|Reviews for Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Canon Breakage|
| flareon71 chapter 4 . 3/17/2019
Even if the dreaded Jolteon mission is yet to be had, this preparation chapter was still very amusing to read and all. Top notch Mike and Aria banter, as it always has been. Fourth wall breaks still getting me chuckling.
Of course, I do appreciate the effort gone into explaining how things like how the badges were made, Seed perception, and my personal favorite, the Kangaskhan storage. Really makes Treasure Town seem much more fleshed out and alive, massive props.
So with Mike left on an embargo for both moves and items, next chapter should definitely be interesting... April Fool's joke or not. :P
Keep it up :)
| C. Pariah chapter 1 . 3/17/2019
Hi! Thought I'd give you an in-depth review of your work.
Now let's kick off this review by taking a look at the name of your first chapter: "Woke up in the Wrong Neighbourhood".
Your capitalization is slightly off. The word "Up" should have been capitalized. The "in the" is fine as is, but the "up" should be "Up". The other five words in the sentence can stay as they are, but having this one word incorrect seems rather irritating, even more so than capitalizing only the first word would have been.
As for "Neighbourhood", I couldn't help noticing it is spelled in the British English way with a "u", whereas in American English, the "u" is omitted to spell "neighborhood". To clarify, there's absolutely nothing wrong with your way, as many readers will fail to even notice something amiss and will simply move on with the story, which is the important part.
I'll give my critique on your decision to make your protagonist a Treecko. The Hoenn starters are my least favorite, and I never use them as the player or partner in Mystery Dungeon games unlike the other generations of starters, so that means your choice is incorrect and you need to rewrite him as a Pokémon I would choose.
And I must say I am displeased with the statement that Mike's tail was "greener" than the shade of green his body is. A Treecko's tail is not "greener" than its body, but simply a different shade of green.
I commend the good messages you have imparted to the readers about healthy eating by having Aria and Mike eating apples. However, they failed to brush their teeth afterward, thus undercutting your own aesop.
Also, Aria's name is cute.
| TheG0AT chapter 2 . 12/7/2018
(Review of chapter 3)
So, everyone knows about the meme review I gave you a little while ago. As juicy as that payback was for me, this story is legit enough (both quality-speaking and statistically-speaking) to deserve real feedback.
I've got a tiny issue with the back-and-forth between Mike and Aria that took place right after Mike notices her badge is black. Under most circumstances, the hero and partner teasing each other, fake-pouting (like Mike did) and tossing joke-insults (like Aria did) is something I'm usually a fan of. It's the kind of fluffy character development that a lot of readers want. But in this case, it's too premature. Mike had just finished questioning whether he and Aria were anything more than mere acquiantences only a minute before, so there's a bit of an inconsistency in that he's teasing her and she's teasing back as though they've known each other for longer than a day.
["Of all the people I could find..."] — Now this is more like it. Aria had this team of three total members who were renowned for doing crazy shit, and Aria ran away for some reason. Now, fittingly, she finds Mike, and she fittingly says this. Believe me when I say that this quote might end up being one of the most important in your story going forward, because it beautifully illustrates the new direction that both Mike and Aria's lives are taking while also alluding to Aria's past. Another thing: I usually don't care much about backstories, but I care about Aria's. Maybe it's because you've done well to surround her past with an appropriate amount of mystery. Not the edgy, 'notice me' kind, but the kind that really makes you wonder...
[Games were notorious for not making sense and hopefully that didn't carry over to real life.] — This is an odd quote to toss into the narration. I had to read it a couple times and I'm still not sure it makes much sense.
["It... might've been," he admitted, before looking her dead in the eye. "Hasn't been for a while, though."] — I love this. It tells a whole story without actually telling it, or at the very least gets people theorizing. Even if this isn't entirely accurate, I was led to think that maybe Clark had this change of heart because Aria's absence meant the guild had lost its greatest asset, leading to a more difficult time completing the hardest of jobs. Or maybe Clark really did just miss her... or maybe both! Hell if I know. The point is, you're already getting pretty good at getting your readers to think about your world even without necessarily telling them about it directly. Although I do think you had a bit of an exposition problem in the previous chapter, this kind of thing here is definitely a good look. You're getting better at this as you put out new chapters, and that's what really matters.
