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  1. (If anybody knows a better place to put this post, please move it there) Hi all! This is my first post over on the reborn side of things, although to be honest I didn't really know where to put this ... Anyway! Before we go any further, a warning: This post contains maths. If you do not like maths, you will not like this post. But TL;DR, nature important. There's also a summary at the end, so maybe go read that too. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- Introduction With that warning out of the way, let's get started. During a recent run of mine I caught this beautiful Zangoose called Disaster: I thought she was pretty neat, 26 Atk IVs and +Spd nature, despite only having 12 Spd IVs. However, I showed Disaster to a couple of people and got mixed reactions, with some thinking that she was absolutely trash because of the 12 Spd IVs. It got me thinking "I'm pretty good at maths...let's figure out just how good she is". So that's what we're gonna do here, but a little bit more generally. I'll try and answer the question: Just how good is a good nature? ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- Calculating the IV-Nature equivalent: A tale of floor functions To answer this question, we first need to know how a stat is calculated. Stats other than HP (which is irrelevant here, since we can't change it with nature) can be calculated using: Stat = Floor[ Nature * (Floor[ (2 * Base + IV + Floor[ EV/4 ]) * Level/100) ] + 5) ] Where Nature is 1 for a neutral nature, 0.9 for a hindering nature and 1.1 for a beneficial nature, whilst the floor function is defined such that it picks out the largest integer less than or equal to its argument. e.g: Floor[ 1.2 ] = 1, Floor [ -3.7 ] = -4. Ok great. So what next? To try and quantify how good or bad a nature is, I'll try to convert it into and IV equivalent. So let's suppose something has a neutral nature (Nature = 1) and IV IVs. I'll answer the question "for a different nature, which we will call Nature', what IV value, which we will call IV' , would give the same stat total?". Seems simple right? Let's get started. Well, there are a few problems here. First off, the floor function has no inverse so we can't just "solve for IV' ". But what we can do is use the definition of the floor function to say that: Stat <= Nature' * (Floor[ (2*Base + IV' + Floor[ EV/4 ]) * Level/100) ] + 5) < Stat + 1 Great! That's one of the floor functions gone at least. We can tidy up a little more and get the following inequality: (Stat/Nature') - 5 <= Floor[ (2 * Base + IV' + Floor[ EV/4 ]) * Level/100) ] < ((Stat + 1)/Nature') - 5 Aaaand, we're stumped again. Getting rid of this next floor function isn't very easy (trust me, I've tried...a lot). If anybody knows how to get the most general solution here then please tell me! Since I haven't been able to figure it out though, we'll stick with a more specific case. If we're at Level = 100, we see that everything inside the floor function is an integer, so the floor function goes away nicely. Leaving us with: (Stat/Nature') - 5 <= 2 * Base + IV' + Floor[ EV/4 ] < ((Stat + 1)/Nature') - 5 Which we can solve quite easily for IV': (Stat/Nature') - 5 - (2 * Base) - Floor[ EV/4 ] <= IV' < ((Stat + 1)/Nature') - 5 - (2 * Base) - Floor[ EV/4 ] But we want our new IV stat, IV', to be an integer. So we're going to stick in some floor and ceiling (the opposite of the floor function...great names I know) functions of our own in. Giving: Ceiling[ (Stat/Nature') - 5 - (2 * Base) - Floor[ EV/4 ] ] <= IV' < Floor[ ((Stat + 1)/Nature') - 5 - (2 * Base) - Floor[ EV/4 ] ] For those of you still reading, congratulations! We've found the range of values of IV' that will give the same total stat with a nature Nature' as something with IV and Nature. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- A worked example A worked example is always nice to put these things into perspective and give you an idea of exactly what I've been trying to do here. Let's suppose we're ready to take on the champion with our trusty Armageddon: He's got perfect attack IVs and EVs, so we're set, right? Well, let's find out just how good Armageddon is using what we've learnt so far. With those stats and that nature, Armageddon has: Stat = 219 Base = 60 EV = 252 Using what we derived so far, this means that if instead of a neutral nature Armageddon had a beneficial nature, Nature' = 1.1, he'd have the same stats with: IV' ~ 12 Yep, that's right! Stated in words: "Armageddon with 31 Atk IVs and a neutral nature is the same as a Torchic with 12 IVs and a beneficial nature." Oops! Looks like Armageddon isn't so perfect at all... Better get back to breeding! ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- Calculating the Base Stat-Nature equivalent: It's easier this time...because we've done it already We could have asked the question above in a different way: "for a different nature, which we will call Nature', what base stat value, which we will call Base', would give the same stat total?". All we're doing here is saying that instead of treating the beneficial nature like having more IVs, we could also picture it like having a higher base stat to start with. Given what we've done so far, this isn't too hard to calculate. We just rearrange what we have above to find: Ceiling[ (1/2) * ((Stat/Nature') - 5 - IV - Floor[ EV/4 ]) ] <= Base' < Floor[ (1/2) * (((Stat + 1)/Nature') - 5 - IV - Floor[ EV/4 ]) ] That wasn't so bad now, was it? So what does this mean for our trusty Armageddon? Well, just like before we can go ahead and plug in the numbers for Armageddon: Stat = 219 IV = 31 EV = 252 And we find using the above: Base' ~ 50 And once more in words, to make it clear: "Armageddon with 31 Atk IVs and a neutral nature is the same as a Torchic with 50 base attack and a beneficial nature." This, coincidentally, is exactly the attack stat of an Oddish. So maybe we should have said it a little differently: "Armageddon with 31 Atk IVs and a neutral nature hits as hard as a very angry Oddish." Wow, we really need to work on Armageddon... ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- So what does this mean for Disaster, our beatiful Zangoose? So just how good is Disaster? After all, that's why I started thinking about this in the first place. Let's calculate the Lv 100 IV and base stat equivalents, just like we did for Armageddon. We'll have to work slightly differently here, since we're starting with a beneficial nature and trying to find the "bad nature" equivalent instead. Unfortunately the floor functions make this hard to do analytically, so I told my computer to do it for me instead. For Disaster's speed stat, we have: Nature = 1.1 Base = 90 IV = 12 EV = 252 So if instead she had a neutral speed nature, what IVs/base stat would she need to be as fast? Our computer tells us that: IV' ~ 38 Base' ~ 103 So our fabulous Disaster (I hope somebody gets this reference) is as good as a Zangoose with neutral nature and 38 Spd IVs, or a base stat of 103. To put that into perspective, that's faster than both Garchomp and even Oddish. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- Summary If you're reading this coming straight from the start, or you've struggled to follow along, I'll try to summarise nicely: Nature is very important. Probably even more so than IVs and base stats, depending on what you're using to start with. I didn't realise quite how important it was until I started making this post, and I've pleasantly surprised myself even. Adamant nature Oddish hits as hard as Serious Torchic. Yep, it's true. Disaster is beautiful and very fast. So stop being mean to her. That is all. Peace!
