Hey guys, so Pokemon Black and White has been out for a while and I think people are starting to warm up to the new batch of Pocket Monsters (if you didn’t like them already). At first I thought the new Pokemon looked awkward and that their names weren’t very creative. I was beginning to think that Nintendo had no more ideas left, but the inhabitants of Unova have grown on me in just a short time. It’s been a while since I’ve played my Pokemon Black Version, but I remember clearly when I had to choose my starter. I chose Snivy—he looked the cutest and the coolest. Oh and it’s pronounced SN-IVY, in case you didn’t know. The Unova starters—Snivy, Oshawott, and Tepig—are great, but how do they compare to the starters of past generations?
The Kanto starters are almost as iconic as Pikachu itself. Bulbasaur, Chamander, and Squirtle remain perennial favorites. There’s not much I can say about them that you don’t already know. They’ve got great names, great artwork, and great voices, what’s not to love? Bulbasaur is like a dinosaur with a plant symbiont attached to its back. Charmander is a fire lizard (salamander?) Squirtle is like a blue mini ninja turtle. The original trio set the standard really high for the next generation of starter Pokemon.
I remember all the hype surrounding the release of Pokemon Gold and Silver. I know I was excited to get the games and see the new Pokemon. The Johto starters include Chikorita, Cyndaquil, and Totodile. Chikorita looks like a dwarf brontosaurus (my best description based on what it involves into). Cyndaquil’s Pokedex information describes it as the “fire mouse” Pokemon, but it has a really long nose. Totodile is easily the most familiar. It’s a chibi crocodile that stands on its hind legs. I felt like the creators did an excellent job on these starters and found them very stylish.
Sometime before the GBA releases of Pokemon Ruby and Sapphire is where I lost interest. I played through Sapphire a few years back, but it was unmemorable. I’m totally lost when it comes to the Hoenn region; I don’t remember ANY gym leaders! Treecko, Torchic, and Mudkip make up the 3rd generation of Pokemon starters. I guess Treecko is a tree-gecko? Torchic is easily recognizable as a fire chick, but it almost looks like a baby Pokemon. It’s cute, I’ll give it that. Mudkip is cute as well. It reminds me of a tadpole-frog medium. I don’t hate ‘em, but I don’t love them either.
Next we have the Sinnoh starters. I got really excited when I heard that Nintendo was coming out with Pokemon Diamond and Pearl. The fourth installment brought back many feelings of nostalgia. I wasn’t disappointed, the game was very fun. I believe I chose Chimchar as my starter. He’s a fire type monkey that looks mischievous (reminds me of Mankey). Turtwig is basically a normal turtle with a stem of leaves on its head. Piplup is a cute baby penguin. These starters were a fresh breath of air to me and did not disappoint.
Finally we get to the current starters Snivy, Tepig, and Oshawott. My favorite is definitely Snivy. It’s a snake with tiny hands and feet and a big head. It looks naughty and up to no good. I remember I was on a forum a while back and they dubbed it “Smugleaf.” Very appropriate! Tepig is a red and black colored pig. Oshawott is an otter with a seashell insignia on its belly. At first they didn’t do much for me, but I’m beginning to like them more and more.
So where do I rank them? From my least favorite to most, I’ve got to put the Hoenn starters at last. I guess I’m just not impressed. There exists a three-way tie between Johto, Sinnoh, and Unova, but if I must… I’d say Johto, Unova, then Sinnoh. Personally I think the B&W starters are a bit too similar in template to the D&P starters, but I give the edge to Turtwig, Chimchar, and Piplup since I liked them immediately. I hate to place the Johto starters fourth, but in-game-wise, I find the others to be more useful. The clear winner goes to the Kanto starters. I will forever be fond of Bulbasaur, Charmander, and Squirtle, but I am ready and hoping for the next starters to wow me.
A little off topic, but I really wish for the next Pokemon starters to be different types. I’m a little tired of the grass, fire, or water choices, and I’d even be okay with not being able to choose (kind of like getting Pikachu as your starter in Yellow Version). What I’d really like to see is a dark type starter, a fighting type starter, and a psychic type starter. That will follow the rock-paper-scissors style of starters (Dark beats Psychic, Psychic beats Fighting, Fighting beats Dark). What do you think? Which generation of starters do you cherish, and what would you like to see in future games?