Yesterday, The Pokémon Company held a “secret” press conference wherein they talked about three Pokémon Switch games. However, despite the fact that we ultimately ended up getting three times more announcements than we thought, none of these games were what most Pokémon fans wanted.
The first Pokémon game announced is titled Pokémon Quest and is a “free to start” game released on the Nintendo Switch immediately and will be on mobile platforms later this summer. It’s what I’d imagine would be the result of Pixelmon having a baby with Pokémon Rumble. The game is fine for what it is but It’s not what I would call my preferred game to play on Switch by any means. Honestly, unless you’re starved for Switch content due to limited funds I wouldn’t recommend it. At least not on Switch, this is 100% a mobile game through and through.
Pokémon Let’s Go, Pikachu & Let’s Go, Eevee
We also the announcement of a pair of games I’m sure most of you have a thing or two to say about; “Pokémon Let’s Go, Pikachu” & “Pokémon Let’s Go, Eevee”. The Pokémon Company describes the Pokémon Let’s Go series as “games with a new play style that anyone can enjoy, combined with the fun of collecting Pokémon.” A lot of people don’t like this and to be honest, initially, I was with them. There’s a fair amount of things that made me come full circle though, and after really thinking about what they’re going for here and what that will mean for these games, and potentially the future of the franchise. As was rumored the key inspirations for the Pokémon Let’s Go series was Pokémon Yellow – Pikachu Edition, and Pokémon Go. Two games that share the through a line of widening the appeal of the mainline Pokémon games by leveraging more of what people outside of the diehard scene associated with Pokémon. Pokémon Yellow really doubled down on the soul of Pokémon. Pokémon in other medium puts the mainline games to shame when it comes to charm and soul. Of course, that’s not to say they’re completely vapid in that area, but, it’s hard to argue that it at least put a hell of a lot more effort into breathing life into the franchise. Pikachu’s heavy implementation into the game added a level of world-building that hasn’t been touched on much since. Your relationship with Pikachu was more than a game mechanic. Pikachu was your partner and its interactions with you did everything possible for the hardware of its time to show it.
Pokémon Let’s Go seems to be embracing that idea with a similar partner mechanic and it’s tripling down on that concept. The animations of your chosen partner Pokémon are more vibrant. Game Freak finally went all in on the idea of Pokémon living in the world rather being a mere suggestion in the alleged “tall grass” They brought back the following Pokémon from Pokémon HeartGold & SoulSilver and expanded on it to allow you to even ride on some of the bigger Pokémon and dress up your Pokémon. Now, a lot of the other stuff won’t appeal to everyone and that’s ok, but we can’t deny that a fair amount of people have been clamoring for those changes, myself included. & that’s not to say every change is welcomed by me with welcome arms.
I’m not too happy about the wild encounters on the battle end. & by that, I obviously mean the lack of battling. Part of me likes the option to use motion to throw Pokéballs at wild Pokémon but what I don’t like is the complete removal of battles from the catching process. Beside that, Pokémon encounters aren’t exactly responsible for the most engaging Pokémon battles. In fact, most of them are tedious. Now, there’s exceptions in the form of Legendary Pokémon encounters (assuming you don’t catch them in one turn with a Master Ball) but most battles that make the experience what it is are the trainer battles. Especially the PVP battles. It’s not as if they did this entirely without reason. This game, if it wasn’t obvious enough to the hardcore diehard fans – this game is a gateway drug. This catch system is familiar to most Pokémon fans. Hardcore and casual alike.
I don’t hate the idea of traveling with friends, however, I don’t like the idea of it being an easy mode. I don’t know how I feel about the Pokéball Plus. The idea is novel and whether or not it also interfaces with Pokémon GO in the way that the GO Plus does, I can’t see myself purchasing one of these.
Pokemon switch 2019
They announced another big Pokémon game for Nintendo Switch releasing in 2019, specifically the “2nd half of 2019.” And just like they explicitly named Pokémon Go & Pokémon Yellow for Inspirations for the Pokémon Let’s Go games, this Pokémon game is inspired by Pokémon X & Y and Sun & Moon. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that they paired the 2 newest generations, either. This is a bonafide Generation 8 game. I wouldn’t be opposed to some of the Let’s Go mechanics to integrate themselves into these games. Keep the Pokémon in the overworld, keep the following and riding, keep the customization, and yes – keep the catching but with the battles to boot. I don’t think this will be the last of the Let’s Go series. I think we’ll see Let’s Go releases centered around the remaining regions in the Pokémon world. I can see this being Pokémon Company’s Forza Motorsport/Forza Horizon relationship. Different games for different segments of their audience that people like myself can find things to love in both. There’s great things they can pull from this. Everyone can have what they want. No one should have to “lose” and I think Pokémon Company is adamant to ensure we all feel like that. I sure do.
Pokémon Let’s Go, Pikachu and Pokémon Let’s Go Eevee are available for preorder on Amazon now!