Niklaus: Part One – An Invitation

Happy Friday, everyone! Today marks the final day in our Festive Fantasy Week celebrations for 2013. I want to share with you now a short story that I’ve been working on in the build-up to Christmas. Now, I’d hoped to have it wrapped up by now, but it’s not quite there yet. However, that might not end up being such a bad thing. I’m going to release it in three parts here on the blog, hopefully having the whole thing on here by Christmas Day.

I really hope you enjoy the story and make sure to stay tuned for Part Two, which should be posted over the weekend.

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Niklaus: Part One – An Invitation

Tobacco smoke snaked up from the pipe and obscured the old man’s face like a veil of fog. Impossibly blue eyes danced from behind the smoke, framed by a briar patch criss-cross of wrinkles and scars. The man’s weathered face—so dark, so lined and like old boot-leather—was encircled by brilliant white hair, so overgrown now that the man’s mane and beard were indistinguishable from one another. His thick, pale lips formed a perfect circle as he took another drag from the pipe and let out the smoke in a series of silent whispers.

‘Tell me that last part again,’ he purred. ‘About the deer.’ Continue reading

Fiction Friday: The Story – End of Part One

I’ve decided that we’ll leave the first part of our story on a cliffhanger. We’ll resume with Part Two sometime after Christmas. Well done Lauraducky for your chosen entry (and for giving us a great mystery to solve)!

If this is your first time taking part or reading, you can find out more about this regular feature here.

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~Last week’s chosen entry is highlighted in blue.~

Read the entire story so far at this link!

Fiction Friday: The Story

In Last Week’s Episode:

‘You have come a long way, boy,’ the knight said. ‘Beset by enemies at every turn and hunted by those who desire your power.’

Aleks could feel Naia’s fear. He kept his blade between him and this stranger. ‘And you?’ he said. ‘Do you also desire it?’

The knight laughed and it sounded like a swarm of locusts cutting through a desert. ‘What I desire is none of your concern. What the Knights desire, however, will soon become apparent.’

Naia put a protective arm in front of Aleks, shooting the knight a dangerous look. ‘Tell us what to do,’ she said. ‘Tell me what you need.’

The Knight chuckled malevolently. His deep voice didn’t quite fit with the surroundings, as if he didn’t exist. Maybe he didn’t, Aleks thought desperately. Maybe this was all a hallucination. Then he looked at Naia’s frightened face and decided otherwise. He could never dream that up.

He looked back at the Knight. The Knight opened his mouth as if to shout, though Aleks could hear nothing. Naia, however, doubled over as in pain. Her hearing was far beyond that of a normal human. Aleks realised that the Knight was calling the other Knights, and a shiver of fear ran up his spine. Escape was impossible now.

An instant later, the full troop of knights stood before them in gleaming armour. They looked so similar that Aleks could no longer distinguish the first one from the rest of them. There were twelve of them in all, standing motionless before them.

Naia sucked in a deep breath. “Knights of the Last World,” she said. “Give us your demands so that we may give our answer.”

End of Part One

Fiction Friday: The Story – Episode 7

It’s that time of the week again… it’s episode seven of our ongoing fantasy story! Congratulations to Flowerfarie, who concludes last week’s thrilling installment. It’s going to be a short piece from me this week, because I want to leave the next twist in the story mainly up to you guys.

If this is your first time taking part or reading, you can find out more about this regular feature here.

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~Last week’s chosen entry is highlighted in blue.~

Read the entire story so far at this link!

Fiction Friday: The Story

In Last Week’s Episode:

‘Just what we need?’ Aleks said. ‘What do you mean? You told me we would find it. The answers I want are there!’

‘Hush!’ Naia hissed. She put a finger to her mouth and her ears seemed to prick up. ‘They’re here,’ she whispered, eyes wild.

Aleks glanced about him, searching in the darkness above and below for unseen enemies. ‘Where?’ he said. He drew his short blade, though he knew he was vastly under practiced with it.

