Jump to content
NEurope
Sign in to follow this  
Glen-i

Looking back on Pokémon Starters (Sinnoh - Gen 4)

Recommended Posts

Yup, I'm bored! And when I'm bored, I tend to go on about stuff that really doesn't matter.

After 9 generations of Pokémon, there are 30 different starter Pokémon (33 if you count a certain trio, 34 if you're an idiot). The majority of them serve as solid Pokémon that help to introduce the type matchups with one of the most simple triangle of weaknesses. I'm not gonna explain that, because I hope you're smart enough to already know that particular type trio off by heart.

But let's face it, not all starters are created equal, and nothing demonstrates that unfortunate truth more then the Kanto trio.

001.png 002.png 003.png

Bulbasaur, weirdly enough, is a Grass/Poison type (Actually, all of this family are), so it's already doing a terrible job of demonstrating type matchups. Real talk, it's why I thought Grass types were weak to Psychic until the third generation. In the original games, Bulbasaur is normally the Pokémon recommended for beginners, mostly because the first two Gym Leaders use types that are weak to Grass.

Normally, middle evolutions of starters are not note worthy. Always overshadowed by the two forms it's in between. However, there are precisely three exceptions, and Ivysaur is one of them. And it's all because of Smash Bros.

1600px-Pok%C3%A9mon_Trainer_SSBU.png

That Ivysaur is the luckiest Pokémon ever

In Smash Bros. Brawl, one of the newcomers was "Pokémon Trainer", an interesting character that doesn't actually directly take part in fights, but sends his three Pokémon to fight on his behalf. The player controls the Pokémon themselves, so functionally, it was just a cosmetic flourish of a transformation character that Zelda introduced to the series in Melee. But it was a cool way to represent the gameplay of Pokémon games in Smash. Squirtle was the fast, but weak, Pokémon, while Charizard is the slow, heavy hitter. This meant that Ivysaur was the choice for the one that's average, despite Bulbasaur and Venusaur being far more popular.

Only Charizard returned in the fourth Smash entry, because, well, more on why in a bit. But with Smash Ultimate's "Everyone is Here!" megaton, Ivysaur's managed to worm it's way back into relevance. Real talk, in Smash Bros, I think Ivysaur is the best Pokémon character in the game, it's anti-air game is insane! It's so good, I barely use the other two, they just get in the way!
Also helps that Ivysaur's current anime voice is hilarious!

Venusaur is the final evolution, and by the time most players get one, they'll probably start realising that the Bulbasaur line is a bit of a noob trap in the Gen 1 games. It's useful at the start, but Grass/Poison is a terrible typing. Psychic Pokémon are way overpowered in Gen 1, and Venusaur's movepool is woeful. There aren't any good Poison attacks, and as for Grass, your best option is Razor Leaf, a 55 power, 95% accuracy grass move. Technically, it learns Solar Beam, but Solar Beam sucks because you have to spend a turn to charge it up.
It does get Sleep Powder, but that doesn't save it.

I'd be remiss if I didn't mention the two form changes that Venusaur got, starting with it's Mega Evolution in Generation 6.

003-m.png

Mega Venusaur is a prime example of why I love the Mega Evolution mechanic that is no longer seen in mainline games. It takes a mediocre Pokémon and transforms it into a very effective tank. The key difference between this and a certain lamer mechanic replacement is that it actually changes the Pokémon's ability. In Venusaur's case, it gains Thick Fat, eliminating it's Fire and Ice weakness.
Also, one of the few Megas that doesn't add spikes to the design, thought that was worth mentioning.

Come Generation 8, Megas were gone, but Venusaur is a generation 1 Pokémon, and as I have mentioned many times in the past, those Pokémon get mad preferential treatment, so it got a second form with Gigantamax Venusaur.

003-gi.png

Unlike Mega Evolutions, Gigantamax Pokémon barely differ from the normal version in battle. The only actual difference is that they get a unique attack only they can use while dynamaxed, and most of them are worse. It's such a downgrade. No-one will miss it. Gigantamax Venusaur wasn't even available at the launch of Sword and Shield. Which wouldn't be that noteworthy if it wasn't for a certain other starter.

Speaking of...

004.png005.png 006.png

Charmander is the fire type starter, in case the tail didn't give it away. Being a fire type, it struggles against the first two gyms. So much so, that from Gen 3 onwards, it learns Metal Claw, so it has some sort of answer to rock types. For this reason, it's seen as the "expert" starter, because you'll likely need another Pokémon to deal with those gyms.

Charmeleon is a middle evolution, and thus, has nothing to contribute to this thread (Get used to that being a thing).

