Pokémon: Let’s Go, Pikachu! /Eevee! are the latest titles in Nintendo Switch’s RPG Pokémon franchise that were released on November 16, 2018. They are pay-to-play and are essentially a remake of Pokémon Yellow that combines aspects of Pokémon Go to the usual walking around catching Pokémon and playing other NPC gym leaders and trainers. Furthermore, it can be played by 1-2 players.
Pokémon: Let’s Go’s story begins in Pallet Town, where the player is a new trainer about to start their Pokémon journey in the Kanto region. The player will start the game as per usual by leaving their house to visit Professor Oak and receive their first Pokémon. Whether they will receive a Pikachu or an Eevee will depend on the game that the player bought. The player’s NPC rival will then receive the other Pokémon as their starting companion. Then, with their new partner by their side, they are sent out to catch all of the Pokémon that they can, as well as defeat the various gym leaders that they will meet along the way. Of course, they will also encounter the legendary Pokémon and be tasked with foiling Team Rocket’s latest nefarious scheme.
Players begin by selecting either the male or female character and naming them. Players will always have their primary companion Pokémon riding on their head but can also select a second Pokémon to travel alongside them. If it’s small, it will simply follow them around, but a larger Pokémon, such as Onyx and Lapras can be ridden by the character. The secondary Pokémon companion also runs around independently and alerts the player when it has discovered a hidden item.
All 151 of the original Pokémon can be caught or traded within the game, as well as all their mega-evolutions from the Pokémon X and Y, Omega Ruby, Alpha Sapphire and Sun and Moon. As with other Pokémon games, players will encounter certain Pokémon in the locations specific to them. This could be specific towns or terrains. For instance, grass Pokémon such as Oddish can be found in the tall grass, but not in caves. Similarly, rock-type Pokémon such as Onyx can be found in caves, but not in water areas, and so on.
Another great feature is that players can actually see wild Pokémon. This means that they can choose whether or not to encounter that Pokémon, which will save players a lot of time in the long run.
Additionally, unlike in other games, Pokémon are now caught according to the Pokémon Go method. This means that players no longer have to battle with a Pokémon until they succeed at whittling down its health until its low enough to be caught. Rather, the player needs to use their controller to manipulate their throw, select the type of ball that they want to use and hope for the best. They can also feed the Pokémon berries to get the Pokémon to like their character, thereby making it more likely for the catch to be successful. Part of this catching mechanism involves holding the Joy-Con motion-controller to ‘throw’ their character’s Pokéballs. The controller comes with a special wrist-tie to prevent players from accidentally dropping their controller while playing.
Aside from that, the major differences between Pokemon: Let’s Go and the traditional Pokémon titles are its implementation of 3D graphics, as well as being able to see which Pokémon are wondering through the grass and where, which will definitely save the player a lot of time, as they will no longer be forced to waste time with encounters that they’re not interested in engaging in. This also allows players to finally have a clear idea of the size-differences between the various Pokémon and human characters.
Sadly, as with earlier titles, some Pokémon can only be acquired by trading them with other real-world trainers. So, those players without fellow Pokémon enthusiasts will once again find themselves with an incomplete collection of Pokémon at the end of their game. On the bright side, as each new opponent is defeated, or Pokémon is captured all of the player’s Pokémon will level up. But Pokémon can also be transferred to Pokémon Let’s Go from Pokémon Go, which should balance this problem a little bit.
In Pokemon: Let’s Go, players can also opt to buy a Pokéball Plus motion controller. It has two buttons and a toggle controller, just like Nintendo Switch’s regular Joy-Con controller, but is shaped like a Pokéball. It also boasts a few other features It also has a few other features, including its lighting up, vibrating and releasing crying sounds whenever a Pokémon is caught. The controller also works with the mobile app, in a similar way that the Pokémon GO Plus does in Pokémon Go, meaning that it will passively try to catch Pokémon for the player when as they are walking around normally in their daily lives. Additionally, players who purchase the controller will receive an in-game parcel delivery quest that will reward them with a Mew at the start of the game. This will save players a lot of time when grinding.
Players can now play co-op with a friend if they’d like. This means that they will be tag-teaming battles and sharing experience points and loot.
There are different methods of acquiring shiny Pokémon. There is the chain-catching method. If a player catches many of the same Pokémon in a row, the likelihood of catching a shiny version of it will increase. Once players collect all 151 of the original Pokémon, they will receive a Shiny Charm that will also increase their chances of encountering shiny Pokémon. Otherwise, the easiest method is to simply transfer their Shiny Pokémon from Pokémon Go.
At the start of Pokemon: Let’s Go, players will be able to choose their character’s sex and race, as well as their Pokémon’s hairstyle. As they progress in the game, they will be able to buy new outfits for both themselves and their Pokémon from the stores in the various towns. Customizations include hats, shirts, bows and glasses, with the possibility of buying matching items. All pieces can be selected independently. Fortunately, if players don’t have enough money, they can also sell items to the various NPC vendors. Money is earned by defeating Pokémon Trainers and Gym Leaders, as well as by selling items such as Nuggets and Pearls.
As with earlier games, items can be bought, found, traded or awarded for completing certain objectives. As players earn more badges, they will be able to choose from a wider variety of items in the stores. Furthermore, if they bulk-buy certain items, such as water, they will receive a free Premier Ball.
Certain items can also be found lying around or hidden in objects such as bushes. Players can also acquire certain items such as Pearls and TMs by performing certain quests given to them by NPC characters. These are usually simple, such as giving a drink to thirsty NPC and can often be completed multiple times in various combinations.