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As big quint would say : "Leeeeettttssss f***ing go"

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    Pokemon: Let’s Go, Pikachu!

    Rating: 4.5 – Outstanding

    As big quint would say : "Leeeeettttssss f***ing go"

    Before getting into it, the verdict, the game is worth playing, though is worth buying? I say yes though first understand what you are getting here and how much you think that is worth. I got the game as a gift, though I was down to splurge on it anyways. Though depending on what you expect content-wise from a pokemon game, this might feel better at a discount for what is essentially a remake of Pok¨¦mon Yellow.

    My poke-background : I played a mess of gen 1, multiple copies of blue, one of red, one of yellow, stadium, from the first time playing and getting so into it that I didn’t even save before the battery died on me to tooling around with missingno glitches and battling with level 255 mons for a laugh. Then came gold, crystal, stadium 2. On to sapphire, emerald, fire red, gamecube games, diamond, coliseum, white/white 2, X, omega ruby, moon, and now this. I missed out on soul silver and passed on ultra moon. I dabble in showdown and love trying out different sets from smogon. I have not played any of the mobile game Go.

    Now, for Let’s go Pikachu I’ve put in around 90 hours so far, all in handheld mode, I have the ball controller accessory though I haven’t used it aside from getting mew out of there.

    So what to expect, as I mentioned, this is pretty much a remake of Pok¨¦mon Yellow, it features the more pronounced ties to the anime with the inclusion of team rocket members Jesse and James, and of course gives you a super strong and super cute Pikachu (or Eevee) to tag along with you on your journey. What Let’s go mixes in here are some big mechanic shifts, some nice quality of life pieces, and some interesting tweaks that help separate the meta for this title.

    Big changes – Pok¨¦mon are now visible in the overworld, there are no random encounters, no fishing, battling Pok¨¦mon is divorced from battling them (you only battle trainers, catching is now it’s own thing with a twang of how the safari zone used to feel with how Pok¨¦mon can run away now and you may at times use fruits to make catching them easier, and there are a handful of Pok¨¦mon you do battle with in order to then have a chance at catching them like the legendary birds), HM’s are gone (you still have the move ‘surf’ for instance, though to get across water you now use special actions so it’s all much less cumbersome and frees you from having to tote around a HM slave).

    Quality of life things – No dealing with pc boxes, everything you catch is on you at all times, and getting a shiny Pok¨¦mon has never been more reasonable as all you need to do is build up a catch chain to a certain number and then keep spawning in Pok¨¦mon on the overworld until one shows up (with odds of like 1 in 400 or something that can be made into even better odds with the use of lures and a shiny charm which is your prize for completing the dex).

    Tweaks – Let’s go has in-game trades for Alolan variants of the Pok¨¦mon who have them, as well as Mega evolutions, the game also brings in with that dark types, steel types, and fairy types. You don’t have abilities here, and Pok¨¦mon can’t hold items, so you get a sort of return to Gen 1 fundamentals with this infusion of newer moves and capabilities. Status effects are important since you can’t just use aromatherapy or heal bell, stealth rocks are THE hazard and cannot be removed, neat stuff to consider.

    Some new stuff, Let’s go introduces new Pok¨¦mon Meltan and evolution Melmetal, though you can only get them through Pok¨¦mon Go. Let’s go also deals heavily in candy. There is candy to increase every stat, and specific candy for each Pok¨¦mon used to increase all their stats at once. You get candies from Pok¨¦mon you catch and to get specific candies will need to build up a big catch chain and catch a bunch of the same Pok¨¦mon. You can also send the mountains of Pok¨¦mon you catch and don’t need to Professor Oak who will reward your work with some more candy. The stat boosts aren’t necessary for in-game purposes, though will give you a much greater advantage.

    Ride on, there are a number of Pok¨¦mon you can ride on or fly around on, and beyond that any and everything can follow you around, huge hulking beasts just cavorting around, it’s a treat, it’s everything you always wanted and more, no bike no problem, this is delightful and brings a lot of whimsy back into the series.

    Shortcomings, so difficulty-wise this game showers you with exp for catching Pok¨¦mon, for battling, gives you candies to boost stats, and when battling never pushes you to really consider much of anything. There are more serious trainers scattered about through the region who will warn you about themselves before battling, though they aren’t significantly more challenging than what is nearby elsewhere. The post-game challenge is going after ‘Master trainers’ who each specialize in one Pok¨¦mon, there is a Master trainer for every single Pok¨¦mon, meaning just that, one for poliwag, polwhirl, and poliwrath, battling each one individually using your own poliwag, poliwhirl, and poliwrath with theirs being at level 65 or around there.

    What I’d like to see, the return of the dexnav, and more emphasis in game on strategy and tactics, it would be great to see a push towards an endgame that featured interesting teams to battle the employed diverse methods and better guided players to build their own teams while also making the grind less of a hassle to get to the point where experimentation and swapping out role players was what bulk of the experience was rather than just the grind.

    Fears, so in being a sort of cousin to the mobile game Pok¨¦mon Go, and changing up certain mechanics and gameplay loops, my fears for the series going forward would be the mobile-esque monetization that could very easily slip into things here, with how the game handles catching Pok¨¦mon and the usage of lures to get better shiny odds, it would not be out of the question to see these items become pay to get anything done dlc microtransactions that would become the rule rather than the exception if some things were adjusted.

    So take this into consideration for a possible purchase, are the changes too drastic, does the meta sound interesting enough, do you want to ride around on a snorlax, are you a shiny hunter, does it sound like there is enough content, and if you don’t play the mobile game Go does that impact your decision here. I enjoyed the game a good deal, I like the first gen games a bunch, this game streamlines some things very nicely, all in all it is up there for me as one of the better overall experiences with the series. It may not have all the stuff, though what’s here is good.

    Rating:   4.5 – Outstanding

    Product Release: Pokemon: Let’s Go, Pikachu! (US, 11/16/18)

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