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Trabia Garden
You May Have Seen A Million Entries About This, But This One Has Pokémon.
hope is all we have
A detail about The Book of Mormon that I've found myself thinking about: Elder Price's hell dream dwells on his abandonment of his companion, and the fact he pinned his doughnut theft on his brother when he was five, suggesting he's committed no other sins by Mormon standards between then and now. Kevin Price has never masturbated.

I haven't read any explicit fanfiction for The Book of Mormon, but I hope it's all about Elder Price having no idea what he's doing and getting really frustrated because he's so used to being good at things.

During the Spooky Mormon Hell Dream sequence, when Elder McKinley showed up, I initially thought he and Elder Price were sharing the same dream. It later becomes clear that it's just Elder Price dreaming about Elder McKinley. That could be an interesting fic concept, though: Price and McKinley, meeting in their dreams about hell. Maybe sharing their dreams before Price actually goes to Uganda, where they meet for the first time and go '???? YOU'RE A REAL PERSON?'

...aaaaaand then I wrote it.

Title: See Where You Belong
Fandom: The Book of Mormon (musical)
Pairing: Elder Kevin Price/Elder McKinley
Rating: PG-13
Wordcount: 3,500
Summary: Elder Price and Elder McKinley first meet in their dreams of Hell.
Warnings: Internalised homophobia.

See Where You BelongCollapse )
hope is all we have
Riona: What's a good title for a fic about someone being in unrequited love with God?
Rei: Godly in the Streets, Lonely in the Sheets?
Rei's Girlfriend: Deus ex Fuckina?

Here is a fic that's not named either of those things. I'm not entirely sure how I feel about this piece, but I'm glad to have written something about best boy Elder Kevin Price, at least.

('I don't think I'm going to write fanfiction for The Book of Mormon.' [personal profile] rionaleonhart, 9 Oct 2019.)

Title: Being Seen
Fandom: The Book of Mormon (musical)
Pairing: possible unrequited Kevin Price/God??
Rating: PG-13
Wordcount: 1,500
Summary: Kevin needs to pin down how he feels about God, now that his dreams of making an impression have fallen flat. Elder Cunningham is happy to help.

Being SeenCollapse )
hope is all we have
Someone has done an incredible animatic to 'You and Me (But Mostly Me)' from The Book of Mormon. I love the expressions. I love Elder Price so much. What a magnificent, perfectly earnest little shit. He's so self-obsessed, exhausting himself chasing after God's attention, while simultaneously being absolutely well-meaning; he doesn't wish any harm to anyone.

This musical was so much less cynical than I was expecting it to be.

My favourite bit of character detail in the entire musical, and the moment I fell in love with Elder Price: when God fails to answer his prayer in 'Two by Two', he stands there shellshocked for a few seconds, and then he pastes on a smile and joins in the cheerful dancing that everyone else is doing. He's really trying!

why did I get so invested, this wasn't supposed to happen at all

Also incredible: this animatic for a snippet of 'Spooky Mormon Hell Dream', and this one for 'Turn It Off', which perfectly captures the experience of watching the number. ('Turn It Off' gets pretty dark; warning for grief, domestic abuse and internalised homophobia.)

Musically, Hamilton is still my favourite musical. I listened to the cast recording of Hamilton long before seeing it in the theatre, and that was fantastic on its own; if I'd listened to the cast recording of The Book of Mormon without seeing it, I don't think it would have clicked for me. But, in terms of staging and sheer enjoyment (and unexpectedly catering specifically to my tastes), The Book of Mormon is probably the best musical experience I've had.

There's still a part of me vaguely pondering the possibility of fanfiction, but I don't have any concrete ideas. Religious guilt does seem like a rich vein of suffering I haven't exploited much in my fanfiction, although I did touch on it when writing about Jacob of Life Is Strange 2. But I don't know how well I'd be able to write a character for whom religion is a large part of their life.

It's entirely possible I'm giving this more thought than the writers of the musical did.

There's also a part of me that's slightly concerned parts of fandom will judge me for writing Book of Mormon fanfiction, but, let's be honest, I've written more than enough to be judged for already.

