Fantasy Reviews - Fantasy Dragon - Fantasy Elves - Fantasy Fairies Review Writing RSS Feed Home

Fire Fairy - Egyptian Fire Fairy Assassin

The Lord of the Rings - The Fellowship of the Ring - Part Two

No indeed, the Elves do not! But what of Men, can they throw back the Darkness of Sauron, all by themselves? For a Time, does this Classic Fantasy Tale, appear to suggest (at least to me), that Men very well can! Or perhaps instead, I to (like Boromir), was under the Spell of Darkness, and the Power of the One Ring, to Rule them All:


The Lord of the Rings - The Fellowship of the Ring - JRR Tolkien


For the forth point, on why this is one of the best, Sword and Sorcery Fantasy Novels, that you can ever read - is it's range of Dark Fantasy Creatures ... At the Head is Sauron, a Dark Sorcerer, whose Magnificence of Old, is only hinted at (within this Tale). Even so, did I quite enjoy, the Chapter called The Council of Elrond, as it lays the seeds, for the Character of Sauron, in the Later Days of Middle-Earth. He wants the Ring, the One Ring that he made, the One Ring, that he placed much of his Sorcerers Powers in! For me, the One Ring, goes hand-in-hand, with Sauron's most prominent, Dark Fantasy Creatures - his nine Black Riders. Who are akin to Phantoms, with no physical form, other than Dark Visage in a Cloak. They wield Blades, that are both Cruel and Evil. I shuddered when Frodo was wounded (by such a Blade), at the thought of what he could become - a Wraith of some-kind! I feel that Frodo was right, when he chooses to avoid the Black Riders, even though doing so, meant entering the Old Forest (the lesser of two Evils). I found myself sitting, on the edge of my seat, when Frodo was racing for Rivendell (the Elven home of Elrond), with Black Riders chasing him! Added to this, are Sauron's Black Dragons (although here in this Tale, is it just the briefest of glimpses - with a bow shot from Legolas, downing the Dragon). And yet, are there also, other Dark Fantasy Creatures, at work within Middle-Earth - although I feel, that they have no direct knowledge, of the One Ring itself (and thus, do not directly, answer to Sauron). For example, I liked the Orcs and Goblins of Moria, together with the concept of the Balrog (a large Fire Breathing Western Dragon of a Daemon) - who to me, is one of the Oldest of the Old. An Elemental Dragon/Daemon, that lives in the Hottest Fires of the Earth. Yet do I find, that both the Balrog, and the One Ring, have a connection (at least in a saying): Delve Too Deep in Greed, and Pay the Price! The Black Riders delved too deep - what once was King, now Phantom of the Night (and Day!). The Dwarves delved too deep - what once was Moria, was lost to Dark (Durin's Bane - a Balrog!). And of the Wraiths? The Barrow-wights, sent a shiver down my spine! As there's something Unnatural, about former Kings, and Warriors of Old, that feel that they, still have a Hold, on the Living. Wake up Frodo! Fifth: is it's range of Fantasy Swords ... I've always liked the idea of Magical Swords, and the background build-up, to the Sword of Elendil, is no exception: a Sword that was shattered, upon an enemy of Old (Sauron), that is reforged, and renamed Anduril (Flame of the West), the Weapon of Kings (borne by Aragorn) - made me want one :) Added to this, is Gandalf's sword, Glamdring - which I for one, have long desired, to look upon! Yet, do I like the fact that Glamdring (borne by the mighty), is also matched by Frodo's short-sword Sting (borne by the lesser/Little People), as both gleam/glow blue, when in the presence of Orcs - which if you think about it, would be slightly scary, whilst deep in the Mines of Moria! Sixth: is it's range of Fantasy Castles ... For me, there's four that immediately spring to mind: i) Rivendell. The Fantasy Realm of the Elves, with it's Last Homely Gardens, and it's Waterfalls of Sea in Dream, and it's Ford of Guardian Horses (in Force of Water - commanded by Elrond). I liked the idea, of Powerful Elf Lords in Rivendell, that could resist the Darkness, at least for a Time :) ii) Minas Tirith. The City of Men, the City of Kings, that is foremost in the Defence, against Sauron's Armies. I to (like Frodo), found Hope growing in me, at the description of Minas Tirith (within this Tale) - especially at the mention, of it's Towering Battlements :) iii) Minas Morgul. Is perhaps the clearest indication to me, of the One Rings power to Corrupt, as what once was Good, fell into Ruin (owing to the neglectfulness of Men), and became a Fortress of Darkness! I did not like the thought, of both Fear and Dread, to be found there - in the plenty. iv) Lothlorien - not a Castle as such, more a Stronghold in the Trees of the Elves. I liked the idea, that the Elves of Lothlorien, climb upwards, and live in a Kingdom amongst the Treetops :) As to me, a City in the Trees, feels like a strong connection, to the Roots of the Earth, and Nature. Seventh: is the Hobbits themselves ... I found myself, constantly amazed in this Tale, that the Affairs of the Mighty (such as Wizards, Kings and Sorcerers), are at the Mercy, of the Little People: Frodo Baggins, and his trusty companion - Sam Gamgee :) For even with all of Sauron's Might, he can't find a Hobbit! But Gandalf can, yet bows to Frodo - for Frodo is the Ring Bearer :) As chosen by - the One Ring. And what of Merry and Pippin? I find these two Hobbits, to be of less importance (especially in the second half of the Tale), but Gandalf holds them in High Respect. I like this, because the Good Deeds of the Tiny, can unravel the Dark Deeds, of the Mighty :) Overall: An amazing, Sword and Sorcery Fantasy Novel, that took me longer to read, than I had expected - as I reread several parts (especially the Mines of Moria). I also feel, that there's a deliberate shift, in the concept of the Main Fantasy Character (as you read this Tale). It's always Frodo, but at the beginning, I thought for a while, that it was Gandalf - until he met his match! I especially like the fact, that this Fantasy Tale, is a David verses Goliath, that's played out on a bigger scale - with Powerful Elements, on both sides :) Finally: The One Ring, is a Ring of Power, is a Quest of Power, between Good and Evil - whose Fate is most directly, in the Smallest Hands of the Land, the Underdog: Frodo Baggins :)

