Sean Collier, A&E Writer
It is no secret that Pokemon has been a phenomenon for about as long as it was originally created. It has maintained its popularity for years and most likely will for many more. The community does tend to have issues with decisions made on the games and other things but it has still endured. Thanks to the release and popularity Pokemon GO, people who had never played or gotten into Pokemon previously started playing. With this increase of interest, and the popularity of Pokemon GO, it was only a matter of time until the Pokemon Company made a game that would for all the fans including the newer ones. That is where Pokemon Let’s Go comes in.
Pokemon Let’s Go, on the surface, is a remake of the original Pokemon Yellow. Including the original generation of Pokemon in the Kanto region. However, this game is so much more than that. For starters, the game was released with two versions: Pokemon Let’s Go Pikachu and Pokemon Let’s Go Eevee. Each version has their respective “buddy” pokemon. They function as your starter, but they also do so much more. For instance, in previous games the player had to teach HM moves (fly, cut, surf, etc.) to progress through the games at certain points. This means instead of a pokemon having useful moves for combat, they’d have that move there. This created the whole notion of the certain pokemon only being used as utility. With Pokemon Let’s Go, that isn’t the case. Instead, your buddy learns them as “secret techniques”. They are added to a separate menu so they do not function as combat moves. The buddy pokemon also has the chance to learn moves exclusive to them. At various pokemon centers around the map, a ringmaster looking character can teach your buddy special moves. They are pretty strong moves also so it is worth doing. This somewhat makes up for the fact the buddy pokemon cannot be evolved. The buddy pokemon have increased stats, and with these special moves they are still very powerful even without their later evolved forms. On top of that, the game has such an emphasis on making a strong bond with your pokemon, and not just your buddy. When the payer has a stronger bond with a pokemon, it can save it from taking damage or even get rid of the conditions that can be caused in combat like paralysis or poisoning.
Another new feature is the way that the player catches pokemon. In previous games, you had to weaken them to make it easier to catch them. In Pokemon Let’s Go, catching pokemon is like catching them in Pokemon GO. There are the circles and hitting the center ups the chances of catching them and you can also use berries to help out. This definitely targets the Pokemon Go fans to get them interested, but it also fixes the idea of hurting pokemon to have them as your own. This isn’t the only tie to Pokemon GO, the game also replaces the pokemon safari with the Pokemon GO park. If you link your switch with your Pokemon GO account you can transfer the first generation pokemon you caught to Pokemon Let’s Go. They will appear in the park, their stats will be adjusted to fit the game based on their original stats, and you’ll have to catch them to add them to your party. This also includes all of the Alolan variants of first generation pokemon. This feature will not only pique the interest of Pokemon GO players, but it will also get people to continue or start playing Pokemon GO.
The story of Pokemon Let’s Go is a true remake of Pokemon Yellow, but with some additions. Instead of Red and Blue being the new trainers, they are renowned. Characters that are used in the original Anime show more similarities to their personality in the show. Jessie and James look like the anime characters and even speak that way. Brock even talks about getting turned down by beautiful women. This brings a feeling of nostalgia to longtime fans of the show.
As far as the game goes, it is about as much as you should expect from a Pokemon game. It isn’t super difficult and it makes it easy for a newer player to get started. The combat functions the same as the old games, just with some more polish. The graphics are beautiful on top of all the new features and additions, but it is still a pokemon game at its core. Pokemon Let’s Go is the perfect game for fans, old or new. So let’s go catch ‘em all.