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But... [One-Shot]

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction' started by gofishyfish, Jul 11, 2018.

  1. gofishyfish

    gofishyfish ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

    Hey everyone! Long time, no post. Writers block + busy life = no stories :( Also, I feel like everyone here has amazing works, and I'm just not up to par with everyone else's writing skills yet. I'm still working on improving. So, hopefully, I'll eventually come back here with an amazing new set of chapters for the story I was writing.

    Right now, however, I'm here to bring you a one-shot that I plan on entering in a competition on a different site. I was hoping I could get some feedback from you all. I'm really happy with it so far, but I still feel like it's missing something. I was told my emotional impact in all of my stories was really weak, so I really tried to focus on that (again, I'm still working on my writing skills). Let me know what you all think!

    The prompt for the competition was "Write about any one thing you WISH existed in the fandom. A bit of plot from the games, a scenario you want to happen in the anime, an evolution, or anything else that uses your imagination to add to the current cannon."

    Alright, enough talking, here's my one-shot "But..."

    -----

    I munched my blueberry Pop-Tart to the rhythm of the music as I roller-skated down Route 6. Or rather, as Serena roller-skated down Route 6. I watched as my generically-named character scooted along the pixelated road toward Parfum Palace. I was curled up under a blanket on the couch in the living room.

    Overhead, I heard the shower going and footsteps romping through the bathroom. I figured that the footsteps belonged to Mom since Dad had been in the shower for a few minutes now. She must have just woken up. Normally, I was the last to wake up, favoring sleep too much. Today, however, I was awake rather early. Maybe it was the excitement of having a new game to play. I had quickly thrown on a dress and a sweater, cooked my breakfast, and sat down in my spot. Christmas had brought me a copy of Pokémon X a few days prior, and I had played it almost non-stop in between festive family gatherings.

    Focusing on the game again, I made my way up to the gates of the palace when the screen went black. I made a goofy face at my reflection as a cutscene faded in from nothingness. A butler blocked my path to the golden gates, saying some words that I skimmed through. Then, another character wearing a hot pink t-shirt and ripped jean shorts approached on my left. She had curly pigtails that defied physics. Shauna.

    She was supposedly one of my rivals this game. However, the poor girl's programming made her less of a rival and more of a friend so far. I easily beat her in every battle, she picked the starter that was weak to mine, she gave me items, and she even healed my Pokémon when they were hurt. It was a refreshing change of pace from the serious rivals of other games. She felt like a typical girly-girl with an attitude. I liked the way she was written. Plus, she was cute.

    I continued pressing A, quickly reading through the butler's dialogue. An exclamation mark popped up above Shauna's head, and she said something. I huffed out a laugh at her line, "Yeesh! This is how the rich get richer!" She had spunky one-liners.

    She paid the entrance fee. Then a dialogue box popped up informing me of my current balance.

    "Rude," I jokingly muttered to myself as I forced my character to pay the fee. The amount in the top right dropped by one thousand. Bye-bye, money.

    One cutscene and a black screen later, I was allowed to go inside the palace. Shauna had gone ahead already, displaying her typical enthusiasm. Once inside, the screen depicted an NPC running around in circles shouting about his Furfrou being lost. Ah, plot development at its finest. Shauna caught my character's attention, saying that we should help.

    Well, of course, we should help. That's what the game wants us to do. Most of the time, the Pokémon series had excellent writing. It also had grown men crying about their lost pet poodles.

    But first, I needed to explore. I was one of those gamers that had to scrounge every nook and cranny of every location. I noticed that the sound of water above my head stopped and I heard the shower door slide open. I didn't have nearly enough time to search the large mansion thoroughly. Dad would be downstairs soon after getting dressed. Then, we would leave, and I wouldn't be able to play my game for a few hours.

    I weighted continuing the story or doing an item search. Something propelled me to proceed with the story. My craving to complete the game, perhaps. I could always be an item perfectionist later. Plus, I had been enjoying the adventure so far. Game Freak had created yet another gem of a game that I was engrossed in. I couldn't put it down.

