Pokemon Let’s Go – Video Game Review

Pokemon has been an integral part of my life from the originals on the GameBoy. Since then I have bought and played every mainstream Pokemon RPG that has launched. As the Pokemon fanatic that I am, I just had to purchase a copy of both editions.  Pokemon Let’s Go Eevee and Let’s Go Pikachu. I have at this point in time completed Let’s Go Pikachu. I will move onto Let’s Go Eevee in a while. Now onto the review.

Let’s start with the differences between the two versions of Pokemon Let’s Go.

Here is a link to a full description of the differences between the two editons. However, it comes down to your main partner pokemon/starter, exclusive pokemon, exclusive moves, and exclusive in-game trades.

As always I would like to put a small disclaimer here. These are all my opinions and views as a huge Pokemon Fanboy on Pokemon Let’s Go, and I am in no way opposing any views anyone may have about these games.

Pokémon: Let’s Go, Pikachu! and Let’s Go, Eevee! are role-playing video games developed by Game Freak and published by The Pokémon Company and Nintendo for the Nintendo Switch. They were released on the 16th of November 2018 and act as an entry point into the main RPG Pokemon series for the players of Pokemon Go.

Pokemon Let’s Go takes us back to the origin of the Pokemon Franchise, starting off in Pallet Town back in Kanto with Professor Oak as a 10 year-old. Game Freak has made a few significant changed in the game and I have to say I like a few and I hate a few. 

First of all the new catching system is not something I appreciate, taking it from Pokemon Go, Let’s Go has ditched the classic, loved wild encounter system and substituted it for the motion-controlled pokeball throwing mechanic from Pokemon Go. This was not a good choice in my opinion, although this game was meant to convert Go players to the RPG’s the new catching system feels weak and there’s no sense of accomplishment after throwing a ball as compared to what we had when we had to carefully whittle down a wild pokemon’s HP with moves like False Swipe. I am not a fan of this new system and I really hope that this does not stay consistent throughout the next installments in the series. They could have merged the two systems by having the old system until the pokeball was thrown and then switch to the new one but then it would’ve been a bit tedious, this new system needs to be a one time thing.

On the other hand, the appearance of the wild pokemon in Kanto and watching them wander around the region is a wonderful experience. I really like the way the pokemon wander around the areas and how you need to walk up to them to initiate an encounter as it stops you from endless hordes of Zubat encounters but at the same time it ruins the mystery of going through the grass that I loved. I have a mixed view of that system but it is beautiful to watch all the pokemon wander around in the wilderness.

Thankfully there are lots of trainer encounters throughout Kanto so you don’t feel like you’re missing out too many battles. Seeing Kanto re-created in a 3D world is stunning and absolutely nostalgic and beautiful.

The removal of abilities and held items is another thing I don’t like, I think that abilities and held items introduced an incredible aspect to the game that I do miss but it hasn’t changed the experience that much in all.  The way candies work is not something I have reserves about but I am interested in the new way they are implementing EV training to make it less of a tedious process. 

As a reimagining of Pokemon Yellow, there’s a lot that’s changed in terms of series staples beyond the capture system. You’ll come across items in different and often easier ways, but the most noticeable of these changes is the removal of the bike and fishing rod. I was worried at first that I had missed something, but eventually, I found out that those items are replaced by the Pokemon in your party. I do wish that change would have been more explicit but, having spent some time with it, I do adore it. Each of the rideable Pokemon’s unique animations ranges from cool to hilarious, and I hope this feature is something we see again in future Pokemon games. The way HM’s were replaced by the technique system is something I appreciate as I have always hated managing the Hidden Moves in the games.

The co-op system is a cool little addition which I didn’t find myself using much but it’s good to know that they implemented it in the case that I do find myself playing the game with another person. 

I placed my six Pokemon on the Pokemon League Champion pedestal as an undefeated trainer. Our nearly 40-hour adventure had a handful of tough battles, but nothing Max Potions or my superpowered Pikachu couldn’t handle. Even still, I was proud of my team. All the training we did during the main story wasn’t for naught, though, as far more difficult challenges wait in the post-game adventure. Even Max Potions and Revives couldn’t cheese my team to victory in the first serious battle I took in the post-game against one of the 151 Pokemon masters, and I suddenly felt like one of the kids I met early on in the Viridian Forest whom I crushed in just a few moves. My severe defeat was a pleasant shock. Even as the champion of Kanto, I still have a long way to go to truly be the very best in the region.

Your partner Pokemon, either Pikachu or Eevee have a plethora of interactions throughout the game and they sit on your shoulder or cap throughout (alongside the ability to have one of your party Pokemon follow you at all times), they are little things that flesh out the game and it’s a nice break from the action. Team Rocket also returns as usual with Jessie and James from the anime following you around Kanto. It was one of the things I loved about the game.

Returning to Kanto in Pokemon: Let’s Go, Pikachu! or Eevee! is almost as much fun and as heartwarming as I’d hoped it would be with its fresh, colorful design and new mechanics. Pikachu and Eevee are adorable, overpowered leads with the capability to learn some incredible moves, and they feel special both in and out of battle. The Pokemon Go catching system is a more relaxing way to fill out the Pokedex and grind for experience but I still miss the satisfaction I got from catching Pokemon in the mainstream titles, and I hardly ever felt like I was missing out on battles because of it. Kanto is littered with charismatic trainers ready to fight. Some irritating UI design and issues with its motion controls add up to be a minor annoyance, but the addicting capture cycle and great challenges in the post-game keep me coming back to play.

Final Score: A Class 

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Aviraj Newatia

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Plays Games, Watches Anime, Drinks Tea, Listens to Panic!, Writes Code, Writes Novels and Reads A Lot.

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