Charizard is, by far, one of the most popular Pokémon ever. Hell, I'd argue there are only two other Pokémon that are more popular. It gains the Flying type, which means it's not a dragon, despite looking about as "stereotypical dragon" as you could get in Pokémon. Fire/Flying is an unfortunate typing these days, because rock type attacks became quite good in later generations, and Charizard has a heart attack the moment you throw a pebble at it. It's pretty good in Gen 1 though, thanks to rock being kinda rubbish, and Charizard's respectable Speed stat giving it more then a few critical hits. It has a decent movepool, to boot. Definitely the starter that pays off the most there.

Much like Venusaur, Charizard also gets a Mega Evolution in the 3DS games. Oh, but Game Freak absolutely adore Charizard. If Gen 1 Pokémon got preferential treatment during this time, then Charizard might as well be the freaking Pope with how much attention it got.

006-mx.png 006-my.png

Charizard got two Mega Evolutions. Yes, two. Venusaur and Blastoise fans can go ahead and suck Charizard's nonexistent balls.
The black one is Mega Charizard X. It's Fire/Dragon type (Yes, this one is an actual dragon), and has stats that focus more on Physical attacks. The ability it gets is Tough Claws, which powers up contact moves by 30%.
The orange one is Mega Charizard Y. It's still Fire/Flying (So... not a dragon), and has more special inclined stats. The ability it gets here is Drought, which changes the weather to intense sunlight whenever it enters battle.
Charizard Y is the one to go for, Drought is a very powerful ability, and Charizard naturally does better with Special attacks. Also it's a better design, so there.

006-g.png

It also got a Gigantamax form, and even that got more attention then it's Gen 1 brethren. Because unlike Venusaur and Blastoise, you could actually get one in Sword and Shield. In fact, you got one for free! Venusaur and Blastoise fans can continue to suck Charizard's nonexsistant balls. It's rubbish though, you're better off using a normal Charizard.
Seriously, the Charizard favouritism is really bad, even the champion of Sword and Shield uses a Charizard as his "ace", instead of a Pokémon introduced in that generation like almost every other champion.
Still not a dragon though.

And to further prove that point, Charizard was playable in Pokkén. It's got pecs in that game, and it's forever weird. Actually, it features in a lot of spin-off's, we'll be here all day if I go through them. Let's move on.

007.png 008.png 009.png

Squirtle kicks off the water starter family in Kanto. It's a turtle. It is not inspired by a squirrel, no matter what some people would have you believe, it's just a turtle. Don't be dumb.
Squirtle performs well against Gen 1's first gym, but can struggle against the second one, it's really good in the last two gyms though! And it can learn Surf, which you need to finish the game, and is a very good attack to boot. You can't go wrong really, but there are a few better water types in Gen 1, including Lapras, which you can get a free one of. So Squirtle loses out to Charizard in most playthroughs. Squirtle could totally beat Charmander up in Gen 1 though, so if you're playing multiplayer with big Charizard fans, Squirtle might be the way to go.

Wartortle is a middle evolution, so it exists, I guess.

Blastoise is the only Gen 1 starter final evolution that doesn't have a second type. Hard to say if that's a blessing or a curse, but it can learn Ice moves. Water and Ice is a great combo for coverage, but Blastoise is actually slower then Venusaur, which is a big oof in Gen 1 where Speed is OP. Well, more OP then usual.
By the way, this is a good opportunity for a confession. I genuinely think Blastoise is one of the worst designs in all of Pokémon. Squirtle and Wartortle are fine, but Blastoise is a crap design. The tail doesn't follow the increasing elaborateness that the other two do, and, well, the cannons are absolutely dumb. Blastoise is not a mechanical Pokémon, why the hell does it have cannons!? I hate it, no thought put into the evolutionary theming what-so-ever!

And it's alternate forms only get worse.

009-m.png

50% more cannon, 300% stupider! Mega Blastoise is still a water type, but gets the ability, "Mega Launcher", which increases the power of any move that has "Aura", or "Pulse" in the name. Blastoise learns quite a few of those moves in Gen 6, so it's a solid Mega that can punch holes in a lot of Pokémon.

009-gi.png

i-hate-it-girl.gif

Gigantamax Blastoise, much like the other Gigantamax starters, is not as good as just using the normal version. But, I mean, look at it. It's so incredibly dumb. Like, I'm talking "Gundramon from Digimon" dumb! Sword and Shield has amazing Pokémon designs, but this is a real blemish on that record.