dream devil
rate thumbs up
smile face

Monastery Swiftspear

In Kingdom's Ethereal, White be Haze. In Tangled Ribbon, Wind be Touch. Born of Water and of Air - this Dragon's Spirit, Ninjas of thy Monk to be:


Monastery Swiftspear - Steve Argyle


Dancing through this Water's Verse, Temples of the Spire so High. Skating through this Ocean's Realm, Churches of the Light so Bright. Weaving through this Sea's Domain, Chapels of the Stance so Right. Darting through this Element's Empire, Ninjas of the Rain so Proud. Guiding through this Cyclone's Wind, Shoguns of the Rule so Wise. Fighting through this Heaven's Day, Abbots of the Monk so Scribe ... Temple here, Temple there - one Church here, one Church there! Ninja here, Ninja there - Abbot say, Abbot do! For in Heaven's Lore, there was a Place - donned in Shroud, donned in Guard. This Heaven's Realm, called Monastery. This Heaven's Arms, called Swiftspear. The Shimmer of a Blanket Sea. The Sparkle of a Tungsten Blade. The Tonal of a Falling Wall. The Twinkle of a Pointed Gaze. The Shading of a Rising Spray. The Glimmer of a Shearing Edge ... For in Shogun's Lore, there was a Place - born of Dragon, born of Ninja. This Dragon's Realm, called Monastery. This Ninjas Arms, called Swiftspear. The Obelisks of a Element Wise. The Patters of a Silent Feet. The Monoliths of a Dragon King. The Assassins of a Samurai Way. The Pillars of a Eastern Dragon. The Warriors of a Human Monk ... Shogun here, Shogun there - one Spear here, one Spear there! Ninja here, Ninja there - one Foot here, one Foot there! Running through this Temples Maze, Knowing of thy Paths to Take. Skipping through this Churches Fog, Certain of thy Turns to Make. Sprinting through this Water's Edge, Splashes of thy Toes to Beat. Jumping through this Airy Cloud, Vapours of thy Swift to Dodge. Skimming through this Temples Lore, Pleasing of thy Craft to Rule. Honing through this Churches Art, Dreaming of thy War to Make ... War-cry here, War-cry there - Dancing here, Dancing there! Fighting here, Fighting there - Sculpting here, Sculpting there! For in Monastery Swiftspear, there was an Army - born of Human, and of Monk. This Humans Realm, called Eastern Way. This Monks Penance, called Scribe of Art. The Writings of the Empire Verb. The Teachings of the Kingdom Pure. The Drawings of the Realm in Shape. The Learnings of the Wise to Power. The Letters of the Artist's Form. The Knowings of the Spear to Battle ... Ninja here, Ninja there - one Strike here, one Strike there! Shogun here, Shogun there - one Wound here, one Wound there! Victory here, Victory there! As in Monastery Swiftspear, there came a Monk: donned in Ninja, donned in Shogun, donned in Samurai ... The Guardian of this Fortress Monastery: swathed in Mist, swathed in Robe, swathed in Rune, schooled in Lore, schooled in Arms, schooled in Question ... Who be you that comes to Sea, this Temple Realm - of Monastery Swiftspear?

