Other Reviews

DNF Video Game: The Medium


Discover a dark mystery only a medium can solve. Explore the real world and the spirit world at the same time. Use your psychic abilities to solve puzzles spanning both worlds, uncover deeply disturbing secrets, and survive encounters with The Maw – an entity born from an unspeakable tragedy.

The Medium is a third-person psychological horror game that features an innovative dual-reality gameplay, unique art style inspired by painter Zdzisław Beksiński, and original soundtrack co-composed by Arkadiusz Reikowski and Akira Yamaoka.

In my sometimes less-than-humble opinion, there are two kinds of games in the world: Game-games and games. Look, I’m joking, well, kind of. Let me explain: there are games where you actually have what seems like free choice. If you want to go all in and fight the high level characters, you most certainly can have at it and get humbled, like the zealous adventurer you are. Unfortunately, The Medium is the opposite of that: a walking simulator that tells what button to push and when to push it, where to walk and when to walk and also when to talk. I don’t like it. I want to run, jump, slash and meander. I want action and intensity, not to aimlessly walk in circles looking for a queue to push the X button.

Is anybody out there? Just nod if you can hear me.

Most interactive travels in the game present you with a setting viewed with a fixed, third-person camera as you walk from room-to-room and a Resident Evil type inventory system with the ability to combine items for puzzle solving and possibly more.

Something that did particularly catch my eye and make me go “hmmmm . . . ” was the fact that when looking in the below mirror, there was a strip on the rug that seemed to twinkle and glisten, no matter which angle I moved the camera, which gave me evidence that it wasn’t the mirror causing the anomaly:

See that funky strip on the rug?

That’s not saying The Medium is a bad game, it’s just not for me. I was stunned by some of the visuals that were displayed before the split screen duel-reality play, then the visual appeal seemed degraded ( which I vaguely remember an article confirming that degradation ). I played for a decent 3 hours on the game up until I reached the duel reality view at the camp. The whole premise of the game, being the main character is a medium named Marriane that exists in two different realities at once. Just after the start of the game, we are led to a funeral home and we meet Jack in the dark reality, that has recently died in the normal reality, then we are led to some kind of camp for investigations. This is where I stopped playing the game. I won’t go into any more details about the story, while the elements of the story did seem mildly interesting, it wasn’t good enough to keep me rattling my joystick and looking for a queue to hit X without it being dreadful and a chore. Luckily this game came with my Xbox Game Pass subscription. No love lost, no love found.


★★☆☆☆ The Medium, an Microsoft Xbox Exclusive gets two stars out of five for lack of excitement and personal preference, however seems solid enough for story-game enjoyers to savor. If you want some, from what I saw non-wretched and light on actual vulgarities like lack of jump scares and gore then it may work even better for you in a search for a psychological survival horror game with class.

Intro video w/ credits

Guys and gals, until next time – may you find all the happiness that your life can fit in it’s happy spot – S.D. McKinley.

Memories On Art Opinion Resources

Bookshelf #1 and Beef with Potatoes

Welcome to the post for Bookshelf #1, where I’ll show you the top row of my book shelf just after some tidying up. Then, later I will continue onto the next shelf. There’s several different places to store the books, here, there, everywhere. Things make it onto the bookshelf, of course that aren’t books. 🙂 This is something of a natural order.

Speaking of natural: You ever try to eat a raw potato? It might make sense, right? You can get a whole sack of potatoes for five dollars and then your hunger is raging for nice, nutritious treat to fill your stomach, but then, it doesn’t agree. Something similar to birch bark. It never does settle.

The potato shall be cooked. It is written.

Instead, I’m vouching for some Pepperidge Farm toast with butter and year old Christmas jelly that settles greatly:

It’s a little shaky standing up in the chair, where the tripod won’t reach, something of wariness.
Left Side, continuing to the right . . .
And, the right side.
Web Serial


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Now, they came to a clearing in the rubbish. Carefully poured and detailed cement lined the floor surrounding a body of pool water, emitting a blue fluorescence and a muffled droning from below it’s own surface.

The water cast a verse in the form of refracted and dancing light patterns determined by second-hand-inspiration from some carefully selected song, lining up in significance with time and space. This sacred song was sung in place of a specific message, indueful of irony and when it spoke it did so not with words or singing voice but as if instigated by a rogue divinity looking for low hanging fruit to nab and dabble with on it’s way toward a downward spiral of destruction. Like an insidious plan with the intention to instill a becoming truth and to pass the blame for something gone terribly wrong. Stoically, the darkness devoured places once held by brilliancy and integrity. It trickled up from below and met with its counterpart, lifting a breath of celestine duality and bleeding itself into the spaces in between where light once shone, in perfect tune and never doubtful for its role in the present or its outcome in the future.

Some metal rods lifted via suspension cables from the metal case, deep inside the water. The word emergency lost it’s well known meaning for an arcane one as the droning, small gas bubbles, irradiated light and steam rose.

LJ gazed into the water.

Vic stared at LJ.

LJ turned his focus on Vic.

Now, something more formed at the surface of the water. A fermented black spot stacked on the depths of its own shadow, where mystic hate rolled over on itself.

“Vic, Vic,” LJ alerted. “What is . . . that?”

Vic turned around to see.

A veiled, devilish woman rose out of the black spot in the water.

“The fifth cycle is complete. Welcome to the depths of your own, Aquarian one,” the veiled woman said.

