Archive | September, 2004

Flames

Buffy: the Vampire Slayer RPG Review

Posted on September 29, 2004 by

This is one of the prettiest and best written game books I’ve ever had the pleasure to come across. The book is full-color, and chock full of pictures and quotes from the series. What truly makes the book stand out is the writing style. CJ Carella and his crew have written something that looks less like a rulebook, and more like a transcript of someone talking about the TV show, and how a game system for Buffy would work if he could just design one. The book is almost as funny and irreverent as the show it draws from, making this book an easy read.

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Flames

Book of Nod Fiction Review

Posted on September 29, 2004 by

The structure of the book is surprising, in that the prose is heavily footnoted. Told from a vampiric scholar’s point of view, the research for the book is both entertaining and curious. One can almost feel Aristotle’s frustration as he cross-references words from crumbling parchments. One can also hear the voices of the ancients, as they live again through prophetic parables and historic prose. The footnotes are written in character and contain curious references to other characters in the game. This adds to the potential for the book to be used as a prop or a mood-setting item.

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Flames

Inside the Zone Supplement Review

Posted on September 25, 2004 by

To play within the Zone, players must first understand the design of the setting. Inside the Zone does a great job of describing its highly efficient structure. But the book does more than describe its physical setting. Layers of religions, Kults and politics intertwine with one another throughout the book. It is almost as if you are a god watching the inner workings of Zone society. The book is a must-read for anyone who wishes to play in the Zone.

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Flames

Squeam 3 RPG Review

Posted on September 25, 2004 by

Are you a fan of “teen-slasher” movies such as Scream or Nightmare on Elm Street? Or are you more partial to flicks with psycho doll killers or strange trees hunting you at a cabin in the woods? Looking for a quick game with little to no rules and ridiculously fun? Enough with the questions and let’s get to the meat of the topic: Squeam 3.

Review by Jeff Jacobs

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Flames

Dark Ages: Tremere Novel Review

Posted on September 25, 2004 by

So in my opinion “Dark Ages: Tremere” is a brilliant book full of surprises with only a handful of boring pages. A great way to approach the Tremere. Absolutely recommendable, maybe the best of the Dark Ages Clan Novels.

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Flames

Vampire by Gaslight LARP Review

Posted on September 25, 2004 by

“The Age of Romance and Gothic Elegance” proclaims the first line on the back of Vampire by Gaslight, and the Victorian era certainly seems tailored to be the Age of the Vampire. No other period in human history seems to suit the proclivities of the Kindred more than the end of the nineteenth century, and so the expansion of White Wolf’s Minds Eye Theatre into this complex and rich historical period is both welcome and daunting.

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Flames

Dark Ages: Gangrel Review

Posted on September 25, 2004 by

Jürgens armies under the sign of the Black Cross march out to conquer the east. Against them stand the vile Tzimisce ruled by the Voivode of all Voivodes: Count Vladimir Rustovitch.

But not only those stand in the way of Jürgens men, between their home and the Voivodat lies Livonia, a fierce, primal territory ruled by Quarakh the Untamed and his horde of Gangrel. By his side there is Deverra, High-Priest of Telyavel and Tremere renegade.

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Flames

Resident Evil: Outbreak Video Game Review

Posted on September 25, 2004 by

What do ten strangers sitting in a bar have in common? They’d all make delicious entrees for a few hungry zombies about to attack the bar. That’s right, in this newest installation of Resident Evil Raccoon City is being rampaged by a plague of zombies. It’s up to you to pick one of ten characters and fight for survival.

The game is set up in different sections called scenarios, each with their own theme and unique location. After you complete a scenario, a new one is unlocked and you are given points for your game play. The better you are the more points you get allowing you to trade them in to unlock bonuses such as CG art and cut scenes.

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Monica Valentinelli

Angel: Haunted Book Review

Posted on September 25, 2004 by

When writing a book based on a hit television series, one has to ensure that the characters are accurately portrayed through action and dialogue. Angel: Haunted, written by Jeff Mariotte, sets out to bring the characters from the cult hit “Angel” to life.

Written as one in a series of books, Angel: Haunted had a beginning that was both awkward and difficult to follow. The first few pages were cumbersome due to the language and descriptions. As one reads further, the pacing and language improves dramatically. Instead of reading the words a character speaks, one hears a believable representation of an “Angel” character’s dialogue. The further along in the story, the less noticeable the writing style becomes. This is one sign of an experienced writer who can successfully translate television to print.

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Flames

Laws of the Resurrection LARP Review

Posted on September 25, 2004 by

A World thrown completely out of balance calls out for a defender and sets the stage for White Wolf’s continuation of the Mind’s Eye Theatre (MET) line.

Drawing on themes as old as civilization itself, Laws of the Resurrection hearkens back to the myths and legends of ancient Egypt to offer to players the role of a truly immortal protector of the world, a Mummy. Born of the fusion of ancient knowledge with modern souls, these creatures, known as Amenti, carry out the sacred law of Ma’at, bringing balance and order to a chaotic world.

