Pokémon: Let's Go, Pikachu! and Let's Go, Eevee!
Let's Go, Pikachu! cover, depicting Pikachu
|Publisher(s)||The Pokémon Company|
|Release||November 16, 2018|
Pokémon: Let's Go, Pikachu! and Pokémon: Let's Go, Eevee![a] are role-playing video games developed by Game Freak and published by The Pokémon Company and Nintendo for the Nintendo Switch. The games are the first main series Pokémon entries for the Switch, and the first main titles to be released on a home console. They are enhanced remakes of the 1998 video game Pokémon Yellow. The games also feature integration with the mobile game Pokémon Go and support a new optional controller, the Poké Ball Plus.
Pokémon: Let's Go, Pikachu! and Let's Go, Eevee! are set in the Kanto region and include more than the original 151 Pokémon creatures in addition to their respective Mega Evolved forms from Pokémon X and Y & Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire, and their Alolan Forms from Sun and Moon.
Let's Go, Pikachu! and Let's Go, Eevee! feature common elements of the main series, such as battling non-player character Pokémon Trainers and Gym Leaders with caught Pokémon creatures. However, instead of battling them like the traditional battle system of other major Pokémon role-playing games (RPGs), the catching of Pokémon creatures uses a different mechanic that is based on the mobile spin-off game Pokémon Go where players throw Poké Balls at a wild Pokémon by using the motion controls of the Joy-Con controller. The action can also be performed with a button press when the Joy-Con controllers are docked to the console in hand-held mode, but this still requires using the motion controls to aim. If a player uses the motion controls, the catching of Pokémon is based on the player's timing rather than accuracy. Although it is possible to miss a throw, the ball is almost guaranteed to hit the Pokémon.
The games' control scheme is designed to only require one Joy-Con per player, and the games support cooperative multiplayer. If another player shakes a second Joy-Con, they join the current player and are able to participate in battles with Pokémon Trainers and wild Pokémon encounters, allowing them to aid the catching of wild Pokémon. When playing multiplayer, Trainer battles become battles of two Pokémon against one, and in wild encounters, there is the possibility for each player to throw a Poké Ball at the same time, doubling the chances of capturing the Pokémon.
The player character starts with either a Pikachu or an Eevee—depending on the version—which sits on the player character's shoulder in the overworld. This mechanic is similar to the "walking Pokémon" mechanic first introduced in Pokémon Yellow, in which Pikachu followed the player character throughout the entire game. The player character's partner Pokémon wiggles its tail when the player is near a hidden item, and it can be dressed up for further customization. Similarly to Pokémon HeartGold and SoulSilver, the player may also choose a secondary Pokémon to follow them, and some larger Pokémon can also be ridden, a mechanic first seen in Pokémon X and Y and later refined in Sun and Moon. The eight Gym Leaders and the members of Elite Four from the original game also appear, as well as the antagonist faction Team Rocket, including Jessie, James and Meowth from the anime series.
One notable feature in Let's Go, Pikachu! and Let's Go, Eevee! is that wild Pokémon show up in the overworld, rather than as random encounters in grass or caves like in previous main-series Pokémon RPGs. To start a battle, the player has to simply interact with a Pokémon in the environment. The battle screen is reminiscent of Pokémon Go, with the use of berries to pacify a Pokémon and the toss of a Poké Ball to capture it.
The evolution mechanic from previous games returns in Let's Go, Pikachu! and Let's Go, Eevee!; however, as in Pokémon Yellow, the player's starting Pikachu or Eevee cannot evolve. Only other Pokémon that the player has caught can evolve, including the ones of the same species of the partner Pokémon. Some features, like Pokémon breeding and HMs, are absent from the games.
Since Pokémon X and Y, experience points are rewarded to Pokémon not only by defeating opponent Pokémon but also by catching wild Pokémon. However, in Let's Go, Pikachu! and Let's Go, Eevee! experience points rewarded by catching wild Pokémon are affected by various multiplier bonuses depending on the timing of the throw and the technique used to throw the Poké Ball, such as performing an overarm or underarm throw. The game also introduces new items called "candies," which are used to power up a Pokémon's statistics, such as HP, Attack, Defense, Sp. Attack, Sp. Defense, and Speed. Different types of candy are awarded to players who transfer their Pokémon to Professor Oak via an in-game storage box. "Combat Power" (CP) also returns from Pokémon Go.
Players can also trade Pokémon and battle other players both locally and online, with said online features being simplified in comparison with previous games. Some features—including the Global Trade System, Wonder Trade, and Battle Spot—are absent from Let's Go, Pikachu! and Let's Go, Eevee!. To connect with other players to trade online, players use a code made out of the names of three freely-selected Pokémon which, when two players enter the same code, allow them to trade Pokémon with or battle each other. A subscription to the Nintendo Switch Online service is required to trade and battle online. Players can also transfer the original first-generation Pokémon and their respective Alolan forms from Pokémon Go to Let's Go, Pikachu! or Let's Go, Eevee!. They then appear at the Go Park; an in-game location that the player can explore where they can interact or catch Pokémon that are walking around, although Pokémon with higher CP or levels are harder to catch, in that the catch attempt has a higher chance of failing. Users are also able to exchange unspecified "gifts" between Pokémon Go and Let's Go, Pikachu! or Let's Go, Eevee!.
