Fireside 2.1 ( Monster Dear Monster Blog Thu, 02 Nov 2017 17:00:00 -0500 Monster Dear Monster Blog en-us The Evil Within 2 Initial Impressions - The First 2 hours Thu, 02 Nov 2017 17:00:00 -0500 8af60772-1465-4e3b-8c95-e5fdb0425f0f Matt discusses his first 2 hours of playing The Evil Within 2 The Evil Within 2 Initial Impressions - The First 2 hours

Hello monster fans! As I’m currently playing through The Evil Within 2 I thought I would share my initial thoughts on the game after about 2 hours in, and the couple of monsters I’ve come across so far….

For those who are not familiar, The Evil Within 2 is a direct sequel to the original game released in 2014 which was met with mixed reception but I personally had a lot of time for.

So on with the horror show…(Minor spoilers ahead)

Well to sum it up so far - I’m enjoying it. The game throws you into it's bizarre world fairly quickly with the emotional task to rescue your daughter by entering a town reminiscent of Silent Hill named Union.

Graphically the game has been….mixed. Overall the graphics are much better than the original game however the characters have different levels of detail, often within the same cutscene which highlights the issue further. But overall nothing to get too concerned over.

The game eases you into the terror to come with through gameplay tutorials such as sneaking around cover and using bottles to distract enemies - I felt like I was playing The Last of Us for a moment. The protagonist Sebastian has deliberately clunky controls and movement, combined with similar shooting mechanics to that of Resident Evil 4. The game clearly leans on its survival horror brethren for inspiration which is not necessarily a bad thing.

Now onto the juicy bit - the monsters! The first I came across was “The Guardian” - a giggling monstrosity with multiple heads that is made from the mutilated remains of murdered women. How lovely. Also she (?) chases you with a massive saw blade arm with the want to turn you into an ex-cop kebab. Welcome to The Evil Within 2.

The other monster I have had to experience is the rank and file “zombie” creature - The Lost. They demonstrate the behaviour you would expect of feral type zombies, reacting to sight but especially sound. I am not afraid to admit the first time I was spotted in the streets of Union, I met a very quick and gruesome death.

Overall I’m really enjoying The Evil Within 2 so far but it is still early days. It’s not been scary per se but the tension is definitely there. I’m also looking forward to finding out what monsters lie ahead!

Keep an eye for the next part!


Kingdom Death Monster: Tales of the Settlement [a prologue] Fri, 27 Oct 2017 14:00:00 -0500 e2f50c28-6e95-4893-91cf-76e4169b0681 An ongoing tale of the survivors from the Agartha settlement. There was comfort in the soft glow, and warmth of a kind to be had once all were gathered. Chaos, for a time, had been stilled by the lips of one. As before, she now spoke, holding her audience rapt, understanding dawning in their eyes for what the Father of Words wove. Seated as she was on a makeshift chair amid the piled lanterns, they couldn’t help but watch, and listen.

“The cries are silenced,” she said, raising one slender hand to point into the shadows beyond the boundaries of the settlement. “We have returned, all of us, bringing no traitor, only spoils,” her eyes flicked to the lone mound that marked a tragedy of the last hunt. To think they had been threatened from within, one of their own murdered. The vile act had been dealt a swift and permanent vengeance, some small token for the slain.

“Spoils of flesh and bone, meat, lest we starve. And gifts,” Chloanne, the Father of Words, held a bone dagger aloft, pressing the point against the naked flesh of her other arm. There was no hesitation, no catch in her voice as she raked it down, red beads welling up in the wake of the blade’s passing. Setting aside the blade, she tensed her wounded arm, the long cut oozing for a moment longer, though the blood soon ceased to flow freely. Wiping at the injury, her hand came away wet, though the flesh beneath was unmarred. She couldn’t help but grin, even as her head began to throb painfully, for no gift was freely given, not in this place.

Some had known, the three who had been with her on the hunt. To the others, this was a revelation, and further proof of their faith in their new chosen. A few rose from where they sat, approaching to marvel at what they had been shown. Chloanne allowed the spectacle to continue until all were satisfied there was no trick. Once they were seated, she resumed, pushing away the pregnant silence with solemnity as the ache behind her eyes slowly subsided.

“We all heard that terrible sound, out there among the grass and tangled plants. It was no white beast that gave such a cry. No,” unconsciously she gripped the handle of her dagger, if only to ward off the bitterness of the memory. She had no wish to face such a thing a second time, but the lesson must be imparted. That was the way, and the words were now hers to tell. “It was something else, a thing of horns, hoof and tooth.” A gaping maw had opened where the soft underbelly should have been, angry and wet with stinking saliva.

For a moment, words failed her there, simply recalling the smell was enough to still her. A cough from the back of the crowd returned Chloanne to the present, and she saw the broad shoulders of Benhart settle once more, his shape towering even at this distance. It was enough to spur her on, and begin the tale of their hunt in this third year of the Lantern.

Orphans of the Kraken Review Sun, 30 Jul 2017 13:00:00 -0500 408925d0-9082-430d-adde-24c207ad2b2c A review of the Warhammer 40k short novel "Orphans of the Kraken" written by Matt Orphans of the Kraken Review

Orphans of the Kraken is a short novel written by Richard Williams set in the continuously war-torn and ravaged Warhammer 40k universe.

Firstly I would say like many of the Warhammer 40k novels, it pays to have previous knowledge of the universe, however this short story is still fairly understandable without it. With that said, let us begin…

Scythes of the Emperor. You would be forgiven for thinking this is the name of your local death metal band, but in this context they are a lesser known Space Marine chapter dedicated to serving the will of the Emperor of Mankind and who have been decimated by the Tyranid alien race and their Hive Fleet Kraken.

The novel follows the story of Brother-Sergeant Tiresias, an experienced yet emotionally conflicted Space Marine leading a Salvation (salvage) squad of neophytes (think trainee Space Marines) into the heart of “deceased” Tyranid Hive Ships to harvest the gene-seed of their fallen battle brothers. His novice team consist of soldiers from less than ideal backgrounds and he certainly doesn’t hide his contempt for that fact. The setting of a former “living” ship and the description of its layers and functions are truly fascinating. As you can predict, their journey within the Hive Ship is full of danger and surprises, especially the later arrival of Cassios to challenge the authority of Tiresias.

The beauty and intrigue of Orphans of the Kraken, especially when compared to other Warhammer 40k novels is the author’s use of telling the story from Tiresias’ perspective and therefore projecting his thoughts and feelings throughout. Tiresias is a combination of bitterness towards what the Tyranids have done to his beloved chapter, yet still strives to push forward and make the best of the juveniles under his command. I guarantee you will become attached to them as you delve further into this book - Pasan, Vitellios, Narro and Hwygir all have their own personalities expertly portrayed by Tiresias’ thoughts.

At times the story harks back to memories and flashbacks from Tiresias’ time within the Scythes of the Emperor which goes a long way to establish a backbone of history for the chapter, which gives you a taste for more.

This leads to my only real criticism of Orphans of the Kraken and is a simple one - it isn't long enough. I appreciate it was designed as a short novel to give a focused and insightful look into a little-known marine chapter and their background, in addition to the workings of a Tyranid ship. However as a massive enthusiast of giving attention to the lesser known chapters, I just felt more development would have been of great benefit to the novel.

Overall, I think Orphans of the Kraken is definitely worth your time (and relatively small amount of money) if you are invested in the Warhammer 40k lore and especially for fans of the Tyranid race. For those people who do not fall under this category, it is still a great way to get a taste for this vast and complex universe in 80 pages.