After I posted my entry on the Psych episode 'Extradition: British Columbia', it occurred to me that it's entirely possible this is what happened:

Gus: Hey, this is really romantic! You actually booked this trip for you and your girlfriend, didn't you?
Shawn: ...
Shawn: ...
Shawn: ...
Shawn: Yes.

'High Noon-Ish': I love Shawn and Gus persuading themselves that Lassiter is going to kill them.

To be honest, America's such a strange and mysterious country to me that for a moment I was entirely prepared to believe the Old West place was an actual town, rather than a tourist attraction.

'Bollywood Homicide': Shawn wrote a Valentine's Day card to his teacher when he was a kid! His interest in older women evidently started young.

'Let's Get Hairy': I love that Shawn tells Gus his romantic dreams about men.

Gus is intrigued by femdom. I'm just making characterisation notes.
hope is all we have
[archiveofourown.org profile] th_esaurus: Hey, do you want to see The Book of Mormon in the West End?
Riona: I suppose it might be fun to watch a stupid, fun, offensive musical I've got no chance of getting emotionally invested in.
The Book of Mormon: It's time for a stupid, fun, offensive musical about friendship, and the power of stories, and a naïve, self-absorbed, overwhelmed teenager who fucks up and falls apart and struggles with guilt and questions everything he believes in!
Riona: oh goddammit

I didn't know anything about the musical going in beyond 'it's fun and offensive and about Mormons'; I wasn't expecting it to have as much heart as it did, and I really wasn't expecting Elder Price to be perfectly calculated to hit all my fictional-character weaknesses. I just wanted a mindless, enjoyable evening out! I had no intention of caring!

I don't think I'm going to write fanfiction for The Book of Mormon, but I will admit that as I watched I caught myself trying to come up with ideas.

The guy who played Elder Price, Dom Simpson, was absolutely perfect; he managed to strike just the right balance of arrogance and earnestness. I've heard that the likeability of Elder Price can vary a lot depending on the actor, so I'm extremely relieved we saw a likeable one. I'm not sure I'll ever be able to see it again, because it wouldn't feel right seeing anyone else in the role.

A recent conversation with my mum:

Riona: I've been doing some work for a men's grooming website.
Mum: What??
Riona: A men's grooming⁠—
Mum: (scandalised whisper) You mean - grooming men for sex?
Riona: ...no, I mean they sell razors.

(Another thing my mum said to me recently: 'I don't like how they're producing cocaine for cats.'

It turned out she was talking about Felix soup; she was very concerned that the illustrated cat on the packet looked 'completely addicted'.)

I've just remembered that we once went as a family to a Chinese restaurant - I think it was in Manchester - and we noticed that some items on the menu had asterisks next to them. We checked to see what the asterisk meant, and we found this:

* Not recommended
7th-Oct-2019 02:20 pm - We Don't Have Balls.
hope is all we have
Once upon a time, my brother Fred said to my dad, 'Let's play Bulls and Cows. I'll think of a four-digit number; you throw out guesses; I'll tell you how many numbers in your guess are correct.'

As they played, my dad had the gradual, terrible realisation that the number Fred was thinking of was my dad's PIN.

I feel this is exactly the sort of bullshit Shawn Spencer would pull.

I've now seen the first episode of Psych's fourth season, 'Extradition: British Columbia'.

Gus calls Shawn out on staring at girls. Shawn's response: 'Okay, first of all, the person I'm staring at is a man. He's handsome - dimples, brooding eyebrows - but a man nonetheless.' I love that Shawn's consistently happy to talk about men being attractive, without ever feeling the need to go 'oh, but I'm straight, of course'.

One of my favourite moments in the entirety of Psych so far:

Shawn: The thing is this: I am a psychic. You've seen The Mentalist, right?
Robert: Yes.
Shawn: It's like that.
Gus: Except that guy's a fake.
Shawn: Right. If I was a fake psychic, it would be eerily similar.
Gus: Exactly the same.
Shawn: A virtual carbon copy.

This show is an absolute masterpiece. I love The Mentalist dearly, but that was incredible.