    I poked around a bit, searching for the outdoor area where the Furfrou was lost. It didn't take much searching through the ornate palace to find it. The blue door towered over my character's figure. I stepped out the doors, pressing A to exit while pushing up on the D-pad. I stepped out onto a bridge with a statue rising from the water behind me. Trees dotted the background to give the game dimension.

    "Wow," I gasped. It looked beautiful compared to Pearl, the game that had first introduced me to the addicting world of Pokémon. These games never ceased to amaze me, filling me with awe every time I began a new one. I always felt joy inside every time Nintendo delivered another phenomenal game. The company sure knew how to give gamers the experience they wanted. What more could a kid ask for?

    As I finished crossing the bridge after admiring the pixel art, my avatar froze. An exclamation mark appeared above my head, and I knew someone was coming up behind me. Shauna appeared on my screen, sprinting her way to the area I was walking toward.

    "I'll have a look in the back!" her dialogue read. I couldn't help but smile at how energetic she was. Online forums complained about her, but I thought she added a sort of adorable energy to the game. Then again, I had always been a bit different.

    As the bouncy rival made her way off screen, I forced Serena forward toward the statue of a familiar legendary. I pressed A and read the prompt that popped up about Reshiram. Then, I continued to poke around the scenery of the garden. There were so many fascinating features to examine. Every miniature detail of this game was designed for a reason, and I loved finding out why. Soon, I found that I let myself get distracted in the environment for too long. My time sponged away as I let myself become immersed in the environment.

    "Good morning," a voice in the real world said. I jumped slightly, my attention snapping from the game to my mom. She smiled before walking toward the kitchen.

    "Morning," I mumbled before returning to my game. That was foolish of me to get caught up in such a tiny moment. Time was running out.

    The short amount of time left displeased me when I realized what was sitting before my character in the game. A giant maze grew to fill the entirety of my screen. It was as if Game Freak designed this challenge to tease me at that exact moment. I adored mazes, but I had to hurry through to find the Furfrou then save the game. I made a mental note to come back to that spot when we returned home.

    I skirted around the maze as fast as I could, lest I get distracted by the obstacle. I dodged around NPCs, making yet another mental note to return and talk to them too. I was an item completionist, a Pokédex completionist, and a story completionist. To add the cherry on top, I felt the need to talk to every character I encountered. Maybe that's why I liked characters such as Shauna and the other people from Kalos while other players despised them. As I approached the back of the outdoor area, I spotted a white dog Pokémon standing proudly in between two hedges. It looked like it was expecting me.

    "It can't be that easy, can it?" I wondered out loud. When I approached, it triggered a cutscene that displayed the creature running away from me. "Of course, it's not."

    "What are you saying, sweetie?" my mom asked. I heard what I assumed to be a bagel pop up out of the toaster.

    "Nothing," I responded.

    Suddenly, Shauna ran across the screen again, shouting about how we couldn't let the Pokémon get away. No duh, but thanks for the tip.

    She talked for a bit, explaining a new game mechanic to me. I could tell her to stand in certain spots to trap the white dog. Again, less of a rival and more of a friend. Silver or Blue probably would have told me to buzz off, but she kept talking with friendly words.

    "If the two of us work together, we can solve this puzzle and catch Furfrou!" she said. The enthusiasm made my tired face smile. These games had that effect on me, especially the cast from Kalos so far.

    I led Shauna around the top-down puzzle before finding where I wanted her to stand. She said something cheerful, and I left to go chase the Furfrou into the corner. It was nice, having a companion like Shauna. It gave me a warm and fuzzy feeling when I imagined her and my main character as best friends.

