Reviews for Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Rebirth
Talgoran chapter 2 . 7/23/2018
Ch 2 thoughts:
- Oo, an otter! Woot.
- Every character in this story feels real. They aren't just dialogue put over the face of a Pokemon. I really liked the Scyther. Though, it was a bit confusing when he seemingly teleported into the entrance room. I feel like Flame would have noticed if the Scyther was heading the same way as him out of his cell.
- Found it odd that a splinter got through Flame's scales and actually hurt him. I hope this isn't one of those stories wherein the combat is completely realistic. I don't want a lucky Slash to be disemboweling folks, you know? Then the combat can't be flashy, or prolonged, or fantastical!
- Oh, she's a Dragonair. Whoops.
- Dropped period and some other minor grammatical error about 2/3 through this chapter.
- Big clues that Flame did indeed used to be human. I am glad you didn't open that can of worms; that's another prime chunk of trite PMD character drama that has been done to death. I prefer Flame being closer to a blank slate so we can get on with the story proper.
- A bit weird that Alice knows that about Flame's flame, no?
- Dang, I hate Gaius. I wonder if you intend for him eventually to be a sympathetic character. That would be a tough pill to swallow. Having a character's distrust and hard shell gradually change to a healthy relationship is one thing, but the other qualities he's demonstrated would not be so redeemable. ie, him not giving a crap that he's leaning against the bulletin board postings.
- With names like Antioch and Gaius I wonder if we'll be seeing some locations or people inspired by ancient history.
- A chapter that was half as intriguing as the first, though all of it seemed necessary and still promising. My hope is that the following chapters aren't a dive into boring, nigh-meaningless missions in order to build a team dynamic. Hope some plot finds its way in early.
- Seeing parallels to two different PMD fan-fiction stories. Hehe. I didn't see the first one until I thought back over the structure of the first chapter. Namely the two teammates of an organization on a mission, one wanting to press on, one wanting to go back, them finding some helpless Pokemon, the danger of enemy forces about... It came out more in this chapter, and I imagine that it won't stop there. The second parallel, present in the very last section of this chapter, may be coincidental due to the way one can portray falling asleep using punctuation. Reminds me strongly of the ending of another chapter I know at any rate. I enjoyed!
- I think that's everything. What a solid story so far. Always a delight to stumble upon a gem. I'll have to work hard to leave comments with my customary negativity.
Talgoran chapter 1 . 7/23/2018
Ch 1 thoughts:
- A much more interesting first chapter than almost any PMD fan-fiction I've read. Largely because of the departure from convention. There's no indication that the protagonist was human. The protagonist is already evolved. We get a relatively huge portion of information in the very first (if long) chapter - characters, geography, plot, pre-amnesia history. Summarily, all of this strikes me as promising.
- Your style is so descriptive. It's not flowery, but often makes use of metaphor and simile. Sometimes, it was a little much. Like Flame hoping gravity wouldn't invert and throw him into the big blue sky, haha. In the same vein, I wonder how much thesaurus use is occurring. In the first twenty seconds we get "perennial veil" and "gnarling hound". There were many times where the diction struck me as 'try-hard'. Like when Flame jerked his tail in front of him to see the flame dancing in perfect synchrony with its bigger brethren. When sentences are filled to the brim with advanced vocabulary, it's a strain. I don't want to have to spend even a modicum of extra time on a typical sentence to parse out its meaning. I think 'try-hard' vocabulary should be sprinkled, not spread.
Nonetheless, I like reading your style. It means that even in lieu of exciting things happening 'on screen', the lovely sentences you share are often a joy to read. Them being over the top in my mind just made them even more of a joy. That comes at the expense of me being unable to take the writing entirely seriously though.
- Plenty of good hooks drawing me in to continue reading. I want to know what Ascension is. I want to know if the purpose of this organization is to oppose Scum (hehe), and what the Scum are. Conversely, Flame is really boring at this point. Hopefully he quickly grows into a protagonist I can root for.
- Hm, googled shiny Dragonite. Guess sky-blue scales are a non-canon coloration for Alice.
- When Flame first wakes up and tries to move his arm to feel his throat, it's described as if his arm is broken or caught in something. Then a minute later he can move it no problem. Perhaps a little confusing to understand what happened there.
- Oh, last thing - I found the classic wake-up scene to drag a little long. As the #1 most trite scene in PMD fandom, it needs to be brief or unique. I quickly grew bored, even if yours was far from unoriginal.
- Great content here, thanks for sharing.
Kreivan Reyhers chapter 18 . 6/30/2018
I HATE CLIFFHANGERS. But amazing work
TheG0AT chapter 18 . 6/27/2018
I’m not going to speak extensively on chapter 17 since it really just served as a harbinger to 18, but I do want to comment on the tent scene. Despite the fact that the group spent several thousands of words sitting around a map discussing and thinking, it didn’t feel like it had bad pacing at all. It felt about perfect, actually. It is a bit head-scratching that all of that pretty much meant nothing a chapter later given the battle and then the impending trip to the capital, but perhaps I’m speaking too soon.

