Editorial Later we added a couple gaming articles, but this editorial would not be nearly as funny had they been included at the beginning. Afterward we added a Magic Xbox review as well as an interesting article by Mark Manning that I will let you discover.
Eye of the Vortex President So I sit down at my desk this month to collect the submitted articles and see what the fellas have written, and figure out the editing schedule... Let’s see here... Alex has an editorial about playing competitively and... a rebuttal to Nick’s article. What did Nick write about? ... oh Nick is reviewing a movie. Oh, he also has a couple articles here regarding comics (Nick is a new writer on staff by the way.) ... Alright, here is Brian chiming in with... two movie related articles, great. Last but not least here is my editorial about advertising and... oh... something seems missing here... *goes over the articles again...* Umm... isn’t this a gaming magazine? Shouldn’t we have a game related article? *goes back over the articles again...* ....... Welcome to another exciting issue of Eye of the Vortex. The best gaming magazine on the web... with no gaming articles!
On a different note, I want to remind you about the Gamer Classifieds that we started last month. Please don’t think that only big game companies can use it. If you are a one man company and you need some help promoting your game, or if you are looking to drum up attention for your local tournament, or just want to draw some interest in your online store, $10.00 can really help get your name seen by our readers. I am still looking for my first ever letter to the editor. I don’t know if it is a good or bad sign that I have not gotten one yet. Let us know how we are doing. Do you like the magazine, hate our guts and want to fight us, don’t care? Let us know so we can either ignore you or take it to heart. Lastly, you may have noticed the last second addition to the magazine last month, as Jason has added a link to the bottom of each article that will take you to our public forums where you can leave feedback regarding that particular article. Our goal is to make it as easy as possible for you to get involved with us and create interaction between author and reader. So please, do your part of the relationship and let us know what you think. Thanks as always for your support,
Chris Newton President — Eye of the Vortex email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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Editorial A New Look!
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hanks to Jason Ford’s again brilliant work for us we have a cleaner theme. Ford’s Graphical work and Michael_Zeora’s HTML/CSS work has radically altered the site browsing experience.
Eye of the Vortex (EoV) is a publication intended to promote the gaming industry as a whole by bringing into the spotlight gaming products, personalities, concepts, events, etc. The intent of this publication is not to show favoritism towards any individual game or gaming genre, rather to provide fresh material, education, entertainment, and in general, inform the gaming public of new products and where they can find the product. EoV is not a vendor, nor does it claim to sell any product. EoV only provides an entertainment and informational service to its reader-base as well as a promotional service for its affiliates and sponsors.
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Front Cover • Illustration By Aleksi Briclot, Wizards of the Coast — Magic: The Gathering
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e hope you enjoy the new theme!
What Lies Within.. Windows to Horror I, Magus Evaluating the Disturbo 13 Getting Competitive Again Duels of the Planeswalkers Commentary on ‘Up’ Second Opinion: Up July Funny Pages A Rich Man’s Game Locke and Key Review Don’t Be a Douche Bag Advertising and You… The Truth is in the Pill EoV Gamer Classifieds
13 15 16 20 23 29 30 31 32 34 35 37 39
Fantasy Flight Games Announces Space Colonization Game by Renowned Game Designers: Ad Astra, a space colonization game similar to
Settlers of Catan is in the books for being released in August for $59.99. The designers of the game, Bruno Faidutti and Serge Laget have independently developed many European style board games of note, including Shadows Over Camelot, Citadels, and Red November.
White Wolf Releases Mage and Other World of Darkness Updates:
Two new source books for Mage: the Awakening have been released, as well as books for Vampire: the Requiem. These source books increase the amount of playable material in White Wolfâ€™s overarching role playing goth-horror setting, The World of Darkness.
Wizards Releases “Divine Power” Supplement for D&D 4.0: The source
book adds new builds for the cleric, paladin, invoker, and avenger classes, and follows both Arcane Power and Martial Power, which were released earlier this year and late last year. The supplement will give players more options, and will increase a player’s choices in developing a unique character.
Viz Releases Detroit Metal City in the Viz Signature Line: The popular
comedy manga follows the indie pop musician Soichi Negishi, whose second personality, Krauser II, joins Detroit Metal City, the loudest death metal rockers in Japan. The book was released in mid-June, with the second volume due out in September.
TokyoPop Increases Prices, Decreases Book Quality: Manga publishers
have been passing on higher productions costs to customers lately, and TokyoPop is no exception. TokyoPop, however, is the only producer that is increasing prices and reducing product quality. The manga blogging community has recently brought the poor quality of TokyoPop’s newest books to question. TokyoPop responded to complaints by saying they are currently looking at different mills for sourcing paper.
New team to tackle the Fantastic Four: Marvel is handing off one of the
flagship titles, Fantastic Four, to up-and-coming writer Jonathon Hickman (“Pax Romana,” “The Nightly News”) and artist Dale Eaglesham (“H-ER-O,” “Justice Society of America”). Hickman has been called “the next Warren Ellis or Alan Moore” by G4TV’s Blair Butler and in an interview with Marvel, he said he has big plans in store for the book and wants to explore some of the series’ lesser known villains. Their run begins later this year after the conclusion of a year-long stint by Mark Millar and Bryan Hitch, best known for their work on Marvel’s “Ultimates” volumes 1 and 2. Hickman is currently writing “Dark Reign: Fantastic Four” and “Secret Warriors” at Marvel.
President makes big waves in comics: Comics with appearances by Barack
Obama have been the major sellers so far in 2009. The 44th President of the United States debuted in About Comics’ Licensable BearTM Enters the Fray and has been featured in six comics following, including two issues of “The Savage Dragon,” “Youngblood,” and “Amazing Spider-Man” issue 583, which currently goes for around $80 according to Wizard Magazine. Other political figures featured this year include John McCain, Sarah Palin and Stephen Colbert, who ran for president in the Marvel Universe.
Video Game Myths Tackled: Penn & Teller’s
Bullshit! seventh season will be starting back up June 25 on Showtime. One of the episodes that will air early in July is all about video games. For those not familiar with the series, the notorious magician duo pick a topic each episode and point out huge gaping holes in myths and misconceptions surrounding it. The language is fowl and they have penchant for throwing in topless women just for the hell of it, so of course resident writer Brian Ross is a big fan. What exactly they will cover on video games is unknown, but early previews show them going toe to toe with anti-video game activist Jack Thompson over his quote “”Grand Theft Auto is the worst assault on children since polio.” Yes that’s right, he compared GTA to a crippling, fatal disease.
Dante’s Inferno Raises Seven Levels of Cain at E3: Not surprisingly,
Electronic Arts’ upcoming action game Dante’s Inferno has started drawing protests from Christian groups. Surprisingly though its not the content of the game, but rather due to a strange promotion that has drawn the ire of the church. At last month’s E3 conference, EA hired fake protesters to picket their own game and draw up buzz around it. Christian groups are now calling the faux protest offensive and mocking of real Christian protesters. Dante’s Inferno is loosely based on the epic poem Divine Comedy and will follow Dante through the nine circles of Hell in a very graphic and very Rated: Mature adventure that is slated for release early this Holiday season.
Project Natal: Xbox360’s answer to the Wii: In response to the popular
motion system of the Wii, Microsoft will be releasing a new peripheral, codenamed Project Natal to its Xbox360 console. Details are still forthcoming about the “controller-free gaming and entertainment experience,” but the device was previewed at E3 to decent fanfare. Early projections indicate a late 2010 release of the yet to be named and priced device. Early demonstrations showed how it could use facial, voice, and gesture recognition for up to four different people. Beyond that it even showed that at close distances the device had the capability to distinguish individual finger movements giving it potential to be a truly powerful piece of hardware. Stay tuned over the next year for more on this super-powered technology that almost guarantees Microsoft will continue to fully support the Xbox360 for years to come.
Its Van Halen
Van Hagar: Joe Dirt is smiling proud that Sammy
Hagar will not appear in the upcoming Guitar Hero: Van Halen. Van Halen will be the third band (Metallica and Aerosmith are the other two) to get their own Guitar Hero spin-off. Featuring only the current roster of David Lee Roth, Wolfgang Van Halen, Eddie Van Halen, and Alex Van Halen, Activsion has confirmed that ex-members such as Hagar, Michael Anthony, and Gray Cherone will not appear. There has been no word if hit songs from the Hagarera such as “Why Can’t This Be Love?” and “Dreams” will be included yet. Although I’m sure millions of people are secretly hoping David Lee Roth’s version of “I”m Just a Gigalo” gets included.
Herobits Trading Card Game Released With Unconventional Packaging:
The Canadian company Herobits released their Herobits Collectible Card Game on June 21st. The game features 3 decks of cards, each focusing on a unique character within the game, and unlike many trading card games, NO booster packs will be released. Decks will be available to purchase for $12.50, with new decks and characters being released every 3-4 months.
Wizards of the Coast Shock Magic Players With Updated Core Rules in M10: A host of changes are being made with the release of the latest Core
set, M10, including the removal of mana burn, a change up in the way combat works, and major terminology changes amongst various minor changes. Players will be able to test out the new rules at the M10 Prerelease, which happens July 10th, and at Release events on July 17, 2009. The recently released Duels of the Planeswalkers also features the new ruleset.
Upper Deck Announces â€œBring-A-Friendâ€? Promotion For Popular WoW TCG: Players who have friends interested in learning the growing World
of Warcraft-based trading card game can bring them to the next Sneak Preview event to earn booster packs, and a free starter deck for their new player friend. This program initially rolled out for the Fields of Honor expansion, which previewed June 13-14. No word is available to determine if this program will continue with the release of later WoW TCG expansions.
Weis and Hickman Announce “Dragons of the Hourglass Mage”, WoTC Offers Contest: What promises to be the third volume of the Lost
Chronicles, the new DRAGONLANCE novel will be released in August 2009; DRAGONLANCE fans can go to the Wizards D&D website and download a “Ultimate Dragonlance Fan Contest” application and vie for and autographed copy of the new book, as well as admission to GenCon Indy.