  2. Gather around children and let me read you a story about a holiday in Whoville. The whos and their guests were preparing the feast, With the oldest one cooking the roast beast, But outside of town in the middle of the night, a sinister group waits out of sight. The grinch and his crew hated this holiday chatter, So they decided nothing else mattered, They would sharpen their tools, And put an end to all of those fools. Hide contents Mafia is a social deduction game which requires analyzing, cooperation, and looking through lies. There are two main factions in a mafia game: the Uninformed Majority [Town], who have to find others of their kind while hunting for the mafia, and the Informed Minority [Mafia], who have a private chat and plan there on how they should trick the town and whom they should kill. At the beginning of the game, players receive a channel in the discord with their role and alignment. There are two major phases in a Mafia game: (1) The Day Phase – Typically lasting 48 hours , players use this opportunity to discuss about several things, which may include the outcome of the previous phases, behavior of players, and flow of the game; the ultimate goal in the day phase is for the Town players to find the Mafia slowly while Mafia players have to blend in carefully. Before the day ends, players must vote for a player whom they want to be eliminated on grounds of suspicion and the player receiving the most votes will be eliminated. (Or in this case, executed.) (2) The Night Phase – Typically lasting 24 hours, the thread is considered “locked” at this point and players may not comment at all. Instead, players with night actions, special abilities related to their role, may use these to aid their faction. The Mafia also discusses in the private chat on whom to dispose of. The game continues until one of the major factions attains their win condition or unless it is no longer possible.  The role list Hide contents Town: Sam I Am Horton Ned Mcdodd The Cat In The Hat The Lorax Thing One Thing Two Betty Lou Who Bartholomew Cubbins Thidwick The Big Hearted Moose Mafia: Grinch Joey Jane Kangaroo Yertle The Turtle Third Party: The Onceler Vlad Vladikoff The Rules Hide contents 1. You must vote every day, its majority lynch, if people are tied in votes everyone will be lynched 2. editing posts, editing is discouraged, if its a minor edit to fix your grammar that's okay, anything else you must make a new post 3. all major discussion is done here, mafia can talk in their chat at any time 4. be respectful to everyone involved 5. sharing of roles in dms or pms may result in a mod kill There are 16 people in this game 1. Falirion 2. Drago 3. Ali 4. Candy 5. Nicki 6. Seal 7. Newt 8. Lykos 9. Aldo 10. Bean 11. Astra 12. Daniel Blackworth 13. Lia 14. Valentine Kaden 15. Cas 16. Anti-loser
  3. Alright so I'll probably make a few of these topics as writing is a fun little thing, but it can be a bit daunting on what and where to begin. Those might all be in one place, but I feel this one deserves it's own topic as it's one of the more important ones. Anyways here we go: So writing is one of those simple things with zero rules, but due to implied rules is overly complicated to figure out where your boundaries and strengths lie. So the obvious answer is that you want to ask people how good of a writer you are. I really like being an anonymous writer as people are more willing to be honest which is a good thing about communities and writing communities. A friend might just say it's good to not hurt your feelings or he's not an experienced writer. Why Feedback is so important When reading a story online that you like, the number one thing you can do to hurt them is not comment at all. The second worst thing you can do is say something along the line: "I liked the story. Will keep reading." Those two things are just as bad, if not worse than: "Ermagawd! You're story is so bland. Couldn't you write deeper characterz or sometingz!" Now that you're done looking at me with a funny face, I'll explain myself. Saying nothing is almost no different than saying you didn't like the story. It more or less means you didn't care for it and don't feel like it's worth the effort to say anything. Silence is the worst thing for a writer as it fills them with doubt and kills their self esteem and motivation. Short one lined comments are a tiny bit better, but not that much. To me, it feels like I failed as a writer for not getting you engaged to say anything more than you liked it. Why did you like it? If anything, it could be that you didn't like it and wanted me to feel better. You don't have to be a critic or even really good at giving feedback to really motivate a writer. A little bit goes a very long way. I love it when people give me a small paragraph and reasons why they liked it as it makes me want to do more. Seriously, 3-4 sentences to the writer goes a long way and more is better. As a writer, I've gone back through both criticism and feedback many times when I feel down or I am struggling to write. Both are just so important and make me feel like I'm not wasting my time. I suppose I can give a comment someone gave to me a while back to show what I mean:
