TNT: Everyone Else is a Returnee Book 01 by Toika

This week for Translation Necessary Thursday I’m covering the first book in a just recently completely translated series! It’s Everyone Else is a Returnee Book 01 by Toika!\

Plot Synopsis: Left out during the elementary school picnic. Left out during the middle school camp. Left out during the high school trip. I finally became a college student, and what? I’m left out from all of humanity? Yu IlHan watches over the earth alone while everybody’s away in other worlds…

Plot: The plot in this first book (each book is 25 chapters long excepting the final book which is 24) is pretty awesome. I mean I don’t think I’ve ever really enjoyed reading about a person like Yu IlHan before. He is the biggest loner in the universe. But it was very interesting and entertaining with tons of references to a bunch of Asian pop culture ranging from Doraemon to Digimon.

Characters: Yu IlHan is an awesome main character, frankly he’s probably one of my favorites of all time thus far. He’s scary smart, except about himself, but he’s also pretty hilarious. Lita is also quite fun, although she’s really not around that much in these chapters. Erta is also pretty funny, although she is prone to info dump, it’s usually pretty important info. The rest of the cast we get to meet in this book is great as well, although we’ve got a small amount compared to later on.

Overall: If you love the Isekai Genre this is a great take on it, but it’s also an awesome LitRPG at the same time. This is a must read for pretty much everyone, it’s a pretty awesome series.

For those who like: Isekai, LitRPG, Action, Adventure, Amazing Plot, Fantastic Cast of Characters.

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

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Video Game Tuesday: Quick Time Events

This week for Video Game Tuesday I’m talking about a thing that I’ve seen done way too much in games. It’s all about Quick Time Events!

Quick Time Events?: “A quick time event (QTE) is a method of context-sensitive gameplay in which the player performs actions on the control device shortly after the appearance of an on-screen instruction/prompt. It allows for limited control of the game character during cut scenes or cinematic sequences in the game.” That’s the Wikipedia page on QTEs, and while that is generally how things are done that isn’t always the case.

Really?: Yeah some games like an older Spider-man game (Spiderman 2 I think) had them included in boss fights and you’d fail a fight or something equally unforgiving if you didn’t perform the QTE properly. That hasn’t happened in most AAA games for the last couple years, but it used to be so overused that there are still memes about some really dumb QTEs. The Press F (or X) to Pay Respects for example is from Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare. Was it really necessary to have that occur? I’d say no, although it might have seemed like an awesome idea at the time.

What are some good QTEs?: There’s a few, but generally I find QTEs that aren’t anything more than a single button press to be generally decent. I still hate QTEs and having them appear in boss fights in Final Fantasy XIV definitely caused more than a wipe or two, but those were pretty easy to deal with compared to some of the worse examples (like that Spiderman game).

That’s it for this week’s Video Game Tuesday, are there any really bad or good QTEs that you can remember? Post examples in the comments below.

Anime Sunday: Touken Ranbu Episode 01 Impressions

This week for Anime Sunday I’m taking a look at another series from the Summer 2017 Season. It’s my Touken Ranbu Episode 01 Impressions!

Plot Synopsis: In the year 1863, Japan is split between the warring pro-shogunate and anti-shogunate factions. Izuminokami Kanesada is a Tōken danshi (刀剣男士, lit. “Sword Warrior”), which is a tsukumogami of a historical Japanese blade brought to life by the Saniwa (審神者). With new recruit Horikawa Kunihiro, they chase after the Jikan sokōgun (時間遡行軍, lit. “Time Retrograde Army”) to prevent history from being changed.

Plot: This first episode is pretty intense on the action which is perfect considering that this is animated by ufotable. There are plenty of questions that aren’t answered, like exactly how Kanesada or Kunihiro are person shaped, but I’m sure that it’ll be answered in later episodes. That being said if you are looking for a deep plot driven series along the lines of the Fate series, you may be disappointed.

Characters: Kanesada and Kunihiro are our two leads, and they are pretty intriguing even if we don’t know a whole lot about their background. There are plenty of things we really don’t know about them, except that Kunihiro is a newbie to this whole preservation of history.

Artwork: As you might expect from a ufotable studio the artwork is excellent. The action sequences are always a joy to watch with ufotable and Touken Ranbu isn’t any different.

Music: The music is pretty decent, not super amazing like something from a Final Fantasy game, but not bad at all.

Overall: If you enjoy amazing action sequences, or just like looking at pretty boys who are actually swords than Touken Ranbu is a perfect fit for you.

For those who like: Historical Fiction, Fantasy, Amazing Artwork, Intriguing Plot, Good Music.

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

Bookish Wednesday: The Reborn by Edward Brody

This week for Bookish Wednesday I’m covering another LitRPG series. It’s Eden’s Gate Book 01: The Reborn by Edward Brody!

Plot Synopsis: When Gunnar Long logs into into the first fully-immersive virtual MMORPG, he finds himself in a new world filled with magic, mystery and adventure. However not is all as it seems as the creator of the game, Rupert Winston, decides to close off the world’s exit to make the world a true reality. Now trapped in the game and separated by an unknown distance from the one person who he cares for who logged in at the same time as him, Gunnar must make some tough decisions…

Plot: The plot of this book is okay, there are some moments where I really wanted to throttle Gunnar, but overall the story was good. It’s not super amazing, but it’s not bad. There are some seriously overused tropes that were used, trapped in the game etc. However the take on those tropes was interesting enough for me to overlook it for the most part. I won’t say it’s the best LitRPG book I’ve read, because that’s absolutely not the case.

Characters: Like I said above, Gunnar made me want to throttle him sometimes, mostly because he acts like an ass. There are multiple reasons why I dislike Gunnar, but he does get some very needed character growth over the book. The rest of the cast is great, with Adeelee probably being my favorite character of the lot.

Overall: A decent LitRPG, better than some (Unbound Deathlords I’m looking at you), but not as good as others like Awaken Online.

Manga Monday: Pochi Kuro by Matsumoto Naoya

This week for Manga Monday I’ve got another Quick Review. It’s Pochi Kuro by Matsumoto Naoya!

Plot Synopsis: A human girl falls into the demon realm and can’t seem to communicate with the local demon, Kuro, who found her. Humans are rare in the demon realm and many would love to eat a human…

Plot: The plot of this first chapter is pretty great, especially since Kuro and the girl can’t seem to communicate at all except through gestures. We never do get her name though in this chapter. I assume we’ll learn it later.

Characters: Kuro is a pretty hilarious male lead, as it’s pretty obvious he’s got no idea what to do when it comes to “cooking” a human. The girl is also pretty funny, although not being unable to understand her is a pit disappointing for us readers it does add to the humor of the chapter.

Art: The art is great as one would expect from a series that’s been published by Shueisha.

Overall: This looks to be an enjoyable and humorous series, definitely worth a read if you are looking for some laughs and a good plot.

For those who like: Fantasy, Drama, Romance?, Great Plot, Excellent Lead Characters, Fantastic Artwork.

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

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!

 

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.