6.24.2014

Pokèmon Reborn: The Dark Side of Pokèmon World

Finally a little break (Read = TIME) and I can write something.
This post laid in my mind for a while, today I want to talk a little bit better about Pokèmon Reborn.
Pokèmon Reborn is a Pokèmon RPG  fangame created by Amethyst, I don’t exactly know the release date because I started playing it only last year and it was chapter 8 already.
The story line takes place in the  Reborn Region, a place destroyed by humans and in which some pokèmon couldn’t survive, thus scientists are bringing them back from other places.
Some people describe it as a “Pokèmon game for grown- ups”,  this definition isn’t wrong; in fact, during the game the player will find some strong effect scenes,  like suicides. Children be warned, maybe it’s too early to try this game. Same goes for people that like pokèmon games just the way they are, this might be a cold shower.
Personally, a lot of times I found myself staring at the screen squeaking “What the heck?” , but this is what makes this game so intricate.
Pokèmon Reborn chapter 10 interface



Please note that this review is made on the version I’m currently playing (10th), thus there might be some changes occurring if you’re playing other versions.
Also, this article contains some little spoilers.  


Gameplay
This game results a lot harder than the original ones, for various reasons that I’m going to list:
·         Level limit: As we all know, in each Pokèmon game, each badge corresponds to a growing level range in which Pokèmon become obedient (In the latest games I think it’s just for exchanged pokèmon though). The point is that, while in the original games, the level range grows from 10 to 10, here it’s the same until, I guess the third gym, after that the range id 5 to 5. I have the seventh badge and if I want my Pokèmon to obey me, I have to keep them at level 60 or under.
I literally mean that, after surpassing the level line, your pokèmon will start to slack off or use other moves.
As you can image this adds difficulty to the game, and keep in mind that often among a gym leader and the other there are several other accomplishments to do (Read = Trainers to defeat).  Thus, sometimes can be a bit of a pain in the ass. Not to mention that gym leaders here are strong to be strong; the game maker studied the right combination of abilities, moves, items and stats so that even the most patient player can go insane.
·         Massive complex world: If you got nervous just by trying to get out of the Ice Path in Johto,  or by getting to Volkner in Sinnoh, then this game might drive you completely crazy. It’s not only about ice and rocks to move or trees to cut, here you have to be prepared for literally anything to happen, we go from disappearing and appearing trees in Chrysolia Forest, to train tracks to move in the Underground Railnet to Boufflant that move trunks in Route 1 (And this is just a small taste).
Underground Railnet. Get ready to prove your patience. 
·         The item availability in shops is very strict (I repeat, I got the seventh badge and yet, I can’t find hyper potions in the market). Not to mention that if you’re in a certain parts of the map, it can be difficult to reach the shops back.
·         HMs availability isn’t complete yet, at the seventh badge you just got Rock Smash, Cut and Strength (Yes, no Fly for now, that’s why before I told you it is difficult to reach back any Poke-Mart).
This is a double cut blade, if on one hand all these factors could drive the player crazy, making him want to quit, on the other hand it makes the whole game much more interesting  (I have to admit I cursed a lot during this game, but yet I can’t stop playing).

Locations
This is one of the strongest point of the game. In this game you can see the most different environments and cities, you pass from completely destroyed zones to green paradises, every one of these created with extreme precision.
There are some locations that you will only find in this game:
Sweet Kiss – Obsidia candy shop – Obsidia Ward
This was recently added, when I started playing the game it wasn’t there yet. In this shop, located in Obsidia Ward, you can get several kinds of candies (not only the Rare Candy):
·         Common candy: Lowers a Pokemon’s level by one;
·         Peppermint: Cures a Pokemon from poisoning;
·        
Obsidia's candy shop. A taste of rainbow in the grim. 
Chewing gum: Cures a pokèmon from paralysis;
·         Pop Rocks: Cures Pokèmon from sleep;
·         Salt-water Taffy: Cures burnt Pokèmon;
·         Red-hots: Defrosts a Pokèmon;
·         Cotton Candy: It can revive a fainted pokèmon;
Night club – North Obsidia Ward
Unluckily, I’m not able to tell you a lot about this, since I don’t know when I’ll be able to get inside. I just put it because I guessed it was worth adding.
You need to defeat the league to get inside. Too bad, curiosity is killing me! 
Dr. Connal’s Orphanage – Lapis Ward
Prepare your stomach and heart. After defeating Corey (Poison gym leader), you’ll find yourself in the need to save some kids from this facility, his daughter included.
 Basically, this Orphanage is run by Dr. Sigmund Connal, reading the forum in some previous versions of the game, he was a Gym Leader.  It trains Electric type Pokèmon, and might be a pain in the ass to defeat, but this is not the central point of this paragraph: when you reach the room where Heater (Corey’s daughter) is kept, the nice man Dr. Connal is making some experiments with Electivire.
That’s why I said in the beginning that this game’s not for kids or people with weak stomach.
Devon Corp./Silph.co – Obsidia Ward
The two greatest firms in the Pokèmon words for the first time in one single game. And it seems they have something to do with all the pollution and explosions story, or so some passerby says.
Trainer school and gym – Onyx ward
In this gym you will challenge the second Gym Leader, Florinia, Grass-type master. Going around the rooms a little, you will find a room  that once was inhabited by Florinia, Julia (Lower Peridot Gym Leader, specializes in Electric types), Amaria (Water type gym leader, she will follow you in some missions) and Titania (Steel type gym leader, I haven’t yet met her in the game).  Looking through the bookshelf, you will find these people’s diaries, and learn something more about their story and personality.
Nightclub. You thought I was kidding. Didn't you?
Game corner – Onyx Ward
In this game corner you will find both Voltorb Flip Card game and slot machines. Prizes here are interesting because there are pokèmon you can’t get elsewhere:
·         Psyduck (1500 coins);
·         Shinx (4000 coins);
·         Trapinch (10000 coins).
Obsidia Dept. Store – Obsidia Ward
This is the most furnished store in all the game, it has two problems though: it’s only in Obsidia, so if you’re on the opposite side of the map, you can curse out loud and you’ll need stickers you’ll obtain from the most different people to get to upper floors, thus to get more items.
Currently, I own two stickers, and the items available so far are:
·         First floor: Pokèball, Escape Rope, Repel, Potion, Antidote, Awakening, Ice Heal, Burn Heal, Paralyz Heal;
·         Second Floor: Berries and Battle items;
·         Third Floor:  Several balls (even some that Kurt makes you in Pokèmon GSC, HG/SS) and other items like: Sticky Barb, Focus Band, Cleanse Tag, Zoom Lens, Scope Lens, Eject Button, Red Card, BrightPowder, Quick Claw.
Aphopyll Academy – Aphopyll Beach
In this place you will challenge Kiki, the fighting type gym leader (And the events will turn dramatic). It’s a kind of a mix between a Yoga center and a Dojo, for the class of trainers called Nature Girls.

