Archive | Reviews

Conspiracy X 2.0 RPG Review

Posted on October 19, 2012 by

The 90’s were a dark time in fiction. Conspiracies abounded everywhere. The end of the world was near. Genre television was abuzz with Buffy the Vampire Slayer, The X-Files and dozens of shows of a similar nature. RPGs went through their own dark period as well thanks to the World of Darkness. Many games set their PCs as regular people who stumble into a world where the supernatural was real and tabloid headlines were prophets. But only one put the unmarked helicopters in their control. Conspiracy X offered a world where aliens have sinister plans for humanity. The most recent edition recently held a Kickstarter to continue the line.

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Monica Valentinelli

Citadels Of The Lost Review

Posted on October 12, 2012 by

Citadels of the Lost is Book Two in The Annals of Drakis series by Tracy Hickman. A veteran author, Hickman explores a new fantasy world where the opposites of magic provide power (and a lack thereof) to varying races; humans, elves, dragons, dwarves, goblins, chimerians, manticores, etc. The elves rule the dreaded Rhonas Empire with an iron fist — and slavery by use of their magical source dubbed the “Aether.”

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Hotel Transylvania Movie Review

Posted on October 11, 2012 by

Hotel Transylvania is a computer animated comedy produced by Sony Pictures Animation and Columbia Pictures. Dracula (Adam Sandler) built the hotel as a safe haven for monsters looking to get away from the dangers of the human world. He has invited all of his friends to the hotel to help him celebrate his daughter Mavis’ (Selena Gomez) 118th birthday which also happens to be the day he must fulfill a promise to her. On her 118th birthday she can finally leave the hotel to explore the world outside on her own. Of course, Drac has a plan to ensure she will come to fear humans and will stay in the safety of the hotel forever.

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Megan

Curse of the Sickled Hand (Pathfinder RPG) Review

Posted on October 10, 2012 by


Do not be deluded by terms like ‘basic’ and ‘introductory’… this adventure promises full-bore excitement, well-resourced and smooth to run, no matter whether players or GM are novices or experienced. It takes place in a wilderness area near to a rural village called Gafolweed, which can be placed anywhere suitable in your campaign world; those who have played the adventure Fangs from the Past may recognise some NPCs and locations, but it is not necessary to have done so to get full enjoyment from this scenario.

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Primeval RPG Review

Posted on October 9, 2012 by

Primeval is a new licensed setting from Cubicle 7 Entertainment that uses the same engine as their Doctor Who line of games. For those unclear about the television show, it centers around a group of people who investigate anomalies, which are rips that permit treacherous travel between points in time. The primary focus for the setting are anomalies that stretch back to prehistoric times, as they are the most common. The rips actually can go to anywhen though, opening up quite a bit of sandbox for a game, which is really what this review is about.

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We Are the Night Movie Review

Posted on October 8, 2012 by

We Are the Night is a German horror film about a young woman named Lena (Karoline Herfurth) living a lonely life of petty-crime on the streets of Berlin. Lena draws the attention of police detective Tom (Max Riemelt) while picking the pocket of a pimp that local law enforcement was keeping an eye on. Not surprisingly the pair finds themselves attracted to each other. When Lena sneaks into a rave she is spotted by Louise (Nina Hoss), the leader of a pack of female vampires, who immediately falls in love with Lena because she reminds the 250-year old vampire of her own creator (who died 150 years before).

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Monica Valentinelli

Dredd Movie Review

Posted on October 5, 2012 by

To properly review Dredd, I should share with you a couple of important niggly bits. First, we saw Dredd in the old-fashioned version, the two-dimensional format. Second, I haven’t read all the comic books so I’m not as well learned as others might be. Yes, yes I know. This is awful of me, to be sure, but he’s on my pile of “have to read soon.”

Going into the theater, I had heard the reviews. Flat characters. Boring storyline. Not much better than the original. Then, I skimmed comments and anecdotes from people I consider to be professionals. “Don’t listen to the critics,” they said. “Go see it. It’s what a comic book movie should be.”

