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Best PMD story? (possible spoilers)

Discussion in 'Pokémon Spinoff Discussion' started by High Priest Reuniclus, Apr 28, 2013.


Best story?

  1. Rescue Team

    4 vote(s)
  2. Explorers

    46 vote(s)
  3. Gates to Infinity

    12 vote(s)
  1. High Priest Reuniclus

    High Priest Reuniclus Active Member

    The story in Explorers had nothing on the story in Gates if you ask me, and as a rule of thumb, the strength of a story comes down to the strength of the characters, and Explorers really lacked good characters. The partner was boring, the Wigglytuff Guild barely did anything in spite of spending so much time on them, and Dusknoir (way too obvious a villain on first sight) and Grovyle (too stoic for my liking) were inferior to Gate's counterpart characters. While it may be fantastic compared to the plots and stories within the Pokemon Franchise, it falls short on stories in a lot of other JRPG franchises. If it were a plot in a Final Fantasy game for example, it would have likely been ridiculed.

    Gates to Infinity however had a great plot with characters that got far more involved and went on the adventures with you a lot of the time, each major character having their own hopes and fears, and felt far more like actual people. It also seems far better paced than Explorers as even when there was some downtime, characters were being developed and thus felt far less like filler unlike the first third of Explorers. The less-filler feel was also augmented by the more cynical tone of the characters and townsfolk, which helped give a feeling that something was wrong instead of the syrupy sweet Wigglytuff guild. I also think the Bittercold doesn't get enough credit and I admire GTI for making a really out-there decision for the pokemon franchise to go down that road in making a final boss like that. Had lots of build up as well and fighting it alone made me feel like an absolute trooper. My only complaints about it was the very 'parroty' dialogue (although there were less pointless flashbacks this time) and I felt Kyurem's motivations made absolutely no sense and way by far the weakest important character in Gates, even in spite of the brutality scene. I felt they should have made him obsess over how the people of the world were bringing the Bittercold upon themselves and that it should not be tampered with by outsiders (humans) instead of this seeing into the future rubbish.

    As for Rescue Team's story it sucked aside from the fugitive arc.

    Discussion point: Do you think the other humans were banished alive or dead? Considering the series's heavy use of euphemisms for death and how the partner said something like 'What if you didn't wake up? What if you floated away in a ball of light like the other humans' to be subtly implies that they were killed. Your thoughts?
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2013
  2. Rakurai

    Rakurai Well-Known Member

    I also liked Gates to Infinity's story better for the reasons you mentioned.

    Some people complain about the pacing of it being too quick compared to the other games, but that's because there wasn't any filler. You could go days without anything meaningful happening in both Rescue Team and Explorers, which gave them artificial length.

    I think my only major gripe about the story is how short the post-story segment is. I would've loved if they had made it a proper adventure involving the whole team and multiple dungeons.
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2013
  3. diakyu

    diakyu Well-Known Member

    GTI totally. It's the side characters that made it. Explorers was just so predictable and rescue team was just bland half of the time.
  4. hawkmbl

    hawkmbl Curious

    GTI all the way. RRT is the second favorite, as it is just simply and has a lot more mystery. But GTI was 10000X than all of them as the characters each had their unique personality. even the ones that are minor like patrat and rufflet. The only character that DOESN'T have a personality is foongus as he says the same two lines over and over and over again. This game made me a virizion fan (Seriously, I bought a plush toy and a pokeball action figure after I beat this), and it made me happy like crazy when Espeon and Umbreon were having a small romantic relationship in a real pokemon game, instead of in just fanfictions and mangas.

    The music fits every situation perfectly as well, especially
    Despair (super heavy) The fact that Despair means death in some ways even makes it cooler when it seems as if your character and partner are dead, everyone lost hope, and the world will end... But then the two gain strength from the people. It reminded me of the song "campanile of lane" From Ys I and II chronicles
  5. too-weak

    too-weak Member

    Haven't played Rescue Team, and probably going to need to replay Time (or better yet, buy Sky!) before I can say for certain.

    Teamates/Guildmates-Gates by a mile if basing off time/darkness (haven't played Sky so unsure how much special episodes help, though two of the 5 episodes sound really good).
    "Important" NPCs (excluding ones already mentioned)-Explorers
    Overall emotional Impact-I'm going to need to replay Explorers to decide. I THINK Gates had more moments, but my recollection of Explorers was that it's moments, though fewer, were on average more powerful and a little deeper.
    Final boss sequence-undecided. Different from eachother but both good in their own way.
    Ending-both awesome.
    Post-Story-Explorers, though sometimes it's a bit too long. Gates' weakness here may actually be a hidden strength. As it's short enough to always warrant a full poststory run during repeat plays.
  6. Chakra1412

    Chakra1412 Active Member

    After replaying both GTI and EoS recently. I can say for sure Gates tonInfinity really hit me harder. I mean as amazing as EoS was and still is....GTI really put it all out there really well from character development to story, visuals, and especially keeping to its amazing soundtrack. only few, by few I mean like maybe 1 or 2 very small insignificant details, in each game that could've been better or had extended info on them making them better.....buuuuut GTI to me stands above the others story wise...but seriously that soundtrack was amazing to go with that story.
  7. Rakurai

    Rakurai Well-Known Member

    Gates to Infinity really is a shining example of how greatly music can enhance storytelling.

