Pokémon X and Y have finally released, bridging the gap between pocket gamers young and old. The two games are the closest the series has come to looking like the venerable cartoon — the art direction of battles strikingly similar to the television counterpart. Though the Pokémon series hides a glacier-sized level of strategy and complexity underneath the seemingly basic catch-em-all surface, the question we all want to know when we first boost up the game is where we can find our very own Pikachu. This time around, Pikachu is easy to catch, and can be found extremely early on in the game.Game Freak was merciful this time around and dropped a bunch of the electric mice very close to the starting town. Pikachu can be found in both Route 3 and Santalune Forest — in both X and Y — just a few screens from the starting area of Vaniville Town. The little mouse is one of the rarer critters to appear in either area, so keep on wading through the tall grass until Pikachu pops. To catch one, just damage it a bit, then throw a regular Poké Ball. Check out a video from our sister site IGN:Pikachu appears in both male and female genders, and at an even 50% split. Rather than just being the series mascot — and seemingly the only voice-acted Pokémon in the early (possibly entire) game — Pikachu is a great starting combatant. Its two abilities, Static and Lightningrod, are very helpful in the early areas of the game. Static has a 30% chance to paralyze an enemy that physically attacked Pikachu, while Lightningrod draws electric-type moves to Pikachu, and Pikachu won’t take damage from those types of attacks.Furthermore, the early areas of the game feature a multitude of bird Pokémon, which are vulnerable to Pikachu’s attacks, so Pikachu makes for a good combatant to quickly dispatch many enemies, gaining experience points faster for the party. As a bonus, Pikachu looks absolutely great in battles, and could be confused for the cartoon version of the critter at a glance.Now that you’ll have one in your party, you’ll be faced with the terrible decision of whether or not to evolve it at some point, so maybe keep a box of tissues nearby to soak up the tears if you decide to go through with it.