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From someone who was skeptical…

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    pigzig_n1
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    Pokemon: Let’s Go, Pikachu!

    Rating: 4.0 – Great

    From someone who was skeptical…

    Pokemon. If you don’t know what it is, you must not be from this planet. I’m going to assume you have some experience with the series for this review. This is a quick review aimed at core gamers that have played Pokemon before.

    Let’s go get right into it, with the gameplay changes.

    Gameplay

    Although this game has less Pokemon and removes hold items and abilities, it doesn’t really suffer from it. The game is easy enough already and it was hold items and abilities that gave birth to cheese strats like Endeavour Rattata in multiplayer. In many ways this destroyed the fantasy of Pokemon, to see a Charizard get defeated by a level 2 Rattata. Although these changes are bound to be controversial, I can’t help but feel the series is probably no worse off with these removed mechanics. One feature I will certainly not miss is breeding, good riddance for the tedious grind of hatching eggs on a step counter. Although the game may feel dumbed down at first, it is not necessarily any less entertaining in the end. Even online limitations probably aren’t the end of the world, the online scene in previous titles was riddled with hackers.

    Catching is entirely revamped. Although this was known for ages, it may surprise you just how big of a deal this is. Catching is one of the core aspects of Pokemon after all. This game has no more random encounters and catching Pokemon is no longer just praying for the mon to stay in the ball. Everything is more skill based, you find the Pokemon in the field, run into it and use motion control skills to catch. There are rewards for how you throw the ball and for chaining multiple of the same mon in a row. It’s much more involved and interesting than any previous mainline game.

    The game moves fast, you can run from battles and enter another much quicker than previous games. It is especially pleasant coming from Sun and Moon, which often felt sluggish mechanically. The Pokeball rocks faster when you catch a mon, there is a lot less downtime and tedium in the core mechanics. As a result, I’ve found Pokemon Lets Go very fun to play, especially compared to previous entries.

    Graphics

    There has been much criticism of the artstyle of this game. Many have said it looks like a mobile game or high resolution 3ds game. In game everything is crisper than what I remember from pre-release screenshots. The game does appear to be running in a relatively high resolution. Nonetheless, I am not entirely sold on the artstyle for this game. The environments generally look great but the deformed look of the characters makes it feel almost cheap, like a mobile title or 3ds game indeed.

    Music

    The music is mostly remixes of what was on the Gameboy back in the day. It is hard for me to judge as I have played Red and Blue(and remakes) many times already. I will not go into much detail here, but I think if you are like me, it feels like you’ve been here before. A cool feature is that you can turn the music off though, leaving the sound effects on. Good for long time fans who may feel they have heard it all already.

    Conclusion

    Overall, Pokemon Lets Go is a lot better than I thought. While much of the hate thrown at the game is legitimate criticism, the game has many good points as well. The game seems to be aimed at players who haven’t played the series in awhile, or new players entirely. Although Kanto is a bit of a drag for someone like me that has played it a hundred times, the removed features are often for the better and there is a lot of fun to be had with the new catching mechanics.

    Pros:
    Catching changes

    Motion controls are genuine fun

    Accessible to a second player

    Game moves fast (e.g. no long animation of sending out a Pokemon every wild encounter)

    Removed features are arguably for the better (e.g. no tedious breeding, no random encounters)

    Cons:
    Kanto region… again.

    Doesn’t do much to appeal to long time fans who may want new mons, etc

    Rating:   4.0 – Great

    Product Release: Pocket Monsters Let’s Go! Pikachu (JP, 11/16/18)

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