  4. Before I begin off I want to clear some things up and out of the way beforehand. I am a firm believer that you have to play a game from beginning to end in order to give it a proper review, however, I do also believe it is completely fair to review a game at least 20-30 hours into it as a player generally has a firm idea how much they are enjoying it and the problems and issues that arise. The best way to put it: you can't say a game is bad only playing halfway through it, however, you can say it is unenjoyable and you don't recommend it. Do not take that as a subtle jab or anything as I want to be fair and professional here unlike in my run where I let my mind just go wild. I'll also just mention the scoring system now because most people just read that and believe nothing else matters. I like scoring systems as it lets you gauge how this game compares to other games in a quick glance. Rejuv is an odd game where comparing it to a majority of fan created content is kind of disgracing all the hard work and effort into it. That's why I'd judge it as a low budget game giving it a 5/10 from what I played (Version 9 through Blacksteeple) from how I review games. From my own experience though, I don't think Rejuv deserves that low of a score so I bumped it up to 6/10. For everyone about to throw angry comments at me, that's not a bad score from me. I've played games that I scored really low as games I absolutely love such as Fire Emblem Radiant Dawn which is probably a 7/10 from me. For me at least, a score like this simply means that a game has many faults which could turn a lot of people off, but if you are willing to overlook those faults it is worth checking out. I've actually had a hard time trying to think of the positive things in the game like I'm actually able to do for most games I've dived many hours into. The game is not bad at all and I really, really want to get into and praise it. I loved my experience with Reborn and would love to experience it all over again. Pokemon Rejuvenation does many similar elements and inclusions that I loved about Reborn which I kept asking myself, "Why don't I like it as much as Reborn?" There are three answers I came up with: my experience with Reborn dampened any other experience with similar "inferior" game, my interest in Pokemon is significantly weaker than it was, or my judgement has changed due to having more games I played under my belt. So I truly believed it was the first one that was most likely the answer and while it is part of the issue, it's far from being the full reason. I think this video really does explain my thought process and really is a great watch for any developer or anyone: It's a really, really long video so I'll highlight one point he made. When he went to a video game store such as Gamestop (I don't remember if he specified) he talked about all these higher quality games then the ones he played, however, he's not excited or really into them as in a sense, it's the same as it's always been and nothing new or engaging to him. His video then goes into a full discussion about how the game is not the most important part of the game, but the experience and feeling that's left in the player's mind. It's worth watching the whole thing if you're interested, but we're here to talk about Rejuv and how this ties into why I feel the way I do. I have almost no emotional attachment to this game. Many of the aspects of this game I experienced first with Pokemon Reborn so they don't leave as much impact as they could, but I've played games similar to one another and even similar systems to a predecessor, if not the same, and still felt something. Most of the attachment I have comes purely from the run I'm doing as honestly having the power to do almost anything and letting my mind go free is fun to me. It's actually kind of sad and embarrassing that when I think on this game in retrospect of what I've played, I've forgotten nearly everything even boss battles I fought the day before I'm writing it in the run. I do remember some things about the game, but I can't deny I have little attachment to this game. It's a truth I've been denying and I hate having to accept it. I doubt I'm alone on this aspect. If you one of the people angered, annoyed, or ticked by anything I said up until this point, this is your time to speak. I've bashed out this game to oblivion nitpicking and almost always pointing out the negatives. In a sense, I want you people to tell me why I'm wrong. You can't tell me there aren't people who love and adore this game and get excited for every bit of news. It's a very popular fan-game. I'm just really interested in seeing what the fans of this game see that I don't. It being your first game or not playing many games like or better than it is valid reasoning for your thoughts. Some of my first games I played I could write a short essay about my enjoyment including an old Mary Kate & Ashley game for the Game Boy Color. Yes, I did like that game. I really encourage sharing as it gives me a different perspective to look at and discuss stuff both here and in the Rejuv run. Heck, it could change my thoughts on stuff. I'm saying this all in a review because there's just so many untold thoughts and opinions and people who are silent because there's no good place to talk about your thoughts on the game. Believe me, you don't want to have no emotional attachment to a game. The only time I had that feeling was playing Sword Art Online Re: Hallow Fragment which I said "I can't believe I spent money on this" before closing the game after an hour and never touching it ever again. You honestly just feel not compelled to even think about and talk about or really into it. It's simply a hollow feeling where all you can think about is "Why can't I enjoy this game? Is it really that bad?" So that's why the remainder of this review (or actual review) will be me centering around this ideology talking about the positives and the negatives in groups. I'm also going to try to avoid skewing towards the pessimistic side or the minor details since I cover a majority of that in the run. I may change, add, and rewrite portions of this review when I reach further into the game as I am heavily analyzing it and could find things later in the game worth discussing. And forewarning, there will be spoilers. Overview Pokemon Rejuvenation in a simple sense is simply Pokemon with an actual plot or at least deeper than anything the developers of the actual series are willing to dive and get into. Game Freak has improved over the years, but that's a very long discussion best saved for if they ever aim to make a full engaging plot. It was heavily inspired by the main fan-game of this site, Pokemon Reborn and first started development a few years back. After a lot of feedback, this game actually drastically changed and improved upon many of it's faults. In fact, there are changes in the game I still haven't touched or even experienced due to the changing nature of this game. Maps have been redone and even new areas have risen in place of older ones. Story/Scenarios The story goes that you are a 10-year-old boy who might actually be 16 who was moving to Aevium on a ship with your mom, Nancy. If that name sounds familiar, it's actually an older version of the canon character from the Black and White 2 games. I believe that the player character, who is a silent protagonist, was from Unova supposedly. It's not really that important where there from. Suddenly the ship gets attacked and everyone is killed (or believed to be dead) from an evil terrorist group called Team Xen leaving you as the only survivor before it's capsized. Then you go to Jenner's lab where you meet Jenner acting a bit suspicious before getting your first Pokemon and him asking to