Another issue I've had is that this has now been two chapters in a row of almost purely worldbuilding. As far as progression goes in these two chapters, Mike simply trained for a little bit and then met the guild. I hate to say this, but I was actually tempted to skim through a lot of the introductions in this chapter. It all seemed insignificant to the storyline at large with the exception of Clark's introduction (and, of course, Will's).
I could complain about this further, but I won't do that... all because of the very last two sentences. It's a snap back to reality, a reminder of the main plot device at large: Mike is still following the canon of the Explorers games, at least for now. Fate is tugging him onward one way or another, and things are going like they should but doing so in such an unpredictable way. It makes me want more, but more importantly, it keeps me thinking about it for a while. This is the kind of end to a chapter that seasoned writers have in their arsenal.
On the chance that you post again sometime before I keel over and turn to dust, I'll be following this closely.
| Forlanceabice chapter 3 . 11/19/2018
Not bad. I like what I see so far, though it is a bit early for me to pass any meaningful critique.
Assuming this fic doesn't kick the bucket like so many of its kin, I will be looking forward to any future updates you may provide. Let's hope this one sticks.
| flareon71 chapter 3 . 10/23/2018
Holy freakin crap.
I have to say that I didn't expect the Wigglytuff encounter to take that turn... but the way you handled it just made it all the better! The rest of the exchange offered up some more points to wonder about, especially regarding what Will was like as well as more tidbits about Aria's past.
The encounter with Tom and Lin (and their lil something something) was a nicely done one as well. All throughout the chapter, I really enjoyed how all of the characters are different in their own ways but still close enough to have some rough but genuine banter with each other. Your dialogue game is on point, and it still really shows!
Great chapter you've put out here, really excited about how you'll spice up the following Drenched Bluff encounter.
| flareon71 chapter 3 . 10/20/2018
Holy freakin crap.
I did not expect the Wigglytuff encounter to take that direction... but you still handled it really well! The added shadiness to the world really works with what you do with it. Not only that, but the whole badge process added onto Will's character while also fueling the fire already burning with Aria's origins.
The encounter with Tom and Lin (and their lil something something) was also really good as well. All throughout the chapter, I've noticed that all the characters are unique in their own way but still close enough to have some rough but genuinely playful banter. Really brings them all to life, your dialogue game is on point!
And with that, you've done great work on this chapter here. Really looking forward to how you'll spice up Drenched Bluff. :D
| Drago chapter 3 . 10/8/2018
I recently replayed explorers of sky, and finding I couldn’t get enough of the game, have read multiple different fanfictions to satisfy my craving for the game. And I’m not claiming to be an expert in pokemon mystery dungeon stories, this series, has managed to interest me the most despite how recent (and currently short) it is. The entire premise is super cool and I love the more adult themes for some of us that are revisiting the game later on in life. So yknow good job and shit I’m bad at compliments.
| Namohysip chapter 3 . 10/2/2018
Well! This was certainly an interesting thing to read. As the title of the story implies, this is a story about someone who plunges into the story of Explorers, and yet right from the very start, things don’t quite go as expected—both in terms of the preconditions, as well as how things roll out afterward. It starts subtle with Aria’s personality, or dealing with the entirety of Team Skull upfront, and slowly unravels to deeper breaks from the canon, like Aria once being on a team that went missing, and even the fact that Mike… just can’t use Moves! Which makes me curious on if he’ll become an Item Mage instead, which can be quite useful in itself—if not resource intensive.
That, I feel, is the main draw of this fic—the fact that it toys with the canon and makes it into its own meta-narrative. The biggest curiosity in the plot is given right upfront—the fact that the canon is not what it’s “supposed” to be, and I imagine the reason why—if there’s a reason at all—will probably be revealed or explored somewhere in midgame or mid-lategame.
In general, the narrative’s pace is quite fast, but comfortably so. There’s a lot of banter, yes, but this is still technically the expositional phase, so that makes sense, since we’re trying to get familiar with all the characters. I don’t really know which ones will be important or not, either, aside from Aria and Mike, and perhaps Will. I feel that your strongest point is character interactions, for sure.
The final line in chapter 3 makes me the most curious on where you plan to go with this. The canon is not the same, but it’s still following a general path. Mike is waking up on the beach, but not because of a storm or a botched trip through time. He joins the guild, but with a seasoned explorer for a partner instead. And now, he’s going to Drenched Bluff—but not for an errand, but for an outlaw.
