My first introduction to the world of Pokémon was a game called Pokémon Yellow. It was one of the first games my brother owned on his Game Boy. I remember having to beg him over and over to get a chance to play the game and, when he finally afforded me the opportunity to play the game, I was hooked. Pokémon became a big part of my childhood.
Fast forward a few years and Pokémon’s popularity ballooned, thanks in part to the mobile game Pokémon Go, which introduced a whole new generation to the joys of capturing weird little creatures and having battle it out against each other. And while I have dabbled in Pokémon Go, I’ve patiently been waiting for the next instalments in the franchise. Introducing Pokémon Let’s Go, Pikachu! and Let’s Go, Eevee!.
Pokémon Let’s Go, Pikachu! and Let’s Go, Eevee! sees players once again returning to Kanto, the very same region from Pokémon Yellow. Seeing a world you’ve only known in 8-bit comE to life in vibrant colours and visuals is both exhilarating and nostalgic. It feels at times like coming home and visiting a place you vaguely remember from your childhood.
…Pokémon Let’s Go, Pikachu! and Let’s Go, Eevee! follows the tried and tested Pokémon formula…
For the most part, Pokémon Let’s Go, Pikachu! and Let’s Go, Eevee! follows the tried and tested Pokémon formula. Players are given Pikachu or Eevee as a companion (depending on which version of the game you bought) and set off to explore Kanto, visiting various cities, collecting the region’s eight gym badges and, of course, updating their Pokedex by capturing as many Pokémon as they can. While this sounds like your standard Pokémon experience, developer Game Freak has mixed up a few things in order to make the game more accessible to younger audiences who want to get into Pokémon.
One of the biggest changes in the game is how Pokémon are captured. Instead of fighting against a Pokémon, tiering them out until you can finally chuck a Pokeball at them, Pokémon Let’s Go, Eevee! (the version of the game I reviewed) takes an approach similar to that found in the mobile game Pokémon Go. When players want to catch a Pokémon, they will merely have to throw a Pokeball at them. That’s it. No fighting at all.
One of the biggest changes in the game is how Pokémon are captured.
Granted, there is a bit of strategy involved as each Pokémon will have a coloured ring appearing over them that will contract and expand. Depending on how large that circle is when your Pokeball finds its mark will affect your chances of successfully capturing the Pokémon. Oh, and some of the Pokémon tend to move around, making them even more difficult to capture. Just as in Pokémon Go, you can also feed these wild pocket monsters different berries that will increase their chances of a successful capture. It’s a mechanic that works fine, but might irk fans that are used to tiering out Pokémon before capturing them.
Another new mechanic and, in my opinion, a very welcome one, is that wild Pokémon are now visible on the overworld map. That means no more random encounters. Not only does this make catching the Pokémon of your choice a lot easier, but it also helps in making the game world feel alive as Pokémon now wander around as I always imagined they would as a kid.
…wild Pokémon are now visible on the overworld map. That means no more random encounters…
Yes, this means that you can avoid Pokémon you don’t want to capture, even those pesky Zubats. But why would you want to then catch more than one of the same species of Pokémon, you might ask? Well, each time you capture the same species of Pokémon, you’ll earn a score multiplier. Increase the multiplier enough and the chances of an improved version of that Pokémon or, even better, a rare Pokémon appearing increases.
I did notice that due to the fact that capturing Pokémon nets you a tidy amount of XP makes battling other trainers feel less rewarding. It’s just easier sometimes to catch a few wild Pokémon rather than facing off against random trainers in battle in order to gain precious XP.
HMs or Hidden Moves have also received an overhaul. These were moves that your Pokémon could learn in order to help you access various new areas. The problem was that the HMs would use one of your Pokémon’s move slots. In Pokémon Let’s Go, Eevee!, HMs are replaced with Secret Techniques. They fulfil the same purpose but without the irritation of using a move slot. It’s a very welcome update to a mechanic that has started to feel archaic over the years.
…Bonding with Pikachu and Eevee forms a big part of the game…
Bonding with Pikachu and Eevee forms a big part of the game as players will be able to pet, dress, feed them and even cheer them up when they are feeling down. It’s a great way to get you invested in your special Pokémon. Plus, who wouldn’t want to see a Pikachu or Eevee battle other Pokémon while wearing trendy sunglasses?
Of course, with the game being on the Switch, one would expect that it would incorporate motion controls in some way. When playing in docked mode, you will be using one of the Joy-Cons to control the character and, to be honest, it isn’t the best way to play the game.
Unfortunately, the game doesn’t support a pro controller, which is a shame as it would’ve made playing the game in the docked mode so much better. When capturing Pokémon in the docked mode, you’ll be using the Joy-Con’s motion controls. This works well, for the most part, but can be inconsistent at times. By far, the best way to play the game is in the handheld mode as the controls and capturing just feels and works better.
Pokémon Let’s Go, Eevee! might disappoint some Pokémon fans, but there is little doubt that some of the changes it brings are quite welcome ones. The move from HMs to Special Techniques as well as the removal of random encounters is something I hope to see in future instalments in the franchise.
Pokémon Let’s Go, Eevee! does feel more accessible but without coming across as being dumbed down. It’s a game that allows players to enjoy everything they loved about the franchise by letting you set out on an adventure to become the best Pokémon trainer.
Pokémon Let’s Go, Eevee!
Pokémon Let’s Go, Eevee! does feel more accessible but without coming across as being dumbed down.
- Easy to get into
- Change from HMs to Secret Techniques
- Eliminating random encounters
- Motion controls can be inaccurate at times
- Storyline 0%
- Gameplay 0%
- Graphics 0%
- Replay Value 0%
- Sound and Music 0%