The indie-scene has seen its very fair share of authors promoting their books in social media groups that have usually the one post per day limit, and as we’ve talked about before, these posts get lost so easily due to the sheer volume of indie authors trying to get their work out there. Now we have created several groups where you’re allowed to post a maximum of three times per day, however, we’re also doing something new here at MFG that may not exactly be new everywhere else, however, we’re doing this on behalf of our authors, as well as our editors.
MFG is proud to announce that it will be launching an internet based web-series that is narrative, story-driven, yet an actual written story that you as the readers can read online for free. That is right, we are not charging a single penny for this story. Why is that, you must be wondering?
Surely, there is some kind of ulterior motive for the Publishing company to be doing a collaborative project that seems no strings attached. Well, the truth of the matter is that we are merely doing it to hear back from You as the readers, and to keep us well-informed. While the project will not be able to vote on endings, you can at least tell us what you like or dislike about the project The End of the Line (Please bear with us, this is the Development title of the project). This project is a collaborative one, which means not only are our authors participating in it, however, we are inviting all members of the indie author community that is interested, to join us. What’s the reason? So you may all showcase your fine writing talents.
That’s the seriousness of it. There is no sarcasm, no strings attached. Even if you are not published with us, if you participate in this project, which, will have each episode written by a different author for our first season, scheduled to be released in a total of 12 episodes (per season if you all enjoy it enough), and will show case their fine writing talents. For those not published with MFG, this means that you will reach a much wider audience, gain a much larger following, and you are getting your work (if it’s accepted, we’ll explain further on how this works), that you will also get it reviewed, published, and edited for free, no charge by MFG or its editors. The purpose for this is also to provide the proof of quality of our own editors’ skills, and their ability to edit your particular chapter.
Now how the project works, before we explain the project is simple: Including the original creator of the story, each individual will, based on a summary of the characters, events that take place that are major and vital to the storyline, will periodically write in a designated order (which will be handed out once we have all collaborators on board), and each author will get credit for that episode. Each episode will have background music attached to it, that, at the end of each season, we will be selling the Music, because our wonderful up and coming musical composer and indie artist that has agreed to work with us, and agreed to donate their time and talent to this endeavor (due to the volume), ensures that we each get an equal portion of income from sales of the Official Sound Track that will be released upon the first season’s completion if we get that far ahead (again this comes down largely to the reader, which is largely you guys)! That said, while each important moment is set in stone, the writers themselves can take the story in new and exciting directions, while keeping to the true nature of the characters, the setting, and the story.
Now, what is this End of the Line project that MFG is blathering on about? Well, inspired by the real life events that take place, and the modern day horror/action procedural cop show, the premise of this online series is that a Psychiatrist, formerly an FBI criminal Profiler with a somewhat checkered past is blissfully, if not dully, passing away his retirement from the FBI as a private Psychiatrist and does his best to help his patients. He has a family, with an eldest daughter, a younger daughter, and a newborn baby boy on the way, with his wife. He occasionally does consultant work for the New York’s 45th Precinct, located in Queens and the FBI located in Manhattan, however, he is largely a man that works and lives out of his home in Sheepshead Bay, New York. However, after a particularly long day, one day, our Psychiatrist snaps, and begins killing his patients in the very way that they suffer from on a psychological level. How does he not get caught or suspected? Our former FBI profiler does understand the loopholes in the law, and how to not get caught, if he so truly desired. However, his murders are far from perfect.
Enter Detective John Ackerson, who will be assigned to hunting down the soon to be labeled by the media Mind Hunter (Working Title). This detective, while decorated, has his own inner demons however, and after succumbing to his alcoholic tendencies, losing his fiancée due to his obsession with his job as a Homicide detective, and a case that has pushed him over the age before being assigned, he is assigned by Internal Affairs to see a court ordered psychiatrist, which, happens to come in the form of our Psychiatrist, Adam Crenfield.
The story will focus on the fact that while Adam is committing these murders, we also see the perspective of the man that is supposed to be hunting him. How will this game of Hunter and Hunted turn out, when John finally begins putting the clues together that his psychiatrist, and a man he eventually comes to admire and respect as a friend, and realizes he must bring to justice the man that knows more about him than even his own fiancée?
That all said, if you are not a published author with Meztrailov Fantasy Games, or not part of any collaborating Publishing Company that is working with us on our project, if you wish to submit an entry for an episode, all you need do is click the contact us page with your episode idea. From there, the Editors, and the Collaborating Authors will vote on whether or not the story idea fits. If it is not accepted, you will receive an actual email confirmation (one way or the other), explaining why it was not submitted, or why we did in fact accept your submission, and will be welcoming you to the project. All we ask is that your storyline idea be kept two 10 (ten) sentences. That’s two paragraphs, and we will be updating the series one episode every two weeks, long enough to give you all time to read the plotline, as well as leave comments on what is going on.
Now, we’ll give you the basic details, so those of you at home with small children don’t have to worry about any warnings:
End of the Line is considered an Adult Action/Horror Novel
-There are mature scenes (however, any explicit love scenes are immediately written in a fade to black scenario).
-Violence while written in some detail, will not be written in its entirety (except for the Uncut edition of the first Season which will be released the completion of the season, to which all sales will be split equally amongst the contributors to the story).
-Children can read this book, but it should be at the parents’ discretion, as MFG is a family friendly company, however, we also do produce adult fiction that is horror and action themed. Please keep this in mind.
-The Series is written in the first person present in every episode. You must understand that while this is action/horror, it is also Noir as well.
-Lastly, the End of the Line Series is something that is spread by word of mouth so to speak, and advertising from the readers. Your input is incredibly important to us, because it does have the power to shift how we as the writers decide to twist and turn the story, while keeping to the Outcome (which, will have you all shocked)! Or at least, we hope so anyway.
So that said, the following is the list of individuals who are currently going to be involved in the project, and we will have a more updated list by the end of the month, and here is the overall project:
End of the Line: An MFG Collaborative Production Series created by Matthew Feldman
Writers: Mariah Lynde
Raz T. Slasher
Musical Composer(s): Raven Fuscia
That said, if you would like to contribute to this, all you will need to do is use the contact form that will be located on the Series Page, and we will get right back to you as soon as possible. If you want to stay up to date, please join one of the many groups that we are in, found on Facebook, simply by searching the names Oh the Horror!, The Laws of Robotics, Authors Assemble, Society for Indie-Publishers.
We can also be reached at MezFantasyGamesMF@gmail.com and MezFantasyGamesRN@gmail.com.
A Review of Wardbreaker by J.A. Cipriano; What's In a Name
Written by M.A. Feldman
Now, it has been a while since we’ve updated the MFG Mouth Off, and with good reason! We’ve been recently enraptured by the Prequel novel written by J.A. Cipriano, their most recent book, Wardbreaker. Why do we call this review Wordbreaker?
Well, first let’s give some context. The Lillim Callina Chronicles follow the story of female protagonist Lillim Callina, who’s a resurrected demon slayer from another world, and was once part of a group of demon-slayers known as the Discouri. No longer apart of this group, Lillim Callina strikes out on her own, and is currently staying away from the former elite group of Demon-Slayers. The series Chronicles her adventures, and with Cipriano’s fluid writing style, it’s hard to not fall in love with this series. A series of action, romance, guts, and tears, J.A. Cipriano brings a story very akin to Mariah Lynde’s own Vengeance of Avalon Novels (Perhaps a reason why it struck a chord with us here at MFG), and it’s very akin to novels like The Dresden Files, and The Nightside Series.
However, Wardbreaker, breaks the mold so to speak, and acts as a prequel, explaining how Lillim Callina got her start on Earth, how she first fell in love, and how her life on Earth truly began. The story overall is fast paced from the get go, allowing new readers to easily pick up on a story that is already written. As stated by Cipriano, “The purpose of writing Wardbreaker was to give fans an insight into what happens to Lillim before the Series Takes Place”, and it does an excellent job of doing so. A small novella, just shy of100 pages, ending at 97 pages in PDF format, the book’s characters, ranging from the Impetuous Vampires like Ralph, to the Hunter that Lillim falls for (no spoilers in this review), we see humor interwoven with a story of fantasy that very few indie-authors have been able to pull off. Written from Lillim’s perspective, we see a very tightly woven story, with excellent word usage, and plays on words that Cipriano employs that not many indie-authors can truly apply. Wardbreaker puts the reader right alongside Lillim in her prequel adventure, and overall is a well written book. Its only short comings are that there are some typical pitfalls, however, these pitfalls have become staples of the Urban Fantasy Genre, and as such are more of an asset to the Prequel novella than a hindrance.
Overall Rating: 4.5 out of 5 Starts.