“LJ, who the frack is this?” Vic said, tugging on LJ’s stretchy, neoprene arm.

“How should I know? She feels familiar, though.”

“Oh, hell na. Not this, LJ. That’s what men say when they like another woman, ‘You look familiar’, but you said ‘she feels familiar’. That’s way worse.”

“It’s nothing like that,” LJ was interrupted by the veiled woman.

“Pursue your heart, for I will deliver the message. I have taken the breath of another, so that you can proceed. Now, speak your heart’s desire, Aquarian one.”

“Mmm kay. Friggin’ weirdos. Geez,” Vic said.

“Vic, don’t you think we need to take this seriously? We have no idea what we are dealing with, here.” LJ cleared his throat. A bead of sweat ran down his forehead, then he responded to the veiled woman. “We want out of this thing. We want to find Rom and Marlon. I want my body back. And Dom’s been shrunk into a 50 cent play toy. Can you fix all that for us?”

“Be that of your own, Aquarian one. For the things that will will, and the things that have passed are done.”

“Hm. I don’t like the sound of that at all,” LJ said.

“Red flag. That was a rhetorical question, I’m guessing?” Vic snarled at the veiled woman. “I was expecting something like ‘There’s nine billion people in the world. At any given time, approximately five thousand of them are actually doing something totally new. The other eight billion, nine hundred ninety nine million, blah, blah, blah are on repeat of something already done, meaning their life is just a repercussion of something not new. Simply metaphorical record players, if you will.'”

LJ’s face melted. Embarrassed, he stopped, nervous and frozen, scowling at Vic underneath the surface.

The veiled woman tilted her head to the side, like a perturbed mantis, gazing into Vic’s eyes with an evolving perversion of lust. But this, it blanketed the definition of lust, craving the space between a wink and a tear, where death blossoms.

The veiled woman’s body stretched forward, profusely salivating. Vampiric thirst dialed in as drool flowered forth, reaching on its own manic will toward Vic.


An amplified kiss of death, delivered only by this perverse triangle of experience. Their saliva met and energy blasted like sunlight through a tightly tilted magnifying glass, aimed straight through Vic’s chest.

Vic’s heart melted. Literally.

Bloody, gurgling screams.

Her heart congealed into a boiling, purulent mess, singeing through her other organs inside her body. It became so hot that it burned a hole all the way through the thoracic section of her esophagus and then part of her lungs. This was the immediate cause of death. But if that wasn’t enough, the air imploded, agony and steaming-hot water rushed in through perforated orifices as she fell into immersion with a gurgling gasp.

Futile, she became the heaviest item in the solution of radiation, pool water, saliva, blood and other boiling, bodily discharge of varying caliber, ejected through her screams that rang all the way through to obscurity and back again. But, even though LJ couldn’t do anything to save face, even so he tried, out of pure instinct and jumped into the water, attempting to swim down to retrieve Vic but couldn’t even go as far as to even submerge his head in the water, for his buoyant body simply wouldn’t allow it; the hot water would’ve burnt the only human-like part left of his body. Vic spasmed at the bottom of the pool as he looked down through distorted refraction.

Such a wretched place in existence, to immerse yourself in the water of horrid death of your loved one at the depths with such thick, extinctive aromas. LJ wailed, groaned, yammered and bobbled in the water, looking up at the veiled woman; in desolate despair, as tears ran down his cheeks, adding to the solution of pool water and other unfathomable things. In any case, one could not help but have strong feelings of possible fault in a loved one’s death. But this was the darkest area of doubt than most reside in. Not just an area of ‘what role have I played here’ or ‘what could I have done to prevent this from happening’, but it was the deepest kind of uncertainty. One looming shadow left in LJ’s mind most heavy – ‘What in hell just killed my girlfriend?

Somehow through all the wailing, LJ found himself standing back beside the pool of water, unable to hold his own emotion. With his saliva still sticky, the skin on his face stretched thin and dry from the deluge of emotion. Then, he soul-gazed the veiled woman, in a bid of concentrated hatred.

“Do you wish to go home now, Aquarian one?” the veiled woman said.

LJ so desperately wanted to go home, but he got a sense that the veiled woman’s definition of home was somehow different than what he knew of, something that didn’t have a couch or television. A trick question, perhaps, he thought. LJ hesitated.

Like drops of water, the veiled woman separated into two. A sleeping, burly man appeared. He mumbled, bumbled and murmured his sleepy mantras.

“Three A.M.? Is it three, yet?” More staticy noise escaped his mouth. “Why? Haven’t you started cooking . . . Steak? Ah, yes. I’ll take three of ‘em. I’ll take three steaks at exactly three AM, medium-well. Yes,” the burly man said, building hungry, sleepy ideas on top of one another inside his lofty head. “Put them on three different plates. That’ll stack up nicely, right in mah belly. Mmmmm,” he groaned.

The veiled woman growled and hissed in disgust, then stomped some energy beneath her, splashing water all over the burly man, awakening him out of the slumber. LJ saw in front of him, but couldn’t quite process anything. Nothing but a pure red color pummeled all the way down his train of thought. The room spun and memories of Vic poured into his mind along with doubts about how her death would sound if he told the truth about what just happened. No one would believe me, he thought. However, that manic uncertainty fell to a lower priority in his vulnerable mind; his brain’s attempt to hold onto what Vic was, recalled memories about when they met.

© 2020, S.D. McKinley



Guys, until next time – may you find all the happiness that your life can fit in it’s happy spot – S.D. McKinley