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Honest thoughts about this 'famous' website.

by Nathan - April 30, 2002

You've undoubtedly been hearing about a crazy website called "Magic Story Time", lately. I've been hearing about it too, and it certainly seems to be taking the internet by surprise and storm, simultaneously.

But is it actually any good? Or is it just another overhyped, short-lived phenomenon? Is it on its way out, like Slashdot, or here to stay, like All Your Base? Let's take a deeper look.

First, the general look of the place isn't bad. The blues are nice and everything seems laid out fairly well. What bothered me at first, though, was this-

I mean, Kirby is cool and everything, but does he have to be everywhere? For some reason the people behind this site just went crazy and put him all over the place. I enjoyed Kirby Steals a Hat for the NES as much as the next person but this seems to border on obsession.

The site itself seems to hinge on stories, so I read through a couple of them and let me tell you; not only are they outlandishly silly and borderline idiotic, half the time the author hasn't even gone through the trouble to make them readable. Here's an exerpt from one, with the not-terribly-clever title "On Her Majesty's Secret Stash":

"So the spy continued to look. Unfortunately he heard a voice behind him that he knew was his greatest arch villain enemy!! The voice said "Hello spy! You are looking for the plans for the CYBODOG but you cannot have them because I have them and you are going to die! Ha ha ha ha!" He continued to laugh for a while. He stopped for a bit and then he said "Also you are going to die because of...and this is a special ironic part...THE CYBODOG!""

'Greatest Arch Villain Enemy'? Sounds like something a three-year-old would write. The dialogue is laughable, and overall the whole thing looks like it was written by Miguel.

A glance over another story, "Ninja BBQ", confirmed this. See for yourself:

"There was only one thing that was odd about this neighborhood! It was populated entirely by NINJAS! That is correct! Now you might be saying "what are Ninjas doing living in a perfectly normal and slightly upscale neighborhood?" Well Ninjas have their own special ways and I for one am not inclined to describe any of them."

This is just sad. Instead of even trying to create some sort of background or mythos for this story, the author just takes the easy way out and basically says "never mind how they got there". The rest of the stories, while occasionally written with a higher standard, are cliched or just bizarre. Creepy dolls, superheroes with poetry powers, and mosquitoes bent on world domination? No thank you.

So far I was unimpressed. When even the most basic content on a site is as slapped-together as this seems to be, you know you're in for trouble. I moved along to check out the comics. First up: The Zany Adventures of Jabba the Hutt. Now, I'm a bit of a Star Wars fan, but I really wasn't sure what to expect. I ended up with stuff like this -

Okay, what?! First off, "Jabba", if that's supposed to be him, never just wanders around the city, especially not any of our cities. Second, this one looks way too happy, and third - since when does Jabba the Hutt know Japanese?! Come on. I'm no Star Wars expert or anything, but even a little bit of research by the author would have gone a long way into making a much better comic. Hardcore Star Wars fans should definitely avoid these, as over the course of the comics, "Jabba" partakes in many non-Star-Wars adventures like playing arcade games, purchasing sweaters, and travelling through time.

The other ongoing comic series on the site is called "The Dark One's Saga" and features a mysterious and seemingly powerful being that is forced to find a job on our earth. This was actually quite tolerable and I'm interested to see where the author goes with this premise. Of minor significance is the fact that the character designs and art style seem to change with nearly every episode, but I assume that the author knows what they're doing here.

The rest of the site is a jumble of ideas and bizarre anecdotes about Flaming Chickens or somesuch, but the final insult to my intelligence came from the "Magic Story Time - Year One" section. This overblown retrospective was loaded with lies about the history of the site, as well as obviously fake 'fan mail'. I mean, he claims that RoboCop emailed him! Last time I checked, RoboCop was a fictional character.

After this I basically gave up on the site. Fad or not, it's got the collective intelligence of a toaster, and except for one or two redeeming features, it's gonna need a lot of work to make it worth anyone's time.

Related Links
- Magic Story Time (but, y'know, I can't really recommend it)


IRC: #magicstorytime on EFNet
Or hit http://communism.doesntexist.com

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