Anyway, onto the real show. The war scene had two distinct stages that stood out to me: the buildup, and the outcome.

Beginning with the buildup: I struggle to find criticism for it. It was, albeit sometimes straying into light shades of purple prose at times, a captivating read. So captivating that it actually wasn’t enjoyable (at least, not in the moment of reading; looking back now I can say it was fun), because I literally felt like I was in Flame’s shoes at times and seeing the scary things he was seeing. The imagery was vivid and you used most of the five senses frequently, and this is one of those cases where I argue purple prose is a positive asset. But the stone-cold sense of resignation is probably what did it for me. Awesome stuff. This is where your writing style shines the most.

The outcome—everything that happened from first contact to Flame’s escape, essentially most of it being a large-scale fight scene—was, for the most part, executed well. We can officially say Flame has a good grip on his fire attacks by now, and his aim doesn’t seem to be so bad either. One issue I had with this scene, however, was when he got blown from his station and into the mud, presumably from an enemy blast seed. For a brief stint, the pacing of the scene slowed down pretty dramatically and only picked up when Flame finally picked himself up to run. It felt like he was on the ground long enough for that Weavile, or any other scum, to pounce on and kill him two or three times over. All things considered, it was quickly forgotten by the time Flame reached the scene with the Scyther, but it still lingers in my head now looking back.

Speaking of which, I’m already guessing that that isn’t the last we’ll see/hear from that Scyther, whether it be through his own personal revenge or his testimony. Maybe that’s just me being speculative, but I’d fully expect the Scyther to report the cowardly Charmeleon who scarred the side of his face (assuming the Scyther lived; not sure what he would use to put out the fire given the type of arms he has). I can totally see this catching up to Flame at the worst possible time, similar to how the Swampert merchant did when Flame took bread from his stand.

Why did you have to cook my favorite Pokemon alive like that? ;-; I really hope Yvvy lives. Umbreon’s a pretty bulky Pokemon, so she should be fine, right?

Dropping cliffhangers is fun, as you probably know. This one... it’s so vague and potentially-ambiguous that so much as speculating on it is rather futile. I’m going to go ahead and assume that Dusknoir doesn’t literally mean Flame is his actual child. Between Sycorax referring to him as “target Icarus”, the supposed leader of the scum (who I can’t help but wonder are all directly affiliated with the Benefactors) calling Flame one of his own, and Flame mysteriously losing his memories all those weeks ago, I can start to see the backbone of the plot taking shape. I don’t remotely know what that shape is yet, but your work behind the scenes is starting to become more evident as well as relevant. The cliffhanger was just another piece to that puzzle, and it makes me want more. Flame clearly has some kind of value to him—maybe he’s part of some royal family elsewhere, maybe he’s got some kind of power locked within him, maybe his soul is the key to something. I’ve been convinced for a while that his circumstances weren’t normal, but I am now convinced he himself is not a normal Pokemon.

Once you’re done with your exams, you and I are doing more writing sprints in the near future. I need to know what happens next.
Miner7365 chapter 18 . 6/23/2018
Okay, so I made it to Chapter 18, time to make the review as I promised earlier.

First off, i'll just be doing this in general terms, since, you know, kind of hard to review a entire 200k word story referring to each individual bit of content separately.

