RPG-Adventure game review: Pokemon Let’s go, Pikachu!

pikachu

Hello everyone! RPG reviews are another thing I haven’t done for a while so I figured I’d make a post about this game!! I binge-played it over the course of November 2018, but I still have the game experience engraved in my heart.

The first time I ever played a video game was when I was six, and it was Pokemon Yellow. It’s such a fond memory that I remember exactly when I got the game: I was celebrating Christmas with my family at one of my aunts’ houses and Dad gave it to me as a present together with this Game Boy Color. Because this game brings back so many fond memories, when Pokemon Let’s Go Pikachu and Eevee (the remake) were announced, I was over the moon. At first, I thought of getting the Eevee version but, since your starter can’t evolve in Let’s Go (just like in Pokemon Yellow), and because Pikachu was the one who took me to a trip down memory lane, I finally ended up choosing the yellow mouse with red cheeks.

Apart from the very obvious graphic changes (due to their evolution over time), one of the first differences you notice in this remake is the fact that the one who catches Pikachu is not Oak but none other than you. Yes, you. When the game starts, Pikachu comes out of the TV screen and tells you to follow them back into it. How clever is that? It really makes you feel like the main character is actually you, the player, and not an avatar. You just ‘turn’ into the avatar when you enter the TV, that’s why the first thing you do when you’re in the pokemon world is to look at your hands. You then find Professor Oak in the grass area and catch Pikachu. Later, at the lab, your Pikachu gets out of the pokeball and joins your party!! My Pikachu is a boy and I named him Kuri ❤ .

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Your first encounter with your partner
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Welcome aboard, Kuri!

Unfortunately, Blue isn’t our rival (though he does appear in the game several times) since we’re not exactly Red. In fact, the game makes it seem like whatever happened to Red and Blue in Pokemon Yellow/Blue/Red/Green didn’t happen to them but to you instead. You’re the one who will encounter Team Rocket, defeat them and make them disband after you beat Giovanni, their boss. Our rival is, instead, Trace (who I named Takumi in my playthrough) who’s known you since childhood and, like the last several pokemon game rivals, he’s very nice. To tell the truth, this was kind of a disappointment; I tend to prefer rivals that are a bit (or very) nasty at the beginning and, later, after they undergo character development, they get friendlier. Rivals who are too nice from the very beginning feel…lacking. At least, if you’re going to make them nice, give them another characteristic that’s a bit more interesting. Like N or Gladion. These two may not be assholes, but they are an antagonistic force, their ideals are opposite to yours and they’re always one step ahead of you. The last few rivals in Pokemon always seemed to be behind the player, almost as if the player was the ‘rival’ instead. It’d be nice if Pokemon stopped being so afraid to be more daring and go back to those other type of rivals that we loved so much, like Blue or Silver (the best of them all). Beating them actually felt like a real achievement unlike these newer friendly versions.

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First rival battle
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He’s super friendly from the very beginning

Something I really loved about Pokemon Yellow, that its counterparts Blue/Red/Green didn’t have, was being able to talk to Pikachu and seeing their mood and reactions. As expected, Pokemon Let’s Go re-introduced this aspect, but it didn’t stop there: this time, Pikachu can also ride on your shoulder (my dream and probably every else’s since Pokemon games were born) and is overall more participative in the journey; for instance, there are times when you have pick certain dialogue options to say to them and others when Pikachu will react to their surroundings; they even help you in Team Rocket’s hideout. Not only that; similar to the Pokemon amie in X & Y, you can pet, feed, play and even high five your Pikachu. You can even dress Pikachu to make them have a matching outfit to yours! It’s so awesome having matching outfits with your poke-partner!! Oh, that reminds me, since you get the outfits by talking to NPCs, be sure to talk to EVERYONE. It may be tedious but, believe me, it’s totally worth it (sometimes they may give you other type of items as well). Really, all of these features were a blast and I’m so happy that they added them to this remake. It really felt like I was going on a pokemon journey with my Pikachu!!