10/06/2016 | Victorian Hawk | Web: Monastery Swiftspear | Trading Card

dream angel
feel cool
rate thumbs up
wink fun

Dragons of Atlantis - First City

During my first week of play, I had decided to concentrate on building up my Fantasy City and it's Troops. I had chosen to go about this, by initially focusing on the build-up of resources (which I believed would allow me to construct, a well-defended First City). This is how my Fantasy Realm looked - at the end of the first week:


Dragons of Atlantis - First City


To support my Quest for resources, I quickly realised - that I would require a high level Fortress. Thus, was it a key priority to upgrade my Fortress to level 6 (as this would allow me to have 26 resource buildings). Over time, did my Fortress grow to support this - and I decided to aim for a fairly equal spread of resource types (8 Farms, 5 Lumber-mills, 5 Mines and 8 Quarries). Whilst upgrading my Fortress, I found that my eyes were constantly drawn towards another associated structure: my City's Wall. As this structure also had demands for high-levels of Stone, I knew that my decision to build 8 Quarries - would pay off eventually (even if it took a while to dig the Stone for each upgrade). Thus, did I find that the upgrading of my Fortress, and the upgrading of my City's Wall - could proceed in unison (which I liked the idea of). Even so, I found that I became slightly frustrated - because with each Wall upgrade, I expected my Wall to turn to Stone! The next Quest I became involved with, was the construction of my Dragon's Keep (the home of my Great Dragon). A memorable highlight was when my Dragon's Egg hatched forth a baby Dragon! I was somewhat excited ... As it felt like my City now had something to guard (even if eventually it's your Dragon that guards your City). Thus, did I feel that my decision to build a level 4 Wall (early on) was completely justified - as it helped to protect what I regarded as the Heart of my City: my Great Dragon. Then did I find that my thoughts turned to Dragons (in general), as I elected to both construct and upgrade my Dragon Rookery. The race was on! I wanted as many Swift Strike Dragons and Battle Dragons as possible ... Unfortunately, I had neglected the building of my Garrisons - so I had to learn something of the Art of Patience, as I waited for my Garrison(s) to upgrade first to level 5 (for Swift Strike Dragons), then to level 7 (for Battle Dragons). In the meantime, did I find myself following the guidance that was available within the Quests Plane - as there seemed to be quite decent Rewards (for the training of lower-level Troops). As such, did I task myself with the training of: Porters (resource gatherers), Conscripts (low-level fighters), Spys (information gatherers), Halberdsman (agile bladed warriors), Minotaurs (heavy hammered warriors) and Longbowman (death from afar). Even so, I found it hard to view these Troops as anything more, than as a means to an end! I wanted to train Dragons - to field an Army of Dragons! Thus, did I find myself inspired - when I first trained Swift Strike Dragons (the smallest of the Dragon Breeds, a Western Dragon with short-ranged Fire). Thus, did I find myself excited - when I first trained Battle Dragons (the ubiquitous leviathan of the Dragon Breeds, a Western Dragon adorned in Armoured Plate). It was here (with 335 Halberdsman, 23 Longbowman, 350 Minotaurs, 30 Porters, 20 Spys, 143 Swift Strike Dragons and 300 Battle Dragons) that my thoughts turned to Conquest! With little regard for the Art of Spying, I marched my Army right into lower-level Anthropus Camps ... With 300 Battle Dragons I (mistakenly) believed that I had nothing to fear! At first, did my Conquests go well - I gained Hoards of resources, and boosted my resource production levels (by conquering Wilderness). As I had started Conquering on the last day of protection (from Attack) - I thought nothing of marching into higher-level Anthropus Camps (without Spying). Unfortunately, this is where I had underestimated the strength of my Army ... I lost (at least) a half to three quarters of my Army, then did I notice figures appearing on my screen with minus signs in front of them (it turned out that my Commander's Power Level had dropped). Feeling slightly overwhelmed, I recalled what was left (of my Army) and sent them to ground protecting my First City (by assigning them to my City's Wall). It was here that the dwindling one day of protection (from Attack) started to sink-in! Earlier on, I had received an invite to join an Alliance (which I had ignored - as I wanted all the Glory to myself). But, with an eye upon my Troop numbers, I decided to embrace this Alliance ... Thus, did my first week end! Overall: My decision to concentrate on the building of my Fantasy City (and my Fantasy Troops) meant that I neglected Conquest until the last minute (let alone the Forge). Some might say that this was a mistake, but I would say that this approach - has given me a strong Fantasy Realm (with good foundations), from which to Grow an Empire!

