Posted in Book Reviews, Graphic Novels, Manga

REVIEW: The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Vol. 1 by Akira Himekawa

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* No Major Spoilers*

Link, now a Hylian Knight, serves Princess Zelda at Hyrule Castle. When Shadow Link kidnaps Princess Zelda, Link once again must prepare himself to defeat the forces of evil. To do so, he needs the legendary Four Sword, but getting it means releasing and then battling the ancient evil power Vaati. The Four Sword also splits Link into four different versions of himself, and these new Links aren’t team players! Rescuing Zelda, beating Vaati, and getting his wild alter-egos under control isn’t going to be easy!

I enjoy the lore behind The Legend of Zelda series. However, I find most of the games to be boring. I prefer to watch someone else play the games in the background while I sleep. So I have been wanting to review one of The Legend of Zelda mangas for a long time now, so let’s dive into this adventure series!

First off, I watched a collaborative let’s play on YouTube with some of my favorite YouTube personalities. It was fun watching them trying to cooperate with each other. The four of them with their own unique playstyles trying to figure out the game and its puzzles were interesting and brought me a lot of joy.

Now back onto the book. The first thing I noticed and really enjoyed was that they actually gave Link a vocal personality and that he had the title of a Knight in Hyrule and his dad was the one in charge of the Knights of Hyrule. This change of pace from the games was something of a refreshing take on the series outside of Link and his “HYAA! HEY! YAA!”

With all of the aspects of the various personalities of Link unleashed by the Four Sword, Green Link, the original Link, has to keep the 4 of them from getting side-tracked. The other three Links outside of the Green one wore a different color tunic and hat. the red one had more of a laid back personality, the blue one was really angry and feisty, and the purple one was more of the nerdy researcher if I understood that right based on the descriptions. With these personalities, they had to work together to save the Princess, a very arduous task considering that Dark Link kept antagonizing by trying to separate them.

If you want to know more about the story than what I’ve put here, then you’re just going to have to pick up the book and read it. This is a good read and I’d definitely recommend it to any Legend of Zelda fan and or a fan of manga.

Posted in Book Reviews, Novels

REVIEW: Press F5 to Load Game by LeVar Ravel

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*No Spoilers*

All the State House gossips go abuzz when an influential senator forms an alliance with Rep. Frannie Upwood, the capital’s most famous underachiever and the favorite butt of jokes. Why his sudden interest in such a lightweight politician?

It’s up to Lars Uxbridge, the senator’s disloyal staffer, to find out after he joins a network of political spies. What Lars discovers is a secret far beyond anything other state reps can muster. To get ahead in politics, Frannie’s got something better than snappy slogans, wealthy donors, and door-to-door volunteers.

She’s got a time machine.

Frannie shows that when you’re armed with time travel, you’re the star athlete in a game where the world is your playing field, you make your own rules, and you always beat the shot clock.

But as Frannie will learn, this game has opponents to contend with. Rivals who might not play fair. When the prizes are enormous power, money, and control of time itself, watch out for cheat moves and low blows…

This novel was offered to me through the BookSends ARC Program. This novel caught my attention because I thought the concept of mixing time travel and politics sounded interesting.

I was expecting a story like other time travel media, such as Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure, Doctor Who, and Back to the Future where the main characters have a vehicle that they use for their time traveling hijinks. This took a different spin on the whole time travel subgenre. Frannie uses a clunky bracelet-type contraption with the buttons “F8” and “F5”.

As Frannie explains, F8 is to make a “quicksave” and F5 is to “reload the previous save”. So if she wanted to she could get government secrets and not live through the consequences. As soon as she goes back to her previous save, her crimes will cease to exist.

If I had to put percentages to the content, it’s 80% politics and 20% time travel hijinks. If you are fans of political thrillers, this is the novel for you.

