The Mystical Incantations 

Where we & our Wizardly Apprentices discuss Table Top Gaming, Anime, Wrestling, Video Games, & more!!

Behind The Magician's Curtain

Dan America takes you behind the ring apron

I Know Dalton Castle... yes, that Dalton Castle...

 

While I was attending The New School of Radio and Television in Albany, NY. I learned about Dalton Castle because he was a local DJ. Dalton was appearing in a lot local indie shows at the time and I was volunteering to be apart of NSRT’s live talk show that broadcasted to the city of Albany, so we had Dalton as a guest on the show. 


Dalton is a great guy, who’s funny switch is constantly on, like his gimmick is not his gimmick at all but who he actually is, which made him an awesome guest on the show.

 

Unfortunately, fate would have it that I completely embarrassed myself on live TV, thankfully only the people of Albany could see it and our audience was not that big. During the interview I asked Dalton if Zang He from Dynasty Warriors was an influence on his character because of his Peacock persona and he had no idea what I was talking about. 

 

I started doing Stand Up Comedy toward the end the Radio course at NSRT and found out that Dalton did Stand Up as well so I told him about a local open-mic I was performing at and he showed up and did a set. Months after I graduated from NSRT, when I was being interviewed for Q103 Dalton popped in the Station Managers office toward the end and gave me a enthusiastic thumbs up, so I knew I got the job.


I started working at Q103 six months after graduating from NSRT. It’s not the most glamorous job being a Board Operator, especially when you’re station is an affiliate to a syndicated Morning Show, I also blog and do comedic videos for the radio station and get to interview wrestlers when they come in. 


Dalton was on his way out when I got in though, so I only worked at the same station as him for a short time. 

 

Squared Circle Magic with Rico

Surviving War Games - A Survivor Series & NXT Takeover Recap

I have a questions to ask everyone. When is a NXT Takeover not great? Ok.... I'll wait... Times up... The answer is never! The event started with a semi squash between Lars Sullivan and Kassius Ohno. Lars looked like a beast, even though Ohno got some moves off, but you could tell he didn't stand a chance. Ohno was so awesome when he was in NXT before, I don't know what happened to him, but I sure hope there's brighter days. 


Next up was a match featuring Aleister Black and the Velveteen Dream. Honestly, I didn't know what to think of this match before it started. Dream played so many mind games the past few weeks, and the fact that Black would never acknowledge him made it hard to gauge what would happen. Though let me say, I was not disappointed and neither was the crowd. These two put on an excellent show and had me standing up cheering in my living room (until my fiance kindly asked me to quiet down). It was still hard to keep quiet when the entire arena was chanting "say his name, say his name", and then there was the awesome spot where they stole each others taunts. Aleister Black did pull off the win, but before he left the ring he gave Dream and the NXT crowd exactly what they wanted by grabbing the microphone and saying the Velveteen Dream's name.


The Women's Fatal 4 way between Nikki Cross, Kairi Sane, Peyton Royce, Amber Moon  lived up to it's hype with all the women putting on an amazing effort. I didn't watch the Mae Young Classic so I didn't really know how insane Sane's elbow really was. Too bad it wasn't enough as Amber Moon hit her finisher on two opponents at once to pick up the victory and winning the vacant women's championship.

 

The NXT title match was next, and the ending was something I didn't expect. Cien Almas pushed Drew McIntyre to the limit, but still needed help from Zelina Vega to pick up the win, and become the New NXT champion.


Finally folks, for the first time in 20 years, we got War Games! A match that I grow up watching and a series that one of my good friends Shawn could probably tell you ever winner, the exact date and time it happened, etc, but I digress. Sanity vs Undisputed Era vs the Authors of Pain with Roderick Strong. 2 rings 3 teams of 3 what more could you want. Oh wait, a steal cage!! The action was heavy and intense and only got better when the final team Sanity introduced tables and chairs to the steel cage. All the competitors fought hard  and there were a few insane moments; however, my favorite War Games moment was when Roderick Strong suplexed Adam Cole from the top of the cage into every other combatant in the match. The ended was pretty sweet as well, it looked like Eric Young of Sanity tried to block a kick from Adam Cole with a chair, but took one to the face. The Undisputed Era picked up the victory, but in the end I feel like I won because War Games was so good. Wait, did I mention the 300lb guy doing the VanTerminator??
 