Btw, amazingly enough, Blastoise beat the odds, and got into Pokkén! ...Eventually, it was in the Switch version. So Venusaur fans can suck Blastoise's nonexisistant balls when they're finished with Charizard!
That said, maybe Venusaur fans got lucky, because...

0*2rZHuojTldMXHpWw.jpg

Someone here accurately described it as "A guy in a Blastoise costume"

There is actually one more starter. Pokémon Yellow didn't have any of the three starters above as your first Pokémon, instead it had one of the two Pokémon more popular then Charizard.

025.png

Do I need to explain Pikachu? It's the mascot! Pokémon Yellow took a few nods from the anime and gave you a Pikachu with incredibly staticy voice samples. It wasn't very good though. It is Pikachu, after all. Despite popular belief, you can actually evolve the Pikachu in Pokémon Yellow! It involves trading it to another cartridge and evolving it there. It stops following you though, and loses all the perks that particular Pikachu gets. And Raichu still kinda sucks, anyway, so why bother?

I'm not gonna go into all the different forms and appearances of Pikachu! Screw that! I've already spent 2 hours on this post!

Anyway, that's all for now. We're thankfully done with the longest post because of Gen 1 favouritism, but what's your favourite Generation 1 starter Pokémon?

I know what you're going to think, but for me, it's Charizard. Yes, I'm part of the problem. But dragons are bloody cool! Even when they're not actually dragons. I've still got a Charizard from Fire Red in the latest games! It's nicknamed Draco. No, he's not named after the Harry Potter character, it's a Dragonheart reference. Got a soft spot for that movie.

Edited by Glen-i
  • Like 2
  • Thanks 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

These are the only starters that matter. I'm a Gen 1 guy, loved them. those three starters will always be better than any other starter the games have come up with. Yeah I know, rose tinted glasses and all that. Like you said, Charizard is one of the top three Pokemon in the world. Heck I even have a Charizard onsie cause he's such an awesome Pokémon.

Just trying to think who you say is the other one that is more popular (other than Pikachu), I'm guessing one of Jigglypuff, Togepi or Eevee. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
20 minutes ago, BowserBasher said:

Just trying to think who you say is the other one that is more popular (other than Pikachu), I'm guessing one of Jigglypuff, Togepi or Eevee. 

Seeing as it won't feature in this thread, as it's not a starter, I'll just tell you.

It's Lucario.

It's insane how popular that Pokémon immediately became once Gen 4 came out. It got into Smash for a very good reason.

EDIT: Anyway, I'm hoping this thread will help convince you away from your narrow minded viewpoint, because there have been some excellent starter designs over the years, and all of them better then Blastoise!

But for everyone else, hold off on mentioning the later starters, don't wanna distract from the focus of the thread.

Edited by Glen-i

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Glen-i said:


Squirtle performs well against Gen 1's first gym, but can struggle against the second one,

 

I would say Charmander struggles more against the second one. Do ye mean the third aka Lt Surge?

 

Also Charizard all the way, but I pick the fire starter every time.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just now, EEVILMURRAY said:

I would say Charmander struggles more against the second one. Do ye mean the third aka Lt Surge?

 

Also Charizard all the way, but I pick the fire starter every time.

Charmander definitely struggles more, but no, I do mean Misty. Her Pokémon resist Squirtle's better moves, and Starmie is a surprisingly amazing Pokémon to throw at you so early.

At least with Lt. Surge, none of his Pokémon resist water, so if your Wartortle is strong enough, you can one shot most of his team.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Seeing as it won't feature in this thread, as it's not a starter, I'll just tell you.
It's Lucario.
It's insane how popular that Pokémon immediately became once Gen 4 came out. It got into Smash for a very good reason.
EDIT: Anyway, I'm hoping this thread will help convince you away from your narrow minded viewpoint, because there have been some excellent starter designs over the years, and all of them better then Blastoise!
But for everyone else, hold off on mentioning the later starters, don't wanna distract from the focus of the thread.
I think you've doven too deep into the Pokémon world if you think Lucario (I had to look it up) is one of the top 3 most popular Pokémon. Maybe among mega fans?

But among the general public and casual fans, I doubt it would even get into the top 20 that people can even name.

I want to know what the 34th starter that idiots would name. I'm an idiot and I don't know what I would put.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
19 minutes ago, bob said:

I think you've doven too deep into the Pokémon world if you think Lucario (I had to look it up) is one of the top 3 most popular Pokémon. Maybe among mega fans?

Nope, you're too out of touch. Lucario is stupid popular! It's so popular, that since the dreaded Pokédex cut of Sword and Shield, Lucario hasn't skipped a single mainline game.