WHAT'S IN A NAME
Now many people have voiced their concerns regarding the name of our Publishing Company; “Meztrailov Fantasy Games”. Many questions have been sent to us, such as, “If you’re a Publishing Company for Indie Authors, why don’t you call yourselves, Meztrailov Fantasy Publishing, or Mez Fantasy Studios?”
Well we have a very simple answer for that. The truth is, we are in fact, largely a publishing company. However, like other companies that came before us, we always have had a passion for gaming, and it has always been our goal to produce not just books, but games also. So, our company was named with the idea of eventually moving beyond just publishing books, and publishing games, and producing the games themselves. That said, we are in fact, a publishing company. Our roots began in Publishing, and we’re going to stay that course. However, we will, down the road, be branching off into publishing, and producing, our own games, as well as hopefully selling other indie-companies’ games from our own retail. After all, the indie-community is a collaborative one. However, we wanted to clarify the name of our company so that the readers and consumers of our products know that we are in fact a Publishing company for books, and our genres are action, adventure, science-fiction, fantasy, sci-fi fantasy, urban fantasy, steam punk, horror, alternative fiction, romance fiction, romance/fantasy fiction, mostly any type of fiction so long as it IS NOT EROTICA. MFG is a family friendly company, and while we do produce books that are rated R, or M, in certain cases due to adult content, we are not in any way, in the support of Erotica, as it does not pose any real value to the reader or consumer, other than as sexual gratification, which is not our area. We are a publishing and gaming company.
Which leads me to the gaming aspect. You’ll notice we really only have one game produced for free, based on forum Roleplaying, in a free-form setting. That said, while we do engage in the game on AOL, we are in the works of producing table top games that are RPG based, and that are Card Based, and Even Dice Based. However, right now, our focus is on making our indie-publishing cause us to stand on our own two feet before we begin releasing games to the public. We want to be sure that we’re providing you quality products, before we offer you quality games as well. That said, I hope this clarifies the confusion.
We will be releasing another updated later on this month, about an up and coming project known as “The End of the Line”, a large collaborative online webisode based reading series, that will be contributed to by many different up and coming, incredibly talented authors. We will release more information about that later on in the month.
Until Next Time, Mouth Off with any comments you have or suggestions!
Written by M.A. Feldman
Hello everyone! No we are not dead, we’ve just been extremely busy, so let’s get right into it!
Normally, we would take the time to review a book or game, but in this Mouth Off we are going to take the time to promote the whole of the indie-writing/publishing community. The reason? MFG has always prided itself on its desire not just to be a publishing company, but also a promoter of the up-and-coming authors, and other indie-publishing companies as well. To that end, our staff, after extensive research through marketing and demographic research, we’ve gone and created several distinct groups on Facebook for each type of writer to reach their target demographics. Currently, there are only three distinct groups, however each day we are in fact in the process of growing the indie-community by creating more of these groups for each type of genre. These are the following groups that are currently available:
Oh the Horror! Book Promotions: This horror themed genre of book promotions looks to not only promote the macabre and twisted and terrifying, but also for authors to engage one another in conversation about writing, and about the overall horror genre. This group is largely for horror authors and horror enthusiasts who are looking for that next terrifying thrill. The link to this group can be found here-- https://www.facebook.com/groups/1203565766337516/
Tales of Fantasy; Fantasy Book Promotions: This fantasy themed group is targeted for those who wish to throw rings into volcanos and banish evil threats back to the darkness from which they came! No, we’re kidding of course. This book promotional group is targeted for fantasy writers and enthusiasts alike, whether you’re writing urban fantasy, medieval fantasy, or even modern fantasy, this is the place for you to promote your work or simply appreciate others by buying their work! This group, like the others, promotes discussions, writing tips, promo tips, and a place to share your fantastic ideas! This group can be found on Facebook here at the following link-- https://www.facebook.com/groups/189466914750325/
The Laws of Robotics Sci-Fi Book Promotions: This Facebook group is also, like the others, centered towards those who dare to dream beyond the stars, who want to fight galactic empires, or simply want to write about the verse as a whole! This group focuses on the promotional work of anything Sci-Fi within the Indie-Writing/Publishing industry. Like the other groups, this targets those writers and enthusiasts who are all about the fantasy genre. Discussions are encouraged, and tales widely spread! The link for this group can be found here-- https://www.facebook.com/groups/1742877675943234/
Authors, Assemble! Action & Adventure Book Promotions: For those that like to write comic-books, or even write stories about superheroes that are just learning to control their powers, it matters little, for with great writing talent, comes great writing responsibility! In this group, we focus on not just superheroes, but all action/adventure book promotions and promotional work of that nature. You are encouraged to discuss, share helpful tips, just like the other groups. This group is targeted for the action/adventure lovers and writers alike. The link for this group can be found here-- https://www.facebook.com/groups/525710954256292/
Now why did MFG create these groups without directly putting the MFG logo on the title of them? As stated previously, we want to grow the indie-community as well as collaborate with other authors and help them grow their fan base, even if they aren’t being published by MFG. Furthermore, there are some key facts in our research that we came across that we’re going to share. Please note that we’ve basically broken down the majority of it into a few major points:
Why you ask? The goal here is for Indie-Publishers to be able to network and connect with each other. This is not to poach clients in anyway, but rather to ensure indieu-publishers have the resources and collaborative efforts to succeed. If this sounds like something you’re interested in, check out the Indie Publishers group, “The Indie-Publishing Network”. IN this group, we discuss non-confidential matters, as well as new resources that are available and offer help from company to company in one fashion or another. This is not a group for aspiring authors, and MFG will not be the sole admins of this group. Please see the rules on this group once they are posted, and if you cannot see them because the group is closed (and Facebook is always changing their features; just look at the ridiculous emoticons they’ve added), than feel free to message MFG’s owner, Matt Feldman, on Facebook to get a clear list of the rules.
All this said, MFG has gone back to its roots in publishing, and as such, here are two of our featured authors, Mariah Lynde, and Raz T. Slasher.
Darkness Falls: https://www.createspace.com/4931780
"Darkness Falls" by Mariah Lynde
The Isle of Magic has long been a secret that was shrouded in mystery and rumor.
Many stopped believing in such a place but a few remain that seek out its power. Many have wondered if the Isle and its mystical city of Avalon could have ever existed. Even now a war is being fought for the very survival of our worlds, yet few people know that it is even taking place.
Those that do are left with only whispered words of Avalon and the Isle of Magic that once existed.
Three thousand years ago, the city of Avalon fell in one day, yet no one truly knows how it happened or just why it was such a loss to the whole of the realms.
This is the story of what created that mystical place of dreams and magic. It is the tale of those days where all forms of mystical creatures thrived and what eventually led to their downfall.
This is the story of Avalon's creation and the beginning of the War of Darkness that now threatens us all...
“The Mime” by Raz. T. Slasher
In 1985 a tragedy occurred during a small town's founders day festival and performer's parade somewhere in Ohio. This event left one woman dead, and a local man missing. Shortly after a series of murders began taking place over a span of more than 30 years. Samantha was a little girl when it all happened. Things have never been the same since she watched her mother die. She's struggled her entire life just to feel normal. All grown up now, Samantha's finally moved on with her life. She's in a stable relationship for the first time with an amazing woman, and even has a few close friends. It's just another night out on the town, until they find the body of one of her friends in a parking lot.
That’s all for now guys! We look forward to seeing you all on the next update!
***** SPOILER WARNING *****
A long time ago, in a galaxy that we all live in, there was a young man with a vision for a movie that would change the future.
After American Graffiti (1973), George Lucas had the vision for a space adventure that was inspired by such movies as Flash Gordon (1980) and Planet of the Apes (1968 – 1973). So in 1973 began the writing of Star Wars: A New Hope. After Star Wars: A New Hope followed the movies Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back, and Star Wars: Return of the Jedi. From 1999 to 2005 came the prequel movies. Star Wars: The Phantom Menace, Star Wars: Attack of the Clones, and Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith.
The year is now 2016 and we have had the release of the newest in the Star Wars universe! Star Wars: Force Awakened!
Force Awakened starts off three decades after the destruction of the Galactic Empire. Life for citizens in the galaxy has returned to somewhat normal. Smugglers are less fearful of being jettisoned out their own airlocks if caught smuggling, Imperial employees can now make friends, and the only one outer rim survivors have to worry about being swindled by is each other! But in Star Wars, things don’t always go smoothly. We are immediately thrusted into another brewing war as it is discovered that Luke Skywalker has gone into hiding; and being the last Jedi that’s kind of a problem as the Sith are out there already plotting their return. Though the Galactic Empire is once again the Galactic Republic – with the representative from Naboo hopefully being replaced – there is still a Resistance to fight against the old fans of Emperor Palpatine and his Galactic Empire ideals. They are calling themselves the First Order.