“A good game amuses us. Even better ones create characters we can believe in, with compelling goals and treacherous obsticles. The best games of all integrate these factors with an interactive challenge for our brains and reflexes. A mix powerful enough to transplant us into a whole new world where we can role-play to our heart’s content. The kind of thing that used to be the stuff of dreams” – Frannie Upwood

I felt like the ending was rushed. When the “big reveal” happened, I felt like the ending got ridiculous. It read like the author just started throwing things at the reader in hope of sounding “plot-twisty”. I felt like I was cheated out of a good conclusion, and I wish the ending could’ve been better.

However, I felt like the characters were well developed and I could relate to them on various levels. Lars and Frannie’s relationship throughout this novel is intriguing. Lars stumbling upon Frannie’s big secret, and whether Frannie is just over-trusting or whether she knows more than she’s letting on.

All in all, I would highly recommend this novel for lovers of political thrillers, time travel, and science fiction in general.

Buy “Press F5 to Load Game” HERE

Posted in Discussions, Personal Blogs

Going to Retropalooza!

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Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

I’ll be leaving for my once-a-year trip to Arlington, TX for Retropalooza on Friday. A retro video game convention, where nerds and geeks can get together and enjoy sharing the same interests.

This will be my third year going. Each year I enjoy it more and more. The people you meet are just there to have fun, just like you are. The guests are popular Youtubers that either play video games or discuss video games in general.

As always I’m going to be bringing plenty of reading materials, both ebooks and audiobooks. Hopefully, I’ll be able to get back into the swing of things by the time I get back!

Thanks for everything guys, I know it’s taking me a while to get back to reviewing. I appreciate your patience.

Posted in Audiobooks, Book Reviews, Novels

REVIEW: Video Game Plotline Tester (The Dark Herbalist #1) by Michael Atamanov

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*No Major Spoilers*

Would you be prepared to work for free? How would you like to bust your hump for a large corporation 60-plus hours a week without a wage or a single day off for the vague promise of some mysterious perks in the distant future?

You’d refuse point blank, wouldn’t you?

But what if the job in question was playing a state-of-the-art fantasy MMORPG game? And what if this was the only thing you’re really good at? Especially considering that your in-game partner is someone really special to you – and this person already lives a virtual life?

After thoroughly enjoying the Mirror World series, I thought I could continue to follow the virtual-reality genre. Though similar in theme, both series are different in their own rights.

My opinion on the two series is that whichever series you start first is going to be your favorite. Whether you start with The Dark Herbalist or Mirror World series, both are great in their own rights.

Now, my opinion on this book in particular. I enjoyed this book, the thought of a goblin herbalist is a very interesting character. In Boundless Realm, the virtual reality game, Goblins are disliked by most species. However, being an herbalist means you can learn alchemy and make potions to better your chance of survival.

In Boundless Realm, people can kill NPCs as well as fellow players (this causes a criminal marker to be next to their name). This book shows that the NPCs aren’t just complex codes and have cardboard personalities.

The main job description, as the title implies, is to test unusual character/job combinations in order to draw new players to the game. Instead of your typical combinations of characters and jobs, for instance, an Orc Warrior, or an Elf Mage, you can choose unlikely combinations for a unique playing experience.

One of the scenes I found to be most memorable was when the main character, Timothy, found a swamp home to wyverns while exploring and on a quest to kill the queen of the wyverns. The prize he was to claim from completing this quest was very unique, a wyvern egg which allows for one to hatch and raise the creature to become a usable mount in the game later.

In conclusion, I found this book to be overall well enjoyable, it was action-packed and held my attention quite well. There’s a lot more to the story that I haven’t said here, but it’s a fun read for sure.

REVIEW: Project Daily Grind; Mirror World: Book 1, by Alexey Osadchuk

Buy the Book Here! – Amazon!

 

Posted in Discussions, Personal Blogs

Discussion: Video Games

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One of my favorite genres of video games is story-based video games, like the Ace Attorney series or strategy/RPGs, like Fire Emblem and the older Final Fantasy games. However, games that I have no access to, I like to watch people on YouTube and Twitch play these games.