    The puzzle was surprisingly easy to solve. As a sophomore in high school, I should have expected that. While these games were designed for everyone, they definitely had their childish aspects. The lack of difficulty attested to that. I didn't mind, however, since I was in love with the rest of X so far. The screen switched to a different view, zooming in on me and Shauna. Furfrou stood next to us.

    "Serena, you're amazing!" Shauna exclaimed. Yep, I'm definitely getting best friend vibes. These two are total gal pals.

    Suddenly, the NPC that had asked us for help in finding his lost Pokémon showed up. It amazed me how dumb the writers could make some characters seem; this man had to be the biggest moron ever. He thanked us copiously as Pokémon NPCs usually did. He even went so far as to offer to put on a fireworks display for us. He continued talking, so I quickly read through it. I was eager to see the fireworks, and something told me that this man didn’t have anything intelligent to say.

    I heard heavy footsteps on the stairs in real life now; there was no more time left to waste. "Good morning," my dad said as he rounded the corner. I waved in response.

    Mom and Dad began a conversation in the kitchen as I continued plowing through in-game conversation. I heard cereal plink into a bowl.

    "We'll leave in less than ten minutes, okay?" I heard my dad say in a loud voice. The additional volume meant he was talking to me from the other room.

    "Kay," I responded, dragging out the end of the word.

    I rushed back through the garden and toward the palace. I had promised myself that I would stop after finding Furfrou, but now I had to see the fireworks. It was the gaming equivalent of "Just five more minutes, please?"

    I made my way up the steps and to the balcony, the location that the NPC had told me to rendezvous at for the show. The game switched to a three-quarters view, so I knew this was an important location. Why else would the animators create such a well-designed scene?

    Pillars lined the walls with a ruby red carpet stretched out beneath my feet. Tall arches with light shining through the opening signified the beginning of the balcony. Then, I admired my character's outfit for a moment. The customization feature in the game made me smile inwardly. She wore a plain t-shirt and shorts, nothing special. However, the idea at the heart of it made me relate more to my character than I had in previous games. I now controlled her appearance as well as her actions.

    Beyond the arches to my right, I could see a poorly rendered outside area. I moved toward the opening in the windows and onto the balcony. Shauna was already waiting for me. I approached her to begin the scene. First, however, I saved the game just in case it was a battle. I had been playing these games for enough years to know when a battle was about to start. That way, I could come back if I had to leave in the middle of the fight or if I lost by some fluke. I snorted a bit at the thought of losing to Shauna. Again, cutesy BFF, not an actual threat.

    However, when I pressed A to begin the dialogue, the music faded and began with a new sound. It was a piano playing a soft melody, a tune that pulled on my heartstrings. There would be no battle here, and instead, I knew it would be something heartwarming. Almost...romantic? Was this the forced romance that people online were complaining about? My heart pounded in my chest at the idea of what might happen. I had been hoping for a moment like this for a while. I was excited to see if Game Freak actually followed through with it.

    "Um... You know..." Shauna began.

    I cocked my head slightly at her words. Was this... Was Nintendo finally going to do it? I had only seen this scene on YouTube from a male main character's perspective, never with a female main character. I waited on bated breath for the next line in the script. It was finally time.

    "I really hope we get to be great friends, Serena," she said.

    Oh.

    My heart sank as I let the scene continue. How could I have been so foolish to think that Game Freak would have done it?

    "We haven't even seen them yet, but I know I'll never forget these fireworks! 'Cause I watched them with you, Serena," Shauna said before the game began an animation of fireworks.

    I won't forget them either for dashing my hopes of finally adding a canonically queer character.

    All they had to do was add them holding hands, at the very least. It didn't have to be anything special, just a simple gesture to show that both the male and female had a chance at this scene.

    That was what upset me the most. The very same heartfelt scene with a male avatar implied that Shauna had a crush on the main character. It hinted at a romance with just her words. Instead, I had gotten friend-zoned by my wimpy rival. I felt a bit broken as fireworks washed across my screen without giving the same hints. Part of me hoped that the writers would go back on their cruel decision. The rest of me knew they wouldn't. After all, everything in these games was well-designed and done on purpose. This was Nintendo's way of saying they didn't want that in their ledger.

    The animation faded and switched back to the ever-disappointing view of me and Shauna standing next to each other. I desperately wished to jump into the game at that moment and slide my hand into hers, change fate, and prove that it was okay.

    "Wow!" Shauna said. "That. Was. AMAZING."

    It really wasn't.

    "I never ever want to forget this, so I'll keep this memory in an album in my heart!"

    I want to forget this.

    The set up was perfect. I felt like our characters could have been more than friends in a single heartbeat, but Nintendo had snatched that fantasy away. Instead, I was left with a cold reminder of the real world, as cold as the wind outside. The same game that had brought me so much joy only moments ago brought me a sharp pang of sadness now. I thought that the writing was going to be progressive, that it would show that it was okay while other aspects of the real world preached that it was wrong.

    "Hey, sweetie, are you ready to go to church?" my mom asked, snapping me out of my daze.

    "Yeah, let me get to a save point." I didn't want to relive that moment. To rethink those stupid thoughts that maybe, just maybe, it was okay to be queer.

    "Hurry up, you've had plenty of game time," Mom said. She turned to walk away, stopping abruptly and looking at me again. "Your cheeks are red, are you feeling okay?"

    "I'm fine," I snapped. She couldn't know what was racing through my mind. It would change her opinion of me in an instant.

    I ignored whatever else she was saying as I rushed through more text. I accepted an item at one point, but I didn't really care what it was. I just wanted this moment to end. Mom was right, my cheeks were red. I noticed their hue in the empty, black screen. I touched them to feel the physical aspect of my embarrassment. Finally, I was free of what felt like an endless stream of dialogue. I saved my game the moment the camera focused on my avatar again.

    I snapped the 3DS shut before rising from the couch. I grabbed a coat and marched out the door to the car. My dad already had the vehicle running, and my mom was already buckled in. I watched out the window as we pulled away. The snow whooshed by as we sped down the road.

    For games that knew how to deliver, they knew how to take away as well. Every minute detail was perfect in those games. Meaning, it had to be deliberate to not include that singular line that would have opened up a new dialogue to the world. My thoughts raced along with the scenery. I looked up to the bare trees, closing my eyes as their empty branches reflected my now empty heart. It was the perfect set up for reassurance, but Game Freak had reminded me once again that they would never add that to their games. That is wasn't okay to be different.

    But... It is okay, isn't it?
     
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2018
  2. Negrek

    Negrek Lost but Seeking

    Hey, welcome back! No worries about disappearing for a while; everybody has RL stuff/writer's block/computer trouble/whatever from time to time. I'm glad you've been able to get back into writing. And no need to feel bad about your writing skills, either. Everyone here's learning and improving on their own schedule, and you're doing just fine.

    Anyway, into the story itself. I have to admit, I knew EXACTLY where this was going when the narrator started describing Parfum Palace, haha. I think a lot of people were disappointed by how GF handled the female player's relationship with Shauna, especially the fireworks scene, so you're not alone in wishing they'd gone further with the scene. Definitely makes sense as a thing you wish existed in the franchise.

    I also liked how you incorporated the Sunday-morning routine into the story. I twigged pretty early on that the narrator's parents were probably preparing for church, and based on what I figured was going to happen with Shauna, I wondered whether there were implications for what was going on in the narrator's life. It was nice to see that come around and become relevant, and I think it did a nice job of justifying the focus on what was going on in the real world as well as in the game.

    One thing I might suggest is focusing a little less on the specifics of the gameplay. There's a fair amount of focus on the general "getting from A to B" in the gameplay, and it isn't as interesting as the narrator's reaction to the actual in-game events or character moments. For example, there are two paragraphs devoted to paying the entry fee to the palace, which is not a tremendously interesting happening. What do you gain by drawing things out rather than simply writing, "I paid the entry fee and went inside" or something? Or sentences like, "I stepped out the doors, pressing A to exit while pushing up on the D-pad." I don't think mentioning the specific button presses adds much of anything interesting; I appreciate the attention to detail, but these are some details I think you're better off not including.

