Back in 1996, a game was released; a game that changed the lives of many. Given the title of this article, I’m sure you’ll be surprised to learn that this game was called Pokemon. Gamer’s took on the role of a young ‘trainer’ who had held some sort of strange compulsion to wander around the world capturing weird looking animals and making them fight each other.
In the modern day you might call that cruel, but hey, this was the 90s. We were all savages back then.
The original Pokemon titles brought life to a franchise that continues to go strong to this very day. You’d be hard pushed to find someone in your circle that has never heard of the brand. An absolutely massive hit, the 90s games resulted in the release of over 122 unique titles in total and spawned an empire that has wormed its way into the heart and minds of many generations, and there are no signs it will stop anytime soon.
But while we’ve now seen the Pokemon franchise churn out over 800 different Pocket Monsters, the recent release of Pokemon: Let’s Go on the Nintendo Switch threw all those years of brand development aside, instead taking us back to the basics.
A remake of the 90s classics, Pokemon: Let’s Go goes back to where it all began. But this then begs the question: should I get Pokemon: Let’s Go? With years of evolution and changes, is this really where we want to be right now or is this just a retread of an old game past its prime?
Should I Get Pokemon: Let’s Go? Reasons to Buy
Pokemon: Let’s Go – A Sickeningly Glorious Hit of Nostalgia
If you played, and loved, any of the original Pokemon Game Boy titles from 90s (so we’re talking Yellow, Blue, Red or Green) then this game is going to have you gorging on nostalgia like a starving Lion fresh to a kill. Pokemon: Let’s Go is almost decadent in its offerings for those who grew up clutching their beloved handheld Nintendo console.
It really is a loving rebuild of a title that may have even been the formative gaming experience for you whilst you grew up. I know as a kid, Pokemon Blue was probably the game that had the biggest impact on me; and the game that soaked up the most hours of my young life.
There is nothing quite like revisiting fond memories. It doesn’t matter if you’re waking Snorlax with the PokeFlute or surfing Lapras round Cinnabar Island, a return to this beautifully enhanced, but perfectly preserved, time capsule of Kanto is going to have any diehard fan of the originals beaming with childlike glee from the word go.
Or should I say, Let’s Go…
A Natural Development of the Pokemon Go Phenomenon
There is no shame in admitting it, you got hooked on that Pokemon Go fad, didn’t you? Yeah, we all did. I’ve never walked so much in my life! It was great, for a time, but like all trends it tapered out, and that’s alright, too.
Yet, all that was learned was not lost.
Pokemon: Let’s Go takes elements of the Go game and incorporates them into this classic. The most notable of which are the catching methods. Instead of wearing down your prey until they are weak and are ready to quietly accept their fate, you now do as you did in Pokemon Go: Find them out in the open, feed them a tasty berry and throw balls at them until they get bored and capitulate or @%!* off with an annoying dash. You can also see Pokemon wandering around as you could on Pokemon Go, giving you the chance to grab the beasties you want and avoid the ones you don’t.
It’s great to see these gameplay mechanics return. They added a new dimension to Pokemon in the Go edition of the franchise, and they add a little some extra to the classic games this time around. They basically serve to make the whole experience a little more engaging, which is never a bad thing. It’s an active playing experience; something Nintendo has become famous for in recent years.
Although if you’ve got poor wrist game, it can get a bit of a pain.
A Chance For Newcomers to Relive a Classic
Not everyone wants to dig out a Game Boy on eBay to experience Pokemon Yellow in its purest form; or download an emulator to their phone or console just to grab a taste of the classics. Pokemon: Let’s Go is a portal into a world many would have easily missed, if not for Nintendo’s desire to give them a taste of a forgotten gem.
Without this title being released and remastered, an entire generation of gamers may have lost the opportunity to experience one of the most groundbreaking games ever to make its way onto our consoles.
It’s a public service, when you really think about it.
Pokemon: Let’s Go Is the People’s Game
At FinalBoss.io, our team of contributors profess to having varying levels of gaming dedication. Some of us are pretty hardcore into our gaming, while others are known for being fairly casual indulgers – present company included. Yet, no matter where you fit on the spectrum of gaming interest, Pokemon: Let’s Go has something for you. Pokemon: Let’s Go can be a deep-dive obsession or an occasional foray into gaming escapism.
Gamers who like to sink time and energy into their titles can easily become addicted to leveling, capturing the best Pokemon, boosting their party, and discovering all the hidden elements Let’s Go has to offer.
Conversely, if you’re only trip into the gaming world is an hour or so every Sunday, Pokemon: Let’s Go can still be a satisfying and rewarding experience. You don’t need to divulge hours of your time into this game to get something out of it. You can simply load up, explore for 30 minutes, throw a few Pokeballs, battle a few trainers and sign out. You’ll have had a good time doing it, but you won’t have been battered online by a bunch of 12-year-old gaming gods or be left feeling like you’ve made no progress at all.
