Pokemon is not only coming to Nintendo Switch, it has Pokemon Go integration. The Pokemon Company has announced Pokémon: Let’s Go, Pikachu! and Pokémon: Let’s Go, Eevee! during a press conference live in Japan.
Launching November 16, 2018, the two games take the player back to the Kanto region, best known in the first Pokemon generation. Director Junichi Masuda described the games as almost a “remake” of 1999’s Pokémon Yellow.
“Let’s Go, Pikachu! and Pokémon: Let’s Go, Eevee! are kind of inspired and based on Pokémon Yellow version. They had added elements from the animated series, like Team Rocket and the characters that appeared in the animated series.
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It’s one of those things that made it resonate more with young kids at the time. When we were thinking of a game to go back to … we thought that this would be the next version.”
Much like Yellow, The Let’s Go games will feature only the first 150 Pokemon, though there will be Alolan variants. Depending on which version of the game you choose, you’ll also be followed by a Pikachu or an Eevee. The Pokemon will also resist their Pokeballs, and instead travel on the map with you.
Though the game will also have a number of differences from the original. Here we see one big inspiration from Pokemon Go. You catch wild Pokemon via the same mini game as the mobile app. Instead of the traditional battles, players can throw the Nintendo JoyCon to toss a PokeBall at the desired creature, which can also be done with a button press for those who’d prefer that. Masuda believes this is a good way to connect younger players.
“I think one thing that’s gonna make it appealing to the Pokémon Go audience is that you have the intuitive swiping mechanic. With the Switch version, you can throw the remote to make you feel like you’re throwing the Poké Ball.”
The company also premeired the Poké Ball Plus, a Poke Ball shaped periphrial that players can use to control the game with one hand. They can also “upload” a Pokemon into the ball, and take it with them in their travels.
We also see a new co-op gameplay mechanic. Another person can drop into the player’s game, helping them capture pokemon with assisted tossing.
The Let’s Go games are certainly a different type of Pokemon game. Masuda expresses his thoughts on the difference in a positive manner.
“What I can say is that Pokémon Go will continue to evolve, and I work on those games as well in terms of the game design. We’re gonna find a good way so that both series will find the strengths of each other and apply them going forward.”
Masuda still promises that a new Pokemon game is coming out in 2019, one that wont share the same mechanics and ideas as this one.