Tag Archives: furry

Haven Editorial: Desucon 2017

Haven Editorial: Desucon 2017

Desucon is the biggest and longest running cosplay convention in Norway. It’s been around for at least a decade by this point. Which is fantastic achievement on its own and does the cosplay community a great service. However size has it’s own price. However it is not my place to speculate about the chaotic nightmare of logistics and people management. 

I came to Desucon to take pictures of interesting people and compete in the cosplay competition. Which I have a minor beef with. Which for once has nothing to with with the judges decisions on who would go on to the finals. Yet I’m quite sure some people do, however I did not inquire about that. It just well known fact that people will complain a lot about such things. That being said, there is a lot of fun to be had by signing on as a volunteer. The back bone of any convention.

As usual Desucon takes place in Lillestrøm during the summer. It’s a very flat region of east Norway with a big building perfectly suited to hold any convention, with easy commuting from all over. Be it by plane, bus or train. There is also a plethora of stores and high quality restaurants and an expensive hotel next door. Several noticeable and very geeky stores bring a lot of fantastic merchandise as well. A great number of artists shows up as well and most of them takes a lot of custom commissions. Replica swords, bead creatures, leather products, body pillows, figurines, cups, candy and much much more.

I’ve yet to mention the various organizations having stands there as well. Such as the highly questionable Galtvort skolen LARP. It’s a translation on the hog and wart pun, which is the recipe for having serious legal issues. Due to film companies being a dick about reinforcing copyrights.


The ever noisy and quite healthy Kendo participants. EF education, which enthralls you with the ability to study languages abroad. And many, many more. 

My costume idea for this year was a scantly clad Blackwatch Ryes from Overwatch. I figured out that parading around in his skimpy armor would be a lot more comfy than wearing a shirt. Plus I could not arsed to get an olive green hoodie. Not yet at least. The process can be found on my twitch page under the name Zaceron on pretty much anything.

Part one was held in a closed room with some cameras, several people from the crew. Apparently it was an auditorium with many rows of chairs, filled with an overwhelming amount of participants in colorful costume. Essentially the idea was for each participant to wait their turn and talk to the three lovely female judges in front. Personally I was just lucky to get there in time, since they decided to held it one hour earlier. Without notifying me, since I just arrived by bus when the announcement was made through the speaker system. Due to the ease of dressing up I did get in on time. Winning is a hard sell and there is always more to tell. However there is one big beef I have and that is the number of people going on to the finale, it went from twenty something down to five. The real problem I had about this is quite simple. Most of the participants had a sketch in mid, with music, sound and acting planned out. Now they will never be seen, which is sad and a waste of entertainment potential. Which also undercut a lot of fun. Seeing people do their hardest to perform on stage in a custom costume is a fantastic experience and fun to boot. Also a lot of the participants could greatly benefit from the self esteem boost.

However there was a drop in competition on Saturday, which had a lot of high quality participants as well and a much more chill, show your work atmosphere. I never expected to see a Daedric warrior cosplay. Then again a Oni Genji was there as well, with a mimic hiding in a corner, promising free loot. Aside from the big competition, there are a lot of other wholesome activities going on as well. Such as the LAN section, for people who have the balls to drag their expensive PC across the land. Various fandom meet ups, board games and much, much more. There is just too much to mention. After all I came there to compete, meet fantastic people, take a bucket load of images and fishing for ideas. Which is exactly what I did.

 

 

Kendo practice
The Kind of Norway during WW2
Wonder Woman
Arcade Ahri
Imperial Guardsman
Reaper vs Sith and the Remnant
Free Loot
Soldier 76
Friday the 13th
The witch king and his hand maiden?
Gone With the Blastwave
A short storm trooper
Roadhog
A Ghost Buster
Lara Croft
Joker
Bobba Fett
Sombra
Sparta
NCR Veteran

 Tai Fighter

Garen and Katarina

Njål Sand

Haven Reviews: Freedom Planet

Freedom planet

A very evil and hammy megalomaniac is out to take over the universe and ravage anyone in his path. Meanwhile a ragtag team of colorful furry misfits sets out to stop his nefarious plot. Which is no easy feat, with three rather dense kingdoms in charge of their home world and their questionable leaders.

2

Not only is the platforming fun, with several characters to pick from. It also has a fully voice acted plot. Which shows that a mostly female cast still make the game very enjoyable and fun. Though if you have an aversion to anything furry related, then you are though out of luck4.Its easy to pick up the and a breeze to play. Running, jumping and kicking in foes faces, what more could you ask for? It’s a video game. Which includes bosses, powerups and everything in between, though I wish the running was a bit faster.

Collect all the crystals and hidden collectibles. Play through the various difficulty settings,with each of the playable characters. Speedruning and a lot of steam achievements. All of this gives Freedom Planet a great deal of repeat ability.

1  Fantastic music, which can be bought separately. Catchy and very fitting.

The graphics are for the most part fantastic, highly detailed sprites, with very nice animations. Though the sprite rotation on slopes can be a bit sketchy. But for the most part the world is bright and colorful, with a lot of imaginative enemies. There is also a metric ton of speed gimmicks and interesting platform elements.5

I came across a couple bugs, one is that dang rolling boulder, I managed to get over it, then a new spawned and suddenly they where flashing back and forth on the screen. The other one is where it fail to register the Xbox gamepad, until I start, then restart the game. Should something disrupt the game pad, the game will ignore it completely and revert to the keyboard.
Off screen attacks from bosses have a nasty habit of making no sound.

Personally I got my version through a Humble Bundle and it is totally worth it. There is also a demo, you remember those right?