find his daughter. After some miscellaneous events, you'll be attacked by Team Xen where you learn their goal is to capture Melia but she manages to escape their grasp only to die shortly after. You then infiltrate the Team Xen Shadow Pokemon Lab where your Snag Machine broke which the only way to fix it is to go to Akuwa Town and find a girl named Saki. After more roadblocks to this goal, you eventually reach the town only to find out it's abandoned and get captured by Team Xen and thrown into a castle-like prison. That is a very light and watered down version of the early segments of this story, but it's both good to give new readers a quick read on what the game is about and people who haven't played these segments a refresher. Now I do actually have one belief which I feel is true to a degree: there is no such thing as a bad story. What that means is simply that an event or scenario in a story isn't bad purely because of the idea it's based off of. The story overview of this game is not that bad and pretty simple: a boy is traveling through the region to become stronger to help people and search for his mom while doing his best to stop and evil organization. A simple storyline is great to work with and easy to always keep a big focus on. This is Rejuv's downfall as it often forgets its setup often leaving very choppy plot transitions. I know this is an RPG without a lot of resources and someone who probably is a novice meaning it's likely that they can only design a very linear RPG. This simply means that story will have one path and one solution to progress. That's no issue as most RPGs are designed and created with that in mind. The issue is behind the reasoning and execution. The first city of the game, Gearen City, actually does this decently and rather well...up until the boss fight in Goldenwood. It turned out Melia has the power to instantly teleport anyone with her to a place she's been before which she magically doesn't use until the moment where there was no possible way to escape from the bad guys. It's never used again after the first episode either. Then you meet another character who warps issue characters into the void simply because she can which saves your butt soon. My favorite one is the fact that you can't into town simply because the only possible way to break the fence and get through it is to find a girl two residential areas back. This game likes making you move back and forth...a lot. All of these plot (in)conveniences happen at least all the way up until the 8th gym as that's as far as I know when it comes to the story. I think my favorite to talk about is Ren and the fence as for some reason someone thought it was a good idea to design a route with a boss at the end to the next path, then force them to go all the way back to the first main area with really no significant reason. Ren's dialogue has improved as it's not as forceful, but there's an obvious answer to make this less jarring. I even said in the run I didn't understand why Ren couldn't simply say he got a message from Venam asking for help. The player knows they can't go forward so they may as well check it out. The obstacle from nowhere trope happens all the time so it's not so jarring for me. It's more of an annoyance than an issue but when it happens a lot (or in short amounts of time) it really irritates players when so many are so easy to fix. This is more of a gameplay issue than a story issue so I'll explain that one deeper later. Something I don't see get talked about really is the lore. There is an early civilization who I think founded and developed life on Aevium called the Garufa. Basically, these were people who were able to steal powers from Pokemon and use them for themselves. This power difference lead to them being both arrogant and dominant over normal humans. They were a very advanced race at the time being able to create a hidden library to store many archives of their knowledge including a way to understand their language. The most important piece they left behind was a prophecy which...you know you'd think I'd remember the most important piece of Rejuv better. From my memory, it basically tells of five souls determining the fate of the land. If they are good, salvation will be brought, but if they are bad, it'll bring ruin. The introduction to this lore is spectacular through a sidequest just giving a quick impression what they were like along with all these statue texts around. Then when you get to reading them you realize there's not much else to them as it's all about the prophecy. The hidden library doesn't even have any books you can read on them (nor do I think the normal library either). The little bit we have from the sidequests is honestly pretty interesting and worth doing to learn about, but then it centralizes on the prophecy. There's actually other history and customs sprinkled out about other towns and places, but it's just enough to bring a story together. This is not a boring world not meant to be explored. There's little things to uncover to the point one of the most interesting and most well written character isn't even alive and makes a physical appearance in the game. I love it when games reward me with information about the world for going the path less traveled or being curious about certain things and touching them. There's even a tale about Aevium being a kingdom (aka a castle you visit) with a short tale of a knight fulfilling his duty to protect his land. The way it was designed and set up is great and probably one of the few things story and plot you'd be interested in reading and learning...unfortunately, there's just so little of it. I've told you almost everything I've found lore wise through the game. I know there's more due to seeing spoilers but I thirst for more than I see. I don't care if it's relevant to the main plot or not which most of these probably are only there due to being so. I just feel having a bunch of optional history and even interesting tales really deepens a game's world which Rejuv was really onto something. There is one thing I'm very mixed on though. This game has taken some inspiration from anime works which many games do for good reason, but it does them using over the top elements such as Venam exploding in anger whenever someone says her real name. Some of this humor is absolutely hilarious and you'll get a kick out of it, but at the same time it does bother me and dampen the game. With a bunch of nonsensical humor going on, I general get the impression a game is being written for a fun and light-hearted adventure. If Rejuvenation was designed like that, I think it'd be a great ride, but it's actually something else. Pokemon Rejuvenation wants to be taken seriously as it does incorporate mature themes and depth which a lot of it is hit or miss, but I feel these two styles clash with each other. Can you really take a prison situation