“Pokémon: Let’s Go” is the newest Pokémon role-playing game, and the first entry of the main series to arrive on the Nintendo Switch.
Launching this November, “Pokémon: Let’s Go” presents a more interactive version of the Pokémon world, showing wild pokémon running around for the first time in a main-series game, and adding new ways for players to bond with their Pokémon partners.
“Let’s Go” takes clear cues from the mobile game “Pokémon Go” and appears to be more accessible for fans interested in the core Pokémon games. Veterans of the series may be disappointed by the limited number of Pokémon and some missing features, but “Pokémon: Let’s Go” offers plenty of new gameplay improvements.
“Pokémon: Let’s Go” takes place in the same region as “Pokémon Red & Blue,” with the original 151 pokémon.
“Pokémon: Let’s Go” returns to the Kanto region from the first games in the series, “Pokémon Red & Blue.” This means that the original 151 pokémon will also be making a return, too, along with their Alolan variations from “Pokémon Sun & Moon” and a new legendary Pokémon, Meltan. Players will explore updated 3D versions of the same cities, forests and destinations from “Red & Blue,” and battle against the classic gym leaders like Brock and Misty. The notorious Team Rocket will play the role of villain once more.
There are key differences between “Let’s Go Pikachu” and “Let’s Go Eevee.”
While the gameplay and story of both versions of “Pokémon: Let’s Go” is the same, there are a few key differences. Most obviously, the version of the game you pick will determine your partner Pokémon: Pikachu or Eevee. Each version of the game will also have some exclusive wild Pokémon, and the version will determine how frequently some types of Pokémon appear. The confirmed exclusive Pokémon in “Let’s Go: Pikachu” include Oddish, Sandshrew, and Growlithe. “Let’s Go Eevee” has wild Bellsprout, Vulpix and Meowth. There are certainly more exclusive Pokémon to be found in both games. In order to catch all of the Pokémon in either game, you’ll need to trade with someone who has the opposite version to obtain the other set of exclusive Pokémon.
Bonding with your partner Pokémon will unlock special abilities, and you can customise their appearance.
Forming a bond with your Eevee or Pikachu is a key part of the game: Players will be able to customise their partner’s outfit, play with them and give them treats. Improving your friendship with your partner Pokémon will unlock special abilities that can be used both in and out of combat. Your partner will constantly follow you throughout the Pokémon world and will react when spoken to.
You can hitch a ride on a large Pokémon, or just have your favourite one follow you around.
Partner Pokémon aren’t the only ones who get to have fun; players can ride large Pokémon across sea or land to explore new areas. If your favourite Pokémon isn’t fit for transportation, you can choose to have them follow you around to spend some extra quality time.
Catching Pokémon works the same way as “Pokémon Go.”
Encounters with wild pokémon are heavily influenced by the mobile “Pokémon Go.” Players will see wild Pokémon on the screen as they explore and touching them will trigger the encounter.
The game uses the same circular targetting system as “Pokémon Go” and players can either use motion or touch controls to throw a poké ball. A coloured circle will show either green, yellow or red to show the chances of catching the Pokémon. Higher level Pokémon will be harder to catch, but players can feed Pokémon wild berries to encourage them to stay in the ball. In past Pokémon games players would need to battle wild pokémon to weaken them before they could be caught. This will still be the case for legendary Pokémon in “Let’s Go” but regular encounters in the wild should be much easier.
The Poké Ball Plus is a special controller that works with both “Pokemon Let’s Go” and “Pokemon Go.”
Nintendo will release the a new device called the Poké Ball Plus alongside “Pokémon: Let’s Go.” The Poké Ball Plus is primarily a controller that allows the game to be played with one hand. It functions as a single Joy-Con for the Nintendo Switch with two buttons and a small joystick in the center. Players can use the joystick to move around and can swing the poké ball at the screen when catching pokémon. The Poké Ball Plus also allows players to transfer a Pokémon to the device to be carried around with them, and the ball will glow different colours and make different sounds depending on what Pokémon is inside. Each Poké Ball Plus will come with the legendary Pokémon Mew inside.
The device doubles as a Pokémon Go Plus and can be paired with your smartphone to earn more rewards in the mobile game as well.
You can transfer Pokémon from ‘Pokémon Go’ to ‘Pokémon Let’s Go,’ but not the other way around.
“Pokémon: Let’s Go” players can transfer Kanto-region Pokémon from “Pokémon Go” into their game, but wont be able to send creatures back to the mobile game. Pokémon transferred to “Let’s Go” will appear in the Go Park, where players will need to catch them again to add them to their team.
In exchange for transferring pokémon to “Let’s Go,” “Pokémon Go” players will receive candies to strengthen the rest of their Pokémon. This should be encouraging for parents who want to permanent transfer “Pokémon Go” pokémon to their child’s version of “Let’s Go.” If you manage to transfer 25 of the same type of Pokémon to “Let’s Go,” you’ll unlock special mini-games in the Go Park to earn even more candies.
How to catch Mew and Meltan, two of the game’s legendary Pokémon.
“Pokémon: Let’s Go” will also feature its share of legendary Pokémon, those that only appear once in the game. Mew was originally a secret Pokémon in “Pokémon: Red & Blue,” but can be obtained by purchasing a Poké Ball Plus or transferring it from “Pokémon Go.”
The three legendary bird Pokémon from “Red & Blue” will return as well: Moltres, Zapdos, and Articuno. Players will need to find them on their remote islands and defeat them in battle for a chance to catch them.
A brand-new legendary Pokémon, Meltan, can be obtained by transferring Pokémon from “Pokémon Go” to “Let’s Go.” The first time a player connects their Switch to the mobile game, they will get a special item called a mystery box containing Meltan.
Battling trainers and gym leaders is mostly the same as past Pokémon games.
Like in past Pokémon games, players will need to overcome other trainers and gym leaders to progress through the game. Players can take up to six pokémon into battle and take turns choosing their attacks. Pokémon have different elemental weaknesses based on their type and each gym leader focuses on a specific type of Pokémon. There are eight gym leaders in the Kanto region and beating them all will allow the player to challenge the Elite Four, the strongest trainers in the game.
“Pokémon: Let’s Go” will allow for co-op adventures along with online trading and battles.
For the first time in a Pokémon game, players will be able to adventure through the world together. Players can join a game that’s already in progress as a support trainer with a second controller. Catching Pokémon with a friend can make things easier with extra experience and support bonuses. You can also join up with a friend to take on tougher pokémon trainers in team battles.
Players can also trade Pokémon and battle online, but this requires a Nintendo Switch Online subscription.
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