Gus is disconcerted by the fact that Shawn made them a reservation at a romantic restaurant. Shawn's going 'hey, it's fine, don't worry about it, let's just have a nice date.'

This is the second episode in a row where a criminal's tried to play games with Shawn. It's a less murderous criminal this time, at least, but it might have been nice to have Shawn react to the echoes of the Mr Yang case.

Rose petals in their hotel room! I suspect Shawn booked this holiday to go on with his lady friend and then invited Gus when she wasn't available (this is later confirmed), but I'm still delighted that it means their holiday has such a romantic tinge (and that Shawn went 'I'll just do all the romantic stuff with Gus instead' rather than 'let's cancel the intimate restaurant and moonlit carriage ride and do something else').

Shawn, walking alone at night, trying to ease his nerves by talking to raccoons! I still want to work out a way he can interact with Nathan Drake. They share the habit of rambling nervously to themselves in stressful situations!

Juliet: Don't you think it's odd that you're in a relationship now, yet you're inviting me to maybe the most romantic place on Earth?
Shawn: Look, Jules, listen, I made these plans weeks ago. And Gus refused to come, on account he's a man and I'm a man, or some nonsense like that.

Shawn 'Fuck Heteronormativity' Spencer really wasn't what I was expecting when I first started watching this show, but I love it. (Also, I continue to career inevitably towards writing fanfiction about Shawn being in love with everyone. 'Everyone' definitely includes Mr Yang.)

I don't often get really inflexibly rooted in an interpretation of a particular character's sexuality, but I think Shawn Spencer may have joined Shuichi Saihara in my personal 'he's bisexual and I'll fight you if you tell me I'm wrong' corner.
hope is all we have
Gus: You know how fire's attracted to me.
Shawn: Can you blame it? Man, look at you!

I've just finished the third season of Psych!

'Tuesday the 17th' is all about Shawn being jealous because there's another boy Gus likes. Gus even calls him out on it: 'You're trying to interpret everything as creepy because you're jealous of Jason.'

Oh, Lassiter has so many feelings about his ex-wife!

Interestingly melancholy tone to the end of that episode. 'Tuesday the 17th' generally feels a little more serious than most Psych episodes, even if Gus attempts to defeat a murderer by throwing a pool noodle at him. (The episode that follows, 'An Evening with Mr Yang', is also pretty serious for Psych.)

'Tuesday the 17th' feels a lot like a potential Dark Pictures Anthology game, actually. It sort of makes me want a choose-your-own-adventure fic in the style of a Dark Pictures game, narrated by the Curator. Gus, Shawn, Juliet, Lassiter and Vick find themselves in a horror situation, and, depending on your choices, any combination of them can survive or die. But it seems far too ambitious to attempt.

'An Evening with Mr Yang': according to Gus, Shawn hit on an eighty-year-old woman. My 'Shawn is entirely up for it with much older women' suspicion holds true.

Shawn is so, so upset and violated to realise that a serial killer broke into his office to screw with him. It's really interesting to see him like this; he's been afraid before, he's been pissed off, but this is something completely new.

'An Evening with Mr Yang' is a very traumatic episode for Shawn, and I, predictably, am highly in favour of this. I said in my first Psych entry that I didn't like Shawn because he wasn't traumatised enough; evidently the writers travelled forward in time, saw my complaint and decided to fix it. I'd already started to like him, guys, but I appreciate the effort!

Gus is just there on Shawn's date! Shawn just brought him along! You're not fooling anyone, Shawn; we all know you have Gus third-wheel your dates because that way it's kind of like you're dating Gus.
hope is all we have
I feel slightly ridiculous for writing fanfiction based entirely on trailers, but here's a quick The Last of Us Part II oneshot anyway, undoubtedly to be contradicted by the actual game.

Title: Cause and Effect
Fandom: The Last of Us Part II (written prior to release)
Rating: PG-13
Wordcount: 1,200
Summary: (spoilers for the first 3m30s of the E3 2018 trailer; highlight to read) So Dina's kissed Ellie, and that's great, that's incredible. Only one problem: she did it in public. Which means word of it got back to Joel. And he feels that maybe this calls for a fatherly chat. And he's really bad at this.

