“Forge your own Reality!”
The Digital Age has passed and the Virtual Revolution is in full swing. Realesque Incorporated’s magnum opus has taken the world by storm and millions are flocking to get a taste of the world’s most advanced Full Dive Virtual Reality game: Prism.
Ryan Drake is one such individual, seeking to escape the mundane routine and the empty streets of modern life. But something sinister lurks behind the fantastical sword and spell facade. And the light can only blind one for so long before it gives way to the surrounding darkness.
What will he and those around him find as they search for a place to call their own?
Author's Note: if there actually is demand for this, I will create an archive of the old chapter versions.
Cover - courtesy of TNLEgraphics (also known as Sunwalker). Check out his other works on DeviantArt.
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Not sure if I should write this review, since I am only used to reviewing novels, but since I came across this place, I will give it a go and make an attempt to formulate some opinions about an ongoing fiction as well. I will refrain from tackling top fictions for now since there is no shortage of reviewers there and start with one that is still in its infancy.
It comes as a surprise to barely nobody that this one, alongside many, deals with a VR universe. Now that we have established that, main question is what sets it apart and is it worth reading?
Going straight to business, I will basically analyse several aspects in what I consider to be a random order.
What struck me from the beginning was the slight tendency to over describe here and there, something that occasionally slows down the pace. Also worth mentioning that characters are not described with as much confidence as places or action scenes. This said, I do appreciate the author’s use of a wide range of vocabulary and his familiarity with various items. It gives the impression they come natural to him and that is quite rare, compared to other fictions I have read.
At moments, the story is predictable, but that is somewhat to be expected. This might also be considered quite subjective, since it is shaped by the reader’s experience with a particular genre or with literature in general. For the moment, there is some foreshadowing about future events but the audience is also kept in the dark with respect to others.
The dialogue / narrative ratio improves as the story progresses and for me, at least, it is interesting to observe the little changes between the first chapters and the last ones. From what I understand, the first ones will be rewritten at some point, but for now, one can give credit to the author for his successful attempt at growing.
The parts of information dump are kept to a minimum, they help with the understanding of some game concepts but do not make the reader want to skip to the next paragraph. The same happens in the case of characters. They are presented but there is hardly any background information. Characters can, at times, perform an action with certain ease, which raises questions about their real life experience, which probably will not be revealed any time soon. It constantly keeps people guessing and it offers flexibility, the possibility of toying with some ideas. Up to this point, I have not really seen any discrepancies in the story, but I have not really focused on that specifically.
When it comes to the more specialized scenes, for lack of a better term, it is quite obvious that there is an interest in describing them accurately and recreating a certain atmosphere that would be associated with them. Just for fun, I did some research as well and from an amateur point of view, they seem believable.
Moving on to the main character. Now this is just a personal preference but I think highly of people who can avoid stereotypes when writing. For once, the character is not defined by his economic situation, by the harsh environment he had to deal with (being an orphan, you name it), by his outstanding looks, excellent physical condition and perfect behavior in every situation etc. And this list is by no means exhaustive. I do not know if that will prove to be the case later on, I prefer not.
I have seen some mentions about the character being flat, I disagree with that. It is difficult to judge a character, basing that opinion on 5 chapters alone.
With respect to punctuation, I could only spot a few mistakes here and there and I can classify the grammar as being native like. Sentences appear easy to understand without being simple, mind you. When it comes to the intended public, it seems to target all audiences.
As I am writing this, I am thinking it is a personal curiosity of mine to learn how someone could balance their real life and this alter universe. Also, I look forward to bits and pieces of background, as the story progresses, without losing focus on the way in which one’s true personality and attitude can change when confronted with the opportunity of having an alter ego.
All in all, I would have to agree with that one sentence in the description. Prism holds more than meets the eye. Make of that what you will.
Aside from what is already in the description of the story, which is no small amount of stuff, the story itself is very well paced.
Although the MC grows slowly, the growth is substantial and frankly, that is the best kind of growth.
The characters are relatable, which is hard to come by in FFs here in RoyalRoadl since the authors all want to make their MCs super smart / cruel / handsome / rich / dark or all of those at the same time.
Here we have a guy who just likes to play games and has one or other skill at which he is good at and helps him in the game, rather than being the unreasonable genius at everything that a lot of authors like to make.
Bottom line, I recommend this read. You will be eating through the chapters before you even notice.
Hello fellow penguins of the great Penguin Empire!
prism, is a great story, we follow the MC down the path of a mage, but it's not your everyday mage! It's a specialised mage! Now, we follow the MC around in the world of Enoa, a fantasy styled world, with might and magic, swords and beasts, tales and dragons (?) and much more!
