Promising Upcomer: Pokemon, Let’s Go

I fell in love with Pokemon when I saw the anime in fourth grade. I remember waking up early every morning to watch a new episode and race to school, where everyone was talking about it. Who could forget epic moments, like Ash saving Pikachu from a flock of angry Spearows?

Soon after, the Pokemon Trading Card Game spread everywhere and to everyone. We traded cards and bragged about our favorites whenever we could—during lunch, at recess, and after school. But soon, the mainstream obsession subsided, though Pokemon would continue to be a massive series for years to come.

Every now and then, that mainstream obsession takes hold again. Pokemon GO—launched in 2016—went viral, and suddenly, everyone was taking walks, spinning Poke Stops, and catching their favorite Pokemon again. And even though the user base experienced a significant drop-off after the first month, Pokemon GO still sought to win back those users and stay relevant.

Enter, Pokemon: Let’s Go, Pikachu! and Pokemon: Let’s Go, Eevee!

What’s Special About Pokemon: Let’s Go?

Pokemon: Let’s Go is set to release on November 16, 2018 for the Nintendo Switch, and here at the Couch Bandits, we are very excited for a number of reasons. For one, this game is essentially a 3D-remake of the original Pokemon games, and it features the original set of 151 Pokemon with a return to the Kanto region. That nostalgia pull has already got my interest peaked, to say the least.

Depending on which version you select, you’ll team up with either Pikachu or Eevee, and each game will have a few differences—like variations in Pokemon available (you’ll have to trade with someone who owns the opposite edition to get all Pokemon; a common practice with past entries in the series). And with every new teaser video released, friendly faces of characters we all know and love appear, including Brock, Misty, Professor Oak, and Team Rocket. It’s amazing to see how far these games have come in just over 20 years.

Partner Up With Your Favorite Pokemon

While it’s great to see the characters reimagined in this new style, it’s even cooler to see the modern Pokemon designs in full 3D—but it’s not anything entirely new, as the last few Pokemon games on 3DS have had the same or similar models. That said, this game will allow you to interact with your Pokemon more than ever:

  • You can ride larger Pokemon and have smaller Pokemon ride on your shoulders or follow behind you—a feature fans have wanted for a long time.
  • You can dress up your Pokemon in kooky outfits.
  • You can pet your Pokemon and give them unique hairstyles.
  • And, of course, you can battle Pokemon and trade them.

This game also includes a more recent feature of the Pokemon series: Mega Evolution. Mega Evolution is essentially a temporary but powerful evolution some Pokemon can perform. It’s great when you want to totally wreck your opponents in battle, and it’s just plain cool to see the new versions (though, Pokemon purists may not like this addition).

Throw a Real Poke Ball

Alongside Pokemon: Let’s Go, you’ll be able to purchase the Poke Ball Plus. Just like a real Poke Ball, the middle ring will light up as the ball attempts to capture a Pokemon, and it’s a new level of immersion kids will appreciate (I know if this game was out when I was 10, I’d be downright obsessed).

You can also connect your game with Pokemon GO, which will unlock a GO Park where you can befriend Pokemon. We’re keeping our eye on how else Pokemon GO will be integrated into the game, but regardless, this announcement immediately got me back into Pokemon GO, and I haven’t stopped playing for a few weeks in preparation for November.

That said, some early criticism of the battle animations has come up recently. Some fans would like to see more complex animations, but I’m hoping this will be a non-issue once the game is released. All in all, I’m eager to get this Pokemon game on my Switch, especially since it has co-op. Even if it doesn’t live up to expectations, we can expect a new main series Pokemon game for the Switch soon enough.

Are you excited for Pokemon: Let’s Go? Share which team you’re on: #TeamPikachu or #TeamEevee in the comments below—I’m Team Pikachu all the way!

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