Manaburnt Podcast – Episode 12: Horror Part 2

Podcast time! We return to a topic for the first time, and Surprisingly its horror!

You can listen through Spotify below, or find links for all other places to listen at anchor.fm/manaburnt

We carry on our discussion of some of the themes from last time, mainly on zombies and vampires, almost turning this into another RPG episode near the end!

We are joined once again by our friends Mike, Tasia and Michelle, and are blessed with the extra appearance of Nick, who was last seen in episode 2!

Juegos que Hacen que me Muera del Aburrimiento

¡Buenas! Ya sé que el tema que traigo hoy es bastante controvertido, pero eh, para eso estamos, ¿no? Como siempre, lo que digo es lo que pienso, y no lo digo con ningún tipo de malicia: simplemente expreso mis sentimientos sobre determinados juegos que, aunque he intentado cogerles el gusto, la verdad es que me pueden. Así que preparos para la lista de la muerte:

-Catan: Si, si, ya lo sé, soy una desalmada…PPPFFFFF que queréis que os diga, me importa un comino este juego. Me aburre de forma abismal. Normalmente no puedo aguantar más de cuatro turnos antes de querer acabar con mi sufrimiento. ¿Por qué? Pues, veremos. Creo que posiblemente sea porque me parece una dinámica muy repetitiva y formularia, en la que un par de estrategias funcionan bien, y es uno de esos juegos en los que o te agarras a esa estrategia y ganas o no te comes ni los mocos. Tampoco me gusta la estética del juego – es feo con avaricia. Y nada oye, que es que no puedo entre una cosa y otra sentarme a jugar una partida de Catan (en cualquiera de sus variedades). Y la verdad es que lo he intentado varias veces. Al principio pensé, “jo, soy torpe y no lo pillo”. Pero no tenía nada que ver con eso; incluso ganando me aburre. Punto.

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Games I Tried to Like but Bore Me Endlessly

Hello everyone!! Yes, I know, I come with a controversial title, and I know I am going to get evils from many of you as I write this post but I really needed to get this off my chest. There are some games that it seems everyone loves…But me. I am not saying they aren’t good games, they just don’t cling with me, you know? I have tried them, and tried them, and played them…And i just cannot be bothered. And sometimes I play them just to please others and get along, but if it was down to me, they will never touch the surface of a table. EVER. So here is my list:

-CATAN: I KNOW!!! YOU ALL HATE ME NOW!! Well…Whatever! I really couldn’t care less for Catan. I can last about 4 rounds of the game without my jaw dropping into an insane concatenation of yawning. Why? Well, who knows. I think it feel rather repetitive and very formulaic, in the sense of xyz strategy works and that’s it. I don’t personally find it aesthetically appealing, and the general mechanic of it, I really just cannot find the will to make it through. Not even on my first game ever, years ago, did I actually enjoy playing it. I thought, “huh, I must be doing something wrong as everyone Loves this game”, and that is why I kept insisting. But Nope. Not for me.

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Stranger Things – Because You Should

Once again, Netflix has proven that the reason why they are owning the TV industry of ou day an age is because they are able to produce high quality shows that engage with people in a very deep level. The latest hit is the fan favourite, viral hit Stranger Things. You haven’t seen it? You re in this blog, therefore you ought to watch it. It will not let you down. Why? Because Stranger Things is a show for geeks – amongst others who may just suffer from 80s nostalgia.

I did not have Netflix until recently, so I heard about it from my friends collective who really encouraged me to get on to it because: “it is totally your thing”. Well, they were right. But first, let me tell you about some of the ways the show had been described to me, and maybe then you will get why this is cool. “Stranger things is like playing very trippy DnD with your friends, but stuff actually gets real, like , for good, and super quick”. “Just imagine DnD meets Silent Hill, in the 80s”. “I mean, it is Winona Rider”. “Just so many references to absolutely everything, ever”….I am sure you get the picture, right? Well then, in the very best ManaBurnt style, I’ll give you my piece as to why this is a great show and why i liked it -and don’t worry: no spoilers, just in case.

First of all, let me tell you that the acting is SUPERB. There is not a single character in the entire series that is not well delineated and well established from their first appearance. Winona is particularly amazing, and more importantly, credible. The children are seriously relatable: if you play RPGs, you know straight out each of them play their role in the party to the core. Moreover, they actually struggle with real problems everyone can relate to: being bully at school, being misunderstood, ignored, or underestimated…and of course, lets not forget the deep connotations the show throws at you about depriving children from their childhood, child abuse…Violence –  and not just guns or weapons, but the brutal reality of events that can just creep in at any moment of your life, suffering…All these things are very real and well transmitted by the entire cast. Period.

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Wytches & Scott Snyder’s Magical Narrative

Today I come back with a comic book that has really marked me and which I would happily considered one of the best written comics of the 21st century: Wytches. It is interesting too because it is the type of story I wouldn’t normally read – in fact, horror/thriller comics are a pretty niche subgenre in general. Personally, though, you’d never see me going nearby scary things – I don’t do spooky very well. Yet here I was reading Wytches in one go as I could not find the courage to actually stop reading. For those of you who have read it, I hope you agree. But for those of you who haven’t, please let me tell you that this will completely change your perspective of horror comics.

First things first – everyone knows Scott Snyder is amazing. American Vampire hit the market like a bomb, and has been a great long running series since its release in 2010. We are currently on the second cycle of the story, and the intensity of the writing has not changed at all. Simply great, thrilling and refreshing. Snyder and King make a fantastic team, and their styles compliment each other like bread and butter. I remember buying a serial magazine that is now out of print in the UK just for the promotional poster in my first year of university. It was vampires made new, and made right, with a touch of Western – thank you for thinking of something new! Now, I must admit, I lost track of Snyder for a little while, perhaps I was too concentrated on other publications at the time, and to my shame, I almost forgot about it. Then I was at Waterstones’ one good day and to my surprise I see volume 1 of Wytches – who did this escape me?! I read the premise and my first thought was “Nuh-Huh. I don’t do Scary”.

Here I was presented with the idea that the Rook family move to a deeper part of the American woods after the daughter, Sailor, is accused or suspected of having murdered this girl who used to bully her at her previous school. Dad – Charlie is a writer, a man who seems to be trying to do the right thing for his family and that ultimately you know he is scared and terrified of what the change, the possibilities and his capability to deal with the situation. Mum – Lucy is currently on a wheelchair due to an accident, seemingly a car crash. And a deep, dark broody witch cult runs in the background. Then I opened the book and Jock’s amazing artwork just compelled me to perhaps reconsider. I have seen few such good matches of narrative and art style like this one. The flashes of colour, the gradual change, moving from psychedelic to the darkest type of new gothic, bleak yet bright. The colour was the work of the fantastic Mark Hollingsworth. It was amazing. Then I notice it’s written by Mr Snyder…And how I could not take it home?

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