The Turtwig Family

Welcome to the fourth generation, Diamond and Pearl! This will actually be the shortest, quickest generation we review. So much of it consists of evolutions for existing pokemon - all of which we covered on their family's respective pages - that we're going to be finished with this wave only 41 more pages from now.

This gen's grass starter is the fairly lovable little Turtwig, which I have to say I like a lot more than our last shelled starter, Squirtle. The water turtle may be classic, but Turtwig captures the cute beakiness of the real thing so much better.

Interestingly, Grotle looks a lot less like a turtle or tortoise and a whole lot more like an Anklyosaurus, with segmented plates from its head to its tail rather than a turtle shell and even the same blunt head spikes of the armored dinosaurs. Turtwig's little sprout has also become a pair of camouflaging shrubs. which doesn't look as cool as the Bulbasaur line's flowering bud, but it's building to a pretty great finale.

The final form, Torterra, goes back to looking more tortoise-like but with an even more Anklyosaurian head, and we finally see what this line is really going for now that the shell looks explicitly like its own small "garden," complete with an entire tree and spikes stylized into mossy boulders.

A top-notch grass starter line, and one of my preferred turtley pokes.