|Reviews for Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Gravity of Perspective|
| Tanuki1029 chapter 2 . 11/6/2019
Ominous beginning, very clearly sets up the theme of perspective, good job. I liked it. There were some issues with prose, but I'll get into those later. Just wanted to say I liked the opening. Not sure how it's first person, but eh, that's a nitpick and doesn't much matter since it's a prologue.
Your prose has a tendency to be a bit wordy. It seems like you got Dickens syndrome; making sentences longer for the sake of it. For example, "I realized I had access to some sort of muscle connection near my rear end, and promptly discovered I was bestowed with a tail that stuck into the air as high as my head," could easily be cut down into, "I noticed some muscle near my rear that, when I flexed it, turned out to be a tail as tall as me." I'm inadvertently imbuing it with my style, but I hope I got across the point. Your sentences could be more concise in a lot of areas.
Another smaller, localized issue is how many times you use a variant of the phrase "as if it wasn't mine." For one, it's wordy—you can just say foreign—but the main problem here is just that it gets kinda old. Like, yeah, I get it. New body. Okay. I assumed that going into a PMD fic anyway. Because it's a staple of the genre, you've kinda gotta reveal it in a way that's itself interesting to read. Figure out a unique, less repetitive way to pull off the reveal.
My biggest gripe, though, is with the first person. Not that it is first person, but that you aren't really using the point of view to your benefit. The narrator is a character, yet, the narration lacks much of a voice. I'm sure Sage has thoughts and opinions about his past self; give future Sage a chance to speak.
Not only is it first person, it's first person in the past tense. Sage already knows what's happening. Sage knows what's wrong with his past self. Have fun with that. Lampshade future actions as foreshadowing, have Sage try to justify unjustifiable decisions, or just have him make fun of himself.
Of course, the challenge of first person is you have to write from the perspective of who the character becomes, not who they are. So, you gotta know who Sage turns into. If you're like me, you started this story before you knew how it would end, so this'll take some thought, but it'll really help your fic shine above the rest.
First-person can be fun, but this feels more like... third person with first person pronouns? I know that sounds weird, but I feel a disconnect between "I" and the narrator.
Think about when you're telling a story about your past. You feel those emotions again, get embarrassed for admitting something, say stuff like, "This was before I knew [insert obvious thing]," and so on.
Right now, the narrator feels disconnected from the story as a whole. Make him a character telling the story of his past. First person is way harder than third person without a doubt, but if you can pull it off and use what it has to your benefit, you'll really make it shine. Props to you for taking the hard route (even if you didn't realize it'd be the hard route at the time).
| SparklingEspeon chapter 3 . 10/28/2019
Oh wow! You have no idea how much I appreciate seeing this... It's sooo hard to find anyone actually willing to write a *decent* adaption of this game. I count about one other, and that person quit about 3/4ths of the way through (For understandable reasons; but still)… But of course, like any other story, it's not without its flaws, so I suppose as the reviewer it's my job to point them out?
Wish me luck! :)
My Review of the Story So Far
I'm not quite sure I see much at all notable about Sage. Obviously, he's a notch above the average PMD blank-slate protagonist, which honestly makes this story *so* much more bearable to read than it would be with a 'might-as-well-be-a-robot' character. But he's also rather passive when push comes to shove, and much of the prose is spent over what he thinks of Leah/whoever is his muse at the time, instead of painting how he himself interacts with the world. He's a nice character when he gets his moments to shine, but he definitely spends way too much time thinking about other pokemon. That's just my opinion, though...
I think it's nice that you managed to stick a kind of method to Partner/Leah's madness. The constant hyper-ness of the Partner in the games would bug me a lot sometimes, and I always imagined there was some sort of thing going on that made them feel they had to be so happy-go-lucky all the time (The twist at the end of the game doesn't really cut it for me...). Getting an idea of how Leah ended up the solitary outcast of the village certainly explains her overall behavior, and it gives the Partner's normally childish actions a lot more depth than they would normally have.
