Now Playing: Pokemon Let’s Go: Eevee

Pokemon Let’s Go: Eevee

I’m taking a break from my way-too-long-to-be-healthy backlog (57% of 2,404 games on Steam, yikes.) of games due to getting a copy of one of the new Pokemon games around Christmas this year. I haven’t completed the game yet, but I’m having more fun that I expected to.

When I first heard that this new pair of games, which are not the proper Generation VIII games due out sometime in 2019, were based on mechanics from the mobile game, Pokemon GO, I was a bit hesitant to try them out. I’m glad that I gave in and picked up the game though.

This game is based on the original games as far as the story goes, but with some … quirks, I think would be the right term. You set out from Pallet Town like normal, but are met at a later point by Blue, talking about how he is “looking for the two kids who set out from Pallet Town like he did.” That seems to imply that this is taking place sometime after the original Pokemon Red story line. This is a minor point, but it’s something that bothers me a little, coming from previous installments of the series. On those same lines, there are also other little changes in the game system. TMs are multi-use, like they were starting with Gen-V, and HMs aren’t necessary since things like Cut have been replaced by Secret Techniques that don’t take a space in your move roster. The biggest changes were in the style of Pokemon battling and catching.

Like Pokemon GO, you have to aim and throw PokeBalls at wild Pokemon to catch them. I’ll only talk about playing in docked mode, because that’s all I’m familiar with, though. Similar to GO, wild Pokemon will move around and “attack” in a battle, and you’ll be responsible for throwing (via a literal throwing-like motion of your arm) a ball at it, trying to time the hit for maximum effectiveness. This is where much of the similarity between the Switch and mobile games ends though. The technique begins by seeming a bit gimmicky, but soon begins feeling pretty natural for this type of game. The random Pokemon battles are only about this catching, though. There is no longer any battling with random Pokemon, only with trainers. The catching you do will provide you with some XP, though, and at least seems to  be a better way to level up than battling is.

There’s also the new PokeBall controller. Basically, it’s a motion-sensitive controller shaped like a PokeBall. There is a stick control on it to move your character in the game, which also clicks for a button, and a second button. It can handle the vast majority of all the controls necessary for the game, and comes with a single-use Mew transfer for your game. Be aware that the transfer is for a single save game. If you start your game over, you can’t get Mew again. If you connect your controller to another game, even for another profile, you can’t get Mew again. Is it worth a $50 price tag? In my opinion, not for Let’s Go alone. The controller will also hook up to your mobile phone and function as a Pokemon GO Plus as well. Does that make it a little bit more worth the price tag? For me, yes, but only barely. Your mileage may vary on that point.

All in all, Pokemon’s initial entry onto the Nintendo Switch is a good buy, and is sure to sell quickly. I’ll be continuing to play through the game and will offer further updates and discussion during a stream or on the 6fps Network sub-Reddit!