Game Review Nintendo Switch Pokemon 8

Pokemon Let’s Go Pikachu & Eevee Review

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After 30 hours of gameplay I’m ready to give my review of the new Pokemon Let’s Go Pikachu & Eevee games! Are these games as good as the original it’s based on? Is it as good as the other core games in the series? Here’s what I think!

The Great:

The Pokemon:

As much as I might complain about being sick of Kanto I love a good majority of the original 151 Pokemon. This game also made me a fan of Eevee. I never thought about raising a regular ole Eevee before I did it in this game and that little thing kicks all kinds of ass. Gengar, Charizard, Venusaur, Muk, and Arcanine are some of my all time favorite Pokemon and they all originated in this game. There’s more Pokemon I could name, but I’ll be here all day doing it. Gen 1 had some of the best Pokemon ever created. 

Gym Leaders:

This only made this section because after you beat the main game you can battle the gym leaders again and they’ll use their full power against you. Every gym leader will have a full party of 6 Pokemon and they’re power. The lowest level you’ll fight is level 58. I really enjoyed going against them the second time around.

The Good:

Gameplay:

The first Pokemon game for the Switch should have been leaps and bounds better than its 3DS counterparts. It’s not. It’s not even close. The animations here are worse than the games on the 3DS and I really don’t like the new catch mechanic. It’s incredibly boring throwing 40 ultra balls at a Rhyhorn so I could catch it. I wish I could just throw my Venusaur out there, use sleep powder, beat the crap out of it, and then throw an ultra ball at it. You can’t do that in this game and I never warmed up to the GO style here. A huge part of Pokemon is battling other Pokemon trainers. At first I even disliked that because it was so easy. Every trainer had a single Pokemon and none of them were level 10 while my entire party was pushing 20. After Cerulean City the game gets better and after Celadon City it starts to feel like a real Pokemon game. The biggest feature that was carried over from Sun & Moon is the lack of HMs. They’re gone! And hopefully they never show their ugly head again. I don’t need an HM slave because Eevee can do everything. I had my Gyarados surf me around and after I completed the game I was able to fly on the back of my Charizard and that was incredibly cool. 

Pokemon battles are really neat, but the animations are absolutely terrible and there’s no excuse for that. I’ll get more into that later on in this review. I like that I can see what Pokemon I want to catch, but it’s not without issues though. Some times wild Pokemon get in the way when I’m trying to push something out of my way and eventually I stopped caring that I could see them because I didn’t want to go through the trouble of trying to catch them. This game isn’t big enough for us to be able to see wild Pokemon. If you’re going to let them walk around make Pokemon a true open world game then. Make Veridian Forest huge and make this game 100 hours long. 

Graphics:

When I’m surfing the open seas this game is beautiful. When I’m on land it’s alright. It’s not the best looking game on the Switch or even the best looking Pokemon game to me. I prefer the graphical style of some of the older games like Black & White over this one. Pokken Tournament is the best looking Pokemon game on the Switch. Some of the Pokemon are really ugly to look at. I was expecting more than what I got here.

Kanto:

I’m incredibly tired of Kanto. It was a huge focus in Sun & Moon and it’s been remade twice now. Lay this region to rest. It’s the most uninteresting region in all of Pokemon. Every other region is better than this one. Nostalgia can only last so long in this game. They could have made each city in this game really special, but they didn’t. It’s still the same, bland Kanto that it’s always been. Kanto in Gold & Silver is much better than the one here. At least that one had some nice changes. It was nice to revisit Kanto (again) and catch a lot of my favorite Pokemon, but man I’m tired of coming back here… 

Sounds:

All of the classic songs of the original games are beautifully remastered here. My favorite is obviously Lavender’s Town theme. That’s really the only standout song in the entire game for me. If I had never played another Pokemon game after the original Red, Blue, and Yellow this would be in the great section, but I’ve played them all and all of them have better soundtracks than this one. That’s not an insult to this game though because the soundtrack here is very good. The only voice acting in this game is Pikachu and Eevee saying their names and grunting in battle. It’s nice and I wish Gamefreak would go the extra mile and add in all the Pokemon voices. It’s not like you had all 802 to do. It’s only the first 151. 

Co-op

For the first time ever you can win badges with someone… and it’s only fun when I play with one of my kids. I love seeing how happy my kids get when they’re playing this game. I personally don’t care much for the feature because it makes an easy game even easier. You can literally double team your way through this game and jump everyone. It’ll make the game easier for kids to complete and that’s about the only good thing about it. 

The Bad:

The GO Mechanics:

The GO mechanics made a potentially great game worse in my opinion. I don’t like the motion controls so I mostly played in handheld mode, but the stupid catch mechanic is there and I prefer to battle my wild Pokemon and only catch what I want to catch instead of being forced to catch multiple Pokemon so I could level up because experience gains in battle has been nerfed. Battles are just there to cater to us hardcore players, but without any of the rewards that comes from winning. 

Animations:

Before any of you can say, “Sun and Moon had bad animations too!” let me explain to you why those games did. There are over 800 Pokemon in Sun & Moon. 800! There’s only 151 Pokemon here and there’s no excuse why the animations should be so bad. It’s lazy and when you compare it to a game that released in 1998 it pales in comparison. Take a look – 

If all 151 Pokemon had animations that good in 1998 why don’t they in 2018? Laziness that’s why. 

