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Celsica
Celsica rated it
Archfiend
April 8, 2018
Status: c110
I'm completely appalled by some of the poor reviews for Archfiend. This novel has a lot of redeeming qualities and I hope I can make others give it a try. My review is based off the first 110 chapters and I haven't been reading raws or MTs.

Main Points

-World Building. As the translator wrote in his own review, I think that this novel has an especially strong world building. In many other novels on this website, the character growth and interactions are the main driver of the story, but in... more>> this case, it feels quite the opposite. The MC is but a weakling in a world he cannot control, a carp in a pond. The modern day setting is fairly well done and the wuxia tropes don't feel as repetitive as usual when used in this context. The first 30 or so chapters feel a bit confusing but a lot is revealed "naturally" through conversations or situations instead of delineated info dumps. One clear example of this is when factions start bidding for the MC to sign a contract; the situation arises naturally, and their offers contain some bits of information that reveal more about the world.

-Translation. The novel is clearly quite esoteric in nature yet mixed with more real world elements, definitely a tough piece to translate. The translation speed is slightly slow, but I'm very impressed with the quality of the vocabulary employed. The translator, XTB, clearly cares a lot about the work. There are very few repetitions to be found within a chapter, or even the work as a whole if you speed read it. Both English and Chinese idioms are used; he also sometimes uses Chinese phrases a bit more literally, but places notes to explain their context and meaning. I very much appreciate the amount and insight of translation notes for things like names. Lots of references to the origin of some of the phrases he translates (explaining a meme, historical document, etc...). I've read a LOT of novels, and I place this translation style and quality as my favorite.

Some of the issues raised by other reviewers that gave low scores are clearly ridiculous. Complaining about the darker setting in a novel named "Archfiend", seriously? Or complaining about not understanding everything about the MC straight off... It might not be everyone's cup of tea, but I would strongly recommend this novel, especially if you're a regular on this website.

Rating: 4.7/5 <<less
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Celsica
Celsica rated it
The World Online
October 29, 2017
Status: c52
I usually don't write reviews here, but I was quite glad to see something nice come out of Gravity Tales and thought I should encourage these translators.

Positives:

-Translation quality. Having read 50 chapters, I've only noticed a few egregious spelling or grammar mistakes. There are also a few instances of repeated vocabulary, but Chinese as a language tends to repeat for emphasis. Considering the topic, sentences are well constructed and explain in depth the various administrative challenges that the MC encounters. Probably one of the top on Gravity Tales, especially... more>> out of the works that were added recently

-Kingdom Building & Historical Figures. A nice mix of a kingdom building MMO and the inclusion of a few historical figures and concepts. The administrative underlings present a conundrum and the MC rectifies the problem in a well thought manner.

-Intelligent MC. Beyond the reincarnation aspect, the MC fills the role of a wise ruler quite nicely. Makes the whole thing satisfying to read.

-Translation Speed. Considering the complexity of the topic, I'm really surprised I've been reading 6 chapters a day for a week now. I'm not sure if the translating team is planning to keep that up for a long time, but it's a big plus. Helps keeping me invested in the work despite some flaws.

-Overall Fun. Despite some negatives listed below, I've generally enjoyed this work. I read a LOT of webnovels of all styles, and I can say that this one has hooked me for now. Having a cool village lord MC outsmart opponents right from the start, without any ridiculous cheat? Yes please.

Negatives:

-Pacing. In 50 chapters (a few months in game?), the MC already has a whole town built. The world first achievement system make his quick pace satisfying, but the quick speed means that everything is glossed over and lacks impact. He might create an entire industry at the wave of a hand by telling his subordinates to make a salt pen, for it to be mentioned a few times then POOF! It's making money. As a consequence, focus shifts to the administrative problems of the expansion of small village/village/town. In a sense, it separates this novel a bit from other kingdom builders

-World Building. Wait, a kingdom builder with poor world building? There's quite a few interesting elements that keep things nice, such as the announcements and likely competition with other factions in the future. There's also an important event in the real world that will probably have more importance in the future. No, my issues are mainly with how unclear some of the rules of the MMO are. Characters need to buy plans for their early buildings? NPCs migrate automatically? Raiders appear outside the village for no reason? No NPC villages have been really detailed? Buildings are constructed in a few days, apparently with furniture, but crops take a long time to grow? Completely unrealistic amounts of resources are produced by the village? I really hope the inconsistency throughout the novel is rectified.

