Reviews for Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Rebirth
ArbitraryRenaissance chapter 15 . 9/11/2017
Even as a victim, Gaius is nothing but a parasite to the insecurities and misery of Flame. He's so pathetic it drives me mad.

I hate the Pokémon that Gaius is, but I don't hate the Pokémon that he can become. He's taking the first steps toward redemption, but he's still a ways away.
Ralmon chapter 15 . 8/21/2017
Hahaha! The main characters mostly just lay around, but this chapter feels like a lot of things happened.

This chapter really creates a lot of questions and expectations from me, like a LOT! I want to keep these questions to myself because I'm feeling selfish.

Really, this chapter comes the closest to being masterful. Something that would not be out of place in publication. And for that alone, I can't criticize it (and because I like it too much).

So... Amazing! Super! Can't wait for the next update.
CrOxxx chapter 15 . 8/21/2017
Love your writing! Can't wait for the next update!
Adamfics chapter 6 . 8/13/2017
This will be a review of the previous chapter and this one I just finished reading. Chapter five had a lot of good moments, most memorable of them being the fight between Flame and Gaius. It was the greatest 'Wtf, Man?' scene I've ever read so far. Of course anyone would be Hella frustrated if they were trying their best for their team only to see their boss exporting what little cash they had. It was considerate of Flame to not tell Alice about their whole squabble in the tavern. That's some good thinking on his part. Also, I didn't think they'd run into Virgo and Yvaine again so soon. Speaking of Yvaine, I'm curious about the strange Aura she sensed around Flame. Whatever it is, it's obviously important.
Adamfics chapter 6 . 8/13/2017
This will be a review of the previous chapter and this one I just finished reading.

Chapter five had a lot of good moments, most memorable of them being the fight between Flame and Gaius. It was the greatest 'Wtf, Man?' scene I've ever read so far. Of course anyone would be Hella frustrated if they were trying their best for their team only to see their boss exporting what little cash they had.

It was considerate of Flame to not tell Alice about their whole squabble in the tavern. That's some good thinking on his part. Also, I didn't think they'd run into Virgo and Yvaine again so soon. Speaking of Yvaine, I'm curious about the strange Aura she sensed around Flame. Whatever it is, it's obviously important.
ShadowVulpi chapter 14 . 7/19/2017
Alright, looks like I caught up with this story.

My thoughts on everything are somewhat the same as in the last review, but there are a few new things I'd like to say after getting this far.

You were kind of right when you said that the story's plot would be going somewhere soon. In chapter 13, you did give hints that there is something going on with Flame that could potentially be quite sinister. I imagine that he was probably an agent sent from the Scum to spy/sabotage the Imperial Forces, but then something went wrong and he lost his memory. I can't imagine why else the Dusknoir would seem so confused after it seemed to happy to see him prior. I don't know when more of this will be elaborated on, but it's a start into the plot and I do appreciate that.

But then chapter 14 somewhat ruined that. It didn't exactly do anything to help the story. It didn't develop the characters or the plot; it was just a way to torment the characters when they were already stuck in the frigid dungeon and had just escaped from a bloody brawl. That brings me to my main concern I have about this story I've thought about now that I'm all caught up; a big risk toward Darkness-Induced Audience Apathy.

I can get that this world is pretty bad. It's in a terrible condition due to the war going on with the Scum and other such things that are mentioned in the meetings. So, I can understand that not everything can be pleasant in this world. There will always be rough times in the story. However, I know that in situations like this, it is very easy to induce apathy. You haven't quite achieved it yet, but these last 3 chapters started putting me on edge. I mean, Flame and company just got forced away to go somewhere they didn't want to go to, and then Scum attack and start killing everyone. Then they get lost in a dungeon that nearly freezes them all to death. Then there's a whole chapter dedicated to them suffering through the exact same thing. That's an awful lot of things going wrong for them when they only had relaxation for maybe half of one chapter.

Like I said, you haven't reached this level of darkness quite yet, but I feel like you're getting very close to it. You don't want to be there, no matter what. I just wanted to warn you so that you don't make that easy mistake.

But other than that remark, I can say that I'm liking the story now that I've seen what's been posted. I can appreciate the world a little more now and it doesn't feel alien to me. I can practically imagine what it feels like to be there with your descriptions and you have your own workings of the Pokemon universe. I don't exactly agree with all of them (like the Sableye having blood when it's a ghost-type), but you do have rules in place and it's nice to see them being implemented and explored.

