Archive | January, 2009

teampreston

Quintessential Wizard RPG Review

Posted on January 30, 2009 by

As I was currently playing a Wizard in a D&D 4E campaign, I figured that when the opportunity to review The Quintessential Wizard came up it was serendipity. When I created my character I was a little let down at the lack of options and flavor for building my arcanist. The choices available in comparison to the other classes seemed a bit…bland, or maybe un-unique. Same-ol, same-ol. The Quintessential Wizard goes a long way towards rectifying this.

One note: the book was designed by Italian studio Asterion Press, and there are a few instances where the translations show. Nothing major, the work they did was exceptional and I seriously doubt any of us could do better on an Italian published book. When reading, be a bit forgiving of a few awkwardly worded sentences.

Review by Jeff Preston

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Matt-M-McElroy

Mean Streets Fiction Review

Posted on January 29, 2009 by

The best paranormal private investigators have been brought together in a single volume—and cases don’t come any harder than this.

This book offers something a little different from the several Urban Fantasy anthologies that have hit the shelves over the last couple of years (Blood Lite and Many Bloody Returns for example). Instead of a collection of short stories by a bunch of different authors, this book has four novellas. The novella allows the authors a chance to develop the plot a bit more and occasionally drop a few more twists and turns into the mystery.

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Flames

Murder Will Out, A New Hunter: The Vigil Adventure Available Now!

Posted on January 28, 2009 by

Murder Most Foul What at first seems a case of an insane but isolated killer expands to put the cell at the mercy of an enemy that lives off violence itself, and can only be defeated by an act that could make the hunters killers on a par with the mass murderers they oppose. The […]

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Flames

Last House on the Left Movie Review

Posted on January 28, 2009 by

Last house on the Left is director’s Wes Craven’s (Nightmare on Elm Street, Scream) first movie. It’s a low budget exploitation movie about two teenagers that head to the big city to attend a BloodLust concert. On the way they get kidnapped by a gang of escaped convicts that torture and rape them.Then the movie takes a turn into revenge tale territory where bad guys get their comeuppance. I thought the movie was OK, certainly not the masterpiece I expected to see, judging from the hype surrounding it. The plot is pretty standard fare, the characters rarely have any kind of motive or reasoning behind their actions and there are plot holes in most of the film.

Review by George Cotronis

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Flames

Scion: Ragnarök Now Available!

Posted on January 27, 2009 by

The End Is Nigh! Fimbulwinter has come. The wolf Fenrir runs free, and the serpent Jörmungandr has loosed Midgard from his coils. The twilight of the Gods has begun, and only the Scions of the Aesir can salvage some good from the conflagration to come. Will your character survive the final battle of order versus […]

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Flames

Contagious Fiction Review

Posted on January 26, 2009 by

Let’s get one thing out of the way first: Scott Sigler’s book entitled Infected was my favorite read in 2008. Written as the first book in this series, Infected‘s sci-fi/horror mood was set by a few inventive elements. Infected explored the now infamous blue triangles (and their hatching) with the claustrophobic devolution of Perry Dawsey’s (the main character’s) mental state. The book was an absolutely thrilling work, and left me quite excited for Contagious, the next story in Sigler’s current trilogy. The third book entitled Pandemic is the last work in this trilogy.

Review by William Aicher.

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Monica Valentinelli

Neil Gaiman on Coraline the Movie

Posted on January 24, 2009 by

We have a special treat for all you Neil Gaiman fans out there! From comic books to best-selling novels, Gaiman has wowed fans with his mythical tales and endless imagination. Now for the first time on the big screen, the animated film Coraline is set to debut in just a few weeks. Fans of The Nightmare Before Christmas will want to go see this film; Coraline has the same talented director, Henry Selick.

What is Coraline about? The film is based on a novella first published in 2002 entitled Coraline, about a young girl who avoids a warning and goes through that fateful door. Once inside, Coraline faces a world similar to her own with marked differences: her mother is no longer recognizable, the cat can talk, and the doddering old ladies Miss Spink and Miss Forcible are more than they appear. Winding through other twists and turns, you’ll watch as Coraline attempts to emerge victorious, rescuing more than just herself.

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Matt-M-McElroy

Magic: the Gathering Conflux Preview

Posted on January 23, 2009 by

A powerful and infinitely sinister force is conspiring to reunite the Shards of Alara. This reunification will come with a deadly price – sheer chaos, as realities begin to overlap. Thus begins the Conflux.

Wizards of the Coast is releasing a new expansion to their popular Magic: the Gathering game. In addition to Puzzles, Launch Parties and other events, the company has handed out a few preview cards to show off.

Here at Flames Rising we are happy to reveal this new card:

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Flames

Precis Intermedia has released genreDiversion 3E!

Posted on January 23, 2009 by

It’s a genreDiversion book like no other. New innovations set this apart from previous genreDiversion games. This new universal manual is a toolkit for your own adventures, featuring easy to learn, fast-playing rules with a number of options like exploits, scaling, and integrated support for miniatures. More versatile, more dynamic, more heroic, and more exciting… The genreDiversion 3E Manual provides rules for magic, monsters, and vehicles; plus Unbidden & Forsaken, a ready-to-use modern-horror setting is included. This is the must-have book of the year!

The genreDiversion 3E Manual is available at the Flames Rising RPGNow Shop.

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Matt-M-McElroy

The “Death” of indie comics?

Posted on January 22, 2009 by

Steve Bennett posted in his Confessions of a Comic Book Guy column It Was Fun While It Lasted and then Michael Churchill of Pulp Nouveau Comix responded with Stop with the Doom and Gloom. Basically Diamond has raised its minimum order level quite a bit and many of the small press/indie comics don’t sell enough […]

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Flames

Spearfinger – A New Hunter: the Vigil Adventure

Posted on January 21, 2009 by

The old woman totters off to enjoy her breakfast, as tiny drops of bile patter on the street behind her.

People are turning up dead with their organs missing, but there’s no evidence of scars or surgery. The deaths are clearly unusual and perhaps even supernatural, and when one victim dies right in front of the hunters, their involvement becomes crucial. While the hunters may at first believe they are simply tracking down a monster, their investigations soon reveal a pattern to the killings, which implies some guiding intellect behind the travesties.

A story in the Storytelling Adventure System for Hunter: The Vigil.

Spearfinger is available now at the Flames Rising RPGNow Shop.

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API Worldwide: Canada – Coming Feb. 2009

Posted on January 21, 2009 by

Canada CoverFace the Dangers that Lie Beneath

Regardless of what you may think… Canada is neither boring nor safe. There are untold dangers around every corner, and few of our kind to fight. We will strike back with determination and wit. We will be triumphant… because there is no other choice.

…And Stay Ready for Anything

API Worldwide: Canada is the first regional sourcebook for Apocalypse Prevention, Inc. It is a complete guide to playing in or running adventures set in the Canadian region. Details on the dreaded entity known as the Thing Under the Ice and the plans of the Circle of Ten’s Great Strategist, along with new races, magic, creatures, and equipment await within.

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Matt-M-McElroy

Wolves at the Table

Posted on January 20, 2009 by

White Wolf Publishing is well known for their Horror and Dark Fantasy RPGs. From the World of Darkness to games like Exalted: Abyssals, White Wolf creates great tabletop RPGs that define and shape gaming. In addition to their core game lines, White Wolf Alternative Publishing products include a wide selection of horror board games that range from World of Darkness games to fun board games for kids.

Flames Rising has been fortunate to receive support from White Wolf over the years; they’ve provided us with review copies, contest prizes and give-a-ways. When we mentioned we wanted to check out their recent selection of board games, Kelley Barnes-Herrmann (White Wolf Marketing Director and all-around awesome individual) agreed and sent us a box of games to dig into. The box arrived a day or two ago and we’ve only had the chance to crack them open a bit. So, what follows are our initial impressions after messing around with the contents and skimming the rules. More complete reviews will be on the way after we’ve had the chance to play the games.

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Flames

Skinwalker (Savage Worlds) Review

Posted on January 20, 2009 by

12 to Midnight’s Skinwalker (TWL-0021) is a modern horror campaign using the fictitious town of Pinebox, Texas as its setting. I reviewed the “Savaged” version of the rules, but a D20 version of the same campaign exists. The PDF, which is sixty-plus pages, comes in a regular and printer-friendly format (I suppose that makes it 120-plus pages). As with most of 12 to Midnight’s products, the attention to detail is the first aspect that pulls in the reader. They love their haunted town so much that fans can visit their website (www.12tomidnight.com) and print out their own map of the city. This attention to detail is why the scenario never puts in the “you can adjust this campaign to fit your own setting” speech. They went ahead a built the town you would need to create for the campaign.

Review by Todd Cash

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Flames

Poisoncraft 4E: The Syrallax Available Now!

Posted on January 19, 2009 by

The syrallax rivals the dark elf and aboleth for domination of the subterranean realm. While syrallaces lack the sheer numbers of other races, they make up for it with the impressive stable of minions and thralls they keep and their ability to maximize those forces through superior strategy. Through intimidation and their poisonous gaze, they force others to serve them out of fear.

In this first set of poison pages from One Bad Egg’s Poisoncraft Fourth Edition line, you’ll find a set of monsters bound to make your upper paragon-tier players quake as they reach for the anti-venom.

Poisoncraft 4E: The Syrallax is available at the Flames Rising RPGNow Shop.

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Flames

Wizard’s First Rule Review

Posted on January 19, 2009 by

It is a story of Richard Cypher, a woodsman in a village of the Westland. To him magic was a myth or a legend and he never thought of it more than an afterthought. Then he stumbled across a woman dressed in white named Kahlan and everything in his world changed instantly. He finds out he is the Seeker of legend and he must cross the boundry to fight the evil Darken Rahl.

The good and bad thing about fantasy is that there is a very true formula for how the story is written. It is good because when someone that can truly write gets a hold of it, it can be a magical thing indeed. It is bad because of how predictiable the story can be sometimes. This book had both the good and bad of that equation.

Review by Stacey Chancellor

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Flames

Magic: The Gathering – Duels of the Planeswalkers Beta Released

Posted on January 18, 2009 by

Wizards of the Coast has released the Beta version of Duels of the Planeswalkers, an arcade-style video game for Xbox LIVE Arcade developed in conjunction with UK company Stainless Games. The game is rated T for Teen and is scheduled for spring release for the Xbox 360.

Duels of the Planeswalkers takes players on a journey through a Multiverse in which they take on the roles of Planeswalkers, powerful wizards who battle others for glory, knowledge and conquest. Throughout their journey, Planeswalkers battle with, or against each other in lush interactive 3D environments. Similar to the Magic: The Gathering trading card game, Planeswalkers are equipped with an arsenal of spells and creatures that if used wisely will help advance the Planeswalker through the game.

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Flames

Love Horror? Join Flames Rising on Twitter and Facebook!

Posted on January 16, 2009 by

As we continue to break into new shadowy depths for 2009, Flames Rising needs your help. For over five years we’ve poured through books, games and a few films to talk about horror. This year, we want to continue that effort, but also want to reach out to all the fans that have made Flames Rising possible. Our goal is to build a supportive community of minions and hellions that share in our passion for the things that lurk in the dark. We’ll share with you articles, posts and trailers beyond what we have here on Flames Rising. From contests to breaking horror trailers, join us on Twitter and Facebook and stay on top of your favorite genre.

Join @flamesrising on Twitter. Get breaking news, interesting links and a chance to win free stuff!

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TezMillerOz

Eve of Darkness Review

Posted on January 16, 2009 by

I’m not entirely sure why Eve was Marked. Since sinners are drafted to kill demons, her sin must be…rooting Reed in the stairwell after they just met, and maybe didn’t know each other’s names. I’m not quite clear on that, or maybe because she “tempted” both brothers. I must have forgotten this detail, or it wasn’t explained well enough, which is a problem when your protagonist is a “chosen one” – readers want to know why.

The series concept seems so obvious in hindsight, it’s actually a surprise that no one thought to do it before. The author’s angels and demons are well-crafted and original, as is the world-building. But then when witches and werewolves come into the picture…it seems a bit kitchen sink.

Review by Tez Miller

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Matt-M-McElroy

Dresden Files Audio Promotion!

Posted on January 14, 2009 by

We have a special deal for our readers today!

Buzzy Multimedia is offering 10% off any purchase to Flames Rising fans for a limited time. Drop by the Buzzy website to check out some very cool deals on Dresden Files audio books read by James Marsters (Spike from Buffy: the Vampire Slayer).

Get 10% off any purchase at the Buzzy Multimedia Store until February 28th. Simply type “FR10” in the coupon code section during your checkout to get the deal.

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11 Tales of Ghostly Horror

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    Reviews Wanted!

    The new Review Guidelines have been posted on the Flames Rising website. We are currently seeking a few good reviewers to help us expand our collection of horror and dark fantasy reviews. RPGs, fiction, movies, video games and more are all welcome on the site...

    What do you get out of it?

    Beyond helping out fellow Flames Rising readers by letting them know what you think of these products, we're giving away some pretty cool stuff. Regular Reviewers can earn free products to review, which is their to keep after the review is submitted to the site.

    Note: We are especially looking for folks interested in reviewing eBooks (both Fiction & Comics). We have lots of great titles in digital format and even get advance copies sometimes.

    Use the Contact Page to submit reviews or let us know if you have any questions.