Let me start off with the plot. Now, I know I already said that whole thing about how I thought this was all a allegory to the fall of the roman empire, and to a certain extent I still believe that. However, the benefactors kind of threw a curve ball at that theory, along with a lot of other things in recent chapters, so i'll be focusing on just reviewing the plot line as it is, without any comparisons to how Rome fell or whatever. So, for the plot, besides my grievances that the main character is a Charmeleon. (Long story short I kind of think that pokémon is used way too often as the main character in PMD fics, but that's more just a me disliking overused pokémon thing if i'm being honest.) The quotations at the beginning of each chapter also is a nice touch, with them helping to develop the world along with hint towards later events in the plot. (Looking right at you, the benefactor's program) Praise aside, if I had to say anything was your weakness, it would be the fact that it feels like the main group is constantly receiving the bad end of the stick, which is not a bad thing as long as it is done to progress the plot and not for only character development. It can be done for both simultaneously, but if you leave your characters freezing in a room that seemingly serves no plot purpose later on and only exists to stop Gaius from slicing off Flame's head under the impression that he was a Scum all along, it only comes off as either a torture scene on the more gruesome end, or filler on the lighter end, with Chapter 14 leaning more towards the gruesome end. (Not trying to insult doing messed up scenes, nor am I claiming that every story should be light hearted, but I just have a personal belief that a story should be dark for a reason, and while for the most part I see the purpose of it being dark is to establish the gritty tone of a crumbling empire, this is one, jarring exception to that whole thing.)

Now, onto World-building. Like I was just saying earlier, the darkness in the story does help to establish the gritty, broken down society that is present in the main city the characters are in. I especially like the approach of implying the poverty everywhere strewn throughout the story, instead of being outright said like most here would. (Like the whole scene where they were savoring cheese because they had not had it in years, or the scene where Flame found Gaius drinking his sorrows away using the money they had just earned.) One thing a bit less praising is that the world almost seemed too gritty near the beginning, with, you know, them immediately trying to turn him in as Scum in order to get the reward and instead getting the boot to those types of jobs, along with Gaius'... 'attitude' near the beginning. It stopped being as jarring by Chapter 6/7, but I figured I would point that out since it seemed off to me.

Now, onto your Characters. Flame is just your average run of the mill PMD protagonist, albeit a bit too much of a pushover for my liking. (Not mentioning Gaius drinking to Alice and seemingly just accepting the two people who just threw you into prison as your friends when, you know, they just threw you in prison are two major examples of him caving into situations that seem a bit... off to me.) That is not to say I dislike his character, with him making a good middle ground between reserved and regal Alice and asshole Gaius, and his slow adaptation to the new world he is in making the first 9/10 chapters interesting. Now, onto Gaius... oh boy where do I begin. First off, if your goal was to establish a asshole like character, you did a great job at doing that... too great, in fact. He seemingly leeches off of everyone else and treats Flame like he is a ant ready to be squashed by his foot at any moment, screaming at him when he does one thing wrong in the earlier chapters. This is where my problem with Flame seemingly caving in to his demands comes into play, with him acting like that dog in the 'This is fine' comic strip as he learns more and more how much of a detriment he is to the entire team. To be fair, he does help to establish the gritty tone further, with him being a byproduct of the famished and war torn north, and I get that the whole point is to show his shift away from being this way towards Flame, slowly becoming more and more friendly towards him, but I honestly can't find any redeemable qualities in him. (Not trying to insult writing characters that aren't happy twenty four seven, since, you know, that's stupid, but one of my biggest phobias in writing is having a character purposely be a asshole to everyone and having to watch everyone else go along with it as if 'this is fine.') Either way, I feel he is a bit too much of a heavy handed approach at making the world gritty, and showing what the state of the north is like, but that might just be the hate towards Scyther's character in Silver Resistance talking. Anyways, onto the final one, Alice. Alice, in a lot of ways, is a counter balance to Gaius' character, with her hating having to steal, and being from a obviously regal background. I think I can assume she could not fly like all the other Dragonairs, and that this is what got her kicked out and disowned by her family, which does help to establish why she is not that much of a fighter, but also does not want to support the same group of people who threw her into the streets and told her to get lost. Overall, I think you did a good job with her character, and I really do not have anything that bad to say about her.

