So I was re-playing the Pokemon games on my old Nintendo DS, and put "Pokemon Fire Red" into the cartridge for Gameboy Advance games, and re-entered the remake of the very first generation of the beloved franchise.
The most important decision is choosing your starter Pokemon, and the three Kanto starters are among the most iconic Pokemon ever, rivaled only by the franchise's mascot, Pikachu. I went with Bulbasaur because I realized I have a penchant for neglecting grass types. My final team was: Venisaur, Nidoking, Persian, Jolteon, Dodrio, and Lapras.
Needless to say, the Elite Four and final rival battle were pretty easy. I was also impressed with how amazing Bulbasaur turned out to be. If you play the game right, you really do form a strong bond with the six Pokemon you take with you to the top.
But after I played, I noticed a disturbing lack of respect in the community for Bulbasaur. Despite being the superior Kanto starter, he often takes a backseat to Squirtle and Charmander. Why is this? How can he get so much neglect? What did Bulbasaur ever do?
When you look at the first few gyms, Bulbasaur can destroy the rock and water types, and hold his own against the electric type gym. He's clearly the best early on and proves useful later on against the ground type gym.
People dislike Bulbasaur because they mistakenly think choosing him is putting the game on easy mode because he evolves faster. This is a ridiculous assumption, there is no easy mode in Pokemon. Venisaur is not useful at all against the ¾ of the Elite Four or the grass, poison, psychic, and fire gyms.
Another factor is Charizard, the most overhyped Pokemon ever. Because he looks badass, everybody chooses Charmander and Blastoise comes in second place. But Charizard is not a very good Pokemon when you account for all of his weaknesses you'll run into throughout the game.
The anime also impacts people's decisions as well. Ash's Charizard gets a lot of character development, while his Squirtle and Bulbasaur do not even evolve. So, Charizard has always been given special attention even though it isn't that great.
In conclusion, Bulbasaur has been the victim of character assassination for far too long and it's something we should not stand for any longer.