Let’s Go is the Best Pokemon Game Ever!
There is so, so much to love about Let’s Go Eevee and Let’s Go Pikachu. It combines the best of Pokemon Go and the traditional Pokemon adventure-fighting games. The final product: a perfect Pokemon experience.
Let’s break it down. I chose Let’s Go Eevee because I’m a girl, so of course, I did. So there may or may not be certain references for that version of the game in this review. It goes without saying that there could be some spoilers in this review. But there’s also a lot of tips, too!
The Graphics Are Stunning
The graphics in Let’s Go are smooth and fluid. Seeing them on a giant TV screen is nothing short of beautiful. One of the best visual displays is the updated evolution graphics. It’s even more sparkly and jaw-droppingly pretty than it was before.
The most interesting thing about the game’s graphics is that the cut-scenes have been overhauled. In previous Pokemon games (if there was a choreographed cut-scene at all) you’d pan over to your character and they’d have the same dull, silent, stupid grin on their face they always have. Now your character actually has facial expressions, body movements, and real reactions to the scene around them.
My only complaint about the graphics would be that ever since Pokemon X & Y I’m dying for some unique customization in my character, man. You are able to change a limited number of outfits in Let’s Go, but I want a haircut and color outside of the default, ‘kay? Come on, Nintendo, let me be who I want!
The Gameplay is Next-Level Awesome
There’s something about actually aiming and throwing your Pokeball to catch your quarry that adds a whole new level to the experience. It makes you feel skilled (or unskilled) and keeps your pokemon from spending more time at the Pokemon Center. In addition, it feels more humane than beating on an animal until it’s too weak to resist.
I won’t touch much on using Pokeball Plus until later, but even when you’re just using the joycons attached to the unit it’s fun. You move the device around to try and center the jumping pokemon on your screen. I went a full 180 degrees once to try and catch one bouncy bugger. Pressing A to throw the ball at the center instead of sliding your finger like with Pokemon Go makes the process enjoyable and a little less frustrating.
The only disadvantage to the catch instead of beat-em-up system is that you can’t just run around murdering small wild animals for experience anymore. You have to catch them to get experience. No experience is earned for you or them running away. Therefore, you do have to waste a lot of Poke Balls catching trash.
But Don’t Be Discouraged
However, it does make up for this in multiple ways. The best way is that beating trainers now awards you a small number of Pokeballs. Depending on the trainer you can get around 2-5 Pokeballs ranging from your standard red and white to ultra balls. There are some guys that hang around in caves and will give you Pokeballs if you don’t have very many.
In addition to that, you can combo your catches to get more experience. Catching five Rattatas in a row earns you more than catching a variety of pokemon. Rare pokemon earn you more experience, so even if you have five Chanseys already, go ahead and catch that sixth because it will likely level up your pokemon.
They also implemented a sizing system. Catching a “tiny” or “huge” version of a pokemon give more experience than an average one. And finally, if you use your Pokeball Plus or Joycon to throw your Pokeballs you get a “technique” bonus which adds more experience.
Is Pokeball Plus Worth the Money?
I honestly can’t tell you if getting the Pokeball Plus is worth it. But it sure is flipping cool. You can play the game with two buttons. Two. Buttons. Who would have thought you could play a game with only two buttons?! It’s an actual controller and not just a fancy ball to mimic catching Pokemon. You can actually play the game with it.
Button one is basically your “A” and is the button that in the show opens the Pokeball. It is a stick to navigate and can be down-pressed to click and interact. Button two is on top of the Pokeball and is more-or-less your “B.” It opens your menu and can back you out of options. Two buttons. I’m still blown away by this.
The Bells and Whistles
The Pokeball is motion sensitive, so you can not only fake a toss to throw an in-game Pokeball, but you can also move it around to pet your companion. The latter is a little difficult to manage, but it still sweet.
The Pokeball Plus is also set up with a multitude of extras. It will vibrate and make a collision sound every time a pokemon gets hit in a battle (there seems to be a small delay between what is happening on screen and when the Pokeball triggers).
It will blink lights like the on-screen Pokeball when you’re waiting for the three blinks to see if the wild pokemon gets caught or not. When it is caught it will flash a colored light that is associated with the caught pokemon. So a Venonat will flash purple, and a Pikachu will flash yellow, etc. It’s pretty friggin’ awesome.
Minor Negative Criticism
For as cool as it is, I couldn’t say if the Pokeball Plus is worth it unless Nintendo continues to release Pokemon games on the Switch and it can be a controller for those games as well. It’s a little pricey despite how neat it is to just be a controller for the one game.
As far as drawbacks to using the Pokeball Plus, they are minor. If a Pokemon is particularly rowdy and darting back and forth on the screen it can be really hard to catch. The ball doesn’t seem to registered sideways tosses very well. Otherwise, it’s pretty easy to toss to a centered pokemon and I’ve gotten numerous “excellent” throws using the Pokeball Plus.
Also, it can be a little uncomfortable to use after a while. Curling your hand around it and just keeping it there makes my hand feel stiff after about an hour or so. The size itself, though, feels right to hold.
