LitRPG Podcast 022
Hello everyone, welcome to episode 22 of the LitRPG podcast.
I’m Ramon Mejia. I’m here to bring you the latest LitRPG news, reviews, and author interviews.
This has been one of the busiest release weeks for LitRPG that I’ve seen this year. 14 new LitRPG releases on Amazon! While I’ll list all of them in the shownotes and on our site, I’ll only be reviewing some of them this week and the remaining ones will be reviewed next week.
New LitRPG on Amazon: On the watch. White Plaque, Rex’s Let’s Play, Unsung Hearts, Game Break - Harden’s Book 1 , Last Horizons: Live, Tinker, Tailor, Giant, Dwarf, The Fool of Avarice: Book: 1, The Way of the Outcast (Mirror World Book #3), Viridian Gate Online: Cataclysm, Stalwart Souls Online: The Player Killer's Mark, Dexterity Build: Episode 2, Digital Shadows: Witch Town, Grimgar of Fantasy and Ash: Volume 1, The Way of the Clan 5 (World of Valdira),
We’ll begin with LitRPG news
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Phantom Server Box Set
The wonderful sci-fi LitRPG series Phantom Server is now available as a kindle Box set for only $9.99. If you bought them individually, you’d pay about $16. So if you’ve never read the series, this is a great deal for a great LitRPG series.
Omegaverse on sale!
For a limited time, the Omegaverse Omnibus is on sale for $4.99. In the Omnibus are Books 1-3, the sci-fi side of the series and are a neat read, especially at that price. The Omnibus is also available on Kindle Unlimited.
Difficulty: Legendary Book 3 and 4
Gregg Horlock, author of the Difficulty: Legendary series released book 2 this week and has already stated his intent to finish off the series next year. In a post on Facebook he stated “Difficulty: Legendary book 3 will be out early 2017 and will run at approx 500 pages. There will be 4 books in the series in total, so Janus' story will come to an end next year.”
49ers Site up
In advance of his 49ers series coming up, author Matthew Sylvester, has put up a blog that gives readers bonus content for the series. Including great art, excerpts, and thoughts from the author himself.
MMORPG LitRPG article
Luke Chmilenko, author of Ascend Online sponsored and wrote an article for MMORPG.com one of the leading sources of news for MMO players. He highlights the connection between MMOs, video games, and LitRPG. Additionally he lists some fine examples of works in the genre and resources for people to who are interested in the genre. Hopefully this will lead more folks down the path of LitRPG, may gnomes always rule!
Desperate Times: A 49ers LitRPG Novel (Dec. 25th)
Video Game Plotline Tester (The Dark Herbalist Book #1) (Jan. 3rd, 2017)
You're in Game! LitRPG Stories from Bestselling Authors (Jan. 20th, 2017)
The Beginning (Dark Paladin Book #1) LitRPG Series (Feb. 7, 2017)
Sucked into an RPG: a LitRPG Novel (Sucked into an RPG, Book 1) (Feb. 20, 2017)
Spetsnaz: A 49ers LitRPG Novel (Feb 28th, 2017)
The Crystal Sphere (March 10th, 2017)
Onto New Releases and Reviews
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New Releases and Reviews
On the watch. White Plaque: Through the horde of heartless killers
Litrpg. Vlad is a second police lieutenant and was appointed by his chief to play in “HorGar” - a game in the virtual reality. He must find a daughter of famous criminal boss and become her “friend” in a hope to track her dad down.
But “HorGar” has many secrets so it's not so easy to survive there. So-called “white plaque” scourges local lands without mercy and only true heroes can withstand this treat. “White plaque” is taking a new part of territory over and over, devastating everything. “White plague” is a real disaster for those who isn't a part of “white horde”.
My Opinion: 80 pages. $1 and available on Kindle Unlimited.
Vlad,a cop, is sent to befriend the estranged daughter of an infamous criminal in a VR game called, “HorGar”, on the off chance that she’s contacted by her father. His first quest involves solving the mystery of the murderous bunny rabbits.
