TNT: Tips on How to Enjoy Web Serializations

This week for Translation Necessary Thursday I’m back with some tips and tricks. It’s some Tips on How to Enjoy Web Serializations!

Web Serializations?: What I generally cover in these columns are Web Serializations, what is known more commonly as Web Novels.

Ok so tips?: Yep I got a few really easy tips to get the most out of every Web Novel you read. This can hold true for any piece of written work, but I find that they are really great for Web Novels in particular.

Tip #1 Stockpile!: Let any Web Novel you read get a good amount of chapters built up before beginning to read. Give yourself at least 3 whole days worth of chapters to read, and by whole days I mean days where you would do nothing but read those chapters. For me that means I often have to wait for at minimum a stockpile of at least 250 chapters worth. I read much too quickly, and if I don’t stockpile at least that much I’m liable to just go through it too quick.

This is for chapters that come out to at least 2,000 words per chapter on average. If they are shorter that means I’ll need to increase the amount of chapters I stockpile. The same is true in reverse, if they are incredibly long chapters I can get away with less chapters.

Another way to stockpile is to do it based on Arc or Volume, if there are Arcs or volumes indicated in the table of contents it’s totally doable to just stockpile chapters until an arc or volume is completed. This allows the author to go through a relatively self contained plot thread from beginning to end.

Tip #2 Binge!: Once you’ve stockpiled enough chapters to get a few days worth of solid reading, binge read that story and it alone. Don’t read anything else, unless you are like me you’ll probably confuse yourself if you are reading more than a single story or if you’re really skilled two, at one time. So go through those chapters and enjoy the story.

Tip #3 Once Caught Up Stop Reading!: If you are reading a Web Novel you’ll come to realize that most of the story is so splintered into  small chapters that it’s really hard to appreciate the story if you continue reading every time a new chapter is released. Don’t do this, it’ll ruin the stories for you. Seriously it sounds counter intuitive, but absolutely do not continue reading once caught up. Follow Tips #1 and 2.

Tip #4 Rotate!: In order to allow all the above tips to occur I rotate stories I’ll read. Assuming all series release with similar amount of chapters per week, it’s easy to set up a rotation of different series to read in order to really get the most out of stories. In reality this can’t happen due to how different authors, and by extension translators, work. So you’ll need to build a vast library of different series in order to really get a solid rotation. This might end up being 20+ series, but you’ll be able to get a good amount of chapters stockpiled for binge reading for each series if you go through the rotation.

For me I’ll constantly add new series to my rotation and drop those which I’ve found to be not worth reading in comparison to other stories. I’ve stopped reading stories due to many reasons, sometimes I just find they are inferior to other similar stories and so I’ll drop them in favor of the other. There are plenty of other reasons as well, but the biggest is the one I just mentioned.

That’s it for this week’s Translation Necessary Thursday! Hopefully this helps those fellow enthusiasts of Web Novels, and other media, enjoy the stories more!

 

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Video Game Tuesday: Destiny 2 PC Beta Impressions

This week for Video Game Tuesday I’m talking about the recent PC Beta for a game that releases on consoles tomorrow. It’s my Destiny 2 PC Beta Impressions!

What changed from Console to PC?: Nothing really except for supers charging slightly faster it still felt like a stripped down and crappy version of the original Destiny a game I already despised after all the gunplay changes were made after the original launch. Not only that but on my not even a half year old computer the game wasn’t able to run on the preset Medium settings without significant slowdowns. I met all the specs so I’m not really impressed with Bungie on the PC Port. Sure those who have $2000+ sunk into their computer can run the game just fine, but those of us on a budget will do a hell of a lot better just getting the console versions. It could even be cheaper to just buy a standard PS4 and Destiny 2 to play the game and not experience all the hang ups I experienced on my PC. Even with messing with all the various settings to try and get the game to look as nice as possible and not have any issues I still had noticeable slowdown during intense firefights, which is something no one really wants to happen.

As for Gameplay changes, well I mentioned the supers charged faster, but many other things like the Hunter’s dodge, grenades, and melee abilities are all still on a way too long of a cooldown. Before I hear any whining about “There is gear for that” let me say that I am aware. However the gear we are wearing in the Beta should be that kind of gear, plus we start off at level 20 in the beta. Whether that is actually what we’ll start with at launch is a matter we’ll be seeing tomorrow.

Frankly I’m disgusted with Bungie, and if I hear that it’s another “Months” old build I’m going to call bullshit. Beta’s are meant to test the latest build, so I didn’t even buy that excuse during the Console beta. Gunplay changes that were supposed to occur in the PC port, like no recoil weren’t present in the Beta (Not that it’s really needed with a KB&M). It also felt really awkward to try and dodge enemies with a keyboard and mouse. Sure there is the precision in shooting you get from using a mouse, but Destiny has never really been about precision shots. They help, but it’s always been about dodging mechanics and frankly it’s a pain to do with a keyboard. I ended up having to hook up my PS4 controller just to get past the initial level.

The combination of slowdown due to whatever issue is on Bungie’s end and the imprecision of movement and ability usage with a keyboard just kept killing me. As a side note it was amusing to see that I wasn’t the only one to die repeatedly. Zavala died as well during his portion of the mission and his ghost respawned him shortly after mine did for me each time we died.

But all (insert other news site or streamer) said the game runs amazingly!: Yeah they did and they all got to experience it on the same systems. They got to experience it with a very, very high end computer build that was built by Bungie to specifically show off the game. That or they got to experience the game during this beta with their own very powerful computers. This PC Beta is the first time people with varying computer builds have actually touched the game. So while those people got to experience it on a system that can go over 100 frames per second consistently, the rest of us probably won’t unless we sink a ton of money into our computers.

Also remember that they and we weren’t allowed to touch any of the harder content, the stuff where you get dozens of enemies firing at you at the same time. So while the game might be easier to aim with on a computer, like I said Destiny has never really been about precision and has always been more about being able to kill enemies while being extremely mobile.

So again I’m really not impressed with the game, considering that I have a computer that is easily comparable to a PS4, I expect to be able to run the game on a similar level of graphics quality and expect the same smoothness I got during the console beta.

Overall: Unless you have a computer with thousands of dollars sunk into it, don’t bother with this crappy port. Even with such a computer though you’ll probably want to hook up a controller just so you can successfully dodge  enemy fire (which you will be doing a lot of in Destiny 2) if you are coming from consoles. Everything else I’ve already said about Destiny 2 still holds true, and with the game launching on consoles in a little over a week I’m not holding my breath expecting Bungie to actually pull off a decent enough comeback to warrant the year delay that got us Rise of Iron.

Anime Sunday: Ballroom Episode 01 Impressions

Hey all I’m back with another new series of the Summer 2017 season for this week’s Anime Sunday. It’s my Ballroom Episode 01 Impressions!

Plot Synopsis:  An aimless Japanese youth named Fujita Tatara, is heading back home after school when he recognizes someone from his school entering a building. While looking at the sign outside he’s accosted by delinquents.. However after a person on a motorcycle comes to his rescue he’s suddenly thrust into the building….

Plot: The plot of this first episode is pretty great. It had enough of a hook for me to watch every available episode at the time back to back (5 at the time). While I won’t say that it’s bad to watch  on weekly basis, I found the enjoyment of the story was better for me if I binged watched the series. Ballroom is a 2-cour series, so it’ll have two seasons of episodes to watch if you want to hold off on watching it till everything is aired.

Characters: Tatara is a pretty typical kid, but I really enjoy him as a main character. Hanaoka Shizuku is one of the female leads, and while she’s the first we encounter I actually don’t like her all that much. She doesn’t really give off much emotion so it’s hard to relate to her. Sengoku, Tatara’s mentor is a pretty hilarious guy, and fairly intense as well. The rest of the cast is good too.

Art: The artwork is pretty awesome, and while it may seem a little off at first, it will quickly grow on you. It’ll make more sense as you continue watching the series.

Music: The score definitely fits perfectly for the series. Even the opening and ending themes quickly grow on you.

Overall: Definitely worth a try and while there are some awkward moments for the most part this series won’t make you cringe.

For those who like: Ballroom Dancing, Excellent Plot, Fantastic Cast of Characters, Great Artwork, Awesome Musical Score.

Not for those who don’t like: Any of the above.

Retro Game Friday: Ogre Battle 64

This week for Retro Game Friday I’m covering a really obscure title most probably forgot even existed. It’s Ogre Battle 64!

Plot Synopsis:  The story follows Magnus Gallant, a recent graduate of the Ischka Military Academy and fledgling captain in Palatinus’ Southern region Alba, as civil war erupts in the country.

Plot: It was pretty good and one of the first console games to have multiple endings that I played.

Gameplay: This was a RTS, instead of a turn based strategy game like Final Fantasy Tactics, which made it a bit more hectic. Frankly at the time I preferred turn based combat, and for strategy games I would say that still holds true for me. That said this was one of the more obscure games and getting a copy to play wasn’t exactly easy. I only played it a couple of times.

Art: The art is mostly 3d in an isometric perspective, so while it hasn’t aged very well, it’s aged better than more fully 3D games like Perfect Dark or the like.

Music: Don’t remember a whit of it, sorry.

Overall: If you get the chance to play it, go for it. It’s pretty interesting, although the gameplay may seem somewhat simplistic now.

For those who like: RTS, Strategy Games, Good Plot, Decent Gameplay.

Not for those who don’t like: Any of the above.

Bookish Wednesday: Challenge by Edward Castle

This week for Bookish Wednesday I’m covering another LitRPG series. It’s the Unbound Deathlord series Book 01: Challenge by Edward Castle!

Plot Synopsis: When virtual reality becomes real enough that people feel as if they’re being transported to another world, Valia Online arrives. A man running from his past joins the game to forget it all. Calling himself Jack Thorn, he chooses an undead race, Deathlord. A mage by choice, and a swordsman by necessity, he soon finds out that he’ll need to use much more than magic and steel to survive; strategy, creativity, and carefully chosen words can often accomplish what simple attacks can’t. As the game becomes too real and touches a part of him that he’d rather leave buried, he is faced with two questions: Who is he, really? And who should he become?

Plot: I’d like to say that the plot synopsis I’ve pasted above is accurate, but it’s not. That’s part of the problem with a lot of books. They give a quick summary or synopsis and it’s just not at all accurate to what the actual book is about. I reviewed a book a few years back,  Nouveau Haitiah. The book’s summary painted some minor character that shows up for a few pages as a main character, the guy doesn’t even just disappear never to show up again, he’s just straight up murdered in some senseless riot that the author cooked up. Frankly that book was absolute crap, probably one of the worst books I’ve ever read and that is truly saying something. Unfortunately for Challenge, this lack of adhering to the summary given or the summary not adhering to the actual plot is a major problem that some amateur authors never really get over.

It doesn’t help Challenge that Jack is some coward running from some “traumatic memories” that really aren’t so traumatic in the grand scheme of things. Sorry pal, but your “I live in utter despair every day of my life” act really doesn’t impress me when I actually have to deal with the real thing due to my severe depression every day, and it never ever goes away for me. I actually experience that, while Jack is a privileged snot nosed asshole who can’t make any decisions worth thinking over. Really I mean he picked a race that is universally hated by everyone in his starting area and he only chose that race because it doesn’t have to sleep? Of course the game is going to force him to sleep, no human can exist without sleep for at least a few hours every few days.

Characters: Jack is a wiseass, which I tend to appreciate. if the character can either, A: Back up the wiseassery with actual power behind them like Chris Gordon from the Demon Accords, or B: Are actually funny, like Harry Dresden from the Dresden Files. So when Jack is constantly being an ass to everyone around him and is pissing off people that probably could kill him and make moot the challenge that he’s attempting to complete, not die for an entire month in the game and be one of the top 1,000 leveled players, it just pisses me off.  The rest of the cast isn’t that interesting either, Ted one of the first players Jack comes across isn’t anything more than another rich snot nosed brat playing the game to piss off her daddy, who may or may not be a big shot in the company behind the game.

Overall: Stay clear of this pile of garbage, I honestly wish I could remove the memory of this book, because it’s truly terrible.

For those who li…: Screw it I can’t even say anything good about this book, just steer clear of it and you should be fine.

 

Manga Monday: Robot x Laserbeam by Fujimaki Tadatoshi

This week for Manga Monday I’ve got a Quick Review of a series from the creator of Kuroko no Basuke. It’s Robot x Laserbeam by Fujimaki Tadatoshi!

Plot Synopsis: When a high school boy who’s been nicknamed “Robot” due to his unemotional demeanour and lack of social skills encounters golf for the first time, his life takes a dramatic turn.

Plot: The plot isn’t quite as ridiculous as Kuroko, where Kuroko is constantly surprising people due to his lack of presence. That’s actually a good thing. Because, at least in this first chapter, everything that was shown is actually possible by normal people, given enough practice with golf. I can actually personally attest to that, as while what Robot does is not easy at all, it’s possible. I’ve been told by pretty decent golfers, including my step-father whose gotten a hole-in-one on one of the toughest golf holes I’ve ever seen and that includes really famous professional courses, that my own form is pretty good, but that I had trouble with the control of power. Most people have the problem the other way around, easy to gauge power but keeping your form in the correct stance is difficult.

Characters: Robot is a pretty emotionless guy, and while he’s noticeable unlike Kuroko they both are pretty awkward in social contexts. Tomoya, Robot’s friend is a pretty decent guy as well, although his form is pretty terrible, which Robot comments on.

Art: It’s excellent which considering who is the Mangaka and the publisher that should come as no surprise to anyone.

Overall: This is a must read for any Sports Manga fans. It might be a bit less action intense than Kuroko, but it’s still good. I wouldn’t be surprised to see an Anime of this series in a year or two.

For those who like: Sports, Golf, Excellent Plot Fantastic Characters, Amazing Artwork.

Not for those who don’t like: Any of the above.

Sensate Saturday: Hitogatana by Onigunsou

This week for Sensate Saturday I’ve got another Quick Review. It’s Hitogatana by Onigunsou!

Plot Synopsis: Crimes commited using manned combat-androids dubbed “Katana” run rampant. In an effort to maintain order, the government has organized the AKCD – “Anti Katana Crime Division.” Togusa of the 8th squad of the AKCD, continually casts himself into battle while holding existential doubts….

Plot: The plot of this first chapter was pretty interesting, and while I will be adding it to my huge backlog it’s not going to be high on the list. One thing I do want to note is that this first chapter had no massive amounts blood, but this is just the first chapter. There may very well be more later on in the series and given that it’s a Seinen series, that probability isn’t small.

Characters: Togusa is a pretty interesting male lead, but there is a bit too much mystery to his character for my tastes in this first chapter. While there are some curtains drawn back, there aren’t nearly enough to really grab my attention. Just a one or two more would’ve been great, but it just didn’t hit that sweet spot for plot hooks. Yachiyo his sister, I think it’s his sister at least, is a laid back and pretty carefree person for the most part. She is a drunk though.

Art: The art is pretty good, but it’s very much focused on characters and not at all on backgrounds, if there is any in any of the panels at all. So while the movement is great, the lack of backgrounds in most of the panels is a bit disappointing. That being said it was sort of refreshing to have little to no background in panels. Take that as you will.

Overall: Hitogatana is looking to be one of the dark brooding series that seems to be popular with older teens, but personally I found it to be more than a bit lacking in plot hooks. While I’ll be getting around to reading it, it won’t be any time soon.

For those who like: Sci-Fi, Action, Drama, Androids, Good Artwork.

Not for those don’t like: Any of the above.