Give The Pokemon Gen 9 Starters A Chance

You thought you’d heard every possible take on the starters in Pokemon for Scarlet & Violet? You thought wrong. We’ve already discussed whether Sprigatito, Fuecoco, and Quaxly should have dual-type (or even tri-type) evolutions, we’ve dived into their influences and inspirations, and established that we would already die for their cute lil’ faces months before even starting our adventure.

We’re excited for new Pokemon games here at TheGamer. We always are. We’ve already written about how Gen 9 needs to focus on the food, football, and independent cultures of Spain in order to create an exciting, living region for us to explore. It needs a good cave, and I want a poison dart frog Pokemon too. We’re not asking for much, right? But there’s one thing I want you, yes you reading this article right now, to do more than anything else – whatever your thoughts on the Pokemon Gen 9 starters are at this point – and that’s to give them a chance.

I hope we can all agree that the basic forms of Sprigatito, Fuecoco, and Quaxly are pretty cute. Sprigatito isn’t my cup of tea, but I reckon it will be the most popular pick (so long as it stays quadrupedal), but I recognise its cuteness. Personally I’m stuck between Fuecoco and Quaxly, the former of which is a lil’ fire alligator who is most likely to hear the words “I choose you!” from this Pokemon writer. Pokemon has nailed crocodile ‘mons before, and I believe it will again; it’s a difficult concept to mess up. Quaxly is the outsider’s choice, the ugly duckling of the trio, and the dark horse. It has its origins in Miguel de Cervantes’ most famous novel, and could go either way when it evolves. I think it’ll be a mallard with lofty ideals which kind of puts me off, but it could become something a lot more exciting. However, the worst thing about Pokemon’s Gen 9 starters is the lack of nostalgia.

Think of your favourite starter Pokemon. Mine is Cyndaquil, the first starter I picked all those years ago. Second place is probably Bulbasaur, the second starter I ever picked when I was a kid. The only 3D-era starter to make my top three is Sobble. My favourite Pokemon overall? Jolteon, then Gengar. Lugia’s up there too. I get it, they’re basic ass Pokemon, but I picked them when I was a kid and have spent the past 20-odd years growing more and more attached to them. Are there any 3D-era Pokemon in my top ten? Cufant maybe. No others come to mind. When it comes to picking favourites, nostalgia is king.

If you ask a child their favourite Pokemon, or favourite starter, they’ll likely say something more modern. As they get older, that choice is unlikely to change. What I’m saying is that the Gen 9 starters are not necessarily badly designed, you just hold them to a higher standard than your faves. Now this ‘you’ isn’t you specifically, reader, this you is a whole generation of old school Pokemon fans, myself included, who look at new designs and go, “It’s hardly a water turtle called Wartortle, is it?”

I’m convinced that most of our old favourite designs would be derided if they were released in Pokemon Scarlet & Violet. A seal called Seel. A sentient boulder. Ekans. You get the picture, our iconic faves are all maintained by nostalgia.

Now begins my impassioned defense of Sobble – it’s related, I promise, just bear with me. Sobble is a smol sad boi chameleon thing. When it evolves it becomes Inteleon, which looks like Randall from Monsters Inc. cosplaying as James Bond. I don’t hate it as others do, but it’s certainly not what I wanted for my little baby Sobble. I admit I gave Sobble an Everstone for the entirety of my first Sword & Shield playthrough (including during the Pokemon League), but I truly believe that if Sobble had been a Gen 1 starter, it would be staunchly defended by fans who think that Gen 8’s Blastoise is unimaginative and boring. It would have its own Twitter account called ‘Drizzile Propaganda’ or ‘The Inteleon Defense League’ and eventually everyone would come around to the fact that it wasn’t so bad after all. Maybe that would change if it was introduced in Gen 2 – Meganium is widely hated, and rightly so – but my point still stands.

All this is to say that, even if you don’t think the Pokemon Gen 9 starters meet the standards of the classics, even if you don’t think they will come close to your top ten, give them a chance. Take a step back and analyse your nostalgia. Take it into account – this doesn’t mean disregard Cyndaquil and Bulbasaur just because they’re old – and look at the new kids on the block with a little more objectivity. Even if their evolutions all look weird, these will be someone’s first ever Pokepartner, and that’s a special thing. Every Pokemon means something different to every player, and the Gen 9 starters could well go down in PokeHistory as stone cold classics. You’ve just got to give them a chance.

Source: Read Full Article