Archive | September, 2010

alanajoli

Magdalena #1 Comic Review

Posted on September 9, 2010 by

In theory, Magdalena #1 starts a new series, but the story of Patience, the current heir to the Spear of Destiny and the bloodline of Christ, began in the Darkness series. We start here with Patience already split off from the church — in the first pages, it’s clear that the people who were once her benefactors (and bosses) are now very, very close to being her enemies. This is, of course, problematic, as the world is about to end: Satan’s son is on earth, and only the Magdalena can stop him.

The writing here is tight, and the art is good, if a bit in the standard-comic-book-style. The biggest problem with Magdalena #1 is the feel: cross Buffy the Vampire Slayer with The Da Vinci Code, and this is pretty much what you might expect. The Magdalena is effectively a demon slayer from the bloodline of Christ.

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Dear Cthulhu, Have a Dark Day Review

Posted on September 8, 2010 by

Dear Cthulhu, Have a Dark Day: The Collected Columns, Volume One by Patrick Thomas is a collection of humorous advice. Taking on the persona of the Elder God, each piece of guidance is based on the concept that Cthulhu is actually very conservative. He abhors those that like to break rules. He discourages cold-blooded killing, because killing is “a right which should be Cthulhu’s alone” or at least saved for official sacrifices.

There are a lot of funny letters contained in the volume. For instance, a young woman writes in to ask for advice regarding peer pressure to give up her virginity. Cthulhu’s response? She should keep her virginity, because “it is better to be a leader of men than a follower.”

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Flames

Interview with Composer James Semple

Posted on September 7, 2010 by

Flames Rising is pleased to present an interview with James Semple, a composer and musician who hails from the UK. Semple’s work includes compositions for Pelgrane Press, a storytelling games publisher whose award-winning titles include TRAIL OF CTHULHU and MUTANT CITY BLUES. In this round of questions, we ask Semple to confirm the rumor that he recently was named as composer for the upcoming HOUSE OF HELL movie and more!

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Robert A. Howard

The Slaying Stone (D&D 4e Adventure) Review

Posted on September 7, 2010 by

The module itself is 32 pages long, printed in full color on what feels like good quality paper. There are a total of thirteen encounters presented in the nice one to two page format that has become customary in 4th Edition Dungeons & Dragons supplements. Also included is an eight page foldout battle-mat of the town with a crumbling old mansion on the reverse side. There is very little in the way of artwork beyond the cover art and the encounter maps, unfortunately, and there are no handouts or props aside from the battle-mat. Although, I must say as someone who is incredibly horrible at drawing on a battle grid, I really appreciate having one included with the adventure.

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Johannes Cabal the Detective Review

Posted on September 6, 2010 by

Ah yes, here we go. So when I was at Wizard World Chicago, see previous blog article on said adventure, prior to going into the actual convention I met up with Matt, our very fair minded and –not to be a kiss up, but really, in to in fact be a kiss up-wonderful editor handed me a box, which he so apply and verbally labeled as a “Christmas Present.” I asked as we stood in the lobby of the hotel, whether or not “Johannes Cabal the Detective,” was in the box or not? To which, of course there was the obvious reply, yes. But the man wears sunglasses to obfuscate his eyes, which I believe hide his own supernatural abilities. Point being, I am scared of him, so I didn’t press the subject.

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alanajoli

Witchblade 135-136 Comic Review

Posted on September 3, 2010 by

When we last left off (back in March, embarrassingly enough), Sara Pezzini — aka, the bearer of the re-united witchblade — was facing off against cyborg assassin Aphrodite IV, who has previously tried to kill her. Twice. But being surrounded by enemy robots does a lot to make you rethink your position on being enemies, so as Witchblade 135 opens, the two team up. It’s clear that something is not right here at robots ‘r us — I mean, assassin robots should clue a person in on laws being broken — but while Aphrodite’s mission is about killing the traitor to her programmers, Sara’s determined to bring the law down hard instead. Surprisingly, the cyborg assassin agrees. But, of course, it’s not that easy — there are more robots to face, and, in the final panel, a whole lot more sexy cyborgs than anyone knew existed.

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Flames

Zombie Pirates (Collector’s Edition) Available Now!

Posted on September 2, 2010 by

Once upon a time on the Shimmering Seas…

…a terrible figure called Gruesome George rose from the depths. In his wake arose untold legions of ravenous zombies, and other strange creatures. But who or what is Gruesome George scouring the oceans for? Who is the Red Widow? Join Smilin’ Jack O’Hurlihan, Esmeralda, and Dr. Theopolis as they attempt to solve this mystery and defeat the Zombie Pirates!

Zombie Pirates is a unique adventure-strategy game in which players sail the Shimmering Seas battling ravenous hordes. Along the way, they gather treasures, unlock new ships and characters, and build fleets to defeat wave after wave of relentless enemies.

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Compacts and Conspiracies (Hunter) Review

Posted on September 2, 2010 by

A good PDF should be more than just a scanned version of a book. Okay, so many of them are laced with hyperlinks and bookmarks, which are great. Some PDF releases really explore the potential behind pure digital media.

When the second edition of Vampire: the Masquerade came out, I didn’t care about the Tremere at all. They were, to me, an excuse to make sure yet another RPG had a wizard hidden within it.

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Monica Valentinelli

Inside ACD Games Day

Posted on September 1, 2010 by

ACD Games Day is an annual tradeshow put on by hobby games distributor ACD Distribution LLC that connects retailers with the top publishers. This year’s show was bigger than last year and offered exhibitors and attendees to explore a brand new location in Downtown Madison.

Industry veteran Boyan Radakovich, who is ACD’s new Marketing Manager, had this to say about his first ACD Games Day.

“I wanted to make sure that ACD Games Day had the feeling of a marquee tradeshow. We moved to the beautiful Monona Terrace Convention Center and Hilton Madison for our event programming. We also increased the number of seminars to sixteen total, including key manufacturer seminars like the Wizards of the Coast track, the Mayfair Demo-2-Demo program, and many others.”

Having attended a show the previous year, I could definitely tell the difference between this year’s and last year’s show. This venue was bigger and well laid out. There were demo tables set up with games throughout the hall and there was a lot of attention to detail — included projected exhibitor and sponsor logos above the exhibition hall.

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teampreston

Sword of Justice Fiction Review

Posted on September 1, 2010 by

Sword of Justice is the opener for the Warhammer Heroes series of novels featuring the Emperor’s Champion Ludwig Schwarzhelm. The novel starts out with a bang and really never lets up. Short of spoiling the novel I’ll say that like many stories set in the Warhammer universe, the opening scene revolves around a battle. This is handled in a very deft manner showcasing some pretty ordinary, grunt-level characters that grow in to something more as well as some characters that we know little about, but grow to really admire as the story goes on.

One thing I have to point out is the superb manner in which the author describes the characters, the scenes and how the characters are …human. One thing that I feel sets a good novel apart from a great one is having characters that are fallible, that make mistakes; especially when we see them coming and even when we don’t. I loathe Mary Sue characters, Golden Child characters, “the Chosen One” who really is a superhero in all but the cape…usually. Putting it mildly, the characters in this novel are all flawed in one way or another.

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