Not even Charizard managed to pull that off! Game Freak wouldn't dare release a game without Lucario in it! There would be outrage!

EDIT: It also literally placed 2nd in the "Pokémon of the year" poll TPC held.

DOUBLE EDIT: In fact, just to hammer the point home.

Quote

 In 2023, Centennial Media's The Ultimate Guide to Pokémon noted that after compiling monthly search histories of Google, Yahoo and Microsoft Bing, Lucario was the fourth highest searched Pokémon among internet users with an approximate total of 126,200 average searches per month.

 

Edited by Glen-i
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Glen-i said:

what's your favourite Generation 1 starter Pokémon?

I can't draw it very well, but:

pikan-e.png

Surprised? :heh:

Otherwise it'd be Bulbasaur. In fact, my favourite starter is pretty much always grass type, apart from two or three times where it'd be fire instead.
The water starters are bad 100% of the time. :grin:

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, RedShell said:

The water starters are bad 100% of the time. :grin:

Well, we can't be friends anymore...

  • Haha 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Surprised Chameleon go such short shrift. I know your focus is in the games but it had it's own arc in the anime and was the only one of the starters to evolve at all. It at least has that. 

But I'm a water guy so Squirtle all the way. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@Ashley did you sample any Pokémon starters in Japan?

As for starter Pokémon (Kanto - Gen 1) which the discussion in this hastily cobbled-together thread seems to attempt to pertain to, I went:

Pokémon Red (US import): Charmander
Pokémon LeafGreen: Bulbasaur
Pokémon Yellow (3DS VC): Pikachu

Charmander was nicknamed Cinder after the flamey fighter in Killer Instinct. You always remember your first. He ended up with four questionable moves: Fire Spin, Seismic Toss, Fissure and the cut HM. There was no UK magazine coverage yet so I didn't know the best way to go about designating stuff—I wasn't fully aware of the implications of teaching him cut, and Fire Spin was an underwhelming final fire move, imo. Roided him up on carbs and whatever with no knowledge of what to prioritise. Got him and a bunch of other Pokémon to lvl 100 which I haven't done in any other Pokémon. I went on to complete the Pokédex by trading for the other starters, Articuno since I killed it in mine :woops: and the rest + a Mew one friend was able to get via Gameshark. Mew aside, the rest were legit. I seem to recall Vaporeon was the last one I got. It was a trade and trade back arrangement like most, just to fill the dex. 

Bulbasaur I had in LeafGreen: no specific memories to recount. Tbh, I remember nothing of this game except the "previously on Pokémon LeafGreen" you'd get when you went back to it and the islands they added.

Pikachu in Yellow: it was cool to have a party of Pikachu + the three other starters.

2 hours ago, Glen-i said:

But for everyone else, hold off on mentioning the later starters, don't wanna distract from the focus of the thread.

Not to derail from your Lucario chat, but since I have nothing to expand on about any of these so you may as well find out now. I know the game names better:

Gold: Fire
Ruby: Fire
Emerald: Water for a change
Diamond: Fire (DNF and finished with the series)
Crystal on 3DS VC: Can't remember and don't care to check
Shield: Fire (should have stayed finished with the series)

I'm having trouble even remembering what those starters were because when I visualise the covers they are legendaries, but I know they made for good party leaders in Gold and Ruby. I burned my way through everything. Weaknesses be damned.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Always love a @Glen-i Pokémon thread, so thanks for this! :peace:

5 hours ago, Glen-i said:

...what's your favourite Generation 1 starter Pokémon?

No question for me: it's Bulbasaur. 

C7TB.gif

First Pokémon I chose the very first time I actually played Pokémon - at a friend's house, LeafGreen on his blue GBA SP, got up to Mt Moon and evolved the little guy. It was also the very first Pokémon card that I owned, given to me with a few other cards by an older kid on the playground back when I was in Reception (pretty sure I got a Charmander, Chameleon, and bloated Pikachu, along with some other cards, from them, too).

s-l1600.jpg

Did that card get pretty much destroyed when my parents threw it in the wash, not knowing it was in my pockets? Yes. Do I still have that kind of crushed and water-damaged card to this day? Absolutely. 

Bulbasaur was also my favourite Pokémon of Ash's, based partially on its look, but also it's personality. Weirdly one of the earliest instances I can remember of relating to an animated character. 

41c183b8e1b97b9bbe675761dd5521a5.gif

I just love him. Unfortunately, I think Ivysaur is a slight step down in design and Venusaur even more so from there, but Bulbasaur is definitely my favourite of the original trio. 

