Reviews for Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Hands of Creation
DarkFireGeneral chapter 117 . 4/2
I feel like if you sent a masochist to Alexander he'd have no idea how to respond. Just yell out "Oh, harder daddy!" and he's completely stumped. Torturing the masochist just makes him happier.
AdamthePyromancer chapter 117 . 3/30
Alright there's still a lot of information you keep dumping on me here.
Eonn chapter 1 . 3/14
Was just going through to reread the first few chapters. Was Owen really reset twice in chapter 1? Poor guy, no wonder his memories are so jacked up.
Tezral chapter 115 . 3/1
It seems Nevren will be the key for the Voidlands to get out without withering like melting void blobs. Maybe they would need to beat both evil at the same time, hence the separation ?

I wonder if Barky can hold off Darky much longer. It seems like he can but without actual progress, and with Emily coming it's not going to get better on their side.

And while the surface is struggling to prepare a counter to what's coming, team Alloy has saved Palkia ! A little weakened like Dialga but with both beings on their side it shouldn't be much longer before they can find and free every titans !

Well, that is if Alexander and his compagny does not stop them. And Aster...did he just itemized Owen ?! Poor children... Aster is conflicted between so much ! First his "loyalty" to Alexander, then Marshadow, and now his old friend is back ! Doesn't he have hallucinations too ?

And Owen is now the most appetizing snack in the Voidlands ! He could have been a scarf or a TM, but an Apple is fragile ! He can easily rot or be cut in pieces !
Wait, but is he a real apple now ? Could he come back to Kilo without dying ? It could ba a way if that works ! Items seems to stay themselves !

I'm looking forward the next chapter ! Have a great day !
AdamthePyromancer chapter 115 . 2/28
Okay I dead ass burst out laughing when Gahi came back with the apple because I knew exactly what happened and it just reminds me of the video of somebody finding a way to turn themselves into an apple in Explorers of Sky and they were standing on a magma tile so not only did they get turned into an apple they got incinerated. Aside from that I'm just now picking up that when gahi and mipsy went through that one cave that they were mentioning earlier and they came out the other side and they started burning that was them returning to the real world through a Mystery Dungeon
Neirdae chapter 106 . 2/19
That's an oof.
AdamthePyromancer chapter 114 . 2/15
I once again have several questions and it's starting to like like I was right about my wierd hunch that Dark Matter isn't even the big bad here but a bit of a red herring. I mean, he still isn't good but it looks as if there's some more important stuff going on
Luke924 chapter 114 . 2/14
I guess we're at the point where major revelations are just gonna' get dropped on us in every chapter, huh?

I'm glad Enet is alright. Well, as alright as one can be when you're in Alexander's custody. Now that just leaves Vallé as the only one M.I.A. Hope he's holding up alright, wherever he is.

Looking forward to the next chapter, where Team Alloy Latias save Palkia (and unlock fast travel).
AdamthePyromancer chapter 113 . 1/31
Every time you dump some more lore I end up with more questions than I originally had
Chibi Pika chapter 99 . 1/12
(Crossposting chapters 81 - 90)

I'm of two minds about the entirety of the Owen Whump Arc now that I'm pretty much through with it. On the one hand frick yeah owen whump. But on the other hand, it did slow the pacing down tremendously. It's a tricky balance because Act II ended so catastrophically that the beginning of Act III had to take the time to show the fallout. And I'm glad you didn't glaze over the impact that Dark Matter manifesting and Destiny Tower appearing would have on every day life, not to mention stripping away all the blessings. But on the other hand, the cast is so huge and there are so many side characters that having their scenes interspersed caused the Owen whump to span a lot more chapters than it normally would have, and there was a distinct feeling that the plot had slowed to a standstill.

But on the positive side, I think you did a really good job with combining the physical suffering with the emotional strain for a tangible feeling of pushing on through a truly hopeless situation.

I think I had some quotes from the Angelo scenes saved that must have gotten eaten when I reloaded the page one time. Well I thought you did a really good job setting up a thick haze of guilt and frustration with his scenes. From his exhaustion and desperation to get away from the hospital, to that horrified realization that people are literally dying without him, and even though it's not fair that a small moment of self-care on his end literally spells death for someone else, that's just the way thing are, and there's nothing that can be done about it.

