Pokémon Lite*

*Pokémon Let's Go features half the calories of the main Pokémon franchise games! lol

It’s no secret that “Pokémon Let’s Go Pikachu/Eevee” has been a huge hit since it’s release earlier this month. I chose Pikachu (as if that were in any doubt) and it took me about a week to beat the Elite 4 and become the Pokémon Champion of Kanto [again].

I think this game is a great mix of the main franchise and the new-age “Pokémon Go” generation. Clearly designed to be a ‘gateway game’ to entice PoGo players into buying a Nintendo Switch system, the “Lets Go” games are like a lite version of the main franchise. All of the important game mechanics are there, like freely roaming the maps, capturing Pokémon to complete the Pokédex, battling other trainers and taking on the Gym Leaders and Elite 4. It’s all there, but it’s different.

To be honest, it’s just a lot EASIER than the main Pokémon franchise games.

In “Let’s Go” you can see the Pokémon roaming around in the wild grass, and you can pick and choose which ones you want to encounter. You gain just as much experience by capturing Pokémon as you do from a trainer battle, so it’s in your best interest to catch ’em all. And the capturing process is MUCH easier than in the main franchise – you simply toss a Pokéball, just like in the PoGo games. Only in select encounters will you have to battle the Pokémon first to ‘weaken’ it, such as when you meet a legendary.

The ‘new’ catching process is probably the most notable change in the “Let’s Go” games, but there is another big difference that more experienced Pokémon players probably notice and miss – ABILITIES. In the main franchise, abilities add a new level of dimension to how you train your Pokémon, which moves you teach it, and how you use it in battle. None of this exists or matters in “Let’s Go.” While this isn’t a deal breaker for me, it definitely affects which Pokémon I pick to have in my party. And it definitely makes this game Pokémon Lite in my opinion lol!

Of course, the game has to be different, because the depth of the battle system in Pokémon can be daunting and intimidating to new players. It’s just enough of the casual PoGo game to gain the interest of new players, while also immersing those new players into a complex battle system without overwhelming them. This game is like Pokémon with training wheels on, so when the next main franchise game comes out in 2019, these new players will be ready to jump on board.

Overall, any complaints that I might have about the vastly changed battle system are overshadowed by being able to take screenshots and video clips from my gameplay. The HD graphics are gorgeous and the little cinematic scenes throughout the game are beautiful to watch. I also love playing dress-up with Pikachu and petting her (yes mine is a female) and giving her poofy hairstyles. And I think everyone’s favorite part of the “Lets Go” games is being able to walk around with whatever Pokémon you choose – which is humorous sometimes if you pick a giant sized buddy to walk with, like Snorlax!

Don’t get me wrong by my criticisms, I’m just a snob. The “Let’s Go” games are great fun and they make me very excited for what is to come in the next Pokémon main franchise title! With Smash coming out next week, and Pokémon and a new Animal Crossing game on the horizon for 2019, there is a LOT to be hyped about on the Nintendo Switch!

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