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The new Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity is more than a hack and slash romp set within the varied fantasy lands that comprise the Legend of Zelda universe. If you don't go in with the mind-set that it's the next magical, puzzle-filled Zelda open world game, you'll find a satisfying entry in the annals of game brilliance first created by Shigeru Miyamoto more than three decades ago.

© Valve Corporation. All rights reserved. All trademarks are property of their respective owners in the US and other countries. Some geospatial data on this website. I mean, not if it turned out to be bad hack 'n' slash mechanics. It would have been more popular if the gameplay was more fun - that's a sentence that seemed to describe Double Fine for quite some time. Can't really say if it's still the case. They've always been masters of style, story and charm.

The second edition of the Hyrule Warriors series - a prequel set 100 years before The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild - is packed with action and occasional bits of lore. You witness what transpired during the brutal throwdown between Hyrule's soldiers and the minions of the gross, fiery-eyed, skull-headed monster of 'hatred and malice incarnate,' Calamity Ganon. You also meet a curious, humorous robot - a mini Guardian who arrives early and becomes essential to the plot. The game's story, though, could have revealed more of Hyrule's strange and complex history. There is only one moment, near the end, during which you feel utterly moved and empathetic.

Most of the rest is filled with fascinatingly choreographed action that comes at you fast. There's a disaster-filled opening sequence followed by waves of warring, and you don't need to have played any of the other Zelda games to get the idea that Link, Princess Zelda and others are heroic beings who help each other out against the catastrophe the threatens to demolish the world.

At its best, Age of Calamity is more than another save-the-world story. You learn more about each character's personality and foibles as you work together to survive the onslaughts of dimwitted enemy hordes, and your weapons can disperse so many enemies at a time, it's like you're a professional bowler with multiple balls splaying hundreds of pins at a time. It's constant fun. Without story, though, any Zelda game would suffer, even an action-packed game like Age of Calamity. You won't be moved you like you were if you played The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, but the cut scenes bear enough story to keep you going through the countless battles. (Unfortunately, though, the ending leaves something to be desired.)

As you bash through a hundred or so minor enemies, like pig-snouted Bokoblins and gator-like Lizalfos, you begin to get in the flow. The way the developers keep the constant battling from becoming banal is to give each team member some wildly inventive powers, performed by pressing multiple controller buttons in sequence. These combos of fire, ice, bombs, magnetism and a swirling, fireworks-filled special attack become especially helpful when dealing with the bigger, meaner enemies at the end of each quest. Also, characters from the hinterlands of Hyrule come in and out of your team, like Avengers all-stars.

Before and after fighting, you see terrain you've traversed and characters you've met before in Breath of the Wild. You don't have the Zen-like solace of long walks from area to area or the feeling of being awestruck by wondrous environs. Here, you use a map to travel and boom!, you're there.

Early on, you can button mash through multitudes of baddies. Nintendo and Koei know most players will do this. It's a thrill to watch dozens of foes fly through the air as helpless rag dolls. But once you attack robotic-looking guardians with their deadly homing rays, you must add wily, rhythmic strategy to your fighting or you'll get fried like chicken. As I fought, I noted some camera issues which made me disoriented in corners. And sometimes aiming at an enemy wasn't accurate enough.

In addition to the thunderous powers that await, there are quieter endeavors. For foodies, there's a cornucopia of edibles you come upon, each with a tight, two-sentence description. As I collected recipes to make meals that help power you onward during quests, I got emotional as I thought about the more muted Thanksgiving that awaits us this year in the real world. But here in Hyrule, it's always Thanksgiving. The cornucopia of food (and weapons) just keeps on coming.

Most importantly, you get to play as Zelda, which is a joy. As a royal princess, she's not one to roll up her sleeves and get down and dirty with Link, the famously quiet soldier/hero clad in green. But Zelda aids your team by using the Sheikah Slate, an iPad-like device that looks ancient. Its powers are rife with spells and magic. I wished Zelda would have been as vital and essential as Link throughout the story and that she would have revealed more secrets about herself, but that wasn't to be for most of the game.

