Have you ever wanted to play a Pokemon game outside of your generic eight badge gym leader conquest, followed by dismantling the Elite Four and becoming reigning, defending, undisputed Pokemon League Champion?
Look no further than Pokemon Reborn.
Set in the Reborn Region, a once beautiful region, now decaying slowly. Reborn City, the capital of the Reborn Region, covered in black smog. Acidic water garnishes the crumbling structures along the skyline. City streets and back alleys crawling with disaster and crime.
This region needs a hero.
Pokemon Reborn teases that something has gone terribly wrong as soon as the game starts, making you automatically question the “who, what, why and how?” of the incident and state that the Reborn region is in. As you embark on your journey throughout the massive, puzzle riddled region, your questions will slowly be answered as you try to fend off the evil, witness horrible and indescribable events, and try to establish yourself as the hero Reborn needs, and probably deserves.
This game is not for the faint hearted, and definitely isn’t your stock standard Pokemon game.
Pokemon Reborn is a Generation 3 (Ruby/Sapphire/Emerald) styled downloadable game featuring all of the Pokemon content through to Generation 6 (X/Y).
The game features “Field Effects”, that allow you to overwhelm your opponent, or make yourself more vulnerable when battling. You are able to collect, train and battle with all 721 Pokemon available and take on eighteen gym leaders as you fight to restore Reborn to the once glorious and beautiful region back to normal. An example of a field effect that inverts the types of the Pokemon, and alters many key factors in battles:
The game also includes a massive, detailed world, as indicated by this hand drawn map.
The game also allows you to pick from eighteen starters, ranging from a fan favorite of Charmander, up to the recently released Fennekin. If you are a fan of shiny Pokemon, the shiny ratio has been increased in Reborn, so there is a higher percentile chance to find a shiny Pokemon to add to your collection, alongside a quicksave option, randomly generated weather and a total of eighteen gyms, of which thirteen are currently released.
As a player of Pokemon Reborn, I had the opportunity to sit down and conduct an interview with the brain behind the game, Amethyst.
J: “How did the original idea of Pokémon Reborn come to mind?”
A: “As a game, it was never really planned. Rather, it was based off of the league I was running as an online challenge. Then one day someone decided to make a game based off of it, and when I found out that the software they were going to use was something I had experience with, I decided to one-up them and try it on a whim. And it just sort of happened from there.”
J: “For the people who haven’t played it, can you give us a brief plot synopsis?”
A: “The player, presumably an experienced Pokemon trainer, comes to the Reborn region for a fresh challenge. But from the second they arrive, a malicious group moves to destroy the region for their own goals. It’s up to the player to fight them and restore the region to prosperity.”
J: “How hard is it to develop a game like Reborn, since I’m assuming it was made from scratch?”
A: “Not quite from scratch. RPG Maker, the base engine, provides most functionality need for a game. Then Pokemon Essentials, the base script set we use provides most of the functionality need for a Pokemon game. However Essentials was incomplete so we’ve had to do a lot of work to finish and polish the engine. Aside from that, it’s not really ‘hard’ at all. It just takes a lot of time.”
J: “I was there, for the Pokémon League that was run online, and that had the unique characters you see in game. How much more backstory did you have to write for those characters, or did you not have to do much at all?”
A: “It wasn’t so much about writing backstory as converting existing backstory to something that works in-Universe. For instance things like the online Titania being a Literature Major at her Uni, don’t make so much sense in Reborn where there isn’t necessarily a University for her to be attending. So in that sort of case, I decided to express her interest literature by having some of her words appear in certain other books, and with her making a few vague literary allusions here and there. Ultimately the effect is the same.”
J: “Which character’s storyline is your favorite?”
A: “…Well if I’d known you were going to ask me that, I wouldn’t have used her in the previous example. Titania’s, by far. I can’t say too much on that right now since in the current release we’re only really just starting to get into her business. Suffice it to say she’s my favorite character because she’s also the one most personal to me and my emotions.”
J: Interesting. Now, Reborn is episodically released, similar to the manner in which Telltale games are released. We’re currently up to Episode 15. Is there an estimate time of completion of the game, and how many episodes do you expect to be out by the time the game is complete?
A: “The game will end with Episode 19. Unfortunately development times seem to increase with each episode because there’s more and more existing game to be polished. Right now, I’m expecting development to take another year and a half, but that is somewhat likely to go up.”
J: “Alright then. Thank you so much for your time!”
A: “Sure thing. Thanks for doing the, um, thing!”
As you can see, Reborn isn’t at all like the other Pokemon games. It has a much deeper plot, with a large variety of characters that you will learn to love, or love to hate. Your journey will see you traverse caves, dangerous cities, toxic wastelands, beautiful grassy areas and even a circus. As the plot thickens and you, the protagonist, gets involved with the variety of issues plaguing Reborn as you try to establish a name for yourself officially as a Gym Leader conqueror, and the hero of Reborn. The game will take you through a rollercoaster of emotions, as you have to overcome a variety of situations that will either leave a smile on your face, or leave you on the edge of your seat.
As a hero, everything you do matters. Everyone is counting on you. Reborn is counting on you to help restore the region to what it once was.
If you’re a fan of Pokemon games, but looking for something that pushes the envelope of the Pokemon series and is a little more suited to adults, this is for you.
It’s certainly a unique experience, especially for a Pokemon game.
The game is available at: