TGON Plays Pokémon: Let’s Go!

As I unboxed my copy of Pokémon: Let’s Go! Eevee, I told myself I wasn’t going to rush through the game in a single weekend. Two weeks later, I docked my Switch as a Pokémon Champion. 

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Image via author’s Nintendo Switch

The wave of nostalgia I felt beginning my journey was greater than expected. Seeing the world in glorious 3D the way my brain imagined it 20 years prior was a truly exciting experience. I must admit, I felt a pang in not being able to choose Squirtle as my starter, but the personality of my Eevee, Wilson, made up for that as the journey progressed. Overall, the experience was a streamlined, worthy retelling of a classic game, and one that harkens toward what the series could look like when it returned with the currently untitled 2019 game. 

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Image via the author’s Nintendo Switch

Long gone are the battle-until-they-are-weak-but-not-fainted catching mechanisms and soul-crushing grinding experienced when Pokémon Yellow made its debut on the Game Boy Color in 1998. The catching system, which is basically a direct port from Pokémon GO, moves the pace along nicely, ensuring that you have more time to take in the story, exploration and excitement of the Pokémon Universe. 

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Image via the author’s Nintendo Switch

The graphical improvements breathe new life into the franchise and achieve what the later 3DS entries could only hope for. The whimsy with which the story unfolds does air on the more casual side, but there wasn’t a moment where I thought the game was too easy. As we head into the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, with many games taking themselves too seriously, Pokémon: Let’s Go! provides the nostalgic escape we didn’t even know we need. 

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Image via the author’s Nintendo Switch

The first half of the game is at a slower half than the second half, feeling like an Apple presentation slowly unveiling all the new features of the latest iPhone, but by the time you are headed into Silph Co., the game free falls into tight trainer battles, excellent puzzle solving and some interesting encounters with foes old and new. 

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Image via the author’s Nintendo Switch

As mentioned in my first impressions of the game, the Pokéball Plus controller is a fun addition to the gameplay; though not necessary at all to feel fulfilled while playing. I spent the majority of my time playing in handheld — where the game truly shines — and toting the Pokéball Plus along would make for a disjointed experience. 

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Image via the author’s Nintendo Switch

If you are looking for a hardcore experience that is full of competitive and wild experiences, Pokémon: Let’s Go! isn’t for you. If you want to experience Kanto in a new way; honing your party in the best way possible to truly become the very best, then the only choice is whether to bring Eevee or Pikachu along on your journey.

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