The coolest videogame you’ll ever READ!
“A Single Link NEVER Breaks!”
Remi Korede is a martial artist and a fan of THE BEATDOWN, a popular MMORPG set in the fantasy world of Ki Khanga.
In The Beatdown, players fight each other in the circles of sand and soil to prevent full-scale wars and the wrath of a vengeful Creator who almost destroyed the world when war on earth spilled over into the Heavens.
Players experience every punch, every throw, every kiss and every sip of honey wine in The Beatdown, so the stakes of every encounter, violent or not, are high.
After suffering a brutal assault at the hands of a martial arts champion in the game, Remi decides that, to gain closure and empowerment, she must face her attacker in the first professional fight between a man and a woman.
Remi, fighting as ‘The Single Link’ – because a single link never breaks – becomes a symbol to the people of Ki Khanga – a symbol of courage; of standing against oppression and discrimination; of freedom.
My Opinion: 202 pages, $2.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited
The combat is probably my favorite part of the novel. It’s super detailed descriptions of the fights and specific moves tells me that the author is either a martial artists himself or did a ton of research. Unfortunately, you only see the game mechanics during fights but there is progression of the character according to those established mechanics, so it is a LitRPG story.
There are three distinct parts to this novel. Only one of which is really worth your time.
Part 1 - Info Dump, Setup
The first 18% of this novel is an info dump about game mechanics and the setup for the next section. It’s honestly hard to get through.
The game mechanics are thoroughly described but it’s all tell and no show. I’d also hopped to get more world building in the introduction of the novel, either for the real world section set in 2023 Atlanta or the game world. Neither get very good descriptions of what their settings are like.
Additionally, the scene where the main character, Remi, creates her game character and seems a little patronizing. In a fighting game, she chooses to spend most of her skill points on Home Making skills like sewing, time management, cooking, running errands, and Budget finances. I’m not sure if this is the author’s attempt to feminize the main character or what, but it comes off weird.
Additionally there’s a pretty brutal rape scene that’s implied when Remi invites a stranger into her in-game appartment. That’s right, she’s raped in a VR game that’s supposed to be primarily about solo combat. I get that the author is establishing motivation for the characters desire to fight her rapist when she learns he’s a championship fighter in the VR game but the idea that a game developer would code such an option seems unbelievable.
Part 2 - Rocky
From the 19-57% mark, you’ll find a pretty good rocky style fight story with custom RPG mechanics. I mean if Rocky were a woman that got raped and was trying to beat her rapist in a championship fight in a full immersion VR game instead.
Part 3 - Undisputed
The rest of the novel is a weird take on the movies ‘Undisputed’ and ‘Van Damme in Hell’.
Set a year later and with no real explanation, the main character gets stuck in the game and can not log out or she’ll die. She’s then sent to prison in-game where she has to participate in a jailhouse fighting tournament as she tries to overcome a corrupt authoritarian system.
Overall, not a good read. I definitely give the author points for combining RPG mechanics with a rocky fighting story. But that’s the only good section of this entire novel.
Part 1: 4 out of 10. Part 2: 7 out of 10. Part 3: 4 out of 10. For an average score of
Score: 5 out of 10