Tag Archives: science

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 Reviews: The Incredible Baron

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A bragging, posh and quite self absorbed gentleman, a big boned shrieking bat of a lady and a pint sized big eyed boy is on journey into the unknown. On a trek to discover new creatures and document them. After all a true man have to leave a legacy. Unfortunately the Baron have a bad habit of being a braggart, whom like to take the honor for other peoples ideas. Only the Baron himself is capable of making these robotic inits. But when they go wrong, they suddenly belong to his assistant again.20160804091003_1

While the story is fantastic and very fun, with colorful characters and lovely artwork. The Incredible Baron gameplay itself is a bit dry and boring. There is nothing inherently wrong about it, I just find it dull. On the left side is my base, here I can build rooms. These produce units for a cost. Money slowly trickle in and can be gained by besting the incoming enemy. However the units themselves can only walk one way and that is towards my enemy. Unfortunately  I have no control over these little buggers at all; which means strategy comes from what order I buy them in. Eventually I got several support abilities to use as well. Such as the flintlock pistol, that provides extra research 20160804091107_1when dealing the killing blow. When the dead bugger is researched I’ll know what the weakness is and can pick units accordingly to color and gain new units. Each one have a unique color. Some colors beat other colors,  while some units I unlock with enough research.  Before each mission, I had to pick what units to have available in combat. Now that is well and all, but at least they keyboard layout works. The incredible baron uses a keyboard mouse combo, it mostly works, but the cursor will go outside the border and onto my other screen. Replay-ability comes from unlocking more units, getting a better score on previous levels and leveling up. Even when losing a level, the research progress will slowly rise.

20160804095119_1As stated earlier, even if I don’t enjoy this kind of gameplay much. Mostly because I like a hands on approach. There are two fantastic things about this game though. The music is fantastic, it’s full of life and quite in theme with a Caribbean palm covered pirate island. The other thing is the graphics, which are vibrant and colorful, with a lot of charm, not to mention they are well drawn. Meanwhile the plot of The incredible baron is a weird tale of exploration, science and a bucket load of puns. Regardless I will not tattle the tale, because that would be spoiler and that is not what I’m about. Most people will enjoy it more than me, but all in all I would recommend trying the incredible baron;  on Steam, IOS or Android.

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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: Pokemon Snap

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Oh snap! It’s Pokemon Snap!

Professor Oak did SCIENCE! Through being a scientist in Pokemon Snap, he made a floating self-propelled observation platform and a portal. After creating these marvelous artifacts, he hired a photographer named Tracy to utilize them, in order to take stunning wildlife pictures. Capturing nature’s unrivaled beauty through a camera lens, from dark caves to rapid rivers and space, is the name of the game.

The face of SCIENCE! Research and poetry

Pokemon is weird and there are very few inherently bad or broken games. Pokemon Snap is one of those spin-off games that was launched on Nintendo 64 and was later put on sale through the Wii Store. The game is a unique take on the idea of a “rail shooter”. Instead of pointing a gun, the player points a camera and the goal is to take pictures of every Pokemon and maximize the score. There are several tools to achieve this, such as an infinite apples, pester balls and a “pokeflute”. Apples distract monsters, while the pester ball aggravates them, causing various effects to occur. The flute wakes up those that are sleeping. The scoring system is based on various factors, such as whether the creature is in the center of the picture, or whether there are multiple Pokemon captured in the photo. There’s even a bonus if the creature is striking a pose or doing something fancy.

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Our protagonist for this game, he has not aged well.

After the track is complete, Professor Oak will rate the pictures and a score will be set, perhaps resulting in new “unlocks”. Pokemon Snap starts out with one track, but more become available by interacting with the environment at specific points. I’m not entirely sure if there is music in the game; I can’t remember any other track than that damn ear worm of a menu theme. That and Professor Oak’s creepy upbeat, very exited voice. A great deal of the first generation Pokemon does show up, but not all 150 creatures. However they did include Mew as the last “boss”.

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The most advanced picture platform in the world!

There is not that much to say about the game play, other than that it provides a fresh and innovative take on the world fans know and love. Pokemon Snap is very a very calm game with a very relaxed atmosphere, despite being surrounded by vicious beasts that can tear a man limb from limb, or turn him into a frozen meat Popsicle. It’s a highly recommended title for any fan who wants to see a different take on the world of Pokemon without having to grind for hours and fight every deluded trainer on the way. It can be bought on the virtual Nintendo store, but keep in mind, this game has not aged well.

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Point and click!

Njål H Sand