Category: Reviews

Sol Forge:Review

Backround

     Solforge is an online card game created by Richard Garfield, known for creating Magic: The Gathering and designed by Magic: The Gathering Professional and lead designer of the World of Warcraft CCG, Brian Kibler of StoneBlade Games.

     Retaining the same flavor that made Magic: The Gathering a fun fantasy game, players are whisked away into a new world that seems very familiar and different all the same. The art is amazing for what is only an online card game.

How to Play
The game is simple to pick up but hard to master.

     You build a 30 card deck and each player starts off with 100 life. There is no form of payment for cards as in other games. Each player is instead allowed to play two cards a turn, except for the player who goes first. Spells and activated abilities can only be cast or used on your turn. Creatures cannot attack the first turn they come into play with the exception being cards with Aggressive.

     The game has several types of cards. Creatures, spells, power ups and each one has their own levels. So far the max level for cards seems to be capped at three. As you level up in the game, so do your cards. Everything becomes more powerful.

     You level up by playing cards. You have no max level but in the games I have played, no one has gotten past level 5. Not because you couldn’t but because of how the game was played out.

     s with most card games, SolForge is turn based. On your turn, you may decide to play a spell, creature, power up or discard a card and level it. You have five areas before you where you will place your creatures. Although you only have five spots you can play a creature to an occupied spot, replacing the creature currently there with a new one.

     Next step is to go into the battle phase. Any creatures able to do battle will do so and anything not blocked by an opponent’s creature or with the ability breakthrough, will deal damage to the opposing player.

     You end your turn and your opponent how has his turn. Game play goes back and forth like this until one player wins.

Technical Terms

Free spells or cards that do not count towards your limit, are usually only accessed at higher levels. Spells and activated abilities can only be cast or used on your turn, except for cards with come into play abilities.

Aggressive allows your creature to attack the turn it comes into play. Sometimes it has restrictions as, your opponent must have a creature opposite it, in order to gain the ability. This is noted on the cards by a red lightning bolt.

Attack is a creature’s power that will be dealt as damage to a creature.
Health is how much damage a creature can take before he dies.

Mobility is the number of spaces a creature can move across the board.
Regenerate is how much attack and health a damaged creature will get back.

Poison is a special type of damage done to a creature that doesn’t go away. It continues to damage the creature.

Breakthrough is a creature that will deal leftover damage to the opponent.

Defender is a creature that cannot attack but can block and protect your life points.

Armor gives your opponent a shield that will reduce damage done to your creature.

Uterra are a nature based faction within the game itself. Beefy creatures and healing are abundant here.

Alloyin are an army based faction. Robots and Soldiers and other techno goodies make up this faction.

Nekrium are the death based and underworld faction of the game. Necromancy is their specialty.

Tempys are aggressive and fire based faction. Burning things and attacking early are some of the attributes to make up this faction.

Levels are more powerful version of the cards or the players. So far, levels on cards are capped at three but players can level up to extended levels past three but the level resets to one after each game.

Common cards are easy to get as they show up most often with uncommon cards being the next most frequent followed by Rare, Heroic and Legendary.

Booster Packs add to your collection and come in one of three styles. Basic or a three card pack.

Event tickets get you into constructed tournaments or booster drafts.

Booster Draft is where you take three packs of cards and pick one card out of it. Each other player also does the same. The pack is passed and you pick a card from another pack. You do this until you have enough to build a 30 card deck.cards seems to be capped at three. As you level up in the game, so do your cards. Everything becomes more powerful.

The game has daily log in rewards of sliver, a single card or a booster pack. Sometimes two of those options combined. This will add to your collection. Within the game, if you win via online opponent or AI, you are also rewarded with sliver and or booster packs. These add to your online collection, giving you more options for deck building.

Sliver can buy you some things but sticking to a RPG type of theme, like World of Warcraft, you can buy gold to access even more. The gold comes in five tiers. With 30,000 gold for $99.99 being the most a player can buy.

Overall it isn’t a bad game. In fact, it is quite enjoyable. It’s quick to get into but the more you play, the more strategy you find within the game itself.