On an outer rim planet, we’re introduced to Rey. A young woman who has taken to surviving on her own rather well. All we know about her is that she’s alone, and waiting for someone to come back to her. While her desire to stay in place and quietly wait has gone well so far, fate has decided to pop large holes in her dreams and thrust her into a new life and way of living. This is where Finn comes in. It’s obvious he’s running away from the First Order and his position as a Storm Trooper. What’s his luck when he lands on the same planet as Rey? They end up running from the First Order together with a spunky little droid, BB8. In running away from the First Order, they escape on one of the most famous ships in the Star Wars universe.
The Milennium Falcon is not far off from its true owner as Rey and Finn are joined by Han Solo and Chewbacca themselves! They’ve been up to their usual tricks, if not a bit longer in the tooth these days. What we learn is that Han and Leia have had a small falling out with one another, though we’re not too sure why. Han agrees to take Rey and Finn to someone who might be able to help them get BB8 to the Resistance.
Meanwhile, in the new base of the First Order, it’s clear that they’ve been busy bees dressed all in blacks and greys and still holding ice on the burns that the Rebels gave them when Luke destroyed not only their first death star, but killed their Emperor as well. Their anger hasn’t abated at the loss of their ideal way of life, and someone else has taken Palpatine’s place. The new Sith in town is Kylo Ren. An impulsive, and sometimes petulant, Sith in training that is obviously the son of Han and Leia when we find him praying to Darth Vader’s burnt and bent helmet, begging his Grandfather to show him the path to the Dark Side.
The movie is bigger, grander, and geared toward bringing in that new generation of Star Wars fans just like the first three did in the 1970’s. Fans that have been through the first six movies might have felt differently about the new movie. While it certainly gives us all the elements that are in a Star Wars film, such as an engaging hero, the death of a beloved character, a villain at war with not just himself but the declared enemy, and a compelling and emotion inducing soundtrack, a lot of fans felt it could have given more.
In comparison to the original movies, there didn’t seem to show much of a development for Rey in her abilities with the force. She was introduced, a small bit of her mysterious background was shown, and then she’s introduced to Luke’s, before that Anakin’s, lightsaber by way of the saber calling to her through the Force. She’s given a vision of the past about the journey of the saber and then runs off saying she wants no part of it when told that it called to her for a reason.
What might have upset a lot of fans is the fact that Finn, the former StormTrooper with no inclination for the force what so ever, picks up the lightsaber and uses it. If not a bit haphazardly. It has always been understandable that the lightsaber was the weapon of the Jedi and Sith. Masters of the force. Those that were not able to show any ability for manifesting their connection to the force weren’t able to use lightsabers. While they did follow with the lore in showing that Finn was very awkward with the lightsaber, it still technically should not have been done. The explanation behind is use, is the lightsaber does have an on and off switch, allowing for it to be used by anyone. It was determined by their level of skill with manifestation of the force whether they could use the lightsaber well or not.
For this movie we’re given a little more insight into the conditions of the First Order and how the Storm Troopers are trained and utilized. Their conditioning is more like mind control, and their change in uniform has allowed for better accuracy as well. Proving that the helmets were the cause for bad aim when firing their blasters.
The First Order as well has since decided that the plans for a second death star has been a bit small in ambition. While being able to destroy a planet has been a good idea, and the plan worked, they chose to go on a grander scale and destroy multiple planets at one time with their new super weapon. Instead of a battle station that is the size of a moon, how about a battle station that is the size of a whole planet, and sucks away whole suns in order to charge itself up? Welcome to the First Order! Even though it’s a new threat to the republic, the storm troopers are still weak willed proven when Rey is able to manipulate the mind of her guard without any formal training in the force what so ever. And the First Order is still making their ultimate weapons with obvious weaknesses in them. At least those beloved characteristics of the universe haven’t changed.
In the end, we here for the MFG Mouth Off have decided to give Star Wars: Force Awakened a three out of five. While it still engages us to watch the next movie, it leaves a bit to be desired like we had from the first six star wars movies. We enjoyed the return to the Star Wars universe, but felt that Disney was taking some liberties that should have been shut out like their refusal of the books being canon lore. While lore is missing from the story, such as Han and Leia’s twins, Disney has still made a good attempt. Go and see the movie and enjoy star wars for the first time or the seventh time.
Written by M.A. Feldman
Hey everyone! First of all, MFG would like to wish everyone a happy Thanksgiving, even though the holiday is over and the Black Friday nightmares are still gripping us all. We hope that everyone had a great time with their families and loved ones, and wish everyone the best.
Now in this update, normally we would simply end it with an update on how things are going and what we're up to, and our most recent projects, and our current deals and prices on products. However, with this post, we're aiming to do something different. We're focusing on something that many of us lose touch with, and that's truly what's important in life.
So now that Thanksgiving is over with, and you have all had your fill of your family and catching up with your loved ones, we here at MFG, and me specifically, (M.A.Feldman), am very curious: What are you thankful? I'll start us off, but I would love to hear what the RPG fans and video gamers, and consumers are thankful for in their lives.
M.A Feldman is thankful to have been given the opportunity to create a digital publishing company solely devoted to its client and consumer base, as well as having a loving father, and a loving fiance who helps out with the company. I am incredibly thankful for the patience that my clients show me as we undergo consistent changes throughout our business and add features and facets to the company. I am thankful for the input from my clients, and their thoughts on how things could also be marketed. In general, I am thankful also for the wonderful friends I've made through my connections, such as my good and personal friend and owner of Walton Press, Keith Shatsoff, as well as his family, as well as Actor and Author Raz T. Slasher, and the female indie George R. R. Martin (my opinion anyway) Mariah Lynde, whose talents, connections, and continued profesionalism are an inspiration to the indie community. Furthermore, I am grateful for friends like Beth from Insominia Publishing, and her connection of people I've met, and I am furthermore, thankful for the indie authors and artists out there who have the courage to put their work on the line for the world to see.
So everyone, in the comments section, let us know what you're thankful for this year!
Written by M.A. Feldman
First, I’d like to take the time to say that we here at MFG are sincerely sorry about the over-due removal of our hiatus status. Now that the owner’s Graduate Program is complete, and the operation goes back to being a small team, we can once again resume business, game development, and an overall pleasurable experience in the fields of publishing, gaming, and entertainment. Now, in our Facebook Message we had previously mentioned that we were going to be announcing some projects in the works, but that is not all. One of our people here at MFG was able to beta-test the up-coming title BattleBorn from Gearbox developer, creators of the Borderlands series. Now, since an NDA was signed, we can’t give you much information about that, other than our tester felt that players who are expecting a multiplayer experience that is incredibly reminiscent of Halo with a twist, this is the game for you. That said, let’s get right down to our announcements!
First, we’d like to announce the development of the Dreams of Salvation RPG core rulebook. Dreams of Salvation is currently in production, and what this game is, in essence is our debut game. We are taking the Open-Licenses for both the FATE Core System, and the D20 system of the old DnD games, and combining these two, to create a steam punk universe where narrative and chance are what determine the fate of your characters (somewhat poorly added pun intended). This steam-punk genre will be going on digital sale and print, and we are going to be posting a Kickstarter for it, once we begin, so we can afford and ensure, that all writers who wish to be part of this undertaking (see Career Opportunities tab) can also be paid as well as our editors.
Additionally, we will also be receiving the pleasure of being able to interview indie-bestselling author Eric. R. Asher, whose Urban Fantasy novels are a wonderful blend of comedy, horror, and thick intrigue in the modern world where magic is common place, and so is the body count.
Also we would like to proudly announce that MFG’s first ever audio-drama, entitled, Cross the Line will be released in the fall of 2016. This audio drama centers on a forensic psychiatrist with a deep listlessness that has taken him ever since retiring from the FBI, and his breaking point, and the detective who eventually becomes his client. A deadly game of cat and mouse begins, and a deadly border is pressured. This will be written Co-written by MFG productions and co-written with Matthew Blum. We will also be seeking voice actors for this, once we are finished with the first season’s script.
Mariah Lynde, author of the Vengeance of Avalon Series is hard at work with her third book coming out, and for suspense we’re keeping it closed and tight lipped until she’s ready to hand over a sample for the readers to see! However, this will be the third book in the Vengeance of Avalon Novels, and we will begin pre-orders around black-Friday, however, the novel itself will not be released until the spring of 2016.
Author Raz T. Slasher, with his debut novel, in tandem with his release of his movie Mime, which the book is based off of the movie, will be released as early as spring 2016. This horror/slasher is not intended for anyone that is considered less than young adult, to adult, and is recommended for an adult audience. But, we also do understand, that there are those young adults that were inspired by the likes of Stephen King and Dean Koontz and are willing to open their imaginations to those terrors. We are definitively looking forward to this release, and will have more news on it as it unfolds, as well as a sample for the readers, when we’re ready to release it.
