I don't like Barry at all. He's rushing too much and annoying me too much to give him any thought. I do love smashing him, but I despise the fact that I can't throw him into a bus afterward.
Cheren and Bianca are cool. I feel bad that Bianca got the short stick of the rival side because we get the point that she can never become a "good" trainer. So she just becomes Prof. Juniper's assistant. I get that it was different but it made me feel bad for beating her. And it was hard to consider her a "rival". She was never in the same league as MC and Cheren. On the other hand, Cheren pursues power... just for the power. But he too realizes this. Too bad it goes to waste in the sequel games where he's the 1st gym leader. You even know he's holding back. It just feels underwhelming. They're the middle of the pack for me. Not the best, but not the worst.
May/Brendon are the worst. R/S/E needed a "mean" rival. And it didn't get it. May is just too nice to you to be a rival. She's a friend. Not a "rival". They also give you too many items. It just felt so odd. Especially since the pattern was Blue -> Silver -> May/Brendon. Yeah, the tires come screeching to a halt.
Wally feels like the better rival of R/S/E. Kid is a wuss, wimp and about to croak at a fart in the wind until he gets that Ralts. Then he begins to grow and become a great trainer. I would have preferred if HE became the champion ahead of you instead of Wallace & Steven. --- Donnel is my # 1 bro. We fist bump, slay some risen, eat some chicken strips, bomb the Valmese and steal sugar from Gaius on a daily basis. Like a Boss. FE:A
Blue. Though he treated you like crap, he was the only real rival to challenge you.
Silver comes close to being as good, but he learns too late that Pokemon are more than tools. May/Brenden is more the professor's errand person, while Wally is too... lame. Dawn/Lucas continue to run the professor's errands. Barry was alright, and is my 2nd favorite, but that's mostly due to him using Heracross and Staraptor. Hugh was too whiny and dumb. He gets so mad over a Pokemon that was stolen years ago. Yes, it was caught for his sister by his grandfather, but it's been YEARS... If the Purrloin cared that much about returning to its owner, it would've attempted escape or disobeyed until release and came back. --- Winner of ares9090's Slaking Award