In this morning’s Pokémon Direct video, Nintendo revealed some surprising information about the starters you’ll be able to choose in the upcoming Pokémon X and Y. As always, there are three new creatures: Chespin, Fennekin, and Froakie, respectively. I personally think they seem pretty awesome, but it’s no surprise that most people’s nostalgia goggles prevent them from ever liking any starters as much as the original three. Because obviously the miniature elemental monsters created by Game Freak today are poorly designed and creatively bankrupt shadows of their superior forebears. Obviously.
Anyways, it seems Nintendo has finally decided to appeal to these curmudgeonly twenty-somethings with a nice starter-related surprise – Bulbasaur, Charmander, and Squirtle are making a comeback! The new options will be offered to the player by a friend character in-game, but there’s also an option to receive one of the classic monsters from the exceedingly hip Professor Sycamore. That guy knows that the starters from when I was a kid were the best ever – my childhood was better that yours is, you punks! Have fun with your “Spiny Nut Pokémon,” I’ve got Bulbasaur.
Of course, it’s not a full-on shameless nostalgia play, and the twist comes in the form of new mega evolutions for all three starters. Charizard, Blastoise, and Venasaur will all get mega versions, and I have to say that Venasaur definitely got shafted. Charizard, on the other hand, looks incredible. Definitely check out the video to see them in action.
Finally, Nintendo confirmed some Pokémon-themed 3DS XLs coming to North America on September 27th. They look great, will retail for $200, and oddly enough won’t include the game. Hey, every penny counts when the Wii U is bleeding money. As of now it’s not clear whether bundles that include the game will be announced later.
Overall, I think an open mind is best here — mega evolutions, fairy Pokémon, new starters — it’s all innocent until proven guilty as far as I’m concerned. It seems fitting that the the series’ transition to 3D with Pokémon X and Y would include the same three Pokémon that started it all way back in 1996. Now they just need to let Pikachu follow me around Yellow Version-style.