Pokémon Let's Go
Pokémon Let’s Go is the latest installment of the Pokémon game series, and the first set of Pokémon games to appear on the Switch. These two games are the Pikachu version and the Eevee version, which are a remake of one of the original games Pokémon Yellow version. The main difference between these two versions are the exclusive Pokémon, just as in all the other pairs in the series, and the starter Pokémon (corresponding with the version you pick).
The graphics and visuals in this game are amazing, they suite the series very well and make great use of the Switch’s graphic capabilities. That being said I need to clarify, many times when I talk about the graphics and visuals of a game people assume that a game needs to realistic to have good graphics, but it is actually the opposite. For example, Minecraft is amazing graphically but is the farthest thing away from realistic. Being realistic is not what determines the graphic quality of a game, it is the reverse. It’s kind of like how all bourbon is whiskey, but not all whiskey is bourbon. If a game looks realistic, the graphics are probably good; if a game has good graphics, it may look realistic.
Sorry for the little rant, just felt the need to clarify moving forward. So to continue, the graphics in this game are top notch. They keep the cartoony feel that we all grew up loving, while also satisfying our wants of having texture and detail. The 3d models for the world have definitely improved over the years, and it makes me excited to see what’s going to come next. All this being said I would normally give it like a 9.8 or something high like that. But the reason I gave it that perfect 10 is the minor details and polishing they took the time to do. The most obvious example is in combat situations, some of the moves have different appearances depending on the user. For example, during one battle a Snorlax used Body Slam on my Pokémon, the appearance of the animation was a white shape coming down and hitting my Pokémon, and I thought nothing special of it. But later while battling an Arbok, Body Slam was used but the animation was instead a purple color, and that really took me by surprise. Another example, is when the Pokémon uses Fly, instead of a generic shape coming down and striking, we see the entire Pokémon model go in for the strike. It’s these minor details that just show the amount of attention and caring that the developers put into this.
The mechanics in this game work amazing, and I genuinely enjoy the direction that Game Freak is taking the games in. I heard some negative comments about the decision to take battling away from random encounters (wild Pokémon), but I do like the idea of the fast-paced capture system. This new way gets the player more involved and forces them to pay attention more to what’s happening on screen. The only thing I would change about this system is to add more events that require battling to the game, as the legendaries and Snorlax events aren’t enough and once you’ve been every trainer in the game there’s no one else to fight besides friends and the elite four. If something was added that maybe 2nd level Pokémon like Charizard, Dragonite, Nidoking, etc were needed to be fought before capturing, it would add a slight addition layer of difficulty and would lower help even out the grind aspect of hunting for shinies or perfect IVs. But that’s just my opinion. The other thing I like is that they stuck with their decision from Sun/Moon that HMs will no longer be necessary, so a player wouldn’t have to sacrifice move slots or just have an HM slave in their party. They even decided to take out a few minor aspects of the game, that didn’t really have that great of an impact. The two most obvious being the removal of bikes and the removal of fishing. The removal of bikes was counter-acted by the addition of riding Pokémon. I love this idea, and it is something most of us have wanted for a long time, although I wish they had a larger selection of rideable Pokémon, with additional perks for each. For example, I would love to ride on the back of Pidgeot or one of the legendary birds and I would love for Pokémon like Machamp and Rhyhorn to be able to use Strength while being ridden (assuming you’ve unlocked the ability), but Game Freak did a good job with this overall. I was however disappointed with the removal of fishing. I understand the reasoning behind it, that the game was meant to be somewhat more fast-paced and fishing seems to take forever. But they could’ve changed the system a bit, like maybe using the motion controls to cast the lure/hook, or possibly allowing a player to go underwater in select areas with a certain Pokémon mount or just playing as their partner. But these are just my peeves with the game. The functions Game Freak decided to add and/or tweak all work perfectly.
I’ve tried to avoid writing reviews for the Pokémon games for the reason of this topic. When I think of replay-ability I tend to think of starting over or coming across a new experience, the problem with the Pokémon games is that the only real difference in experience is which Pokémon you catch in what order, with the exception of playing a Nuzlocke but I’m not getting into that. So there is no real benefit to restarting the game, unless you thoroughly enjoy doing that. But Pokémon is still somehow able to keep you coming back. For me personally, I know I’ll keep playing this constantly until I have a perfect IV of every Pokémon and/or a shiny of every Pokémon because I love to torture myself like that. So in my opinion, the game is very replay-able in the sense that beating the game doesn’t mean the game is finished, but it isn’t that great of a game to say “hey, let’s start all over again.”
Is it fun?
This game is beyond fun for both the original players, by mixing nostalgia with new mechanics, and the new players coming from Pokémon GO, by giving them things they’re familiar with and exposing them to more of a true Pokémon game. This game is literally hours of entertainment, and that’s just assuming you play the game through normally; it’s more than that if you’re a hardcore player shiny and IV hunting. And there’s not much more to be said.
Overall: 9.7/10 A+
This game is a great buy, worth the time and money invested in it. I hope to see what Game Freak comes up with next, and given the platform the game is on I wouldn’t be surprised if they considered possible expansions to other regions, and if it’s anything like the base game they’ll be worth it.
As always, I’d love to hear what you all think about the game or my analysis of the game. Feel free to leave a comment here or shoot me a message on any of my platforms. Thanks for hanging out.