Knight Squad 2 is one of those “cute” party-games which is better with real life team-mates (or opponents) than the AI. It’s a lot more fun and I daresay better than the Nickelodeon television show bearing a similar name (no relation). The standalone mode is very good to help players get used to dodging. One hack or slash is enough to slay the player’s avatar (which can be very frustrating for newcomers). The real challenge is in those mini-games where teams have to work together to have each other’s back than to individually win the day! True to the original, the action is with trying to nail one another in attacks that you don’t see coming.
This sequel to the original was originally developed for desktop PC and to have it on Nintendo Switch is certainly perfect since it handles multiplayer quite well. In addition to Steam and Epic (for the Windows system), I hope a Mac version is being worked on.Continue reading “Knight Squad 2’s “Switch” to Handheld Play!”
Although Krampus has been around since circa 4th Century AD, a few other figures have popped up in later centuries to help out or serve a similar purpose as him in other countries.
By Ed Sum (The Vintage Tempest)
Krampus is certainly a very famous creature for the early holiday season! On December 5th, he has to visit a lot of homes throughout Germany to identify who the wicked children are.
But in order for him to get around, even he needs help! Saint Nicholas can only do so much, and perhaps all that’s needed is a wormhole so he can jump around. Realistically, he just needs other people who serve the same purpose as him to punish those who had been bad in the past year.
Some folks say he’s the one and only original. All others pale. Fortunately, this statement is not true. Although Krampus has been around since circa 4th Century AD, a few other figures have popped up in later centuries to help out or serve a similar purpose as him in other countries.
On this list includes a top ten (approximately):
In Hungary, St. Mikulás is basically Saint Nicholas without Krampus tagging along. He has full honours. The representative forces of good and evil who tag along is a generic angel and devil. The dentist may well replace the latter because any child who consumed all the sweets in a day may well have cavities!
In other parts of Germany, three legends have a sixth sense for identifying the naughty.
The Belsnickel hail from the Palatinate region of southwestern Germany along the Rhine, the Saarland, and the Odenwald area of Baden-Württemberg. He’s special because he was directly brought to America by immigrants who landed in the east coast to form the Pennsylvania Dutch colonies. But his influence is not limited to this region. Some have brought this figure to be recognized in Canada. Alternative names include Kriskinkle, Beltznickle, Pelsnichol, and the Christmas woman.
Like Mikulás, he visits alone instead of accompanying his compatriots.
Frau Perchta is better known in Austria and Southern Germany. Stories of her dates from the 13th Century and are often varied. In what ties her to this season is in how families can maintain order. More specifically, for the lady of the house to have finished spinning that flax into threads for use as linen. If it’s not done by the Twelfth Night (January 6th), she’ll know and thrash that house! And yes, she’ll punish the woman of the house instead of the kids.
She’ll slice open the stomachs of those who have been bad. This gruesome fate can be avoided by families who make Perchtenmilch (a porridge) and offer it to her. They have a taste as though it’s to represent stuffing themselves with garlic to spoil the meat.
Haling from the northern territories is Knecht Ruprecht and he’s truly a wild man of the woods.
He didn’t come into prominence until the 17th Century. One account of his origin describes him as a human whom Saint Nicholas saved. Because of his size and strength, he did all the heavy lifting. He didn’t appear in literature until the late Middle Ages.
The confusion of whether the Krampus-like figure is man or beast is interesting. There’s no solid reason he must be furry and horned.
In France, Hans Trapp (Hans von Trotha) was a knight of ill repute. His infamy came because of his feud with the Order of Benedictine monks at Weissenburg Abbey and after death, he became a supernatural figure (because of his imposing height) to which many say appear in December, accompanying Saint Nicholas, in his sojourn to reward children.
The kids who weren’t got to hear about his legend, and the hope is that they will change their ways (akin to a certain Charles Dickens story) so they don’t end up like him.
Only two stories (one 12th Century piece and another 16th) exist to identify who Père Fouettard once was.
He committed murders and for some strange reason, was redeemed. He mended his ways after witnessing one of Saint Nicholas miracles and vowed to help. When considering this tale contains notes of cannibalism, the judicial system of France (more like the saint) is very lenient!
However, the other tale which saw the war with the Holy Roman Empire grow very inhospitable, just what he represents is not very well explained. Tanners took what they witnessed and created a new version of this figure. His purpose was to be the bad cop to the good cop that Père Noël represents.
His sphere of influence is in the North and Eastern regions of France, South of Belgium, and French-speaking areas of Switzerland.
Further north, in the Netherlands, lives Zwarte Piet (aka Black Peter). His time may well be up when considering today’s socially correct climate.
