As I sat down to play Pokémon: Let’s Go! Eevee (sorry, Pikachu fans!), I couldn’t contain my excitement. I’d played games throughout the franchise’s 22-year history, and a visit back to its roots (in high-definition) was not to be missed.
Did my first impressions live up to the nostalgia-filled hype among Pokémon fans? In short, yes (yes, yes, yes!). Here’s a breakdown of our first dive into Pokémon: Let’s Go! Eevee.
If anything, the newest pair of Pokemon games to hit — and the first Pokémon RPGs to land on home consoles — are beautiful games. It’s a tight blend of Pokémon the video game series and Pokémon the anime series. When playing through the original, it was hard to truly get any sort of scale, but my jaunt through Pewter City (as far as I got before reminding myself I was pacing my time in Kanto) really felt grander than it did in old-school Pokémon games.
The menu received a huge overhaul as well, which provides a nice polish to the overall experience; making you feel like this wasn’t just a cut-and-paste reboot.
Controls (And Controllers)
This may be due in part to my recent dive back into Pokémon GO (trying to fill my box with Kanto favorites ripe for transferring!), but it took a minute to get the hang of the controls. With that said, catching Pokémon (who you bump into in the over-world) was a streamlined delight.
As one does, I also purchased the Poké Ball Plus. Though a little small for my hands, it’s a charming way to play the game. My biggest frustration with the peripheral is the lack of instructions (both in the box and in the game). Connecting it to the Switch was not as intuitive as I’d hoped, and it wasn’t until I was ready to face off against Pewter City’s gym leader, Brock, that I realized shaking it while in the menu can bring up sub-menus that the Y button opens via the Joy-Con.
The best part about this game (so far) is the nostalgic take on the start of the entire Pokémon universe. Though a fresh (and expensive-looking) coat of paint douses the game, I still found myself smiling at things that I remembered from the original. While in Veridian City, I found myself walking, on autopilot, behind a building to pick up a hidden item; my muscle memory surprising me in a great way. Yes, it’s not the “core” Pokémon RPG we were promised two years ago, but who cares? It’s a treat to be able to revisit this in a way that feels fresh and not demanding.
Rather than diving directly into the game at breakneck pace, I’m taking the alternate route of sitting back, immersing myself into the revamped tale and — as the game is designed for — taking my time to casually progress through the story; how else can I ensure I am the very best that no one ever was?
Stay tuned for TGON’s full Pokémon: Let’s Go! Pikachu and Eevee review.