Good luck with writing more of this story. It has potential to go down quite a number of interesting paths.
ShadowVulpi chapter 7 . 7/11/2017
I started reading this story a while ago and decided that this would be a good place to leave my overall impressions (so far up to this point anyway). I usually don't read PMD stories anymore, but something about your story told me to give it a chance.

I can tell right away that you were heavily inspired by Overthrown by Knightfall. I read that story when it was still being updated, and you two most definitely remind me of each other in many ways. You're both inspired by historical events, aren't afraid to delve into the dark themes, love the Charmeleon, use the concept of two "partners" for the hero, use a grim, war-torn setting that only vaguely resembles the traditional PMD setting, and love to use flowery prose. I'd almost say that Rebirth is like a reboot or spiritual successor of Overthrown due to this.

However, you do avoid some of the pitfalls that Overthrown fell into. Namely, you don't dwell too much in detail. Though your prose is colorful, I never felt that it lingered in one scene for too long. It got its point across and then moved on. You didn't write "purple prose" in which you describe something for paragraphs and paragraphs with words that most people have never even heard of. I appreciate that. I always enjoy stories that are snappy but eloquently show off the interactions in the scenes.

Most of the characters are well-written and likeable. I do find Flame's reactions to the world to be realistic for someone who can't even remember his own name and find Alice to be a nice, kind-hearted Dragonair (seemingly). The only one I really hate is Gaius. I hate that Grovyle. At first I was only mild infuriated with him because of his interactions with Flame, even if it was justified with the situation. Then he started buying alcohol with the team's money that they desperately needed to keep. How Alice doesn't know that he's spending their money since I'm sure he's been doing this for a while, I don't know. But that moment cemented him as a loathsome character for me and I still haven't changed my mind about him. I'm sure he's got a reason for why he's acting the way he is, but I still feel this thick poison circulate through my veins whenever he shows up. I'm really hoping that he gets a redeemable moment soon, because I really just don't like characters that are absolute detriments to teams but nobody has the guts to do anything about it. I get that he's still on the team because Alice needs him or else she'll be all alone with Flame who's not exactly very useful, but I still feel my patience get tested every single time Gaius shows up.

The setting is a bit weird for me. It's certainly well thought out; it's just a strange concept to me because I'm so used to regular PMD settings. But even though I'm not entirely used to it, I will give you credit for making it a convincing world. I can tell you put a lot of time into crafting the world and who rules it. You even gave it an enemy in the form of Scum, which is treated as something absolutely evil even though I get vibes of grey on grey mortality with how this story is going. I feel like there's something about the Scum that nobody knows about yet, or at least, not anything that any of those in powers want commoners to know about.

Overall, it's a very well-put together story from what I've seen so far. I just have two complaints at this point, one of which you might not exactly agree due to the subjectivity of it.

My more objective complaint is that the story isn't really going anywhere plot-wise. I know that it's only Chapter 7, but I feel like the story should have gone somewhere by this point. Like maybe something small like a run in with Scum or something. If this was a character-drive piece I would have been fine with the slow pace, but this is a PMD setting, which is typically more action and plot driven. Despite this being a very different setting than most PMD stories, it still carries the genre's weakness of having a slow start that doesn't really go anywhere for a while. It's mostly just character introductions and world-building, no real plot. The plot is just "Flame hopes that being on a team will lead to answers about his past". I know that's a very standard plot beginning for most PMD stories until a twist hits, but it's still a weakness that I felt I needed to point out.

My other complaint is a bit of a strange one, and that's the course language in this story. Now I don't have a problem with swearing. I've watched numerous shows with even worse language than your story and didn't feel that there was anything wrong. However, I feel that it doesn't work here because it's Pokemon. Now, I know that seemingly doesn't make sense, but you see, harsh language is a human thing. Fuck, shit, asshole, etc are all human words that we've decided have negative connotations to them. We took them from aspects of our culture and constantly change their meaning/make new swears based on the current culture. We use them to get our points across when regular words don't. It would be fine if this story had humans, but it doesn't. It has Pokemon. Pokemon have developed their own culture apart have humans in this world seemingly, so it doesn't really make much sense for me to have them using human swears. It just doesn't fit.

