Two weeks ago, Nintendo announced an exciting new title called “Pokémon Let’s Go” which will bring together the worlds of console and mobile gaming. Since then, fans have had lots of questions as to how the game will work, seeing that the mechanics of a traditional Pokémon game differs greatly from that of Pokémon Go.
Tuesday, Let’s Go director, Junichi Masuda, showcased the game during an E3, Nintendo Treehouse livestream. During the almost hour long presentation, fans got an in-depth look at some of the game’s main features and functions.
Here’s a rundown of what was discussed.
Inspiration for the Game
According to Mr. Masuda, Let’s Go is based on the game, Pokémon Yellow, but with modern day updates and twists, a capture system from Pokémon Go, co-op inclusive of kids and the inexperienced, a nod to the anime series, and mechanics that translate well to a home console.
Catching is very simple. Unlike in the handheld games where players battle a monster to decrease its HP and then have a chance at a capture, Let’s Go gives you the opportunity to add a Pokémon to your collection immediately after stumbling upon it in the wild.
Just like with Pokémon Go, you’ll select a ball, decide if a berry is needed, use your favorite throwing technique, and see what happens.
When successful, players will earn Exp. points, berries, and sometimes a new move for their main buddy, Pikachu or Eevee.
Exp. points and new moves can also be earned for the rest of your Pokémon team.
The more Exp. points earned, the higher your creatures will level up and the stronger they become.
When it comes to a Pokémon’s moves, there is a limit. Once the roster is full, something will have to be removed before a new move can be added.
The size of capturable Pokémon in the wild can be pre-determined by their aura. Larger creatures will glow red, while smaller ones will show blue. The higher the CP of a creature, the stronger it will be. The bigger the monster you capture, the more Exp. points you’ll earn.
At times, you may come upon a monster that you have no intention of trying to catch. When this happens, you can walk away.
Whenever you have monsters that need to be gotten rid of, you can send them to Professor Oak, who will exchange them for candy.
Candy in the game will come in a small variety, each of which, will positively affect a different stat, when fed to a Pokémon. Candy will be an important part of Let’s Go as it will be the main way monsters are made stronger.
Besides Pikachu or Eevee, a 2nd Pokémon can be chosen to follow you on your adventure. If the Pokémon is small in size, it’ll tag along behind you. However, if he’s large enough, you can ride on his back.
While out exploring, you may find useful items hidden here and there. Be on the lookout for them whenever you see Pikachu wag his tail.
One of the many ways you can earn rewards is by doing favors for the people you run into (who aren’t Trainers). When you find them, strike up a conversation, fulfill their request, and receive a reward.
You might also run into rivals, on occasion, such as Trace. Although he may be considered a challenger to you personally, he can also be quite nice, sometimes offering up rewards.
Going Into Battle
Battling is another great way to build up your Pokémon. When an in-game (or on-line) Trainer dares you to a fight, you’ll have opportunity to pit your best Pokémon teammate against someone else’s.
Before starting the fight, you’ll choose the move you believe will do the most damage.
While the fight is taking place, you’ll receive running commentary to let you know how your monster is faring compared to your competitor’s.
After a successful defeat, you’ll receive in-game money, rewards such as pokéballs, and Exp. points for your Pokémon team. You’ll also have the pleasure of watching your opponent come to terms with the fact that his Pokémon was just defeated.
Although there wasn’t time in the livestream to show us what a gym fight would look like, we did get some insight into the structure of the gym itself.
Outside, is a sign which names the gym leader and indicates the type of boss that awaits.
Inside, a bouncer of sorts will require players to prove they have the right type of Pokémon for what lies ahead.
After passing the test, players will then proceed toward the gym boss. On the way, they may run into other Trainers who challenge them to a battle. Once these have successfully been dealt with, it’s on to the gym leader.
Once there, a fight with the gym boss (I assume) will soon commence.
After your Pokémon have been through a fight, they’ll need to be healed. This is where the Pokémon Center comes in handy. Simply pick the monsters who need to be revived and, within moments, they’re ready to go.
Different Ways to Play
Let’s Go can be played alone, in couch co-op mode, or on-line with others.
You can play on your own, using a single joy-con, Poké Ball Plus, or on the go, in Switch handheld mode.
For co-op mode, simply hand the 2nd joy-con to your family member or friend, and, with a simple shake of the controller, he/she can join in. Here, players can journey together, battle side by side against others, or work in unison to catch Pokémon in the wild.
Lastly, Trainers will be able to face-off against others locally or on-line in single and double battles. This will require a Nintendo on-line subscription.
An on-line subscription will also be needed for trading. When trading, you and another Trainer will each agree on which Pokémon to exchange. Once you do, the trade easily takes place.
Replacing the traditional Safari Zone is the Go Park. This is the area where Kanto region monsters can be transferred into the Let’s Go game from Pokémon Go. (All Kanto Pokémon qualify, including Alolan variants).
Players will have a choice of lots of different parks from which to choose.
Once a Pokémon is placed in a park, players will have the choice of leaving it there or capturing it to add to their team.
If you decide to capture a Pokémon from the park, it will have a higher CP and be an overall stronger monster than it was in Pokémon Go. It will, however, be a little tougher to catch.
When you transfer a monster from Pokémon Go, you’ll receive a little bit of candy for your trouble. The one thing to keep in mind is that once the monster is removed from your Pokémon Go account, it can not be returned. Once it’s gone, it’s gone.
Poké Ball Plus
An alternative to playing with a Switch joy-con, is the Poké Ball Plus. It fits right into your hand, can be strapped to your wrist, has a rumble feature, produces motion and sounds, contains LED lights, and can be controlled with its joystick and button. (Here’s a picture of Nintendo’s Bill Trinen holding the Poké Ball Plus).
Each Poké Ball Plus comes with a virtual Mew who can be transferred into the Let’s Go game.
The accessory can also be used as a Pokémon Go Plus. Simply link it to your mobile phone and you’re ready to go.
Lastly, if you’re looking to earn some extra rewards, you can transfer a Pokémon, virtually, into your Poké Ball Plus and take him/her with you, on your daily activities. Whenever you return the monster to the Let’s Go game, you’ll receive something special.
Pokémon Let’s Go Eevee and Pikachu editions will release for the Switch on November 16th.
If you’d like to watch the 49 minute Nintendo Treehouse presentation, you can do so on the company’s YouTube channel.
If you’d like to pre-order Pokémon Let’s Go, you can do so, on-line, at the below listed locations.