     I’m not a fan of the way it is Farmville-esque with the fact that you can play for free or unlock more by buying gold. It’s flavorful but seems rather silly. The gameplay itself seems rather solid but you’ll soon find yourself being outclassed by the people who bought access to more cards. The game could do with tier levels from Newbie to Expert from which allow players to hone their skills. Other than that, the game is a fun way to kill fifteen to thirty minutes of free time.

The game is available for free on steam or iPhone app.

Three and a half out of five stars.

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JoyLand Book Review (2014)

Devin “Jonesy” Jones is a twenty-one year old college student with writing aspirations. In the summer of 1973, he finds himself spending his summer working for an amusement park known as Joyland, hoping to get over his former girlfriend. But Joyland is anything but jovial. It has a dark past filled with murder, mystery and most of all, a ghost.

I found Joyland to be relatively enjoyable read. It’s not an amazing read but enjoyable. King managed to craft a sympathetic character who is funny, likeable and mildly interesting.

The problem is, Joyland is less of a thriller/detective story and more of a coming of age tale. The seedy history of Joyland was really more of a B-plot that occasionally reared its head to remind you that you’re reading a Stephen King book and not some light fluff remincient of a Nicholas Sparks book.
The crux of the story really hinges on life lessons learned during a summer away from college when Devin just happens to fail backwards into solving an old mystery.

So if you bought Joyland hopping for a gritty noir story, you’ll be sorely disappointed. Unlike 11/22/63, King’s previous outing before Joyland, this book just doesn’t satisfy.

It lacks the King hallmark that have brought millions of readers into the fold for years. While being different is ultimately a good thing, it didn’t seem to work here.

One of the many things that define a Stephen King novel is his ability to craft characters with backstory’s so rich, you’d think you would have known them their entire lives. Not so here. We get glimpses into Devin’s past and present throughout the book but never enough to think he truly know the character. He might be likeable but the real mystery is Devin himself.

Another hallmark was King’s ability to bring you into the past. You would think that you were in the time period he writes about as opposed to just being privy to someone’s story. You could almost be walking right alongside his characters as his story was happening and not just passively listening to someone else’s story.

I do appreciate the references to various novels, music and writers. The cover of the book perfect, capturing those dime store novels of the past and the fact it was only released in paperback makes me appreciate it all the more.

Although it’s a short read, I think you’ll find yourself left unsatied by this King effort if you go into it with the wrong mind set. Be forwarned that the book is less a mystery and more a character story. It has its moments and I’m sure you’ll take something away from this as you will any King book. Only time will tell if it will stay with you, though.

Three out of five stars.

The Way of Men (Book Review 2012)

Having just read The Way of Men by author Jack Donovan, I have come to the conclusion that my idea of masculinity has been wrong all these years.
Strength and masculinity have been considered, for years, abstract concepts. That is to say, everyone has their own interpretation on what makes men, men and they are whitewashed hypocritical versions of masculinity to borrow a phrase from Anton LaVey.

Men will often refer to gangster movies as the ideal man movies but in reality, suggest that being a man is something completely different.
In The Way of Men, Jack posits the question of what masculinity is and if there is indeed a true way to BE a man and if indeed there is a true way to be a man, then what is the way of man?

The Way of Men is suggesting that manhood is the way of the gang. Men, traditionally being the hunters of the tribes would naturally have to get along to succeed and keep each other and their tribe alive.
This traditionally makes sense, especially on a Selfish Gene scenario. With Richard Dawkins suggesting the cost benefit scenario that all males of various species adhere to by nature.

Mans true nature is to be territorial, aggressive, dominant, strong and strategic, even to the point of being thieves and going so far as to steal wives from competing tribes. Yet men can also be compassionate and fair.

Men are born with the desire to compete for resources and as horrible and vulgar as that sounds to reduce woman to resources that is the way it has been for centuries. It was the way evolution intended it and the way our human biology still sees it.

It also seems to be suggesting and I could be wrong, but crime, in the traditional sense is really men being locked up for being, well, men.