Now for the Second annual Raw vs Smackdown Survivor Series.
After Smackdown invaded Raw a month ago there was no telling what was next or when would Raw get a little payback. A couple of weeks went by before they invaded the Blue brand. Both brands brought together a lot of great talent to compete against one another. But am the only one that's sad that Jinder Mahal didn't get his chance to face the Beast, Brock Lesnar. 


 The PPV started with The New Day vs The Shield. This match was fun and it showed the strength of both teams. Highlight was Kofi Kingston jumping over Xavier Woods while on Big E's shoulders to splash Dean Ambrose. The Shield ended strong however, when they triple power bombed Kofi to end the match.

 

Raw 1-0


The women's Survivor Series match was next and it was decent match. Hands down Asuka stole the show as she came from behind to beat 2 other women to become Raw's woman's sole survivor.

 

Raw 2-0

 

The Miz vs Baron Corbin was the 3rd match and it was better than I thought. The Miztourage was in full force trying to distract the US champ so the Miz could pull off the win, but in the end they weren't enough as Baron Corbin nailed the Miz with the End of Days for the victory. The funniest thing was Baron saying that "his hand was up so that's why the Miz's mouth is shut" Classic!

 

Raw 2-1

 

The Uso's defeated the Bar in a very competitive match with a ton of near falls and tough tag team action. The match was fast paced and ended with a SuperKick party and a top rope Uso splash.

 

Tied 2-2

 

The Women's match between Charlotte Flair and Alexa Bliss has been a match I have been hoping for quite a while. The Queen vs the Goddess. Both woman gave it their all in a back and forth match. Charlotte proved to be too much though and made Bliss tap out to the figure 8.

 

Smackdown 3-2


Next up was in my opinion the match of the night... AJ Styles vs Brock Lesnar. The crowd was electric and both wrestlers were ready for a battle (never mind that it should have been Jinder). Brock came out firing and for a little while it looked like it was going to be another one-sided beating at the hands of Brock. He gave AJ the business the whole first half of the match and besides maybe a few strikes I don't remember AJ doing much. Then the tables turned when it looked like Brock injured his knee. AJ was finally on the offensive and using his speed and offensive arsenal to it's fullest. For a brief moment I thought AJ was going to pull off the victory, but after Brock got up from AJ's Phenomenal Forearm, I knew it was all but over. AJ went for the Elbow one more time, but Brock caught him in the air and landed the F5 for the 1-2-3. This match was awesome!!

 

Tied 3-3


Last but certainly not least, was the Men's Survivor Series match, and let me say this much, it did not live up to my expectations. Don't get me wrong, it had it's moments. Finn Balor vs Nakamura and Nakamura vs Triple H, but beside that it seemed like people were confused. When Braun Strowman is on your team and you don't dump him in a garbage truck...your team wins. The finish left Shane McMahon to go 1 on 3 vs Kurt Angle, Braun Strowman, and Triple H. Kurt was going to beat Shane, but Triple H turned on Angle to get him eliminated and then HHH hit his finisher on Shane for the Raw victory. Honestly, the best part about the match was when Strowman turned on The Game after the match. I wonder if they'll turn him full face now??


Anyway, I enjoyed both WWE events this weekend. Could the last match have been better? Yes... But I can say the same thing about the last episode of How I Met your Mother. 
 

The Magic Moving Game Box with Matthew

The Top 10 List

There have been many great games throughout video game history, as well as many truly awful games. Today I am going to give you a list of my top ten favorite games of all time. Some you will probably agree with instantly and others you may question what I’m thinking. These games will not be limited to one genre or gaming system.
  
10. Super Mario Bros 3 NES

 
In my opinion thi​s game is probably the best game period for the NES. This game introduced the save system to the Mario games and included many new items for Mario to accessorize with. Who here did not absolutely love the Tanooki Suit. This game is also notable for introducing the Koopa Kids into the Mario games.
 