We are also featuring a brand new author, who’s recently been accepting and will be announcing further news on this once the finalizations of all negotiations have been completed, however, many of his readers will remember him from one of his productions as well. Congratulations to our new client!
Meztrailov Fantasy Games, officially now open for business, is looking for individuals who, for the time being are admittedly, in a way, working for free at first. We did not start up our company with a lot of money, just enough to get us going. We are trying our hardest to in fact make a multi-team operation work between three to four people at most. We are now trying to change that. We are seeking internships, which we will give you the necessary amount of hours that you desire, no matter the state, as well as letters of recommendations from us, and three to four of our affiliates, to help you along should you wish to pursue a career elsewhere (which, any college student would!). That said, the following positions are open:
Editorial Internship: At least being studying in a four year accredited institution that we can verify with, or have Journalism or Literature Degree preferred. This does not discount you however. We simply would prefer it, and would likely see the top of the list first, but that does not guarantee an employment opportunity. We are in fact an equal opportunity employer as well as internship. Duties of this involve copyediting, developmental editing, content editing and considerate amount of dialogue with clients. You must be able to clearly speak and be friendly and constructive about your comments. We do not encourage negativity for the sake of humiliation or in any other fashion.
Promotional/Marketing Internship: Business Management BA or BS preferred, however, again, we are not judgmental. The main focus of this is to promote our products, help come up with new marketing ideas, as well as help us get our product to the people in ways that they can relate to and make it enjoyable for them as much as it for us to make the product itself or publish the novels we produce.
Artist Internships: We know this one sounds kind of weird, but it’s really more of a way of working out a percentage of the projects you work on, plus recommendations to others, and acknowledgement of your work, until the full amount you’re negotiated with is actually commissioned.
A Review of Destiny's House of Wolves DLC by M.A. Feldman
After much anticipation and guessing and leaked information and denials and confirmations from renown game developer, Bungie, the creators of the games Marathon, and the Halo Franchise (despite it being utterly ruined by 343 Studios and Microsoft), on Tuesday, May 19th, 2015, at effectively 1:00 PM Eastern Standard time, the HOUSE OF WOLVES second expansion Downloadable Content was released. In this month’s MFG Mouth Off, we review in depth the storyline content, the changes made to the game’s aesthetics and gameplay as well as the Prison Of Elders (Unfortunately, we will not be able to review the Trials of Osiris as this is a weekend based event, and unfortunately my publisher wanted the review out today! So we’ll make sure we get an update posted for the House of Wolves Trials of Osiris over the weekend for you guys!)
While I understand that this is going to be targeted directly at the video gaming world this month, instead of some news about upcoming events and releases for our books, please bear with us, as we are also demonstrating in this month’s article why self-published authors should also be seeking our services as novel reviewers, and that our services are in fact worth their prices (and we are also willing to negotiate). So without any further ado, we move right along, to the review of House of Wolves, starting with the first two places: The Trailer, and the Opening Cinematic for the House of Wolves DLC Content. After we’ve reviewed the content, we’re going to analyze and explain some of the new features that have also been added, and lastly, we’ll give you our overall rating on our 1-5 star scale system.
House of Wolves Expansion Two
Developer: Bungie and Activision
Genre: FPS, MMORPG
Release Date: May 19, 2019
Game’s Original Release Date: September 9, 2014
We start by looking at this trailer for the House of Wolves. Just listen to it; the empty hatred that hides beneath the calm exterior of Mara Sov, the Queen of the Awoken, who spilt the blood of her own people in the fight for their survival against the Fallen House of Wolves, and it was she who killed their Queen, and imprisoned the rest in the Prison of Elders. Granting them their mercy, she’s repaid in blood. Your job Guardian, is to hunt down these traitors, and reap the benefits of Reef’s rewards for your success.
Downloadable Content: The Story and In-Game Mechanics
The trailer just jacks you up, doesn’t it? It makes you feel like you’re going to take on an army. It makes you feel like the fate of the Awoken’s revenge truly does hang on your every decision now. Will you aid the Awoken? Will you help them claim vengeance upon the enemy, and will this actually have a storyline content, unlike its predecessor. The trailer we see definitively implies that this is the case, to some extent.
Furthermore, the actual in-game cinematic does the same thing, however, this time as you can see in the video, we’re not greeted by the voice of the Awoken Queen herself (for clearly, we are but merely insignificant bounty hunters to the mighty Queen who slew the House of Wolves Kell, but apparently keep track of her own prisoners), but by her emissary an incredibly familiar face to Destiny players, Petra Venj, who at the game’s launch also was the representative for the Queen’s Wrath event. After the video, we are taken to the Reef, which as a new DLC has turned into one of three things:
A) The Reef’s Vestian Outpost: This is the new social area for the game. Here, you will find NPCs similar to those back at the Tower, however you will not find vendors other than Reef based Vendors. Here you will find two new characters as well; Variks the Loyal, a Kell from House Judgement who stayed loyal to the Queen even during the House of Wolves uprising. He is the Vendor responsible for not only administering parts of the storyline quest, but also the individual who runs the weekly Prison of Elders event in much the same capacity as that of Lord Saladin (Or as my gaming clan calls them, Lord Insalata Viso, which translates to Salad Face in Italian, just our quick little sick senses of humor). Alright, admittedly, that sidebar statement is actually a running joke, so to my friends that see this review, please know it still makes me laugh. Also, to those brand new to this blog, please don’t let my sidebar humor get in the way of the review. If you think it is, comment in the comment section. Additionally, there is Sentha 55-30, the Postmaster, two additional Safe Storage Units where guardians can grab their gear, the Bounty Board, Brother Vance who is the Trials of Osiris Vendor, and last but not least, the Bounty Board Representative for the Tower Social Space, Berg 99-40, where you can now not only gather the weekly Queen’s Wrath Bounties, but also, gather your actual bounties. Now, this seems as though it would be a pain in the ass, frankly, to go from one social space to the other. However, with the exception of the Vanguard and Crucible Vendors, for that is the only real purpose the Tower now officially serves, with the exception of Xur. The Vestian Outpost is where you obtain your major storyline missions and bounties for the Reef.
B) The secondary Location introduces Arenas. Arenas are a new end game for the final story missions of House of Wolves, and instead replaces Raids with the Arenas. Each week, like the Nightfall Strike and Heroic Strike, the Prison of Elders will have different arenas, however, each arena remains the same in terms of level: 28, 32, 34, and lastly, 35, which is the effective hard mode for the game type, as is equivalent to hard mode for the Raid. We will be discussing the Prison of Elders more in depth in this review.
C) The third portion of the Reef is the Trials of Osiris Arenas. The Trials of Osiris are another new addition to the many that have been added to the world of Destiny, and the Multiplayer Competitive aspect of the game. The Trials of Osiris are limited to the weekends only, and count as a permanent faction that one can continually raise their level in without worry of weekly resets in terms of rank. Unlike its Iron Banner counterpart, the Trials of Osiris will occur every weekend from Friday until Tuesday when all activities automatically reset at 4:00 AM Eastern Standard time.
So with these new locations we focus now on our storyline. It’s been made very clear: A former Fallen Reaver Captain of the House of Wolves has escaped, which, is directly tied to the escape of Aksor from the Prison of Elders as well (Destiny fans know this as one of the Nightfalls, and it is one of the Strikes players come across in the game; it is not DLC, it came standard as a mission in the game, and there even bounties offered on him and other such targets as many players already know. This was merely for those that didn’t). Who would dare to defy the Awoken Queen, and slay her people?
His name is Skolas, and in the very first mission, where we hunt him down he reveals himself to be the “Kell” of Kells. His story is told further in the campaign missions that follow. New enemies are introduced such as the Repeater Shanks, Explosive Shanks, and Tracer Shanks which shoot not only lasers, but a special mine that blinds the Guardian and slows them down within their radius, much akin to the armor effect of an Exotic Titan Helmet that many Titan Guardians are familiar with. Throughout your missions, you are rewarded by Petra Venj, as well as Variks the Loyal and Brother Vance with just enough rewards to get you started. You see, Bungie has once again increased the overall Light Level of Guardians, this time instead of the level cap being 32, it has been risen to 34; with the Prison of Elders final arena level being capped out at level 35, making it the hard mode equivalent of the Raid.
Along the way of doing these missions, you will notice new public events, indicated by the text at the left hand bottom of the screen in white that says, A Pack of Wolves is Prowling. This is a four wave series of enemies that drop from Fallen Ketches’, and on the final wave, you as a guardian will fight a specific target. One week prior to the release of House of Wolves, Destiny Players were given a chance to increase their Queen’s Wrath Reputation early. Vanguard commendations can now be converted to give you 250 reputation towards any faction, while Crucible commendations remain the same: They can only be used on Crucible reputation. A great suggestion to any player that I would advise is to wait until you do the weekly Nightfall, for the 20% experience increase, as the 250 becomes roughly 312 experience towards the faction of your choice (you do need to be wearing the faction class item in order for it to apply to a group like Dead Orbit or Future War Cult). These new public event with the House of Wolves however, grants the chance to collect rare items known as Treasure Keys, which are used in the Prison of Elders end game to claim greater rewards such as better weaponry and better loot. These public events however, also are sometimes the subject of your bounties from the Reef, along with the story mission.
