The highly anticipated addition to the hugely popular Pokémon series was recently released and, although there are certainly some areas where it could be improved, overall it is an absolutely stunning addition to the series.
Let’s Go appeals both to the diehard fan and the new Pokémon Go generation. The encounter and catching mechanics have been altered so that they are much more in line with Pokémon Go. It is now impossible to battle wild Pokémon, with experience coming instead from successful catches. Although a little jarring at first, the rewards from catching are such that the new mechanic is much more fun and less prosaic. Having overworld sprites of the Pokémon is inspired. A sense of scale has finally been introduced, so that when Onix spawns onto the map you literally can’t see its head because it’s so tall. Not only that, but you can finally walk through a cave without being constantly bombarded with Zubats as you now have the ability to dodge any unwanted encounters.
One thing that cannot be understated is the sheer joy that seeing Pokémon in perspective with crystal-clear graphics brings. Little touches like the ability to run through bushes as though they were real plants, or the way the grass will bend and flatten when a Pokémon flies over it, really bring the game to life. The remastered music is also beautiful and for those who played the original Kanto series, the sense of nostalgia will be very strong.
The new shiny hunting mechanics are worth a mention as they really help to make ‘catching’ fun again. Within 30 minutes of being in Viridian Forest, I encountered a shiny Caterpie and a shiny Ekans followed not too soon after. With overworld sprites included, finding a shiny is even more exciting because you can literally see them sitting in the grass.
There are also multiple ways to play the game, with the Switch being able to demonstrate its wide range of playing styles. Although handheld mode is easier, it is also fun to swing your controller like a pokéball. In addition, the Go Park is an excellent way to bring in the Pokémon Go generation. It is incredibly easy to use and ensures that you can catch version-locked Pokémon to complete your Pokédex.
Pokémon Let’s Go Eevee is an excellent, wholesome addition to the series. It is not quite a main series game but it flows beautifully, has excellent graphics and utilises a classic story line. Adding characters from the anime like Jessie and James was an inspired choice and the use of Pokémon Go mechanics blend seamlessly into the classic game experience. The replayability is also high. The newer and easier ways to hunt for shiny Pokémon, extra large or extra small Pokémon or Pokémon with perfect IVs means that there will be endless challenges to try. This represented a first real step for Pokémon onto the home console platform and it was masterfully done. We can only wait with bated breath to see what will come next.