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Monica Valentinelli

Hack/Slash Issue #18 Review

Posted on October 3, 2012 by

The Case of the Killer and the Questing KingHack/Slash Issue #18 dives into a character we haven’t seen very often — Cat Curio. The stand-alone story, dubbed “The Case of the Killer and the Questing King,” was written by James Lowder. This issue marks his writing debut for the series he typically edits.

Who is Cat Curio? Cat was first introduced as a little girl in Hack/Slash: The Series #23. After surviving her slasher encounter with Samhain, she was in a coma for many years, and is now an adult. That time lost means that she errs on the side of naivete and has some amount of emotional immaturity. This story and the alternate cover, which where done by Matt Merhoff, highlight her Nancy Drew-like tendencies when she falls into an oh-so-easy manipulative trap set by her “hero,” a super spy (and merchant) named Brendon Mannix Joyce.

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Lenore: Swirlies Review

Posted on September 28, 2012 by

“Everyone’s favorite cute little dead girl is showcased in all her morbid glory in this all-new collection of the timeless comic strip from Roman Dirge! Return once against to the dark, surreal world of Lenore, the girl with a knack for unintentional mayhem and occasional wanton destruction in this fourth volume that includes the extremely rare #13, beautifully and painstakingly illustrated by creator Roman Dirge himself.”

They say that good things come to those who wait, so you better believe that this book is pretty damn good when it takes 5 years to come out. Collecting the rare #13 of Lenore Vol. 1 and issues #1 – #3 of Vol. 2, this book is a perfect starting point for someone who is new to Lenore.

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Blood Sorcery Review

Posted on September 27, 2012 by

Blood Sorcery lures us back to the beginning of Vampire the Requiem and takes a long look at one of the most interesting aspects of the game. While blood sorcery has always been “good” it was probably not as well developed as it could have been in hindsight. The Storytelling system has matured and now Requiem is benefiting from years of experience with a revamp of blood sorcery, an alternative approach to the system and a plethora of interesting additions to your chronicles. Coming in at just under 70 pages of content this is one of the best new books available to fans of Vampire the Requiem.

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Riven Graphic Novel Review

Posted on September 26, 2012 by

“Katya has been in a coma for five years, and when she awakes, everything has changed. Now she is a gorgeous teenager with a mysterious, gruesome past, becoming aware of a growing, terrifying power inside her body, triggered by the touch of the full moon, eager to break free . . . Can Katy solve the mystery of her blood-drenched nightmares before they become reality?”

Okay, seriously, WOW! When I read the solicit on this book, I knew to expect something good, but I didn’t know it was going to be this good. This book has the words “Turn me into a movie” written all over it.

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ParaNorman Movie Review

Posted on September 25, 2012 by

ParaNorman is a horribly delightful stop-motion animated film about a young boy who has the ability to see and communicate with ghosts. Growing up is already is a rough process and much like Cole Sear from The Sixth Sense Norman’s abilities do not make life any easier. Unlike Cole, Norman has been more open about what he sees which makes him the target of fear and ridicule in the small town of Blithe Hollow. Norman does not know it but he is not the first resident of this witch-obsessed town to have his gifts and he has a very important role to fill.

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Never Unprepared: The Complete Game Master’s Guide to Session Prep Review

Posted on September 20, 2012 by

Every gamer loves game night. We all gather around the game table with snacks and our beverage of choice ready to roll some dice and tell a story together. There is something magical about the tale that unfolds from a collaborative storytelling experience (also known as playing a roleplaying game) and the game master is the lynch pin to that process. It seems so effortless on the player’s side of the game screen but good game preparations are necessary to create that effect at the game table.

Game prep is not an intuitive process for most of us and there are very few resources out there for game masters wishing to learn it. Fortunately Phil Vecchione has come to our rescue with Never Unprepared: The Complete Game Master’s Guide to Session Prep his newest book published by Engine Publishing.