Cause and EffectCollapse )
we'll be the darkness
I continue to thunder through Psych at an alarming rate. How am I halfway through season three? I've been watching this show for about a fortnight!

I would watch Shawn's film about a motorcycle that comes to life at night and solves crime and does sweet wheelies.

When a former classmate assumes Shawn and Gus are dating:

Gus: We are not dating.
Shawn: You kidding? He was voted most likely to succeed. You think he's gonna date me?

Shawn's actions fall so consistently into my 'Shawn is in love with Gus; Gus has no idea' headcanon that I'm starting to think the show was written with that in mind.

Is... is Chief Vick instructing Juliet to date Lassiter? It's good to know a character in the show is supporting me in my shipping. (Juliet, alas, interprets it as 'find Lassiter a girlfriend'.)

Holy shit, the ending of 'Daredevils!!' shattered my heart. I wasn't prepared for that. I really liked the way Shawn approached it. Goddammit, I think I like Shawn.

Shawn was already reminding me of Nathan Drake in some aspects, and then 'The Greatest Adventure in the History of Basic Cable' was basically just an Uncharted game from start to finish. I want to speculate on how Shawn and Nate would interact, but I can't envision it. I feel they'd just repel each other like matching poles of a magnet. They wouldn't be able to get close enough to have a conversation.

'Gus Walks Into a Bank': Shawn is a bit of a coward most of the time, and yet his automatic reaction to learning Gus is a hostage in a bank hold-up is 'try to run into the bank'. The Shawn-and-Gus relationship continues to be my favourite thing.

Shawn's so upset!

I'm glad Gus had that 'I love you, Shawn' moment. It's very, very clear that Shawn adores Gus, but I feel I can't always tell how much Gus actually likes Shawn.

(And Shawn has no idea what to do! He can't handle sincere expressions of emotion at all. You're so bad at feelings, Shawn. This is exactly why you're not going to end up with Gus romantically; you'll never be able to express yourself to him, and he's never going to realise how you feel if he doesn't have it spelled out.)
hope is all we have
The Last of Us Part II has a release date at last! And it's the 21st of February. I can't believe this game and the first instalment of the Final Fantasy VII remake, by far my most anticipated upcoming games, are coming out within a fortnight of each other.

I'm so nervous about The Last of Us Part II! Ellie is one of my all-time favourite fictional characters, so I'm simultaneously excited to see her again and very concerned. Just... please don't kill her off or ruin her character for me, Part II.

The announcement of the release date actually came when I was in the middle of a Last of Us replay, so I'm in an extremely Last of Us mood at the moment. I've just finished the replay; my notes are under the cut!

Spoilers for The Last of Us.Collapse )

I just listened to the main theme of The Last of Us again, and it's such a haunting, beautiful piece of music. What a game. It's probably one of the strongest stories I've ever experienced, in any medium.

I don't know if Part II can possibly live up to The Last of Us. Honestly, even if Part II matches the first game in quality, I don't expect to love it as much; the first game's 'strangers being forced to travel together and slowly learning to care about each other' concept is my catnip, and that presumably won't be a theme in Part II.

But I want to see more of Ellie, and I want to see more of this horrible, fascinating world.

I'm looking forward to it.
hope is all we have
I can't believe I forgot about Beatrice/Battler when I was doing that 'list your top five canon and non-canon OTPs' thing. I am a fool.

Major Umineko spoilers; highlight to read: It's the most incredible enemies-to-lovers story I've ever experienced. She murders his family repeatedly in front of him while he screams and cries! She uses him as a footstool! She strips him and leads him around on a chain and feeds him alive to goats! She's simultaneously his aunt and his cousin! Later they get married!

I'm still having a great time with Psych. By this point I'm most of the way through the second season.

Juliet trying to mimic the dancers in the background during 'American Duos': extremely cute.

Shawn and Gus, simultaneously, when they're offered a couples' massage:

Gus: No.
Shawn: That's fine.

I'm increasingly suspecting that Shawn is in love with Gus while the possibility just doesn't occur to Gus. Poor Shawn. (I'm shipping Shawn/Gus so hard and I'm sad that it's not going to be canon. Well, not intentionally canon, at any rate.) 