21/01/2016 | Victorian Hawk | Web: Dragons of Atlantis (Review Video) | Play for free Dragons of Atlantis

rate thumbs up
smile happy
wink fun

Dragons of Atlantis - Newbie

This is the first web-based flash-based Fantasy Game that I have ever played. What caught my eye, was the idea of fielding an Army of Dragons - and suspected that this would be the ideal Strategy Game to fulfil this desire! I donned my Dragon Scales, and marched to War:


Dragons of Atlantis - Swift Strike Dragons and Battle Dragons


What I found surprised me somewhat! The veteran of many a strategy game, I was used to building structures (such as Castles and Barracks) whenever I wanted to. Yet, this game twists that all around - for you can only build one structure at a time ... At first, this caused me little concern - for I approached the game in the same way that I would other strategy games: resources first. Thus, did I set about building Farms (for Food), Lumber-mills (for Wood), Mines (for Metal) and Quarries (for Stone). Now, as I had expected - the level of my Stronghold-Castle (here a Fortress) constrained the amount of these that I could build (e.g. each upgrade to my Fortress allowed me to have three more resource buildings). Yet, it was when I was upgrading my Fortress, together with my resource buildings - that I noticed that the build-upgrade times were increasing! At first, it took 15 seconds to build a Farm - which soon increased to several minutes (e.g. it's 14 minutes 21 seconds for a level 7 Farm). Now, that may not seem too bad ... But, when you consider that a level 2 Fortress takes 9 minutes 35 seconds, with a level 8 Fortress taking 1 day 5 hours 5 minutes 20 seconds, then you realise that the limit of building one structure at a time - can quickly become a hindrance! Of course, there's ways to eliminate this - for example, by building structures overnight-over-weekend, or by acquiring speed-ups (which shorten your build times). I found it amusing that the game gives you a taster of speed-ups, then wants you to purchase Rubies to buy them (in the future). Despite this, I persevered, and was soon starting to feel that I had a good level of resources for my First City. Thus, did I go about wanting to build Troops to defend it! It was here that I discovered that these to, have various requirements (as I had expected). I tasked myself with wanting to build Dragons - specifically Swift Strike Dragons, Battle Dragons and (my first) Great Dragon. Whilst these troops require resources (such as Food, Metal and Lumber) - they also require specific buildings (such as the Dragon Rookery, Dragon Keep, Garrison and Metalsmith) together with specific research (such as Dragonry and Rapid Deployment). It was here that this game started to be become much more exciting! I quickly set about building the various structures, and completing the necessary research (within the Science Centre) with one goal in mind: to build my troops as quickly as possible. I liked the fact that there was a hierarchy here - I had to build Halberdsman (requiring Metallurgy research), Minotaurs (requiring a level 3 Garrison) and Longbowman (requiring Weapons Calibrator research) BEFORE I had any hope of building Swift Strike Dragons, let alone Battle Dragons! As each of these tasks (aka Quests) was completed, it was satisfying to see that you earn rewards (such as ten thousand Gold Coins, and-or five thousand Food). All of this started to fuel my desire to build Battle Dragons (which feature even higher requirements - such as a level 7 Garrison). Whilst all of this is going on, it's very easy to overlook one simple fact: that your First City shall only be protected (from attack) for the first week. I don't think that a weeks grace is enough. There's so much you have to do within this week, that the time seems to fly by - especially when you task yourself with upgrading your City's Wall, hatching your baby Dragon's Egg, carrying out higher level research and training 300 Battle Dragons. There's also the Art of Spying to learn, which allows you to Spy on enemies - both human and AI controlled Anthropus Camps (which when captured, increase your production rates-resources). To help you with all of this, the game features a Quests Plane - which I feel provides a useful task list of what to build (or do) especially in the Newbie (aka early) stages of the game. Overall (so far): I think that this game shows the potential to warm-up to become one of my favourite (online) strategy games. Even so, I feel that there's room for improvement. Apart from giving Newbies' more time (perhaps two weeks of protection), there's one area that I found confusing - the Forge. I found the layout of it's controls confusing (at first), as the ability to Forge and Adventure were greyed out. As such, I decided to ignore them, and concentrated on building up my City and it's Troops. I also found it quite common to run out of resources (in the early stages), and I became frustrated by time (an on-going concern). All of this is why, I have decided to grade this game four stars at present (as there's so much more - within the game to explore).