While Age of Calamity can feel like an uneven series of battle ballets, it does have its share of astonishing dances. It doesn't, however, go far enough to reveal more of Hyrule's and Zelda's past. But with no release date for the Breath of the Wild sequel in sight, this offering will, at least partially, satiate fans in the meantime.

Platforms: Nintendo Switch
Online:zelda.com/hyrule-warriors

Hack/Slash
Publication information
PublisherDevil's Due Publishing
Image Comics
Dynamite Entertainment
Genre
Publication date2004–2015 (original) 2017-2018 (resurrection)
No. of issuesVol. 1 32
Vol. 2 25
Vol. 3 5
Vol. 4 12
Creative team
Created byTim Seeley (writer)
Emily Stone (penciller)
(Inker/Colorist) Courtney Via
Hack Slash Crawlgaming Potatoes

Hack/Slash is a comic book series, launched from several one shots of the same name, published by Image Comics (previously by Devil's Due Publishing). The series was created by writer and sometime penciller Tim Seeley. The series follows horror victim Cassie Hack as she strikes back at the monsters who prey upon teenagers. These monsters are known as 'slashers', and are a mix of original villains and crossover appearances, such as the appearance of Re-Animator (from Herbert West–Reanimator)[1][2] in Volume 1.

Publication history[edit]

Devil's Due and Volume 1[edit]

Hack/Slash began in 2004 as a series of one-shots, starting with the Stefano Caselli-penciled Hack/Slash (later referred to by its story title Euthanized), followed by the Federica Manfredi-penciled Girls Gone Dead.

2005 saw the one-shot Comic Book Carnage and the series stars, Vlad and Cassie, appeared in the Aadi Salman-pencilled The Final Revenge of Evil Ernie. The 'Hack/Slash' one-shots were collected as the First Cut trade paperback in the same year. The first 'Hack/Slash' miniseries, Land of Lost Toys, debuted, penciled by Dave Crosland, followed by a collection of new short stories in a 2006 special issue called Trailers (featuring art by writer Stefano Caselli and Tim Seeley, Mike Norton, Skottie Young and Josh Medors).

A 25-cent preview issue giving newcomers a recap of 'Euthanized' hit the markets in 2006, along with 'Slice Hard', the first one-shot of 2006, Hack/Slash Vs. Chucky, which saw the lead duo taking on the evil doll and was penciled by Matt Merhoff. Seeley penciled the new part of the preview and was one of the pencilers and inkers of the one-shot along with Mark Englert, Nate Bellgarde, Andy Kuhn and Joe Largent.

In 2007, Devil's Due released a Free Comic Book Day comic showcasing their Family Guy and Hack/Slash titles. The Hack/Slash section contained a recap portion of the 25-cent preview issue.

Hack/Slash graduated to an ongoing series in May 2007, which included a Hack/Slash Annual collecting the webcomic featuring the SuicideGirls photo shoot.[3]

In March 2010 it was announced at the Emerald City Comicon that creator Tim Seeley was taking Hack/Slash from Devil's Due Publications to Image Comics. The move came after news that Devil's Due was going through financial difficulties, with staff on all levels not being paid for several months. Tim Seeley allegedly did not receive his paycheck and thus was not able to pay his staff of artists and colourists. Hack/Slash's tenure at Devil's Due closed with issue #32, the final issue of Volume 1.

From September 2011, Hack/Slash was available digitally through Devil's Due Digital.

