Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice – Does it live up to its name ?

Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice poster
Artwork for the cover of Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice

Following its release on March 22, 2019, Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice has already been praised by critics, streamers, and most of the gaming community.

With titles such as the trilogy Dark Souls or Bloodborne behind them, the Japanese studio FromSoftware set the bar very high. How does this evilly difficult game differentiate itself from its predecessors?

The one-armed wolf

The game takes place in Japan at the feudal age, more specifically during the Sengoku period in the 16th century, where you play as Sekiro (隻狼, short for one-armed wolf in Japanese), a shinobi with a mechanical arm rescued to the brink of death, whose mission is to protect a young lord from a clan who wants to sacrifice him for his blood.

When the lord is kidnapped, you embark on a dangerous journey to regain your honor, and will succeed no matter the cost, even through death …

Similar games…

Like the other games from video game studio FromSoftware, Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice is known for its incredible difficulty, challenging even the most skilled players.

The game features melee combat against a wide variety of enemies; you can also fight many bosses, some of which are optional. The world is vast and full of secrets for the player to find.

A fight with one of the bosses of the game, Gyoubu Oniwa ( 鬼庭刑部 )

…but not really

Despite similarities with Dark Souls and Bloodborne, the game system is based on fighting enemies with parries to perform with precise timing. This way, you make them lose posture and balance, which leads to an opening for landing a hit. You will need to adapt to this combat system, otherwise fights might seem impossible to win.

Moreover, a big part of the game is stealth. The game lets you execute enemies who did not notice the player’s presence. Developers at FromSoftware say they originally wanted to create a spiritual sequel to Tenchu, a series of infiltration video games.

Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice is available on Steam (Windows PC), PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. Have you played the game? If so, what did you think about it? Otherwise do you plan on buying it? Tell us in the comments below!

« Love, Death & Robots » une anthologie qui décoiffe

Do you like short films, sci-fi/horror/comedy and beautiful visuals? Then you might want to check out on the new Love, Death & Robots.

This brand new TV series aired out on March 15, 2019 on Netflix executive produced by David Fincher (Alien 3, House of Cards, Fight Club, Mind Hunter) and Tim Miller (Deadpool, Mass Effect 2). There are 18 episodes of 6 to 17 minutes covering NSFW adult topics (racism, war, free will…), each independant from the others and produced by different animators and filmmakers from around the globe. They are inspired from the movie Heavy Metal (1981) except two from original ideas.

In the trailer you get a glimpse of all 18 episodes. I personnally love good animation and the trailer immediately made me want to watch it and I absolutely don’t regret it: each episode has a radically different art style and it is gorgeous! « The witness » with its mix of bright colors, 2D and 3D and « Good hunting » with its amazing action and detailed streampunk cyborgs are probably my favorite regarding the aesthetics. There are plenty of details, rich textures and ingenious design ideas. And not to forget, the music and sound ambiance are a delight to the ear.

screenshot of the episode
« The Witness », image from IMDb

Even though a couple stories probably lack originality the vast majority of them are refreshing, interesting, funny and/or moving. Their only link is that they all evolve kind of around « love », « death » or « robots » (as the title suggests) and this leads to interesting topics. There’s this guy who doesn’t want to leave his home (a dump), a girl who’d mother has been killed because of rumors, mankind’s absurdities and failings, the meaning of life and so much more. At the end of an episode you’ll probably feel like you would want to spend a little more time in its world. The characters too are great, they are described spot-on in a press release as « Sentient Dairy Products, Rogue Werewolf Soldiers, Robots Gone Wild, Sexy Cyborgs, Alien Spiders And Blood-thirsty Demons From Hell ».

screenshot of the episode
« Good hunting », image from IMDb

The series looked very « real » to me. One example of this is that some characters sometimes are shown fully naked, with no mysterious light beam or plant hiding their genitals. I don’t know about you but when I see this kind of trick in movies this reminds me that I am watching something, I’m not « in » anymore. Bodies are just bodies and it is nice to see that it is not a shame to see a tit or a butt. But to be fair, it is true that female characters are way more often exposed, sometimes in an unnecessary way.

screenshot from the episode
« When the Yogurt Took Over », image from Imdb

Love, Death & Robots really hooked me up, both thanks to the art and the stories, I would give it a 4.5 out or 5. I hope that there will be a second season or more series of shorts like this one! Before you leave, if you already binged th 3+ hours series and liked it, you will maybe also like « Last Man », « Final Space », « Devilman Crybaby » and « Black Mirror », all available on Netflix. Check out also Les Gobelins school’s YouTube channel for even more shorts! 😉

Inside the BDE campaigns

It has been now six months since I decided to run with 33 other people for the elections of the BDE 2019-2020. So it’s been six months since we started the preparation of the BDE campaigns, and trust me, there is a lot to do. To keep the effect of surprise we had to remain very discreet so that nobody could suspect what was going on. We had to meet in small committee outside Polytech without forgetting to cut social networks to not be localized, we were like mini spies. I was part of the “Mammoutech” team and we won, so here is how we organized the campaigns.

BDE campaigns take place over a week. And it is during this week that we must convince the whole school that we can earn our place at the BDE by organizing different activities. We must organize two parties, plan activities at school for two days, plan meals for the first 3 days of the week, and try to always have pancakes ready (any time during the day) for that students can eat. There is also the WAVS (weekend at your service) which consists in carrying out ALL the requests of the students of the school during a whole weekend round the clock. This weekend is challenging but it’s the funniest part of the week because it is during these two days that we meet the most people.  

