BloodRayne 2

August 17, 2004 - You know something is going right with a game when it inspires Doug Perry to leap around enthusiastically, crying "I'm a vampire! Chop chop chop!" while incoherently slicing his hands through the air. (Though, to be fair, this is a common occurrence regardless of the game in question, so perhaps I shouldn't mention it at all.) That frenetic energy, however, is appropriate when it comes to the BloodRayne franchise. In 2002, Terminal Reality and Majesco offered up a bloody, action-heavy slice- and bite-fest as much about body count as it was its sassy, sexy female anti-heroine. While the first game may have suffered a little from repetitive action and lack of real game play depth, Terminal and Majesco have big hopes for BloodRayne 2, set for release this October. We just spent time looking at a new build of the sequel -- our first time with the game since E3 back in May -- and it indeed looks like the new BloodRayne will earn her chops. To get you up to speed, in case you've never seen anything BloodRayne up until now, or haven't read much about the sequel so far, we'll speed through the basics. You play as Rayne, a vicious vampire as sexy as she is deadly. She's lithe, quick-moving, acrobatic, and armed with wrist-mounted blades, bio-guns, fierce kicks, and, of course, two sharp fangs. Gameplay is high-energy slice-and-dice action, though this time around the developers have taken care to create a deeper fighting system, including high, mid, and low kicks, improved harpooning dynamics, and all manner of nifty (and gory) finishing moves. The game may ultimately be about pummeling through enemies, but you'll certainly do so in style. And we did mention the sexiness, right?
Character animations have also been improved since last we saw the game. Rayne leaps, kicks, cuts, and feeds with a huge variety of moves, almost all of which are player-controlled. She now has at least 16 different "fatalities," or finishing moves, including one which has an enemy falling into her whirling blades, cut up blender-style. (There should be no doubt, by the way, that this game will earn its Mature rating: blood spurts and splatters, limbs fly, a pair of freshly dismembered legs wriggle in a crimson pool.) Controlling Rayne is fairly straightforward, and doesn't require the learning curve of a fighting system such as Ninja Gaiden's. Still, like Ninja Gaiden, there's a nice variety of nasty moves in the game, including various combos built off basic slice, kick, harpoon, and jump controls. Of course, Rayne can also leap onto a victim to feed, which not only restores some of her energy, but also sets up a slice-alicious finishing move, depending on which combo you go for. Toss an enemy violently, slice him in half, or knock him down and cleanly decapitate him: it's all bloody, and it's all a lot of fun.
Published by: Majesco
Developed by: Terminal Reality
Genre: Third-Person Action
Number of Players: 1Release Date:US: August 2, 2005

Art buyers find few investment masterpieces

It was only when Jussi Pylkk√§nen was climbing down from the auctioneer’s rostrum that he realised the scale of what had just happened.

Having presided over the sale of a ravishing nude by Amedeo Modigliani for $170m, it struck him that this surpassed any previous auction figure achieved for the Italian artist’s work — by a staggering $100m.

“I knew the record would be broken, but not by how much. When you get a work that suddenly makes $100m more, that is the greatest single leap,” says the global president of Christie’s.

Since that New York sale in November 2015, auction records for individual artists have continued to tumble, underlining the appetite of super-rich collectors for the most desirable works of art. The global caravan of auctions, gallery shows and art fairs, which this week pauses in London for the annual Frieze fair, rumbles on in anticipation of the next masterwork to be offered for sale.

Many of those buying high-value art argue that the money involved is less important than gaining possession of a unique object of unimpeachable beauty or artistic value (and, perhaps, the chance to stand out from the gilded crowd). The idea of art as an investment is a secondary function, if at all. “You’re supposed to buy art because you like it. It’s a terribly corny phrase, but you get a ‘dividend of pleasure’,” says Bendor Grosvenor, a broadcaster and former art dealer.