‘Kick-Ass:’ A film version of the Marvel/Icon
comic “Kick-Ass” by writer Mark Millar (Civil War, Wanted) and artist John Romita Jr. (Spider-Man) is slated to come to theaters next year. The story follows Dave Lizewski, an ordinary New York teen who decides to become a powerless vigilante on the real world streets of NYC, later dubbed “Kick-Ass” after a video of him beating up a thug on the streets becomes a YouTube hit. The film will star Aaron Johnson (“Angus, Thongs and Perfect Snogging”) as Lizewski/Kick-Ass, Nicholas Cage as the hard-boiled vigilante Big Daddy, Chloe Moretz as his katana wielding daughter Hit Girl and Christopher MintzPlasse (McLovin from “Superbad”) as Kick-Ass’s partner Red Mist. The film is to be directed by Matthew Vaugh (“Layer Cake,” “Stardust”). The premiere date is yet to be released.
Scarlett Johansson joins the “Iron Man 2” cast: “Iron Man 2” director
Jon Favreau twitted earlier this month that actress Scarlett Johansson would be playing the role of Natasha Romanoff/The Black Widow in the new movie. Johansson joins Robert Downey Jr. and Gweneth Paltrow as well as new cast members including Mickey Rourke (“Sin City,” “The Wrestler”) as villain Whiplash, Don Cheadel (who is taking over the role of James Rhodes/War Machine from Terrance Howard) and Oliva Munn (G4TV’s “Attack of the Show”) in an as yet undisclosed character. This will mark Johansson’s third role in a comic book movie after “Ghost World” and “The Spirit.”
Alex Hoffman Movies / TV
Windows to Horror A visual memorial for horror movie boxes
hen I was growing up, we didnâ€™t have the internet to tell us about movies. What is good, what is bad, what we should rent, what we should avoid. There was only word of mouth and an hour or two spent languishing in the local video store hoping you picked a good movie. Beyond word of mouth, all you really had was a cardboard or plastic box telling you what a movie was about to get you to buy it.
some amazing box designs. This is something that has more or less gone the wayside these days as you have IMDB ratings and Netflix telling you what is and isnâ€™t worth watching. The following is a remembrance of days past, a vigil for all those cardboard boxes now yellowed and ratty. A visual memorial for all the images burned forever into your mind. For good measure some new great ones will get thrown in as well.
Because of that it was vital that the box looked awesome and for the description on the back to be kick ass. Because of this, even some god awful movies had
Having read the entire series, including a few of the supplement side books, I found myself very satisfied and thoroughly drawn into this novel. Even though I knew the final outcome of the Dragons of Spring Dawning, I still felt that the story that I was reading was very dramatic and followed the actual plot of the parent novel. On numerous occasions, I found myself thinking… ‘Wait a minute! Raistlin can’t be getting killed by Soth… that would not follow the canon of the series!’ Even though that might have ruined the story normally, it did not, as inevitably, Weis and Hickman would give you a piece of information and an attached story that both filled the gap in this story as well as a gap in the Dragons of Spring Dawning, making that original story even better than it originally was.
I, Magus The Untold Story They bow to me. Raistlin Majere. Master of Past and Present. I, Magus.
f you know anything about Dragonlance, then the title of the book gives away most of the importance of the new Wizards of the Coast book, Dragons of the Hourglass Mage. Raistlin Majere is the Hourglass Mage, the Master of the Past and Present. Given the name due to his cursed hourglass eyes, Raistlin has long been one of the most legendary characters in the Dragonlance Saga. Fans of the Dragonlance Saga will tell you that there is a time gap in Raistlin’s story during the book, Dragons of Spring Dawning, from the time that he uses the Dragon Orb to escape the Blood Sea Maelstrom and the time he reappears in Neraka to assist the Companions and ‘repay old debts’. That gap is no longer a gap; it’s the content of this book. Margret Weis and Tracey Hickman do a masterful job weaving this novel into the time gap of Dragons of Spring Dawning. This book offers an all-star cast of characters of the saga, as pretty much all of the major characters of the storyline at this point in the historical timeline make an appearance. Characters ranging from the Companions, Kitiara, Lord Soth, Emperor Ariakas, to ParSalian, and new faces such as the Nightlord and Iolanthe all present very strong personalities and all have forceful impressions on making Raistlin into the ultimate bad-ass that he inevitably becomes.
Even more so, this story sets the stage for the plot line for the Legends Series, as it builds off of the novel Soul Forge, illustrating the struggle between Raistlin and Fistandantilus. Further, it establishes something that is very important and often overlooked when developing a major character that is all-powerful and indomitable through the story. Raistlin is still human. He has dreams, wants, needs, fears, and - believe it or not – a sense of morals and honor. On numerous occasions, Raistlin finds himself doing things that we do every day; struggling with past regrets and decisions. This story essentially helps bridge the development hole that was present at the conclusion of the Chronicles series. In that series, we met Raistlin as a somewhat weak mage who could not cast a fireball, and at the end of the third book, suddenly Raistlin was teleporting and hurling lightning bolts! Soul Forge installs the beginning of the story, giving us the source of Raistlin’s power in his initial meeting with Fistandantilus and the Legends series shows us the depth of his ambition and the determination that empowers his magical affinity. At long last, we get the story of why Raistlin went from the novice wizard to the awe inspiring, Master of the Tower of High Sorcery in such a short period of time. Be prepared to keep yourself from looking down to the bottom of the page to see the outcome of the current dialog. I ruined at least two scenes doing this…
1. Salo or the 120 Days of Sodom
Brian Ross Movies / TV
Depravity: 11 Disturbing: 11 Netflix: Available Blockbuster: Not Available
Evaluating the Disturbo 13 H
ere are the films that best instill that unsettling sensation in the gut of any caring, feeling, rational human being. Thirteen movies that go beyond frightening—go beyond any form of cinematic entertainment—and are just balls-to-the-wall disturbing. So called cult films that are so unrelentingly perverse they make us regret having watched them. And, ultimately, make us disgusted to be of the same species of animal portrayed in these motion pictures. Author and television host Stanley Wiater is one of the best known celebrators of the dark side of movies and print. In the book, Cut! Horror Writers on Horror Film (1992), Wiater shared a list of the most depraved movies which he called the 'Disturbo 13'. It was, and continues to be, a doozy of a list. Having heard of said list surprisingly late in my life, I was surprised to find that I had seen many of the films on the list. Not too surprisingly, the films I had not seen were often not available at major video rental chains or Netflix. Tapping a friend or two and a local video store I managed to find every film on the list and sunk into the depravity. Admittedly, viewing it was trying and hard. Sometimes because the movie wasn't in my particular taste range, sometimes because the quality was very poor, and yet other times because the film was utterly devoid of any sort of value. With each film I watched, I couldn't help but feel more and more callous towards life, yet still on some level repulsed. I can't say I had trouble sleeping during the two weeks after I watched all thirteen films, but I lost all sexual drive and felt very listless at times. I'm not sure I can recommend watching some of these films, but I can definitely recommend not watching them back to back. Here is my take on the Disturbo 13.
To call this movie deeply disturbing is to call Hell a bad place. The film updates a work by the Marquis de Sade, depicting the fate of eighteen Italian youths whom are held captive by the Nazis. Kept in a palace, they endure endless sexual atrocities, physical abuse, humiliation, and ultimately death. At times I simply couldn't watch, but more so, I was unable to turn away. There is a reason this film has been banned in numerous countries to this very day. If you think you have seen the most depraved or grueling movie of your life and you haven't seen this one, you are probably dead wrong. This is by and large the worst of the list, although in many ways poetic and redeeming in some repugnant way. My Take: Deserves to be on the list. Hell it embodies the list.
2. Men Behind the Sun
Depravity: 10 Disturbing: 11 Netflix: Available Blockbuster: Available
Men Behind the Sun is about Camp 731, a Japanese outpost in the closing days of World War II where the Japanese experiment with biological weapons on Chinese and Soviet prisoners. The story is told from the point of view of several Japanese Youth Corps that have come to assist in running the outpost. What should have been a decidedly anti-war film is devoid of almost any message and merely a base, disgusting film. What weighs further on the mind is that the entire thing is based on a true story. This is even further compacted by the fact that one autopsy shown in the film is real and numerous animals are viciously killed during the film sans special effects as well. While not as shocking or vile as Salo, this film ripped me of any sensitivity leaving me devoid of all human emotion.
My Take: Deserves to be on the list. Although Guinea Pig gives it a run for its money.
3. I Spit on your Grave
Depravity: 8 Disturbing: 6 Netflix: Available Blockbuster: Not Available
of films could have been thrown here instead of this film from Blood Feast to Motel Hell for the same effect. My Take: Does not deserve to be on the list. I would replace it with Aftermath Genesis Special Edition for the utter (arguably pornographic) depravity of Aftermath coupled with the haunting beauty of Genesis.
5. Last House on the Left
The first of the films I had seen before hearing about the list. Having first viewed it with friends while in high school, I found it shocking, but not so much depraved. I Spit on Your Grave is probably the most famous of the rape and revenge genre of grindhouse films. There is not much value to the film and is a pure exploitation film. Jennifer is vacationing at a cottage, writing a book when local boys start to take notice of her lounging by the waterside. One day they abduct and brutally rape her. The nature and length of the gang-rape scene is perhaps what Wiater (and almost everyone) found disturbing about the film. Jennifer survives the ordeal and then sets out to seduce, castrate, and kill her attackers. The plot is weak and to me the the film is just a tasteless retelling of Deliverance with a female lead. There are far more disturbing films out there than this one. My Take: Does not deserve to be on the list. The French film Irréversible goes much further and plunges to even darker depths with the same subject matter. I Spit on your Grave is a grindhouse good time, Irréversible is a soul-sucking punch to the gut.
Depravity: 7 Disturbing: 9 Netflix: Available Blockbuster: Available First and foremost, this has nothing to do with the crappy remake. Last House on the Left is the film that launched Wes Craven as a horror icon and helped scare a generation of women away from immoral behavior. An update of Ingmar Bergman's Jungfrukällan, this is the tale of Mari, who on her 17th birthday goes into the city to see a concert. In search of pot, Mari and a friend are lured and trapped by a group of ruthless escaped criminals. The following twenty-four hours bring multiple rapes, beatings, and eventually the death to the two girls. The real fun begins when the criminals, by chance, end up on the door step of Mari's house and are taken in by her parents—unaware of the fate of their daughter. Gripping, brutal, and one of my favorite horror films of all time. What makes it even more disturbing to me is how goofy the villains appear at times, creating an unsettling feeling of wanting to laugh and scream at the same time. My Take: Deserves to be on the list. Although it hasn't aged as well.