Second would have to be Squirtle. Again, just another great design, but also: Squirtle Squad. 

8893754c6b1fa974a0c7564950249982.gif

Urgh, someone give me a Squirtle Squad game in the style of Yakuza pleaseeeeee! 

Another one where I've got a memory tied to the card, too. While I had a base set version of Squirtle, my friend gave me his Team Rocket Squirtle...

s-l1600.jpg

...which his sister had actually gone over Squirtle's main lines with a silver glitter pen. It honestly still looks great to me to this day (yes, I still have it). 

I actually think Squirtle has the strongest line of the original trio overall in terms of design, as I'm a huge fan of Wartortle too, and though Blastoise is great, it's similar to Venusaur for me in that it's just kind of bit more ugly and blocky than it is cool. 

As for Charmander...yeah, I think it's the weakest design of the original three. I'm not a huge fan of Charmeleon's design either, actually, but Charizard is - and it is not close - by far the coolest of the final evolutions of the Kanto starters. To this day it's fight against it's clone is still one of my favourite in the entire anime: 

tumblr_ln4ju4JPTg1qcl077o1_400.gif

As for Pikachu...look, Pikachu is awesome. Classic design. I love Pichu and Raichu too (and Alolan Raichu is S-tier), but yeah, it's never been one I've really put side by side with the original three starters, despite them all appearing together with Ash and obviously being a starter in Yellow and Let's Go, but yeah...I think for me it's last when stacked up specifically as being a Kanto starter more so because it becoming a starter just feels like an afterthought, and it also just doesn't really fit in with the trio, as there was certainly a little theme going on when it was just them. 

4 hours ago, Glen-i said:

It's Lucario.

It's insane how popular that Pokémon immediately became once Gen 4 came out. It got into Smash for a very good reason.

It's one of those instances - and I know we still get them, but I don't think to the same degree - where it seemed like Pokémon just knew what they had. Gen IV Pokémon like Munchlax and Bonsly getting into the anime and marketing a year or two ahead of the release of Diamond & Pearl was great, and so many of the Pokémon shown off before that transition to Gen IV was awesome, but Lucario got SO much love even outside of Smash, and personally - as a Lucario lover - it's not hard to see why. Mystery Dungeon of course, but then being front and centre for Lucario and the Mystery of Mew – it was a surefire hit way before we first stepped foot in Sinnoh

I'll argue it was one of the coolest bipedal Pokémon we'd had since Mewtwo, the aura/energy stuff around Riolu and Lucario seemed to lean more into shonen anime type coolness which we'd only occasionally get to see in Pokémon, and never for too long. 

So yeah, love Lucario :D

2 hours ago, RedShell said:

The water starters are bad 100% of the time. :grin:

I can't be too hard on you for this because of your love of Wii Music and Bulbasaur, but hey: Squirtle, Totodile, Mudkip, Sobble and Froakie are S-tier starters! S-tier!! :p 

Edited by Julius
  • Like 2
  • Thanks 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, darksnowman said:

As for starter Pokémon (Kanto - Gen 1) which the discussion in this hastily cobbled-together thread seems to attempt to pertain to,

How dare you!

2 hours ago, darksnowman said:

He ended up with four questionable moves: Fire Spin, Seismic Toss, Fissure and the cut HM. There was no UK magazine coverage yet so I didn't know the best way to go about designating stuff

To be fair, no-one did. The Game Boy games don't tell you what a move does when you're learning it, so back then, it was a real crapshoot whether a move was worth learning.

Gen 3 would thankfully fix that. Another reason FireRed/LeafGreen are the best ways to experience Kanto.

2 hours ago, Ashley said:

Surprised Chameleon go such short shrift. I know your focus is in the games but it had it's own arc in the anime and was the only one of the starters to evolve at all. It at least has that. 

There are two main reasons why I'm not focusing on the anime: My knowledge of them is quite limited compared to the games, and I am categorically not looking up every instance of a certain Pokémon appearing in said anime!

There are a couple of exceptions, but we'll get to them in due time.

Thankfully, people like @Julius can help fill in some of my gaps when it comes to things outside of the games. Unlike my last "Looking back" thread on Pokémon, that aspect of the franchise does have an impact on the topic on hand, so I heartily encourage you to talk about that this time.

1 hour ago, Julius said:

Always love a @Glen-i Pokémon thread, so thanks for this! :peace:

And thanks for backing me up with some "outside the games" impressions, knew I could count on you there!