Overall, this is one of the better stories I have read on this site. As much as I ranted on Gaius and the 'Torture Scene' in chapter 14, they honestly don't detract from the story enough to the point where I dislike it. The world you set up is extremely interesting and I believe you have something going here you should follow to it's full extent. I'm not one for assigning numerical numbers for a reviews, since I don't believe you can quantify something qualitative such as writing, but just know I really think this has the potential of turning into something possibly on the scale of Broken Ideals or Silver Resistance if you keep going with it.

All I can ask is that you keep going, and don't stop anytime soon.

(As for the review for a review policy, i'd be up for it if your willing to do it. I'm not the kind of guy to beg for reviews or anything, but if your willing to do so, i'd be more then willing to take you up on that offer.)
Miner7365 chapter 11 . 6/21/2018
Let me take a guess, this is all one big allegory for the end of the roman empire.

With the references to the south (Italy and the Mediterranean) being peaceful but the north (Gaul and the such) suffering from Scum (Barbarian) attacks, causing poverty and disease everywhere, It just seems to fit.

I'll write a more over all review when I get to chapter 18, but I just wanted to point this out since I noticed it and it seems... plausible, at the very least.
flareon71 chapter 18 . 6/7/2018
Now this... this chapter was real gripping! I have to applaud the sense of urgency you managed to convey so well throughout the entire war scene, really bringing out every inch of fear going through Flame's mind. It brought about an atmosphere that you managed to carry throughout the entire chapter, balancing hope and despair in a way that felt suspenseful but interesting. Massive props for that!

And the ending... not only did I appreciate Virgo's expression of concern during these desperate times, but that line from the Dusknoir left me speechless!

It's clear you've put a lot of work into this long chapter, and I have to say it has turned out marvelously! Can't wait for the next one! :)
CassandraTruth chapter 18 . 6/7/2018
Oh my. Talk about a heart racing chapter! From start to end we are greeted with nothing put tention and suspence, with heavy psychological moments, as per usual, and some really intense action sequences. We not only see a small development of the dark-dragon royal team, which is another good point! The crazy twists keep on happening- the suddeness of it all only adding to the feeling of dread, impotence and helplessness. Also, major cliffhanger that ending wasz now I'm thrice as pumped up for the next chapter, which may finally answer some questions- some old, some generated by this chapter Alone! Overall, another excellent chapter- I might say one of your best works, even! I just felt so compelled, pumped up and like I was there with poor flame or the helpless legionares. I can speak for everyone that if you keep this quality up, the waiting is a very small price to pay (Albeit a hurtful one, yes this story/your writting is that addictive). We can say that Gloria was a most Glorious (though not for our favorite amnesiac lizard) chapter! Filled with the tension, the character development, the interesting settings, the unique interactions, the insane Action sequences, the reality, the brutality, and all else that makes this story one of the most unique and intuitive Mystery Dungeon Fanfics out there! Fingers crossed for the next one, both to arrive soon and for our protagonist- and his friends too! (Yes, even including the ground dragon and the now-burnt Eeveelution).
The FieryCharmeleon chapter 18 . 6/7/2018
Wow, just wow. Probably the most anxious and horrifying chapter in Rebirth so far. Everything about this chapter kept my heart beating extremely fast. I've probably never so felt so much tension in my life. Every single scene had me worried what will happen next. Now at this point, I have zero faith in the characters, yet at the same time know everything will be alright at the end...sigh, I wish movies and video games could bring this unattainable fear that Rebirth delivered to me :(. Keep the masterful chapters up bro. This and Overthrown/Dissolution are my two favorited, most beloved fanfic's.
Will1231 chapter 11 . 4/11/2018
I enjoyed the bits with Flame and Alice spending time together. I have no idea if that part with the fishing really works, but it was fun to read them working together creatively and then enjoy the fruits of their labor. Also, I really hope you have better game than Flame with that female Charmeleon. :P
Zion of Arcadia chapter 10 . 4/5/2018
I don’t know if I’ve ever mentioned it, but I always enjoy those quotes you come up with to start every chapter. It’s fun and adds more lore to the story.