The story missions equate too roughly about four or five major storyline missions, plus one extra mission from Variks the Loyal, Warden of the Prison of Elders, who gives you your new strike, which happens to be this week’s Nightfall. Overall, the story missions expand on previously existing background areas that guardians previously had not accessed, and were shown new areas that now can lead them, say on patrol, through different areas. In one particular mission, since launch, you are able to go completely back to the beginning where the Destiny Guardian player character is awoken (pardon the term, not to be confused with the race Awoken) by their ghost, or, for those that have yet to play this game, Bungie’s new version of Cortana, voiced by Peter Dinklage, super celebrity of Game Thrones. His Dwarf Stature in real life may resemble his Ghost, however, Ghost is summarily hacked into by Petra in order to guide the guardians throughout the missions. The end result of the main story quests for the House of Wolves involves a fight with Skolas, who has unleashed everything he can get his hands on, and has found a way to use Vex Technology, after breaking into the Vault of Glass; a raid that Destiny Players regularly “cheese” (a term used to practically glide through). This is important because the Vault of Glass is where one of the Vex’s strongest warriors was hidden (the final boss for the Vex, Atheon). The final battle consists of Skolas, demonstrating that the Fallen are not just savage alien warriors, but a brilliant tactician as he is actually using the Vex technology to pull warriors from the battle of the Reef before they can be slain, and recuperate the losses of the House of Wolves. In the end, however, the Guardians defeat him, yet the Queen wants him alive to be placed back into the Prison of Elders.
Now, after the game is completed, we are introduced to the Prison of Elders, which starts out as an overall level 28 matchmaking game. Level 28 is the only level to which an individual will find players to interact with if they do not already have a party. The Prison of Elders was meant to be cooperative, and is a team based event, as it does include objectives such as destroying mines or deactivating them the same way one would when playing a match of control and capturing the point. Each wave after the first round carries a specific modifier, including a new modifier known as “Brawler”, which greatly increases the amount of damage a melee attack from a guardian does. For Titans, you guys just became the reason why Zeus had to imprison you monstrous tanks of armor and lightning and void shields! Each tier grants a specific level of experience per level, and as mentioned before works as follows: Level 28 is the start of the mission, level 32 is the next stage. Level 33 is harder, and does require a new type of material upgrade: Etheric Light.
Now, after all of this, you’re most likely wondering if Bungie put the time and energy to fix the weaponry that the DLC The Dark Below doled out, and the answer to that question is most affirmatively yes. The weapons now all have a nice balance, and many of the previous glitches they experienced are officially patched with the release of House of Wolves. Overall guardian level now caps out at level 34, which can be obtained without having to do a Raid, which has so far been overwhelmingly one of the best features of the game, in my honest opinion. They did include new exotic weaponry, to which I have yet to come across, but that doesn’t mean Xur isn’t going to be selling it or perhaps a new Agent of the Nine. Weapons and armor that were acquired can be upgraded simply using Etheric Light.
However, Etheric Light is a material that can only come from one of three places: The Weekly Nightfall has a chance to drop it. The Prison of Elders has a guaranteed chance at level 34 in order to ascertain the Etheric Light. Lastly, the Trials of Osiris has the chance to reward players with Etheric Light. That said, this is where some may have complaints. Etheric Light is not required for the exotic weaponry that players own. All they need is the exotic shards and money and materials and they can immediately upgrade their guns to the maximum amount of damage output, which numerically has been capped at 365 points of damage. This can and still does vary of course, depending on the impact of the weapon; however, 365 is the number that means your weapon has been completely levelled up in. Etheric Light is needed to upgrade Year 1 items, as well as current new items such as the Vestian Dynasty, a new secondary weapon that is actually a side arm, and said by Bungie not to be the only one of its kind. For information on it, simply visit the Destiny Companion App or do a google search on the Destiny Lore, which is likely going to be some kind of “Destinypedia.org” site. However, most of the information you will find is actually quite accurate as its put together by the dedicated fans of the game.
Etheric light can be seen as both a good and a bad thing. Admittedly, with new weaponry and armor and new exotic items as well, the idea of ascertaining the Etheric light is a good idea and the way it’s doled out however, and is slow and in the MMORPG world, that’s known as Grinding for those that don’t know. It means we need to take the time to upgrade our weapons fully by finding Etheric Light, which can also be found in the chests for completing event assassinations.
Now after mentioning this, there are some other things to mention as well. With the release of House of Wolves, Legendary Engrams will no longer give you materials or shards. If you as a player receive a legendary engram for your primary weapon slot, no matter how good of a legendary weapon or how bad of a legendary weapon it is, that is what you will get. This does include so far based on the experience with the game and completing it and the bounties in a total of 5 hours in a play through on one character, class engrams as well. Additionally, the Voice of the Speaker now sells and converts items since most weapons now come with the only requirement to make the weapon its most powerful is etheric light, and the materials used to upgrade it. However, Ascendant Energy and Ascendant Shards are still used, and can be traded amongst one another in exchange, allowing players to be able to level up guns that they normally would not have been able to level up if they didn’t have enough of the material at the time. Additionally, Banshee at the Tower does now reforge weaponry, except not all weapons can be reforged. If you are a Destiny player reading this, you will likely enjoy hearing that you can reforge your Iron Banner weaponry, despite the cost of it being the gamble. You can also reforge certain weapons if you do not like their perks. It does not always mean you will get better perks. It does however mean that you have the opportunity to get better perks for the gun, as well as change its damage output type. Please Note: This only applies to weapons with the hammer symbol on them.
Questions regarding replay value have arisen. After speaking with Destiny Veteran Games, LightTau and FitLopez of Clan Defiling the Wretched, both of whom are some of the nicest gamers and honest I’ve ever had the pleasure of gaming with, both agree that House of Wolves adds a refreshing breath of air into the game and a level of replay value that was not existent in The Dark Below. They also both went on to agree that the changes made to the weapon and armor systems, as well as the increase in Crucible marks one gets for participation and winning were great, and that it was something that Destiny needed to happen. At the same time however, while both agree that the missions of House of Wolves make the player feel that nostalgic Halo like atmosphere, there is a certain amount of repetition to it; that is to say that the idea of simply going level to level and killing the individuals en masse felt somewhat repetitive. However, they also further elaborated that they did acknowledge the fact that there was at least motive behind each hunt, and a storyline this particular DLC that was not present in the other. However, the three of us came to an agreement that Bungie needs to find a way to make their grimoire cards more relevant, because their player base is losing out on storyline that could be incredibly helpful to them understanding some of the missing gaps that have been left.
Lastly, some more aesthetic changes have been that Xur will now be trading motes of light for Strange coins, and there is now an item cap limit in gold when an individual has reached a maximum of a particular type of consumable or material in their inventory space. The Vanguard, Crucible, Dead Orbit, Vanguard Quartermaster, Future War Cult, New Monarchy, and even the Shader Maker Iva Levantisuseless (Most useless NPC ever….even somehow managing to beat out Ashley Graham from Resident Evil 4) each have new armor and weapon sets that complement the game, however, as of yet, no other side-arms such as the Vestian Dynasty have popped up. The Nightfall and the Weekly Heroic Strikes respectively, are now different each week, both from each other as well as the rewards that each distributes. The Nightfall will continue its Unknown Rewards, while the Weekly Heroic will continue to drop strange coins, but no longer carries the Cryptarch’s Engram. An additional level of Strike Playlists has been added, called Strike list Dragon, which is for level 28 strikes.
So, what are the pros and cons of the DLC for someone who’s never played the game before? Simple.
Pros: Each week, along with the reset of the Nightfall and Heroic Strikes and the reset of the Prison of Elders, players have not only the original campaign to play through, but they also have the chance to obtain new and exciting gear without having to wait for the DLC to release. The current weaponry and armor for existing players can in fact be upgraded so long as it was released within the first year of the game’s release. Players who are veterans and have yet to try the game’s new DLC will find that the only thing they need to worry about in order to increase their light level will be the amount of Etheric Light that they will need to upgrade their respective legendary armor and weapons; as previously mentioned, exotic equipment does not require etheric light to be upgraded, nor can any of their effects be changed. There is a level of nostalgia for those who used to play the original three Halo games, and the new missions certainly play on that, as well as providing some new and rich looking backgrounds, while also adding new music as well. The expansion of a new social area makes getting your bounties all in one place nice and simple.