You mentioned how the designs of Venusaur and Blastoise didn't gel with you because they looked like slightly ugly versions of what they evolved from, but I always appreciate a Pokémon whose design isn't meant to be cool or cute. Venusaur is one ugly mofo, but I think that works in it's favour. A lot of fans associate evolutionary steps as a substitute for an aging process in Pokémon. I'm guilty of such myself at times, even though the series doesn't want that to be what it means.

EDIT: Actually, one thing I forgot to mention is that even Smash Bros itself references the curse of the middle evolution, so it's not just me flapping my gums.

And also, this one is just funny.

RIP, PikaPit...

Edited by Glen-i
  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, darksnowman said:

@Ashley did you sample any Pokémon starters in Japan

PXL-20230305-035244815.jpg

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I love all of the starters here, and the final evolutions are great. The middle evolutions are a bit of a letdowns, with Ivysaur and Wartotle being forgettable.

 

Chameleon is by far the most notable of the three, having by far the coolest design and having a significant personality in the show.

 

Squirtle is the best first stage, Chameleon is the best middle and Charizard is the best final evolutions (sorry Bulbasaur, you're still great).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, Cube said:

Chameleon is by far the most notable of the three, having by far the coolest design and having a significant personality in the show.

 

Squirtle is the best first stage, Chameleon is the best middle and Charizard is the best final evolutions (sorry Bulbasaur, you're still great).

 

13 hours ago, Ashley said:

Surprised Chameleon go such short shrift.

I saw these auto-correct mishaps coming a mile off. Still amusing.

EDIT: Hah! Just noticed that @Julius got caught out by it as well! Of course, the irony is that Charmeleon is absolutely not based on a Chameleon in the first place. Always found that a weird name for it.

Seeing as ol' Red there posted an Art Academy drawing, might as well follow suit.

Spoiler

gigantamax_charizard_by_glen_i_ddj05yo-f

Yeah, I don't draw Gen 1 Pokémon a lot. There'll be more in the future.

 

Edited by Glen-i
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Glen-i said:

I saw these auto-correct mishaps coming a mile off.

I thought they blended in pretty well. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Ashley said:

I thought they blended in pretty well. 

hqdefault.jpg?sqp=-oaymwEmCOADEOgC8quKqQ

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@Glen-i is right.  Pokken's Charizard With Pecs is just weird...

17080311204472.jpg

Also, Lizardon being the Japanese name is hilarious

... definitely a case of its trainer pumping a bit too many drugs into it.

Edited by Dcubed
  • Weird 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, Dcubed said:

Also, Lizardon being the Japanese name is hilarious

OK, so I started looking at some of the Japanese names of starters for any more humourous ones, but I found something far more surprising.

Right, so Scarlet and Violet tweaked quite a lot of Pokémon models to look generally higher quality then they already were. Whether it be through better animation, or texture upgrades. Small things like that, but I got to Blastoise, and...

009.png 009.png

Old Sword/Shield model is the first one.

Uhhh... That's quite a bit more significant then I expected. I never realised this was the case because I never went back to Scarlet/Violet when they had all the starters come back.

I checked all the other starters, and it's only Blastoise that's like this. Very weird. No idea why they changed it.

Edited by Glen-i
  • Weird 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, Glen-i said:

EDIT: Hah! Just noticed that @Julius got caught out by it as well!

charmelon.png

Who's that Pokémon?

It's...

main-qimg-9a1fb0e2ed7abcaf7ef125c630709d

Chameleon! 

:p

  • Haha 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So now we move on to Generation 2, better known as Pokémon Gold, Silver, and Crystal, which is set in the Johto region.

Despite the box art for these games sporting the Game Boy Colour logo on it, these games were compatible with the standard Game Boy (Not Crystal, though). I don't know if that had an impact on actually designing the Pokémon, but it's worth keeping in mind.

152.png 153.png 154.png

Chikorita kicks off the Johto Pokédex. Unlike it's Kanto counterpart, this Pokémon doesn't have a secondary type (actually, all the Johto starters only have one type), so it serves as a far better introduction to the concept of type matchups this time. That said, don't expect an easy time at the beginning if you go with the grass starter, Johto's first two gyms are Flying and Bug, which Grass performs terribly against!

Bayleef still mostly falls in the catagory of "overshadowed middle evolution", but there is one notable time where a Bayleef features, it functions as one of the three Pokémon the player has a choice between in the Generation 3 game, "Pokémon Colosseum". No prizes for guessing what the other two choices are. But it's caught at level 30, so will quickly evolve before it makes an impression.

