brings me to my second suggestion, more building and structure variation. Maybe go a bit more over board with biomass  engulfed structures as well.

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More space station variation, such as spinning wheels and such. There are just too few models. This becomes really apparent as I keep jumping into new star systems.

The ability to disable the terrible computer voice. It’s really grating and ruins the experience, it’s much like a nagging overbearing mother. Unit received! Unit received! Unit received! Unit received!

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Interacting with monoliths reveals the story of a bigger and fairly fleshed out universe. Though making the sequences more graphical would really help. It is too much text and a rather boring animation.

The weather effects during in No Man’s Sky a storm could use a decent touch-up as well. Currently the weather just makes the temperature go highwire and a lot of dust billows up from the ground, even during a rainstorm.

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Turning of the hud with a shortcut would be really awesome. Since it becomes quite intrusive when looking at the picturesque environments.

Having a more interesting gravity variation. Such as low gravity, that would make the character jump far and slower. Whilst heavy gravity can make everything more heavy and sluggish.

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There are just so few aliens at a station or a building. It’s usually just one alien sitting in a chair. While a text prompt shows up.

I have no idea why these types of games hardly ever add landmarks. A way to easily get the bearing.

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On the topic of landmarks, there really needs to be a way to set out map markers. It would really, really help a lot when finding interesting things on a planet.

Have the survival meters should really be made slower and less resource greedy.

Njål Sand

Haven Reviews: No Man’s Sky

No Man’s Sky

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Space the final frontier, a perilous place of adventure, death and despair. As a weary traveler I know this well. I was heading for the local space station, when a pack of pirates warped in and opened fire. A thing I was woefully unprepared for, if the pirate was alone I could have turned him into space dust. However when a pack of five vultures circles around my position there is not much I can do but run. Run into the ground engines and hull blazing, while bracing for impact. Eventually I crashed into a nearby planet. 20160813235626_1

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Every one wanted it, many loves it and some loath it. While some of the fanbase are a rabid pack of deluded fools, that thinks hatred, death threats and borderline terrorism is okay. I can truly say I’m not one of those. I’m here to provide you with an honest opinion of a game I quite much enjoy. Despite a ton of flaws that a good patch can fix.

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Most of us are familiar with exploration games these days, especially after a certain block stacking game from Sweden became popular. Tough so far I’ve yet to build anything but upgrades. Which is one of the major mechanics of No man’s sky, aside from resource gathering and exploring. In the midst of collecting materials, there is a plot that slowly unravels as the galactic core calls. Apparently the player is part of a long plan in the making, a plan of galactic proportions. I just hope the thing in the middle is not known as Steve.

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As I kept warping through deceptively small solar systems, I dropped by some planets. To chat with the locals, get some sweet upgrades and ogle the local wildlife. Slowly but surely I started to unlock the language of the locals. There is only so many grunts I can decipher.

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Tips for players
Grenade launcher is the only weapon you’ll ever need. It makes caves, it kills sentinels and can even collect resources. Almost everything can be blown up and it even works underwater.

Scan everything, plants, animals, rock formations and everything else of interest. These can be uploaded and will earn any player a quick buck.

Aside from plot related recipes, everything else that is unlockable is random. Such as Atlas V2 and 3 cards.

Never the less there is an elephant in the room, that needs to be addressed. The framerate is poor and there is a lot of stuttering.
The idea of holding down key to interact with the menu is not good design, It is slow, tedious and obtrusive.
There needs to be more variations in outpost and places to visit planet side. Not to mention more population.
Some settings will require a restart, that is well and all. But there is a damn long loading screen of sorts every time I start up No man’s sky.
Flying things are almost impossible to scan, unless you shoot them down.

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Aside from these issues it is a fairly decent game, that is recommended for people that like exploring and some combat every now and then. I certainly enjoy it despite it’s very apparent flaws and the assholes within the fan base.

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Njål H Sand

A safe haven for anyone and everyone.