This is translated from Russian and you can tell from the sentence structure. Here’s a sentence from the story: “Schurov slit his eyes, speaking. ‘Of course, if you want to become one day more than just a lieutenant.’ ” If you can get past that, then you might find a cute LitRPG murder mystery.
The Fool of Avarice: Of Avarice, Book: 1
And god declared there shall be 7 sins. But god was mistaken for all sins are greed. This is the Story of one such sinner. No Story about a heroic swordsman or an mighty mage. But one of someone who indulges in his greed. And others greed along his path. Someone who shall become the King of Avarice itself~
"Welcome to the 3 Cups 1 Winner. I am Nick Fallow the owner of this magnificent casino. Since the war ended times have been tough but I have been getting by. After all, Greed is still king. Money, women, riches, and fame are still in strong demand and I offer them all at my business. Even life can be gambled away here and I’ll get everything my heart desires, even if it means everyone else has to go without. My doors are always open to any who would push their luck to fulfill their greed. Bringing money to my own coffers" From the creator of RE:God and Metior.
My Opinion: About 30 pages, $2.99 and available on Kindle Unlimited. This one is short and sweet. It’s honestly super overpriced for 30 pages but totally worth the read if you have Kindle Unlimited.
Nick, a casino owner and lover of money, enters the VR game Welcome Online to turn in game money into real dollars. Now ‘Nicholas Flamel’ a member of the lucky Loterous race, starts his game time off with some neat perks and discovers his luck is more useful and profitable than he thought.
Rex’s Let’s Play
Godsmaker Wars is the newest big MMO to hit the market. Boasting tons of new features in a robust pen and paper RPG ruleset that's supposed to blow away all the competition. Advertising near lifelike graphics on any PC they already have one of the largest pre-releases in history.
For Quinn, a second year college kid, picking up the platinum collectors edition gets him more than he bargained for. It's also more than he could have ever hoped for. From a wealthy family, his parents expect far more from him than he is willing to give, believing he spends far too much of his time watching anime and making let's play videos of adult hentai games. Godsmaker wars is the perfect place for him to escape it all and become something new.
Join Quinn aka Rex on his first steps to becoming the world's first Haremancer.
My Opinion: 131 pages, $2.99, available on Kindle Unlimited
There are two big issues you should be aware of with this story. 1) There is a lot of descriptive sex in the story. 2) conversations and speech aren’t separated or quotation marked. So there’s no structural distinction between the characters that are chatting with each other.
Either one of those issues may be a deal breaker for some readers so I’m letting you know about them upfront.
The novel is a side story for one of the characters in the larger Godsmaker Wars series. It introduces and tells the story of Rex, who loves anime and manga. Especially those harem stories and when he creates his character in the latest VRMMO, he chooses a ‘disadvantage’ of sex addiction that forces him to have sex every 24 hours or lose use of some of his abilities and magic. Personally, I skipped the sex scenes and I enjoyed a good LitRPG story.
Really enjoyed the character creation section. Gives nice insight into what types of characters are possible in this world. Then is get’s straight to the action. No pun intended. The fight scenes are well written and the magic system used seems pretty robust. Even though it’s a short read, I had a great time. In the preface the author says the main story in the Godsmaker series will not be like this one. Whether that means no sex scenes or just a more serious tone we’ll have to wait and see.
Would you enter a Virtual Reality to save a loved one? Climb ranks for social media likes? Eversona can bring you power, money, and fame. Win, and poverty will never haunt you. Fail? Your heart will never wake…
My Opinion: 353 pages, $2.99 and available on Kindle Unlimited
Eversona is a VR game that can affect both the social and physical state of people in the real world. Gain power or health in Eversona, it translates to real life. Lose all your hearts in game? Die in real life. Every year you spend in game gets you $100,000 in real world money.
This is a unique VR world that uses a combination of class skills and ranks to determine power. The magic system is based in art, music, and singing to create magical effects related to fire, water, fortune telling, and combat.
The story revolves around a unique bloodline skill and how it’s reemergence in the game/real life has the potential to change the power structure between established factions. Some want to use the boy who has this power, other want to kill him. Our main character’s job is to protect the boy.
