Serial Saturday: Qi Worlds by Skully

Michael Blaker
Game Industry News is running the best blog posts from people writing about the game industry. Articles here may originally appear on Michael's blog, Windborne's Story Eatery.
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For my first Serial Saturday post I’m doing the exact opposite of what I did for my Movie Monday’s first post. It’s Qi Worlds by Skully!

Plot Synopsis: The Qi Worlds Project is embarking on stage one. Eleven candidates have been selected to participate, from China and around the world. The Qi Worlds Project is essentially an experiment to develop the qi manipulation skills of the participants, while they are in a virtual environment. Ben is ones of those participants and while he has had experience with meditation, he has little to no knowledge of qi other than what he has picked up from anime and gaming. Ben’s personality has always been a “boots n all” type, he often acts with little contemplation and on pure gut feel. In all likelihood, he will succumb to the life within the simulation and forget about reality, aka “goes native”. Where others fail will Ben succeed?

Plot: Let me get this out of the way first, yes the full title is technically “Hardcore: Qi Worlds”. I’m fully aware of the fact, however nothing in the book ever gets “hardcore” in any way, despite the racy picture above. In fact there’s a lot that the author promises that just doesn’t come to fruition, he promises “Mystery” but the only mystery that pops up 40 chapters into the story comes down to a simple yes or no question. There are plenty of other frustrations that pop up, like the author’s strange fixation on calling Ben’s party “The Vanguard”. Instead of saying “Ben and the others walked to the city” it’s often “The Vanguard walked to the city”. It’s highly offputting and incredibly childish looking for the author, who I can only think believed that saying “Vanguard” over and over again was “cool“. The biggest issue with doing such a thing is you distance yourself from the main characters, who are supposed to be relatable. So when Skully continues to use “The Vanguard did so and so”, it just makes his work look like crap. I could have inferred that from the fact that he decided to post his work on Gravity Tales, but a few of the English original works on that site are actually decent and don’t deserve to be in that particular cesspool. So despite the fact that I read this work on royalroadl.com, I could only find this work as fitting right in with the rest of the trashy behavior from that website.

Characters: Ben is such a stereotypical main character that I was really hoping that the side characters would be at least interesting, but they weren’t. The female love interests are all incredibly shallow and stay so close to the classic archetypes of fantasy characters that they could have been in hundreds of other works and fit right in. The rest of the cast isn’t any better, in fact most of the cast is shallower than a inch deep puddle.

Overall: Stay far away from this pile of rubbish, there are much better works out there.

My Personal Reading Status: Dropped and searching for some brain bleach to rid me of the memory of this terrible piece of work.

 

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