seriously when a little girl chucks a giant piece of machine 100 feet in the air? There's nothing wrong with humor in a mature game, but I feel it's more distracting when it really shouldn't. That's all I'm going to cover in regards to overall story but we do have a topic that ties into it next. Characters Remember how I said a character who wasn't even in the game was one of the best characters. The name of that character is Sirius who was the husband of the Ghost Gym Leader Narcissa. We actually get to see through the eyes of one of his coworkers a man who went from being a good person to doing questionable actions based on reaching out to the impossible. It was stated he didn't go insane, but he was hungry for power and change and believed he had the means to obtain it. He kept it a secret to his wife Narcissa to the point she's in disbelief and not willing to accept the truth after so many years. We find out all of this from four books and less screentime than nearly every single character of the game. I wanted to start with him as he's one of the very few exceptions of fleshed out characters and what I tend to expect out of them. Writing and designing characters can be a complex thing, but for right now, I'm going to focus on the internal aspects of them. I could make it look super convoluted or complex, but when it comes down to it there's really only two important things to designing characters. For every action, there's a reaction and there's always a reason as to why someone does something. That's the secret to designing a good character. Since this game is inspired by anime, I get the feeling that a bit too much Shonen style influenced the making of it. The best way to put it is that the scenes themselves and how they are presented are more important than the characters themselves generally meaning they lack depth. Dragon Ball Super is a good example and I know many people have at least seen or heard of a Dragon Ball episode. While we all may not be the biggest fans or even hate it, there's no denying that it's very popular and well know if not straight up very successful. Remember how I was treating this as a low budget game? With the little resources available, it's really hard to pull off an action based plot and rely on it. I would say Rejuv pulls it off decently, but this style becomes very apparent at Blacksteeple. I feel that area is viewed as the worst because it's the most boring area in the game. I haven't reached the end of it in my run, but it's surprisingly one of the most interesting areas and I could write a lot about it looking at it in retrospect. I feel it's only boring because the cast is flat and lacks depth. The unimportant NPCs have very uninteresting dialogue and the important NPCs like to talk a lot. You're likely supposed to be really attached and feel awful about the situation Aelita is in which is the main driving force, however, I really just did not feel anything for her. You're then inserted into a group you just met making a plan for escape probably within an hour total with most of that dialogue being fluff. The biggest issue here isn't the issues here but everything that happened before. Characters are nothing more than strangers we have yet to meet. You have no connection to them so you don't feel anything about them. I have a good example: my dog died a few years back. You probably didn't really feel much when I said that. Now let's change this a little bit. A few years back, I had a dog who had diabetes leading her to be a glutton and fat. She was a cheerful and determined dog who didn't let her weight determine what she could and couldn't do. Every single morning, she'd run down the hallway to jump up and cannonball right onto my stomach. And every time she'd have that little smirk while I hollered in pain. Of course, she was always smiling because she was a happy dog. She also played favorites always waiting for my mom to come home holding one of her slippers in her mouth to comfort her. In due time, she became really sick where all she would do is puke, have severe diarrhea, and just lie still. In a week though, she did start feeling better and moving around. Coincidentally, I was playing a nuzlocke where I named a Chimecho after a Disney Character who was also the name of my dog. By the time I reached the champion, my dog was in very bad condition but there was at least a chance it would pass for good. When facing Wallace, I had to make a risky play and send out that Chimecho against a Gyarados due to my weakened team. She was wearing a focus band so there was a 10% chance she wouldn't get killed. Luck was not on my side as the band did not activate and she died and part of me knew what was about to happen. I won the battle, but the game was not done with toying with my feelings. The images of all my mons showed up on the screen and the very last one...just had to be that Chimecho. The following day, my dog died. If she lived a day longer, it would've been her fourth birthday. As you can guess, that's a true story (seriously, you can't make up stuff like that). It wasn't as effective as I spoiled the ending in my first example, but imagine if I didn't. I feel like too many of Rejuv's cast fit my first story, but not all of them do. We're introduced to these characters and they don't really react to the story all that much or sometimes act out of character with not explanation such as Venam. One of the best plot building points was completely ignored which was Melia dying. It's so important to build off of these early events to help establish characters and get to know them. Not every character needs to, but getting to know a character and seeing emotion and reactions out of them helps build up, no, drives to their future actions. Over the parts that I played, there's only one character I saw do this effectively on screen and that's Narcissa. So does things better in a quarter of time characters with plenty of buildup time and scenarios do. I'm not asking for mastery level writing on it as again, it's just a little bit goes a long way. You also don't need a deep backstory or even a backstory at all to do this. That video I showed really tells it all when it comes to this. You take a scene further into the story and jump backwards to give the information needed to connect to them. Let's actually flip that Aelita scene. What if in the Shadow Lab, Aelita was killed and Keta lived. We then jump to an angered and saddened Keta not able to save the one thing most important to him. He then swears that he will do whatever it takes to destroy Team Xen and takes your snag machine planning on finding someone who can fix it (he doesn't want to force you to get involved). I'd say seeing Keta getting tortured would honestly make me more emotionally invested then the guy's daughter because all she does is charge ahead, say things without thinking, and almost die twice. That's