As if on cue, a rushing, roaring noise came from all around them and evil, disembodied voices wailed out of the chaos. Aleks swung wildly, trying to destroy whatever this strange force was, but to no avail.

Naia reached out and took Aleks by the hand. ‘We’re getting out of here!’ she yelled. She closed her eyes, recited something under her breath and the world as the pair knew it fell away. They had evaded the hunters once again… but how long could they keep running?

Naia peered through the clearing mists of transition. She’d made a mistake; which really very rarely happened.

‘Where on earth are we?’, Aleks looked at the bright blue sky and the burning orange sun. The colours were vivid and he thought to himself that it was the most beautiful place he had seen in a long time. A river flowed out in front of them, the water sparkled full of diamonds; the trees and grass were lush; and he immediately felt his vitality returning.

Naia couldn’t understand it. This was not the place she’d had in her mind.

The gauntlet was still in her grasp; and the stones that decorated it were glowing strongly. As she examined it closely she recognised the intricate decoration that was only now becoming visible. ‘The magic this contains’, she said shakily, dropping the gauntlet to the floor, ‘ Is that of The Knights of the Last World’.

Aleks saw the confusion on Naia’s face. She was usually so sure of herself; but now she was pale and had never looked so vulnerable.

‘You should have realised that when you first saw it, Naia, I know it’s been a very long time; but I had hoped you would remember us’.

The voice belonged to a very tall, thin being who suddenly became visible to them. Dressed in the unmistakable uniform of the Knights; the armour clad man smiled and introduced himself to Aleks.

Episode 7

This week in Fiction Friday: The Story…

‘You have come a long way, boy,’ the knight said. ‘Beset by enemies at every turn and hunted by those who desire your power.’

Aleks could feel Naia’s fear. He kept his blade between him and this stranger. ‘And you?’ he said. ‘Do you also desire it?’

The knight laughed and it sounded like a swarm of locusts cutting through a desert. ‘What I desire is none of your concern. What the Knights desire, however, will soon become apparent.’

Naia put a protective arm in front of Aleks, shooting the knight a dangerous look. ‘Tell us what to do,’ she said. ‘Tell me what you need.’

Now it’s your turn to tell us where the story goes next!

Drop a comment below the story with your entry. Or, if you prefer, you can send it to me directly.

Fiction Friday: The Story – Episode 6

Here’s episode six! Only one entry this time *sad face*. Congrats to Lauraducky!

If this is your first time taking part or reading, you can find out more about this regular feature here.

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~Last week’s chosen entry is highlighted in blue.~

Read the entire story so far at this link!

Fiction Friday: The Story

In Last Week’s Episode:

‘What do we do?’ Naia asked.

Aleks took the gauntlet in his hand and studied it closely. He could see no markings or insignia which would bring him closer to its creator or owner. Perhaps it had never had an owner? What if it was meant for him and him alone?

Naia reached out a hand to touch the gauntlet, but Aleks snatched it away, scowling. ‘Get away!’ he snapped. ‘It’s mine!’

A rush of blood went to his head and he suddenly felt dizzy and sick. Naia was looking at him as if she’d never met him before in her life. Suddenly, her face contorted into a frown and she slapped him hard across the face.

‘How dare you?’ she cried. ‘Remember your place, boy.’

Aleks’ face stung, bringing him back to his senses. He shook away the rest of his annoyance, knowing it was irrational. He felt as if the gauntlet had somehow been controlling his emotions. The shame hit him like a wall, and he felt his ears heat up. Of course Naia was justified in looking at the gauntlet.

“I’m sorry,” he said.

With some reluctance, he handed over the gauntlet. Naia smiled at him, but he thought there was a patronising edge to her smile. She turned it over in her hands, peering closely at it. Her expertise, he knew, would be valuable.

Naia smiled. “This is a very powerful magical object,” she said. “It could be just what we need.”

Episode 6

This week in Fiction Friday: The Story…

‘Just what we need?’ Aleks said. ‘What do you mean? You told me we would find it. The answers I want are there!’