4. Bloodsucking Freaks
Depravity: 6 Disturbing: 4 Netflix: Available Blockbuster: Available Classic, low budget, splatter film that is a remake of the even more classic Herschell Gordon Lewis feature The Wizard of Gore. The whole premise of the film is that Master Sardu puts on Grand Guignol style theater, where the trick is the mutilations and murders he performs on stage are real. This film is nothing but a gore-fest, containing bad effects and pure schlock. Any number
Depravity: 8 Disturbing: 7 Netflix: Available Blockbuster: Available This is one of those horror box images that has stuck with me through my entire life. Never allowed to rent it, the image of a man in jeans holding a knife and head has forever been emblazoned in my brain. When I was old enough I found and rented it on my own and was shocked. This wasn't the standard horror film, but one of the most gruesome things my fifteen year old self had
ever seen. To this day the story of Frank Zito and his mannequins haunt my image of New York after dark. This is one of Tom Savini's early masterpieces and his Disco Boy Headshot is deemed as one of the greatest horror special effects of all time. The gore, the eerie feeling, and the utter lack of reason make this film especially dark. My Take: Deserves to be on the list, but hard to not give recognition to its spiritual brother The New York Ripper.
accurately and vividly captures the mind of a serial killer in his prime. Based on the real life killings of Henry Lee Lucas and his cohort Ottis Toole, it is brutally honest in its style, never forcing itself into any horror convention. There is no rhyme or reason for the killings and no sugar coating or goofy effects; there is just a 16mm film that captures unexplained violence in a very raw and real form. Unlike most of the films on this list, much of the nastiness in Henry is done off screen even further giving credibility to just how disturbing the film is.
7. Cannibal Holocaust
Depravity: 10 Disturbing: 9 Netflix: Available Blockbuster: Not Available Somewhere between splatter and shock lies the cannibal genre, and this film is the mac daddy of all cannibal films. The film begins by showing an explorer setting into the jungle to locate a missing documentary crew. Finding their footage and the tribe they were studying, it becomes apparent that they were killed. The film reveals itself to be a critique of “civilized” society, as the lost footage of the crew shows them perpetrating heinous acts and ultimately spurring their own demise. The film is infamous for its attempt to sell itself as a true story, only to have the film detained and the director arrested on suspicions of killing his actual crew. The investigation eventually revealed that the director did not film a snuff film, but the same can't be said for the animals he filmed. Among the true victims in Cannibal Holocaust were a coatimundi, a snake, a large spider, a turtle, a squirrel monkey, and a pig. The film is violent and its message is loud and clear, mankind is evil. My Take: Deserves to be on the list.
8. Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer
Depravity: 5 Disturbing: 9 Netflix: Available Blockbuster: Available Hands down, one of the best horror movies of all time, Henry is the film that put character actor Michael Rooker on the map. Deeply disturbing, it very
My Take: Deserves to be on the list for the brutal honesty and realistic feel.
9. In a Glass Cage
Depravity: 8 Disturbing: 10 Netflix: Available Blockbuster: Not Available Weighing in at Number 9 (not that I think the list is in any particular order) is a charming film about a doctor and a young boy and the special relationship that bonds them together. Klaus, an ex-Nazi doctor and affirmed pederast, cripples himself in an attempt to end it all; only to be delivered into the arms of Angelo, a young boy that proceeds to change his life forever. The pair learn and grow together, continuing Klaus' life dream to molest, maim, and kill every boy in Spain. Masterfully weaving the delightful topics of torture, pedophilia, and Nazi war crimes, this is a tale you are sure to never forget. My Take: Deserves to be on the list.
Depravity: 11 Disturbing: 10 Netflix: Not Available Blockbuster: Not Available
'Holy fucking shit!' is the only proper response to viewing this movie. Nekromantik is a German-made film about crime scene cleaner Rob and his girlfriend Betty, who have acute cases of necrophilia. The film starts out with Rob stealing a corpse and having a ménage a trois with it and Betty. Rob's life then goes down the crapper as he is fired and Betty absconds with their new lover. The whole film is interlaced with graphic shots of animal killings, murder, and sexual acts—pretty much at the same time. I was disgusted and repulsed by this film and found my libido entirely erased after viewing the film. This is sick shit that even thinking about makes me lose my appetite and my pecker shrink. My Take: Deserves to be on the list, however its sequel Nekromantik 2 is possibly as perverse if not more so in many ways.
11. Ilsa, She Wolf of the SS
Depravity: 8 Disturbing: 4 Netflix: Soon Available Blockbuster: Not Available One of the few true Nazi exploitation films out there featuring Ilsa, a Nazi Stalag comandante. Based on Ilse Koch, she does what Nazi's do best and kills her some Jews. It is depraved, but not so much disturbing at it is pure C-grade schlock and nothing more than a tasteless camp-fest. Some people might take offense to the fact that she is searching for a male lover who will not surrender to her power (or more accurately: ejaculate when she rapes him). Again, nothing really disturbing here, just a slightly over the top exploitation film. Besides, death by snoo-snoo doesn't sound that bad. My take: Does not deserve to be on the list. Lilja 4-Ever deserves to be on this list for its ability to ruin even the brightest of days. Depravity: 9 Disturbing: 7 Netflix: Available Blockbuster: Available
12. Combat Shock
Described as part Eraserhead, part Taxi Driver, Combat Shock is about a Vietnam vet's struggle to deal with normal life in a Troma film. This is not your typical Troma film as you won't find toxic mutated people or ridiculous things like surf Nazis, however all the attitude and gore is there. Pushed to the edge by flashbacks, haunting visions, and his son's birth defects from Agent Orange, Frankie, our “hero”, goes thoroughly insane and hunts and stalks the scum of his neighborhood. The violence and graphic Troma-style gore helps to push the film up a notch, but nothing, and I mean nothing really tops the end scene. My Take: Deserves to be on the list... for the ending alone.
Depravity: 4 Disturbing: 5 Netflix: Available Blockbuster: Available Eraserhead is one of those films that entirely polarizes the audience between elitist and regular viewers. Critics and cineophiles often praise this black and white mood fest as being one of the greatest films ever, citing the disturbing mood and eerie images. Regular folk simply turn it off after about ten minutes of absolutely nothing happening. I tend to fall somewhere in between, knowing full well that David Lynch's technique, imagery and style make it good, but also realizing that besides it being an art film, it is pure dreck. To me, it is more or less the quintessential film school project (even if it wasn't one), having laid a groundwork for thousands of wannabes and spoofs. I barely find this film disturbing, let alone depraved. I was forced to watch it in college, when I tried again recently, I feel asleep. My Take: Does not deserves to be on the list. It is simply mild when compared to anything else on the list. Now Requiem for a Dream, that's a movie that will destroy your will to live for a couple of days.
—verb (used with object), -praved, -prav•ing. 1. to make morally bad or evil; vitiate; corrupt
8, although I was close plenty of times. Soon after, I went to college and left competitive Magic alone. Casual drafts and fun tournaments were the way I was going to play the game from now on.
Alex Hoffman Cards
And here we are, summer of 2009, and I’m writing about playing competitive Magic. Jumping back to the Alara Reborn Pre-release, I found that I was immediately hooked on the power of Cascade and the sheer coolness of the Standard Format. There was a lot of fun to be had in Standard. I hadn’t played serious constructed Magic since 2004, but I wanted to give it another go. But where do you start?
Getting Competitive Again M
agic: the Gathering was my introduction to trading card games, and in my mind, remains one of the most rewarding games I’ve ever played. Starting with the release of Tempest, I watched older players (I was 10 years old at the release of Tempest in 1997) play games at the local comic shops, when I would walk in and silently buy a pack or two with allowance money. These older players were definitely of a different breed. My friends and I had fun with our Pacifisms and Righteousnesses, playing creatures like Craw Wurm and Giant Spider. Their complex games involved icky cards like Stasis, attrition based matches that didn’t seem fun. Over time, we gave up the game in the pursuit of other games (mostly the Pokemon TCG and traditional card games like Euchre). In the fall of 2001, I discovered a zip-locked bag of brown cardboard rectangles in some random closet, and brought them to a friend’s house. We remembered that old game of Magic, made up some rules (none of us had a rulebook or the sense to use the internet to look up the rules) and quickly, we were back buying boosters and tournament decks.
Things were different this time though. Instead of wanting just to play and have a good time, I was interested in other things. Mostly, I was interested in “playing for keeps.” I wanted to be a part of the tournament scene. My first real tournament was Odyssey Block / Onslaught Block T2. I brought a deck full of Shocks, Chain Lightnings, Raging Goblins, and Volcanic Hammers to destroy my opponents with; I lost horribly. Without any powerful cards like Starstorm, I was trying to play a burn deck against Astral Slide and Psychatog. It didn’t work for me. I tried and tried up until the end of high school to be competitive, but I really didn’t have what it took. I was playing against friends who didn’t care about the competitive aspect of the game, and I was only doing moderately well at Pre-releases and other more casual tournaments. I tried to qualify for the Pro Tour multiple times, and never had the juice to get myself into the Top
Players new to the competitive constructed scene of any trading card game can get overwhelmed fairly quickly. If you don’t have a good grasp on the current decks in the format, an idea of what card prices are, or an idea of what you want to play in the format, you’re going to flounder a bit. Initially, to understand what the current format is like, you need to do a lot of reading. To learn about formats like Standard and Extended, sites like www.starcitygames.com and www.channelfireball.com are both great resources for the aspiring competitive player. Most of the writers at these sites are Pro or semi-Pro players, guys that play more than you probably do and have a lot more experience than you. Their advice is good, so read anything you can get your hands on from them. Forums are a great place to get some starting ideas, although, I wouldn’t suggest looking at lists that players post unless they back up their suggestions with results. Many players are looking to change standard decks to something more manageable for their own card pool, and while that’s good for them, it may not be what you need. I suggest looking at decklists from tournaments, especially lists on places like www.magicthegathering.com and www.deckcheck.net, where results of big tournaments are frequently posted. Now, some of you might be saying, “Alex, I want to build my own deck, not copy another deck!” I applaud you for this, because copying a decklist and sideboard from a player who won a GP last week doesn’t necessarily give you the winning list. Practice is what makes perfect here, and to do well you need an understanding of why you chose various cards in your list so you can know their role in your victory and their right use. And, if those decks that you see in Standard are boring to you, or you see a combination of cards that you like, a specific card you want to try out, or you’ve got your own unique 60 + 15 ready to take to town, go get ‘em! But, when you win, try to remember why you won, and when you lose, remember that too. Decklists naturally evolve over time, and if cards in your deck aren’t looking good against whatever it is your opponents are playing at the local FNMs and PTQs. You might need to
pick new sideboard cards, or change the main deck to get a better handle on those more popular decks.