Cons: The truth is very simple: The missions in their nostalgia can only last for so long. The receptiveness of the missions can be somewhat grueling especially at level 32 with no payout or reward, as most players who have and are reading this, have already reached the maximum level for their weaponry and armor as well and are waiting for the Etheric light. There is new medium now to which to farm, and it’s in the form of etheric light. While the newer weapons already come covered with the maximum amount of damage that they can deal, aside from what the Etheric Light will upgrade it too, obtaining the Etheric light requires individuals to farm and interact with others, since attempting to solo the Prison of Elders by one’s self is akin to soloing the Nightfall by one’s self. There is no anchor to help you out. Level 28 for the Prison of Elders is the only matchmaking for both the Prison of Elders, and the Trials of Osiris will require you to already have a group of three people. For those that spent the last few weeks doing what they could to get their faction levels up and trying to get to maximum level, they now have to continue on to level 34, which can effectively be done without the crucible, however, it takes even longer now to do so, putting players who prefer the PVE environment at a slight disadvantage.
Overall Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars.
House of Wolves adds a refreshing breath of life into what was beginning to become a stale game. With the weekly reset of Petra’s bounties, it means someone doesn’t have to rush through in one day to hunt down the targets, they have the luxury of the week to get it done, while also getting the Nightfall and Prison of Elders done as well. Added on top of this that most of the bounties that Petra offers will usually include targets on your way to doing a Daily Mission or Patrol mission, you’re likely to get some alright gear if you’re brand new, or for more veteran players, you’ll at least get something to play with like the shiny new Scorch Cannon (admit it; you definitely felt satisfied when you watched your enemies turn to orange ash thanks to one trigger pull and not wasting your own ammo to get it done).
Written by Matthew Feldman
Now that the next generation of console gaming has finally reached a majority of consumer shelves, it’s become quite clear that there are a variety of things that each next-gen console is offering that the other is not. However, when we decided to take a harder and more critical look at the next generation of gaming, we found some pretty cool, but also one universally disturbing series of facts. So before reading further, understand that this is simply opinion, not fact, and in the comments section, we encourage our readers to correct us if we’re wrong or if they have an opinion they’d like to offer up.
The Pros of the Next Generation Consoles
Let’s start with what seems to be everyone’s majority favorite; the Playstation 4. Currently, the PS4 is favored not only for some of the more exclusive content that it has, but also that from the day of launch, Sony announced that they would be producing patch updates so that their previous generation games could still be enjoyed on their newest product. The current retail price is 400.00 USD. Now you might be saying to yourself that it’s worth it. In a lot of ways, you would not exactly be wrong. The system also is capable of allowing a friend to not only give you in-game items without being in the game, but you do also get something else: Larger capacity for applications, and a network of its own that Sony itself owns. No different, in some ways, than the Microsoft Marketplace, or XBOX Live Marketplace for simplicity.
The Playstation 4 seems to be worth the 400.00, given the exclusive games it has, such as Bloodbourne, which currently one of the most is highly played video games to date next to Destiny, which is strangely both loved and hated by its community of players, as MFG has come to find. There are other games that have spanned both platforms, such as Destiny, which, has DLC that Bungie and Activation Studios respectively both agreed to release later than the release date the PS4 received. Translation? If you are an XBOX ONE owner you will not be seeing your content until the yearly anniversary of the release of the game, and apparently, there are extra things involved such as a strike or two, and a series of extra exotic (incredibly rare and powerful weaponry). So again, the PS4 seems to stand tall among the Next Generation of Consoles.
Microsoft, though has not completely fell out of the running. After a disastrous and quite frankly, humiliating opening run, the company’s next generation console was marketed as the next generation of gaming, but used its XBOX LIVE network to promote its own version of television and connectivity. On top of this, individuals were also introduced with another problem: the Kinect. Conceived for motion action based games to put the player into the game more fully, in much the same way the Nintendo Wii did, the Kinect is an ill-conceived concept due to the lack of strength of the motion capturing on its behalf. However, its voice command features stood out above all other things for the system. The problem: You cannot at all, detach it from your system, and it is always on. This has of course been rectified in the newer version of the console, along with the reduced price of 350.00 USD. There was another issue that Microsoft faced with its console, one that has also been rectified and that’s the confirmation of backwards compatibility for gamers not quite ready to let go of their favorite XBOX 360 games. However, nothing has yet to be done there, but, Microsoft’s XBOX One has done something that no other console has yet attempted: It’s actually attempting to be its own television network hosting, which in many ways could be considered a bold move. Furthermore, the XBOX One is, in terms of performance closer to making games seem more realistic, especially with the most up to date gaming engine, the Unreal 4, and Unity Engines, respectively. Exclusive game titles like Evolve have also been largely praised. Microsoft, like Sony has its own exclusive games that it will be holding fast too, and the performance truly cannot be argued in the actual sense: Marginally the graphics of the in-game play are noticeably better than their previous generation counter-parts.
Now, considering the evolution of the consoles, and how they’ve largely stuck with their own design, Nintendo has always been outside of the box thinkers in the way they attempt to revolutionize gaming consoles. From the original Nintendo, the Powerglove (though considered to be one of its worst inventions), to the Gamecube, which is to this day, still hailed as one of its most successful products, defeated largely by the Nintendo 64 and the impressive array of video games that were put out during its tenure. With the evolution from the Nintendo Wii, to the Wii-U, we have seen it go from an incredibly awkwardly designed box, to the inclusion of a tablet as a remote control that actually helps to interact with the game. This innovation is something that hasn’t been thought of (and it’s potentially because realistically, have you ever actually seen the size of an IPAD or a Nook Tablet or Kindle? Try playing that with a joystick and buttons) as somewhat iconic, if not wholly accepted. The idea however is quite innovative. Yet, unfortunately, Nintendo’s Wii-U, despite its acceptance to be anything other than a console with good graphics, just has not yet quite caught up to the XBOX ONE or the Playstation 4.
Now, the real problem about the XBOX One and Playstation 4
It’s not a secret: As technology grows and earth’s connectivity becomes greater, we’re going to do what we can to advance our technology, and in gaming, that’s always a truth. Whether it’s digital dungeons and dragons, World of War Craft, Magic the Gathering Online, it really all comes down to the fact that each console is attempting to bring the gamer more into the game by adding better graphics, better sound, and overall better performance. However, there’s a sad truth that the Playstation 4 and XBOX One truly are hiding beneath their exclusive titles and downloadable content, and it’s the fact that these consoles are attempting to become entertainment centers rather than actual gaming consoles, with the large exception of the Wii-U, which honestly, is just trying too hard to compete with consoles that far surpass it in performance and style and simplicity in many ways.
The problem does stem from the fact that though that these consoles are attempting to become privatized gaming networks that specialize in television and entertainment centers rather than actual gaming console. Added on top of this, the DLC that they release is just another way for them to continue to bleed the consumer dry. Not all DLC isn’t worth it, that’s not the argument at all; but the argument is that the next generation consoles aren’t as strong as they could be because of the fact that the developers have attempted far too strongly to create home entertainment centers out of their gaming consoles and only now are they beginning to realize how much of a problem this is.
Is there Hope?
There is some hope, however. As each developer fixes their problems with their consoles and listens to their consumers vaguely, there is one company that’s beginning to emerge and show that it isn’t going to be anything more than what it claims to be, and that’s Steam’s new next generation console, set for release between this year and next. According to all information, the console that Steam is producing will allow users to take it where they wish, sign into their accounts, and access their games from their library. Not much has been said about storage space, but, given the nature of how Steam is known for porting their games to be played on a computer, one can bet that the hard drive space is going to be fairly high and necessary. Steam has a collection of games, software, and is also known for the inclusion of their achievement system, which is just like the Wii, XBOX, and Playstation Tropy, Achievement system.
So who wins at the end of the day? Well, that’s really up to you, but, it would seem to MFG that Steam is beginning to enter the race and once it starts, it isn’t going to stop.
Written by Matthew Feldman
Welcome to another monthly update of the Mez Fantasy Games Mouth Off (MFG Mouth Off)! In this issues, we were actually split on which game to review before we released some very exciting information in this month’s Mouth Off, and so it came down to a choice between Tell-Tale Games’ Tales From the Borderlands Episode 2: Atlas Mugged, or Resident Evil Revelations 2. In the end, RE 2 Lost, and we will be showing you our review of Episode 2 Atlas Mugged, as well as the sneak peak at Chapter 1 of Mariah Lynde’s second book in the Vengeance of Avalon Series! Lastly, we’ll be giving you a summary and taste of our first ever table top, FATE powered RPG: Dreams of Salvation. So without further ado, let’s get the review done first!