‘Hush!’ Naia hissed. She put a finger to her mouth and her ears seemed to prick up. ‘They’re here,’ she whispered, eyes wild.

Aleks glanced about him, searching in the darkness above and below for unseen enemies. ‘Where?’ he said. He drew his short blade, though he knew he was vastly under practiced with it.

As if on cue, a rushing, roaring noise came from all around them and evil, disembodied voices wailed out of the chaos. Aleks swung wildly, trying to destroy whatever this strange force was, but to no avail.

Naia reached out and took Aleks by the hand. ‘We’re getting out of here!’ she yelled. She closed her eyes, recited something under her breath and the world as the pair knew it fell away. They had evaded the hunters once again… but how long could they keep running?

Ok, you carry it on!

Drop a comment below the story with your entry. Or, if you prefer, you can send it to me directly.

Fiction Friday: The Story – Episode 5

It’s time for episode five! We had three entries last time and it was really difficult to choose between them. Nevertheless, I had to choose one, so read on to find out whose got chosen…

If this is your first time taking part or reading, you can find out more about this regular feature here.

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~Last week’s chosen entry is highlighted in blue.~

Read the entire story so far at this link!

Fiction Friday: The Story

In Last Week’s Episode:

Aleks carefully shimmied down a shallow slope and touched down on a wide ledge. He could see what Naia had meant when she said that something was lodged down here. ‘What is that?’ he said. ‘It’s huge.’

Naia joined him and shifted effortlessly back to her human form. ‘I-I don’t know,’ she said, stumbling over her words. ‘Is that what we’re looking for?’

‘It can’t be,’ Aleks said, scratching his head. ‘Can it?’

Naia squinted at the object, trying to make out what it was. “I can’t see anything,” she complained.

“I’ll make some light,” Aleks replied. He hadn’t wanted to because it would drain his energy reserves, but being in total darkness was beginning to make him feel uncomfortable.

With a flourish (which he later realised nobody could see) he clicked his fingers and a bright orange orb of light appeared above their heads, illuminating the crevasse for the first time. The light had an ethereal quality to it, making the black rocks around them seem smoother and shinier that they actually were.

As their eyes adjusted to the sudden brightness, Aleks heard Naia quietly gasp. The curiosity within him burnt even brighter at this, and he took a closer look at the object in front of them.

Nestled within a huge bed of pure crystal which shimmered in the orange glow was an intricate gauntlet made of a bright silver metal. What it was doing there, neither Aleks nor Naia could tell, but it seemed to radiate with power. It seemed like a strange thing to do, to leave a single glove deep below the ground in such a deliberate spot. It made Aleks think that someone had wanted him to find it, but who? He could think of no such person.

Episode 5

This week in Fiction Friday: The Story…

‘What do we do?’ Naia asked.

Aleks took the gauntlet in his hand and studied it closely. He could see no markings or insignia which would bring him closer to its creator or owner. Perhaps it had never had an owner? What if it was meant for him and him alone?

Naia reached out a hand to touch the gauntlet, but Aleks snatched it away, scowling. ‘Get away!’ he snapped. ‘It’s mine!’

A rush of blood went to his head and he suddenly felt dizzy and sick. Naia was looking at him as if she’d never met him before in her life. Suddenly, her face contorted into a frown and she slapped him hard across the face.

‘How dare you?’ she cried. ‘Remember your place, boy.’

There you go. Let’s see what you can come up with!

Drop a comment below the story with your entry. Or, if you prefer, you can send it to me directly.

Fiction Friday (Thursday): The Story – Episode 4

I really must apologise for not putting up episode four last Friday. I had a week off work (a rare occurrence) and I let it go to my head ;) Here it is, on a Thursday. Episode five will be up tomorrow as usual, so get your entries in fast!

If this is your first time taking part or reading, you can find out more about this regular feature here.

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~Last week’s chosen entry is highlighted in blue.~

Read the entire story so far at this link!