“Albeit a mass of clouds obfuscated the morning sky, leaving the whole camp in a shade of penumbra…”

I have a higher tolerance for purple prose than most, but this just felt super out of place. The sentences that precede it have a much lower level of vocabulary, making it all the more jarring. I also don’t really like the word “untense”, I’m half convinced it’s not a real word. “Relaxed” would fit much better.

The opening conversation about buying dinner is such a nice, quiet little moment of camaraderie. And it’s nice to see them have a discussion without Gaius being overly toxic. It’s important to highlight his good qualities along with the bad, I think.

“He was amazed at how one could bare to live in such crumbling rat-holes…”

“Bear” not “bare”. Confusing, I know. To bare is to be naked or exposed, basically. I’m also a bit uncertain about your singular/plural usage here. One implies singular, but rat-holes implies plural.

Oh boy. They’re going to have all their money stolen at some point, aren’t they? I’m calling it now.

“Vending stalls seemed to pop up all over…”

This is such a peculiar line, one that sounds nice but makes zero sense if you think about it for longer than a second. Consider something more along the lines of, “Vending stalls were haphazardly erected all over…”

Do lizards sweat? I don’t know why, but I did a double take at that line. Not that it matters much.

I liked how you turned buying cheese into this tense affair. The atmosphere you’re cultivating, the growing sense of desperation and malcontent, is pitch perfect. Flame’s little moment spent considering violence also was a nice character touch. His nuance and depth continues to impress me.

Flame stealing the cheese was fun to read. Although the way it was written struck me as odd. Can’t quite put my finger on why, though. And Gaius being all proud of Flame struck me as cute, haha. Gaius is actually tolerable in this chapter, which is a nice change of pace.

“When no objection followed, Gaius took it as a green light.”

Huh? Green… light? As in a stoplight? They have those in this world?

Remember how I said Gaius was actually tolerable in this chapter? I take it back. What an asshole. Still, this whole ordeal with the cheese and the bread has provided some lovely team bonding moments. It’s nice to see their relationships further fleshed out.

Another thing I like is how hard it is to be a team in this story. The missions are difficult and the pay often far too low. But everyone is so desperate they do it anyway.

“Cold jabbed spikes into his concentration with each droplet.”

Again, this sounds nice, but makes no sense. You personify the cold, which I like, but the cold is still physical, while Flame’s concentration is mental. It would make more sense if you referred to his scales or something similar.

Personally, I would rather die fighting than starve. But I suppose being taken prisoner by the Scum could be even worse. But it was nice to see Flame propose joining the Imperials, since they seem to have it much better. And Alice’s explanation is more than reasonable.

That raid was brutal. I dimly recall Ariel raising prices in a previous chapter, although I can’t remember why. I always enjoy seeing the fallout of a character’s decision. Also, that Absol is a thousand times more dickish than Virgo and Yvaine combined.

And then we end with a cliffhanger. Curse you! That plotquake couldn’t have picked a worse time to hit, haha.

This chapter has pretty much zero plot development. But I really enjoyed it nonetheless. It fleshed out the characters and the world, and really built up the tensions troubling the city. When everything boils over it’s going to be oh-so-satisfying. And it’s nice to see Gaius and Flame’s relationship progress. I don’t mind the plot stagnating if I feel like other aspects of the narrative are being developed, personally.
UnholyPens chapter 16 . 2/11/2018
Well, here we are again, per your request. For these next two reviews, to save your time and mine, I'll refrain from doing a read-through review. I'll read, then make comments on things that stuck out to me.

So, the chapter. Really great read, it was nice to get to see not one, but two (or more) bonding moments here, and we got to see more of Gaius, what his physical ailments have done to him. This chapter has solidified my opinion with him being the single best character in the story so far—right next to Sycorax. He's just really cool and I loved the outburst with the Zangoose, with not only Gaius insulting him, but also his pals confirming the Zangoose's incompetence.

That scene with Yvaine blitzing Flame's mind was great. There was something about the pain Flame was experiencing that made the scene stand out to me. (It also gives me an idea of what I could use in my story if I ever decide to do some mental probing.) I hope we get to see some more of that soon.

