LitRPG Podcast 105
LitRPG Podcast 105
March 29th, 2018
Hello everyone, welcome to episode 105 of the LitRPG podcast.
I’m Ramon Mejia. I’m here to bring you the latest LitRPG news, reviews, and author interviews. I have 8 reviews just for you.
New Releases and Reviews:
Orc Glitch: Book 1: The Mad King (27:31)
(Play Music 2)
Dakota Krout announced today that he is working with a gaming company, Little Red Goblin Games, to turn the Divine Dungeon is being made into a d20 compatible game. He chatted with the team working on the project on their twitch channel. It’s a fun video chat to watch.
New LitRPG Audiobooks
Our review of the ebook: http://litrpgpodcast.com/litrpg-database/2018/3/8/the-lionheart-a-litrpg-novel-no-respawn-book-1
Betrayal: A LitRPG Adventure (Monsters, Maces and Magic Book 2) (April 4th, 2018)
Killing Time: The Realms Book 1.5 - (A Humorously Epic LitRPG Adventure) (April 5th, 2018)
Absalom’s Fate: A LitRPG Quest (The Everlands: Book 1) (April 10th, 2018)
The Hobgoblin Riot: Dominion of Blades Book 2: A LitRPG Adventure (April 13th, 2018)
Countdown (Reality Benders Book #1) LitRPG Series (April 23, 2018)
You're in Game! Book #2 (Моre LitRPG stories set in your favorite worlds) (April 30th, 2018)
Blind Gambit: A GameLit LitRPG novel (May 10, 2018)
World of Karik 2: (The First Crusade) The LitRPG series (May 17th, 2018)
God Mode (AlterGame Book #3) LitRPG Series (May 24th, 2018)
Kingdom Level Five: LitRPG (May 27th, 2018)
The Dead Rogue (An NPC's Path Book #1) LitRPG Series (May 30th, 2018)
Onto New Releases and Reviews
(Play Music 3)
New Releases and Reviews
The Marchstone Dale: Omegaverse 6 (LitRPG)
With word of his rebellion sweeping the city, Wulfgar flees Edonis and makes his way back to his kingdom of Marchstone. He has to prepare his defenses, raise and train an army, and ensure that the kingdoms on his western flanks will ally with him in the coming war with King Clive, a war that is looming over his little alpine domain and threatens to fall on him and his friends. Within days.
Author's Note: Please be advised that there are sexually explicit scenes within this tale that are not meant for children.
My Opinion: 343 pages, $3.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited
*Graphic sex and gore about the 70% mark*
If you’ve read the last couple novels in the series, you’ll likely enjoy this one too. It adds in some kingdom/city building aspects as Wulfgar improves his budding kingdom. He has to try to attract new citizens, crafters, merchants, warriors, and build up defenses. He has to do this all quickly because his old rival Tim is working for King Clive and looking to make life miserable for our hero.
In addition to the new kingdom building stuff which is mostly seen in the beginning of the novel, Wulfgar has to try to make allies of his neighbors the elves. Which leads him and his friends on a quests that has some graphic gore and sex as the group fights bad people doing bad things. While it all makes contextual sense, it is a mature step for the series.
Overall, I had a good time reading this. Good action, familiar game stuff, and I liked how it still ties back into the larger Omegaverse story.
Score: 7 out of 10.
A Ghoulish Glitch (A Litrpg short story)
A mysterious glitch in a game draws players into something beyond anything they expected to experience.
Darion discovers an undocumented encounter in the game he and his best friend Cal love playing and decides it would be a good way to spend a few hours before Cal leaves on his new assignment. Little do either know the dangers that lie in wait for them as they track down the Ghoulish Glitch in the game. Will this really be their last quest in more ways than they can imagine?
My Opinion: 20 pages??, $0.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited
This is a super short story about two friends who go on one last game run together. They’re trying to find an rumored special mob. There are a couple fights that are decently written. But it’s basically a kind of silly ghost mob story that ends with ‘and no one ever believed they saw it.’
An ok way to spend a few minutes if you have kindle unlimited.
Score: 6 out of 10.
John died and was reincarnated into a world that resembles his favorite RPG. His in-game level carried over with him and he is overpowered in this run-down world. Keeping his stats secret he looks for a way home, but there are others, reincarnated with stats from their own games hunting for him.
My Opinion: 266 pages, $2.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited
Transported to a game world LitRPG. This is actually the collection of 4 short stories in the Reincarnation series, put together with additional editing. Half the story is just the finale, part 4. Not everyone is going to like the series and the beginning is the hardest to get through, but I think it has a certain charm.
Part 1 - The MC is summoned to this world and learns he has the powers of his max level game character.
Part 2 - The MC finds himself in a new village hiding his powers, but he still manages to help some people out.
Part 3 - The MC learns of others like him, people with game powers. Only they’re using their powers for evil.
