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.

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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.

Serial Saturday: Our Chaoz Chapters 1-16 by SlyOkami

This week for Serial Saturday I’m back with the first few chapters in a series that’s completed. It’s Our Chaoz Chapters 1-16 by SlyOkami!

Plot Synopsis: Kyle was a simple gamer, he always picked the strangest classes or jobs and his characters almost looked the same. He played for the combat, he played for the grind and he played for his guild but above all he played for the story. Kyle is a roleplayer, one who enjoys the simple parts of this virtual life. Whether his guild was starting a war or ending one he’d always have his drammatic entrence or exit, his decleration of annihalition or demand of surrender. After all that? He divulged himself in the game’s story, the interaction with NPCS (Non Player Characters) and their advanced AI. He went through many questlines, many tales of heroics and many more adventurers of legend, but one thing always remained true with his character….

Kyle absolutely loved to the play the villain.

Plot: The plot of these first few chapters is introducing us to the main characters and really understanding what’s going on with Kyle when he starts up this new game. It’s pretty good although if you wanted a righteous main character you’re going to be highly disappointed.

Characters: We get introduced to a lot of characters, but Kyle is our main lead. The rest of the cast is just as good as Kyle though, with some nice depth to them. That being said my favorite side character is probably Sly.

Overall: A solid start to a series that thankfully is already completed.

For those who like: LitRPGs, Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Drama, Action, Adventure, Fantastic Plot, Great Cast of Characters.

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

Personal Status: Fully read. I’ll get to covering the rest of the series soonish.

Bookish Wednesday: EverRealm by Jake Bible

This week for Bookish Wednesday I’ve got another LitRPG’s series first entry. It’s EverRealm, Book 01 of the Level Dead series, by Jake Bible!

Plot Synopsis: In the 23rd century, the world is at an end, and a group of gaming and programming friends decide that their only way to survive is to discard their bodies and send their minds into the quantum matrix of a virtual gaming world. They have created the Domains and there they plan to reside forever. Except, the nightmares of reality have followed them into their new quantum dimension and those nightmares threaten to destroy it all!

Plot: The plot is pretty bad, in fact it’s so terrible that I ended up dropping the book entirely about 3 hours into the stupid thing. The whole world is at an end thing? Zombie outbreak, that somehow get’s into virtual reality because some of the smartest people left alive were so blindingly stupid as to let zombies connect to the system. It was such a stupid piece of plot mechanics that I was utterly disgusted and wanted to drop the book completely. I stuck through with it until they started describing one of the Domains, EverRealm, that is like an MMORPG that not only can you never talk bad about, but still includes perma-death for some god awful reason the author contrived up.

Even the main character says it’s a stupid reason, and this is the Domain run by the smartest guy of them all. No one that intelligent would have done such a thing by default.  I still stuck through with it as they proceed to high tail it into the world of EverRealm until they had an enemy NPC appear that literally kills you for badmouthing the game. I had had enough of the book by this point.

Characters: I’d like to tell you I remember the main character’s name, but I don’t remember it. In fact I don’t remember any of their names, the book was that dreadful, and I’m not going to listen to it to get some names again.  Sorry.

Overall: Stay far, far away from this book. This isn’t as terrible as some of the worst I’ve covered, but it comes darn close.

For those who like: Stupid plot devices and Casts of Characters who are equally idiotic.

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

TNT: Praise the Orc Chapters 1-40 by Lee Jungmin

This week for Translation Necessary Thursday I’m covering the first set of chapters in a recently fully translated series. It’s Praise the Orc Chapters 1-40 by Lee Jungmin!

Plot Synopsis: Praise the Orc! is about Jung Ian, a cafe owner with a dark past, jumping into the world of virtual reality in order to protect his sister from any predators. However, things may not be as simple as they seem, as the world and its inhabitants proved to be much deeper than he believed them to be. Witness as he explores the lands of Elder Lord as an orc, a species labeled as the “game creator’s mistake”.

Plot: The plot is pretty good, although it’s very light on the LitRPG aspect. There is almost no explanation of skills and stats, which I find to be a bummer as that’s part of the charm of the LitRPG genre. However it does have tons of character development, so that isn’t terrible at all. There is almost no romance in these first few chapters, although there is some hints at a possible romantic sub-plot.

Characters: Ian is a pretty awesome main character, although I find that the lack of interaction with his sister Yiyu more than a bit disappointing. Especially when you compare the series to something like Legendary Moonlight Sculptor where Weed is constantly grubbing for money in order to pay for his sister’s education. Even worse is the fact that he starts playing Elder Lord to protect his sister from lechers.

Overall: A decent LitRPG, but lacking in some critical areas. You could do worse, but there are better series out there like LMS or Ark.

For those who like: LitRPGs, Korean Novels, Action, Adventure, Decent Plot, Great Lead Character.

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

Bookish Wednesday: Ascend Online by Luke Chmilenko

This week for Bookish Wednesday I’ve got the first book in another LitRPG series. It’s Ascend Online by Luke Chmilenko!

Plot Synopsis: Diving into a revolutionary new video game, Marcus and his friends escape a stagnant society, entering into a world that defies their wildest imaginations. But from the moment that he logs in, Marcus finds himself separated from his friends and thrown into a remote village under attack by a horde of goblins. Forced into battle, Marcus rallies the beleaguered villagers…

Plot: The plot of this LitRPG is pretty good, It’s not the most enthralling or truly original but it was still quite interesting. There are much worse series you could read, like the Unbound Deathlords or Twilight. Honestly I think I’ll place the former in the league of the latter, since it almost reaches the level of that horrendous piece of garbage which eats peoples brain cells like some really dangerous pond scum. There are better series out there, like Awaken Online, but Ascend Online truly isn’t bad. I’d put it above average.

Characters: Marcus is a pretty interesting guy, and I like the class he specializes in. I won’t spoil what it is, but it’s very interesting. The rest of the cast is also pretty interesting as well.

Overall: A good LitRPG, you could a lot worse than Ascend Online.

For those who like: Fantasy, LitRPGs, Action, Adventure, Drama, Good Plot, Excellent Cast of Characters.

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

Bookish Wednesday: The Sparrow by Edward Brody

This week for Bookish Wednesday I’m back with the second book in the Eden’s Gate series.  It’s The Sparrow by Edward Brody!

Plot Synopsis: After accepting the fact that he will never know his old reality again, Gunnar looks forward to building a new life inside Eden’s Gate. It’s time to form a guild, gather resources, and earn the acceptance of the Edgewood inhabitants. If only things were that easy… The dark elves aren’t thrilled about having humans in Edgewood, the mine isn’t vacant, and you can’t form a guild without at least a few guild mates.

Plot: The plot of this entry is much better than the first, mostly because it’s not full of Gunnar acting like a complete ass. That isn’t to say he doesn’t pull off some immature stuff occasionally, but it’s much better than the previous book. The book also really builds the world much better, letting us get to know Eden’s Gate in much more detail.

Characters: We get introduced to quite a few new characters in this entry, mostly Dark Elves. They are a pretty interesting bunch, and definitely not a stereotypical Dark Elf of modern fantasy.

Overall: A solid entry in the series, much better than the first entry.