6

Disclaimer: We received this game for review purposes only. As such, all views in this article are our own. No money has been exchanged for this.

Haven Review: Freedom Planet

2015-07-29_00001Freedom Planet (developed by GalaxyTrail, LLC.) is a 2-D action “platformer”, and handles along the same lines as the old Sonic the Hedgehog series. You follow the adventures of three anthropomorphic girls: Lilac, Carol, and Milla, as they try to bring down an Alien Overlord bent on stealing your planet’s resources. They are helped by another alien named Torque, who looks like a duck sometimes. There is also a subplot about rival nation-states. The story is fairly simplistic; not a lot of interesting things going on. While this type of game is not known for story focus, Freedom Planet seems to revel in it. I spent almost as much time watching cut scenes as I did in actual game play. Fortunately there is a “Classic Mode” that let’s you skip the cut scenes entirely…a great feature!

2014-07-22_00006Although the design of the game is a little strange to me, I see where it’s headed… to create that retro Sonic-styled game. But Freedom Planet feels like it’s retro just for the sake of being retro. Sure it brings back memories, but it doesn’t really fix any of the frustrations of the genre. Games have improved in the past 20 years, and there is a way to create a retro-feeling game without the bad retro mechanics.mahrg3

My biggest frustration is the way the game saves. There is no manual save system; only an auto-save after each level is completed. However there is no indication as to when it’s saving; it happens at random moments during cut-scenes. A more appropriate place would be at the “Stage Complete” screens. During my play-through, I would finish a level and quit out of the game before or at the start of the next cut scene. Most of the time this was fine, and the game saved correctly. I was then able to pick up where I left off. Several times however, I noticed the game had not actually saved and I would have to repeat the level outright. We are in an age of gaming where this absolutely should not happen. We’re in a time where the “save state” exists and should be implemented. Let me save in the middle of a level. Don’t make me play your game longer than I want to; it lessens my enjoyment. At the very least, let me know when the game is saving. Give me some sort of indication.

2015-07-28_00001

The concept behind this game is solid enough. There really aren’t many current titles that fit this retro niche. The old ones can be found, but as for something new with the same mechanics, the field is definitely lacking. Freedom Planet does a good job of capturing that nostalgia, while at the same time feeling different. The level design is true to form, and the physical momentum used to carry you through the levels is spot on. I fell off ledges (and sometimes the map) mostly due to my incompetence with this style of game. The characters are fun to play, as each has a different tactic. Think of Lilac as Sonic, Milla as Tails, and Carol as Knuckles. Plus, having a cast of all female playable characters is a really nice touch.

img8AThe game’s graphics definitely go hand in hand with it’s precept. The goal of creating the look and feel of an old mascot platformer is achieved here. The enemies and bosses could have been more interesting in their design, but the levels and backgrounds are great. They each feel unique, and are memorable. When I thought things were apt to become repetitive, they wound up not being so; a nice little surprise.

Too bad the audio didn’t have the same hold on me as the graphics. I’m not saying the songs were bad, they were just not very catchy. There were only a few times where I commented on how I liked the song being played. The voice acting ranged from amateur to fairly competent. Brevon, the villain, far surpassed everyone else. However, at the end of the day I wished there was no voice acting and that I could just read the dialogue.

2015-07-28_00002

The game’s controls are fairly tight. I started out using the keyboard, but things got a lot more intuitive when I switched over to a controller. My biggest problem is that if you hold up on the joystick and try to jump, the character just stands there, unmoving. The movement direction overrides the jump command, which is pretty annoying. I’m sure not many people will have a problem with this, but it was something that I ran across a number of times…especially in areas where it was important to jump!

469955-freedom-planetThis game is hard. Well, it was hard for me. I’m terrible at these kinds of games and it really showed. Luckily there is a wide range of difficulty levels in which to find your preferred experience. I unashamedly settled on Easy, after losing horribly on Normal. For the most part, the difficulty was determined by my own lack of skills. However there were things about the game that made it a bit unfair. Several times for example, bosses had a different set of rules at their disposal that the player simply couldn’t access. I’m not talking about move sets. I mean that the bosses could interact with the world in ways the player couldn’t. One boss in particular (as seen in the following screenshot) was able to move out of the battle arena, attacking from behind an impenetrable wall! When this happened, there was nothing the player could do except wait for him to move back into range. It happened more times than to be a fluke. The boss follows the player. So if you stand in a certain spot, behind the wall he goes. It really limits what you’re able to do and were you’re able to go.

2015-07-23_00007

In terms of re-playability the game fares alright. There are those three characters for you to try out, and with whom to run through the story. Add to that the aforementioned difficulty levels, and you have quite the permutations to experience. The stages are big enough that you could take alternate routes through them, and there a number of collectibles in each stage to give a reason for exploration. The game’s achievements, however lean toward a more competitive, speed-running way of play. The Sonic series made this famous, but it’s not really my style. I’m sure there are some crazy speed-running strategies out there!

Freedom Planet is fairly simple to get the hang of. There are definitely moments where the puzzles or platforming challenges are a bit tricky to figure out, but those moments are few and far between. This means the game is suitable to a wide range of skill levels. The story is cute, wholesome and easy for all ages to follow.

Personally, I didn’t enjoy it. I’m sure Sonic fans could easily overlook this game’s problems and get a lot out of it. For me, that wasn’t the case. I felt there were way more frustrating parts than enjoyable ones. During Freedom Planet‘s “on point” moments, the game-play is fun…really quite good. Too bad those moments were so scarce.FreedomPlanetGradingScale

Disclaimer: We received this game because we wanted to review it, and as such all views in this article our are own. No money has been exchanged for this review.

-Jordan Kamm-