Part 4 - The MC learns of a possible way home, but things are never easy. Not only that, but he still has to deal with Chris, the most powerful player sent to this world. Not a nice guy.
Overall, I like the story. Good action. Interesting powers. But it is very much a collection of short stories. The connections between them sometimes feel loose. Like there wasn’t a fully planned out arc for the series. The end also feels a bit rushed but it’s a decent read.
Score: 7 out of 10
From the Beginning (Kingdoms Reborn Book 1)
Video games are used as an escape to most if not all gamers in one way or another. Kingdoms Reborn was just that to Eric until he slowly became more and more frustrated with the choices of the developers. Just as he had given up on the game and was ready to walk away in search of something else to fill his free time something quite odd happened. He was pulled into the world he'd once loved and adored. No longer trapped in a mediocre existence and now going by his new character name Dante, he has to overcome the changes that have affected the games world two hundred years after the last player left. Some of what he knew of the lore and the layouts of the land are the same while other things have changes so drastically he barely recognizes the world around him. First task set on him by the Higher Beings is to take down each of the great legendary beasts who were once world bosses while growing stronger on. Time seems to be on his side for the moment, but he is unaware of what enemies he will face or how different the enemies of old will be when he is forced to confront them.
My Opinion: 313 pages, $4.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited
This is a transported to a game world LitRPG where the main character (MC) is a bit overpowered. He has a bunch of fights that are decently written but there’s no real sense of danger or risk because even if he dies, he comes back immediately with the same level. The most he loses is the XP he’s accumulated towards the next level and possibly an item. He routinely beats World Bosses 3 or 4 times his level. There’s supposed to be a storyline in there about him changing the game world and letting the NPCs die or something but it’s just a justification for more World Boss fights. Kind of a meh story.
Oh, and the MC is gay, if that matters. There are no sex scenes, he just happens to like another guy in the world.
Score: 5 out of 10
Aeon Chronicles Online: Book 1: Devil's Deal
After a deadly encounter with a forest wolf, Rowan Black survives thanks to stem cell therapy and experimental bionic brain implants. Rowan's body recovers but the treatment leaves his memories fragmented and his psyche shattered into something inhumane, irritable, and callous—and a tad bit lustful. When his doctor fails to notice this, his parents reluctantly sends him back to Westwind Highschool, resulting in the murder of Rowan's past bully.
Rowan serves two years of juvenile detention in a psychiatric center and after his 18th birthday, he is offered a choice by a powerful corporation: Either spend the next decades in a psychiatric prison or play in their fully-immersive virtual reality game, Aeon Chronicles Online, and grow into the role of the world's next major raid boss that players must defeat.
Will Rowan regain his old psyche? How will Aeon Chronicles' AI controller react to Rowan’s unique mind? Will Rowan receive help in a team-oriented game or is he alone? Find out in this 130k+ word, dark LitRPG novel!
Warning: Contains gore, profanity, and traumatizing content plus some sexual content and romance.
My Opinion: 562 pages, $4.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited
*Graphic sex and gore in the story*
You can tell that there is an Awaken Online influence in the novel. The main character (MC), Rowan, is tortured by a bully, he has an amoral attitude that lets him make ‘evil’ choices others wouldn’t, he gets a necromancer class, and makes a deal with a dark God to create an undead city. However those are where the similarities end. The rest of the novel is different and there are lots of unique memorable characters.
This is a dark story. The MC has brain damage that is repaired with mechanical implants. The side effects being that his personality shifts and he becomes a psychopath with anger issues. In one early scene having the MC slit a classmate's throat and then stab him in in the eye. While in jail, he gets the offer to become a major upcoming immersive MMO’s villain and he takes the offer. There he can do all the dark, evil things he wants to and all he has to worry about is not getting caught. It’s genuinely fun to read about the MC figure out just the right way to murder his way to his goals.
The story relies heavily on this evil storyline and does a good job explaining why you should root for the MC.
Overall, I like this novel. Though, I’ll admit game mechanics are decent and I’m not a huge fan of the power leveling of the MC. Still, this is a good novel. Plenty of dark action, some city building/conquering stuff, and PVP.
Score: 7 out of 10.
Orc Glitch: Book 1: The Mad King
The first time Cal logged into ValorVale, something went wrong.
Unlike the human soldier everyone else got to be, he was forced to play as an orc fighter. This didn't bother him too much. Not being able to exit after he'd logged in the second time... that was a problem. A big problem.
As Cal struggled to escape the game, he realized that just like real life, in ValorVale, nothing was ever easy. Especially when you were never meant to exist in the first place.
And especially when an OP arch druid decided that you would become her new plaything.
My Opinion: 538 pages, $4.40, Available on Kindle Unlimited
This is a trapped in the game LitRPG novel. The evil overlord stuff is a little bit of a stretch. The real life portion (3-6%) is well written and establishes some empathy for the main character (MC), Cal.