I would say the same about the sexual content, but I realized in the end that sexuality actually does fit in this story. Pokemon are animals with human-like complexity, and both have sex and relationships as a major part of their lives. And since you introduced it early enough in the story, it wasn't jarring to suddenly see all of these dirty conversations. And you do it tastefully enough too so that it's not smutty. I just can't say the same about the swearing. It just doesn't sit well with me since the very specific swearing the characters use is a human kind. If they had their own little swears like "son of a Skuntank", then it'd be more fitting since it integrates their culture into it.

I don't know if anything I said is really all that helpful. Maybe all of my complaints get addressed in later chapters. But these were my impressions for the chapters I've read so far and I thought that they should be shared with you.
Adamfics chapter 4 . 7/2/2017
Man, your chapters sure are long. I feel like i've read eight even though i've only read four. But, the more the merrier i suppose.

Anywho, the story has been really astonishing so far. There's so much mystery to this story and i can't wait to see how you explored all of it in the future. The most interesting one is probably the peculiar storms ravaging the country, and the word 'Ascension'.

Flame most likely has something to do with it. Speaking of the guy, i've always enjoyed how you portrayed his growing guilt of lying about his origins. It was especially evident toward the end of the fourth chapter. Not only that, but his realization of how much his team is really struggling really show how much he's growing as a character. I'd like to see them grow even closer in later chapters to be honest.
Zion of Arcadia chapter 9 . 7/1/2017
The treatment of the Leafeon sadly rang true. I imagine you're aware of POWs and the atrocities committed against them. It's quite depressing. The offhanded rape remark was actually awful in its implications as well. I'm still not over that.

I also like how you're not afraid to show Gaius being brutal toward the Scum. Your willingness to make your characters flawed is admirable. Flame is still my favorite, though, and it made me happy that he cared about the Scum even if he tried to ignore it (it's also relatable in another, albeit still sad, manner). There also appears to be more implications that he's involved with the Scum somehow. Curious.

If Alice isn't related to the Emperor in some capacity, I'll be shocked. It seems quite clear at this point (and good job getting a coliseum reference in there... haha the Roman influence is strong in this story (not that I'm complaining)). Speaking of parenthesis, you have another one of those random parenthetical observations in this chapter. It only happens once though. It feels a little inconsistent in how it's applied.

The lynching was, again, brutal, although I was a little unclear if they were... sympathizers? Actual Scum? I think they're sympathizers, but they way it was written confused me. Seeing Flame get stronger is quite satisfying. Alice can't seem to quite believe it, heh.

The bit where Gaius, Alice, and Flame all bonded was my favorite part. It was nice to see the team getting along. I'm starting to buy whatever it is going on between Flame and Gaius. It's still weird and Gauis trying to justify almost killing Flame was lame, but we have to start somewhere I guess.

I'm not sure how the end will tie into Flame's story, considering his group is already conscripted. But I imagine it will contribute to tensions within the city, so it'll help the overarching narrative. Good job, mate.
Adamfics chapter 2 . 6/23/2017
This is as far as I'm able to read today. So far, I can confidently say that I'm enjoying this story pretty much. The characters are well presented and the premise is very intriguing. This is definitely a favorite and I'll make sure to read the rest of it as soon as I get the time to do so.
Guest chapter 14 . 6/6/2017
He is slowly dying by blood loss? But he is a fire type, he can burn his wound so it stop bleeding. If desperate that is...sounds painful. But method that would work in his case. That is if he can breathe fire in that condition. Guess he can use the tail otherwise. Intense chapter liked it!
Ralmon chapter 14 . 6/6/2017
Okay... This chapter drags a lot.

They are walking through ice and snow... then they walk through more ice and snow... then they walk through even more ice and snow.

There was a fight that end abruptly with a really confusing outcome.

Then they walk through more ice and snow... then through more ice and snow... even more ice and snow.

Then they all fainted? The End?

******

The whole chapter can just told as: they walk through ice and snow until they fainted. There are details and nuances that are lost but that is what essentially happens. Overall, the chapter is just dragged on for too long without any significant reward for the readers nor do it provides much development in terms of the story or the characters. It easily falls into the category of story bloat.
Magykool chapter 13 . 4/30/2017
I actually caught up a week ago. I'm not going to rant like Draco, Zion or Arbitrary might, but I'm going to say this; I honestly love Rebirth.
I think I found very little, or no mistakes whatsoever, and the written story is well paced, and this makes me wonder if Alice and Gaius will even survive the cold.