It is not suggesting a release of prisoners or anything of the like but rather just suggesting that we lock men up more often for being themselves.
It is the fact that society no longer needs for men like that, that leads to frustrated young men turning to drugs and other avenues, often leading to criminal activity for lack of ability to express their true natures.

The Way of Man can be seen as a call to action. For young men to grab society by the balls in only the way men can and assert ourselves to not be breed out of extinction. We must reclaim masculinity and not make our young men feel demonized for their natural predictions.

Men are a completely natural thing and if we allow ourselves to, we will be destroyed.

So then I pose the question: What is the future way of man? The answer is the way of the dinosaurs.

Five out of Five Stars.

Fiverr.com is Horrible!

I started multiple gigs on Fiverr.com that are similar to things already allowed on the website. My third gig, was denied for copyright infringement because some third party claimed to own the act of reviewing.

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Here is my e-mail on the gig.

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This all happened after already having approved it in the first place. So I write to them this:

krspenwah

So they wrote back with

krspenwah

They marked it as resolved on the wrong gig, which is still active. If they meant reviews were not allowed on the site, then why is this here

krspenwah

 

The difference between my gig and this? I offered honest and objective reviews because these people’s clients deserve honesty. Instead, I guess, Fiverr’s policy is that fraudulent reviews are marketable and mine are not, even though an alleged third company complained.

If I were you, I would stay away from this company!

Best in Your Girl: The Novel.

Chapter One

     The glass on the den windows vibrated from the strong winds pounding against it with an intensity reminiscent of a starship pulling out of warp speed and just barely colliding with an asteroid A powerful thud, but unscathed.

     I reached out and grabbed the large black remote from the coffee table turned on the television, pushing my way through boring show, after boring show, until I came upon the weather channel, which was still far better than whatever sitcom was popular. I muttered to myself, then allowed the meteorologist his say. His voice was thick and masculine, like a Russian who could speak English with the precision of a native. “Looks like you’re getting 18’ massive inches of snow, with gale force winds coming in off the oceans within the next hour.”

     I moved towards the window and stared into the black abyss that was the night, watching as the sky spurted little flakes of white snow, which slowly drifted downward and accumulated upon the window sill of my den. Chills ran up my back as Goosebumps were aroused on my forearms, sending me to the other side of the house to grab myself a towel, in order to clean up the snow that would most likely force itself through the tight window opening, without mercy, ravaging the beautiful hard wood floors with unsightly bumps and buckles, unless someone made sure to use the proper protective barrier to prevent such.

     Only a few moments had passed when a huge dong sprang forth from the living room, cutting through the tension of the night, saving me from the hardcore debauchery of loneliness that pillaged the inside of my mind, driving me to the brink of madness and all without the radiance of Edgar Allen Poe’s elegant prose to make the lingering pain of despairs engorged embrace upon my soul even more burdensome.

     Moving over towards the fireplace, I snatched the whiskey off the mantel, removed the cap and brought the long, glass handle to my mouth, allowing the sweet ambrosia to fill my mouth and swallowed a swing in one massive gulp. My face slowly grew flushed as my capillaries burst, giving forth the slow rise to comfort and the illusion of warmth, which became displaced by the wetness of my pants, nestling itself right between my legs, making my pajama bottoms cling to my inner thigh. I hadn’t noticed the sticky liquid that had been spilled upon my pants when I grabbed the towel from the bathroom. I was too buzzed from the whiskey to be even mildly annoyed by the inconvenient spillage. I curled my lip and undid my bathrobe as I approached the bookcase and pulled down on the book, opening up the doorway to the spiral staircase that descended into the depths of depravity that was my underground lair.

     I pushed through the spiral doorway into a room dimly lit rectangular room, which would have been all but an inkwell of darkness if not for the small amount of lighting, which expressed itself through six, square-shaped windows in the ceiling above, allowing the silken gold light to rain down and envelop the bed in its warm, passionate embrace, as if a beacon had descended from the heavens, carving a path to the siren that was my bed and enveloping it in a warm and passionate embrace, which would surely be the demise of my night if I was to succumb to the temptations which it proffered.

