Jennifer Wilber is a teacher and writer. She holds a B.A. in English and an Associate's in Computer Game Design. She is a life-long gamer.
What Are “Pokémon: Let's Go, Pikachu!” and “Pokémon: Let's Go, Eevee!”?
Though Pokémon: Let's Go, Pikachu! and Pokémon: Let's Go, Eevee! are not the core Pokémon RPGs that fans were hoping for, many long-time fans of the series are still hyped about these new Pokémon RPG games for the Nintendo Switch. While these games aren’t scheduled to be released until November 16th, 2018, Nintendo has been slowly unveiling details about these two new games.
These two games are based on Pokémon Yellow: Special Pikachu Edition, the enhanced version of the first-generation Pokémon games originally released on the Nintendo GameBoy. While Nintendo states that they are not direct remakes of Pokémon Yellow, they are reimagined and updated retellings of this game. These two new Pokémon games also feature Pokémon catching mechanics similar to those of Pokémon Go.
While Nintendo still hasn’t told us everything about these games yet, we do have some details about them already.
The plot of these new Pokémon games is similar to the plot of Pokémon Yellow. You will leave Pallet Town with your partner Pokémon on a quest to become a Pokémon Master. You will explore different cities and areas of the Kanto region and battle against familiar gym leaders, including Misty and Brock. You will collect gym badges, attempt to complete your Pokédex, and defeat the Pokémon League.
Unlike most Pokémon core games where you choose between three generation-specific starters, in Pokémon: Let's Go, Pikachu! and Pokémon: Let's Go, Eevee! you initially befriend a Pikachu or Eevee, respectively. This partner Pokémon will join you on your Pokémon adventure by riding on your character’s head or shoulder. Your partner Pokémon will help you out in battle as you train it throughout your journey. Your starter Pikachu or Eevee will be unable to evolve, but other Pikachu and Eevee found throughout the game can evolve as usual. Other Eevee caught in the game will only be able to evolve into the three original Eeveelutions, Vaporeon, Flareon, and Jolteon.
Nintendo has confirmed that the original three starter Pokémon, Bulbasaur, Charmander, and Squirtle, will be available to catch in the wild.
You will be able to catch Pokémon that were originally discovered in the Kanto region (the first 150 Pokémon, which were first introduced in generation one). As with the other paired Pokémon titles, there will be version-specific Pokémon in each version, though Nintendo hasn’t yet revealed which Pokémon will be specific to which game.
Nintendo claims that the process of catching Pokémon in these upcoming titles will be much simpler than in previous games. Let’s Go, Pikachu! and Let’s Go, Eevee! will take advantage of the Nintendo Switch’s capabilities and allow trainers to capture Pokémon by using the Joy-Con controller to throw Poké Balls. The Pokémon catching process will be similar to that of Pokémon Go.
In addition to using your Joy-Con to throw Poké Balls, there will also be a special device called the Poké Ball Plus. This device is a controller that is shaped like a Poké Ball, which allows players to feel like they are throwing a real Poké Ball (be sure to use the included wrist strap so you don’t break your TV!). The Poké Ball Plus will feel familiar if you have used the Pokémon Go Plus device for Pokémon Go.
In addition to catching Pokémon, you will also be able to carry one of your Pokémon from your game around inside of the device while you are not playing the game. This will give you rewards when your Pokémon is transferred back to the game. In this way, the Poké Ball Plus also functions similarly to the Pokéwalker that came with Pokémon HeartGold and Pokémon SoulSilver. The Poké Ball Plus device has also been revealed to be the only way for trainers to obtain the mythical Pokémon Mew in these two games.
Though you don’t have to battle Pokémon in order to catch them in these upcoming games, you will still have plenty of opportunities to battle in Let’s Go Pikachu! and Let’s Go Eevee! Just like in the main-series Pokémon RPGs, there will be plenty trainers to face off against as you explore the world of Pokémon on your adventure. These battles will play similarly to those of the core series Pokémon games. You will be able to select which moves to use, switch out a Pokémon for another member of your team, or use an item in battle. When you defeat your opponent, your Pokémon will gain Experience Points. You will receive prize money and sometimes Poké Balls for winning a battle.
You will also be able to battle against other players online or locally.