Flame's plan to escape has been revealed to his teammates, and they're more than willing to join him! This is pretty great, because fuck those limpdick Imperial Army guys. Especially totally-not-a-ripoff-of-Adiel. I didn't like that guy's mentality as soon as you introduced him. On the topic of that, Virgo was showcased a little more here, and I like that. He's another character I like. You'd better bring him and Yvaine back.

Other than that, though... there isn't much else for me to share. So, until the next time I get around to this, I'll be talking to you because you have no better way to spend your time!
Will1231 chapter 9 . 2/5/2018
I'm roughly halfway through the published story (and at a point where things have settled down for the moment), so probably a good point to share some thoughts as any.

I've mentioned before that Flame's companions left a bad taste in my mouth with the way they sold Flame out. I can't say that that impression I got is completely gone, since it was a really damn scummy thing to do. But I've been slowly coming around to them, Alice a bit quicker since she seemed genuinely awful the moment it occurred. Gaius is, of course, taking a bit longer, since he's still the same ball of anger, and I legitimately felt very uncomfortable reading the part where he was holding Flame's under water when they were hiding from the Rhyperior (seriously, good job in describing that scene). Granted, I understand the reason he was doing it, and he at least acknowledged Flame's work when they were celebrating a job well done. While I expect that there will be more setbacks in the future, since it wouldn't make sense for their dynamic to be perfect after one majorly successful outing, I look forward to seeing if they're able to become an even more cohesive unit in the future.

As for Flame himself, he's still the overly enthusiastic, lizard we've come to love. But it is nice to see that he is finally growing some confidence and feel like he does have a place on the team. I'll admit that I feel like sometimes he can be a bit too understanding about the situations he was thrown in, such as the moment he confronted Gaius about the aforementioned water incident. I guess I chalk that up to him being the overly forgiving type. And I'll admit, I was a bit surprised to see him legitimately defeat Alice in their sparring match. He has shown the easily be the least experienced in combat, and he took quite a bit of hits from the Dragonair in their "battle." While I expected him to at least hold his own for a bit, I really found it odd that he won outright, though at the same time I'm hoping that it wasn't just a staged victory as Flame thought it might be (though, if that's the case, I still see him not holding it over her head, since that's not the type of person he is).

Virgo was also a fun character for the time he was there, and I believe from what you've said, that won't be the last of him. He seems the type whose personality can be a tad overwhelming in large doses (even Flame almost lost his patience a few times), but I anticipate him being a fun addition the next time we see him.

Anyway, I know I'm slowly getting through things, but I'm hoping that I will be able to catch up to your current chapter soon!
Will1231 chapter 3 . 2/5/2018
I like how you are expanding the dungeon scery. Instead of it just being a forest with winding paths, it had a nice, creepy cave to boot. Speaking of which, I never thought that Paras would be terrifying before evoling, but that definitely left me a little skeeved. I appreciated the irony as I imagined it trying to do to Flame what would have happened to it if it evolved. I will say, though, that I found the incorporation of the stairs feeling a little out of place. I can forgive it being a game aspect, but it did seem a little silly that with the detail put into making the place eerie and creepy, that their target each floor is the bright staircase. I'm sure I'll get used to the sight as I read on, but it was the best criticism I could think of other than the grammar errors you mentioned don't occur later on. So... yeah. It won't stop me from reading on.
Will1231 chapter 2 . 2/5/2018
The team is now together, and the situation is totally not awkward at all! Gonna be honest, I was nearly screaming "you naive lizard!" when Flame wanted to go find his rescuers-turned-captors. I mean, I know he was alone and desperate, but even so, I was at least relieved that he let Alice know that what they did sure was scummy (no pun intended). I do feel that the forgiveness scene felt a little rushed, but perhaps Flame is simply a more forgiving and understanding person than most, but I do see him being the type to get taken advantage of again many times in the future. At least he showed that he does have somewhat of a spine and is willing to slowly (very slowly) test his boundaries and not get walked all over. I hope to see that part of him grow as I read, otherwise, I will keep on rooting against his teammates, or at least the leader. :P
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