Despite some slight apprehension around the new changes, I was pretty excited for Pokemon Let’s Go Eevee. Eevee had been my favorite Pokemon of all time for as long as I could remember. I knew that no matter what this adventure had to offer, the small joy of finally having an Eevee as my special partner Pokemon would help me get past any other obstacles. Although I didn’t expect the rushing wave of nostalgia that caused me to openly weep like my eight-year-old self was trying to bust out of my chest. And whether or not I like to admit to it, Pokemon Let’s Go Eevee made me ugly cry in the best way possible.
I set the Switch up on my television since I knew I wanted to experience this for the first time on the big screen. I’m glad I did because the crisp graphics gave me my first glimpse at a high-definition Eevee. I’ve never seen it look this good on such a big screen and my heart began to melt at the overload of cuteness.
Everything was immediately familiar. As a long-time multi-playthrough veteran of Pokemon Yellow, I am intimately knowledgeable about this world. This is partly because I wasn’t allowed to play many games as a kid so even owning Pokemon Yellow was a huge deal. I remember getting it and a Game Boy Color for Christmas from Santa. Despite being a bit too old for it, all of my friends and I immediately believed in jolly old Saint Nick again because we knew that could be the only reasonable explanation I would be allowed a video game. My parents even acted as though they were annoyed with Santa for getting it for me. It was all a fairly high-level troll from my mum and dad who probably just wanted some peace on longer drives.
This also meant it was one of the few games I had access to. I replayed Yellow an uncountable amount of times, often getting up early to sneak in some games or hiding under the blankets at night. But there was always just something missing.
I truly loved my Pikachu. But I was always a little upset that Gary got an Eevee. I’d try to get to Celadon City as quickly as possible so I could claim one of my own and then agonize over whether or not to evolve it and what into. I remember once saving and reloading to try out all the evolutions for hours and still not being able to make a clean choice. Part of me didn’t want Eevee to change; I loved it as it was and the potential that it symbolized. Eevee is like the world’s cutest blank canvas. Needless to say, these years of repressed Eevee love have caused a bit of a buildup in my heart.
Best of 2018 – Love at First Sight
I ventured out of Pallet Town in Pokemon Let’s Go Eevee to find my old friend Professor Oak out in the long grass and that’s when she appeared, complete with the new adorable heart-shaped tail wagging with excitement. But she bolted away in her Pokeball after I caught her and ended up back at Oak’s lab hiding among two other Pokeballs.
I still can’t help but wonder what’s in the third one but one is eagerly jumping, awaiting my choice. After teasing Eevee by pretending to pick another starter, my avatar reached out for the Pokeball. Eevee couldn’t contain herself any longer and burst free so instead of grabbing the Pokeball, you wind up surprisingly patting her on the head. She leaned into it and something inside me just broke under the nostalgic pressure.
My real-life partner was sitting next to me on the couch and noticed that I’d stopped playing the game. He glanced over to witness me in full ugly crying glory. Tears streamed down my cheeks, my nose was running, and my face had already become blotchy and red. I’ve never been someone who can cry and not look like they’ve had a severe allergic reaction so all I could do was look back at him and unattractively mutter the words, “My Eevee,” between sniffles.
“Yeah, that’s your Eevee,” he said, laughing as he pulled me in for a hug.
After a few minutes, I pulled away and wiped my face off. I was confused because I knew I loved Eevee and Pokemon in general but I hadn’t prepared for this. People generally describe me as emotionally robotic or icy. I was not ready to bawl over something so small. A few minutes later, I had finally recovered somewhat and turned back to truly begin my Pokemon adventure. But my partner saw right through me.
“I’d been waiting for you to cry since Eevee first appeared on the screen,” he said, looking at me as if I were the biggest fool in the world. As it turned out I’d been making weird little noises unbeknownst to me since the game first booted up.
Best of 2018 – Getting Our Diploma
I’ve since finished this Kanto adventure. I’ve conquered the Elite Four, completed my Pokedex, defeated Blue, Green, and Red, and raised my Eevee to level 100 and even gave her a fresh hairdo with white flowers. At this point, I’m not sure if it’s worth trying to beat the remaining Master Trainers, hunting for shiny Pokemon, or even going through this adventure again. And if I did, I’m not convinced I’d want to do it with Eevee as a battle partner.
Despite my deep and undying love for the furball, my Eevee was one of the worst parts of the game in some ways. She was so overpowered that I never felt desperate or in danger. My Eevee is also a bit of a show-off, learning cool abilities that were meant to be mine, making me look like a bit of a useless idiot. But there were plenty of adorable moments throughout the game, like the tail high fives or random gifts, but none hit me quite like those early moments.
Starting a new game would erase everything we’ve been through and would mean I’d have to meet a brand-new Eevee. I know the animations would play out the same with that same moment of bursting excitement but I don’t think I’m up to that yet. For all her overpowered attitude, this Eevee is mine and she loved me right from the beginning. I know she’s just a few pixels in a virtual world but she is my Eevee and after all these years, I’m not ready to give that up.