Pokemon Let’s Go Review

It’s time to catch-em-all in our Pokemon Let’s Go Review

The initial thought of a Pokemon game coming to the switch had many people very excited, however, when it was shown to be more similar to the mobile Pokemon Go game, doubts started to creep in for many long-time fans of the series. Just how much of a difference from the core Pokemon experience was Let’s Go going to be?

In reality, Pokemon Let’s Go takes you back to the simpler time of Pokemon Yellow. The soundtrack and opening scenes alone will have you in childish excitement, allowing you to go on a nostalgia trip of those Game Boy Pokemon games. As Let’s Go is a remake of those old titles, the main narrative follows a similar pattern to that of Pokemon Yellow, with your character receiving their first Pokemon and then heading off into the Kanto Region in order to become one of the best Pokemon trainers. Essentially, your goal in pokemon is to be the very best, like no one ever was, to catch them is your real test and to train them is your cause.

Depending on whether you have bought the Eevee or Pikachu version of the game, you’ll get either one of those two to partner you through your journey. You can play with your partner and dress them up (you’re also able to change the clothes of your player as you progress) as well as have them on your team taking part in battles. Your partner will want attention and if you’re not giving it enough, then the game will notify you to shake your controller so your partner can tell you something and allow you to play with it or feed it a berry. Eevee or Pikachu also come with a partner power, which will appear during battles allowing you to use an exclusive move or to bolster your pokemon who is currently in battle.

Throughout the world, you’ll encounter many pokemon roaming around. Getting to close to a Pokemon allows you to either catch the pokemon, flee from it or use an item on it (normally things like razz berries that will make it easier to catch your pokemon). If you decide to catch a pokemon and are using a Joy-Con or the Pokeball plus, then you will be required to perform a swing motion to throw the ball. Unfortunately, you’re unable to use the Pro Controller or the Joy-Con grip to catch pokemon – a way of playing that causes an accessibility issue to people who may struggle with wrist flicks, something that I myself struggle with. The mechanics of this are mostly okay, however, if the pokemon that you’re trying to catch moves to one side, it can make it tricky to catch.

In handheld mode, catching is much simpler, requiring just a simple press of the ‘A’ button at the right time and moving the console to face the direction of the pokemon. I thought it was a shame that it didn’t have similar catching mechanics to Pokemon Go, where you swipe the screen to catch your Pokemon. For me, this was something I was expecting and tried to do the first time I played in the handheld mode, as it felt like the right thing to do. It’s disappointing that the only function that used the touchscreen mechanic was to ‘play’ with my partner (more like petting, this was very similar to games like Nintendogs when you pet the dog).

For those looking to play with younger or more inexperienced players, there’s also a two-player mode within the game that allows you to play with a friend. The second player is able to catch, battle and wander around the world with you. Throwing a Pokeball together at the same exact moment will also give you a better chance of completing the catch, while battling with another person makes these encounters slightly easier.

As is standard now, catching new Pokemon will add them to your Pokedex. A new addition though is that one member of your party can become your buddy, meaning that it will either follow you around as you traverse Kanto or let you ride it, it will also find things around the world hidden in bushes and comment on them.

Battles occur regularly around the world and are not limited to Gyms or story encounters but battling wild Pokemon of yesteryear is gone in Let’s Go, you’ll only throw Pokeballs at them now.

Nearly all the NPC’s you meet outside of the towns will want to battle you, allowing you to gain Exp for all members of your party. Gaining Exp will level the Pokemon up and eventually see them evolve, for instance, Bellsprout will evolve into Weepinbell at level 21 – a change for Pokemon Go players moving across but a familiar system to Pokemon veterans.

Your main aim in Let’s Go is to not just collect Pokemon but to also earn all eight gym badges in Kanto, each one will present a small puzzle or question before entering. Once through the doors though, you will have to face a few fighters before being able to take on the Gym leader and gain the highly sought-after gym badge. I found a couple of times that my Pokemon weren’t strong enough the first time, so I had to go and level-up around the world or catch some other Pokemon so that my party was strong enough to take down the Gym leader. In general though, Pokemon Let’s Go won’t force you to grind too much and the entire game is actually quite a relaxing experience. Completely at odds with many games released during this busy period.

The world of Pokemon Let’s Go is a peaceful one, with new renditions of nostalgic Game Boy music playing in the background as you wander around Kanto again after all these years. Although the world is simple in appearance, it does the job and is a wonderful recreation, dripping in memories for those who remember playing the originals.

Pokemon Let’s Go: Eevee Review Conclusion

Pokemon Let’s Go is a fun, relaxing RPG dripping with nostalgia. It’s perfect to drop in and out of and a great entry point for both new and old players, providing a well-balanced and enjoyable Pokemon game.

4/5

We reviewed Pokemon Let’s Go Eevee after receiving a code from the publisher and it’s available now, exclusively, on Nintendo Switch.

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