Serene Village Class
For the most part, you seem to get them right. There are small changes here and there (Deerling is far, *far* more foul-mouthed than her video-game counterpart), but they mostly serve the story, instead of work against it. Pancham is far more insidious in this story than he is in the game (Or maybe he was always like this, and it's just coming now that it's been put into story form... ?), and Goomy is kind of cast to the wayside, but I suppose that happens a lot to him anyway. They definitely get cleaner as the story goes along. The only thing I would point out is that I, *personally*, feel something is kinda off with Espurr's personality: she struck me as a scientist-type with a bit of a speech filter problem in the games, but here she's the resident 'I-know-my-stuff-and-don't-you-even-think-about-denying-it-because-I'll-read-your-mind-and-know-about-it' character. IDK how I feel about that yet. She's certainly more street-savvy than the canon, and that's probably what's putting me off about it, but IDK.
It's a shame you don't do more with the Serene Villagers/school faculty... They mostly serve out the purposes they were given in the game (Exposition bots and NPCs), with few original scenes in between them. Obviously, the window for that kind of world-breaking had passed once the story truly got on it's feet, but still...
Pretty much in character for all of them. I could totally see Swirlix subtly giving the other members food poisoning, or Archen freaking out over his flying machine. Mawile's spectacles are a nice touch as well. 'Project Chisel' is super super over-the-top dorky, but exactly the kind of thing the ES would name their improvised Op. You also took the time to add some OC characters, which are comprised mostly of gen VII pokemon and therefore interesting. It makes sense that they would have a pair of medics, even if IDK where Mincinno's team came from. Mincinno himself seems to get more of a country accent towards the latter half of the fic, and IDK whether that's on purpose or not. But you do a good job of meshing them with the canon members, and it feels like they really are a part of the Society instead of just a bunch of OC inserts, so... good job on that?
Ampharos singing is something I never knew I needed... until now. :)
D.M. & Lackeys
I can see you're going in the same direction with a Certain Character that the game went with.. which is a little disappointing, but not completely unexpected. Maybe you'll even surprise me with a carefully planned plot twist. At least their movements make proper sense this time...
D.M. itself is freaky. It's unsettling to see how its control spreads beyond the beheeyem, and what it can do to pokemons' bodies once it's done using them like puppets ('PMD: Guiding Light' comes to mind... possible inspiration?), although that illusion is cracked a tiny bit once the beheeyem speak.
Using Volcanion instead of Entei is a nice touch! And having him be guilty (Well, as guilty as you can really be; I suppose...) is an interesting development too... although now you've ruined the symmetry in having Raikou and Suicune show up later if you don't slot him in at some point.
The story *definitely* gets better as it goes. There's a noticeable quality rift between the escapades in the Foreboding Forest and the Drilbur Mines, and the story properly gets onto its feet after Sage makes up with the rest of the class. The story never really takes that many risks with the game's plot, for the most part, and any deviations just lead back to the same old track. But it's written well, so I can't really complain? There are several ample differences splattered throughout the story, after all, like Sage's relationship with Espurr, or what appears to be a Certain Hydreigon showing up in Baram Town. I like that you decided to include Espurr past the Serene Village part of the story, and I *love* what you do after the Volcanion Mission arc; with the pokemon government. It makes sense that they would look down upon the Expedition Society like that, and Mist seems about right for their placement. I do wish you had taken the time to explore that more before the guillotine for such worldbuilding drops like it's about to, but I suppose that was never the focus of the story anyway.
But overall, it's very good! The details in this story (Like Mawile's glasses or Leah's overall predicament in Serene Village) are what makes it pop, and you paint a world that seems realistic enough, even if we don't get to see nearly as much of it as we arguably should.
I'll be waiting for the next chapter!
| ExplosiveTurkey chapter 35 . 10/18/2019
gud story pls update
It's tempting to leave this review at that, but not this time, baybee. Okay, so where to begin...
Let's get the obvious out of the way first - oh God this prose is both good and painful. It's objectively preeeetty good, but as someone with the attention span of a crow I could feel it physically hurt me at times. On the other hand, it's consistently crisp, if a little long-winded at times. The rambling introspection can get incredibly rambly at times, but that's the curse of first-person perspective, I suppose. The humor is fucking spot-on, though. The second I read a certain line - "Bruh, where did you say you got this dope scarf again?" - I remembered just what I was reading. And I love it.
It's been ages since I last read Gravy of Perspiration, which made it rather interesting to come back reading from Chapter 33. While I remembered the overall plot progression and the tension spike just prior, I was reading on a much... fresher state of mind, which made for a different experience than what you probably intended. But I loved these three chapters. They were chill, fairly light in tone but still peppered with reminders of current events (and fuck those two foreign explorers). Also, ESPURR'S BACK, BITCHES. BEST WAIFU IS BACK IN THE GAME. YAAAAAAAAAAAAASSSSSS-
I loved the banter between the big three in this chapter (though Sage's priceless awkwardness and the Dojo scene in the previous two chapters were great). It made an otherwise bog-standard dungeon crawling sequence worthwhile to read, and really helped jog my memories of their personalities. Banter is good in general, but these three have a particularly spicy chemistry that I enjoy.
Of course, the ending just smashed any illusion of an overly drawn-out rest phase in the pacing. Getting rrright back into things, eh? I can't wait for the next chappy.
Overall, I don't really have many complaints besides the prose and introspection, both of which I can tell you've considerably improved anyhow from a simple glance at your earlier chapters. At this point, it might just be a matter of taste. Since I have no idea about Super's canon plot, all of this is fresh to me, and it's definitely a fun and intriguing read with that mindset. I can't talk about how well you've done in moving away from the game, but since I don't remember zombie-mon and beheaded statue-corpses, I'll assume you've done a good job there.
Signing off, mynamejeff.
| Namohysip chapter 35 . 10/5/2019
And so we have another chapter coming along, this time of them climbing up to Showdown Mountain to not have a showdown. Considering all the buildup that happened, I’m kind of disappointed at the lack of anything explosive coming from it except for finding a crook tied up… and then nothing coming of that, either, except for something that’s immediately dismissed as a red herring. I think part of the thing that goes against you here is the fact that this is still, at its core, an adaptation, so we know the red herring is a red herring. Or, if you’re still trying to break from canon, it’s a weird, inconsequential break from it compared to the grand scheme of the plot. Still waiting on that.
I noticed that there are some occasions when, despite being in first person, you slip into getting in the heads of some characters—such as Mawile taking initiative—when Sage wouldn’t reasonably know something that detailed about the reasoning behind their behavior. I can tell you’re trying to keep to first person despite your longing for third. Try to stick to it for as long as you can, I guess.
Overall, this chapter at least got something done, though it did spend a lot of time dallying in the climb without any fights. I also notice that you’re putting a real effort into Espurr developing feelings for Sage, though because of how obvious and heavy-handed it was (like you’re making up for lost time?) it did come off as a bit forced when the narrative really leaned on it.
But anyway, curious what’s going to happen next now that they’re heading back and broke the law. It’s always stated that that’s what they’re doing, but I’ve yet to see any true repercussions for that. It might be for the best, since that’ll just bog down the main plot.
Anyway! Some typos, awkward phrasing, and so on.
[“Ah, well… something you gotta get dirty in life!”]
[My reaction served only to increase Leah’s display of humor.] – A bit clinical for a funny moment, don’t you think?
[I concluded that even if I did survive, it probably wouldn’t matter anyway.] – I notice that, oftentimes, you have little filter phrases here and there that pad out your prose to no value. In this case, “I concluded that” is the phrase. Taking it out, you get the same thought, but it’s tight.
[“Can I have a sitrus berry or something?”] – This is odd. Wouldn’t it be an elixir or something for stamina? I know you tend to just ignore canon sometimes, but this still stands out to me as odd.
[Leah placed a tentative paw forward, doing so a total of four times before looking back at us and nodding back at us in affirmation.] - ‘doing so’ feels vague, ‘back at us’ is used twice, and ‘in affirmation’ is redundant.
| Ambyssin chapter 35 . 10/1/2019
Interesting. Well, I'm mostly referring to the ending scene. Since anyone who's played Super knows what happens regarding Krookodile. It makes me feel like either Krokorok is attempting to play the Expedition Society for saps or you've chosen to deviate. Krookodile's role as a red herring always felt a bit… underwhelming. He was so insignificant to things that I remember suspecting something was off about him being behind the stone business. So, the fact that Sage has similar suspicions leads me to believe you've got a bait and switch situation waiting in the wings for us. I mean… the people turned to stone here were completely different, so things seem off the rails.