just me as I feel Keta was way more fleshed out and interesting. While that covers most of my issues with characters, there is one last thing. There is a lot of fluff and exposition dumping in this game. Exposition is sometimes required as there's things the player needs to know to understand the plot, but Rejuv does it...a lot. If you want me to fall asleep, just make a scene of a character explaining stuff for 15-20 minutes. The areas around the second gym leader are the biggest culprits of this. Then there's the fluff. Fluff is a term I use to refer to dialogue or events with 0 benefits. Dialogue not relevant to the plot or the world isn't always fluff as sometimes it can be used to flesh a character out. Having two characters chat with one threatening to put spiders in the others hair just to see them freak out establishes that the first character is likely a bit of a troublemaker and the other kind of is a wuss. Blacksteeple is one of the worst areas I noticed this as dialogue is repeated minutes after it was said (sometimes exposition as well). There is something that did slip my mind. The main character is a silent protagonist but there is something unusual about them compared to the typical Pokemon silent protag. They are actually portrayed to show emotions quite a bit as well as the contradictory speak and don't speak character. While I'm not really a fan of the silent protagonist, I can't say it's awful nor good here. I do have a bias towards skewing the character as being a person instead of an "immersion" tool so I'm always for showing characterizations and feelings and even throwing a silent thought bubble if someone really felt like it. The character is fine as is though and there's really nothing that can be done to change it being so far into development. Gameplay If you've played Pokemon, you know half of what Rejuvenation has to offer already. It's a game designed with the inclusion of all Pokemon but restrictive so you have to learn to strategize with unlikely options to overcome powerful foes. It's simple, fun, and it works. For the glory seekers there's even an intense mode and for the weaker players there's an easy mode, but this game is best played on normal as you get some of the difficulty, but not enough to bang you head against the wall...bar a few I've experienced before. There's often rebalancing to help solve this so my information on it is likely outdated. There are some changes as Rejuv brings in Reborn's field effect system to change up how battles can play out by nerfing and buffing moves, items, and Pokemon on certain fields. Rejuv even brings in some of its own custom ones. One key thing to note is that Rejuvenation does have a deeper focus on a linear design. While there are always some twists and turns and secrets, the game's maps are generally small and straightforward. You will be getting quite familiar with these areas as there are many hidden Pokemon and events to collect, but the biggest and most notable sidequest system is the Help Center. This are tasks designed to help random strangers and the selection is very diverse. One quest could have you searching for a lost bird while another may have you face a very, very difficult trainer who'll probably kick your butt multiple times if you face her too early. There are so many fun distractions that are almost always worth looking into. That is one thing I do feel Rejuv should get a lot of praise on. Despite its limitations, it manages to really mix things up on the journey. While the puzzle aspects are generally on the easy side, every goal and task in the main story is handled different. One of my favorites that was axed was the escape mission from Goldenwood as all the townsfolk were chasing after you to try and recapture you. There are some rough spots with this diversity such as the Blacksteeple Castle, but the objectives there besides talking to NPCs are still fun in my opinion as the issue had more to do with story and dialogue. Almost every area in the game is great to explore and from what I saw, some older areas even recieved bigger additions. Now there are many bells and whistles to this game I have yet to explore though. There's the password system for additional features as well as multiple difficulty modes which really make it great for replays. This game I feel is easier to pick up and replay over Reborn due to many of its designs from a gameplay perspective. There's multiple characters to pick from which the options got even bigger with the addition of redesigns as well as the old designs to pick from. It's even nice enough to even be able to switch difficulties for a small fee...though I do kind of wish this remained a menu option. There's also a complete redesign of the level pacing progress. I can't speak on this matter that much since I have not played the newest version, but grinding and slow level progression are not so much an issue with the game anymore. There's a similar design to something I began designing with the mod Pokemon Reborn Hardcore I made where Pokemon can only gain exp and level up only to a certain level until a new badge is acquired. In most Pokemon games, it's very difficult to keep an even leveled team and usually a Pokemon or two on your team fall behind. In Rejuvenation, I've heard people running rotation teams of 12 for certain areas just fine without even needing to grind. I'm personally all for this philosophy as less time spent fighting boring enemies means more time spent doing the fun aspects. It's most likely a significant improvement over the old system, but I still haven't tried it out so I can't say for certain. The old system though did have some grinding issues as many of my Pokemon were slightly underleveled when swapping or replacing them with an older team member. This did not help with a certain boss being very difficult forcing me to grind like an old school RPG. Graphics This is going to be a weird one to judge because of how Rejuvenation uses other assets other than the ones it created. I'm only going to say this once but taking and using someone else's stuff is always going to be a slight degree of stealing even if you do not claim it as your own. It also leaves a message you lack the skills and confidence to do it yourself showing signs it's probably a terrible game. I say that as a mere warning and not really about debating it. The best way to put it is that the Graphics are 80% good and 20% really bad. The art itself made for Rejuv is honestly really good and most stuff looks really well polished and great. The vs sprites are spectacular and a lot of the trainer sprites look crisp. The game is really nice to look at and still puts the Gen III styled sprites to shame as that Gen's best looking art looks bad compared to Rejuv's best. The animations are easily the highlight of this game though. Rejuv is able to break a lot of that normal stiffness