    All of the tracks were so perfectly suited for the places they played at, and did an excellent job of stirring up the appropriate emotions for each situation.
  8. ☭Azimuth_055☣

    ☭Azimuth_055☣ Thou enraged?

    Exactly this. GtI has hands down the best plot compared to the older PMD games.
  9. dirkac

    dirkac I smash your Boxes.

    I... Don't know.

    Because of Amazon mix-ups I still don't have GTI, so I wouldn't know about that.

    Most think EoTDS would be better than RBRT, but I prefer the latter, most likely due to nostalgia.
  10. nathandg0924

    nathandg0924 Back in the meantime

    Must say that it's definitely Explorers. Creative and well-thought of though I admit, quite dark.
    - Nate the;448;
  11. Rakurai

    Rakurai Well-Known Member

    I hardly ever see people giving specific reasons for why they like the plot of Explorers the most out of all the games for some reason, whereas the people who like GtI the most tend to come up with plenty of them.

    In any case, I'm having a hard time imagining how Chunsoft will manage to top GtI in terms of how good it was to me story wise.
  12. High Priest Reuniclus

    High Priest Reuniclus Active Member

    The main problem with GTI's story was more how it was told than what was told. Parroty dialogue (the other PMDs were guilty of this as well, albeit slightly less so. On the other hand, GTI used far less pointless flashbacks) and slow text speed aside, it suffered from telling us things but not showing us. The whole story premise was that the people of the world were becoming bitter but it never really seemed like it was actually the case - Post Town was less cheery than Treasure Town, but it didn't seem to be nearly as rotten as the story was telling me. On the other side of the coin, a lot of pokemon were saying how nice Post Town was even if it was a bit rough, so perhaps it's leaving imagination gaps for people to fill in to imagine how bad the unseen towns were.
  13. diakyu

    diakyu Well-Known Member

    This is the reason Gurdurr's sub-plot was included. Virizion is another prime example as well.
  14. Rayze Darr

    Rayze Darr Snubbull Supporter

    I've been trying to stay away from the GTI topics, given that it's already common knowledge that GTI was a massive disappointment for me. However, I feel like this is a situation where I can, rather than drag on about why I was let down by GTI, shed some light as to what appealed to me about Explorers.

    Now, the one thing that I will not deny about GTI is that its story was worthy of a PMD game. I will tear the gameplay to pieces until the Miltank come home, but its story was very well done. Now, if the poll is any indication, no one thinks that Rescue had the best plot of them all, so allow me to do a side-by-side comparison of the plots as I see them.

    Your Character

    This was actually one of the first things that bugged me about the way GTI portrayed its characters. The thing about the character in the game is that it's supposed to be you, not someone that you control. The idea is that YOU, the person holding the game system, have been pulled into a Pokemon world. Why, then, does GTI insist o having your character say things? In both Rescue and Explorers, your main character does do a lot of internal dialogue, yes, but with the exception of one moment at the very end of Explorers, everything your character actually says is implied. You see them moving in a manner that implies speech, and you get to fill in the blanks. GTI does this a lot as well, yes, but it also has various moments strewn throughout the plot where your character does, in fact, actually speak dialogue. These moments take away from the immersion of the game, as the represented Pokemon is supposed to be real world you, and real world me doesn't appreciate having words forced out of his mouth.

    I can also tie this back to the intro. Now, gameplay-wise, I greatly enjoy being able to choose which starter you get, instead of having to go through the personality test. However, story-wise, I feel that the personality test added a lot more to the immersion. It gave the idea and feel that you really were getting dragged in against your will. Instead, GTI's choice system gives more of a feel of going on vacation, being stopped on your way off the airplane, and being asked what color lei you want. There's also the fact that, since your character has full memory of being a human and his (not her) human life, that there's one less plot twist to be found come game's end, and for me, a good plot twist can make or break a story.

    Other Characters

    Speaking of immersion breaking, what's with your partner asking someone that he just met to give him a nickname that would become his (not her) sole namesake from that point on? Besides that, I also feel like your partner has less motivation than in Explorers. In Explorers, your partner has goals both mental (The Guild) and physical (The Relic Fragment). In GTI, he feels more like Gandhi, willing to risk his life for peace, love and unity. White that's all fine and dandy, it makes for an overall less believable character portrayal. As for the other characters...

