If you're looking forward to Pokemon: Let's Go as a full-blown, mainline Pokemon RPG like Sun or Moon, then you're going to want to re-assess your expectations. We got our hands on Let's Go, Pikachu! at E3, and we loved our time with it.
After walking away from my stroll through the Viridian Forest, though, there were a few things that I thought I should share with you guys straight away.
You will not be battling Pokemon you find in the wild.
This is not new information, but many Pokemon fans still aren't aware that you won't be fighting the Pokemon you find wandering in the wild. The exploration segments play out more like the Pokemon Go adventures you have with your friends. When you run into a wild Pokemon, your only objective is to capture it. You won't even need to wear down its health before tossing your Poke Ball.
The only battling you'll be doing is with other trainers you meet or during your journey. Here you can expect wonderful effects, trainer introductions, and brilliant attack animations. I felt like the battles did actually give me my first glimpse into what a mainline Pokemon game on Nintendo Switch could be like, and it felt really, really good.
You'll want the Poke Ball Plus.
I don't "do" add-on accessories, but I'll be buying the Poke Ball Plus. It was small, sturdy, and actually offered a significant layer of immersion to the overall experience. When encountering random Pokemon, you'll have to use motion controls to toss out a Poke Ball. Certainly, you're more than welcome to do this with the Joy-Con controllers, but actually holding and "throwing" a Poke Ball feels so much better.
While the Pokemon struggles to break free of the Poke Ball, you'll feel subtle rumble feedback in the Poke Ball Plus controller, and you'll even hear that it emits sound effects while your pocket monster tries to escape. Of course, you'll also hear that iconic *click!* upon every successful capture.
This is a bridge between mobile and mainline.
While this may not be the mainline RPG you've been craving, this is no mere novelty. It became very clear to me that Pokemon: Let's Go was always meant to be seen as the perfect companion game to Pokemon Go, and vice versa. These games are best played together, and together they from a larger experience greater than the sum of its parts.
By playing both games, and keeping Pokemon you capture stored in your Poke Ball Plus throughout the day, you'll earn significant bonuses.
Be curious; be playful.
If you're a huge Pokemon fan, I'm confident that Let's Go, Eevee and Let's Go, Pikachu will offer a unique and satisfying adventure. This will undoubtedly bring more players, and lapsed players, into the Pokemon Go fold, and will give console gamers their first true taste of what a mainline Pokemon game could be on the Switch.
While it may not be the game you've been dreaming of (we'll get that next year), it will empower you to do something you've been dying to do since you were a child: To hold and throw a real freaking Poke Ball, capture adorable Pokemon, and carry them with you everywhere you go. As long as you keep an open mind, I think you'll be very pleasantly surprised.