Pokemon Let’s Go and the Unexpected Changes it Makes to the PokeFormula

Pokemon Let’s Go Pikachu and Let’s Go Eevee have been officially announced, with the lid being lifted on the two games that are set to bring the legendary RPG series to the Nintendo Switch. Pokemon Let’s Go Eevee and Let’s Go Pikachu share many similarities to the popular handheld entries in the franchise, though developer Game Freak has also made some crucial changes. Not all of these changes are likely to be appreciated by long-time Pokemon fans.

Let’s take a look at the various changes that are set to be introduced in the Pokemon Let’s Go games, and what this means for those excited about the upcoming Switch game:

Pokemon Let’s Go Pikachu and Let’s Go Eevee are based on Pokemon Yellow

Pokemon Let’s Go Pikachu and Let’s Go Eevee are both based on Pokemon Yellow, the old Game Boy title that featured Pikachu as the player’s starter Pokemon. Much like the anime series, Pikachu followed the player-character around outside of its Pokeball, with Pokemon Let’s Go set to do the same with Pikachu and Eevee.

The debut trailer shows the player equipping their Pikachu/Eevee with various outfits, highlighting how there will be more customization options this time around. It’s currently not really clear if Nintendo will implement many relationship-building activities in Pokemon Let’s Go similar to Pokemon-Amie, though at the very least you’ll be able to explore Kanto alongside your cuddly pal of choice.


There are no wild Pokemon battles

A controversial change, Pokemon Let’s Go does away with wild Pokemon battles entirely. In previous Pokemon games, players would first have to attack a Pokemon in order to weaken it enough to eventually capture it. This is not the case in Pokemon Let’s Go, with it borrowing from Pokemon Go‘s system in which players simply throw a Pokeball and hope for the best.

Pokemon Go‘s capture system employs a mini-game where players need to aim the Pokeball at a target in the center of their touchscreen, so it’s imaginable that Pokemon Let’s Go will incorporate something similar in place of battles. Though Pokemon purists will not appreciate this change, it could be an interesting new feature that differentiates the game from the handheld series, so we’re interested to see how it shakes out.


They will not introduce Pokemon Gen 8

The eighth generation of Pokemon will not make their debut in Pokemon Let’s Go, with the game instead featuring all 151 original Pokemon plus a number of additions from the Alolan region. The end of the trailer teased a “Special Pokemon,” though there’s no word on whether or not this will be a brand new creature or a legendary Pokemon that has already been established in the series. The Pokemon Company revealed that a brand new core series Pokemon game will release in 2019, which will likely feature Gen 8.


Trainer battles will stay the same

Though there are no wild Pokemon battles in Pokemon Let’s Go, battles with other trainers will remain turn-based and operate much in the same way that they always have. Multiplayer gameplay has not yet been revealed, though solo players will still be able to pit their Pokemon against those owned by NPCs throughout the game’s world. With Pokemon Go‘s combat system being widely derided, it’s good to see Game Freak leaving it behind for the Nintendo Switch.


It can be controlled with a single Joy-Con or the Pokeball Plus

Game Freak is clearly looking to make Pokemon Let’s Go as accessible as possible, allowing the game to be controlled using just one Joy-Con. It also employs some element of motion control, with players able to mimic throwing a Pokeball in order to capture Pokemon. It’s unclear whether or not motion control is mandatory, or if the game allows players to turn off this feature in its settings.

Dedicated Pokemon Let’s Go players can also purchase the Pokeball Plus, an odd little controller shaped like a Pokeball. This can be used to control the entire game, and even makes cute little noises related to the Pokemon you have captured.


Pokemon Let’s Go and Pokemon Go connectivity

Pokemon Let’s Go will have Pokemon Go connectivity, with players able to transfer the Pokemon they have captured in Pokemon Go to Pokemon Let’s Go‘s Go Park. This park allows you to interact with your Pokemon on the Switch, and you can also send over gifts to other Pokemon Go players. Nintendo and Game Freak haven’t firmly outlined how the mobile and console games will interact, though we should hear more about this feature in the near future.


Pokemon Let’s Go screenshots

Check out a bunch of screenshots for the game in the below gallery: