Pokemon games are always popular, not only do they cater nostalgically to all us who grew up playing the original games on our Game Boys, but they are also inspiring a whole new generation of Pokemon trainers to pick up some Poke Balls and catch ‘em all.
Perhaps the most exciting news for fans of the Pokemon franchise, and those that caught the Poke-bug from playing the mobile Pokemon Go, was the announcement by the Pokemon Company were developing an RPG game for their Switch console called Let’s Go Pikachu and Let’s Go Eevee.
The game, which will be released November 16th, is inspired by Pokemon Yellow and like the original, it will be based in the Kanto region and will connect with Pokemon Go too. All of which sounds like the perfect game for Pokemon fans.
This isn’t the ‘big’ Pokemon RPG
In 2017, it was announced at E3 that a massive Pokemon RPG was coming to the Switch, this game is still in development and is set to be released late in 2019. Instead, Let’s Go Eevee and Pikachu are being billed as an introduction to the Pokemon series for complete beginners as well as those who enjoy Pokemon Go. It’s likely that Nintendo are going to use this game as a way to get a whole new generation of gamers interested in Pokemon before the ‘big’ RPG is released next year.
However, it’s important to note that this won’t simply be Pokemon Go on a console. True, there are a lot of similarities in mechanics, for instance, players will throw Poke Balls at wild Pokemon rather than battle them first and the two games can be linked and allow you to transfer Pokemon from Go into Let’s Go. But this game also holds similarities to Pokemon Yellow, as players will be able to explore the Kanto region and battle NPCs as well as other players in the same turn-based system used in other games.
Like yellow, your starting Pokemon will stay by your side
Depending on the version of the game you choose, you will either start the game with Eevee or Pikachu and this Pokemon will follow you around outside their ball for the whole game and will not evolve. However, if you catch a wild Pikachu or Eevee you will be able to evolve these Pokemon.
As for the other Pokemon in the game, it has been confirmed that the game will feature the original 150 as well as their Alolan forms from Sun and Moon. Like previous games, different Pokemon will be available in each version, so you’ll need to trade to get them all.
You will also get the chance to catch yourself a Mew if you choose to purchase a Poke Plus Ball, as every ball will come programmed with a Mew. This will be the only way to catch the elusive Mew as you cannot transfer one from your Pokemon Go account.
The original Red and Blue starters will be available to catch in the wild, which will be welcome news for fans of the original games. You’ll also be able to ride some of the larger Pokemon – perhaps Lapras and Onyx – and other Pokemon apart from your Eevee or Pikachu starter can follow you outside their ball too.
As for levelling up your Pokemon, you will gain experience by catching other Pokemon as well as using candies on them. In the original games you could level up your Pokemon by facing wild ones, but this won’t happen in Let’s Go as you just throw balls at a Pokemon in order to catch, without weakening first.
The limited-edition Pikachu and Eevee Switch
To go with the new game, Nintendo has also launched a limited, special-edition version of the Switch. This Pikachu and Eevee Switch is entirely customised to the Pokemon franchise with one yellow Joy-Con and one brown Joy-Con to match the title character, the rear of the screen features silhouettes of both characters and Poke Balls and the dock is decked out with bright, colour illustrations of Eevee and Pikachu.
As well as the actual console customisation, the Switch will also come with a pre-installed copy of game ready to play as the intriguing Poke Ball Plus controller accessory. The first non-standard Joy-Con for the Switch, the Poke Ball Plus looks and acts like a real Poke Ball.
The controller has motion controls allowing you to ‘throw’ your Poke Balls at wild Pokemon in order to catch them for your collection. It’s not clear whether the Poke Ball Plus will act exactly like a Joy-Con but it will have an analog stick in the centre of the ball, will light up, play sounds and vibrate. The controller will also be compatible with the hugely popular mobile Pokemon Go game, taking over from the previous Pokemon Go Plus Accessory.
Most interestingly, players of the Let’s Go game will be able to ‘store’ one of the Pokemon they’ve caught in the game in their Let’s Go game and take it with you on your travels. This will echo the mechanics of the Pokewalker from SoulSilver and HeartGold, allowing you to gain rewards for your Pokemon.
The special edition Nintendo Switch Pikachu & Eevee edition will be released on November 16th and retail for $400. The Let’s Go Pikachu and Let’s Go Eevee games will be released the same day.