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Deadworld: War of the Dead Review

Posted on September 18, 2012 by

Holy $*!+! That about sums up what just happened at the end of this GORE-Geous and ARGH-Mazing book. Collecting the mini series, that was showcased during Deadworld Month in August from IDW, this book captures the same spirit as what came before, and leads readers into the future of this Dead’verse.

The artwork by Makkonen is beautiful. I said it when I read Slaughterhouse, and I will say it again, Sami’s style is so perfect for this series. His character designs have a very creepy edge to them, placed into his dark backgrounds and my eyes just melt with joy.

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Encounters ~ Plots ~ Places Review

Posted on September 17, 2012 by

Encounters ~ Plots ~ Places: Creatures, NPCs, Items, Places and Adventure Hooks for any fantasy system is not only an impressively long title it is also the creation of writer Benjamin Gerber, egg-lobbing world traveler, lover of zombies and game writer. Throw in some bits about IT, sock puppets and cats on fire and you have a writer’s bio that makes me grin from ear to ear.

EPP (for short) is a system independent sourcebook of inspirational material for game masters running fantasy roleplaying games.

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Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse Book 2: The Chosen Review

Posted on September 14, 2012 by

The Horsemen are back, and you better be strapped in for what is about to go down. Book 2 is a balls to the wall non-stop thrill ride that is going to punch you in the face and not look back. Following the events of the first book, Helldiver, The Chosen shows the rest of the formation of the group that will save Earth from its impending doom. You would think that the visuals could not get any better than they were before, but they did. Each page is alive with such vibrant color. The art by Bisley is so GORE-Geous. His character designs are flat-out jaw dropping, and the amount of detail in each panel is stunning. There is no way in Hell (pun intended) that this book could look any better. His designs for the Horsemen alone, left a craving in this decapitated head for posters, t-shirts and so much more.

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Trail of Cthulhu: The Book of the Smoke Review

Posted on September 7, 2012 by

The Book of the Smoke is an oddity. The intentional use would be as an in-game prop for any setting where an occult London would be researched; however, it is best suited for Trail of Cthulhu, particularly the Bookhounds of London (a great read, by the way).

My initial impression of the book was lackluster. The cover is not eye-catching and doesn’t look right for a book from the intended era. The artwork, maps, and photography inside do seem to belong with such a tome though. The layout (single column) strikes the look of a journal. While the end result is fitting, it still proves dull upon examination.

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Monica Valentinelli

A Discovery of Witches Review

Posted on September 6, 2012 by

A Discovery of Witches is the first book in the All Souls Trilogy and was written by Deborah Harkness. The premise is centered upon Diana Bishop, a historian with a secret past, who stumbles upon an ancient text that is *also* a palimpset. After her accidental discovery of Ashmole 782, Diana’s life begins to change — and not necessarily for the better.

What drew me to this story was the promise of mysteries and ancient texts. I immediately identified with Diana and her more rational side and, as the book’s secrets took a strange turn, felt even more drawn into the story.

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Horror in the West Comic Review

Posted on September 5, 2012 by

Well now we got ourselves a bit of a situation here pardner. You see ol’ Decap he is not to big on Western Comics, but he does love his Horror Comics, so what on Earth could he even like about Horror in the West? How about everything! This is one great looking, great reading, hootenanny of a good time! The artwork in this entire collection is GORE-Geous. I will admit that they set the bar high starting with sam Agro’s style, but no story in this ever let me down. Personally I prefered the art styles of Agro, Brian Evinou, Chris McFann and Dan Simon the most, but again they were all great.

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Hell on Earth: Reloaded Review

Posted on September 4, 2012 by

I have to make a confession: I’m not overly familiar with the original Hell on Earth setting. A friend who had both it and Deadlands offered our gaming group at the time the promise of a storyline that would stretch from characters in Deadlands all the way to the far flung future of Hell on Earth. We never made it to the second-tier of his story; other games came a’knockin’. That said, I had a faint overview of the setting, strong familiarity with the system, and powerful motivation for the revised material.

Hell on Earth (HoE from now on) is a large (209 pages) full-color bear with tons o’ teeth.

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