Arwyn has just bought Fantasia, the first fantasy-based VRMMORPG, with 99% realism that you can play while you sleep. In the game, she becomes Fey, a moon elf starting in the magical Elvenwood. Join her (and her snarky narrator who likes to interject sarcastic comments in parentheses) on her exciting, often hilarious adventures inside this magical world full of every fantasy creature you've ever encountered in books, games, and movies, and a few that you haven't.
Oh, and there's something strange about the NPCs in this game... See if you can figure it out before Fey does. (No, they are not self-aware AIs.)
-Cover art credit goes to A. Noviant
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This is just a short review that will be buried under 27 pages of reviews.
For anyone who may come across this:
Fantasia is the story of a quirky girl and her quirky adventures.
The main problem of the story seems to be that it doesn't have a driving factor,
the main character will probably continue to steadily get stronger.
Let's get even from the start, I like this story. If you've seen my review scores and doubt it go visit your nearest MD, fast.
You're welcome ( I know, it's nice of me to worry about others' health, right?)
I think I should start by talking about what this story means to me, how I read it, because the rest of the review doesn't really make sense otherwise. This is actually the second time I'm reading Fantasia, the first time I had just started on this RoyalRoadl stuff and I was lost in the OPs, the fast paced nothings, so I didn't really enjoy it. Now I'm back after a break and have started actually choosing what I read, and this is one of my favourites (somehow this word is marked as grammatically incorrect). To put it into perspective, I actually made my account just now for this review, which I (obviously) haven't done even for other stories I enjoy more. This is because I am in love with this story, it may not be the funniest, or the smartest, or the best written, but to me it feels like it. It is relaxing, funny, cute, and it gives me some much needed laughs with silly humor and overdrawn characters.
So onto my scores, or better yet, the title of my review. The story, as a VRMMORPG (quite a mouthful btw) doesn't really deviate that much from other stories on this website up to this point (I'm talking plot here, chapter 27 as the latest). The style is... I would call it visual, I don't feel I'm reading a novel, it really is more like a manga. The grammar is good, or at least good enough that I can ignore it, other stories in the best rated category actually make me feel physically ill so this is like an oasis in the desert. Perhaps the wording and interactions are simplistic but it actually builds onto the experience for me.
Finally, and most importantly, characters and character interactions. As I said, the characters are overdrawn, and what I mean by this is that the cute is too cute, the silly is too silly, and the gravity defying mushroom is a hack. Also Fey's interactions with others (and the other possible permutations in social interactions) are caricaturesque (now I'm getting worried, am I really writing it wrong?). You can draw a character description without rising your pen from the paper (Blade is treated like dirt by all, all the time, fun times to be had by all, can you guess I like all absolutes?). So... overall they're great, they're fun, they're alive. Some are left a bit on the wayside at this point in time, a bit out of focus in the picture if you will, but I guess that will evolve with the plot.
In conclusion, keep up the good work, I'm hoping for great things in the future of Fantasia, and great fun to be had at the expense of Fey and friends (tm). Also, I've got a feeling this review is way over the 200 word requirement (*verbose*) :D
I’m easily addicted to this main character and narrator, you just can’t take them seriously!
This story is very much worth reading. Among its siblings here on RRL, Fantasia stands out for its precise grammar, unusually accurate vocabulary and knowledge of tangential segues that lead the reader out of *generic fantasy land* and into more slice-of-life things such as Tae Kwon Do, food and inspection of gender stereotypes.
This story, quite honestly, shines in its syntactic and semantic purity. There are hardly any grammatical issues, perhaps a couple of punctuation quibbles and the occasional formatting change, but Fantasia is, otherwise, among the top two stories I’ve read on this site in terms of structure and lack of mistakes.
If you like a strong female lead, you’ll probably be highly satisfied with Fae, as she’s certainly no shrinking violet or party-healer who is content to stand around being a damsel in distress. The author is quite adept at keeping her from conforming to traditionally feminine tropes in litRPG stories, though the effort occasionally comes across as heavy-handed.
What you can look forward to, in no particular order:
- Fan service. Whether you like Pokemon or traditional dungeons & dragons or RPG video games, the author will suffocate you in references both esoteric and obvious in order to increase your sense of immersion.
- A strong, female lead. As mentioned, Fae is uncharacteristic in the way she engages with the virtual world in terms of how many females are written.
- Kawaii pets doing kawaii shit. All the time.
- Grammar and sentence structure that is beyond reproach.
- Traditional fantasy elements and tropes used in very expected ways.
What you may not like about Fantasia, again, in no particular order:
- Fan service. You literally can’t get through a chapter without having a footnote that painstakingly explains what Pokemon or D&D manual something is taken from.