Fiction Friday: The Story

In Last Week’s Episode:

A few hours later, the pair came to a huge split in the ground; a crevasse that seemed as if it had torn a painful wound in the world itself. Aleks slowed and carefully approached the edge. Naia circled overhead, having taken the shape of a hawk, and let out a cautioning cry.

Aleks, she said, her voice somehow in his head but not audible. I sense something terrible inside that tear in the earth. I don’t like this.

Something terrible? Aleks was sure his friend was just being overly cautious, but she had been right about such things in the past. He took a deep breath and shimmied gingerly over the edge into the unknown.

The rock was slippery, and Aleks feared for his life as his feet struggled to find purchase on the icy walls. Naia guided him where she could, and slowly but surely he navigated his way down. It seemed to take forever, and he began panting heavily after just a few minutes. Every metre he would look behind him into the freezing darkness, wishing for some light. This was starting to seem like a bad idea.

Naia had changed into a bat, and she hovered anxiously behind him. “I told you it was dangerous,” she said, her mental voice rising in pitch.

Aleks ignored her. “Can you see anything down there?” he asked.

Naia flew around behind him, clicking at a frequency too high for him to hear. “There’s something lodged in this crevasse,” she said. “Not too far now.”

Episode 4

This week in Fiction Friday (Thursday): The Story…

Aleks carefully shimmied down a shallow slope and touched down on a wide ledge. He could see what Naia had meant when she said that something was lodged down here. ‘What is that?’ he said. ‘It’s huge.’

Naia joined him and shifted effortlessly back to her human form. ‘I-I don’t know,’ she said, stumbling over her words. ‘Is that what we’re looking for?’

‘It can’t be,’ Aleks said, scratching his head. ‘Can it?’

Oo, mysterious, no? Your turn!

Drop a comment below the story with your entry. Or, if you prefer, you can send it to me directly.

Fiction Friday: The Story – Episode 3

It’s time for episode three (I promise you, it won’t be as bad as Star Wars: Episode 3)! We only had one entry this time around, so make sure you participate if you enjoy reading the story :)

If this is your first time taking part or reading, you can find out more about this regular feature here.

Every week, you will all have the opportunity to continue the story by leaving a comment on this post. I will then choose my favourite entry and add it to the story for next week, at which point I will continue the story from where you left off.

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~Last week’s chosen entry is highlighted in blue.~

Read the entire story so far at this link!

Fiction Friday: The Story

In Last Week’s Episode:

The sea lion considered the question a moment and slowly nodded its head. ‘Aye, I did. The red rage came upon me… I just couldn’t–’

‘It’s alright,’ Aleks said. He placed a comforting hand on his friend’s nape. ‘Come on, we should make ourselves scarce.’

The odd pair took their leave and proceeded across the dunes, away from the beach and back onto solid earth. As soon as they were out of sight, the sea lion let out a cry and started to change even as it waddled along. Slowly, its features began to twist and morph and it started to resemble a human. Whiskers retracted and the leather-grey skin smoothed to a supple pink. The strange girl that now walked beside Aleks gave him a wry smile, her eyes dancing and impossibly black.

‘At least you decided to wear clothes before you shifted, this time, Naia,’ Aleks said.

‘Yes,’ Naia replied, flushing. ‘That was an awkward moment, wasn’t it?’

Aleks smiled wearily as the familiar fields stretched out before them. There was precious little energy left to take from the soil beneath them. The grass was already beginning to brown and die in patches.

“We’ve been too long in this place,” he said in a low voice.

Naia breathed deep, searching, and frowned. “We’ve still not found it.”

The two walked a while longer in silence, contemplating their predicament. They had to move on soon but if they did… would they ever be able to return? A hunter was dead. Soon more would come to see what had happened. Yet that for which they searched was somewhere in these lands, perhaps hidden in a villager’s home, perhaps forgotten in some cave in the mountains.

