It hasn’t been brought up much, my friends, but I am one hell of a Pokemon nerd. Since I was given Blue Version at Christmas in 1998, I’ve been in love with these games, and I don’t think that’ll ever totally fade. I still crave a more hardcore, challenging Pokemon experience, and with the way the Switch is shaping up, I still hold out hope for that.
Pokemon Let’s Go is not the game I wanted, but it’s a game I thoroughly enjoy. Want to know why? Read On(ix).
TorchiClassic Pokemon Experience
Let’s Go is basically a retread of Pokemon Yellow, with a few added bits and pieces to modernise the experience. Some things, like wild Pokemon appearing as they do in Pokemon GO, are welcome changes. Others, such as the order in which the Pokemon Tower > Game Corner > Silph Co plot goes, not so much. Not that they’re bad, per se, but very confusing if you’re running a bit on autopilot like I was. C’mon, the story isn’t exactly ShakeSpearow.
I’ve been able to play both versions of Let’s Go, so I’m well able to explain which one to get. The main differences between the games are, unsurprisingly, Pikachu or Eevee as a starter Pokemon. Each version is locked to one or the other, so choose your version carefully. Otherwise, it’s the usual shenanigans; a handful of version exclusive Pokemon, a few NPCs with different requirements and dialogue, but essentially the same game. Not complaining, though; it’s a good game.
MewTwo Paths to Tread
After playing through Eevee and a bit of Pikachu, Eevee would definitely be my choice; the extra type coverage you get from its special moves is amazing. Eevee is, by the way, adorable as all get out, and Pikachu is a close second. Playing with your partner brings all the fun of Pokemon Amie (albeit with less to do), with updated Switch graphics and interface. Sweet merciful Arceus it’s pretty, and my little girl was adorable when I rubbed the screen just right and gave her a mohawk.
No, that’s not MewTwo much. She’s edgy.
Honestly, the rest of your team is irrelevant; all you need is Eevee, and that’s the main problem with this game, and it’s inherent in the design; it’s easy. Your starter is incredibly overpowered, your other ‘mon get EXP for just sitting there, you can swap Pokemon in and out of Boxes in your main inventory, and avoiding wild Pokemon is as simple as, well, walking around them. Even with Pikachu, I never once came close to struggling through this, but that’s not what it’s meant to be (more on that later). Aside from this, I loved the experience.
The linking of Let’s Go with GO is inspired, and that’s in no small way attributable to the PokeBall Plus. I’ve looked like an absolute weirdo, wandering Wellington clutching a Pokeball, and regret nothing. It’s got me playing Pokemon GO again, which is mildly upsetting, but also functions sort of like the PokeWalker did for HeartGold and SoulSilver (or, if you’re old like me, Pocket Pikachu). Eevee came along for the ride, and went up SEVENTEEN LEVELS at once. This, understandably, took any remaining challenge left in Let’s Go and threw it out the window.
She was Level 55 by the time I was in Celadon City. Now that’s what I’m PonyTalking about!
Seriously though, the PokeBall Plus is great if you want the experience of throwing a ball at your screen in docked mode (for all that’s holy, put on the wrist strap and ring!), and for taking your friends for a stroll and making Pokemon GO more accessible. My main gripe was the connectivity; my Huawei P20 Pro simply couldn’t connect to the thing, and asking around I’ve seen a few people with other common phones having issues. It was alright for me, because I’ve been reviewing the Huawei Nova 3 and the Oppo R17 Pro, and it connected fine with both of them, but for the average consumer it’s a note of caution.
There’s a lot more to talk about here, but honestly, I recommend this so highly that I don’t want to spoil anything. For those of us well used to Pokemon games, this is simultaneously familiar and surprising, and I want you to smile with unexpected delight at the same points I did. From minigames to rare encounters to Master Trainers, there’s plenty more than meets the eye. Play this; you’ll HorSea what I mean.
Is Pokemon Let’s Go a challenge? ArticuNO it is not. But that’s fine, because it’s not supposed to be. Let’s Go is a chill introduction to Pokemon for new players, or a relaxing stroll down memory lane for the veterans. If this was the only Pokemon game coming for a few years, I’d be upset. With the promise of a more mainstream game next year, I’m more than happy to while away the hours in Kanto until then.
Pokemon Let’s Go is Phanphy-tastic, and I Absol-utely can’t recommend it Goldeen-ough.