I’m not sure what direction you plan on going with this, but that’s the draw of this fic. Regardless, I do hope that some indication or inclination of where this story will go will become apparently within the next few chapters or so. As the chapter indicates, we’ve got lots of questions, but Mike is still a lost gecko, and I don’t think that should last for longer than the first 5 chapters or so. At least SOME foothold – as by then, the reader, too, will probably be catching on with Mike – would be appropriate by then.
You know what has me particularly curious? How you’re going to handle the Grovyle issue, or the Dimensional Scream, or anything regarding that. Mike, as far as we can tell, is NOT from the future, and was NOT Grovyle’s partner. Unless he is, which leads to even more questions. Out of everything, that’s what I’m anticipating the most.
Still, until then, I’m interested to see where this will go, and I look forward to the next installment.
See you in 2019!
| RayDaquaza chapter 3 . 9/27/2018
Oh-ho! Not only has Aria been an explorer before, she technically still is one! Even if the rest of her team up and vanished on her. And a whole year of searching turned up nothing? Ouch.
Ah, Sunflora. Adorable as always! And Aileen, hmm? Shortened to Lin? I can dig that. Oh, she's with Loudred, too! Kinda cute, I have to admit. Their back and forth dialogue made me chuckle a few times.
Chatot being a Clark makes me giggle a bit, I'll admit.
All in all, a strong chapter! Juuuust the right amount of exposition, humor, feels, and sheer snark. Next up, Drenched Bluff! The more things change, the more the stay the same, huh?
| Zion of Arcadia chapter 3 . 9/8/2018
Wow, this chapter's meta-narrative sure was something. We have Aria, having fled from her job for months on end, finally making her 'triumphant' return. It reminds me of someone, although I can't quite put my finger on who. So many layers, it's like an ogre.
I'm not sure how I feel about the change to Wigglytuff. On the one hand it makes sense, one the other... I dunno, I always enjoyed him as the idiot savant that got by on raw strength and charisma, while Chatot handled the organizational aspects of the Guild. Making it a facade sort of diminishes the character. But I was always very fond of Wigglytuff, so it's more the nostalgia speaking than anything substantial. But it gave me pause so I figured it was worth noting.
Aria's connections to pokemon in town continues to be delightful. It really grounds her character. Of course, Mike had to point it out, which was annoying, but whatever. I half-expected him to remark on the fact that everyone had names, but you actually surprised me. He referred to Clark as Chatot, a rather subtle reminder that it's something he's not used to. I dunno, it struck me as clever. Plus the super normal sounding names like Will and Tom are very amusing.
Okay, I have a theory about Aria's past. I think, drum roll please, that the Hero and the Partner from the games were her old teammates. And they're missing because Dusknoir dragged them into his timey-wimey dark vortex of doom! My backup theory is that she was the Hero's partner, and the third teammate was Grovyle, and this all takes place after the events of the main game but before the post game. And she stuck with Mike because he *gasp* reminded her of Grovyle!
I'm probably completely wrong, but speculating is super fun. I'm so invested right now in the mystery of Aria's backstory, you have no idea. I want to learn more. Fuck Drenched Bluff and the Jolteon, I don't particularly care about that. Kidding, I'm sure it will tie into the plot in some way.
I liked Tom and Lin, but while I understand the decision to bold Tom's dialogue from a stylistic perspective, it very quickly got grating on the eyes.
The other point I have to make about your writing is that it feels, it feels... kind of like it's meant to be in first person? Much of it is made up of Mike's thoughts and reactions to the situation/dialogue at hand, giving it this super casual narration, and it's also very, very limited third person. It's not good or bad, it's just sort of an observation. Gives the chapters a brisk pace though, I can tell you that much.
| Zion of Arcadia chapter 2 . 9/7/2018
I'm already growing a bit weary of the whole "X was nothing like in the games". That's probably my chief complaint so far. Otherwise this chapter was excellent.
The thing I enjoyed the most was the repertoire between Aria and Mike. Their banter was a lot of fun. They have great chemistry together and I'm excited to watch them grow and learn and play off of each other. Interpersonal character dynamics seem to be your strong suit, and it made for a very entertaining read.
"It would've been audacious to assume that it would be as tiny as the one in the game — a paltry collection of a dozen or so huts masquerading as a town — but Mike had been expecting something maybe twice or thrice the size, not something on the scope of an actual settlement. Yet, standing at the entrance to the place, that was precisely what he was looking at.
The road leading to Sharpedo Bluff was unchanged however, with the exact same facilities for explorers lining both sides of it. Despite the time of day, or more precisely night, there were plenty of pokémon roaming around, including a few familiar faces."
This whole segment felt stiff and awkward. You tried comparing what Mike knows from the game to what Treasure Town looks like in reality, and you struggled with finding the right balance. Not only that, but phrases like 'Despite the time of day, or more precisely night' comes off as convoluted. Just say it's night time. I know you don't like descriptions much, but you might want to practice them a bit more, because what little exists is the weakest part of your prose so far.
(All that said, Mike humming the town's theme was actually really neat, I have to admit.)
So far Canon Breakage feels less like an adaptation and more like a story that just so happens to be set in the Time/Darkness/Sky universe. So much was fleshed out and the plot didn't feel like a rote afterthought I already knew. I'm reminded of a Sky fic that takes place long after the completion of the post-game, where the author really fleshed out the world in a way that felt organic.
The only thing that bothered me was Mike constantly comparing the differences to the game. Like, I see for myself that things are different. Him highlighting differences that I myself already noticed didn't bring anything of particular interest to the table and just felt very obvious.
The introduction of aura was neat, if a bit expository. But I think you already know that, since you lampshade it in the chapter title. What I'm more intrigued by is the implication this development poses for Mike.
If you've ever seen Mark Brown, he's a video game analyst who talks quite a bit about Nintendo. One technique they like to do in a lot o their games involves giving the main character a power, and then taking it away in a later segment. For example, in Mario Odyssey you have the Cappy powers, but there are specific segements where you have to do platforming challenges without the ability to transform or pull off moves related to Cappy. By taking away an ability the player has relied upon, they're forced to approach the problem differently than they would've otherwise.
So while I found the fact that characters referred to abilities as 'moves' a little jarring, as much of the story felt naturalistic and the term 'move' has a rather video game-y connotation to it, I really dug the fact that Mike didn't have access to any sort of powers. It meant he'd have to approach situations differently than a protagonist would in other PMD stories, which gives more room for more creative scenarios.
It also sets up the potential for some great character development scenes if you ever decide to give Mike access to moves. I kind of hope you don't, as I like the idea of an MC fighting solely with items, but I understand why you would.
I'm really invested in learning more about Aria. So invested that I actually went on to read the next chapter before writing this review. This is one of those stories that's, like, the perfect popcorn flick. Well paced and super entertaining. Keep up the good work.
| JustCallMeCrowley chapter 3 . 8/24/2018
Alive ! It's alive ! He's alive ! You know what ? I had given up on this story, I thought that I would never see another chapter but, really, I'm so, SO glad I was proven wrong. This is pure gold and I really hope you keep it up. Really, go on
| Infinite Nexus chapter 3 . 8/24/2018
You’re continuing this? Yay! It’s the only interpretation of explorers that isn’t completely boring. I read the first two chapters and they actually stuck with me as something I wished I could find more. I love how real you’re making the NPCs feel. You also have added mystery that isn’t distracting. Look forwards to more.
| Miner7365 chapter 3 . 8/24/2018
Holy shit it's a Christmas Miracle.
| cynsh chapter 3 . 8/24/2018
Huh, unlike Mr Goatbro I'm gonna try giving a genuine review here. Do you deserve it? Probably not. Anyway:
This chapter was very dialogue-heavy. I can understand why: Mike has plenty of questions about what the hell's going on, and this answers a good number of them. Learning about Aria's history was interesting, as was Will's personality shift - though I'm not sure why he needed to act so jovially to begin with. There was little wrong with your speech; the new characters were all characterised pretty well, I felt. But for a chapter this long, with so much dialogue, things started feeling a little repetitive towards the end. A few times, I felt like characters' actions between dialogue, or Mike's general observations about the world, were... a little unnecessary to explain? That contributed a little to the repetitiveness, too.
There are still some funny moments, though the chapter was pretty well focused in spite of them. And I think I can see the path the story's gonna follow now, of Mike trying to keep events in the order of the games. The writing was good asides from the over-explaining thing, but that's a pretty minor issue. I guess the volume of dialogue was the main thing I had to talk about here. I do think this story has great potential, which mayyyy be the reason why I bothered typing this (?) Anyway - see ya in 2020 for chapter 4