    In the place of some of those descriptions of what exactly's going on in the game right now, I'd like to see a little more of how the narrator's interest in Serena has been building over time. There are mentions of how stuff she's doing right now amuses the narrator, like how she has witty one-liners, how she seems really upbeat, and so on, but since the narrator getting hopeful about the fireworks scene is presumably something that happens after a buildup of interest in the character, so it would be nice to have a better idea of specific moments that made the narrator like Shauna.

    Also, some smaller typos/grammar things:

    - The default name of the female trainer in X is "Serena," not "Serene."

    When you use "mom" or "dad" in the place of a name, they should be capitalized. So here it should be "...belonged to Mom since Dad had been..." They also should be capitalized when in these next two sentences:

    Here it's "Dad" that needs to be capitalized.

    And here, "Mom."

    Just to make things clear, you don't capitalize "mom" or "dad" anytime they aren't being used to directly replace a proper name. For example, consider this piece of dialogue:

    This is correct, with the "mom" uncapitalized, because it wouldn't make sense if you replaced it with a name. "My Marie said" or "my Nicolette said" don't work, so it should be "mom" instead of "Mom." But if you deleted the "my," "Mom" would need to be capitalized!

    *never ceased to amaze me, heh.

    "pop up" should be two words here.

    Also, one more thing: I liked the opening lines, where you juxtapose the narrator eating her Pop-Tart with the in-game trainer. A nice introduction to the dual game/outside-of-game nature of the story.

    Anyway, this is a nice, satisfying one-shot that touches on something you don't see often in fanfic (i.e. how what happens in game interacts with players' lives in the real world). I hope it does well in the contest! We'll also probably have a contest here on Serebii in a month or two... hope you'll consider entering it if you like the theme!
     
  3. gofishyfish

    gofishyfish ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

    Hey, thanks for the help @Negrek. I actually had a friend help me with all of the grammar stuff since I had to have the story turned in by Saturday. Fortunately, it looks like they caught everything you did. I'll update the story here in a moment with those fixes.

    I had a critic on a different site point out how boring it is to read about game play....10 minutes after I turned the story in. So, hopefully the judges aren't too harsh on that. I can definitely see what they meant. You pointing it out too makes me realize I should have noticed that. Oh well! I might edit it, I might not. I'm pretty happy with where it sits minus the boring first half. I'll keep this in mind, however, for future works should I need to do a split view again.

    Really? I'll be watching for announcements about the contest. Even if I'm not a huge fan of the theme, I'll probably still come up with something. I love fanfic contests!
     
  4. Cutlerine

    Cutlerine a lonesome harp guitar

    Aw, this is sweet. Or like, bittersweet, I guess. Either way, I like it a lot; it's a really different take on fic and what it can do in terms of its engagement with its source material – as well as a bit of an eye-opener for me. I didn't know the dialogue was different depending on whether you were Calem or Serena, and so I sort of assumed it was a clumsy attempt at confessing attraction, albeit one that was only there because Game Freak were lazy about changing dialogue for the female character. So. That's an interesting thing. I guess we take our representation where we can, in the white space between lines. Or in this case in the depths of our own ignorance. :V

    Anyway: I'll try not to repeat what Negrek said too much – I think a lot of that critique is something I'd second; there's definitely a bit too much description of pressing A and the like – but I guess it might have been nice to push this story slightly further, if that makes sense. Like, it works great as it is, I think, but the way it engages with what fic can do to transcend the narrow-mindedness of canon could be developed a bit more, if that's something you're interested in exploring. Turning the part where the narrator says “this is what I disliked and this is why” into some sort of reimagining of the scene, where she imagines it playing out the way she wanted it to, would take the meta flavouring and help develop it further into a kind of celebration of the transformative power of fic to make up for shortfalls in the canon like this.