Naia sensed his struggle and put a comforting hand to his shoulder. “Come,” she said. Aleks could hear the dull clicks of bones changing as Naia began to shift. “Let us continue.”

Episode 3

This week in Fiction Friday: The Story…

A few hours later, the pair came to a huge split in the ground; a crevasse that seemed as if it had torn a painful wound in the world itself. Aleks slowed and carefully approached the edge. Naia circled overhead, having taken the shape of a hawk, and let out a cautioning cry.

Aleks, she said, her voice somehow in his head but not audible. I sense something terrible inside that tear in the earth. I don’t like this.

Something terrible? Aleks was sure his friend was just being overly cautious, but she had been right about such things in the past. He took a deep breath and shimmied gingerly over the edge into the unknown.

Right, let’s see what you can do with that! Drop a comment below the story with your entry. Or, if you prefer, you can send it to me directly.

Fiction Friday Episode 3 is Coming!

Hey everyone! Due to an unforeseen event this morning, I’ve not been able to compose anything worth reading on here. However, I do have an important reminder for you all!
Fiction Friday: Episode 3 will be here in 2 days! That means you only have a short time left to add your contributions to the story for this week. Just follow the link below and leave a comment with your entry. It doesn’t have to be perfect, long or even remotely intelligible – just write whatever you want!

>> Fiction Friday: The Story – Episode 2 <<

And if you encounter any difficulty leaving a comment on the post, just contact me with your entry and I’ll consider it with the rest!

I’ll see you on Friday. Be there or… well… don’t be there!

~ James

Fiction Friday: The Story – Episode 2

Welcome one and all to the second episode of our brand new collaborative story!

If this is your first time taking part or reading, you can find out more about this regular feature here.

Every week, you will all have the opportunity to continue the story by leaving a comment on this post. I will then choose my favourite entry and add it to the story for next week, at which point I will continue the story from where you left off.

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~Last week’s chosen entry is highlighted in blue.~

Fiction Friday: The Story

In Last Week’s Episode:

It was a grey day. Grey in mood, in weather and in prospects. A light drizzle fell over the small coastal town as mourners flocked to the beaches to pay their respects. A young man named Aleksander, a fisherman’s boy from further up the coast, watched the scene with a mixture of anger and guilt. He hadn’t attended the funeral earlier that day, or the ceremony of cleansing afterward. He was a spectre, doomed to observe from a distance and never feel a part of the real world again.

‘Grim, isn’t it?’ a gravelly voice muttered. ‘Too grim for times like these, anyhow.’

Aleks saw a huge bulk set itself down beside him and immediately knew who the voice belonged to. He smiled.

‘I knew you’d come,’ Aleks said.

‘Couldn’t let it go by.’ Pebbles ground under the sea lion’s bulk as it twisted its thick neck around to scratch the middle of its back. ‘One less hunter with a harpoon is all to the good. There’s few enough of our kind left, as it is.’

The lad kept his eyes on the procession at the water side. ‘Did you mean to kill him?’ he asked somberly.

Episode 2

This week in Fiction Friday: The Story…

The sea lion considered the question a moment and slowly nodded its head. ‘Aye, I did. The red rage came upon me… I just couldn’t–‘

‘It’s alright,’ Aleks said. He placed a comforting hand on his friend’s nape. ‘Come on, we should make ourselves scarce.’

The odd pair took their leave and proceeded across the dunes, away from the beach and back onto solid earth. As soon as they were out of sight, the sea lion let out a cry and started to change even as it waddled along. Slowly, its features began to twist and morph and it started to resemble a human. Whiskers retracted and the leather-grey skin smoothed to a supple pink. The strange girl that now walked beside Aleks gave him a wry smile, her eyes dancing and impossibly black.

‘At least you decided to wear clothes before you shifted, this time, Naia,’ Aleks said.

‘Yes,’ Naia replied, flushing. ‘That was an awkward moment, wasn’t it?’

Now it’s your turn! Just leave a comment and continue the story from where I left it!

