It has been rumoured for a long time but finally Pokémon is coming to the Nintendo Switch in the form of two titles: ‘Let’s Go Pikachu‘ and ‘Let’s Go Eevee‘ which represent the starter Pokémon from Pokémon Yellow. The games which are set to be released November 16th and are being made by Gamefreak, will see players return to Kanto from the first generation of games. However, the games you once knew have been given major updates and a fresh coating of paint.
The new titles which take place in the first generation of the games have a new 3D look and gameplay which looks more like Pokémon GO than the traditional Pokémon style. The majority of the trailer shows players catching Pokémon rather than battling them (although the trailer shows trainer battle glimpses) like you would when playing Pokémon GO. One way of catching the creatures is to detach the joy-con controller from the Switch console and use one of them free hand and incorporate the motion controls to throw a pokéball which makes the experience all the more realistic. Even more so is the addition of the ‘Pokéball Plus’ which is like Pokémon GO’s ‘Plus’ watch but with many more upgrades such as it working as a controller and letting you carry Pikachu or Eevee with you wherever you go like the pokéwalker you got with Heart Gold and Soul Silver.
That’s not the only similarity to the aforementioned games, because once again Pokémon will travel with you outside of the pokéball with certain Pokémon appearing much larger now that they’re in 3D such as Nidoking, Nidoqueen, Electrode and Gengar whom were shown in the trailer. Riding Pokémon appear to be continuing in the games which were introduced in Pokémon Sun and Moon where you can use certain Pokémon to travel through terrains and this is shown with Onix, Lapras and Charizard for rock surfaces, water and air travel. Starting with Pikachu or Eevee feels like a major throwback to Yellow and because of another feature to the game I imagine that you will be able to catch the starter Pokémon as well.
The feature I am referencing is the Pokémon GO catching style to which I would assume you can catch Bulbasaur, Squirtle and Charmander in the game as there is a Bulbasaur featured in the trailer. The interesting part to this would be where will these Pokémon be placed because in a shot of Mt. Moon the Pokémon you see inside are the ones you’d expect to find. In Yellow the starters were given to you in different towns…but obviously the gameplay looks to be different. The Pokémon that were seen in Mt. Moon were ones that you could actually see which finally confirmed that roaming Pokémon are in the game (like GO) and the sprites used like really well designed and colourful.
In the image above there are two trainers and this is because grabbing the other joy-con enables a second person to enter the game and that helps with catching Pokémon where there are two pokéballs used. This adds an extra chance of catching Pokémon by the looks of things and two people can battle together against trainers in the game as well…which sets an unfair advantage for Youngster Joey and his top percentage Rattata. This raises the question of how battling and levelling up will work in the game if you don’t catch Pokémon by battling which is sad because that’s one of my favourite aspects of the game but only time will tell. Having two people on the same screen together reminds me of Pokémon Diamond and Pearl where you and a friend could link up and harvest fossils and gems underground (where is our gen 4 remake Nintendo?). From other images the game appears to play out similar to the first games featuring notable landmarks and faces such as Professor Oak, Team Rocket and the all-powerful Mewtwo.
Pokémon GO is definitely a big part in influencing this game (it’s sort of in the name) and it is practically a part of it as well because you can send Pokémon that you have caught on your mobile over to the ‘poké park’ on the Switch games. It is not said whether these will be used in the regular game, but it wouldn’t surprise me after a certain point in the game if you could…maybe a new Safari Zone? This kind of makes me wish I had done more events on Pokémon Go to build a better roster. I assume there will be a way to care for your companions in the park like feeding them berries or brushing them like in Pokémon X and Y. Those titles introduced character customisation and outfits and funnily enough the trailer shows that you can get custom outfits for Pikachu and Eevee which I assume may be limited to just them or certain characters.
The final thing to add is that the trailer finished off by saying we will meet a very special Pokémon in the game or perhaps receive in an event as it looked like it was being opened as a gift received from GO. This could potentially be Mew, a new evolution for Pikachu or Eevee or maybe a generation 8 Pokémon as it is said a new line of games will be out next year.
The announcement has certainly created a lot of excitement with Pokémon trending all over social media and I assume a lot more will be revealed at E3 in a couple of weeks. It looks like this will be one of the most adventurous Pokémon titles with you playing the game on the go and connecting your smart phones to the Switch. Will Pokémon be on different games like Vulpix and Growlithe? How many Pokémon can you hold at one time or will there be a GO carry system? Will there be other generation Pokémon? How many Eeveelutions will there be? Will there be monthly events? Can we trade via the Switch? How are levels and moves based? Will gyms be like raids in GO? Does this dress make Pikachu look fat? Stay tuned for more information here on Wardculture!