And now we have to talk about Meganium, arguably the most cursed starter Pokémon ever.
If you remember, I described Venusaur as a noob trap. In comparison, picking Meganium is the choice if you don't want to actually use your starter in Generation 2. The Johto region hates Grass types. Out of the 8 gyms there, Meganium is effective against precisely none of them. As well as that, Meganium matches up poorly against half of them. And if that wasn't enough, Meganium's movepool is awful! Ironically, if Meganium had the secondary Poison typing that Venusaur did, it could have at least learnt Sludge Bomb, which got introduced in this game. But instead it only gets Razor Leaf, and Body Slam (No, Solar Beam is forever crap). You could use TM's to give it Giga Drain, which has a mediocre 60 power in Gen 2, and Earthquake.
There are many better candidates for a valuable TM like Earthquake, don't waste it on Meganium.

This combination of awful movepool, and a region that is hostile to it, cements the Chikorita line as the least popular Gen 2 starter by far. And it only gets worse.
A lot of early starters would get new tools over the generations that help them adapt to the ever changing mechanics, but not Meganium. Other then getting Energy Ball in Gen 4, nothing of real use was given to Meganium. Truly a forgotten Pokémon. You know it's bad when False Swipe Gaming, a channel that focuses on the competitive side of Pokémon, made no attempt whatsoever to hide how utterly rubbish it is.

Still, Namco decided to put Meganium as one of the Pokémon that's on the cover of New Pokémon Snap. That's it's biggest claim to fame as far the games go, and it only appears in one stage. So yeah, if you think your favourite starter is overlooked, well, at least it's not Meganium. Unless it is, then it sucks to be you.

155.png 156.png 157.png

The Fire starter is Cyndaquil. I keep thinking it's meant to be some kind of hedgehog, but it's Pokédex classification is "Fire Mouse".

ji6zzUZwNIuLS.webp

...OK, sure.

Anyway, Cyndaquil's performance in the early game of Gold and Silver is quite haphazard, it shreds the Bug gym, but then gets absolutely demolished by the Normal one. Yes, Normal is neutral against Fire, but you can tell which player chose Cyndaquil as their starter by asking how difficult Whitney's Miltank was. If their answer is "The hardest gym in the history of Pokémon", then they likely chose Cyndaquil.
Whitney ain't all that, guys. Basic strategy will take you far.

Quilava, middle evolution, not much else to say. Although, now it looks like some kind of badger. This evolution line has a real identity crisis.

Typhlosion is the final evolution, and by far the most popular of the Johto trio. It's stat spread is truly excellent for a Fire type, Special Attack and Speed are both at least base 100. This would be let down by it's natural movepool, which only has Flamethrower as a viable attack. This would be disastrous, if it wasn't for the fact that for some bizarre reason, Typhlosion can learn Thunder Punch, one of the most excellent TM's in Gen 2. Thunder Punch can be bought in Goldenrod, the town with the third gym, so there's no reason to not teach it that. Fire and Electric is excellent coverage for a special attacker in Gen 2.
Yes, Thunder Punch is not a physical attack, don't question it.

That said, Typhlosion would not fare well in future generations. Specifically, the Generation 4 remakes of Gold and Silver, HeartGold and SoulSilver, were not kind to it. It can't learn Thunder Punch easily anymore, and even if it could, Thunder Punch is a physical move now.
Oh right, yeah. Suppose I should explain the Physical-Special Split. It's important.

Spoiler

In Pokémon, almost every attack is classified as either Physical or Special.

In the first three generations, the type of the attack determines whether an attack is Physical or Special. So, Grass, Fire, and Water are Special types, while types like Normal and Fighting are Physical.

In Generation 4, Game Freak decided that Thunder Punch being a Special move was silly, so they changed this mechanic to be determined by the actual move itself. So Thunder Punch is now a Physical attack, while Thunderbolt remains a Special attack.

Typhlosion doesn't do well with Physical attacks, so it now only has Focus Blast (120 Power, 70 accuracy, which might as well be 0 accuracy) as a non-Fire option.

As an aside, some Pokémon fans get really annoyed with Typhlosion's depiciton in more modern titles, they get really angsty about Typhlosion's Fire effect not being seen all the time. This is stupid, because if those people ever read Typhlosion's Pokédex entries, or even watched the anime, they'd know that Typhlosion has always been able to turn it's fire off at will. Basic Pokémon knowledge, guys.

So, in conclusion, if you're playing the Game Boy versions, Typhlosion's great! If you're playing the DS remakes, you might want to consider something else, something that I'm about to talk about.