Playing with Pokemon Go
Let’s Go Eevee and Let’s Go Pikachu can be paired with your Pokemon Go account (Go, go, go, I see what you did there, Nintendo). However, it’s a pain in the buns to do.
You’re only given directions to your settings to connect your games, but no actual instructions on how to connect or how to transfer pokemon. But I found this handy-dandy guide on how to work this out.
How to Transfer Pokemon
Basically, turn on Bluetooth on your phone then go to settings and select “Nintendo Switch.” At the same time on your Switch go to settings and “Pokemon Go” in “options.” You have to have both of these screens open for your devices to communicate.
But it’s not just a “one you’re done” deal. Your Pokemon Go account isn’t permanently bound to your Switch. You can’t access your Go account without your phone. This seems like it limits players. It is more than a little hindrance than you would expect. It would be neat if you could just link your account completely and not have to use both devices to do a quick transfer.
To transfer Pokemon from Pokemon Go to Let’s Go, firstly you need to be in Fuschia City in the Go Park Complex. Then you go to your pokemon list on Pokemon Go and then click the Nintendo Switch icon. After that, you are taken to a special pokemon list with only eligible Pokemon that can be transferred. Select the ones you want and move them to Let’s Go!
The Downsides of Transferring
The transfer prompt says you can transfer anything from Kanto except Mew, but I noticed that my Growlithes and some other Pokemon weren’t showing up. This was disappointing considering that I was able to transfer Let’s Go Pikachu‘s exclusive Oddish to my Let’s Go Eevee but Growlithe (another Pikachu exclusive) couldn’t send?
It’s also worth noting that you cannot transfer Pokemon from Let’s Go to Pokemon Go. Also, once you transfer a Pokemon from Go to Let’s Go it’s permanent.
Red and Blue vs Eevee and Pikachu
I can’t comment a lot on the storyline and game design aspect of the games, but I can a little. I’ve played the original Pokemon Blue probably 3/4 of the way. At the time of this review, I’ve beaten only 5 of the 8 gym badges in Let’s Go Eevee.
Right now I feel like Let’s Go is a good spiritual reboot of the original Kanto. I recognize many areas are designed similarly, if not a direct copy of the originals. The updates to the game are blended in nicely.
Some of the Changes
For example, a guy inside a few Pokemon Centers offers you new, elusive moves to your companion pokemon. He’s unobtrusive and seems to fit in. The Go Park Complex is next to to to the Safari Zone, which is a good placement that feels natural. Pokemon that later in the game’s history become fairy types are fairy types in Let’s Go and there are several fairy-type moves that can be learned.
And my personal favorite, in several Pokemon Centers there is a guy in the corner that will trade you Alolan Pokemon for their Kanto counterparts. You can do this as many times as you want.
As far as the story goes, I’ve noticed only slight differences. The biggest of those is the Team Rocket lair under the casino is a little different. But it feels like it’s for the better. I really can’t complain so far. Then again, I’m not completely done with either game yet.
Lightning Round of Neat Features
Just some other things worth mentioning that don’t fit into categories:
Shinys seem to be just a little more prevalent. I encountered two (but only successfully caught one, sadness) so far in this game and have only found one previously in all the other games I played. However, it might only seem that shinies are more common since you can actually see pokemon running around.
Pokemon run around! This is a great update to the game. You don’t blindly walk through tall grass anymore. You can see wild Pokemon and go after the ones you want. This greatly aids you being able to better avoid Zubats in caves without dumping a bunch of cash on repels. It’s reasonably easy to avoid unwanted encounters unless they spawn right on top of you.
Perhaps the best thing is that PCs are obsolete. You now have a “Pokemon Box” in your backpack where, at any time, anywhere you want, you can sub Pokemon in and out of your party. So awesome. It does apparently have a limit on how many Pokemon it can hold, but I haven’t had a problem yet. In line with that, your items are also nicely organized into more, and more specific, categories.
You Can Use Your Pokemon To Travel!
You can ride your Pokemon! If your Pokemon is big enough, like Charizard or Haunter, you can casually ride on it while on your routes. You have no idea how excited I was to just all of a sudden jump on my spooky ghost to go terrorize the town.
Since your starter is chosen for you depending on which version you buy, you get alternative ways to get the original starters. Catch lots of types of Pokemon, and three trainers will gift you their Charmander, Bulbasaur, and Squirtle. These Pokemon seem to level quickly, so might be consider traded, and therefore, they get an experience boost.
Another HM fix: your companion will learn all of the necessary abilities to cut down trees and surf across the water. How does an Eevee swim you across the sea, you ask? By sheer determination. All without using up your four battle slots.
Final Thoughts: Overwhelmingly Positive
I personally feel like Let’s Go Eevee is the best Pokemon game I’ve played. I really do. There are so many little fixes, such as being able to see wild Pokemon, that I hope to continue into future games. As for me, I give this game a solid nine and a half Pikachus out of ten. Seriously, why haven’t you bought it yet? Go, now!