- The condescending way the author feels the need to parenthetically explain to you everything, even things that are 100% obvious to the kinds of readers this site attracts. Yes, we understand that you’re making a lot of Pokemon references. No, you shouldn’t be putting all your adjectives in parenthesis – that’s what good writing is for. If you actually write the characters doing things cutely, you don’t need to write (*cutely*) every time they do them.
- The main character is 100% whatever a female edge-lord would be, until she’s inexplicably not. The author makes sure the reader knows that the MC is “loosely based on her” and then goes on about how she eschews the traditional trappings of feminism like wearing multiple outfits, heels, makeup, being civil to boys, etc. If there’s an opportunity to shit on men in general, she will take it, whether it’s a group of boys in the forest, the “can’t do anything right” nice guy PC who wants to be her friend or even the hypothetical males she compares her behaviors favorably to. We get it – you’re an empowered woman living in a world that’s unfair to women, doing something women don’t usually do. That’s cool. We like it. Maybe less hammering? It feels like The Legend of Randidly Ghosthound but with less idiotic names but also, somehow, less unique.
- This might not be a problem for some readers, but the MC meets a literal angel who can do no wrong and immediately crushes on him. It’s…kind of trite and undercuts Fae’s edgy splendor in my eyes.
- The biggest concern, though, is that the story is almost relentlessly unoriginal. Fae goes on fetch quest after fetch quest, killing slimes and ents and dodgeballs, etc. etc. while doing nothing that is decisively heroic or interesting aside from leveling up. The first 20 chapters are actually grinding like you would experience in the uninteresting parts of an MMORPG.
- The author begins every chapter with a reminder that you should rate five and that she doesn’t understand why people – I guess myself included – would rate anything less, celebrating that some of her fans seek out non-five ratings and vote them down into obscurity. Which is fine, truthfully, if the majority of readers consider the story a five. It’s great for an author’s ego, after all, to have people fawn over your stuff and it’s decisively less simple to take constructive criticism, especially when you consider how much of the author’s personality is caught up in her main character. It just seems like I’m watching a video on Happy Wheels. If your story is worth a rating of 5/5, it will be rated 5/5.
Overall, I’m enjoying it and you will too.
Well, I finally found a story that I actually want to review and wouldn't feel bad about reviewing because I've actually read up to the point where everything is happening. So without further ado.
Note: Review is up to date as of May 15th, 2015. I do not guarantee that this will be accurate in the future.
Grammar: I'll get this out of the way first. The grammar is good with only the occasional minor error that I don't remember anymore other than I remember a minor error. Essentially no more than one would expect in a novel (even commercial ones have the occasional typo).
Style: Ok, I'm a little harder on style grading than most. I rate on a scale of 1 to Pratchett where style means the way the voice of the narrator and the viewpoints draw mean in, add to the story, or do the complete opposite. In this story's case it has a clever voice which works with the individual perspectives and does not suffer from a too rapid perspective change, which can heavily ruin flow of a written work, nor do the individual quirks of each moment hurt.
Perhaps the greatest accomplishment of this story is showing me that apparently breaking the 4th wall can be done in a story without gaining my anger, annoyance, and dislike. I had to analyze why it works and I've come up with a few guesses. The first is that the author sets up the 4th wall breaking from the very beginning. Essentially there's never a 4th wall such that it feels weird, takes me out of the story, or cause jarring problems. Instead the 4th wall breaking is used for comedy and adding flavor to scenes, or highlighting some of the ridiculousness. The 4th wall allows for lampshades to abound. Yet the 4th wall breaking never dominates the story but simply adds a touch to it. I think it can be a bit much sometimes but generally those are the exceptions rather than the rule.
Story: Not much to say as there doesn't seem to be an overarching plot yet. That's about the one weakness. We're seeing progression of the character and a development of a relationship but an actual focus seems a bit lax. The story isn't hurt because we still feel progression due to advancement within the game as well as that we're never stuck in one spot.
Character: I complimented the style due to being able to accomplish what I thought impossible but the characters are what keep you coming back to this story. The characters are funny, interesting, funny, sometimes unique, and did I mention funny? From the pets to the main female protagonist, to the abuse of Blade, to the "NPC" that is the angel with wings, we get characters that either draw you in, or make you laugh. Also, Amethyst should be nominated for an award for best slime character in a work of fiction. :P
Overall or the TLDR version: The story is a comedy that mixes that types of comedy and adds a layer of self-awareness on top. For some this will work, others might not enjoy the story as much as me. The story could develop so that it has a more clear direction than "advancement" but otherwise the story works pretty well as it is.