Review: TTG's Tales from the Borderlands: Episode 2: Atlas Mugged my Attention Span
Overall Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars
Reasons: The gameplay sticks true to what Tell-Tale Games is all about in their character driven and decision making based games that include quick-time-event reactions. Furthermore, the use of the Loot system in this particular episode revealed itself just a bit more in how it’s going to play a part in future episodes. While some of the audio did not line up with the character motions, this is easily forgiven with the number of cultural references and overall cannon to the Universe that Veteran Players would continue to enjoy. Furthermore, the characters continue to remain memorable while also giving us throwback scenes and important information regarding former PC’s such as Athena, and Zero, while also showing us NPCs we are all but familiar with such as Scooter and Loader Bot and of course, Handsome Jack
With Tell-Tale Games important information to understand that you as a player should have is that most of their games are not entirely action driven and they are not the type of games to hide things from you like the average RPG/Decision based game might do. When you look for something, generally it will be right in front of you and you will actually need it. Atlas Mugged, which is a clever parody of the culturally popular book written by Russian Author Aryn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged, this episode, Atlas Mugged focuses on the continuation of the story of Rhys and Fiona (the two characters you play as), and Vaughn and Yvette; your best friends from Hyperion, and lastly, Fiona’s sister, Sasha, a wild and crazy girl in contract to Vaughn who in this episode is to be strangely ripped and muscular, yet an absolute coward!
TTG definitively continues the Borderlands Hilarity of the Universe by keeping the players completely invested in the universe while also clearly pandering to new-players of the game. Veterans of the game series however will be pleasantly surprised not only with the cultural references in this episode, but the actual action and adventure involved in it. Without giving away spoilers, overall, picking right up after Ryhs and Fiona find what is later to be revealed the Gortys Core and Handsome Jack’s hologram appearing at the end of Episode One, the group finds that in Old Haven (a reference to Haven from Borderlands 1), that the Atlas Company had built some kind of facility underground before they abandoned it. After finding this core, the group decides to go and investigate it. Rhys however is seeing Handsome Jack’s hologram, which we suspect to be his memories downloaded from the crazy obsessive Professor Nakayama from Borderlands 2 DLC content Sir Hammerlock’s Big Game Hunt from the first episode in the creepy museum. Jack however is not without his uses as he actually does enhance Rhys’ echo eye, and finally as the group comes together, they are attacked by Hyperion Moonblasts, which begin reigning fire down on the group. Not only that, they are chased by what at first appears to be nothing, but is revealed to be none other than every Veteran Player’s most hated enemy, A Rakk Hive: It’s Just a Skin Condition. The Rakk Hive chases the group down while Rhys uses the boost system to calculate the trajectory of a moonblast and kills the Rakk Hive. He and Vaughn are separated from Rhys and Fiona and it’s revealed while they are alone that Vasquez shows up and that while the player may have declined the deal made to him by Vasquez, Vaughn did not; and is betrayed. Vaughn swears he had no intention to kill the player. Jack again reveals that he helped Rhys by enhancing his Echo Eye and it allows Rhys to either destroy Vasquez’s car or hack the prototype gun that he is about to kill Rhys and Vaughn with. After doing this, it is revealed that Handsome Jack’s encapsulated memories that were downloaded by Nakayama were actually taken before his death and he can actually exert control over Rhys’ body. As Rhys and Vaughn escape, the Loader Bot, our favorite NPC ally, shows up and helps us fly away, giving us the choice to go directly to our objective; Old Haven, or go to Hollow Point where the group originally met Fiona and Sasha.
Meanwhile, Sasha and Fiona return to their old home, which they find abandoned, but, it turns out Felix, the man that betrayed them, was doing so to spare them the trouble of having to deal with August and his rival, Valery. It’s clear he’s dead, and despite leaving the girls money and items to remember them by, to which Fiona gets an elemental upgrade to her one shot pistol, Sasha is given a pocket watch which she refuses to take. Finally, two lackeys try to take Fiona and Sasha, and eventually they escape back to Scooter’s, who originally agreed to help them due to seeing Fiona in the death race from Episode 1. After the group finally gets together and goes to Haven, they find what is known as the Gortys Project, and they see Atlas’ corporate logo, an actual replica of Atlas Holding up the world, which only is another nod to the culturally loved book. TTG leaves us hanging once more however, when after it’s revealed that Vasquez was Jack’s personal punching bag (which Jack thinks is cute that Vasquez thinks that this was an exclusive thing, his own words being ‘I punched my mother for Chrissakes!’). Fiona reveals to August that Sasha did not love him, and finally, Fiona and Rhys, the only two capable of touching the Gortys Core are left in the center of the room where it molds together to reveal an item of unknown origin, while Vaughn and Sasha are being held at Gunpoint by Augusts’ men. Jack appears, and tells the player to trust him, while Fiona tells the player to Trust her.
It is officially up to you, and in this MFG Mouth Off, we’re going to ask you to vote on two different polls. We neglected, purposefully to mention the bandit that has been holding Rhys and Fiona captive, due to the fact of how mysterious this individual is and how they seem to understand far more about the story than they are letting on. So, we’re going to ask you to vote.
Who would you trust? Fiona, or Jack; and in next month’s MFG Mouth Off, we shall tally the results and declare whom players should trust!
And for the second poll: Is the Mysterious Bandit None other than the Infamous Tiny Tina, or is the Bandit a mysterious Vault Hunter who will play a larger role in Borderlands 3?
As Promised, we said we would have a sneak peak of Mariah Lynde's second book in the Vengeance of Avalon novels, and without further hesitation or delay, here it is!
Flames of Eternity, Mariah Lynde
It was a day that people would whisper of for centuries. There would be legends built on the actions of the battle that had taken place on the Isle of Magic in the hours prior. Anyone who had been present to watch the battle between Kha’lic Drahl and his daughter, Ariella Trelian had witnessed the first of many events that would turn the tide of the war with the Shadow Lord.
What had happened today had been nothing short of a miracle. Seeing Ariella in action had been a glorious experience that still had people whispering in a combination of fear and awed relief. Today, his sister had actively reawakened Avalon from its sleep and sent Kha’lic Drahl running from the battlefield in defeat. It had been a day three thousand years in the making, but it had not come without great cost.
For Micheal Trelian, he was more than aware of the price his sister had paid for this moment. No matter what the songs and stories said in the future, it was almost certain there would be no mention of the cost. True, this was war and one could not expect that there would not be casualties on both sides. That was an eventuality they had all been prepared for, Micheal and his men especially, but the personal cost…that was something that no one had thought to weigh in the grand plan.
Now, here in the hours following a monstrous battle, the shadows were laying claim to the city of Avalon and its streets. For three thousand years this realm had lain dormant, caught between the land of the living and the dead. No one had been prepared for just what Ariella had done, so now those that fought in the war had entered a city long thought lost, while people who had spent the last three thousand years asleep struggled to come to grips with just what had been done to them.
It was a bloody mess. That much was certain. It would take weeks to figure out what was needed to fortify the Isle of Magic and the city that would serve as the capital for their cause. There would be plenty of work to be done in the coming weeks. Everything from taking inventory, to setting up supply lines for refugees would have to be handled. It was a job that Micheal was more than happy to leave in the hands of others. The only question he had about his current situation was where to go from here.
In the whole of his life, Micheal had never felt more lost than he did at this moment. True, he had helped in turning the tide of battle by turning on his own father and helping Ariella, but the truth was that not even that was enough to erase the sins on his very soul.
No one would understand the true cost of this day. No one save for the two women who had suffered to make it happen. Sadly, even then, Micheal doubted that either was aware of the stain darkening his soul that could never be erased.
To be here, within the gilded walls of Avalon was like a dream come true after untold years of terror and nightmares. So many people were rejoicing to have found this place, this sanctuary that they had thought lost to the onslaught of Kha’lic Drahl’s reign. If her were anyone else, Micheal had no doubt that he would be just as elated to be here within these walls.
Unfortunately, the guilt on his soul, the stain of darkness left by his father and grandfather’s influence made that impossible. He was an interloper, unclean. This was not a place for those tainted by the touch of Kha’lic Drahl’s influence to find peace. True, his sister was just as much a progeny of the Shadow Lord, but she had not done the things he had done. Hell, if any were to look at Ariella’s past, they could see the truth of his nature.
By some miracle, his sister had survived their childhood. Despite the cruelty, despite the pain, and despite all that he had helped in doing to break her body and soul…Ariella had survived. Not only that, she had become a formidable opponent and a master magian of sorts, all while suffering to heal the injuries inflicted upon her.
While there was a part of him that tried to rationalize that he was not responsible for the cruelty of his actions as a child, Micheal knew that was not completely true. He had taken pleasure in being cruel to Ariella while they were growing up. Many had said that he could not be blamed for the way Dermott had raised him but there was also the knowledge that if it had been anyone but Ariella, Micheal may not have been quite so cruel.
