Anime Sunday: GGO Episode 01 Impressions

This week for Anime Sunday I’m covering a spin off of a rather popular series. It’s my Sword Art Online Alternative: GGO Episode 01 Impressions!

Plot Synopsis: In the online virtual reality game, Gun Gale Online, a girl with the username Llenn participates in a team-based Battle Royale event called Squad Jam alongside her teammate M…

Plot: The plot of this first episode is pretty great, with plenty of action. It also doesn’t include Kirito at all, which is a blessing in my eyes since he’s either a dense as a rock, or really cruel, harem protagonist.

Characters: Llenn is a tiny girl who is pretty timid, but shows some real backbone when the going gets tough. Though her character design is rather ridiculous, being one of the shortest main characters I’ve ever seen. The rest of the cast, who is rather limited in this first episode is pretty interesting.

Art: The art of this first episode is pretty great, but given that this project probably got a huge budget that is hardly surprising. So while good, it’s not spectacular and definitely not close to reaching ufotable’s standard.

Music: The music is pretty great, and while reminiscent of the main series it’s got it’s own feel.

Overall: If you love the premise of the Sword Art Online series, but hate Kirito, you’ll probably love this spin off.

For those who like: VRMMOs, Gaming, FPS Games, Battle Royales, Fantastic Female Lead, Decent Plot, Good Artwork.

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

Bookish Wednesday: Io Online by Dave Willmarth

This week for Bookish Wednesday I’m covering the first in another LitRPG series. It’s Io Online, Book 01 of The Greystone Chronicles, by Dave Willmarth!

Plot Synopsis: In the latter half of the 21st century, Alexander and his guild mates play Io Online for fun and to earn a living. It’s the largest VRMMORPG on the planet, and the source of income that supports families around the globe. Given the chance to test a new experimental immersion system, the friends must give up their high level characters and begin again at level one….

Plot: The plot is pretty great, in fact it’s one of the better LitRPGs out there. I’m looking forward to listening to the sequel quite a bit. While there are plenty of standard plot devices that occur, they are utilized in such a way that it isn’t grating, at least to me.

Characters: Alex is our main character and PoV for most of the story. He’s a great lead character, and while he’s not the best I’ve ever seen I found myself enjoying his story quite a bit. The rest of the cast is also pretty awesome.

Overall: A good LitRPG and one of the better ones out there. Definitely worth a read if you love games or good Fantasy.

For those who like: LitRPGs, Fantasy, Action, Adventure, Awesome Plot, Fantastic Cast of Characters.

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

Bookish Wednesday: Soulstone Awakening by J. A. Cipriano

This week for Bookish Wednesday I’m looking at the first entry in another LitRPG series. It’s Soulstone Awakening by J. A. Cipriano!

Plot Synopsis: Aaron Hope plays video games, like a lot, just not professionally. When he entered the EpiX! Games! PVP World Championship on a lark, this college senior never expected to make it to the final round, nor to get drugged and shoved into the alpha test for World of Ruul.

Plot: This book tries too hard to be something it shouldn’t be and it has a lot of tropes that have made up the LitRPG genre, stuck in a game, permadeath etc…  Frankly betweeen the somewhat stale premise and the various references that litter the book about other series like Legendary Moonlight Sculptor or Sword Art Online, which aren’t even hidden they are just flat out mentioned, it’s pretty obvious that this is the authors first attempt at writing in the genre. Frankly anything slightly original in this book just doesn’t make up for the pure boredom the story gave me.

Characters: Aaron is a smart ass, and while I tend to enjoy that in a character, the entire cast is pretty unlikable including Aaron. In fact I hated just about every character.

Overall: Stay away from this book, and series. There are plenty of more entertaining and better written series out there for those who want a good LitRPG book.

For those who like: LitRPGs, Mediocrity, Stale Plot, Dull Characters.

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

TNT: The King’s Avatar Chapters 1-40 by Butterfly Blue


This week for Translation Necessary Thursday I’m covering the first set of chapters in a series I came across a while back. It’s The King’s Avatar Chapters 1-40 by Butterfly Blue!