I think the world this novel exists in and the core of the story is unique and kind of cool. Unfortunately, all that is obscured by the poetic language the story is written in.
It took me four separate tries to get through the first chapter of the book because I had a such a difficult time with the writing style and the formating of the game mechanic descriptions. The first time I read the opening parts of the novel I thought that it was a translation of a chinese novel about a historical MMO. When I asked the author about it, he said that he was spanish and that he has a background writing poetry.
It was only after I started to use a text -to-speech program that I was able to even understand what was happening in the story and appreciate the unique game world it takes place in.
I like the world this story is set in and the core of the story has potential, it’s just executed poorly. I’d recommend downloading a sample of the novel to see if the writing style works for you. You’ll be able to tell with in moments if you’ll be able to get to the interesting core of this story.
Game Break - Harden’s Book 1
Welcome to The Land of Waara, a virtual world designed to cater to your every desire. Seek out a comfortable chair to marvel at the sight of two setting suns or revel in bloody battle on the Plains of Deadalon, destroying skeleton warriors with your devastating magic. Whatever your heart desires, Waara will provideeeeeeeeee Error304, Error 6799, Report! Critical Failure! Click here for customer support.
That is unless your name is Hayden and you wake up in a pitch black mine, with no idea how you got there and are thrust into an unimaginable world of pain and heart attack inducing adventures/catastrophes.
“Waara will provide ‘MY ASS’. Can you believe that PR ‘crap’? Come and find out what happened to me and we will see if you still want to play, ‘The Land of Waara,’ ” Hayden griped. “What the hell is that? Get it off me Spike. A little help would be nice.”
My Opinion: 328 pages, $2.99 and available on Kindle Unlimited.
Hayden wakes up inside a VR game, with no memories of either the world outside or how he got in the game. As he explores the VR world, the mystery surrounding his amnesia unfolds.
There are a lot of little frustrating things about the beginning of this novel. 1)Story inconsistencies: The author says the MC has no memories of the outside world or this game world yet the MC seems to understand and refer to social cues, language, and constructs. Like in game banking or women’s attitudes. It’s just an inconsistency that bothers me. 2) The author breaks the fourth wall by defining for the reader certain game terms in parenthesis. 3) The game notifications make jokes or seem to tease the MC but this is never acknowledged by the main character. 4) Every single game notification ends with unexplained percentages or **Have a pleasant game**. 5) The game mechanics aren’t explained or consistent. For example, characters level, but from what? Experience points are acknowledged to exist and awarded but not with any concrete number. So as far as the reader is concerned, the boss monsters is worth the same XP as the bunny. These are tiny things but like a small pebble in your shoe. Sure you can walk like that but it’s a source of constant irritation.
Putting those annoyances aside, I liked the story and it improves once the main character gets to his first town and explores his class options. It’s a surprising recommend.
Tinker, Tailor, Giant, Dwarf
After a small fortune is spent on getting him into a fantasy game, Eric Templeton expected to last longer than 30 minutes. Instead of being spawned into a newbie village he was accidentally sent to the darkest regions of the map, where creatures beyond his level roamed.
Eric stumbled upon a conspiracy amongst some high-level players where they planned to break the only treaty that guaranteed peace in the land, and find the shards that would allow them to summon Necrolor, the most feared player in the game.
Together with a giant called Brian and a dwarf named Smoglar, Eric is on a quest to get revenge on Herelius Rouge, the powerful warrior who killed him in his first playthrough. If he’s successful he would also stop Herelius from bringing Necrolor back to life, but saving the world is just an added bonus. This is all about revenge.
Janus has a long journey ahead of him if he is ever to become powerful enough to kill Herelius.
My Opinion: 368 pages, $2.99 and available on Kindle Unlimited
The sequel to Difficulty: Legendary, the second book in the series has eliminated much of what I disliked about the last, much shorter book. The main character is much less whiney, there is less real world drama, and it feels like the main character actually makes progress. Janus learns about his tinkerer class skills and experiments with what they allow him to do in the game.