Image Comics and Volume 2[edit]

Hack/Slash's first release through Image was the 4-part miniseries My First Maniac, which started in June 2010. It was followed by a second ongoing Hack/Slash series, which concluded in March 2013 with issue 25. Image Comics later published the complete Hack/Slash, including crossovers and the early Devil's Due issues, in five numbered 'omnibus editions'.[4]

Volume 3: Son of Samhain[edit]

Beginning in July 2014, the first issue of a further five-issue miniseries, Son of Samhain, was released through Image. Tim Seeley did not work on the series, which was instead written by Michael Moreci and Steve Seeley, with art by Emilio Laiso.[5] In this volume Cassie became a bounty hunter and gained a new partner called Delroy.[6]

Volume 4: Resurrection[edit]

In 2017, Tim revived the series under a new title with a new creative staff called Hack/Slash: Resurrection[7] with Tini Howard writing the series and Celor and K. Michael Russell on art duty. The series brought back fan favorite Vlad, as well as crossing over with Vampirella.[8] The series details a new road trip for Cassie and Vlad, with Cassie sick of leaving nothing but destruction in her wake [9] and Vlad excited to have a new chance at life.

Characters[edit]

Major characters[edit]

  • Cassandra 'Cassie' Hack – A young woman who had to gun down her own mother who, after committing suicide rather than face justice for murdering a group of young boys who were bullying her daughter, returned to life as a slasher called 'The Lunch Lady'. Cassie now drifts around the United States in an old van, hunting slashers with her partner, Vlad.
  • Vlad – The enigmatic partner of Cassie, Vlad is a big, muscular and disfigured man, who wears a gas mask and brandishes two big meat cleavers. Met by Cassie when they were both stalking the 'Meatman Killer', Cassie soon befriended him. There's not much known about Vlad, not even his full name, but he seems very aware of his unconventional looks, which prompts him to wear the gas mask (which, he says, protects him from the thin outside air he has been deprived of for 20 years – though he can be seen breathing without his mask too). According to Vlad, he was raised by a butcher who rescued him from a garbage can. The butcher served as his only human contact. He used comic books to teach Vlad to read; he also taught Vlad how to use knives to help him adjust to his deformities. When the butcher died, Vlad was forced to go outside where rumors of the Meatman started and he eventually met Cassie. Vlad's relationship with Cassie is quite paternal, as Vlad seems utterly concerned with his 'little one's' well-being. Quite naive, but well-versed in strategy and battle skills, Vlad doubles as the 'muscle' of the team, and as a sort of guardian for Cassie, counseling and comforting her when it's needed.

Supporting characters[edit]