Great history and the best comments i can think of!
I dont know if i love the heroine or the author.
Thx for that!
Just one problem.... i need more!!!
I like all of it, pretty much just as it is. Let me tell you why, but let me first say that I think it's very important to not base a review on your own preferences but also
take the author's intention into account (or at least how you as the reader perceive them). Fantasia is a slice-of-life fantasy vrmmo tale and should be reviewed as such.
Style & Story:
The easygoing and humurous style of Fantasia serves it very well. There's no cataclysmic struggle against the powers of evil (so far). Instead, it's a story about the main
character Arwyn and her shenanigans in a VRMMO. Fantasia clearly aims for the slice of life market, and as I said above it makes it an enjoyable and relaxing read. There's
nothing in it that will have your heart racing in trepedation, but the lack of that is exactly what makes it so charming. The healthy dose of humor and what seems to be a
romance brewing complements and shapes Fantastia further in the right direction.
It's maybe a bit slow in the beginning but the author seems to have found a good balance now so I'm happy about it. The sense of progression is also there, which these kind of
light hearted stories often fail at portraying. It's not too fast mind you, but it's by no means boring. If it was a regular fantasy story I would've critsized this point, but
due to the very nature of it, that's not really possible and with good reason. The story is really about Fey and her adventures and it doesn't seek to do much more than that at
the moment. Given that scope, it does the job well.
The game world in itself doesn't strive for perfect realism as some novels do, but instead retain the soul of a game. This is very helpful as it sets a clear separation between
Arwyn and her game character Fey. The subtle barrier enhances the slice of life elements by reminding the reader that by the end of the day it's just a game and that's okay to
My only complaint about it is that the humor can sometimes be a bit of a hit or miss, with the author relying too much on explanatory interjections and too little on the
characters themselves being funny. We see that balance reversing in the later chapters and that's a very good thing. Still, she does an excellent job as writing comedy is an
extremely challenging thing to do. I know that because I've done it myself, and tailoring it to be relatable to a wide audiance can be a nightmare at times.
It goes without saying, but the author passes my high standards with flying colours. A strong mastery English and an extensive vocabularly is pivotal to properly conveying a
story, the characters and making sure that the reader have a good time. It's easily the story most free from errors I've found on RRL so far.
Regarding the text flow itself, I have no complaints. It's smooth and enjoyable. At almost no point will the reader find him/herself struggling to comprehend a section.
We have our slightly whacky main character Arwyn/Fey. Truly, a breath of fresh air among your run-of-the-mill MCs. I can also personally relate a lot to her way of thinking -
minus her more savage tendencies. They are welcome non the less and brings variety to the story, along with her unorthodox thought patterns and reactions that serves as
springboards for comedic moments.
Then we have her cute and sadistic pets as sidekicks. Especially Amethyst. Such a cute mass murderer. Giving them distinct personalities was an excellent move and makes the
reader care about them and again, adds variety and spices the story up. They take a pretty large role in the story, which is somewhat unusual as pets are usually boiled down to
mere support roles/meatshields. There's another story on RRL called 'Lady Bunny' that also makes extensive use of pets, but there they fill the meatshield role and doesn't
really have distinct personalities. Here on the other hand, they're as much a part of the story as any player.
Then there's blade. He's generic but there's still just enough to him to make me care about him. Arwyn's attitude strengthen his role as the unwilling accomplice and triggers
some weird sympathetic response in me. Being her acquintance sure isn't easy! Curious to see where it goes from here with him. Not much else to say about him right now.
One of the more interesting characters presented so far is Angel-Guy(don't recall name...). Both his role in-game and outside of it guarantees him to be interesting. We see the
level disparity and a sneak peak of what may come later, and seeing Arwyn acting different towards him further compels the reader to form an emotional attachment to them both,
and it's nice to see this side of her. Following Angel from time to time is also a good move. POV switching keeps the story interesting and adds variety. Im a sucker for
romance too, so that being hinted at makes me look forward even more to future chapters.
There are other characters including some NPCs but I'll refrain from writing about them as I don't have much to say about them.
I find myself comparing Fantasia on all levels to Only Sense Online , a published japanese light novel series (vol 5 out soon) with a manga in the works, and it's so much
better on every single level. I highly recommend everyone to read it.
This author had me chuckling the entire time. Just picturing some of the scenarios in the future will make me smile. It is a nice original world that is more similar to games than other VRMMORPGs that I have read about. I'm thoroughly enjoying it. I decided to give into the author's shameless request for 5 stars because she promised to write faster if I did.