Grovyle and Dragonair are some of my favourite mons, so a little bias here. But they're really good characters, they have their flaws and they're not perfect. I love it.
Thoughts: Gaius' name...it sounds close to Gaia, mother earth. I'm pretty sure that's just a coincidence, right?
And Alice. Is she related to the King? Or am I making connections merely because she and the King are from the same evolution line?
And Flame; 13 chapters in and we have little-to-no-clue on who he really is, and I'm okay with waiting for this mystery to solve itself. I have a few ideas regarding his past, but I'll share those another time.
Oh look, I'm ranting. Ooops. But I'm loving this story, and I can't wait for more!
UnholyPens chapter 13 . 4/1/2017
And here we are, trying out a new style of reviewing, hoping it works out better. It'll take me longer to do each one, but it will pay off in being much longer than before.

I like the fight at the beginning, it really helped show off how Flame has grown since his first encounter with a foe, but still demonstrates just how vulnerable he is, or that he is still hesitant when it comes to taking the offense, as opposed to Gaius, who clearly shows no regret for killing, even if it is just the Scum.

You've done well to describe the gravity of the situation, what with our main characters getting tired and on the brink of breaking. Flame's confusion about what was happening, getting stuck in thoughts, etc. It's all well-thought, and it shows. (Though, if I may complain about something, Flame's transition from saying "Thank you." to the Staraptor to saying "By the way..." is a little weird, and something doesn't sound right.)

Your descriptions of the land from the air are spectacular, and I can get a clear vision of what I believe it to look like in my head. I love how all the hope of safety left after Flame spotted the plateau.

I was surprised to see that Archangel was a Metang. It just goes to show how much you love first stage evolutions. Not that I'm complaining, I mean. Something deep in me wishes that we get to see him soon, because he's so cool. What a badass.

And here we are, the Dusknoir. I'm not sure whether or not it has appeared earlier, though my mind seems to tell me yes. If not, no fear! In due time I am sure that things will straighten out and we'll see more.

Definitely an interesting segment, though. That Pokémon is such an interesting edition to your story, considering some of the things you are able to do with such a character. I'm getting giddy just thinking about what could happen.

Ah, there's the Gaius I know. Back to completely and utterly doubting mister Flame over one small factor, and an ironic one, at that. Though, it's nice to see that Alice is still somewhat nice to him, though I'm sure that she is wary as well.

Man, that whole ordeal rustled their jimmies hard. If I were Flame, I would be looking over MY shoulder to see if Gaius is on his way to kill me. I wonder what exactly it is with these Scum that sets everyone off. From what you've shown us, they're a great deal important to the empire.

Ooh! Underground lake! I had a lot of troubles envisioning this in my head, and for good reason. To me, it felt like you were having troubles with the description of the place, and just wrote something down. If possible, I would suggest fixing that to make it not so confusing, it would really help. Good detail about the effectiveness of cold against those two, though.

Oh, damn, they still subconsciously trust him? Is it because of his Fire-type stature? Is it because of the short time they've spent suffering together? Whatever the case is, I'm interested to know what's going on.

Ah, yes, cowardly main character crawls on through crowded opening in wall to scout the way. Always a good sign. What's that? It didn't turn out bad? Huh. You're clever.

Joking aside, it's great to see the Charmeleon be able to take initiative and act like an actual leader for once.

Ah yes, the long-needed bonding time between all members of the team. We've all be craving it, and I think Gaius is actually warming up to Flame even more than before, due to his new realization about his reliance on the Fire-type, but also because he's seeing—finally—that, despite what happened earlier, he's caring and doesn't wish to hurt his teammates.

Overall, this chapter was more about progressing the story into the next arc, rather than focusing on the plot, but it still had some of those elements within. I thoroughly enjoyed it, that's for sure.

I can't really say much else without taking another four hours, so I hope you enjoy this little gift of mine, in return for your favors. I'm looking forward to the next chapter.
Zion of Arcadia chapter 8 . 3/5/2017
I’m trying out a slightly different format with this review, where I write my thoughts as the chapter progresses, as opposed to in post. We’ll see if it sticks or not.

