I was kind of geeked the other day — while looking to buy a cheap pair of pliers at K-Mart, I happened by the magazine rack and they were stocking Wizards of the Coast’s new magazine Star Wars Gamer. It was wrapped in one of those now ubiquitous plastic bags, so I threw it in the cart. I don’t plan on playing WOTC’s new D20 Star Wars game, but I thought it was a good sign to see a RPG-oriented magazine besides Inquest at a non-game/comic shop.
Unfortunately, the magazine’s content was beyond bad. In fact for as many pages as Star Wars Gamer was, there was surprisingly little content. There was a huge poster-sized, playable map of a spaceship along with an article describing the ship and giving ideas on how to use it, but other than that the magazine was mostly Star Wars fiction and puff PR pieces for upcoming Star Wars related gaming stuff.
It is the puff PR pieces that most annoyed me. Like the older Dragon magazine, Star Wars Gamer continues the practice of flacking for the parent company. A recent Dragon magazine, for example, was going on and on about the Dungeons and Dragons movie completely oblivious to the fact that in the real world everybody thought it sucked big time.
Since WOTC obviously depends a great deal on keeping Lucas’ enterprises happy, I wonder if they will have the guts to note when bad Star Wars games come out. There were a lot of previews at the end of the magazine for upcoming PC and Playstation Star Wars Games. Somehow I doubt that WOTC is going to have the guts to slam a horrible game like last year’s Force Commander.
Star Wars: Demolition, the Vigilante 8 meets Star Wars project, for example, is getting pretty lousy reviews, but I suspect Star Wars Gamer will absolutely glow over the game.
Add more content that actually relates to the RPG and Star Wars Gamer might be worthwhile, but if future issues are anything like the debut, Star Wars RPG fans should save their money.
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