New Artwork by Powree

To my surprise I found the following great piece of Final Fantasy XIV fanart drawn by Powree at Google’s image search. I have no idea why she hasn’t posted it on her DeviantArt account yet. Maybe she will even publish a larger version of the picture if we beg enough in the comment section of this news post ;-):

Final Fantasy XIV Fanart by Powree

Generally, Powree does not have much time to draw pictures besides those for Sandra and Woo, but this month she has finished two really impressive pieces of artwork:

Close Call by Powree For the Covenant by Powree

… the contrast between these two images could not be much bigger, I guess.


Kick-Ass kicks ass

Kick-AssSo I’ve just watched Kick-Ass. I had high hopes for this film… and my expectations have been exceeded! The movie was even cooler than I thought it would be after seeing the trailer. I’m not going so far to place it in the list of my most favorite movies of all time (Up, WALL-E and The Matrix), but I’m giving it 5 out of 5 stars for sure. At the moment I can’t remember to have come out of the cinema with such a feeling of “Wow!” since I’ve seen The Matrix for the first time.

Kick-Ass starts as the wish-fulfillment fantasy of a comic book nerd, a dark comedy that keenly deconstructs the superhero genre, before gradually becoming a perfectly paced and very violent (!) superhero movie itself. You can only have respect for the director Matthew Vaughn and the screenwriters that they managed to do this transition so well that you barely notice it when watching the film. It is great to see that there are still enough fresh ideas for the superhero genre.

Just as well as Heath Ledger’s Joker has set the standard for the evilness and insanity of future supervillains, Chloë G. Moretz’ Hit-Girl has now set the standard for future superheroes in respect of the coolness factor when they beat up the bad guys. Of course Cloud may be nearly as dexterous and weapon-savvy as her, but he’s just way too righteous to be such a badass. And Larisa may have the right attitude, but she’s just way too weak physically. Although there were many strong characters in the film, Hit-Girl was somewhat stealing the show from them.

However, I can understand that some people may not like the ultra-violent nature of the film. It is also quite clear that it is most appealing to comic fans (not necessarily superhero comic fans, though). But since you are currently on this website I guess you are in the perfect target audience for Kick-Ass.

Oh, and I must get a pair of these action figures when they will be released…


Planescape: The Shaper of Dreams for Neverwinter Nights 2

Screenshot out of Planescape: The Shaper of Dreams Screenshot out of Planescape: The Shaper of Dreams Screenshot out of Planescape: The Shaper of Dreams

The mod group Feline Fuelled Games has recently released the first two parts of the English version of its campaign Planescape: The Shaper of Dreams for the roleplaying game Neverwinter Nights 2. I was the founder of the mod group, but my own mod, The Chronicles of Gaia, was eventually cancelled. The other team members managed to release a good number of other campaigns for Neverwinter Nights 2, though. The lead developer of Planescape: The Shaper of Dreams was my mother Ute Knörzer (Milena). Unfortunately Planescape: The Shaper of Dreams is the only one of our mods which is – partially – available in English. The translation team is currently working on chapter 3. It is currently the second best rated mod on NWVault’s top Neverwinter Nights 2 modules list (NWVault is the biggest Neverwinter Nights 2 fansite) with a score of 9.91. Here is an excerpt of a review of the second chapter by the biggest German game magazine PC Games (scan of the full review):

The mod by Ute Knörzer will take you into a strange but fascinating world. The appealing story motivates to continue playing with lots of puzzles and twists. The varied and pretty areas, the game changing decisions, the many interesting non-player characters and the exciting fights create a unique gaming experience.

On top of Neverwinter Nights 2 (get Neverwinter Nights 2 at Amazon.com) the first official addon Mask of the Betrayer (get Mask of the Betrayer at Amazon.com) has to be installed on your computer to be able to play Planescape: The Shaper of Dreams.

–> Download the first two chapters of Planescape: The Shaper of Dreams for Neverwinter Nights 2 <–

You have to download the following files to be able to play:

  • sod1mod_selfextract_100.zip (160.2 MB)
  • patch_sod100.zip (3,1 KB)
  • sod2mod_selfextract_101.zip (49.8 MB)
  • readme_and_installenglish.zip (9 MB)
  • new_walkthrough_installation_chapter2.zip (2.5 MB)

Screenshot out of Planescape: The Shaper of Dreams

Ute Knörzer is currently working on a new campaign for Dragon Age. Among the other mods she has created so far is The Song Divine for Neverwinter Nights 1, which is also available in English: Download The Song Divine for Neverwinter Nights 1 at NWVault. On top of Neverwinter Nights 1 it requires the addons Shadows of Undrentide and Hordes of the Underdark (get Neverwinter Nights 1 Diamond at Amazon.com) as well as the Community Expansion Pack for playing.

Here is some basic information about the mod Planescape: The Shaper of Dreams:

Planescape: The Shaper of Dreams

General Information

Planescape: The Shaper of Dreams is the first part of a single-player campaign consisting of six chapters. The first three chapters take place near and in Waterdeep, whereas chapters 4-6 will take the player to several other planes of the multiverse, including the Abyss. This first part will keep you entertained for about four to eight hours and offers several side quests. We recommend you begin the game with a female human or half-elven character (level 1). You may also want to take a look at our readme file which features additional information and solutions to the quests if you get stuck somewhere.

In the first chapter we get to know our heroine, her story and the horrible nightmares she has to deal with. In fact, when the player meets her for the first time, she isn’t a heroine yet. Therefore, a major part of this chapter is about her everyday life as a lady of the manor near the small city of Holst. The player will help her to find out about her hidden powers and to become a true heroine on her long way to the Abyss. At the end of chapter one – when she has passed her first tests – she will embark on her journey.

As we go along, several companions will join her in the chapters to come. The party will have to survive many adventures on their way which will lead them to Sigil and finally to the Abyss.

Screenshot out of Planescape: The Shaper of Dreams

Story

Several years ago, our heroine was captured by a powerful necromancer who subjected her to unspeakable rituals of death magic. Korman, her husband, finally, managed to free her and to have her body and soul restored. However, he had to pay a terrible price. In order to save his wife, Korman had agreed to a pact with a mighty demon prince and he had sworn to serve his new lord in the Abyss for the rest of his life.

After her return from the Realm of Shadows, our heroine has changed as well. She is no longer the person she was before. Whenever she goes to sleep, she is haunted by dreadful nightmares and gradually she begins to understand that something is very wrong with her.

There is a violent contrast between her life as a lady of the manor, where she has to deal with the manor’s everyday problems, and the mysterious horrors she has to face in her dreams. Eventually, these changes inside her make her want to change the situation around her as well. She decides to save Korman from his life-long servitude in the Abyss.

Thus, she embarks on a perilous journey through the planes of the multiverse to find her husband and to face her unexpected destiny…


Greatly improved site speed

Good news, everyone! Our website now loads much faster since the ads now load after the rest of site has loaded first. The speed improvement seems to be much bigger than I expected. The pages now often load within the blink of an eye instead of taking several seconds like they did before since the browser no longer has to wait for the fancy Flash banner in the last position of the ad chain to render the page. This speed improvement will especially benefit new readers who want to read all the comics in the archive.


Pixels

The brand new music video Pixels, which pays homage to several well-known retro games, by Patrick Jean of One More Prod is just too awesome to not post it: