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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 Review: Teslagrad

Teslagrad

In a Steampunk world, Science a boy is on the run, escaping into a mighty tower full of perils and wonder, where the story is told without a word. This is a very impressive undertaking, since games are usually an audio/visual medium. I review it because I find it enjoyable. In this Nordic-inspired world, the terrors of the tower are many and the secrets are hard to find. The platforming is solid and your powers are based around electricity; hence the title. Throughout the game there are various murals that depict the story of the land and stages where automatons preform a play.

Now i know how being a Gerbil feels like!
Now i know how being a Gerbil feels like!

I think most people would classify this as a “Metroidvania” game, but that wouldn’t be entirely accurate. There’s a lot of exploration going on, but that’s purely for unlocking secrets.

The path ahead is quite linear and follows a clear, defined line. However it’s totally possible to backtrack. Throughout the game you’ll find various useful items that are required to solve the puzzles and traverse the rooms of the tower. These include a glove that can change the polarity of various objects and boots that zap the player through metal bars, into enemies and across chasms. Overall, it’s an easy control scheme and a simple concept done right. Graphics are nice and colorful, and at times moody. The bright eyed pint-sized boy fits well into the world of hand drawn sprites, where every enemy and boss looks unique.

Touch the electric current and die
Touch the electric current and die

Yes, there are some epic and fun boss battles with dramatic music and intense action. This brings me to the sound design that is very well done and fits into the theme of the world. It never got on my nerves. Since this is a very adorable platformer, there’s no blood and gore. Players of all ages can enjoy it. However, it can be a bit hard if players aren’t familiar with such games, or are very young.

Big bird boss beating!
Big bird boss beating!

All in all, Teslagrad is a solid game from a solid Norwegian game company, and was made using the Unity engine . The game can be bought on Steam, GOG and Wii U.

teslagrad

Steam store page.
http://store.steampowered.com/app/249590/

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 review.

Njål H Sand

Haven Review: King’s Quest: Chapter One

First up is our disclaimer. We received this game for review purposes only, and as such all opinions in this review are our own. No money has been exchanged for this review.

kings_quest_box_art King’s Quest is the story of an old man, recounting his youthful adventures which allowed him to become King. Honestly when I started playing I wasn’t sure of what to expect, but I was taken aback by how beautiful and stunning the game was.maxresdefaultADFA

The best way to describe it is if you took a Disney movie, put it into a story-based game and fine tuned it so that everything flowed together flawlessly.  In a lot of games you have “stutter” of some kind; something that lets you know you’re playing a game. Maybe their mouths don’t move in sync with the dialog; or during movement, their body parts seem to overlap other body parts. I encountered none of these issues while playing King’s Quest. I literally felt like I was in a story book and watching the protagonist, King Graham trying to solve puzzles as he tells his story and interact with different characters.kings-quest-episode-2-release-date

Additionally, the voice actors of the game were really amazing in how well they brought the characters to life; even for simple things like buying a giant pie. Christopher Lloyd voices old King Graham, telling his niece of his adventures and how he bested a dragon; not with weapons, but rather through intelligence and cunning. That’s how the entire game starts out; much like a TellTale game, but done better.

Controls for the game are fairly straightforward, on both controller and keyboard. I preferred the controller however, as it allowed me to sit back and relax instead of dragging a keyboard over to my lap. Now the story in Chapter 1 serves as an introduction of sorts. In addition to King Graham, you meet the Baker, the Smith, and two nefarious elderly people running a potion shop. You also get acquainted with Olfie, a giant bridge troll. vbnGraham arrives in the town of Daventry for a series of challenges to become a Knight in the castle where he has to battle against other Knights for the position, and potentially the throne later on.

In Chapter 1 you meet Whisper, Acorn, Achaka, and Manny. Each wants to become a Knight for the Kingdom in their own right and for their own reasons. But it’s not until the end of the chapter that you learn the truth behind the people in the contest; which begs a person to not judge a book by its cover. The details are very interesting, but not something I’d want to write in a review (spoilers, and all).

I absolutely enjoyed King’s Quest and I can’t wait for the other chapters to come out.

-Daniel Clatworthy-

KingsQuest