  • Chris Krank and Doctor Lisa Elsten – Lisa was introduced in Hack/Slash: Euthanized as the girlfriend of Kyle Bell. Chris appeared later in Hack/Slash: Land of Lost Toys #1 as the geeky roommate of Jason Michaels. Both survived the Slasher attacks in their respective stories and because of this reappeared in Hack/Slash vs. Chucky as two of the potential victims of Laura Lochs. They are now in a relationship and living together. Together they have formed Hack/Slash Inc, a website for Slasher survivors.
  • Margaret Crump aka Georgia Peaches – Georgia is a recurring character in Hack/Slash, who is currently a potential love interest for Cassie. Introduced in Hack/Slash #2 as a stripper who was a fan of the band, Acid Washed. Was sent to the hell dimension of Nef by the band along with Cassie as virgin sacrifices. During their time caged up together, Cassie and Georgia discussed Cassie's lack of a sex life and her orientation, which she is still unsure of. This led to Georgia suggesting that were they not chained up, they could have sex with each other in order to become 'impure' and therefore escape. Since escaping from Nef, Cassie and Georgia have been keeping in touch by phoning each other every day. In Hack/Slash #8, Cassie fantasizes about kissing Georgia, suggesting that Georgia's previous suggestion about Cassie being bi may actually be correct. However, after several bad experiences with Slashers Cassie breaks away from her to keep her safe. The two would later try to reconnect as lovers, but Georgia this time would move away.
  • Pooch – Pooch first appears in the 'Shout at the Devil' arc as a spawn and servant of the Neflords, H. P. Lovecraft-esque entities which reproduce by impregnating virgins from Earth, whom they have abducted to their dimension of Nef. Resembling a demonic hairless dog, Pooch works under the Neflords' lieutenant Elvis Presley and, after his master is killed and Cassie and Georgia escape Nef, is sent to Earth to kill Cassie, but instead meets and befriends Chris and Lisa, who (reluctantly at first) let Pooch live with them. Pooch decides to abandon the Neflords and have Chris and Lisa as his new masters due to their kindness to him. In the arc 'Closer', Pooch is severely injured while defending Chris and Lisa from another agent of the Neflords sent to kill him and Cassie, an agent which is later killed by Chris; Pooch's display of loyalty and bravery ultimately cause Chris and Lisa to realize how much he means to them, and the two have begun helping him to recuperate.
  • Cat Curio – Catherine 'Cat' Curio was an intrepid young detective who was stabbed by a Slasher known as Samhain at the age of ten. The attack nearly killed her, putting her into a coma for thirteen years. When she awoke again, she was still full of childlike enthusiasm and a passion for crime-solving. This eventually led to her crossing paths with Cassie Hack and Vlad. Though Cat is incredibly quirky and often gets on Cassie's nerves, she proves herself time and time again to be a valuable asset to the team. She eventually teams up with Pooch to form Cat and Dog Investigations.
  • Samhain – Samhain saved Cassie Hack from the Black Lamp Society murder attempt. He has no memory of his past life, except for his exceptional fighting skills and his hatred for the Society. He's trying to rescue Ava Park from the Black Lamp Society with the aid of Cassie and Vlad. Making his debut in issue #20, Samhain is a jack-o-lantern masked ex-Slasher. His conscience has been restored as well as his lack of desire to commit meaningless murder like other Slashers. In later issues, Samhain's face is revealed from behind the mask, and following his capture and re-programming by the Black Lamp Society in issues 24–25, he then once again becomes, albeit briefly, the deadliest Slasher of all; he is then ordered and obeys in the killing of his love, Dr. Ava Park. This spell is only broken by a passionate kiss from Cassie which restores his mind back to his former pre-Slasher default setting. But for Cassie, this also awakens something inside of her she didn't think possible, and in later issues is found to be deeply fantasizing about and desiring the masked man. Akakios is his true identity and is the main antagonist of the series.

Slashers[edit]

Slashers (known to the government as 'Revenants') are the beings that Cassie and Vlad hunt down. Slashers as a whole can be divided into two broad categories. The first and most common are the undead variety: These are people who died while filled with rage toward life, and somehow return from the dead filled with only that rage driving them to kill. While their exact abilities vary individually, all possess resistance to damage, and must suffer severe bodily harm to be killed. This kind can be controlled by the proper magics, and once their body has been sufficiently destroyed, usually stay dead. The other kind are people who are still alive, but are often insane and engage in Slasher behavior. They can be killed by normal means.

Army of Darkness crossover[edit]

A six-part crossover began in July 2013, released by Dynamite Entertainment.[10] Featuring Ash Williams of the Evil Dead series it takes place a few months after the end of volume 2 of Hack/Slash, though it is unclear whether or not it is canon to either series.

Collections[edit]

Hack/Slash has been collected in the following trade paperbacks:

TitleMaterial collectedISBNDate Released
Volume 1: First CutHack/Slash: Euthanized
Hack/Slash: Girls Gone Dead
Hack/Slash: Comic Book Carnage
'Slashing Through the Snow'
ISBN1-932796-42-8
ISBN1-932796-87-8
October 12, 2005
January 31, 2007
Volume 2: Death By SequelHack/Slash: The Land of Lost Toys #1–3
Hack/Slash: Trailers
Hack/Slash: Slice Hard Prequel
Hack/Slash: Slice Hard
ISBN1-932796-75-4April 11, 2007
Volume 3: Friday the 31stHack/Slash Vs. Chucky
Hack/Slash #1–4
ISBN1-934692-00-XOctober 15, 2007
Volume 4: Revenge of the ReturnHack/Slash #5–10ISBN1-934692-18-2June 29, 2008
Volume 5: Reanimation GamesHack/Slash #11
non-crossover parts of Hack/Slash #12–13
Hack/Slash #14–17
Hack/Slash Annual
ISBN1-934692-44-1March 18, 2009
Volume 6: In Revenge and In LoveHack/Slash #18-23
Hack/Slash: Entry Wound
ISBN1-934692-68-9July 29, 2009
Volume 7: New Blood Old WoundsHack/Slash #24-28
Vlad and Cassie vs. Bloody Mary
ISBN1-934692-83-2January 27, 2010
Volume 8: Super Sidekick Sleepover SlaughterHack/Slash #29-32
Hackoween
ISBN1-60706-291-7September, 2010
My First ManiacHack/Slash:My First Maniac #1-4
ISBN1-60706-338-7January 5, 2011
Volume 9: Torture ProneHack/Slash Annual #2
Hack/Slash Vol. 2 #1-4
ISBN1-60706-409-XSeptember 14, 2011
Volume 10: Dead CelebritiesHack/Slash Vol.2 #5-8
Hack/Slash Annual 3: HATCHET/SLASH
ISBN1-60706-508-8February 1, 2012
Volume 11: Marry, F**k, KillHack/Slash Volume 2 #9-15ISBN1-60706-656-4January 15, 2013
Volume 12: Dark SidesHack/Slash Volume 2 #16-19
Hack/Slash vs. Mercy Sparx
ISBN1-60706-731-5April 30, 2013
Volume 13: FinalHack/Slash Volume 2 #20-25ISBN1-60706-747-1July 9, 2013
Omnibus Vol. 1Hack/Slash: Euthanized
Hack/Slash: Girls Gone Dead
Hack/Slash: Comic Book Carnage
Hack/Slash Vs. Evil Ernie
Hack/Slash: The Land of Lost Toys #1–3
Hack/Slash: Trailers
Hack/Slash: Slashing Through the Snow
Hack/Slash: Slice Hard Prequel
Hack/Slash: Slice Hard
Hack/Slash Vs. Chucky
ISBN1-934692-08-5January 1, 2008
Omnibus Vol. 2Hack/Slash #1–11
non-crossover parts of Hack/Slash #12–13
Hack/Slash #14–17
Hack/Slash Annual
ISBN1-934692-57-3April 22, 2009
Omnibus Vol. 3Hack/Slash #18-32
Hack/Slash: Entry Wound
HACKoween
Living Corpse Annual
ISBN1-60706-275-5December 21, 2010
Omnibus Vol. 4Hack/Slash Vol.2 #1-11
Hack/Slash: Annuals 2-3
ZOMBIES VS. CHEERLEADERS
2011 Holiday Special
ISBN1-60706-526-6June 12, 2012
Omnibus Vol. 5Hack/Slash Vol.2 #12-25
HACK/SLASH vs. MERCY SPARX
ISBN1-60706-741-2June 18, 2013
Omnibus Vol. 6HACK/SLASH: Son of Samhain #1-5
HACK/SLASH RESURRECTION #1-12
ME WITHOUT YOU and bonus features
ISBN978-1534312197June 4, 2019
Son of Samhain Vol. 1Hack/Slash: Son of Samhain #1-5ISBN978-1632152442February 3, 2015
Resurrection Vol. 1Hack/Slash: Resurrection #1-6ISBN978-1534306660April 25, 2018
Resurrection Vol. 2: Blood SimpleHack/Slash: Resurrection #7-12ISBN978-1534308794December 19, 2018

Adaptations[edit]

The possibility of Hack/Slash being made into a live-action film by Rogue was discussed by director Todd Lincoln, writer Martin Schenk, series creator Tim Seeley, and others at the 2006 San Diego Comic Convention, to be released in 2008. In 2012, Marcus Nispel, who directed Conan the Barbarian remake, was revealed to have agreed to helm the film for Relativity and Rogue.[11] In October 2015 Relativity Television announced that the series would instead be adapted into a television series and would be written by Skip Woods, who would serve as executive producer alongside Adrian Askarieh, who first optioned it in 2005.[12][13] As of 2018, there have been no updates on the prospective series, causing outlets such as [/Film] to assume that the series is in development hell.[14]

