“Pokemon: Let’s Go Pikachu” and “Eevee” reimagines “Pokemon Yellow”
by Alexis Tucker, Managing Editor
Pikachu is an icon for both Nintendo and one of their flagship series, “Pokemon”, which Pikachu is the only starter Pokemon of “Pokemon Yellow”. “Pokemon: Let’s Go Pikachu” was announced to be a remake of “Yellow” with some twists. In this way, “Let’s Go Pikachu” is more of a reimagining than a straight remake of “Yellow”. “Let’s Go Pikachu” takes away the random encounters, adds the third dimension, new animations, and rearranges the story slightly.
Taking away the random encounters is actually nice. The player is able to see all of the Pokemon roaming the world, which in turn makes the game feel more alive, and repels are less necessary to continue through the story and travel the world, especially inside caves.
Players can pull Pokemon out of their pokeball to follow behind them, and this builds a connection (literally in-game and figuratively) between the trainer and Pokemon. The Pokemon will have an experience boost for leveling up, and the trainer can interact with their Pokemon in a way not seen before in the original Pokemon games. “Sun” and “Moon” introduced a similar idea of playing and petting the trainer’s Pokemon, but “Red”, “Blue”, “Green” and “Yellow” didn’t have any way like that to interact with Pokemon. “Let’s Go Pikachu” and “Eevee” allow new and old players experience (or re-experience) the original 151 in a brand-new way for this reason. Traversing through the Viridian Forest and walking down Pokemon Road is beautiful with the updated graphics, and it is made even better with that favorite Pokemon following just behind. Each Pokemon has a special walking animation. The trainer and Pikachu or Eevee are holding onto the front of Snorlax, or they can ride (or fly) on top of Pokemon such as Charizard. Graveler rolls in a ball behind, and Venusaur and Blastoise saunter.
The Elite Four are built up more than in the original Yellow, so there is some anticipation created leading up to that point. The Characters from Generation 1 all make an appearance at some point, which is a nice nod acknowledging “Let’s Go’s” predecessors.
“Let’s Go Pikachu” and “Eevee” introduces a link with “Pokemon Go”, so players of both games can interact with all of their Pokemon. This aspect isn’t introduced until Fuschia City, but it is adorable with a small cutscene of Pikachu/Eevee looking at all of the different Pokemon.
“Let’s Go” is a beautiful rendition of Generation 1, and it should be a tradition of reimagining the old Pokemon games. There are only a few minor problems that should be addressed moving forward. For example, there is no autosave, which isn’t a huge problem, but many games have autosave, meaning Pokemon should be able to have it too. More time should be spent making the battles more cinematic and feel more impactful as opposed to the continued lackluster animations that have been continually used for several games now.
Overall, “Let’s Go” is a very solid Pokemon game, and previous lovers of “Pokemon” will definitely enjoy the nostalgia playing it brings.