Creatures 4 Anathemancer 4 Bloodbraid Elf 3 Sygg, River Cutthroat 4 Boggart Ram-Gang 4 Putrid Leech
So, that being said, how did I start my journey into Constructed? Well, it started with Bloodbraid Elf, and an ability called Cascade. Many of you have seen the ability already, but for those in the dark, Cascade allows you to play a free spell at the same time you play a card with Cascade. That card has to be a lower mana cost than the spell you play though, so you can’t do really ridiculous things with it, like pay 3 mana for Darksteel Colossus. Cascade is possibly one of the most powerful mechanics printed in recent memory. Free spells have always been powerful, and Cascade hearkens back to mechanics like Storm; in Cascade’s case, it is less powerful and more random, but still an absolute beating because it gains you an additional card and nets you the mana you would have to pay to play that spell. Interestingly enough, creatures and spells with Cascade are very aggressively costed. Bloodbraid Elf, a 3/2 haste creature with Cascade costs only four mana, and its ability to attack immediately means that the card also can get damage in before the opponent realizes what happens. To take advantage of Cascade in my deck, I decided to play the most powerful creatures and spells in Standard that rung in at three mana. Other Pros have been playing this deck, although it isn’t doing as hot versus some more consistent decks like BG Elves, but I know its strength will still be there after the Zendikar rotation, so I’m pretty pleased with my choices thus far. Let’s look at the list:
4-Color Blood Aggro Lands 2 Exotic Orchard 3 Rootbound Crag 4 Savage Lands 2 Fire-Lit Thicket 2 Twilight Mire 2 Dragonskull Summit 4 Mountain 4 Crumbling Necropolis 2 Graven Cairns
Spells 2 Bituminous Blast 1 Jund Charm 3 Maelstrom Pulse 3 Volcanic Fallout 3 Puncture Blast 4 Lightning Bolt
Sideboard SB: 1 Maelstrom Pulse SB: 1 Jund Charm SB: 1 Necrogenesis SB: 2 Snakeform SB: 1 Loxodon Warhammer SB: 1 Pithing Needle SB: 1 Thought Hemorrhage SB: 1 Naturalize SB: 3 Kitchen Finks SB: 3 Blightning This deck is unlike the Pat Chapin 5C Blood deck because, unlike Chapin, I do not necessarily think that Cryptic Command is a must have – it really spreads the mana base, and four colors is sometimes enough to lose you games. I do have to admit though that I’m working on a budget, so I really couldn’t justify the purchase of both Reflecting Pools and Cryptic Commands, since both will rotate out with the release of Zendikar and investing in cards that can only lose value seems like a bad choice. Instead of Commands and a more controling version of the deck, I decided to go for the aggressive route. Anathemancer is a house against many of the current control decks, and burn is a solid choice for players running a budget deck.
I made a big deal about card value in the last paragraph, and I think it’s a thought worth expounding on. As a small-time Magic player, I don’t have all the best decks built and tested. That requires large amounts of money which I simply can’t afford to allot to Magic. Therefore, if you’re going to invest money into Magic cards, make sure that you purchase cards that you think will gain value over time. A perfect example of this is Maelstrom Pulse. It will surely find a place in the upcoming Extended Pro Tour, so its value is unlikely to fall below its current price. Buying into older cards can be bad, especially if they’re going to rotate soon. Reflecting Pool and Cryptic Command might make my deck better, but I won’t run them if I’m going to get screwed on them and lose half of my money when they dip in value at the end of the season.
it fierce enough to survive your two damage removal, like Jund Charm and Volcanic Fallout. Without paying through the nose, this deck bridged the gap from the constructed newbie I was and gave me a deck that I wanted to play. Even better, it’s a deck that I know I can have fun playing, and be successful with. I’ll be doing some tournament reports with this deck on the main site, so come back and check it out from time to time, and talk at me through the Eye of the Vortex forums!
The creatures I’m using are fairly standard, but in metagames where there are few non-basic lands, Anathemancer gets much worse, so I can see exchanging it for Kitchen Finks, Great Sable Stag, or Sedraxis Specter. The lands are modified so that any one of those creatures can be brought into the deck without hurting your base too much. If I could, I would possibly add more Hybrid lands and more Vivids, but the tri-tap lands are all very good - and good for a budget player. I managed to pick them up in various drafts, or borrow them from friends. I decided to run Ram-Gang because my metagame is high in midrange control type decks that really can’t deal with the hasted creatures. Sygg, River Cutthroat is one of the more recent additions to the deck, and while I don’t necessarily consider this an addition of Blue mana, he is playable off of most of the filter lands, which is a nice bonus. Sygg is what makes the deck really tick. His damage based drawing can be easily activated by this deck. Anathemancer is normally at least three damage to the opponent’s head, and a Hasted Bloodbraid Elf can get the extra card quickly and easily. Drawing those extra cards gives you longevity, along with the use of Cascade for card advantage. Its three toughness makes
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Brian Ross Anyone that purchases Duels of the Planeswalkers will receive a code for a free Garruk Wildspeaker card.
Duels of the Planeswalkers
This is a premium alternate artwork card of one of the best planeswalkers in the game. Supplies are limited and its shop value will likely far exceed the cost of the game. At its worst its a $20 value gift for a $10 value game.
Magic hits the Xbox360
big part of Magic’s philosophy over the last year has been bringing Magic to more people and making it easier for them to pick it up. It’s a trend that has brought us an increased web presence, a core-set revamp, and rule simplifications. However, none of this truly brings Magic to the masses. What it really needed to bring people in was a single player experience that was simple, fun, and easy to play. Enter Duels of the Planeswalkers. Designed for the Xbox360 Live Arcade, the game costs a meager 800 Microsoft points (about $10). For that relatively nominal price, you get all the staple arcade stuff, which boils down to a fairly involved single player campaign, a few challenge modes, and a variety of multiplayer modes. Even though I have played since 1998, I found the game extremely easy to pick up and the tutorial very simple to follow. Further making the game-play easy is a well thought out card pool that makes up the mass of the decks you play with and against. By the time you’ve made it through the campaign and challenges on single player, even the greenest of rookies should have a firm grasp of the game. In fact, I’d give this game high marks as a teaching tool, since by default it demands proper play. Further simplifications that really improve the gameplay for newbies include the use of only evergreen key words, simple well themed preconstructed decks, and the inability to muck up those decks with major poor choices. It also does its own land counts automatically based on the cards you have in your deck.
The biggest positive, by far, is the simple to pick up game-play and control, but there are plenty of good things going on as well. One of them is that the game uses a mix of achievements and unlocks to encourage play. The first thing most players will unlock are additional decks through the single-player campaign. Starting with either a mono-Green Garruk deck or a mono-Red Chandra deck you will battle through nine planeswalkers and unlock a total of eight decks. The decks are relatively balanced although Chandra’s and Sarkhan Vol’s need some additional cards to remain competitive. Additional cards are won by actually playing a deck and winning. With each additional win you’ll unlock another card that you can modify your deck with. Unfortunately you can only add cards to decks; you can’t create truly custom decks or remove cards from existing decks.
So what about established players? Well to start off, there’s the little thing to the right:
Teeth of the Predator • Garruk Nissa Revane is the newest planeswalker to the Magic universe. Despite early word that she was created solely for the Duels of the Planeswalkers, Doug Beyer confirmed that she will appear in the upcoming set Zendikar.
While she appears with a Black & Green themed deck, she is stated to be a ruthless nature mage with superior ties to her Elven heritage. It may very well turn out that Nissa is the first tribal based planeswalker.
It may be one of the shorter aspects of the game, but the challenge mode was my favorite thing about the game. There are eight challenges, all highly reminiscent of the old The Duelist challenges that put a nearly impossible situation before you and asked you to figure out how to win before your next turn. The first two challenges are a little easy, but they quickly become more difficult to figure out. There is a feature to download additional content which is usually a good indicator that more challenges, additional campaigns, and more decks may be just around the corner. Typical popular Xbox Live titles will get two to three major additions and a handful of small things over their lifetime. Overall, my biggest disappoint and the reason I can’t give the game astounding reviews is that you can’t make your own truly customized deck. All you can do is add cards to existing decks. For new players however, it is a great learning tool and if you’re an Xbox360 addict a must have game. Since it is a Magic game, lets take a look at the decks that make up it’s world:
4 Civic Wayfinder 4 Grizzly Bears 4 Spined Wurm 2 Craw Wurm 2 Duskdale Wurm
2 Giant Spider 2 Trained Armodon 2 Troll Ascetic 2 Wall of Wood
4 Giant Growth 2 Blanchwood Armor 2 Natural Spring
2 Overrun 2 Rampant Growth
4 Wurm’s Tooth 2 Karplusan Strider 2 Blanchwood Armor 2 Troll Ascetic 1 Elvish Piper
1 Howl of the Night Pack 1 Loxodon Warhammer 1 Molimo, Mar-Sorcerer 1 Roghshod Mentor 1 Verdant Force
A simple Green aggro deck, Garruk’s deck is probably the easiest to play and the best for beginners. It features small creatures that ramp into large ones. Featuring no removal, this deck is all combat tricks and bomb cards. The single unlockable Loxodon Warhammer greatly amps up the decks power. The general playstyle for this deck is to amass Giant Growths and Overruns while maintaining board supremacy. A single full-on alpha attack led by an Overrun is too much for most decks to stop. It may have trouble with all of Elspeth’s fliers and the sheer overwhelming speed and might of Nissa’s Elves and Ajani’s fatties. *Pro Tip: Hold a spare land in your hand to feign the possibility of a Giant Growth in multiplayer matches. Chandra’s deck is the other starting deck and in my opinion not quite as good
Hands of Flame • Chandra
Wings of Light • Elspeth
Creatures 4 Goblin Piker 4 Goblin Sky Raider 4 Hill Giant 4 Lightning Elemental 4 Raging Goblin
2 Earth Elemental 2 Prodigal Pyromancer 1 Flameweave Invoker 1 Goblin King
3 Incinerate 3 Shock
2 Enrage 2 Lava Axe
Creatures 4 Angel of Mercy 4 Suntail Hawk 4 Venerable Monk
Unlockables 4 Dragon’s Claw 2 Cryoclasm 1 Blaze 1 Bloodmark Mentor 1 Cinder Pyromancer 1 Furnace of Rath
4 Youthful Knight 2 Angelic Wall 2 Goldenglow Moth
1 Incinerate 1 Kamahl, Pit Fighter 1 Rage Reflection 1 Seismic Assault 1 Shivian Dragon 1 Shivian Hellkite
as Garruk’s. A fairly staple Red deck it offers some decent removal, but lacks anything to help it in the end game. This is a balls to the wall blitz deck that really doesn’t seem to have the power to carry it through the end game. Unlocking Blaze and an additional Incinerate helps, but ultimately you’ll need Kamahl or one of the Shivian’s to do much at all late game. This deck absolutely has to put pressure on their opponent early by constantly burning down any early threats on top of a relentless attacks. *Pro Tip: Prodigal Pyromancer’s ping can be used at any time you can press X to pause time. So don’t use him right away.
