June 21st, 2010

Games: PC: StarCon2

Weekend media stuff

I opted for being lazy this weekend. As a part of which, i finished both Infinite Space (DS game) and "A Taint in the Blood" (book by S.M. Stirling.)


Infinite Space is a space RPG/sim game, pretty heavily influenced by anime in the whatever-you-call-Macross/Space Battleship Yamato/etc-genre.

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So overall, Infinite Space has a simple battle mechanism that's a challenge at first, gets pretty easy later on, but at least individual battles are very short by that point. The plot is entertaining and probably the main draw for the game, especially if you like space anime. The CG is of the simple DS kind, but the space battle cutscenes are still kind of cool, and the music is pretty good as well.

A Taint in the Blood is kind of an urban fantasy series, but more in the Masquerade model (vampires/"shadowspawn" are hidden from society, and are generally nasty) and there's a strong SF emphasis on trying to explain their powers. The shadowspawn are a single sub-species of humanity that supposedly are behind every supernatural legend in existence (or at least all the ones that can be traced back to anything real.) They evolved sometime more than 10,000 years ago, and their primary (though certainly not only) power is the ability to influence reality at a quantum/probability level, making them supernaturally "lucky."

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So the "scientific" explanations are definitely stretching things at a lot of points, but it's nice that someone is at least making the attempt. (The last such case that i can recall offhand was C. S. Friedman's "The Madness Season" =) It's certainly far better than glittery mormon vampires anyways.

Actually, in retrospect the plot of both A Taint in the Blood and Infinite Space have one or two rather striking features in common, but i won't say what so as to avoid spoilers :)