     Lights on, I command with the same “swagger” Ali Baba must have wielded outside the den of thieves an eon earlier. The lights turned on slowly, like a strike to the match that would fully engulf the head with a flame, hypnotically dancing in the dark. A large black book lay on the bedside table, which, was insipidity titled little black book. I sunk down into the bed as I sat upon it and opened up the book containing head shots of woman who I had met over the years, each one with name and number beside them, three hole punched for easy flipping through the binder and all labeled according to hair color, age, body type, sexual predilections and more. I flipped through pages upon pages of woman from which I had my pick, depending on my mood and desires, stopping on the last page of the book.

     Her name was Christine Hernandez, She was a new addition, older and shorter than myself, with beautiful eyes that were gateways into her soul. The hues would change color and intensity based on her mood. One look could take you on an adventure and the next would destroy you where you stood. The same could be said of her hair, fiery red when she was temperamental and blue when she was sad. She couldn’t hide the nature of how she felt even if she tried, because they were as much a part of her as the blood in her veins. Connected as one, yet separate entities. One look at her and I was instantly hypnotized by how she seemed to transcend her humanity and yet was completely held down to earth at the same time. She was her own yin and yang and quite frankly, it drove me crazy with delight.

     Carefully, I removed the head shot from the top loader and grabbed the number on the back and dialed it into the phone. Pressing send, I watched as the seconds ticked up and the sound of the tone echoed in my ear, then a click, followed by a sultry voice on the other end and with a simple hello, I was reduced to rubble.

Degrassi: The NXT Generation.

      I never shy away from expressing a love for things that I greatly enjoy and for the last 26 years of my life, one of the many things I have enjoyed greatly is professional wrestling.

     When I was younger, I spent the majority of time exclusively watch the World Wrestling Federation, which is now and from here on out within this text, World Wrestling Entertainment or WWE. WCW did absolutely nothing for me and I did get to give TNA a go as a teenager, which came off as nothing but a WWE clone. I sadly never got to watch E-C-W in the original run of the show, but have since seen enough of it to know that I absolutely would have loved it. I still cannot bring myself to sit through WCW.

     Sadly, the last thirteen years of the 26 watching pro-wrestling had been filled with more misses than hits. It seems as if WWE has become more of a WCW clone than it had been in the past. I didn’t desire to watch WCW in its original run, never mind a weaker version of it. Yes, note that I said a weaker version of it.

     Fast forward to 2015 and I’ve had the privilege to enjoy watching NXT, which seems like an entirely different organization entirely. Yes, it is still WWE, but nothing like the current Raw or Smackdown shows. It is without a doubt the enema that pro wrestling has badly needed for over a decade and yet it is still owned by the same company.

     The overall enjoyment one gets from the televised taping of the show makes paying a monthly network fee seem like privilege rather than a chore.

     It seemly is following in the footsteps of a former company that did the same for its generation that also had three letters associated with it. I am, of course, talking about E-C-W. It is exactly that, but without the baggage of being extreme all the time. Which, when 99% of your matches are hardcore based, where would one have gone, short of live executions on television.

     The roster is deep with a talent pool filled of interesting and unique characters with gimmicks that seem to be better crafted, rather than intelligent insulting as WWE has been known to be in the past.

     The matches are longer, more exciting, and driven by an unknown force that keeps you riveted until the very end. It has gotten to a point that I do not watch Smackdown or Raw in favor of this show and while I wish I could say I get to watch it often, I haven’t had the chance to watch everything this brand has to offer, but it lacks the predictably of the main shows and favors wrestling over long, drawn out storylines that build up to nothing more than a filler mid-card match at the next Pay-Per-View.

     The woman’s division is outstanding and slowly eradicating the bias of many fans who for years have held out that woman cannot wrestle. You’ll never win anyone over, but I could not remember a time period were woman’s wrestling was an exciting and something to look forward to without the use of HLA (Hot Lesbian Action.) or being second fiddle to their boyfriends.