 Available Pokèmon
The Pokèmon availability sure is high. Beginning from the starters: all the starters from Gen I to Gen VI is available at the beginning, so you can just chose your very favorite (I know it’s freaking hard). Some of the starters can be found and obtained during the game as well.
Riding Tauros with Miltank watching on Route 1
What is really new about this game is the way of obtaining Pokèmon, you not also may catch them or exchange them with NPCs, but you’ll obtain several pokèmon in the most different situations:
·         In the very beginning of the game, the player can defeat two rascals wanting to throw a Spinda or a Pachirisu in the polluted water. After defeating them, the pokèmon willingly will follow you;
·         In some places there will be found free pokèmon standing (Ex. Seviper in a waste pound inside Tanzan Mountain, or Petilil in Obsidia Park). You will have to go through a normal fight and catch these pokèmon just as if they were wild;
·         In the pokèmon Saloon in Obsidia Ward, a woman will evaluate the friendship level between you and the first pokèmon of your party, if it is high,  she will give you a Vulpix;
·         A Numel will be found in Peridot ward standing under the rain, if you speak with it, it will follow
you;
·         A Shuppet can be found in one of the graveyards in Beryl Ward cemetery.
I read on the site that also some Legendaries are available, but I still don’t know where to get them.
To see the whole pokèmon available in the game, check it here.

Characters
Every character inside this game has a really deep story at its back.

Rivals
As in every good pokèmon game, rivals are essential. In this game you’ll have three of them.

Victoria: She’s Kiki’s pupil and Apophyll’s academy most brilliant student. She specializes in Fighting type pokèmon. She’s a mature and sweet girl who worries a lot about the others

Fern: He’s Florinia’s brother. He specializes in Grass types, even though he will own different types later in the game. His perfect definition is sadistic asshole.  Fern will occasionally (and I mean almost never) help you along the story. Despite he may look a self-centered boy, he is very concerned about his sister.

Cain: My favorite rival so far. He specializes in Poison types, even though he will own different kind of Pokèmon later in the games for several reasons. He likes to flirt with every being capable of breathing; however, he likes to help people, and will help you in several occasions.

The bad guys
In this game, the bad team goes under the name of Team Meteor
Team Meteor is that bunch of freaks that cause the explosion at the very beginning of the game. Their final aim isn’t very clear yet, seems that they need some keys to open a portal or something. By the way, they will be a great pain in the ass, their actions would make even Lance or Giovanni shiver. They’ll be occasionally helped by other characters such as Sigmund or Corey.

Gym Leaders
In this game there are more gym leaders than badges. Literally. Some of them (As hinted from Sigmund) were gym leaders in the past (Maybe in the previous game releases) and now they act just as enemy or foes. Some of them are still officially Gym Leaders, but won’t give you a badge, for a reason or another.
Pokèmon Trainers' school in Onyx Ward

Julia: She gives you the first badge. Her gym is located in Peridot Ward (Reborn City). She specializes in Electric type pokèmon and has a strange addiction to explosions. She will help you in the very beginning by chasing Team Meteor out of the abandoned factory.

Florinia: She gives you the second badge. Her gym is located in Onyx Ward (Reborn City). She’s as funny as a toaster, even though she would help you several times.
Her gym is located inside the pokèmon training school, in which she is the president.

