So the other day I came across this program that randomizes all the Pokémon in Emerald Version. First it gives you three random starters to choose from. Then for each route, it scrambles the wild Pokémon, replacing them with different, random ones.
A while back I complained that the basic premise of the Pokémon games is broken because of the balancing of XP gains and the uneven distribution of useful wild Pokémon. Well, randomizing wild encounters solves the second problem nicely. You aren't stuck with Poochyena and Wurmple and Zigzagoon--instead, you could catch a Scyther and Mr. Mime right there on Route 103. And as for the XP factor, well, since it boosts the power of random encounters (Venusaur gives more xp than Wurmple), level grinding is faster, so it's easier to round out a team. (On the flip side, the difficulty of trainer battles, which aren't randomized, definitely drops.)
So of course I am going to try this. I loaded it up and got to choose between Haunter, Ralts, and Seviper. Um...Haunter and Ralts have no attacks at lv5 and can't beat that first Zigzagoon. So, Seviper it is! I like Seviper a lot, so could be worse, although it's a shame it's not a real choice.
Incidentally, as it turns out, just because Raikou is lv4 doesn't mean you can expect to catch it with a regular Pokéball. I learned this the hard way. I think perhaps I should wait until I have Ultra Balls before I start catching legendary Pokémon.
Anyway, I got as far as Rustboro City without seeing any other Pokémon I was interested in. So we'll see how this goes.