Another detail I liked was the way all those scenes served as fantastic buildup to the Shadow Lugia reveal. First Rhys trying to get someone to fly with him to Emily's island before ultimately deciding to go alone. There's no real reason to think all that much of the fact that he's going alone, to the point that I found it a bit odd that you bothered to have Rhys "recruit" Angelo, only for Angelo to back out. There'd also been quite a lot of characters touching base with each other after the disaster. So all of that really made the Shadow Lugia reveal hit like a truck. It was horrifying and visceral in all the best ways. Really loved the description of Shadow Sky. Great stuff.

But I've gone all this time without mentioning what is obviously the best part of all these chapters. That's right-Trainerverse stuff. Pokemon going out of their way to 'get' a human, in order to evolve, as part of their culture and tradition. The expectation that they'll leave if they're not satisfied or impressed. The way that the pressure to obtain a human is one that exists within Pokemon culture. I swear it's like this is tailor-made to appeal to chibs.

And hey! We're finally starting to get some answers as to why the plot situation is... like this! Marshadow's a lot of fun and it's nice to get confirmation on all the Necrozma stuff that I'd already been figuring. Not sure if I've got a lead on who erased Necrozma from history. Looking forward to meeting some of the other dead Legends, since I think that'll clear up a lot. In particular the state of the world when Owen (along with the various human characters) got called to Kilo in the first place.

So.. wraiths. Wanna get my thoughts in order on everything we know about them. They spawn from mystery dungeons. They're made up of corrupted souls that died in the Voidlands, and are therefore associated with Dark Matter. Unsure if anyone who dies to them in Kilo gets sent to the voidlands or if only DM can do that. (Leaning toward the latter?) Oh, and a lot of them spawned from the Ghost realm, which was where DM was... imprisoned(?). Oh, and there's still the fact that Nevren needed Anam for ~something~ which seemingly has nothing to do with DM since he did not know that the Ghost orb was harboring DM. Can't recall if it was implied that Nev and the other former-humans were originally summoned to Kilo for anything DM-related. I think Star was surprised by the DM stuff because DM was defeated like, ages ago... Bah, I need to refresh myself on all this stuff. The orbs feel pretty minor in comparison! Star and Barky can slap each other all they want, but the universe kinda has cancer. :V

I'm curious to learn where some of the other inhabitants of Null Village are from, since it's pretty obvious that most of them aren't from Kilo. (Plus they've got a decent amount of human tech and human terminology.) I wonder if Earth has any means for folks to get banished to hell! :D Or maybe this is like Blacklight and we've got an "Oops all Dark Matters" situation with multiple worlds. Who knows!

One minor note that I know I grabbed quotes from but must have lost them-I thought that the Trina & Gahi conversation sort of went in circles for a bit. I did like the clever switcharound where it seems like she's being stuck-up, but actually not wanting Gahi to demean himself. But I figured out what she meant, and then the conversation proceeded to have the two of them go in circles around what she meant by "degrading" for a little too long, imo. A bit of trimming would make it feel less repetitive.
AdamthePyromancer chapter 111 . 1/4
Oh boi this next chapter is gonna be a doozy
LukerUpgradez chapter 56 . 12/18/2020
Hello again, Namo. After 40 more chapters, I can safely say that I am about halfway through Hands of Creation's currently released content. Though it's a little better than ten, I still doubt I can be of much help for you now with knowledge of only half of the chapters. I hope my synthesis is helpful regardless, even if you’ve probably heard all this a hundred time over.

In the previous review, I explained that I expected the story to have a rough beginning due to a lack of revision, and I expressed enthusiasm for your ability to avoid this. The following chapters have since moved me into a more mixed position on the matter that I will elaborate on in this broad-strokes review.

Let's start with easily the best thing about Hands of Creation: Owen. He is a conventional protagonist - outgoing, fun-loving, acts young despite his age - but that doesn’t invalidate how well-executed he is as a character. His personal dilemma and mysterious history is one of the biggest draws about the story, and I think you did a great job in executing this character. Throughout Act I, he was a joy to read and played a major part in keeping me reading from one chapter to the next.