The style is nice, when reading you feel sucked into the story and author's descriptiveness of the surroundings make one feel like they are there.
Story is the good ol' fantasy, midieval setting. Though somehow, this one steps out from the others due to the Author's charm, or so I think. In the story we follow the 2 MCs which gives us more insight on the world as a whole, as they start the game at different locations.
Grammar isn't my strong forte what so ever, but I have noticed that Author has a vast vocabulary, making the sentences seem full of life, instead of the all to dreadfull repetitiveness you might find in other WBs. I also haven't spotted many, if at all spelling mistakes and typos! Which of course is a BIG plus! yay!
The character build is quite nice. MCs are down to earth people who don't seem to be overworldy people. Making it easy to familiarise with them. The only "bad" thing, in my viewpoint, would maybe be the huge benefit the MC seems to have by being a high ranking kendo practioneer. This is to give him advantages in the game, which is understandable, since it is difficult to build up a character from completely nothing. Though this might easily change as the story only have 7 chapters. Plenty of room for character development! hurray!
Now, there isn't a massive amount of info-dumps, but when there are, the Author seems to integrate them into the story in a way it doesn't seem forced or completely unreasonable. At least this is the case for me.
And that's it! I hope this review shines some light on this little eye candy here... huehuehue...
Keep up the good work Author! This story got the potential to become dead amazing! Woohoo!
Penguins! Read this fiction!
All Hail the Penguin Empire!
Well what can I say about this story? I could write an advanced review, but I do not have the confidence in using some “big and technical words” to describe or analyze this fic. However, I can express my feelings towards drake’s adventures so far.
The story has a very slow but appropriate pacing. Some might not find it to their liking but…Come on, you just can’t stop reading anyway, once you start reading you are drawn in. Following Drake in his VR adventures and also real life segments is a delight, one just can’t get enough from the desire to see how Drake will solve the issue he has at hand. As the story goes on you are introduced to other characters, some pov changes might off you for a bit but they drag you back in easily as they expand the world built around the MC… (Yup advanced reviews aren’t my thing, but I digress…)
In the end reading a story is all about enjoyment, if you want to have a good time I suggest you read this story, you won’t regret it. If you don’t like it then just stop reading, people have different tastes and that is what makes this site wonderful; there are stories here for everyone. So just click on the first chapter give it a read and welcome to the ranks of Prism’s loyal readers!
To start with:
4 stars. No one is perfect.
Why? Just because.
So here goes my opinion:
I am no gamer, so I don’t quite get the “game setting”, but I can tell it’s well done. There’s no room to mistakes in such system.
Just as “Prism” is promoted, there’s room to unlimited posibilities. I quite like that even by just staring at the sky you get a skill (I’m exaggerating, there’s no such skill)
Also the emotional/psychological implications of the NPC’s having a pseudo-conscience is entertaining. How the “Players” treat the NPC’s as any other and receive the “F*ck *ff pr*ck” as an answer is hilarious.
Even the MC was replied to- like that.
Then about the companions… Well, they’re “cool”. Their personalities/attitude are well balanced and as well, complement each other.
Lonewolf(pri*c)+Flashy(quasi-carefree dude)+Serious(competitive)+Quiet(smart and quasi-sly)
The story seems “captivating”. (Spoiler Alert-Spoileeeeeeeeer!)
Adding the NPC’s “freedom”, it’s funny how the MC is dragged along by them and at the end his class ended being chosen by them. (The MC was the one who accepted but in overall he was pushed to say yes).
He ended up as a “Warlock” when he wanted to be a “Necromancer”. In the game setting both are supposed to be quite similar…. But he was reclutant to it.
PS: After a while he ended up liking it so whatever.
He keeps being dragged by his NPC master and goes here and there while training his skill and having fun. It’s a game so why he wouldn’t. He has “unique” way of interacting with the overly human NPC’s and that gains him some reputation (that has just started) and uses his Melee/Magical class to do as he pleases in the good sense.
Somehow I ended talking about the MC but my point is, that I like the story because the MC and his deed, the events and his interactions, as well as how is the story’s way is going.
I didn’t like the deaths (because I never like them) but I feel it was a “necessary evil” to the story. It didn’t affect me that much (also because the ones dead were not “important” as individuals in the fic.
In overall, I like this fic because the setting, characters and story keeps me craving for “moaaar”.
Req, keep writing because I really want to read the next chapter.
Awesome fic (:
(Done in chapter 11)
I’ve read chapters 1-5 and the prologue. So far it seems good, above average perhaps when compared to some of the other fics on the site. Grammar seems okay, a few mistakes here and there but I’m no expert. Since it is still in its infancy, I have no idea where the story is going, but the way it’s set up makes it seem like it could be good. Ryan as a character seems flat right now, however I’m certain that he will be more fleshed out as the story goes on. The style is good, and the writing seems fine. No where near the horribleness of some people *cough* Hatty *cough*. Overall I would give this a 3/5 for now, but I’m gonna bump it up to 3.5/5 because I believe it will get better. It seems to be picking up in the story right now, so I might change this review at a later date.
