Pokémon Let’s Go Pikachu Meets Expectations on the Switch

Pokémon Go away if you do not like spoilers! This review contains quite a few!

Also warning, the reviewer played Pokémon Let’s Go Pikachu, but Pokémon Let’s Go Eevee is virtually the same game, so this applies for both.

Since the launch of the Switch back in March of 2017, many Nintendo franchises hit the big time. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Super Mario Odyssey, Super Mario Party, and Splatoon 2 all are argued as the best in their fields. This continuous streak of hits made the fans of the Pokémon series wonder how the results of Pokémon Let’s Go Pikachu and Pokémon Let’s Go Eevee would turn out. With details such as Pokémon Go mechanics implemented, it was unclear if the game would be a grand adventure, or a grand flop. Would the two new additions be worthy of the Nintendo Switch library, or would it feel like a $60 add on to the app?

When I started up my Pikachu copy, I already faced the most important decision of my life: Pikachu’s name. After hours upon hours of pondering, I settled with Reynolds, after the actor slated to portray him in the upcoming Pokémon Detective Pikachu. Then I blasted into the world of Pokémon, or at least the world of Pokémon Red and Blue. The fact that this game is a remake of the original may fly over the heads of many players. After 20 years of graphic updates, it would be hard to tell that this is a remake.

The graphical update is a plus for this remake. It takes the pixelated graphics from the Nintendo DS and upgrades it for the next generation. The characters, the world, and the animations are all more fluent. It makes the inversion impeccable, especially when playing on the tv, where the graphics perform the best. The only downside in the graphics department is the lighting. I am supposed to be catching a Pokémon on a beach, but my eyes sting from luminescent type of lighting. This issue is clear after playing Pokémon Moon, where the time of day affect the lighting. It may seem like a minor problem, but for me, it took away a lot of personality.

This game’s soundtrack is my least favorite part about this remake. It has both old and new music, with the older tracks from the Game Boy making a return in a spiced up way. One of my favorite remakes of music from the original was when I walked into Lavender Town. Compared to the rest of the game, the track still stands out from the rest, and helped set the mood. Downside, it’s the only track I could remember. This game has a problem with using bland adventure music, then repeating it for hours. I got headaches galore and put on some Mariah Carey Christmas music to fill the time. It lead to me going to options and turning off the music.

Which Pokémon game do you prefer?


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The actual Pokémon are nothing new, as they are the first generation from the franchise. There is only 150 Pokémon this time around because of the utilization of the first generation line up, which compared to other recent installments, is a bit small. Though it was still an enjoyment to catch them all and hunt down Pokémon that rarely spawn.

Which reminds me, looking for Pokémon in this game is a lot easier compared to past games. Instead of forced upon battles happening whenever you walk around in grass, Pokémon appear and walk around the screen. This allows for the player to straight up avoid whoever you don’t like. I found this a lot more appealing than hunting for hours to find a Lapras.

Speaking of catching, the way you catch in Pokémon Let’s Go Pikachu reflects on your Pokemon catching style.. When encountering a Pokémon, you toss a Pokéball, and if successful, you catch a Pokémon. This is the first mainstream Pokémon game to install this feature, and I hope not the last. Due to this mechanic, how Pokémon gain experience has changed. Whenever you catch a Pokémon in the wild, your whole party gains the same amount of experience. This can either be a positive or negative for players as it takes away a lot of the grinding that usually is prominent in games.

If catching Pokémon isn’t your thing, then you’re in luck. Even though the motto of this franchise may say to collect them all, you can cheat your way through the Pokémon Go app. After getting far enough in the game, you’ll reach the Poké Park. This place allows for any Pokémon caught in the Pokémon Go app to transfer to your Switch game. As long as they’re apart of the first generation. This feature allowed my older brother to complete the Pokédex a week before I completed mine. It was as if the core part of the game, collecting them all, was gone. Also, the Pokémon Go account doesn’t even have to be yours, it can be anybodies. As long as you have a friend willing to give you Pokémon, you don’t need the app. If Ash Ketchum could have had all the Pokémon in the world transferred to his Pokédex, we wouldn’t have had an anime.

It is also important to note the combination of the anime and the original games within this remake. Fans of either will enjoy the fact that classic rivals Jessie, James, and Meowth (that’s the name), are all enemies you can battle. It is what made this remake feel more than a graphics update. The charm of the show I grew up with was making a return on my Switch, and it wasn’t a cheap nostalgic grab.

The last thing needed of discussion is the Pokéball Plus. The Pokéball Plus is a controller made for Pokémon Let’s Go Pikachu and Pokémon Let’s Go Eevee. I found this to be my favorite part of my experience. The fact that when you threw the Pokéball that one would appear thrown on screen built on immersion. The Pokéball Plus also syncs up with the Pokémon Go app, which benefits app users. The best feature from this hybrid controller is being able to carry Pokémon in it. This feature alone is the reason anyone who buys the game should buy this add on. When you’re walking around, shake the ball and you’ll hear a Pikachu call. Also there is a mute option, too. It is beneficial when you’re in Film Studies watching an important movie and don’t want an accidental Pokémon screech.

Pokémon Let’s Go Pikachu and Pokémon Let’s Go Eevee may be remakes, but they’re their own adventures. Within the first week of selling, both games have already sold three million copies world wide. The popularity of Pokémon hasn’t died off, and with an announcement of another mainstream Pokémon game coming to the Switch, hopes are high that the next game will be even better than this one.

All Pokemon look better with my bangs. 8/10