Gaius might actually kill me. I should make a counter every time he does something that makes me want to drop kick him to the moon. WHY didn’t Virgo or Yvaine override his idiotic refusal to eat? Aren’t they imperial fucking soldiers? Gaius, meanwhile, is part of a team dangerously close to losing their job! Ugh.

And then Flame calls Gaius his friend. WHY. Is this Stockholm Syndrome? Am I crazy? I like Gaius in that he’s a well-written, flawed character, but I don’t understand why FLAME seems to put up with him, but considers the legionnaires to be weirdoes. Is this an “us vs them” type of thing? I don’t know. I don’t get it. I have reservations, but for now I’ll wait and see how this dynamic develops.

I’m glad in the end Gaius let them eat. I was close to popping a blood vessel. I wonder if the scare on the bridge had something to do with it. That was a pretty cool, tense scene, by the by. Man, I keep going back-and-forth on Virgo. I get that he’s the type that would be annoying in this sort of life-or-death situation, but he makes me laugh. No one else does that. The levity he brings to the story is something of a relief. You might even call it… a comedic relief. -shot-

So Flame is connected to the mystery dungeons? I mean, it seems like the Scum in general might have some sort of connection, but I’m not sure. Also, Yvaine’s abilities feel very close to what psychic-types are portrayed as having. Either she has some of those powers or dark types function in a similar manner. Perhaps some sort of inverse? It all seems very… mysterious. –shot again-

General Honorius. Definitely sounds like a lucario. I wonder if he’ll have further significance, or if that’s just a cool bit of lore. I’m trying to figure out who he might be a reference to… probably not Emperor Honorius. Lol. I looked at a list of consuls, but wikipedia’s organization gave me a headache, so I gave up. It did catch my eye that there was plebian consul, however; is that a reference to the “non-dragon” line? Ah, no matter. Still, further evidence that a lot of pokémon in Urbe has something of an obsession with the past glory days. Cool stuff.

You’re afraid, Flame, because you’re the main character, and you have the power of FORESHADOWING. Wow, I am being a snarky ass in this review. Haha. For real though, the build-up so far in this chapter has been really good and really unnerving.

Gaius Drop Kick Counter: Two.

“While this brief pause consented.”

What an interesting turn of phrase! I don’t think I’ve ever heard that before. I can’t decide if I like it or not, but it for sure fascinates me.

The scene with the water in the fountain reminded me of Jurassic Park. That’s a complement. Excellent use of the environment there, I was holding my breath throughout that whole scene.

Ooh, a rhyperior! That’s scary, especially for Flame. Aim for the horn! The section where they were hiding was a little confusing, but I think Gaius almost suffocated Flame’s tail? Did I read that right? Keep it classy, bro. Although I could be wrong, like I said, that was kind of an unclear section. Also, I continue to forget that Virgo is not, in fact, a garchomp. I keep waiting for him to just fuck shit up. Maybe the fact that he’s one of my favorite dragon types contributes to why I rather like him.

Aw, Flame helping Alice was such a nice moment. And then he was proud of himself, too! You deserve it, my boy. And wow, a blast seed took out a rhyperior? I suppose they are REALLY good in the newest game. Either way, that was a cool fight scene.

Man, I mentioned it in my last review, but with the way Virgo is categorized, I’m kind of surprised he lets Team Phalanx push him around as much as they do. I don’t know why he interests me as much as he does, it’s kind of weird. Maybe because I still can’t quite pin down his personality.

The detail with the wooden toy actually made me feel kind of sad and regretful. These are sentient pokémon. There’s a very good possibility that Flame was once one of them, or connected to them in some manner. That rhyperior Virgo killed may well have been a close comrade to the others. Huh. Oh well.

That final battle was super intense. I have mixed emotions. I just… I dunno. The mention of the toy and the picture of the family, couple with the fact that the Scum were retreating rather than further provoking violence… it made me kind of sad. But it thrilled me, too.

This is probably the best, morally ambiguous PMD fic I’ve ever read. So many fics try to do what you’ve pulled off, but it always, always ends up ringing false to me. Not here. This made me sick and elated at the same time. A weird combination, and yet, here we are. Well done.
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