However, once he gets to the game world things slow down and get a little awkward. It’s not until the 11% mark that the story finds its legs and picks back up. At that point the MC finds purpose in the world and goes on this buddy adventure with a werepanther who doesn’t like him. That’s the part of the story that caught my attention and kept me turning pages. The story of two guys that don’t like each other, but come to respect one another through shared hardship. It’s a good hook that gets you to the first story twist. There’s also some good fighting and a sort of plot to leave the game world or get revenge. But it’s kind of an excuse to fight more, level, and gain new abilities.
The game mechanics in the story are pretty standard. Levels, stats, skill increases, item descriptions. There is an attempt at adding original concepts. There’s this whole mechanic where there’s no sun but four moons on this world. Each of which has some effect on magic and abilities depending on their phases. There’s also a team combo system, that’s honestly rather overpowered and a bit wand wavy. But still, it’s a good attempt at trying to bring something new to the standard RPG system.
The only minor complaint I have is with the magical escapes of the big bad evil guy in the story. I mean, I get the need to hold off on the big conflict and increase tension, but how many magical escapes do you need?
Overall, I liked the story. Good action oriented story with this buddy adventure aspect.
Score: 7 out of 10.
Unlucky Dead: A LitRPG Adventure (Liorel Online Book 1)
Play as the undead they said. It’ll be fun, they said.
When the first expansion for Liorel Online was announced, the developers declared that it would come with game-changing new features. That allure was enough to convince me and my best friend to roll up our first characters.
Unfortunately for us, the game-changing feature was the trope that had haunted the FIVR - Full Immersion Virtual Reality - industry for years.
Being trapped in the game.
What was meant to be a relaxing weekend has turned into a struggle for survival. To make matters worse, we’re stuck playing as the most hated race of this fantasy world - the Undead.
Am I unlucky or what?
My Opinion: 208 pages, $2.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited
Slow beginning but once the story finds itself (about the 20% mark) it gets better. There’s a good stream of action.
The game mechanics are different. It's a very equipment driven system with abilities being granted by equipment and talismans. The actual abilities you see are pulled from Divinity Original Sin 2. The undead characters are healed from poison and you see the same line of abilities from the polymorph skill tree.
The story itself is trapped in the game and die in game die in real life. After that it’s kind of slice of life as the main character decides what kind of person he’ll be in this new world. Will he play it safe and hide away hoping someone else will save everyone or will he take risks to become stronger and protect the town he only sort of likes.
Overall, for a 1st novel it’s not a bad story. Once I got past the slow beginning the story got engaging. Sure, I wish there were more ways to show progression (increasing levels, or stats) but those are choices the author made.
Score: 7 out of 10
The Land of the Undying: Dark Elf Chronicles Book One
Shari is a med student, months away from being a doctor. Mace is a coder on his first day of an exciting new job. When the world comes to a sudden and horrifying end, none would have expected them to be among the few survivors.
Hyper-aggressive undead creatures hunt anything living on the surface, where even the grass and trees can kill you. Hiding underground is safe, but not much of a life. Their only escape is a virtual world where Shari can use her healing skills, and Mace can focus on something other than his fears.
But Shari is a light elf, and Mace is a drow. Their people are ancient enemies, and neither would be welcome in the other’s world. Still they strive to come together in the game, while they scavenge for food and fight to stay alive in the real world.
The odds are against them, and their food will eventually run out. Is their best hope for survival to find a way to upload themselves to the game permanently?
My Opinion: 140K words or about 440 pg, $3.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited
Full disclosure: I received an advanced copy for review. I also did a minor amount of unpaid consulting for the author.
This is a great novel that combines two seemingly disparate genres and does it well. The real life storyline is zombie survival. Mace lucked out getting into a secure facility, and even through he has running water, electricity,and a safe place to sleep, he’s alone. He plays a VR game so that he won’t go crazy from the loneliness. He still has to risk his life against the monsters outside to scavenge for food every couple weeks. Then one day he hears someone over the radio, Sheri, and two meet up so that they can work together to survive. Lots of great survivalist stuff in the real world story and a little romance.
The game storyline, is mostly action, adventure MMO stuff. But something that the author is able to do, is make that game stuff relevant to the real world storyline. Mace wants to upload his mind to the game, giving him the possibility of living there as long as the electricity in their geothermal powered facility stays up, possibly centuries. But to do that, he needs to achieve a level of synchronicity with the game by training his mind to think of the game like it’s the real world. This gives the story the excuse to have both characters play the game. But what the author does that I think is interesting, is that he keeps the theme of survival in the game, at least for the drow storyline. In addition to that, the game itself notices that all the players have gone missing and tries to figure out how to adjust, even going so far as to give quests to Shari to bring players back to their world.
Overall, I had a great time reading this. Though I’ll admit, I was already partial to the apocalypse survival genre.
Score: 8 out of 10
That’s it everyone!
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