The first true RPG Pokémon title for the Nintendo Switch has been confirmed and titled Pokémon Let’s Go Pikachu! and Let’s Go Eevee! as previous rumors speculated. As a new game in the main series and possibly new sub-series within the franchise, several of the announced features are being received with mixed reactions by hard-core players, but Let’s Go is clearly meant to not only appeal to the more casual Pokémon fan but also draw in fans that may be new to the series.
Nintendo and Game Freak have made the decision to go back to what initially made players fall in love with Pokémon by setting this game in the Kanto region and focusing on the original 151 Pokémon rather than overwhelming new players with the 800+ species of creatures. For those that may have fallen off of the series over the years, this serves as the perfect re-jumping on point, especially for players that already own a Switch and are curious about how Pokémon has changed over the years. Though long-time fans are hoping to see an expanded Pokedex in the post-game, framing Let’s Go around the series’ most iconic region and Pokémon is sure to get new and returning players interested and hopefully psyched for the eventual “mainline” gen 8 game in 2019.
Much like the title suggests, Let’s Go is also riding off of the success of the mobile app Pokémon Go and is integrating several elements that Pokémon Go players have grown accustomed to. Like in Pokémon Go, there will be no wild Pokémon battles, and instead players will flick the Joy-Cons in order to capture Pokémon of certain CP values and combat levels. This way, Pokémon Go players that may otherwise be overly cautious about the series’ main titles because of their repetitive natures will be more likely to try this title. Though this may take away a core element from the traditional games, considering Pokémon have levels for combat, there must be a way for players to train Pokémon outside of trainer battles.
With Let’s Go’s intractable abilities with Pokémon Go, this game marks the perfect entry point for players that latched onto Pokémon Go. The familiar aspects that can be found in Let’s Go will only encourage the app’s players to not only journey through Kanto with their teams but also continue the story in possible Let’s Go sequels, if they ever come.
Not only are Nintendo and Game Freak attempting to appeal to their adult players, but children are clearly being heavily considered in the making of Let’s Go. The Pokeball-shaped Joy-Con is a brilliant piece of hardware that will appeal to nostalgic adults and will become a child’s most cherished possession considering the Pokeball’s ability to store Pokémon while also being able to interact with whatever’s inside with hand motions.
Co-op play may be the most prominent and shocking feature of all. Newcomers to the series can tag along with long-time fans to experience the familiar yet vastly altered Kanto region, or players can trek through the world of Pokémon for the first time together. From the game’s trailer, it seems easy and quick for other players to simply drop in and tag along for the journey ahead.
Contrary to misleading facts, there will be WiFi capabilities for Let’s Go, as confirmed in a Q&A session with Game Spot. Though there may not be competitive support considering there will be no breeding, Let’s Go will still offer players a compelling edge in its gameplay as confirmed by Junichi Masuda. This way, casual players won’t be troubled with the ins-and-outs of competitive IV and EV training and can freely battle others online with their favorite Pokémon.
Let’s Go offers a chance for players to experience Pokémon on a home console for the first time in a new, experimental format. It also serves as the perfect transition from the 3DS to Pokémon’s new home on the Switch. There is no doubt that the fans’ reception of Let’s Go will influence future Pokémon Switch titles.
Pokémon Let’s Go Pikachu! and Let’s Go Eevee! will be available on November 16.