The rest of the chapter was just some dungeon-crawling which I, in all honesty, don't have all that much to say. I mentioned on Discord that you have a bit of placeholder text when Team Prism is talking about how long Sage has been in the pokémon world. There were also various typos here and there, but that's not a huge deal other than you ought to tell Shadow he needs to step his game up if he's still beta reading for you. :V
Now, I've done plenty of dungeon-crawling scenes, so I can't fault you for having one here. But I do think you meandered a bit with the whole "using a tree as a bridge" thing. I mean, it's nice to see the obstacle isn't just enemy pokémon — variety is the spice of life and all that jazz — but it felt inconsequential. I think the goal was to show Sage, Leah, and Espurr working together as a trio, which would lead into the ending claim of Espurr officially being part of the team. Personally, though, I think that'd be better accomplished through battle.
Still, I think the focus on the trio worked for you. Sage's monologuing was kept to a minimum and I honestly liked a lot of the banter, especially when Sage and Leah teamed up to tease Sage. The humidity bickering got a legit chuckle out of me. So, good work. Glad to see you back.
| fox chapter 1 . 9/29/2019
hey, I read your story on archive of our own, AND IT IS AWESOME! I LOVE THE STORY! KEEP IT UP!
| Damariobros chapter 29 . 8/7/2019
Hey, isn’t Fogbound Lake Uxie’s place, not Volcanion’s place?
| Damariobros chapter 17 . 8/6/2019
Wait a second… I was so sure that Espurr was going to be there with them as they left the village in the night. Where is she? She’s one of the characters in the story tags, so is she going to make more appearances in the story? I mean, is she ever going to go to Lively Town and join the team?
| Damariobros chapter 3 . 8/5/2019
I really liked this chapter as well. I noticed a possible improvement that could be made by replacing the period after “why not” with a question mark. I also am thinking that maybe you could experiment with putting music links in there. But the rules of links kind of force you to be a bit creative with how you put them in. An example:
You would have to type out the www . youtube . com part and then type the above thing in, then cut/paste it into a new tab. But, it works. Either way, you could come back to the earlier chapters when you feel like you have time and experiment with adding music links in.
This was a great chapter overall.
I am having trouble coming up with things to say that aren’t repetitive, completely random, or making me sound like a broken record, so I am just going to go on to the next chapter now.
| Damariobros chapter 2 . 8/5/2019
In the phrase “water... thirsty.”, replace the single dot at the end with “…” and it will look a bit better, looking like “water… thirsty…”.
Other than that, I found no problems with this chapter. “Crapfire” gave me a good (internal) laugh (it’s still really early in the morning, 6:29 a.m. to be exact [now 6:45 as of the finishing up of the writing of this review]), the description of the unfamiliar body was really creative, and Nuzleaf’s constant usage of “I recon” has been removed. Oh, and I also like that bit of word-play in the chapter title.
All in all, you did a great job on this chapter!
| Damariobros chapter 1 . 8/5/2019
This was a really good introduction. I love the way you introduced the plot without giving any spoilers, especially since you learn about the past really late in the game. This FanFiction has successfully caught my eye and I cannot wait to read more of it. Also, I have woke up at 3:XX a.m., and couldn’t get back to sleep, and now it is 5:48 a.m. and I am using a glitch to bypass Screen Time on my iPad so that I can read FanFiction anyways (“Downtime” doesn’t end until 10:00 a.m.). Anyways, I am really looking forward to this story. Let’s hope I don’t forget to review in the coming chapters because of my rush to read more and more lol.
| TehSammichMan chapter 13 . 6/9/2019
Okay, so I wanted to address a few things.
Most of the stuff I said about Sage in my last review has been disproven. While I still find his behavior during the first few days of his being a Pokemon still somewhat odd, he definitely has a much more apparent and defined character since then. Something of an impulsive hotshot, almost. While not as uncalculated as, say, Leah, he stands somewhere in the middle in terms of saying/doing stupid things without thinking, and the interactions he engages in seem so much more realistic than how they're depicted in Super.
Take the fight with Leah. In Super, the partner conjures and assumes some massive amounts of bullshit just to cause a bit of conflict in what was otherwise a lulling section of gameplay. Here, instead of directly adapting that same, out-of-character moment, the fight is much more two-sided and actually held some weight to it.
This is even more relevant considering another point I made in my last review. Deviation from the main story isn't common, but it's done in a much better way than before, I feel. Character interactions are widely different, and with the direction the fic is going, Sageah and Sagespurr are two, completely valid ships and either could conceivably turn into reality.
