Archive | Feature RSS feed for this section

Returning to the Fold: Playing Magic the Gathering’s Pre-release Hour of Devastation

9 Jul

mtg__hod_prerelease_product

By Ed Sum (The Vintage Tempest)

I have not played the customizable card game, Magic the Gathering (MtG) for a very long time. In the past, I enjoyed how this game played with the legends from an ancient exotic world or looked at a genre (especially horror) in new ways. The best legacy era expansion sets are Arabian Nights and The Dark. I eventually stopped playing because folks with plenty of money to buy those great cards made me feel I could not compete and I did not find the world they created for MtG all that engaging. Finding casual games at gaming stores was tough.

Also, I wanted Wizards of the Coast to offer a new Middle Eastern themed set. The legends and lore of Ancient Egypt are the most requested and everybody knew it. Twenty-three years later since the release of Arabian, this company finally delivered with Amonkhet. The subset Hour of Devestation looks great. I saw cards showing the designers were looking deep into to Kemetic lore get the mystique right. The first set only whetted many enthusiasts appetite.

Pre-release challenges at gaming stores occurred over the weekend and I thought why not, let’s jump in. I know the core game mechanics and I am playing Magic Duels. Hopefully, I will not suck going up against experienced players. At least the field is level in the sealed game-play format. I went to a store where I did not feel intimidated. Out of the four stores in town, only one looked hopeful. It was not an overstuffed operation and it smelled clean. I plan on playing again this coming weekend (July 14-17) when this expansion hits all retail outlets.

Continue reading

Wind up Geek’s Cool Merchandise: Handmade Harry Potter Mugs

25 Jun

By James Robert Shaw
(The Wind up Geek)

In all my travels and in all the conventions I visit (Van Isle Comic Con, Tsukino-Con, and Fan Expo Vancouver), I have been amazed at some of the cool merchandise that can be bought at the vendor tables. I don’t just speak about the mass-produced items with names like Funko, Bandai, and Hasbro, but of the finely crafted local items as well.

At the 2017 Tsukino-Con, I spent much of my money on said items and a roll full of prints from local and more internationally known artists. I even bought a My Neighbour Totoro phone charm (which I will highlight at another time). For now, I will bring to your attention merchandise I discover and to share them with you, our readers. Perhaps along the way I will help you find something new.

Continue reading

Ed’s Comic Book Diary – Impressions on Van Isle Con

13 Jun

17972139_290562181379367_7532591749511814314_oBy Ed Sum (The Vintage Tempest)

Out of the many conventions I have attended over the years, some leave me wanting for more and others make me wish it could go on forever. With small events, the choices of what to do can leave me realizing I can take on most of the show in under a few hours and enjoy the sites from the city/town that’s hosting.  Van Isle Con successfully compressed down what felt like a weekend event to one day and left me wishing for more.

Well, that’s if you are not like certain buddies of mine who will remain nameless. One had a long work day the night before, and the other was here to work (sort of) but he does not understand these geek shows as well as I do. Although I did not get much sleep, as I’m a night owl by nature, I did not crash n’ burn or find myself mentally exhausted when I took a long bus ride to and fro to get to this show.

I did need time to write (and edit) to describe all that I have experienced:

Continue reading

R.I.P. The Mummy (1999-2008) Retrospective

5 May

the_mummyBy Ed Sum (The Vintage Tempest)

Before Stephen Sommers version of The Mummy gets fully buried in the wake of the upcoming 2017 film next month, I have to fondly recall the elements that I enjoyed from this past iteration. The 1999 film was heavily inspired by the pulps. Although its star, Rick O’Connell (played by Brendan Fraser) would gladly let his son Alex keep the world at peace, I do not think a consortium existed to help develop the continuity needed for the spin-off material.

If that was the case, I imagine the character of Anubis would play an important role throughout the entire saga instead of being a background character for the first two movies. He is the god of death, and before Osiris landed in the Underworld and succeeded to the role, was in control of many a person’s fate should anyone die within his domain, the land of Egypt.

Continue reading