4 Angelic Blessing 4 Pacifism 3 Glorious Anthem
3 Holy Day 3 Holy Strength
4 Angel’s Feather 2 Serra’s Embrace 1 Luminesce 1 Mass Calcify 1 Paladin en-Vec 1 Reya Dawnbringer
1 Serra Angel 1 Skyhunter Skirmisher 1 Soul Warden 1 Spirit of the Hearth 1 Wrath of God 1 Voice of All
Elspeth’s deck is the first deck you can unlock and the one most likely to cause headaches. With constant life gains and tons of evasion, it can be quite hard to learn how to deal with. As long as the deck doesn’t get too many Glorious Anthems or Pacifism’s early on, most decent players should be able to overpower the flying army quite easily, trading damage turn after turn. Angelic Blessing is a powerhouse card, converting cheap creatures into direct damage, while Glorious Anthems can quickly make any creature a major threat. Elspeth’s deck features a ton of power and almost every unlockable card is a welcome addition to an already good deck. *Pro Tip: Goldenglow Moth + Holy Strength makes an extremely good blocker that can net you four life on each block.
Eyes of Shadow • Liliana
Thoughts of the Wind • Jace
Creatures 4 Drudge Skeletons 4 Ravenous Rats 2 Abyssal Specter 2 Dusk Imp
2 Severed Legion 1 Nightmare 1 Sengir Vampire
4 Mind Rot 3 Terror 2 Consume Spirit 2 Megrim
2 Raise Dead 2 The Rack 2 Underworld Dreams 2 Unholy Strength 1 Final Revels
Creatures 4 Cloud Sprite 4 Snapping Drake 4 Wall of Spears
Spells 4 Cancel 2 Bommerang 2 Deluge 2 Negate 2 Remove Soul
Unlockables 4 Demon’s Horn 2 Deathmark 1 Ascendant Evincar 1 Corrupt 1 Crowd of Cinders 1 Dread
2 Air Elemental 2 Phantom Warrior 1 Cloud Elemental
1 Mind Shatter 1 Mortivore 1 Nekrataal 1 Plague Wind 1 Royal Assassin 1 Soot Imp
4 Kraken’s Eye 4 Thieving Magpie 2 Flashfreeze 1 Counterbore 1 Denizen of the Deep
This is one of the decks that Chandra can have a field day with, capitalizing on its slightly slower speed of play and heavy discard theme. Featuring fair amounts of evasion and tons of great spell support, it truly epitomizes everything Black encompasses. Liliana’s deck is the first one that displays true elements of control and will play much better in the hands of an experience player. Timing can be crucial and knowing the proper cast order is vital due to a low creature count. This deck can do a number on Jace’s Blue control deck and Sarkhan Vol and Garruk’s slower aggro decks. Try to save your Corrupts and Consume Spirits for finishing off your opponent.
2 Tidings 2 Unsummon 1 Evacuation 1 Memory Erosion 1 Persuasion 1 Flow of Ideas 1 Mahamoti Djinn 1 Mind Spring 1 Put Away
The only true control deck of the bunch, Jace Beleren offers some staple control cards, topped with some decent fliers. Jace is not recommended for brand new players and should only be attempted after learning the entire game. The main reason is that you need to learn each deck in order to know what cards to counter. With a limited number of control, it is vital to hit key cards that allow decks to go off such as Garruk’s Overrun and Wurms, Nissa’s Elvish Champion and Ajani’s Bull Cerodons. The best augment to Jace’s deck are the Thieving Magpie that can create an unbreakable tempo.
*Pro Tip: Most decks simply can’t block Severed Legion making him extremely valuable despite being a 2/2. If you have an Unholy Strength, try to save it for him.
*Pro Tip: Press X whenever an opponent casts a spell to give the illusion of considering a counter (even when you don’t have one). Of course if you have no mana or no cards in hand, the bluff probably won’t work.
Claws of Vengeance • Ajani Lands 12 Forest 7 Plains
4 Tundra Wolves 3 Grizzly Bears 3 Rip-Clan Crasher 3 Venerable Monk
2 Bull Cerodon 2 Farhaven Elf 2 Woolly Thoctar 1 Knight of the Skyward Eye
Spells 4 Pacifism 4 Rampant Growth 2 Blaze 2 Incinerate
2 Naturalize 1 Sangrite Surge 1 Wild Swing
2 Angel’s Feather 2 Sigil Blessing 1 Brion Stoutarm 1 Bull Cerodan 1 Cho-Manno, Revolutionary 1 Dragon’s Claw 1 Godsire
1 Knight of the Skyward Eye 1 Pariah 1 Sangrite Surge 1 Wolly Thoctar 1 Wrath of God 1 Wurm’s Tooth
The first multicolor deck offers up elements of Chandra’s blitz deck and Garruk’s aggro deck. The two decks meet somewhere in between offering cheap fat creatures across three colors. The biggest issue here is that it is a tri-color deck with very little mana fixing, meaning this deck—more than others, is prone to mana screw. If you get the mana you need, this deck is extremely potent and capable of overpowering every other deck out there. It is an extremely good idea to add Sigil Blessings and another Bull Cerodan to the deck. *Pro Tip: When casting Rampant Growth or Farhaven Elf make sure you grab a land type you don’t have yet. Common sense eh?
Ears of the Elves • Nissa
Scales of Fury • Sarkhan
Lands 16 Forest
Creatures 4 Elvish Warrior 4 Farhaven Elf 3 Elvish Eulogist 2 Elven Riders 2 Elvish Champion
2 Elvish Eulogist 2 Elvish Visionary 2 Gaea’s Herald 2 Moonglove Winnower 1 Lys Alana Huntmaster
4 Wurm’s Tooth 2 Elvish Champion 1 Coat of Arms 1 Eyeblights Ending 1 Imperious Perfect 1 Immaculate Magistrate
4 Civic Wayfinder 4 Furnace Whelp 4 Plague Beetle
3 Sprouting Thrinax 2 Gravedigger
Spells 4 Giant Growth 3 Essence Drain 3 Eyeblight’s Ending
13 Forest 6 Mountain
2 Naturalize 1 Coat of Arms 1 Overrun
1 Jagged Scar Archers 1 Lys Alana Scarblade 1 Nath of the Gilt-Leaf 1 Rhys the Exiled 1 Talara’s Battalion
Nissa’s deck is the only tribal based deck of the bunch and in my opinion, and many others, the strongest deck you can play with. Offering pretty speedy creatures that build on each other, this deck has a tight theme built on a strong tribe. Aside from Tezzeret’s deck, no other deck boasts the tight design of Nissa’s. You could add more Champions and the Perfect, but I’d caution against adding too much more as you dilute the power. Nissa’s deck, when played properly, should have no weaknesses except against Elspeth’s deck when augmented with Wrath of God and Mass Calcify.
4 Dragon Fodder 4 Rampant Growth 3 Blightning 3 Terror
2 Incinerate 2 Naturalize 1 Violent Ultimatum
2 Flameblast Dragon 2 Wurm’s Tooth 1 Blightning 1 Broodmate Dragon 1 Crucible of Fire 1 Demon’s Fire 1 Dragon’s Claw
1 Dragon Roost 1 Fervor 1 Hellkite Overlord 1 Shivian Dragon 1 Threaten 1 Violent Ultimatum
Sarkhan Vol’s deck is my second least favorite of the bunch. Featuring questionable creatures and a ton of control aspects, nothing really comes together. The only way I could make this deck feel palpable was by winning with its sub-par list and unlocking some Dragons to add to the mix. The Dragon unlocks are no joke, including Flameblast, Broodmate and the Hellkite Overlord. This is by-and-large the perfect deck for a Timmy player who wants to win big, and only win big.
*Pro Tip: The more cards you put in your deck, the less likely you are to get a particular card you want. Since you can’t take the deck’s cards out, make sure you only put in cards that will do you a lot of good when you draw them.
*Pro Tip: Timmy refers to any player who has a penchant for big creatures and earth shattering effects. They are the raccoons of Magic.
aspects of the Disney status-quo. “Up” is not about pushing the boundaries of children movies, instead, it seems content to retread the adventure and chase of a typical Disney property. Despite its overarching themes of loss and promise, it reminded me more of “Aladdin” or “The Rescuers Down Under” than it did “Toy Story.” This is perhaps the reason that I didn’t appreciate Carl as much as I did Wall-E, where we weren’t rushed from scene to scene, but allowed a chance throughout to enjoy what was around us - be that a desolate wasteland of garbage or two robots dancing in space with the aid of a fire extinguisher. Although there were some action packed scenes in “Wall-E,” it was more about experiencing the world around us, rather than rushing to get to the end.