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Flames

Wraith: the Oblivion 2nd Edition Corebook Review

Posted on September 25, 2004 by

Odds are that if you’re into role-playing, you’ve heard of White Wolf. They are the company behind games such as Werewolf, Changeling, Mage, and of course, the infamous Vampire: The Masquerade. Unfortunately, fewer and fewer people seem to be aware of White Wolf’s fifth original World of Darkness, that of Wraith.

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Flames

Way of the Wolf Novel Review

Posted on September 24, 2004 by

This is E.E. Knight’s first book, and I can definitely see it taking off as a very long series indeed, but one which I will be eagerly anticipating each new arrival. The setting is of a near future, starting around 2065, but with the events leading up to that current frame only happening in the next few years that we have to look forward to. Granted, this book is entitled Vampire Earth, and it does have to do with vampires, only not in the traditional sense.

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Flames

Aliens vs. Predator Movie Review

Posted on September 24, 2004 by

This was one of the biggest let downs ever. The funny thing is that it starts off so well…interesting, new concept. Then half way through the movie it takes a turn for the worst and our “hero lady” (who’s acting leaves much to be desired with her foul one liners and fake conviction) runs beside the Predator…with an actual scene that looks like Batman and Robin. They made the Predator look so weak as he needs the help of this human. Another big Hollywood destruction of characters created by individuals with originality.

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Flames

Obsidian: the Age of Judgement Review

Posted on September 24, 2004 by

So Obsidian begins its underlying premise, written as if it were a great, literary work. The philosophy is blunt and unrepentant. Humans are born as parasites in the universe of “The Sheol.” Daemons, pre-humanity, originate as harmless creatures. Greed, perversion, hate and corruption, all byproducts of human evolution, warp a delicate balance of co-existence within the “The Sheol.” These negative energies turn the daemons into the archetypes we think of today. God, or “The Divinity” in Obsidian’s universe, then separates the warped plane from Earth into nine Circles in an attempt to prevent the darkness from spreading.

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Flames

Dracula Unbound Review

Posted on September 24, 2004 by

This book had much in the way of promise for a good science fiction romp through the horror of Dracula. Unfortunately, it’s promise falls onto it’s face about halfway through.
We meet Joe Bodenland, who is a un-renowned scientist, working on a type of time machine that will suspend an item indefinitely at one moment in time. His goal, to use this for storing Nuclear Waste. His wife, Mina, isn’t as enthusiastic about it as he seems to be, in fact, we find that Joe is so absorbed in his project he even misses his son’s wedding.

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Flames

Vampire Hunter D Anime Review

Posted on September 24, 2004 by

In the far future, monstrous creatures have once again risen from the depths at which they lay, vile, evil creatures, from Vampires to Werewolves, to Zombies, to gelatinous blobs that descend upon you from the sky and rend the flesh from your bones in a matter of seconds. Here, Vampires are lords and masters, ruling over these minions of the dark, and terrorizing villagers wherever they decide to settle. One man rides alone, one man to stand against this tide of evil, one man to fight. And fight he does.

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Flames

Blood Games Review

Posted on September 24, 2004 by

Let’s walk through the book, and examine the contents as we go. After a brief introductory story which is continued in series throughout the rest of the book, Blood Games launches immediately into their version of the secret history of the world. Here we find that a universal savior of sorts (known alternately as Norandon, Prometheus, etc.) has given humanity the ability to fight back the “Creatures of Night”, such as werewolves, vampires, demons, etc. Think “Warlock: The Armageddon” with its hidden society of witches. All in all, the introduction lays out a limited groundwork for the nature of games, including basics of how magic is used and constrained.

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Flames

Writer & Developer CA Suleiman’s Interview

Posted on September 24, 2004 by

In this interview we discuss writing for various World of Darkness games, including Mummy: the Resurrection and Dark Ages: Vampire.

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Flames

Wraith Players Guide Review

Posted on September 24, 2004 by

True to the standard nature of player’s guides, Wraith’s adds in the usual mixture of extra detail and handy charts. It sets itself apart (like so many Wraith additions) by adding considerably more history and societal analysis than virtually any other player’s guide out there. For a breakdown of what’s added, let’s go to the chapters:

First we come to Traits. As expected, we find new Knowledges, Skills, Abilities, and Backgrounds, but we also come across what became a dominant methodology in Wraith: Merits and Flaws. These simple additions act as a two-fold improvement. Primarily, they give bonuses and/or free up some freebie points (you’ll never get enough of those, even if you’re the Storyteller), but they also aid in the development and growth of a character. New players can select a few Merits, counterbalance those with some Flaws, and by working with their Storyteller add much more depth to their characters.

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Flames

Shining Host LARP Review

Posted on September 20, 2004 by

In the game The Shining Host, you play a fae trapped in a mortal shell, destined to roam earth in search of dreams, and cast out of your true home, Arcadia. You can still make illusions real, though as time wears on you, it becomes harder and harder. But with the onset of civilization, true artists are hard to find, and the inspiration there once was for fantasy is fading. Personal tragedy is hidden because it is disbelief, making it a tougher, yet more interesting game to follow. As reality becomes more prevalent, your world fades.

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