As I’m sure most of us long-time Pokemon fans have noticed by now, this game, unfortunately, is not made for us.
This is a game made to reel in some of Pokemon Go’s ridiculously huge player-base (reportedly 147 million last May) to the main series games.
Could this work? Yeah, probably. But to the extent that they want it to? Probably not.
So many decisions have been made to simplify the game, to such a point that you wonder… Is this still a Pokemon game at all?
The answer to that is a bit of a yes and a bit of a no. In every sense of the word, this is… Pokemon. This is the next game, released under the name, by the original company, with a good amount of the original creators still on-board.
However I, and I’m sure a large portion of the fan-base, would argue that this doesn’t feel right.
It doesn’t feel like the Pokemon we all know and love.
In an effort to cater to new and younger players, large portions of the core mechanics and game-play have been simplified.
For example; Wild battles have been removed, in favour of Pokemon Go-like encounters where the challenge is not a battle and a capture attempt, but merely a capture attempt.
It uses the gyro in the joy-con to make you feel like you’re throwing a pokeball.
Pokemon encounters are no longer random, but rather a premeditated affair. You can see Pokemon waddling about the world map, and you simply walk into the one you want to catch to begin the capture.
Gyms now have set requirements. In order for you to challenge a gym, you will now need to have your little monsters at a high enough level, and carry one of a particular type.
For example, “3 Pokemon Level 10+ and one or more water type”.
The list goes on, but these are some of the biggest changes. The gym requirement perhaps being the most controversial, as it begins to give us an idea of how much this game will be holding our hands. It feels a bit like The Pokemon Company is quite literally walking side by side with a five year old, and teaching them how to play Pokemon through this entry.
What scares me the most is the possibility of this game being a massive success, and we find ourselves in a position where future Pokemon games are taking away mechanics and simplifying things because “Hey, it worked out in Let’s Go”.
I worry because, despite a good game being underneath it all, Sun/Moon (the previous entries in the series) had a much younger feel than we’re used to in Pokemon games as well. (I’m looking at you, Lily.)
We’re scheduled to get “New core series” entries in the latter half of next year, so hopefully, hopefully, they’ll have the guts to stick more to the roots of what makes this series so good.
Pokemon Let’s Go Pikachu and Pokemon Let’s Go Eevee will be available November 16th, exclusively on Nintendo Switch.