New Twist on A Golden Oldie
Pokemon: Let’s Go is not a carbon copy of the original games with better graphics; the adaptations on the Go gameplay already demonstrate this. But, they aren’t the only new elements to the game. In Let’s Go, you can do a variety of things you couldn’t in classics like Pokemon Yellow. Such as:
– You can dress up your character and Pikachu/Eevee. Not exactly a revelation but a nice little touch. You can also play with them like in those weird virtual pet games.
– As with Pokemon Yellow, you can have Pokemon follow you about. But this time it isn’t just Pikachu who leaps out of the ball. It can be anyone in your party, which can make for some pretty fun traveling companions. Pokemon following you will also find stuff in bushes and the like, usually berries for helping you catch more of the sneaky devils.
– The game features co-op play. You can jump in with friends and battle trainers together.
– You can boost Pokemon stats with candies, amplifying the ability of your favourite little monsters.
– There what are known as ‘shiny’ Pokemon, like with the trading cards. These are basically different coloured Pokemon that a rare finds.
– Pokemon no longer skulk about, hidden in the grass; you can see them, which means you can dodge the blighters if you wish. We’ve mentioned this already, yeah, but it’s such a major change it had to slot in here, too.
Should I Get Pokemon: Let’s Go? Reasons Not to Buy
There Isn’t Anything New Here
Okay, this isn’t strictly true. There are new features, we’ve already highlighted those above. Like, we literally just used a heading that discussed new developments spliced into the classic title. So why are we also arguing to counter this point?
It’s because at its core, there isn’t anything new to this game.
It follows the same twists, turns and story structure. Fundamentally, it has basically the same mechanics and gameplay. There might be some shifts and additions, but they’re effectively like putting sprinkles on ice cream; it’s still the same dessert.
Pokemon: Let’s Go is an almost direct remake of the original games, as with most remasters.
This means that, as with most remasters, if you’ve experienced an original Pokemon game, enjoyed it (or didn’t) but never had a compulsion to go back, you probably won’t be blown away by Pokemon: Let’s Go. If you’re hoping to get more out of this game than the 90s Red, Blue, Green or Yellow, you’ve found the wrong wild Pokemon.
For many this isn’t a con, but if you weren’t onboard back in the day, you won’t be now.
It’s About As Difficult as Catching a Rattata
There was something to be said for older generation games. They had frustrating elements that made you bang your head against the wall sometimes, but that just made them more endearing, in a way. Or, at the very least, it made them a rewarding uphill battle when you got things right.
In an effort to streamline the game for the 21st-century crowd, Pokemon: Let’s Go seems to have ditched some of the frustration and difficulty of the originals, and many have commented that it just makes the title too easy.
From the removal of unavoidable Pokemon encounters in the shrubs to easier party leveling and weaker opponents, the changes made to Pokemon: Let’s Go really haven’t left much in the way of a learning curve or a challenge. It must be noted that this isn’t Dark Souls, Let’s Go isn’t marked for its tough-to-play nature. But, for anyone seeking a bit of difficulty in their gaming experiences, Pokemon: Let’s Go isn’t going to be a satisfying title.
Somebody actually beat the Elite 4 with a friggin’ Metapod, for crying out loud.
It is 90s Basic
At the end of the day, this is a remake of a 90s game. There is no denying it. And what does that mean? Well, it was a game designed and developed in the 90s. It’s simplistic in what it offers. If you like that sort of thing; if you like an easy-going and casual experience with some fairly bog-standard gameplay elements that don’t really push boundaries (not anymore, anyway) then you’ll have no qualms with this game.
If, however, you’ve become accustomed to the more precise and feature-rich games of the modern era, like some sort of high-class drug addict, you may have gotten such a taste of the good stuff that this watered-down version simply can’t give you the hit you’re looking for.
Should I Buy Pokemon: Let’s Go? The Final Verdict
Pokemon: Let’s Go is a lot of fun if you are a Pokemon fan.
Whether or not you played the originals, it’s a solid and well-put-together title that blends new graphical capabilities with old-fashioned, nostalgic wonder. Catching Pokemon; leveling and battling them; exploring the world, it’s all pretty damn joyful.
If I had to sum up this title in one word it would be lovable.
If I had more, I’d say it’s like the comfort food of the video-game world. It’s not going to change your life, it isn’t going to take over your every thought, but it’s an endearing tribute to an enduring title and something that offers simple, pure gaming fun.
With that said, if you are looking for a game to test you, a game to challenge you or put you on the back foot, this definitely isn’t the one for you. If you want pulse-pounding excitement, intrigue, or tense narrative, it isn’t the game for you either.
Pokemon: Let’s Go is a brilliant all-rounder: it’s like a Disney Pixar film. It can be enjoyed and loved by anyone and everyone, from hardcore gamers to the most casual of casuals. But, that does mean it won’t hit the mark for everyone, and if it doesn’t grab you from the first, the likelihood is you really, really won’t get into it.
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James is THG’s technophobic TV nut, movie addict and theorist crackpot. He’ll be bringing you features, insights and incoherent ramblings on all your favourite and least favourite shows and movies.