Welcome to Snap Judgment, a new feature to Home Button where I play a game for a few hours, and give you a quick impression of what I think thus far. Today we are playing with the most casual version of those delightful pocket monsters–Pokemon Let’s Go Pikachu and Eevee.
I’m not the biggest Pokemon fan.
I was old enough to buy a copy of Pokemon Red when it first released, and purchase da copy of Blue for my younger brother so we could trade. I played that game until my eyes hurt from looking at the screen and my Game Boy died. On the cusp of becoming an angsty young adult I couldn’t be bothered with the series after that, as it became horribly uncool as an older kid to like Pokemon.
I didn’t play another Pokemon until Pokemon X & Y, and then only put 7 hours in before giving up. So how do I feel about this new casual nod to Pokemon?
- Game: Pokemon Let’s Go Pikachu
- Playing On: Nintendo Switch
- Length Played: 10 hours
- Snap Judgement: Whether a lapsed Pokemon fan who just wants to revisit Kanto, or a new player that has only ever touched Pokemon Go, I think Let’s Go brings new appreciation for the franchise.
Like many other gamers I originally saw this play for the more casual audience of Pokemon Go as a betrayal of the series of sorts, even though I’ve never been super into the franchise since the original. Even with my limited knowledge of Pokemon, I still knew that this was a big step back from the complexity that exists in the end game of most iterations of the series.
After buying it for the sole purpose of playing with my daughter, I have to say that I’m interested in Pokemon again for the first time in literally decades.
Maybe it is the streamlined catching system that takes all of the frustration and grinding out of finding that elusive Pokemon. Perhaps it is seeing the Pokemon expressed so well graphically throughout the world, bringing new life to Kanto and making it seem so much more vibrant. It could be just revisiting the original 151 Pokemon of my youth in such a setting that has captured my imagination, but whatever it is I find myself enamored with this casual version of Pokemon.
The very things I was worried about when they stripped the formula back are the things I think I find appealing. It is a back to basics feel that somehow also manages to evolve portions of the game that felt archaic, and removes so much of the grinding.
There are certainly problems that exist within the game–mostly revolving around the odd control scheme and random nature of the motion controls that make handheld the only way I play when not playing co-op on the TV with my daughter. Issues abound with being too easy for any sort of experienced gamer, because they’ve essentially taken an already easy game and made it even easier, but I’m not sure that is why anyone plays Pokemon in the first place.
Overall I’ve enjoyed this Pokemon game, and this is the first time I’ve been this into the franchise in a very long time.
Whether you loved the OG 151, or you fell in love with Pokemon through the mobile sensation of Go, then you owe it to yourself to check out this newest revisit to the Kanto region. Just know if you are a long time veteran of the franchise that they’ve removed a lot of the end game complexity, making an easier game far easier in the interests of greatly expanding its approach-ability to newcomers.