Tag Archives: Opinion

Returning to the Fold: Thoughts on the Ixalan Release

20 Sep

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By Ed Sum (The Vintage Tempest)

As the release of Wizards of the Coast’s Magic the Gathering Ixalan nears and the spoiler card information is fully released, everything I’m discovering about it is hardly exciting. Set one offers a bit of cool narrative, but I’m still not entirely sold in this mixed genre realm. Plus, the news on the incentive promotion cards for Friday Night Magic changing to token cards next month is more of a deterring factor. Because these participation bonuses are not shiny, I’m not as inclined to participate.

The Davy Jones in me thinks the plunder is slim. The last set drained my funds so I can pick up duplicates of certain cards. Ixalan offers very little I truly want to play with. While Sorcerous Spyglass and Revel in Riches are two nice cards, the appeal of fighting dinosaurs is not all that hot. I still feel going Land of the Lost should be its own entity. I do not mind the vampire pirates as much (I was hoping for a few lich types inspired from Pirates of the Caribbean), but I have a burning question: just how much sunblock are they wearing to in order to cross the sea to arrive at a new world? The folklorist in me is appalled by the fact these members of the undead can cross water. This fact goes against tradition.

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The Rocky Road to Star Trek: Discovery

18 Sep

By Shawn Trommeshauser
(Dreaming in Digital)

Debuting Sept 24, 2017 on CBS (USA), Space (Canada) and Netflix (other countries).

I hope Star Trek: Discovery is great! I honestly do! This series needed a revitalisation ever since Enterprise ended after only four seasons back in 2005. Even though the reboot series of films has kept the series in the public eye, they clearly traded an exploration of science and the human condition for flashy effects, and intense battles.

The ‘Kelvin’ universe movies, as they’ve come to be known as, are fun, humorous adventures, but they are not very good at doing what makes Star Trek special. They certainly lost something along the way in the transition into full-fledged action movies and most people I’ve spoken to agree.

The reboot films have to be given some slack because it’s impossible to build up and maintain the kind of lore and character comradery that the Star Trek TV series offer when you’re limited to a single story every couple of years. And in today’s environment, it would be much more feasible convincing a movie studio to fund a rollercoaster of an action film would be much more feasible than something more along the lines of “Inner Light,” easily one of the best episodes of Star Trek: The Next Generation — a much more cerebral story where Captain Picard learns of the culture and fate of an alien civilization when a probe makes him live out a lifetime inside his own mind.

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Returning to the Fold: Thoughts on Magic the Gathering’s Hour of Devastation Game Day

7 Aug

By Ed Sum (The Vintage Tempest)

I wonder if I’m in the minority of Magic the Gathering (MtG) players who want to enjoy the game in a less competitive sense? I am a casual player where I prefer to imagine myself as Gandalf battling Saruman ala The Lord of the Rings. Although the white wizard was imprisoned on top of a tower in Fellowship and had very little power to access to escape, that’s how I feel at times with this game. I’m lacking the mana to get anywhere.

For the inexperienced, playing in the variety of in-store events depends on what you are after. I never expected to win many games because I have not touched the game for more than ten years, and the “new” deck archetypes and terminology I’m hearing are different than those that defined my era.

The competitive scene is a meat-grinder. It is not kind to a newcomer or returning player like me who has spent money on a box of booster packs and select cards to maybe make a challenge-worthy deck. The only time the playing field is level is with Draft or League games where the cards are locked to the packs you buy, and the random chance of maybe getting a game-changing card like Glorybringer.

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Ed’s Pokémon GO Journals: The Legendaries are Here & Hopes for Year Two

27 Jul

By Ed Sum (The Vintage Tempest)

Yes, I admit it: I’ve returned to playing Pokémon GO. All the various arguments on how monotonous this game is are heard before and I do not need to repeat. The fact the Legendary Bird Pokémons are here is enough to get me back and look for groups of people who are there for that Luiga or Articuno (at present) appearing at the gyms. The real life game is to hunt for people to play with than to continue on my own. Otherwise, I could not be bothered to turn the game on.

A report from Cnet makes a compelling argument to turn on any casual game for at least 10 to 15 minutes a day. The way my life has been lately could do with less stress.

I have tried the new gym system, and I have kept up with the rumblings about this game. I do not see Niantic as being the blame for the Pokémon GO Fest “disaster” at Chicago. Not all of the mobile companies listened, and they are more at fault for not installing the necessary equipment to make the connectivity issues go away. My guess for why the events in Europe is not happening is because Niantic can not reach the appropriate folks from the service providers to develop the infrastructure needed to make make the party work.

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