'It's been a long time since we napped together,' Shawn says to Gus. Please let me see Shawn and Gus napping together. I was sad when they were presented with an 'OH NO, THERE'S ONLY ONE BED' scenario and Gus rejected the idea of sharing it. (Whereas Shawn seemed fine with the prospect. There's a pattern developing here.) 

Whilst I'm very much a Shawn/Gus and Lassiter/Juliet person, and I'm a bit dubious about Shawn/Juliet when he spends so much time hitting on her and being rebuffed, I did really enjoy the Shawn/Juliet 'very close talking' scene in 'Bounty Hunters!'. And Juliet disassembling and reassembling her pistol to settle herself afterwards! I still have such a weakness for moments that go right up to the 'unambiguously romantic' line without technically crossing over it.

'The Old and the Restless': Shawn dancing the tango with a much older woman is kind of... worryingly... hot? He seems really into it; there's no hint that he's repelled or not taking it seriously. I get the sense that, if she tried to kiss him, he'd just go for it.

Nobody seems to have uploaded the dance to YouTube. You've failed me, Psych fandom. 

Shawn seems like a good candidate for my addiction to writing fanfiction about one character falling in love with everyone, actually. I'm not saying I'm planning to write Shawn/everyone fanfiction, but I'm looking at myself and seeing a real risk that I might.
I really wasn't expecting to write more than one Man of Medan fic, but I'm fascinated by the Curator and I couldn't resist trying to do something with him.

Why does he have such an incredible arse? There was no need for the probable personification of death to have such a well-defined arse. That's not relevant to the fic; it's just something I've been thinking about a lot.

Title: Who'll Have Mercy
Fandom: The Dark Pictures Anthology: Man of Medan
Rating: PG-13
Wordcount: 1,000
Summary: Conrad meets the Curator.

Who'll Have MercyCollapse )
and they returned home
More Psych! I've just finished the first season.

I feel a disproportionate number of the women Shawn or Gus are interested in end up being involved in murders, although I suppose between them they manage to be interested in just about every woman in this show.

I was really hoping that the culprit in the convention episode, in which George Takei appears as himself (and is the most incredible sport), would just be George Takei.

I enjoy the opening scene of 'From the Earth to the Starbucks', where Lassiter confides in Shawn at a bar and Shawn is just so uncomfortable. 'Shit, Lassie's in a really bad way; I guess I've got to be... nice? H... how? Just... compliment his looks a lot?'

Kind of shipping Lassiter/Juliet. I was pretty delighted when he tried to escape her at the speed-dating event and ended up cornered into sitting down, and then they just spent six minutes in awkward silence.

Gus, watching a sex tape featuring a man and a woman, is clearly focusing on the man ('This high-def plasma really makes a difference. I can see the beads of sweat on his neck. Look at his hair!') and then asks Shawn, 'Do you make noises like that?' I'm just saying.

I'm delighted by Shawn and Gus running in terror from the 'haunted' sorority house in 'Scary Sherry'. I really enjoy male characters being huge cowards, particularly when they tend to be cocky in non-scary situations (see: Patrick Jane).

Shawn had a sincere moment of emotion about Gus! He started saying 'I know if anything happened to Gus, I...' and couldn't handle finishing the sentence! I am increasingly invested in this relationship.

I love that Shawn and Lassiter were both rushing to rescue Juliet, and she just ended up rescuing herself. Even better: she physically extricated herself from the situation but was in an extremely unsettled psychological state and needed someone to gently take the axe away from her.

I am here for Gus being trapped and terrified in a creepy mansion. Sorry, Gus.

My heart broke slightly at Lassiter awkwardly trying to join in with his colleagues' socialising at the end of the episode and not knowing how.

'Scary Sherry' is probably my favourite episode so far. I feel it's the first time the show has really gone 'yes, this premise is ridiculous and we're having fun, but these characters are also human beings and we can dig into their feelings'. I wasn't sure whether I'd end up having emotions about Psych, but here we are!
23rd-Sep-2019 10:51 am - Act Natural.
hope is all we have
A long time ago, I posted here to say 'should I watch The Mentalist?' and half the comments said 'NO, WATCH PSYCH INSTEAD' and I went 'screw you, I'm watching The Mentalist.' One might wonder why I bothered asking the opinion of my flist if I was just going to ignore it.

