A Whispy Shadow Demon

Prologue

In an attempt to improve my writing & scratch the creativity itch I’m going to attempt to write daily. Usually, I write when I’m feeling inspired…but that’s not that often anymore. So I’m going to prompt inspiration & see where it takes me. Today’s prompt is…

A Whispy Shadow Demon

My 6-year-old daughter is fearless. In her mind at least. Unfortunately, she has inherited her mother’s delusions of grandeur. She’s the best at everything and afraid of nothing. I love her very much, but this is an awful trait for ANY human to possess. But there you go.

Introducing Bendy

One day, while randomly flicking through Youtube I saw a thumbnail depicting (what I now know as) Bendy & The Ink Machine. For those of you who don’t know who or what this is, it’s basically (as Wikipedia will tell you)

An episodic first-person puzzle-action survival horror video game. The game follows Henry Stein, a retired animator who returns to his old animation studio from the 1930s, after an invitation from his old employer, and discovers a nightmare of cartoon characters seemingly brought to life by the titular Ink Machine.

It’s a wonderfully scripted game with iconic characters brought to life using a 1930s style of animation (think Steamboat Willie) I am slightly obsessed…but not as much as my daughter.

From Fear to Fandom

When she first saw him I could tell she was slightly suspicious of him. Yeah, he looked cute…but he definitely has a demonic look and feel to him too. I had no idea about him, so when she asked me who it was and what he did, I made up all kinds of horrific (or as horrific as I can be towards a 6-year-old girl) stories. Stories of how he would chase children in their dreams if they didn’t behave for their parents (I never said they were original stories!) And the usual ‘boogeyman’ tales we know and love.

The Journey Begins

One Friday night it was just me and her, and she asked me if I would tell her more about Bendy. I told her I would do one better. I hopped back onto YouTube and found some playthrough footage (without commentary) and we watched it together. Two hours later, she was in love. She was fascinated by each character & the journey they took. She instantly became a fan.

Curiosity Inspires The Kid

The very next day she wanted to watch it again, but this time she knew what to expect, so she was able to quiz me more on the plot and characters (she is only 6 years old remember) after another viewing she wanted to write about him (she’s an avid reader and I’m very proud to say she is reading at TWO levels higher than what she should be) so she did. Now, I’m not saying what she wrote makes any sense, but the passion is there. And nobody should ever mock or deny a passion to create, especially in a child. I will always continue to motivate and help push her creativity, because who knows where it will take her.

Thanks, Bendy.

Epic Mickey Nintendo Wii

Sign of the Times

Being a ‘poor & starving artist’ a lot of…ALL of my video gaming is done ‘retro’ (I hate using that term on a machine that came out in the 2000s, but apparently that’s where we’re at) I don’t have a problem with gaming on a budget (hunting down seventh gen games in charity shops is one of my most favourite things to do) but just because it won ‘Game of the Year’ or scored high on Metacritic doesn’t mean I will personally enjoy it…

Motion Control Catastrophy

When the Wii first came out, the motion control was seen as (& probably ACTUALLY) groundbreaking. It was revolutionary…and a gimmick. The latter being the problem. I don’t mind a mini-game that requires a bit of tilting and shaking and ‘wand pointing’, but a full game? Maybe it’s just me, or maybe it just hasn’t aged well. Most probably, it’s both, because playing this game sucked.

The Pros

Before I get all negative Nancy, there are some things I enjoyed about it. The art is phenomenal (using many different styles) and the story has a real Disney/Mickey feel to it; it’s a magical adventure that slightly (and I mean slightly) takes me back to Castle of Illusion (legitimately one of the greatest games ever made) there are lots of things to collect and places to explore too. It’s a shame it handles so poorly…

The Cons

Simply put, it’s the gosh darn controls! If I’m not fiddling about with the lord awful camera (trying to get a decent angle while moving was near impossible, I literally had to stop, adjust the camera and THEN move) I was faffing about trying to get close enough to the items I needed to paint or thin (even trying to remember which was which was a tricky task at first, but that’s probably being more down to me)

I like my games to be, not necessarily fast action, but definitely smooth flowing. This was neither. As mentioned above, I would have to stop and position myself all too often before jumping or painting. It was a chore to play that literally left me with achy hands! (But again, that could just be me)

The Verdict

Was it good back in 2010 (NINE whole years ago!) We’ll according to IGN, yes (it was a ‘best of E3 2010 winner) but does it hold up now? For me…not at all. I would have loved to have played it back in the day to see how it felt back then, but we’ve come so far in the last 9 years or just simply doesn’t hold up in today’s market.

But what do you think? I’d love to hear your thoughts (good or bad)

Jo

Jablinski ‘Games’

I love Jables. I was there for the birth of Tenacious D, and have followed his film career since I Still Know What You Did Last Summer. But his latest venture really winds me up. Here’s why.

First off, let’s start with the obvious. The issue that winds people up the most is the fact that he claims to be a gaming channel. Again, I know it’s an obvious and easy criticism, but it’s true. He isn’t a gaming creator. Yeah, he’s mentioned Ninja and Pewds. He did the fake Fortnite footage and the Pinball machine ‘tour’ video, but that’s it. It’s not gaming as we know it, or expect it to be. Call it what it is, a weekly vlog channel. It’s cool, we’re ok with your content (I am at least) just don’t claim to be a gaming channel. WWE’s Xavier Woods (Up Up Down Down) is a gaming channel, yours, is not.

Secondly is the unfair push he gets from Youtube. His content is watchable, I’m not denying this, but there are so many tiny channels out there who are super creative and original (shout out to my personal favourite DOPLEX ) who don’t get anywhere near the attention they deserve because YouTube (& other media sources) would rather push a well-known celeb. Again, his content is watchable, I just feel like other channels are more deserving of a subscriber.

As with most things in life, it is what it is. I can’t change it…but I CAN try & help. So if you’re reading this, give some love to the smaller, more creative channels too, and not just the ‘A’ list celebs. Share the love and let other people know YOUR favourite artists. Don’t just stop with YouTube either. Writers, animators, singers, let’s give some love to the underdogs and make the world a more original & creative place.

Or don’t. It’s your call. But I know I would.

In fact, I just did, so…

Jo