I am going to start this review by saying that Pokémon Let’s Go is the first Pokémon game that I have ever played. I obviously know of Pokémon, what they are etc I’ve just never had the chance to play the games, either I never had a DS etc or other games have taken precedent and I never got round to them.
Provided with a code by the lovely people at Nintendo, I was excited to get to try Pokémon Let’s Go on my Switch. I had the Pikachu version sent to me and the first thing I will say is how cute Pikachu is! When you load the game up and go through the opening, there is a charm about it, the colours used and how to game is displayed, just grabs you instantly and this is what I love about this game. You actually want to be the very best (see what I did there?), you want your Pokémon to level up and be the best they can be, I found as well that I was getting attached to certain Pokémon, which again is another thing I can praise the game for. Being able to create that attachment to a game which in turn can cause people to keep coming back for more and more, I loved the fact that games can do this, and this one does it well, the characters, the setting, the nostalgia that it provides all adds into that.
I love how the world is designed, each area has it’s own identity which is brought to life with the different Pokémon that live within it. From the cities to Mt Moon, each area does feel alive with the sound of Pokémon, the random battles that in each turn bring different characters to the table to fight against.
The battles were very good as well, I’m not usually one for turn based games, just never been my style, but this has been done very well. Having to figure out which Pokémon is the best one for the job, having a strategy for the impending battle is always the best course of action, which unfortunately, until you know what Pokémon you’re up against, you won’t know who to play.
Adding deeper into the battles is the use of elements such as confusion, putting someone to sleep etc. When they happen to you it is annoying, I had someone put my Pikachu to sleep and unfortunately I didn’t have a potion to wake him up, so went with my Oddish as well, which turned out in my favour as the Pokémon I was up against was vulnerable to acid attacks. The world works in mysterious ways. There all kinds of different potions and boosts to use within the game, some heal your character, remove effects such as burning, confusion etc, some boost your defence or attack. It’s worth picking up supplies from towns when you get there as the marts usually sell a load of these, which you can use the money earned from battles to purchase with. You can also buy Pokeballs from marts, however I will say I haven’t had to buy any of these yet as a lot of the times you get a load of balls from winning battles.
I was really impressed with the drop in and out local co-op play that’s in the game. My wife is a Pokémon fanatic and this was one of the games that she’s been wanting to play on the Switch, so when I got my copy, she was very happy… and I didn’t see my Switch for a while, however, we we’re able to play together as I used the drop in support trainer to help in battles and catching Pokémon.
The drop in and out feature is simply seamless, just one shake of the other Joy Con and you’re there ready to catch or battle, another shake and out you go. It’s a very good feature to use the further you get in and the battles get harder, having that support can make it a lot easier to get past higher ranked Pokémon.
I’ve played Pokemon: Let’s Go using both single joy con and in handheld mode, and both work really well, the game plays brilliantly. Being able to use a single joy con and doing the motions as though you’re throwing the Pokeball is a nice touch, but there were times I found handheld mode a lot easier as I could relax back and just press A to throw a ball. I don’t have the Pokeball plus accessory so I wasn’t able to test it out, but if I do manage to get my hands on one, I’ll either add or do another review for that.
There was one thing that did slightly bother me when getting the game, as a newbie to the series, how easy was it going to be for me to get into it? How user friendly was it going to be? Well, I can say it was very easy, I didn’t feel overloaded by anything and things that needed explaining or didn’t understand I could find an explanation for.
There were a few things that I did have issues with, now, please remember that this is the first Pokémon game I’ve played. When strolling through Kanto, loving life and exploring the world the way the game automatically picks up on battles and Pokémon did get a bit irritating, now I know this is the main aim of the game, and the catching Pokémon part didn’t really bother me, especially playing with one joy con, but the battles were annoying, especially when you tried to sneak past someone and they would come running at you, even when you were a fair distance away. I felt battles should be activated through a press of the A button, especially as there were so many clustered areas about I found that I couldn’t take 2 steps without being in a battle or having to catch something, and as soon as I came back to the world, another Pokémon would run into me. Again, I understand that’s the aim of the game to catch and battle, but like I said, the battles should be (I feel) activated by pressing A.
Another thing that slightly irritated me was the map and how to get to it, I felt that the map should have been attached to a button on the D-Pad and not having to go into your bag, then click on it. Would have made it easier to have it accessible via one button. Maybe a little nit picking but it was a slight irritation to me.
Overall, as a first jump into the world of Pokemon, it has been a very enjoyable one, I love the characters, the story is a good one, and it’s been made very easy for new comers to get into, which as mentioned above was something that played on my mind a bit.