I don't regret my decision to watch The Mentalist at all, but all the enthusiastic recommendations for Psych stuck in my mind, so I'm checking it out at last. Only took me a decade.

Riona: I'm not sure about Shawn. I think he's a bit too much of an arsehole for me.
Rei: He acts exactly like Patrick Jane. You love Patrick Jane.
Riona: Maybe I just don't like Shawn because he's not traumatised enough.

I've heard the character dynamics of Psych compared to Scrubs, and it was slightly weird to go in with the set of expectations that that creates. I wanted Shawn and Gus to love each other as much as JD and Turk do, and of course I was inevitably to be disappointed, because nobody has ever loved anyone as much as JD and Turk love each other.

'Turk, we're not married.'
'Dude, we're a little married.'
'I know. I love it.'

(There's a late Scrubs episode where JD says 'I love you more than Turk' to Elliot and I yelled 'NO YOU FUCKING DON'T' at the screen. While I do enjoy the implication that 'I love you more than Turk' is the most romantic thing JD could possibly say, that was absolutely, one hundred percent a lie. No question about it. I defy anyone to watch Scrubs and try to claim it was true.)

Given the JD-and-Turk comparisons I'd heard, it was a bit of a surprise that Gus plays the longsuffering straight man to Shawn's wackiness, whereas JD and Turk are both ridiculous and cheerfully enable each other in their ridiculousness (and JD would never delight in Turk's suffering the way Shawn does in Gus's). I am sort of shipping Shawn with poor longsuffering Gus, though.

Shawn and Lassiter's dynamic is also very different to JD and Dr Cox's. Lassiter genuinely seems to dislike Shawn; JD is important to Dr Cox, although Dr Cox would never admit it. Shawn enjoys pushing Lassiter's buttons; meanwhile, JD adores Dr Cox, craves his approval and pushes his buttons without intent, because Dr Cox is a man made entirely of buttons.

A cat features prominently in the fifth episode of Psych, and Zuko watched the episode in fascination for twenty solid minutes. Then the episode froze and he wandered off while I was restarting it, and I genuinely felt bad. He'd been enjoying the episode so much, and now he wasn't going to find out how it ended! Riona, Zuko is a kitten and he's not that invested in following procedural plots.

To be honest, I'm disappointed that the episode didn't end with Shawn deciding to keep the cat. I'm enjoying the show so far, but it was improved immeasurably by Shawn carrying a cat into all the crime scenes.
22nd-Sep-2019 03:22 pm - What's The Meaning Of Stonehenge?
hope is all we have

Had a week's break in Devon with my parents! It was very pleasant, but I don't have any particular shenanigans to report, so I'll just offer this picture of a chicken I met instead.

Holy shit, look at that chicken. It's the most magnificent bird I've ever seen. It looks like an alpaca.

Also, some cows who want to know what I'm doing on their turf.

Dartmoor reminds me a lot of Final Fantasy XV, actually: the wild, rocky landscape; the broad roads winding straight through it.

In Torquay, I recalled that I'd been there as a young child, and my cousin had tried to teach me how to play Cluedo (Clue in the US). I'd refused, because the idea of a board game about murder seemed scary to me.

I mentioned this to my mother.

Riona: I just went, 'Murder? No, thank you.'
Mum: Yes, well, you're rather a fan now, aren't you?

I hadn't realised my mum was so aware of my fondness for murder. (Strictly in a fictional context, I should clarify.)

Every time I rewatch timeless masterpiece High School Musical, I'm surprised by how much I still love it. Troy and Gabriella are genuinely cute. Chad carries a basketball literally everywhere and it's great. So many of the songs are a delight to belt out. NO NO NO NO (NO NO NO), STICK TO THE STUFF YOU KNOWWWWW

(My attempt to render the chorus of 'Stick to the Status Quo' ('No no no no (no no no), stick to the stuff you know! If you want to be cool, follow one simple rule: don't mess with the flow, no, no') in fridge poetry:

no no no
be with what you have learnt
if you want to be jazzy say yes tyrant
do not meddle in the river

Also, I'm constantly astounded and delighted that they got an entire film out of the question 'is it possible to like basketball... BUT ALSO SINGING?'