I still dislike the larger plot where Janice has some odd goal of killing the player that killed his last character and preventing the return of a evil player after he died. This part of the story feels rather forced at times.
The parts of the story I liked the best were the ones that had nothing to do with the larger plot. I just liked reading about the main character learning about all the things he could do with his class skills and leveling them up, using them to deal with PKers, or completing quests. Great read if you like interesting class skills and crafting.
Last Horizons: Live
Last Horizon, the world's first fully immersive RPG goes live! Join David, Miriam, Will and Lavender as they spend David's last few months trying to find happiness and joy within the world of Last Horizon, and deal with those not content to let the friends enjoy their time together.
My Opinion: 317 pages, $2.99 and available on Kindle Unlimited.
The Last Horizon series is a LitRPG with a unique perspective. It’s the story of a group of grey haired gamers getting to spend time together with their friend in a VRMMO, who’s dying in real life. In the game, everyone has maximum quality of life and with time dilation, they get the most time to spend with their friend who in real life is in constant pain. Part of the story is about the normal gaming stuff. The games gone live, these friends who were in the Beta last novel are back in game looking to have more adventures. The other part of the story is about accepting and cherishing what you have time you left. The story got me all teary several times.
I’d recommend you read the first book in the series, Last Horizon: Beta since this is the characters second time in the world and you’ll miss all the lessons they learned testing the game in Beta and why they have enemies already. I enjoyed the first book in the series and liked this one even more since they’re already past the noob stage of the game.
Viridian Gate Online: Cataclysm
An extinction-level asteroid, 213 Astraea, is cannonballing toward Earth. Collision, imminent. An international team of scientists is working around the clock to avert the cataclysm—few are optimistic. World governments are preparing for impact with deep earth bio-dome bunkers, but only a select few lottery winners will be saved.
Jack Mitchel, a thirty-two-year-old EMT living in a tiny studio apartment on the West Coast, isn’t one of those winners.
Still, there might be a way for him to survive Astraea: a slim chance, requiring a radical leap of faith. Through a connection at Osmark Technologies, Jack’s acquired a NexGenVR capsule and with it, a one-way ticket to the brand-new, ultra-immersive, fantasy-based VRMMORPG, Viridian Gate Online. Taking that leap of faith, though, means permanently trapping his mind in the game, killing his body in the process.
Worse, one in six die during the transition, and even if Jack beats the odds, he’ll have to navigate a fantastical world that’s filled with near-limitless opportunities, but also home to vicious monsters, domineering AIs, and cutthroat players. And when Jack stumbles upon a secret conspiracy to sell off virtual real estate to the ultrawealthy—transforming V.G.O. into a new feudal dark age—the deadly creatures inhabiting Viridian Gate’s expansive dungeons will be the least of his concerns.
If Jack can’t game the system, he’s going to be trading in a quick death for a long, brutal one …
My Opinion: 243 pages, $3.99, available on Kindle Unlimited.
If I had to describe Viridian Gate Online in one sentence it would be: A trapped in the game story with a hint of political intrigue.
The story doesn’t spend much time in the ‘real world’ since it’s going to be destroyed by an asteroid. Instead it jumps right into Viridian Gate Online where Jack plans to upload his mind instead of dying on earth. When Jack or “Grim Jack” as his game character is called, logs into the game, he finds himself in a dungeon and has to escape with sneaky thief named cutter. Along the way he tries to save an old woman and is sent on a difficult game quest that will eventually help him establish his character class.
The other storyline in the book involves a secret the developers are trying to keep from the rest of the game players and Grim Jack helping an old college girlfriends discover what it is.
It’s a good adventure story. The fight scenes are memorable, the main character is interesting, I really enjoyed the character classes available. They aren’t just standard cookie cutter tank, healer, mage, classes. There are a number of hybrid options. The world of Viridian Gate Online wasn’t as fleshed out as I would have liked. Having read it, I can’t really remember any location that stands out as interesting in my mind. Overall, it’s a nice read.
That’s it for the podcast.
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"Blip Stream" "Mighty Like Us" "Big Shift" "Vivacity"
Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
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