When I picked Turtwig — the adorable turtle-like grass-type — as my starter Pokémon in Pokémon Shining Pearl, I wondered if I had signed a death-wish.
That’s because the original games, Pokémon Pearl and Diamond, had a unique problem: There are not a whole lot of fire Pokémon to pick from. When the original Diamond and Pearl games came out, players who didn’t pick the fire-type starter, Chimchar, had only one other option if they wanted to train a fire-type — Ponyta. The lack of Fire Pokémon in the games was such a prevalent source of anxiety, it led fans to make memes about it.
So how have the new remakes tried to address this? With the new Underground section. There, players can do the dowsing mini-game, as well as catch Pokémon in special areas. At the beginning you get access to a central area, which allows you to enter rooms with different biomes like rocky caves or swamps. Each biome has a set of corresponding type Pokémon that appear — caves will have rock-types, a water biome will have water-types, and so on.
This new feature allows the game to bring on more Pokémon from outside the original Sinnoh Pokédex from the original Diamond and Pearl. For example, I caught a Togepi, which isn’t in the original Diamond and Pearl Pokédex. When I caught it, it didn’t register to my Sinnoh Pokédex, but the Togepi was in my collection regardless.”.
This gave my team more options for Pokémon outside of what appears in the main world. And, crucially, there’s a lava biome that unlocks Magby early on in the game. While access to the actual fire-types is still limited — the Underground only unlocks one section at a time — it’s at least an improvement, however minor, from the originals.