Fiction Friday: The Story – Episode 1

Happy Friday everyone! Here’s a new feature I’ve been promising you. It’s going to go out every Friday, so make sure you check back to take part! Basically, we’re going to write an epic fantasy story together. There’s no established world, characters or anything yet – that’s all up to you! I’ll start by writing the first part and then you’ll write the next bit. Let’s try to keep our contributions brief so that the story is as diverse as possible.

How It Works

  • Each Friday, I’ll put up a post entitled “Fiction Friday: The Story” and it’ll go on in numerical episodes (1, 2, 3 etc…)
  • I’ll start/continue the story each week and leave it hanging. That’s where you come in…
  • You leave a comment on the post and continue the story. I’ll choose my favourite one and add it to the story for the following week. If I think there are several good contributions, I may adapt them all into the story.
  • Easy as that!

If I don’t get any contributions for that week, the story will just continue next week from where I left off. I’m aiming for us to write something on an epic scale, not just a piece of flash fiction or a short story. I’ll divide it into chapters as we go–remember, you create the characters, the world, the plot. You. Let’s see if we can get a decent-length piece written and then I’ll look into sharing it with fantasy communities across the net!

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Fiction Friday: The Story

It was a grey day. Grey in mood, in weather and in prospects. A light drizzle fell over the small coastal town as mourners flocked to the beaches to pay their respects. A young man named Aleksander, a fisherman’s boy from further up the coast, watched the scene with a mixture of anger and guilt. He hadn’t attended the funeral earlier that day, or the ceremony of cleansing afterward. He was a spectre, doomed to observe from a distance and never feel a part of the real world again.

‘Grim, isn’t it?’ a gravelly voice muttered. ‘Too grim for times like these, anyhow.’

Aleks saw a huge bulk set itself down beside him and immediately knew who the voice belonged to. He smiled.

New Champion Post Badges!

Hi everyone. It’s almost the weekend! Hope the weather’s behaving itself for you all.

Champion Post

I just wanted to share some new badges for our revamped Champion Post lineup. Instead of the generic Orange/Grey badge, you’ll now see one of these designs on the corresponding posts when they are posted:

Fantasy Unleashed

Fantasy In Motion Interviews...

Worldbuilder's Workout

Writing By Quotes

If you click on the badge when you see it on the post, it will take you to that category’s page, where you can then find all of the other articles of that kind. I’m going to introduce link-thru buttons for our Author Interviews and Fiction Friday: The Story features at some point too.

Make sure to pay a visit to the blog on Monday, when we’ll have the start of our new post schedule, a special suggestions week and the introduction of our brand new features!

Friday Funny – 27th July 2012

I’m treating you mean, posting lean and keeping you keen this Friday. It’s been an incredibly busy day and I only got 4 hours sleep last night. So, in the spirit of tiredness and laziness, here’s your Friday Funny!

And this because I saw it and it’s too cool not to post.

When Art Gets Tired of Being All Pent Up

Enjoy your weekend, everyone!

~ James

It’s Spider-man Friday!

You heard the title, it’s Spider-man Friday! Yes, I am deadly serious… it is.

You will probably not know one thing about me: I’m a huge Spidey fan – he’s my favourite comic-book character, closely followed by Gambit, Magneto and Vulture. You’ll probably not know a whole lot of other stuff about me, but that’s beside the point. I thought I would hit you all with some Spider-man goodness this Friday and share some good stuff:

  • My really quick review of The Amazing Spider-man
  • My thoughts and progress in The Amazing Spider-man video game (Xbox 360)
  • A brand new Incredibly Awesome Superheroes episode featuring… Batman! Well, I’d be stupid not to cash in on the Dark Knight Rises mania, wouldn’t I?

WARNING: There may be some spoilers, but nothing major in this post. Just please be aware.