    Dunsparce is exactly like Bidoof, except that Bidoof is given a detailed backstory, his mistakes are showcased more, and he ends up growing in both skill and mentality. Dunsparce exists as nothing more a foil to enhance Emolga and Virizion's characters. He never really grows as a character.

    Emolga is easily the most interesting and well-written of all of the new characters. Even then, though, his personality deviates drastically from embarrassingly childish to suddenly the most caring and mature being in existence. I do like Emolga, but he seems very schizophrenic to me.

    Quagsire is Wigglytuff, except again, Wigglytuff is actually given backstory. We see how Wigglytuff became the powerful and lovable individual that he is, while with Quagsire we're just supposed to accept it.

    Victini is goddamn annoying. I love the V-Wheel mechanics, but I would've enjoyed the game much more if they were being controlled by a mailbox filled with spiders.

    Munna is supposed to be the Dusknoir of GTI. PMD has, from game one, taught us not to judge Pokemon by their appearance, so when I saw Dusknoir, I was more inclined to believe him to be good than I was when I first saw Munna. Dusknoir was characterized and made lovable before his ultimate betrayal, and ended up spending the entirety of the game, even after it ended, set in his mindset and not wavering from the evils that filled his heart. Munna's betrayal, on the other hand, I saw coming about 2 hours before it happened, and she's talked into being a good guy out of absolute nowhere. Here she is, fighting for what she believes is right with all of her friends by her side, but then gets her *** beaten into the ground and basically says "oh I see. K, I'm good now lolz." The way Munna was handled is, from a story standpoint, downright embarrassing.

    As for the remaining supporting cast, GTI was significantly fewer Pokemon wandering the town and features way fewer stories giving details and characterizations for them, with the only ones really being the Swadloon and Gurrdurr story archs.In Explorers, we get full detials for for the entirety of Team Charm, Sunflora, Loudred, Grovyle, and Chatot, not to mention a lot of interaction with the remainder of the Wigglytuff Guild throughout. As for basic, side-banter from the extremely unimportant characters, nothing beats Swellow and Wurmple's humor, and I loved the confusion that surrounded Teddiursa's evolution. It's an undeniable fact that GTI features fewer characters, and it's my opinion that it characterizes these characters much poorer.

    The Overarching Plot

    GTI is a much safer game than Explorers was. In GTI, by the end, every villain has become a good guy, everyone who's been harmed (very few) is happier and healthier than ever, and
    your player character can freely travel between the human and Pokemon worlds
    . Ultimately, nothing has been lost and everybody is literally standing around cheering at rainbows.

    In Explorers, Pokemon end up not being reformed. They hold to, and suffer for, their differentiating values. Even one Pokemon who had become completely reformed, Armaldo, is thrown in a cell to spend out the last of his remaining days due to his regrettable past catching up to him. Your character is forced to choose between his old and new life, and everyone emerges from the experience more serious and mature, ready and able to take on the ever darkening world around them. It's not a story that holds your hand and says "there there, it'll get better in about five minutes." Heck, we even get to see a post-apocalyptic future where almost all life has been completely wiped out, while in GTI we're simply told that there might be one, maybe. The same sense of impending doom isn't there, and the bright and happy nature that surrounds everything makes it all too clear that it'll all work out. Never once while playing GTI did I feel nervous about the world in any way. GTI featured approximately two plot twists, one of which was predictable as all hell and the other ended up not even being important to the plot, but just a side detail added in.
    With no warning or hints leading up to it, we're told that other humans exist in the Pokemon world. This had such major potential to give us something big, but it ended up being nothing more than flavor text and served the plot zero purpose.

    In Summation

    Explorers, as a whole, was more willing to take risks. It's impossible to deny that the game was much darker and edgier than GTI, and the reason it succeeded in doing so was by immersing you better into the story, introducing a much larger and more varied cast of believable characters, and by making excellent use of foreshadowing and plot twists to keep the adventure consistently fresh and nerve wracking. GTI's story is much better suited for young children and those who want nothing more than a "feel good" adventure, but it's Explorer's willingness to challenge the player and explore depths previously unseen in a Pokemon game that sets it apart as not only the best written Pokemon game, but one of the best written video games of all time.
  15. FallBird

    FallBird Well-Known Member

    I haven't played GTI yet, because I was worried that after Explorers I would be disappointed. I did play the sample download, and it was.. okay.. I didn't like that I couldn't effectively grind my pokemon, but that's besides the point of the story. Didn't like the way you get your main pokemon at all. And the partner felt kind of.. awkward..

