When Jason receives a beta immersive virtual reality game rig he does suspect that he will be transported to a new world with no way to log out or go back home. Nor did he think he would end up a slave forced to fight for his gremlin masters.
Will Jason find a way to get free and can he get back home?
My Opinion: 197 pages, $1.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited
Full disclosure: I received an advanced copy of the story for review. I purchased the story when it became available.
There are a lot of good things going on with this story. It’s a little ambiguous whether it’s trapped in the game or transported to a game world, but there are definitely RPG rules that everyone is aware of and follows, with the glaring exception of combat.
The main character (MC), Jason/Actaeon, tries out the latest VR system and finds himself captured and forced to fight in a fantasy world as a gladiator. The fights are over the top and I’ll mention why that bothers me in second, but for the most part, this is a really solid story. The MC is only one of many players being captured and enslaved as they come into this world. He makes friends and allies with the other captured players and that relationship building is done well.
The story itself doesn’t have a definite conclusion and is a bit slice of life. It feels more like part of a serial story, with some loose threads that are going to be developed later in the series. This includes a whole 2nd narrative about some guy named Larion that doesn’t have anything to do with the MC for now.
Game mechanic-wise, the author put quite a bit of effort into creating a balanced system. The MC trains and gains skills, new abilities, and increases his stats. He even learns magic at one point but has to grind out levels in that if he wants it to be useful. When the MC levels, he only has a few stat and skill points, so he has to be careful about where he distributes those points.
Unfortunately, this balance disappears as soon as combat is initiated. In his first fight, the level 1 MC is able to one-shot an opponent so much more powerful that his level appears as “lvl. ???” Something the reader later learns means that the opponent is at least 30 levels above them. Not only does this occur here, but in every single fight scene where the MC isn’t training. Later the MC even one-shots a whole group of higher level opponents in full platemail, using a sword he just picked up and has no skills for. It just seems like the author is so focused on making these fight scenes over the top that he’s willing to ignore the RPG game rules he’s established.
Which is a shame, because the fact that these fight scenes seem so wand wavy and ignore the rules of the world, are just about the only thing that I don’t like about the story.
Overall, a good story with lots of potential. However, the fight scenes just brought down my enjoyment level because of how much they broke the RPG rules that were setup. If you can ignore that kind of stuff or just don’t care if it happens in small doses, then you’ll like the story a bit more than me. My gamer brain just won’t let me ignore it though.
Score: 6 out of 10