All my life, I’ve dreamed only of one thing: owning a fire breathing pig.
Now, 24 years after the birth of my wish and 14 years after the inception of the Pokémon franchise, my dream has come true. Ladies and gentlemen, Nintendo proudly presents Pokabu:
Don’t you just want to throw him into hot water and turn him into Ryoga?
Yes, yes you do.
Pokabu is joined by a grass snake Pokémon, Tsutarja:
Look at this smug guy! He thinks he’s got it all sewn up! What kinda snake has hands and feet? I could imagine him being played by Noel Fielding.
Of course, the road to starter Pokémon has not always been smooth. The holy trinity of Bulbasaur, Charmander and Squirtle has not quite been matched. Totodile, Chikorita and Cyndaquil didn’t have the same charm or flair. People have an obscene obsession with Mudkip, but of the third generation only Torchic has any real traction. The best and most iconic set of starters since the first generation were the chimp, penguin and bonsai turtle team of Chimchar, Piplup and Turtwig – and even then Piplup grew up to be the Penguin of the Opera.
So it is with some hesitation that I show you the weakest link in generation five’s starter chain, Mijumaru:
Yeah, I don’t know what that is. Bulbapedia refers to it as a “Sea Otter” Pokémon. It looks like a depressive snowman desperately trying to escape a children’s beauty pageant.
That said, I could also see him played by Noel Fielding:
It’s a new core Pokémon game. By law, I am required to be excited by it. But yeah, it is pretty exciting. Animated battles, cool looking new trainers, an urban landscape to run in. I have a lot of misgivings about modern Nintendo, but the core Pokémon franchise is one thing that is still being done right, with no real qualms whatsoever. While Mijumaru is some kind of freak occurrence who could potentially look better in motion and in other art, I have high hopes for this game.
So here we go: day one purchase! New adventures to embark upon! New friendships to be forged! New world creating god Pokémon to capture! People who aren’t into these things don’t realise how much of a cultural cachet Pokémon still has in the video gaming world. 14 years and still going strong.