Special | The start of Pokémon Legends: Arceus – As the release approaches, more and more gamers are getting excited to get started with Pokémon Legends: Arceus. Now that Game Freak has been making standard handheld games as we know them for years, they are now also given the task of making something completely different on the Switch. Previously, these titles were outsourced to other developers, such as Pokémon Colosseum and XD: Gale of Darkness, which were developed by Genius Sonority. A separate game in the Pokémon universe naturally also includes a special offer of Pokémon to start your adventure with and in this article we give a brief overview of this new game.
This does not mean that this special choice of Pokémons that you encounter in the game is not neatly woven into the story. Professor Laventon, the Pokémon professor who will be speaking to you in this game, has brought some from his travels from faraway places. Various regions from the Pokémon universe are now represented in the game. We have Cyndaquil from the Johto region, Rowlet from the Alola region and Oshawott from the Unova region. All well-known Pokémon, each with their own strengths and weaknesses.
Going loco down in Johto
First up, there’s Cyndaquil, a cute fire Pokemon who takes its inspiration from what’s known to us as the Echidna. What is special about Cyndaquil is that the fire comes out of his back, just like the spines on a hedgehog. A big advantage of Cyndaquil as your starter is that he already reaches his second form, Quilava, at level 14. That’s pretty fast. The latest evolution, Typhlosion, will have to wait a little longer. You only see that at level 36. However, that waiting is rewarded: Typhlosion is still one of the strongest fire Pokemon that you can get in the games.
Cyndaquil made his appearance as a starter in the second generation of Pokémon games consisting of Gold, Silver and later Crystal. This generation of Pokémon games is often seen by enthusiasts as the best in the series, partly because of the Pokémon present in these games. What particularly appealed to many fans was the fact that as soon as you were done with all the gym leaders and had completed the Pokémon League in Johto, you could just get on the boat to Kanto. Here you could then compete against the eight gym leaders from the previous Pokémon games and also beat the Pokémon League there. The Pokémon you had to compete against were also of a nice high level, so that the challenge was in any case not less.
Under the Alolan sun
Rowlet is a half grass, half flying type Pokémon. This might make the cute owl a bit weak earlier in the game, especially since this combination has quite a few weaknesses. At level 17, Rowlet evolves into Dartrix, a more mature owl who unfortunately still has the same types as Rowlet. But at level 34 the wait is rewarded and Dartrix evolves into Decidueye which is a half grass, half ghost type. As a result, Decidueye has a few different weaknesses than its previous forms, but the unique combination makes it a very special Pokémon with enormous strength against certain types.
Rowlet first appeared in Pokémon Sun and Moon set in the Alola region. Those weren’t the only games set in the Alola region, by the way, as they were followed by Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon – which resolved quite a few complaints players had with the original titles. These were also the last Pokémon games to be released for the Nintendo 3DS before the series shifted its focus completely to the Nintendo Switch. The Alola region was also special given the pattern that deviated from the usual Pokémon games. Instead of beating eight gym leaders, you had to pass eight island challenges, where you had to compete against totem Pokémon, which are more powerful than regular versions. After passing the island challenges you could still compete against the island’s kahuna, which was actually a kind of gym leader in a different jacket.
Unova, Menova, Everybodynova
Finally there is Oshawott, the cute sea otter. Although it is and remains a strong water Pokémon, it will not be the first choice for many players. Water Pokémon are usually very easy to get in a Pokémon game. At level 17 Oshawott evolves into Dewott which still looks quite like an otter and at level 36 it becomes Samurott. This makes it also the Pokémon that you have to have the most patience for in terms of evolution. Samurott is more like a sea lion, but just like the fire starter, it only sticks to its own type: water.
Unova was the first region where Game Freak had looked outside of Japan for design, drawing inspiration from major American cities such as New York, among others. Pokémon Black and White were also somewhat darker in terms of story than its predecessors, which caused question marks among many fans. This later became more apparent when Pokémon Black and White 2 came out, two direct sequels set two years after the events of the original games. These were also the closing dates of the Pokémon games for the Nintendo DS. While the Black and White saga has not been warmly received by everyone, Unova fans will be happy to see that at least there is representation. But maybe Game Freak is also trying to warm us up to remakes of these titles, seen Diamond en Pearl just had their turn. Time will tell.
Wait a little longer
The release of Pokémon Legends: Arceus is imminent. On January 28, we can finally get started with a whole new kind of Pokémon game. In any case, we are already speculating hard about which starter we will choose to explore Hisui. While the effectiveness of a fire Pokemon like Cyndaquil is naturally very appealing, Rowlet’s special type combinations and its evolutions are also worth considering. But for the same money, Hisui hardly knows any water Pokémon and Oshawott is a very good choice. We continue to speculate, but of course we are also curious about your opinion on this.