It’s been rumored since the release of the Nintendo Switch that there would be a dedicated game for the console featuring Nintendo’s popular franchise Pokemon. Well on May 29th, Nintendo confirmed this by releasing a video that showed their new games. The games will be entitled Pokemon Let’s Go Pikachu and Pokemon Let’s Go Eevee. Nintendo’s release comes just a few weeks before E3, but has none the less, generated as much buzz as other AAA titles.
Let’s start with the gameplay. The game is based on Pokemon Yellow, which was released 20 years ago. Let me start by saying, this 100% speculation based on breaking down the video. In the video, we can see the usual gameplay that has been apart of the Pokemon games for years. We see a player controlling a character traveling along routes and in towns. As the character walks he/she has either Eevee or Pikachu riding on their character. When a character has another party member in their lead spot, that Pokemon will follow the character as Eevee or Pikachu rides on you. This also applied when riding pokemon such as Lapras or Charizard.
The player controls their character with one joycon controllers. The second can be used by a second player to turn the game into a co-op. Players can team up to perform tag-duels and even catch pokemon together using a new(ish) mechanic.
That brings up the next important point. The game mechanic for catching pokemon is very familiar to those that have Pokemon Go. If you’re ready to catch a Pokemon then you’ll see a ring appear on the Pokemon in question that gets smaller until it resizes itself. At the right moment, you flick the joycon and the ball flies and either hit or misses the pokemon.
But this is not the only integration from Pokemon Go. With Pokemon Let’s Go a player can connect their Pokemon Go account with their Switch. This features will allow players to bring in any pokemon they caught in the Go game over to Let’s Go and vice versa. Granted they have to be part of the first generation of pokemon or their Alolan form. This will make players that love completing their Pokedex a lot easier in both games. It was also teased at the end of the video that this game release might include an update to Pokemon Go that finally brings trading with other players. One of the most requested features fans have been wanting to add to the game. That and bringing back the footstep programs (please Niantic bring it back). The very last image from the trailer is a trainer playing Pokemon Go receiving a pokemon as a present.
Though it wouldn’t be a Nintendo product if there weren’t some add-ons for players. An in-game ad on that Nintendo put on display is the ability to dress Eevee and Pikachu in various outfits. No additional information at this time as to whether this be available for other pokemon or if this would be a microtransaction.
The other big reveal came in the form of the latest peripheral, the Poke Ball. Yes, a literal Pokeball that can act as a Joycon. When catching wild pokemon it will lite up when a pokemon has been caught. A player can also load a pokemon into the ball and take it with them. The pokemon will talk and seems to be a combination of what Pokemon Go does now with its buddy system. As well as the Pokeball feature that game with the HeartGold and SoulSilver re-releases.
One big change that is noticeable is in the form of wild pokemon. In past games a majority of the time it was a random encounter with a pokemon. In Let’s Go, players can now see not only where wild pokemon are, but also what kind of pokemon is there. It also seems that wild pokemon are no longer limited to tall grass and caves as one section shows a lone Ponyta on the trail.
But this still leaves plenty of questions. The video gave no information on any multiplayer aspect that the game franchise has been built upon. When it comes to the Co-op mode is any of the pokemon caught together sharded with both players? How is the evolution process different from both past games and Pokemon Go or similar? For these answers, we’ll just have to wait for E3.
Both Pokemon Let’s Go is set to release on November 16th. What’s your reaction to the trailer? Are you like me and getting a Switch now or were you unimpressed with it? Let us know in the comments below.