 

Another difference between Let’s Go and Yellow (and all other pokemon games, to be honest), is the fact that you can’t get a bicycle here. Nope, instead you ride your own pokemon. I admit that not having the bicycle was a bit of a let down to me, since I use it pretty much everywhere, but the pokemon riding feature is FABULOUS and I really hope it stays in the next pokemon games. Obviously, you can only ride big pokemon so don’t expect being able to ride a Pidgey cause’ they’ll die the game won’t allow you. For the remaining non-rideable pokemon, you can make them travel alongside you (just like in Yellow, HeartGold and SoulSilver) by selecting the ‘Take out of Poké ball’ option when you go to the Party menu. Just like with your Pikachu, you can also talk to them for cute reactions and, sometimes, they also find items on the ground for you!! ❤ Speaking of the menu, another thing to note in Let’s Go is that there are no Pokemon Boxes; this means you just carry the pokemon yourself in your bag 😆 and select the ones you want on your party. You can also send some to Professor Oak and, if you send a lot, he will give you candies that will improve pokemon’s’ stats.

 

Of course, I’m not to forget this game’s actual biggest difference with Pokemon Yellow: the way of catching pokemon. Unlike the previous pokemon games, where you need to have a battle with the pokemon first in order to weaken them before throwing your pokeball, in Let’s Go you just catch them with no battle in the middle. Basically, catching pokemon in this game works almost in the same way as Pokemon Go; even the matter of them actually being visible on the overworld map! I’m kind of neutral towards the catching system itself but, in my opinion, the feature that allows you to actually SEE the pokemon on the overworld map is AWESOME and I really hope they keep it from now onwards. Still, it’s worth mentioning that there was controversy regarding the ‘Go feature’. This is mostly because pokemon is, first and foremost, about the battles, so many people were worried about how were they going to level up their party outside of trainers battles. Well, the thing is that, in Let’s Go, what gives your pokemon the most exp points is CATCHING; so, unless you wanna be destroyed by powerful trainers, you’d better catch a bunch of pokemon 😆 . Also, you don’t really have to worry about lack of battles since there are A LOT of trainers out there (and I really mean a lot).

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The catching system reminiscing Pokemon Go
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Wild pokemon shown on the overworld map

The biggest flaw this game has, in my opinion, is the trading system. While I wasn’t particularly thrilled with the Pokemon Go transferring feature (here’s a good tutorial on how to do this), I didn’t mind it all that much. What really pissed me off is the fact that, in order to battle or trade with people on the internet, you need to be subscribed to Nintendo Switch Online, which is complete and fucking BULLSHIT. I hate when console games lock features behind paywall, I HATE IT with every fiber of my being. It’s greedy and overall insulting because these type of games aren’t very cheap in the first place. I know that you can trade with people offline but what if you don’t know anyone who plays Pokemon?! It’s as if they were telling these players: ‘well, too bad, that’s life’. What the fuck? That shit right there is GARBAGE. I don’t wanna be hostage to a paywall system for a feature that was ALWAYS FREE in their previous games, and because I don’t want to pay for something I don’t even want in the first place!! Not only that, Let’s Go also has an option to buy a pokeball (called Pokeball Plus) to make you feel like you’re actually catching pokemon. That’s all well and good, the problem is that buying the Pokeball Plus is the ONLY way in which you can get Mew. Seriously? I can understand that the Pokeball is expensive because of its gimmicks, but fifty fucking dollars for a Mew?!

bullshit

Back to the good stuff about this game, just like with some of its predecessors, Pokemon Let’s Go doesn’t have HMs (hidden machines); which is great because you don’t need to have a pokemon on your party specifically for moves that you need outside of battle in order to advance on your journey. The new creative aspect to this feature is that the one who learns ‘the secret techniques’ is none other than your own Pikachu. When you go aboard the S.S Anne and reach the captain’s cabin (where you get the HM Cut in Pokemon Yellow), he tells you he knows of a move to get rid of trees that are in your way but…it’s a technique for humans!! Pikachu, however, insists that they want to learn the move no matter what 😆 and, thus, from that moment onwards, Pikachu helps you with breaking trees, swimming and even flying from place to place 😆 . Pikachu also has some rad special moves for battling that are exclusive to this game (it’s interesting and hilarious how two of them aren’t even electric-type moves but rather water-type and flying-type; two types against which electric pokemon are strong).

