I have been with Pokémon since the very beginning (In the U.S. at least). Pokémania dominated the world back in 1999. What seemed like just another 90s fad managed to keep going strong twenty years later. Pokémon Go took over the world back in the Summer of 2016. Everywhere you went, there were hordes of people catching infinite Rattatas and Zubats. For a few weeks we all put aside our differences and got along. Despite my personal indifference to Pokémon Go, I still could appreciate how impactful it was. It was like it was 1999 all over again. Fast forward to 2018 and Go’s player base is only a fraction of what it used to be (despite an increase earlier this year). Pokémon Go is hardly relevant. The game itself still doesn’t provide much content beyond just catching Pokémon. Just another popular mobile game, nothing special.
Nintendo announced earlier this year Pokémon Let’s Go, which appears to be using the same capture mechanic from Go. A Pokémon game announcement would normally have me excited, but Let’s Go seemed rather underwhelming. Pokémon Let’s Go Pikachu and Eevee is yet another revisit of Kanto. Look Nintendo, can we stop going back to Kanto? Stop trying to appeal to the Genwunners. This is the fifth time the Pokémon franchise has gone back to Kanto. I’m sick of it. It is being billed as a main series game and offers less content than previous games. We are only given the original 151, meaning less choices. I will most likely end up with the same team as in FireRed and LeafGreen. Pokémon Let’s Go is just the original games with a shiny coat of paint, being sold for $60 as opposed to $40.
Despite my negative reaction to the game, there is still some positive in there. The game looks nice. I do like the idea of visiting a new version of Kanto. Nostalgia will most likely cloud my judgement and I’ll buy it anyway (also because its Pokémon on Switch). Not having HMs is also a good thing. No longer do weak, useless Pokémon occupy a valuable spot on your team just to cut down trees. Pokémon appearing on the overworld is far better than random encounters. I no longer have the patience to deal with random battles. It will still be a fun game to play since its Pokémon.
I will not be putting much stock in Pokémon Let’s Go. Game Freak may be telling us this is a main series game, I will not see it that way. The game that comes out in 2019 will show the direction the series is going. My expectations are minimal. The proving won’t be until the next generation begins.