Plot Synopsis: In the online game Glory, Ye Xiu is regarded as a textbook example and a top-tier pro-player. However, due to a myriad reasons, he is kicked from his team. After leaving the professional scene, he finds work in an Internet Cafe as a manager. When Glory launches its tenth server, he who possesses ten years of gaming experience once again throws himself into the game. Bringing with him the memories of his past and an incomplete, self-made weapon, his return along the road to the summit begins!

Plot: The plot is pretty good, although these first forty chapters are very much a foundation for the rest of the series. If you are a gamer though, you’ll appreciate this series quite a bit.

Characters: Ye Xiu is a great male lead, he’s ruthless, smart and very skilled. The rest of the cast isn’t really introduced all that well yet, but Chen Guo is a fairly amusing character.

Overall: If you love gaming, you’ll love The King’s Avatar.

For those who like: Gaming, Fantasy, Action, E-Sports, Great Plot, Excellent Cast of Characters.

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

Video Game Tuesday: Player Unfriendly Decisions and Their Consequences


This week on Video Game Tuesday I’m taking a look at the ramifications of Player Unfriendly Decisions and Their Consequences.

What is a Player Unfriendly Decision?: For starters let’s settle what a Player Unfriendly Decision is (I’m shortening it to PUD from now on since I’m lazy.) A PUD is a choice a developer makes that they may think is an interesting choice, but really leads the end user (read: You as the gamer) to have to do certain actions that are often detrimental to either their continued play of their product or forces them to play a certain way regardless of their preferred style. What isn’t a PUD is something like a properly specced Talent Build like WoW used to have prior to the Mists of Pandaria expansion pack. Players choosing to make their personal playstyle be ineffective isn’t the developers fault.

A Recent Example of a PUD: God I can’t believe this got into full release personally, and no we never knew about it prior to release because of the level cap in Alpha and Beta. The decision for Destiny to make it so Legendary Engrams didn’t give out Legendary items always was the stupidest decision I’ve seen in a while, and people were rightfully upset at the stupidity of it. That being said it’s not fully fixed and certain things could be done to make the situation better. Sometimes Engrams turn into Ascendant Materials, which are now useless for almost all of the high end players, and this leads the joy of finding one into a bitter disappointment. This can be solved by making it always turn into a Legendary item and sometimes give in addition to that item Ascendant Materials or Exotic Equipment. This would be the easiest and smartest choice Bungie could do to solve this problem, why they haven’t done so I can only guess as to why although some of my friends think it’s because there is a severe lack of programmers working on Destiny at the moment.

Consequences of PUDs: The continual repetition of making PUDs leads to player burn out and disappointment and hatred towards the game and the people who make it. The choice to make the RNG so unforgiving, and at the same time necessary to progress, in Destiny is leading many players to find the quickest ways to beat the hardest encounters often called “cheesing”; and while I applaud Bungie for fixing these exploits the choice to ignore other more pressing matters is an even greater PUD in my opinion. Bugs like the one with Heavy Ammo makes high end PvE play incredibly time consuming for the average player because they don’t use those cheeses, but when they try to do something legitmatly it ends up costing them time and money (both in game and real money due to the requirement of paying for PS+ and Xbox Live Gold time). The particular bug I’m talking about is the one where if a player is wearing any form of Heavy Ammo increasing equipment, they lose a full clip of ammo (usually 2 rockets) per death. This is a major bug that has been around since Beta, if not Alpha, and it’s been nearly 6 months since release and it’s not been fixed. Something like this should have been fixed prior to any fixes made to Raid encounters exploits. Yes pushing the end boss off the edge is highly exploitative, however with the rash of PUDs Bungie has made in regards to Destiny I don’t feel bad for using those exploits in the least.

What Should Developers Do?: Well first off actually listen to what people are saying, granted that most of the internet is a cesspool 98% of the time, but that 2% can give really good ideas. Second let their focus testers play the full game if possible. In a game like Destiny or WoW, the players will always find ways to make their lives easier, which means exploiting any and every advantage even if it’s not something the developer expected. A focus test group is meant to find these advantages because making something doesn’t mean you know exactly how to beat it the easiest and quickest way. If the developer isn’t equipped to handle such a thing, they need to quickly solve that issue (by hiring more people or whatever it takes) while taking care of any bugs that cause players issues prior to fixing problems with code that allows an easier play experience.

That’s it for this week’s Video Game Tuesday.