Heading into the holiday season, Nintendo is facing tough competition from third-party juggernauts such as Red Dead Redemption 2 and Assassin’s Creed Odyssey while fending off the perpetual success of Sony’s Spider-Man. Not to be outdone, the company plans to roll out a hefty lineup of its own, a central pillar being the new Pokemon Let’s Go games.
For the past month or so, The Pokemon Company has slowly dripped out new trailers aimed at maintaining anticipation all the way until November. This week, it has finally addressed some of the core novelties in the next-gen entry: its integration with the ever-popular Pokemon Go mobile spinoff and how encounters with Legendary Pokemon will work.
In the trailer, players are introduced to the Go Park, a feature similar to the Pal Park back when the DS generation first came about. Dubbed “A Whole New Way to Go”, the Go Parks allow players to connect to their Pokemon Go accounts in order to access their mobile companions. They are then free to import these Pokemon into the Switch versions, even those with Alolan forms.
Players can also engage in a Pikachu-themed mingame in order to earn special types of candies, which can level up certain stats of their Pokemon. Presumably, this system is aimed at facilitating stat optimization without diving into the potentially hardcore culture of Pokemon EV training that the core series is known for. Much like its mobile counterpart, transferring Pokemon to the Professor will net players candies in Pokemon Let’s Go, so the countless duplicates from Pokemon Go can now be of use to the main game.
Perhaps the biggest departure from past Pokemon titles lies in the revamped system of challenging Legendary Pokemon. In the past, the thrill of the hunt often turned to frustration in trying to keep these special creatures in low health for better chance of capture; traditionally, fainted Pokemon cannot be caught. In Pokemon Let’s Go, however, players must defeat these Legendary Pokemon before they can throw their Pokeballs, a stark contrast from all the games that came before.
This gameplay decision, like many that were revealed, further shows that Nintendo meant for this game to be a casual spinoff rather than a core entry in the RPG line. It allows the game to showcase a brand new graphic engine and introduce experimental gameplay mechanics, all the while appealing to casual Pokemon Go players that are drawn in by the nostalgia of Pokemon Yellow.
Pokemon Let’s Go Eevee and Pokemon Let’s Go Pikachu launches November 16, 2018 for the Nintendo Switch.