@Hawk: aww, that's sad; losing a game is never fun. And thank you!
I have offically begun (or,, restarted, I suppose?) my adventure in Almia! Oh boy I don't know how much I can contain myself since I love this opening
Warning: this can, and probably will be many, many, walls of text. If you'd like, I provide a TL;DR
The game starts off with a mini-tutorial of the capture system. I pass the test with flying colors, but then some ominous tune begins to play as a man who introduces himself as Mr. Kaplan starts laughing. He says that that I have become a member of the secret army known as Team School, which aims to rule the world....
But then, a woman bursts into the room, telling Kaplan to stop his shenanigans. The woman apologizes for her co-worker's actions, and introduces herself as Mrs. April, who happens to be the protagonist's teacher at this Ranger School that I've just been accepted into. We then leave Kaplan in the practice building and go to our classroom in the main building. Mrs. April then introduces the protagonist to the rest of the class, segwaying into a huge info-dump.
Mrs. April explains to the player that they were just given something called a "School Styler", which is a simplified verison of the professional "Capture Styler". Since she puts it into words better than I can: "Now, put simply, a Styler is a device used for befriending and capturing Pokemon. By drawing loops around Pokemon, it conveys the Ranger's feelings of friendship to the Pokemon. When the Ranger's friendship is fully conveyed, the Pokemon is captured." Basically, one of the main tasks of a Pokemon Ranger (which the player hopes to become, as they are attending a Ranger School) is to capture and calm down Pokemon using this method, allowing peace to come to the region. Mrs. April then goes on to explain the game's menus, and once she is done, she gives that class a study period so that they can talk to the new student.
Here, our introductions begin! The two students in the player's class that are worth noting are Keith and Rhythmi, who sit to the right and left of the main character respectively.
Keith is,,, well,, I'd like to say he's a good boy, but at this point, he's a show-off. He makes a snarky remark about the player taking an hour to do the tutorial (which only took 15 seconds but okay), which annoys Rhythmi, who tells you to pay no attention to him.
Introducing herself properly, Rhythmi mentions that instead of wanting to become a Ranger like Keith does, she wants to be an Operator, someone who guides Rangers. She then takes us around school for us to get aquainted with the others there.
As we explore the school, it is apparent that Mrs. April's class isn't the only one in the school; there is a second one, taught by a man known as Mr. Kincaid. He's said to be rather strict, and he uses a lot of hairspray to get his hairstyle to be his swirly one. The only students of note from his class are actually not in class at that moment, so Rhythmi and I take a visit to the library.
While making a snide remark regarding a certain peer (*coughs* Keith), Rhythmi explains that the library is mostly used by an incredibly intelligent boy named Issac. Talking to Issac, he formally introduces himself, and then we go talk to a boy named Ponte, who is summed up by the game to be the "conflicted marshmallow boy." In constrast to Issac, he's not too concerned with his education.
After all these student introductions, we then go meet other members of the school's staff! Although the player was already aware of Mr. Kaplan (the Team School guy), Mrs. April, and Mr. Kincaid, there's a couple of others that Rhythmi introduces the protagonist to. One of these people is Principal Lamont, who is desribed as rather kind, and the other is Janice, the caretaker who is also kind.
Upon finishing all the introductions inside the school, the bell convientetly rings, signaling that a body has been -- wait, wrong game; bad joke. When the bell rings, Rhythmi excitedly tells the player that they can leave the main building and go to the other parts of the school grounds now! Before we go, she adds that the basement is off-limits, due to Mr. Kincaid's orders. Nobody knows what's there, apparently.
And outside we go! Rhythmi takes us back to the practice building, where the game began. There, Mr. Kaplan starts his Team School nonsense, but a teacher wearing a matching uniform tells the player to pay no attention to him. Protesting against this, Mr. Kaplan decides to drop his joke for good, and the game gives another tutorial that further explains the capture mechinac; the other teacher, Mrs. Claire, teaches us somthing else known as Target Clears.
After these lessons, Rhythmi and I exit the building, only to see Bidoof everywhere! It turns out, Janice had accidently caused all of the Bidoof to go into a panic, so she then turns to the player for help. Just as she does so, Keith appears! He challenges the protagonist to a "capture race", which angers Rhythmi. Well, guess we have to catch some Bidoof!
Unfortunely for the players, the Bidoof are SO fast compared to the main character, so it takes some time to properly chase after the Bidoof, but I found the captures to be extremely easy, although that may just be because I'm used to the bosses that appear later on. *shudders in memory of that darn Skunktank -- sorry, I digress.*
The game rigs it so that Mr. Show-off wins, but only by 1. He then makes a comment that the player earned a 65 out of 100, but they didn't do so bad for someone who just started. Rhythmi is not thrilled at his behavoir, but then she convinces the player along with Keith to go to Accention Square, a school landmark where those in a platonic bond can make everlasting promises to each other.
There, the trio (or rather, duo of Rhythmi and Keith, as the player lacks the ability to talk since they are a silent protag) disscusses a few things, but are interupted by the school bell. Vying for your friendship, Keith tells you something along the lines of "forget Rhythmi, I'll be your friend" but the entire thing is laughed off. It's safe to say they're all friends now, and boy do I love this friend group. It's so pure
Annnnnnnd that's it for now! While the introduction phase of the game is still in session, the first big chunk of it is complete
I can't wait for the next part, since I know what's going to happen
Keith, oh boy I can't help but laugh at you