Hell Mode ~ The Hardcore Gamer Dominates in Another World with Garbage Balancing, Vol. 4

By Hamuo and Mo. Released in Japan as “Hell Mode – Yarikomi Suki no Gamer wa Hai Settei no Isekai de Musō Suru” by Earth Star Novels. Released in North America by J-Novel Club. Translated by Taishi.

Most of the time, when you’re reading a Japanese light novel and all of the magic powers, combat stuff, etc. comes out in the same way as a Japanese RPG, it tends to be… not laziness, per se, but it’s a way to allow the writer to easily explain things without having to create an entire fantasy world system and let them get on with more important things, like having the protagonist be super awesome and attract all the girls. Sometimes, though, you read a book and you realize that the RPG stats are the point. This is one of those series. The Hell Mode author is not really interested in plot or characterization all that much. Heck, they’re still not bothering with romance – there’s none of it in this book. They are here to roleplay their elf vs. demons campaign, and it’s going to take 367 pages to get through it, so you’d better settle in. Hope you like stats.

We left off with Allen and friends being sent to the front lines and almost certain death just because the royal family don’t really like him. This is fine with Allen, though, who of course sees this as a great opportunity to level up. They can’t take Meruru (whose country is asking her to go to her own war front), but everyone else goes. When there, they find the elves are really on their last legs, about to suffer an ignominious defeat. Fortunately, Allen has 80 billion magical total heal things, as well as any number of summons that can destroy, maim, eat, or spy on the enemy. Honestly, through most of this book his biggest concern is Krena and Dogoro, who are still having trouble accessing the “I was cool but now I’m SUPER COOL” part of their powers. That said, the main boss we get here is enough to make even our protagonists struggle. They will need another ringer. They will need… the hero.

The majority of this book is pure fight scenes, and thus unreviewable. Aside from that, I did appreciate that Allen, who is now relatively comfortable and trusting of everyone around him, finally fesses up and admits that he’s a reincarnation from a different world. I especially liked Cecil’s immediate reaction, which was “ah yes, so much makes sense now”. Allen is a freak in a very different way to the others… is what I’d like to say, but I’m not sure it’s true anymore. All the others are equally obsessed with getting new levels, new titles, and new powers. It’s the way this world works. Either you keep getting strong and stronger and more overpowered, or you die. (Hence the title.) Also, while Cecil and Krena don’t seen romantically interested in Allen all that much yet, the same can’t be said for his summons. Ellie, aka “Spirit B”, seems to be deifying “Lord Allen” a bit, and it’s slightly worrying… well, it would be if the narrative wasn’t doing the same thing.

This will always remain a “I might read the next book if I get a gap in my schedule” sort of series to me. But if you enjoy watching Allen wave a hand and watch OP bullshit happen, this is still giving you what you need.

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