Pokémon Go Connectivity
Pokémon: Let's Go, Pikachu! and Pokémon: Let's Go, Eevee! will also connect to your Pokémon Go game via Bluetooth. Pokémon that were originally discovered in the Kanto region will be able to be transferred from Pokémon Go to Let’s Go, Pikachu! and Let’s Go, Eevee! (It is unknown at this point as to whether the game will contain an expanded Pokédex upon completion of the main game.)
Nintendo has confirmed that shiny Pokémon caught in Pokémon Go will retain their shiny status, but special event Pikachu and Raichu wearing special hats will not be able to be transferred to the Switch games.
Nintendo also promises to reveal more details about other ways to connect Pokémon Go to the two new games in the near future.
Pokémon: Let’s Go Pikachu! and Let’s Go Eevee! will also allow players to play together simultaneously, each using separate Joy-Cons. You can have another player throw a Poké Ball at the same time as you, doubling your chances of a successful catch. You can also have another player join you in battling against other trainers in the game.
Traditional multiplayer modes will be available in Pokemon: Let’s Go Pikachu! and Let’s Go, Eevee! as well. As with other Pokémon games, you will also be able to connect to other players using either a local wireless connection or an internet connection. Once connected, you will be able to trade, or participate in single or double battles, just like in previous games.
There are many different customization options for both your trainer and your Pokémon in these games. Both your trainer character and your partner Pokémon can be dressed up in a variety of different outfits. You will even be able to change your partner Pokémon’s hairstyle!
You will be able to ride Pokémon that are large enough to be ridden. In these games, HMs are not required to ride a Pokémon, and there are no HMs in these games.
You will also be able to pet and interact with your Pokémon to strengthen your bond, in a feature similar to Pokémon-amie, which was introduced in Pokémon X and Y. You will be able to pet, feed, and tickle your favorite Pokémon using this feature.
In addition to training your Pokémon, you will be able to use candies to strengthen them, and later on in the game, you will be able to transfer unwanted Pokémon to Professor Oak in exchange for candies. These features are similar to Pokémon Go.
Pokémon: Let’s Go!
While we don’t know everything about Pokémon: Let’s Go, Pikachu! and Pokémon: Let’s Go, Eevee! yet, Nintendo has been revealing more information about the games in anticipation of their November 16th, 2018 release. Though these games are more simplistic than the core Pokémon RPGs, they still look like fun. These games have many features that bridge the gap between the main-series Pokémon games and the casual mobile Pokémon Go. These two new games should appeal to long-time fans, as well as to casual players of the mobile game.
Questions & Answers
Question: What is the release date for Pokemon Let's Go Pikachu and Eevee?
Answer: Pokemon Let's Go, Pikachu! and Pokemon Let's Go, Eevee! will be released worldwide on November 16, 2018.
The Pokeball Go Plus controller accessory will also be released globally at the same time.
Question: Do Pokemon: Let's Go, Pikachu! and Pokemon: Let's Go, Eevee! work with Pokémon Bank?
Answer: In an interview about the upcoming Pokemon Let's Go games, director and producer Junichi Masuda stated that he could not comment on their compatibility with Pokemon Bank at this time. Masuda also would not comment on whether these games will be compatible with past and future main series Pokemon games.
We do know already, however, that you will be able to transfer certain Pokemon from the mobile game Pokemon Go to Pokemon Let's Go Pikachu and Eevee. This type of transfer only works one way, so you will not be able to send Pokemon from the new Nintendo Switch games back to Pokemon Go.
Question: Will other region Pokemon be available in these games eventually, or just the original 150 Pokemon from the Kanto region?
Answer: Pokemon: Let's Go, Pikachu and Let's Go Eevee take place in the Kanto region (the region originally introduced in the first generation Pokemon games, Pokemon Red, Pokemon Blue, and Pokemon Yellow). Nintendo says that only the first 150 Pokemon (plus Mew, for anyone who purchases the Poke Ball Plus) will be available in these new Pokemon games.
It is currently unknown as to whether these games will eventually be updated to include later generations of Pokemon characters to capture. It isn't unreasonable to speculate that later generations of Pokemon will eventually be released in future updates for these games, as they have been for the related mobile game, Pokemon Go. Only time will tell.
© 2018 Jennifer Wilber