9. Wolfenstein PC
 
The games look doesn’t hold up today with its pixelated graphics but this was the first FPS game I ever played. And come on, what kid does not want to shoot themselves some Nazis.
 
8. Star Wars Rogue Squadron N64
 
This game let you live the Star Wars Universe’s space battles. Featuring battles from the movies and all new battles you were able to pilot of variety of ships including X-wings, Y- Wings, Tie Fighters, and Tie Interceptors. I remember playing this game daily for hours in high school.
 
7. Justice League Heroes PS2
 
This game is on my list simply for the fun of playing multiplayer with friends. It’s play style is very similar to Marvel Ultimate Alliance but there was just something magical to me to play as Superman and Batman and have an epic showdown with Doomsday. 
 
6. Star Wars Shadows of the Empire N64
 
In my opinion, the first truly great Star Wars game. Doesn’t hurt that the game is based on one of the greatest Star Wars novels of all time.
 
5. WWE Smackdown Here Comes the Pain PS2
 
The best roster ever in my opinion. This game boasted a fun and intuitive season mode with loads of character specific cutscenes. This was probably the last truly great WWE game.
 
4. Super Mario Bros NES
 
This was the original Mario game and established the legacy. Nuff said.
 
3. Mario Kart WII
 
This game was an addiction. I can think of many, many nights of having a houseful of friends and trash talking each other while we played this game for 8-10 hours straight.
 
2. Star Wars Battlefront 2 PS2/Xbox
 
This game just had an epic feel to it and I could spend hours playing this game and never get bored. This game had a huge selection of heroes and vilians from the movies you could select as perks.


1.  Super Mario 64 N64
 
First open world Mario game setting the stage for many games to come in the series. Interested to see if Super Mario Odyssey can live up to the high bar this game has set.
 
So that's my list. Hopefully if you haven’t experienced all these great games, this will give you something to seek out and play. Most of these games should be able to be found online for a minimal cost.

Reviews with The Quickness -Week of October 30, 2017

What We Read But Didn't Discuss this Week

Here’s what we didn’t get to this week… Read & maybe expand your mind!!!!!

 

Black Panther 166 - Its Klaw folks... We get a retelling of Klaw's origin story. He now thinks he's the God of Sound and he's the one that has put together Faustus, Stane, & Zenzi... Not much else happens. For the first time since the great Brian Stelfreeze left the pencils, I really enjoyed the artwork. Leonard Kirk does a real good job in his stead.

 

Action Comics 990 - Another cool lenticular cover for the Oz Effect arc. Jor El keeps working on bringing Jon to his side of thinking. Supes is still running around saving people & then stops Oz's followers just in the nick of time from destroying the city.. Supes arrives at the Fortress with Lois & gets warned that something ominous is on the way that even he can't stop (cough, cough... Dr Manhattan...). Supes doesn't buy it & wants to throw down, but Jon stops him.... The colouring by Mike Spicer is especially strong in this issue...

 

Wizardry of the Table Top with Jody

D&D For All


Dungeons and Dragons. Those three words conjure up so many images, depending on who you are. For those of us who play it could be decades worth of fun and enjoyment with good friends. For those who used to play, perhaps some nostalgia and even regret at no longer playing. For those that have never played, I’m fairly certain images of nerds wearing hooded robes while sitting around a table by candlelight in some thirty year old’s parent’s basement comes to mind.


I started playing D&D at the ripe age of 8 (gods, has it really been 40 years now?) in 1977. The game wasn’t that old, but there were plenty of people playing it. I had a (female) friend who lived roughly 10 minutes by foot from my house. She had a pool table, and great stereo, so I’d often hang out with her. One day, her older brother had a couple of friends over, and they seemed very excited about something. The brother approached me and asked if I’d like to play Dungeons and Dragons with them. I had no idea, but c’mon: cool older brother, dungeons, dragons, what’s not to be intrigued about?


I sat at the table with the ‘cool kids’ (I was not yet aware that playing Dungeons and Dragons immediately gave you a membership to the ‘not cool’ club), looked at the red book with the very cartoony dragon and sorceress on the cover. I was told that I was playing an Elf. Back then, Elf wasn’t just a race, it was both a race and a class. The first time I was handed the d20 and told to roll it, I was hooked, there was no going back. I spent even more time at my friend’s house, but the majority of it was spent rolling dice, killing monsters, and gathering loot. So much better than playing pool and listening to K-Tel records!


