The early sections of past Pokemon games all followed a similar path. You met a professor of Pokemonology, he gave you a starter and then tasked you with going out in the world to fill the Pokedex. Once you found a nice patch of tall grass you would start hunting beasts. You’d find a rat or gopher or prairie dog looking thing and capture it. You’d find a caterpillar and capture it. Usually a pigeon of some sort would come along for the ride. Eventually you would stumble across some fighting type and so it would go until your first team was fielded. Your starter would have an elemental attack but the rest of your misfit crew of vermin would feature a commonplace collection of boring, normal moves. Lots of leers, tackles, scratches and growls. Hardly the stuff of a championship team.
After the jump, Chespin, I choose you!
In Pokemon Y, you see a professor over the opening movie and that’s it. Your character meets some like minded teens, agrees to have lunch with them and they casually toss off that some professor wanted you to have a Pokemon of your own, so hey, pick a starter. It’s all very chill to the point of being somewhat ridiculous. It’s like going on a blind date and your date gives you a puppy. You may like puppies, but you didn’t expect to become responsible for another living creature over jalapeno shooters.
Speaking of starters, usually I agonize over picking my starter but luckily having played past games made the choice easy. I picked Tepig for Pokemon Black, so Fennekin the fiery fox was out. I used a water starter in SoulSilver so Froakie was also out. Plus, he looks like a depressed frog and I don’t need no mopey amphibian harshing my groove. That left Chespin, the plant type starter. I’ve never used a plant type starter before so I was looking forward to headed into uncharted Pokemon territory. The only misgiving I had was that Chespin is a mammal, which is an odd choice for a plant type. He’s supposed to have a plant like shell on his head and back, but instead of it looking like a part of him, it looks like his dreams of being a plant type were dashed by his mammalian heritage so he found a plant type, killed it and is wearing its skin.
Once I had my starter I was on my way, anxious to get past the first batch of relatively useless creatures and on to the good stuff. My first catch was a Bunnelby, a rabbit looking normal type. Sure, he’s somewhat rat-like, but bunnies are much cuter than rats so I kept him and named him George, because rabbits. Next up was a Scatterbug. He’s a bug type without much in the way of bug moves, but he’s cute and I named him Scatman. Next up was a Fletchling, a normal/flying who evolves into a fire/flying. That’s a combo I could get behind so he stayed.
After that I found a, wait, a Panpour? The water based elemental monkey? Here? Wow, ok, I’ll take it. Shortly after securing that, I found a Pansage, the plant based elemental monkey. That must mean that Pansear can’t be far behind! It wasn’t, and soon it was mine. By this point, I’m feeling pretty damn good. Not only do I have a score of new albeit somewhat mundane Pokemon, but I also have two plant types, a water type and a fire type. Yes, the elemental monkeys all need to be leveled up to obtain said elemental attacks but that’s nothing a little grinding won’t fix. Content with my haul, I should head into town but let me first just run into this patch of grass one more time.
Rustle…rustle…rustle. Is that? It can’t be? A…a…Pikachu? Are you shitting me? Twenty minutes into this game and you’re throwing the franchise’s mascot at me? Oh, hell yes. A few well placed strikes later and that little, yellow beauty is now a part of Team Beaners. I haven’t even hit the first town and I’ve already got two plant types, two fire types, including a free Torchic from Nintendo, a water type, an electric type, a bug type and a couple normals. I have done my fair share of grinding early on in many the Pokemon game and never came away with a team this diverse this early. By the time I get to the second gym I expect to have four legendaries, a Mega Mewtwo Y and Arceus, Lord of All Pokemon.