    But like – maybe I'm going a bit too far and imposing a level of pretension that you didn't want, maybe you just wanted to describe the feeling of being let down by a series that you love but also kinda don't expect much good from. And honestly, as a story that does those things? This hits the mark, it really does. Nicely done!
     
  5. gofishyfish

    gofishyfish ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

    Wow, if I had thought of this and the competition had a less strict word count (it had to be less than 3000 words), I would totally change the story to be like that. I love that idea. Writing the story to be what you suggested would have demonstrated what I wanted the game to be, and actually would have made the fic fall more in lines with what the competition wanted. I fudged the rules a bit, opps. I always do. I like pushing boundaries.

    That was definitely more along the lines of what I was intending when I wrote this. I'm glad that you thought it did a good job at that :) But wow...I really wish I would have thought of your idea. That would have made for a good story. Anyway, thanks for the review!
     
  6. AmericanPi

    AmericanPi Write on

    I'm really sorry to say this, but reading this one-shot just made me angry.

    I decided on the last day of the month to review the one-shots produced this month. There was only this one, haha, which wasn't bad objectively but made me feel angry.

    This isn't to say that your one-shot was bad, honestly, or that you didn't write it well. But as a reviewer I have to be honest of my true feelings here, even if there's no way to say it nicely. I'm sorry. It's just that anger was the first emotion I felt after reading this. It was mostly related to the implications this one-shot has towards Christians, but that's weird because I will probably always be atheist. Still, there's nothing wrong with feeling anger on behalf of others, right?

    Anyways, my main problem with this one-shot - the one thing that made me angry - is the way it isn't subtle at all about Christians being homophobic.

    I know that the protagonist's family isn't representative of all Christians, but in all honesty I'm tired of Christians in fanfiction being portrayed as against the LGBT-plus community. Of course, homo- and transphobic Christians exist - it's unfortunate but true - but it doesn't seem fair for every fanfiction to paint Christians that way when there are plenty of tolerant, open-minded Christians out there.

    That was my main issue with this one-shot, and because it riled up such anger in me - justifiably or not - unfortunately I'm not exactly the right person to give feedback on the rest of the story. Still, Christianity aside, I feel that the LGBT-plus point of this one-shot was not subtle at all. The way your one-shot kind of delivered its moral about LGBT-plus tolerance, and the author's views on the Pokémon franchise's handling of the LGBT-plus community, seems rather forced to me. Not to say that there's anything wrong with wishing for more LGBT-plus representation in the Pokémon franchise, of course. I understand that representation matters and I hope that one day major franchises such as Pokémon can move beyond teasing and hint-dropping in terms of LGBT-plus representation. I'm just saying that your one-shot wasn't exactly subtle about it in a way that fit a story. Overall, your one-shot seemed less like a story (with developed plot, characters, and setting) and more of the author's wishes for the Pokémon franchise delivered through a character's monologue.

    (Although, I'd like to point out that your main character DOES have a personality, interests, etc. so great job on at least including that. Maybe if she was more fleshed-out beyond her queer identity I would've connected with the story better?)

    Side note, are you sure the fireworks scene at Parfum Palace is different if you play as Serena rather than Calem?

    According to two pages on TV Tropes (I spend a lot of time on there haha), "if you play as Serena instead of Calem, Shauna's very visible attraction to the player character remains. This can get delightfully yuri-ish during such wonderful moments like the emotionally-charged fireworks cutscene at the palace". Also, "when playing as the female protagonist, the moment between her and Shauna at the Parfum Palace comes off as this". Reading that made me think that the fireworks scene was the same between genders, but maybe that just isn't true.

