Pokemon: Let’s Go!

The most recent installment in the Pokemon franchise was Pokemon: Let’s Go! This hotly-anticipated Nintendo Switch game was released in two different versions; Pokemon: Let’s Go, Pickachu! and Pokemon: Let’s Go, Eevee! The games launched almost 10 days ago, and within 3 days had already sold more than half a million copies (approximately 650,000) between them. However, despite the strong initial surge in sales, Pokemon: Let’s Go, Pickachu! sold only 62% of their shipment in Japan, while Pokemon: Let’s Go, Eevee! sold an even more disappointing 51%. (The former’s higher percentage of sales can likely be attributed to Pikachu being more recognizable and largely being considered as the face of the Pokemon franchise.)

The hype surrounding the release was electric ever since Nintendo announced the development of the pair of games back in the back end of May 2018 in a press conference in Japan. The sales percentages were disappointing, and it made for a grim reading for those at Nintendo and at The Pokemon Company. These games sold worse than any other games previously released by the Pokemon franchise, selling approximately 20 per cent less than average. But why is that? In this article, we’ll be detailing everything you need to know about both versions of the Nintendo Switch games. And if you are interested in group online gaming and reading the latest in gaming news, you’ll want to check out https://www.esports.net/.

PLOT

Both versions of the game are set in the region of Kanto, with Pikachu or Eevee being your starter Pokemon depending on which version of the game you’ve chosen. They both have higher base stats than normal.

FEATURES

The creators of Pokemon: Let’s Go! have deviated away slightly from their predecessors in Generation I and III. For starters, this game features entirely new protagonists instead of Red, Blue, Elaine and Chase. In fact, the role of Blue is completely replaced by a new, friendly rival by the name of Trace. The second major difference you’ll notice straight away is that Team Rocket (two evil twins dressed in all-black attire) are the obstacle keeping the player from progressing to Route 2 until the parcel is delivered.

Both Pokemon: Let’s Go, Pikachu and Pokemon: Let’s Go, Eevee are said to be based on Pokemon Yellow. There was a rumor making the rounds a while back that the Pokemon franchise were looking to develop a Pokemon Yellow remake, and it seems that these two games are here pick up that mantle. These games feature the 151 original Pokemon from Generation I. Players can also import the Alolan forms of these Pokemon from Pokemon GO or can receive them in in-game trades. But something that kept Pokemon fans on their toes and really hyped them up for this game’s release was the announcement that there was an all-new mythical Pokemon to be revealed in these two releases: Meltan and its evolved form, Melmetal.

The final notably different feature of this game is the integration of a new accessory, the Poké Ball Plus, which can be used to capture pokemon by performing a throwing motion with the ball. It comes in replacing the Joy-con.

REVIEWS OF POKEMON: LET’S GO!

Reviews of the newly-launched game have been very mixed, to say the least. Strong initial sales followed by an immediate slump suggest that the gameplay leaves much to be desired. The first reason for that may be that the price of the game has gone up around $20, depending where you buy it from. Immediately, that leads to a drop in purchases made from Pokemon’s more casual fans who aren’t willing to pay as much for newer releases.

A quick internet search proves that it is not just Pokemon’s more casual fans that are reluctant to buy this release. Metacritic, the internet’s biggest and most notorious review aggregator paints something of a grim picture for Pokemon: Let’s Go! The score given to the game was a lowly 4.8 out of 10. There are also more negative reviews than positive ones, which is something pretty much unheard of for a Pokemon game. Another pretty damning piece of evidence is that Amazon Japan had to hide the star rating of the game since it was rated so poorly. But why is this the case?

One of the main and most repeated reasons is the ‘dumbing down’ an already easy and straightforward game. People, especially the more experienced players, were hoping to find a new challenge awaiting them, with new tasks to undertake and new places to explore. Instead, they got what many described as ‘the same exact story over and over again’, only this time the difficulty, complexity and subsequent skill level needed is much lower compared to other games.

Another game feature which was quite disappointing to many players was the removal of the wild battles system, in favour for the Pokemon GO system. The removal of several layers of battling complexity have again contributed to the dumbing down of the game and have made battles much less competitive, and therefore a lot less exciting. What is more, the wireless feature present in all Pokemon games since 2006 is no more, making random wireless battles and global trading a thing of the past, at least for the time being.

The final thing that really peeved off many dedicated Pokemon players was the fact that Mew, the most sought-after of all the Pokemon, is locked behind a paywall and costs real money to unlock. It seems like a low-effort move, and has been received as such, especially after previously implementing a special in-game story that allows the best players to unlock Mew back in Pokemon Emerald, which was released back in 2005.

Of course, it is nigh on impossible to create one thing that will appease 100% of its users, and Pokemon: Let’s Go has many merits and enjoyable qualities, but it seems that the creators quite missed the mark on this one. Having been described as a ‘cash grab that lacks any real passion’ with ‘a shrinking amount of content per game’, the creators of Pokemon: Let’s Go! will not be too pleased with the reaction that their game has received.