19/01/2016 | Victorian Hawk | Web: Dragons of Atlantis (Official Trailer) | Play for free: Dragons of Atlantis

feel cool
shocked face
smile happy
wink fun

Lands of Lore - The Throne of Chaos - PC

It's been quite some time since I last walked the Lands of Lore and the Thrones of Chaos. Yet, all of that changed this week (with the help of DOSBox 0.72 and a hunt for my old 3.5 inch floppy discs!). I donned the boots of Conrad, and headed off for a trip down memory lane - to assist King Richard:


Lands of Lore - The Throne of Chaos


To be honest, I had expected the game to seem somewhat dated. The graphics are not in the same league as today's games, the 3d world is essentially tile based (where you move around using cursor keys), and ... You know what, I just don't give a dam! The storyline is amazing!! I found myself thinking about Quests and Adventures that seem as real now, as they did back then. Within the Draracle Caves, I was soon asking myself a question: what was the gift that the Draracle wanted? With some head scratching, I knew it when I saw it - a golden knife with red jewels in it. Then did the Draracle give me some riddles for an Elixir - that will save King Richard (albeit much later in the game). Still, I'm getting ahead of myself ... I love the fact that everything seems to fall into place in this game. When your Quest starts, you receive a Magic Atlas (which you need - as it's easy to get lost within the mazes of each location/level). Then do you receive a Compass (which you use with your Magic Atlas). Then do your receive a Spell Book (which holds your various magical spells - such as Spark, Heal, Freeze, Fireball and Lightening). Then do you receive a Lantern (when you first visit the Caves - which with enough Oil, helps Lighten the Dark). Your an adventurer (either Ak'Shel, Kieran, Micheal or Conrad) who has companions along the way (such as Timothy, Baccata and Lora). Prepare to have both your combat and magical skills tested - whilst at the same time, having a really good work out for your memory! It's easy to forget where you are in the mazes of these Lands ... Now, even though this game is (at least) two decades old - it does one thing that many modern games don't seem to do: it has the ability to make you laugh! For me, this always occurs in two places: the pits you find in various Mines and the sink holes (in the Gorkha Swamp). In both cases, it always goes something like this for me: fwd, fwd, left, left, fwd, fwd, left, AUGH! I've fallen down a hole! AUGH! Laugh, Laugh, Laugh. Then just for fun, I do it again! (Not quite so funny now!). Laugh, Laugh. As I say, this game's storyline pulls you in - especially when you feel like you've achieved something. It's great fun when you fix the Water Pump within the Urbish Mines (so that's what the lumps of coal and the gear/cog are for!). Although, the Urbish Mines themselves is a place that I've always found testing (both the getting lost, and those Avian Worms!). There's plenty of other challenges to - such as Scotia's Barrier(s)! These caused me nothing but grief a few years back, but this time - I remembered Vaelan's Cube! This game has more monsters/mythical creatures than you can shake a stick at. Some of my favourites are: Bandits, Cave Dwellers, Gimlets, Gorkha, Giant Lizards, Orcs and Great Orcs - as once you have some decent weapons (such as Great Swords and Great Axes), then these tend to die fairly easily in hand-to-hand combat. Some of my least favourite monsters/mythical creatures are: the Larkhon (a big worm - throw your sword at it), Magic Mirrors (walking jelly fish - they don't like Lightening), Rocklings (made of rock - dam, you blunted my sword!) and Wraiths (run, no really - run!). Overall: this is an amazing adventure/role playing game whose storyline seems to have stood the test of time. I'm amazed that it's challenges seem just as hard now, as they did back in the day (when I first got those 3.5 inch floppy discs home!). This may not be a game that you want to play full-screen now, but it can certainly play/run perfectly well in a window on your desktop (even perhaps whilst your doing other things!). One question I found myself asking was: where am I? I seem to be lost in these Urbish Mines! Let alone being lost in the White Tower ... Finally: it's been sometime since I've seen Scotia, but I do remember Dawn - was that a Cuckoo? Tip: for DOSBox 0.72, I used mount c c: (slash) OLDGAMES (slash) westwood (slash) lands, c:, lands. If you don't fancy that, then there's a newer version (see relevant link below).

15/01/2016 | Victorian Hawk | Web: Lands of Lore (Review Video) | New Version Win7 GOG

rate thumbs up
smile laugh
wink fun

Mermaid of Atlantis - Pirates Mermaid