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Mecha Vs Kaiju - The Soundtrack - Part 1 [BUNDLE]
Publisher: Bailey Records
by Luke N. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 09/10/2007 21:48:18

Overall, I found this soundtrack to be disappointing. I was expecting something more like traditional mecha-show music, hot-blooded guitar anthems like in GaoGaiGar and the various inspirations for Super Robot Wars, with some sinister jazz/classical similar to Godzilla movies. Heck, I would've been happy with some of the silly-groovy-heroic songs from the later Godzilla films or the Ultraman shows.

Instead, I got fairly generic techno.

While I imagine if you think of repetitive techno when you think of "Mecha" or "Kaiju," you won't be so disappointed, but I was absolutely not interested in most of the tracks. That having been said, there were a few stand-outs, IMO. Black Ghost and Hero Triumphant in particular come to mind.

Again, if you like meandering long techno, the sound quality is VERY good, and you can hear each electronic and industrial sound that goes into each track.



Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
Mecha Vs Kaiju - The Soundtrack - Part 1 [BUNDLE]
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Silver Age Sentinels D20: Stingy Gamer Edition
Publisher: White Wolf
by Luke N. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 07/25/2007 10:00:56

Still one of my favorite Superhero RPGs, alongside Mutants and Masterminds; If you want a class-based approach with a good handle on creation, this is a good system. It is extra-worth it for being "Stingy Gamer," which makes it less expensive by removing the color.

Overall, the system works similar to Champions' point-based system (point-based seems to work best in Superhero gaming) with normal XP awards giving the character bonus depending on their "class," advancing in a method similar to regular D20. This can be difficult at times (the PowerHouse class seems well overpowered) as the classes don't always correspond well to the direction your character wants to take. However, you can forgo the class-based advancement and simply give out 10 XP per level benchmark (which is about what the design supposedly works out to).

Overall, a good book, lots of good history on Comics and trends, including an explanation as to why its the "Silver Age" Sentinels (which personally, I find resonates well as a longtime comic fan), lots of great info on the history and environs of the world. It has full writeups for its signature heroes (which M&M does NOT have - it has "second-stringers"), as well as several of the signature villains (which M&M does also have).

Plus, if you like Champions, they did have a cross-over book which you can use.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Silver Age Sentinels D20: Stingy Gamer Edition
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Scion: Hero
Publisher: Onyx Path Publishing
by Luke N. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 05/03/2007 15:40:26

Scion was being touted as a "Modern-Day Exalted." It is more like a mix of Aberrant and Exalted with little more to offer than an immediate gaming fix. Designed as a finite story and game line (3 books planned total), this game is a solid basis, but not much else unless you like playing pregenerated stuff.

The Good: It's a rules-lite version of Exalted for the most part, with a little bit of Aberrant thrown in. Six pantheons provide a very global basis for characters to start with. Chunky rules are easy to understand. Comes with an adventure AND pregenerated characters so you can jump right into the game and genre, and the opening fiction additionally focuses on one of the pregens. Some good "stock" badguys and updates from mytholoogy

The Bad: A min-maxer's dream. From the (IMO) overbalanced Mega-Attributes (called Legendary Attributes) to a gift/charm system which allows you to pick and choose whatever you watn, to two powers that force the GM to tell you what's going on and what WILL be going on, the game screams for two or three twinkie players to build unstoppable monsters. In addition, there isn't much provided beyond "regular" opponents. This doesn't just mean bigger, badder monsters, but none of the enemies (no less then the sires of the Gods, the TITANS themselves) are detailed outside of a blurb for an NPC. Where the Gods are well-thought out and given plenty of background, individual titans and their plans, desires, methods, etc. are virtually unseen in the book other than vaguely menacing references and a promise that no PC can take them on (yet.)

The Ugly: A pregenerated adventure designed for the pregenerated characters which at least 1/3 of is directly tied to the pregenerated characters. The book's "maybe-maybe-not" approach to the game's backstory (Ex: Want more pantheons? Build them. But then the game changes because the Gods are stronger. But maybe not. But maybe yes. We don't know, and we're not going to give you more). White Wolf's total lack of proofreading for grammar and spelling. Poor layouts that seem outright wasteful in certain areas due to whitespace unused. The fact that the book is all BLACK AND WHITE when Exalted is totally in color.

In all, it's a noble effort, and one that might gain prestige and much-needed background with the release of the other two books, but the game itself takes an almost hypocritical stance on backstory (such as the aforementioned thing with the pantheons, and passages in the book which say that you, the GM should do the research for this game, seemingly because the designers decided not to - like with the lack of ANY material on the Titans).

In addition, this game is practically designed to be min-maxed, and without a strong GM control, players will surpass all but the most specific or oblique threats with relative ease. The fact that the book allows you to purchase the MAXIMUM LEVEL OF POWER OUT OF THE GATE (at the cost of all your bonus points) because it's necessary to get the amazingly-powerful Legend Attributes at their highest levels and then tells you that the next book covers the next power level (2 months in the future at least) is poorly-done planned obsolesence.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Scion: Hero
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Cyberpunk v.3
Publisher: R. Talsorian Games Inc.
by Luke N.
Date Added: 09/26/2006 10:29:54

A lot of reviews focus on the Art; This isn't one of them. Forget "Art" forget that they're "dolls," because Art doesn't make an RPG. Setting, writing, and system makes an RPG. Don't let the artwork distract you from actually sitting down and reading the story behind the world of 203x and understanding that THIS is an evolution of the tenets of cyberpunk. GOOD The setting has evolved to engender a lot more conflict and a lot more reasons to get allies. It has expanded the ways you can transcend your humanity, and allows you to explore it from an RP standpoint rather than a mechanical (Empathy/Humanity) standpoint. Online support and expansion for story / setting / game materials. BAD The rules systems are in need of clarification and referencing. The customization of your characters is below-average, forcing everyone into archetypes and not allowing enough "play" for individuality in most cases. More variety is desperately needed in every altcult! BOTTOM LINE This is still a grim and gritty future. The landscape has changed, but danger still looms everywhere. The big difference is a paradigm shift ... you can't just walk down the street, grab the spike-haired netrunner and walk into a bar and grab a solo to do a run from the burned-out safehouse anymore. Now you have to skirt the edges of societies to find who you need, go right to your mission area and take it. You have to dance on the outskirts of society, walking a fine line between outcast and acceptance. This is the dark future, make no mistake. Nobody loves you but your momma (and she could be jivin' you too). FINAL WORD For those 'punkers who think it's all about the 'Ware, check out the awesome articles on RTG's page about 22 Cyberpunk movies and what makes them Cyberpunk even when they don't have chrome and wires.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Cyberpunk v.3
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