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Pokemon Let's Go, Pikachu!/Eevee! Switch preview - Hands-on with the first proper Pokemon console game

More than meets the eye

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Product: Pokemon: Let's Go, Pikachu!/Let's Go, Eevee! | Publisher: Nintendo | Genre: RPG
For: Switch
Pokemon: Let's Go, Pikachu!/Let's Go, Eevee! Switch, thumbnail 1
Pokemon Let's Go! Pikachu/Eevee was something of a surprise announcement this year – and not one that fans looked too kindly on.

From what little was shown at the time, it was all a bit gimmicky. There's the Poke Ball Plus controller, for one, and the Pokemon GO mechanics which have been transplanted over.

But we can chalk all the misgivings up to a poor representation of the full product, which is in effect more like a remake of Pokemon Red/Blue. We've played Pokemon Let's Go! at Nintendo's UK VS event, and we can safely say there's a lot more going on than we first assumed.

I choose you!

First of all, yes, there is Pokemon GO style catching. You wander around the in-game world, rummaging through the tall grass to find new creatures to add to your collection, as has been the case in all the main entries so far.

This time around, you can just about see the Pokemon in the grass – no encounter is truly random, and you can pick and choose which Pokemon you go after by running around the ones you're not interested in.

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Capturing Pokemon requires you to throw down some fruit to make it easier to catch, and then making a throwing gesture, either with the Joy-Con or with the Poke Ball Plus controller. You even earn XP for your current Pokemon when catching others, giving you another avenue for levelling up beyond the usual grind.

All this you've probably seen before in trailers, but what you may not know is that you can still battle too. Pokemon Let's Go! isn't just a Pokemon GO game made for the Switch – it's a complete Pokemon experience.


Like past games, trainers you walk in front of will sometimes stop you and demand a battle, and you send out one of your party to fight. This is all pretty standard fare – you've got four moves to choose from, six Pokemon in your party, so on and so forth.

But the fact that it's in there at all is something of a revelation. It's a clear sign that this isn't some kind of stripped-back teaser for the next "real" Pokemon game and is instead a full experience that even old-school fans will enjoy.

Pokemon Let's Go, Eevee! Screenshot

The Poke Ball Plus is also a magnificent mini-controller. Shaped just like the game's famous spheres, you hold it in one hand and control the action through a miniature stick in the centre, wiggling it around to move and clicking in to make selections.

It fits perfectly in the palm of your hand, and it's got a decent weight to it too - this isn't some throwaway piece of plastic. You can also shake it to hear the cry of whichever Pokemon happens to be residing in your Ball at the time, and it lights up to match the action on the screen. And, of course, it has motion controls for catching Pokemon with.

Along for the ride

All in all, Pokemon Let's Go! certainly looks like it will be the full Pokemon experience on a console, something which fans have been waiting for since the dawn of time (the Pokemon games on GameCube do not count).

If the rest of the game matches the short time we had with it, then you can expect all the battling, Pokemon capturing, and trading you always loved in the old games, but with a fresh coat of paint and an Eevee on your shoulder.

Whether it will match up to our new loft expectations remains to be seen, but we should find out when it launches on the Switch on November 16th.

Reviewer photo
Ric Cowley 3 August 2018
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