of characters standing idle talking by having them do things. One of the Xen grunts even does a facepalm. It's so vivid and fun to look at and stand out so well. Then there's the 20%. There's actually two things you need to look for when judging the graphics on something seriously: art direction and art consistency. I know there are multiple people who design and created things for this game however most actually remain rather similar in terms of direction, but you will start noticing jarring graphics. Some of the borrowed assets were not designed to function as certain things which if you look very carefully you can see sloppy and jarring tiles. One of my favorite from V9 to point out is the stripe under the Lilligant Hair Saloon. This is mostly early areas though as later areas it becomes less apparent. One thing I have noticed is some of the newer overworld sprites, tiles, and designs. I have a feeling that these are designed by Jan or someone not with high level skilled spriting. These actually remind me of Earthbound styled sprites as they have little shading and look flat. They aren't flat, but they are jarring, but usually see much worse, and it's definitely worth a game looking jarring for custom tiles because those usually end up more appealing, praised, and liked over generic and free ones. There is one thing I really don't like though and it's this: (I just took an image from Discord. If for some reason you want it taken down I will and replace it with one I'll make) Okay, it has kind of grown on me a little more after seeing it enough times, but the player side looks and feels blurry to me. The white outline really stands out and is a little blinding in this picture, but the light blue is my biggest gripe. I don't even know what those are even supposed to be. It could be plasma, a coil, but I think it's supposed to be striped lines. I'm not going to dive in more as I'm probably in the minority here as it seems a lot of people on discord mentioned really liking it. I also have a strong bias for simplicity especially in design. Putting heavy details and adding components to something I feel usually ends up cluttering the original idea to the point it's those little things that distract you taking away from the entire design. That's why if I'm being honest I prefer the old design and even really liked Gen III's basic design. I don't really care for the modern Pokemon battle UI's that much (though Colosseum and XD are my favorite) (Also, I gotta say that background looks really cool) I will say that despite all those little things, Rejuv certainly is one of the best fan-games graphic wise and most of the areas generally look really nice and well mapped that they feel kind of unique in its own way. I'd even argue that it's better than Reborn visual wise. As long as you don't mind minor graphical errors or some art inconsistencies, it's a pretty looking game. Music Something I overlook and feel that gets overlooked in games sometimes is the soundtrack. Music is a very powerful tool and way stronger tool of immersion than a silent protagonist. It's such a great tool to enhance the experience. Something that is not exactly hidden is that Rejuv uses music created mostly by remixers such as GlitchxCity. I'm having a hard time judging it because the soundtrack is pretty forgettable to me bar a couple songs. I have no idea why, but I loved the theme used for Goldenwood City. I guess it is a good thing they are rather forgettable as it's better than being jarring. There is one theme I felt very unfitting. I think it's GlitchxCity's version of the Team Skull theme used for the Xen admins and it just felt off and unnatural. Just imagine Sephiroth walking into the first with that theme going on. That's kind of how I feel about it. I know there have been stereotypes such as GlitchxCity's music is used in every fan-game and that remixes aren't the best option to do so. This is probably the nostalgia talking, but I really don't agree on either of those. I have not played that many fan-games or hacks, but I've played enough to say I haven't seen that many people do so. Most notable fan-games I think used a variety, but there really aren't that many to note. I do feel like bringing up Reborn as I feel so many of the tracks filled the roles of the place they were used. Even after long periods of time some of those songs are still stuck in my head such as Coral Ward's mysterious sounds. So I guess it is possible if you find the right tune for the right atmosphere. I really only praise and not criticize fan-game for their music choice unless it's really blaring because it's hard. The "It" Factor Normally, I'd never make a category like this, but I feel this is my biggest issue with Rejuv and not its characters or any other complaint. Video games are all different no matter who makes it and for what purpose. Companies with franchises make changes as they continue on to the next game in the franchise to simply keep it fresh and enjoying. What players usually enjoy the most is what I call the "it" factor. The best way to put it is the one thing that a video game can provide that no other video game can. This can range to anything from a method of storytelling, a new game mechanic, and even an art style. Often, this is the central focus and emphasis when creating and designing the game. It's almost always the thing that everybody talks about. I've seen it in Zeta/Omnicron, Reborn, Insurgence, Full Moon, and even in Raptor Ex. We are not talking about those games. We are talking about Rejuvenation. So what is Rejuvenation's "it" factor. I don't know. I just want to make something clear: this has never happened to me before. It's not because Rejuv is simply a poorly made game or rushed. There's a lot of time, effort, and heart put into it. The weird thing is that I've played games far, far worse and could answer this question. This hasn't been something I sat down and though about for five minutes either. It's something I've spent days trying to answer and came up blank. I did technically come up with one answer which was "It's similar to Reborn" which is a valid reason, but that's not good enough for me as that's using a game to justify playing a game and not something standalone. I'm not even sure if I should blame the development team or myself on this one either. I'm leaning towards myself as what right do I have to criticize this game if I can't give you one really good main reason to pick it up and play it. So this ended up having me think about a lot of games throughout my entire life and what I could say about them in a quick brief. Rejuvenation brings much to the table in what it has to offer. There's a very large cast, an abundance of sidequests, and many little features to enhance the game. I really don't feel the cast is a good representation of what the "it" factor would be for me as I feel they aren't built