I came in to this thinking it would be about an OP group class player who hated groups and so turned into a sub-par solo player instead… however.
Thus far he has overpowered every opponent with little difficulty and I see no group dependant aspects of his class. Also he is not really soloing either, not technically at least (his partner is left in the dust more often than not).
All in all I feel like the synopsis was misleading a bit, but it’s still a good read for those who enjoy the ‘mysterious loner V-RPG player’ type of character, with a dash of ‘kill everything with style.’
I should also warn that the beginning is a bit long and drawn out but it was worth it in the end.
“Prism”, while better written than most, does not push itself as an exciting fic with the not so relatable protagonist and rather over the top plot. As well, the other characters do not have as much impact to the story in comparison to the two main characters, and the interactions between them seem a bit too much due to this. This seems a major failing in most of the VR fics though…
The game system of its VR world is playing it rather safe by not getting into too much of the technical details. However, the problems of the VR world become more and more apparent as the story continues. One of the main problems is the awkwardly low-leveled NPCs where I assume the game will adjust levels to match players as the game continues. That, or just leave the NPCs very low leveled while making massively high leveled monsters appear around them.
Second was where the player tells an NPC about the real world and its relationship to their game world. Although most VR game stories would include such a scene realistically, I just thought the scene in this one was especially too much with its over the top explanations and odd character interactions.
The writing of ‘Prism’ is good grammatically and descriptively. There are a few commas and sentence structure paragraphs, but the lack of big mistakes shows a degree of care for the story. As for the descriptions, the chapters are rather thick with details of what the characters are doing, although the information for the backgrounds are kinda lacking.
Events flow in an ok manner, although there are problems. Chapters sometimes begin with the character in the middle of a scene with the story then backtracking and ‘telling’ what had happened in between the chapters. Although fine for a few chapters, this repeats several times and becomes something that weakens the story.
Again, the story ‘shows’ a good deal of the scenes with the only weak point being the setting as well as ‘telling’ too much of what happened between chapters. For example, saying John is doing this, but between this chapter and the last, he had been doing that before this. It would read better if the story just kept on following the MC’s trip instead of skipping forward every few chapters and then backtracking a bit. A linear timeline is easiest to read and comprehend, plus hard to mess up.
The character interactions are smooth in most cases, but there is some messy comma errors and overuse of exclamation and cliche lines that does detract from the story. Overall the characters do interact rather well...
The MC is a person who seems a bit… too much? He is of a highish, above average level compared to others, he is combat worthy, he is smart, and he can lead rather well. While all of that is easy to explain, one of the best tips for writing is to make your characters have flaws. Right now, Drake has no real flaw. Kinda not relatable and it’s just a story where we are just reading about his kinda rocky start in VR. There is no wish (from me) to see him win or lose or anything; I’m just reading about him.
Dan/Banefang is one of the better characters but again doesn’t have much of a flaw. He is definitely better as a character to read, but that may be attributed to his more MC-like attributes like his harem type group. He is also easier to read about with his rogue skills, while the MC’s magewarrior was a bit too cliched to like, even if the magewarrior is sorta, kinda balanced(?). Also, he lacks the martial background of the MC which makes him more normal (hopefully he lacks it). He also lacks much of the excessive attributes the MC has and Banefang has actually suffered major defeats in the game, something the MC seemed to have avoided.
The female players in their group. Honestly, they don’t leave much of an impression so that would seem to be their problem. Although the women are of different races and are designated pretty women, they don't leave an impact to the story in terms of personality or appearance which can be due to the lack of perspective or importance they had to the story. Lilly was more memorable than the other two due to her interactions with the MC but in general the females aren’t as well done as the males.
The NPCs. Roy is the only memorable NPC due to the fact that he seems to actually serve a function. The others, more or less, are come and go characters which isn’t that much of a problem for a story where players interact, get quests, finish quests, then leave NPCs without much to keep them back.
Roy is good as he accomplishes his character as that wise mentor who the MC will interact with the most. His personality is also as good as the MC and the deuteragonist; although this may be bias of me and my fondness for quirky strong characters.
NPCs are retardedly WEAK in the game. The knights shown are around level 15 and NPCs die easily from players. Even Roy who is the head of the area’s mage group can only slightly slow down a level 16 miniboss while distracted. It would be disappointing if the story adjusts the NPCs as the players get stronger, since this would make for a rather odd read. The oddness stems from the fact that this is an online game and not a single player game.