In 1850, he was introduced to the modern world as a dark-skinned servant from the Moors who would help Saint Nicholas out on December 5th. He’s less about punishing, but more about why many social classes exist. In parades, his role is to distribute gifts to those his superior has found to be good and not admonish anyone who admitted has done wrong in the past year.
In Italy,, La Befana is not as widely known. Some folklorists believe she’s a modern creation to reveal how good deeds are often rewarded. Those who helped received a gift, and those who ignored her got a thwack of her broom.
This concept came from how she helped the Three Wise Men. They came to her abode seeking rest one night, and she gave them a place to stay. They invited her to join, but she declined (a decision she would later regret). When she realized she’s missing out in history, her pilgrimage became the stuff of legend and she’s forever looking for baby Christ.
But the list doesn’t end there. Three fantastical monsters exist.
Over in Iceland Grýla has been around since the 13th century and she’s an ogre. This Christmas witch didn’t get this label until the 19th Century.
In this country, Yule is celebrated and has similarities to Halloween. The supernatural can wander the mortal realm and do what they like! This matriarch of beasts hunts down naughty boys so she can make soup out of them! Her kids, the Jólasveinar (Yule Lads) have the duty to scare children to behave when even she has a tough go (or is busy preparing the soup base).
When they aren’t tough enough, the Jólakötturinn (Yule Cat) comes out. He can only be placated by seeing kids wear new clothes. The poem the latter exists in is told by parents to encourage their kids to work hard year round!
Ultimately, these creations are similar such that they are to frighten or punish those miscreants. The hope is for them to change their ways, otherwise where they end up is often at the end of a stick or in the stomach of one of these beasts. No child wants that!
The Yorkdale Shopping Centre will host the multi-room exhibition and Marvel Avengers S.T.A.T.I.O.N. retail store.
Paquin Entertainment Group, Victory Hill Exhibitions and the Yorkdale Shopping Centre are proud to announce the CANADIAN PREMIERE of Marvel Avengers S.T.A.T.I.O.N.: The Experience.
The award-winning immersive exhibition will thrill the City of Toronto for a limited engagement, running from Nov 20, 2020 until Jan 31, 2021.
Guests at Avengers S.T.A.T.I.O.N., the Scientific Training And Tactical Intelligence Operative Network, journey through an advanced, multi-room training facility, where they receive unprecedented access to the most sensitive intelligence and cutting-edge science behind the Avengers. After completing their training, they become integral members of the Avengers S.T.A.T.I.O.N.
“The Avengers movies were game changers, and this exhibition will give everyone a chance to extend and personalize their experience with this iconic franchise” says Gilles Paquin, CEO of Paquin Entertainment Group. “With our 25,000 square foot venue, you will be able to safely explore the exhibit in a socially-distanced setting.”
It’s very rare that I get to ply my video game handle at a show. When the days of Golden (and Silver Age) gaming meets modern arts at the Vancouver Retro Gaming Expo, I’m in the zone. This event was held on June 22, 2019. It’s now in its eighth year. Tournaments, music performances, and panels make up most of this one-day show. and its present location includes a New Media Gallery.
To have this exhibition in the middle of a sprawling metropolis, the municipality of New Westminster is the right spot to locate this show. The Anvil Center is the center of a nice hub where the Fraser River cuts through. Food and the arts are nearby. On a beautiful sunny day, this neighbourhood is a nice place to explore. Those wanting a history lesson of the area will get more than one since the area includes three nearby museums.
Mike Mignola and I have one big thing in common. Our love of ghosts and monsters started at an early age. He read Dracula and I saw the classic Bela Lugosi film. Although we were at different ages when we were exposed to this work interpreted across different mediums, the fact this creator and I have a love for Victorian age supernatural style drama says a lot about what we like to examine the most. For me, whether that’s with a cinematic product like an early attempt with CGI with Young Sherlock Holmes (1985) to Sweeny Todd (2007), not many products exist in this sub-genre of horror films unless I want to consider Hammer Film’s work a highlight of the period.
His work, Mr. Higgins Comes Home, is a one-shot which beautifully depicts the attitudes common in this age and plays with a slowly creeping fear of the unknown. If the people from this age are not ready to challenge it, then a lot of the mysteries will still remain behind locked doors — like with what Count Golga has planned for Walpurgis, the Devil’s own night. This time is when witches and warlocks gather. The fact such an event actually exists in European tradition makes me believe this author did his research, or he knows a lot more about the occult than he can let on in a singular world where Hellboy exists in. Technically, the festivities fall on the night of April 30th and into the early hours of May 1st. This tradition is considered a second Halloween in certain parts of Europe.