We were introducing the film to Rei's girlfriend.

Rei's Girlfriend: I can see how someone might like High School Musical ironically.
Former Housemate C: I don't think Riona's ever liked anything ironically.
10th-Sep-2019 06:13 pm - A Sledgehammer Is Not Fucking Chill.
hope is all we have
I really need to stop getting into videogames that are constantly put down in comparison to the developer's previous output. Everyone complains that Life Is Strange 2 isn't as good as Life Is Strange; everyone complains that Man of Medan isn't as good as Until Dawn. Every new Final Fantasy game is accused of being the worst one in the series.

What do these games have in common? They set out to do something different from their predecessors, rather than being direct sequels with the same themes, gameplay and characters. A lot of the time, they're not actually being criticised for being worse; they're being criticised for being different.

I don't think Man of Medan is as strong as Until Dawn in its writing or its characters. But it is vastly more ambitious in its branching; there are a lot of things that can vary across playthroughs, both small and large, and I'm really impressed by what it's achieved. I've seen some people complain that it feels low-effort, which is just bewildering to me. It's clear that a phenomenal amount of effort went into this game: considerably more than I'd expect from a five-hour game that I bought on release day for the cost of two cinema tickets.

Spoilers for Man of Medan (and Until Dawn).Collapse )

I forgot to mention that Man of Medan has the most bonkers mechanical oversight I've seen in my life: inverting the Y axis also inverts the dialogue wheel. I had to hold the analogue stick top-left if I wanted the bottom-left option. On the first dialogue choice I was just screaming helplessly, desperately and unsuccessfully trying to make Brad say something before the timer ran out.
hope is all we have
Once again, I have got into a game with next to no fanfiction. But I didn't write the first fic this time! I wrote the second fic.

Title: Seeking Land
Fandom: The Dark Pictures Anthology: Man of Medan
Pairing: slight Julia/Brad implications
Rating: PG-13
Wordcount: 2,000
Summary: It's just Brad and Julia now, trying to live through their losses together.

Seeking LandCollapse )
Man of Medan (i.e. Until Dawn on a Boat) was, as predicted, extremely stressful. I hate horror! I hate the ocean! Why did I choose to do this to myself?

But I finished the game without killing anyone! I'm genuinely astonished by this.

Spoilers for Man of Medan.Collapse )

Overall, I wasn't as into this game as I was into Until Dawn - the characters didn't really capture me in the same way - but it was a fun (if stressful) way to spend an afternoon while Rei watched tensely next to me.

Also, my favourite piece of dialogue in this game:

'The diving tanks are ready.'
'Tanks a lot.'
hope is all we have
In retrospect, this was absolutely inevitable.

Title: Strings
Fandom: Life Is Strange 2
Pairing: Sean/everyone
Rating: PG-13
Wordcount: 1,900
Summary: Sean's journey in ten kisses, romantic and otherwise.

StringsCollapse )
24th-Aug-2019 12:35 pm - The Only Heaven I'll Be Sent To.
we'll be the darkness
Finished episode four of Life Is Strange 2!

Spoilers for Life Is Strange 2, episode four.Collapse )

I can't believe there's only one episode to go! I'm definitely too invested to handle this.
23rd-Aug-2019 09:37 am - Keep Walking.
hope is all we have
I look forward so much to new Life Is Strange 2 episodes, and then when they arrive I always find myself going 'WAIT NO I'M NOT READY FOR THIS.'

I've reached the church in episode four, but I haven't yet gone inside. Here are my notes so far!

Life Is Strange 2, episode four, up to approaching the church.Collapse )

I owe so much to whatever person at Dontnod went 'okay, we're catering specifically to Riona's fictional interests with this one; let's make a game that focuses on a teenager's relationship with his brother, and then let's physically and psychologically break that teenager as hard as we can.'
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