It's mainly for this reason the fight has so much more weight: we don't know how it will ultimately end. Adapting the story of Super as you need to fit the plot while interspersing moments of new content to simultaneously patch up weaker moments in the pre-established story and craft an alternate version introduces an element of unpredictability you rarely find in pure novelizations.
As for things to improve on this time around, I've felt like dialogue has been somewhat lacking. It serves its purpose, but every so often it sounds rather clunky. Sage especially oftentimes uses words that, while acceptable in prose, contradict how you would expect this kind of character to speak.
An example from this chapter would be when Sage asks Espurr if she, "wouldn't happen to be interested in accompanying [him]." Honestly, it's not big, but it succeeded in pulling me out of the story for a bit to ponder the word choice. There are a bunch of examples like this I've noticed throughout the fic, where a simple change in vocabulary would help the dialogue flow so much smoother.
"Uh... You wouldn't want to come with me, would you?"
Changing a few words and eliminating the extra fluff often helps it feel more realistic. While one would expect Espurr to talk with a bit more verbosity, Sage doesn't seem like that kind of character. One of the most important distinctions in writing, and one that's often overlooked, is separating prose from dialogue in both format and language. You seem to have the hang of it for other characters, but for whatever reason (potentially because of the first person POV), Sage got the short end of the stick
That's pretty much all I gotta say for now. I'm definitely enjoying it a lot more as of this chapter, as compared to earlier ones. The little heartwarming moments are done incredibly well, and, as I alluded to before, it's made all the better considering the characters are much more dynamic than their game counterparts. I trust it only gets better from here.
| TehSammichMan chapter 5 . 5/31/2019
Okay so I'm technically later on in the fic but I wanted to get a review done for every five chapters or so as soon as I got on here with a computer rather than my phone so here we are.
I honestly don't have a ton of experience in reviewing a story in itself; most of the time I'm either griping on punctuation or tense or agreement, or something else in that vein. Then again, if and when I continue on with others' stories in the discord, I'll probably have to get used to this.
First impressions are pretty simple. It's well-done in the first few chapters, but I can't help but wonder *why* I'm reading. Minus that bit of prologue-y stuff in these first five chapters it honestly seems like next to nothing is changed outside of Espurr. It's a novelization, I get it, but the promise of deviation later on leads me to expect some sort of twist in these beginning chapters.
So, in essence, my biggest gripe, whether or not it may be valid to what you're trying to achieve, is the fact that outside a few minor details, this is a story we've all seen before. It has little to do with the fact that this is a *bad* thing in the objective sense, but more in the fact that I can't really get invested.
Moving on, I feel like Sage seems a bit off. Definitely not a Sue, but he gets a bit White-Knighty sometimes and when it seems to break character it's somewhat offputting. I mean, you have an individual that's been transformed into an entirely new species and is faced with the prospect of having to enter a dungeon with no combat experience and he just jumps on without second thought. He'll trash talk Pancham in one moment and act humble in the next, which leads me on to my next point.
A lot of this seems to stem from the fact that, at least where I am presently in the story, not a ton of characterization has been given for Sage. It's easy to forget to give your main character some prominent personality traits, especially when you're hoping to flesh out a much more diverse side cast. However, the results prove this is an important start to crafting a narrative people remember. Do you ever remember what, say, Percy Jackson's character acted like as opposed to a much more fleshed out protagonist like Walter White? (I'm bad at giving western entertainment comparisons so bear with me) Bella Swan versus Eddard Stark?
The point I'm making is yes, it's difficult to make a character off of the blank slate that are PMD protagonists, but you're making a novelization that doesn't employ the silent protag trope. You're free to do whatever you want, and yet I've seen Sage act all different kinds of ways without a few traits that protrude. This is a mistake I've made and have been trying to do my best to rectify.
I'll have to read further in order to see what you do to set yourself apart in terms of worldbuilding, but I like what you've done with Espurr and Leah. Espurr was a bit of an unsung character in Super and I like seeing her get the spotlight in a novel way. The way you wrote the partner was incredibly well-done as well. I can feel the energy, and love her just as much as I did when I was playing the game.
Gonna leave it at that for now. I don't know if my future reviews will be this long, but I'll hope I at least have something to talk about every once in a while.
| Hope chapter 34 . 4/18/2019
So glad you finally updated this story! I can't find one like yours because their aren't that many long and good PMD fanfics! - hope to read more soon! Also Sage and Espurr sure are having that awkward thing going ;; wonder how it will unravel