During Nintendo Spain’s “closed doors” presentation at Gamepolis, I had the privilege to play the demo of Pokémon: Let’s Go, Pikachu & Let’s Go, Eevee! on the Nintendo Switch. I must admit, that I enjoyed the game much more than I expected to. During my lengthy session, I learned a fair bit about Pokémon: Let’s Go, Pikachu & Let’s Go, Eevee! and now I am ready to share what I learned with you.
Some of the following information is already common knowledge but there may be a few things that have not been officially discussed or announced. I could not take any photographs or record video of the demo so any images in this post will be those that are readily available online. With that little disclaimer out of the way, allow me to share with you what I know.
Controls & Poké Ball Plus
There are only three usable controls needed to play Pokémon: Let’s Go, Pikachu & Let’s Go, Eevee!, The Joystick, the “A” Button and the “Start/Plus” Button. The Poké Ball Plus only has three buttons; Joystick for movement, pushing the Joystick in is the action button and there is a button situated on top of the Poké Ball to access menus. Pressing the action button on the Joystick can be awkward on menu screens as you can accidentally shift the cursor and select an option you didn’t want to access.
Throwing Pokéballs is done by swinging your arm with the Joystick pressed, the direction of your throw or the way you throw will be replicated on screen (over arm, underarm). The harder you swing, the further you will throw the Pokéball. There is a slight lag between your throw and the response on screen. While watching the rings on screen get smaller, you will need to calculate lag time as well in order to get the Nice, Great and Excellent throws.
The Poké Ball Plus allows you to take your Pokémon Partner Pikachu or Eevee, wherever you go without your Switch. You can also interact with the Poké Ball plus to get a reaction from your Pokémon Partner. Rolling the Poké Ball Plus slow will get a gentle reaction. Rocking it about will provoke a more excitable reaction. Pikachu and Eevee make sounds respective to the modern games and anime.
It is not confirmed if you can keep other Pokémon in the Poké Ball Plus but when catching Pokémon in the game, you can hear the Poké Ball make a click after a successful capture and the cry of the Pokémon that you have just caught. The Cry is the original sound the Pokémon made in Pokémon Red, Blue/Green and Yellow.
There are shiny Pokémon available to catch in the game. There are also noticeable in walk around mode so you can find them easier in the wild alongside other Pokémon. Pokémon genders are also distinguishable in walk around mode. For example, you can spot the heart shape tail on a Pikachu without having to try and catch her first.
Pokémon still need experience to level up and evolve. Exp can be earned by catching Pokémon or battling other trainers. When trying to catch Pokémon, you will receive a prompt if they are “Tiny” and you will notice Pokémon are larger than usual. Pokémon will also move around the catch screen so you will constantly have to adjust your aim and where you are throwing.
Pokémon GO – Transferable Pokémon
Most Pokémon from Gen 1 are transferable to Pokémon: Let’s Go, Pikachu & Let’s Go, Eevee!. Legendary Pokémon however are not Transferable and must be caught in Pokémon Let’s Go. Special Event Pokémon like Ash’s Pikachu, Squirtle in Sunglasses or Summertime Pikachu are not transferrable to Pokémon: Let’s Go, Alolan forms of Kanto Pokémon are though.
The graphics are focused on being more fantasy based than realistic. This is to appeal to the younger fan base and young children yet to play a Pokémon game. It is a blend on chibi and anime with Pokémon models based more on those found in Pokémon GO.
I found the demo very entertaining and easy to pick up and play. With Pokémon easily viewable whilst walking around you can decide whether you want to catch them or not. The throwing controls have a little lag between throwing the “Poké Ball” to when it appears on screen. I did actually enjoy the different change of pace from the original games where you to weaken Pokémon before trying to catch them.
Battles are the same as in canon Pokémon titles. Each player takes it in turns to attack, use items or change Pokémon if they want. The colourful HD graphics really help define each Pokémon and it is even better when on a larger screen.
One set back is that Mew is exclusive to the Pokéball Plus so you have to decide whether you want to fork out for a whole “New” controller, just for a Pokémon. This may not matter too much to a casual Pokémon Player that is happy just playing through what they have. Pokémon Completionists will certainly face the brunt of having to pay out and extra $45 for a controller whose controls can be a little awkward at times, just so they can 100% their Pokédex.
Thank you for reading my Hands On with… Pokémon: Let’s Go, Pikachu & Let’s Go, Eevee!. It is certainly a unique experience that blends Pokémon GO with the main Pokémon Game Series. As with most Pokémon games, it is easy to learn, difficult to master but will definitely have you playing for hours on end so you can be the very best… like no one ever was.
Be sure to check out our other Hands On With… articles If you would like to know our thoughts about Starlink: Battle For Atlus, Super Smash Bros Ultimate and Dragon Ball FighterZ or what we learned about Super Mario Party during a closed doors Presentation with Nintendo Europe & Nintendo Spain.
This post was written by Mike Scorpio