(Yes, I know about Typhlosion's other form, I've decided to cover that in a future post. Because it's weird)

158.png 159.png 160.png

Totodile is the Water starter of Johto, and the only Pokémon I can do a decent impression of. Is it a crocodile, or an alligator? I'll never tell. It's very bitey, according to the Pokédex, which is a problem, because biting is how it plays. I wonder how many people in the world of Pokémon have had to take a sudden trip to a hospital due to overexcited Totodile?

So normally, I don't really mention the anime, but Totodile is a special case, because it's hilarious! Ash's Totodile is something I remember quite fondly as a constant source of comedy.

3EjNg.gif

That's pretty much how I react when a CPU tries Scary Face on me, actually.

Anyway, Totodile performs perfectly average in the early game. Not much to note here.

Croconaw is yet another middle evolution, and yet another Pokémon that has no interesting things to talk about here.

Feraligatr is a Pokémon that has had a mispelt name throughout it's entire life. The Game Boy games have a 10 character limit on Pokémon names, and they've never bothered to fix this in later games. The letter "O" is for losers anyway.
But that's not all that's weird. Croconaw is the only starter Pokémon that evolves at level 30. To this day, I have no clue why this is the case. Level 36 is the standard, but there are some that evolve at level 32, but not this line. Still, early evolution is very much a plus in Feraligatr's favour.
Feraligatr is a physical juggernaut, with great Attack and Defense, it also has a diverse moveset with no less then 4 easily accessible type options for attacks (Water, Normal and Dark, through level ups, and Ice through a purchasable TM, Ice Punch). This actually sort of works against it in Gen 2, because most of those options are classified as Special attacks. Yes, even Bite is a Special attack. Feraligatr doesn't have great Special Attack, so it's bad at biting...
Yes, that sounds completely ridiculous.

But despite that shortcoming, Feraligatr is still an excellent starter in Gen 2. That kind of type coverage is extremely rare in the Game Boy games, and you need Surf anyway, so it can't hurt. Ice Punch is still a fantastic move because of the abundance of Dragon Pokémon at the end. Feraligatr's great Attack stat also makes it an excellent candidate for the Earthquake TM for even better coverage. It can also learn Iron Tail, but Steel is a pretty rubbish offensive type, so I don't recommend that.

Unlike Typhlosion, future generations would serve Feraligatr very well. The Physical-Special split helps it massively, and makes it by far, the best choice of starter in the DS remakes. But it got even better in the fifth generation. Which means I need to talk about "Hidden abilities".

Spoiler

So every starter Pokémon has one of three abilities. Which one they have is determined by what type they are, Grass gets Overgrow, Fire gets Blaze, and Water gets Torrent. They all do the same thing functionally, and aren't really noteworthy.

Hidden abilities were introduced in Gen 5, these were rarer abilities that couldn't be gotten through normal means, and in some cases, made a Pokémon more useful. Don't expect to use them in a normal playthrough. And don't expect Meganium to be anything other then dreadful still.

Feraligatr's hidden ability is "Sheer Force". It powers up moves that have secondary effects by 33%, at the cost of removing those secondary effects. Most of Feraligatr's best moves have secondary effects, so it uses this to great effect! Sheer Force also prevents the Life Orb item from damaging Feraligatr.

Anyway, that's about everything with the Gen 2 starters. What's your favourite?

So, surprise, surprise. Mine's Feraligatr. All the crocodilian Pokémon are great, to be fair. Just like Charizard, I still have the Feraligatr I caught on the DS remake. It's nicknamed Dalbert.
In fact, I like Totodile a lot as well. Especially the anime depiction.

tumblr_lx29ag22GA1r88swmo1_500.gif  tumblr_mcjrnyyEDb1qewytoo1_500.gif

Little dude likes to spin.

Honestly, I'm baffled at how RedShell can discount all water starters when Totodile exists!

Spoiler

dimitri_by_glen_i_d8fuarw-fullview.jpg?t

dalbert_by_glen_i_d7rgovh-375w-2x.jpg?to

dalbert_profile_by_glen_i_da6co0n-375w-2

Yeah, I like Feraligatr. You can tell I'm a Mystery Dungeon fan as well, because I drew a scarf. It's, like, the unofficial symbol of Mystery Dungeon fans.

I could've sworn I had a Typhlosion picture somewhere. I guess it's too old. I'm not posting my real old pictures, too embarassing.

 

Edited by Glen-i
  • Like 3
  • Thanks 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

One of the best things to come out of gen 2 was the opening for the cartoon.

Love it.

  • Like 3
  • Thanks 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I knew it! Couldn't go one post without someone posting that theme tune!

I knew it would happen!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sign in to follow this  

×