-Poor Side Characters. Considering the quick pace of the novel, side characters have absolutely no place to grow organically. They appear out of nowhere and tend to be replaced quickly, or fade from our memories only to reappear later to be appointed as an administrative branch manager of something.

Rating: 4.5. I put a 5 stars to balance out the many 1 star ratings, which considering the overall quality of the translation are completely unjustified. <<less
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Celsica
Celsica rated it
Nightfall
April 13, 2018
Status: c125
I'd recommend that you read user Nanohana's review which gives you a good synopsis and insight about the author. I don't usually like to support or recommend Qidian, but this is a very high quality work.

I read a lot of novels and I was floored by this one. I basically just read all the chapters without stop. I was expecting a work similar to Ze Tian Ji, a fairly normal webnovel plot with great writing. But I got much more. But still with amazing writing, and a stellar translation. I've... more>> only noticed one or two minor typos as of c.125. Also note the very good translation speed.

The characters are definitely the highlight of this work. I was particularly surprised at how the MC only joins the world of cultivators after about 120 chapters. His struggles for vengeance feels real and desperate. Although there are serendipitous events, they are truly the result of a fight against the heavens. Characters, even those more minor, are not two dimensional. You can see and feel a clear and logical evolution in attitudes, a fresh change from many other works.

It's also remarkable how the author has his novels planned in advance. He doesn't just plant loopholes and then randomly uses them in the future. He clearly lets you know part of a backstory only to bring it up later and carefully unravel the past.

While the world seems fairly standard, there is just the right amount of exposure to create believable situations within this world. For example, the capital which the MC moves to is put in context well before the move itself, through dialogue with other characters (and not exposition dumps).

Even if you don't like Ze Tian Ji, I highly recommend this work. I would easily place it at the same height as ISSTH.

5/5 <<less
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Celsica
Celsica rated it
To Be a Power in the Shadows!
April 29, 2018
Status: c42
I usually write longer reviews, but I'll keep this one short. If you're an avid light novel reader who's getting dissillusioned with the bullsh*t getting published out of Japan these days, you'll be able to appreciate this parody. The humor is absolutely on point. The translation is good, and quick.

The poor reviews with serious explanations about how unbelievably lucky the MC is, or other such nonsense... It's clear who's dense here.
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Celsica
Celsica rated it
Overgeared
November 1, 2017
Status: c57
TL;DR : Rating: 3. Good, quick translation and overall passable especially if you don't wanna dive into The Legendary Moonlight Sculptor and its mess of a release / quality throughout the years. Kinda fun novel but the MC is an especially glaring, annoying flaw at this point. He better grow up quick

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Overgeared suffers from a lot of problems. As of chapter 57, it has a good translation, poor beginning for a novel. The translator has a strong record for speed + quality and this novel being updated so often is... more>> one of the reason I can continue reading this despite some large flaws and virtually copy/pasted tropes.

Positives

Translation - As mentioned, the translation quality is top notch. Korean novels tend to be a bit messy in identifying who's talking, with dialogues that are more succinct than Chinese novels. This stays true in Overgeared, and might put off some new readers, but bear with it. Very good speed of 20 chapters a week.

Overall fun - If you're a newcomer to the genre, you might very well enjoy this. I'd say that if you're willing to look past some of the negatives, this isn't absolute trash. There's a fun, relaxing aspect to following a character through his fortunes/misfortunes and overindulging in their overpowered shenanigans. That said...

Negatives

Tropes - My god the parallels to other korean webnovels, and The Legendary Moonlight Sculptor in particular, are getting completely ridiculous. Main character gaining a Legendary production class. Secret stats opening. Hides his identity in game for a while. Can't believe how much money he's making. Doesn't initially want a non-combat class. Of course, outside the game, his parents don't understand the MC's dream of making money in the game (that somehow 70% of Korea plays apparently). Annoying sister with little personality... I'll stop there..

Pace - While LMS has been stretched out to a ridiculous extend with stupid quests going on for a few books and too many characters, in comparison, things are too quick and unsatisfying as a result in Overgeared. Prime example of that: the main character just mindlessly stumbles upon his legendary class through his one redeeming quality: persistence. But this is done through basically the first chapter. He also opens up, what, 4 or 5 secret stats right off the bat. No fuzzy feeling of accomplishment for the reader.

World Building - The details of the world are poorly fleshed out, both in game and out of the game. His life out of the game is only quickly glanced over, so not only is it meaningless, but I also couldn't care less about it. His problem with money is so quickly fixed by his accomplishments that they are irrelevant. The specifics of the game company are poorly explained, and there's no out of game drama going on at all (and poorly established foundations for the future). Inside the game itself, little is explained in terms of enemies, their weaknesses, the effects that players have on NPCs or the world...

Characters - As many have written before me, the MC's ignorance and outright stupid actions sometimes are starting to make me sick. Really? You can't understand why you can't poop legendary items like candy just because your class is legendary? Of course in 50 chapters the MC will realize that he needs to put real effort/better materials/get training/design for a customer... As of chapter 57, he's just realized the importance of having stamina because apparently being a blacksmith is a draining profession, really. The side characters are poor; I've already mentioned his placeholder disappointed Korean family and annoying sister. In game, the NPCs seem pretty cool but we don't get to know much beside their initial problems. As for PC's, they seem oblivious to a lot going on, as always. The "I can disrespect NPCs because they aren't real" syndrome is a given. Some main side characters have been introduced with their own special classes, and I hope they become more fleshed out than the typical tsundere and devoted sidekick.

I really wish that Rainbow Turtle had decided on something more original to translate at this point. Dungeon Hunter wasn't perfect but tried some news elements; Book Eating Magician has a cool concept and quite good world building. As of now, Overgeared is quite average. I'll continue to read it as a time sink but I'll drop this if it doesn't evolve significantly after another 50 chapters. <<less
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Celsica
Celsica rated it
Global Evolution
June 16, 2016
Status: c20
This is an interesting novel, at least at the beginning (up to ch. 20 now). Without spoiling too much, this is an apocalypse setting where everything goes through mutations, including the flora and bacteria, which is a better twist than the usual zombie thing. The characters are interesting and the author seems to have put some thought into the background of the setting, ... more>>
Spoiler

for example using biology references for a while and using it as foreshadowing

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Which is a good thing and a bad thing as it gives the work a lot of personality but also makes it just sooo slow. Either way, I'd recommend this. It seems to have a lot of potential. <<less
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Celsica
Celsica rated it
Age of Adepts
March 28, 2018
Status: --
I was pleasantly surprised by this novel. The first 50 or so chapters are eerily reminiscent of Warlock of the Magus World. The mind chip is the biggest similarity, and generally serves the same purpose in making the MC able to process lots of info and analyse enemies. The pacing is a little bit slower, with side characters better defined than WMW.

The second major arc, which is based on a Planar War, was very well constructed with new characters, a new world of adventure. For those who liked WMW's switch... more>> to a new world towards the end of the novel, you'll be in familiar territory. It feels as if AoA's writer really liked that aspect of the former's story, and expanded on that from an earlier point in his novel. A good decision.

One major point which stands out sorely, especially if you read the novel in one go, is that the author just stopped explaining the acquisition of new spells. While it was lenthly written about in the beginning and gave context to the fights, this was abandoned for the Planar Wars arc in particular and the MC just shoots overpowered spells seemingly out of nowhere. Exciting yet not as satisfying in the end.

TLDR, an old concept based on WMW but a good, new story. Good translation. Good translation speed (~1/day). I'll keep reading. <<less
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