Pokémon: Let’s Go Eevee and Pokémon: Let’s Go Pikachu takes the game back to where it all began, but with a big twist – this is the Pokémon adventure you should have had the first time around. At least that’s what it feels like when playing Pokémon: Let’s Go, the first Pokémon RPG to make it onto the Switch and a retelling of the events of Pokémon Yellow.
The demo I played at E3 2018 was set very early on in Pokémon: Let’s Go. With my partner Pokémon (and an artificially large party consisting of all the Kanto starters) I had to get through Veridian Forest. We already knew that Pikachu or Eevee will follow the player through the overworld of the game, but what we didn’t know is how good this would feel. This is what Pokémon should have been from the very start as there’s no better feeling than seeing Pikachu chase after you as you walk.
Veridian Forest looked incredibly detailed and like it could have been part of the anime as it stood. The Switch’s power is obviously such a step up from the Nintendo 3DS that the developers have really put their all into making sure the game looks as good as it can. I don’t know for sure, but I suspect that the extra processing power in the Switch is the reason we can see wild Pokémon in the overworld for the first time.
The interesting thing about Pokémon: Let’s Go is how it has changed up wild Pokémon battles. While trainer battles work in the same way they always have, wild Pokémon encounters are now almost identical to the type you see in Pokémon Go. Your Pokémon do not do battle with the wild Pokémon to weaken it, instead you must throw berries and land Pokéballs with careful aim to bag your prize. The result is something halfway in-between Pokémon Go and a standard Pokémon game. Whether this will be everyone’s cup of tea remains to be seen but it played very well.
The other neat thing about the game is the Poké Ball Plus controller. Surprisingly, it’s not only used to catch Pokémon by mimicking the throwing action used in the games. Despite only having two obvious buttons, players can use the ball one-handed (and the directional button) to do everything in game – from walk around the overworld to battle trainer Pokémon.
The first Pokémon game to grace the Switch may not be a new entry into the RPG series, but it will hit the spot for fans who are eagerly awaiting next year’s launch.
Pokémon: Let’s Go Pikachu and Pokémon: Let’s Go Eevee are set to launch on the Nintendo Switch on November 16.