One Youtuber that I watch is NintendoCapriSun. He does let’s plays of the Ace Attorney series, the Danganrompa series, and the Legend of Zelda series among several others. He is currently doing a let’s play of Ace Attorney: Dual Destinies. He started pointing out how the case had similar themes as others in the series. I.E. like trying to figure out how someone could seemingly fly.

I asked him on Twitter what he thought of the similarities and repetitiveness since he never clearly stated in his videoes.

Elishasbookreview: Would you say that the Ace Attorney series is getting somewhat repetative with their cases? Watching the new episode and you’ve been guessing correctly on what the mystery is going to be. Just curious about your thoughts.

NintendoCapriSun: I’ve definately started to notice common threads with the narrative and how it unfolds in each of the games, so I think that’s definately helping! I wouldn’t outright deny that there is some repetativeness to it, but it’s a repetativeness that I like.

I do agree! The series is still enjoyable and fun to watch even if they use similar puzzle ideas. I’ll keep on watching as long as I can keep on guessing right along with you!

Thanks, NintendoCapriSun for giving me permission to quote your statement and even replying to me at all! Keep on doing what you do best!

Visit NintendoCapriSun’s YouTube here

Posted in Audiobooks, Book Reviews, Novels

REVIEW: Project Daily Grind; Mirror World: Book 1, by Alexey Osadchuk

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*No Spoilers*

This exciting and thrilling novel is a LitRPG (literature role-playing game) set in an MMORPG (massively multiplayer online role-playing game) called Mirror World. In this world, you can become a powerful wizard, slay a dragon, become a great warrior, or even rule your own kingdom.

However, for others, they use Mirror World as a way to make money for their families. Same goes for this man, who becomes Olgard. His mission: to make enough money to pay off his loans and to get his dying six-year-old daughter a new heart. So he starts working in the mines, digging away for various minerals and gems.

However, something goes awry as he not only plays the game smartly but the “dying race” that he has chosen becomes more beneficial than others may have believed. What is going on behind the scenes with the developers? Will Olgard survive long enough in this strange new world to see his family again?

This novel caught my eye when I saw the guy standing, looking like a pirate, and the monstrous spider behind him. I wanted to grab this book and read it!

I listened to this novel on audio. The narrator was really creative with the various voices of each character. It wasn’t boring at all to listen to and kept my attention throughout!

This novel also reminded me of an anime called Sword Art Online which is about an MMORPG that takes place in virtual reality. However, the characters in this novel felt more genuine and realistic than the characters in the anime.

This novel is also loosely based on the MMORPG World of Warcraft. There’s orc-like characters as well as wizards, elves, and dwarves.

None the less, I would say if you’re a lover of video games and books, this series is worth a read (or listen)!

Order on Amazon

Posted in Personal Blogs

Retropalooza in Arlington, TX

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There’s a convention that I’ve been annually going to since 2016, and it’s called Retropalooza. They host one convention in Houston, TX as well as Arlington, TX. This year they made the attempt to spread out into San Antonio, TX but plans changed. However, there’s always next year!

This year I’ll be going to Arlington, TX (hopefully) to go hang out with other video game fans like myself. It’s so fun to be in an inviting environment where people cosplay and just hang out with their friends, or meet new ones.

The YouTuber panels are the ones I look forward to the most, I make a list of my favorites that I’d like to meet.

I’ve met Jirard Kahlil AKA “The Completionist”.

I’ve met Alex Faciane from The Dex and Super Beard Bros.

I’ve met 8-Bit Eric.

I’ve met Boogie2988.

I’ve met Gaijin Goombah (awesome guy)

And several others that I can list another time.

I am really looking for ward to getting to go again this year (not set in stone yet, but still hopeful) the convention is in September so I still have time.

Anyway, I’ll see what I can do until then! I’m still reading and having the reviews coming!

Thanks for everyone supporting me. It means a lot to me.