For the organization to be as efficient as possible, we divided the work. There were 11 different teams: one for communication (mine), one for partnerships with different companies, one for ordering different goodies, one for parties, one for the organization of meals, one for activities , one for video editing and photos, one for logistics, one for school decorations, one for funding (the most important), one for the “WAVS”, and finally one called « Small Office » with the chair of the list, the vice president, treasurer, secretary and head of communication in all the Polytech network.

We have all worked really hard to make the campaigns run as smoothly as possible. We had a lot of fun this week and we are very happy to have won. The competing list has also done very well during these campaigns, they can be proud of their work. The fake lists (the lists that are only there to have fun and entertain) have also play the game and have put a good atmosphere throughout the campaigns. This week of campaigns is always eagerly awaited because it is very festive. This year it ended on March 21st, so the bad news is that you have to wait a year before it starts again!

La course au BDE : les campagnes 2019

Voilà déjà un an que les membres de la Mili’tech, liste gagnante des campagnes 2018 du BDE, ont été élus, et il est déjà l’heure pour eux de laisser place à la relève. L’édition 2019 de cette course folle pour accéder au très convoité Bureau Des Élèves de Polytech Grenoble s’est donc tenue du 13 au 20 mars au sein de l’école. Retour sur l’événement.

Nous sommes le mercredi 13 mars 2019, il est 7h30, et déjà Polytech s’agite. Tout doit être prêt avant l’arrivée des élèves. Les listes qui concourent pour décrocher leur place au BDE de l’école ont décoré le hall d’entrée, et la Poly’Race, vêtue de jaune et entourée de pneus et de pare-choc, prépare un petit déjeuner : croissant ou pain au chocolat, café ou thé ? Il s’agit de faire bonne impression dès le début des campagnes pour marquer des points, et surtout gagner des voix ! Vous l’avez compris, c’est autour du thème de la course automobile que les jaunes comptent se démarquer !

Le même jour à midi, les hommes des cavernes nous préparent le repas. La Mammoutech, en rouge, est aux fourneaux !

Pendant une semaine, chacune des deux listes alternera pour régaler les étudiants, entre petit déjeuner, repas à midi et goûter à la sortie des cours. Sont également prévues 2 soirées par équipes : mercredi, jeudi, lundi et mardi !

De plus, chaque jour, les listes organisent des activités pour animer la semaine ! Course de chariots et compétition de Mario Kart pour les jaunes, Beach Volley aménagé et tape-taupe gonflable pour les rouges !

Le week-end sera également très chargé pour les listés ! A partir de 20h le vendredi, et pendant 48h, c’est le Week-end À Votre Service (WAVS). Les listes se plient en quatre pour répondre aux demandes des étudiants. Faire le taxi, livrer des crêpes, des tacos, des pizzas et des fast-food, cuisiner, faire la vaisselle, descendre les poubelles ou donner un petit coup de balais, toutes les occasions sont bonnes pour appeler les standards téléphoniques mis en place par les listes !

Enfin, après toutes ces aventures, le mercredi 20 mars, les listes cessent de communiquer. Très fair-play, les deux équipes de cette année ont su mettre l’ambiance à l’école et nous ont proposé une belle compétition ! Mais il n’y a cependant de place que pour une seule liste au BDE, et il est temps pour les étudiants de voter, et donc de faire un choix !

Voici les résultats, communiqués par le BDE sortant :

Total votes 461
Nuls 2
Blancs 8
Poly’Race 98
Mammoutech 353

Ce sont donc les rouges qui l’emportent et prennent place au BDE pour l’année 2019-2020. Ils organiseront notamment le gala de remise des diplômes pour les étudiants de dernière année, ainsi que le week-end d’intégration des nouveaux arrivant à la rentrée 2019.

Félicitations aux deux équipes, et courage aux gagnants !

[JPO 2019] Un parcours du combattant… ou presque !

Nous vous l’avions évoqué dans l’article sur la Conférence Égalité Professionnelle, les membres de la Mission Égalité Professionnelle (MEP) n’ont pas chaumé cette année ! Lors de la Journée Porte Ouverte (JPO), qui s’est déroulée le 16 février dernier, ils ont animé un stand interactif proposant aux visiteurs de se confronter aux difficultés rencontrées dans le monde professionnel.

Membres de la Mission Égalité Professionnelle, @Polytech Grenoble

Il s’agissait d’un parcours marqué au sol, symbolisant les chemins professionnels empruntés par les hommes et les femmes. Chaque chemin mettait en exergue les difficultés rencontrées par les deux sexes, face aux différents clichés et autres problème sociaux.

Une femme avait par exemple à faire face à la grossesse, à la possibilité de perte de poste au retour de congé maternité, aux portes fermées dans certains domaines.

Un homme voyait lui aussi certaines portes barrées, ainsi que la pression sociale face aux clichés comme celui de l’homme travaillant et apportant l’argent au foyer, le temps partiel mal vu, la possibilité d’éloignement des enfants, etc.

Toutefois, le parcours de l’homme était dans l’ensemble plus simple que celui de la femme. Les membres de la MEP ont voulu faire comprendre à tous ceux qui ont participé à cette activité que cette situation est anormale en discutant avec eux, écoutant leurs suggestions et en recueillant leurs commentaires sur un tableau disponible pour tous.

Dans l’ensemble, la prestation a été convaincante, et de nombreux parents ont – malheureusement – témoigné avoir vécu certaines expériences décrites dans le parcours, et que des actions comme celle de la MEP permettent cependant de faire évoluer les mentalités.

Adapté du compte-rendu sur la JPO de la MEP, Bertrand GILBERT-COLLET (INFO4)