End Game:

This is going to be the first Pokemon game I don’t put at least 100 hours into. After 32 hours I’m done with it. The “master trainers” are a complete joke and only have a single Pokemon. What’s your reward for doing this? A title that you can show off to people online. You can also battle all of the gym leaders again, but what’s the point? The experience gains are super low and it’ll take forever for you to reach level 100 that way. You’re better off catching 300 Gravelers in Cerulean cave. It was nice battling Red, Blue, and Green again. I was especially happy to see Green because I was not expecting to see her in this game. That was a nice treat and her party kicks ass too. 

Story:

Sun & Moon proved that Pokemon can have a great story. This game took a major step back. Our rival is just a super friendly, bland dude with zero personality. Lets compare him to someone like Hau, who was also super friendly, but he had personality! He’s a cool dude and had some nice dialogue too. This game is just trying it’s best to feed off our nostalgia and I can’t ignore that. 

If you want a more positive take on Let’s Go Pikachu & Eevee here’s a review by Mr. Panda. He liked the game a lot more than I did.

The Verdict

Pokemon Let's Go Pikachu and Eevee are good games, but they're not worth $60. You can get much better Pokemon games for under $40. This game does not do the original Pokemon Yellow justice to me. It's sole purpose is to bring in Pokemon GO players so they can buy a Switch. It's not targeted at us long time Pokemon fans. Let's Go, unfortunately, will most likely get a sequel and that means the long awaited remakes to Diamond & Pearl will be in this format. This game is good and I enjoyed becoming the Pokemon master again, but there are too many changes that dampened my experience and I would prefer to go back and finish my current playthrough of Black & White before touching this game again. If you're a casual Pokemon fan that hasn't played in a game in this series in years I would recommend starting here. You'll most likely love it and there's nothing wrong with that. For everyone else that has played every game I recommend waiting for the 2019 game. $60 is a lot to ask for a Pokemon game that's missing so many features that we've grown to love over the years.

6
Final Score:
6

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8 Comments

  • Reply
    Mr. Panda
    Nov 21, 2018 2:17 pm

    Excellent review man! I agree that the Pokemon Go mechanics are by far the worst part of Pokemon Let’s Go. I agree that the game takes a step back from Pokemon Sun and Moon, and I think that the game is definitely shallower. That said, even though it’s in Kanto (which I love so no problems there for me haha), it felt fresh because of the no wild encounters, the conveniences, and the graphics. And as much as I rag on the capture mechanic, the pace felt snappier. I’d love more of a mix or just the traditional mechanics in the actual Switch RPG, but as a more casual nostalgia-driven game, I think Pokemon Let’s Go does a great job. And likewise, you did a great job on this! Thank you so much for the shoutout to my review man! I appreciate it a lot!! 😀

    • Reply
      drakulus
      Nov 21, 2018 2:31 pm

      Thank! I noticed we had a lot of similar opinions on the game. You just liked a more than me :). The GO mechanics are definitely a letdown, but I did enjoy revisiting a huge part of my childhood. The no wild encounters is nice, but seeing more Pokemon than grass was funny to me.

      I can see the next Let’s Go game being really good if they close the gap between the traditional games and this one. Bring back eggs, held items, and wild battles and give us the option to play in Go style or Classic and you’ll literally make everyone happy. I wouldn’t mind a hard mode like Black 2 & White 2 had. Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon was also pretty hard compared to the original games.

  • Reply
    iplayedthegame
    Nov 21, 2018 3:24 pm

    I’m toying with the idea of getting this to play with my daughter. The only thing that’s putting me off is that I’ve heard the motion controls are a bit janky!

    • Reply
      drakulus
      Nov 21, 2018 10:32 pm

      My kids don’t really struggle with the motion controls. At least not yet. When the Pokemon start jumping around and hide in the far corner of the screen I could see them struggling. This game does not have good motion controls.

  • Reply
    LightningEllen
    Nov 21, 2018 6:21 pm

    Forced motion control use sounds bad… I hate how Nintendo keeps pushing those, haha. Great review! Probably gonna pass on this game but I definitely need to play Sun or Moon someday. Games with good stories are the best 🙂

    • Reply
      drakulus
      Nov 21, 2018 10:34 pm

      Sun or Moon (Moon is better imo) are fantastic games and they’re cheaper than this. You’ll probably be better buying Ultra Sun or Moon, but I recommend playing through the base games first.

      And yes, the motion controls are the worst in this and they’re shoved down our throats. This game has no pro controller support for TV usage and the Joy Cons don’t do a good job of tracking my movements when I try and throw the Poke Balls…

  • Reply
    The Otaku Judge
    Nov 22, 2018 4:49 am

    I have played around 15 hours and am enjoying it slightly more than you. Hopefully future games keep some of the features that Let’s Go has. I especially like being able to change my party anytime, without having to find a PC. Maybe future titles can give players the option to either catch wild Pokémon via battling or the Go system? That would make everyone happy. Fight them for better XP or throw balls for people who just want to farm shinys.

    • Reply
      drakulus
      Nov 22, 2018 3:24 pm

      I would prefer the core games stay the way they are. They can add more to them and leave the Go mechanics for the dumbed down side games. This game took away a lot from the core games and added in very little. It’s the only Pokemon game that I won’t play through more than once.

      Being able to change my party on the go is a must have feature in my opinion. I don’t think I can go back to running all the way back to a Pokemon Center just to get my new Pokemon out :). I also like that I can see the Pokemon in the overworld now so we can pick and choose when to engage the Pokemon and not have 1 million Zubats stop us from progressing through caves.

      I’m glad you’re enjoying it :). It’s a good game.

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