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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: Disgaea 3: Absence of Detention

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.

The Netherworld is a place of demons, where the soul of sinners is sent and have to work to pay off their sins. It’s also a school (a place of anything but learning). Most children think of school as hell. In this case it’s literal and all of the students are demons. These hellish abominations are bright, vibrant and colorful, with quirky over-the-top personalities and a lot of vices. This motif is mostly played for laughs.

Disgaea is a series of tactical RPG games made by Nippon Ichi Software (lit.: Japan 1st Software). Each game takes place in a different Netherworld setting, with the human realm in the middle and heaven on top.cover

You start off the game as Mao, the son of the school’s head dean. His goal is to become the #1 honor student. Since this is down bellow, it means doing things the bizzaro way. Forget attending class, just skip them. The teachers don’t care anyway. Along the way he picks up a party of personalities. Most of the tone is happy, with sarcastic humor and surprisingly good voice acting. This game has a lot of grinding and the level cap is 999 or was it 9999. In other words absurdly high. Since it’s a tactical game, combat takes place over a square grid. This means that the player goes first, then the enemy. In order to spice this up and add to the challenge, the game has something called “Geo Effects”. Squares with the same glowing color will have a special effect, if a box is on that color. Effects includes invisibility, enemy level-up, recovery and more. The major challenge in the story mode is the puzzle-like nature of enemy placement and Geo Effects. However if one enjoys the plot and the characters, it’s very rewarding to continue. Not only that, there’s a lot of extra content, multiple endings and post-game things to do.

Another notable thing is that the player can create a party by selecting from a list of classes along with the unique main characters. Every class has strengths and weaknesses, and the higher the level the more absurd their special attacks get.Flonnezilla

Another fun and very true-to-life mechanic is the court room, where one passes bills. Since hell is a bad place, corruption runs rampant and the only way to gain the favor of the Senators is to bribe them or beat them senseless. Be warned, they tend to out-level you a lot. Some are drunk, some are sleeping and some are just against you. The total number of votes has to be above 50%.

Aside from that there is the “Item World”, where one enters into an item in order to boost its stats. Each level is random and scales accordingly. In the best items, a persistent player can get all the way down to the bottom and beat up the item good and proper!

For fun, giggles and grinding, there are tower attacks. As the name implies, the strongest party member stays on the bottom and all the others stand on top of that one. When one character attacks, all others in the tower help and the experience is divided equally.

main-char

There’s much more to it than what I’ve mentioned, however the game does a wonderful job of explaining all of its internal mechanics. I enjoy this series to the fullest. However it’s quite a niche and most of the humor is derived from stubborn characters and a lot of sarcasm. There’s no blood and the violence is merely for laughs.

The endings and extra content make for a lot of readability, since different characters and team builds can lead to an entirely new flow and challenge.

Also, the fact that it’s turn-based with a lot of grinding will put some people off; especially children. Both the American and Japanese voice actors do a splendid job and the music is quite good, with some exceptions. For those of you who just hate listening to dubbing, there’s an in-game option to switch over to Japanese (with subtitles).

By now the above pictures should give a very clear indication of what to expect. The game is purely anime style, with cell shading and big expressive eyes. On a side note, the body types vary from flat chested to highly endowed; something that most developers seems to shy away from. It’s also a very good source for cosplay ideas.

Disgaea3: Absence of Detention is available on PS3 and Vita platforms. With some luck it will eventually end up on Steam as well.

http://www.nisamerica.com/

disgaa

Njål Sand