 

The only time when you’ll be able to battle wild pokemon is when you’re up against legendary ones. That is: Articuno, Zapdos, Moltres and Mewtwo (this one is only available after you beat the pokemon league; Trace will come to your home and tell you about it). They are not very hard to find, but be prepared to battle them because they hit hard. Especially Mewtwo whose level is freaking 70. I loved the way in which Let’s Go used cutscenes for your encounters with these legendary beasts. The animation, the sound and the colors are exceptional: they create a mystical ambience that’s hard to forget and sends chills up your spine (in a good way). I started the battles like a million times because I wanted to take a bunch of screenshots 😆 . I’ve yet to catch Mewtwo, though, this pokemon is not very easy to beat when your level isn’t over 70 😆 .

 

Pokemon Let’s Go really has a lot of great things going on, but my favorite has definitely got to be the cutscenes (both the movie-like and the dialogue-only ones). It’s true that this isn’t the first pokemon game with those, but there’s just something about the cutscenes in this game that really captivated me. It’s not only you as the avatar who changes expressions, it’s your Pikachu too, it’s the other characters too. The way the cutscenes are integrated into the game works very well and the graphics and dialogue help with the charming feeling. The fact that this is a remake from a game I’ve played in my childhood also helps, since many of the scenes remind me of Pokemon Yellow (and even the first season of the anime). You know, stuff like meeting Team Rocket (especially Jesse and James), Oak “forgetting” about his grandson’s name, Blue’s catchphrase, Brock being a womanizer, battling the gym leaders and the elite four… Scenes that will never ever die, scenes that are immortal and will forever be in my heart as well as the heart of many many pokemon fans.

 

In conclusion, Pokemon Let’s Go Pikachu is certainly no masterpiece but still a wonderful game that deserves the play. There are a lot of positive aspects to it, a lot of scenes that will take pokemon fans to a trip down memory lane, cute and comedy bits and overall big enjoyment. It feels a tad easy compared to the first pokemon games; the main flaw, however, is the fact that you can’t trade nor battle online for free anymore which is, I repeat, bullshit. Other than that, the game is solid and definitely recommended to everyone who loves Pokemon or just a good adventure.

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Say goodbye, Kuri!

That’s all folks! Thanks a lot for reading until the end, feel free to comment and see you next post!! (≧∇≦*)/

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7 comentarios sobre “RPG-Adventure game review: Pokemon Let’s go, Pikachu!

  1. God this review was everything esp that whole paywall crap. I don’t mind nice rivals but when you put me back in Kanto of course I want Blue to tell me smell ya later and make me want to take the title of Championship from him. And you’re so right about N ❤

    I'm not sure I can ever be a-ok with the catching mechanic rather than the fight the pokemon and then catch them system but I did really enjoy this one. I'd always prefer a direct remake of leafgreen/firered of course. At least the S.S Anne was every bit as nostalgic for me as it was the first time 🙂

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    1. Hey Leafy!! Yeah, that paywall thing was bullshit. I really hope they don’t do this ever again. And same!!! I was expecting a rival like Blue but instead Trace is too nice!! Even when I thought he maybe would start resenting the avatar for always winning…he didn’t change. And we were always one step ahead of him until the Pokemon League where he suddenly says he’ll go first. I was seriously ???? All the victories against him didn’t feel satisfying 🤦‍♀️

      Yeah I really enjoyed the catch system here too but I agree it’d be better for them to go back to the previous system except for the pokemon being shown on the overworld map which I hope they keep!! ❤

      A remake of Leafgreen/Firered would be awesome!! Aaah the S.S Anne was magnificent. I loved every bit of it ❤

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      1. Right? I thought maybe Trace would snap – particularly on the S.S Anne when he was like oh you’re still this good? I was hoping he’d use that as motivation to get even better and maybe be a little snarky but nope. And that one part where he goes to give you an item and gets a little too close rofl I was like wut.

        ROFL right it’s like okay I guess you somehow bested the League already? M’kay.

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      2. YES LMAOOO I THOUGHT HE WAS GONNA KISS US (I have to admit I was kinda looking forwars to that though 😂). But yeah, I kinda wish he snapped at us at some point…

        Yeah, when he suddenly went ahead and beat the League it was a bit silly lol.

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