In generations one/five/six/seven you were just kind of given your starter to go an a journey. In two you were originally loaned your starter to do a short errand before it was permanently given to you (the best introduction to starters, imo). And in three/four you took a starter from a bag to defend someone (the professor/yourself and your rival respectively). How would you do it? How’d you frame being given your starter Pokemon?
I’ve always had rather a fondness for IV, which I think is the most involved version. It feels like it adds something to the relationship between you and your starter, to have you owe your Pokémon something like this, and for your partnership to begin with sheer chance (and the characterisation of the rival character Barry, through these events and your subsequent interaction with Professor Rowan, was interesting). I did also very much enjoy the “ritual” of VII, the first acknowledgement that your Pokémon has to accept you, as well as vice versa. How I would do it… I suppose depends very much on the sort of game I was making. The sense of ceremony in the Alolan version makes it very effective if you have a storyline where your character has been waiting for and expecting a Pokémon for a long time, although obviously you would change up the trappings to reflect the distinctive culture of your region. But I think for a different sort of Pokémon game, one that perhaps diverges from the standard sort of competitive sport storyline with gyms/trials/whatever, it would be interesting to have a starter Pokémon who winds up thrown together with you by circumstance – either because you needed its help, or it needed yours, or you needed to work together to solve some problem – and then has some sort of continued involvement in the story. Maybe your Pokémon has a past with Team Evil or something; maybe it initially doesn’t want to travel with you at all but comes to respect you because of your actions.