Review: Pokemon Let's Go Eevee & Pikachu
A re-visit to Pokemon Yellow, something we never thought we'd need until the game finally came out! Does Pokemon Let's Go bring enough to attract not only new audiences, but also the veteran? Read it in our review!
Let's Go isn't just a re-make, it's a visit to nostalgic diamond. Pokemon Yellow is one of the best, if not the best in its franchise. What used to show a screen with pixels, now comes back in 3D on the Nintendo Switch. There was a lot of criticism on Reddit, YouTube and Facebook, people didn't want a re-make, people didn't want 'easy' Pokemon, people wanted a new gene that takes over the torch from Ultra Sun and Moon. As the game got closer, as more videos came out, and as people started to put things into perspective, the idea of this trip to the past suddenly seemed a lot less disappointing. People started to get hope, create hype but were still afraid of the difficulty of the game. But what about all this? We are going to go through the game for you piece by piece and believe me,you will be surprised at how much we needed this game!
This village at the bottom left of the fairly large map is where your adventure begins. You will start an adventure together with the well-known overhauled rival with both one goal; Becoming a champion! Normally you would start with one of the four starters, Charmander, Bulbasaur, Squirtle or Pikachu . This time there are two options, Pikachu and Eevee. One of the biggest changes is that you really start treating your starter buddy as your personal pet. You can feed them, pet them, dress them and much more! They will also both have a perfect IV. Pika will sit on your shoulder during your journey, while Eevee will prefer to stand on your head. The interaction with your best friend is especially one of the nicest additions for children, but the veterans will also get a good feeling while bonding with their buddy. There are plenty of outfits to collect for you and the two possible starters. Getting the other starters is pretty easy by the way!
The story in Pokemon Yellow has always been a fun one to follow, as it matches up pretty well with the anime show everyone used to watch on television. Let's Go has one big advantage, and that is 3D. The story can be conveyed much better than ever before, and it does. Cinematics touch audiences, young or old, a whole lot better than before. Especially in Lavender Town, this is where I really noticed the impact the 3D has on conveying a timeless story. The story remains broadly the same, but it's the little extra details that really make the difference. I'm talking about those cinematics, certain interactions, new NPCs and dialogue that have been slightly modified to fit this time of day.
Sure, you still need to get eight badges and beat the Elite Four, but that doesn't feel like the only big goal. All additions such as a GO-Park, version-exclusive Pokemon and a number of features make the game a lot less linear than before. The turn-based combat has of course not changed either, but with the new effects it makes for a cooler-looking fight. On the gameplay aspect, the game has gotten more and more better. But, not all is well.
Catching Pokemon isn't as cool as it seems. Not having to fight is great, it saves a lot of boredom that I noticed in the original Yellow. Swinging your joy-con is also great fun, but unfortunately most of the time it doesn't work the way you'd hope. Throwing to the left or right doesn't work the way I would like, for me anyway, more and part of the time. Throwing in handheld mode also feels very shaky and unstable. Furthermore, the idea behind it is very cool, unfortunately the execution leaves a lot to be desired.
Finally on the Switch
The fact that there is finally a Pokemon game on the Nintendo Switch is already a nice fact to have. Especially knowing that the developers are using these titles as an entry point for new players, preparing for the next-generation RPG to be released next year, around the same time as Let's Go. The game looks pretty nice, with some not so good looking bits at times, but this is mainly because it's a re-visit. The game runs great and I hardly ever experienced frame drops. This on both handheld and in docked mode. Being able to play together on one Switch works nice in itself, only they could have gotten a lot more out of this. The lack of Wonder Trade is unfortunate, but it will definitely return next year in the new generation.
You can also have Pokemon follow you and even ride! There's nothing cooler than riding Onix and almost sitting outside the map with your character because Onix is so tall. There are several animals to ride on, each with its own and unique animation. With Snorlax, for example, you hang from his belly. You can fly on Charizard or Dragonite and I could go on and on. The fact that the grind is a lot less makes for a more smooth transition of conditions and catching legendary birds or Mewtwo is a cool experience to relive.
Difficulty and GO Park
The fact that you now have your Pokemon Box with you at all times also makes it easier to level specific friends and so you can adjust your party at all times. The level of difficulty was also a thing and at first it seemed very easy indeed, especially if you have Eevee or Pikachu in the first place in your party. As you blasted through the game, the challenge became more and more involved, suddenly it was not so easy to beat certain trainers or Team Rocket members. It never got to the point where I actually beat all Pokemon, but there have been times when this came pretty close. This was because I didn't always want to leave Eevee at the front.
In the GO Park you can play games with your Pokemon, but you can also connect your Let's Go to the mobile Go app. This way you can transfer Gen 1 critters to your GO-Park. You can then catch it and take it with you on a trip. This is a super nice addition that you unfortunately discover on the somewhat later side of the game.
Let's Go is a title for new and veteran, for young and old, to play alone or together. Of course, the game comes with its downsides, but there's nothing more fun than hopping out of the Switch in the train with your classmate and giving Team Rocket's scum on the table with the two of you. All in all, this game is well worth it, but unfortunately many will still wait for the eighth generation to appear next year. Until then, I'll be enjoying multiple playthroughs on Let's Go.
Pokemon Let's Go is now available for Nintendo Switch!
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