Pokemon Let's Go Pikachu and Pokemon Let's Go Eevee had a starring turn at the Nintendo E3 2018 post show, and now we know a whole lot more about how the games will actually play. No, they're still not quite the Pokemon Switch core RPG we've been waiting for (that's now coming out in 2019), but these games do channel the classic Pokemon Yellow and also tie in to the immensely popular Pokemon Go.
Technically Pokemon Let’s Go Pikachu and Eevee aren’t the first Pokemon games coming to Switch, that particular award goes to Pokemon Quest, which is a little blocky adventure you can play right now for free on Switch - just go and download it from the eShop.
However, for more on Pokemon Let’s Go Pikachu and Eevee, including how exactly they’ll interact with Pokemon Go, other gameplay info and more, read on, because here’s everything we know so far about the pair of games.
Pokemon Let's Go E3 presentation is full of new details
Pokemon Let's Go Pikachu and Eevee gameplay got a deep dive during the first day of Nintendo's E3 Treehouse livestream presentation, and you can catch most of it above. Don't have time to watch roughly 45 minutes of wandering around in tall grass and catching Pokemon? Here are some highlights!
- The Poke Ball Plus controller doubles as a Pokemon Go Plus accessory if you sync it up with your phone.
- Even though you don't fight Pokemon when you're catching them (you just throw balls like in Pokemon Go), there's plenty of battling with other trainers. Including actual gyms!
- You can have another partner Pokemon following you around aside from Pikachu or Eevee - and if they're big enough, you can even ride them.
- Classic Pokemon characters like Brock will return.
- You can transfer your lil' monsters from Pokemon Go to Pokemon Let's Go's Pokemon Go Park, and you can try to catch them to bring them into your party from there.
- Transferring Pokemon over from Pokemon Go to Pokemon Let's Go will mean you lose access to them in Pokemon Go, but you will get some Pokemon Go candy for your trouble.
Pokemon Let’s Go release date is set for later this year
You might have to wait until 2019 for a core RPG, but the Pokemon Let’s Go Pikachu and Eevee release date is already set in stone for November 16.
Pokemon Let’s Go is going back to Kanto and will feature Generation 1 Pokemon
Pokemon Let’s Go is very much aimed at both old and new players alike, by taking players back to the very familiar setting of Kanto, complete with some old faces like Professor Oak and all the Generation 1 Pokemon. The entire game is inspired by Pokemon Yellow, so depending on whether you choose Pokemon Let’s Go Eevee or Pokemon Let’s Go Pikachu, you’ll have your little companion with you whatever you’re doing in the game, with them following behind you or even riding on your back. Thankfully, the graphics are quite the upgrade from Pokemon Yellow though. It did come out on the Game Boy after all.
All your classic Pokemon traits are seen in the first Pokemon Let’s Go trailer, from battling to collecting and caring for your Pokemon. Unlike other Pokemon games though, it looks like the Pokemon will be milling around visibly before you try and catch them, more akin to the way you see Pokemon in Pokemon Go. It’s not clear as yet whether the game will revert back to a Gym battle mechanic, rather than the trials-based Pokemon Sun and Moon story, or ditch that traditional story arc altogether.
Importantly these games have also pinched a few ideas from Pokemon Go, namely the simplicity of the catching mechanic, and the idea that players want to feel more involved in what they’re doing for an added sense of realism. Because of all that, Pokemon Let’s Go is designed to be played with just a single Joy-Con, with the game using all the elements of the dinky controllers to make you feel like a real Pokemon trainer. You can switch the Joy-Con to throw a Pokeball for example, although it seems that the interactivity doesn’t stop there.
“I wanted to bring the fun of this more intuitive, as well as widely accepted and popular, Pokémon-catching gameplay, right back to the Pokémon main series RPGs,” said director Junichi Masuda, one of the original developers, at the reveal event in Tokyo, Japan. “Not only have we managed to make these titles great entry games for those who are new to the Pokémon RPG series, but at the same time really provide a new and fresh experience that fans of the series will enjoy.”
You can also pass your second Joy-Con to a friend for instant multiplayer, with both of you able to battle other trainers, catch Pokemon and more in Pokemon Let’s Go.
How does Pokemon Go tie in to Pokemon Let’s Go?
For those of us who are still clinging onto Pokemon Go, there’s even more good news because Pokemon Let’s Go is going to have a strong connection to the mobile sensation.
“With the launch of Pokemon Go in 2016 and the global sensation that ensued, millions of new players were introduced to the world of Pokemon,” said Junichi Masuda, director at developer Game Freak. “For many people, Pokemon Go was their first experience with the Pokemon brand, so we have crafted these two new titles to be an accessible entry point to our core RPG series while giving our longtime fans a new way to play Pokemon.”
Any Generation 1 Pokemon that you’ve caught in Pokemon Go can be brought into your Pokemon Let’s Go game, into something called the Go Park. It’s not clear whether you can then take those Pokemon into the main game, or they stay in some sort of hub. However, from the looks of the trailer, you will be able to send “presents” from one game of Pokemon Go to another person’s Pokemon Let’s Go. Let the long awaited Pokemon Go trading commence! This is probably the “something special” that the Pokemon Company alludes to in the press release when it says the following:
“Players can catch Pokémon originally discovered in the Kanto region in Pokémon GO and then transfer them into their Nintendo Switch adventure. Something special will also be coming to the world of Pokémon GO, making the connection between both games even more appealing for Trainers. Details for this will be revealed in the near future.”
What’s the difference between Pokemon Let’s Go Pikachu and Pokemon Let’s Go Eeevee?
At the moment it seems like the only difference between Pokemon Let’s Go Pikachu and Pokemon Let’s Go Eevee is your buddy Pokemon. With Let’s Go Pikachu you get Pikachu, and with Let’s Go Eevee you get… wait for it… Eevee. Aside from that it doesn’t seem like there will be any other differences. It could well be that further down the line The Pokemon Company reveal other varient exclusive Pokemon, which would, as usual, encourage people to trade with other gamers or buy both versions of the game for themselves. Other people do that right, not just me?
What’s the Pokemon Let’s Go Poke Ball Plus?
If you really want to prove your Poke-metal, you’re going to need the Pokemon Let’s Go Poke Ball Plus. It’s basically a Joy-Con shaped like a Poke Ball, with a joystick embedded in the central button of the ball. It also has motion controls, so you can swing the ball to catch a Pokemon, but it also lights up, vibrates and plays various sounds, including the cry of the Pokemon you’ve just entrapped within it.
With the Poke Ball Plus, you can also take one of your Pokemon from Pokemon Let’s Go Pikachu or Eevee with you as you go about your everyday life. It looks like there are various interactions you can do with the ball to play with the Pokemon within, and apparently there are a variety of rewards you get in Pokemon Let’s Go for doing so.
What do you think of Pokemon Let’s Go Pikachu and Eevee? Which version are you going to buy? Let us know in the comments below or hit us up on Twitter @GamesRadar.