I won’t lie, I became a little obsessed with D&D. I brought my friends and my younger brother into the fold, and we played whenever we could. My gift requests were always Star Wars figures, and Dungeons and Dragons miniatures. The miniatures were great back then. They made them with lead so we could get all sorts of funny feelings when we chewed on them.


By the time I hit High School, my gaming hadn’t slowed down whatsoever. Birthday parties tended to be D&D sleepovers where we’d play until the sun came up. Friends would get together regularly to play, all year round. I remember playing in my best friend’s basement on a beautiful summer day. His Dad came home from work early and said: ‘Nope, it’s a gorgeous day outside. All of you, out of the house!’. We did what any active and properly motivated teenager would do; we carried the table and chairs outside under the shade of a tree, spread our books and papers out, and continued playing.


There was one hiccup in High School. Girls. I liked them, and being known as a D&D player was not conducive to going on dates. D&D playing dudes generally fell into three categories when hitting High School. First, there were the guys who used to play all the time, but gave it up completely out of a strong desire to be ‘cool’, or at the very least, not be as ‘uncool’. The second type simply didn’t care. They were either confident enough that they just figured people would accept them for who they were (because, you know, we were all like that in High School, right?), or they just figured they likely weren’t going to get a date anyway, so they would sit in the cafeteria pouring through their hardcover D&D books with fervor.

Then there were the guys like me. We were still hardcore addicts, but we were completely in the closet about it. I specifically remember my best friends asking if he could be the third wheel on a date with a girl I really liked. We’d been friends for years, and had been playing D&D together equally as long. He fell into the second category of guys moving into High School, and it wasn’t because of his confidence. I agreed on the condition that he didn’t talk about Dungeons and Dragons. While waiting in the line to see Gremlins he got extremely excited and blurted out: ‘Oh, man, I just remembered about all those female orcs we have tied up in the cave! I’m pretty sure we got all the males, are we going to sell the females into slavery now?’. The date was unimpressed. There was no second date.


That was then. There were very few girls playing Dungeons and Dragons, and other roleplaying games. Even at the arcade there were far more boys playing video games than girls, although girls seemed to like hanging out and watching MTV and MuchMusic, back when they actually played music videos. Truthfully, if I could hazard a guess, I’d say the demographic of females playing roleplaying games was under five percent, and that’s being generous, it was likely under three percent.


This wasn’t entirely because of a lack of interest. This had a lot to do with lack of knowledge, stigmas, and boys who were uncomfortable sharing their special game with girls in a friendly way without being hormonally awkward about it. The perfect storm of circumstances meant that a large number of girls who may have loved to play D&D never got the chance to.


In 2010 Wizards of the Coast (the company that now owns Dungeons and Dragons) did some market research. They concluded that 20% of all D&D players were female. That was nearly eight years ago, and I can assure you it’s significantly higher now. Why? Well, there’s several reasons. The internet has a huge part to play. Google ‘Dungeons and Dragons live stream’ and you will find myriad groups, most with women, many with nothing but women, playing D&D and broadcasting themselves online for the whole world to see. It’s quite entertaining. Females aren’t being kept in the dark any longer about games like Dungeons and Dragons, and the game designers are making the games less misogynistic and more friendly to all genders and sexual preferences (that’s a blog for another time).


We can’t dismiss the sexual revolution that continues to happen, either. A little research on the percentage of students in undergraduate and postgraduate studies will show that for most schools there are more women in the former, and significantly more in the latter. Women simply aren’t allowing themselves to be pigeonholed into old stereotypical roles anymore, and with that comes exploration and taking a serious look at what was (erroneously) considered to be the ‘boy’s domain’ and see if they wanted any part of it.


Ultimately, the reasons don’t really matter. Having women share the Dungeons and Dragons table with us is long overdue, and very welcome.  There was a time when you couldn’t get a date if you discussed D&D, now eligible young (or old) men might just find the next love of their life rolling a d20 across the table from them!
 

Japanese Mysticism

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