    Overall, I guess I'm not the right person to give unbiased feedback on your one-shot, because of how it made me feel. You did do some good things with writing it, such as choosing the ambitious setting of the real world and adding the little details about a (mostly) relaxing gameplay session. Maybe I was just jarred by how the one-shot shifted so quickly from a love letter to Pokémon from a relatable Pokémon fan, to a disappointed assessment of the Pokémon franchise's handling of LGBT-plus issues. Please don't take my anger as the truth, and if anyone wants to correct any of my claims with evidence they are free to, but that's just how I feel right now.

    Either way, best of luck in your writing.
     
  7. Ambyssin

    Ambyssin Definitely a winter

    Was looking for something short I could give a read to for this fancy-schmancy review game that's starting up. And here I am. Though, given this is a short oneshot and it's been thoroughly picked apart already, I'm not really sure how much more I can add that hasn't already been said. I guess I'll just focus on the emotional impact bit, whether or not this contest of yours has ended. I think that some of the ending stingers our unnamed narrator uses as the scene in the game is ending do pack a bit of punch and weight to them. I say a "bit" because, given the strict word count limit, it's tough to really feel for the player when this stuff is getting rushed. I think part of it is that you acceptance by her parents stuff is only given a line or two and, in reality, things aren't black and white as devoted follower of some faith = intolerance. If there was something more shown off about the family, it might've helped sell things a bit better. For that matter, I think you could've used the narrator's body a bit more than for pushing buttons. I can't speak for anyone else, but I rarely sit still while playing a game. Having her move around and show more visible reactions to what was happening than, say, a chuckle, could help with the immersion.

    That's all I've really got to offer that wasn't said already, I guess? Well, I can have some fun with a few quotes, I suppose...

    Ooooh, I can actually use a Pokémon meme here! *ahem* Some people may say they like the friendly rivals...
    [​IMG]

    A+ snark game, right here. Let us all remember this is the same franchise that gave us such "fantastic" writing as "Bye bye a go-go," and "I like shorts! They're comfy and easy to wear."

    You bet we did. Because half the fandom wants their jerk rivals back.

    And that's why I love them. but i'll gladly take over the top edgelords as a replacement.

    I dunno, I still struggle with ice sliding puzzles and I like to think I'm an adult. :V

    So, you have a bit of a consistency issue, here. Sometimes you refer to Game Freak as making the decisions, other times it's Nintendo. And no real explanation is given why. Like, is she blaming Nintendo Treehouse, who probably localized the game?

    Roll cr– oh, wait, this actually popped up at the end of the story. Carry on, then! :p

    And that's all I've got. Until next time, perhaps.
     
    gofishyfish likes this.
  8. Namohysip

    Namohysip Well-Known Member

    I don't have many specific quotes to pull from this review for once, but I do have some overall thoughts of this very brief one-shot. I think, for what point you were trying to get across, you did a very good job at displaying your stance, especially considering the prompt of this contest being something you wanted the games to feature, but didn't. I think this was short and to the point, without going on for too long about the whats and whys, even if it was a bit ham-fisted at times.

    Like what others had said previously, I thought this opening paragraph was a very effective way of establishing the setting--or rather, establishing that this was going to be a "real life" story involving the actual Pokemon games. Meta-fiction? "Based on a true story?" I don't really know what it's actually called, but this paragraph establishes it without any confusion.

    Small things like this make the main character relatable. Considering she's the only real one that gets any significant page time (aside from the characters in the actual game) it's probably important that she's someone you can get behind, particularly due to the hot-button issue that follows.


    The tricky thing about this particular topic is how to introduce it. As far as this oneshot is concerned, I feel like it came up just a bit too quickly, yet at the same time, how else would it be brought up, without coming out of nowhere? The fireworks scene was definitely the point where it should have come into full view, but for something like this, there could have been additional foreshadowing or buildup of some kind during the maze scene, too, beyond just being friends? Reading through it the first time, I seeing as I agreed that the rival was definitely giving off "best friend" vibes, I was a bit surprised at the sudden change once the fireworks scene came up. That being said, it could also be because specific scenes from X and Y are a bit blurry to me after all this time not playing it.