Stage plays[edit]

The series was turned into two stage plays. The 2005 production Hack/Slash: Stage Fright utilized comic book panel simulation and adapted the 'Euthanized' and 'Girls Gone Dead' storylines.[15] The Chicago Tribune criticized the production for 'a choppy collection of scenes separated by extended blackouts, during which the cast needlessly carts on and off a pair of black cubes that double as furniture', while praising Stefani Bishop's acting as Cassie.[16] CBR was more overall favorable of Stage Fright, praising the actors for Cassie and Vlad (Adam Mack), as well as stating that 'Just like the comic it’s been adapted from, the play is a loving tribute to those great and “so awful they’re spectacular” horror films.'[15]

A play simply titled 'Hack/Slash' ran with the Strangeloop Theatre and CIC Theater in Chicago and played from September 12 through November 1 of 2014.[17][18]Unetbootin for mac every version. This play adapted various sections from the plot to develop a story while directly coordinating with the author of the original content, Tim Seeley.

Other media[edit]

Cassie has appeared in her own SuicideGirls pictorial.[19]

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Notes[edit]

  1. ^Hack/Slash Gets Reanimated in AugustArchived 2009-02-06 at the Wayback Machine, Newsarama, May 27, 2008
  2. ^Seeley talks Hack/Slash, Re-Animator Crossover, Comic Book Resources, August 20, 2008
  3. ^Hacking and Slashing with the Suicide Girls, Newsarama, August 3, 2008
  4. ^Comicvine.com
  5. ^Image Comics
  6. ^[1]
  7. ^https://comicvine.gamespot.com/hackslash-resurrection/4050-105530/
  8. ^https://www.newsarama.com/38618-cassie-vampi-team-up-finally-in-hack-slash-vs-vampirella-5-preview.html
  9. ^Hack/Slash: Resurrection #8 (Jun. 2018)
  10. ^Bloody Disgusting
  11. ^Borys Kit (June 28, 2012). ''Conan' Director Marcus Nispel Takes On Horror-Action Movie 'Hack/Slash' (Exclusive)'. The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved June 28, 2011.
  12. ^''Hack/Slash' Hacking Up Slashers on Television!!'. Bloody Disgusting. Retrieved 2018-05-21.
  13. ^Kit, Borys (15 October 2015). 'Horror Comic Hack/Slash Heading to TV With Hitman Writer (Exclusive)'. hollywoodreporter.com. The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 15 October 2015.
  14. ^'The Case For a Hack/Slash Movie'. /Film. 2017-06-23. Retrieved 2018-05-21.
  15. ^ abRichards, Dave (2005-10-23). 'Review: 'Hack/Slash: Stage Fright' Chicago Style Grand Guignol'. CBR News: The Comic Wire. Retrieved 2007-07-29.
  16. ^Metz, Nina (October 7, 2005). '`Week' feels too long; `Hack' a little choppy'. Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 2018-05-21.
  17. ^Reid, Kerry. 'All Hallows' shows: 18 titles for Halloween'. chicagotribune.com. Retrieved 2018-05-21.
  18. ^'Hack/Slash'. Chicago Reader. Retrieved 2018-05-21.
  19. ^Cassie's SuicideGirls Page

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External links[edit]

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  • Hack/Slash on devilsduedigital.com
  • Podcast interview with Tim Seely from New York Comic Con 2008 by comiXology
  • Richards, Dave. '“Hack/Slash” Slices Its Way from Comic Page to the Stage', CBR News: The Comic Wire, 2005-02-24.
  • Richards, Dave. 'Artistic “HACK”: Stone Talks “Hack/Slash” Ongoing Series (part 2 of 2)', CBR News: The Comic Wire, 2007-02-15.

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