Not even their grandfather had been aware that both Hadrin and Micheal had sensed what made their sister different. While she was lycan they had always been able to sense some otherworldly aura to their sister that had made her seem…terrifying to them. It had gone a long way to making it easy to follow their grandfather’s directives in cruelly singling Ariella out.
Now, decades later, there was a sense of guilt over all that he had done. Time and again he had seen what such actions had created. Murders, rapists, pillagers, and demons…those were what became of the tortured and abused who fell into darkness. His father…their father was a prime example of that fact.
It would have been easy for his sister to join the ranks of their father’s army and help him to lay waste to the whole of reality, but somehow she had held onto a sense of right and wrong that Micheal still struggled to understand. It was that exact lack of a moral compass that had made it easy for him to decide to turn his back on his father as well as his army. When Micheal had recognized there was a wealth of power within his sister and her allies that would benefit him more greatly, he had willingly changed sides.
True, he had been slowly gravitating towards helping his sister in recent years, but nothing so extreme. There had never been a full shifting of allegiance. True, he had felt guilt, but mostly he had felt the need for self-preservation when he realized just what Ariella was capable of. However now he held the knowledge of how easily he had succumbed to treachery when confronted by the opportunity to save his own hide. It was something that only seemed to underline how truly stained and corrupted his soul was…if it even existed.
Making his way into the main keep to escape the sounds of rejoicing that echoed through the streets of Avalon, Micheal felt the weight of weariness pulling at him. Tired as he was, he still needed to check on Ariella. Once the dragons had emerged from the center summoning circle, all hell had broken loose and he had lost track of her in the midst of the retreating army. After three thousand years, the sentinels of Avalon had awakened with an appetite for destruction.
Knowing full well if they stayed in the open that they risked a gruesome end as some draconic delicacy, both armies had retreated from the battlefield. Those who had sided with Ariella and the Avalon contingent had retreated towards the newly awakened city, while Drahl’s army had fled into the mists and towards the shadow portals situated around the Isle.
Somewhere in the mix, he had lost track of his sister and had yet to see her since the battle had ended. While Micheal was loathe to admit that he worried about her now, it was a meeting he was not looking forward to. Ariella was something almost ethereal to witness. Merely being in her presence had a way of making him feel small and insignificant. As a lycan male, an alpha at that, it was not something he enjoyed, more than that, being around her made him feel emotions he was far from able to understand. Guilt he recognized, jealousy as well, but the others…they were something he had no real knowledge or understanding of.
“You look far closer to death than the men in the healer’s ward.” That soft voice had Micheal’s head turning to peer back over his shoulder. At the sight that met him, Micheal released a weary sigh and flopped down into one of the staid wooden chairs situated against the wall.
“Why do you choose to appear to me now? I did as you asked. I weighed my options and helped my sister.” Peering up at the woman in silence, Micheal moved to run a hand through the russet colored strands of his hair. Unlike his sister, the shade of red was a dull copper in comparison to the vibrant fiery strands that marked her as the gifted child among his litter.
“You act as if you had not already been considering such an action. Both your father and Dermott had been fraying at the edges for years and you saw it. You are many things, Micheal. True, you are not your sister, but you still hold value and purpose to all that is taking place.” Watching as the silvery apparition made her way towards him Micheal grimaced. Again, there was that uneasy feeling as if he were touching something ethereal through the shroud of death and that more than anything set him on edge.
Every single one of his senses was raging against the presence of this spirit before him. There were several things those of the two natured did not take kindly to, being in the presence of something unnatural that made your hair stand on end was close to the top of the list. Despite his weariness, the wolf within was clawing its way to the surface, ready to lash out and destroy the source of its ire. Still, that small part of Micheal that held onto humanity or morality kept him in his current state. Sighing wearily, he eyes the female for a long moment before speaking once more.
“One would think that you would be far more interested in the female you had us rallying behind.” Though the words were softly spoken even Micheal cringed at the growl that he heard in his own voice. There was that dominant alpha tone that always seemed to make itself known when he was tired, but more than that he heard his own petty jealousy.
“That is not a fair assessment, Micheal. I have come to you for other reasons than helping your sister. As I remember, you called for help in knowing what to do where she was concerned.” That silvery figure slid across the stone floor with a grace that was numbing to witness. It was an action that underlined her unnatural state and ability. Peering at the woman, Micheal let his gaze roam over her features.
As always, she appeared in the same guise. A young female who held the promise of life, with long ebony hair that seemed to be highlighted by strands of a varying array of colors. Her eyes were an unnatural amalgam of jeweled colors that swirled around silver irises in a hypnotic fashion that was more than a little off-putting.
“What in the nine hells does it matter? I did all that you asked. I put on the happy face and tried to give her love and support, you can see how well that bloody worked. There are somethings that I am not meant to give and receive, wench. Love is one of those.” Micheal snarled out softly, listening to his voice echo in the nearly empty hall as his eye cut across the expanse of the room to meet the woman’s own. “I am my father’s son.”
“If that were true, you never would have called for help in the first place. You may not speak of it, but you suffer, Micheal. All that you have done plagues you. I see that even if you do not. You did all you could for your sister and it was not my doing that made you care for her. That is a thing of your own making.” For a brief moment there was a flare of heat that trailed across Micheal’s flesh as the apparition’s hand moved to lie on his shoulder. The power the spilled from her touch was enough to set his teeth on edge as he gave a soft grunt and replied.
“To what end? She cannot forgive or forget what was done to her, I’ve been beating my head against a wall this whole time and now she’s sitting in this keep with the two most powerful beings of the Emrys line. We’re doomed just as our father.” Micheal spat the words with enough venom that he cringed before looking to the tattoo on the center of the female’s forehead as it glowed.
“You have so little faith in others. In that, you and your sister share the same mind.” Withdrawing her hand, the apparition moved to float in front of him, peering down at him for a moment before exhaling softly, “You are correct, I am here to tell you of your next task.”
“I swear by all that is unholy if you are about to ask me to go up there and steal Ariella away from this place I will find a way to kill you myself.” Micheal growled softly, lifting his gaze to stare at the apparition warily. “What is it you want this time?”
“To help you find what it is you have been searching for.”
“Oh? And you think you can just hand me the answers to my life on a silver platter? What all seeing god are you that you offer me such a thing, Lara?” Micheal’s gaze narrowed, those blue eyes watching the female as she stilled at his use of her name.
“How did you…”
“Learn your name? Merlin said that the woman I described sounded like Lara, so, just who and what are you that I should listen to anything else you have to say?”
For several long moments, the air in the hall seemed to go still. There was an innate sense of despair and loss that strung out between the pair as they stared at one another. No matter the amount of anger he held within his heart at being manipulated by so many forces to bring about this day, nothing could have prepared him for the absolute rage that the next two words brought for the lycan.
That was all it took for the world around him to disappear in a red haze as Micheal stood and made his way out of the keep without a word
Lastly, we did say that we had a sneak peak summary of our first Table Top RPG, Dreams of Salvation, so, here it is everyone! Please note: Our first table top game is steam-punk based, with faint elements
Long ago, an Ancient evil was born. No one knew if he was man nor monster, all they knew was that he had become powerful enough in his evil and his power to destroy the ancient Gods and absorb their power. For untold millenia, this ancient evil known as Sebbecai ruled over the world of Mortals and Immortals, commanding legions of the most black hearted beings on the face of Xarine. It was three Noble Races however that stood up and began to rebel against this ancient evil, and in this rebellion, the Gunslingers were born; individuals who would bring justice and order to the lawless and cowardly, and those elite who would defend the weak and helpless wherever they could. In the final battle, Sebbecai was destroyed, and something unexpected happened: Magick began to die. The three nations that united most strongly gathered the last of the dying magic and stored it so that they could continue to train Gunslingers.
In the end however, this wasn't enough. Not more than five thousand years later, the world now runs on steam powered automatons such as Airships, using black powder technology. Massive ships that are steam powered float underwater for the rich and wealthy, and clockwork items are present in nearly every corner of Xarine. The world has forgotten the world of magic, however, not all is forever lost. When Sebbecai was defeated all those years ago, his minions, those that survived, had scattered, and since had formed their own independent dominions. Supernatural races hide in the shadows, fearful in most areas; however, there are those brave few that dare step into the light. But, an ancient evil is beginning to awaken, and an ancient Prophecy that foretold of Sebbecai's return has begun to finally rise....
Which side will you choose, and will you be a Dream of Salvation, or a Herald of Destruction?
This game is Powered By Fate, and will be using the Fate System for it's general mechanic under the Common Use License produced by Evil Hat Studios. In no way will be stealing their lore or any lore that belongs to them, and we will be combining the 3.5 OGL with our Fate powered system.
Well that's all for this month folks, hope to have more for you next month! Please subscribe and like and feel free to comment!
Written by Matthew Feldman
Writer, Reviewer, Blogger