Nick Dutro Movies / TV
Commentary on ‘Up’ Why I didn’t love ‘Up’
remember sitting in front of the big screen in 1995, watching as a cowboy looked on in shock as the camera panned up on a white-clad space man. It was one of the most beautiful images I had ever seen in a film. Not five minutes later, the cowboy says the line, “The word I’m searching for: I can’t say, because there are pre-school toys present.” I had never heard dialog like that in a kid’s movie. There was definitely something different about this Pixar company. Fast forward to today, almost 15 years and ten movies after “Toy Story” hit theaters; my view on cinema has greatly changed, and I now go into pictures with a much more critical viewpoint. What hasn’t changed is my love for Pixar. For the last five years, one of their films has always been on top of my “Must See” list for the year. The inherent problem with this is that every time I go and see one of their movies, I immediately think back to the amazing library that Pixar has built and ask myself, “How can they top that?” “Up,” the story of retired balloon salesman Carl Fredricksen who flies to South America so that he can keep a secret he made to his dying wife, follows “Wall-E,” arguably one of the best Pixar films to date. This, I am sad to report, is why I cannot love “Up.” Pixar’s newest film is good, great even, but I felt more attached to a dialog-less film about a robot than I did in a movie where even the dogs had lines. “Wait!” you’re probably asking, “If the movie is so great, what’s wrong with it?” Well, not much. “Up” has some great character development, genuine humor, impressive visuals, and universal themes that really resonate today. It has many of the elements of a great Pixar film, but it also seems to keep many
So, is this a fair review of “Up?” Absolutely not, which is why I cannot really call this a review. In all, “Up” was fantastic, and I highly recommend it – but it lacked the charm that I’ve come to expect from Pixar. Hopefully, I’ll go into the next movie a little more open-minded; ready to accept it for what it is, not what came previous.
exploring themes of purpose, lost and regained, regret, and the search for hope, love, and a reason to continue moving forward. It is this voice that gives the film its great weight, even when compared to a masterpiece like “Wall-E.”
Alex Hoffman Movies / TV
Both movies have their own unique flaws. Where “Up” relies on cliché and aerial-ace resolutions, which break up the progress of Carl and his friends Russell, Dug, and Kevin, “Wall-E’s” message sits on rough ground. The profundity of the movie about a ‘little robot who could’ is marred by the fact that “Wall-E” is a bit hypocritical; Disney, a giant conglomerate media corporation publishes a movie that is critical of giant conglomerates?
Second Opinion: Up The Astro Boy Remake
ike Nick, I remember seeing the original Pixar film, “Toy Story,” in theaters. I found it funny and very unlike the Disney movies of the time. At that time, from the moment Woody calls Buzz, “Mr. Lightbeer,” I knew that Pixar was going to be a name I wouldn’t soon forget. Now, almost 15 years later, after good movie upon good movie, we get to see Pixar’s latest creation, a cute, sometimes serious and sometimes comedy adventure called “Up.” It follows in the same line as “Wall-E,” where cute characters and beautiful digital backgrounds tell stories in layers, each in its own way.
Despite these tiny shortcomings, both “Wall-E” and “Up” are excellent films, equal in both storytelling and heart. In short, “Up” is another ball knocked out of the park by the creative geniuses at Pixar.
Like Nick, I also loved “Up,” but I am much more impressed with the cantankerous Carl Fredrickson and the story of “Up” than he is. While Nick is quick to cast it aside in favor of the equally momentous and beautiful “Wall-E,” I have found a deep respect for the storytelling of “Up,” especially the beginning of the movie, where young Carl and Ellie meet and become friends. The series of vignettes that follows, abandoning dialogue for something more heart-wrenching, are some of the best moments of film that I have ever had the pleasure to watch. Watching Ellie and Carl’s lives as they go up, hope, dream, hurt, and cry together was simultaneously beautiful and emotional for me, and I surely wasn’t the only viewer who had to blink back tears at the opening of the film. Following this amazing display is a story that is rooted in its double meanings, just like “Wall-E.” Where “Wall-E’s” critical eye is turned outward on consumerism, human waste, and lethargy, “Up” is more introspective,
campaign featured a handful of $1.00 USD reprints of DC and Vertigo (DC’s mature imprint) books, including titles such as “Preacher,” “Saga of the Swamp Thing” and “Transmetropolitan.” Almost a month later, the seventh annual Free Comic Book Day (FCBD)—a one day event where stores give away special free books—hit comic shops across the world. This year’s stack included comics including Aliens, Transformers, Green Lantern and the Avengers. Here’s where I commend these companies, many of which released full-length issues by A-class talent. But where is the love now? It’s been two months since FCBD and almost four months since “Watchmen,” and now we, the readers, have been forgotten about. Periodically, Marvel produces free give-away “saga” books which tell the story thus far of a team or character. DC just released the first issue of “The Unwritten” for $1.00 USD. Aside from these, there has been little effort to ease the fan base’s burden. What’s worse is that each company has started to do a major cross over event every 6 months, which forces readers who want to stay up-to-date reading almost everything on the shelf, with new series constantly showing up on the shelves. This has to stop, guys. Here is my plea: stop selling first issues with a full cover price. How about producing them for $1.00 USD, and if we like it, we’ll keep reading. If not, no big deal, at least we bought the first issue.
Nick Dutro Comics / Mangas
July Funny Pages A plea from a struggling fan
he economy isn’t doing very well right now. I realize this isn’t a newsflash, but it is a reality that most of us are facing and having to deal with. One group of people affected by the economic downturn are collectors—regardless of their hobby—who have had to make cut backs. For some of us, that isn’t an easy option. Many of our readers are avid Magic fans, and I imagine that it must be incredibly difficult to decide between essentials and the latest set of cards. My interest lie in comics, usually Marvel. When I was a kid I watched “Spider-Man” and “The X-Men” every Saturday morning, and as I grew older, I would pick up back issues of “Spawn” and “Excalibur” from the dollar bins at my local comic shop. Now I follow four different books each month, depending on whether or not there is a major series out at the time. The cost of a regular issue is between $2.99 (if you get lucky) and as much as $4.99 (I’ve had to stop reading any book with this cover price). I’ve come to terms with this and realize that if I want to stay up to date, I need to purchase my books, but it really makes me question an industry which does not seem to be giving its readers a break. The stinginess of the comic book industry baffles me as of late. In the 1970s comics hit a low for DC because of Marvel’s popularity and they eventually had to hire work based on royalty. Then, in the late 1990s Marvel fell on hard times and was forced to declare bankruptcy, luckily bouncing back in the mid2000s thanks to the success of its motion pictures. For an industry that has had experiences with a poor economy, why continue to release new books every month with a $5.00 USD price tag? It’s time to reconsider the cost of books, guys.
I realize that comics are a business, and it’s becoming even bigger thanks to the movie industry, but many of us are barely hanging on, and I for one cannot afford to keep up with the bills and buy “Fantastic Four” every month unless some changes occur. Take it from one fan—we need a break.
Luckily, there have been some accommodations made in recent months. Following the debut of “Watchmen,” DC started a campaign to keep new readers who may have picked up the graphic novel before/after seeing the movie. The
Mark Manning TableTop
Pocket Civ is based upon the popular Civilization games by Sid Meier. This single-player game was originally designed to be run with the smallest amount of kit: a pad of paper, a pen, a handful of printed cards and you were well on your way to forging your own little empire in this harsh world. Since then, and thanks to the thriving community over at BoardGameGeek.com, the game has been updated an improved upon, even to the point of a full “Premier Edition” of the game being available for download as well as a PC Freeware version.
A Rich Man’s Game An Introduction to PnP Games
ver the past month, I’ve probably been doing what thousands of people across the EU are doing; working hard to ensure that I keep my job during these difficult times. With the recession biting hard on the UK, people have to find ways to cut back on their spending and in my case, that meant no trips to the hobby store, no impulse purchases at my local Game store, and no new PDF rulebook purchases from IndiePressRevolution.com. But did that stop my gaming? Hell No! Instead, it made me seek out other avenues with which to fill my gaming needs and this led me to the world of Print and Play (PnP) games. Essentially put, these are games which are designed to be printed out by the end user and constructed before they are played. Most of them are free, but there are some companies out there which design games in this medium at cost. The world of PnP, and the adjoining subjects of Share-alike licenses, is such a broad field that I don’t really want to try and sum it all up in one article, so you will see more articles in the future on these subjects. For now though, I want to draw your attention to some of the games I’ve found recently which have kept me entertained and give a quick rundown description on each.
I’m usually not one for dice-less systems in board games; I find the lost of random fate that only a dice can give leaves me feeling…“lacking” in someway, but on the strong advice of a close friend, I gritted my teeth and dug into the game. Now I can’t thank/curse this person enough. The game is addictive to those with a strategically-gifted mind and has a good play period—perfect for a long-haul flight or a quiet evening. But moreover, the game lends itself to a style of “stop and come back later,” which is very, very appealing to the gamer whose holding down a nine-to-five. Rating: 8.5/10 • The rulebook could do with a redesign; everything else is golden
In this crazy game of martial arts. The hamsters of the world congregate once a year to take part in the ultimate challenge: Hamster Combat! A Lighthearted card-based combat game, which simply spills charm and camp from every orifice—Hamster Combat is a quick game which provides you with enough game to fill in those thirty minutes you get with the kids before dinner and bed, or those twelve minutes you manage to sneak away from your desk for lunch before the boss finds you. It’s not going to rock your world and change the way you view card-based combat, but the rules are light and simple. The cards are well-balanced and it fits nicely into a small window of time—definitely a traveling game. Rating: 7.5/10 • Would love a redo of the cards with new artwork.
Cube: The Board game
Zombie in my Pocket
Based upon the film-series of the same name (A good-film series in my mind), Cube is a survival game where the board changes over time. In the basic game, you are only looking at a board of 36-tiles, but with a board that constantly shifts, even this number is a little hard to keep up with.
Alright, let’s sum up the theme of this game: “There’s a house full of zombies, an evil totem and a 3-hour deadline.” Sorry, couldn’t resist the pull of the pun.
Although this game can be played without dice I feel better for having them— it allows me that outside source for ridicule and abuse when things don’t go my way. The rules are simple (maybe a tad too much), but the mechanic-to-theme tiein is a strong one and the inclusion of film frames on the event cards is a nice touch; shame about the rest of the art, but it doesn’t impact the game play so we can let it slide a little. Rating: 7/10 • What? I said a little.