     The men’s division of NXT offers a mix of electic individuals that almost all seemingly work well together. The bad matches are few and far between and if you think any of them are hype, than I’m afraid I’ve got some bad news, because quite frankly, you’ll soon find yourself on the verge of a meltdown from a misjudging. I’ve made those, few and far between, so keep watching.

     It is at a point that all of these kids should be on the main roster as soon as possible to give Raw and Smackdown a reason to keep the loyal fan base tuning in.

     The genius behind this isn’t Vince McMahon or even the Pro Wrestling Messiah that is Paul Heyman, but none other than the King of King’s Triple H.

     I seemingly recall that many years ago, it was stated that if HHH had any control over the company it would be all about him, twenty four hours a day. Yet, all these years later, such a fear it is unfounded. I digress, but it should be noted to give credit where it is due.

     Maybe we should give him a chance to run the flagship brand for a couple of months as the level of the shows might vastly improve and be worth watching, much like when Heyman was operating Smackdown for a while.

     TNA should buy a network subscription and start ripping off NXT for ideas in the same way they rip off WWE’s core product. They might find there show improving. The smart bet would be to court NXT’s talent pool over main roster releases or legends as well.

     Within the next ten years, NXT is going to be THE brand to be watching and enjoying as it is going places and the road to glory is paved with gold.

     My only desire would be to see NXT ditch tapings and go full on live. At this point, it is the best reason to buy into the WWE Network, but is sadly overlooked when Daniel Bryan isn’t main eventing twenty four hours a day. Maybe it is time the Yes movement made its way back to NXT to give itself and the show the boost it desperately needs to catapult it well into the next frontier of WWE’s premiere entertainment and what would be better than a power struggle from within of HHH stealing Vince’s guys and gals and giving them the proper pushes and screen time they all deserve?

     It is the invasion angle we all would have loved when WWE brought up WCW back in 2001. It is the show that would of made a far better brand to be drafted to, as opposed to being a B+ player on a second rate show that, if it wasn’t for the last 15 years of buildup, would of probably had been ditched like a Shotgun Saturday night or Stevie(Sunday) Night Heat.

     If you are not a fan of pro wrestling, this brand could easily make one of you and if not, you are might be insane or worse, a fundy duddy, because this show kicks ass.

     Buy the network or find it on the local TV listings, because you will not be disappointed by giving this a watch.

     Five out of Five stars.

Do You Want to Start a War?

     I’ve never been one to review music. To me, it’s one of the hardest things to do and do well and I’m just not that educated when it comes to music. I have some rudimentary skills at the guitar, but I never was musically oriented as a child. So I’ve severally lacking in the ability to put into words what I’m hearing.

     So here goes my first attempt ever to discuss a brand new record. Yes, record, because I bought the vinyl and am listening to the free auto-rip from Amazon.com and so far, I dig what I hear and want to share it.

     Chris Jericho, pro wrestler par excellence and also, apparently, quite the vocalist. Although, not all credit can lie with Chris (Moongoose McQueen, if you prefer.) as his band mates might also be some of the best musicians of the last decade. I’ve known about the band for the last fifteen years, but sadly have never had the chance to sit down and listen to his music. You know him as the rock star of the ring, but the grandiose entrances doesn’t mean the ability to actually be a rock star.

     One would be wrong to not give the band a listen as they might possibly be the finest band in the last fifteen years. A long list of bands have come into the metal scene, but few have had an impact on the musical landscape that Fozzy is seeing and will continue to have well into the future.

     If you’re a rock fan or a metal fan than you are doing yourself a disservice by not buying this record on every format available, it’s that good. If you’re a fan of metal from the 1980’s, then you’re in for a real treat, because it’s been about 30 years since a band has pump out arena hits like this.

     If you aren’t hooked by the ABBA cover SOS, than you have no pulse. If you aren’t having fun by the end of Tonight, you’re DOA and if you cannot enjoy the heavy sounds of Bad Tattoo, you’re six feet under.

     I barley ever give five stars as a rating and this might be only the third time in my life that I’ve done so, because I’m not an easy sell, but five out of five.

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Minor corrections made.

Added link for Item. Click the band’s Name.