The first set of Pokémon games on the Nintendo Switch has arrived.
The games, titled “Pokémon: Let’s Go, Pikachu!” and “Pokémon: Let’s Go, Eevee!”, are the first Pokémon games in the main series to be released in high definition – and the updated visuals reflect how far the franchise has come since 1996.
The new games are retellings of the original Game Boy Pokémon games, “Red, Blue, and Yellow.” While “Let’s Go” stays true to the aesthetics of “Red, Blue, and Yellow,” the extra visual flair and common-sense improvements to the game create a fresh, modern experience amid non-stop waves of nostalgia.
Seeing the games side by side is an exciting reminder of how much games have changed in the last 22 years, and how the designs of the original Pokémon games have become timeless.
Take a look:
“Pokémon: Let’s Go, Pikachu!” and “Let’s Go, Eevee!” let you choose your gender and skin colour, a big change from the original protagonist of “Pokémon: Yellow.”
The main character’s room has been updated to match the times, complete with a current Nintendo console.
“Let’s Go” gives you many more ways to interact with your partner Pokémon.
Pokémon battles are now fully 3D, letting you see the trainer and their Pokémon from all angles during the fight.
Pokémon evolutions now have much more dramatic effects.
The Pokédex entries are the same, but Pokémon in “Let’s Go” can vary in height and weight.
The map of Kanto has stayed the same, though “Let’s Go” offers descriptions of each location.
Outdoor environments like Viridian Forest have a totally new atmosphere, especially since you can see Pokémon running around in the wild.
The Pokémon Center, a mainstay in every town in the game, has gotten a big makeover.
The game’s Pokémon Gyms have all been given a face lift too, though they mostly stay true to their original designs.
Important conversations will now trigger small cutscenes, helping the characters show off more personality.
And trainer battles now have more interesting intro animations, too.
Shockingly, “Pokémon Yellow” never refers to Jessie and James by name. In “Let’s Go,” they team up to fight your Pokémon 2-on-2.
Beyond the visuals, “Pokémon: Let’s Go, Pikachu!” and “Let’s Go, Eevee!” offer plenty of innovation while staying true to the original games.
As someone who played the original games when they were released, seeing the world of “Pokémon: Red, Blue, and Yellow” fully realised in high-definition was a dream come true, and it’s an experience that will likely last another generation.
“Pokémon: Let’s Go, Pikachu!” and “Pokémon: Let’s Go, Eevee!” are available on the Nintendo Switch starting Friday.