Another dice-less system which does an amazing job despite the fact; in fact, I feel dice to drag this game down a notch or two from what can only really be described as “superb”. The artwork is a great boon to the game, though they only really serve to enhance on a tight and well balanced game mechanic centered on exploration and pushing your luck. This game has a PnP version as well as a PC freeware version which is quite capable of running off a USB stick, making it a great pocket game—much like the PnP version as well. A strong favourite of mine, this has actually taken a place in my collection above some of my purchased games.
Rating: 9.5/10 • Yes I saved the best till last on purpose.
Paintball is major-league fun—sure it’s messy, and it hurts and you end up wasting three months pay checks on air and bullets…. Okay so paintball isn’t all that, but the concept is a great one and that’s where Splatball comes in. A paper mini’s game designed to capture the tempo and flavour of a paintball fight with that twist of the surreal that you can only get away with in animestyled worlds. I won’t lie here, to play a proper game of this, you’re going to need a fair bit of space, loads of paper, printer ink, and glue and most importantly, you’ll need an opponent. However, compared to Warhammer and WarMachine, I can guarantee that this is the cheaper option. Top that off with the prospect that obtaining new mini’s is as simple as “print, cut, and paste” and you have a nice addition to the strategist-hobbyist’s collect.
So how do I get into the PnP world? Simple, run over to www.boardgamegeek.com and use their “tag cloud” to find PnP or Print and Play games. Or you can jump over and subscribe to the Print and Play podcast by FHN1 of the boardgamegeek forums; who semi-regularly brings to light another PnP game that he feels warrants some attention. Alright you guys; that’s enough out of me. Until next time gamers, keep rolling those dice.
Rating: 8/10 • I’d have liked some more scenery options; maybe a third color team as well.
ark Manning mpoverished Gamer
Nick Dutro Comics / Mangas
Locke and Key Review New thriller comic reviewed
0 years ago “real authors” would have scoffed at ever stepping foot in comic books. Today, writers like Laurell K. Hamilton (who penned an “Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter” series) and Stephen King (“The Stand” and “The Dark Tower” both have comic series now that take place after his novels) are seeing their works continued in comics, and even helping to pen the next chapter of their beloved series. While there have been some missteps (like Orson Scott Card’s “Ultimate Iron Man” which has been lackluster to say the least), others, such as Joe Hill, have truly shined in the medium, and there is no better example than the first book in Hill’s new maxi-series, “Locke & Key: Welcome to Lovecraft.”
The Story “Locke & Key” opens in the past with the death of Rendell Locke at the hands of one of his students while vacationing with his family in Mendocino Valley. After his death, the family—including his wife Nina and their kids Tyler, Kinsey, and Bode, move to the family home, Keyhouse, in Lovecraft, Mass. Soon, the story delves into the supernatural, as Bode discovers a key that unlocks a door which turns him into a ghost. He then meets a woman in a well who explains that there are a number of keys in the house which can do things like open doors to anywhere or change a person’s sex. Meanwhile, the story begins to side track and look into the life of Sam, Rendell’s killer, and his involvement with the family. “Locke & Key” progresses through a series events taking place in the past and present, until the final confrontation, where Sam comes to Lovecraft to finish what he intended to do at the beginning of the story.
The story is propelled by Hill’s rapid storytelling and the incredibly detailed, albeit cartoony at times, artwork of Gabriel Rodriguez. Hill’s pacing is pitch perfect for this supernatural thriller, and he continues to build on the story until the incredibly well-executed end, where we get a jaw dropping cliffhanger. Rodriguez has an ability to convey emotions through his artwork that truly rivals even the biggest names in the industry. Hill’s contribution to the piece is in a story that is almost impossible to put down, and an ability to make you care about the characters right off the bat, which is a feat—especially for thriller stories, which I will get into later. He also has a real talent for telling the story in a way that even the most read comic fan would not expect. It is not as if he is redefining the genre, but he seems to push some of the boundaries of a typical series in order to really make this an interesting story.
What Doesn’t Work? There isn’t much that doesn’t work in this book. Rodriguez’s art is a little difficult to follow at first, but I found myself neglecting the thick lines and blocky characters as the story went into some really graphic shots throughout the book and it really began to grow on me. My biggest complaint concern is character development, which speaks more about the type of story than the quality of the author. Horror tends to be episodic in nature, so while there were some really interesting parts, delving into the lives of characters such as Kinsey and Bode, there were some I felt were neglected. Luckily, “Locke & Key” is being written in three acts, with “Welcome to Lovecraft” serving as the prologue, so we will definitely get to see more character development as the story moves into later books.
The Bottom Line “Locke & Key” is a far stretch from being the best comic ever written, but it is definitely one of the better reads on the market right now. Hill and Rodriguez offer a dark and disturbing tale that will keep you on your toes until the final page, and with the first book being so well done, I’m looking forward to where it goes next. I highly recommend it for new readers looking to get into comics and veterans who have been reading for years. “Welcome to Lovecraft” is available now in hardcover from IDW Publishing and the second volume, “Head Games,” is currently on comic shelves at your local retailer.
they ask for your advice. 10. You fill out your deck list in private and won’t let anyone else see it.
Ben Halpren Guest Contributor
Don’t Be a Douche Bag
11. You tell all of your opponents that this is your first tournament. 12. When someone asks you to money draft against them you tell them you’ll only do it if they’re playing for a ‘C note’ a head. 13. You use the phase “you’re the worst” like it’s going out of style.
Don’t pretend you’re not
hen I first thought about this months article, I was going to do a follow up to last month’s article which you can find in the May issue of Eye of the Vortex. Then during my research it occurred to me that there is a lot more Douche Bags out there then scrubs. So with that said, Please answer the following statements truthfully Yes or No as the results will be given at the end. 1. When someone asks you to trade, you give them the stink eye, then tell them you “don’t have time”, or when you do trade you use the vendors buy list to value their cards and retail to value your cards.
14. You’ve been disqualified from an event for side betting on your match. 15. You’ve concocted a plan to steal a vendor’s binder, then when the time comes, you are the lookout or not even involved. 16. You’ve purposely skipped your draw phase so you could call your opponent on drawing extra cards, because it’s the only way you can win the game. 17. No one wants to stay in a hotel room with you because they all know you never pay them back.
2. You couldn’t name 70% of the people who play at your store, and you don’t care.
18. The only time you call up your Magic friends is to get cards for an upcoming event.
3. You’ve forced your opponent to take mana burn when they mistakenly tapped their lands. (pre-M10)
19. You show off when you top deck the win and then play it off like you knew it was there.
4. You’ve told your opponent they’re the worst after they destroy you.
20. You’ve tricked someone into not paying for a Pact in order to win a game.
5. You know you’re better than everyone else.
21. All your decks are net decks, yet you swear that you made them yourself... because you changed one card.
6. You’ve called for a Judge, knowing you’re wrong, hoping that the Judge is wrong too.
22. You never make play mistakes, your opponents just get lucky.
7. You’re always out of money when it comes time to pay for gas.
23. You have demanded a repair after showing up late to an event.
8. You’ve refused to sign the results slip.
24. Whenever you put down your opponent for something they have done wrong, you laugh and then look at your friends for approval.
9. You refuse to help people you don’t know with their decks when
wouldn’t effect you. Not to be mean, its just because you feel they can’t help you as they are all scrubs.
25.You’ve placed cards on your lap before a game, and then proceeded to draw them *cough*Squandered Resources combo*cough* If you answered Yes to 0-2: You’re not a douche bag. If you answered Yes to 3-7: You’re not a douche bag but that’s just because you don’t play in enough events. If you answered Yes to 8-12: You’re a douche bag, but mostly cocky. If you answered Yes to 13-24: You’re a douche bag and proud of it. If you answered Yes to #25: You’re the biggest douche bag ever. So let’s analyze the results!
0-2 • If you’re in the 0-2 range, you are well liked at your store. You’re an
asset to your local Magic Community, willing to give anyone who will listen your opinion of what they need to do to get better at this game. If none of this applies, or no one takes you seriously, you’re probably a scrub, see my previous article.
3-7 • f you’re in the 3-7 range, you only hang out with your closest group
of friends at your local store and really don’t care to talk to anyone else, as it
8-12 • If you’re in the 8-12 range, pretty much no one but your friends like
you, but that’s just because they’re just like you. You think your better than everyone else and only lose because your opponents get lucky. You’re very cocky in your play style and if you’re not careful you’ll become a full blown douche bag before you know it.
13-24 • If you’re in the 13-24 range, now’s the time to realize that you’re
real close to being more hated then “Rootwater Thief“. You might want to look at yourself and realize that you’re a big douche bag. Maybe you’ll change and treat other people better, but most likely, you’ll stay the same as for you don’t give a ****. If you answered Yes to #25, You‘ve signed many a “Rootwater Thief’s” in your day. Also you’re probably the biggest Douche bag known to Magic’s existence. Congratulations on being the world’s most hated player. So the point of this article is to show everyone that we could all be better people when playing in events, as well as in our Magic community. Remember don’t be like these guys. Don’t be a douche bag.
heck out the internet’s newest Magic newest comedy site The MTG-Files. Be sure to get all your Pre-Sale Magic items from Soupy_George on Ebay!
have to advertise it would be Wal-mart and McDonalds. Yet, every time you turn the TV on, or open your favorite magazine, what do you see? Wal-mart and McDonalds logos.
Chris Newton General
Why? Think about this, I have a two-year-old boy at home. All day long, my son sings a song, driving his mother crazy. Care to guess what that song is? I’ll let some bumper music play while you take an educated guess on it.
Advertising and You… The Truth is in the Pill
s I went through my RSS feedbox this morning, I saw a headline and felt a shock run through my system. I can’t describe it as either a good or bad shock, as I still don’t know that yet. Let me first say that I am a huge fan of “The Matrix Trilogy.” I may be the only person alive who thought the third movie ruled, but that may just be because I really didn’t want the series to end. I think that I have watched the series 500 times by now. I love the concept of being a normal person who can use ‘force of will’ to out-maneuver fate. I am not even going to limit my affection of the series to just Neo. Everyone in the series (minus the pansy Frenchman who went out like a sissy in the third movie and the phantom twins who did nothing but pulled the biggest Cyclops (X-Men) ever) was amazingly designed and excellently performed. Just trust me… I could write about this movie series for the next ten years and never run out of things to say. This is, however, not the reason for this editorial. It is not about how I believe “The Matrix” is the best series ever. It is about why advertising and commercials are good for you. Wait… what? Yes. Advertising is good for you. I know. This is where you start to think, “Yea, here is a marketing tool for the president of the company to try to trick people into buying ad space” (you should do that by the way) but that is not true. Let me ask you a question: Why on earth does Wal-mart and McDonalds advertise? If there were ever two companies that you’d think would never
If you guessed the Handy Manny theme song, you’d be wrong. If you guessed Elmo’s World, again you would be wrong. It is not Barney, Clifford the Big Red Dog, or even Micky Mouse Club House. It’s “Amazing” by Kanye West. My two year old son is walking around the house saying… “Amazing… amazing! Amazing… AMAZING!” Why? Because the NBA playoffs were kicking up in May, and since the Cavaliers were getting ready to start their playoff run, all the local stations were advertising the games, which happened to be on TNT. I know you’ve seen those commercials if you live in the US. If not, it is a 30 second promo of a certain team in their season highlight play with the song “Amazing” playing in the background. How is this working amazingly (pun intended) for advertising? Since my little man is wanting to hear the song 65 times a day, I am hoping online to find the song for him, which generates traffic (in this case to YouTube). I have purchased him a Cavaliers basketball from the drug store down the street (it went something like this… “Basketball! Cavaliers! Basketball! Cavaliers! LeBron! Amazing! Amazing!”—“Here… How much for this stupid ball?”). Further, the NBA and TNT brand both benefit mutually from a single advertising campaign. This is not to say that all ads are this good. During the same time period as the “Amazing” ad campaign, you undoubtedly saw the Kobe Bryant and LeBron James puppet series. Yea, those puppets only work if they both accurately portray the caricatures of the players. LeBron looks like him, but barely acts like him. Further, my wife had no clue who the other puppet was supposed to be. Not a good sign. How about mixing in a label for those who don’t follow teams outside of your local region? Even more so, I knew who that second puppet was supposed to be and I couldn’t be convinced that the advertisers had ever watched a single game or post game press conference to see the same Kobe that the viewing public sees. The most miserable part of this ad campaign is that they have been running the Kobe vs. LeBron puppets all playoffs long, insinuating that the NBA Finals would be
Check it Out
the Cavaliers vs. Lakers, and my Cavs lost in the Eastern Conference Finals, making the ad doomed to failure the moment the Cavs season ended. Finally, on to the purpose for this article! Did you know that there was a Matrix MMORPG? Did you know that is has been ongoing for the last four years? I didn’t know that. Remember the shock I spoke of earlier? This was the part of the shock that I thought was good. The part of the shock that nullified the good shock is that the only way that I was informed that there was a Matrix MMORPG is that they announced that they were shutting it down! Wait…shutting down? I just learned about it! How the heck are you shutting it down? At any rate, I wanted to share a link with you, showing you that I am not alone in my thoughts. These people had the same thoughts that I had. Here is the point of the article: You can’t just run a few ads when you launch your product and then hope for the best. You need to be continually advertising your product. Keep yourself fresh and relevant in people’s minds and be sure that when someone mentions something in the realm of your product, that your product will surface and become active thought. Obviously, advertising can get overwhelming for a viewer. So the key is to advertise where your intended audience will find your advertisement. Where you advertise is equally as important as what you are advertising. I don’t believe I will find a Wal-mart ad in Playboy. That’s because the audience that reads Playboy is not in a frame of mind to run down and grab a few things from the store (I will let you imagine where their minds are...). Understanding where you are placing your ad becomes even more important when you start to think about other factors involved. Factors such as the cost of the space you’re purchasing, the traffic your ad is expecting (the number of people who could see and be influenced by your ad), and even who else is advertising in the same media (Wal-mart would not like a cigarette or beer ad sitting right next to theirs on your website.) I could continue writing about the things that I have been learning about over the last few months, but I think my points have been presented. Advertising is necessary for the successful promotion of a business. If you want to let people know what you are doing, they need to know about you and that you exist. So please, the next time that you are doing a big Matrix game, let me know about it so I can play it before the end of the world apocalypse is to be played out.
he Messy Game Room is a great gaming podcast brought to you by two guys who could be your next door neighbors. Mike and Marshall are funny, down to earth, and will remind you of why you should be wearing head phones when listening to podcasts at work, not listening through your speakers. Give the duo a chance, they will grow on you too! Be sure to check out the older podcasts too!
EoV Gamer Classifieds
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Collectible Card Game Stores RPG Stores Manga and Comic Stores Table Top and Miniatures Vendors Gaming Publishers Movie Stores Game Review Sites Community Blogs and other Social Networks
friendly advertisement plan that we lovingly call the Gamer Classifieds. Just like a classified ad that you would find in your local newspaper, these classifieds are designed to be a low cost and high traffic method of getting your message out to your community. In these classifieds, you can do pretty much anything you want to do, as long as you can do it in your purchased region, called a Box.
Who Can Advertise?
he better question is, who can’t advertise? Advertising is the only real way to continue to keep your product relevant and keep your customers patronage constant. If you don’t think this is true, then ask yourself one question… Why do McDonald’s and Wal-mart advertise on TV? If there were ever an example of a company that does not need to advertise, you can chose one of those two companies, yet you will always find their advertisements ready for your viewing pleasure at all times during your favorite shows. The key to advertising is to figure out who you are trying to get your message too, and where to find them. In the case of the gaming community, you can hope to rely on a medium that focuses on a certain genre such as Video Games or Table Top Games, however EoV offers you a very wide spectrum of people
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on’t think that you can only advertise if you are trying to sell a product. There are many other things out there that you spend your money on that bring you less than what your small investment into a classified ad can provide. We have intentionally forced the price of the ad space itself to be very low in order to encourage everyone to join our advertising community and use this space as a place to offer product, services, and entertainment to our readership. We have broken down a general grouping of potential classifieds content for you to see that there is more than just trying to move product that can be advertised:
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Eye of the Vortex • Gamer Classifieds
Classifieds General Advertising
We Are Looking…
fan sites, review sites, etc.). Gaming Sales • Your run in the mill vendor sites. Gaming Events • Events that would be of public interest (Large tournaments, online contests, conventions, etc.) Blogs • Sites that contain someone’s blog. If you are interested in getting your blog more traffic… people need to know about it. Social Networks • Have a need to have more people in your social network? (Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, etc.) Advertise yourself and get people to link up with you.
Public Notices Set Release • Have a new product line coming out and want to build up some
hype? This small investment can go a long way in helping that hype meter rise. Upcoming Events • Are you planning something big? Your fans need to know about it. Company Changes • If your company is changing something that may draw some interest from your fan base, what a better way to get everyone to know about it than a Public Notice.
Companies looking for help • It’s nice to advertise on your own website,
however, your potential talent pool is going to be limited to those who happen to see the notice. Looking for Work • The opposite of a company looking for workers, this is a way to let the industry know that you are a free agent and have talent! Hire me while you have the chance!!
When Are the Classifieds Published?
oV Gamer Classifieds are published monthly in Eye of the Vortex magazine. Guidelines for submission are found below.
Where Will the Classifieds Be Found?
lassified Boxes (CBs) will be located strategically through the magazine. Depending on the number of CBs, there may be an entire section of Classifieds or there may be a side bar found on an article which holds the CBs.
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Web Sites • Web Sites regarding traditional gaming topics (game publishers,
Classifieds How Do I Get Involved?
Ad Submission Classified Box Rules
Classified Ad Cost Depending on your choice for method of payment, your cost may vary slightly.
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Check or Money Order: each additional box needed for the ad.
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Credit through Paypal $10.50 (USD) ($10.00 + $0.50 Paypal Fees) for your initial box purchase, add $7.50 (USD) ($18.00 w/ Paypal fee, etc.) for each additional box needed
In either an image or text only ad, your text font should be no larger than 14 pt.
for the ad.
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Classifieds These codes are for the promotion of events, both large and small. If you need to tell people about your event, let EoV help get the word out for you.
301 Conventions 302 Tournaments 303 Gatherings 400 Services
lassifieds will be sorted according to the coding classification selected for your ad. The following is the available list of codes for our Classifieds:
100 Vendor Notices These codes are for advertisement and promotional services involved with the sale of product. As our reader-base grows, so does the visibility of your advertisements. Our low rates make advertising in the Classifieds very cost efficient.
This code group is for getting the word out that you are looking for help or your services are available for hire.
101 Sales 102 Services 103 Notices 200 Publisher Notices These codes are reserved for publishers promoting new games, product lines, accessories, etc. This is the bread and butter of EoV, so we will be pushing for these codes to be utilized heavily. 201 Game Releases 202 Expansion Notices 203 New Product Lines 300 Event Notices
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Classifieds Ad Submission Guidelines hen submitting your Classified Ad, please be sure to include the following completed checklist in your email.
Company or Organization Name
ubmission date for each issue will be the last day of the previous month. For example, the deadline for Aprilâ€™s issue would be March 31st.
Please be aware that Eye of the Vortex is released in the middle of each month. Our goal is to have the newest issue published by the beginning of the third week in each month. If your ad is in reference to time sensitive material, you need to plan accordingly so that your ad appropriately impacts our audience.
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s you can see, we have spent a lot of time trying to make it as easy and cost effective as possible to help get your message out to your audience. Please feel free to contact me with any question that you may have, and in the mean time, I will see you in the Classifieds. Chris Newton President, Editor-in-Chief CV Newton Publishing Limited Eye of the Vortex firstname.lastname@example.org Check us out on Facebook! Follow me on Twitter!
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You can purchase one of these boxes (1.75”h x 5”w ) for only $10.00 USD per issue. On our full page Classified Page, you can
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You can purchase one of these boxes (1.75”h x 5”w ) for only $10.00 USD per issue.
$40.00 (9.7”h x 5”w)
Your Ad here! Cost effective means of
getting your brand in front of the eyes of fellow gamers.
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July Issue of Eye of the Vortex featuring the new Duels of the Planeswalker for XBox 360. Also including a preview of the new Dragonlance bo...