    After reading this post by Rayze Darr above me, I feel even less inclined to give my money to this game. I loved Explorers and even good ol' Rescue Team a lot, and though this new 3D game could have been fantastic, the sample and the things I've heard make it sound like most of the other spin-offs - dumbed down for the target audience, and, in my opinion, not worth my time. Which makes me sad, because I loved the original PMD games.
  16. Rakurai

    Rakurai Well-Known Member

    If you enjoyed the previous games, you'll probably enjoy this one, too, so long as you're willing to accept the lower number of Pokemon and lower amount of post-game content.

    Even if the plot isn't as good as Explorers (That's still a matter of opinion), I found it more enjoyable largely due to the presentation. The 3D graphics make the game seem much more alive then the past titles, and the soundtrack is incredible.

    I definitely feel as though I got my 30 dollars worth out of it, and I've seen more people saying they liked it then disliked it.
    Last edited: May 6, 2013
  17. Rayze Darr

    Rayze Darr Snubbull Supporter

    The game may not be nearly as big as Explorers, but it is still enjoyable, yes. It makes some poor gameplay choices, but adds in a couple of neat details as well. The story's a step back imo, but still enjoyable. The biggest issue I, personally, have with it is that it's significantly easier than Explorers and significantly shorter.

    You'll enjoy the game as long as you don't go into it expecting it to blow Explorers out of the water. It's a good game on its own rights as long as you aren't comparing it. Again, my opinion. Having been to multiple sites with sections on the game, I am noticing the majority prefer Explorers, but about... oh, 1/3 people do like GTI better. If you have $30 you can spend, I still recommend you give it a shot. Don't knock something until you try it.

    And if you try it and are as disappointed as I was, then you can join me in crushing everyone's hopes and dreams on this board!
  18. diakyu

    diakyu Well-Known Member

    I've been playing Explores lately and I feel the side characters just aren't there. Most of them remain static the entire time. I'd rather have a small group of pokemon that develop than a large one where very few of them develop.

    And I found the doomsday cult stuff in Gti better than the villain stuff in Explorers. You could tell Munna and her friends were doing what they were doing out of fear and pity. It really got me when your partner started preaching to them about how they should be changing the world and not destroying it.
  19. High Priest Reuniclus

    High Priest Reuniclus Active Member

    I still feel like the only person who didn't think Explorers had a good plot. At the time it was the best story that pokemon has ever done (up until Gates to Infinity), but that's like arguing about being the tallest man in Lilliput. I'll discuss via the characters, as the quality of the characters generally dictate the quality of the story.

    The Partner: Boring with a capital B. He really only had two defining features to him - he wants to be an explorer, but given that the series is about going on adventures, that is kind of a given to begin with. The second one: he's a bit of a wimp for the first quarter of the game, and thus uses you as a crutch and this was just annoying. My presence in the game felt entirely incidental during the first third, just getting dragged around by the partner's wishes, and most of what happens during this part was merely isolated incidents that contributed very little if anything at all to the overall story. If I have to ask the question 'why would I want to befriend you?', then there's a problem.

    The Guild: Pointless, essentially just a bunch of walking verbal tics, and it's outright shameful how much time they take up considering how little they're actually involved in the plot. They rarely seem as though they do anything meaningful with you, and none of them go into a dungeon with you save for Bidoof and Chatot in one-off story moments. The only one who got any actual development was Chatot, and even then it was minor and didn't really contribute anything.

    Dusknoir: Obvious villain, I mean, just look at him! However, I might have have been thinking that it was setting us up for a 'don't judge by appearances' moral if it weren't for that 'did Dusknoir just hide a smile?' point where you tell him your name. Then he became Mr Obvious Bad Guy for sure. Then it really became his only defining feature and really just served as an obstacle for you right until his last moments where he reveals that it's the fear of death that was driving him. Just mentioned though, never discussed.

    Grovyle: A fan favorite...another fairly dull character for me. Probably the best character in the game, but not by much, but what kills Grovyle for me is his stoicism. I'll admit here, I generally dislike stoic characters on the whole, but for a big reason - if they aren't seen getting passionate and emotionally involved in what they're doing, then how can I get emotionally involved in what they're doing? I mean, there wasn't even a happy expression for when he is reunited with you once you make it back home from the future, let alone a teary-eyed one. That being said, he was still rather flat and has a lot of 'because the plot says so' moments, such as not saying 'Hey! I'm trying to save the world not destroy it!' while he was collecting the time gears, and a golden opportunity for intense build up was missed when he revealed he came to the past with a friend right before it was revealed that it was the player. If he mentioned it when they escaped from Dusknoir when they first arrive in the future, the build up would have been intense!
  20. diakyu

    diakyu Well-Known Member

    If the partner in explorers goal had been to find the Time Gears instead of just "I want to explore", it would have been better imo (he also wanted to figure out about his stone treasure but that just seemed odd to me since he didn't know if it even meant anything). The cool thing about the partner in GTI wanting to build a paradise was that the reason he wanted to do that was tied to the game's overall plot.

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