Pokemon “fumbled” one major change in Scarlet & Violet

Nathan Ellingsworth
A screenshot from Pokemon Scarlet & Violet shows several starter Pokemon gathered together

If you’ve ever played a Pokemon game, you’re likely familiar with the difficult choice at the beginning – choosing one of the three starter Pokemon to join you on your journey. Fans have been doing this for decades, but something major changed in Pokemon Scarlet & Violet.

Both players — and some official materials — previously called these special Pokemon ‘starter Pokemon’ and it became the shorthand for creatures like Bulbasaur, Charmander, and Squirtle. While they can’t be caught in the wild, you can choose one of the three to join you on your adventure.

However, from the first trailer for Pokemon Scarlet & Violet The Indigo Disk DLC, official Pokemon materials have shifted to using the name ‘First partner Pokemon’, and veteran fans are not pleased with the change in the slightest.

Discussing the change, one Pokemon player posted on Reddit, saying, “Pokemon fumbled the ball soo hard.” Then, the image attached is a meme comparing how Pokemon accepted the fan term “Shiny” Pokemon, but won’t for starter Pokemon.

It’s been a jarring adjustment for many, especially as one comment pointed out, “I could’ve sworn the term starter Pokemon has been used by Nintendo in the past.”

To which another comment replied, “Professor Rowan refers to them as ‘starter Pokemon’ when talking to Dawn in the Diamond and Pearl anime.”

Going further down the rabbit hole, one comment backs up the argument, and explains that, “The instruction booklet for Colosseum refers to Espeon and Umbreon as ‘starting Pokemon’.”

Other fans also commented on their refusal to adopt the term, with one saying, “Still gonna call them starters.” With the term already widely adopted within the community, it seems many share this sentiment, while another comment argues, “First partner Pokemon is too vague.”

Just to make it even more confusing, in 2019, a social media associate at The Pokemon Company even shared that official Pokemon social media pages had been authorized to use the term “starter”, providing they followed certain restrictions and formatting guidelines.

The argument over this naming convention will likely rage on, but at least Pokemon fans can look forward to seeing the return of some favorite starters (or first partner Pokemon) with the Pokemon Legends Z-A release window slowly getting closer.

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