*This article is my opinion**
I’ve been playing Pokemon ever since I was four years old. I’ve played every generation of handhelds Pokemon series: From Yellow to Ultra Moon. Like every longtime fan, I’ve been waiting for a new big entry into the series for the consoles and when the Switch was announced, it was a dream come true. “A console that can also be a handheld?! This is perfect for Pokemon!” When Pokemon Let’s Go: Pikachu/Eevee Edition was announced, I was ecstatic as every Pokemon players dreams came too. As the game comes closer to release on November 16th, I hear more news which discourages me from buying the game.
Back to Kanto in the Wrong Way
The first generation Pokemon are classics. Their designs are great, simple, and appeal to every age. What isn’t a classic is Kanto. While Gold & Silver are revolutionary for including the Kanto region thanks to Iwada, the appeal was because players just played the first generation and it provided more opportunities to explore than Johto. Players want to explore more than one region, it doesn’t have to be Kanto. I think going back to Kanto and only having Kanto is a mistake.
I think starting with the first generation of Pokemon and simplifying the genre for potential new players is good, I wish it wasn’t the next big Pokemon game. While Gamefreaks (Developers of Pokemon) have confirmed they are working on the next generation for 2019, I am worried they believe having one big region to explore is what fans want.
Simplifying the Catching System
Pokemon Go completely changed how we catch Pokemon. Rather than clicking the button, we can now feel and throw the ball in Pokemon Let’s Go! However, catching them feels more like luck than strategy. While weakening Pokemon isn’t complex, it helps makes the player like they are working towards a higher success rate. The biggest annoyance in Pokemon Go is Pokemon running away after failing to catch. While curve throws and aiming are skill based, GameFreaks didn’t need to cut out the Pokemon battling portion. Both systems should be available but Junichi Masuda (Director of Pokemon) felt the game changes needed to be made for the Switch game.
Forcing Gym Battles to be easier
Siliconera showed a new screenshot regarding Gym battles. In front of most gyms, an NPC stands to give you advice on how to beat the Gym Leader with certain Pokemon types. In Pokemon Let’s Go, they won’t let you even challenge the leader until you have a Pokemon that is type effective against them. While it is great for new players to hear, it removes the freedom of gameplay. You should be allowed to challenge and play however you like in Pokemon. Letting players struggle should be an active learning experience.
I hope Pokemon Let’s Go Pikachu/Eevee does well. While I will most likely skip this game, I love the series. I think it may be a test to see how players respond to the changes before they consider finalizing the details on Pokemon 2019. Many of the changes are controversial to longtime players like me but perhaps the sales numbers and review responses will affect future gameplay changes. I like Pokemon Go but I treat it like a different game than the main series. I prefer the style of a console game to be different than a mobile game.
The Pokeball accessory looks cool though.
Will you be buying Pokemon Let’s Go?