The rest of the cast is pretty good. I am impressed by the amount of distinct concepts you were able to create for the majority of the Orb Guardians. There are some hits, like Gahi as a well-written and frequently present component to Owen’s story, Zena as a strongly-introduced secondary character, Amia as a parent figure for the protagonist who somehow managed to live, Anam as a fun but unexpectedly interesting concept, and Star as a questionable but still very likable character. But there are certainly some misses, like Valle as a walking talking gimmick, Willow as someone who, despite being unique, has done little for the story since being introduced, ADAM as someone who, despite being unique, has done little for the story since being introduced, Enet as...someone who, despite being unique, has done little for the story since being introduced…

That’s kind of a consistent theme among the weak links of your cast, isn’t it? There’s so many characters just hanging around in Hands of Creation. In the first ten chapters, I felt the ensemble was a pretty suitable size, but now it’s WAY too large. I suppose part of that is a natural, unavoidable product of a story that inherent requires the existence of a minimum of eighteen characters before even getting to any other concepts, of which there a lot, what with the mutants, the Hunters, the spirits dwelling in the orbs, and much more - but I really believe the story suffers for it. This is most true for the other three members of Team Alloy, who I feel seriously lack any team synergy despite this being one of core premises of the story due to how rarely the four of them spend time all together in order to focus on other characters.

But you’ve probably heard that critique a number of times larger than the number of characters you have in the first place. So let’s explore a more productive question: what went wrong? Why is the quantity of characters such a detriment to the story? I think this ties back to a greater issue about the nature of Hands of Creation’s structure - because, the truth is, for a little while, I didn’t think it was a problem at first.

The plot of Hands of Creation is rather simple - the gods want the eighteen orbs so that they can rewrite the universe how they see fit. In concept, it’s basically Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Infinity War, and the way the story goes about it is just as simply - characters a, b, c, and/or d go to x location to find y character/macguffin and encounter z unexpected factor. It’s episodic, it’s simple, and, despite the way I’ve described it, it was extremely effective. But that wasn’t because it was a winning formula. It was because of Owen.

The structure you’ve laid out worked so well because it put Owen’s character into interesting dilemma that furthered him as a character. The first venture to find Willow left a bit to be desired, but it gets some leeway because it was part of the group establishing the formula. The other ventures, though? They were excellent. Owen’s journey to Manny and his following encounter with Azu was the perfect way to introduce the idea of the reset, and it was an excellent springboard into Owen learning his true identity. The fight with Brandon was touchy in execution, but the way it tried to progress Owen’s character is admirable. But easily my favorite venture was Enet’s. It was set up by the first Special Episode and delivered the second at the right time, the concept of the Guardian herself was unique, the amount of information learned was well-balanced, and it put Owen in the most interesting conflict in Act I, when he decides to discard his everstone-eviolite to protect Enet.

And then Act I comes to a close. Owen succeeds at stability as a Charizard, he helps Gahi in a very satisfying confrontation, and he learns the truth behind his creation and function. Owen’s character...finishes, basically. I can see you tried to keep Owen moving with this whole overconfidence bit, but I would still say that the base premise of Owen is complete. But what doesn’t finish is the formulaic structure, and that is when it stops being helpful and starts being a burden. Because these are no longer used as development stepping stones for Owen, it becomes all too obvious what the orb collection story actually is: a husk of a plot that forces the main ensemble to constantly act reactively and never proactively.

I can tell that Act II is trying to move into a more general look on the ensemble, but Hands of Creation was just not ready for that shift. All of your characters are likable, sure - but only Owen is compelling. Everyone else doesn’t have the same degree of issues Owen had that warranted the story of Act I. The best shot among them are the rest of Team Alloy, but even then, that’s just Owen’s conflict repeated three times over. There isn’t enough substance to these other characters to take on the mantle Owen had in Act I.

How could these characters have gotten the substance they needed? Simply put, antagonists. I am baffled by the fact that I am so far into this story and there is still effectively zero consistent antagonistic force. There is no reasonable way you could ask for Nevren, Rim, and Eon to act as sufficient antagonists for a cast SIXTEEN strong (counting living characters that aren’t double agents). Heck, for antagonists, Nevren, Rim, and Eon aren’t even that much of foes. For Heaven’s sake, we learned Nevren was a double-agent twenty two chapters ago and still we have yet to see the payoff other than Anam’s suffering! If the story wants an ensemble cast, it needs an ensemble antagonist, something it can fight that can provide contrast for the protagonists.

The loss of an Owen-focused story, the presence of a formula that has long outlived its usefulness, and the sheer lack of conflict has recently caused me to feel genuinely bored. I distinctly remember when Rhys and his crew went on a giant two-chapter walk to Kilo Village and he encountered Rim in Anam’s office and the story just kinda shrugged that off, I said aloud to myself, “Oh my God, can something PLEASE happen in this story?” Though these adventures with poor little Jerry are neat enough, they are no replacement for what made Act I so interesting.