Shelly: She’s Bugsy’s sister (Yes, the Bugsy from the Official Series). As you can squint, she masters in Bug type pokèmon. Her gym is located in Lapis Ward (Reborn City). Shelly will help you several times, and she will follow you for a part of your journey.

Shade: One of the creepiest characters you could ever meet. He specializes in Ghost type pokèmon and his gym is located in the abandoned power plant in Beryl Ward (Reborn City). Seems that he’s like a Reaper.

Aya: She’s Cain’s older sister. Her gym is located in the Byxbibision wasteland (How healthy). She specializes in Poison types and will challenge the trainer into a double battle.  Not so much is known about her. Her only appearance for now is in her house, we just know that her relationship with Cain is not one of the best.

Serra: Her Gym is located inside her huge house in Spinel Town. She masters in Ice types and will also challenge you in a double battle.  All we know is that she once was a model and needed to quit after his son was born. She doesn’t make any appearance out of her gym.

Noel: He is one of the children saved from the Orphanage that along with Shelly, his twin sister Anna, Charlotte and Laura will lead you to the Tanzan cove , where you will challenge him. He specializes in Normal type pokèmon.
He has a Cleffa Doll he likes to talk with, pretending it can speak, called Nomos.
Cain's so easy-going!

Corey: Poison type leader and Heather’s father. He seem to be involved with Team Meteor’s affairs. You will challenge him in Beryl Ward.

Kiki: The Apophyll academy master. She specializes in Fighting types. She’s a very ill woman, and her illness is said to give her some kind of powers.

Cal: Specializes in fire type pokèmon. You’ll fight him on the Pyrous Mountain.

Dr. Sigmund Connal: As anticipated before, you will face this opponent at the Orphanage in Lapis Ward. He specializes in Electric type pokèmon. As far as I understood Sigmund is nothing but a damn heartless doctor who uses his patients to make weird experiments as well as making money by having some kind of agreements with Team Meteor.

Amaria: Specializes in water type pokèmon. She will help you in several occasions to defeat Team Meteor double battling with you. She will also give you her boat to reach Apophyll Beach and the Azurine Islands.

Saphira: Saphira is the older of three sisters: Laura and Charlotte, who are both Dr. Connal’s patients. You will meet her the first time in front of the orphanage in Lapis Ward, mumbling for revenge. She specializes in Dragon Type Pokèmon.

Laura: She’s the middle one of three sisters. Seems like she specializes in Grass Type pokèmon. You will meet her the first time at the Orphanage..
Seems like she has a strange addiction in plating flowers in shapes.

Charlotte: She is the younger of the three sisters, as well as a patient of Dr. Connal. She usually minds her own business, but when provoked, she could become pretty aggressive. She specializes in Fire Type Pokèmon.
Anna: She’s Noel’s twin sister, again, Dr. Connal’s patient. Just as her brother, she talks to a Jirachi doll.
Seems that she specializes in Psychic type pokèmon.

Hardy: He specializes in Rock Type pokèmon. Nothing else is known apart that he’s easy going and he’s Titania’s younger brother.



After the battle with Radomus
Radomus: A chess' master (and believe me, you will become too) and hat maniac. He will change them about four times in a row. Whether he is bad or good, I haven't understood yet. He's the owner of the Gossip Gardevoir, thus he specializes in psychic type Pokèmon. 

Other characters

In this section there are other characters that I don’t think are gym leaders, but will appear anyway during the game, giving important improvements to the story.

Heather: She’s Corey’s daughter. All I know is that she’s just a rebellious kid who travels around riding her Salamence. Has a peculiar radar for dangerous situations.

Bennett: Serra’s son. You will meet him the first time in Spinel Town, in Serra’s gym. For now, nothing is known apart that he’s a loner who likes to read and study about Bug Pokèmon

El: Not so much is known about him, apart the fact that he’s the father of the missing dark gym leader’s Luna. Apparently, he had some problems with her, and the little girl ran away.


Music
The music here simply is divine. Most of the tracks are by GlitchxCity (It’s thanks to her that I discovered this game).
Also Amethyst, the author of the game made the music backgrounds for the cities (Especially Reborn), I don’t deny I like them as well, they really suit the atmosphere.
Here are some tastes. 

Reborn City trainer. 

Pyrous Mountain


Game Corner/Candy shop


Final impression
Everything to be summed up, this game is one of my favorites. Sometimes I can curse out loud because it may turn out a little harder than normal, but anyway this game has nothing missing from the original.
Sometimes it can crash or have some bugs, but the author is really attentive to them, she often checks the forum and provides in bettering the game in each release.
The game is impressive, starting from the plot and the characterization of every single character inside, not to mention that this is a non-profit project. Also the designs are far better than other fanmade games, very accurate in each particular.
Seeing the difficulty of the game, it literally gives a blast to more demanding trainers.

My passionate suggestion is (if you’re not sensitive to more mature themes) to try this game out and thanks the author and people who help her.

Final notes:
 Some information on characters here
Pokèmon Reborn official site here

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