The Amazing Spider-man Really Quick Movie Review

 

Amazing Spider-man

These scores are out of 5. I know what you’re thinking: why didn’t I get snatched up to be a professional movie critic already? It’s something I ask myself every day…

Story – 4

Uncle Ben’s death was done perfectly, Peter’s cool-geek existence is believable and his father’s mysterious past is intriguing.

Characters – 5

You really sympathise for Doctor Connors and feel fear and tension whenever the Lizard is around. Spider-man himself is brilliant and blurts out the trash-talk just how he always should have been doing.

Web-slinging – 5

This movie really shines in the web-slinging department. You get a lot of 1st person camera shots which make you feel like you’re Spider-man. Plus a sequence near the end with some cranes really stands out.

Oscorp Sinister-ness Rating – 4

Everyone talks about Norman Osborne and his illness, but you never see him. Oh sure, there’s a shadowy silhouette of him on a big screen and the Oscorp building just screams “there’s evil stuff brewing here”. Really hope they keep the tension building and only reveal Norman in the third movie.

Overall – 4.5

One of my favourite movies of this year. The best Spider-man movie I’ve seen, hands down.

The Amazing Spider-man Video Game

You’d expect a video game based off of a movie to be terrible, right? Not this time, web-heads. This is one of the first movie-based games I’ve played that didn’t suck.

amazing-spider-man-screenshot-video-game-cityscape

The graphics are great on Spider-man’s suit (and unlockable suits), on the Manhattan vista and perhaps only suffer when talking about ordinary human characters like Gwen, Doctor Connors etc. The city’s buildings close-up are nothing to write home about, but everything fits together so nicely and the city itself has a lot of life and bustle about it. The sounds as you swing around and touch ground are fantastic – there’s epic, movie-style music, you hear sirens and honking of horns if you’re running around the streets and the rushing of wind in your ears as you fling yourself about and whip through the air.

One of the things I particularly love is when you let Spidey fall from a great height and he starts skydiving towards the ground, gathering more and more speed as he falls. You can’t get hurt from fall damage (he always shoots a web to stop himself being crushed) but the thrill and danger is still always present. Shooting webs at enemies, yanking them towards you and weaving them into fights is effortless. Spidey shoots his webs like a cowboy toting a pair of pistols and always has something to say when he takes down an enemy. In addition, his web-shooters flash red whenever they shoot a web and Spidey will regularly reload them with fresh cartridges every so often.

Amazing Spider-man

The indoor sections are perhaps the best part of the game for me. Forget Arkham Asylum/City, this game is where true superhero stealth is at. Ok, you can’t set up traps or detonate devices when you please, but Spidey can crawl on any surface (and the camera is perfect) and stalk his enemies like a true predator. Silent takedowns can be executed from the ground or a ceiling/wall and the enemy will always be taken out of sight and webbed to the ceiling so his buddies aren’t alerted. I’ve cleared many areas with about 10 enemies in it with finesse and satisfaction and without being detected the whole time, simply because its so fluid to control Spider-man.

The web rush feature is really good too. Every Spider-man game from now on NEEDS this feature! It’s so simple, yet so effective. Basically, you can tap the shoulder button when you’re aiming at a distant surface/platform/wall/ceiling/anything and Spidey will zip there in the blink of an eye, showing off his moves as he does so. You can also rush at enemies using this mechanic and it’s used for distant silent takedowns. Other cool features include: ability to web-shot enemies to walls, a fantastic swinging mechanic that’s easy to use and rewarding to master, Spidey’s costume ripping when he takes damage, the presence of classic Spidey villains and hints at others, ability to collect and read entire Spider-man comics (both new and old) and a changing, organic city environment (that’s never as frustrating to navigate as Web of Shadows/Prototype when it’s infected).

Amazing Spider-man

In summary, this game seriously rocks and any Spider-man fan should buy it. Swinging and exploring never gets old and you can replay completed sequences to play around with the combat system, collect pickups and unlock new costumes.

Incredibly Awesome Superheroes #2: “Batman”

Batman

It took me a while to draw those villains – click on the image for a close-up on their costumes!