That being said, ALL of this has been stated after reading only a mere thirty percent of Act II. There is still much to read. Heck, knowing my luck, the plot’s going to pick up right after the point I wrote this review. And despite my critique, I still very much enjoyed Act I and what it offered. I really hope it gets better soon. I’m saddened that I have yet to enjoy Act II nearly as much.

Anyways, that’s all I have to say. Expect the next review at either the end of Act II or at chapter 100. I hope you can find something beneficial out of all this critique, and that I haven’t hurt your pride or anything of the sort. Have a wonderful Christmas, if I don’t make another review before then.
LukerUpgradez chapter 11 . 12/13/2020
Hello, Namo! Since my review focuses on the earliest parts of a very long story, I can’t imagine my feedback when it comes to composition would be of much help, so this will focus mostly on my experience with your fic with some light critique. I hope this review brightens your day regardless.

So, when I received the task of reviewing this fic for the exchange, I had settled on the idea that I will broadly cover the first ten chapters (plus the prologue). What I had expected was a difficult reading experience that got better later on — my impression was that a fic with a 100 chapters likely doesn’t dedicate much time to revisions and is probably sloppy for it. I am happy to say that what I received thoroughly crushed my expectations. Your story hooked me so well that, when I had to put the story down for real-life reasons, I genuinely did not want to stop.

The way that you draw the reader in is far more intelligent than I anticipated. In the server, you made mention of “the charmander gets stabbed” as if it was a meme; but in reality, it’s a very organic segue into the underlying mystery of “Has everything in this story happened before?” which is what really got me into Hands of Creation. Your story has a large amount of mystery to it, yet even still you’ve delivered enough answers to satisfy the reader while still keeping the biggest questions close to your chest.

The composition of early Hands of Creation is remarkably solid. Chapters are never too long, there are just enough characters to call it a large cast but not enough to overwhelm the reader, conversations flow smoothly and hold lots of charm, and it’s just generally a good read. I do think you could’ve provided a little more detail on the settings, but it’s not that bad. My favorite chapter of what I read was A Thousand-Heart Secret for the hilarity of Owen’s grass form, the very interesting revelations for the plot, and the strong-execution of Owen’s whole world falling out from under him. My least favorite was probably The Hunters’ Mission for feeling kind of clunky due to how fast the “Rhys is a Hunter” conflict was resolved and just generally not having much happen story-wise.

The characters are fine. Owen is a perfectly suitable protagonist that just about any reader can get behind, Team Alloy is well-characterized though are rather lacking in early development, Anam is lovable, Star is excellent, the Thousand Heart elites are neat, and Zena’s looking to become an interesting character depending on the development she has with Rhys. They all feel rather safe as characters, in the sense that there’s very little reason to dislike any of them, but that’s understandable considering the focus on the plot, and it doesn’t particularly disappoint me when I know there’s a whole ninety-eight chapters paving the way to fleshing them out.

In summation, I really enjoyed what little I’ve read of Hands of Creation. Here’s hoping I can catch up and provide a more thorough and analytic review in the near future!
TropicalCyclone chapter 109 . 12/10/2020
I think that there's a mistake, Mispy should've said "meditate" than "memories".
Tezral chapter 109 . 12/8/2020
Together again ! It's so nice to see Owen being able to talk to his team like that again. A chapter where they can rest a bit, search through a few memories, clear their mind and let their burden away to take on the next challenge ahead.

"Gahi stared enviously" Don't worry Gahi ! I'm sure you'll be able to fuse with Owen soon enough ! XD But you can still hug him for now ! After all he's sooo small as a Charmander.

I hope Mispy and Dimitri won't be burdened too much by their travel together, but Owen seems to have helped then. Still, that wasn't their best days.

Hakk and Xypher have a lovely home ! Well, a bit small for the entire team (Saying Mispy is fat will only get me killed). I wish them to keep it intact, with Aster not far and Alexander having as much patience than there are green forests in the Voidlands I would not bet on this.

Klent is very kind. I knew they were still there ! Evolving will surely bring back Owens capacities and his ability to maintain the Grass Realm, but at least the spirits are here. That means Amia's spirits are surely within her ? Or did her transformation strip them away ?

Well, I'll wait for the next chapter ! Maybe the group will reunite with more people !
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