    Either way, it was an interesting read, and for how short it was, I definitely know what sort of message you're getting across!
     
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  9. diamondpearl876

    diamondpearl876 → follow your fire.

    Hi, there! Dropping by to give some thoughts~

    This had a good opening! You'd already grasped me with a twist by the end of it, what with the fic being from the point of view of a person playing X. You portrayed the player's excitement over having a new game pretty well, and really, all the real life depictions were relatable and balanced well with the game-related parts. Her character's kind of lacking, and in a piece like this, it's easy to detract from the main point when trying to add more depth and description, but more little details would've been enough, I think (ie., adding in a sentence or two about the family's Christmas traditions, where her dad was taking her and why, etc). The initial reactions to Shauna's character are really adorable, too - totally gal pals, indeed. :p I agree that the telling of the game movements was a bit much, but it didn't distract me from the story too much. I might suggest replacing those game movements with descriptions of the graphics, which could've then helped bring out the narrator's character more if some of said description was related to how she envisions the place in the game to be (much like a fanfic writer does when describing canon places... if that makes sense).

    The one-shot understandably shifts tone when it gets to the fireworks scene, and it works, in my opinion. The reasons why the tone shifted were clear, and it didn't steer into melodramatic territory or anything with how it was described. It just goes to show how you can be happy and enjoying something so thoroughly, just to have it ripped out of your hands so easily without a warning. Overall, a good read. Thanks for writing and sharing!
     
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  10. The Teller

    The Teller King of Half-Truths

    So herein lies my review, as requested by the Missing Mod Madness event. Firstly, some general words. I remember the song that plays during this scene in the game, and I feel like it is only matched in heartwarming-ness by that one song in Black/White. You know the one. I remember being surprised by how touching that Parfum Palace song was as well.

    This isn’t too much of an exaggeration. But then again, I loved my Furfrou in my Ultra Moon playthrough.

    Personally, I never got why people hated Shauna SO MUCH, when she wasn’t even the rival of the game (Serena/Calem were supposed to fill that role). No, she wasn’t like Silver. Get over it. No one has, and no one ever will be (even Gladion wasn’t as blatantly evil). Now, Tierno and Trevor, those were useless characters. Tierno more so, since at least I liked the concept of there being a Pokedex completion rival. Anyway, I know the feeling of liking a character most people seem to hate, so I liked you reminding us of that every so often.

    I’d have to go online and watch both scenes to remember this, but wasn’t the scene in question pretty much the same in either instance, barring pronouns and nicknames? And regardless of that, my one issue here is that it seems pretty childish to be angry at a game renowned for avoiding romance in all aspects, and find out that it has once again avoided romance, and to be mildly shocked that it would avoid lesbian relationships when it refuses to indulge in even straight relationships. Your character talks about Pearl version, so she should know that Pokémon doesn’t do romance. And while GameFreak does shake up the formula every so often, there are aspects to the franchise that it doesn’t shake. Romance might lead to sex, and that means upping the rating to T, and that means controversy that could lead to a dip in sales. I just think this is a “Well, what did you expect to happen?” situation, as well as a “disappointment is an equal-opportunity visitor” one.

    I also got kinda bored with the play-by-play of what was happening in the game as well. I found myself starting to skim the text because, well yeah, I played the game myself, I know what happens, that’s not why I’m reading the story. I think you could shorten that and not lose any impact you have on the reader.

    I realize by this point that any spelling or grammar issues you had were probably pointed out by others and fixed. I didn’t notice any myself, but there’s that skimming issue again, rearing its head, making it known that maybe I missed one.

    Overall, I liked the story, and I get what you were trying to say. I just felt that the character was asking for a bit too much and was surprised at being disappointed when miracles didn’t happen. Keep on writing though! You’ve clearly got the talent there. It just needs some polishing.
     
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