Review: “Pokémon Let’s Go Pikachu and Eevee” A Solid Remake Of Game Boy Original

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(Note: This review is largely based on the “Let’s Go Pikachu” version of the game. While there are different creatures to encounter in the “Let’s Go Eevee” version, the core mechanics of both versions are largely the same should you decide to play them.)

The first “Pokémon” role-playing game for Nintendo Switch has debuted with “Pokémon Let’s Go Pikachu and Eevee.” While Generation VIII is still in development for the system, this remake of the beloved Game Boy title “Pokémon Yellow” has surpassed expectations and proven to be a great start for the series’ entries on the Switch by taking its back to its original roots.

While there are many changes from the original version of “Pokémon Yellow” in 1998, the core concept remains largely the same. As a young 10-year-old from Pallet Town in the Kanto region, you are tasked with traveling to capture Pokémon and train them in battle under the guidance of Professor Oak. The game also integrates content and mechanics from the popular mobile game “Pokémon Go.” Though this may seem simpler on the surface, the game presents a learning curve that makes battles and catching monsters approachable yet engaging. Hardcore players may not find every feature they’ve come to expect, but the game is far from a cakewalk either. The game puts a fresh spin on key moments from the original games, with a new set of “Master trials” to provide new challenges for longtime fans.

The graphics show how far technology has come since 1998, with each location being given colorful new flourishes. The Game Corner is now a video arcade above Team Rocket’s hideout, and Blaine’s gym on Cinnabar Island has been redesigned to resemble the set of an over-the-top Japanese game show. What was once rendered in monochrome color has become a visual delight for lifelong fans. With natural environments that look like paintings and the world being reimagined in full 3D, the games depict a nostalgic but slick trip through Kanto that has hints of a retro-futuristic revamp akin to how people in the 1990s imagined the future. The sound has great arrangements of Shinji Miyazaki’s music, and the mascots of Pikachu and Eevee have fully vocalized cries from the first time you start up the game.

Though remaking any beloved video game is always a challenge, “Pokémon Let’s Go Pikachu and Eevee” have pulled off the task admirably and provided a great start to the series for future RPGs on the Switch. The games have sold over 3 million units since their launch on Nov. 17, 2018, and they are highly recommended to newcomers and true believers alike with Generation VIII in the wings later this year. Gotta catch ‘em all over again on the Switch!

Verdict: 5 out of 5 Stars

Review by Steven Pryor

At a Glance:

Publisher: Nintendo
Developer: Game Freak/The Pokémon Company
Platform: Nintendo Switch
ESRB Rating: E

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