Some comments Req comes up with is that the Knights were low level due to the quest event. Stressing that this is a game and lacks the open source content that other stories have would’a been good… Also, Roy not being able to do much to the miniboss was somehow due to convoluted Crowd Control magic that was basically nerfed extremely low because the skill was basically a cheat. For that, I would suggest not using it in the first place; again, I don’t know. If Crowd Control was so useless that a level 300 couldn’t even slow down a level 16 while distracted, I don’t see a need for it.
The world hasn’t been fully explored or explained yet, but the idea that people can’t trust their kingdom was weird. The lack of backstory to the betraying Knight event made it a very lacklustre affair.
Though various races have been introduced, the circumstances surrounding the races have also been avoided within the story. Basically, it seems like a lacklustre VRMMORPG that is still in development stages. Not a problem for an early story, just watch out for some things like falling into a trap where the storyline suddenly becomes too complicated for readers to follow.
The character basically also revealed what players were to something that didn’t know about him. What I mean is that the beginning of chapter 7 in the story was both complicating, far too serious and utterly useless in the long run. The MC’s explanation of his logging off was long and boring and didn’t seem… genuine as a scene. Cringeworthy almost.
Damage and attacks in the game are odd to read. Although the fight scenes would generally be seen as fine, except for that group battle, the use of game aspects to the scenes seem kind of off to read.
The MC’s need to be polite to get noticed, while ok, is kinda cliched. This still works for the story and the MC is tasked to help a mage sort out a library. Then he’s somehow whisked away to be an warlock’s personal apprentice. While the odd reason for him being chosen can be attributed to the eccentricity of the warlock, it is still odd as an explanation for why he got a relatively good class without really trying. Even if all classes are balanced, it’s still odd.
Oh yes, being polite is good, but not being polite doesn’t mean you’re being rude. There are middle grounds when talking. Speaking to strangers does not mean you have to use either flowery language or curses.
The trip to the initiation area only served to show how low level and weak NPCs in general are. Even a person like Roy seems far too average to give any interest to the story .For a man who had a high social standing, he was rather unimpressive. The initiation in general was an odd event with its lacking explanation for the appearance of a knight and the reason why the warlock couldn’t help as much.
Banefang’s event was a little nicer to read, but that was because he and the people around him were relatively the same in terms of level and experience. However, the sudden turnaround of a player somehow managing to kill the entire expedition by herself with what looked like a rare scroll within a few days of the game release stretched the plot a bit too much.
The MC’s event with the situation in the village was complicated and hard to read and is an example of a sudden plot change that had no build up. The fact that the knight leader was only level 15 again made the story kinda weak. The helplessness of the village, the trickery of the Knight, the gullibility of players and their lack of care to kill. All made that event the worst part of the story.
The current event is not over, so it shall not be touched… still, why would the deuteragonist even try to duel his friend who was a good 2.4x levels higher than him. For a game where stat/level seems to be the main difference between power levels, it was an odd scene to read when a level 9 dueled a level 22.
- Good Grammar
- Ok Flow
- Ok character interactions
- Fight Scenes are kinda off to read.
- Over the top events
- Awfully described level system
- Unrelatable characters
- Odd timeline
- No goal(?)
- Little cliche
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Any questions and/or comments for the review, the reviewer or the author can be posted there if wished.
So my review got deleted twice over.
Thus, what I have to offer is significantly less detailed than I would have liked, but shit happens, I suppose.
Overall, your story has good pacing and is quite enjoyable to read. There's a few cliches here and there, but there's nothing yet overblown where holy shit your character is overpowered and rofl stomps everything.
One of the biggest things that is missing however, are the small details and world building that could be introduced.
The best example that sticks with me, is Cain's reaction to how fast Drake learns the mana bolt- which is to say it takes a couple of moments at best (or it felt like that). This in turn leads me to infer that mages are relatively easy to come by in your world, and leaves me wondering at how your world works when magic is apparently easy to put into practice (Or at least, how it's easy to shape mana)
Another similar thing in this vein of thought is like how a Lycan is perfectly normal in what I thought was a human town, and how said lycan was sent to hunt wolves.
Yet another was how 'easily' the NPC's seem to take the explanation of the seemingly immortal players.
Things like that, small details could be used to build the world up and make something that's currently just good into something great. Good luck in the future!
Maybe it is just me but I struggled with reading prologue really hard. It seemed pointlessly fat and slow... But after prologue, tempo increased and story pulled me into this fine experience.
It is writen very well, making characters interactions enjoyable. Way in which it is written is also good, except my problems with prologue. While story is certainly not that original, it doesn't matter that much because of other qualities.
Enjoyable read, 7.9/10. Will be back for more.