The games support an optional controller, the Poké Ball Plus. It is shaped like a Poké Ball and features an analog stick, motion control support, HD Rumble feedback, and lighting effects. The analog stick doubles as a capture button in case the player does not wish to use the motion controls. During Nintendo's E3 2018 Nintendo Direct presentation on June 12, 2018, it was revealed that the Poké Ball Plus would come with a Mew that can be transferred to the game. Although Let's Go, Pikachu! and Let's Go, Eevee! feature integration with Pokémon Go, this is optional.
Pokémon: Let's Go, Pikachu! and Let's Go, Eevee! were unveiled during a press conference in Japan on May 30, 2018. They are primarily aimed toward a younger audience and those who are new to the Pokémon franchise. At the time of announcement game director Junichi Masuda mentioned that the games have been in development for around two years. Junichi Masuda also stated that he considered the games to be remakes of Pokémon Yellow, explaining that Yellow "resonated" best with younger players because it incorporated elements from the Pokémon anime television series.
Although they are the first main series Pokémon role-playing games for the Nintendo Switch, Let's Go, Pikachu! and Let's Go, Eevee! are a separate project from the Pokémon game on the same platform that was teased during Nintendo's E3 2017 Nintendo Direct on June 13, 2017 presentation which is scheduled to be released in "late 2019."
Masuda stated that he decided to make Eevee the mascot of the second game due to its popularity and abundance of fan art. He had previously considered Psyduck but ultimately changed his mind, stating that it was due to Psyduck being the same color as Pikachu.
The games were released internationally on November 16, 2018. Bundles of the games with the Poké Ball Plus controller were announced, as well as Nintendo Switch console bundles featuring the game, gold and yellow colored Joy-Con, and a dock with artwork of Eevee and Pikachu.
Let's Go received "generally favorable reviews" from critics, according to review aggregator Metacritic. Critics applauded the gameplay, accessibility, nostalgia and charm of the game, while criticising its motion controls. IGN's Miranda Sanchez praised the game's catching mechanic which drew inspiration from the gameplay of Pokémon GO. She mentioned that she could "prioritize catching the Pokémon I actually wanted" and avoiding undesired ones thanks to the games' new overworld view of the Pokémon.
On November 22, 2018, The Pokémon Company announced that the game sold over 3 million units worldwide in its first week of release, making it the fastest-selling Nintendo Switch game. In Japan, Let's Go topped the software sales chart and sold 661,240 physical retail units in its opening weekend, and was responsible for almost quadrupling Nintendo Switch hardware sales for the week. It remained at the top of the Japanese charts in its third week, bringing its physical retail sales to 1,012,247 units in Japan by December 9, 2018. By December 16, 2018, the game had sold 1,121,020 physical retail units in Japan. As of January 6, 2018, the game has sold 1,399,595 physical retail units in Japan.
The NPD reported the launch sales of Let's Go in North America as being positive and described it as "the most important launch" of the year. On streaming site Twitch, Pokémon: Let's Go was the most-viewed game on launch day with 125,457 viewers, above Fortnite. Within ten days of release, the game sold over 1.5 million units in the United States, as of November 26, 2018. As of December 18, 2018, the game has sold 2 million units in the United States. It had the second highest launch month sales ever for the franchise in the United States, behind only Pokémon Stadium.
In the United Kingdom, the game launched with 116,000 physical retail sales in its opening weekend, becoming the top-selling game of the week, despite competition from new releases such as Spyro Reignited Trilogy, Fallout 76 and Hitman 2. Let's Go also had a positive impact on Switch hardware sales, which in turn boosted sales of other Switch games including several Mario games, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and Just Dance 2019. Individually, Let's Go, Pikachu debuted at third place in the UK's all-format sales charts, and Let's Go, Eevee placed sixth on the same chart. UK sales were down 60% on the sales of Pokémon Sun and Moon, the preceding games in the franchise, due to the Switch having a smaller install base than the 3DS and stock problems. The game sold over 338,270 physical retail units in 2018, making it the year's eleventh best-selling retail game in the United Kingdom.
|2018||Game Critics Awards||Best RPG||Nominated|||
|Best Family/Social Game||Nominated|
|Australian Games Awards||Family/Kids Title of the Year||Nominated|||
|RPG of the Year||Nominated|
|2019||New York Game Awards||Central Park Children's Zoo Award for Best Kids Game||Pending|||
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