up or feel fleshed out as a smaller cast in other RPGs making not as lovable or endearing. I can't call something that focuses on simple fun and enjoyment because it steps into darker and more mature moments but not enough to call it an engaging and emotional story. A lot of features and inclusions such as Shadow Pokemon feel forgotten about or even shooed in for fanservice. The graphics are great, but the art style isn't one of a kind or breathtaking. Zumi, I'm not trying to bash your work as it's really, really good, but I'm thinking of games like Okami with unique art styles when speaking on that front. I'm not deep enough into this game yet to say there isn't one because maybe it gets established or some area really improves and becomes a focus later on creating this factor, but that doesn't mean I can't have opinions and impressions after playing a good chunk. The best way to describe it is that I see something really good, but it feels like it's set back and steps out of the water to play it a little safe. The closest one I see to it is the lore I talked about earlier. You don't see someone try something so contrasting to what we expect from Pokemon or a sub-genre like that everyday. The Garufa I'm sure will turn many, many people off and I've seen complaints about it all the time. I've even complained about it before, but as time went on, I'm more intrigued towards the idea and the history of these people. The problem is that there's not enough to adventure more in depth on it when I wish there was. There is one other aspect of Rejuvenation I could see being argued for Rejuvenation's "it" factor. It has to do with its sidequests and variety of tasks in each episode. It's pretty good and one of the best things about Rejuvenation. There's just one problem: I feel that's normally what a good RPG should focus and strive to do to keep people engaged. It's really hard to place something I feel should be there for something included or representing its uniqueness. Why is this a big issue for me? Well, it's not the fact that not having one is necessarily bad nor makes the game bad, but it does place an issue for it when I judging. I feel when I can't really pull something specific out and go full in depth about it, it means the game can only be average or just good at its best. In the olden days, achieving this was a lot easier than it is in modern days as there were so many unheard of things. It's also scary to think the Rejuv may simply be forgotten about due to this as well. It's also possible I'm not seeing what a lot of people see as everyone's perspective is different. Conclusion Pokemon Rejuvenation is quite an unusual game. While it may come off as simply a clone of the most well known fan-game on this site, I feel it does enough to separate itself from all the other aspects it attempts. I've said before that "The best parts of Pokemon Rejuvenation is when it's not trying to be Pokemon Reborn" and I do sincerely mean that. That's actually a compliment and not an insult either. When I look back at all the previous Generations of Pokemon up until Generation VI, there's so much I love about those games including the sprite style. I don't feel like I'm the only one who feels the generations after V feel more hollow and less exciting. It's so easy to assume that it's because I'm always getting older and Pokemon feels more like a game designed for very, very young people or those deep into the competitive aspect. Pokemon still has been as strong as it always has, but it just hasn't felt the same. With some toning back, Pokemon Rejuvenation is actually what I felt Generation VI should have been. If you look at the progress of Pokemon from Generations I to V you can see the evolution and improvements going on. The games became more vivid with more features and ideas added upon it. They didn't just create a game, they jammed packed it with as much as they could just because they loved doing it. Now imagine people designing and putting that much effort into a game similar to Rejuvenation. It'd blow anything any Pokemon game both real and fan out of the water. It'd have hiccups, but it'd be an absolute blast. It'd be a full scale adventure game with multiple levels of difficulty reminiscent of the sprite styled games, but more expressive and animated like the Gen VII style (despite one being sprites). I doubt that day will ever come though given the direction they are taking the series and it still generates just as much revenue with half the effort and inclusions as previous generations did so the second best thing is fan-games which are well done which Rejuvenation is. If you really like Pokemon this game is probably the fan-game I'd try to pick up as it's less dark and grim compared to Reborn and more visually pleasing on the eye with its light colors. The world is not too big and there's plenty of places to explore especially after getting the HMs to unlock even more areas. The biggest gripes I have are that nothing really stands out to give a very unique feel and experience and the story, while not bad, has a lot to be desired especially for an RPG which is quite long. If you're on the fence, I'd give it a try as you'll know whether or not you'll enjoy this game pretty quickly as the segment up until the first gym gives you a good taste of everything. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- And that's the end of the review. So one thing I know what a lot of people are thinking is asking why would I review a game only reaching a short segment of it and not to the current release. It's actually pretty easy as Rejuvenation just finished an episode and I'd rather give out some feedback now than wait a year or a year and a half later to be caught up. Likely when I get further into the game (likely the end of act 1) I'll make another post showing if my thoughts have changed on some aspects or if new issues I felt rose up instead of editing this one because I don't think I need to make it any longer than I did. And before anyone asks if I'll do one for Reborn, I'm waiting until the final version is released before doing that. And the last thing is that I'm not a big fan of scores because of how warped the perception of them is. If you guys really want them I can do that because I like seeing scores too as it's a quick analysis of how someone views something. Mine is just different from the usual as a warning.
  5. Worst decision Jan could ever have made. He's the devil. He killed off the best girl.
  6. I forgot her name but she or he was the one in agate city who hit the people that were asleep with a hammer thing and she has really poor grammer. She/he is really really funny xD I am pretty sure she is apart of team meteor because she/he said like one day there was this really bad thing that happen I got bored so I joined team meteor. lol xD
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