|Reviews for Pokémon: Legacy of the Valiant|
| Buronzu chapter 7 . 3/29
Going instantly to the point of a review, I think the part you can work on is just the general descriptions first. In the beginning, the characters were shaky and not really attractive to me, but they managed to clean up nicely and are getting better with dialogue feeling more human as you go. I think that as you continue, you should make your next focus that you’re aware of showing versus telling.
Ex: After a bit, Cacnea starts to remember the spider mage’s name. “Aren’t you that mage I had a run-in with a whole back? Spinarak, your name was?”
The first sentence is completely unnecessary, and this happens a lot with dialogue. The reader doesn’t need to know everyone’s inward thoughts to see them. Coming to the physical descriptions-
Ex: Unusually, the base looks less like a criminal headquarters and more akin to ruins belonging to ancient people.
It’s a nice thought to hear, but this doesn’t describe the ruins themselves. As a reader, I don’t know whether or not this means there are pillars and statues covered in moss, or old stone pathways being invaded by grass. Both descriptions for places and actions need some more oomph. Don’t be intimidated to edit through old chapters once you feel you’ve got a new grasp on it.
Thanks for the trade. Looking forward to seeing what you do.
| Dr. Glutamate chapter 3 . 9/1/2020
Right away, we get a slightly better description of this place than we did with Sahra Town, and I at least have a rough idea of what this place looks like. One thing you did much better in this chapter than the last two is characterization: Snivy and Tepig’s personalities become immediately apparent. I like these two already. I question Rapidash’s timing in explaining the situation to them though; I’d be hard-pressed to think of a worse time for that than in the middle of combat. It really should’ve waited until the bandits were defeated. Speaking of Rapidash’s explanation, a lot of characters regard Lady Liligant with a great deal of fear, but we know nothing about her at this point. Larvesta was told almost nothing, and blindly went on a quest to take her down. We should probably get some information about why she’s so scary before too long.
I’d also like to see more detail about how battles play out. What’s going on that enables these characters to so easily take out foes that outnumber them like this? I’m curious as to why Pokemon in this setting seem to rely so heavily on weapons instead of their natural abilities as well. It’s not something that needs to be explained immediately, but it merits being addressed. Also, where did Larvesta get that other sword and why would he bother using it over Solaris?
The chapter’s biggest shortcoming in my opinion though, is when it starts referencing video game elements. Talking about promotions, classes, and levels absolutely destroys immersion because it makes no sense for characters to discuss these things in-universe, let alone have the slightest idea that they exist. Unless you’re writing a litRPG, or deliberately breaking the fourth wall, gameplay elements should be reflavored such that they blend in with the rest of the setting, or dropped entirely. I’m assuming when Larvesta was switching to a weaker weapon to allow his allies to get more experience, you meant that in the sense of experience points. This can be a very easy trap to fall into, especially when writing Pokemon, but if you’re not careful, it can easily break the fourth wall in ways you don’t want.
Overall, I’m still enjoying the story, just be careful about how you implement game mechanics into it so it fells like a real setting rather than a video game.
| Dr. Glutamate chapter 2 . 8/31/2020
The beginning of the chapter wastes no time in advancing the plot, but this is actually to its detriment, as we skip over a lot of important details. First and foremost, how does Larvesta get off Fire Island? This a pretty significant obstacle, but it gets completely skipped over. We’re also given no real description of Sahra Town except it’s a “rather ordinary civilization”. What does that mean in this context? This setting is based off of Super Mystery Dungeon, but you’ve clearly added your own twists. What are the buildings like, what kinds of Pokemon live there, what kinds of tools and technology exist? We don’t even know what species the tour guide is. Slow down a bit and establish the setting. This issue continues into the scene with the bandit attack. We really don’t get a good picture of how the bandits interact with the townsfolk. Larvesta’s interaction with the woman at the start of the attack feels poorly timed and completely unnecessary.
Larvesta himself is also turning out to be a rather boring character. I think going into more detail on his battle with Rattata would help a lot with this though. Have him struggle a bit as the two exchange dialogue, with Larvesta condemning the bandits’ actions, as Rattata mocks his ideals. This would allow us to see more of Larvesta’s personality, and help establish him as someone whose heart is in the right place, but who simply doesn’t have the skill to accomplish his goal yet, and doesn’t understand his own limitations, which I think is what you’re going for. Of course, the fact that he took out Entei in one hit in the last chapter makes this idea a bit hard to sell, but it should still be possible pass that off as a lucky shot.
That having been said, the prose itself is pretty solid. The writing feels natural for the most part, and it’s an enjoyable read, it just leaves me wishing the worldbuilding and characterization were more fleshed out.
| Buronzu chapter 1 . 8/29/2020
What I'm working on is actually heavily inspired by Fire Emblem in some points, too.
Characters: It's hard to feel it as it is right now. The dialogue could use some help in points, not that there's a problem with what the dialogue is telling the reader. First thing is checking whether or not a real person speaks how you write your dialogue. Imagine their voice. The second is keeping the dialogue consistent with their voice, or it'll sound like different people between sentences. Then, make your character consistent or have them change however you think is best.
Plot: Potentially too much information given at the beginning. Or not, it's up to you. The main issue I see with the plot in this prologue is purpose. Ask yourself if the blade needs to break in the first place, if that certain wolf pokemon needs to be there and what message to the plot and reader is he there to give. Your setup is fine, I see it. But make sure everything and everyone has a purpose. If not, scrap them or give them one.
Writing: Needs more description. I need colors, feelings, the five senses. I don't know what fire island looks like just because it's called fire island. I don't know what color the sword is or glows. Use the five senses rule. That is how living creatures experience the world, and the most powerful tool in writing.
Overall: In my opinion, it just needs a little time. Remember, anything can change. So change whatever you want to about your story. Mold it over time, use new inspirations you get from watching cool shows. Combine ideas from different inspirations. And as a Fire Emblem fan, I know there are plenty of personalities to choose from. Heck, personalities that you can combine or shift however you want. Excelsior, looking forward to what our hero has in store next.
| Dr. Glutamate chapter 1 . 8/12/2020
This story has some familiar elements, but still feels different enough that I’m not sure what to expect. The introductory chapter is rather short, but there are a couple things I wanted to point out. First off, Victini’s statement about Larvesta’s name being “fitting” seems rather odd considering it’s just his species name. Also, be mindful of verb tense; you flip-flop back and forth between past and present tense a bit. I feel like Larvesta should probably be trying to get at least a little bit more information before offering to charge headfirst into this situation. In any case, this looks interesting so far, and I’ll definitely be keeping an eye on it.